Interesting reads

  • Essays and articles that are interesting or entertaining.
    Lets keep the islam/terrorism stuff in other threads.

  • [url=]United States of Paranoia: They See Gangs of Stalkers[/url]

  • Study gets something completely backwards....
    Left wing and not right wingers are authoritarian

    More interesting is how such a fundamental mistake can slip through.

  • Would be a good idea to keep the culture war/identity politics out of this thread.

  • Saw that the FBI is launching an appeal for information about the "original night stalker" killer. Reminded me of a great true crime article by a woman who'd become obsessed by these unsolved cases.
    In the Footsteps of a Killer
    BTW, that article was written by Patton Oswalt's late wife.

  • Would be a good idea to keep the culture war/identity politics out of this thread.

    By the way, if you're interested in that sort of thing, the Slate Star Codex subreddit does a weekly roundup:

  • [url=]A Stark Nuclear Warning[/url]

  • Mildly interesting:

  • Bay Area Rapid Transit: 2050
    Mapping the system if every proposed extension goes ahead by 2050.

    cf. The original proposed system from 1956. (IIRC, supposed to be finished in the 70's.)

    cf. The current system (not shown: the MUNI trams, which are pathetic, and CalTrain).

  • One of the more interesting documentaries I've seen, Herzog follows (the more interesting than usual) televangelist, Gene Scott.

    On a (slight) tangent, you give them your email & every morning you get half a dozen core headlines summarised with links to major non-firewall news outlets (WashPo, NYT, Guardian, Economist) covering the stories, Its pretty good in a "whats the big stuff happening today?" sort of way. Good way to weed out the "Last night on the Bachelor!!" shit you get from the front page of every major news outlet too.
    EG todays was (links in the original) -
    Chilcot Report: Turns Out The Iraq War Was A Bad Idea
    In a classic case of British understatement, the UK government's Iraq Inquiry, aka Chilcot Report, said there was "no imminent threat from Saddam," "peaceful avenues weren't exhausted," "the consequences [of the war] were underestimated," "preparation [...] was inadequate" and that the "government failed to achieve its objectives." Basically, British speak for we fucked up real bad. One highlight of the report was the revelation of a memo Tony Blair sent to President Bush at the time where he declared, in a tone reminiscent of a school boy crush, that he was "with you, whatever."
    Does anyone lose their job because of this 'mistake'?
    Tony Blair, consultant to dictators and chief architect of the Iraq War, apologized for how he handled the lead up to the war but said he still believes he did the "right thing." Seems like a weird way to apologize. The current leader of Blair's party, Jeremy Corbyn, called on the International Criminal Court to prosecute those who pushed for war. One can only assume this means Tony Blair. At least Brexit took a backseat for the day.
    Good Read: Lord Chilcot's Full Statement On The Inquiry
    Baton Rouge Protests The Police Who Killed Alton Sterling
    The US Justice Department is opening a civil rights investigation after Baton Rouge police shot and killed a black man pinned to the ground during his arrest. The graphic video of Alton Sterling's arrest and subsequent death sparked protests in Louisiana, where civic leaders and state lawmakers demanded an investigation independent of the Baton Rouge police. Rumors immediately circulated that Sterling might have been carrying a gun, but the police have not confirmed that. Protests are expected to continue, though Sterling's family showed some relief that the Justice Department was getting involved. “We’re confident that it won’t be swept under the rug,” the family's lawyer said.
    Lionel Messi's Fancy Footwork Also Extends To Creative Accounting Practices
    Say it ain't so! Famed Argentine footballer, Barcelona star and four-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi received a 21-month sentence for tax fraud in Spain. The star, whose name was exposed in the "Panama Papers" leak earlier this year, was using offshore companies in Belize and Uruguay to hide "assets" like the use of his face in advertising. Don't worry fans, he probably won't actually go to jail.
    Germany's Xenophobic AfD Party Is Now Hiring
    The anti-immigration fringe party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) will need to replace one of their MPs who stepped down for his anti-Semitic comments. German politicians have long compared AfD to neo-Nazis for their anti-Muslim rhetoric. So nobody was surprised except AfD when their MP Wolfgang Gedeon turned out to be kiiiiiind of a Nazi. In a book published in 2012, Gedeon claimed that Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a piece of Nazi propaganda with a false historical narrative, was in fact real. Holocaust denial is a criminal offense in Germany, and this scandal deals a hard blow to a party that is trying to rebrand itself as "moderate" xenophobes.
    Just Kidding, We Aren't Leaving Afghanistan
    President Obama announced that he would slow down the planned withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, leaving 8,400 troops there at the end of the year, ~50% more than the 5,500 he promised. The decision comes after a resurgent Taliban flexed its muscles last summer and after critiques that his withdrawal from Iraq left a vacuum that ISIS exploited. At this rate, the UK will leave the EU before the US leaves Afghanistan.
    Good Book: The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan
    Brexit: The Sterling continued to fall faster than hearts do around Justin Trudeau, reaching a new low against the dollar. Some in the Fed are so concerned with Brexit that they might delay raising rates again this year... just when things were getting normal again.
    Oscar Pistorius: The South African Olympic sprinter was sentenced to six years in prison for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius had pleaded that he killed her accidentally, but the prosecution called the Valentine's Day murder deliberate.
    Rwanda: In a landmark ruling, two former Rwandan mayors were convicted of crimes against humanity for orchestrating the massacre of hundreds of Tutsis during the 1994 genocide. A Paris court ruled that Octavien Ngenzi and his predecessor Tito Barahira will be jailed for life.
    Rio Olympians Need Special Suits To Compete In Sewage
    The Rio Olympics are less than a month away, but you could say that there are still a few loose ends to be dealt with. Rio de Janeiro's water is still brimming with raw sewage, and they haven't been able to contain a recent outbreak of drug-resistant bacteria. Oh, and that recent oil slick isn't helping either. The Rio pollution problem has become so bad, Philadelphia University had to develop antimicrobial suits for the US rowing team. Athletes will still have to compete at their own risk given that the suits are reportedly still no match for the water's viruses, which are thousands of times higher than the federal safety limits. At this point, a head-to-toe latex body suit might be their best bet.


  • [b][url=]Two huge new studies further undermine the "obesity paradox"[/url][/b]The "obesity paradox" is the observation that people with higher fat mass sometimes have better health outcomes than lean people, including a lower overall risk of death.  Evidence has been steadily mounting that this finding may be a misleading artifact of the methods used to observe it.  Two massive new studies add to this evidence.
    Two huge new studies with compelling designs add substantial weight to the hypothesis that there is no obesity paradox.  As suggested by controlled studies in animals and humans, excess body fatness likely contributes to chronic disease risk and the overall risk of dying.  Risk increases in parallel with excess fat, yet BMI values at the upper end of the lean range, and even into the lower overweight range, don't appear to be especially dangerous (particularly among people with higher lean mass)*.  Furthermore, healthy behaviors such as physical activity and a high-quality diet can attenuate risk in people of all weights.

    • People of Asian/Indian ancestry may be an exception.  Their risk level increases more sharply at a lower BMI level.

  • Philippines wins South China Sea case against China

  • Philippines wins South China Sea case against China

    Yeah, cos China accept that ruling and it won't lead to escalating tensions.
    Crazy stuff going on out there at the moment.  South China Sea clearly not the place for a pleasure cruise.

  • Yeah, their territorial claim is pretty hilariously brazen.

  • Enjoyed reading this, Mods feel free to move it if it doesn't fit with this topic

  • Yeah, their territorial claim is pretty hilariously brazen.

    Only if you're not Chinese