Tanganyika v. Tanzania

Tanzania is the name of a country in Africa. Tanganyika is, among other things, the older name of that country, more or less. It is a formerly used term that should no longer be used to refer to that country.

Wikipedia has this wrong on the indicated page on August 16th, 2014. Any wiki authors out there, please feel free to fix. I recommend changing the term “Tanganyika” to “Tanzania” and deleting the rest of the sentence.

Why not change this myself? Here’s why.

Midori’s Floating World Cafe

Midori’s Floating World Cafe
Lizzie, got a job. It’s a pretty nice job, with benefits and a salary and everything. Not in her field (biology), but it is a job she likes. So I took her out for a congratulatory dinner, which ultimately gave me a chance to try a new restaurant. Also, we had been in a routine for a few months of meeting almost every week to work on a project, and those meetings had stopped due to scheduling issues (like, that she went and got a job …). It was time for another dose.

My plan was to trick Lizzie into determining where we were going to eat. This was going to be difficult. Lizzie is a quiet, unassuming and thoughtful person whose first inclination would be to accommodate my (or anyone else’s) preferences in matters such as this. It would be totally out of character for her to start out by telling me where we should go for dinner. But I wanted her to pick, partly because it was her celebration and partly because of a quirk I have. Sometimes I like to experience the preferences and choices of someone that I care for. I wanted Lizzie to suggest where to eat, and I wanted to try her favorite selections off the menu and probably drink what she was drinking and so on.

I’m still grinning at the conversation.

“So, where do you want to go?”

“Oh, anywhere, I don’t care.”

(And so on and so on…via email, in person, for three or four days. Then, finally, we’re in the car about to drive off to…somewhere.)

“So, have you eaten anyplace good lately?”

“Yeah, I like this new Japanese restaurant off Lake Street.”

“Oh. So when was the last time you ate there?”

“Two days ago.”

“Oh. So you probably don’t want to eat there again right away.”

“Yeah, I guess so.”

“Well, there’s Greek.”

“I could do Greek.”

“We could just go over to Eat Street and see what happens.”

“We could.”

“Maybe Azia or some place.”

“We could.”

“You want to eat in your Japanese restaurant, right?”

“It’s my favorite place. I want to show it to you.”

“What will we order?”

“Eel. It’s my favorite.”

“And what will we–”

“Sake. Of course.”

“Okay, lead the way.”

And thusly, we proceeded to Midori’s Floating World Cafe on 27th Ave in South Minneapolis. At the time we ate there, it was right across the street from the old Resources Center for the America’s building, and next to The Real CMF’s favorite restaurant (to which I had not yet been). Subsequently, Midori’s has moved a couple of hundred feet away.

We had one of the noodle dishes, a biggish bottle of hot sake, and some sushi.

As we were ordering, I remembered that neither of us had brought along our List of Endangered Fish: Do Not Eat wallet insert, but we tried to do our best by staying away from sea mammals and anything that was really expensive.

It turns out that Lizzie and I have pretty much exactly the same taste in sushi: It’s all good, but there must be eel. We figured eel would be safe from an environmental point of view, but we later learned that we had that totally backwards. Eel is one of the worst things you can order from the menu if you care about the planet. Oh, well. We learn.
(Reposed)

I liked the fact that we were drinking hot sake. I had not had that since being in Japan a few years ago. In fact, I regaled Lizzie with a story about a fairly intensive foray into the world of hot sake at a bar in Kyoto. Apparently, the custom in Kyoto is for young men to hook up with a particular small neighborhood bar. These bars are all owned and run by women, who develop bonds with these young men and have a sort of motherly relationship with them. So I went to such a bar where two Japanese colleagues, both of whom work in Central Africa, had “grown up.”

Now, you have to understand that my Japanese is nonexistent, and my colleagues have hardly ever spent time in the English-speaking world, so their English sucked. My host in Japan, a woman who had lived for years in the U.S., was with us, and her English was perfect. But the main point of this gathering was for us Africanists to spend some time together. So, as it developed, Mother Bar Owner and my host (Hitomi) had a nice conversation about who knows what, in Japanese, while my two colleagues and I spend the evening reminiscing in KiSwahili. Much to the amusement of the occasional customer who wandered briefly into this tiny little establishment.

What was really funny was also too subtle for almost anyone to have noticed: We learned our KiSwahili in very different contexts. So, I was speaking with a Pygmy accent, one of my colleagues was speaking with a Chinese accent, and another was speaking with an Italian accent. That was funny.

I have three things to say about Midori’s Floating World Cafe. 1) It has a very nice atmosphere, a small establishment with a simple lineup of unpretentious tables and a sushi bar, family run, staffed with excellent servers. 2) The food is quite good. And 3) the prices are very reasonable.

Lizzie is living in what we used to call a “crash house”…the sort of place I misspent a fair amount of time in my youth. Her stories of life at home reminded me of my own stories, which made good comparisons, so I think we ended up making each other laugh a lot. Maybe we were a little boisterous, because when we got around to leaving, we were the only customers and the proprietor seemed really happy (to see us go?).

I highly recommend dinner with Lizzie. But since most of you can’t have that, I recommend that you try Midori’s Floating World Cafe in South Minneapolis with someone who makes you smile.

Midori’s Floating World Cafe is located on 2629 Lake Street, Minneapolis, which is a new location.

And speaking of sushi, this is the video of the famous Japanese Frilled Shark.

Climate Change Science Search Engine

This search engine will scan a large number of sites known to have good climate change related information on them.

Below is a list of sites scanned. If you know of a site that is not included here but that should be, please put a link in the comments. Don’t bother with climate science denialist sites, they will not be added.

Also note that many sites are parts of larger domains. So if the site you suggest is already part of, for example, Scienceblogs, The Guardian, etc. then it is already on the list by default. This, of course, means that some of the hits from this search engine will be not “certified” as part of this excellent list of sources because a large domain could have science denialism lurking around on it. But for the most part, the results of this search should be pretty useful. Also, since some very large domains are searched you may want to use some climate change related keywords. For example, searching for the term “hiatus” by itself will get you links for broadway shows taking a hiatus. But searching for “global warming hiatus” will get you (mostly) links about the so-called “pause” in global warming.

There are also aggregating or linky sites on this list so there may be some redundancy in your search results, but there is not much one can do about that.

http://bbickmore.wordpress.com
http://bigcitylib.blogspot.ca
http://blog.hotwhopper.com
http://blog.weathernationtv.com
http://capitalclimate.blogspot.com
http://climatechangepsychology.blogspot.com/
http://climatedesk.org
http://climatemediawatch.com
http://deepclimate.org
http://desmogblog.com
http://getenergysmartnow.com
http://gpwayne.wordpress.com
http://hot-topic.co.nz
http://insideclimatenews.org
http://mediamatters.org
http://ncse.com
http://nsidc.org
http://www.realclimate.org/
http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com
http://pacinst.org
http://planet3.org
http://profmandia.wordpress.com
http://rabett.blogspot.com
http://scholarsandrogues.com
http://scienceblogs.com
http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen
http://simondonner.blogspot.com
http://stephenleahy.net
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/issue
http://www.climatecodered.org
http://www.climatesciencewatch.org
http://www.easterbrook.ca/steve
http://www.ecoequity.org
http://www.gwfotd.com
http://www.huffingtonpost.com
http://www.nasa.gov
http://www.noaa.gov
http://www.thefrogthatjumpedout.blogspot.com
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus–97-per-cent
http://www.theguardian.com/us
http://www.wunderground.com/blog
https://www.skepticalscience.com

Republican Congressman Michael Grimm Wants To Throw Reporter Off Balcony

This happened:

More here, including Grimm’s apology.

From Wikipedia:

Michael Gerard Grimm (born February 7, 1970) is the United States Representative for New York’s 11th congressional district, serving since 2011. The district, numbered as the 13th District during his first term, consists of Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn. He is a member of the Republican Party. He is a former FBI agent, businessman, an attorney, and U.S. Marine, having served in the Persian Gulf War.

So he’s a former cop and a former soldier, and from New York. Such folk talk like this sometimes, I guess. But it must have been scary for the reporter, being right next to the balcony and all.

There was apparently some concern about Grimm misusing his authority as an FBI agent.

…Grimm had been involved in an altercation at a popular West Indian-themed night club in Queens called Caribbean Tropics, during which he was accused of misusing his F.B.I. authority.

He is a Tea Party favorite, according to this Daily Caller interview:

TheDC: You have the support of the Staten Island Tea Party.

MG: Overwhelmingly, yes. A lot of my volunteers have come from the Staten Island Tea Party. It’s an honor to have them. Some of the media wants to demonize them as fringe right-wing maniacs, and I have not seen that on Staten Island or in Brooklyn. I have seen good hardworking people that are frustrated and angry with the direction of the country and they’re standing up to voice their opinion and get involved.

From Wikipedia on the fund-raising controversy that prompted the flight off the balcony suggestion:

Fundraising controversy
Based on confidential interviews with followers of Orthodox Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto, a January 2012 article in the New York Times reported that Candidate Grimm engaged in “questionable fundraising” practices during his 2010 campaign. These practices allegedly included repeatedly soliciting one follower who had already donated $10,000 to Grimm’s campaign for another $10,000, accepting cash donations exceeding $100, explaining a scheme to evade donation limits to another follower, and accepting a $25,000 donation for which the funds originated from a single person and passed through Rabbi Pinto’s former aide, Ofer Biton.[39]

In August 2012, the office of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York acknowledged that it was investigating Grimm’s 2010 campaign.[40] In November 2012, the House Ethics Committee decided to inquire into the campaign but agreed to “defer consideration” of it at the Department of Justice’s request.[41]

In January 2014, the FBI arrested Diana Durand, a Houston-based fundraiser for Grimm, on charges that she had illegally donated more than $10,000 to Grimm’s 2010 campaign. Durand allegedly gave the campaign $4,800, the legal limit, but then used straw donors to donate more than $10,000 illegally. The FBI also charged Durand with lying to Federal agents about the matter. Grimm denied any wrongdoing.[42]

On January 28, 2014, NY1 political reporter Michael Scotto tried to ask Grimm a question about the investigation while conducting an interview about the 2014 State of the Union Address. Grimm refused to answer and initially walked away. However, while Scotto was tossing back to the studio, Grimm abruptly collared Scotto and told him, “Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I’ll throw you off this fucking balcony.” When Scotto protested that it was a “valid question,” Grimm replied, “No, no, you’re not man enough, you’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.” Grimm later issued a statement defending his behavior, saying that he was annoyed by what he called a “disrespectful cheap shot” from Scotto. “I expect a certain level of professionalism and respect,” Grimm said, “especially when I go out of my way to do that reporter a favor.”

This is the casefile on Grimm from the DCCC.

CAMPAIGN FINANCE INVESTIGATION SUMMARY:

According to a bombshell report from the New York Times, Congressman Michael Grimm, together with a man under FBI investigation for embezzlement, raised more than $500,000 dollars in tainted campaign cash by taking contributions in excess of federal limits, taking contributions from foreign nationals, setting up “straw donors,” and personally receiving envelopes filled with cash.

Federal court rules that most NSA phone record collections likely violates constitution

A federal judge has ruled that the “wholesale collection of the phone record metadata” of all U.S. citizens — a program exposed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden — likely violates the 4th Amendment and is unconstitutional.

In the decision, Judge Leon rules that the plaintiff challenging the bulk collection of U.S. phone records, legal activist and Judicial Watch founder Larry Klayman, have “demonstrated a substantial likelihood of succession the merits of their Fourth Amendment claims, and that they will suffer irreparable harm absent preliminary injunctive relief.”

HERE MORE

My comments on “On Writing and Sanity” by Kelly McCullough

The parts in quotes are the bits from Kelly’s original post of excellent advice for writers (HERE), which I herein Fisk (The original is posted in a no-comment zone.):

You are home writing a book but you have not proven yourself.

“First, the way you should feel about whatever book or story you are writing this very minute, is that it is absolutely your best work ever and will be irresistable to readers.” Call to adventure!

“Second, whatever book or story you are revising or getting critiqued at this very moment, is a solid piece of work that can and will be improved if you work at it and learn from comments.” Initiation and trial!

“Third, whatever work you have just finished, is ready to go out to agents or editors and you’re excited to get it in the mail.” Return home!

“Fourth, whatever work has been bought or is being shopped around, no longer exists until and unless a decision is called for on your part.” The Magic Fight!

“Fifth, whatever work has been published or set aside is complete and an example of your work at the time, not something that reflects the writer you are now.” Rescue!

“Sixth, whatever work you are going to embark on next will be made better by what you will learn from the completion of what you are working on now. So much so that once you have finished the current work, this new project will be the best thing you have ever written, bar non.” The return threshold, you are the master of two worlds, you have the freedom to live!

Funny how these things work.

I for one welcome our new Lesbian Overlords

Did you know that there is a “Lesbian Apocalypse” coming? No? I didn’t either, but apparently there is one. From Wipedia:

Catherine “Cathy” Brennan is an attorney in the state of Maryland and a prominent supporter of “trans-critical” radical feminism. Her main accomplishment in this regard is coauthoring a letter to the United Nations, insisting that trans people’s gender identity should not be legally recognized and protected. She is also a frequent columnist for Baltimore OUTloud’s LGBTQ blog section, which she uses to warn of the coming “lesbian annihilation” at the hands of “the queers” and trans people and stridently argue against legislation protecting gender identity.

I received a note from Secular Women linking to a petition to the Southern Poverty Law Center asking for the SPLC to treat Brennan’s organization as a hate group. Having never heard of trans-critical radical feminism, I worried at first that this was one of those awful breakdowns among allies (in this case, feminists) over how some issue or another is being handled, which had escalated to the extreme outcome of labeling a group with different views but within the same movement as a hate group. This didn’t seem like something Secular Women would do. So, I followed the links and read up on it a bit, and apparently this is a thing. Here’s the letter I got from Secular Women:

Southern Poverty Law Center:
Monitor “Gender Identity Watch”
as a Hate Group

As a feminist organization, Secular Woman promotes gender equality. We stand against and combat sexism, hate, intolerance, and misogyny.

Transgender women are women.

Cisgender women are women.

We do not, in any way, view the existence of transgender women, genderqueer individuals or transgender men as a threat to the safety of women, female identity, or the goals of feminism.

As intersectional feminists we acknowledge the privilege that cisgender people experience. We aim to dismantle the axis of oppression that this represents.
Unfortunately, not all who claim the label “feminist” agree with us. They do not represent us and we reject their actions and views as unethical and devoid of reason.
We stand in opposition.

Members of our community have been targeted by trans-exclusionary radical feminists (TERFs). Personal information such as former names, current legal names, and photographs have been compiled and displayed on the website “Name the Problem”. Several of the entries are self-attributed to “Pegasus” (“PegasusBug” is a pseudonym of Cathy Brennan, the head of Gender Identity Watch). This information was presented alongside reports describing rapists and batterers of women.

Countless others, including members of transgender advocacy groups have reported similar treatment, as well as other alarming behavior, such as Cathy Brennan contacting employers, schools and medical doctors of transgender women, girls and young men.

This is unacceptable.

It is anathema to our vision of a future in which women have the opportunities and resources they need to participate openly and confidently in every aspect of society.
Cathy Brennan’s tactics, as described, are reprehensible, reckless, and irresponsible as they have the potential to embolden violence and harassment of those she targets and to result in job loss and other discrimination informed by the open knowledge of the target’s transgender status.

Refusal to afford transgender women inclusion, safety, and civil rights is a form of misogyny that is antithetical to feminism.

We invite fellow feminists and secularists, as well as others concerned, to proactively affirm the inclusion of all women as women. Condemn the toxic ideologies used to rationalize hate, fear, and discrimination based on gender.

Stand with us in petitioning the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to track the activities of Cathy Brennan’s Gender Identity Watch as a hate group in accordance with SPLC’s stated mission.

Signed in Solidarity,

Secular Woman
Stop Abuse Online
Skepchick

Trinity Aodh, Melody Hensley, M. A. Melby, Veronica K. Berglyd Olsen, Kim Rippere, Mary Ellen Sikes, Dana Lane Taylor

Please sign the petition here!

Click through to follow the documenting links. Sign the petition.

Petition asking Google to stop funding Science Denialist Alec

From Forecast the Facts:

Google’s motto is “Don’t Be Evil,” but it has recently been revealed that Google is secretly funding one of the worst climate-denier groups in the world: the fossil-funded American Legislative Exchange Council, which argues that global warming is good for America and fights to kill renewable energy standards. Google has been a corporate leader in fighting climate pollution. Its support for liars like ALEC is a glaring mistake.

ALEC denies global warming is causing glaciers to retreat or sea level to rise. They’ve even argued “substantial global warming is likely to be of benefit to the United States.”

Google chairman Eric Schmidt has said: “You can lie about the effects of climate change, but eventually you’ll be seen as a liar.”

Since Susan Molinari took over Google’s lobbying operations, the company has financed top members of the climate-denial machine, including the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), and now ALEC. Tell Google: live up to your corporate values and don’t fund evil.

Here’s the petition.