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Thursday Open Thread

by Fran Thu Feb 21st, 2013 at 10:08:51 AM EST

Baby, its cold outside...


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Brr..., I have to go out again, for classes - but since yesterday the temperatures have come down and towards the weekend it is supposed to get even colder.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 21st, 2013 at 10:10:00 AM EST
Yes, a cold snap ahead.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Feb 21st, 2013 at 10:34:52 AM EST
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I wish it would get a bit colder here, especially a few hundred meters up. The freezing rain has finally arrived with accompanying thunder. May its stay be brief! Tree branches have a thin coat of ice and ice icicles are starting to form on eves and at the low spots on the cable and phone cables. No breaking branches - yet. There was just the finest light sleet last night after midnight. The freezing rain started about 10 AM and is currently predicted to end within two hours. It is rather like a duel with nature where it is now nature's turn and one is simply waiting to see how bad it gets.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Feb 21st, 2013 at 01:01:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Warming just a tad next week, though, yeah? My mom in Little Rock said the piles and piles of tree limbs still piled up in most neighborhoods of their city are from the Christmas storm, and now crews are out cutting limbs back from power lines again.

Hope you're keeping warm and we can start hearing garden news again before long. I garden vicariously through you.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher

by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Thu Feb 21st, 2013 at 05:48:32 PM EST
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Here, long weeks of wind and rain have set gardening activities back apiece.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 22nd, 2013 at 02:24:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Everything's still under snow where we are.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Fri Feb 22nd, 2013 at 02:01:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Germans can't see meteorite YouTube videos due to copyright dispute:

As a result of an ongoing dispute between Google (YouTube's parent company) and GEMA, the primary German performance rights organization, a number of Russian YouTube videos have been blocked from within Germany. The reason? These videos contain background music playing from a Russian car radio.


Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Thu Feb 21st, 2013 at 11:43:57 AM EST
Don't get me started on GEMA and YouTube. They pull this crap all the time.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Thu Feb 21st, 2013 at 02:20:11 PM EST
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Doh. I bother less and less often to try to see videos online. Just one more frustration with Germans. Love the natural beauty here, though. And my healthcare.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Thu Feb 21st, 2013 at 05:49:54 PM EST
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Marianne from Katzenjammer's solo project is a smoking hot band. Last night the Dandylion tour kicked off in Bremen. me and the girls were totally entranced. some of us will pilgrim to Berlin next week to see her again.

Why did i forget to take photos? she told me she still has bit of the rare whisky i gave her years ago.

If you're in 'Schland or Amsterdam, worth a night out.

Music, videos and tour info HERE

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Thu Feb 21st, 2013 at 12:50:15 PM EST
Or HERE

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Thu Feb 21st, 2013 at 12:52:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
America thinks we need to fix the climate -- after we deal with the deficit | Grist
"Americans' Priorities," the graph is labelled. Underneath, four issues, and the extent to which Americans feel they require urgent action, as suggested to Pew Research. And so:
<infograph>
The most important issue for Congress to address this year, supported by 70 percent of Americans? The long-term deficit. Least urgent of the four? Climate change. Incorrect, America.

Lots of graphs.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Feb 21st, 2013 at 02:59:25 PM EST
The average US voter is a scientific illiterate, incapable of Critical Thinking.  

As place-holder evidence I cite:

Forty-six percent of Americans believe in the creationist view that God created humans in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years. The prevalence of this creationist view of the origin of humans is essentially unchanged from 30 years ago, when Gallup first asked the question. About a third of Americans believe that humans evolved, but with God's guidance; 15% say humans evolved, but that God had no part in the process.

The "God Done It" (direct or indirect) brigade has maintained a consistent 78% of the US population since 1982.  Since then there has been zero, nada, NO scientific study casting doubt on Evolution.  Since then investigations have deepened our knowledge of how Evolution works ... to the point that we understand the Theory of Evolution better than we understand the Theory of Gravity.

So, expecting them to dredge understanding of Climate Change out of the intellectual goo in their heads is unreasonable.
 

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Thu Feb 21st, 2013 at 03:44:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If we ignore it, it will go away.

The tea-leaf/chicken-guts approach to climate change is: if we don't have severe weather, how will we know who God is angry with?

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher

by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Thu Feb 21st, 2013 at 05:52:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it's just a basic fact of human nature.  Most people are incapable of critical thinking, period.  It's not a matter of education.

It's a hard skill to learn, with no obvious positive feedback upon successful accomplishment and no obvious reason or goal to work towards.  Worse, the successful use of critical thinking is most often punished.  For a few, it's a fairly easy and fun game, and they get good at it for the hell of it.  For most, it's a pointless and incomprehensible slog, and they don't get good at it no matter how much it may be forced upon them.

by Zwackus on Thu Feb 21st, 2013 at 09:32:01 PM EST
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If, by critical thinking, you mean the ability to think cogent heretical thoughts, i.e. challenge the status quo and the impetus of the status quo, then in some ways it becomes synonymous with being an artist - which of course explains neither.

The game connection is an important one, because the difference between games and 'reality' is an obsession of the generation that will be taking over culture in the next decade or so.

Rules are, in some way, the connection between science and art. Fact and fiction. Rules are the van der graaf electromagnetic displays between what you want as an individual and what you are allowed as a member of society.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Feb 22nd, 2013 at 12:56:17 PM EST
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No, my definition of critical thinking is much more basic.  It's the ability to think about something, contemplate the whole, break it into relevant parts, think about how they relate to each other, put it back together, and see how it relates to other things.  It's the ability to read something, understand what's being said, and explain why you understand it.  It's the ability to put vague feelings and gut intuition into words, and come up with an explanation for it.

It's really, really hard, and not very fun for a lot of/most people.

It's far more basic and ordinary than being an artist, and it's entirely applicable to all kinds of basic establishment thinking.  The problem is, it's also entirely possible to come up with un-approved thoughts without realizing it, and the following punishment is enough to turn people off the task forever.

by Zwackus on Fri Feb 22nd, 2013 at 09:29:11 PM EST
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Sure, the average American is illiterate--as is the average citizen from anywhere. The only hope is that at some point pretty soon now, something will happen that will wake us up and trigger an all-out carbon dioxide emissions elimination program. Bets are on as to which of the three remaining horsemen of the apocalypse it will be...
by asdf on Thu Feb 21st, 2013 at 11:33:52 PM EST
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...of the ineffable Dr Feelgood.

How the hell did Wilko play the guitar that way?

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Thu Feb 21st, 2013 at 08:09:50 PM EST
Big fingernails? What I can't figure out is how you play in proper tempo while pacing back and forth completely out of sync...
by asdf on Thu Feb 21st, 2013 at 11:34:35 PM EST
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Schizoid brainwiring.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 22nd, 2013 at 02:27:18 AM EST
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Or a lack of synesthesia.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Feb 22nd, 2013 at 12:40:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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