fire and water wallpaper, ned kelly tattoos and behavior, sympatric speciation, mid summer impressions

fire and water wallpaper

While some people think Ned Kelly was some kind of outlaw that fought against what he considered unjust laws, amid all that perverse brand of social activism he was a cold-blooded murderer, Ned Kelly tattoos – Origins and forensic implications

Tattoos depicting Ned Kelly, a 19th-century Australian bushranger (outlaw) are occasionally encountered in the contemporary Australian population at forensic autopsy. To determine the characteristics of decedents with such tattoos, twenty cases were identified in the autopsy files at Forensic Science SA. All of the decedents were white males (100%) with an age range of 20–67yrs (average 37yrs). Seventeen of the deaths (85%) were unnatural, due to suicide in eight cases (40%), accidents in seven cases (35%) and homicide in two cases (10%). Compared to the general autopsy population suicides and homicides were 2.7 and 7.7 times higher, respectively, than would be expected, with a striking male predominance. A Ned Kelly tattoo identified at autopsy in another country or in a disaster victim identification situation may suggest that the decedent was Australian or had a connection with that country. Although the population studied is highly selected, individuals with these tattoos had an above average incidence of traumatic deaths.

My ability to believe in magic is severely disabled so I tend not to think the tattoos had any influence in such destructive and self-destructive behavior. The sample is awfully small – we do not know how many people total with Ned Kelly tattoos lead productive lives and died a natural death – though there might be enough evidence to suggest that some anti-social personalities in Australia are drawn to getting Ned tattoos.

Rep. Chris Murphy (D-CT) Says Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ Actions Call Into Question Whether He ‘Can Continue To Serve As A Justice’

Justice Thomas has sat on at least 11 cases where a Harlan Crow-affiliated group filed a brief — adopting the group’s preferred outcome in all but one case. Moreover, Thomas has yet to explain the full extent of his connections to Crow, despite news reports that Crow lavished gifts and other expensive favors on Thomas and his family. Nor has Thomas explained how his gifting scandal differs from the very similar gifting scandal that brought down Justice Abe Fortas.

Some what remarkable that the SCOTUS is supposed to be largely self policing – voluntarily adhering to certain ethics guidelines. While Justice Antonin Scalia has also pushed some ethical limits, the court has been done fairly well operating on a kind of honor system. It is also remarkable how fast such a system breaks down when just one or two people think they’re above the rules.

I would suggest one not engage in anthropomorphism while contemplating this article, Model examines factors that contribute to the emergence of new species

Mate choice, competition, and the variety of resources available are the key factors influencing how a species evolves into separate species, according to a new mathematical model that integrates all three factors to reveal the dynamics at play in a process called sympatric speciation.

Titled “Factors influencing progress toward sympatric speciation,” the paper appears in today’s edition of the Journal of Evolutionary Biology.

New species more commonly occur when plants or animals cannot interbreed because of strong mate choice, and therefore they become isolated genetically. A less common type of speciation, called “sympatric,” occurs when a new species arises from a single population that has no geographic or physical barriers. A famous example is the Rhagoleitis pomonella fruit fly that originally feasted on the fruit of hawthorn trees, then shifted and began to feed on apples, evolving into a more genetically distinct type of fly.

The new model integrates three key factors that can lead to sympatric speciation: the degree to which male foraging traits influence female mate choice, the degree to which different individuals compete for resources, and the variety of resources available. By incorporating three different factors together, the study’s authors, Xavier Thibert-Plante, a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis, and Andrew P. Hendry, an associate professor at McGill University, have taken a different more inclusive approach than in previous studies, which examine one or a few primary factors.

Under  perfect conditions in their model sympatric speciation is rare. Still it does happen as in the case of the Rhagoleitis pomonella fruit fly where the choice of mate pushed the population to resource specialization, thus reliant on different resources than the original population. Not a phenomenon likely to be observed in modern humans since we’ve long pass the time when different hominid populations were sufficiently separate. Though mate selection might be open to debate as a factor is modern evolution – that is if modern human evolution is occurring at all.

graphic art, collage

mid summer impressions

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fox news is misinformation central, standard collage edward ruscha

When this poll came out in 2007 it was a hot story among bloggers for a few days – Public Knowledge of Current Affairs Little Changed by News and Information Revolutions, What Americans Know: 1989-2007. 4 hour cable news bigger and more persuasive than ever. All the world’s biggest newspapers are on-line. Research papers from universities and think-tanks are on-line. Some classic literature on history, economics, sociology, math and science have become part of the public domain, and also available on-line. Yet the public’s general knowledge of the world actually slipped just a little in those eighteen years. There is a difference between being uniformed and misinformed. The consequences of not knowing or hanging on to some disinformation are about the same. Though in the latter case one has to walk back the disinformation and replace the falsehoods with new correct information. That ends to be especially difficult some of the time. It is much easier to talk someone through the time line of America’s space program than disabuse them of a conspiracy theory about Neil Armstrong and his moon landing and first steps on the moon. So when Jon Stewart said that Fox news viewers were the most misinformed he was referring to the malicious dissemination of falsehoods by the network. This simple observation, one between being uninformed and misinformed, seems to be one that Politifact has a difficulty in parsing. The whole controversy is not about being misinformed as though misinformation about events, facts and public policy are dead ends. Oh well people believe in the falsehoods Fox News has spread about the Affordable Care Act is just like my uncle swearing he some green spacemen while he was sipping some bourbon out on the porch. People tend not to act on stories from eccentric half drunk uncles. People do echo and act on public policy misinformation. The lies about Iraq, combined with the constant reinforcement of those lies and half-truths cost the nation an estimated three trillion dollars – Want to balance the budget. Jump in the old time machine and undo that debacle. Fox was broadcast news propaganda central. Jon Stewart 1, Politifact 0: Fox News Viewers Are The Most Misinformed

Stewart, very much in the vein of my prior post, went on the air with Fox’s Chris Wallace and stated,

“Who are the most consistently misinformed media viewers? The most consistently misinformed? Fox, Fox viewers, consistently, every poll.”

My research, and my recent post, most emphatically supports this statement. Indeed, I cited five (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) separate public opinion studies in support of it—although I carefully noted that these studies do not prove causation (e.g., that watching Fox News causes one to be more misinformed). The causal arrow could very well run the other way—believing wrong things could make one more likely to watch Fox News in the first place. ( and another poll)

Media Matters also notes several specific incidences and issues where Fox News blatantly misinformed its viewers. ACA or health care reform misinformation by Fox News. Fox News misinfo on Medicare. Fox News lies about women’s health issues and Planned Parenthood.

And Chris Mooney is correct in saying that just as many people use the internet to find disinformation that reinforces their beliefs rather than seek out facts, Fox News viewers may turn to Fox to reinforce misinformation they have already invested in.

Standard Collage 1989 by Edward Ruscha. Ruscha is an American artist. This work is synthetic polymer paint, cut-and-pasted black paper, and pencil on paper.

In that interview with Stewart Chris Wallace made this claim, “I think we’re the counter-weight. I think that they (NBC) have a liberal agenda, and I think that we tell the other side of the story.” Certainly there are ways to slant news. The Right has been doing so for years from newsletters to AM radio, to newspaper editorials, astroturf letters to the editor, to magazines, television, book publishers and the internet. Lets pretend NBC has a bias which is center left. An ethical correction would be to make the network more neutral. Some stories, say the sex and payoff scandal evolving Sen. John Ensign(R-NV), Sen Tom Coburn(R-OK) and Rick Santorum(R-PA) would be embarrassing for Republicans no matter how the story was reported. Fox’s Wallace thinks balance is to tell lies to counterbalance the truth reported elsewhere. His words, not mine,

I’d note, by the way, that Wallace has accidentally told the truth about this before. A year ago this month, Wallace talked to Don Imus about Helen Thomas’ seat in the White House press briefing room, in the wake of her retirement. Wallace said Fox News getting the seat would be “payment for Helen Thomas,” because “obviously, she was very far to the left wing.”

Wallace added, “If her seat were to be taken by Fox News, it would just be kind of poetic justice.”

Of course, it’s obvious exactly what he meant — Thomas was to the left, Fox News is a Republican outlet. It would be “justice,” from Wallace’s perspective, precisely because it’s payback, trading someone from one end of the spectrum for someone at the opposite end.

Imus noticed the implicit concession, and called Wallace on it. The “Fox News Sunday” host quickly realized he’d gone too far. “Well, I just realized that’s probably not the way to go on this,” he said.

Don’t worry, Chris. Your words speak for themselves.

The Helen Thomas story speaks to another problem that seems too subtle for the Right to parse. Thomas herself was personally more left of center than Right. The Right thinks that means her stories were always slanted, lumping together her personal views and reportage. Wallace thinks that when he sees what he feels deep in his heart is bias on other networks that makes it OK for Fox News to lie because lying is balance.

st georges cycles. 19th century advertising poster. a woman out by herself showing a bit of stocking. would a little shocking for the time. something near modern advertisements by calvin klein or abercrombie.