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    The first image in the series depicted the dawn. Here, in the last painting, is a weak sun. Cole put everything he had learned in Italy into this picture, most tangibly a melancholic sense that human beings and their works are ultimately at the mercy of both their own vanity and the ravages of time. But while he meant his cycle to be a warning to a young country growing in confidence and ambition, many of those who came to view it when first exhibited in New York City in 1836 saw something quite different. For them, the rise and fall of a great classical civilisation represented the probable fates of the European countries from which America had freed itself; America, on the other hand, was a new kind of society in which, so they believed, the catastrophe unfolding over “The Course of Empire” could never happen.

The 19th-century painter with a warning for America

Thomas Cole: Eden to Empire now at the National Gallery in London.

wasoxygen  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: 2018 Seattle Rock 'N' Roll Marathon

It was looking close at the half, but you delivered quite the kick in the final miles. I don’t think I’ve ever finished a long race and wanted to do it again, not for at least a week anyway. Congratulations on a great run!

Religion does not confer immunity; human sacrifice is still frowned upon.

In my view, questions of religious expression or freedom of speech are distractions. The only amendment relevant to the discussion is the 13th.

Party A wishes to have Party B perform an act that Party B is not willing to perform. That is the definition of coercion. There are reasons for which coercion is justified; to settle this case we have to decide if to get a wedding cake is one of those reasons. (Or, more grandly: to induce people to perform gestures consistent with mainstream values when they do not hold them, or else fabricate socially acceptable excuses, where concerns of reputation and future profits are not sufficient inducement.)

    You’re the baker. A customer, age 60+, comes in and tells you he wants a wedding cake. His bride is age 14, legal age to marry in your jurisdiction.

    You, a decent atheist, find the union unconscionable and do not want to be associated with it in any way. You would not sell this guy a bagel, you do not even want him in your store.

    Are you still on the fence over whether SCOTUS should justify coercing you with threats of fines, arrest, or imprisonment if you choose to decline this man’s business?

wasoxygen  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Hubski Live - Maryland Edition

Always guess Canada!

wasoxygen  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Hubski Live - Maryland Edition

Hubski braintrust quite insufficient to get rich at HQ Trivia.

    So reliant is the modern biomedical industry on this blood that the disappearance of horseshoe crabs would instantly cripple it. And in recent years, horseshoe crabs, particularly in Asia, have come under a number of threats: habitat loss as seawalls replace the beaches where they spawn, pollution, overfishing for use as food and bait. Horseshoe crabs bled for the biomedical use in the United States are returned to the ocean, but an estimated 50,000 also die in the process every year.

    There is another way though—a way for modern medicine to make use of modern technology rather than the blood of an ancient animal. A synthetic substitute for horseshoe-crab blood has been available for 15 years. This is a story about how scientists quietly managed to outdo millions of years of evolution, and why it has taken the rest of the world so long to catch up.

The Last Days of the Blue-Blood Harvest

wasoxygen  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 2, 2018

Bad wreck on the bike trail this morning. A jogger waved a warning as I approached the scene of a half-dozen EMTs loading someone onto a stretcher. I chose to exercise the bystander effect and talked with the jogger some distance from the site.

He hadn't seen the incident, but said the guy "screamed pretty loud" when they moved him. It's a tricky and tight blind corner at the bottom of downslopes in two directions, where the trail turns under I-66.

Yesterday afternoon I saw a close call at another bad spot, a sharp corner at the bottom of a hill where I have previously seen the aftermath of a collision. This time, a guy passed me on the downslope with an electric assist bike. You would think e-bikers would be happy to brake since they have the motor to help them get back up to speed, but in my experience they seem very protective of their momentum. He cut the corner pretty sharp, probably crossing the center line, and his shoulder came within an inch or two of the shoulder of a pedestrian walking the other way. The walker, engrossed in a smartphone world, never knew what didn't hit him. Would have been good for the highlight reel but I had earlier stopped the camera when trying to make sure it was on.

Be safe out there.

Lately I've learned to feel less bad about not reading these "policy" books. Sure, it's arguably better to read every chapter of Capital in the Twenty-First Century than look at animated gifs, but by consuming a variety of reviews, blog arguments, and interviews I can get a pretty good idea of the contents (as well as I would remember some time after reading, anyway) and also a rounded view of how the arguments were received and criticized. Mainly, I can enjoy exposure to a lot more books, and when the content-to-length ratio seems high enough I'll read it anyway.

Caplan got a lot of traction in the circles I follow, and some from a wider audience; he wished for more in Leftist Lessons of The Case Against Education. I picked this review because it gave the most complete synopsis of the book that I have seen, and was also remarkable for the way the book anticipated the objections in the review.

The wishful thinking about where Ed dollars could be better spent seems like a weak point on both sides.

You'll never guess who did it!

    If a scammer gets their hands on the domain, users trusting MyEtherWallet could easily be tricked into sending all of their ether (or other Ethereum assets) to a scammer.

On Radical Markets --Apr 20, 2018

    The roughly contemporary architecture at Jericho is devoid of artistic merit or large-scale sculpture, and Çatalhöyük, perhaps the most famous Anatolian Neolithic village, is 2,000 years later.

    At present Göbekli Tepe raises more questions for archaeology and prehistory than it answers. It remains unknown how a force large enough to construct, augment, and maintain such a substantial complex was mobilized and compensated or fed in the conditions of pre-sedentary society.

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