Wednesday, February 22, 2017

CNN airs Democratic Party Chair debate

CNN aired its Democratic Party chair debate from Atlanta tonight, account here.   It started late, at 10 PM.  Dana Bash and Chris Cuomo moderated.

Trump was called a “draft-dodging” charlatan.

At least one candidate talked about impeaching Donald Trump over violating laws against emoluments.

There were seven candidates, listed here by NPR.

There was a lot of talk that the party needs to take the vote seriously in every state and in rural areas.

There was criticism of playing bedfellows with big business.

"A unified party is Donald Trump's worst nightmare."

The "party of fairness" had its theme stolen by Donald Trump.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

ABC 20-20 covers Atlanta area baby hot car murder conviction

ABC 20-20 on Friday, Feb. 17, 2017 aired the story of the conviction of Justin Ross Harris for the death of his son left in a hot car in an Atlanta suburb (main link ).

Amy Robach, his wife, says her nightmare started when she went to the day care center that end of a June day and found her son had never been left there.

The court trial would emphasize their lack of emotion with the loss, and with Justin’s philandering.

Amy still supports his side of the story.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Law and Order SVU: "Great Expectations" provides a lesson on dangerous sports hazing that becomes sex abuse

An episode called “Great Expectations” (as if based on the Charles Dickens novel and derivative classic film, with the Twilight Zone character Pip) on NBC’s  “Law & Order: SVU” (or “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit”) on Thursday, Feb.16, was especially instructive.

A 13 year old boy is hazed after causing his junior varsity hockey team to lose a game to a missed goal shot.  The hazing is sexual, and includes anal prodding, apparently with a hockey stick.
The boy dies from secondary infection.  That shows that in rare cases, homosexual abuse of a minor can result in death (just as with heterosexual abuse).

The boy has finally “talked” before dying, having resisted because of team peer pressure.  Another team member is arrested and charged with manslaughter. But it turns out that this boy in turn has been severely abused by his own father, who is exposed and arrested.

Here’s the playback link for the episode.

Friday, February 17, 2017

"Real Time with Bill Maher" features Milo Yiannopoulos and a "conservative" panel

Tonight, “Real Time with Bill Maher” started out with a twelve-minute interview with provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos.  There had been a lot of publicity over the protest cancellation by Jeremy Scahill. 

Milo, looking very young, and pretending effeminacy, partied in his usual way and said he does hire gau people at Brietbart (joke).  They talked about Leslie Jones (who recently impersonated Donald Trump).  Breitbart just put up the full interview here

I had missed the first ten minutes (didn’t realize it was on tonight).  I caught the end of the interview, which then went into a panel discussion (“What Conservative Principles?”)  with Malcolm Nance (Counterterrorism Information Center), Larry Wilmore (comedy) and Jack Kingston, Representative from Georgia (Republican).  The panel felt that the Flynn-Russia mess and pre-election hack presented a grave national security and political crisis.

Larry Wilmore gave Milo a hard time over Milo's attitude toward transgender people (Vox story). 

The Maher interviewed Leah Remini about scientology.
The show offered 15 minutes extra of all panelists (except Leah), including Milo, in “Overtime” on Live YouTube.  Milo said, surprisingly, that transgender could be mental illness and that the public does need to be protected in the bathrooms.  But that was his only provocative statement.  

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

PBS Nova: "The Origami Revolution"

PBS Nova produced a stunning documentary “The Origami Revolution”, aired tonight at 9 PM EST.
The documentary traced a Japanese art form of folding flat sheets of paper into an understanding of how most or all of nature is predicated on origami.  In biology, leaves fold as origami into fractals.  In organic chemistry, bonds seem to follow origami, as does the formation of proteins, viruses, and now appropriate drugs to counter them (like PrEP).

In designing space craft, origami can be used to define space structures that can unfold as deployed.

Bullet-proof vests can be designed according to origami folds.

The program especially focused on the work of 35-year-old MIT professor Erik Demaine, who has produced mathematical proofs that almost any structure can be approximated by origamis (papers {
"The Fold-and-Cut Problem"} here and {"Folding and Cutting Paper"} here).

In cosmology, dark matter seems to fold by origami, with conventional baryonic matter galaxies forming along the folds.

Wikipedia notes Jack Andraka’s interest in origami, contributing to the intuition that led to his pancreatic cancer detection test. (Sorry, Jack, I misspelled “oragami” in my tweet;  no spell check, corrected it in subsequent general tweets with the hashtag.)   Reid Ewing’s display of Japanese art (from manga and Dangaronpa) on his twitter feed seems based on origami.

Wouldn’t carbon nanotubes (for many new medical tests) be created as origami?

Origami can be protected by copyright law (and very likely patent), which could certainly generate future litigation even in areas like pharmaceuticals.  However the existence of academic mathematical proofs for existence of various folds might argue for “fair use”.  In that sense, origami could have the same status as chess openings or chess endgame problems.

PBS had aired a longer Independent Lens feature film on Origami in 2009. It was titled "Between the Folds: Art, Imitating Life".

Wikipedia attribution link (p.d.) for art work made by folding dollar bills.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

CNN: "Debate Night: The Future of Obamacare": Sanders v. Cruz was the pitching matchip

On CNN, “Debate Night: The Future of Obamacare”  Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) square off on Obamacare and replacing or “repairing” it   The debate took place at George Washington University in Washington DC.

There is an existential question on whether health care is a “right”.

Sanders keeps insisting on single payor, “Medicare for all.”

Cruz says “Medicare for all” would be “Medicaid for all” and that Medicaid has poor outcomes for patients.

A woman with multiple sclerosis talked about having to leave Texas because it didn’t provide the Medicaid extensions for Obamacare.

Cruz talked about the waiting lists and often poor care in Britain, with socialized medicine under the National Health System.

No one, however, had a solution for the fact that younger, healthier people, often saddled with college debt, have to pay higher premiums to subsidize older people or people with pre-existing conditions.  How to solve this?  Family values?  Volunteerism?  GoFundMe?

I have suggested a reinsurance mechanism for excess claims due to pre-existing conditions.

The waiting list issue is real.  When I had a freak accident and major hip fracture in Minnesota in 1998, I got a top-flight surgeon and successful surgery immediately at the University of Minnesota, probably because my employer, ReliaStar, had excellent “cherry picked” health insurance.  With weaker insurance, I might have lay in traction for surgery much longer.

Cruz did a thought experiment, in which he speculated that expropriation of the top tech companies in the US would pay for only one year of Sanders’s Medicare for all.

Vox disputes Cruz's claim that Canadians come to the US to get around waiting lists for health care.

Monday, February 06, 2017

Patriots make record comeback in Super Bowl on Fox; Lady Gaga dazzles at halftime

We’re told that this was the first overtime Superbowl in history,  Down 28-3 at one point early in Q3, the New England Patriots came up with 25 unanswered points (with two 2-point conversions despite a missed extra point) to tie, and won quickly in overtime, 34-28, barely placing the ball over the goal line.

The game, which lasted over four hours elapsed, was broadcast on Fox.

Atlanta had a chance to put the game out of reach with a spectacular reception, before a sack took them out of field goal range.

Here is the widely circulated Lady Gaga halftime show link. One conservative Facebook female friend asked if her performance came right from Satan.
Mike Pence appeared at one point, in a VIP box.

Wikipedia attribution link for picture of NRG Stadium in Houston, p.d., DHS photo