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Elsewhere for June 21, 2020

You should read this for 6/21/2020:

Art and Film

decorative leaf bulletFox News falls for Monty Python joke in report criticising Seattle protesters

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

decorative leaf bulletLockdoon’s naw fur me: Schoolgirl’s cheeky poem gets FM approval “Lockdoon — A Glesga Poem by Leah Begg”

Food and Drink

decorative leaf bulletH/T SJS: Gardenscape Focaccia: Take a Stroll in the Kitchen

History and Archaeology

decorative leaf bulletA Long-Lost Manuscript Contains a Searing Eyewitness Account of the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921

decorative leaf bulletU.S. National Archives Unearths Original Juneteenth Order

The order, issued in Galveston on June 19, 1865, by U.S. Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger, informed the people of Texas that all enslaved people were now free:
“The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages.

Science and Nature

decorative leaf bulletOn a wing and a prayer… Garden birds as seen during lockdown – in pictures

During the first month of lockdown, photographer and “lover of nature” Liam Prior began capturing the different birds that visited his north London garden for his project Birds on Lockdown.

decorative leaf bulletTexas’s cactus cops battle to save rare desert beauty from smuggling gangs


decorative leaf bulletVia LOC: Pride at 50: From Stonewall to Today

This month marks the 50th anniversary of annual LGBTQ+ Pride traditions in the United States. The first Pride march was in New York on June 28, 1970, on the first anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, the protests that occurred after a late-night police raid on the landmark gay bar on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village.


decorative leaf bulletKirk McElhearn: The Pros and Cons of Apple’s iOS App Store

Women’s Work

decorative leaf bulletScythian Warrior’s Genome Analyzed

Kharis Mustafin, Irina Alborova, and Alina Matsvai of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology mapped the genome of a 2,600-year-old Scythian mummy discovered in a wooden sarcophagus in 1988. It had been previously thought that the well-preserved remains belonged to a prepubescent male warrior, based upon the array of weapons in the grave and the lack of beads and mirrors typically recovered from female burials. “This discrepancy in the norms of the funeral rite received an unexpected explanation: firstly, the young man turned out to be a girl, and this young ‘Amazon’ had not yet reached the age of 14 years,” said excavator Marina Kilunovskaya of the St. Petersburg Institute of Material History Culture.

decorative leaf bulletSee also: Arms and the Women

When the ancient Greeks encountered the nomadic Scythians, who dominated the Eurasian steppe in the first millennium B.C., they recorded that they were deeply impressed by the spectacle of Scythian women riding into battle. Recently, a team excavating a fourth-century B.C. burial mound in western Russia found that it held the remains of four of these real-life Amazons. Two of the women were buried with horse tack and weapons, and one of them had her legs positioned as if she were riding a horse.

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

decorative leaf bulletProfessor Richard Striner: What if Trump Refuses to Leave?

decorative leaf bulletHBO’s Roy Cohn Documentary Is a Lesson for Trump

Cohn was a homophobic gay man and a Jew who persecuted other Jews during the anti-communist witch hunts of the ’50s. His most famous acolyte was Donald Trump, to whom Cohn attached himself as a mentor during the ’70s, teaching the budding real-estate mogul and future president his own personal code for winning: Dominate in every interaction, never admit wrongdoing or defeat, never pay your bills, and sue anyone who objects to your behavior into financial submission.

decorative leaf bulletJohn Bolton’s bombshell Trump book: eight of its most stunning claims

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

decorative leaf bulletPandemic can’t stop Philly Elmo and Positive Movement drum line from hitting the streets

decorative leaf bulletTranscribe Anti-Slavery Letters to Help Historians

The Boston Public Library has a collection of letters that were sent to and from anti-slavery activists in the 19th century. The only problem: They’re handwritten, which makes them hard to read and impossible to search. This is where you come in.

The library is looking for volunteers to help transcribe the letters in its Anti-Slavery Manuscripts project.

decorative leaf bulletAnti-Racist Resource Guide

This document was created to be used as a resource for anyone looking to broaden their understanding of anti-racism and get involved to combat racism,  specifically as it relates to anti-Blackness and police violence. Within this guide, please find a variety of resources to explore practical ways to understand, explain, and solve seemingly intractable problems of racial inequity, white supremacy, police violence, and injustice.

I recommend two free email newsletters: Emerging Tech Brew and Morning Brew, a more general business/economy newsletter. Morning Brew and Emerging Tech Brew are well-written, interesting, and not over-the-top marketing drivel. I suggest trying Morning Brew first, which, by the way, might result in me getting some nifty stickers or even a coffee cup.

Something Wonderful

Bayeux Tapestry: Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, rallying Duke William’s troops during the Battle of Hastings in 1066 Image: Wikipedia

decorative leaf bullet[Bayuex Tapestry] Historic Tale Construction Kit

Two German students originally wrote the Historic Tale Construction Kit, with Flash. Sadly, their work isn’t available anymore, only remembered. This new application is a tribute, but also an attempt to revive the old medieval meme, with code and availability that won’t get lost.

This project is available for you to use and we hope you will enjoy playing with it as much as we enjoyed building it. We put the open source code on GitHub , so you can grab it, tinker with it or even help us by contributing.

Elsewhere for June 14, 2020

You should read this for 6/14/2020:

Art and Film

decorative leaf bullet The ‘Lord of the Rings’ Mordor meme happened because Sean Bean kept the script in his lap

Black Lives Matter

decorative leaf bullet U.S. police have attacked journalists at least 100 times in the past four days

decorative leaf bulletH/T Jeff Carlson: I’m a cop. I won’t fight a ‘war’ on crime the way I fought the war on terror. “Patrick Skinner is a police officer in his hometown of Savannah, Ga. He is a former CIA operations officer and served in the United States Coast Guard.”

We need to change our mind-set about what it means to “police” in America. At this moment of maximal national tension and outrage, when national leaders are calling the streets of America a “battlespace,” with police officers as warriors who should “dominate” and give “no quarter,” I am telling whoever will listen: Police are not warriors — because we are not and must not be at war with our neighbors.

decorative leaf bulletSF resident was kneeling when fatally shot by Vallejo police during civil unrest

[Sean Monterrosa was] fatally shot by Vallejo police as the city erupted in chaos Tuesday was kneeling outside a Walgreens and not carrying a firearm when an officer opened fire — sending five bullets through his own windshield.

decorative leaf bulletWhite nationalist group posing as antifa called for violence on Twitter

decorative leaf bulletWhy Saying ‘All Lives Matter’ Is a Problem

decorative leaf bulletAmber Ruffin from ‘Late Night’ recounts her experiences with the police

decorative leaf bulletSheriff Goes All In On Violating The First Amendment After Assaulting A Protester For Carrying A ‘F*CK TRUMP’ Sign

decorative leaf bullet‘I would do it again’: Man shot during Capitol Hill protest was driven to protect others

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

decorative leaf bulletAs a 20-year-old student I didn’t laugh very much. Then I read Tristram Shandy “I was a rookie standup when I came across Laurence Sterne’s classic, and it changed my view of not just comedy, but life”

But as the seminar progressed I learned that the book was packed with form-busting jokes and philosophical digressions, its catastrophically self-aware narrator (a thinly veiled alter ego for his creator) trying to set down his entire life’s experience and opinions, while shifting between self-congratulation and deprecation with each new chapter (of which there was one almost every page; ideal for an inattentive, quick-to-tire reader like me). It seemed, in short, to represent everything I had come to love about standup, everything I wanted my own act to be.

decorative leaf bulletCheck Out This List of More Than 100 Diverse Children’s Books

decorative leaf bulletWatership Down author’s estate wins back all rights to classic novel<

The court heard that Rosen, who owned the motion picture rights to Watership Down under his original 1976 contract, had entered into contracts worth more than $500,000 (£400,975) while claiming that he held all rights to the novel. Rosen also made $85,000 from an unauthorised licence for an audiobook adaptation, and also failed to pay the estate fees and merchandising royalties from the 2018 BBC/Netflix television adaptation, on which he served as an executive producer.

decorative leaf bulletThe Familial Language of Black Grief “Black people feel the pain and loss of black life as if it were our very own blood that had been brutalized—because it easily could have been.”

decorative leaf bulletLanguage is part of the machinery of oppression – just look at how black deaths are described “From ‘underlying health conditions’ to ‘suicide by cop’, structural racism has a vocabulary”

But of course Floyd did die by asphyxiation. That much is so obvious that the medical examiner’s report reads like systemic bureaucratic corruption, indicating more than simply the lethal indifference of a single “rogue” officer. Blaming Floyd’s death on “underlying health conditions” is a remarkably determined deflection of Chauvin’s agency.

Coronavirus | COVID-19

decorative leaf bulletGovernments and WHO changed Covid-19 policy based on suspect data from tiny US company

The Guardian has since contacted five hospitals in Melbourne and two in Sydney, whose cooperation would have been essential for the Australian patient numbers in the database to be reached. All denied any role in such a database, and said they had never heard of Surgisphere. Desai did not respond to requests to comment on their statements.

Lancet editor Richard Horton told the Guardian: “Given the questions raised about the reliability of the data gathered by Surgisphere, we have today issued an Expression of Concern, pending further investigation. “An independent data audit is currently underway and we trust that this review, which should be completed within the next week, will tell us more about the status of the findings reported in the paper by Mandeep Mehra and colleagues.”

decorative leaf bulletLarge numbers of staff could have been unknowingly spreading coronavirus through care homes, according to the UK’s largest charitable care home provider.

Data from MHA shows 42% of its staff members who recently tested positive were not displaying symptoms.
Nearly 45% of residents who had a positive test were also asymptomatic.

decorative leaf bulletA Small Data Point about Masks Anecdotal, but interesting and persuasive.

Food and Drink

decorative leaf bulletVia Wirecutter: How to Keep Your Produce Fresh for Weeks (Hint: It’s Not Always in the Fridge)

decorative leaf bulletBen and Jerry’s: We Must Dismantle White Supremacy: Silence Is Not An Option They have a four-part plan. It starts with:

First, we call upon President Trump, elected officials, and political parties to commit our nation to a formal process of healing and reconciliation. Instead of calling for the use of aggressive tactics on protestors, the President must take the first step by disavowing white supremacists and nationalist groups that overtly support him, and by not using his Twitter feed to promote and normalize their ideas and agendas. The world is watching America’s response.

decorative leaf bulletHow Apples Go Bad

The closer an apple is to rot, the more rot it spreads—one spoiling apple speeds the rot of every apple it touches, and even of ones it doesn’t touch.

History and Archaeology

decorative leaf bulletPerfectly preserved wooden saddle is nearly 1700 years old

A beautifully preserved wooden saddle from Mongolia estimated to be nearly 1700 years old has provided researchers with valuable insights into the people who lived in the area all those years ago.
The saddle was among a trove of items found in the Urd Ulaan Uneet cave burial, which was first investigated in 2015.

decorative leaf bulletArchaeologists discover ‘amazing’ details of Roman city

As well as a bath house, theatre, shops and several temples, the team from the universities of Cambridge and Ghent have discovered a large public monument of a kind never seen before, which may relate to the religious practices of the people who lived in the area before the Romans.
The detailed scanning of the town of Falerii Novi, just over 30 miles (50km) north of Rome, has uncovered the layout of the city’s water system, offering new clues to how it was planned and laid out.

decorative leaf bulletVia The Smithsonian: the sogdians influencers on the silk roads

Meet the Sogdians, an ancient Silk Road people whose major influence on world art, culture, and trade has only in the last fifty years begun to be fully understood.

This site is about the current exhibit, but there’s a wealth of essays and images.

decorative leaf bulletThe black British history you may not know about

decorative leaf bulletRemains of earliest purpose-built playhouse found in east London

The Red Lion is thought to have been built around 1567 and probably played host to travelling groups of players. Its precise location has been the subject of conjecture and debate for a number of years, but archaeologists are as certain as they can be that they have found its remains at a site in the East End of London where a self-storage facility once stood.

Science and Nature

decorative leaf bulletA big shark and a large squid fought in the deep sea


decorative leaf bulletInvestigation Shows Governor’s Claims That Democrats Tried To Hack The Georgia Election Were Bullshit

decorative leaf bulletPolice have been spying on black reporters and activists for years. I know because I’m one of them. “I learned during a police surveillance trial that the Memphis Police Department spied on me and three other journalists.”


decorative leaf bulletUse These Tools to Delete All of Your Old Facebook Posts

decorative leaf bulletThe Silence of the Never Facebookers “Even fed-up tech workers are paralyzed by Silicon Valley’s culture.”

The industry says it wants to improve the world, but its workers are so comfortable, and so entrenched, that they have a hard time finding a way out that doesn’t lead them right back in again.

decorative leaf bulletThink Animal Crossing is just a cutesy ‘capitalist dystopia’? Think again

Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ simulated paradise is said to have a dark capitalist underbelly. But a popular subreddit where players can donate items reveals the kindness – and generosity – of strangers

Women’s Work

The Congresswoman Pepper-Sprayed by Police “In that moment, Ohio Representative Joyce Beatty said, she was just another black American attacked while protesting injustice.”

decorative leaf bulletA Florida police officer pushed a kneeling protester to the ground. Then his black colleague stepped in

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

decorative leaf bulletPritzker Calls President Trump a ‘Racist, Misogynist Homophobe’ “Illinois’ governor on Friday criticized President 🤥🤥👖🔥 response to the controversial death of George Floyd”

Josh Marshall TPM: War on the Streets

Over almost four years, across board 💩🔥💰 has ground the government down to the most incompetent and reckless individuals. Whole sections of the governments are now run by people who never faced the constitutional advise and consent process in a Senate controlled by the President’s own party. Only the incompetent, obsequious and corrupt have survived the winnowing. And that’s the footing on which we confront the current moment.

decorative leaf bulletMike Mullen former cairman of the Joint Chiefs of StaffI Cannot Remain Silent

It sickened me yesterday to see security personnel—including members of the National Guard—forcibly and violently clear a path through Lafayette Square to accommodate the president’s visit outside St. John’s Church. I have to date been reticent to speak out on issues surrounding President Trump’s leadership, but we are at an inflection point, and the events of the past few weeks have made it impossible to remain silent. Whatever Trump’s goal in conducting his visit, he laid bare his disdain for the rights of peaceful protest in this country, gave succor to the leaders of other countries who take comfort in our domestic strife, and risked further politicizing the men and women of our armed forces.

decorative leaf bullet🤥🤥👖🔥 tried to vote with wrong address while railing against voter fraud

decorative leaf bulletOne Twitter account is reposting everything 🤥🤥👖🔥 tweets. It was suspended within 3 days.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

decorative leaf bulletTwo local teens grocery shopped for their grandparents. Soon it became a national volunteer effort.

decorative leaf bulletKeith Fabor

decorative leaf bullet#Solidaritea: Yorkshire Tea and PG Tips join brands in backing BLM

decorative leaf makes a powerful statement on Black Lives Matter

Elsewhere for Sunday May 31, 2020

You should read this for 5/31/2020:

Art, Music, and Film

decorative leaf bulletVia NPR: The Countermelodies That Changed Us: A Lifetime Of Loving Indigo Girls

decorative leaf bulletWho Framed Roger Rabbit: An Oral History

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

decorative leaf bullet“Prior assumptions about our business no longer apply”: Cuts pile up at Vice, Quartz, The Economist, BuzzFeed, and Condé Nast

decorative leaf bulletTechdirt: How A Feud Among Wolf-Kink Erotica FanFic Authors Demonstrates What The Copyright Office Got Wrong In Its DMCA Report

decorative leaf bulletVia Twitter and @angrennufuin an absolutely fabulous, funny and amazing live tweet thread about Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond Chronicles

Coronavirus | COVID-19

decorative leaf bulletVia NPR: Researchers: Nearly Half Of Accounts Tweeting About Coronavirus Are Likely Bots

Researchers culled through more than 200 million tweets discussing the virus since January and found that about 45% were sent by accounts that behave more like computerized robots than humans.

It is too early to say conclusively which individuals or groups are behind the bot accounts, but researchers said the tweets appeared aimed at sowing division in America.

decorative leaf bulletMore evidence emerges on why coronavirus is so much worse than the flu

Researchers who examined the lungs of patients killed by covid-19 found evidence that it attacks the lining of blood vessels there, a critical difference from the lungs of people who died of the flu, according to a report published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

decorative leaf bulletWhy Native Americans took Covid-19 seriously: “It’s our reality”

decorative leaf bulletFrom TechDirt: Florida Government Decides To Fire Its Data Chief Rather Than Be Honest About Its COVID Numbers

decorative leaf bulletVia Science Magazine: Reducing transmission of SARS-CoV-2 This is a summary of extant data rather than new research, but it’s well worth reading.


decorative leaf bulletA Plan for Resisting Zoombombing

decorative leaf bulletWhat the CDC’s “Guidelines” for Reopening Schools Actually Say

As we wrap up this school year with virtual graduations and drive-by celebrations, parents everywhere are asking: What will school look like in the fall? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) weighed in this week with a list of recommendations school leaders should consider as they reopen during the pandemic—but its advice reads more like “just do your best” than “here’s what you have to do.”

Food and Drink

Via Smitten Kitchen: Rhubarb Cordial Fresh rhubarb, gin, citrus peel, sugar; the perfect spring-into-summer tonic.

decorative leaf bulletHoney pot: how to brew mead at home

Here are two of our favourite versions: a sweet, young, fizzy and non-alcoholic mead that’s like Ethiopian tej, and a drier, more alcoholic mead that requires a little longer to ferment.

Sour dough bread loaves
Image: Chris R. Sims (Simsc) Wikimedia Commons

decorative leaf bulletVia King Arthur Flour: Sourdough Baking: The complete guide This really is an excellent guide.

decorative leaf bulletLost recipes resurface on Facebook, and now we’re eating like crazy

History and Archaeology

decorative leaf bulletStoke-on-Trent Minton tiles found under Jersey City Hall floor vinyl

decorative leaf bulletAncient Roman mosaic floor discovered under vines in Italy

decorative leaf bulletThe meteoritic origin of Tutankhamun’s iron dagger blade

Since its discovery in 1925, the meteoritic origin of the iron dagger blade from the sarcophagus of the ancient Egyptian King Tutankhamun (14th C. BCE) has been the subject of debate and previous analyses yielded controversial results. We show that the composition of the blade (Fe plus 10.8 wt% Ni and 0.58 wt% Co), accurately determined through portable x‐ray fluorescence spectrometry, strongly supports its meteoritic origin. In agreement with recent results of metallographic analysis of ancient iron artifacts from Gerzeh, our study confirms that ancient Egyptians attributed great value to meteoritic iron for the production of precious objects. Moreover, the high manufacturing quality of Tutankhamun’s dagger blade, in comparison with other simple‐shaped meteoritic iron artifacts, suggests a significant mastery of ironworking in Tutankhamun’s time.

Science and Nature

decorative leaf bullet“We’ve never seen this”: wildlife thrives in closed US national park

Earlier this month, for the first time in recent memory, pronghorn antelope ventured into the sun-scorched lowlands of Death Valley national park. Undeterred by temperatures that climbed to over 110F, the animals were observed by park staff browsing on a hillside not far from Furnace Creek visitor center.
“This is something we haven’t seen in our lifetimes,” said Kati Schmidt, a spokesperson for the National Parks Conservation Association.

Video: Rare white grizzly bear sighted in Canadian Rockies


decorative leaf bullet“I’m not a quitter”: lobstermen turn to kelp farming in the face of climate crisis

decorative leaf bulletRoe v Wade plaintiff admits abortion rights reversal ‘was all an act’ in new film

decorative leaf bulletSICK DAYS “Instacart promises a safer way to shop, but workers tell a different story”

decorative leaf bulletVia Twitter With growing alarm, I’ve watched armed white men protesting around the US. But, as a Hawai’i resident, I’ve wondered specifically about the reoccurring presence of aloha shirts. Here is a THREAD explaining the odd and concerning story behind it

CNN reporter covering protests gets arrested on live TV See also: decorative leaf bulletCNN crew released from police custody after they were arrested live on air in Minneapolis

CNN disputed the state police characterization in a statement on Twitter.
“This is not accurate — our CNN crew identified themselves, on live television, immediately as journalists. We thank Minnesota @GovTimWalz for his swift action this morning to aid in the release of our crew.”

“We have a white reporter on the ground, and we have a brown reporter on the ground. They are a block apart. The brown reporter is arrested and the white reporter is telling us what’s happening,” Sellers said.


decorative leaf bulletVia Ryan Duffy and Emerging Tech Morning Brew: The COVID Traffic Report

decorative leaf bulletWatch two neighbors make the most of social distancing with a beer catapult

Women’s Work

decorative leaf bulletPandemic Makes Evident ‘Grotesque’ Gender Inequality In Household Work

“There’s been a lot of invisible labor that women have done, that people, particularly men — even in the same household — haven’t been aware of or haven’t paid attention to,” she says.

decorative leaf bulletFrom Gurgaon to Bihar, 15-Year-Old Girl Cycles 1,200 km With Injured Father

When the history of the present times of this country is written, not only will it record the failure of the current regime in managing a crisis but will acknowledge the struggles of common people, the labourers, children and women who covered hundreds of kilometres on foot to return home in the absence of any help from the government.
One of many such stories of indomitable courage and persistence is that of Jyoti Kumari, a 15-year-old native of Bihar’s Darbhanga, who travelled on a bicycle carrying her wounded father and covered more than 1,200 km from Gurgaon in Haryana to her village.

decorative leaf bulletCampaigner Ruth Hunt on straightwashing and erasure of LGBTQ history

She is credited with transforming Stonewall from an LGB charity to a fully trans-inclusive LGBTQ charity during her tenure.
Stonewall was founded in the UK as a response to Section 28 — a law passed in 1988 by Margaret Thatcher that stopped councils and schools “promoting the teaching of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship.” Section 28 was repealed in 2003.

In a new episode of Mashable podcast History Becomes Her, Hunt discusses how this law affected people who went to school during the time this legislation was in effect. She also reflected on her own experience growing up in that era.

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

decorative leaf bulletTrump’s Weekend of Scandal Was Hiding in Plain Sight

Here are some of them:
(1) The president of the United States quote-tweeted an avowed alt-right account that flirts with Holocaust denial,
(2) The president also texted supporters false allegations that he had been illegally spied on by the previous vice president.
(3) The president also fired another independent inspector general without providing cause.
(4) The official American death toll from COVID-19 inched close to 90,000 souls while the president spent his time live tweeting cable TV.
(5) One of the president’s large adult sons grotesquely suggested that Joe Biden is a “pedophile.”
(6) Another of his large adult sons claimed that the virus was a hoax perpetrated by the left and the media and that it will disappear after the election.

And there are more.

decorative leaf bulletTwitter needs to remove 🤥🤥👖🔥’s access He’s a malicious, lying, troll.

decorative leaf bulletTwitter labels Trump tweets as ‘potentially misleading’ for the first time

The label was imposed on two tweets 🤥🤥👖🔥 posted Tuesday morning falsely claiming that “mail-in ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent” and would result in “a rigged election.” The tweets focused primarily on California’s efforts to expand mail-in voting due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. On Sunday, the Republican National Committee sued California Governor Gavin Newsom over the state’s moves to expand mail-in voting.

See also: Twitter just fact-checked Donald 🤥🤥👖🔥 see Inside Twitter’s Decision to Fact-Check Trump’s Tweets

decorative leaf bulletDonald Trump’s executive order is ‘plainly illegal,’ says co-author of Section 230

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

Video: IKEA has designed a DIY bee home you can build at hom

decorative leaf bulletBy Jamie Mason: The Same Gift Twice

I can almost remember what I used to keep in the little painted box. Seeing it now pulls at eight-year-old me, still there, deep in my memory under every day that has piled layers over that little girl out there in some quantum eternity, stashing her treasures in an empty candy tin her father sent her.

decorative leaf bulletToni L. Kamins via The Washington Post : Stop taxing unemployment benefits

Weekly unemployment benefits vary by state, ranging from $190 in Puerto Rico to $823 in Massachusetts. Even the most generous isn’t enough to make ends meet anywhere in the country — with or without the pandemic stimulus supplement. When you subtract federal and state withholding taxes, the amount left over to take care of bare minimums — rent, food, health insurance and job-hunting expenses — just doesn’t add up.

I want to recommend two free email newsletters: Emerging Tech Brew and Morning Brew, a more general business/economy news letter. Both are well-written interesting, and not over-the-top marketing drivel. I’d suggest trying Morning Brew first, which, by the way, might result in me getting some nifty stickers or even a coffee coup.

Something Wonderful

decorative leaf bulletVia @MarkRober on Twitter, this video: Some squirrels stole my bird seed, so I’ve basically been spending the whole quarantine engineering my revenge 🙂 Here’s a Short version I love watching the birds, and ordinarily, I’m even a little fond of squirrels in the great outdoors. But they were not only hogging the feeders, chasing the birds, and consuming seeds at exhaustive speed, they were damaging the feeders. I’ve taken three feeders down for the time being, but do not underestimate their intelligence, tenacity or greed.

decorative leaf bulletSo my Dad made good use of his time in lockdown and built a huge laughing Kookaburra.

decorative leaf bulletVia NPR: “Quaranzines” Bring Readers Together Despite Distancing

During the coronavirus pandemic, the Internet has become home to a growing number of these self-published chronicles, comics, and how-to guides for everything from cutting your hair to building emergency hand washing stations. Often published on Instagram with hashtags such as #quaranzine and #stayhomemakezines, they draw on a tradition first established in the 1930s, when self-published, hand-made “fanzines” provided a forum for sci-fi fans to reflect on the genre as well as the nature of fandom itself.

Elsewhere for May 17. 2020

You should read this for 5/17/2020:

Art and Film

decorative leaf bulletCheck out this extremely detailed image of Rembrandt’s Night Watch painting

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

The Perambulating Library of 1859 in Warrington, England
Image: Wikipedia

decorative leaf bulletVia Stephen’s Lighthouse: Before Amazon, We Had Bookmobiles: 75 Rare Photos Of Libraries-On-Wheels

Coronavirus | Covid-19

decorative leaf bulletThe Risks – Know Them – Avoid Them

decorative leaf bulletThe Four Men Responsible For America’s COVID-19 Test Disaster

decorative leaf bulletThe coronavirus slayer! How Kerala’s rock star health minister helped save it from Covid-19 “KK Shailaja has been hailed as the reason a state of 35 million people has only lost four to the virus. Here’s how the former teacher did it.”

In 20 January, KK Shailaja phoned one of her medically trained deputies. She had read online about a dangerous new virus spreading in China. “Will it come to us?” she asked. “Definitely, Madam,” he replied. And so the health minister of the Indian state of Kerala began her preparations

decorative leaf bulletMara Gay, writing for The New York Times: “I Wish I Could Do Something for You,” My Doctor Said

The second day I was sick, I woke up to what felt like hot tar buried deep in my chest. I could not get a deep breath unless I was on all fours. I’m healthy. I’m a runner. I’m 33 years old. […]
I am one of the lucky ones. I never needed a ventilator. I survived. But 27 days later, I still have lingering pneumonia. I use two inhalers, twice a day. I can’t walk more than a few blocks without stopping.
I want Americans to understand that this virus is making otherwise young, healthy people very, very sick. I want them to know, this is no flu.

Food and Drink

decorative leaf bulletMaking Your Own Sour Cream Is Extremely Worthwhile And it’s even easier than making your own ricotta.

decorative leaf bulletYeast scientist has some bad news about your sourdough starter


decorative leaf bulletNew Reporting Increases Doubts on Tara Reade’s Allegation Against Joe Biden


decorative leaf bulletUkrainian hackers used quizzes to access private Facebook data, company says

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

decorative leaf bulletHow Trump has berated, insulted and demeaned female reporters – video

Something Wonderful

decorative leaf bulletH/T SJS:

Toronto-based artist Micah Adams uses a jeweler’s saw to cut out the embossed animals, figures, and objects from coins of different sizes and denominations. The metal cut-outs are used to create tiny readymades and fun collages. From a growing pile of copper leaves taken from Canadian pennies, to intricate birds and flowers borrowed from foreign currency, each of Micah Adams works are hand cut using the same basic tool.

Elsewhere for May 10, 2020

You should read this for 5/10/2020:

Art and Film

decorative leaf bulletVia Dan Moren @dmoren: Star Wars is the most influential work of fiction in my entire life, so it’s no surprise I’ve spent a ton of time thinking, talking, and writing about it. Anyway, as I sit here listening to all of the scores, I figured it’s a good day to point to some of my favorite work on it.

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

decorative leaf bulletVia N.H. NPR: Listen Online: New Hampshire Library Leaders Interviewed on Public Radio

decorative leaf bulletThe real Lord of the Flies: what happened when six boys were shipwrecked for 15 months

Coronavirus | COVID-19

decorative leaf bulletVia NPR: Trump Received Intelligence Briefings On Coronavirus Twice In January President Trump was warned in January briefings that the coronavirus was going to “spread globally,” according to a White House official. Five days after that initial briefing, the official says Trump was briefed again.

The question of what Trump knew about the coronavirus, when he was aware of it and the tenor of those conversations have come under heavy scrutiny, as the administration faces criticism that it was slow to respond to early warnings about the virus. In the time since the president’s January briefings, the U.S. has reported more than 1.1 million cases of the coronavirus — more than any other nation. In all, more than 66,000 Americans have died.

decorative leaf bulletWhy the Coronavirus Is So Confusing “A guide to making sense of a problem that is now too big for any one person to fully comprehend”

decorative leaf bulletHow ‘Karen’ Became a Coronavirus Villain


decorative leaf bulletWhen Quakers Become Takers

In response, [St. Andrew’s Episcopal in Maryland, Brentwood School in Los Angeles] came up with lists of reasons they would not be returning the money. The primary reason was simple enough: The schools had qualified for the loan, and they needed to pay their workers like any other business. But the board of Sidwell Friends School, the private, hyper-selective alma mater of the Obama and Clinton children in Washington, D.C., argued that it should keep the $5 million it had received for a different reason: “The Board determined that accepting the loan was appropriate and fully consistent with its fiduciary responsibilities, as well as our Quaker values.”

Food and Drink

decorative leaf bulletNo flour? No problem. Try these recipes for delicious sweet bakes

decorative leaf bulletIf You’re Out of Baking Powder or Baking Soda, Try These Substitutes

decorative leaf bulletFrom Wirecutter: Tools and Tips for Freezing Food So Nothing Goes to Waste

History and Archaeology

decorative leaf bulletPolice seize 19,000 stolen artefacts in international art trafficking crackdown “101 suspects arrested and rare cultural treasures recovered in huge global investigation”

Science and Nature

decorative leaf bulletCanada: DNA discovery lends weight to First Nations ancestral story


decorative leaf bulletHow to Return a Deceased Person’s Stimulus Check

Via Down East Magazine: The Moment That Presaged a Maine Senator’s Downfall This is an interesting look at Maine in 1970, with some strong connections to current events.

Women’s Work

decorative leaf bulletArmed citizens escort lawmaker into Michigan State Capitol

“The majority of the protesters were white,” Anthony said. “I’m still not exactly sure on the connection between confederate flags and Nazi symbolism. They just had no connection to the stay-at-home orders. The fact they were carrying guns openly while we voted was unnerving.”

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

decorative leaf bulletWhile Americans shelter in place, Trump plans his summer getaway

As nearly half of all Americans cancel their summer plans to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, US president Donald Trump will be escaping to New Jersey.

According to federal spending data, the Secret Service has ordered bullet-resistant glass and party tents to be used in Bedminster—home to the 535-acre Trump National Golf Club,

Taxpayers are footing a $42,350 payment to a party rental company in Jackson, New Jersey, as well as a $9,600 bill for ballistic glass installation and removal, awarded to a small business in Westbury, New York. The tent rental is projected to be slightly less expensive than one the Secret Service rented in 2018 for the holiday season at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm beach, which cost taxpayers $54,000. The Secret Service uses the tents primarily as screening areas for vehicles and visitors.

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is telling people across the US that they should only travel outside their local area if it’s for “essential” reasons, such as providing “medical or home care to others,” or “for a job considered an essential service.”

decorative leaf bulletVice President Mike Pence staffer tests positive for coronavirus

Yet Pence and Trump by and large refuse to wear masks, despite a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that face coverings be used to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

decorative leaf bulletTrump Falsely Claims He Inherited ‘Empty’ Stockpile

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

decorative leaf bulletCoronavirus: Gollum actor Serkis to raise cash by reading entire Hobbit live online

“So many of us are struggling in isolation during the lockdown,” he said.
“While times are tough, I want to take you on one of the greatest fantasy adventures ever written, a 12-hour armchair marathon across Middle Earth whilst raising money for two amazing charities which are doing extraordinary work right now to help those most in need.”

Something Wonderful

decorative leaf bulletJer Thorp @blprnt made a game called 🐦🎶🎲 You can learn the calls and songs of the birds in your area. It’s made with data from eBird and sounds from Xeno-Canto.

decorative leaf bulletVia Twitter and @KatecBowler: Every night, in the sweetest voice, my six year old asks me a question in order to try and stall me from leaving. I commit to documenting these questions every night for the next 30 days because THAT KID HAS GAME.

decorative leaf bulletSabrina Orah Mark in The Paris Review: Fuck the Bread. The Bread Is Over. Read this. It’s about life, truth, fairy tales, bread, and academic circuses.

Elsewhere for May 3, 2020

You should read this for 5/3/2020:

Art, Music, and Film

decorative leaf bulletArt history majors are thrilled that ‘Animal Crossing’ gives them a chance to shine

decorative leaf bulletHear Classic Rock Songs Played on a Baroque Lute: “A Whiter Shade of Pale,” “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “White Room” & Mor Thank to the efforts of Baroque lutenist Daniel Estrem. I particularly admire “House of the Rising Sun.”

decorative leaf bulletDutch researchers coax secrets from Girl with a Pearl Earring

Johannes Vermeer, Girl with a Pearl Earring (ca. 1665)
Image: Wikmedia Commons

decorative leaf bulletYou Can Now View 4 Million Items in the British Museum’s Online Collection

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

decorative leaf bulletH/T: Elizabeth Featured – Diversity Check: Removing Dehumanizing Language from the Discovery System

Coronavirus | COVID-19

decorative leaf bulletMan dressed as grim reaper to visit Florida beaches that reopen too early

decorative leaf bulletAmazon tech workers are calling out sick in protest over COVID-19 response “Amazon tech workers are calling out sick today in protest of the company’s treatment of workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The action, which will consist of a live streamed series of speakers in lieu of a physical rally, is a sign that the protests at Amazon’s warehouses have galvanized portions of the company’s white-collar workforce.”

A software engineer in Seattle who asked to remain anonymous “given Amazon’s recent history of retaliation” checked his email after receiving the invitation, only to have it vanish ten minutes later. He had found the earlier panel “eye opening,” particularly the disparity in how tech workers and warehouse workers are being treated during the pandemic: while he and his colleagues were sent home immediately after a coronavirus case was confirmed at Amazon’s headquarters, warehouse workers aren’t being informed when coworkers test positive and social distancing is haphazardly enforced.

decorative leaf bulletSee also: Amazon’s white-collar workers are starting to stand up for their blue-collar colleagues

decorative leaf bulletGeorgia’s Experiment in Human Sacrifice “The state is about to find out how many people need to lose their lives to shore up the economy.”

“We can’t figure out a way to make the numbers work to sustain business and pay rent and pay everybody to go back and risk their lives,” he told me. “If we tried to open on Monday, we’d be closed in two weeks, probably for good and with more debt on our hands.”

Georgia’s brash reopening puts much of the state’s working class in an impossible bind: risk death at work, or risk ruining yourself financially at home. In the grips of a pandemic, the approach is a morbid experiment in just how far states can push their people. Georgians are now the largely unwilling canaries in an invisible coal mine, sent to find out just how many individuals need to lose their job or their life for a state to work through a plague.

decorative leaf bullet‘We’re Literally Killing Elders Now’

An estimated 70 percent of coronavirus deaths in Minnesota have been linked to long-term-care facilities. In at least six states, these fatalities account for half of all COVID-19 deaths, and according to the World Health Organization, half of all coronavirus fatalities in Europe have been traced to nursing homes too. Some of this mortality is linked to long-term-care facilities that are shoddily run or that violate health standards. But most of them are doing the best they can with what they have. And they don’t have much.

decorative leaf bulletAn Open Letter to Other Library Directors | Opinion

If your plan is to begin reopening as soon as possible, or engaging in curbside soon, then I want to see the library director and administrators on the front lines of service. I want them to be the ones to take books out to the cars, handle materials, and empty book drops.
Remember, when people say “That’s why you make the big bucks” (they don’t say that too often in libraries), this means you. Our lower-paid employees are often our most vulnerable in terms of being able to handle sickness and unplanned financial setbacks.

decorative leaf bulletDon’t Mix Your Cleaning Products

decorative leaf bulletTribes Were Supposed To Get $8 Billion In COVID-19 Aid. They’ve Gotten $0.

Food and Drink

decorative leaf bulletFirst the Negroni; now the Martini: Stanley Tucci teaches us to make a martini and he takes his ‘stirred not shaken’

decorative leaf bulletThe power of pickles: a guide to preserving almost everything – from jam-making to chutneys

decorative leaf bulletThe secret to San Francisco’s famous sourdough: bug poop

decorative leaf bulletYou Should Eat More Black-Eyed Peas

decorative leaf bulletThe Mohito Just in time in terms of all that mint . . .

decorative leaf bulletlayered yogurt flatbreads

But instead of frying them right away, you brush them with oil, sprinkle them with scallions, and roll the pancake into a tight cigar, and then the cigar into a snail. This snail of wound dough is left to rest again, and then rolled into the final pancake. The hidden layers of flour and oil help the layers lift and separate into flaky layers as you fry the pancakes.

decorative leaf bulletSlow Cooker Chickpea Curry with Sweet Potatoes and Red Peppers

History and Archaeology

decorative leaf bulletPompeii ruins show that the Romans invented recycling “Excavations reveal that rubbish left outside the city walls wasn’t just dumped. It was being collected, sorted and resold”

Science and Nature

decorative leaf bulletScientists discover new species of turtle that looks like a muddy rock

decorative leaf bulletHubble celebrates 30 years in space with a gorgeous landscape of stars

decorative leaf bullet‘I can see a bird. What is it?’: a beginners’ guide to backyard birding

decorative leaf bullet“Crazy beast” lived among last of dinosaurs

Scientists think that the badger-like creature, known as Adalatherium, would have burrowed – helping it to evade predatory dinosaurs. This could explain how it evolved to such a size.

The public voted. These are some of NASA’s all-time best photos of Earth.


decorative leaf bulletThe Brew’s Guide to Quarterly Earnings


decorative leaf bulletWhen David Bowie Launched His Own Internet Service Provider: The Rise and Fall of BowieNet (1998)

Women’s Work

decorative leaf bulletA Secret Love review – moving portrait of two women’s 60-year romance

The romance between Terry and Pat never seems to have gone stale. Terry was a pioneering sportswoman, a baseball player in the professional women’s league that inspired the Penny Marshall movie A League of Their Own. She was 22 in 1947 when she met the love of her life, Pat, then 18. They’ve kept the early love letters, the bottoms ripped off in case they were caught by the authorities.

decorative leaf bulletSkeletal damage hints some hunter-gatherer women fought in battles “Traditional views of females being largely responsible for gathering food may be too simplistic’

Women’s reputation as nurturing homebodies who left warfare to men in long-ago societies is under attack. Skeletal evidence from hunter-gatherers in what’s now California and from herders in Mongolia suggests that women warriors once existed in those populations.

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

decorative leaf bulletTrump’s claim the Postal Service loses money on every e-commerce package it delivers

In the end, Treasury cannot show us USPS is actually losing money on its contract with Amazon, as Trump claims. It can assert only that USPS does not know whether it makes a profit.

decorative leaf bulletPresident’s intelligence briefing book repeatedly cited virus threat

decorative leaf bulletWhy Trump Was Deaf to All the Warnings He Received

he Washington Post reports that the President’s Daily Brief, or PDB, an intelligence report on national-security threats, mentioned the coronavirus “more than a dozen” times in January and February, a period during which the Trump administration was doing little to prepare for a pandemic, and when the president himself was often downplaying the threat the virus posed to the United States. The oversight would come as a surprise if not for the long line of warnings that the president is known to have ignored.
Here’s a partial timeline:

decorative leaf bulletHow New Jersey’s Governor Figured Out Trump “Phil Murphy discusses the state’s efforts to mitigate its coronavirus infections and lower its death rate, the second-highest in the country.”

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

decorative leaf bulletThe Getty Has a Free Animal Crossing Art Generator

Elsewhere for April 26. 2020

You should read this for 4/26/2020:

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

decorative leaf bulletShakespeare Day 2020: Dame Judi Dench reads from Richard II

Food and Drink

decorative leaf bulletThomas Frake’s buttermilk fried chicken and leftover slaw

decorative leaf bulletRachel Roddy’s recipe for piadina flatbread æA cheerful, simple flatbread you eat straight from the pan, loaded with soft cheese, prosciutto and greens”

The key to piadine is eating them while they are really hot. This means gathering everyone around and having all the fillings ready: slices of salami, prosciutto or ham, soft cheeses such as stracchino, gorgonzola or cream cheese, also some greens, such as rocket or watercress. As soon as your piadina comes out of the pan, fill and spread one half, then fold the other half over. Eat immediately, ideally with a cold beer or glass of lip-staining dry lambrusco.


decorative leaf bulletConservative activist family behind “grassroots” anti-quarantine Facebook events

Their usual method is to attack established conservative groups from the right, including the National Rifle Association, and then make money by selling memberships in their groups or selling mailing lists of those who sign up, according to some conservative politicians and activists who have labeled the efforts as scams.

Women’s Work

decorative leaf bulletAngela Merkel Is Germany’s Scientist in Chief “The chancellor’s rigor in collating information, her honesty in stating what is not yet known, and her composure are paying off.”

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

decorative leaf bulletQuestions mount over Christian group behind Central Park Covid-19 hospital “Facility run by Trump ally Franklin Graham’s organisation requires staff to sign statement opposing gay marriage”

decorative leaf bulletCompany With Ties To Trump Receives Millions From Small Business Loan Program

decorative leaf bulletTrump vs. Pelosi: What happened in Chinatown

decorative leaf bulletTrump says he will block coronavirus aid for U.S. Postal Service if it doesn’t hike prices immediately

President Trump on Friday threatened to block an emergency loan to shore up the U.S. Postal Service unless it dramatically raised shipping prices on online retailers, an unprecedented move to seize control of the agency that analysts said could plunge its finances into a deeper hole.

Several administration officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, have said Trump’s criticism of Postal Service rates is rooted in a desire to hurt Amazon in particular. They have said that he fumes publicly and privately at Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post, for news coverage that Trump believes is unfair.

Amazon already delivers close to half of its own shipments. Before the pandemic, it was on pace to deliver more packages annually than either UPS or FedEx by 2022, according to Morgan Stanley.

The Postal Service has not taken federal funding since 1970, operating instead from revenue it raises from stamp sales and other products.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

decorative leaf bulletDutch flower park’s virtual tour brings blooms to living rooms

Elsewhere for April 19, 2020

You should read this for4/19/2020:

Art, Music, and Film

How Clannad made Theme from Harry’s Game

Tired of being cooped up? Want to entertain yourself and your kids? The British Museum has lots of ideas: How to Explore the British Museum form Home Virtual tools, online exhibits and galleries, podcasts, short films, digital galleries and collections . . .

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language


Corona Virus | COVID-19

H/T Kira Cee: Dumped Milk, Smashed Eggs, Plowed Vegetables: Food Waste of the Pandemic

The ‘Red Dawn’ Emails: 8 Key Exchanges on the Faltering Response to the Coronavirus “Experts inside and outside the government identified the threat early on and sought to raise alarms even as President Trump was moving slowly. Read some of what they had to say among themselves at critical moments.”

Via NPR: How One City Mayor Forced A Pork Giant To Close Its Virus-Stricken Plant

Later that day, the two officials released their letter to the press. That public disclosure forced Smithfield’s hand.
The next day, the company announced it was closing the Sioux Falls plant, which the company says accounts for 4% to 5% of all U.S. pork production, for an indefinite period of time. Other meat processing plants are also closed due to the coronavirus, although none has reported as many sick workers as the Sioux Falls plant.

Food and Drink

Forget sourdough! How to make 10 of the world’s easiest breads

How to make shepherd’s pie – recipe

How to Make a Single Packet of Yeast Last

Lockdown larder: the best store-cupboard recipes for cheap, easy meals

History and Archaeology

Bergen- Belsen. SAS entry into the Camp

‘Spectacular’ artefacts found as Norway ice-patch melts “Discoveries exposed by retreating ice include snowshoe for horses and bronze age ski”

Science and Nature

Interstellar object ‘Oumuamua believed to be ‘active asteroid’Everythime I see an artist’s rendering of Oumuamua I’m reminded of the STNG episode “Tin Man.”


Brooklyn’s legendary food co-op shows how community organizations can thrive in a pandemic

Women’s Work

Verona van de Leur: ‘When you have no food you do anything to survive’ “Dutchwoman was among Europe’s best gymnasts in 2002 but she became penniless and homeless after a bitter dispute with her family and coaches”

Has Trump finally met his match? The female reporters setting him straight “During Monday’s coronavirus briefing, the president talked over reporter Paula Reid – a pattern he seems to follow when talking to female journalists”

In the ensuing debacle, Trump talks over her, raising his voice and calling Reid disgraceful – a pattern he seems to follow when taking to female journalists, and female journalists of color particularly. Earlier this month, the PBS journalist Yamiche Alcindor had a similar interaction with Trump, during which he told her to “be nice”. Alcindor stood her ground and held her line of questioning.

Reid does what all journalists who are facing Donald Trump should do: she demands an answer, she holds him to account, and she remains steadfast and unfazed while he ignores her questions and insults her instead.

Paula Reid of CBS and Yamiche Alcindor of PBS need to have backup from their colleagues. Work together journalists; you’re smarter and stronger than 🤥🤥👖🔥.

What Nurses Want You to Know “Preexisting staffing shortages and dismal pay are colliding with a crisis that’s testing the limits of the people caring for the sick and elderly.”

Nursing-home employees, nurses, and home health-care workers—the majority of whom are women—are at the forefront of the coronavirus crisis, and they have long been underpaid, overworked, and under-resourced. Registered nurses can expect to make less than $72,000 annually at the median; home health- and personal-care aides earn just $24,000 a year. A quarter of home care workers are uninsured.

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

Fauci confirms New York Times report Trump rebuffed social distancing advice

Asked on CNN’s State of the Union why the administration did not act when he and other officials advised, Fauci said: “You know … as I have said many times, we look at it from a pure health standpoint. We make a recommendation. Often, the recommendation is taken. Sometimes, it’s not.
“…It is what it is. We are where we are right now.”

No White House briefing was scheduled on Sunday but Trump continued to attack the Times and its article, in one tweet appearing inadvertently to confirm it, writing: “the Fake News Opposition Party is pushing, with all their might, the fact that President Trump ‘ignored early warnings about the threat’.”

This Is How It Looks When You’re Not Afraid æAnthony Fauci is the rare senior government official who seems more devoted to truth than to Trump.”

But it may explain why the familiar dynamics of Trump’s unhappiness with underlings—first the retweets of criticism, then the “Behind you 1,000 percent!” show of public support, then the dismissal, then the anger and insults from Trump—could take a different course this time.

he common theme that connects these people is that, one way or another, they have seemed afraid of Donald Trump. I am sure many of them would deny that if asked directly. But their actions are consistent with their being fearful of what would happen if they don’t do what Trump wants, or tell him what he so desperately wants to hear.

‘Daily Show’ runs compilation of Trump pointing blame for the coronavirus spread

There aren’t many politicians out there who are quick to hold up their hands and admit when they’ve made mistakes, especially in these unprecedented times. But although there’s mounting proof the White House was warned about the threat of a pandemic but did not act, Donald Trump is in a whole other league of pointing the finger.
The Daily Show compilation above mashes together various clips of the president blaming other people and organisations for their decisions relating to the coronavirus — from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to the Obama administration, from the World Health Organization to China.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

How You Can Support the USPS

The USPS has not received taxpayer funds since 1982, with its entire budget coming through the sale of stamps. So if you do want to help, buying stamps—and then waiting to use most or all of them until after the pandemic has passed and mail volume begins to recover—is a good way to support to USPS right now.

See also: Hoping To Save The Postal Service, People Rush To Buy Stamps The USPS, its establishment enshrined in the Constitution, works for all Americans, old, young, rich, poor, rural or urban. As a kid growing up in rural N.H. the Post Office was my gateway to the world. That’s true for so many of us even now. We vote by mail, we receive our social security and pension and dividend checks by mail, we keep in touch with friends and family with cards and letters, we depend on Media Mail for our books and tapes for the blind. Don’t let 🤥🤥👖🔥 kill the USPS.

Exeter to repatriate Blackfoot regalia to Siksika Nation

The Devon council voted to return the items to the Siksika Nation, in Canada, after guidance from curators at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM), which holds the sacred relics that once belonged to Crowfoot, a Blackfoot leader who signed a treaty in 1877 with forces of the Crown.
The return of the regalia, which include a buckskin shirt, leggings and a knife bought for £10 in 1904 from the family of an English-born member of the Canadian mounted police, followed a formal request made for the repatriation in 2015. It resolves a drawn-out dispute that has beenacrimonious at times.

These L.A. Librarians Are Building Hundreds Of Face Shields For Hospital Workers Using A 3D Printer

These efforts are examples of why libraries are still relevant not to mention essential to every day, especially in a time of need.

Nurses and doctors are posting photos of their faces bruised by masks. A boy stepped in to help.

Elsewhere for April 12, 2020

You should read this for 4/12/2020:

Art, Music, Film and Theatre

Benedictine nuns release Gregorian chants to help ease coronavirus isolation

They have instead allowed the release of a week’s worth of their chants for the six days Christians refer to as holy week, preceding Easter Sunday, the highlight of the religious calendar, when the chants have a particular importance. The rest is to go live next month.

Adrian Edmondson: ‘Hamlet saved me from being expelled’

Malvolio’s a sharp-tongued, po-faced joykiller, but he can’t have started out that way. He runs the household with meticulous precision. And while he’s unpleasant, he never does enough to provoke the wicked prank the rest of the household pulls on him, to be left imprisoned and losing his marbles.
Thankfully we no longer find someone being bullied as hysterical as people used to. I decided that if I could get the audience to laugh at him being bullied and then feel very guilty about it in the last scene, then I would have won … comedy and pathos are brilliant bedfellows. Discuss.
Twelfth Night will premiere on Marquee TV on 11 April, with a watchalong on Twitter starting at 7.15pm.

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

500-year-old manuscript contains one of earliest known uses of the “F-word”

Happy Birthday, Statute of Anne

Unfortunately, however, while in the early 18th century the focus on protecting and enhancing the rights of authors was intended to facilitate the growth of public discourse around those ideas, today that same focus on authors’ rights does the exact opposite. With so much emphasis now being put on the rights of the author as owner of the work to control it, at the expense of the public benefit the system is supposed to impart, it has had the effect of choking off what discourse these works might spawn. Through needlessly lengthy monopolies and overly-expansive interpretations of the reach of these rights, history seems to be repeating itself, returning us to the discourse-choking limitations of the licensing era and forsaking the promise of the Statute of Anne to promote its spread.

Coronavirus | COVID-19

More Details on Airlifts and Supply Seizures

According to Pritzker, the US military planes airlift the PPE and other medical supplies to the US and then hand them over to the major medical supply distributors the White House taskforce is working with. That part was clear from the discussion April 2nd. What Pritzker confirmed is that the states then have to bid against each other to purchase the supplies from those distributors.

Veterinary scientist hailed for Faroe Islands’ lack of Covid-19 deaths

Seth Meyers lists every time the Trump administration was warned about a pandemic

All jokes aside, Meyers makes an incredibly strong and frustrating case for one thing: “They knew.”

At White House coronavirus briefings, rescue efforts are extensive but often aspirational

These pronouncements and pledges have turned out, again and again, to be a description of the administration’s aspirational response to the pandemic, not the one doctors, nurses and stricken families are reporting from the front.

That is where emergency responders and hospitals are dangerously low on protective gear, and where widespread, rapid testing for the virus in retail parking lots is not, in fact, a reality. Where millions of small-business owners are struggling to get federal assistance they need to stave off collapse and where millions of people are newly unemployed and fearing ruin.

. . . .

While all crisis leaders have to chart a delicate course between comforting the nation and providing reliable information to its citizens, the president and his top political aides have repeatedly used the nationally televised briefings to describe efforts and actions that have not panned out.

Read this New York Times article Ma href=””>He Could Have Seen What Was Coming: Behind Trump’s Failure on the Virus “An examination reveals the president was warned about the potential for a pandemic but that internal divisions, lack of planning and his faith in his own instincts led to a halting response.” Then read this Twitter thread: from Eric Lipton @EricLiptonNYT with texts sent in early March.

By the last week of February, it was clear to the administration’s public health team that schools and businesses in hot spots would have to close. But in the turbulence of the Trump White House, it took three more weeks to persuade the president that failure to act quickly to control the spread of the virus would have dire consequences.

Food and Drink

No flour, eggs or butter? No problem! 23 cake recipes for when you’re missing an ingredient Includes recipes as well as tips for substitutions.

I have finally mastered the dark art of sourdough baking. Here’s how to do it
And Here’s a Helpful Timer for All That Sourdough You’re Making

Thankfully, a home baker and journalist Stuart Thompson created Bread Scheduler, a scheduling tool that helps you plan all that rising and resting with precision. Just choose one of six recipes provided and pick a start time, and Bread Scheduler will spit out timed, step-by-step instructions, along with timer reminders and helpful photos.

Via LifeHacker: Find and Share New Recipes With This Open Source Cookbook THere’s a Web version, or you can download the .pdf file.

Via Smitten Kitchen: ultimate banana bread

Hot cross buns (with grated orange zest and spices)

History and Archaeology

Science and Nature

This Lizard Is in the Middle of a Wild Evolutionary Transition, Scientists Believe

Three-toed skinks are one of a handful of species capable of bimodal reproduction, meaning that some populations are oviparous while others are viviparous. However, it is the only species that has ever been seen employing both modes during the same pregnancy, which demonstrates an unprecedented example of reproductive versatility.


April pink full moon: readers’ photos of the supermoon


Worried about Zoom’s privacy problems? A guide to your video-conferencing options

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

Trump holds “financial interest” in pharmaceutical company that produces hydroxychloroquine: NYT

You’ve Got Less Mail: The Postal Service Is Suffering Amid The Coronavirus

The terms of the loan included in the last funding bill could give control of large parts of the agency to the Treasury Department, and Dimondstein says the Trump administration has made no secret of its desire to eventually privatize the Postal Service. “It’s in writing,” he says. “That’s their plan.”

. . .

Congressman Connolly says the next coronavirus rescue bill should provide a cash infusion of $25 billion to the Postal Service and forgive the agency’s debts, which House Democrats had pressed for but failed to get in the last funding package, after objections by Senate Republicans and the White House. He notes that lawmakers provided about $50 billion in that bill to help the airline industry.

Donald Trump Fires Inspector General Who Brought Ukraine Phone Call Whistleblower Complaint To Congress

The whistleblower that reported President Trump’s inappropriate conversation with Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky saw their report buried by the White House’s Office of Legal Counsel. So much for the proper channels. President Trump himself asked for the whistleblower to be outed, undermining the protections the federal government has established to ensure wrongdoing is reported.
The only party receptive to the whistleblower’s complaints has now been fired by President Trump, closing the loop on the White House’s retaliatory actions.
President Donald Trump on Friday fired Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson, who had told Congress about the whistleblower complaint that led to Trump’s impeachment, the President told Congress in a letter obtained by CNN.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

Color Our Collections Free downloadable coloring books and sheets from various museums, based on their collections.

Elsewhere for April 5, 2020

You should read this for 4/5/2020:

Art and Film

The Marvel Spiderman artist teaching children in Ireland to draw

Illustrator Albert Uderzo drew me in to Asterix’s world with deftness and care

H/T Lymond: The Getty Museum in Los Angeles challenged art fans to post photos of themselves recreating their favorite works of art from the safety of their homes. People responded with a lot of enthusiasm and flooded social media with their unique artistic interpretations.

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

The New York Times Is Committing ‘Journalistic Malpractice’ On Trump’s Catastrophic Covid-19 Failures

Coronavirus | COVID-19

Coronavirus: The fake Bill Gates post and other claims to ignore

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is what real coronavirus leadership looks like

Returning to the above chart, Washington state, despite being the site of the earliest cluster of confirmed cases in the U.S., has contained its outbreak better than any state, and many other sub-national regions as well. This simply must be because Governor Inslee started testing earlier, implemented clampdown measures earlier, and tightened them earlier.

Coronavirus: A US tourist town telling visitors to stay away

The US state of New Hampshire, with its mountains, lakes and foliage, is used to being a tourist destination for urbanites from nearby Boston and New York. But as out-of-towners flock to their summer homes to escape coronavirus in the cities, locals are begging them to stay away.

Dad has always sent care packages from China. Now it’s face masks instead of snacks

Everyone Thinks They’re Right About Masks

Print this so you don’t bring coronavirus home

You Need To Look At This

TPM Reader BW flagged something to me from this evening’s White House press conference that strikes me as pretty remarkable. The US has established an airbridge of flights from abroad to bring in supplies of masks, gowns, all the supplies we’re hearing are in short supply. But in answer to a question from Weijia Jiang of CBS News, the Admiral in charge of this effort explained that those supplies mainly are not going to FEMA or the states. They’re going to private sector distributors. And that seems to be one of the big reasons why states are having to fight amongst themselves over them, bidding up the price along the way.

The 1,000-Bed Comfort Was Supposed to Aid New York. It Has 20 Patients.

“If I’m blunt about it, it’s a joke,” said Michael Dowling, the head of Northwell Health, New York’s largest hospital system. “Everyone can say, ‘Thank you for putting up these wonderful places and opening up these cavernous halls.’ But we’re in a crisis here, we’re in a battlefield.”

Mr. Dowling said he has had to tear his hospitals apart, retrofitting any unused space, including lobbies and conference rooms, into hospital wards. His facilities now house 2,800 so-called Covid patients, up from 100 on March 20, he said. About 25 percent of those are in serious conditions in intensive care units.
Across the city, hospitals are overrun. Patients have died in hallways before they could even be hooked up to one of the few available ventilators in New York. Doctors and nurses, who have had to use the same protective gear again and again, are getting sick. So many people are dying that the city is running low on body bags.


Free Educational Content In Minecraft Marketplace!

From the comfort of your home, you can tour the International Space Station or even explore the inside of a human eye. We’ve also included ten worlds from our Marketplace creator community! Thanks to creators Everbloom, Jigarbov, Lifeboat, Razzleberries, The World Foundry, Blockworks, and Imagiverse you can explore renewable energy, marine biology, Greek history, and more! The worlds include lesson plans like creative writing activities, build challenges, and tricky puzzles.

Food and Drink

These 7 Top-Rated Tennessee Whiskeys Prove It’s Not All About Kentucky

Connoisseurs will know that Tennessee whiskey is also made with at least 51% corn before being aged in new charred oak barrels, but Tennessean producers go an extra step. They must filter the whiskey through sugar maple charcoal in a step that mellows the spirit.

Limoncello locktails! How to make delicious drinks from years-old holiday booze

How to cook pad thai – recipe

History and Archaeology

Dugout Canoe Dated in New Hampshire

Science and Nature

Video via Twitter: Just watch it to the end; you’ll want to hear it, too.


A fine bromance? Why the Cuomos’ brotherly love is just what we need “One is New York’s governor, the other a CNN anchor battling Covid-19. But their human interaction is a balm in troubled times”


Safety and Security While Video Conferencing with Zoom

Zoom has come under fire in recent days due to security issues with the platform. A zero-day vulnerability has recently been disclosed, and numerous users have noted that Zoom bombers are joining open meetings and sharing undesirable content. Zoom has also been found to overshare data with Facebook via their iOS app, a problem now fixed. BleepingComputer recently reported about a newly found vulnerability in Zoom that allows an attacker to steal Windows login credentials from other users.

Every Zoom Security and Privacy Flaw So Far, and What You Can Do to Protect Yourself

Women’s Work

Defiant British Museum appoints Mary Beard as trustee “Board approves the ‘perfect candidate’ after she was rejected by No 10 for her pro-European views”

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

Judge Allows PEN America’s Lawsuit Against 🤥🤥👖🔥 Trump Over Retaliation Against The Media To Proceed

Robin Lindley’s interview of James D. Zirin, the author of Plaintiff in Chief: A Portrait of Trump in 3,500 Lawsuits

Jared Kushner’s Coronavirus Task Force Is Using Private Email Accounts To Conduct Official Business

Jared Kushner’s shadow coronavirus task force appears to be violating both the Presidential Records Act (PRA) and Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) by using private email accounts with no assurance their communications are being preserved and by meeting in secret, according to a letter sent today by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). The failure of the White House to comply with any of the PRA and FACA requirements leaves the public in the dark about the work the shadow task force has done and the influence of private industries on the administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

No paywall in the chicken coop: A fast-food chain is paying to take down 16 Canadian newspapers’ paywalls this month “On April 1, Postmedia announced it is partnering with Mary Brown’s Chicken & Taters, a Canadian fast-food restaurant with 170 locations, to drop its paywall on all content for the entire month. “We’re pleased and gratified by this generous vote of confidence in our journalism,” wrote Lucinda Chodan, senior vice president of editorial, on the National Post’s website.”

Something Wonderful