Elsewhere for September 22, 2018

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You should read this for 9/22/2018:

Just One Thing

If you only read one thing, this should be it.
Yuval Noah Harari: The Myth of Freedom Governments and corporations will soon know you better than you know yourself. Belief in the idea of ‘free will’ has become dangerous. Harari is the author of some great books: Sapiens: A Brief History of HumankindHomo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, and the just released 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. I’m working my way through them.

Art and Film

Artist Jen Bartel may have started out drawing Sailor Moon, X-Men, and Ghostbusters fan art, but now she’s creating covers for some of today’s biggest comic books. Much as some writers moved from (and often, continued writing) fan fic, so artists apprentice (and often, continue) by creating fan art.
The 5 most obvious Apple references in Pixar films I love Easter Eggs, and visual ones are often particularly clever. And yes, seeing that Mac made me grin.
An Introduction to the Rothschild Pentateuch, an Illuminated Hebrew Masterpiece

Books, Writing, and Language

The extraordinary reading habits of Defense Secretary James Mattis “‘You stay teachable most by reading books, by reading what other people went through,’ Mattis has said.”
Mary Shelley’s Handwritten Manuscript of Frankenstein: This Is “Ground Zero of Science Fiction,” Says William Gibson See also: Mary Shelley’s Handwritten Manuscripts of Frankenstein Now Online for the First Time. If you haven’t read Shelley’s Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus recently, consider The Norton Critical Editions Frankenstein.
Via the Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden: Trending: Congressional Research Service Reports Now Available Online Read the research your taxes pay for, even if #45 can’t manage it. By the way: some of these are startlingly well-written in addition to being well-researched.

I’m pleased to announce that, for the first time, the Library of Congress is providing Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports to the public. The reports are available online at crsreports.congress.gov. Created by experts in CRS, the reports present a legislative perspective on topics such as agriculture policy, counterterrorism operations, banking regulation, veteran’s issues and much more.

Via the BBC: Bringing Shakespeare’s neglected women out of the shadows The Royal Exchange theatre in Manchester is doing is putting on a single new production of play created by playwright Jeanie O’Hare. O’Hare combined all the lines spoken by Queen Margaret of Anjou from four existing Shakespeare plays (Margaret of Anjou appears in Shakespeare’s Henry VI parts one, two and three, and in Richard III.). O’Hare provided connecting dialog to render a consistent story. I confess to having read the plays this way.


Times Newer Roman is a sneaky font designed to make your essays look longer This is why some decades ago, most English teachers teaching undergraduates switched to a word count; the Word Processor makes this simply for writers, and it cuts way down on papers that were deliberately formatted for a deceptive page-count.

Food and Drink

Slow Cooker Cider Pulled Pork I’m definitely going to try this. When I have a crock pot . . .

History and Archaeology

Using Medieval DNA to track the barbarian spread into Italy “Cemeteries from the Longobard spread into Italy tell tales of migration and mixing.”
Ancient Gold and Pearls Discovered on Danish Island The gold is stunning, and the ornamentation reminds me of why the phrase Hiberno-Saxon is used for interlace styles.
A Roman cemetery has been unearthed on the site of a housing development in North Lincolnshire. Besides the graves and grave-goods of a number of men, women, and children, the archaeologists have found “a 2nd Century Roman villa with a mosaic floor.”

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

Via BBC: A widower ‘full of regret’ offers advice to a young woman
Why it matters that Bert and Ernie are gay, which they are “It’s a way to tell more kids that they, too, belong in the world”

Science and Nature

Hurricane Florence looks massive from the International Space Station
It’s hard to spread the idiot fruit
These domesticated foxes came from a famous Russian experiment

Researchers Discover a Pattern to the Seemingly Random Distribution of Prime Numbers “The pattern has a surprising similarity to the one seen in atom distribution in crystals.”
A 558-Million-Year-Old Mystery Has Been Solved “Scientists have finally confirmed that a weird ribbed oval called Dickinsonia is an animal.” This is the oldest known animal, and it’s quite lovely.
Puppies spread antibiotic-resistant bacteria in recent diarrhea outbreak
The CDC was first clued into the outbreak in August 2017, when the Florida Department of Health reported that six people had been infected with a type of bacteria that causes fevers, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea. By February 2018, the CDC discovered that more than 118 people in 18 states had been infected with the same thing: a bacteria calledCampylobacter that’s usually linked to eating raw chicken or food contaminated by chicken juices.


Our political upheaval wasn’t caused by mob rule, but by institutions designed to preserve elite oversight This is an interesting companion piece to Harari’s “The Myth of Freedom.”
Are Narcissists More Likely to Experience Imposter Syndrome?
Worry Less About Crumbling Roads, More About Crumbling Libraries Increasingly, my charitable donations are going to local libraries, because they create community, and they often coordinate access to basic needs as well as books, movies, periodicals, the Internet, classes, job hunting . . . .


Read an E-Book in Chunks Via Email With Bookman
Requires an ePub file. Signing up for the service gets you the ability to read three books via email for free. Afterward, you need to buy “Bookman tickets” for future titles. One ticket is $2, but you can get three for $4.
Court Orders FCC To Hand Over Data On Bogus Net Neutrality Comments

A big source of the bogus comments appear to have originated with GQ Roll Call, on behalf of an “anonymous client” (which most assume is either a major broadband provider like AT&T or Comcast, or some other proxy partisan organization they covertly fund). Hopefully the data, whenever it arrives, helps shine a little more light on precisely what it is the FCC pretty clearly doesn’t want exposed to the light of day.

Women’s Work

“The Matilda Effect”: How Pioneering Women Scientists Have Been Denied Recognition and Written Out of Science History and see also: Jocelyn Bell Burnell Discovered Radio Pulsars in 1974, But the Credit Went to Her Advisor; In 2018, She Gets Her Due, Winning a $3 Million Physics Prize
Facebook is letting job advertisers target only men

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

Hilary Clinton in The Atlantic: American Democracy Is in Crisis

Trump and his cronies do so many despicable things that it can be hard to keep track. I think that may be the point—to confound us, so it’s harder to keep our eye on the ball. The ball, of course, is protecting American democracy. As citizens, that’s our most important charge. And right now, our democracy is in crisis.

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