Elsewhere for March 10, 2018

You should read this for 3/10/2018:

Art and Film

Ingenious Rocking Chair Knits a Hat for You as You Sway Back and Fort “Knitting and sitting in a rocking chair are both relaxing activities that designers Damien Ludi and Colin Peillex have combined into one innovative, low-tech piece of furniture. Aptly dubbed Rocking Knit, this multitasking chair uses kinetic energy, produced from the rocker’s gliding motion, to knit a winter hat as you gently sway back and forth.”

Books, Writing, and Language

Five libraries around the world that are open despite the odds On World Book Day, a look at libraries from Egypt to Dominica that have remained open despite death threats, extreme weather and terrorism.
‘It Just Felt Very Wrong:’ Sherman Alexie’s Accusers Go On The Record

“If you are an aspiring author and you go to a reading of someone who is famous and beloved and whose work you admire, and he suddenly takes an interest in you and your work, and he thinks you’re special, and you start emailing, and he wants to mentor you — and then suddenly it turns out all he wanted to do is have sex with you. Those writers are left utterly devastated.”

Are you a fan of Neil Gaiman? The Sandman guy?
Requiem for The New York Times Opinion Page

Food and Drink

Cumberland Sauce brought to you in honor of Spenser and Robert B. Parker’s God Save This Child.

History and Archaeology

How the Father of Oregon Agriculture Launched a Doomed Quaker Sex Cult “He came west with 700 saplings and founded our state’s mighty fruit industry. But Henderson Luelling—idealist, farmer, visionary, swinger—dreamed of planting stranger seeds.”
Skeletal remains found in a newly excavated farm settlement raise questions about ancient Irish burial practices. “The remains of an infant have been discovered at an archaeological dig at ‘The Place of the Broken River’ in Ardrahan in South Galway. While archaeologists already know that the child lived a thousand years ago, DNA analysis will reveal more about its short life.”
The remains were discovered in an excavation of c. 11th century family farm and homestead; this was an era where, despite the efforts of the church, burials were often “at home” rather than as the church would have preferred, in a sanctified church or burial ground.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

‘A moment of awe’: Photo of little girl captivated by Michelle Obama portrait goes viral

Science and Nature

Brain-training games don’t really train brains, a new study suggestsOld news from July of 2017, but I’ve only just seen it.
Our memory comes from an ancient virus, neuroscientists say
The Case 
Against Google “Critics say the search giant is squelching competition before it begins. Should the government step in?” People find information and web sites via search engines; Google is the leader, by far, in terms of search engines. And that means Google can decide whether customers and users can find your site, your information, or your product.
Photos capture feat of survival as predators and prey break boundaries to escape floods Record Breaking rain in Western Australi’s Kimberley region has animals taking refuge from the floodwaters in the trees, shoulder-to-shoulder with predators in the name of survival.
Jerry and Marg Go Large

“I just multiplied it out,” Jerry recalled, “and then I said, ‘Hell, you got a positive return here.’”

This is a story about an ordinary guy who figured out an algorithm underlying the lottery; an ordinary dyslexic guy, who noticed patterns and had a thing for numbers.
Via The Guardian: Bird Photographer of the Year 2018 – in pictures


The Democratic rebuttal to the Nunes memo tears it apart

WASHINGTON — As Russia’s virtual war against the United States continues unabated with the midterm elections approaching, the State Department has yet to spend any of the $120 million it has been allocated since late 2016 to counter foreign efforts to meddle in elections or sow distrust in democracy.
As a result, not one of the 23 analysts working in the department’s Global Engagement Center — which has been tasked with countering Moscow’s disinformation campaign — speaks Russian, and a department hiring freeze has hindered efforts to recruit the computer experts needed to track the Russian efforts.

I’m just a run-of-the-mill digital Medievalist, but this smacks of collusion, incompetence, and rank stupidity.
When Winter Never Ends “How five days in February reveal what Seattle’s signing of Ichiro cannot. The future Hall of Famer is haunted by the life he can’t escape.” This is some fine writing, whether or not you follow baseball, and Seattle’s Mariners.


For Two Months, I Got My News From Print Newspapers. Here’s What I Learned.

Not only had I spent less time with the story than if I had followed along as it unfolded online, I was better informed, too. Because I had avoided the innocent mistakes — and the more malicious misdirection — that had pervaded the first hours after the shooting, my first experience of the news was an accurate account of the actual events of the day.

Women’s Work

Lucy Evelyn Cheesman: the woman who walked

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

State Dept. Was Granted $120 Million to Fight Russian Meddling. It Has Spent $0
67 Environmental Rules on
the Way Out Under Trump

Since taking office last year, President Trump has made eliminating federal regulations a priority. His administration — with help from Republicans in Congress — has often targeted environmental rules it sees as overly burdensome to the fossil fuel industry, including major Obama-era policies aimed at fighting climate change.
To date, the Trump administration has sought to reverse more than 60 environmental rules, according to a New York Times analysis, based on research from Harvard Law School’s Environmental Regulation Rollback Tracker, Columbia Law School’s Climate Tracker and other sources.

He’s the schoolyard bully, who, not content with preventing anyone else being able to swing on the swings, has to destroy the swing set and the playground.
Christopher Steele, the Man Behind the Trump DossierMueller is casting a wide net. We now know the target is Trump.

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is now directly gunning for President Trump — and not just on one front. It appears that Mueller is investigating whether Trump himself committed misconduct or possible criminality on two fronts, and possibly more.
NBC News is now reporting that Mueller has sent a subpoena to an unnamed witness that appears to hint at just how wide a net Mueller has cast. NBC reports that the subpoena suggests Mueller is focused, among other things, on determining what Trump himself knew about Russian sabotage of the 2016 election as it was happening.

Essentially: What did 💩🔥💰 know, and when? Was he in the know as the Russian hacks took place? How much did he know, and how much was he involved with the “strategic release” of Democratic emails?
Former U. S. Ambassador to Panama John D. Feeley: Why I could no longer serve this president

Shortly after the Charlottesville riots last August, I made the private decision to step down as President Trump’s personal representative and ambassador to the government of Panama. The president’s failure to condemn the white supremacists and neo-Nazis who provoked the violence made me realize that my values were not his values. I never meant for my decision to resign to be a public political statement. Sadly, it became one.
The details of how that happened are less important than the demoralizing take-away: When career public servants take an oath to communicate dissent only in protected channels, Trump administration officials do not protect that promise of privacy.
Leaking is not new in Washington. But leaking a sitting ambassador’s personal resignation letter to the president, as mine was, is something else. This was a painful indication that the current administration has little respect for those who have served the nation apolitically for decades.

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