Omnium Gatherum: 7jul2021

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for July 7, 2021

Here’s a variety of notable things I’ve recently found that you may also be interested in checking out:

  • On E.M. Forster’s Maurice and the Urgency of Expanding Queer Genealogies. William di Canzio on the Personal and Literary Inspirations Behind His Novel.”—”Alec is my passionate response to Maurice, a seminal work of art. It is also a gesture of reverence to heritage and genealogy. “A great unrecorded history” was Forster’s phrase for the lives, sufferings, and achievements of queer people: our essential role in humanity. We are largely ignored in “master narratives” of the past, uncredited, our sexuality condemned, ignored, or obliterated. Maurice is a priceless, pioneering artifact of that unrecorded history. The story of its publication, half a century ago this year, is now among its annals. Forster modeled the love of Maurice and Alec on that of his friends Edward Carpenter and George Merrill. These are names we all should know, because our genealogy is traced not in family trees but in networks of friendship and love. Carpenter knew Walt Whitman; Whitman, Oscar Wilde; Forster knew Virginia Woolf, Lytton Strachey, Benjamin Britten, Paul Cadmus; and so on. Alec is my own contribution to this inheritance, an imaginary recording of a passage in that heroic history.” About Alec [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by William di Canzio—”William di Canzio’s Alec, inspired by Maurice, E. M. Forster’s secret novel of a happy same-sex love affair, tells the story of Alec Scudder, the gamekeeper Maurice Hall falls in love with in Forster’s classic, published only after the author’s death. Di Canzio follows their story past the end of Maurice to the front lines of battle in World War I and beyond. Forster, who tried to write an epilogue about the future of his characters, was stymied by the radical change that the Great War brought to their world. With the hindsight of a century, di Canzio imagines a future for them and a past for Alec—a young villager possessed of remarkable passion and self-knowledge. Alec continues Forster’s project of telling stories that are part of ‘a great unrecorded history.’ Di Canzio’s debut novel is a love story of epic proportions, at once classic and boldly new.”
  • You Can’t Tell the Story of 1776 Without Talking About Race and Slavery.” By Robert G. Parkinson, author of Thirteen Clocks: How Race United the Colonies and Made the Declaration of Independence [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library]—”In his celebrated account of the origins of American unity, John Adams described July 1776 as the moment when thirteen clocks managed to strike at the same time. So how did these American colonies overcome long odds to create a durable union capable of declaring independence from Britain? In this powerful new history of the fifteen tense months that culminated in the Declaration of Independence, Robert G. Parkinson provides a troubling answer: racial fear. Tracing the circulation of information in the colonial news systems that linked patriot leaders and average colonists, Parkinson reveals how the system’s participants constructed a compelling drama featuring virtuous men who suddenly found themselves threatened by ruthless Indians and defiant slaves acting on behalf of the king. Parkinson argues that patriot leaders used racial prejudices to persuade Americans to declare independence. Between the Revolutionary War’s start at Lexington and the Declaration, they broadcast any news they could find about Native Americans, enslaved Blacks, and Hessian mercenaries working with their British enemies. American independence thus owed less to the love of liberty than to the exploitation of colonial fears about race. Thirteen Clocks offers an accessible history of the Revolution that uncovers the uncomfortable origins of the republic even as it speaks to our own moment.”
  • J.P. Morgan’s Personal Librarian Was A Black Woman. This Is Her Story.” About The Personal Librarian [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Heather Terrell (as Marie Benedict) and Victoria Christopher Murray—”The remarkable story of J. P. Morgan’s personal librarian, Belle da Costa Greene, the Black American woman who was forced to hide her true identity and pass as white to leave a lasting legacy that enriched our nation, from New York Times bestselling author Marie Benedict, and acclaimed author Victoria Christopher Murray. In her twenties, Belle da Costa Greene is hired by J. P. Morgan to curate a collection of rare manuscripts, books, and artwork for his newly built Pierpont Morgan Library. Belle becomes a fixture in New York City society and one of the most powerful people in the art and book world, known for her impeccable taste and shrewd negotiating for critical works as she helps create a world-class collection. But Belle has a secret, one she must protect at all costs. She was born not Belle da Costa Greene but Belle Marion Greener. She is the daughter of Richard Greener, the first Black graduate of Harvard and a well-known advocate for equality. Belle’s complexion isn’t dark because of her alleged Portuguese heritage that lets her pass as white—her complexion is dark because she is African American. The Personal Librarian tells the story of an extraordinary woman, famous for her intellect, style, and wit, and shares the lengths she must go to—for the protection of her family and her legacy—to preserve her carefully crafted white identity in the racist world in which she lives.”
  • Inside the Children of God cult: ‘Some girls had to marry their dads’. Bexy Cameron was born into a sect that was notorious for exploitation and sexual abuse. Now she’s written a memoir about what it was like to grow up in a movement founded by a predator – and to go back as an adult to try to understand what made her parents stay.” Interview with the author and and excerpt from Cult Following: My escape and return to the Children of God [Amazon, Amazon UK, Bookshop UK] by Bexy Cameron—”Devastatingly moving, brilliantly inspiring and utterly unforgettable, Cult Following is a searing memoir of survival, love and transformation. Bexy Cameron was in her late twenties then the dark events of her past finally caught up with her. Bexy was born into the Children of God, one of the world’s most notorious cults. She was 9 years old when she experienced her first exorcism, held in a secret commune deep in the British countryside. At 10, she was placed on Silence Restriction, forced to be silent for a whole year. Even from an early age, she knew what was happening was not right. At the age of 15, she escaped, leaving behind her parents and 11 siblings. Haunted by her past, Bexy set off on a road trip across America, embedding herself in the underbelly of religious cults, living with children who, like her, are born into the worlds their parents and cult leaders have created for them. It is a journey of meth cooks, monks, Jesus Freaks, soap-making Armageddonists, surveillance vans and finally, confronting her parents and herself.”
  • Young Girls By Marcel Proust“—”In April, the French publisher Éditions Gallimard released “Les Soixante-quinze Feuillets et Autres Manuscrits Inédits,” by Marcel Proust. The volume contains a seventy-five-page manuscript from 1908, long rumored to exist but discovered only recently, in the private files of the publisher Bernard de Fallois. In those pages—which include the following passage—Proust sketched out many of the themes and scenes he would eventually draw on for his masterpiece, ‘In Search of Lost Time.'” Also “A new Marcel Proust manuscript has been discovered—and you can read part of it right now.
  • What Will Be Impossible? Why excavate these Reformation characters—the preacher and the werewolf—now? What do they have to teach us?”
  • Massive Invisible Galactic Structure is Discovered – By Accident. Incredibly sensitive spectral observations from the Green Bank Telescope discover previously unknown huge Galactic structure.”
  • NASA’s helicopter on Mars just keeps flying and flying. For NASA, taking some risk has paid off handsomely.”
  • Machine learning cracks the oxidation states of crystal structures—”‘We basically made a machine-learning model that has captured the collective knowledge of the chemistry community,’ says Kevin Jablonka, a Ph.D. student in Smit’s group at EPFL. ‘Our machine learning is nothing more than the television game ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?’ If a chemist does not know the oxidation state, one of the lifelines is to ask the audience of chemistry what they think the oxidation state should be. By uploading a crystal structure and our machine-learned model is the audience of chemists that will tell them what the most likely oxidation state is.'”
  • From the Gamma World dept: Radioactive hybrid terror pigs have made themselves a home in Fukushima’s exclusion zone. Human resettlement after 2011’s nuclear disaster facing opposition from indestructible, betusked interlopers.”
  • A 51,000-year-old carved bone is one of the world’s oldest works of art, researchers say. The discovery highlights that Neanderthals were capable of symbolic thought — something once attributed only to our own species.”—”The toe bone of a prehistoric deer carved with lines by Neanderthals 51,000 years ago is one of the oldest works of art ever found, according to a study released Monday. The discovery is further evidence that Neanderthals — Homo neanderthalensis — were able to express symbolism through art — which was once attributed only to our own species, Homo sapiens.”
  • Cameo by Ötzi: “Inked Mummies, Linking Tattoo Artists With Their Ancestors. As scientists find more tattoos on preserved remains from Indigenous cultures, artists living today are drawing from them to revive cultural traditions.”—”Without the physical record left by ancient tattooing, modern practitioners like Ms. Sialuk Jacobsen would have little evidence to guide their work. Fortunately, as more Indigenous tattooists around the world resurrect lost traditions, a small group of archaeologists is tracing tattooing through time and space, uncovering new examples of its role in historic and prehistoric societies. Together, the scientists and artists are showing that the urge to ink our bodies is deeply rooted in the human psyche, spanning the globe and speaking across centuries.”
  • Chickasaws repurposed objects from fleeing Spanish conquistadors. Archaeologists have unearthed a rare trove of more than 80 metal objects in Mississippi, thought to be from Hernando de Soto’s 16th-century expedition through the Southeast.”
  • Mapping phenotypic and aetiological associations between ADHD and physical conditions in adulthood in Sweden: a genetically informed register study.”—”Emerging evidence suggests increased risk of several physical health conditions in people with ADHD. Only a few physical conditions have been thoroughly studied in relation to ADHD, and there is little knowledge on associations in older adults in particular. We aimed to investigate the phenotypic and aetiological associations between ADHD and a wide range of physical health conditions across adulthood.” Also “Adult ADHD is linked to numerous physical conditions. Adults with ADHD are at higher risk of a wide range of physical conditions, including nervous system, respiratory, musculoskeletal, and metabolic diseases, according to a large register-based study from Karolinska Institutet published in The Lancet Psychiatry.”
  • Methane in the Plumes of Saturn’s Moon Enceladus: Possible Signs of Life? A study published in Nature Astronomy concludes that known geochemical processes can’t explain the levels of methane measured by the Cassini spacecraft on Saturn’s icy moon.”
  • New cancer findings can give wider access to immunotherapy. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet publish new findings in the journal Cancer Discovery showing how pharmacological activation of the protein p53 boosts the immune response against tumours. The results can be of significance to the development of new combination therapies that will give more cancer patients access to immunotherapy.”
  • Freshwater methamphetamine pollution turns brown trout into addicts.
  • Sweat-proof “smart skin” takes reliable vitals, even during workouts and spicy meals. The design could lead to conformable wearable monitors to track skin cancer and other conditions.”
  • Self-powered implantable device stimulates fast bone healing, then disappears without a trace.”—”Bone is a piezoelectric material, meaning it produces a tiny bit of electricity when placed under strain. These jolts of electricity stimulate factors that promote bone growth and healing, which is why electrostimulation is an effective therapy. While there are external stimulators that create an electric field to accelerate healing indirectly, the ideal solution is stimulating the bone directly. Putting the device inside the body, however, has unique requirements — not the least of which is powering it, according to Wang. ‘The ideal case is to have the device be self-generating, which was something that didn’t exist before this,’ he says.”
  • Fecal transplant plus fibre supplements improve insulin sensitivity in severely obese patients, clinical trial shows. Research provides further evidence the microbiome can benefit patients’ health, says researcher Karen Madsen.”
  • Crowdfunding now: “F.A.C.E. | A Self-Activating Fire Suppression Device. Defend your property from fires, even when you aren’t there.”—”My name is Arul Mathur, and I’m a rising senior attending Monte Vista High School in the San Francisco Bay Area. 2 years ago, my house almost burnt down. When I first heard about the fire through social media, I thought nothing of it — ‘It’ll never reach us; it’s 10 miles away.’ Over the next few days, the fire grew — ‘Now it’s 5 miles away, but the fire department will put it out.’ The next day, we gathered our suitcases and prepared to evacuate our home. Thankfully, due to the bravery and diligence of my local fire department, the fire was contained and our house was saved. However, other people weren’t so lucky. In October 2019 alone, more than 200,000 Californians were forced to evacuate from their homes. That’s when I realized: we have a serious problem. How could a 5 acre fire grow into 50,000, in just a few months, destroying hundreds of homes? How was it that I was so close to becoming part of that statistic? Searching for answers, I began to research why wildfires reached the size they did. One of the key problems I found was that by the time firefighters are alerted of a wildfire and take action, the fire has already grown out of control. That’s when I first began designing and engineering F.A.C.E.. I reasoned that by owning self-activating fire suppression, individuals no longer had to be reliant on the fire department to save their homes. Fire fighters could focus on containing the fire, while we, as residents, could control the fate of our property. In the middle of the 2019 fire season, I shared my idea to the world via TEDx, illustrating the dangers that fires pose to our society and how F.A.C.E. could stop them. Now, after two years of design changes, rigorous development, and targeted testing, F.A.C.E. is ready to protect you starting this fire season. All we need is your support.” Also.
  • Student designs life-saving device that rapidly stops bleeding from knife wounds. In the year ending March 2019, 259 people were killed in the UK using a sharp instrument, including knives and broken bottles. A victim of a stabbing can bleed to death in just five minutes, so the priority for first responders is to control bleeding from the wound.” “Joseph Bentley, a final year Product Design and Technology student, has designed REACT – a new method for rapidly stopping catastrophic blood loss from a knife wound that could be carried out by first responding police officers while waiting for an ambulance.”
  • Making seawater drinkable in minutes. A new alternative seawater desalination membrane to produce drinking water.”
  • The Twinkle and the Brain. Scientists at the IST Austria rejuvenate mouse brains with ketamine or flickering light. In defining periods of development, the brain re-organizes connections between its neurons more freely than in its adult form. Researchers around Sandra Siegert at the Institute of Science and Technology (IST) Austria have now discovered two methods to reopen such plasticity: repeated ketamine anesthesia and non-invasive 60 hertz light flickering. The journal Cell Reports now published their findings, which have the potential to become a therapeutic tool applicable to humans.”
  • Psychedelic spurs growth of neural connections lost in depression.”—”The psychedelic drug psilocybin, a naturally occurring compound found in some mushrooms, has been studied as a potential treatment for depression for years. But exactly how it works in the brain and how long beneficial results might last is still unclear. In a new study, Yale researchers show that a single dose of psilocybin given to mice prompted an immediate and long-lasting increase in connections between neurons.”
  • Microdosing: An introduction, Quartz Weekly for July 7
  • Study reveals source of remarkable memory of ‘superagers’.”—”‘Superagers’ who performed a challenging memory task in an MRI scanner were able to learn and recall new information as well as 25-year-old participants. Neurons in the visual cortex of brains of superaging older adults retain their selective and efficient ability to process visual stimuli and create a distinct memory of the images. In the future, interventions to train specific areas of the brain to be more efficient may enable normal aging adults to enhance memory and other cognitive functions.”
  • Why Does Mercury Have Such a Big Iron Core? Magnetism! New research from the University of Maryland shows that proximity to the sun’s magnetic field determines a planet’s interior composition.”
  • Scientists discover a new class of neurons for remembering faces.”—”Scientists have long searched in vain for a class of brain cells that could explain the visceral flash of recognition that we feel when we see a very familiar face, like that of our grandmothers. But the proposed “grandmother neuron”—a single cell at the crossroads of sensory perception and memory, capable of prioritizing an important face over the rabble—remained elusive. Now, new research reveals a class of neurons in the brain’s temporal pole region that links face perception to long-term memory. It’s not quite the apocryphal grandmother neuron—rather than a single cell, it’s a population of cells that collectively remembers grandma’s face. The findings, published in Science, are the first to explain how brains inculcate the faces of loved ones.” Wonder if this kind of structure will end up being related to “deja vu” also?
  • From meadow to plate: the cultured meat that replaces animals with grass. An affordable lab system that uses grass blades to turn cells into cultured meat has been developed at the University of Bath.”
  • From the D is for Deadpool and Donner dept: “Cancer cells eat themselves to survive. To survive life threatening injuries, cancer cells use a technique in which they eat parts of the membrane surrounding them. This is shown for the first time in research from a team of Danish researchers.”
  • Chinese astronauts complete first extravehicular activities for space station construction.”
  • A crystal made of electrons. Researchers at ETH Zurich have succeeded in observing a crystal that consists only of electrons. Such Wigner crystals were already predicted almost ninety years ago but could only now be observed directly in a semiconductor material.”
  • Just how serious are you about living longer? “Castration delays DNA aging. New research shows that castration of male sheep delays aging of DNA compared to intact males.”
  • Boy, 11, Becomes Second Youngest Graduate Ever, Plans to Make Humans Immortal.”
  • How a lizard’s venom inspired the promising weight loss drug Wegovy. Semaglutide is the start of a new chapter in obesity treatments.”—”After learning that the venom of a Gila monster lizard contained hormones that can regulate blood sugar, Daniel Drucker started wondering why. And could the venom somehow help treat diabetes?”
  • Kepler telescope glimpses population of free-floating planets.”—”Tantalizing evidence has been uncovered for a mysterious population of “free-floating” planets, planets that may be alone in deep space, unbound to any host star. The results include four new discoveries that are consistent with planets of similar masses to Earth, published today in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.”
  • The Tech Cold War’s ‘Most Complicated Machine’ That’s Out of China’s Reach. A $150 million chip-making tool from a Dutch company has become a lever in the U.S.-Chinese struggle. It also shows how entrenched the global supply chain is.”
  • Cui Bono? “Jeff Bezos says work-life balance is a ‘debilitating phrase.’ He wants Amazon workers to view their career and lives as a ‘circle.’.”
  • I can’t imagine shareholders and board, or whatever, if they had any say directly, allowing Bezos to go into space without either stepping down or a big fight about undue risk, tbh. I bet stepping down was part of the deal. “Jeff Bezos retires 739,489 times richer than average American.”
  • Elon Musk Suggests That a Brain Parasite Is Forcing Humans to Create Superhuman AI. Um, There Is Some Truth to This.”
  • From the This is what you want? This is what you get dept: “Nightmare scenario: alarm as advertisers seek to plug into our dreams. After Coors sought to steer unconscious minds to thoughts of beer, scientists have called for curbs on ‘targeted dream incubation’.”
  • Reagan-Era Gen X Dogma Has No Place in Silicon Valley. The Gen X investors and CEOs who run the industry are stuck on the idea that private money will protect them from a promised hellscape.”
  • Tweet—”SALON EXCLUSIVE: According to the hacker of Jason Miller’s new right-wing social media site “Gettr,” the site remains highly compromised with an “API server bug.” This morning, the hacker shared with me all of my personal information, which I inputted when making an account.” “The hacker added: “hackers will scrap user data and will sell it on [the] black market like in dark web,” while adding that there remain a high number of bugs in the code of ‘Gettr.'”
  • Spotify Architect Calls Musicians “Entitled” For Requesting More Money. Jim Anderson made the claim…”—”‘I think Taylor Swift doesn’t need .00001 more a stream. The problem is this: Spotify was created to solve a problem. The problem was this: piracy and music distribution. The problem was to get artists’ music out there. The problem was not to pay people money.’ He added: ‘The problem, the problem was to distribute music. Not to give you money, okay? The problem was to distribute music.'” Um. Wait. What? They “solved” anarchist piracy with corporation-sponsored piracy?!
  • Facebook, Twitter, Google Threaten to Quit Hong Kong Over Proposed Data Laws. Industry group representing companies says proposed anti-doxing rules could put staff based locally at risk of criminal charges.” I mean, that’s one way to have them voluntarily shut down during protests, apparently? Art of War FTW.
  • This TikTok Lawsuit Is Highlighting How AI Is Screwing Over Voice Actors. Voice actors are rallying behind Bev Standing, who is suing TikTok after the company acquired and replicated her voice using AI without her knowledge.”
  • Biden to Sign Executive Order Granting Farmers Right to Repair Protections. The federal government is officially planning to fight policies that prevent farmers from repairing their tractors.” Also “Biden Sets Up Tech Showdown With ‘Right-to-Repair’ Rules for FTC
  • A History of Regular Expressions and Artificial Intelligence.”—”The world of early theoretical AI is just weird. But! Ken Thompson, one of the creators of UNIX at Bell Labs comes along and starts using regexes for text editor searches in 1968. And renewed takes on neural networks come along in the 21st century that give some of that older research new life for machine learning and other algorithms. So, until Skynet/global warming kills us all, it all kind of works out? At least, intellectually speaking.”
  • Tweet—”‘The temperature-sensing pandemic robot is malfunctioning because of climate change’ is the most dystopian thing I’ve ever written.”
  • Delta Variant Now Dominant COVID-19 Strain In The U.S., CDC Estimates. The highly transmissible variant has worried public health officials who warn it could lead to a new surge in cases, particularly among the unvaccinated.”
  • Pfizer vaccine protection takes a hit as Delta variant spreads, Israeli government says.”—”In a brief statement issued on Monday, the government said that as of June 6, the vaccine provided 64% protection against infection. In May — when the Alpha variant dominated in Israel and the Delta strain had not yet spread widely — it found that the shot was 95.3% effective against all infections. The government added that the vaccine was now 93% effective in preventing severe disease and hospitalizations, compared to 97% reported in the medical journal The Lancet in May. The statement cited top line figures, but did not release underlying data or other details about its analysis. A team at Hebrew University said in a separate statement that it was too soon to tell how much the Delta variant was affecting vaccine efficacy.”
  • Stanford study ties milder COVID-19 symptoms to prior run-ins with other coronaviruses. In COVID-19 patients whose symptoms were mild, Stanford researchers found that they were more likely than sicker patients to have signs of prior infection by similar, less virulent coronaviruses.”
  • Fox Plans New Weather Channel And Criticism, Jokes Rain Down. ‘Fox Weather will have excellent coverage of Stormfront,’ one critic hit back at the planned channel.”
  • Cop Admits to Playing Copyrighted Music to Keep Activist Recording off Youtube.”—”It’s been said that no one considers themselves the villain of their own story, but the valid point raised by activists in the video is this: if police aren’t doing anything wrong, why the need to find new and better ways to eschew being held accountable for their behavior? Obviously, the victim here is Steven Taylor, and all people (especially those of color) who face wrongful discrimination and unchecked aggression from those charged and bound to protect and serve the public. But it’s a shitty cherry on top of a shit sundae to bring Taylor Swift into this. Why not go all the way, and play the “Imperial March” from Star Wars”
  • Nikole Hannah-Jones Issues Statement on Decision to Decline Tenure Offer at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and to Accept Knight Chair Appointment at Howard University.”
  • Tweet—”Let’s be clear — what you are doing is not about climate action or responding to an emergency. It never was. This is communication tactics disguised as politics.”
  • Last ice-covered parts of summertime Arctic Ocean vulnerable to climate change.”—”In a rapidly changing Arctic, one area might serve as a refuge – a place that could continue to harbor ice-dependent species when conditions in nearby areas become inhospitable. This region north of Greenland and the islands of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago has been termed the Last Ice Area. But research led by the University of Washington suggests that parts of this area are already showing a decline in summer sea ice.”
  • From the I was only following orders dept: “GOP Lawmaker Sued Over Inciting Insurrection: Trump White House Made Me Do It. Rep. Mo Brooks, who spoke at the Trump rally before the attack, claims he did it only because the White House asked him to.”
  • Haitian President Jovenel Moïse Assassinated At Home, Official Says. The first lady was also hospitalized.” Also “Haiti President Jovenel Moïse assassinated in middle-of-the-night attack at his home.” Also via: “We have awakened to the news I had expected at some point this summer, although frankly I’m surprised it didn’t happen in January, or that his allies in the Trump administration didn’t figure out a way to send him on exile as they did with other helpful puppets. While the loss of life is always a tragedy, I can’t imagine too many tears will be shed over this man.”
  • Borders Don’t Stop Violence—They Create It. The ‘border’ is not a line on the ground, but a tool to enable violence and surveillance.”
  • How Rumsfeld Deserves to Be Remembered. America’s worst secretary of defense never expressed a quiver of regret.”—”Rumsfeld was the worst secretary of defense in American history. Being newly dead shouldn’t spare him this distinction. He was worse than the closest contender, Robert McNamara, and that is not a competition to judge lightly. McNamara’s folly was that of a whole generation of Cold Warriors who believed that Indochina was a vital front in the struggle against communism. His growing realization that the Vietnam War was an unwinnable waste made him more insightful than some of his peers; his decision to keep this realization from the American public made him an unforgivable coward. But Rumsfeld was the chief advocate of every disaster in the years after September 11. Wherever the United States government contemplated a wrong turn, Rumsfeld was there first with his hard smile — squinting, mocking the cautious, shoving his country deeper into a hole. His fatal judgment was equaled only by his absolute self-assurance. He lacked the courage to doubt himself. He lacked the wisdom to change his mind.”
  • Tweet—”As a journalist, if you see a group of people gearing up to make an argument that you know is false then why not make that falseness — and the question of why they’re doing it — the dominant frame?”
  • Elegy for Winthrop, Their Light Upon the Water.”—”The shootings seem far away, until they’re not.”
  • Moguls, Deals And Patagonia Vests: A Look Inside ‘Summer Camp For Billionaires’.” Tweet—”The manager of the Friedman Memorial Airport tells me some 90 private jets will land in Hailey, Idaho, on the first day of the Allen & Co. Sun Valley Conference, which is known as ‘Summer Camp for Billionaires.'” Tweet—”Another way to put this is, the people and companies which control the vastest collection of resources & desire-drivers in human history will once again get together, but this time to discuss what to do about increased public pressure to heavily regulate every single one of them.”
  • The Sacred Band of Thebes – The Elite Military Unit of Same Sex Lovers. The Sacred Band of Thebes was an elite force of shock troops in the Theban army, consisting of 150 paired male lovers that were famed in the classical world during the 4th century BC for their legendary courage and military strength in battle.”
  • WOVEN: The Cartography of Shame and Womanhood.”—”WOVEN is an Entropy series and dedicated safe space for essays by persons who engage with #MeToo, sexual assault and harassment, and #DomesticViolence, as well as their intersections with mental illness, substance addiction, and legal failures and remedies. We believe you. If selected for the series, we want to provide the editorial and human support such that our conversation continues long after the stories and names have changed.”
  • Iceland’s four-day working week trials an ‘overwhelming success’, report finds.”—”As part of the trials, employees from a range of professions moved to a 35- or 36-hour working week, but received the same pay. Despite concerns a shorter working week would unintentionally lead to overwork, the results of the trials ‘directly contradict this’, the report found. About 86 per cent of Iceland’s entire working population has “now either moved to working shorter hours or have gained the right to shorten their working hours.” Also Four-day work week trial in Iceland hailed an ‘overwhelming success’. The world’s largest ever trial of a four-day working week in Iceland was an ‘overwhelming success’ and should be trialled in the UK, researchers have suggested.”
  • This is the Awful Voice Inside My Head. On employee intimidation.”—”Every manager/executive… who is good at their job and works at a company with employees who aren’t broadly miserable employs a similar strategy: they listen to their employees. They listen and they do it regularly. I don’t mean sending out end of year feedback forms and having HR compile long reports nobody reads — I mean they actively seek their employees out and, humbly, listen. They listen not to confirm their priors, but to gain some new understanding. They do this, in part, because they give a shit about their employees, but also because it’s good business. It turns out that your employees — the ones doing the day to day labor of making the business run — are quite good at sending signals about the real status of the company’s culture. You just have to be willing to listen.”
  • The Forgotten ‘Black Woodstock’ of 1969.”—”A grand unearthing of an event all but lost to wider cultural memory, Summer of Soul’s opening introduction of 1969’s Harlem Cultural Festival — the “Black Woodstock” — is explosive.”
  • Watch “Frida Gets Personal.”
  • An unconventional look at the deadly sin of wrath.”—”700 years after Dante’s death, this series explores the contemporary meaning of the seven cardinal sins. This episode focuses on wrath, which is arguably the first word of European literature. From Homer’s Iliad to the contemporary icon of mindfulness Brother David, from the Biblical ten plagues to our own families and in-laws, we investigate this deadly sin and why we love it so much.” Part of BBC’s The Seven Sins series: “Dive into the contemporary meaning of the seven cardinal sins.”
  • This is either the beginning or end of an PIE epic poem. Did this kid just avert another Trojan war? “My ‘lovely’ calves: Irish 10-year-old swaps cash prize for herd. What would most 10-year-olds want to spend €1,000 (£860) on? Lego? Computer games? Maybe a lifetime supply of sweets?”—”The young farmer told RTÉ he had already learned a lot from raising the calves. ‘It’s taught me you need to actually work for something because you can’t just be sitting around on the sofa doing nothing saying: ‘Oh my life’s a mess’. You need to have something you’re passionate about, I think,’ he added.”
  • Lovecraft Country Not Renewed for a Second Season at HBO Max. The genre bending show will not see a second season on the popular streamer.”
  • ‘What’s the craic?’ is a new sentence I’ve acquired in Ireland. Also, ‘coola boola’. New to the Parish: Rujing Guo arrived in Ireland from Shenzhen in China in 2020.”—”There is an ancient Chinese phrase which Rujing Guo uses as her motto: ‘To grow as a person, you must walk 1,000 miles and read 1,000 books’. Moving to Ireland in August 2020 from Shenzhen in eastern China has been part of this journey, Guo says, although the pandemic has stopped any further foreign travel for now. She has kept reading, as it was through literature that she first became acquainted with Ireland. George Bernard Shaw, William Butler Yeats and James Joyce are among her favourite authors and poets, and since arriving she has sought out opportunities when lockdown eased to visit places mentioned in their works.”
  • From the sentient chthonic tentacles just want hugs dept: “Man Bitten By Neighbor’s Escaped Python In Toilet In Austria. The 65-year-old victim discovered the snake after feeling ‘a ‘nip’ in the genital area.'”