Dear readers: forgive the lack of original posts today, and we may be thin tomorrow too. I have a TON of year end business stuff I have yet to complete, plus Christmas tasks, plus being made to abandon my duty station for personal maintenance and a wee bit of social activity.
How hummingbirds avoid overheating BBC (David L)
The Case Against the Woman Who Dared to Give Water to Someone Else’s Pigs Pacific Standard (Chuck L) :-(
Physicists in Europe Find Tantalizing Hints of a Mysterious New Particle New York Times (David L)
The Strangest, Most Spectacular Bridge Collapse (And How We Got It Wrong) Motherboard (Chuck L). A terrific article.
North Slope permafrost thawing sooner than expected PhysOrg (Chuck L)
Facebook’s open-sourcing of AI hardware is the start of the deep-learning revolution ars technica (David L)
This AI expert says that a robot economy will force us to give people unconditional free money Business Insider (David L). I think we’ll see flying cars first.
Is Yogurt the Secret to Happiness? Alternet. Junk science! First, not double blind, placebo controlled. Signs of researcher bias too. Second, how much yogurt actually has in the way of good bacteria in it depends a lot on a. how it was cultured and b. whether it was kept cool enough all the time since it was made. No evidence in this writeup as to whether they bothered testing any of the yogurts for their probiotic content, so it appears completely uncontrolled for that too. Third, I can tell you that as much as I like yogurt (plain!), ice cream makes me happier ANY time.
Appeals court leaves U.S. mercury pollution rules in place Reuters. EM: “Another TPP lawsuit waiting to happen.”
Fitch: Oz “falling behind” other ‘AAA’ rated sovereigns MacroBusiness
Why China Is Loosening the Yuan’s Ties to the Dollar Wall Street Journal
Who’s investigating fake Chinese goods? Fake investigators Associated Press
What I learned about Greece’s year from hell Politico. “Year”? As if it just started and is about to end?
Israeli man arrested for alleged organ trafficking of Syrian refugees American Herald Tribune (furzy)
Denmark passes law to seize jewelry from refugees to cover expense Daily Sabah (Alan C)
How the Arab Spring Became the Arab Cataclysm New Yorker (resilc)
Most Americans Now Support Using Ground Troops World Affairs Journal (resilc)
Imperial Collapse Watch
When the State Department tries to choose Muslim thought leaders to win “hearts and minds Glenn Greenwald, Intercept
Big Brother is Watching You Watch
Europe Approves Tough New Data Protection Rules New York Times
Gun and bomb attack threat closes Los Angeles schools in likely hoax Reuters. Lambert: “Nobody could have predicted….Once a tool of elites, gaslighting has become a mass phenomenon.”
New York Dismisses L.A. Bomb Threat as Creation of “Homeland Fan” Vanity Fair (resilc)
The future military-artificial intelligence complex? FT Alphaville
And the winner is…ISIS Huffington Post
5 Questions on the Islamic State for GOP Presidential Candidates War on the Rocks (resilc)
Obama opens White House doors to forge CEO alliances Reuters. EM: “See if you can get through paragraph 1 before succumbing to loud guffaws and derisive laughter.”
Congressional Leaders Agree to Lift 40-Year Ban on Oil Exports Wall Street Journal
Nobody Worries About Water Crises Until They Happen on American Soil Charles Pierce, Esquire (resilc)
Police State Watch
LAPD found no bias in all 1,356 complaints filed against officers Los Angeles Times (Alan C)
How To Predict Bad Cops In Chicago FiveThirtyEight (resilc). Pre-crime turnabout is fair play?
How Hedge Funds Deepen Puerto Rico’s Debt Crisis David Dayen, American Prospect
Battered, Apologetic and Still Pitching Their Hedge Funds New York Times
“American Dream” over and voters know it Charles Hugh Smith. The post has apparently already gone viral.
Antidote du jour (@beautifulnature):