URLs du Jour

2019-06-04

[Amazon Link]

I should maybe note that I went to my 50-year class reunion in Omaha over the past weekend. Which was nice, but I had a huge backlog of web-reading when I returned (very) early Monday morning. So I've been in catch-up mode since.

What this means: the links below are not the freshest. But still worth your while, I promise.

  • If I thought it would do any good, I'd buy the Amazon Product du Jour (a mere $7.47) for every last Senator. But it's too late for this year, as reported by Eric Boehm at Reason: Bipartisan Senate Effort Predictably Kills Rand Paul’s Plan to Balance the Federal Budget.

    This year, Sen. Rand Paul's (R–Ky.) effort to balance the federal budget didn't even get a floor vote in the Republican-controlled Senate.

    Paul's so-called "Pennies Plan" failed a procedural vote on Monday evening when only 22 senators voted in favor of a cloture motion that would have brought the bill to a final vote. A majority of Republicans and all Democrats voted against proceeding to a floor vote on the bill. It's another sign that fiscal responsibility is all but dead in Congress, even as the national debt heads toward record highs and the budget deficit approaches $1 trillion this year.

    OK, I'm disgusted.


  • At the Federalist, Ryan Cleckner lists 6 Gun Lies (And One Truth) Obama Told In Brazil. A dazzling display of dishonesty:

    During a conversation with a host on stage during the digital innovation event, Obama took the opportunity to speak negatively about U.S. gun laws. He said, “Our gun laws in the United States don’t make much sense. Anybody can buy any weapon, any time, without much, if any, regulation. They can buy [guns] over the internet, they can buy machine guns.”

    I expect most readers will be able to spot the lies, but: What was the truth Obama told? Easy: "Our gun laws in the United States don’t make much sense."


  • At NR, Robert Bryce explores Democrats’ Curious Disdain for Nuclear Power.

    Climate change is the No. 1 issue for Democrats, with a recent poll showing 82 percent of Democratic voters listed it as their top priority. To appeal to those voters, contenders for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination routinely call climate change an “existential threat” to the nation and the world. But amid all their rhetoric and promises of massively expensive plans to tackle the problem, these same Democrats — with the notable exception of Senator Cory Booker — steadfastly refuse to utter two critical words: nuclear power.

    The Democrats’ disdain for nuclear energy deserves attention, because there is no credible pathway toward large-scale decarbonization that doesn’t include lots of it. That fact was reinforced Tuesday, when the International Energy Agency published a report declaring that without more nuclear energy, global carbon dioxide emissions will surge and “efforts to transition to a cleaner energy system will become drastically harder and more costly.”

    Why, it's almost as if Democrats are far more interested in gaining power and control over the economy and the citizenry than in forging workable policy.


  • Caltech research physicist Sean Carroll writes in the NYT about the late Murray Gell-Mann, aka The Physicist Who Made Sense of the Universe. You can read about the physics stuff, but also:

    [Gell-Mann] was also infamously cantankerous. At a workshop celebrating the centenary of the birth of Enrico Fermi, the great physicist, a series of speakers told fond stories with the common subtext of how they thought they were so smart until they first met Fermi. The one exception was Dr. Gell-Mann, who said it was the other way round: It was Fermi who thought he was so smart — until he met Dr. Gell-Mann. He was fond of referring to people he didn’t think highly of as “ignoramuses.” He was the kind of language maven who would correct people on the pronunciation of their own names, and complain to servers at French and Spanish restaurants about misspellings on their menus.

    Never met him when I was at Caltech, which probably a good thing given my fragile ego.


  • I've heard of Encryption Lava Lamps, but the Atlas Obscura article gives the geeky deets.

    Cloudflare covers about 10 percent of international web traffic, including the websites for Uber, OKCupid, or FitBit, for instance. And the colorful wall of lava lamps in the company’s San Francisco headquarters might be what’s generating the random code. The wall features over 100 lava lamps, spanning a variety of colors, and its random patterns deter hackers from accessing data.

    As the lava lamps bubble and swirl, a video camera on the ceiling monitors their unpredictable changes and connects the footage to a computer, which converts the randomness into a virtually unhackable code.

    Cloudflare welcomes visitors, because their interaction with the lamp environment throws in a few more bits of randomness.


  • And Mr Ramirez comments on the recent kerfuffle in Japan with the USS John S. McCain.

    [USS Blunder]

    What a bunch of maroons.


Last Modified 2019-06-13 4:28 PM EDT