"Morning little pony."— Dick King-Smith HQ (@DickKingSmith) August 19, 2017
"Morning fat cat." pic.twitter.com/N0UILp4Eie
Video Description: A very short, white, fuzzy-coated pony stands in a yard scattered with hay. A squat, orange tabby cat saunters up to the pony. The pony sniffs at the cat. The cat rubs its face against the pony's nose. They are friends. It is adorable.
[Via Dick King-Smith HQ.]
2. The place where I live, which is mine, and is filled with art and photographs and things that are meaningful to me.
3. The glorious green world. I always want summer to last forever, and it won't, but I'm doing my best to enjoy it while it's here.
4. I got to take two and a half days of vacation last week, and they were really lovely.
5. There is rosé chilling in my fridge even now. :-)
How are y'all?
If you like that, you will like this book. It's one of those slim but pithy volumes that precisely captures a time, a place, and a state of mind.
I've always had a fascination with ballet, ever since my second-grade teacher offered a trip to see the Nutcracker Suite (it was at least ten years before I realized that the second word was not "sweet") to her top three students. I had no idea what that was, other than that it was clearly desirable, so I went all-out to make sure that I'd get the prize. I was sufficiently enchanted with The Nutcracker and the general air of specialness surrounding the entire experience that I begged my parents for ballet lessons, at which I lasted something like three sessions. I don't recall the exact problem, but based on my age I'm guessing that there was too much standing around.
After that I confined myself to reading ballet books, which was more fun that actually doing it. Had I tried when I was older, I might have stuck with it for longer. Based on Bentley book and everything else I've read about ballet dancing, it has an austere, stoic, boot camp, push your limits atmosphere that would have really appealed to me if I'd been three to five years older. And then I would have gotten my heart broken, because I am not built to be a ballerina.
Winter Season beautifully depicts the illusion shown to the audience and the reality experienced by the dancers, and how the dancers live the illusion as well. It's got all the fascinating details of any good backstage memoir, without bitterness or cynicism. Even as it ground down her body, Bentley never stopped loving ballet; she seems to feel that she was lucky to have the chance to live the dream, just for the opportunity to spend a few minutes every day being the perfect expression of her body and the choreographer's art.
Winter Season: A Dancer's Journal, with a new preface
And I will place the next bit under a cut in case you just want to read about Winter Season. As opposed to ass. ( Read more... )
When Tyler attempts suicide, he ends up in a hospital. There, he makes friends with Josh, who doesn't speak to many people. Tyler seems to be the only one who can get him to talk. Each kid in the hospital has a different story, but no one knows Josh's. He's a mystery, an enigma, and Tyler wants to figure him out.
Words: 7522, Chapters: 6/?, Language: English
- Fandoms: Twenty One Pilots, My Chemical Romance, Panic! at the Disco
- Rating: Not Rated
- Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
- Categories: M/M
- Characters: Tyler Joseph, Josh Dun, Frank Iero, Gerard Way, Mikey Way, Ray Toro, Pete Wentz, Brendon Urie, Ryan Ross
- Relationships: Josh Dun/Tyler Joseph
- Additional Tags: trigger warning for attempted suicide, Implied/Referenced Rape/Non-con, joshler - Freeform
Gerard is on the run.
Frank is in hiding.
Zone one is the most dangerous Zone. So when Gerard's running for his life, Frank is the one that finds him.
Ever since that night, the Slayers have been after them.
(Danger Days Frank)
(I hope you bother reading it)
Words: 4430, Chapters: 1/1, Language: English
During a season full of stellar individual performances — from Giancarlo Stantonâs home runs to Chris Saleâs strikeouts — Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto quietly put together one of the most obscure-yet-impressive streaks in baseball history. Between July 26 and Aug. 15, Votto reached base successfully at least twice in 20 consecutive games, putting together only the eighth such streak since 1913.1 During that span, Votto hit .435 and put up a downright Barry Bonds-ian on-base percentage of .611.
It was classic Votto, who has a knack for reaching base that has few historical peers. But it was also typical in that it came midway through yet another hopeless Cincinnati season. The Reds are 14.5 games out of the National Leagueâs last wild-card spot, with essentially no chance of making the playoffs. So far in 2017, Votto is tracking for 7.0 wins above replacement (WAR),2 while leading the majors in on-base-plus slugging percentage. Assuming the Reds miss the playoffs, it would mark the sixth season in which Votto had at least 4.5 WAR (roughly an All-Star-caliber season) while his team failed to advance to the division series — the Reds have only reached the NLDS twice since Votto debuted in 2007, and they lost the best-of-five series both times.3
All told, Votto has generated 41.2 WAR in seasons where the Reds either missed the playoffs or lost the play-in game. Since the playoffs expanded in 1995, few hitters have seen more of their individual excellence go to waste4:
|PLAYER||WASTED-WAR TEAMS||WASTED WAR||ACTIVE|
|1||Adrian Beltre||LAD, SEA, BOS, TEX||62.1||â|
|3||Alex Rodriguez||SEA, TEX, NYY||57.0|
|4||Bobby Abreu||HOU, PHI, NYY, LAA, LAD, NYM||51.5|
|5||Carlos Beltran||KCR, NYM, SFG, NYY||51.3||â|
|6||Ichiro Suzuki||SEA, NYY, MIA||51.1||â|
|10||Scott Rolen||PHI, STL, TOR, CIN||46.0|
|11||Miguel Cabrera||FLA, DET||42.3||â|
|12||Carlos Delgado||TOR, FLA, NYM||42.0|
|15||Sammy Sosa||CHC, BAL, TEX||40.9|
|16||Albert Pujols||STL, LAA||40.6||â|
|17||Vladimir Guerrero||MON, LAA, BAL||37.5|
|18||Brian Giles||PIT, SDP||36.8|
|19||Ian Kinsler||TEX, DET||35.6||â|
|20||Frank Thomas||CHW, TOR, OAK||35.0|
Votto isnât alone among active players whoâve produced bushels of squandered value. FiveThirtyEight favorite Adrian Beltre is the division-series-era leader in inconsequential WAR, with his teams having flushed away more than 60 of his wins over the years (including, most likely, 3.5 more this season5). But at age 38, Beltre is also five years older than Votto, and he — like many other names above Votto on the list — at least experienced some postseason success to ease the sting of the lost output. Beltreâs Texas Rangers, for instance, came within a single strike of winning the World Series in 2011.
Votto hasnât had that chance yet. So if we filter our original list down and look at wasted WAR through age 33, Votto climbs to No. 9 on the list of position players. Although he may never pass Beltre, Bonds or Alex Rodriguez in total wasted WAR, perhaps Vottoâs eventual fate will be as his generationâs version of Todd Helton, the longtime Colorado Rockies first baseman who finally made the World Series in 2007 after years of pouring great stats into the void.
Meanwhile, on the pitching side, thereâs the increasingly tragic case of erstwhile Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez, who dominated the American League for a decade but still fell victim to his teamâs ongoing playoff drought. Hereâs King Felix and the rest of the leaderboard for wasted WAR among hurlers:
|PLAYER||WASTED-WAR TEAMS||WASTED WAR||ACTIVE|
|2||Roy Halladay||TOR, PHI||49.6|
|3||Pedro Martinez||MON, BOS, NYM||47.8|
|4||Mark Buehrle||CHW, MIA, TOR||43.7|
|5||Javier Vazquez||MON, ARI, CHW, ATL, FLA||42.8|
|6||Curt Schilling||PHI, ARI, BOS||41.9|
|7||Zack Greinke||KCR, MIL, LAA, ARI||34.8||â|
|8||Kevin Brown||BAL, FLA, LAD||34.4|
|9||Cliff Lee||CLE, SEA, PHI||33.9|
|10||Dan Haren||STL, OAK, ARI, LAA, WSN, MIA||32.2|
|12||Roy Oswalt||HOU, TEX, COL||30.5|
|13||Jake Peavy||SDP, CHW, BOS, SFG||30.3|
|14||Kenny Rogers||TEX, OAK, DET||30.2|
|15||Roger Clemens||BOS, TOR, HOU||30.2|
|17||Chris Sale||CHW, BOS||29.9||â|
|18||A.J. Burnett||FLA, TOR, PIT, PHI||28.5|
|19||Randy Johnson||SEA, ARI, SFG||28.1|
|20||Jamie Moyer||BAL, BOS, SEA, PHI, COL||27.7|
Sadly, Hernandez may not have much more to add to this list — at age 31, his numbers arenât what they used to be, and his trips to the disabled list are becoming more frequent. But between Hernandez, Beltre, A-Rod, Ichiro Suzuki and Randy Johnson, these lists also serve as a reminder to never discount the Marinersâ ability to squander future Hall of Famersâ production.
As for Votto, it remains to be seen whether the Reds will be able to put his WAR to good use anytime soon. They have MLBâs fourth-worst record so far this season, but the team also has one of the youngest rosters in the majors (Votto aside) and a solid farm system. And while Votto is already 33, Baseball Prospectusâs PECOTA system projects him to have seven more seasons of starting-caliber production left in his career. So even though plenty of Vottoâs great performances have gone to waste — 2017 included — thereâs some hope that they may mean something more in the future.
You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news.
Today, a large portion of the United States will experience a solar eclipse! Here’s an all-eclipse version of Significant Digits. I’ll be co-anchoring ABC News’ digital coverage of the eclipse, watch it here.
1 hour, 33 minutes, 16.8 seconds
Duration of the eclipse on U.S. soil today from Oregon to South Carolina. A solid 70-mile-wide swath of the country coast-to-coast will get to experience a total solar eclipse for anywhere from a few seconds to over two minutes. It may be responsible for the largest mass migration to see a natural event in human history. [The Atlantic]
45 million pairs
Number of eclipse glasses — the approved way to view a solar eclipse without permanent retina damage — sold by American Paper Optics (one of the few authorized sellers of certified glasses) over the past two years. Do what you can to get your hands on a pair; it’s unsafe to attempt to stare directly at the sun. [ABC News]
1,651 miles per hour
Average speed of the eclipse as it sprints across the country. While the big event is going on, a considerable amount of research will be happening, as briefly blocking out the sun is a handy way of studying everything from earth’s ionosphere to how animals react to eclipse-induced midday temperature and light swings. [FiveThirtyEight]
Approximate number of people who live within a 200-mile drive of the path of totality across the country. About 12 million people live directly in the path of totality; experts estimate they could be joined by about 7.4 million people traveling to watch the eclipse. That could make for some serious traffic and clogged cellular networks. [FiveThirtyEight, Curbed]
Number of interstate highway routes that the total solar eclipse crosses. State and local officials are working to ensure that first responders and highway crews can react in a timely matter with or without access to cellular networks. [Time]
Percent of energy generated in North Carolina from solar power in 2016. The nation is about to experience a slight dip in solar power generation, and the planning to react to the eclipse has underscored a number of issues regarding the state of infrastructure in the U.S. Regardless of how this time goes, by 2024 — the next time the U.S. is due for a solar eclipse — we’ll need to be ready. [FiveThirtyEight]
Looking for a single page to bookmark to always access the latest Significant Digits? Say no more.
If you see a significant digit in the wild, send it to @WaltHickey.
President Trump’s firing of White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon is the latest in a string of major administration departures over the last month. But unlike others who left (Reince Priebus, Anthony Scaramucci and Sean Spicer), Bannon was a clear fan of Trump since the primary campaign. Indeed, Bannon’s website, Breitbart.com, was instrumental in supporting Trump long before any members of the Republican establishment got behind him.
After Bannon was fired, he said he was going to âwarâ against the presidentâs enemies, including some in the administration itself. Bannon, moreover, represented a clear ideological wing within the Trump White House and in the GOP electorate more broadly. If Bannon wages a media campaign against Trump, or if Bannonâs departure leads the White House to turn away from Bannonâs nationalist agenda, how much political trouble could Trump have? Put another way: How big is the Bannon wing of Trumpâs coalition?
They donât make up a majority, but a big chunk of Trumpâs voters share Bannonâs positions.
Before we delve into the numbers, let’s first define what we mean by the “Bannon wing.” Generally, we’re talking about a more populist, nationalist and isolationist brand of Republicanism. More specifically, Trump voters who are pro-police, against free trade, against the U.S. playing an active role (militarily and diplomatically) in the international community, strongly against illegal immigration, and in favor of more infrastructure spending. There are obviously other parts of Bannon’s agenda, but these are among the defining features that help separate it from other wings within the Republican Party.
- They are for or against the Trans-Pacific Partnership. (Which weâll use as a proxy for free trade.)
- The U.S. should send troops to help the United Nations uphold international law.7 (Involvement in the international community.)
- The U.S. government should identify and deport immigrants in the country illegally. (Illegal immigration.)
- Their local police should receive a grade of A (excellent), B (above average), C (average), D (below average) or F (poor).
- Their state government should increase spending on infrastructure. (Infrastructure spending.)
Among Trump voters, approximately 15 percent supported all five positions, including a B or better for their local police. So letâs call this 15 percent the “core Bannon” voter. This isn’t a particularly large group. On its own, for example, itâs not enough to win a Republican primary. But it’s certainly big enough that Trump needs its continued support in order to survive a serious primary challenge in 2020 (if one arises). Remember Trump won only 45 percent of the national primary vote in 2016. To put this 15 percent in some additional perspective, the percentage of Hillary Clinton voters who were Hispanic in the general election, an important part of her coalition, was about 12 percent.
Of course, there are members of Trump’s coalition who agree with some of what the Bannon wing believes, but not all of it. And these issues donât all rank as equal priorities for all Trumpâs voters. So letâs expand the possibilities a bit and make for looser ideological groupings:
- Isolationist Bannon-ites — Trump voters who want the U.S. to have a more distant relationship with international partners. These are people who are against the Trans-Pacific Partnership and against sending troops overseas to uphold international law.
- Nationalist Bannon-ites — Trump voters who support deporting immigrants who are here illegally. These voters are pro-police and strongly against illegal immigration. You might also call these voters cultural conservatives. This groupâs policy preferences overlap with the white nationalism often voiced at Bannonâs website, Breitbart, but itâs a much bigger group.
- Populist Bannon-ites — Trump voters who are more economically populist in a party that often isnât. These voters are against the Trans-Pacific partnership and are for more infrastructure spending.
Clearly, there is going to be some overlap between these groups. There will be some who fit into just one of them, some two and the aforementioned 15 percent who agree with all three. Individually, each of these three groupings has a lot more support than the five-for-five Bannon wing.
About 50 percent of all Trump voters fall into Group No. 1 — they want the U.S. to be less active on the world stage. The pull of this group shouldnât be too surprising given that even Clinton was forced to come out against the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and Trump made a point during the primary campaign of (falsely) claiming that he always opposed the Iraq War.
Group No. 2, nationalist Bannon-ites, make up about 45 percent of Trump voters, people who want to identify and deport all immigrants in the country illegally and give their local police a grade of above average or better. Trumpâs appeal clearly went beyond voters with hardline positions on policing and immigration — issues that represented the starkest contrast with Clinton. But cultural conservatives are a substantial portion of Trumpâs coalition.
The smallest group is the economic populists. About 40 percent of Trump voters were against the Trans-Pacific Partnership and for more infrastructure spending. This may be the area where Bannon and Trump were most at odds with Republican Party leaders. Sure, there were Republicans who had been arguing against free trade for a while (see Pat Buchanan), but few Republicans argue for more infrastructure spending. The departure of Bannon from the White House is another sign that the infrastructure part of the Trump agenda is seriously imperiled.
Perhaps the most telling sign that Bannonâs positions represent a major part of the modern Republican Party is the percentage of Trump voters who disagree with all of the five key Bannon-esque policy stances listed above. Itâs less than 2 percent. Whether the Republican mainstream likes it or not, a little bit of Bannonism is in pretty much every Republican voter. Donât expect Trump to suddenly become a different person. Bannonism is a part of Trumpâs coalition, even if Bannon is no longer part of the Trump administration. And Trump needs it to remain that way.
Started Simon Sebag Montefiore's history of Jerusalem, and so far it is such a great read.
She currently works at a short-staffed Popeyes, where, during one recent shift, she processed nearly 200 orders, "roughly one every two minutes. Those orders grossed about $950 for the company. Marion went home with $76."
While she stays with friends and her children stay with other friends, two bus rides away, she works and works — and she advocates with Stand Up Kansas City for higher wages for fast food workers.
And she bristles at the suggestion she just get a different job.
Marion says the argument that fast food workers should leave for other, better paid, jobs misses the point. People like fast food. The companies that make it make fortunes. "We are the foot soldiers for these billion-dollar companies. We are the ones doing the work and bringing the money," she says.I am very glad that Marion made this point. Her work has dignity. She provides a service people enjoy. She's good at it.
"At the top of America, when it comes to Trump and them, their goal is to keep us down," she says. "Between these billion-dollar companies and Trump, it's a power trip."
They can afford to pay more and, she believes, eventually they will. "We are still coming. No war has been won over night and we are not giving up."
More than that, she likes working in fast food. "I love it. I'm good at it. Just like Martin Luther King said, 'If you are going to be a road sweeper, be the best damn sweeper there is'," she says. "I don't know. It's just this society is all messed up."
She shouldn't have to find another job. She should be paid a liveable wage for the job she already has.
I think this would be an interesting one for readers to weigh in on: How many hours are you expected to work in your field?
Here’s the letter that inspired it:
I’m asking this question semi for my husband, but more as a general inquiry. I’m curious about how many hours salaried employees are reasonably expected to work, and when those hours are. (I’ve always been an hourly employee.)
My husband, “Cory,” is salaried and works for a manufacturing company. He has fairly flexible hours and can take time off last minute if need be. In return, he often works late, goes in early, works from home/is available for phone calls with clients in the evenings – he basically does whatever he needs to do to get the job done.
But sometimes he stays later than I think is normal or will work odd hours — for example, recently, there was a miscommunication with a delivery driver who was running late. Cory came home, went back to work for an hour or so to meet the guy and he didn’t show up. Cory came back home, went back to work for another hour or so again waiting around, and again came home. The delivery driver ended up calling at 9:45ish saying he was there and Cory at that point decided he wasn’t going back in.
He wasn’t penalized or anything for not going back the last time. And we happen to live five minutes from his work so it wasn’t horrible, but what if he didn’t? Would an employee be expected to go back and forth like that, or just stay at work until 9:45 at night?
On a related note, his boss sometimes comes in later in the day. Cory will go in around 8, his boss might not come in until well into the afternoon, and then Cory feels he can’t leave when they’re in the middle of something together so he’ll stay past 6 when he was really planning on leaving at 5.
I understand that salaried employees are basically trusted to manage their own time as long as they get the job done. But does that mean possibly working until close to 10 at night? How is the line defined between work life and home life in this case? Would it be reasonable to say, “I have commitments this evening and must leave at 5?” or “I can’t meet with a delivery driver or client past X time?”
I honestly don’t know what the norm is and was curious how other salaried employees typically manage their time.
My quick answer is that it really varies by field. There are some jobs where everyone knows going in that they’re going to be working incredibly long hours (for example, big law or political campaigns) and some where the field itself doesn’t require long hours but your particular employer does. And there are some jobs where you’re rarely going to work more than 40 hours a week, some where it’s unusual to work fewer than 45-50, and some where it’s all over the map. So it really depends on the job, your field, and your employer.
In the situation with your husband and the delivery driver, that sounds pretty normal for an exempt position: your husband made reasonable efforts to meet the guy but ultimately made a judgment call that he wasn’t going to go back that late at night. (And that’s a core thing for exempt jobs; you’re supposed to be able to make calls like that yourself, as long as you’re not always putting the business’s interests below your own.)
And yes, sometimes that can mean working until 10 at night. If it’s happening regularly in a job where it shouldn’t, that’s a problem — but there are some jobs where that’s part of the deal (and ideally one of the trade-offs is that you have more flexibility in your schedule than others might). In a healthy workplace, you should also be able to say “I have an unbreakable commitment tonight and need to leave at 5.” Of course, it depends on the circumstances. It shouldn’t be a big deal to say that if a routine meeting is running over. But if you’re the PR director and there’s a crisis, you’re going to be expected to cancel your plans and deal with it.
So, readers: What hours do you typically work? Are those typical for your field or just your particular office?
Anyway, we had it set up on a screen here in the conference room, so people could wander in and out, rather than having 400 people trying to stream it individually. I was outside in the beginning of it, but it didn't seem to be getting darker or anything (we didn't get the totality here), and I had no glasses or pinhole viewer, so I just came back inside and ate my bagel.
The only real downside is that I have had "Total Eclipse of the Heart" in my head for at least a week. Even listening it to a few times hasn't cured the damn earworm. That video remains super creepy.
In other news, last night, I finally watched Lego Batman, which I enjoyed quite a bit. I'm always a sucker for Bruce learning to be a good Batdad to his Batkid(s). The one thing I didn't care for was the Bruce/Babs insinuations, but at least she didn't seem into it, so that was fine. (Also, yay for Rosario Dawson, bridging that MCU/DCU divide!)
I'd been so focused on the cancer stuff that I missed the opportunity to get glasses--the last time we had an eclipse visible here, there was no such thing as fancy glasses, and when they started posting about places you could get them it was too late to do mail order (also they were fakes) for me, and people on our local blog were driving around and calling, desperately trying to track more down. I wasted a lot of time, and mentioned it on the thread--that I'd been so busy with my health I hadn't thought about the eclipse at all and was bummed I couldn't get the glasses (I've done pinhole viewers, but…they're not as cool).
A really nice guy told me he had some spares, and his wife, who works at the Y where I'm a member, brought them with her and I picked them up last week. I'm so grateful to them, so grateful. It was amazing to be able to watch through the glasses. I stayed till every last piece of the moon was gone. Even with sunscreen I'm sure I'll be burned. It was totally worth it.
I've seen two other solar eclipses, but was too young for the first one to really appreciate it, and like I said, the pinhole boxes don't have the same view. I feel like if I croak in surgery next week or afterwards, I'm good. Got to see a big one, and it was wonderful.
I can see why ancient people were spooked by these: the shadows got really long, the sky was dimmer while at the same time the sun was pouring down, the temperature dropped by a few degrees. Blues was definitely confused--he could tell something was going on, and he ended up under the bed for a while. It was eerily silent, too, at totality. This is garbage day in my area, there is always construction going on around here in summer, there are usually people walking dogs and cars driving by. At peak time, it was utterly silent: no noisy, smelly trucks, no people walking, no construction noise. Everyone was watching the eclipse.
Quartz did a profile on Ask a Manager over the weekend, which you can read here.
Second, I was on public radio’s Marketplace this weekend, talking about whether it’s okay to bring your kids to work and how to minimize the impact if you do. We also talked a bit about bringing dogs to work, and that letter about norovirus from last year even came up too.
You can listen here:
me talking about bringing kids to work (and dogs too) was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.
Fandom: BBC Sherlock
Summary: John enlists Molly’s help to cheer Sherlock up when Sherlock is down in the dumps about getting bad marks before the end of term, which means going home and facing his parents. Molly has the idea of a scavenger hunt to put Sherlock’s big, beautiful brain to use, but nothing goes right when what is supposed to be a private thing amongst a few friends becomes a campus-wide event. Will it all end happily ever after or will everything be worse off than they were before
Warnings: Mild language
Characters: Molly Hooper, John Watson, Mary Morstan, Sherlock Holmes, Greg Lestrade, James Moriarty & Sally Donovan
Pairings: Sherlock Holmes/Molly Hooper & John Watson/Mary Morstan
When I Started: July 13th, 2016
How I Lost My Shit: For some reason I just couldn’t bring myself to write this particular college AU and ended up writing a bunch of other ones instead.
How I Finished My Shit: After falling asleep for almost an entire 48 hours because of chronic illness, I woke up the evening of the day before my first finished fic in this new batch went up and was all “What else can I finish to post on the 21st?” Five chapters and six hours later, I was done with this story. It’s shorter than I had planned, but I rather like it anyway.