Elsewhere for December 16, 2017

You should read this for 12/16/2017:

Art and Film

How Star Wars Was Saved In The Edit

Books, Writing, and Language

UK libraries closing. Figures show children worst hit by UK library cuts Official figures show more than 100 libraries closed last year, with campaigners warning that the heaviest impact is being made on the youngest readers.”
Don’t worry. Yale still teaches Shakespeare I like the fact that Yale added course options and stretched the canon rather than simple swapping out “dead white males.” I think everyone should read moar, rather than less. And while DWM are dominant in early literature, their language (particularly Chaucer and Shakespeare) shaped English. We can’t build a better future without understanding our past.

CDC gets list of forbidden words: fetus, transgender, diversity
“ The Trump administration is prohibiting officials at the nation’s top public health agency from using a list of seven words or phrases — including “fetus” and “transgender” — in any official documents being prepared for next year’s budget.”

Food and Drink

Anthony Bourdain: On Reacting To Bad News “It is an incredibly difficult and wrenching thing to come forward, to go public with claims of sexual assault or misconduct — as I have seen up close. Women risk a crushing level of public skepticism, vilification, shaming, and retribution. They have nothing to gain, and everything to lose.”

History and Archaeology

Egypt uncovers ancient tombs at Luxor “Archaeologists in Egypt have displayed items, including a mummy, from one of two previously unexplored tombs in the ancient Nile city of Luxor.”


Charles P. Pierce via Esquire: I Don’t Think the Moral High Ground Exists Anymore Some thoughts on Al Franken’s departure.
Elizabeth Shackelford, a distinguished U.S. diplomat who was seen as a rising star at the State Department, has resigned after writing a searing letter to Secretary Of State Rex Tillerson, accusing him of gutting the department and damaging America’s standing across the world.
Jerry Brown: California saved its economy by doing the exact opposite of what the GOP wants “Recognizing the threat of climate change, cutting fat from the budget and raising taxes — that’s the threefold plan California’s Gov. Jerry Brown (D) says brought his state’s economy back from the brink.”
The Takedown of Title IX “Inside the fight over federal rules on campus sexual assault.”

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

First the jury convicted this 19-year-old maid for stealing. Then they took up a collection to pay her fine This story is a lot more complicated than it might seem at first; lots to think about.

Science and Technology

Recently detected crash provides hints to size, innards of these stellar cores
Ticks Trapped in Amber Were Likely Sucking Dinosaur Blood “Paleontologists have found entombed in amber a 99-million-year-old tick grasping the feather of a dinosaur, providing the first direct evidence that the tiny pests drank dinosaur blood.” There are pictures!
The Great Red Spot Descends Deep Into Jupiter “. . . the iconic storm descends at least 200 miles beneath the clouds and possibly much deeper. That is one of the latest findings of NASA’s Juno spacecraft, which passed directly over the storm in July.”
<p><a href=”https://www.theverge.com/2017/12/14/16777500/ajit-pai-net-neutrality-republican-politics-whoops”>Ajit Pai just handed Republicans a bag of shit</a> “Killing net neutrality isn’t just bad policy, it’s bad politics.”</p>

Pai has never sat down and seriously engaged his critics to make a persuasive case that changing these enormously popular rules will somehow increase competition, lower prices, or increase service levels for the vast majority of Americans who have but one or two choices for broadband service. He has never said that he’s actually opposed to blocking or throttling and identified a mechanism under his new rules by which those activities would be even slightly limited. His own FCC CTO wrote a letter saying his rollback went too far and needed some prohibitions against blocking; Pai appears to have brushed that aside.

Women’s Work

How Women Brewsters Saved The WorldJust another reminder that the brewing of beer was a gendered task for a very long time, and often, it was women’s work. Margery Kempe was a brewer; so was Saint Bridget.

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

I study liars. I’ve never seen one like President Trump. “He tells far more lies, and far more cruel ones, than ordinary people do.”
<p><a href=”https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/12/15/trump-judicial-nominee-fumbles-basic-questions-about-the-law/”>Trump judicial nominee fumbles basic questions about the law</a> “
For five painfully awkward minutes, Petersen, a member of the Federal Election Commission and a lawyer with no trial experience, fumbled with Kennedy’s questions, visibly uncomfortable as the lawmaker pressed him about how things work in a federal courtroom.”</p>
<p><a href=”https://www.rawstory.com/2017/12/top-dem-warns-republicans-may-have-already-ended-house-russia-probe-and-will-go-after-mueller-next/”>Top Dem warns Republicans may have already ended House Russia probe — and will go after Mueller next</a> “The House Intelligence Committee’s ranking Democrat fears his Republican colleagues are planning to wrap up the Trump-Russia probe after Christmas — and prevent special counsel Robert Mueller from finishing his investigation.”</p>

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