I had one Insider post this week, on the most prospect-packed minor league rosters to open the season. I have already filed a draft blog post on last night’s outing by Hunter Greene, with additional notes on a half-dozen other draft prospects, including Brendan McKay and Austin Beck. (EDIT: It’s up now.) I held my regular Klawchat on Thursday.
I resumed boardgame reviews for Paste this week with a look at the reissue of Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective, specifically the Jack the Ripper & West End Cases set, but found it more like a solitaire puzzle than a cooperative game.
You can preorder my upcoming book, Smart Baseball, on amazon, or from other sites via the Harper-Collins page for the book. The book now has two positive reviews out, one from Kirkus Reviews and one from Publishers Weekly.
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And now, the links…
- Long reads first: “It is the obligation of every person born in a safer room to open the door when someone in danger knocks.” That’s from this must-read piece from Iranian-born professor Dina Nayeri, writing in The Guardian about the folly and danger of demanding that refugees be “grateful.”
- How about the history of Pearl Jam to commemorate the band’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? I was glad to see the band’s predecessor, Mother Love Bone, get a mention; Apple was an album ahead of its time lyrically and was full of great hooks.
- From October: the New Yorker profiled Frauke Petry, the new star of Germany’s neo-Nazi right.
- Delaware’s own Dogfish Head brewery has been aggressively suing competitors over trademark violations, incurring the wrath of smaller craft brewers and craft beer aficionados. While the owner is technically right that he has to defend the trademarks to protect them, why couldn’t he license certain terms, like Namaste, for a nominal fee instead?
- What is Bashar al-Assad thinking by using chemical weapons in Syria’s civil war? I don’t know, but I would guess what he’s thinking now is that he’s discovered how far he can go without provoking a response. He can kill as many civilians as he likes, any way he wants, as long as he doesn’t use chemical weapons to do so.
- Texas Republican Lamar Smith heads the House Committee on Science even though he’s among the worst science deniers in Washington. Now ER doctor Ryan Allen is trying to run against the popular Congressman.
- With the ongoing call for reducing regulations as a whole, and specifically speeding new medications to market, NPR ran an editorial pointing out the drawbacks of this approach.
- Why are Americans so in love with their own ignorance? Professor Tom Nichols attempts to answer this question in a Q&A with Maclean’s and in his new book, The Death of Expertise.
- Parents goes for science in an op ed that explains Why I don’t feed my family organic food. I’m with the author on every point but the antibiotics: The concern about them isn’t that they end up on the plate, but that they’re used at all, and the organic label is one of the few ways to ensure that you’re not supporting the overuse of antibiotics by factory farming outfits.
- There’s a new theory behind the cause of celiac disease – a group of scientists claims a virus is triggering it in people already genetically predisposed to the autoimmune disease. The real upshot: Eating processed, hybridized wheat is not what causes celiac, no matter what your local quack tells you.
- An unvaccinated Laguna Beach High School student contracted measles and may have exposed other students. I hope they make his parents pay any associated medical costs if the highly contagious, dangerous disease spreads at all. You make that choice, you face the consequences.
- Another consequence? Getting measles may weaken your immune system for up to three years after the infection. So, survive measles, die of something else!
- A British court has ordered a loony-toon vegan “all-natural” mother to vaccinate her damn kids. Given the description of her parenting, she shouldn’t have custody at all.
- An early fish biologist gives the case against eating fish. I would argue that this is the case for eating fish (and meat) far more judiciously than we do – knowing where it comes from, how it was raised or caught, and paying more attention to pollution and ocean acidification.
- I got thrown out of a bar in New York City … but now a new one is opening, called Coup, with proceeds going to fight Donald Trump’s agenda. One of the bartenders/co-owners is Sother Teague of Amor & Amargo, a bitters-focused cocktail bar I enjoyed tremendously the one time I visited (including a chat with Mr. Teague himself).
- Solar power is becoming cost-competitive with nonrenewable fuel sources in many markets, but hey, keep propping dirty coal, you fucking idiots.
- The Kentucky Coal Museum is installing solar panels to reduce its energy costs.
- Fox News has its moments of clarity, like when Chris Wallace just emasculated EPA chief and climate change denialist Scott Pruitt on air. Wallace did what journalists should do: set party aside and stick to the truth in the face of someone who continues to lie.
- Spanish scientists have developed a new way of measuring a particle’s spin that appears to soften the limits set out in Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle.
- Some Kansas high school students started asking questions about their new principals’ resume, eventually uncovering a fraud that led to her resignation.
- A Washington Post editorial calls Mitch McConnell the man who broke America. Whatever he is, the people of Kentucky keep electing him and the GOP keeps giving him power.
- An Iowa legislator has proposed a bill that would fine men for masturbating and require rectal exams before doctors could prescribe erectile dysfunction medications.
- One in five Oklahoma school districts operates a four-day week for budgetary reasons. It’s hardly surprising that that state, which has produced some of the worst science-denying and anti-woman legislation in the last few years, puts education at the bottom of the priority list.
- A woman writes about calling out the creep who took her picture in a bar without her permission. It’s on all of us to say something when we see this kind of behavior from men.
- Jared Kushner went to Iraq and someone added children’s-book text to the pictures.