Elsewhere for September 14, 2019

You should read this for 9/14/2019:

Art Music and Film

According to the RIAA: Vinyl set to outsell CDs for first time since 1986

. . . despite vinyl’s growing popularity in relation to CD sales, it still accounts for a relatively small percentage of overall music purchasing.
The RIAA report says that in the first half of 2019, vinyl record sales accounted for only 4% of overall revenues. Paid subscriptions to streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, meanwhile, accounted for 62%.

The Greatest Cut in Film History: Watch the “Match Cut” Immortalized by Lawrence of Arabia


Tennessee Lawmaker Calls For Removal Of Higher Education æ A Republican Tennessee lawmaker says he supports getting rid of higher education because he argues it would cut off the “liberal breeding ground.”

Food and Drink

A Mussels Recipe that Pairs Perfectly with Wine The recipe calls for garlic, ginger, turmeric and and cumin, among other ingredients.

Sausage, Peppers, and Onions “Once cooked, the sausage, peppers, and onions will easily keep for 3 to 4 days in the fridge, but you can also freeze it for up to 3 months.”

Fettuccine Alfredo

Why Wasabi Heat Feels Different From Chili Pepper Heat

History and Archaeology

Norway’s Melting Glaciers Release Over 2,000 Artifacts

Archaeologists from the United Kingdom and Norway have surveyed the edges of glaciers in Norway’s highest mountains in Oppland since 2011 as part of the Glacier Archaeology Program and its Secrets of the Ice Project. They’ve uncovered thousands of objects that date as far back as 4,000 B.C., including wooden skis, near complete bronze-age arrows and wooden shafts, Viking swords, clothing and the skulls of pack horses.

Earliest direct evidence of milk consumption “The team identified milk protein entombed in calcified dental plaque (calculus) on the teeth of prehistoric farmers from Britain.”

How Black Americans Were Robbed of Their Land

Over the course of the 20th century, black Americans have lost approximately 12 million acres of land. This mass land dispossession—a war waged by deed of title, which has affected 98 percent of black farmers—can only be called theft, says Atlantic writer Vann R. Newkirk II in a new documentary.


Via The Loop: We recreated every Apple wallpaper

My friends and I visited and recreated every default Apple wallpaper on a one week road trip. Starting with MacOS Mojave in Death Valley National Park, we traveled to each of Apple’s California Locations to try and make an identical photo to their wallpapers that come installed with every new Mac computer.

AppleCare+ offers indefinite Monthly charge for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch

Women’s Work

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

Can Elizabeth Warren turn a supposed weakness into a strength?

If a racist slur, based on a non-proven allegation, made by a well-known and corrupt liar, and directed at an accomplished woman, can determine the outcome of a presidential election, then US voters deserve four more years of the 💩🔥💰 circus.


Even if you’re an outright bigot (and if you voted for him, you are) you ought to be outraged by Trump at this point. He’s politicized the goddamn weather.

See: Trump demanded retraction after NWS disputed his false hurricane claim

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

Elsewhere For September 6, 2019

You should read this for 9/7/2019:

Art and Film

Crazy Rich Asians co-writer quits after being offered eighth of writer’s salary “Adele Lim exited after learning Peter Chiarelli stood to earn $800,000 to $1m while she would make ‘$110,000-plus’” .bq

Books, Writing, and Language

Audiobooks or Reading? To Our Brains, It Doesn’t Matter

In a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers from the Gallant Lab at UC Berkeley scanned the brains of nine participants while they read and listened to a series of tales from “The Moth Radio Hour.” After analyzing how each word was processed in the the brain’s cortex, they created maps of the participants’ brains, noting the different areas helped interpret the meaning of each word.

Could language be the key to detecting fake news? Part of me wants to roll my eyes; this is something I learned to do in my twenties. Back in the dark ages, we called it close reading and rhetorical analysis. I spent much of life teaching undergraduates and others how to do this.

Food and Drink

Via Brown-Eyed Baker: Thick And Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies “These large, bakery-style thick and chewy chocolate chip cookies stay soft for days and are a huge family favorite. Made with melted butter, a high brown sugar to white sugar ratio, and an extra egg yolk to ensure super soft cookies, they require NO chilling time and are the perfect after-school snack.”

Via Tim O’Reilly and Eater: Everything You Need to Know About Hotdish “All about the nostalgic Upper Midwest staple”

H/T Heather G: Lemon Blueberry Cake

The Perfect Time to Get Into Bread Making is Right Now

Enter my favorite bread recipe, which is an adaptation of Alexandra Stafford’s mom’s truly excellent Peasant Bread recipe. I will never shut up about it. This isn’t just no-knead bread—it’s same-day no-knead bread. In a roughly 72ºF kitchen, the dough rises in less than two hours; once that’s done, you scrape it into a buttered pan and let it rise again while your oven preheats. It bakes for 30-40 minutes, after which you’ll have soft, springy bread with a buttery crust—perfect for sandwiches, croutons, dipping in stews, or the last few tomato mayo toasts of the season.

History and Archaeology

Dead Sea scrolls study raises new questions over texts’ origins “Salts used on Temple scroll are not common to Dead Sea region, researchers find”

Science and Nature

Malaria breakthrough as scientists find ‘highly effective’ way to kill parasite

One of Nature’s Greatest Spectacles Is Coming Undone “Corals release their eggs and sperms with perfect synchronization. But a new study suggests their incredible timing is starting to slip.”


Two links about the iOS Website based attack discovered by Google, and patched almost immediately by Apple in February of 2019. First H/T Benedict Evans: Sources say China used iPhone hacks to target Uyghur Muslims

A number of malicious websites used to hack into iPhones over a two-year period were targeting Uyghur Muslims, TechCrunch has learned.
Sources familiar with the matter said the websites were part of a state-backed attack — likely China — designed to target the Uyghur community in the country’s Xinjiang state.

See also The Guardian: : Uighurs in China were target of two-year iOS malware attack – reports And Volexity (H/T @reneritchie) points out that Google isn’t really reporting as fully as they should; Digital Crackdown: Large Scale Surveillance and Exploitation of Uyghurs And Apple has responded:

Google’s post, issued six months after iOS patches were released, creates the false impression of “mass exploitation” to “monitor the private activities of entire populations in real time,” stoking fear among all iPhone users that their devices had been compromised. This was never the case.

Tim O’Reilly: Antitrust regulators are using the wrong tools to break up Big Tech

Amazon also competes with its merchants for visibility on its platform, and charges them additional fees for favored placement. And because Amazon is now leading with featured products rather than those its customers think are the best, its merchants are incentivized to advertise on the platform. Amazon’s fast-growing advertising business is thus a kind of tax on its merchants.

These giants don’t just compete on the basis of product quality and price—they control the market through the algorithms and design features that decide which products users will see and be able to choose from. And these choices are not always in consumers’ best interests.

SpaceX Refused To Move A Starlink Satellite At Risk Of Collision With A European Satellite

When I Took My Zipcar Into the Wilderness “In an area without cellphone reception, I was unable to open the car.”

Craig Hockenberry: iCloud Clusterfuck

But there are many folks that are just looking to get the new and shiny features. In past iOS beta releases, Apple hasn’t suffered too much from this because the early software was relatively stable. Maybe you got some dropped calls or bad battery life, but it was nothing too serious.
These early adopters installed iOS 13 and expected a similar experience. They also weren’t using an iCloud test account, so any instability in the beta release propagated bad data to their other devices.
Developers have long known to unhook external drives when testing a new OS release. Shit happens, and that’s OK because it’s a beta and we expect a bumpy road.

Brent Simmons: On My Funny Ideas About What Beta Means

Kirk McElhearn: How to Manage Audiobooks in a Post-iTunes World

Thirty Years of Fetch

Women’s Work

Life began for me as a queer teenager amid the happy excesses of Great Yarmouth “This was where I came to understand the power and burden of my sexuality – and I revisited the place in all three of my books”

H/T Lisa C: A Century of “Shrill”: How Bias in Technology Has Hurt Women’s Voices

With the large number of women running for President this year, the word “shrill” is enjoying a resurgence in the national vocabulary, following its previous heyday, as an insult hurled at Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Presidential campaign. This spike in usage is hardly a revelation; women who speak publicly and challenge authority have long been dismissed as “shrill” or “grating.” What’s less widely understood is how the design of the technology that transmits human voices has shaped this gendered invective since the dawn of the broadcast era: everything from microphones to modes of transmission have been optimized for lower voices.

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

💩🔥💰 Administration Reverses Standards For Energy-Efficient Lightbulbs

Last March, NPR’s Jeff Brady reported, “Thanks to a 2007 law signed by President George W. Bush, shelves these days are largely stocked with LED bulbs that look more like the traditional pear-shape incandescent version but use just one-fifth the energy. A second wave of lightbulb changes was set to happen. But now the Trump administration wants to undo an Obama-era regulation designed to make a wide array of specialty lightbulbs more energy-efficient.”

💩🔥💰 is actively doing every thing he can do encourage climate change and increased use of energy.

The Big Reveal Flying Under The Radar In The Lawsuit For 💩🔥💰’s Tax Returns Umm … There’s A Whistleblower About the President’s Tax Returns

There’s a whistleblower who says 💩🔥💰’s appointees are interfering with the mandatory audit of the President’s tax returns. That’s a big deal quite apart from how it affects the tax returns lawsuit!

Judge Orders White House To Restore Reporter’s Press Pass It Illegally Removed

The court focuses mainly on the 5th Amendment due process claims, noting that those alone suffice to show that Karem is correct here. The judge goes into great detail about how the White House never did anything to suggest special decorum rules for these events, and thus the decision to ban Karem was arbitrary. The White House brought up all sorts of bizarre explanations insisting that it had provided adequate notice to Karem, but the judge points out that’s just not true.

Air Force crew made an odd stop on a routine trip: 💩🔥💰’s Scottish resort

Taken together, the incidents raise the possibility that the military has helped keep Trump’s Turnberry resort afloat — the property lost $4.5 million in 2017, but revenue went up $3 million in 2018.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

H/T Lisa C.: Black Engineer Invents Gloves That Turn Sign Language into Audible Speech

Crops under solar panels can be a win-win

Finally, the cherry tomatoes saw a 65% increase in CO2 uptake and a 65% increase in water-use efficiency. They produced twice as much fruit while using the same amount of water.

How to Buy Energy-Efficient Lightbulbs

“Together, these bulb actions could cost the average U.S. household more than $100 per year, adding $14 billion to Americans’ annual energy bills as of 2025, and require at least 25 power plants’ worth of extra electricity annually,” the Natural Resources Defense Council writes on its website, in response to the rollback.

Elsewhere for August 31, 2019

Books, Writing, and Language and Libraries

A Novel Concept: Silent Book Clubs Offer Introverts A Space To Socialize “The concept is simple yet revolutionary: Members meet up at a bar, a library, a bookstore or any venue that will host them. Once the bell rings, silent reading time commences. After an hour, the bell rings again.”

The Idea That Whites Can’t Refer to the N-Word “It’s long been accepted that the slur shouldn’t be used by white people to refer to black people. What about referring to the word itself?”

How A Group Of Syrian Residents Assembled A Secret Library

When the Public Feared That Library Books Could Spread Deadly Diseases

“The death of Miss Jessie Allan is doubly sad because of the excellent reputation which her work won for her and the pleasant affection which all librarians who knew her had come to feel for her, and because her death has given rise to a fresh discussion as to the possibility of infection from contagious diseases through library books


Via Life Hacker: The Ultimate List of Work and Study Music

Professor who quoted James Baldwin’s use of N-word cleared by university

Food and Drink

How to Find Your New Favorite Orange Liqueur

Via Simply Recipes: How to Make Bacon in the Oven I’ve been enjoying (and baking) bacon in the oven for a few years now, but this is another source that suggests putting the bacon in a cold over (rather than pre-heating the oven) for crisper bacon.

Via Elise Bauer and Simply Recipes: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies “Oatmeal and chocolate chips are great together. Add in some pecans and coconut and we’re pretty excited. But it’s the brown butter that take these cookies over the top!”

History and Archaeology

New research challenges the origin of ‘The Egtved girl’

Revived: the 1930s London gay members’ club raided by police

Science and Nature

Massive pumice ‘raft’ spotted in the Pacific could help replenish Great Barrier Reef “The 150 sq km field of floating rock was created by an underwater volcanic eruption near Tonga”

YouTube BBC Video: The Raven: Stealing, Spying and Bluffing | Extraordinary Animals | BBC Earth


Via Life Hacker: Keep Your Space Clean With Regular ‘Purge’ Days

Like a lot of good ideas, this one requires you to schedule a specific day and time. Just do it.

The Guardian view on Gamergate: when hatred escaped “Five years after an online movement based on male rage started, its destructive effects have leached into our politics and daily lives”

Amazon’s indigenous warriors take on invading loggers and ranchers


Dynamic Wallpaper Club

Women’s Work

‘A lot of the England team still haven’t apologised’: Eni Aluko on life after whistleblowing

I’m a medical student, and I’m gay. Work would be simpler if I were heterosexual

Japan’s #KuToo movement is fighting back against regressive dress codes for women

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

On Trump and Queeg: A Followup

Three days ago I argued that if Donald Trump were in any consequential job other than the one he now occupies—surgeon, military commander, head of a private organization or public company, airline pilot—he would already have been removed.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

A New Generation of Students Is Teaching Us How to Reduce E-Waste

Watch Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez play with a penguin because it’s pure, uncut goodness

The kindest thing I ever saw … “The Guardian’s Upside series asked readers to tell us about random acts of kindness they have witnessed. Hundreds of emails later, we collate the best.”

Elsewhere for August 24, 2019

You should read this for 8/24/2019:

Books, Writing, and Language

Gay-themed books fuel fight over free speech at small-town library in Maine

And more weirdness from Maine libraries: Bizarre counterfeit bills targeting readers of Jewish authors found in Brunswick library
Notice, please the way librarians respond; they are fabulous.

I still miss Bookslut years after it stopped publishing. Bookslut was born in an era of internet freedom. Today’s web has killed it See also: Bookslut is Dead Long Live Bookslut

Food and Drink

Green Chile Enchiladas “These are made with corn tortillas stuffed with roasted green chiles and jack cheese, then smothered with roasted tomatillo salsa verde.”

History and Archaeology

Wooden Stone Age platform found on seabed off Isle of Wight “An 8,000 year-old wooden platform has been discovered on the seabed off the Isle of Wight.”

Science and Nature

Researchers Memorialize First Major Icelandic Glacier Lost To Climate Change

Global heating: ancient plants set to reproduce in UK after 60m years

An exotic plant has produced male and female cones outdoors in Britain for what is believed to be the first time in 60m years. Botanists say the event is a sign of global heating.

Tiny robot finds an asteroid that’s freakishly free of dust This is so very very cool; just read it. More of this, less wall-building crap would be good.



Opt out of all the data sharing you wouldn’t opt in to.

Women’s Work

Megan Riddle: Why Did I Become a Teacher? “After years of trauma went ignored by my school, I decided I couldn’t let other kids suffer like I did”

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

Trump Administration ‘Strongly Objected’ to Welfare for Military Families in Poverty

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

Thrupp bus shelter mysteriously made into cosy sitting room

H/T Yasmin: New Calif. freeway bridge to carry wildlife

What3words: The app that can save your life “”I was speaking to a mathematician and we found there were enough combinations of three words for every location in the world.””

Via Twitter: Last night I was in a loo and a woman entered the only other stall crying. I did the awkward shout over and asked if she was ok or wanted to talk about it, or needed a hug Read the thread.

17 times Anthony Hopkins’ Twitter feed was the most wholesome place on the internet

Elsewhere for August 17, 2019

You should read this for 8/17/2019:

Art and Film

Brent Spiner on how Patrick Stewart’s pronunciation of “Data” changed how Americans say the word

Books, Writing, and Language

How To Handle A Lot Of Books In A Small Apartment

On the Gleefully Indecent Poems of a Medieval Welsh Feminist Poet

The Life and Death of an American Indie Press

In the three years that have elapsed since then, her publisher, Curbside Splendor, has withheld all royalties owed to her, according to a series of tweets she wrote on March 21. Victor David Giron, founder and publisher of Curbside, “didn’t honor our contract and kept the money he was supposed to pay me,” Martin wrote. “It was a complete nightmare and enormous waste of time trying to get paid and ultimately I failed and I’ll be pissed about it forever.”

Wood Case Pencils

Ari Reviews Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wicked Good Prose by Constance Hale

Review of Don’t Believe a Word by David Shariatmadari review – the truth about language See also Shariatmadari’s article: Why it’s time to stop worrying about the decline of the English language

“Not That Kind of Bookstore”: How the Indies Are (Finally) Embracing Romance Romance sales drive publishing and retail sales. Fact. Romance readers are voracious readers, and tend to read widely and suggest books to read extensively to other readers.


Via BBC: A-levels: What subjects are students dropping and why?

Since 2014, the number of A-level entries in arts subjects, which include drama, music and art, in England has fallen by 13,000, almost 17%.
Similarly, there has been an 8% decrease in modern languages and more than a 25% decline in English.
Meanwhile, entries in science, technology, engineering and maths (known as Stem subjects) have increased by 15,500, a rise of 6%.

This is essentially what’s happening in terms of undergraduate enrollments in the U.S.

Top University Of California Scientists Tell Elsevier They’ll No Longer Work On Elsevier Journals

Food and Drink

Bellingham and Whatcom County are now home to 16 popular craft breweries

History and Archaeology

Unusual Parasites Plagued Bronze Age Fen Folk And Their Dogs

H/T Lisa Carnell: Dr. Erik Wade Steve King is wrong about rape in medieval Europe the same way he’s wrong about rape in modern America

Science and Nature

A Tissue Sample From 1966 Held Traces of Early HIV

Last month was Earth’s warmest July on record — and by most measures the hottest month, period.


Sarah Moss: By December, with only three official hours of daylight, I had learned to see modulations of light unnoticeable further south

Social media is helping keep a hilarious and brilliant Scottish language alive

Rude, crude and extremely funny, “Scottish Twitter” has garnered much attention in recent years for its uniquely Celtic wit—and for the specific ways it uses language.


Three Years Of Misery Inside Google, The Happiest Company In Tech

Apple’s new credit card comes with forced arbitration—here’s how to opt out

The History of Clarus the Dogcow

Women’s Work

Pompeii archaeologists uncover ‘sorcerer’s treasure trove’ “Archaeologists working in the buried Roman city of Pompeii say they have uncovered a “sorcerer’s treasure trove” of artefacts, including good-luck charms, mirrors and glass beads.”

“They are objects of everyday life in the female world and are extraordinary because they tell micro-stories, biographies of the inhabitants of the city who tried to escape the eruption,” Mr Osanna said.

Whitney Cummings Posts (Partially) Nude Photo Of Herself In Response To Blackmail Threat; Is That Revenge Porn?

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

Ayanna Pressley has a very blunt nickname for Trump

“I call him The Occupant,” she tells Stephen Colbert in the clip above. “He is just occupying space. We went from a president who sang ‘Amazing Grace’ to one who displays zero of it. He does not honour the integrity or the responsibility or the empathy or the compassion — and so for that reason I call him The Occupant.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

How to Help Teachers Get Classroom Supplies Before the New School Year

Elsewhere for August 10, 2019

You should read this for 8/10/2019:

Art and Film

Scientists name new fossil species after Millennium Falcon from Star Wars

H/T Lisa Carnell: In a Powerful Statement, the Baltimore Museum of Art Is Dedicating All of Its 2020 Programming to Female Artists The Baltimore Museum of Art is planning 13 solo shows for women artists including Joan Mitchell, Candice Breitz, and Katharina Grosse in 2020.

The goal for this effort is to rebalance the scales and to acknowledge the ways in which women’s contributions still do not receive the scholarly examination, dialogue, and public acclaim that they deserve,” said Baltimore Museum director Christopher Bedford in statemen

Books, Writing, and Language

CULC, ALA Denounce Macmillan Publishers’ eBook Lending Model

Under the new model, libraries will only be able to purchase a single digital copy of any new title when it is released for sale to the general public and will be forced to wait eight weeks before they are able to buy any additional copies.

From Canadian libraries:

In a recent letter to creators, Macmillan indicated that library lending was “cannibalizing sales” and that “45% of the ebook reads in the US are now being borrowed for free from libraries”. This claim is fundamentally untrue. Libraries purchase copies of licenses for their users to access at a premium, which is often three to four times the cost of a retail copy: these premium prices are ultimately being paid by Canadian library users, whose taxes fund libraries. These licenses can only be used by one user at a time, mirroring the lending of physical materials. Macmillan also noted that the growth in library ebook use is driven by “seamless delivery”. The delivery of ebooks to library users is far from seamless – restrictive lending models often mean that users must sit on waiting lists for several months.

From the ALA:

“Macmillan Publishers’ new model for library ebook lending will make it difficult for libraries to fulfill our central mission: ensuring access to information for all,” said ALA President Wanda Brown. “Limiting access to new titles for libraries means limiting access for patrons most dependent on libraries.
“When a library serving many thousands has only a single copy of a new title in ebook format, it’s the library – not the publisher – that feels the heat. It’s the local library that’s perceived as being unresponsive to community needs.

Are You Making These Common Grammatical Mistakes? I generally hate this kind of post, but this one is useful.


Why Mathematicians Are Hoarding This Special Type of Japanese Chalk

As a T.A. when I had to teach in a classroom with a black board, I used to bring my own chalk. This chalk is less dusty and dissolves the flesh of my hands less.

A Pen Addict’s Assessment of School Supply Shopping” />

The school list alone, without any of the extras, like shoes or the requested classroom donations, runs about $300 a child. Between the two kids and all the gear they need, we can easily top $1200, if we’re not careful. So we have to be very careful. Every year it gets more expensive (separate gym shoes! Calculators!),

While I am in favor of teachers not buying supplies for their schools, and of the more fortunate helping out the less fortunate, I too think 12 red pens, and a wireless mouse as something every child needs is absurd.

Food and Drink

Caprese Salad with Tomatoes, Basil, and Mozzarella This simple salad with fresh tomatoes, basil, and (my prefernce) buffalo Mozzarello, with a drizzle of olive oil ad splash of balsamic vinegar is the essence of summer, especially if you grew the tomatoes and basil yourself (easy to do even on a balcony).

History and Archaeology

The Professor Who Was Ostracized for Claiming the Civil War Was About Slavery – In 1911

An aging letter from 1911 that I found in the Columbia University archive revealed a story that could be in today’s headlines: people in the Jim Crow South tried to capture the memory of the Civil War for political gain.

Trump’s Tariff War Resembles the Confederacy’s Failed Trade Policies

Current efforts by the United States to put tariff pressures on China resemble the Confederacy’s efforts to pressure Great Britain during the American Civil War. In the early 1860s the Confederate leaders’ strategy backfired, damaging the southern economy and weakening the South’s military. Recent developments in the tariff fight with China suggest that President Trump’s strategy could backfire as well. America’s tariff negotiators should consider lessons from the record of Confederate missteps.

Science and Nature

The Light Sail is Working… It’s Working!

After launching on June 25th, then deploying its solar sail system on July 23rd, mission managers have been working with the solar sail to optimize they way LightSail 2 orients itself towards the Sun. Now The Planetary Society reports that the spacecraft has used its solar sail to raise its orbit.

How we proved this tiny rock came from space

Back in February, I spent a few hours crawling around on my hands and knees on a rooftop in Brooklyn, New York. What I was looking for was smaller than the period at the end of this sentence: nearly invisible micrometeorites that may — or may not — have fallen from space. Surprisingly, I actually found some. I think.

Tardigrades may have survived spacecraft crashing on moon “The tardigrade’s secret is the ability to shrivel into a seed-like pod, expelling nearly all of its water and slashing its metabolism.”


Using Restorative Justice To Deal With Internet Trolls And Jackasses

Mourning for Whiteness

Obama urges Americans to reject leaders who stoke hatred

Former US President Barack Obama has called on Americans to reject language from any of their leaders that feeds hatred or normalises racism.

Obama Still Sounds Like a President

There is the sense of consolation that seemed to come naturally to him—in any case, he got horrifically frequent practice at striking this tone during his eight years in office. There’s moral clarity, identifying the problem as “troubled individuals who embrace racist ideologies and see themselves obligated to act violently to preserve white supremacy,” and (in contrast to Trump) situating the internet’s role not as a cause but as a catalyst. And there is the call to unity that has been his central political theme since 2004: “But just as important, all of us have to send a clarion call and behave with the values of tolerance and diversity that should be the hallmark of our democracy.”

Here is President Obama’s statement on mass shootings is a message for Republicans, Democrats, and the world


How to ditch Google Chrome for Firefox


8chan is all the way down—“It’s DNS. It’s always DNS.”

The most important troubleshooting tool for DNS is a command-line utility called dig. Dig allows you to query DNS records directly; it’s sort of like nslookup on steroids. By default, just like nslookup, dig will query whatever your locally configured DNS server is. But you can ask it to query any arbitrary server directly, and you can ask it for exactly the records you want.

Women’s Work

Whitney Cummings—and her sex robot—take on modern womanhood

I never really understood catcalling until Whitney Cummings explained it in front of a live audience.

AOC calls out Mitch McConnell for pic of his supporters groping a cutout of her See also: Ocasio-Cortez confronts McConnell over photo of men choking cutout of her

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

Why Stripping U.S. Citizens of Their Passports Is a Precursor to Genocide

It’s what happened to Jews in Germany in 1938 when their passports were declared invalid. That is what is beginning to happen here, now, to Hispanic citizens along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Oh, is it bad to compare the GOP to Nazis? Well, if members of the GOP do not like being compared to Nazis, they should consider not behaving exactly like Nazis.
Hispanic U.S. citizens, some of whom were in the U.S. military, are not being allowed to renew their passports. This is reportedly happening to “hundreds, even thousands” of Latinos, according to a report in the Washington Post. They’re getting letters from the State Department saying it does not believe they are citizens. The government claims their citizenships are fraudulent. “I’ve had probably 20 people who have been sent to the detention center—U.S. citizens,” Jaime Diez, an attorney in Brownsville, told The Washington Post.

El Paso Shooting Suspect’s Manifesto Echoes Trump’s Language

While other leaders have expressed concern about border security and the costs of illegal immigration, Mr. Trump has filled his public speeches and Twitter feed with sometimes false, fear-stoking language even as he welcomed to the White House a corps of hard-liners, demonizers and conspiracy theorists shunned by past presidents of both parties. Because of this, Mr. Trump is ill equipped to provide the kind of unifying, healing force that other presidents projected in times of national tragedy.

Trump campaign used word ‘invasion’ in more than 2,000 Facebook ads

The shooting suspect in El Paso, Texas, warned of an “invasion” in a racist internet screed before allegedly killing 22 people.
Another person fond of the term: President Donald Trump, whose re-election campaign published more than 2,000 Facebook ads using the word “invasion” since January, according to the New York Times.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

The rise of ‘ungardening’: how to turn a backyard into a wildlife haven

Elsewhere for August 3, 2019

You should read this for 8/03/2019:

Art, Music, and Film

Star Trek: Picard Timeline Updated and Explained: How Hugh, Data, and Seven of Nine Fit In

Jury: Katy Perry’s Dark Horse’s infringes copyright of earlier song

But Charlie Harding of the Vox podcast Switched on Pop explains that the striking similarities should be free to use by both artists, despite their similarities. Both “Joyful Noise” and “Dark Horse” use derivative descending minor scales in a basic rhythm, Harding said, and both use staccato downbeat rhythms on a high voiced synthesizer which is common in many trap beats.

Books, Writing, and Language

‘Roman Biro’ – complete with joke – found at London building site

The message was inscribed on an iron stylus dating from around AD70, a few decades after Roman London was founded. The implement was discovered by Museum of London Archaeology during excavations for Bloomberg’s European headquarters next to Cannon Street station, on the bank of the river Walbrook, a now-lost tributary of the Thames.

Food and Drink

This invasive bug is terrorizing Pennsylvania growers (and it’s coming for your wine)

Since the bug was first identified in 2014, it has been devastating vineyards and orchards in the Northeast. Lycorma delicatula, named for the lantern-shaped body of the adult that appears to glow under its dull wings, is used in traditional medicine in China, its native land. In the U.S., it was quickly considered one of the most destructive invasive species in 150 years.

Apricot Bread Apricot bread featuring dried apricots, orange juice and pecans.

Via Smitten Kitchen: Ultimate Zucchini Bread

History and Archaeology

Homer Odyssey: Oldest extract discovered on clay tablet

Found near the ruined Temple of Zeus in the ancient city of Olympia, the tablet has been dated to Roman times.
It is engraved with 13 verses from the poem recounting the adventures of the hero Odysseus after the fall of Troy.

Science and Nature

Long Lost Kauri Moth Rediscovered In Queensland After 40 Years In The Wilderness

Got a horrifying foreign superbug? You may have more than one

First spotted in Japan in 2009, this deadly drug-resistant fungus has since appeared around the globe. It has popped up in about 30 countries, including the United States. C. auris tends to stalk healthcare facilities, infecting vulnerable patients who are already sick or immunocompromised. Recent research suggests that it gets around by sloughing off the skin of carriers, shedding millions of infectious cells onto touchable surfaces.


These ancient cells were once part of a dog that roamed the frozen Siberian steppe, a husky-like creature that lived in the time before humans invented the wheel or the plow. Then they mutated, finding a way to evade the canine immune system, a way to outlive their body by finding another. This cancer-cum-sexually transmitted dog parasite still thrives today, the only remnant of that now-extinct Siberian dog race. For millennia, it has been jumping between bodies, spreading like a virus around the world. Canine transmissible venereal tumor, or CTVT, is now found in modern dogs from Malawi to Melbourne to Minneapolis. It’s the longest-lived cancer known to man. But until now, no one had looked deeply into its DNA to trace its evolutionary origins and discover the secrets of its viral success.

See also the original research paper: ScienceSomatic evolution and global expansion of an ancient transmissible cancer lineage.”

Alarm over North Atlantic right whale’s survival after recent deaths “Six right whales were killed in June, and two in July – a potentially devastating blow to a population estimated to be no more than 400.”

Right whales typically feed on the copepod Calanus finmarchicus, a tiny shrimplike creature that is found in abundance in the Gulf of Maine. But according to a paper published this month in the journal Oceanography, warming ocean water has reduced Calanus finmarchicus in the gulf, forcing the whales to hunt further north in the Gulf of St Lawrence, a region with heavy shipping traffic.


Hell is Other Internet People Review of Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language by Gretchen McCulloch. Riverhead Books, 336 pages.

FBI says “extremists” motivated by Pizzagate, QAnon are threats

The modern era of the Internet has given us a seemingly never-ending bounty of farfetched conspiracy theories. Some of the loudest of those fringe movements have become pervasive enough and serious enough to qualify as domestic terror threats, the FBI says.

Right, Absolutely Not “What would the world be like if women were unable to withdraw consent with regard to sex? You would be living in North Carolina, is what.”


The FTC is looking into the Amazon and Apple deal that crushed small resellers “Last year, Amazon cut a deal with Apple to bring direct iPhone sales to its platform for the first time.”

Facebook removed hundreds of fake accounts tied to Saudi government

The ring of accounts consisted of 217 Facebook accounts, 144 pages, five groups, and 31 Instagram accounts, which combined reached more than a million people across Facebook and Instagram, according to the company.

Enough With The Myth That Big Tech Is ‘Censoring’ Conservatives AND That The Law Requires Them To Be Neutral

Women’s Work

RSVP Stationary PodCast: 42: A WOMAN ON THE INTERNET

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

‘Let’s sign’: resources and apps to teach yourself ASL “With the NIDCD finding 13 percent of Americans ages 12 and up with hearing loss, finding ways to communicate between communities is both useful and necessary. That’s where ASL comes in, and there are many resources to teach yourself.”

The Library of Congress Digitizes Over 16,000 Pages of Letters & Speeches from the Women’s Suffrage Movement, and You Can Help Transcribe Them


Elsewhere for July 28, 2019

You should read this for 7/27/2019:

Books, Writing, and Language

Free Book Vending Machines Launched Across All NYC Boroughs

Rebuilding Jane Austen’s Library

The collaboration is called “Reading with Austen.” Users can hover over the shelves and click on any of the antique books, summoning bibliographic data and available photos of pertinent title pages, bookplates, and marginalia. Digging deeper, one can peruse a digital copy of the book and determine the whereabouts of the original.


Toddlers engage more with print books than ebooks, developmental researchers say “Researchers find that toddlers verbalize and interact more with their parents when reading sessions feature print books, not tablets.”

History and Archaeology

Romano-Saxon Site Found in England the site was occupied during the Iron Age, Roman, and Saxon periods. Finds include eight Iron Age roundhouses, some of which date to 100 B.C.E, remains of three people who had been buried in a crouched position some 2,500 years ago. According to archaeologist Stephen Macaulay of Oxford Archaeology East:

What makes this site really significant is we have evidence of early Saxon occupation mingled with the latest Roman remains

Archeologists confirm near-legendary tale of crusaders’ siege of Jerusalem

“The chroniclers talk about ‘rivers of blood’ running in the streets of the city, and it may not be an exaggeration,” said project co-director Shimon Gibson, a historian at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, in a recent statement. Amid looting, burning, and worse, crusaders slaughtered Muslims, Jews, and even local Christians, whom they considered heretics. “They turned Jerusalem into a ghost town,” said Gibson.

Dare to Dream: William J. Powell, Booster of Black Flight


Lessons from testing decades of forgotten rape kits: serial rapists are common, they don’t follow a pattern, they’re not very bright, and they’re often the same men who commit acquaintance rape “An Obama-era subsidy for clearing rape kit backlogs, combined with DNA testing, has completely upended the conventional wisdom on rapists and how they commit their crimes.”

By ignoring the rapes of sex workers, poor women, women of color, addicted women and disabled women, cops allowed men who were also committing property crimes and crimes of violence go free; and by not bothering to DNA-test rape kits from acquaintance-rapes, cops allowed strings of stranger rapes to go unsolved.


Play These Retro Video Games With Your Kid

Women’s Work

Via the magnificent Blair Macgregor: Seeing Is Understanding ‘This is about speaking up, creepers, and what good men don’t always see.”

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

USA TODAY’s Editorial Board: Trump is ‘unfit for the presidency’

This year, the choice isn’t between two capable major party nominees who happen to have significant ideological differences. This year, one of the candidates — Republican nominee Donald Trump — is, by unanimous consensus of the Editorial Board, unfit for the presidency.
From the day he declared his candidacy 15 months ago through this week’s first presidential debate, Trump has demonstrated repeatedly that he lacks the temperament, knowledge, steadiness and honesty that America needs from its presidents.

Better to have a few rats than to be one

We would tell the most dishonest man to ever occupy the Oval Office, the mocker of war heroes, the gleeful grabber of women’s private parts, the serial bankrupter of businesses, the useful idiot of Vladimir Putin and the guy who insisted there are “good people” among murderous neo-Nazis that he’s still not fooling most Americans into believing he’s even slightly competent in his current post. Or that he possesses a scintilla of integrity. Better to have some vermin living in your neighborhood than to be one.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

Archived – The End of Coal

Coal went from 25% of Ontario’s supply mix in 2003 to zero in 2014, all while grid reliability and domestic supply improved. The elimination of coal stands as the single largest GHG emissions reduction action on the continent and was primarily responsible for Ontario achieving its ambitious 2014 emissions reduction target of 6% below 1990 levels.

H/T Jeff C. A first for U.S.: Clean energy generates more power than coal

‘Restore UK bogs’ to tackle climate change

James Patterson’s Holiday Bonuses for Booksellers

Elsewhere for July 20, 2019

You should read this for 7/21/2018:

Books, Writing, and Language

Via The New Yorker: The Art of Aphorism

Poetry and Prophecy, Dust and Ashes “A review of The Hebrew Bible: A Translation with Commentary, by Robert Alter”

Food and Drink

H/T Heather G: Lemon Tart with Walnut Crust

Sweet Corn and Goat Cheese Quesadillas

History and Archaeology

What Is A Concentration Camp?

Lost in this furor is the fact that Ocasio-Cortez did not make a Holocaust analogy when she referred to concentration camps. Widely accepted definitions of concentration camp are worded differently but agree in substance. The online Merriam-Webster dictionary defines concentration camp as: “a place where large numbers of people (such as prisoners of war, political prisoners, refugees, or the members of an ethnic or religious minority) are detained or confined under armed guard.” The Oxford English Dictionary offers some history: “a camp where non-combatants of a district are accommodated, such as those instituted by Lord Kitchener during the Boer War (1899–1902); one for the internment of political prisoners, foreign nationals, etc., esp. as organized by the Nazi regime in Germany before and during the war of 1939–45.” The Encyclopedia Britannica offers a similar definition: “internment centre for political prisoners and members of national or minority groups who are confined for reasons of state security, exploitation, or punishment, usually by executive decree or military order.”

Science and Nature

A fence built to keep out wild dogs has dramatically altered the Australian landscape

Zombifying fungus bypasses the brain to make ants its puppets, study finds


Their Family Bought Land One Generation After Slavery. The Reels Brothers Spent Eight Years in Jail for Refusing to Leave It.

Between 1910 and 1997, African Americans lost about 90% of their farmland. This problem is a major contributor to America’s racial wealth gap; the median wealth among black families is about a tenth that of white families. Now, as reparations have become a subject of national debate, the issue of black land loss is receiving renewed attention. A group of economists and statisticians recently calculated that, since 1910, black families have been stripped of hundreds of billions of dollars because of lost land. Nathan Rosenberg, a lawyer and a researcher in the group, told me, “If you want to understand wealth and inequality in this country, you have to understand black land loss.”


Via TidBITS: Free VPN Investigation

Over half of the most popular free VPN apps are run by secretive companies with hidden Chinese ownership. Very few do enough to earn the trust of the privacy-conscious.

Rich Mogull in TidBITS: Apple Flexes Its Privacy Muscles

Apple is upping its privacy game to levels never before seen from a major technology company. That is, beyond improving privacy in its own products, the company is starting to use its market strength to extend privacy through the tendrils that touch the Apple ecosystem.

Writing with a pencil is better than with a pen

Women’s Work

Meet Margaret Hamilton: The Woman Behind the Apollo Project I’ve linked to this before, but the piece has some new information.

Via Twitter and @Mary Robinette Kowal‏Verified account @MaryRobinetteLet’s talk about peeing in space. “Several people, in response to my NY Times essay, have said that women couldn’t go into space because we lacked the technology for them to pee in space.”

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

How our House members voted in response to ‘racist comments’

“It is not the first time I’ve heard, ‘Go back to where you came from,’” said Jayapal, who represents part of Snohomish County, in the protracted and passion-filled floor debate. “It is the first time I have heard it coming from the White House.”

Trump Spoke With Cohen As They, Aides, Sealed Hush Money Deals In 2016

Elsewhere for July 13, 2019

You should read this for 7/13/2019:

Art and Film

Where are all the Bob Ross Paintings? Video

Books, Writing, and Language

How to Talk to People, According to Terry Gross

It’s fair to say Terry Gross knows some things about talking to people. The host and co-executive producer of NPR’s “Fresh Air” has interviewed thousands of personalities over the course of her four-decade career.

Sarah Parcak Thinks We Need to Learn From the Fall of Egypt’s Old Kingdom “In a new book, the archaeologist makes the case that ancient history illuminates solutions to modern problems.”

Food and Drink

Breaking Down the Differences Between Gin and Genever “If you’re not familiar with genever, you’re certainly not alone. But an influx of genevers to the U.S.—as well as domestic gin bottlings inspired by the spirit—means that now is a great time to get to know Holland’s native ­distillate.”

Decades ago, he stole a tree branch. Now he is the Durian King

Breakfast recipes generously shared by Biltmore chefs Orange cranberry scones, and cinnamon buns, included.

History and Archaeology

James Monroe Enslaved Hundreds. Their Descendants Still Live Next Door “A small African-American community has existed less than 10 miles from the president’s former plantation for generations. Only recently has the full extent of their relationship been revealed.”

Peleliu’s Battle

Peleliu, along with the rest of the Palauan archipelago, was settled at least 3,000 years ago by migrants from islands in Southeast Asia. Beginning in the late nineteenth century, Palau was colonized by Spain, then Germany, and, in 1914, by Japan. In preparation for war, two of Peleliu’s five traditional villages were razed to make way for an airfield constructed by the Japanese in the late 1930s. The Japanese used forced Palauan labor to dig many of the caves in which they would hide during the battle, but evacuated the island’s natives before the Americans invaded. Peleliu’s remaining three villages were destroyed in the battle, along with the island’s previously abundant vegetation. “When people returned [in 1946], they found their island devoid of anything green,” says Sunny Ngirmang, director of Palau’s Bureau of Cultural and Historical Preservation. “It was all white limestone, and you could see from one side of the island to the other—that’s how bare it was.”

Viking bones and DNA will decay quickly as Greenland thaws

Viking settlers abandoned Greenland some 600 years ago. But the frozen ground has preserved centuries of the seafarers’ hardy existence on the western shores of the remote landmass, including bones and DNA.
The Vikings, though, didn’t first step foot on Greenland. The Saqqaq people arrived there first, around 3,800 years before the Vikings, as did other nomadic peoples. Yet now, all of their culturally invaluable organic remains are under threat from amplified Arctic warming — the fastest changing region on Earth.

Science and Nature

The California coast is disappearing under the rising sea. Our choices are grim

Ancient life awakens amid thawing ice caps and permafrost

This bright purple ribbon—named STEVE—is an entirely new celestial phenomenon


“The Columbia Journalism Review has appointed public editors for a group of four news organizations because they won’t do it themselves.”

H/T Sylvia: Promise of training with luxury hotel group entraps visa workers

Every fortnight, Arindam Biswas watched as his boss deposited $1626 into his bank account. Then like clockwork, more than half his fortnightly wages disappeared – reclaimed by his employer as rent for a shared bedroom.

Russian spy sub crew prevented nuclear accident at cost of their lives


Apple is silently removing Zoom’s web server software from Macs

After all of the drama over Zoom’s use of a hidden web server on Macs, Apple itself has decided to step in, TechCrunch reports. It is issuing a silent update — meaning your Mac will get it without any interaction on your part — to remove the web server, which was designed to save Safari users an extra click, from any Mac that has Zoom’s software installed.

Although Zoom itself issued an emergency patch yesterday to remove that web server, apparently Apple is concerned that enough users won’t update or are unaware of the controversy in the first place that it’s issuing its own patch. It makes perfect sense not only because many users may not open Zoom for some time, but also because many of them had uninstalled the app. Before Zoom’s emergency update, uninstalling the app left the web server on your computer — so Zoom wouldn’t have a way to uninstall it with an updated app. That means the only reasonable and easy way for those people to get this patch would be for Apple to provide it.

Website drive-by attacks on routers are alive and well. Here’s what to do

Besides watching out for spoofed sites, people can protect themselves by keeping router firmware updated or, when updates are no longer available, replacing the router. Also key is ensuring that administrative passwords are strong. Periodically checking a router’s DNS settings is a good idea as well. It should either be blank or, better yet, use the freely available server offered by content delivery network Cloudflare. Avast has more information on DNS hijacking here.

Women’s Work

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the 2020 Presidential Race and Trump’s Crisis at the Border

I think what we need to be doing right now is coming home as a party. I don’t think we should be afraid of being the party of F.D.R. I don’t think we should be afraid of being the party of working people. And it feels to me that at some point we did start becoming afraid of those things.

The best female masturbation positions that aren’t like the ones you see in porn

World Cup heroes Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan go to the White House after all (sorta)

H/T ElaineA: Vicky Ward, the former Vanity Fair reporter assigned in 2002 to write a profile on Epstein. See this Twitter thread:

In 2002, I was assigned to write a profile of Jeffrey Epstein for Vanity Fair. This was that piece. But what was published was far from the whole story.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

I just installed solar panels because now’s the time