twistedchick: (autumn fox by Lanning)
[personal profile] twistedchick
More by Lillian Ross:

Workouts -- her interview with Robin Williams (I think 1989).

The symbol of all we possess -- the Miss America pageant, 1949.

Come in, Lassie -- Hollywood and the House UnAmerican Activities Committee (1948)

The shit-kickers of Madison Avenue. (1995)

***

The strange techtonic coincidences of the recent Mexican earthquakes.

The closing of the Dictionary of American Regional English.

The dying art of disagreement.

How many times does it need to be said? Puerto Rico is American. Now can we get going and fix things up for six million Americans dealing with water, low on food and without electricity for the foreseeable future? And here's how you can help. If you need to explain how badly the island was hit by Hurricane Maria, quote from this.

Lessons from Rolling Stone.

Throw the little old lady down the stairs! An interview with John Huston. (1952)

How did women fare in China's Communist revolution?

Will Mark Zuckerberg 'like' this column? Facebook, social media, Russians and the election.

How did marriage become a mark of privilege?

3 ways the Republican anti-health bill differs from previous anti-health efforts.

Remember Anthony Weiner, who not only couldn't keep it in his pants but felt he *had* to send phone photos of it to underage girls? He's going to prison for 21 months. An ignoble end to what once was a very promising political career.

Women need to rewrite/update the New York state constitution. Were women involved in writing the state constitution in your state? Or wherever you are?
littlereview: (green little review)
[personal profile] littlereview
Three things hold me captive )

We had some ambitious plans for Sunday that included possible apple picking or walking around downtown, but we also had a bunch of chores to do, so we ended up being somewhat less ambitious after watching the Ravens embarrass themselves in London in the first of many crazy football games today. We had a bunch of shopping to do, so we stopped at the mall and some local stores, walked around Washingtonian Lake, and fixed up some things around the house.

My parents had a friend over for dinner and invited us to join them; they ordered pizza, we brought cookies and Maddy, and we ate out on the deck. Then we came home and declined the one free hour of Star Trek: Discovery in favor of the DC football game against the Raiders; I generally try to avoid them but even the jerk of an owner joined the players' solidarity display during the national anthem. Some farm festival photos around South Mountain:


Fair Season )
littlereview: (lrpenguin)
[personal profile] littlereview
Love Song )

I had a very nice, very busy Saturday. In the late morning after Maddy went to work for the day, we met friends at Hot Fired Arts in Frederick, where we fused glass and painted pottery (which must now be fired in a kiln so we won't have the finished products for a couple of weeks). The rest of the group was going out for a late lunch/early dinner, but we ate bagels from Dunkin' Donuts next door because we needed to go straight from Frederick to Hanover.

Paul's aunts Jean and Nadine and their husbands (both Bobs) were visiting his parents -- Clair even donned the clown suit in which he used to visit kids in the hospital for them, though I'm not sure a clown suit was ever a good idea for sick kids -- and they had just finished touring around Gettysburg when we arrived. We went to Hibachi Buffet for dinner, then drove home and now we're watching Sleepless in Seattle because we've never seen it before (and, Seattle). A few pics:

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Crafts and Aunts )
littlereview: (trek)
[personal profile] littlereview
Ode to Spot )

I spent the autumnal equinox mostly doing unexciting things, though I got outside again to enjoy the weather, which was gorgeous, and met friends in the mall for bubble tea and raiding a bit after lunch. (I spent an hour in AC Moore and wound up not buying a single thing, which is either a major failure or a big success depending on whether decoration or saving money is the priority.) I don't care whether McCain opposed the health non-care bill out of principle or ego; I'm still glad.

Maddy had to work all day and into the evening while we had dinner with my parents, then came home to catch up on The Orville, which I thought was pretty great...okay, scientifically ridiculous and in some ways infuriating but I could say the same thing about the several Next Gen episodes of which it reminded me. Now it's the end of the UVA game. From the now-closed National Zoo Invertebrate House and the Smithsonian Insect Zoo (warning, spider):


Invertebrates )

Blessings on the Autumn Equinox

Sep. 22nd, 2017 12:08 pm
earthspirits: (autumn witch)
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Poem for Friday, Rosh Hashanah, Cats

Sep. 22nd, 2017 12:20 am
littlereview: (jewitch)
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And Now We Welcome the New Year )

Happy New Year! My day was not particularly religious -- I didn't go to services -- though it was a nice day, with a walk to appreciate the weather and a bunch of chores finished. Maddy arrived in the afternoon and we talked for an hour while she started getting organized (she hasn't even opened her big suitcase, so this will be a multi-day activity). She also got to see work friends.

Annmarie met us at my parents' house for Rosh Hashanah dinner along with other family friends, and I ate way too much around a dash to Starbucks with her and niece so I could take part in an EX Raid. Adam now has official details of his internship offer so I can say it's with Microsoft! I ran late when we got home so here are just a couple of photos of all four of our cats:

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Cats and Couches )

Poem for Rosh Hashanah

Sep. 21st, 2017 12:26 am
littlereview: (jewitch)
[personal profile] littlereview
Prospective Immigrants Please Note )

My Wednesday morning and afternoon were all chores and not worth reporting on in detail other than an hour at lunchtime walking in the park, where the chipmunks were very busy hoarding the acorns that were falling everywhere. Maddy is returning tomorrow!

We watched Inspector Morse, then we started watching the Orioles but that was too depressing to stick with so we watched some Bones instead. What a way to start the new year! Happy, healthy, peaceful 5778 to everyone who is observing Rosh Hashanah.

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Shana Tova )

Hail to the traveler!

Sep. 20th, 2017 08:08 pm
littlereview: (green little review)
[personal profile] littlereview
On Children )

Tuesday mostly involved chores for me and half of them did not get done despite my best intentions. I have a bunch of chaos to deal with but on the scale of problems people I know are facing -- a couple in Florida STILL without power and several facing upheaval from the earthquake in Mexico and hurricane approaching Puerto Rico -- not worth detailing. In happy news, I got an invitation to the EX Raid on Thursday evening, but in unhappy news, it's right when Rosh Hashanah dinner should be ending so really lousy timing for American Jews.

We watched most of the Orioles game against the Red Sox, which was just as horrendous as it was the night before when the Orioles went into extra innings and proceeded to blow the game in humiliating style. That took up so much of the evening that we gave up on maybe starting any of the HBO shows that won Emmys and waited for Hillary Clinton on The Late Show (where Colbert annoyingly did not acknowledge why people were so upset about the Spicer stunt). Some photos of the art at Artsfest at Annmarie Gardens on Sunday:

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Artsfest )

In which the Bittern is pissed

Sep. 19th, 2017 02:16 pm
twistedchick: (bittern OFQ)
[personal profile] twistedchick
This so-called article is a piece of crap. It purports to provide the results of a study and conflates the numbers in the study with society as a whole in ignorant ways.

For example, second paragraph:

Just ask college students. A fifth of undergrads now say it’s acceptable to use physical force to silence a speaker who makes “offensive and hurtful statements.”


A fifth of undergrads? No. A fifth of the 1500 undergrad students they surveyed. That's 300 or so.


Villasenor conducted a nationwide survey of 1,500 undergraduate students at four-year colleges.


Nationwide? There are far more than 1,500 four-year colleges (for those of you not American, the word includes universities). How were the colleges chosen? How were the students chosen? How many were chosen at each university? How many overall were from the same discipline? There's no way to know. We don't even know if he chose accredited schools, or those pay-for-a-degree places. Did they ask at Ivy League schools, the majority of whose students come from well-off families? Did they ask at places like City College of New York, where the tuition is much lower and people who are there are from a variety of backgrounds, not wealthy? Ag and tech colleges, out in the countryside, or only urban colleges?

Further down it says the margin of error is 2-6 percent, "depending on the group." Oh, really? Which group is 2% and which is 6%? We aren't told. It appears we are to be grateful that a margin of error was even mentioned.

The whole thing is supposed to be about undergrads' understanding of First Amendment-protected free speech. Since we are not told the exact wording of the questions asked, it's impossible to know if the responses were appropriate to them, or if the questions were leading the students to a specific response.

And then there's this:

Let’s say a public university hosts a “very controversial speaker,” one “known for making offensive and hurtful statements.” Would it be acceptable for a student group to disrupt the speech “by loudly and repeatedly shouting so that the audience cannot hear the speaker”?

Astonishingly, half said that snuffing out upsetting speech — rather than, presumably, rebutting or even ignoring it — would be appropriate. Democrats were more likely than Republicans to find this response acceptable (62 percent to 39 percent), and men were more likely than women (57 percent to 47 percent). Even so, sizable shares of all groups agreed.

It gets even worse.

Respondents were also asked if it would be acceptable for a student group to use violence to prevent that same controversial speaker from talking. Here, 19 percent said yes....


Let's look more closely, ignoring the editorializing sentence for the moment. Half of who? Half of 1500 people is 750 people, scattered across the US. And then again -- 19% of who? Everyone? Women? Men? Democrats? Republicans? We aren't told.

Meanwhile, the entire other side of this survey is ignored. By stressing the minority and ignoring the majority, the minority's views are inflated and made more important. Let me turn this around for you: more than 80% of undergrads say that violence is not acceptable in dealing with an unwanted speaker. Try turning around all the other numbers, and the story falls apart. Instead of "students" substitute "students surveyed", and it also falls to pieces. Who cares what 1500 people out of 200 million think? If we don't know why those 1500 were specifically chosen, why should we care?

I have worked with surveys, written surveys, conducted and analyzed surveys. It is possible to have a statistically perfect survey with 1500 people surveyed, but only if the respondents are very carefully selected to avoid bias. There is no way to tell if that was done with the evidence given in this story. For all we know, those respondents could have been selected from the same departments or majors at all the colleges. The colleges could have been technical schools or enormous state universities or religion-affiliated schools. There is no way to know. Why does this matter? Liberal arts, political science and pre-law students are more likely to have read about the First Amendment than optics majors or engineers, for instance. I'm not saying the optics majors or engineers would be more conservative or liberal -- but they are less likely to have discussed free speech in a class. Improper choice of respondents can provide very slanted results -- for example, the survey that said Dewey would win over Truman was conducted by telephone, and the calls went to houses on the corners of two streets; this meant that people who were wealthier (because corner houses pay higher taxes, based on road frontage) were questioned, while their less wealthy neighbors (who voted for Truman) were ignored.

Also, by not including any context relative to current events, there is no way to know if the small percentage who thought violence was acceptable was the same as during the Vietnam War, for instance, or Desert Storm. I guarantee you, it was not the same percentage as during the Revolutionary War, when those who spoke against any prevailing view to an audience who disagreed would have been lucky to have been ridden out of town on a rail, if not tarred and feathered. (Feel free to do the research if you wish; be sure you have a strong stomach for the details of what happens when boiling tar is applied to skin.)

What it all comes down to is this: this story is written poorly by someone who does not understand how statistics should be used, and was not properly edited. It was published in order to scare people, although the publisher may not have realized its propaganda value. By not including the whole story, and by allowing editorializing in the middle of it, it slants the results.

This would not have been published during the time when Kay Graham was publisher. Editor Ben Bradlee would not have let this story pass. He would have told the reporter to rewrite it, clean it up, and get more depth into it.

And the reason I am writing this is that this is not the only paper that misleads with statistics, and you need to be aware of this, and of what to look for when someone is quoting a study, badly, misleadingly, in a way that bids fair to be used for propaganda. Be cautious and critical when you see numbers and statistics, and look for whether the writing is made personal/editorialized. It matters.

Poem for Tuesday and Flag Ponds Beach

Sep. 19th, 2017 12:04 am
littlereview: (get critical)
[personal profile] littlereview
Distances )

My Monday mostly involved chores, since Maddy is even now flying to the east coast and I thought I was going to have another few weeks to clean up some stuff in Daniel's room for her, but I did get a bunch of work done. And I did get out to Pokemon Go raids at both a Sprint store and a Starbucks because no one is sure which one is going to get the next EX Raid (the big Raikou ran away, but I think it's the win that counts for raid passes, not the catch).

We started watching the Orioles game and the Orioles were winning handily, but then terrible things started to happen (by now it's in extra innings and it's even worse) so instead we caught up on The Orville from Sunday night, which I must confess I really loved -- okay, there's still more bathroom humor than necessary but the scenes between Kitan and Finn are awesome and I appreciate Grayson's eye-rolling. Some pictures from Flag Ponds Park yesterday:

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Bayside )


Also, I haven't done one of these memes in ages! Ali tagged me to list my ten favorite characters from ten different fandoms. I hate tagging people and I don't even know exactly who's around these days, but please feel free to share yours! You already know this about me, anyway. )

Greetings from Solomons

Sep. 18th, 2017 12:25 am
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[personal profile] littlereview
Paul and I spent Sunday in Calvert County with Cheryl, first at Annmarie Garden, then at the beach! The garden was having its annual Artsfest, with more than 150 painters, sculptors, beaders, knitters, and many other artists, as well as music throughout the garden -- in fact, my most significant purchase was a pair of CDs by The Honey Dewdrops, a husband-and-wife folk singer-songwriter duo who I'd never heard (or heard of) until their music wafted through the trees and I told the others I wanted to go sit and listen to them. Plus I bought a pair of inexpensive glass earrings.

After lunch and fresh lemonade at the picnic tables, and a lot of admiring crafts, we drove to Flag Ponds Park, where we walked through the woods to the beach and spent an hour and a half wading in the Chesapeake, looking for shark's teeth, and spotting herons and egrets hiding in the tall grass (there were plenty of fish but we only saw a couple of crabs). We left when the beach closed for the evening and drove home, stopping at Attman's Deli for dinner since it was just about the only thing still open nearby. Cheryl headed home and we watched the Emmy Awards -- yay, The Handmaid's Tale!

17artf4
Nautical Feeling )
littlereview: (green little review)
[personal profile] littlereview
George Washington )

On Saturday we picked up Annmarie and went to lunch at Layla's Lebanese Restaurant in Woodbridge, then drove to Mount Vernon for the Colonial Fair. We met Alice, Jeremy, and Avery there and looked at pottery, ate bread and cheese, visited the farm animals, thought about buying glass but they didn't take credit cards, got fans in the gift shop, learned how to weave linen, got sodas because it was warm, met George Washington, saw the area behind the mansion that slid down to the Potomac River during storms earlier in the summer, and hung out with the rat catcher and his rats:

17mtvs6
Festival Folk )


Avery and I won an Arcanine raid before he went home with his parents and we took Annmarie back to Woodbridge, stopping at Baskin Robbins for ice cream and drinks before going to her house. Then we drove home, went to Giant to get toilet paper and other necessities, and came home to the cats, with whom we watched some college football and Skyped Maddy who is coming back to Maryland next week. Now we're watching the rerun of the Tom Hanks pre-election Saturday Night Live and I can't figure out whether to laugh or to never stop screaming.

Poem for Saturday and Mewtwo Capture

Sep. 16th, 2017 12:40 am
littlereview: (trek)
[personal profile] littlereview
Chess )

Three exciting things happened on Friday. The first was going out to breakfast with Alice at Bagel City and stopping in AC Moore, where we found Halloween decorations including glass pumpkins and Day of the Dead artwork. The second, which I found out after I got back, is that Adam was offered the internship for which he flew to Seattle to interview less than a week ago. The third was that I got to take my pass to the gym at the Sprint store in Montgomery Mall, where, along with over 50 people, many of whom I know from an online group, I got to participate in a Mewtwo raid, which my Mystic team won...and I caught Mewtwo!

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EX Raid )


The rest of my day was not as eventful, and I didn't even get the laundry folded, though I did fix a piece of jewelry that needed a charm reattached. I didn't get to hear Cassini's final flight till after the fact, though I guess due to the speed of transmission, neither did the scientists at JPL. We had dinner with my parents and saw the beginning of the Nationals game, but Things Did Not Go Well At All, and since the same could be said of the Orioles game and there was no college football on we really wanted to see, we gave up on sports for the evening and watched two Bones episodes instead. Happy Saturday!