She plays o' the viol-de-gamboys, speaks three or four languages word for word without book, hath all the good gifts of nature, knows a hawk from a handsaw, and can see a church by daylight. The rest is subject to fancy.

Elsewhere for April 7, 2018

You should read this for 4/7/2018:

Art and Film

Amazing Macro-Photography Of Individual Snowflakes [10 Pictures]

Books, Writing, and Language

22 Ambassadors Recommend the One Book to Read Before Visiting Their Country

If male authors described men in literature the way they describe women

Department Of Homeland Security Compiling Database Of Journalists And ‘Media Influencers’

In today’s installment of “I’m Not Terrified, You Are,” Bloomberg Law reports on a FedBizOpps.gov posting by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with the relatively benign-sounding subject “Media Monitoring Services.”

The details of the attached Request for Information, however, outline a plan to gather and monitor the public activities of media professionals and influencers and are enough to cause nightmares of constitutional proportions, particularly as the freedom of the press is under attack worldwide.

The administraiton’s desire to build a black list of journalists and high-profile media engagement citizens is in absolute goose-stepping alignment with 💩🔥💰’s hostility towards the media, and his deliberate attack on truth, including labeling any reporting, no matter how accurate it is, as “fake news” if it doesn’t effuse over him and his actions.

Education

What Apple’s education announcements mean for accessibility

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

James Patterson donating $2 million to classroom libraries

The Truth About Kill Pens – Are You REALLY Saving a Life?

Society

John Oliver Goes Off on Sinclair, Calls News Anchors ‘Members of a Brainwashed Cult’

“Yeah. Nothing says ‘We value independent media’ like dozens of reporters forced to repeat the same message over and over again like members of a brainwashed cult,” said Oliver. “I guess what I’m saying here, Sinclair, is that as a news organization, I believe you make no sense.”

Here’s NYMag.com on the same story: News Anchors Reciting Sinclair Propaganda Is Even More Terrifying in Unison

Seattle’s KOMO used to be a good station, before Sinclair.

And then there’s this from Newsweek: Media Giant Sinclair Hired Reporter From Russian Propaganda Outlet Rt Who Produced ‘Must-Run’ ‘Deep State’ Segment

Sinclair national correspondent Kristine Frazao produced the segment. Before joining Sinclair in 2013, she was an anchor/correspondent at RT, formerly Russia Today, for more than three years, according to her LinkedIn page. RT is an international television network funded by the Russian government. The Columbia Journalism Review called it “the Kremlin’s propaganda outlet.”

Technology

Twitter postpones platform change that would cut off third-party apps Basically, Twitter proposed cutting third-party apps that run outside of a Web browser and depend on “streaming services” from Twitter for their data. These apps are crucial for disabled users, since several of them run on hardware (like macOS) that Twitter’s own apps do not.

Even in a best-case scenario, it would only potentially restore the push notification side of things; it sounds like third-party Twitter clients just won’t have any practical way of offering a live-updating timeline anymore. “You will see delays in real-time updates during sporting events and breaking news,” the developers say.

Women’s Work

Jill McCabe: The president attacked my reputation. It’s time to set the record straight

‘He saw our children as possessions’: my husband killed our sonsClare Throssell is working to change UK laws so the family courts procedures are changed. “A forthcoming domestic abuse bill is likely to prevent abusers being allowed to cross-examine their victims.”

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

Fact check: Trump administration departs from reality on wall, census, Amazon

Elsewhere for March 31, 2018

You should read this for 3/31/2018:

Art and Film

The National Museum Of Scotland Is Putting Its Entire Collection Online “Using Google Arts and Culture’s museum view experience, which is similar to how Google’s Street View works, tourists can view the 20,000 objects on display at the National Museum. The virtual display also includes 1,000 pictures of objects from the Edinburgh museum’s collection.” It’s a little hard to navigate, but you can see high resolution 3-images of a lot of objects as well as “tour” the museum. Google is not the greatest in terms of UI.

Books, Writing, and Language

NPR’s The Indicator PodCast on Too Small To Fail This is about the resurgent of independent bookstores, bookstores owned by individuals, families, and small businesses. They got beat up, badly, by chains in the 1990s, then the Internet and Amazon smacked them in 1995. Amazon’s introduction of the Kindle reader in 2007 was another blow. Waldenbooks, Borders, Barnes and Noble, also were hit hard by Amazon and ebooks. Now, since 2009, the independent bookstore has had a resurgence; the number of independent bookstores in the U.S. is now up almost 40% since 2009. Hand-selling, the experience, and the role of exceedingly knowledgeable staff who know their communities.

Why Trump Appointees Refer To ‘Optics’ When Discussing Spending Scandals

The optics versus the facts. That’s the problem.

This wrenching of optics out of the original meanings to mean “The way a situation or action appears to the general public: Voters were put off by the optics of the candidate’s financial dealings” (s. v. AHD) is a perfect example of Orwellian politically correct language; language designed to obfuscate truth.

Education

A University of Wisconsin campus pushes plan to drop 13 majors — including English, history and philosophy “The University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point has proposed dropping 13 majors in the humanities and social sciences — including English, philosophy, history, sociology and Spanish — while adding programs with “clear career pathways” as a way to address declining enrollment and a multimillion-dollar deficit.”

Congress rebukes DeVos over her plans to reorganize the Education Department

Congressional legislation seeks to fund school vouchers for military families — despite major opposition from military families

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

Watch what happened when older students saw young kids protesting gun violence on a N.Y. street I’m so impressed with the current under 21 generation; let’s hope that we don’t mess things up so badly that not even they can make things better. </p

Technology

Tim Cook says Facebook should have regulated itself, but it’s too late for that now Tim Cook: “The truth is, we could make a ton of money if we monetized our customer — if our customer was our product. We’ve elected not to do that.” Apple’s not perfect, but I do appreciate their stance on user data and privacy.

Women’s Work

More States Move To End ‘Tampon Tax’ That’s Seen As Discriminating Against Women

I Tried to Befriend Nikolas Cruz. He Still Killed My Friends.

The idea that we are to blame, even implicitly, for the murders of our friends and teachers is a slap in the face to all Stoneman Douglas victims and survivors.

Also? Stop telling women and girls to “be nice” to jerks. Stop letting jerks behave like jerks because “they’re just boys.”

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

The White House Has an ‘Enemy List’ Full of Reporters “I’m there to get the president’s opinions and his answers. He was the one elected to office. Not the White House staff.”

Elsewhere for March 24, 2018

You should read this for 3/24/2018:

Art and Film

Easter Egg Art: Hatched From An Ancient Tradition To Celebrate Rebirth

Books, Writing, and Language

The art of the big lie: the history of fake news From the Reichstag fire to Stalin’s show trials, the craft of disinformation is nothing new.

This Woman Wrote Her Novel At A Tire Store And Now They Are Her Biggest Fans

Food and Drink

Pizza Rustica or Easter Pie “A deep-dish cousin to quiche that’s packed with Italian deli meats and cheeses like prosciutto, pepperoni, soppressata, mozzarella and provolone, this rich pie, also called Easter pie, is traditionally made on Good Friday and served on the holiday to celebrate the end of Lent. ”

History and Archaeology

Big Cats and ‘Ritual’ Dogs Lived in Maya Captivity “The ancient Maya were keeping big cats in captivity and transporting dogs long distances as early as 400 B.C., according to a new analysis of animal bones from the central Guatemala site of Ceibal. ”

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

I posted a huge note for the thief who stole my bike. Then my doorbell rang. “My bike was stolen a week ago Saturday. It was half my fault, half my husband’s fault, and 100 percent the fault of the person who stole it. Left with a lock, a front wheel and a heavy heart, I did the only thing I could think of: I decided to leave the thief a little note.”

Andrew McCabe was just offered a job by a congressman so he can get his full retirement. And it just might work.

Women Are Offering Their Prom Dresses To Strangers Online For Free In Hopes Of Making A Teen’s Day This a great idea; I bet lots of people have a dress that they’ll never wear after their own prom but that someone in need would be delighted to wear to a prom. I know there were girls at my high school who couldn’t afford a prom dress—and so stayed at home.

Science and Nature

Voyager 1 Fires Up Thrusters After 37 Years

The Voyager 1 spacecraft has operated for 40 years, 6 months and 16 days as of March 21, 2018. And it’s just had its lifespan extended (again!).

NASA receives response from Voyager 1 spacecraft 13 billion miles away after 37 years of inactivity

Society

HHS strips lesbian, bisexual health content from women’s health website Oh look! The New Lesbian Invisibility is now Federally integrated.

HHS said the pages and links, some of which were first posted in 2012, were taken down as part of a routine update. “The outdated lesbian and bisexual health pages were removed and the health content was integrated into the relevant health topics pages across the website,” an HHS spokesperson said.
However, the Sunlight Foundation determined that existing health topic pages do not appear to have been updated with new material and the now-missing lesbian and bisexual health content was not integrated elsewhere.

Ageism is real. Cutting ‘Old Heads’ At IBM æAs it scrambled to compete in the internet world, the once-dominant tech company cut tens of thousands of U.S. workers, hitting its most senior employees hardest and flouting rules against age bias.”

Technology

Whistleblower describes how firm linked to former Trump adviser Steve Bannon compiled user data to target American voters

The data analytics firm that worked with [#45’s] election team and the winning Brexit campaign harvested millions of Facebook profiles of US voters, in the tech giant’s biggest ever data breach, and used them to build a powerful software program to predict and influence choices at the ballot box.

A whistleblower has revealed to the Observer how Cambridge Analytica – a company owned by the hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer, and headed at the time by Trump’s key adviser Steve Bannon – used personal information taken without authorisation in early 2014 to build a system that could profile individual US voters, in order to target them with personalised political advertisements.

Following the Cambridge Analytica dots means the trail is getting closer and closer to #45 and Russia.

Cambridge Analytica: links to Moscow oil firm and St Petersburg university Data company gave briefing to Moscow firm Lukoil, and the lecturer who developed the crucial algorithm worked for St Petersburg university

And now this:

Facebook may have violated FTC privacy deal, say former federal officials, triggering risk of massive fines “Two former federal officials who crafted the landmark consent decree governing how Facebook handles user privacy say the company may have violated that decree when it shared information from tens of millions of users with a data analysis firm that later worked for President Trump’s 2016 campaign.”

Also check out this February 2016 NPR piece by Scott Detrow on how Ted Cruz campaign staff used Cambridge Analytica’s data services . See this from CEO Alexander Nix:

Yes, demographics and geographics are important,” he says. “But really what’s important is to start clustering people by personality.

Your decision-making is based on your personality,” he says. “And not on your gender. Nor is it based on your age or your wealth or any other demographic or geographic factor.

It’s no wonder that Analytica has suspended CEL Alexander Nix who has made the following statements:

An investigation from UK broadcaster Channel 4 recorded Nix discussing a supposedly hypothetical plan to entrap politicians. Nix also discussed Cambridge Analytica’s role in the Trump Campaign. He claimed the company started the “Crooked Hilary,” meme and that “our data informed all the strategy.” He also discussed his company’s use of a self-destructing email service and disguising social media ads.

Oh, and they’ve changed their company name to Emerdata Limited, but the board of directors, including the Mercers, Jenneir and Rebekah Mercer, etc. are all the same.

‘Lone DNC Hacker’ Guccifer 2.0 Slipped Up and Revealed He Was a Russian Intelligence Officer

Guccifer 2.0, the “lone hacker” who took credit for providing WikiLeaks with stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee, was in fact an officer of Russia’s military intelligence directorate (GRU), The Daily Beast has learned. It’s an attribution that resulted from a fleeting but critical slip-up in GRU tradecraft.

Women’s Work

Who Maps the World?Too often, men. And money. But a team of OpenStreetMap users is working to draw new cartographic lines, making maps that more accurately—and equitably—reflect our space.

Starbucks eliminates gender pay gap in U.S. workforce, aims to do the same worldwide Starbucks announced that it has reached “100 percent pay equity among all genders and minority groups for its U.S. workforce.”

In the U.S., the average pay gap between women and men doing the same or similar work is about 20 percent. That means the average woman makes 80 cents for every dollar a man makes doing the same job. The gap for women of color is even larger.

Via Smithsonian: The Tragedy of Cattle Kate

Kate was merely a woman looking to set out a life for herself on the frontier. Even though some local papers put out more accurate accounts soon after her lynching, the mythical version—wild woman meets her just end—is what stuck. Today, experts agree that Watson’s greatest crime was probably her willingness to cross boundaries.

In effect, she was murdered for being different.

Continue reading

Elsewhere for March 17, 2018

You should read this for 3/17/2018:

Art and Film

Sex and death in the classical world From striking coffin portraits to boldly erotic statues, the art of the Romans and Greeks tells us compelling stories about how they lived, died, and loved.

Books, Writing, and Language

In defense of real books

It’s Time To Worry When Colleges Erase Humanities Departments

They may not have “value” according to strict economic rules, but the liberal arts do have a leavening value that helps make every student more than just a future drone, narrowly confined to his or her job without an awareness, let’s say, of cultural context or an appreciation for art and literature. Applying strict cost/benefit analyses to academic fields may seem like a short-term cure, but in the long run, eliminating the humanities and other “unprofitable” fields does more harm than good.

Food and Drink

Porchetta “Inspired by a famous Roman butcher, this slow-cooked dish of pork surrounded by crispy skin makes a memorable dinner with ample leftovers.”

This take on butcher Vito Bernabei’s porchetta—a perennial Roman favorite—replaces the traditional pork belly and loin with pork shoulder, which is easier to find and work with. Don’t be daunted by the size: Leftovers make fantastic sandwiches.

History and Archaeology

National Geographic: For Decades, Our Coverage Was Racist. To Rise Above Our Past, We Must Acknowledge It

Humans crossed with Denisovans more than once, new study shows “DNA extracted from the fragments previously revealed cross-species breeding. Yet a new study in the journal Cell shows the ancient hanky-panky did not stop in Siberia: Humans who traveled across South Asia mated with a separate group of Denisovans, as well.” The actual paper was published in the journal Cell; you can see “Analysis of Human Sequence Data Reveals Two Pulses of Archaic Denisovan Admixture” here.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

How The Richest Black American And His Billionaire Partner Became Top Philanthropists

Smith wrote in an unpublished statement when he became the first black American to sign the Giving Pledge, committing to contribute half of his net worth to philanthropic causes during his lifetime. “We will only grasp the staggering potential of our time if we create onramps that empower ALL people to participate, regardless of background, country of origin, religious practice, gender, or color of skin.”

Research Update: Medicaid Pulls Americans Out Of Poverty, Updated Edition Among other things:

• Medicaid had a larger effect on child poverty than all non-health means tested benefits combined. It is estimated to reduce child poverty by 5.3 percentage points.

PHOTOS | Students protest against gun violence across the country

Science and Nature

Scott Kelly Spent a Year in Space, and Now He Has Different DNA Than His Identical Twin Brother

When Scott Kelly returned to Earth after a 340-day voyage aboard the International Space Station (ISS) two years ago, he was 2 inches taller than he’d been when he left. His body mass had decreased, his gut bacteria were completely different, and — according to preliminary findings from NASA researchers — his genetic code had changed significantly.

The coolest thing about this is the possible connection with genetic modification triggered by stress and / or the immune system.

More Political Science: Proposed laws protect “Lyme literate” doctors from discipline “More Political Science: Proposed laws protect “Lyme literate” doctors from discipline.

Society

The skin care wars, explainedWhen we talk about skin care, we’re talking about women, their bodies, and their money.

Because in our culture, anything that women love is co-opted by two forces: corporations, which attempt to commercialize what used to be subversive, and concern trolls, who tell women that the thing they like and take pleasure from is secretly bad for them in particular and society as a whole. And while the two co-opting forces might seem to be opposed to each other, they’re actually mutually reinforcing agents of the same patriarchal myths about women.

A Princeton sociologist spent 8 years asking rural Americans why they’re so pissed off “Hint: it’s not about the economy.”

Graduate students need more mental health support, new study highlights “There is a mental health crisis in graduate education, and research institutions need to take action to address it. That’s the take-home message from a global survey of Ph.D. and master’s students published today.”

Approximately half of the students with anxiety or depression reported not having supportive relationships with their PIs, as measured in a variety of ways, including whether the students feel valued, whether their PIs have a positive impact on their mental well-being, and whether they feel that their PIs are assets to their careers.

This is key; graduate students, especially in a Ph.D. program, need a solid mentor. If your chair is largely interested in using your services as an employee, there’s less incentive for the faculty member to actually mentor you, particularly in the context of your dissertation and research. The long-term conventional exploitation of graduate students labor and scholarship that’s openly acknowledged but shrugged off as “that’s just how things are.” As a general note, a dissertation chair who takes six months to give you feedback on a 60 page chunk of your dissertation is a dirtbag.

Technology

Elevators, talking to the Cloud.

Via Nature: ‘News’ spreads faster and more widely when it’s false

How A Twitter Fight Over Bernie Sanders Revealed A Network Of Fake Accounts One Democratic Party consultant said an unnamed client controlled many of these accounts.

Via The New Yorker: Struggle to Detoxify the Internet “How do we fix life online without limiting free speech?”

Is it possible to facilitate a space for open dialogue without also facilitating hoaxes, harassment, and threats of violence? Where is the line between authenticity and toxicity? What if, after technology allows us to reveal our inner voices, what we learn is that many of us are authentically toxic?

Trolls set a cunning trap. By ignoring their provocations, you risk seeming complicit. By responding, you amplify their message.

In a first, U.S. blames Russia for cyber attacks on energy grid
“Beginning in March 2016, or possibly earlier, Russian government hackers sought to penetrate multiple U.S. critical infrastructure sectors, including energy, nuclear, commercial facilities, water, aviation and manufacturing, according to a U.S. security alert published Thursday.”

Women’s Work

Rolling StoneInterviews Rachel Maddow

The Women Who Made The Internet

A nun begged Katy Perry not to buy her convent — then collapsed and died

I’m with the nuns on this one, if they in fact pooled their money initially to buy the convent building, as reported here. Note by the way, that these aren’t your everyday nuns: < blockquote>In the 1950s, the house sold to Catholic philanthropists Daniel and Bernardine Murphy Donohue, who eventually sold it to the nuns at a discount (they pooled their money to buy it). Now the last sisters are worried the archdiocese will land a big windfall from selling the place and cut them out (they want their living expenses covered).

Meet The Woman Who Poisoned Makeup To Help Over 600 Women Murder Their Husbands Giulia Tofana killed hundreds of men in 17th-century Italy when she turned her makeup business into a poison factory, selling a deadly concoction called Aqua Tofana, thought to have been laced with arsenic, lead, and belladonna.

Drag Elsa frees a Boston police wagon stuck in the snow. Bar patrons go wild.

Continue reading

Elsewhere for March 10, 2018

You should read this for 3/10/2018:

Art and Film

Ingenious Rocking Chair Knits a Hat for You as You Sway Back and Fort “Knitting and sitting in a rocking chair are both relaxing activities that designers Damien Ludi and Colin Peillex have combined into one innovative, low-tech piece of furniture. Aptly dubbed Rocking Knit, this multitasking chair uses kinetic energy, produced from the rocker’s gliding motion, to knit a winter hat as you gently sway back and forth.”

Books, Writing, and Language

Five libraries around the world that are open despite the odds On World Book Day, a look at libraries from Egypt to Dominica that have remained open despite death threats, extreme weather and terrorism.

‘It Just Felt Very Wrong:’ Sherman Alexie’s Accusers Go On The Record

“If you are an aspiring author and you go to a reading of someone who is famous and beloved and whose work you admire, and he suddenly takes an interest in you and your work, and he thinks you’re special, and you start emailing, and he wants to mentor you — and then suddenly it turns out all he wanted to do is have sex with you. Those writers are left utterly devastated.”

Are you a fan of Neil Gaiman? The Sandman guy?

Requiem for The New York Times Opinion Page

Food and Drink

Cumberland Sauce brought to you in honor of Spenser and Robert B. Parker’s God Save This Child.

History and Archaeology

How the Father of Oregon Agriculture Launched a Doomed Quaker Sex Cult “He came west with 700 saplings and founded our state’s mighty fruit industry. But Henderson Luelling—idealist, farmer, visionary, swinger—dreamed of planting stranger seeds.”

Skeletal remains found in a newly excavated farm settlement raise questions about ancient Irish burial practices. “The remains of an infant have been discovered at an archaeological dig at ‘The Place of the Broken River’ in Ardrahan in South Galway. While archaeologists already know that the child lived a thousand years ago, DNA analysis will reveal more about its short life.”

The remains were discovered in an excavation of c. 11th century family farm and homestead; this was an era where, despite the efforts of the church, burials were often “at home” rather than as the church would have preferred, in a sanctified church or burial ground.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better


‘A moment of awe’: Photo of little girl captivated by Michelle Obama portrait goes viral

Science and Nature

Brain-training games don’t really train brains, a new study suggestsOld news from July of 2017, but I’ve only just seen it.

Our memory comes from an ancient virus, neuroscientists say

The Case 
Against Google “Critics say the search giant is squelching competition before it begins. Should the government step in?” People find information and web sites via search engines; Google is the leader, by far, in terms of search engines. And that means Google can decide whether customers and users can find your site, your information, or your product.

Photos capture feat of survival as predators and prey break boundaries to escape floods Record Breaking rain in Western Australi’s Kimberley region has animals taking refuge from the floodwaters in the trees, shoulder-to-shoulder with predators in the name of survival.

Jerry and Marg Go Large

“I just multiplied it out,” Jerry recalled, “and then I said, ‘Hell, you got a positive return here.’”

This is a story about an ordinary guy who figured out an algorithm underlying the lottery; an ordinary dyslexic guy, who noticed patterns and had a thing for numbers.

Via The Guardian: Bird Photographer of the Year 2018 – in pictures

Society

The Democratic rebuttal to the Nunes memo tears it apart

WASHINGTON — As Russia’s virtual war against the United States continues unabated with the midterm elections approaching, the State Department has yet to spend any of the $120 million it has been allocated since late 2016 to counter foreign efforts to meddle in elections or sow distrust in democracy.

As a result, not one of the 23 analysts working in the department’s Global Engagement Center — which has been tasked with countering Moscow’s disinformation campaign — speaks Russian, and a department hiring freeze has hindered efforts to recruit the computer experts needed to track the Russian efforts.

I’m just a run-of-the-mill digital Medievalist, but this smacks of collusion, incompetence, and rank stupidity.

When Winter Never Ends “How five days in February reveal what Seattle’s signing of Ichiro cannot. The future Hall of Famer is haunted by the life he can’t escape.” This is some fine writing, whether or not you follow baseball, and Seattle’s Mariners.

Technology

For Two Months, I Got My News From Print Newspapers. Here’s What I Learned.

Not only had I spent less time with the story than if I had followed along as it unfolded online, I was better informed, too. Because I had avoided the innocent mistakes — and the more malicious misdirection — that had pervaded the first hours after the shooting, my first experience of the news was an accurate account of the actual events of the day.

Women’s Work

Lucy Evelyn Cheesman: the woman who walked

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

State Dept. Was Granted $120 Million to Fight Russian Meddling. It Has Spent $0

67 Environmental Rules on
the Way Out Under Trump

Since taking office last year, President Trump has made eliminating federal regulations a priority. His administration — with help from Republicans in Congress — has often targeted environmental rules it sees as overly burdensome to the fossil fuel industry, including major Obama-era policies aimed at fighting climate change.

To date, the Trump administration has sought to reverse more than 60 environmental rules, according to a New York Times analysis, based on research from Harvard Law School’s Environmental Regulation Rollback Tracker, Columbia Law School’s Climate Tracker and other sources.

He’s the schoolyard bully, who, not content with preventing anyone else being able to swing on the swings, has to destroy the swing set and the playground.

Christopher Steele, the Man Behind the Trump DossierMueller is casting a wide net. We now know the target is Trump.

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is now directly gunning for President Trump — and not just on one front. It appears that Mueller is investigating whether Trump himself committed misconduct or possible criminality on two fronts, and possibly more.

NBC News is now reporting that Mueller has sent a subpoena to an unnamed witness that appears to hint at just how wide a net Mueller has cast. NBC reports that the subpoena suggests Mueller is focused, among other things, on determining what Trump himself knew about Russian sabotage of the 2016 election as it was happening.

Essentially: What did 💩🔥💰 know, and when? Was he in the know as the Russian hacks took place? How much did he know, and how much was he involved with the “strategic release” of Democratic emails?

Former U. S. Ambassador to Panama John D. Feeley: Why I could no longer serve this president

Shortly after the Charlottesville riots last August, I made the private decision to step down as President Trump’s personal representative and ambassador to the government of Panama. The president’s failure to condemn the white supremacists and neo-Nazis who provoked the violence made me realize that my values were not his values. I never meant for my decision to resign to be a public political statement. Sadly, it became one.

The details of how that happened are less important than the demoralizing take-away: When career public servants take an oath to communicate dissent only in protected channels, Trump administration officials do not protect that promise of privacy.

Leaking is not new in Washington. But leaking a sitting ambassador’s personal resignation letter to the president, as mine was, is something else. This was a painful indication that the current administration has little respect for those who have served the nation apolitically for decades.

Elsewhere for March 3, 2018

You should read this for 3/4/2018:

Art and Film

I happened to catch part of a NOVA special on tombs in the Himalayas, in the “Mustang” region of Nepal called Secrets of the Sky Tombs. I was intrigued by some of the prohibatory rituals intended to keep the dead from bothering the living, in that they were similar in some ways to the methods used to keep bog bodies in Europe from bothering the living. I found a paper by the principal researchers Margarita Gleba,Ina Vanden Berghe &Mark Aldenderfer. “Textile technology in Nepal in the 5th-7th centuries CE: the case of Samdzong.” STAR: Science and Technology of Archaeological Research. Vol. 2 no. 1, 2016. The paper analyzes silk fragments found at the site c. 2009 and later in subsequent expeditions, and theorizes about Nepal’s connection with the Silk Road, suggesting that it extended further south into Upper Mustang’s Samdzong region in Nepal’s Himalayan area.

Artist Transforms Found Stones Into Animals You Can Hold in the Palm of Your HandThese are beautiful, and charming.

Historical Markers for an Artist’s Fictional, Parallel Universe It is exactly what it sounds like; historica markers for an alternate universe. All it needs now is a wardrobe portal . . .

March from the Da Costa Hours

Books, Writing, and Language

Via Wired: Want To Make A Lie Seem True? Say It Again. And Again. And Again “Welcome to the “illusory truth effect,” a glitch in the human psyche that equates repetition with truth. Marketers and politicians are masters of manipulating this particular cognitive bias—which perhaps you have become more familiar with lately.”

Via TLS: What makes Jewish comedy Jewish?

In the latter half of the twentieth century, American comedy just was Jewish comedy, even if the Jewishness had to be tamped down to appease mainstream audiences.

Food and Drink

How Might Trump Plan For Food Boxes Affect Health? Native Americans Know All Too Well

The Trump administration unleashed a flood of outrage earlier this month after unveiling a proposal to overhaul the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly called food stamps. The plan would replace half the benefits people receive with boxed, nonperishable – not fresh – foods chosen by the government, not the people eating them.
Among those horrified at the thought: American Indians who recognized this as the same type of federal food assistance that tribes have historically received, with devastating implications for health.

History and Archaeology

World’s earliest figural tattoos discovered on 5,000-year-old mummies

Dating to between 3351 to 3017 BC, tattoos of animals and motifs have been discovered on two naturally mummified bodies from Egypt. Using infrared technology, figural tattoos of a wild bull and a sheep were identified on the upper arm of a male mummy, while linear and S-shaped motifs have been identified on the upper arm and shoulder of a female mummy; these are the oldest tattoos ever found on a female individual.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

A Federal Court Just Ruled For Gay Rights In A Major Discrimination Case “The decision is a loss for the Justice Department, which argued that a 1964 civil rights law doesn’t protect gay workers.”

A federal appeals court on Monday ruled that a 1964 civil rights law bans anti-gay workplace discrimination. The decision rebukes the Trump administration — which had argued against a gay worker in the case — and hands progressives a win in their strategy to protect LGBT employees with a drumbeat of lawsuits.

Why Corporate America Is Fleeing the NRA

But the most immediate and dramatic effect of the students’ anti-gun activism has come not in politics, but in business. Corporate America, or at least the segment with business ties to the National Rifle Association, is rapidly deciding that the association is toxic.

‘Speak your truth’: In wake of Parkland, colleges tell students protests won’t hurt their chance of admission “As a wave of protests against gun violence spread in high schools across the country, top universities reached out to reassure prospective students that breaking school rules for a principle won’t ruin their chance of attending.”

Dolly Parton likes to give away books. She just donated her 100 millionth.

Science and Nature

When Scientists “Discover” What Indigenous People Have Known For Centuries When it supports their claims, Western scientists value what Traditional Knowledge has to offer. If not, they dismiss it

Spring is running 20 days early. It’s exactly what we expect, but it’s not good. It’s February, and the crocuses have already passed in Washington D.C. The cherry blossoms are opening.

The Vaccine-Autism Myth Started 20 Years Ago. Here’s Why It Still Endures Today

The vaccine-autism myth is one chilling example of fraudulent science. February 28, 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of an infamous article published in the prestigious medical journal, The Lancet, in which Andrew Wakefield, a former British doctor, falsely linked the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine to autism. The paper eventually was retracted by the co-authors and the journal. Wakefield was de-licensed by medical authorities for his deceit and “callous disregard” for children in his care.

North Pole surges above freezing in the dead of winter, stunning scientists

Society

Inside Atomwaffen As It Celebrates a Member for Allegedly Killing a Gay Jewish College Student “ProPublica obtained the chat logs of Atomwaffen, a notorious white supremacist group. When Samuel Woodward was charged with killing 19-year-old Blaze Bernstein last month in California, other Atomwaffen members cheered the death, concerned only that the group’s cover might have been blown.”

This is some serious undercover reporting.

Schools in Oregon Are Sending Unvaccinated Kids Home, Permanently, to Make a Point “It is very important for our students to be up-to-date with their immunizations to help protect their peers and prevent others from contracting illnesses, some of which could be fatal.”

Technology

Washington becomes first state in the nation to pass net neutrality regulations in defiance of the FCC

The bill forbids broadband companies from blocking or slowing lawful internet traffic or selling fast lanes at a premium. It also requires broadband companies to publicly disclose their business practices “sufficient for consumers to make informed choices.”

Women’s Work

Via National Geographic: Pictures Reveal the Isolated Lives of Japan’s Social Recluses “A photographer explores the hidden world of the hikikomori, and the human bonds that draw them out.”

Known as hikikomori, these are people, mainly men, who haven’t participated in society, or shown a desire to do so, for at least a year. They rely instead on their parents to take care of them. In 2016, the Japanese government census put the figure at 540,000 for people aged 15-39. But it could easily be double that number. Since many prefer to stay entirely hidden, they remain uncounted.

We lost five women”: Porn industry reckons with assault allegations and a string of deaths

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

Amnesty International just officially declared Trump a human rights violator “President Trump takes actions that violate human rights at home and abroad.”

Questions linger about how Melania Trump, a Slovenian model, scored ‘the Einstein visa’

In March 2001, she was granted a green card in the elite EB-1 program, which was designed for renowned academic researchers, multinational business executives or those in other fields, such as Olympic athletes and Oscar-winning actors, who demonstrated “sustained national and international acclaim.”

Elsewhere for February 24, 2018

You should read this for 2/23/2018: Undersea paper art, Amazon, money laundering and fake books; Old English glosses and The Tremulous Hand scribe, wine, Sicilian culture, and caves. The Gate to Hell is a gas, and women who scribe. 

Art and Film

Colorful Paper-Cut Sculpture Captures the Diversity of a Coral Reef

Get to know the Dora Milaje, Black Panther’s mighty women warriors

Books, Writing, and Language

Via Krebs On Security: Money Laundering Via Author Impersonation on Amazon? “Patrick Reames had no idea why Amazon.com sent him a 1099 form saying he’d made almost $24,000 selling books via Createspace, the company’s on-demand publishing arm. That is, until he searched the site for his name and discovered someone has been using it to peddle a $555 book that’s full of nothing but gibberish.”

Old English masterclass at the British Library

In the 13th century, a mysterious annotator with shaky handwriting made marginal or interlinear notes (glosses) in around 20 manuscripts which belonged to Worcester Cathedral Priory. The Tremulous Hand — as he is now known — was from one of the last generations of people who could understand Old English. He is thought to have suffered from a nerve condition called ‘essential tremor’, a type of uncontrollable shaking that mainly affects the hands, which today affects around four out of 100 adults over the age of 40. His glosses show that he was concerned that knowledge of the past, as well as knowledge of an earlier form of his language, should not be lost.

The FBI’s War on Black-Owned Bookstores “At the height of the Black Power movement, the Bureau focused on the unlikeliest of public enemies: black independent booksellers.”

Food and Drink

Prehistoric Wine Discovered in Inaccessible Caves Forces a Rethink of Ancient Sicilian Culture “But the fourth jar held the greatest surprise: pure grape wine from 5,000 years ago.”

History and Archaeology

This Roman ‘gate to hell’ killed its victims with a cloud of deadly carbon dioxide “Is it possible to walk through the gates of hell and live? The Romans thought so, and they staged elaborate sacrifices at what they believed were entrances to the underworld scattered across the ancient Mediterranean. The sacrifices—healthy bulls led down to the gates of hell—died quickly without human intervention, but the castrated priests who accompanied them returned unharmed.”

Society

Anti-vaxxers prey on parents’ fears

Trump’s plan to replace food stamps with food boxes is his meanest idea yet

Now comes President Trump, with the meanest and dumbest approach to food stamps in recent memory. Trump’s budget proposal, released on Monday, calls for replacing half of the monthly cash benefit for most recipients with a Department of Agriculture food box containing “shelf-stable milk, ready-to-eat cereals, pasta, peanut butter, beans and canned fruit, vegetables, and meat, poultry or fish.”

Women’s Work

Women Scribes: The Technologists of the Middle Ages

Lesbian couple sues feds for thwarting their chance to foster refugee children

During an informational phone call with the organization in charge, Catholic Charities of Fort Worth, they say, they were told that same-sex couples are ineligible to apply because they don’t “mirror the Holy Family.”

Continue reading

Elsewhere for February 17, 2018

You should read this for 2/17/2017:

Art and Film

Lego’s New Hogwarts Great Hall Set Is Going to Magically Drain My Wallet

Books, Writing, and Language

When Books Read You, a Defense of Bibliomancy

Amazonian Language Once Spoken By Thousands – Now, Only One

Food and Drink

Nick Evans of Simply Recipes: Broccoli Cheddar Soup

History and Archaeology

Limiting Your Child’s Fire Time: A Guide for Concerned Paleolithic Parents

Science and Technology

Spiderlike Creature With a Scorpion’s
Tail Is Found Trapped in Amber Four specimens found in amber. Chimerarachne yingi is tiny, about 2.5 millimeters long, with a whip-like tail almost twice its body size.

Review: The NIXPlay 10 inch Digital Frame A great 10 inch digital frame that can handle images and video, and includes a digital clock and calendar.

Society

PRIVACY AND SECURITY
Report: Equifax Lost Even More Information on Consumers Than It Told the Public
“The new documents immediately bring Equifax’s credibility into even further question following numerous other damaging revelations, including a malware-infested website, executives who dumped stock after the company discovered the hack, and the news the company was warned months before about security vulnerabilities and did nothing.”

Rob Porter Is a National Security Scandal, Too A morally compromised White House staffer may have had access to America’s top secrets. Chief of Staff John Kelly has some explaining to do.

Women’s Work

An LGBTQ leader on why playing devil’s advocate is BS

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

There’s a Pretty Good Chance President Trump Is Being Blackmailed

All in all, the odds are disconcertingly high that Russia, or somebody, has blackmail leverage over the president of the United States.

Trump appointed official charged with overseeing the safety of the nation’s railroads has resigned “effective immediately,” after POLITICO raised questions about whether he was simultaneously working as a public relations consultant in Mississippi. “Heath Hall became the Federal Railroad Administration’s acting chief after being appointed deputy administrator in June. But he subsequently appeared at least twice in local media reports last summer as a sheriff’s department spokesman in Madison County, Miss., where he has long run a public relations and political consulting firm.
The firm also continued to receive payments from the county for its services from July through December, despite Hall’s pledge in a federal ethics form that the business would be “dormant” while he worked at DOT.”

Donald Trump Talks Family, Women in Unearthed Transcript: “When I Come Home and Dinner’s Not Ready, I Go Through the Roof”

Former Trump Campaign Adviser Was More Than A Coffee Boy, Fiancee Says This is a bizarre rabbit-hole which looks like it will end in Italy.

Mangiante is from Italy, and she first met Papadopoulos after the presidential campaign, when Papadopoulos sent her a message on LinkedIn. Mangiante and Papadopoulos had both briefly worked at the same office in London — the London Centre for International Law Practice — though at different times. That office was run by the “professor” described in court papers filed by the special counsel’s office, a man later identified as the Maltese academic Joseph Mifsud.

Trump Administration Plans To Defang Consumer Protection Watchdog

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created after the financial crisis to protect Americans from being ripped off by financial firms.

Now, President Trump’s interim appointee to run the bureau Mick Mulvaney is making radical changes to deter the agency from aggressively pursuing its mission.

Which is scarier — that Trump doesn’t read his daily intel briefing, or that Jared Kushner does?

It is hard to tell what should be more worrisome: the fact that the commander in chief doesn’t bother to read his daily compilation of the nation’s most urgent intelligence, or the fact that his son-in-law — who has been unable to obtain a security clearance — does.

In other words, the White House has been thoroughly subverted by Russia, and the door is wide open. And don’t forget this:

It is hard to miss the irony of it all: Wasn’t the main driver of the scandal surrounding Hillary Clinton’s emails the fact that it suggested she was careless in handling the nation’s secrets?

White House reels as FBI director contradicts official claims about alleged abuser The White House’s claims of not knowing about domestic violence allegations against Rob Porter were challenged by FBI Director Christopher Wray’s timeline.

The latest bout of turbulence is exacerbated by the administration’s reputation, earned over 13 chaotic months, for flouting institutional norms and misrepresenting facts to the public — a culture set by the president himself.

In other words, where 💩🔥💰 is concerned, business as usual is liar, liar, pants on fire.

Money, Guns, Russia, NRA and 💩🔥💰

Elsewhere for February 10, 2018

You should read this for 2/10/2017:

Art, Film, and Music

In Conversation: Quincy Jones I’m not really sure what to make of this err . . . interview? Performance ? Confessional? It’s interesting though.

Books, Writing, and Language

via mirabilis.ca: The BBC on Spain cracks King Ferdinand’s 500-year-old secret code “Ferdinand of Aragon’s letters have tantalised historians for centuries. Constructed using more than 200 special characters, they were deciphered by the country’s intelligence agency.”

Via Life Hacker: Comic Books Are Books  Ask anyone who’s worked with illuminated manuscripts if they think comic books are books; of course they are.

Charles Sprawson wrote a celebrated book. Then he vanished

Plagiarism Software Unveils a New Source for 11 of Shakespeare’s Plays

Food and Drink

Coffee, Caffeine, and Health Outcomes: An Umbrella Review “Given the spectrum of conditions studied and the robustness of many of the results, these findings indicate that coffee can be part of a healthful diet.”

Easy Peach Cobbler I know the recipe calls for fresh peaches, but you can use frozen peaches, or even canned peaches or canned cherries.

History and Archaeology

Sprawling Mayan network discovered under Guatemala jungle and this from National Geographic: Laser Scans Reveal Maya “Megalopolis” Below Guatemalan Jungle

Researchers have identified the ruins of more than 60,000 houses, palaces, elevated highways, and other human-made features that have been hidden for centuries under the jungles of northern Guatemala.

Tomb of 5th Dynasty top official Hetpet discovered near Pyramid of Khafre on Giza Plateau After almost 109 years of searching, the tomb of Hathor’s priestess Hetpet has been uncovered

Genetic study of prehistoric girl: Dating and DNA show Paleoamerican-Native American connection “Cave diver Alexandro Alvarez inspects the newly-discovered skull of Naia, the 12,000-13,000 year-old human skeleton discovered in a submerged cave on the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. An international team of researchers detailed their analysis of what is the oldest most complete, genetically intact human skeleton in the New World”

This is from May, 2014; the original article was published in the journal Science.

Individuals from 9,000 or more years ago have morphological attributes—physical form and structure—distinctive from later Native American peoples,” said Douglas Kennett, professor of environmental archaeology, Penn State. “What we have here is the unique combination of an adolescent Paleoamerican skeleton with a Native American DNA haplotype.

First modern Britons had ‘dark to black’ skin, Cheddar Man DNA analysis reveals “The genome of Cheddar Man, who lived 10,000 years ago, suggests that he had blue eyes, dark skin and dark curly hair”

There’s video from the BBC.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

83,500 Vintage Sewing Patterns Put Into Online Database From Vogue, McCall’s, Butterick, And Simplicity

Science and Technology

Brent Simmons wisely notes: On Missing the Point “There’s no sacred verse that says businesses acting lawfully can’t be criticized. Nothing says we can’t advocate for change. In fact, I’d say that that’s part of capitalism, too.”

John Perry Barlow has died.

Barlow knew that new technology could create and empower evil as much as it could create and empower good. He made a conscious decision to focus the former: “I knew it’s also true that a good way to invent the future is to predict it. So I predicted Utopia, hoping to give Liberty a running start before the laws of Moore and Metcalfe delivered up what Ed Snowden now correctly calls ‘turn-key totalitarianism.’”

See this 1995 conversation between John Perry Barlow, and bell hooks. See also John Perry Barlow’s Principles of Adult Behavior (via Steve Silberman on Twitter).

Confessions of a Digital Nazi Hunter “In the wake of Trump’s victory, I built a bot to expose bigots. Then Twitter suspended it — and kept the bigots.”

Society

Green card veteran facing deportation starts hunger strike “ICE has arrested a U.S. army veteran who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan and has two U.S. citizen children. His name is Miguel Perez Jr. and he has lived in the U.S. since he was 8 years old.”

Does college turn people into liberals? A new study reveals that students gain an appreciation for views across the political spectrum during their first year in college

Among all students, 48 percent viewed liberals more favorably in their second year of college than when they arrived on campus. However, among the same students, 50 percent also viewed conservatives more favorably. In other words, college attendance is associated, on average, with gains in appreciating political viewpoints across the spectrum, not just favoring liberals.

Foxconn package cost Wisconsin eight times as much per job as similar 2017 state jobs deals “To land the massive Foxconn factory, Gov. Scott Walker has committed the state to paying more than eight times as much per job as Wisconsin will provide under similar job creation deals struck last year, a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel analysis has found.”

‘Pillar of the community’ deported from US after 39 years to a land he barely knows

Women’s Work

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

NPR on the GOP memo: Get Ready For Another Week Of Memo Madness — This Time Over Democrats’ Response

Nunes’ memo charges that “biased” officials in the FBI and Justice Department abused their surveillance powers in asking for a warrant to monitor the communications of a former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, Carter Page.

Although the document makes a narrow case about the specific practices involving Page, Trump and his supporters also say it suggests a “systemic” pattern of abuse. That is not described.

Trump also said on Twitter that it “totally vindicates” him. It does not; the memo delineates how the FBI’s Russia investigation began earlier with another foreign policy aide who has since pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.

Elsewhere for February 3, 2018

You should read this for 2/3/2018:

Art and Film

Gallery removes naked nymphs painting to ‘prompt conversation’
Manchester Art Gallery takes down work by Waterhouse and asks public to post reactions

February from the DaCosta Hours. This is a 15th century manuscript illuminated by Simon Bening, of Ghent.

Books, Writing, and Language

Over at Tor.com Judith Tarr’s re-read of Andre Norton’s Daybreak 2250 (1952). After the Apocalypse: Andre Norton’s Daybreak — 2250 A.D. This was the first SF book I ever read, though it would be more accurate to say my brother read it to me, (or at least parts of it).

Here, seven years after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Norton gives us the complete destruction of Western civilization and the near-destruction of the human race. She knows about radiation poisoning, she speculates about the range and quality of mutations from it, and she makes it clear that she sees no other end to the atomic age than a cataclysmic blowup.

She also, even before Brown v. Board of Education and right in the middle of the McCarthy era, made clear that the future will not be pure white, though it may be relentlessly patriarchal. Her hero may have fair skin but he’s something other than Aryan-Caucasian, and his closest friend is African-American, descended from the Tuskegee Airmen. The implicitly white Plains people actually have a female leader, and the only women who speak in the whole novel speak at the end against the men’s insistence on perpetual war.

Paged Media approaches (Part 1 of 2) Paged Media is an Open Source initiative suite of JavaScripts to paginate HTML/CSS in the browser for the purposes of exporting print-ready, or display-friendly, PDF from the browser.

Via The Oregonian: Ursula Le Guin on fiction vs. ‘alternative facts’: Letter to the editor

Facts aren’t all that easy to come by. Honest scientists and journalists, among others, spend a lot of time trying to make sure of them.  The test of a fact is that it simply is so – it has no “alternative.”  The sun rises in the east.  To pretend the sun can rise in the west is a fiction, to claim that it does so as fact (or “alternative fact”) is a lie.

Food and Drink

Glenn Fleishman writing for The Economist Explains: Why the genome of wheat is so massive It has over five times as much DNA as the human genome

DC College Student Creates KnoNap to Detect Drugs in Drinks “The KnoNap tests for at least 26 of the 40 most commonly used drugs as rape drugs”

History and Archaeology

Living with cauldrons – Iron Age feasting at Glenfield Park See also Elsewhere for December 9, 2017.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

The Fight to Save the Country’s Most Scenic Acre “One acre inside Grand Teton National Park is for sale for $5 million. Its future says a lot about our national parks, Jackson Hole, and the tension between preserving history and budding tourism.”

Indonesian christians in state of NJ are fleeing to this church to prevent ICE from deporting them. This church is amazing! Governor Murphy of NJ,“God Help Us.”

Via NPR: Business And Wildlife Groups Skip The Fight, Work Together To Save A Species

The biggest company involved in what’s called the Georgia Gopher Tortoise Initiative is Georgia Power, the largest electric company in the state. With all its power plants, it’s also a major landowner. And gopher tortoises live at some of those plants, including Plant Hatch, a nuclear facility in south Georgia.

Stripes of wildflowers across farm fields could cut pesticide spraying

Science and Technology

The Great Crack-Up TIME magazine with NASA: Aerial Photos of Antarctica Reveal the Devastating Toll of Climate Change

Listen to Orcas mimicking human voices – audio This is much more than it seems, and again, supports the assertion that we need to stop treating Orcas as pets or experimental subjects.

Nigel the lonely gannet dies as he lived, surrounded by concrete birds

Society

The Financial Times’s 404 page is an ingenious, hilarious introduction to major concepts in economic theory.”

A Partial List of Companies That Definitely Could Have Afforded to Pay Their Employees a Good Wage at Any Point Before the GOP Tax Bill “if you look beyond the press releases, the idea that these companies are handing over a significant portion of their tax windfall to their employees quickly becomes laughable.”

Glenn Fleishman offers A First Look At The Spheres, Amazon’s Wild New Corporate Biodome “When I toured the Amazon Spheres with one of the building’s lead architects, its head horticulturist, and Amazon’s real-estate chief, they didn’t conceal their delight while showing off botanic and design treasures in the gem-like building.”

‘Get out of the country!’: Navajo lawmaker harassed by Arizona Trump supporters accusing him of being here “illegally.”

Via The New York Times Editorial Board: The Republican Plot Against the F.B.I.

Women’s Work

Via The Harvard Business Review: When More Women Join the Workforce, Wages Rise — Including for Men

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

Federal judge appears receptive to emoluments lawsuit against Trump “A federal judge on Thursday appeared skeptical of an effort by the Justice Department to throw out a lawsuit against President Trump alleging his company’s business with state governments and foreign countries violates the Constitution.”

Trump Turns GOP Into a Conspiracy of Dunces “The cynical men in Washington and Moscow who are feeding the crazy-eyed, conspiratorial imaginings of the Republican Party base under Donald Trump know what they’re doing.”

As they voted Monday night to release their version, while denying the Democrats the chance to release their rebuttal, the scam was clear. The first clue is that the memo is being rolled out as part of a PR effort so clumsy, obvious, ham-fisted, and covered in its own drool that it could only appeal to the most deluded Deep State fantasists. Naturally, it has been in more or less constant rotation on Fox News and the fever swamp of pro-Trump fake-news sites.