linked list saturday: how to stop the trickle-down tax cut, parental leave, Facebook being creepy

– Sadly, the Republican trickle-down tax cut passed the Senate last night. The House and Senate versions are different, but this is a huge step towards a bill passing.

So what can you do? You should call your Congressperson and Senators every day and ask them to oppose the bill. If you can, donate to Swing Left to support Democrats running against Republicans in swing districts in 2018.

Which countries are most generous to new parents? – a surprisingly wide range here, and of course the US is at the bottom 😦

How out of date are Android devices? – the answer is: pretty out of date. (neat visualization though!)

How Facebook Figures Out Everyone You’ve Ever Met – do NOT share your contacts with Facebook or any other app! This is creepy stuff.

Facebook (Still) Letting Housing Advertisers Exclude Users by Race – speaking of Facebook being creepy…

How to Get Rich Playing Video Games Online – interesting look at what it’s like to make a living on Twitch.

America Is Now an Outlier on Driving Deaths – our fatality rate has gone down since 1990, but not nearly as much as the rate in comparable countries.

What Explains U.S. Mass Shootings? International Comparisons Suggest an Answer – the answer appears to be: the number of guns we have. (The US makes up about 4.4% of the world’s population, but we have 42% of the world’s guns!)

friday linked list: Carrie Fisher, Texas inmates, Russian spies

Carrie Fisher apparently sent a cow tongue to a producer who assaulted her friend – she was so great. In a similar vein, here’s a list of nice allegations against celebrities, like the time when David Tennant read a random fan’s academic paper!

Texas Inmates Donated Nearly $54,000 for Hurricane Relief – wow, that is something!

Americans Are Sending Too Much Stuff to Houston – …and not enough cash.

The Russian Spies Who Fooled Seattle – I think I remember vaguely hearing about this, but man does this sound more sinister knowing what we know now…

The Origins of All 30 NBA Team Names – I love things like this! (thanks Utah Jazz!) See also the All 30 MLB team names, logos, mascots ranked! thing I did a while ago.

Cancer survival rates have increased dramatically over the past 35 years – that is impressive progress!

The Battle Between Baseball and Cricket for American Sporting Supremacy – interesting, I didn’t realize cricket used to be popular here! (thanks Mom!)

The Unsung Role That Ordinary Citizens Played in the Great Crime Decline – this is impressive:

Comparing the growth of other kinds of nonprofits, the researchers believe they were able to identify the causal effect of these community groups: Every 10 additional organizations in a city with 100,000 residents, they estimate, led to a 9 percent drop in the murder rate and a 6 percent drop in violent crime.

Holes In The Plot: Suspect Loses Bet With Cops, Turns Himself In — With Doughnuts – hah! (thanks David!)

friday linked list: go Astros!, HIV vaccine, the KKK

New antibody attacks 99% of HIV strains – wow! Human trials are supposed to start next year and still a lot of things could go wrong, but this is exciting!

I wanted to understand why racists hated me. So I befriended Klansmen. – wow! Powerful story.

– One of the reasons I left LiveJournal was that they turned off HTTPS, which makes it very easy for people (ahem, Russian government) to get your password and see what you’re doing. Well, to my surprise they turned it back on again! Although there are still other reasons not to use LJ anymore….

– Boston University has developed a preliminary way of diagnosing CTE in living patients, which may have a big effect on the NFL.

– This video for Maroon 5’s “Sugar” is very sweet – they go around LA crashing weddings 🙂 (although would it have killed them to crash a gay wedding? They’re in California!) (thanks Jennifer!)

How the Catalan government uses IPFS to sidestep Spain’s legal block – that is clever!

The Good Place is a great show! If you’re watching it, here a giant list of food pun restaurants from a recent episode, and a ranking of the ones that actually showed up in the episode. (if you’re not watching, that second link has spoilers!)

My Mass Shooting Ritual – it makes me incredibly depressed that I have the same thoughts. See also Our collective happiness on Twitter reaches a new low.

Russian soccer officials add bleachers OUTSIDE stadium to satisfy FIFA – hah! That looks terrifying.

friday linked list: AI can identify gay people by their face, the greatest story ever told, reframing negative thoughts

Artificial Intelligence Can Identify ‘Gay Faces’ From a Picture, Study Claims – oh, man. There is nothing but bad things that can come of this. The author’s notes take pains to say they didn’t develop an algorithm, they’re just using already existing ones, which is even more scary. (thanks Stephen!)

The Week My Husband Left And My House Was Burgled I Secured A Grant To Begin The Project That Became BRCA1 – this is the best story I’ve ever read. Take a few minutes and read it!

For Teens Knee-Deep In Negativity, Reframing Thoughts Can Help – this is helpful. I worry about being able to help my daughter as she gets old enough to have these problems…luckily, I have a while to prepare!

Break Up the Tech Giants? No, Just Level the Field – this seems like a more achievable goal. (yes, Uber is a taxi company, not “ride-sharing”…)

United Airlines is testing a novel way to bump passengers – hey, this is, like, not terrible!

I downloaded an app. And suddenly, was part of the Cajun Navy. – neat firsthand experience!

How Hurricane Harvey Taught the World About Houston – Yay Houston! (thanks Mom!)

Mystery of sonic weapon attacks at US embassy in Cuba deepens – scary stuff that sounds like something out of a spy novel

Anatomy of a Moral Panic – yeah, the whole “Amazon is radicalizing people by suggesting bomb ingredients” take is a bit much…

Beautiful 30-day time lapse of a cargo ship’s voyage – wow, look at that night sky! Very pleasant to watch.

Nasa’s ambitious plan to save Earth from a supervolcano – great, I had forgotten how scary supervolcanoes are. From the article:

“But Yellowstone explodes roughly every 600,000 years, and it is about 600,000 years since it last exploded, which should cause us to sit up and take notice.”

When Henry Ford’s Benevolent Secret Police Ruled His Workers – umm, creepy!

You Don’t Need to Do a Prolonged Fast Before Surgery – interesting! (thanks David!)

Don Draper’s Carousel Pitch, delivered by Bane – I do enjoy listening to things read in Bane’s voice…

friday linked list: redlining’s continuing effects, VW engineer sentenced to prison, break up monopolies!

How Redlining’s Racist Effects Lasted for Decades – a sad reminder that slavery ended 150 years ago, the Civil Rights Act was passed 50 years ago, but discrimination’s effects last a very long time.

VW engineer sentenced to 40-month prison term in diesel case – this seems appropriate, given that the code was pretty obviously intended to commit fraud. Engineers should have professional ethics like doctors and lawyers!

Bust Up America’s Monopolies Before They Do More Harm – this is a good idea.

Boston Red Sox Used Apple Watches to Steal Signs Against Yankees – well, that’s new. (although sign stealing is very very not new!) Here’s a step-by-step view of what they did.

– So KFC made a VR escape room to teach employees how to fry chicken and it is super weird and worth a watch.

Relationship Problems? Try Getting More Sleep – this is definitely a thing. (thanks David!)

Playing board games can make you a nicer person with better relationships – hey, I play board games! 😛 (thanks Emily!)

– A Delta plan flew into San Juan as Hurricane Irma was hitting to help evacuate people. A Wired story points out that the real risk was to the plane (if it had had to stay there when the rest of the storm hit it would have almost certainly been destroyed), but still!

Houston’s Mayor Was Right to Not Evacuate – this point has been made a number of places, but it was nice that the guy who lost to Mayor Turner is defending his decision.

The ‘Cajun Navy’s’ secret weapon for saving lives: The human voice – neat!

To Understand Rising Inequality, Consider the Janitors at Two Top Companies, Then and Now – while the article compares Apple of today with Kodak from the 1980s, the problem is certainly not limited to Apple. It’s concerning that companies are creating fewer middle-class jobs these days.

The Worst (and Best) Places to Be Gay in America – from the article

In Waco, Tex., the lone justice of the peace who presides over weddings recently admitted that she won’t do so for same-sex couples no matter the federal law. But Houston, just a three-hour drive away, has in instances been a pioneer: Annise Parker, its mayor from 2010 to 2016, is the only openly L.G.B.T. person ever elected to lead one of the nation’s 10 most populous cities. And Austin, the state’s capital, is practically Key West, Fla. — minus the coconuts.

Yay Houston and Austin!

State Department reports new instance of American diplomats harmed in Cuba – they’re apparently being harmed by some kind of “sonic harassment attacks”, which is pretty weird.

It’s been 10 years since the Rangers beat the Orioles, 30-3, and it’s still brutal – that is a lot of runs!

eclipse linked list: women in tech, spending money to save time, the gender wage gap

The e-mail Larry Page should have written to James Damore – this is so much better than my response that I’m just going to link to it from my post. Well put!

Want to Be Happy? Buy More Takeout and Hire a Maid, Study Suggests – I’ve heard this before about spending money on experiences instead of on things, but spending money to save time is also a good idea.

The truth about the gender wage gap – really good look at the causes of the gap. It seems like a lot of it comes down to whether you can work inflexible hours or not, and that’s hard for women who are the primary caretaker for children.

Ellen Pao: This Is How Sexism Works in Silicon Valley – Pao sued her venture capital firm for sex discrimination and lost, but man does she have a story to tell. (although this seems pretty different from sexism at high-tech companies)

Better Business Through Sci-Fi – companies hiring sci-fi writers to predict what will happen in the future is kinda cool and kinda creepy. Also:

Phillips mentioned one story that initially featured a kangaroo running amok in a major North American city. The client, a carmaker, asked that the marsupial be removed.

Ghoulish Acts & Dastardly Deeds – interesting story about a serial bomber in New York in the 50’s.

The Common Wisdom on Antibiotics Is Wrong – interesting, I hope they do more research on this! See also The Fight Against Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Might Start With Vaccines.

The Loyal Engineers Steering NASA’s Voyager Probes Across the Universe – this is terrifying:

The original receiver remains useless: one engineer’s simple oversight nearly doomed humankind’s lone visit to Uranus and Neptune.

‘Skunk in the outfield’: How the most epic trick play in history broke baseball – title is a bit hyperbolic, but this is a good story, both funny and kind of sad.

Somehow Women Still Make Up Less Than a Third of Speaking Characters in Top U.S. Movies – le sigh

Harlem Globetrotter nails a shot from a damn helicopter

monday linked list: spending free time better, Uber: still terrible, saving money on unnecessary 911 calls

You’re doing your weekend wrong – yeah, it can be surprisingly hard to do “free time” right, especially when it’s more limited (because, say, you have a baby) and if you’re tired. But I get a lot of fulfillment out of working on side project and feeling like I accomplished something.

How Uber’s Hard-Charging Corporate Culture Left Employees Drained – I feel like I’m almost done with posting “Uber is terrible” articles because there are so many, but…man.

A City’s Solution to Too Many 911 Calls – it saves everyone money! Clever idea.

These 2 Medicaid provisions prevent medical debts from ruining people’s lives – huh, I had never heard of these. Neat! (thanks David!)

The Company Behind Many Surprise Emergency Room Bills – grrrrrrrr

Using Hilbert Curves to 100% Zelda – this is cool and also incredibly nerdy 🙂

For some reason YouTube is full of remakes of Star Trek credits – Hah! I like the Friends one the most.

How ISIS nearly stumbled on the ingredients for a
‘dirty bomb’
– umm, terrifying!

Can we get to 350 ppm? Yes we can – an optimistic take on climate change.

Being rich wrecks your soul. We used to know that. – interesting look at how our culture has changed its mind about this.

10,000 Hours With Claude Shannon: How A Genius Thinks, Works, and Lives – indeed, one of those geniuses that many people haven’t heard of. Sounds like he led an interesting life!

The Myth of Drug Expiration Dates – interesting that the government tests drugs in their stockpile of medicine, and many last for years past their expiration date.

The Way: How a Salado couple’s tragic story inspired a chart-topping song – wow, Fastball’s “The Way” is based on a true story!

The 2 most popular critiques of basic income are both wrong – interesting! (thanks David!)