I'm a law student, comic book reader, inhabitant of the District of Columbia, Californian by birth, multiethnic in background, game theory enthusiast, videogame player, and avid viewer of British television. I also use the Oxford comma, no matter what The Economist says.

I currently also run the Fuck Yeah Bill Bailey and Fuck Yeah Richard Posner blogs.

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Reblogged from huffingtonpost  182 notes

salon:

Rich Millennials will destroy our future.

This is just bad statistics. How do these rates compare with other generations? Or in another words: is it the fact that these individuals are millennials that are driving their lack of support for the social security system or is it their wealth? How do rich boomers feel about the social safety net? Given the average age of the Tea Party and its politicians, I wouldn’t be patting myself on the back…

Also the graphs don’t show what happens when a poor millennial becomes wealthy.  The article itself spends the first half talking about how rich millennials have benefited from inherited wealth and reductions in the estate tax and progressive tax systems in the 70s and 80s and then tries to assuage the reader that lower income millennials aren’t getting richer. But we ”know” that lower income brackets do support expanding the social safety net — so why is it a good thing that these individuals are systematically prevented from earning more money (and, as a result, influencing policy)? There’s no data, here, on what happens when lower income millennials become higher income millennials.

So basically: come back when you have statistical rigor.

Reblogged from mypocketshurt90  59,684 notes

mypocketshurt90:

protego-et-servio:

blue-author:

loverandsynner:

blue-author:

wintersoldierfell:

remusyoulittleshit:

fralle-chan:

Okay so, the marauders map can see people even when they’re hidden underneath the cloak of invisibility, right?

Yet Death can’t find people hidden under that cloak…

HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?

JUST HOW DID A GANG OF TEENAGERS MANAGE TO CREATE THAT MAP??????

Remus Lupin is a genius, Sirius Black doesn’t like rules, James Potter thinks he can do anything, and Peter brings them snacks and encourages their combined insane genius, that’s how.

Okay, I actually think there’s a really good answer to this.

We know from HP2 that the Chamber of Secrets doesn’t appear on the map, even though lots of other secret passages do, and we know from HP7 (most notably, anyway) that the Room of Requirement doesn’t appear on the map. Yet people under the invisibility cloak show up under their real names, as do polyjuiced people or animaguses in their animal forms. 

The difference between the latter (expected) edge cases and the former (actual) edge cases is that while the latter consist of relationships between what the map knows and people, the former consist of relationships between what the map knows and… Hogwarts.

The marauders aren’t smarter or more powerful than Death; they don’t have any special perceptive gifts that Death doesn’t have. What they did have was a magical castle founded by four of the greatest wizards who ever lived. I think the reason that the map knows so much, but hides a select few things, is that the map isn’t powered by those wizards—it’s powered by Hogwarts itself.

Think about this: the fish Lily made for Slughorn disintegrated when she died, but the map still works just fine even after all four Marauders are gone. Whatever made the map go, it wasn’t a charm any of them put on it. It was the borrowed wisdom of the place they lived in.

That’s one of the things that makes the map such a beautiful microcosm for the series, really: it’s proof that you don’t need to be stronger than Death to do amazing things, as Voldemort thought. On the contrary: it’s okay to ask for help from those who came before you and those who have more wisdom, courage, strength, or resources than you.

Because at Hogwarts, help will always be given to those who ask for it.

I don’t want to take away from this beautiful analysis, but I’m always surprised to learn that people take the story of the three brothers and the origins of the deathly hallows as being literal, rather than a mythologized fairy tale. I can’t really say that either of the other two artifacts displays the level of power that the story attributes to them, so I wouldn’t expect the cloak to actually hide the wearer from death, if death is even an incarnate being in-universe.

Yes. That post has been bugging me and I couldn’t figure out how to say it. (Though, i like the idea that hogwarts powers the map - that seems accurate)

The wand is clearly the most powerful, and the resurrection stone works, in a way - you bring forth a ghost of your loved ones, as their body cannot be made out of nothingness. 

I think the story of how these things came to be (death as a manifested being, for example) is fabricated, which would necessitate that the cloak was not actually death’s cloak. 

The existence of the objects, and their powers, seems accurate - a true invisibility cloak, a resurrection stone, and a wand. The tales themselves are folk tales, taking what was once solid common knowledge and twisting it to children’s stories and exaggeration. 

I sometimes like to imagine that they were not even related in origin, but are just three fairly unique artifacts that an elaborate mythology sprung up around.

Possibly—since we know that Harry Potter is a prophesized figure—at some point in the past, an oracle described the three objects as things that would be united by the master of death, and because the context for this would not be revealed for generations, people trying to make sense of it came up with this whole backstory explaining the relationship among the items and how they came to be, and incorporated death into it.

This puts me in mind of the other reason I don’t think the cloak can literally hide people from death, and that’s that the whole “master of death” thing was entirely symbolic. Why should the other similarly fantastical claims be more literal than that?

I always took it as the cloak hid people from “agents of death” rather than death itself.  Like, if you have this cloak and someone is after you, intending to kill or maim you, you just put the cloak on and “death can’t find you.”  

Of course, it couldn’t do anything about you dying of natural causes, since eventually you must give up the jig or “willingly go with death.” (Or, you know, be an invisible rotting corpse?)

I think it’s going a little far to say the map is powered by Hogwarts just because it still works after the Marauders’ deaths.  We really don’t have much information about whether or not magic lingers after the caster’s death.  It probably depends on the type of magic.  Lily’s fish may have been tied to her life force.  We only see a simple freezing spell completely desist after Dumbly’s death.  Oh and whatever Voldy did to curse the DADA teaching position.  The fidelius charm transferred.  All the enchantments on Hogwarts didn’t become null after the founders’ deaths.  Sirius’ bike still worked after his death, and it’s a pretty good bet that he enchanted it.  It’d be a nice little hazard if you’re a mile in the air and your broomstick suddenly stops working just because the maker snuffed it.  Objects seem to retain their enchantments, particularly pseudo-sentient objects.  And the obvious explanation to why the map shows Animagi, invisible/transformed people is because the makers thought of it.  They had the cloak and they were Animagi.  And they didn’t know about the Room of Requirement or the Chamber of Secrets.  They could only map what they knew.

Another counter-example: Albus Dumbledore’s deluminator (or put-outer as it’s sometimes called) continued to work for Ron Weasley following his death.

Reblogged from dutchster  134,904 notes

monobeartheater:

verylittlebird:

a magician asks you to pick a card - any card, in fact. you do. they ask you to put the card back in the pack - anywhere in the pack, in fact. you do. they walk away. ten years later, your wife gives birth to the six of clubs. “is this your card?” the midwife asks, in a familiar voice.

what the fuck

It’s really blurry and hard to see — largely because of ice buildup on the camera — but this is a video from SpaceX’s recent launch of the Orbcomm-OG2 showing the first stage return. Following the successful maneuvers the stage tipped over and the rocket’s hull was compromised, but nonetheless everything from this vid looks great (correct orientation, legs properly deployed, etc) so that’s good news!