URLs du Jour

2017-07-28

[Amazon Link]

Proverbs 22:9

9 The generous will themselves be blessed,
    for they share their food with the poor.

Coincidentally, James Lileks has a relevant tale from the Nice Belt:

Outside the building today, by Smoker’s Cove: four construction guys sitting on the ground, eating pizza. They were there yesterday as well, but were eating something different. I might never see them again, but two days in a row made them seem notable; no one sits on the ground and eats by the building. Food trucks line the street, but no one sits on the ground.

Homeless guy walks up. He says:

“Give me some of that.”

One of the construction guys looks up at him, and starts to tear off a piece of his pizza. He has two pieces.

“More than that,” says the homeless guy.

Another worker hands over one entire piece.

Homeless guy walks away without saying another word. Sits on the sidewalk. Sticks his legs out and everyone walks around his big grey Crocs.

So, with respect to the Proverb: you, generous person, may be blessed. But not necessarily by the poor.

■ Our illustration du jour is an Amazon ad for Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign memoir, What Happened. If you click thereon and purchase therein, I get a cut. But, dear reader, I don't expect you to. Because, as David Harsanyi at the Federalist puts it: We Already Know ‘What Happened,’ Hillary.

In your upcoming “tell-all” memoir, “What Happened,” you write: “In the past, for reasons I try to explain, I’ve often felt I had to be careful in public, like I was up on a wire without a net. Now I’m letting my guard down.” After over 30 years of living with this calculating, fictional character, most of the public is looking forward to finally getting to know the real Hillary Clinton. The problem, of course, is that we all know exactly what happened in 2016: You lost to Donald Trump.

Also: America dodged a bullet, only to wander into bar-closing traffic.

■ Prof Althouse also meta-comments on the most embarrassing thing in a CBS News "puff piece" about Hillary's book. Said piece is here, and yes, as I type, it still says:

In the introduction of the novel, Clinton writes: "In the past, for reasons I try to explain, I've often felt I had to be careful in public, like I was up on a wire without a net. Now I'm letting my guard down."

Emphasis added. No further comment necessary.

But here's an unnecessary comment: Amazon claims the book will be 512 pages. And I could barely make it through that 35-word excerpt.

■ Our friends at Granite Grok note the latest from the University Near Here: Million Dollar National Science Foundation Grant Funds New Anti-Bias Guide from UNH. Not quite a million ($999,752), but still a hefty chunk of change. Grokster Steve puts it in context:

In 2016 the University of New Hampshire was awarded the Most Microaggressed Campus in America. An award it received in part for the Bias free language guide and some other indiscretions including an NSF funded gender microaggression pamphlet designed to improve the climate for UNH faculty through fair and equitable policies, practices and leadership development.

And now they’ve got a fresh influx of federal dollars to fan the flames of a Free speech culture that has been hanging by a thread for some time. Research that aligns with their 2010-2020 Inclusive Excellence Strategic plan [link fixed-ps]. A plan not dissimilar to those at many Universities across the nation. Not all of whom have violated students constitutional rights, too much, or too often, just yet.

Can it be as bad as that? Sure it can. One can find the NSF grant award announcement pretty easily.

This project addresses the need to efficiently and effectively increase awareness of bias incidents in the academic work environment while also enhancing STEM faculty and university leaders' abilities to address bias incidents in a manner that will result in more positive outcomes for all. The project will create systemic institutional change by scaling up the levels of awareness about and interventions used to address implicit bias in scientific research and learning settings.

I belive, sorting through the grantees' grantese, that they will be addressing intrafaculty "bias incidents". I.e., it's pretty much open season on white male profs. Good luck, fellows.

I don't want to hear any whining about cuts to National Science Foundation funding. Clearly, they've got at least a million dollars too much money.

■ Be careful out there, wannabe eclipse viewers: Solar-eclipse fever means counterfeit glasses are flooding Amazon’s market.

As August 21 nears, eclipse-chasers are realizing that if they want to see the sun disappear behind the moon, they can’t just wake up on the day of the astronomical event and step outside their homes. They’ll need solar eclipse glasses. And so, in the past few months, a cottage industry has sprung up to accommodate this market need. The problem is that many of these newly arrived sellers of solar eclipse glasses are fly-by-night manufacturers looking to turn a quick profit by selling subpar and potentially dangerous goods to unsuspecting Americans.

I hate to say it, but it seems your best bet is to spring for a reputable name brand, like Solar Eclipse Glasses - BILL NYE Exclusive Edition - 6 Pairs Assortment - Folded and Sleeved.

Then, if you do suffer retinal burnout on August 21, you can sue Bill Nye.

Mental Floss asks the hard questions: Why Is Soda Measured in Liters? And the answer here at Pun Salad is:

.

But this caught my eye:

Ken Butcher of the National Institute of Science and Technology has been working with the government’s tiny Metric Program for years. Speaking to Mental Floss back in 2013, Butcher explained that we’re so entrenched in our way of doing things that switching measurement systems now would be both chaotic and expensive.

Whoa, your Federal Government still has a Metric Program? Why, of course it does:

The Metric Program helps implement the national policy to establish the SI (International System of Units, commonly known as the metric system) as the preferred system of weights and measures for U.S. trade and commerce. It provides leadership and assistance on SI use and conversion to federal agencies, state and local governments, businesses, trade association, standards development organizations, educators, and the general public.

Well, Congressional budget writers, let me just help you out:

NIST Metric Program : $0.00

I won't take Metric Program advocates seriously until they demand that TV weatherdroids report temperatures solely in degrees Kelvin. ("It'll be warm today with temperatures near 300. But a rapid cooldown to 285 this evening, so maybe throw on an extra blanket.")

Because I frickin' love Science.