Elsewhere for August 6, 2017

You should read this for 8/7/2017: Maxine Waters also persists; antique bison,
what would the Romans do, legal brief with side of snark, Fox and lying liars, hummingbirds, vikings, and vixens, sex really isn’t supposed to hurt, honest, and (behind the cut) more 💩🔥💰 idiocy

Maxine Waters is badass
Fairbanks scientists stunned to find intact 40,000-year-old steppe bison complete skeleton “Groves and Mann spent the next four hours carefully removing soil from the skull. When Mann lifted it out, the spread of the steppe bison’s horns was 43 inches. The record Boone and Crockett modern bison has a horn tip spread of 27 inches. Fairbanks expert on Pleistocene animals Dale Guthrie estimated this bison, which Mann and Groves have nicknamed ‘Bison Bob,’ was a 12-year-old male.”
A Very Modern Map of Britain’s Ancient Roman Roads Ultimately, Trubetskoy was trying imagine the transit map Roman officials might have made, given the chance. “I tried to design the map from the perspective of the Roman government, even including official seals and writing everything in Latin,” he says. “I just think this mixture of new and old turns an ostensibly utilitarian map into something mysterious and exciting.”
Via Smithsonian: Why Did Greenland’s Vikings Vanish?
Via The New Yorker: Patti Smith on My Buddy Sam Shepherd
Unlocking the Secrets Behind the Hummingbird’s Frenzy “To our eyes, they often are a blur. But high-speed cameras show us what makes these birds perfect flying machines.”
In the 1950s a Soviet geneticist began an experiment in guided evolution. He wanted to show how domestication works by domesticating foxes “By the fourth generation, the scientists started to see dramatic changes.”
Via Smithsonian: Secrets of the ColosseumA German archaeologist has finally deciphered the Roman amphitheater’s amazing underground labyrinth “Beste and his colleagues spent four years using measuring tapes, plumb lines, spirit levels and generous quantities of paper and pencils to produce technical drawings of the entire hypogeum. “Today we’d probably use a laser scanner for this work, but if we did, we’d miss the fuller understanding that old-fashioned draftsmanship with pencil and paper gives you,” Beste says. “When you do this slow, stubborn drawing, you’re so focused that what you see goes deep into the brain. Gradually, as you work, the image of how things were takes shape in your subconscious.”
Millions Of Women Face Astonishing Pain When They Have Sex. Why Don’t Their Doctors Take Them Seriously?  “A writer ventures out of his “male bubble” to find a medical jungle crowded with toxic treatments, false diagnoses, and shame.”
The White House is having cabinet level Bible studies on a weekly basis. “Hemant Mehta of ‘the Friendly Atheist’ asserts that the pastor leading these prayer sessions, Ralph Drollinger, is an anti-LGBT, Anti-Woman and anti-Catholic bigot. . . . Health Secretary Tom Price, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Agriculture Secretary Sunny Perdue, CIA Director Mike Pompeo and Attorney General Jeff Sessions all attend the bible study classes. On one hand, it’s their right to gather and practice religion. On the other hand, it does worry me in that their clerical leader has a political agenda, and is presumably leading these sessions on U.S. Federal property.
ACLU Brief on Behalf of John OliverThis case is about Plaintiff Robert E. (“Bob”) Murray not liking a television program and
somehow believing that is a legally actionable offense.
“On June 18, 2017, Defendant Home Box
Office, Inc. aired an episode of “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” a satirical news program
about current events. The main topic discussed in the episode was coal. Apparently because
Plaintiffs’ delicate sensibilities were offended, they clutched their pearls and filed this suit.” Good legal writing is really wonderful reading; it’s even better when it includes elegantly phrases snark.

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰
The Observer view on Donald Trump’s unfitness for office “The sense of things falling apart in Washington is palpable – and a matter of growing, serious international concern. Donald Trump’s latest asinine act of gesture politics, the forced resignation of his chief of staff, Reince Priebus, has shone a spotlight on the extraordinary chaos inside the White House. Even normally sober, experienced Washington observers now refer to the West Wing as a viper’s nest of seething rivalry, bitter feuds, gross incompetence and an unparalleled leadership vacuum.”
Via an NPR exclusive: Behind Fox News’ Baseless Seth Rich Story: The Untold Tale The Fox News Channel and a wealthy supporter of President Trump “worked in concert under the watchful eye of the White House to concoct a story about the death of a young Democratic National Committee aide, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday by Rod Wheeler, a longtime paid commentator for the news network. Mr. Wheeler alleges that Fox News and the wealthy Trump supporter intended to deflect public attention from growing concern about the administration’s ties to the Russian government. His suit charges that a Fox News reporter created quotations out of thin air and attributed them to him to propel her story.” The Washington Post has a timeline of events.
Jeff Sessions: This Time, It’s Personal: Trump’s willful misunderstanding of the obligations of an Attorney General reflects a larger flaw in his Presidency and in his character. “Trump’s willful misunderstanding of the obligations of an Attorney General reflects a larger flaw in his Presidency and in his character—his apparent belief that his appointees owe their loyalty to him personally, rather than to the nation’s Constitution and its laws, and, more broadly, to the American people.”
We (or rather some of you) have elected a liar, a narcissist and an idiot. “An unfiltered glimpse of Trump’s approach to the diplomatic aspect of his job, subjecting even a close neighbor and long-standing ally to streams of threats and invective as if aimed at U.S. adversaries.”
Robert Mueller Chooses His Investigatory Dream Team “Trump associates have stepped up criticism of Mueller and his team—including a report, quickly rejected by the White House, that Trump is considering firing Mueller before he even gets started.
Tuesday morning on Good Morning America, Newt Gingrich blasted Mueller and his still-forming team. “These are bad people,” Newt Gingrich told George Stephanopoulos. “I’m very dubious of the team.”
But that criticism flies in the face of widespread, bipartisan acclaim for the team. In fact, just a day earlier, on the same program, former Whitewater prosecutor Ken Starr praised Mueller at length. “I don’t think there’s a legitimate concern about Bob Mueller,” Starr said, explaining that the former FBI director was “honest as the day is long.”
From the list of hires, it’s clear, in fact, that Mueller is recruiting perhaps the most high-powered and experienced team of investigators ever assembled by the Justice Department. ”
Secret Service vacates Trump Tower command post in lease dispute with president’s company “Two people familiar with the discussions said the sticking points included the price and other conditions of the lease.”
Via The Washington Post: 💩🔥💰 administration is taking aim at affirmative action in college admissions. Why it won’t fix what’s broken. “Simply put, admissions to an elite college is now seen as a zero-sum game where an applicant believes a spot given to someone else is one denied to him, despite the odds are against nearly everyone. In one recent year, for example, Harvard rejected nine in 10 applicants, including at least 1,800 high school valedictorians. ” For a solid discussion of the issues around affirmative action with particular attention to Asian and other racial-based admissions see this Atlantic article The Myth of Reverse Racism “White students still make up almost three-quarters of all private external scholarship recipients in four-year bachelor’s programs, almost two-thirds of all institutional grants and scholarship recipients, and over three-quarters of all merit-based grants and scholarships, although white people only make up about 62 percent of the college student population and about half of all people under 19. White students are more likely than black, Latino, and Asian students to receive scholarships.”

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