anysia: (Introspection)
[personal profile] anysia
Had the surgical dressing removed, and was told it was healing nicely. I had some problems with the medications, and those problems were addressed and taken care of. I have been told that rest, and pain management are paramount for my rehab. Since my liver is so efficient, it filters the medication out a bit quickly, leaving me in pain for an hour or more between pain med dosages. I have been given a different pain medication to take when that happens. Still have to take blood thinners, anti-inflammatory, and unfortunately something to ensure regularity. I'll just leave it at that. Took new dosing schedules and went to see the physio.

Pat is everything a physio can be. A nice sadist. He massaged, bent, pushed, pushed even more. I could take it. He said 'no higher than pain level 5'. I am very fortunate, that all tendons and ligaments are fine. It was just the bone/cartilage. My reward for all the torture was his massaging my foot, pushing up past my knee to reduce the swelling, then fit me with a mid-thigh to ankle compression stocking. He also reiterated the need for pain management being key to doing the exercises. So, no more 'toughing it out'.

Message assimilated. :)

QotD

Sep. 20th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"Rosh Hashanah is about relationships. Whether between individuals and the God in whom they believe, communities and the traditions which define them, or simply between individuals, whether any God or tradition is part of their lives, it's all about sustaining relationships which sustain us and help us do the same for others." -- Rabbi Brad Hirschfield

Today is...
Gregorian: 2017 September 20
Julian: 2017 September 07
Hebrew: 5777 Elul 29 --- sundown will be the start of 5778 Tishrei 01
Islamic: 1438 Dhu I-Hijja 28
Persian: 1396 Shahrivar 29
Mayan: 0.0.0.13.0.4.14.14
Indian: 1939 Bhadra 29
Coptic: 1734 Thout 10

What are you reading Wednesday?

Sep. 20th, 2017 12:14 am
zhelana: (Firefly - girls)
[personal profile] zhelana
What have you just finished reading?

The Mathews Men: Seven Brothers and the War Against Hitler's U-boats by William Gerouxby - I don't understand why this book was called seven brothers, Mathews is a county, not a family, and the book was about a much larger segment of society than seven brothers. Nonetheless, it was a fascinating look at a mostly forgotten part of WWII, and men who had a higher mortality rate than every military branch except the marines.


What are you reading?

One Way or Another by Annette Laing - No progress this week

The Jews of Khazaria by Kevin Alan Brook - I wonder if part of the reason we have so little information about these people is that they competed with the Russians, and eventually, the Russians won? I'm only 28% of the way through this book, which is surprising because he never references the idea that he'll introduce more evidence after chapter 8 and I'm already on chapter 6.

2 Kings - There's a lot of murder and death going on. I think it's succession wars?

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink - This book is more oriented towards businesses than I was expecting. It's still interesting, because it talks about ways to motivate people and stuff, but I am not the intended audience.

Dream Date

Sep. 20th, 2017 12:03 am
zhelana: (original - aliens)
[personal profile] zhelana
What would your dream date be like?

I would go to a beach and talk and then go on a dinner cruise and see dolphins jumping while we ate good food.

the rest )

Gray day... everything is gray

Sep. 23rd, 2017 11:46 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
I watch, but nothing moves today.

Looks like it's going to be overcast all week, and next week too. Well, fuck. I'm putting my lightbox back on.

*********


Superheroes for the Jewish New Year

There Never Was a Real Tulip Fever

The 11 sisters of Siervas are a rock band like 'nun' other

Scientists Once Dressed Frogs in Tiny Pants to Study Reproduction

In Alaska’s Far-Flung Villages, Happiness Is a Cake Mix

Octlantis is a just-discovered underwater city engineered by octopuses

How Two Lesbians Fought the Nazis With a Typewriter

Meet Nazo Dharejo: The toughest woman in Sindh

In a First for the Nation, Portland Police End Gang List to Improve Relations With Blacks and Latinos

The Rust Belt Needs Legal Immigration

That Awkward Moment When Your Twin Brother Is A U.S. Citizen At Birth, But You’re Not

Lawsuit targets searches of electronic devices at US border

New hope for limiting warming to 1.5 C

This Department Is the Last Hideout of Climate Change Believers in Donald Trump’s Government

Child care choices limited for those working outside 9-to-5

St. Louis sees third day of protests after officer's acquittal

ICE Detained This Trafficking Victim on Her 18th Birthday. Why?

Hurricane Maria is following Irma's path and getting stronger

The Sci-Fi Roots of the Far Right—From ‘Lucifer’s Hammer’ to Newt’s Moon Base to Donald’s Wall

Graceful menace: States take aim at non-native swans

New Mideast realities require support for Kurds

What is at stake in Iraqi Kurdish vote for independence?

Iraq says may use force if Kurdish referendum turns violent

Signed Eva up for a drama class

Sep. 21st, 2017 10:58 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
It took a lot of back and forth and emails getting lost, but I got her signed up!

And now she's claiming she didn't ever ask for this in the first place. Yeah, right. I get that she wants to spend time with her friends, but - dude, she spends hours with them every single day. She can take a day off and maybe make some new friends, something she frequently claims she wants.

***************


10 Badass Trees That Refuse To Die

The Making of the Modern American Recipe

Marilyn Monroe and the Potato Sack Dress, c.1951

DNA triggers shape-shifting in hydrogels, opening a new way to make 'soft robots'

The Spanish Royal Philanthropic Expedition to Bring Smallpox Vaccination to the New World and Asia in the 19th Century

Stopped at US border, Haitians find 'Mexican dream' instead

How Pants Went From Banned to Required in the Roman Empire

Just squeeze in—researchers discover when spaces are tight, nature loosens its laws

In Amish Country, the Future Is Calling

Children Used to Learn About Death and Damnation With Their ABCs

The Problem With Free Menstrual Pads

Tillerson says U.S. could stay in Paris climate accord

The Commuter Parking Benefit Is Seriously Hurting Cities

Dylann Roof requests new attorneys, declaring appeal team his biological enemies (Relevant quote: “The lawyer appointed to represent me at my federal trial was David Isaac Bruck, who is also Jewish. His ethnicity was a constant source of conflict even with my constant efforts to look past it.” All his lawyers deserve medals and a fruit basket. Maybe some booze. They earned it after putting up with him!)

US people of color still more likely to be exposed to pollution than white people

Breastfeeding Behind Bars: Do All Moms Deserve the Right?

When Does the Right to an Attorney Kick In?

Why Many Deaf Prisoners Can’t Call Home

Unbudgeted: How the opioid crisis is blowing a hole in small-town America's finances

See jerkface bacteria hiding in tumors and gobbling chemotherapy drugs

Myanmar Follows Global Pattern in How Ethnic Cleansing Begins

Rohingya Muslims being wiped off Myanmar's map

Three killed in stampede for aid near Rohingya refugee camp

Bangladesh warns Myanmar over border amid refugee crisis

The Ominous, Massive Military Exercises in Eastern Europe

September 19--Hello Kitty Knows Best

Sep. 19th, 2017 08:27 pm
zyzyly: (Default)
[personal profile] zyzyly
I presented my first lecture of the semester on fluid and electrolytes. Much of it is preparatory for the content that is to come. It's a long lecture--about 5 hours over 2 days. I'll finish it tomorrow. I don't really need 5 hours. I can cover it in 4, but I use the last hour to play Fluid and Electrolyte Jeopardy.

It was interesting that, even with all the little stories I drop in, the lecture times out to each break almost to the minute. When it is break time, I make a note on the slide "Hour 1, fall 2017" or something like that. I have been on the same slides for my breaks three semesters in a row.

One of my favorite things about lecturing is dropping in those little stories. Sometimes they are related to the content, but sometimes they are just stories about nursing in general. I am very comfortable in the classroom, even though I am a shy introvert. I think I have made that observation previously. Probably every semester, at about the same date. lol.

I had to spend some non-classroom time typing up some more stuff from our accreditation meeting yesterday. I did it early, before class began. I didn't want to go in early, but glad I did so I could get it done and sent out.

Malida and I had dinner at the sushi place again. In spite of having just read some article about never ordering bacon-wrapped anything, I ended up ordering some bacon-wrapped scallops. I saw the author's point. My other disappointment was seeing a frozen gyazo delivery truck parked out back. Anyway, Malida loves the sushi there, so we will be back again.

bacon wrapped anything

The weather is so perfect these days. I sat out in the back yard a bit this afternoon and looked at my garden. there was a hibiscus blossom, and I took a picture. It was pretty low on the plant, so I dubbed it a lowbiscus.

lowbiscus

I engaged in a debate with my first wife's cousin's husband, a Trump Supporter, about the potential repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act. We went back and forth, but remained civil. I posed a question four different times: What happens to a person without health insurance, who doesn't meet the criteria for either Medicare or Medicaid, who becomes seriously ill? Do we deny them care? Four times he avoided the question. For me, this question is the heart of the debate.

usability struggles

Sep. 19th, 2017 10:51 pm
cellio: (Default)
[personal profile] cellio

I spend a lot of time on, and am a volunteer moderator for, several Stack Exchange sites. (Mi Yodeya is one of them.) SE has a banner ("top bar") that is the same across all sites. It contains notifications, information about the logged-in user, and some key navigation links. For moderators it contains a few more things relevant to that job.

Until recently it looked like this (non-moderator view):

original

The red counter is the inbox (waiting messages) and the green one is reputation changes. If there aren't any, you just get the gray icons that those alerts are positioned over. If I were a moderator on that site, there'd be a diamond to the left of my user picture and a blue square with the flag count to the left of that.

They've just changed this design. (Well, the change is rolling out.) Here's what it looks like now (for a moderator):

new, notifications

The most important links for moderation are the last two things, the diamond and the blue box with the number (flags). They're on the far right, where they're less likely to be seen for various reasons. (Non-moderators don't get those indicators.)

In the old design, those moderator indicators -- which are important -- were toward the center where they're easier to see. Also, all the numbers were a little bigger and easier to see.

When this was announced there was a lot of immediate discussion in the moderators-only chat room, during which I got a little upset about the reduced usability, especially those moderator controls -- which had a good chance of being scrolled away in a not-huge browser window, because SE doesn't use responsive design. After I calmed down I wrote a post on Meta about how this was going to make it harder for me to do my volunteer job, particularly with vision challenges. I expected to get a few sympathy votes, some "get a bigger monitor" snark (which wouldn't help, by the way), and no results.

That post is now one of my highest-scoring posts on the network. And I have a meeting with the product manager and a designer at SE next week to demonstrate my difficulties in using this in more detail.

Meanwhile, I've gotten some help with userscripts from some other moderators. It's hacky and a little buggy and it slows down page loads and I have no idea how to adjust some things, but at least I can see my notifications and the moderator stuff is in a better place. It'll do for now.

I sure hope I can get them to bake some of this in, though. The page-load delay is a little disconcerting as stuff jumps around on the screen. (Also, userscripts do not work on my Android tablet.)

Beyond the immediate problem, though, what I really hope for is to find some way to raise a little awareness that usability is hard, designers are not the users, there are all kinds of people with all kinds of usage patterns and constraints, and you need to somehow, systematically, figure out how to design for the larger audience. That's going to be the hard part.

89F - 66F : Sunny

Sep. 19th, 2017 10:40 pm
zhelana: (potter - look)
[personal profile] zhelana
Today was not a very good day. I had a horrible nightmare last night, and woke up exhausted. I only stayed up for 30 minutes before deciding to go back to sleep. Then I woke up 2.5 hours later to the alarm. It was time to take the cats to the vet. I trapped them, and shoved them in carriers, which they were very vocal about expressing their hatred of. We drove to PetSmart for our 3:00 appointment. When I left, at 4:30, without having been seen, the 2:00 appointment was still there and hadn't been seen either. I had places to be so I set a new appointment, and left. Now I have to traumatize the cats again, next week, and I'm sure when I put them in carriers they think they're going to get dumped back at the pound because that happened to them several times before we got them, and more than half the times of their lives they've been in a pet carrier they've either ended up at the pound, or a new home. So I'm sure they're scared shitless of this whole process. Of course, I would never get rid of my kitties, but they don't know that.

So anyway, then I went to meet Klepto at Starbucks. I wrote about 500 words in an hour and a half, and then decided to come home and take a nap because my brain was not cooperating. I slept for about 2 hours, then woke up and read the internet for a bit.

"We Can All Win" Discussion Post

Sep. 19th, 2017 08:51 pm
laceblade: (Pod Save the People)
[personal profile] laceblade posting in [community profile] podsaveamerica
DeRay talks with TN State Senator Lee Harris ([twitter.com profile] SenDemLeaderTN) about the outrageous prison sentences related to drug free school zones. Sheriff Tom Dart ([twitter.com profile] TomDart) from Cook County joins to talk about reducing the jail population in big ways. Sam, Clint and Brittany are on again to talk this week’s news, including St. Louis and The Emmys.

Find the pod here or wherever you get your podcasts.

credit freezes

Sep. 19th, 2017 08:47 pm
xoxomarina: Princess Ai ({ manga } » smile)
[personal profile] xoxomarina posting in [community profile] actyourwage
Anyone who thinks they were affected by the Equifax security breach (or even if you weren't), feel free to check out the post I created with tons of resources for pulling and freezing your credit: https://xoxomarina.dreamwidth.org/239500.html

Mini Wetterhorn

Sep. 19th, 2017 06:38 pm
the_other_sandy: Kaleidoscope (Kaleidoscope)
[personal profile] the_other_sandy posting in [community profile] cross_stitch
Mini Wetterhorn

Pattern by Tereena Clarke of Artecy Cross Stitch based on a painting by Joseph Anton Koch.

Stitch parking level 2: achievement unlocked. I can't tell you how many times I went to park a thread and found another thread already parked there. I think I properly fixed everything I caught, but goodness only knows if this looks anything like it was supposed to.

I can’t decide if I’m ready to level up to the pattern I’m dying to make, or if I should do one more slightly harder pattern first before working my way up to that. My end goal is a massive HAED pattern with 234 colors.

The second picture is a distance shot because this pattern was done in the pointillist style, so the farther away you stand, the more detailed it looks.



Cross-stitch tuesday

Sep. 19th, 2017 04:14 pm
ilyena_sylph: the Rising Sun of Cairhein (WoT: Cairhein)
[personal profile] ilyena_sylph posting in [community profile] cross_stitch
I started on working on tiny Yule-things for ornaments to use as gifts for my assorted cousins. This is the current one!

a small snowman in counted cross stitch

Fake news, astrology edition

Sep. 19th, 2017 06:55 pm
[syndicated profile] thewildhunt_feed

Posted by Terence P Ward

TWH –It’s a given in some Pagan circles that at least a basic understanding of astrology is common knowledge. Given the incredible diversity represented within the intersecting Pagan and polytheist communities, it stands to reason that there are also community members who are almost completely unaware if not outright skeptical, of its tenets.

It is perhaps because of that wide variation that fake astrology news circulates under the so-called “Pagan umbrella” as easily as elsewhere.

Is there now a new astrological sign in the heavens? Did that downgrade of Pluto cast doubt on the legitimacy of astrology? While neither of these issues is breaking news — being one and eleven years old, respectively — the questions linger because they represent common misunderstandings about the nature of astrology itself.

Even asking what astrology is lead to a complex answer, according to astrologer Diotima Mantineia, because there’s two broad categories, sidereal and tropical. While each entails a knowledge of celestial bodies and their relative positions at a given time, they differ in how that information is organized.

Western astrology, arguably the most popularized style, is a form of tropical astrology. That is the type about which these questions generally arise, and that is the type Mantineia focuses on when trying to demystify the process.

Western astrology is called “tropical” because it follows the path of the sun throughout the year, during which that path drifts between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.

This week’s equinox is when the solar path crosses what’s called the “celestial equator,” which is simply the idea of extending that imaginary line up into the sky. It marks the halfway point in the astrological year, which began on vernal equinox.

Perhaps one reasons Pagans and polytheists are assumed to know about astrology is a widespread familiarity with non-standard calendars.

Regardless, a basic knowledge of astrological principles is helpful in evaluating the questions of legitimacy and change that do pop up on occasion. Mantineia believes that if scientists who seek to challenge astrology had that understanding and perhaps did a better job applying the scientific method to astrology, the conversation might be a very different one.

In the meantime, she agreed to assist in exploring these bits of fake astrology news.

An extra constellation

Has the drift of stars in the sky had an impact on astrology? “You need to forget about the constellations,” Mantineia said, because “they have nothing to do with the matter at hand except that they lent their names to the signs.”

The signs of the zodiac are in fact 30-degree arcs of sky, and that their eponymous constellations may have drifted isn’t actually a big deal, she explains.

In her post on the astronomy of astrology, Mantineia uses a postal analogy, writing that “you may live in a house on Big Barn Lane, and back when Big Barn Lane was originally named, there was, in fact, a big old barn right there marking the intersection. The fact that the barn was dismantled years ago and moved to the other side of the property, where it was rebuilt as the new owners’ home, does not change either the name or the location of Big Barn Lane.”

That’s the reason that the constellation Ophiuchus isn’t going to get a sign: there are only 12, no matter how many recognizable constellations are on that annual solar path, which is called the ecliptic. The 30-degree pie-slice remains the same, just like the yard on Big Barn Lane which no longer features a big barn.

Astronomers often don’t understand that, as evidenced in this quote from a blog post on constellations at nasa.gov:

The constellations are different sizes and shapes, so the sun spends different lengths of time lined up with each one. The line from Earth through the sun points to Virgo for 45 days, but it points to Scorpius for only seven days. To make a tidy match with their 12-month calendar, the Babylonians ignored the fact that the sun actually moves through 13 constellations, not 12. Then they assigned each of those 12 constellations equal amounts of time. Besides the 12 familiar constellations of the zodiac, the sun is also aligned with Ophiuchus for about 18 days each year.

Implicit in that passage is the assumption that astrology tracks the apparent passage of the sun through constellations found along the ecliptic, when in fact tropical astrology tracks the passage of the sun through the sky.

A bone of contention for Mantineia is that astronomers are quick to criticize astrology, while at the same time demonstrating ignorance about it. With training as a scientist, she recognized that what little research has been done into astrology has lacked scientific rigor, because bias is left unchecked and ignorance is allowed to fester.

In short, there are 12 signs equally dividing the sky, and that will remain true no matter what stars happen to be visible in that sign right now. Ophiuchus is not a sign, but if it were made one, the name would have to replace another one for that 30-degree arc of sky.

That persistent misunderstanding is connected to the notion that it is those very stars which are directing an individual’s life, but that’s not how Mantineia sees astrology at all. She agrees that correlation is not causation, but “this fact is simply not relevant to the work I do as an astrologer.”

What matters is the correlation between celestial objects and an individual’s life, she says, leaving the question of causation to philosophers and theologians. “A reliable correlation is really all we need to have a practical, reliable, workable astrology,” she wrote in a critique of astrology’s critics.

Underworld influences

In the early part of the century, astronomers discovered Eris, a rocky mass in the neighborhood of Pluto but 27% larger. Rather than proclaiming a 10th planet, the resulting debate concluded with a new definition of “planet” that didn’t include Pluto, which didn’t even get the label for a hundred years.

Discordians have noted the chaos Eris unleashed on astronomy, but did this impact astrology, where Pluto was also recognized as a planet?

The answer is now, and that’s largely because the term “planet” is used much more broadly in astrology, and Pluto still qualifies. Essentially, planets in astrology are the heavenly bodies that move around the sky, and include what in astronomy are called planets, demi-planets (like Pluto), sun, moon, and asteroids. That differentiates them from stars, which appeared fixed by comparison.

“Small, large, dwarf planet, doesn’t matter,” Mantineia said. “What we are looking for is correlation, and we have found the correlations over and over again with Pluto.”

Observing correlations, if it is not already clear, is what astrology is all about. While Mantineia agrees that understanding how astrology functions would be interesting, it’s not necessary to know that information in order to make it function.

She even has found evidence that Carl Sagan, the celebrity astronomer of his day, agreed with that point. While he was a skeptic of astrology, Sagan, in 1975, declined to join many colleagues in blasting the discipline. “The statement stressed that we can think of no mechanism by which astrology could work,” he wrote in a letter to the Humanist.

“This is certainly a relevant point but by itself it’s unconvincing. No mechanism was known for continental drift” when it was first proposed, he went on, but the principles of plate tectonics were in force long before they were recognized, much less understood.

What makes Pluto a special case is its relatively short history in astrology. Its existence has been confirmed for just 87 years, but its journey through the zodiac takes nearly 250. As astrology is based on observing correlations between planetary positions and life on Earth, the slow progress of Pluto across the sky means that those particular correlations are generational in nature.

“Pluto in Leo generation [1939 to 1957] . . . . tend to be concerned with creativity, self-expression, and, if other elements of the chart agree, can be somewhat self-centered and navel-gazing.” For those born when Pluto was in Virgo, there is “a tendency to be more concerned with group efforts, being in service to the whole, and [they] . . . can be somewhat judgmental and critical.”

The best way to see patterns relating to Pluto, Mantineia said, is how it’s in relation to other planets in a given chart. Those aspects, as they’re called, allow deeper meaning to be gleaned through the relationships, much like a tarot reader might consider several cards together in a spread.

More ancient astrologers simply observed fewer planets, but that doesn’t mean that the correlations weren’t already in existence. Any planet not visible to the naked eye, due to the structure of the solar system, is likely to be more generational in nature, making the missing information more slow to change regardless.

Studies may show

If and when a rigorous, bias-free study of astrology occurs, questions about the mechanisms of astrology may be revealed, which could lead to a better understanding of its role in causation, if any.

Mantineia has written, “I suspect we will eventually find that there is not immediate causation so much as a clear reflection of an underlying framework of energy,” but it could be some time before that and other assertions about astrology are tested.

For the moment, those interested are encouraged to recognize when scientists wrongly wrap themselves in a mantle of expertise, but also to be wary of oversimplifications made by amateur astrologers, such as “Cancers are moody,” which references only the sign in which the sun is found.

“There are about 3,000 individual variables in any given chart,” Mantineia points out, and those generalizations are as inaccurate as any misunderstandings promoted by popular scientists of the day.

In which the Bittern is pissed

Sep. 19th, 2017 02:16 pm
twistedchick: (bittern OFQ)
[personal profile] twistedchick
This so-called article is a piece of crap. It purports to provide the results of a study and conflates the numbers in the study with society as a whole in ignorant ways.

For example, second paragraph:

Just ask college students. A fifth of undergrads now say it’s acceptable to use physical force to silence a speaker who makes “offensive and hurtful statements.”


A fifth of undergrads? No. A fifth of the 1500 undergrad students they surveyed. That's 300 or so.


Villasenor conducted a nationwide survey of 1,500 undergraduate students at four-year colleges.


Nationwide? There are far more than 1,500 four-year colleges (for those of you not American, the word includes universities). How were the colleges chosen? How were the students chosen? How many were chosen at each university? How many overall were from the same discipline? There's no way to know. We don't even know if he chose accredited schools, or those pay-for-a-degree places. Did they ask at Ivy League schools, the majority of whose students come from well-off families? Did they ask at places like City College of New York, where the tuition is much lower and people who are there are from a variety of backgrounds, not wealthy? Ag and tech colleges, out in the countryside, or only urban colleges?

Further down it says the margin of error is 2-6 percent, "depending on the group." Oh, really? Which group is 2% and which is 6%? We aren't told. It appears we are to be grateful that a margin of error was even mentioned.

The whole thing is supposed to be about undergrads' understanding of First Amendment-protected free speech. Since we are not told the exact wording of the questions asked, it's impossible to know if the responses were appropriate to them, or if the questions were leading the students to a specific response.

And then there's this:

Let’s say a public university hosts a “very controversial speaker,” one “known for making offensive and hurtful statements.” Would it be acceptable for a student group to disrupt the speech “by loudly and repeatedly shouting so that the audience cannot hear the speaker”?

Astonishingly, half said that snuffing out upsetting speech — rather than, presumably, rebutting or even ignoring it — would be appropriate. Democrats were more likely than Republicans to find this response acceptable (62 percent to 39 percent), and men were more likely than women (57 percent to 47 percent). Even so, sizable shares of all groups agreed.

It gets even worse.

Respondents were also asked if it would be acceptable for a student group to use violence to prevent that same controversial speaker from talking. Here, 19 percent said yes....


Let's look more closely, ignoring the editorializing sentence for the moment. Half of who? Half of 1500 people is 750 people, scattered across the US. And then again -- 19% of who? Everyone? Women? Men? Democrats? Republicans? We aren't told.

Meanwhile, the entire other side of this survey is ignored. By stressing the minority and ignoring the majority, the minority's views are inflated and made more important. Let me turn this around for you: more than 80% of undergrads say that violence is not acceptable in dealing with an unwanted speaker. Try turning around all the other numbers, and the story falls apart. Instead of "students" substitute "students surveyed", and it also falls to pieces. Who cares what 1500 people out of 200 million think? If we don't know why those 1500 were specifically chosen, why should we care?

I have worked with surveys, written surveys, conducted and analyzed surveys. It is possible to have a statistically perfect survey with 1500 people surveyed, but only if the respondents are very carefully selected to avoid bias. There is no way to tell if that was done with the evidence given in this story. For all we know, those respondents could have been selected from the same departments or majors at all the colleges. The colleges could have been technical schools or enormous state universities or religion-affiliated schools. There is no way to know. Why does this matter? Liberal arts, political science and pre-law students are more likely to have read about the First Amendment than optics majors or engineers, for instance. I'm not saying the optics majors or engineers would be more conservative or liberal -- but they are less likely to have discussed free speech in a class. Improper choice of respondents can provide very slanted results -- for example, the survey that said Dewey would win over Truman was conducted by telephone, and the calls went to houses on the corners of two streets; this meant that people who were wealthier (because corner houses pay higher taxes, based on road frontage) were questioned, while their less wealthy neighbors (who voted for Truman) were ignored.

Also, by not including any context relative to current events, there is no way to know if the small percentage who thought violence was acceptable was the same as during the Vietnam War, for instance, or Desert Storm. I guarantee you, it was not the same percentage as during the Revolutionary War, when those who spoke against any prevailing view to an audience who disagreed would have been lucky to have been ridden out of town on a rail, if not tarred and feathered. (Feel free to do the research if you wish; be sure you have a strong stomach for the details of what happens when boiling tar is applied to skin.)

What it all comes down to is this: this story is written poorly by someone who does not understand how statistics should be used, and was not properly edited. It was published in order to scare people, although the publisher may not have realized its propaganda value. By not including the whole story, and by allowing editorializing in the middle of it, it slants the results.

This would not have been published during the time when Kay Graham was publisher. Editor Ben Bradlee would not have let this story pass. He would have told the reporter to rewrite it, clean it up, and get more depth into it.

And the reason I am writing this is that this is not the only paper that misleads with statistics, and you need to be aware of this, and of what to look for when someone is quoting a study, badly, misleadingly, in a way that bids fair to be used for propaganda. Be cautious and critical when you see numbers and statistics, and look for whether the writing is made personal/editorialized. It matters.

Cross-stitch Tuesday

Sep. 19th, 2017 06:02 pm
glinda: dw sheep dreams of crochet (crochet sheep)
[personal profile] glinda posting in [community profile] cross_stitch
This week was a good week for the project, I managed to get lots done. Helped in no small part by having the day off on Friday and having decided to binge listen to a podcast series while I was at it. Unsurprisingly, around five solid hours of cross-stitching does make an impact on a project.

progress pic below the cut )
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Come in, please, come in. I can’t entertain you shipboard as I once could, but there is tea and plenty of food, and I understand you’ve done well for yourself at the gambling tables. I suppose I can afford to lose a little now and then. My late first husband was a wealthy man and I magnified his wealth – well, you know how.

I think there should be discipline in everything, you know, even lawlessness. When I ruled the sea and the Red Flag Fleet, no one disobeyed me. Literally. Those who did were beheaded. But, on the other hand, I think my rule was mainly benificent. Did you know I forbade those under my command to steal from villagers who supplied us? That only made sense, of course. Death was also the sentence for any assault on a female captive. One makes these laws when one grows up as I did.

I also insisted that anything taken from town or ship was to be presented, registered, and given out amongst all – oh, the original taker got a percentage, and twenty percent is better than nothing, you know. That’s how you keep a sailor happy.

My dear second husband, he also issued some laws, I suppose, but they weren’t written down or very well enforced. What were they? Who knows. What does it matter? My laws were what mattered.

Eventually, of course, it became easier just to tax the local cities than to keep sacking them. Nicer for all concerned and not so much work for us. Bureaucracy will have its day, sooner or later, always.

That is how I came to be here, you know; several years ago, after I defeated their entire Navy, the government offered amnesty to pirates. Well they might; what other option did they have? But I was wealthy, so why should I continue to work when I was no longer a criminal? It was in 1810 that I left crime behind forever and opened this little gambling house. Here I am content, you know, and I think I will be until I die. Hopefully not for a long, long time!

Oh, I am called many things. I was born Shi Xianggu, and I am called Cheng I Sao, sometimes, but mostly I am known as Ching Shih – the Widow Ching, wife of two pirates, but a pirate empress myself.

(After all, it’s Talk Like A Pirate day, not Talk Like Every Pirate day. I chose Ching Shih.)

(Also if you enjoyed this, consider dropping some spare change in my Ko-Fi!)

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Sep. 19th, 2017 07:47 am
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[personal profile] yukonsally posting in [community profile] unclutter
I've found a lot of little things lately and remind myself the little things make up clutter.

Last night I shipped a thing to my mom. I recently found a stash of half used tiny toothpaste tubes, so I am using them up--how kids can brush their teeth with bubble gum toothpaste all the time is beyond me--and I'm sure I'll use up the watermelon toothpaste they are currently ignoring. I have finished off two tiny shampoo bottles and am working on a third, all from my travel bag. On to the last bottle of body wash I don't particularly like, but it's soap and I don't actually mind it. Always gathering outgrown kid clothes to send to a friend--and make room for the handmedowns coming from another friend soon!

I reactivated a seller's account on amazon to sell a book. It's not worth much but it might be worth the effort.

I've made a list of things to sell to the consignment store, whenever I can make it there. One is particularly sentimental but no longer useful so I am working through those feelings. A friend will pick up a large baby thing soon (I hope soon) and I cannot wait to regain space from it! She will also take the excess of handmedowns as her kids are right behind mine, size-wise.

Last week I gave away an instrument case that didn't fit my instrument well, and I replaced it with a case that fits much better. This is a great investment and it takes up less space than the previous case!

In my travels, I am happy to report that I purchased only the case, 5 CDs, a hoodie and a picture for the kids, a lawn decoration already in place, and a collectible mug. This sounds like a lot, but in past years, I've come home with 10 CDs, shirts, yarns, scarves, etc. Instead of buying a jacket for me, I got my favorite hoodie embroidered so it feels new.

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