Sunday Reads: Cold Temps, Cold Tea and Warm BedPosted: November 25, 2012 | |
It is cold in Banjoville, we are talking low 20’s, and living near the river makes the air feel damp and harsh. I’ve avoided the news this weekend, there is something going around…like when you have a hunch that you are coming down with a cold…but instead of dreading it, you are actually welcoming it. Why? Because it gives you a reason to sleep all day and not have to explain your crappy attitude to your family and friends.
Actually, the yesterday started very well and exciting, but when I opened the fridge and was hit with the leftover turkey fumes, it just drained all the energy out of me.
Anyway, here are some links to get you started this morning. You got your cup of Joe? Mug of tea? (My tea is already cold.) Flask of Southern Comfort? (Some may prefer whiskey or vodka, but I love me some SoCo.)
Juan Cole had an interesting post this past week, If You are 27 or younger, you’ve never lived through a colder than average month (Bump)
Paul Bump at Grist points out that The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported on global temperatures in October 2012 as follows:
“The average temperature across land and ocean surfaces during October was 14.63°C (58.23°F). This is 0.63°C (1.13°F) above the 20th century average and ties with 2008 as the fifth warmest October on record. The record warmest October occurred in 2003 and the record coldest October occurred in 1912. This is the 332nd consecutive month with an above-average temperature.”
He then did a quick calculation, and concluded that if you were born after April, 1985, i.e. if you are 27 or younger, you have never experienced a month with a global average temperature colder than the 20th-century average. (Obviously, you may have experienced a month at lower than local averages, though that would be rare, too; the point is about world averages.)
Cole links to a video from NASA:
One thing that is not cold, is the tension in Egypt. I have a few updates that you may not have read about yet:
If Sunday is anything like the last several days in Egypt, it will not be quiet.
Prominent Egyptian democracy advocate Mohammed ElBaradei has called on Egypt’s president to rescind the near absolute powers he has granted himself.
ElBaradei says President Mohamed Morsi must take the action to avoid the possibility of increased turmoil in the country that has recently shed its longtime repressive government.
Nobel laureate ElBaradei addressed crowds that gathered Saturday in Cairo’s central square to protest President Morsi’s decrees that put him above judicial oversight and protect his Islamist supporters in parliament.
Egypt’s highest body of judges, the Supreme Judicial Council, also condemned President Morsi’s decree. The judges Saturday called the move “an unprecedented attack” on the independence of the judiciary. Judges in Alexandria have gone on strike, saying they will not return to work until the decree is withdrawn.
Critics and supporters of Mr Mursi have staged rallies since the decree was announced
More than 20 Egyptian rights groups have called on President Mohammed Mursi to withdraw the decree granting himself extensive new powers.
The 22 groups signed an open letter saying the president “has dealt a lethal blow to the Egyptian judiciary”.
Meanwhile, in another part of the Middle East:
Here is an op/ed from Robert Fisk: Netanyahu leads Israel into isolation Go ahead and give that a read.
I’ve got more news that involves two sides fighting…this time in Japan, between the right-wing Nationalist and the environmentalist: Dueling protests in Tokyo over dolphin and whale hunts
Environmentalists and nationalists held opposing rallies over the issue of Japan’s dolphin and whale hunts in a rare showdown in central Tokyo on Saturday, leading to angry scenes.
About 50 anti-whaling activists gathered at a park in the Shibuya shopping district with banners bearing slogans such as “Stop the cruel dolphin hunt!” while across the street about 30 nationalists shouted “Get out of Japan!”
The nationalists accused the environmentalists of undermining Japanese culture and traditions, saying “environmental terrorists” should be sent to slaughter houses.
I can only think of that episode of South Park…Whale Whores:
Stan and his family are spending his birthday at the Denver Aquarium where they will get to swim with the dolphins. Things turn bloody when the Japanese attack, kill all the dolphins and ruin Stan’s big day. There seems to be no end to the senseless killing. Stan takes on the cause to save the dolphins from the Japanese.
Down in Cuba, there is quite a stir about a recently elected official: Cuban transsexual elected to public office
Adela Hernandez hailed election triumph as another milestone in gradual shift away from macho attitudes in Caribbean country. Photograph: Ramon Espinosa/AP
A Cuban transsexual has become the first known transgender person to hold public office in the country, winning election as a delegate to the municipal government of Caibarien in the central province of Villa Clara.
Adela Hernandez, 48, hailed her election in a country where gays were persecuted for decades and sent to rural work camps as another milestone in the gradual shift away from macho attitudes in the years since Fidel Castro himself expressed regret over the treatment of people perceived to be different.
Hernandez, who has lived as a female since childhood, served two years in prison in the 1980s for “dangerousness” after her own family denounced her sexuality.
“As time evolves, homophobic people – although they will always exist – are the minority,” Hernandez said by phone from her home town. Becoming a delegate “is a great triumph”, she added.
This is a big deal in Cuba:
For years after the 1959 Cuban revolution, authorities hounded people of differing sexual orientation and others considered threatening, such as priests, long-haired youths and rock ‘n’ roll enthusiasts. But there have been notable changes in attitudes toward sexuality.
“I would like to think that discrimination against homosexuals is a problem that is being overcome,” Castro told an interviewer some years ago.
Read the rest of Hernandez story at the link.
I’ve got another transgender, I guess it is more of a cross-dressing story for you. This one is about The 72-year-old Chinese grandfather who models teen-girl clothes I will just post a picture…you can click to see the rest.
18 November 2012 01:09 PMoffbeatchina.com
…and, what is more, looks pretty good doing it. Kate Moss, eat your heart out, the world’s newest superpower has a new supermodel to match. But Liu Xianping is not your average clothes horse.
Why does that image remind me of Andy Warhol?
More newsy articles after the jump…
Let’s get back to the states, this “Succession” thing is not going away.
A white Ford F-250 pick-up rumbled through town, a Confederate rebel flag on a pole behind the cab; on the rear bumper were a pro-life and three Anti-Obama stickers, two of which could not be revealed in a family newspaper.
I think I have seen that truck driving around Banjoland…anyway, just go read the whole thing. It is good.
From a legal perspective: The Volokh Conspiracy » Public Opinion on Secession That article is also very good.
This next story caught my eye, for obvious reasons: Would I want my daughter ‘cured’? The dilemma of a father whose child has Down’s Syndrome
Out of America, there is always something new. The latest example of that country’s unparalleled contribution to medical progress is the announcement by the University of Washington that its scientists had succeeded in removing the extra copy of chromosome 21 in cell cultures derived from a person with Down’s Syndrome. Since it is the possession of three, rather than two, copies of the 21st chromosome that defines Down’s Syndrome, it is clear that this breakthrough has startling potential for addressing a condition which is far and away the commonest form of congenital disability.
Again, that is just the first paragraph. My mom was talking about this new scientific possibility last week, go read the rest at the link.
One last article for you this Sunday morning…one that is the absolute opposite of what I feel right now. Three Critical Elements Sustain Motivation: Scientific American
Got motivation? Without it, the long, difficult hours of practice that elevate some people above the rest are excruciating. But where does such stamina come from, and can we have some, too? Psychologists have identified three critical elements that support motivation, all of which you can tweak to your benefit.
I’m sorry, there is no way in my apathetic, lethargic, indifferent mood I can even begin to read about the three key components of motivation…I really don’t give two shits about things anyway! Boy, I am tired. (Ah…that is it, the post is over…and I can go back to bed.)
I do hope you all have a wonderful Sunday, please enjoy the last day of this long weekend. So…if you are around, stop and make a comment below, what sort of things have you been reading and thinking about today?