Elsewhere for November 23, 2019

You should read this for 6/22/2019:

Art and Film

The Mandalorian: Everything we know about the new Star Wars show on Disney Plus

Books, Writing, and Language

H/T Ari:

Eradicating the e-Word: Musings on Myaamia Language Reclamation

A significant part of my professional work involves challenging the e-word and naysayers of language reclamation like Dr. Baking Soda. This partly occurs by my pointing out that even if a language has no living speakers, it can be brought back into use so long as it is documented and claimed by people who want to learn it. This is an attested process: many Miami adults now speak myaamia. Some children acquire myaamia at home, alongside English. Community members increasingly locate themselves as Miamis by introducing themselves in myaamia, as I did for this essay. Some Miamis tweet in myaamia.

H/T Brent Simmons: You’re probably using the wrong dictionary

Education

What’s Lost When Black Children Are Socialized Into a White World

Behaviors that many black parents might consider annoying but developmentally appropriate, such as an ill-timed joke or talking back to an adult, are treated by school staff as cause for suspension. From there, students are pushed out of classrooms, lose learning time, and can end up in the school-to-prison pipeline. “It’s a totally different environment, a totally different culture,” Black said when we spoke in July 2018.

From the office of the Provost at Indiana University Bloomington: On the First Amendment

Moreover, in my view, students who are women, gay, or of color could reasonably be concerned that someone with Professor Rasmusen’s expressed prejudices and biases would not give them a fair shake in his classes, and that his expressed biases would infect his perceptions of their work. Given the strength and longstanding nature of his views, these concerns are reasonable.
Therefore, the Kelley School is taking a number of steps to ensure that students not add the baggage of bigotry to their learning experience:
* No student will be forced to take a class from Professor Rasmusen. The Kelley School will provide alternatives to Professor Rasmusen’s classes;
* Professor Rasmusen will use double-blind grading on assignments; if there are components of grading that cannot be subject to a double-blind procedure, the Kelley School will have another faculty member ensure that the grades are not subject to Professor Rasmusen’s prejudices.
If other steps are needed to protect our students or colleagues from bigoted actions, Indiana University will take them.

The Middle Ages Have Been Misused by the Far Right. Here’s Why It’s So Important to Get Medieval History Right

The European Middle Ages seem to be having a moment. Although it’s true that, essentially since the time they ended, the period has been used to justify the shape of an author’s contemporary world, the appropriation of the Middle Ages by white supremacists in the last few years has been particularly notable. These white nationalists have used the Middle Ages as the source of their own “Lost Cause,” referencing, for example, the medieval Crusades as a great defensive struggle in which a unified, white Europe defended itself from a hostile, non-white, Islamic invader—even though this understanding is a myth.

‘It’s all white people’: Allegations of white supremacy are tearing apart a prestigious medieval studies group

Facing several hundred people in an auditorium in downtown Washington this month, Rambaran-Olm spoke for less than a minute: The International Society of Anglo-Saxonists (ISAS) was encouraging and emboldening white supremacists, she said, an attitude typified by its refusal to change its name. Rambaran-Olm, a woman of color, was stepping down as the group’s second vice president, effective immediately.

Food and Drink

Cook Fresh Corn on the Cob in Your Microwave

Spiced Mulled Wine

History and Archaeology

The Middle Ages Have Been Misused by the Far Right. Here’s Why It’s So Important to Get Medieval History Right

Society

The great American labor paradox: Plentiful jobs, most of them bad

The numbers tell one story. Unemployment in the US is the lowest it’s been in 50 years. More Americans have jobs than ever before. Wage growth keeps climbing.
People tell a different story. Long job hunts. Trouble finding work with decent pay. A lack of predictable hours.

Federal Judge Asks DEA To Explain Why All 179 Of Its Stash House Sting Targets Are Minorities

The twist is the drug stash house is fake. There are no drugs. There are no armed guards protecting the drugs. Once the mark arrives with a weapon and a plan of attack, the ATF arrests the person for thinking about robbing a fake stash house to steal nonexistent drugs.
The other twist is the prosecution. Since the drugs never existed, the ATF is free to claim the targeted stash was large enough to trigger mandatory minimum sentences.

Technology

Michael Tsaihas a great roundup of commentary regarding 1Password’s recent influx of investor capital

I agree in principle, but I would like to see a list of top-quality consumer apps developed by software companies that took lots of VC money. I don’t see any in my Dock.

—Michael Tsai. See also Om Malik Some thoughts on iPassword funding + How to do strong passwords

Nikki Haley lost her password, so she sent confidential info over unclassified system “Former US Ambassador to the UN was responding to North Korea nuke testing.”

Women’s Work

Men still earn more than women—even after they’re dead

Marie Kondo Goes Full Goop “The tidying guru helped America clean out its closets. Now she wants to fill them back up.”

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

‘His beliefs are appalling’: email scandal sparks calls for Stephen Miller to resign

The communications had revealed the top aide’s obsessive focus on injecting white nationalist-style talking points on immigration, race and crime into the far-right website Breitbart, both during and after Donald 💩🔥💰’s successful bid for the White House.

. . .

Miller, one of the few people to remain in the administration since 💩🔥💰 took office in January 2017, is understood to be the architect behind hardline immigration policies including family separation and the Muslim ban.

Devin Nunes Is Living in a Fantasyland “The representative’s claims about stories reporting on the Trump administration are part of a universe of untruth.”

At Fox News, on talk radio, and on the web, American conservatives have built a communications system that effectively consolidates in-group identity. Much of the time, the talkers and listeners do not themselves understand what they are saying. They use key words and phrases as gang signs: badges of identity that are recognized without necessarily being understood.

💩🔥💰 War on Expertise Is Only Intensifying

💩🔥💰 has repeatedly denigrated law-enforcement officials at the FBI, moved to evict scientists from the policy-making process, excluded the Central Command general with direct responsibility for the region from his abrupt decision to withdraw American troops from Syria, and even sparred with meteorologists over his mistaken insistence that Hurricane Dorian threatened Alabama in September.


Elsewhere for November 16, 2019

You should read this for 11/16/2019:

Art, music, and Film

H/T John Gruber: Disney+ Version of Star Wars: A New Hope Alters Greedo Scene Yet Again For a better history see The version of Star Wars on Disney+ changes the canon once again

The Internet Archive Is Digitizing & Preserving Over 100,000 Vinyl Records: Hear 750 Full Albums Now Vinyl recordings preserved and available for download.

Books, Writing, and Language

Giant Publisher Macmillan Goes To War Against Libraries

We’ve seen this before. Publishers have massively jacked up the prices of lendable ebooks (note the $60 price above), they’ve built in “expiring” licenses so that those expensive purchases can only be loaned out a limited number of times. And now they’re limiting how many licenses can be purchased by a single library.
This is an attack on libraries for no good reason, other than publishers hating the concept of “free” access to books.

Via BoingBoingDog has learned to “speak” with a soundboard: “Outside. Come now.”

Education

The Growing Partisan Divide in Views of Higher Education See also this Twitter thread

Food and Drink

Angel Hair Pasta with Shrimp and Parmesan Lemon Cream Sauce I added some capers.

History and Archaeology

Many imperial Romans had roots in the Middle East, genetic history shows

Two thousand years ago, the streets of Rome bustled with people from all over the ancient world. The empire’s trade routes stretched from North Africa to Asia, and new immigrants poured in every day, both by choice and by force. Now, an ancient DNA study has shown those far-flung connections were written in the genomes of the Romans.
People from the city’s earliest eras and from after the Western empire’s decline in the fourth century C.E. genetically resembled other Western Europeans. But during the imperial period most sampled residents had Eastern Mediterranean or Middle Eastern ancestry. At that time, “Rome was like New York City … a concentration of people of different origins joining together,” says Guido Barbujani, a population geneticist at the University of Ferrara in Italy who wasn’t involved in the study. “This is the kind of cutting-edge work that’s starting to fill in the details [of history],” adds Kyle Harper, a Roman historian at the University of Oklahoma in Norman.

Skeletons found in Leicester could be the earliest examples of African people living in the famously diverse city.

The University of Leicester found 83 skeletons in a Roman graveyard dating back as early as the 2nd Century.
Six with possible African ancestry is the first evidence of migrants from the continent in the city, experts said.

Again, despite what some ahistoric newts want you to believe, Europe in the Middle Ages was not White People Land. It just wasn’t. We know there were people of African descent in Roman Britain

Science and Nature

A “mouse-deer,” seen once in the last century, has now been caught on film

Sasquatch or Wendigo? Mysterious howls in Canadian wilderness spark confusion

Technology

Via John Gruber: @jelenawoehr on Twitter: Every Horse Emoji, Ranked

Women’s Work

Why Trump Attacked Marie Yovanovitch He can’t help but go after women, even when doing so hurts his cause.

It was almost as if the president found himself triggered by Yovanovitch, the 61-year-old career diplomat. But why was the president’s response so different to witnesses that were roughly saying the same thing? What was the big difference between Kent and Taylor and Yovanovitch? All three are career diplomats, all three are Ivy League graduates, all three have worked in the state department, all three are experts in Ukraine. But only one of them is a woman. Could that be why the president singled out Yovanovich? It’s almost as if the president is unable to control his rage against women. It’s almost as if the president thinks he can bully women and silence them.

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

Who is Rudy Giuliani’s friend “Charles”? An accidental text may have outed his identity

Two days after publication, on the evening he attended a Yankees playoff game with Alan Dershowitz, Giuliani — President Donald Trump’s 75-year-old informal cybersecurity adviser — accidentally texted me what appeared to be a password: Eight characters, beginning with the name of a networking company and including a capital letter, a special character, and a number. Multiple IT experts confirmed it could be nothing else, and, given the iPhone’s messaging setup, impossible to type with your butt or in any other unwitting way.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

Why You Should Keep Old Blankets and Coats in Your Car

H/T Kira Cee: Villagers knit jumpers for Indian elephants to protect the large mammals from near-freezing temperatures

Elephants in India are sporting colourful woollen jumpers after villagers knitted the super-size garments to protect the animals from near-freezing temperatures.

Elsewhere for November 9, 2019

You should read this for 11/09/2019:

Art , Music and Film

H/T Dawno: Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson + Astronaut Cady Coleman flute duet in space

Books, Writing, Language and Libraries

Troubling Copyright Bill Goes to the US Senate

With the top penalty set at $30,000 ($15,000 for unregistered works), it’s easy to imagine copyright trolls lining up to file cases. That amount needs to come down—no small-time creator is being damaged to that extent, and any content company who was being so hurt would file a lawsuit anyway.

Rural Library Adds Charging Station And Horse-Shelter/

Florida county denies its libraries funding for New York Times digital subscriptions, calling it “fake news”

Commissioner Jeff Kinnard: “I don’t feel like the county is obligated to subscribe to every major newspaper or every point of view. At some point, you draw the line.” (The Chronicle reported that Citrus County’s library system had no subscriptions to any newspaper.)

The library would have paid about o.4 cents per library card for a digital subscription to the New York Times.

Education

Why the middle class can’t afford life in America anymore

“Teachers are killing themselves,” Barry says in the new book, “Squeezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America” (Ecco), out Tuesday. “I shouldn’t be having to drive Uber at eight o’clock at night on a weekday. I just shut down from the mental toll: grading papers between rides, thinking of what I could be doing instead of driving — like creating a curriculum.”

Food and Drink

Easy Tuscan Bean Soup Canned (or dried and soaked) cannellini beans, carrots, celery, garlic, and baby spinach or kale.

H/T Lisa Carnell: Celtic apple crumble with Irish whiskey cream sauce recipe “Tart apples, Irish whiskey, and Kerrygold butter this is a perfectly decadent, Irish treat Irish food expert and cookbook authors vouch for.”

Via the WSJ: The Food That Helps Battle Depression

So what should we eat? The research points to a Mediterranean-style diet made up primarily of fruits and vegetables, extra-virgin olive oil, yogurt and cheese, legumes, nuts, seafood, whole grains and small portions of red meat. The complexity of this diet will provide the nutrition our brain needs, regulate our inflammatory response and support the good bacteria in our gut,

Chicken Tikka Masala

This dish is made with chicken that gets marinated in a spicy curry sauce with plain yogurt and cooked with tomatoes, spices, and more plain yogurt. You can use breasts or thighs, and it’s great served with rice.

History and Archaeology

Hoard of golden treasure stumbled upon by metal detectorist revealed to be most important Anglo-Saxon find in history

Instead, the study demonstrates that the material is almost exclusively military in nature. Even one of the small number of ecclesiastical objects in the hoard appears to have been of a potentially military character.

The hoard was made up of golden fittings from up to 150 swords, gold and garnet elements of a very high status seax (fighting knife), a spectacular gilded silver helmet, an impressive 30cm-long golden cross, a beautiful gold and garnet pectoral cross, a probable bishop’s headdress – and parts of what is likely to have been a portable battlefield shrine or reliquary.

See also the accompanying image and text database about the 700-odd items in the Staffordshire Hoard.

Science and Nature

John Hames Audubon’s Birds of America

John James Audubon’s Birds of America is a portal into the natural world. Printed between 1827 and 1838, it contains 435 life-size watercolors of North American birds (Havell edition), all reproduced from hand-engraved plates, and is considered to be the archetype of wildlife illustration. Nearly 200 years later, the Audubon prints are coming to life once again, thanks to our vibrant digital library. Roam around below and enjoy one of the most treasured pieces of Audubon’s grand and wild legacy. Each print is also available as a free high-resolution download.

I’ve posted some very amateur recordings of a red fox barking

Society

The Many Voices of Journalism

Technology

Bill Gates’s Fortune Isn’t Going Anywhere

vAs I write this, Bill Gates is worth about $106.8 billion (just so you can compare that figure with your own bank balance more easily, it’s $106,800,000,000). Recall Gates’s retort: “When you say I should pay $100 billion, then I’m starting to do a little math over what I have left over.” This is a duplicitous way to talk about Warren’s proposal, because taxing $100 billion out of $106.8 billion would amount to a 94 percent tax; Warren has proposed an annual 3 percent wealth tax on assets over $1 billion. A 3 percent tax on $100 billion in wealth is $3 billion.

Women’s Work

H/T Yasmin: Birth canals are different all over the world, countering a long-held evolutionary theory

Via
@Tash_Stanton Friends at conferences – please do not assume that the people that you talk to do not know anything. I just got told that I should read what Stanton et al found about pain.

I. Am. Stanton.

Via @ ShannonDowney: A story… (in proper thread form)

I go estate sale shopping regularly and whenever I find an unfinished embroidery project I buy it and finish it bc there’s no way that soul is resting with an unfinished project left behind. One day I found this stunner for $5.

The Washington Post’s union finds that women and people of color in the newsroom make less than white men

Japan ‘glasses ban’ for women at work sparks backlash

In big step forward, tampons in Germany won’t be taxed as luxury items

A vote on Thursday in German parliament changes the tax rate for menstrual hygiene products like tampons or pads from their current designation as “luxury items” to that of “daily necessities.”

As of January 1,2020, this means a tax cut from 19 percent to 7 percent, and a big win for those who advocated for the change.

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

It Was a Corrupt Quid Pro Quo

Newly released testimony in the House impeachment inquiry shows in new detail how the Trump administration’s demands for a quid pro quo from the Ukrainian government operated. . . . And other testimony and communications show that the statement had to specifically mention President Donald Trump’s personal political obsessions.

Here’s Sondland’s testimony and here’s Volker’s testimony.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

Tim Cook: The Power of Diversity

I was getting notes from kids who were struggling with their sexual orientation. They were depressed. Some said [they] had suicidal thoughts. Some had been banished by their own parents and family. It weighed on me in terms of what I could do. Obviously I couldn’t talk to each one individually that reached out, but you always know if you have people reaching out to you that there’s many more that don’t, that are just out there wondering whether they have a future or not, wondering whether life gets better … From there I really decided. There’s been a lot of people that came before me that made it possible for me to sit here today, and I needed to do something to help those people that were in a younger generation. It probably took a year between getting the words exactly like I wanted and picking the right time for the company, because I didn’t want it to be a distraction and so forth. I have not regretted it for one minute. Not at all.

Rap star Nelly has been quietly sending 2 kids to college every year for a decade

Jay Inslee Isn’t Going Away “The Washington governor may be out of the 2020 race, but his ideas are shaping the future of climate policy”

His six-part climate plan is by far the most ambitious and thoughtful road map to solving the crisis that has ever been put forward by a presidential candidate. It not only forced other Democrats to up their climate game, but large parts of it were immediately borrowed by other candidates, including Elizabeth Warren. So even if Inslee’s presidential campaign was a failure, his larger campaign to push U.S. climate politics to a new level of sophistication and ambition was a raging success, providing the policy DNA for the next generation of climate leaders.

Elsewhere for October 19, 2019

You should read this for 10/19/2019:

Books, Writing, and Language

From Jennifer Cochran Biederman : The Future of Field Notes

Paging through my father’s field notebooks after he passed away, I discovered a deeply meaningful archive of memories. While he had used these pages to publish dozens of articles related to the natural history of fish, herpetological, and invertebrate fauna, here and there among the Latin names and GPS coordinates were brief notes that documented the happy days that my family had tagged along with my father in the field. Bookmarks in time – these passages are a gift and reminder that, for some, the duality of being a field scientist and parent/spouse/companion are best when intertwined.

Education

Exclusive: Turf War Blocked CFPB From Helping Fix Student Loan Forgiveness Program

The nation’s most powerful consumer protection agency sent examiners into companies that run student loan call centers to try to fix a troubled loan forgiveness program. But the Department of Education blocked the bureau from getting the information it needed, NPR has learned.

Food and Drink

Classic Bolognese Sauce You can use canned or fresh tomatoes, but you’ll need ground beef, ground pork, ground Italian sausage, and a little pancetta.

Researchers Find Dietary Changes That Help Treat Inflammatory Bowel Disease

A History of Chop Suey “A dish which arrived with the Gold Rush, spread with the railway and endured prohibition was Chinese by origin, but claimed by America.”

chicken tikka masala

History and Archaeology

Archaeologists unearth a Bronze Age warrior’s personal toolkit The finds were associated with one person, one of many who died in a fairly large battle along Germany’s Tollense River, c. between 1380 and 1250 BCE.

The ancient kit contained a bronze knife with a curved blade, an awl decorated with ladders and rows of triangles, and a bronze chisel, along with an assortment of bronze scraps and small ingots. Wear marks on the chisel suggest that someone probably used it to cut bronze fragments like the ones in the kit. The curved blade of the bronze knife, with structural reinforcement on the back side, looks as if someone recycled a sickle to make it. There were also a few tubes made of rolled bronze.

Science and Nature

Cats High On Catnip

Society

For the first time ever, taxes on the 400 richest Americans were lower than taxes on everyone else

In 2018, for the first time in recorded US history, the 400 richest American households paid a lower rate of tax than any other group of American taxpayers: 23%, down from 70% in 1950 and 47% in 1980.

Women’s Work

How Susan Kare Designed User-Friendly Icons for the First Macintosh

If it wasn’t for needlepoint, the computer graphics we have come to know and love today might have looked a lot different. Pioneering designer Susan Kare was taught by her mother how to do counted-thread embroidery, which gave her the basic knowledge she needed to create the first icons for the Apple Macintosh 35 years ago.
“It just so happened that I had small black and white grids to work with,” she says. “The process reminded me of working needlepoint, knitting patterns or mosaics. I was lucky to have had a mother who enjoyed crafts.”

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

Never-Before-Seen 💩🔥💰 Tax Documents Show Major Inconsistencies

Donald Trump’s businesses reported some expenses, profits and occupancy figures for two Manhattan buildings, giving a lender different figures than they provided to New York City tax authorities. The discrepancies made the buildings appear more profitable to the lender — and less profitable to the officials who set the buildings’ property tax.

The Turkish president apparently threw 💩🔥💰’s ridiculous letter in the trash

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

How the U.S. Could Have an All-Renewable Energy Grid

Elsewhere for October 12, 2019

You should read this for 10/11/2019:

Art and Film

Star Trek: Picard Trailer I am ridiculously hopeful about this new CBS All Access series starting January 23, 2020, riffing off of Star Trek: Next Generation and starring Patrick Stewart.

Books, Writing, and Language

Publishers’ e-book restrictions and pricing hurt library users in Seattle, King County and beyond

On Nov. 1, Macmillan Publishing, one of the country’s biggest publishers, is launching a library e-book embargo, meaning that for the first eight weeks after publication, public libraries — no matter their size — may purchase just one copy of a new e-book.

The Secret to Shopping in Used Bookstores “I’ve learned to treat a visit to a used bookstore less like a treasure hunt and more like a nature walk, with plenty of chances to enjoy myself along the way.”

The radical power of “Jane Eyre,” according to 57 translations from across the world

Food and Drink

The Manhattan “A classic Manhattan—made with whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters—is rich, warming, slightly sweet. It’s a great cocktail to sip on as the weather cools down.”

BUtternut Squash Soup “This butternut squash soup has a secret ingredient—a tart green apple. It adds just the right balance for the squash. Ready in an hour and freezes well.”

History and Archaeology

Inscription Reveals Final Years of Life in Pompeii Before the City Was Buried in Ash

The inscription describes a massive coming-of-age party for a wealthy young man. who reaches the age of an adult citizen. According to the inscription, he threw a massive party that included a banquet serving 6,840 people and a show in which 416 gladiators fought over several days.

Archaeologists explore Shakespearean-era Whitechapel playhouse site ‘The Boar’s Head was converted from an inn to a playhouse in 1598, but there are references to open air performances on the site as early as 1557.”

Science and Nature

NASA’s scheme to resurrect the drill on its Mars probe

NASA blasted the InSight lander to Mars with the aim of drilling some 16 feet into the Martian ground.
But the drill, also called the “mole” or “self-hammering heat probe,” only burrowed 14 inches into the soil before getting stuck. The space agency hasn’t been able to move the heat-detecting probe since February.
But NASA has a plan. And the people behind that plan appear confident.

Via BoingBoing: Studies suggest dyslexia could be caused by having less brain plasticity

Two studies point to diminished brain plasticity — the ability to adapt thinking and memory to new information — as the cause behind dyslexia. People with dyslexia appear to have less brain plasticity than average, according to the studies, which were conducted at Hebrew University of Israel and MIT.

Meh. Color me unconvinced.

Society

My land of make believe: life after The Sims
“Feeling increasingly anxious and lost, Liv Siddall found herself retreating to the comfort and security of video games – often playing for hours at a time. Here, she reveals how she finally escaped back to reality”

A Baby Step in the Marathonic Journey of Mental Wellness

Cancel Billionaires

A growing body of economic and political-science research demonstrates that Gilded Age–type inequality does not just mean having too many with too little. It is warping the very social fabric of the country, stifling mobility, innovation, investment, and growth, and putting the country at political risk.

Revealed: the 20 firms behind a third of all carbon emissions “New data shows how fossil fuel companies have driven climate crisis despite industry knowing dangers”

Saudi Aramco 59.26
Chevron 43.35
Gazprom 43.23
ExxonMobil 41.90
National Iranian Oil Co 35.66
BP 34.02
Royal Dutch Shell 31.95

We no longer share a common lived experience<

But it is hard to see how we can bring about enduring improvement in the nation’s condition without addressing the needs of the tens of millions of Americans who live in places that are failing to catch up with the rest of our country.

Technology

Google finally gives Reader the respect it deserves with an actual gravestone

Google Reader has been dead for over six years, and the internet hasn’t been the same since. I still haven’t found a replacement that I enjoy quite as much as my memories of Reader, and I mourn its death every day. But now, we may finally have a place where we can pay respects to the beloved RSS app.

Via Om Malik:

Social Media, Propaganda and War

Women’s Work

On a psychological level, criticism can sting even when you expect it. But it’s far more upsetting when the criticism seems to come out of left field—and because women face social pressure to come across as sensitive and undemanding, a stern word or two from a female boss can provoke a disproportionately big reaction

While both men and women bristled at the criticism from female bosses, there was at least one key difference between workers of different genders: Men also demonstrated a tendency to dismiss the validity of criticism from women, judging their feedback as less accurate. “By contrast, female workers’ perception of feedback does not vary by manager gender,” Abel finds.

I was harassed at an In-N-Out bathroom for being a black trans woman

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

The GOP will follow Trump anywhere — except out of a foreign war

Trump splits Republican voters as friends and family clash: ‘We don’t speak’

“Behind the scenes they know who they’re going to vote for but people don’t want to say that they’re for Trump. They’re embarrassed to.”

Via the BBC: Viewpoint: White House letter is self-inflicted wound “An eight-page letter from White House lawyers to Democratic leaders in the House decries the impeachment inquiry as “baseless” and “constitutionally invalid”. They don’t have a case, says legal scholar Jonathan Turley.”

Yet the constitution does not expressly require anything other than a vote of the House on impeachment itself and a majority threshold for any referral of the matter to the Senate for trial.
This is a constitutional function of the highest order for Congress. There is a legitimate basis for congressional investigation under both its oversight and impeachment authority.
If proven, these allegations of self-dealing could be a basis for articles of impeachment.

Via NPR: How Former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch Became a Target in Ukraine

Yovanovitch focused on understanding and promoting civil society — journalists, activists and citizens’ groups whose work is considered vital to democracy.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

Rick Steves is putting a $1 million “self-imposed carbon tax” on his travel company

Thieves apologize profusely and return stolen Indigenous artwork

Elsewhere for October 5, 2019

You should read this for 10/5/2019:

Art and Film

Leonardo da Vinci, Notebook (”The Codex Arundel”) The British Library has placed high quality digital images of the entire Da Vinci notebook (a compilation) online.

Notebook of Leonardo da Vinci (”The Codex Arundel”). A collection of papers written in Italian by Leonardo da Vinci (b. 1452, d. 1519), in his characteristic left-handed mirror-writing (reading from right to left), including diagrams, drawings and brief texts, covering a broad range of topics in science and art, as well as personal notes. The core of the notebook is a collection of materials that Leonardo describes as ”a collection without order, drawn from many papers, which I have copied here, hoping to arrange them later each in its place according to the subjects of which they treat” (f. 1r), a collection he began in the house of Piero di Braccio Martelli in Florence, in 1508. To this notebook has subsequently been added a number of other loose papers containing writing and diagrams produced by Leonardo throughout his career. Decoration: Numerous diagrams.

Books, Writing, and Language

This young Maryland chemist brews up artisanal fountain pen ink in his shed

Thompson founded his side business, Organics Studio, in a college dorm. Today his inks are bought by customers around the country who prize the bright, jewel-like colors he concocts.

The surpising Origins of the Phrase ‘You Guys Interesting discussion of the origins and derivation of “guys”, though it’s slightly inaccurate about the history of pronouns in English. Old English or Anglo-Saxon has a dual pronoun, used to refer to two people as a linked unit.

Education

College Students Just Want Normal Libraries

Survey data and experts suggest that students generally appreciate libraries most for their simple, traditional offerings: a quiet place to study or collaborate on a group project, the ability to print research papers, and access to books. Notably, many students say they like relying on librarians to help them track down hard-to-find texts or navigate scholarly journal databases. “Google can bring you back 100,000 answers,” as the writer Neil Gaiman once said. “A librarian can bring you back the right one.”

Food and Drink

Via Elise Bauer of Simply Recipes: Pot Roast

History and Archaeology

Elizabeth I’s lost dress to go on display at Hampton Court Palace “Tudor queen’s ‘cloth of silver’ had been used as an altar cloth in a church in Bacton, Herefordshire”

Roman fort discovered under Exeter bus station

“This discovery of yet another new Roman fort within the city does demonstrate, along with that of the fortress and baths back in the 1970s and of several other new major military sites in the last decade, just how pivotal a role the Exeter area played in the first decades of the Roman conquest and subjugation of Britain.”

The Burnt City And Its Mysterious Prehistoric Inhabitants “Once the Burnt City, (original name: Shahr-e-Sookhteh) was the largest prehistoric city of Iran. Its inhabitants were of unknown origin.” 5000 years ago women were in control in Burnt City

Science and Nature

Via Benedict Evans’ Newsletter: @benedictevans:

Dreaming octopus changes colors as it sleeps

Society

‘Eventually I knew she was no longer safe alone’: how do we care for family with dementia?

Don’t let patient care interfere with documentation

Now, however, the record is also the principal way physicians document what they did so they can get paid for it. Patient care is not at all part of that consideration. The record is also the main source for defending what you did, say in court, if you are challenged or sued. The result is that documentation, doctors entering things in the record, has eaten more and more of our time. Patients and families know this well, and the chorus of complaints about it is rising. Doctors may only rarely make eye contact these days as they stare at a computer screen and type or click boxes. But we don’t have much choice if we are to get the crucial documentation done. That’s how we (and our hospitals) are paid, and payers are demanding more and more complex and arcane documentation. I don’t know what the answer is, but I do think we are approaching a breaking point. We are supposed to see as many patients as we can. But the rate-limiting step is documentation.

Technology

The troubling world of WiFi toxicity truthers on Instagram

What’s more, the definitive long-term study of the effects of electromagnetic radiation show no correlation between exposure to this type of radiation and cancer rates; a 2015 study from the EU’s Scientific Committees came to the same conclusion. That hasn’t stopped the public from conflating dangerous (ionizing) and benign (non-ionizing) radiation.

Women’s Work

Human All Too Human: A Roman Woman Visits the Great Pyramid in 120 AD, and Carves a Poem in Memory of Her Deceased Brother

Rabbits may hold key to solving mystery of human female orgasm

Periods: Can women sharing stories break down taboos? hashtag #FreePeriodStories

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

Robert Reich: Trump can do more damage than Nixon. His impeachment is imperative

Barr is not working for the United States. He’s working for Trump, just like Rudy Giuliani and all the other lapdogs, toadies and sycophants.

Two linguists explain why calling the Ukraine memo a “transcript” is so wrong

Calling it a transcript influences the way the public, at the end of this chain of recontextualizations, interprets the memo—even if the fine print specifies that it isn’t actually verbatim, the way it’s recontextualized matters. Keeping this in mind, readers of the memo shouldn’t imagine themselves as a fly on the wall in the Situation Room. Even a true transcript is only a partial representation of a conversation, and calling this document a transcript leads readers to interpret it as a complete record of what occurred, when it cannot be.

Trump impeachment inquiry: Ukraine ex-minister rejects Biden claim

Ukraine’s former Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has categorically rejected claims by Donald Trump concerning Mr Trump’s Democratic rival Joe Biden.
Mr Trump has alleged, without evidence, that Mr Biden pressed for the sacking of a Ukrainian prosecutor to protect a business that employed his son.
Mr Klimkin told the BBC that the prosecutor was sacked for corruption.

300 former US national security officials signed a letter supporting the impeachment. They described Mr Trump’s actions as a “national security concern”, and said he appeared to have committed “an unconscionable abuse of power”.

Top Defense Democrat Says Lawmakers Forced Trump’s Hand on Ukraine Aid

“We approved the money. The president signed it and we just assumed it was going out,” the Washington state Democrat tells All Things Considered’s Mary Louise Kelly. “Then we started to hear from a variety of people that it was not going out.”

That money had been blocked by the White House, but Smith says neither the Pentagon nor the executive branch made Congress aware of that decision. “It is very unusual that we would not be notified,” he adds. “They certainly move money around a lot and make decisions that are not completely in keeping with what we’ve passed, but they always tell us and they also have a legal justification for doing it. Neither was true in this case.”

The Scandal Has Spiraled Out of Trump’s Control

It’s clear now that the president, his vice president, and several of his top, Senate-confirmed aides—as well as his personal lawyer cum private foreign minister, Rudy Giuliani— have spent significant time over the past year trying to pressure foreign governments into producing stories that can aid in Trump’s reelection.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

I don’t really knit, though I keep trying to be a better knitter. But this post from stationary blogger and knitter Laura Cameron features a free pattern for a shawl, and a second free pattern for a lovely hat to knit.

Elsewhere for September 28, 2019

You should read this for 9/28/2019:

Art and Film

Via Benjamin Mayo: Watch All The Apple TV Aerial Video Screensavers These new screen savers are stunning. Honestly, these are almost enough on their own for me to want an Apple TV as a streaming situation

Books, Writing, and Language

Wood-case pencils—there’s a lot more variety in terms of wooden pencils, and much higher quality than Ticonderoga, for surprisingly little money.

Education

Use Minecraft to Teach Your Kids Pretty Much Anything

The era of schoolchildren being forced to buy crappy $100 calculators is nearing its end

Texas Instruments’ TI-84 is an obsolete piece of crap: a 1980s design updated to 1990s technology made with 2000s penny parts and sold for more than $100 a pop to children all but forced to buy them. TI is a notorious lobbyist and has sought laws big and small to maintain this status quo, from mandatory Algebra courses with mandatory TI-84s to examination rules that allow its devices and no others. But the racket is falling apart under pressure from superior alternatives and growing resentment among teachers and students.

Food and Drink

How to Make Simple Syrup Simple syrup is used in a wide variety of cocktails, and it’s easy (and affordable) to make at home. Simple Syrup is also great to have on hand for iced coffee, or to infuse with flavors (lemon or mint or ginger) to use in food and drink.

The Negroni A classic cocktail featuring equal parts of gin, Campari, and Vermouth.

History and Archaeology

Map of Scots women accused of witchcraft published for first time

A map that tracks more than 3,000 Scots women who were accused of being witches in the 16th and 17th Century has been published for the first time.
The interactive document has been created by data experts at the University of Edinburgh.

Society

Missing mail: As postcards celebrate 150 years, they’re also disappearing

You can’t be ‘impartial’ about racism – an open letter to the BBC on the Naga Munchetty ruling

On 17 July 2019, Dan Walker, a host on BBC Breakfast, commented that a woman had shared a similar experience of being told to “go home” and that he found that remark “telling”. Walker added that the person in question had never been told that by the “man sitting in the Oval Office”.
Walker asked his co-host Naga Munchetty how she felt, inviting personal commentary. . . . When asked by Walker how she felt about Trump’s remarks, she replied “furious”. “Absolutely furious and I can imagine lots of people in this country will be feeling absolutely furious a man in that position thinks it’s OK to skirt the lines by using language like that.” On 25 September, the BBC’s Editorial Complaints Unit (ECU) found Munchetty had breached the corporation’s guidelines in issuing this remark.

In response, a group of POC who work in UK broadcasting and media point out: “Racism is not a valid opinion on which an “impartial” stance can or should be maintained.”

Technology

Developer takes down Ruby library after he finds out ICE was using it

“I have a moral and ethical obligation to prevent my source from being used for evil,” Vargo wrote on the now-empty Chef Sugar GitHub repository.

Nilay Patel on Apple’s iPhone 11Apple Iphone 11 Pro And Pro Max Review: The Battery Life Is Real

But after using an iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max for the past week, I think they’re more than the sum of several lightly updated parts. These are some of the most well-balanced, most capable phones Apple — or anyone — has ever made. They have excellent battery life, processors that should keep them relevant for years to come, absolutely beautiful displays, and a new camera system that generally outperforms every other phone, which should get even better with a promised software update later this fall.

Oct17 Wooden Alarm Clock I just bought this under $20.o0 very basic wooden digital alarm clock. It’s attractive, has a small footprint, a battery backup, and the display can be turned off completely util you activate it by sound or touch.

Women’s Work

The Unkillable Myth of Period Syncing

For a phenomenon that’s highly unlikely to be real, period syncing has enjoyed an impressively long life in the popular imagination. Every now and again, news stories and listicles pop up to inform the public that no, actually, period synchronization as a result of prolonged proximity is not a thing, but the fictional story lines and offhand jokes persist nonetheless.

Jerks ‘Reporting’ Women Who Swipe Left On Them In Tinder, Once Again Highlighting How Content Moderation Gets Abused

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

Via TPM: Rectification of Names

t is clear purely on the basis of what is now undisputed in the record that the President and Rudy Giuliani are guilty of a criminal abuse of power and that most or all of the President’s top national security advisors have been complicit in and quite likely participated in that criminal activity.

The Trump-Ukraine scandal is a taste of how dirty the US elections will get

To be clear, the only scandal involving Ukraine is that Trump openly admits that he repeatedly pressed a foreign leader for dirt on his political opponents ahead of a presidential election. For the second election in a row. Only this time, he could use the promise of military and foreign aid to grease his request.

Regarding the references to CrowdStrike and a server: Per “transcript,” Trump seems to think DNC-hired security firm is from Ukraine

Trump has previously referred to CrowdStrike as a Ukrainian company. The reference to the server appears to be related to a conspiracy theory that one of the DNC’s servers had been hidden from the FBI. But CrowdStrike’s co-founder, Dmitri Alperovitch, is a US citizen of Russian heritage, and the company is based in the United States and is publicly traded on the NASDAQ exchange.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

LGBT Muslim festival: ‘We don’t just have one identity’

“Not only with the Muslim community, but also with other religious communities, we’re being told to choose between our religion and our queer identity,” she says.

Thomas Cook collapse: Woman raises funds for staff on flight

Video: Boo, you need to learn to jump.

New York Met museum returns stolen ancient Egyptian coffin

The 2,100-year-old coffin of a priest called Nedjemankh was featured in an exhibit housing artefacts from Egypt.
The stolen antique was sold to the museum by a global art trafficking network, which used fraudulent documents, officials said. The gilded coffin was looted and smuggled out of Egypt in 2011.

Elsewhere for September 21, 2019

You should read this for 9/21/2019:

Art and Film

New Zealand insect named after hobbit Frodo Baggins from Lord of the Rings “The newly classified species Psylla Frodobaggins is found on the South Island, where the Tolkein movies were filmed”

‘Exquisite’ 800-year-old Christ figure displayed in its spiritual home

When the monasteries were dissolved in the 16th century by Henry VIII, someone evidently managed to hide the figure.
It was rediscovered in 1826, just before the Yorkshire Philosophical Society acquired the land – on the site of the old abbey – to build the Yorkshire Museum. What happened afterwards is hazy. The figure seems to have disappeared for 100 years before making its way into a private German collection in the 1920s.

Martin Scorsese Makes a List of 85 Films Every Aspiring Filmmaker Needs to See

Books, Writing, and Language

The Library That’s Also an Art Gallery

When I asked La Rosee what the public has to say now that the library has been up and running for two years, she said they report back that all these spaces in the new library contribute to the sense that this is a “hub of Winston-Salem in touch with the people” (her emphasis).

Nearly every other library I have visited in the past six years welcomes homeless people who spend their days there. Winston-Salem has addressed its homeless patrons in a creative way. The library was awarded a $150,000 multiyear grant from the state, provided by funds from the Library Services and Technology Act, for staff to learn how to help the homeless with job-readiness strategies and skills, and it hired a permanent peer-support specialist to work with homeless individuals to help them navigate through their often complex set of challenges, from housing and financial assistance to medical services and mental-health counseling.

Education

Phil Christman’s review of Why They Can’t Write by John WarnerSo You Want to Be a Writer?

Food and Drink

A Guide to Fall’s Most Underutilized Fruit: The Almighty Fig

How To Make Potato Leek Soup

Potato Leek Soup is a classic! Nothing’s better than a bowl of hearty potato soup on a chilly day. And it’s easy, too! No cream needed, just purée the soup to make it thick and creamy.

History and Archaeology

A Moment in (Local) History: Stoddard’s Unknown Soldier, by Alan F. Rumrill

Great Irish Famine – what the starving were eating

“The Great Irish Famine was one of the worst subsistence crises in history but it was foremost a social disaster induced by the lack of access to food and not the lack of food availability.”

Science and Nature

Total recall: A brilliant memory helps chickadees survive

NASA’s Juno orbiter has captured an eclipse on Jupiter “On Sept. 12, Juno sent back a scene from a close orbit of 8,000 kilometers. Data processed into a color image shows Jupiter’s moon Io casting a shadow over the planet.” Do check the stunning image.

Insecticides May Be Giving Songbirds Anorexia and Delaying Their Migrations

The Real Danger of Booze-Making Gut Bacteria

The man’s troubles began in 2004, when, having moved from China to attend college in Australia, he got really drunk. That would hardly have been a noteworthy event, except the man hadn’t consumed any alcohol—only fruit juice.

The Quiet Disappearance of Birds in North America

A new study, which analyzed decades of data on North American birds, estimates that the continent’s bird populations have fallen by 29 percent since 1970. That’s almost 3 billion fewer individuals than there used to be, five decades ago.

Society

Dark crystals: the brutal reality behind a booming wellness craze

WeWork and the Great Unicorn Delusion

LA is going to get cheap nighttime power from a massive solar and battery array in the Mojave

LA’s next source of energy: a massive solar panel and lithium battery array in the Mojave, operated by 8minute Solar Energy, and capable of supplying 6-7% of the city’s energy budget, with four hours of nighttime use. It will cost an eye-poppingly low $0.03.3/kWh, cheaper than natural gas.

The otherwise unambiguously good news has one sore-spot: it was opposed by LA Water and Power workers’ unions, who are upset that the natural gas plants where their members work are being decommissioned by the city.
It’s a perfect example of why the Green New Deal is so right to put the emphasis on working with energy sector workers to ensure that they have good jobs through the green transition.

Technology

Via Michael Tsai: The Internet Relies on People Working for Free

Via NPR: People Are Looking At Your LinkedIn Profile. They Might Be Chinese Spies

Innovation and National Security: Keeping Our Edge ““Security is like oxygen, if have it you don’t pay attention to it.’ We’ve stopped paying attention to it.”

We also have a cultural problem that we need to recognize. While there always has been a gap between the policy and technology communities, political disputes over immigration, climate change, and other issues have widened the distance. Silicon Valley and Washington increasingly view each other with distrust. And that slow the progress of both advancing technology as well as hinders national security.

Mike Bombich: An analysis of APFS enumeration performance on rotational hard drives

• If Apple doesn’t make some concessions in the APFS filesystem to accommodate the slower seek performance of HDD devices, then a rotational device will never be able to provide acceptable performance as a production macOS startup disk.

Women’s Work

‘The Personification Of Human Decency’: Nina Totenberg Remembers Cokie Roberts I remember listing to

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

Will 💩🔥💰 concede if he loses in 2020?

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

Woman befriends a teeny hummingbird

Video: Human chain rescues stranded dolphins “The 14-person strong wall encouraged the dolphins to sea after being stranded in a canal in St. Petersburg in Florida for days.”

How to redecorate homes for people with dementia

Elsewhere for September 14, 2019

You should read this for 9/14/2019:

Art Music and Film

According to the RIAA: Vinyl set to outsell CDs for first time since 1986

. . . despite vinyl’s growing popularity in relation to CD sales, it still accounts for a relatively small percentage of overall music purchasing.
The RIAA report says that in the first half of 2019, vinyl record sales accounted for only 4% of overall revenues. Paid subscriptions to streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, meanwhile, accounted for 62%.

The Greatest Cut in Film History: Watch the “Match Cut” Immortalized by Lawrence of Arabia

Education

Tennessee Lawmaker Calls For Removal Of Higher Education æ A Republican Tennessee lawmaker says he supports getting rid of higher education because he argues it would cut off the “liberal breeding ground.”

Food and Drink

A Mussels Recipe that Pairs Perfectly with Wine The recipe calls for garlic, ginger, turmeric and and cumin, among other ingredients.

Sausage, Peppers, and Onions “Once cooked, the sausage, peppers, and onions will easily keep for 3 to 4 days in the fridge, but you can also freeze it for up to 3 months.”

Fettuccine Alfredo

Why Wasabi Heat Feels Different From Chili Pepper Heat

History and Archaeology

Norway’s Melting Glaciers Release Over 2,000 Artifacts

Archaeologists from the United Kingdom and Norway have surveyed the edges of glaciers in Norway’s highest mountains in Oppland since 2011 as part of the Glacier Archaeology Program and its Secrets of the Ice Project. They’ve uncovered thousands of objects that date as far back as 4,000 B.C., including wooden skis, near complete bronze-age arrows and wooden shafts, Viking swords, clothing and the skulls of pack horses.

Earliest direct evidence of milk consumption “The team identified milk protein entombed in calcified dental plaque (calculus) on the teeth of prehistoric farmers from Britain.”

How Black Americans Were Robbed of Their Land

Over the course of the 20th century, black Americans have lost approximately 12 million acres of land. This mass land dispossession—a war waged by deed of title, which has affected 98 percent of black farmers—can only be called theft, says Atlantic writer Vann R. Newkirk II in a new documentary.

Technology

Via The Loop: We recreated every Apple wallpaper

My friends and I visited and recreated every default Apple wallpaper on a one week road trip. Starting with MacOS Mojave in Death Valley National Park, we traveled to each of Apple’s California Locations to try and make an identical photo to their wallpapers that come installed with every new Mac computer.

AppleCare+ offers indefinite Monthly charge for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch

Women’s Work

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

Can Elizabeth Warren turn a supposed weakness into a strength?

If a racist slur, based on a non-proven allegation, made by a well-known and corrupt liar, and directed at an accomplished woman, can determine the outcome of a presidential election, then US voters deserve four more years of the 💩🔥💰 circus.

via John Gruber: NOAA STAFF WARNED AGAINST CONTRADICTING TRUMP

Even if you’re an outright bigot (and if you voted for him, you are) you ought to be outraged by Trump at this point. He’s politicized the goddamn weather.

See: Trump demanded retraction after NWS disputed his false hurricane claim

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

Elsewhere For September 6, 2019

You should read this for 9/7/2019:

Art and Film

Crazy Rich Asians co-writer quits after being offered eighth of writer’s salary “Adele Lim exited after learning Peter Chiarelli stood to earn $800,000 to $1m while she would make ‘$110,000-plus’” .bq

Books, Writing, and Language

Audiobooks or Reading? To Our Brains, It Doesn’t Matter

In a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers from the Gallant Lab at UC Berkeley scanned the brains of nine participants while they read and listened to a series of tales from “The Moth Radio Hour.” After analyzing how each word was processed in the the brain’s cortex, they created maps of the participants’ brains, noting the different areas helped interpret the meaning of each word.

Could language be the key to detecting fake news? Part of me wants to roll my eyes; this is something I learned to do in my twenties. Back in the dark ages, we called it close reading and rhetorical analysis. I spent much of life teaching undergraduates and others how to do this.

Food and Drink

Via Brown-Eyed Baker: Thick And Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies “These large, bakery-style thick and chewy chocolate chip cookies stay soft for days and are a huge family favorite. Made with melted butter, a high brown sugar to white sugar ratio, and an extra egg yolk to ensure super soft cookies, they require NO chilling time and are the perfect after-school snack.”

Via Tim O’Reilly and Eater: Everything You Need to Know About Hotdish “All about the nostalgic Upper Midwest staple”

H/T Heather G: Lemon Blueberry Cake

The Perfect Time to Get Into Bread Making is Right Now

Enter my favorite bread recipe, which is an adaptation of Alexandra Stafford’s mom’s truly excellent Peasant Bread recipe. I will never shut up about it. This isn’t just no-knead bread—it’s same-day no-knead bread. In a roughly 72ºF kitchen, the dough rises in less than two hours; once that’s done, you scrape it into a buttered pan and let it rise again while your oven preheats. It bakes for 30-40 minutes, after which you’ll have soft, springy bread with a buttery crust—perfect for sandwiches, croutons, dipping in stews, or the last few tomato mayo toasts of the season.

History and Archaeology

Dead Sea scrolls study raises new questions over texts’ origins “Salts used on Temple scroll are not common to Dead Sea region, researchers find”

Science and Nature

Malaria breakthrough as scientists find ‘highly effective’ way to kill parasite

One of Nature’s Greatest Spectacles Is Coming Undone “Corals release their eggs and sperms with perfect synchronization. But a new study suggests their incredible timing is starting to slip.”

Technology

Two links about the iOS Website based attack discovered by Google, and patched almost immediately by Apple in February of 2019. First H/T Benedict Evans: Sources say China used iPhone hacks to target Uyghur Muslims

A number of malicious websites used to hack into iPhones over a two-year period were targeting Uyghur Muslims, TechCrunch has learned.
Sources familiar with the matter said the websites were part of a state-backed attack — likely China — designed to target the Uyghur community in the country’s Xinjiang state.

See also The Guardian: : Uighurs in China were target of two-year iOS malware attack – reports And Volexity (H/T @reneritchie) points out that Google isn’t really reporting as fully as they should; Digital Crackdown: Large Scale Surveillance and Exploitation of Uyghurs And Apple has responded:

Google’s post, issued six months after iOS patches were released, creates the false impression of “mass exploitation” to “monitor the private activities of entire populations in real time,” stoking fear among all iPhone users that their devices had been compromised. This was never the case.

Tim O’Reilly: Antitrust regulators are using the wrong tools to break up Big Tech

Amazon also competes with its merchants for visibility on its platform, and charges them additional fees for favored placement. And because Amazon is now leading with featured products rather than those its customers think are the best, its merchants are incentivized to advertise on the platform. Amazon’s fast-growing advertising business is thus a kind of tax on its merchants.

These giants don’t just compete on the basis of product quality and price—they control the market through the algorithms and design features that decide which products users will see and be able to choose from. And these choices are not always in consumers’ best interests.

SpaceX Refused To Move A Starlink Satellite At Risk Of Collision With A European Satellite

When I Took My Zipcar Into the Wilderness “In an area without cellphone reception, I was unable to open the car.”

Craig Hockenberry: iCloud Clusterfuck

But there are many folks that are just looking to get the new and shiny features. In past iOS beta releases, Apple hasn’t suffered too much from this because the early software was relatively stable. Maybe you got some dropped calls or bad battery life, but it was nothing too serious.
These early adopters installed iOS 13 and expected a similar experience. They also weren’t using an iCloud test account, so any instability in the beta release propagated bad data to their other devices.
Developers have long known to unhook external drives when testing a new OS release. Shit happens, and that’s OK because it’s a beta and we expect a bumpy road.

Brent Simmons: On My Funny Ideas About What Beta Means

Kirk McElhearn: How to Manage Audiobooks in a Post-iTunes World

Thirty Years of Fetch

Women’s Work

Life began for me as a queer teenager amid the happy excesses of Great Yarmouth “This was where I came to understand the power and burden of my sexuality – and I revisited the place in all three of my books”

H/T Lisa C: A Century of “Shrill”: How Bias in Technology Has Hurt Women’s Voices

With the large number of women running for President this year, the word “shrill” is enjoying a resurgence in the national vocabulary, following its previous heyday, as an insult hurled at Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Presidential campaign. This spike in usage is hardly a revelation; women who speak publicly and challenge authority have long been dismissed as “shrill” or “grating.” What’s less widely understood is how the design of the technology that transmits human voices has shaped this gendered invective since the dawn of the broadcast era: everything from microphones to modes of transmission have been optimized for lower voices.

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

💩🔥💰 Administration Reverses Standards For Energy-Efficient Lightbulbs

Last March, NPR’s Jeff Brady reported, “Thanks to a 2007 law signed by President George W. Bush, shelves these days are largely stocked with LED bulbs that look more like the traditional pear-shape incandescent version but use just one-fifth the energy. A second wave of lightbulb changes was set to happen. But now the Trump administration wants to undo an Obama-era regulation designed to make a wide array of specialty lightbulbs more energy-efficient.”

💩🔥💰 is actively doing every thing he can do encourage climate change and increased use of energy.

The Big Reveal Flying Under The Radar In The Lawsuit For 💩🔥💰’s Tax Returns Umm … There’s A Whistleblower About the President’s Tax Returns

There’s a whistleblower who says 💩🔥💰’s appointees are interfering with the mandatory audit of the President’s tax returns. That’s a big deal quite apart from how it affects the tax returns lawsuit!

Judge Orders White House To Restore Reporter’s Press Pass It Illegally Removed

The court focuses mainly on the 5th Amendment due process claims, noting that those alone suffice to show that Karem is correct here. The judge goes into great detail about how the White House never did anything to suggest special decorum rules for these events, and thus the decision to ban Karem was arbitrary. The White House brought up all sorts of bizarre explanations insisting that it had provided adequate notice to Karem, but the judge points out that’s just not true.

Air Force crew made an odd stop on a routine trip: 💩🔥💰’s Scottish resort

Taken together, the incidents raise the possibility that the military has helped keep Trump’s Turnberry resort afloat — the property lost $4.5 million in 2017, but revenue went up $3 million in 2018.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

H/T Lisa C.: Black Engineer Invents Gloves That Turn Sign Language into Audible Speech

Crops under solar panels can be a win-win

Finally, the cherry tomatoes saw a 65% increase in CO2 uptake and a 65% increase in water-use efficiency. They produced twice as much fruit while using the same amount of water.

How to Buy Energy-Efficient Lightbulbs

“Together, these bulb actions could cost the average U.S. household more than $100 per year, adding $14 billion to Americans’ annual energy bills as of 2025, and require at least 25 power plants’ worth of extra electricity annually,” the Natural Resources Defense Council writes on its website, in response to the rollback.