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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Chicago teen earns doctoral degree at age 17

    By age 14, Dorothy Jean Tillman had obtained an associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degree. Despite the impressive achievements, Tillman remembers turning to her mother and saying, “I think I want to pursue a doctorate degree.”

    Her mother, Jimalita Tillman, was surprised. They were in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. And Dorothy was a year into launching a science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) camp startup, and she was looking for funding for the organization. She was busy.

    “I was just like, ‘why?’ I thought you were done,” Jimalita told CNN.

    But after Dorothy explained that her mission was to positively impact young people when it came to their mental health, Jimalita understood and lent her support.
    ……………………
    In addition to her school work, Dorothy also devotes her time to running the Dorothy Jeanius STEAM Leadership Institute, which inspires hundreds of underserved young people in Chicago, as well as abroad in countries like Ghana and South Africa, to pursue STEAM careers. The program includes guest speakers and open conversations around each of the five areas of STEAM.
    ……………………..
    After graduating from ASU, Tillman hopes to continue developing her camps and start applying her studies on integrated behavioral health into her work. There is a potential for franchising the camps one day so more kids gain something, she says. She also hopes to work more with kids in Africa.

    Definitely an underachiever.

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  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    If ever one thinks life is too hard…

    Abandoned, abused and belittled: how Oksana Masters survived a torturous childhood – and became a world-beating athlete

    She was born in Ukraine in 1989, with a range of disabilities caused by radiation from the 1986 Chornobyl nuclear disaster, and spent the first part of her childhood in an orphanage, enduring unimaginable emotional, physical and sexual abuse. When, as an eight-year-old, she was adopted by an American woman, it was finally the start of a happy family life – but it was also challenging to adapt to a new country. Masters underwent multiple operations, including having both her legs amputated.
    ……………………………….
    As a young child, Masters was painfully aware of her abandonment. Other children at the home would get to go to relatives for holidays and birthdays, and some of the carers (to use the term loosely) would taunt her. “Some would say: ‘You’re ugly, you don’t deserve a home, your parents didn’t want you.’ I started realising my birth parents made a conscious decision not to keep me and felt that it was my fault.” Several families tried unsuccessfully to adopt Masters. On the days prospective adoptive parents visited the orphanage in eastern Ukraine, Masters would be carefully dressed, with bows in her hair, and given more food. It became enough, to her, that she wouldn’t be as hungry as usual that day.

    The fear of abandonment has never left, even though her mother, Gay Masters, an academic, sounds incredibly loving and supportive, as does her fiance, fellow Paralympian Aaron Pike. “I bonded to my mom but my fear is she did not bond to me and will choose to leave me. Not just her, but anyone close to me. I have a hard time letting people get close; it was the way I protected myself for so many years.”

    In her 2023 memoir The Hard Parts, Masters writes about the extreme deprivation – the cold, the hunger, the lack of affection – as well as the abuse. She decided to keep a lot of things that happened to her out of the book, “because I just don’t think people would have the stomach for it, and I don’t think they need to know details of everything to understand the big picture”. What she does write about is horrific. She says her best friend, Lainey, was beaten to death in front of her after she tried to take some bread. Until then, Masters realises now, Lainey had been responsible for her survival. “She was my family, she taught me what love is and what safety feels like. I didn’t realise how bad things were until she had gone.” The upstairs of the orphanage, Masters writes, was run as a brothel. She was five when she started to be taken up there.

    Sometimes she would be beaten so badly, it wouldn’t have taken much more to kill her. “All I wanted was to die, but I also wanted a mom; that ounce of hope was there and that’s just what I held on to. Seeing some kids leave and going to families, part of me hoped this would be me too.”
    ……………………….
    When Masters was brought to the US, she had to learn certain feelings. “I didn’t know I was hungry, because I had learned how to suppress those feelings. My mom had to teach me what the word ‘happy’ meant when I told her what these weird feelings were. I just didn’t know how to put a word to it.”

    Her book: The Hard Parts: A Memoir of Courage and Triumph

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  3. CSK says:

    According to CNN, Taylor Swift’s fans danced so hard at her Edinburgh concerts that it registered as seismic activity.

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  4. Jen says:

    @CSK: Yep! Happened at her Seattle show too, the dancing registered 2.3 on the Richter scale. She’s a force of nature. 🙂

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  5. Michael Reynolds says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    So you start off our day with one young woman who is far smarter than anyone here, and another young woman who is far stronger than anyone here. A little dose of ego correction.

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  6. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I admire them both.

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  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I had that thought too, and agree on your conclusion (not that I ever thought I was all that smart, just above avg. Reading about Oksana, I’m pretty dawg damned sure I could never have survived what she’s gone thru).

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  8. Kathy says:

    I spent most of the weekend watching Mythbusters eps on Youtube.

    It’s amazing to realize how much I liked that show and how much I miss it. It’s too bad the second iteration lasted only a couple of seasons.

    What I hadn’t noticed is how much filler there was in that show. Often they ran two or three investigations, cutting from one to the other. When they returned to one, they recapped the myth, showed clips illustrating it, recapped what’s been done, and showed replays of the earlier stages. It was almost like watching the show and its rerun at the same time.

    I realized this now, when I’ve a tool to fast forward through all the repetition. When I watched it on TV over a decade ago, it didn’t seem that repetitive.

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  9. SenyorDave says:

    Completely deranged:
    In a post on Truth Social, Trump wrote, “HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO ALL, INCLUDING THE RADICAL LEFT DEGENERATES THAT ARE RAPIDLY BRINGING THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA INTO THIRD WORLD NATION STATUS WITH THEIR MANY ATTEMPTS AT TRYING TO INFLUENCE OUR SACRED COURT SYSTEM INTO BREAKING TO THEIR VERY SICK AND DANGEROUS WILL.”

    “WE NEED STRENGTH AND LOYALTY TO OUR COUNTRY, AND ITS WONDERFUL CONSTITUTION. EVERYTHING WILL BE ON FULL DISPLAY COME NOVEMBER 5TH, 2024 – THE MOST IMPORTANT DAY IN THE HISTORY OF OUR COUNTRY. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!!!” he added.

    In a sane world he would be in assisted living, off in a corner room where the staff could whisper to each other “it’s your turn to take care of the crazy guy with orange hair. And check to see if he needs to have his depends changed.”

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  10. SenyorDave says:

    @Kathy: I really enjoyed the show. I remember an episode where they examined the myth that a paper could only be folded seven times. So naturally they had a football filed sized paper to test it. The show had a great combination of science and absurdity. Add in a penchant for blowing things up and you had compelling viewing.

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  11. Kathy says:

    @SenyorDave:

    I watched that one yesterday.

    I like their method of first replicating the circumstances, then, if that failed, replicating the result (if physically possible at all). This showed how bad human intuition is about the physical world. Also, perhaps, how we are conditioned by cartoons and action movies to expect certain results that just can’t happen.

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  12. CSK says:

    Trump is hoping his daughter Tiffany’s father-in-law, Massad Boulos, will help him win over Arab-American voters. Good luck with that one, Donnie.

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  13. Kathy says:

    About @Steve’s post yesterday, I find the situation appalling.

    I had concerns over the Chinese vaccines (there were several), because efficacy data on their trials was spotty and not well reported in most media outlets. Also because just about everywhere vaccination was implemented early, be it with the mRNA or virus vector shots, transmission went down quickly. Except in countries like Chile, which went with one or more Chinese made shots.

    About the one thing most reports agreed on, including some in science magazines and some studies I half-understood, is the Chinese vaccines were effective at preventing severe disease and death.

    One or two of these were liste don the Mexican government’s vaccine portal, which meant I might have gotten them (I got Pfizer). I’d made up my mind to take any vaccine offered (we couldn’t choose), and then, if necessary, travel to the US for Pfizer or Moderna.

    The bottom line is that spreading vaccine misinformation is bad in any circumstance. In the midst of the trump pandemic, it’s outright murder.

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  14. Michael Reynolds says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    You and I are mere flesh and blood. Oksana is apparently fashioned out of tempered steel.

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  15. CSK says:

    According to Alyssa Farah-Griffin, Trump wanted to execute the person who leaked the information that he hid in the White House bunker during the George Floyd riots.

    She added: “But there were others, where he talked about executing people.”

    I wonder who else was on his hit list.

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  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Indeed.

    @CSK: If I could manage the feat, I would gladly join it.

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  17. Gustopher says:

    I found an article on WaPo about pet spending and statistics about who owns what pet.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2022/12/30/american-pet-spending/

    Reptiles are fascinating — Republicans are twice as likely to own them than Democrats (4% to 2%), Hispanics are more likely to own them than anyone else, and people living in trailers rather than any other living arrangement. Education: high school dropouts and folks with associates degrees.

    I assume it is just small sample sizes, and doesn’t mean that every Latino Republican man in a trailer park with an associates degree has a reptile.

    My assumption has mostly been that it was post-goth white liberal women who got into snakes and bearded dragons. I was wrong.

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  18. Kathy says:

    For some reason, my regular supermarket has had turkey breasts and thighs on sale for over a month. Usually you don’t see any turkey for sale outside December, and then it’s all whole frozen turkeys.

    I wonder if last holiday season was terrible, and they’re taking whole birds out of deep freeze and portioning them out.

    Or maybe it’s their current poultry supplier. I noticed the chicken went from one brand to a different one.

    I’m not planning to get any in the foreseeable future. I had great success cooking it, and then using the bones for stock, but it’s too expensive to gt once or twice a month. Instead I’m thinking I should cook chicken breasts the way I did the turkey breasts, and keep the bones for stock.

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  19. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Gustopher:

    I assume it is just small sample sizes, and doesn’t mean that every Latino Republican man in a trailer park with an associates degree has a reptile.

    That one may be closer than you realize. I would guess that it’s a pretty small sample size.

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  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gustopher: Hispanics are more likely to own them than anyone else,

    If you’ve ever been to the non tourist parts of Mexico and central America, you know that lizards and such are just part of the roof thatching* and “wall papering”.

    I wonder how much of their acceptance of reptiles as pets is “cultural heritage”? (for lack of better terms?)

    * a lot of scorpions in roof thatching too, but I don’t see Latinos keeping them as pets.

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  21. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: I bought roasted dark meat chicken, legs and thighs with the pelvic back bone attached, on special last week at my local grocery store and the bones from 4 legs and 4 thighs made a huge pot of stock for vegetable soup over the weekend. Most went in the freezer, so I don’t need to make stock again for a while. I still am figuring out how the air frying basket on my new, smaller, convection oven will roast chicken, but with what raw chicken costs at my store downtown, when deli chicken is on special, it’s really just as cheap to buy already roasted pieces.

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  22. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    For the turkey, I cooked it in the oven at 185 until a couple of degrees C short of the cooked temp. I then let it rest a few minutes, and stuck each breast in the air fryer on broil at, I think 230 C for seven minutes. I got juicy, tender meat and crispy skin.

    I’ve cooked chicken thighs directly in the air fryer, marinated and with breading. I forget the times, but the neat part is the thing pauses when I open the lid, then restarts when I close it. I can then check the temp and skin.

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  23. Kathy says:

    We got a new multi functional copier for evaluation.

    First thing I did, was to feed it one of the labels I use for samples. TL;DR they’re a peculiar size we have a format for printing. These tend to be a PITA on all printers, requiring multiple visits by IT and the copier supplier to get right.

    I was pleasantly surprised they printed right away and perfectly centered, by the simple expedient of choosing the feed from a specific tray.

    I’d credit the brand of the new machine, except I can’t, We’ve had that brand before, and it was a PITA to get the labels printed in them. Hopefully this one will do better (if we get to keep it).

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  24. Neil Hudelson says:

    After 11 years, my sister is being prepped for her heart transplant. So long as the next 24 hours go well, this is a joyous moment.

    For those inclined to pray, send good vibes, offer viriginal sacrifices, whatever you believe may help in times like these, it would be appreciated today.

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  25. Kathy says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    Good luck. Hoping for the best.

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  26. Kathy says:

    double post.

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  27. DrDaveT says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Receive ye therefore the sacred upvote.

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  28. CSK says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    My best to your sister–and you.

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  29. just nutha says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Will do.

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  30. JohnSF says:

    @Neil Hudelson:
    Bit belated, but best hopes.

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