Categories
language

Contronyms

The English language is full of words that mean two opposing definitions at the same time. These words are called contronyms.

From a list of 75 that I found online; read and behold the paradox of the contronym:

1. Apology: A statement of contrition for an action, or a defense of one
2. Aught: All, or nothing
3. Bill: A payment, or an invoice for payment
4. Bolt: To secure, or to flee
5. Bound: Heading to a destination, or restrained from movement
6. Buckle: To connect, or to break or collapse
7. Cleave: To adhere, or to separate
8. Clip: To fasten, or detach
9. Consult: To offer advice, or to obtain it
10. Continue: To keep doing an action, or to suspend an action
11. Custom: A common practice, or a special treatment
12. Dike: A wall to prevent flooding, or a ditch
13. Discursive: Moving in an orderly fashion among topics, or proceeding aimlessly in a discussion
14. Dollop: A large amount (British English), or a small amount
15. Dust: To add fine particles, or to remove them
16. Enjoin: To impose, or to prohibit
17. Fast: Quick, or stuck or made stable
18. Fine: Excellent, or acceptable or good enough
19. Finished: Completed, or ended or destroyed
20. First degree: Most severe in the case of a murder charge, or least severe in reference to a burn
21. Fix: To repair, or to castrate
22. Flog: To promote persistently, or to criticize or beat
23. Garnish: To furnish, as with food preparation, or to take away, as with wages
24. Give out: To provide, or to stop because of a lack of supply
25. Go: To proceed or succeed, or to weaken or fail

Categories
ethics technology

Zoom Helped Chinese Surveillance

Should we continue to use — and promote the use of — Zoom at institutions and organizations that stand for liberal democratic values when Zoom has been discovered terminating accounts and disrupting video calls about the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre of pro-democracy activists? Obviously, we should find something else.

From The Washington Post:

Prosecutors said the China-based executive, Xinjiang Jin, worked as Zoom’s primary liaison with Chinese law enforcement and intelligence services, sharing user information and terminating video calls at the Chinese government’s request.

If our organizations believe in free speech then it behooves us to tell our organizations about Zoom.

Zoom continues to fail us and mark my words, this will not be the last time we hear that this corrupt company is in the news.

Categories
Uncategorized

Remembering Aaron

It’s been eight years. I’m still shocked and disappointed.

Categories
humor Politics

Sedition!

I’d never heard of Randy Rainbow, but he’s got quite the collection of song parody YouTube videos. I especially liked this one about sedition.

It’s amazing the amount of work he must have put into this video and the speed in which he put it out. Mark Evanier suggests Randy Rainbow is a one man show:

Supposedly, he does all this himself from a not-huge apartment in New York…and he’s got to do it quickly because these days, current news has — as Jon Stewart used to say of The Daily Show — the shelf life of potato salad. “Topical Humor” used to be about something that had happened in the last month or so. Now, folks like him and Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert and Trevor Noah and Jimmy Kimmel are going on-air or on the web with material about what happened six hours ago…or less. No wonder MAD Magazine with its six-week lead time couldn’t compete.

Categories
Politics

Kieran Healy on the Mob at the Capitol

Required reading: author and researcher Kieran Healy on what happened during the mob raid of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

From the moment he knew he’d lost the presidential election, Trump absolutely wanted to get the result overturned. Some large proportion of his own staff and Congressional Republicans thought there was no harm in humoring him. Many surely knew him well enough to realize he was quite serious about it. But most, falling into a way of thinking that Trump has repeatedly benefited from over his entire career, and especially during his Presidency, figured that he could not possibly overcome the weight of institutional and conventional pressure behind the transition of power. Still, by the first week of January he had not relented in his efforts to find some way to do it, whether through bullying local election officials, chasing wild geese through the courts, or directly intimidating state officials. That all failed, or looked like failing. The next thing on the horizon was Electoral College certification.

She points out that she doesn’t have any more information than anyone else following the story, but she does paint a coherent and plausible outline based on the facts we know of what Trump and the Whitehouse might have been thinking. I think this is exactly what happened.

Categories
finance

Money Stuff

I’ve never been a big subscriber to email newsletters — though apparently it’s all the rage these days. I finally decided to give it a try with Matt Levine’s Money Stuff and I’m seriously impressed. He’s been on leave since August and just started up again a couple of days ago. Anyway check out this excerpt from his newsletter from the heading $900 Million:

In August, just as I was going on leave, a group of hedge funds were in a bitter fight with Revlon Inc., which had made changes to its debt in a way that disadvantaged those funds. (It stripped collateral that was backing the loan they owned and used it to secure new debt that would be effectively senior to their loan; Mary Childs has a fun explanation here.) Those funds thought Revlon was violating its covenants and defaulting on its debt, making the debt due and payable immediately; Revlon thought it was doing something tricky but allowed. The fight pitted experienced credit funds like Brigade Capital Management and HPS Investment Partners against famed corporate raider Ronald Perelman, Revlon’s controlling shareholder. Undoubtedly the hedge funds came into work on Aug. 11 expecting another day of hard fighting against opponents who would not give an inch.

But then instead the money just showed up in their bank accounts? Citigroup Inc. was the administrative agent for a $900 million Revlon loan that was the subject of the default dispute. It was supposed to wire an interest payment of about $8 million to the lenders on Aug. 11, but by accident it sent the whole $900 million instead. Oops!

Read the rest over at Bloomberg. You can get his content on the web but if you’re looking to give email newsletters a chance you can subscribe to Matt Levine’s Money Stuff.

I also get emails from the recently revived Today in Tabs (subscribe to newsletter) and the New York Times (subscribe to newsletter). I would probably go all in and buy a subscription to The Times but I’m worried that if I change my mind they are notoriously hard to cancel.

Categories
crime culture history Politics religion

The Title of Liberty

Despite LDS church officials distancing themselves from fringe conspiracy theories and congratulating incoming President elect Biden, we still witness the embarrassment of a Mormon proudly participating in yesterday’s debacle and broadcasting their association with the church publicly by flying the “title of liberty” pictured above and cosplaying as a warrior from the Book of Mormon.

From Wikipedia:

Moroni [a character from the Book of Mormon] is associated with the “title of liberty”, a standard that he raised to rally the Nephites to defend their liberties from a group of dissenters who wanted to establish their leader as a king. Moroni was so angry with Amalickiah’s dissention and wicked influence that he tore his coat and wrote upon it, “In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children.” With those words, he rallied his people to defend their families and their freedom and drive out the armies of Amalickiah. Moroni put to death any dissenters who did not flee and would not support the cause of freedom, and his ” title of liberty” was raised over every Nephite tower.

I guess I’m more disgusted by the so called Saints participating in this madness than others because of my background in the church and the sensitivity church members have with regard to fighting against the United States government. See also Articles of Faith: “12 We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.”

There are lunatics within any large enough group of people, but I even know some — heck, am related to them — that would not surprise me to hear they went to this level. (By his body size, I certainly don’t think this is someone that I know.)

As I mentioned previously, it shocks me the level of support Mormons give Trump.

Update: These tweets sum it up for me:

Categories
humor

American Chess Magazine’s Favourite Show

American Chess Magazine Releases Their List of the Top 1 Shows of 2020.

“ACM loves giving recommendations — like, where to put a knight or a pawn. Sometimes they recommend where to put a bishop or a rook; hell, even a queen. It’s wild. But a TV show to watch? I have no idea what they’re going to select,” reported Michelle Falls, an amateur chess player.

What will they possibly pick?

(via Marginal Revolution)

Categories
pandemic

Conspiracy Theory About the Coronavirus

I’m surprised how big the QAnon conspiracy thing has gotten. It’s gotten to the point that I personally know at least one person that has fallen for this 8chan LARPing BS and it boggles my mind.

In fact, I’m surprised that anybody believes any of the big conspiracy theories out there right now. Just today I was chatting with a coworker who said he heard that the coronavirus started in a lab in Wuhan China. I explained that I’ve heard those rumours too but from everything I’ve read they are just rumours and propoganda. I did a quick search this morning and found this article in New York Magazine:

Categories
Art download

Christmas Papercraft

Back in December I created a papercraft project for my grade 5 students. It’s a cute Christmas scene that I had the students cut out and paint and then glue onto cardstock. I based the Santa design on another papercraft that I found a link for on Pinterest but the original was gone so I whipped up my own version in Adobe Illustrator.




Here’s my version in case you’d like to make one yourself, modify it, or use it as a class project (next holiday season, obviously): holiday scene papercraft.pdf. (430KB)