Tag Archives: Open Threads

Climate clippings 232: climate emergency edition

Freak hail in Guadalajara, Mexico

With France breaking heat records by nearly 2°C and 1.5 metres of hail fall on Guadalajara in Mexico, Australian blog Lethal Heating has been blogging a storm on the climate emergency. LH selects and republishes three articles per day, adding value by making some available that may be paywalled, and adding a list of links to relevant previously published articles.

Below I’ve linked to some recent articles. Continue reading Climate clippings 232: climate emergency edition

Weekly salon 30/6

1. How to win against narcisists

BilB sent me a link to a YouTube of an interview with Bill Eddy about the topic of his book Why We Elect Narcissists And Sociopaths – and How We Can Stop (summary here). The money bit for me was near the end, from about 12.47. Eddy says that the high emotion output of HCPs (high-conflict politicians) must be countered with an equal weight of information. The quantity is as important as the quality. Continue reading Weekly salon 30/6

Weekly salon 22/6

1. Trump hexed

It seems Conservative Christians Claim Ocasio-Cortez Is A Witch Leading Attack Against Trump

    She scares them: Conservative Christians claim Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a witch guided by demons and leading an attack against President Donald Trump.

    Frightened by a smart, articulate, attractive young woman, conservative Christians panic, worried that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is really a witch leading a demonic attack against President Trump.

Continue reading Weekly salon 22/6

Weekly salon 17/6

1. Life in paradise

My GP said to me the other day, this is it – heaven! Life right here is as good as it gets, so we need to make the most of it!

Well, I’ve had a few experiences lately that I could have done without. Like last Sunday week ago. Here is the scene (photo from November 2017):

I had just spent about an hour with my son on the deck tranferring all the data to my new phone, getting it all set up and sorted.

The next job was to help my wife put the pool cover on for the winter. So I slipped my phone into my back pocket, where it couldn’t fall out. Continue reading Weekly salon 17/6

Weekly salon 9/6

1. Race is not a thing

Race is a social construct, largely based on culture and language. In biological and genetic terms it simply does not exist. Looking at the genes, scientists simply cannot form racial categories. Angela Saini, of Indian heritage and living in England, has been investigating the issue in her recently published book Superior: The return of race science. See her New Scientist article and in The Guardian Why race science is on the rise again.

In the 19th century there was a common assumption that a hierarchy existed with the European male at the pinnacle. Yet modern science shows that:

    There is no gene that exists in all the members of one racial group and not another. We are all a product of ancient and recent migration.

Continue reading Weekly salon 9/6

Weekly salon 3/6

1. Way to go!

When you are my age, making your will, and the lawyer asks you how you want your body disposed of, it is not just a box to tick. Basically I don’t much care, I won’t be around to take any responsibility, the executors of my will and remaining close family can do what the like.

However, I don’t like the idea of taking up space. So the idea of being incinerated and ashes sprinkled in a rain forest has some attraction. Yet there is irony in using a blast of gas to add however minimally to atmospheric greenhouse emissions.

Now Washington state has legalised human composting as an alternative to casket burial or cremation. The cost is more than cremation, but less than casket burial. Continue reading Weekly salon 3/6

Weekly salon 25/5

The sun came up on Sunday morning after the election, and has continued to do so ever since. So perhaps there was not a fundamental tear in basic fabric of reality as seemed to be the case on Saturday the night. So how is the rest of the world getting along?

1. Why smart people do stupid things?

Continue reading Weekly salon 25/5

Weekly salon 4/5

1. Thailand is ‘least miserable’ country in the world again

Thailand is happy about being the least miserable country in the world in the in the Bloomberg Misery Index, which is an economic indicator devised by Arthur Okun, and is derived by simply adding the forecasts of unemployment and inflation for the following year.

However, Thailand’s performance in the index is due to the Thai government’s unique way of tallying unemployment. More noteworthy are the performances of Switzerland, Japan and Singapore. For what it’s worth, here are the 10 least miserable: Continue reading Weekly salon 4/5

Weekly salon 28/4

1. Any clown can lead a country!

What with our ScoMo and Donald Trump as POTUS, you might think that any clown can run a country. Now in Ukraine we have – Comedy is a tool, a trick – Ukraine will soon see that running a country is no joke. Jack Bernhardt, a comedy writer and occasional performer, takes a look at the news that:

    Volodymyr Zelenskiy, an actor and comedian with no political experience other than playing the role of president in a TV series, has won a landslide victory in Ukraine’s presidential election, with near-complete counting showing he has won over 70% of the vote.

Continue reading Weekly salon 28/4

Weekly salon 7/4

1. ‘Kill Bill’ is alive and well

    “Labor has become a party of lies, negativity and grievance. They have nothing to offer but a long, dreary whinge, interrupted by falsehoods”; and for good measure: “Bill Shorten is a liar. He cannot tell the truth. There is no point being mealy-mouthed about this. He is a liar*.”

That was actually Malcolm Turnbull last July, but if you Google you get similar stuff going back to at least 2012. The asterisk was to a note saying the Turnbull had joined with Mark Latham, who had once said: Continue reading Weekly salon 7/4

Weekly salon 31/3

1. Christchurch changes the dynamics of the next Australian election irrevocably

That is the opinion of Peter Lewis, who conducts the Essential report poll. Two nights before the massacre of 50 worshippers in a Christchurch mosque, Lewis was with a focus group of swinging voters in suburban Brisbane, asking people to identify which politicians were responsible for a series of incendiary public comments around recently passed medical evacuation (medevac) laws:

    The propositions included the following: that the people “coming in” are paedophiles, they will clog up our hospital queues, they will end up in cultural bubbles, that western values are sacrosanct.

People thought it must be One Nation, for sure, but it wasn’t:

    there was genuine shock and some dismay when it was discovered the statements came not from the radical fringe, but from the mouths of the prime minister and his senior government ministers.

Continue reading Weekly salon 31/3