Elsewhere For November 23, 2020

You should read this for 11/23/2020:

Biden Begins

decorative leaf bulletBiden Administration: Here’s Who Has Been Named So Far

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

decorative leaf bulletStar Wars author appeals to Disney in fight over royalties

Disney has been accused of failing to pay royalties to the acclaimed author Alan Dean Foster for his bestselling novelisations of films including Star Wars and Alien, in a fight over copyright that is being described as unprecedented and grotesque

. . .

Foster and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), which is assisting him, claim Disney has ignored multiple queries from his agents, legal representatives and the SFWA.

And see also: Disney (Disney!) Accused Of Trying To Lawyer Its Way Out Of Paying Royalties To Alan Dean Foster

Coronavirus | COVID-19

decorative leaf bulletU.S. Hits 11 Million Coronavirus Cases, Adding 1 Million In A Week

More than 11 million confirmed coronavirus cases have been recorded in the United States, according to a COVID-19 tracker by Johns Hopkins University. The country reported 166,555 new cases on Sunday, with 1,266 new deaths.
The staggering milestone was reached only six days after the U.S. hit 10 million cases. Positive test rates and hospitalization rates are on the rise across the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hospitalizations continue to climb. More than 69,000 people were hospitalized as of Sunday, more than ever before.

decorative leaf bulletTrump coronavirus adviser tells Michigan to ‘rise up’ against new shutdown orders

On Sunday, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) announced a three-week “pause to save lives,” closing colleges, high schools, workplaces and in-person dining as new coronavirus cases have spiked.
After she appealed to the Trump administration to intervene in the pandemic, White House coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas responded with a call to action. But instead of supporting Whitmer’s efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus in Michigan, he urged residents to reject the state’s public health guidelines.

. . .

Atlas, a neuroradiologist and fellow at Stanford’s conservative Hoover Institution, joined the White House as a pandemic adviser in August despite having no background in public health or infectious diseases. He has promoted a controversial approach that would fully reopen the U.S. economy by attempting herd immunity, implementing a strategy used by officials in Sweden that reportedly gained favor with Trump.

H/T Lisa C: decorative leaf bulletPolitics played a role in pandemic shelter-in-place orders, WMU researchers find

Analyzing the length of time between when each state’s COVID-19 incidence reached one case per 100,000 people and when (or if) a SIPO was enacted, a pattern began to emerge. States with both a Democratic governor and legislature enacted SIPOs a week earlier than states with both a Republican governor and legislature. Eight states never issued a SIPO by the time other states began to ease restrictions in May 2020, and all of those states had Republican governors and legislatures.
“It was truly which political parties had control of the state directly that mattered,” Mingus says.
Those decisions had repercussions, Corder adds, pointing to a Columbia University study indicating that 55% of reported deaths as of May 3, 2020, could have been avoided if control measures had been implemented just a week earlier. “Weeks of delay translates into thousands of lives.”

decorative leaf bulletA server filmed a viral video of Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts maskless. Then she was fired.

The video went viral this week, leaving critics slamming Ricketts for refusing to issue a mask mandate in the state as coronavirus cases surge. But Montanez faced her own blowback: She was fired on Tuesday from the bar, for violating the company’s social media and cellphone policy, according to the owner.

decorative leaf bulletRachel Maddow

Watch: Rachel
@Maddow
reports that she’s been off the air for most of the past two weeks because her longtime partner Susan Mikula is sick with Covid-19 – so sick that “at one point we really thought that there was a possibility that it might kill her.” Mikula is recovering now.

Education

decorative leaf bulletThe Legacy Of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos

To the president who asked her to run the Department of Education, she was a loyal lieutenant who argued for her department’s irrelevance in a nation where control of schools is a local affair — that is, until she argued the opposite, at the president’s urging, and threatened schools with a loss of federal funding if they refused to reopen mid-pandemic.

. . .

To her critics, including the nation’s teachers unions, she was a stone-cold villain who famously suggested guns belong in some schools (to fend off bears), who needed the vice president’s vote to survive confirmation and who spent four years disparaging American public education.

Food and Drink

decorative leaf bullet9 Tips for Perfect Mashed Potatoes The thing that I most often want to tell cooks making mashed potatoes is to salt the water before you cook the potatoes, and let them sit a minute in the warm pot after you drain the water. They’ll be savory and less watery that way.

History and Archaeology

decorative leaf bulletTranscript: NPR’s Full Interview With Former President Barack Obama Regarding 🤥🤥👖🔥’s refusal to acknowledge the realiity that he lost, definitively, to President Elect Joe Biden:

I take it seriously. I don’t think he’ll be successful in denying reality. And you’re starting to see a few Republican elected officials go ahead and say, “Look, Joe Biden has been elected and we need to move on in the transition.” I’m distressed that you haven’t seen more Republican leadership make this clear because the amount of time that’s being lost of in this transition process has real-world effects. Look, we’re in the middle of a pandemic. We’re in the middle of an economic crisis. We have serious national security issues.
And as I describe when I was elected for all the differences that I had with George W. Bush, he and his administration could not have been more gracious and effective in working with us to facilitate a smooth transition. And since we were in the middle of a big financial crisis, at that point, my ability to get fully briefed from a Hank Paulson, my abilities — since we were in the middle of two wars — to get immediately briefed on what was happening in Afghanistan and Iraq, what terrorist threats were out there that meant we hit the ground running and allowed us to be more effective in our responses. And so, it is yet one more example of how Donald Trump’s breach of basic democratic norms is hurting the American people.

H/T Lane: decorative leaf bulletWorld’s first 100% complete T-rex skeleton found locked in battle with a Triceratops<

The pair – nicknamed the ‘Dueling Dinosaurs’ – are preserved together in what is thought to be a predator-prey encounter, where both fought to the death. Entombed in sediment in Montana, they were discovered by professional fossil hunters – a cattle rancher cowboy and two pals.

/p>

Science and Nature

decorative leaf bulletBlue whale sightings off South Georgia raise hopes of recovery

Blue whales were abundant off South Georgia before industrial whaling – established on the island in 1904 – killed 42,698 of the animals there. Most of these whales were slaughtered before the mid-1930s but despite the legal protection in the 1960s, illegal hunting continued until the early 1970s.

decorative leaf bulletThe secret world of pygmy seahorses, where males give birth – photo essay

Technology

decorative leaf bullet‘Sound walks’ offer a new way to travel in lockdown

decorative leaf bulletHow The U.S. Fended Off Serious Foreign Election Day Cyberattack


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Women’s Work

decorative leaf bullet

decorative leaf bullet‘My mother was like a steel fist in a velvet glove’: the real Audrey Hepburn

Hepburn spent the second world war with her mother in the Netherlands under Nazi occupation. Her uncle was among the Dutchmen rounded up and shot. She saw Jewish women and children loaded into wagons. “It haunted her for the rest of her life,” says Ferrer. Van Heemstra had by this time renounced fascism and worked with the resistance in the Netherlands. Like many Dutch children, Hepburn did her bit, too, carrying messages hidden in her shoes, says Ferrer, who has written a biography of his mother

decorative leaf bulletHow Two French Introverts Quietly Fought the Nazis

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

decorative leaf bulletTrump Fires CISA Director Chris Krebs, Who Corrected Voter Fraud Disinformation

Christopher Krebs, the Department of Homeland Security director who had spearheaded a campaign to counter rumors about voter fraud, has been fired, President Trump tweeted on Tuesday.
Trump, in two misleading tweets about the security of the U.S. election, said Krebs’ termination was “effective immediately.”

decorative leaf bulletHow Dolly Parton Answers the ‘Why Don’t You Have Kids?’ Question And see also: Dolly Parton helped fund Moderna’s vaccine. It began with a car crash and an unlikely friendship.

decorative leaf bulletTrump election party draws scrutiny as guests test positive And then there were 5 and still more.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better


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Something Wonderful

decorative leaf bulletThis dog is both a good dog and a bad dog at the same time.

decorative leaf bulletTiny owl rescued from New York Rockefeller Center Christmas tree


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 November 15

You should read this for 11/15/2020:

Art, Music, and Film

H/T JJBenedictus decorative leaf bulletBehold These Microscopic Spacecraft

Biden Begins

decorative leaf bulletPresident-Elect Biden Has A Plan To Combat COVID-19. Here’s What’s In It

decorative leaf bulletBiden plans immediate flurry of executive orders to reverse Trump policies

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

decorative leaf bulletHow Bunny The Dog Is Pushing Scientists’ Buttons

Coronavirus | COVID-19

decorative leaf bulletU.S. Confirmed Coronavirus Infections Hit 10 Million

More than 10 million people have now been confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus in the United States as the spread of the virus accelerates at an alarming pace across the nation.
The U.S. now accounts for about one-fifth of all of the 50 million infections worldwide, more than any other nation. The data comes from Johns Hopkins University.
The U.S. also is also in the unenviable position of suffering more deaths than any other country. More than 237,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the U.S., and more than 1,000 are frequently dying on a daily basis.

Nope; it didn’t have to happen. Wear a mask. Social distance. Wash your hands.

H/T SJS: decorative leaf bulletThis Tool Lets You See COVID Risk In Your Area In Real Time

decorative leaf bulletAt dinner parties and game nights, casual American life is fueling the coronavirus surge as daily cases exceed 150,000

A record-breaking surge in U.S. coronavirus cases is being driven to a significant degree by casual occasions that may feel deceptively safe, officials and scientists warn — dinner parties, game nights, sleepovers and carpools. Many earlier coronavirus clusters were linked to nursing homes and crowded nightclubs. But public health officials nationwide say case investigations are increasingly leading them to small, private social gatherings. This behind-doors transmission trend reflects pandemic fatigue and widening social bubbles, experts say — and is particularly insidious because it is so difficult to police and likely to increase as temperatures drop and holidays approach.
The White House coronavirus task force has been urging states that are virus hot spots to curtail maskless get-togethers of family and friends, saying in reports that asymptomatic attendees “cause ongoing transmission, frequently infecting multiple people in a single gathering.”

decorative leaf bulletMicrosoft says hackers from Russia and North Korea attacked COVID-19 vaccine makers

The hackers used various methods to carry out the attacks, according to the blog post, including brute force login attempts to steal login credentials, as well as spear-phishing attacks where the hackers posed as recruiters seeking job candidates, and as representatives of the World Health Organization.

Education

decorative leaf bulletHow Our Biggest ISPs Are Failing Students During COVID-19

When school ended last year, SOMOS realized that many of their fellow Baltimore city schoolmates who’d relied on Comcast’s Internet Essentials discount program didn’t have a connection fast or reliable enough for online school. Whenever they could get into virtual classes, they’d often get kicked off multiple times a day and sometimes multiple times during a single class. Households with multiple students or family members working from home had to schedule who could be online, when and for how long. Families were put in impossible situations, forced to negotiate whose education or work was more important, and who would have to sacrifice and fall behind.

Food and Drink

decorative leaf bulletMiddle Eastern Roasted Vegetable Rice “This fancy, fabulous recipe for Middle Eastern Roasted Vegetable Rice can be enjoyed as an entree or side dish. It’s completely vegan, satisfying and full of flavor. Roasting the vegetables brings out their natural sweetness. Chickpeas add protein and fiber. A delicious blend of turmeric and spices adds anti-inflammatory goodness. You will love this flavorful take on vegetable rice!”

decorative leaf bullet Deep-Dish Bacon and Cheddar Quiche Recipe

decorative leaf bulletSlow Cooker Spiced Oatmeal

decorative leaf bulletBest Beef Chili
“Everyone needs a recipe for classic beef chili. Make this one your go-to! It’s made with corn, peppers, tomatoes, and beans, and makes enough to freeze for later!”

decorative leaf bulletSlow Cooker Beef and Bean Chili

History and Archaeology

decorative leaf bullet‘Remarkable’ Roman villa found buried under a field in North Wales

A Roman villa has been discovered buried deep under a field in North Wales.

The structure is the first of its kind found in north-east Wales and has been described as an “exciting addition” to our knowledge about the history of the area during the Roman period.

The discovery came about after Roman artefacts were found in Rossett, Wrexham by local detectorists.

That led experts to carry out a ‘remote sensing survey’ which revealed clear evidence of the structure buried at the site.

. . .

Dr Caroline Pudney, Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Chester said: “This exciting discovery potentially alters our understanding of north east Wales in the wake of the Roman conquest.

“Previous interpretations suggest that most people in this area either lived in settlements associated with Roman military sites or in quite simple farmsteads that continued to utilise Iron Age roundhouse architectural forms. The identification of the villa now questions this narrative.”

decorative leaf bulletHorse mastery helped mysterious Mongolian warriors build a multiethnic empire

Until now, the only accounts of the Xiongnu came from their enemies. Chinese records from 2200 years ago describe how these fierce mounted archers from the wide-open steppes of today’s Mongolia clashed with armies in what is now northwestern China. Their onslaughts spurred the Chinese to build what would become known as the Great Wall of China on their northern border, as protection against the mounted nomads. They also started to raise cavalry armies of their own.

The equestrian empire of the Xiongnu left no written records. But biology is now filling out their story, and those of other Central Asian cultures in antiquity. Two studies—a sweeping survey of ancient DNA from more than 200 individuals across 6000 years and an analysis of horse skeletons from just before the rise of the Xiongnu—trace population movements across Central Asia and the key role played by horsemanship. The results “show the horse was probably the driver of some of the ancestry shifts we see in the human population,” says Ludovic Orlando of Paul Sabatier University, who was not involved in the paper. “The horse provided new range in patterns of human mobility and allowed people to travel long distance faster.”

Science and Nature

decorative leaf bulletEuropa’s Nightside [Might] Glows in the Dark The original title is a little misleading; I’ve altered it.

In a few years, NASA will be sending a spacecraft to explore Jupiter’s icy moon Europa. Known as the Europa Clipper mission, this orbiter will examine the surface more closely to search for plume activity and evidence of biosignatures. Such a find could answer the burning question of whether or not there is life within this moon, which is something scientists have speculated about since the 1970s.

In anticipation of this mission, scientists continue to anticipate what it will find once it gets there. For instance, scientists from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory recently conducted a study that showed how Europa might glow in the dark. This could be the result of Europa constantly being pummeled with high-energy radiation from Jupiter’s magnetic field, the study of which could tell scientists more about the composition of Europa’s ice.

Society

decorative leaf bulletPostal worker admits fabricating allegations of ballot tampering, officials say

decorative leaf bulletThe Times Called Officials in Every State: No Evidence of Voter Fraud “The president and his allies have baselessly claimed that rampant voter fraud stole victory from him. Officials contacted by The Times said that there were no irregularities that affected the outcome.”

The New York Times contacted the offices of the top election officials in every state on Monday and Tuesday to ask whether they suspected or had evidence of illegal voting. Officials in 45 states responded directly to The Times. For four of the remaining states, The Times spoke to other statewide officials or found public comments from secretaries of state; none reported any major voting issues.

. . .

What emerged in The Times’s reporting was how, beyond the president, Republicans in many states were engaged in a widespread effort to delegitimize the nation’s voting system.
Some Republicans have even turned to lashing members of their own party who, in their eyes, did not show sufficient dedication to rooting out fraud. In Georgia, where Mr. Biden is leading, the two Republican senators, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, both of whom are in a runoff to gain re-election, have called for the resignation of the Republican secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger. “The secretary of state has failed to deliver honest and transparent elections,” the senators said in a statement.

decorative leaf bulletWhat is MeWe? Everything you need to know about the social network competing with Parler.

Now, MeWe is experiencing a boom just like Parler as pro-Trump supporters boycott Facebook and Twitter over their anti-misinformation policies in the aftermath of Trump’s defeat in the election.

It should also be noted that unlike Parler, MeWe does have users who aren’t conservative. It’s not even all about politics like it is with Parler. There are MeWe groups for supporters of the Green Party, groups for dog and cat lovers, and arts and music groups, to name a few. However, the most active users on the site seem to be there to discuss conservative politics.

Technology

decorative leaf bulletVatican enlists bots to protect library from onslaught of hackers<

So far, about 25% of the library’s documents have been digitised. The project started with “unique, most famous and fragile pieces”, said Miceli. They include one of the world’s oldest manuscripts, an illustrated fragment of Virgil’s Aeneid that dates back 1,600 years. The collection also contains Sandro Botticelli’s 1450 illustration of the Divine Comedy; poems, technical notes and sketches by Michelangelo; ancient manuscripts of the Inca people; and historical treaties and letters.

. . .

But, said Miceli, digitisation means “we have to protect our online collection so that readers can trust the records are accurate, unaltered history”. He added: “While physical damage is often clear and immediate, an attack of this kind wouldn’t have the same physical visibility, and so has the potential to cause enduring and potentially irreparable harm, not only to the archive but to the world’s historical memory. In the era of fake news, these collections play an important role in the fight against misinformation and so defending them against ‘trust attacks’ is critical.
“Less Hollywood, but still concerning, is a ransomware attack on the library – a well-known attack that infiltrates companies unseen and then locks down files incredibly quickly until you pay a hefty sum. Ransomware today moves at machine-speed, outstripping humans’ ability to spot and stop the attack before it escalates.

decorative leaf bulletJapanese town deploys Monster Wolf robots to deter bears “Officials say there have been no bear encounters since arrival of robots in wolves’ clothing”

decorative leaf bulletReview: HomePod mini See also: Apple Homepod Mini Review: Playing Small Ball

decorative leaf bulletmacOS 11.0 Big Sur: The Ars Technica review


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Women’s Work

H/T Introversion: decorative leaf bulletAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez ends truce by warning ‘incompetent’ Democratic party

The real problem, said Ocasio-Cortez, was that the party lacked “core competencies” to run campaigns.
“There’s a reason Barack Obama built an entire national campaign apparatus outside of the Democratic National Committee,” she told the Times’ Astead Herndon. “And there’s a reason that when he didn’t activate or continue that, we lost House majorities. Because the party – in and of itself – does not have the core competencies, and no amount of money is going to fix that.”

. . .

Grassroots activism that produced large turnout in Detroit, Philadelphia and Georgia was crucial to Biden’s win, and if the Democratic party fails to recognise that and incorporate the grassroots, the party disintegrates at the ballot box, Ocasio-Cortez said.
“It’s really hard for us to turn out nonvoters when they feel like nothing changes for them. When they feel like people don’t see them, or even acknowledge their turnout,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

See also this from someone on the ground.

decorative leaf bulletRobin Kemp lost her news job in Clayton County, Ga. — but she kept reporting the news. It paid off on election week.

Kemp’s all-night coverage was public service journalism in its purest form. Physically and mentally exhausted, fueled by nothing but leftover Thai drunken noodles and the belief that if she didn’t watch it nobody would, Kemp spent nearly a day inside the stout government building where officials were counting votes. At that moment, it wasn’t just her county that needed a local reporter — her country did, too.

decorative leaf bulletWoman the hunter: Ancient Andean remains challenge old ideas of who speared big game

When archaeologists discovered the bones of a 9000-year-old human in a burial pit high in the Andes, they were impressed by a tool kit of 20 stone projectile points and blades stacked neatly by the person’s side. All signs pointed to the discovery of a high-status hunter. “Everybody was talking about how this was a great chief, a big man,” says archaeologist Randy Haas of the University of California (UC), Davis.

Then, bioarchaeologist Jim Watson of the University of Arizona noted that the bones were slender and light. “I think your hunter might be female,” he told Haas.

Now, the researchers report that the burial was indeed that of a female, challenging the long-standing “man the hunter” hypothesis. Her existence led them to reexamine reports of other ancient burials in the Americas, and they found 10 additional women buried with projectile points who may also have been hunters. “The message [of the new finding] is that women have always been able to hunt and have in fact hunted,” says archaeologist Bonnie Pitblado of the University of Oklahoma, Norman, who was not part of the study.

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

decorative leaf bulletVoices from the fight: An oral history of the four-year movement to defeat Donald Trump

decorative leaf bulletViral videos of poll workers filling in ballots don’t show what Trump supporters want you to believe

decorative leaf bulletGOP leaders’ embrace of Trump’s refusal to concede fits pattern of rising authoritarianism, data shows

Now, according to data released by an international team of political scientists just before the Nov. 3 election, it’s possible to quantify the extent to which the Republican Party no longer adheres to such principles as the commitment to free and fair elections with multiple parties, the respectful treatment of political opponents and the avoidance of violent rhetoric.
“The Republican Party in the U.S. has retreated from upholding democratic norms in recent years,” said Anna Lührmann, a political scientist at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden and a former member of the German parliament. “Its rhetoric is closer to authoritarian parties, such as AKP in Turkey and Fidesz in Hungary.”

decorative leaf bulletMore than 130 Secret Service officers are said to be infected with coronavirus or quarantining in wake of Trump’s campaign travel

The spread of the coronavirus — which has sidelined roughly 10 percent of the agency’s core security team — is believed to be partly linked to a series of campaign rallies that President Trump held in the weeks before the Nov. 3 election, according to the people, who, like others interviewed for this report, spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the situation.

decorative leaf bulletLegal Avenues Closing As Trump Lawsuits Meet With Defeat Or Dead Ends

decorative leaf bulletDefense secretary sent classified memo to White House about Afghanistan before Trump fired him

After consulting with senior military officers, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper sent a classified memo to the White House this month expressing concerns about additional cuts, according to two senior U.S. officials familiar with the discussion. Conditions on the ground were not yet right, Esper wrote, citing the ongoing violence, possible dangers to the remaining troops in the event of a rapid pullout, potential damage to alliances and apprehension about undercutting the negotiations.

decorative leaf bulletIn Trump’s final days, a 30-year-old aide purges officials seen as insufficiently loyal

Engineering much of the post-election purge is Johnny McEntee, a former college quarterback who was hustled out of the White House two years ago after a security clearance check turned up a prolific habit for online gambling.
A staunch Trump loyalist, McEntee, 30, was welcomed back into the fold in February and installed as personnel director for the entire U.S. government. Since the race was called for President-elect Joe Biden, McEntee has been distributing pink slips, warning federal workers not to cooperate with the Biden transition and threatening to oust people who show disloyalty by job hunting while Trump is still refusing to acknowledge defeat, according to six administration officials.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

decorative leaf bulletHow to Safely Intervene in a Conflict

decorative leaf bulletStockton boy spread McDonald’s drive-thru kindness

decorative leaf bulletA teen with autism lost motivation for his walks to the post office. So strangers are sending cards to his P.O. Box.

Something Wonderful

decorative leaf bulletTwitter pranksters flood pro-Trump march hashtag with pancake pics


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 or writing equipment to review.


Elsewhere for November 8, 2020

You should read this for 11/082/2020:

The Dodgers won the World Series.

Trump and Pence are out (and I devoutly hope headed for prison)

Kamela Harris and Joe Biden are the VP Elect and President Elect

It should have been Warren, but I’m happy with Biden and Harris.

Art, Music, and Film

decorative leaf bulletAmmonite is not the evolutionary leap for lesbian film it thinks it is

decorative leaf bulletEngage! A brief history of ‘TNG’ memes

decorative leaf bulletTom Baker: ‘Being loved pleases me very much indeed’

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

Coronavirus | COVID-19

decorative leaf bulletSupermarket staff: ‘We feel unsafe when customers don’t wear masks’

Arron’s worked at a supermarket in Wrexham for seven years. He loves his job, his colleagues and his regular customers.
But he’s looking for new work now because of shoppers who don’t wear face masks.
“There are people who work and shop in supermarkets who still have a fear of catching Covid – me being one of them,” he says. “It really does bother me.”

decorative leaf bulletCovid: Antibodies ‘fall rapidly after infection’

The Imperial College London team found the number of people testing positive for antibodies has fallen by 26% between June and September.
They say immunity appears to be fading and there is a risk of catching the virus multiple times.

decorative leaf bullet‘A whole lot of hurt’: Fauci warns of covid-19 surge, offers blunt assessment of Trump’s response

“We’re in for a whole lot of hurt. It’s not a good situation,” Anthony S. Fauci, the country’s leading infectious-disease expert, said in a wide-ranging interview late Friday. “All the stars are aligned in the wrong place as you go into the fall and winter season, with people congregating at home indoors. You could not possibly be positioned more poorly.”

decorative leaf bulletA woman died of coronavirus on a plane. Her fellow passengers were never notified.

decorative leaf bulletCovid: How to survive a winter lockdown, from those who’ve done it

decorative leaf bulletWhite House chief of staff Mark Meadows tests positive for coronavirus

“We’re not going to control the pandemic,” Meadows said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Oct. 25. “We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigations.”
Meadows has for months openly brushed off the importance of wearing masks during the pandemic. On Election Day, Meadows visited the Trump campaign headquarters in Arlington, where he was photographed not wearing a mask.

Food and Drink

decorative leaf bulletA spice boom has left manufacturers scrambling, and packaging materials can’t keep up

decorative leaf bulletA guide to lentils: How to choose and use the tiny protein-packed powerhouses See this recipe: Greek Lentil and Spinach Soup With Lemon</>

History and Archaeology

decorative leaf bulletA Virginia state senator found headstones on his property. It brought to light a historic injustice in D.C.

Science and Nature

decorative leaf bulletWater ice on the Moon may be easier to reach than we thought, new studies claim

decorative leaf bulletStudent ‘blown away’ after capturing Mars in back garden

Society

decorative leaf bulletTraveller families win court battle over living on land they own

decorative leaf bulletThe War Comes Home: The Evolution of Domestic Terrorism in the United States

White supremacists and other like-minded extremists conducted two-thirds of the terrorist plots and attacks in the United States in 2020, according to new CSIS data. Anarchists, anti-fascists, and other like-minded extremists orchestrated 20 percent of the plots and attacks, though the number of incidents grew from previous years as these extremists targeted law enforcement, military, and government facilities and personnel.

Technology

decorative leaf bulletApple’s HomePod Mini


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Women’s Work

decorative leaf bulletThe Queen’s Two Bodies

“I know I have the body of a weak, feeble woman,” Elizabeth said to her soldiers, “but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too.”

decorative leaf bullet2 Scientists Awarded Nobel Prize In Chemistry For Genome Editing Research

The Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded this year to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna for their work on “genetic scissors” that can cut DNA at a precise location, allowing scientists to make specific changes to specific genes.
“This technology has had a revolutionary impact on the life sciences, is contributing to new cancer therapies and may make the dream of curing inherited diseases come true,” the Nobel Committee said in announcing the prize.

decorative leaf bulletMarysville girl one of country’s first to earn Eagle Scout


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💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

decorative leaf bulletTrump was way worse than I feared in 2016. Here’s how.

About Trump’s behavior, of course, we had more than foreshadowing — we had ample evidence of who he was and how he might govern. The candidate who couldn’t bring himself to denounce former Klansman David Duke became the president who saw “very fine people, on both sides” of the protests in Charlottesville. The candidate who launched his campaign with the warning that Mexican rapists and other criminals were flooding across the border became the president who separated migrant mothers from their babies. The candidate who denounced “fake news” became the president who accused the media of being the “Enemy of the People.”
The candidate who complained about the “rigged” election became the president who refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power. The candidate who led “lock her up” chants about his 2016 opponent became the president who asserted that his 2020 opponent, his opponent’s son, his predecessor and his previous opponent should all be thrown in jail, and who criticized his own attorney general for failing to be aggressive enough in going after these political enemies.

decorative leaf bulletTop Trump adviser bluntly contradicts president on covid-19 threat, urging all-out response

A top White House coronavirus adviser sounded alarms Monday about a new and deadly phase in the health crisis, pleading with top administration officials for “much more aggressive action,” even as President Trump continues to assure rallygoers that the nation is “rounding the turn” on the pandemic.

decorative leaf bulletThe real reason Trump is terrified of losing the presidency: fear of prosecutio

If Trump loses the election, there may be calls to investigate and prosecute him for possible crimes involving obstruction of justice, violating the emolument clause of the constitution, and/or tax fraud, among others. Citizen Trump would face investigation without the luxury of “executive privilege” or the legal chicanery of the attorney general, William Barr, who has acted more like Trump’s personal lawyer than the nation’s top law enforcement official, to protect him. Accordingly, Trump has even more reason to lie, cheat and sow discord in order to retain office, because losing the White House could land him in court or even behind bars.

decorative leaf bulletThe painful simplicity of Trump’s new Turkey scandal “The Halkbank scandal is simple: a foreign dictator asked Trump to corrupt his own country’s justice system, and the Republican president gladly said yes.”

decorative leaf bulletUSPS processed 150,000 ballots after Election Day, jeopardizing thousands of votes

Despite assurances from Postal Service leaders that agency officials were conducting daily sweeps for misplaced ballots, the mail service acknowledged in a court filing Thursday that thousands of ballots had not been processed in time, and that more ballots were processed Wednesday than on Election Day.

. . .

Under Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a major Trump financier who took over the agency in June, first-class mail delivery rates have steadily declined, especially in urban areas that are bastions of Democratic voters. DeJoy said in public statements that facilitating an election in which a record 198 million Americans were eligible to vote by mail was his “sacred duty” and that the agency was up to the task. But the Postal Service’s summer struggles bled into election season almost immediately as Americans began voting in October.

. . .

The agency also removed more than 700 high-speed mail sorting machines, close to 15 percent of its inventory, over the summer, a decision that cut the Postal Service’s processing capacity by 21.4 million pieces of paper mail per hour. The agency routinely moves 450 million mail items a day.
Almost immediately, postal performance suffered. In the first five weeks after DeJoy’s policies took effect, more than 7 percent of the nation’s first-class mail was delayed.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

decorative leaf bulletD.C. woman, 90, watches gym classes from her window all day. When the gym found out, they painted her a mural

decorative leaf bulletThis Is Joe Biden When No One Is Watching

Something Wonderful

decorative leaf bulletIn Historic Move, Colorado Voters Decide To Reintroduce Gray Wolves

In a move criticized as “ballot box biology,” passage means Colorado will become the first state where voters direct the reintroduction of gray wolves rather than the federal government. Those previous efforts have brought populations of wolves back to the northern Rockies, New Mexico, Arizona and the Carolinas.

One complicating factor is the Trump Administration’s recent decision to remove gray wolves from the endangered species list.
If it survives expected legal challenges, it could make Colorado’s task easier, since state wildlife managers won’t need permission from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to manage the species. But it also may mean the state won’t be able to receive federal grants for the project.

decorative leaf bulletWhy hundreds of parrots visit this same terrace every day

 


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 October 25, 2020

You should read this for 10/25/2020:

Art, Music, and Film

decorative leaf bulletAnimaniacs reboot coming to Hulu! With Spielberg producing and the original cast

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

H/T Lisa Carnell: decorative leaf bulletThe Changing Politics of Reading Harry Potter in the Post-Trump U.S. This was deliveredOctober 16, 2020 at the Harry Potter Conference of Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia, PA.

Coronavirus | COVID-19

decorative leaf bulletAs schools and offices open up, here’s what building managers should do to reduce SARS-CoV-2 particles in the air we breathe

Scientists say portable air cleaners (also called air purifiers) with HEPA filtration can remove virus particles that cause COVID-19

Portable HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) rated air filters remove more than 99 percent of airborne particles regardless of the particle size. Dr. Miller’s team partnered with Harvard University to created a calculator to help you find the right air cleaner for your room size and type. Look for a certification from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM). You can find a list of verified units here. You will also want to make sure the clean air delivery rate (CADR) matches or exceeds the square footage of the room you are trying to clean.

Food and Drink

decorative leaf bulletA Disturbing Twinkie That Has, So Far, Defied Science

decorative leaf bulletwhole wheat chocolate oat cookies

. . . [W]hen, like most of us, I ran low on white flour in April, I used whole wheat instead and discovered that the recipe wasn’t just as good as it was with white flour, but better. Crunchier, more flavorful, and even nuanced.

decorative leaf bulletEasy Tomato Soup

This Classic Tomato Soup is rich with a velvety texture. It’s easy to make with canned tomatoes, and perfectly suited for all of your grilled cheese dipping needs. Better than a can of Campbell’s and just about as easy!

History and Archaeology

H/T Lisa Carnell and Yasmin: decorative leaf bulletHuge cat found etched into desert among Nazca Lines in Peru “Feline geoglyph from 200-100BC emerges during work at Unesco world heritage site”

The dun sands of southern Peru, etched centuries ago with geoglyphs of a hummingbird, a monkey, an orca – and a figure some would dearly love to believe is an astronaut – have now revealed the form of an enormous cat lounging across a desert hillside.

Science and Nature

decorative leaf bulletBirth of Cloned Przewalski’s Foal Offers Genetic Diversity for This Endangered Species

On Aug. 6, 2020, the world’s first successfully cloned Przewalski’s horse was born in Texas at the veterinary facility of a ViaGen Equine collaborator, Timber Creek Veterinary. The foal, born to a domestic surrogate mother, is a clone of a male Przewalski’s horse whose DNA was cryopreserved 40 years ago at the San Diego Zoo Global (SDZG) Frozen Zoo®. The colt’s birth revives genetic diversity that had been lost to the world and has now been recovered due to this important partnership between Revive & Restore, ViaGen Equine and San Diego Zoo Global.

H/T Jasmin: decorative leaf bulletWhy skimping on sleep makes your brain crave sweets

Society

decorative leaf bulletPope Francis calls for civil union laws for same-sex couples

Technology

decorative leaf bulletHow does Google’s monopoly hurt you? Try these searches

Googling didn’t used to require so much … scrolling. On some searches, it’s like Where’s Waldo but for information.
Without us even realizing it, the Internet’s most-used website has been getting worse. On too many queries, Google is more interested in making search lucrative than a better product for us.


SetApp: A Suite of macOS Apps for a Single Price Affiliate link for a great collection of 75+ apps for a single price.


Pay It Forward and Make It Better

decorative leaf bulletSupport Indie Bookstores With Your Holiday Shopping

Something Wonderful

decorative leaf bulletTurn up the sound: PROTECTING HER KITTENS (sound up)
This mama wasn’t stalking a hiker like some news headlines would lead you to believe.


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Elsewhere for October 17

You should read this for 10/17/2020:

Art, Music, and Film

decorative leaf bulletStar Trek: Discovery season three review – its most thoughtful series yet

h4 style=”margin: 15px 5px 15px 5px; color: #000066;”>Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

decorative leaf bulletThe Archaeology of Reading in Early Modern Europe (AOR)

The Archaeology of Reading in Early Modern Europe (AOR) uses digital technologies to enable the systematic exploration of the historical reading practices of Renaissance scholars nearly 450 years ago. This is possible through AOR’s corpus of thirty-six fully digitized and searchable versions of early printed books filled with tens of thousands of handwritten notes, left by two of the most dedicated readers of the early modern period: John Dee and Gabriel Harvey.

Coronavirus | COVID-19

decorative leaf bulletCovid-19 virus ‘survives on some surfaces for 28 days’ “The virus responsible for Covid-19 can remain infectious on surfaces such as banknotes, phone screens and stainless steel for 28 days, researchers say.”

Even so, these results highlight the need to wash hands as well as touchscreens regularly and to avoid touching one’s face in order to minimise the risk of infection.

decorative leaf bulletNearly 10,000 minks dead from Covid-19 outbreak at Utah fur farms

decorative leaf bulletRemdesivir has very little effect on Covid-19 mortality, WHO finds

The drug, made by the US biotech firm Gilead, has been talked up as a potential cure and was taken by Donald Trump. A trial in the US had previously showed it reduced the length of stay in hospital. But the gold-standard Solidarity WHO trial, which was based on a far larger sample – 3,000 people on the drug, compared with as many who were not – showed remdesivir had little effect on deaths over 28 days.

decorative leaf bulletIs COVID-19 a Preexisting Condition? “What could happen if we lose the Affordable Care Act during the pandemic”

Food and Drink

decorative leaf bulletItaly’s olive oil production drops by a quarter as ‘tree leprosy’ takes toll

History and Archaeology

H/T Librarythingtim: decorative leaf bulletA Profanity Filter Banned the Word ‘Bone’ at a Paleontology Conference

Science and Nature

decorative leaf bulletThe Carina Nebula. Seen With and Without Adaptive Optics

HT Jasmin: decorative leaf bulletCrown shyness is a phenomenon observed in some tree species, in which the crowns of fully stocked trees do not touch each other, forming a canopy with channel-like gaps

decorative leaf bulletThe Colorful Walls of an Exposed Impact Crater on Mars

Society

decorative leaf bulletPlanned Parenthood Corrects Ted Cruz’s Definition of Birth Control

Technology

decorative leaf bulletWhat the experts use: Andrew Marino’s podcasting gear

podcasting is a creative form available to anyone who has a computer, a microphone, and an internet connection. We spoke to Andrew Marino, audio engineer and producer at The Verge, to find out what he recommends for those who want to try this out as well.

decorative leaf bulletOracle founder donated $250,000 to Graham PAC in final days of TikTok deal

Women’s Work

decorative leaf bulletAmmonite: Who was the real Mary Anning?

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

decorative leaf bulletRudy Giuliani Is My Father. Please, Everyone, Vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

To anyone who feels overwhelmed or apathetic about this election, there is nothing I relate to more than desperation to escape corrosive political discourse. As a child, I saw firsthand the kind of cruel, selfish politics that Donald Trump has now inflicted on our country. It made me want to run as far away from them as possible. But trust me when I tell you: Running away does not solve the problem. We have to stand and fight. The only way to end this nightmare is to vote. There is hope on the horizon, but we’ll only grasp it if we elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

decorative leaf bulletWhite House was warned Giuliani was target of Russian intelligence operation to feed misinformation to Trump

The warnings were based on multiple sources, including intercepted communications, that showed Giuliani was interacting with people tied to Russian intelligence during a December 2019 trip to Ukraine, where he was gathering information that he thought would expose corrupt acts by former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter.


SetApp: A Suite of macOS Apps for a Single Price Affiliate link for a great collection of 75+ apps for a single price.


Something Wonderful

decorative leaf bulletWhat the Astronauts Saw as They Orbited the Moon During Apollo 17

This is what Apollo 17 astronauts saw in December of 1972 as they came around the farside of the Moon: the blue and white crescent Earth rising above the stark lunar horizon. And now image editing guru Kevin Gill has sharpened the image, giving it more texture, color and contrast. I can imagine this sharp, spectacular view must be close to what the astronauts saw with their own eyes.  

Elsewhere for October 11, 2020

You should read this for 10/11/2020:

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

decorative leaf bulletTwo more beloved L.A. indie bookstores reach an existential crossroads

decorative leaf bulletListen to Shakespeare in a Whole New Way

Coronavirus | COVID-19

decorative leaf bulletWhite House overruled FDA to shorten testing period for Covid-19 vaccine

A senior administration official confirmed the move to block the guidelines to the Associated Press on Monday evening, saying the White House believed there was “no clinical or medical reason” for the additional requirement. The White House action was first reported by the New York Times.
It is the latest example of the administration undercutting its own experts working to combat Covid-19. The FDA commissioner, Stephen Hahn, has been attempting to shore up public confidence in the FDA vaccine review, vowing career scientists, not politicians, would decide if the shots are safe and effective for mass vaccination.

decorative leaf bullet‘Brain fog’: the people struggling to think clearly months after Covid

“Brain fog seems like such an inferior description of what is actually going on. It’s completely crippling. I am unable to think clearly enough to [do] anything,” says Nicholson-McKellar, adding that the experience would be better described as cognitive impairment.

Education

decorative leaf bulletEven In COVID-19 Hot Spots, Many Colleges Aren’t Aggressively Testing Students

The data from more than 1,400 colleges were compiled by the College Crisis Initiative at Davidson College and analyzed by NPR. They show that more than 2 out of 3 colleges with in-person classes either have no clear testing plan or are testing only students who are at risk — mostly when they feel sick or have had contact with someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus.

. .*nbsp;.

Experts say that because up to 40% of people with the coronavirus do not show symptoms, frequent and rapid testing of large numbers of students is the best way to fend off major outbreaks on campuses. Research from this summer shows that most cases are spread by people without symptoms, often called silent spreaders.

decorative leaf bullethttps://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/10/09/what-we-know-about-timeline-white-house-coronavirus-cluster-and-what-we-dont

There are two factors that make it particularly hard to track the spread of new coronavirus infections. The first is that symptoms can appear up to two weeks after a person first contracts the virus, making it much harder to establish the point of infection. The second is that some people don’t show symptoms at all, making it harder to find new cases in the first place.
Given that, tracing the outbreak of coronavirus cases apparently linked to the White House — an outbreak that has now spread to nearly three dozen people — would have been difficult under the best conditions. That the White House doesn’t appear to be particularly eager to aid in that effort simply introduces another layer of difficulty, obscuring the public’s ability to understand how President Trump and his team contracted the virus and where it may have spread.

Food and Drink

decorative leaf bulletSugar adds more than sweetness to baked goods. Here’s what to know before you cut it.

Science and Nature

decorative leaf bulletPrevious incident may have led Orcas to target boats, say experts

Since 10 August, crews sailing off the Spanish region of Galicia have reported 22 interactions with orcas – also known as killer whales – a third of which have resulted in varying degrees of damage to their boats. In a handful of cases, boats have been left with damaged steering systems.

After studying photos and video footage of the encounters, a working group of Spanish and Portuguese experts, including marine biologists and government officials, has identified three orcas present in 61% of the incidents.

decorative leaf bulletTrees Are Time Machines “Arborists are planting trees today that must survive decades of global warming. The health, comfort, and happiness of city dwellers hang in the balance.”

Society

decorative leaf bulletRevealed: Amy Coney Barrett lived in home of secretive Christian group’s co-founder

Amy Barrett, who graduated from Notre Dame Law in 1997 at the top of her class, has said she met Jesse while she was in law school but has not offered other details. Records show that other individuals who appear to be members of the People of Praise have also gotten married following periods of living in the Ranaghan household.

Insider accounts by former members who are now critical of the organization suggest that the group has “well-developed courtship and marriage traditions” which are closely followed. One critic, former member Adrian Reimers, has said in writings about his experience that people who are in the community do not usually date until the matter has been prayed upon by an individual’s “head” – or spiritual leader – who helps make decisions about whether a couple ought to get married.

. . .

here are only a few details about Barrett’s history with the People of Praise. While Barrett has identified herself as a Catholic, and belongs to a conservative church in Indiana, People of Praise is an ecumenical group that – some literature shows – sees itself as distinct from other Christian groups in that its members have entered a covenant – or a vow – to support each other “financially and materially and spiritually”.

decorative leaf bulletWhy Americans Have Turned to Nesting

I couldn’t control much in the pandemic, but I could control what happened in my own 450 square feet. As summer began to creep toward fall, my ambitions expanded: Install a new showerhead? Paint my cabinets? Put up a peel-and-stick tile backsplash? What couldn’t I do with Google, a Home Depot credit card, and a total willingness to lose my security deposit?

Yep; various friends have, like me, been trying to maximize space and minimize stuff.

decorative leaf bullet‘Mail voting doesn’t work for Navajo Nation’: Native Americans face steep election hurdles

Tribal advocates estimate that some voters have to drive anywhere from 40 to 150 miles roundtrip to pick up their mail. But the Arizona lawsuit Yazzie v Hobbs also pointed out that the reservation’s 27,425 square miles are covered by just 24 post offices and 15 postal service providers. The slightly smaller state of West Virginia has roughly 10 times the population, but it’s covered by 725 post offices and postal service provider sites.


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Women’s Work

decorative leaf bulletExtraordinary women: courage and defiance through war and hardship – in pictures

A selection of photographs by photojournalist Tom Stoddart shot over several decades all over the world showcase the will, endurance, and perseverance of women in war and extreme situations. The book and exhibition Extraordinary Women aims to gives a voice to women around the world whose perspectives are often left unheard.

decorative leaf bulletKamala Harris reminding Mike Pence ‘I’m speaking’ is every woman in a meeting

While Mike Pence didn’t quite reach Trump levels of shouting over his opponent and moderator, the VP refused during almost every single one of his answers to acknowledge moderator Susan Page’s polite requests that he stop talking when his time was up, and interrupted Harris when her time was not.

decorative leaf bulletHillary Clinton Says She Was Right All Along

Hillary Clinton has been in lockdown like everyone else. It feels like Groundhog Day, she told me Wednesday afternoon. But existential exhaustion looks different for a woman who has spent the past four years thinking about the final month of the 2016 election—and who worries that Vladimir Putin, disinformation, and our deep political divides will still threaten American democracy even if Biden wins. In many ways, Clinton feels vindicated by how the Trump presidency has played out, and by what Americans have learned about him over the past four years—including the recent revelation that he paid just $750 in federal income taxes in 2017.

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

decorative leaf bulletPanic and confusion permeate White House after 🤥🤥👖🔥’s Covid diagnosis

decorative leaf bullet5 big questions about the White House’s botched handling of 🤥🤥👖🔥’s coronavirus diagnosis

decorative leaf bulletAfter Donald Trump’s deranged balcony address, we’re all gasping together

Once he’d wheezed through the unpleasantries, all that remained was to remove his mask and set about infecting any remaining staff yet to be exposed to his droplets. Think of Trump as the 83rd Airborne, parachuting his deadly particles deep into butlers’ respiratory systems. He won’t give you a Purple Heart, but he might give you purple lungs.
Alas, it’s disappointing to find potential victims failing to feel grateful for the opportunity. One current secret service agent assigned to the first family’s detail expressed frustration, telling CNN: “We’re not disposable.” Two housekeeping staff have already tested positive for the virus. As the events of the past week show, the president’s respect for human life is so low that he is willing to send an entire army of servants into 14-day isolation or worse in order to keep up a steady stream of trans-fats being fed to him. Dying in the line of duty used to mean taking a bullet for the president; it could now involve taking him a Diet Coke. Thank you for your drinks service.

NPR: decorative leaf bulletRetired General Backs Biden, Says A 2nd Trump Term Would Put Democracy ‘At Risk’

Retired four-star Air Force Gen. Chuck Boyd is one of hundreds of military voices speaking out against President Trump this election. Late last month, Boyd, who fought in Vietnam and spent seven years there as a prisoner of war, joined nearly 500 national security leaders who endorsed Democrat Joe Biden.

In a video endorsement, Boyd says that ever since he returned from Vietnam, he has been a Republican, “but quietly.” He goes on: “I fervently believe that military officers should not get involved in presidential politics, even when retired. But this year is different.”

That’s because, Boyd tells NPR, he thinks Trump is a danger to democracy.

decorative leaf bulletHow removal under the 25th Amendment works: A beginner’s guide

Something Wonderful

The Proud Boys were emboldened by Trump’s words. Then, LGBTQ couples reclaimed the group’s hashtag.

The president’s comment telling the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by” provided a boost to the group on social media, emboldening its members to use Trump’s words as a rallying cry. Two days later, amid rising outrage, Trump denounced the group.

But then actor and activist George Takei suggested a clever comeback — a way to drown out the hate on social media and replace it with something, well, gay.

“What if gay guys took pictures of themselves making out with each other or doing very gay things, then tagged themselves with #ProudBoys. I bet it would mess them up real bad. #ReclaimingMyShine,” Takei, who is gay, tweeted on Thursday. See also decorative leaf bulletGay men have taken over the Proud Boys Twitter hashtag See also The Proud Boys Are Furious That Gay Men Have Taken Over #ProudBoys On Twitter
and Twitter users flood #ProudBoys hashtag with gay pride images and

Elsewhere for October 4, 2020

You should read this for 10/04/2020:

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

decorative leaf bulletTrending: ‘schadenfreude’
Lookups spiked 30,500% on October 2, 2020

Schadenfreude was our top lookup on October 2nd, by a very considerable margin, following President Trump’s announcement that he and the First Lady had tested positive for COVID-19.

decorative leaf bulletUse the 1913 Webster’s Dictionary When You Need to Define a Word

Coronavirus | COVID-19

decorative leaf bulletStudy shows Trump is a super-spreader — of coronavirus misinformation

A Cornell University study of more than 1 million news articles concluded that “the President of the United States was likely the largest driver of [a] covid-19 misinformation ‘infodemic.’ ”

decorative leaf bulletHow We Survive the Winter “The coming months of the pandemic could be catastrophic. The U.S. still has ways to prepare.”

decorative leaf bulletScrutiny on Rose Garden event after Kellyanne Conway and other guests test positive for Covid “At least seven people who attended event for Trump’s supreme court nominee have confirmed they have coronavirus”

H/T Daring Fireball—Link round-up from Jason Kotke: decorative leaf bulletHow to Protect Yourself from the Aerosol Spread of Covid-19

Education

decorative leaf bulletIn Internet Dead Zones, Rural Schools Struggle With Distanced Learning

This pandemic has shone a glaring light on a lot of inequalities. The federal government estimates that more than a third of rural America has little or no Internet. In numerous recent interviews, educators have told NPR they’re concerned the rural-urban divide will only worsen if kids can’t get online to learn.


Morning Brew newsletter — a free daily morning newsletter that’s a well-written, intelligent round-up of business news that’s actually interesting: Morning Brew Referral link .


Food and Drink

decorative leaf bulletSunday best: 17 expert tips for the perfect roast dinner, from brining the chicken to bashing the potatoes One of the things I love about this meditative collection of Sunday dinner tips is that it is So Very British.

History and Archaeology

Video: decorative leaf bulletMaliwawa Figures: Ancient Aboriginal art ‘unlike anything seen before’ “Professor Paul Tacon explains how the 572 paintings known as the Maliwawa Figures offer a glimpse into life more than 6,000 years ago.”

Science and Nature

decorative leaf bulletWildlife Photographer Captures a Rare Black Panther Roaming in the Jungles of India

decorative leaf bulletHalf a Million Sharks Could Be Killed to Make a Global COVID Vaccine “A number of potential coronavirus vaccines are using something called squalene, from shark liver. Experts estimate that about 3,000 sharks have to die to extract a single tonne of the stuff.”

decorative leaf bulletHumpback whales seize chance to sing in Alaska’s cruise-free Covid summer

Hubble image showing the spiral galaxy NGC 5643
spiral galaxy NGC 5643 in the constellation of Lupus (the Wolf)
Image: ESA/Hubble & NASA, A. Riess et al.; acknowledgment: Mahdi Zamani

decorative leaf bulletHubble stared at this magnificent galaxy for nine hours to capture the perfect shot

Society

Senator Klobucher has had enough: these are the facts.

H/T Roseanne: decorative leaf bulletI Lived Through Collapse. America Is Already There.

I
lived through the end of a civil war — I moved back to Sri Lanka in my twenties, just as the ceasefire fell apart. Do you know what it was like for me? Quite normal. I went to work, I went out, I dated. This is what Americans don’t understand. They’re waiting to get personally punched in the face while ash falls from the sky. That’s not how it happens.

This is how it happens. Precisely what you’re feeling now. The numbing litany of bad news. The ever rising outrages. People suffering, dying, and protesting all around you, while you think about dinner. If you’re trying to carry on while people around you die, your society is not collapsing. It’s already fallen down.

decorative leaf bulletJaime Harrison brought his own plexiglass divider to debate Lindsey Graham

If there’s one word that can perfectly describe Jaime Harrison in his first debate against Sen. Lindsey Graham, it’s “prepared.”

On Saturday, Harrison — South Carolina’s Democratic Senate candidate — spent the debate masterfully discussing key issues such as the Supreme Court nominee, COVID-19, and more with the Republican senator. But Harrison didn’t stand out solely for his words. His actions, one in particular, also made quite a statement.


SetApp: A Suite of macOS Apps for a Single Price Affiliate link for a great collection of 193+ macOS apps for a single price—now with iOS apps too.


Technology

decorative leaf bulletThe best podcasting apps on iOS in 2020 I want to add a shout-out to my own favorite: Pocketcasts for iOS, Android, macOS.


Voting Resources

decorative leaf bulletHow to track your ballot like a UPS package

decorative leaf bulletHow to vote in your state

decorative leaf bulletHow to prevent your mail ballot from being rejected</a


Women’s Work

Via libbyjones715: decorative leaf bulletMost people who know the name Sophie Scholl know she was a 21 year old German student activist who was executed by the Nazis for distributing anti-Nazi pamphlets on her college campus. But people don’t talk about what happened leading up to her execution, or what happened after.

decorative leaf bulletWomen Value Their Group Texts in Normal Times. During the Pandemic They’ve Become a Lifeline

We are scared and we are exhausted and we are often by ourselves. We know better than to complain too much because no one besides the women like us seem to want to hear it.

decorative leaf bulletHow I learned to love being an Essex girl

decorative leaf bullet‘Priceless skill’: The Māori hunter helping women swap the food bank for the rifle

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰</h4

decorative leaf bulletPostal Service workers quietly resist DeJoy’s changes with eye on election

Mechanics in New York drew out the dismantling and removal of mail-sorting machines until their supervisor gave up on the order. In Michigan, a group of letter carriers did an end run around a supervisor’s directive to leave election mail behind, starting their routes late to sift through it. In Ohio, postal clerks culled prescriptions and benefit checks from bins of stalled mail to make sure they were delivered, while some carriers ran late items out on their own time. In Pennsylvania, some postal workers looked for any excuse — a missed turn, heavy traffic, a rowdy dog — to buy enough time to finish their daily rounds.
“I can’t see any postal worker not bending those rules,” one Philadelphia staffer said in an interview.

decorative leaf bullet‘INFECTED’: How the media scrambled to cover Trump and the first lady’s positive coronavirus tests

decorative leaf bulletDonald Trump tests positive for Covid and goes into quarantine – live updates

decorative leaf bulletBefore testing positive for coronavirus, Trump scoffed at many health guidelines

In the seven months since the outbreak first spread across the U.S., he has flouted seemingly every basic health guideline put forth by his own government in response.
He repeatedly refused to wear a face mask, and held large rallies with hundreds of supporters who did the same, often in violation of local ordinances. He allowed the White House to continue its daily operations with scant social distancing, exposing himself to dozens of people who had taken few protections against the virus.

decorative leaf bulletTapes reveal Melania Trump appearing to downplay child separation policy, bemoaning Christmas decorations

Last month, Winston Wolkoff told The Washington Post’s Jada Yuan that the first lady used private email accounts, iMessage, and Signal, an encrypted messaging app, while at the White House. Critics said the finding was hypocritical considering the president’s attacks on Hillary Clinton, who used a private email server while she was secretary of state.

.; . .

Trump suggests that the migrant children are treated well at the border and have a higher quality of life than they did in their home countries.

“The kids, they say, ‘Wow I will have my own bed? I will sleep on the bed? I will have a cabinet for my clothes?’ It’s so sad to hear it, but they didn’t have that in their own countries, they sleep on the floor,” she said. “They are taken care of nicely there. But you know, yeah, they are not with parents, it’s sad. But when they come here alone or with coyotes or illegally, you know, you need to do something.”

— People said this about slavery, too. It’s still wrong, and yes, still untrue.

💩🔥💰 VOTE 💩🔥💰

decorative leaf bulletPelosi Prepares Democrats For Rare Possibility The House May Decide The Election

If the outcome of the election is not clear by Jan. 6, the decision goes to the House. But the vote is not as straightforward as Democrats having the majority of seats overall. Each state would get a single vote, which would be determined by the party that has the majority of members from that state.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

decorative leaf bullet8 Black-Owned Bookstores for Buying Your Next Great Read


SetApp: A Suite of macOS Apps for a Single Price Affiliate link for a great collection of 75+ apps for a single price.


Something Wonderful

Via Morning Brew: decorative leaf bulletSo Much Better than watching paint dry

Via Morning Brew: decorative leaf bulletFrench Press Coffee To Water Ratio Calculator


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 27, 2020

You should read this for 9/27/2020:

Art, Music, and Film

decorative leaf bulletExquisite Instructional Book From 1896 Illustrates How Flowers Become Art Nouveau Designs

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

Coronavirus | COVID-19

decorative leaf bulletUNC-Chapel Hill’s student newspaper sums up school’s coronavirus policy with an f-bomb

Hours after the editorial published, the University announced Monday a reversal to move to all-remote learning, starting Wednesday. School officials announced the change after testing showed rapid spread of the virus — 177 cases of covid-19 were confirmed among students, out of hundreds of tests.

decorative leaf bulletThe N95 shortage America can’t seem to fix “Nurses and doctors depend on respirator masks to protect them from covid-19. So why are we still running low on an item that once cost around $1?”

. .  the H1N1 flu epidemic depleted 85 million N95s from the national stockpile — and the supply was never replenished. In 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017, public health officials published alarming reports warning of a “massive gap” in what remained. Even more concerning, they said, the vast majority of N95s and the materials needed to manufacture them were now being made in Asia.

See also NPR’s Why Can’t America Make Enough N95 Masks? 6 Months Into Pandemic, Shortages Persist

Even so, 3M and Honeywell haven’t been able to make enough masks as the pandemic wore on and demand only increased.
“We’re not tens of millions of masks short. We’re hundreds of millions of masks short of where we need to be,” Paul said. “It would make complete sense to want to scale up some small and mid-sized manufacturers to help fill in this massive gap.”
But the federal government has no plan to help small- and mid-sized manufacturers move into PPE.
“This administration has really had a big firm focus,” said Gary Gereffi, a professor at Duke University and the founding director of the Duke Global Value Chains Center.

decorative leaf bulletCDC reverses itself and says guidelines it posted on coronavirus airborne transmission were wrong

For months, scientists and public health experts have warned of mounting evidence that the novel coronavirus is airborne, transmitted through tiny droplets called aerosols that linger in the air much longer than the larger globs that come from coughing or sneezing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agrees. The CDC recently changed its official guidance to note that aerosols are “thought to be the main way the virus spreads” and to warn that poorly ventilated indoor spaces are particularly dangerous.

But then Monday, September 21, the CDC changed their site again. As The Washington Post reports:

But the update only lasted a few days. On Monday morning, the CDC edited the website to remove the guidance and said the Friday update was posted in error. “Unfortunately an early draft of a revision went up without any technical review,” said Jay Butler, the CDC’s deputy director for infectious diseases. “We are returning to the earlier version and revisiting that process. It was a failure of process at CDC.”

Also see The Verge: CDC removes guidance about airborne spread of the coronavirus

Experts were thrilled to see the original update. Many have stressed for months that the virus can travel through tiny particles that float more slowly through the air, not just through the larger droplets that fall to the ground. That’s why both ventilating indoor spaces (to clear out residual virus) and wearing masks (to help block any exhaled particles) are just as, if not more, important than keeping six feet of distance.

This does look like once again GOP politics are interfering with the science and mission of the CDC.

See this Twitter thread from Epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding
@DrEricDing Dr Fauci tears into fake-board-certified ophthalmologist Rand Paul: “You misconstrued that, Senator. And you’ve done that repetitively in the past.” See also: Fauci scolds Rand Paul during tense exchange at hearing And decorative leaf bulletRand Paul has another problem On Senator Rand Paul’s dubious board certification as an ophthalmologist; he created his own certification board. That’s because Rand Paul is an idiot.

decorative leaf bulletThe code: How genetic science helped
expose a secret coronavirus outbreak

decorative leaf bulletFauci to a Meddling HHS Official: ‘Take a Hike’

History and Archaeology

H/T Lisa C: decorative leaf bullet11,500-Year-Old Infant’s DNA Reveals New Surprises About How North America Was Populated

While it’s commonly known that people from Siberia crossed over a land bridge known as Beringia at the end of the last Ice Age and were the first to settle in North America, scientists were never sure if it was one migration of a single population or multiple peoples who came in waves. This is what makes Sunrise Girl-Child’s DNA so incredible. The genetic analysis demonstrates that a single ancestral Native American group split from East Asians around 35,000 years ago. This group then split again in two about 20,000 years ago—one population being the Ancient Beringians and the other being the ancestors of all Native Americans.

decorative leaf bulletNew clues to the origin of domestic horses

Domestic horses likely did not originate in Anatolia as previously suspected, according to a new study of ancient remains dating as far back as 9000 BCE.
Instead, they may have been introduced to the peninsula – which makes up most of modern-day Turkey – and the nearby Caucasus region from the Eurasian Steppe by about 2000 BCE, during the Bronze Age.
The findings, presented in a paper in the journal Science Advances, also suggest imported domestic horses were bred with local wild Anatolian horses and donkeys and provide the earliest genomic evidence for a mule in southwest Asia, dating to between 1100 and 800 BCE.

Science and Nature

H/T Introversion: decorative leaf bulletRare case of black licorice poisoning kills man in Massachusetts

decorative leaf bulletResearchers Examine Plants Brought Back to Life From 32,000-Year-Old Seeds

Society

decorative leaf bulletTavi Has 3 Parents

The problem for Jay was never how babies are made, and fostering and adoption were options. The problem was that he wanted kids and also wanted a co-parent to help him raise kids, but wasn’t interested in romantic partnership. Before exploring single parenthood, he was curious whether there might be another way to form the family he wanted.

decorative leaf bulletInternal USPS documents link changes behind mail slowdowns to top executives


Voting Resources

decorative leaf bulletHow to track your ballot like a UPS package

decorative leaf bulletHow to vote in your state

decorative leaf bulletHow to prevent your mail ballot from being rejected


Women’s Work

decorative leaf bulletCorrecting the misinformation about Breonna Taylor

decorative leaf bulletTrump administration rescinded Courage Award for woman who criticized Trump, then gave false explanation for its decision, watchdog finds

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

decorative leaf bullet‘Bringing beaches back to life’: the First Nations restoring ancient clam gardens


SetApp: A Suite of macOS Apps for a Single Price Affiliate link for a great collection of 75+ apps for a single price.


Elsewhere for September 20, 2020

You should read this for 9/20/2020:

Art, Music, and Film

decorative leaf bulletNeolithic paintings in Spain reveal art was social activity for both sexes

“We looked at the number of fingerprint ridges and the distance between them and compared them with fingerprints from the present day,” he told the Guardian.
“Those ridges vary according to age and sex but settle by adulthood, and you can distinguish between those of men and women. You can also tell the age of the person from the ridges.”

decorative leaf bulletThree Years After Tom Petty’s Death, His Dream Project Finally Emerges

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

H/T Less: decorative leaf bulletWhy Goodreads is bad for books

H/T Lisa C.: decorative leaf bulletAddressing The Claims In JK Rowling’s Justification For Transphobia

decorative leaf bulletEdition of Shakespeare’s last play found in Scots college in Spain

The Two Noble Kinsmen, written by Shakespeare with John Fletcher, was found by a researcher investigating the work of the Scots economist Adam Smith.
The 1634 volume could be the oldest Shakespearean work in the country.

Coronavirus | COVID-19

decorative leaf bulletTrump officials interfered with CDC reports on Covid-19

The health department’s politically appointed communications aides have demanded the right to review and seek changes to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly scientific reports charting the progress of the coronavirus pandemic, in what officials characterized as an attempt to intimidate the reports’ authors and water down their communications to health professionals.

. . .

The CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports are authored by career scientists and serve as the main vehicle for the agency to inform doctors, researchers and the general public about how Covid-19 is spreading and who is at risk. Such reports have historically been published with little fanfare and no political interference, said several longtime health department officials, and have been viewed as a cornerstone of the nation’s public health work for decades.

But since Michael Caputo, a former 💩🔥💰 campaign official with no medical or scientific background, was installed in April as the Health and Human Services department’s new spokesperson, there have been substantial efforts to align the reports with 💩🔥💰’s statements, including the president’s claims that fears about the outbreak are overstated, or stop the reports altogether.

decorative leaf bulletMaine “superspreader” wedding linked to 170 Covid cases and seven deaths

That single event on 7 August is linked to coronavirus outbreaks in at least two other locations in Maine, with more than 170 people contracting the virus and seven deaths since.

. . .

The “superspreader” event started with wedding attendees in the Katahdin region and spread to the community at large and to a nursing home in Madison.

An attendee worked at the York county jail, 220 miles away, where there are more than 70 cases. The state is also investigating an outbreak at a church in Sanford, home of the wedding’s officiant.

Food and Drink

H/T Mac: decorative leaf bulletHow to Grow Mushrooms in Coffee Grounds

But for those who want to get a little more experimental and expand your horizons past fruits and vegetables, growing your own oyster mushrooms can be a fairly low-budget and simple avenue to pursue.

One cultivating method used by a number of urban farmers and “do-it-yourself” growers involves taking freshly used coffee grounds and a little bit of boiled straw as substrate (the soil) and mixing it with spawns of the mushrooms to grow into a new batch.

decorative leaf bulletCoffee Is Under Attack “Coffee plants were supposed to be safe on this side of the Atlantic. But the fungus found them.”

decorative leaf bullettangy braised chickpeas

History and Archaeology

decorative leaf bulletRoman Caistor: ‘One of largest’ Roman Britain temples revealed in Norfolk

decorative leaf bullet‘Viking’ was a job description, not a matter of heredity, massive ancient DNA study shows

It was a Viking saga written in genes. In 2008, construction work on an isolated Estonian beach near the town of Salme uncovered the skeletons of more than 40 powerfully built men. They were buried around 750 C.E. in two ships with Viking-style weapons and treasure—apparently the aftermath of a raid gone wrong. DNA from the bones has now added a poignant detail: Four of the men, buried shoulder to shoulder holding their swords, were brothers.

. . .

The results tell dramatic stories of individual mobility, such as a pair of cousins buried in Oxford, U.K., and Denmark, separated in death by hundreds of kilometers of open ocean. The genetic details may also rewrite popular perceptions of Vikings, including their looks: Viking Age Scandinavians were more likely to have black hair than people living there today. And comparing DNA and archaeology at individual sites suggests that for some in the Viking bands, “Viking” was a job description, not a matter of heredity.

The DNA has raised new questions, too. Study co-author and National Museum of Denmark archaeologist Jette Arneborg says DNA recovered from burials in Greenland shows a mix of Scandinavian men from what is now Norway and women from the British Isles. Yet the artifacts and burials look completely Scandinavian. The women “have British genes but we can’t see them in the archaeology,” she says. “The DNA is going to make us think more about what’s happening here.”

Science and Nature

decorative leaf bulletPossible rare “seven-armed octopus” found on Whidbey beach

Society

decorative leaf bulletQAnon Website Shuts Down After N.J. Man Identified as Operator


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Women’s Work

decorative leaf bulletJustice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Champion Of Gender Equality, Dies At 87 See also: A 5-Decade-Long Friendship That Began With A Phone Call

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

decorative leaf bulletDespite DeJoy’s vows to halt changes, serious problems persist, postal workers say

n Chicago, postal employees say backlogged mail is stacked so high in some facilities that workers barely have space to walk by. In Albuquerque, New Mexico, mail handlers tell NBC News first class and priority mail is still running several days a week behind schedule on average.
And in Tacoma, Washington, multiple postal workers said new mandates mean many mail trucks per week are being ordered to set out on their routes five minutes early — often entirely empty.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

decorative leaf bulletWhen Your Best Friend Gives Birth to Your Babies—All 4 of Them

Something Wonderful

decorative leaf bulletArtists Crochet Giant Sea Urchin Installations That Interact with Their Surroundings

Choi+Shine Architects created The Urchins, a series of 3 interactive hand-crocheted installations

Elsewhere for September 13, 2020

You should read this for 9/13/2020:

Art, Music, and Film

decorative leaf bulletGeorge Takei: ‘Getting cast as Lt Sulu in Star Trek was life-changing’

decorative leaf bullet‘The Princess Bride’ cast is reuniting to raise money for Wisconsin Democrats

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

decorative leaf bulletWith schools closed, public libraries are being used as day-care centers, angering some people

Coronavirus | COVID-19

decorative leaf bulletHow to Avoid Toxic Positivity (And Handle It When It Comes Your Way)

Zuckerman goes on to say that toxic positivity can take many forms, including but not limited to: a friend or family member who scolds you for expressing frustration about something instead of actually listening to why you’re upset; or comments like “look on the bright side,” “be grateful for what you have,” “it could actually be much worse,” “if you stay positive, something good will come your way.” (There are so, so many.)

David Frum: decorative leaf bulletI Crossed Back Into a State of Denial “At the Canada-U.S. border, I encountered a study in contrasts.”

H/T Jeff C: decorative leaf bulletResults Are In: Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Was A COVID ‘Super Spreader’ Costing Billions

. . . for the month in which Sturgis took place, the rally was responsible for a fifth of the cases in the entire country

. . .

If we conservatively assume that all of these cases were non-fatal, then these cases represent a cost of over $12.2 billion, based on the statistical cost of a COVID-19 case of $46,000 estimated by Kniesner and Sullivan (2020). This is enough to have paid each of the estimated 462,182 rally attendees $26,553.64 not to attend.”

decorative leaf bulletHigh numbers of Los Angeles patients complained about coughs as early as December, study says

The number of patients complaining of coughs and respiratory illnesses surged at a sprawling Los Angeles medical system from late December through February, raising questions about whether the novel coronavirus was spreading earlier than thought, according to a study of electronic medical records.

The authors of the report, published Thursday in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, suggested that coronavirus infections may have caused this rise weeks before U.S. officials began warning the public about an outbreak.

. . .

The study authors searched outpatient and emergency department reports that used the word “cough,” and tallied the number of people hospitalized for acute respiratory failure.
That approach revealed an uptick in patients that began the week of Dec. 22 and remained elevated for 10 weeks. The number of extra people exceeded the researchers’ predictions by 50 percent, totaling about 1,000 more patients compared with the previous five flu seasons.

Education

decorative leaf bulletParents, Districts, And NAACP Win Major Victory As Federal Court Blocks Illegal Devos Rule Nationwide

Judge Dabney L. Friedrich ruled that Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and the U.S. Department of Education violated the clear language of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act in issuing a regulation that would illegally divert desperately needed funds away from public school students for the benefit of private schools.

decorative leaf bulletThe Pandemic Has Researchers Worried About Teen Suicide

If a teen talks about harming themselves or wanting to disappear, a parent should ask directly, “Is that something you think you might really do or you think about doing? Or are you just letting me know that you’re very upset right now?” And, she adds, hear them out without dismissing what they’re saying.
She also says parents should look out for anger: “In teenagers, uniquely, depression can take the form of irritability. That depression in teenagers sometimes looks like a prickly porcupine. Everybody rubs them the wrong way. And that is easy to miss because sometimes we’ll just dismiss that as being a snarky teenager.”

decorative leaf bulletInvestigation into US professor sparks debate over Chinese word

Food and Drink

decorative leaf bullet5 Comforting Dinners to Make this Fall Recipes use canned tomatoes to make Quick & Easy Hamburger Soup, Slow Cooker Taco Soup, Tomato Tortellini Soup with Italian Sausage, and Fettuccine with Creamy Tomato Italian Sausage Sauce.

History and Archaeology

Maeshowe— the 5,000-year-old Neolithic passage tomb in Orkney

decorative leaf bullet5,000-year-old tomb on Orkney designed to “ease passage to afterlife,” research finds

The tombs, referred to as ‘houses for the dead’, showed similar layouts to that of domestic houses.

Ms van der Reijden’s found the side chambers showed inverted architectural designs to give the effect that the chamber is within the underworld.

Science and Nature

decorative leaf bulletHundreds of Americans Planted ‘Chinese Mystery Seeds’

In late July, America was briefly enthralled with “Unsolicited Seeds from China,” which started showing up in mailboxes in all 50 states. These mystery seeds prompted warnings from the USDA, which said people should not plant them, and should instead alert their state agricultural authority and mail them to the USDA or their local officials.
Many Americans heeded this advice. Many more decidedly did not.

Society

decorative leaf bulletNeil Kinnock on Biden’s plagiarism ‘scandal’ and why he deserves to win: ‘Joe’s an honest guy’

“Joe is honest, he’s courageous, he’s well-informed and experienced, and most of all, he’s rational, all things that Trump isn’t. One of Joe’s greatest strengths, I think, certainly a natural attribute is that he’s normal. He really is the well-informed guy off the street and in an age when voters are looking for authenticity, he is the real thing.”

decorative leaf bulletThe Government Has Been Binging On Classification. Senators Say It’s Time To Start Purging.

Under the current system, costly resources are used to hold on to records that no longer require classification resulting in an unnecessary waste of taxpayer dollars. The cost of the government’s classification system now exceeds $18 billion annually. Additionally, when records are kept classified for reasons that have nothing to do with national security, historians, journalists, public watchdogs and all Americans are denied their right to research historical events or examine the actions of their government to hold it accountable. As the line between classification for national security and pointless secrecy is blurred, public trust in government erodes.


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Technology

decorative leaf bulletFacebook engineer quits, says company is “profiting off hate”

Chandwaney’s [resignation] letter is full of links citing specific incidents of Facebook’s failures, such as the company obstructing an investigation into genocide in Myanmar and failing to remove an event encouraging people to shoot and kill protesters in Kenosha. [They] also referred to President Donald Trump’s infamous “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” post from May 29, which Facebook has still refused to remove. In contrast, Twitter hid a post from Trump that used the same phrase for “glorifying violence.”

Women’s Work

decorative leaf bulletArmed guards provided for threatened lesbian couple

decorative leaf bulletHow Victorian female brewers broke the (pint) glass ceiling

n Anglo-Saxon times women made beer at home at the same time as baking bread. They were known as brewsters, and the best in the village turned their homes into an early version of a pub.
Hester Parnall, head of the St Austell Brewery in Cornwall from 1916 to 1939. Photograph: St Austell Brewery
“Only in the 18th and 19th centuries did we see big commercial brewers dominated by men to meet demand for a new beer called porter,” said Protz. But then [the first world] war came, and the men who managed and worked in the breweries went off to fight, leaving women to step into the breach.

decorative leaf bulletThe woman trying to save India’s tortured temple elephants

decorative leaf bulletGo read this story of how a dress code exposed inequality on an Arctic research missio

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

decorative leaf bulletTrump detests Christians — and he deceived pastors and mocked them after they left Trump Tower: Michael Cohen’s ‘Disloyal’

“Watching Trump I could see that he knew exactly how to appeal to the evangelicals’ desires and vanities – who they wanted him to be, not who he really was. Everything he was telling them about himself was absolutely untrue.”
To deceive the evangelicals, Cohen writes, Trump would “say whatever they wanted to hear.”

decorative leaf bulletWoodward book: Trump says he knew coronavirus was ‘deadly’ and worse than the flu while intentionally misleading Americans

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

H/T Mary The Pen Cup: decorative leaf bulletPostcards For Democracy

In light of the threat to our postal service, at a time that could jeopardize the democracy of the country, let’s join forces for this collective postcard art demonstration

Something Wonderful

Via @Dark Mode Dave decorative leaf bullet

H/T Colleen: decorative leaf bulletOrca Tahlequah is a mother again


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