Linkoramas are getting rarer these days mostly because I tweet most articles. But I will still be occasionally posting something more long-form.
A fascinating article about how Vermeer used a camera obscura to enable his paintings. Yet another example about how people were pretty damn clever in the supposedly unenlightened past.
This is a couple of months late, but someone posted up Truman Capote’s christmas story. The recent death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman reminded me of this little gem.
This is the second and by far the largest study yet to show that routine mammography is basically a gigantic waste of money, being just as likely to precipitate unnecessary treatment as to discover a tumor that a breast exam wouldn’t. Do you think our “evidence-based” government will embrace this? No way. They already mandated mammogram coverage when the first study showed it to be a waste.
I don’t know even know if this counts as mathematical malpractice. There’s no math at all. It’s just “Marijuana! RUN!”. Simply appalling reporting by the MSM.
This on the other hand, does count as mathematical malpractice. The gun control advocates are hyping a Missouri study that shows a rise in murder rate after a change in the gun control laws. However, in doing so they are ignoring data from 17 other states, data on all other forms of violent crime and data from Missouri that showed a steep rise in the murder rate before the laws were changed. They are picking a tiny slice of data to make a huge claim. Disgraceful. And completely expected from the gun-grabbers.
I love color photos from history. Just love them.
This is old but worth reposting: one of the biggest feminists texts out there is loaded with garbage data, easily checked facts that are completely wrong. This was a big reason I distanced myself from third-wave feminism in college: it had been taken over by crackpots who would believe any statistic as long as it was bad. In college, we were told that one in three women are raped (they aren’t) that abuse is the leading cause of admission to ER’s (it isn’t), that violence erupts very Superbowl (it doesn’t). I even had one radical tell me — with no apparent self-awareness, that murder was the second leading cause of death among women (it’s not even close). As I seem to say about everything: reality is bad enough; we don’t need to invent stuff.
I think I’ve spent the entirety of this week either on the phone or having a meeting or curled up in bed with a migraine. Sigh. Some weeks are like that.
I can’t say that I enjoy the retuning of some songs to different keys, per se. I do, however, find it utterly fascinating how important key is to the mood and feel of a song or musical piece. I knew a woman back in college who had a variety of health issues that would eventually take her at a young age. But she was an amazing pianist who could shift the key on a song instantly and play it perfectly. Somehow, it never changed the tone like these retunings do.
Cracked looks at lines censored by TV. My brother and I used to get great amusement from watching movies like The Breakfast Club and Police Academy on Channel 46. The dubbing was so bad and the lines so hilariously stupid, we almost preferred them. My favorite comes from Police Academy: “Mahoney …. nobody plays with me.” with “plays” delivered about an octave and a half lower than Bailey’s register.
This article, which tries to argue that Southern dominance of Miss America is a result of racism, is so idiotic, so filled with PC bullshit and is such an inaccurate assessment of Southern history, culture and tradition, that it could only possibly have been published in the New York Times.
Eerie pictures of Chernobyl and amazing pictures of World War I.
Jacob Sullum details some of the concerns about allowing the CDC to do research into guns. I’m in favor of lifting restrictions on scientific research, even if it does mean politicized work. I just hate restrictions too much. But it is worth noting that the public health experts have a bad history of cooking the books to reach their conclusions, as seen in the EPA’s study of second-hand smoke and the CDC’s own study of obesity deaths.
A woman drives 900 miles out of her way and through several countries due to a supposed GPS error. Maybe it’s me, but I doubt the GPS was the only malfunctioning thing in that car.
An environmentalist admits he was wrong on GMO’s. Thanks a lot.
How much do you want to bet that most of the people involved in these idiocies were not fired?
I can’t vouch for the accuracy, but if these people really have recreated a hairstyle from the Roman Empire, that’s pretty damned cool.
Not a bad bunch of pictures, if I do say so myself.
I’m doing more long-form posting of links I care to comment on. But here’s a few I don’t have time for.
Man, do I love time lapse video
I haven’t found a good handle on the contention that Mitt Romney’s CEO background is actually a minus. I really think the CEO thing is irrelevant. What concerns me more is his lading up his staff with former Bush people.
I’m a little dubious of the contention that trash correlates with economic health. The graph smacks to me of a manipulated stat (it measure the derivative not the absolute). And our push on durability and recycling could confused it. Really, it looks, to me, more like you have one big correlated dip in both stats that’s driving the supposed correlation. The collapse of 2008 was unique. I’m not sure it’s a trend.
I love love love photo series like this one, in which five men photographed themselves for thirty years. It’s time-lapse photography on an epic scale, showing just how fast we age and die. WHen my daughter was born, we used to photograph her in the same place every week but unfortunately fell out of practice.
Such projects are not just artistic: I believe they have enormous scientific potential for learning how people grow and age. Given the explosion of digital photography, it’s only a matter of time before someone mines the massive public data set for scientific insight. That is, if they’re not already doing it.
Cracked has an amusing article today on people who didn’t know their faces had become famous. What struck me was #3 — the famous Afghan Girl with the startling eyes. Here is her full story. No one knew who she was until National Geographic tracked her down. They have a picture of her both as a young woman and as an older woman, prematurely aged by two decades of hell. She’s maybe 30 but her face looks 50. But the striking eyes are still there.
The picture, to me, encapsulates the difference between civilization and barbarism. Had this girl lived in a civilized society, she would still look as alive and beautiful as she did in the first picture. She’s be in the early stages of a career, maybe starting a family. Instead, the barbarism of communism, tribalism and Islamic fundamentalism has her scrabbling out an existence, a second-class human in her own country. And even more depressingly, she supports these things — praising the Burkha and the Taliban (although whether she would be free to criticize either is an open question).
We can’t civilize the barbarians, unfortunately. But we can remind ourselves of how they grind people down, destroy their potential, destroy their very physical existence. Civilization, for all its flaws, is an unthinkable improvement upon the lack thereof. And anyone who fails to recognize it needs to be reminded as often as possible.