Reading Recs, 9-20-16: Lies, fraud, bias, and more lies.

Every day I read a lot of stuff on the Internet. A lot of stuff. Below I share what I consider to be the most interesting.

Trump, Clinton, and the Media: The researchers at DataFace took 19,637 news articles written about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s campaigns between July 1, 2015 and July 31, 2016, and fed those into a computer to examine the adjectives and determine the tone of coverage. The results are quite interesting: for instance, they find that “conservative” and “liberal” media tend to agree on Donald Trump!! (HT to The Washington Post)

Trump used $258,000 from his charity to settle legal problems: David Fahrenthold at The Washington Post has spent months digging into Trump Foundation records, and he keeps coming up with evidence of misuse, abuse, and even illegal dealings. Here’s the latest.

Wells Fargo Faces the Senate Banking Committee: As a Wells Fargo customer myself, I’ve been horrified to learn of the fake accounts and fraudulent activities committed by the bank and its employees. I haven’t been personally affected, as far as I know- I pay close attention to my account (and my credit score) online, but I can’t imagine what other people must be going through, finding out there was a credit card in their name they never authorized amongst other things! The Los Angeles Times has a run-down on the scandal.

Columbia University settles a fraud case for $9.5 million: One of the few times Retraction Watch covers something not related to bad science, per se, but still corruption by money. The university was conducting research off-campus, but claimed it was on-campus so they could get a higher rate of federal funding. A whistleblower brought it to the authorities’ attention.

Stephen Colbert Tears Into Trump Over Final Birther Comment: I’ve been watching The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (well, their YouTube channel, anyway) for a couple months. Here, in my opinion, Colbert is honestly angry, though he hides it behind comedy gags… and is forced to hide it behind CBS censors. But it’s great fun anyway to watch Colbert take Trump down.

And yes, three of the links today are Trump related. Bleh. I can’t wait for this election to be over.

Amusing Coincidences in My Life: Shadowgate, Empire’s End, Monuments Men

You can almost taste the sarcasm.

So THAT’S where that music is from!

For several years I, from time to time, have had this haunting piano tune enter my head. I’ve heard it somewhere before… but I couldn’t place where. The other day, I was randomly browsing my Steam account, and decided that my wishlist of 45 games needed to be cleaned up. I go over there, and discover- hey! One of the games I want is on an 80% sale, so it’s only $3! (This sale is now over- sorry. But Steam is always doing awesome sales, so it’s only a matter of time before it happens again.) It’s the new Shadowgate game that was released about a year ago. I randomly click on a few of the trailers, and… that haunting theme starts playing! Turns out it’s the death / game over theme from Shadowgate. Mystery solved! Continue reading “Amusing Coincidences in My Life: Shadowgate, Empire’s End, Monuments Men”

PhotoComms #1: Trials in Messaging

One of the things I like best about my cellphone is the ability to take photos anywhere I am of anything I see that happens to interest or amuse me. Here I post three photos of things that caught my eye because, well, the messaging is… off. Click the thumbnails to maximize the photos in a new tab.

1. 2015-01-12 12.46.03The UCR campus is frequently visited by blood donation vans, either LifeStream or the American Red Cross. This van belongs to the latter, and because I have a keen eye for the grammatical mistakes of other people, this jumped out at me. What happened here? Is it the word “giveth” as a throwback to King James Bible language, and somebody put a space there accidentally? Is it supposed to say “give the gift of life” and they lost everything after the first five letters and decided it would be too much work to undo their efforts? Continue reading “PhotoComms #1: Trials in Messaging”

Things of Interest: 01/19/15

I read and watch a lot of stuff on the Internet that I find interesting; plus, as a university student, I receive a lot of recommendations from students and teachers alike. In these posts, I share a few of the highlights I’ve come across.

  1. In celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s 90th birthday today, is offering a free audiobook download of his Letter from Birmingham Jail for a couple of days only. All you need is an email address.

  2. The Washington Post has an article about Tyndale House ceasing publication of one of its heaven-tour-guide books, The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven. Apparently, the titular boy has been objecting to the book and denying its veracity for years.

  3. is a comedy site, but this particular article is quite insightful, in my opinion, and does a great job discussing the trouble with the way we react to attacks.

Things of Interest: 01/09/15

I read and watch a lot of stuff on the Internet that I find interesting; plus, as a university student, I receive a lot of recommendations from students and teachers alike. In these posts, I share a few of the highlights I’ve come across.

  1. Tragedy struck the offices of a French satire magazine on Wednesday when three gunmen entered a meeting and murdered twelve people. More details here. Just insane.

  2. In The New Yorker, Lincoln Caplan isn’t happy about analysis that seems to indicate the United States Supreme Court seems to pick cases to look at based not only on the merits of the case but the merits of the lawyer as well.

  3. UCR was handing out free tickets for the 10 pm showing of Taken 3 today; the line was super long and lasted for hours. Not sure how the theater handled that. In honor of the new movie, Screen Junkies has released an Honest Trailer for the first two installment.