Elsewhere for June 26,2021

You should read this for 6/26/2022:

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

Coronavirus | COVID-19

decorative leaf bullet‘Are you kidding me?’ Fauci responds to rightwing attacks over emails

In his interview with the Times, Fauci pushed back.

“It is essential as a scientist that you evolve your opinion and your recommendations based on the data as it evolves,” he said. “… And that’s the reason why I say people who then criticise me about that are actually criticising science.”

He added: “The people who are giving the ad hominems are saying, ‘Ah, Fauci misled us. First he said no masks, then he said masks.’ Well, let me give you a flash. That’s the way science works. You work with the data you have at the time.”

decorative leaf bulletThe mRNA Vaccines Are Extraordinary, but Novavax Is Even Better

But when the Maryland-based biotech firm Novavax announced its latest stunning trial results last week, and an efficacy rate of more than 90 percent even against coronavirus variants [emphasis mine], the response from the same media outlets was muted in comparison.

Food and Drink

decorative leaf bulletHow and when to use garlic powder, a reliable seasoning that deserves respect

While garlic powder sits high on a pedestal in my kitchen — beloved, revered, irreplaceable — some view it with shame or even contempt, baffled why anyone would choose to use this processed product over the fresh alternative.

Like so much in food snobbery, disdain for garlic powder has a close relationship with disdain regarding class and race.

History and Archaeology

decorative leaf bulletLight in darkness: an experimental look at Paleolithic cave lighting

A recreation of three common types of Paleolithic lighting systems (torches, grease lamps, and fireplaces) illuminates how Paleolithic cave dwellers might have traveled, lived, and created in the depths of their caves, according to a study published June 16, 2021 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Mª Ángeles Medina-Alcaide from the University of Cantabria, Spain, and colleagues.

. . .

The authors conducted their experiments at Isuntza 1 Cave in the Basque region of Spain. Their replicated lighting was based as much as possible on archaeological evidence found in similar Paleolithic caves, and included five replicated torches (made variably from ivy, juniper, oak, birch, and pine resins), two stone lamps using animal fat (bone marrow from cow and deer), and a small fireplace (oak and juniper wood).

They found that the different lighting systems all had diverse features, suggesting their likely selection and use across different contexts.

Politics and Society

decorative leaf bulletAmerica’s top general defends study of critical race theory by military

The chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Gen Mark Milley, defended the study of critical race theory in the military when pressed on the issue before the House armed services committee, saying he wanted to “understand white rage”.
Critical race theory is a longtime academic concept centered on the idea that institutions in the US inherently create economic, political and social inequities between white people and people of color.

The methodology has been misinterpreted and used as a talking point by Republicans in more than 20 states to propose legislation that would limit discussions about race and systemic oppression in classrooms, arguing it is divisive. . . . Milley defended the curriculum and said: “I’ve read Mao Zedong. I’ve read Karl Marx. I’ve read Lenin. That doesn’t make me a communist. So what is wrong with understanding, having some situational understanding about the country for which we are here to defend?”

He said reading about political theories, and fostering open discussion could lend to understanding the more recent violent events in the US, and creating an environment of anti-extremism in the military.

decorative leaf bulletDeJoy’s USPS slowdown plan
will delay the mail. What’s it mean for your Zip code?

Las Vegas, Seattle, San Diego, Orlando and countless communities in between will see mail service slow by as much as a day under the U.S. Postal Service’s strategic restructuring plan, a Washington Post analysis shows.

The new delivery regimen, for which the agency seeks regulatory approval, disproportionately affects states west of the Rocky Mountains and the country’s mainland extremities, including large swaths of southern Texas and Florida. . . . The Postal Service plans to raise prices on certain mail products — pushing the price of a first-class stamp from 55 to 58 cents — while reducing service standards. For each change, the agency must seek an advisory opinion from the PRC but those rulings are not enforceable. The Postal Service can proceed with the changes regardless of the outcome.

Science and Nature

decorative leaf bulletDinosaurs lived in the Arctic, research suggests “Discovery of tiny fossils indicates dinosaurs raised young in freezing region – and may have been warm-blooded”

Referral link: Curiosity Stream 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).


Chuq von Rospach:decorative leaf bulletMy Life in the Apple Ecosystem

Apple giving a basic app away for free inhibits other developers from tackling that idea, and limits their ability to make enough money to warrant doing the hard investment in doing a real killer version of an app of that type. I do wish Apple would choose to either commit hard to an app and make it best of show, or kill the app and open the market to other companies. Instead, they do a middle policy of doing minimal work on an adequate app, making it harder for non-Apple apps to thrive, but not really serving the needs of the users very well, either. 

Via TidBITS: decorative leaf bulletThe Real System Requirements for Apple’s 2021 Operating Systems

decorative leaf bulletThe Verge Guide To Windows

urrently, PCs loaded with Windows 10 are being manufactured and sold by a variety of companies in an even wider variety of models. Come the 2021 holiday season, we can expect that PCs will be shipping with Microsoft’s new Windows 11 — and if your current system is compatible, you will be able to upgrade to the new free OS.


SetApp: A Suite of macOS Apps for a Single Price Affiliate link for a great collection of ver 200 apps for macOS and iOS for a flat subscription fee.

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

decorative leaf bulletCritical race theory is the hottest topic on Fox News. And it’s only getting hotter.

Over the past few months, and particularly through June, hosts and anchors on Fox have ramped up the conversation about the theory, an academic legal framework for examining systemic and institutional racism that has become a hot-button issue for political conservatives.

The concept has been around for more than 40 years, according to EducationWeek, but it has become a major programming theme on Fox News only in recent months as parents, buoyed by conservative activists and groups, have vocally opposed the teaching of the theory — or something similar to it — in schools throughout the country. Republican-led state legislatures have voted to outlaw it.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

decorative leaf bullet“This is a food bank now” workers seized a McDonald’s in France

Something Wonderful

decorative leaf bulletHe found a 2.2-carat diamond in an Arkansas park. Then he proposed to his girlfriend.

decorative leaf bulletMIT professor goes viral for putting a crib in his lab to help a new mother

Buy me a Coffee! If you find this site interesting, and would like to see more, buy me a coffee. While I may actually buy coffee, I’ll probably buy books to review.

Elsewhere for June 19, 2021

You should read this for 6/19/2022:

Art, Music, and Film

decorative leaf bulletGeorge Oates Returns to Revitalize the Flickr Commons

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

decorative leaf bulletTop 10 novels told in a single day “From James Joyce and Virginia Woolf to Nicholson Baker, the ‘circadian novel’ can pack lifetimes of experience into 24 hours”

decorative leaf bulletOxford University Press to end centuries of tradition by closing its printing arm

Oxford University’s right to print books was first recognised in 1586, in a decree from the Star Chamber. But the centuries-old printing history of Oxford University Press will end this summer, after the publishing house announced the last vestige of its printing arm was closing.
The closure of Oxuniprint, which will take place on 27 August subject to consultation with employees, will result in the loss of 20 jobs. OUP said it follows a “continued decline in sales”, which has been “exacerbated by factors relating to the pandemic”.

decorative leaf bulletWe Need to Talk About the Backlist

Backlist matters for two simple and connected reasons: it’s two thirds of what people buy, and it’s markedly more profitable for publishers, with better margins and fewer returns from bookstores. Period.

Climate Change | Climate Repair

decorative leaf bulletWhat tree rings reveal about America’s megadrought “How we know the American west is experiencing a once-in-a-millennium drought”

Coronavirus | COVID-19

decorative leaf bulletA doctor falsely told lawmakers vaccines magnetize people: ‘They can put a key on their forehead. It sticks.’ How did this person manage to graduate high school, never mind college and medical school? This is someone who is not rational, and should not be practicing medicine.

Food and Drink

decorative leaf bulletHow to eat: Nutella

decorative leaf bulletThere’s More Than One Way to Make ‘Authentic’ Cornbread

History and Archaeology

decorative leaf bulletA Band Of Burglars: NPR’s Best Watergate Stories

We are marking a milestone, 50 years of NPR, with a look back at stories from the archive.

On June 17, 1972, a band of five burglars broke into the Democratic National Committee’s headquarters at the Watergate Complex in Washington, D.C. After failing to wiretap the office’s phones during their first break-in, they returned with a new microphone. However, before successfully carrying out their plan, a security guard had noted that the doors’ locks were taped. The police were called, and the burglars were arrested.

The following stories from the archive convey the news as they came out in 1972, when the Watergate scandal was first unfolding, along with perspectives from civilians, professionals and those implicated.

decorative leaf bulletFootprints of possibly last dinosaurs to walk Britain found in Kent

Politics and Society

decorative leaf bulletThree Years After An Officer Killed A Suicidal Teen, Law Enforcement Releases Report That Raises More Questions

To make room for the disparagement of the dead teen, the investigators excluded crucial information from the report, like the initial supervisor’s notes from the shooting scene and any attempts made by the crime lab to reconstruct the shootings and track bullet trajectories. The latter would have shown Jenison fired from the side of the vehicle, rather than from the rear, calling into question his assertions that the reversing van was coming towards him.
Officer Jenison also did not know who was in the van at the point he started firing. All he knew was he was checking on a suicidal teen who might have been carrying a knife. Instead of verifying any of this, he opened fire on the driver of the van simply because he chose to reverse down the driveway like anyone would when pulling out of a garage.

Jenison’s post-shooting interview was solicitous and cordial. It also occurred four days after the shooting and after the officer had been given the chance to review the recordings. His claims that he thought the van was going to hit him went unchallenged, even though the recording showed the van moving in a straight line down the driveway until its course was altered by Jenison’s shooting of the driver.

Abigail Disney: decorative leaf bullet

Science and Nature

decorative leaf bulletHalf the trees in two new English woodlands planted by jays, study finds

decorative leaf bulletMysterious coelacanth fish can live for 100 years – study

The slow-moving fish, which grow to be the size of a human, are nicknamed a “living fossil”, and also grow at a very slow pace.

Females do not reach sexual maturity until their late 50s, the study by French scientists said, while male coelacanths are sexually mature at 40 to 69 years old. And maybe strangest of all, researchers think pregnancy in the fish lasts about five years.

Referral link: Curiosity Stream 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).


decorative leaf bulletGoogle is totally changing how ads track people around the Internet. Here’s what you need to know.

SetApp: A Suite of macOS Apps for a Single Price Affiliate link for a great collection of ver 200 apps for macOS and iOS for a flat subscription fee.

Women’s Work

decorative leaf bulletUnpaid Caregivers Were Already Struggling. It’s Only Gotten Worse During The Pandemic

Two-thirds of survey respondents who identified as unpaid caregivers said they experienced mental health challenges during the pandemic, such as symptoms of anxiety or depression, or suicidal thoughts.
Only one-third of people with no caregiving responsibilities reported the same symptoms.
Of the more than 10,000 survey respondents, more than 40% identified as being unpaid caregivers.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

decorative leaf bulletKill The 5-Day Workweek

Buy me a Coffee! If you find this site interesting, and would like to see more, buy me a coffee. While I may actually buy coffee, I’ll probably buy books to review.

Elsewhere for June 6, 2021

You should read this for 6/6/2021:

Art, Music, and Film

H/T Kira Cee: decorative leaf bulletThat Fat, Jolly Fella Isn’t Buddha

Biden Begins

decorative leaf bullet‘I’m a car guy’: Biden zips around in electric Ford truck to boost clean-energy agenda

The day revealed Biden not so much in rare form but in his truest form. His entire life has been crafted, in many ways, around cars. The affection for automobiles is as much a part of Biden as his Irishness and his love of ice cream, and it’s one that has deepened over the years.

The event on Tuesday also married that longtime love — his affinity for cars — with the clean-energy policy that he’s attempting to push the country toward, one that would have electric charging stations spread more readily around the country.

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

decorative leaf bulletA Guide To Gender Identity Terms

Proper use of gender identity terms, including pronouns, is a crucial way to signal courtesy and acceptance. Alex Schmider, associate director of transgender representation at GLAAD, compares using someone’s correct pronouns to pronouncing their name correctly – “a way of respecting them and referring to them in a way that’s consistent and true to who they are.”

Coronavirus | COVID-19

decorative leaf bulletThe 60-Year-Old Scientific Screwup That Helped Covid Kill

On the video call, tensions rose. At one point, Lidia Morawska, a revered atmospheric physicist who had arranged the meeting, tried to explain how far infectious particles of different sizes could potentially travel. One of the WHO experts abruptly cut her off, telling her she was wrong, Marr recalls. His rudeness shocked her. “You just don’t argue with Lidia about physics,” she says. . . . There was just one literally tiny problem: “The physics of it is all wrong,” Marr says. That much seemed obvious to her from everything she knew about how things move through air. Reality is far messier, with particles much larger than 5 microns staying afloat and behaving like aerosols, depending on heat, humidity, and airspeed. “I’d see the wrong number over and over again, and I just found that disturbing,” she says. The error meant that the medical community had a distorted picture of how people might get sick.

decorative leaf bulletThree GOP lawmakers fined $500 for defying House mask rules amid Republican backlash: ‘Worth it.’


decorative leaf bulletThe Ethics of the “N-Word” in the Classroom

Food and Drink

decorative leaf bulletThe 20 best easy cake recipes A wide variety of simple cake recipes, many of them unusual and interesting.

History and Archaeology

Mudlarking: Searching for Lost Treasure – and History – on the Banks of the Thames

Since the beginning of time, the River Thames in London has been a great repository, collecting everything that has been deposited into its waters. Once discovered, these objects reveal stories of the capital’s fascinating history and its inhabitants.

decorative leaf bulletCerne Giant in Dorset dates from Anglo-Saxon times, analysis suggests “Sand samples examined by National Trust experts indicate hillside chalk figure was created in the 10th century.” See also Bawdy monks and the Cerne Abbas giant Also see Scientists unravel a mystery about a naked giant carved into an English hill

The giant was hewed into the hill in the late Saxon period, between the years A.D. 700 and A.D. 1110 — with the highest probability of A.D. 908, the scientists say.
“Every archaeologist I know, including me, had it wrong,” said Michael Allen, an independent geoarchaeologist and leading expert on ancient mollusks, who participated in the dig. The professionals thought the giant would be far older or younger than he is.

decorative leaf bulletStolen Roman frescoes returned to Pompeii after investigation

decorative leaf bulletExtremely rare prehistoric animal carvings found for first time in Scotland See also Prehistoric carvings of red deer found in Scottish neolithic tomb

decorative leaf bulletSomersham headless bodies were victims of Roman executions

Politics and Society

decorative leaf bulletThe Brewing Political Battle Over Critical Race Theory

“I’m not really sure that the conservatives right now know what it is or know its history,” said Hartman, author of A War for the Soul of America: A History of the Culture Wars.
He said critical race theory posits that racism is endemic to American society through history and that, consequently, Americans have to think about institutions like the justice system or schools through the perspective of race and racism.

Science and Nature

decorative leaf bulletWhale hugs, ‘active sea serpents,’ and the wild world of whale sex

decorative leaf bulletThe Surprise Hiding in the DNA of Pet Fish

Referral link: Curiosity Stream 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).


decorative leaf bulletHow to Keep Facebook from Snooping on Your Photos’ Locations

Facebook extracts your photos’ location data in a particularly sneaky way, stripping it out between when you upload the photo and when it’s published on Facebook. That might lead you to believe your privacy is being protected. If you download a photo from Facebook, you won’t find any interesting EXIF information, but Facebook silently adds it all to its own data trove.

SetApp: A Suite of macOS Apps for a Single Price Affiliate link for a great collection of ver 200 apps for macOS and iOS for a flat subscription fee.

Women’s Work

decorative leaf bulletPride month: The LGBT history you probably didn’t learn in school

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

decorative leaf bulletI Thought I Was Done With Iraq. Then a Fellow Marine’s Purple Heart Turned Up at Auction.

Stuff I Wrote

decorative leaf bulletNew Belgium Brewery

decorative leaf bulletJune from Walters W.425

decorative leaf bulletNew Belgium Abbey Ale

Something Wonderful

decorative leaf bullet‘A special day’: how a Glasgow community halted immigration raid

A report written by the former head of intelligence at the New York Police Department, Mitch Silber, and titled Domestic Violent Extremism and the Intelligence Challenge makes clear that officials at the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and other agencies had collected plenty of intelligence leading up to the insurrection at the Capitol. What they failed to do was analyze it.
“Intelligence collection did not fail,” Silber writes in an analysis for the Atlantic Council obtained by NPR before publication. “In fact, it was robust. Rather, the failure was in the analysis of the intelligence and the failure of senior government officials to issue warnings based on that intelligence.”

decorative leaf bulletNASA’s Curiosity rover has captured amazing images of clouds on Mars

Buy me a Coffee! If you find this site interesting, and would like to see more, buy me a coffee. While I may actually buy coffee, I’ll probably buy books to review.

New Belgium Abbey Ale

New Belgium's Abbey Ale label showing traditional Belgian goblets with beer
New Belgium’s Abbey Ale label

The New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado is best known for their Fat Tire amber. But New Belgium makes a lot of beer as one of the first generation of commercially distributed American craft breweries, going all the way back to 1991; it’s now the third largest craft brewery in the United States. Their second most recognized beer was the second one released; New Belgium Abbey Ale.

New Belgium Abbey Ale is a Belgian dubbel (that’s double in English) style beer. It’s called an “Abbey” beer because Abbey Ale’s creation was inspired by the beers brewed at Trappist monasteries in Belgium and the Netherlands. In an innovation started in the early 1800s, these beers are fermented twice, once in the cask and then again in the bottle (sometimes called “bottle conditioned”). In Belgium, such beers often include kettle-heated caramelized sugar, and they’re always a higher ABV. This particular Belgian dubbel began as the first home-brewed beer of brewer and New Belgium co-founder, Jeff Lebesch, and he continued to improve it after opening New Belgium.

New Belgium’s Abbey Ale is a 7% ABV, made with six different malts, and a Belgian yeast strain. It’s a dark brown, with lovely copper highlights in the glass, and a decent head. The aroma is mouthwatering—brown bread, caramel and chocolate, and it’s a close parallel to the taste; the hops are there, and give it some body, but the final impression is one of caramel and chocolate, and quite lovely. It makes me want to pair it a really crusty, chewy whole grain bread. I’m not alone in my positive reactions to this beer: it’s won four World Beer Cup medals and eight medals at the Great American Beer Festival. Beer Advocate is unusually positive, giving it an A- rating, with the brother’s giving it an A.

Abbey Ale is a beer that just cries out for food pairing. I note that the New Belgium Website suggests pairing it with chocolate, and I concur, notes that it works well as a dessert on its own merit, which again, I completely agree with, but I would also suggest a very coffee ice cream, possibly a mocha-coffee offering.

I was thinking of this beer, which I first tried ten years ago, and am sad to see that it’s not longer being brewed. New Belgium Abbey Ale was retired in 2020.

An earlier version of this post first appeared on Beer Report.

New Belgium Brewery

New Belgium Brewery fat tire label showing a vintage red bicycle with fat tiresNew Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado began as a local brewery.  Co-Founder and brewer Jeff Lebesch spent time in 1989 riding a mountain bike with “fat tires“ through Belgium, sampling the beers as he went. Inspired by the experience, the beers, and the Belgian malts, hops, and yeast, Lebesch returned to Fort Collins and began home brewing Belgian style beers. His first beers were a brown Trappist-inspired dubbel (later known as Abbey), and an amber that eventually became New Belgium’s flagship brew, Fat Tire. Lebesch, trained as an electrical engineer, turned his engineering know-how to brewing, creating a home-brewery in his basement using recycled dairy equipment. His beers were received extremely well, after a bit of tinkering, by friends, relatives and family members.

In 1991, Lebesch and his spouse Kim Jordan opened up New Belgium Brewery. Jordan served as distributor, marketer, and art director, convincing a neighbor, Ann Fitch, to create water colors to serve as the labels for New Belgium brews. New Belgium, with Fat Tire and Abbey, began to sell the first commercial Belgian style beers in the U.S. As the brewery grew, Jordan and Lebesch added another brewer, Brian Callahan, and began to create an employee-owned brewery by making Callahan a part owner. All employees after a year at New Belgium begin to accrue. When Jordan New Belgium brewery to Little World Beverages (Japan’s Kirin beer’s parent corporation) in 2019, they had 100% employee equity.

New Belgium has continued to create new beers, including seasonals, and slowly increased distribution; they are now the third largest craft brewer in the U.S. They are also one of the greenest, since they use the methane that’s a side product of their brewing, as well as wind power, to provide substantial amounts of their electricity.

One of the reasons that New Belgium beers have been so very recognizable right from the start has been the label art by Ann Fitch. In fact, I suspect that New Belgium may have been influential in terms of establishing the “craft brew look” in terms of bottle labels and branding. I’m a little surprised (and sad) that that they’ve changed many of their labels to a more austere style. I miss the old labels.

A version of this post originally appeared on Beer Report.

Elsewhere for May 8, 2021

You should read this for 5/08/2021:

I’m still on hiatus, but managed to accumulate a short list of links.

Art, Music, and Film

decorative leaf bulletMaster of Catherine of Cleves: Acquisition of a Previously Unknown Illumination

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

decorative leaf bulletThe Philip Roth biography is canceled, Mike Pence’s book could be next — and publishing may never be the same

It’s tempting to see this as just another isolated incident — like Grand Central’s decision not to publish Woody Allen’s memoir in 2020 or Threshold’s decision to drop Milo Yiannopoulos’s book in 2017.

But I think this week marks a sea change in publishers’ interest in their authors’ behavior. The cancellation of Bailey’s books came just a day after news broke that hundreds of employees at Simon & Schuster have submitted a petition demanding that the publisher cancel its two-book deal with former vice president Mike Pence and refuse to sign any additional contracts with members of the Trump administration. . . . I suspect some major publishers still don’t understand what having a diverse workforce entails. It was never just about making your office look like a Benetton ad. The real goal behind a diverse workforce is a wide range of experiences and ideas — and people empowered to act on them.

decorative leaf bulletQ&A: Martha Wells, Author of ‘Fugitive Telemetry’ The latest installment of Martha Wells’ fabulous Murderbot books is out. These are super books, and really helped get me through 2020.

decorative leaf bulletSubstack: the future of news – or a media pyramid scheme?

To begin, the cohort of writers selected by the company remained undisclosed. This created an invisible tiered system dividing those who were actively supported, and those who were taking a risk in trying to build their own subscriber base.

decorative leaf bulletHow to Display Your Books Like a More Sophisticated Adult

Coronavirus | COVID-19

decorative leaf bulletChoosing Safer Activities This is a strikingly poorly titled post from the CDC; what it’s really about is If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing many things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic.. The post explains how being fully vaccinated changes safe activities and expands upon them.

decorative leaf bulletWhat to Do If You Lose Your Vaccine Card First, right now, take a photo of the front and back with your phone. If you don’t have a smart phone, scan it, or make a photocopy at your local copy store or library. I would also suggest that you keep it at home, with other important papers like passports or birth certificates.

Food and Drink

decorative leaf bulletHow to Tell If Your Baking Soda and Baking Powder Are Still Good

History and Archaeology

decorative leaf bulletYasuke: The mysterious African samurai See also: Netflix’s ‘Yasuke’ trailer sees LaKeith Stanfield voicing a legendary Black samurai

decorative leaf bulletBronze Age treasure found in Swedish forest by mapmaker

A man surveying a forest for his orienteering club in western Sweden stumbled on a trove of Bronze Age treasure reckoned to be some 2,500 years old.
It includes about 50 items, such as necklaces, bracelets and clothing pins.

decorative leaf bulletArchaeologists uncover oldest human burial in Africa “‘Quite spectacular’ discovery shows three-year-old child was carefully laid to rest nearly 80,000 years ago”

decorative leaf bulletKim Kardashian named in ‘looted’ Roman statue forfeiture claim

The US government has named Kim Kardashian in a civil forfeiture claim for an ancient Roman statue seized at Los Angeles port in June 2016 that Italian officials think was originally looted from Italy.
According to the court documents, the statue, known as Fragment of Myron’s Samian Athena, was bought by Kardashian from a Belgian art dealer. It has been assessed to be an early to mid-Roman empire copy of a statue in the ancient Greek style.

Politics and Society

decorative leaf bulletBreaking Camp Basecamp announced it would ban “societal and political discussions” at work. But the hardest conversations at work were about the company itself.

Science and Nature

Referral link: Curiosity Stream 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).


decorative leaf bulletHow to have better arguments online

Disagreeing well is hard, and for most of us, stressful. But perhaps if we learn to see it as a skill in its own right, rather than as something that comes naturally, we might become more at ease with it. I believe we have a lot to learn from those who manage adversarial, conflict-ridden situations for a living; people whose job it is to wring information, insight and human connection out of even the most hostile encounter.

decorative leaf bulletBasecamp Bans Politics, An Act That Itself Is Political

decorative leaf bulletUS Postal Service Is Surveilling Social Media Services Because It Apparently Has Plenty Of Time And Money To Wast

SetApp: A Suite of macOS Apps for a Single Price Affiliate link for a great collection of ver 200 apps for macOS and iOS for a flat subscription fee.

Women’s Work

decorative leaf bulletKathie Coblentz, 73, Dies; Not Your Ordinary Librarian

A Yankees fan, marathon runner, cinephile, editor, and, yes, a cataloger, she was the New York Public Library’s third-longest serving employee.

FYI: There are no ordinary librarians.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

decorative leaf bulletSome restaurants have receipts on the walls. Anyone who is hungry can grab one for a free meal

In a growing number of restaurants in Oklahoma, the walls are decorated with hanging receipts.

Anyone can walk in, pull down a receipt and order a meal free of charge. The receipts are put there by customers who prepay for food and tack them to the wall, leaving them on offer for anyone who is hungry.

Something Wonderful

decorative leaf bulletA gay man was targeted for his rainbow house idea. Dozens responded by helping him paint the colorful stripes.

decorative leaf bulletTheir First 3-D Printed House

Buy me a Coffee! If you find this site interesting, and would like to see more, buy me a coffee. While I may actually buy coffee, I’ll probably buy books to review.

Elsewhere for April 24, 2021

I’m taking a bit of a hiatus from regular posting to work on other writing. I may very well post a few things here, but I’m not going to be keeping a weekly schedule.

Science and Nature

decorative leaf bulletGroundbreaking effort launched to decode whale language

On a crisp spring morning in 2008, Shane Gero overheard a pair of whales having a chat. Gero, a Canadian biologist, had been tracking sperm whales off the Caribbean island nation of Dominica when two males, babies from the same family, popped up not far from his boat. The animals, nicknamed Drop and Doublebend, nuzzled their enormous boxy heads and began to talk. . . . The whales clicked back and forth for 40 minutes, sometimes while motionless, sometimes twirling their silver bodies together like strands of rope, rarely going silent for long. Never had Gero so desperately wished he understood what whales were saying. He felt as if he were eavesdropping on brothers wrestling in their room. “They were talking and playing and being siblings,” he says. “There was clearly so much going on.”

Curiosity Stream 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).

Referral link

Elsewhere for April 17, 2021

You should read this for 4/17/2021:

Art, Music, and Film

decorative leaf bulletBeeswing by Richard Thompson review – beyond Fairport Convention

decorative leaf bulletJoss Whedon’s ‘The Nevers’ is a weak remix of his formerly good ideas

With the latest application of his style, call it the Nevers configuration, it’s clear that Whedon has less of a creative signature and more of a single notebook page of ideas he’s been using since the late ’90s.

decorative leaf bulletWomen take the floor: an exhibition that shifts the male gaze of art history

Biden Begins

decorative leaf bulletA pair of misleading GOP attacks on Biden’s infrastructure plan

In 2018, the Treasury Department examined the tax filings of small businesses. In 2010, it found, fewer than 6 percent filed as C-corporations. On top of that, the net income of those small businesses filing as C-corporations was negative; little is likely to have been paid in taxes. (By contrast, large businesses filing as C-corporations reported significant net income.)

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

H/T Carrissa P. Via Twitter @byrnesong: decorative leaf bulletThat beekeeper heart honeycomb image. A thread.

Coronavirus | COVID-19

decorative leaf bulletTrump officials celebrated efforts to change CDC reports on coronavirus, emails show

Trump appointees in the Department of Health and Human Services last year privately touted their efforts to block or alter scientists’ reports on the coronavirus to more closely align with then-President Donald Trump’s more optimistic messages about the outbreak, according to newly released documents from congressional investigators.

The documents provide further insight into how senior Trump officials approached last year’s explosion of coronavirus cases in the United States. Even as career government scientists worked to combat the virus, a cadre of Trump appointees was attempting to blunt the scientists’ messages, edit their findings and equip the president with an alternate set of talking points.

decorative leaf bulletCoronavirus Vaccine FAQs: What’s Up With Side Effects? Should You Still Double Mask?

Food and Drink

Jay Rayner: decorative leaf bulletThe old scrapbook recipe collections that tell the story of our lives

Statement of the obvious: online recipes now threaten these fabulous collections. There’s a chicken teriyaki recipe on the website natashaskitchen.com which I have cooked many times. I have never printed it out. I search it up every time, even while acknowledging its rather sad that I do so. An internet search history will never be as romantic as a scrapbook. It’s time, I think, to put a sheet of A4 through the printer. Perhaps it’s time we all did. Because without these collections we’ll lose a significant slab of our shared cultural, and edible, history. Future historians will not be able to work out our life stories through the dinners we dreamed of making. That would be a crying shame.

decorative leaf bulletKnow your apples: a connoisseur’s guide to tasting cider

History and Archaeology

decorative leaf bulletRoman stately home unearthed in Scarborough ‘potential world first’

The excavations revealed a large complex of buildings, including a circular central room with a number of rooms leading off it and a bath house.

Mr Emerick said it was not clear what the building was used for but described it as a Roman version of a stately home, possibly owned by somebody of wealth and status.

He added: “We’ve spoken to a number of leading Roman academics about it and we’re all trying to find a comparable site and we are struggling.

Politics and Society

decorative leaf bullet‘These are our homes’: LA gay bars fight to stay afloat after year of shutdown

Oil Can still had a siren on site that staff used in the 60s to warn customers that police were coming and allowed them to quickly switch to partners of the opposite gender, said Dominguez: “New generations aren’t going to get to know this space.”

decorative leaf bulletJohn Oliver’s deep dive into nursing homes is eye-openingly grim

Science and Nature

decorative leaf bulletTim Dowling: is the dog’s friendship with the fox sweet – or a bad omen?

The dog and the fox are not enemies, but friends. If you open the front door at night, the dog will often run out between your legs to chase the fox down an adjacent lane. When the dog stops chasing the fox, the fox turns and chases the dog. They usually take it in turns for about half an hour, until the dog runs out of steam. Sometimes when I return home after dark, I pass the fox waiting patiently under a street lamp for the dog to come out and play. My wife thinks it’s sweet and regularly goes along to watch. I think it’s a bad omen.

decorative leaf bulletIndian jumping ants have ability to shrink brain and re-grow it — study

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decorative leaf bulletFBI nuked web shells from hacked Exchange Servers without telling owners

In a Department of Justice press release published today, the FBI states they used a search warrant to access the still-compromised Exchange servers, copy the web shell as evidence, and then remove the web shell from the server.

. . .

As there was concern that notifying the owners of these servers could compromise the operation, the FBI requested that the warrant be sealed and that notification of the warrant be delayed until the operation was finished.

See also: The FBI is remotely hacking hundreds of computers to protect them from Hafnium

SetApp: A Suite of macOS Apps for a Single Price Affiliate link for a great collection of ver 200 apps for macOS and iOS for a flat subscription fee.

Women’s Work

decorative leaf bulletKati Kariko Helped Shield the World From the Coronavirus

he grew up in Hungary, daughter of a butcher. She decided she wanted to be a scientist, although she had never met one. She moved to the United States in her 20s, but for decades never found a permanent position, instead clinging to the fringes of academia.

Now Katalin Kariko, 66, known to colleagues as Kati, has emerged as one of the heroes of Covid-19 vaccine development. Her work, with her close collaborator, Dr. Drew Weissman of the University of Pennsylvania, laid the foundation for the stunningly successful vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

decorative leaf bulletThis Top Biden Economist Has A Plan: Create Jobs, Address Inequality, Ignore Trolls

“I’m not really going to be satisfied if we return the economy to February 2020,” Jones told NPR. “I think we can do better than that. I think we can return the economy to a time when wages were growing for workers, when bargaining was strong, when we saw benefits really increasing.”

Interview: decorative leaf bulletPeggy Seeger: ‘Folk is full of raunchy songs, but they’re not often sung’

As an older woman, people also ignore what you say. It’s as if you’re not there. I keep talking.

decorative leaf bulletHow Facebook let fake engagement distort global politics: a whistleblower’s account

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰 The Insurrection President 🤥🤥👖🔥

decorative leaf bulletConspiracy Charges Bring Proud Boys’ History Of Violence Into Spotlight

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

decorative leaf bulletCouple Spends 20 Years Planting an Entire Forest and Animals Have Returned

Something Wonderful

decorative leaf bulletBlue Dunes on the Red Planet

A sea of dark dunes, sculpted by the wind into long lines, surrounds Mars’ northern polar cap and covers an area as big as Texas. In this false-color image, areas with cooler temperatures are recorded in bluer tints, while warmer features are depicted in yellows and oranges. Thus, the dark, sun-warmed dunes glow with a golden color. This image covers an area 19 miles (30 kilometers) wide.

Buy me a Coffee! If you find this site interesting, and would like to see more, buy me a coffee. While I may actually buy coffee, I’ll probably buy books to review.

Elsewhere for April 10, 2021

You should read this for 4/10/2021:

Art, Music, and Film

decorative leaf bullet‘Some kind of modern day western’: inside the world of concrete cowboys

Concrete Cowboy, which premiered last year at the Toronto film festival and is now available on Netflix, is a gritty drama about a father-son relationship set around the Fletcher Street Stables, one of the first stables in inner-city Philadelphia and now among the last.

It dates back more than a century to when horse-drawn wagons delivered produce, laundry and milk. That era drew to a close in the late 1950s when cars and trucks took over but the historic barns survived as a precious community focal point and safe haven – often without the knowledge of city residents living just a few miles away.

decorative leaf bulletGaming technology recreates 16th-century music in Scottish chapel

The sounds of an Easter concert performed for James IV in a Scottish chapel have been recreated using gaming technology alongside groundbreaking recording techniques that allow specialists to model how acoustics would have been affected by long-destroyed interior details, such as the curve of an alabaster sculpture or an oak roof beam.

decorative leaf bulletKhraniteli: The Soviet take on Lord of the Rings

decorative leaf bulletA 3,000-year-old ‘lost golden city’ has been unearthed in Egypt

A 3,000-year-old “lost golden city” has been unearthed in the southern city of Luxor, a discovery that could be the most significant find in Egypt since the tomb of the boy king Tutankhamun, the archaeological mission said Thursday in a statement.

The lost city, known as Aten, is believed to have been founded by King Amenhotep III, the ninth king of ancient Egypt’s 18th dynasty who ruled the country from 1391 to 1353 B.C., the mission’s statement said. It is believed to be the largest administrative and industrial settlement in that era, nestled on the western bank of Luxor.

Biden Begins

decorative leaf bulletBiden’s infrastructure plan should cover childcare and home care. Here’s why

What we need to understand better as a nation is that our infrastructure does not just look like steel, concrete and transport – it is also the nurturing, patience and diligence of care workers. Care work touches all of our lives from beginning to end, from the unpaid labor of those who raise us as children, childcare workers, teachers, home aides and healthcare workers, to those who care for us in old age and see us through the end of our lives. Care is one of the strongest pillars of our economy, yet those who do this work – disproportionately Black and brown women, often immigrants – are under-supported, undervalued and under-compensated, if compensated at all.

Just as our physical infrastructure is crumbling and requires substantial reinvestment in a 21st-century economy, our care infrastructure is fundamentally broken. As the only industrialized country in the world without a national paid family and medical leave program, only 17% of our people have paid family leave through their employers. Hundreds of thousands face daunting waitlists for essential home care. Childcare is the highest household expense for families in much of the United States. And the median annual pay of childcare and home care workers is $25,510 and $17,200, respectively, leading to high turnover and reliance on public

decorative leaf bulletWhat’s In Biden’s $400 Billion Plan To Support Families’ Long-Term Health Needs

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

decorative leaf bulletSomeone is hiding R-rated ‘Fifty Shades’ movies at Berkley Library This is an old story, from 2018, but I love the way the library responded.

decorative leaf bulletThe Books Briefing: Beverly Cleary Saw Kids as They Are

[Beverly Cleary], who died last week, drew from intense memories of her own early life to write about kids with rare understanding and care. She understood—and respected—children’s inner feelings. Many saw their own awkward experiences reflected in those of Cleary’s characters; they felt heard by her words. For my colleague Sophie Gilbert, the author’s depiction of mortification stood out the most. Learning that she was not alone in even her most humiliating moments, Gilbert writes, was one of the most potent lessons of Cleary’s work. Many of the best children’s books work like this—by helping kids identify difficult emotions and then work through them.

decorative leaf bulletThe GOP claim that only 5 to 7 percent of Biden’s plan is for ‘real infrastructure’

Biden proposes to spend $2.3 trillion on an eclectic mix of programs over 10 years. From roads, bridges and airports to railways, ports, water systems, the electric grid and high-speed broadband, about one-quarter to half of the plan is dedicated to transportation and utilities, depending on how you count.

decorative leaf bullet‘Race against the clock’: the school fighting to save the Ojibwe language before its elders pass away

Climate Change | Climate Repair

decorative leaf bulletHow kelp forests off California are responding to an urchin takeover

California’s kelp forests, which provide a rich habitat for marine organisms, got hit by a double whammy of ecological disasters in the past decade, says UC Santa Cruz ecologist Mark Carr. He is a coauthor on the Communications Biology paper who has mentored both McPherson and Smith.

First, sea star wasting syndrome wiped out local populations of sunflower sea stars (Pycnopodia helianthoides), which typically feed on urchins (SN: 1/20/21). Without sea stars, purple sea urchins (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) proliferated.

The second wallop was a marine heat wave so big and persistent it was nicknamed “The Blob” (SN: 12/14/17). While kelp forests have been resilient to warming events before, this one was so extreme it spiked temperatures in many parts of the Pacific to 2 to 3 degrees Celsius above normal (SN: 1/15/20).

Kelp thrives in cold and nutrient rich water. As its growth slowed in the warmer water, less kelp drifted into the crevices of the reefs where sea urchins typically lurk. With a key predator gone and a newfound need to forage for food rather than waiting for it to come to them, urchins emerged and turned the remaining kelp into a giant buffet.

Video: decorative leaf bulletRowley Shoals: thriving Australian reef shows what’s possible when ecosystems are untouched by humans

H/T Om Malik: decorative leaf bulletWaves of Abandonment

Laura and her husband noticed that the pumpjacks on the 7S wells rarely moved much, an indication they weren’t actually producing much oil for sale. However, the family did see the wells leaking oil and gushing produced water — an industry byproduct that’s often imbued with hazardous chemicals. . . . The situation isn’t much better elsewhere in the Permian Basin. Texas and New Mexico have already identified about 7,000 abandoned wells that were once operated by over 1,000 companies. State officials estimate these will cost $335 million to plug. The states define wells as “orphaned” if they don’t have an approved operator on record; additionally, Texas only includes wells that haven’t produced in at least a year. However, a healthy chunk of roughly 100,000 “idled” wells in those states could also eventually end up abandoned.

decorative leaf bulletLemurs and giant tortoises among species at risk if global heating hits 3C

Unique island species including lemurs and the Galapagos giant tortoise could be at high risk of extinction if the planet warms by more than 3C above pre-industrial levels, new research warns.

Analysis of 270 biodiversity hotspots suggests almost half of endemic marine species and 84% of endemic mountain species will face extinction if the planet warms by more than 3C, which if current trends continue could happen in 2100.

Coronavirus | COVID-19

decorative leaf bulletNew CDC Guidance Lifts Most Domestic Travel Restrictions For Fully Vaccinated People

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its domestic travel guidance for fully vaccinated people, lifting certain testing and self-quarantine requirements but continuing to recommend precautions like wearing a mask and avoiding crowds.

decorative leaf bulletStudy: COVID-19 Vaccine Is Safe During Pregnancy And May Protect Baby, Too

decorative leaf bullet‘A moment of peril’: Biden sees infections climb on his watch

decorative leaf bulletCDC Says More Virulent British Strain Of Coronavirus Now Dominant In U.S.

A more easily spread coronavirus variant first identified in England last year has now become the dominant strain in the U.S., the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.

The variant, known as B.1.1.7, spread quickly across the United Kingdom and Ireland beginning last fall, with the more infectious version of the coronavirus thwarting restrictions and lockdowns that had earlier helped keep the original strain in check.

B.1.1.7 is “now the most common lineage circulating in the United States,Æ CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said at a White House media briefing on Wednesday.

decorative leaf bulletYou Can Stop Disinfecting Your Home Now, CDC Says

decorative leaf bulletGot a strange text about your COVID vaccine? Here’s what could be going on

At 9:38 p.m. on a Monday evening, I received what seemed like a pretty important text from a sender I did not know.

“View a digital record of your vaccination,” it read.

The text also congratulated me on having received my second dose, and reminded me to wait one to two weeks for full protection. Immediately, my alarms bells went off, and I wondered: “Is this a scam?”

Food and Drink

decorative leaf bulletTen Years of Wine Wars

Via Smitten Kitchen: decorative leaf bulletsheet pan chow mein

decorative leaf bulletWhy Do Some People Think Cilantro Tastes Like Soap?

History and Archaeology

decorative leaf bulletBronze Age slab found in France is oldest 3D map in Europe

decorative leaf bulletAncient human migration into Europe revealed via genome analysis

Genetic sequencing of human remains dating back 45,000 years has revealed a previously unknown migration into Europe and showed intermixing with Neanderthals in that period was more common than previously thought.
The research is based on analysis of several ancient human remains – including a whole tooth and bone fragments – found in a cave in Bulgaria last year.

decorative leaf bullet‘Exciting’ Stone Age discoveries in the Cairngorms

Archaeologists found stone tools and traces of firepits and possible shelters in Deeside in the Cairngorms.

Finds from the Mesolithic period, also known as the Middle Stone Age, are rare and usually made in lowland areas.

Politics and Society

decorative leaf bulletA QAnon revelation suggests the truth of Q’s identity was right there all along

The extremist movement’s leader had purported to be a top-secret government operative. But a possible slip-up in a new documentary about QAnon suggests that Q was actually Ron Watkins, the longtime administrator of the 8kun message board.

Science and Nature

decorative leaf bulletNASA’s InSight Detects Two Sizable Quakes on Mars

The magnitude 3.3 and 3.1 temblors originated in a region called Cerberus Fossae, further supporting the idea that this location is seismically active.

NASA’s InSight lander has detected two strong, clear quakes originating in a location of Mars called Cerberus Fossae – the same place where two strong quakes were seen earlier in the mission. The new quakes have magnitudes of 3.3 and 3.1; the previous quakes were magnitude 3.6 and 3.5. InSight has recorded over 500 quakes to date, but because of their clear signals, these are four of the best quake records for probing the interior of the planet.

Studying marsquakes is one way the InSight science team seeks to develop a better understanding of Mars’ mantle and core. The planet doesn’t have tectonic plates like Earth, but it does have volcanically active regions that can cause rumbles. The March 7 and March 18 quakes add weight to the idea that Cerberus Fossae is a center of seismic activity.

H/T Frances: decorative leaf bulletThe weird and wonderful Eucyclodes caterpillar

decorative leaf bulletRates of Parkinson’s disease are exploding. A common chemical may be to blame

Most cases of Parkinson’s disease are considered idiopathic – they lack a clear cause. Yet researchers increasingly believe that one factor is environmental exposure to trichloroethylene (TCE), a chemical compound used in industrial degreasing, dry-cleaning and household products such as some shoe polishes and carpet cleaners.

Referral link for Curiosity Stream 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).


decorative leaf bulletFacebook attributes 533 million users’ data leak to “scraping” not hacking

decorative leaf bulletStanford Research Explains and Helps Prevent Zoom Fatigue

decorative leaf bulletThe woman who took on Google and won

decorative leaf bulletWix and Their Dirty Tricks Matt puts his thumb squarely on my primary personal objection to Wix: you can’t take your data with you, it’s not exportable, and you can’t back it up.

SetApp: A Suite of macOS Apps for a Single Price Affiliate link for a great collection of ver 200 apps for macOS and iOS for a flat subscription fee.

Women’s Work

decorative leaf bulletGay, communist, female: why MI5 blacklisted the poet Valentine Ackland

decorative leaf bulletSinger Brandi Carlile Talks Ambition, Avoidance And Finally Finding Her Place

“I need to get a grip on my ambition. I need to start enjoying being here instead of constantly trying to prove that I have a right to be here, constantly trying to fit and assimilate. And at some point, I need to realize that I am where I’m supposed to be and that I don’t necessarily need to keep climbing.”

decorative leaf bulletAfter A Major Hack, U.S. Looks To Fix A Cyber ‘Blind Spot’

FireEye said it uncovered the breach only because a new woman employee on its security team was particularly vigilant. She noticed someone using the credentials of a FireEye salesman was logging in with a new mobile phone. When she checked with the salesman, who said the phone didn’t belong to him. It turned out the phone belonged to a cyber intruder.

decorative leaf bulletShe was the ‘secret’ Wonder Woman writer in the 1940s. Here’s how she finally got her due at 94.

decorative leaf bulletTaylor Swift releases a ‘perfect replica’ of Fearless

decorative leaf bulletShe sued for pregnancy discrimination. Now she’s battling Google’s army of lawyers

“What’s very clear is that Google does not take action regarding discrimination,” said Glasson. “This is in large part because it is a massive organization with huge resources at its disposal to fight someone like me – it’s not at all a fair fight.”

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰 | The Insurrection President 🤥🤥👖🔥

decorative leaf bulletOath Keepers founder swapped calls with members during Capitol attack

The founder of far-right group the Oath Keepers, Stewart Rhodes, his lieutenant, and three members of the militia who guarded Donald Trump ally Roger Stone swapped numerous phone calls in a three-hour period on 6 January when the Capitol was attacked by a mob, prosecutors said Thursday.

These exchanges coincided with the initial assault on police barricades outside Congress, and continued into when the three guards breached the US Capitol building, according to the Washington Post.

Thank you 🤥🤥👖🔥: decorative leaf bulletU.S. Capitol Police Officer Killed In Attack At Capitol Checkpoint

One U.S. Capitol Police officer is dead and another is hospitalized with injuries after an apparent attack Friday at a Capitol checkpoint in which a man rammed his car into officers and lunged at them with a knife, police said.
Capitol Police identified the slain officer as William “Billy” Evans, an 18-year veteran of the force.

decorative leaf bulletTrump used dark patterns to trick supporters into donating millions more than intended

By June 2020, the Trump campaign had begun using dark patterns, computer interfaces designed to trick users, to automatically sign up campaign contributors to donate far more money than they had intended — recurring monthly donations, recurring weekly donations, even a one-time surprise “money bomb” per month — by pre-checking the checkboxes for each option, burying the fine print under paragraphs of bold text, and forcing his supporters to wade through it all and opt out if they wanted to make a simple donation.

decorative leaf bulletMan Indicted For Attacking Officer With Skateboard During U.S. Capitol Riot

A federal grand jury in Washington indicted a Florida man for taking his skateboard to the head of a Metropolitan Police officer during the U.S. Capitol insurrection Jan. 6. . . . Owens was captured on body camera footage using a skateboard to assault an unnamed Metropolitan Police officer, referred to as “C.B.” outside of the Capitol building, according to prosecutors. The attack caused a concussion and finger injury to the police officer.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

decorative leaf bullet‘We found a baby on the subway – now he’s our son’

decorative leaf bulletEaster promise: the patisserie built on a friendship that bridges Istanbul’s divides

Stuff I Wrote

decorative leaf bulletApril from Walters W.425

Something Wonderful

JPL | Hubble Space Telescope: decorative leaf bulletThe Veil Nebula

This image taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope revisits the Veil Nebula, which was featured in a previous Hubble image release. In this image, new processing techniques have been applied, bringing out fine details of the nebula’s delicate threads and filaments of ionized gas.

decorative leaf bulletTo raise awareness of her native language, 16-year-old Emma Stevens sang a version of The Beatles’ 1968 classic “Blackbird” in the Mi’kmaq language, an Eastern Algonquian language spoken by nearly 11,000 in Canada and the United States.

This is so cool: decorative leaf bulletTwo bots, one selfie. Greetings from Jezero Crater, where I’ve taken my first selfie of the mission. I’m also watching the #MarsHelicopter Ingenuity as it gets ready for its first flight in a few days. Daring mighty things indeed. See Nasa’s statement (really worth reading).

NASA’s newest Mars rover used a camera on the end of its robotic arm to snap this shot of itself with the Ingenuity helicopter nearby.
NASA’s newest Mars rover used a camera on the end of its robotic arm to snap this shot of itself with the Ingenuity helicopter nearby.
Image credit: Perseverance NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Buy me a Coffee! If you find this site interesting, and would like to see more, buy me a coffee. While I may actually buy coffee, I’ll probably buy books to review.

Elsewhere for April 3, 2021

You should read this for 4/3/2021:

Art, Music, and Film

H/T Anne Leckie: decorative leaf bulletBerlin’s plan to return Benin bronzes piles pressure on UK museums

Berlin is negotiating to fully restitute hundreds of the Benin bronzes in a shift of policy that has been welcomed in Nigeria but will put pressure on museums in London and Oxford to also return artefacts looted from Britain’s former west African empire in 1897.

More than 500 historical objects including 440 bronzes from the Kingdom of Benin, in what is now southern Nigeria, are held at the Ethnological Museum in the German capital. Half of the collection was due to go on display this autumn at the Humboldt Forum, a newly opened museum of non-European art in the city centre.

More museums need to do this.

decorative leaf bulletIf the Queen has nothing to hide, she should tell us what artefacts she owns

The royal family has a history of acquiring looted objects, so its exemption from a law protecting cultural heritage raises questions

decorative leaf bulletSir Ian McKellen on playing ‘young prince’ Hamlet at 81

Biden Begins

decorative leaf bulletBiden administration fires most Homeland Security Advisory Council members

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas fired most members of the department’s independent advisory council on Friday, a purge that included several allies of former president Donald Trump and veteran officials who served under both parties.

Former Department of Homeland Security officials and advisory board members who worked under Democratic and Republican administrations said they could not remember so many members being dismissed at once, as the general practice of past administrations was to allow appointees to serve out their terms before replacing them.

decorative leaf bulletBiden attacks new Georgia voting law as ‘Jim Crow’

“Among the outrageous parts of this new state law, it ends voting hours early so working people can’t cast their vote after their shift is over,” Biden said of the Georgia statute. “It adds rigid restrictions on casting absentee ballots that will effectively deny the right to vote to countless voters.”

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

decorative leaf bulletLibraries Are Key Tools For People Getting Out of Prison, Even During A Pandemic

decorative leaf bulletCaptain Underpants author withdraws book over ‘passive racism’

Captain Underpants author Dav Pilkey has apologised for “harmful racial stereotypes and passively racist imagery” in one of his graphic novels for children, which has been withdrawn by his publisher amid a surge in anti-Asian violence in the US.

Jon Udell: decorative leaf bulletOriginal memories

Scott Woods: decorative leaf bulletThe Other Columbus: Letter to a child crying in the library in 2021

Climate Change | Climate Repair

decorative leaf bulletJapan’s cherry blossom bloom – in pictures

Japan’s famous cherry blossoms have reached their flowery peak in many places earlier this year than at any time since records began nearly 70 years ago, and experts say climate change is the probable cause

decorative leaf bulletDestruction of world’s forests increased sharply in 2020

decorative leaf bulletGlobal tree loss can’t hide from these cloud-piercing radar satellites

Coronavirus | COVID-19

decorative leaf bullet‘The earlier you act, the more impact’: how Seattle tech industry led on Covid

ast year, four days after the first recorded Covid-19 death in the United States was reported in Kirkland, Washington, just east of Seattle, Microsoft leaders jumped into action – recommending that their employees in the area work from home. Two days later, Amazon made a similar declaration.

Combined, their announcements affected more than 100,000 employees in this Pacific north-west tech hub and came days before the Washington state governor’s first major Covid mandate and more than a week before the US president declared an emergency for Covid.

decorative leaf bulletCovid probably passed to humans from bats via other animal, finds WHO report

Covid-19 probably passed to humans from a bat via an intermediary animal, an international expert mission to China has concluded in a report, with investigators all but ruling out a laboratory leak.
The intermediate host hypothesis was deemed “likely to very likely”, while the theory that the virus escaped from a lab was considered “extremely unlikely”, according to a copy of the long-awaited final report seen by AFP on Monday before its official release.

decorative leaf bulletDr. Anthony Fauci Does Not Expect A 4th Coronavirus Wave To Hit The U.S.

Food and Drink

decorative leaf bulletMy Greek granny’s grilled sea bream is summer on a plate – here’s her recipe

decorative leaf bulletFancy a deep red? The rise of underwater wineries

Working with a small team, he secured permission to rent 500 square metres of seabed in the bay of Plentzia on Spain’s north coast, sinking specially designed structures capable of storing wine while also acting as an artificial reef. Winemakers across the country soon joined in the experiment, sending bottles of wine for Saracho to plunge into the sea.

The results transformed Saracho into a proponent of underwater ageing and culminated in the launch of Crusoe Treasure, one of Spain’s largest underwater wineries, in 2010. “It was astounding,” he said. “The wines’ evolution underwater was very distinct from what would happen with the same grape on land.”

decorative leaf bulletYou Should Roast Garlic in Your Air Fryer

decorative leaf bulletMussel memory: I loved picking them in Scotland as a boy – here’s my recipe

History and Archaeology

H/T Lisa Carnell: decorative leaf bulletDid the Black Death Rampage Across the World a Century Earlier Than Previously Thought?

In December, the historian Monica Green published a landmark article, The Four Black Deaths, in the American Historical Review, that rewrites our narrative of this brutal and transformative pandemic. In it, she identifies a “big bang” that created four distinct genetic lineages that spread separately throughout the world and finds concrete evidence that the plague was already spreading from China to central Asia in the 1200s. This discovery pushes the origins of the Black Death back by over a hundred years, meaning that the first wave of the plague was not a decades-long explosion of horror, but a disease that crept across the continents for over a hundred years until it reached a crisis point.

decorative leaf bulletMassive ancient ceremonial site ‘on par with Salisbury Plain’ discovered in Scotland

The ceremonial complex, which dates to 3,800 BC, may have been a cursus monument – a cathedral-style complex of its day that was built by the surrounding community and visited in large numbers for ritual activity.

Archaeologists discovered a line of early Neolithic postholes rising up along a ridge towards an artificial hill, Droughduil Mound, which has views over Luce Bay.

H/T Lisa Carnell: decorative leaf bulletIron Age warriors were laid to rest on fluffy down pillows

Archaeologists have found the remains of downy pillows in the graves of two high-ranking Iron Age warriors in Sweden, dating to the 600s and 700s CE. Both warriors were buried in large boats, along with weapons, food, and horses. Down from the pillows suggests locally sourced stuffing that may have had a symbolic meaning to the people preparing the burial.

Politics and Society

Bernie Sanders: decorative leaf bulletThe rich-poor gap in America is obscene. So let’s fix it – here’s how

Poverty in America has become a death sentence.
Meanwhile, the people on top have never had it so good. The top 1% now own more wealth than the bottom 92%, and the 50 wealthiest Americans own more wealth than the bottom half of American society – 165 million people. While millions of Americans have lost their jobs and incomes during the pandemic, over the past year 650 billionaires have seen their wealth increase by $1.3tn.

Science and Nature

decorative leaf bullet‘Similar to having a baby, the euphoria’: rediscovery of rare gecko delights experts

Conservationists are celebrating the rediscovery as “incredibly significant”, with the elusive reptile not seen for more than a decade – and only twice ever.

The Cupola gecko was first documented in 1968, in scrub above the Cupola Hut in the Travers Range. Nearly 40 years after that first sighting, one was spotted in another part of the Nelson Lakes national park in 2007.

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


decorative leaf bulletArtists reimagine the baseball card with iPad Pro and Apple Pencil

decorative leaf bullethttps://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/ubiquiti-cyberattack-may-be-far-worse-than-originally-disclosed/ See also: Ubiquiti is accused of covering up a ‘catastrophic’ data breach — and it’s not denying it
Change your passwords, and enable 2-factor authorization.

SetApp: A Suite of macOS Apps for a Single Price Affiliate link for a great collection of ver 200 apps for macOS and iOS for a flat subscription fee.

Women’s Work

decorative leaf bulletMichigan GOP leader calls top Democrats ‘witches,’ jokes about assassination of Republicans

The head of the Michigan GOP came under fire Friday for calling three female Democratic leaders “witches” to be burned “at the stake” and for mentioning “assassination” as an option for how to oust two Republican congressmen who voted to impeach former president Donald Trump.

State GOP Chairman Ron Weiser’s rhetoric, which was captured on video this week, was rebuked by Michigan Democrats as “sexist” and “dangerous” and led members of the University of Michigan Board of Regents to call for his resignation from the governing board. Included in Weiser’s “three witches” comment was Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), the target of a foiled kidnapping plot last year amid virulent criticism from her political opponents.

decorative leaf bulletRuby Rose on gender, bullying and breaking free: ‘I had a problem with authority’

decorative leaf bulletFemale Expression in a 15th-Century Manuscript “A new Getty acquisition features stories about women for the Queen of France”

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

decorative leaf bulletYoung man with autism pens viral employment letter: ‘take a chance on me’ I’ve had a number of students who are autistic. Typically they’ve discovered how they learn best, and are adept at learning under those conditions, and eager to learn. Every single one of them was an asset in the classroom in terms of contributing and their kindness to other students, and a hard worker.

decorative leaf bulletGiant sandcastle built to bring sand martins home to roost in Surrey

A giant “sandcastle” has been constructed to encourage sand martins to nest at a nature reserve for the first time in 25 years, Surrey Wildlife Trust has said.
The 400-tonne sand installation at Spynes Mere, near Merstham, Surrey, was built by professional sand sculptors who used a “giant bucket mould” made from wooden boards, as well as the help of diggers and dumper trucks.

Sand martins visit the nature reserve when they migrate from sub-Saharan Africa each year, arriving from mid-March to feed until September, but they have not nested there for 25 years.

H/T @annagenoese: decorative leaf bulletThe
Ali Forney Center Amazon Wish List

The Ali Forney Center is the nation’s largest homeless LGBT youth services provider. We rely on the support of the community to provide New York City’s homeless LGBT youth with the resources they need to reclaim their lives and live independently. This wish list is for items to serve our youth. Most items are for basic needs: socks, underwear, and T-Shirts. From time-to-time we will have special needs (monitors, DVD’s, Books). To learn more about our work please visit www.aliforneycenter.org or you can call us at 212-206-9349. Thank you for your support — Please note: Any purchase you make off of this list is tax deductible. You can save your amazon receipt along with an AFC acknowledgement letter for tax purposes.

decorative leaf bulletHow Not To Say The Wrong Thing

Stuff I Wrote

decorative leaf bullethttps://www.digitalmedievalist.com/2021/04/01/april-from-walters-w-425/</a

Something Wonderful

decorative leaf bulletThe 17-year-old blacksmith going viral online

decorative leaf bulletEndangered condors return to northern California skies after nearly a century

The reintroduction efforts there have largely been led by the Yurok Tribe, whose ancestral land encompasses large swaths of forest and coastline in northern California and parts of Redwood national park that were once home to the condor.

The tribe has planned for the bird’s return for over a decade, and its proposal was accepted on 24 March by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Through close collaboration with Redwood national park, the tribe will begin the creation of a captive breeding facility within the boundaries of the park. The facility will house captive-bred condors that could be released into the park as early as this fall.

Video with sound. H/T Scof: decorative leaf bulletBearenting

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