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Yonatan Zunger has been at 2 events

HostFollowersTitleDateGuestsLinks
STEM Women on G+132,033Join us for a STEM Women HOA as we speak to Dr.  +Yonatan Zunger on how men can help with the issues of gender inequality in STEM fields. Yonatan is the Chief Architect of Google+ and also has a PhD in Physics with a strong engineering background. He is a passionate advocate of gender equality in STEM, and will talk to us about what we can do to encourage women in STEM.This HOA will be hosted by Dr +Buddhini Samarasinghe   and Dr +Zuleyka Zevallos  , and you can tune in on Sunday March 2nd at 12.30 PM Pacific/ 8.30PM GMT. The hangout will be available for viewing on our YouTube channel(http://www.youtube.com/stemwomen) after the event.Follow us on Twitter @stemwomen and on www.stemwomen.netSTEM Women: How Men Can Help with Dr Yonatan Zunger2014-03-02 21:30:0096 
Blogger1,236,670We’re hosting a Hangout on Air with lead Product Manager +Dan Peterson and lead Engineer +Yonatan Zunger to discuss last week’s launch of Google+ Comments for Blogger.If you’ve got questions about the launch, please leave them in the comments below so that Dan and Yonatan can answer them during the Hangout.Join the team behind Google+ Comments for Blogger for a Hangout on Air2013-04-25 20:30:001073 

Yonatan Zunger has been shared in 407 public circles

You can see here the 50 latest shared circles.
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AuthorFollowersDateUsers in CircleCommentsReshares+1Links
Richard Green93,025Engagers Showcase Circle, February 1, 2015If I sent you a notification, it means that you are included in my Engagers Showcase Circle. “Showcase” means that you are invited to leave a comment (on the original post) with a link to one of your own posts, which ideally should be one of your best recent posts.This circle consists of people who have engaged with one of my recent posts in the form of +1s, comments and reshares.Everyone mentioned below is also included in the circle.Ramanujan's nested radicalhttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/3WmvWEHyMNBThe exceptional symmetryhttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/ioQW2zGjwwMThe mystery of the missing areahttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/QU8aYaTCufqSunrisehttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/9QWbSALP2XUShakespearean Logichttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/MBqnMRgBiBJ“Nines” by Eric Standleyhttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/aR5BF9uV5n8Cherry pi (reshared from +David Richeson)https://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/bixJ7eGk3QmHappy New Year!https://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/ZJYFj1RogaSThe mathematics of card shufflinghttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/fAS8Y3YccfsThe sky and the fork in the path immediately preceding the arrival of the ice rinks of doomhttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/2MiqiTJ1FeuiPad landscape art (reshared from +Paul Haworth)https://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/27EwU49z1g8The fractional chromatic number of the planehttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/VbBk9JrLxqmDull (in Scotland) and Boring (in Oregon)https://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/ZuMzApfSPR4Partition and sum is fasthttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/Ad1ism1vJpJThe tautological clockhttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/diAyvxM7NuwMathematical Mr Menhttps://pl2015-02-01 15:55:5947613827
Circles Circles Circles49,036SCIENCE CircleDo you want more science in your life? Then, be sure to add these fascinating pages and people who dwell on science daily and are actively engaging.  Enrich your stream.If you are a scientist or someone who primarily posts about science and would like to be included in this circle please make a request in the comments section below.If you have someone or an organization's G+ page to recommend please add their name in the comments section below.Note: To those included in the circle, you were added by the generous recommendation of others  -- their help is deeply appreciated. Your add back and re-share would be also deeply appreciated as it would help spread the word about science.Current Circles  Published Mondays ORIGINAL CONTENT CREATORS: http://goo.gl/fVX5bZPublished Wednesdays:BLOGGERS & THEIR BLOGS: http://goo.gl/GNkGJhPublished Thursdays:WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS : http://goo.gl/s9RkeEMEN ARE FROM MARS : http://goo.gl/W8VDbBPublished Fridays:A CIRCLE TO PAY IT FORWARD: http://goo.gl/5mr38oOthers CirclesCREATIVES: http://goo.gl/9c5A3XSCIENCE: http://goo.gl/4UAeINTECHNOLOGY: http://goo.gl/whvLzNG+ Pages: http://goo.gl/jNZdWf#circleshare   2015-01-22 16:19:121067218
Circles and Photography35,863Builders 5    1.16.15Add this circle to Build-up your G+ network! Please ReShare.#circleoftheday #circleshare  #circlesharing     #circlesharingforthepeopleplc #sharedcircles     #sharedpubliccircles #sharedcircleoftheday #sharedcircleday   #publiccirclesproject #publiccircles #publicsharedcircles       #sharedpublicircles  #circle   2015-01-16 21:44:58408003
GuruOmBha1,393This circle will add amazing, and wonderful content to you stream.Boost your visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!To be added to or stay in this Circle - Share the circleIf you received the notice you are in this circle, then well done.If you would like to be included in the next Circle Share, you only have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles2 - Share the circle (Publicly)3 - Add +1 to the post.4 - Leave a comment if you like.I will thankful if you plus and share this circle!#circleshare #circlesharing #sharedcircles #sharingcircles #sharedpubliccircles#sharedcircleoftheday #circlesunday #share #shared #followers #addcircles#publicsharedcircles #share #addpeople #addcircle #addfriends #circle#круги   #круглим  #друзья   #дружба   #circle   #circleshare   #circles  #circlesharing  #круги   #круглим   #кругляши   #музыка   #music   #musicvideo   #love   #lol  #russia   2015-01-09 18:58:48496171121
Sakari Maaranen3,848Here's a circle that's about Life on Earth. Add these people and organizations for everything about the #environment , #biodiversity , and the kind of #values  that can bring sustainable development.This is a broad range of people, many of whom are not necessarily activists, but scientists and experts with generally the right kind of mindset and deep knowledge of these and related issues. Some are thinkers, artists, or younger people with similar interests.Shared because we need more this kind of thinking! Feel free to re-share —  #sustainability  deserves all our attention and is needed right now.Let's make 2015 the year of positive change!Oh, and please let me know, if I'm missing some active people or important organizations. Remember that I don't care about status. It doesn't matter if you are someone new or young or already a superstar, or if your main field is something else. All it takes is some genuine drive to engage and/or follow these topics. So don't be shy! You are as welcome as anyone.2015-01-03 23:20:49115200
Михаил Пушкарев420#ActiveUsers #Add #AddCircle #AddFriends #AddMeToYour #AddPeople #artcircles #artistcircle #AuthorCircle #AutoFollow #AutoFollowBack #Awesome #AwesomeArt #AwesomeCircle #awesomecircle #awesomecircles #AwesomeDay #AwesomeFace #AwesomePeople #AwesomePublick #AwesomePublickCircle #AwesomeSauce #beautiful #BeautifulPhotographs #BeautifulPictures #belarus #Best #bestcircle #bestengagers #bestgoogleplususers #bestofgoogleplus #bestofgoogleplus #BestShared #BestSharedCircle #BestSnowball #BlackSndwhitePhotography #blogger #bloggers 2015-01-01 08:18:30500005
Becky Collins20,667Mobile Marketing Circle :Circle of very #social #engagerspeople and companiesTo be included in my shares (#sharedcircle), be so kind to:1 - Do +1 t the post2 - Comment the post and specify your "category" (job or interest) Ex: Fashion, SEO, Companies, Social Media Marketing, Sailing, Photography, Bloggers/Writers, Web graphics and design, Italy, Artists, Sport, Finance/Economy ...3 - include the circle among your circles4 - share the circle (include yourself)Improve your popularity, be social be cool !Keep yourself updated, enjoy the Shared Circles Hellenic Alliance, you can share your shared circles inside the upcoming Community:https://plus.google.com/communities/112552559573595396104  #socialmedia  #media  #circles   #circleshare   #circlesharing  #circlecircle   #beckyscircle   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles  #sharedcircleoftheday  +Becky Collins ?2014-12-26 05:30:104645516
Eduard Dimitrov3,781Start of my "Google must be better place campaign". Week one: This post. People currently working for Google. 114 Google's Google+  profiles to add - people actually working for Google  company.Week 2: Shared circle two: More 100 Google employees next week.Week 3: I will show you how to work with google webspam team to aviod problems in Google Webmaster Tools - the right way, tools and tactics.Week 4: Ethics of non-natural links problems in GWT and communication with google webspam team  in Google Webmaster Tools.If you want to receive notifications from me, add me in separate circle and switch on notifications for this circle.Happy Holidays!  #worksatgoogle #googleteam #googleemployees2014-12-23 14:29:07114011
Aly Hodge13,741This is my social media/SEO circle, which contains pages for people who share lots of content on social media, not just about G+.2014-12-20 07:50:59362003
Silvio De Rossi46,461TOP INFLUENCERS DeroPLUS CIRCLE 20!Yeppa! It's the DAY of the my new Circle Plus!#sharedcircle #sharedcircles #topcircleshare #deroplus This is my new #Sharedcircle of #topengagers , a group of TOP interesting people who share unique and original contents.What are you waiting to add them to your circles? :)To be included in my shares (#sharedcircle), be so kind to:1) Do +1 at the post!2) Include the circle among your circles!3) Share the circle (include yourself)!4) Smile to life, sun in sunshine!Have a good life!Special thanks my BEST #friends and #followers !#topsharedcircle   #facciamolastoria    #leonardo    #deroplus    #circleoftheday    #sharedcircle    #topsharedcircle    #sharedcircleoftheday    #myseoissocial    #besocial    #socializethesocial   #trust #circles   #circleshare   #sharedcircle    #circlesharing    #followers    #social    #socialnetworking    #topsharedcircle    #circleoftheday    #googleplus   #communities    #topsocialcircle    2014-12-17 15:45:20495160109189
Brian Mcquillan16,218Boost your visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!To be added to or stay in this Circle - Share the circleIf you received the notice you are in this circle, then well done.If you would like to be included in the next Circle Share, you only have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles2 - Share the circle (Publicly)3 - Add +1 to the post.4 - Leave a comment if you like.I will thankful if you plus and share this circle!#circles #sharedcircles #circlesharing #circle #bestcircle #bestofcircles #bestcircleshare #share #circleshare #SocialMedia #SharedPublicCircles #PublicCircle #Prague #CircleOfTheDay #followers #follow #AddCircle #Sharers #Engagers #Awesomepeople #ShareAndBeShared #london   #uk  #Aberdeen #Belfast #Birmingham #Bristol #Cardiff #Dublin #EastMidlands #Edinburgh #Glasgow #LeedsBradford #Gatwick #Heathrow 2014-12-17 06:43:524887670113
Daniel Mihai Popescu67,133Music, Twitter and SFMy most recent circle! I hope you don't mind if I mention you in comments, since my notification system doesn't seem to work.It is the first round, I'm not sure this will be the definitive version.Best wishes :)Lately I developed a fixation for Tsu, and if you don't have a profile there, this is my invitation:http://www.tsu.co/DanielMihaiPopescuIf you already have one, let's be friends and help each other grow!It'll be awesome to meet you there too! #danielmihaipopescusharedcircle   #maximumperformance  A "+1" will be greatly appreciated :) 2014-12-16 20:37:1549811559142
Allan watson14,719Active users on Google+. Circle Share. If you received a notification, please reshare to your circlesIf you’d like to be added to the next circle share: • +1 this circle • Share this circle to PUBLIC • Include me in your circles • Comment on this post#awesomecircle #circleme #sharedpoint #sharewithyou #ShareYourCircle #epicengagers #davidromaphotography #addcircle #addpeople #affiliate #awesome #awesomecircles #awesomepeople #besocial #bestengagers #bestsharedcircle #circle #circlefriday #circlemonday2014-12-16 11:36:17423636593
Михаил Пушкарев0#ActiveUsers #Add #AddCircle #AddFriends #AddMeToYour #AddPeople #artcircles #artistcircle #AuthorCircle #AutoFollow #AutoFollowBack #Awesome #AwesomeArt #AwesomeCircle #awesomecircle #awesomecircles #AwesomeDay #AwesomeFace #AwesomePeople #AwesomePublick #AwesomePublickCircle #AwesomeSauce #beautiful #BeautifulPhotographs #BeautifulPictures #belarus #Best #bestcircle #bestengagers #bestgoogleplususers #bestofgoogleplus #bestofgoogleplus #BestShared #BestSharedCircle #BestSnowball #BlackSndwhitePhotography #blogger #bloggers 2014-12-13 08:06:48496213
Daniel Mihai Popescu66,628This circle is called Amalgam :)It is a mixture of new and very old friends. Of course, the Invincible is always present :)I've been a little bit disappointed for losing some guys I've even grown so fond of lately, so fond that they were in my notification circle, something very rare. They left me without a word, but that's not a problem, because everything goes on :)You are not required to do a single thing, I'll mention you in comments, I hope you don't mind :) I do this because the notifications don't work with my account, it's still an enigma, so I can't say that if you receive a notification from me, you're a member in this circle. It's sure you're a member if I mention you. That's one thing.Another thing is that you, the members, don't have to share the circle. I can't pretend from you, what I don't do with your circles. It's somehow a kind of reciprocally membership, which is a signal for others :) You, my circle members, are some of the most precious people on G+, and you have to be sure of that.So, for my followers, especially the new ones, it'll be good for you to add this circle because you'll gain a lot on your stream! #danielmihaipopescusharedcircle   #maximumperformance  2014-12-11 22:33:4849412866154
Norman E Grant2,529Share this Circle of passionate people and grow your network. 2014-12-08 20:18:36478000
Richard Green88,785Engagers Showcase Circle, December 1, 2014If I sent you a notification, it means that you are included in my Engagers Showcase Circle. “Showcase” means that you are invited to leave a comment (on the original post) with a link to one of your own posts, which ideally should be one of your best recent posts.This circle consists of people who have engaged with one of the posts listed below, in the form of +1s, comments and reshares. I have not posted much in the last couple of months because I have been too busy, and so it has been a long time since the last reshare of the circle.Everyone mentioned below is also included in the circle.Millcreek Canyon Vista (reshared from +Tom Malloy)https://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/HuXLKw4GBwjAvoiding the unavoidablehttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/TnW3pTWt6d7Hydrangea flowershttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/3LDn2js6pWpMicroscopic Victorian arthttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/ieybEmL7tUCApproximating e using the digits 1–9https://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/W5E6HyihSuY“Vertebral 03 – Pendant Lampshade” by cordycepthttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/eSo9svRbLapCentred polygonal numbershttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/QowshFUnPZ2Reinventing the wheel: Reuleaux polygonshttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/gDxTM5Ko8hbSunrise at Maroon Lake (reshared from +Jason Hill)https://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/hvWMqo1HwvVSchmidt arrangementshttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/eM3adto6nsj“Dream Creatures” by Elido Turcohttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/ckjru8sN6AG“The Awakening III—Rebirth” by Luc Railhachttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/KyNg9DD4YnXPoincaré and topologyhttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/bmnd2URRAsfLytham St Annes (reshared from +Paul Haworth)https://plus.google.com/1015848892828789210522014-12-01 22:15:07443146111188
Sport News95Dear Google Friends! - You're in this CircleAdd Users & Pluss +1 & ShareThis is a super Circle and in it I put together a group of really interesting and active people on Google Plus to add in your circles.I'm talking about the top Google+ users that share unique and original contents.Follow this advice and grow your G+ community with people that share amazing content that will surprise you:Boost your visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!If you want to be added to the next Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles 3 - Share the circle (Publicly) 4 - Add +1 to the post 5 - Follow your dreams and smile to life.More you share more you get! :)Thanks!#circleshare #circlesharing #circle #sharedcircles #sharedpubliccircles #circlecount #circlecircle #naturephotographers #naturephotography #birdphotography #birdphotographers #circlesharing #circlesharingforthepeopleplc #sharedcircleoftheday #sharedcircleday   #publiccirclesproject #publiccircles #publicsharedcircles #sharedpublicircles #circle #circles #circlemeup #awesomepeople #awesomecircle #circleme #sharedpoint #sharewithyou #ShareYourCircle #epicengagers 2014-11-30 05:41:14500332
Atanas Georgiev Atanasov2,751SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FRIENDS : Circle V.1.11. Link to my own scientific research topic: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4212005/  To be included in future circle-editions, please ENGAGE: add me to your own circles/+1/re-share/comment on the original circle-post, or on some of the other science-related posts on my wall (this is needed since the number of people that could be circled is limited from Google – and therefore I am forced to keep included just the most active users). Currently featured science-related GOOGLE PLUS post:https://plus.google.com/115938908270684192009/posts/8LU6LVz75jxI would be happy to connect on other networks too:http://about.me/Atanas_At   Below I am just pasting some keyords/topics to improve the visibility of the circle and to make it more discoverable: #Science   #Research   #Technology   #NASA    #Space   #Innovation   #Engineering   #nutrition    #ScienceSunday   #Sundayscience   #Science   #Research   #Tech #GameTech   #GameTechnology    #Microsoft #MicrosoftResearch    #innovation   #Inflammation   #Brain #mindcontrol   #photography   #tech   #socialmedia   #googleplus #naturalproduct   #artists   #foodies   #cars   2014-11-27 06:30:22451433271
Amaresh Singh11Circle Of the DayTo be considered for this circle, please:1- Share this circle in your stream.2- Ask to be included in the comments section of the original post.3- Make sure you've added our page to your circles.4- You must post your own original work in your stream.2014-11-21 09:58:32238231124
Circles Circles Circles45,721SCIENCE CircleDo you want more science in your life? Then, be sure to add these fascinating pages and people who dwell on science daily and are actively engaging.  Enrich your stream.If you are a scientist or someone who primarily posts about science and would like to be included in this circle please make a request in the comments section below.If you have someone or an organization's G+ page to recommend please add their name in the comments section below.Note: To those included in the circle, you were added by the generous recommendation of others  -- their help is deeply appreciated. Your add back and re-share would be also deeply appreciated as it would help spread the word about science.Current Circles   Published Mondays ORIGINAL CONTENT CREATORS: http://goo.gl/pOzhN7Published Wednesdays:BLOGGERS & THEIR BLOGS: http://goo.gl/mlXh9WPublished Thursdays:WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS : http://goo.gl/DgeQIAMEN ARE FROM MARS : http://goo.gl/hhJPlSPublished Fridays:A CIRCLE TO PAY IT FORWARD:  http://goo.gl/Ik2RfOOthers CirclesCREATIVES: http://goo.gl/Ahy2X9SCIENCE: http://goo.gl/pzaC4yTECHNOLOGY: http://goo.gl/a1jWG6G+ Pages: http://goo.gl/9v2o43        #sciencecircle   #circleshare   #sharingcircles  2014-11-19 18:04:35106205
Atanas Georgiev Atanasov1,950SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY + FRIENDS : CIRCLE V.8; maintained by +Atanas Georgiev Atanasov  ; You can learn more about my personal scientific research at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25083916   To be added to the circle, please +1/reshare/comment/add me to your circles. I would be happy to connect on other networks too:http://about.me/Atanas_At   Below I am just pasting some keyords/topics to improve the visibility of the circle and to make it more discoverable: #Science   #Research   #Technology   #NASA    #Space   #Innovation   #Engineering   #NIAC   #nutrition   #Entrepreneur   #Commercial #ScienceSunday   #Sundayscience   #Science   #Research   #Tech #GameTech   #GameTechnology   #Gaming   #VideoGaming   #Microsoft #MicrosoftResearch    #innovation   #Inflammation   #Brain #mindcontrol   #photography   #tech   #socialmedia   #googleplus #naturalproduct   2014-11-17 05:24:223625111
Atanas Georgiev Atanasov1,633SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY + FRIENDS : CIRCLE V.7; maintained by +AtanasGeorgievAtanasov ; You can learn more about my personal scientific research at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25083916   To be added to the circle, please +1/reshare/comment/add me to your circles. I would be happy to connect on other networks too:http://about.me/Atanas_At   Below I am just pasting some keyords/topics to improve the visibility of the circle and to make it more discoverable: #Science   #Research   #Technology   #NASA    #Space   #Innovation   #Engineering   #NIAC   #nutrition   #Entrepreneur   #Commercial #ScienceSunday  #Sundayscience   #Science   #Research   #Tech #GameTech  #GameTechnology   #Gaming   #VideoGaming   #Microsoft #MicrosoftResearch   #innovation   #Inflammation   #Brain #mindcontrol  #photography   #tech   #socialmedia   #googleplus #naturalproduct  #artists   #foodies   #cars2014-11-13 05:47:40346101
Atanas Georgiev Atanasov1,550SCIENCE and TECHNOLOGY + FRIENDS of it : CIRCLE V.6; maintained by +AtanasGeorgievAtanasov ; You can learn more about my personal scientific research here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25083916   To be added to the circle, please +1/reshare/comment/add me to your circles. I would be happy to connect on other networks too:http://about.me/Atanas_At   Below I am just pasting some keyords/topics to improve the visibility of the circle and to make it more discoverable: #Science   #Research   #Technology   #NASA    #Space   #Innovation   #Engineering   #NIAC   #nutrition   #Entrepreneur   #Commercial #ScienceSunday  #Sundayscience   #Science   #Research   #Tech #GameTech  #GameTechnology   #Gaming   #VideoGaming   #Microsoft #MicrosoftResearch   #innovation   #Inflammation   #Brain #mindcontrol  #photography   #tech   #socialmedia   #googleplus #naturalproduct  #artists   #foodies   2014-11-10 06:22:16330123
Atanas Georgiev Atanasov1,228SCIENCE and TECHNOLOGY + FRIENDS of it : CIRCLE V.5; maintained by +AtanasGeorgievAtanasov ; You can learn more about my personal scientific research here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25083916   To be added to the circle, please +1/reshare/comment/add me to your circles. I would be happy to connect on other networks too:http://about.me/Atanas_At   Below I am just pasting some keyords/topics to improve the visibility of the circle and to make it more discoverable: #Science  #Research #Technology #NASA  #Space #Innovation #Engineering #NIAC #nutrition #Entrepreneur #Commercial#ScienceSunday #Sundayscience #Science #Research #Tech#GameTech #GameTechnology #Gaming #VideoGaming +Microsoft#MicrosoftResearch  #innovation #Inflammation #Brain#mindcontrol #photography #tech #socialmedia #googleplus#naturalproduct #artists #foodies #cars #sharingiscaring  #Liver#sharingmeansthankyou #socialmedia  #sports #Smartphones#tablets 2014-11-06 08:10:34369051
Sharon Caroline1,691Hello my friends, good morning/evening for you all!Boost Your visibility On Google+!Shared and be shared. :)Thank you for sharing and promoting this.#circleshare #sharedcircles #sharingcircles #sharedcircleoftheday2014-11-05 08:31:58463203
Atanas Georgiev Atanasov1,228SCIENCE and TECHNOLOGY + FRIENDS of it : Circle V.3, maintained by +AtanasGeorgievAtanasov To be added to the circle, please +1/reshare/comment/add me to your circles. I would be happy to connect on other networks too:http://about.me/Atanas_At   You can learn a bit more about my personal scientific research from these links: https://plus.google.com/115938908270684192009/posts/MGt3zvEtTgq  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25083916   Below I am just pasting some keyords/topics to improve the visibility of the circle and to make it more discoverable: #Science  #Research #Technology #NASA  #Space #Innovation  #Engineering #NIAC #nutrition #Entrepreneur #Commercial #ScienceSunday #Sundayscience #Science #Research #Tech #GameTech #GameTechnology #Gaming #VideoGaming +Microsoft #MicrosoftResearch  #innovation #Inflammation #Brain #mindcontrol #photography #tech #socialmedia #googleplus #naturalproduct #artists #foodies 2014-11-05 07:02:42362515
Atanas Georgiev Atanasov1,127Science and Technology +Friends: Circle 2014 V.2 To be added to the circle, please +1/reshare/comment. I would be happy to connect on other networks too:http://about.me/Atanas_At   You can learn a bit more about my personal scientific research from these links: https://plus.google.com/115938908270684192009/posts/MGt3zvEtTgq  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25083916   Below I am just pasting some keyords/topics to improve the visibility of the circle and to make it more discoverable: #Science  #Research #Technology #NASA  #Space #Innovation  #Engineering #NIAC #nutrition #Entrepreneur #Commercial #ScienceSunday #Sundayscience #Science #Research #Tech #GameTech #GameTechnology #Gaming #VideoGaming +Microsoft #MicrosoftResearch  #innovation #Inflammation #Brain #mindcontrol #photography #tech #socialmedia #googleplus #naturalproduct #artists #foodies #cars 2014-11-04 06:51:44407101
Brian Mcquillan12,814This circle contains people who are very active on Google+If you received a notification, please reshare to your circlesIf you’d like to be added to the next circle share: • +1 this circle • Share this circle to PUBLIC • Include me in your circles • Comment on this post#circle #Sharedcircles #circleshare #publiccircle #followme #public #sharedpubliccircles #circleoftheday #tampa #florida #denver #Colorado #circleall #circlecircle #circleday 2014-11-03 08:05:03421151330
Allan watson11,045Boost your visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!To be added to or stay in this Circle - Share the circleIf you received the notice you are in this circle, then well done.If you would like to be included in the next Circle Share, you only have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles2 - Share the circle (Publicly)3 - Add +1 to the post.4 - Leave a comment if you like.I will thankful if you plus and share this circle!#circles #shared #share #add #friends #circle #share #sharecircle #circleshar #Pennsylvania  #Philadelphia2014-11-03 07:27:5044371017
Atanas Georgiev Atanasov1,054Science and Technology Circle 2014 To be added to the circle, please +1/reshare/comment. I would be happy to connect on other networks too:http://about.me/Atanas_At   You can learn a bit more about my personal scientific research from these links: https://plus.google.com/115938908270684192009/posts/MGt3zvEtTgq  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25083916   Below I am just pasting some keyords/topics to improve the visibility of the circle and to make it more discoverable: #Science  #Research #Technology #NASA   #Space #Innovation   #Engineering #NIAC #nutrition #Entrepreneur #Commercial #ScienceSunday #Sundayscience #Science #Research #Tech #GameTech #GameTechnology #Gaming #VideoGaming #Microsoft #MicrosoftResearch   #innovation #Inflammation #Brain #mindcontrol #photography #tech #socialmedia #googleplus #naturalproduct #artists 2014-11-02 08:37:19453526
Kenneth Nicholson6,980Circle share with new friendsHi friends follow this circle1 - Include me in your circles2 - Share the circle (Publicly)3 - Add +1 to the post.4 - Leave a comment if you like.I will thankful if you plus and share this circle!#sharedcircleday #publiccircles #publicsharedcircles #sharedpublicircles #circle #circles #circlemeup #awesomepeople #awesomecircle #circleme #sharedpoint #sharewithyou #ShareYourCircle #epicengagers #davidromaphotography #addcircle #addpeople #affiliate #awesome #awesomecircles #awesomepeople #besocial #bestengagers #bestsharedcircle #circle #circlefriday #circlemonday #circlesunday #circleoftheweek #circlemeup #circles #circleshare #communities #community #coolpeople #findcircles 2014-10-24 12:15:41498445685
Diana Breath8,322#8  If you received this Notice - You're in this Circle                       •-::-•:*:•-:¦:  Circle Share 146  :¦:-•:*:•.::-•                 •-::-•:*:•-:¦: Fall Share and Be Shared :¦:-•:*:•.::-•      •-::-•:*:•-:¦:  If you want to be shared in this circle  :¦:-•:*:•.::-• •-::-•:*:•-:¦:  Just share it and I will keep you in this circle  :¦:-•:*:•.::-•        •-::-•:*:•-:¦:  Boost your visibility on Google+  :¦:-•:*:•.::-•                       •-::-•:*:•-:¦:  Share the circle!  :¦:-•:*:•.::-•This circle contains people who really are interesting and active people on Google Plus.Grow your G+ community with people that share amazing content that will surprise you:If you received the notice you are in this circle, then well done.If you would like to be included in the next Circle Share, you only have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles 3 - Share the circle (Publicly) 4 - Add +1 to the post 5 - Follow  your dreams and smile to life.More you share More you get! :)I will thankful if you plus and share this circle!#circles #shared #share #add #friends #circle #share #sharecircle #circleshar2014-10-18 15:17:39480001
Becky Collins17,500Top Active Engager's Circle :Circle of very #social #engagerspeople and companiesTo be included in my shares (#sharedcircle), be so kind to:1 - Do +1 t the post2 - Comment the post and specify your "category" (job or interest) Ex: Fashion, SEO, Companies, Social Media Marketing, Sailing, Photography, Bloggers/Writers, Web graphics and design, Italy, Artists, Sport, Finance/Economy ...3 - include the circle among your circles4 - share the circle (include yourself)Improve your popularity, be social be cool !Keep yourself updated, enjoy the Shared Circles Hellenic Alliance, you can share your shared circles inside the upcoming Community:https://plus.google.com/communities/112552559573595396104  #socialmedia  #media  #circles   #circleshare   #circlesharing  #circlecircle   #beckyscircle   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles  #sharedcircleoftheday  +Becky Collins ?2014-10-13 05:05:40478002
Elizabeth Rose5,970#5 GOOGLE FRIENDS! -  RESHARE if you want to be included *'"*:•:••:*:•-:¦:*  *SHARE AND BE  SHARED*  *:¦:-•:*:••-:•:''''*  This is a super Circle and in it I put together a group of really interesting and active people on Google Plus to add in your circles.I'm talking about the top   Google + users that share unique and original contents.Follow   this advice and grow your G+ community with people that share amazing content that will surprise you:boost   visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!If you want to be added to the next Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles 3 - Share the circle (Publicly) 4 - Add +1 to the post 5 - Follow  your dreams and smile to life.More you share More you get! :)I will thankful if you plus and share this circle!#circles #shared #share #add #friends #circle #share #sharecircle #circleshare2014-10-10 16:39:1548810021
Diana Breath7,336#8 GOOGLE FRIENDS! -  RESHARE if you want to be included *'"*:•:••:*:•-:¦:*  *SHARE AND BE  SHARED*  *:¦:-•:*:••-:•:''''*  This is a super Circle and in it I put together a group of really interesting and active people on Google Plus to add in your circles.I'm talking about the top   Google + users that share unique and original contents.Follow   this advice and grow your G+ community with people that share amazing content that will surprise you:boost   visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!If you want to be added to the next Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles 3 - Share the circle (Publicly) 4 - Add +1 to the post 5 - Follow  your dreams and smile to life.More you share More you get! :)I will thankful if you plus and share this circle!#circles #shared #share #add #friends #circle #share #sharecircle #circleshare2014-10-08 14:51:3148112720
RokSimec.com7,554To be added to the Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - include me in your circles2 - Click add people and create your circle3 - share the circle (include yourself)4 - add +1 to the post*More you share more you get!*#circle                    2014-10-01 11:44:4749811914
Allan watson7,797Grow your G+ community with people that share amazing content that will surprise you:If you received the notice you are in this circle, then well done. If you’d like to be added to the next circle share: • +1 this circle • Share this circle to PUBLIC • Include me in your circles • Comment on this post#News #BusinessNews #TechNews #Aviation #Flight #Flights #Passengers #Airport #Travel #KLM #Aircraft #AirTravel #Airbus #Flying #AvGeek #Boeing #Chicago #Safety #AmericanAirlines #Canceled #SharedCircles   #weeklyreview #sharedcircle     #topsharedcircle   #circleoftheday   #sharedcircle2014-09-27 12:27:02303283042
RokSimec.com7,248 To be added to the Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - include me in your circles2 - Click add people and create your circle3 - share the circle (include yourself)4 - add +1 to the post*More you share more you get!*#circle                    2014-09-26 10:33:5149813920
Kenneth Nicholson3,806Active users on Google+. Circle Share. If you received a notification, please reshare to your circles If you’d like to be added to the next circle share: • +1 this circle • Share this circle to PUBLIC • Include me in your circles • Comment on this post*More you share more you get! :)Thanks!*#awesomecircle #circleme #sharedpoint #sharewithyou #ShareYourCircle #epicengagers #davidromaphotography #addcircle #addpeople #affiliate #awesome #awesomecircles #awesomepeople #besocial #bestengagers #bestsharedcircle #circle #circlefriday #circlemonday2014-09-25 13:06:13485455179
John Wood14,205If you received a notification, please reshare to your circles If you’d like to be added to the next circle share: • +1 this circle • Share this circle to PUBLIC • Include me in your circles • Comment on this postIf you would like to be removed from future circles, please send me a private message and I won't share your profile in the future.#topofthepeople   #influencermarketing  #sharedcircle #circleshare #circlethis #socialmediamarketing #socialmediastrategy #socialnetworking #circleoftheday  #circleoftheweek #circleoftheday #topofthecircle #howtoenlargecircle2014-09-17 10:38:20500535665
Richard Green81,215Engagers Showcase Circle, September 14, 2014If I sent you a notification, it means that you are included in my Engagers Showcase Circle. “Showcase” means that you are invited to leave a comment (on the original post) with a link to one of your own posts, which ideally should be one of your best recent posts.This circle consists of people who have engaged with one of my recent posts in the form of +1s, comments and reshares. I skipped over one post because it received too much engagement, but I'm including a link to it for completeness.Everyone mentioned below is also included in the circle.Do nuclear physicists have half life crises?https://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/ayw6WPGGaFESt Peter's Church, Heyshamhttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/9DEtmbdz15zSmiling cow?https://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/9NuqPpsgtBkThe look-and-say sequence and Conway's Cosmological Theoremhttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/jEQ7zxFpJt4Cordyline australis, the “cabbage tree”https://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/hktDAgyo6mA“Maurits, stop picking at it. You'll only make it worse.” by David Swarthttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/gj327Ywh33T“Phyllotactic Portrait of Fibonacci” by Robert Boschhttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/8LykdvHpRvPFountain in Williamson Parkhttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/HzZTLQaQ9RT“Youth” by Silvia Cordeddahttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/T2Lo3c2zLxvThe arithmetic derivative, the Goldbach conjecture, and the twin prime conjecturehttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/9nY35Ma1pbUGlobe Thistlehttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/i8mtiyVikWhTallinn (reshared from +Paul Harper)https://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/U4DAQxK5fkxCubes passing in the night (reshared from +Sean Walker)https://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/32JKvAFqP9SThe graph of arctanhttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/FLvyDupud1z“Hopf Knott” by Peter Sittner2014-09-14 15:25:57463224129234
Colin Wilson56Increase your following with our Amazing CirclesThis is a super Circle and in it I put together a group of really interesting and active people on Google Plus to add in your circles.If you want to be added to the next Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles 2 - Share the circle (Publicly) 3 - Add +1 to the post #circles #shared #share #add #friends #circle #share #sharecircle #circleshare2014-09-08 06:25:20459111619
Diana Breath5,453#8 GOOGLE FRIENDS! -  RESHARE if you want to be included *'"*:•:••:*:•-:¦:*  *SHARE AND BE  SHARED*  *:¦:-•:*:••-:•:''''*  This is a super Circle and in it I put together a group of really interesting and active people on Google Plus to add in your circles.I'm talking about the top   Google + users that share unique and original contents.Follow   this advice and grow your G+ community with people that share amazing content that will surprise you:boost   visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!If you want to be added to the next Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles 3 - Share the circle (Publicly) 4 - Add +1 to the post 5 - Follow  your dreams and smile to life.More you share More you get! :)I will thankful if you plus and share this circle!#circles #shared #share #add #friends #circle #share #sharecircle #circleshare2014-09-06 03:29:28479171424
Nina Trankova822This is my circle of learning. I know every person here and I recommend that you add and follow as there is a lot you can learn and expand your experience here on Google+ #sharedcircles   #googleplustips   #ninatrankova2014-09-04 04:55:50311306
George Clark5,516Boost your visibility on Google+ - Share the #circle ! To be added to the Circle you have to do these simple steps: 1 - include me in your circles 2 - Click add people and create your circle 3 - share the circle (include yourself) 4 - add +1 to the post#topsharedcircle #circleoftheday #sharedcircle #trustinme #circlesharing #circleshare #circles #circleoftheday #sharedpubliccircles #sharedcircles #share #vipsnowballcircle #sharedcircleoftheday #sharewithyou #followme #followers #followback #circle #googleplus #coolpeople #circleshare #sharedcircles #sharedcircle #sharedcircles #sharedpubliccircles #circleshare #circlesharing #fullcircleshare #addpeople #add #addcircle #socialmedia #dragonseyecircle #VarietyCircle 2014-08-29 06:34:43494191420
Frank Gainsford39,299A share of this circle within the public space will be appreciated as these are truly a great flock of influential and helpful folk, and the more places their profiles are found, the better the GOOGLESPHERE will become.A circle of people who are known and trusted for their advice and help in getting things done here in the Google sphere.If you are stuck and need some advice this is the team that can help you solve your problem.  These folk are all friendly, and active within the PLUSOSPHEREAdd this circle to your profile for a bunch of friendly and helpful advice on ALL THINGS GOOGLE with a very clear and distinct flavor of Google plus as the best social media platform to use for either social or business.PS you will not be added to this circle unless I have made personal use of a tip or advice that you have offered within your personal or business profile.  this is not a free for all circle, but a curated circle of those who have helped me, either knowingly or unknowingly with their  public posts being the source of the help I used.2014-08-27 11:11:30252224
Elizabeth Rose4,337#5 GOOGLE FRIENDS! -  RESHARE if you want to be included *'"*:•:••:*:•-:¦:*  *SHARE AND BE  SHARED*  *:¦:-•:*:••-:•:''''*  This is a super Circle and in it I put together a group of really interesting and active people on Google Plus to add in your circles.I'm talking about the top   Google + users that share unique and original contents.Follow   this advice and grow your G+ community with people that share amazing content that will surprise you:boost   visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!If you want to be added to the next Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles 3 - Share the circle (Publicly) 4 - Add +1 to the post 5 - Follow  your dreams and smile to life.More you share More you get! :)I will thankful if you plus and share this circle!#circles #shared #share #add #friends #circle #share #sharecircle #circleshare2014-08-27 10:03:14486181228
5th Funny Corps0Hope that you have been having a great week on Google+. Thank you for sharing and promoting this and for connecting up with all the great accounts I have included. Great With This Cilcle!!, And Please..Boost your visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!Boost your visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!To be added to the Circle you have to do these simple steps, and get more friend and circle on +Google+  :» Include me in your circles» Click add people and create your circle» +1 this circle» Publicly share this circle to public, your circles and extended circles. ( share the circle and include yourself )» If possible, leave a comment on this circle so I know you have done the three steps above (I say "if possible" as my circle comments more often than not hit the 500 comment limit).»  So I can easily find your share, always publicly share my original shared circle. #circle #circleshare #circlesharing #circles #circleoftheday #circlemeup #circlemenow #bestcircle #bestcircleshare #megacircle #bigcircle #bigcircleshare #funnyvideo #funnyvideos #funnyvideosyoutube #funnyvideoclips #funnyvideooftheday #circle   #circleshare   #circlesharing   #circleshared   #share   #sharedcircles   #sharedcircleoftheday   #engagers   #engagerscircle   #engagerspeople   2014-08-15 08:05:40492338
Carlos Esteban50,970ENGAGERS and other INTERESTING PEOPLE Here you will find a sample of recent and repeat engagers, people that include me in shared circles, and people that publish interesting, useful or amusing posts. Add the circle and check them out. Maybe you like some of them! Feel free to re-share the circle :) Have a great week!2014-08-11 15:57:3149910779158

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Most comments: 500

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2015-01-26 19:02:39 (500 comments, 148 reshares, 425 +1s)Open 

It is really hard for me to stop laughing after watching this. This Peruvian TV show found an interesting answer to street harassment: find some bad offenders, find their mothers, give the mothers makeovers, have the mothers walk past, and film what happens. You will watch a number of people getting very thoroughly chewed out on national television.

While this may not be the most scalable solution, it may well be the funniest. 

Most reshares: 218

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2014-12-30 03:37:59 (191 comments, 218 reshares, 678 +1s)Open 

These twelve items have two important things in common:

(1) They're important and valuable things, and
(2) They have absolutely nothing to do with autism.

Lead is a heavy metal which melts at low temperatures. It's used in large batteries like the ones in your car, as well as as a stabilization weight and radiation shield. It can be poisonous if you ingest it, though, so be careful! (The #1 safety risks in most radiation labs is actually accidental lead poisoning from the shielding equipment)

Fluoride is an ion of the Fluorine molecule. It's critical for human health: without it, your teeth will decay and fall out. In some places, it's found naturally in local foods and water, but in other places, it gets added to reservoirs or table salt instead. Water fluoridation is considered one of the ten greatest public health achievements of the... more »

Most plusones: 678

posted image

2014-12-30 03:37:59 (191 comments, 218 reshares, 678 +1s)Open 

These twelve items have two important things in common:

(1) They're important and valuable things, and
(2) They have absolutely nothing to do with autism.

Lead is a heavy metal which melts at low temperatures. It's used in large batteries like the ones in your car, as well as as a stabilization weight and radiation shield. It can be poisonous if you ingest it, though, so be careful! (The #1 safety risks in most radiation labs is actually accidental lead poisoning from the shielding equipment)

Fluoride is an ion of the Fluorine molecule. It's critical for human health: without it, your teeth will decay and fall out. In some places, it's found naturally in local foods and water, but in other places, it gets added to reservoirs or table salt instead. Water fluoridation is considered one of the ten greatest public health achievements of the... more »

Latest 50 posts

2015-01-31 20:29:23 (5 comments, 0 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

Just posted publicly on the subject:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+YonatanZunger/posts/gYMPJNsTT5Z

One very interesting item that I found and linked to is this article from JAAPA, about the causes and rates of failure to vaccinate. The statistics are quite different from what I had expected: even in the US, apparently 92% of failures are due to finance and logistics, not unwillingness. That's definitely changed my perspective on some of these issues: we apparently need to still be deploying vaccine-mobiles and the like in the US to get people access to even the most basic medicines.

Sigh.

Just posted publicly on the subject:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+YonatanZunger/posts/gYMPJNsTT5Z

One very interesting item that I found and linked to is this article from JAAPA, about the causes and rates of failure to vaccinate. The statistics are quite different from what I had expected: even in the US, apparently 92% of failures are due to finance and logistics, not unwillingness. That's definitely changed my perspective on some of these issues: we apparently need to still be deploying vaccine-mobiles and the like in the US to get people access to even the most basic medicines.

Sigh.___

posted image

2015-01-31 20:27:06 (210 comments, 133 reshares, 521 +1s)Open 

As a measles outbreak spreads across the US, with 14 states now affected, the advocates of letting deadly epidemics run wild are finding themselves suddenly unpopular:

Members of the anti-vaccine movement said the public backlash had terrified many parents. “People are now afraid they’re going to be jailed,” said Barbara Loe Fisher, the president of the National Vaccine Information Center, a clearinghouse for resisters. “I can’t believe what I’m seeing. It’s gotten so out of hand, and it’s gotten so vicious.”

This is not, to be honest, an unreasonable fear: it turns out that when you recklessly engage in conduct which places another person (or the general public) in danger of death or serious bodily injury, you may well have a reason to fear that people might want you to go to jail. The technical term is "reckless endangerment." And when people --especially children... more »

As a measles outbreak spreads across the US, with 14 states now affected, the advocates of letting deadly epidemics run wild are finding themselves suddenly unpopular:

Members of the anti-vaccine movement said the public backlash had terrified many parents. “People are now afraid they’re going to be jailed,” said Barbara Loe Fisher, the president of the National Vaccine Information Center, a clearinghouse for resisters. “I can’t believe what I’m seeing. It’s gotten so out of hand, and it’s gotten so vicious.”

This is not, to be honest, an unreasonable fear: it turns out that when you recklessly engage in conduct which places another person (or the general public) in danger of death or serious bodily injury, you may well have a reason to fear that people might want you to go to jail. The technical term is "reckless endangerment." And when people -- especially children -- start actually dying because of your actions, you may well have reason to fear that your neighbors may suggest that you find some other neighbors, starting right away.

The reaction to this outbreak has, however, offered me some real hope. I suspect that as soon as people remember just why people were so terrified of these diseases, the popularity of the "anti-vaccine" movement is likely to plummet, largely at the hands of people who don't feel like being put in mortal danger by their neighbors' fears. Hopefully, this movement will be gone and forgotten before too many people die. (But I want to be honest here: people are going to die. Mostly kids.)

We should recognize that there are real access problems in some parts of the country: the government pays for vaccines but not the doctor's time, and if you get paid by the hour and don't have a car, simply the time to go to the doctor is a major factor. But we know how to fix these problems: the mobile vaccination stations that helped end the polio epidemic of the 1950's are proof of that.

The best proof by far, though, is that some states are doing a great job to this day. It turns out that the winner is Mississippi, which has managed to achieve a 99.7% immunization rate for the most serious diseases! They've done this through a combination of a strong public health program and not messing around with their laws. You can read more about what they've done, and how they stack up against other states, at http://wpo.st/QKT20 .

I suggest a three-point strategy:

(1) Make sure that the CDC-approved vaccine schedule is available to every person. Task an agency with achieving as close to 100% coverage as possible; the only people who shouldn't be getting these are people for whom there is a medical reason not to.

(2) Educate the public about what's going on and why. Don't be afraid to pull out the old videos and show people of just why measles is not a "thing you just get over." 

(3) Starting in areas where vaccination is already reliably available, and ultimately spreading to all areas of the country, impose criminal liability for the deliberate failure to vaccinate without medical reason, under existing laws for reckless endangerment and/or child endangerment. 

My parents and their generation got to watch their families and their friends die from these diseases. I don't want to do the same.


h/t to +Kyla Myers for the WaPo article about Mississippi's success. Another very interesting article to read is http://goo.gl/BYp3iF, from the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, which goes through the reasons why people aren't getting vaccinated and proposes several ways to help fix it. Thanks to +James Salsman for that one.

Special thanks to +Steve Esterly for his thorough critique of a previous version of this post, and in particular catching that I had misinterpreted the JAAPA article in a rather important way. ___

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2015-01-30 19:36:08 (65 comments, 77 reshares, 332 +1s)Open 

I am unhappy about this.

I am unhappy because I do not speak German and live nowhere close to Wilhelmshaven, because participating in this would be frigging awesome.

I am unhappy about this.

I am unhappy because I do not speak German and live nowhere close to Wilhelmshaven, because participating in this would be frigging awesome.___

posted image

2015-01-30 01:30:35 (100 comments, 136 reshares, 383 +1s)Open 

One of the most important things you learn in any job is what's actually safe and what isn't. This is true if you're fueling trucks, raising a kid, or designing spacecraft: you develop a profound intuition for which corners are completely fine to cut and which things you never even slightly mess around with. Most often, as you learn a trade, you more and more realize that things you thought were dangerous are actually safe -- which makes sense, since it's better for those who don't know to assume danger. You end up dividing things into three groups: things that really are dangerous, things that are dangerous unless you know what you're doing, and things which aren't dangerous at all.

Of course, what you really don't want is for a bunch of amateurs to then tell you how to do your job. There's the old joke about how first-time parents, when their baby drops a... more »

One of the most important things you learn in any job is what's actually safe and what isn't. This is true if you're fueling trucks, raising a kid, or designing spacecraft: you develop a profound intuition for which corners are completely fine to cut and which things you never even slightly mess around with. Most often, as you learn a trade, you more and more realize that things you thought were dangerous are actually safe -- which makes sense, since it's better for those who don't know to assume danger. You end up dividing things into three groups: things that really are dangerous, things that are dangerous unless you know what you're doing, and things which aren't dangerous at all.

Of course, what you really don't want is for a bunch of amateurs to then tell you how to do your job. There's the old joke about how first-time parents, when their baby drops a pacifier, will resterilize it in boiling water; second-time parents will give it a quick rinse; third-time parents will shrug, wipe it off on their shirt, and stick it back in the kid. You really wouldn't want a bunch of first-time parents (or non-parents) passing a law mandating that you sterilize everything. What you want is for less-experienced people to learn from more-experienced people.

In this context, here's an interesting new Pew survey of attitudes towards science. What I found most interesting about it is that a lot of the questions on which there were big differences between scientists' opinions and those of the general public were precisely "is this safe" questions tied to the things that scientists deal with every day. 

Most of the time, people who know the subject say that something which sounds dangerous is actually perfectly safe: eating genetically modified foods, eating foods grown with pesticides, getting vaccines, building nuclear power plants (!). Perhaps more interestingly, there are some things which the general public thinks is safe which experts say OH HELL NO GET AWAY FROM THAT SWITCH YOU LUNATIC to: allowing climate change and increasing offshore drilling being the two most notable examples. That's part of the same kind of professional eyeball: sometimes you know that something is just a giant deathtrap waiting to happen. Turns out that offshore drilling rigs are far, far more alarming to professionals than nuclear power plants: the former fail all the time, in horribly disastrous ways, while the latter are actually pretty reliable, all told.

We can talk about lots of reasons for this: for example, the media loves to make things sound really scary (because that sells newspapers), or people don't know enough about the details. But really, what's going on is simply the judgment of experience: people who work with various strange and foreign things, day-in and day-out, tend to get a pretty good feeling for what does and doesn't matter. And it's not always going to be obvious which is which: you just have to ask people who know.___

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2015-01-28 18:15:32 (72 comments, 46 reshares, 182 +1s)Open 

Your amusing bit of random data for the day: Someone dug through public records and made a map of names which are disproportionately popular among certain professions. So for example, while there aren't many people named Elvis out there, a rather large fraction of those who are named Elvis are musicians.

This data is not, as far as I can tell, actually useful for anything, unless you are hearing people's names (and nothing else) and needing to take a guess as to their professions. But if you wanted to know that Garrett is probably an insurance salesman, while Adele is an accountant, then here you go. 

Interactive version here: http://visualizing.org/full-screen/532775

Your amusing bit of random data for the day: Someone dug through public records and made a map of names which are disproportionately popular among certain professions. So for example, while there aren't many people named Elvis out there, a rather large fraction of those who are named Elvis are musicians.

This data is not, as far as I can tell, actually useful for anything, unless you are hearing people's names (and nothing else) and needing to take a guess as to their professions. But if you wanted to know that Garrett is probably an insurance salesman, while Adele is an accountant, then here you go. 

Interactive version here: http://visualizing.org/full-screen/532775___

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2015-01-28 03:00:18 (45 comments, 19 reshares, 191 +1s)Open 

Don't try this at home, kids. Seriously, do not put rare-earth magnets in a high-powered blender. Leave that to professional idiots instead.

(Full disclosure: if I had had a blender like this, I totally would have done it for my undergrads back in the day.)

Don't try this at home! Oh, so tempting!!!___Don't try this at home, kids. Seriously, do not put rare-earth magnets in a high-powered blender. Leave that to professional idiots instead.

(Full disclosure: if I had had a blender like this, I totally would have done it for my undergrads back in the day.)

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2015-01-28 00:26:19 (93 comments, 38 reshares, 236 +1s)Open 

Oxford's All Souls College has a famous fellowship program, access to which is determined by a somewhat infamous exam. What is truly marvelous about this exam, though, is that the questions are profoundly interesting: these are not questions with right and wrong answers, but ones which require deep thought and argument. And that's what's expected of candidates: not an absolute answer to the question, but demonstrating a strong command of the subject, and the ability to make compelling and clear cases.

I have to say that these questions seem quite delightful, and many (all?) of them would make excellent seeds for any conversation. I may well seed posts with them in the future, in fact. Consider some of the following exam questions:

"Did the left or the right win the twentieth century?"
"What, if anything, is wrong with using drones in warfare?"... more »

Oxford's All Souls College has a famous fellowship program, access to which is determined by a somewhat infamous exam. What is truly marvelous about this exam, though, is that the questions are profoundly interesting: these are not questions with right and wrong answers, but ones which require deep thought and argument. And that's what's expected of candidates: not an absolute answer to the question, but demonstrating a strong command of the subject, and the ability to make compelling and clear cases.

I have to say that these questions seem quite delightful, and many (all?) of them would make excellent seeds for any conversation. I may well seed posts with them in the future, in fact. Consider some of the following exam questions:

"Did the left or the right win the twentieth century?"
"What, if anything, is wrong with using drones in warfare?"
"When, if ever, should firms bear responsibility for their customers' poor purchasing decisions?"
"Can a privately-supplied currency such as Bitcoin be viable in the long run?"
"How do apologies work?"
"How might we look for the rural poor of the Roman Empire in the archaeological record?"

There are plenty more. This article gives a few, and you can read the complete archive of past questions at http://www.all-souls.ox.ac.uk/content/Past_Papers . 

Maybe we should have some kind of "All Souls Challenge:" picking questions, writing posts about them and having conversations, and then tagging other victims...

Thanks to +Irreverent Monk for finding this!___

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2015-01-26 19:02:39 (500 comments, 148 reshares, 425 +1s)Open 

It is really hard for me to stop laughing after watching this. This Peruvian TV show found an interesting answer to street harassment: find some bad offenders, find their mothers, give the mothers makeovers, have the mothers walk past, and film what happens. You will watch a number of people getting very thoroughly chewed out on national television.

While this may not be the most scalable solution, it may well be the funniest. 

It is really hard for me to stop laughing after watching this. This Peruvian TV show found an interesting answer to street harassment: find some bad offenders, find their mothers, give the mothers makeovers, have the mothers walk past, and film what happens. You will watch a number of people getting very thoroughly chewed out on national television.

While this may not be the most scalable solution, it may well be the funniest. ___

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2015-01-26 00:51:42 (195 comments, 122 reshares, 363 +1s)Open 

I think that this article does a good job of describing what the world will look like once (once, not if) autonomous cars have taken over completely, and the many ways in which this will make all of our lives a lot better. (Saved lives, saved time, less pollution, less cost to each of us individually, etc) However, I think he grossly overestimates the speed of the transition: by 2025 I'd expect to see large-scale experiments rolling out, but I wouldn't expect to reach the final equilibrium point he's describing until 2050 at the soonest.

I think that he also underestimates the violence with which these changes will be resisted. As he points out, several existing industries are likely to be cratered, most notably car manufacture (autonomous cars serving people on-demand could be active 95% of the time, versus 4% of the time for passenger cars today; that's a 24x reduction in the... more »

I think that this article does a good job of describing what the world will look like once (once, not if) autonomous cars have taken over completely, and the many ways in which this will make all of our lives a lot better. (Saved lives, saved time, less pollution, less cost to each of us individually, etc) However, I think he grossly overestimates the speed of the transition: by 2025 I'd expect to see large-scale experiments rolling out, but I wouldn't expect to reach the final equilibrium point he's describing until 2050 at the soonest.

I think that he also underestimates the violence with which these changes will be resisted. As he points out, several existing industries are likely to be cratered, most notably car manufacture (autonomous cars serving people on-demand could be active 95% of the time, versus 4% of the time for passenger cars today; that's a 24x reduction in the number of cars needed per person) and professional drivers. We're already seeing tremendous resistance by vested interests in the existing taxi business to even ordinary competition like Uber; what will happen when it starts to become clear to them that the entire business is about to go away, never to return? 

In this regard, I think that we can draw useful lessons from the collapse of the longshoreman industry with the rise of containerized shipping. On the US' West Coast, strong longshore unions negotiated a phased shutdown with shipping companies; on the East Coast, weak unions spent more time fighting and undercutting each other than negotiating, and the net result was a serious collapse of all shipping to those ports, with the longshoremen bearing the brunt of it. Marc Levinson's book The Box has an interesting discussion of this. I suspect that similar phenomena will be seen here.

But even more so than with the transition to containerized shipping, the transition to autonomous vehicles is likely inevitable: the advantages are too large and too widespread, and the disadvantages too limited, for groups to successfully be able to prevent it for their own interest.___

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2015-01-24 20:57:33 (23 comments, 77 reshares, 395 +1s)Open 

Short video worth watching: the night sky, stabilized so that the stars stay fixed. To do that, you have to let the Earth part of the picture move -- and it suddenly becomes very clear that we're strapped to a rock hurtling through space at high speed.

You will, in fact, go to space today. You're already there.

Night Sky Timelapse with Stars Fixed Shows We're Just a Rock Hurtling Through Space http://twistedsifter.com/videos/night-sky-timelapse-with-stars-fixed-and-earth-rotating/___Short video worth watching: the night sky, stabilized so that the stars stay fixed. To do that, you have to let the Earth part of the picture move -- and it suddenly becomes very clear that we're strapped to a rock hurtling through space at high speed.

You will, in fact, go to space today. You're already there.

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2015-01-24 18:43:49 (22 comments, 59 reshares, 280 +1s)Open 

These are some pretty damned cool photos. Some of them use visible HDR, but I have to say that if there were ever scenes which called for it, those would be the ones. 

(And since I know some people are highly fond of controversy, I'd also note that none of these crews appear to be doing anything dangerous; if I were on one of these planes and found out the crew had taken one of these, my only concern would be whether I'd get to see the shot later)

The most awesome In-Flight Photos Ever

Man, what can be more awesome than being a photographer and a pilot? More so when you take your camera into the cockpit.

This is the collection of some of the best photos ever taken (by pilots) in the cockpit of an airplane.
http://iso.500px.com/25-awesome-in-flight-photos-taken-by-pilots-from-the-cockpit/

Let me tell you this. If you don't see this collection, you're seriously missing out something very awesome.___These are some pretty damned cool photos. Some of them use visible HDR, but I have to say that if there were ever scenes which called for it, those would be the ones. 

(And since I know some people are highly fond of controversy, I'd also note that none of these crews appear to be doing anything dangerous; if I were on one of these planes and found out the crew had taken one of these, my only concern would be whether I'd get to see the shot later)

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2015-01-24 07:09:28 (19 comments, 21 reshares, 154 +1s)Open 

One of my favorite things about the late Iain M. Banks' "Culture" novels was the behavior of the Minds: the powerful artificial intelligences which were the heart of the galactic civilization. They picked and changed names for themselves, often to send some kind of cryptic message: ones like "The Anticipation of a Lover's Arrival" or "Full and Frank Exchange of Views." (The latter being the name of a fairly heavily armed warship) And now SpaceX has started to name some of their own robotic barges after them.

Somewhat amusing, perhaps, given Elon Musk's recent apocalyptic pronouncements about AI being a threat to humanity.

You can see a list of some of these names at http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_spacecraft_in_the_Culture_series, or simply read the books and enjoy. I find Excession a good place to start.

GCU Just Read the Instructions and GCU Of Course I Still Love You are both from The Player of Games. IIRC they were involved in blackmailing Morat Gurgeh into his mission to the Empire of Azad.___One of my favorite things about the late Iain M. Banks' "Culture" novels was the behavior of the Minds: the powerful artificial intelligences which were the heart of the galactic civilization. They picked and changed names for themselves, often to send some kind of cryptic message: ones like "The Anticipation of a Lover's Arrival" or "Full and Frank Exchange of Views." (The latter being the name of a fairly heavily armed warship) And now SpaceX has started to name some of their own robotic barges after them.

Somewhat amusing, perhaps, given Elon Musk's recent apocalyptic pronouncements about AI being a threat to humanity.

You can see a list of some of these names at http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_spacecraft_in_the_Culture_series, or simply read the books and enjoy. I find Excession a good place to start.

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2015-01-24 03:06:30 (79 comments, 74 reshares, 345 +1s)Open 

You know, this kind of archery seems pretty terrifying. A Mongol warrior doing this at you from the back of a horse would definitely be a sign that you are having a problem and will probably not go to space today.

Also, it looks like fun.

Via +Kimberly Chapman​

The world's fastest archer has some compelling evidence that we've got archery all wrong. Frankly, as a GM you may not want your players watching this video...___You know, this kind of archery seems pretty terrifying. A Mongol warrior doing this at you from the back of a horse would definitely be a sign that you are having a problem and will probably not go to space today.

Also, it looks like fun.

Via +Kimberly Chapman​

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2015-01-23 22:50:48 (46 comments, 17 reshares, 224 +1s)Open 

Because it is Friday, and you might need an insurrectionist mammal to round out your week. 

Because it is Friday, and you might need an insurrectionist mammal to round out your week. ___

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2015-01-23 02:21:16 (42 comments, 6 reshares, 131 +1s)Open 

In the category of "headlines which aren't all that reassuring," here's the subhead from one of the Washington Post's stories about the death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. (http://wapo.st/15w60Hw) 

For those wondering about the actual effect of King Abdullah's death, the short answer is likely to be "not much." The "younger" generation (by which I mean a bunch of spring chickens in their 70's and 80's) have been jockeying for power, generally by means of spreading their considerable wealth over factions and causes likely to be useful to them, ranging from affordable housing to radical clerics, for decades. We can expect a few years of rapidly rotating kings, as each of them takes the throne in turn; the real change will happen after that.

In the category of "headlines which aren't all that reassuring," here's the subhead from one of the Washington Post's stories about the death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. (http://wapo.st/15w60Hw) 

For those wondering about the actual effect of King Abdullah's death, the short answer is likely to be "not much." The "younger" generation (by which I mean a bunch of spring chickens in their 70's and 80's) have been jockeying for power, generally by means of spreading their considerable wealth over factions and causes likely to be useful to them, ranging from affordable housing to radical clerics, for decades. We can expect a few years of rapidly rotating kings, as each of them takes the throne in turn; the real change will happen after that.___

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2015-01-21 21:54:36 (18 comments, 11 reshares, 88 +1s)Open 

(1) This review is worth reading simply for the disclosures.
(2) This game sounds like fun, although I worry that (like RoboRally, a fantastic board game which is also one of the best ways to introduce your kids to programming) it may be similar enough to my day job that I would find it exhausting instead of relaxing.

Video games journalism.___(1) This review is worth reading simply for the disclosures.
(2) This game sounds like fun, although I worry that (like RoboRally, a fantastic board game which is also one of the best ways to introduce your kids to programming) it may be similar enough to my day job that I would find it exhausting instead of relaxing.

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2015-01-21 09:01:21 (39 comments, 4 reshares, 115 +1s)Open 

I am sad that the reality of this story is not nearly as interesting as the headline implied.

I want to see an unstoppable undead Lenin doing battle with Robo-Putin, until they are forced to join forces to fight off Mothra. Or something like that.

That of course did not work - Lenin was an atheist. What would have worked instead? And why would an organisation want to do that?___I am sad that the reality of this story is not nearly as interesting as the headline implied.

I want to see an unstoppable undead Lenin doing battle with Robo-Putin, until they are forced to join forces to fight off Mothra. Or something like that.

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2015-01-19 21:24:08 (51 comments, 17 reshares, 165 +1s)Open 

The subjects of race, justice, our history, the law, and our souls have been very much on my mind lately. But when I found myself asking what to write today, in honor of Dr. King, I found that there were still too many things churning in my thoughts. I'm still busy listening, and thinking. So instead, I want to share with you this essay by Chris Lebron, who speaks deeply and eloquently about what Dr. King's legacy is, and is not.

And for all of us, today, we should remember to take time to consider why we celebrate Dr. King. He stood up, and dedicated his life to fighting for justice, even though he knew that it would not be finished in his lifetime, or the lifetime of his children.

He did so knowing every day that he would almost certainly have to pay for this work with his life, but he did not shy away from it, even as his friends asked him not to go into fights which were... more »

The subjects of race, justice, our history, the law, and our souls have been very much on my mind lately. But when I found myself asking what to write today, in honor of Dr. King, I found that there were still too many things churning in my thoughts. I'm still busy listening, and thinking. So instead, I want to share with you this essay by Chris Lebron, who speaks deeply and eloquently about what Dr. King's legacy is, and is not.

And for all of us, today, we should remember to take time to consider why we celebrate Dr. King. He stood up, and dedicated his life to fighting for justice, even though he knew that it would not be finished in his lifetime, or the lifetime of his children.

He did so knowing every day that he would almost certainly have to pay for this work with his life, but he did not shy away from it, even as his friends asked him not to go into fights which were too dangerous, because he knew that there are some things which are worth more than any one of our lives can be.

He did not stand up alone, but did so with thousands and tens of thousands of others, and so today is not simply about him, but about all those who have stood up in this fashion, and who will stand up alongside them in days to come. 

The Mishnah tells us, "it is not yours to finish the work; but neither are you free to set it aside." Dr. King took on a great work, a work of literally world-changing moral importance, and he put all his resources, his mind, his voice, his energy, and that last full measure of devotion, his own life, towards it. He did not end racism: that is not the work of one man in his lifetime, but the work of an entire society for a century or more. He marched us on up to the mountaintop and showed the way forward, as he said the day before he died; he pointed a direction, and gave so many the strength and the courage to continue the march.

It is upon us, therefore, to pick up where those before us have left off, just as it will be upon our sons and daughters to pick up where we end. We honor his memory by continuing in the great work which he so powerfully described.

So on this day, let us not only speak of him, but recommit ourselves to continuing the task to which we have been called: to create love and justice in the world.___

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2015-01-19 07:02:15 (178 comments, 61 reshares, 323 +1s)Open 

This is a very interesting paper indeed. The researchers did something very elegant: they took a paper which showed a clear, unambiguous sexism effect in STEM fields. (They picked a particularly clear and straightforward paper, so that there wouldn't be any confusion over whether it was good research or not) Then they did an analysis of Internet comments on the media coverage of the paper, in a wide variety of sources. And what they found is a really big difference in how people responded, by gender.

I just spent a while doing more data analysis on this paper (see my comments on the OP for technical details if you want, as well as doing a bunch of other sanity checks: their research seems very solid to me), and it's possible to paint a fairly clear picture of what happened.

About half of the comments were purely positive, ranging from simply agreeing that "wow, sexism exists"... more »

Sociology of Gender Bias in Science
A new study by Dr Corinne Moss-Racusin and colleagues has analysed comments by the public responding to a prominent study on gender bias in  Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The researchers find that men are more likely to post negative comments in response to scientific evidence of sexism affecting women's science careers (http://goo.gl/oZXRua).

The researchers find that men are more likely to refute science findings using subjective observations about biology ("women get pregnant and leave their jobs!"). Or men otherwise evoke ideas of personal choice (men are "hungrier" for success and work harder than women). Men are also more likely to deny that inequality exists, or conversely they blamed women for inequality. Some also said that gender bias affects men more than women ("I've experienced it in the opposite way so far."). Men are also more likely to refute the science findings on inequality by stating that they work in STEM (75% of men's comments) and holding up their personal opinions as authoritative.

The key gender difference is that men use blanket statements and personal opinion to refute scientific evidence about gender bias, while women use personal anecdotes to illustrate the scientific findings. The first strategy - to deny the science on inequality - is used largely by men to invalidate science on sexism in support of the status quo. The other strategy, used mostly by women, supports the science using personal experiences of bias to challenge the status quo. The first approach rejects science evidence, while the other embraces it.

The researchers argue their study is positive as the majority of public's comments (754) supported the science. The researchers see that sharing science on inequality provides evidence to support change. At the same time, the fact that 95% of the negative comments were made by men is cause for concern, especially as they vehemently insulted, denied or blamed women for any inequality that might exist.

The study presents a useful framework for thinking about, and addressing, why men react negatively to the science of gender bias in STEM.

I have analysed some of my own experiences as one of three women moderators for +Science on Google+, the largest science community on Google+. I show how the loudest and most persistent voices denying the science on gender bias are men. They tend two adopt to strategies, sometimes simultaneously. First they deny inequality exists, arguing social science methods are fundamentally flawed and cannot adequately measure bias. Second, they use other social science studies to refute inequality, saying inequality is rooted in biology.

These men always incorrectly use social science to make either point, demonstrating their lack of familiarity with social science methods, while also exemplifying the subjective idea that one can pick and choose which "bits" of science they want to believe. Other empirical sociological research highlights how inequality is one area of science that people disbelieve when this clashes with their personal belief system. In the case of the public who say they love science, a significant sub-group of men want to gate-keep science, by forcing women to remain silent on inequality.

Read the science on my blog: http://othersociologist.com/2015/01/19/sociology-gender-bias-science/ #sociology   #science   #stemwomen   #stem  ___This is a very interesting paper indeed. The researchers did something very elegant: they took a paper which showed a clear, unambiguous sexism effect in STEM fields. (They picked a particularly clear and straightforward paper, so that there wouldn't be any confusion over whether it was good research or not) Then they did an analysis of Internet comments on the media coverage of the paper, in a wide variety of sources. And what they found is a really big difference in how people responded, by gender.

I just spent a while doing more data analysis on this paper (see my comments on the OP for technical details if you want, as well as doing a bunch of other sanity checks: their research seems very solid to me), and it's possible to paint a fairly clear picture of what happened.

About half of the comments were purely positive, ranging from simply agreeing that "wow, sexism exists" to saying more complex things. About half were mixed: they said things like "sexism exists, but..." with the "but's" ranging from "I don't believe in social science" to "women are dumb and that's why." (I have cleaned up the language of Internet users somewhat) And a few were just outright negative.

If you line up the groups that said these, you'll discover that the positive group was 80-90% female, while the negative group was 80% male. (The wholly negative group was 100% male) 

Or if you divide people up by gender, respondents were about 50/50 male and female: but 80% of women were wholly positive and 20% mixed, while men were (roughly) 20% wholly positive, 60% mixed, and 20% wholly negative. 

(Interestingly, people in STEM and people not in STEM answered roughly the same ways on all axes)

To my eyes, this is really bad news. Only 20% of men were willing to stand up and be counted as saying "yes, sexism is a problem" without qualifying that. If 80% of men in STEM are coming up with reasons justifying why sexism is actually OK, then STEM has a long way to go before it's at all functional.

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2015-01-18 00:55:27 (72 comments, 14 reshares, 120 +1s)Open 

For those who are following the upcoming same-sex marriage Supreme Court case, Dale Carpenter has a very interesting discussion over at the Volokh Conspiracy. Like most observers (myself included), Carpenter thinks that the court's decision to hear the case indicates a strong chance that it's going to vote yes on marriage. But the question of how they say yes may prove even more important, because that's what's going to determine the way many other laws and cases in the future are decided. Carpenter walks through four possible rationales that a yes decision might follow, and the consequences each would have.

My own Supreme Court Tea-Leaf Reading (an arcane art practiced by people with too much time on their hands) (we should totally have a Fantasy Supreme Court League) leads me to expect a 6-3 "yes" decision on the marriage question, with Roberts writing the majority... more »

For those who are following the upcoming same-sex marriage Supreme Court case, Dale Carpenter has a very interesting discussion over at the Volokh Conspiracy. Like most observers (myself included), Carpenter thinks that the court's decision to hear the case indicates a strong chance that it's going to vote yes on marriage. But the question of how they say yes may prove even more important, because that's what's going to determine the way many other laws and cases in the future are decided. Carpenter walks through four possible rationales that a yes decision might follow, and the consequences each would have.

My own Supreme Court Tea-Leaf Reading (an arcane art practiced by people with too much time on their hands) (we should totally have a Fantasy Supreme Court League) leads me to expect a 6-3 "yes" decision on the marriage question, with Roberts writing the majority opinion and Scalia writing a dissent for himself, Alito, and Thomas; and on the question of inter-state recognition of marriage, anything from 6-3 (split the same way) to 9-0, although Scalia would almost certainly write a concurring opinion even if he were in the majority. But as far as which rationale they pick, I don't think I have a good instinct at all right now.

I would personally favor the first rationale that Carpenter proposes: that sexual orientation be subject to intermediate scrutiny. There are three kinds of review that a court can give a law: rational basis review, where the government need only show that the law has a rational relationship to a government interest; intermediate scrutiny, where the government has to show that it furthers an important government interest in a way substantially related to that interest; and strict scrutiny, where the government has to show that it is justified by a compelling government interest; that the law or policy is narrowly tailored to achieve that interest; and that it is the least restrictive means to achieve that purpose. Strict scrutiny applies, for example, when a fundamental Constitutional right is at stake, e.g. if the government wanted to restrict religious practice or free speech. More relevantly, when a government action applies to a "suspect classification" such as race, that triggers strict scrutiny as well. Gender triggers intermediate scrutiny. So far, sexual orientation has not been marked as a protected class, except implicitly by some prior decisions. (e.g. Romer v. Evans, which struck down a state constitutional amendment which would have banned any protection based on sexual orientation) However, this hasn't been an issue in any of the gay marriage cases so far, because in each case the judges simply said "we're not sure which review is right, but we note that this law completely fails even a rational-basis review, so I guess that's that." (If you've never read the original court decision in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the California case which sort of acted as the template for these, it's worth a read to see what happens when a judge gets really annoyed at one side for not even pretending to come up with a good explanation for their actions) Applying intermediate scrutiny to sexual orientation would cut directly to the heart of all of the issues in this case and others, and would give other courts a simple rule which they could use to resolve such disputes.

That's on the positive side; as Carpenter notes, the Court may be actively in search of a decision which doesn't give too much future precedent. That's a favorite approach of the Supreme Court in general, since they're (justifiably) leery of just how much power a precedent can have and want to make things as narrow as they can. But on the other hand, they know that if they give a narrow ruling in this case, they're going to get more and more related cases every few months for a very long time to come, and some of them aren't going to be ones they can simply punt. So that may be an incentive for them to simply deal with the issue once and for all.

We'll have to see what happens. The most important thing to remember is this: What's important in this case isn't simply the decision -- it's the details of the rationale. That's what's going to shape everything that happens down the line.

Thanks to +Anne-Marie Clark for finding this.___

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2015-01-16 23:56:42 (76 comments, 18 reshares, 172 +1s)Open 

And in the category of further legal developments I didn't expect to happen today, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case about gay marriage, scheduled for oral arguments this April. The petition (Obergefell v. Hodges, http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/obergefell-v-hodges/ for all the links) asks two questions:

(1) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?

(2) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?

Unusually, the Court has scheduled plenty of time for this: 90 minutes for the first question, and 60 for the second. (They often schedule 30-60 minutes total for a case) The structure of the questions is also a lot different than I would have anticipated, for a fewr... more »

And in the category of further legal developments I didn't expect to happen today, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case about gay marriage, scheduled for oral arguments this April. The petition (Obergefell v. Hodges, http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/obergefell-v-hodges/ for all the links) asks two questions:

(1) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?

(2) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?

Unusually, the Court has scheduled plenty of time for this: 90 minutes for the first question, and 60 for the second. (They often schedule 30-60 minutes total for a case) The structure of the questions is also a lot different than I would have anticipated, for a few reasons.

The first question is very directly about the core civil rights issue, and this is the sort of thing that the Supreme Court tries to avoid like the plague. The decision of the court to specifically ask this question is pretty surprising, since as phrased it seems to minimize the amount of wriggle-room the court will have to issue a decision which still leaves much of the matter in the hands of individual states. 

The second question surprises me only in that it references the fourteenth amendment rather than Article IV. (Article IV, section 1, says that the states shall give "full faith and credit" to the laws of other states, and in any textbook you open on the Constitution, the very first example you'll invariably see of what this article means is that states recognize marriages performed in other states. The refusal of states to recognize other states' marriages is historically highly anomalous.) I would be quite surprised if the answer to this proved to be anything but "yes," since it would (and does) lead to the sort of complete legal chaos which the Supreme Court hates more than absolutely anything else.

Clearly, the second question is meant as a backstop in case the answer to the first is "no;" if the answer to the first is "yes," then the second question is almost entirely moot. This suggests that, during the decision to hear the case, the members of the court didn't feel certain as to how the first issue would be resolved, so they wanted to make sure that the second one was resolved no matter what.

That just makes the granting of the first question all the more unusual, since given the court's historical dislike of dealing with such "policy issues" to begin with, for them to take a case when they aren't already virtually certain of the outcome is even more surprising. 

Briefings from the various sides in the case are going to be coming in over the next few months, and I expect to be reading and analyzing them fairly carefully as they pop up.___

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2015-01-16 20:02:38 (43 comments, 61 reshares, 343 +1s)Open 

This is a huge and extremely positive piece of news. Civil asset forfeiture has turned into a complex system of institutionalized corruption (see also: https://plus.google.com/+YonatanZunger/posts/QzaepTTCF6c). Part of it is done via state laws, but a large part of it happens via a program called "equitable sharing," which essentially amounted to state police using federal laws to seize people's assets (without needing proof of a crime), and "equitably sharing" it between themselves and the federal government. That's what AG Holder just banned, and it's great news for civil liberties and the rule of law.

Huge news: Eric Holder just banned state and local police from using civil asset forfeiture to steal your money and property without even suspecting you of a crime.

This practice has long been a blank check for corrupt police departments, pulling someone over on the highway and just taking their money. Then using that money to beef up the department budget. It’s the reason I no longer carry emergency cash on cross-country drives: I’m afraid the police will steal it from me. Well, those days are over.

I haven’t exactly been the biggest fan of Eric Holder (that’s an understatement), but maybe he has a good side, too. This is the best news I’ve ever seen with his name on it.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/holder-ends-seized-asset-sharing-process-that-split-billions-with-local-state-police/2015/01/16/0e7ca058-99d4-11e4-bcfb-059ec7a93ddc_story.html

http://www.vox.com/2015/1/16/7558329/eric-holder-asset-forfeiture___This is a huge and extremely positive piece of news. Civil asset forfeiture has turned into a complex system of institutionalized corruption (see also: https://plus.google.com/+YonatanZunger/posts/QzaepTTCF6c). Part of it is done via state laws, but a large part of it happens via a program called "equitable sharing," which essentially amounted to state police using federal laws to seize people's assets (without needing proof of a crime), and "equitably sharing" it between themselves and the federal government. That's what AG Holder just banned, and it's great news for civil liberties and the rule of law.

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2015-01-15 22:45:40 (28 comments, 75 reshares, 545 +1s)Open 

Icebergs are mostly beneath the water, and as such rarely flip. But when they do, you can suddenly see what they look like when not covered with snow -- blue, crystalline, magical. 

ermagerd.___Icebergs are mostly beneath the water, and as such rarely flip. But when they do, you can suddenly see what they look like when not covered with snow -- blue, crystalline, magical. 

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2015-01-14 08:40:16 (35 comments, 13 reshares, 127 +1s)Open 

On the one hand, this is about how to do good science and not take legends and claims at face value. On the other hand, it's about just how large the denizens of the abyss can get. Science or tentacles? Why not have both!

Giants of the oceans, how big are they really?
A new scientific paper gets to the truth behind the oft quoted sizes for oceanic giants.
For some species, widely quoted figures were outrageously wrong. The largest verifiable giant squid was 12 metres long—giant, sure, but a damn sight smaller than 18 metres. The biggest known walrus weighed 1,883 kilograms, a far cry from the 2,500 kilogram titan that a hunter supposedly shot, and clearly embellished.

The ocean is still full of impressive giants though, from the blue whale (Which maxes out at 33 meters) to two and a half meter meter wide barrel sponges.___On the one hand, this is about how to do good science and not take legends and claims at face value. On the other hand, it's about just how large the denizens of the abyss can get. Science or tentacles? Why not have both!

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2015-01-10 02:34:15 (77 comments, 14 reshares, 87 +1s)Open 

Robert Kaplan offers a proposal for a revised US grand strategy in the Middle East which I think is worth serious discussion. It has rapprochement with Iran as its centerpiece, but this is not a simple "oh, let's be friends with them now;" rather, it's a complex rethinking of how we relate to each ally, prioritize our relations, and allow a refocusing of US policy on South and East Asia without sacrificing strategic interests elsewhere.

Thinking this through will require the best efforts of many experienced strategic minds, but Kaplan's proposal is one of the most interesting that I've seen so far. 

Robert Kaplan offers a proposal for a revised US grand strategy in the Middle East which I think is worth serious discussion. It has rapprochement with Iran as its centerpiece, but this is not a simple "oh, let's be friends with them now;" rather, it's a complex rethinking of how we relate to each ally, prioritize our relations, and allow a refocusing of US policy on South and East Asia without sacrificing strategic interests elsewhere.

Thinking this through will require the best efforts of many experienced strategic minds, but Kaplan's proposal is one of the most interesting that I've seen so far. ___

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2015-01-09 01:19:59 (120 comments, 71 reshares, 472 +1s)Open 

I feel like this way too often. It's really about time that we got rid of passwords as an authentication mechanism. And even more about time that sites learned that these rules don't make passwords stronger, just harder to remember.

(See also: http://xkcd.com/936/)

___I feel like this way too often. It's really about time that we got rid of passwords as an authentication mechanism. And even more about time that sites learned that these rules don't make passwords stronger, just harder to remember.

(See also: http://xkcd.com/936/)

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2015-01-08 20:12:37 (24 comments, 9 reshares, 108 +1s)Open 

This is disturbing and beautiful at once. I would love to see it in person.

Fryer seems to return to themes of technology, religion, and war in his work a great deal. Another piece of his which really struck me is "Rehabilitation," which at first looks like a wooden statue of the Fat Man bomb. It seemed merely OK until I looked through all of the pictures of the piece, and realized what was inside it: then it turned into something that could make me lose sleep.

http://www.paulfryer.net/artwork/2007/rehabilitation/1

This is definitely very cool.

I also like some of the artist's other stuff on his website, particularly his Hydromorph line in 2013: http://www.paulfryer.net/artwork/2013

Pssst +Yonatan Zunger I bet you need some of those Hydromorphs for #YonatansLivingRoom  :D___This is disturbing and beautiful at once. I would love to see it in person.

Fryer seems to return to themes of technology, religion, and war in his work a great deal. Another piece of his which really struck me is "Rehabilitation," which at first looks like a wooden statue of the Fat Man bomb. It seemed merely OK until I looked through all of the pictures of the piece, and realized what was inside it: then it turned into something that could make me lose sleep.

http://www.paulfryer.net/artwork/2007/rehabilitation/1

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2015-01-07 23:47:03 (56 comments, 62 reshares, 274 +1s)Open 

As we continue to search for planets beyond our Solar System, we are starting to find worlds that we might actually be able to stand upon. And in honor of this, the folks at JPL have produced some travel posters for these brave new worlds, available as free high-res downloads from their site.

http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov/media_categories?category=6

Kepler-186f, the one pictured below, is my favorite because it captures some interesting physics. It orbits a red dwarf about 500 light-years from Earth, and it was the first planet discovered which is potentially suitable (in terms of things like temperature) for life as we know it. But life would be different in some interesting ways.

One of the reasons is that photosynthesis would be a bit different. Plants on Earth are green because their leaves contain chlorophyll, a chemical which absorbs sunlight and turns that energy... more »

As we continue to search for planets beyond our Solar System, we are starting to find worlds that we might actually be able to stand upon. And in honor of this, the folks at JPL have produced some travel posters for these brave new worlds, available as free high-res downloads from their site.

http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov/media_categories?category=6

Kepler-186f, the one pictured below, is my favorite because it captures some interesting physics. It orbits a red dwarf about 500 light-years from Earth, and it was the first planet discovered which is potentially suitable (in terms of things like temperature) for life as we know it. But life would be different in some interesting ways.

One of the reasons is that photosynthesis would be a bit different. Plants on Earth are green because their leaves contain chlorophyll, a chemical which absorbs sunlight and turns that energy into excited electrons. Those energetic electrons are then fed into the entire photosynthesis system, and ultimately that energy is stored in the form of sugars and used to sustain the plant's life. The reason chlorophyll is green, though, comes down to three diagrams.

The first is the solar spectrum, that is, the color of light the Sun shines.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Solar_Spectrum.png

The X-axis of this graph shows the wavelength of light, from ultra-violet on the left to infra-red on the right; the Y-axis shows how bright the Sun is in each of those colors. As you can see, the Sun shines fairly evenly in the entire band between about 500 and 700nm, which is exactly the set of colors that the human eye can see. (No coincidence! Our eyes have evolved to see sunlight, not x-rays, because there aren't that many x-rays around to see by) 

There are two graphs here: the yellow curve shows the color of sunlight itself, and the red curve shows the color of the light we see at sea level. The difference is that the atmosphere absorbs some colors of light but not others. For example, the fact that the red curve is way below the yellow curve at the far left is because ozone in the upper atmosphere is very good at absorbing UV light -- the reason why it protects us from skin cancer.

The second diagram is the absorption spectrum of chlorophyll:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Chlorophyll_ab_spectra.png

This graph uses the same X-axis, but the Y-axis shows how effective chlorophyll is at absorbing light of each color. There are two curves because there are actually two different kinds of chlorophyll: the green kind (chlorophyll-A) which is most prevalent, and the red kind (chlorophyll-B) which often stays behind after the green one has left, giving autumn trees their color. The bumps on the left actually aren't very interesting, since the Sun doesn't produce much light in those colors -- they're there because it's hard to design a chemical which doesn't absorb those colors. (For various technical quantum mechanics reasons) The sharp spikes on the right are what makes chlorophyll so important to photosynthesis, and for chlorophyll-A, that spike happens at a wavelength of 680nm, smack in the middle of where sunlight is the brightest. For comparison, sunlight is the brightest at 665nm.

As it turns out, the chlorophyll molecule is fairly flexible and complex, and small modifications to it would likely lead to "pseudo-chlorophyll" molecules with their peaks in different places, which we'll come back to in a moment.

So chlorophyll has evolved (or rather, creatures have evolved to produce this one particular molecule) to very efficiently absorb light of exactly the color that the Sun produces the most of. Why does this make chlorophyll green?

Imagine that you shine sunlight on some chlorophyll. The chlorophyll absorbs the 680nm light; in fact, if you want to be precise about it, you can flip the chlorophyll graph upside-down (that is, replace it with 1-absorption, to instead show how much light it lets through) and multiply it by the sunlight curve, to see what color of sunlight bounces off of it. Light bouncing on chlorophyll would look just like the incident sunlight, but with another gap in it, corresponding to the colors that chlorophyll absorbs away for its own purposes. 

Because chlorophyll's absorption peak is so sharp, you can basically imagine this as light with the 680nm part of it removed. What color is 680nm? It's a bright red. And that brings us to the third diagram, namely how the human eye sees color:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_vision#mediaviewer/File:Cone-fundamentals-with-srgb-spectrum.svg

Color vision works by having three kinds of "cone" receptor in the eye: one which sees red, one green, and one blue. (These are called L, M, and S in the diagram for obscure reasons) This diagram has the same X-axis again, and now the Y-axis shows how sensitive each cone type is to each color. So for example, if you shine pure 680nm light onto an eye, that stimulates the red cone some, and the blue and green cones not at all, which the eye reads as "red." If you shone 580nm (yellow) light instead, that would stimulate both the red and green cones a lot, but the blue cone not at all, which our brain interprets as "oh, that must be yellow."

(Incidentally, that's also why color-combination tricks work. If you shine both red and green light on a point, it looks yellow to your eye. If you look at the monitor you're reading right now with a magnifying glass, you'll see that each pixel is actually three little pixels -- one red, one green, and one blue -- and that a yellow pixel has red and green lit but not blue, taking advantage of the same illusion to show you all the colors)

So back to plants. Sunlight on its own tends to stimulate your red and green cones a lot, but not much blue. (Take a look at the steep drop-off on the left of the sunlight diagram, and how that overlaps with what the blue cone sees) That's why the Sun normally looks yellow. But sunlight bouncing off chlorophyll -- i.e., what you see when you stare at a plant -- is missing a bunch of its red light, so it only stimulates green. And that's why plants look green.

(Incidentally, when you look at the eye-sensitivity chart, you might notice that the red and green cones are right next to each other, but the blue cone is off by its lonesome. This isn't a coincidence: many species only have red and blue. The green cone only shows up in some species, and because it's just like red but a little off, small differences in color in the range that they both hit therefore look very different to us. That gives us tremendously high frequency sensitivity in the greens: 490nm and 500nm light look really different, while 650 and 660nm are nearly indistinguishable. That's really useful when you need to recognize different kinds of plant!)

So back to Kepler 186f: its star is a red dwarf, which is smaller, dimmer, and redder than our own sun. We could repeat the entire calculation above using its color of starlight, and what you discover in this case is that efficient Keplerian chlorophyll would be absorbing light off in the infra-red. Doing the same subtraction of reflected light, we find that Keplerian chlorophyll under Keplerian skies would look deep red to our eyes.

And since our eyes have evolved to see green at high resolution, not red, Keplerian fields would look very strange to us -- almost uniform in color, with motion hard to see, because our eyes aren't adapted to seeing fine shades of red.

You can actually do this calculation for any kind of star, and you'll find that the color of "local chlorophyll" will range from red (for red dwarfs), through green (for stars like our own), out to yellow (for slightly blue stars). It never gets beyond that, because stars beyond "slightly blue" have a very short lifespan, and would never be around for long enough to develop their own native flora anyway.

So when you're going out traveling among the stars, expect a fairly wild color show.

If you want to play with what different wavelengths of light look like, this site has a simple slider:
http://academo.org/demos/wavelength-to-colour-relationship/

To read more about color vision, start at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_vision

And for photosynthesis, start at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photosynthesis

Incidentally, the planet's name simply means that it's the sixth (f) planet out from the 186th star studied by the Kepler planetary survey.___

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2015-01-07 21:28:58 (45 comments, 5 reshares, 49 +1s)Open 

My favorite part of this is the rehearsal mark, so that the performers can practice the final 35 measures separately.

The rest is silence.

The silence at the end was deafening.___My favorite part of this is the rehearsal mark, so that the performers can practice the final 35 measures separately.

The rest is silence.

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2015-01-07 20:18:07 (175 comments, 202 reshares, 552 +1s)Open 

The powerful must never be immune from mockery. If there is one thing which the past several hundred years have taught us, this is it: power which is not subject to examination, to criticism, to the salutary effects of lèse-majesté, is the greatest factory of tyranny that the world has ever known.

It is particularly ironic that the men who perpetrated today's massacre in Paris were angry over satirical depictions of Muhammad, because in doing so they have forgotten the exact reason why his depiction was forbidden: because the depiction of animals or of people encourages idolatry. [1] Islam has always been profoundly careful to avoid even the slightest suggestion of veneration of anything other than God: even the time for the mid-day prayer begins just after the Sun has passed its zenith, to avoid the appearance of Sun worship. The purpose of the hadith is to prevent people from worshippingt... more »

The powerful must never be immune from mockery. If there is one thing which the past several hundred years have taught us, this is it: power which is not subject to examination, to criticism, to the salutary effects of lèse-majesté, is the greatest factory of tyranny that the world has ever known.

It is particularly ironic that the men who perpetrated today's massacre in Paris were angry over satirical depictions of Muhammad, because in doing so they have forgotten the exact reason why his depiction was forbidden: because the depiction of animals or of people encourages idolatry. [1] Islam has always been profoundly careful to avoid even the slightest suggestion of veneration of anything other than God: even the time for the mid-day prayer begins just after the Sun has passed its zenith, to avoid the appearance of Sun worship. The purpose of the hadith is to prevent people from worshipping the Prophet, not to put the Prophet on a par with God.

No, the reason for this had nothing to do with holy writ, and everything to do with people who want the right to declare that they may not be insulted, that their pride has more value than human life. And any claim which can be enforced with bloodshed is a claim which comes from power -- and thus a claim which itself has no claim on immunity from mockery. Because they demand it must not be spoken, and because they wish to prevent it from being spoken by creating a fear of murder among anyone who speaks out, it must therefore be spoken.

In the spirit of this, here are several of the cartoons which Charlie Hebdo published which brought down this rage. As its cover I present the best possible summary of all: a picture of Muhammad, saying "It's hard to be loved by assholes."

#JeSuisCharlie  

[1] See e.g. Sahih al-Bukhari 3:34:318, http://www.usc.edu/org/cmje/religious-texts/hadith/bukhari/034-sbt.php#003.034.318___

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2015-01-06 22:42:22 (7 comments, 12 reshares, 111 +1s)Open 

This is really stunning. While I normally am horrified by damage to books, this is instead something I like; the value of books is normally in their ideas, not in the physical artifact itself, and these are (presumably) not exceptionally rare artifacts. And to use them in art is to add more ideas, still, to them.

I think my favorite from this series is Celestial Phenomena, which you can see (much-reduced) on the left of the thumbnail. You can see even more of her work at http://www.z2ogalleria.it/ekaterina-panikanova/ .

A collection of new ink paintings on grids of vintage books by Ekaterina Panikanova currently on view in Rome. See more on Colossal.

http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2015/01/twilights-new-ink-paintings-on-vintage-books-by-ekaterina-panikanova/___This is really stunning. While I normally am horrified by damage to books, this is instead something I like; the value of books is normally in their ideas, not in the physical artifact itself, and these are (presumably) not exceptionally rare artifacts. And to use them in art is to add more ideas, still, to them.

I think my favorite from this series is Celestial Phenomena, which you can see (much-reduced) on the left of the thumbnail. You can see even more of her work at http://www.z2ogalleria.it/ekaterina-panikanova/ .

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2015-01-06 19:50:49 (77 comments, 10 reshares, 102 +1s)Open 

Oh, sure, you think you've thought through the practicalities of colonizing Mars. You've thought about manufacturing water and air, and radiation shielding, and the day-to-day operations needed to maintain the integrity of your habitat. But have you thought about tax law? No, I'll bet you haven't. Until now.

OK, I admit it. As often as I've thought about moving to Mars -- the technology of it, the wonder, the adventure, the risk -- one thing I'd never considered is the issue of taxation. So props to the article's author for rectifying this failure of my imagination.

Naturally, the correct response of Mars colonists to the IRS's request for taxes would be "Come and take it." And then, if necessary, follow Heinlein's plan from The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.___Oh, sure, you think you've thought through the practicalities of colonizing Mars. You've thought about manufacturing water and air, and radiation shielding, and the day-to-day operations needed to maintain the integrity of your habitat. But have you thought about tax law? No, I'll bet you haven't. Until now.

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2015-01-06 19:05:20 (24 comments, 20 reshares, 138 +1s)Open 

The study by Edwards, Bradshaw and Hinsz is very interesting, and +Kimberly Chapman gives an excellent summary of it. The key result is this: most rapists don't describe their actions to themselves as rape. The few who do, and do it anyway, are basically hostis humani generis and beyond any sort of intervention, but the bulk who don't may benefit a lot from thinking through just what their actions are.

There is also an excellent discussion going on at the OP.

TRIGGER WARNINGS FOR RAPE DISCUSSION

Campus Rape: It's Not All Misogyny

Amongst those who frequently talk about rape and other sexual assault issues pertaining to male perpetrators and female victims, there is often an assumption that rapists are aggressively hostile towards women.  But open hostility - such as believing that women are all asking for it, that they're sluts who manipulate men into buying gifts and dinners and then don't put out, or other typically stated resentments by so-called "men's rights activists" (MRAs) and "pick up artists" (PUAs) - is not actually required for rape to occur.

The key difference lies in whether the man himself thinks of what he's doing as rape or not.  Several studies and reports have circulated in recent years indicating that a lot more men will admit to descriptive situations that involve coerced sex as long as you don't use the word rape in the description.  We've several chilling stories about how men will casually admit to having had sex with a woman who was unconscious, having used roofies, or having used some of the PUA techniques that involve physical coercion because they feel entitled to sex in these situations and fundamentally do not see themselves as having raped anybody.

Even victims don't often want to admit they've been raped.  That word is so loaded with ugliness, trauma, and victim-blaming that many victims themselves will go to lengths to explain away a rape, especially during the initial trauma period.  This is part of why we've seen calls for rape investigations to be less brutal towards victims, less requiring of nailed-down specifics, and more flexible as their minds process what happened over time.  Unfortunately, because our society is still so deeply mired in victim-blaming, many of these attempts to revise justice systems or reporting systems get written off as allowing female victims time to "make things up" instead of recognizing the psychological processes at work.

A new study by Sara Edwards, PhD, and Kathryn Bradshaw of University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, and Verlin Hinsz, PhD of North Dakota State University in Fargo, appearing in the peer-reviewed journal Violence and Gender entitled “Denying Rape but Endorsing Forceful Intercourse: Exploring Differences Among Responders,” (available for free at http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/vio.2014.0022 until February 6, 2015) contrasted male survey respondents who were willing to engage in coercive sexual activities versus those who were willing to rape in terms of their responses to other survey elements geared to gauge their relative hostility towards women versus a callous sexual attitude as part of wider hyermasculinity.

Hostility towards women was measured using statements as I've mentioned above, and the callous sexual attitude measurement looked at what many of us engaged in activism typically refer to as entitlement: the objectification of women, the supposition that "real men" are sexually dominant and "score" a lot, that men allegedly have uncontrollable desires, and that therefore if a man is to be a "real man" he needs to be supplied with sex regardless of whether the woman involved really wants to or not.

From the study:

Given that callous sexual attitudes permit violence and consider women as passive sexual objects, it follows that for men who endorse these, sexual aggression becomes an appropriate and accepted expression of masculinity. In this sense, using force to obtain intercourse does not become an act of rape, but rather an expression of hypermasculinity, which may be thought of as a desirable disposition in certain subcultures. Taken together, these research findings suggest that an expression of hypermasculinity through callous sexual attitudes may relate to an inclination to endorse a behavioral description (i.e., using force to hold an individual down) versus referring to a sexually aggressive act as rape. Hence, we hypothesize that the construct of callous sexual attitudes will be found at the highest levels in those men who endorse intentions to force a woman to sexual acts but deny intentions to rape.

In other words, the researchers wanted to see if this entitlement attitude many of us have been decrying is linked to approval for coerced sex if you take away the loaded word "rape", versus requiring actual hostile misogyny to approve of such situations.

And it is.

Their conclusion:

As hypothesized, a sizable number of participants indicated that they might use force to obtain intercourse, but would not rape a woman. Men who indicate intentions to use force but deny intentions to rape exhibit a unique disposition featuring an inverse construct of hostility toward women but high levels of callous sexual attitudes (Check 1985). Given that hostility toward women involves resentment, bitterness, rejection sensitivity, and paranoia about women's motives, we consider the inverse of hostility toward women in men that intend to use force to be indicative of an affable, trusting, and nonreactive affect toward women. When combined with callous sexual attitudes, we interpret this function as representing personality characteristics that might lend themselves to allowing men to not perceive his actions as rape and may even view the forced intercourse as an achievement. The primary motivation in this case could be sexual gratification, accomplishment, and/or perceived compliance with stereotypical masculine gender norms. The use of force in these cases might be seen as an acceptable mean to reach one's goal, or the woman's “no” is perceived as a token resistance consistent with stereotypical gender norms. While the ultimate outcome of either act constitutes rape, this pattern of results suggests that there might be different types of offenders with potential differences in underlying motivation, cognition, and/or personality traits.

I want to highlight some phrases in there:

"an affable, trusting, and nonreactive affect toward women" - This is why so many victims of rape are so mind-boggled by the event that they themselves don't know how to label it, because he was their friend.  He was that nice guy, that harmless guy, that funny guy, that decent fella everyone likes.  So even if the victim can get over her own mental roadblock and realizes, "He is not nice because HE RAPED ME," when she reports this to mutual friends, she is routinely met with disbelief.  "What? Him?  No way!  He's so nice!  He'd never do that!"  Except that he did, and now the victim is plunged into a world of self-doubt, doubt by friends, and questions from all sides about what she did to make this happen.  Did she lead him on?  Did she ever flirt with him or send him mixed signals?  Those questions should be irrelevant but that's what she'll get in her face constantly, even from within her own head.

"may even view the forced intercourse as an achievement" - This is why so many of us complain about casual use of women as prizes in literature/movies/games/other entertainment, even down to those items geared towards very young children.  When we routinely enforce the girl-as-prize trope, we are helping to enforce a key component of a set of attitudes that is leading to real-life rape.  The stories and games that deliver women as literal prizes to "heroes" rarely give the woman a choice in this outcome, teaching girls and boys, men and women that female consent is irrelevant if the male has "earned" this reward, or worse, that a female who withholds consent at the point of being a prize is breaking the game or wrecking the ending.

"The primary motivation in this case could be sexual gratification, accomplishment, and/or perceived compliance with stereotypical masculine gender norms." - Or what many of us simply call "entitlement", the notion that a man is allowed to have these things, that women are provided by fate or circumstances to supply it, and if women don't like it they shouldn't go out, shouldn't wear that dress, shouldn't drink, or shouldn't live their lives.  Because boys will be boys and apparently part of that is being allowed to stick your penis in any available vagina, with "availability" not necessarily including "clear consent".

"the woman's “no” is perceived as a token resistance consistent with stereotypical gender norms" - This is why we chant, "Whatever we wear, wherever we go, yes means yes and no means no!"  Because PUA training (and society in general) tells men that women really do want to say yes to them but have to be coerced into it one way or another so women can free themselves from the sexist bonds of the supposed morality of chastity.  Some PUAs even see themselves as heros of sexual liberation, casting themselves in such a positive light that they cannot comprehend why they ever get negative reactions.

Plus it implies that a woman who has said yes before - to that man or to any other man - then somehow owes more yeses, because that chastity gate has been unlocked and therefore is expected to remain unlocked for all time.

All of this concocted nuance about the word "no" misses the point that "no" should be seen as an absolute.  If a man suspects a woman of playing "head games" and meaning "yes" when she says "no", he should either directly ask for clarification or go with the assumption of "no" meaning "no" until the woman herself changes it to a "yes" of her own volition.  Because here's a hint to the male "players" out there: most of the time when a woman says "no" to you she does not want to have sex with you and you need to get over your entitlement issues and move along.


So what does all of this mean for campus rape prevention?  It means we can't keep just screaming, "Misogyny!" at the obvious MRAs and PUAs and expect anything to get better, because to be blunt, the actual misogynists are not going to listen anyway.  But this study reveals inroads to getting to those men who are raping while defining it away in their own minds as something else, the ones who seem "like such a nice guy" but apparently don't mind scoring points with their brethren using coercive techniques upon women.

The authors conclude,

Men who are primarily motivated by negative, hostile affect toward women and who conceptualize their own intentions and behaviors as rape are unlikely to benefit from the large group primary prevention efforts done as part of college outreach efforts. However, programming using a group and norm-based approach appears to be appropriate for men who endorse force but deny rape, as long as the programming can establish rapport and credibility with participants. Because these men do not view their sexually aggressive intentions as rape, failing to attend to issues around beliefs about the stereotypical rapist and not identifying with them could weaken the effectiveness of the programming due to not receiving buy in from participants. This would ultimately likely leave the men who could benefit most from these prevention efforts disengaged.

In other words, we need to establish campus-specific socialization programs that reduce the need for and spread of hypermasculine norms, which frankly would benefit many men anyway since many men do not want to engage in those narrow definitions of what constitutes a "real man".  The traditional campus hazing rituals and party games that emphasize "real manhood" in terms of aggression, drunkenness, and other stereotypical "masculine" behaviours need to be barred from campuses entirely.  Further, there needs to be real education available in a non-obtrusive way that suggests alternative definitions of masculinity that embrace all men - gay, straight, nerds, jocks, etc - while simultaneously clamping down on any lingering "boys will be boys" excuses that not only allow perpetual violence but help to enforce it as a valid behaviour in the first place.

This might mean that some of the blunt campaigns those of us who already get it favour - like posters that simply say, "Don't Rape" - are not effective with the "callous sexual attitude" set because as far as they're concerned, they're not raping so they'll ignore those posters.  Better simple slogans may be those that emphasize consent - ie "No means no" and "Absence of No Does Not Mean Yes" - may be more effective.  We need other strategies to get and hold the attention of men who already have a callous sexual attitude and turn them away from that, using their own social groups to bolster these strategies because that's going to be a lot more effective than an external force coming forth with what seems like a scolding for something they're pretty sure they've never done.

We also need to do better at seeding the concepts of female autonomy and required consent on a wider social scale.  That means shunning those games/movies/books/etc that promote women as prizes or sex as a point system.  Male virgins need to no longer be objects of ridicule while female virgins need to no longer be objects of high value.  "Deflowering" and "cherry popping" need to go in terms of concepts of some kind of special event men get to apply to women.  First sex is over-romanticized all over the place which is bad enough for so many reasons outside the scope of this article, but specifically making it a prize that experienced men get to win out of inexperienced women needs to be seen as creepy, not points to be won.

Lastly, as I have said so many times, a lot of this has to come from the men who get it towards the men who don't.  That can be as simple as no longer silently standing by when your male friends display callous sexual attitudes.  Stand up and say, "Hey, that's not cool" when you hear rape jokes in your video game sessions.  When your friend in the bar is assigning point values to women around the room, try saying, "Or maybe they're human beings and not prizes for you to win."  For too long the actual good guys have lived in fear of rejection by the jerks.  It's time to turn that around and speak out so the jerks are the ones being ostracized for their ugly attitudes, and that can only happen if those of you who know better take the initiative and do it.

Image source, a potentially better campaign that emphasizes consent: http://www.theviolencestopshere.ca/dbtg.php .

#rape   #campusrape   #rapeprevention   #science  

Banhammer is in effect for any comments that engage in victim-blaming or derailment from the focus of this study.

PS If you think you may have coerced someone into sex or think you might be inclined to do so, don't bury that.  Deal with it.  Start by seeking professional counselling because that professional can help you figure out what you're doing wrong, how to stop it, and what, if anything, you need to do to rectify what you've already done.___The study by Edwards, Bradshaw and Hinsz is very interesting, and +Kimberly Chapman gives an excellent summary of it. The key result is this: most rapists don't describe their actions to themselves as rape. The few who do, and do it anyway, are basically hostis humani generis and beyond any sort of intervention, but the bulk who don't may benefit a lot from thinking through just what their actions are.

There is also an excellent discussion going on at the OP.

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2015-01-06 18:21:55 (43 comments, 28 reshares, 196 +1s)Open 

NASA pointed the Hubble Space Telescope back at the "Pillars of Creation," a cloud formation in the Eagle nebula, but now with its newest and most modern camera, the WFC3. The resulting photographs are even more beautiful than the famous originals taken nearly 20 years ago. 

For those wanting technical details, the picture below was taken in visible light, using a "false-color" technique to make it more visible. It was photographed through three filters: an Sii filter (673nm, a fairly dark red color which is characteristically emitted by Sulfur), a H-α filter (657nm, a brighter red which characterizes Hydrogen), and an Oiii filter (502nm, a blue-green characteristic of Oxygen). Those three colors are then mapped to red, green, and blue (respectively) to form an image that clearly highlights the gas distribution to the human eye. This particular combination of light filtersi... more »

NASA pointed the Hubble Space Telescope back at the "Pillars of Creation," a cloud formation in the Eagle nebula, but now with its newest and most modern camera, the WFC3. The resulting photographs are even more beautiful than the famous originals taken nearly 20 years ago. 

For those wanting technical details, the picture below was taken in visible light, using a "false-color" technique to make it more visible. It was photographed through three filters: an Sii filter (673nm, a fairly dark red color which is characteristically emitted by Sulfur), a H-α filter (657nm, a brighter red which characterizes Hydrogen), and an Oiii filter (502nm, a blue-green characteristic of Oxygen). Those three colors are then mapped to red, green, and blue (respectively) to form an image that clearly highlights the gas distribution to the human eye. This particular combination of light filters is the one most commonly used when photographing astronomical gas clouds. (Those interested in doing so themselves or learning more about this can read more at http://www.astrodon.com/Orphan/astrodonfaqnarrowband/) At the link, you can also see some great photos taken in the infrared, colors which highlight different features; in those colors, the Pillars are translucent and you can see the stars beyond them.___

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2015-01-05 20:52:52 (138 comments, 58 reshares, 327 +1s)Open 

+Jordan Peacock shared this fairly searing indictment of the USAF's aircraft purchasing and priority decisions, and I think that at its heart, it's quite right. The A-10 is an extremely effective and reliable aircraft; it flies more sorties and performs more useful functions in modern warfare than pretty much anything else. But as the article says, while the USAF's primary actual jobs today are close air support and small bombing raids, what the USAF wishes its primary job were is high-speed dogfighting and stealth bombing runs, and so it wants to pour money into things like the F-117 and F-35.

There are three aircraft which the USAF flies which I really admire: the A-10, the B-52, and the F-16. The first two, speaking as an engineer, are honestly extraordinary craft: the B-52 has been in continuous service since 1955, and is expected to keep flying until 2040 at least; there are... more »

+Jordan Peacock shared this fairly searing indictment of the USAF's aircraft purchasing and priority decisions, and I think that at its heart, it's quite right. The A-10 is an extremely effective and reliable aircraft; it flies more sorties and performs more useful functions in modern warfare than pretty much anything else. But as the article says, while the USAF's primary actual jobs today are close air support and small bombing raids, what the USAF wishes its primary job were is high-speed dogfighting and stealth bombing runs, and so it wants to pour money into things like the F-117 and F-35.

There are three aircraft which the USAF flies which I really admire: the A-10, the B-52, and the F-16. The first two, speaking as an engineer, are honestly extraordinary craft: the B-52 has been in continuous service since 1955, and is expected to keep flying until 2040 at least; there are even individual aircraft which have been commanded by three generations of the same family. Cheap, simple, and stupid are not bad things in design: in fact, being nearly indestructible and working in any conditions you might want, unobtrusively but reliably, are some of the highest goals which any device can hope to attain. The A-10, likewise, is a brute-force stupid design which does exactly what it's supposed to. It doesn't look like anyone's idea of graceful, but it's also basically a flying platform for a giant gun which can get the crap beaten out of it and still fly home, which is basically exactly what people need. The F-16 is important because heavy bombers like the B-52 need a fighter escort in order to function; but unlike its successors, the F-22 and F-35, the F-16 basically works.

It's very easy to become enthralled with speed, agility, and stealth, but this is the sort of nonsense that becomes popular only in an organization which isn't being really tested on its efficiency and skill. Resource limits come from politics, not practicality, and as a result the USAF has invested a tremendous amount of money in aircraft which are basically fancy research prototypes, X-planes, not reasonable production designs. And they show no signs of changing course.

An honest reckoning is hard to come by, but if I were to pop my head up and ask "what can the Air Force most usefully provide," it would instead be partitioned functionally:

* Close air support, at scales ranging from the nano (bug-sized) to the A-10.

* Blowing stuff up from a long way away, at scales ranging from "blow up that car over there" to "blow up that city over there." 

* Carrying things from place to place, especially places where it's hard to get at things like fuel and landing strips, or where the intervening airspace is full of people who don't like you, at scales from the personal ("we need more medical supplies!") to the major logistical. ("We need to move 100,000 troops and all related equipment")

* Communication and surveillance capability, at scales from nano ("fly into that room and tell me what's in it") to global. ("Show me any missiles flying anywhere in the world right now")

Each of these naturally translates into a combination of manned and unmanned aircraft. But the aircraft you end up seeing as the primary drivers of such a mission aren't fancy fighter jets: fighters are support aircraft, meant to protect bombers and cargo planes and the like as they move through hostile territory. You end up building a system around "flagships" like the A-10.

It's time to stop looking at fancy toys and start thinking seriously about what these things are for.___

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2015-01-04 21:41:04 (145 comments, 42 reshares, 254 +1s)Open 

From the Department of British Understatement comes Conservative MP David Davis' summary of the new proposal from the Home Office: requiring nursery school staff and other people who professionally mind toddlers to identify and report children at risk for becoming terrorists "is heavy-handed."

My experience is that most two- to three-year-olds are, in fact, already quite well-versed in being terrors, and preventing them from blowing up buildings is more a matter of keeping them well away from explosives (which, hopefully, the nursery school staff already considers to be part of its duties) than of monitoring them for ideological purity and "[teaching] fundamental British values in an age-appropriate way." 

For all that the American security state gets bizarre, I'm glad to see that our neighbors across the Pond are working hard to keep up in the... more »

From the Department of British Understatement comes Conservative MP David Davis' summary of the new proposal from the Home Office: requiring nursery school staff and other people who professionally mind toddlers to identify and report children at risk for becoming terrorists "is heavy-handed."

My experience is that most two- to three-year-olds are, in fact, already quite well-versed in being terrors, and preventing them from blowing up buildings is more a matter of keeping them well away from explosives (which, hopefully, the nursery school staff already considers to be part of its duties) than of monitoring them for ideological purity and "[teaching] fundamental British values in an age-appropriate way." 

For all that the American security state gets bizarre, I'm glad to see that our neighbors across the Pond are working hard to keep up in the You-Have-Got-To-Be-Fucking-Kidding-Me Stakes.

via +Peter da Silva.___

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2015-01-04 20:10:41 (20 comments, 23 reshares, 132 +1s)Open 

Wow. The idea that all of these pieces were made in a single year suggests that art is in an incredibly healthy state -- and that a lot of our best artists seem to be doing street art. There are some killer pieces here.

I've got a thing for quality Street Art from around the world. Here are the 25 most popular pieces as voted by the fans of +Street Art News. Naturally, Banksy was voted #1 on the list for 2014.

http://www.streetartnews.net/2014/12/the-25-most-popular-street-art-pieces.html

#StreetArt   #streetartphotography   #Art   #Banksy  ___Wow. The idea that all of these pieces were made in a single year suggests that art is in an incredibly healthy state -- and that a lot of our best artists seem to be doing street art. There are some killer pieces here.

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2015-01-02 21:27:29 (26 comments, 99 reshares, 361 +1s)Open 

What do you get when you combine an interactive projection system which responds to people's movements with a modern dance troupe? Something pretty awesome, that's what. There's a whole 3-minute video here of some of what they did, and it's worth watching.

We strongly urge you to take three minutes to watching this incredibly inventive dance performance that makes use of a fully interactive set that responds in real-time to a team of dancers.

http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2015/01/pixel-a-mesmerizing-dance-performance-incorporating-digital-projection/___What do you get when you combine an interactive projection system which responds to people's movements with a modern dance troupe? Something pretty awesome, that's what. There's a whole 3-minute video here of some of what they did, and it's worth watching.

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2015-01-02 21:15:34 (19 comments, 6 reshares, 39 +1s)Open 

This is a very interesting analysis of Black Mirror. I've only seen a bit of the show so far, but what I've seen seems extremely interesting, and I've heard great things about it from many other people as well. Here Venkat talks about what the show is actually about, and just why it seems to cut so deeply when it talks about our lives. No spoilers or having seen the show required.

Venkat on Black Mirror:

The hard choices in the show are created by other humans, not by technology itself. The role of technology is making it possible for us to create hard choices for each other. Humans, the show seems to suggest, will reliably learn to create hard choices for other humans, using every new technological means, in order to create easier ones for themselves.  And that they will do so even under conditions of material plenty and satisfaction of basic needs. (emphasis mine)

[...]

Technology does not debase us in the show’s formula. It merely forces us to face prized delusions about ourselves that have never before been challenged, thereby awakening us to our own pre-existing debasement.

[...]

Each technological premise can be boiled down to what if you knew everything about X or what if you could know nothing about X. In the episodes so far, there has been no simple correlation between choosing ignorance or knowledge and getting to good or poor outcomes.  That’s what lends the show a certain amount of moral ambiguity.

[...]

Straight-up value collisions are not that interesting. They are merely shocking corner-case hypotheticals of the torture-one-terrorist-to-save-humanity variety, in futurist garb. But with moral luck, you have more going on. Where knowledge is the default and ignorance must be consciously chosen, rather than the other way around, the consequences of ignorance becomes less defensible. 

[...]

The overall premise is simply that technology increases possibilities, and forces us to make hard choices that we had the luxury of not having to make before.

[...]

Where Black Mirror goes dark and techno-pessimistic is in the implied editorial comment that no matter what choice we make, the outcome is worse than not having to make the choice at all. That natural ignorance is bliss.

According to the show’s logic, all choices created by technology are by definition degrading ones, and we only get to choose how exactly we will degrade ourselves (or more precisely, which of our existing, but cosmetically cloaked degradations we will stop being in denial about).

This is where, despite a pretty solid concept and excellent production, the show ultimately fails to deliver. Because it is equally possible to view seeming “degradation” of the priceless aspects of being human as increasing ability to give up anthropocentric conceits and grow the hell up.

[...]

Technology is not about debasement and degradation. It is about increasing ability to stop pretending to be what we’re not. About taboos falling away and fewer things being unexamined sacred cows. This is how we actually react to new technological possibilities. We make hard choices easy by giving up sacred cows, not by choosing one sacred cow over another. 

http://www.ribbonfarm.com/2015/01/01/black-mirror-as-hell-is-other-people-futurism/___This is a very interesting analysis of Black Mirror. I've only seen a bit of the show so far, but what I've seen seems extremely interesting, and I've heard great things about it from many other people as well. Here Venkat talks about what the show is actually about, and just why it seems to cut so deeply when it talks about our lives. No spoilers or having seen the show required.

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2015-01-01 01:44:11 (83 comments, 32 reshares, 206 +1s)Open 

Several people have latched on the NYPD's recent conduct at police funerals, and their work stoppage afterwards, to political ends. This article does an excellent job of analyzing why this is in fact a terrible thing for all concerned, something that both the Left and the Right should oppose. 

I would also note that the NYPD's work slowdown in the aftermath, really more of a stoppage at this point, has led to a precipitous decline in arrests: as the New York Post reports (http://nypost.com/2014/12/29/arrests-plummet-following-execution-of-two-cops/), overall arrests are down 66%, traffic citations 94%, and likewise summons for low-level offenses like public drinking and urination. Drug arrests are down 84%. The consequences of this are going to be very interesting to watch, because it essentially runs an experiment which would never be politically viable to run in ordinary circumstances:... more »

Several people have latched on the NYPD's recent conduct at police funerals, and their work stoppage afterwards, to political ends. This article does an excellent job of analyzing why this is in fact a terrible thing for all concerned, something that both the Left and the Right should oppose. 

I would also note that the NYPD's work slowdown in the aftermath, really more of a stoppage at this point, has led to a precipitous decline in arrests: as the New York Post reports (http://nypost.com/2014/12/29/arrests-plummet-following-execution-of-two-cops/), overall arrests are down 66%, traffic citations 94%, and likewise summons for low-level offenses like public drinking and urination. Drug arrests are down 84%. The consequences of this are going to be very interesting to watch, because it essentially runs an experiment which would never be politically viable to run in ordinary circumstances: What happens if you essentially stop arresting people for low-level offenses? 

The revenue consequence for the city will certainly be significant, as fines and fees (court fees can often exceed the fines themselves by an order of magnitude) are a major source of income. But this puts a lot of "broken windows" theories to a direct test. (Not, you may note, the original "broken windows" theory, which was really about what happens when the population is invested in keeping everything in the society running smoothly, so that even a single broken window is promptly fixed, but rather the version of it which was promulgated by Giuliani, where aggressive policing of minor infractions was supposed to reduce major ones) 

The strangest thing about this, though, is that the police union, in its call for a slowdown, instructed its members not to make arrests "unless absolutely necessary," and that police say now that they are only arresting people "when they have to." This phrasing does rather raise an eyebrow -- are they saying that they ordinarily arrest people when they don't have to? 

(Alas, the answer to this is "yes." Thanks to the Atwater (2001) Supreme Court decision, the law of the land is that the police may arrest anyone who has committed any crime, no matter how minor. They may be strip-searched (Florence, 2012), assessed fees easily ten times greater than any fines possible, and get various ancillary consequences, like the loss of their job due to the arrest, impoundment of their vehicle as it was "abandoned" when they were taken away, and so forth. This is a significant deviation from early American law, where arrests required either a felony or an arrest warrant signed by a magistrate, but essentially codifies a practice which started in the post-Civil War period and which has become de rigeur for police today. In the original Atwater case, for example, the offense in question was a seat belt violation, and it was very clear from the record that the main reason for the arrest was that the police officer in question knew and disliked Atwater. However, the Court ruled 5-4 that this was legal. You can read an overview of this at

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atwater_v._Lago_Vista

If you want to learn more about the law of search, seizure, and arrest, as usual the best source is Burney's law comic, in particular this section:

http://lawcomic.net/guide/?p=1485)___

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2014-12-31 05:55:48 (38 comments, 16 reshares, 114 +1s)Open 

This is from a collection being released by the New York Public Library of index cards, on which reference librarians jotted down the strangest or most interesting questions they were asked. You can see more of them at http://mentalfloss.com/article/60857/hilarious-questions-posed-nypl-pre-internet , and they're releasing more weekly on their Instagram feed.

I'm awfully curious to know just what a "musical orgy" was. Also, about the natural enemy of a duck. (You'll have to click through to see where that one comes from)

And now, filed under weird & random...

Wait, there were "Musical Orgies" in 1948? Which leads me to the question, what exactly is a "musical" orgy? I mean, do they have to rehearse the songs first or is it like an "America's Got Talent: Orgy Edition" kind of thing? Is Simon Cowell judging?

Via the fabulous +Bonnie Burton - http://goo.gl/rPtxW7

#Funny   #Random   #Internet  ___This is from a collection being released by the New York Public Library of index cards, on which reference librarians jotted down the strangest or most interesting questions they were asked. You can see more of them at http://mentalfloss.com/article/60857/hilarious-questions-posed-nypl-pre-internet , and they're releasing more weekly on their Instagram feed.

I'm awfully curious to know just what a "musical orgy" was. Also, about the natural enemy of a duck. (You'll have to click through to see where that one comes from)

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2014-12-30 23:11:30 (95 comments, 18 reshares, 198 +1s)Open 

Some classic tech writing from back in the day: a walk through the (paper) manuals that came with Macs from the early 90's. It's great to read this because they assume almost nothing of the user -- there are explanations of how to hold a mouse, what "clicking" means, and so on -- and so they try to explain the ideas. And they do a really good job of it!

While a perfect system requires no documentation at all, being so intuitive to use that everything is obvious, very few physical systems ever can reach that. The bridge between an imperfect system and usability is often good explanation, and this really feels like a classic of technical writing.

Via +Chris Jones.

Some classic tech writing from back in the day: a walk through the (paper) manuals that came with Macs from the early 90's. It's great to read this because they assume almost nothing of the user -- there are explanations of how to hold a mouse, what "clicking" means, and so on -- and so they try to explain the ideas. And they do a really good job of it!

While a perfect system requires no documentation at all, being so intuitive to use that everything is obvious, very few physical systems ever can reach that. The bridge between an imperfect system and usability is often good explanation, and this really feels like a classic of technical writing.

Via +Chris Jones.___

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2014-12-30 03:37:59 (191 comments, 218 reshares, 678 +1s)Open 

These twelve items have two important things in common:

(1) They're important and valuable things, and
(2) They have absolutely nothing to do with autism.

Lead is a heavy metal which melts at low temperatures. It's used in large batteries like the ones in your car, as well as as a stabilization weight and radiation shield. It can be poisonous if you ingest it, though, so be careful! (The #1 safety risks in most radiation labs is actually accidental lead poisoning from the shielding equipment)

Fluoride is an ion of the Fluorine molecule. It's critical for human health: without it, your teeth will decay and fall out. In some places, it's found naturally in local foods and water, but in other places, it gets added to reservoirs or table salt instead. Water fluoridation is considered one of the ten greatest public health achievements of the... more »

These twelve items have two important things in common:

(1) They're important and valuable things, and
(2) They have absolutely nothing to do with autism.

Lead is a heavy metal which melts at low temperatures. It's used in large batteries like the ones in your car, as well as as a stabilization weight and radiation shield. It can be poisonous if you ingest it, though, so be careful! (The #1 safety risks in most radiation labs is actually accidental lead poisoning from the shielding equipment)

Fluoride is an ion of the Fluorine molecule. It's critical for human health: without it, your teeth will decay and fall out. In some places, it's found naturally in local foods and water, but in other places, it gets added to reservoirs or table salt instead. Water fluoridation is considered one of the ten greatest public health achievements of the 20th century, and is a major reason why people today have healthy teeth. It was also believed by some to be part of a Communist plot to corrupt the Purity of Essence of our Precious Bodily Fluids. (And yes, people describing the plot Liked to Capitalize Things)

Antibiotics are probably the single greatest public health improvement of the twentieth century: they're drugs which can give our immune system the capability to fight off bacterial infections. Without them, common diseases like strep and TB will simply kill you. However, antibiotics do nothing against viruses. In fact, if you don't have a bacterial disease, or take only part of a course, antibiotics are dangerous: they'll kill just the bacteria which were most vulnerable to them, leaving behind the strongest and most resistant ones to breed! Overuse of antibiotics has resulted in the development of many strains of bacteria which are resistant to even very powerful antibiotics, leading to the fear that we may soon be vulnerable to these diseases again. The most important things you can do are (a) don't ever pressure a doctor to prescribe them when they aren't appropriate, and (b) fight their overuse in ranching, where they're given as prophylactics to otherwise healthy animals -- thus breeding deadly resistances.

Vaccines are antibiotics' competitor for greatest public health victories. They're small doses of dead or weakened viruses which are injected into you, letting your immune system learn to recognize and destroy the real ones when they come. They're the reason that so many of the deadliest diseases of the past -- smallpox, measles, pertussis, and the like -- are things of the past. However, unscrupulous folks have tried at times to convince the public that these are dangerous (generally as part of a scheme involving lawsuits), and as a result, some people are avoiding them! This can cause many other people to die, because of what’s called herd immunity. You can learn more about vaccines from this great comic:
https://medium.com/the-nib/vaccines-work-here-are-the-facts-5de3d0f9ffd0

Pesticides are chemicals which kill pests which destroy crops. These are a dangerous, but important, tradeoff: their residues can be poisonous, especially if they accumulate in groundwater; they can kill insects which are not just beneficial, but critical, like bees; and their misuse can lead to monoculture, which we’ll talk about in a moment. On the upside, they greatly increase crop production, and have been a major factor in ending starvation. They can also kill insects like the tsetse fly and malaria mosquito which are major vectors of disease. Together, this makes them a powerful lifesaving tool which has to be carefully managed.

GMOs are any sorts of organisms whose genes have been modified. This is a blanket term for a wide range of things, from corn that produces additional nutrients, to wheat that can grow in a wide range of climates, to goats which can produce antibiotics in their milk (!), to crops which are immune to certain pesticides and herbicides. “GMO” is a term for the technique which produces all of these. Some of these are huge benefits, but some of them are dangerous: for example, herbicide-resistant crops can be doused with huge doses of powerful weed-killers. In addition to their normal risks, this creates what’s called a “monoculture,” where only one species of plant can survive. This can make an entire crop vulnerable to a single blight, so it’s extremely dangerous for food security. Also, many companies who make such products are known for unethical business practices, so many people hear “GMO” and think of them. But don’t be led astray! GM is a technique which saves lives, too.

Balloons may make you think of things at birthday parties, but they’re also the best way to get high into the stratosphere. Weather balloons, made of modern materials like mylar and kevlar and filled with Helium, can fly over 100,000’ above the ground fairly cheaply, making it possible to understand weather patterns in places where satellites can’t be. They were also the way the recent record-breaking skydivers got up: you can watch +Alan Eustace's record-breaking jump at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsftfzBrVko. In the process of doing this, he and his team invented several new technologies which should make flight safer, balloons cheaper, and more.

Tubesocks are long socks which can protect your shins. More important than protection, they wick moisture away from your feet, which are some of the heaviest sweat-producers in your body: they can produce as much as a quarter-pint of sweat each day. By moving the moisture away, they can protect you from frostbite in the cold, and fungi like athlete’s foot in the heat.

Testicles are the organs in which sperm is produced in male animals. They’re also important glands, producing hormones such as testosterone which help regulate bodily function. They hang outside the body in most land mammals in a sac called the scrotum, because sperm production works best when the testes are kept below body temperature. Because your body considers them pretty important, they’re therefore covered with nerves to quickly tell if something’s wrong. That means that you don’t want to hit them, but that they often enjoy gentle touch.

Bunnies, also known as rabbits, are small mammals with big ears. They’re shy herbivores, depending for their survival upon their ability to hear and quickly run away from prey – but also on their ability to reproduce quickly, so that their groups can sustain losses and keep going. Most species of rabbit live in burrows, often networked together to form a warren. People’s opinions of them are split: some people raise them for food or fur, while others love them as pets. They can also turn into a plague, as happened when they were introduced into Australia: feral rabbits caused tremendous damage to agriculture and local species. You can see many pictures of bunnies at http://goo.gl/FVlVJD.

Strippers are a kind of sex worker. Most famously, they perform erotic dances (often using a fixed pole as a prop) for an audience. But most of their work takes the form of one-on-one interaction with patrons, performing individually for them in settings from the public (such as table dances) to private rooms. Strippers will create one or more personas for this, working to create a fantasy environment for the patron in which they feel aroused, appreciated, and at the center of attention. Many strippers travel from city to city around the year, as the best business is often found in different places at different times. The most important thing to remember about strippers is that, while they may be playing any number of roles that seem different, they are professional entertainers and should be treated with respect.

Dromedaries are the famous “one-humped camels” of the Sahara and Arabian deserts. Their two-humped Bactrian cousins live further east. Dromedaries are known for their incredible ability to store water in their bodies, allowing them to travel across the entire desert. Unlike horses, they have paws rather than hooves, which gives them excellent traction on difficult terrain. As a result, they are highly valued as pack and riding animals, and camel racing is a major sport. Dromedaries were what made the Spice Road and the western part of the Silk Road possible, and they continue to be an important way to transport people and goods across the desert to this day.

So next time someone shows you a list like this, think through all of the various items in them and realize all of the ways in which they’ve made our world a better place. Some of them, like pesticides and bunnies, involve tradeoffs which you need to manage carefully; others, like antibiotics and vaccines, simply need to be used correctly to make the world a better place.

To learn more:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lead
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluoride and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_fluoridation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antibiotics and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antibiotic_resistance
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pesticide
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_organism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balloon
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sock
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Testicle
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbit
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stripper
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dromedary

Thanks to +Robyn Miller  for the image!___

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2014-12-28 23:01:56 (63 comments, 174 reshares, 532 +1s)Open 

Nashville's chief of police got an angry letter from a citizen about why he had been so kind to protesters -- serving coffee and hot chocolate instead of threatening to arrest them. The chief wrote back and published his letter, and I highly recommend it, as a thoughtful short essay about civil society, the relationship of citizens, government, and police, and about how people form their social perceptions. 

Via +God Emperor Lionel Lauer.

Nashville's chief of police got an angry letter from a citizen about why he had been so kind to protesters -- serving coffee and hot chocolate instead of threatening to arrest them. The chief wrote back and published his letter, and I highly recommend it, as a thoughtful short essay about civil society, the relationship of citizens, government, and police, and about how people form their social perceptions. 

Via +God Emperor Lionel Lauer.___

2014-12-28 22:48:21 (42 comments, 5 reshares, 78 +1s)Open 

I can't shake the rather strong suspicion that this post is pulling our leg with great vigor, but if it weren't, this would be one of the greatest conspiracy theories ever. 

+Jaana Nyström, +Sakari Maaranen -- you're all agents of the Finland Conspiracy, aren't you. Trying to convince us that it actually exists. Luring the innocent and naïve with photographs of beautiful forests in the winter, so that they can be abducted and used as the raw material for the reindeer-human hybrids which are the next step in Colonization.

There Is No Finland #ConspiracyTheories

Well firstly they say that the actual 'place of Finland' is just Eastern Sweden. Helsinki is in Eastern Sweden and when people fly there it's not like they would notice.

World maps are altered as it's a U.N conspiracy to keep people believing in Finland. And the idea that an entire country is made up seems so bizarre that nobody would ever believe it, making it easy to do.

Finland's main company, Nokia, is apparently owned by the Japanese and they're a main player in this.

Now as for 'why' people would want to invent Finland as a country that's a bit more in depth and there's a few reasons as to why Sweden and Russia go along with it but it's mostly to do with Japanese fishing rights.___I can't shake the rather strong suspicion that this post is pulling our leg with great vigor, but if it weren't, this would be one of the greatest conspiracy theories ever. 

+Jaana Nyström, +Sakari Maaranen -- you're all agents of the Finland Conspiracy, aren't you. Trying to convince us that it actually exists. Luring the innocent and naïve with photographs of beautiful forests in the winter, so that they can be abducted and used as the raw material for the reindeer-human hybrids which are the next step in Colonization.

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2014-12-27 08:41:44 (64 comments, 34 reshares, 163 +1s)Open 

The film is grainy, but that's because it's the original 1928 film of how this locomotive engine was built, going from the first steps of making wooden forms for the molds, all the way to it riding along the rails. 

I don't share the author of the article's mourning for the passing of these skills, however, because these skills are very much alive: you can see them in action today in any machine shop or foundry. (Hell, I had to learn some of them myself when I was a physicist) 

Just for a sense of scale, the power this locomotive produced would still be quite respectable today: its 3,685 horsepower would put it in the same general class as modern freight locomotives, which generally produce 4,000-4,500hp. (Although the very largest get bigger: the IORE engine, made by Bombardier, produces approximately 14,500hp! Those largest trains are generally used to haul raw metal oresf... more »

In the spirit of "how it's made"
here's something cool from 1928 - a huge locomotive___The film is grainy, but that's because it's the original 1928 film of how this locomotive engine was built, going from the first steps of making wooden forms for the molds, all the way to it riding along the rails. 

I don't share the author of the article's mourning for the passing of these skills, however, because these skills are very much alive: you can see them in action today in any machine shop or foundry. (Hell, I had to learn some of them myself when I was a physicist) 

Just for a sense of scale, the power this locomotive produced would still be quite respectable today: its 3,685 horsepower would put it in the same general class as modern freight locomotives, which generally produce 4,000-4,500hp. (Although the very largest get bigger: the IORE engine, made by Bombardier, produces approximately 14,500hp! Those largest trains are generally used to haul raw metal ores from mines to refineries.)

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2014-12-27 01:30:07 (14 comments, 5 reshares, 105 +1s)Open 

I was disappointed by this story, because they are not actually using robot jockeys: these are simply camel whips attached to power drills and controlled with a remote, operated by someone chasing after the camels in an SUV. If you're going to have camels with robot jockeys, they should be proper robots, dammit. Or even robot camels, which would be kind of cool.

The camel is actually an extraordinary beast of burden: apart from its famously low use of water, and its ability to survive in a wide range of climates (the Dromedary in deserts as extreme as the Sahara, the Bactrian in the steep mountains of the Hindu Kush), camels are interesting in that they have paws, rather than hooves: this allows them to grasp terrain much more firmly than horses do, and travel to places where horses can't. This combination is what has made them the transports of choice from Timbuktu all the way to... more »

I was disappointed by this story, because they are not actually using robot jockeys: these are simply camel whips attached to power drills and controlled with a remote, operated by someone chasing after the camels in an SUV. If you're going to have camels with robot jockeys, they should be proper robots, dammit. Or even robot camels, which would be kind of cool.

The camel is actually an extraordinary beast of burden: apart from its famously low use of water, and its ability to survive in a wide range of climates (the Dromedary in deserts as extreme as the Sahara, the Bactrian in the steep mountains of the Hindu Kush), camels are interesting in that they have paws, rather than hooves: this allows them to grasp terrain much more firmly than horses do, and travel to places where horses can't. This combination is what has made them the transports of choice from Timbuktu all the way to Chang'an.

I was in Jordan many years ago, and one thing that I noticed was that, outside of the two cities, vehicles of any sort are extremely rare. People walk; if they have cargo, they use a mule; if they're rich, they have a camel. Trucks were sparse and used only for inter-city hauls; cars were unusual enough that all the kids from a village would come out to see one if it drove through. Bicycles were essentially nonexistent. The exception is out in the open desert, where one often sees derelict pickup trucks. (These are generally vehicles which were stolen in Israel or Jordan and sold to Bedouins, who generally think that they're loads of fun. However, an unmodified car has a shockingly short lifespan in the desert, as sand gets in everything, and so these tend to end up as ruins within months or less)

And camels are, indeed, status symbols. When you see a group of Bedouins traveling across the desert, the number of camels you see, versus the number of mules (which are generally traveling slightly separately), and who's driving what, tells you a tremendous amount about who's a big player.

All of which reminds me of a story I heard some years ago, about a man who was so impressed upon visiting the desert that, when he returned to LA, got himself a camel and started riding it about town -- until the day he came out of a shop and found that the camel had vanished. He called the police and tried to file a report about the theft of his camel, but he couldn't give a really helpful description. When they asked him how tall it was, he said, "how should I know? Tall! Camel height!" When they asked him what color it was, he said, "Brownish! Camel-colored! What do you think?" How old? He had no idea. OK, was it a male or female camel? "How the hell should I--- wait! No! It was definitely male."

"Oh yeah? How are you so sure?"

"Everywhere I went, people would point and say, 'check out the schmuck on that camel!'"

Thank you, I'll be here all week.___

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2014-12-26 05:53:13 (98 comments, 86 reshares, 260 +1s)Open 

"Dearest creature in creation
Studying English pronunciation,
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse."

So begins Gerard Nolst Trenité's poem "The Chaos," (the italics are his) a wonderful demonstration of the incomprehensibility of English pronunciation. (Which you basically have to hear read out loud; I have a fairly solid command of the language and I can't figure out which pronunciations he meant in each place. Fortunately, the video does this nicely)

People often mistake this for the English language being difficult, but it's actually something rather different: English has a relatively simple grammar, but its writing system is quite bizarre, with written forms giving only the roughest clues to how words are pronounced. It's almost closer to logographic writing systems like Kanji than it is to... more »

"Dearest creature in creation
Studying English pronunciation,
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse."

So begins Gerard Nolst Trenité's poem "The Chaos," (the italics are his) a wonderful demonstration of the incomprehensibility of English pronunciation. (Which you basically have to hear read out loud; I have a fairly solid command of the language and I can't figure out which pronunciations he meant in each place. Fortunately, the video does this nicely)

People often mistake this for the English language being difficult, but it's actually something rather different: English has a relatively simple grammar, but its writing system is quite bizarre, with written forms giving only the roughest clues to how words are pronounced. It's almost closer to logographic writing systems like Kanji than it is to ordinary alphabetic writing. (To give you a comparison, several years ago I had to spend some weeks in Poland for work; as prep for this, I drilled on the basics of the language, including the rules of pronunciation. After a few hours of study, I found that I could read any passage in written Polish out loud without difficulty, and well enough that native speakers were completely flummoxed that I didn't speak the language at all. Go ahead and try that in English; I dare you.)

There's an interesting history behind this. Part of it comes from the heavy borrowing of words from other languages into English -- "croquet" and "lingerie," for example, use French pronunciation (although in the latter case, not French meaning!) and you simply have to know that in order to pronounce them; an experienced English reader will recognize the "-quet" as being a distinctly French pattern, and use those rules, much as they will pronounce "xeriscape" using a Greek-derived sound pattern, even if they don't know Greek.

But there's more to it than this, because every language that's spoken by people who travel or trade is rife with borrowing. What's unusual with English is that it hasn't had any deep spelling reforms (which is likely tied to the Anglophone world's lack of strong monarchies or other forces which imposed such reforms elsewhere) in a while: instead, there have been several waves of standardization which basically fossilized whatever was in the language at the time.

For example, one of the huge standardizing influences was the rapid rise of printing starting in the late 15th century, which caused texts to be much more widely available than ever before. With so much reading going on, people tended towards single spellings for single words. However, the period from the 14th through 18th centuries was also the time of the "Great Vowel Shift," a major transition in the way English was pronounced. Spellings which made perfect sense prior to the shift -- for example, "name" being pronounced "NAH-meh" -- suddenly made no sense at all as the vowels moved.

But at the same time that this was happening, words were getting imported into the language in tremendous bulk, and those words came from languages which were now standardizing their spelling in their own way, so the words got both the spelling and pronunciation of their parent language; thus we get, for example, "corps," which came into English from French in the late 16th century, versus "corpse," which came in via Old French several hundred years earlier.

"Corpse" was standardized with printing, being spelled (just to make this more confusing) "corps," and pronounced much like the modern word "corpse." (This word didn't happen to get modified much in the Great Vowel Shift) The French word, meanwhile, had changed a good deal under French's own sound shifts: since the Gallic "r" is very far back in the mouth, the following "ps" sound got lost. Under French's own standardization-by-printing, it kept its spelling but changed its sound, and so when English borrowed the word yet again, it kept the spelling "corps" and the French pronunciation "kor," and a final "e" was added to "corpse" to distinguish them -- probably on the theory that silent "e" was a fairly common feature at this point (thanks to the Great Vowel Shift) and would serve to indicate that the previous letters needed to be pronounced.

English is simply a web of stories like these. But unlike various other languages, it never got fixed.

French had some major sound-shifts, but they were fairly predictable consequences of the ways in which French articulates various sounds (things like a back "r" swallowing up following front consonants, or the combination front vowel + s + front consonant losing the "s," that sound being turned into the circumflex), and French had relatively little borrowing afterwards, due in no small part to the rising power of its own standardization bodies which were rigorously anti-borrowing. As a result, you can roughly guess how things are written. Spanish, likewise, had a major reform in the early 19th century.

Other languages were even more recent. Hebrew, for example, has had a notoriously Baroque spelling system, as it has what's technically called an "abjad" rather than an alphabet: that is, the letters represent consonants, and you just have to know the right vowels. As a result, the standard exam for prospective newscasters in Israel was to simply give them a sheet of text and have them read it out loud. Even fairly ordinary words would quickly start to read like Trenité's poem, and very few people could read it all correctly. The language had a major spelling cleanup in 1996, standardizing on the "ktav malé" system, and it's now possible for even people without profound mastery of the language to read an arbitrary piece of text out loud. 

So while English isn't the worst language to learn, by far, it has ended up with a complete mess of a spelling system.

It could be worse; it could be Chinese. 


You can find the full text of the poem at https://web.archive.org/web/20050415131319/http://www.spellingsociety.org/journals/j17/caos.php .
A good history of English spelling is at http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~kemmer/Histengl/spelling.html , and you can read about the Great Vowel Shift at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Vowel_Shift .___

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2014-12-25 22:28:22 (49 comments, 91 reshares, 258 +1s)Open 

I'm afraid that this article doesn't do a good job of answering the question it poses in the headline, but it does do a good job of describing the various yuletide monsters which are intimately involved in Christmas across Europe, from the Italian witch La Befana, who contents herself with leaving lumps of coal for the bad children, to Germany's Frau Perchta, who goes right to the heart of the matter -- so to speak -- slitting open the naughty children and stuffing their insides with straw. (Krampus splits the difference, simply showing up after Saint Nick with his own sack -- into which he stuffs the naughty children and takes them away. What their ultimate fate is, be it toiling in Santa's enormous toy factories in the far North, or simply ending up as a Boxing Day treat for the reindeer, is left unclear.) 

To add a bit more context to this, these monsters seem to have vanished... more »

I'm afraid that this article doesn't do a good job of answering the question it poses in the headline, but it does do a good job of describing the various yuletide monsters which are intimately involved in Christmas across Europe, from the Italian witch La Befana, who contents herself with leaving lumps of coal for the bad children, to Germany's Frau Perchta, who goes right to the heart of the matter -- so to speak -- slitting open the naughty children and stuffing their insides with straw. (Krampus splits the difference, simply showing up after Saint Nick with his own sack -- into which he stuffs the naughty children and takes them away. What their ultimate fate is, be it toiling in Santa's enormous toy factories in the far North, or simply ending up as a Boxing Day treat for the reindeer, is left unclear.) 

To add a bit more context to this, these monsters seem to have vanished from both American and English celebrations of Christmas in the mid- to late-19th century, during a general "sanitization of Christmas." Prior to this, Christmas had been a generally wild feast and party, a "festival" in the traditional medieval sense, with people in costume engaging in all of the classical festal behaviors, such as drinking, wenching, gambling, and so on. (The tradition of caroling was originally more like trick-or-treating: it involved showing up and demanding food and booze. You can still see some of this in the later verses of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas:"

We wish you a Merry Christmas / And a happy New Year
Now bring us some figgy pudding / And a cup of good cheer
We won't go until we get some / So bring it right here)

The Puritans did, indeed, cancel Christmas, both in the US and the UK, although not simply because of the boisterousness of the festivities: they viewed the entire holiday, and in fact any celebration whatsoever, as being pagan behavior. The result in England was violent pro-Christmas rioting, a phrase that I never thought I would write.

Starting in the Victorian era, this began to change, with a few authors -- notably Charles Dickens, with A Christmas Carol, and Clement Clarke Moore's "A Visit From St. Nicholas" (aka "The Night Before Christmas"), both of which were tremendous popular hits -- pushing a more "wholesome" image of Christmas, focused on family and charity. The era of store-bought Christmas cards, treacly carols, and rapid commercialization followed in jig time. 

We should remember that this is also the time period in which childhood itself began to become a cultural idea, and (for example) fairy tales, which up to then had been much more of the variety catalogued by the Grimm bros. or Alexander Pushkin, were likewise being reënvisioned as "children's stories." 

Which is to say that, despite its name, Disneyfication was not a product of the twentieth century, but was simply the endpoint of a much longer process which began nearly a hundred years earlier, and also chased away all of the Christmas monsters.

But this process was quite focused on the Anglophone world, and so even if you hop across the Channel, you'll discover a wide bestiary of Christmas monsters, all prepared to cause trouble, roister, and mostly steal children.

Now, if there are any kids reading this who are concerned, I want to offer you some good news: The child-stealing monsters all tend to come on Christmas Eve. So if you're reading this now, you're safe.

For this year.

If you are curious about the history of all of this, the Wikipedia article on Christmas is surprisingly informative: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas

h/t +Jordan Peacock for finding the article.___

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