Beyond Labels

A 360° Discussion of Foreign, National and Local Policy Issues

links from the Pi day meeting

If you get this in email, you may want to read it on the web, here.

For those who missed our Pi Day meeting and want to attend in spirit, or who attended and want the in-depth reading list, here it is.

Yes, today was Pi Day, and I sadly forgot to mention it. Technically, it’s the whole day, 3.14, (European style.) Those who are orthodox Pi Day celebrants will initiate festivities on 3.14 at 1:59:26. Last year, some celebrated on 3.14.15 at 9:26:54. One of my daughters celebrates it every year with geeky friends. There are typically a dozen or so pies for pi day.

Back to our meeting.

We started with, (and circled back later to) trash. That was because of the “Talkin’ trash” meeting at the library last Friday. Some details on the specific issue are here. Review article on the economics of recycling from the Economist, here. Glass recycling facts, from the glass packaging institute. Closed Loop Fund created by a bunch of big companies to supply low-cost loans for recycling.

Conversation moved to Iceland, because one of our members had recently visited there. Lots of interesting factoids and anecdatata. Did you know that there is an official body in Iceland that creates new Icelandic words, rather than accepting loan words. So what do you call a computer in Icelandic? According to this article “Icelandic Has the Best Words For Technology.” it is:

tölva—a fusion of tala (number) and völva (prophetess) that adds up to the wonderfully poetic “prophetess of numbers.”

Other cool Icelandic  words:

Telephone is “simi,” from an ancient word for thread. A jet plane is a “thota,” from the verb “thjota,” to zoom. Even “video,” which has become international coinage, did not last long here, quickly yielding to the locally evolved “myndband,” or picture band.

Did you know Maine has a state drink? I didn’t. Now I do. It’s Moxie. According to this list of  state beverages.

Also to be found in this list of state foods, which tells us (among many other things that we don’t need to know) that the Maine State food is the whoopie pie.

Should Blue Hill have a town fairytale? Here’s a video of Julie Nicholson’s book, “The Rock, The Prince, and The Mermaid.” Disclosure: I had a hand in producing this, but I neither endorse nor oppose Blue Hill having this, or any other town fairy tale, unless it’s a story about Moxie and moon pies. Then, maybe.

Are all Republican delegates bound to their candidate. This one says all are not.  This is the letter sent out making the argument. The fine print is “not all.” Many are bound, at least on the first ballot. More details here.  Full array of delegate allocations, here.

The Democrats have the superdelegate system which trumps (sorry) the democratic election of delegates. So this is politics in America today. The Democrats are not democratic. The progressives are against progress. And the conservatives oppose conservation measures.

Yeah, I know I’m taking liberties with the language. I guess that means I either am, or am not a libertarian.

Speaking of which,  from the Niskanen Center, a libertarian think tank, “The Libertarian Case for Bernie Sanders.”

Question: Is it even legal to use “Sanders” and “Libertarian” in the same sentence without “is not a” or “is unacceptable to a” between the two words?  The author, Will Wilkerson either makes the case or breaks the law this way:

1. He takes the list of freest countries in the world, from the Fraser Institute, described as a politically conservative and libertarian think tank.
2. He notes that the United States is not among the top ten. But Denmark, Canada, and Sweden, three countries that Sanders would like us to emulate, are on the list.

Then he concludes:

The libertarian case for Bernie Sanders is simply that Bernie Sanders wants to make America more like Denmark, Canada, or Sweden … and the citizens of those countries enjoy more liberty than Americans do. No other candidate specifically aims to make the United States more closely resemble a freer country. That’s it. That’s the case.

Indeed, it might be argued, some of the candidates would like to make America decidedly less free.

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