While the main action probably centers around the observations of Chris Hayes, (google news here), I was in the wikipedia page about Memorial Day and thinking about some questions of national culture, which are below the fold
budrock1: I've got an Arab mare and a Morgan gelding and I'd say it's a toss-up. My Arab picks up things very quickly and you really only have to show her anything once. However, my Morgan learned how to open the automatic fly sprayer in his stall, pull out the spray can and close the door again so that I didn't know he had removed the can [emphasis mine]
I've known dogs and cats who were pretty smart, but none who thought to close the door behind them.
katdncswthdog: Shetland ponies are the only horses I know with a good sense of humor...we had one that would sneak up behind you then gallop in place. When you jumped & ran I swear he'd laugh at you.
So, join in with your smart-animal stories, or whatever.
In my previous post about reviews of "The Avengers", I said Black Widow seemed to be "The Superhero Men Don't See". I've now done some more research and am pretty sure the cognitive problem isn't with men, it's with mundanes -- non-fans or Muggles, that is. It's an instance of the Invisible Gorilla problem; sexism comes in only as the easiest way for the reviewer's brain to patch the hole in hir perceptions.
The Invisible Gorilla Experiment is one of the best-known such illusions. The subjects were told to count the number of times the basketball is passed between black-shirted players in the following video:
There was a lot of coverage of the Arkansas and Kentucky Democratic primary results yesterday, because Obama was officially unopposed but only got about 60% of the vote. In following up various discussions, I ended up looking at voter turnout in 2008 as compared to 2004. To my surprise, 30% of the states had lower turnout in 2008 than in 2004 -- including Arkansas and Kentucky. Except for Arkansas, all the states where turnout declined are much whiter than the country as a whole.
R-squared for this relationship is .43, which is fairly significant by social science standards. For comparison, I regressed "change in turnout" to "percent of vote that went to Obama", to address the possibility that Obama voters in general were more enthusiastic and willing to turn out. That R-squared is .13 -- or what we technically call "pffffffft".
I am willing -- nay, eager, nay, begging -- for someone with more data visualization skillz to make this into an infographic map, or at least to figure out how to label the data points with the state abbreviation.
Why the distinction between the Upland South/Appalachia and The White South as a whole? The areas of the South in which Obama did worse than Kerry (http://www.nytimes.com/interac...), just happen to be the areas with fewer black people (http://www.censusscope.org/us/.... ). Those blue areas in the first map are essentially the same as the red/purple areas in the second. If it weren't for southern blacks, the first map would've shown the entire South as red.
The implication here is that the increased turnout among the black community in the deep south swamps out the inherent racism of [white] southern Democratic Party supporters (in other words, that [white] southern Democrats are just as racist as their Appalachian counterparts, but you can't see it in the data because those [white] Democrats live near actual black people, who canceled their votes out).
[brackets are my addition] Here is the map they're talking about:
The evidence I've collected suggests that nonotford and Craig may be largely right: white racism (seen as Kerry voters who didn't vote for Obama) was a factor not only in Appalachia but in the South as a whole, but the effects were masked in the Deep South by increased turnout of a large black population.
What I'm also seeing, to my surprise, is that there may have been a drop in white turnout nationwide, not just in the South. I hadn't expected that there would be so many states (as in, *any*) with lower turnout in 2008 than in 2004. Frankly, it looks to me as though there was a really substantial number of white Democrats who'd voted for Kerry but who couldn't make themselves vote for Obama. They weren't going to vote Republican, so they just didn't cast a vote for President.
I was also surprised by the lower turnout in Oregon, with its mail-in balloting. Someone who knows more about the data may want to investigate further.
These data really make it clear why voter suppression is surging: increased turnout of black voters was a huge factor in 2008.
This scene depicts Tory and Whig agents, both attempting to bribe a farmer to vote for them. The crowd outside the tavern is visible in the background. In a reference to the antisemitism of the crowd behind, a Jewish peddler is being employed by another agent who is offering jewels and ribbons to the wives of voters.
On the margins of the composition a soldier (left) and two old sailors (right) represent uncorrupted patriotism. The soldier peeps out from behind a now-impotently decorative figurehead depicting the British lion devouring the French fleur-de-lis. A woman sits on it looking at her bribes. The sailors on the right are re-enacting a naval victory using pieces of broken clay pipe.
Ever make a connection between two ideas, and now you're not sure they're *really* connected, but you can't unconnect them in your brain? And part of you thinks, "brain, you are weird and disturbing, it's just a coincidence, shut up", and another part thinks "but look at how they match! disturbingly!"
And the third part says, Let's post it to the Internet!
This is perhaps not really open thread material, but this Forbes article about the Harvard bookstore and how they are fighting Amazon was interesting and perhaps related to Dr. Science's recent posts on the publishing industry.
The centerpiece of the efforts is the espresso book making machine, which I have put a youtube video below the fold.
I remember seeing one of these machines in a Japanese book store in Jimbocho, Tokyo, which is the bookstore quarter of the city, but I didn't realize what it was until I read about it.
Anyway, enjoy the video and write about what you want in the comments.
As I said in my Avengers reaction post, I was surprised and pleased by how the character of Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow was treated: she has a major role, not-particularly-exploitive clothing, and lots of action both physical and psychological. This is what my many friends in fandom see, too: I've seen a lot of reaction posts, and they all talk about how impressed they are with Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner/Hulk, and also about how much they like Natasha.
The process of taking a piece of fanfic and re-purposing it for professional sale is known as filing off the serial numbers. Obviously you first have to change the names -- unless the source you're working from is something like Arthurian legend (it's fanfic all the way down) or Sherlock Holmes, which is now largely public domain.
I'm a bit late with this one. I work at a university that has a 'social welfare' department, which has a strong research emphasis on the problems of barrier free and this was something that a colleague mentioned to me earlier and I've only just now got around to watching it. A simple and brilliant idea. What amazing devices have caught your fancy recently?