Tick-Tock, Indeed

He says it better than I can:

I never was particularly fond of thongs, literally or figuratively.

To get that frightening image out of your heads, I'll give you this pretty picture:


  • Library Land
    • Why The Giving Tree Makes You Cry (and It’s Not Why You Think) "This nostalgic yearning is Sehnsucht, the rich German concept C.S. Lewis described as the 'inconsolable longing for we know not what.' It is 'our lifelong nostalgia, our longing to be reunited with something in the universe from which we now feel cut off.' In Lewis’ view, while this longing often springs from childhood memories or things of beauty, those are mere stand-ins: ultimately we desire 'something that has never actually appeared in our experience.' This Lewis identified as our 'far-off country,' the home to which we have never been."
  • Health, Science, & Technology
    • Facebook takes steps to stop suicides on Live "On Wednesday, Facebook announced it will integrate real-time suicide prevention tools into Facebook Live. It also said it will offer live-chat support from crisis support organizations such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the Crisis Text Line through Facebook Messenger, and make it easier to report suicide or self-injury. The most novel of the new tools: Facebook is testing artificial intelligence to identify warning signs of self-harm and suicide in Facebook posts and comments."
  • Randomnesses
    • Betsy DeVos's Misunderstood Alma Mater "...Christian colleges are no monolith. Where evangelical colleges like Calvin, Pepperdine University, and Baylor University are 'part of a determined effort by evangelical-Christian institutions to create a life of the mind,' fundamentalist schools like Bob Jones University have often taught that the bible should be taken literally and resisted intellectual debate....Professors and students at Calvin said they feel that distinction is often blurred when people talk about religious colleges, as is the fact that students at Calvin have long grappled with social and political issues that some fundamentalist Bible colleges have studiously avoided." Many Christian colleges really do encourage an intellectual approach to life, grounded in faith, rather than dogmatic obedience. That's why Calvin and similar institutions can turn out people like DeVos as well as people decidedly not like DeVos. 
  • U.S. News
    • Tibetan women's soccer players denied US visas for Texas tournament "The team, Tibet Women’s Soccer, had planned to take part in this spring’s Dallas Cup tournament for young players, and was invited by organizers to stay with local players in the tradition of several previous diversity programs, including a Catholic-Protestant team from Ireland and a Muslim-Jewish team from Israel. On Friday, however, the players were told by US embassy officials in Delhi that they did not merit permission to take the 10-day trip."
    • Senate approves Trump's nominee for Interior "Like many of Trump's nominees, Zinke agreed that the climate is changing but said the impact by humans was subject to debate." Great - just what you want to hear from the Interior Secretary. 
    • White House: Conway acted 'without nefarious motive' in Ivanka Trump plug I'm not surprised - who still expects them to take ethics seriously? 
    • The State of Trump's State Department "'This is probably what it felt like to be a British foreign service officer after World War II, when you realize, no, the sun actually does set on your empire,' said the mid-level officer. 'America is over. And being part of that, when it’s happening for no reason, is traumatic.'"
    • About Trump's speech...
      • Trump’s Speech Was Quiet — And Quietly Radical "In tone and style, Trump’s speech was relatively normal, at least judging it against his earlier efforts....But beneath the gentler tone, Trump’s speech — a State of the Union address in all but name — was quietly radical. He called for a complete overhaul of U.S. policy on taxes, trade, immigration and health care. He proposed spending billions more on defense and as much as $1 trillion on infrastructure. And he promised a new version of his controversial — and currently stalled — travel ban on visitors from seven majority Muslim countries.  Trump’s speech included few policy details and only one genuine surprise: a call to return to a system that accepts or rejects immigrants based on their skills and education. Most of his other proposals were either standard Republican orthodoxy or were familiar from Trump’s campaign. But proposals don’t have to be new to be dramatic. The policies Trump laid out Tuesday night would change the country and its global relationship in profound ways." 
      • Fact-checking President Trump’s address to Congress "An address to Congress is such an important speech that presidents generally are careful not to stretch the truth....President Trump’s maiden address to Congress was notable because it was filled with numerous inaccuracies. In fact, many of the president’s false claims are old favorites that he trots out on a regular, almost daily basis. Here’s a roundup of 13 of the more notable claims, in the order in which the president made them." The tone may have been less bombastic - but the message was just as inflammatory and deceptive as ever.
      • Speaking of which... A different tone from Trump, but the same message in speech to Congress "The question remains whether this new and more presidential tone has signaled a turn in a steadier direction for his struggling young presidency, or whether he will again revert to the 6 a.m. Twitter version of himself. Indeed, in the hours leading up to his speech, Trump had muddied his own message. For instance, he opened his address with a condemnation of vandalism of Jewish cemeteries and community centers. But earlier in the day, Trump had suggested that those incidents might actually have been orchestrated as an effort to 'make people look bad.' His implication was that they were actually 'false flag' hoaxes."
      • Trump Scapegoats Unauthorized Immigrants for Crime "As far as researchers can tell, unauthorized immigrants commit crimes at a lower rate than the American population at large....So if Trump’s goal is increasing public safety, publishing a list of crimes committed by unauthorized immigrants is irrational. It’s like publishing a list of crimes committed by people with red-hair. If, however, Trump’s goal is stigmatizing a vulnerable class of people, then publicizing their crimes—and their crimes alone—makes sense. It’s been a tactic bigots have used more than a century. Using crime to incite hatred has a long history in the United States."


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