Elsewhere for January 25, 2022

You should read this for 1/25/2022:

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

Elizabeth Bonesteel: decorative leaf bulletWho Sets The Agenda?

decorative leaf bulletAll 850 Books Texas Lawmaker Matt Krause Wants To Ban: An Analysis

letter to the Texas Education Agency asking if any of the schools in the state have the books listed on a 16 page spreadsheet, as well as how much in funds schools had spent on these books.

These books are theoretically related to House Bill 3979, a so-called anti-CRT bill that bans teaching any materials that could mean “an individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of the individual’s race or sex.” Of course, the bill — which is an overreach that has confused school districts about how to follow it — doesn’t actually mention books in school libraries. It’s about curriculum. Nonetheless, with the increase of book bans and challenges recently, Krause appears to want to preemptively remove any books that could be challenged for causing “discomfort.”

Climate Change | Climate Repair

decorative leaf bulletSaving the manatees — rescue by rescue, rehab by rehab

Last year alone, 1,110 manatees died — about 15 percent of the total population in a state where they are beloved. Most perished from starvation because the sea grass beds on which they feed have been destroyed by pollutants and toxic algae blooms worsened by climate change.

Coronavirus | COVID-19

decorative leaf bulletStop Wearing Cloth Masks Experts say that your old cloth masks simply aren’t enough to fight Omicron.

decorative leaf bullet12 Signs You Have a Fake N95, KN95, or KF94 Mask

decorative leaf bulletWhere to Buy N95s, KN95s, and Surgical-Style Masks in 2022

decorative leaf bullet12 Signs You Have a Fake N95, KN95, or KF94 Mask

decorative leaf bullet4 Free COVID tests from the U.S. governmentAs you may have heard, the Federal Government is offering each home in the United States four (4) free at-home Covid-19 test kits. 4 kits per houshold.

Wirecutter: decorative leaf bulletHow to Reuse N95, KN95, and Other Disposable Masks

You can re-wear a mask after you have stored it in a paper bag for a few days, according to the CDC and multiple experts we’ve interviewed for our respirator guide. The agency provides a simple strategy for healthcare workers that involves rotating used masks in brown paper bags, a variation of which was employed during the N95 shortage in the early days of the pandemic. The coronavirus has an expected survival time of about 72 hours, so waiting for, say, five to seven days should be enough time for it to be inactivated.

decorative leaf bulletStressed hospitals are asking workers with covid to return — even if they may be infectious

The Bradenton, Fla. nurse was stunned — and worried she could still be contagious seven days into her breakthrough covid-19 infection. When an employee health representative said she could come back anyway, citing updated federal health guidance, Cordero said she refused. She viewed it as too risky.

Education

Students, seeing lax coronavirus protocols, walk out and call in sick to protest in-person classes

In cities across the country, student-led movements are emerging and gaining steam, with teens demanding better safety protections inside schools and, in some cases, pushing for a return to remote classes.

Nearly two years since the coronavirus hit, the adults — parents, teachers, administrators, politicians — have spent a lot of time and energy fighting over what schooling in a pandemic should look like. Now, for the first time in large numbers, students are rising up and demanding that they get a say, too — in places like New York City, suburban New Jersey, outside Washington and California.

decorative leaf bulletOpinion: Take it from a high schooler who’s actually learned about CRT: Adults need to chill out

Twitter thread: Dr. J. Michael Butler @dr_mbutlerdecorative leaf bulletTHREAD:  What the War Against CRT in Florida is really about:

Food and Drink

decorative leaf bulletFlourless Chocolate Brownies

decorative leaf bulletHot Buttered Rum, Downeast

decorative leaf bulletChocolate Mousse

decorative leaf bullet7 skillet chicken recipes that are heavy on flavor and light on cleanup

Politics and Society

H/T Take Note Podcast decorative leaf bulletHow to Practice I wanted to get rid of my possessions, because possessions stood between me and death.

Science and Nature

decorative leaf bulletWhat’s Eating Maine Shrimp?

Now, biologists from the Maine Department of Marine Resources and the federal government’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center are eyeing a more specific culprit: longfin squid. Their research suggests that the shrimp-eating squid, normally clustered south of Georges Bank, swarmed into the gulf as water temperatures spiked in 2012.


Referral link: Curiosity Stream delivers shows across the full spectrum of the non-fiction genre to demystify science, nature, history, technology, society, lifestyle and more. $19.99/year for thousands of films (or $2.99/month).


Technology

decorative leaf bulletMissouri Likely to Prosecute Reporter for Viewing Web Page Source

H/T : decorative leaf bulletNorton “Antivirus” now sneakily installs cryptomining software on your computer, and then SKIMS A COMMISSION.


SetApp: A Suite of macOS Apps for a Single Price Affiliate link for a great collection of ver 200 apps for macOS and iOS for a flat subscription fee.


Women’s Work

decorative leaf bulletLow-wage workers prop up the nursing home industry. They’re quitting in droves.

rustration is surging among the low-wage workers who make up the backbone of the nursing home industry, as tens of thousands of their colleagues call out sick with covid-19, inflaming shortages that already were at crisis levels. Hailed as “heroes” during the early months of the pandemic, these workers, most of whom are women and people of color, say they’re facing untenable levels of pressure.

Government support has failed to end the crisis, advocates say, allowing care for the elderly and the infirm to worsen, forcing facilities to limit admission or close entirely and clogging up hospital beds. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nursing home industry has lost more than 420,000 jobs since the start of the pandemic, reducing its workforce to the size it was 15 years ago.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

H/T Less Harper: decorative leaf bulletAnother Potential Journaling Hiccup: The Perfect Time and Place

I don’t like to throw water onto people’s hopes and dreams, but there is that realist in me that has to point out that maybe the dreams aren’t just what is necessary, and that there is something better than deferred dreams. I feel compelled to encourage people to start their art life now, and live in the present moment.

Something Wonderful

H/T: Morning Brew newsletter Morning Brew Referral link .decorative leaf bulletBuild a Snowflake


Buy me a Coffee! If you find this site interesting, and would like to see more, buy me a coffee. While I may actually buy coffee, I’ll probably buy books to review.


Elsewhere for December 31, 2021

You should read this for December 31, 2021:

Art, Music, and Film

decorative leaf bullet“I didn’t want anyone to know it was me”: on being Joni Mitchell’s “Carey” For 50 years, the “mean old daddy” immortalised in one of Mitchell’s best-loved songs has been an enigma. Now he tells his side of the story.

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

decorative leaf bulletBoy whose case inspired The Exorcist is named by US magazine

Ronald Edwin Hunkeler died last year, a month before his 86th birthday, after suffering a stroke at home in Marriottsville, Maryland.

In adult life, Hunkeler was a Nasa engineer whose work contributed to the Apollo space missions of the 1960s and who patented a technology that helped space shuttle panels withstand extreme heat.

decorative leaf bulletOldest ink pen in Ireland is discovered by archaeologist during excavation in Burren

The pen discovered by Dr Comber, is made up of a hollow bone barrel with a copper-alloy nib inserted into one end. It was found in an 11th-century layer inside the cashel, and caused quite a stir when it was discovered. No ink pen of this form or early date has previously been found, and most evidence of early literacy in Ireland is associated with the Church, not with secular society.

Climate Change | Climate Repair

decorative leaf bulletScientists caution against giving animals as gifts to developing countries

“As a result, farm animals are bought in great numbers by generous donors. Unfortunately, this can result in unintended consequences. The animals must be fed and they need a lot of water, and in so many places water is getting more and more scarce thanks to climate change. Veterinary care is often limited or totally lacking.”

Coronavirus | COVID-19

decorative leaf bulletCOVID Notes #8 (Special Masks Edition)

Food and Drink

decorative leaf bulletThe 900-year history of vodka: how a medieval elixir became the toast of Hollywood This is actually an ad, paid for by Gray Goose Vodka. Back in the day, this kind of advertisement was called an advertorial. It’s clearly labeled as paid content, but it’s well-written and worth reading.

H/T/ to @WritePads: decorative leaf bulletWall Street Journal Wine Couple Donate Life’s Work to UC Davis Library

History and Archaeology

decorative leaf bulletLarge Roman fort built by Caligula discovered near Amsterdam

The fortified camp appears to have been established by Emperor Caligula (AD12 to AD41) in preparation for his failed attempt to take Britannia in about AD40, but was then successfully developed and exploited by his successor, Claudius, for his own invasion in AD43.

decorative leaf bulletEgyptian pharaoh’s mummified body gives up its secrets after 3,500 years

“We show that Amenhotep I was approximately 35 years old when he died,” Saleem said. “He was approximately 169cm tall [5ft 6in], circumcised, and had good teeth. Within his wrappings, he wore 30 amulets and a unique golden girdle with gold beads.

“Amenhotep I seems to have physically resembled his father … he had a narrow chin, a small narrow nose, curly hair, and mildly protruding upper teeth.”

decorative leaf bulletAncient mass migration transformed Britons’ DNA

Prof David Reich from Harvard Medical School in Boston, US, who led the research, told BBC News: “We estimate that about half the DNA of people in the Iron Age in Britain comes from these new migrants. What that means is if you trace back the ancestors of these Iron Age Britons 20 generations before the time they lived, half of them would not be living on the island of Great Britain.”

As for where the initial migrants originated in continental Europe, their closest matches are with ancient populations in France. But says Prof Reich, “We don’t yet have adequate sampling to directly confirm that or to see where exactly in France it would be.”

When the newcomers arrived, the existing British population traced most of its ancestry to people who arrived at the end of the Neolithic, around the time Stonehenge was being built. They were part of a tradition known as the Beaker Culture.

Science and Nature

decorative leaf bulletHow your brain copes with grief, and why it takes time to heal

decorative leaf bulletLargest ever giant millipede fossil found on UK beach “Weighing 50kg and 2.7 metres long, Arthropleura walked the earth 326m years ago and may have been a hunter”


Referral link: Curiosity Stream delivers shows across the full spectrum of the non-fiction genre to demystify science, nature, history, technology, society, lifestyle and more. $19.99/year for thousands of films (or $2.99/month).


Technology

decorative leaf bulletDon’t deactivate your Facebook account. You need to delete it permanently

Deactivating your Facebook account temporarily freezes it, which is useful if you want a brief hiatus. But that does nothing to prevent the company from tracking your online activity.

To fully separate from Facebook, deleting your account is the only answer. Deleting it also severs ties to Facebook Messenger, the platform’s chat app. (If you want to also get rid of Instagram and WhatsApp, which are Facebook properties, you’ll have to do that separately.) We’ll explain some things you’ll need to consider before going through the process, which requires time and patience.


SetApp: A Suite of macOS Apps for a Single Price Affiliate link for a great collection of ver 200 apps for macOS and iOS for a flat subscription fee.


Women’s Work

decorative leaf bulletViking Roles

The team observed that the figurines crafted at the Ribe workshop are very similar to images on tapestry fragments found in the Oseberg ship burial in Norway, which also dates to the early ninth century A.D. Given that the Oseberg tapestries are generally understood to depict a ceremonial procession, Deckers and his team surmise that the figurines represent people participating in a ritual in which gender norms were upended.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

decorative leaf bulletA man strung Christmas lights from his home to his neighbor’s to support her. The whole community followed.

Stuff I Wrote

decorative leaf bulletDecember from Walters W. 425

decorative leaf bulletMiseltoe

decorative leaf bulletCranberries

Something Wonderful

decorative leaf bulletInside a hollow library book, a secret library


Buy me a Coffee! If you find this site interesting, and would like to see more, buy me a coffee. While I may actually buy coffee, I’ll probably buy books to review.


German Paper Stars

I never knew my paternal grandfather. He died long before I was born. My grandfather was born in Germany, and immigrated to the U.S. as a child. One of the things he taught my father was how to weave paper stars, as Christmas ornaments, out of four strips of paper.

The stars are known by all sorts of names; Folded Paper Stars, German Stars or German Star Ornaments, Swedish Stars, Froebel’s Stars, Christmas Stars, Origami Stars, Star Ornaments, Ribbon Star. You’ll sometimes see them called Moravian stars; they aren’t (that’s a different kind of star). In Germany, they were often made of tin. The stars were created, initially, by a German educator Friedrich Fröbel (April 21, 1782–June 21, 1852). Fröbel invented the idea (and the word) behind the modern concept of a kindergarten, and was deeply committed to early childhood education as crucial in the eventual production of well-educated adults. He was keenly interested in, and promoted, the idea of learning via active engagement, and play. The stars were part of that; they actively teach a number of basic geometric and mathematical concepts.

My father used to make these every year at Christmas, and came up with a number of different versions involving small variations. They’re one of my fondest memories of my father. There are all sorts of videos on YouTube showing how to make the stars, as well as instructions about how to make them on the Web; I’ve linked to a few below. It’s a good idea to practice using plain paper first; it can take a bit to get the hang of making the stars. Once you understand the basic method, try using two colors of paper, or try different kinds of points, or using ribbon. I’ve made stars that were a foot or more across, as well as stars that are smaller than an aspirin. Here’s one site about making German stars; here’s another that’s a downloadable, printable .pdf. Here are two YouTube videos: video 1, video 2.

Star image credit: Kate Ter Haar.

Elsewhere for September 19, 2021

You should read this for 9/19/2021:

Art, Music, and Film

decorative leaf bulletMeet the Little-Known Genius Who Helped Make Pixar Possible “Alvy Ray Smith helped invent computer animation as we know it—then got royally shafted by Steve Jobs. Now he’s got a vision for where the pixel will take us next.”

His former colleagues at Pixar are unanimous in recognizing his contributions. But after he left, Smith’s name was removed from the website, an excision that he feels was somewhat of a betrayal. Catmull says he doesn’t see websites as historical documents.

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

Via @tubbyandcoos:
decorative leaf bulletWe’ve found that a lot of folks are having a hard time wrapping their heads around the supply chain issues, so here is a thread doing my best to explain:

decorative leaf bulletA ‘New Yorker’ Editor Dug For Diversity Stats. She Calls The Results ‘Passive Racism’

On Tuesday, journalism and literature Twitter blew up after a user posted a 20-part thread decrying the lack of diversity among writers and editors at one of the most vaunted publications in the country, The New Yorker.

The stats offered about the print magazine were stunning: In the last 15 years, less than 0.01% of print features and critical pieces were edited by a Black editor. More women were able to publish profiles in the magazine between 1925 and 1935 than between 1990 and 2000. And over the last 30 years, spanning 1990 to 2020, few to no reviews of cinema, fine arts or classical music were published by either women or writers of color.

Food and Drink

Via COOKIE + Kate: decorative leaf bulletSimple Blueberry Cake

This blueberry cake is my official summertime dessert. I hope it becomes yours, too. It’s tender, fully loaded with blueberries, and simple to make—no mixer required. It’s a dream!

This blueberry cake recipe is naturally sweetened with maple syrup, which makes it extra delicious. Thanks to the blueberries and maple syrup, it’s nicely sweet but not over the top.

History and Archaeology

decorative leaf bulletScientists find evidence of humans making clothes 120,000 years ago

Now researchers say they have found some of the earliest evidence of humans using clothing in a cave in Morocco, with the discovery of bone tools and bones from skinned animals suggesting the practice dates back at least 120,000 years.

decorative leaf bulletSkeleton find could rewrite Roman history

Two skeletons have been discovered in a London graveyard which could change our view of the history of Europe and Asia.
Analysis of the bones, found in a Roman burial place in Southwark, discovered that they dated to between the 2nd and 4th Century AD and were probably ethnically Chinese.

decorative leaf bulletSearching for the Fisher Kings .bqIn the waters of southern Florida, the creative Calusa people forged a mighty empire

Politics and Society

decorative leaf bulletThis study shows how people reason their way through echo chambers — and what might guide them out

Preaching to the choir, shouting in an echo chamber — whatever your preferred metaphor is, a study published earlier this week in the Journal of the European Economic Association sheds some light on what may be happening when people are surrounded by others with like-minded views — and especially when they have a tough time gauging whether the information being presented within the chamber is accurate.

Science and Nature

decorative leaf bulletFossilised long-legged giant penguin identified as new species

In January 2006 a group of children in summer camp in Waikato, New Zealand, went on a fossil-hunting field trip with a seasoned archaeologist. They kayaked to the upper Kawhia harbour, a hotspot for this sort of activity, and they expected to find fossils of shellfish and the like, as they regularly did on these Hamilton junior naturalist club expeditions.
But on this day, just before heading home, close to where they’d left the kayaks and well below the high tide mark, they noticed a trace of fossils that looked like much more than prehistoric crustaceans. After careful extraction, an archaeologist later identified it as the most complete fossilised skeleton of an ancient giant penguin yet uncovered.


Referral link: Curiosity Stream delivers shows across the full spectrum of the non-fiction genre to demystify science, nature, history, technology, society, lifestyle and more. $19.99/year for thousands of films (or $2.99/month).


Technology

decorative leaf bulletTrue Genius: How to go from “the future of journalism” to a fire sale in a few short years

Remember Genius? The startup that started out decoding rap lyrics (and named Rap Genius) but then wanted to create a new layer on top of the entire internet and “annotate the world”?

Read the piece, but for me this is the takeaway in terms of Genius’ attempts to game the ecconomics of attention via social annotation:

But here’s the truth: Annotation is just a comment box you can put anywhere on a web page. Some annotations are great! If you have a coherent community with shared goals and common values, they can be amazing and create something on a Wikipedia scale. But they have all the flaws of the comment box, too — namely, they’re a great place to see people be assholes to one another, and most people don’t much of unique value to add to the discussion.

I can’t say R.I.P. Genius, since they’re not going away. But R.I.P. to a vision of cultural commoditization, of tech-bro arrogance, and of anyone saying the word “homiesourced” ever again.


SetApp: A Suite of macOS Apps for a Single Price Affiliate link for a great collection of ver 200 apps for macOS and iOS for a flat subscription fee.


Women’s Work

decorative leaf bulletRich, red and rare: Hogarth’s lady back home after 100 years

An independent aristocrat, Mary Edwards of Kensington was a leading figure in 18th-century London. She was also thought to be the richest woman in the world.
If her name and image are not familiar now, there are two likely reasons: first, the most important portrait of Edwards is rarely loaned out for show; and second, her story – that of a wealthy Englishwoman who deliberately turned her back on marriage – does not easily fit the established history of her era.

Something Wonderful

decorative leaf bulletColorado Gov. Jared Polis’ Wedding Marks 1st Same-Sex Marriage Of Sitting Governor


Buy me a Coffee! If you find this site interesting, and would like to see more, buy me a coffee. While I may actually buy coffee, I’ll probably buy books to review.


Elsewhere for September 5, 2021

You should read this for 9/5/2021:

Art, Music, and Film

decorative leaf bulletA2: One night only Wednesday August 19 Stream Green Knight

Tickets have a 4-hour viewing window starting Wednesday, August 18 at 9:00pm EDT.
Available in US only. Exclusive Q&A with the cast and crew after the film.

decorative leaf bulletTwelfth Night review – impeccable staging of Shakespeare’s merriest romp

decorative leaf bulletGrammy-winning folk artist Nanci Griffith dies at 68

Biden Begins

decorative leaf bulletBiden faces mounting criticism as Taliban advances across Afghanistan – US politics live

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

decorative leaf bulletFairy Tales Could Be Older Than You Ever Imagined

It turns out that it’s pretty hard to figure out how old fairy tales are using simple historical data. Since the tales were passed down orally, they can be almost impossible to unwind using a historian or anthropologist’s traditional toolbox. So the team borrowed from biology, instead, using a technique called phylogenetic analysis. Usually, phylogenetic analysis is used to show how organisms evolved. In this case, researchers used strategies created by evolutionary biologists to trace the roots of 275 fairy tales through complex trees of language, population and culture.

decorative leaf bulletHow Extortion Scams and Review Bombing Trolls Turned Goodreads Into Many Authors’ Worst Nightmare

Scammers and cyberstalkers are increasingly using the Goodreads platform to extort authors with threats of “review bombing” their work–and they are frequently targeting authors from marginalized communities who have spoken out on topics ranging from controversies within the industry to larger social issues on social media.

decorative leaf bulletAnalysis unlocks secret of the Vinland Map — it’s a fake

The Vinland Map, once hailed as the earliest depiction of the New World, is awash in 20th-century ink. A team of conservators and conservation scientists at Yale has found compelling new evidence for this conclusion through the most thorough analysis yet performed on the infamous parchment map.

Climate Change | Climate Repair

H/T Bruce D. decorative leaf bulletClick to drop a raindrop anywhere in the contiguous United States and watch where it ends up

Coronavirus | COVID-19

decorative leaf bulletClamoring for ivermectin, some turn to a pro-Trump telemedicine website

History and Archaeology

decorative leaf bulletPart of Hadrian’s Wall discovered in Newcastle city centre

The newly discovered stretch of wall was constructed using large blocks of stone, allowing historians to date it back to the earliest days of the build, as later stages used smaller pieces.
The first sections of the wall are believed to have been built in around AD122, when the emperor Hadrian visited Britain and constructed what became the Roman empire’s north-west frontier for the next 300 years.

decorative leaf bullet‘It’s exactly like a puzzle’: experts on piecing together Roman fresco find

On the right bank of the Rhône in the Provençal town of Arles, the Roman-built House of the Harpist is being hailed as a remarkable record of ancient architecture and interior decoration.
Now, experts have opened their workshop to reveal their painstaking attempts to piece together the vast jigsaw of magnificent and never before seen frescoes discovered in the property thought to date back more than two millennia.

Politics and Society

decorative leaf bulletMap: See Which States Have Restricted Voter Access, And Which States Have Expanded It

Science and Nature

H/T Sunyi Deandecorative leaf bulletGEEKS ON TOUR: THE NORTH COAS

The North Coast 500 is a 516-mile route that winds through the Scottish Highlands, and is sometimes called Scotland’s version of Route 66. How you travel the route is up to you–campervan, luxury tour, motorbike enclave, cycling tour, or even walking. Different travelers also tend to focus on different aspects of Scotland; some are coming for the wilderness, others for the history, many for the usual tourist spots.


Referral link: Curiosity Stream delivers shows across the full spectrum of the non-fiction genre to demystify science, nature, history, technology, society, lifestyle and more. $19.99/year for thousands of films (or $2.99/month).


Technology


SetApp: A Suite of macOS Apps for a Single Price Affiliate link for a great collection of ver 200 apps for macOS and iOS for a flat subscription fee.


Women’s Work

decorative leaf bulletBelarus Tokyo Olympics athlete Krystsina Tsimanouskaya defected after being told not to return by grandmother

decorative leaf bulletThe dark side of the pill, as revealed by new research

Stuff I Wrote

decorative leaf bulletAugust from Walters W.425

Something Wonderful

H/T Mr. Persimmon: decorative leaf bulletThis is the best ABBA cover played on plumbing supplies that you’ll see all day.

decorative leaf bulletNew McDonalds Has a Cool Design Element: an Ancient Roman Road

When ancient archaeological remnants are uncovered at a building site, it usually means a big red light for the construction project. But why not incorporate newly uncovered cultural treasures into the building, instead? That’s what McDonalds did when it found an ancient Roman road beneath an Italian construction projec


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Elsewhere for August 8, 2021

You should read this for 8/8/2021:

Biden Begins

decorative leaf bulletThe quiet Biden-GOP talks behind the infrastructure deal

Biden’s phone call with Cassidy was only one example of Biden’s contact with Republicans during the talks. He regularly called GOP senators, White House aides say, while presidential counselor Steve Ricchetti was on virtual speed dial on the Republican negotiators’ phones. After he inadvertently angered Republicans by attaching public conditions to the deal, Biden personally phoned Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) to ask how he could quell the uproar.

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

H/T Bob Stein: decorative leaf bulletSell This Book! Corporate publishing wants to turn all readers into renters. We’re trying to stop them.

Maybe you’ve noticed how things keep disappearing—or stop working—when you “buy” them online from big platforms like Netflix and Amazon, Microsoft and Apple. You can watch their movies and use their software and read their books—but only until they decide to pull the plug. You don’t actually own these things—you can only rent them. But the titanic amount of cultural information available at any given moment makes it very easy to let that detail slide. We just move on to the next thing, and the next, without realizing that we don’t—and, increasingly, can’t—own our media for keeps.

Coronavirus | COVID-19

decorative leaf bulletGOP congressman gets COVID-19 after suing Pelosi over mask rule

Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) has tested positive for a COVID-19 breakthrough infection after defying the House of Representatives’ mask mandate and filing a lawsuit against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) over a resulting $500 fine for going maskless.

Food and Drink

Wirecutter: decorative leaf bulletThe Best Gins

We believe there’s a gin for almost any imbiber, even the folks who think they don’t like it. If you’re turned off by assertive, sprucy gins, we have a pick for you that’s smooth and bright. If you like old pine boxes in dusty attics and want to capture that sensory experience in a glass, we have a gin for you, too.

History and Archaeology

decorative leaf bulletDoggerland: Lost ‘Atlantis’ of the North Sea gives up its ancient secrets

But it is only now, after a decade of pioneering research and the extraordinary finds of an army of amateur archaeologists scouring the Dutch coastline for artefacts and fossils, that a major exhibition is able to offer a window into Doggerland, a vast expanse of territory submerged following a tsunami 8,000 years ago, cutting the British Isles off from modern Belgium, the Netherlands and southern Scandinavia.

Politics and Society

H/T Lymond: decorative leaf bulletAmazon union election results should be set aside due to misconduct, NLRB officer recommends

“Throughout the NLRB hearing, we heard compelling evidence how Amazon tried to illegally interfere with and intimidate workers as they sought to exercise their right to form a union. We support the hearing officer’s recommendation that the NLRB set aside the election results and direct a new election,” said Stuart Appelbaum, president of the RWDSU, in a statement Monday.

decorative leaf bulletA Black Army vet toured a house with his real estate agent and teen. Police surrounded the home and handcuffed them. Apparently engaging in real estate while black is now a crime too.

Thorne and his son were touring a home Sunday with real estate agent Eric Brown, who’s also Black, in Wyoming, Mich., when police suddenly surrounded the house with guns drawn. The officers were responding to a neighbor’s 911 call about a break in. They ordered the three out of the house, handcuffed them and put them in separate vehicles.

Science and Nature

decorative leaf bulletWildcats return to Netherlands after centuries’ absence


Referral link: Curiosity Stream delivers shows across the full spectrum of the non-fiction genre to demystify science, nature, history, technology, society, lifestyle and more. $19.99/year for thousands of films (or $2.99/month).


Technology

decorative leaf bulletDraw like it’s 1989 with this Kid Pix web app


SetApp: A Suite of macOS Apps for a Single Price Affiliate link for a great collection of ver 200 apps for macOS and iOS for a flat subscription fee.


Women’s Work

decorative leaf bulletMicrobiologist Elisabeth Bik queried Covid research – that’s when the abuse and trolling began

When Dr Elisabeth Bik raised serious concerns about the methodology of a paper that claimed hydroxychloroquine was effective in treating Covid-19, the online trolling was relentless.

decorative leaf bulletUnpaid caregivers: How America treats women caring for paralyzed partners

decorative leaf bulletGamerGaters inundated her with death threats. Now some are apologizing — and she forgives them.

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

decorative leaf bulletWhat I Heard in the White House Basement

Something Wonderful

decorative leaf bulletThe Getty coloring book

You’ll find dragons, flowers, unicorns, and more in this coloring book made up of images from the Getty Museum and the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. Destress, color, relax, enjoy!


Buy me a Coffee! If you find this site interesting, and would like to see more, buy me a coffee. While I may actually buy coffee, I’ll probably buy books to review.


Elsewhere for August 1, 2021

You should read this for 8/1/2021:

Art, Music, and Film

Video: decorative leaf bulletPatrick Stewart Had No Clue Who Sting Was When They Worked Together on ‘Dune’ The thing that made this version of Dune work for me was mostly Patrick Stewart as Gurney Hallack.

Video interview: decorative leaf bulletDev Patel wants ‘The Green Knight’ to push the limits of a hero’s journey

decorative leaf bulletDev Patel dazzles in David Lowery’s captivating ‘The Green Knight’

I do not know at what point The Green Knight won me over.

David Lowery’s feature film, which adapted from the Arthurian story Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, is exceedingly slow and often so bizarre it defies description. It’s also some of the most magnificent and breathtaking cinema in recent history — par for the course for Lowery, who wrote and directed 2017’s A Ghost Story. The Green Knight now cements him as a master of genre, escapism, and mesmerizing visual language.

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

decorative leaf bulletThe Many Myths of the Term ‘Anglo-Saxon’

For years, scholars of medieval history have explained that the term Anglo-Saxon has a long history of misuse, is inaccurate and is generally used in a racist context. Based on surviving texts, early inhabitants of the region more commonly called themselves englisc and angelcynn. Over the span of the early English period, from 410 A.D. (when various tribes settled on the British islands after the Romans left) to shortly after 1066, the term only appears three times in the entire corpus of Old English literature. All of these instances are in the tenth century.

Climate Change | Climate Repair

decorative leaf bulletClimate Change Is Driving Deadly Weather Disasters From Arizona To Mumbai

It’s not just our memories — this past June was the hottest June recorded in the U.S. in more than a century, about four degrees hotter on average. Heat waves (like in the Pacific Northwest) can be deadly, and many cities are just realizing now how underprepared they are to deal with them.

Coronavirus | COVID-19

decorative leaf bullet‘A tipping point’: Government officials, health groups move to require coronavirus vaccines for workers

The Department of Veterans Affairs, which runs one of the nation’s largest health systems, announced Monday it would mandate coronavirus vaccines for its front-line workers, becoming the first federal agency to do so and signaling what some experts said could be a national pivot to such requirements.

Faced with the explosive growth of a new virus variant, the state of California and the city of New York gave workers a choice: Get vaccinated or face weekly testing. And an array of hospitals from coast to coast, including the prestigious Mayo Clinic, declared they would require staff to get vaccinated, following a joint plea from the nation’s major medical groups.

decorative leaf bulletThe Pentagon Will Require Masks To Be Worn Indoors Even By Those Who Are Vaccinated

Education

decorative leaf bulletHow to Recognize Signs of ADHD in Girls

The tendency to overlook girls with ADHD is thought to be due to misperceptions about what symptoms can look like, as well as social pressures, which often lead to girls working extra hard in order to fit in.

“They’re not causing a problem, they’re not disrupting the class, so teachers aren’t paying attention to her,” said Terry Matlen, a psychotherapist and author of the book Survival Tips For Women With ADHD. “The boys, on the other hand, are, and so the teacher notices.”

History and Archaeology

decorative leaf bulletGilgamesh tablet: US authorities take ownership of artefact

he 3,500-year-old tablet, from what is now Iraq, bears text from the Epic of Gilgamesh – one of the world’s oldest works of literature.

Officials say it was illegally imported before being purchased by the Christian-owned brand Hobby Lobby.

The tablet is to be returned to Iraq.

Science and Nature

decorative leaf bulletYou wait ages for a white whale…then TWO come along! Stunned animal-watchers spot a PAIR of rare orcas off the coast of Japan


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Technology

decorative leaf bulletXLoader Malware on macOS

XLoader malware has now migrated from Windows machines to attack Macs too. An evolution of the malware known as Formbook, it lets an attacker log keystrokes, take screenshots, and access other private information.


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Women’s Work

decorative leaf bulletSimone Biles Got The ‘Twisties’ At The Tokyo Olympics. Here’s What That Means

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

Video: decorative leaf bulletKey moments from first hearing of Capitol riot inquiry

Four police officers gave emotional testimonies about their struggles on 6 January to a House of Representatives investigatory committee. These are the key moments from the first day of the inquiry into the Capitol riot.

decorative leaf bulletTrump urged Justice officials to declare election ‘corrupt’

At one point in the conversation, the notes show, Rosen told Trump that the Justice Department “can’t + won’t snap its fingers + change the outcome of the election, doesn’t work that way.”

Trump responded by saying: “Don’t expect you to do that, just say that the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me and the R. Congressmen,” according to the notes.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

decorative leaf bulletCompassionate 70-Year-Old Woman Calms Aggressive Stranger by Holding His Hand


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Elsewhere for July 26, 2021

You should read this for 7/26/2021:

Art, Music, and Film

decorative leaf bullet‘Boundless invention’: British Museum to show more than 100 unseen Hokusai works

At some point, possibly in the 1840s when he would have been in his 80s, Hokusai decided to embark on a project titled The Great Picture Book of Everything for which he let his imagination run wild. His idea was to present vignettes from Buddhist India, ancient China and the natural world.
It was never published so the drawings were instead put in a box and have not been seen publicly since.

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

decorative leaf bulletGood golly Mollie: why I rode 1,000 miles around Ireland on a Connemara pony

Climate Change | Climate Repair

decorative leaf bulletThe Amazon is now a net carbon producer, but there’s still time to reverse the damage

The region, home to abundant and highly diverse species and ecosystems, houses more than 390bn trees. These have an exceptional capacity to recycle water by pumping it from the soil back up into the atmosphere, but also play a crucial role in storing carbon: the Amazon forest stores an amount of carbon equivalent to two to three times all the CO2 emitted by the UK since 1750. When trees die, either by natural causes or deforestation, this carbon can return to the atmosphere.

. . .

To restore the net carbon emissions of the Amazon forest to its balance and avoid other portions of the region’s forest reaching a tipping point where massive mortality further affects resilience, we must reduce forest loss by deforestation and fires, and invest in massive landscape restoration. Unfortunately, Brazil is taking a different route in relation to these major sources of carbon emissions. The country, which is the sixth largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, has 44% of its emissions directly associated with land use change, mainly the conversion of forests to agriculture and pasture fields.

Coronavirus | COVID-19

decorative leaf bulletJohnson & Johnson Vaccine Is Linked To Neurological Disorder In Extremely Rare Cases

The Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine has been linked to an extremely rare neurological disorder, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of the more than 12 million vaccine doses administered in the U.S., there have been around 100 reports of people developing Guillain-Barré syndrome.

decorative leaf bulletCOVID Cases In Parts Of Missouri And Arkansas Surge To Levels Not Seen Since Winter

The outbreak of COVID-19 in southwest Missouri and northern Arkansas has become the nation’s largest and is mostly driven by the highly contagious delta variant. Officials warn it could continue to grow unchecked if vaccination rates stay low.
“We are truly in a very dangerous predicament,” Springfield Mayor Ken McClure said Monday at a press conference. “While we are one of the unfortunate few early hot spots of the delta variant, we are not giving up. It is not too late. We need to stay the course.”
In Missouri, the seven-day average of new cases is near 1,400 new positive cases each day, up more than 150% from a month ago. In Arkansas, that number is up 287%.

Education

decorative leaf bulletLetter to my teacher: creatives including Kate Mosse, Ben Bailey Smith and Sathnam Sanghera say thanks

decorative leaf bulletModern Porn Education Is Totally Unprepared for Modern Porn

decorative leaf bulletCornel West says in resignation letter over tenure dispute that Harvard is in ‘decline and decay’

The news first came to light in the spring when West, in announcing he was leaving, said the university had turned down a recommendation by a faculty committee that would have made his untenured position a tenured one. When that tenure fight became public, he told the Boycott Times, a nonprofit outlet, in March that Harvard had made strides in diversity but that the “pettiness” of the talks about his status made him feel “disrespected and devalued.”

decorative leaf bulletMessage about Nikole Hannah-Jones from University Librarian Elaine L. Westbrooks

Nikole Hannah-Jones would have been an outstanding teacher and an excellent colleague. Her expertise and perspective would have enriched our campus. If you have not read Ms. Hannah-Jones’s statement about her experience with Carolina, I encourage you to do so.
I am also deeply concerned about the subjugation of academic freedom and faculty governance that this episode reveals. When racism fuels the exercise of political power to stifle inquiry and academic freedom, we should all be concerned, and libraries especially so. As library workers, we are professionally committed to the open exchange of ideas and to the mission of academia to ask uncomfortable questions, train critical thinkers, and serve as a platform for growth and discovery. These efforts are our own.

Food and Drink

decorative leaf bulletFrozen Strawberry Daiquiris

History and Archaeology

decorative leaf bulletNew Photographs Reveal Colors of 2,400-Year-Old Sculpture

MADRID, SPAIN—El País reports that Teresa Chapa Brunet and Pedro Saura of Complutense University of Madrid and their colleagues used photographic filters to eliminate nearly 100 percent of reflected light in new digital images of the so-called Lady of Baza, a 2,400-year-old painted sculpture of a seated woman unearthed in southern Spain in the 1970s, along with weapons and other burial goods. The statue is thought to be a portrait of an actual wealthy Bastetani woman.

Politics and Society

decorative leaf bulletWe quit! The Great Resignation era has begun – at a boiling hot branch of Burger King

A global survey of 30,000 workers by Microsoft found that 41% were considering quitting or changing professions this year. Another study in the UK and Ireland showed 38% planned to quit. In the US, more than four million quit their jobs in April alone. Some economists are talking about the “Great Resignation”.
And it’s because? Because of Covid, basically. For some it’s about a resulting re-evaluation, or a change in priorities – time to do the thing you always meant to do. But for many it’s simply because of the way they have been treated by their employers during the pandemic.

Science and Nature

decorative leaf bulletThe 2021 Audubon Photographs Some stunning photos here.

Video: decorative leaf bulletCockatoos are figuring out how to open bins by copying each other

A few curious cockatoos learned how to open residential waste bins in Australia, and now other birds have started copying them, with incidences of bin-looting spreading across eastern Australia in easily traceable waves.


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Technology

decorative leaf bulletGoogle engineer who criticized company in viral comics on why he finally quit “Former Google engineer Manu Cornet describes his time at Google in two phases. First, there were ‘glitches in wonderland.’ Then, there was ‘disillusionment’.”

decorative leaf bulletPrivate Israeli spyware used to hack cellphones of journalists, activists worldwide

Military-grade spyware licensed by an Israeli firm to governments for tracking terrorists and criminals was used in attempted and successful hacks of 37 smartphones belonging to journalists, human rights activists, business executives and two women close to murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to an investigation by The Washington Post and 16 media partners.

Via John Gruber: decorative leaf bulletWeather Strip


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Women’s Work

decorative leaf bulletAs A Child, She Fled The Afghan War. As An Officer, She Returned — And Found Herself

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

decorative leaf bulletA Report Clears Federal Officials Who Were Suspended By A Trump Appointee Over VOA

The reports suggest a circle of Trump loyalists went searching through the top echelons of the agency’s career staff for figures they deemed disloyal. Then they would knock down these employees, even going so far as to use unproven rumors of jeopardizing national security to get them stripped of the security clearances needed for their jobs. Pack also personally hired a high-profile Richmond, Va. law firm to investigate the officials, at a cost to taxpayers of well over $1 million.

decorative leaf bulletThe FBI’s ‘investigation’ of Kavanaugh was laughable

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

@BKLYNBeeyotch: decorative leaf bulletMy older sister and I grew up in a small, fairly conservative town in one of the “collar counties” near Chicago. I was a pretty average, mostly happy kid, but Sis was always a little different. Off-the-charts smart, beautiful, very quiet and shy. Not many friends. (1/16)

Something Wonderful

H/T @ Pensplaining. decorative leaf bulletVICTORIAN Snake Bracelet with Telescoping Pencil

Elsewhere for July 11, 2021

You should read this for 7/11/2021:

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

decorative leaf bulletQueer readings of The Lord of the Rings are not accidents

decorative leaf bulletThere Is No Debate Over Critical Race Theory “Pundits and politicians have created their own definition for the term, and then set about attacking it.”

The United States is not in the midst of a “culture war” over race and racism. The animating force of our current conflict is not our differing values, beliefs, moral codes, or practices. The American people aren’t divided. The American people are being divided.
Republican operatives have buried the actual definition of critical race theory: “a way of looking at law’s role platforming, facilitating, producing, and even insulating racial inequality in our country,” as the law professor Kimberlé Crenshaw, who helped coin the term, recently defined it. Instead, the attacks on critical race theory are based on made-up definitions and descriptors.

Climate Change | Climate Repair

H/T Yasmin: decorative leaf bulletMore than a billion seashore animals may have cooked to death in B.C. heat wave, says UBC researcher

decorative leaf bulletMaine Has a Dangerous, Small, and Very Itchy Problem

Brushing up against a browntail-moth caterpillar or otherwise encountering its hairs—on a picnic table, on a dock, on a bit of clothes hung out to dry—can leave a person itching for days as a poison-ivy-like rash creeps across the flesh. And as the caterpillar sheds its hairs, they can go airborne, causing wheezing if they’re inhaled. Both reactions can be so severe it necessitates a trip to the emergency room.

decorative leaf bulletReservoirs are drying up as consequences of the Western drought worsen

Reservoir levels are dropping throughout the West, as the drought tightens its grip on the region and intense summer heat further stresses both water supply and the surrounding landscape. Many reservoirs are at or approaching historic low levels due to lackluster rainy seasons combined with increasing temperatures due to climate change.

The drought crisis is perhaps most apparent in the Colorado River basin, which saw one of its driest years on record, following two decades of less-than-adequate flows. The nation’s largest reservoir, Lake Mead near Las Vegas, is at its lowest level since the lake filled after the construction of the Hoover dam in the 1930s; it currently sits at 1,069 feet above sea level, or 35 percent of its total capacity. It supplies water to Arizona, Nevada, California and Mexico.

Further upstream, Lake Powell, which feeds Lake Mead, is at only 34 percent of its total capacity. By next spring, Lake Powell is projected to hit its lowest level since it was filled in 1964, possibly jeopardizing its ability to generate power.

Coronavirus | COVID-19

decorative leaf bulletThe Delta Variant Isn’t Just Hyper-Contagious. It Also Grows More Rapidly Inside You

Food and Drink

Twitter via Dr Sarah Taber: decorative leaf bulletOn Corn, the Vatican, Pellagra, and institutionalized poverty

h/t
@mariahgladstone
for a story about Aztec prisoners who were trafficked to the Vatican early on in the Spanish invasion of Mexico.

Along with them came corn, which the Vatican proceeded to grind dry like wheat.

History and Archaeology

decorative leaf bulletCampaign hopes to shore up Offa’s Dyke against future threats

It is Britain’s longest monument and one of the most extraordinary: a 1,200-year-old earthwork that snakes through moor, mountain, field and back garden, crisscrossing the modern incarnation of the Welsh and English border.

But concerns are being raised that Offa’s Dyke is suffering serious damage through a combination of neglect, carelessness or, in some cases, land grabs and vandalism.

decorative leaf bulletColder Climates Meant Bigger Bodies For Ancient Humans

Politics and Society

decorative leaf bulletOur traditions, way of life and culture are under threat, Gypsy leader warns Patel

The bill would mean police could confiscate their homes if they did not immediately move on if local people complained, he said, yet there is a substantial shortage of approved sites, which means Gypsies have nowhere legal to stop.

Thousands of Gypsies from the Sinti and Romany communities make traditional migrations lasting 10 days to Appleby, stopping by the side of the road because there are not enough approved sites, Welch said.
“We have been here for centuries. We are British – our grandfathers and fathers fought in the last two world wars. They sacrificed their lives to defend this country. We are not society’s rejects, just to be treated like this by this government.”

Twitter thread from @sim_kern: If any of you are under the impression that our billionaires might succeed in “escaping” to space, while the world burns, decorative leaf bulletlet me put those fears to rest with what I know from being the spouse of a NASA flight controller.

decorative leaf bulletIceland Finds ‘Major Success’ Moving To Shorter Work Week

Now, research out of Iceland has found that working fewer hours for the same pay led to improved well-being among workers, with no loss in productivity. In fact, in some places, workers were more productive after cutting back their hours.

Science and Nature

decorative leaf bulletThe Story of Songbirds Is a Story of Sugar

Australia’s unique forests are the birthplace of birdsong. The plants there are drenched in sunlight and can readily mass-produce sugars through photosynthesis. But with few nutrients in the soil, they struggle to convert those sugars into leaves, seeds, and other tissues. They end up with excess, which they simply give away. Flowers overflow with nectar. Eucalyptus trees exude a sweet substance called manna from their bark. Even insects that suck plant sap are forced to excrete surplus sugars, in the form of liquids known as honeydew or lerp. As the biologist Tim Low once wrote, Australia has “forests that exude energy.”

In his book Where Song Began, Low reasoned that Australia’s birds have benefited from the island’s free-flowing calories, becoming unusually large, aggressive, intelligent, and vocal. They are also extraordinarily successful. Genetic studies show that the largest group of birds—the oscines, or songbirds—originated in Australia before spreading worldwide. That group now contains about 5,000 of the 10,000 known bird species, including robins, cardinals, thrushes, sparrows, finches, jays, and starlings. All of these birds descended from an ancestor whose voice lilted through Australian trees and whose taste buds were tickled by sweet Australian nectar.

But this story has a catch.


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Technology

decorative leaf bulletAudacity ‘Spyware’ Claims Follow Privacy Policy Changes By New Owner

According to Fosspost, changes to the privacy policy section on the Audacity website indicate that several personal data collection mechanisms have since been added by the parent company.
The type of data collected now includes the computer’s processor, operating system and version, the user’s IP address, and any crash reports, fatal error codes and messages generated by their machine. More concerning perhaps is the inclusion of a vague section listing data that must be collected “for legal enforcement, litigation, and authorities’ requests (if any).”
The storage of said data is located in servers in the U.S., Russia, and the European Economic Area. For example, IP addresses are stored in an identifiable way for a day before being hashed and then stored in servers for a year, leaving users identifiable via government data requests.


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Women’s Work

Interview: decorative leaf bulletVanessa Kirby and Katherine Waterston’s frontier romance: ‘She let me be more full-bodied’

decorative leaf bulletOpinion: Nikole Hannah-Jones just proved the correctness of critical race theory

Nikole Hannah-Jones, and the epic failure of the University of North Carolina to recruit the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist to its faculty, just proved the correctness of critical race theory. The controversial legal doctrine has been vilified by conservatives but, as this episode illustrates, it also challenges those liberals who worship at the altar of “diversity.”

According to some leading critical race theorists, integration — the traditional progressive route to racial justice — does not actually work for minorities. In this view, white supremacy is so embedded in most American institutions that people of color will never be accepted as equals — even when they are formally granted entry.

UNC demonstrated that point after its journalism school offered Hannah-Jones, an investigative journalist for the New York Times, a prestigious professorship. The MacArthur “genius” learned that her initial appointment would be without tenure. She said she knew of no “legitimate reason” why “someone who has worked in the field as long as I have, who has the credentials, the awards, or the status that I have, should be treated different than every other white professor who came before me.” After a threatened lawsuit and huge public outcry, the university’s Board of Trustees voted 9 to 4 to extend tenure to Hannah-Jones.

But this week, Hannah-Jones announced that she was instead accepting a tenured position at Howard University, a historically Black school. This wasn’t just a “drop the mic” moment. Hannah-Jones’s rejection of a majority-White institution whose leaders clearly did not value her worth — and her embrace of a Black institution that did — embodied critical race theory’s foundational principles.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

decorative leaf bulletShe Struggled To Reclaim Her Indigenous Name. She Hopes Others Have It Easier


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Elsewhere for July 3, 2021

You should read this for 7/31/2021:

Art, Music, and Film

decorative leaf bulletThe mystery of the Georgian papier-mache horse – in pictures

Vija Skangale, a curator, grew up in Tbilisi, Georgia, in the 1980s, and now lives in London. One day, looking through childhood photos, she found an image of her four-year-old self atop a papier-mache horse at the local zoo. “All my Tbilisi friends have a similar photo,” she says, “but I knew nothing about the photographer.” So she posted on social media and was overwhelmed by the response.

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

decorative leaf bulletI was born in poverty in Appalachia. ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ doesn’t speak for me. I tried, three times, to read Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy. I couldn’t finish it. First, he keeps repeating himself. Second, he’s pompous and overwritten. But most of all, his disdain for the working poor, and his absolutely inaccurate assessments of how they live, were completely out of line with reality.

decorative leaf bullet‘Be not solitary, be not idle’: secrets of 400-year-old self-help book unlockedAnatomy of Melancholy is one of my favorites, so I’m delighted that a new edition is forthcoming, albeit a Penguin Classic paperback at the rich cover price of $50.00 +.

Climate Change | Climate Repair

decorative leaf bulletSummer is Hot, but This Is Abnormal

decorative leaf bulletStories to save the world: the new wave of climate fiction

decorative leaf bulletCan Solar Farms Help Save Bees?

Princeton University’s Net Zero America study estimated that the area taken up by ground-mounted solar panels in the United States will have to increase by nine million acres by 2050 to reach carbon neutrality. And that means that what’s going in with the land underneath the panels, which solar companies typically haven’t given much thought to, is starting to get more attention.

Over the past few years, solar farm developers have increasingly been encouraged to transform the space underneath their solar panels into a safe haven for bees, butterflies and other endangered pollinators.

decorative leaf bulletGreat Barrier Reef: leading scientists praise Unesco’s ‘in danger’ warning

Five of the world’s leading reef and climate scientists have thanked Unesco for recommending the Great Barrier Reef be listed as world heritage “in danger”, saying it was the right decision in part because Australia had not “pulled its weight” in reducing emissions.
The group of scientists, including the Australian professors Ove Hoegh-Guldberg and Terry Hughes, wrote to the UN body on Thursday saying the recommendation to downgrade the 2,300-km reef system’s world heritage status was “the right decision”.

Food and Drink

decorative leaf bulletJuice is great, but these 8 recipes show why zest is best for bright citrus flavors

decorative leaf bulletCocktail of the week: Pied à Terre’s lemon pie – recipe “A lemon curd vodka cocktail to mark 30 years of swish London restaurant Pied à Terre.”

History and Archaeology

decorative leaf bulletKeeping It Eel: How One Historian Is Using Twitter and Medieval Factoids to Help Endangered Animals See also his Twitter feed: Surprised Eel Historian, PhD and Website Historia Cartarum

decorative leaf bulletIf only Stonehenge were of use in the culture wars, then it might be protected

decorative leaf bulletNewly Released Tapes Go Inside Nixon’s White House During The Watergate Scandal

Politics and Society

decorative leaf bulletThe FBI searched cave for Civil War gold, fearing Pa. officials would seize it, new court documents show

On Jan. 31, 2018, the Paradas — referred to as “Person 1” and “Person 2” in the new documents — led the FBI to the cave, where agents performed tests that confirmed the Paradas’ finding: There was something large and metal a few feet underneath them in the cave. The next month, the FBI used highly sensitive equipment called a gravimeter to determine that whatever was behind the wall weighed up to nine tons and had the density of gold.

Science and Nature

decorative leaf bulletArrival of the dingo

he dingo is Australia’s first introduced species, but until recently its history has been uncertain. The fact that there are no dingo fossils in Tasmania indicates that dingoes must have arrived after rising waters separated the island from the Australian mainland about 12,000 years ago.
The 1969 discovery of archaeological evidence in caves on the Nullarbor Plain near Madura, Western Australia, has led to general agreement that the dingo was on the Australian mainland at least 3500 years ago


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Technology

decorative leaf bulletWhy Are Gamers So Much Better Than Scientists at Catching Fraud?

Scientists engage in similar shenanigans with the images in their papers. Spliced, duplicated, touched-up, recolored, and otherwise Photoshopped images from microscopes or blots are rife in scientific publications, and are overlooked by peer reviewers with worrying regularity. The eagle-eyed microbiologist Elisabeth Bik, considered the world expert in spotting “problematic” scientific images, routinely reports her concerns about images to the relevant universities or journals—and often goes completely unheard.


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Women’s Work

decorative leaf bulletA grandmother didn’t answer her phone during a class. She was sent back to prison.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

decorative leaf bulletPHOTOS: Improvised Library Brings Joy Of Books To Kids Living In Gang Territory

Stuff I Wrote

Something Wonderful

decorative leaf bullet20 million Americans still don’t have enough to eat. A grass-roots movement of free fridges aims to help. “In hard-hit neighborhoods of Philadelphia, residents set up free fridges to feed hungry neighbors. It’s part of a mutual aid movement that took off during the pandemic.”

decorative leaf bulletTwo women chatted in a bathroom. They soon realized they were each a match for the other’s husband, who needed a kidney.

decorative leaf bulletNPR’s Joy Generator

eeling blah? Science shows you can boost happiness by taking time for small moments of delight. We’ve got ideas to try out right now. So grab your headphones and let’s play!


Buy me a Coffee! If you find this site interesting, and would like to see more, buy me a coffee. While I may actually buy coffee, I’ll probably buy books to review.