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Friday, July 17, 2015

Friday Water Cooler

Hillary takes a swipe at Uber ( but stops short of slamming the "gig economy." Saying the gig economy "raises questions" isn't the same as taking a stand, sorry.

David Raup
R.I.P. paleontologist David Raup (, who detected a 26-million-year periodicity in extinction pulses that continues to intrigue paleontologists and astrophysicists, and brought quantitative, computational methods to a field that had largely lacked such approaches. He fearlessly asked big, hard questions.

China's Great Wall is disappearing (, with about 30% of it gone. Around 1962 km of wall has melted away over the centuries (possibly because the "mortar" was largely rice paste). And no, you can't see the wall from space.

How the Junk Food Industry Bought Off America's Nutritionists ( It turns out the American Society for Nutrition (ASN) has strong financial ties with Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Monsanto, Mars, The Sugar Association, and other Big Food companies and groups. Former ASN officials admit accepting consulting fees from McDonalds, Cadbury Schweppes, and others. Basically, the ASN has zero credibility and no reason to exist, except to rake money in from the groups it should be criticizing.

Iceland Jails Its Bankers ( but Obama never asked the Justice Dept. to go after the criminally negligent sociopaths who wrecked our economy in 2008, still at large, still a danger.

Scientific Evidence as to Why Reddit Sucks (WaPo). Researchers find that people who write high-quality posts aren’t as encouraged by positive attention as bad posters are by negative attention. The latter tend to post more heavily, and with ever-deteriorating quality. The actual paper (PDF) is here.

Frank Herbert
Dune, 50 Years On ( A classic of English literature? Meh. But you can't say Dune wasn't profoundly influential.

The Other Americans: Poverty in the U.S. ( A fine, nuanced, non-simplistic Utne long-form piece, by Moinca Potts, on the dark side of capitalism. Poverty isn't an accident or a choice. It's a natural product of our political and economic systems. Failure to fix those systems impoverishes us all.

e ^{i \theta} = \cos(\theta) + i \sin(\theta).

The Hell with Trigonometry ( A wonderfully entertaining rant from someone who obviously knows trig quite well (Mathbabe, your tan line is showing...), yet hates it with the fire of a thousand suns.

SeaWorld infiltrates animal rights group ( And won't stop running those stupid TV ads.

When Will Greek Looting and Austerity End? ( Never, because that's precisely the point. Perpetual subjugation. The quote at the end of this piece is disturbingly accurate.

Europe's Regime Change (this blog). Germany is in charge now. Again. The Greek is the new Jew, Europe's "bad luck," the constitutive Other onto which German finance-meisters assiduously project the various attributes (shiftlessness, mendacity, profligacy, etc.) they fear in themselves. An old and familiar pattern that many of us thought disappeared circa 1946. Alas, we were wrong.

Have you checked out my free book Mental Health Myths Debunked? Tons of info, tons of live links, lots of straight talk about depression, meds, therapy, psychiatry, mental health trends, statistics, and more (documented, with links to sources). And you know me, I call bullshit on bogus ideas (then give URLs to the actual data). The idea that antidepressants take weeks to do anything? Myth. Most people benefit from antidepressants? Myth. Antidepressants separate from placebo in clinical trials? Largely myth. (Half the trials show separation. Half don't.) Electroshock therapy is safe and effective? Bigtime myth. But don't take my word for it: Read the science for yourself. It's all laid out (with references) in the book. Download ePub or PDF now at NoiseTrade. Tell a friend.


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