The New York Times relates the discovery of Rasberry crazy ants (Nylanderia fulva), a relatively new invasive species in Texas. Until you see them, you will not fully appreciate why they are called crazy. They’re a problem in Houston. I have seen them in Austin. I haven’t yet seen them in the coastal bend. Alex Wild, an entomologist, points out that the article has unrealistic expectations regarding public science.
Allegedly, souped up electric scooters are flitting through the streets of Beijing, avoiding the congestion of larger vehicles, parking in odd spaces, and driven in a gray zone of uncertain legality.
On the other side of the world, Amsterdam is hiring street vagabonds to clean litter, paying them partly in beer. Queue bleeding hearts, to harp on feeding addiction, and conservatives, to explain that those who can’t pull themselves up by their bootstraps don’t deserve beer.
Neil Carter describes how he wrestled with his own loss of faith:
If your marriage was not built upon a shared passion for a common set of religious beliefs then you have no idea how painful it can be to honestly grapple with your own intellectual questions. You see the issues. You know they are there. But you just can’t keep looking at them because if you do, your life as you know it could soon be over. So you stuff your questions down. You try to forget about them. Or maybe you take them out every once in a while and wrestle some with them (as I did on occasion) but whenever you reach that point wherein the most logical conclusion would be to say, “This is all nonsense,” you have to stop. You have to. If you don’t, the cost will be too high, and you know it.
For some of us, any social impediment was irrelevant next to the intellectual issue. But I don’t doubt the difficulty others faced. I suspect that has less to do with place, blue state vs. red state, than it does with how that would affect familial and social ties, varying from person to person. And with age. I think we’re lucky, those of us who left religion behind as young adults, when we were socially more footloose.
Brad DeLong writes interestingly on the Chilean election, in which he discusses how neoliberalism is seen there, and which part he wants to defend. At the other end of the spectrum sit the neoreactionaries, radicals of whom I’ve never heard until now. And now, only because Scott Alexander writes an anti-reactionary FAQ that pulls together some interesting economic statistics.
I don’t mind that we owe thanks to extinct megafauna for some of my favorite tropical fruits, such as the avocado and mango. No doubt, my cousin in Kuala Lumpur has grown to love durian. Evolutionary anachronisms now become agricultural staples. It’s more worrisome that today’s avocados are falling under control of the Mexican drug gangs.
The decisions made by those who hold no hope of career or nest egg look irrational from the viewpoint of who have gained some traction in their own career efforts. But those decisions make their own kind of logic. Linda Tirado explains that.
There is an automatic response from everyone who has their own upward trajectory to those who don’t, a set of advice or directions for acquiring that. That advice generally is good: People should look for better jobs, figure how to improve their skills and habits, develop prudent financial habits, and above all, change things around when they find themselves in a rut. Shifting focus from the individual to the economy as a whole, there seems something wrong at the lower end of the job market when there are scores of applicants for new Walmart openings.
Rachel Pearson, a medical student at UTMB Galveston, and therefore someone also on that upward trajectory, writes in The Texas Observer about volunteering at a clinic for the uninsured. Everyone who wrongly thinks that the poor can get treated at the ER should read it, so they can learn what ERs do and what they don’t do.
Commercial turkeys are bred and raised to put on so much weight that they suffer hip and heart problems. They become so fat that they cannot breed on their own, but must be artificially inseminated. The turkeys that are pardoned by the president rarely live a second year.