“It’s pronounced ‘Fronkensteen’…”

CRISPR Research Moves Out Of Labs And Into Clinics Around The World : Shots – Health News : NPR: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/04/16/712402435/first-u-s-patients-treated-with-crispr-as-gene-editing-human-trials-get-underway

Pig Brains Partly Revived By Scientists Hours After Animals Died : Shots – Health News : NPR: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/04/17/714289322/scientists-restore-some-function-in-the-brains-of-dead-pigs

“Homo Deus” – Yuval Noah Harari: https://www.ynharari.com/book/homo-deus/Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow examines what might happen to the world when old myths are coupled with new godlike technologies, such as artificial intelligence and genetic engineering.”

Young Astronomer Uses Artificial Intelligence To Discover 2 Exoplanets : NPR: https://www.npr.org/2019/04/01/707967899/young-astronomer-uses-artificial-intelligence-to-discover-2-exoplanets

FDA “Artificial Intelligence Challenge”: How To Assess Safety And Effectiveness : Shots – Health News : NPR: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/04/14/711775543/how-can-we-be-sure-artificial-intelligence-is-safe-for-medical-use

Opinion: Playing with an old phrase, “from cradle to grave”. Maybe soon the concept will be “from conception to resurrection”…?

There’s a concept from sci-fi/superhero genre as well: “serial immortality”. All your memories backed up on computer, maybe a cybernetic implant continuously backing them up in real time.

If you get killed, the memories can be transferred. Used to be, maybe they’d be transferred to a robot or android. Or maybe stay online, in some sort of virtual “heaven”. Or transferred to a younger clone of yourself. Now: we can play [even more] with the idea of them being transferred into an “improved” version if your previous body. Or one completely different…?


Microplastic Found Even In The Air In France’s Pyrenees Mountains : NPR

Microplastic Found Even In The Air In France’s Pyrenees Mountains : NPR: https://www.npr.org/2019/04/15/713561484/microplastic-found-even-in-the-air-in-frances-pyrenees-mountains

‘Our Planet,’ A Nature Documentary Where The Real Predator Is Human Impact : NPR: https://www.npr.org/2019/04/15/713585983/our-planet-nature-documentary-addresses-the-800-pound-gorilla-human-impact

MPQ: “Marvel HeroPuzzleClixQuest”

EDIT (2019-04-14): Another personal milestone: broke the 6M ISO-8 ceiling. Still way, way behind many of my alliance members. They are *machines*.

EDIT (2019-02-27): Wa-Hoo! Finally broke the 5M ISO-8 ceiling. 😎 Yeah, I know: Many players have already done this, especially in my alliance. Just tooting my own horn about a “personal best”. Victory and Life are ephemeral, etc. Still, gonna enjoy it.

EDIT (2018-12-15): Hua! Finally broke the 4M ISO-8 ceiling!

EDIT (2018-10-10): And now, have broken the 3-million ISO-8 barrier!

EDIT (2018-07-28): And now, finally broke the 2-million Iso-8 barrier!

Below: Originally published 2018-05-28:

Personal nerdy milestone: after 1,348 days of playing “Marvel PuzzleQuest” game app on two different smartphones (spending more money and time on this time-waster than I should), finally passed the *one million Iso-8* threshold. It means nothing in the real world, but I feel a miniscule notion of “accomplishment” over it. I suppose.

Now, hoping to see if I can save up “Command Points” so I start get ahold of certain 5-star character covers I need for my “stable” of characters.

“Forbidden Cities”

Why Rent Control Doesn’t Work (Ep. 373) – Freakonomics Freakonomics: http://freakonomics.com/podcast/rent-control/

The Return of Rent Control : Planet Money : NPR: https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2019/03/05/700432258/the-return-of-rent-control

Oregon’s Experiment In Statewide Rent Control : NPR: https://www.npr.org/2019/03/30/708302378/oregons-experiment-in-statewide-rent-control


Inside The Panama & Paradise Papers : NPR: https://www.npr.org/2017/11/20/565497763/inside-the-panama-paradise-papers

Prosecutors File First U.S. Charges Stemming From 2016 Panama Papers Leak : NPR: https://www.npr.org/2018/12/06/673781386/prosecutors-file-first-u-s-charges-stemming-from-2016-panama-papers-leak

Game of Thrones ending won’t be “that different” from the books


OPINION: Well, that piece of fluff gave me everything I needed to know about the end on the “Game of Thrones” HBO TV series: Queen Circe wins, but rules over a continent of Tbe Dead, and look East for new lands to conquer.


David Rothkopf on Twitter: “Something broke in America this week. We have been spiraling downward since Trump’s election, but this week, we crossed a line. The President and his men began asserting that they were above the law–and effectively no one in our system did anything to stop them.” / Twitterhttps://twitter.com/djrothkopf/status/1116811681462616065

Wow, that is some Twitter-thread.

I think the system of checks and balances and power-sharing are under duress right now, strained. But, hope is not lost.

The Mueller report needs to be released in its entirity, unredacted if possible, leaked completely if necessary.

“A government of Laws, not of Men” I think is the saying. A lot of “Men” are confusing a “Man” with the importance of the Office in which he’s been entrusted on the behalf of We the People of the Republic.

Facts in context, revealing Truth. Use it as Light to burn away the Shadows of this “Game of Thrones”/”Merchants of Doubt” activity. Keep from collapsing into a corrupt, kleptocratic oligarchy.

American Businesses Stayed Quiet On Chinese Hackers, Amid Concerns For Profits : NPR

American Businesses Stayed Quiet On Chinese Hackers, Amid Concerns For Profits : NPR: https://www.npr.org/2019/04/12/711779130/as-china-hacked-u-s-businesses-turned-a-blind-eye

If We Can Keep It: Two Takes To Keep The Republic Strong (Rebroadcast) – 1A: https://the1a.org/shows/2019-04-08/if-we-can-keep-it-two-takes-to-keep-the-republic-strong-rebroadcast

George Packer on Richard Holbrooke and Pax Americana’s Decay – The Atlantic: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/05/george-packer-pax-americana-richard-holbrooke/586042/

‘The Turner Diaries’ Influence On White Nationalists : NPR: https://www.npr.org/2019/04/02/708999681/turner-diaries-influence-on-white-nationalists-continues-to-grow

Author J.M. Berger Says New Zealand Massacre Points To A Global Resurgence Of ‘Extremism’ : NPR: https://www.npr.org/2019/03/25/706482037/author-says-new-zealand-massacre-points-to-a-global-resurgence-of-extremism

Opinion: Fight the never-ending battle against Autocracy, Racism, Anti-Semitism, Fascism, and White Nationalism.

Embrace: the never-ending battle for Truth, Justice, Compassion, Equality, democratic-republican federalism, the Evolution of our Constitutional Republic, and The Melting Pot.

Bring back the Pax Americana.

Understanding Pregnancy Basics Could Make Childbirth Safer : Shots – Health News : NPR: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/02/18/693635055/scientific-duo-gets-back-to-basics-to-make-childbirth-safer


Standards Needed For Editing Of Human Germline : Shots – Health News : NPR: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/12/13/675567314/gene-edited-babies-claim-is-wake-up-call-for-world-leading-scientists-say

Radiolab | Radiolab Presents: Gonads | WNYC Studios: https://www.wnycstudios.org/shows/radiolab/projects/radiolab-presents-gonads

A Baby Born With 3 Parents’ DNA Looks Healthy So Far : Shots – Health News : NPR: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/04/08/523020895/a-baby-with-3-genetic-parents-seems-healthy-but-questions-remain

9 Months That Made You | PBS: https://www.pbs.org/show/9-months-made-you/

Frustration Grows Along With The Number of TV Streaming Services : NPR: https://www.npr.org/2019/03/23/702422888/too-much-video-streaming-to-choose-from-its-only-going-to-get-worse

Opinion: as a Marvel fan, I’m worried Disney’s streaming service will make it more difficult for me to enjoy my “Marvels”.

Have loved Netflix’ origi al Marvel shows. I feel I got lucky being able to finally watch on Netflix what I’d missed of the ABC Marvel’s “Agents of SHIELD” TV show, and wishing I could afford to buy the Agent Carter series so I could finish that. Haven’t even found the Freeform Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger series yet.

Nevermind having access to the MCU movies.

Despite Trump’s tax cuts that supposedly favored us working-class types, I haven’t got that much more I can spend. Gotta save for retirement, and stash money in my HSA, just in case of a catastrophic medical event, you know? And, hey, I’m married now….

“Electoral College”

Amendment XII – The United States Constitution: https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/amendments/amendment-xii

So, I was reading up on the 12th amendment to the Constitution, at the link above, both the text itself, and the articles about its effects.

Got me thinking about the Founders, and about the “Great Man” theory, and the “Best Men” notions [the twist on the “Great Man” theory that our Founders seem to have had, about “the best and brightest men of merit and character” being elected by We the People of the States and sent up to Federal level to represent and problem-solve and so on]; about how originally the thought seemed to be that the Electoral College would somehow forstall or negate formation or influence of political parties [it didn’t]; about how the person recieving the most Electoral votes would become President, and the “runner-up” would become Vice President, and that any political opposition they had against one another would be a kind of “check and balance”, part of the practice of government; how that didn’t work out so well, necessitating the 12th amendment making changes to the Electoral College and made it possible for political parties to put forth President/Vice President tickets.

Kinda no wonder then, how we’ve “boiled down” to a two-party political system [with a bunch of outlier lesser political parries that can’t get much if a foothold, and a nebulous number of “Independent” politicians that nevertheless have to ally themselves with either of the two big parties to have any influence], a “Duopoly” that encourages itself to become more and more polarizing. Worried that at some point, we might “flip” or “collapse” into some sort of one-party system.

Revisting: “America’s Hidden Duopoly” (Ep. 356) – Freakonomics Freakonomics: http://freakonomics.com/podcast/politics-industry/

I’m wanting to try “ranked choice voting” for electing persons to office, from local, to state, to federal. I keep hoping it would help for the emergence of a “three party plus Independents” system, enhance the principles of “checks and balances”, “power-sharing”, and “problem-solving compromise in the Public’s interest” I think the Founders were going for.

Would “ranked choice voting” require additional changes to the Electoral College system, or elimination of it? I mean, the existence of it and the way the country originally selected its President and Vice President almost seems like a proto-“ranked choice voting” experiment that needed refinement….?

Don’t know. I’m just a blue-collar tax-paying shlub. Would like to see something improve. And it seems like it’s time the “Grand Experiment” of the United States tried a couple more experiments, maybe using the Amendment system, to break out of its Duopoly gridlock, without collapsing into a single-party system…?

I mean, to me, it seems like the Founders recognized that people would always have certain fundamental differences of opinion and philosophy about how society would/could/should work, but the key was to accept they’d have those differences and instead work to recognize and solve common problems. Just reread The Preamble to the Constitution (the “mission statement”, as I like to think of it)…

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

… or that bit from the beginning of the Declaration of Independence…

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

[Sidebar: “Happiness” and “Pleasure” aren’t exactly the same thing. Just pointing that out.]

Anyway, I think “ranked choice voting” POTUS, and maybe VPOTUS, might help.

Of course, I also wonder if we should make sure that persons elected to the offices of POTUS and VPOTUS can’t serve as the “head” or “defacto head” of any political party while they hold the office. Not saying they can’t declare themselves members of a political party. Or align themselves with one. Or raise money for one while in office (I’m flexible on that one).

But, it might be in the nation’s best interest if, while in office, they didn’t seem to *have to* both run their political party and the government. I mean, seems like the Founders really tried to avoid the influence-peddling and pissing-matches they saw in Britain’s political parties dominating their Parliament, right?

Our POTUS isn’t exactly a Prime Minister, nor a King. Just one of the “Best Men [or Women]” of several, having to work with others to get things done. Right?

How A Lawsuit Challenging Obamacare Could Affect People With Pre-Existing Conditions : NPR: https://www.npr.org/2019/03/28/707722585/how-a-lawsuit-challenging-obamacare-could-affect-people-with-pre-existing-condit

We Need A Clear Replacement To Obamacare, Sen. Braun Says : NPR: https://www.npr.org/2019/03/28/707529131/we-need-a-clear-replacement-to-obamacare-sen-braun-says

[OPINION: “Obamacare” was actually a good start toward healthcare reform, but it was only a start. The bullshit over repealing or repeal/replace is just worthless “duopoly politics”, and of Conservatives wanting to erase the Black President from history, unthinkingly, hatefully, a bit of banal evil. Healthcare has problems, so work the problems.]

The Most Ambitious Thing Humans Have Ever Attempted (Ep. 333) – Freakonomics Freakonomics [Healthcare, Medicine, and Medical Checklists] http://freakonomics.com/podcast/atul-gawande/

Bad Medicine, Part 1: The Story of 98.6 (Ep. 268 Rebroadcast) – Freakonomics Freakonomics: http://freakonomics.com/podcast/bad-medicine-part-1-story-rebroadcast/

Bad Medicine, Part 2: (Drug) Trials and Tribulations (Ep. 269 Rebroadcast) – Freakonomics Freakonomics: http://freakonomics.com/podcast/bad-medicine-part-2-drug-trials-tribulations-rebroadcast/

Bad Medicine, Part 3: Death by Diagnosis (Ep. 270 Rebroadcast) – Freakonomics Freakonomics: http://freakonomics.com/podcast/bad-medicine-part-3-death-diagnosis-rebroadcast/

Akron Company Tests Hedgehog Quill Tech To Prevent Concussions | News | ideastream: https://www.ideastream.org/news/akron-company-tests-hedgehog-quill-tech-to-prevent-concussions

The STEM Read Podcast : NPR; https://www.npr.org/podcasts/557685529/the-s-t-e-m-read-podcast

How The First All-Female Spacewalk Could Be Foiled By A Spacesuit : NPR: https://www.npr.org/2019/03/26/706969363/how-the-first-all-female-spacewalk-could-be-foiled-by-a-spacesuit

For A Healthier Planet, Eat These 50 Foods, Campaign Urges : The Salt : NPR

For A Healthier Planet, Eat These 50 Foods, Campaign Urges : The Salt : NPR: https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2019/03/24/706004242/for-a-healthier-planet-eat-these-50-foods-campaign-urges

[Food and Long-Term Resource Management.]

Letter: Attorney General Barr Shares Summary Of Mueller Report Findings : NPR

Letter: Attorney General Barr Shares Summary Of Mueller Report Findings : NPR: https://www.npr.org/2019/03/24/706351394/read-the-justice-departments-summary-of-the-mueller-report

[Plenty of links to other helpful articles contained within.]


Seth Abramson on Twitter: “(THREAD) The Barr Summary—a very different document from the Mueller Report—is being woefully misread by media. It doesn’t import what media is suggesting it does. Lawyers are welcome to comment on this thread as I report the Summary accurately. I hope you’ll read on and retweet. https://t.co/8DGDxP94As” / Twitter: