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Brooks Moses
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Brooks Moses

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This guy is great.  Cosplay for the win, kind of literally.
Since 1941, Captain America has been a symbol of American identity, and it continues to be for Vishavjit Singh. Singh has traveled the country dressed as C
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I highly recommend this discussion of social class, and classism, in the U.S.  It raises the point that, in the times that we do talk about class, we generally use indirect referents such as economic class or education levels, and these really aren't class as such.  And, by talking about them, we completely miss the effects that class differences have on us.

If you interview people, read this and think about whether your interview habits are selecting for people of the "appropriate" class, by selecting for people who perform competence in the way that you expect rather than the way a different class might expect.

If you think four-year residential colleges are a complete waste and can be easily replaced by distance learning or online classes, read this for the section on what people get out of college -- and, in particular, what it does for class mobility and why.

And, in general, just read it, because it is pretty critical to understanding the social world we U.S.ians  live in, and it's something that we really don't talk about much at all -- it's taboo enough that it's easy to just completely not see it!
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I have noted the phenomenon the author describes myself, and have attempted to explain it to others.   Most recently, I tried to convince my alumni club that we have some poor members, notably very smart professionals who work for non-profits, or in government, or in the military.   These are folks of high social class but low economic class.   On the other hand, we are all familiar with individuals who have escaped their 'station' and become rich.   The popular press is most cruel to them.   Consider, for example, Jim and Tammy Fae Bakker.   I find little to admire about them, but the lampooning of them was class-based and extra cruel.
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This is an amazing story of improbable species survival.  There's this giant stick insect, that used to live on a remote island.  And then rats came, and ate them all.  But there is this other tiny island, 13 miles away, that had basically one bush on it.  And on that bush, 80 years after the rats ate all the giant stick insects on the first island, some intrepid explorers found 24 of them around that bush.  As far as anyone knows, that was all of them that there were on the island.

Which is to say, for eight decades, these critters apparently survived with a total population of two dozen.  These insects.

Thanks to some very careful conservation efforts involving collecting just four of the 24, there are now hundreds of the adults and a thriving captive population.  And so there's the question -- now what?  The rats are still there on the original island, and they're not native to introduce anywhere else....
The insect is so large — as big as a human hand — it's been dubbed a "tree lobster." Presumed extinct, some enterprising entomologists found them on a barren hunk of rock in the middle of the ocean.
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This is just a bit of a surprise -- Kodak has announced that they are going to be producing a new Super8 film camera, for the first time since 1982.  And, perhaps more surprisingly, they actually have what sound like good, sensible reasons for doing this.  Obviously it's a gamble, but with their explanation it sounds like one that might actually pay off.
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That actually seems kinda cool. I'm almost tempted to get one myself. 
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Why is it that the word "stentoriopoly" does not exist yet?  I just came across a spot where it would be exactly the right word.

(The context, of course, was insufficiently-moderated online forums.)
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A massive hydrocarbon fuel "spill" is currently occurring near Los Angeles.  At a rough estimate, this alone has increased California's total effective greenhouse-gas emissions by almost 2% (based on the article's comparison of methane's greenhouse-gas effectiveness and Wikipedia's list of total CO2 emissions by state), and there's no expectation of it being under control any time soon.  However, it's invisible, so the TV news media can't do attention-grabbing video feeds of it.
One of the worst environmental disasters of the decade is currently underway in a quiet community 25 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Putrid, methane-rich natural gas has been spewing into the air at an estimated rate of nearly 1,300 metric tons per day for over two months. Experts are calling it the climate version of the BP oil spill, and the leak isn’t going to be contained anytime soon.
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+Ian Hickson Black particulate carbon (which is solid) isn't even slightly harmless in terms of global warming.  (Diesel is a snare and a delusion...)  Though I was trying to refer to carbon that gets lit on fire; that's all going to wind up as CO2 and unpleasant side effects.

And CH4 vs CO2 is tricky; CH4 is much worse but leaves the atmosphere way much faster.  Very hard to tell, given the limited modelling capability we have, which is worse.
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Brooks Moses

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These are the folks -- led by a Civil Engineering professor at Virginia Tech, Marc Edwards -- who did the studies that showed the water problems in Flint.  That took about 3 person-years of donated effort, and beyond that it took almost $200k of funding.  Where did the money come from?  Some of it came from Dr. Edwards's discretionary research funds (which is basically what they're for) and the rest from his own personal funds, including taking out a mortgage on his house.

Now that the possibility of conflict of interest is basically over, they're having a GoFundMe campaign, partly to offset the costs and partly to have funds available next time they need them for something like this.

(Source: http://www.attn.com/stories/5314/virginia-tech-flint-water-crisis?)
Engineers shall hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public - The First Canon of Civil Engineering Read the full background here . Since last August many people have contacted us, and asked how they could help us. To date, we refused almost all offers of financial support to a...
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how is the government not just paying them i am confuse
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In other unexpected ways that Australian fauna can be deadly....
Two scientific conferences have heard evidence that at least two Australian birds have learned to use fire, picking up smoldering sticks and dropping them in unburnt territory. The behavior has not been photographed, but numerous sightings have been reported, and is woven into the culture of local Indigenous communities.
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I'll add it to my list of things to tell foreigners about when, upon noting my nationality, they say they have "always wanted to visit Australia" ;)
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I came across this photo that Adam Savage (of Mythbusters fame) took of the books he'd ordered to take along on the end-of-Mythbusters tour.  Looks like a good reading list to me, and I'm tempted to get my own copies of them!
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The Japanese Joinery book is great!
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It is late and I don't have brain to write coherent comments at the moment, but this is a really important discussion about social justice, "respectability politics", and how making social-justice arguments badly can be significantly detrimental.  Go, read it.
[ View in black-and-white ] Back in April, I alluded to how I had a post brewing on how "Claiming That Mental Illness Has Nothing To Do With Committing Violence Actually Is Terrible and Counterproductive", yet is something that people on the Left do all the time. It has become clear that we can't…
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Siderea! <3 <3

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From +Kiya Nicoll.  Pull quote, which is well-defended by the points in the article: "I would argue that Chinese food is the ethnic cuisine of American Jews."  Some interesting points about otherness, culture, and cultural sharing.
A lack of dining options may have started Jewish Christmas, but now it's a full-fledged ritual.
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From a footnote on a Yuletide fic by +Jenett Silver, this article on "The Scariest Libraries" is a really interesting digression into ways that architecture can be intentionally or unintentionally creepy.  With lots of illustrations and details.
I am going to spend the next 5000 words complaining about library architecture. Let's see if I can keep you excited. (NOTE: This post contains many images, so you may want to read it on a large screen. It also includes Renaissance paintings with nudity, so be prepared. Also, I am happy to report ...
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Interesting.
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