Saturday, May 02, 2015

Coffee and Provocation

The History of the World in a Cup
“Just the other day, I was in my neighborhood Starbucks, waiting for the post office to open. I was enjoying a chocolaty cafe mocha when it occurred to me that to drink a mocha is to gulp down the entire history of the New World. From the Spanish exportation of Aztec cacao, and the Dutch invention of the chemical process for making cocoa, on down to the capitalist empire of Hershey, PA, and the lifestyle marketing of Seattle's Starbucks, the modern mocha is a bittersweet concoction of imperialism, genocide, invention, and consumerism served with whipped cream on top.” - Sarah Vowell, from her book The Partly Clouded Patriot.

Pit Bull Was Patient Zero in Colorado Plague
It seems a Pit Bull was "patient zero" in a four-person outbreak of the pneumonic Black Plague in Colorado. This was the first animal-to-human plague transmission in the U.S. since 1924.  The Bubonic Plague came to the U.S. around 1907 from black rats that slipped in from China.  Plague is now endemic in the western Prairie Dog population.

From Follows Function
Never mind if that sentiment is not even true in that sentence. Here's a nice design wormhole to check out. Not dog related, but cool.

How Dangerous is it to Fly a Dog?
And is there really any statistical safety difference between one airline and another?

These Important Animals May Go Extinct...
...if we don't start eating them.

Jeb Bush Supports an Illegal Alien Amnesty
In other words, he is toast in the primary.

A Digital Great Leap Forward in Civil Liberties
"You know, they used to be able to get away with lying about it," he explained. "And there were lots of people in the establishment anxious to believe them over anybody black. Thank God for cell phone video cameras. Thank God for cell phone video cameras. Because now the truth is finally coming out. And it's ugly." - attorney William Murphy

Elon Musk May Change Everything
The future is owned by the rich first, but it comes to all soon enough, and with solar cell prices falling fast, solar cell efficiency soaring, and home battery systems now cheaper than a transmission rebuild on your Honda, the era of coal-fired power plants, telephone poles and downed power lines may soon be behind us. Elon Musk is the Game Changer of the 21st Century.

The Terrorists on our Roads
When you glance in your mirror, or at the car next to you at a stop light,you do not feel safer if it's a police car. You feel anxiety. Tension. And for a reason. Police almost never stop crime in progress, and they close fewer and fewer serious crime cases every year despite better forensics. In fact, for 99% of all people, all the police have ever done in your life is to write you an unending series of tickets for minor infractions and hassles. Now comes another startling statistic: American police officers kill more Americans every month than all terrorists at home, abroad, or in any theater of war combined.

Feed the Good and Weed The Bad
Let me say something about Bernie Sanders. I'm donating. He will shape the debate ahead, and in the right direction. He raised $1.5 million on Day One of his presidential campaign. For $10 a month for 6 months, you can be part of the hammer that shapes the future. Never will so little money do more good. If you play pool, you know that a three-ball carom can set up the next shot. This is that. 

Robert Reich on the TransPacific Partnership
I trust Robert Reich with this nation. So should you. Watch this. Simple. Clear. Smart.


Mary Pang said...

As a kid, I used to go to the local major agricultural show and note all the breeds I saw. Here's one of our ancient british breeds being brought back from near extinction, and a favourite of mine.

I've not had the chance to eat it:

jeffrey thurston said...

" There is no human situation so miserable that it cannot be made worse by the presence of a policeman."--Brendan Behan (1923--1964), Irish writer

Plus- I can't help but think that the S. Vowell comment far from being profound is disgusting hipster bullshit. How nice to be all cozy in the alternative cafe (at the end point of "...imperialism, genocide, invention, and consumerism...") and be all smug about it. If old liberals and young bearded hipsters and aging Genex dipshits are so aware and judgmental of their history why don't they give all their stuff back to the Indians? Or why not squawk about the actual crimes their country is committing now? Alternative means sold out...