Elsewhere for September 11, 2016

You should read this for 9/11/2016:

Today’s workplace design asks us to be permanently on call—and demands that we vanish at a moment’s notice.“This anywhering of the office renders our attempts to disappear by implementing out-of-the-office replies instantly moot and futile. Work will fill the space available to it. And with no space spared, it will find you wherever you are: not just your work office, but also your home, your yoga studio, your children’s kindergarten. And what is more, in addition to our physical selves we now have to manage this professional avatar as well. And due to the ongoing metrification and financialization of work we are increasingly stripped of the clutter that makes us us. All of our quirks and idiosyncratic features have no use, as they can either not be numbered or would just make us look messy and thus unproductive.”

Researchers Confront an Epidemic of Loneliness“Researchers have found mounting evidence linking loneliness to physical illness and to functional and cognitive decline. As a predictor of early death, loneliness eclipses obesity.”

Mars Rover Views Spectacular Layered Rock FormationsIncredible new pictures of Mars landscapes; you really need to see them. They’re both strikingly familiar and strikingly alien.

Turns Out Even Being an Actual NASA Astronaut Won’t Stop Random Men From Mansplaining Space to You. The mansplaining phenom is growing. I had a guy explain to me, as Medievalist on Twitter, that Chaucer didn’t really have poor spelling (a joke I made in concert with another medievalist posing as Chaucer), he wrote in Old English [sic]. It’s getting worse, not better. Whether it’s because of a rising sense of entitlement, or a decreasing level of reading comprehension, or both, I do not know. But it is annoying in the extreme.

Elsewhere for September 4, 2016

You should read this for 9/4/2016:

Big History ProjectHistory study resource ready-for-the-classroom resource available to everyone, everywhere. For free

Rachel Maddow video on American History, nativism, and the original no-nothings.

Deep in the Swamps, Archaeologists Are Finding How Fugitive Slaves Kept Their Freedom“Marronage, the process of extricating oneself from slavery, took place all over Latin America and the Caribbean, in the slave islands of the Indian Ocean, in Angola and other parts of Africa. But until recently, the idea that maroons also existed in North America has been rejected by most historians.”

The Pill, the Condom, and the American Dream“The number of sexually active American teenagers using no contraception fell by 35 percent in just seven years. Meanwhile, the teen birth rate has fallen almost 50 percent since 1990. . . . Poor kids are finally narrowing the achievement gap with rich kids. Is contraception the cause? It might seem like a mystery at first, even a paradox: The income gap between rich and poor adults is growing, but the achievement gap between rich and poor kids is shrinking.”

In a hilarious series of comics, illustrator John Atkinson gives us some less-than-classic descriptions of the classic books you probably had to read in high school.In 1926, The New York Times described Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises/as “a truly gripping story, told in a lean, hard, athletic narrative prose that puts more literary English to shame.” Atkinson’s summary: “Lost generation gets drunk. They’re still lost.”

Elsewhere for August 28, 2016

You should read this for 8/28/2016:

Harvey Mudd College took on gender bias and now more than half its computer-science majors are women

How Twitter Got Angry: “Twitter is suffering from a systemic harassment problem. This isn’t news—it’s been written about over and over again, and has become a trope in the cultural mainstream.”

Puffin chicks in Gulf of Maine’s largest colony starve to death at record rate”In a typical year, 60 percent of the puffin nests with eggs produce chicks that fly off in late summer to begin their life at sea. This year the number was only 12 percent – 320 chicks – the worst result since researchers began monitoring the colony in 1995.”

Ophelia Settle Egypt ‘s “Voices of Slavery”:‘They Were Saving Me For A Breeding Woman’

After Two Years, Lost NASA Spacecraft Phones HomeUsing the Deep Space Network, mission control has reestablished contact with the solar observatory STEREO-B

Elsewhere for August 21 2016

You should read this for 8/21/2016:

Stark New Evidence on How Money Shapes America’s Elections New evidence showing that the more you spend, the more you get — and the more money and wealth shape policy.

How looting in Iraq unearthed the treasures of Gilgamesh Missing text for Gilgamesh recovered when an Assyriologist spots an unusual tablet in a collection of looted artifacts for sale.

Does technological analysis destroy the romance of art history? Increasingly the use of new technologies, like computer assisted digital analysis of texts, or spectroscopic examinations of painting uncovering alternate versions or older works on re-used canvas, is changing the way we look at familiar works of art.

NPR Website To Get Rid Of Comments. The announcement notes that there were “clues that indicate those who comment are not wholly representative of the overall NPR audience: They overwhelmingly comment via the desktop (younger users tend to find NPR.org via mobile), and a Google estimate suggested that the commenters were 83 percent male, while overall NPR.org users were just 52 percent male.” See also Chris Cillizza’s comments in the Washington Post: NPR is killing off comments. That’s great news!

The Duo That Dominates Dressage Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin, an “outsider athlete” riding Valegro has revived the ancient equestrian sport of dressage. Here they are riding and scoring an unprecedented 93.857 in the Grand Prix 2016 Olympics freestyle in Rio.

Elsewhere for August 14, 2016

Barack Obama accuses Donald trump of founding The Village People

Autism, OCD and Attention Deficit May Share Brain Markers

Print your own high-quality topographic map from National Geographic (via Life Hacker)

Earliest population of America not through Bering Land Bridge In a research study published in Nature “researchers conclude that while people may well have travelled this corridor after about 12,600 years ago, it would have been impassable earlier than that . . . If this is true, then it means that the first Americans, who were present south of the ice sheets long before 12,600 years ago, must have made the journey south by another route. The study’s authors suggest that they probably migrated along the Pacific coast.”

Whale wars: Why Humpbacks save other species from Orca attacks Recent whale-watchers in British Columbia, CA witnessed Humpbacks fending off Orcas interested in a humpback calf.

Three Apple Engineers and Three Microsoft Engineers

Three Apple engineers and three Microsoft engineers are traveling by train to a conference. At the station, the three Microsoft engineers each buy tickets and watch as the three Apple engineers buy only a single ticket. “How are three people going to travel on only one ticket?” asks a Microsoft engineer. “Watch and you’ll see,” answers the Apple engineer.

They all board the train. The Microsoft engineers take their respective seats but all three Apple engineers cram into a rest room and close the door behind them. Shortly after the train has departed, the conductor comes around collecting tickets. He knocks on the rest room door and says, “Ticket, please.” The door opens just a crack and a single arm emerges with a ticket in hand. The conductor takes it and moves on. The Microsoft engineers saw this and agreed it was quite a clever idea. So after the conference, the Microsoft engineers decide to copy the Apple engineers (as they always do) on the return trip and save some money.

When they get to the station, they buy a single ticket for the return trip. To their astonishment, the Apple engineers don’t buy a ticket at all. “How are you going to travel without a ticket?” asks one perplexed Microsoft engineer. “Watch and you’ll see,” answers an Apple engineer. When they board the train the three Microsoft engineers cram into a restroom and the three Apple engineers cram into another one nearby. The train departs. Shortly afterward, one of the Apple engineers leaves his restroom and walks over to the restroom where the Microsoft employees are hiding. He knocks on the door and says, “Ticket, please . . .”

 

From here.

 

University of Texas on Fair Use and Copyright

We would all appreciate a clear, crisp answer to that one, but far from clear and crisp, fair use is better described as a shadowy territory whose boundaries are disputed, more so now that it includes cyberspace than ever before. In a way, it’s like a no-man’s land. Enter at your own risk.

More from here.

 

What it costs for a best-selling e-book: $12.99

Contrary to popular belief, the costs of creating an e-book and a hardcover edition are similar. About 10 percent of hardcover costs go to printing, binding and shipping. Publishers set a retail price for an e-book, and selling agents such as Amazon.com and Apple receive a flat percentage of that retail price. These estimates are based on sales of 75,000. Expenses for a book include one-time costs such as editing and marketing. Many e-books lose money for publishers; e-books that sell millions of copies offset losses from less popular books. – Andrew Schneider

 

COST TO PUBLISHER $9.09

Author royalties $2.27

Editing/digitizing 0.28

Marketing1.00

Overhead 3.18

Operating profit 2.36

COST TO RETAILER $3.90

Overhead .50

Digital rights management .10

Pre-tax operating profit 3.30

Price to consumer $12.99

 

Washington Post Saturday, February 5, 2011

From here.