Elsewhere for September 6, 2020

You should read this for 9/6/2020:

Art, Music, and Film

decorative leaf bulletStar Trek Day! Star Trek Day!

On September 8th, CBS All Access is holding an all-day streaming event to commemorate the 54th anniversary of the premiere of the original Star Trek television show. I’ll admit I skimmed the email announcement until I found what I was looking for: yes, Patrick Stewart aka Captain Jean-Luc Picard will be part of the Star Trek panel discussions and will even reunite with Jonathan Frakes aka William Riker aka Number One aka Ensign Babyface.

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The event will stream free on the Star Trek website, and doesn’t require a CBS All Access subscription.

decorative leaf bulletGo read John Boyega’s unfiltered interview about how Disney (and Star Wars) sidelined him Boyega’s interview is here.

But] what I would say to Disney is do not bring out a black character, market them to be much more important in the franchise than they are and then have them pushed to the side. It’s not good. I’ll say it straight up.”

decorative leaf bulletDisney+’s “The Mandalorian” returns this fall. More Baby Yoda in 2020! October 30, 2020.

Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language

The New York Times: decorative leaf bulletThe Celebrity Bookshelf Detective Is Back
decorative leaf bulletExpand Your Vocabulary With This Site of Untranslatable Words
decorative leaf bulletWhat the [US] is reading during the pandemic: Dystopias, social justice and steamy romance

This year, perhaps as never before, our reading habits reflect our precarious reality. As the country has muddled through a deadly pandemic and a racial reckoning under a cloud of exhaustion and dread, we’ve used books to escape the present, inform our beliefs and educate our homebound children. We’ve found catharsis in apocalyptic science fiction and comfort in romance; advice in self-help guides and a moment of peace, thanks to children’s activity books. Most strikingly, since the death of George Floyd in May, we’ve flocked to books about race and social justice.

Coronavirus | COVID-19

H/T Lisa C: decorative leaf bulletSociopathic traits linked to non-compliance with mask guidelines and other COVID-19 containment measures

New research from Brazil has found that people who are unconcerned with adhering to measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 tend to display higher levels of traits associated with antisocial personality disorder, also known as sociopathy. The findings have been published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.

decorative leaf bulletState suspends business license of Millinocket inn linked to COVID-19 outbreak

The inn hosted a wedding reception on August 7, which has now been linked to 87 COVID-19 cases across the state. The Millinocket outbreak has also been linked to smaller outbreaks at the Maplecrest Rehabilitation Center in Madison, as well as at the York County Jail complex


decorative leaf bulletThis public US university has seen grades soar despite Covid. What’s it doing right? “Most of Georgia State’s students come from low-income backgrounds hard-hit by the pandemic. The school could serve as a model for others nationwide”

Georgia State has not been pummeled. In fact, its graduation rate this spring hit a record high. So did the grade-point average of its graduating class. Not only did attendance not drop in the hurried shift to remote learning; it went up – to a dizzying 98.5% by the final week of the spring semester.
How? The answer is that Georgia State is a special sort of university, one that, for the past decade, has overturned received wisdom about the viability of lower-income, minority, and first-generation students. It has proven that such students do not fail because they are not capable; they fail because, at most universities, the bureaucracy throws obstacles in their way instead of helping them fulfill their potential.

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In the first two weeks of remote learning, advisors were able to identify more than 8,000 students who either were not logging on or weren’t performing as expected. Some needed laptops or iPads, which the university was able to provide. Others were overwhelmed and needed financial or psychological guidance.

decorative leaf bulletThese students figured out their tests were graded by AI — and the easy way to cheat This is a waste of time, technology, and student’s efforts to learn. This kind of online instruction is pointless. It’s the digital equivalent of watching my peers (who could see) look up the work sheet answers in the “self- programmed textbooks” we had in the seventies.

Food and Drink

decorative leaf bulletpeach and blueberry crisp
decorative leaf bulletstovetop tzimmes

History and Archaeology

decorative leaf bulletHadrian’s Wall dig reveals oldest Christian graffiti on chalice

A 5th-century chalice covered in religious iconography has been discovered in Northumberland, to the astonishment of archaeologists, who describe it as Britain’s first known example of Christian graffiti on an object. With its complex mass of crosses and chi-rhos, angels and a priestly figure, as well as fish, a whale and ships, it is believed to be without parallel in western Europe.
Made of lead and now in 14 fragments, it was unearthed at the Vindolanda Roman fort, one of Europe’s foremost archaeological sites, near Hadrian’s Wall, during an excavation that has also discovered the foundations of a significant church of the 5th or 6th century.

decorative leaf bulletBronze age Britons made keepsakes from parts of dead relatives, archaeologists say

Bronze age Britons remembered the dead by keeping and curating bits of their bodies, and even turning them into instruments and ornaments, according to new research on the remains.
Archaeologists found that pieces of bone buried with the dead were often from people who had died decades earlier, suggesting their remains had been kept for future generations, as keepsakes or perhaps for home display.

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“Our research demonstrates that excarnation – the exposure of fleshed bodies to the elements – was in fact common throughout the bronze age, and evidence for the manipulation of partially fleshed bodies in a variety of ritual practices indicates that bronze age people had a quite different attitude to death and the dead than we have today,” Bruck said.

Science and Nature

Image shows a twisted ribbon of light, a small section of the Cygnus supernova blast wave
This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope depicts a small section of the Cygnus supernova blast wave, located around 2400 light-years away.

decorative leaf bulletHubble’s Photo of the Cygnus Loop is, Of Course, Incredible
“The name of the supernova remnant comes from its position in the northern constellation of Cygnus (The Swan), where it covers an area 36 times larger than the full moon.  The original supernova explosion blasted apart a dying star about 20 times more massive than our Sun between 10 000 and 20 000 years ago. Since then, the remnant has expanded 60 light-years from its centre. The shockwave marks the outer edge of the supernova remnant and continues to expand at around 350 kilometres per second. The interaction of the ejected material and the low-density interstellar material swept up by the shockwave forms the distinctive veil-like structure seen in this image.”


decorative leaf bulletYes, It’s Possible to Get Paid for Family Caregiving
decorative leaf bulletHolocaust reparations, prescriptions and rent checks: USPS delays put Americans in jeopardy

And there’s more than enough real-time postal pain to go around, since Postmaster General Louis DeJoy began instituting cost-cutting measures in July. DeJoy has since put the brakes on any new cuts — including slashing overtime, ripping out mail-sorting machines, getting rid of blue mailboxes that grace so many street corners. The damage, however, has already been done. Critical prescriptions are being delayed, placing many Americans’ health in jeopardy. New credit cards, rent checks, stimulus payments from the Internal Revenue Service — all have been stalled. Small-business owners who sell goods through Etsy and EBay are being hammered with customer complaints because packages do not arrive when promised.

Larry Flynt: decorative leaf bulletLarry Flynt: My Final Farewell to the Falwells The dude can write:

They’re obsessed above all with sexual behavior, ignoring and subverting the core message of Christianity—humility and compassion for the downtrodden—while embracing “prosperity gospel,” which is to say the gospel of greed above all other values.
They support Republican politicians eager to gut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare and other programs designed to do what Jesus Christ strived for: the reduction of human suffering in this vale of tears. They live in multimillion-dollar mansions and fly around in private jets, while fleecing their flock for “prayer donations” guaranteed to cure incurable diseases and afflictions. They forget that Jesus Christ only lost his temper and acted violently once: when driving the money-lenders from the temple. But they are not troubled in the least by the banksters on Wall Street, who hoovered up millions from middle-class Americans, granting the 1 percent a get-out-of-jail-free card to do it all over again. Instead, these evangelists reserve the whip for gays, women who want to control their own bodies, pot smokers, and other “heretics” who are only trying to lead fulfilling lives. They actually work to increase the sum of human suffering. They are peddlers of religious snake oil.


decorative leaf bulletNearly half of Twitter accounts pushing to reopen America may be bots “There has been a huge upswell of Twitter bot activity since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, amplifying medical disinformation and the push to reopen America.”

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Women’s Work

decorative leaf bulletWomen speak out over Scottish trad music scene ‘misogyny’

decorative leaf bulletCaitlin Moran: ‘Every few years, I reread How To Be A Woman and marvel at what I got wrong’

Social media has reminded us of the most intriguing yet exhilarating fact about feminism: there is no feminist bible. Feminism isn’t a science. It’s just an idea; a completely freelance, voluntary, crowd-sourced and brilliant idea, in which women and, yes, sometimes men, go about identifying, then trying to solve the problems of girls and women. And, one of the things I feel we sometimes forget , celebrating their brilliance. Although it might occasionally feel like it, being a woman isn’t just a set of difficult questions. The female population of the Earth is also a set of answers. It’s a billion seeds of potential. It is a field of blossom, just waiting.

decorative leaf bulletHollie Doyle is first woman in British racing to ride five winners in a day

It so happens the Sky TV cameras are due at Doyle’s home on Monday, but not for her; her boyfriend and fellow jockey Tom Marquand is to give an interview. Told of this, Doyle smiled wryly and said: “I’d better get the cleaning done, then…”

decorative leaf bulletWomen Scientists Have the Evidence About Sexism
decorative leaf bulletPolitician brought her baby to vote after she wasn’t allowed to vote remotel

Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks had asked to be allowed to vote by proxy on a housing bill Monday, but her request was denied. The speaker of California’s State Assembly, Anthony Rendon, decided she would have to vote in person or not at all. Only those who are considered at higher risk of COVID-19 are allowed to have a legislative leader, a proxy, vote on their behalf, according to Assembly rules introduced in July. As a new mother, Wicks didn’t cut it in Rendon’s eyes.

As Wicks is being commended for showing up with her newborn to make the vote — even by Hillary Clinton, no less (Wicks supported her presidential run) — there’s a deeper frustration here.
She shouldn’t have been forced to drive more than 80 miles from her Oakland home with her baby in tow to do it. She shouldn’t have had to stop feeding her one-month-old to run to the floor and vote. She shouldn’t have had to soothe a cranky baby as she pleaded with her colleagues.

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰 from 🤥🤥👖🔥

decorative leaf bulletSecret Service copes with coronavirus cases in aftermath of Trump appearances

The previously unreported episode is one of a series of examples of how Trump’s insistence on traveling and holding campaign-style events amid the pandemic has heightened the risks for the people who safeguard his life, intensifying the strain on the Secret Service.

decorative leaf bulletTrump Is Suing Pennsylvania To Block Votes From Being Counted

BREAKING: In a late-Friday filing, Trump and @GOP ask Federal Court to BLOCK the counting of mail-in ballots cast in Pennsylvania via drop boxes, that lack inner envelops, or have been delivered via third party.

Keep in mind that 🤥🤥👖🔥 voted via absentee ballot and had it delivered by a third party.
decorative leaf bulletTinpot Administration Is Apparently ‘Building Dossiers’ On Journalists Who Criticize 💩🔥💰
decorative leaf bulletThe Pentagon has ordered Stars and Stripes to shut down for no good reason “💩🔥💰 wants to pull funding from Stars and Stripes, a newspaper for American troops that began in the Civil War and has been serving our soldiers.”

In a heretofore unpublicized recent memo, the Pentagon delivered an order to shutter Stars and Stripes, a newspaper that has been a lifeline and a voice for American troops since the Civil War. The memo orders the publisher of the news organization (which now publishes online as well as in print) to present a plan that “dissolves the Stars and Stripes” by Sept. 15  including “specific timeline for vacating government owned/leased space worldwide.”

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

decorative leaf bulletPenzey’s Spices is ‘looting’ its own Kenosha store in a statement about priorities
decorative leaf bulletMy face blindness is embarrassing – but it tells me a lot about other people

I increasingly use my face-blindness as a sorting device. I tell people about it on our first meeting, and the way they behave after that reveals a lot. Some are touchingly helpful – one friend always finds a way to shoe-horn her name into the first sentence while I orient myself – but I’m surprised at the number of people who don’t think I’ll be blind to their face, uniquely. They seamlessly translate my face-blindness into a failure to love them enough, rather than a neurological difference. Disclosing it has become a reliable measure of people’s kindness, their neediness, their ability to put their ego aside.

decorative leaf bulletHow To Feed A Protest

Something Wonderful

decorative leaf bulletDave Grohl is in an adorable remote drum battle with a 10-year-old
decorative leaf bulletThe COVID Cruise Ship and the Maine Fishing Town

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