link friday: anger at politics, penguin galaxies, Parkinson’s treatment

First I’m going to get angry about politics, then some more uplifting stuff:

Politics
Lessons of the Great Recession: How the Safety Net Performed – pretty well, although there are still a lot more people on food stamps (SNAP) than before. Speaking of which:

House Republicans Push Through Farm Bill, Without Food Stamps – the Republicans say they’ll pass a food stamps bill later, but they separated them so they can more easily put in the cuts they want. I’m really pretty angry about this. Also see: Yes, You Should Be Totally Outraged By the Farm Bill (um, hooray!)

– Remember that scandal with the IRS targeting conservative groups? It turns out they also targeted liberal groups, so that should pretty much put an end to that. Honestly, I don’t mind the IRS having stricter scrutiny of tax-exempt groups that are politically oriented, and I’m not thrilled with the fact that they get tax breaks to begin with. (on both sides!)

Uplifting stuff
– State-based fun! Here’s the most “significant” TV show set in every state where “significant” is defined as “whatever the guy who made the map thought” (here’s the readable version of the map), and here’s the most famous brand from each state. (thanks, Pai, for the latter!)

Colliding galaxies take on the shape of a penguin guarding its egg – awwww! (thanks, Jessica!)

No Parkinson’s with the flip of a switch – wow, I had no idea we could treat Parkinson’s this well!

8-Year-Old Little Leaguer, 31-Year-Old Professional Given Same Hitting Advice – from the Onion – the headline is the joke, but I laughed 🙂

Anatomy of a pseudorandom number generator – visualising Cryptocat’s buggy PRNG – funny how a simple off-by-one error can lead to such a “broken” PRNG. Crypto is hard! (although I’m not sure how much faster you could break the crypto with this error – I guess if you’re guessing what random number it picked, you have more likely places to start..)

What Does It Take to Stop Crips and Bloods From Killing Each Other? – Interesting article from the NYTimes magazine about a new approach to curbing gang violence that seems to be working.

A few tips for sleeping better

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