Omnium Gatherum: 13oct2021

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for October 13, 2021

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

  • Missed mentioning this, but maybe you noticed it? “‘Moderate’ geomagnetic storm headed for Earth; aurora could be visible tonight across far northern US. The northern lights, aka the aurora borealis, could also be visible in some parts of the nation tonight. The storm is rated a ‘G2,’ which is the second level of NOAA’s five-level storm scale. Impacts from the geomagnetic storm are expected to wane by Tuesday.”
  • WHO KILLED THE KLF?“—”Who Killed The KLF? is not a murder mystery, nor is it a crime thriller of any sort. Rather, director Chris Atkins (who I presume isn’t related to actor Christopher Atkins) helms a documentary about the odd British band The KLF. While their name might not immediately be recognized, perhaps the aliases of the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu (JAMs) or The Timelords will ring a bell. No matter what name you know them under, the band was a bedrock of EDM and Techno in the 1980s and 90s. But, of course, all good things must come to an end.” About Who Killed the KLF? (2021) dir. Chris Atkins, 2021, with Bill Drummond, Jimmy Cauty, Alan Moore, &c.; see “WHO KILLED THE KLF? They came to spread chaos and to make you dance. When the dancing stopped, the chaos was all that remained. One way or another, WHO KILLED THE KLF? is gonna rock you.” Also IMDB says: “‘Who Killed the KLF?’ explores the rise and fall of the KLF in the 1980s and 1990s, touching upon themes that perfectly capture the 21st century zeitgeist. A tale as intriguing as it is bonkers'” Presumably after the premiere at Fantastic Fest it will be available elsewhere eventually.
  • Miracle Workers [Also], with Daniel Radcliffe, Steve Buscemi, on HBO/TBS—”Miracle Workers is a Heaven-set workplace comedy based on Simon Rich’s book What in God’s Name. Radcliffe plays Craig, a low-level angel responsible for handling all of humanity’s prayers, and Steve Buscemi plays Craig’s boss God, who has pretty much checked out and is ready to move on to his next project. To prevent Earth’s destruction, Craig and fellow angel Eliza must answer a seemingly impossible prayer: help two humans fall in love. Karan Soni plays Sanjay, God’s right-hand man.” About Miracle Workers [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Simon Rich, orig. “What in God’s Name”—”Now a hit TBS comedy: Miracle Workers is ‘a near perfect work of humor’ (NPR) about two underpaid angels working in the Department of Miracles. Welcome to Heaven, Inc., the grossly mismanaged corporation in the sky. For as long as anyone can remember, the founder and CEO (known in some circles as ‘God’) has been phoning it in. Lately, he’s been spending most of his time on the golf course. And when he does show up at work, it’s not to resolve wars or end famines, but to Google himself and read what humans have been blogging about him. When God decides to retire (to pursue his lifelong dream of opening an Asian Fusion restaurant), he also decides to destroy Earth. His employees take the news in stride, except for Craig and Eliza, two underpaid angels in the lowly Department of Miracles. Unlike their boss, Craig and Eliza love their jobs — uncapping city fire hydrants on hot days, revealing lost keys in snow banks — and they refuse to accept that earth is going under. The angels manage to strike a deal with their boss. He’ll call off his Armageddon, if they can solve their toughest miracle yet: getting the two most socially awkward humans on the planet to fall in love. With doomsday fast approaching, and the humans ignoring every chance for happiness thrown their way, Craig and Eliza must move heaven and earth to rescue them — and the rest of us, too.”
  • Tweet thread—”It’s been just over a year since the death of activist, writer and anthropologist @davidgraeber – a brilliant speaker, writer and thinker who helped give us #Occupy, “we are the 99%” and #BullshitJobs. 1/”
  • The great book shortage of 2021, explained. Demand for books is way up this year. Supplies are way, way down.”
  • Scientists solve the mystery of the Etruscans’ origins. The discovery could have just settled a 2,400-year-old debate.”—”A new genetic analysis may have finally revealed the origin of the Etruscans — a mysterious people whose civilization thrived in Italy centuries before the founding of Rome. It turns out the enigmatic Etruscans were local to the area, with nearly identical genetics to their Latin-speaking neighbors. This finding contradicts earlier theories that the Etruscans — who for centuries spoke a now extinct, non-Indo-European language that was remarkably different from others in the region — came from somewhere different from their Latin-speaking neighbors. Instead, both groups appear to be migrants from the Pontic-Caspian steppe — a long, thin swath of land stretching from the north Black Sea around Ukraine to the north Caspian Sea in Russia. After arriving in Italy during the Bronze age, the early speakers of Etruscan put down roots, assimilating speakers of other languages to their own culture as they flourished into a great civilization.”
  • Modern human origins cannot be traced back to a single point in time. Genetic and fossil records do not reveal a single point where modern humans originated, researchers have found.”
  • Why simplicity works. Does the existence of a multiverse hold the key for why nature’s laws seem so simple?”
  • In a rocky Israeli crater, scientists simulate life on Mars“—”From the door of the expedition base, a few small steps to the left an autonomous rover passes by. A few giant leaps to the right is an array of solar panels. The landscape is rocky, hilly, tinged with red. Purposefully it resembles Mars. Here, in the Ramon Crater in the desert of southern Israel, a team of six – five men and one woman – have begun simulating what it will be like to live for about a month on the red planet. Their AMADEE-20 habitat is tucked beneath a rocky outcrop. Inside they sleep, eat and conduct experiments. Outside they wear mock space suits fitted with cameras, microphones and self-contained breathing systems. ‘We have the motto of fail fast, fail cheap, and have a steep learning curve. Because for every mistake we make here on earth, we hope we don’t repeat it on Mars,’ said Gernot Gromer, director of the Austrian Space Forum.”
  • Catastrophic floods shaped Mars more than previously thought, scientists suggest.”
  • China’s lunar rock samples show lava flowed on moon 2B years ago: researchers. The Chang’e 5 lunar mission collected the rocks.”—”China’s lunar rock samples – the first moon rocks returned to Earth in more than 40 years – show lava flowed there 2 billion years ago, according to scientists.”
  • Earth Is Dimming Due to Climate Change. Warming oceans cause fewer bright clouds to reflect sunlight into space, admitting even more energy into earth’s climate system.”
  • Massive Byzantine-era winery discovered in Israel“—”Near a soccer pitch and a suburban neighborhood in central Israel, archaeologists say they discovered the world’s largest known Byzantine-era winery. The winery, dating back 1,500 years, is believed to have produced one of the finest white wines of the Mediterranean at the time. It was widely praised in Byzantine-era literature and known as vinum Gazetum or Gaza wine because it was exported from the ancient port city near modern-day Gaza. Archeologists found a large complex of five winepresses, four large warehouses where the wine was aged, kilns where the clay wine jugs were fired, and tens of thousands of broken pieces of jugs. They estimate the winery produced between two to three million liters of wine a year.”
  • Humans were using tobacco at least 12,000 years ago“—”The tobacco plant has shaped the fortunes of humanity. Today, the substance is used and abused by a billion people around the world. It is a habit that dates back to the Stone Age, new research shows. Charred seeds found in an ancient hearth used by hunter-gatherers in what’s now Utah suggest that humans used tobacco more than 12,000 years ago — 9,000 years earlier than previously documented and well before agriculture took root in the Americas.”
  • Ancient mound reveals 4,500-year-old jar in southern Turkey. Archaeologists unearthed a structure with a 4,500-year-old jar, numerous pot remains and food fossils inside it at a mound in the southern coastal Turkish city of Mersin.”
  • What We Think We Know About Metabolism May Be Wrong. A new study challenges assumptions about energy expenditure by people, including the idea that metabolism slows at middle age.”
  • Hundreds of three-eyed ‘dinosaur shrimp’ emerge after Arizona monsoon. Their eggs can stay dormant for decades, waiting for water.”
  • Magnets dim natural glow of human cells, may shed light on how animals migrate. First direct observation of magnetic field affecting autofluorescence of flavins in living cells.”—”Researchers in Japan have made the first observations of biological magnetoreception – live, unaltered cells responding to a magnetic field in real time. This discovery is a crucial step in understanding how animals from birds to butterflies navigate using Earth’s magnetic field and addressing the question of whether weak electromagnetic fields in our environment might affect human health. ‘The joyous thing about this research is to see that the relationship between the spins of two individual electrons can have a major effect on biology,’ said Professor Jonathan Woodward from the University of Tokyo, who conducted the research with doctoral student Noboru Ikeya. The results were recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). Researchers have suspected since the 1970s that because magnets can attract and repel electrons, Earth’s magnetic field, also called the geomagnetic field, could influence animal behavior by affecting chemical reactions. When some molecules are excited by light, an electron can jump from one molecule to another and create two molecules with single electrons, known as a radical pair. The single electrons can exist in one of two different spin states. If the two radicals have the same electron spin, their subsequent chemical reactions are slow, while radical pairs with opposite electron spins can react faster. Magnetic fields can influence electron spin states and thus directly influence chemical reactions involving radical pairs. Over the past 50 years, chemists have identified multiple reactions and specific proteins called cryptochromes that are sensitive to magnetic fields in test tube environments. Biologists have even observed how genetically interfering with cryptochromes in fruit flies and cockroaches can eliminate the insects’ ability to navigate according to geomagnetic cues. Other research has indicated that birds’ and other animals’ geomagnetic navigation is light sensitive. However, no one has previously measured chemical reactions inside a living cell changing directly because of a magnetic field.”
  • Zeroing in on the origins of Earth’s ‘single most important evolutionary innovation’. A new study shows oxygenic photosynthesis likely evolved between 3.4 and 2.9 billion years ago.”
  • This Parasite Turns Plants Into Zombies. It’s a never-ending cycle of ‘Night of the Living Dead-meets-Dracula’ in the world of green and leafy things.”
  • The ‘Lord God bird’ is gone: An elegy for the ivory-billed woodpecker. Last seen in 1944, the bird has stoked nearly eight decades of hopeful searches. Now, it’s officially, depressingly ‘extinct.'” Also “On the death of species. This week, the Fish and Wildlife Service proposed taking 23 animals and plants off the endangered-species list — because none can be found in the wild. What this tells us about climate change, and things to come.”
  • England’s Isle of Wight was Isle of Fright, with two big dinosaur predators.”
  • Brazil dinosaur discovered from 70 million years ago! Scientists in Brazil have discovered a new dinosaur species which they believe existed around 70 million years ago.”
  • Digital Addictions Are Drowning Us in Dopamine. Rising rates of depression and anxiety in wealthy countries like the U.S. may be a result of our brains getting hooked on the neurotransmitter associated with pleasure.”
  • From 2019: “Facebook to Pay $40M Under Proposed Settlement in Video Metrics Suit. Advertising agencies have revealed the details of a proposed settlement with Facebook that would end a class action alleging the social media giant overstated the average time users spend watching video.” Tweet—”The viewership metrics were inflated by 150 to 900%. Whole companies shifted their strategy to video. Companies going bankrupt, people losing jobs, FB gets away with 0.18% of annual income ($40M / $22B), a slap on the wrist.” Tweet—”My former employer CollegeHumor did this. In order to beat YouTube, Facebook faked incredible viewership numbers, so CH pivoted to FB. So did Funny or Die, many others. The result: A once-thriving online comedy industry was decimated. A $40m fine is laughable; shut Facebook down.”
  • Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen to speak to its Oversight Board. She said the company ‘has lied to the board repeatedly’.” Also “The education of Frances Haugen: How the Facebook whistleblower learned to use data as a weapon from years in tech. Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen’s calls to change the company have broken through, winning bipartisan support on Capitol Hill, calls for more regulation and triggering soul searching among the American public.”
  • How to blow the whistle on Facebook – from someone who already did. This April, Sophie Zhang told the world about her employer’s failure to combat deception and abuse. Her advice? No screenshots, lawyer up – and trust yourself.”
  • Apple and Disney among companies backing groups against US climate bill. Amazon and Microsoft also supporting groups fighting legislation despite promises to combat the climate crisis, analysis finds.”
  • Refugees help power machine learning advances at Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon. Big tech relies on the victims of economic collapse.”—”This is the hidden abode of automation: a globally dispersed complex of refugees, slum dwellers, and casualties of occupations, compelled through immiseration, or else law, to power the machine learning of companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon.”
  • Now every Twitter web user can ‘soft block’ annoying followers. The feature first rolled out in testing last month.”
  • Netflix Suspends Three Employees Who Criticized Dave Chappelle’s Transphobic Standup Special. The company that values so-called ‘radical transparency’ is now working overtime to squash dissent.”
  • Back from the dead for spooky season, apparently: “Magic Leap somehow raised $500 million to make another AR headset. The Magic Leap 2 is slated for release next year.”—”Magic Leap, of course, is the company that began its existence as a mysterious AR startup, received almost $3 billion to fund its consumer-friendly AR headset, before changing its headset’s name from Magic Leap 1 to The Magic Leap One Creator Edition in an attempt to attract professional customers. The company laid off 1,000 employees — roughly half its workforce — in 2020, and was reportedly abandoning its consumer business.”
  • Tweet thread—”The internet as you see it today? *Is the most sanitized and corporatized it has ever been*.”
  • An autonomous robot may have already killed people — here’s how the weapons could be more destabilizing than nukes.”
  • Why the world is failing to prepare for the next global health crisis. Coronavirus has highlighted just how crucial good hygiene is. So, why are we still not prioritising access to sanitation, handwashing and drinking water?” This feels a little bit like blaming wood fires in Africa for global warming. I think there’s some more important things to deal with still going on.
  • Ivermectin: How false science created a Covid ‘miracle’ drug. Ivermectin has been called a Covid ‘miracle’ drug, championed by vaccine opponents, and recommended by health authorities in some countries. But the BBC can reveal there are serious errors in a number of key studies that the drug’s promoters rely on.”
  • More than 120,000 US kids had caregivers die during pandemic“—”The number of U.S. children orphaned during the COVID-19 pandemic may be larger than previously estimated, and the toll has been far greater among Black and Hispanic Americans, a new study suggests. More than half the children who lost a primary caregiver during the pandemic belonged to those two racial groups, which make up about 40% of the U.S. population, according to the study published Thursday by the medical journal Pediatrics.”
  • Thousands face income hit as disaster payments are cut: UNSW“—”Thousands of people in electorates across Melbourne and western Sydney will be driven back into poverty with the end of special COVID-related disaster payments, and new analysis warns it could stifle the nation’s recovery out of lockdown. Data compiled by the University of NSW shows seats such as Blaxland, Watson and Werriwa in Sydney, and Calwell, Lalor and Holt in Melbourne, have experienced huge increases in people whose financial support will drop dramatically as the disaster payments finish.”
  • Meanwhile, over at New Statesman: “From Ovid to Covid: why poetry is enjoying a renaissance. Throughout the pandemic, poetry has been mobilised as a source of consolation and a powerful form of self-expression.”
  • Why People Share Conspiracy Theories Even When They Know They Are Untrue. Social motives for sharing conspiracy theories. Many people are willing to make tradeoffs between sharing accurate information and sharing information that will generate more social engagement. People are sensitive to the social feedback they receive on social platforms. Positive feedback for sharing conspiracy theories powerfully influences what people share subsequently.”
  • Anti-vaxxers are using the same tactics as cults do to attract followers on social media.”
  • Rudy Giuliani admits his election fraud “evidence” came from social media posts. Giuliani also admitted he never fact checked any of the claims — that would have made him a ‘terrible lawyer’.”
  • Senate Judiciary Committee issues sweeping report detailing how Trump and a top DOJ lawyer attempted to overturn 2020 election.” Tweet—”Truth is nice, but come get me when there’s consequences.”
  • Trump’s Sprawling Use of NDAs Now Threatens to Humiliate Him. An arbitrator’s ruling on one of the gag orders could open the floodgates.”
  • Secret money, swanky real estate and a Monte Carlo mystery. Documents tie woman allegedly in secret, years-long relationship with Putin to luxury Monaco apartment.” Also “Billions hidden beyond reach. The Pandora Papers documents — more than 11.9 million records from 14 offshore entities, including law and wealth-management firms — illuminate a hidden world that has allowed government leaders, a monarch, billionaires and criminals to shield their assets.” Also “Pandora Papers: Rich and powerful deny wrongdoing after dump of purported secrets. Files linked to more than 35 current, former leaders. Kremlin sees no reason to make checks. Pakistan opposition demands named ministers quit. Jordan palace says nothing improper in disclosures.” Tweet—”If one doesn’t trust the system any more – one doesn’t trust democracy. The fight for more transparency is therefore a fight for democracy.” Also “Why The Post published the Pandora Papers investigation“—”Today The Washington Post is joining news organizations around the globe to bring you the first in a series of important stories. These are the product of nearly a year of reporting at The Post focused on a vast trove of documents that expose a secretive financial universe that benefits the wealthy and powerful. The project, known as the Pandora Papers, was conceived and organized by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which obtained the records and shared them with The Post and other partners. The documents — more than 11.9 million records from 14 offshore entities, including law and wealth-management firms — illuminate a hidden world that has allowed government leaders, a monarch, billionaires and criminals to shield their assets.”
  • Hack exposes law enforcement officers who signed up to join anti-government Oath Keepers“—”These men, who had sworn to uphold the law, signed up to join an armed, extremist, anti-government group.” Also “Hack Of Oath Keepers Militia Group Includes Names Of Active NYPD Officers, De Blasio Launches Investigation.”
  • MAGA Gun Church That Worships With AR-15s Has Bought a Giant Mountain Property in Tennessee. Rod of Iron Ministries has been on a property-buying spree and says it plans to build a training center and spiritual retreat.”
  • Parents petition to have principal who loves Iron Maiden removed: ‘We are deeply disturbed’. A counter petition in support of principal Sharon Burns has garnered over 19,000 signatures.”
  • Tweet—”translation of a loyalty pledge we obtained that is hand written by a uyghur woman at her factory. you’ve read about NDAs. how about xinjiang-style letters of commitment? how many transferred workers have written vows like this?” “would you write vows like this to your workplace and the government without a metaphorical gun to yer head? would anyone?”
  • Indigenous activists come to D.C. with a message for Biden: Declare a national climate emergency. At times, tensions rose between protesters and police outside the White House on Monday, but the demonstration was mostly peaceful.”
  • Illinois LGBTQ leader calls for a citizen dividend of $570 a year to combat income inequality.”
  • Critical race theory was the hot topic on Fox News this summer. Not so much anymore. Concern about the intellectual movement triggered clashes at local school board meetings. But it seems to be dropping off the public radar now.”
  • Dem introduces bill decriminalizing psychedelics, hopes to reverse some ‘War on Drugs’ impacts“—”Michigan Sen. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) introduced legislation last week that would decriminalize the use of psilocybin and mescaline — two plants and fungi commonly found in psychedelics. Senate Bill 631, which was co-sponsored by state Sen. Adam Hollier (D-Detroit), would allow the possession, cultivation and delivery of the two types of psychedelics. Commercial production or sales of entheogenic plants or fungi would still be illegal, but practitioners would be able to charge fees for counseling, spiritual guidance, or a related service if the service utilizes an entheogenic plant or fungus.”
  • Hedge Funds Cash Out Billions in PG&E Stock. Fire Survivors Suffer and Wait“—”Pacific Gas & Electric Company has been called a ‘terror’ to the people of California. Its electric grid has sparked wildfires each of the last four years and is suspected of igniting this year’s Dixie Fire, the second largest blaze in the state’s history. The company is mired in debt. Electricity rates are skyrocketing. Tens of thousands of survivors of fires sparked by the utility’s equipment are waiting for promised compensation. Amid all this pain, there’s one group that’s simply walking away: Wall Street hedge funds.”
  • Tweet—”BREAKING: The military has arrived at Buncefield Oil Depot in Hemel Hempstead to help deliver fuel to petrol stations in London and the south east. More on this story: https://trib.al/EiENvcS” Also “‘Only yourselves to blame’: UK’s shortages seen from abroad. US and European media give their verdict on the fuel, food and labour crisis they say is caused by Brexit.”
  • 80 activists block Shell’s port to protest against ‘greenwashing’ adverts.”
  • Queensland police refuse to remove traditional owners occupying Adani’s coalmine site. Miner says group is ‘trespassing’ but police have acknowledged their cultural rights under human rights act.”
  • Tweet—”The Squamish Nation owns many parcels around Vancouver exempt from local zoning. With 87% of the nation voting in favor, they’re going to build 6,000 homes at Hong Kong-density, 90% less parking than required by law and beside single-family neighborhoods who cannot stop Senakw.” As an aside, I recall that Vancouver used to be held up as an example of excellent density and multi-use years ago. Wonder what went wrong?
  • We Are What We Always Were: A Response to ‘What Happened to Anarchism’“—”In the past five years, I’ve been tear-gassed, flash-banged, chased by riot police, surrounded by Proud Boys. At one action, I was hurt badly enough that recovery took three months. Still, I was one of the lucky ones. Some of my comrades have gone to prison, others have been gunned down in the street, others crushed by speeding cars. So, when one of my comrades says it was all for nothing, a meaningless sacrifice to defeat an unreal enemy… frankly, it hurts. I’m not here to talk about that, though. That’s just the background, a context for why this means so much to me that I decided to write an article disagreeing with my publisher when he’s about to publish two of my books. What I’m really here to talk about is why I think Rhyd is wrong about this, and why I think his criticisms of anarchism and anti-fascism are so off-base. ”
  • Tweet—”The video shows Minneapolis police officers firing less-lethal weapons at people on Lake Street from their unmarked white van–without identifying themselves as law enforcement or issuing warnings or commands.” “Mr. Stalling’s attorney also acquired body camera video showing officers discussing “hunting” people on the streets of Minneapolis, celebrating shooting protesters and mocking journalists who were exempted from curfew.” Also “Attorney for man cleared of returning fire in self-defense at Minneapolis police during riots releases evidence, body camera footage. Jaleel Stallings was acquitted of eight counts in connection with the incident.”
  • More Than Half of Police Killings Are Mislabeled, New Study Says. Researchers comparing information from death certificates with data from organizations that track police killings in the United States identified a startling discrepancy.”—”Police killings in America have been undercounted by more than half over the past four decades, according to a new study that raises pointed questions about racial bias among medical examiners and highlights the lack of reliable national record keeping on what has become a major public health and civil rights issue.”
  • An Atlanta Hip-Hop Artist and a Social Entrepreneur Open a Free In-School Grocery Store for Students“—”Jasmine Crowe is the CEO of Goodr, an Atlanta organization focusing on reducing both food waste and food insecurity that has hosted pop-up grocery stores in the area since 2017 and across the country since the start of the pandemic. Crowe has recently partnered with rapper Gunna to open a store in his former middle school, Ronald McNair MIddle School, in College Park. The store, Gunna’s Drip Closet and Goodr Grocery Store, carries food, clothing, and toiletries that are free of charge to students, their families, and teachers. Students and families can register online or at the school to schedule a day to shop Monday through Friday. All students were given reusable tote bags full of various clothing items on the store’s opening day, September 16. The intent was that they could continue to use the totes to carry whatever they wanted, including school books or groceries from the store, without anyone knowing what was in the bags, in order to reduce any stigma or shame that might come with utilizing the free store. The store is stocked with produce, packaged foods, canned goods, and frozen meals such as pizzas and pot pies, with a focus on foods that the students can prepare for themselves and that they would enjoy. Crowe has developed connections with local farmers who donate produce, as well as several big-box stores, local grocery stores, and bakeries that donate shelf-stable food. Goodr and Gunna together provided $30,000 to launch the store, and another $20,000 will be used to maintain and restock the school for the remainder of the school year.”
  • The powerful message behind ‘Maid’.”—”Single mothers like the character of Alex have often been demonized for relying on public benefits like child care subsidies and nutritional assistance, especially if they are Black or brown. And many policymakers seem to go to great lengths to make relying on public programs the most difficult and humiliating of propositions. Whether it’s providing benefit levels so low that people are virtually guaranteed to run out of food by the end of the month, or requiring in-person visits to benefits offices that aren’t accessible by public transportation, or mandating online reporting on websites that don’t work on mobile phones — the goal is clearly to discourage the use of public benefits, rather than to provide a fallback plan when families hit hard times.”
  • Consternation in New Zealand as native bat included in bird of the year poll. Winged mammal is the first non-bird to be included in the beloved annual poll, which has been running for 16 years.”
  • DC Comics Announces Its New Superman, Jon Kent, is Bisexual.”
  • The Blood Libel is Back, Baby. Antisemitic Tropes in Folklore, Culture, and SFF.”—”What are Tolkien’s dwarves if not diminutive, bearded hoarders who are made to suffer for their greed? What are Rowlings’s goblins if not an updated, bank-controlling rendition of the same, or the Ferengi in Star Trek, for that matter? Are Jewish people doomed to be forever the Other in folklore and fantasy?”
  • Show about the horrors of capitalism leads to more commercialism, go figure: “Netflix to Sell ‘Squid Game’ Goods, Other Products on Walmart Site. The ‘Netflix Hub’ for consumer merchandise is part of the streaming company’s broader effort to diversify revenue and market its content.”
  • Adult Swim: How an Animation Experiment Conquered Late-Night TV. Cartoon Network’s nighttime adult programming block, which turns 20 this week, was built on lo-fi animation techniques that were as much a no-budget necessity as an aesthetic choice.”
  • Tweet—”IATSE wants basic human rights: meal breaks; reasonable rest; secure pension and health benefits; and significant raises for the lowest-paid among them, some of whom make only a few dollars an hour more than minimum wage.” Also “IATSE Members Overwhelmingly Approve Strike Authorization; AMPTP Says It ‘Remains Committed To Reaching An Agreement’.” Tweet—”It’s not a strike *against* the industry because IATSE workers are *part* of the industry, but it’s kinda refreshing to see Deadline misrepresenting the interests of a different union for a change.” Tweet—”The IATSE is the fucking lifeblood of our industry. It would not exist without them. This strike is against the parasites at the top. Fuck Deadline and any other media org that frames it any other way.” Tweet—”If @IATSE is forced to strike, it won’t be ‘workers striking against the industry’. It will be the ‘industry striking against greedy bosses’.”
  • Regé-Jean Page and Noah Hawley Team for Heist Thriller From AGBO, Netflix“—”Anthony and Joe Russo’s AGBO and Netflix are re-teaming for a new heist movie from Emmy-winning storyteller Noah Hawley and starring Emmy nominee Regé-Jean Page. Written and directed Hawley, plot details of the yet-to-be-titled movie are being kept under wraps, but the thriller is based on an original idea from the ‘Fargo’ and ‘Legion’ creator.”
  • Daniel Craig and Ruth Negga will bring Macbeth to Broadway next year. Craig’s James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli is also working on the Sam Gold-directed stage production ahead of its 2022 debut.”
  • Lily-Rose Depp Joins The Weeknd In ‘The Idol’ Drama Series In Works At HBO“—”The Idol follows a female pop singer who starts a romance with an enigmatic L.A. club owner who is the leader of a secret cult. HBO is not commenting, but Depp and Tesfaye are believed to be playing the singer and club owner, respectively.”
  • You’ve Never Heard John Coltrane Like This Before. A rare live performance of the jazz legend’s masterpiece, A Love Supreme, was thought to be lost to history. But it wasn’t.” Tweet thread—”It’s easy to get jaded about posthumous recordings—nice to have, but are they essential? But this one is revelatory, because it forces a radical reconsideration of one of the most famous jazz compositions ever. Also, it’s just such great music.” “Plus the story of how @stephenrgriggs happened upon this find—like a duplicate Mona Lisa, her enigmatic smile intact, but with fair hair and an unfamiliar landscape behind her—is remarkable.”
  • Daughter of 1930s Stonehenge custodian shares her memories of historic site. Jean Grey’s father was the custodian of the stones and the family lived at a cottage at Stonehenge Bottom.” Also “Daughter of 1930s Stonehenge custodian shares memories for new project. The daughter of a former Stonehenge custodian, who lived at the site during the 1930s, has shared her memories of the landmark for an English Heritage project.”
  • Garden statues turn out to be ancient Egyptian relics, selling for $265,000“—”A pair of carved stone statues used as garden ornaments have sold for more than £195,000 ($265,510) after it was revealed that they were ancient Egyptian relics dating back thousands of years, an auction house has said.” “‘Opinion was that they were genuine ancient Egyptian examples, which had somehow passed through recent history as 18th century copies,’ auctioneers said in a statement.”
  • Inside the time warp terrace frozen in the 1870s – now you could buy it for £20k. The two-bedroom Longton property was used as the backdrop for paintings, collages and ‘found’ art inspired by the Victorian and Edwardian eras.” Also there’s a gallery of images. This is in Stoke-on-Trent. I’ve got family history there, even. Of course, I’ve got world headquarters already in a fixer upper 1920s bachelor craftsman bungalow. But I can aspire toward that ideal of mise en scène tho! But, if any of you grab this, I know some people that would like to be invited over for tea.
  • Tweet—”Jamie Lee Curtis is on the red carpet of #HalloweenKills dressed as Marion Crane from #Psycho, the role played by her mother, Janet Leigh, in Alfred Hitchcock’s original film.” Also tweet thread—”Psycho/Halloween THREAD (1/6)”
  • Tweet—”I Photoshop Paddington into another movie until I forget: Day 217.”
  • Tweet—”If an #angel: Looks like a beautiful person full of youth and energy, particularly like a child, RUN. ❌ Looks like a nightmarish abomination from a Cronenberg film, and starts by saying ‘FEAR NOT,’ you’re probably good. ✔ #天使の日”