Elsewhere for February 10, 2019

You should read this for 2/10/2019:

Books, Writing, and Language

Ian Parker via The New Yorker “Dan Mallory, who writes under the name A. J. Finn, went to No. 1 with his début thriller, The Woman in the Window. His life contains even stranger twists.” A Suspense Novelist’s Trail of Deceptions
Nicola Griffith interviewed by Alexis Smith for Moss


Why study English? We’re poorer in every sense without it

Similarly in the US, a longterm decline in the popularity of humanities courses accelerated sharply after the financial crisis of 2008/09; having accounted for 22% of all US degrees in the late 1960s, they now make up less than 5%. Writing in the Atlantic last year, historian Benjamin Schmidt called this a “crisis”, arguing that the cause is students’ anxieties about the job market and an increasingly instrumental view of higher education as a means to boost future earnings (even if graduate employment statistics provide limited justification for the switch from arts to sciences).

Food and Drink

Should I Drink Red Wine?
It’s from 2015, but it’s still interesting in terms of the potential health benefits of red wine in moderation (resveratrol) vs the calories.
A Winter Garden

Sarah has farmed seaweed for eight years. However, this enterprise, Springtide Seaweed, is her first try at running a complete business. In a licensed 35 acres of mud-bottomed bay, she and her partner puzzle out the best ways to raise their crops, which need cold clean water to thrive. Their seaweeds cling to ropes, horizontal long lines that hang 6 feet down. Each species requires specific light intensities. The trick is to have some of them throw a flickering shade onto others, but not too much, and to allow them all to absorb the amount of light they need, but not enough for the winter sun to scorch them.

Wine could help solve writer’s block, says study That’s not, at all, what teh study actually says, of course.
Dorie Greenspan’s Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Rose Levy Beranbaum : The Chewiest, Crackliest Molasses Cookies Have a Genius Little Secret

History and Archaeology

New article ponders the mystery of carved stone balls

Over 200 carved stone balls have been found in Scotland, the size of oranges and each distinctively decorated. They were made in the Neolithic, and no one knows why.

See the pictures and links in the article; these are carefully, often intricately carved from stone.

Science and Nature

Plummeting insect numbers ‘threaten collapse of nature’

The planet is at the start of a sixth mass extinction in its history, with huge losses already reported in larger animals that are easier to study. But insects are by far the most varied and abundant animals, outweighing humanity by 17 times. They are “essential” for the proper functioning of all ecosystems, the researchers say, as food for other creatures, pollinators and recyclers of nutrients.


From Newsweek: Measles Outbreak: Children Of Anti-Vaxxers Are Asking How To Get Vaccinated Without Their Parents Knowing
Ex-CIA and FBI director threatened by scammer, then helps put him in prison
Exclusive: Thousands of Black Votes in Georgia Disappeared and No One Can Explain It

As if it were a too on-the-nose movie plot, Abrams’ Republican opponent in the race for governor was Brian Kemp. As Georgia’s longtime secretary of state, Kemps presided over the state’s elections, voting machines and vote tallying. And as a vote suppressor, Kemp’s record of disenfranchising voters was unmatched.


How did Apple’s AirPods go from mockery to millennial status symbol?
Will Chinese firm’s stake in Reddit normalise censorship?

The creation of concentration camps for a million Uighurs in Xinjiang has not been enough to persuade any of the Silicon Valley entrepreneurs receiving funds from Chinese companies to refuse the cash. Neither is it apparently enough of a deterrent to stop the US companies investing in China to stop their plans to enter the market.

Women’s Work

She made history as a Navy pilot. An all-female squadron just flew over her funeral “Capt. Rosemary Mariner, who died Jan. 24, broke barriers throughout her career, opening doors for other women”
H/T Beth: American women are 50% more likely to die in childbirth than their mothers

Furthermore, while the maternal-death rate has fallen in most developed nations and has improved in many developing ones, it has risen in the US.

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

A United States Government (USG) Memorandum Released by Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley to NBC News Shows According to Him that the USG: “planned to traumatize children and intentionally create a humanitarian crisis”
Trump appears to mock Elizabeth Warren with genocide joke and people are livid
Trump’s properties routinely employed (and abused) undocumented Latinx workers, including dozens from a single Costa Rican town

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

Via WIRED: Meet The Blind Youtubers Making The Internet More Accessible

“Every time I say I’m visually impaired,” says Casey Greer. “someone will try to shut me down, saying ‘Well then how did you type this comment?!’ It feels silly that in 2019, I always have to explain that blind people use and love the internet just as much as anybody else.”

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