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27 May 12:30

The most predictable disaster in the history of the human race

by Ezra Klein
Osiasjota

o problema é que foi a primeira guerra que causou a gripe espanhola, evite guerras, evite pandemias

I. Bill Gates is an optimist.

Ask him, and he'll tell you himself. "I'm very optimistic," he says. See?

And why shouldn't Bill Gates be an optimist? He's one of the richest men in the world. He basically invented the form of personal computing that dominated for decades. He runs a foundation immersed in the world's worst problems — child mortality, malaria, polio — but he can see them getting better. Hell, he can measure them getting better. Child mortality has fallen by half since 1990. To him, optimism is simply realism.

But lately, Gates has been obsessing over a dark question: what's likeliest to kill more than 10 million human beings in the next 20 years? He ticks off the disaster movie stuff — "big volcanic explosion, gigantic earthquake, asteroid" — but says the more he learns about them, the more he realizes the probability is "very low."

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Then there's war, of course. But Gates isn't that worried about war because the entire human race worries about war pretty much all the time, and the most dangerous kind of war, nuclear war, seems pretty contained, at least for now.

But there's something out there that's as bad as war, something that kills as many people as war, and Gates doesn't think we're ready for it.

"Look at the death chart of the 20th century," he says, because he's the kind of guy that looks at death charts. "I think everybody would say there must be a spike for World War I. Sure enough, there it is, like 25 million. And there must be a big spike for World War II, and there it is, it's like 65 million. But then you'll see this other spike that is as large as World War II right after World War I, and most people, would say, 'What was that?'"

"Well, that was the Spanish flu."

II. The most predictable threat in the history of the human race

No one can say we weren't warned. And warned. And warned. A pandemic disease is the most predictable catastrophe in the history of the human race, if only because it has happened to the human race so many, many times before.

In a 1990 paper on "The Anthropology of Infectious Disease," Marcia Inhorn and Peter Brown estimated that infectious diseases "have likely claimed more lives than all wars, noninfectious diseases, and natural disasters put together." Infectious diseases are our oldest, deadliest foe.

And they remain so today. "In a good year, flu kills over 10,000 Americans," says Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "In a bad year, it kills over five times that. If we have a pandemic, it will be much worse. People think the H1N1 flu wasn’t so bad. But more than 1,000 American kids died from H1N1!"

Each new year seems to bring its own sensational candidate for the next pandemic. In 2014, of course, it was  the Ebola outbreak — which killed more than 10,000 people, and sent much of America into hysterics. This year, a particularly infectious form of bird flu has ripped through 14 states, killing or forcing the slaughter of 39 million birds. Public health authorities are forcing the grisly massacre because the more birds around for the flu to infect, the more chances the flu has to mutate and reassemble itself into a form that can infect humans.

It isn't just the news that carries warnings. The culture is thick with our fear of infectious disease. Zombies, for instance, are everywhere — World War Z was a best-selling book and a blockbuster movie; The Walking Dead has become one of television's most popular shows. And zombies are a metaphor for infectious disease.

"When I was a kid, I watched AIDS go from an obscure, arcane curiosity to a global pandemic," Max Brooks, author of World War Z, told the CDC. "What drove me crazy was that unlike the Black Death or the Spanish Influenza, AIDS could have simply been stopped by a pamphlet: A couple dos and don’ts, a little education and clear-headed leadership and it might have ended up as a footnote in a virologists’ medical text. If that’s not zombies, I don’t know what is."

The CDC has even released a document titled "Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse." The point, obviously, isn't that the CDC expects a zombie apocalypse around the corner; it's that since a zombie apocalypse is simply an infectious disease apocalypse, talking about how to avoid becoming a zombie is a safe way for people to talk about how to protect themselves from pandemic disease.

"When confronted with real anxiety, a lot of people shut down," Brooks said. "For them, planning for an actual crisis is just too scary, too paralyzing to think about. Make it a zombie attack, though, then there’s some psychological padding."

Pandemic disease is something our culture thinks about, knows about, fears. It's so topmost on our minds and in our nightmares that we've created an elaborate metaphorical architecture so we can talk about it even with people who are too scared to talk about it. We think about it so much, it seems almost ridiculous that we aren't ready. But we're not. Not even close.

Just look what happened with Ebola.

III. The "luck" of the Ebola outbreak

Ron Klain was an odd choice for Ebola czar.

Klain entered the Obama administration as Vice President Joe Biden's chief of staff. This was, itself, notable: Klain was chief of staff to Vice President Al Gore, too, making him the only person to serve in that position for two different vice presidents.

He quickly proved himself an exceptional fixer for the Obama administration, with a mix of policy, political, and bureaucratic chops that everyone agreed was rare. And so when President Obama needed someone to coordinate the US government's response, he turned to Klain. And Klain did his job. After a few early, botched cases, the Ebola outbreak ended on American soil. Ebola became what Americans were used to it being: someone else's problem.

(John Moore/Getty Images)

But talk to Klain today, and he doesn't sound like a guy exulting in victory. He sounds scared. He doesn't think Ebola showed that America's response can work. He thinks it showed how easily it could fail.

"You can’t use the word lucky or fortunate about something like Ebola that killed 10,000 people," Klain says. "But it was the most favorable scenario for the world to face one of these things. Ebola is very difficult to transmit. Everyone who is contagious has a visible symptom. It broke out in three relatively small countries that don’t send many travelers to the US. And those three countries have good relationships with America and were welcoming of Western aid."

"With a pandemic flu, the disease would be much more contagious than Ebola," Klain continues. "The people who are contagious may not have visible symptoms. It could break out in a highly populous country that sends thousands of travelers a day to the US. It could be a country with megacities with tens of millions of people. And it could be a country where sending in the 101st Airborne isn’t possible."

Ebola, Klain thinks, shows how unprepared the world was for a disease that it's known about for decades and that, comparatively speaking, spreads pretty slowly. A person infected with Ebola can be expected to pass the disease on to two people, barring effective countermeasures (epidemiologists call this the "reproduction number"). Two is not that high, as these things go. The SARS virus had a reproduction number of four. Measles has a reproduction number of 18.

What happens when the world faces a lethal disease we're not used to, with a reproduction number of five or eight or 10? What if it starts in a megacity? What if, unlike Ebola, it's contagious before the patient is showing obvious symptoms?

Past experience isn't comforting. "If you look at the H1N1 flu in 2009," Klain says, "it had spread around the world before we even knew it existed."

IV. How human beings have helped infectious disease

Behind Gates's fear of pandemic disease is an algorithmic model of how disease moves through the modern world. He funded that model to help with his foundation's work eradicating polio. But then he used it to look into how a disease that acted like the Spanish flu of 1918 would work in today's world.

The results were shocking, even to Gates. "Within 60 days it's basically in all urban centers around the entire globe," he says. "That didn't happen with the Spanish flu."

Airports: first you pack people into a tight space together to share germs, and then you send them all over the world. (Carl de Souza/AFP/Getty Images)

The basic reason the disease could spread so fast is that human beings now move around so fast. Gates's modelers found that about 50 times more people cross borders today than did so in 1918. And any new disease will cross those borders with them — and will do it before we necessarily even know there is a new disease. Remember what Ron Klain said: "If you look at the H1N1 flu in 2009, it had spread around the world before we even knew it existed."

Gates's model showed that a Spanish flu–like disease unleashed on the modern world would kill more than 33 million people in 250 days.

"We've created, in terms of spread, the most dangerous environment that we've ever had in the history of mankind," Gates says.

V. Underdeveloped health systems threaten developed countries

The science fiction writer William Gibson has a good line: the future is already here, it's just not evenly distributed. And nowhere is that truer than in health care.

According to the World Health Organization, the United States spends more than $8,000 per person, per year, on health care. Eritrea spends less than $20. Traditionally, Americans thinks of that as Eritrea's problem. But if a highly infectious, highly lethal new disease presents in Eritrea, and the world is slow to learn about it, then it will quickly become America's problem.

This is, of course, what happened with Ebola. If it had made its first appearance in the United States, it likely would have been caught, and contained, quickly. But as my colleague Julia Belluz wrote, the countries where the 2014 outbreak began "happen to be three of the poorest in the world, and it took them at least three months to even realize they were harboring an Ebola outbreak." By the time Ebola was recognized, it was already out of control — and so, for the first time, it made its way to American shores.

When I ask the CDC's Frieden what's needed to catch these diseases early, he doesn't hesitate. "The most effective way to protect people is basic public health infrastructure," he says. "That means laboratories for finding specimens, getting them tested, and discovering what's spreading. It means field epidemiologists. It means emergency operation centers. And you need to have that available day in and day out. If we've learned anything, it’s that you want an everyday public health system you can scale up for an emergency, not a system you only use in case of emergencies."

The good news is this kind of system isn't all that expensive. Basic public health infrastructure is fairly cheap — around a dollar per person, per year. "There’s no magic here," says Frieden. "In Uganda, you have motorcycle couriers picking up specimens from hundreds and hundreds of health-care centers all over the country. They then send them to centralized centers. The expense isn't huge."

The difficulty often isn't money; it's priorities. These aren't sexy investments. "It doesn’t cost nearly as much as building a fancy hospital in your capital," says Frieden, with evident frustration.

But if you can find the disease and test it, then modern technology really does come into play. We can rapidly decode the basic structure and pathways of new diseases in ways that were unimaginable even a few decades ago — and that means we can come up with a response much more rapidly.

That's the good news.

The bad news? "You need a government that works," sighs Frieden.

VI. "Are we sure [the WHO] can do better next time? No."

Pandemic infections present three basic problems of governance. The first is countries that don't want to admit they need international help because they don't want to admit they have a problem in the first place.

"Guinea did not want to declare an Ebola epidemic," Gates says, "because in terms of investors and travel, it's a death sentence."

And it wasn't just Guinea, or even just Ebola. As Michael Specter wrote in the New Yorker:

If SARS had been more contagious, it would have created the new millennium’s first grave public-health crisis. And yet, in 2002, after it first appeared, Chinese leaders, worried about trade and tourism, lied about the presence of the virus for months—insuring that it would spread. In 2004, when avian influenza first surfaced in Thailand, officials there displayed a similar reluctance to release information.

The second is countries that can't admit international help, either because the state is too weak and fragmented to effectively coordinate with international actors or because the state is hostile to the organizations that would need to come in and offer relief. Imagine an outbreak that begins in Syria right now, and you get the idea.

(Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)

The third problem is that no one really trusts the efficacy of the international institutions that would most naturally coordinate the response.

There is no other way to say this: the World Health Organization's Ebola performance was a disaster. "The WHO’s slow response to Ebola has been universally condemned," reported the Guardian. "The director general’s committee — which can declare a public health emergency — was not convened until August, eight months after the first cases and five months after public warnings from Médecins Sans Frontières, whose doctors were on the front line."

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel is now leading an effort to reform the organization. But similar mistakes during the SARS crisis and H1N1 have led to similar calls for WHO reform, and little has happened.

This isn't just an issue of bureaucratic incompetence. The WHO is underpowered for the problems it's meant to solve. About 75 percent of its funding comes from voluntary donations, and there's no mechanism by which it can quickly scale its efforts during an emergency. The WHO's member countries could fix this by giving the WHO more reliable, permanent funding — or even more reliable emergency funding mechanisms. But so far, no suggestions along those lines have gained much traction.

The result is that the WHO that will face the next major disease outbreak is likely to be quite similar to the WHO that faced Ebola, and H1N1, and SARS. As a senior US delegate to the World Health Assembly told Vox, "Are we sure [the WHO] can do better next time? No."

Whether through the WHO or some other mechanism, most experts agree that the world needs some kind of emergency-response team for dangerous diseases. But no one knows quite how to set up that team. "That's what we’re lacking in the global system — a battalion of people in white helmets," says Klain. "But who will own it? Control it? Pay for it? Deploy it? Those are the tricky things."

This is in stark contrast to war, which is not necessarily more deadly to the human race, but is much better planned for. "When you talk about war," Gates says, "there are all these rules about how the government can seize various ships. But when an epidemic comes along, who is supposed to survey the private capacity and go out there and grab all these things?"

Look at what happened during Ebola, Gates continues. "Where was the equivalent of the military reserve, where you get on the phone and you said to people, Now come! And they had been trained, and they understood how to work together. People who want to volunteer, do we pay them? What do we do with them after they come back, when people might have this fear that they've been exposed? Are employers going to take them back? What are the quarantine rules? It was completely ad hoc."

This is what's so maddening about the modern fight with epidemic disease. Unlike in past eras, humanity has the tools it needs to protect itself. But global travel has far outpaced global governance — or even global disease response. Diseases move much faster than governments. "This is the hole in the global system," Klain says, and no one really knows how to fix it.

28 May 00:21

O dromedário do meu pai Fugiu com o ornitorrinco da vizinha

by Pai Osias
800px-Coturnix_coturnix_eggs_normal.jpg
Author: Pai Osias
Source: Facebook
O dromedário do meu pai Fugiu com o ornitorrinco da vizinha
05 May 15:47

RT @reolix: os caras nao sabem brincar mesmo né http://t.co/eJtNVDdpxl

by Pai Osias
800px-Coturnix_coturnix_eggs_normal.jpg
Author: Pai Osias
Source: Mobile Web (M2)
RT @reolix: os caras nao sabem brincar mesmo né http://t.co/eJtNVDdpxl
CAjUuckWwAENlcC.jpg:large
17 May 12:01

"Star Wars is better when you realize everything Chewbacca says translates to ‘this is why I..."

Osiasjota

via Rosalind

“Star Wars is better when you realize everything Chewbacca says translates to ‘this is why I drink.’”

- R. Stevens
23 May 01:16

RT @raphaeldraccon: Imagem de hoje. http://t.co/d9bowdpvSN

by Pai Osias
800px-Coturnix_coturnix_eggs_normal.jpg
Author: Pai Osias
Source: Buffer
RT @raphaeldraccon: Imagem de hoje. http://t.co/d9bowdpvSN
CFYaa4fUEAAE4rF.jpg:large
20 May 20:54

ziraseal: naturemetaltolkien: English is a difficult language. It can be understood through...

ziraseal:

naturemetaltolkien:

English is a difficult language.

It can be understood through tough thorough thought, though.

you need to stop

02 Apr 13:12

Everything We Eat

by Michael Ruhlman
Osiasjota

Everything we eat is associated with both higher and lower rates of cancer.

  About goddam time. Finally people are starting to make sense. Two pieces in the NYTimes were back to back on the “most emailed” list when I checked yesterday morning. The first, and most important, was Aaron Carroll’s piece on how to eat sensibly: Red Meat Is Not the Enemy. The entire reported essay can be summed up by a large study cited with this rather obvious conclusion: “Everything we eat is associated with both higher and lower rates of cancer.” Ha! Take that, all you nutritional gurus. I need to write that again: Everything we eat is associated with both higher and lower rates of cancer. The author is a professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine. He blogs on health research and policy. His advice? Find a diet that works for you. And Read On »
19 May 12:08

Best job advert I have ever seen

anKrypq_700b.jpg
19 May 11:54

Strategic Territory

by noreply@blogger.com (the realist)
realist255EN.jpg
:: support this blog ($1 per month) and get access to sketches and notes of the process ::
02 Apr 14:20

California should raise the price of water

by noreply@blogger.com (Greg Mankiw)
Osiasjota

eu por mim privatizava tudo

There has been a lot of discussion of the drought in California and the new regulations that the state is putting in place.  But there has been little mention of the obvious (to an economist) solution: Raise the price of water.

This would do more than any set of regulations ever could.  For example, the governor is not going to force people to replace their old toilets with newer, more water-efficient ones.  But a higher price of water would encourage people to do that.  A higher price would also give farmers the right incentive to grow the most water-efficient crops. It would induce entrepreneurs to come up with new water-saving technologies. And so on.

Some may worry about the distributional effects of a higher price of a necessity.  But the revenue from a higher price could be rebated to consumers on a lump-sum basis, making the whole system progressive.  We would end up with more efficiency and more equality.
15 May 00:14

Cantem junto com o Donald.

by Zanfa

tumblr_nnyvikFIcA1qb5gkjo1_500

capinaremos?d=yIl2AUoC8zA capinaremos?i=xPqo_9PtlwE:yuLH98irQpo:V_ capinaremos?d=dnMXMwOfBR0
14 May 12:01

Stannis “The Mannis” Baratheon: Why he’s the best “Game of Thrones” character — and rightful king of Westeros

Note: this post is written from the perspective of a non-book reader. I haven’t read the books and don’t have any plans to.

While he may not have the innate charisma of an Arya Stark or a Tyrion Lannister, or the youthful idealism of a Daenerys Targaryen or Jon Snow, for me, the choice is clear: Stannis Baratheon is the best character on “Game of Thrones.”

Usually when I say this, people think I’m joking, but I’m really not (although I have been known to say that my favorite “Mad Men” character is Pete Campbell, so take that for what it’s worth). But this season, I sense that people are starting to see what I’m seeing — the glowering middle-son of House Baratheon is secretly pretty badass. Ever since Stannis showed up at the Wall at the end of last season, the tide seems to be turning in the character’s favor. As Vox’s Kelsey McKinney wrote following the premiere, when Stannis finally shows his political savvy in negotiations with — and ultimately, execution of — Mance Rayder, ”no one is more surprised than me that my new favorite character is none other than Stannis Baratheon.”

But it doesn’t surprise me; I’ve found the Lord of Dragonstone undeniably magnetic from the beginning. It’s one of those fondnesses I find difficult to pinpoint, but here’s a start: In a world full of over-the-top, self-important drama queens — Cersei in her flowing brocade gowns, Tyrion with his boozing and his zingers, Dany with her dragons and her proclamations — Stannis is hilariously, lovably square. Stannis, with his dour gray attire and somber smirk, has the look and disposition of, like, a middle-manager at an office supply company, or a chartered accountant. Everything about him is out of place amid the pomp and pageantry of Westeros. While I’m told the character is wittier and more sarcastic in the books, on the show, I kind of love how dry and prickly he is. It’s a breath of fresh air.



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The contrast of his unflappable sternness with the bizarro gang around him makes his whole story line more interesting. Stannis has a pretty ragtag band over there on Dragonstone — a well-read daughter with grayscale, an insane fundamentalist wife, a wise smuggler, and a red witch prone to birthing out murderous shadow-babies branded with his face (to be fair, he doesn’t have a great PR team). It could be a weird buddy comedy if there wasn’t so much fratricide and fundamentalism baked into the whole thing. Tucked away on Dragonstone, Stannis and his gang have been a bit isolated from the action thus far — but the interior dynamic, with the poor guy pulled between Davos and Melisandre — not to mention pulled between Melisandre and his wife — is a thrilling little character drama itself.  The whole creepy atmosphere of the place, along with actor Stephen Dillane’s’ nuanced characterization, leaves viewers guessing what’s going on in Stannis’ head, and what his ultimate motivations are. That’s why it was so thrilling when he surprised everyone at the Wall. What is the guy’s deal, you know?!

Of course, Stannis is also an underdog — both in terms of getting bumped unfairly out of the line of succession when it was his turn, and also in a narrative sense. He rarely gets the screen time or the scenery-chewing monologues of his fellow Iron Throne claimants. He’s just, well, competent, with what appears to be the most legitimate claim to the throne (not to get into it, but plenty of book readers have), a decent head for military strategy (he has a giant map!) and the ability to act rationally when needed (minus the Melisandre stuff, but nobody’s perfect).

Frankly, it’s refreshing to have someone in Westeros who actually seems like they are good at their job — who actually pays attention to the White Walker threat, for example, instead of quibbling among themselves over power and revenge. While other characters indulge their selfish whims or their shifting allegiances or are consumed by greed or vengeance, Stannis’ values are refreshingly old-fashioned: He wants to rule, and rule justly — even though no one will give him a chance.

As Thomas Fichtenmayer writes at Esquire:

“And that’s the quiet tragedy of Stannis Baratheon. Nobody picked him, nobody loves him. He could literally save the world, and it still wouldn’t gain him the throne, in the end. But the thing that makes him a true king is that he’s going to do it anyway.”

Much of Stannis’ appeal lies in the skill of British actor Stephen Dillane. Like “Game of Thrones” costars Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont), Charles Dance (Tywin, RIP) and Ciaran Hinds (Mance Rayder, RIP), Dillane brings a certain amount of gravitas and British acting heft to the role, which some of the show’s many newbies don’t have — Dillane has an impressive résumé; he has starred in acclaimed films like “Welcome to Sarajevo,” “Fugitive Pieces” and “The Hours,” won a Tony for “The Real Thing,” a BAFTA for “The Shooting of Thomas Hurndall” and an Emmy nomination for playing Thomas Jefferson in the “John Adams” miniseries. Dillane skillfully handles the character’s nuances, of which there are many — yet another reason the character appeals. He’s broody and devious (murdering his brother) and yet also strangely kind and noble (like in his loyalty to Davos, or when he prevents his wife from slapping his daughter).

And as we saw up at the Battle of Blackwater, or up at the Wall in these last two episodes, Stannis has a certain untapped charisma and badass strength to him. Per Christopher Orr at the Atlantic, “If anyone can offer the show a little Tywin-like gravitas this season, it will likely be him.”

I also love the fact that Stephen Dillane sort of is Stannis. He doesn’t give many interviews or do much publicity from the show, and when he does he sounds exactly as you might imagine. This is an excerpt from the Guardian Q&A:

What makes you unhappy?
Other people.

What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
A sense of purpose.

How often do you have sex?
Between and including never and often.

And here, in the Huffington Post, on why he doesn’t like the nudity on the show:

“I’m a bit old for it. It doesn’t particularly appeal to me, reminds me of German porn from the 1970s. But I presume it serves a purpose, and the merits of the show far outweigh my concerns on that score.”

So what does he like about the show?

“I think it’s an accurate and truthful reflection of how power operates, in different societies, and the relatively small part love and affection play in things.”

Yes. Classic Stan man.

If you’re a book reader, you might be annoyed with me at this point in the essay because — as I discovered while researching — a lot of book readers actually love Stannis. On tumblrs with names like theonetruekingstannis.tumblr.com and fuckyeahkingstannis.tumblr.com you can scroll through GIFs with funny quotes on them and impressionistic drawings of him, and read paeans to the one true king. I like him even more knowing this bizarre level of devotion exists:


See more on Know Your Meme


See more on Know Your Meme


See more on Know Your Meme

As I discovered when I plunged down the Stannis the Mannis rabbit hole, many fans feel that Benioff and Weiss gave short shrift to the character on the show and have underplayed his sense of humor and deadpan delivery, as well as the sense of duty and strong leadership he embodies. Here are some book readers in their own words, responding to variations of the oft-asked question, “Why does anyone like Stannis?”

“He is absolutely relentless, even in the face of overwhelming odds. He is an underdog and I think that appeals to people. He has no dragons, few men, not much money and not many people like him. But he has so far outlasted foes like Joffrey who had far more power and foes like Renly and Robb who were more likable. He is a teeth-grinding Little Engine That Could. There is also something refreshing about his interpretation of the law; he can be a dick about it, but he is essentially just seeing the letter of the law through. He has also managed to win the loyalty and respect of someone like Davos.” –Quora user Kelsey L. Hayes

Dany wants the throne because she believes it is her birthright and whatever else Viserys drilled into her mind. Robb wants to be independent because his bannermen want to. Joffrey doesn’t give two shits about Westeros. Renly wanted to be king because he thought he’d be a good one. Finally, Balon wanted to be a King to return to the old way. Notice a trend? They all don’t take their title Protector of the Realm seriously. Stannis is one of the only people to realize that he needs to save the Kingdom before he can rule it, and he follows this principle. –Reddit user TheAvenger1234

“in my opinion Stannis is the epitome of justice. His moral compass is what is stated in the laws and customs of the Seven Kingdoms. He may have felt slighted by Robert after the rebellion, but does he bitch about it and start another war? No. Stannis only goes after the throne after Ned sends word he is next in line. A king protects the realm, Stannis did that at the wall as soon as he heard what was happening. Stannis offers Jon Winterfell and legitimacy because he knows Starks are what the North follows. Does he bitch about Jon saying no? A little but he is not going to let that stop his quest for what is rightfully his. Stannis is the Mannis.” — Reddit user Profesdur

And my favorite:

“He’s an absolute badass. He’s the Clint Eastwood of Westeros.” — IGN forum user DigInTheCrates

There you have it!

I don’t know what’s next for Stannis, but judging by what book fans are saying, things are about to heat up for our man at the Wall. Perhaps Stannis will redeem himself in this story line with Jon Snow, and will finally find the love among TV fans that he found during the book. Maybe viewers will realize the legitimacy of his claim and bend the knee in fealty to the one true King of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm, etc., etc. Maybe I just have bad taste. (Like I said: Pete Campbell!) Or maybe he’s about to prove himself, and you’ll all join me in being Stannis stans too. Winter is coming, after all.

Anna Silman

Anna Silman is Salon's deputy entertainment editor. Follow her on Twitter: @annaesilman.

More Anna Silman.
27 Apr 14:30

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - On the Topic of Early Birds and Worms

by admin@smbc-comics.com

Hovertext: The early human gets to keep its job!


New comic!
Today's News:
05 May 18:30

I have to agree with Mr. Tristan.

14 Apr 06:04

Do you have any basic knowledge of economics? How the hell would a basic income to everyone help anyone? They wouldn't be able to afford anything because it would just cause inflation, which means they would be in the same boat in which they started. If you think I'm wrong please enlighten me on how this wouldn't cause inflation to go through the roof.

Thank you for asking! I have a pretty fundamental understanding of economics.

  This link answers your question pretty thoroughly. 

But the short answer is: NO. Basic universal income is not the same as “printing money” so to speak, and inflation is not guaranteed. It simply redistributes money that is already in circulation more evenly.  In fact, we have REAL WORLD EXAMPLES of places that have Basic Income systems or partial basic income systems that have seen very little, or NO increases in inflation as a result!

In that link I provided, for example, it cites two examples: “In 1982, Alaska began providing a partial basic income annually to all its residents. Until the first dividend, Alaska had a higher rate of inflation than the rest of the United States. But ever since the dividend was introduced, Alaska has had a lower rate of inflation than the rest of the United States. A partial basic income was also provided in Kuwait in 2011, when every citizen was given $4,000. Fears of increasing inflation were rampant, as Kuwait already had high inflation. Instead of bad inflation getting worse, it actually got better, decreasing from record highs to under 4 percent.” 

23 Apr 14:22

1505 – Oportunidades

by Carlos Ruas

50

13 Mar 19:18

aspeckamongdots: I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard at a...



















aspeckamongdots:

I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard at a gif set in 6 years of tumbling

06 May 04:30

“Meet Amarelinho. He was a stray dog adopted by a gas...



“Meet Amarelinho. He was a stray dog adopted by a gas station’s staff a couple of years ago in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He “works” as a security guard for the station, and receives his payment in vet care, food, water, and metric tons of love.” -Parocia

08 May 21:44

RT @BoingBoing: A smartass explains why "Work Intelligent" poster is stupid. http://t.co/DXA3TYs92Z...

by Pai Osias
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Author: Pai Osias
Source: Twitter Web Client
RT @BoingBoing: A smartass explains why "Work Intelligent" poster is stupid. boingboing.net/2015/05/06/sma… http://t.co/CDi3O8gDAM
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05 May 15:47

let’s go to the movies!!

by kris

20150504-badmovie

the whole time i was in the theater, i was just trying to come up with a pun on the title to tweet. i guess i didn’t have to go, since i already knew what the title was. i didn’t actually see the movie

30 Apr 15:24

"Everyone should have to be able to pass Calc 1 and Calc 2 to get through college. Regardless of..."

“Everyone should have to be able to pass Calc 1 and Calc 2 to get through college. Regardless of major everyone should know how to do derivatives and integrals.”

-

Third-year chemistry major, submitted by 

theplains-bitterdancer

01 May 12:10

RT @homembarata: Galera, variável pra loop é i, j e k. Não inventem moda... E se...

by Pai Osias
800px-Coturnix_coturnix_eggs_normal.jpg
Author: Pai Osias
Source: Dabr
RT @homembarata: Galera, variável pra loop é i, j e k. Não inventem moda... E se vc precisar de mais do q 3, arruma esse código aí!
30 Apr 01:53

Resumindo todas as tiras do Armandinho já publicadas: http://t.co/84gIXFTuBG

by Pai Osias
800px-Coturnix_coturnix_eggs_normal.jpg
Author: Pai Osias
Source: Twitter Web Client
Resumindo todas as tiras do Armandinho já publicadas: http://t.co/84gIXFTuBG
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Location: Brazil

26 Apr 17:37

The Returned: é esquisito e irritante ver uma série/filme em que ninguém faz as perguntas...

by Pai Osias
800px-Coturnix_coturnix_eggs_normal.jpg
Author: Pai Osias
Source: Facebook
The Returned: é esquisito e irritante ver uma série/filme em que ninguém faz as perguntas que devia estar fazendo e deixa rolar
24 Apr 03:05

"China Says Please Stop Hiring Funeral Strippers"

by noreply@blogger.com (John)
Osiasjota

I hate the onion

WSJ:
The point of inviting strippers...was to attract large crowds to the deceased’s funeral – seen as a harbinger of good fortune in the afterlife.
24 Apr 14:44

owlturdcomix: Magic is real, sometimes.image | twitter |...





















owlturdcomix:

Magic is real, sometimes.

image | twitter | facebook

25 Apr 13:05

angel-cine: Lajja (2001)

Courtney shared this story from Super Opinionated.













angel-cine:

Lajja (2001)

24 Apr 19:32

The Inverted Architecture and Gravity-Defying Worlds of Cinta Vidal

by Christopher Jobson

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In her latest series of paintings, Barcelona-based artist and illustrator Cinta Vidal Agulló defies gravity and architectural conventions to create encapsulated scenes of intersecting perspectives. Painted with acrylic on wood panels, Vidal refers to the paintings as “un-gravity constructions” and says that each piece examines how a person’s internal perspective of life may not match up with the reality around them. The intersecting planes on many of her paintings are somewhat reminiscent of drawings by M.C. Escher, where every angle and available surface is inhabited by colorful characters going about their daily lives. She shares in a new interview with Hi-Fructose:

With these un-gravity constructions, I want to show that we live in one world, but we live in it in very different ways – playing with everyday objects and spaces, placed in impossible ways to express that many times, the inner dimension of each one of us does not match the mental structures of those around us. The architectural spaces and day-to-day objects are part of a metaphor of how difficult it is to fit everything that shapes our daily space: our relationships, work, ambitions, and dreams.

Vidal just opened a new exhibition of work at Miscelanea BCN in Barcelona and you can read an in-depth conversation with the artist on Hi-Fructose.

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25 Apr 00:52

30 anos depois tanto a Marvel quanto a DC ainda sugam do trabalho de Frank Miller

by Pai Osias
800px-Coturnix_coturnix_eggs_normal.jpg
Author: Pai Osias
Source: Facebook
30 anos depois tanto a Marvel quanto a DC ainda sugam do trabalho de Frank Miller
25 Apr 00:51

Toda uma vida tentando convencer Suassuna que ao redor do buraco tudo é beira.

by Pai Osias
800px-Coturnix_coturnix_eggs_normal.jpg
Author: Pai Osias
Source: Facebook
Toda uma vida tentando convencer Suassuna que ao redor do buraco tudo é beira.