Queer Kentucky Site Aims To Give Voice

A site lead by activist in Louisville, KY has endeavored to provide a greater voice to that regions LGBTQ community. Queer Kentucky offers original content and statewide updates.

Below is from their site about the vision they have for their community.

Queer Kentucky Site Aims To Give Voice
Queer Kentucky’s logo

We have created a platform for Queer people from all around our great bluegrass state to share experience, ideas, philosophies, emotions, and more. Our voices may sometimes be unfortunate, cheerful, inappropriate and sometimes down-right bizarre, but we are alive to tell them. Our photos might be simplistic and not high-fashion, but it is US that is in them. This stage is set for all people under our Queer umbrella. This stage is ours.

Stay tuned for updates, apparel, events…and most importantly, more voices. We hope our platform grows. The fact that it’s even up and running makes us giddy. Please contact us for feedback, ideas, hopes and dreams. Of course no subject is taboo.

From metro streets, to Appalachian trails, these are our voices.

Thank you,

Queer Kentucky Team

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11 Senators Want To Know Why The CDC’s Gun Injury Estimates Are Unreliable

Eleven senators have sent a letter to the head of the Department of Health and Human Services, demanding answers to a series of questions about the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s nonfatal firearm injury estimates. The inquiry relies on the findings of an investigation by The Trace, a nonprofit news organization covering gun violence in America,1 and FiveThirtyEight, and is led by Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey.

The Trace and FiveThirtyEight first reported last year that the CDC’s 2016 gun injury estimate was so uncertain the agency classified it as “unstable and potentially unreliable.” Since then, the agency’s data, which in 2017 was derived from a sample of just 60 hospitals, has become even more unreliable. The CDC’s gun violence estimates are widely cited in academic articles.

“Given that the CDC is not currently conducting gun violence research,” the letter reads, “the very least the agency can do is to ensure that its gun injury numbers are accurate.”

The letter asks HHS Secretary Alex Azar to explain the CDC’s methods for tracking nonfatal firearm injuries, the cause of its increasingly unreliable estimates, and whether the agency has undertaken any actions to improve the quality of its data. The senators also ask whether the Dickey Amendment — a piece of 1996 legislation that bars the CDC from using its funding to “advocate or promote gun control” — has played any role in the agency’s continued reliance on a data source that’s ill-suited for producing firearm injury estimates.

“We as lawmakers, as every American citizen, should be able to follow and understand the latest trends on firearms injuries without the concern of coming across ‘unstable and potentially unreliable’ data,” Menendez told The Trace in an email.

The CDC has previously acknowledged its estimates have a high degree of uncertainty. “CDC continues to look into various ways to strengthen the estimates for nonfatal firearm injuries,” said spokesperson Courtney Lenard in an email.

Researchers interviewed by The Trace and FiveThirtyEight believe the CDC’s estimates are too flawed to use. Guohua Li, editor-in-chief of the medical journal Injury Epidemiology and director of Columbia University’s Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention, said the estimates could be improved by drawing upon a larger and more reliable source of data, such as another database administered by HHS.

Menendez makes reference to this proposed solution in the letter, writing, “There appears to be no rational reason that the CDC and HHS use different databases.”

The letter was also signed by Democratic Sens. Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Mazie Hirono, Richard Blumenthal, Amy Klobuchar, Kamala Harris, Tina Smith, Chris Murphy and Chris Van Hollen and independent Angus King. The letter asks Azar to respond by April 20.

Politics Podcast: Can Statistics Solve Gerrymandering?

FiveThirtyEight

 

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on the constitutionality of partisan gerrymandering on Tuesday. The court is again considering whether lawmakers are allowed to draw district lines meant to dramatically benefit one party over another and — if not — how the courts should judge when lawmakers go too far.

In this episode of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, mathematician Moon Duchin explains a statistical method for determining when maps become too partisan. On Tuesday, the justices discussed her proposed method, but we’ll have to wait to see whether they were convinced that it’s a potential solution.

This episode is part of our FiveThirtyEight On The Road series, which is brought to you by WeWork. You can listen to the episode by clicking the “play” button in the audio player above or by downloading it in iTunes, the ESPN app or your favorite podcast platform. If you are new to podcasts, learn how to listen.

The FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast publishes Monday evenings, with additional episodes throughout the week. Help new listeners discover the show by leaving us a rating and review on iTunes. Have a comment, question or suggestion for “good polling vs. bad polling”? Get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments.

Beto O’Rourke Didn’t Get Much Of A Kickoff Bump, But He’s Not Alone

The presidential rollout parade continues! Since I last wrote about candidates’ polling bumps after they declared their presidential campaigns, Beto O’Rourke has joined the 2020 Democratic primary field, and we’ve gotten full data for a couple of other candidates. But it turns out that none of their entries into the race really caused a bump in their poll numbers, according to one set of polls.

As I did three weeks ago, I used Morning Consult’s weekly national poll of likely Democratic primary voters1 to gauge how much of a splash each presidential candidate’s kickoff made among the public. The chart below shows how O’Rourke’s, John Hickenlooper’s and Jay Inslee’s polling numbers changed after their campaigns launched; six other candidates who announced before March are also included. We’ve excluded candidates whom Morning Consult doesn’t ask about,2 those who declared too early for us to have polling data both before and after their announcements3 and those who haven’t officially declared they’re running.4

O’Rourke had an … interesting campaign launch that has generated some mixed signals. On the bright side for him, he raised more than $6 million in the first 24 hours after announcing his candidacy — a sum that topped all other contenders, even small-donor darling Bernie Sanders. But O’Rourke’s bump in the Morning Consult poll was decidedly meh: He went from 7 percent in the poll the week before his March 14 announcement to 8 percent in the poll the week after. Other polls, however, showed larger gains for O’Rourke. He rose by 2 percentage points in CNN’s polling and by 7 points in Emerson College’s polling (although CNN’s pre-announcement poll was taken in December and Emerson’s in February, so there was plenty of time for other events to affect his standing as well). Overall, it appears as though O’Rourke has gotten a smaller bump than Sanders and Kamala Harris, but larger than that of other candidates. However, a pair of The Economist/YouGov polls — one each taken before and after his kickoff — had disappointing news: O’Rourke’s net favorability rating (favorable rating minus unfavorable rating) among Democrats fell from +45 points before his announcement to +40 after it, although the changes were within the margin of error. That could reflect the fact that even though O’Rourke got lots of cable-news coverage in the days after his launch, some of it was unflattering.

Inslee and Hickenlooper also underwhelmed. Inslee, the governor of Washington, had been polling at 0 percent before his March 1 announcement, and he inched up to 1 percent the week after he declared. But Hickenlooper, a former governor of Colorado, saw no change — he polled at 1 percent both before and after his March 4 campaign kickoff. One silver lining for Hickenlooper is that Morning Consult found an uptick in the number of people who could form an opinion of him: The week before his announcement, 20 percent of respondents had either a positive or negative opinion of Hickenlooper; the week after, 26 percent did.

And some bad news for all three candidates: As you can see from the chart, candidates’ polling bumps tend to dissipate after their kickoffs, so they’ll need to garner attention some other way to prove that they have staying power in the race.

Derek Shan contributed research.

Check out all the polls we’ve been collecting ahead of the 2020 elections.

Emergency Politics Podcast: Mueller Has Filed His Report

Special counsel Robert Mueller has concluded his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and submitted his report to Attorney General Bill Barr. In this emergency installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, legal reporter Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux discusses what we can expect to learn in the coming days.

You can listen to the episode by clicking the “play” button in the audio player above or by downloading it in iTunes, the ESPN app or your favorite podcast platform. If you are new to podcasts, learn how to listen.

The FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast publishes Monday evenings, with additional episodes throughout the week. Help new listeners discover the show by leaving us a rating and review on iTunes. Have a comment, question or suggestion for “good polling vs. bad polling”? Get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments.

Significant Digits For Thursday, March 21, 2019

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news.


3-year silence

On Wednesday, Justice Clarence Thomas, infamously voiceless jurist, broke a three-year silence during Supreme Court oral arguments to ask a question about the race of jurors. And that three-year streak was nothing — before he spoke in 2016, he had gone 10 years silent. He has recently claimed, according to the Times, that “other justices asked so many questions that they were rude to the lawyers before them.” [The New York Times]


300,000 acres

A federal judge has temporarily blocked oil and gas drilling on 300,000 acres of land in Wyoming, ruling that the Department of the Interior “did not sufficiently consider climate change” when auctioning off federal land in that state. The governor of Wyoming suggested that the state might appeal the decision. [The Washington Post]


Around 1,600 people

Some 1,600 people in South Korea were secretly filmed in their hotel rooms, and the footage live streamed, according to police there. Two men have been arrested in an operation reportedly involving 42 rooms in 30 hotels in 10 cities, where cameras were hidden in wall sockets and hair dryer holders. Some users of an illicit website paid $44.95 a month to access the streams. [CNN]


£1 million donor

A £1 million donation to the National Portrait Gallery in London has been withdrawn. The donators were the Sackler Trust, run by the wealthy family that also owns Purdue Pharma, which sells Oxycontin and has been accused in lawsuits of contributing to the opioid crisis. “It has become evident that recent reporting of allegations made against Sackler family members may cause this new donation to deflect the National Portrait Gallery from its important work,” the museum and the trust said in a joint statement. [BBC]


Photos from 1850

Tamara Lanier, great-great-great-granddaughter of a slave named Renty, is suing Harvard for photos that the university commissioned in order “to prove the inferiority of black people.” The photos, taken in 1850, were of Renty and his daughter Delia. Lanier is suing for possession of the daguerreotypes, compensation for emotional distress, and for Harvard to acknowledge that it was “complicit in perpetuating and justifying the institution of slavery.” [Reuters]


61 percent in favor

A record number of Americans, according to the General Social Survey, think marijuana should be legal. Sixty-one percent are in favor of legalization, up 4 points from two years ago. And the support has a broad base: 54 percent of Republicans, 76 percent of Democrats, 75 percent of those 18 to 34, and 46 percent of those 65 and older. [Associated Press]


Love digits? Find even more in FiveThirtyEight’s book of math and logic puzzles, “The Riddler.”

If you see a significant digit in the wild, please send it to @ollie.


Creating A Private Blog Network: PBNs In 2019 For SEO

Typical Parts Of A PBN
Each PBN site will include registering the domain, setting the name servers and hosting the site.

First and foremost the most important aspect of your Private Blog Network is randomness.  Consider what pattern or foot print your PBN might have and avoid that commonality.

patterns that give away a PBN
Patterns and commonality to avoid in building a Private Blog Network

Good PBNs Are Random, Start With Different Name Registrars

First off you need private domain registration, if not private then you’ll need people and addresses from all over.  If you always use Godaddy you’re going to have to try out others to avoid a pattern.  Incidentally if you always use Godaddy you’re getting ripped off as they will charge you for privacy and many others don’t.  Some popular Name Registrars are 1and1.com namesilo.com namecheap.com cosmotown.com each of these can save you a considerable amount over Godaddy considering they offer free private registration and using more than one breaks a pattern.

Each time you add a new site to your PBN you need to approach it from the beginning as if you’re playing a character in a story who has never made a website before, when I say that I mean if you know you have a site on Host A and you like that host you’re making decisions based on previous sites and are more likely to create a pattern.  Forget Host A how would you find a host for the first time?  Google popular web hosts and pick a cheap new partner.

One thing that’s really beneficial about building PBNs that is more helpful to you in the long run is the forced exploration.  After you’ve built ten sites on ten hosts using ten registrars and ten WordPress themes you’ll be able to write three top ten lists and rank the best of the 720 combinations that were available to you.  It’s a lot of practice and as you’re avoiding patterns and repetition you’ll find yourself stepping out of your norm.

Vary Your Web Hosts

Speed of a web host is important normally but not necessarily when your building a PBN.  While you want your primary or money site to load in under 3 seconds its perfectly fine if your PBN site loads in 7 seconds and that opens the door to all manner of generic no name web hosts.   Your primary goal with multiple web hosts is to utilize a different IP address.

Organizating A PBN Gets Complex
Considering the complexity that can quickly arise when seeking randomness of your sites.

The only two big issues with this model …

Organization OF PBN Resources

What site is down?  Oh….well which domain registrar did I use?  Am I using their nameservers, someone else’s?  Where did I point that to be hosted?  Sure these aren’t that annoying to answer with a 10 site network, but try answering it when you’ve built and scaled up to 200 sites using 7 registrars, 20 name servers, 150 different IPs … it becomes unmanageable as you find yourself searching for your site more than you are building new sites, and why are you having to search?  Maintaining a site is essential, as updates roll out to WordPress, plugins get updated and hackers exploit new vulnerabilities.  If you log into every site you own and spend 5 minutes on each site your 200 domain name network will take 16 hours … or two days a week and consider that you only spend 5 minutes on a site, you likely didn’t fix any issues and took no breaks!  It’s time to consider an apprentice or spreadsheets that fully document every aspect of your network, or both.

Uptime Monitoring

Somewhere around 100 domains I figured out I needed to approach this like an enterprise would and have actual uptime monitoring allowing me to see the state of the network easily.  UptimeRobot allows you to set up 50 monitors on a free account.

Uptime Monitoring Your PBN

In the real world 94% Uptime is horrible.  Consider that in the last 30 days I had a recorded 104765 minutes sites were down in this sample of sites.  I had issues with a server getting attacked by someone using 1700 servers causing a DOS attack.  Why?  Anyone’s guess … usually its a game to them and they aren’t paying for those 1700 servers but they’re other people’s hacked resources being used to grow their network.

You may be interested in MainWP or InfiniteWP … Godaddy provides Godaddy Pro.  You need to be mindful that these only work when they work and will they give away a signature pattern?  Likely they can create an easier management solution but easier is dangerous.

Costs Ballon And Randomness Prevents Savings

As you scale up from 10 to 20 to 50 sites your going to wake up one day and realize youre spending hundreds of dollars a month on infrastructure and all of your time will now be consumed with maintaining your network.  Adding someone to help you is going to increase costs and take your time to train them in being effective at maintaining the network.  Be careful who you bring in to help you, friends are obvious choices but when they get upset about something unrelated to the network they could leave you high and dry.  Worse yet, they are the most likely to teach you a lesson by bailing on you for a couple weeks.  Trust the people who are in it for the money … pay them more than they can get at a retail job to build loyalty to your mission. They need not be technical people but they need to understand that if a site is down, Google can’t index it and that backlink is missing now.  They need to be able to follow a logical progression and understand the parts that are in play to help you maintain the site.

The obvious answer to addressing costs is to bundle services and make sure you’re utilizing resources in the most effective manner but that is accomplished by making patterns.  You can’t find cost savings by giving away your sites.

Cloudflare Allows Consolidation And The Pattern Is Indistinguishable

Cloudflare Use For PBNs
Cloudflare allows some consolidation while masking the pattern

12,000,000 sites utilize Cloudflare’s free services which include masking your host servers IP, CDN services and security.

Cloudflare offers the ability to hide among the masses.  Who is Cloudflare?  They stand in front of your server and take the brunt of the internets crap.  Upwork.com, Medium.com, Themeforest.net, Chaturbate.com are among the names using Cloudflare.com services.  Some estimates suggest that Cloudflare is about 8% of the entire internet.  Thats huge!  At one point they found themselves protecting the Israeli government’s network as well as the PLOs.Cyber Warfare: Cloudflare In The Middle

Using Cloudflare is hiding in plain sight and free.  I recommend it but in a mixture capacity still have some sites out side of their network just to avoid any one bottleneck, it would seem odd if 100& of the sites linking to a domain are using Cloudflare….remember they are 8% and while the largest chunk of the internet they aren’t the internet.

This article has focused mainly on external and infrastructure concerns of building a PBN.  This is really a third of topic and in the coming weeks I’ll include two more posts that address on site content issues of building a PBN and site design considerations for a network of sites.

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Politics Podcast: Which 2020 Candidates Have Had The Best Rollouts So Far?

FiveThirtyEight

 

The Democratic primary field is taking shape. In this episode of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, the crew debates which candidates have done the best job of introducing themselves to voters in the early days of the contest. The team also takes stock of Republican defections from President Trump — on the recent national emergency declaration vote and other issues.

You can listen to the episode by clicking the “play” button in the audio player above or by downloading it in iTunes, the ESPN app or your favorite podcast platform. If you are new to podcasts, learn how to listen.

The FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast publishes Monday evenings, with additional episodes throughout the week. Help new listeners discover the show by leaving us a rating and review on iTunes. Have a comment, question or suggestion for “good polling vs. bad polling”? Get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments.

Politics Podcast: Brexit’s Moment Of Truth Is Approaching

By

 

The British Parliament voted Thursday to extend the country’s deadline for leaving the European Union beyond March 29. The options now appear to be (i) passing a withdrawal agreement next week and only extending the deadline for a matter of months or (ii) not passing an agreement and postponing the deadline much longer. Cambridge professors Helen Thompson and David Runciman of the “Talking Politics” podcast join the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast to explain the week’s events and what comes next.

You can listen to the episode by clicking the “play” button in the audio player above or by downloading it in iTunes, the ESPN app or your favorite podcast platform. If you are new to podcasts, learn how to listen.

The FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast publishes Monday evenings, with additional episodes throughout the week. Help new listeners discover the show by leaving us a rating and review on iTunes. Have a comment, question or suggestion for “good polling vs. bad polling”? Get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments.