Elsewhere for March 23, 2019

You should read this for 3/23/2019:

Art and Film

Russell Shorto writing for the New York Times Magazine: Rembrandt in the Blood: An Obsessive Aristocrat, Rediscovered Paintings and an Art-World Feud

Why is the Mona Lisa not the Mona Lisa?

One of the great riddles of modern times is why a 500-year portrait of a Florentine housewife, of no rank or title, is today the most famous painting in the world. But the mystery around that portrait has now deepened. New findings suggest that Leonardo da Vinci’s most celebrated work may not depict M(ad)onna Lisa, wife of the silk merchant Francesco del Giocondo, at all.

Books, Writing, and Language

Translator of Homer Emily R. C. Wilson on Twitter: So that you can all feel my pain, here are a few more reasons why it’s more or less impossible to translate Homer into English in a satisfactory way.
Letterlocking: The Long-Lost Art Of Using Paper-Folding To Foil Snoops

“Letterlocking” is a term coined by MIT Libraries conservator Jana Dambrogio after she discovered a trove of letters while spelunking in the conservation lab of the Vatican Secret Archives; the letters had been ingeniously folded and sealed so that they couldn’t be opened and re-closed without revealing that they had been read. Some even contained “booby traps” to catch the unwary.

Food and Drink

Via Simply Recipes: Slow Cooker Guinness Beef Stew This freezes really well.

History and Archaeology

H/T Lisa C: L.D. Burnett on Getting the Right History vs. Getting the History Right
H/T PNH: Myke Cole on How the Far Right Perverts Ancient History—And Why It Matters

Hanson’s wildly successful 1989 book on ancient infantry combat, The Western Way of War: Infantry Battle in Classical Greece, advanced the breathtakingly bigoted and utterly false notion that manly, honest, close-combat is the Western legacy of battle, and that perfidy, trickery, and ruse is the Eastern legacy, and that therefore the Western way has rightly come to dominate.

. . .

The right wing’s distortion of the West’s fighting roots in the ancient world – roots that were by any measure polyglot, diverse and multicultural, resonate to the point of vibration with conservative movements that by definition lift up the past.

Science and Nature

H/T Mac: Woman Sets Up Tiny Photo Booth to Capture Birds Eating in Her Backyard There are a lot of fairly large images of birds, so the page may be a little slow to load.
NASA issues space herpes warning as virus reactivates in astronauts “The stress on the body of spaceflight is believed to contribute to suppressing the immune system and helping the virus to grow.”

There are eight known herpes virus, including the strain for chickenpox, which once contracted will stay within their hosts’ nerve cells for their entire life.
They are mostly kept suppressed by the immune system, but if the immune system itself is suppressed by space exploration, then they could pose a significant risks to astronauts travelling to Mars or beyond.


When Not Reading The Fine Print Can Cost Your Soul
‘Everything Just Came Flooding Back’: Sparks Of Teen Romance Rekindled 28 Years Later

In the summer of 1981 in Louisiana, Liz Barnez, then, 16 and Lori Daigle, then 17, shared a secret kiss.

Blame wood-burning stoves for winter air pollution and health threats
The Most Alarming Argument in Jill Lepore’s These Truths


Via A Book Apart Authors Answer: What Are Your Top Tips For Working Remotely?
H/T O’Reilly — Benedict Evans: Microsoft, Facebook, Trust And Privacy

There are strong parallels between organised abuse of Facebook and FB’s attempts to respond, in the last 24 months, and malware on Windows and Office and Microsoft’s attempts to respond, 20 years ago.

After the porn ban, Tumblr users have ditched the platform as promised Tumblr has lost 30 percent of web traffic since December

Women’s Work

Military Doctors Told Them It Was Just “Female Problems.” Weeks Later, They Were In The Hospital.
Your New Bicycle: Beto, childcare, and the cool
Via NPR: After Years Of Abuse By Priests, #NunsToo Are Speaking Out

“The Vatican is a world of men; some truly are men of God,” says Sister Catherine Aubin, a French Dominican nun who teaches at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas in Rome. “Others have been ruined by power. The key to these secrets and silence is … abuse of power. They climb up a career staircase toward evil.”

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

In 1958, a synagogue was bombed. An editor’s response won a Pulitzer — and his words ring eerily true today

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

H/T PNH: Charlotte Sometimes on Twitter about book day and community and making things better for kids: Ok. I have a really long story about World Book Day. Indulge me or mute me, I am a bit emotional this morning….
Cork Statue Pays Tribute To Choctaw Tribe’s Generosity During The Irish Famine

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