Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘James Randi

Mostly Non-Health-Care Links

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* ACORN will disband as a result of the O’Keefe hoax.

* Via Twitter I see NBC News is reporting (no link yet) that the Senate parliamentarian has rejected the GOP challenge to the health care sidecar. Tough luck guys.

* Arundhati Roy: When a country that calls itself a democracy openly declares war within its borders, what does that war look like? Does the resistance stand a chance? Should it? Who are the Maoists? Are they just violent nihilists foisting an outdated ideology on tribal people, goading them into a hopeless insurrection? What lessons have they learned from their past experience? Is armed struggle intrinsically undemocratic? Is the Sandwich Theory—of ‘ordinary’ tribals being caught in the crossfire between the State and the Maoists—an accurate one? Are ‘Maoists’ and ‘Tribals’ two entirely discrete categories as is being made out? Do their interests converge? Have they learned anything from each other? Have they changed each other? Can’t let a link to Roy without a link to her fantastic piece on dams, “The Greater Common Good.”

* “I am chaotic and lazy”: an interview with Magnus Carlsen, the #1 chess player in the world and youngest-ever chess grandmaster. Via Kottke.

* Climate change may be killing the scent of flowers. Two thousand scientists sign letter to Senate demanding climate change action.

* Long profile of David Simon and Treme in The New York Times. Via Occasional Fish, a dissenting view.

* New College Graduates To Be Cryogenically Frozen Until Job Market Improves. It was a good idea when Philip K. Dick thought of it and it’s a good idea now!

* And at 81 years old, James Randi has come out of the closet.

Thursday Night Links

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* James Randi responds to the criticism he received yesterday for his stated climate change “skepticism.”

* The emissions cuts offered so far at the Copenhagen climate change summit would still lead to global temperatures rising by an average of 3°C, according to a confidential UN analysis obtained by the Guardian.

* The physics of space warfare.

* It turns out Joss Whedon significantly overbid for Terminator; James Cameron originally sold the franchise for a dollar.

* Avatar poised for a $200-million weekend.

* Point and counterpoint on Massachusetts as a model for health care reform.

Wednesday Roundup

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* Skepticism fail: James Randi jumps the shark. Ugh.

* Health care reform continues its endless slide into oblivion. Steve Benen counts the five senators still not on board: Ben Nelson/Olympia Snowe from the “center,” and Feingold, Sanders, and Burris from the left. Meanwhile, Crooks & Liars and Firedoglake still argue the Liebermanized bill is worse than nothing, while Yglesias singles out Harry Reid for praise:

…the fact of the matter is that there’s almost no precedent for the legislative mission he’s been asked to accomplish of turning 59 Democrats, one loosely Democrat-aligned Independent, and two slightly moderate Republicans into 60 votes for a package that’s simultaneously a dramatic expansion of the welfare state and a measure that reduces both short- and long-term deficits.

Fair enough. But it’s Reid’s total rejection of reconciliation as even a theoretical alternative that has left us in this mess in the first place. Reid gets no special praise from me.

* io9’s 20 best SF films of the 2000s. Totally forgot Spider-Man 2 and Eternal Sunshine were from this decade; it’s been a long ten years.

* And meat-eaters finally win a round: “Meat may be the reason humans outlive apes.”