Omnium Gatherum: 5dec2021

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for December 5, 2021

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

  • Large asteroid stronger than nuke heading towards Earth late December. 2018 AH is estimated to be around 190 meters long, similar to the Tunguska asteroid, meaning it would be far more powerful than a nuclear bomb.”
  • Doom Patrol Secretly Teaches Grant Morrison’s Occult Philosophy. As a practicing Chaos Magician, Grant Morrison bakes occult ideas into their works, and their exceptional run on Doom Patrol is no exception.”
  • It’s from Dark Horse Books. It’s actually a novel. Also, reviews do not appear to be kind, but still: Buckaroo Banzai Against the World Crime League, Et Al: A Compendium of Evils [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Earl Mac Rauch, cover by Julian Totino Tedesco—”A prose adventure as told by the Reno Kid to Buckaroo Banzai chronicler E.M. Rauch, this tale follows everyone’s favorite scientist-surgeon-entertainer-daredevil as he sets off on a brand-new hair-raising adventure! The long-awaited sequel to The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension is finally here! The cult classic receives its long-awaited official sequel! Buckaroo Banzai is a treasured pop culture icon, lauded by ‘nerd’ luminaries like Kevin Smith! This is the adventure that was teased at the end of the original Buckaroo Banzai film! A new novel by the writer of the original screenplay!” “A world-class hero confronts ancient ‘supernatural’ evils in an adventure that spans entire planets and defies everyday notions of reality! Still mourning the losses of his beloved Penny Priddy and his surrogate father Professor Hikita, Buckaroo Banzai must also contend with the constant threat of attack from his immortal nemesis Hanoi Xan, ruthless leader of the World Crime League. To make matters worse, Planet 10 warrior queen John Emdall has sent her Lectroid legions against Earth with a brutal ultimatum. Or is her true target Buckaroo Banzai? As the apocalyptic threats continue to mount, only Buckaroo and his Hong Kong Cavaliers stand in the way of global destruction. The long-awaited sequel to The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension is finally here after more than 35 years! As told by the Reno Kid to Buckaroo Banzai chronicler E.M. Rauch, this tale follows everyone’s favorite scientist-surgeon-entertainer-daredevil as he sets off on a brand-new hair-raising adventure!”
  • (Also Dark Horse Books!) Neil Gaiman’s Chivalry [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Neil Gaiman, illo. Colleen Doran, due March 2022—”Another delightfully humorous and sweet fantasy graphic novel adaptation of a Neil Gaiman short story, brought to you by the Eisner award-winning creative team behind Troll Bridge and Snow, Glass, Apples: Neil Gaiman and Colleen Doran! An elderly British widow buys what turns out to be the Holy Grail from a second-hand shop, setting her off on an epic visit from an ancient knight who lures her with ancient relics in hope for winning the cup.”
  • Game Wizards: The Epic Battle for Dungeons & Dragons [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Jon Peterson, part of the Game Histories series—”The story of the arcane table-top game that became a pop culture phenomenon and the long-running legal battle waged by its cocreators. When Dungeons & Dragons was first released to a small hobby community, it hardly seemed destined for mainstream success–and yet this arcane tabletop role-playing game became an unlikely pop culture phenomenon. In Game Wizards, Jon Peterson chronicles the rise of Dungeons & Dragons from hobbyist pastime to mass market sensation, from the initial collaboration to the later feud of its creators, Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. As the game’s fiftieth anniversary approaches, Peterson–a noted authority on role-playing games–explains how D&D and its creators navigated their successes, setbacks, and controversies. Peterson describes Gygax and Arneson’s first meeting and their work toward the 1974 release of the game; the founding of TSR and its growth as a company; and Arneson’s acrimonious departure and subsequent challenges to TSR. He recounts the “Satanic Panic” accusations that D&D was sacrilegious and dangerous, and how they made the game famous. And he chronicles TSR’s reckless expansion and near-fatal corporate infighting, which culminated with the company in debt and overextended and the end of Gygax’s losing battle to retain control over TSR and D&D. With Game Wizards, Peterson restores historical particulars long obscured by competing narratives spun by the one-time partners. That record amply demonstrates how the turbulent experience of creating something as momentous as Dungeons & Dragons can make people remember things a bit differently from the way they actually happened.”
  • Why Was This Ancient Tusk 150 Miles From Land, 10,000 Feet Deep? A discovery in the Pacific Ocean off California leads to ‘an Indiana Jones mixed with Jurassic Park moment.'”
  • British Teenager Discovers Rare Bronze Age Ax Hoard. Milly Hardwick, a 13-year-old from Suffolk, stumbled onto a cache of 65 artifacts dated to around 1300 B.C.E.”
  • What did you do during lockdown? Oh, you know, the usual. “A rare Roman mosaic was discovered buried beneath a farmer’s field in the UK. A Roman mosaic and villa was discovered beneath a farmer’s field in the UK. The mosaic depicts scenes from Homer’s ‘The Iliad’ and lies within an elaborate villa complex. The rare mosaic was found by the family that owns the land during lockdown last year.”—”The first Roman mosaic of its kind in the UK has been discovered. The initial discovery of the rare mosaic was made during the 2020 lockdown by Jim Irvine, son of the landowner, Brian Naylor. The mosaic depicts scenes from Homer’s ‘The Iliad,’ and part of the story of the Greek hero Achilles. Along with the mosaic, lies a surrounding villa complex. John Thomas, deputy director of University of Leicester Archaeological Services and project manager on the excavations, called it ‘the most exciting Roman mosaic discovery in the UK in the last century,’ according to The Guardian.”
  • Cosmic Ray Discovery Both Confirms and Complicates Viking Legend“—”Leif Erikson, Son of Viking Explorer Erik the Red, was many things — an explorer in his own right, he played a starring role in 10th century Norse geopolitics. But he was also a deeply religious man. And like so many explorers with designs on settling new lands, he wanted to bring his religion, Christianity, along for the ride. Specifically, he wanted to bring Christianity to Greenland — but ended up being the first European to set foot on American soil instead. At least that’s how the story goes… and now the science goes that way, too.”
  • Ancient footprints mistakenly attributed to bears were made by early humans“—”The early humans who walked the Earth nearly 3.7 million years ago were not walking alone. Fossil footprints in Tanzania reveal that two human species once lived in the same place at the same time. Scientists had long thought that one set of unusual prints there was left by a bear walking on its hind legs, but a new analysis published in the journal Nature suggests that’s not right. Instead, it appears that the tracks were left by some unknown early human species that was strolling around that spot at the exact same time as Australopithecus afarensis — the species of the famous partial skeleton ‘Lucy.'” Also “Footprint evidence of early hominin locomotor diversity at Laetoli, Tanzania“—”Bipedal trackways discovered in 1978 at Laetoli site G, Tanzania and dated to 3.66 million years ago are widely accepted as the oldest unequivocal evidence of obligate bipedalism in the human lineage1,2,3. Another trackway discovered two years earlier at nearby site A was partially excavated and attributed to a hominin, but curious affinities with bears (ursids) marginalized its importance to the paleoanthropological community, and the location of these footprints fell into obscurity3,4,5. In 2019, we located, excavated and cleaned the site A trackway, producing a digital archive using 3D photogrammetry and laser scanning. Here we compare the footprints at this site with those of American black bears, chimpanzees and humans, and we show that they resemble those of hominins more than ursids. In fact, the narrow step width corroborates the original interpretation of a small, cross-stepping bipedal hominin. However, the inferred foot proportions, gait parameters and 3D morphologies of footprints at site A are readily distinguished from those at site G, indicating that a minimum of two hominin taxa with different feet and gaits coexisted at Laetoli.”
  • 200,000-year-old remains of close relative to modern humans found in Siberian cave“—”Scientists have discovered the oldest remains of a close relative to the modern human. Dated at 200,000 years old, the bones are the oldest known remains of the Denisovans, ‘a sister population to the Neanderthals,’ according to a study published Thursday in the monthly peer-reviewed journal Nature Ecology & Evolution. ‘This is the first time we have the physical remains of Denisovans that we can securely date to 200,000 years ago,’ Samantha Brown, a co-author of the study, said in an email to USA TODAY. ‘From here we can investigate their technology and behaviors and hopefully start to understand this population a little better.'” Also “Archaeologists stunned as oldest remains of human ancestors ‘exceeds wildest dreams’. ARCHAEOLOGISTS were stunned after discovering ‘new bone fragments’ belonging to a mysterious ancestor of the modern-day human.”
  • Aztec altar with human ashes uncovered in Mexico City. Archaeologists in Mexico have uncovered an altar dating back to the 16th Century near Plaza Garibaldi, the square in Mexico City famed for its mariachi musicians.”—”The altar dates back to the time after the Spanish conquest of the Aztec capital Tenochtitlán. Experts say it was located in a courtyard inside a home of an Aztec family, who would have used it to honour their dead. It contains a pot with human ashes.”
  • New armored dinosaur found in Chile had bizarre weaponized tail“—”A new species of armored dinosaur discovered in Chile had a weaponized tail not seen before in any other dinosaur. Roughly 2 meters (6.5 feet) in size, the small armored dinosaur called an ankylosaur dates from the late Cretaceous period, around 71.7 million to 74.9 million years ago. Its largely complete fossilized skeleton was found in Magallanes province in Patagonia, Chile’s southernmost region. The dinosaur, named Stegouros elengassen, had evolved a large tail weapon unlike those seen in other armored dinosaurs such as the paired spikes of Stegosaurus and the club-like tail of Ankylosaurus.”
  • Researchers discover skull of deadly, fast swordfish-like reptile with a 3-foot-long skull“—”Despite the creatures’ long nose and mouth, it has long been thought the species fed only on small fish and other small sea creatures. But the skull discovery shows the species evolved into becoming a fearsome creature that was able to take on nearly any prey it wanted to.”
  • ‘Ultra-rare deep-sea’ footballfish washes ashore California beach“—”Pictures of an ultra-rare deep-sea fish dubbed “deep-sea monster” has gone viral after a tourist spotted the creature washed ashore at a beach in California, US. On November 13, Jay Beiler was walking on Black’s Beach in Torrey Pines in San Diego when he spotted the ‘ultra-rare’ species.”
  • Hybrid salmon found in Canada may be a result of climate change. Salmon found near the mouth of the Cowichan river on Vancouver Island are a hybrid species of coho and Chinook, which may have arisen as the timing and location of their spawning grounds overlapped.”
  • Why did ancient Egyptian pharaohs stop building pyramids? Why did they ditch these iconic tombs?”—”One historical record that may hold important clues was written by a man named ‘Ineni,’ who was in charge of building the tomb of Thutmose I in the Valley of the Kings. Ineni wrote that ‘I supervised the excavation of the cliff tomb of his majesty alone — no one seeing, no one hearing.’ This record ‘obviously suggests that secrecy was a major consideration,’ Ann Macy Roth, a clinical professor of art history and Hebrew and Judaic studies at New York University, told Live Science in an email. The natural topography of the Valley of the Kings could explain why it emerged as a favored location for royal tombs. It has a peak now known as el-Qurn (sometimes spelled Gurn), which looks a bit like a pyramid. The peak ‘closely resembles a pyramid, [so] in a way all royal tombs built in the valley were placed beneath a pyramid,’ Miroslav Bárta, an Egyptologist who is vice rector of Charles University in the Czech Republic, told Live Science in an email.”
  • The only total solar eclipse of 2021 in pictures: Amazing photos from Antarctica. Scientists went to the ends of the Earth to see the rare event. Here’s what they saw.” Also “Total solar eclipse to bring black sun, sudden nightfall to Antarctica.”
  • New Curiosity Image Reminds Us That Mars Is a Truly Beautiful Place. The stunning view from Mount Sharp reveals rolling hills, swirling sands, and the sprawling rim of Gale Crater.” Also “A Picture Postcard From Curiosity’s Navcams.”
  • International Space Station forced to swerve to avoid US space junk. Orbit dropped by 310 metres briefly to avoid collision with fragment from vessel launched in 1994.”
  • Astronomers have found a new planet that’s mostly made of iron“‘Nobody expected that they would exist,’ says Winn. ‘It’s the weird ones that are often the most informative or revealing.'”
  • Oh no. “New study identifies which types of humor are linked to reduced worry and increased wellbeing“—”The researchers recruited 254 Italian participants aged 18 to 67 years for their study. The participants completed a scientific questionnaire known as Comic Style Markers, which captures the use of both positive and negative styles of humor. They also completed an assessment of pathological worry and the World Health Organization-5 Well-Being Index. Those who engaged in two positive styles of comedy (fun and benevolent humor) tended to report lower levels of pathological worry and higher levels of psychological wellbeing. Those who engaged in cynicism, on the other hand, tended to report higher levels of pathological worry and lower levels of psychological wellbeing.”
  • A Cure for Type 1 Diabetes? For One Man, It Seems to Have Worked. A new treatment using stem cells that produce insulin has surprised experts and given them hope for the 1.5 million Americans living with the disease.”
  • FDA approves pioneering drug invented at Purdue for ovarian cancer surgery“—”The drug is the first tumor-targeted fluorescent agent for ovarian cancer to be approved by the FDA, Purdue announced Monday.”
  • A famously far-ranging gray wolf is found dead in Southern California“—”Wildlife officials say a far-ranging gray wolf, the first to tromp across Southern California in more than a hundred years, has been found dead near a roadway a little more than an hour’s drive north of downtown Los Angeles. It appeared to have been struck by a vehicle. The male wolf, named OR93 when it was outfitted with a GPS collar by wildlife officials in its home state of Oregon, left its pack near Mount Hood two years ago. It gained followers and fans in the wildlife community as it traveled south, crossing interstates and highways to parts of California that hadn’t seen a wolf since 1922.”
  • We Really Shouldn’t Be Boiling Shellfish. Science confirms what every five-year-old knows intuitively — crab and lobsters feel pain and we probably shouldn’t eat them”
  • How to Read a Jellyfish’s Mind. The human brain has 100 billion neurons, making 100 trillion connections. Understanding the precise circuits of brain cells that orchestrate all of our day-to-day behaviors—such as moving our limbs, responding to fear and other emotions, and so on—is an incredibly complex puzzle for neuroscientists. But now, fundamental questions about the neuroscience of behavior may be answered through a new and much simpler model organism: tiny jellyfish.”
  • From the Illuminati Orbital Mind Control Lasers dept: “NASA is about to launch a laser demo that could revolutionize space communication“—”The use of invisible lasers in space may sound like something from science fiction, but it’s real. NASA’s upcoming Laser Communications Relay Demonstration could revolutionize the way the agency communicates with future missions across the solar system. These lasers could lead to more high-definition videos and photos from space than ever before, according to the agency.”
  • UC Davis Researchers Develop Ice Cube That Doesn’t Melt or Grow Mold. Environmentally friendly ‘Jelly Ice Cube’ Could Transform Cold Storage. Cooling cube designed to prevent cross-contamination. New jelly ice cube is not plastic and won’t melt. Cubes are reusable, flexible and compostable.” Also watch “Non Melting Ice Cubes“—”Molly Riehl is at UC Davis where they have developed non melting ice! It still keeps things cool, but doesn’t melt! Check out this revolutionary breakthrough at UCD.”
  • From the feather of Ma’at dept: “A Kiloparsec-scale Molecular Wave in the Inner Galaxy: Feather of the Milky Way?“—”We report the discovery of a velocity coherent, kiloparsec-scale molecular structure toward the Galactic center region with an angular extent of 30° and an aspect ratio of 60:1. The kinematic distance of the CO structure ranges between 4.4 and 6.5 kpc. Analysis of the velocity data and comparison with the existing spiral arm models support that a major portion of this structure is either a subbranch of the Norma arm or an interarm giant molecular filament, likely to be a kiloparsec-scale feather (or spur) of the Milky Way, similar to those observed in nearby spiral galaxies. The filamentary cloud is at least 2.0 kpc in extent, considering the uncertainties in the kinematic distances, and it could be as long as 4 kpc. The vertical distribution of this highly elongated structure reveals a pattern similar to that of a sinusoidal wave. The exact mechanisms responsible for the origin of such a kiloparsec-scale filament and its wavy morphology remains unclear. The distinct wave-like shape and its peculiar orientation makes this cloud, named as the Gangotri wave, one of the largest and most intriguing structures identified in the Milky Way.”
  • Watch a black hole devour simulated stars. Some stars survived—but others were completely destroyed in the virtual encounter.” Watch “Supercomputer Simulations Test Star-destroying Black Holes“—”Watch as eight stars skirt a black hole 1 million times the mass of the Sun in these supercomputer simulations. As they approach, all are stretched and deformed by the black hole’s gravity. Some are completely pulled apart into a long stream of gas, a cataclysmic phenomenon called a tidal disruption event. Others are only partially disrupted, retaining some of their mass and returning to their normal shape after their horrific encounter. These simulations are the first to combine the physical effects of Einstein’s theory of general relativity with realistic stellar density models. The virtual stars range from about one tenth to 10 times the Sun’s mass. The division between stars that fully disrupt and those that endure isn’t simply related to mass. Instead, survival depends more on the star’s density. Scientists investigated how other characteristics, such as different black hole masses and stellar close approaches, affect tidal disruption events. The results will help astronomers estimate how often full tidal disruptions occur in the universe and will aid them in building more accurate pictures of these calamitous cosmic occurrences.”
  • Watch “Xenobots: Building the First-Ever Self-Replicating Living Robots“—”Scientists at UVM, Tufts, and Harvard discovered a new form of biological reproduction—and created self-replicating living robots. Made from frog cells, these computer-designed organisms gather single cells inside a Pac-Man-shaped “mouth”—and release Xenobot “babies” that look and move like themselves. Then the offspring go and do the same—over and over.” Also watch “Living robots made from frog cells can replicate themselves in a dish“—”Swarms of tiny living robots can self-replicate in a dish by pushing other cells together. The xenobots – made from frog cells – are the first multicellular organisms found to reproduce in this way. Xenobots were first created last year, using cells taken from the embryo of the frog species Xenopus laevis. Under the right lab conditions, the cells formed small structures that could self-assemble, move in groups and sense their environment. Now, the researchers behind the work have found that xenobots can also self-replicate. Josh Bongard at the University of Vermont and Michael Levin at Tufts University in Massachusetts and their colleagues began by extracting rapidly dividing stem cells that are destined to become skin cells from frog embryos.” Also “Tiny ‘Living’ Robots Figured Out How to Reproduce. Xenobots can reproduce via kinematic replication, which has never been observed before in organisms.” Also “‘Amazing science’: researchers find xenobots can give rise to offspring. Xenobots are synthetic lifeforms made by cells from frog embryos and assembling them into clusters”
  • Google fired its star AI researcher one year ago. Now she’s launching her own institute. Timnit Gebru is launching Distributed Artificial Intelligence Research Institute (DAIR) to document AI’s harms on marginalized groups.”
  • New Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal begins restructuring as two execs step down.” Also “The Tech Moguls Are Looking for a New Playground. Jack Dorsey’s decision to leave Twitter, like Mark Zuckerberg’s pivot to the metaverse, shows us where the internet is heading.”
  • Government Officials Pressuring Activision Blizzard Are Now Threatening The Company’s Profits. ‘We think there needs to be sweeping changes made in the company’.”
  • The prom to prison pipeline: “They Say She Rigged a Homecoming Queen Contest. She Faces Decades Behind Bars. When Emily Grover was named homecoming queen, the school accused her and her mom of hacking students’ accounts to cast votes. They face hefty sentences—but say they’ve been framed.”
  • Microsoft’s new Windows prompts try to stop people downloading Chrome. New prompts in Edge steer people away from Chrome.”—”Microsoft has also been making it harder to switch default browsers in Windows 11 and forcing people into using Edge through Windows updates. These latest prompts also follow widespread criticism of Microsoft building a “buy now, pay later” tool directly into Edge that prompts users to use a short-term financing service.” Also “Microsoft Keeps Making Its Edge Browser Worse for Some Reason. Edge users are furious after Microsoft integrated a financing app into the browser.” Also “Users revolt as Microsoft bolts a short-term financing app onto Edge. ‘This all feels extremely unnecessary for a browsing experience,’ one user says.”
  • Wait. Didn’t we do LED meditation glasses already, like decades ago? “Layer Design’s Meditation Headset Uses Biomorphic Patterns to Elevate Your State-of-Mind.” I mean, just make yourself a Dreammachine and listen to Hafler Trio and/or some Ganzfield googles and listen to Matmos. Maybe drop acid and listen to Coil? Or, idek, start hanging out in floatation tanks.
  • We’re Longing for the One Thing the Metaverse Can’t Give Us. After I’ve struggled with anorexia and bulimia for more than 20 years, the last thing I want is technology that further estranges me from my body.”
  • Eindhoven students reveal smart sleeve that lets you feel and understand any foreign language. A new technology now allows users to communicate literally by feeling.”
  • The Future of Digital Assistants Is Queer. AI assistants continue to reinforce sexist stereotypes, but queering these devices could help reimagine their relationship to gender altogether.”
  • Tweet—”My God. Woke up to DMs from neighbors.😳 @facebook allowing a “Book Burning Event” here in Central Virginia. Parents are told to check out library books they want to ban in schools so they can be burned. This is fascism. FB is allowing it. Reckless & unacceptable.”
  • Missouri health department withheld report showing mask mandates work from public, unearthed emails show.”
  • Scientists call omicron ‘most mutated virus we’d ever seen.’ Why does that matter?
  • It Is Time To Admit That Democracy Is a Partisan Issue“—”Discussing the threats to democracy without reference to partisanship is like describing Jim Crow without referring to race. States are not enacting voter suppression laws in a vacuum — these laws are being enacted by Republican politicians over the objections of Democrats. The Big Lie is not spreading like a mindless virus — Republicans are intentionally spreading it to undermine confidence in elections and instigate election subversion. Avoiding discussing partisanship leaves out the who, the what and the why of what is happening to American democracy. Without the context of partisanship, a person has no way to make sense of who is supporting voter suppression laws, what these laws are doing or why all of this is even happening. Partisanship adds the needed context.”
  • Watch “Swedish prime minister resigns on her first day in job“—”Sweden’s first female prime minister, Social Democrat Magdalena Andersson, resigned on Wednesday after less than 12 hours in the top job after the Green Party quit their two-party coalition, stoking political uncertainty.”
  • Tweet thread—”Sotomayor: ‘the issue of when life begins has been hotly debated by philosophers, and it’s still debated by religions. That’s a religions issue, isn’t it?’ DING DING DING In Judaism, the fetus is regarded as part of the pregnant person’s body until birth. This is a 1A issue.”
  • New Interpol president is an Emirati general accused of overseeing torture.”
  • DeSantis’ civilian military is political trial balloon | Letters”—”Ron DeSantis now wants his own private civilian military force. I’m sure there are a few “good ole boys” ready to rack their shotguns and join up, but they have to realize this is just another one of Ron’s trial balloons. Chum the waters and see what fish bite. It is a warmup for his upcoming presidential run and he has to see how it plays out to the Trump cult on a smaller scale; i.e., Florida.” Also “The Disgusting Reality Behind Ron DeSantis’ New ‘Army’. The Florida governor has no plans to protect anyone with his proposed state military. The real goal is much darker.”—”The real mission of Ron’s Army is to appeal to that state-before-nation sentiment, along with the individual-before-feds feelings that fill the MAGA base. Ron’s Army sure looks like part of a long-term DeSantis plan to become the commander-in-chief of the whole country. At that prospect, nobody should be at ease.”
  • Messiah complex much? Tweet—”I’m here to promise you one thing: I am going to help reignite the divine spark inside every American and empower us to live better lives.” Tweet—”Honestly I don’t think you should be allowed to have a lighter.”
  • The first supervised illegal drug injection site opens in New York City“—”Officials in New York City say the first government-approved supervised drug injection sites in the nation began offering services to people with addiction on Tuesday. The program, backed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, is part of the city’s ‘harm reduction’ strategy designed to reduce an unprecedented surge of overdose deaths.”
  • The Oxford Mass Shooting Shows the Limits of ‘Hardening’ Schools. The desire to keep kids safe has spawned a multibillion-dollar industry promising to turn schools into fortresses. Oxford High School is a prime example of that effort.”
  • Homeowner convicted in killings of 2 teens smoking marijuana. An Ohio man has been convicted in the fatal shooting of two teens he found smoking marijuana inside a vehicle in his garage.”—”He wanted to use the state’s new “stand your ground” defense but a judge ruled earlier this year that it couldn’t be applied retroactively to the killings of Devin Henderson and Javier Harrison.” “Ja’shin Gibson — who was with the teens but was not injured and hid under the car — testified that Santana opened the door and fired shots into the vehicle without warning.”
  • A Black couple ‘erased themselves’ from their home to see if the appraised value would go up. It did – by nearly $500,000. Tenisha Tate-Austin and Paul Austin say they were low-balled when trying to refinance their home — until they ‘white-washed’ their house to get a fair price.” See also “Black homeowner had a white friend stand in for third appraisal. Her home value doubled.
  • The Biblical Clash at the Core of ‘The Power of the Dog’. The film is a face-off between two visions of the American West—one of promise and the other of hostility.”
  • From July: “Why Managers Fear a Remote-Work Future. Like it or not, the way we work has already evolved.”_”…the anti-remote crowd seems to believe that the responsibility of a 9-to-5 employee isn’t simply the work but the appearance, optics, and ceremony of the work.”
  • Tweet—”Kipo is a three season show, ten episodes each. The network promoted it that way. But internally they called it ‘one production order’ which meant none of the artists working on it qualified for raises over the three years it took to make. #PayAnimationWriters #NewDeal4Animation”
  • Hackers Are Spamming Businesses’ Receipt Printers With ‘Antiwork’ Manifestos. Dozens of printers across the internet are printing out a manifesto that encourages workers to discuss their pay with coworkers, and pressure their employers.”
  • A Stranger Looked Like My Twin. That Was Just the Beginning. How a family secret was unraveled by 23andMe.”
  • Steal From One-Eyed Willy in New the Goonies Board Game“—”It’s a golden time to be a fan of The Goonies. The last few years has been a non-stop celebration of the 1985 kid’s action-adventure classic. There’s been new artwork paying tribute to the film. As well as movie-inspired ice cream. Josh Gad reunited the cast to entertain us during quarantine. And new Goonies games let you go on your own quests. Now you’ll also be able to find riches for yourself. The Op’s new board game, The Goonies: Escape with One-Eyed Willy’s Rich Stuff, will bring pirate’s treasure to your tabletop.” Watch The Goonies: Escape with One-Eyed Willy’s Rich Stuff Trailer | The Op Games“—”The third release in The Op’s at-home escape room Coded Chronicles® series, The Goonies: Escape with One-Eyed Willy’s Rich Stuff takes players on an epic adventure through the trap-filled caverns of Astoria, Oregon. Using the treasure hunting skills of Mikey, Brand, Mouth, Data, Andy, Stef, Chunk and Sloth, players will navigate their way to finding One-Eyed Willy’s rich stuff! Can you get the gang to the Inferno, nab the treasure, and get to freedom all while staying one step ahead of the nefarious Fratelli family? About Coded Chronicles: Coded Chronicles is an at-home escape room style game where players are guided to unlock clues and solve puzzles by a unique code-revealing mechanic. Each game contains its own story line and objective to offer an unpredictable game play experience!”
  • Marvel Zombies Board Game Plans Unveiled as CMON Celebrates Their 50th Kickstarter Campaign. Cool Mini Or Not are celebrating their 50th Kickstarter Campaign by bringing a new Marvel-themed entry to their popular Zombicide series.”
  • Tribe that gave Missouri its name works to save its language“—”Before English, French or any European language was spoken in the spot of the map where Missouri sits, Native American tribes brought their own dialects to the region. One of those dialects was Chiwere, a Siouan language originally spoken by the Otoe, Iowa and Missouria tribes. It’s an endangered language that researchers and descendants of its speakers are working hard to preserve, KCUR-FM reports.”
  • Practicing pitch-accent is on the rise among Japanese learners. Listen closely to a Japanese speaker say ‘chopsticks’ and ‘bridge’ (both ‘hashi’) and see if you can tell the difference. If you can, that’s thanks to pitch-accent.”
  • Environments can affect language—just not how you think. No, the Inuit do not have hundreds of words for snow.”—”Everyone knows the Eskimos have dozens, if not hundreds, of words for snow because of their intimate knowledge of their environment. Except that everyone cannot ‘know’ this, because knowledge requires a statement to be true. In fact, the Eskimo snow story is a factoid, a word coined by Norman Mailer for a fun, roughly fact-shaped object that is not, in fact, a fact—in the same way a ‘spheroid’ is not quite a sphere.”
  • Illustrated Cloud Creatures Creep Through Rural Landscapes Like Gigantic Ghosts“—”Clouds can be pretty gloomy, but these misty creatures by Barcelona-based Vorja Sánchez are particularly ominous. In his ongoing series, Interventions, Sánchez transforms rural landscapes into dream-like terrains that appear to be home to a whole host of ghostly characters. Sánchez begins by taking photos of his nearby countryside. He then uses a fine-line pen with white ink to meticulously hand-draw his wispy characters into the scene. Each cloud creature appears to emerge from the fog and grasp onto hills and forests with their nebulous limbs and sprawling, thread-like fingers. Their huge black eyes look like swirling vortexes that are trying to lure in unsuspecting hikers and farm animals. Despite their strange, phantom-like appearance, perhaps Sánchez’s cloud creatures are misunderstood. Many appear shy, wary, and even gentle. Their vortex-like eyes could be interpreted as sinister, but they also give each character a kind of cute and curious expression. Perhaps these otherworldly creatures come in peace!”
  • Mystery items in the Clarendon archive“—”Did we just find Victorian condoms in the Clarendon archive?” “In fact it’s so delicate and crispy that it’s hard to believe it could have functioned as a barrier or container of any sort, even in its heyday. Looked at with the help of our conservation team’s light box, however, you can see that it’s not tissue at all, but animal intestine, blood vessels and all. In other words, exactly the same stuff as a traditional sausage casing. That means it was once much more supple and durable, and has simply dried out. That distinctive sheath shape, meanwhile: almost unmistakeable. Did the 4th Earl stash away some prototype condoms, or could these items have another use?”
  • From the St Patrick’s Explosive Lucifers dept: “Homeowner trying to smoke out snake infestation burns down own house. Maryland home suffers over $1m in damage after cunning coal-based pest control plan backfires.”
  • Mind-blowing optical illusion proves your brain can’t be trusted. It has TikTok users baffled.”
  • Wait. Whut? Watch “A BLIZZARD is coming to Hawaii this weekend“—”Over a foot of snow and 100+ MPH wind gusts are likely this weekend on the mountain summits of the Big Island of Hawaii. Heavy rain is expected for lower elevations.”
  • Wait. Whut whut? “China moon rover to investigate cube-shaped ‘mystery house’ object. There’s something interesting on the far side of the moon.”
  • Truly a sign of the end times: “Canada taps into strategic reserves to deal with massive shortage … of maple syrup.”