Saturday, December 19, 2015

Weekend Before Christmas Links

"'Twas the weekend before Christmas, and all through the land, not a Republican would give a Syrian a hand."
Well, that GOP debate was very ugly, but here are some stories to keep you entertained if you already have your shopping done (I may get started):

Oasis in the Desert – SB Nation  

The King of Tides - Southwest: The Magazine.  From Longreads Best of 2015 Sports Writing

A Tale of Two Sisters - Psychology Today 

Fish Stocks Are Declining Worldwide, And Climate Change Is On The Hook – The Salt

The Ominous Story of Syria's Climate Refugees - Scientific American.  Yes, grandpa, climate change isn't a hoax, and it has deadly consequences (what I'd like to say at Christmas dinner, but won't).

A White-Hot Christmas Wraps Up Earth's hottest Year On Record - Bloomberg

The Radicalization of Luke Skywalker: A Jedi’s Path to Jihad – Decider and This is the state where people are most nuts about Star Wars – Wonkblog.  Hmm, the rebel alliance as a cult, and this data point...  

In Lincoln, Neb., a View of Full Employment – Wall Street Journal

The Wright Brothers: Pioneers of Patent Trolling - Time.  (h/t the family patent lawyer).  This is the part of the Wright Brothers history that doesn't get much attention locally, but was brought to my attention by Jonathon Larson a few years back.  I'd like to note that Dayton, and much of the rest of industrial Midwest, was the Silicon Valley of the industrial age at the turn of the last century.  Apparently, innovation and patent law bring out the worst in some folks (the Wright brothers, Apple, Samsung, Martin Shkreli, etc.)

The Inventor of Auto-Tune - Priceonomics 

For Republicans, bigotry is the new normal - Washington Post.  Well, it always has been in my lifetime, but it seems to get stronger and stronger as the nation continues its demographic change.  It makes me cringe anytime one of the GOP presidential candidates says, "we have to take back our country."

Can we stop pretending Republicans care about the deficit now? - The Plum Line

The GOP's Foreign Policy Fantasy Problem - Daniel Larison.  And Larison is no Democrat or Obot.

How a Quiet Corner of Iowa Packs Such a Fierce Conservative Punch – The Upshot.  These are the folks to blame for foisting Steve King on an innocent nation.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the kind words.

    Two factors went into that heads up on the Wrights. Very early in my infatuation with airplanes, I read a big fat book on Glenn Curtiss and a serious part was devoted to the various patent fights he had with the Wrights. The Wrights had no case—the aileron was a dramatic improvement over wing-warping yet they wanted Curtiss to pay royalties for a patent Curtiss was trying to leave in the dust. Finally saner heads prevailed and Curtiss and the Wright interests actually merged into a company best known for engines.

    The second eye-opener happened when a neighbor who flew corporate jets asked it I wanted to see a Falcon 20. As we drove to the airport he told of his favorite features of this French aircraft. He explained the super-critical airfoils and fly-by-wire controls and then said, "Just remember, without the French, Concorde would have never flown." The plane was just gorgeous—the interior had been done by a name designer—the cockpit had a glove-leather headliner. The French may have only been building great aircraft from the beginning of the 20th century, but they have been producing luxury goods since Louis XIV.

    To this day, I cannot think about airplanes without thinking about the French—and their heroic treatment of American aviators like the Wrights and Lindbergh.