Elsewhere for September 29, 2028

You should read this for 9/29/2018:

Art and Film

This Theory Shows Why C-3PO Is the Secret Hero ofStar Wars
Via BoingBoing: Do not miss this anime trailer for Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope

Oceania review – marvels of the human mind that were ripped off by modernists

How much art from the Pacific islands – as well as Africa – Picasso saw before painting Les Demoiselles is disputed, but there are so many daring, confrontational artistic inventions here that it becomes obvious the presence of such pieces in European collections must have been fundamental to the shattering of Europe’s own artistic assumptions at the end of the 19th century.

Uncovering Ancient Preparatory Drawings on Greek Ceramics

Books, Writing, and Language

“Ew,” “Yowza,” And Other New Scrabble Words To Up Your Game

“Traditionally, they were not in the dictionary but because so much of our communication is texting and social media that is written language, we are finding more transcribed speech and getting a new group of spellings for the dictionary.”

The new mother’s tale: a Kent walk in Chaucer’s footsteps
Alaska declares emergency for Native American languages “Governor Bill Walker aims to promote and preserve all 20 recognized indigenous tongues in the state before they die out”

Most of the 20 languages belong to one of two large language families, known as Inuit-Yupik-Unanga, or Eskimo-Aleut, and Athabaskan-Eyak-Tinglit.

The Talmud Is Finally Now Available Online


The Girls Who Live in an All-Boys World “Until schools help boys understand personal accountability, they are tacitly endorsing the misogyny that still thrives in some elite classrooms.”

“Because it’s all about them. It’s like we’re here for their benefit.”

I’ve just finished my PhD, and now I feel lost without academia

Food and Drink


the retractions, corrections, and today’s resignation all stem from Wansink’s own admission of statistical scavenging to find meaningful conclusions in otherwise messy dieting data. The result is that many common dieting tips—such as using smaller plates to trick yourself into shoveling in less food and stashing unhealthy snacks in hard-to-reach places—are now on the cutting board and possibly destined for the garbage bin.

Via Smitten Kitchen: Breakfast Burritos
From Simply Recipes: Our 12 Favorite Cookie Recipes to Make in the Fall I’m not usually one to make cookies because of repetitive stress concerns and carpal tunnel, but I’m looking pretty closely at Giant Ginger Cookies

History and Archaeology

Newly discovered letter by Galileo resolves puzzling historical mystery “Letter shows Galileo lightly edited his original words to appease Catholic Church”
Buried by the Ash of Vesuvius, These Scrolls Are Being Read for the First Time in Millennia “A revolutionary American scientist is using subatomic physics to decipher 2,000-year-old texts from the early days of Western civilization”
Humans braved Australia’s hostile desert interior thousands of years earlier than thought

Humans came to Australia about 65,000 years ago. Artifacts and remains of ancient campfires suggest that, after arriving on the tropical northern shore, the first Australians reached the west coast and southern Australia 49,000 to 50,000 years ago.  . . . archaeologists Peter Veth and Jo McDonald of The University of Western Australia in Perth investigated a site known as Karnatukul, which lies within a subregion of the Western Desert called the Little Sandy Desert. The ancient rock shelter, weathered into a sandstone cliff, has yielded thousands of objects—stone tools and other artifacts, as well as charcoal and more recent rock paintings of snakes, turtles, and human figures—that suggest the area remained a popular stop for native Australians for tens of thousands of years.

Ancient DNA reveals the secrets of a devastating European disease “Comparison with modern strains offers glimpses of the pathogen’s evolutionary history.”
Peru’s last Incan city reveals its secrets: ‘It’s genuinely a marvel

The sprawling ruins are, scholars agree, the last capital of Vilcabamba: a holdout Inca state that resisted for decades after the conquistadors landed in Peru in 1532, executed the emperor Atahualpa, and occupied the Inca capital of Cusco.
Forgotten for centuries, the city of Espíritu Pampa – also known as Old Vilcabamba – has only been cleared in recent decades.

Science and Nature

Scientists Find ‘Super-Earth’ In Star System From ‘Star Trek’ “Like Spock’s home world Vulcan, this newly discovered exoplanet orbits the 40 Eridani triple star system.” The exoplanet is “the closest Sun-like star with a known planet.”
One of the world’s oldest—and deadliest—diseases has undeniably racist roots “When the mummy of the Egyptian woman—who died in 600 BC—was examined by pathologists in the 1820s, they concluded that she had died of ovarian cancer. But further investigations in the 1980s dismissed this hypothesis, provoking new mystery about her cause of death. ”

In 2009, advances in DNA technology finally allowed scientists to detect the lethal organism that was present in samples of tissue all over Irtyersenu’s body: lungs, gallbladder, bone.

Via JPL: Dust Storms on Titan Spotted for the First Time

“Titan is a very active moon,” said Sebastien Rodriguez, an astronomer at the Université Paris Diderot, France, and the paper’s lead author. “We already know that about its geology and exotic hydrocarbon cycle. Now we can add another analogy with Earth and Mars: the active dust cycle, in which organic dust can be raised from large dune fields around Titan’s equator.”

The Lingering Curse That’s Killing Killer Whales
Via BoingBoing: RoundUp disrupts honey bee gut bacteria

The weed killer glyphosate, better known as Monsanto’s RoundUp, is touted by the manufacturer as a perfectly harmless herbicide. But a study led by bee experts at the University of Texas, Austin found that RoundUp leads to disruptions in the gut biome of honeybees and is responsible for the colony collapse disorder that’s plagued bees for the last decade.


Via The New Yorker:How Russia Helped To Swing The Elections for 💩🔥💰
Elizabeth Warren’s Ambitious Fix for America’s Housing Crisis “The Massachusetts Democrat introduced legislation that takes aim at segregation, redlining, restrictive zoning, and the loss of equity by low-income homeowners.”

First, a quick summary of the bill. It aims to lower the cost of developing housing so landlords don’t have to make rents so high, coming at the issue from two different angles. From one end, it tries to increase the supply of affordable housing by pouring billions of federal dollars into programs that subsidize developments in rural, low-income, and middle-income communities.
From the other end, the bill attempts to strip away the zoning laws that made developing housing so expensive in the first place.

Funded largely by restoring the estate tax to Bush-era levels; this makes it hard to sell to the GOP, but the bill might pass (or some version of the bill) if Dems take the House.
Mark Judge: author, Kavanaugh’s schoolfriend … witness?

“A man must be able to read a woman’s signals, and it’s a good thing that feminism is teaching young men that no means no and yes means yes,” Judge wrote.
“But there’s also that ambiguous middle ground, where the woman seems interested and indicates, whether verbally or not, that the man needs to prove himself to her.
“And if that man is any kind of man, he’ll allow himself to feel the awesome power, the wonderful beauty, of uncontrollable male passion.”

That’s not just a declaration about rape culture as white male privilege, it’s homoerotic in its emphasis on male sexual performance and male gaze.


How to Play Google’s Text Adventure Easter Egg in Chrome I really do love a good Easter Egg, and this one is both fun and charming.
NYT sues FCC, says it hid evidence of Russia meddling in net neutrality repeal NTY suit alleges that the FCC acted ilegally by hiding net neutrality comment records.

. . . the FCC falsely claimed that an outage in its public comment system was caused by multiple DDoS attacks, when in fact the outage was caused by the FCC’s inability to handle an influx of pro-net neutrality comments. The comment system was also overrun with bots and comments that were fraudulently submitted in people’s names without their knowledge.

Russian troll sites infiltrated Donald Trump subreddit as recently as this month

Reddit users have uncovered an elaborate campaign to seed Reddit’s most popular pro-Trump community with content linked to Russian influence operations, as detailed in a post on Friday night.

Reddit’s Largest Pro-Trump Subreddit Appears To Have Been Targeted By Russian Propaganda For Years
Russia’s Elite Hackers Have a Clever New Trick That’s Very Hard to Fix

The malware ESET observed does not itself actively steal data from an infected device. Think of it not as a robber, but as a door into your house that’s so hidden, you can’t see it even if you pore over every wall. LoJax gives Fancy Bear constant, remote access to a device, and the ability to install additional malware on it at any time.

Women’s Work

Paleolithic Women Likely Knew A Lot More About Loving Their Bodies Than We Do

In this change of perspective—from outside the body to inside it, from male to female—there is the introduction of something we conspicuously lack even today: The idea of a woman who, gazing down at her own pregnant figure, sees her body as a thing of true wonder, and decides to turn it into a sculpture, to reproduce and preserve its shape.

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

England Returns Ancient Egyptian Artwork
Investigation by golf publication helps free wrongfully convicted man
The Markup “Today, The Markup, a new journalism venture founded by Sue Gardner, former head of the Wikimedia Foundation, and Julia Angwin and Jeff Larson, investigative journalists formerly at ProPublica, officially launches. The Markup will focus on investigative journalism that seeks to uncover how powerful institutions are using and abusing technology in ways that harm real people and damage society.”
Yellowstone’s Grizzly Bears Reinstated as Endangered Species, Judge Rules US District Court Judge Dana Christensen overturned the controversial decision by the 💩🔥💰 administration to remove federal protections from Yellowstone’s iconic grizzly bears.

The August 2017 decision was based on poorly applied science. The US Fish and Wildlife Service, which enforces the Endangered Species Act, “illegally negotiated away its obligation to apply the best available science in order to reach an accommodation with the states of Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana,” Christensen wrote

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