Cavalcade of Mammals
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)
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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
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
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 —
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 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.