[syndicated profile] languagelog_feed

Posted by Mark Liberman

The Washington Post's digital front page a little while ago told us that Donald Trump has given in to those who wanted him to "dispatch with" Stephen Bannon:

Last Friday, Mitt Romney's Facebook post explained that he would "dispense from" discussion of certain aspects of Trump's comments on the Charlottesville events:

And in February of 2016, Marco Rubio urged us to "dispel with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing".

This tour of the political dis-universe reminds me the problems that I have trying to decide whether I've made an idiomatic choice of verb and preposition (or case) in languages that I don't know very well — and makes me wonder, as I sometimes do, whether I've slipped into a parallel time-line where English is not quite what I thought it was.

So perhaps we'll soon learn that the White House has disowned of Stephen Miller, discarded from tax reform, disdained over Gary Cohn, disembodied from infrastructure funding , or even displaced out of Jared Kushner.


twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
1. Look out the window and see how many demonstrators there are and how well armed they are. If you can't see them from there, go where you can. Take a picture with your phone - if you don't have a cell phone, get your aide to do it. Estimate the number of people in the group, their general ages and level of organization, and the visible armaments present. Is it signs on wood, not cardboard, posts? Is it flags on wooden flagpoles? Clubs? Swords? Is it pistols? Shotguns? Semi-automatic weapons? You should be able to tell from the photo. Are there insignia or symbols present? What groups do they represent? What is the goal of those groups?

1a. If there are fewer demonstrators than your available police and with less-able weapons, send the police to keep order. Or even if there are a few more but they are not heavily armed.

2. If there are more demonstrators than you have police, or they are better armed (though with all the gifts of military weaponry to local police groups this seems unlikely), get on the phone to call your State Police, local station or substation, and inform them of the situation and ask them for help. State police are well armed, generally extremely well trained, and just the people who should be there making sure things stay calm and the different groups of demonstrators stay clear of one another.

3. If for some reason (I cannot think of one but perhaps one exists in some alternate universe) you cannot call the State Police for help (or, in Virginia, Massachusetts, Kentucky and Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth Police), get on the phone to the governor and ask for the local branch of the National Guard to be mobilized to protect the people of your constituency.

Dear mayor/supervisor/top elected official, it is your job to make sure that peaceful protesters are not beaten down either by police or by armed insurgents who consider themselves protesters although by being armed and hostile they do not come under the coverage of the First Amendment. It is your job to keep people safe. If you don't call out adequate police/state cops/Guardsmen, you are failing your job and your people, and you do not deserve to be in office.

Is that clear???
[syndicated profile] arstechnica_feed

Posted by Joe Mullin

Enlarge / House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, greets Terry Gou, president and chief executive officer of Foxconn, before President Donald Trump announces the first US assembly plant for electronics giant Foxconn, in the East Room of the White House on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (credit: Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

The Wisconsin Assembly voted 59-30 on Thursday to approve a bill to give incentives worth $3 billion to Taiwan-based Foxconn so that the company would open its first US plant in the state.

Foxconn, best known for supplying parts of Apple's iPhones, will open the $10 billion liquid-crystal display plant in 2020, according to Reuters. The bill still has to be approved by a joint finance committee and the state Senate.

Both houses of Wisconsin's legislature are controlled by Republicans, and the deal is supported by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, a Republican who negotiated the deal.

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[syndicated profile] tv_eh_feed

Posted by Greg David

From Kat Jetson of The Hollywood Reporter: Link: ‘Wynonna Earp’s’ Secret Weapon: Feminism in a Demon-Haunted World The July 21 installment (“Everybody Knows”) effectively serves as a 101 class in feminism, highlighted by the revelation that someone other than Doc could possibly be the father of Wynonna’s (Melanie Scrofano) child. Viewers soon learn that that … Continue reading Link: ‘Wynonna Earp’s’ Secret Weapon: Feminism in a Demon-Haunted World

Commission Queue as of 18 Aug 2017

Aug. 18th, 2017 02:37 pm
the_gneech: (Default)
[personal profile] the_gneech
I believe this is current. Please let me know if I've missed something!

  • Ace 8th Doctor

  • Dipper/Maxgoof

  • Rufo/Parker silliness

  • Tiffany as Wonder Woman

-The Gneech

A Tidally Locked ‘Earth’?

Aug. 18th, 2017 06:05 pm
[syndicated profile] centauri_dreams_feed

Posted by Paul Gilster

Whether or not life can emerge on the planets of red dwarf stars remains an unknown, though upcoming technologies should help us learn more through the study of planetary atmospheres. Tidal locking always comes up in such discussions, an issue I always thought to be fairly recent, but now I learn that it has quite a pedigree. In a new paper from Rory Barnes, I learn that astronomers in the late 19th Century had concluded (erroneously) that Venus was tidally locked, and there followed a debate about the impact of synchronous rotation on surface conditions.

As witness astronomer N. W. Mumford, who in 1909 questioned whether tidal friction wouldn’t reduce half of Venus to a desert and annihilate all life there. Or E. V. Heward, who speculated that life could emerge on Venus despite tidal lock, and wrote in a 1903 issue of MacMillan’s Magazine:

…that between the two separate regions of perpetual night and day there must lie a wide zone of subdued rose-flushed twilight, where the climatic conditions may be well suited to the existence of a race of intelligent beings.

In terms of exoplanets, as Barnes (University of Washington) points out, Stephen Dole was writing about tidal interactions between exoplanets and their host stars in his book Habitable Planets for Man as early as 1964. It was his view, based upon his own calculations, that all potentially habitable planets orbiting stars smaller than 72% of the Sun’s mass would be in synchronous rotation, circling the star just as the Moon does our Earth.

Image: Tidally locked bodies such as the Earth and Moon are in synchronous rotation, each taking as long to rotate around its own axis as it does to revolve around its host star or gravitational partner. New research from UW astronomer Rory Barnes indicates that many exoplanets to be found by coming high-powered telescopes also will probably be tidally locked — with one side permanently facing their host star, as one side of the Moon forever faces the Earth. Credit: NASA.

That would make tidal lock ubiquitous, given the high percentage of stars that are red dwarfs. The work since, beginning with James Kasting in the early 1990s and carrying through until today, has looked at how planets come into synchronous rotation, and just how this situation would affect planetary conditions. We’ve seen a shift from pessimism — such planets could not be habitable — to relative optimism, as new climate models emerged and were adjusted. Barnes’ paper gives all the particulars in a rather fascinating overview of the scholarship.

A brief look through the archives here will show that Barnes’ name comes up frequently and often on matters of tidal effects, giving him an expertise that draws my attention whenever he publishes something new on the matter. The latest paper takes a systematic look at tidal locking to arrive at the conclusion that many exoplanets — and not just those orbiting close to red dwarf stars — will be found to be tidally locked. For it turns out that earlier models used a rapidly rotating early Earth to delve into how a similar exoplanet might become tidally locked.

What Barnes did was to consider the possibility of different initial rotation periods, both slower and faster, examining conditions on planets of different sizes, including those in eccentric orbits. Widening the parameter space suggested that more exoplanets than we once thought could be tidally locked. If Earth had formed with no Moon and its initial rotation period was four days, Barnes’ calculations show one model in which it is tidally locked to the Sun by this point in its evolution. Tidal locking, then, may be a major factor in our analysis of planetary habitability.

Let me quote from the paper:

As astronomers develop technologies to directly image potentially habitable planets orbiting FGK dwarfs (e.g. Dalcanton et al. 2015), they must be prepared for the possibility that planets orbiting any of them may be tidally locked. Such a rotation state can change planetary climate, and by extension the reflected spectra. 3D models of synchronously rotating habitable planets should be applied to planets orbiting K and G dwarfs in addition to Ms. While not explicitly considered here, habitable worlds orbiting brown dwarfs and white dwarfs are even more likely to be synchronous rotators, but their potential habitability is further complicated by the luminosity evolution of the central body (Barnes and Heller 2013).

Thus we extend the quantitative assessment of tidal lock and its effects on habitability to G- and K-class stars as well as M-dwarfs. As the paper notes, “…a systematic survey of the rotational evolution of potentially habitable exoplanets using classic equilibrium tide theories has not been undertaken.”

And it has implications. We are setting about putting assets like the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and Planetary Transits and Oscillations of stars (PLATO) into space. At the same time, we are working on Earth-based telescopes with apertures in the tens of meters. Our first targets for atmospheric characterization are going to be planets orbiting close to their host star, in the ‘habitable zone’ (or as we said yesterday, ‘temperate zone’) of the host.

The role of tidal locking is thus a crucial factor. Proxima Centauri b is most likely tidally locked, and the worlds around the highly interesting TRAPPIST-1 most likely are as well. We should learn a great deal by studying planetary rotation rates for any temperate exoplanets we find, which should give us clues as to their tidal evolution. Indeed, Barnes simulates the planets the TESS mission will examine and finds that the vast majority of these become tidally locked within a billion years, while about half the isolated (i.e., with no planetary companions) and potentially habitable Kepler candidates could be locked, assuming tidal properties like Earth’s.

A UW news release quotes Barnes on the significance of the findings:

“These results suggest that the process of tidal locking is a major factor in the evolution of most of the potentially habitable exoplanets to be discovered in the near future… I think the biggest implication going forward is that as we search for life on any exoplanets we need to know if a planet is tidally locked or not.”

The paper is Barnes, “Tidal Locking of Habitable Exoplanets,” accepted at Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy (preprint). See also this key reference: Kasting et al., “Habitable Zones around Main Sequence Stars,” Icarus Vol. 101, Issue 1 (January, 1993), pp. 108-128 (abstract).


[syndicated profile] tv_eh_feed

Posted by Greg David

From Kelly Townsend of The TV Junkies: Link: Dark Matter: Ellen Wong on why Misaki doesn’t consider herself a villain “I feel that it’s always coming from a place of needing to make a decision for the greater good and sometimes it sucks to have to lose things along the way, but that’s part of … Continue reading Link: Dark Matter: Ellen Wong on why Misaki doesn’t consider herself a villain
[syndicated profile] tv_eh_feed

Posted by Greg David

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies: Link: Wynonna Earp: Michael Eklund explores a new side to Bobo Del Rey “The thing about Wynonna Earp is that it’s family-oriented and everyone is very close, which I love. It’s like they invite you, ‘would you be willing to come back?’ It’s like an invitation back to … Continue reading Link: Wynonna Earp: Michael Eklund explores a new side to Bobo Del Rey
[syndicated profile] arstechnica_feed

Posted by Ars Staff

Enlarge / Scheherazade is great for taking out large groups.

Scratch beneath the surface of Agents of Mayhem—the hero-based shoot-and-loot open-world game from developer Volition—and you'll only find more shooting, looting, and hero-based action. It lacks the surprisingly heartfelt camaraderie of the studio's later Saints Row titles. It's not as beautifully, thematically simple as Red Faction: Guerilla, but it is still a few solid hours of fun.

Agents of Mayhem is a pseudo-sequel/reboot/spinoff/prequel to Saints Row (and subsequently Red Faction—all three series are connected in subtle and not-so-subtle ways), but only diehard fans will likely notice it. Saints Row regulars like Pierce Washington, Oleg Kirrlov, and even Johnny Gat make appearances (that last one, only for pre-orderers). Yet they all operate under codenames in the G.I. Joe-like Mayhem, doing battle with the Cobra-esque Legion.

The game tries to seal the Saturday morning cartoon deal with actual cartoon cutscenes. They're just too cheap looking—like Marvel's oddly shaded modern fare, but jerkier—to take the gimmick all the way. It doesn't help make it seem any less rushed when some of the scenes are notably not animated at all.

The soul in Seoul

Cheap or not, the animation is what is used to get the game’s pretty decent core conceit across. Legion's evil council wants to take over the world, while the slightly less reprehensible Mayhem aims to stop them. A battle of "bad vs. evil," as Mayhem's ex-criminal director puts it, ensues. It's a brighter and more colorful conflict than 90 percent of open-world games and far better at putting me in the mood for the open-ended shenanigans.

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[syndicated profile] arstechnica_feed

Posted by Ron Amadeo


Google has revealed the launch date for the final version of Android O: August 21. Google will be livestreaming an unveiling event live from New York City at 2:40pm ET to coincide with the solar eclipse. There's a new teaser site up at Android.com/eclipse, which counts down the time until the event. "Android O is touching down to Earth with the total solar eclipse," the site promises, "bringing some super (sweet) new powers!"

Android O (which we know will be version 8.0) is currently on its fourth developer preview, having originally launched in March. At the event we're expecting Google to unveil the traditional snack-themed codename for the OS, finally revealing what the "O" in "Android O" stands for. It should also start pushing out OTA updates for at least the Pixel and Pixel XL, with updates for older Google devices happening the day of the event or shortly after.

Android O is not a mystery at this point. The OS brings a big revamp of the notification panel with a new layout, colors, and features like snoozing. Google is clamping down on background apps for more consistent performance and better battery life. There are new, updatable emoji, a faster startup time, an all new settings app, and lots of security enhancements, including the new "Google Play Protect" anti-malware branding. Most importantly, Android 8.0 brings Project Treble to new devices, a modularization of the OS away from the hardware. That initiative should make it easier to develop and roll out new Android updates.

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[syndicated profile] arstechnica_feed

Posted by Timothy B. Lee

Google CEO Sundar Pichai. (credit: Sam Churchill)

When right-wing trolls and outright racists get kicked off of Twitter, they often move to Gab, a Twitter competitor. Gab was founded by Donald Trump supporter Andrew Torba, who says it's devoted to unfettered free expression online. This week, Andrew Anglin, editor of the neo-Nazi site Daily Stormer, became an active Gab user after a succession of Internet companies refused service to his website, forcing it offline. The site also hosts controversial right-wing trolls like Milo Yiannopoulos and Andrew "weev" Auernheimer.

On Thursday, Gab said that Google had banned its Android app from the Google Play Store for violating Google's ban on hate speech.

Google explained the removal in an e-mail to Ars. "In order to be on the Play Store, social networking apps need to demonstrate a sufficient level of moderation, including for content that encourages violence and advocates hate against groups of people," the statement read. "This is a long-standing rule and clearly stated in our developer policies. Developers always have the opportunity to appeal a suspension and may have their apps reinstated if they've addressed the policy violations and are compliant with our Developer Program Policies."

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