Monday, October 31, 2022
Sunday, October 30, 2022
Friday, October 28, 2022
The latest news from Berenike concerns the discovery of a strange shrine. The site is in the northern part of the town, a district marked in red on the magnetic map of the town shown above.
Vox ponders the strange deaths of 15 prominent Russian businessmen since the invasion of Ukraine.
Tolkien on fairy stories and "eucastrophe," his word for a sudden turn from disaster to salvation.
NYC mobster Anthony Zottola is convicted of having his father rubbed out in a murder-for-hire scheme; the key evidence included a conspirator who found out he was being cheated on the price and a long series of text messages from the conspirators laying out the plot. They did write in code but it was obvious to the jury what they really meant. (NY Times, CNN)
Study finds that air pollution (particulate matter) has significant impacts on the mental development of children, and that around 20 percent of the educational difference between black and white children in the US can be accounted for by greater pollution exposure.
So the UK finally has a nonwhite Prime Minister, but Rishi Sunak is a Brahmin, the son of a doctor, a graduate of Winchester (where he was Head Boy), Oxford, and Stanford, and a former Goldman Sachs banker; he then married a billionaire's daughter, quit his job and got into politics. Tell me what matters more in the modern world, race or class?
The big news about the new British cabinet is that it is the first ever Tory cabinet with no graduates of Eton. Anyone care to estimate what percentage of British adults have graduated from Eton?
Somewhat interesting essay by an Indian American woman on teaching the south Asian diaspora to a class full of Asian American kids. Young Americans are so determined to be oppressed.
The first paleogenetic study of a Neanderthal community suggests they were patrilocal, since more women were outsiders.
Rewilding in Spain, where so many people have left some rural areas that it was easy to find 850,000 nearly empty acres (350,000 hectares) for the reintroduction of wild cattle, horses, lynx, and other species. Note that the biggest threat to the trees in this area is logging for biomass energy production, which is utterly absurd and would not happen except that the EU counts biomass energy as carbon neutral.
Water tank and pipes uncovered in Roman villa, looks amazingly modern.
For the curious, and those who play a certain kind of game, here's a list of the gear soldiers should carry when investigating an underground tunnel complex.
The Wall Street Journal estimates that one million Russians have left the country since February 24. One of the top destinations, especially for tech workers, is Serbia. "Nearly 700 Russia-linked firms have opened branch offices employing thousands of Russians, and around 1,500 Russian citizens have set up new companies since February." Interesting that the "special relationship" between Russia and Serbia, which goes back to before Serbia became a modern nation, is still strong.
Short thread summing up the "alienation/belonging" theory of conspiracy belief.
The strange lives of freshwater mussels.
David Brooks takes note of the negativity of America and the world in the 2020s: news headlines are angrier and more negative, hit song lyrics are angrier and more negative, surveys find that people are less happy. (NY Times)
The US Dept of Defense is getting ready to issue a report debunking claims that UFOs spotted by pilots are alien spaceships. They think some are drones, others aerial trash. (NY Times)
Ukraine LinksThis guy has been stuck in a trench for too long.
Short video showing a Ukrainian squad, accompanied by a tank, assaulting a small Russian entrenchment.
Long Reuters piece about what the documents captured in a Russian command post in Balakliya reveal about the state of the Russian army before Ukraine's September offensive: supply shortages, units at 20% strength, insubordination, etc.
Interview with Ukrainian soldier/poet Pavlo Vyshebaba, who remains positive and optimistic about the war.
Artilleryman Thomas Theiner lays out his wish list for NATO weapons acquisition, based on what he has seen in Ukraine. The list would not be cheap. The arms race between new ways of attacking (suicide drones, missiles, drone-guided artillery) and ways of defending (Hardkill Active Protection Systems, lasers) is accelerating.
Badly translated but gripping video in which a Ukrainian tanker relates a battle in the first days of the invasion.
Thread on Russian accusations that Ukraine is preparing to use a "dirty bomb."
Kyiv's top techno club reopens for one night.
Putin: "Ahead of us is the most dangerous and unpredictable decade since the end of WWII."
More Russian infighting: Ramzan Kadyrov attacks Col. Gen. Lapin, blames him for Ukrainian successes, says he is "nowhere to be found."
20-minute video explaining Russia's capabilities in "seabed warfare" and how it might attack undersea cables and pipelines.
As of 7:00 AM EDT today, rumors are spreading that Ukrainian forces have broken through Russian lines south of Svatove and cut a key highway.
Thursday, October 27, 2022
Since the late 1990s, college-educated voters have been moving towards the Democratic Party while voters without a college degree have become more decidedly Republican-leaning. . . .
As this divide deepened, views on higher education became even more partisan. That has influenced how politicians talk about higher education, as well as their policy approaches to it. During his administration, Trump not only launched attacks on colleges, especially those he deemed elite — despite himself having graduated from the University of Pennsylvania — but began accusing them of spreading liberal propaganda. “Too many Universities and School Systems are about Radical Left Indoctrination, not Education,” he wrote on Twitter in 2020.
In the FiveThirtyEight/PerryUndem/YouGov survey 51 percent of respondents agreed with the idea that “a college education is the best way to get ahead in the U.S.” But agreement differed significantly by respondent’s partisan affiliations: Seventy-one percent of self-identified Democrats agreed while 37 percent of self-identified Republicans did.
Respondents were also asked a series of questions to gauge how they felt about higher education. Fifty-seven percent of respondents disagreed with the statement “college makes you lose common sense,” while 37 percent agreed. Of those who agreed, 65 percent planned to “definitely” vote for the Republican candidate in the upcoming midterms, while 12 percent of those who agreed planned to “definitely” vote for the Democratic candidate.
More than 4 in 5 Republicans agreed with the statements that “most college professors teach liberal propaganda” and “high schools are trying to teach liberal propaganda,” compared with 17 and 16 percent of Democrats, respectively. Those who agreed with one of these statements generally also agreed with the other (90 percent). There weren’t huge differences in how people answered these questions based on level of education (except for people with postgraduate degrees). Instead, it was partisanship that mattered.