Omnium Gatherum: 13apr2022

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for April 13, 2022.

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

  • Etsy sellers launch a week-long strike over increased fees.” Tweet—”Etsy was originally created for artisans to sell their wares, but it’s been shifting for into a marketplace for mass-produced goods. Individual artists who can’t or don’t want to be larger businesses are getting burned by the policy changes. #EtsyStrike”
  • ALI KAZIM. Suspended in Time. FREE EXHIBITION. Open until 26 Jun 2022. Gallery 8. Admission is FREE.”—”This exhibition is informed by the time Ali Kazim, one of the most exciting artists working in Pakistan today, spent in the Ashmolean. During a residency in 2019, Kazim spent days browsing through the Museum’s South Asian collection, examining several objects up close. Kazim’s engagement with the material and visual traditions – for example, how a small clay sculpture or a fingerprint can connect us, directly and viscerally, to the people who originally made and used them – encourages us in turn to reflect on how the past informs and influences the present.”
  • Meet the Crypto Witches Demystifying NFTs. Mystical practitioners are making names for themselves in Web3.”—”What is a DAO if not a kind of technological coven?”
  • Tweet—”From Merlin to the Middle Ages to the modern day, the mysterious world of magic has played a large role in the lives of British monarchs and politicians, from Richard II to Tony Blair. We were joined by @DrFrancisYoung to discuss MERLIN, MAGIC AND THE BRITISH – listen below” for the podcast at Spotify, Apple, Acast. About Magic in Merlin’s Realm: A History of Occult Politics in Britain [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Francis Young—”Belief in magic was, until relatively recent times, widespread in Britain; yet the impact of such belief on determinative political events has frequently been overlooked. In his wide-ranging new book, Francis Young explores the role of occult traditions in the history of the island of Great Britain: Merlin’s realm. He argues that while the great magus and artificer invented by Geoffrey of Monmouth was a powerful model for a succession of actual royal magical advisers (including Roger Bacon and John Dee), monarchs nevertheless often lived in fear of hostile sorcery while at other times they even attempted magic themselves. Successive governments were simultaneously fascinated by astrology and alchemy, yet also deeply wary of the possibility of treasonous spellcraft. Whether deployed in warfare, rebellion or propaganda, occult traditions were of central importance to British history and, as the author reveals, these dark arts of magic and politics remain entangled to this day.”
  • Private Notebooks 1914-1916 [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Ludwig Wittgenstein ed trans Marjorie Perloff—”Written in code under constant threat of battle, Wittgenstein’s searing and illuminating diaries finally emerge in this first-ever English translation. During the pandemic, Marjorie Perloff, one of our foremost scholars of global literature, found her mind ineluctably drawn to the profound commentary on life and death in the wartime diaries of eminent philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889–1951). Upon learning that these notebooks, which richly contextualize the early stages of his magnum opus, the Tractatus-Logico-Philosophicus, had never before been published in English, the Viennese-born Perloff determinedly set about translating them. Beginning with the anxious summer of 1914, this historic, en-face edition presents the first-person recollections of a foot soldier in the Austrian Army, fresh from his days as a philosophy student at Cambridge, who must grapple with the hazing of his fellow soldiers, the stirrings of a forbidden sexuality, and the formation of an explosive analytical philosophy that seemed to draw meaning from his endless brushes with death. Much like Tolstoy’s The Gospel in Brief, Private Notebooks takes us on a personal journey to discovery as it augments our knowledge of Wittgenstein himself.”
  • Book: ‘Writings on Art and Poetical Theory’ by Fernando Pessoa – Editor’s Note.” About Writings on Art & Poetical Theory [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Fernando Pessoa, eds. Nuno Ribeiro and Cláudia Souza—”Writings on Art and Poetical Theory contains a selection of Fernando Pessoa’s writings (or those of his heteronyms) on art and poetical theory, originally written in English. In Pessoa’s oeuvre one finds not only literary and fictional works but also a multiplicity of theoretical texts on the most diverse subjects concerning artistic movements, literature, and writers. In this book, we witness Pessoa explore, through various heteronyms, general theories on poetics, the poetries of other heteronyms, the uses and abuses of criticism, and more. Also included are essays on sensationism (an aesthetic movement Pessoa dubs a new species of Weltanschauung), translation, and a brief history of English literature, which is comprised of fragments on Shakespeare, Milton, the British Romantics, Dickens, Wilde, and others, as well as additional material, such as Pessoa’s own poem Antinous. This edition, prepared by Nuno Ribeiro and Cláudia Souza, allows us to have an overview of Pessoa’s writings on art and poetic theory – most of which are presented here for the first time to English readers -, thus opening the way for future studies on one of the most significant authors of Portuguese modernism.”
  • In Praise of Good Bookstores [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Jeff Deutsch—”From a devoted reader and lifelong bookseller, an eloquent and charming reflection on the singular importance of bookstores. Do we need bookstores in the twenty-first century? If so, what makes a good one? In this beautifully written book, Jeff Deutsch–the director of Chicago’s Seminary Co-op Bookstores, one of the finest bookstores in the world–pays loving tribute to one of our most important and endangered civic institutions. He considers how qualities like space, time, abundance, and community find expression in a good bookstore. Along the way, he also predicts–perhaps audaciously–a future in which the bookstore not only endures, but realizes its highest aspirations. In exploring why good bookstores matter, Deutsch draws on his lifelong experience as a bookseller, but also his upbringing as an Orthodox Jew. This spiritual and cultural heritage instilled in him a reverence for reading, not as a means to a living, but as an essential part of a meaningful life. Central among Deutsch’s arguments for the necessity of bookstores is the incalculable value of browsing–since, when we are deep in the act of looking at the shelves, we move through space as though we are inside the mind itself, immersed in self-reflection In the age of one-click shopping, this is no ordinary defense of bookstores, but rather an urgent account of why they are essential places of discovery, refuge, and fulfillment that enrich the communities that are lucky enough to have them.”
  • Corporate Rock Sucks: The Rise and Fall of SST Records [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Jim Ruland—”A no-holds-barred narrative history of the iconic label that brought the world Black Flag, Hüsker Dü, Sonic Youth, Soundgarden, and more, by the co-author of Do What You Want and My Damage. Greg Ginn started SST Records in the sleepy beach town of Hermosa Beach, CA, to supply ham radio enthusiasts with tuners and transmitters. But when Ginn wanted to launch his band, Black Flag, no one was willing to take them on. Determined to bring his music to the masses, Ginn turned SST into a record label. On the back of Black Flag’s relentless touring, guerilla marketing, and refusal to back down, SST became the sound of the underground. In Corporate Rock Sucks, music journalist Jim Ruland relays the unvarnished story of SST Records, from its remarkable rise in notoriety to its infamous downfall. With records by Black Flag, Minutemen, Hüsker Dü, Bad Brains, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr, Screaming Trees, Soundgarden, and scores of obscure yet influential bands, SST was the most popular indie label by the mid-80s–until a tsunami of legal jeopardy, financial peril, and dysfunctional management brought the empire tumbling down. Throughout this investigative deep-dive, Ruland leads readers through SST’s tumultuous history and epic catalog. Featuring never-before-seen interviews with the label’s former employees, as well as musicians, managers, producers, photographers, video directors, and label heads, Corporate Rock Sucks presents a definitive narrative history of the ’80s punk and alternative rock scenes, and shows how the music industry was changed forever.”
  • I’d mentioned this before, with Kafka and Parmenides set to music, but didn’t have direct links. Here it is: The Understanding of All Things by Kate Soper & Sam Pluta.
  • H C Andersen Hus—”The world as you know it? A visit to H.C. Andersen House is a surprising and fascinating journey into the author’s creative universe – and his world-famous fairy tales. Beauty merges with imagination at the museum, where world-class architecture and spaces bring nature indoors, and provoke us to turn things on their head and speculate about today and tomorrow. Via sound, light, space and scenery designed in collaboration with 12 international artists, in this innovative exhibition, we experience Andersen and his works speak to us. Our imagination is our only compass. We each create our own adventure! Once upon a time… Into the fairy-tale universe. As a visitor, your will experience a fairy-tale universe that is physically deep underground and encapsulated deep in your mind. From the moment you step into the building, the exhibition whisks you farther away from the familiar and ever deeper into Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales, where everything we believe we recognise shows us new sides of itself. On this journey, you will find that the architecture weaves with its magical gardens – to create an unique experience, borne on the wings of unprecedented creative genius and humour. Take time to visit DEILIG, our eatery, run by Meyer’s. DEILIG produces delicious food experiences inspired by the life of the author and his fairy tales – for the many rather than the few and for adults and children alike. Every aspect of H.C. Andersen House has a story to tell – and you are part of that story.”
  • Tweet—”Buy physical copies of any book you plan to read in the future. Do it now.” Also “Content Landlords and the Looming Eviction of American Libraries“—”Netflix and many other content landlords want to force you to pay rent instead of being able to own your home. This makes them more money. And as soon as you can’t pay, they change your locks and take your home from you. When you buy a book, you own it. You pay a pretty penny for it, and after you’re done reading, it’s yours to sell, use in an art project, donate, or lend to friends. That’s how it’s always worked. Or that’s how it used to work… Content landlords are now spending millions to change the rules and convince the public it works differently.” Tweet—”This is why it’s so important that the @internetarchive’s non-profit @openlibrary protects your privacy and gives you control of what you read & record.” Tweet—”As a librarian, I think people need to be aware that what you choose to read is personal information (Librarians have gone to prison to protect patron info). If you’re buying digital, your data is being cataloged. #privacymatters” When I developed an OPAC/ILS system, one of the requested features was a way to set an option to automatically delete patron history to help make sure it couldn’t be taken.
  • The evidence is clear: the time for action is now. We can halve emissions by 2030.“—”In the scenarios we assessed, limiting warming to around 1.5°C (2.7°F) requires global greenhouse gas emissions to peak before 2025 at the latest, and be reduced by 43% by 2030; at the same time, methane would also need to be reduced by about a third. Even if we do this, it is almost inevitable that we will temporarily exceed this temperature threshold but could return to below it by the end of the century. ‘It’s now or never, if we want to limit global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F),’ said Skea. ‘Without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, it will be impossible.’ The global temperature will stabilise when carbon dioxide emissions reach net zero. For 1.5°C (2.7°F), this means achieving net zero carbon dioxide emissions globally in the early 2050s; for 2°C (3.6°F), it is in the early 2070s. This assessment shows that limiting warming to around 2°C (3.6°F) still requires global greenhouse gas emissions to peak before 2025 at the latest, and be reduced by a quarter by 2030.”
  • ‘It’s happening now’: how rising sea levels are causing a US migration crisis. The coming mass migration of flood-prone areas will have huge social and economic costs – but the government doesn’t have an adequate plan.”
  • Psilocybin Therapy Changes Brain Wiring in Depressed People, Study Finds. In clinical trials, people taking psilocybin showed changes in brain patterns associated with depression.”
  • Yale scientists uncover key regulator of body weight“—”Yale scientists have discovered that a protein known as augmentor-alpha regulates body weight in mice, an insight that could lead to new treatments for metabolic disorders.”
  • So, treatment by leeches is a thing again? “Regular blood and plasma donation reduces firefighters’ PFAS levels“—”Regular blood or plasma donations can reduce levels of PFAS in the blood, according to a world-first clinical trial from Macquarie University and Fire Rescue Victoria published in JAMA Network Open.This is the first time an intervention has been found to reduce PFAS levels.”
  • Biodegradable gel boosts immune system’s attack on several cancers in mice“—”A new biodegradable gel improves the immune system’s ability to keep cancer at bay after tumors are surgically removed. The gel, tested in mice, releases drugs and special antibodies that simultaneously deplete immune-blocking cells called macrophages from the surgical site and activate T cells so they can attack cancer.” Also “Stanford engineers develop a simple delivery method that enhances a promising cancer treatment. A gel composed of only two ingredients can provide a temporary, hospitable environment that helps activate modified immune cells to attack cancerous tumors.”
  • In ‘Plant Armor’ Crop Cover, Insects Have to Navigate Textile Maze“—”North Carolina State University researchers designed a textile “Plant Armor” that forces insects to navigate a maze-like path if they try to reach a plant. The design was more effective at blocking insects from reaching cabbage plants in multiple experiments, compared with an alternative crop cover.”
  • First Light achieves world first fusion result, proving unique new target technology. Fusion shown with projectile approach for first time, validated by UKAEA. Breakthrough achieved faster and cheaper than traditional fusion approaches. Unique target approach offers simpler pathway to low-cost fusion energy using existing plant technology. Projectile approach enables a high-margin consumables business model with an addressable market in the hundreds of billions.”
  • Nerve Stimulation with the Help of Implantable Mini Solar Cells. An international research team has successfully developed and tested a concept in which nerves are stimulated with light pulses. The method provides considerable advantages for medicine and opens up a wide range of possible applications.”
  • Treating Diabetes Without Drugs? Novel Non-pharmacologic Treatments on the Horizon.”—”A multi-institutional team including Yale School of Medicine (YSM) has demonstrated the ability to use ultrasound to stimulate specific neurometabolic pathways in the body to prevent or reverse the onset of type 2 diabetes in three different preclinical models. ”
  • Sunlight’s Healing Effects Help Green Sea Turtles With Tumors“—”A new study by Florida Atlantic University researchers is literally shedding “light” on a way to improve the health of endangered green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) prone to a disease called fibropapillomatosis. Affecting about 60 percent of sea turtles in some sub-populations, juveniles are most susceptible to this disease that causes the growth of large debilitating tumors on the skin, eyes and shell. Turtles with fibropapillomatosis are treated at rehabilitation facilities where the tumors are surgically removed. Unfortunately, many of them do not survive or the tumors regrow. One solution to helping this population of sea turtles could be as simple as sunlight.”
  • World’s first LED lights developed from rice husks“—”Milling rice to separate the grain from the husks produces about 100 million tons of rice husk waste globally each year. Scientists searching for a scalable method to fabricate quantum dots have developed a way to recycle rice husks to create the first silicon quantum dot (QD) LED light. Their new method transforms agricultural waste into state-of-the-art light-emitting diodes in a low-cost, environmentally friendly way.”
  • Alzheimer’s brain barrier damage theory could pave way for new treatments“—”Alzheimer’s Disease could be caused by damage to a protective barrier in the body that allows fatty substances to build up in the brain, newly published research argues. A new explanation called the “Lipid Invasion Model,” argues that lipids entering the brain due to damage to the blood brain barrier—a dense system of small blood vessels in the brain that allow only a small number of essential substances to pass through—is the determining cause of the degenerative disease that affects millions worldwide.”
  • New CAR T-cell Therapy for Solid Tumors Was Safe and Showed Early Efficacy. An mRNA Vaccine Was Combined With CAR T Cells That Target Tumor Cells Expressing the CLDN6 Antigen.”
  • Penn Researchers Discover New Cell Type in Human Lung with Regenerative Properties. Findings shine light on underpinnings of COPD, pave new direction for future research on treatments.”—”A new type of cell that resides deep within human lungs and may play a key role in human lung diseases has been discovered by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The researchers, who report their findings today in Nature, analyzed human lung tissue to identify the new cells, which they call respiratory airway secretory cells (RASCs). The cells line tiny airway branches, deep in the lungs, near the alveoli structures where oxygen is exchanged for carbon dioxide. The scientists showed that RASCs have stem-cell-like properties enabling them to regenerate other cells that are essential for the normal functioning of alveoli. They also found evidence that cigarette smoking and the common smoking-related ailment called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can disrupt the regenerative functions of RASCs—hinting that correcting this disruption could be a good way to treat COPD. ”
  • Converting solar energy to electricity on demand. The researchers behind an energy system that makes it possible to capture solar energy, store it for up to eighteen years and release it when and where it is needed have now taken the system a step further. After previously demonstrating how the energy can be extracted as heat, they have now succeeded in getting the system to produce electricity, by connecting it to a thermoelectric generator. Eventually, the research – developed at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden – could lead to self-charging electronics using stored solar energy on demand.”
  • Ride Spinfusors into SPAAaaaAAAaaaCE! SpinLaunch—”SpinLaunch is an innovative new space technology company that has created an alternative method for putting 200 kilogram class satellites into low earth orbit. Unlike traditional fuel-based rockets, SpinLaunch uses a ground-based, electric powered kinetic launch system that delivers a substantially less expensive and environmentally sustainable approach to space access.” Watch “SpinLaunch“—”See the entire process of launching a payload into LEO with our Mass Accelerator”
  • And here’s the catcher’s mitt: “Rocket Lab to Attempt First Mid-Air Helicopter Capture of the Electron Rocket During Next Mission.”
  • Hubble Confirms Largest Comet Nucleus Ever Seen“—”The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has determined the size of the largest icy comet nucleus ever seen by astronomers.” “That’s no small feat from something roughly 4.8 billion kilometres away. Though the nucleus is estimated to be as large as 135 kilometres across, it is so far away it cannot be resolved by Hubble. Its size is derived from its reflectivity as measured by Hubble. The nucleus is estimated to be as black as charcoal. The nucleus area is gleaned from radio observations.”
  • Megamaser “Nkalakatha” discovered by astronomers using MeerKAT“—”Using the MeerKAT radio telescope, a team of researchers from the University of the Western Cape, the University of Cape Town, Rhodes University, the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory and the South African Astronomical Observatory together with colleagues from twelve other countries have discovered a powerful megamaser – a radio-wavelength laser indicative of colliding galaxies. This is the most distant such megamaser found so far.” Also “Pew, pew! Scientists detect record-breaking ‘megamaser’ 5 billion light-years away. Meet Nkalakatha, or ‘big boss.'”
  • Researchers may have discovered a galaxy barely younger than the Big Bang. HD1 might have existed 13.5 billion years ago.”
  • Neptune just experienced an unexplained temperature shift“—”Nearly 100 thermal images of Neptune taken since then showed that much of Neptune gradually cooled, dropping by 14 degrees Fahrenheit (8 degrees Celsius) between 2003 and 2018.” “Then, a dramatic warming event occurred at Neptune’s south pole between 2018 and 2020 and temperatures rose by 20 degrees Fahrenheit (11 degrees Celsius). This warm polar vortex completely reversed any cooling that occurred before.”
  • From 2018: “Through two doors. How a sunbeam split in two became physics’ most elegant experiment, shedding light on the underlying nature of reality.”
  • Scientists find fossil of dinosaur ‘killed on day of asteroid strike’. Remains of thescelosaurus in North Dakota believed to date back to extinction of species 66m years ago.”—”Scientists believe they have been given an extraordinary view of the last day of the dinosaurs after they discovered the fossil of an animal they believe died that day. The perfectly preserved leg, which even includes remnants of the animal’s skin, can be accurately dated to the time the asteroid that brought about the dinosaurs’ extinction struck Earth 66m years ago, experts say, because of the presence of debris from the impact, which rained down only in its immediate aftermath. ‘It’s absolutely bonkers,’ said Phillip Manning, a professor of natural history at the University of Manchester. He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the thescelosaurus leg discovered at the Tanis dig site in North Dakota was the ‘ultimate dinosaur drumstick’.”
  • Project “Zuck Bucks”: Meta plans virtual coin after cryptocurrency flop. Meta seeks alternate revenue streams as popularity of its products plummets.”
  • Elon Musk Decides Against Joining Twitter’s Board, CEO Says. The Tesla CEO became the company’s biggest shareholder earlier this month.” Also tweet—”Elon has decided not to join our board. I sent a brief note to the company, sharing with you all here.”
  • Thread—”!!! Friday Night Surprise. Plaintiffs just filed their response to Facebook in my favorite case – what I call the mother of all lawsuits – in Delaware where it’s incorporated. It’s a tight but absolutely delicious 120 pages so I’ll break down the allegations here for you. /1″ “And I’ll add to the end of this – another thread how the news story broke globally leading to a lot of unanswered questions and the $5 billion settlement. Cheers.” Thread—”3yrs ago today, NYT and Guardian (after threat from Facebook), broke massive scoop that Facebook’s personal data had not only been sold to a political operative but FB had covered up what they ultimately labeled a “breach of trust.” For 3yrs they’ve continued to cover it up. /1″
  • Amazon Staten Island Workers Unionize in a Historic First. Thousands of workers beat the odds and voted to become the first unionized Amazon warehouse in the US.”
  • Aw, hell no. Union busting assholes. “Activision Blizzard is giving a thousand game testers full-time jobs and pay bumps. Nearly 1,100 temp game testers are getting full-time jobs with benefits.”—”‘Make no mistake, all credit for Activision Blizzard’s latest move to give all temporary and contingent QA team members full-time employment and a raise should go to the workers who have been organizing, mobilizing and speaking out,’ Communications Workers of America secretary-treasurer Sara Steffens said in a statement to The Verge. ‘It’s especially galling then that Activision has excluded Raven Software QA workers, who have been at the forefront of this effort, from these benefits. The company’s assertion that the National Labor Relations Act prevents them from including Raven workers is clearly an effort to divide workers and undermine their effort to form a union (Game Workers Alliance – CWA). Activision’s disingenuous announcement is further evidence of the need for workers to have a protected voice on the job. We strongly urge Activision Blizzard to rectify this situation and respect Raven QA workers’ protected right to organize under the law.'”
  • Tweet—”Starbucks is looking to hire a new director of corporate labor counsel with experience in ‘strike contingency planning’.” Also “The job is no longer available. The job description you are trying to view is no longer available.”—”You will work with and oversee a team of outside counsel and in-house paralegals to respond to NLRB charges and petitions, defend administrative hearings and litigation, manage collective bargaining contract negotiations, and oversee day-to-day labor relations matters.” Tweet—”Please DO NOT go to http://changeisbrewing.org to send an automatic false application to become a union-busting Director of Corporate Labor Council for Starbucks. I repeat, DO NOT do this! Very bad.”
  • What the Rise of China’s Digital Currency Could Mean for the U.S.. Beijing hopes its new digital yuan will undermine the dollar’s dominance. But Darrell Duffie says Washington shouldn’t rush its response.”
  • Watch “Data Brokers: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)“—”John Oliver discusses how much data brokers know about us, what they’re doing with our personal information, and one….unusual way to change privacy laws. ‘All the free stuff that you take for granted online is only free because you are the product.'”
  • Crypto Industry Helps Write, and Pass, Its Own Agenda in State Capitols. In the absence of federal regulations, crypto lobbyists and executives are going state by state to get favorable rules enacted. Many lawmakers have been willing partners.”
  • New omicron XE Covid variant first detected in the UK spreads to Japan as cases rise. Japan’s health ministry said Monday that the new XE variant, first detected in the U.K., was found in a woman in her 30s who arrived at Narita Airport. The XE subvariant is a so-called recombinant, or mix, of two earlier omicron strains, BA.1 and BA.2. 1,125 cases of XE have so far been detected in the U.K. almost double the previous count, according to the latest statistics from the U.K. Health Security Agency.”
  • Covid Updates: U.S. Watching Uptick in Cases Closely. The new White House Covid czar, Dr. Ashish Jha, said that hospitalizations remained very low and that he was not overly concerned. The U.S. State Department ordered some workers to leave Shanghai.”
  • America’s Pandemic Orphans Are Slipping Through the Cracks. A new plan to help them will likely be too little, too late.”
  • Herd immunity now seems impossible. Welcome to the age of Covid reinfection. The virus is now embedded in our world. But there are steps we can take to keep it at bay while we continue to live our lives.”
  • Extremists like Marjorie Taylor Greene are the future of the Republican party. It’s impossible to understand American politics without grappling in earnest with why Greene’s extremism is widely seen as justified on the right.”
  • Marjorie Taylor Greene Believes in Frazzledrip, QAnon’s Wildest Conspiracy Theory. Greene has repeatedly tried to distance herself from QAnon, but she has never disowned the conspiracy movement.”
  • Far-Right ‘Journalist’ Just Wants to Bring Witch Trials Back, Is That So Wrong?“—”You know how Rule 34 of the internet stipulates that “If it exists, there is porn of it?” Well, there is a similar rule for politics — and that is that practically any horrible thing you can think of from history, and anything or viewpoint or wacky belief you might look back upon and think “Good thing we’re so much more evolved now! That would never happen today!” either has or will be defended by the Right. As such, conservative commentator and white nationalist Patrick Howley would very much like to bring back witch trials.” “‘What’s so bad about witch trials?’ Howley asked, exasperated. ‘Can we have witch trials again? Where we have, like, tribunals and we can jail witches? We can jail those who do the black magic? Who do the black arts? Because it’s so prevalent everywhere, and in fact it’s actually worse now than it’s ever been in history.’ Howley is not talking about like, normal pagans, Wiccans, whatever. He’s talking about the same kind of imaginary witches that Cotton Mather was on about in the 1600s. The ones who float and have third nipples and familiars and, of course, actual magic powers. Who he imagines are out there doing literal black magic to people.”
  • A top MAGA gathering finds life complicated after Trump. CPAC was at the top of its powers last year. Then Covid-19 hit, Trump lost, and the postelection chaos ensued. Now, the confab has some challenges ahead.”
  • Florida Republicans will allow DeSantis to draw congressional map.” Also “Al Lawson blasts congressional redistricting proposal from Florida Gov. DeSantis. ‘I don’t think the governor should be involved,” Lawson says.” Tweet—”Remember, these were same people calling Biden a dictator because he told people to wear masks and take a vaccine. Florida Republicans will allow DeSantis to draw congressional map.”
  • Report: Trump’s Truth Social Is an Even Bigger Humiliation Than His Other Business Failures. Hard to imagine given his track record and yet here we are!”
  • Former U.S. Attorney Calls Donald Trump Jr.’s Text On Seizing Election ‘Smoking Gun’. Donald Trump’s son talked of taking over presidential election even before it was called and before any evidence could have been found that the vote was rigged.”
  • Liz Cheney Says Jan. 6 Panel Has Enough Evidence To Refer Trump For Criminal Charges. ‘That is the definition of an insurrection,’ said Rep. Liz Cheney, vice chair of the House select committee.”
  • How Jared Kushner and the Trump admin traded U.S. foreign policy for $2 billion. Chris Hayes: ‘Essentially, the Trump administration sold U.S. foreign policy, Jamal Khashoggi’s life, and American principles on liberal democracy and freedom of the press for $2 billion that went straight into Jared Kushner’s pocket.'”
  • Trump Officials Failed to Provide Accounting of Foreign Gifts. The State Department could not compile a list of gifts for 2020, making it difficult to determine whether officials did anything improper.”
  • ‘This Was Trump Pulling a Putin’. Amid the current crisis, Fiona Hill and other former advisers are connecting President Trump’s pressure campaign on Ukraine to Jan. 6. And they’re ready to talk.”
  • Trump says he regrets not marching on Capitol with supporters on January 6. Ex-president also rejects suggestions he used ‘burner phones’ on day of the assault in Washington Post interview.”
  • A Stunning Surprise In The Michigan Kidnapping Case Calls The Government’s Domestic Terror Strategy Into Question. In one of the nation’s most important domestic terrorism trials, the government’s single-minded pursuit of a conviction speaks volumes — about way more than just this one case.”—”Despite the government’s extraordinary efforts to muzzle the defense, a jury in Grand Rapids federal court on Friday acquitted two men on charges including conspiring to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on the other two who had been charged.”
  • Arbitrator Clears Buffalo Cops Who Pushed Elderly Protester At George Floyd Protest. Two officers shoved Martin Gugino to the ground after he approached them, leaving him motionless and bloody.”
  • Finland, Sweden set to join NATO as soon as summer, The Times reports.”
  • ‘The Russians are trying to obliterate us. You think that we’d agree to half-measures now?’. Ivan Fedorov, the exiled mayor of occupied Melitopol, says the battle for Donbas is also a fight for global security.”
  • Biden accuses Putin of committing a ‘genocide’ in Ukraine“—”Asked later what made him use the word ‘genocide,’ Biden replied, ‘Yes, I called it genocide. It has become clearer and clearer that Putin is just trying to wipe out the idea of even being — being able to be Ukrainian.’ Biden said evidence against Putin and the Russian military was mounting. ‘The — more evidence is coming out of the — literally, the horrible things that the Russians have done in Ukraine. And we’re going to only learn more and more about the devastation,’ he said. ‘And we’ll let the lawyers decide internationally whether or not it qualifies, but it sure seems that way to me.’ Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reacted on Twitter to Biden’s genocide remarks, saying that ‘Calling things by their names is essential to stand up to evil.'”
  • Navalny review – staggering portrait of Putin’s extraordinary arch-enemy. Absorbing documentary about the Russian opposition figure tells a story we all need to hear.” Watch “Navalny – 30″ Spot“—”In Cinemas & On Demand now: https://dogwoof.com/navalny Enthralling and intimate, director Daniel Roher’s NAVALNY unfolds with the pace of a thriller as it follows Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in his quest to identify the men who poisoned him in August 2020. Shot in Germany as the story unfolded and offering extraordinary access to theinvestigation, NAVALNY is a fly-on-the-wall documentary that is also a study of Navalny the man – aportrait of a leader intent on reform who will not be cowed by anything, including his own poisoning.”
  • Texas DA To Dismiss Murder Charge Against Woman Accused Of ‘Self-Induced Abortion’. Starr County District Attorney Gocha Allen Ramirez said that 26-year-old Lizelle Herrera ‘cannot and should not be prosecuted for the allegation against her.'”
  • Thread—”I have a story that illuminates the “groomer” line of thinking the right has against queer & trans people. A few years back, I was brought on by a library in a small town to teach children fiction. Shortly before the program was to start, a cis man kidnapped & murdered a kid. 1/?” Thread—”I think it’s important for people to recognize that the “groomer” panic being instigated by the right is categorically different and more dangerous than what we have seen historically and has greater potential to lead to widespread political violence. My analysis follows.” Tweet—”To sum up: The GOP insist that merely *existing* as #LGBTQIA+ is being a #Groomer. AT THE SAME TIME the TN GOP want to be able to marry little girls with no age restrictions. AND ALSO the GOP want children raped by adults or relatives to be forced into pregnancy #OkGroomer.”
  • Thread—”Well that didn’t take long. We decided to take a trip on Amtrak with the kids for spring break. 9 hours into a pleasant ride, a man was suddenly standing next to me, shouting across me at my 6yo son, “Remember what I told you. They stole you. They’re pedophiles.” Tweet—”Fuck every single person who’s stoked this up. Every person who’s called anyone looking to protect LGBTQIA+ kids a “groomer” you may think you’re making the world better, but you are a malignancy on this world.”
  • Distraught over orders to investigate trans kids’ families, Texas child welfare workers are resigning. Other investigators don’t want to follow an order they believe harms families but worry about the impact of a mass employee exodus on the state’s most vulnerable children.”
  • Queer Works director says he’s received threatening calls after Palm Springs transgender income pilot vote.”
  • Jojo Siwa: My Song Was Played at Kids’ Choice Awards but I Wasn’t Invited.”
  • Fantastic Beasts 3: Gay dialogue removed from film for Chinese audiences. References to a gay relationship in the new Fantastic Beasts movie were removed by Warner Bros for Chinese audiences.”
  • A policing strategy abandoned after Breonna Taylor’s death spreads to other cities. At least nine jurisdictions either plan to or have adopted the crime-reduction strategy known as ‘place network investigations’ — a model that examines geographic connections that allow crime to flourish. ”
  • Thread—”Wow: Investigators searching the apartments of the 2 men who allegedly posed as DHS agents say they found a loaded Glock 19, disassembled long guns, sniper spotting equipment, ammunition, handcuffs, radios, body armor, a surveillance drone and several servers. 1/”
  • A CT mechanic found hundreds of pieces of art in a dumpster. They’re worth ‘millions.’
  • Howard Rheingold on the past and present of virtual communities“—”A lot of people have forgotten, or never learned, that the web as we know it was really created by people like you and I who just put up our websites and link to our friend’s websites and put up pictures of our pets.” “I think that when the web first started, everybody who was putting up a website, understood that we were creating it. Nowadays, people who were born into an age where Facebook dominated, I don’t think they understand that they have that capability that anybody can innovate and create something new.” “I think their willing-to-share part was really built in, not to the technical infrastructure, but to the culture that developed out of the early internet, in the early web.”
  • What Is Retaliation in the Workplace? Here Are Your Rights and What to Know.”—”Recognizing what is officially retaliation and what is generally a toxic workplace is tricky, especially since they can overlap. And not knowing the difference feels like another obvious advantage for exploitative workplaces, because if we don’t know how to recognize retaliation, we’ll assume this is just what work is.”
  • Threatening Language Can Be Contagious. This New Tool Tracks Its Spread. Researchers unveil a ‘threat dictionary’ that measures the cultural impact of wars, pandemics, and other dangers real and imagined.”—”Are you an order Muppet or a chaos Muppet? That may sound like a silly question, but Michele Gelfand, a professor of organizational behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business, is entirely serious when she asks it. She categorizes cultures and personalities on a spectrum from tight to loose and then examines how those differences affect nations, companies, families, and even individuals.” “They didn’t just choose synonyms, but terms that were often used in association with language that described threats. For instance, the term ‘unrest’ is frequently used to describe an impending civil war. This approach was more comprehensive than purely human attempts and it allowed the dictionary to capture how people actually write about threats. The final list of words reads like an apocalyptic poem: attack, crisis, fear, frightening, injury, suffer, toxic, unstable.” “Unlike Muppets, who are entertaining because they rarely stray from their core characteristics, people and cultures can adapt to respond more effectively to difficult situations. Gelfand hopes the threat dictionary could help nations, companies, and individuals understand when they need to pivot. For more loose, chaotic types, this could mean tightening up to deal with a pandemic or war. For the tighter, orderly types, this could mean loosening up to create environments that encourage innovation and creative problem-solving. The point, she says, isn’t that one type is better than the other. It’s the ability to titrate the right mix that really matters. ‘Culture’s invisible, but once we start measuring it, we can talk about it,’ Gelfand says. ‘We can decide mindfully in what domains we want to tighten and in what domains we want to be loose.'” See also “Threat Dictionary“—”This dictionary was designed to diagnose threatening language in any text that interests you. Details regarding the development and validation of the dictionary can be found in our PNAS paper. The dictionary is free to use and is currently available in English. ”
  • Prison, lawsuits and a glovebox of fake cash: the film the KLF didn’t want you to see. The enigmatic rave duo refused to approve Chris Atkins’s documentary on them – and then he got five years for tax fraud. He explains how he channelled their anarchic spirit and made it anyway, Ford Timelord and all.” Watch “Who Killed The KLF? (Official Trailer)“—”‘Who Killed the KLF?’ uses previously unheard tapes to explore the rise and fall of the KLF in the 1980s and 1990s, touching upon themes that perfectly capture the 21st century zeitgeist. The film is a fascinating insight into the machinations not only of Jimmy Cauty and Bill Drummond, but of art, culture, and capitalism. A tale as intriguing as it is bonkers, ‘Who Killed the KLF?’ will entice, intrigue and shock audiences everywhere.” Rent the movie at “Who Killed The KLF?.”
  • Hey, Pixar! I’ve got an idea for you! “Hungry javelina gets stuck in car, goes for ride in Arizona“—”After speaking with the car’s owner and other residents, they determined the car’s hatch back had been left open overnight. The javelina jumped in to get to a bag of Cheetos. The hatch then closed, trapping the animal inside. Authorities say the javelina ripped off a portion of the dashboard and the inside of a door in an attempt to escape. The animal then managed to knock the car into neutral, causing it to roll down the driveway and across the street. The Subaru came to a rest, and the javelina was not injured. A deputy opened the hatch, and the javelina was able to run back into the wilderness.”
  • Tweet—”Wanna draw spellcasters? Try conductors as references.” Tweet—”Wait. That’s. Wait. You’re on to something.”
  • From 2020: “A California city filled its skate park with sand to deter skateboarders. Then the dirt bikes showed up.
  • RiffTrax: The Game, due May 2022—”RiffTrax: The Game is a multiplayer party game where players compete to make bad movies funny. Do you have what it takes to be the next movie riffing genius? Grab your friends and make fun of some of the worst cinematic abominations ever created.”
  • Russian Doll S2 trailer is a trippy time-traveling deligh. ‘The universe finally found something worse than death. I broke time.'” Watch “Russian Doll Season 2 | Official Trailer | Netflix“—”All aboard the crazy train. Starring Natasha Lyonne, Russian Doll Season 2 premieres April 20th on Netflix. Watch Russian Doll Season 2, April 20 on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/RussianDoll”
  • Let the goat come to you. Tweet—”Screw Web3, gonna be working on Goat Internet projects from now on.”
  • The Wishing Sigil—”Life was good. So very, very good. The holidays were coming, and you were looking forward to spending them with your loving family. Then, the unthinkable happened and you were torn away from them. Now, you find yourself spending the darkest time of the year in a place where no one seems to care about you—that is, until some of the other children start disappearing… In The Wishing Sigil, you’ll be writing daily journals about your time in a Victorian workhouse. Each morning, you, the player, will receive an email with a prompt for the day—a question or two or a situation you find yourself in that day. Some days, you’ll even receive Babadook (or other horror movie)-inspired artwork. We encourage you to write down your answers to craft the story of your encounter with holiday horror. Content warnings for the game include: child endangerment, child abuse, childhood trauma, violence, gore, body horror, supernatural horror, adults abusing their power, thoughts of suicide. This game is not appropriate for children under the age of 15.”
  • Pink Floyd’s First New Recording in Nearly 30 Years Was Inspired by a Lone Ukrainian Musician. ‘Hey, Hey, Rise Up’ features Andriy Khlyvnyuk of Ukrainian band Boombox on vocals and the song will raise money for a Ukrainian charity.” Watch “Pink Floyd – Hey Hey Rise Up (feat. Andriy Khlyvnyuk of Boombox).”
  • Watch “Julian Lennon Performs ‘IMAGINE’ for Global Citizen’s Stand Up For Ukraine w/Nuno Bettencourt.”