Don Cheadle recalls trying not to be recognized in London with several other members of the Avengers cast

On Late Night with Seth Meyers (back in February), Don Cheadle recalls the night he, Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, et al decided to walk a few blocks in packed London streets despite an expectation of being mobbed. It didn't quite work out as they expected. As a bonus, Cheadle recalls how he came to meet Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice during the George W Bush administration.

Link: https://youtu.be/_yoE3K5OG3E



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How rounding numbers affects the law and politics

British mathematician, humorist, and author Matt Parker (whose YouTube channel is "standupmaths") describes how rounding can have unexpected effects, even on how the Trump administration tried to get around a provision in the Affordable Care Act to please insurance industry lobbyists:

Link: https://youtu.be/0X_Hqb7qkW4



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The collapse of local news coverage across the United States

This PBS NewsHour segment was originally broadcast at the end of January but it's still current because it's about a continuing disaster, namely the collapse of local newspapers and news coverage.

Link: https://youtu.be/1KvsAwvXe8M

Local television stations and their websites have to some extent kept a degree of local news going, but it's nowhere near as complete. At one time newspapers were by far the biggest form of advertising. If you wanted to buy a house, for example, you looked in the real estate classifieds. Consistent ad revenues let papers hire lots of reporters. Of course, small towns and rural counties didn't have the level of coverage that larger communities did, but the situation is even worse now.

There are no obvious solutions to the problem. Nonprofit news could help to some extent and is being tried a number of places. There have also been proposals for government subsidies. (In fact, many decades ago the post office delivered magazines and newspapers at reduced rate.) But there are both practical problems and political problems with this.



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The news is out to get Christina Hendricks

Back at the end of February Christina Hendricks was being interviewed on the daytime television talk show Live with Kelly and Ryan when she was interrupted mid-sentence by a breaking news update. That night when she appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers he asked her about that, and here he explains what happened next. Mildly amusing:

Link: https://youtu.be/qjoJWTTANOU



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The continuing debate on marijuana's dangers

Alex Berenson's book Tell Your Children has provoked a lot of discussion concerning the potential dangers of marijuana. (See this favorable review from Stephanie Mencimer in The Washington Monthly here.) I haven't read it, but I gather a Berenson has come in for some legitimate criticism for misrepresenting the research he cites. Of course, the subject excites a lot of passion and pre-judgment on both sides.

Below pediatrician and medical school professor Dr Aaron Carroll, whom I cite a lot here, presents what strikes me as a generally balanced view (though I'm not sure he's right that alcohol is as dangerous as he implies).

Link: https://youtu.be/ZEI9YueX0O4



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Enormous lakes and gargantuan floods thousands of years ago in North America

During the last glacial maximum, for a period of about 7000 years ending roughly 10,000 years ago, glaciers formed ice dams across large rivers in North America. Water blocked by dams naturally spreads out to form lakes, and some of the lakes in question were of staggering size, the largest bigger in area than all of today's Great Lakes combined.

Ice dams aren't stable, in part because ice floats, so eventually the dams that created those lakes collapsed, resulting in truly catastrophic floods, including a whole series of them over 70 centuries in the U.S. Pacifid Northwest. The traces of those lakes and floods remain today, with beaches high above any modern shorelines in Minnesota and North Dakota and unusual terrain such as the so-called channeled scablands in eastern Washington State. An even bigger flood farther east may have dumped so much water into the Arctic Ocean that it eventually disrupted important ocean currents in the Atlantic, which may explain the Younger Dryas, an abrupt cooling event that lasted about a thousand years.

These two videos (which reference each other in passing) explain this remarkable geological history, including some of how it came to be discovered. Human settlers may have been around to witness some of these events and suffer from them.

Link: https://youtu.be/YWZgfPGtQEs

Link: https://youtu.be/qMVhR26NRsk



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