Linkee-poo weekend edition

Sometimes public outcry works. That London agency that fired a woman for not wearing high-heels changes its policy.

Hillary Clinton floats the idea of allowing those over 50 to buy into Medicare. Meanwhile, on the other side of the island, Karl Rove dusts off his stack of anti-HillaryCare mailers.

"Facebook, the IRS, and the GOP’s bullshit feedback loop… Republicans can't resist a good anti-conservative conspiracy theory." Yep. (Grokked from Wil Wheaton)

It's getting harder to act like whiteness isn't shaping our politics.

Linkee-poo, how do you think I'm going to get along without you when you're gone?

NPR celebrates 50 years of Wes Wilson's psychedelic font/posters. Note because man, I dig his art. I've done a few homage pieces based on his work during my career. I think he's the only single artist I've done that with, although I've also done a lot of Swiss Type which is sorta diametrically opposed to his vision.

Shakespeare's head is missing. Someone must have done a spectacular Hamlet Act II opening scene somewheres. (Grokked from Mrs. Tadd)

Using x-rays to read fragile scrolls. SCIENCE!

What happens when you have a country with industrialization that refuses to enforce environmental laws. Well, you could look a the Yamuna River in India as an example. But don't look to closely. Don't want to get any of that on you.

Against the corporatization of the university and what it does to the professors and scholarship.

Because it'll be relevant this election season, Spurious Correlations. Lies, damnable lies, and statistics. (Grokked from Dan)

So, after the exposés of about 10 years ago, how are working conditions in the chicken houses for the workers? There's a report that because they're afraid to ask for bathroom breaks some have resorted to wearing diapers on the job. So, about the same as it was. Good think the major producers who own the chickens, own the feed, own the houses and force the farm owners into onerous contracts to supply them don't actually hire the employees that gather the chickens into the trucks and clean the houses. They engage outside firms to supply them with employees. That way they can avoid all these workplace issues and the pesky problem of undocumented workers doing the hard stuff.

Fuck cancer.

More on the Facebook allegations. And more here. So far, it's "anonymous reports" against Facebook, and the Senate is looking into it. Sort of like how the Benghazi Committee was forcing the Pentagon to look into allegations of someone who called into some radio talk show. It's the 1% Doctrine but applied to news organizations. Also, surprise, the GOP actually is concerned about a fair and open internet. You know, when they feel they're on the fuzzy end of the lollipop. I expect this to go the way of the IRS allegations (which is one of the topics the anonymous whistleblowers said was suppressed), a lot of smoke and heat about nothing once you find out more liberal groups were selected out to provide extended documents than conservative groups were.

"The researchers say this is the first example of any eukaryote that completely lacks mitochondria." Get out the whiteout, correction tape, and erasers, everybody. It's going to be a long night.

So, since I ding ad agencies when they make ad fails, here's a home run swing. A PSA to stop texting while driving.

The fire that set off the explosion at a West, Texas, fertilizer plant is deemed a criminal act.

The middle class is going bye-bye. "Pew defines middle-income households as those having three people and an annual income between about $42,000 to $125,000, adjusted for the cost of living in a metro area and the number of household members." The good news is more communities are seeing people escalate up, but only by less than 10%. However, they don't state how populous those areas are.

The Philadelphia Police Department is shocked, shocked to find someone put a Google Maps Streetview Car sticker on their surveillance equipped SUV that photographs people's license plates to develop travel patterns of the citizens. So they took the sticker off. Note, not that they said anything about gathering up thousands of license plate numbers and storing them. (Grokked from Dan)

So, the GOP (and the Trumpster) have one major idea for health care reform; removing the barriers to interstate sales. "In the first of a series of videos about health policy promises that sound like a good idea but maybe aren't, Julie Rovner explores why increasing competition in health insurance by allowing sales of policies across state lines might not be such a hot idea after all." Yeah, pretty much not.

Senator Chuck Grassley posts an article on the refusal to proceed with hearings on Judge Merrick Garland and touts what a wonderful job he's doing. In the comments he's quickly taken to task for both his reading of history, his own statements to the contrary of his current positions, and simple mathematics. Sometimes it's okay to read the comments. (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

A new worldwide report estimates that "(r)estrictive laws do not appear to lower the number of procedures, but do increase the likelihood of health risks to women who must seek unsafe procedures. Around $300m a year is spent treating an estimated 7m women who suffer complications after unsafe abortions." Yep. I'm sure the abstinence education pogroms will helps fix this. (Grokked from Annalee Flower Horne)

Why does there seem to be a disconnect when talking about politics? "43% of voters think the unemployment rate has increased while Obama has been President, to only 49% who correctly recognize that it has decreased. And 32% of voters think the stock market has gone down during the Obama administration, to only 52% who correctly recognize that it has gone up. In both cases Democrats and independents are correct in their understanding of how things have changed since Obama became President, but Republicans claim by a 64/27 spread that unemployment has increased and by a 57/27 spread that the stock market has gone down." Yeah, that could be it. (Grokked from Chip Dawes)

Tweet of my heart: @KameronHurley At the very least, many "full time writers" aren't full time novelists. They freelance many other kinds of corporate writing projects.

Linkee-poo lost myself in a familiar song, I closed my eyes and I slipped away

The Hidden Brain podcast on the power of positive thinking (not) and the WOOP method. For your writer's block times.

Open air, full scale demonstration of the Hyperloop. So, you may remember that Hyperloop is the brain child of Elon Musk (also of SpaceX and Tesla). So, anyone want to speculate that the Hyperloop is actually a first step in a rail-based launch system? (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

No no no, in my day history was in black and white. Artists and colorizers add color to vintage photos of monuments being built. There's at least two anomalies in there, but mostly because the color studies they went from (I'm assuming here) were done long after the finished construction. Damn you, Ted Turner! (Grokked from Dan)

"Now scientists think they have an understanding about how Zika causes these severe brain malformations. The findings come from a series of mouse experiments, published Wednesday in three leading journals." Pointed to because until this year we thought of Zika as daily benign (there actually was research on it, but it was dropped to look at other diseases). Think of what else we may think is benign but is actually changing out brain structure (every time I hear/read about Zika I'm reminded of John Scalzi's Locked In and its Hayden Syndrome). Just a note here, while there's been a lot of attention paid to babies born with microcephaly, that's only because those make for sensational photos. Zika also causes Guillain-Barré Syndrome in adults.

More guns means we're more safe, right? Nope. Besides all the stories about toddlers killing/shooting their parents or siblings or themselves there are stories like this. A barber pulls a gun after refusing to "cut black hair." No mention of the race of the customer. And it's not the first time for this barber (although the other run ins with the law were over pepper spray). I'm sure he has some deeply held religious convictions, no doubt.

Before you rip off that tweet or blog post about how backward less developed countries are when it comes to women's rights, in the UK a company fired a woman for not wearing high heels, as they asked her to. And there might be very little recourse. Remind me to tell you about the time a coworker wore a pants suit to our Dallas office (this was in '93 I think). (Grokked from Kelly Link)

"While (NC) Republican state leaders have complained about being 'bullied' by the federal government over House Bill 2 (the "bathroom bill"), lobbyists in Raleigh tell WRAL News they and the businesses they represent are being bullied by state lawmakers seeking to silence business opposition to the new law." So, let's see, one side believes they're being bullied because the Federal Government says, "wait a minute, you're in violation of the law here" while at the same time those very same people are telling businesses and lobbyists to STFU or face punishing legislation. Which side is the bully, again? "'That's not a threat,' Hager, R-Rutherford, explained (about asking if a lobbyist really wanted to work with the majority)… 'We want people that'll work with us. We don't want people that'll go out there and bash us on Twitter and bash us on Facebook'…Hager wants to remove state tax breaks that currently benefit American Airlines, NASCAR, Google, Apple and Facebook, all of which have taken public positions against House Bill 2. But he said that's just a coincidence." Uh huh. Sure it is.

The natural gas economy, now killing the environment only half as much as coal. Okay, well, it might be more than that. Methane is tricksy it is. Say, know what is released when permafrost melts? (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

More in the politicians feel they are "special". In this case, in the Oklahoma Capitol, GOP lawmakers walk through the metal detectors setting them off, but aren't called on it. Laws, after all, are for the plebes.

And in other Trumpster news, the Donald takes credit for your good bowel movements. I mean he takes credit for the Budweiser/Amurika thing. Hey InBev marketing pros, you gonna sit down for this one? (Grokked from Chip Dawes)

Linkee-poo, when the night has come and the land is dark and the moon is the only light we'll see

For the 20th anniversary of Viable Paradise, they're running a reunion on the island. Just for the record, I attended VP XIII. (Grokked from MacAllister Stone)

One of the joys of reading to kids, messing with their little heads. I mean, revealing plot twists. Yeah. That's what I meant. (Grokked from Kameron Hurley)

Oh Florida Man. Florida man shoots himself, but doesn't notice until two days later when he changed his shirt. When the satire writes itself, it's time to give up. (Grokked from TPM)

And in the healthy weight food fight, another shot is fired. "The body mass index, or BMI, associated with the lowest risk of death has increased since the 1970s, a study finds, from 23.7, in the 'normal' weight category, to 27, which is deemed 'overweight.'" Take that, Dr. Adkins! This is the point most people throw their hands in the air and shout, "Fuck it" and then go to Dairy Queen.

"On Sunday, May 8, Germany hit a new high in renewable energy generation. Thanks to a sunny and windy day, at one point… the country’s solar, wind, hydro and biomass plants were supplying about 55 GW of the 63 GW being consumed, or 87%. Power prices actually went negative for several hours, meaning commercial customers were being paid to consume electricity." Yep, renewables will never been major players… except in many other countries they already are (note Germany still has gas, coal, and nuclear powered generation). (Grokked from CC Findley)

Apparently, the Senate has some time on it's hands. So it's going to investigate Facebook to see if they've been keeping topics of concern to conservatives off their "trending topics" queue. Facebook did their own investigation and found no misdeeds, but just like the IRS scandal, because conservatives see conspiracies everywhere, apparently they think Facebook is against them. Really? Fuck, I don't use Facebook that much because of all the conservatives there who muck up my feed. (Grokked from Xeni)

Gross alert, astronomer demonstrates with a pig's eyeball what happens if you stare at the sun with a telescope (without proper precautions and masking). Includes direction of said eyeball after he burns a hole through the retina. You know you can just burn ants with a magnifying glass to make this point, right?

"This summer, the Crystal Serenity—a 820-foot-long, 13-deck cruise ship with a casino, a movie theater, six restaurants and a driving range—is planning to steam through (the Northwest Passage) in less than a month." Some see Global Warming as a catastrophe, some see it as a business opportunity. I guess that means that Greenland is soon to be the next "cruise island." See, I've read some of the early exploration journals, so this gets an immediate "nope" from my brain. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

How could the water crisis in Flint get any worse, you may be asking yourself. "Today in a district court in Michigan, ex-Flint City Administrator Natasha Henderson alleged that she was fired from her position after reporting that Flint Mayor Karen Weaver had directed underlings to divert money intended for a clean water charity to her personal campaign PAC." That'll do it. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

"A North Carolina school board decided on Tuesday that students should be allowed to carry defensive sprays and razors — with one member suggesting they might need these tools in light of HB2, the controversial state law that requires students using bathrooms in public schools to use bathrooms according to the sex on their birth certificate." What could possibly go wrong? Hey, remember kids getting suspended because they brought aspirin to school? (Grokked from Chip Dawes)

So, any business commentary on the Presidential election? "Budweiser is renaming its beer 'America' for the summer. The special cans and bottles will be available May 23 through the presidential election in November." Well played, Anheuser-Busch. Say, why didn't you mention you're actually owned by InBev in your press release? Not that I would drink a Bud ever again (this is a long standing rule, not something new). Which gives me an opportunity to point to this Monty Python skit the Philosopher's Song. "We find your American beer is a little like making love in a canoe." Fortunately the American beer market has changed since then.

Shocked, shocked the GOP is that anybody would have a problem with the NC law that not only says people need to use the bathroom corresponding to the sex indicated on their birth certificate, but that removes local government's authority to permit it and strips several layers of protection away from not only the LBGT community, but anyone who may be discriminated against.

Okay, who had "Ted Cruz is actually a zombie" in the office pool. If the Tedster wins Nebraska he says he'll come back in (newsflash, he didn't). And this is part of the reason people "suspend" their campaigns instead of outright ending them (that and monetary reasons). No, Ted, just go. (Grokked from Maureen Johnson)