May #2: Philosophy of the world

Why Is Everyone Running for President?

Waiting for the But
xkcd -licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License.
What I Lost (and Can Never Get Back) When My Father Was in Guantanamo North

How Poor Oversight and Fraud in Generic Drug Industry Threatens Patients’ Health

Why Is Everyone Running for President? It’s a Billion-Dollar Industry

‘We’ve created a civilisation hell bent on destroying itself – I’m terrified’, writes Earth scientist

What Changed My Mind About Climate Change? Risk management is not a binary choice

Last Week with John Oliver: Green New Deal and Death Investigations

Last American slave ship discovered in Alabama

What Reparations for Slavery Might Look Like in 2019

Largest ever class of black women graduating from West Point – 32!

Hilde Lysiak of the Orange Street News gives commencement address at Reed School of Media at West Virginia University

‘We must be in this together. Relentlessly.’ Deborah Lipstadt, MA ’72, PhD ’76, delivered the keynote address at Brandeis University’s 68th Commencement

Arthur’s Unexpected reboot

Understanding the divine sense of humor

Why certain words are left out of our English-language Bibles

Kindness Can Be Taught. Here’s How

Casting announced for The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World, Joy Gregory and Gunnar Madsen’s acclaimed Off-Broadway hit, at the Bridge Street Theatre in Catskill, NY July 11-14, 18-21

Portrait of Steve Martin and Martin Short on 60 Minutes Australia

The Bob Emergency: a study of athletes named Bob- Part I and Part 2

The Secret Behind the Success of Avengers Endgame – not that much of a secret

Blogging revelation and reflection

How to Be an Ethical Influencer and I’m A Supposed Influencer and An Open Letter to Professional YouTubers

Now I Know: What do you do when someone you don’t like is wearing your clothes? and The Second Life of Crayons and Pigcasso

Does This Dress Make Me Look Guilty?

Why do people love coffee and beer

Ignaz Trebitsch-Lincoln was one of the most remarkable adventurers, scoundrels and fraudsters of the 20th century

To keep his daughter from getting bored on a family trip a dad had her Irish Step Dance in every location they stopped in at Ireland

8 Things Your Credit Card Can’t Buy

The Worst Product Ever

MUSIC

Rolling Stone – Annie & the Hedonists

Someone You Loved– Lewis Capaldi.

And The Waltz Goes On – André Rieu, composed by Anthony Hopkins

Symphonic suite for the Hayao Miyazaki film Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind by Joe Hisaishi

Coverville: 1262: This Day in Covers – 1989 and 1263: The Smiths Cover Story

Arctic permafrost no longer permanent

It’s easy to think planting a tree, bringing your reusable bags to the grocery store, or forgoing a plastic straw is meaningless.

arcticWhen a new study shows “the Arctic has entered an ‘unprecedented state’ that threatens the entire planet” and it’s “a massive conglomeration of nearly 50 years of research,” it’s difficult to feel optimistic.

Nearly 50 years. The first Earth Day will be a half century ago come next year. I expected that things would be better, way better, on the planet, certainly not appreciably worse. “Because the Arctic atmosphere is warming faster than the rest of the world, weather patterns across Europe, North America and Asia are becoming more persistent, leading to extreme weather conditions.”

It’s easy to think planting a tree, bringing your reusable bags to the grocery store, or forgoing a plastic straw is meaningless. Yet my family does it anyway. Maybe (probably) it’s a certain arrogance but we are trying for the destruction of the planet to be less “on us.” So we have our hybrid car. We compost. We reuse.

But even as the Midwest US braced for a major, long-lasting blizzard called a “bomb cyclone” AGAIN this month, the regime was signing executive orders designed to further roll back energy and environmental regulations and promote the fossil fuel industry, apparently to meet his goal of making global warming worse.

Andrew Wheeler, the the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, has said that human-caused climate change is not his top priority.

This despite a new study by EPA scientists “published in the journal Nature Climate Change. The paper urges action on climate change, declaring the urgency of the issue and pushing for strategies to address the potential effects.”

Earlier this year, EPA scientists priced out the cost of climate change. “By the end of the century, the manifold consequences… will cost the U.S. hundreds of billions of dollars per year.

“Those costs will come in multiple forms, including water shortages [Wheeler’s purported top priority], crippled infrastructure and polluted air that shortens lives, according to the study… No part of the country will be untouched, the EPA researchers warned.”

Happy Earth Day. This is probably NOT the only mention of the topic this week.

Why it’s so cold (spoiler alert: it’s global warming)

“We are getting the Arctic temps that should remain in the Arctic to stop the ice sheet melting.”

Back on the evening of December 28, 2017, someone wrote on his infamous Twitter feed: “In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!”

According to Ed Landing, NY State Paleontologist emeritus, i.e., an actual scientist, who has been writing on the global hyperwarming:

“Here is why it’s so cold – the jet stream has a lobe of Arctic air that’s come down over a good portion of the eastern US, which is unusual. Why unusual? Because that lobe is caused by an overly heated Pacific. Warm air travels north. The excessive heat of the Pacific has gone northeast, as warm air does, and is encountering and pushing the Arctic air aside and down toward the US, thus the lobe.

“In addition, a great lobe of warm air over the Atlantic is pushing northeast and locks in the cold jet stream air over the US—and is warming western Europe. Last year western Europe had the lobe, with killer cold.

“The lobe is stationary because there’s a lot of “hot air” being pushed north. How long will the cold continue? Until a storm or front from the southwest interferes with the jet stream and begins to push it back north, so some of that warm air can come into place over us.

“Is this related to global warming? Yes. If the Pacific, at the equator and tropics, wasn’t so warm from the climate warming (remember the Great Barrier Reef in Australia has been nearly destroyed by the warmer ocean temps), the excess heat wouldn’t be pushing north and thus forming the jet stream into the lobe over us. Thus we are getting the Arctic temps that should remain in the Arctic to stop the ice sheet melting. Everything is haywire.

“It’s good that it’s windy here (sort of), even though the wind chill makes it far colder because that means there’s a front from the southwest trying to get through to push the jet stream back north.”

At least the Tweeter-in-chief didn’t throw a snowball.

Earthquakes and global warming: related?

I came across an article in Newsweek, The Weird Way That Climate Change Could Make Earthquakes Worse.

“There have to be natural risk factors—specifically, unstable fault lines—for an earthquake to occur. However, the evidence is there that humans are creating situations that can agitate, lubricate, and put pressure on these plates. In fact, a book called Waking the Giant by Bill McGuire documents the science behind climate change creating ideal conditions for tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes.”

I had not heard of this 2012 book with the subtitle How a Changing Climate Triggers Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Volcanoes. It reviewed well on Good Reads and Amazon, though some thought it was too technical. And most believe the ending was too much a recapitulation.

“Here’s how climate change can lead to more earthquakes, according to scientist emeritus at the US Geological Survey and CEO of earthquake app Temblor Ross Stein.”

He explained something called Reservoir-Induced Seismicity or Dam-Induced Seismicity, earthquakes caused by building dams near fault lines. “People are building reservoirs on fault lines all around the world, filling and draining them. The water in the reservoir can lubricate faults, and filling and draining the reservoir creates and lifts pressure. Furthermore, filling a reservoir can force pressure on water at the bottom, which can run into the ground and create cracks and instability.”

And yet, “it’s difficult to objectively prove that reservoirs cause earthquakes.” Wouldn’t those plate tectonics create earthquakes anyway? This is maddeningly like the general conversation about climate change. One cannot attribute hurricanes Harvey, Irma or Maria to global warming, or the earthquakes in Mexico. But directly, or indirectly, the rising temperatures may be factors.

The interesting thing about the article is that it appeared as a spam comment on this blog, the entire piece without a title. Usually I’m rather quick in purging spam comments, but the length and coherence of the post slowed me down just enough. I may not have seen it otherwise.

September rambling #2: Len Wein

Congress’ most unapologetic feminist is the junior senator from my state

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A Moment of Silence – a poem by Emmanuel Ortiz

Guntown (Rogue Kite video)

I’m a US military vet, and I feel afraid in my own country

Joe Arpaio: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Reverend Barber on White Supremacy

Tired are the peacemakers

Increasingly, foreign students are choosing Canada over the US

What Your Phone Knows. Is your phone watching you?

What Does an Innocent Man Have to Do to Go Free? Plead Guilty

Here’s why right-wing Christians think they are America’s most persecuted

Single Payer Joins the Debate

So, you hate unions because …

The Great Flood and What Comes After

Spotting a viral hoax: Debunking the fakes from Hurricane Irma

Congress’ most unapologetic feminist, Kirsten Gillibrand, the junior senator from my state of New York

How English Was Made – the introduction of the printing press had a profound and revolutionary effect on the language

Newly-coined portmanteaux:
“It took me a long time to get to sleep after the whole shebacle.” From shebang and debacle (per the wife of a friend)
“Vomment” is a comment, usually on social media, someone makes that’s so full of bile and bitterness than it’s the verbal equivalent of vomit (per AmeriNZ).

Why Science-Fiction Writers Couldn’t Imagine the Internet

Scientists Say That Being Forgetful Is Actually A Sign You Are Unusually Intelligent – gee, I HOPE this is true

RIP Lt. Col. Stanislav Petrov – Thanks for Saving The World

When I heard Len Wein, the legendary comics writer-editor, passed away at the age of 69, I was surprisingly sad. I had never met him, but he started writing comics professionally almost simultaneously to when I started reading them. Mark Evanier, his long-time friend wrote “Len Wein died… and it feels so odd to type those words even though I’ve known for a long time I would have to.” I also know people IRL who knew him IRL, and I experience their sadness as well. Condolences to his wife Christine Valada

No, I don’t understand Len Wein’s teddy bear thing

How Bullwinkle Taught Kids Sophisticated Political Satire

Condolences to my old FantaCo boss Tom Skulan, and his brothers Dan and Joe, on the loss of their mother Ruth. I remember her fondly, though I haven’t seen her since the 1990s. Tom said that she really liked me too, and that she had asked about me as recently as a year ago. She was suffering from Sjogren’s syndrome, which I had been unfamiliar with.

Once the kings of Hollywood, directors are now increasingly interchangeable

22 Broadway Musicals That Closed on Opening Night

How are diamonds made?

Helpful Home Remedies for Sunburn

Now I Know: The Fake Illness Which Saved Lives and The Power of Being Bored and What Happens When a Monkey Takes an Awesome Selfie and The Million Pound Cough

MUSIC

Papa, Can you hear me – Nina Simone

Mozart. Symphony no. 29 in A major

Composer Alan Menken plays his greatest hits in ten minutes

Dee Dee Sharp – Mashed Potato Time and other tunes

Coverville 1185: Cover Stories for Fiona Apple and Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics

I don’t want to work

They Dance to a Popular Song from 2016

Why Brian Wilson Is A Genius