You should read this for 3/01/2020:
Art, Music, and Film
Plundered, dismantled and stolen, it’s a miracle that the Ghent Altarpiece – also known as the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb – by brothers Hubert and Jan Van Eyck, has survived. Now a forensic, seven-year restoration of the 15th-century polyptych has revealed the brilliance of its original palette and details – tendrils of angelic hair, the gleam of a copper fountain – darkened over time.
Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language
TAMSYN MUIR is the bestselling author of the Locked Tomb Trilogy, which begins with Gideon the Ninth, continues with Harrow the Ninth, and concludes with Alecto the Ninth.
Her short fiction has been nominated for the Nebula Award, the Shirley Jackson Award, the World Fantasy Award and the Eugie Foster Memorial Award.
Tamsyn talked with our editor Olivia Hofer about Gideon the Ninth, dark fanfiction, and writing a book for your seventeen-year-old self.
This is a good, honest interview, of a talented writer lesbian writer who has written an excellent albeit thorny novel. I’m looking forward to Tamsyn Muir’s next book.
Garbage Language Why do corporations speak the way they do? See also: George Orwell Politics and the English Language.
These self-published authors are actually making a living. Here’s how. Very short overviews of three unusually successful self-published writers.
There are millions of self-published titles going up on Amazon every year, but (crucially) the number of people writing those books that take home $50,000+ a year is still only measured in the thousands.
Basically, the odds of making enough from self-publishing to do it full-time are not high.
My mistress Melancholy “In The Anatomy of Melancholy, Robert Burton gave his life to charting a Renaissance disease both alluring and dangerous”
Corona Virus | COVID-19
The Snohomish County patient is a high school student from the Everett area, health officials said. The student did not have a history of traveling to any affected countries.
“It’s concerning that this individual did not travel, since this individual acquired it in the community,” Washington state health officer Dr. Kathy Lofy said at the evening news conference.
“We really believe now that the risk is increasing,” she said.
You’ve seen the guidance before: Wash your hands regularly, cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze, and when you’re sick, stay home from work or school and drink lots of fluids.
The CDC recommends washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after using the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose or sneezing. It also advises to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth and to frequently clean objects and surfaces you touch often.
H/T Yasmine Via Scientific American: Preparing for Coronavirus to Strike the U.S.
On the other hand, for the elderly or for people who have other diseases or comorbidities, it’s very serious, with death rates reaching up to 15 percent. It’s also a great threat to health workers who handle people with the virus every day, with thousands of cases already. Overall, it appears to have a case fatality rate around 2 percent, which is certainly very serious: seasonal flu, a serious threat in and of itself, has a case fatality rate around 0.1 percent in the United States, so this coronavirus is about 20 times as deadly (though again, this number may get much better or worse depending on the kind of care we can provide).*
Staying home without needing deliveries means that not only are you less likely to get sick, thus freeing up hospitals for more vulnerable populations, it means that you are less likely to infect others (while you may be having a mild case, you can still infect an elderly person or someone with cancer or another significant illness) and you allow delivery personnel to help out others.
If you are in a position of authority, that means figuring out how to help people stay at home, by preparing for and allowing for remote work, or allowing for future work to make up for missed days and other similar plans. Households and others who employ part-time help can do this, too: continue paying the cleaners; it can be reconciled later: without pay, people will not be able to prepare and or stay home.
If you live in a regular household, here’s a handy, one-page guide on what you need, with up-to-date information on top, but it is essentially this: potable water (that’s a general just-in-case item for all emergencies), shelf-stable food (doesn’t need refrigeration, again just-in-case), your prescription medication and a few basic medical supplies (first aid/your usual over-the-counter meds). Depending on the composition of your household, things to keep you busy (books, board games, toys).
Via Be Prepared: One page Layperson’s Guide to the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19)
Food and Drink
How to cook the perfect pancake With tips and recipes, and some history (including a 1594 recipe, of sorts; you’ll need a scale to use the other recipes). Shrove Tuesday was Tuesday the 25th; better known as Mardi Gras.
Via Wine Enthusiast: 13 of our Top-Rated California Red Blends for $30 and Less
History and Archaeology
Science and Nature
A new report in the journal Science indicates that the number of birds in North America has declined by several billion in the past 40 years. The findings, released Thursday, suggest that bird numbers are declining more rapidly than previously thought. And researchers are pointing a finger at habitat loss and climate change.
Alex Verman: Canada is fake
“What Americans think of as their friendly neighbor to the north, if they think of it at all, is a scam.”:
The lands in question are technically unceded, meaning that they lie fully outside of the jurisdiction of the Canadian state — this land was never officially incorporated into the Canadian state, and the people there never entered into formal treaties with Canadian colonists. In fact, as a 1997 Supreme Court case established, Indigenous land rights and title have never been extinguished in traditional Wet’suwet’en and Gitxsan territory, meaning that the lands rightfully ought to be governed by Indigenous laws, which the courts recognized as far predating any colonial presence in the region. It is, literally, not Canada. Still, Canadian police forced their way onto and through the land, violating Wet’suwet’en sovereignty and the demands of their political leaders, simply to privatize resources for colonial use and abuse.
Classic democratic socialism calls for centralized public ownership of essential enterprises, or worker ownership, or mixed forms of public and worker ownership, either decentralized or not. But Sanders has never pushed for any of these things. The closest that he comes to classic democratic socialism is his plank calling for worker control of up to 45 percent of board seats and 20 percent of shares.
In the aftermath of World War 2, after the liberation of The Netherlands from German occupation in May 1945 and the festivities that followed, many Dutch women made special commemorative skirts, called ‘nationale feestrok’ or ‘bevrijdingsrok’ in Dutch – the latter translates as liberation skirts in English.
Big Heart, Strong Hands is the story of women on the isolated Estonian islands of Kihnu and Manija in the Baltic Sea. Often viewed as the last matriarchal society in Europe, the older women there take care of almost everything on land as their husbands travel the seas
Hometown Hospitality With Senator Elizabeth Warren
and Stephen Colbert Elizabeth Warren: Being herself: intelligent, charming, authentic, and funny.
💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰
Yes, 💩🔥💰 fired the CDC Pandemic Response Team in 2018 to cut costs This is True Also true: Nearly 700 vacancies at CDC because of 💩🔥💰’s hiring freeze.
Pay It Forward and Make It Better
Women can be protected from cervical cancer – so why aren’t we doing it? “Amid a global shortage of HPV vaccine, more must be done to steer supplies towards those most at risk: girls in poor countries”
Two programmer-musicians wrote every possible MIDI melody in existence to a hard drive, copyrighted the whole thing, and then released it all to the public in an attempt to stop musicians from getting sued.
Remember a few years ago when the owner of a credit card payment processing company based in Seattle raised the minimum wage of his employees to $70,000/yr while taking a huge pay-cut himself and capitalists the world over, afraid of their beloved & apparently suuuuper delicate system collapsing from such madness, flipped out? The BBC recently checked in with Gravity Payments and its owner Dan Price to see how things were going. Pretty damn well, as it turns out: