Cavalcade of Mammals

Links for August 2017

IRS agents vs money recovered
Civil War diaoramas done with cats
How the very rich legally avoid paying taxes
Hugo winners 2017

Best Novel
The Obelisk Gate by N. K. Jemisin (Orbit Books)
All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders (Tor Books / Titan Books)
A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton / Harper Voyager US)
Death’s End by Cixin Liu (Tor Books / Head of Zeus)
Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris Books)
Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer (Tor Books)

Kamikara pop up penguin by Haruki Nakamura website
America seized the traitor Lee’s plantation

Daniel Davies: One Minute MBA

Links for July 2017

Mary Katharine Goddard, printer of the Declaration of Independence and postmaster

In her boldest move, Goddard put her full name at the bottom of all the copies of the Declaration that her printing presses churned out and distributed to the colonies. It was the first copy young America would see that included the original signers’ names — and Congress commissioned her for the important job.


Solving a Rubik’s cube quickly is NP complete

In 2010, programmers found that a 3x3x3 Rubik’s cube can be solved in a maximum of 20 moves from any starting position, no matter how scrambled.

A year later, Demaine, Eisenstat and their colleagues devised a formula to solve a Rubik’s cube with sides of any length and found that the number of moves required for a cube of side n is proportional to n2/log n.

Finding the number for a cube with n=3 took several years of computing time and Demaine estimates that the n=4 case would take billions of times longer. “I conjecture it will never be fully solved,” he says.

This is the upper limit for the most scrambled cubes, but many cubes will not take that long. Figuring out whether any given configuration of a cube will take fewer moves is tricky. “We know an algorithm to solve all cubes in a reasonable amount of time,” Demaine says. “But if I give you a particular configuration of the cube, and then you want to solve it with the fewest moves for that configuration, that’s really tough.”

Cryolevitating magnet on a mobius stripSurprisingly simple tips from 20 experts about how to lose weight and keep it off by Julia Belluz

Why did Europe lose the Crusades?

Have fewer kids?

Love & Cockroaches

Obamacare reduced medical bankruptcies

Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), 1972-1995

Doctor salaries (ave $204,000 – $443,000 by speciality)

Republicans try to kill CBO (Congressional Budget Office)

X-Rated Furniture Of Catherine The Great

Killing hypothalamus stem cells reduces lifeaspan 10%, might speed up aging

Study of indiana school voucher program finds that at best it is a waste of money and that it likely retards learning. The details are worse than the title suggests

DOE ignorance and mismanagement by the Trump admin

Links for June 2017

The rise of homegrown terror on the right. This growing domestic menace deserves more time than it’s getting. by Arie Perliger

The number of violent attacks on U.S. soil inspired by far-right ideology has spiked since the beginning of this century, rising from a yearly avarage of 70 attacks in the 1990s to a yearly avarage of more than 300 since 2001. These incidents have grown even more common since President Donald Trump’s election.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit that researches U.S. extremism, reported 900 bias-related incidents against minorities in the first 10 days after Trump’s election – compared to several dozen in a normal week – and the group found that many of the harassers invoked the then-president-elect’s name. Similarly, the Anti-Defamation League, a nonprofit that tracks anti-Semitism, recorded an 86 percent rise in anti-Semitic incidents in the first three months of 2017.

Proove Biosciences raided by Feds — doctor payoffs and an opioid test that doesn’t work

The Abortion Battlefield by Marcia Angell

Four years later, Slepian was murdered at his home. The total count between 1978 and 2015, writes Haugeberg, was eleven murders (nine of them physicians), twenty-six attempted murders, 185 arsons, forty-two bombings, and 1,534 vandalizations of clinics.

Super D&D map
There’s still no good reason to believe black-white IQ differences are due to genes (Charles Murray is a racist)

Why Are Bird Eggs Egg-Shaped? An Eggsplainer: A new study points to a surprising reason for the varied shape of bird eggs—and shows that most eggs aren’t actually egg-shaped. Egg-scuse me? by Ed Yong. pdf

Links for March 2017

The Hamilton Hustle: Why liberals have embraced our most dangerously reactionary founder by Matt Stoller
GOP Bill Would Let Your Employer Demand to See Your Genetic Information by Eric Levitz

A brief and mundane history of being a woman by El Jones

The geometry of weird-shaped dice
The U.S. Tax Code Actually Doesn’t “Soak the Rich” by Nick Buffie
Unspeakable Realities Block Universal Health Coverage In The US by Chris Ladd
Yes, Your Sleep Schedule Is Making You Sick by Richard A. Friedman

The Crazification Factor

John: Hey, Bush is now at 37% approval. I feel much less like Kevin McCarthy screaming in traffic. But I wonder what his base is —

Tyrone: 27%.

John: … you said that immmediately, and with some authority.

Tyrone: Obama vs. Alan Keyes. Keyes was from out of state, so you can eliminate any established political base; both candidates were black, so you can factor out racism; and Keyes was plainly, obviously, completely crazy. Batshit crazy. Head-trauma crazy. But 27% of the population of Illinois voted for him. They put party identification, personal prejudice, whatever ahead of rational judgement. Hell, even like 5% of Democrats voted for him. That’s crazy behaviour. I think you have to assume a 27% Crazification Factor in any population.

Everyone doesn’t cherry pick the news

‘Everyone cherry picking’ is not the problem. Those interested in accurate news can get from most newspapers, ABC/NBC/CBS/NPR/BBC/CNN etc. We’re in the third phase of the Republican rejection of reality.

First there was creationism, climate denial, smoking is safe, pollution is harmless reality denial by interested parties, plus entirely fictional stories on the margins–John Birch society news and Ron Paul’s gold buggery newsletter.

Second came the Republican news phenomenon–Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, and then a host of web sites hyping or making up stories to keep the Republican base angry and afraid–the Sandy Hook massacre is a hoax by the govt to take your guns, Hillary is a lesbian and her advisors are terrorists, Obama can’t speak without a teleprompter, discrimination against white people is a huge problem, a new manufactured story every week, sometimes every day.

And now Trump is building on this. Just like he attacked every Republican critic during the primaries, now he attacks the press every time they write a critical article in his childish way–saying the stories are deliberate lies, ‘fake news’, written just to personally attack him. And Republican voters, conditioned by years of attacks on every news organizations that doesn’t tailor their reporting to the Republican party’s interests, bob their heads in agreement.

And the wide network of Republican opinion writers and commentators write diligently to support Trump. If Trump lies, they look around for a way to make it sound true. The White House is disorganized, so they write ‘bold change agents’. The White House is ignorant and unprepared becomes ‘breaking the establishment way of doing things’. During the campaign, Trump lied and said he had a ‘secret plan to defeat ISIS’, and Republican commentators wrote in support, yes, he must keep it a secret, and it will surely be better than Obama’s plan.

This is a phenomenon of both Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives. This is mainly a Republican slide into irrationality and delusion.

This single ‘partisan’ axis doesn’t cover it. Stories in Mother Jones are factually true and written from a left perspective, e.g., higher wages for workers is a good thing. MSNBC writes news stories based on sources and documentation, but their commentators include both liberals and conservatives. Fox News often runs stories that are factually incorrect and support the correctness of conservative aims. The WSJ news operation is conventionally fact-based and conservative, “The market is up today on news of stagnant wages.” while their opinion page makes far right arguments often based on fake statistics and premises. NPR’s stories often include comments by experts–a expert on water pollution, an economist, a expert on trade, someone who studies immigration, but usually also includes a comments by, say, the polluting company or the big bank featured in a story. This gets NPR branded as ‘liberal’. NPR’s economic and business reporting is conventional and conservative.

Links for February 2017

Stock Grant Sizes In Pre-IPO Tech Companies
Adorable Swedish Tradition Has Its Roots in Human Experimentation
Trump Is the Boss From Hell
Bernie Sanders’ Hack Lets You Call White House, whitehouseinc.org
Keep It Simple and Take Credit by Jack Meserve

Gov. Rauner hires former Comptroller Munger as deputy governor

To my Jewish, Irish, Asian and Italian friends
KKK, American Nazi Party praise Trump’s hiring of Bannon

This Far-Right Tweet About “The Future That Liberals Want” Backfired Into A Huge Meme

Chicago SF clubs and events:
MythInk is a club for fantasy, sci-fi, and horror writers of Columbia College
Might still be local: National Space Society Director, Public Affairs Vice President, and Education & Outreach Chair. Enterprise in Space Technical Adviser, Science & Educational Outreach Director, Lynne F. Zielinsk

Chicago Society’s 2016 Conference Space: Speculation and Exploration
This Stunningly Racist French Novel Is How Steve Bannon Explains The World

Republican government

I’ve seen comments that Betsy DeVos (married into the Amway pyramid scheme) is unqualified to be Sec. of Education. This is Republican government–Republicans want to destroy much of the Federal government. They were circumspect about in the past, but the Republican party has become more extreme, gotten more power, and feels less need to mask their objective. When a Republican is elected, the Sec. of Education is tasked with destroying public schools and funneling government support to private Christian schools. This has the dual goals of destroying teacher unions (to cut teacher pay) and funneling public money to for profit school corporations. And recall, the Religious Right, modern white political Christianity, was created in the fight over government subsidies for private whites-only Christians schools started to circumvent desegregation.

A Republican Sec. of the Interior is tasked with giving public lands to mining and lumber companies. A Republican Dept. of Justice shuts down enforcement of Civil Rights laws, anti-trust enforcement, and lets companies cheat their customers. A Republican Labor department is tasked with reducing worker safety and enforcement of honest pay laws. A Republican EPA Administrator is tasked with not enforcing (and eliminating where possible) clean water and clean air laws. The head of the Energy Dept. doles out subsidies to the oil and coal industry, and he works with Interior to give these companies protected Federal lands and works with the EPA to to legalize the industry’s pollution.

Cashing in on the Presidency

A note on Donald Trump. When he takes office tomorrow, he will be in violation of a Constitutional ban on receiving money from foreign interests, “no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.” Trump still owns his company, and it takes in payments from foreigners in many ways. Since being elected, he has used his status as President-elect multiple times to meet with foreign officials and press them for help with his company’s business deals. Trump will also be in violation of the Constitution in another way. Trump properties in the US receive favorable tax treatment (tax abatements and rebates), these are a common part of real estate deals. The President is banned from receiving payments from the States under the Constitution. Trump has refused to sell his business, and plans to use the Presidency to increase his wealth. This is plain corruption, using the office of the Presidency for illegitimate private gain.

A don’t expect that conservatives will complain about Trump’s violation of the Constitution. Many conservatives have taken to calling themselves ‘Constitutional Conservatives’, but they will not utter a peep about Trump’s violation of these Constitutional anti-corruption measures. ‘Constitutional Conservative’ was always a proud name for shabby blanket opposition to President Obama. It was always about partisanship for them, not law or the Constitution. Trump’s self dealing will not attract the attention of the Republican majority Congress, they will do little or no investigation, nor demand Trump follow the rules laid out in the Constitution. Republicans will retreat to the President Nixon’s “If the President does it, it’s not illegal” excuse.

CLP-415NW Samsung printer repair

My Samsung CLP-415NW printer was giving a A1-4111 error. I found a post saying that this can be caused by a toner sensor electromagnet failing to hit the correct position because a foam pad squishes up. After removing the front door (remove black plastic extenders, pull up left side of door to pop out hinge), the front plastic piece, and the right side plastic case, the electromagnet can be uncovered. The electromagnet assembly can be removed with one screw, and pulled out for easier access. I added a 3-4 layers of masking tape to build up the pad. This cleared up the issue.