‘In the centuries to come, history books will likely look back on September 2016 as a major milestone for the world’s climate. At a time when atmospheric carbon dioxide is usually at its minimum, the monthly value failed to drop below 400 parts per million.That all but ensures that 2016 will be the year that carbon dioxide officially passed the symbolic 400 ppm mark, never to return below it in our lifetimes, according to scientists…’
Source: Scientific American
Source: NYTimes Editorial Board
‘There was a fundamental asymmetry to the exercise, because of the awful truth that one of the participants had nothing truthful to offer.’
‘According to new data, supporters of Donald Trump prefer to get their news from television and enjoy watching crime dramas. These findings might sound insignificant. But they actually offer insight into Trump’s rise. As a presidential candidate, he’s claimed that illegal immigrants are flooding the country with “no regard for the impact on public safety,” while warning that if things don’t change, “we’re not going to have a country anymore – there will be nothing left.”
This rhetoric supplements our current media environment, which, as studies have shown, cultivates a false perception of the world as a mean, violent place. And it’s laid the groundwork for many of Trump’s most successful appeals to fear…’
Source: WThe Conversation
Of course, the flaw is that, while it may be true that Trump supporters watch TV news and crime dramas, it is surely not the case that TV news viewers and crime show aficionados are all Trumpies. Nonetheless, as it is said, a nation of vapid TV viewers gets the leadership it deserves.
A guide to traveling with “the wickedest man in the world.”
Source: Atlas Obscura
The fields are nearly empty, because the crops have been plucked and stored for the coming winter. It is the time of the autumn equinox, Harvest Home, Mabon, the Feast of the Ingathering, Meán Fómhair or Alban Elfed (in Neo-Druidic traditions), is a ritual of thanksgiving. It is a time of plenty, of gratitude, and a recognition of the need to share our abundance with those less fortunate to secure the blessings of the Goddess and the God during the winter months. Day and night are of equal length, looking forward to the days’ shortening. The Autumn Equinox is the time of the descent of the Goddess into the Underworld. We also bid farewell to the Harvest Lord who was slain at Lammas. Welsh legend brings us the story of Mabon ap Modron, who dwells, a happy captive, in Modron’s magickal Otherworld — his mother’s womb. Only in this way can he be reborn.
In the northern hemisphere this equinox occurs anywhere from September 21 to 24. Among the sabbats, it is the second of the three pagan harvest festivals, preceded by Lammas/Lughnasadh and followed by Samhain. (via Wheel of the Year – Wikipedia).
‘…Trump… joked around with his audience that [Clinton’s] Secret Service agents should be disarmed. “Let’s see what happens to her.”….
‘Ian McEwan’s compact, captivating new novel, “Nutshell,” is also about murderous spirals and lost messages between fathers and unborn sons, although it’s the father’s fate that hangs in the balance here. I promise not to give away the formidable genius of the plot — but the premise, loosely, is this: Trudy, jittery and fragile, lives in a London townhouse as dilapidated as it is valuable, where she spends hot afternoons coldly plotting the murder of her husband, John. She is heavily pregnant with John’s son. They have separated, their love spent; he inspires nothing more in her than a “retinal crust of boredom.” He has moved to Shoreditch (or “sewer-ditch,” as it used to be known), where he scrapes out a living as a poet and publisher. John may or may not be in love with an aspiring poet named Elodie, who writes about owls, and whose name rhymes with “threnody” — a lamentation to the dead.
The accomplice to this murder — “clever and dark and calculating” but also “dull to the point of brilliance, vapid beyond invention . . . a man who whistles continually, not songs but TV jingles, ringtones . . . whose repeated remarks are a witless, thrustless dribble” — is Claude, a real estate developer. Claude — Hamlet’s Claudius — needs no literary disguise: He is John’s brother, a prosperous brute of a man with whom Trudy (Gertrude) is having an affair.
And the narrator of this saga? Listen carefully now: He is Trudy’s son, still in her womb, who hears his mother and uncle plan and connive over lukewarm coffee in their Hamilton Terrace kitchen, and who must countenance the life-threatening ignominy of his uncle’s lovemaking every night….’
Source: The New York Times Book Review
Trump may be a narcissistic blowhard liar, but Clinton is a “freakishly unpopular frontrunner.” Someone’s got to lose, and who that will be seems, unbearably, to be up for grabs.
Baked apples, with cream.
Fried oysters; stewed oysters. Frogs.
American coffee, with real cream.
Fried chicken, Southern style.
Broiled chicken, American style.
Hot biscuits, Southern style.
Hot wheat-bread, Southern style.
Hot buckwheat cakes.
American toast. Clear maple syrup.
Virginia bacon, broiled.
Blue points, on the half shell.
San Francisco mussels, steamed.
Oyster soup. Clam Soup.
Philadelphia Terapin soup.
Oysters roasted in shell-Northern style.
Soft-shell crabs. Connecticut shad.
Brook trout, from Sierra Nevadas.
Lake trout, from Tahoe.
Sheep-head and croakers, from New Orleans.
Black bass from the Mississippi.
American roast beef.
Roast turkey, Thanksgiving style.
Cranberry sauce. Celery.
Roast wild turkey. Woodcock.
Canvas-back-duck, from Baltimore.
Prairie liens, from Illinois.
Missouri partridges, broiled.
Boston bacon and beans.
Bacon and greens, Southern style.
Hominy. Boiled onions. Turnips.
Pumpkin. Squash. Asparagus.
Butter beans. Sweet potatoes.
Lettuce. Succotash. String beans.
Mashed potatoes. Catsup.
Boiled potatoes, in their skins.
New potatoes, minus the skins.
Early rose potatoes, roasted in the ashes, Southern style, served hot.
Sliced tomatoes, with sugar or vinegar. Stewed tomatoes.
Green corn, cut from the ear and served with butter and pepper.
Green corn, on the ear.
Hot corn-pone, with chitlings, Southern style.
Hot hoe-cake, Southern style.
Hot egg-bread, Southern style.
Hot light-bread, Southern style.
Buttermilk. Iced sweet milk.
Apple dumplings, with real cream.
Apple pie. Apple fritters.
Apple puffs, Southern style.
Peach cobbler, Southern style
Peach pie. American mince pie.
Pumpkin pie. Squash pie.
All sorts of American pastry.
Fresh American fruits of all sorts, including strawberries which are not to be doled out as if they were jewelry, but in a more liberal way.
Ice-water—not prepared in the ineffectual goblet, but in the sincere and capable refrigerator.
Source: Open Culture
‘I had not taken seriously the possibility that Donald Trump could win the presidency until I saw Matt Lauer host an hour-long interview with the two major-party candidates. Lauer’s performance was not merely a failure, it was horrifying and shocking. The shock, for me, was the realization that most Americans inhabit a very different news environment than professional journalists. I not only consume a lot of news, since it’s my job, I also tend to focus on elite print-news sources. Most voters, and all the more so undecided voters, subsist on a news diet supplied by the likes of Matt Lauer. And the reality transmitted to them from Lauer matches the reality of the polls, which is a world in which Clinton and Trump are equivalently flawed…’
Source: Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine
Someone always says it, whenever it comes up:
“I guess I’m just not allowed to talk to anyone any more!”
It is my duty to inform you that we took a vote
all us women
and determined that you are not allowed to talk to anyone
This vote is legally binding.
Yes, of course, all women know each other,
the way you always suspected.
(Incidentally, so do Canadians. I’m just throwing that out there.)
We went into the women’s room at the Applebee’s at the corner of 54
and all the others streamed in through the doors
into that endless liminal space,
a chain of humans stretching backward
heavy skulled Neanderthal women laughing with New York socialites,
Lucille Ball hand in hand with the Taung child.
We sat around in the couches in the women’s room
(I know you’ve always been suspicious of those couches)
and chatted with each other in the secret female language
that you always knew existed.
Somebody set up a console–
the Empress Wu is ruthless at Mario Kart
and Cleopatra never learned to lose
and a woman who ruled an empire that fell
when the Sea People came
and left no trace
can use the blue shell like a surgical instrument.
Eventually we took the vote.
You had three defenders:
your grandmother and your first-grade teacher
and an Albanian nun who believes the best of everybody.
Your mom abstained.
It was duly recorded in the secret notebooks
that have been kept under the couch in the Applebee’s
since the beginning of recorded time.
And then we went back to playing Mario Kart
and Hoelun took off her bra
and we didn’t think about you again
except that I had to carry this message.
good luck with that
it’s just as you always said it was.
— Ursula Vernon (Bark Like A Fish, Damnit!) via Boing Boing
‘Either the End Times are here, or there has been a chemical leak, but, whatever the case, Russia’s Daldykan River, surrounded by delicate tundra, has turned blood red. And now, according to ABC News, pictures of the bright red waters are being shared all over Russian social media.
The river is located in Norilsk, a heavily polluted industrial city that sits above the Arctic Circle. Built around a number of factories, mostly owned and operated by Russian mining giant Norilsk Nickel, it is the northernmost city in the world with a population of over 100,000, and it seems as though all that industry might have finally seeped out into the surrounding wilderness. Or at least this is one of the first times it has garnered widespread attention…’
Source: A River In Arctic Russia Has Turned Blood Red | Atlas Obscura
“I argue that despite impressions, the long-term trend, though certainly halting and incomplete, is that violence of all kinds is decreasing. This calls for a rehabilitation of a concept of modernity and progress, and for a sense of gratitude for the institutions of civilization and enlightenment that have made it possible.”
Pinker reviews and extrapolates from persuasive data, and discusses six historical trends toward diminution of violence as civilization has progressed. If he is right I find this a significant antidote to despair in the big picture.
‘BU08028’s lack of nasty side-effects may hinge on its dual-action biochemistry. Like other opioids, it controls pain by targeting the nervous system’s classic μ-opioid peptide receptors, called MOP receptors. But BU08028 also targets “nonclassical” opioid receptors, called NOP receptors for nociceptin receptors, in the nervous system. These receptor proteins generally don’t interact with opioid drugs, yet they share similarities with the receptors that do. NOP receptors regulate pain, like their MOP counterparts, but they are also involved in a host of other brain functions, such as memory, cardiovascular functions, and anxiety…
Next, the researchers hope to test BU08028 at treating chronic pain without risks of addiction or overdoses. Regardless of BU08028’s fate in subsequent trials, the researchers are hopeful that the strategy of co-activating NOP and MOP receptors will eventually lead to a safer painkiller…’
Source: Ars Technica
[Yeah, but they always seem to be nonaddictive and without abuse potential at this stage in the game…]
Here is a 2.5 page mathematical analysis:
Source: It’s Okay To Be Smart
… It Has Already Begun
‘The inundation of the coast has begun. The sea has crept up to the point that a high tide and a brisk wind are all it takes to send water pouring into streets and homes.
Federal scientists have documented a sharp jump in this nuisance flooding — often called “sunny-day flooding” — along both the East Coast and the Gulf Coast in recent years. The sea is now so near the brim in many places that they believe the problem is likely to worsen quickly. Shifts in the Pacific Ocean mean that the West Coast, partly spared over the past two decades, may be hit hard, too.
These tidal floods are often just a foot or two deep, but they can stop traffic, swamp basements, damage cars, kill lawns and forests, and poison wells with salt. Moreover, the high seas interfere with the drainage of storm water.In coastal regions, that compounds the damage from the increasingly heavy rains plaguing the country, like those that recently caused extensive flooding in Louisiana. Scientists say these rains are also a consequence of human greenhouse emissions…’
Source: The New York Times