Weekend link dump for January 21

“Cities are machines built not for their own sake, but for the purpose of human life. Yet when we treat buildings as works of art, and the cities that contain them as museums, we preserve their forms but kill the force that made them alive. If the physical structures of places are not allowed to evolve so that they remain livable for modern, everyday people, the type of people who use them evolves—and eventually it’s mostly the super-wealthy or the tourists who are left.”

“The resilience of these phones can partly be attributed to the fact that smartphone screens have steadily improved over the years, says Collin Wilkinson, the director of the Center for Glass Innovation at Alfred University. Yet, phones do still break falling from clumsy hands and kitchen tables. How can a phone survive a 16,000-feet skydive but not a short tumble to the floor? What factors determine whether it will crack?”

“Mystery of why “the greatest primate to ever inhabit the Earth” went extinct is finally solved, scientists say”.

“The situation comes into clearer focus now. It’s not that evangelicals don’t care about climate change and atheists care a lot. It’s much simpler than that – Democrats believe climate change is a serious issue and Republicans don’t.”

“All of this is why I’m not terribly interested in abstract theological, sociological, or psychological discussions of whether or not most people are decent, or of whether or not all people are mostly decent. That’s ultimately as irrelevant as the physicist’s spherical cow in the old joke.** Humans do not live in a frictionless vacuum. They live in a context and all of us, to some extent, can play a role in shaping that context.”

“The same way Donald Trump’s candidacy is a test for the norms and practices of American political journalists, legalized sports gambling is a test for the norms and practices of sports journalists.”

Meet Kirk Alyn, the man who may have invented the “actors signing autographs at comic book conventions” industry.

“We now have a Republican Party where power, divorced of any cogent, animating policy aims, is king. Spectacle, muscle flexing, reflexive opposition and, most importantly, owning the libs, is the currency of the realm. That dynamic not only allows for no compromise, but makes compromise with Democrats a capital crime — even when that posture consistently leads to outcomes farther from this hard-right group’s stated goals, since they completely remove themselves from the negotiating table.”

“For centuries, China boasted the largest population of any country, giving it significant global heft. That is changing as China’s population shrinks and ages at a faster rate than almost any other country. In 2022, China’s population dropped for the first time in decades, and in 2023 India surpassed China to become the world’s most populous nation. China’s changing demographics pose major, prolonged challenges for the country and its leaders. China has for decades reaped the economic dividends that came with having a young workforce to fuel China’s emergence as a global industrial powerhouse. Now, the number of Chinese retirees will soon skyrocket, reducing the size of China’s workforce and putting pressure on China’s social safety net and healthcare system.”

What a loser.

“Now I’m able to see clearly what was done to me. I understand the neurobiology of trauma. Trauma fractures our mind and our memory. The way a mirror fractures.” (Trigger warning for rape.)

“Moreover, 2024 is expected to set another new record for volume of EVs sold and their share of the total market.”

“What’s really behind this, of course, is not any real concern with federal agencies per se, or with Congress writing clearer laws. It’s the long evolution of the conservative movement against expertise of all stripes.”

“Charles Jackson French called the words out to a raft of 15 injured sailors as he tied a rope around his waist and began to swim. He did so for nearly eight hours, swimming his way through shark-infested waters and into U.S. Navy history. On January 10, Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro announced that the sea service will name a new Arleigh Burke-class destroyer after French in honor of his heroic actions that day during the September 1942 naval battle near Guadalcanal.”

RIP-to-be, Drizly, booze deliver service acquired by Uber, which will be shut down in March.

RIP, Norm Snead, four-time Pro Bowl quarterback for teams including the Eagles and the Giants.

RIP, Joyce Randolph, actor best known as Trixie Norton on The Honeymooners. She was the last surviving regular cast member from that show.

“Another GOP Vote ‘Irregularity’ Freak Out Goes Bust“. This one was in Virginia.

RIP, Peter Schickele, Grammy-winning composer, musician, satirist, and greatest authority on P.D.Q. Bach, the “last and least” of Johann Sebastian Bach’s children. Basically, he was Weird Al Yankovic for classical music, and you should read his obituary whether you’d ever heard of him or not.

RIP, Dejan Milojević, assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors and a well-liked fixture in Serbian basketball.

RIP, Pitchfork Magazine, now being folded into GQ.

Please leave Richard Simmons alone. Thank you.

A nice long read about the current state of disarray and dysfunction at the NRA.

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2 Responses to Weekend link dump for January 21

  1. SocraticGadfly says:

    Actually, the number of Dems who are climate change minimalizers has increased greatly in the past few years. And, per Burge, the biggie isn’t evangelicals vs. other religious — it’s atheists and agnostics vs. all religious people of all world traditions.

    I was already going to be blogging about Dem climate denial and minimalism; this will be added.

  2. Jason Hochman says:

    RIP Mary Weiss, of the 60s girl group Shangri Las and a 2007 solo album which is not to be overlooked.

    Kind of seemed like a matter of time before Drizzly got bought by some other delivery service. This is how the new capitalism works, instead of competing with your competitors buy them, so that everything in this country is owned by just a small number of corporations. But Drizzly was different than Uber-the delivery folks were actually hired and paid by the merchants, not by the third party Drizzly company. Hopefully they will get some new less annoying TV ads.

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