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Max Wellenstein
Works at Alverno College
Attended UW-Milwaukee
Lives in Shorewood, WI
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Max Wellenstein

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It's just marriage now. #LoveWins  
 
The current map of the United States where same-sex marriage is legal.

The Supreme Court of the United States ruled 5-4 today in Obergefell v Hodges that same-sex marriage cannot be prohibited and ordered its validity and enforcement in all states and areas subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. Constitution. 

Justice Kennedy wrote the Court's opinion:
No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.

#SCOTUS   #SameSex   #Marriage   #Freedom   #Right     #LBGT   #SupremeCourt   #Ruling   #Law   #Love   #LoveIsLove   #Equality  
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This is an awesome development.
 
Our new computer simulation shows that dark matter particles colliding in the extreme gravity of a black hole can produce strong, potentially observable gamma-ray light. Detecting this emission would provide astronomers with a new tool for understanding both black holes and the nature of dark matter, an elusive substance accounting for most of the mass of the universe that neither reflects, absorbs nor emits light. More: http://go.nasa.gov/1N74Mm3

#NASABeyond
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Goddammit, Tony. Knock that crap off.
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This is like The magnetic liquid version of Venom. Terrifying and cool!
 
Ferrofluids are liquids that become magnetized when a magnetic field is applied. They're made by suspending nanoparticles (particles only a few nanometers -- tens of atoms -- across) of magnetic materials, each coated with a substance that keeps it from clumping, in an organic solvent. When magnetized, they tend to form characteristic "hedgehog" shapes.

These were originally invented for rocket fuel: the idea was to mix these directly into liquid fuel, so that a magnetic field could pull them straight into the engine. That eliminates the mechanical pumps that are at the heart of liquid-fueled rockets, which (especially then) were the #1 source of problems. Today, they're used for all sorts of other applications: for example, they're used to create hermetic seals around rotating drive shafts, like the ones in your hard disk, since if you just magnetize the shaft a bit they'll stay in place even as things spin around. Using similar tricks, they're what keep the voice coils of your speaker cool.

Basically, you can find ferrofluids anywhere that it would be really useful to hold some liquid in a strange position as if by magic. 

And here is what happens if you take a screw, apply a magnetic field to it, and pour a ferrofluid down the top. It both lubricates the screw very precisely, and looks really neat.

You can learn more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferrofluid .

This image comes from http://www.reddit.com/r/interestingasfuck/comments/391q8w/ferrofluid_on_a_screw/ , and via +Kimberly Chapman
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Pro tip: When you are at war, posting selfies from a secret military base is probably not the wisest course of action. It doesn't help when you brag about all of the fantastic command and control capabilities of this new base. And it really doesn't help when you include location tags, so that your post comes complete with latitude and longitude.

Also, the head of the USAF's Air Combat Command is apparently named "Hawk." 
Much has been made about the ability of ISIS to master social media to recruit and broadcast their victories. But the U.S. Air Force is turning the militant
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True.
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"An angry bullfrog in a robe" - betcha instantly know who he's talking about.

#SupremeCourtProblems
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The man's entire vocabulary is composed of dog whistles.

Flat-out saying that equal pay for women would be a 'double standard' reveals the governor's 10th degree black belt in doublethink.

He is a master of the technique.

#OnlyAMasterOfEvil
 
What part of justice says it's ok to hold a whole sector less deserving of  the same pay for the same work because another group wants to discriminate?  If groups in power think moving others into a sector where the others are lesser beings, justice, it seems to me, should encourage a person to fix the injustice....but it seems that justice is a lesser being to economic privilege and custom....
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It's the notion that giving women equal pay means taking away something from everybody else.

Which is stupid.

But makes anyone sympathetic with Walker who sees themselves as "everybody else" go a little crazy pants.
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We need to stop allowing excuses for American terrorists.
 
The perpetrator of yesterday's terrorist strike was captured a few hours ago, and the bodies of the dead have not yet been buried, and already I'm seeing a refrain pop up in news coverage and in people's comments: How do we understand this killer? What made him turn out this way? Was he mentally ill, was he on drugs, was he abused, was he influenced by someone in his life? Were his motivations about politics, religion, personal relationships, psychological? We can't form opinions about why he did this yet; we shouldn't assume that, just because [insert thing here], it was about race.

You might mistake this, at first, for a genuine interest in understanding the motivations that would turn a young man into a terrorist and a mass murderer. But when other kinds of terrorists -- say, Muslims from Afghanistan -- commit atrocities, the very same people who are asking these questions are asking completely different ones: Why are Muslims so violent? What is it in Islam that makes them so prone to hating America, hating Christianity, hating Freedom?

I think that there are two, very important, things going on here. The more basic one is that, when terrorists are from a group you've never met, it's far easier to ascribe their behavior to the whole group; if it's from a group you know, and you know that the average member of that group isn't malicious or bloodthirsty, then people start asking individual questions. 

But the more important one is that the group that this terrorist belonged to was not merely familiar: it's the same group to which most of the people asking the questions belong. Not merely the same broad group -- "Muslims" and "Christians" are groups of over a billion people each, groups far too broad to have any deep commonalities -- but a far narrower group, a group with a common culture. And there's a reason that people don't want to ask "What is it about this group that caused it:" because in this case, there's a real answer.

The picture you see below is of the Confederate flag which the state of South Carolina flies on the grounds of its state house, and has ever since 1962. (That's 1962, not 1862: it was put there in response to the Civil Rights movement, not to the Civil War) Today, all of the state flags in that state are at half mast; only the Confederate flag is flying at full mast.

The state government itself is making explicit its opinion on the matter: while there may be formal mourning for the dead, this is a day when the flag of white supremacy can fly high. When even the government, in its formal and official behavior, condones this, can we really be surprised that terrorists are encouraged? (Terrorists, plural, as this is far from an isolated incident; even setting aside the official and quasi-official acts of governments, the history of terror attacks and even pogroms in this country is utterly terrifying)

Chauncey DeVega asked some excellent questions in his article at Salon (http://goo.gl/3AZWy7); among them,

1. What is radicalizing white men to commit such acts of domestic terrorism and mass shootings? Are Fox News and the right-wing media encouraging violence?

6. When will white leadership step up and stop white right-wing domestic terrorism?

7. Is White American culture pathological? Why is White America so violent?

8. Are there appropriate role models for white men and boys? Could better role models and mentoring help to prevent white men and boys from committing mass shootings and being seduced by right-wing domestic terrorism?

The callout of Fox News in particular is not accidental: they host more hate-filled preachers and advocates of violence, both circuitous and explicit, than Al Jazeera. 

There is a culture which has advocated, permitted, protected, and enshrined terrorists in this country since its founding. Its members and advocates are not apologetic in their actions; they only complain that they might be "called racist," when clearly they aren't, calling someone racist is just a way to shut down their perfectly reasonable conversation and insult them, don't you know?

No: This is bullshit, plain and simple. It is a culture which believes that black and white Americans are not part of the same polity, that they must be kept apart, and that the blacks must be and remain subservient. That robbing or murdering them is permissible, that quiet manipulations of the law to make sure that "the wrong people" don't show up in "our neighborhoods," or take "our money," or otherwise overstep their bounds, are not merely permissible, but the things that we do in order to keep society going. That black faces and bodies are inherently threatening, and so both police and private citizens have good reason to be scared when they see them, so that killing them -- whether they're young men who weren't docile enough at a traffic stop or young children playing in the park -- is at most a tragic, but understandable, mistake.

I have seen this kind of politics before. I watch a terrorist attack on a black church in Charleston, and it gives me the same fear that I get when I see a terrorist attack against a synagogue: the people who come after one group will come after you next.

This rift -- this seeing our country as being built of two distinct polities, with the success of one having nothing to do with the success of the other or of the whole -- is the poison which has been eating at the core of American society for centuries. It is the origin of our most bizarre laws, from weapons laws to drug policies to housing policy, and to all of the things which upon rational examination appear simply perverse. How many of the laws which seem to make no sense make perfect sense if you look at them on the assumption that their real purpose is to enforce racial boundaries? I do not believe that people are stupid: I do not believe that lawmakers pass laws that go against their stated purpose because they can't figure that out. I believe that they pass laws, and that people encourage and demand laws, because consciously or subconsciously, they know what kind of world they will create.

We tend to reserve the word "white supremacy" for only the most extreme organizations, the ones who are far enough out there that even the fiercest "mainstream" advocates of racism can claim no ties to them. But that, ultimately, is bullshit as well. This is what it is, this is the culture which creates, and encourages, and coddles terrorists. And until we have excised this from our country, it will poison us every day.

First and foremost, what we need to do is discuss it. If there's one thing I've seen, it's that discussing race in my posts is the most inflammatory thing I could possibly do: people become upset when I mention it, say I'm "making things about race" or trying to falsely imply that they're racists or something like that. 

When there's something you're afraid to discuss, when there's something that upsets you when it merely comes onto the table: That's the thing you need to talk about. That's the thing that has to come out there, in the open.

We've entered a weird phase in American history where overt statements of racism are forbidden, so instead people go to Byzantine lengths to pretend that that isn't what it is. But that just lets the worm gnaw deeper. Sunshine is what lets us move forward.

And the flag below? So long as people can claim with a straight face that this is "just about heritage," that it isn't somehow a blatant symbol of racism, we know that there is bullshit afloat in our midst.

The flag itself needs to come down; not with ceremony, it simply needs to be taken down, burned, and consigned to the garbage bin.
"The stars and bars promised lynching, police violence against protestors and others. And violence against churches."
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If your d20 floats a 1, it's a witch.
 
For all of you who have ever suspected that some of your dice are in fact unlucky and conspiring against you, here's how you test it and find out. It turns out that solid dice are often made incredibly sloppily, and will in fact have favorite numbers; he dissects one at the end to show just what a mess they are on the inside. With transparent dice, you can't get away with that, and so they're more likely to be fair.

Whether that's a good or a bad thing depends on just how the die is unfair, of course. And even a natural 1 can have interesting effects in the hands of the right GM: http://imgur.com/gallery/cxOTWSE

h/t +Chris Stehlik
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This explains most of my 'random' experience as a DM. Major NPCs should not fumble 15% of the time!
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Having a subscription to The Economist is like having a second job.
LONDON—World-renowned news and opinion magazine The Economist announced plans to suspend any new online and print content for the next month in an effort to finally allow subscribers a chance to catch up.
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It's like Scott Walker can't stop himself from saying incredibly stupid, unfounded, and repulsive things.

The man is an embarrassment to primates everywhere.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) said Monday that he’d be willing to sign a 20-week abortion ban without exceptions for rape or incest, adding that women were mostly concerned about those issues "in the initial months" of pregnancy, television station WKOW reported.
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Yes, because he's Scott Walker and instantly believes whatever falls out of his own mouth.
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Education
  • UW-Milwaukee
    MBA; eCommerce, 2005 - 2009
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
    BS; Product Design, 1995 - 2000
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Male
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Married
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Aspiring Hero
Introduction
Husband, Father, Old School Geek.
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While standing in line at an outdoor market, I was approached by a complete stranger who exclaimed, "Wow, you look like you're here to fight crime!"
Work
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Web Marketing
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Web Analytics, Search Engine Optimization, User Experience, Karate
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  • Alverno College
    Web & Interactive Marketing Specialist, 2013 - present
  • Rocket Clicks
    Director of Sustainable eCommerce, 2009 - 2012
  • Rite Hite
    Manufacturing Systems Specialist, 1998 - 2009
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Currently
Shorewood, WI
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Milwaukee, WI - Chicago, IL - Everett, WA - Glendale, WI - Cudahy, WI