I’m more interested in orange juice than is probably healthy for somebody who doesn’t work in the industry and, as such, I’m excited to see Bloomberg Businessweek shining a spotlight on the horseshit that is "fresh squeezed," "not from concentrate," and "all-natural." These are all lies. It was squeezed months ago. It was concentrated to a point a hair’s breadth from the legal definition of "concentrated." It’s not natural, it’s created in a lab in a process more complicated than Coca-Cola. If you drank the stuff as its stored in giant vats, you’d spit it out—it’s flavorless at best, disgusting at worst. It’s only through adding a cocktail of lab-created flavorings that it takes like something that came out of an orange. Because those lab-created flavorings are based on molecules that are found somewhere—anywhere—in nature, they can be labelled "natural flavors," instead of "artificial flavors." →
The prior chair of the Florida Republican Party (2006–2010) and former governor Charlie Crist (2007–2011) have both told the Palm Beach Post that they didn’t push voter ID laws and the like in order to reduce fraud (there is none)—they did it to suppress turnout. The more people voting, the better Democrats do. They invented the fraud concern as a “marketing ploy.” Both men are on the outs with Florida Republicans, and this probably isn’t helping them make up. →
Miami-Dade County, famously, has established laws that prohibit sex offenders from being within half a mile of a park, school, day care, or any place where children could hypothetically gather. In reality, that made it impossible for the city’s sex offenders to live anywhere at all, other than camping under the Julia Tuttle Causeway. (Until a few years ago, probation officers were instructing newly released prisoners to go live there.) It turned out there was another legal spot—a chunk of vacant, city-owned land—and a dozen sex offenders had started camping there, at the advice of probation officers, the men say. So the city established a “park” there—they plopped some rusty toys on the 100-by-40 foot parcel of land and declared it consequently off-limits to sex offenders. →
- Aloha Editor
I love this HTML5 WYSIWYG editor. They had me at the introductory paragraph, what with the editing of it. I haven't implemented it anywhere, but I love the concept.
- Slow Clap for Congress
Dear Congress, For your leadership, your maturity, and your inspiring ability to perform the basic duties of your job, We applaud you.
- PolitiFact: Florida state investment chief says transparency was a big issue for lawmakers in 2011
Here's a great use of legislative video: to fact-check a claim that financial transparency "got a great airing" during a recent session. PolitiFact Florida checked the video and calculated that a total of 36 minutes was spent on the topic, 25 minutes from just one senator. Legislative video is important stuff.
- Internet Archive: Mother’s Best Flour
This collection of songs from the "Mother's Best Flour" radio show is a must-listen for country fans. There are 70 shows of Hank Williams’ performances, from 1950–1951, many of which include first-ever performances of some classics. Each show includes in-studio chatter, which is fun to listen to, along with the constant promotions for the advertiser's brand of flour.
- TPM: ‘Sovereign Citizen’ Opens Fire On Store Because It Ran Out Of Crawfish
42-year-old Larry Wayne Kelly—yes, middle name "Wayne"— opened fire on Pensacola's L&T Seafood Market with an AK-47 after they sold out of crawfish. When police tried to arrest them, he tried to run them down with his car. But it's OK, Kelly says, because he's a "sovereign citizen"—laws don't apply to him.
- Quora: Is the cryptocurrency Bitcoin a good idea?
This economist makes a good argument that Bitcoin is, at best, a terrible idea and, at worst, a scam.
- Wikipedia: List of IARC Group 2B carcinogens
I thought it was big news that the World Health Organization had classified cell phones as a potential carcinogen, until I read more about "Group 2B," as it's been classified. Also on the list is baby powder, carpentry, coffee, and pickles. These are things that may or may not be carcinogens—nobody knows for sure. Most humans on the planet have mobiles phones, yet brain tumors are no more common now than they've ever been—that seems to settle it for me, at least given the current paucity of evidence.
- NPR: Florida Bill Could Muzzle Doctors On Gun Safety
An NRA-written bill has passed the Florida legislature, and is likely to be signed by the governor, that will make it illegal for doctors to advise patients on gun safety. (Pediatricians frequently advise new parents on how to store firearms safely, and doctors concerned about teenagers' mental health want to make sure they're not a danger to themselves or others.) Every time I think about joining the NRA, they remind me that they are wretched human beings.
- Boing Boing: Portable Pepper Mill
I like Boing Boing a lot, I really do. I tire of Cory Doctorow writing about Cory Doctorow—nearly everything he writes—and I even subscribe via a Yahoo Pipe that removes anything containing the word "steampunk," but easily 10% of the posts are pure gold. But their "Cool Tools" section has gotten totally ridiculous. Exhibit A is this post, where the unnamed author says that she would "never go anywhere without [her] portable pepper mill," and then pimps the Vic Firth Pump and Grind Pepper Mill, complete with Amazon referral link. Which raises such questions as a) She really doesn't go to many places, does she? b) Aren't all pepper mills portable? and c) When did she become such an asshole?
- The Guardian: Osama bin Laden death—The conspiracy theories
Here's what the crazies think. A Fox News anchor says that Obama is lying about Bin Laden's death to get reelected. Glenn Beck says Bin Laden is alive, as a captive, being interrogated about where he's hiding his secret nuclear bomb. Conservative radio host Alex Jones says that Bin Laden was killed nine years ago, but was kept frozen until such as time as it would be convenient to claim that he'd just been killed.
- Bacon’s Rebellion: Why, Bob, Why?
Peter Galuszka contrasts Bob McDonnell's cutting $0.4M in funding for public broadcasting from the state budget and giving $3.5M to Steven Spielberg to make a movie. Not only is cutting funding for public broadcasting an economically unsound decision (that's how schools get some of their educational materials, which they'll now have to pay for to get from elsewhere), but giving 775% more to a private film production company a few days later is deeply hypocritical.