Linky Friday: Summertime

Linky Friday: Summertime

These are strange and breathless days, the dog days, when people are led to do things they are sure to be sorry for after.” Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting

The Heat

[He1] Your toaster regularly turns electricity to heat. Pretty simple. If you can make the reverse happen and turn heat into electricity, you might really be onto something.

[He2] Mapping the “heat island effect” in urban areas. The idea is using the data to help city planners prevent the temperature phenomenon found in dense urban environments.

[He3] A Harvard study shows that heat can slow down the brain as much as 13%.

[He4] The old timers already know this, but when it’s ” It’s hotter than Hell and half of Georgia” the weather makes everyone more aggressive. But that shouldn’t be a problem in our calm, well-mannered society…right?

[He5] The high cost of electricity is causing concerns in the desert, where air conditioning, lack there of, or a power grid failure, spells troubled for thousands of elderly who tend to flock there for retirement.

The Living

[Li1] “According to the U.N.’s estimates, 3.97 billion people cram themselves into the highly populated countries of China, India, the U.S., Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, or Nigeria.” That’s 50% of the human race in seven countries.

[Li2] Paul Manafort was getting “VIP treatment” in prison, a fact he probably should have kept to himself as the judge has now ordered him moved for that very reason.

[Li3] An amazing story how a 28-year old farmer had a freak occurrence, died alone, but touched many. Incredible story of life and living.

[Li4] Living organ donors and advancements in procedures and technology have made the once-miraculous kidney transplant almost routine.

[Li5] Living free is a right in America, living free of a microwave is a statement of choice.

The Sounds

[So1] Gustav Holst’s “The Planets,” is a classic, but NASA has the real thing from the Cassini spacecraft.

[So2] Speaking of NASA, some cool video of an Atlas V ripping a rainbow and cirrus formations to shreds with the sound wave it’s generating. Also a video on how water and mist is used to deaden the sound of blast off.

[So3] Yes, the sound of your own voice really does sound that bad, makes you cringe, and you aren’t alone. Here is the science to why the old adage is true.

[So4] “We can fix it in post” doesn’t work on a crab boat in Alaska: How the sound guys for shows like “Deadliest Catch” and “Amazing Race” make the reality in reality TV sound so good.

[So5] “A Quiet Place” was a huge hit movie, and the sound-or lack their of-was as much the main character as the humans. So the sound designers have some suggestions for making the home experience of silence more like the theater.

The Strange

[St1] Stormy Daniels, yes that one, was arrested at a Columbus, OH strip club for touching what turned out to be undercover police officers during her performance. Chargers have been dropped, but with Avenatti on the case I doubt it’s the last we hear of it. Something seems off about this story.

[St2] Strange tingling in your legs? Probably nothing, unless you are this woman and it turned out to be parasites in her spine.

[St3] It’s titled “Strange Days” but as art installations go, this one using a brutalist building as it’s backdrop for 21 artist is pretty amazing.

[St4] I admire the ability it takes to perform it, but the Cirque shows always present as varying degrees of weird to me. When Montreal Cirque Festival gets into full swing, the weird and the wonderful go full bore.

[St5] With the pending vacating of the LA Times building, a short video of some of the stranger nooks and crannies of the papers long time home.

The Madness

[Ma1] Brian Howey sees no method to President Trumps madness, while Victor David Hanson suggests reciprocity is the driving force behind Trump’s method.

[Ma2] Scientists want to go Jurassic Park and test tube the recently extinct (earlier this year) Northern White Rhino, but conservationist and naturalist are not happy about it.

[Ma3] Sometimes I just reflexively feel we are too quick to write off things like mass shootings to mental illness, and now some research is starting to find the same thing, that the mentally ill are more likely to be victim than perpetrator of crime.

[Ma4] Stanley Cavell, philosopher who pushed for “ordinary language philosophy” and writer of several books including “Pursuit of Happiness” died recently.

[Ma5] The, frankly, bizarre saga involving MSNBC personality Joy Reid and years old blog posts is finally showing up in her ratings.


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Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire.

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21 thoughts on “Linky Friday: Summertime

  1. [Ma3] In the sense that spree killing has nothing to do with bipolar disorder, or depression, or schizophrenia or borderline personality disorder, or even narcissism I agree and endorse. What I know about the process of spree killing suggests it isn’t even related to sociopathy, since the perpetrators go through a great deal of trouble winding themselves up to do it.

    People who suffer from mental illness don’t want the association. It doesn’t work like that for them. I don’t blame them.

    But it also doesn’t make much sense to be described as the product of some ideology, since there are so many different ideologies involved. The common threads seem to be a sense of humiliation in the spree killer, and a sense of alienation. It’s very definitely a specific psychological process, though it isn’t necessarily easy to observer and/or predict before the fact. Still, I feel that we could do better at noticing these processes and intervening than we are doing now, but it would require us to be a bit more intrusive, which goes against the grain of the culture at large.

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    • This is more , who loves this stuff and has excel charts on common factors and such. Big picture there is such a lack of understanding what constitutes “mental illness” were people just write it off as “crazy” when they hear the term. You can have a head cold compared to invasive cancer; both are illnesses but there is a wide spectrum between them. Yet many make mental illness a blanket coverage of gone in the head. When you have something like a mass shooting, often there is an element that will never make sense to anyone, so its tempting to slap the “crazy” label on the shooter and then rant about mental health instead of the hard deconstruction of a troubled person. We as a nation are doing very poor on all fronts with mental health and it starts with a lot of just lazy thought about the subject and careless application.

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    • I don’t disagree with the notion that mental illness is overdetermined in mass shootings, it does seem to exist at some level. The Virginia Tech shooter appeared to be suffering from schizophrenia, but we cannot know for certain because he killed himself and it’s not clear that he ever received a diagnoses.

      Locally, we had a student who was diagnosed with schizophrenia, who went off his meds and began hearing voices and experiencing intrusive thoughts. He had lost his FOID card, but he went to a gun store and held it up with an imaginary weapon, took a gun to the state capitol and shot and killed one of the guards as he made his way through the entrance. But upon seeing the guard drop, he changed course and fled.

      Since you’re using the term “spree killing,” I think maybe what you are getting at, and I would agree, is that typical mental illness (depression, autism, etc.) lacks explanatory power for mass homicides, and in cases where mental illness is obviously a factor, the ability to focus and plan is severely compromised.

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  2. Ma3: since there is a small group of people who commit crimes for a living, wouldn’t any group but that little niche be more likely to be victims of crimes than perpetrators?

    (That doesn’t mean, of course, that any mass shooter screening method is good for much more than a bunch of false positives.)

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  3. St5 the local TV news did a similar bit with the old Washington Post building before it was torn down a couple years ago. It too had some leftover features from when the paper was printed right in the building in the early decades, before they moved printing to a dedicated facility. (Also fictionalized in The Post movie, though w more than a few inaccuracies for a more elegant set design)

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