Elsewhere for August 9, 2020

You should read this for 8/9/2020:

Art, Music, and Film

decorative leaf bullet“On the Trail” is an incomplete portrait of what it’s like to be a female political journalist

On the Trail: Inside the 2020 Primaries is not about the presidential candidates who are out campaigning. Rather, it follows the various female journalists who cover the campaigns for CNN. While it spends ample time on seasoned anchors like Kyung Lah and Dana Bash, it also focusses on the chaotic lives of young embeds like Jasmine Wright and Daniella Diaz, who are required to follow their assigned candidates at all times.

decorative leaf bulletSave Your Google Play Music Library Before It Disappears

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

decorative leaf bulletRedditor spots ‘Legend of Zelda’ ingredients in historical novel, author owns it

I want to let you know how much I really enjoy using BaronFig notebooks, and their excellent just-right-sized pen, the Squire. Here’s a referral link for BaronFig: $10.00 off on quality notebooks and writing instruments.

Coronavirus | COVID-19

H/T Yasmin: decorative leaf bulletOver 260 Georgia school employees under quarantine 1 day after returning to classroom See also: The Truth Behind A Viral Picture Of A Reopening School Is Worse Than It Looked And yes, students do have first amendment rights: Georgia School District Inadvertently Begins Teaching Lessons In First Amendment Protections After Viral Photo and then finally: Georgia school reverses suspension of teen who shared viral photo of hallway packed with students

decorative leaf bulletShould You Buy a Face Shield

decorative leaf bullet300,000 Deaths By December? 9 Takeaways From The Newest COVID-19 Projections


decorative leaf bulletI’m sorry, but it’s a fantasy “Jeff Gregorich, superintendent, on trying to reopen his schools safely”

The governor has told us we have to open our schools to students on August 17th, or else we miss out on five percent of our funding. I run a high-needs district in middle-of-nowhere Arizona. We’re 90 percent Hispanic and more than 90 percent free-and-reduced lunch. These kids need every dollar we can get. But covid is spreading all over this area and hitting my staff, and now it feels like there’s a gun to my head. I already lost one teacher to this virus. Do I risk opening back up even if it’s going to cost us more lives? Or do we run school remotely and end up depriving these kids?

decorative leaf bulletThe rightwing defence of ‘academic freedom’ masks a McCarthyite agenda

But while both the report and its recommendations are laughable, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take them seriously. One of the authors, Eric Kaufmann, from the politics department at Birkbeck, University of London, recently called on students and others to report academics for engaging in “politically motivated” attempts to “alter the curriculum”. Who will judge whether such alterations are acceptable? None other than Policy Exchange, under the auspices of its new History Matters project.

Food and Drink

H/T Wirecutter:

decorative leaf bulletUSDA Complete Guide to Home Canning, 2015 revision Free printable PDF file.

decorative leaf bulletThe science that proves making your tea in the microwave is a truly appalling act

History and Archaeology

decorative leaf bulletStudy Warns of Deteriorating Peat Bog Preservation

In 2019, Boethius and his colleagues dug five test pits in areas of the bog that had yielded significant amounts of organic matter during previous excavations in the 1940s and 1970s. Comparing the newly recovered material to samples that had been stored from the previous excavations, they found that the freshly excavated bones were considerably more weathered than the material from both the 1940s and 1970s, suggesting that conditions at the site have deteriorated progressively since the 1940s. Bones from the 1940s were the best preserved, and the best preserved of the 2019 bones were in similar condition to the worst preserved samples from the 1970s excavations.

decorative leaf bulletNeolithic “Woodhenge” Discovered in Portugal

Science and Nature

Fossil meteorite from the mid-Ordovician period, around 460 million years ago. Image credit: Birger Schmitz

decorative leaf bulletAncient Meteorites Can be Found Embedded in Rocks, Like Fossils

decorative leaf bulletA Crashed Israeli Lunar Lander Spilled Tardigrades on the Moon I suspect that this event may have helped inspire certain narrative threads in Star Trek Discovery.


decorative leaf bulletU.S. Intelligence Warns China Opposes Trump Reelection, Russia Works Against Biden

JUST IN: The U.S. intelligence community in a statement warns China is attempting to undermine President Trump’s campaign; Russia is working to malign Joe Biden; and Iran is trying to undermine U.S. democratic institutions and Trump, and trying to sow division among Americans.

decorative leaf bulletTwitter scientist who died of COVID-19 turned out to be a hoax. It only gets weirder from there


decorative leaf bulletContent Moderation At Scale Is Impossible: Twitter Locks Accounts For Fact Checking The President “However, where things get sketchy on the content moderation front is that Twitter also then ended up freezing the accounts of journalists and activists who fact checked that “Fox & Friends” nonsense:”

decorative leaf bulletThese sustainable 3D printed homes are delivered and installed on the spot — Future Blink

Women’s Work

decorative leaf bulletTwo Black moms took their kids to the Mall. Secret Service officers confronted them with guns, they said.

Initially, the women said, an officer told them the vehicle had been reported stolen and that the suspects were two Black men. But the women, both African American, said no men were with them and provided proof that Johnson was the owner. She told the Secret Service she had never reported the car stolen. Eventually, the women were released — without an apology or answers to their questions, Winston said.

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

decorative leaf bulletVideo resurfaces of Trump struggling to vote in person in 2004 as he ramps up attacks on mail-in voting

decorative leaf bulletJournalist’s gobsmacked reactions during 🤥🤥👖🔥’s interview are Twitter’s too

Not only did 🤥🤥👖🔥 double down on his well-wishes for accused child sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell, he also attempted to explain away the horrendous U.S. coronavirus death toll with some more charts that not even he appeared to fully understand.

decorative leaf bullet🤥🤥👖🔥 said Biden ‘hurt God.’ Biden has spent his life drawing from his Catholic faith.

decorative leaf bullet💩🔥💰 continues to flout social distancing guidelines even as he urges others to follow them I see dead people.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

decorative leaf bulletThe Best Ways to Block Annoying People Around the Web

SetApp: A Suite of macOS Apps for a Single Price Affiliate link for a great collection of 75+ apps for a single price.

Something Wonderful

H/T Roseanne: decorative leaf bulletJimmy Buffett: “Everybody needs to take a little breath”

Image of Stonehenge

Elsewhere for August 2, 2020

You should read this for 8/2/2020:

Art, Music, and Film

decorative leaf bulletViacom’s Copyright Bots Take Down ‘Star Trek’ Comic-con Panel Because These Bots Suck Out Loud

The output of this broken system is shown when these bots take down totally legitimate content or when grifters abuse the system to try to take some measure of income away from small third-party streamers. But attempts at machine-based copyright enforcement are truly at their most satisfying when content companies employing these bots commit unintentional copyright seppuku.
This happens way more than you might think, but the latest version of this is Viacom briefly nuking its own Star Trek Comic-Con panel when the copyright borg misfired.

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

decorative leaf bulletAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s eloquence in the face of arrogance is a master class

Ocasio-Cortez’s address was a masterpiece of heartfelt, unadorned plain speech that (consciously or instinctively) employed the tools of the orator, the rhetorician and preacher. What carries us is repetition, rhythm, emphasis, cadence, pronunciation (the congresswoman leans into her Bronx vowels) and a seamless transition from each event or idea to its larger implications.

decorative leaf bulletAuthors condemn Saudi Arabia’s bid to host World Science Fiction Convention

Pointing to the fact that homosexuality is illegal and punishable by death in Saudi Arabia, its escalating restrictions on freedom of speech, and the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the writers argue that it is unacceptable to stage an international event against this backdrop.

decorative leaf bulletPublisher Decries Damn Libraries Entertaining The Masses Stuck At Home For Free

25% off at Story Supply Company; notebooks for every writer Expires 8/11/2020.

Coronavirus | COVID-19

decorative leaf bulletCoronavirus infects bear cam rangers in remote Alaska bqThe infections, which forced a temporary shutdown of the camp (but not the live cams), underscore how easy it is for this new coronavirus to spread between people anywhere, largely through airborne transmission.
“The primary transmission of COVID-19 is from person-to-person through respiratory droplets,” says the CDC, who notes transmission can happen from “those with mild symptoms or those who do not feel ill.”

decorative leaf bulletStudy: Nose appears to be better at spreading COVID-19 than mouth

decorative leaf bulletShe needs her license pulled

Via NPR: decorative leaf bulletCOVID-19 Hospital Data System That Bypasses CDC Plagued By Delays, Inaccuracies

Earlier this month, when the Trump administration told hospitals to send crucial data about coronavirus cases and intensive care capacity to a new online system, it promised the change would be worth it. The data would be more complete, transparent, and an improvement over the old platform run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, administration officials said.

Instead, the public data hub created under the new system is updated erratically and is rife with inconsistencies and errors, data analysts say.


decorative leaf bulletBeware of Facts Man “Facts Man is less about truth than raising questions. Why can’t Facts Man talk about certain issues in exactly the way he wants to?”

You have met Facts Man before if you have spent any time online in the past half decade or so. He’s inescapable. He podcasts. He makes YouTube videos. He traffics in Medium posts. He burns up Facebook. And he loves—loves!—Twitter.

What does he serve up there? Truth. Facts. The overlooked and the undercovered. The unvarnished and obvious conclusions that the media do not want you to believe. The conclusions that the social-justice warriors and sheeple professors will not let you reach. The conclusions that mere mortals, including lauded subject-matter experts and the people who have actual lived experience of the topic at hand, have not yet grasped.

Food and Drink

decorative leaf bulletHow to make hummus – recipe I like the fact that this recipe includes how to make hummus with dried or canned chickpeas/garbanzo beans.

decorative leaf bullet‘Your gut is more than just a mechanism for processing food’: how your diet can affect your mental health

decorative leaf bulletdulce de leche chocoflan This Smitten Kitchen recipe makes me think of my friend Bart.

decorative leaf bullet9 Ways to Make Pesto Straight from the Garden

decorative leaf bulletHow to Make Easy Refrigerator Pickles

History and Archaeology

Image of Stonehenge
Stonehenge Image: Gareth Wiscombe

decorative leaf bulletWhence Came Stonehenge’s Stones? Now We Know

Dr. Nash has traced the source of almost all the sarsens to West Woods, on the southern edge of the Downs and several miles closer to Stonehenge. His team analyzed the geochemical fingerprint of the 52 sarsens that remain in situ at the ancient site.

See also: Archaeologists Discover Source Od Stonehenge Giant Sarsen Stones and Stonehenge: Sarsen stones origin mystery solved. According to English Heritage’s Susan Greaney:

“To be able to pinpoint the area that Stonehenge’s builders used to source their materials around 2,500 BC is a real thrill.
“While we had our suspicions that Stonehenge’s sarsens came from the Marlborough Downs, we didn’t know for sure, and with areas of sarsens across Wiltshire, the stones could have come from anywhere.
“They wanted the biggest, most substantial stones they could find and it made sense to get them from as nearby as possible.”
Ms Greaney added the evidence highlights “just how carefully considered and deliberate the building of this phase of Stonehenge was”.

decorative leaf bulletNew Roman fort uncovered in Lancashire after years of speculation

A number of internal features have been revealed by geophysical survey including a well-defined eastern gateway with double gate towers, and numerous stone buildings interpreted as granaries or barracks. Limited trial trenching of the latter has revealed the presence of a large stone, buttressed building typical of a Roman granary.

Referral link for Curiosity Stream: CuriosityStream delivers shows across the full spectrum of the non-fiction genre to demystify science, nature, history, technology, society, lifestyle and more. $19.99/year for thousands of films (or $2.99/month).

Science and Nature

decorative leaf bulletRock from Mars heads home after 600,000 years on Earth “Tiny piece of meteorite from London’s Natural History Museum will be used by rover exploring red planet”


decorative leaf bulletThe Truth About Russian Trolling

decorative leaf bulletPatent Troll Gets Court To Order Startup It Sued To ‘Edit’ Blog Post; Troll Now Asks Startup To Get Us To Change Our Techdirt Post

decorative leaf bulletCourt Blocks Federal Officers From Attacking, Arresting Reporters Covering Protests In Portland

decorative leaf bulletHow to Figure Out If You’re Dating a Narcissist


The Verge: decorative leaf bulletThe Best Chromebooks To Buy In 2020

Women’s Work

decorative leaf bulletThe Unprecedented Bravery of Olivia de Havilland

decorative leaf bulletMoms In Tech Facebook Group Splintering Over Allegations Of Racism

Soon after, members began to notice their comments related to racism and social justice were being deleted. When a Latina entrepreneur, who requested anonymity for this article, posted about migrant kids being released from detention centers — and forcibly separated from their parents — she thought no one cared about the issue because the post got such low traction. Then she realized it had been taken down.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

decorative leaf bulletGet Paid to Be a Beekeeper

decorative leaf bulletRead Barack Obama’s Eulogy for John Lewis

We may no longer have to guess the number of jelly beans in a jar in order to cast a ballot, but even as we sit here, there are those in power who are doing their darnedest to discourage people from voting by closing polling locations and targeting minorities and students with restrictive ID laws and attacking our voting rights with surgical precision, even undermining the Postal Service in the run-up to an election that’s going to be dependent on mail-in ballots so people don’t get sick.

I know this is a celebration of John’s life. There are some who might say we shouldn’t dwell on such things. But that’s why I’m talking about it. John Lewis devoted his time on this Earth fighting the very attacks on democracy and what’s best in America that we’re seeing circulate right now. He knew that every single one of us has a God-given power and that the faith of this democracy depends on how we use it. That democracy isn’t automatic. It has to be nurtured. It has to be tended to. We have to work at it. It’s hard. And so he knew that it depends on whether we summoned a measure, just a measure of John’s moral courage, to question what’s right and what’s wrong. And call things as they are. He said that as long as he had a breath in his body, he would do everything he could to preserve this democracy, and as long as we have breath in our bodies, we had to continue his cause.

SetApp: A Suite of macOS Apps for a Single Price Affiliate link for a great collection of 75+ apps for a single price. These are familiar apps you will use.

Something Wonderful

Via: @thetzechun: VIdeo with sound (OK to turn off sound): decorative leaf bulletFrom

decorative leaf bulletThis Free macOS 8 Emulator Lets You Play ‘Oregon Trail’

Elsewhere for July 26, 2020

You should read this for 7/26/2020:

Art, Music, and Film

decorative leaf bulletDHS threatens Netflix filmmakers to keep damning footage from airing before the election: report

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

decorative leaf bulletThe Only Surviving Script Written by Shakespeare Is Now Online Not a really great headline; the British Library has put the entire digitized ms. of The Book of Sir Thomas More online. Passages were written by Shakespeare, including the most famous bit wherein More addresses a crowd of anti-Flemish who object to immigrants.

decorative leaf bulletHow to put free e-books on your Amazon Kindle. This is really about how to put ebooks that aren’t from Amazon on your Kindle.

Coronavirus | COVID-19

H/T @TimWasem: decorative leaf bulletThe Influenza Masks of 1918

decorative leaf bullet‘No mask, no entry. Is that clear enough? That seems pretty clear, right?’ “Lori Wagoner, retail clerk, on trying to enforce a state requirement to wear masks.”

We locked the front door and my co-worker and I went back into the storage room. We sat there and sobbed.

The next morning, I went to the hardware store to buy supplies. I can’t handle the constant tension. It’s rinse and repeat with all these daily blowups, and I’m starting to get paranoid. We installed a doorbell so we can keep the front door locked even during business hours, and I’ve got pepper spray up at my register. This is my job now. At least I’ll be ready.

decorative leaf bulletOn metric after metric, the coronavirus pandemic has been worse in the U.S. than nearly any other country

H/T Roseanne: decorative leaf bulletOf Friends: A Librarian Reflects

decorative leaf bulletIn Baltimore, a struggling, black-owned nursing home keeps covid-19 at bay

decorative leaf bulletWhy It’s Still So Tough to Find Disinfectant Wipes


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Food and Drink

decorative leaf bulletH/T Om Malik: Inside the World of Black Market Bourbon

decorative leaf bulletPico de Gallo Use your own fresh tomatoes, cilantro, and peppers.

decorative leaf bulletPeach Sangria

decorative leaf bulletChickpea Salad Sandwiches

decorative leaf bulletSourdough Is A Social Media Star — But Those Beans Would Look Great On Instagram

History and Archaeology

decorative leaf bulletNew Dates Push Back Occupation of South Australia

Researchers from the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization and Waikato University radiocarbon dated shell middens in South Australia, and determined that a site in the Riverland region was occupied as early as 29,000 years ago.

decorative leaf bulletCambridge University Professor Cooks 4000-Year-Old Recipes from Ancient Mesopotamia, and Lets You See How They Turned Out

Science and Nature

decorative leaf bulletWhales Get A Break As Pandemic Creates Quieter Oceans The article has pictures, and Humpback whale recordings.

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope took this picture of Saturn on July 4, 2020

decorative leaf bulletStunning new Hubble image of Saturn. You really gotta see this image.


Om Malik: decorative leaf bulletIt all started with a single tweet

In fourteen years, since that fateful evening, all I can say is the medium is optimized for the loudest and strangest to get the most attention. The virulent is what gets virality. It is not just Twitter. It is also us.


Via iDownload: decorative leaf bulletWallpapers of the week: along the roads Free iPhone wallpapers.

decorative leaf bulletYour ‘Doomscrolling’ Breeds Anxiety. Here’s How To Stop The Cycle

decorative leaf bulletTwitter says at least one elected official had DMs accessed during breach Also:

in total 130 accounts were targeted by attackers during the breach. 45 accounts, many of them high profile, were accessed and used to send out tweets encouraging people to send bitcoin with the promise the money would be doubled. 36 accounts had their DM inbox accessed, and eight accounts had all of their data (including direct messages) downloaded, however, none of those eight accounts were verified.

Women’s Work

Ocasio-Cortez accosted by GOP lawmaker over remarks: ‘That kind of confrontation hasn’t ever happened to me’ decorative leaf bullet‘I Could Not Allow That To Stand’: Ocasio-Cortez Rebukes Republican For Vulgar Insult But wait, there’s moar! See The New York Times has a misogyny problem, too.

In fact, the double standards were everywhere. New York magazine writer Rebecca Traister, responding to Harris’s tweet, noted: “Women’s anger at male power abuse [is] regularly presented as path to self-advancement for the women. Voicing fury at systemic degradation is read as opportunistic. Whereas men’s abusive behavior rarely understood as fundamental to how they attained & maintain THEIR power. But it is!”

decorative leaf bulletHow to person woman man camera tv Sarah Cooper is fabulous.

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

decorative leaf bulletTrump’s gripes about Fauci: A guide The one that I keep hearing repeatedly, from people who should know better, is that Fauci said not to wear a mask. He was talking about medical quality masks, N95 and the like, and was clear that he wanted to make sure medical staff could obtain them, when they were already in short supply.

‘Dr. Fauci said, “Don’t wear a mask.” ’
Fauci did say this, as did other health experts in the U.S. government. He says he was motivated by early fears that N95 masks needed by hospital workers would quickly run out of stock. Once science indicated that the virus was spread by people who were asymptomatic, the guidance was updated, because even fabric masks can help halt the spread if everyone wears them.

decorative leaf bulletI took a closer look at the cognitive test Trump claims to have aced “The test the president boasted about passing does not measure IQ but is typically used to check for early signs of dementia”

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

decorative leaf bullet‘I wanted to take action’: behind the ‘Wall of Moms’ protecting Portland’s protesters ‘Hundreds of mothers have attended demonstrations and stood as a human barricade between protesters and federal officers” and Portland Dads With Leaf Blowers Join Wall of Moms to Blow Back Tear Gas From Police

SetApp: A Suite of macOS Apps for a Single Price Affiliate link for a great collection of 75+ apps for a single price.

SetApp: A Suite of macOS Apps for a Single Price Affiliate link for a great collection of 75+ apps for a single price.

Something Wonderful

西村ケント(Kent Nishimura) @guitar_shonen decorative leaf bulletHuman Nature This is Kent Nishimura’s YouTube channel.

H/T Ari: decorative leaf bulletA doe, and a harp solo.

image of Farpoint Station

STNG: Encounter at Farpoint

image of Farpoint Station
Farpoint Station

Just for the heck of it, I have been re-watching Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes. I started from the very beginning, with the pilot “Encounter at Farpoint.” I remember watching this when it first aired September 28, 1987. It’s a two-hour pilot, so it’s often split into two episodes, though it didn’t air that way on release. “Encounter at Farpoint” was written by the magnificent D. C. Fontana, who also wrote some of the best episodes of Star Trek the original series.

This episode was the first to feature the character Q, of the “Q Continuum,” and his bizarre obsession with using the Enterprise crew as, well, glorified lab-rats. The basic plot is this: The Enterprise is sent to investigate the sudden acquisition by the less than tech-savvy Bandi of Farpoint station, a sophisticated space station with an unknown power supply.

It turns out that Farpoint Station is organic, and sentient, and has a really pissed-off mate who comes in search of the missing space-station spouse. It all ends well, of course, even the sub-plot in which Q has challenged Picard (played by Patrick Stewart, also known, apparently, as “Pecan” to some of his fellow Trek actors) to prove that humans are civilized—by figuring out the “mystery” of Farpoint Station. The two space-living sentient ships are united, Q disappears (for now) and all is well.

“Encounter at Farpoint” already has some of the STNG’s primary mofits; Data the Pinocchio android who wants to be human, the come-here-go-away relationships between Riker and Deanna Troi the overly-emo-empath who was frequently poorly treated by the writers, and the relationship between Dr. Crusher and Picard. Mostly, though, this is the episode that pretty much screwed over the science-geek space cadet genius kid, Wesley Crusher, setting the mold for the unfortunate character’s entire run, and frustrating a powerless and talented actor, Wil Wheaton.

There’s a point in the extensive exposition when Riker, Dr. Crusher and her son Wesley are at a market at the station, when we see the station mysteriously respond to Dr. Crusher’s wish for a piece of fabric in a different color. Wesley notes that it’s a mystery and Farpoint Station is all mysterious and stuff. Wil Wheaton in his review of the episode writes:

It’s right around this moment, according to historical data and polling research, that the Kill Wesley movement got its first member, though scholars are unable to agree upon who it was. It has been narrowed down to a single male virgin, approximately age 24, living in his parents’ basement in the American Midwest.

Wheaton, by the way, writes not only solid and funny plot summaries, his critiques of the bits of acting that make characters work are not only spot on, he is invariably professionally generous (though he’s way too hard on himself—you were a kid, Wheaton, working with some less than stellar scripts).

When I saw this pilot when it first aired, the only character I liked was Data; he was predictable, but I thought Spiner took the character beyond the limits of the script. I was already a Patrick Stewart fan (I was in the audience at Royce hall when Justman decided to invite Stewart to play the part of Picard), but Picard seemed to be unreasonable, a bit of a blow-hard martinet in love with his own voice. There’s a scene where Picard confesses to Riker that he doesn’t like children. Picard elaborates:

I don’t feel comfortable with children. But since a captain needs an image of geniality you’re to see that’s what I project.

That’s really off-putting, duplicitious, and very much not like the character Picard becomes.

Then, there’s the problem that STNG was, already in the pilot, repeating episodes from the original Star Trek. “Encounter at Farpoint” is using not only the themes, but basic plot-points of the original series episode “Devil in the Dark.” It’s a pilot, and so some of the characters are a bit off in comparison to what they became, the timing and the delivery of some of the lines are not quite right, but it has something, something that got the series approved.

Image of Hans Holbein's The Ambassadors

Elsewhere for July 19, 2020

You should read this for 7/19/2020:

Art, Music, and Film

decorative leaf bulletCarl Reiner’s final performance is a fitting goodbye and instant tear-jerker

The comedy legend (and father of fellow Hollywood great, Rob Reiner) died on June 29 at the age of 98. But there’s at least one more chance to see him perform, thanks to a clip that was shot just a few days before Reiner left this world behind.

The clip is the cap-off scene in Quibi’s weird, socially distanced remake of The Princess Bride. And it’s just perfect.

decorative leaf bulletIslamic Manuscript Basics

This site holds basic information and resources relating to the study of Islamic manuscripts. If you are new to thinking about the material aspects of Islamic manuscripts or are simply curious and want to know more, then this site is for you!

Image of Hans Holbein's The Ambassadors
Hans Holbein The Ambassadors c. Image: Wikimedia Commons

decorative leaf bulletWhere are the bones of Hans Holbein? I spent lockdown solving art’s grisliest mystery “He was a star of the Renaissance, an unflinching painter of death and horror in a time of rampant plague. Yet he ended up in an unmarked grave in London. Or so it has always been believed . . .”

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

Via Google: decorative leaf bulletUnravel the symbols of ancient Egypt

decorative leaf bulletLanguages Will Change Significantly on Interstellar Flights

Coronavirus | COVID-19

decorative leaf bulletCovid-19 outbreaks up to 20 times more likely in large care homes, study finds

High footfall of staff – including agency workers, cooks and maintenance engineers, going in and out of the largest homes – is thought to be a key factor for infecting elderly residents.

decorative leaf bulletIn Japan wearing a mask is habitual – can the UK follow suit?

The mass wearing of masks is habitual in Japan, beginning with the arrival of the flu season and continuing through the spring among the country’s legions of hay fever sufferers. In the case of flu, the logic is the same as that now being applied to Covid-19: not only does a mask hide runny, sore noses, it helps prevent the sufferer from spreading their germs, especially on packed commuter trains.

decorative leaf bulletWe ran the CDC. No president ever politicized its science the way Trump has. Four previous CDC directors push back.

decorative leaf bulletRussian hackers are targeting vaccine development, officials say “Hackers from Russian intelligence services are targeting organizations that are involved in COVID-19 vaccine development, according to US, UK, and Canadian authorities.”


decorative leaf bulletHow to Start Your Own Learning ‘Co-Op’ at Home

This year, we’re scared for everyone’s physical health if the kids go to school, and we’re scared for their mental health (and ours) if they don’t. But there’s another option, a nice little compromise, that many families are starting to explore—forming their own small learning “co-op.”

Food and Drink

decorative leaf bulletRachel Roddy: my favourite recipe for chicken and tomato curry “Mallika Basu’s murgh masala can be tweaked to your heart’s content so it changes to suit you – wherever you are”

decorative leaf bulletBlood Orange Olive Oil Cake

There are cakes that can be made without turning on (or having to clean) the food processor or electric mixer. This is one of them. The recipe, inspired by Dorie Greenspan’s extra-virgin olive oil cake, uses blood oranges, which leave the cut loaf dappled with ruby dots. It’s a lovely presentation, but regular oranges could be used, too.

History and Archaeology

decorative leaf bulletVast neolithic circle of deep shafts found near Stonehenge

Four thousand five hundred years ago, the Neolithic peoples who constructed Stonehenge, a masterpiece of engineering, also dug a series of shafts aligned to form a circle spanning 1.2 miles (2km) in diameter. The structure appears to have been a boundary guiding people to a sacred area because Durrington Walls, one of Britain’s largest henge monuments, is located precisely at its centre. The site is 1.9 miles north-east of Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain, near Amesbury, Wiltshire.

Science and Nature

decorative leaf bulletCuriosity Is Going To Spend Its Summer Driving Around a Dangerous Sandy Region on Mars

The rover will be moving between two “units” of Gale Crater, where it has been exploring since 2014.  It’s wrapping up experiments in the “clay-bearing unit”, which resulted in the highest concentrations of clay found during the mission.  It’s now moving to the “sulfate-bearing unit”, which is expected to contain an abundance of sulfates, such as gypsum and Epsom salts.

See the link for pictures, and maps.


decorative leaf bulletDon’t keep your Mac laptop charged to 100 percent all the time. Here’s why

decorative leaf bulletTwitter says passwords were spared in yesterday’s attack, but it’s still working to restore locked accounts

decorative leaf bulletThe massive Twitter hack could be a global security crisis

decorative leaf bulletRead Twitter’s update on the huge hack — 8 accounts may have had private messages stolen

decorative leaf bulletMore than just a Twitter hack

Women’s Work

decorative leaf bulletTikTok users create fake ‘safety calls’ to help protect each other IRL

decorative leaf bulletJudy Dyble obituary “Singer-songwriter with Fairport Convention who went on to success in the duo Trader Horne”

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

decorative leaf bullet💩🔥💰 administration strips some COVID-19 data from CDC website

Experts are alarmed by the change, saying that removing the data from public view indicates that the 🤥🤥👖🔥 administration may restrict and politicize health information. Throughout the pandemic, 🤥🤥👖🔥’s stance has been to downplay the disease that has so far killed some 138,000 Americans. Despite a current surge in cases, Trump is currently pushing to re-open schools in the fall, even though his own health experts strongly advise against it.

Josh Marshall: decorative leaf bulletInto the Abyss

My best guess is that it is simply to maintain a tighter hold on information and keep it out of the hands of the CDC, which even under its stalwartly Trumpian current leadership has shown some recent signs of bucking the President’s demands for COVID denial and no-holds-barred school reopenings.

decorative leaf bulletWhite House: ‘The science should not stand in the way’ of reopening schools

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

decorative leaf bulletWindowSwap lets you cycle through picturesque views from all over the world

Via NPR: decorative leaf bulletIsle Of Calm: Stream 6 Hours Of Soothing Music

So when someone asked us to list the songs we turn to when we need calm, a huge playlist poured out. Encompassing classical, folk, jazz, ambient, pop, blues, soul, hip-hop, indie-rock and more, the block of music we’re calling “Isle of Calm” is there to help settle your jangled nerves, slow your heart rate and string up a little hammock for your soul.

You can stream for free via Spotify, or listen on Apple Music.

SetApp: A Suite of macOS Apps for a Single Price Affiliate link for a great collection of 75+ apps for a single price.

Something Wonderful

decorative leaf bulletCat discovering that it has EARS !

decorative leaf bulletSuper images of comet Neowise over Stonehenge, among other places, and advice for taking your own photos: A Beginner’s Guide To Photographing Comet Neowise And more images here.

Elsewhere for July 12, 2020

You should read this for 7/12/2020:

Art, Music, and Film

decorative leaf bulletEnnio Morricone, legendary film composer for ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’, dies at 91

decorative leaf bulletExplore the Beautiful Pages of the 1902 Japanese Design Magazine Shin-Bijutsukai: European Modernism Meets Traditional Japanese Design

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

decorative leaf bulletScottish politicians call for urgent action to stop Gaelic dying out

decorative leaf bulletA Public Space APStogether Virtual Book Clubs

Coronavirus | COVID-19

decorative leaf bulletWarning Of Serious Brain Disorders In People With Mild Coronavirus Symptom

decorative leaf bulletThese Disinfectants Have Been Proven to Work Against the Coronavirus

There are 431 disinfectants that the EPA says will kill SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. They made the list because they kill other, similar viruses. But now two of the disinfectants have been tested, successfully, against the actual coronavirus you’re worried about.

decorative leaf bulletCoronavirus: How libraries provided a lifeline in lockdown

Food and Drink

decorative leaf bulletThe 1066 diet: Normans passed on their love of pork, study suggests

Before 1066, beef, lamb, mutton and goat were among the meats most likely to be served in England, but a study of human and animal bones – as well as fat residue found on fragments of cooking pots – found that pork and possibly chicken became much more popular following the arrival of William the Conqueror.

decorative leaf bulletOur Best Methods to Clean Stained Pots and Pans

decorative leaf bulletHow to make the perfect key lime pie – recipe

decorative leaf bulletThis Is the Easiest Way to Prepare Beets I love roasted beets, but this method, salt roasting, is new to me.

History and Archaeology

decorative leaf bulletKen Burns: Our Monuments are Representations of Myth, Not Fact

decorative leaf bulletShannon LaNier Poses as His Sixth Great-Grandfather Thomas Jefferson: Two Portraits Juxtaposed

decorative leaf bulletHorse Burial Discovered in Central Iran

The animal was placed next to the remains of a person thought to have been its owner. Similar burials have been uncovered in Parthian cemeteries in northern Iran

Science and Nature

decorative leaf bullet “An ashram for the hummingbird”: the Trinidad haven for world’s tiniest bird

“My admiration for the indigenous people of these islands grew because they were able to see the magic of these creatures that I didn’t see for most of my life. They saw the birds as linking the spiritual with the earthly world, and they awarded them special status. When a bird does something amazing that brings out the ‘wow’ in you, I call it the chi moment. It only lasts a fraction of a second but if you can capture that moment and freeze it for perpetuity, it is something so special.”

Hungry wolf shows up on bear cams, scarfs dozens of fish decorative leaf bulletMuch to the fascination of viewers, the Alaskan Gray Wolf spent about three hours wolfing down thirty or so salmon.

decorative leaf bulletBirdwatch: a pair of barn owls make our midsummer’s evening

decorative leaf bulletBright feathers, bright brains: hummingbirds “can order numerically.”


decorative leaf bulletFacebook Admits Ben Shapiro’s The Daily Wire Has Engaged In Pay-For-Engagement Scam

decorative leaf bulletAthlete stopped by Met police says it feels like ‘being black is a crime’ As Olympic runner Bianca Williams explains:

I have to speak about it, let people out there know that it happens to people who are representing the country. It could happen to anyone, it could happen to my brother, it could happen to my son when he’s older.
“I’m going to have to teach him from when he’s able to go to school on his own, or to go out with his friends. You have to be careful because being black is a crime.”

My Bizarre Stint As an Amazon Reviewer for Hire

decorative leaf bulletAn online propaganda campaign used AI-generated headshots to create fake journalists

However, the current generation of AI headshots isn’t flawless. They share a number of common tells, including odd-looking teeth, asymmetrical features, hair that blurs into nothing, earlobes that are strangely melted, and indistinct background imagery.


decorative leaf bulletBrent Simmons: Apple Privacy Changes

I was actually surprised at the changes Apple is making to stop tracking. It’s not enough to stop tracking on the web, and it’s not enough to stop tracking in iOS apps — which is happening probably way more than you think it is — so Apple did both.

decorative leaf bulletVia Morning Brew: Discord’s $3.5 Billion Valuation Begs the Question: What Is It?<

In many ways, Discord is the platform Zuckerberg is now trying to build with Facebook. It’s full of small communities that foster connections over shared interests by chatting and doing activities together. Morning Brew’s creative director Blake says, “Slack is the cafeteria. And Discord is the AV Club.”
Where you choose to sit could represent the future of social media. Or it could just be a really cool place to talk about parrots.

How Have I Been Pwned became the keeper of the internet’s biggest data breaches

decorative leaf bulletWhat is clipboard snooping, and should I be worried about it? See also: On Ios Apps Peeking At Your Clipboard Contents.

decorative leaf bulletHow to convert a PDF file for your Kindle

decorative leaf bulletCourt Shoots Down AT&T, Comcast Attempt To Crush Maine Privacy Law

H/T Morning Brew: decorative leaf bulletSQL for the rest of us

If you’re not a data scientist but you have questions, you want to know SQL. This guide will run through everything you need to get started: from technical topics to how to be a useful, smart teammate.

decorative leaf bulletBest dynamic wallpapers for Mac (and how to make your own!)

Women’s Work

decorative leaf bulletDenial of women’s concerns contributed to medical scandals, says inquiry

Instead, women routinely had symptoms attributed to psychological issues or it being “that time of life”, with “anything and everything women suffer perceived as a natural precursor to, part of, or a post-symptomatic phase of, the menopause”, the inquiry heard.

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

decorative leaf bulletFacebook bans Roger Stone after linking him to fake accounts

The company connected Stone’s Facebook and Instagram accounts with a US-based disinformation network that also had ties to the Proud Boys far-right organization, the company said in a statement Wednesday. The Proud Boys was founded by Gavin McInnes, and members have attended right-wing extremist gatherings like the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville in 2017.

Sarah Cooper: decorative leaf bulletHow to cognitive

Something Wonderful

decorative leaf bulletWilliam Gibson’s Seminal Cyberpunk Novel, Neuromancer, Dramatized for Radio (2002)

decorative leaf bulletA twitter thread about a Roman gold ring lost in Britain, a curse, and a Roman gold ring discovered in Britain Includes a reference to Nodons, and to Tolkien.

Video: decorative leaf bulletTiger the Cat wants to participate in the morning prayers presented by the Dean of Canterbury Cathedral

SetApp: A Suite of macOS Apps for a Single Price Affiliate link for a great collection of 75+ apps for a single price.

What I’ve Posted

decorative leaf bulletMusgrave Pencils Musgrave is an American Pencil maker, with some absolutely lovely very affordable high-quality pencils.

decorative leaf bulletJuly from the Hours of Henry VIII

Elsewhere for July 5, 2020

You should read this for 7/5/2020:

Art, Music, and Film

decorative leaf bulletExperts call for regulation after latest botched art restoration in Spain

A private art collector in Valencia was reportedly charged €1,200 by a furniture restorer to have the picture of the Immaculate Conception cleaned. However, the job did not go as planned and the face of the Virgin Mary was left unrecognisable despite two attempts to restore it to its original state.

decorative leaf bulletWhen the Beatles Refused to Play Before Segregated Audiences on Their First U.S. Tour (1964)

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

decorative leaf bulletThe best Stephen King books to read depending on your mood

decorative leaf bulletScots Gaelic could die out within a decade, study finds

Coronavirus | COVID-19

decorative leaf bulletWhere The Women Aren’t: On Coronavirus Task Forces

Although research has shown that men appear more likely to suffer more severely or die from COVID-19 than women, the pandemic is, by some measures, taking a greater toll on women.

NPR: decorative leaf bulletGreen, Yellow, Orange Or Red? This New Tool Shows COVID-19 Risk In Your County


decorative leaf bulletScreen Share: A College Teacher’s Zoom Journal

ON THE FOURTH day of spring break, our university’s president announces that no one is to return to campus. Two cases of Covid-19 have been reported in our state. All classes will be moving online. Soon afterward, the members of the humanities faculty receive an email from our dean telling us that “the development of a quality online course takes at least two years.” We have 12 days. I feel like a runner with decent times in the 800 meters whose coach says, You still get to go to the track meet, but we’ve switched you to the pole vault!

The dean notes encouragingly that Isaac Newton did his best work when Cambridge University closed during the plague.

Food and Drink

Bowl of ripe "pie" cherries
Pie cherries Image: Public domain images (CC0)

decorative leaf bulletHow to Buy and Store Cherries

decorative leaf bulletHomemade Breakfast Sausage Is Completely Worth the Effort

History and Archaeology

decorative leaf bulletRosetta Stone to be added to British Museum LGBTQ+ tours

decorative leaf bulletOldest Viking settlement possibly unearthed in Iceland

Archaeologists have unearthed what may be the oldest Viking settlement in Iceland.

The ancient longhouse is thought to be a summer settlement built in the 800s, decades before seafaring refugees are supposed to have settled the island, and was hidden beneath a younger longhouse brimming with treasures, said archaeologist Bjarni Einarsson, who led the excavations. “The younger hall is the richest in Iceland so far,” Einarsson told Live Science. “It is hard not to conclude that it is a chieftain’s house.

. . .

Hidden beneath the treasure-filled longhouse was an even older structure. Chemical and other analysis suggest this buried longhouse was built in the 800s, long before the permanent settlement of Iceland, Einarsson said.

He thinks it was a seasonal settlement or camp, occupied only during the summer and maybe into the fall, by workers in the area.

Science and Nature

decorative leaf bulletLet night owls be night owls: How the pandemic could dethrone the larks

Chronotypes in modern populations “represent a legacy of natural selection acting in the past to reduce the dangers of sleep,” the authors conclude. Translation: It is us night owls who kept the rest of you safe for 99 percent of human evolution, spotting the sabertooth tigers long before they ripped the tribe apart. You’re welcome.

decorative leaf bulletCanadian sparrows ditch their old song for catchier tune See also: The Birdsong That Took Over North America


decorative leaf bulletThe dirty secret behind Ben Shapiro’s extraordinary success on Facebook

decorative leaf bulletCancellation might feel good, but it’s not activism


decorative leaf bulletNew York City Residents Turn City’s Traffic Cameras Into Cop-Watching Tools

The project works like this: NYC Mesh has written a tool that archives an image from every public camera every time the feed gets updated, which can be between one and 30 seconds. The pictures are then uploaded on Google Drive in bundles organized by hourly folders that have a text file containing information about the camera ID, the borough it is in, and its specific location.

Mike Masnick for Techdirt: decorative leaf bulletHello! You’ve Been Referred Here Because You’re Wrong About Section 230 Of The Communications Decency Act

Really, this is the simplest, most basic understanding of Section 230: it is about placing the liability for content online on whoever created that content, and not on whoever is hosting it. If you understand that one thing, you’ll understand most of the most important things about Section 230.

decorative leaf bulletAuthor Of Section 230 Chris Cox Says All The Critics Are Wrong About The History And Intent Of 230

decorative leaf bullet‘EvilQuest’ Mac ransomware spreading through pirated Mac apps

According to the report shared today by Malwarebytes, the new ransomware is called “EvilQuest”, and the primary distribution model is through pirated Mac apps. The latest security threat was initially discovered in a pirated version of the Mac app Little Snitch, which was being shared in a Russian forum.

See also: Malwarebytes discovers first Mac ransomware in four years and OSX.EvilQuest Uncovered
analyzing a new piece of mac ransomware (and more!)

decorative leaf bulletInstagram and WhatsApp are tainted by Facebook’s BS. Delete them.

Women’s Work

decorative leaf bulletThe incredible story of New Orleans’ first black female homicide detective

In the 1990s, Jacklean Davis was a policing superstar, hailed as the best crime solver in the city. But a dispute turned into a major federal case against her, brought by a prosecutor whose conduct in other cases was called ‘grotesque

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

decorative leaf bulletOn the Ground at Trump’s Tulsa Burnout: Pepper Balls, Protesters, and a Failing Conman

THE TWO GREATEST flimflam men in fin de siècle America were Donald J. Trump and Al Sharpton. Trump bankrupted casinos and stirred racial hatred by, among other misdeeds, implicitly calling for the execution of the Central Park Five, a group of black and Latino young men wrongly accused of raping a woman in New York’s Central Park. Trump has refused to apologize for that, stating “You have people on both sides,” when asked about the wrongly convicted defendants last year.
Sharpton bankrupted campaigns, possibly served as an FBI informant, and stirred racial hatred by representing Tawana Brawley after she alleged she had been raped by six white men in New York state. He insinuated that prosecutor Steve Pagones had been involved, and when it was conclusively proven that Brawley’s charges were unfounded, Pagones sued Sharpton for defamation. The minister dodged and weaved before being found guilty of defamation. Still, Sharpton refused to pay the judgment and instead had rich buddies cover his portion of the settlement.
So if you had told me in 2000 that America was going to be a house afire over racial unrest in 2020 and the two main speakers were going to be Al Sharpton and Donald Trump, I would have said we were seriously fucked.

decorative leaf bulletFrom McSweeney’s LEST WE FORGET THE HORRORS: A CATALOG OF TRUMP’S WORST CRUELTIES, COLLUSIONS, CORRUPTIONS, AND CRIMES McSweeney’s isn’t kidding. This is for reals.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

decorative leaf bulletGoogle Founder Sergey Brin Has a Secret Disaster Relief Squad

Shortly after the storm died down, and long before Bahamian government aid arrived, an American disaster assistance response team arrived onboard a high-speed super-yacht. Access crews set to work clearing roads with chainsaws, so that survivors could find their way to the team’s medical staff. Their doctors and paramedics ultimately helped triage or treat nearly one in 10 of the island’s population.

decorative leaf bulletHow US K-pop fans became a political force to be reckoned with

Those hoping to hold back the tide of support for Black Lives Matter amid global protests against the police killing of George Floyd could only hover helplessly over their keyboards as K-pop “stans”, slang for obsessive fans, drowned them out by flooding Twitter with video clips and memes of their favourite artists, many accompanied by anti-racist messages.

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 bulletBabyNames.com 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.