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Friday, April 10, 2015

Friday Water Cooler

Cat-Fight on Aisle Three: In a breathtakingly vitriolic rant at Gawker called The "Food Babe" Blogger Is Full of Shit, analytical chemist Yvette d'Entremont eviscerates food blogger and célébrité du moment Vani Hari in one of the most savage (and well deserved, IMHO) take-downs in Internet history. Not to be missed.

Vani Hari
At Cluster-Fukushima, TEPCO now admitting three reactor cores have melted down and are unrecoverable by any known technology. The melted core material, an entirely new man-made perma-lava of uncertain character, is simply called corium. It's too hot to go near; even robots break down; no one knows if the containment structures have been breached; may not be fixable for 200 years. But other than that, it's all under control.

Harvard researcher Mark Shrime recently wrote an article entitled “Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs?: The Surgical and Neoplastic Role of Cacao Extract in Breakfast Cereals.” The fake authors he chose for the piece were Pinkerton A. LeBrain and Orson Welles. Shrime submitted this fake article to 37 journals. At last count, 17 had accepted the obviously phony, nonsensical paper. The Problem of Publication-Pollution Denialism (mayoclinicproceedings.org).

How to keep men from unfairly earning more than women? Don't allow salary negotiations at hiring time. That's the answer according to Ellen Pao, famous lawsuit loser litigant and interim CEO of Reddit, who has instituted a policy at Reddit of "If we want your opinion on salaries we'll hand it to you." Touché, Ms. Pao, but what matters more, to men (and anyone with a brain), than starting salaries are things like advancement, raises, bonuses, career development. Are you going to suppress discussion of those things, too?

Crappiest Clickbait Story of the Week Award goes this week to Slate, for its horrendous news-fail The Reason McDonald's Chicken McNuggets Come in Four Distinct Shapes, which is assiduously content-free, reads suspiciously like an ad, and makes one wonder just how much McDonald's paid for placement of the "story."

FBI would rather prosecutors dropped cases than disclose stingray details (arstechnica.com): Solid reporting on the creepy technology law enforcement increasingly uses to pull off man-in-the-middle cell phone attacks to track your location, block calls, collect metadata, and more, without NSA's help.

And in case you don't have enough distractions in your day, definitely check out this mysterious, hypnotic solar flare video from NASA Goddard:


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I want to thank the following great folks who retweeted me yesterday on Twitter. My advice? Follow these guys. They retweet!



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