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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Chatterbox: The Internet Is Talking About Electric Cars, Depressing Cat Bites, and Mind-Controlling Monkeys

Posted by on Thu, Feb 20, 2014 at 5:05 PM

Obama's Budget: It doesn't sacrifice Social Security in an attempt to appease Republicans. Republicans, predictably, are upset.

That's Why She's "Dear" Dear Abby patiently explained to a bigoted homophobic couple exactly why they're bigoted and homophobic.

Last Night a DJ Complained About IKEA Until I Died: Record collectors are very upset that IKEA is discontinuing its Expedit shelving system, which is generally regarded as the best for storing records.

Tesla's Doing Well: Electric car manufacturer Tesla shares some big dreams in a letter to shareholders. Also, Elon Musk hinted that Apple talked about buying Tesla recently, but he says that's "very unlikely" to happen.

Depressed? Maybe it's because your cat bit you:

After combing through the health records of 1.3 million people over 10 years, researchers found an unusual link between cat bites and depression. More than 41 percent of those who had presented to hospitals with cat bites were also treated for depression at some point.

"Fantastic?" Let's See What the Internet Has to Say About That: The cast for the new Fantastic Four movie has been revealed, and everyone has opinions about it. Since one of the actors is black, a lot of the people who have opinions about it are idiots. Let's not publish or retweet those racist comments, okay? Leave them to their petty little anonymous lives and wait for them to disappear, the way racists always do.

Headline of the Day: "Monkey Mind-Control Holds Promise for Paraplegics"

Okay, but Why? A group of people want to publish all of Wikipedia in book form.

 

Comments (24) RSS

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biffp 1
And the US womens Olympic hockey team.
Posted by biffp on February 20, 2014 at 5:15 PM · Report this
2
Correlation does not equal causation. Maybe people prone to depression are less likely to be patient and loving toward a cat? Maybe there's a gene that inclines someone towards depression and also makes them smell less good to cats? Maybe tons of possible things.
Posted by uncreative on February 20, 2014 at 5:35 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 3
Tons of books of Wikipedia articles have been published. You run into them sometimes on Amazon and Google Books. Nobody's ever bought one. So this "new" thing is yet another attempt to sell air conditioners to Eskimos.

But listen, the real shame is that there are millions of photos and other content copyrighted by pro photographer who would be willing to donate their work to Wikipedia, if it wasn't for that annoying must be licensed for commercial reuse rule on all Wikipedia content. It's there for no good reason except the Ayn Randian (Jimmy Wales's idol) notion that somebody will figure out a way to make a buck off all this community work. But that's stupid, obviously. Wikipedia is free and that's the point.

And Wikipedia could be much richer without an Objectivist at the helm rejecting donations with a no-commercial-reuse restriction.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on February 20, 2014 at 5:41 PM · Report this
4
Good for the President, and that response Abby had was hilarious to read.
Posted by dkjndmsahksdhksal on February 20, 2014 at 6:28 PM · Report this
raindrop 5
@2: Indeed. Let's take two seemingly unrelated things, cat bites and depression and plow through data and look for patterns. It's like the fortune teller saying "someone in your life wants to get back together" or a faith healer saying "you have a bum knee, don't you?"
Academics look at that stuff and call it smoke and mirrors, but not the same for these junk science reports?

Anecdotaly, I have a cat that loved to give little "love nips". She once broke the skin and I promptly got on antibiotics. Since then we changed our play and worship routine so its no longer an issue.

Posted by raindrop on February 20, 2014 at 6:30 PM · Report this
Dr. Z 6
If you own a cat, keep lots of triple antibiotic and Bactine antiseptic rinse on hand in case you are accidentally scratched or bitten a little too hard.
Posted by Dr. Z on February 20, 2014 at 6:36 PM · Report this
7
Yo, Paul: something I've noticed you do all the time, but let me point it out directly in this instance:

You have a story about Dear Abby having a response to someone's letter, so you link to another goddamn blog instead of to the Dear Abby thing itself?

That's almost worse than watching CNN report that USA Today is reporting that somebody's doing something.
Posted by UberAlles on February 20, 2014 at 7:50 PM · Report this
8
Depressed people own cats...
Posted by drshort on February 20, 2014 at 7:59 PM · Report this
Phoebe in Wallingford 9
@8: Perhaps, but it would be far more depressing to live without them!
Posted by Phoebe in Wallingford on February 20, 2014 at 8:04 PM · Report this
Ernie1 10
@7 I thought the same thing, assumed it had to do with delivering clicks to a fellow blogger.

You had to click through to read the letter for the whole context anyway, so why not link it directly?

Posted by Ernie1 on February 20, 2014 at 8:46 PM · Report this
long-time reader 11
@6, if your cats are scratching and biting you, I suggest you find them a better home.
Posted by long-time reader on February 20, 2014 at 9:17 PM · Report this
12
@8 or depressed people's cats are more likely to get upset, then bite or scratch. Really anything other than cat bites cause depression.
Posted by tacky on February 20, 2014 at 10:52 PM · Report this
13
Cats are dicks and like kicking people when they are down.
Posted by carrma on February 20, 2014 at 11:28 PM · Report this
14
A lot of people are also complaining about Sue being white. The big backlash I've seen has been of the "why not a black actress for Sue? She and Johnny are siblings!" type. While I've no doubt there's plenty of racists commenting too, I'm a little disappointed no mention was made of the other side of this debate.
Posted by Freudiandave on February 21, 2014 at 8:25 AM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 15
House of Cards spoiler regarding Kate Mara, so I'm writing it standing on my head:

˙sǝᴉɹǝs ǝɥʇ ɹoɟ doʇ ǝɥʇ ɹǝʌo ʇᴉq ɐ ʇsnɾ puɐ ƃuᴉɹɹɐɾ ʎllɐǝɹ pǝɯǝǝs ʇsnɾ ʇI ˙ǝloɹ ǝᴉʌoɯ sᴉɥʇ ƃuᴉʞɐʇ sɐʍ ǝɥs ǝsnɐɔǝq sᴉ ʇᴉ ɟᴉ ɹǝpuoʍ I ʍou puɐ spɹɐƆ ɟo ǝsnoH ɟo ᄅ0S uᴉ ʎlɹɐǝ ʎllɐǝɹ ɹǝʇɔɐɹɐɥɔ sǝuɹɐq ǝoZ ǝɥʇ ɟɟo pǝllᴉʞ ʎǝɥʇ ǝsnɐɔǝq pɐɯ ʇsnɾ ɯ,I

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on February 21, 2014 at 8:55 AM · Report this
16
What actually offensive about the casting is that they reduced Michael B Jordan down to tokenism when they decided not to follow through and cast a black actress to play his freakin' sister! Guess Hollywood is not ready to cast a black woman in a leading role in a superhero movie. Kind of shameful.
Posted by LukeJoe on February 21, 2014 at 9:00 AM · Report this
17
"Republicans, predictably, are upset."

...but are they more or less upset than they would have been otherwise?

It's like those blokes have been playing the Republican Outrage Machine at ten. They're on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, they're on ten on their "news" channel. Where can you go from there? Where? So then they got an amp that goes to eleven, for when they need that extra push over the cliff. Eleven. Exactly. One louder.

Only now they just always play it at eleven.
Posted by Their Drummer's Keep Ending Under Strange Circumstances on February 21, 2014 at 9:05 AM · Report this
18
Cats and depression. The first rule of assessing any suggested link is to remember that correlation and causation are not the same thing.
Posted by NotYourStrawMan on February 21, 2014 at 9:47 AM · Report this
19
I wonder how many people are going to get rid of their cats when this makes CNN. :( I hate crap studies like this.
Posted by seattleeco on February 21, 2014 at 9:58 AM · Report this
Phoebe in Wallingford 20
@11: No, there are cats that need homes period. Some scratching and biting are a part of their play, after all - they are cats. And don't even think of declawing!
Posted by Phoebe in Wallingford on February 21, 2014 at 10:29 AM · Report this
venomlash 21
xkcd already touched on the inherent issue with printed versions of Wikipedia: https://what-if.xkcd.com/59/
Posted by venomlash on February 21, 2014 at 10:49 AM · Report this
Phoebe in Wallingford 22
@21: Thank you for that.
Posted by Phoebe in Wallingford on February 21, 2014 at 11:10 AM · Report this
23
@7: It's called laziness.
Posted by bigyaz on February 21, 2014 at 12:39 PM · Report this
24
@5: Nothing in the story says anything about causation. But it's a remarkable number, and it's interesting to discuss possible links.

@2: People who pronounce "Correlation does not equal causation!" make it sounds as if they're the only ones who took Statistics 101.
Posted by bigyaz on February 21, 2014 at 12:54 PM · Report this

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