You should read this for 7/21/2018:
Books, Writing, and Language
Via The New Yorker: The Art of Aphorism
Poetry and Prophecy, Dust and Ashes “A review of The Hebrew Bible: A Translation with Commentary, by Robert Alter”
Food and Drink
H/T Heather G: Lemon Tart with Walnut Crust
Sweet Corn and Goat Cheese Quesadillas
History and Archaeology
Lost in this furor is the fact that Ocasio-Cortez did not make a Holocaust analogy when she referred to concentration camps. Widely accepted definitions of concentration camp are worded differently but agree in substance. The online Merriam-Webster dictionary defines concentration camp as: “a place where large numbers of people (such as prisoners of war, political prisoners, refugees, or the members of an ethnic or religious minority) are detained or confined under armed guard.” The Oxford English Dictionary offers some history: “a camp where non-combatants of a district are accommodated, such as those instituted by Lord Kitchener during the Boer War (1899–1902); one for the internment of political prisoners, foreign nationals, etc., esp. as organized by the Nazi regime in Germany before and during the war of 1939–45.” The Encyclopedia Britannica offers a similar definition: “internment centre for political prisoners and members of national or minority groups who are confined for reasons of state security, exploitation, or punishment, usually by executive decree or military order.”
Science and Nature
A fence built to keep out wild dogs has dramatically altered the Australian landscape
Zombifying fungus bypasses the brain to make ants its puppets, study finds
Their Family Bought Land One Generation After Slavery. The Reels Brothers Spent Eight Years in Jail for Refusing to Leave It.
Between 1910 and 1997, African Americans lost about 90% of their farmland. This problem is a major contributor to America’s racial wealth gap; the median wealth among black families is about a tenth that of white families. Now, as reparations have become a subject of national debate, the issue of black land loss is receiving renewed attention. A group of economists and statisticians recently calculated that, since 1910, black families have been stripped of hundreds of billions of dollars because of lost land. Nathan Rosenberg, a lawyer and a researcher in the group, told me, “If you want to understand wealth and inequality in this country, you have to understand black land loss.”
Via TidBITS: Free VPN Investigation
Over half of the most popular free VPN apps are run by secretive companies with hidden Chinese ownership. Very few do enough to earn the trust of the privacy-conscious.
Rich Mogull in TidBITS: Apple Flexes Its Privacy Muscles
Apple is upping its privacy game to levels never before seen from a major technology company. That is, beyond improving privacy in its own products, the company is starting to use its market strength to extend privacy through the tendrils that touch the Apple ecosystem.
Writing with a pencil is better than with a pen
Meet Margaret Hamilton: The Woman Behind the Apollo Project I’ve linked to this before, but the piece has some new information.
Via Twitter and @Mary Robinette KowalVerified account @MaryRobinetteLet’s talk about peeing in space. “Several people, in response to my NY Times essay, have said that women couldn’t go into space because we lacked the technology for them to pee in space.”
💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰
How our House members voted in response to ‘racist comments’
“It is not the first time I’ve heard, ‘Go back to where you came from,’” said Jayapal, who represents part of Snohomish County, in the protracted and passion-filled floor debate. “It is the first time I have heard it coming from the White House.”
Trump Spoke With Cohen As They, Aides, Sealed Hush Money Deals In 2016