Links for June 8 2016

* Announcement: The Lemonade Award

“I’m starting an award, an annual kindness award to recognize five people and groups who in the previous year have done something that makes positive change in science fiction community. It might take the form of printed certificates, awarded and announced with little pomp or ceremony; perhaps via a press release. There need not be a monetary award, but it’d be nice to give the recipients a tangible token of recognition.”


“This morning, as I was perusing my Facebook timeline, I happened upon an article that a lovely friend shared. It was entitled “24 Things Women Should Stop Wearing After Age 30”, and it triggered Maximum Eye-Rolling from everyone who took the time out to read it.”

* Will Lin-Manuel Miranda Transform the Supreme Court?

“With the Supreme Court on the brink of moving leftward and Hamilton electrifying audiences from the Grammys to the White House, the lawyering class’s intuitions about the Founding are poised to change. The blockbuster narrative of this election year retells the nation’s origin story as the tale of a heroic immigrant with passionately progressive politics on issues of race and on issues of federal power. The audience is on its feet. So to all those Americans who expect original meanings in constitutional law to support mostly conservative outcomes, here is your Miranda warning: Within the foreseeable future, a jurisprudence of original meanings may fuel the most progressive constitutional decision making since the days of Chief Justice Earl Warren. Just you wait.”

* Sonny Liston Takes the Fall

“It’s the same thing with fighters as with horses. Race horses, I mean, thoroughbreds, which I know a lot about. I’m the genius of Las Vegas, you see. The One-Eyed Jack, the guardian and the warden of Sin City.

It’s a bit like being a magician who works with tigers–the city is my life, and I take care of it. But that means it’s my job to make damned sure it doesn’t get out and eat anybody.

And because of that, I also know a little about magic and sport and sacrifice, and the real, old blood truth of the laurel crown and what it means to be King for a Day.

The thing about race horses, is that the trick with the good ones isn’t getting them to run. It’s getting them to stop.”

* The Sociology of Unfollowing on Twitter

“Sociologists find that strong social networks are sustained by dense social ties, norms of reciprocity, trust and affinity. Length of time of the relationship also matters. It seems all of this is also true of Twitter networks, with retweets signifying trust and longevity of ties over time.”


“You can however, say, “she’s a bad-ass” and “his boss is a hard-ass,” in which “-ass” is a suffix that seems to be more of a nominalizer, meaning it turns the adjective into a noun. Elgersma posits that this is where the origin of common forms like “big-ass,” “dumb-ass,” “weird-ass,” “crazy-ass,” “lame-ass,” “sweet-ass” come from. But the suffix has now also become generally productive, able to be attached to many a short adjective, such as “that’s one tasty-ass donut” (hopefully never to be taken literally).”

* Why the wealthy stopped smoking, but the poor didn’t

“Smoking became analogous to a bad neighborhood that kept getting worse because everyone who had the resources to move out did so, leaving a progressively beaten down group behind.”



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