Monday, April 22, 2019

April 22nd Links

  • Thus the multiplication of chiropractors in the Republic gives me a great deal of pleasure. It is agreeable to see so many morons getting slaughtered, and it is equally agreeable to see so many other morons getting rich. The art and mystery of scientific medicine, for a decade or more past, has been closed to all save the sons of wealthy men. It takes a small fortune to go through a Class A medical college, and by the time the graduate is able to make a living for himself he is entering upon middle age, and is commonly so disillusioned that he is unfit for practice. Worse, his fees for looking at tongues and feeling pulses tend to be cruelly high. His predecessors charged fifty cents and threw in the pills; his own charges approach those of divorce lawyers, consulting engineers and the higher hetaerae. Even general practice, in our great Babylons, has become a sort of specialty, with corresponding emolument. But the chiropractor, having no such investment in his training, can afford to work for more humane wages, and so he is getting more and more of the trade. Six weeks after he leaves his job at the filling-station or abandons the steering-wheel of his motor-truck he knows all the anatomy and physiology that he will ever learn in this world. Six weeks more, and he is an adept at all the half-Nelsons and left hooks that constitute the essence of chiropractic therapy. [Mencken]
  • The Polanco district was my favorite, all named after famous authors west of the Parque Lincoln (I feel pretty sure that was named after Abe) and famous philosophers and scientists east of that. To the west: Dickens, Moliere, Ibsen, Tennyson, Oscar Wilde, Julio Verne, Alejandro Dumas and Edgar Allen Poe. To the east: Galileo, Aristoteles, Hegel, Newton, Schiller. [link]
  • The French writer Theophile Gautier called it a 'picture of the corner grocer who has just won the lottery' and it has sometimes been believed that Goya was in some way satirising his subjects. [Wiki]
  • The book is structured around six more or less hostile environments: Cape Foulweather, a headland near the author's Oregon home and the site of Captain Cook's first landfall on the American mainland; Skraeling Island in the high Canadian Arctic; the Gal├ípagos islands; western Kenya's Turkana uplands; Port Arthur in Tasmania; and, finally, the dizzying isolation of the central Transantarctic mountains. [The Guardian]
  • Often referred to as sauces, moles are actually the main act, eclipsing whatever protein or vegetable they're ladled over. One most often hears about "the seven moles of Oaxaca," some denoted by the color their combined ingredients acquire—red, yellow, green or black—though there are actually dozens of varieties. Some, like the yellow or the green—lush with fresh herbs, tomatillos and chiles—can come together quickly with little more than a blender. Others, like the fearsomely complicated Oaxacan black mole (or mole negro), can demand two or more days to make, calling for upward of 30 ingredients (including chocolate). [WSJ]
  • The mansion was built as a summer "cottage" between 1888 and 1892 for Alva and William Kissam Vanderbilt. It was a social landmark that helped spark the transformation of Newport from a relatively relaxed summer colony of wooden houses to the now-legendary resort of opulent stone palaces. The fifty-room mansion required a staff of 36 servants, including butlers, maids, coachmen, and footmen. The mansion cost $11 million (equivalent to $307 million in 2018; $660 million in Gold-dollar equivalence (1890 $20 Double Eagle)) of which $7 million was spent on 500,000 cubic feet (14,000 m³) of marble. [Wiki]
  • Moscow to Beijing via Mongolia: This is arguably the most interesting Trans-Siberian route to take. The weekly Trans-Mongolian train (train 4 eastbound, train 3 westbound) leaves Moscow for Beijing every Tuesday night. The 7,621 km (4,735 mile) journey takes 6 nights. This train crosses Siberia, cuts across Mongolia and the Gobi desert, then enters China. Westbound, it leaves Beijing every Wednesday morning. This train uses Chinese rolling stock and has deluxe 2-berth compartments (with shared shower), 1st class 4-berth compartments & 2nd class 4-berth compartments. Booked through a local Russian agency, journey costs around $805 or £555 one-way in 2nd class 4-berth or $1130 or £780 in 1st class 2-berth. [seat61]
  • Tesla is taking a path which the others are highly familiar with and have rejected. They could be right, but it will be because they took a gamble, not because they know better. At Alphabet, which employs the likes of Geoffrey Hinton and the DeepMind team and many others, who invented the technologies Tesla is using, they are quite aware of what they can do and Waymo has access to those resources. Sometimes the people who invent a technology can get hidebound. It happens. But there's no particular evidence that Tesla has a breakthrough skill here. I drive with Autopilot regularly. I've seen a hundred demos of doing a nice drive on such roads. The path from where Autopilot is now to where it needs to be to run a taxi service is wide. They are 1/10,000th of the way there and mistakenly think they are 99% of the way there. [r/SelfDrivingCars]

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