Lift Off! Donovan Livingston Inspires

Text of his spoken word poem:

Education then, beyond all other devices of human origin,
Is a great equalizer of the conditions of men.” – Horace Mann, 1848.
At the time of his remarks I couldn’t read — couldn’t write.
Any attempt to do so, punishable by death.
For generations we have known of knowledge’s infinite power.
Yet somehow, we’ve never questioned the keeper of the keys —
The guardians of information.

Note to self, NEVER read the comments at YouTube.

I was in the 7th grade, when Ms. Parker told me,
“Donovan, we can put your excess energy to good use!”
And she introduced me to the sound of my own voice.
She gave me a stage. A platform.
She told me that our stories are ladders
That make it easier for us to touch the stars.
So climb and grab them.
Keep climbing. Grab them.
Spill your emotions in the big dipper and pour out your soul.
Light up the world with your luminous allure.

To educate requires Galileo-like patience.
Today, when I look my students in the eyes, all I see are constellations.
If you take the time to connect the dots,
You can plot the true shape of their genius —
Shining in their darkest hour.

We were born to be comets…. (full text here)

I thought we could use a little inspiration to go into the weekend.

Open thread.

ETA: Regarding Authors In Our Midst, I have enough for one more post, but as I was reading through the previous posts there were quite a few others who mentioned their projects in the comments. It was too overwhelming to pull them from the comments, but if anyone wants to be highlighted in the next post, send me cover art, blurb of your work and link to where we can find it. Email is Whats4DinnerSolutions (at) live (dot) com.

Saturday Evening Open Thread: Sparklies!

Yeah, I know, dangerous, wasteful, and generally problematic even if the Olympics weren’t such a scam. But still

Tokyo based start-up Star-ALE is is designing a man-made meteor shower over the Japanese capital city , which will serve as the highlight of the 2020 Olympics opening ceremony. The meteor shower is expected to have an audience of 30,000,000 people and would be viewable from the ground in an area 120 miles across.

As a first step of the project named “Sky Canvas,” the company would launch a micro-satellite into space (the first is scheduled for the year 2017 ) that’s loaded up with 500 to 1,000 proprietary pellets containing various elements. The combustible pellets are made from various metals and elements so that they burn with different colors when ignited at an altitude of between 35 to 50 miles above Earth…

Apart from fireworks, what’s on the agenda for the evening?

Late Night/Early Morning (Eastern Daylight Time) Open Thread: Mad Weapon Designer Edition

If you’ve never seen one of the Slingshot Channel’s videos, you are missing out on sheer, insane, fun. Jorge Sprave, the genius behind the Slingshot Channel, seems to have more fun, at all times, than anyone I’ve ever seen. In this recent episode from April 7, he demonstrates his fully automatic Ping Pong ball shooting Gatling Gun!


Obama and Trudeau, Separated at Birth?

Somewhere, Master Yoda has been busy creating a super breed of Jedi politicians:

Can you imagine ANY of the Republicans answering that question?

And Now for Something Completely Different: Syrian Refugees Welcomed by Canadian Furries

Yes, you read that headline right. Given all the insanity we’ve been covering this weekend, I thought it would be good to post about something nice for a change. When the Vancouver, BC hotel that was hosting the annual VancouFur convention turned out to also be one of the temporary housing sites for Syrian refugees that have been admitted to Canada something really wonderful happened. The anthropomorphic animal reenactors reached out to the refugee children to welcome them to Canada.


To quote one of the participants:

Mike Schmidt, who attended VancouFur wrote on Vancity Buzz: “One of the many highlights for me was when the new group of Syrian refugee children came in and got to interact with us. To them we were cartoons to come to life, to us [it] was a means to display our acting performance to a very appreciative audience.


Click on over and see the videos and more pictures of the refugee children having a great time interacting with the furries (the first one is autoplay).


* Image found here.

** Image found here.

CAP and the Republican primary

I just want to highlight two tweets I saw since Cole dropped his truth bomb:

And a question as to why Rubio is not dropping out:

The anti-Trump agenda is ensnared in a massive collective action problem. The anti-Trump movement is better off if Rubio drops out. However, the problem is simple for a party that really does not believe in collective action problems solved through societal actions and instead believes or at least publicly spouts off that everything can be modeled on the basis of individual rational behavior to get optimal societal results. There is a stable equilibrium that is extraordinarily negative for the anti-Trumpers where everyone is asking the other individuals to impale themselves on the barbwire so that they can use the body as a bridge to get into Trump’s trenches.

Let’s just look at Rubio for his incentive structure. Right now, he has shitty chances. The betting market has him at 8% chance of nomination and probably an implied 4% to 5% chance of the White House. Those odds suck, especially compared to his odds in December. However they are better than his 2020 odds. He has gone 1 and done in the Senate. He has indicated he actually hates the process of governing so a run for Governor in 2018 and then a summer long camp-out in South Carolina in 2019 is unlikely. If he loses now he becomes 2012 Rick Santorum without a natural base of dedicated supporters and a similar humiliating loss.

8% odds suck. They are much better than his 2020 or his 2024 odds.

So why would he get out?

Applying that same logic to all to Kasich and Cruz, and their odds suck now, but they are better than they would be in 2020.

And given that the promises that are made in March of 2016 are highly contingent promises that Trump can first be beaten and then Clinton can be beaten plus the promiser has few strong constraints in his actions after Election Day, the promises made to move someone out are not particularly valuable nor credible.

The traditional solution to a collective action problem is to have an external entity be able to move people off of stable but negative equilibriums and compensate losers from the much larger net social gains. The RNC is not a strong governing entity and Republicans don’t do collective action problems well anyways…

So pass the popcorn.

Because I Love Everyone Here

And we need something dogs and cats, Bernistas and Hillarions can all enjoy, check out this fine photograph, uncovered during the indulgence in one of my private vices — wicked cool aircraft stuff:


That’s an Airbus A300-600ST, better known as the Beluga.  I tripped across this image while running down a rabbit hole opened by a video I’ll pop up here soon.  It’s far from the weirdest transport plane out there.  I’ll have more of those soon too, whenever we need our own Taft-Smoot-Hartley cooling off period. [Per Burnspbesq’s sadly (4 me) accurate correction]

For now…

Caption Contest!

And open thread, too.

ETA:  our comment-colleague Dollared has offered another image as a counterpart. Seems to me this is what happens when those sweet young nose sections get all grown up and nasty:  it’s down to the river to smoke and drink :