You should read this for 1/10/2021:
Art, Music, and Film
over 17,000 designs, each using at least one of over 12,000 typeface families from more than 3,500 type companies. Each font is contextualized with images depicting them in the wild, on everything from wine labels and storefronts to book covers, record albums, movie posters and of course, advertising of all shapes and sizes.
Garland is currently a judge on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. But he is likely best known as a nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court who was refused even a hearing by Senate Republicans, after then-President Barack Obama nominated him to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016.
President-elect Joe Biden is tapping Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, a Biden ally with deep ties to unions, as his labor secretary.
The Democrat campaigned for the White House saying he’d be the “most pro-union president you’ve ever seen.”
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, the first woman to lead the country’s smallest state, has been named President-elect Joe Biden’s intended nominee for commerce secretary.
If confirmed by the Senate, Raimondo, a Democrat who is serving her second term as governor and was previously the state’s treasurer, would oversee the U.S. Commerce Department’s eclectic portfolio of federal agencies, including some that have been thrown into political hot waters during the Trump administration — most notably the Census Bureau.
The federal government’s largest statistical agency has been scrambling to prepare the release of the first set of 2020 census results, which was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic and last-minute schedule changes by Trump administration officials.
Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language
‘If the aliens lay eggs, how does that affect architecture?’: sci-fi writers on how they build their worlds This is a book review of Revelation Space Universe (2000-2018) Poseidon’s Children Universe (2012-2015) by a collection of SF authors including Nnedi Okorafor, Kim Stanley Robinson and Alastair Reynolds reveal what does, and doesn’t, go into creating their worlds, by Alastair Reynolds, Nnedi Okorafor, Ann Leckie, Becky Chambers, Kim Stanley Robinson and M John Harrison
Hawley, a Republican and outspoken Trump ally, has been accused of helping incite the throng of rioters who stormed the House and Senate chambers, smashing windows, ransacking offices and forcing frightened lawmakers to take shelter in secure locations. Hawley was also one of six senators who raised objections to the certification of Electoral College votes confirming Joe Biden as the next president.
An hour or so later, little whiny snowflake Josh Hawley, a self-proclaimed Constitutional lawyer, who has a law degree from Yale Law School and clerked at the Supreme Court, claimed that Simon & Schuster not publishing his book was somehow an attack on the 1st Amendment. . . . Every single thing that Hawley says in this is utter bullshit. It’s almost embarrassing. First of all, anyone who thinks that one of the world’s biggest publishing houses is a “woke mob” is delusional. But, it’s even worse to use the word “mob” the day after you helped inspire an actual mob to storm the Capitol building in order to overthrow the results of an election.
Hawley has no legal claim here at all. The 1st Amendment doesn’t govern this at all. He has every right to speak his mind, but he has no right to force a giant publishing house to give him a massive book contract to help his nascent Presidential campaign. If he wants to publish such a book, I hear Amazon has pretty good self-publishing tools that would allow him to do so. As to a bunch of other self-publishing platforms. Isn’t technology amazing?
Coronavirus | COVID-19
The outbreak followed a visit on 5 December by volunteers dressed as Saint Nicholas and his helper Zwarte Piet, organised by the nursing home’s management. The white-bearded, red-robed figure of Saint Nicholas, or Sinterklaas, brings gifts to Belgians every 6 December.
But within days, residents had displayed symptoms of coronavirus. Twenty six have since died and 85 more have tested positive for coronavirus, along with 40 staff.
Many medical personnel who care for COVID-19 patients have struggled to get vaccinated. Clinicians in private practice, those who work for staffing agencies and others who are not directly employed by hospitals or long-term care facilities say they have been overlooked in the vaccine rollout.
“It feels as though we have been forgotten,” said Reyes, who works for a nurse staffing agency. He picks up shifts at four or five different nursing homes in Massachusetts and, he said, none of them agreed to vaccinate him.
Between 5% and 10% of staff in nursing homes are people like Reyes. His staffing agency, IntelyCare, surveyed their nurses and nursing assistants in Massachusetts and more than half report being told they cannot get the shot.
The new Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna seem to be remarkably good at preventing serious illness. But it’s unclear how well they will curb the spread of the coronavirus.
That’s because the Pfizer and Moderna trials tracked only how many vaccinated people became sick with Covid-19. That leaves open the possibility that some vaccinated people get infected without developing symptoms, and could then silently transmit the virus — especially if they come in close contact with others or stop wearing masks.
If vaccinated people are silent spreaders of the virus, they may keep it circulating in their communities, putting unvaccinated people at risk.
Yes. While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to us to help stop this pandemic, like covering your mouth and nose with a mask, washing hands often, and staying at least 6 feet away from others. Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations for how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19. Experts need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide before deciding to change recommendations on steps everyone should take to slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Other factors, including how many people get vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in communities, will also affect this decision.
Wednesday’s storming of the U.S. Capitol did not just overshadow one of the deadliest days of the coronavirus pandemic — it could have contributed to the crisis as a textbook potential superspreader, health experts warn.
Thousands of Trump supporters dismissive of the virus’s threat packed together with few face coverings — shouting, jostling and forcing their way indoors to halt certification of the election results, many converging from out of town at the president’s urging. Police rushed members of Congress to crowded quarters where legislators say some of their colleagues refused to wear masks as well.
The question of whether to reserve vaccines to guarantee supplies for a second dose has become a heated question in recent days. The first vaccine approved for public use, developed by Pfizer, requires people who are immunized to return 21 days after a first dose for a second shot for it to be fully effective, based on data from clinical trials. The other vaccine requires a second dose at 28 days.
Food and Drink
. . . a study just published in the journal Food Quality & Preference found people were “less sensitive to specific sensory and hedonic attributes” of coffee under louder conditions. In particular, noise affected the bitterness, acidity, sweetness and aroma.
History and Archaeology
The researchers’ calculations assume that, like some arctic hunter-gatherers today, ancient humans acquired 45 percent of their calories from animal protein. Humans can’t eat a completely carnivorous diet because of the liver’s ability to generate only part of our energy needs from protein. Edible plants could have been stored for the winter as a source of carbohydrates, but supplies would have waned as the annual big freeze wore on, the scientists suspect. So Ice Age hunter-gatherers probably reached a point where they focused on hunting in order to extract fatty marrow and grease from the bones of prey to meet energy needs, the researchers argue, leaving plenty of lean meat untouched and available as wolf food.
Competition between humans and wolves for prey would have declined as generations of pet wolves gradually evolved into dogs, the team hypothesizes.
Science and Nature
But a previously unknown population of the leviathans has long been lurking in the Indian Ocean, leaving scientists none the wiser, new research suggests.
The covert cadre of whales, described in a paper published last week in the journal Endangered Species Research, has its own signature anthem: a slow, bellowing ballad that’s distinct from any other whale song ever described. It joins only a dozen or so other blue whale songs that have been documented, each the calling card of a unique population.
A rare, ‘magical’ visit from a brilliantly colored bird draws crowds to Maryland park “It was a male painted bunting, a bird known for its kaleidoscope of colors — blue heads, red underparts, and green backs. It’s a bird commonly seen in Florida and other parts of the south but rarely in Maryland.” See the link for photos. I’ve never seen one, and very much hope to.
How to reduce the spread of fake news — by doing nothing “By arguing with a message, you are spreading it further. This matters, because if more people see it, or see it more often, it will have an even greater effect.”
When we come across false information on social media, it is only natural to feel the need to call it out or argue with it. But my research suggests this might do more harm than good. It might seem counterintuitive, but the best way to react to fake news — and reduce its impact — may be to do nothing at all.
The simple fact is that engaging with false information increases the likelihood that other people will see it. If people comment on it, or quote tweet — even to disagree — it means that the material will be shared to our own networks of social media friends and followers.
Any kind of interaction at all — whether clicking on the link or reacting with an angry face emoji — will make it more likely that the social media platform will show the material to other people. In this way, false information can spread far and fast. So even by arguing with a message, you are spreading it further. This matters, because if more people see it, or see it more often, it will have an even greater effect.
Dodger Manager Tommy Lasorda dies Lasorda spent his entire careeer with the Dodgers, and will be missed. I loved his infectious enthusiasm, not just for the Dodgers, but for all things baseball. I was so pleased that he came out of retirement to coach the U. S. Olympics baseball team in 2000 (they took the gold).
Stephen Diehl @smdiehl via Rene Ritchi @reneritchie: Stephen, why are you so critical of Facebook and not the other big tech companies?
Silicon Valley also took fresh aim at a bevy of other sites and services where Trump’s supporters have congregated. That includes the new social media service Parler, which became popular with the president’s allies in the wake of the 2020 election.
Amid a flood of misinformation — and threats of violence in the wake of the Capitol riot — Google on Friday removed the app from its hub for downloads, called the Play Store. Apple also warned Parler that it could be removed from its App Store, the sole portal through which iPhone and iPad users can obtain such software, if it didn’t remove posts inciting violence and put in place a stronger content moderation system, according to an email obtained by BuzzFeed News.
“We have a zero-tolerance policy against hate and violence of any kind on the platform, or the use of Discord to support or organize around violent extremism,” Discord said in a statement shared with The Verge. “While there is no evidence of a server called The Donald being used to organize the Jan 6 riots, Discord decided to ban the entire server today due to its overt connection to an online forum used to incite violence, plan an armed insurrection in the United States, and spread harmful misinformation related to 2020 U.S. election fraud.”
Reddit banned pro-Trump subreddit r/The_Donald in June following an expansion of its policies to ban hate speech more explicitly. The Donald’s Discord server was one of the places former r/The_Donald members congregated following the ban, as detailed in this Mother Jones article from October.
Twitter permanently suspends @TeamTrump after string of Trump tweets Twitter is now playing the time-honored community manager game known as whack-a-troll.
Calls for widespread protests on the days leading up to the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden have been rampant online for weeks. These demonstrations are scheduled to culminate with what organizers have dubbed a “Million Militia March” on Jan. 20 as Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris are to be sworn in on the same Capitol grounds that rioters overran on Wednesday.
As with the online chatter ahead of that assault on the Capitol, these calls to action have bristled with violent talk and vows to bring guns to Washington in defiance of the city’s strict weapons laws.
SetApp: A Suite of macOS Apps for a Single Price Affiliate link for a great collection of 75+ apps for a single price.
According to new data released Friday, employers cut 140,000 jobs in December, signaling that the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic is backtracking. Digging deeper into the data also reveals a shocking gender gap: Women accounted for all the job losses, losing 156,000 jobs, while men gained 16,000.
Japan has denounced as “utterly unacceptable” a South Korean court ruling ordering it to pay damages to women who were sexually enslaved by the Japanese military before and during the second world war.
The Seoul central district court on Friday said Japan was liable to compensate 12 women who were forced to work as so-called “comfort women”, in a ruling that is expected to inflict further damage on the countries’ already fraught ties.
Buy me a Coffee! If you find this post or this site interesting, and would like to see more, buy me a coffee. While I may actually buy coffee, I’ll probably buy books to review.
Women over 50 in the UK are paid almost £8,000 a year less than men, according to research revealing that the collapse of retailers during the pandemic has hit women much harder than men.
An analysis of official data found that the median annual salary of women working full-time in their 50s was 23% less than that of men in the same age group, according to a report by Rest Less, a company that offers help and advice to people over 50. Women in their 60s were paid 25% less.
The tampon tax has been abolished after the government honoured its March commitment to remove VAT on women’s sanitary products.
But the campaigner who played a pivotal role in the drive to axe the tax has accused the government of using the issue as a political football, after politicians said it had been scrapped thanks to Brexit. Existing EU law prevented member states from reducing VAT below 5%.
Florence is one of the main stops on any art lover’s European itinerary. At the Uffizi Galleries, visitors can have their fill of works by Renaissance masters Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael.
Of course, none of these artists are women.
In 2009, a new nonprofit foundation in Florence started to investigate why.
💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰
Officials gave public explanations for their choice of which prisoners should die that misstated key facts from the cases. They moved ahead with executions in the middle of the night. They left one prisoner strapped to the gurney while lawyers worked to remove a court order. They executed a second prisoner while an appeal was still pending, leaving the court to then dismiss the appeal as “moot” because the man was already dead. They bought drugs from a secret pharmacy that failed a quality test. They hired private executioners and paid them in cash.
An angry President Trump pushed Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a fellow Republican, to overturn the state’s presidential results, and appeared to at least partly blame him for what could be lower turnout in Tuesday’s runoff elections that will decide control of the U.S. Senate, according to a recording of a phone call obtained by Georgia Public Broadcasting.
“The people of Georgia know that this was a scam, and because of what you’ve done to the president, a lot of people aren’t going out to vote [in the runoffs],” Trump said in the remarkable Saturday call. “A lot of Republicans are going to vote negative because they hate what you did to the president.”
He added: “You would be respected if this thing could be straightened out before the election.” Trump lost the state by nearly 12,000 votes to President-elect Joe Biden.
See the original Washington Post article here: ‘I just want to find 11,780 votes’: In extraordinary hour-long call, Trump pressures Georgia secretary of state to recalculate the vote in his favor You can hear the full audio and read the transcript. 💩🔥💰 is not only a 🤥🤥👖🔥, he’s clearly in street bully mode, and desperate to stay in office, at any cost.
In an interview with The Washington Post on Friday, Raffensperger confirmed that Trump had placed the Dec. 23 call. He said he was not familiar with the specifics of what the president said in the conversation with his chief investigator, but said it was inappropriate for Trump to have tried to intervene in the case.
“That was an ongoing investigation,” Raffensperger said. “I don’t believe that an elected official should be involved in that process.”]
💩🔥💰 Donald Trump’s Domestic Terror Attack 💩🔥💰
It was all egged on by a sitting president, who has been unable to accept losing his bid for reelection and who persuaded millions of his followers to buy into baseless, debunked and disproved conspiracy theories.
The result: A mob violently storming and occupying the U.S. Capitol for hours, while staffers and lawmakers were evacuated or hid in fear. The vice president was also rushed from the floor of the Senate and taken to a secure location after criticisms were tweeted from his boss.
Here’s a timeline of how things unfolded:
Videos also portray a friendlier side of these interactions: One widely circulated shot appears to show a rioter taking a selfie with an officer inside the Capitol halls, while others depict insurrectionists being calmly escorted by police out of the building they’d just overtaken. These scenes provide a stark contrast to what the nation witnessed from police mere months ago, during the Black Lives Matter protests: Peaceful demonstrators tear-gassed and pinned to the ground. People who were standing still shown the full force of state violence.
According to the Associated Press, the Capitol Police knew about the potential threat of the riot days before it took place, but rejected offers of help from the National Guard and the FBI. Officials said that they wanted to avoid using federal force against Americans, as they had done this summer.
The choice to turn down help amid warnings of an insurrection is as revealing as it is disturbing: Why did law enforcement assume that they’d encounter violence from protesters marching for Black lives in June, but think that a largely white crowd of pro-Trump extremists and conspiracy theorists would remain peaceful? The difference in the Capitol Police’s response shocked many who bemoaned the double standard. But police brutality against Black Americans and police inaction toward white Americans is not some surprising anomaly; it is the status quo.
Inside the U.S. Capitol, the rioters were in charge.
Trump supporters were roaming freely, carrying off furniture. Capitol Police had not asked other law enforcement agencies for help until their building was surrounded by a mob seeking to overturn the election results. Now, their officers were exhausted and injured. Their chief was down the street, in the department command center, and a police commander on the scene was pacing in a circle. Top congressional leaders, hidden in secure rooms, were calling the governors of Maryland and Virginia directly to plead for help.
As early as 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, just as the mob was taking over the Capitol building, claims that antifa had “infiltrated” the group started to go viral on Twitter. The far-right blog The Gateway Pundit insisted that a whole busload of “Antifa thugs” was on the scene. Others claimed that a well-known figure in the QAnon movement, Jake Angeli, was a “paid actor” and a secret liberal supporter of Black Lives Matter, or they labeled random photos of members of the crowd “ANTIFA supporters dressed in MAGA clothing.” By the evening, the theory had been picked up by several Republican members of Congress, including Representatives Paul Gosar of Arizona, Mo Brooks of Alabama, and Matt Gaetz of Florida. (None of these representatives’ offices returned a request for comment.)
The theory is false. There is no credible evidence of involvement by antifa, which is not an organized group and has been responsible for very little violence, while Gray and numerous other known MAGA figures actually were involved in the insurrection. But empirical reality notwithstanding, the antifa story has become a dividing line within the MAGA world this week—and a telling symbol of its internal upheaval.
Richard Barnett was arrested in Little Rock, Ark., on Friday morning and charged with three counts of entering restricted grounds, violent entry and disorderly conduct at the Capitol and theft of public property, said Principal Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth Kohl of the District of Columbia.
Barnett, of Gravette, Ark., was photographed sitting with his feet up on a desk in Pelosi’s office at the U.S. Capitol — an image that quickly became emblematic of the chaotic storming of the complex by a pro-Trump mob.
. . . Kohl also announced that incoming West Virginia delegate Derrick Evans has been charged with unlawfully entering restricted grounds.
One Republican senator who says he’s been in touch with senior White House aides about the matter claims the president was “delighted.”
“I don’t have any idea what was in his heart about what he wanted to happen once they were in the Capitol, but he wanted there to be chaos,” Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) said, during an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt Friday morning.
“And I’m sure you’ve also had conversations with other senior White House officials, as I have,” Sasse continued. “As this was unfolding on television, Donald Trump was walking around the White House confused about why other people on his team weren’t as excited as he was as you had rioters pushing against Capitol Police trying to get into the building.” Sasse added: “He was delighted.”
They took a dump on American democracy — literally.
Some of the unhinged pro-Trump rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday defecated inside the historic building and “tracked” their feces in several hallways, the Daily News has learned. . . . Egged on by President Trump, the throngs of far-right rioters smashed windows, fought police officers and vandalized offices of lawmakers.
Trump, seemingly oblivious to the stain his presidency is leaving on U.S. history, cheered on the insurrectionists in a since-removed Twitter video. “We love you,” he told them.
Podcast and transcript: Listen: John Bresnahan Helps Us Understand What the Hell Just Happened
And then my colleague Jake Sherman starts bugging me. He [says] there’s a problem with a security fence outside. You can’t hear anything in the chamber, so I go outside. And once I get outside the chamber, you can hear the crowd. I ran down to the second floor of the Rotunda, and the sound was overwhelming. There were hundreds of people pounding on the door from the east side of the Capitol. There were cops rushing up to the door, and they started screaming at us to get out of here. I went up to the third floor. That’s where I could see [the protesters] banging on the door. It seemed like they had tools—like iron rods or something. They were prepared to try to break windows. I mean, these are bombproof windows on the east side of the Capitol, and these doors. They had to be prepared to do that.
Reporter Ryan Lizza writes: “I don’t think I fully understood what happened Wednesday until I watched this video. It’s long and includes the shooting of one of the rioters, but you will have a new appreciation of the demented psychology coursing through this mob.” This is the insurrection that Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Mo Brooks and others incited and cheered on. They’ll hopefully pay a steep price.
Warning: The shooting of the rioter is shown at the beginning, and again at the end–except the footage at the end is graphic and not greyed out.<;/blockquote MSNBC: Must-see new video shows Capitol riot was way worse than we thought
Via Ronan Farrow in The New YorkerAn Air Force Combat Veteran Breached the Senate
As insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol this week, a few figures stood out. One man, clad in a combat helmet, body armor, and other tactical gear, was among the group that made it to the inner reaches of the building. Carrying zip-tie handcuffs, he was captured in photographs and videos on the Senate floor and with a group that descended on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office suite. In a video shot by ITV News, he is seen standing against a wall adjacent to Pelosi’s office, his face covered by a bandana. At another point, he appears to exit the suite, face exposed, pushing his way through the crowds of demonstrators.
The mob storming the U.S. Capitol disrupted the constitutional duty of counting Electoral College votes and prompted the evacuations of representatives, senators and Vice President Mike Pence. One woman was fatally shot while trying to climb into the chambers, three others died from “medical emergencies” and 50 police officers were injured. Capitol Police announced one police officer died of injuries sustained during the riot.
Evans, a Republican from Wayne County just sworn into House of Delegates, has contended he was videoing history and was swept along with the crowd. But his own video depicts him calling out “Move! Move!” before going through the Capitol door, as security alarms blare.
A lot of things were broken to pieces, or pilfered, or defaced. Windows and door frames. The placard above House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s door. Camera equipment owned by the Associated Press. A photo of the late congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis, with a quote about the necessity of getting into “good trouble,” that had stood on an easel outside of the office of House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). . . . The office of the Senate parliamentarian was ransacked. A bust of President Zachary Taylor was smeared with what appeared to be blood.
Missing: Laptops from the offices of Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Pelosi and others. Mail. Paperwork. Records that the Department of Justice referred to cryptically as “national security equities.”
Many members of the Capitol’s janitorial staff are people of color, and it did not go unnoticed by people scrolling through photos of the destruction online that Black and Latino custodians — plus one first-generation Korean American congressman — were the ones picking up a mess left behind by a mostly White group that included, among others, a man carrying a gigantic Confederate flag.
That didn’t enter Rep. Kim’s thoughts until later. He thought of his parents, and how they came to this country.
“When I see the Capitol defaced, I see the values and the opportunities that gave my family a chance in this country disrespected,” he says. “This building is bigger than all of us. It deserves our respect.”
On Wednesday morning, Ginni Thomas—wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas—endorsed the rally in Washington demanding that Congress overturn the election. She then sent her “LOVE” to the demonstrators, who violently overtook the Capitol several hours later. Two days later, Thomas amended her post with the addendum: “[Note: written before violence in US Capitol].” By that point, five people involved in the insurrection, including a Capitol Police officer, had died.
Pay It Forward and Make It Better
After sharing their own addresses, and their tipple of choice, participants are assigned other fairies to deliver to. As well as a bottle – and perhaps something else comforting, such as snacks or bath bombs – a basket will contain the address of someone else to deliver to. So beneficiary becomes benefactor.
The research shows we make happiness mistakes all the time: we complain too much, thinking we’re letting off steam, but do so at the cost of noticing the good things in life. We avoid social situations, thinking alone time is the cure for our blues, but research shows we’d be happier if we connected with a friend. We also assume that happiness involves changing our circumstances: losing weight, getting buffer and earning more money. But as someone who teaches an entire course on the science of happiness, I know the research shows most of these popular January goals don’t improve our happiness as much as we assume.
Public Domain Day 2021“January 1, 2021 is Public Domain Day: Works from 1925 are open to all!” Not everything from 1925 is Public Domain, so use a credible source to make sure a work is in fact Public Domain. Some highlights in terms of fiction for 1925 include Virgina Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Be careful with that one in terms of the source you use; there are some very poorly edited editions out there, that did not follow Fitzgerald’s text.
Via John Bull @garius: So it’s Christmas, and a bit of a weird one, so I want to tell you about a surprise Christmas present and the kindness of Twitter and total strangers on the other side of Europe that helped make it happen.
Buy me a Coffee! If you find this site interesting, and would like to see more, buy me a coffee. While I may actually buy coffee, I’ll probably buy books to review.