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« Obama's Plan To Have A Plan Relies 60% on Tax Increases (But That's Not How You Get Him) | Main | Top Headline Comments 4-18-11 »
April 17, 2011

Overnight Open Thread


200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes

Here Swedish doctor and statistician, Hans Rosling, presents how development has affected different countries over the last two centuries in a very unique way. Industrial and technological development may be bad words among many people these days, but there's no question that they've been the greatest mechanism for improving life quality in the history of the human race. Things really are getting better. And will keep getting better if we don't let the neo-luddite elite stop it.

This may have appeared on the blog before, but if you haven't watched it take the four minutes to do so. And if you have 20 minutes, here's the full original TED presentation. Thanks to David D. who sent this to me a long time ago.

Plus here Hans Rosling waxes lyrical on the wonder of the modern washing machine - probably the single technology that has improved womens' quality of life the most. Hans is right - even the most dedicated, greenest environmentalists turn out to never hand-wash their jeans.

Good News? 60% of American Teenagers Now Support Torture
Geneva conventions - never heard of them.

More chillingly, over half of the young respondents said it was acceptable to murder a prisoner if that prisoner had previously killed Americans. A smaller number—41 percent—thought it was alright for American soldiers to be tortured if captured by an enemy.
I wonder if this is actual approval - or rather a reasonable expectation that this will almost certainly take place.
Despite the widely accepted folk wisdom that young people are always more liberal than older generations, the Red Cross study says that's not the case: The teenagers surveyed were more consistently likely than adults to support torture in the cases presented them.

NYT's Thomas Friedman: Amazon Will Never Catch On
This was soothsayer Friedman's confident prediction back in 1999. For some reason he's long had an undue reputation as an insightful predictor of the future since well, 1999 at least. But I can't think of a single non-obvious issue that he's been proven correct on. Mostly he just presents well-written wishcasting to a lefty audience.


Best Civil War Re-Enactment Ever?
I don't know what re-enactment group this is, but I know I want to be a part of it.


Buckley's Thoughts On Ayn Rand
Apparently she never forgave him for a poor review of Atlas Shrugged he published in National Review.

And here is part of the scathing 1957 review by Whitaker Chambers:
Something of this implication is fixed in the book’s dictatorial tone, which is much its most striking feature. Out of a lifetime of reading, I can recall no other book in which a tone of overriding arrogance was so implacably sustained. Its shrillness is without reprieve. Its dogmatism is without appeal. In addition, the mind which finds this tone natural to it shares other characteristics of its type. 1) It consistently mistakes raw force for strength, and the rawer the force, the more reverent the posture of the mind before it. 2) It supposes itself to be the bringer of a final revelation. Therefore, resistance to the Message cannot be tolerated because disagreement can never be merely honest, prudent, or just humanly fallible. Dissent from revelation so final (because, the author would say, so reasonable) can only be willfully wicked. There are ways of dealing with such wickedness, and, in fact, right reason itself enjoins them. From almost any page of Atlas Shrugged, a voice can be heard, from painful necessity, commanding: “To a gas chamber — go!”

How The National Anthem Should Be Sung
This was from the first home game of the Portland Timbers soccer team. And I'd much prefer this for every game from here on out rather than yet one more over-the-top, vocal gymnastics by some random celebrity.

People Dont Like Gwyneth Paltrow Because They're Lazy and Jealous
Gwyneth is out promoting her new cookbook and has a theory about why the little people haven't embraced her with the love she deserves. Her are a few of her quotes:

“I had my first bowl of gazpacho when I was fifteen in Spain, and the impression it made was a lasting one.”
“I grew up going to the island of Nantucket at the end of every summer.”
On lobster:
“I first had a version of this at a Japanese monastery during a silent retreat—don’t ask, it’s a long story.”
Of course when she was first starting out all she had was a million dollars and a dream.

Soviet Cosmonauts: Why Were Yuri Gagarin's Spacecraft Controls Padlocked?
Plus What Were Soviet Cosmonauts Packing?
Supposedly firearms became standard issue for cosmonauts after the crew of an early mission found themselves surrounded by hungry wolves after landing.


Everything You Didn't Know About Armadillos
Armadillos really are some freaky creatures. Back when my father was stationed at Ft. Polk one of his squadmates had to stand guard duty one night and about 3 in the morning a family or two of armadillos came running down the street right at him. He had never seen nor even heard of armadillos before, so he freaked out and called back to the post that it was under attack by 'demon rats'. Needless to say he was teased about this for the rest of his time there. But yeah, they are kinda demonic.


How To Make Bacon Roses


Shoes For This Spring
Apparently bright is big this season.


Weekly AoSHQ Commenter Standings
Top 10 commenters:
1 [515 comments] 'Miss'80sBaby' [72.29 posts/day]
2 [497 comments] 'curious'
3 [350 comments] 'Merovign, Dark Lord of the Sith'
4 [271 comments] 'garrett'
5 [257 comments] 'iknowtheleft'
6 [244 comments] 'Soothsayer, Republican Whip'
7 [231 comments] 'Vic'
8 [229 comments] 'Kratos (Ghost of Sparta)'
9 [225 comments] 'Dr. Id, Professor, Psych 101'
10 [224 comments] 'momma'

Top 10 sockpuppeteers:
1 [67 names] '18-1' [9.57 unique names/day]
2 [53 names] 'fluffy'
3 [51 names] 'garrett'
4 [46 names] 'kbdabear'
5 [44 names] 'Wyatt Earp'
6 [43 names] 'Cicero'
7 [40 names] 'The War Between the Undead States'
8 [34 names] 'andycanuck'
9 [31 names] 'Mallamutt, RINO President for Life'
10 [26 names] 'toby928▒'

The group. Yeah.

Tonight's post brought to you by Madonna:


Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. Please e-mail overnight open thread tips to maetenloch at gmail. Otherwise send tips to Ace.

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