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What would a practical physics course look like?|
Recently, a nine-year-old girl was handed a Uzi at a shooting range (with her parents' permission), lost control of the gun, and killed the instructor.
There's a lot of consensus that an Uzi takes more strength than a nine-year-old is likely to have, and the instructor wasn't paying enough attention or standing in the right place.
Aside from arguing about guns, I suggest that the accident was a result of people not knowing enough physics-- not thinking about what the recoil of a gun compared to the strength of the shooter *means*, but this is something which could start to be taught fairly young, possibly even before age nine.
Any thoughts about what would be included in such a course?
This entry was posted at http://nancylebov.dreamwidth.org/1053739.html. Comments are welcome here or there. comments so far on that entry.
How about a political movement to oppose police brutality?|
I was thinking about Ferguson, and about how none of the usual things that people do such as journalism (much as I respect it) or going through the legal system, which sometimes gets victims and their families large cash awards (which is much better than nothing but which doesn't change policy) are not working. Armed insurrection is not a good idea.
What remains is politics. I have a notion that if police commit murder, there are politicians who should not be re-elected. I was assuming it would be mayors, but dcseain told me that local political structure varies a lot, and where he lives, it would be a board of county commissioners. Correction It's Board of County Supervisors. There's a reason I don't do practical politics-- I have a lot of trouble focusing on that stuff. I asked him twice, wrote it down, and still got it wrong.
I believe this would take voter drives. It would probably take work on getting IDs*. And I think it would take convincing people to be one issue voters.
I'm not sure to what extent it would take getting the federal government to control local governments.
The thing is, I don't know much about practical politics**. Calls to action aren't my strong point, either.
On the other hand, I haven't seen discussions of political solutions to police brutality, let alone an actual movement, so I thought I would bring up the subject and see whether people who know more about such things think the idea makes sense. If you do think so (or that some related project makes sense) please pass the word. The police are getting worse.
I believe there will be opposition, but I'm inclined to think the difficulty is in the same range as marriage equality, and a lot of progress has been made on that in a moderate number of years.
Terry Karney has a good essay on the problem, including details of seriousness of the situation, the lack of effect of current policies for controlling bad police, and that the police are better armed than he was as a soldier in a war zone.
*I would like to see a campaign to make ID more available. Lack of ID limits people's lives in many ways, not just voting.
**Practical politics is the specifics of getting things to happen. I came up with the term when I noticed there were people who focused on details that I wasn't interested in because I like theory better.
This entry was posted at http://nancylebov.dreamwidth.org/1053665.html. Comments are welcome here or there. comments so far on that entry.
13 favorite seaworms-- this is more cracked than Cracked!
A number of the creatures should be of extreme interest to science fiction, fantasy, and horror writers.
One of the seaworms lives under the edge of the shells of limpets-- normally a limpet is extremely vulnerable to starfish, but the seaworm feeds on the tender suckers of attacking starfish. Doesn't this want to show up in milsf somehow?
There's a seaworm which is an inverse hydra-- up to thousands of bodies hanging off one head.
And another which specializes in eating the bones of dead whales.
This entry was posted at http://nancylebov.dreamwidth.org/1053201.html. Comments are welcome here or there. comments so far on that entry.
The Cranky Movie Watcher: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes|
The movie was a triumph of CGI-- the fur was maybe a little stiff, but the apes were basically satisfactory. The message, played out through many plot twists, was that there are primates who want peace and primates who want war, and that's a more important distinction than ape vs. human.
However, I don't think they knocked themselves out thinking about the details.
( Nitpicks follow, some of which are spoilersCollapse )
This entry was posted at http://nancylebov.dreamwidth.org/1053047.html. Comments are welcome here or there. comments so far on that entry.
Thank you to the commenters on my previous post-- I now have enough information to put together a theory that makes me happy.
The idea that city pigeons have varied patterns because they've cross-bred with fancy pigeons didn't feel right-- surely fancy pigeons are too rare to make that much difference.
However, ritaxis contributed the idea of a brindle gene which contributes irregular coloring.
If I assume that the brindle gene was picked up from fancy pigeons and it helps with camouflage in the cluttered city environment, the way city pigeons look makes sense. It's not a matter of fancy pigeon genes in general-- some features, like curly feathers, just aren't practical for a wild bird.
This entry was posted at http://nancylebov.dreamwidth.org/1052677.html. Comments are welcome here or there. comments so far on that entry.
Wondering about pigeons|
Most animals look very similar to other members of their species in the same locality, but city pigeons' feather patterns haven't converged. Any idea why?
This entry was posted at http://nancylebov.dreamwidth.org/1052598.html. Comments are welcome here or there. comments so far on that entry.
If you imagine that children are sentient.....|
Teaching children rhetoric so that they know how to argue well
I especially liked "Instead of “Use your words,” I would say, “See if you can talk him into it.” ". It's a goal instead of a rule-- and Jay Heinrichs has also been teaching how to achieve the goal.
This entry was posted at http://nancylebov.dreamwidth.org/1052375.html. Comments are welcome here or there. comments so far on that entry.
Ann Leckie weighs in, very politely.
I absolutely agree that cursing is a distinct neurological state-- I learned to curse when I was about 12, and using bad words feels drastically different from normal language.
The link has a *lot* about both cursing and restricting cursing being ways of enforcing status. There's probably a parallel about making and forbidding loud noises.
This entry was posted at http://nancylebov.dreamwidth.org/1052067.html. Comments are welcome here or there. comments so far on that entry.
What would it take to allow Russian homosexuals into the US?|
Homosexuals are being shut out of being able to live in Russia. Their organizations, homes, jobs, and probably eventually their children are being taken from them by law and regulation.
David Neiwert said:
It is now time for Americans to begin organizing the means to help members of the LGBT community in Russia emigrate and escape the awful fate that hangs over them now. Because fascism, the real thing (and not people's polluted understanding of it) is truly descending on Russia now, and gays are the first and foremost target (immigrants are not far behind, and of course, there eventually will be others).
Russian LGBT folk are in the same position as German Jews were in the 1930s -- and one of the truly historic shameful failures of Americans during those years came in failing to help Jews escape the fate that awaited them.
Post your ideas here: What can we do to help?
I have no idea. Petition.org? Repost on social media? Email your representatives?
This entry was posted at http://nancylebov.dreamwidth.org/1051751.html. Comments are welcome here or there. comments so far on that entry.
Janis Ian sings about writing an autobiography.
Variant lyric: "I'll say I slept with the Kennedy's, the Reagans and the queen. When they all got tired of me, I slept with Charlie Sheen."
Link thanks to Gale Hellbender Mead.
This entry was posted at http://nancylebov.dreamwidth.org/1051528.html. Comments are welcome here or there. comments so far on that entry.
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