Monday Miscellaneous

Oops, I forgot about Monday Miscellaneous last week.

California may legalize marijuana in 2016.

Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of Californians support legalizing, regulating and taxing recreational marijuana in the state, according to a Tulchin Research poll.


Both proposals — the California Cannabis Hemp Initiative and the Marijuana Control, Legalization and Revenue Act — would regulate and tax marijuana similar to alcohol.

Now, I’m fairly sure this is fairly meaningless, almost, because it’d still be illegal at the federal level, but I like the tax and regulation bits.

Here’s a list of ten things you can do to help fight imposter’s syndrome. I’m not sure I like anythings. Sure, they sound good in principle, but difficult to do in practice. Might be helpful for some people, though.

I guess Bexley will get demolished.

At a meeting today of an advisory group established to advise the MIT administration on Bexley Hall, a recommendation was made by the Department of Facilities in conjunction with the Division of Student Life for the eventual demolition of the vacated Bexley. If MIT’s senior leadership accepts this recommendation, MIT will seek the required relevant approvals and permits from the City of Cambridge.

I’m still not sure how to respond to this; I don’t believe rumors of a conspiracy to silence east-side culture, especially after how much work administration went through to protect Random during our last set of “oh shit, is this building unstructural[1]?” but frankly I can see many places where administration is trying to suppress dorm culture.  I don’t know. Not sure yet. I’d honestly say that Maseeh and BC are better examples of suppressed student culture; Bexley’s an old building; it may be the case that demolishing it is cheaper than renovating. It may be the case that in order to renovate it enough to satisfy code, you’d basically have to tear the building apart anyways.

Might blog more about this later.

This video: well said. Very well said. Watch the entire thing, it’s amazing.

On teaching the homeless to code.

It’s a tragic but telling illustration of the myth of meritocracy. As it turns out, there are other barriers to the success of people in precarious situations than knowing any particular set of employable skills. The machinery of order does not operate on all of us in the same manner.

I have two minds about this:

  1. Teaching people how to do new things is great! Frankly, I think on top of providing the basics (decent food, water, housing, clothing), welfare should also provide free and/or subsidized classes in order for people to acquire skills applicable to the modern age. Not just coding, but other useful skills. Accounting, using LaTeX [2], etc. So, yes, in my ideal world, we should be teaching (some of) the homeless to code.
  2. A chromebook is worth way more than $100. That’s a rigged deal
  3. Offering the homeless a place to stay is…fairly important.

Sleep is useful and important: apparently, the brain cleans out toxins while you’re asleep.

Their findings build on last year’s discovery of the brain’s own network of plumbing pipes – known as the glymphatic system – which carry waste material out of the brain.

Scientists, who imaged the brains of mice, showed that the glymphatic system became 10-times more active when the mice were asleep.

Cells in the brain, probably the glial cells which keep nerve cells alive, shrink during sleep. This increases the size of the interstitial space, the gaps between brain tissue, allowing more fluid to be pumped in and wash the toxins away.

Dr Nedergaard said this was a “vital” function for staying alive, but did not appear to be possible while the mind was awake.

She told the BBC: “This is purely speculation, but it looks like the brain is losing a lot of energy when pumping water across the brain and that is probably incompatible with processing information.”

And Cliff Pervocracy says it right again:

Or how something’s position on the escalator, rather than its potential to harm, is used as a benchmark of “obscenity.”  Or how relationships are expected to escalate, and failure to gradually ramp up the escalator to a certain point (“spicy,” which is just a couple steps above center) is taken as failure of the relationship.  Or how even individual sex acts are supposed to have their own escalation, and after you’ve started groping you’re not ever supposed to go back to just kissing.

And on a mildly related note, your miscellaneous photo for this week:

I really want these!

I really want these!

[1]: Thankfully, Random turned out to be structural. It’s only the facade that’s falling off. [Return]

[2]: Far easier than teaching a WYSIWIG program like Word. [Return]


One response to “Monday Miscellaneous

  1. CA’s current marijuana law is also inconsistent with federal law but is far from meaningless in practice. And we could definitely use an additional revenue source. (*cough* Prop. 13 *cough*)