Omnium Gatherum: 16mar2022

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for March 16, 2022.

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

  • Sure, why not this too: “Japan’s ‘killing stone’ splits in two, releasing superstitions amid the sulphur springs. Legend has it there is an evil spirit trapped in the Sessho-seki stone, so what happens now that the stone is broken?”
  • Pi day recipes for sweet, savory, skillet, handheld and more types of pies. To mark Pi Day, we’re offering pie recipes with options made with fruit, vegetables, meat and more.”
  • Bodies, Noise and Power in Industrial Music [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] eds Jason Whittaker and Elizabeth Potter, part of the Pop Music, Culture and Identity series, due April 2022—”This edited collection delves into the industrial music genre, exploring the importance of music in (sub)cultural identity formation, and the impact of technology on the production of music. With its roots as early as the 1970s, industrial music emerged as a harsh, transgressive, and radically charged genre. The soundscape of the industrial is intense and powerful, adorned with taboo images, and thematically concerned with authority and control. Elemental to the genre is critical engagement with configurations of the body and related power. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach, this collection analyses the treatment of subjects like the Body (animal, human, machine), Noise (rhythmic, harsh) and Power (authority, institutions, law) in a variety of industrial music’s elements. Throughout the collection, these three subjects are interrogated by examining lyrics, aesthetics, music videos, song writing, performance and audience reception. The chapters have been carefully selected to produce a diverse and intersectional perspective, including work on Black industrial musicians and Arabic and North African women’s collaborations. Rather than providing historical context, the contributors interpret the finer elements of the aesthetics and discourses around physical bodies and power as expressed in the genre, expanding the ‘industrial’ boundary and broadening the focus beyond white European industrial music.”
  • What Comes After ‘Kmart Realism’? Writing Place in the Era of American Uniformity. Lee Cole on the Homogenization of Rural Life in America” By the author of Groundskeeping: A Novel [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library]—”In the run-up to the 2016 election, Owen Callahan, an aspiring writer, moves back to Kentucky to live with his Trump-supporting uncle and grandfather. Eager to clean up his act after wasting time and potential in his early twenties, he takes a job as a groundskeeper at a small local college, in exchange for which he is permitted to take a writing course. Here he meets Alma Hazdic, a writer in residence who seems to have everything that Owen lacks—a prestigious position, an Ivy League education, success as a writer. They begin a secret relationship, and as they grow closer, Alma—who comes from a liberal family of Bosnian immigrants—struggles to understand Owen’s fraught relationship with family and home. Exquisitely written; expertly crafted; dazzling in its precision, restraint, and depth of feeling, Groundskeeping is a novel of haunting power and grace from a prodigiously gifted young writer.”
  • The Lure of the Unknown: Essays on the Strange by Algernon Blackwood, due April 2022—”The Lure of the Unknown is a collection of Algernon Blackwood’s essays, talks, reviews and anecdotes exploring encounters with the strange and unusual or, in Blackwood’s preferred word, the ‘odd’. They include his first attempts to investigate alleged haunted houses, his association with such luminaries as W. B. Yeats, ‘A.E.’, and Gurdjieff; his thoughts on telepathy, reincarnation, elemental spirits, other dimensions, and his beliefs in what lies beyond our normal perceptions. These writings reveal not only Blackwood’s diverse experiences, but his depth of reading and analysis of the unexplained. Few of these essays have been reprinted beyond their first publication or their broadcast on radio and television. They provide another dimension to an understanding of one of the great writers of the supernatural.”
  • Oops, blinked. “Asteroid discovered hours before Earth impact“—”Hungarian astronomer Krisztián Sárneczky at the Piszkésteto Mountain Station – part of Konkoly Observatory near Budapest – discovered a small asteroid on March 11, 2022, just two hours before it struck Earth’s atmosphere. The asteroid is believed to have started out about 10 feet (3 meters) wide. Now labeled 2022 EB5, this object entered Earth’s atmosphere north of Iceland at 21:22 UTC on March 11. Orbit simulation expert Tony Dunn on Twitter (@tony873004) commented: When 2022 EB5 struck the Earth north of Iceland this morning, it became the 5th asteroid to be discovered prior to impacting Earth.”
  • Wait for it. “GISTEMP Climate Spiral“—”The visualization presents monthly global temperature anomalies between the years 1880-2021. These temperatures are based on the GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP v4), an estimate of global surface temperature change.”
  • ‘Adapt or die’: It’s too late to prevent climate chaos, warn the world’s leading scientists — it’s time to focus on survival.”
  • Um. Cthulhu’s got acne? “Holes the size of city blocks are forming in the Arctic seafloor“—”Marine scientists have discovered deep sinkholes — one larger than a city block of six-story buildings — and ice-filled hills that have formed “extraordinarily” rapidly on a remote part of the Arctic seafloor.”
  • Hubble telescope was at the perfect angle to capture this nearly impossible shot of two ‘dancing galaxies’. You can see the galaxies warping in three dimensions.”
  • A Plot Twist in the Milky Way. Astronomers have cracked a mystery 1,000 light-years from Earth.”
  • Scientists first to achieve Wannier-Stark localization in polycrystals. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Paderborn University, and the University of Konstanz have succeeded in achieving a rare quantum state. They are the first to have demonstrated Wannier-Stark localization in a polycrystalline substance. Predicted around 80 years ago, the effect has only recently been proven – in a monocrystal. Until now, researchers assumed this localization to be possible only in such monocrystalline substances which are very complicated to produce. The new findings represent a breakthrough in the field of physics and could in future give rise to new optical modulators, for example, that can be used in information technologies based on light, among other things. The physicists have published their findings in the well-respected technical journal, Nature Communications.” “Stronger and faster than lightning. The atoms of a crystal are arranged in a three-dimensional grid, held together by chemical bonds. These bonds can, however, be dissolved by very strong electric fields which displace atoms, even going so far as to introduce so much energy into the crystal that it is destroyed. This is what happens when lightning strikes and materials liquefy, vaporize or combust, for example. To demonstrate Wannier-Stark localization, the scientists’ experiments involved setting up electric fields of several million volts per centimetre, much stronger than the fields involved in lightning strikes. During this process, the electronic system of a solid – in this case, a polycrystal – is forced far from a state of equilibrium for a very short time. “Wannier-Stark localization involves virtually shutting down some of the chemical bonds temporarily. This state can only be maintained for less than a picosecond – one millionth of one millionth of a second – without destroying the substance. Once the electric field inside the crystal is strong enough, the chemical bonds towards the field are deactivated, rendering the crystal briefly as a system of unbonded layers. Chaos reigns. The phenomenon correlates with drastic changes to the electronic structure of the crystal, resulting in stark changes to optical characteristics, in particular, high optical nonlinearity,” explains Paderborn University’s Professor Torsten Meier, who was responsible for the theoretical analysis of the experiments. Nonlinear effects can give rise to new frequencies, for example, without which the targeted manipulation of light needed for modern telecommunications would not be possible.”
  • Atypical tooth wear found in fossil hominins also present in a Japanese macaque population“—”Atypical tooth wear, including macroscopically visible striations on anterior teeth and within root grooves on posterior teeth, are often regarded as evidence of non-masticatory, tool use behavior in fossil hominins. Both these types of dental tissue loss are often considered unique to the genus Homo and suggested to be the earliest evidence of human cultural habits. The aim of this study was to describe similar tooth wear found in a wild primate population and to conduct a differential diagnosis of this atypical tissue loss.” “Accidental ingestion of sand and oral processing of marine mollusks likely creates these atypical wear patterns. Implications for similar wear that has been associated with tool-use in fossil hominin samples were discussed.”
  • Um, wait, this is from the college of what, now? “In Search for Source of Our Evolutionary Distinctiveness, John Jay College Student Researchers Discover Genes Unique to Humans“—”A team of student researchers from John Jay College of Criminal Justice has discovered human microRNA genes not shared with any other primate species and which may have played an important role in the unique evolution of the human species. The students, Jessica A. Blandino, Beatriz C. Mercado, José A. Galván, and William J. Higgins, carried out their work under the direction of John Jay Professors Dr. Hunter R. Johnson and Dr. Nathan H. Lents and found at least three families of microRNA genes on chromosome 21.”
  • Archaeologists Uncover Largest Trove of Mummification Materials in Egypt. ‘It is probably the largest complex and undisturbed find of its kind originating from ancient Egypt,’ said Mohamed Megahed, head of the archaeological mission.”
  • Collectors in the prehistoric world recycled old stone tools to preserve memory of ancestors. The act of collecting objects rooted in humans ‘in more ways than we can even think.'”
  • Gaming-pieces and a gaming board found in the Medieval Park in Oslo. New finds from Oslo’s Medieval Park excavation shed light on one of history’s most popular pastimes: playing games and gambling.”
  • Rare stone with Pictish symbols found in farmers’ field. Archaeologists have uncovered a stone with carved Pictish symbols in a farmer’s field near Forfar, Scotland.”
  • Apparently the spider air force is joining the swarming spider infantry: “Large, Parachuting Spiders Could Soon Invade the East Coast, Study Finds. The authors say the arachnids are harmless to people and pets and may even eat pests like stink bugs.”
  • Scientists discover ‘supergene’ is changing the social structure of red fire ant colonies. Red fire ants are infamous for their painful sting and aggressive colony tactics and have been known to attack and kill small animals.”
  • Microbes and minerals may have set off Earth’s oxygenation. Scientists propose a new mechanism by which oxygen may have first built up in the atmosphere.”
  • MIT engineers fly first-ever plane with no moving parts. The silent, lightweight aircraft doesn’t depend on fossil fuels.”
  • Novel X-ray lens with potential commercial applications“—”PSI scientists have developed a ground-breaking achromatic lens for X-rays which facilitates the glimpse into the nanoworld. This allows the X-ray beams to be accurately focused on a single point even if they have different wavelengths. Soon, the newly developed lens will also be used in industry.”
  • IBM’s $300 Open Source Lego Microscope“—”Using Lego bricks, a Raspberry Pi mini-computer, an Arduino microcontroller, some off-the-shelf components like lenses, and 3D-printed components, IBM scientist Yuksel Temiz built a fully functional microscope to help him with his work. The materials cost around $300 and the microscope performs as well as scopes many times more expensive”.
  • Mathematical discovery could shed light on quantum gravity“—”How can Einstein’s theory of gravity be unified with quantum mechanics? It is a challenge that could give us deep insights into phenomena such as black holes and the birth of the universe. Now, a new article in Nature Communications, written by researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, and MIT, U.S., presents results that cast new light on important challenges in understanding quantum gravity.”
  • Klaatu Barada Nikto! “The Immortal Armour of China’s Jade Burial Suits. The Jade burial suits are hand-crafted jade suits from the Han Dynasty of China, used for the ceremonial burials of China’s elite and members of the ruling class.”
  • Did Ancient Nomads Seize Control of a Roman Emerald Mine in Egypt? Recent excavations suggest the Blemmyes assumed power of the Sikait mining site between the fourth and sixth centuries C.E.”
  • Researchers Decipher the Glyphs on a 1,300-Year-Old Frieze in Mexico. The 50-foot-long limestone and stucco relief contains one of the lengthiest examples of Zapotec writing in the Oaxaca Valley.”
  • More on this: “2 giant blobs in Earth’s mantle may explain Africa’s weird geology. A massive blob of material under Africa could be contributing to that continent’s upheaval.”
  • Cure worse than the disease?! “Dust mite juice: a new eczema treatment. The good news is that scientists have found a new way to treat eczema. The bad news is that it’s drinkable dust mite extract.” 🤢 Aaaaaa-HURK! 🤮
  • Godsdamnit, mites! “Tiny Mite Triggers Domino Effect in the High Andes. Pumas, Condors and Grasslands Impacted After Mange Wipes Out Park’s Vicuñas.”
  • Senolytic drugs boost key protective protein“—”Mayo Clinic researchers say senolytic drugs can boost a key protein in the body that may protect older people against aspects of aging and a range of diseases. Their findings, which are published in eBioMedicine demonstrate this in mice and human studies. Senolytics developed at Mayo Clinic and given once clear the bloodstream of senescent or “zombie” cells. These cells contribute to multiple diseases and negative aspects of aging. This study shows that the removal of senescent cells significantly boosts the production of a protective protein called a-klotho.”
  • When It Comes to Sleep, It’s Quality Over Quantity. ‘Elite Sleeper’ Genes Could Offer Protection from Neurodegenerative Diseases.”—”Some people are gifted with genes that pack the benefits of slumber into an efficient time window, keeping them peppy on only four or six hours of sleep a night, according to researchers at UC San Francisco. In addition, the scientists said, these “elite sleepers” show psychological resilience and resistance to neurodegenerative conditions that may point the way to fending off neurological disease.”
  • Of Course We’re Living in a Simulation. The only people who absolutely disagree are, well, scientists. They need to get over themselves and join the fun.”
  • By the by, remember this? Look who’s officially to blame. “Missouri Governor’s Office Responsible for Teacher Data Leak“—”Missouri Governor Mike Parson made headlines last year when he vowed to criminally prosecute a journalist for reporting a security flaw in a state website that exposed personal information of more than 100,000 teachers. But Missouri prosecutors now say they will not pursue charges following revelations that the data had been exposed since 2011 — two years after responsibility for securing the state’s IT systems was centralized within Parson’s own Office of Administration.”
  • Critical Bugs Expose Hundreds of Thousands of Medical Devices and ATMs. The so-called Access:7 vulnerabilities are the latest high-profile IoT security fumble.”
  • Today in Oligarch news, can’t wait until they have enough kids to name one Cybertruck. “Grimes Inadvertently Reveals Second Baby With Elon Musk During Crazy Interview. The singer invited Vanity Fair to her home to talk about her new album, when the interviewer heard what sounded a lot like a baby’s cry coming from upstairs.” “GRIMES’ TIME Grimes ‘dating whistleblower Chelsea Manning’ after splitting with Elon Musk for second time and welcoming secret baby.”
  • Oh ffs. No, just no. “LimeWire Returning as an NFT Marketplace. LimeWire GmbH is expected to launch this spring.”
  • A new report reveals that since the Russian attack on Ukraine, Anonymous and its affiliate groups have compromised 90% of misconfigured cloud databases owned by different Russian organizations.
  • DeepMind’s new AI model helps decipher, date, and locate ancient inscriptions. A ‘complementary tool’ to help historians unravel ancient text.” Also “AI could decipher gaps in ancient Greek texts, say researchers. From imperial decrees to Sappho’s poems, Ithaca system can find word patterns and suggest age of text.”
  • Tweet—”Dual use in artificial intelligence is a growing concern. Read a Comment by Fabio Urbina, @FilippaLentzos Cédric Invernizzi and @collabchem about the risks in drug discovery”. “Dual use of artificial-intelligence-powered drug discovery. An international security conference explored how artificial intelligence (AI) technologies for drug discovery could be misused for de novo design of biochemical weapons. A thought experiment evolved into a computational proof.” Tweet—”AI health researchers tell their system to find molecular compounds more efficient at harming humans, are shocked when it… does just exactly that, & then Respond with, ‘The Thought Had Never Previously Struck Us’ that this might be possible. *stares off into space Cassandraly*”
  • Startups — it’s time to ditch your CEO. As a trio of cofounders, we decided not to have a CEO.”—”But if the founders’ goal should be to challenge the enemy of innovation — conventional wisdom — why is no one asking, ‘Should startups even have a CEO in the first place?’ Spoiler: we decided to do away with having a CEO.”
  • A US surveillance program tracks nearly 200,000 immigrants. What happens to their data? Guardian review of company’s policies raises privacy concerns amid fears records could be shared or monetized.”
  • Online Sleuths Are Using Face Recognition to ID Russian Soldiers. It takes five minutes to put a name to a soldier’s face using little more than a screenshot, but there’s a catch.”
  • Amazon announces 20-for-1 stock split, $10 billion buyback. Amazon on Wednesday said its board of directors has approved a 20-for-1 stock split. It’s the first split since 1999 and the fourth since Amazon’s IPO in 1997. The company also said its board has authorized Amazon to buy back up to $10 billion worth of shares.”
  • Leak Reveals Biden’s Crypto Plans—Sending The Price Of Bitcoin, Ethereum, BNB, Solana, Cardano, XRP, Terra’s Luna And Avalanche Higher.
  • Cloudflare to auto-brick servers that go offline in Ukraine, Russia“—”Cloudflare announced that it is taking drastic measures to protect data of customers in Eastern Europe under current conditions of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The U.S.-based web infrastructure and security company known for its DDoS mitigation services announced its decision to stay in the Russian market, albeit with some aspects of its business suspended.”
  • Russia’s Ukraine War Raises Specter of an Online Splinternet“—”Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is creating new cracks in the world-spanning foundation of the internet. Since Feb. 25, the day after Russia began an assault on its neighbor, Moscow has made it harder for citizens to reach Facebook and Twitter. Separately, Facebook, YouTube and TikTok have limited access to Russian state-owned media in the European Union at the request of governments in the 27-country bloc. Russia has also exercised the power of its Sovereign Internet Law, which President Vladimir Putin signed in 2019. The law is designed to help the Russian internet survive any Western attempt to cut it off, but it also centralizes state network control so that the government can take actions like censoring sites or hobbling social networks.”
  • The Great Tech Hub Exodus Didn’t Quite Happen. Two years into the pandemic, US tech jobs remain concentrated in a handful of coastal hubs. But a new set of cities is gaining ground.”
  • Republicans reluctant on $15 billion in virus aid, as White House warns about pandemic readiness. The stalemate left Washington scrambling to find solutions for the second consecutive week, as the future of the U.S. government’s pandemic response appeared to hang in the balance.”
  • Thread—”I have a sinking feeling again in my stomach… my sources say it’s bad. I’ll do another update soon… but follow this thread below meantime for smaller updates… it’s complete pandemonium again…” “9) UPDATE—the 13-million population city of Shenzhen has locked down! With all non-essential enterprises stop operating, or required to work from home. Buses and subways all suspended. Govt services shut down except for epidemic essential staff. Holy shit.”
  • The ‘Freedom Convoy’ Bitcoin Donations Have Been Frozen and Seized. Bitcoin was supposed to be a financial lifeline for vaccine mandate protesters in Canada. That hasn’t exactly worked out to plan.”
  • QAnon, Ukraine and ‘biolabs’: Russian propaganda efforts boosted by U.S. far right. Russian and Chinese officials have also pushed the theory, which has reached mainstream conservative media in the U.S.”
  • Right-wing group targets New York Times reporters who have aggressively reported on its spy tactics.” Thread—”NY Times reporters uncovered how the right wing group Project Veritas has employed former spies to infiltrate and discredit political opponents using deceptive practices. Now Project Veritas is engaged in a campaign of harassment against those reporters.”
  • America’s culture war is spilling into actual war-war. To US conservatives, the real enemy is the ‘militant left wing’ in the United States. How did it come to this?” Thread—”In last week’s column for @GuardianUS, I wrote about how the Right is infatuated with foreign autocrats like Putin who they perceive as defenders of ‘Christian values.’ I’d like to address a few reactions to the piece – and some misconceptions about white Christian nationalism:” “And Putin has been undeniably successful in his quest to appeal to the Christian Right: Americans who define the U.S. as a “Christian nation” have a much more favorable view of Putin’s Russia, and Pat Robertson claims Putin is ‘being compelled by God’ to invade Ukraine.”
  • Tweet—”Russian state TV interrupted by ‘No War’ protest. During the ‘Vremya’ news program on Russia’s main TV channel, Maria Ovsyannikova, a Channel One employee, rushed in front of the camera with a poster saying ‘stop the war, don’t believe the propaganda.'” Also “Pictured: Russian TV presenter Marina Ovsyannikova who said no to war appears in court. The sign said: ‘NO WAR. Stop the war. Don’t believe propaganda. They are lying to you here.'” Also tweet—”Sources tell the sometimes reliable outlet Baza that Russian officials have decided to press FELONY, not misdemeanor, charges against Ovsyannikova, bringing the full force of the new law against her (public disinfo, not merely discrediting the military). Up to 15 years in prison.”
  • Even Russian State TV Is Pleading With Putin to Stop the War. State propagandists called for Putin to end the “special military operation” before “frightening” sanctions destabilize his regime and risk civil war in Russia.”
  • From the Tone Police in Riot Gear dept: Tweet—”The head of Russia’s Presidential Human Rights Council says there’s no “censorship” in the criminalization of speech that “discredits” the armed forces explaining that people can still express their opinions ‘within reasonable limits.'”
  • Leaked Kremlin Memo to Russian Media: It Is “Essential” to Feature Tucker Carlson. The Russian government has pressed outlets to highlight the Fox host’s Putin-helping broadcasts.”
  • Judge in Smartmatic Suit Cites Tucker’s Rejection of Election Claims to Argue ‘Substantial Basis’ Fox News ‘Acted With Actual Malice’.”
  • Pro-Putin Disinformation on Ukraine Is Thriving in Online Anti-Vax Groups. All the usual themes: Secret government alliances, anti-Semitic tropes, and nefarious scientists.”
  • The Weakness of the Despot. An expert on Stalin discusses Putin, Russia, and the West.”
  • The War in Ukraine Exposes Social Media as a Tool of the State“—”… the platforms look more like tools in the exercise of state power today than they did before the invasion of Ukraine. The long term implications are difficult to discern in the fog of war.” Also “Putin’s pre-war moves against U.S. tech giants laid groundwork for crackdown on free expression. Google and Apple blinked after threats from Russian agents.” Tweet—”This is very troubling and a perfect example of why autocratic governments are increasingly requiring large platforms/companies to open local offices (to literally local hold employees hostage)…”
  • Tweet—”A French activist broke into Putin’s daughters villa in Biarritz, France and changed the locks. Said that he plans to use it for Ukrainian refugees.” Also “‘Surprised’ mayor to question police response after squatters seize oligarch’s mansion” and tweet—”Original statement from the #oligarchsquat
  • Thread—”Crisis and Jubilee: What’s happening in Russia Russia’s spiralling into a deep crisis. It was visible before the war but now it’s rapidly accelerating. And every major crisis entails mass redistribution of power, property and status. Because crisis is essentially a Jubilee.”
  • Russian ship that fired on ‘f–k yourself’ Ukrainians destroyed: report.”
  • Servant of the People is back on Netflix—”After a Ukrainian high school teacher’s tirade against government corruption goes viral on social media, he finds himself the country’s new president. Starring:Vladimir Zelenskiy.” Also “‘Why? Why? Why?’ Ukraine’s Mariupol descends into despair. MARIUPOL, Ukraine (AP) — The bodies of the children all lie here, dumped into this narrow trench hastily dug into the frozen earth of Mariupol to the constant drumbeat of shelling.” Also thread—”As bombs fell on Ukraine’s towns and cities in the first week of the invasion, the Ukrainian government still made a scheduled interest payment to its private lenders on time. Its lenders — IMF, World Bank, banks, and hedge funds—are all queuing up to collect their debts.” Also Inside Chernobyl, 200 Exhausted Staff Toil Round the Clock at Russian Gunpoint. Trapped since their shift 3 weeks ago, the Ukrainians keeping the abandoned nuclear plant safe are ill-fed, stressed and desperate for relief.”—”they are approaching 500 hours on the job—snatching sleep on chairs in front of beeping machinery and on piles of clothes…Their diet has dwindled to porridge and canned food, prepared by a 70-year-old cook who at one point collapsed from exhaustion” Also “U.S. Senate unanimously condemns Putin as war criminal.” Also “Biden to Announce $1 Billion in New Military Aid to Ukraine. The additional assistance comes as Ukrainian President Zelensky prepares to make an appeal to Congress.” Also “America can’t afford to forget Zelenskyy’s role in Trump’s first impeachment. Many Americans have seemingly forgotten the fateful 2019 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and how that call foreshadowed today.”—”It wasn’t until after the WH learned about the whistleblower complaint that Ukraine finally received..aid Congress had approved..Ukraine’s national security, which is tied to American’s national security, took a backseat to Trump’s re-election ambitions.” Also “‘I thought he was negotiating’: Trump didn’t think Putin would order Ukraine invasion.Tweet—”So Biden knew what Putin was doing and called him out every step of the way and Trump (the master “negotiator”) got it wrong yet again.” Also tweet—”Viktor Orbán’s campaign speech on Hungary’s national day had several troubling aspects. He essentially declared Hungarian neutrality, talked about Russia and Ukraine as if they were both responsible for the war, and then this: evoking well-known tropes about the ‘you know who’.” Also tweet—”Zelensky is the first Jewish head of state not from Israel to address US Congress.” Also tweet—”At least ten dead in Chernihiv after a bread line is shelled, per local reporter. CNN has geolocated the video and confirmed a shell or rocket hit a group of people lining up for bread. Russian forces have been shelling residential areas of Chernihiv for about a week.” Also tweet—”Alexandra Trofimovna, 86, was a little girl in Kharkiv when Germans bombed her house during WWII, killing her mother and sister. She also lost two fingers on her right hand. This morning, her house was bombed once again, this time by the russian army.” Also “‘All art must go underground:’ Ukraine scrambles to shield its cultural heritage. As Russian bombs drop, Ukrainians unite to protect precious artworks.” Also Cut off from food, Ukrainians recall famine under Stalin, which killed 4 million of them. The Soviet dictator covered up the starvation across the republic in the early 1930s.”
  • A Ukrainian Journalist on What Western Media Is Missing“—”Like a lot of other journalists in Ukraine, Romeo Kokriatski is working hard day in and day out to explain the slow trudge of war. Kokriatski is the managing editor of a website called the New Voice of Ukraine, and he lived in Kyiv until he fled the capital a few days ago. He actually grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens, spending summers in Ukraine with his grandma learning about the history of his homeland. Kokriatski’s story tells you something important about this country and how it’s been able to hold off Russian forces so far. The military war is an evolution of an information war that’s been going on in Ukraine for eight years, and Kokriatski plays an important part in that war, sorting out facts from propaganda. On Thursday’s episode of What Next, I talked to him about the fight against Russian misinformation, how he got into journalism, and what it’s like in Kyiv these days. Our conversation has been condensed and edited for clarity.”
  • Poutine not Putin: classic Quebec dish off the menu in France and Canada. French restaurant threatened for selling fries, cheese and gravy snack that sounds like the Russian leader.”—”In English, differences in pronunciation mean that there can be little overlap with the Russian leader’s name. But the French transliteration of Putin – already tweaked to avoid confusion with the expletive putain – has left ample room for crossed wires. ‘People, please stop confusing Putin and poutine,’ tweeted one user. ‘One is a dangerous and unwholesome mix of greasy, lumpy and congealed ingredients, the other is a delicious food.'”
  • ‘Things Will Only Get Worse.’ Putin’s War Sends Russians Into Exile. Thousands of Russians saw their comfortable, middle-class lives fade overnight with the invasion ordered by President Vladimir V. Putin.”—”Tens of thousands of Russians have fled to Istanbul since Russia invaded Ukraine, outraged about what they see as a criminal war, worried about conscription or the possibility of a closed Russian border…”
  • Mass Graves Identified in Syria Could Hold Evidence of War Crimes. Two sites have been located, believed to hold thousands of bodies of Syrians killed in detention centers administered by President Bashar al-Assad’s government during the civil war.”
  • TV coverage amplifies the GOP’s false claims about gas prices. The media double standard in full view.”
  • GOP’s violent rhetoric keeps getting worse — and almost nobody is paying attention. At CPAC, Sen. Rick Scott essentially called for eliminating leftists. Armed Republicans understand what he means.”
  • In Texas, Trans Kids Are Casualties of a Much Bigger War. In situations like the abhorrent Texas anti-trans crusade, liberals like to say that the cruelty is the point. But in reality, winning elections and protecting elite interests is the point — and transgender kids and their families are caught in the crosshairs.” Also “Parents of a trans child who reached out to Attorney General Ken Paxton over dinner are now under investigation for child abuse. Amber Briggle had hoped inviting Paxton to dinner might soften his views about transgender children. Now, the family is under investigation after he issued an opinion equating gender-affirming medical care with child abuse.” Also “Does the state think transgender care is abuse? Ken Paxton’s comments contradict Texas’ legal stance. AUSTIN — Fighting to keep his job in a heated GOP primary this year, Attorney General Ken Paxton repeatedly insisted that certain medical treatments for…”
  • In other news: tweet—”BREAKING: Employees of a Texas-contracted facility meant to care for children who are victims of sex trafficking was discovered sex trafficking the same children, aged 11 to 17, according to a federal judge.”
  • Texas bar seeks disciplinary action against Trump’s ‘Kraken’ ex-lawyer Sidney Powell. Texas state bar Commission for Lawyer Discipline accuses Powell of ‘professional misconduct'”
  • The patchwork groups sharing gender-affirming underwear patterns. It can be ‘impossible to find something that fully represents who you are'”
  • Where Gender-Neutral Pronouns Come From. People tend to think of they, Mx., and hir as relatively recent inventions. But English speakers have been looking for better ways to talk about gender for a very long time.”
  • The rise of white nationalist Hispanics“—”Fuentes is part of a small but increasingly visible number of far-right provocateurs with Hispanic backgrounds who spread racist, antisemitic messages.”
  • Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters indicted by grand jury on felony charges. The Republican was indicted on 10 counts, according to prosecutors.”
  • More on this: “Disney Censors Same-Sex Affection in Pixar Films, According to Letter From Employees.” Also “Disney CEO Bob Chapek Apologizes to LGBTQ Employees, Announces Pause for Political Donations in Florida. ‘You needed me to be a stronger ally in the fight for equal rights and I let you down. I am sorry.'”
  • Where is your god now?! “Tornado hits home of Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ lawmaker.”
  • Young, fun and… alone? The problems with the ‘single positivity movement’. In an era obsessed with personal growth, singledom must be seen as something unambiguously uplifting. But there are legitimate reasons to fear being alone.”
  • Lessons in Success From the Rich and Famous“—”Where we mortals may list things like chores and errands, this read like a step-by-step plan for world domination.”
  • Trapped, stripped of assets, and silenced. And it’s all perfectly legal. When the Public Trustee is given the keys to your life, speaking out publicly is illegal, and the state can block you from trying to regain your freedom. Four Corners went to the Supreme Court to fight for the right to reveal the hidden ordeal of people who, like megastar Britney Spears, have escaped the system.”
  • The painful, cutting and brilliant letters Black people wrote to their former enslavers. These letters from Black Americans to the people who once controlled their lives show a desire for freedom and a desperate longing to be reunited with their families.”
  • A mother says her son was sold by students in a mock slave auction. School district votes unanimously on action plan.”
  • By Design. White communists, socialists, feminists, and capitalists tried to engineer society using kitchen design.”
  • From the You Say That Like It’s A Bad Thing dept: “Rise of remote working is ‘biggest threat to oil demand,’ says analyst. Working from home has become the norm, and if the trend continues even after the pandemic abates, it could pose a big risk for oil, analysts are warning. ‘The biggest threat to oil demand is the rise of remote working,’ Bernstein said in a recent note to clients. ‘A decrease in commuting and business air travel is clearly negative for oil demand.’ S&P Global Platts predicts between 1 million barrels per day and 1.5 million bpd will be lost from people no longer commuting, with another 1.5 million bpd to 2 million bpd lost from a slowdown in business travel.”
  • If you love ASMR you might be more sensitive, our research finds“—”But an intriguing question that remains unanswered is why only some people experience ASMR tingling. We recently conducted a study which goes some way towards answering this question. It seems that people who experience ASMR have heightened sensory sensitivity – that is, they are more sensitive to what’s going on around them, and inside them. Here’s how we found out, and what it means.”
  • ‘I’m Just Going To Leave’: STEM Employee Applauded For Ending Job Interview“—”‘I went into this interview after securing a written offer from another company,’ they began. ‘The very first thing they want me to do is transfer all of the information on my résumé to their application, by hand, while they sit there and watch me.’ ‘The person instructing me to do this must have noticed a little confusion because she asked me if something was wrong,’ they continued. ‘I replied, ‘I’m sorry, I thought I was here for an interview. I haven’t filled out an application since earning minimum wage in high school. I think I’m going to leave.””
  • Wait. Do they no longer have departments? “Kohl’s says it’s no longer a department store“—”Kohl’s is under intense pressure from Wall Street raiders and up against stiff competition from Amazon, Target and others. Now it’s hoping that overhauling its brand image can beat back those threats.”
  • More on this: watch “Underwater robots find Shackleton’s Endurance shipwreck in Antarctic – BBC News” and “Endurance wreck: Ernest Shackleton’s lost ship found off Antarctica
  • Watch “Print Your Mind: “The Infinity” – A Bike Design by Stephan Henrich“—”The Sintratec technology turns the wildest concepts into a tangible reality – such like this model of a beach and city cruiser with an all-wheel drive. Register now for an exclusive Webinar with its designer Stephan Henrich and learn more about the many possibilities of additive technologies.”
  • Watch “can I be your teacher (come take my class!!)” a promo for an online class from Simone Giertz—”Come join my build class … No tools or experience required! Enrollment for the first session is open now until March 25. This class is a hands-on, 30-day experience, designed to teach you everything I know about following your curiosity to build things that make your life better (or at least more interesting). You’ll learn by doing and follow along as I create 2 new inventions from scratch, from picking an idea, to running into 10 unexpected hurdles, to polishing off the finished build. Along the way, you won’t just watch me make things — you’ll make things yourself and you’ll finish the class with 2 original builds of your own. The class only runs a few times a year, so claim your spot today! See you in class!”
  • Rob Zombie Shares Some Interior Shots from ‘The Munsters’ House.”
  • “Series Premiere Sunday, April 24. The Man Who Fell to Earth. Based on the Walter Tevis novel of the same name and the iconic film that starred David Bowie, THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH will follow a new alien character (Ejiofor) who arrives on Earth at a turning point in human evolution and must confront his own past to determine our future.” Watch “The Man Who Fell To Earth (2022) Official Trailer | SHOWTIME.”
  • PBS’s ‘Around The World In 80 Days’ Starring David Tennant Is Superior to the Book.”
  • HBO Max Orders ‘The Penguin’ Limited Series As ‘The Batman’ Clocks $301 Million+ At Global Box Office“—”In what comes as no surprise given the running $301 million global-grossing success of The Batman, HBO Max has given a straight-to-series order to the pic’s spinoff series The Penguin, which will see Colin Farrell reprising his villainous role from the pic as one of Gotham’s legendary kingpins. As The Batman director Matt Reeves told us on Deadline’s Hero Nation podcast, Penguin picks up where the movie left off in regards to Penguin. He said the original Batman spinoff series he conceived centering around a corrupt cop in events preceding the movie is no longer moving forward at HBO Max.”
  • Tweet—”What’s going on with this Star Wars hotel ad?” Also watch—”The New Star Wars Hotel Commercial is ABSOLUTE INSANITY (Galactic Starcruiser News).” Also watch, even when she tried to go the evil path, and couldn’t quite stick to it: watch “THIS is Why You Go To The Star Wars Hotel“—”This time she’s playing for the First Order so things look entirely different!” Tweet—”Roundtrip FL airfare: $600. Two-night stay at Galactic Starcruiser: $4,800. Sharing a moment of smug satisfaction with your daughter as the fascist regime’s proto-Nazi banner unfurls after you informed on a resistance member, leading to his arrest and likely execution: Priceless.” Also, palate cleanser, this guy went cosplaying as Kylo Ren’s Undercover BossMatt the Radar Technition”! Watch “Matt the Radar Technicianon the Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser-Complete Experience + Story Revealed.”
  • Watch “ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW: Behind the Scenes | Film Night | Making Of | BBC Archive“—”Film Night catches up with Richard O’Brien, Tim Curry and director Jim Sharman, who are hard at work on the movie adaptation of their cult stage musical, the Rocky Horror Show for 20th Century Studios. O’Brien discusses the process of writing the play and music, and his character Riff Raff, while Tim Curry reflects on how he has had to reign in the flamboyant transvestite scientist Dr. Frank-N-Furter to make him more cinematic and less theatrical. This clip is from Film Week, originally broadcast 26 July 1975” “When you’re acting, it’s B-movie acting. When you’re singing, it’s your rock n’ roll dreams come true.”
  • Box of human heads stolen from truck in Denver: ‘Pretty shocking’
  • Some Understaffed PetSmarts Are Dealing With Freezers Overflowing With Dead Pets. ‘The amount of death and loss was unacceptable.'”
  • Unicorn chaser, stat! “Vulva Spaceship aims to counter prevalence of phallic spacecraft.”
  • Semi-invisible: LOOP, Spacemen 3, and UK psych’s hidden history. Before shoegaze and acid house, a dysfunctional wave of British guitar bands were pursuing a psychedelic horizon all of their own – and then it all imploded.”
  • Lost Dungeons and Dragons Adventure Completed After 25 Years“—”A 25-year-old abandoned Dungeon & Dragons adventure has been completed and released by a group of dedicated fans. The Emissary takes place on Athas, the Dark Sun Campaign Setting’s world, which celebrated its 30th-anniversary last year. The Emissary is one of several projects that Dark Sun co-creator Tim Brown worked on in the 1990s left unfinished when TSR pulled the plug on the Dark Sun setting. Wizards of the Coast then acquired TSR and allowed the fan community at The Burnt World of Athas to produce Dark Sun materials for Dungeons & Dragon’s 3rd edition and 3.5 rulesets. It is that same fan community that completed The Emissary for release.” Free PDF download linked at The Emissary.
  • He swoops to conquer: hormonal owl livens up Norfolk nights. Mysterious Eurasian eagle owl heard hooting around Norwich has been unmasked by local newspaper.”
  • Emma Watson ruled the BAFTAs with one sentence: ‘I’m here for ALL of the witches’. Many people on Twitter took it to mean one thing.”