Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Our Long National Nightmare Has Come To An End

Actually I'm not even going to dignify any of the 'carnival barker' road-kill stapled to his head guy fueled nonsense with a response (I heard Bob Schieffer on CBS handled it nicely though).

Instead here's a video that's entirely worth your time, and that of any kids you might know...

I'm a fan of Beyonce and the Let's Move campaign.

(via GOOD)

Slow News Day

There actually was a fair amount of news today, but I'm busy and thought I'd share this video (a little slow but a lot of fun)...

Fun and pretty spot on but I am disappointed that there isn't a "You're gonna need a biggah hamma" pose.

(via KM)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Feed That Addiction

I prefer to think of these types of little flash games as inventive and fun time wasters as opposed to true addictions, but they certainly can be hard to stop playing...

I just spent a good half an hour at least trying to get past level 10 of Gluey.  Hint: rapid clicking when the blobs are bigger seems to be a decent tactic, then again I washed out after 9 levels so what do I know?

From Kottke's stash of addictive flash games.

There's The Truth And Then There's What Republicans Say

Reality has a long standing and well recognized liberal bias, maybe folks are finally starting to realize that.

Paul Krugman has been pointing it out for years and Andrew Leonard had a great look at the Republican look on taxes the other day...

Republicans are nothing if not consistent. Despite all evidence to the contrary, they stick to the script. There's no better proof of this than their adherence to that classic fundamental pillar of supply-side economics: the theory that cutting taxes raises revenues.

Here's Rep. Joe Walsh, (R-Ill.) the self-styled "conservative Tea Party activist" who upset Democrat Melissa Bean in the 2010 midterms, on ABC's "This Week."

"In the '80s, federal revenues went up," said Walsh. "We didn't cut spending. Revenues went up in the '80s. Every time we've cut taxes, revenues have gone up. The economy has grown."
Walsh may be a freshman in Congress, but he's got the party line down pat. Here's Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell saying in July that the Bush tax cuts "increased revenue, because of the vibrancy of these tax cuts in the economy. " Here's Speaker of the House John Boehner saying last June that " over the last 30 years... lower marginal tax rates have led to a growing economy, more employment and more people paying taxes," he said.

You'd be hard pressed to find a more orthodox Republican viewpoint. But you'd be equally hard pressed to prove that the assertion is true.
But it isn't just commentators on the left pointing out the Republicans' problems with the truth these days.  Fred Hiatt, long a defender of Republican nonsense, went after the right wing for their stance on climate change and their fact defying arithmetic last week.  As Brad DeLong pointed out, if you've lost Fred Hiatt the end may be in sight.

The most shocking, and rewarding, calling out of Republicans came from Paul Ryan's constituents at a recent town hall meeting though.

(via HTWW)

Harder To Read - Easier To Remember?

This story was up a while ago but I just got back to it in my 'To Read' folder.  An interesting look at how our brains process and store information centered on recent studies showing that crazy fonts may make it easier for subjects to recall what they read then if the same material was presented in a plain font.

Sounds like a potential winner for teachers of younger students with attention issues...
Last week, science writer and editor Christian Jarrett blogged about a new study, published this month in Cognition. The researchers, led by Connor Diemand-Yauman, asked 28 student volunteers to read about hypothetical alien species from a sheet printed in either 16-point Arial, 12-point Bodoni, or, yes, 12-point Comic Sans. The larger Arial font was much more legible than the other two versions, but in a quiz 15 minutes later, students reading the Bodoni or Comic Sans versions were significantly more accurate in recalling details about the aliens.

(via SEED)

Bolded, italicized, Trebuchet is the weirdest Blogger is set up for...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Brian Wilson Continues To Have The Greatest Beard Ever

This video is mostly awesome for other reasons though, a great 3 minute break when you next need one...

(via Hard Ball Talk)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Quality Procrastination

Also known as multi-tasking.  I'm almost always listening to something while I work, it's often related to baseball by sometimes it's a TED Talk (makes me feel like I'm learning something).  This one from Steven Pinker on the myth of violence is really interesting, give it a listen...

The procrastination really comes into play in the posting of the video...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Colbert And Kyl

Wondering why Jon Kyl is all over Stephen Colbert's twitter feed?  Look no further my friends, this epic clip contains the secret...

Lets give this a whirl...

During his last election Jon Kyl received 90% of his campaign donations from Nazis. (That was not intended to be a factual statement.)

(via TPM)

Got Character(s)?

This is making the rounds of late and it's pretty neat to watch in a slightly odd but absorbing way, so it may as well be here too...

That's all 50k-ish unicode characters, each in it's own frame.  Maybe not worth the whole half hour but a few minutes won't kill you.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Still Functioning (Barely)

I think our federal government is pretty clearly a dysfunctional mess right now and that eventually the mess that is the congress will manage to screw things up so royally that we will actually be living with catastrophic consequences.

Unfortunately (or maybe the opposite), this is not a 10k word post on how or why I think that might happen or even if I think there is any hope (maybe a little, but I'm fairly pessimistic).  One day I might have the time for that, but right now I'm trying to make sure I graduate and also trying to become employed again in the near future so my priorities are elsewhere.  The near shutdown of the federal government though (the parts that actually do all the real work, not the ones where blowhards argue with each other without understanding the issues) deserves some sort of comment (that is what I do here after all).

I mainly pay attention to Ezra Klein and Paul Krugman on these types of things and they seem to be in agreement on the ramifications of the compromise and why it's pretty sucky. 

Krugman has the short summary...

It’s one thing for Obama to decide that it was better to give in to Republican hostage-taking than draw a line in the sand; it’s another for him to celebrate the result. 
And Klein has a little bit of a longer rundown and more on the economic context of it all...
The Democrats believe it’s good to look like a winner, even if you’ve lost. But they’re sacrificing more than they let on. By celebrating spending cuts, they’ve opened the door to further austerity measures at a moment when the recovery remains fragile. Claiming political victory now opens the door to further policy defeats later.
Bottom line, once again we've got a mess on our hands and we're screwed because no one is actually doing anything to make it better.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Hindsight And Flying

My flights home from Singapore went smoothly (even if they weren't the most enjoyable ones I've taken lately) and I don't have any real hindsight regrets.

But a friend introduced me to Ze Frank's the show (of long ago, I know) recently with this episode and it's worth passing along...

As much as I enjoy that one I might well not have shared it if Kottke hadn't pointed out that Ze Frank is watching all the episodes and posting his comments on them as a five year anniversary project.