Seven Quick Takes Friday: Jury Doodie Edition

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1) Current mood:

2) Prime and I may not be attending as many Timber Rattlers games this year as we did last. Prime was waiting to purchase a season ticket package, but the TRats announced their giveaway for “Mini Figure Night” and it isn’t an OYO. Instead, it’s a pair of socks. I’m serious. So Prime can’t really care about attending that game, as the biggest draw for him isn’t being offered and my inconsistent schedule doesn’t help matters. So it looks like we’re skipping the season tickets. We’ll probably take in some of the games, but it might not be as many as last season. It sucks, but what can you do?

3) Thought for the week: Sacred cows make the best hamburgers.

4) I need Netflix. For reasons. Like this:

5) As always:

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This is your weekly reminder that #FacebookIsTrash.

6) We actually got some snow this week. As to how long it might stay around, it’s anyone’s guess; most of our temperatures are slightly above normal, so some of it melts. It looks nice, but I wish we’d had this around Christmas. That’s when I truly appreciate snow.

7) One of my co-workers is going to Brewers On Deck. He was hoping to get a hotel room and stay close to Milwaukee but he has to work until 21:00 on Saturday so that won’t work. He’s trying to get Christian Yelich’s autograph but Yeli’s kind of early this year, so I wish him the best of luck with that. Me? I just want Lorenzo Cain. Because LoCain is pure awesome.

With those balls in play, we’ll draw this to a close. Stop by again for more regurgitated brain belches of no consequence. Until next week, see you soon!

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Weekly Reader: Vol 2 Issue 39

It’s time once again for news and views that you can peruse! It’s another edition of your Weekly Reader! As always, if you’d like to share something with us, feel free to leave a link in the comments! ❤

Oldest known asteroid strike may have ended Snowball Earth (from CNN): “That’s between 87 trillion and 5,000 trillion kilograms of water vapor hurtling into the atmosphere which would have had a warming effect. The researchers believe that the potential effects of this on the global climate warrant more research. The asteroid strike that led to the mass extinction of the dinosaurs 66 million years ago also led to global ocean cooling and widespread acid rain — which we know because it’s been widely studied.”

Goop’s Netflix series: It’s so much worse than I expected and I can’t unsee it (from Ars Technica): “But sadly, she didn’t. And throughout the rest of the series, her ignorance and lack of critical thinking skills are on full display as a parade of questionable “experts” and ridiculous claims about health and science march across the small screen unchallenged.

(To be clear, Dodson was not among the dubious guests I’m referring to here; she is knowledgeable and respectable and was probably the most interesting and informative guest on the show.)”

The Astros stole signs electronically in 2017 — part of a much broader issue for Major League Baseball (from The Athletic): “Electronic sign stealing is not a single-team issue. Major League Baseball rules prohibit clubs from using electronic equipment to steal catchers’ signs and convey information. Still, the commissioner’s office hears complaints about many different organizations — everything from mysterious people in white shirts sending signals from center field to elaborate systems involving television cameras and tablets. But MLB has not punished any club, at least publicly, for violating sign-stealing rules since 2017, when the Red Sox were disciplined.

There was more going on that year.”

I’m Really Tired of Hatred (from John Pavlovitz): “I’m tired of waking every morning and seeing that we’re in an another unnecessary and preventable Constitutional crisis.
I’m tired of having to once again channel the adrenaline to confront a new onslaught of real and manufactured emergencies.
I’m tired of having to desperately appeal to public servants to do the decent and humane thing and seeing them again flatly refuse.
I’m tired of trying to convince professed followers of Jesus that they’re supposed to care about other people.
I’m tired of dancing through minefields at family gatherings; doing verbal gymnastics to sidestep relational explosions and to keep loving people I’ve recently learned unsettling things about.
I’m tired of scrolling through racist, anti-LGBTQ, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic hate speech filling my social media mentions.
I’m tired of being reminded daily of the white supremacy that my former church friends are so terribly afflicted with.
I’m tired of seeing stories of newly-emboldened bigots showing up as neighbors, elementary school teachers, local politicians, and coffee shop patrons—because they feel a kindred embittered spirit in the White House.”

Stress speeds up hair greying process, science confirms (from The Guardian): “Because stress can be considered a form of accelerated ageing, the discovery has raised hopes for treatments that can slow down or even halt normal age-related greying. More importantly, it could shed light on how ageing depletes stem cells throughout the body, and perhaps point the way to general anti-ageing therapies.”

A Michigan woman says a passenger assaulted her as she slept on a Spirit Airlines flight (from CNN): “Jackson said she notified the flight attendant, who offered to move her seat, but she refused because she didn’t want to leave her friend and she felt like she was being punished for what he’d done.

“He touched my bare ass! He needs to be moved!” she said she told the flight attendant.”

One immune cell type appears to attack any type of cancer (from Ars Technica): “Despite these successes, many patients aren’t helped by the newer immune-focused therapies, raising questions of what else we still need to figure out to help cancer patients. A new paper highlights something we may have missed: a class of immune cells that appears to be primed specifically to attack cancer. But the finding raises questions about what it is on cancer cells that the immune cells are recognizing and why they fail to keep cancer in check.”

Death on Mars (from Scientific American): “The bottom line is that the extremely thin atmosphere on Mars, and the absence of a strong global magnetic field, result in a complex and potent particle radiation environment. There are lower energy solar wind particles (like protons and helium nuclei) and much higher energy cosmic ray particles crashing into Mars all the time. The cosmic rays, for example, also generate substantial secondary radiation – crunching into martian regolith to a depth of several meters before hitting an atomic nucleus in the soil and producing gamma-rays and neutron radiation.”

‘Dancing dragon’ feathered dinosaur fossil discovered in China (from CNN): “This dinosaur was a juvenile when it died, according to its bones, but its feathers resembled that of a mature adult. This suggests that the feathers grew quickly, unlike modern birds, which take time to grow their mature feathers.”

Menopause Can Start Younger Than You Think: Here’s What You Need To Know (from NPR): “She told her doctor and her gynecologist about the episodes, along with a few other health concerns she was starting to notice: Her menstrual cycle was becoming irregular, she had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, and she was getting night sweats. Their response: a shrug.

It wasn’t until Edrie went to a fertility clinic at age 39 because she and her partner were having trouble conceiving that she got answers. “They were like, ‘Oh, those are hot flashes. It’s because you’re in perimenopause,’ ” she says.”

Sci-fi magazine pulls story by trans writer after ‘barrage of attacks’ (from The Guardian): “Some readers felt the story was transphobic, with some accusing Fall of being a troll. There was also a raft of positive reactions from writers including Carmen Maria Machado and Phoebe North, who wrote an essay praising the story: “Thank you for making me feel seen and heard. We don’t get a lot of ourselves in fiction. We often only get scraps. This was more than that. A mirror.” However, due to the criticism, Fall asked Clarkesworld to remove the story from the monthly science fiction and fantasy periodical.”

That’s all for today. Drop by again for more information that you didn’t know you needed. Until then, happy reading, everyone!

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Skipping the News Cycle

Let’s be honest: hearing about what’s going on in the Senate makes me want to scream. The Republicans don’t want a fair trial and they’ll do whatever they can to stop it.

So, here’s a cat video, because we need something cute right now.

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Thirty Five Years Thirty Five Thoughts #16: A Lesson in Propaganda Part 1

Back when I was a kid, a lot of PBS kid’s shows had magazines. One of those happened to be 3-2-1 Contact. If you remember watching it, you probably recall that the show featured The Bloodhound Gang, who solved mysteries or the fact that a sheep’s eye was dissected during one episode. The magazine was loosely based on the show, mostly featuring articles on science and the like. It was nondescript enough to the point where I all but ignored it.

Until I was in sixth grade. Then 3-2-1 Contact went from being just under the radar to being a full fledged rag mag. This was why:

I remember the shot of She-Ra; I was a fan of the show. The rest was rather blurry to me, as I didn’t watch wrestling and Bill Cosby was just Cliff Huxtable. The article in question dealt with television violence, and it had the usual tired statistics and disproven studies. Unfortunately, I had to read it, as my sixth grade teacher felt that everyone just had to read it, because it was so important and riveting and timely or whatever she came up with at the time. None of us were exempt, either; there was a blank sheet next to the issue where we had to sign our names. So eventually, I had to head to the front of the class, pick up the magazine, then walk back to my desk and read it.

I sat quietly, my eyes scanning the pages, skimming over the same words that I knew weren’t true. Bordering the pages were images of various television shows.

There were various scenes from many different television shows: there were shots from the A-Team, Airwolf, He-Man, and other things that were popular with kids at the time. I knew and recognized most of them. But one made me pause, then see a brilliant shade of crimson not a few moments later.

It was a scene from Transformers, from “The Golden Lagoon”, to be specific. The picture featured Beachcomber, one hand a bright shade of gold, aiming and firing during a Decepticon attack. Upon seeing this, I was livid.

I knew Beachcomber. He hated fighting and didn’t pick up a weapon unless it was absolutely necessary. Earlier in that very episode, he had slipped away from the battle, because he wanted no part of it. He wasn’t the type who enjoyed fighting. I knew that, but if you didn’t follow the show or know the character, you’d think otherwise.

I don’t remember the words on the page. I don’t remember any of the other pictures, either. I just remember wanting to pick up the magazine and throw it across the classroom.

Luckily, none of us had to write anything about the article; we just had to sign the paper saying we had read it. I did and had to fight the urge to throw the magazine in the trash.

3-2-1 Contact had just introduced me to the idea of propaganda and had used an Autobot to do it. I knew that what I was seeing didn’t match up with the facts at hand, I just didn’t know the term. But I became fairly skeptical of anything that 3-2-1 Contact decided to air on their program or publish in their magazine. If they had made a mistake of that magnitude, they could easily repeat it. So I quit reading the magazine–I had no subscription, so that was easy–and changed the channel whenever I spotted the show on PBS.

It wouldn’t be the first time I’d learn a lesson about propaganda and just how insidious it could be. The second lesson would come years later, when I was an adult and a few years after the worst terrorist attack the United States would ever see. But that’s a different story for another time.

As for 3-2-1 Contact? The magazine has disappeared; although they tried to recruit me for years, I refused to even entertain the idea of having a subscription. Most of the time, I scrawled “Burn in hell, liars!” on the envelope before ripping it apart. (For a twelve year old kid who wasn’t allowed to swear, writing something like that was fairly bold.) The show? I honestly don’t know nor do I care. They didn’t get along with fact-checking, so why should I pay attention to their program? But that lesson stayed with me; just because it’s in print, doesn’t mean it’s correct.

It was a harsh lesson for me when I was that young.

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Today in Sportsball

That’s the perfect name for that sportsball team, honestly.

Well, unless you’ve been under a rock for the last twenty four hours, then you know that the teams going to the Super Bowl are the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers. Green Bay was absolutely blown out in the first half; as to how they could come back and score twenty points is beyond me. But at least the Packers weren’t shut out, so there’s that. However, their season is over. No Super Bowl appearance this year. I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t disappointed–I am slightly–but I’m not surprised. The Packers didn’t do well against the 49ers earlier in the season; the final result of this game isn’t exactly surprising in that regard.

Apparently, Mike Fiers, the pitcher who broke the Asterisk’s Astro’s sign stealing scandal, is catching heat for coming forward. There are those out there who are calling him a snitch, rather than thanking him. Look, I get it: you want to support your team because they won the World Series. Your team got the championship. But your team also cheated. Your team did unethical shit to guarantee that win. Now, you’re trying to justify that, but think if things were reversed. Think about it: the team that the Astros went up against stole their signs and used that knowledge to win the World Series. You’d be pissed and you’d see the player–whoever they might be–as a hero for breaking the news. So, do yourselves a favor here. Stop giving Mike Fiers grief. He did the right thing. It’s the Asterisks Astros who are in the wrong. Yes, it sucks admitting it, but you’re better off accepting it. Take it from someone who knows. (I had to deal with Ryan Braun and his use of PEDs years ago. Trust me, dealing with a cheater on your team absolutely sucks. Especially when that cheater performs better on the banned substances.)

This Sunday is Brewers on Deck. I have the day off and I’m going; Monday’s post will probably deal with that exclusively. Expect pictures, at the very least. Excited? You better believe it. I wasn’t able to go last year, since the event sold out. It’s been at least one year too damn long for me. Hell, I think the last time I was there, Sammy was still with us. So yeah, it’s been a while and I have sorely missed this.

Today was low-key and quiet. We weren’t terribly busy and most of the members were in pretty decent moods. I was a little skittish about coming in today; when I worked at Walmart, we dreaded the day after a Packers loss. None of the customers were ever in a good mood and simply saying “hello” would earn you a bitchy reply. Yeah, that was not fun at all. Even worse? Sometimes the stupidity started just as the game ended. We’d have people coming in after the all was said and done, half drunk and crabby as hell. It was awful. But I really don’t have to deal with that anymore; Costco isn’t open twenty four hours, like Walmart.

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Sunday Morning Nostalgia Crush!

The opening to The Flintstone Kids. I rarely watched it, as the idea of Fred, Barney, Betty and Wilma as school age children just… didn’t work for me. Hanna-Barbera loved to use this trope with quite a few of their shows.

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Talk to the Paw

It’s been another shitty week, so we’re gonna turn it into a kitty week. So here’s a cat, slapping people upside the head. Enjoy!

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