The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Evening reading

I was pretty busy today, with most of my brain trying to figure out how to re-architect something that I didn't realize needed it until recently. So a few things piled up in my inbox:

And finally, Whisky Advocate has four recipes that balance whisky and Luxardo Maraschino cherries. I plan to try them all, but not in one sitting.

Formal operational thought, part 2

Had fun yesterday? Try these next 10:

11. All dace are platy. Some dace are cod. Therefore:

(A) All cod are not platy
(B) Some cod are not platy
(C) Some cod are platy
(D) All platy are dace
(E) All dace are not cod
(F) Some dace are not cod

12. Some skinks are plastrons. All turtles are not skinks. Therefore:

(A) All skinks are not plastrons
(B) Some turtles are skinks
(C) All turtles are plastrons
(D) Some turtles are not plastrons
(E) Some skinks are not plastrons
(F) All skinks are turtles

13. If wasps eat haploids then fly pupae are lost. Wasps do not eat
haploids and fly pupae are not lost. Therefore:

(A) Wasps eat haploids
(B) Either wasps eat haploids or fly pup‘ are lost
(C) Fly pup‘ are lost
(D) Fly pup‘ are not lost
(E) Wasps eat haploids and fly pup‘ are lost
(F) Wasps eat haploids and fly pup‘ are not lost

14. All axolotls are bream. All catfish are not bream. Therefore:

(A) All catfish are not axolotls
(B) Some axolotls are not bream
(C) Some catfish are bream
(D) All axolotls are not bream
(E) All bream are axolotls
(F) All bream are catfish

15. Some peepers are killifish. All peepers are haddock. Therefore:

(A) Some haddock are killifish
(B) All haddock are not killifish
(C) Some haddock are not killifish
(D) All haddock are peepers
(E) All peepers are killifish
(F) Some peepers are not haddock

16. All blue wombats are skates. All skates are not nymphs. Therefore:

(A) All nymphs are blue wombats
(B) Some nymphs are blue wombats
(C) All nymphs are not blue wombats
(D) Some blue wombats are not skates
(E) All skates are blue wombats
(F) Some skates are nymphs

17. Either genes grow or dodders thrive. Genes do not grow and dodders
thrive. Therefore:

(A) Genes grow if and only if dodders thrive
(B) Genes grow and dodders thrive
(C) Genes grow
(D) If dodders thrive then genes grow
(E) Genes do not grow
(F) Genes do not grow and dodders do not thrive

18. All medaka are sea horses. All orangefish are medaka. Therefore:

(A) All medaka are not orangefish
(B) All orangefish are sea horses
(C) Some medaka are not sea horses
(D) Some orangefish are not medaka
(E) All medaka are not sea horses
(F) Some orangefish are not sea horses

19. Margays are less aquatic than ocelots. Margays are more aquatic
than penguins. Pike are less aquatic than penguins. Therefore:

(A) Margays are the least aquatic of the four animals
(B) Pike are the most aquatic of the four animals
(C) Penguins are more aquatic than ocelots
(D) Ocelots are the most aquatic of the four animals
(E) Margays are the most aquatic of the four animals
(F) Penguins are the most aquatic of the four animals

20. If water dissolves fat then acetone dissolves protein. Water
dissolves fat if and only if acetone dissolves protein. Therefore:

(A) Either water dissolves fat or acetone dissolves protein
(B) Water dissolves fat
(C) Acetone dissolves protein
(D) Water does not dissolve fat
(E) Acetone does not dissolve protein
(F) If water does not dissolve fat then acetone does not dissolve

And here are the answers from yesterday: 1, a; 2, c; 3, e; 4, a; 5, e; 6, f; 7, a; 8, a; 9, f; 10, c.

Test of formal operational thought

I found this quiz in a (virtual) pile of things from my first year at university. Have fun! Answers and more questions tomorrow. (The answers may surprise you, unless you really dig in to the logic.)

1. Either auxins are proteins or petioles grow on auxins. If auxins are
proteins then petioles grow on auxins. Therefore:

(A) Petioles grow on auxins
(B) Either auxins are not proteins or petioles do not grow on auxins
(C) If petioles grow on auxins then auxins are proteins
(D) Auxins are not proteins
(E) Auxins are petioles
(F) Auxins are proteins and petioles do not grow on auxins

2. Whelks are more colorful than periwinkles. Whelks are less colorful
than abalones. Therefore:

(A) Whelks are the most colorful of the three animals
(B) Periwinkles are more colorful than abalones
(C) Periwinkles are the least colorful of the three animals
(D) Periwinkles are the most colorful of the three animals
(E) Abalones are the least colorful of the three animals
(F) Whelks are the least colorful of the three animals

3. Worms move slower than lice and worms are smaller than mice. Worms
move faster than mice and worms are larger than lice. Therefore:

(A) Worms move the fastest and are the largest of the three animals
(B) Mice move faster than lice
(C) Mice are smaller than lice
(D) Lice move the fastest and are the largest of the three animals
(E) Lice move the fastest and are the smallest of the three animals
(F) Mice move the fastest and are the largest of the three animals

4. No individual is a tapir. Therefore:

(A) All individuals are not tapirs
(B) All individuals are tapirs and monkeys
(C) No individuals are tapirs
(D) All individuals are tapirs
(E) No individuals are not tapirs
(F) Some individuals are tapirs

5. Either birch thrive or sage die. Birch do not thrive. Therefore:

(A) Birch thrive if and only sage die
(B) Sage do not die
(C) If sage die then birch thrive
(D) Birch thrive and sage die
(E) Sage die
(F) Birch thrive and sage do not die

6. If amnions are red the chick embryos shrink. Amnions are not red and
chick embryos shrink. Therefore:

(A) If chick embryos shrink then amnions are red
(B) Amnions are red
(C) Amnions are red and chick embryos shrink
(D) Chick embryos do not shrink
(E) Amnions are red and chick embryos do not shrink
(F) Amnions are not red

7. Manatees are reptiles if and only if lemurs are birds. Therefore:

(A) If manatees are reptiles then lemurs are birds
(B) Manatees are not reptiles and lemurs are birds
(C) Manatees are reptiles and lemurs are not birds
(D) Manatees are reptiles
(E) Manatees are not reptiles
(F) Lemurs are birds

8. Pink rays are not carnivores. Therefore:

(A) If pink rays are carnivores then remoras ride pink rays
(B) Pink rays are carnivores
(C) Remoras ride on pink rays
(D) Pink rays are carnivores and remoras do not ride on pink rays
(E) Pink rays are carnivores and remoras ride on pink rays
(F) Either pink rays are carnivores or remoras ride on pink rays

9. All individuals are neither zebras nor rotifers. Therefore:

(A) All individuals are zebras
(B) All individuals are rotifers
(C) All zebras are rotifers
(D) No individuals are zebras
(E) Some individuals are zebras
(F) All individuals are not zebras and rotifers

10. Either tropisims occur in apes or taxes occur in bees. Tropisms
occur in apes and taxes occur in bees. Therefore:

(A) Taxes do not occur in bees
(B) Tropisms occur in apes and taxes do not occur in bees
(C) Tropisms occur in apes
(D) If tropisms occur in apes then taxes do not occur in bees
(E) Tropisms do not occur in apes
(F) Either tropisms do not occur in apes or taxes do not occur in bees

Fun, right?

(I have a note that the author of this quiz is William Bart at the University of Minnesota, but I cannot confirm this.)

What's with the car warranty calls today?

While swatting away my 4th "your car's extended warranty is about to expire" call today (including one in Spanish), I consoled myself reading about new ideas on how to reduce the environmental impact of brewing beer:

From start to finish, making alcoholic beverages asks a lot from the environment. It takes about 20 gallons of water to produce a single eight-ounce serving of beer and 30 gallons per five-ounce serving of wine. Then there’s the glass and aluminum production for alcohol containers, the plastic and cardboard for packaging, and energy consumption for home and retail refrigeration. Many types of alcohol are only made in one or a few places—tequila in Mexicoscotch in Scotlandbourbon in Kentucky—requiring long-distance transportation to reach consumers.

The most common ingredients in alcohol production—grapes, wheat, barley, hops, sugar—are some of the most water- and energy-intensive crops on the planet. Brewing and fermenting also require huge amounts of energy.

Global transportation accounts for an estimated 20 percent of beer’s carbon footprint. Beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages are generally shipped in climate-controlled vehicles to prevent spoiling. “There's a lot of stainless steel, water, and air being shipped around the country and around the world by virtue of the technology that's being used today,” [Sustainable Beverage Technologies CEO Gary] Tickle says.

Other ideas include yeast that produces hoppy flavinoids, heat sinks, using waste products to generate heat, and carbon offsets.

With the exception of the yeast-made hop flavors, that all sounds good to me.

Happy Mason-Dixon Day

On this day in 1767, Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon completed their survey of the disputed Maryland-Pennsylvania border, which became even more contentious in 1780 when Pennsylvania aboolished slavery. A group of surveyors started re-surveying the border in 2019; I can't find out whether they finished.

Meanwhile, 255 years later, politics is still mostly local:

Finally, Chicago has perfectly clear skies for only the third time this month after yesterday and the 4th, getting only 39% of possible sunshine for almost the past three weeks.

The Battle of Bamber Bridge

In June 1943, a group of white American MPs attacked a company of Black American soldiers in the town of Bamber Bridge, England (near Blackpool). The English took the side of the Black soldiers:

During the war, American soldiers accounted for the vast majority of black people in Britain. Britain’s population was overwhelmingly white, most of the country almost entirely so. Black Britons numbered around eight thousand in total, and were clustered in London, Liverpool and a few other ports. For the residents of most towns and villages near US bases, the proximity of black people was wholly novel.

Given that most Britons had seen black people only in films or books, you might have expected them to distrust or fear the new arrivals. Instead, as the historian David Olusoga remarks, the natives were “extraordinarily welcoming” to their black visitors. In fact, black GIs were offered a warmer reception than their white counterparts. In the letters and diaries of British inhabitants, White GIs are portrayed as arrogant, flashy, and unruly, while Black GIs, by contrast, are described as courteous, self-disciplined, and charming.

For black GIs, the warm and respectful treatment they received in Britain’s shops, pubs, and church halls threw their relationship with fellow countrymen into sharp relief. At home, black Americans from Southern states were strictly segregated from whites and systematically oppressed. Jim Crow laws ensured that they were politically disenfranchised and economically marginalised, eighty years after the abolition of slavery. The oppression was cultural too: black Americans were routinely  and openly treated as contemptible by their white counterparts.

For many black soldiers, the experience of Britain renewed and sharpened a sense of injustice over how they were treated in the United States. As one put it, “we are treated better in England than we are in a country that is supposed to be our home.” Naturally enough, it led some of them to question why they were fighting. Another GI wrote: “I am an American negro, doing my part for the American government to make the world safe for a democracy I have never known.”

I recently watched the Channel 4 miniseries Traitors, in which American race relations right after World War II in London mattered a great deal to the plot. Learning about Bamber Bridge added more depth to my understanding of the show.

Busy day, time to read the news

Oh boy:

Cassie has bugged me for the last hour, even though we went out two hours ago. I assume she wants dinner. I will take care of that presently.

The power of the press

After ProPublica's story about Rutherford County, Tenn., judge Donna Davenport, things have not gone well for the judge:

In the days after ProPublica’s investigation of the juvenile justice system in Rutherford County, Tennessee, one state lawmaker wrote that she was “horrified.” Another called it a “nightmare.” A third labeled it “unchecked barbarism.” A former Tennessee congressman posted the story about the unlawful jailing of kids and tweeted, “The most sickening and unAmerican thing I’ve read about in some time.” The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund called for a federal civil rights investigation. A pastor, in his Sunday sermon in Nashville, said: “We can’t allow this madness to continue. These are our babies.”

And on Tuesday evening, four days after the story published, the president of Middle Tennessee State University notified faculty and staff that Donna Scott Davenport, a juvenile court judge at the heart of the investigation, “is no longer affiliated with the University.” Davenport had been an adjunct instructor at the school, which is based in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. For many years, she taught a course on juvenile justice. In 2015, she was one of the university’s commencement speakers.

On Sunday, Vincent Windrow, senior pastor at Olive Branch Church in Murfreesboro and Nashville, delivered a sermon at both branches centered on the revelations by ProPublica and Nashville Public Radio about Rutherford County’s juvenile justice system. The story included a detailed account of Murfreesboro police arresting four Black girls at an elementary school in 2016. The officers handcuffed two of the girls, including the youngest, an 8-year-old. The kids were accused of watching some boys fight and not stepping in. (They were charged with “criminal responsibility for conduct of another,” which is not an actual crime. All the charges were later dismissed.)

This, ladies and gentlemen, shows that a free press is the natural enemy of corruption, which is precisely why the XPOTUS hates it so much. I hope that ProPublica's story convinces the good people of Rutherford County to elect someone else in Davenport's place as soon as legally possible.