Showing posts from February, 2017

A Book Recommendation for All Ages!

The literature on logic and logical fallacies is wide and exhaustive. Some of it aims to help the reader utilize the tools and paradigms that support good reasoning, and hence to lead to more constructive debates. But reading about things that one should not do is also a useful learning experience....This work primarily talks about things that one should not do in arguments. Ali Almossawi's picture book An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments. Several common fallacious arguments are  quickly explained; the gorgeous illustrations provide a visual object lesson to nail home the point.

It really is a book for all ages. In fact, it should be required reading for all ages.

I'm serious. Use it to read your babies to sleep - they'll learn to avoid logical fallacies as they giggle at the cute pictures (and the pictures are very cute). It should be read in elementary schools, and again in high school, and again in college. (To be fair, supplementary materials would be necessary by co…

How Small Is His...Er, Hand?

Trump to Seek $54 Billion Increase in Military Spending

This would be "...a huge rise even as the United States has wound down major wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and remains the world's strongest military power....The United States already has the world's most powerful fighting force and it spends far more than any other country on defense." [Source]

Right around one-sixth of federal spending goes to defense already, and it makes up almost half of all discretionary spending.

Now, my math skills aren't the best, but if Trump does succeed in getting Congress to cut $54 billion from nondefense spending and put it in defense - it looks to me like that would put the total to quite a bit more than half of all discretionary spending.

In 2015, according to Business Insider's analysis of the International Institute for Strategic Studies' World Military Balance report (which I can't afford to access for myself), "...that's more than the next 11 cou…

Nothing Much to Say...

Image have some pretty pictures!

Library Land Most literate nation in the world? Not the U.S., new ranking says. "The rankings look at variables related to tested literacy achievement — scores on the PIRLS or Progress in International Reading Literacy Study, and on the PISA, Program for International Student Assessment — as well as to literate behavior characteristics. Those include 15 variables grouped in five categories: Libraries, Newspapers, Education System-Inputs, Education System-Outputs and Computer Availability, as well as population, which is used for establishing per capita ratios." The U.S. came in seventh. Murphey Johnson wants to put 'The Lorax' in the hands of all Johnson City Schools second graders "This famous Seussian tale is widely known to encourage children to consider environmental stewardship, which is exactly why Johnson wants this particular book in their hands."Health, Science, & TechnologyBiologists say half of all speci…

So, There's This...

The main argument for the writ is that, per Article IV § 4 of the U.S. Constitution, it is the job of the federal government to keep U.S. territory safe from foreign invasion. The Constitution stipulates, "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion." The petition cites evidence of such an invasion, namely the Russian hacking, and asks that the entire 2016 election be nullified, all the way back to the primaries, on the grounds that cyber-territory in the U.S. was invaded with the intention of altering the results of our Presidential election. [Source]
It makes sense, to me, but I don't know if it'll actually go further. Still, cyber-warfare, no longer the stuff of SciFi, is becoming an increasingly worrying problem, much of it focused lately on Russia's tinkering with various elections, including, most pertinently, the 2016 U.S. presidential elections. I can'…

Seriously, Y'all - Look at It!

At the bottom of yesterday's Links, I told you all to have a look at the difference between Republicans' and Democrats' perceptions of Trump. A couple days before that, I talked about how not to do a survey; the survey (surveys?) under discussion had to do with press trustworthiness.

Well, today, I want to conflate those and show you all the difference between Republicans' and Democrats' perceptions of press trustworthiness - specifically, as opposed to Trump's trustworthiness.

Look at this, guys:

Holy cow, y'all! I don't even know how to analyze that.

I fundamentally cannot comprehend how anyone could trust Trump after all the lies...


...and after aligning himself with a literal white nationalist who wants to bring down the actual government.

Not content to simply cast aspersions  on the press or undermine confidence in the Fourth Estate (or try and drum up fake data with questionable survey techniques), Trump has taken to blocking the…

Just, You Know, So We're All Clear...

Bannon: Trump administration is in unending battle for ‘deconstruction of the administrative state’:
Atop Trump’s agenda, Bannon said, was the “deconstruction of the administrative state” — meaning a system of taxes, regulations and trade pacts that the president and his advisers believe stymie economic growth and infringe upon one’s sovereignty.  “If you look at these Cabinet nominees, they were selected for a reason, and that is deconstruction,” Bannon said.  Pretty picture:

There are daffodils everywhere right now! Where are they all coming from?!

Library LandLibraries Respond: Immigrants, Refugees, and Asylum SeekersSparking Curiosity - Librarians' Role in Encouraging Exploration "Students have a lot going on and sometimes a research assignment won’t be at the top of their list of priorities. But in this essay, we are going to examine this question from another perspective and discuss ways that providing space for curious exploration can reframe the research pa…

Lightening the Mood (Mood Tint!)

Yesterday was a very political post, so I'm going to do something light and entirely not political today (until the links, of course). I'm taking an online free course on color, and it's a lot of fun. This week, we're looking at color extraction and palette creation from mood images. It's a cool thing interior decorators do, and I'm never going to be an interior decorator, but it's fun to play with! I thought I'd use my flower picture from yesterday's post and see what I could do with it.

 I like it! I could see doing a living room in these colors, although I'm not generally a fan of fuchsia. Also, I can see me spending a lot of time playing with color extraction. Fun times!

And speaking of fun times, here's a cool video with nifty color facts (and a shameless plug for what sounds like my kind of book):

Library LandThis year's Nebula Award nominees are incredibly diverse — read some online  There is an insane amount of goodness on …