Monthly Archives: November 2016

Maybe a little hindsight will help in the future?

Inquiring Minds Podcast Episode 154: Changing Political Minds – The Deep Story With Arlie Hochschild and Reckonings. (Podcast, 1hr 18min 40s)

“We team up with Stephanie Lepp from the Reckonings podcast and talk to sociologist Arlie Hochschild about whether or not this election is causing more people than usual to change their minds about politics. We then hear from two voters who did in fact make some kind of transformation during this election season – one young voter who was voting in his second presidential election and one long-time voter and political insider who has been voting for 40 years.”

This podcats aired six days ago, a few days before the election. Still, the interviews with the two voters and especially the insights of Arlie Hochschild gave me a lot of insight into how many Americans think about politics and how they decided who to vote for. Recommended!

About Arlie Hochschild, quote from Wikipedia:

“Her latest book, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right, is based on five years of immersion among Louisiana supporters of the Tea Party. It explores the role of emotion in politics by first posing a paradox. Why, she asks, do residents of the nation’s poorest state vote for candidates who resist federal help? Why in a highly polluted state, do they vote for candidates who resist regulating polluting industry? Her search for answers leads her to what she calls their “deep story,” a metaphorical expression of the emotions they live by. The people she studied may not be voting for their economic self-interest, she found, but they are voting for their emotional self-interest as members of a group which feels marginalized, scorned by coastal liberals, and left behind.”

Fun with Physics

Physics Girl: Bizarre Spinning Toys. (YouTube, 5:23)

“Spinning toys and tops have unusual behaviors. The famous tippe top flips itself over and spins on its stem. The PhiTOP stands up on its end, which you can also do with a hard-boiled egg. These behaviors all have to do with torque and angular momentum, like a bicycle wheel precessing around a rope due to gyroscopic behavior.”

“You can really think of it as playing Russian roulette”

The Guardian: DNA study lays bare devastating damage caused by smoking. “Major investigation into root causes of cancer reveals how tobacco smoke mutates DNA and gives rise to more than a dozen types of tumour.”

“The devastating impact of cigarette smoke on the body’s DNA has been laid bare by the first comprehensive study into the damage tobacco inflicts on human cells.

People who smoke a pack of cigarettes each day for a year develop on average 150 extra mutations in every lung cell, and nearly 100 more mutations than usual in each cell of the voice box, researchers found. More still build up in the mouth, bladder, liver and other organs.
[…]
“There is a message here for people who are occasional or social smokers who think it doesn’t do anything,” said Alexandrov. “If you smoke four to five packs of cigarettes in your lifetime it doesn’t sound that much, but you still get several mutations in every cell in your lungs and these are permanent, they do not go away. There are a lot of things that do revert back when you stop smoking, and this shouldn’t discourage people from giving up, but the specific mutations in the lung cells are like scars. If you stop smoking, they’ll still be there.””

US Election

The Daily Beast: Van Jones, Near Tears on CNN: This Is a ‘Deeply Painful Moment’ in America.

“People have talked about a miracle. I’m hearing about a nightmare. It’s hard to be a parent tonight for a lot of us. You tell your kids, don’t be a bully. You tell your kids, don’t be a bigot. You tell your kids, do your homework and be prepared. Then you have this outcome and you have people putting children to bed tonight. They’re afraid of breakfast. They’re afraid of, how do I explain this to my children? […]

This was a rebellion against the elites, true. It was a complete reinvention of politics and polls, it’s true. But it was also something else. […]

This was a whitelash. This was a whitelash against a changing country. It was a whitelash against a black president in part, and that’s the part where the pain comes. And Donald Trump has a responsibility tonight to come out and reassure people that he is going to be the president of all the people who he insulted and offended and brushed aside. […]

This is a deeply painful moment tonight. I know it’s not just about race. There’s more going on than that, but race is here too and we’ve got to talk about it.”

(CNN on YouTube, 2:13min)

Link via MetaFilter.

Election Day in the US

The suspense is killing me…

MetaFilter: Of the people, by the people, and for the people: US election day.

Last election thread before that: ♪♫ The world turned upside down. Finally, it’s US election week. (More than 2600 comments already…)

Also: Best of MetaFilter: Election Day.

Boston Globe: The Big Picture Election Day 2016.

FiveThirtyEight:

Who would win the presidency today?

2016 Election Day: Live coverage and results.