Two dogs playing.
Chat about whatever.
Two dogs playing.
Chat about whatever.
Lu Lingzi was a graduate student from China. I hope that the right thinks of this before they start the inevitable hate-the-furners stuff again.
In an otherwise interesting story about the medical response in Boston, the Times reports:
Cellphone service in Boston had been limited to prevent terrorists from using cellphones to detonate any more bombs, so doctors, nurses and other medical professionals were contacted with text messages.
This is a zombie non-fact, arising from the AP’s mistaken report that cell service had been shut down in the wake of the bombing. What really happened is that cell networks were overwhelmed, and only text messages were getting through because, to oversimplify, if your phone can communicate with with the cell network, it can send a text message even if there’s not enough bandwith to make a call.
This might not seem like a big deal, but it does show the power of the first report. Even in a time of tight budgets, a front-page Times story is heavily edited, and every editor who touched that story missed a pretty obvious falsehood. One of the strange things about human memory is that stress or trauma fixes memories into our brains. In Down Around Midnight, Robert Sabbag’s story of surviving a plane crash and dealing with his traumatic memories, he mentions a tribe that would tell its most important stories to kids and then throw them in the river, because the trauma and fear of near-drowning would cause them to remember the story for life. Perhaps that’s why the Times’ editors remember the initial AP story, which came at the height of the chaos around the bombing, but not the correction. If you don’t like my “This American Life”-style explanation, you can chalk it up to sloppiness caused by technical ignorance. Either way, this won’t be the first time that the “scoop” obsession of the media covering this and other stories has caused a rumor from a single source to be treated as fact long after being debunked.
Being first is not a real scoop, but the mania to be first pushes a bunch of crap into our already shit-burdened media pipeline. This zombie cell phone story is just one example.
Also2, via Wonkette, contemplate the Kristolian cluelessness of Glenn Beck:
No American citizen blows up random people. That’s a Middle Eastern scene, that’s not an American scene — when our crazies go off, they target the government, not streets that are crowded with people.
PLEASE KEEP THE VICTIMS OF THIS EVENT AND THEIR FAMILIES IN YOUR THOUGHTS.THANK YOU.
The domain buyer, Jaimie Muehlhausen, lives in California and was nice enough to pass on an email that he’d been sending to friends explaining the purchase. (He owns the page through April 15, 2014.)
… I didn’t put my name on the site or any contact info, but it’s not too hard to figure out who owns a domain name if you know where to look. Since that time this afternoon, I have been encouraged by the number of emails from people literally all over the world who took the time to dig into domain records, figure out that I owned the domain, and send me a message of thanks for making sure the irrational assholes don’t win this one. I’m sure the conspiracy idiots will find another domain to use, but this one is the most obvious name and it’s now unavailable for their bullshit.
Since I woke up this morning, I have received another large number of emails, some from reporters, but most from people with a quick, simple message of thanks. I didn’t do it to be thanked. I just did it because it seemed like the right thing to do.
BAD: The Infowars jagoffs now sufffering a severe case of public butthurt because nobody appreciates their work, as reported by WaPo:
NEW YORK — Fox has pulled from websites a recent episode of “Family Guy” that depicts mass deaths at the Boston Marathon, and has no immediate plans to air it again…
In the episode, protagonist Peter Griffin is asked by sports announcer Bob Costas about his performance at the marathon. A flashback shows Peter mowing down runners with his car…
Later, Peter befriends a terrorist who, unbeknownst to him, is plotting to blow up a bridge. When Peter dials a cellphone the friend has given him, explosions and screams are heard. On some websites, an edited clip has been circulating that fuses the two scenes, making it seem — incorrectly — as if the explosion was at the marathon. Some commenters have implied that the show “predicted” the bombings.
“Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane took to Twitter on Tuesday to vent anger over the edited clip and offer condolences to victims of Monday’s bombings at the marathon.
“The edited ‘Family Guy’ clip currently circulating is abhorrent,” MacFarlane tweeted…
When Seth ‘We Saw Your Boobs’ MacFarlane finds an idea “abhorrent”…
UGLY: Comments by GOP Congresspersons, as reported by Dave Weigel:
… “Whenever we have an attack like this it’s difficult not to think that it’s somehow involved in Islamic extremism,” said Maine Sen. Susan Collins, until recently a top member of the Homeland Security committee and still a prime mover on security bills. “I don’t have evidence to back that up. That’s just based on previous attacks.”
Collins, more than some senators, was willing to tease out the hypothetical. “It’s a very important question, whether it’s a plot that originated overseas or whether it’s a lone wolf,” she said. “The question is: What do we do once we do capture the individual? How’s he treated? If he’s an American, obviously, then the constitutional protections pertain. If he is a foreign national, in my view, then he should be held by a military tribunal and he should not be read his Miranda rights as [the Christmas Day Bomber] was.”…
Note the acceptable choices: either “a plot that originated overseas” or “a lone wolf”. Because in RepublicanWorld, there are no domestic terrorist groups, just lone gunmen.
… “On 9/11, we were forever disabused of the notion that attacks like the one that rocked Boston yesterday only happen on the field of battle, or in distant countries,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell in his morning floor speech. “With the passage of time, however, and the vigilant efforts of our military, intelligence, and law enforcement professionals, I think it’s safe to say that, for many, the complacency that prevailed prior to Sept. 11 has returned.”
Security hawks have some ideas about arresting that “complacency.” New York Rep. Peter King, one of the first members of Congress to speak to national media after the bombings in Boston, told MSNBC that it was “foolhardy” to make cuts to the Department of Homeland Security’s budget. “I do think we need more cameras,” he said. “We have to stay ahead of the terrorists and I do know in New York, the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative, which is based on cameras, the outstanding work that results from that.”…
Both Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham, cohorts in the “Gang of Eight” working out an immigration bill, suggested that their bill might look even more necessary if—as we know, we don’t know—the culprit in Boston was a foreign national.
“It may be an argument for the kind of things we’re talking about,” McCain said. “Exit–entry visas, e-verify. In fact, I think it should accelerate [the bill].”
McCain, accidentally and by long distance, was debating Iowa Rep. Steve King. He’d suggested to National Review that the Boston attacks should move Congress from debating immigration to debating security. “We need to take a look at the visa-waiver program and wonder what we’re doing,” he’d said. “If we can’t background-check people that are coming from Saudi Arabia, how do we think we are going to background check the 11 to 20 million people that are here from who knows where?”…
A reminder, for Boston-area Balloon Juicers in need of something other than our public miseries to ponder.
Tomorrow, Wednesday April 17, at 7 p.m., we got this:
Seth Mnookin and Ta-Nehisi Coates talking with David Carr, the New York Times’ media critic, on Wed., April 17, 7 p.m. in MIT’s building 6, room 120 (6-120, as folks in the Shire reckon addresses — click on the link for an interactive map). The event is running under the title “The Future of Print in the Digital Age” and is sponsored as part of the Writer’s Series within MIT’s Program in Comparative Media Studies/Writing, its Graduate Program in Science Writing, and the MIT Program in Science Technology and Society. To repeat myself from last week’s notice: This should be a very smart evening; Carr’s one of the really good ones.
Note: 6-120 is a reasonably large room — about 120 seats, I think — but this is one that should get a lot of interest, so if you want to be there, allow a little extra time.
Next, the day after, Thursday, April 18, my former student Emily Anthes is coming back to MIT to speak about her new book Frankenstein’s Cat. You might recall that Emily and I had a conversation about the book last month (podcast here). Emily has taken a serious and very well researched look at the intersection of biotechnology and the animals closest to their human partners/owners/users. The result of that work is a gracefully written book that wears the author’s knowledge lightly, and argues its point — the technological manipulation of animals is both inevitable and at least potentially a benefit to both parties to the deal — with grace and rigor. She’s got a lot to say, and she says it well. If this is the sort of thing you like to engage, this will be a fine evening too. Her talk is the day is also at 7 p.m. in yet another of MIT’s utterly impenetrably named venues, 56-114 — building 56, room 114.
Fun for the whole family, with decent pizza nearby for afters. What could be bad?
(Note: I’ll be at the event tomorrow, but will have to miss Emily’s reading, as I must be off to visit a very ill relative in the mud-season be-mucked north. If you make it tomorrow, say hi.)
Image: Unknown artist, The Final Hour!” c. 1920
I would like to preface this post by stating I am completely sober, albeit a little smacked up on some delicious Assam CTC BOP from Upton Tea. We’ve had a very serious spring gully washer here, replete with wind, downpours, thunderboomers and beautiful lightning, so I made tea and sat on the porch and watched it.
Having said all that, I’m kind of curious if I am the only one who sings to my pets every chance I get. I ask this, because the girls wanted to go out to potty, but it was raining so hard I had to coax them out, and then when they came back in after doing their business in the rain (and, btw, not shitting on my floor), I gave them treats and caught myself singing “TREATS, THERE THEY IS, TREATS THERE THEY IS” to the tune of WHOOMP THERE IT IS while taunting them for a bit. I may have even danced a bit. And at that point, I remembered why I told people last week why I have duct tape over the camera on my macbook, because who knows what kind of awful shit hackers might see if my mic and camera go live without my knowledge.
Some other greatest hits from the Cole household: “Rosie, Rosie, Rosie, can’t you see, sometimes your barks just hypnotize me.”
“My blood runs cold, my Lily is the centerfold.”
Tragically, I get jiggy with it when I sing to my girls, and it terrifies me that no matter what song is in my head at the time, I can modify it to include the names of the piglets.
Sooooo…. Give me an a song you have adapted to sing to your pets. Because I know you do. Don’t lie.