I set up a YouTube account for teachers to use, but I was not able to upload a video until I set the username. However I couldn’t set the username at all. The interface would not work. I would enter my chosen username and click on “continue” and nothing would happen. After searching on the internet a bit, I came up with the solution. I had to enable Google+ use for the sub-organization for that user account in Google Apps for Education. As soon as I did that, I could make the username without any problems. I have heard that it is possible to go back and disable Google+ once the username is made without any ill effects (but I have not actually tried that yet, so I can’t guarantee the truth of that).

Climate change denial is a politically-motivated opinion. It is basically the same as “science denial”. I try not to get into fights with people about stuff like this because it is awfully frustrating, but sometimes I can’t help myself. Here is how I responded to a conversation on Facebook that included a lot of people expressing uninformed opinions about climate change.


Here’s the problem. We tend to surround ourselves with people who think the same way we do. This tends to make us accept ideas without questioning because “everyone agrees” or at least “those of us with common sense agree”.

In the case of climate change, the only way you could come up with the idea that (anthropogenic) climate change is not real is by reading opinion articles in politically-motivated media. However, once you have that idea in your head, it is easy to surround yourself with other people who also believe the same thing.

It is very difficult to find any scientific evidence that shows that the climate ISN’T changing. All of science includes uncertainty, but the kinds of uncertainty associated with climate science have to do with degrees (how much) rather than “is climate change a thing”.

I worked as a translator for two years in a research institute for environmental studies. I have read a lot of scientific papers about climate change from a lot of difference sources. I do not mean newspapers or articles online. I mean technical papers written by climate experts for climate experts. These people do not have an agenda. They are not politicians. They use math and scientific methods to show trends in the data that they collect.

Science is not something that you believe or don’t believe. It is something that you read and analyse and contribute to. Agreeing and disagreeing is all part of the scientific process, but before you cultivate your own opinion about a scientific topic like climate change, you have to be willing to put in the work to read the actual scientific literature on that topic. Otherwise, all you are doing is cultivating and spreading ignorance.

My Android (HTC J One) suddenly stopped playing videos when I clicked on Facebook links that went directly to a video. I could play videos from links to websites, but not from links to videos.

Here is how I fixed this problem.

I closed the Facebook app and opened the Youtube app. I noticed that the Youtube app didn’t open properly. I tried to delete the app by dragging it to the trash can, but it didn’t delete. However, when I opened the Youtube app again, it asked me which account I wanted to use. I chose a different account than the one I had been using. (I have several Gmail accounts.) Once I chose the new account, the app worked fine. I went back into Facebook and I was able to play Youtube videos again.

It happened again a few days later. I closed Facebook and opened the interface that shows me which apps are open by tapping the “home” key twice quickly. I closed the YouTube app by sliding it off the screen. Then, when I went into YouTube, it asked me some sort of question (I can’t remember now what it was) about some sort of new feature. I answered it and things were fine again after that. I think the problem is that the YouTube app is sending out messages of some sort, but the messages cannot be read when you open the app from inside Facebook. So you have to close the app and open it from the launcher to clear out whatever message is causing the problem.

Google, please fix this!

This article is not based on anything resembling fact, so it cannot be used to form an opinion about illegal immigrants. It was written by someone (or probably a combination of people over the years) with a strong bias against immigration in general, legal or otherwise. It tries to incite hatred against people from other countries. According to FactCheck.org, it claims to use as its source several articles from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), which itself has a strong bias against immigration, but even CIS denounces this article as “a chain email that is in no way scientific”. Furthermore, the original article was published in 2007, so it should have been taken down many years ago since it has been thoroughly discredited.

The intention of this article is to make people believe that immigration in general is bad. It constantly combines statistics about legal and illegal immigration and tries to paint all immigrants with the same brush. And the reason it does that is because it is trying to make a bigger point. This article is not about illegal immigration, it is about encouraging nationalist and xenophobic thinking. Look at how it says that most of these illegal immigrants are from Mexico and then says that public schools have “thousands of students speaking 41 different languages” and later “over 100 languages”. In my experience, people from Mexico speak Spanish. Who is speaking the other 40 to 99 languages this article refers to?

The gist of this article is that people from other countries are bad. They are probably terrorists. Languages besides English are bad. Foreigners cause all the problems in the US. Therefore, if you just deport all of them, everything will be fine. Everyone who remains will be nice and white and law abiding.

The point of this article is not to educate you about illegal immigration, it is to incite you to hate foreign people. Therefore, it cannot be used to start a reasonable conversation about illegal immigration until and unless all participants in the conversation agree on that point.

My cellphone (Android, HTC J-One) started giving me the following error every time I tried to follow a link to an external site from the official Facebook app.

Something went wrong
Sorry but there was a problem with this link
[insert link here]
You can now continue to this website or go back to the page you were on before. Remember: Only follow links from sources you trust.

I found out that the reason this happened was because I was not logged in to Facebook in my browser. The links in FB are often masked with a different address that includes the FB domain and by jumping from the app to the browser (where I wasn’t logged in), Facebook somehow thought someone was up to no good. Once I opened my browser and logged in there, I could click on links in the FB app and be taken to them without this error popping up.

Some sites will mention that deleting the Facebook Pages app will fix this problem. It didn’t in my case.