Friday Four

Friday, February 13, 2015

1. When Pumpkin was at Little Man's current semi-verbal stage, she used to point to things that interested her. As I mentioned recently, his version is grabbing an adult by the hand and leading him to whatever it is. Lately, this has expanded to include starting fun activities. For example, he likes to hold hands with two adults, one on each side, and swing. So lately, any time he finds Mom and Dad in the same place, he will grab one of our hands and head towards the other.

2. Via Marco Arment comes "I'm an Anti-Braker", a gem of a parody of the self-righteous and dangerous foolishness of the anti-vaccination movement:

After doing some more digging, I found a nefarious plot - Mechanics: The very people who we trust to work on and care for our cars - get PAID to install and change brakes! You might THINK they care about our safety, or our cars - but they're just in it for the $49.99 brake pad installations.

So I talked to my Mechanic about taking the brakes off my car and I was disgusted by how poorly he treated me. He accused me of being ignorant, when I was the one that looked up how much rotational torque brakes can put on your rotors. He didn't even know how much torque a rotor can take before being warped!!! He said "rotors are designed to be compressed, that it isn't actually a problem" just completely dismissing me.
Robert Moore nails these people rhetorically and epistemologically. It can be depressing and exasperating to think very much about this movement. For this reason, I thank Mr. Moore for the relief of his humor and the small measure of justice rendered by his piece.

3. Do you think that beer and wine became common in Medieval Europe because the water was bad? Think again.

I am not sure I have ever actively espoused that idea, but I do at least have to admit never thinking to question it. That notion, common among my fellow beer enthusiasts, turns out to be unsupported:
One would think that, confronted with the above evidence, those who insist medieval drinkers drank beer and wine to avoid water would at the least reconsider. Unfortunately, long-standing myths are not displaced by anything so flimsy as documentation. In previous discussions elsewhere, one person's response was simply to say, "The lack of evidence is not evidence." Another's was that since some doctors criticized some water, some drinkers might have considered this good enough reason to avoid water. Etc. This long-established idea then is unlikely to die anytime soon. But at the least, the next time you see or hear someone put it forth, you can always try asking: what is the evidence for this from the period?

Because that simple question has, for too long, been ignored.
The author should take heart: I am swayed by his argument and will call that claim into question the next time I hear it.

4. Jerm Boor's "The Mostly German Philosophers Love Song" is both witty and fun to listen to. At the link are audio and lyrics.

-- CAV

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