friday linked list: art over SMS, fentanyl, gene therapy

Send a Text to SFMOMA and They’ll Text You Back an Artwork – this is cool! Just text 57251 with the words “send me” followed by a description, color, whatever.

Doctors raked in cash to push fentanyl as N.J. death rate exploded – yikes:

Family practitioners, for example, filed at least five times as many claims for fentanyl from 2013 to 2015 than did cancer doctors.

for a drug that’s stronger than heroin.

‘Living Drug’ That Fights Cancer By Harnessing Immune System Clears Key Hurdle – the first gene therapy treatment is about to be approved!

China has built a super adorable solar farm that’s shaped like a panda – awwww! (thanks Pai!)

The internet is fucked (again) – because net neutrality is probably going away :-/

These Hand-Drawn Maps Helped Create ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ Books – neat! (thanks Jessica!)

Microsoft’s Calibri font is at the center of a political scandal – the Prime Minister of Pakistan is in trouble because of some forged documents that were detected because they use Calibri, which wasn’t available when the documents were supposed to have been written. Even weirder, this isn’t the first time this has happened with Calibri!

The Carolina Panthers Spent Three Days Secretly Tweeting the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Theme – I didn’t watch the show, but well done! (thanks Jessica!)

The Underground Railroad review

The Underground RailroadThe Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The central conceit of the book is “What if the Underground Railroad was actually a real railroad?”. I feel like this didn’t really add much to the story, which follows some slaves on a plantation as they attempt to escape. However, the story itself is very compelling and really takes an unflinching look at slavery.

“Slavery was bad” is one of those things that (presumably) everyone agrees with, but it’s hard to remember just how bad it was, and this book did a good job of reminding me.

(I say that the whole railroad thing didn’t add much for me, except it did make me more interested in buying the book, so maybe it all works out 🙂 )

View all my reviews

adding expected runs per inning to baseball win expectancy finder

So…yup, I did that!

I already had all the data for this, so it was more mechanical than anything else. Actually, most of the time I spent was turning it into a proper React app. Before I just had a bunch of inline React code, which was great for testing and simplicity, but meant that a bunch of compilation had to happen on every page load. So I bit the bullet and figured out how to use nwb and all the stuff that lets you compile React code that I don’t really care about. But it builds a pretty small JS file, which is nice.

Still a big fan of React, though!

Al Franken, Giant of the Senate review

Al Franken, Giant of the SenateAl Franken, Giant of the Senate by Al Franken
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Unsurprisingly, the book is funny, as Al is an entertaining guy. It’s also interesting about what it’s like to be a Senator. After getting barely elected in 2008 (after a career in comedy), he wanted to be taken seriously, so he studied up on the issues and mostly stopped making jokes in public. He talks about being able to work with Democrats and Republicans when they can find common ground. It’s actually kind of inspiring! (he won reelection in 2014 by a wide margin)

The book was written after Trump was elected, so there is some depressing stuff too, but I really enjoyed the book!

View all my reviews

Happy Fourth of July! linked list: choose your own adventure maps, apologies, safer childbirth

These Maps Reveal the Hidden Structures of ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ Books – very cool! (thanks Jessica!)

The Apology Critics Who Want to Teach You How to Say You’re Sorry – insincere apologies are something that have started bothering me as I get older…

Who Americans spend their time with – well, these charts tell some stories.

California decided it was tired of women bleeding to death in childbirth – go California! (and, unsurprisingly, boo Texas) (thanks David!)

The Liver: A ‘Blob’ That Runs the Body – whoa, check this out!

In one recent study, researchers were astonished to discover that the liver grows and shrinks by up to 40 percent every 24 hours, while the organs around it barely budge.

I Don’t Know How To Explain To You That You Should Care About Other People – especially relevant after the cruel health care bill that is in the works in the Senate…

bookworm: simpsons – search frequency of words across all episodes of the Simpsons!

To Stay in Love, Sign on the Dotted Line – hah! Weird, but I could see this working in some relationships…

5 Reasons why donations to the poor may bring bad results! – programs like this and GiveDirectly seem to work better.

Call your senators: might be a vote on health care this week!

If you want to read up on the Senate bill a bit more, here are some good stories about how it slashes Medicaid and will cause premiums to rise for many people to give a tax cut to the wealthy.

Please call today. You don’t have to get in to policy much, just say something like

Hi, my name is <your name>, and I’m a constituent of Senator <senator’s name>. I’m urging <him/her> to vote against any health care bill that would cause tens of millions of Americans to lose their insurance, like the one proposed in the Senate.

If your senator opposed the bill (here’s a handy whip count – note that Senator Cruz is currently opposed!), be sure to say something like “I urge the Senator to stand against the bill even if minor changes are made”, because this is exactly what happened with the House bill – they made some small changes and that gave cover for representatives to vote for it.

Senator Cornyn’s numbers are: (512)469-6034 (Austin office) and (202)224-2934 (DC office)
Senator Cruz’s numbers are: (512)916-5834 (Austin office) and (202)224-5922 (DC office)