catchy's blog

Tonight is the Best Night for Meteors Open Thread

Tonight is peak of the best meteor shower of the year.

 

Watch it on Wired's Live cam if you're viewing is obstructed because of clouds or because of ...

The Rise of Modern Science and Christian Theology

“The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it’s comprehensible”

- Albert Einstein

 

Einstein's quote contemplates the possibility of nature not succumbing to scientific explanations and asserts that a universe explicable by science is in fact improbable.

 

One Question Narcissist Test - Open Thread

If you're more interested in how you answer the question than in how a single question can be framed which tests for narcissism, then maybe you don't even need to answer the test question.

What're the 2014 midterms about? -Open Thread

It's August already and I'm wondering whether either party has defined one or more central issues on which the 2014 election is being run. If so, I haven't noticed. What do y'all think?

 

Also, here's a summer jazz album by the inestimable Art Blakey:

 

Systemic Financial Fraud - It's Real and the Government is Typically Indifferent

I've run into skepticism lately about systemic bank fraud and/or law enforcement looking the other way. Here's a short diary on the systemic mortgage fraud that contributed to the housing bubble/financial crisis and a likely side effect today of the "soft on financial crime" approach by the government - systemic auto loan fraud during the recovery. 

 

Weekend Open Thread

Hope y'all are enjoying the summer as best you can.

 

Can summer evening chill jazz increase your enjoyment? Only one way to find out:

(This is an early "fusion jazz" album from '69 -- overshadowed by Miles's other fusion albums around the time, "Miles Ahead" ('68) and "Bitches Brew" ('70). It's my fav. among the 3.)

Weekend Open Thread

Leave any thoughts below, and here's some very chill jazz music for a relaxing summer weekend:

 

Junk DNA and The Sting Open Thread

Most non-coding human DNA has no biological function, so don't buy into the common "modern science has discovered junk DNA probably isn't junk after all" narrative.

 

Around the World Open Thread

In Italy, a new law allows prisoners to reduce their sentences by reading books.

 

In the UK, a new law forbids family and friends from sending books to prisoners.

 

In Iran, women are posting pics of themselves on facebook sans headscarves.

 

Young Blood Reverses Aging

More precisely, infusing young blood in mice reverses many of aging's central effects:

 

Scottish Independence and Texan Wild Boars Open Thread

Scottish Independence is losing ground despite Chomsky's support. The latest poll shows momentum swinging to "No" on the referendum, 51 to 37.

 

Texans actually aren't eating enough bacon and ham:

Open Thread!

Income inequality is a hot topic among intellectuals. You've got Thomas Piketty's new book this month. You've got a new think tank this year, The Washington Center for Equitable Growthfounded to accelerate cutting-edge analysis into whether and how structural changes in the U.S. economy, particularly related to economic inequality, affect economic growth.

 

Open Thread (with a bit of trade deficit)

February's trade deficit widened to 42.3 billion, with about half due to trade with China.

 

Dean Baker, economic prognosticator extraordinaire at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, identifies the US trade deficit as the biggest obstacle to full employment. 

 

Philomena Review, including spoilers

Philomena is a complex and emotionally gripping story, excellently acted especially by Judi Dench. 

 

I was unfamiliar with the film’s central topic – that the Catholic Church in 50s Ireland essentially conscripted many young women who had children out of wedlock, forcing them to work without pay and with no means of paying for their release. Then the nuns in the reform school would sell the young women’s children to rich foreigners, probably on the pretense that the children were abandoned.

 

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