100 years of Solitude? Blindness (Saramago)?
Historical note on Santos Dumont (here, “santos doomong”): as well as his balloon exploits, this Brazilian inventor was also, according to some, the true inventor and flyer of the first / first real / first practical airplane.
This can’t be as topical as it looks, given deadlines, right?
Possible “awakening” effects—I’m not holding my breath.
A bad round with Covid only very modestly opened Boris Johnson’s eyes. Trump’s cut from a double layer of the same reality-shedding cloth.
The cell phone bit is urban legend, with a (weak) basis in one study showing (at a level of significance that’s not wildly convincing, given the existence of “publication bias,” the problem caused by positive unexpected results being considered far more publishable than failure to see an effect) that birds nesting on actual cell phone towers have somewhat smaller and fewer young. There’s also study showing robins lose their ability to orient in the presence of fields between 2 kilohertz and 5 megahertz; but that’s AM radio range (or some sorts of physics equipment), not cell phone signal range.
See (cached version for text only / full access): http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:8opzJo7qcC0J:https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/phenomena/2014/05/07/electromagnetic-noise-disrupts-bird-compass/&hl=en&gl=us&strip=1&vwsrc=0
Man-Made Electromagnetic Noise Disrupts a Bird’s Compass, national geographic
for fuller description of the electromagnetic issue, which also contains a link to debunking of other anecdotal sources by controlled experiments.
A lot of money is going into what in most years would have been considered entirely spurious challenges and appeals of rulings on those challenges and appeals of appeals of rulings, as far as which candidates (often, independent or third party candidates) have qualified to get on the ballot. If any decision is delayed, any ballot including that race can’t be printed and mailed. Or if they’re printed and mailed on the basis of a judgement that’s then overturned, they have to be re-called, and people have to re-vote.
In fact, due to the calendar for challenges and counter-challenges, some regions don’t ever expect to have ballots printed, sorted, bundled and ready for mailing until ~two weeks before the election. (These are the normally invisible parts of the process, but if you google your county and state, and “election calendar” and “challenge,” you will see some of the workings. Though those deadlines refer to the first filing for the challenge.)
In addition, some states, by law, have to take absentee and mail voting requests until as little as a week before the election; primarily in areas where the USPS used to guarantee same-day delivery within the county. (I lived in one such region; they are real.) When that guarantee disappeared a few years ago, post office hours were cut, and the number of pickups from mailboxes even at the post office was reduced, mail-voting problems ticked up a notch. People would miss the unexpectedly early last pickup on Friday, there was no pickup saturday, and the pickup on monday didn’t get the mail to the election office on Tuesday.
In those areas, USPS now will not guarantee even two-day turnaround. Add two days to the schedule, and the timeline becomes untenable. A ballot mailed to the voter on the Tuesday prior to election day will not be in the voters hands and returned in time to count.
Rather the opposite. Having been there myself, here’s how it worked.
Rationale: “Having a community” consistently (and understandably) rates highly for people making college decisions. If you happen to be white, and would not have considered going to a historically black college that’s still more than 98% african american, with no white faculty, you presumably understand the feeling; but for native americans applying to top private schools, the numbers never even get that high. “Stanford has the highest share of students identifying as American Indian or Alaska Native in its American undergraduate population, at 0.9%.”
Process: After hiring (for faculty), and after admission (for students) Harvard went out of its way to encourage both faculty and students to claim whatever partial heritage they might have, as a way to encourage more minorities to apply. They don’t get federal money for it. There’s no scholarship or preferment or even a free donut for the people involved. Just the knowledge that someone brilliant from an under-represented community might be moved to consider Harvard, even if it’s far away, not culturally familiar, etc.
Result: underwhelming. Harvard wasn’t (and isn’t) alone in assuming that “having community” and “having people here who identify in some way with your culture, and want you to be comfortable and successful here” are fungible. They’re not, of course. Dartmouth is an exception, with numbers in the 4% range; and it was originally founded as a college for the education of Native Americans (education, indoctrination…discuss…) yet only graduated 19 native americans in its first 200 years.
per Reuters, camp residents are quoted as saying it was right-wing townpeople, who took the opportunity to do it during the asylum seekr protests; the townpeople are quoted as saying that it was burnt by the asylum seekers themselves (with all their few worldly goods inside?) and that if it is built again, “those people will burn it again, 100% certain.”
Here’s a find: a fictionalized re-enactment filmed by Thomas Edison (!) of Colonel Funston swimming the Bagbag (sometimes, Baglag) river, Bulacan, Philippines (referenced in panel 7).
Funston (as Brigadier General) was also involved in covering up US atrocities (the shooting of unarmed prisoners) at the battle of Caloocan (panel 8).
Roofies? This better end up substantive. If it’s an easy joke, it’s horribly un-funny.