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August 15, 2016

Overnight Open Thread (8-15-2016) [CBD]

30 Minutes of explosions from Arnold Schwarzenegger movies. Yeah...it's too much, but still....

The Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter," sung at a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction concert. U2 as the house band, and Fergie as the house chick is a nice touch. I like this version, complete with Jagger leering at Fergie, who looks particulalry fetching, in a leather-clad streetwalker kind of way....

New York City had a great run. First it was Giuliani, who cleaned up the city and allowed the uniqueness of our biggest city to shine through. He didn't care what you did, as long as it wasn't criminal. Then Bloomberg arrived with his delusions of grandeur, his Napoleonic complex, his hatred of automobiles (except his own), and a fervent desire to remake NYC into DisneyWorld. He gave it a good shot, and ruined many things, but the city still felt safe and even sort of honest.

But De Blasio is a shit-show the likes of which NYC hasn't seen in a very long time. Dinkens was incompetent, but probably not corrupt. Koch was a stand up guy, even if his politics were a bit left. Beame and Lindsey were mediocre, but not actively destructive. Crooked Bill is an awful combination of incompetent and corrupt, with a soupçon of socialist thrown in for good measure (or is that redundant?). The New Tammany Hall: New York in the Age of Corruption

The center of the new Tammany is Mayor de Blasio's City Hall. But de Blasio is no Boss Tweed, old Tammany's criminal genius. De Blasio has emerged as more pawn than prince of the city: insecure, in over his head, buffeted by moneyed players he cannot seem to resist and presiding over accelerating pay-to-play scandals that have cast a pall of political death over his administration.

Atlantic Yards offers a case study of how the new Tammany system has evolved. It's local: extending from dealmakers to a cadre de Blasio calls his "agents of the city" and to Albany's notorious "three men in a room." It's international: the deals stretch from New York and Washington to Russia and China. And it's sophisticated, powered by the global economy, the influential New York real estate industry, and non-profit entities manipulated for personal and political gain.

But the central scam of the new Tammany system would not be unfamiliar to old Tammany's Plunkitt: public money for private profit. Plunkitt called it "honest graft"-gaming the system to the benefit of the powerful and well-connected, with crumbs for the common folk.

Hi you guys!
Words That Hurt and Why, straight (oh...sorry) from the intellectually flaccid sewer that is California public education. Sadly, U.C. Davis used to have the reputation as a very rigorous science-oriented campus that was challenging intellectually and academically.

Hottest Reliably Measured Air Temperatures on Earth
This isn't an anti-AGW screed, just an interesting analysis of the hottest temperatures ever recorded. It's seems like 54C/129F recorded in Death Valley and Kuwait is close to the theoretical top end.

Studies by geographer Mark Jefferson (1926) and by Hoffman (1963) conclude that the highest possible surface air temperature on earth (measured by standard modern instruments) would be in the range of 131-133F (see Weather and Climate Extremes by Dr. Paul F. Krause and Kathleen L. Flood, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Topographic Engineering Center paper TEC-0099, September 1997. This is an old report and does not take into account AGW. Nevertheless, as of right now, I think this assumption still holds true.

Government of Nigeria reports 2 wild polio cases, first since July 2014

11 August 2016: GENEVA -- After more than two years without wild poliovirus in Nigeria, the Government reported today that 2 children have been paralyzed by the disease in the northern Borno state.

As an immediate priority, the Government of Nigeria is collaborating with WHO and other partners of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative to respond urgently and prevent more children from being paralyzed. These steps include conducting large-scale immunization campaigns and strengthening surveillance systems that help catch the virus early. These activities are also being strengthened in neighboring countries.

Here is one of the few circumstances in which the UN, through its World Health Organization, can have a positive effect on the world. Smaller countries can be overwhelmed by the requirements of a successful eradication effort.

On this date in 1057, Mac Bethad mac Findlaich, otherwise known as Macbeth, died in battle, fighting -- who else -- the English. He was the Scottish king on whom Shakespeare (roughly) based his great play.

She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
and all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

The homo-eroticism is clear, and there are some obvious textual hints that Shakespeare was, at the very least, questioning, possibly a transexual, and possibly even a lesbian.

Don't forget that, while Maetenloch might have deserted us in our hour of need, he is still alive and kicking over at his blog.

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