No blogging, taking a sick day

Since last night I have been feeling ‘under the weather’ (a fine phrase that captures the feeling of being lethargic and achy and having a low fever without being really sick) and so have taken a break from blogging. Hopefully I will feel ‘over the weather’ (a phrase that does not exist, as far as I know, but perhaps should) by tomorrow.

The magic roundabout

Roundabouts are rare in the US (where they are called traffic circles), with traffic authorities favoring stop signs instead. Last year ago, I wrote about the so-called ‘magic roundabout’ in Swindon, UK that contains seven roundabouts looks incredibly complicated but apparently moves traffic through it very quickly and efficiently. In that post, I provided the graphic below but it does not fully capture the experience.


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What belief in hoaxes tell us about ourselves

Larry Schwartz has compiled a list of 10 golden oldies, hoaxes that took place some time ago. Some of them such as Piltdown Man and crop circles were known to me. Others such as Clever Hans I do not really consider hoaxes as much as misinterpretation, since I consider a hoax to be a deliberately created fraud. The famous War of the Worlds is listed, though other analysts have said that the stories of mass panic were highly overblown and that there was no mass rush of people into streets following the broadcast.
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Hell under siege in the film Come Sunday (2018)

Hell has been getting bad press in recent times. How can a place of eternal damnation where people are supposed to be tortured forever possibly get worse press, you ask? The answer is that people are finding it hard to believe in it and have started thinking that it does not exist at all. If you are trying to frighten someone, the worst thing that can happen to you is for people to stop believing you exist, as happens with little children and monsters. When a mainstream publication like Time has on its cover the question What if there’s no hell?, you know you have a problem. And it gets worse. Recently even pope Francis has said that atheists can go to heaven. True, he seemed to suggest that one had to be good also but the fact that one did not have to accept Jesus to get into heaven was a major step away from orthodoxy. There was even a disputed interview where he seemed to suggest that there was no hell.
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Universal basic income

The idea of providing everyone with a guaranteed universal basic income (UBI) is something that is being increasingly discussed. One reason is that as automation increases, the need for human beings may decrease or their jobs may shift to ones that are low-skilled and thus pay less. Finland is one country that is trying out the idea of a universal basic income, with a pilot program that gives $587 a month tax-free to 2,000 residents, regardless of their job status or wealth with “the only caveat is that recipients had to have been receiving an income subsidy from the state.”
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What to say if the police should stop you for suspected drug possession

Lauren Vazquez advises people about four magic phrases that one must memorize and tell police in that particular order if ever you are stopped by them on suspicion of having marijuana.

If you use pot you are a criminal.

This is true [according to federal authorities] even in Colorado and Washington, where the feds continue to outlaw cannabis. This is also true in California and other states that provide medical protection. This means the police not only have the right, but the obligation to try and stop you (though state police cannot legally enforce federal law). Fortunately, you do not have to help them. The United States Constitution gives you rights that protect you during police encounters. It is the job of the police to find evidence of a crime. It is not your job to confess or help them. They get paid quite well, so please do not do their job for them. Your job is to do and say the right things to protect yourself and defend your rights.
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Great moments in racism

It happens all the time. You agree to meet with someone at a coffee shop but for some reason you arrive early or the other person is late. You think it would be rude to order before the other person arrives because that might look like a rebuke for lateness so you wait, perhaps for some time. While waiting, you may use the bathroom. Then the person arrives and life goes on. One thing that you probably don’t worry about is that the police are going to be called by the store manager and have you arrested for not ordering something.
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