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How Texas Could Mess With Us

By last Friday, three days after the re-election of President Obama but before the final tally of electoral votes had been confirmed, a curious phenomenon was already taking place on the "We the People" website, which the Obama White House set up in 2011 as an easy way for Americans to petition the executive branch for the redress of grievances. Show More Summary

Yogi Berra Turned Linguistic Vice Into Virtue With His Cockeyed Tautologies

With the passing of the great Yogi Berra come the inevitable tributes to his famously cockeyed gift for language. Everyone has been sharing their favorite Yogi-ism: “If you come to a fork in the road, take it.” “It’s déjà vu all over...Show More Summary

Why We Be Loving the “Habitual Be”

Who be eating cookies? That’s the question that the University of Maryland at Baltimore’s Janice Jackson asked children in a now-famous study on “the habitual be.” Have you heard of this creature? Though it sounds like the yellow jacket perpetually hard at work on your hydrangea, it is not. Show More Summary

$1,500 Sandwich Illustrates How Exchange Raises Living Standards

What would life be like without exchange or trade? Recently, a man decided to make a sandwich from scratch. He grew the vegetables, gathered salt from seawater, milked a cow, turned the milk into cheese, pickled a cucumber in a jar,Show More Summary

Born This Day (1922): Bert I. Gordon

Gordon was a movie producer of low, low budget films known for having great posters that sold the film. These films were fodder for many episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000. He takes a bow here for “King Dinosaur” /object>

IPA’s weekly links

Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action. Bridge Academies, the low-cost private school franchise supported by Bill Gates,  Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, DFID, and others has been stopped from expanding by the Kenyan government, even as it has been … Continue reading ? The post IPA’s weekly links appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Anthropologies #21: Global Warming is not a Crisis

This entry is part 9 of 9 in the Anthropologies #21 series.For the next installment of the anthropologies issue on climate change, we have a counterpoint essay from Lee Drummond. Drummond is a retired professor of social/cultural anthropology...Show More Summary

Trevor Paglen Plumbs the Internet

The late senator Ted Stevens, of Alaska, took flak for calling the Internet “a series of tubes,” but his phrase, however analog, hits on a truth that we frequently forget: there is a physical infrastructure undergirding our seemingly ethereal global network. Show More Summary

Capitalism and Morality: Walter Williams vs. Pope Francis

The biggest mistake of well-meaning leftists is that they place too much value on good intentions and don’t seem to care nearly as much about good results. Pope Francis is an example of this unfortunate tendency. His concern for theShow More Summary

Anthropologies #21: Betwixt and Between: Geological Phase Transition, Adaptive Co-Management, and Anthropology

This entry is part 8 of 8 in the Anthropologies #21 series.The next piece in the anthropologies climate change series comes from Michael Agar. His bio is here. Check out more of his work on the rest of the Ethnoworks site, or email him at magar AT umd dot edu. Show More Summary

Robopocalypse #23: If Drones Built a Bridge, Would you Walk Over it?

Drones: Drones build a rope bridge (see above for video). Albania has requested its fans NOT fly drones at Oct. 8 European Championship qualifier against Serbia. Last year a fan fly in a drone with an Albanian flag and caused a stink.The potential for armed consumer drones is the industry's latest headache. Show More Summary

Links & Reviews

- As if they needed more bad news: the BPL has temporarily closed its rare book department for an assessment after a "significant mold outbreak."- Megan Cottrell has a short piece in American Libraries about thwarting book thefts, featuring...Show More Summary

Does Matter Think?

If matter (wholly material beings) could think, then matter would not be matter as currently understood. Can abstracta think? Sets count as abstracta. Can a set think? Could the set of primes contemplate itself and think the thought, I am...


A microburst might sound like some astronomical minicatastrophe, but it’s actually a much more terrestrial event: A sudden accelerating downdraft of wind from a cloud that can, at times, be quite violent. Some are dry, with just air descending at high speed, while some are wet, loaded with water. Show More Summary

Physics Week in Review: September 19, 2015

Check out this week's sampling of tasty physics links! Me at Gizmodo: Charges Dropped Against Temple University Physicist Accused of Spying for China. Xiaoxing Xi was wrongly indicted because Justice Department didn't understand the physics. Quantum "Weeping Angel" Effect Freezes...

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