Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Four or Five Angry Men

The real question is not whether Obama's signature legislation is constitutional. No, the Highest Court In the Land is spending three days deciding whether Andrew Kennedy is more Republican than corporatist.

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Monday, January 30, 2012

On Top Of Everything Else



Edison was quite the natty dresser, no? It probably wasn't, but I'm going to call this his 'inventing suit.'

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Progress-ish?

From an ABC news blog:

Editor’s note: The original version of this blog mistakenly identified Oneal Ron Morris as a man, though she identifies as a woman. The blog was subsequently corrected. We regret this error.
Good job, whoever fixed it! But then, too, this is an article about a woman who injected fix-a-flat into another woman's ass, so...there's some issue to be taken, there.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Stereotypes and Humor

Two images. Image 1: A man in a wheelchair at the bottom of a set of stairs. Image 2: A man in a wheelchair at the bottom of a set of stairs. At the top of the stairs is a courthouse.

Are these images funny? Why or why not?

Two images. Image 1: A black man eating watermelon. Image 2: A black man holding a slice of watermelon being photographed by a white man. Black man tosses watermelon in trash, cursing.

Are these images funny? Why or why not?

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

On Children

Take a moment to compare what you've heard about the child Roman Polanski raped with what you've heard about the children Jerry Sandusky raped. Consider the fact that Angelica Huston pounded on the door of the bedroom during Polanski's rape, but never entered the room, and contrast that with the actions of the 28 year old grad assistant, Mike McQueary. Think of the many people who have spoken up in support of Polanski; remember the students rioting in Pennsylvania in support of Joe Paterno. Recognize the scales, investigate the metrics by which we judge these cases. Grieve.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Daily Fail: Graphs Edition

Oh, the Daily Mail, where facts are 'facts' and scantily clad women are alternately ogled and concern trolled. Because I'm sure that this was all a simple misunderstanding caused by a careless intern whose only previous published worked included photoshopping cellulite onto some celebrity's hindquarters, I decided to help out.

What the Daily Mail Graph Should Look LikeWhat the Daily Mail Graphs Actually Look Like

So yes, after some seriously high-trending temperatures, it looks like a downward change there at the end - however, that big drop is based on a single monthly data point of an unfinished year (as opposed to the seemingly yearly points of the first graph). I'm way too lazy to actually regraph this thing, so this is what you get. Anyway, matching oranges to oranges (or axes to axes, in this case) makes a big difference in how you see the data, doesn't it? Long-winded explanation after the jump.

Whiskey Fire pointed out some silly graphing by the Mail, in which a few problems arose; can you spot them all? (Daily Mail: Highlights for Adults!) Lessee, the y-axis of the first graph marks the first positive value as '0.5 degrees', while the second's y-axis sports '0.75 degrees'. Why, Daily Mail! That's really misleading! The x-axis of the first graph is marked in units of 25 years, while the second graph is single years. Also, the second graph covers a span of less than ten years. Problem. What's more, the second graph seems (unclear!) to be plotted in terms of months, while the first looks more like yearly data points. Well...well, that's going to be difficult to compare in an accurate way, Daily Mail! It's almost like you commissioned someone at Slate to make this graph for you ("You might think that the Earth has been steadily heating up for the last thirty years, but actually The Strokes are the very best thing to happen to the climate ever!")

In my version of the graph, I've put the two graphs side by side, stretched the second one so that the 0 degree change line and the positive 1.5 degree change line matched on both graphs (matched the y-axis units), and I've shrunk the second one to approximate the x-axis time markings of the first graph. I also traced over (sloppily) the temperature data line on the second one, as all that shrinking made it really hard to see. Oh, and since the first graph covers a significant span of time (9ish years, maybe?) after the year 2000, I've put the second graph (years 2001-some of 2010) over most of that portion of the graph.

This is a sloppy approximation, y'all. Dirty and quick and with absolutely no looking up of new data, and it's still a much clearer presentation than Daily Mail's original graphs. Imagine if someone took the time to actually graph the thing, with science.

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Monday, October 31, 2011

SuperCommittee Ice-Breakers

- Attempt to purchase health insurance without using connections/status.
- Play "Spent", the online game in which your character has lost her job and must survive to the end of the month. If, after three attempts, they don't have enough left over at the end of the month to pay rent, they get kicked off of the supercommittee.
- Compare college tuition rates from this year to the year they entered school.
- Food Assistance Scavenger Hunt: using only the money a family of four in their state can receive for food stamps, they must purchase enough groceries to last a family for four weeks. These purchases will make up the catered breakfasts, lunches, and snacks of the supercomittee meetings.
- Baby-Cries-A-Lot: Remember those plastic babies that kids get to teach them to not get pregnant? That cry until you put the key in? Every supercommittee member gets one for the duration of the meetings. Any member found abusing his (not responding when the child cries) or found 'delegating' his responsibility will get kicked off the committee.

Just a few ideas. I'm sure you can come up with more devious ones.

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