October 29, 2017 – Stuff I Found Interesting

I’m going to be short on pithy commentary this week. I’m in the middle of our fall photo shoot and don’t have a lot of time.


Love After Life: Nobel-Winning Physicist Richard Feynman’s Extraordinary Letter to His Departed Wife


Nearly every country on earth is named after one of four things – A directional description of the country, a feature of the land, a tribe name, or an important person.


The Only Underwater Submarine-to-Submarine Kill in History


Did Sally Hemings And Thomas Jefferson Love Each Other? – I like the article’s conclusion that it is really impossible to know. Can a slave ever really be said to “love” their master?


These Are the Happiest Cities in the United States – It’s not. It’s a list of cities that meet the author’s criteria for what would make him happy.


Seven Things You Don’t Need to Fear, No Matter What the Internet Says – According to some article on the same Internet that the subject discredits.


Mark Barbieri – You can find my name on the list. What I found interesting was what a great job they did with the complete list of places that I’ve lived. In fact, I planning on referring back to this when I get those questions asking me to confirm who I am by specifying which address I’ve lived at, which gives you some sense of how useless those things are.


Foursquare data reveals the most popular fast-food chain in every state — and America has a clear winner – It’s a Chick-fil-A country, but surprisingly they didn’t win in Texas.


Health – Physical and Mental

Should Your Spouse Be Your Best Friend? – I think it is a major plus, but I guess it isn’t necessary.


Art and Culture

In Norway, the Journey Is the Destination – Amazing scenery, nice people, and lots of blondes apparently weren’t enough so they are adding some interesting art. Definitely high on my list of travel priorities.


The Blonde vs. Brunette Map of Europe – Just in case you were wondering where in Europe to go to see the most blondes. Incidentally, neither Alexa nor Google Home will tell me a blonde joke, presumably to avoid giving offense to blondes (like they’d even understand).


The Uncanny Resurrection of Dungeons & Dragons


Which Disappointing TV Show Do You Resent for Consuming Your Time? – I can proudly say “none of the ones listed in the article”. I do resent wasting the time to read the article, though. And Napoleon Dynamite. I’m still bitter about the time wasted watching that movie.


Maybe Don’t Dress Your Kid Up As Moana This Halloween? – And while you’re at it, don’t let them dress up as Elsa unless they are Scandinavian AND a princess. Or the Ariel if they haven’t grown up under the sea. Never let your child dress as anything other than who they are or you are an insensitive bigot.


When you die you know you are dead: Major study shows mind still works after the body shows no signs of life – Really cool. Apparently, your brain and hearing still work for a while after you are dead. Makes the guillotine even crueler.


Conspiracy Theorists Have a Fundamental Cognitive Problem, Say Scientists – There is no way that people believe all these crazy conspiracy theories on accident. I think someone is putting something in our water or air to make us more inclined to believe nonsense.


CHANGING ATTITUDES TOWARDS RISK AS WE GET OLDER: New evidence that ageing societies become more risk-averse – Seems a bit backwards. Logically, you’d think that older people would be more willing to accept risk since they have fewer years of life at stake.


Bird feeders might be changing bird beaks



MugLife – This is an iOS only app that looks fun. It allows you to jack with people’s faces in pictures.


Japanese noodle company invents noise cancelling fork to mask offensive slurping – I thought that Japanese people slurped noodles using chopsticks, not forks.

Politics and Policy

Why the trial by ordeal was actually an effective test of guilt – This was weak. The idea is that if everyone believes that the trial by ordeal will work, only the innocent will go through with it, so the people conducting it will fudge it so that they look innocent.


Liberate government workers from forced union fees – This, essentially making government unions follow “right to work” principals, seems likely to happen via Supreme Court fiat this session.


The New Populism Isn’t About Economics


My liberal white male rage: What should I do about it? – a LWM SJC has frequent violent fantasies. The author comes across as rather disturbed. I’d avoid him.


The Misguided Student Crusade Against ‘Fascism’ – It does seem that a lot of anti-fascist crusaders really are fascists at heart (but for a good cause, of course).


Why ‘Medicare for All’ Will Sink the Democrats – I’d like to see reforms to allow states to experiment more with the provision of medical care, including “Medicare for All” or some other form of single-payer system. Let the states that want it try it and let the other states learn from them.


How do I get my daughter interested in computers?


New Zealand Government to ban foreigners from buying property – The new government is wasting no time in doing stupid things.


Facebook censored me. Criticize your government and it might censor you too. – I’m tempted to write the author and ask the he post something I’ve written and, when he refuses, accuse him of censoring me. Sorry, but nobody has a right to make Facebook publish their thoughts. In fact, I wish that they exercised that discretion much more often.


Cops Claim Teen Consented to Sex in Their Custody, Point Prosecutors to Her ‘Provocative’ Selfies – This seems pretty simple. You cannot arrest someone, lead them away in handcuffs, and then claim that they consented to having sex with you while they were in your custody.


Che Guevara: Symbol of Love or Hate? – He was one of the more loathsome people of the last century. Why do people celebrate him? Why where Che shirts but not Goebbels? In what meaningful way were they different (besides their hair?)


Economics, Business, and Money

Americans are still terrible at investing, annual study once again shows – Repeat after me – hold a balanced portfolio of low cost index funds and don’t trade them. It’s pretty simple.


How Retailers Use Personalized Prices to Test What You’re Willing to Pay


Forced Scarcity Won’t Make This Country Richer


Fortune 500 firms 1955 v. 2017: Only 59 remain, thanks to the creative destruction that fuels economic prosperity


401k plans do not “subsidize saving”