She plays o' the viol-de-gamboys, speaks three or four languages word for word without book, hath all the good gifts of nature, knows a hawk from a handsaw, and can see a church by daylight. The rest is subject to fancy.

Elsewhere for September 1, 2018

You should read this for 9/1/2018:

Art and Film

A Critical Analysis of Kinect Star Wars’ “I’m Han Solo” Song, the Definitive Text on the Character There are things that, once seen, can’t be unseen.

Via The Huntington Library’s Verso: Alice Klose on Sustainable Luxury The exhibition “Sustainable Luxury: Morris & Co. Textiles and Wallpapers from The Huntington’s Art Collections,” on view in the Huntington Art Gallery’s Works on Paper Room through November 12, comprises 18 drawings, wallpapers, and textiles created by Morris and his long-time collaborator John Henry Dearle, selected from The Huntington’s holdings of Morris & Co. materials.”

Books, Writing, and Language

Via The Washington Post: Carnegie Library heist: The $8 million alleged inside-job that ‘cannibalized’ rare books in Pittsburgh Via Rare Book Monthly: Arrests Made in $8 Million Theft from Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Library

Education

You Shouldn’t Have to Read These Books in High School

Food and Drink

Via Simply Recipes: Bacon Jame, and Tomato Jam.

Mussels in Red Chili, Tomato & Coconut Broth Mussels, in a broth of red curry paste mixed with tomato and coconut milk, with white wine.

History and Archaeology

Human remains found by archaeologists at Waterford site

“The excavations, under the guidance of archaeologists Dave Pollock and Jo Moran, “revealed that that the motte was refortified during the 17th century, possibly during the 1640s rebellions or during Cromwell’s incursions,” Ms O’Connor said.

During the 18th century gallows were built in the area.

Science and Nature

Hybrid Hominin: This Girl’s Mother and Father Came From Two Different Species

Will the Opportunity Rover Wake Up Soon?

Bees Get Buzzed on Pesticides, Keep Coming Back for More “Not only can they harm bees, the insects seem to be learning to prefer food laced with the pesticides.”

From Science Mag, H/T Yamin: How the house sparrow made its home with humans “The house sparrow’s closeness to humans might have changed its genes, giving it a larger beak and a tolerance for a starchy diet.”

Another Juno Flyby, Another Amazing Sequence Of Images Of Jupiter “In July of 2016, the Juno spacecraft established orbit around Jupiter, becoming the first spacecraft since the Galileo probe to study the planet directly.”

Society

Via YouTube: Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke is an American politician and businessman serving as the U.S. Representative for Texas’s 16th congressional district in his native El Paso, first elected in 2012. He’s challenging Ted Cruz for the Senate. ‘I can think of nothing more American’: Beto O’Rourke responds to question on NFL protestsRead this for more:  What Democrats can learn from Beto O’Rourke viral speech on patriotism and peaceful protest

Story by Amanda Fortini; Photographs by Joshua Dudley Greer: What Happened in Vegas The days, weeks, and months after the worst mass shooting in modern American history

Technology

So I’ve checked out Mastodon (see this: A Beginner’s Guide to Mastodon) and Brent Simmons pretty much speaks for me in this post:

I’m a Goddamn Social Media Professional

Apple and Amazon Have the Most Annoying Ongoing Feud in Tech

Social Media Mobs

Women’s Work

Via Twitter Steven Sinofsky @stevesiResponding and commenting on Why Women Stay Out of the Spotlight at Work

💩🔥💰 Trumpery and Short Pence 💩🔥💰

Why Mike Pence is such a sycophant ‘Pence believes that God has a plan for him, and if that plan requires him to temporarily abandon his principles as well as his dignity, so be it.”

 

Elsewhere for August 25, 2018

You should read this for 8/25/2018:

Art and Film

Via The British Library: A bumper crop of manuscripts part 1 and part 2. The British Library is doing stellar service both in terms of getting mss. digitized and presenting them to the public in ways that make them accessible to non-scholars.

Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Is Finally Being Made, Thanks to Apple I’m of two minds about this; first, The Foundation trilogy is a core part of “Old School” canon SF. Second, while I thought they were really interesting when I read the trilogy at ten, the two times I’ve tried since to re-read them, I just can’t. The second and third books, which prominently feature Bayata Darrell and her grandaughter Arkady Darell, grate on my nerves. There’s a reason that I started looking in my teens for SF written by women.

Books, Writing, and Language

Via NPR: Readers See Themselves In The Many Worlds Of Seanan McGuire

Part of how we learn empathy, part of how we learn to be human, is by reading and listening and viewing stories, and seeing people that don’t look like us.

Education

The Unsexy Truth About the Avital Ronell Scandal

It’s almost as if Reitman could have no life apart from her. Indeed, according to the complaint, when Reitman had visitors — a member of his family, a friend — Ronell protested their presence, seemingly annoyed that Reitman should attend to other people in his life, that he had other people in his life. That really is the harassment: the claims she thought she could make on him simply because he was her advisee.

Via Life Hacker: What College Freshmen Need to Know About Their Student Loans

Food and Drink

How to Make Ginger Switchel æThink of switchel as that refreshing summer drink you didn’t know you needed—there’s a reason farmers used to drink it after working in the fields all day. Made with fresh ginger, vinegar, water, and honey, it couldn’t be simpler to make!”

Kevin Pang: Learn to make Vietnamese beef pho in record time

Carrie Havranek for Simply Recipes: 21 Best Recipes With Ripe Summer Tomatoes Personally, I don’t think you can get any better than a Heirloom Tomato Basil Mozzarella Caprese Salad or classic BLT, but there are other options . . .

From Elise Bauer on Simply Recipes How to Make Corn Tortillas. I’m going to try making tortillas again, this time, with this step-by-step recipe.

History and Archaeology

Via Smithsonian: Drought Reveals Giant 4500-Year Old Irish Henge

An unusually high number of henges and ancient sites have been found over the decades along the River Boyne; together, they make up the Brú na Bóinne Unesco World Heritage site. But the size and layout of the new henge, located close to the valley’s 5,000-year-old Newgrange monument, makes it an important find.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

Crayola ColorCycle: Recycle your markers Crayola ColorCycle will accept all brands of plastic markers, not just Crayola markers. That includes dry erase markers & highlighters. Collect the dead markers (ask your friends and local teachers and schools), Crayola ColorCycle will send you a free shipping label to ship them back to Crayola to be recycled. FAQs here

Science and Nature

Rehabilitation facilities at capacity, complicating unusual die-off of seals in New England “the number of dead or stranded harbor seals continues to climb in Maine and New Hampshire as marine scientists broaden their search for the cause.”

How to Get a Cat to Like You I generally succeed with cats, mostly, I think, because I’m quiet, non-threatening, and good at ignoring them.

Scientists Put Paint on Ants to Study How They Form Societies

“Even though we work with genetically identical individuals that are as homogeneous as you can get them, there still seems to be some variabliity between them in terms of their tendencies,” study corresponding author Daniel Kronauer from The Rockefeller University told Gizmodo. “Where do these differences come from?”

Society

The incoherent, divisive dogma of cultural appropriation outrage Cultural appropriation is damaging. But it’s also the way cultures collide; I think, for me, the bottom line is how the culture being appropriated responds and wants their cultural ways and objects treated. I’d rather err on the side of courtesy.

Technology

I didn’t become a physician to do data entry “in terms of creating a smooth workflow for physicians and in facilitating meaningful face to face encounters with our patients, all EHR systems have completely failed.” See also: Dont Let Patient Care Interfere With Documentation/ from Christopher Johnson, M.D.

Brent Simmons has left Twitter

Last night I deleted all my tweets going back to the beginning of Twitter time. (Except for a mysterious 49 tweets that apparently can’t be accessed?)

And I tried to make my profile info very clear about me not being there any more. Removed avatar and background image. Changed bio to “Finished with Twitter.” Changed display name to the name of this blog.

In his followup post Brent notes: “Twitter from the outside now looks like a massive world-wide frenzy for no reason. It’s the illusion of something valuable.”

I’m done with Twitter Matt Haughey has also left Twitter. “So long Twitter, I want to say it’s not you, it’s me, but it’s mostly you. Especially Jack.” I’m preparing my exit, from both Twitter and Facebook. Work stuff requires a presence on both, but I’m moving away personally. Currently checking out Mastodon. Not sure about my long-term plans.

Via NPR: Facebook Shuts 652 Iran-Backed Accounts Linked In Global Disinformation Campaign. And see: <a href=”https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/aug/23/russian-trolls-spread-vaccine-misinformation-on-twitter”>Russian trolls ‘spreading discord’ over vaccine safety online</a>. “Study discovered several accounts, now known to belong to the same Russian trolls who interfered in the US election, tweeting about vaccines.”<blockquote>The study discovered several accounts, now known to belong to the same Russian trolls who interfered in the US election, as well as marketing and malware bots, tweeting about vaccines.

Russian trolls played both sides, the researchers said, tweeting pro- and anti-vaccine content in a politically charged context.</blockquote>

Gita Jackson in Kotaku: We Can’t Fix The Internet

Women’s Work

How Often Do You Really Need a Pap Smear?

Google has awarded Fifteen grants to support computing research for undergraduate women

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

Sen. Claire McCaskill confirms unsuccessful Russian hacking attempt “Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri says Russian hackers tried unsuccessfully to infiltrate her Senate computer network, raising questions about the extent to which Russia will try to interfere in the 2018 elections.”

Microsoft: We found more Russian hacking tries ahead of U.S. midterms

Microsoft said Tuesday it has uncovered new Russian hacking attempts targeting U.S. political groups ahead of the midterm elections. The company said a hacking group tied to the Russian government created fake internet domains that appeared to spoof two American conservative organizations: the Hudson Institute and the International Republican Institute. Other fake domains were designed to look as if they belonged to the U.S. Senate.

Elsewhere for August 18, 2018

You should read this for 8/18/2018:

Art and Film

H/T to @Lymond: Disney Takes Stand Against “Overzealous Copyright Holders” As the Hollywood Reporter notes: “forget any sense of irony.”

Oddly, and suprironicaly, as BoingBoing notes, the “fair use” defense Disney is using has a lot to be said in its favor.

Books, Writing, and Language

H/T to @cstross: Life in London, plus, a Macaw

Hundreds Of Newspapers Denounce Trump’s Attacks On Media In Coordinated Editorials

Ready For A Linguistic Controversy? Say ‘Mhmm’

History and Archaeology

A candidate for U.S. Senate Chris McDaniel Spouting ahistorical nonsens about Robert E. Lee and slavery Gets schooled by a Civil War historian who cites primary sources

Science and Nature

The mysterious Pilostyles is a plant within a plant H/T Bronwen

Via The New York Times Magazine and Nathaniel Rich with Photographs and Videos by George SteinmetzAfter 17 Days And 1,000 Miles, A Mother Orca’s ‘Tour Of Grief’ Is Over

Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change

his narrative by Nathaniel Rich is a work of history, addressing the 10-year period from 1979 to 1989: the decisive decade when humankind first came to a broad understanding of the causes and dangers of climate change. Complementing the text is a series of aerial photographs and videos, all shot over the past year by George Steinmetz. With support from the Pulitzer Center, this two-part article is based on 18 months of reporting and well over a hundred interviews. It tracks the efforts of a small group of American scientists, activists and politicians to raise the alarm and stave off catastrophe. It will come as a revelation to many readers — an agonizing revelation — to understand how thoroughly they grasped the problem and how close they came to solving it. Jake Silverstein

Society

Patriotic Millionaires: Millionaires who think everyone should pay a fair share of taxes—and that the really wealthy are getting away with not paying. Watch this video,

Technology

Vis WIRED (h/t/ SJS): Even Anonymous Coders Leave Fingerprints

RESEARCHERS WHO STUDY stylometry—the statistical analysis of linguistic style—have long known that writing is a unique, individualistic process. The vocabulary you select, your syntax, and your grammatical decisions leave behind a signature. Automated tools can now accurately identify the author of a forum post for example, as long as they have adequate training data to work with. But newer research shows that stylometry can also apply to artificial language samples, like code. Software developers, it turns out, leave behind a fingerprint as well.

An 11-year-old changed election results on a replica Florida state website in under 10 minutes

Women’s Work

Via Esquite: You Want Nancy Pelosi Out? Find Somebody Better

Pelosi’s not inconsiderable accomplishments. For example, not a single Democratic member of the House voted for any of the schemes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, nor for the ludicrous tax package that the president* signed into law. Red state, blue state—in the House, it didn’t matter, because Nancy Pelosi held her caucus together. That takes a kind of otherworldly political skill, considering that Chuck Schumer is forever calculating which of his senators he can afford to lose while waiting patiently for Susan Collins to sell someone out again.

I think Nancy Pelosi has been magnificent, and I don’t want anyone else. Let’s take back the House and let’s do it with Nancy Pelosi at the helm.

Elsewhere for August 11

You should read this for 8/11/2018:

Art and Film

Books, Writing, and Language

Losing My Son to Reading “Books helped me gain independence. So it saddens me just a bit to see my son reading on his own.”

A Friendly Reminder that Comic Books Still Count as Reading

[A] study conducted at California State University, Northridge, found that for students to improve their vocabulary they must be exposed to as many complex or difficult words as possible. Their research found that the “language used by comics is far more advanced than that the oral communication of college graduates, and uses almost twice as many rare or difficult words!”

A rough guide to making a manuscript A great illustrated “How To” from the British Library.

Education

Betsy DeVos’s summer home deserves a special place in McMansion Hell And Betsy DeVos deserves her own Special Place, too, right along with folks who talk at the theater.

Food and Drink

Lemon-Roasted Beets, Braised Greens, and Grilled Carrots with Beet Gastrique and Ricotta Cheese [with video]

Sicilian Home-made Ricotta Cheese This recipe is richer and creamier than others in part because it uses buttermilk instead of vinegar.

History and Archaeology

A sixth-century Lombard warrior buried in northern Italy appears to have worn a prosthetic weapon.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

GoFundMe for Flint, MI: I’m fundraising to provide clean drinking water for the residents of Flint. Whether it’s $5 or $1,000, 100% of every donation you provide will be invested in operating this #SaveFlintChallenge campaign, and used to purchase bottled water

The residents of Flint STILL don’t have access to clean drinking water, unless someone in the community like Little Miss Flint or Pastor Rob, provides it for them. Further investigation reveals the replacement of all the lead pipes necessary to provide clean water to Flint residents, won’t be completed until 2020.

Science and Nature

The quack behind the MSG scare is still stoking fear for profit

Great Black Hawk in Biddeford, ME.

Technology

From Eric Meyer, Mr. CSS: Securing Web Sites Made Them Less Accessible

A local caching server, meant to speed up commonly-requested sites and reduce bandwidth usage, is a “man in the middle”.  HTTPS, which by design prevents man-in-the-middle attacks, utterly breaks local caching servers.  So I kept waiting and waiting for remote resources, eating into that month’s data cap with every request.

Ajit Pai admits FCC lied about “DDoS,” blames it on Obama administration

The FCC claimed it was hit by the DDoS attack just after comedian John Oliver asked his viewers to submit comments opposing Pai’s net neutrality repeal.

Apple’s response to Congressional privacy inquiry is mercifully free of horrifying revelations

Women’s Work

Today’s Doodle celebrates the 110th birthday of Mary G. Ross. Mary G. Ross, the first American Indian female engineer, whose major contributions to the aerospace industry include the development of concepts for interplanetary space travel, manned and unmanned earth-orbiting flights, and orbiting satellites.

Japan Medical School Confirms Altering Scores To Limit Women

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

The Day Trump Told Us There Was Attempted Collusion with Russia

We can all move forward understanding that there is a clear fact pattern about which there is no dispute:
* The President’s son and top advisers knowingly met with individuals connected to the Russian government, hoping to obtain dirt on their political opponent.
* Documents stolen from the Democratic National Committee and members of the Clinton campaign were later used in an overt effort to sway the election.
* When the Trump Tower meeting was uncovered, the President instructed his son and staff to lie about the meeting, and told them precisely which lies to use.
* The President is attempting to end the investigation into this meeting and other instances of attempted collusion between his campaign staff and representatives of the Russian government.

Elsewhere for August 4, 2018

You should read this for 8/48/2018:

Art and Film

Jann Haworth: The forgotten creator of the Sgt. Pepper cover “Peter Blake is celebrated as the creator of the sleeve art of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper album. But his collaborator has been forgotten. As Sgt Pepper turns 50, ALASTAIR McKAY talks to American Pop artist Jann Haworth about art, celebrity, sexism, and her role in a modern design classic.”

The Hilarious Story Of Warrnambool’s Wombat

Books, Writing, and Language

Dear Suzanne Brockmann

My First Comic: Enter Sandman

Education

Food and Drink

Blueberry Blues “Growers leave fields unharvested as they confront plummeting prices and a glut of frozen berries.”

For most of the past decade, Maine has typically yielded some 80 to 100 million pounds of wild blueberries annually, about 99 percent of which are sold frozen. But this year’s harvest, like last year’s, is predicted to be much smaller. Three years ago, food processors began urging farmers to cut back production — their freezers were overflowing.

If you haven’t had Wild Maine blueberries, you should check Trader Joe’s or your local grocer’s freezer section. The flavor is amazing. Truly.

A Beginner’s Guide to Craft Chocolate

Science and Nature

Researchers searched all day for the grieving orca mother. Then they found her, still clinging to her calf.As of this morning, she’s still swimming with her deceased calf, her family around her.

Built to Burn We need to do better about building reluctant to burn structures, starting with the roof, and working down and out to the landscaping. Fires are going to get worse, and more common, as water decreases.

Society

Alaska Airlines: Gay couple separated, seats given to straight couple

“We could not bear the feeling of humiliation for an entire cross-country flight and left the plane,” Cooley added. “I cannot believe that an airline in this day and age would give a straight couple preferential treatment over a gay couple and go so far as to ask us to leave.”

Technology

The Bullshit Web

Women’s Work

Mary Ellis obituary One of the last ‘Atagirls’ of the second world war, Mary Ellis flew more than 400 Spitfires. She was 101.

During her war service Ellis flew an estimated 76 types of aircraft, including 400 different Spitfires – among them every marque produced between 1941 and 1945 – and it remained her favourite aircraft. But that fighter was just one plane among many; there were North American Mustang fighters, and twin-engined Baltimore bombers, and once, having landed a Wellington bomber in East Anglia, she found the unbelieving ground crew searching the plane to find the man who had really flown it.

Something Happened At The Mall The Other Day

Brooklyn woman who died during power outage remembered as ‘tireless advocate’ Elizabeth Ramos was on the board of Disabled in Action. She sued Uber. She died during blackout in social housing that refused to allow her to use back-up generator for her breathing equipment.

Vanishing in the Wild, These Salamanders Found Refuge in a Convent

A note from the editorial leadership of The Verge “Newsrooms must stand up to targeted campaigns of harassment.”

Since announcing her new job with The New York Times, a widespread campaign of harassment has targeted Verge reporter Sarah Jeong for a number of tweets she wrote years ago. Many of those now reacting to these tweets have intentionally taken them out of context, and she has since received an unrelenting stream of abuse from strangers on the internet.

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

Parents Were Targeted Under The “Zero Tolerance” Policy, A New Analysis Of Immigration Data Finds “The Trump administration said family separation was the result of a ‘zero tolerance’ prosecution strategy. But a new analysis shows that parents with children were the ones sent to court, while adults without kids weren’t.”

Russia Sold Off Almost All Holdings In US Securities Before Helsinki Meeting Curious that; don’t know what it means, but it’s a striking coincidence, and a thing to wonder at in any circumstances. People generally don’t divest in bulk without some really good reasons.

Elsewhere for July 28, 2018

You should read this for 7/28/2018:

Art and Film

US Postal Service Ordered to Pay Artist $3.5M For Copyright Infringement “A case of mistaken artwork has cost the US Postal Service millions of dollars.” Note that the USPS “The USPS had paid Getty Image $1,500 to license the image.”

Books, Writing, and Language

Today in Bad Ideas: Replace Libraries With Amazon

Sci-fi convention Worldcon reorganizes its programming amid exclusion backlash

Suzanne Brockmann gave a kick-ass speech at RWA.

Education

Rethinking Education in America America’s schools are being left behind, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

Arne Duncan, President Barack Obama’s education secretary, and author of How Schools Work: An Inside Account of Failure and Success from One of the Nation’s Longest Serving Secretaries of Education in an interesting interview:

About 100 years ago, America made secondary education in high school compulsory. That was almost unprecedented, a massive leap forward, and it drove a lot of our economic boom over the past 100 years. The problem is we haven’t moved past that and we haven’t adjusted the model. Obviously, the world is radically different from that time, but unfortunately education isn’t much different. And you see other nations out-educating, out-investing, out-innovating us. Not only have the skills needs changed dramatically, but we now have a globally competitive economy, a flat world. It’s no longer Iowa versus Indiana versus Montana for jobs, we’re competing with India and China and Singapore and everywhere else. That’s the world where our kids – my kids – are going to grow up into, and we’re never going to go back the opposite direction. It’s only going to accelerate.

Food and Drink

Roughing It? “A decade ago, Jennifer Scism was running a Michelin-starred restaurant in New York. But along the way she married a Mainer, got tired of the grind, moved to York, and started backpacking.”

History and Archaeology

Woman Who Revealed Racism as Reason for WW2 Internment Camps Dies

he real reason, according to the document drafted by Lt. Gen. John L. DeWitt, and uncovered by Herzig-Yoshinaga in 1982, stated incarceration was because authorities considered it “impossible to separate the sheep from the goats” when looking for spies among Japanese-Americans because of the cultural similarities of all.

Sensational archaeological find is likely Germany’s oldest library “Archeologists in Cologne are sure they have found what looks like the foundations of the oldest verifiable library in Germany. It was built by the Romans about 1,800 years ago.”

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

A Swedish student stopped an Afghan man’s deportation by refusing to sit down on a plane

Federal Judge Rules for Transgender Teenager Denied Restroom Access at Florida School The judege’s ruling states:

“When confronted with something affecting our children that is new, outside of our experience, and contrary to gender norms we thought we understood, it is natural that parents want to protect their children. But the evidence is that Drew Adams poses no threat to the privacy or safety of any of his fellow students. Rather, Drew Adams is just like every other student at Nease High School, a teenager coming of age in a complicated, uncertain and changing world. When it comes to his use of the bathroom, the law requires that he be treated like any other boy.”

Science and Nature

What Climate Change Looks Like In 2018 “During the first five months of 2018, nearly every continent experienced record warm temperatures, and May 2018 marked the 401st consecutive month in which temperatures exceeded the 20th century average. ”

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

Trump sees dead people. And they talk.

Mueller examining Trump’s tweets in wide-ranging obstruction inquiry

Elsewhere for July 21, 2018

Art and Film

Actress Marsha Hunt, 100, Has Matters Of Principle

Hunt is the last surviving member of what was known as the Committee for the First Amendment. It was a group of a few dozen big Hollywood names, including Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Huston and Judy Garland.

Inside the Tokyo temple where the ‘waving cat’ was born

Maneki-nekos traditionally wear a bib and bell, sometimes painted on, to represent the Gotokuji monk taking special care of his cat. They are also usually depicted holding coins, but being of a Samurai family’s temple, Gotokuji maneki-nekos are empty-handed.
In the warrior society, while the opportunity for success is offered, it is up to the person making the wish to capture it.

Books, Writing, and Language

Amazon’s Curious Case of the $2,630.52 Used Paperback

Wilde about Paris: the sex, drink and liberation of Oscar Wilde’s “lost” years

Education

How one Maryland high school successfully boosted minority student enrollment in advanced classes

“In GT classes, teachers break it down as simple as possible and put the time into explaining it to us,” he said. “After school, teachers are available for additional help and make themselves available around the students’ schedule. … My relationship with teachers has helped me to gain confidence to approach my teachers to explain things more. In classes at Hammond, the teachers are more approachable and easier to talk to.”

Value matters in choosing a college. But not just the price kind.

Via Forbes: How Common Core Testing Damaged High School English Classes

The standards treat reading as a skill that can exist in a vacuum, independent of context or content. The accountability tests, put in place to show how well we have (or haven’t) taught the standards double down on that, with reading selections that are carefully chosen so that prior knowledge cannot be a factor. This makes sense to a point; if you ask questions about themes in The Great Gatsby, those questions clearly favor students who have studied the work. Instead, students have to be “surprised” by an excerpt from some work they’ve never heard of before. There’s a whole discussion to be had about the inseparable nature of reading and prior knowledge, but in the meantime, teachers have been given a clear message–the evaluation of your teaching effectiveness will have nothing to do with how well you teach (or don’t) classic literature.

That means that primary teachers are pushed to focus on test prep rather than actual reading instruction, and that in turn runs the risk of squashing any hope of fostering a love of reading in students. By the time they get to high school, reading is just some dumb game they have to learn to play for that big test at the end of the year.

Food and Drink

Discovery of 14,000-Year-Old Toast Suggests Bread Can Be Added to Paleo Diet

Archaeologists have uncovered the earliest evidence of bread-making at a site in northeastern Jordan. Dating back some 14,400 years, the discovery shows that ancient hunter-gatherers were making and eating bread 4,000 years before the Neolithic era and the introduction of agriculture.

History and Archaeology

Why Race Is Not a Thing, According to Genetics “Scientists are unlocking the secrets to how we’re all related—to each other and to the species that came before us.”

When you analyze the amount of DNA of the three species that we know interbred (Denisovans, Neanderthals, and Homo sapiens), they don’t quite add up, which makes us confident that we also carry the DNA of another human species for which we have no bones and no DNA. The shadow of another human species—its trace—is inside us all right now.

The Iceman’s Last Meal Consisted of Fat, Wild Meat, and Cereals

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

Allan Monga’s story is so quintessentially American, it’s little wonder it went viral earlier this year. 

Science and Nature

In a cosmic first, scientists detect ‘ghost particles’ from a distant galaxy

79 Moons of Jupiter and Counting “The latest survey of the region around the gas giant turned up a dozen new moons, including an oddball that was going in the wrong direction.”

Society

In about 20 years, half the population will live in eight states

Abuse, neglect and a system that failed: The tragic lives of the Hart children “Programs designed to protect children ushered six siblings to their deaths — and no one has been held accountable since their adoptive mother drove them off a cliff”

“Her reactions were overblown, and the punishments seemed unnecessarily cruel.”

Visualizing the spread of true and false news on social media

Technology

“I Was Devastated”: Tim Berners-Lee, The Man Who Created The World Wide Web, Has Some Regrets “Berners-Lee has seen his creation debased by everything from fake news to mass surveillance. But he’s got a plan to fix it.”

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

‘Did Donald 💩🔥💰 just WALK IN FRONT OF THE QUEEN?’ 💩🔥💰 is an uncouth lout, a poltroon, and a despot.

When it comes to lying, 💩🔥💰 is nonstop #45 is #liarliarpantsonfire

“I didn’t criticize the prime minister,” Trump said, shortly after criticizing the prime minister. He blasted Theresa May’s handling of Brexit and declared that her fiercest political rival, Boris Johnson, “would be a great prime minister.” Hours later, Trump dismissed the reprinting of his own words as “fake news,” even though the Rupert Murdoch-run Sun tabloid had his attacks on tape.

Trump and Putin: what we know is damning “In Helsinki, Trump’s true message to Putin is: “Thank you.” And we have no idea what to do about it.”

And see Ezra Klein’s point-by-point on Twitter

The Russia Investigations: How Many More Maria Butinas Are There?

Elsewhere for July 14, 2018

You should read this for 4/8/2018:

Read this piece by dhonig, a law school prof who teaches negotiating. It’s smart, and I think it’s important. Distributive Negotiating in an Integrated World.

Art and Film

The British Library’s Winchester Psalter, an illuminated bilingual psalter with the text of the psalms in Latin on the left, and French on the right. The entire Winchester Psalter Cotton MS Nero C IV is available in an online digital facsimile.

Books, Writing, and Language

Homer Odyssey: Oldest extract discovered on clay tablet

Education

Teaching for Black Livesa handbook to help all educators fight racism. See also the resources www.teachingforblacklives.org.

Food and Drink

Cranberry-Almond Shortbread Bars And a chocolate-chop variation

Politics Planted The Seed For A Business In Herbs And Teas

Tim Atkin MW: Sorry Mr Parker, but the world has moved on

The Proof Is in Their Palates

At women-only wine tastings, these beverage industry professionals can show off and hone their strongest sense, without being undermined by male colleagues.

History and Archaeology

Keep on moving: the bizarre dance epidemic of summer 1518

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

Racist Harasses Kid for Selling Candy Without a Business Permit, Good Samaritan Buys All The Candy

Science and Nature

Wolves leaving radioactive area around Chernobyl raise mutant fears

Opportunity remains silent as Martian dust storm continues “NASA’s Opportunity Mars rover remains silent nearly a month after a dust storm cut off contact with the spacecraft. ”

This Snail Goes Through Metamorphosis. Then It Never Has to Eat Again.

Society

Open office plans actually reduce face-to-face interaction

Is the USA the best place to work in the world? OECD study says …

• The United States ranks 3rd worst when it comes to the share of households earning less than half the median income in 2016.
* The U.S. ranks second from bottom (only next to Israel) when it comes to income inequality. In other words, it’s nearly the worst in the world.
* The United States spends less on help for active measures that help the unemployed and workers considered at-risk than almost every other country.

Women’s Work

Madonna or whore; frigid or a slut: why women are still bearing the brunt of sexual slurs
Australia’s Senator for New South Wales David Leyonhjelm essentially slut-shamed Senator Sarah Hanson-Young. Australia’s Parliament should care about its reputation even if Senator for New South Wales Leyonhjelm doesn’t value his

I know what Stormy Daniels is going through. I went through it, too

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

Trump’s Oil Tweet Was a Show of Farce {His own policies have helped lift prices, and blustering won’t solve it.”

A journalist’s conscience leads her to reveal her source to the FBI. Here’s why.

She is disgusted by the way House Republicansare, in her view, weaponizing their oversight responsibilities and making it all too likely that FBI informants will have their names revealed — and their safety threatened.

Justice Department Charges Russian Cyberspies With Attack On 2016 Election “The Justice Department has charged 12 Russian intelligence officers for their role in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s emails and state election systems during the 2016 election.”

The U.S. intelligence community has concluded, with further verification by the Senate intelligence committee, that Russia’s active measures were aimed at hurting Clinton and helping Trump.

The indicted Russians discussed how and when to release material they’d accumulated in order to make the biggest political splash inside the United States, Rosenstein said.

Useful timeline of the Russian hacks from Marcy Wheeler

Elsewhere for July 7, 2018

You should read this for 7/7/2018:

Art and Film

Via Allison Meier of hyperallergic: How Medieval Artists Used Monsters as Propaganda “In Medieval Monsters: Terrors, Aliens, Wonders, the Morgan Library & Museum in New York is exhibiting 70 examples of the monstrous in the Middle Ages.” The Morgan Library’s exhibit Medieval Monsters: Terrors, Alines, Wonders runs at the Morgan through September 23, 2018. There’s an online version of the exhibit.

Harlan Ellison was TV’s rejected son—and its harshest, most hopeful critic

July from the Morgan Library’s Da Costa Hours It’s mowing time!

Books, Writing, and Language

From Chuq Von Rospach: Harlan This is one of the best pieces I’ve read about Mr. Ellison.

Education

Wando High School summer reading list causing controversy See also South Carolina Police Challenge Summer Reading Titles

The books, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, were on a list of four titles for students taking an English 1 College Prep course. Both books mentioned have received numerous awards and accolades, including the Coretta Scott King Honor.

Neil Gaiman’s comment strikes me as perfect: I don’t actually believe that book-judging is a legitimate part of the business of policing.

Via Eric Hayot  In The Chronicle of Higher Education: The Humanities as We Know Them Are Doomed. Now What?

Food and Drink

What did ancient Babylonians eat? A Yale-Harvard team tested their recipes This is interesting from all sorts of angles; historical, cuisine, and, for my part, most especially for the inter-disciplinary cooperative aspects of the research.

Baijiu, the World’s Most Popular Spirit You May Never Have Heard Of I confess it doesn’t sound terribly appetizing, but I’d still like to try it.

How Different Cooking Methods Change the Taste of Food “Braising, simmering, roasting, grilling. Learn how four different heat sources and techniques turn the same ingredient into a variety of different dishes.”

History and Archaeology

Why take our college basketball team to Auschwitz?

Horses Have Had Dental Appointments in Mongolia for Over 3,000 Years For those with an equestrian bent, I found it particularly interesting that many of the horses had had their “wolf” teeth removed; this makes a bit more comfortable (and I suspect, more effective).

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

Last night I went to the cinema. Oceans 8 was & I now have a bit of a crush on Cate Blanchette. “I was making my way to the carpark when I noticed a commotion in front of Nando’s. Several people were gathered round something on the floor.”

Science and Nature

Via Science Direct: Knowing less but presuming more: Dunning-Kruger effects and the endorsement of anti-vaccine policy attitudes

Via The Seattle Times: Scientists hunt for parts of a massive meteor that splashed down off Washington State’s coast:

Scientists confirmed that the celestial fireworks visible on the coast from British Columbia to northern Oregon [on March 7, 2018] were caused by a meteor slamming into the Earth’s atmosphere. Now, researchers think they may be able to retrieve some of the shattered bits from the seafloor off the Washington coast.

Via @Foone on Twitter: Saccades “You want to know something about how bullshit insane our brains are? OK, so there’s a physical problem with our eyes: We move them in short fast bursts called “saccades”, right? very quick, synchronized movements. The only problem is: they go all blurry and useless during this”

Via WIRED: We Have No Idea How Bad the US Tick Problem Is Ticks are pernicious and carry bateria herds—and not just Lyme.

Society

Fintan O’Toole via The Irish Times: Trial runs for fascism are in full flow This is very much worth reading. One of the core points is that #45 is not a uniquely American problem.

One of the basic tools of fascism is the rigging of elections – we’ve seen that trialled in the election of Trump, in the Brexit referendum and (less successfully) in the French presidential elections. Another is the generation of tribal identities, the division of society into mutually exclusive polarities. Fascism does not need a majority – it typically comes to power with about 40 per cent support and then uses control and intimidation to consolidate that power. So it doesn’t matter if most people hate you, as long as your 40 per cent is fanatically committed.

Technology

Tech’s ‘Dirty Secret’: The App Developers Sifting Through Your Gmail “Software developers scan hundreds of millions of emails of users who sign up for email-based services.’

Facebook and Apple Disagree on How to Curb Fake News for U.S. Midterms People with expertise and critical judgement, with specific criteria regarding quality of content (not POV) are infinitely better than any pattern-matching algorithm.

Women’s Work

HPV test is better than Pap smear at detecting precancerous cervical changes, study says

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

Notes on 42 rosaries confiscated from immigrants at the Mexico/Arizona border.

Via MSNBC Debt soars under Trump tax cuts “The national debt is set to skyrocket, according to a new report from the Congressional Budget Office.”

Elsewhere for June 30, 2018

You should read this for 6/30/2018:

Art, Film, and Music

Pete Seeger was blacklisted and “on the run” when he came to Bowdoin College in 1960. His concert there will never be forgotten “In 2012, Smithsonian Folkways released The Complete Bowdoin College Concert, 1960 — Seeger’s oldest complete concert recording and the only one from his “community concerts” phase. The album is already a classic of the American folk canon, its sharpness almost shocking, its intimacy deeply moving.”

And Now, Here’s Mark Hamill With a Truly Grim Realization About Luke’s Arc in The Last Jedi

Audio from the Getty: Lives of the Artists—Giorgio Vasari on Bellini, Raphael, and Michelangelo “Getty senior curator Davide Gasparotto explores three of Giorgio Vasari’s Lives”

Books, Writing, and Language

Nyle DiMarco and Chella Man Give Us a Queer Sign Language Lesson

Laura Ingalls Wilder’s name stripped from children’s book award over ‘Little House’ depictions of Native Americans

Morality clauses: are publishers right to police writers? This is tricky; morality clauses have historically been used to fire people, including writers and teachers, for the crime of not being straight, or not being considered Christian or for various other aspects of personal life. A morality clause, particularly a vaguely worded one, is a potential red-flag in any contract, including publishing.

Food and Drink

A History of Pizza

History and Archaeology

Chocolate was used as money in the ancient Maya civilization “In a paper published in Economic Anthropology by Joanne Baron of the Bard Early College Network, the argument is made that depictions of cacao beans in Mayan artwork gradually shift from treating it as food with some value in bartering to treating it as money used both to shop and pay taxes.”

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

Via Cindy Otis: Today seems like the right time to do a thread I’ve been thinking about for a while on how to handle the seemingly never-ending deluge of depressing and disturbing news. My tips are based on my time as a CIA military analyst in which I dealt daily with disturbing content.

Science and Nature

California marijuana farms are putting local animals on the endangered species list “The Humboldt marten is a distant cousin of the common weasel, and by all accounts (i.e. a non-scientific study in the Big Think office wherein I invited people to look at the above video) is “totally adorable”. The thing is: they’re dying in large numbers thanks to marijuana farmers in the Humboldt area. ”

The Hubble: Still Making Great Photos and New Discoveries at 28A Long Exposure Hubble Image Of A Galaxy Cluster Also Turned Up 22 Asteroids “Recently, while conducting a study of Abell 370, a galaxy cluster located approximately four billion light-years away in the constellation Cetus (the Sea Monster), Hubble managed to spot something in foreground. While observing this collection of several hundred galaxiess, the image was photobombed by 22 asteroids whose tails created streaks that looked like background astronomical phenomena.”

Click through to the images; they’re really amazing.

Speeding Interstellar Object ‘Oumuamua Is A Comet, Not An Asteroid

Ever since Rob Weryk first spotted ‘Oumuamua zipping through the solar system in October 2017, the peculiar object has been the target of intense scrutiny for astronomers from around the globe. After confirming the suspected asteroid reached a maximum speed of nearly 200,000 miles per hour during its closest approach to the Sun (and is shaped like a cigar), researchers quickly shifted their focus to determining the composition and origin of this mysterious object.

Society

A Walgreens Pharmacist Denied A Woman’s Prescription For Medication To End Her Pregnancy And It’s Legal The pharmacist said it went against his personal beliefs and refused to fill the prescription.”

A Physician in South Texas on an Unnerving Encounter with an Eight-Year-Old Boy in Immigration Detention ““I asked the clinician, ‘When is this child going to be reunited with his parents?’ He was evasive. First it was ‘Oh, well, we don’t know.’ And then it was ‘Well, he won’t be reunited with his parents unless he behaves.’ The lack of compassion was scary, and it didn’t seem like there was really a plan.”

Is the Border in Crisis? ‘We’re Doing Fine, Quite Frankly,’ a Border City Mayor Says ““There’s no gunfire. Most of the people migrating are from Central America. It’s not like they’re coming over here to try to take anybody’s job. They’re trying to just save their own lives. We’re doing fine, quite frankly.”

“Federal data show that the immigration crisis Mr. Trump has cited the past week to justify the separation of families is actually no crisis at all.”

I’m Starting to Have Serious Doubts About Amazon Prime

Why Are Jews So Pro-Choice?
Read more: https://forward.com/opinion/393168/why-are-jews-so-pro-choice/

Technology

You don’t need a Mac laptop I’m personally torn about this one. I have a second-generation beaten, battered and much-used Samsung Chromebook. I really like it. It’s the perfect thing to take to the library, for instance. I does what I need for basic writing, email, and web-research. But I still plan on getting a 13” Mac laptop when I can. I began using Macs in 1988. I just plain like them. I like the accessibility, I like the screens, and I like the ease of using things like SFTP clients. (But they’d be better if they still had HyperCard.)

Women’s Work

Recognizing Dr. Rosalind Franklin “Recognizing Dr. Rosalind Franklin- She was the first to elucidate the structure of DNA. Her data provided the information needed for those that won the Nobel Prize. She was barely recognized.”

-Pregnancy discrimination rampant inside of many of America’s biggest companies “Men’s earnings increase by 6% when they become fathers. A woman’s hourly wages decrease by 4% with each child.”

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

President Trump Hired Undocumented Immigrants For $4 An Hour For Demolition Project: Court Docs “President Donald Trump hired hundreds of undocumented Polish immigrants to demolish a New York City building in 1980 and paid them as little as $4 an hour without providing proper safety equipment to do the job, court documents show.”

Please Read This Through. He’s Right.

I am deeply concerned that the Kennedy retirement will put the rule of law and our democratic institutions at graver risk than ever before. The President of the United States is the subject of a serious federal criminal investigation into (1) whether he conspired with a foreign adversary to help him win a narrow electoral college victory; and (2) whether he has obstructed that very investigation by, among things, firing the FBI director in charge of the investigation. The President will now be able to choose the person who, in a very real sense, may be the ultimate arbiter of whether or not he and others are ever held accountable.