Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Things People Sent Me - Service Dog Attacks; Maria Kang; US Wealth Distribution Ignorance; Internet Security; And More

People have been sending me links - not for the blog necessarily - and I've got all these open windows that I need to get rid of.  So here are some things you might find of interest. 

Large number of Attacks on Service Dog
"Frequency and Location of Attacks The Seeing Eye 2011 dog attack and interference survey revealed that 44% of respondents (324 out of 744) had experienced at least one attack. Of those, 58% were attacked more than once. Findings also showed that 83% (617 respondents) had experienced interference by an aggressive dog. The vast majority of attacks (80%) and interference (83%) occurred on a public-right-of-way such as a sidewalk or roadway. In cases involving the most recent attacks, 74% happened when respondents were being guided by their dogs within 30 minutes walking distance from their homes. Most of them (80%) travel by foot within their neighborhood on a daily basis."
The complete survey is available at Seeing Eye.

Op-Ed: “Looking Good” is Overrated: One Mom’s Response to Maria Kang

This is an opinion piece at The Feminist Wire and begins:
Maria Kang, you look fabulous.  I fully commend you for the work you put into a goal that was important to you, and I congratulate you on your success.  I admire you for your self-reflective journey, your honesty in your writing, and your acknowledgment that everyone is different.  I looked pretty good before I got pregnant, but nothing like you. I also have an eight-month old baby, and a couple of older kids at home.  I have to say, I certainly don’t look nearly as good as you do now!
I'm not swimming in that part of the internet where the Maria Kang poster appeared so it was all new to me.

XKCD -  Poster "20th Century Headlines Rewritten To Get More Clicks"

I can relate to this as I generally resist the temptation to make my post titles a little sexier.  My rule is that it has to be directly relevant to the post.  And I've even posted once or twice about the phenomenon of writing headlines for clicks - such as the use of lists of the X Most Awesome Ys.   The only trouble with the poster is that you have to know about things that happened more than ten years ago to get what the rewritten headline refers to.  Some examples at the link:

1955 - Avoid polio with this one weird trick 
1989 - You won't believe what these people did to the Berlin Wall (Video)

Remembering Hugh Fleischer  -
Please join us for a memorial service honoring the life of Hugh Fleischer in the Tikahtnu Ballroom of the Dena'ina Convention Center, 600 W. 7th Avenue.
Tuesday, November 5 at 5:00 PM
Where: Dena'ina Convention Center/Senior Activities Center 
This is a real difficult one for me.  Hugh died recently after making all sorts of contributions to the Anchorage community and the event is being held at exactly the same time I agreed to be on a panel at UAA.   But it looks like things will go on later than the panel and I can come by then.

Pounding Pavement By Heal Or Toe -

 I think this was sent to me as a follow up on my post about barefoot running.  This NY Times article says, "not so fast" and points out that people who land on the ball of their feet get problems too, just different ones from the people who land on their heals.  And this is particularly poignant because I have had problems with my right heal (ok Harpboy?) and that's where the article says 'barefoot' runners get problems.  I finally got an appointment with a podiatrist for next Monday to see how to start running again without permanently damaging my heal.  The person who made the appointment said the doctor is a runner. :)

9 Out Of 10 Americans Are Completely Wrong About This Mind-Blowing Fact 
  I think this came from an email too.  It's a video that compares:

1.  What Americans think the distribution of US wealth should be.

Screen shot from 9 out of 10 Americans Are Wrong video
In this one the richest make roughly 10-20 times more than the poorest.  

2.  What Americans think the distribution is.

Screen shot from 9 out of 10 Americans Are Wrong video

In this one the richest make roughly 100 times more than the poorest. 

3.  What the distribution of wealth in the US actually is.

Screen shot from 9 out of 10 Americans Are Wrong video
The video gives a different ratio on this one - the average CEO makes 380 times what the average worker in the company makes. 

4.  What the distribution actually looks like when you cut off the top of the curve that goes out of the picture and re stack it onto the graph.

You can see the repasted tip for the top 19%, but the narrator of the video says they had to make a whole new column off the chart to show how much the top 1% has.  It comes to 40% of the wealth in the US.  While the bottom 80% has only 7%.

The point of the video is that our understanding of reality is totally wrong.  And I would suggest when you hear Republicans charging people with trying to foment class welfare, it's part of the campaign to keep the American public ignorant of the reality.

I haven't check this video's numbers, but even if he's off by a lot, it would still be shocking.   Here's the whole video at You Tube.

I can't tell when it was posted, but it says that it's been watched 11 million times and there are 37,000 comments. 

Ten Steps You Can Take Right Now Against Internet Surveillance - This comes from the Electronic Frontiers Foundation.
   "The good news, if you can call it that, is that much of what the NSA is doing is mass surveillance on everybody. With a few small steps, you can make that kind of surveillance a lot more difficult and expensive, both against you individually, and more generally against everyone. . .
  1. Use end-to-end encryption.
  2. Encrypt as much communications as you can.
  3. Encrypt your hard drive.
  4. Strong passwords, kept safe.
  5. Use Tor.
  6. Turn on two-factor (or two-step) authentication.
  7. Don't click on attachments.
  8. Keep software updated, and use anti-virus software.
  9. Keep extra secret information extra secure.
  10. Be an ally.
The link gives more explanation of each of the steps.  If you wouldn't leave your house or your car unlocked, why would you leave your data unlocked?  Because keys and locks are easier to understand than encryption.  And that's what NSA and others take advantage of.

[UPDATE Oct. 30, 2013 12:28pm - Feedburner note - this one posted within 30 minutes.  Let's hope this becomes the norm again.]


  1. Well, I guess in every country in the advanced World has income distribution like this (inverted F distribution with small degrees of freedoms). I checked the Hungarian data and according to a 2011 survey, the wage difference between the poorest and the richest 10% is 1800% so the "poorest" from the 10th decile earns 180 times more than the "richest" from the first decile.

    According to my studies wage inequalities are increasing. I saw US datas about this issue and around 1830 the richest 10% earned 3 times more than the poorest. I think the Hungarian ratio at the end of the socialism was something similar so it must be quite shocking that in 25 years the ratio increased to 180 from 3.

    1. Ropi, this is the natural progression for unbridled capitalism, as those chasing money use that money to get politicians to let them keep more of it. We just saw "Inequality for All" a film I highly recommend.

    2. Yes, I understand the mechanism more or less, but I question its sustainability. This tendency cannot continue forever. In Hungary we have a proverb to simbolise compromise (A kecske is jóllakjon és a káposzta is megmaradjon - the goat should be fed and cabbage should remain as well). I guess recent wealth distribution tendencies do not show a sign of compromise.

    3. Anyway I feel lucky that I chose "scientifical" economics instead of business economics at university, I would go mad if I had to deal with economic policy (I still have the chance to choose it as specification (I don't know its proper English name) but I will pick "competition control" I guess).

  2. uh, no. I'm on vacation in Mexico so not checking your blog regularly, but no.
    noun \ˈhēl\
    a : the back of the human foot below the ankle and behind the arch
    b : the part of the hind limb of other vertebrates that is homologous with the human heel
    : an anatomical structure suggestive of the human heel; especially : the part of the palm of the hand nearest the wrist

    verb \ˈhēl\
    a : to make sound or whole
    b : to restore to health

    Don't worry. For folks with homonym problems, spell checkers are their worst enema (pun intended).

    1. I'd love to say that I did this on purpose to pull your chain, but I'm afraid my brain just can't hold on to this one. Thanks for the correction and enjoy your time in Mexico. How long are you there? Will you go through LA on the way back? We'll be there the 8th.


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