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You should read this for 2/3/2018:
Art and Film
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.
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
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.