You should read this for 4/10/2021:
Art, Music, and Film
Concrete Cowboy, which premiered last year at the Toronto film festival and is now available on Netflix, is a gritty drama about a father-son relationship set around the Fletcher Street Stables, one of the first stables in inner-city Philadelphia and now among the last.
It dates back more than a century to when horse-drawn wagons delivered produce, laundry and milk. That era drew to a close in the late 1950s when cars and trucks took over but the historic barns survived as a precious community focal point and safe haven – often without the knowledge of city residents living just a few miles away.
The sounds of an Easter concert performed for James IV in a Scottish chapel have been recreated using gaming technology alongside groundbreaking recording techniques that allow specialists to model how acoustics would have been affected by long-destroyed interior details, such as the curve of an alabaster sculpture or an oak roof beam.
A 3,000-year-old “lost golden city” has been unearthed in the southern city of Luxor, a discovery that could be the most significant find in Egypt since the tomb of the boy king Tutankhamun, the archaeological mission said Thursday in a statement.
The lost city, known as Aten, is believed to have been founded by King Amenhotep III, the ninth king of ancient Egypt’s 18th dynasty who ruled the country from 1391 to 1353 B.C., the mission’s statement said. It is believed to be the largest administrative and industrial settlement in that era, nestled on the western bank of Luxor.
What we need to understand better as a nation is that our infrastructure does not just look like steel, concrete and transport – it is also the nurturing, patience and diligence of care workers. Care work touches all of our lives from beginning to end, from the unpaid labor of those who raise us as children, childcare workers, teachers, home aides and healthcare workers, to those who care for us in old age and see us through the end of our lives. Care is one of the strongest pillars of our economy, yet those who do this work – disproportionately Black and brown women, often immigrants – are under-supported, undervalued and under-compensated, if compensated at all.
Just as our physical infrastructure is crumbling and requires substantial reinvestment in a 21st-century economy, our care infrastructure is fundamentally broken. As the only industrialized country in the world without a national paid family and medical leave program, only 17% of our people have paid family leave through their employers. Hundreds of thousands face daunting waitlists for essential home care. Childcare is the highest household expense for families in much of the United States. And the median annual pay of childcare and home care workers is $25,510 and $17,200, respectively, leading to high turnover and reliance on public
Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language
Someone is hiding R-rated ‘Fifty Shades’ movies at Berkley Library This is an old story, from 2018, but I love the way the library responded.
[Beverly Cleary], who died last week, drew from intense memories of her own early life to write about kids with rare understanding and care. She understood—and respected—children’s inner feelings. Many saw their own awkward experiences reflected in those of Cleary’s characters; they felt heard by her words. For my colleague Sophie Gilbert, the author’s depiction of mortification stood out the most. Learning that she was not alone in even her most humiliating moments, Gilbert writes, was one of the most potent lessons of Cleary’s work. Many of the best children’s books work like this—by helping kids identify difficult emotions and then work through them.
Biden proposes to spend $2.3 trillion on an eclectic mix of programs over 10 years. From roads, bridges and airports to railways, ports, water systems, the electric grid and high-speed broadband, about one-quarter to half of the plan is dedicated to transportation and utilities, depending on how you count.
Climate Change | Climate Repair
California’s kelp forests, which provide a rich habitat for marine organisms, got hit by a double whammy of ecological disasters in the past decade, says UC Santa Cruz ecologist Mark Carr. He is a coauthor on the Communications Biology paper who has mentored both McPherson and Smith.
First, sea star wasting syndrome wiped out local populations of sunflower sea stars (Pycnopodia helianthoides), which typically feed on urchins (SN: 1/20/21). Without sea stars, purple sea urchins (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) proliferated.
The second wallop was a marine heat wave so big and persistent it was nicknamed “The Blob” (SN: 12/14/17). While kelp forests have been resilient to warming events before, this one was so extreme it spiked temperatures in many parts of the Pacific to 2 to 3 degrees Celsius above normal (SN: 1/15/20).
Kelp thrives in cold and nutrient rich water. As its growth slowed in the warmer water, less kelp drifted into the crevices of the reefs where sea urchins typically lurk. With a key predator gone and a newfound need to forage for food rather than waiting for it to come to them, urchins emerged and turned the remaining kelp into a giant buffet.
H/T Om Malik: Waves of Abandonment
Laura and her husband noticed that the pumpjacks on the 7S wells rarely moved much, an indication they weren’t actually producing much oil for sale. However, the family did see the wells leaking oil and gushing produced water — an industry byproduct that’s often imbued with hazardous chemicals. . . . The situation isn’t much better elsewhere in the Permian Basin. Texas and New Mexico have already identified about 7,000 abandoned wells that were once operated by over 1,000 companies. State officials estimate these will cost $335 million to plug. The states define wells as “orphaned” if they don’t have an approved operator on record; additionally, Texas only includes wells that haven’t produced in at least a year. However, a healthy chunk of roughly 100,000 “idled” wells in those states could also eventually end up abandoned.
Unique island species including lemurs and the Galapagos giant tortoise could be at high risk of extinction if the planet warms by more than 3C above pre-industrial levels, new research warns.
Analysis of 270 biodiversity hotspots suggests almost half of endemic marine species and 84% of endemic mountain species will face extinction if the planet warms by more than 3C, which if current trends continue could happen in 2100.
Coronavirus | COVID-19
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its domestic travel guidance for fully vaccinated people, lifting certain testing and self-quarantine requirements but continuing to recommend precautions like wearing a mask and avoiding crowds.
A more easily spread coronavirus variant first identified in England last year has now become the dominant strain in the U.S., the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.
The variant, known as B.1.1.7, spread quickly across the United Kingdom and Ireland beginning last fall, with the more infectious version of the coronavirus thwarting restrictions and lockdowns that had earlier helped keep the original strain in check.
B.1.1.7 is “now the most common lineage circulating in the United States,Æ CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said at a White House media briefing on Wednesday.
At 9:38 p.m. on a Monday evening, I received what seemed like a pretty important text from a sender I did not know.
“View a digital record of your vaccination,” it read.
The text also congratulated me on having received my second dose, and reminded me to wait one to two weeks for full protection. Immediately, my alarms bells went off, and I wondered: “Is this a scam?”
Food and Drink
Via Smitten Kitchen: sheet pan chow mein
History and Archaeology
Genetic sequencing of human remains dating back 45,000 years has revealed a previously unknown migration into Europe and showed intermixing with Neanderthals in that period was more common than previously thought.
The research is based on analysis of several ancient human remains – including a whole tooth and bone fragments – found in a cave in Bulgaria last year.
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Archaeologists found stone tools and traces of firepits and possible shelters in Deeside in the Cairngorms.
Finds from the Mesolithic period, also known as the Middle Stone Age, are rare and usually made in lowland areas.
Politics and Society
The extremist movement’s leader had purported to be a top-secret government operative. But a possible slip-up in a new documentary about QAnon suggests that Q was actually Ron Watkins, the longtime administrator of the 8kun message board.
Science and Nature
The magnitude 3.3 and 3.1 temblors originated in a region called Cerberus Fossae, further supporting the idea that this location is seismically active.
NASA’s InSight lander has detected two strong, clear quakes originating in a location of Mars called Cerberus Fossae – the same place where two strong quakes were seen earlier in the mission. The new quakes have magnitudes of 3.3 and 3.1; the previous quakes were magnitude 3.6 and 3.5. InSight has recorded over 500 quakes to date, but because of their clear signals, these are four of the best quake records for probing the interior of the planet.
Studying marsquakes is one way the InSight science team seeks to develop a better understanding of Mars’ mantle and core. The planet doesn’t have tectonic plates like Earth, but it does have volcanically active regions that can cause rumbles. The March 7 and March 18 quakes add weight to the idea that Cerberus Fossae is a center of seismic activity.
H/T Frances: The weird and wonderful Eucyclodes caterpillar
Most cases of Parkinson’s disease are considered idiopathic – they lack a clear cause. Yet researchers increasingly believe that one factor is environmental exposure to trichloroethylene (TCE), a chemical compound used in industrial degreasing, dry-cleaning and household products such as some shoe polishes and carpet cleaners.
Referral link for Curiosity Stream delivers shows across the full spectrum of the non-fiction genre to demystify science, nature, history, technology, society, lifestyle and more. $19.99/year for thousands of films (or $2.99/month).
Wix and Their Dirty Tricks Matt puts his thumb squarely on my primary personal objection to Wix: you can’t take your data with you, it’s not exportable, and you can’t back it up.
SetApp: A Suite of macOS Apps for a Single Price Affiliate link for a great collection of ver 200 apps for macOS and iOS for a flat subscription fee.
“I need to get a grip on my ambition. I need to start enjoying being here instead of constantly trying to prove that I have a right to be here, constantly trying to fit and assimilate. And at some point, I need to realize that I am where I’m supposed to be and that I don’t necessarily need to keep climbing.”
FireEye said it uncovered the breach only because a new woman employee on its security team was particularly vigilant. She noticed someone using the credentials of a FireEye salesman was logging in with a new mobile phone. When she checked with the salesman, who said the phone didn’t belong to him. It turned out the phone belonged to a cyber intruder.
“What’s very clear is that Google does not take action regarding discrimination,” said Glasson. “This is in large part because it is a massive organization with huge resources at its disposal to fight someone like me – it’s not at all a fair fight.”
💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰 | The Insurrection President 🤥🤥👖🔥
The founder of far-right group the Oath Keepers, Stewart Rhodes, his lieutenant, and three members of the militia who guarded Donald Trump ally Roger Stone swapped numerous phone calls in a three-hour period on 6 January when the Capitol was attacked by a mob, prosecutors said Thursday.
These exchanges coincided with the initial assault on police barricades outside Congress, and continued into when the three guards breached the US Capitol building, according to the Washington Post.
One U.S. Capitol Police officer is dead and another is hospitalized with injuries after an apparent attack Friday at a Capitol checkpoint in which a man rammed his car into officers and lunged at them with a knife, police said.
Capitol Police identified the slain officer as William “Billy” Evans, an 18-year veteran of the force.
By June 2020, the Trump campaign had begun using dark patterns, computer interfaces designed to trick users, to automatically sign up campaign contributors to donate far more money than they had intended — recurring monthly donations, recurring weekly donations, even a one-time surprise “money bomb” per month — by pre-checking the checkboxes for each option, burying the fine print under paragraphs of bold text, and forcing his supporters to wade through it all and opt out if they wanted to make a simple donation.
A federal grand jury in Washington indicted a Florida man for taking his skateboard to the head of a Metropolitan Police officer during the U.S. Capitol insurrection Jan. 6. . . . Owens was captured on body camera footage using a skateboard to assault an unnamed Metropolitan Police officer, referred to as “C.B.” outside of the Capitol building, according to prosecutors. The attack caused a concussion and finger injury to the police officer.
Pay It Forward and Make It Better
Stuff I Wrote
JPL | Hubble Space Telescope: The Veil Nebula
This image taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope revisits the Veil Nebula, which was featured in a previous Hubble image release. In this image, new processing techniques have been applied, bringing out fine details of the nebula’s delicate threads and filaments of ionized gas.
To raise awareness of her native language, 16-year-old Emma Stevens sang a version of The Beatles’ 1968 classic “Blackbird” in the Mi’kmaq language, an Eastern Algonquian language spoken by nearly 11,000 in Canada and the United States.
This is so cool: Two bots, one selfie. Greetings from Jezero Crater, where I’ve taken my first selfie of the mission. I’m also watching the #MarsHelicopter Ingenuity as it gets ready for its first flight in a few days. Daring mighty things indeed. See Nasa’s statement (really worth reading).
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.