Login now

Not your profile? Login and get free access to your reports and analysis.

Tags

Sign in

The following tags have been added by users of CircleCount.com.
You can login on CircleCount to add more tags here.

  • Blogs of August

Are you missing a tag in the list of available tags? You can suggest new tags here.

Login now

Do you want to see a more detailed chart? Check your settings and define your favorite chart type.

Or click here to get the detailed chart only once.

M Sinclair Stevens has been at 2 events

HostFollowersTitleDateGuestsLinks
Google Local Austin356,276*Win a pair of seats to our exclusive evening at Franklin BBQ* – goo.gl/2Sn5jB We're giving you a chance to experience every Austin carnivore's dream: the most mouthwatering brisket, ribs, sausage and salty sides imaginable...without waiting three hours in line! Want access to chow down at Franklin's during our private buy out, complete with live music, ice cold beer, and enough leftovers to last a week? Start writing local reviews on Google. Each high-quality review you write between now and August 7 will increase your chances of landing two coveted spots at our family style table.  1) Make sure you’re signed up for City Experts: g.co/cityexpert 2) Enter the contest: goo.gl/2Sn5jB 3) Get your reviews in by Thurs., August 7. We'll announce the winners here (and via email) on Friday., August 8. _Photo by Franklin Barbecue_Franklin BBQ Takeover2014-08-12 18:30:00144  
Sarah Hill2,836,332Calling all inhabitants of the Ghost Town.   Let's #HIRL in Austin, TX!!!   (Hangout In Real Life). Hear how ★ Plusketeers are using the +Google+  platform to create their own #humanmedia posse and how 2013 could be the year for + Google +.  Our venue only holds 100 so you *must RVSP* early and email googleplus@vu.com if you'd like to join us for lunch. +Veterans United is picking up the tab for free food and drinks but you're ghosts...so you don't eat much right?  ♥♥♥   #SXSWHIRL  HIRL in Austin, TX2013-03-09 12:00:00246  

Shared Circles including M Sinclair Stevens

Shared Circles are not available on Google+ anymore, but you can find them still here.

The Google+ Collections of M Sinclair Stevens

Activity

Average numbers for the latest posts (max. 50 posts, posted within the last 4 weeks)

7
comments per post
3
reshares per post
15
+1's per post

1,545
characters per posting

Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 43

posted image

2015-07-12 22:50:40 (43 comments, 25 reshares, 220 +1s)Open 

Travel New York City: Central Park 

--------------
Photo: 2007-03-18. Central Park.

Most reshares: 25

posted image

2015-07-12 22:50:40 (43 comments, 25 reshares, 220 +1s)Open 

Travel New York City: Central Park 

--------------
Photo: 2007-03-18. Central Park.

Most plusones: 220

posted image

2015-07-12 22:50:40 (43 comments, 25 reshares, 220 +1s)Open 

Travel New York City: Central Park 

--------------
Photo: 2007-03-18. Central Park.

Latest 50 posts

posted image

2015-09-03 19:54:23 (3 comments, 2 reshares, 19 +1s)Open 

Japan: Woodblocks Meet GIFs

Modern spin on Centuries-Old Japanese Woodblock Prints

I love this mix of old and new. "A Japanese artist is placing a modern spin on a centuries-old technique, animating Japanese woodblock prints in the style typically reserved for TV show recaps and continuously looping memes. The artist, who who goes by Segawa thirty-seven, uses Adobe Photoshop and After Effects to alter the static images and inlay elements of sci-fi and modern culture—bringing in Segways and alien spaceships into the fixed landscapes-turned-gifs."

#gifs  
#Japanese  
#woodblock  
#prints  ___Japan: Woodblocks Meet GIFs

posted image

2015-08-30 12:52:13 (18 comments, 12 reshares, 28 +1s)Open 

UX: Ballpoint Pens  
Another article from The Atlantic musing on how so-called advances in technology killed a user experience: this time it's how cheap ballpoint pens made writing by hand so uncomfortable that people were more than ready to abandon it completely for keyboards.

However, there are still plenty of good reasons for writing by hand. Aside from the pure pleasure of it, studies have shown that one remembers more if one takes notes by hand. Many people, including myself, feel that we can't think unless we are physically writing.

Tools shape content. How we do something affects what we produce. Every tool, no matter how helpful, imposes constraints on our designs and our work habits. Just because something is new doesn't mean it's better...or it may be better at some things but at the cost of others.
--------------
via +Yonatan... more »

UX: Ballpoint Pens  
Another article from The Atlantic musing on how so-called advances in technology killed a user experience: this time it's how cheap ballpoint pens made writing by hand so uncomfortable that people were more than ready to abandon it completely for keyboards.

However, there are still plenty of good reasons for writing by hand. Aside from the pure pleasure of it, studies have shown that one remembers more if one takes notes by hand. Many people, including myself, feel that we can't think unless we are physically writing.

Tools shape content. How we do something affects what we produce. Every tool, no matter how helpful, imposes constraints on our designs and our work habits. Just because something is new doesn't mean it's better...or it may be better at some things but at the cost of others.
--------------
via +Yonatan Zunger who has an interesting discussion going on in his thread.

Related: My Weapons of Choice 
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+PeterStrempel/posts/ADsu75nYYP3___

posted image

2015-08-27 16:01:20 (22 comments, 2 reshares, 7 +1s)Open 

Politics: Techies, Wake Up   
Given that I read both George Packer and +Peter Strempel, I'm quite familiar with this critique. However, it's really refreshing to hear the same points from someone within tech culture.

Politicians might represent all the loud-mouthing, emotion-bating, ideologically-driven characteristics from which we cringe, but we ignore politics at our peril. Our rights as citizens entail responsibilities as well. That's the difference between adults and children. 
--------
George Packer 
Change the World
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/05/27/change-the-world

Peter Strempel
Orwell and Science 
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+PeterStrempel/posts/99paQvEK5T7

The Cult of Expertise 
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+PeterStrempel/posts/VmpPZannGiH
Show less

To all my anti-politics, quasi-libertarian friends who want "the stupid politicians" to "stop fighting and start fixing" and who think "centrism" and "moderation" are highly correlated with "rationality": please read this.___Politics: Techies, Wake Up   
Given that I read both George Packer and +Peter Strempel, I'm quite familiar with this critique. However, it's really refreshing to hear the same points from someone within tech culture.

Politicians might represent all the loud-mouthing, emotion-bating, ideologically-driven characteristics from which we cringe, but we ignore politics at our peril. Our rights as citizens entail responsibilities as well. That's the difference between adults and children. 
--------
George Packer 
Change the World
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/05/27/change-the-world

Peter Strempel
Orwell and Science 
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+PeterStrempel/posts/99paQvEK5T7

The Cult of Expertise 
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+PeterStrempel/posts/VmpPZannGiH
Show less

posted image

2015-08-26 04:14:43 (5 comments, 5 reshares, 78 +1s)Open 

ATX: Lady Bird Lake 
Morning walk. Austin Texas.

ATX: Lady Bird Lake 
Morning walk. Austin Texas.___

posted image

2015-08-24 21:41:34 (10 comments, 2 reshares, 16 +1s)Open 

Wombats do laundry? I want a wombat!

23 Ways Your Day Could Be Ruined By Cuteness http://th3pictures.com/r/2p67M___Wombats do laundry? I want a wombat!

posted image

2015-08-24 02:55:55 (0 comments, 3 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

Wrath of Trumpenstein
Freakshow carnival barker Donald Trump has no intention of running for the presidency, and has no chance of gaining the Republican nomination.

This far out, even seasoned commentators are loath to pick the pony, but when I try to filter out spectacle from some constants, I think Clinton probably has the best chance.  Much though I would welcome a Sanders presidency, I doubt the Democrat party machine would allow that to happen.  The Republican clowns opposing Clinton seem less likely than Mitt Romney to stand a chance against an experienced Machiavellian, particularly if she can avoid damaging revelations, and maintain tight discipline in her team of political operatives.

I like spectacle as much as the next guy.  Some of the finest journalistic writing flows from big tent campaigns, which are in themselves creative of odd circumstances andre... more »

Wrath of Trumpenstein
Freakshow carnival barker Donald Trump has no intention of running for the presidency, and has no chance of gaining the Republican nomination.

This far out, even seasoned commentators are loath to pick the pony, but when I try to filter out spectacle from some constants, I think Clinton probably has the best chance.  Much though I would welcome a Sanders presidency, I doubt the Democrat party machine would allow that to happen.  The Republican clowns opposing Clinton seem less likely than Mitt Romney to stand a chance against an experienced Machiavellian, particularly if she can avoid damaging revelations, and maintain tight discipline in her team of political operatives.

I like spectacle as much as the next guy.  Some of the finest journalistic writing flows from big tent campaigns, which are in themselves creative of odd circumstances and revealing moments.  However, these can only really occur if the candidates believe in something more than winning.

My favourite US print journalist is Matt Taibbi.  However, reading his 12 August piece on the 'GOP Clowncar' (http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/inside-the-gop-clown-car-20150812) made me think he was tired.  There was hardly an insightful moment or revealing anecdote.  Is the grind of being on the road with the loonies getting him down?

It seems an odd synchronicity that one of the books on my bedside table is Hunter Thompson's Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72.  Thompson worked his way through a similar, seemingly masochist series of campaign stops during which odd pieces of candidate psychology were revealed in between a narration of the minutiæ of covering such events that made Thompson who he was.  People who likely saw him as a subversive were nevertheless willing to give him quotes.  Even Nixon made time to talk baseball with him.  In Thompson's obituary of Nixon in 1994, Thompson was almost sentimental, in his own way:

Some of my best friends have hated Nixon all their lives. My mother hates Nixon, my son hates Nixon, I hate Nixon, and this hatred has brought us together.

Nixon laughed when I told him this. "Don't worry," he said, "I, too, am a family man, and we feel the same way about you."

It was Richard Nixon who got me into politics, and now that he's gone, I feel lonely. He was a giant in his way. As long as Nixon was politically alive -- and he was, all the way to the end -- we could always be sure of finding the enemy on the Low Road. There was no need to look anywhere else for the evil bastard. He had the fighting instincts of a badger trapped by hounds. The badger will roll over on its back and emit a smell of death, which confuses the dogs and lures them in for the traditional ripping and tearing action. But it is usually the badger who does the ripping and tearing. It is a beast that fights best on its back: rolling under the throat of the enemy and seizing it by the head with all four claws.

That was Nixon's style -- and if you forgot, he would kill you as a lesson to the others. Badgers don't fight fair, bubba. That's why God made dachshunds.  (http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1994/07/he-was-a-crook/308699/)

Taibbi either doesn't get this kind of entrée from contenders, or has a more interventionist editor.  But you can't keep a good man down.  A few days after the Clowncar piece, Taibbi came back with:

Trump is probably too dumb to realize it, or maybe he isn't, but he doesn't need to win anything to become the most dangerous person in America. He can do plenty of damage just by encouraging people to be as uninhibited in their stupidity as he is.  (http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/donald-trump-just-stopped-being-funny-20150821)

I thought the matter of uninhibited stupidity had been settled a long time ago, when American media gave the religious Right unlimited free air time without a whiff of critically analysing what was being said.

Some of my friends have commented that if Trump were a Democrat plant, he couldn't play out better if he were scripted.  Is he scripted?  Can one arsehole hit so many 'wrong' buttons without a script?  Reality TV is not nearly as real as it seems.  There are scripts and storylines that the on-air idiots adhere to at least some of the time.  Of course Trump is scripted.

What if he is a GOP plant instead?  Someone to push the other intellectual dwarves further to the Right than they would otherwise dare to go?  Someone who will allow Clinton to shift Right too?  Looking at the other dwarves it seems unlikely that they can get further Right without falling off their Flat Earth platforms.  And Clinton will go where the money is, Flat Earth or not; I'm with the late Christopher Hitchens on this.  Dishonesty and mercenary ambition are the sole factors relevant in observing her campaign.

Maybe there's a far more simple explanation for Trump's antics.  This is a huge ego jerk-off for someone addicted to his own reality TV status.  Expensive publicity, but publicity that may be worth more than he paid for it.  Only he will ever know.

A little while ago a friend reminded me, when I expressed skepticism about the polls, that I should look at stats whizz Nate Silver instead of the mainstream media.  Silver had this to say in August:

Our emphatic prediction is simply that Trump will not win the nomination. It's not even clear that he's trying to do so.  (http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/donald-trump-is-winning-the-polls-and-losing-the-nomination/)

A little while ago I read a comment piece in the Huffington Post, which I distrust strongly despite its apparent bona fides.  The comment was by Mario Almonte, identified as a 'PR strategist and commentator'.  Even if Almonte was there solely to promote himself, his point seems convincing:

Inciting controversy for the sake of controversy is also a risky campaign strategy. Like teasing the animals at the zoo, eventually something will bite back.

Trump would also never accept the job of president, as tempting as it might seem. It would mean giving up direct control of his global business empire. He would also have to forfeit the hundreds of millions of dollars he receives in endorsement deals every year. Four years as president, cut off from all business dealings and steady cash flow from endorsements could seriously put his financial empire at risk.  (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mario-almonte/relax-america-donald-trum_b_7983354.html)

The truth about Trump as candidate seems more likely to lie solely in the spectacle.  The whole news and misinformation media need spectacle the way a junkie needs his next fix.  And Trump is a batch of uncut horse that will leave some of the junkies overdosed and out of luck by the time this spectacle has run its course.

[I am indebted to +Cara Evangelista, and, especially, to +M Sinclair Stevens for making me think this through again.]___

2015-08-23 19:38:44 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

UX: RStudio and  RPubs Integration 
Watching everyone madly trying to publish their course assignments on RPubs before today's deadline is hypnotizing.

This is my first foray into "literate programming". It was more literate than programming. Even I can recognize that my code is clumsily hacked.  

However, I am thrilled at the integration of R, markdown documents, and button-publishing to the RPubs site that is available in RStudio. If I had had tools like this in an earlier life, how much easier my job would have been! To think, I once used to insert, update, and test code examples in my tutorials laboriously by hand.

I know that most of my readers think I'm an old curmudgeon who never has anything nice to say about any interface. But when I come across a tool that lets me do what I want to do and then shows me a bunch of things I can doth... more »

UX: RStudio and  RPubs Integration 
Watching everyone madly trying to publish their course assignments on RPubs before today's deadline is hypnotizing.

This is my first foray into "literate programming". It was more literate than programming. Even I can recognize that my code is clumsily hacked.  

However, I am thrilled at the integration of R, markdown documents, and button-publishing to the RPubs site that is available in RStudio. If I had had tools like this in an earlier life, how much easier my job would have been! To think, I once used to insert, update, and test code examples in my tutorials laboriously by hand.

I know that most of my readers think I'm an old curmudgeon who never has anything nice to say about any interface. But when I come across a tool that lets me do what I want to do and then shows me a bunch of things I can do that I never dreamed of doing, I can barely contain my joy. 

I can't remember the last time that a piece of software made me feel this satisfied.___

2015-08-20 22:16:35 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

Statistics: Texas is a Red State  
Not just politically but on this map of billion-dollar weather disasters by state from the NOAA. 

My coursework this week involves analyzing storm data in terms of human injuries and fatalities and in terms of property and crop damage. I was curious to know whether my analysis was in the ballpark. (Yay! It is.)

By the way, the weather in Austin today is not a disaster. It's unexpectedly lovely. Rain and a cold front! The temperature has dropped about 20°F to a pleasant 79°F/26°C.

Statistics: Texas is a Red State  
Not just politically but on this map of billion-dollar weather disasters by state from the NOAA. 

My coursework this week involves analyzing storm data in terms of human injuries and fatalities and in terms of property and crop damage. I was curious to know whether my analysis was in the ballpark. (Yay! It is.)

By the way, the weather in Austin today is not a disaster. It's unexpectedly lovely. Rain and a cold front! The temperature has dropped about 20°F to a pleasant 79°F/26°C.___

posted image

2015-08-16 12:24:08 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

Who Will Shine a Light
"Looking again at the Sartrean luminous realm of values, it becomes possible to see the vast bulk of reductionist determinists banishing humanism with the darkness of a kind of anti-ethics that is the unthinking reliance on uncritically adopted, and therefore infinitely corrupt rules.  In that darkness we find the specks of light that are people who actually do think, and who do make an effort to analyse, form judgements, and act on them.  They become, in that conception, the specks of starlight that prevent an otherwise dark universe from being completely black and void."

Note: Comments closed here to encourage you to address your comments to the author.

#sacredsunday  

Who Will Shine a Light
"Looking again at the Sartrean luminous realm of values, it becomes possible to see the vast bulk of reductionist determinists banishing humanism with the darkness of a kind of anti-ethics that is the unthinking reliance on uncritically adopted, and therefore infinitely corrupt rules.  In that darkness we find the specks of light that are people who actually do think, and who do make an effort to analyse, form judgements, and act on them.  They become, in that conception, the specks of starlight that prevent an otherwise dark universe from being completely black and void."

Note: Comments closed here to encourage you to address your comments to the author.

#sacredsunday  ___

posted image

2015-08-13 14:37:32 (10 comments, 0 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

ATX: Armadillo on the Porch
I tried to get a video but it skedaddled before I could get my iPhone to cooperate. I haven't seen an armadillo in my yard for about 12 years (I live near downtown).

#atx   #urbanwildlife  

ATX: Armadillo on the Porch
I tried to get a video but it skedaddled before I could get my iPhone to cooperate. I haven't seen an armadillo in my yard for about 12 years (I live near downtown).

#atx   #urbanwildlife  ___

posted image

2015-08-12 01:31:19 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

___

posted image

2015-08-10 19:09:17 (12 comments, 1 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

Technology: Return to the Broadcast Model
Examining the signal-to-noise ratio, tech companies have decided that you, dear reader, will be filtered out as noise.
-----------------------
I don't really mind a broadcast model in some instances. I still read magazines and books with no desire to have a one-on-one with the author. I'm simply interested in the information. I don't see any benefit to most of the social component cobbled on to brand web pages. I don't like commercial entities pretending that they are capable of a personal relationship with me. I buy. They deliver. That's all I want.

Nor am I fan of "seamless" social broadcasting in apps like Facebook which want to reveal where I am, what I'm reading, and to what music I'm listening to people with who have expressed some vague connection to me. I don't believe that sharing is... more »

Technology: Return to the Broadcast Model
Examining the signal-to-noise ratio, tech companies have decided that you, dear reader, will be filtered out as noise.
-----------------------
I don't really mind a broadcast model in some instances. I still read magazines and books with no desire to have a one-on-one with the author. I'm simply interested in the information. I don't see any benefit to most of the social component cobbled on to brand web pages. I don't like commercial entities pretending that they are capable of a personal relationship with me. I buy. They deliver. That's all I want.

Nor am I fan of "seamless" social broadcasting in apps like Facebook which want to reveal where I am, what I'm reading, and to what music I'm listening to people with who have expressed some vague connection to me. I don't believe that sharing is an involuntary reflex. To be meaningful it must be purposeful and selective. 

And yet, I've also embraced the original distributed Internet model. Since 2001 I've developed a series of online relationships via blogs, Wave, YouTube, Twitter, Google+, and occasionally even Facebook.

Having wrung all my data from me, Silicon Valley apparently has decided I'm just not worth milking. The money is in the select few who have already "made it".

According to +Mike Elgan  "...some of the biggest companies in Silicon Valley -- Facebook, Apple and Twitter -- are creating elite enclaves within their social offerings that threaten to turn the mainstream, egalitarian new media into the elitist old media.

"The retreat back to old media isn't merely conceptual. Take Facebook's Live feature, for example: It doesn't have any new media stars -- no YouTube celebrities or others who got famous on the Internet. In order to qualify as a user of Facebook's new-media streaming service, you have to be an old-media star. It's the only criterion for access.
....
"Welcome to the new media, which is just like the old media. Forget creating content and participating on a level playing field. Sit down. Shut up. And get ready to buy stuff."
-----------------
via +Jeff Jockisch ___

posted image

2015-08-09 19:14:43 (7 comments, 1 reshares, 14 +1s)Open 

Politics: Those Bloody Women 
I'm no fan of Carly Fiorina but based on the reaction of the women I know, I'd say she has Trump pegged. They knew exactly what he lacks the courage of his convictions to say more explicitly. He doesn't like to take any gaff from those bloody cunts.

"Women understood that comment. And yes, it is offensive," Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard executive, said in an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper aired Sunday on "State of the Union."

Trump is under fire for saying Friday night that Kelly, who pressed him on his previous attacks on women during Thursday night's GOP presidential debate, had "blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her -- wherever." Several GOP contenders blasted Trump's attack on Kelly over the weekend -- and Fiorina piled on Sunday.

"I started out... more »

Politics: Those Bloody Women 
I'm no fan of Carly Fiorina but based on the reaction of the women I know, I'd say she has Trump pegged. They knew exactly what he lacks the courage of his convictions to say more explicitly. He doesn't like to take any gaff from those bloody cunts.

"Women understood that comment. And yes, it is offensive," Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard executive, said in an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper aired Sunday on "State of the Union."

Trump is under fire for saying Friday night that Kelly, who pressed him on his previous attacks on women during Thursday night's GOP presidential debate, had "blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her -- wherever." Several GOP contenders blasted Trump's attack on Kelly over the weekend -- and Fiorina piled on Sunday.

"I started out as a secretary. And as I made my way up in the business world, a male-dominated business world, I've had lots of men imply that, um -- I was unfit for decision-making because maybe I was having my period. So I'll say it, OK?" Fiorina said.

"When I started this campaign, I was asked on a national television show whether a woman's hormones prevented her from serving in the Oval Office," she said. "My response was, can we think of a single instance in which a man's hormones might have clouded his judgment?"

Trump doesn't seem to have any judgment to cloud. He's all id. Moreover, he displays all the transparent feigned innocence of a little boy who blames his crying sister after he pushed her off the slide. "Who would make a statement like that? Only a sick person would even think about that."

So in Trump's view, only a sick person would think about menstruation and vaginas? What exactly does he think is sick about menstruation? Then it's true, is it, that Trump believes that there is something inherently gross about women's bodies, those "icky lady parts" that guys of his ilk can't even use the words for even as they want to call out the military to enforce their regulations controlling them? (Thinking of you, Huckabee.) Remember his reaction to the lawyer who needed to take a break to go pump her breasts? 

Basically, it seems Trump thinks women are sick. Sick. Gross. Ewww.. That's by way of his, if not apology, then explanation. ___

posted image

2015-08-09 12:39:04 (2 comments, 6 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

Women Work: Doctor, Pharmacologist, Director of Scientific Investigations at the FDA
Although I had heard quite a bit about the the thalidomide horrors, I never knew who was responsible for saving countless American mothers and their children its effects until yesterday when Dr. Frankie Kelsey died at 101. 

"Frances Oldham Kelsey, a medical officer at the Food and Drug Administration in Washington, who raised concerns about thalidomide before its effects were conclusively known. For a critical 19-month period, she fastidiously blocked its approval while drug company officials maligned her as a bureaucratic nitpicker."
....
This is why we need strong government protections...because corporations care only about making money.

"In Washington, she joined a corps of reform-minded scientists who, although not yet empowered by the 1962 law that required... more »

Women Work: Doctor, Pharmacologist, Director of Scientific Investigations at the FDA
Although I had heard quite a bit about the the thalidomide horrors, I never knew who was responsible for saving countless American mothers and their children its effects until yesterday when Dr. Frankie Kelsey died at 101. 

"Frances Oldham Kelsey, a medical officer at the Food and Drug Administration in Washington, who raised concerns about thalidomide before its effects were conclusively known. For a critical 19-month period, she fastidiously blocked its approval while drug company officials maligned her as a bureaucratic nitpicker."
....
This is why we need strong government protections...because corporations care only about making money.

"In Washington, she joined a corps of reform-minded scientists who, although not yet empowered by the 1962 law that required affirmative FDA approval of any new drug, demanded strong evidence of effectiveness before giving their imprimatur."

"At the time, a drug could go on the market 60 days after the manufacturer filed an application with the FDA. If the medical officer determined that the submission was incomplete, the drug company could provide additional information, and the clock would start anew."

"Meanwhile, pharmaceutical drug companies commonly supplied doctors with new drugs and encouraged them to test the product on patients, an uncontrolled and dangerous practice that relied almost entirely on anecdotal evidence."

But thalidomide was not the only supposed wonder drug that she investigated.

"In Chicago, she helped Geiling investigate the 107 deaths that occurred nationwide in 1937 from the newly marketed liquid form of sulfanilamide, a synthetic antibacterial drug used to treat streptococcal infections. In tablet form, it had been heralded as a wonder-drug of the age, but it tasted unpleasant."

"Because the drug was not soluble in water or alcohol, the chief chemist of its manufacturer, S.E. Massengill Co. of Bristol, Tenn., dissolved the sulfanilamide with an industrial substance that was a chemical relative of antifreeze. He then added cherry flavoring and pink coloring to remedy the taste and appearance."

Massengill rushed the new elixir to market without adequately testing its safety. Many who took the medicine — including a high number of children — suffered an agonizing death."___

posted image

2015-08-08 20:15:06 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

Gender Determinism: Target Decides No 
Is the pendulum finally swinging back? Will other stores follow Target's lead and just sell things made for everyone? 

Gender Determinism: Target Decides No 
Is the pendulum finally swinging back? Will other stores follow Target's lead and just sell things made for everyone? ___

posted image

2015-08-07 00:23:27 (1 comments, 2 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

Eyewitness to History: Hiroshima
On this the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, +The New Yorker has made available John Hersey's report of six people who were there: 8:15 AM August 6, 1945.
* Toshiko Sasaki, a clerk at a tin works
* Dr. Masakazu Fujii, who had a small private hospital
* Mrs. Hatsuyo Nakamura, the widow of a tailor, now trying to support her three young children 
* Father Wilhelm Kleinsorge, a German Jesuit missionary
* Dr. Terufumi Sasaki, a young surgeon at the Red Cross Hospital
* Reverend Mr. Kiyoshi Tanimoto who had studied theology at Emory College in Atlanta Georgia 

The New Yorker devoted it's entire August 31, 1946 issue to Hersey's telling of their stories and over four nights the American Broadcasting Company read the text in half hour segments.

The photos are of the covers of myha... more »

Eyewitness to History: Hiroshima
On this the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, +The New Yorker has made available John Hersey's report of six people who were there: 8:15 AM August 6, 1945.
* Toshiko Sasaki, a clerk at a tin works
* Dr. Masakazu Fujii, who had a small private hospital
* Mrs. Hatsuyo Nakamura, the widow of a tailor, now trying to support her three young children 
* Father Wilhelm Kleinsorge, a German Jesuit missionary
* Dr. Terufumi Sasaki, a young surgeon at the Red Cross Hospital
* Reverend Mr. Kiyoshi Tanimoto who had studied theology at Emory College in Atlanta Georgia 

The New Yorker devoted it's entire August 31, 1946 issue to Hersey's telling of their stories and over four nights the American Broadcasting Company read the text in half hour segments.

The photos are of the covers of my hardback book version, published by Alfred. A. Knopf, Inc in 1946. 

The complete text is online at The New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1946/08/31/hiroshima?mbid=social_google%2B___

posted image

2015-08-06 22:33:01 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

Politics: Teacher To Christie, Punch My Face
Teacher, Russ Walsh, regrets that he has only one face to to give for his profession. An excerpt. (Emphasis mine.)
----------------------
In case you missed it, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, erstwhile presidential candidate, declared on CNN Sunday that teachers unions need a “punch in the face.” Faced with declining numbers in the polls and with being out bullied by Donald Trump, Christie has decided to come out swinging – at teachers.

Of course the teachers union has no literal face and the leaders of both major teachers unions, Randi Weingarten of the American Federation of Teachers and Lily Eskelson Garcia of the National Education Association are women. I don’t think even a Republican candidate for president could get away with punching a woman in the face. Belittling them, yes. Berating them, yes. Takingaway th... more »

Politics: Teacher To Christie, Punch My Face
Teacher, Russ Walsh, regrets that he has only one face to to give for his profession. An excerpt. (Emphasis mine.)
----------------------
In case you missed it, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, erstwhile presidential candidate, declared on CNN Sunday that teachers unions need a “punch in the face.” Faced with declining numbers in the polls and with being out bullied by Donald Trump, Christie has decided to come out swinging – at teachers.

Of course the teachers union has no literal face and the leaders of both major teachers unions, Randi Weingarten of the American Federation of Teachers and Lily Eskelson Garcia of the National Education Association are women. I don’t think even a Republican candidate for president could get away with punching a woman in the face. Belittling them, yes. Berating them, yes. Taking away the choice of what they do with their bodies, yes. But not striking a woman, especially with a Hillary running on the Democratic side.

So, taking all this into consideration, I would like to step up and offer Christie my face to punch.

I am well qualified for the job. I have been a public school teacher and administrator for 45 years. I have been the president and the chief negotiator of my local teachers union. I have been sharply critical of Christie’s education policies on my blog. I deserve that punch in the face. I have earned it. Not only that, I live just a stone’s throw from the statehouse in Trenton, so I could meet the Governor there at any time, if he ever happens to get back to New Jersey.

I am sure it would give Christie a boost in the polls and solidify his standing as a violent, bullying looney worthy of Republican voter support. It might even be enough to get him on the stage at one of the primary debates where he could punch Wolf Blitzer in the face and garner even more support."

...continue via the link___

posted image

2015-07-28 03:57:28 (1 comments, 2 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

The Plot Improves: Thanks to Hadley Wickham 
Not only does he write amazingly useful code (and lots of it) he writes really good documentation, too. He's one of the few technically gifted people I've ever encountered who also has a knack for explaining what he's doing, even to novices.

From the article
-------------------------
'R was created in 1993 at the University of Auckland by statisticians Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman. The language was designed for data analysis, and has some quirks (like the way data structures are indexed and have to be stored in physical memory), so programmers coming from other languages often find it peculiar. Having programmed in Java, VBA, and PHP, Wickham found R to be “totally different.”  “[Many programmers] see R and think it is ridiculous and awful, but that didn’t happen to me,” he says. “I thought it wasreally intere... more »

The Plot Improves: Thanks to Hadley Wickham 
Not only does he write amazingly useful code (and lots of it) he writes really good documentation, too. He's one of the few technically gifted people I've ever encountered who also has a knack for explaining what he's doing, even to novices.

From the article
-------------------------
'R was created in 1993 at the University of Auckland by statisticians Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman. The language was designed for data analysis, and has some quirks (like the way data structures are indexed and have to be stored in physical memory), so programmers coming from other languages often find it peculiar. Having programmed in Java, VBA, and PHP, Wickham found R to be “totally different.”  “[Many programmers] see R and think it is ridiculous and awful, but that didn’t happen to me,” he says. “I thought it was really interesting.” '___

posted image

2015-07-17 15:28:09 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

Blinded by Bias 
The worst biases aren't malicious and willful. Those are easy to identify and combat. They're the ones we aren't even aware we have; the ones that blind us to what's right before our eyes.

Ant-Man's visual effects supervisor spent two years studying ants in order to accurately portray their anatomy, movement, and behavior in stunning detail. "He wanted Ant-Man's ants to be scientifically spot on." Yet at no time did it occur to him that the workers and warriors he observed were female. Not until he screened the movie for some entomologists.

From the article...
-----------------------------
"I thought it was fantastic. It shows some respect for the actual biology of the ants," Brady agrees. "You see other ant movies and the ants don't even look like ants, and they're not acting like ants.... more »

Blinded by Bias 
The worst biases aren't malicious and willful. Those are easy to identify and combat. They're the ones we aren't even aware we have; the ones that blind us to what's right before our eyes.

Ant-Man's visual effects supervisor spent two years studying ants in order to accurately portray their anatomy, movement, and behavior in stunning detail. "He wanted Ant-Man's ants to be scientifically spot on." Yet at no time did it occur to him that the workers and warriors he observed were female. Not until he screened the movie for some entomologists.

From the article...
-----------------------------
"I thought it was fantastic. It shows some respect for the actual biology of the ants," Brady agrees. "You see other ant movies and the ants don't even look like ants, and they're not acting like ants. And here, they clearly took the time to figure out what ants actually do, what they look like."

"Ants are the good guys," Jesovnik says approvingly.

"Good girls, though," Brady adds quickly, and they both laugh. This, they agree, is the only thing Ant-Man really got wrong. In real life, most of the ants crawling out in the world are sterile females. They're the farmers, workers and soldiers. Jesovnik says in earlier movies like Antz or A Bug's Life, Hollywood has gendered ants incorrectly.

"It's always boys and girls," she says "Or boys. And ants really are only girls, mostly."

The scientists have no quibble with Ant-Man, who is, after all, a made-up Marvel Comics character. But male ants have short little lives. They live in the colony, mate with the queen, guard her and die. In the movie, the main ant character is a winged carpenter ant named Antony. He most certainly would be female in reality.

"So it should have been Antoinette really, then," Morrison says, sounding slightly abashed when told about the scientists' reaction to the movie...."We'll get that right on the next one," he adds.___

posted image

2015-07-17 14:43:39 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

#WARONWORDS FOR IDIOTS
The following summary is offered as a means for minimising the repetitive diversion of having to recapitulate the core problems in Google Plus, and in repeated design changes, that have kept a discussion alive and loosely connected by the
#waronwords hashtag for more than a year now:

✪ No font and size controls.

✪ No block indenting.

✪ No inline pictures in posts and comments.

✪ No inline text-linking to URLs.

✪ No linking to comments within threads.

✪ No simple, user friendly font styling controls (italics, bold, fixed width, and not with underscores and asterisks).

✪ No bulleting/numbering.

✪ No effective searches for text, particularly comments under an original post.

Add to these the #googlepluschanges ' more recent emphasis on largerimages and vide... more »

#WARONWORDS FOR IDIOTS
The following summary is offered as a means for minimising the repetitive diversion of having to recapitulate the core problems in Google Plus, and in repeated design changes, that have kept a discussion alive and loosely connected by the
#waronwords hashtag for more than a year now:

✪ No font and size controls.

✪ No block indenting.

✪ No inline pictures in posts and comments.

✪ No inline text-linking to URLs.

✪ No linking to comments within threads.

✪ No simple, user friendly font styling controls (italics, bold, fixed width, and not with underscores and asterisks).

✪ No bulleting/numbering.

✪ No effective searches for text, particularly comments under an original post.

Add to these the #googlepluschanges ' more recent emphasis on larger images and video placeholders dominating the streams at the expense of longer text previews.

This trend culminated in the #googlepluschanges2013  iteration which included:

✪ Nested ‘box’ elements, euphemised as ‘cards’, which require several layers of scrollbars that need to be fiddled with to bring relevant text into focus in a fixed maximum height box.

✪ Enforced clicking of multiple ‘read more’ links to expand individual comments within a thread.

✪ An apparent requirement to open a new tab/window to see a full post plus its associated thread.

✪ An apparent increase in resource footprint for displaying Google Plus feed, increasing incrementally per tab/window, and more severe for Apple OSs.

There is a core of literate, literarily-inclined people on Google Plus who feel these changes have unnecessarily reduced the usability and prominence of written communication to the detriment of Google Plus as a forum overall.

This is the starting position for discussion on the war on words.

#ildl  ___

posted image

2015-07-17 14:43:13 (1 comments, 2 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

___

posted image

2015-07-17 14:42:10 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Displaying Text in Google+

Starting today, all of my posts will be duplicated in images, until such time as Google+ recognizes that text is just as important (if not more so) than photos.

I will also try to ensure this image uses clear, readable text in a conventional font that is easily visible on standard computer monitors. #googleplusupdate   #newgoogleplus   #newlook   #waronwords  

Personally, I use an extension called “Replies and More” now to auto-expand posts in my feed, but I don’t feel you should have to install a Chrome extension to experience Google+. So I am going to do the work for you.

Note that this will obviously not be able to apply to reshares of links or photos, as Google only allows you to really attach one thing to a post.

Text should be allowed to reach the maximum card size that images can expand up to. Google+needs to ... more »

Displaying Text in Google+

Starting today, all of my posts will be duplicated in images, until such time as Google+ recognizes that text is just as important (if not more so) than photos.

I will also try to ensure this image uses clear, readable text in a conventional font that is easily visible on standard computer monitors. #googleplusupdate   #newgoogleplus   #newlook   #waronwords  

Personally, I use an extension called “Replies and More” now to auto-expand posts in my feed, but I don’t feel you should have to install a Chrome extension to experience Google+. So I am going to do the work for you.

Note that this will obviously not be able to apply to reshares of links or photos, as Google only allows you to really attach one thing to a post.

Text should be allowed to reach the maximum card size that images can expand up to. Google+ needs to recognize this as a mistake deserving of immediate remedy.

This post serves as a test of this methodology.___

posted image

2015-07-17 14:40:10 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

A belated vote of support for +M Sinclair Stevens and his advocacy on the #waronwords   I had just completed my first real blog post done on G+ when I saw it displayed in the new format. And I too thought G+ had traded away too much information density to keep the stream nutritious, like a high-end restaurant with tiny bits of food on big white plates. It's a balancing act to get enough to nourish elegantly and not be chintzy or faux artsy. I look forward to seeing improvements from the G+ team and I think a lot of small tweaks could really help. 

A belated vote of support for +M Sinclair Stevens and his advocacy on the #waronwords   I had just completed my first real blog post done on G+ when I saw it displayed in the new format. And I too thought G+ had traded away too much information density to keep the stream nutritious, like a high-end restaurant with tiny bits of food on big white plates. It's a balancing act to get enough to nourish elegantly and not be chintzy or faux artsy. I look forward to seeing improvements from the G+ team and I think a lot of small tweaks could really help. ___

posted image

2015-07-17 14:39:24 (4 comments, 1 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

The inevitable image test

The inevitable image test___

posted image

2015-07-17 14:38:43 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Drop in average interaction with the new Google+ layout

Many people are mentioning in the last days that there is less interaction on their posts with the new layout.
We had the same feeling, but we like also to see some analytics with objective numbers ;)

We have analyzed 9.787 posts from 100 persons for the last 3 months and here is the result.
Since a picture is worth a thousand words check out the image in this post (and engage! ;) )

You can find this chart also on this page where it is more interactive so that you can check the exact numbers for every day:
http://www.circlecount.com/postsanalysis/


ping: +Dede Craig King +Max Huijgen +Lee Smallwood +Michele Messenger +Paul Stickland +Wolf Weber +Yonatan Zunger +Marie Hélène Visconti +Eileen O'Duffy +Erik Andersson +Lise Bjerregaard Nielsen +Eve A +Jaana Nyström +EuroMa... more »

Drop in average interaction with the new Google+ layout

Many people are mentioning in the last days that there is less interaction on their posts with the new layout.
We had the same feeling, but we like also to see some analytics with objective numbers ;)

We have analyzed 9.787 posts from 100 persons for the last 3 months and here is the result.
Since a picture is worth a thousand words check out the image in this post (and engage! ;) )

You can find this chart also on this page where it is more interactive so that you can check the exact numbers for every day:
http://www.circlecount.com/postsanalysis/


ping: +Dede Craig King +Max Huijgen +Lee Smallwood +Michele Messenger +Paul Stickland +Wolf Weber +Yonatan Zunger +Marie Hélène Visconti +Eileen O'Duffy +Erik Andersson +Lise Bjerregaard Nielsen +Eve A +Jaana Nyström +Euro Maestro___

posted image

2015-07-17 14:36:52 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

The Behemoth may win, but ...
Here's why I won't be silent about my opinions about the google #waronwords  no matter what ridiculous reasons are thrown at me for leaving or being quiet.

My investment
I use an electronic journal to type up most of my comments longer than around 200 words, and certainly all my essays.  I trawled through those journals going back to October 2011.  I added up all the words I wrote for Google Plus, subtracted October 2011 and June 2013 numbers, and came up with a word count of 489,000.  That’s around 900 a day for 19 months.

That's not counting my handwritten journals, though there is some duplication across the electronic and longhand volumes.  Nevertheless, half a million words is not a casual engagement.

I can hear the peanut gallery already: volume ain’t quality.  True.  Read some of my essaysand tell m... more »

The Behemoth may win, but ...
Here's why I won't be silent about my opinions about the google #waronwords  no matter what ridiculous reasons are thrown at me for leaving or being quiet.

My investment
I use an electronic journal to type up most of my comments longer than around 200 words, and certainly all my essays.  I trawled through those journals going back to October 2011.  I added up all the words I wrote for Google Plus, subtracted October 2011 and June 2013 numbers, and came up with a word count of 489,000.  That’s around 900 a day for 19 months.

That's not counting my handwritten journals, though there is some duplication across the electronic and longhand volumes.  Nevertheless, half a million words is not a casual engagement.

I can hear the peanut gallery already: volume ain’t quality.  True.  Read some of my essays and tell me that again, this time with feeling.

In any case, the word count evidences a great deal of personal commitment to the platform, and is not nearly as worthless to me as it is to Google.

You might argue that persisting with ‘an escalation of commitment to a sunk cost’ that is ultimately futile is insanity.  So be it, but I get to decide to on that, and I have been spreading myself around a little more since November last year, exploring other platforms and opportunities.  This is still no reason for me to give up on this platform until it really can’t be revived.  With a defibrillator if necessary.

Your investment
Now let’s look at some simple economics to put to bed another big lie: Google is free and we shouldn’t complain that the company does what it will with the Google Plus platform.

Bullshit!

Google is not free.  Every single consumer who buys from Google advertisers has paid for it.  Everyone who is affected by inflationary pressures in any economy in which Google advertisers sell their wares has paid for it.

The economics is simple.

Advertisers pass on their costs of advertising in incremental price increases on their products and services.  They pay Google huge sums, Google re-invests some of that money in tax shelters innovation, and we swallow the price increases across a huge range of consumer goods.  Which ones?  Look up the list of Google’s advertising clients.

Moreover, price increases in consumer goods fuel inflation, which in turn devalues buying power, meaning that you have to work harder, or more jobs, or at higher rates, or live on borrowed money just to keep pace, which of course also drives inflation.

Sure.  Price increases may be moderate to low right now, depending on where you are, but even fractional amounts add up when we are talking numbers in the hundreds of millions of users, and billions of dollars.

So, no more moronic arguments about Google as philanthropists, and me as a freeloader on a platform for which I actually pay an incremental sum every day I buy anything.  This is, of course, doubly true when Google chooses to ‘minimise’ its tax in my local economy where that shortfall is then carried by ordinary, dumb, 'not-equipped-to-cheat-on-tax' taxpayers.

With these two lines of thought in mind, why would I not argue my case, prosecute my arguments to their fullest extent, and give ground only grudgingly?

Sure, the behemoth will probably win.  But not because I ran away and sucked my thumb.
______

For background on #waronwords , see also: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110695872689494369839/posts/X2NEAY7kj4L, https://plus.google.com/u/0/110695872689494369839/posts/UVf9TQcBDVR___

posted image

2015-07-17 14:36:19 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

The war on words continues on g+

The latest contribution is a "read more"  (on posts and comments) which now tells you how many lines more only when it's "a lot" (by comparison to a usual mindless facebook comment about how good a pizza looks, or a tweet)…

Some have presented this as « good UI » (e.g. plus.google.com/u/0/115620878851836664537/posts/1oJx3mwqyjp) and in a sense  it is, but it is also the reinforcement of social media shallowness and the promotion of "tl;dr".

• If "good UI" is the twitter or facebook UI, then what's the difference of g+?
• If it's an author rank signal, it obviously doesn't need to be publicly visible. Most signals are not.
• If it was to help "foster engagement" by helping people know what to "read later" because it is long, then a systemof bookmark... more »

The war on words continues on g+

The latest contribution is a "read more"  (on posts and comments) which now tells you how many lines more only when it's "a lot" (by comparison to a usual mindless facebook comment about how good a pizza looks, or a tweet)…

Some have presented this as « good UI » (e.g. plus.google.com/u/0/115620878851836664537/posts/1oJx3mwqyjp) and in a sense  it is, but it is also the reinforcement of social media shallowness and the promotion of "tl;dr".

• If "good UI" is the twitter or facebook UI, then what's the difference of g+?
• If it's an author rank signal, it obviously doesn't need to be publicly visible. Most signals are not.
• If it was to help "foster engagement" by helping people know what to "read later" because it is long, then a system of bookmark, or the ability to tick a post to make it "stick near the top of the stream (until unticked)", would be good UI…

Because it doesn't provide a mechanism to "read later", this UI change is only sending you one signal: "don't read now, it's too long".

Do I need to switch to medium.com/here-now? Is g+ continuing its trend toward: more images (Pinterest), more one-liners (Twitter), and more link-littering (to separate blogs or articles, of which the word count won't be displayed) because this will be the only posts not getting the official "tl;dr" badge?


#WarOnWords  ___

posted image

2015-07-17 14:35:43 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Google+ doesn't expect to engage us with a tiny portion of an image. Why do they think we will engage with a tiny portion of text?

Would you click on the image for more based on that top portion?

Stop the #WarOnWords !

Google+ doesn't expect to engage us with a tiny portion of an image. Why do they think we will engage with a tiny portion of text?

Would you click on the image for more based on that top portion?

Stop the #WarOnWords !___

posted image

2015-07-17 14:33:41 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

It seems the tag of the day is #WarOnWords And it's not without good reason. Ever since the new layout was introduced it seems as if Google+ will only display two to four lines of text before it goes to "Read more". The number of lines decrease if one tries to use bold text as a headline. I think I'm not the only one who believes that this had led to a decrease of interaction here on Google+. Quite simply, I think text posts (with only two to four lines displayed) are getting lost among the now ultra-large images.

Now to me the solution for Google+ is a simple one. Go back to the way text was once handled, where several more lines were displayed! I like images just as much as the next person and I don't mind that they are really big, but ultimately I prefer engaging posts on which I can comment and interact with others. Sadly, I don't think that is going to happen as... more »

It seems the tag of the day is #WarOnWords And it's not without good reason. Ever since the new layout was introduced it seems as if Google+ will only display two to four lines of text before it goes to "Read more". The number of lines decrease if one tries to use bold text as a headline. I think I'm not the only one who believes that this had led to a decrease of interaction here on Google+. Quite simply, I think text posts (with only two to four lines displayed) are getting lost among the now ultra-large images.

Now to me the solution for Google+ is a simple one. Go back to the way text was once handled, where several more lines were displayed! I like images just as much as the next person and I don't mind that they are really big, but ultimately I prefer engaging posts on which I can comment and interact with others. Sadly, I don't think that is going to happen as long as purely text posts are getting lost among the images!___

2015-07-15 23:16:13 (5 comments, 1 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

Politics: Mhairi Black's Maiden Speech
OMG! If only the US had politicians that were this articulate and this passionate. She tells the story of one of her constituents, from her time working at a food bank. And how we punish and humiliate those who most need our help.

"He burst into tears. That grown man standing in front of a 20-year old, crying his eyes out. Because what had happened to him was the money he would normally have used to pay for his travel  to come to the charity to get his food. He decided in order to afford to get to the job center he would save that money. Because of that so he didn't eat for five days or drink. When he was on the bus on the way to the job center, he fainted due to dehydration. He was 15 minutes late to the job center and was sanctioned for 13 weeks.

When the Chancellor spoke about fixing the roof when the sun wassh... more »

Politics: Mhairi Black's Maiden Speech
OMG! If only the US had politicians that were this articulate and this passionate. She tells the story of one of her constituents, from her time working at a food bank. And how we punish and humiliate those who most need our help.

"He burst into tears. That grown man standing in front of a 20-year old, crying his eyes out. Because what had happened to him was the money he would normally have used to pay for his travel  to come to the charity to get his food. He decided in order to afford to get to the job center he would save that money. Because of that so he didn't eat for five days or drink. When he was on the bus on the way to the job center, he fainted due to dehydration. He was 15 minutes late to the job center and was sanctioned for 13 weeks.

When the Chancellor spoke about fixing the roof when the sun was shining, I would have to ask, "Upon whom is the sun shining?"
--------------
Note: I can't get the video to embed directly.___

posted image

2015-07-15 12:30:22 (0 comments, 2 reshares, 7 +1s)Open 

When the Segregated Team Up: Black Baseball Teams in Japan 
In the mid-twentieth century my dad ran track in college. He was a vision of the midwestern American farm boy: pale freckled skin set off by flaming red hair. The college where my parents met, Knox College in Galesburg Illinois, had been founded in 1837 one of the first in the US not to discriminate on the basis of race. My mother still remembers being deeply impressed to learn that if a restaurant refused to serve a black runner on the team, that the entire track team, black and white, would stand up and walk out together.

Yes. There were color lines in Illinois, a "northern" state.

How easy it is for so many of us from the comfort of the present to forget the bigotry of the past. While there remain some vocal white supremacists who want to return to the past, we must confront the reality that bigotry... more »

When the Segregated Team Up: Black Baseball Teams in Japan 
In the mid-twentieth century my dad ran track in college. He was a vision of the midwestern American farm boy: pale freckled skin set off by flaming red hair. The college where my parents met, Knox College in Galesburg Illinois, had been founded in 1837 one of the first in the US not to discriminate on the basis of race. My mother still remembers being deeply impressed to learn that if a restaurant refused to serve a black runner on the team, that the entire track team, black and white, would stand up and walk out together.

Yes. There were color lines in Illinois, a "northern" state.

How easy it is for so many of us from the comfort of the present to forget the bigotry of the past. While there remain some vocal white supremacists who want to return to the past, we must confront the reality that bigotry was not limited to a few unenlightened hicks in a few backward states. Racism was systemic, north and south. 

Nor is bigotry simply black and white. On the west coast where there were many immigrants from China and Japan, the rhetoric was pretty much the same stuff Donald Trump and Ted Cruz spew today against Mexicans.

So here is a little antidote to demonstrate that things can be different if we make the effort to make them different. The story (not so much "secret" but untold and unremembered) of how the excluded got together and got on.___

posted image

2015-07-14 23:09:14 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

Fiction: Men Influencing Men About Women 
I really enjoyed fellow Austinite, Ernest Cline's, first book Ready Player One and am looking forward to seeing him in a couple of weeks at a book signing for his new one, Armada 

In his recent Playboy interview, he describe how he was influenced to write strong women characters by James Cameron. Nice to be moving into new generation of male writers who just take it as a given that women are interesting as characters, not just part of the scenery.
-----------------------------
From the interview
-----------------------------
Q: I love the women you write. Unique, strong female characters are still so few and far between in science fiction, even now. Can you talk about where you find the inspiration for them?

A: Thank you so much for that question. I do have a lot of strong women in my life. A lot of myf... more »

Fiction: Men Influencing Men About Women 
I really enjoyed fellow Austinite, Ernest Cline's, first book Ready Player One and am looking forward to seeing him in a couple of weeks at a book signing for his new one, Armada 

In his recent Playboy interview, he describe how he was influenced to write strong women characters by James Cameron. Nice to be moving into new generation of male writers who just take it as a given that women are interesting as characters, not just part of the scenery.
-----------------------------
From the interview
-----------------------------
Q: I love the women you write. Unique, strong female characters are still so few and far between in science fiction, even now. Can you talk about where you find the inspiration for them?

A: Thank you so much for that question. I do have a lot of strong women in my life. A lot of my friends are women, and I always really love stories that reflect that. They’re treated as different than male characters. I hate it almost as much, I think, as women do. I feel like the biggest influence that James Cameron has had on me is that he always, always has strong female characters in his movies. In the Terminator, it was Sarah Connor. Sigourney Weaver was nominated for an Oscar for playing Ellen Ripley in Aliens. Even in Avatar, Neytiri ends up saving the hero. Cameron always takes pains to have strong female characters. I always try to do that too just because I appreciate it. And I have a daughter, and someday she’s going to read my books. I want her to be proud of the way that I portray women.___

posted image

2015-07-12 22:50:40 (43 comments, 25 reshares, 220 +1s)Open 

Travel New York City: Central Park 

--------------
Photo: 2007-03-18. Central Park.

Travel New York City: Central Park 

--------------
Photo: 2007-03-18. Central Park.___

posted image

2015-07-12 15:11:43 (9 comments, 6 reshares, 16 +1s)Open 

Writing as Inquiry 
"Good writing is good thinking made visible." I was taught. As a technical editor, I've had many occasions to confront "subject matter experts" with their tangled prose only to discover, as we unravel it, that they had no idea what they were talking about either. The ones who have worked with me long enough to know I'm there to help them, have learned to admit up-front, "Yeah, I wasn't really sure how that worked."  Then together we work to sort it out.

I know from experience that if I ask the right questions, I can trigger a revelation my writers' brains. Suddenly it becomes clear to them and in turn we figure out how to make it clear to our readers.

Which Comes First: Writing or Thinking?
While some people might advise me to know what I'm going to say before I open my mouth, I've foundt... more »

Writing as Inquiry 
"Good writing is good thinking made visible." I was taught. As a technical editor, I've had many occasions to confront "subject matter experts" with their tangled prose only to discover, as we unravel it, that they had no idea what they were talking about either. The ones who have worked with me long enough to know I'm there to help them, have learned to admit up-front, "Yeah, I wasn't really sure how that worked."  Then together we work to sort it out.

I know from experience that if I ask the right questions, I can trigger a revelation my writers' brains. Suddenly it becomes clear to them and in turn we figure out how to make it clear to our readers.

Which Comes First: Writing or Thinking?
While some people might advise me to know what I'm going to say before I open my mouth, I've found that I don't know what I think until I write it down. For me, writing is an act of inquiry, exploration, and discovery.

I learn best when I try to explain something to someone else. That's when I see both the patterns and the missing pieces.

Inquiry and Genre: Writing to Learn in College 
Recently I picked up this slim college textbook designed around a freshman writing class from the dollar table at Half Price Books.

In it there's a chapter on how to be a more inquisitive and active reader. Here I was confronted with the realization that for most of my non-professional reading, I'm fairly lazy and undisciplined. After all, I rationalize, I'm off the clock. I'm reading for pleasure.

Yet, I know full well that if I don't take the time to synthesize what I've read, then I might as well just have stared blankly at the ceiling because it's as if I didn't read it at all. The ideas flow through my brain as if it were a sieve. I must grasp and grapple with the ideas, if I'm to master them.

Nor is it enough to pull quotes (one of my favorite habits). I have to take that extra step of saying why I was struck by the thought. 

The book provides four techniques for writing a response to reading. 
* Identify your emotional response and then explore why it evoked that feeling. (Most of us stop to report the emotion but never examine or analyze it.)
* Summarize the text. (Can you convey the key points to a third party?)
* Paraphrase the text. (This is what I do most often do in my professional work. I can't understand something unless I rewrite it.)
* Question the text. What underlying questions does it answer? Do you agree or disagree with the answers the author provides? Does the author frame the argument in a way to lead you to a conclusion you might not otherwise make? What is the author's motivation for writing this particular piece? 

The Questing and Questioning Mind  
I think the beauty of the human mind stems from its inquisitiveness. Curious. Searching. Observing. Examining. Analyzing. Synthesizing And finally, most importantly, creating. 

We characterize curiosity as childlike because by the time most of us reach adulthood it has been drummed into us not to ask too many questions, or ask the wrong questions of the wrong people. 

Don't believe it. Inquisitiveness is our birthright. Keep asking questions.
------
Illustration by +Dieter Mueller Mutan-T (my alter ego) confronts Curiosity.___

posted image

2015-07-11 23:37:11 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

A View of 5th Avenue
When we are on the inside looking out, as +nomad dimitri  noted recently, windows not only limit our perspective but insulate us; they create a barrier that separates us from physical contact with the world and prevents us from passing through intimate experience.

At other times, we may find ourselves on the outside looking in, glimpsing at a life we can never hope to attain.

I found this window display at Bergdorf Goodman on New York's 5th Avenue more ominous than inviting: the female figure objectified and faceless, no eyes to see; the sneering herd of male figures leering down on her from above; the passerby on the street looking in. The reflection of other windows. Who gazes down at us unseen from those windows? And I behind my own lens and filter, hidden from view provide the window that constrains your gaze.
--------
Photo:... more »

A View of 5th Avenue
When we are on the inside looking out, as +nomad dimitri  noted recently, windows not only limit our perspective but insulate us; they create a barrier that separates us from physical contact with the world and prevents us from passing through intimate experience.

At other times, we may find ourselves on the outside looking in, glimpsing at a life we can never hope to attain.

I found this window display at Bergdorf Goodman on New York's 5th Avenue more ominous than inviting: the female figure objectified and faceless, no eyes to see; the sneering herd of male figures leering down on her from above; the passerby on the street looking in. The reflection of other windows. Who gazes down at us unseen from those windows? And I behind my own lens and filter, hidden from view provide the window that constrains your gaze.
--------
Photo: 2007-03-20. Bergdorf Goodman, 5th Avenue, New York City___

posted image

2015-07-09 12:57:57 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

Straight and Narrow
Classic European gardens have lots of straight paths which provide an excellent illustration that when you see everything laid out plainly before you, it can be boring. The unvarying scene makes the journey seem longer.

To pique interest, garden designers place something at the end of the path. They provide a goal, something to fix on, something to draw you forward.

I dislike this space because it is at once too confining and too revealing. The high hedges feel like they are closing in but the straight path leaves one exposed.The proportions enforce the illusion that the space is even more narrow and longer than it actually is (and actually it is pretty long). One feels trapped and only the light peaking through from the left, provides a clue to possible escape routes.

From the perspective of the castle looking down at the gardens, the path... more »

Straight and Narrow
Classic European gardens have lots of straight paths which provide an excellent illustration that when you see everything laid out plainly before you, it can be boring. The unvarying scene makes the journey seem longer.

To pique interest, garden designers place something at the end of the path. They provide a goal, something to fix on, something to draw you forward.

I dislike this space because it is at once too confining and too revealing. The high hedges feel like they are closing in but the straight path leaves one exposed.The proportions enforce the illusion that the space is even more narrow and longer than it actually is (and actually it is pretty long). One feels trapped and only the light peaking through from the left, provides a clue to possible escape routes.

From the perspective of the castle looking down at the gardens, the path seems more convenient than ominous...just the border between the great open lawn and what had been formerly the kitchen garden.
----------------
Photos: 2013-08-30. Powis Castle Gardens, Wales.___

posted image

2015-07-07 04:01:44 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 10 +1s)Open 

The Low Door in the Wall
“But I was in search of love in those days, and I went full of curiosity and the faint, unrecognized apprehension that here, at last, I should find that low door in the wall, which others, I knew, had found before me, which opened on an enclosed and enchanted garden, which was somewhere, not overlooked by any window, in the heart of that grey city.”
― Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited
--------------
Photo: 2003-07-02. Christchurch College, Oxford University.

The Low Door in the Wall
“But I was in search of love in those days, and I went full of curiosity and the faint, unrecognized apprehension that here, at last, I should find that low door in the wall, which others, I knew, had found before me, which opened on an enclosed and enchanted garden, which was somewhere, not overlooked by any window, in the heart of that grey city.”
― Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited
--------------
Photo: 2003-07-02. Christchurch College, Oxford University.___

posted image

2015-07-05 23:35:10 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Language: Validation 
Japanese is hard for English-speakers. And if I could have learned it in the time shown in this graphic, I'd be overjoyed. I don't agree that the writing system is the biggest barrier, however. I think that the difficulty arises because English and Japanese don't share any common roots so there are no mental hooks to connect the vocabulary.

Also, Japanese has far fewer sounds than English and endless homophones...to me many words sound alike or so similar that I can't keep them straight.

Language: Validation 
Japanese is hard for English-speakers. And if I could have learned it in the time shown in this graphic, I'd be overjoyed. I don't agree that the writing system is the biggest barrier, however. I think that the difficulty arises because English and Japanese don't share any common roots so there are no mental hooks to connect the vocabulary.

Also, Japanese has far fewer sounds than English and endless homophones...to me many words sound alike or so similar that I can't keep them straight.___

posted image

2015-07-05 20:20:20 (4 comments, 10 reshares, 68 +1s)Open 

Travel England: Westbury White Horse, Wiltshire 
2007-07-10. En route from rural Cheshire to the old Sarum Air Field, we saw several of the famous chalk horses carved into the Salisbury Plain.

Travel England: Westbury White Horse, Wiltshire 
2007-07-10. En route from rural Cheshire to the old Sarum Air Field, we saw several of the famous chalk horses carved into the Salisbury Plain.___

posted image

2015-07-05 12:29:07 (0 comments, 2 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

Critical Thinking: Is There an App for That?
Teaser: "[In university], ...people are given method and technique, but not the skill of thinking critically about what these imply in various specific circumstances. They become professionals who unthinkingly apply models that are inherently limited, and in ways that completely ignore the need for adapting models to match context and expected outcomes"

Critical Thinking: Is There an App for That?
Teaser: "[In university], ...people are given method and technique, but not the skill of thinking critically about what these imply in various specific circumstances. They become professionals who unthinkingly apply models that are inherently limited, and in ways that completely ignore the need for adapting models to match context and expected outcomes"___

posted image

2015-07-04 14:41:21 (5 comments, 0 reshares, 7 +1s)Open 

A Window for Dimitri
Windows admit light and air but they also omit part of the view and so limit our perspective. We frame windows as we frame arguments, to define the boundaries of the subject under consideration.

The Japanese design some kinds of gardens to be viewed through windows. By constraining the viewer's perspective to a single point, an illusion of perfection can be achieved. Politicians, merchants, magicians, and spies also try to control the vantage points from which you can examine their wares.

Admit, transmit, omit all have a root in the Latin mittere to send. What message did we send? What do we hide? What do we let in? What do we shut out? What gets through?

------
Photo: 2012-06-21 Mesa Verde

A Window for Dimitri
Windows admit light and air but they also omit part of the view and so limit our perspective. We frame windows as we frame arguments, to define the boundaries of the subject under consideration.

The Japanese design some kinds of gardens to be viewed through windows. By constraining the viewer's perspective to a single point, an illusion of perfection can be achieved. Politicians, merchants, magicians, and spies also try to control the vantage points from which you can examine their wares.

Admit, transmit, omit all have a root in the Latin mittere to send. What message did we send? What do we hide? What do we let in? What do we shut out? What gets through?

------
Photo: 2012-06-21 Mesa Verde___

posted image

2015-07-03 16:43:49 (4 comments, 0 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

Leitmotif: Portals and Passages
One of the recurring themes I notice in my photography is images of portals, passages, passageways, and pathways. These photographs nudge the viewer to ponder, "How do we get from here to there? Are we ready to take that first step forward and cross the threshold?"

In Japanese, the kanji 「経」(kei) means to "pass through" as in the word 経験 (keiken) "experience". Thus keiken combines the concepts of passing through and inspecting, examining. This is how I experience life and I think that's why these glimpses of passageways attract me.

So begins a new collection.
------------
Photo: 2008-05-30. Fort Point, San Francisco.

Leitmotif: Portals and Passages
One of the recurring themes I notice in my photography is images of portals, passages, passageways, and pathways. These photographs nudge the viewer to ponder, "How do we get from here to there? Are we ready to take that first step forward and cross the threshold?"

In Japanese, the kanji 「経」(kei) means to "pass through" as in the word 経験 (keiken) "experience". Thus keiken combines the concepts of passing through and inspecting, examining. This is how I experience life and I think that's why these glimpses of passageways attract me.

So begins a new collection.
------------
Photo: 2008-05-30. Fort Point, San Francisco.___

posted image

2015-07-02 23:22:38 (11 comments, 10 reshares, 28 +1s)Open 

Artifacts: Cleaning Up What's Left Behind 
In Japan an increasing number of people die alone. Many are not discovered for weeks or months after their deaths. This happens, in part because of Japan's aging population: 1 in 5 people is over the age of 65.

However, another factor is the alienation of men in their 50s and 60s who had given their entire lives to their jobs and lost all sense of worth when they lost their positions in the economic collapse. 

"Although the apartment is crammed with ephemera, it is empty of identifying belongings. There are no letters. There are no postcards. There are no family photographs, no paintings or pictures. The nicotine-stained walls are bare but for the ominous shadows of the workers, whose faint silhouettes are the dead man’s gruesome legacy. Family, so important in Japanese tradition, is absent here."
...&... more »

Artifacts: Cleaning Up What's Left Behind 
In Japan an increasing number of people die alone. Many are not discovered for weeks or months after their deaths. This happens, in part because of Japan's aging population: 1 in 5 people is over the age of 65.

However, another factor is the alienation of men in their 50s and 60s who had given their entire lives to their jobs and lost all sense of worth when they lost their positions in the economic collapse. 

"Although the apartment is crammed with ephemera, it is empty of identifying belongings. There are no letters. There are no postcards. There are no family photographs, no paintings or pictures. The nicotine-stained walls are bare but for the ominous shadows of the workers, whose faint silhouettes are the dead man’s gruesome legacy. Family, so important in Japanese tradition, is absent here."
...
"During the boom years many of these workers sacrificed family and friends for the growth of their companies. However, when the Japanese economy eventually crashed in the early ’90s, many of these salarymen lost their jobs or were forced into smaller, less prestigious roles with less social security. Having lost their status they found they had no purpose in life."

“Around 90 percent of the cases I deal with are men,” Koremura says. “Unlike women, men seem incapable of integrating themselves into a community when they live alone.”

こどくし【孤独死】

#whatwekeep  ___

posted image

2015-06-30 22:05:49 (4 comments, 0 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

Lifetime Learning 
Grades are in. I just completed the third course in this series. The exercises have been quite challenging but all those years doing ETML in the 1990s at Evolutionary Technology Inc. suddenly came back to me for this latest course: Getting and Cleaning Data. So the concepts aren't difficult, just learning the language (R). I wish I had had some of these tools then. 

A week off and then on to the next class. I suppose I should fill in this week by catching up on my Japanese lessons.

Launch your career in Data Science: http://bit.ly/1Ji1BJS___Lifetime Learning 
Grades are in. I just completed the third course in this series. The exercises have been quite challenging but all those years doing ETML in the 1990s at Evolutionary Technology Inc. suddenly came back to me for this latest course: Getting and Cleaning Data. So the concepts aren't difficult, just learning the language (R). I wish I had had some of these tools then. 

A week off and then on to the next class. I suppose I should fill in this week by catching up on my Japanese lessons.

posted image

2015-06-30 21:09:15 (0 comments, 3 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

Today's Unicorn Chaser (I Think She Caught Him)
Runner finishes 30-hour, 100-mile race with seconds to spare...and takes the all time record finish for the 70-and-older category. The crowd goes absolutely wild!

Today's Unicorn Chaser (I Think She Caught Him)
Runner finishes 30-hour, 100-mile race with seconds to spare...and takes the all time record finish for the 70-and-older category. The crowd goes absolutely wild!___

posted image

2015-06-29 13:07:10 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

If you're drinking Silicon Valley Kool-Aid, then Uber is the pioneer leading us into a new economy. If you're not, then you might see a company determined to avoid all the traditional responsibilities of an employer. This is a long--but revealing--story of how they brought out the big guns to try and invade Portland. It isn't pretty. Uber is just a new-age corporate raider.

If you're drinking Silicon Valley Kool-Aid, then Uber is the pioneer leading us into a new economy. If you're not, then you might see a company determined to avoid all the traditional responsibilities of an employer. This is a long--but revealing--story of how they brought out the big guns to try and invade Portland. It isn't pretty. Uber is just a new-age corporate raider.___

posted image

2015-06-29 00:37:05 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

RIP: Chris Squire 
A Fish Out of Water. Scenes from the Relayer Tour. December 2, 1974 at the Houston Astrodome.

RIP: Chris Squire 
A Fish Out of Water. Scenes from the Relayer Tour. December 2, 1974 at the Houston Astrodome.___

posted image

2015-06-29 00:06:16 (9 comments, 13 reshares, 101 +1s)Open 

Travel Scotland: Loch Katrine
2007-06-27. This morning turned out to be one of those peak life experiences—a few hours when everything went right and we weren't rushing to get anywhere, we just enjoyed being where we were. I had wanted to tour via bike and Loch Katrine, only twenty minutes from where we spent the night in Callandar, provided the perfect spot. The private road around the Loch was mostly flat and mostly empty. We had the landscape practically to ourselves (one of the advantages of always being up at dawn and ready for an unfashionably early start to the day).

As I bicycled along, I could feel the "aliveness" of the scene. A rustle of leaves in the trees. The rush of a small beck over rocks. One could easily imagine an alternate universe populated with nature spirit and sprites. I fell under the enchantment.

Travel Scotland: Loch Katrine
2007-06-27. This morning turned out to be one of those peak life experiences—a few hours when everything went right and we weren't rushing to get anywhere, we just enjoyed being where we were. I had wanted to tour via bike and Loch Katrine, only twenty minutes from where we spent the night in Callandar, provided the perfect spot. The private road around the Loch was mostly flat and mostly empty. We had the landscape practically to ourselves (one of the advantages of always being up at dawn and ready for an unfashionably early start to the day).

As I bicycled along, I could feel the "aliveness" of the scene. A rustle of leaves in the trees. The rush of a small beck over rocks. One could easily imagine an alternate universe populated with nature spirit and sprites. I fell under the enchantment.___

posted image

2015-06-28 18:20:37 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

Breaking News: Chris Squire Has Died
+Aaron Wood +paul beard 

Heart of the Sunrise___Breaking News: Chris Squire Has Died
+Aaron Wood +paul beard 

Buttons

A special service of CircleCount.com is the following button.

The button shows the number of followers you have directly in a small button. You can add this button to your website, like the +1-Button of Google or the Like-Button of Facebook.






You can add this button directly in your website. For more information about the CircleCount Buttons and the description how to add them to another page click here.

M Sinclair StevensCircloscope