Elsewhere for June 26,2021

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You should read this for 6/26/2022:

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

Coronavirus | COVID-19

decorative leaf bullet‘Are you kidding me?’ Fauci responds to rightwing attacks over emails

In his interview with the Times, Fauci pushed back.

“It is essential as a scientist that you evolve your opinion and your recommendations based on the data as it evolves,” he said. “… And that’s the reason why I say people who then criticise me about that are actually criticising science.”

He added: “The people who are giving the ad hominems are saying, ‘Ah, Fauci misled us. First he said no masks, then he said masks.’ Well, let me give you a flash. That’s the way science works. You work with the data you have at the time.”

decorative leaf bulletThe mRNA Vaccines Are Extraordinary, but Novavax Is Even Better

But when the Maryland-based biotech firm Novavax announced its latest stunning trial results last week, and an efficacy rate of more than 90 percent even against coronavirus variants [emphasis mine], the response from the same media outlets was muted in comparison.

Food and Drink

decorative leaf bulletHow and when to use garlic powder, a reliable seasoning that deserves respect

While garlic powder sits high on a pedestal in my kitchen — beloved, revered, irreplaceable — some view it with shame or even contempt, baffled why anyone would choose to use this processed product over the fresh alternative.

Like so much in food snobbery, disdain for garlic powder has a close relationship with disdain regarding class and race.

History and Archaeology

decorative leaf bulletLight in darkness: an experimental look at Paleolithic cave lighting

A recreation of three common types of Paleolithic lighting systems (torches, grease lamps, and fireplaces) illuminates how Paleolithic cave dwellers might have traveled, lived, and created in the depths of their caves, according to a study published June 16, 2021 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Mª Ángeles Medina-Alcaide from the University of Cantabria, Spain, and colleagues.

. . .

The authors conducted their experiments at Isuntza 1 Cave in the Basque region of Spain. Their replicated lighting was based as much as possible on archaeological evidence found in similar Paleolithic caves, and included five replicated torches (made variably from ivy, juniper, oak, birch, and pine resins), two stone lamps using animal fat (bone marrow from cow and deer), and a small fireplace (oak and juniper wood).

They found that the different lighting systems all had diverse features, suggesting their likely selection and use across different contexts.

Politics and Society

decorative leaf bulletAmerica’s top general defends study of critical race theory by military

The chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Gen Mark Milley, defended the study of critical race theory in the military when pressed on the issue before the House armed services committee, saying he wanted to “understand white rage”.
Critical race theory is a longtime academic concept centered on the idea that institutions in the US inherently create economic, political and social inequities between white people and people of color.

The methodology has been misinterpreted and used as a talking point by Republicans in more than 20 states to propose legislation that would limit discussions about race and systemic oppression in classrooms, arguing it is divisive. . . . Milley defended the curriculum and said: “I’ve read Mao Zedong. I’ve read Karl Marx. I’ve read Lenin. That doesn’t make me a communist. So what is wrong with understanding, having some situational understanding about the country for which we are here to defend?”

He said reading about political theories, and fostering open discussion could lend to understanding the more recent violent events in the US, and creating an environment of anti-extremism in the military.

decorative leaf bulletDeJoy’s USPS slowdown plan
will delay the mail. What’s it mean for your Zip code?

Las Vegas, Seattle, San Diego, Orlando and countless communities in between will see mail service slow by as much as a day under the U.S. Postal Service’s strategic restructuring plan, a Washington Post analysis shows.

The new delivery regimen, for which the agency seeks regulatory approval, disproportionately affects states west of the Rocky Mountains and the country’s mainland extremities, including large swaths of southern Texas and Florida. . . . The Postal Service plans to raise prices on certain mail products — pushing the price of a first-class stamp from 55 to 58 cents — while reducing service standards. For each change, the agency must seek an advisory opinion from the PRC but those rulings are not enforceable. The Postal Service can proceed with the changes regardless of the outcome.

Science and Nature

decorative leaf bulletDinosaurs lived in the Arctic, research suggests “Discovery of tiny fossils indicates dinosaurs raised young in freezing region – and may have been warm-blooded”


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Technology

Chuq von Rospach:decorative leaf bulletMy Life in the Apple Ecosystem

Apple giving a basic app away for free inhibits other developers from tackling that idea, and limits their ability to make enough money to warrant doing the hard investment in doing a real killer version of an app of that type. I do wish Apple would choose to either commit hard to an app and make it best of show, or kill the app and open the market to other companies. Instead, they do a middle policy of doing minimal work on an adequate app, making it harder for non-Apple apps to thrive, but not really serving the needs of the users very well, either. 

Via TidBITS: decorative leaf bulletThe Real System Requirements for Apple’s 2021 Operating Systems

decorative leaf bulletThe Verge Guide To Windows

urrently, PCs loaded with Windows 10 are being manufactured and sold by a variety of companies in an even wider variety of models. Come the 2021 holiday season, we can expect that PCs will be shipping with Microsoft’s new Windows 11 — and if your current system is compatible, you will be able to upgrade to the new free OS.

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💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

decorative leaf bulletCritical race theory is the hottest topic on Fox News. And it’s only getting hotter.

Over the past few months, and particularly through June, hosts and anchors on Fox have ramped up the conversation about the theory, an academic legal framework for examining systemic and institutional racism that has become a hot-button issue for political conservatives.

The concept has been around for more than 40 years, according to EducationWeek, but it has become a major programming theme on Fox News only in recent months as parents, buoyed by conservative activists and groups, have vocally opposed the teaching of the theory — or something similar to it — in schools throughout the country. Republican-led state legislatures have voted to outlaw it.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

decorative leaf bullet“This is a food bank now” workers seized a McDonald’s in France

Something Wonderful

decorative leaf bulletHe found a 2.2-carat diamond in an Arkansas park. Then he proposed to his girlfriend.

decorative leaf bulletMIT professor goes viral for putting a crib in his lab to help a new mother


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