Saturday’s Forum

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. MarkedMan says:

    Never saw this before. <a href="@MarkedMan: “>This comment of mine has “0” likes. While not getting any likes is hardly unusual it always shows up as simply a blank next to the thumbs up icon. In fact, Jay’s post immediately below is shown in the regular way. But this one has an actual “0” there. Maybe this is the Internet gods way of telling me in no uncertain terms that my joke was not funny? 😉

  2. Kathy says:

    Music for today includes my second favorite Fantasia segment, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from The Nutcracker Ballet.

    Way back in the 70s when I first heard this piece, I was curious to know what instrument carried the melody in the Fairy segment. It took me years to find it was a rare one called the celesta.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    ‘Headed off the charts’: world’s ocean surface temperature hits record high

    The temperature of the world’s ocean surface has hit an all-time high since satellite records began, leading to marine heatwaves around the globe, according to US government data. Climate scientists said preliminary data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) showed the average temperature at the ocean’s surface has been at 21.1C since the start of April – beating the previous high of 21C set in 2016.

    “The current trajectory looks like it’s headed off the charts, smashing previous records,” said Prof Matthew England, a climate scientist at the University of New South Wales.
    More than 90% of the extra heat caused by adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels and deforestation has been taken up by the ocean. A study last year said the amount of heat accumulating in the ocean was accelerating and penetrating deeper, providing fuel for extreme weather.

    England, a co-author of that study, said: “What we are seeing now [with the record sea surface temperatures] is the emergence of a warming signal that more clearly reveals the footprint of our increased interference with the climate system.”

    “Much ado about nothing.” -Today’s GOP

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    As of Friday, Johnson and Jackson did not appear to have widely released their proof. The American Mathematical Society has only said it has encouraged the pair to submit their work to a peer-reviewed journal. But a YouTube account, MathTrain, reconstructed the proof using slides from Johnson and Jackson’s presentation visible in the WWL report. Lozano-Robledo reviewed MathTrain’s reconstruction, broke it down in his own video and concluded that the students had done what they said.

    In a follow-up video, he summarized how the proof involved “a fractal of similar triangles” as well as “infinite series” to compute the shapes’ sides. “It’s so ingenious,” Lozano-Robledo said. “The proof itself is just so beautiful and so elegant.”

    But Lozano-Robledo also said people who pointed to at least one other trigonometric, noncircular proof of Pythagoras’s theory were correct to do so. Jason Zimba, then at Bennington College in Vermont, established in 2009 that sin2x+cos2x=1 could be derived independently of the Pythagorean theorem, though he took a different route.

    In text under his video, Lozano-Robledo said it was not Johnson and Jackson’s fault that people had the impression they were claiming to have done something not done in more than 2,000 years. He said the students did not say that in their abstract. Johnson and Jackson’s abstract said: “In the 2,000 years since trigonometry was discovered, it’s always been assumed that any alleged proof of Pythagoras’s Theorem based on trigonometry must be circular.” St Mary’s Academy then issued a press release which led with that sentence, under a title containing the words “unprecedented research”.

    Nonetheless, Lozano-Robledo made clear that by all indications Johnson and Jackson had arrived at a valid new Pythagorean theorem proof, an accomplishment worthy of celebration. The eastern section of New Orleans often makes the news for reasons including deadly violence or political corruption, but now two children there have apparently made a discovery of which many researchers dream. Lozano-Robledo said new proofs occasionally give mathematicians insights that can be applied in other settings or equip researchers with a tool to prove other theorems previously thought unprovable. One of the main points of teaching established knowledge, he said, is to inspire new solutions.

    “It’s just so invigorating – it makes me so happy to see teenagers thinking about new math and coming up with something really important and something fantastic,” Lozano-Robledo said. “It’s just great.”

    So they weren’t the first.

    Even so, “It’s so ingenious, the proof itself is just so beautiful and so elegant.” and “It’s just so invigorating – it makes me so happy to see teenagers thinking about new math and coming up with something really important and something fantastic,” Indeed.

  5. SC_Birdflyte says:

    Down here in Masters land, the tournament was curtailed yesterday because of thunderstorms. Today, temperatures are in the low 50s and a cold rain is falling. You might expect this at St. Andrews, but not at Augusta National. Maybe this will open some eyes (although I doubt it).

  6. Stormy Dragon says:


    For some reason, OTB treats a comment that was never upvoted differently from one that was upvoted and then had the upvote removed.

  7. MarkedMan says:

    @Stormy Dragon: How do you remove an upvote?

  8. CSK says:


    Click the up vote icon, then unclick it, and you get a zero. I did it here: @MarkedMan: 😀

    ETA: It disappeared.

  9. CSK says:


    This is supposed to be an up vote and instead it’s a…zero.

    Cue the theme from The Twilight Zone.

  10. Mister Bluster says:

    Upvote, downvote. Click, unclick. 0, 1.
    This is all anti-OTB subterfuge perpetrated by the Opinion Voting Machine company and the ghost of JFK jr.

  11. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: Hah! I almost upvoted your comment, but that would have defeated the purpose

  12. CSK says:



  13. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    I tried to “click” and “unclick” the upvote button, but I don’t have that option. Another wise example of society keeping power out of the hands of crackers. Society should probably do so more often and on a wider scale.

  14. Mu Yixiao says:

    So… This week in Seoul has been a whirlwind. Great times with friends, and more time going out than I’ve done in the past 5 years combined.

    Which, of course means that my flights have been delayed, an extra layover has been inserted, and the last bus to Madison leaves just as my plane lands. I get to spend another 6 hours waiting for the first one on Monday.

    This “karmic balance ” stuff sucks. 😛

  15. Gustopher says:

    Apparently Abbott wants to toss his hat in the ring for the Presidential nomination, as he has a new bit of performative assholery

    He wants to pardon someone who was just convicted of shooting a protester.

    The convicted murderer drove his car into protesters, got out, felt “threatened” by the angry crowd, and shot someone to death.

    Abbott cannot pardon without the Board of Parole and Pardons requesting it.

  16. Matt says:


    Abbott cannot pardon without the Board of Parole and Pardons requesting it.

    Well Abbot can always pull a Rick Perry and just keep replacing board members until he gets the result he wants. That’s how Rick forced the execution of at least one innocent person…