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 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.

 

Elsewhere for June 23, 2018

You should read this for 6/23/2018:

Art and Film

Star Trek: TNG to Possibly Return as Alex Kurtzman Oversees Expansion of Star Trek On TV

Books, Writing, and Language

These Portuguese Libraries Are Infested With Bats—and They Like It That Way

LGBTQ identity is shaped by language. So what words will describe “queer” in the future?

It Can Happen Here

Education

Bullies have no place in academia – even if they’re star scientists

Several well-known private schools in the D.C. area are scrapping Advanced Placement classes

Food and Drink

Via King Arthur Flour: Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

History and Archaeology

Monticello Is Done Avoiding Jefferson’s Relationship With Sally Hemings “A new exhibit grapples with the reality of slavery and deals a final blow to two centuries of ignoring or covering up what amounted to an open secret.”

Did John Adams Out Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings?

Bones of Civil War dead found on a battlefield tell their horror stories

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

Trump asked NFL players for pardon suggestions. On Thursday, they responded.

Where are the migrant
child facilities? Scattered across America “Help us map where children are being sent around the U.S. The Post is continuing to report on where migrant children were sent after they were separated from their parents. Do you know of a facility where these children may be? Crowd-sourcing for humanitarian purposes

Science and Nature

Thirteen bald eagles were found dead in a field. This is what killed them.

Society

DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen Heckled Out of a Mexican Restaurant by Protesters

Hundreds of the Attorney General’ Jeff Session’s fellow church-members signed a letter claiming his “zero-tolerance” immigration policy had harmed “thousands of vulnerable humans.” In June 2018, members of the United Methodist Church brought church charges, including child abuse, against Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Koko The Gorilla Dies; Redrew The Lines Of Animal-Human Communication

Technology

Russian Trolls Weigh In on Roseanne Barr and Donald Trump Jr. “Newly identified Twitter accounts were until recently still tweeting out politically divisive messages as midterm elections approach”

In Major Privacy Win, Supreme Court Rules Police Need Warrant To Track Your Cellphone

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

President Trump seems to be saying more and more things that aren’t true

President Trump — a man already known for trafficking in mistruths and even outright lies — has been outdoing even himself with falsehoods in recent days, repeating and amplifying bogus claims on several of the most pressing controversies facing his presidency.

National Enquirer sent stories about Trump to his attorney Michael Cohen before publication, people familiar with the practice say

Elsewhere for June 16, 2018

You should read this for 6/16/2018:

Art and Film

The Book of Kells — in pictures Captions by Bernard Meehan, former TCD Keeper of Manuscripts. Read more about the Book of Kells.

Books, Writing, and Language

Neil Gaiman’s 8 Rules of Writing Pay particular attention to Rule #8.

A Passport to Washington Libraries: How many libraries can you visit?

Left to Their Own (Literary) Devices Just some of the reasons not to leave children unattended at the library. Also: Librarians are not child-care workers. They’re busy.

Food and Drink

Anthony Bourdain: Serving Up Inclusion

Another reason Anthony Bourdain mattered to so very many people. And here’s another reason why Bourdain meant so much to so many.

The Best of Anthony Bourdain “What to read, what to watch and what to listen to by and about the chef, TV host and author who died on Friday.”

How to Construct the Ultimate Burger

Sam Adams Summer Ale may be my perfect mass-produced Summer beer. It’s an American Pale Wheat Ale style beer with a touch of citrus, only available from April through August.

History and Archaeology

DNA study reveals fate of Irish women taken by Vikings as slaves to Iceland “Ancient Iceland settlers had even split of Norse and Gaelic ancestry”

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

This Woman Had The Perfect Response When ICE Boarded Her Greyhound Bus Speak truth to power. Represent.

Use your voice. Take a risk. Act an ASS. Because if you let them intimidate the poor Spanish speaking woman next to you, who do you think they’re coming for next?

Science and Nature

Ancient Teeth Unlock Plague Secrets “The findings suggest the pathogen’s ancestor is almost 1,000 years older than previously thought.”

Cleanse and Refresh “The New York Times’ coverage of buzzy wellness concepts like “detox” is a case study in pseudoscience creep.”

Society

Madness “In Florida prisons, mentally ill inmates have been tortured, driven to suicide, and killed by guards.”

Technology

How eBooks lost their shine: ‘Kindles now look clunky and unhip’

 figures published today by the Publishing Association show that sales of consumer ebooks have dropped by 17%, while sales of physical books are up 8%. Consumer spending on books was up £89m across the board last year, compared with 2015. So why is the physical book winning through?

But wait:

The figures from the Publishing Association should be treated with some caution. They exclude self-published books, a sizable market for ebooks. And, according to Dan Franklin, a digital publishing specialist, more than 50% of genre sales are on ebook. Digital book sales overall are up 6%.

Washington State Is Now the Only Place in America with Net Neutrality “The state law only went into effect once the federal rules were officially repealed on Monday.”

The Washington law prohibits telecom providers from blocking content or devices, throttling traffic, or participating in paid prioritization.

Women’s Work

Was on a train from Cambridge earlier. Two young girls with beautiful face paint walked into my carriage and sat down about half an hour into the journey. A couple of mins later this man walked in and sat next to them even though the carriage was empty with plenty of empty seats

In Conversation With Mary Beard The Cambridge classicist on misogyny, power, and the future of women in the public sphere.

You unpeel the cultural layers and investigate the history and you will find that the ancients were having some familiar debates. Like Perseus and Medusa: decapitating women, silencing women, cutting women’s tongues out. There are things that are so resonant with now. If you look at what Twitter trolls tend to say when they want to target a woman, they go back to those tropes about cutting tongues out, cutting your head off and raping it. And I’m pretty certain that many of them have not read Ovid.

Melania’s Recent Behavior Is Right Out of Hitchcock: The lady vanishes.

The point is not that we should invade the First Lady’s privacy (which could have been protected with any simple, coherent explanation of her malady, eliding intimate details). The point is that Melania Trump is such a convenient blank space around which this administration practices weaving its inconsistent lies. She’ll be gone for a week; no, a month. She’s at the window; no, she’s not.

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

This Incredible Photo Of Trump Surrounded By G7 Leaders Is Like A Renaissance Painting The photo was taken by Jesco Denzel, a German government photographer. Tesco has a Website here: http://www.jescodenzel.com/. https://twitter.com/BWJones/status/1005637999038611457

Meet the guys who tape Trump’s papers back together Trump has a habit of ripping up all of his paper — his own “filing system” of sorts. Officials working in records management spend their days taping them back together to avoid violating Presidential Records Act

Report Condemns FBI Violations In 2016 Clinton Probe But Finds No Political Bias

Democrats, meanwhile, said the findings of the report made it clear that the FBI had effectively helped elect Trump — by damaging Clinton.
For example, the minority leaders of the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees cited Comey’s choice to reveal the FBI’s investigation into Clinton but not its counterintelligence investigation into Trump aides’ ties to Russians.
“As we warned before the election, Director Comey had a double-standard: he spoke publicly about the Clinton investigation while keeping secret from the American people the investigation of Donald Trump and Russia,” said Judiciary Committee ranking member Jerry Nadler of New York and Oversight Committee ranking member Elijah Cummings of Maryland.
The Democrats also said they are angry that Comey talked so much, so often, about a case that he ultimately had concluded should not result in any prosecution.

Here’s Comey’s response to the Horowitz report. And finally, the most astute comment by someone who’s read the Horowitz report: Rachel Maddow:

The inspector general finds that James Comey just didn’t care if he might be seen as acting in a way that might hurt Hillary Clinton’s campaign,” she said. “But he really, really, really cared and he took great extraordinary action to avoid appearing like he might be helping Hillary Clinton in any way. that’s how he weighed those two consequences.

And as Maddow notes:

You wonder why the president and Republicans today are attacking the FBI and attacking the justice department all the time?” she asked. “This is why. I mean, if you can just hit them hard enough, if you can just use conservative media to attack them hard and consistently enough, then you can make the justice department and the FBI worry about the perception that they might be perceived as soft on Democrats. It might overcompensate, right? once they’re worried about that perception you’re halfway there to make them bend over backwards for you and in this case break policy for you to make sure they definitely don’t help the Democrats and they thereby help the Republicans instead.

Elsewhere for June 9, 2018

You should read this for 4/8/2018:

Books, Writing, and Language

The borrowers: why Finland’s cities are havens for library lovers “Helsinki’s state-of-the-art Oodi library will stand opposite parliament and boast a cinema, recording studio and makerspace. It’s a perfect fit for a literate nation taking public learning to the next level.”

at a time when libraries worldwide are facing budget cuts, a decline in users and closure, Finland is bucking the trend. According to local authority figures from 2016, the UK spends just £14.40 per head on libraries. By contrast, Finland spends £50.50 per inhabitant. While more than 478 libraries have closed in cities and towns across England, Wales and Scotland since 2010, Helsinki is spending €98m creating an enormous new one.

Education

Federal School Safety Commission Holds First Public Session. DeVos Wasn’t There “The Trump administration’s school safety commission held its first public listening session Wednesday, a day after the panel’s chair, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, told lawmakers on Capitol Hill that the commission wouldn’t focus on guns.”

Food and Drink

I’m so sorry for the loss of Anthony Bourdain, who has grieving friends and families. Bourdain was a wonderful writer, a genuine humanist, and a huge loss. He came to the attention of world as a writer in 1999 when The New Yorker published Bourdain’s essay Don’t Eat Before Reading This. That essay lead to Bourdain’s first non-fiction book Kitchen Confidential. He was a killer writer, and a genuine mensch, not least for his support of #metoo, which was genuine and real.

From In-N-Out to Chateau Marmont, Anthony Bourdain understood what makes L.A. great

History and Archaeology

Arctic tomb preserves oldest known Inuit dress

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

Suicide is increasingly on our minds. Please let someone know if you’re struggling. You are not alone, and you absolutely do matter. There’s help available, and people who care about you. How to get help: In the US, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The International Association for Suicide Prevention and Befrienders Worldwide also can provide contact information for crisis centers around the world.

Science and Nature

The Lifespan of a Lie “The most famous psychology study of all time was a sham. Why can’t we escape the Stanford Prison Experiment?”

Society

THREE KIDS HANNA, BEAUX AND HARRY: A LOVE STORY

Technology

Apple’s WWDC

Women’s Work

The Quiet Rage Of Senator Mazie Hirono

In the Senate, Hirono is known as a “work horse, not a show horse,” as one of her colleagues put it. But she is the only senator who asks every nominee for any position if they have ever been accused of sexual misconduct, and if they have ever signed a nondisclosure agreement. She wants these answers on the record in case future information shows a nominee lied.
She is the Senate’s only immigrant and its first female Asian American, and she had kept a pretty low profile.

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

This Ohio factory thought it could bring U.S. jobs back from China. Then 💩🔥💰 got involved

An emoluments hearing: Can Trump flout the Constitution?

Every president until this one has voluntarily complied, jettisoning foreign businesses and assets and/or asking permission to receive foreign gifts. Not President Trump. He and his relatives who work in the executive branch retained businesses that operate overseas; they frequently receive all sorts of monetary benefits from foreign governments. Ivanka Trump just got a batch of trademarks from China. Trump hotels are filled with foreign dignitaries, paying handsomely so the president can see that they are filling his coffers.

Elsewhere for June 2, 2018

You should read this for 5/2/2018:

Art and Film

Laurie Anderson’s Favorite Things “The artist shares a few of her and her late husband Lou Reed’s favorite things”

June from the Da Costa Hours

Books, Writing, and Language

A Scrappy Makeover for a Tweedy Literary Fixture “He doesn’t go to book parties. He doesn’t do lunch. He maintains, he says, no literary friendships.”

The crucial thing that he does do, is love to read: he gives people favorite books. That, I think, says a lot. Add to that that he wants to not only increase the reader numbers for TLS, he wants to widen the readership in terms of kinds of people and what they read.

Education

Via Forbes: It’s Not Liberal Arts And Literature Majors Who Are Most Underemployed

In other words, for every cliché of a barista or bartender with a liberal arts degree, there were ten with a degree in business.

Food and Drink

Via Gil Marks on Tori Avey.com: Sour Cream Coffeecake Perfectly moist streusel-filled bundt cake drizzled with icing. Serve with coffee or tea for a sweet afternoon indulgence!”

History and Archaeology

Who killed Bobby Kennedy? His son RFK Jr. doesn’t believe it was Sirhan Sirhan. “Kennedy was shot at point-blank range from behind, including a fatal shot behind his ear. But Sirhan, a 24-year-old Palestinian immigrant, was standing in front of him.”

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

NHMoves encourages Granite Staters to exercise with free passes to state parks “NHMoves, a project of The Governor’s Council on Physical Activity and Health, is challenging New Hampshire residents to exercise for 20 minutes or more every day in the months of June, July and August.
The council has partnered with the N.H. Parks and Recreation Division to provide residents with a pass for free admission to [some state] parks” listed at the link.

Society

Bullshit Jobs: A Theory by David Graeber review – the myth of capitalist efficiency Grabber has written a new book, based on an essay he wrote in 2013 about “bullshit jobs,” jobs that are meaningless, don’t actually solve a problem or make the world better, but that produce income. Here’s an interview of Graber’s about his new book and bullshit jobs, from Vox.

As Graber says about bullshit jobs:

if they went away tomorrow, it would make no difference at all.
And that’s how you know a job is bullshit: If we suddenly eliminated teachers or garbage collectors or construction workers or law enforcement or whatever, it would really matter. We’d notice the absence. But if bullshit jobs go away, we’re no worse off.

Say Goodbye To The Information Age: It’s All About Reputation Now

We are experiencing a fundamental paradigm shift in our relationship to knowledge. From the “information age,” we are moving towards the “reputation age,” in which information will have value only if it is already filtered, evaluated, and commented upon by others. Seen in this light, reputation has become a central pillar of collective intelligence today.

Technology

Secret Commands Let Google Access All Your Android Text Messages

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

Trump falsely accuses the New York Times of making up a source. It was an official who briefed reporters.

Here’s How the FBI Investigation Into Russia and Trump Campaign Actually Started

Elsewhere for May 26, 2018

You should read this for 5/26/2018:

Books, Writing, and Language

Earliest Version of Our Alphabet Possibly Discovered “The earliest example of our alphabet — a possible mnemonic phrase that helped someone remember “ABCD” — has been discovered on a 3,400-year-old inscribed piece of limestone from ancient Egypt, a scholar believes.”

Food and Drink

The 18th-century chocolate champions “Chocolate was introduced to England around 1600, first and foremost as a drink, and remained popular in that form for over 200 years.”

History and Archaeology

Early evidence of use of a bit on domestic donkeys found in the Near East “Ancient donkey remains from the Early Bronze Age (EB) show tooth wear linked to bit-wearing” See also: Archaeologists uncover earliest evidence for equid bit wear in the ancient Near East This is a link to a .pdf of the original journal article by the researchers.

A robot submarine found the ‘Holy Grail of shipwrecks.’ It’s worth billions. “On June 8, 1708, during the War of the Spanish Succession, the San José’s gunpowder ignited during a battle with British ships, sending 600 sailors to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean — along with gold, silver and emeralds from mines in Peru, a total haul valued at some $17 billion in today’s dollars.”

London dig unearths Roman bones, jewels and single flake of gold—Museum to show rare artifacts alongside ethnically diverse human remains

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

Stop Throwing Cellphone Batteries in the Trash, You’re Firebombing Garbage Trucks

Science and Nature

Here’s why there are so many coyotes and why they are spreading so fast “Coyotes have been around forever. Today’s species originated from ancestors that lived alongside saber-tooth tigers, mastodons and dire wolves.”

Society

Spurned advances provoked Texas school shooting, victim’s mother says

See also:

Incel, the misogynist ideology that inspired the deadly Toronto attack, explained

Technology

Here’s Amazon’s explanation for the Alexa eavesdropping scandal “

I mean, that all does sound pretty unlikely. But the fact that Alexa can interpret background conversation as a confirmation is a big problem.” I would not give Amazon or its devices access to my contacts list.

Women’s Work

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

💩🔥💰’s Unsecured iPhones Make Clinton’s Basement Server Look Like Fort Knox

This revealing anecdote unmasks 💩🔥💰’s dehumanization game