Monday Miscellaneous: The Ebola Edition

XKCD Alt text: “People often say that same-sex marriage now is like interracial marriage in the 60s. But in terms of public opinion, same-sex marriage now is like interracial marriage in the 90s, when it had already been legal nationwide for 30 years.”

XKCD hits the nail on the head as always, but honestly, I think that this lack-of-decision is just that – a lack of a decision that can be easily changed. And honestly, I don’t expect this to stick, so, uh, get married while you can?

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Monday Miscellaneous

I guess we’re living in a surveillance state after all. FBI demands Lavabit‘s SSL encryption key.

The U.S. government in July obtained a search warrant demanding that Edward Snowden’s e-mail provider, Lavabit, turn over the private SSL keys that protected all web traffic to the site, according to to newly unsealed documents.

The July 16 order came after Texas-based Lavabit refused to circumvent its own security systems to comply with earlier orders intended to monitor a particular Lavabit user’s metadata, defined as “information about each communication sent or received by the account, including the date and time of the communication, the method of communication, and the source and destination of the communication.”

Why are there so few women in science? A lovely essay written by Eileen Pollack.

Presented with identical summaries of the accomplishments of two imaginary applicants, professors at six major research institutions were significantly more willing to offer the man a job. If they did hire the woman, they set her salary, on average, nearly $4,000 lower than the man’s. Surprisingly, female scientists were as biased as their male counterparts.

It’s apparently not difficult to get a concealed gun permit in Utah, even when you don’t live there.

My achievement doesn’t make sense for a number of reasons. One, I don’t live in Utah. I’m a resident of Washington, DC, a city that holds concealed handguns in roughly the same esteem as working escalators. I’ve never shot a gun. And in distinctly un-Utahn fashion, I’m nursing a hangover. Fortunately, none of that matters here. After four hours at Dukes Defense, I have a completed application and a snazzy graduation certificate for my wall. Sixty days after my application is processed, I’ll be able to carry a concealed weapon in no fewer than 32 states. It’s great for road trips.

Fox News and Republicans celebrate the fact that the EPA shuts down during government shutdowns.

A full 94 percent of the Environmental Protection Agency’s 16,204 have been furloughed for the duration of the government shutdown, impeding the agency’s ability to regulate pollution, monitor air and water quality and clean up Superfund sites. It could also, as the Guardian reports, prevent them from enforcing those new CO2 standards for coal-fired power plants.

Some aren’t too torn up about that possibility. Tennessee Representative Marsha Blackburn, for example, tweeted the following:

There is some good news out of the shutdown, the EPA can’t issue new regulations. http://t.co/SsSTDiif2R

— Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) October 1, 2013

Personally, I think we should have expected the government shutdown, because seriously Republicans would just rather not govern.

Fox’s John Stossel:

“I’m hoping the shutdown will wake people up and say, hey, maybe we don’t need all this stuff,” [Strossel] said. “We could close whole departments. Why do we need a Commerce Department? Commerce just happens, government gets in the way.”

[…]

“So, you’re pro-shutdown?” co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck asked.

“Yeah,” Stossel replied. “Shut more down!”

Zimmerman’s wife doubts his innocence.

Shellie Zimmerman appeared on the NBC program with her attorney and discussed the trial, her divorce and a Sept. 9 domestic dispute.

She said she never saw a gun during the incident, although she said she felt threatened when her husband gestured toward a holster on his hip and repeatedly told her to “step closer.”

“I saw him in a stance and a look in his eyes that I’ve never seen before,” Shellie Zimmerman said.

Shellie Zimmerman said she did not press charges because she said police told her she and her husband would each go to jail but she would likely stay there after pleading guilty to perjury related to George Zimmerman’s murder case.

[Emphasis mine]

There’s a new Hyperbole and a Half! [1]

And your miscellaneous photo of the week: Giant chart of beer.

o.O


[1] Incidentally, the same effect may comes into play when people drink.

Overall, 38% of the experiments found expectancy effects. All 3 of the social influence studies found that expectancy set increased susceptibility to social influence, whereas none of the aggression studies found effects for expectancy set. Studies on creativity, mood/emotion, sexual aggression, sexuality, and miscellaneous topics yielded mixed findings and there were too few within each topic to consider further. Three topics, cognitive/motor performance, decision making/risk taking, and stress/anxiety, included at least 10 studies and were examined at more depth.

Or, in English, people tend to become more susceptible to peer influence when drunk because of subconscious factors and not because of the alcohol itself. [Return]


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