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Saturday, July 30, 2016

Here's the full movie "Clinton Cash"

In 2000, Bill and Hillary Clinton owed millions of dollars in legal debt. Since then, they’ve earned over $130 million. Where did the money come from? Most people assume that the Clintons amassed their wealth through lucrative book deals and high-six figure fees for speaking gigs. Now, Peter Schweizer shows who is really behind those enormous payments.
Full movie below - watch full screen:

A selection of Hillary pictures and cartoons

Just because...






The Post outdid itself this time.


Thatcher

Hillary Amateur copy


There are, of course, lots more of these - please leave your favorites in the comments!

Australian Sex Survey asks about your gender - here are explanations of the 33 possibilities

I'm relatively unsophisticated about these things, but I've often wondered what some of these gender identity terms meant - and most of them I've never heard of. This survey includes a handy explanation of each.

News.au: There are 33 possible responses to this question in The Australian Sex Survey, which is being conducted by researchers at The Queensland University of Technology (QUT). 

Per QUT behavioral economist Stephen Whyte, “Most people’s description of gender is very pigeonholed — either male or female — but there are so many new categories of different gender identities which allow people to identify across a spectrum.”

A screenshot of the page from the questionnaire is below - here's an explanation of each of the possible answers:

Woman: A person born as a female, and who identifies as female.

Man: A person born as a male, and who identifies as a male.

Transgender Man: A person who was assigned female at birth, but now identifies as a man. Some trans people choose to undergo gender reassignment surgery. Others prefer not to, but still identify as a different gender.

Transgender Woman: A person who was assigned male at birth, but who identifies as a woman. As above, some trans people choose to undergo gender reassignment surgery. Others prefer not to, but still identify as a different gender.

Trans person: This can mean transsexual or transgender. A transsexual is a person who emotionally and psychologically feels that they belong to the opposite sex.

Trans Man: A trans man is someone who was assigned female at birth, but now identifies as a man.

Trans Woman: A person who was assigned male at birth, but who identifies as a woman

Female to Male: This term is often abbreviated to ‘FTM’ and refers to a transsexual or a transgender man.

Male to Female: This term is often abbreviated to ‘MTF’ and refers to a transsexual or a transgender female.

Transsexual: A person who emotionally and psychologically feels that they belong to the opposite sex. Transsexuals are people who transition from one sex to another, usually through dress, hormone therapy, etc.

Cisgender: A person who identifies with the gender of which they were born. For example, if someone is born as a female and identifies as a woman.

Cis Female: Cis is short for cisgender. So a cisgender female is a female who identifies as a woman.

Cis Male: Cis is short for cisgender. A cisgender male is a male who identifies as a man.

Gender Non-Conforming: A person who does not identify with either the male of female genders.

None Gender: A person who does not identify with any gender in particular.

Non-Binary: A person who does not identify entirely with either the female or male genders. They may identify somewhere on a spectrum.

Neutrois: Neutrois is a non-binary gender identity which is considered to be a neutral or null gender.

Genderfluid: A person who does not identify entirely with either the female or male genders.

Genderqueer: An overarching term used to describe people who do not identify exclusively as either male or female.

Demigender: This term, (demi means half) is an umbrella term for nonbinary gender identities that have a partial connection to a certain gender.

Demigirl: A person (can also be called a demiwoman or a demifemale) who identifies partially with being a woman or has feminine characteristics. They may have been assigned female as birth, but they could also have been born as a male.

Demiboy: A person (can also be called a demiman or demimale) who identifies partially with being a man or masculine characteristics. They may have been assigned male at birth, but they could also have been born as a female.

Agender: This literally means ‘without gender’, so a person who doesn’t identify with any gender.

Intergender: Intergender people have a gender identity that is in the middle between the binary genders of female and male, and may be a mix of both.

Intersex: A person who is born with the reproductive anatomy of both a man and a woman. For example, they might appear to be female on the outside, but have mostly male-typical anatomy on the inside. These people were previously referred to as hermaphrodites, but that term is considered rude and outdated.

Pangender: A person who identifies as more than one gender.

Poligender: Translates to ‘many genders’. A person who identifies as more than one gender.

Omnigender: Translates to ‘all genders’. A person who identifies as more than one gender.

Bigender: Translates to ‘two genders’. A person who identifies as both male and female genders. Some bigender people have two distinct male and female personas.

Androgyne: A person who doesn’t identify with either gender. They are both feminine and masculine.

Androgyny: The combination of masculine and feminine characteristics. Androgyny can apply to many things - someone’s gender identity, sexual identity, and even fashion.

Third Gender: People who identify as neither a man nor a woman. Some cultures refer to some of their people by a third gender.

For example, in Samoafa’afafines are male at birth, but if a family had more boys than girls and needed more women to help with housework, they male children would be raised as a fa’afafine.

Trigender: Translates to three genders. A person who shifts between the male, female and third genders.
This is what the survey question looks like.Source:news.com.au
The survey is open for the next eight weeks and the preliminary findings will be presented around Christmas.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Friday links

Free-market economist Milton Friedman's birthday is this weekend: some favorite quotes and short videos. And Beatrix Potter's birthday was yesterday: in addition to Peter Rabbit et al, she produced some gorgeous botanical drawings.

Ready for a career change? The Smithsonian is Looking for a Beer Historian.



Extreme Alpine Soccer Is Played on Impossible Slopes.

What Is American Cheese, Anyway?

ICYMI, Tuesday's links are here, and include toasters of the 1920s, the coldest places on earth. how a grizzly bear ended up on California's flag, Aldous Huxley's birthday, and an excellent photoessay of animals at war during World War I.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Beatrix Potter's birthday

Once upon a time there were four little rabbits, and their names were - Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail, and Peter.

 
Don't go near Mr. McGregor's garden: your father had an accident there, he was put into a pie by Mrs. McGregor. 

~ Ibid. 

Thank goodness I was never sent to school; it would have rubbed off some of the originality.

~ Potter, attributed

And the best quote ever on why you should ply your children (and grandchildren!) with good books throughout their childhoods:

For quiet, solitary and observant children create their own world and live in it, nourishing their imaginations on the material at hand.
 
In the UK, stamps depicting Beatrix Potter's creations
 have been released on the 150th anniversary of her birth.
Today is the anniversary of the birth of the English writer and illustrator of children's books, Beatrix Potter (wiki) (1866-1943). Most familiar as the author of The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1902) and The Tailor of Gloucester (1903), Beatrix Potter was born in London and despite having no formal artistic training, illustrated all her books with simple, unassuming watercolors, while creating the characters of Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny, the hedgehog Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, and others.  

After 1927, she wrote very little but became a farmer and sheep-breeder in the north of England. From the age of 15 until she was past 30, Potter kept a journal in a secret code that was not broken until 20 years after her death

Here's a brief documentary on Potter's life:


She also produced a series of gorgeous, scientifically accurate paintings of various types of fungi, as discussed and illustrated in Linda Lear’s highly regarded Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature:

Flammulina velutipes (Armitt Museum and Library)

Strobilomyces strobilaceus (Armitt Museum and Library)

Hydrocybe coccinea (Armitt Museum and Library)
Related links:


She sent the story to her publisher in 1914, saying it was about "a well-behaved prime black Kitty cat, who leads rather a double life".
The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots also features an appearance from an "older, slower" version of Peter Rabbit.

The Economist had an interesting article on her in 2007.

Here's an article on her mushroom illustrations, with several excellent examples.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

MIlton Friedman's birthday

There are so many excellent quotations from Milton Friedman that it's impossible to choose - I've included a few below, but feel free to add more in the comments.

Government has three primary functions. It should provide for military defense of the nation. It should enforce contracts between individuals. It should protect citizens from crimes against themselves or their property. When government-- in pursuit of good intentions tries to rearrange the economy, legislate morality, or help special interests, the cost come in inefficiency, lack of motivation, and loss of freedom. Government should be a referee, not an active player.

Only government can take perfectly good paper, cover it with perfectly good ink, and make the combination worthless. 

The great virtue of a free market system is that it does not care what color people are; it does not care what their religion is; it only cares whether they can produce something you want to buy. 

Inflation is the one form of taxation that can be imposed without legislation. 

Most of the energy of political work is devoted to correcting the effects of mismanagement of government

I would cut the real taxes borne by the American people by cutting all government spending ten percent across the board. 

I am favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it's possible.

If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there’d be a shortage of sand.

One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.

~ Milton Friedman (wiki) (variously attributed) 

The long-term solution to [to high unemployment] is to increase the incentive for ordinary people to save, invest, work, and employ others. We make it costly for employers to employ people, and we subsidize people not to go to work. We have a system that taxes work and subsidizes nonwork.*

~ Friedman (in U.S. News and World Report, 7 March 1977) 

Today is the anniversary of the birth of Nobel prize-winning American economist Milton Friedman (wiki) (1912-2006) in Brooklyn, New York. Friedman studied at Rutgers, Chicago, and Columbia and earned his Ph.D. in 1946. He was widely regarded as the leader of the "Chicago School" of monetary economics, which stressed the quantity of money as the cause of business cycles and inflation and thus the importance of government monetary policy. 

With his wife, Rose D. Friedman, he wrote many books and a series of columns for Newsweek between 1966 and 1983, also serving as an advisor to President Reagan from 1981 to 1989. Friedman received his Nobel prize in 1977 for his contributions to quantitative economic science. He is also credited with the well-known observation, "There's no such thing as a free lunch," but in fact it probably appeared in common parlance after the "free lunch" became customary fare in saloons around 1840 - when you had to buy a beer to obtain it. The Chicago-school economists began using this phrase regularly in articles and speeches in the 1970s. 

Be that as it may, Friedman did note in his book, Capitalism and Freedom,

"History suggests that capitalism is a necessary condition for political freedom. Clearly it is not a sufficient condition."

* N.B. But I would add that "nonwork" includes the fiscal chicanery and crony capitalism that merely moves money around without producing any tangible product - to the enormous financial advantage of the movers.

There are a lot of videos of Friedman discussing various topics - below are a few short ones that give you a feel for him and his policies:

On greed:


Why drugs should be legalized:


On the minimum wage:


Socialism is force:


Responsibility to the poor:


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Tuesday links

For Aldous Huxley's birthday, an infographic of Huxley Vs Orwell, a letter from Huxley to Orwell explaining why he (Huxley) was right, and audio of Huxley narrating Brave New World.




Sir David Attenborough narrating Pokémon Go is a hoot. Related: the fatwa against Pokémon Go: it spreads Darwinism.



ICYMI, Monday's links are here, and include a cringe-inducing set of fashion ads from the 1970s, a 1923 car that turned into a boat, diagnosing Hitler's flatulence, and a compilation of the 100 greatest action movie punchlines (NSFW language).

Aldous Huxley's birthday

A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.

~ Huxley Brave New World

Well, duty's duty. One can't consult one's own preference. I'm interested in truth, I like science. But truth's a menace, science is a public danger. As dangerous as it's been beneficent. It has given us the stablest equilibrium in history. China's was hopelessly insecure by comparison; even the primitive matriarchies weren't steadier than we are. Thanks, I repeat, to science. But we can't allow science to undo its own good work. That's why we so carefully limit the scope of its researches – that's why I almost got sent to an island. We don't allow it to deal with any but the most immediate problems of the moment. All other enquiries are most sedulously discouraged. 

~ Huxley ("The Controller," in Brave New World, Ch. 16)

So long as men worship the Caesars and Napoleons, Caesars and Napoleons will duly arise and make them miserable.

~ Huxley (Ends and Means, Ch. 8)

Today is the anniversary of the birth of English novelist Aldous Huxley (wiki) (1894-1963*). Although he is now remembered largely for his dystopian novel Brave New World (wiki), I was most impressed when I first ran across him, back in the 60's and 70's, by Island and by his exploration of mescaline-induced experiences in Doors of Perception**

The grandson of famed biologist and evolution proponent T. H. Huxley (1825-1895), Aldous attended Eton and Oxford to study English literature. His poor eyesight kept him out of World War I, and he embarked on a writing career while still an undergraduate. Subsequently, he joined the Bloomsbury set and turned out the first of his novels, Crome Yellow (1921) and a long series of essays on wide-ranging topics. 

At the Central London Hatchery and
Conditioning Centre's Embryo Store
His novels were often inspired by his fear of the dehumanizing potential of scientific progress (as in Brave New World) and his life-long pacifism (as in Eyeless in Gaza, 1935). In 1937, Huxley emigrated to the United States and spent the rest of his life in southern California, where he dabbled unsuccessfully in screen-writing. Late in life, he developed a passionate interest in the Vedic philosophies of India and experimented with psychodelic drugs.

*Huxley, along with C.S. Lewis, actually died on November 22, 1963 - the same day that JFK was assassinated.

** I re-read Doors of Perception (supposedly, by the way, the inspiration for the name of the band The Doors) several times over the years, for reasons that I will no longer admit to. 

Here's Huxley narrating Brave New World (audio from a 1979 LP of a 1956 CBS Radio Workshop broadcast):


From the website of Letters of Notea fascinating 1949 letter from Huxley to Orwell on the subject of Nineteen Eighty-Four (read the whole thing)
Within the next generation I believe that the world's rulers will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience. In other words, I feel that the nightmare of Nineteen Eighty-Four is destined to modulate into the nightmare of a world having more resemblance to that which I imagined in Brave New World. The change will be brought about as a result of a felt need for increased efficiency. Meanwhile, of course, there may be a large-scale biological and atomic war --- in which case we shall have nightmares of other and scarcely imaginable kinds.
And here's an infographic of Huxley Vs Orwell (Huxley's Brave New World (wiki) vs Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four (wiki):

Monday, July 25, 2016

How to blow a cow

If you're easily grossed out, go away. Now.

Cow blowing, per Wikipedia:
Kuhblasen, phooka, or doom dev, is a process used in many countries according to ethnographers, in which forceful blowing of air into a cow's vagina (or sometimes anus) is applied to induce her to produce more milk.
Cow blowing was the reason why Gandhi abjured cow milk, saying that "since I had come to know that the cow and the buffalo were subjected to the process of phooka, I had conceived a strong disgust for milk."
There is, of course, a video that shows how it's done - for those with delicate sensibilities (and if this is true of you, what the hell are you doing here?) it's below the break.

Previously in the "disgusting things having to do with cattle" department, there's this: 

Monday links




Compilation: 100 Greatest Action Movie Punchlines (NSFW language), with bonus Conan The Barbarian, The Musical.



ICYMI, Friday's links are here, and include why old men have big ears, illustrated travel books of the Edwardian era, calculating how many fireflies it would take to match the brightness of the sun, a set of child labor photos from the Library of Congress, and the universal law of urination in mammals - everything pees for (approximately) 21 seconds.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sir David Attenborough narrating Pokemon Go is a hoot

On encountering a Spearow: "It is, of course, a bird."

Yes, of course it's fake. David Attenborough didn't really narrate Pokemon Go, but it's a really well done fake! 

The Irish website Lovin Dublin posted the clip to its Facebook page last week, and it now has more than 2.4 million views. On coming across a Zubat:
“Bats, with their fluttering zig zag flight are not easy targets ... That is one bat that will not return to the roost tonight.” 

Related:

Fatwa against Pokémon Go: It's prohibited, #1 modern spying tool worldwide and spreads Darwinism.

Gently but flamboyantly launching the over-sized walnut down the frozen river: David Attenborough Narrates Women's Curling.