Why Jimmy Butler may not solve Philly’s biggest problem

There are big questions about how Jimmy Butler fits next to Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid in the Sixers’ struggling offense.
www.espn.com – NBA

Episode 266 Scott Adams: How to Solve the Middle East, #jobsNotMobs and Midterm Turnout


  • Never waste a good crisis (Khashoggi)
  • When you can’t do something…and you can’t do nothing
  • The human caravan has made immigration visual, persuasive

I fund my Periscopes and podcasts via audience micro-donations on Patreon. I prefer this method over accepting advertisements or working for a “boss” somewhere because it keeps my voice independent. No one owns me, and that is rare. I’m trying in my own way to make the world a better place, and your contributions help me stay inspired to do that.

See all of my Periscope videos here.

Find my WhenHub Interface app here.

The post Episode 266 Scott Adams: How to Solve the Middle East, #jobsNotMobs and Midterm Turnout appeared first on Dilbert Blog.

Dilbert Blog

Episode 258 Scott Adams: Kanye is Using Systems over Goals to Solve Problems


  • Kanye’s approach to helping inner cities is a system rather than a goal

I fund my Periscopes and podcasts via audience micro-donations on Patreon. I prefer this method over accepting advertisements or working for a “boss” somewhere because it keeps my voice independent. No one owns me, and that is rare. I’m trying in my own way to make the world a better place, and your contributions help me stay inspired to do that.

See all of my Periscope videos here.

Find my WhenHub Interface app here.




The post Episode 258 Scott Adams: Kanye is Using Systems over Goals to Solve Problems appeared first on Dilbert Blog.

Dilbert Blog

Episode 115: How to Solve Immigration, and Lots More


  • Negotiating and persuasion strategies for immigration
  • How do we break the deadlock and fix things?



I fund my Periscopes and podcasts via audience micro-donations on Patreon. I prefer this method over accepting advertisements or working for a “boss” somewhere because it keeps my voice independent. No one owns me, and that is rare. I’m trying in my own way to make the world a better place, and your contributions help me stay inspired to do that.

See all of my Periscope videos here.

Find my WhenHub Interface app here.

The post Episode 115: How to Solve Immigration, and Lots More appeared first on Dilbert Blog.

Dilbert Blog

How to Solve Our Human Problems, Pt. 1 – EP – Belle and Sebastian

Belle and Sebastian - How to Solve Our Human Problems, Pt. 1 - EP  artwork

How to Solve Our Human Problems, Pt. 1 – EP

Belle and Sebastian

Genre: Alternative

Price: $ 4.99

Release Date: December 8, 2017

© ℗ 2017 Matador

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Think Like a Tree – Can Namib Desert Beetles Help Us Solve Our Drought Problems?

Namib desert beetles live in an area with little ground water, so how is it that they have no trouble finding H2O? Find out how the resourceful insects use their wing scales to absorb water droplets from fog, and how we can use them as a model for combating water shortages.
WIRED Videos – The Scene

How Do You Solve a Problem Like the Donald?

I have to begin by immediately offering my apologies to Rodgers and Hammerstein for that title, but the lyrics from The Sound Of Music‘s “Maria” have indeed been running through my head — as I contemplate what all the other Republican candidates are going to do in the debate tomorrow night to differentiate themselves from their party’s frontrunner, Donald Trump. Especially the ever-so descriptive line: “A flibbertigibbet… A will o’ the wisp… A clown.”

How do you solve a problem like The Donald, when he’s standing center stage and everyone’s eyes are on him? How do you deal with whatever Trump says from the podium? How do you stand out from the pack and make an impression on all the voters watching?

It seems to me there are four basic strategies the other nine Republicans on the stage have to choose from: ignore Trump, outdo Trump, attack Trump or agree with Trump. Let’s examine each, as well as which candidates are likely to choose each strategy.


Ignore him

Some candidates will choose to debate as if Trump weren’t even on the stage. This may be the safest bet, since Trump has stated that he won’t be attacking other candidates, merely “counterpunching” if they attack him. This leaves the option of rising above the Trump phenomenon, and acting as if tomorrow night were a normal Republican debate. This means focusing on policy ideas, with some gratuitous Democrat-bashing thrown in for good measure.

I expect three candidates to attempt this route. Jeb Bush, Scott Walker and John Kasich are all vying to be the favorite of the Establishment Republican wing of the party. The Establishment Republicans would really prefer Donald Trump to just go quietly away, so candidates who ignore Trump’s presence will be signifying their solidarity with the slice of the Republican electorate who may be amused by Trump’s antics, but are still looking for a solid choice to be their party’s nominee. Bush, Walker and Kasich will all be trying to appear as serious as possible, in contrast to whatever Trump does at the debates.

Of course, this strategy may fall apart, if Trump directly engages with any of them. It’s hard to just ignore a frontal attack, especially in a political debate. If Trump notices any of the three and calls them out, they will have no real option other than to respond. You can’t ignore someone standing next to you, calling you names.

The strategy could backfire, as well. The public (and the media) may be rather dismissive of any candidate who refuses to address the reality of Trump leading the Republican field. “Taking the high road” might look a whole lot like “burying your head in the sand,” to put this another way.

Even so, ignoring Trump looks like the safest route available, if Trump allows them to use it. This won’t be the last debate, and Trump could always fade in popularity. If this happens, then candidates who avoided dust-ups with him are going to look pretty smart, in hindsight.


Outdo him

Modern televised debates are all about scoring that memorable soundbite — the one that gets played over and over again throughout the rest of the campaign. These can be an asset (Lloyd Bentsen’s “You’re no Jack Kennedy”) or a liability (Rick Perry’s “Oops”), but they do get remembered. Every presidential candidate prepares for debates by tucking a few zingers away, to be deployed at opportune moments during the big night. But this time around, the zingers are going to have to compete with Trump, who is capable of just making zingers up, right on the spot.

It wouldn’t be that hard to do, though. Come up with a line that’s funny, memorable and at the same time completely outrageous — so far out there that it’s guaranteed to be even more crazy than whatever Trump can come up with.

I can see many candidates who might make this attempt during the course of the evening, on one subject or another. But there are at least two men who may make this the centerpiece of their strategy: Mike Huckabee and Marco Rubio. Now, I realize that others may come up with different choices for this list (maybe replace Rubio with Ben Carson, for instance), but that’s my guess for now.

Both Huckabee and Rubio are struggling for attention. Both thought they’d be higher in the polls by now. Huckabee in particular has always loved saying rather extreme things in a down-home folksy voice. He had a show on Fox News, after all, and that’s essentially what he was paid to do there. Huckabee, like Trump, doesn’t usually back down from extreme things he says. So he’s my number one choice for the candidate that will try to out-Trump Trump at some point during the evening. If Huckabee can unload some statement that is so jaw-dropping that the other candidates are immediately asked about it, then he will have had a successful debate. So I look for Huckabee to center his whole strategy around trying to outdo Trump.

Marco Rubio’s not as obvious a choice to do so. Rubio’s political personality is one of explaining wonky things in plain language that leads to only one possible conclusion. He tries to make the conservative position seem so obvious that even contemplating any other way of doing things seems insane. And he’s pretty good at it, too. But Rubio has a big problem. He was seen as one of the top three candidates not so long ago. It was supposed to be Bush, Walker and Rubio at the top of the pack by now. Instead, he’s fighting in the middle of the pack, back in the mid-single digits in the polls. Rubio has seen his support steadily dwindle ever since Trump got in the race (so have all the other Republicans, for the most part, but Rubio has lost more ground than the others).

So he’s got to make a big splash. Unlike Bush and Walker, Rubio can’t afford to play it safe and just ignore Trump completely. Which is why I expect Rubio to try unloading a few zingers himself that go far beyond what Trump is saying.

Trying to out-Trump Trump may be a fool’s game, of course. Trump is bound by no rules other than those in his head, so he can always “trump” your ace by doubling down on the craziness. The story will once again be all about Trump, if he does so. The other danger with trying to outdo Trump is the possibility of turning off the public in a big way because they see your zinger as dangerously extreme. But, so far, Donald Trump has gotten a lot of voter support from being dangerously extreme, so my guess is that many candidates may at some point try to top Trump in the battle of the zingers.


Attack him

Much like watching NASCAR for the crashes, this — of course — is what everyone will be tuning in to see. A full-frontal attack on Donald Trump by a candidate desperate for attention. Sadly, Rick Perry did not make the cut for tomorrow’s debate. I say “sadly” because Perry has so far been the bravest of the Republican field when it comes to calling Trump’s extremism out. It would have been much better television if Perry had been given the chance to do so in person.

But there are others out there who could conceivably try taking Trump on directly. Chris Christie is an obvious choice for this category. Christie’s whole political persona is actually pretty close to Trump’s. It might be called “belligerence equals strength” (which is a more polite thing to say than “bullying”). Christie is famous for shouting down opponents, big and small. He’s got that whole “New Jersey attitude” thing going for him, too. So he may throw the first rhetorical punch at Trump tomorrow night, in a bid for attention.

Seeing Trump and Christie go toe-to-toe would be interesting, that’s for sure. It’s the old “unstoppable force meets immovable object” sort of clash. Who would emerge victorious in the eyes of the public? Your guess is as good as mine.

The other candidate I could see getting in a serious scrap with Trump might not seem obvious at first glance. Rand Paul isn’t normally seen as a belligerent sort of guy. But whether Trump attacks him directly or not, Paul is really the only Republican on the stage who is significantly different than the rest of the field ideologically. Almost all the other candidates agree on just about every major issue, after all. Rand Paul, however, has always believed in a much more isolationist foreign policy and also has libertarian views on government snooping. Plus he’s now launched a “reach out to minorities” effort to even further differentiate himself from orthodox Republicanism. So I could see Trump starting this fight, by lighting into Paul on one issue or another, in scathing terms.

At this point, Paul would have to fight back. He likely wouldn’t try to out-shout Trump (as Christie might indeed do), but instead use his own scathing criticisms in response. Paul, like Trump, knows that his base of support loves him for who he is and therefore he’s not going to change it onstage.

Whether it’s an attack or a counterattack, poking Trump with a verbal stick is going to be very dangerous. Trump holds the support of something like one-in-four (maybe one-in-five) Republicans, if the polls are to be believed. Attacking him directly is going to annoy a big portion of the Republican primary electorate. It may gain you respect from the even-bigger portion who don’t support Trump, though. It’s risky, but the risk might pay off. That’s if Trump doesn’t eviscerate you in response, of course.


Agree with him

Trump’s support is being eyed enviously by many of the other Republican candidates, of course. One in particular is angling to pick up that support, if Trump should falter at any point. Ted Cruz has actually defended Trump, even at his most outrageous. Cruz is kissing up to Trump for one reason and one reason only — to reap his support if Trump crashes and burns. If Trump goes down, Cruz can say “I supported Donald right up to the end,” which will certainly resonate with a slice of the Trump voters.

The other person I could see playing a Trump sycophant tomorrow night is Ben Carson. Carson certainly enjoys saying outrageous things himself. He’s no stranger to controversy over extreme language, that’s for sure. So he would also be a natural second-choice for many Trump voters, should The Donald flame out at some point. Which is why I can easily see Carson either agreeing with Trump tomorrow night, or even defending him against someone else’s attacks.

There are two big risks to kissing up to Trump, of course. The first is that you are obviously following, not leading. This isn’t very presidential. The second danger is that you follow Trump right over a cliff. If Trump does blow it at some point, it’s likely going to be a pretty spectacular event (he is, after all, Donald Trump). If you have been supporting and defending Trump the whole campaign, you may get caught in the wreckage if he goes down. The trick would be to support him right up to the edge of the cliff, and then shake your head sadly and watch Trump go over the edge, by himself. But this would require precision timing, which may be impossible.


In conclusion, I do realize that pigeonholing candidates in this fashion is somewhat ridiculous, for two big reasons. The first is that nobody’s going to be required to use only one tactic against Trump. Candidates might shift from one to another multiple times throughout the evening, in fact. So even putting names to the strategies is kind of pointless.

But the second reason this is ridiculous is that here we are, measuring all the other Republicans by the yardstick that is Donald Trump. This ridiculousness is external to this column, though, so I won’t apologize for it. Sure, it’d be a better political universe if we all just treated Donald Trump like an afterthought and instead concentrated on the merits of all the serious Republican candidates. But that’s not the current reality. The current reality is that Donald Trump is the face of the Republican Party, whether the Republican Party likes it or not. Trump is getting twice what his nearest challenger is getting in some polls right now. Trump is pulling in over 20 percent with regularity. The number two and number three contenders both struggle to hit 15 percent. And the entire rest of the field — all 14 of them — are polling way, way behind in the single digits.

So, sure, “Donald Trump frontrunner” is a ridiculous thing to type. But that doesn’t make it any less true. Whether Trump was in front or someone else, presidential debates are almost always about measuring the guy in front against all the others. “Will someone knock the lead candidate out of first place?” is the question pundits always ask, no matter who the frontrunner happens to be. Since it is Donald Trump, it makes perfect sense to wonder what the other candidates are planning to do. How are they going to solve the problem of Donald Trump? Unlike Maria, marrying him off to a rich Austrian with seven kids is probably not going to be an option.


Chris Weigant blogs at:

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Infographic: How Greece Can Solve Its Debt Crisis

Currently in negotiations with the European Central Bank, Greece faces an uncertain future as it attempts to prevent financial collapse in the midst of its debt crisis. Here are some potential ways Greece could solve its economic woes:

  • Try renting out extra space above Thessaloniki to bring in more income
  • Avoid frivolous spending on things like health care and a national infrastructure
  • Appoint a special finance minister charged with groveling at Angela Merkel’s feet
  • Increase number of hourly tours of Parthenon
  • See if populace can think up another new branch of science, form of government, philosophical mode of thought, or basis for Western culture that can be licensed for quick cash
  • Plunder the Turks
  • Place tourism ads in Golf Digest and Woman’s Day magazines
  • Finally end Greece’s outdated practice of paying Rome a 30 million denarii tribute each year
  • Patiently remind creditors that money is just a …

The Onion

How Would You Solve ISIS?

Today, as is often the case, I will write about a topic I do not understand. You don’t need to remind me of that fact in the comments. But I do enjoy learning, so educate me if you need to.

Now let’s get to it…

ISIS continues to gain ground and no one, including the United States military, has any practical option for stopping it. 

So what would you do if you were in charge of creating U.S. strategy?

In my 2004 book, The Religion War, I predicted the rise of the Caliphate and the inability of the major powers to control it. In that story, the solution involved putting a wall around the Caliphate and cutting it off from the world before “depopulating” it. That isn’t a practical plan at the moment, but I am sure it will come to that when ISIS drones start attacking the U.S. Mainland. (I wrote the book as a prediction.)

At the moment, ISIS seems to me like a problem for Iran and Saudi Arabia to solve. The U.S. gains by staying in the fight on some modest level, but mostly to increase influence, improve intelligence assets, kill some high-profile bad guys, and generally understand the area better. “Winning” isn’t one of the likely outcomes.

The big problem that ISIS has going forward is that they have no air force, no superpower allies, and an entire world that wants them dead. Once they set up a more conventional government to run the Caliphate, all they will be doing is building targets that will disappear about the same time the punch lists are finished.

I think the likely outcome of ISIS is that it will give all the players in the Middle East, plus the United States, a common enemy for a change. So as long as ISIS is contained, and there is plenty of oil from other sources, the United States might come out ahead. 

Call me an optimist, but something about the ISIS situation looks like a step in the right direction for the rest of the world because it will turn traditional state enemies into frenemies. And that probably reduces the odds of, for example, Iran trying to nuke anyone. You nuke your enemies, maybe, but probably not your frenemies.

So my suggestion for dealing with ISIS is to let them win ugly (with plenty of losses) and then let them fail as a state, once you wall it off. And perhaps you let that play out over thirty years.

ISIS makes a great bogey man.

Let’s hear your plan.

Scott Adams

On the Top Tech Blog, robots that sanitize your kitchen, scary robots with bug eyes, and a breakthrough in AR glasses.

Scott Adams Blog

How One Mom Is Using Military Uniforms To Solve A Problem For Kids With Autism

When Crystal Lyons’ toddler son John was diagnosed with autism in July 2014, the South Carolina mom looked into buying him a weighted vest — a therapy tool that can have a calming effect on children with autism, ADHD, sensory processing disorder, and other special needs.

Lyons was disappointed to find that the weighted vests she came across were out of her price range, and insurance wouldn’t cover the cost, she told The Huffington Post. With the help of her drill sergeant husband, the mom came up with a solution. “I told my husband, ‘You know what? I bet I could use all those uniforms you have, and a sewing machine just costs 100 dollars,'” she said in an interview with USA Today.


After teaching herself to sew, Lyons created a weighted vest for John. “[It] helps him cope through situations where he is feeling overly anxious or unsure,” she told The Huffington Post. “The vest helps him calm down so he can focus on his therapy or what he is learning in school.”

Though research about the effectiveness of weighted vests varies, many occupational therapists and parents find them to be helpful for kids with special needs. Roseann Schaaf, a professor and chair of the department of occupational therapy at Thomas Jefferson University told Today, “The jury is still out. Most of the studies are small samples and need to be replicated.” She added, “Just because it works for this child doesn’t mean it’s going to work for your child … every kid with autism is very different.”

Seeing the positive impact the weighted vest had on her son, Lyons was inspired to make more vests for more children. Thus “Vests for Visionaries” was born.


To create the vests, Lyons disassembles donated military uniforms. Then, she reassembles them as weighted vests incorporating the child’s interests and favorite colors into the design by adding patches and new fabrics in the lining. The mom does not weight the vests because every child requires a different amount of weight. “I recommend parents or therapists do the actual weighting of the vest,” she said, noting that she uses rolls of pennies to weigh down her son’s vest.

So far, Lyons has been able to donate vests to over 130 kids in the U.S. and Australia. “Sometimes the vests are referred to as ‘portable hugs’ due to the deep pressure having the same effect as a longer lasting hug and giving the same type of comfort,” she told The Huffington Post. “I think in general the vests provided by Vests for Visionaries also give a more ‘cool’ option for school aged children who may already feel self-conscious about their anxiety, autism, or sensory issues.”

vests for visionaries

For the first 18 months of John’s life, he developed normally. “He would interact with you, look you in the eye, sleep through the night,” she recalled. “He was speaking in small sentences, imitating, pointing, bringing toys and objects to us.” But then he started speaking less and less, and when his father went away for drill sergeant training, the 22-month-old stopped talking altogether. At the age of 2, John was officially diagnosed with autism, which his mom says was “devastating.”

“There were a lot of questions and worries like, ‘Will he ever talk again?’ ‘What are we going to do if we have to move and we have to start therapies over again?’ ‘How are we as a family going to work together to help him through this?'” But, after taking two weeks to let the diagnosis sink in, Lyons pushed ahead and hasn’t stopped working to help John and other kids with special needs.

When she started Vests for Visionaries, the mom’s goal was to “help children and families be able to have access to a therapy tool they may not be able to afford and to give hope to those families in a situation where they may already be feeling helpless,” she said. “I just want people to know not to give up after diagnosis and to know there is help and there are people willing to help if you just let them know.”

vests for visionaries

H/T The Stir

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Telling Women That Men Find Curves Attractive Is Not The Way To Solve Body Issues

One man thinks he’s found the answer to solving women’s body image problems: male approval.

Child health expert Aric Sigman told The Telegraph that in order to combat the “neurosis” young women have about their bodies — specifically about being fat — educators should be enlisting young men to tell their slightly younger female peers what they find attractive about women.

“Boys don’t have in any way near as rigid a view on what an attractive figure should be and they value many other physical qualities, including eyes, hair, and body language,” Sigman told The Telegraph.

“An increase in fat on hips, thighs and bottoms is not only natural but good for girls because it is appealing to males,” said Dr. Sigman. “It protects girls from heart disease and diabetes and the great news is that men like that body fat on women.”

Fact: Body dissatisfaction is at epidemic levels among young women. Research has shown that over 80 percent of American 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat, and a 2015 study showed that 80 percent of this same demographic have been on a diet.

Other fact: Using male approval as a short-term fix for these systemic issues is not the answer.

As The Guardian’s Hadley Freeman sarcastically put it: “If there’s one thing women around the world have been lacking, it’s men telling them exactly what they find attractive in a lady.”

Women learn from an early age that what matters most is how our bodies look. No matter how hard we try to control that image, and no matter what genetic lottery we’ve been dealt, it’s an impossible game to win. Real women have curves, but at the same time, nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. We are collectively, acutely aware that our wages, love lives and our overall value as women are impacted greatly by what’s on the outside.

And therein lies the real issue: We live in a world where the female body is the ultimate arbiter of worth. Tying the solution to women’s anxieties about their bodies only serves to reinforce the underlying problem.

Sigman’s ideas also seem to assume that a) all young women are attracted to men, and b) that young men don’t experience body dysmorphia. Spoiler alert! Young women who aren’t straight and young people who aren’t female still grapple with shame and stigma when it comes to their bodies. A 2014 study found that nearly 18 percent of boys expressed concern about their bodies or weight.

Luckily, there are plenty of men and women who do understand these nuances and are doing work that could really make a difference in these arenas. (Tess Munster’s Eff Your Beauty Standards project and Nikolay Lamm’s “Normal Barbie” are just two of many.)

Combatting body image issues requires more than assuring young women that random dudes in the grade above them may find them sexually attractive. We are more than our bodies. Let’s start looking for solutions to these issues that recognize that.
Style – The Huffington Post
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One Vogue Cover Doesn’t Solve Fashion’s Big Race Problem

When it was announced that Jourdan Dunn would be the first black model to cover British Vogue in twelve years it made me sad. Not for Dunn who was getting the solo cover she so deserved, but for the fashion industry for continuing its decades of tone deafness towards models and consumers of color.
Style – The Huffington Post
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Master P Offering Reward To Help Solve Murder

Over the holiday, Master P gave out bikes to children who have lost family members to violence.

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