Omnium Gatherum: 6apr2022

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for April 6, 2022.

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

  • Etsy sellers will go on strike in April and want customers to boycott. Sellers are asking shoppers to boycott the platform between April 11th and April 18th.”—”In February, Etsy CEO Josh Silverman had good news to share with investors: sales and revenue were at an all-time high, sending Etsy stock soaring. At the same time, Silverman had less welcome news for sellers, delivered via email: transaction fees were going up, from 5 percent to 6.5 percent, or a 30 percent increase, beginning April 11th. For Kristi Cassidy, an active seller on Etsy since 2007, the fee increase was the last straw.”
  • Aaron Durán & Sara Soler Conjure Mexican-American History in Season of the Bruja. In an exclusive interview with CBR, Season of the Bruja’s creative team discusses how they approached mixing Latine culture with magic.”—”…it’s not a 100% Mexican folklore and folk story. I’m trying to create a distinct Mexican-American experience, which is its own experience. Hopefully, hopefully, we’re getting there.”
  • Crowdfunding effort, with 15 days to go: “The Steel Clan Saga: Action Adventure Epic Fantasy. Queer Action Adventure with Motorcycles, Dragons, Anarchy, and Swords.”—”My Name is T. Thorn Coyle and this is my second Kickstarter campaign. My first campaign—Bookshop Witch—was very successful. Kickstarter even named it a “Project We Love.” That inspired me to reach out to readers with more stories from the recesses of my mind. I love fantasy, magic, and the mystery of the barely known. My favorite stories hinge on the thought that something strange and wondrous is always just around the corner, or glimmering at the edges of our vision. And I try to live my life as if this is so. Author of four major fantasy-based novel series, ten multi-genre short story collections, and several nonfiction books, I’ve written since around age five. This is also when my voracious reading habit began, as I sought out a sense of wonder, escaping the sometimes brutal reality of my childhood. I often say books saved my life—thanks librarians!—and I mean it. But though I read a lot of fantasy of all stripes, and while epic and adventure fantasy delights me, sometimes I want… more. I want epic fantasy that does not rely on a quasi-feudal order. I want queer characters, a variety of cultures, and diverse religions. I want books where people like you and me fight for what they love. Apparently my subconscious agrees, because as soon as I began thinking on it, the Knights of the Steel Clan roared up, motorcycles rumbling, steel in hand, emphatically saying, ‘We are free.'”
  • Open access Journal of Interactive Books—”La rivista JIB è un’emanazione dell’ International Centre on Interactive Books della Fondazione Tancredi di Barolo. Il Centro Studi si propone di attivare in modo organico e coordinato, sul territorio nazionale e in collegamento con le analoghe istituzioni internazionali coinvolte, studi, ricerche, attività di conservazione e valorizzazione del bene culturale costituito dai libri animati di interesse storico, artistico, scientifico e didattico, affacciandosi alle più recenti e significative esperienze della multimedialità e al libro d’artista.” (JIB magazine is an offshoot of the International Center on Interactive Books of the Tancredi di Barolo Foundation. The Study Center aims to activate in an organic and coordinated way, on the national territory and in connection with the analogous international institutions involved, studies, research, conservation and enhancement activities of the cultural asset consisting of animated books of historical, artistic, scientific and didactic, looking at the most recent and significant experiences of multimedia and the artist’s book.)
  • Father May Be an Elephant, and Mother Only a Small Basket, But… by Gogu Shyamala – review. These rich and playful stories by a member of India’s lowest caste capture a childhood full of fun and games – and discrimination.” About Father May Be an Elephant and Mother Only a Small Basket, but… [Amazon, Bookshop UK, Publisher, Local Library] by Gogu Shyamala, trans by Diia Rajan, Sashi Kumar, A Suneetha, N Manohar Reddy, R Srivatsan, Gita Ramaswamy, Uma Bhrugubanda, P Pavana, and Duggirala Vasanta—”Dalit feminist stories of a south Indian village that dissolve the borders of realism, allegory and political fable. A young girl is sent away to school to save her from being declared the sexual property of the village’s upper-caste men. The village water tank laments to a passing child. A Brahmin boy is considered ‘polluted’ by the touch of a Dalit girl – the same action that saved his life. Rendered with idiomatic vitality, humour and lightness, these stories revel in rural childhood without nostalgia or romanticism, forcing the reader to question their expectation of violence in the representation of certain lives, and of what the short story can be and do. Shifts in tone and perspective reveal relationships – between the different castes that make up a village, between an individual and the wider community, between identities and the seasonal rhythms of the land. Imbued throughout with a Dalit feminist philosophy that is above all a philosophy of life, to be lived with wit, ingenuity, and defiance.”
  • The Black Maybe: Liminal Stories [Publisher] by Attila Veres, trans. by Luca Karafiáth, introduction by Steve Rasnic Tem, due October 2022—”Every so often a new horror writer bursts onto the scene with a book that is so dazzlingly original, so bone-chillingly terrifying, that it instantly alters the landscape of contemporary horror fiction. Hungarian author Attila Veres’ debut collection The Black Maybe is one of those books. This volume collects ten of his best tales in English for the first time, ranging from weird fiction like ‘In the Snow, Sleeping’, in which a couple’s vacation to a health spa erodes into a surreal nightmare, to folk horror like ‘Return to the Midnight School’, in which the things that emerge from the soil in one rural farming community are bizarre and horrific, to Lovecraft-inspired tales like ‘Multiplied by Zero’, written as a wry travelogue in which a man sets out on a deadly holiday tour to explore Lovecraftian landscapes. And in the title story ‘The Black Maybe’, which Steve Rasnic Tem calls ‘one of the weirdest tales I’ve read in years’, a girl and her family escape the bustling city to experience farm life, only to discover with unimaginable horror the truth of what is really being harvested there. These stories are thrilling, frightening, sometimes blackly humorous, and totally unlike anything you have read before. As Tem writes in the introduction, ‘Given both the range and originality of his dark fiction, Attila Veres’ career is one to watch.’ After reading this book, we have no doubt that readers will agree.”
  • The Genesis Machine: Our Quest to Rewrite Life in the Age of Synthetic Biology [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Amy Webb and Andrew Hessel—”The next frontier in technology is inside our own bodies. Synthetic biology will revolutionize how we define family, how we identify disease and treat aging, where we make our homes, and how we nourish ourselves. This fast-growing field—which uses computers to modify or rewrite genetic code—has created revolutionary, groundbreaking solutions such as the mRNA COVID vaccines, IVF, and lab-grown hamburger that tastes like the real thing. It gives us options to deal with existential threats: climate change, food insecurity, and access to fuel. But there are significant risks. Who should decide how to engineer living organisms? Whether engineered organisms should be planted, farmed, and released into the wild? Should there be limits to human enhancements? What cyber-biological risks are looming? Could a future biological war, using engineered organisms, cause a mass extinction event? Amy Webb and Andrew Hessel’s riveting examination of synthetic biology and the bioeconomy provide the background for thinking through the upcoming risks and moral dilemmas posed by redesigning life, as well as the vast opportunities waiting for us on the horizon.”
  • Feeling anxious? Don’t fight it, expert says – embrace anxiety and harness its power to become more productive and build resilience. Rather than letting anxiety consume you, it is better to identify and manage the threat that’s causing it, and channel it into something that works for you. Breathe deeply to keep calm, says a neuroscientist, and exercise to give your brain a ‘bubble bath’. When anxious, ask yourself ‘What can I learn from it?'” About Good Anxiety: Harnessing the Power of the Most Misunderstood Emotion [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Wendy Suzuki—”World-renowned neuroscientist and author of Healthy Brain, Happy Life has developed an ‘absolute game-changer’ (Conscious Conversations Podcast) for managing unwarranted anxiety and turning it into a powerful asset. We are living in the age of anxiety, a situation that often makes us feel as if we are locked into an endless cycle of stress, sleeplessness, and worry. But what if we had a way to leverage our anxiety to help us solve problems and fortify our well-being? What if, instead of seeing anxiety as a curse, we could recognize it for the unique gift that it is? As a neuroscientist, Dr. Wendy Suzuki has discovered a paradigm-shifting truth about anxiety: yes, it is uncomfortable, but it is also essential for our survival. In fact, anxiety is a key component of our ability to live optimally. Every emotion we experience has an evolutionary purpose, and anxiety is designed to draw our attention to a number of negative emotions. If we simply approach anxiety as something to avoid, get rid of, or dampen, we actually miss an opportunity to not only manage the symptoms of anxiety better but also discover ways to improve our lives. Listening to our worries from a place of curiosity, instead of fear, can actually guide us onto a path that leads to joy.”
  • Tweet—”What’s possible when empire is uncertain about its authority? My latest essay ‘Criticism as Proposition’ uses proposition—in all its legal, financial, sexual, & epistemological senses—to revisit unsettled & unsettling questions about freedom.” About Criticism as Proposition by Kaneesha Cherelle Parsard, South Atlantic Quarterly (2022) 121 (1): 91–108—”Proposition is a critical mode of speaking back, a mode of testing alternative timelines and scenes of freedom.”
  • NYPL Announcement: The Library Is Eliminating Fines.”
  • New open access policy within Utrecht University. The road to full open access. Utrecht University aims at a publishing climate in which academic authors publish fully open access (OA). The Executive Board of Utrecht University has agreed to a new OA policy to realise this ambition.”—”At the centre of the policy is that UU researchers are expected to make all their publications (journal articles, book chapters and books) open access under an open licence.”
  • New experiment could confirm the fifth element“—”An experiment which could confirm the fifth state of matter in the universe – and change physics as we know it – has been published in a new paper from the University of Portsmouth. Physicist Dr Melvin Vopson has already published research suggesting that information has mass and that all elementary particles, the smallest known building blocks of the universe, store information about themselves, similar to the way humans have DNA. Now he has designed an experiment – which if proved correct – means he will have discovered that information is the fifth form of matter, alongside solid, liquid, gas and plasma.”
  • Cure worse than the disease: “A robot made of magnetic slime could be deployed inside the body to perform tasks such as retrieving objects swallowed by accident.
  • Microplastics found in human blood for first time. Exclusive: The discovery shows the particles can travel around the body and may lodge in organs.”
  • What is Dark Matter?“—”It is rather embarrassing to admit that over the past century, cosmologists were unable to figure out what most of the matter in the universe is made of. The ordinary matter that we are made of and share with familiar objects like comets, asteroids, planets and interstellar gas, only makes a sixth of the cosmic mass budget of all matter (excluding the vacuum which makes up the dark energy and does not get diluted like matter as the universe expands). The rest is invisible matter, showing no detectable interactions, other than gravity, with ordinary matter.”
  • Hubble Views a Galaxy with an Active Black Hole“—”When astronomers inspected NGC 7172 across the electromagnetic spectrum they quickly discovered that there was more to it than meets the eye: NGC 7172 is a Seyfert galaxy – a type of galaxy with an intensely luminous active galactic nucleus powered by matter accreting onto a supermassive black hole. ”
  • Mystery warriors made the fastest migration in ancient history. The Avar traveled from Mongolia to Hungary in the span of a decade or two, DNA evidence confirms.” Also “Study Reveals Origin of the Mysterious Avars, Who Crushed the Roman Empire“—”The nomadic Avars appeared suddenly in Eastern Europe 1,500 years ago, crushed the remains of the Roman Empire under their boots and ruled for two centuries. Who were they? Now geneticists have sequenced the genomes of dozens of these fearsome invaders. They were, it turns out, Mongolians, who formed an empire centuries before Genghis Khan. More specifically, the Avars were the scions of an ancient tribal empire that spanned modern-day Mongolia as well parts of China and Russia. When that empire fell, part of its population apparently migrated thousands of kilometers in a mere handful of years from the steppes of northeast Asia to the plains of eastern Europe, concludes the study published Friday in the journal Cell.”
  • Arctic simulation of Moon-like habitat shows wellbeing sessions can improve mental health in extreme isolation. Researchers at the University of Surrey and the University of Milano-Bicocca have partnered with SAGA Space Architects to investigate the psychological impact of social isolation in harsh environments, such as on the Moon. This research formed part of the LUNARK project which explored how humans could survive on the Moon and have successful habitats there in the future.”
  • The world’s oldest pants are a 3,000-year-old engineering marvel. Strong in some places and flexible in others, the pants were designed for horseback riding.”
  • Ancient Gas From the Dawn of Time Is Leaking From Earth’s Core. Helium-3 released at Earth’s surface contains tales from the deep planet and the deep past.”
  • Archaeologists explore submerged Maya city. Archaeologists from INAH are conducting a study of a submerged Maya city in Lake Atitlán, Guatemala.”
  • A new place for consciousness in our understanding of the universe. To make sense of mysteries like quantum mechanics and the passage of time, theorists are trying to reformulate physics to include subjective experience as a physical constituent of the world.”
  • Mars crater complex shows layers of ice in stunning spacecraft photos. It’s the largest known impact basin in the solar system.”
  • Watch “NASA’s Perseverance Rover Captures Puff, Whir, Zap Sounds from Mars” Also “What Sounds Captured by NASA’s Perseverance Rover Reveal About Mars. A new study based on recordings made by the rover finds that the speed of sound is slower on the Red Planet than on Earth and that, mostly, a deep silence prevails.”
  • New Revelations Raise Pressure on NASA to Rename the James Webb Space Telescope. E-mailed exchanges show the space agency’s internal struggle to address pleas to change the controversial name of its latest, greatest observatory.”
  • Amazon Workers in Staten Island Clinch a Historic Victory“—”It’s the magical stuff of Disney movies. But yesterday, the improbable became the most probable when the scrappy band of workers who make up the Amazon Labor Union took the lead in a union election at a warehouse in Staten Island, New York, putting within reach a historic labor win at the corporate behemoth.” “It’s the hard work, every day: workers talking to workers. Not just media games, but solidarity, daily analysis, and adjusting as needed. It’s working as a collective, learning together, and teaching each other…That’s how we won.” Also “He was fired by Amazon 2 years ago. Now he’s the force behind the company’s 1st union.” Also, I mean, because, of course they did that: “Leaked: New Amazon Worker Chat App Would Ban Words Like ‘Union,’ ‘Restrooms,’ ‘Pay Raise,’ And ‘Plantation’. Also: ‘Grievance,’ ‘slave labor,’ ‘This is dumb,’ ‘living wage,’ ‘diversity,’ ‘vaccine,’ and others.” Tweet—”BREAKING: David beats Goliath! In a historic victory, Amazon workers in Staten Island win the first U.S. Amazon union.” Tweet—”Reminder that the NYPD worked with Amazon to try, and fail, to stop this union effort.” Tweet—”Amazon Labor Union organizers defied harassment and even arrests. Amazon enlisted the NYPD to arrest organizers. Police told workers: ‘We won, you lost.'” Tweet—”21st century Pinkertons pretty much sums it up.”
  • And this from an asshole who promoted his book with a bullshit and spoiler campaign for President: “Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz Says Companies Are Being ‘Assaulted’ by Unions. Schultz made his remarks on the very same day the company fired a union organizer at a store in Arizona.”
  • Tweet—”Facebook paid a GOP consulting firm to run a smear campaign against TikTok, portraying it as harmful to teens. The firm fed stories to local news outlets that blamed TikTok for bogus viral trends like the ‘Slap a Teacher TikTok challenge.'” Tweet—”Where do you even begin with this? Facebook paid a Republican oppo research firm to smear TikTok including planting fake news in mainstream outlets. Black PR, overseen by @nickclegg, & at this point, journalists need to treat entire press team as disinfo.” Also “Facebook paid Republican strategy firm to malign TikTok. Targeted Victory pushed local operatives across the country to boost messages calling TikTok a threat to American children. “Dream would be to get stories with headlines like ‘From dances to danger,'” one campaign director said.” Thread—”I have SOMETHING TO SAY about this batshit crazy story. Basically: the media LOVES a teen technopanic. The PR firm easily exploited a hundred-year old moral panic over kids and tech. Here’s why.” Tweet—”Not surprising. Meta handles problems through PR tactics rather than focusing on studying and fixing the broken parts that cause real world harm and undermine societies and communities. Time to regulate. Facebook paid GOP firm to malign TikTok.” Tweet—”Facebook executive who spent 11 years there and left in 2020:” Tweet—”Not surprising. Meta handles problems through PR tactics rather than focusing on studying and fixing the broken parts that cause real world harm and undermine societies and communities. Time to regulate. Facebook paid GOP firm to malign TikTok.”
  • Facebook drives sceptics towards climate denial“—”Facebook has repeatedly said it wants to combat climate disinformation on its platform – but our investigation shows how worryingly easy it is for its users to be led down a dangerous path that flies in the face of both science & reality.”
  • Virtual Influencers: The Next Generation of Information Warfare?“—”Enter the ‘virtual influencers’ – computer-generated, deep-fake avatars that behave in the same way as human social media personalities, online brand ambassadors, or content creators, aside from the fact they are wholly fictitious creations.”
  • Niantic makes another acquisition, absorbing AR studio NZXR“—”Just a month after its last acquisition of the WebAR development platform 8th Wall, Niantic announced its purchase of New Zealand-based augmented reality studio NZXR today. These strategic acquisitions are part of Niantic’s overarching plan to build what it calls a ‘real-world metaverse,’ which is dependent on AR rather than VR.”
  • Meet Spot, the Dog-Like Robot Roaming the Ruins of Pompeii. The bot, built by Boston Dynamics, can navigate difficult terrains that humans can’t access safely.” Also “Pompeii to Be Patrolled by Robot Dog. Four-legged robot will crawl into small passages and corners to inspect them for damage.” Also watch—”A Robot Dog Now Guards the Ancient Streets of Pompeii.” Also tweet—”canis automatus urbem antiquam iam custodit.”
  • Great Scott! DeLorean sets a date for its electric resurrection (again). An electric concept car will be revealed later this year.”
  • Is Streaming Just Becoming Cable Again? Julia Alexander Thinks So. Plus, Disney’s battle of the Bobs.”
  • Shaun Keaveny’s journey from the BBC to DIY radio: ‘It’s been a huge liberation’. Once a leading light at the BBC with his much-loved 6 Music show, Shaun Keaveny is now presenting from a cramped studio to a much smaller audience. But he wouldn’t have it any other way…”
  • More fallout from Google starting to enforce the payment system rules post-Epic: “Barnes & Noble Removes Purchases From Nook for Android. As well as the Lenovo-made Nook tablet.”
  • Virtual reality can induce mild and transient symptoms of depersonalization and derealization, study finds“—”New research sheds light on how virtual reality (VR) can influence a person’s sense of reality. The findings have been published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior. There have been some preliminary indications that the use of VR technology can induce feelings of alienation towards one’s own self and a feeling of detachment from reality — phenomena known as depersonalization and derealization, respectively. To provide a clearer understanding of VR’s true effects, the authors of the new study conducted a longitudinal randomized control trial. ‘Since VR is a technology that can strongly influence people’s experience of reality, at least during VR exposure, we wondered whether VR might also affect their experience of reality towards the ‘real world’ after VR exposure,’ explained study author Niclas Braun, the head of the Virtual Reality Therapy and Medical Technology research group at the University of Bonn.”
  • Instagram Does Not Care About Witches & Pagans“—”They know better and still don’t care. What can be done? Mark Zuckerberg has proven time and time again he doesn’t give two shits about protecting his users or making any meaningful changes in his products. And I’d love to tell you that we should all boycott services like Instagram, but for many authors social media has become THE way to promote books and events. (I signed up to write books, not make Reels for Instagram and TikTok videos, but that’s part of the deal now.) Hopefully complaining and complaining loudly might have some affect, but I’m not holding my breath.”
  • Tweet—”some takeaways: -if you submit your fanart and don’t win, blizzard can do whatever they want with your submission for eternity and have no obligation to pay you -there’s no profit sharing XD -blizzard made $1.8 billion in 2021, maybe they should pay winners more than $500.”
  • Google looks to be building Bluetooth tracker detection directly into Android“—”Given people’s concerns, it would be a good idea for the industry to come together on an interoperable solution.”
  • Jack Dorsey regrets his role in creating a centralized internet. Mistakes were made.” And now an oligarch comes marching in … and buys both the largest shareholder stake in Twitter and a place on the board.
  • I have long Covid and despair that the UK government ignores its blight. I’m 23 and have been seriously ill for a year. Why don’t we spend more on treating this debilitating disease?”
  • Tweet—”‘Wolf!’, cried the shepherd boy. ‘That’s no wolf,’ said the townspeople. ‘Go away. We have commerce to do.’ The wolf ate and ate. ‘Wolf!’, cried the boy. The townspeople looked at the bloody carcasses in the pasture. ‘Those sheep died, but not necessarily from the wolf.'”
  • A New Wave of Covid-19 Is Coming. Here’s How to Prepare. Taking these seven steps now can lower your risk and minimize the disruption to your family’s life.”—”Pay attention to Covid indicators in your community … Have high-quality masks on hand … Order home Covid tests sooner rather than later … Get a booster (when you’re eligible) … Get a pulse oximeter … Make a plan for antiviral drug treatment … Have backup plans for social events and travel …
  • Masks, Mark Twain, and Madness“—”I like to think of rabbit holes as explorations without a question in pursuit of information that isn’t an answer. This is how I maintain the guardrails of delightful inquiry. With this in mind, I want to share a story about a fascinating and bizarre rabbit hole I recently fell down.”
  • Justice for All. Grandpa Pickleball, Alvin Bragg, Donald Trump, Kalief Browder, and a personal story.”
  • Guard at Jewish School Secretly Wanted to Open Fire on Students, Cops Say. Thomas Develin allegedly posted a photo of himself on Discord holding a firearm while working at Columbus Torah Academy.”
  • Arizona GOP candidate revels in outrage after releasing vile ad depicting political violence“—”A GOP Senate candidate who was among the 11 Arizona Republicans who signed a forged electors document has released a violent campaign ad where he shoots at actors representing President Joe Biden, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and Sen. Mark Kelly, whose wife—former Rep. Gabby Giffords—survived a brutal assassination attempt in 2011.”
  • Watch “Lawrence: McConnell Knows Evidence Against Justice Thomas Is ‘Damning’.” Also “Inside Ginni Thomas’ ‘Insane’ Hiring Memos for Trump. Ginni Thomas’ suggested hires included known bigots and at least one suspected foreign spy, sources say.”—”We all knew that within minutes after Ginni left her meeting with the president, he would start yelling about firing people for being disloyal… When Ginni Thomas showed up, you knew your day was wrecked.” Also “Inside the consulting firm run by Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Virginia ‘Ginni’ Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, runs a little-known consulting company. Some campaign watchdog groups say it could create yet another conflict of interest for her husband. ‘It’s very problematic,’ Richard Painter, chief White House ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush administration, told CNBC in a recent phone interview in response to Thomas’ private consulting work.” Also thread—”I knew Ginni Thomas. Ginni Thomas was in a cult (the large group awareness training cult, Lifespring). Here she is in 1989 speaking at an event I hosted for former members. Until today, almost NO one has seen this video.” “Sadly, the people who helped deprogram Ginni were also apparently involved in right-wing causes. As is the case with SO many former members, she was overly susceptible and went from one cult to another (The Cult of Trump).” Also, from 1991: “The Nominees’s Soul Mate.”
  • Tweet—”People are talking about ‘key bumps,’ and so we have a duty to tell you some things about this.” Tweet—”omfg. You’ve lost control of the scandal when the dictionary is tweeting about it.”
  • Five fetuses found at home of anti-abortion activist, DC Police say. Lauren Handy and eight others were indicted this week on felony charges stemming from the 2020 invasion of an abortion clinic.” Tweet—”Now now, let’s be fair to Lauren Handy. By her own argument those are CHILDREN; police found five DEAD CHILDREN in Lauren Handy’s coolers.” Tweet—”Reading more about the fetus hoarder and apparently they’re a nonbinary catholic anarchist militant anti-abortion activist. All I can say is: you people aren’t trying hard enough on here. This is bespoke ideology at levels I haven’t seen in years.”
  • How the far-right is turning feminists into fascists. ANALYSIS: The terrifying confluence of anti-trans thinkers, American evangelicals, anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists and global purveyors of dark money poses a much bigger threat than you might realize.”—”It’s a grim irony that, by insisting on a ‘feminism’ without any trans women in it, TERFs have wound up constructing the tool by which fascists aim to destroy feminism altogether.” Also tweet—”Doyle’s conclusion is sobering–and in line with what I and other trans people have been saying in various ways–but still it’s chilling to see it all laid out like this. Transphobia is merely a scalpel being used to sever people from their empathy for *all* kinds of groups.”
  • Tweet—”VICTORY! The Biden-Harris Administration (@WhiteHouse) announced it is implementing policy changes that we’ve been advocating for since NCTE was founded. Here are changes trans people will see to passports, TSA, social security, and more:” “FACT SHEET: Biden-⁠Harris Administration Advances Equality and Visibility for Transgender Americans.”
  • Thread—”Happy #TransDayOfVisibility to the first transwoman mentioned by name in the Bible: Eve. Made from Adam (who was presumably XY), God took that XY rib & performed a miraculous act of SRS, making Eve into a woman. That is, if you interpret the Bible story literally. ?️‍⚧️”
  • The Growing Overlap Between The Far-Right And Environmentalism“—”Researchers say the intersection between far-right movements and environmentalism is bigger than many people realize — and it’s growing. Blair Taylor, researcher at the Institute for Social Ecology, explains. Alex Amend, who researches eco-fascism, says climate change will only fuel the link between the far-right and environmentalism. Dorceta Taylor of Yale University traces the rise of the American conversation movement, which was partly motivated by a backlash against the racial mixing of American cities. Hop Hopkins of the Sierra Club opens up about racism in the organization’s past.”
  • Tweet—”Many of us really believe this is a fringe movement. It is not. Those faces and raised hands and bowed heads are Americans all over the country determined to keep the country white. It is not just politics. It is religion. The religion of white supremacy.”
  • The Russian Patriarch Just Gave His Most Dangerous Speech Yet — and Almost No One in The West Has Noticed.” Also “Patriarch urges soldiers to defend ‘peace-loving’ Russia amid Ukraine campaign.”
  • Thread—”The infamous ‘ideologist of the Russian World’ Aleksandr Dugin has given a long interview to the Russian tabloid MK. If anyone in Russia has given up on capturing Kyiv, it is definitely not Dugin. A ?, if you can stomach it.”
  • Ukraine: Apparent War Crimes in Russia-Controlled Areas. Summary Executions, Other Grave Abuses by Russian Forces.” Also “Bodies of mutilated children among horrors the Russians left behind.” Also thread—”Photos of murdered civilians in Irpin and Bucha by Russian troops recall the mass killings by Soviet and Nazi regimes. This is not a battlefield, it’s a crime scene. Mass killings of Ukrainian civilians by #Russia are clear war crimes. 1/3.” Also “Ex-UN prosecutor urges global arrest warrant for Putin.” Also tweet—”No judgements, only evidence. Post office in Mozyr, Belarus. 3 hours of security camera footage. An endless queue of russian soldiers who have just returned from Kyiv region and are sending home what they’ve looted in Ukraine.”
  • Thread—”One month before Russia invaded Ukraine, I stood trial at the High Court. And now I wait, in purgatory, to be judged. But I believe this trial and the silence around it – & all the Kremlin’s men – has revealed something profoundly rotten at the heart of the British state. 1/”
  • Russia – Ukraine war: Storylines that will determine the course of events.”
  • Russia invaded Ukraine. Then Spotify users bombarded the music scene with violent, pro-war messages.”
  • Why Putin’s Russia is Becoming This Era’s Nazi Germany. How Putin’s Russia Went From Failed State to Fascist State.”
  • Putin misled by advisers on Ukraine, US intel determines.” Tweet—”Even in spaceflight, Russians are taught to not accept responsibility for their actions but to come up with excuses and to blame others for their mistakes. I called it, ‘Blamesmithing,’ and write about it in my books. It is pervasive in Russian society.” Pretty much the same as any corporate earnings report.
  • US investment firms prop up ad revenue for Russian propaganda sites“—”A big part of online disinformation and online propaganda is that it’s quite profitable financially…And so cutting off that revenue stream, I think, is very important.”
  • How to Defeat Putin and Save the Planet. The technology is here. We can now put Putin over a barrel. It is just a matter of leadership and national will.”—”As long as we’re addicted to oil, we are always going to be begging someone, usually a bad guy, to move the price up or down, because we alone are not masters of our own fate. This has got to stop.”
  • As Russia Plots Its Next Move, an AI Listens to the Chatter. With vast amounts of data becoming available to intelligence analysts, new tools will help them sift and interpret it all—but they will introduce new risks, too.”
  • Seven Worst-Case Scenarios From the War in Ukraine. Most conflicts end quickly, but this one looks increasingly like it won’t. The repercussions could range from global stagflation to World War III.”—”Even now, after five weeks of war notable for the heroic success of the Ukrainian defenders against the Russian invaders, I still cannot quite rid myself of the uneasy feeling that this is merely the opening act of a much larger tragedy.”
  • Tweet—”Read this story till the end. During WWII some children were making diaries from concentration camps & occupied cities by nazis. History is repeating. This is a diary of Katya, a 16 years old girl from Mariupol, whose mother died in the basement??”
  • A Tradition of Violence 
The History of Deputy Gangs in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. A 15-part investigative series by Cerise Castle.”
  • L.A. County’s sheriff has a strange obsession with how much media coverage Black people get. Sitting down with Times columnist Gustavo Arellano, L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva taps into a toxic vein of resentment politics.”
  • The New Law Enforcement Spending Spree Is Already Underway“—”Some have claimed this new spending is a necessary response to the defund movement—which, again, did not actually defund the police. If this is the justification, police apparently deserve more money just because people dared to suggest they should get less.”
  • Tweet—”A majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana. I voted in support of the MORE Act because no one should be behind bars for minor possession charges. It’s beyond time to decriminalize marijuana.” Also “U.S. House Of Representatives Passes Federal Cannabis Legalization Bill MORE Act.” Tweet—”202 republicans just voted against legalizing marijuana. It’s a good thing they are not getting into heaven because I am the Most High God.”
  • House Democrats vote to make insulin affordable for people with insurance, 193 Republicans oppose it.”—”The Affordable Insulin Now Act passed in the House Thursday, 232-193. One-hundred-and-ninety-three Republicans are opposed to the more than 30 million Americans with diabetes being able to afford the drug that their lives depend upon. Just 12 House Republicans thought that was a good idea.”
  • Texas student compared to Soviet communist for not saying pledge wins $90K, group says.”
  • Texas superintendent tells librarians to pull books on sexuality, transgender people. The Granbury superintendent’s comments, made on a leaked recording, raise constitutional concerns, legal experts said.”
  • She Took the White House Photos. Trump Moved to Take the Profit. The former chief White House photographer made plans to publish a book of Trump photos. The former president had other plans.”—”The former chief White House photographer made plans to publish a book of Trump photos. The former president asked her for a cut of her book advance payment and asked her to wait until he published his own book, former associates said.”
  • The Real Yacht Rock: Inside the Lavish, Top-Secret World of Private Gigs. One-percenters worldwide are hiring everyone from Beyoncé to Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath to play their homes, parties, or weddings. Experts say the trend is just getting started.”
  • What a Surge in Union Organizing Means for Food and Farm Workers. Amid historic protests, walkouts, and union votes, the pandemic put the impacts of income inequality on stark display—and galvanized a movement.”
  • Thread—”A year ago, a non-academic friend listened to a talk I gave. I thought it went great. My friend disagreed. She said that academics are experts at making interesting stuff boring—and that we should all take a speech class. So I did. And here are 6 most useful things I learned.” “1. Practice speaking in your natural voice.” “2. Break up your talk.” “3. Don’t cram in material.” “4. Research the setting.” “5. End early.” “6. Prepare two conclusion statements.”
  • Pope apologises to indigenous Canadians for wrongs at residential schools.” Tweet—”Pope Francis’ apology for the Roman Catholic Church’s role in operating residential schools in Canada would not have happened without the advocacy of Survivors. To those who shared their truths, and relived their painful memories with bravery and determination: Thank you.”
  • After 350 years, the Rappahannock Tribe Gets Land Back“—”We have worked for many years to restore this sacred place to the Tribe. With eagles being prayer messengers, this area where they gather has always been a place of natural, cultural and spiritual importance.”
  • California task force: Reparations for direct descendants of enslaved people only. California’s first-in-the-nation task force to identify reparations for African Americans voted Tuesday to limit eligibility to those who can trace their lineage.” Tweet—”Y’all. A major component of chattel slavery was the tacit, implicit, and direct erasure of records of people’s lineages.” See “Lost Lineage: The quest to identify black Americans’ roots. For black Americans, “Where did I come from?” is a uniquely difficult question to answer. Some are trying to change that.”—”Genealogists refer to this as ‘the brick wall,’ an obstruction in African American lineage that dates to 1870 when the federal Census began recording African descendants — 250 years after they were first hauled in chains to what would become..”
  • AMC Networks’ Female-Led ‘Killing Eve’ Premieres Final Season“—”I think people have really enjoyed seeing female characters act without shame, and without boundaries, and doing the things that make them feel good”
  • Thousands of employees are testing a 4-day workweek starting today: ‘It’s inevitable we’ll see bigger companies doing this’“—”Thousands of workers across the U.S. are enjoying their first Friday off for the next six months in an experiment to test a four-day workweek. It’s part of a worldwide effort launched by 4 Day Week Global, a nonprofit associated with the University of Oxford that helps companies execute and measure the impact of a four-day workweek. This year, 38 companies in the U.S. and Canada are taking part in the program, with most running from April 1 through September. Participants and observers around the world hope that if this six-month experiment works out, a four-day workweek could become a reality for a lot more people.”
  • Film Of Prince At Age 11 Discovered In Archival Footage Of 1970 Minneapolis Teachers Strike“—”Deep in the WCCO film archives are hundreds, if not thousands of opportunities to travel back in time. And on one reel a treasure lay hidden, untouched, for 52 years. The date was April 1970. Minneapolis Public Schools educators went on strike.”
  • Tweet—”because it’s the weekend, and I clearly have too much time on my hands. I present Battle of the Brontës, the rpg about dismal weather and incredibly talented sisters.”
  • Unfinished Business. Announcing a New Expansion for Star Wars: Outer Rim.”—”Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce Unfinished Business, the long-awaited expansion for Star Wars™: Outer Rim! This expansion comes packed with new content for this terrific game, more than doubling the number of cards in the game and featuring more of everything that made the base game so special, as well as some exciting new features for you to enjoy. With more encounters to confront, more things to do, and more characters to meet (and play as), this expansion is an absolute must-have for any fan of Outer Rim.”
  • On Netflix: “Thermae Romae Novae. A proud bath architect in ancient Rome starts randomly surfacing in present-day Japan, where he’s inspired by the many bathing innovations he finds.”
  • Goodbye E3, the Trade Show That Changed My Life. How a plucky 14-year-old nerd convinced his parents to meet a bunch of online strangers in Atlanta—and it changed everything.”
  • The world’s oldest dessert?. Although chickpeas and beans don’t usually belong in a pudding, they are core ingredients in one of the oldest – and, some say, one of the most delicious – desserts in the world.”