Amusing Links

This is where we all gather around and chant “fight, fight, fight” or whatever they do these days to cheer a schoolyard fight on. IBM says Google may not have reached quantum supremacy after all

Same as above, different context. Everyone Is a Russian Asset

Purdyville is safe from a German invasion. Germany: ‘Highly aggressive cow’ sparks lengthy police chase in Bavaria

The funny thing about the below is that it seems that the free runners really thought they had a chance (I say runners because it was group the gave the legion the challenge even though they only sent one runner to represent). At first I thought it was a publicity stunt from the legion but as best I can tell it was a real challenge from the free runners and one that they would go on to repeat in a more tedious context. Not speaking the language and not having spend a lot of time chasing down leads, I am sure that I could be wrong. On the other paw, I guess you have to say the free runner in this case did pretty well considering how the odds were stacked against him.

Justin Offers A Link

In a comment on this post, Justin offered the below video as a comment on this link.

I will make the following observations……

1. It is stories like the above that lead to socialism, communism, and other associated ideas having continued support in spite of their bad track record.

2. It is common for people who are good at something to think that they can therefore lead or manage a project that encompasses things that they are good at. But often, leadership skills don’t come with other strong skills. In particular, my own experience would lead me to believe that strongly artistic people are rarely good managers. A lot of Mr. Kern’s bad decisions as laid out in the above video strike me as a classic example of an artistic person let off the leash with no oversight. Computer gaming history is filled with similar stories of developers who were an integral part of strong teams but absolutely failed on their own in such spectacular fashion as to make you wonder if they were ever truly good at anything. In my judgement, the common thread in those tails of self-destruction is giving an artistic person a pot full of money with no controls.

3. It is common for people to exaggerate the evil nature of poor leaders and forgive the evil deeds of good leaders. That is to say the failure of leadership skill is often attributed to moral failings while successful leaders are forgiven moral lapses because they get things done. We all have moral failings and I am sure that Mr. Kern has more then his fair share. But I think a lot of what is laid out above is rooted above all else in lack of managerial talent and not some particularly black heart compared to other people in the same industry.

4. It is common for people to point out someone’s hypocrisy or other moral failings as if they demonstrate that that person does not have good points or sincerely held beliefs. A classic case of this is the attempts to delegitimize everything Winston Churchill did because he was a supporter of imperialism. In this case, nothing in the above video really has anything to do with Mark Kern’s points about China or the current management of Blizzard except to warn against turning Mr. Kern into some kind of hero.That is always a good warning to have, but no one should go in the opposite direction and think it demonstrates more then it does.

5. A broader hypocrisy of the west in general is the focus of things seen on TV instead of any kind of tangible yardsticks. For example, what has been done over the years in Tibet have been and continue to be far worse then anything currently going on in Hong Kong. And yet, Tibet has not developed into nearly as big of an issue as Hong Kong is becoming.

6. That said, I think it is truly alarming how determined China is to use its economic clout to regulate what is being said in other countries. It is one thing to control your own country’s internet. It is another thing to try to control what everyone else is saying all over the world. And that does seem to be what China is seeking to do. Imagine the outrage if the American government worked as hard as China has been working to get sport’s people fired for being critical of US policy.

Science Links

Hat tip to Grumpy for some of the links this time around…..

We all expect to the big one to happen tomorrow but at the same time most act like it never will. How many people have food and water on hand for more then a couple of days? A California Fault Line Has Started ‘Creeping’, And We Don’t Know What to Expect

I did not know they already had more then one: Mathematicians Have Discovered an Entirely New Way to Multiply Large Numbers

You would think that if this really happens that it could create problems for ships. Seems to me that jury is still out though I don’t really doubt that volcanoes could do this: Some Volcanoes Create Undersea Bubbles Up to a Quarter Mile Wide

A lot of passes for modern medicine is poorly supported. Massive marketing muscle pushes 3D mammograms, despite no evidence they save more lives, investigation shows.

Links for Today

From the department of unintended consequences. ‘Fear Of Falling’: How Hospitals Do Even More Harm By Keeping Patients In Bed

Riots everywhere: Chile. Lebanon. Spain. Holland. And of course, Hong Kong. If they do this when the grass is green, what will they do when the real trouble starts?

Your daily dose of a white non-Muslim man explaining to you what you should think about Sharia law. It is only mansplaing if it is not goodthink. Sharia law is already here — the IRS must respond

Remember California and their rolling blackouts. They think they can do these things without consequences New York State Attorney General (AG) Letitia James takes Exxon to trial this week, for alleged climate fraud.

It is kind of unfair that only Mexicans get to get into the US by crossing the border: Mexico flies 300 Indian migrants to New Delhi in ‘unprecedented’ mass deportation

Science Links

I am old enough to have been taught as fact that this never happened: Inherited Learning? It Happens, but How Is Uncertain

A good explanation of an iffy study. My money is this is just a variation of the common sense wisdom that stress and worry shorten your life: The More Active Your Brain, the Shorter Your Lifespan May Be, a New Study Says

Shocker: Poor People Are Still Sicker Than The Rich In Germany, Despite Universal Health Care

From what I have heard, they don’t need much encouragement: Public university tells professors not to grade based on merit

Stock up on bacon:A terrible pandemic is killing pigs around the world, and US pork producers fear they could be hit next

If I was him, I would not go home again even if I had a Canadian Passport. UBC student uses satellite images to track suspected Chinese re-education centres where Uyghurs imprisoned

Sad World Links

This is also one of the reasons we can’t have a flat tax: Inside TurboTax’s 20-Year Fight to Stop Americans From Filing Their Taxes for Free

Everything in this article seems like standard communist practice. The world has forgotten or never really wanted to remember that this is what they are like. A Million People Are Jailed at China’s Gulags. I Managed to Escape. Here’s What Really Goes on Inside

Why the sharp increase in such a short amount of time? The suicide rate among young Americans aged 10 to 24 years old soared by 56% between 2007 and 2017, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The homicide rate for that age group fell by 23% from 2007 to 2014, but rose by 18% in 2017.This reflects overall suicide rates. They’ve risen nearly 30% between 1999 and 2016, the CDC also said last year, citing mental-health issues as one major factor. Between 1999 and 2016, suicide rates increased significantly in 44 states, with 25 states experiencing increases of more than 30%.

Just to be clear, the whistle blowers are the ones on trial: Body Parts Buyers Were ‘Scalping the Babies,’ Planned Parenthood Trial Reveals

The Mexican Government Lost: Mexico’s president on Friday defended releasing a son of notorious drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman after security forces were outgunned by drug cartel members when the fugitive was captured.

The below is what you will not see on TV. Not sure how long it will even be on YouTube….

Links For Today

My main thought reading this is why does anyone in this day and age still think it is a good idea to store nukes in Turkey? Seems like the US can destroy all the likely (and unlikely) targets just fine without them. Belated Realization: The Old World Order Is in Shambles

Average users believe a lot of wrong things: Undercover agents in Washington D.C. monitored the site, filled with images of child rape, and were able to deanonymize the Bitcoin transactions, something that average users often believe is impossible.

Kinda funny if you have a sick sense of humor: Riot police blast firefighters with water cannons during Paris protests

Possible Brexit deal is all in the news. Events are moving to fast for anyone to give any useful information but for what it is worth here is two non-US based perspectives. What’s new in this Brexit deal? and Brexit: madder and madder

Reading this story makes me think that the US has resorted to spaming countries it does not like and calling it cyber attacks to make it seem like a bigger deal. U.S. carried out secret cyber strike on Iran in wake of Saudi oil attack: officials

China Running Out Of People

The below video is a good if simplistic overview of China’s demographic issues. It is worth a watch if you don’t have time to read up on the issue as it is short and to the point. That said, it does have its issues. The biggest groaner comes when they are trying to pretend that there is a non-catastrophic way out for China at the end of the video and suggest that China might allow more immigration into the country. Where in the world do they think these people would come from in numbers great enough to make a difference to China?

Links for Today

Its not just your imagination: Used Cars Cost Almost Double What They Did Nine Years Ago

Its tough being in the government when you have to impose liability on companies and protect them from that same liability at the same time. California utilities serve customers spread over vast terrain, in a landscape one spark away from bursting into flame. They face an additional challenge under the state’s unusual legal doctrine of “inverse condemnation,” which holds utilities liable for all damages caused by their equipment, regardless of whether the utility was negligent. Facing an estimated $30 billion in liabilities from recent fires, PG&E filed for bankruptcy protection in January. In July, Newsom signed a controversial bill creating a fund to help shield utilities from some fire-liability costs. But, since it might take only two or three major fires to drain the $21 billion allocated to the fund, utilities remain vulnerable.

Before long, the only thing they will not be required to provided is an education: Calif. Gov. signs law requiring colleges to offer ‘free’ abortions

Its effect on girls sports is the least of my concerns: Every Democratic frontrunner has pledged their support of the Equality Act, which would make “gender identity” a protected characteristic under federal anti-discrimination law. Among other things, the bill would force public schools to expand female athletic teams to include biological males who identify as transgender girls.

They are too determined to be respectable to have any kind of real effect: Motorists in Germany are banding together to oppose climate activists’ calls to limit the use of cars. Politicians are taking them seriously because, unlike the Fridays for Future movement and its leader Greta Thunberg, most members of the Fridays for Horsepower group can vote.

I am not a fan of Christopher Columbus, but Howard Zinn is a very unsafe guide to history: Howard Zinn lied about Christopher Columbus. Here’s how.

Links for Today

From the department of unintended consequences: In the rush to harvest body parts, death investigations have been upended

The Turkish invasion of Syria presents the US with complex issues that are not well reported in the media: Among them, 21 previously received aid from the CIA or the Pentagon. Also, 14 have been provided TOW anti-tank missiles. This reveals a stark dilemma: The groups that were educated and equipped by the United States west of the Euphrates are now fighting against the groups east of the Euphrates that have been also educated and equipped by the United States. In other words, two US-backed groups are fighting with each other.

Just a reminder about how little we know about the past: Combing through the scans, Acuña and her colleagues, an international 18-strong scientific team, tallied 61,480 structures. These included: 60 miles of causeways, roads and canals that connected cities; large maize farms; houses large and small; and, surprisingly, defensive fortifications that suggest the Maya came under attack from the west of Central America.“We were all humbled,” said Tulane University anthropologist Marcello Canuto, the study’s lead author. “All of us saw things we had walked over and we realized, oh wow, we totally missed that.”Preliminary images from the survey went public in February, to the delight of archaeologists like Sarah Parcak. Parcak, who was not involved with the research, wrote on Twitter, “Hey all: you realize that researchers just used lasers to find *60,000* new sites in Guatemala?!?

Guess the State: Legislator Who Argues Housing Is a Human Right Also Suing to Stop Affordable Housing in Her District