Omnium Gatherum: 15dec2021

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for December 15, 2021

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

  • Is a new kind of religion forming on the internet? Algorithms are surfacing content that combines Christian ideas like prosperity gospel with New Age and non-Western spirituality — along with some conspiracy theories.”
  • Let There Be Money: Understanding Modern Monetary Theory and Basic Income [Amazon] by Scott Santens—”What is money? How is it created? What’s the point of taxes and how should they be implemented? Are federal deficits bad for the economy? Would abolishing poverty lead to higher inflation? Is inflation something to avoid? These are just some of the questions Scott Santens explores in order to answer the biggest question of all about the concept of universal basic income (UBI) and virtually all government spending in general: ‘How do we pay for it?’ Utilizing modern monetary theory (MMT), Santens leads readers through a fascinating journey. He connects the economic dots in a way everyone can understand in order to clearly see the big picture that is humanity’s relationship to money and what’s truly possible with it if used to its maximum potential. With a shift from money-based thinking to resource-based thinking, Santens masterfully communicates the need for MMT to be embraced by policymakers, and the need for MMT advocates to embrace UBI and evidence-based policymaking. MMT’s incorporation of UBI provides us the means to finally build an economy that works for everyone, built with a mindset of abundance on an unconditional foundation of human rights and opportunity for all.”
  • As I sit, mid-December, in t-shirt, shorts and sandals, with my windows wide open for the last 24 hours, and the predicted high of 80 has only gotten to a wild-enough 75: “Newly-confirmed Arctic record 100-degree heat in Siberia setting off climate change ‘alarm bells,’ U.N. says.
  • As Earth Warms, Old Mayhem and Secrets Emerge From the Ice. Climate change is revealing long-frozen artifacts and animals to archaeologists. But the window for study is slender and shrinking.”
  • Thread—”We’ve just published new research in @SciReports – @TravisCoan1, @cboussalis, Mirjam Nanko & myself trained a machine learning model to automatically detect climate misinformation.” “Then we fed 2 decades of denier blogs into the model to construct a 20 year history of climate misinformation. The first result that jumped out at us – attacks on scientists/science were by far the biggest category of climate misinformation. This surprised & disturbed me.” See “Computer‑assisted classification of contrarian claims about climate change—”A growing body of scholarship investigates the role of misinformation in shaping the debate on climate change. Our research builds on and extends this literature by (1) developing and validating a comprehensive taxonomy of climate contrarianism, (2) conducting the largest content analysis to date on contrarian claims, (3) developing a computational model to accurately classify specific claims, and (4) drawing on an extensive corpus from conservative think‑tank (CTTs) websites and contrarian blogs to construct a detailed history of claims over the past 20 years. Our study finds that the claims utilized by CTTs and contrarian blogs have focused on attacking the integrity of climate science and scientists and, increasingly, has challenged climate policy and renewable energy. We further demonstrate the utility of our approach by exploring the influence of corporate and foundation funding on the production and dissemination of specific contrarian claims.”
  • Tweet—”‘Canada is a major oil and gas-producing company, er, country,’ Trudeau says in what was definitely not a Freudian slip.” Tweet—”i mean.” Also “Canada is fake. What Americans think of as their friendly neighbor to the north, if they think of it at all, is a scam.”—”The logic of resource extraction, led by private companies and enforced by the state, is what motivates Canadian policy and justifies Canadian national identity. Canada is three mining companies in a trench coat, wearing a stupid hat and carrying a gun. Scratch the surface, and that’s all that’s underneath it. Canada is fake. But the consequences are real.”
  • Einstein’s theory of general relativity passes one of its toughest tests yet. General relativity remains undefeated.”—”General relativity has withstood perhaps its toughest challenge to date. The theory, which Albert Einstein published in 1916, revolutionized our understanding of physics and the cosmos. It explains gravity as a consequence of space-time’s flexibility: Massive objects warp space-time, creating depressions around which other bodies orbit. Scientists have put general relativity to the test repeatedly over the past 105 years, trying to find situations or circumstances in which it comes up short. They have not yet found one.”
  • NASA craft ‘touches’ sun for 1st time, dives into atmosphere. A NASA spacecraft has officially “touched” the sun, plunging through the unexplored solar atmosphere known as the corona.” Also “NASA craft ‘touches’ sun for 1st time, dives into atmosphere“—A NASA spacecraft has officially “touched” the sun, plunging through the unexplored solar atmosphere known as the corona. Scientists announced the news Tuesday. The Parker Solar Probe actually flew through the corona in April during the spacecraft’s eighth close approach to the sun.”
  • Wormholes may be viable shortcuts through space-time after all, new study suggests. The new theory contradicts earlier predictions that these ‘shortcuts’ would instantly collapse.”
  • Fireball streaks by St. Louis Arch during Leonid meteor shower in EarthCam video.”
  • Archaeologists Find 2,700-Year-Old Assyrian-Style Leather Armor in China. The ancient leather armor, datable to 786-543 BCE, was originally made of about 5,444 smaller scales and 140 larger scales, which, together with leather laces and lining, had a total weight of 4-5 kg.” Also “Scale Armor. 8th–3rd century B.C.” Also “No borders for innovations: A ca. 2700-year-old Assyrian-style leather scale armour in Northwest China.”
  • Israel: Second Synagogue Found in Hometown of Mary Magdalene. Never before have two synagogues been found in the ancient towns of the Galilee dating to the Second Temple era. The new discovery seems to have served the Magdala industrial zone.”
  • Archaeologists Discover 200,000-Year-Old Hand & Footprints That Could Be the World’s Earliest Cave Art.”
  • 3,250-year-old seal belonging to Hittite prince discovered in southern Turkey. Ancient cuneiform tablet dating back 3,400 years also unearthed.”
  • Earliest adorned female infant burial in Europe significant in understanding evolution of personhood“—”Ten thousand years ago, just after the last Ice Age, a group of hunter-gatherers buried an infant girl in a cave in what is now Italy. They entombed her with a rich selection of their treasured beads and pendants, and an eagle-owl talon, signaling their grief and showing that even the youngest females were recognized as full persons in their society. The excavations and analysis of the discovery are published this week in Nature Scientific Reports and offer insight into the early Mesolithic period, from which few recorded burials are known.”
  • Atom laser creates reflective patterns similar to light“—”Cooled to almost absolute zero, atoms not only move in waves like light but also can be focused into shapes called caustics, similar to the reflecting or refracting patterns light makes on the bottom of a swimming pool or through a curved wine glass. In experiments at Washington State University, scientists have developed a technique to see these matter wave caustics by placing attractive or repulsive obstacles in the path of a cold atom laser. The results are curving cusps or folds, upward or downward “V” shapes, which the researchers describe in a paper for Nature Communications. While it is foundational research, these caustics have potential applications for highly precise measurement or timing devices such as interferometers and atomic clocks.”
  • CityU physicists discovered special transverse sound wave“—”Can you imagine sound travels in the same way as light does? A research team at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) discovered a new type of sound wave: the airborne sound wave vibrates transversely and carries both spin and orbital angular momentum like light does. The findings shattered scientists’ previous beliefs about the sound wave, opening an avenue to the development of novel applications in acoustic communications, acoustic sensing and imaging.”
  • Technosignature from Proxima Centauri — and why astronomers rejected it. The forensic analysis of a potential signal from another civilization reveals how challenging the search for extraterrestrial intelligence is likely to become.”
  • Nuclear Crystal Pentagrams! “A Nuclear Test Creates A Forbidden Crystal. This Is the Fivefold Way.“—”In the 1940s, the very first atomic blast deep in the New Mexico desert spawned something that has lain underground all these years, waiting. Something forbidden, something so bizarre that scientists swore it couldn’t exist on Earth. They had found it in meteorites, oh yes, from the depths of space that had come. But this was forged in the radioactive fires of The Bomb, something that could only be born when humans arrogantly tampered with the laws of Nature itself, letting loose the terror of… Icosahedrite, the quasicrystal.”
  • Tweet—”Six Komodo dragons have hatched at the Bronx Zoo! This is the first time the species has successfully bred in our 122 year history. Some of the new hatchlings can currently be seen on exhibit in World of Reptiles.”
  • Exclusive: Facebook owner is behind $60 mln deal for Meta name rights.” Also “Instagram disabled artist’s @metaverse handle after Facebook rebranded to Meta. Thea-Mai Baumann had used the account for more than a decade but it suddenly vanished, taking all her work with it.”
  • At SpaceX, we’re told we can change the world. I couldn’t, however, stop getting sexually harassed. From the man who brought you TITS U, I present SpaceX: an environmentally irresponsible company so rife with sexism, the only remedy is for women to leave.”
  • OSHA opens probe into deadly Amazon warehouse collapse in Illinois. OSHA is investigating a collapse at an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois. The facility collapsed on Friday after a tornado rolled through, killing six employees.” Also Tweet—”This is all that’s left of an Amazon warehouse in Illinois after a tornado struck the building, in what’s being described as a ‘mass casualty event’ by officials. Several tornadoes struck a number of US states overnight, with reports of more than 50 people killed.” Also “Deadly Collapse at Amazon Warehouse Puts Spotlight on Phone Ban. Online retailer is returning to a cell phone ban in warehouses. Workers say they want access to weather alerts, communication.”
  • Tweet—”the people in the mayfield candle factory that collapsed worked 12-hour shifts that paid $8 an hour. 110 ppl were inside. 40 ppl are still unaccounted for. they haven’t recovered a survivor since 3 am.”
  • The Infrastructural Power Beneath the Internet as We Know It. Control over underlying tech infrastructure determines who benefits from it, raising the prospect of alternative ownership and profit models.”—”I’ve lately been trying an exercise where, when reading anything by or about tech companies, I replace uses of the word ‘infrastructure’ with ‘means of production.’ For example, from Facebook’s engineering web page: ‘Our data centers are the cornerstones of the global means of production that brings Facebook apps and services to you every day.'”
  • North America has its first video game union at Vodeo Games. Vodeo Workers United partnered with CODE-CWA.”
  • Activision Blizzard employees launch strike fund, move closer to unionizing.”
  • Kellogg to permanently replace striking employees as workers reject new contract.” Tweet—”What to permanently replace in your pantry.”
  • First U.S. vaccine mandate in 1809 launched 200 years of court battles.” Also “From Smallpox ‘Animal Product’ Fear, to Polio Jab Conspiracy Theory, Vaccine-hesitancy Irks Since 18th Century“—”Wariness and outright hostility to vaccines did not start with Covid-19, they date back to the 18th century when the first shots were given. From real fears sparked by side-effects, to fake studies and conspiracy theories, we take a look at anti-vax sentiment over the ages.”
  • Tweet—”Former US Senate candidate and first Maine resident to catch COVID Max Linn found dead in hot tub after being sued for pulling gun on former aide during cryptocurrency disagreement.” Also “Max Linn, colorful candidate, dead at 62. Linn privately speculated in 2020 that he may have caught COVID-19 during a trip to Wuhan in late 2019.”
  • Pro-Trump counties now have far higher COVID death rates. Misinformation is to blame.”
  • Lee’s Summit refuses to back down on COVID orders after Missouri Attorney General threatens lawsuits“—”A lawyer for the Lee’s Summit School District said the attorney general’s recent letters ordering dozens of school districts to drop their mask mandates and quarantine orders ‘not only lack legal effect — they are simply wrong.'” Also “Missouri flu cases nearly double in a week.”
  • Yale researchers develop mRNA-based lyme disease vaccine. Yale researchers have developed an mRNA vaccine that targets the antigens found in tick saliva in order to alert individuals to tick bites as well as prevent the tick from feeding correctly, thereby reducing its ability to transmit pathogens.”
  • CNN Segment on ‘Extremism’ Equates Racism and Homophobia With ‘Prejudice Against Business People’. John Avlon’s new video series on the ‘threat of extremism’ is an unintentional parody of middlebrow centrist false equivalency schlock.”
  • Tweet thread—”That the vast majority of American media is either owned & operated by the super-wealthy or algorithmically manipulated by them doesn’t bode well for multiracial democracy in this moment of white backlash.”
  • Tweet thread—”Last week, during our last session of my White Backlash graduate course, my students asked me if I thought the U.S. would descend into a civil war during the next decade. I replied that the current situation is much more bleak than that. Here’s why”
  • If you’re celebrating what happened to Steve Bannon, you don’t understand what’s going on behind the scenes. 2024 is coming and loyalties are being tested. This is an audition.”
  • Thinking about Rittenhouse and Right Wing Murder Safaris“—”Court observers appear divided on whether the Kyle Rittenhouse trial is headed to a hung jury or an outright acquittal. Very few seem to think the case is headed toward a conviction. That’s very jarring because many of us see it as obvious that Rittenhouse is unquestionably the guilty party, even if precisely what he is guilty of may be open to interpretation and despite the fact that the nature of self-defense laws in many states give the defense plenty of room to work with even in a case like this. Setting aside the technical components of first degree murder charges where this trial seems deeply unjust. Rittenhouse traveled to Wisconsin loaded for bear looking for trouble, found it and the law says that’s okay. That is compounded by the way the right in the US has made Rittenhouse into a folk hero.”
  • Iowa Republican; felony charges for teachers over ‘obscene’ books. Sen. Brad Zaun said he supported charging teachers who allow students to read “obscene” books, including LGBTQ+ themed books, with felonies.”
  • ‘Teacher Loyalty’ bill would restrict how U.S. history, especially racism, can be discussed in school“—”The proposed bill, HB 1255, is titled ‘An Act Relative to Teachers’ Loyalty,’ and seeks to ban public school teachers from promoting any theory that depicts U.S. history or its founding in a negative light, including the idea that the country was founded on racism. The bill updates a piece of Cold War-era law that bans educators from advocating for communism in schools, and adds additional bans on advocating for socialism and Marxism.”
  • Trump’s Next Coup Has Already Begun. January 6 was practice. Donald Trump’s GOP is much better positioned to subvert the next election.”
  • Thread—”(Video) Lies and Simplifications I’ve been feeling worn out lately tackling what I’ve been calling ‘simplifications’ or ‘rage-inducing simplifications.’ So I recorded a video taking them all on at once. I’ll have a transcript on my blog shortly.” Watch “Dangerous Lies and Simplifications“—”I begin this video by talking about the nature of the lies generated by the right-wing: the kind you see on right-wing media such as Newsmax. Because the Republican Party has abandoned truth, it’s up to the left to preserve truth. The truth is nuanced and complex. It doesn’t fit well into a soundbite or a tweet. It’s easy to fire off a lie. It’s hard to respond with the truth. This is why the party that wants to spread lies has an advantage over the party that wants to preserve truth. Here’s the problem. What I’m seeing on the left is a proliferation of what we might call “simplifications” that trigger rage. They take complex situations and boil them down to something that seems true and perhaps has some truth in it, but are problematic. Here I analyze these simplifications, explain why they are dangerous, and then suggest solutions.” Read “Dangerous Lies and Simplifications.”
  • New bill quietly gives powers to remove British citizenship without notice. Clause added to nationality and borders bill also appears to allow Home Office to act retrospectively in some cases.”
  • One in 10 staff at government’s gender equality department report harassment. Despite working in division responsible for Australia’s sexual harassment laws, 40% said they did not report it.”
  • US auctions off oil and gas drilling leases in Gulf of Mexico after climate talks. Biden administration launching auction of more than 80m acres for fossil fuel extraction that experts call ‘incredibly reckless’.”—”Just four days after landmark climate talks in Scotland in which Joe Biden vowed the US will ‘lead by example’ in tackling dangerous global heating, the president’s own administration is providing a jarring contradiction – the largest ever sale of oil and gas drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico.” “Jen Psaki, Biden’s press secretary, said on Monday: ‘It’s a legal case and legal process, but it’s important for advocates and other people out there who are following this to understand that it’s not aligned with our view, the president’s policies, or the executive order that he signed.’ But legal experts say the court decision doesn’t, in itself, prevent the administration from stopping or delaying a scheduled lease sale, or from scaling it back.”
  • Thwaites: Antarctic glacier heading for dramatic change. Scientists are warning of dramatic changes at one of the biggest glaciers in Antarctica, potentially within the next five to 10 years.”
  • Arizona students stage hunger strike to urge Sinema to support voting reform. College students say they will be striking indefinitely until Arizona senator agrees to support Freedom to Vote Act.”
  • Newsom to use Texas abortion law tactics to go after assault rifle, ghost gun makers.” Also tweet thread—”BREAKING: California Gov. Gavin Newsom just announced that his administration will make it easier for private citizens to sue people who sell assault rifles and parts for untraceable ghost guns, an approach modeled on Texas’s attempt to prohibit abortions.” Also tweet—”There it is. Best bet? Copy texas S.B. 8 word-for-word, replacing reproductive health terms with firearms manufacture and sale terms.”
  • The open-source investigators trying to bring justice to Myanmar. They’re using pioneering digital forensics to lay the groundwork for future crimes-against-humanity trials.”
  • Thread—”If we know police, lawyers, judges, juries & politicians are all fallible people like everyone else, how do we arrive at this conclusion that they should be sanctioned to murder people? And it’s ok that those murdered are most often Black, poor or disabled? Or even innocent?”
  • White supremacist prison guards work with impunity in Fla.“—”In June, three Florida prison guards who boasted of being white supremacists beat, pepper sprayed and used a stun gun on an inmate who screamed ‘I can’t breathe!’ at a prison near the Alabama border, according to a fellow inmate who reported it to the state. The next day, the officers at Jackson Correctional Institution did it again to another inmate, the report filed with the Florida Department of Corrections’ Office of Inspector General stated. ‘If you notice these two incidents were people of color. They (the guards) let it be known they are white supremacist,’ the inmate Jamaal Reynolds wrote. ‘The Black officers and white officers don’t even mingle with each other. Every day they create a hostile environment trying to provoke us so they can have a reason to put their hands on us.'”
  • Workers at federal prisons are committing some of the crimes“—”More than 100 federal prison workers have been arrested, convicted or sentenced for crimes since the start of 2019, including a warden indicted for sexual abuse, an associate warden charged with murder, guards taking cash to smuggle drugs and weapons, and supervisors stealing property such as tires and tractors. An Associated Press investigation has found that the federal Bureau of Prisons, with an annual budget of nearly $8 billion, is a hotbed of abuse, graft and corruption, and has turned a blind eye to employees accused of misconduct. In some cases, the agency has failed to suspend officers who themselves had been arrested for crimes.”
  • Judge Spares Man in Teen Rape Case: ‘Incarceration Isn’t Appropriate’. The man, Christopher Belter, had pleaded guilty in the sexual assaults of four teens. He faced eight years in prison, but a judge sentenced him to probation instead.”
  • The Editorial Board: Judge’s nonsensical gag order violates his oath and serves no legal purpose“—”We don’t know what came over Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III last week, but it wasn’t the law. Murphy had no legal standing to order news outlets, including The Buffalo News, not to publish the name of a 20-year-old rapist whose family lives in a mansion in Lewiston. But he did anyway. The ruling wasn’t merely lawless, it was weird. The man’s name had previously been reported by Western New York news outlets, and repeatedly. The court hearing in which the judge issued his nonsensical order was open to the public, so anyone there could have spread it on social media. The name is available through online searches. But most of all, the order was an abuse of authority – the kind that gets judges overruled and sometimes disciplined.”
  • Judge Tries to Block New York Times’s Coverage of Project Veritas. The state court order, which The Times said it would immediately oppose, raised concerns from First Amendment advocates.”
  • Sapelo Island’s Geechee population fight development, sea-level rise, land loss to preserve culture.”
  • David Gulpilil: Profound legacy of a trailblazing Aboriginal actor. One of Australia’s greatest actors, David Gulpilil (Kingfisher) Ridjimiraril Dalaithngu, died last week aged 68, following a battle with lung cancer. In accordance with custom he will be returned to the place of his birth, known to Aboriginal people as his Country, for ceremony.”
  • Oxford postgrad says sexual assault complaint was met with hostility. Open letter condemning Harriet’s treatment has been signed by hundreds of students and supporters.”
  • The End of Gendering Wine. As the vocabulary of wine evolves, can it escape the gendered frameworks that forged it?”—”In traditional wine writing, education and marketing, gendered language has been used to describe everything from texture to geographical region to level of skin contact. Structured wines are masculine. Velvety wines, feminine. Rich, tannic Napa reds are for him, while satiny, pink Provençal rosé is for her. In Robert Parker’s 2002 Wine Buyer’s Guide, the terms are deployed no fewer than 75 times each, with ‘masculine’ appearing most often in association with the words ‘powerful’ and ‘muscular,’ and ‘feminine’ coinciding with ‘supple’ or ‘sexy.’ Today, it’s commonplace to hear the descriptor ‘slutty’ wielded to describe a particularly aromatic sauvignon blanc, or ‘mom wine’ used in correlation with a particularly suburban marketing sector.”
  • ‘This isn’t the 60s again’: psychedelics business takes off amid culture clash. Experts fear if psychedelics fall exclusively into the hands of big pharma the industry will follow the same path as legal marijuana, making the rich richer.”
  • The labor shortage is a health problem“—”Almost half of unemployed Americans say health issues are the primary reason they’re not working, according to new survey data from McKinsey, shared exclusively with Axios.”
  • Health costs during pandemic pushed over half a billion people into poverty.”
  • How—and Why—America Criminalizes Poverty. Tony Messenger on a Neverending Cycle.”—”It’s hard not to call this what it is: the criminalization of poverty. The process starts with…the trampling of due-process rights as guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution.” Excerpt from Profit and Punishment: How America Criminalizes the Poor in the Name of Justice [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Tony Messenger—”In Profit and Punishment, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist exposes the tragedy of modern-day debtors prisons, and how they destroy the lives of poor Americans swept up in a system designed to penalize the most impoverished. As a columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Tony Messenger has spent years in county and municipal courthouses documenting how poor Americans are convicted of minor crimes and then saddled with exorbitant fines and fees. If they are unable to pay, they are often sent to prison, where they are then charged a pay-to-stay bill, in a cycle that soon creates a mountain of debt that can take years to pay off. These insidious penalties are used to raise money for broken local and state budgets, often overseen by for-profit companies, and it is one of the central issues of the criminal justice reform movement. In the tradition of Evicted and The New Jim Crow, Messenger has written a call to arms, shining a light on a two-tiered system invisible to most Americans. He introduces readers to three single mothers caught up in this system: living in poverty in Missouri, Oklahoma, and South Carolina, whose lives are upended when minor offenses become monumental financial and personal catastrophes. As these women struggle to clear their debt and move on with their lives, readers meet the dogged civil rights advocates and lawmakers fighting by their side to create a more equitable and fair court of justice. In this remarkable feat of reporting, Tony Messenger exposes injustice that is agonizing and infuriating in its mundane cruelty, as he champions the rights and dignity of some of the most vulnerable Americans.”
  • ‘Worker Data Science’ Can Teach Us How to Fix the Gig Economy. Gig workers are asking to see the algorithms that govern their labor. Their fight has important lessons for creating equitable workplaces for all.”
  • South Dakota teachers scramble for dollar bills in ‘demeaning’ game. Company behind the competition apologises after footage showing teachers stuffing notes into clothing to fund classrooms goes viral.” Also “South Dakota teachers scramble for dollar bills to buy classroom supplies in half-time game – video. A competition pitting 10 teachers against each other to scramble for dollar bills to fund school supplies in a city in South Dakota has been described as ‘demeaning’ and drawn comparisons with the hit Netflix series Squid Game. The local Argus Leader newspaper reported that $5,000 (£3,770) in single dollar bills was laid out on the ice skating ring during the Sioux Falls Stampede hockey game on Saturday night, and the teachers from nearby schools competed to grab as many as possible in less than five minutes.”
  • Wheel of Time improved a fantasy saga’s gender binary in just six episodes. The show’s One Power works differently than in Robert Jordan’s books.”
  • Tweet—”New year, new universe. Watch the trailer for EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE, an epic sci-fi/kung fu adventure from mad geniuses @Daniels and starring legends only, Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, James Hong, and Jamie Lee Curtis. In Theaters March 25!” Watch “Everything Everywhere All At Once | Official Trailer HD | A24“—”A film from Daniels and starring Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, Stephanie Hsu, Jenny Slate, Harry Shum Jr., with James Hong and Jamie Lee Curtis. EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE – In Theaters March 25, 2022! #EverythingEverywhere RELEASE DATE: March 25, 2022 DIRECTOR: Daniels CAST: Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan, Jenny Slate, Harry Shum Jr., with James Hong and Jamie Lee Curtis.” Tweet—”finally someone understands what I want in a movie: an infinite number of Michelle Yeohs.” Also get your promotional 100-pack of googly eyes in the A24 shop.
  • Watch “NIGHTMARE ALLEY | Neo Noir Featurette“—”In NIGHTMARE ALLEY, an ambitious carny (Bradley Cooper) with a talent for manipulating people with a few well-chosen words hooks up with a female psychiatrist (Cate Blanchett) who is even more dangerous than he is. Directed by: Guillermo del Toro Cast: Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Richard Jenkins, Rooney Mara, Ron Perlman, David Strathairn.”
  • The Expanse | Designing the Belter Creole Accent and Language.” Tweet—”A lot of careful work and thought and respect went into the development of lang belta.”
  • Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Preview – We Visited the Star Wars Hotel! A hotel experience far, far away from anything we’ve ever experienced.”
  • Stranger Kings, Dice, and Authority From Beyond“—”I always felt curious about why, in the creative space of tabletop roleplaying games, we developed such a fixation with dice.”
  • Dungeons and Dragons tavern, adventure castle proposed for Lake Geneva“—”Lake Geneva is the birthplace of the now famous Dungeons and Dragons fantasy game, where players create a role playing adventure. Now, Daniel Colwell wants to take the fantasy game to the next level by creating Griffin & Gargoyle Tavern, an immersive themed restaurant and amusement center in Lake Geneva.” Also “Dungeons & Dragons-Themed Immersive Restaurant Announced.”
  • Lord of the Rings keycap sets will transport your keyboard to Middle-earth. Type in either Elvish or Dwarvish with new keycaps on Drop.”
  • Tweet—”Meet Ji-Young — the first Asian American muppet on ‘Sesame Street.’ She is Korean American and has two passions: rocking out on her electric guitar and skateboarding. She’ll be formally introduced in a special that drops on Thanksgiving.”
  • The inner lives of cats: what our feline friends really think about hugs, happiness and humans. They do what they want, all the time – and can teach us a lot about how to live in the present, be content and learn from our experience.” In part about Feline Philosophy: Cats and the Meaning of Life [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by John Gray—”The author of Straw Dogs, famous for his provocative critiques of scientific hubris and the delusions of progress and humanism, turns his attention to cats—and what they reveal about humans’ torturous relationship to the world and to themselves. The history of philosophy has been a predictably tragic or comical succession of palliatives for human disquiet. Thinkers from Spinoza to Berdyaev have pursued the perennial questions of how to be happy, how to be good, how to be loved, and how to live in a world of change and loss. But perhaps we can learn more from cats–the animal that has most captured our imagination–than from the great thinkers of the world. In Feline Philosophy, the philosopher John Gray discovers in cats a way of living that is unburdened by anxiety and self-consciousness, showing how they embody answers to the big questions of love and attachment, mortality, morality, and the Self: Montaigne’s house cat, whose un-examined life may have been the one worth living; Meo, the Vietnam War survivor with an unshakable capacity for ‘fearless joy’; and Colette’s Saha, the feline heroine of her subversive short story ‘The Cat’, a parable about the pitfalls of human jealousy. Exploring the nature of cats, and what we can learn from it, Gray offers a profound, thought-provoking meditation on the follies of human exceptionalism and our fundamentally vulnerable and lonely condition. He charts a path toward a life without illusions and delusions, revealing how we can endure both crisis and transformation, and adapt to a changed scene, as cats have always done.”
  • NFTs! Collect them all. No really. “The Billion Dollar Torrent (all NFT’s from Ethereum & Solana).” Also “Keanu Reeves doesn’t get the NFT hype either. Neo is a HODLer.” Watch “Keanu Reeves on NFTs: LAUGHING HISTERICALLY – Keanu Reeves The Verge Interview.”
  • Back from Italy, they’ve arrived in Texas! “Dozens of feral hogs invade Southeast Texas neighborhood.”
  • Tweet thread—”In 1918, there was a lesbian spy network working to “exterminate the manhood of Britain” called The Cult of The Clitoris… Except actually, there wasn’t. It was a fake news scandal that somehow won a libel trial. This is the story of the sapphic cult that wasn’t.”