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Weekend link dump for July 3

“NASA to Power Down Voyager Probes: Here Are Their Best Space Photos“.

You have to wonder how things might be now if Harriet Miers were on SCOTUS now instead of Sam Alito.

“These installations are called traffic gardens — or safety towns, safety villages, or traffic parks. They are small-scale worlds where children can practice using roadways and learn how they work. This matters because road use, as my mom says, isn’t intuitive.”

“The landscape of misinformation is characterized both by a high level of familiarity with the narratives we tested and also a high level of uncertainty about whether these narratives are true or false; In fact, we walked away believing that uncertainty is a much more important focus of attention than belief; As such, we also saw the potential strategic value, counter to some conventional guidance, of airing out and debunking certain narratives; And we concluded that “susceptibility” is not the right framework for understanding (or countering) disinformation, misinformation or propaganda.”

“The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade is about to upend the lives of one group that few activists on either side of the debate have considered—women in the U.S. military.”

“This is how Hamtramck Stadium sounded in the 1930s, when the Negro Leagues’ Detroit Stars called it home. This is how it sounded again Monday, thanks to a grassroots effort to renovate the historic ballpark.”

Meet Bernice Gera, the first female umpire in professional baseball history. The Athletic has a story if you have a subscription.

“Charles Schulz, the creator of Peanuts, passionately believed in girls’ and women’s sports. Arguably the most popular cartoonist of his day, he used his platform to promote Title IX, with characters such as Lucy, Marcie and Peppermint Patty cheering on the legislation – and top women athletes of the era.”

RIP, Steve Gonzales, celebrated photographer for the Houston Chronicle whose work included an iconic shot of an armadillo rescue during the 2016 Tax Day floods. The photo was later touted as the proper image for a new city of Houston flag.

RIP, Alexander Jefferson, revered former colonel for the Tuskegee Airmen.

A whole lot of y’all have watched Stranger Things season 4. (This includes daughter #2 and me.)

Seven-year-old Abigail Courtney has seen some things at the ol’ ballpark.

Lock them up.

“Who Is Cassidy Hutchinson? And Why Is She A Key Witness?”

“I overheard the president say something to the effect of, ‘You know, I don’t f-ing care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me. Take the f-ing mags away. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here. Let the people in. Take the f-ing mags away.”

“Legally, the most important is what seems to me like very specific evidence that the former President is guilty of seditious conspiracy, among numerous other crimes.”

Don’t Trust DIY Abortion Advice on TikTok“.

“Due to increased demand, at this time we are limiting purchases of Plan B contraceptive pills to three per customer.”

RIP, Philip Baker Hall, legendary character actor who was in basically everything.

“A group of 200 top writers, producers and directors have signed an open letter backed by the Brady gun violence organization that includes a pledge to incorporate gun safety best practices into their shows and to scrutinize the use of firearms in storytelling.”

“The tech companies contacted by Motherboard have decided to not acknowledge their stance explicitly either way, despite the stark reality they now find themselves in; that they may provide the forensic or digital evidence that puts a person who can be pregnant in jail.”

RIP, Margaret Keane, artist best known for her paintings of big-eyed, melancholy children.

RIP, Hershel Williams, last surviving Medal of Honor recipient from World War II.

Obi-Wan Kenobi was supposed to be a movie, but then Solo didn’t do well enough, and so Disney+ it was.

“Practically, the report is an instruction manual for how Trump partisans at all levels of government—aided by citizen “posses” of Proud Boys and Oath Keepers—could, quite literally, round up opposition activists, kill their leaders, and install Donald Trump for a second term in office.”

Patsy Baloney is my new drag name.

Weekend link dump for June 26

“Not a single MAGA candidate who has been screaming 2020 fraud—Ken Paxton in Texas, Herschel Walker in Georgia, JD Vance in Ohio, Ted Budd in North Carolina, Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania—not one of them has answered the question of how such endemic fraud just happened to be missing from their own election.”

“According to an NBC News analysis of FBI hate crime data from the last 10 years, more than 160 hate crimes were recorded at grocery stores in 2020, 65% more than in 2019 and four times as many as in 2010.”

“Stolen-election activists and supporters of former President Donald Trump have embraced a new tactic in their ongoing campaign to unearth supposed proof of fraud in the 2020 presidential race: chasing down a fictional breed of fraudster known as a “ballot mule” and using social media to do it.”

“Researchers Release Comprehensive Twitter Dataset of False Claims About The 2020 Election”.

“The legitimacy of judicial review hinges in part on the public perception that we are applying the rule of law regardless of our personal preferences instead of merely engaging in judicial policymaking.”

“The philosopher John Rawls’ bit was to argue that justice was rational because it makes sense for all of us to want a world in which any such Great Swapping wouldn’t put us in jeopardy of losing our rights, needs, safety, and dignity.”

“It is clear that weeks before January 6 the White House staff under Trump’s direction engaged in a pattern of firings, transfers and otherwise diminishing agencies that could have prevented the events of the day. In addition it is clear that Trump and others close to him were advised, and were aware, that their conduct would violate the Electoral Count Act and perhaps other statutes. It is clear also that Trump was advised and knew even through communications from his daughter and the former Attorney General that he had lost the election and that there was no cognizable evidence of fraud. Put all these things together and it is clear that Merrick Garland would have grounds to seek indictments and would be able to deflect any argument that the participants in the seditious conspiracy lacked criminal intent.”

“While the rest of official Washington, including other government buildings including the White House and Capitol, has reopened its doors to the public at least partially as the pandemic ebbs, the top U.S. judicial body remains in a form of lockdown with what appears to be siege mentality even as it wields huge influence over public policy.”

Why you get paper receipts for cash transactions at fast food and casual dining outlets.

RIP, Rosemary Catacalos, former poet laureate of Texas.

Birds of a feather. Who should both be locked up.

“Sexualized threats. Home break-ins. Death threats. An attempted citizen’s arrest. Being singled out by name and image by Donald Trump and his advisers. This is just a fraction of what Georgia’s election workers and their families experienced in the days and weeks after the former president made the state the focus of his “Big Lie” election conspiracy.”

Here’s a fairly simple explanation of Gödel’s incompleteness theorem.

Lock them up.

“Should you keep abortion pills at home, just in case?” (Spoiler alert: The answer is yes, you should.)

RIP, Tony Siragusa, TV personality and former NFL player who won a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens.

“What makes this article special, though, is that it’s a perfect example of how sexism and mainstream media collide and collude to convince Americans that abusive men are the real victims. And in a moment when misogynist backlash is on an upswing, pieces like this are more dangerous than ever.”

“If you’re wondering what you can do right now to fight for abortion rights in the wake of the Dobbs decision, this is one of those things”.

Weekend link dump for June 19

“A Texas entrepreneur is bringing back the woolly mammoth. Well, sort of.”

“This bears repeating: Judicial supremacy is an institutional arrangement brought to cultural ascendancy by white people who wanted to undo Reconstruction and the rise of organized labor that had followed. And that makes sense, as judicial supremacy can harness the power of an entrenched minority and use that power to undermine the more democratic legislative branch.”

“But the most important thing the hearings can do — given that, if someone tries to steal the next election, they won’t do it precisely the way Trump and his allies tried in 2020 — is to shift our gaze forward: They can highlight continuing vulnerabilities in our electoral system and propose ways to fix them, before it is too late.”

“But there is another subtext informing this European reaction, one which Friedman studiously sidesteps: the reality that the commitments of the United States can no longer be counted on to defend Europe, thanks in large part to the memory of Donald Trump’s administration—specifically Trump’s peculiar sycophancy towards Putin and the Russian Federation.”

“Kim Phúc and Nick Ut on “Napalm Girl,” 50 years later.”

“Now, a little more than five years later, 25 percent of Republicans identify as believers of the Pizzagate successor QAnon, and the far right’s capacity for street violence has grown. At the same time, where once most elected Republican officials would at least nominally distance themselves from Pizzagate-pushers out on the fringe, that wall has largely eroded.”

“The Warning About Trump That JFK Never Got to Deliver”.

“The hearings in Congress provide an opportunity for the public to see Christian nationalism for what it is.”

“You might’ve forgotten about rapper Kanye West’s bizarre ties to ex-President Donald Trump’s election steal scheme – but investigators in Georgia apparently haven’t.”

“So Reiter’s new projection is that there are at least 100 American drivers veering their cars into buildings each day, or 36,500 a year, and that’s the low bound. The revised figure corresponds to 16,000 Americans injured in car-on-building crashes each year, he believes, and more than 2,500 people killed.”

“After signing a pledge opposing anti-LGBTQ+ state legislation last spring, companies like AT&T, Amazon, Pfizer, and CVS Health gave thousands of dollars to the campaign efforts of lawmakers who had been backing such bills, according to a recent analysis from Data for Progress, a left-leaning polling firm.”

RIP, Internet Explorer, put out to pasture after 26 years.

“A new Florida law prohibiting abortion after 15 weeks with some exceptions violates religious freedom rights of Jews in addition to the state constitution’s privacy protections, a synagogue claims in a lawsuit.”

Lock them up.

“It is difficult to imagine a more humiliating conclusion to this sad chapter in Wisconsin history for those in the state pushing Trump’s Big Lie. The lawyers who were supposed to find evidence of fraud have destroyed their professional careers. The GOP politicians who supported this bogus audit are in contempt of court. And no one has produced an iota of evidence to suggest that Democrats stole the election. While attempting to discredit Joe Biden’s victory, Wisconsin Republicans have only bolstered its legitimacy.”

“It has been nearly 48 hours since a water line broke in Odessa, leaving the entire city without water amid a dayslong heat wave and bringing the community’s daily lives to a screeching halt. The West Texas city has about 112,000 residents, but the water outage included parts outside the city limits, bringing the number of people affected closer to 165,000, officials have said.”

Weekend link dump for June 12

“Even with the continued decline in payphones, there are still more payphones in the country than McDonalds or public libraries.”

“These 25 rainbow-flag waving companies donated $13 million to anti-gay politicians since 2021″.

“What is the LGIS News Service you ask? The answer reveals much more about our media environment, and is even more disturbing than the botched story suggests.”

“How a washed-up celebrity, men’s rights activists and true crime stans convinced millions of Americans to buy into a conspiracy theory“.

“If you’re trying to make sense of which policies work to reduce gun violence, it’s helpful to keep in mind that here in the U.S., we don’t really have one gun violence problem, we have at least four. Read on.”

“Draft Order Would Have Given Armed Trump Supporters Power to Seize Voting Data“.

“Bill Barr May Have Retired As Attorney General, But He’s Still Working Hard To Degrade The Office“.

“All in all, it sounds like a recipe for quite the hostile work environment at the Supreme Court.”

RIP, Dave Smith, inventor of multiple synthesizers and developer of the MIDI standard.

“How Missouri Helps Abortion Opponents Divert State Taxes to Crisis Pregnancy Centers”. A truly infuriating read.

RIP, John R. Brazil, President Emeritus of Trinity University.

“In other words, it’s possible that depressed turnout was avoided in Georgia only because campaigns and voting-rights groups spent a ton of resources to help people navigate the restrictions. But if Georgia’s restrictive voting law hadn’t passed, those resources could have been used elsewhere.”

Lock them up.

“After all, the Saudis are following the same playbook in golf that they have always followed in international relations: Build a strong enough financial position, and eventually the powerful holdouts against you will prefer to be your friends.”

“Bidding on a special, fireproof copy of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale ended on Tuesday afternoon, when the book was auctioned by Sotheby’s for $130,000. Proceeds from the auction will go to PEN America’s efforts to fight book banning.”

RIP, Ann Turner Cook, the original Gerber baby.

Yes, everyone is (re-)discovering Kate Bush. That’s a good thing. (FWIW, my fave KB song is still “Wuthering Heights”.)

RIP, Jim Seals, the Seals half of Seals and Croft, best known for the song “Summer Breeze”.

“What you’re describing is the single biggest issue facing the future of television production. Your incentive to make the best show you can runs into the brick wall of a complete lack of interest in keeping your show around. And not even at the point where it becomes prohibitively expensive—just more expensive than it was before.”

“President Trump engaged in a massive effort to spread false and fraudulent information to the American public claiming the 2020 election was stolen from him.”

“Trumpworld Lied To Your Face About The Election”.

Lock her up.

Weekend link dump for June 5

“Male TV presenters in Afghanistan are wearing face masks on screen to show solidarity after the Taliban issued an order that all women on news channels must cover their faces.”

“What is now a push to eradicate exceptions for rape and incest won’t stop there because the anti-abortion movement never wanted compromise. They never planned to stop once they restricted abortion to a certain point. If it was, they would have been satisfied with bans at 20 weeks, 15 weeks, 12 weeks, eight weeks, even six weeks. But they were not and are not, because the goal was never to reach a sanitized consensus. The goal has always been clear – to end legal abortion in any and all cases, and to punish those who have abortions.”

“That one decision to go and find the truth underlying Elon Musk’s promises, rather than just take his word for it, changed my life in ways I never could have anticipated. Now, seven long and often lonely years later, the world seems to be understanding what I learned from the experience: Once you stop taking Musk at his word, his heroic popular image evaporates and a far darker reality begins to reveal itself.”

“Why 18-Year-Olds in Texas Can Buy AR-15s but Not Handguns”.

“To many casual observers, Maus is the comic that made the funny pages legitimate literature. But long before Spiegelman’s account of his family trauma won a Pulitzer and broke open establishment conceptions of what comics could be and do, artists were using the medium to talk about difficult nonfiction topics. During World War II, in fact, some comics creators even delved into the grimmest depths of the Nazis’ Final Solution.”

“Here in the hospital, we will always be waiting to receive those who make it to us. We’ll do our best, on our end, every time. But our best will always be a worse option than prevention. Please don’t lose sight of the better option.”

“It is indeed a striking feature of the American political discourse: In determining whether or not something counts as extravagant or aloof, the socio-economic dimension is almost entirely ignored – all that counts are the cultural sensibilities of conservative white people.”

“The science is abundantly clear: More guns do not stop crime. Guns kill more children each year than auto accidents. More children die by gunfire in a year than on-duty police officers and active military members. Guns are a public health crisis, just like COVID, and in this, we are failing our children, over and over again.”

Lock him up.

“There are more than 20 million sentient species in the Star Wars galaxy, don’t choose to be a racist.”

“Programming on TMTG+, the document said, will include “blue collar comedy, cancelled shows, Trump-specific programming, faith-based shows, family entertainment, shows that embrace the Second Amendment, and news.””

“Kalush Orchestra, the ensemble that took home the Eurovision 2022 trophy earlier this month, has auctioned off the statue to support their country’s armed forces.”

What Ewan McGregor and Anson Mount say.

“The quick not-guilty verdict was a sharp slap at Durham’s three-year-long investigation, which was launched by William Barr, when he was Trump’s loyalist attorney general, and which has come across as a political crusade mounted to undermine the various Trump-Russia investigations.”

“A new memo offers insight into exactly how Trump’s lawyers imagined a scheme involving alternate slates of electors would play out.”

“I’ve assembled a lengthy, though surely incomplete, list of stolen apes and related scams. (Keep in mind that ape thefts alone are only a fraction all NFT and crypto thefts over time. It’s an expansive universe! Of scams!) Put on your internet face, whether it’s a bored ape or not, and read on.”

“At any rate, as pointed out earlier, it ultimately bears keeping in mind that the so-called “replacement theory” is an ugly old phenomenon, now burnished with a new name with the word “theory” tagged on. From time immemorial, genocides were always actuated by the mindset that the targeted group posed a problem for the society in which they lived. That is the bottom line. We are seeing it again. That being the case, we must not wait until a “substantial” number of Black people, Latino people, Jewish people, etc., have been killed before we recognise genocide as implicated in the spate of murders now being stoked by the so-called “replacement theory”, notwithstanding that these murders are also rightfully described as “hate” crimes.”

“Late on Wednesday evening, the Education Department announced that it will automatically cancel $5.8 billion in loans for 560,000 borrowers who attended Corinthian Colleges, a chain of fraud-ridden for-profit schools. The move is the single largest student debt cancellation action ever taken by the department. It concludes a multi-year push by ex-Corinthian students and advocates for debt relief for people who enrolled at the schools, which engaged in widespread deception of prospective students.”

Weekend link dump for May 29

“So, Have You Heard About Monkeypox?”

Here’s a good monkeypox explainer for you.

“This is the irony of our current moment: The most immediate impact of the Supreme Court’s imminent assault on abortion rights has been … an expansion of abortion rights. Americans in much of the country have greater access to reproductive health care than ever before. Blue states that didn’t bother updating their abortion laws for decades are responding to massive Democratic majorities in favor of reproductive freedom. They have snapped into action, countering red-state restrictions at long last. The result will be an ever starker and more combative divide between red and blue America.”

“But a reason reporters might not be focusing on stories of reconciliation between abuse victims and church-led institutions is simply because there are not many stories about reconciliation and forgiveness to tell. Over and over, institutions like the Catholic Church, Christianity Today, and universities big and small have apologized for covering up, hiding, and abetting abuse in many forms. Very rarely do abuse victims announce that they have forgiven the institution and are ready to move on. Perhaps that is because the institution has not earned and is not owed any forgiveness.”

“So here’s the theory: Ginni Thomas went rogue and leaked the draft to lock in the votes of the five justices who had already agreed to that version.”

“The point is that there is an internal coherence to all the rightist causes, as well as enthusiasm that hasn’t been there in previous incarnations. And, because of this coherence, there is a more solid political bloc that can influence the “establishment” Republicans, or intimidate them. But, in any case, it is a bloc that cannot be ignored.”

RIP, Rosemary Radford Ruether, feminist theologian and scholar.

“I can’t imagine the rage being experienced right now by those who have survived church sexual abuse. I only know firsthand the rage of one who never expected to say anything but “we” when referring to the Southern Baptist Convention, and can never do so again. I only know firsthand the rage of one who loves the people who first told me about Jesus, but cannot believe that this is what they expected me to do, what they expected me to be. I only know firsthand the rage of one who wonders while reading what happened on the seventh floor of that Southern Baptist building, how many children were raped, how many people were assaulted, how many screams were silenced, while we boasted that no one could reach the world for Jesus like we could.”

Lock her up.

“About a third of our population is African American; African Americans have a higher incidence of maternal mortality. So, if you correct our population for race, we’re not as much of an outlier as it’d otherwise appear.”

“For a segment of Christians, the battle over abortion is just one front in a wider war to make America Christian again — by any means necessary. They are not pro-life so much as pro-control.”

RIP, Colin Cantwell, who designed the prototypes of the X-wing, TIE fighter, Star Destroyer, and the Death Star for the original Star Wars.

The case for supersizing She-Hulk.

“My distrust of the Tesla Motors CEO has nothing to do with his views on censorship or his politics – if he even has any. Rather, it is his long track record of being pathologically full of shit.”

Boy, Republicans erally don’t like it when candidates expect every vote to be counted. Even their own candidates.

“Candidates who take part in an insurrection may be barred from holding public office under the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution, a federal appeals court ruled, overturning a lower court judge’s decision.”

I fully endorse this sentiment.

“AI may be searching you for guns the next time you go out in public”.

The Seth-Green-stolen-“Bored Ape”-NFT-that-was-supposed-to-be-a-TV-show story is, well, bananas.

“British military intelligence estimates that Russia has lost one-third of the ground combat forces it had gathered ahead of its invasion as Moscow’s forces have been bedeviled by both their own operational shortcomings and a fierce Ukrainian resistance, backed by sophisticated Western weapons. The U.S. Defense Department has not seen evidence of a mass Russian mobilization so far, officials said. But as Russia is trying to throw more forces into the fight, it is sometimes bringing in combat groups at less than full strength, including units that took losses in their failed effort to capture the capital, Kyiv.”

“Elon Musk’s move to Texas has been an epic disaster, with no end in sight”.

“None of what shaped Ramos is inherent in the Latino condition. Rather, it’s as much a part of our America as anyone else’s.”

RIP, Ray Liotta, actor best known for Goodfellas and Field of Dreams.

Keep him locked up. Be very careful about reading that story – it contains some truly disturbing descriptions of child sex abuse.

RIP, Andy Fletcher, keyboardist and founding member of Depeche Mode, member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

RIP, Alan White, longtime drummer for Yes.

“We filmed this season of Stranger Things a year ago. But given the recent tragic shooting at a school in Texas, viewers may find the opening scene of episode 1 distressing. We are deeply saddened by this unspeakable violence, and our hearts go out to every family mourning a loved one.”

Weekend link dump for May 22

So how’s crypto doing now? Brutal week last week.

“Not only do members of the AAPI community feel less included in the workplace as opposed to other demographic groups, but many have changed their daily routines due to fear of anti-Asian violence.”

“How do people with disabilities feel about abortion? New poll sheds light for the first time.”

“Why are there continent-sized ‘blobs’ in the deep Earth?”

“Who’s Mainstreaming The ‘Great Replacement’ Theory?”

Congratulations to Ukraine on its Eurovision 2022 victory.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one wayward delivery robot, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth

“Fred Savage was fired last Friday as executive producer and director of The Wonder Years reboot because Fred Savage is an asshole, and if that comes as a surprise to you, welcome to the 21st century! It turns out that people who play nice guys on television aren’t always nice guys in real life. Have you ever heard of a guy named Bill Cosby?”

“Two Wisconsin Democratic presidential electors are suing 10 Republicans who acted as fake electors for then-President Trump following the 2020 election.”

“I think it is important to be clear here that Musk is lying. The spam bots are not why he is backing away from the deal, as you can tell from the fact that the spam bots are why he did the deal. He has produced no evidence at all that Twitter’s estimates are wrong, and certainly not that they are materially wrong or made in bad faith.”

“So yes, ten years on, the Lowest Difficulty Setting still applies. It’s as relevant as ever. And I’m sure, even now, a bunch of straight white men will still maintain it’s still not accurate. As they would have been in 2012, they’re entirely wrong about that.”

“Many of today’s most successful cybercriminal groups operate like Fortune 500 companies, with deep investments in research and development and marketing of their products and services and day-to-day operations.”

“In time, abortion’s illegality is going to affect everyone: you, your friends, your loved ones, your community, your kids, and your parents. It’s going to affect you if you or someone you know wants an abortion, and it’s frankly going to affect you even if you don’t.”

RIP, Vangelis, composer who won an Oscar for his score to the movie Chariots of Fire.

Bankrupt him.

“SpaceX, the aerospace firm founded by Elon Musk, the world’s wealthiest man, paid a flight attendant $250,000 to settle a sexual misconduct claim against Musk in 2018″.

It’s going to be a bad hurricane season. Anytime the year 2005 comes up, look out.

RIP, Roger Angell, Hall of Fame baseball writer and author. He was an editor for The New Yorker for 75 years, and they published this remembrance of him.

Weekend link dump for May 15

“The case against the Supreme Court of the United States”.

“So the $35 sculpture you got at an Austin Goodwill was looted from a museum during WWII. Now what?” A delightfully bonkers story that the reporter had apparently needed to sit on for four years until the legal stuff got worked out.

“This is a weaponized grimness. It feeds on isolation and silence and gaslighting; it tells us that we are reactionary and foolish for worrying about getting sick or making someone else sick. It tells us that we are wrong and bad to protect ourselves and others. It mocks us for ever having believed things could have been different: that systemic change was possible, that a pandemic could shift the future of public health. This grimness tells us that we must throw away our old masks, the ones that protected our lungs and bodies, and put on new ones: happy faces unconcerned with 1 million people dead from COVID in this country alone.”

“Roe has long protected the fertility industry from regulation of IVF & fertility care decision making. My take on WHAT COULD HAPPEN TO Embryos, IVF, and ART IF THE LEAKED DOBBS DECISION STANDS. Note: most IVF cycles involve “extra” embryos.” (Note: “ART” = “Assisted Reproductive Technology”.)

“Apple, Google and Microsoft announced this week they will soon support an approach to authentication that avoids passwords altogether, and instead requires users to merely unlock their smartphones to sign in to websites or online services. Experts say the changes should help defeat many types of phishing attacks and ease the overall password burden on Internet users, but caution that a true passwordless future may still be years away for most websites.”

“I’m just going to throw a bunch of graphs in this thread about views of abortion. Here’s a good place to start – allow abortion for any reason.”

“We are going to see threats to basic assumptions of how states work together. Normally, states cooperate. Normally, states leave their laws within their borders. But because anti-abortion states are going to get so aggressive in trying to solve this problem of what do we do for people traveling out of state, it’s going to create all these issues.” And that’s why you don’t throw issues like this back to the states, kids.

More than you wanted to know about the weird music on reality TV shows.

“A group of Republican senators is calling for a TV ratings system to warn parents about LGBTQ content in children’s programs. Their statement singles out Disney repeatedly.”

“Just read this translation of Putin’s speech. Reaction—that’s it? Completely out of ideas. Either doesn’t now understand the reality of the situation in Ukraine, or wilfully ignoring it.”

“One America News, the right-wing cable network, aired a 30-second segment yesterday essentially admitting the falsity of its previous “reporting” on supposed voter fraud by two Georgia election workers. The prerecorded statement aired shortly after OAN settled a defamation suit brought by Fulton County election workers Ruby Freeman and her daughter Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, whom the network had falsely accused of participating in a conspiracy to steal the 2020 election.” I hope they also got a ton of money from that settlement.

RIP, iPods. I listen to a lot of podcasts on my iPod – you know, the source of the “pod” part of “podcast” – and now I don’t know what I’m going to do when this device goes belly up. I don’t like iPhones, so I guess I will eventually have to figure out a workable-for-me podcast-playing solution for my Android phone. This feels about like how I felt when Google announced it was killing off Google Reader. It’s still perfectly good technology that lots of people like! Couldn’t you just, like, license it to someone?

“Demanding civility from those you seek to oppress is absurd. But considering the anti-abortion movement has, for decades, turned the front door of an abortion clinic into a war zone, it’s the height of hypocrisy.”

“Suddenly startups are having trouble raising money. Why?”

RIP, Bob Lanier, basketball Hall of Famer and NBA global ambassador.

RIP, Ray Scott, known as the “Father of Modern Bass Fishing” and the creator of the Bassmaster TV show.

What the January 6 Subpoenas Say About Kevin McCarthy“. Nothing good, obvs.

RIP, Fred Ward, versatile actor who will live forever in my heart for his starring role in Tremors.

“For the first time, astronomers have captured an image of the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy.”

Weekend link dump for May 8

“It’s been fascinating to see how Netflix in particular is falling into the Accidental 30 Rock trap. The mammoth streaming service was supposed to change the game, to be the subversive force that didn’t play by traditional TV’s rules. It took them only a few years to do the exact same nonsense that network broadcasting does. Their reality slate, from Is it Cake? to The Ultimatum: Marry or Move On, reeks of the kind of decision making made by harried executives on a tight budget desperate to fill out the schedule.”

“According to the spam blocking company YouMail, robocalls have spiked in the last few months since hitting a low in December.”

“The key insight there is that the “demons” of Pentecostal Spiritual Warfare always, always, always represent attacks on the pre-existing cultural beliefs and presuppositions of these Christians. Spiritual Warfare, in other words, is reactionary. It spiritualizes a defense of the status quo by portraying any form of change — negative or positive — as the strategic handiwork of a conspiracy of literal demons.”

“The federal Department of Education has begun investigating Liberty University’s handling of student reports of sexual assault.”

“You Can Now Ask Google to Remove Your Phone Number, Email or Address from Search Results”.

Emergency backup goalie alert!

RIP, Bob Krueger, Texas Senator, Congressman, Railroad Commissioner, ambassador, diplomat, professor, and many other things.

RIP, Neal Adams, legendary comic book artist who revitalized “Batman”, among many other things. Look for Mark Evanier to have more to say.

Susan Collins told the women of America that they could trust her to protect their reproductive freedom. She let us down.”

RIP, Kailia Posey, Toddlers and Tiaras alum probably best known for a reaction GIF you have almost certainly seen.

RIP, Ron Galella, notorious paparazzo.

“With their engrossing and terrifying two-part investigation of Grey’s Anatomy writer Elisabeth Finch, Vanity Fair has revealed a tale that involves alleged trauma-theft, one of the worst hate crimes in American history, multiple potentially fake illnesses, Anna Paquin, and yes, a kidney.”

“A location data firm is selling information related to visits to clinics that provide abortions including Planned Parenthood facilities, showing where groups of people visiting the locations came from, how long they stayed there, and where they then went afterwards, according to sets of the data purchased by Motherboard.” Seems bad, you know?

“The US Supreme Court’s legitimacy has been deeply pierced, and it may never recover its stature in the eyes of America.”

On the plus side, condors are back. So we’ve got that going for us.

“Please Allow Me, a Woman Who Just Had a Baby, to Fact-Check Justice Samuel J. Alito”.

“As Ukraine Reels, Putin’s Alliance with Russia’s Orthodox Church Leadership Remains Strong”.

“Accumulating this much power is not easy and it is very expensive. But anti-abortion forces had a critical ally: corporate America. A Popular Information analysis of corporate political giving found 13 major companies have given $15.2 million to the NRSC, RSLC, and RGA since 2016.”

“May the Fourth, Rex Manning Day, and 10 More Made-Up Movie and TV Holidays“.

Congratulations to Dusty Baker for his 2,000th win as a MLB manager.

“A Louisiana legislative committee on Wednesday advanced a bill to make abortion a crime of homicide in which the mother or those assisting her in terminating the pregnancy can be charged.” I guarantee you, this will be on the Republican legislative agenda in 2023.

“It was school segregation, not abortion, that brought Christians together in prayer and a quest for political power.” Slacktivist has been on this for a long time.

“A group of Florida residents has sued the state’s governor and other officials over the repeal of a special tax district that has allowed Walt Disney World to self-govern its operations since it was created 55 years ago.”

RIP, George Pérez, comic book artist best known for his work on Wonder Woman and The New Teen Titans. Mark Evanier has more.

RIP, Mickey Gilley, country music star and owner of the iconic Gilley’s honky-tonk in Pasadena, the inspiration for Urban Cowboy.

Weekend link dump for May 1

They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert.”

“Mark Meadows is registered to vote in how many states? Three and counting, apparently”. That sounds like, I don’t know, what’s the phrase, oh yes, voter fraud.

“Now, in a move that rudely interferes with everyone’s ability to make excuses that they’re only buying five boxes of the cookies to practice their splitting technique, a scientific study has found it’s impossible to break apart an Oreo so that the filling distributes evenly on both halves.”

“In other words, the restrictive nature of the law does more than hamper a patient’s access to abortion. It distorts her decision-making process.”

“Most people who are really into disinformation and conspiracy theories don’t believe in a single conspiracy theory […] Rather, they’re drawn into a self-reinforcing conspiratorial worldview in which conspiracies build on one another. While the theories can seem disparate, they often have unifying themes: They feed distrust in sources of authority; they claim insider knowledge that makes the believer feel valuable; and frequently, that knowledge includes a secret plan to defeat the forces of evil.”

RIP, Johnnie Jones, Louisiana civil rights attorney and World War II veteran who was wounded during the D-Day invasion of Normandy, the Army’s first Black warrant officer.

“The previous analysis, which examined data through 2016, showed that firearm-related injuries were second only to motor vehicle crashes (both traffic-related and nontraffic-related) as the leading cause of death among children and adolescents, defined as persons 1 to 19 years of age.4 Since 2016, that gap has narrowed, and in 2020, firearm-related injuries became the leading cause of death in that age group.”

RIP, Cynthia Albritton, artist better known as Cynthia Plaster Caster. If that doesn’t make sense to you, I suggest you click the link.

RIP, David William Kearney, Texas blues legend known as Guitar Shorty.

Feel better soon, Cary Elwes!

“One of the likeliest and most dramatic things that Elon Musk will do once he has acquired Twitter is let Donald Trump back on. The effect on our nation’s discourse will be disastrous. And, sadly, I fully expect the news media to go back to its old ways of serving as Trump’s megaphone.”

“Reality Check: Seven Times Texas Leaders Misled the Public About Operation Lone Star”.

“Right now they’re doing surgery where people used to buy sheets and towels.”

Hungary’s Viktor Orbán is the US Christian Right’s new Vladimir Putin. It’s all about the homophobia.

“The ‘anti-woke’ agenda is going to cost taxpayers big bucks”.

“The key insight to all this work is that those who distrust vaccines, science and expertise aren’t doing so necessarily because they have a knowledge gap or a misunderstanding. Distrusting experts is part of their identity. Motta and his colleagues’ work suggests that being anti-vaccine has become an identity, too. In some respects, distrusting experts has become a political choice, which means that any message from an official source — whether it’s a researcher, head of a government agency or a journalist — is more likely to inspire the opposite of its intended reaction from those who view that source as part of the political opposition.”

Too soon, Travis Scott. Seriously.

“We need to sanction the hell out of this guy.”

RIP, Naomi Judd, part of the Grammy-award winning country music duo The Judds, mother of Wynonna and Ashley Judd.

Weekend link dump for April 24

“With MLB adopting the universal DH, the era of pitcher hitting in the league is officially done. To say farewell, let’s hand out awards for the best, weirdest, and most magical moments produced by pitchers stepping up to the plate.”

“By applying the 2020 error rates to each state’s racial and ethnic makeup, we find that undercounts in the 2020 census deprived six states of a congressional seat; correspondingly, overcounts of white and Asian residents enabled six other states to gain one seat more than their populations warranted.”

“Since Russian troops crossed Ukraine’s borders at the end of February, colossal amounts of information about the Russian state and its activities have been made public. The data offers unparalleled glimpses into closed-off private institutions, and it may be a gold mine for investigators, from journalists to those tasked with investigating war crimes. Broadly, the data comes in two flavors: information published proactively by Ukranian authorities or their allies, and information obtained by hacktivists. Hundreds of gigabytes of files and millions of emails have been made public.”

“You would think: Well, that’s part of the story. But maybe it’s a needlessly narrow way to begin. That’s what I would think. I would also think: we know that journalism inevitably flattens reality. But you want to fight the flattening as much as you can. To me the joy of reporting, and its essence, is openness to the things you didn’t know until you showed up.”

Meet Emmett Ashford, the first Black umpire in Major League Baseball, who made his MLB debut 19 years after Jackie Robinson did.

Take all his money. Every last filthy dime.

“I am sitting here next to my gay husband living my gay life reading a gay novel as research for my new gay book…and yet I am not and will never be as gay as whatever is haunting Tucker Carlson’s fantasies.”

RIP, Liz Sheridan, actor best known as Seinfeld’s mom.

Comics For Ukraine.

“A federal judge will allow a group of Georgia voters to move forward with a case to disqualify Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from running for a second term, arguing that her role in the Jan. 6 insurrection disallows her from appearing on the ballot.”

“In the end, the attacks failed to diminish public support for [Justice Ketanji Brown] Jackson, and her poised responses to questioning helped secure her nomination, by a vote of 53–47. But the fierce campaign against her was concerning, in part because it was spearheaded by a new conservative dark-money group that was created in 2020: the American Accountability Foundation. An explicit purpose of the A.A.F.—a politically active, tax-exempt nonprofit charity that doesn’t disclose its backers—is to prevent the approval of all Biden Administration nominees.”

If I’m ever in a position to vote for Mallory McMorrow for something, I will.

The worst episode of Saturday Night Live is so much worse than you can imagine, and it’s all due to Steven Seagal.

“Mike Lee may want to pretend he had no role in this process, but the stone-cold truth is that he, and many other conservatives, breathed life into Trump’s schemes and made the Jan. 6th attack on the Capitol possible.”

“Now we are at the point where to be a Republican means to believe the Big Lie. And as long as Republicans leading the party keep promoting and indulging the Big Lie, that will continue to be the case. If I’ve learned anything from my focus groups, it’s that something doesn’t have to make sense for voters to believe it’s true.”

I understand why Wimbledon would ban Russian players from its event this year. I can also understand the argument against holding individuals who may have their own opinions accountable for the actions of their country’s leader.

Who wants ads on Netflix? How about if it costs less?

RIP, Guy LaFleur, Hockey Hall of Famer, prolific goal-scorer, five time Stanley Cup champion with the Montreal Canadiens.

RIP, Daryle Lamonica, two-time MVP quarterback for the Oakland Raiders, nicknamed The Mad Bomber.

RIP, Robert Morse, two-time Tony Award winner best known for How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying and later for a role on Mad Men.

“On Friday, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene took the stand to give a foggy recollection’s worth of testimony in an Atlanta court hearing over whether she should be disqualified under the 14th Amendment from running for re-election this fall.”

“They’re dissolving something the size of the city of Orlando in 72 hours. This is not the way to run a state.”

Weekend link dump for April 17

“If the increasingly bare-knuckle battle between Florida’s conservative Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, and the Walt Disney Co., over the Sunshine State’s new “Don’t Say Gay” law and other legislation, sounds eerily familiar, it should. The current clash of values and culture between the Sun Belt and the West Coast sharply echoes the 1990s Southern Baptist Convention’s Disney boycott.”

“It’s easy to look at the Christian Right and get this backwards — to see the Christian Right as an effort to reshape politics in accord with Christianity. But it ain’t that. It’s an effort to redefine Christianity in accord with right-wing politics. This is why the Christian Right can accommodate doctrinal diversity but not political diversity. You can be a member of the Christian Right in good standing while believing either that speaking in tongues is mandatory or that it is forbidden, but you cannot belong if you believe that the Reconstruction Amendments are legitimately constitutional.”

“Here are several additional examples of framing assumptions to watch for in the mainstream news. When you see or hear stories based on these premises, move on to something else.”

“Many Americans—perhaps as many as 37 percent of Americans, and nearly half of Republicans—do not want it to be too easy to find (and leave!) a job. It leads to, for example, worse service at restaurants, school bus driver shortages, and longer checkout lines nearly everywhere. It also leads, sometimes, to union campaigns at your warehouse or coffee shop franchise.”

“The Republicans have apparently decided that the committee in charge of sex crimes legislation should include one guy currently being investigated for actual sex crimes—and another who allegedly looked the other way on them. It’s not exactly the behavior of a party that cares deeply about sexual abuse.”

“Human behavior, such as the choice not to vaccinate (or worse, actively propagate misinformation designed to stoke unsubstantiated fear), is central to the nation’s most prevalent, obstinate conditions, including heart disease and obesity. To successfully improve health outcomes, reduce costly chronic disease management, and prevent infectious disease outbreaks, it is imperative to understand the link between what drives health behavior (our thoughts) and what catalyzes behavior change (our choices). And understanding the science of human behavior means investing in it. Unfortunately, social and behavioral health scientists remain the minuscule minority in the pool of externally funded scientific investigators.”

I’ll be rooting for Kelsie Whitmore this year on the Atlantic League’s Staten Island Ferryhawks. No woman has reached such a high level of professional baseball in more than a generation.

“This is possibly the largest and most brazen instance of public corruption I’ve seen in twenty five years covering American politics as a journalist. And this is saying something since, as you know, public corruption has always been one of my greatest interests and consistent beats.”

Jerry Springer blames himself and his show, a little, for making Donald Trump happen.

RIP, Mimi Reinhardt, the typist who drew up Oskar Schindler’s lists of Jewish workers to be spared from the Holocaust.

RIP, Gilbert Gottfried, brilliant comedian and voice actor.

The median age of “Dancing with the Stars” viewers is 63.5 years old. That right there is why the show is being moved to Disney+ from ABC.”

“Alyssa Nakken broke another historic barrier on Tuesday night, becoming the first woman to coach on the field in a Major League game in the Giants’ 13-2 victory over the Padres at Oracle Park.”

“Many Americans live in fear of a traffic stop. Real power in American life is when the sheriff lends you his car after you’ve mysteriously totaled your own.”

“A new study out today suggests all the new police budget growth is likely to do one thing: increase misdemeanor arrests.”

RIP, Shirley Spork, one of 13 founders of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA).

RIP, Mike Bossy, Hockey Hall of Famer, four-time Stanley Cup winner, one of the most prolific scorers in NHL history.

Weekend link dump for April 10

Everyone should watch television with the captions on, in almost all situations, even if your hearing is not an issue. I started doing it a few years ago and it has improved my viewing experience a lot.”

“The Bat-Signal wouldn’t work in real life. But that didn’t stop the team at Hacksmith Industries from making one that does.”

“Any reporters who cite the Catholic League without acknowledging that it’s just one angry wealthy guy who loves to pick fights with everyone who doesn’t bow down to the conservative wing of the Catholic Church is committing journalistic malpractice.”

“Donohue’s success is partly due to his focus on a particular niche of old, frightened, resentful white people. He fleeces old, frightened, resentful white Catholics, and is thus not in direct competition with groups like the Family Research Council or the Liberty Council or the Alliance Defending Freedom, all of which derive most of their income from fleecing old, frightened, resentful white Protestants.”

RIP, Estelle Harris, versatile character actor known for many roles but especially as George Costanza’s mother on Seinfeld.

“The galling cynicism of CBS News hiring Mick Mulvaney”.

RIP, cancel culture. It was never really a thing anyway.

“Local TV Station Unearths Ultra-Rare Interview Footage Of An 11-Year-Old Prince“, who offered support for teachers that were on strike.

“Totally normal journalism, right? The president announces another blockbuster jobs report and the press presents it as borderline bad news.”

I’m shocked and saddened to note that the above was the last entry from Eric Boehlert, who was killed in a bicycle accident later in the week. My condolences to his family and friends.

“To understand impacts of partisan media on beliefs & attitudes, we paid regular Fox News viewers to watch CNN instead for ~7 hrs/week for a month. Our results should worry you.”

RIP, Gerda Weissman Klein, Holocaust survivor, author, Emmy and Oscar winner, Presidential Medal of Freedom winner.

“Ukraine May Mark a Turning Point in Documenting War Crimes“.

“For Gibbons and other Young Earth Creationist cryptozoologists, finding a flesh-and-blood, living, breathing dinosaur would not only be a scientific triumph but, they hope, could bury Darwin’s theory of evolution and prove their beliefs right.”

“In an internal email obtained exclusively by Popular Information, Stand Together, the influential non-profit group run by right-wing billionaire Charles Koch, argues that the United States should seek to deliver a partial “victory” to Russia in Ukraine.”

Barney and Friends debuted 30 years ago. You and I, we are old.

RIP, Bobby Rydell, singer, actor, and the namesake of the high school in Grease.

I got your voter fraud right here.

Decolonizing the Search for Extraterrestrial Life”.

“Thus, this story is a fanciful interpretation of what I imagine a Grizzly Bear Conflict Manager does, which I am almost entirely certain has nothing to do with what someone with this job actually does. Please do not come to this story for a true accounting of the job, you will be gravely disappointed, and possibly in danger if you ever encounter an actual grizzly. Needless to say, apologies to all genuine Grizzly Bear Conflict Managers out there.”

How Brett Favre used his fame and connections to steer millions of dollars in federal welfare funds to various personal projects.

RIP, Martha Turner, longtime Houston real estate icon.

Lock him up.

Weekend link dump for April 3

“Pope Francis’ Response to Ukraine Has Tapped Into One of Catholicism’s Deepest Conspiracy Theories“. Gotta say, as a deeply cultural Catholic, I only knew the very top level of this one.

“There is not a huge gap in the ideological differences between the far right and the truckers in convoys. But increasingly these geopolitical conspiracy theories have moved beyond extremist spaces and into the mainstream, as polished Instagram wellness influencers cheerfully share them far and wide.”

“It appears the far right has taken advantage of pandemic at-home fitness trends to expand its decade-plus radicalization of physical mixed martial arts (MMA) and combat sports spaces.”

Whatever you think of him, Coach K is a vanishing breed in college sports.

An excellent look back at the classic Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Cause and Effect”, which was something not really tried on TV before, and almost didn’t get made because it was so weird at first. That episode ran 30 years ago, so yeah, we’re all old.

“How we got herd immunity wrong”.

“Based on the evidence, the Court finds it more likely than not that President Trump corruptly attempted to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021.” That would be a felony, by the way.

“But a lot of it’s about west’s battered reputation. Iraq did immeasurable damage – worse than Vietnam. Took place at the peak of sympathy for post-9/11 US. World watched America squander that goodwill in a goose chase any 15-year-old Indian, African or European, knew was wild.”

“Instead, a lot of people who have returned to their offices for some or all of the week have found that they’re the only ones there, or others are staying isolated in their offices, and all communication still happens over email, Slack, or Zoom. As a result, they’re spending time commuting to and from the office and dealing with all the hassles of in-person work but without any of the promised payoff.”

Eleven things you may or may not have known about The Bachelor, twenty years after its debut.

We could maybe learn a thing or two from Finland about preparedness.

“And so it was entirely predictable that the Holston United Methodist Home for Children, which receives funding from the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services, would assume it was entitled to refuse service to a Jewish couple seeking to become foster parents. That’s the problem with legalizing discrimination — sometimes that bigotry comes around to bite you in the ass.”

“One of two flamingos that escaped from a Kansas zoo during a storm 17 years ago has been spotted on the coast of Texas, wildlife officials said.” The bird is officially known as No. 492, the number om its leg band, but a Texas Parks and Wildlife tweet identified him as Pink Floyd, and I’m sorry but that is absolutely his name.

Impeach Clarence Thomas. And finally put an actual code of ethics on SCOTUS.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was not impressed by Will Smith.

“A Tech Company Made It Harder to Use Its Products to Mine Crypto. Then Came the Ransomware Attack.”

Troy Kotsur, winner of the Best Supporting Actor Oscar this year, is also the creator of the sign language used by the Tusken raiders in The Book of Boba Fett.

“Failing to pursue Trump in such circumstances would send a signal of impunity for presidents who seek to destroy American democratic institutions, even as Trump’s supporters who ransacked the US Capitol begin to be convicted and face prison terms for apparently acting on their political hero’s wishes.”

“Madison, I can promise you that there is nobody in the “radical left” or “the media” who wants you to shut up about the cocaine orgies. Please keep talking about the cocaine orgies. We’ve got your back on this one, so go nuts. Everyone who is not currently either a Washington, D.C., Republican lawmaker or staffer wants to you to spill as much about the Republican Cocaine Orgies as you can spill.”

Bankrupt them.

Weekend link dump for March 27

This oral history of Galaxy Quest is from 2014, but it’s also the best thing I read this week, so here you go.

Dowsing for the dead is not exactly endorsed by scientists or forensic experts. But it is a highlight for some students attending the National Forensic Academy, a 10-week training program sponsored by the University of Tennessee.”

Meet Ukraine First Lady Olena Zelenska, who is doing a pretty damn good job under monstrous circumstances.

“Canadian law enforcement seized an unspecified amount of crypto donated to the Freedom Convoy that terrorized the city for weeks last month. The crackdown highlighted how digital currency’s security bona fides stand up to real world tests. It’s definitely not everything boosters have promised.” This story has more details.

A great discourse on Proto-Indo-European, the ancestor of our language and many other languages, and its likely origins in what is now Ukraine.

“Autocrats such as Putin eventually succumb to what may be called the “dictator trap.” The strategies they use to stay in power tend to trigger their eventual downfall. Rather than being long-term planners, many make catastrophic short-term errors—the kinds of errors that would likely have been avoided in democratic systems. They hear only from sycophants, and get bad advice. They misunderstand their population. They don’t see threats coming until it’s too late. And unlike elected leaders who leave office to riches, book tours, and the glitzy lifestyle of a statesman, many dictators who miscalculate leave office in a casket, a possibility that makes them even more likely to double down.”

This was easily my favorite highlight from the first weekend of March Madness.

“These are the kinds of billionaires now spending $100 million to fund a re-branding campaign for Jesus.” (You’ve probably seen, and wondered about, their ads on TV during March Madness.)

The Price Is Right is going on tour to celebrate 50 years on the air.

“It’s amazing what you can do with a half-inflated netball.”

“When Guillermo del Toro’s Blade II hit theaters 20 years ago this month, it was a much-needed critical and commercial hit for the filmmaker, chalking up $155 million worldwide and better-than-average reviews. This is not the story of that movie. It is the story of one of these reviews—quite possibly the worst movie review ever published, at least in an outlet of note.”

“What is with the right when it comes to promoting Russian talking points?”

“FDA asks people not to drink Covid test solution or use as eye drops”.

RIP, Madeleine Albright, first female Secretary of State in US history.

RIP, Scoey Mitchell, actor and comedian best known for his co-starring role in a groundbreaking comedy series adaptation of Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park. Or, if you’re me, for his participation in the classic game show Match Game.

RIP, Taylor Hawkins, drummer for The Foo Fighters.

You’re fired. Good riddance.

Lock her up. And recuse yourself.

Lock them up.

Weekend link dump for March 20

Giant Spiders From Asia Are Poised to Invade the U.S. East Coast”. Go home, 2022, you’re drunk.

“Meet ‘Super Mario’, the man who’s lived on cruise ships for two decades”.

“On May 24, 2020, as the United States passed 100,000 recorded deaths, The New York Times filled its front page with the names of the dead, describing their loss as “incalculable.” Now the nation hurtles toward a milestone of 1 million. What is 10 times incalculable?”

“Police departments around the U.S. are donating tactical gear to Ukraine, whose annual defense budget is smaller than the NYPD’s.”

“In states that expanded Medicaid, medical debt has been cut in half. In states that didn’t, medical debt has stayed about the same.”

“How an obscure Finnish EDM artist hijacked countless Spotify playlists.” The most recent Reply All podcast looked into another example of this.

Meet the Shackleton Wreck crab, just hanging out in a very cold part of the ocean.

“These boycotts are perhaps even more jarring if you remember past periods in which pop culture tried to paint a picture of deliberate, optimistic, post-Cold-War thaw. In the 1980s, particularly in the wake of the policies of glasnost and perestroika in the former Soviet Union — which encouraged openness and reform — artists went to places they wouldn’t have gone ten or even five years before. It was in 1987, 35 years ago this July, that Billy Joel brought a big pop-rock show to Leningrad and Moscow; 1989 when Billy Crystal traveled to find his Russian relatives in an HBO special called Midnight Train to Moscow. That year also brought the Moscow Music Peace Festival, with Ozzy Osbourne, Motley Crue, and Bon Jovi among the performers.”

“Scientists have found the oldest known ancestor of octopuses – an approximately 330 million-year-old fossil unearthed in Montana.”

RIP, William Hurt, Oscar-winning actor known for tons of movies like Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Big Chill, Broadcast News, several Marvel flicks, and more. Which unfortunately includes Marlee Matlin’s account of his abusive behavior towards her.

“On the open road, where drivers maintain steady speeds of 50 to 80 mph, reducing speed by 10 mph can save 75 cents a gallon on a five-dollar gallon of gas—or 90 cents a gallon on a six-dollar gallon of gas, already the price where I live, in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles.”

““Facing Nolan,” a new feature-length documentary on Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan, who spent the longest stretch of his career in an Astros uniform, premiered Saturday afternoon at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin.”

“But to really appreciate the many-layered weirdness of this business, I want to start at the beginning. Or, at least, near the beginning — with a story that starts in Boston in 1706.”

“Yacht-Watch: The Fancy Boats Getting Snatched Away From Russian Oligarchs”.

“The 2020 election was an anomaly in many ways, but the Election Performance Index (EPI) shows us that election administration continued to trend in the direction it was already heading: up. While there was more early voting and voting by mail than previous years (a pre-existing trend that 2020 accelerated), overall, more states improved their practices, data, and reporting.”

“Plenty of prominent right-wing media figures in the United States are pushing out Vladimir Putin’s propaganda for him.”

“The 4 pillars to convicting alleged January 6 US Capitol rioters”.

Under no circumstances should this guy be allowed to take possession of any children, Ukrainian refugees or not.

“Koch Industries is attempting to argue that continuing to operate in Russia is in the best interest of Ukraine and the Russian people. The company suggests that shuttering its massive glass manufacturing plants would benefit the Russian government. The implication is that the hundreds of companies that have left Russia are, in fact, empowering the Putin regime.”

Weekend link dump for March 13

“First we had CDOs, then mortgage-backed CDOs, then synthetic CDOs, and then the financial system collapsed. Now, as a way to cure the financial boredom of the past decade, we’re moving toward NFT-based CDOs.”

“Put simply, no one forced Jerry Falwell Jr. to do any of this. The guy has a law degree from UVA, and if he didn’t believe in the mission of his father’s school, he and his wife could have done literally anything they wanted. He chose to put himself in charge of an institution which preached abstention from sex and alcohol, and he enforced a moral code which cast homosexuality as deviant and discouraged women from reporting sexual assaults.”

“From the fat cats of political cartoons to Disney animations, and from sitcoms to science fiction— especially science fiction — the fat villain has long been baked into pop culture.”

“McDonald’s is being sued for $900 million by a startup that says it tried to fix the chain’s broken ice cream machines”.

Just a reminder that Bill Barr is still a piece of crap.

“But Putin will be unable to win this war on his preferred terms. Indeed, there are several ways in which he could ultimately lose.”

“Most importantly, here’s the list of companies that continue to do business with Russia. They need to withdraw as soon as possible. If not, they should be boycotted in the West. Profits over national security is unacceptable”.

“A new analysis by http://popular.info reveals that, over the last two years, @Disney has donated $197,162 to members of the Florida legislature that have already voted for the “Don’t Say Gay” legislation.” Do better, Disney! The bad guys will hate you anyway, so you may as well do the right thing.

“Press 3 for a pep talk from kindergartners. A new hotline gives you options for joy”.

Free Brittney Griner.

“But there is an even more fundamental contrast between Biden’s multilateralism and Trump’s nationalism, one that goes beyond diplomatic skill to core ideology: many corners of the American right, including Donald Trump, agree with Putin’s position.”

RIP, Laurel Goodwin, actor who was the last surviving cast member from the Star Trek pilot.

“That truth is not comforting to people who are frustrated by the fact that nothing seems to stick to Trump. They are onto something; it cannot be coincidental when the same individual or organizations with his name on them face, at once, a civil investigation regarding property valuation from the New York attorney general; separate criminal investigations from the Fulton County, Georgia, and Westchester County, New York, district attorneys and the Washington, DC, attorney general; civil suits alleging election misconduct in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, and Michigan; a defamation suit by a voting machine company; congressional investigations into his tax returns, conflicts of interest, the lease of his Washington, DC, hotel and potential mishandling of government documents; civil suits from multiple police officers who were injured on January 6; an allegation from the January 6 House Select Committee that he was part of a criminal conspiracy to defraud the United States; a defamation suit from someone who has accused him of sexual assault; and a suit from his niece alleging fraud around her inheritance. And those were just the ones I could remember.”

“This is a consistent villain he will critique. Putin: not as consistent on the critiques. But a windmill? Donald Trump will talk shit about a windmill.”

RIP, “Sister” Bobbie Nelson, pianist and vocalist for the Willie Nelson & Family band, sister of Willie Nelson, longtime Austin icon.

“An expedition that set out in search of the lost ship of polar explorer Ernest Shackleton has found it — 106 years after the vessel sank off Antarctica. The wooden ship Endurance has been located remarkably intact about 10,000 feet underwater in the Weddell Sea.”

RIP, Emilio Delgado, actor and singer best known for playing Luis on Sesame Street for 44 years. Enjoy these eight delightful minutes from Ask Me Another with Emilio Delgado and Sonia Manzano, to remember just how wonderful he was.

My goodness, these jokers are such delicate flowers.

“But in making its decision, McDonald’s also had to do something more than forgo profits: It had to sever ties with communities that it has served for decades – and with supply chains that it had created, virtually out of thin air. In a matter of days, an unprovoked war wiped out, for an unknown period of time, what it took McDonald’s more than 30 years to build.”

Weekend link dump for March 6

“The West has promised tougher sanctions are coming, but experts warn these will almost certainly trigger a Russian retaliation against America and its allies, which could escalate into cyber attacks on Western financial institutions and energy infrastructure.”

“In 1871, Congress Crafted a Law to Break the Klan. Today, It’s Targeting Trump.”

“The enduring lesson of the Ottawa occupation was that such arrangements not only shelter individuals from the genuine suffering that happens all around but can also lead them to an information deficit that confirms any belief. The real concern here, then, isn’t just that a small minority of protesters brought a quiet seat of democratic government to a standstill. It’s that they came and left, still wholly unaffected by and unaware of the harm they left behind.”

Go visit GovernorAbbott.com. You’re welcome.

“The US is unmasking Russian hackers faster than ever”.

RIP, Milton Hopkins, blues guitar legend, former bandleader for BB King, longtime Houston resident.

“U.S. relocates all Afghan evacuees from military sites, completing first resettlement phase”.

“However, if the goal of [Major League Baseball’s competitive balance tax (CBT)] is not to equalize spending, but to lock the spread of spending between clubs in relative stasis, then it has succeeded with aplomb. Cheap teams still spend roughly the same percentage less than average teams as they did prior to the CBT, while clubs at the top end of payroll spend around the same amount more than average as they did too.”

“How Putin United the World Against Him”.

Never forget that sniveling cowards like Ted Cruz love Putin and have loved him for a long time.

“But this is also a full-spectrum information war, and what happens in a Russian “all-of-society” war, you soften up the enemy. You get the Tucker Carlsons and Donald Trumps doing your job for you. The fact that Putin managed to persuade Trump that Ukraine belongs to Russia, and that Trump would be willing to give up Ukraine without any kind of fight, that’s a major success for Putin’s information war.”

“Long thread about how I think the first 96 hours have gone, still very early/incomplete impressions. The initial Russian operation was premised on terrible assumptions about Ukraine’s ability & will to fight, and an unworkable concept of operations.”

“I’ve long thought that the only way to get Republicans to go along with subsidizing renewable energy was to somehow make it into a jingoistic national security issue, and this is the first chance we’ve had to do this.”

Of course online anti-vaxx groups are throbbing hubs of pro-Putin/anti-Ukraine disinformation.

“After initially dropping the Russia-backed news channel RT in Europe, Roku says it is now dropping the channel from its Roku Channel Store everywhere — including in its US market.” That’s great, but why did they ever allow a propaganda outlet like RT onto their service in the first place?

“Last week, we stopped all exports into our sales channel in the country. Apple Pay and other services have been limited. RT News and Sputnik News are no longer available for download from the App Store outside Russia.” Same question as above – why were they there in the first place? Aple exerts complete control over what is allowed in the App Store. Allowing RT and Sputnik was a choice. Why did they make that choice?

Can we please arrest this guy? Thanks.

“Microsoft is warning of destructive data-wiping malware disguised as ransomware being used in attacks against multiple organizations in Ukraine.” As with NotPetya, this is likely to cross national boundaries if it hasn’t already.

RIP, Alan Ladd, Jr, Oscar-winning producer of Braveheart and also of Alien, Blade Runner, The Omen, and many more.

“All of this raises some important questions. First, how is Ukraine going to effectively use the cryptocurrency it’s receiving? Who’s in charge of these allegedly government-controlled wallets? Logistically, how will they turn cryptocurrency into much needed supplies and services? And who are the people from all over the world who feel compelled to send their personal crypto to the country, and why are they doing it?”

“Yacht-Watch: The Fancy Boats Getting Snatched Away From Russian Oligarchs”.

“Some people have found a novel way to get money to Ukrainians as their country is under attack from Russia: booking immediate Airbnb stays they don’t intend to use.”

Weekend link dump for February 27

What’s up with all the goats on TV?

“But set aside all of those Baptist and Protestant objections. The problem here is what the problem has always been with the Inquisition, that it punitively enforces a strained formulation of the very worst of Catholicism while trampling on and disregarding other, greater, more essential aspects of Catholic doctrine. And that it does so, as it always has, in the interest of wielding spiritual power in order to exercise temporal power and control over others.”

“The remains of a miniboat launched by New Hampshire middle schoolers have been discovered by a sixth-grade student in Norway, 462 days and more than 8,300 miles later.”

“That Edmund Hillary might set off in search of the abominable snowman, then, was not the wild, conspiracy-theory-baiting story it would appear to be today. That he and [British journalist Desmond] Doig might actually encounter a wild yeti was considered a very real possibility.”

I don’t expect any “religious” skeptics of COVID vaccines to be won over by this different version of the shot, but it sure would be nice if they were.

“A federal judge shot down former President Trump’s claim of “absolute immunity” from multiple lawsuits accusing him of inciting the deadly Capitol insurrection last year.”

Lock them up (except for the few “friendly compliance” ones).

“A District Judge Just Gave DOJ a Precise Rationale for Prosecuting Trump”.

“If you were reading Hal Lindsey’s Rapture-mania best-sellers back in the ’70s and ’80s, then you’re not as young as you used to be. In fact, you’re now far older than those books insisted you’d ever be.”

“But whatever news you read today about Kanye’s behavior, let’s be clear about one thing: it’s abuse. It is emotional abuse.”

“They failed to follow basic security procedures for years, failed to protect teachers’ Social Security numbers, and failed to take responsibility, instead choosing to instigate a baseless investigation into two Missourians who did the right thing and reported the problem.”

“Despite being billed as a venture to “stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech,” Trump’s new platform will utilize AI censors to police its content.”

RIP, Gary Brooker, lead singer for Procol Harum.

RIP, Joe Bravo, San Antonio soul and Tejano musician.

“A recent study published in the peer-reviewed journal JAMA Internal Medicine confirms that not only does Ivermectin not help you recover from/fight off COVID-19, but you may end up with some pretty severe side effects.”

“Okay, I was staying out of the TED LASSO bullshit, but this actually leads to an interesting discussion about comedians vs. normies and public spaces, so here we go.”

RIP, Kenny Burrough, former NFL wide receiver who wore the uniform number 00 for the Houston Oilers.

RIP, Sally Kellerman, Oscar-nominated actor and singer best known for her role as “Hot Lips” Houlihan in the movie version of M*A*S*H.

Ketanji Brown Jackson’s husband’s brother is married to Paul Ryan’s wife’s sister. The English language really needs more words to concisely describe these extended family situations.

RIP, Dr. Paul Farmer, physician and humanitarian who co-founded the global nonprofit Partners in Health.

“I’m trying to imagine liberals in the Iraq War run-up talking about Saddam Hussein the way conservatives are talking about Putin, and coming up empty.”

RIP, Yvonne Washington, Houston blues, jazz, soul, and gospel singer.

Weekend link dump for February 20

“Trump’s wickedness may be too immense for the nation to absorb.”

“If you received a link to LinkedIn.com via email, SMS or instant message, would you click it? Spammers, phishers and other ne’er-do-wells are hoping you will, because they’ve long taken advantage of a marketing feature on the business networking site which lets them create a LinkedIn.com link that bounces your browser to other websites, such as phishing pages that mimic top online brands (but chiefly Linkedin’s parent firm Microsoft).”

“A team of scholars, faith leaders and advocates unveiled an exhaustive new report Wednesday (Feb. 9) that documents in painstaking detail the role Christian nationalism played in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and calling it an unsettling preview of things to come.”

“One of the things that any plumber will tell you is that you never flush baby wipes down a toilet, and you never flush down even a paper towel. So imagine printer paper, or even card stock, if it’s on a nice letterhead from the White House. Obviously, it’s not going to be able to be flushed down. Even though you might get it down past the hole of the toilet, it’s either gonna get clogged up inside the toilet or even worse, it might get pushed down further down the line, which can cause issues not just in that bathroom, but really in the entire building.”

From the if you can’t beat ’em, eat ’em department.

“Until the emergence of COVID-19, tuberculosis was the deadliest infectious disease in the world. How did it evolve from a terrible disease to a largely controlled one to the horrific plague it is now?”

“There should be a high bar for calling something criminal. But when that bar is reached, do it!”

A pop-up book of Internet memes may not be the thing we need right now, but it’s kind of interesting.

RIP, Ivan Reitman, prolific movie director and producer of classics like Ghostbusters, Meatballs, and Stripes.

Of course there’s going to be a . How could there not be?

“The award misspelled the congresswoman’s name. She also received a gift card to Red Lobster.”

“Mazars USA, the longtime accounting firm for the Trump Organization, former President Donald Trump’s family business, ended its relationship with the company last week and called into question the trustworthiness of a decade’s worth of financial statements prepared for the Trump Organization.”

“Britain’s Prince Andrew has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by Virginia Giuffre, who said she was sexually trafficked to the British royal by the financier Jeffrey Epstein when she was 17.”

“So there you have it: yet another study of lead and crime that’s produced the usual results in yet another way.”

Happy 40th anniversary of Ozzy Osbourne peeing on the Alamo to all who celebrate.

RIP, PJ O’Rourke, author, journalist, and longtime panelist on Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.

RIP, Walter Dellinger, law professor and longtime legal correspondent for Slate.

“Pretty much every document he creates is worthy of preservation because of his status as president. For a lot of government employees, a lot of what they do would not be considered worthy of preservation, so no big deal. But when you’re the president, just the fact that you created a note means that it has to be preserved.”

The Bloom County comic strip is being developed as an animated series at Fox. Feels like this should have happened in the 80s, but Breathed’s more recent work has been pretty good, so I’m hopeful.

Lock them up.

Weekend link dump for February 13

One downside of living in a warm place is that you don’t get to give cool names to snowplows.

“Covid-19 vaccines for young children are coming. But it’s complicated.”

“31 states have laws that allow forced sterilizations, new report shows”.

“Concerns about vaccine risks aren’t new. But quotes from parents show that’s not the only thing going on here. Instead, lack of concern about Covid has a key role in leading parents to weigh vaccine risks more heavily than they otherwise likely would.”

How Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand came to be.

“The thing you need to understand about today’s Zillow find is that it was built in 2010 in the United States of America.”

RIP, Gary DeLaune, longtime San Antonio broadcast journalist who was the first to go on the air with news of the Kennedy assassination.

“Nothing says “edgy” like a white guy who “does his own research” spouting long debunked ideas in 2015 that were more eloquently promoted by the notoriously edgy John C Calhoun in the 1830s.”

“A group of fed-up Canadians has filed a $9.8 million class-action lawsuit against a mob of anti-vaccine truckers who have packed downtown Ottawa for a week, blasting the ear-piercing air horns of their vehicles day and night.”

“On the issue of media representation of secularism and secular Americans”.

“Former mayoral candidate Tony Buzbee is now accepting Bitcoin for his Tudor-style residence in Houston’s prestigious River Oaks neighborhood.” The asking price is $27.5 million, though depending on the value of Bitcoin on any given day, who knows how much it will actually cost. If the tank came with the place I’d consider making an offer, but alas, it does not.

“A pair of researchers has proposed that companies precompute certain data when the grid is humming with solar or wind power, and then stash it away for later use. […] This is digital, more of a timing strategy than a real battery, aimed at getting data-hungry companies like Google, Meta, Amazon, Apple, and Netflix to use clean power when it’s plentiful so utilities can avoid burning fossil fuels when it’s not.”

RIP, Gerald Williams, former MLB outfielder.

RIP, Douglas Trumbull, Oscar-nominated visual effects pioneer who worked on “2001: A Space Odyssey”, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, and “Blade Runner”, among others.

Some hot Republican-on-Republican action.

“After Rogan apologized for repeatedly using a racial slur, however, some in the conservative media turned on him.”

“Jimmy Carr’s Abhorrent Holocaust Joke Counterintuitively Illustrates the Value of the First Amendment”.

Crosby, Stills, and Nash once again join with Young.

“The North Carolina State Board of Elections is asserting a right to keep far-right Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), who’s currently being scrutinized over his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, off the ballot ahead of the 2022 midterms if it so chooses.”

“I’m angry, disappointed, frustrated and bewildered by Whoever It Is Who Now Owns Patheos’ decision to pull the plug on what was once the Atheist Channel. It was an ill-conceived, self-destructive, damaging move for this platform, and doesn’t portend anything good. But I’m also glad it happened.”

“13 mammoth facts about mammoths”.

“One persistent problem in coverage of Trump and his enablers (erstwhile and ongoing) is a sort of tyranny of low expectations—the idea that Trump lowered the bar for conduct in public office to such a degree that commentators start to see behavior that clears it as praiseworthy, not so fundamental that it should pass without comment.”

“Do you consider using bear spray on law enforcement officers legitimate political discourse?”

Expect to see a whole lot of crypto ads during the Super Bowl today.

“The Kraken is still backtrackin’.”

“That’s right. The DOJ would have a hard time prosecuting the story that The New York Times is downplaying because it spent too much capital on the story that The New York Times pressed relentlessly. Funny how that works.”

RIP, Ian McDonald, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter best known for his co-founding roles in both King Crimson and Foreigner.

““Brotherhood of Man” is mesmerizing and cursed, a sunny slice of forced corporate frivolity that conceals remarkable darkness.”

Weekend link dump for February 6

The Conspiracy Chart. Helpful and comprehensive. And note what it says about the top layer.

“At their imperial peak 500 years ago, the Aztec rulers sacrificed 20,000 or more people each year, some estimates suggest. By the reckoning of experts at the Kaiser Family Foundation, counting only the “COVID-19 deaths [that] could have been prevented by vaccination,” the number of Americans unnecessarily and avoidably killed in the U.S. from just last June to November is 163,000.”

The year 2002 was a million years ago and basically another planet.

“The wanton liberal de-sexification of corporate mascots continues unabated”.

“Roughly a year ago, some of the major economic forecasters expected the US economy to grow between 3.4 and 4.2 percent in the four quarters of 2021. The new advance estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis shows that the economy grew 5.5 percent over this period, substantially faster than these forecasters expected.”

“I have to remind people that cases don’t mean disease, and I think we’re seeing that in Vermont. We have a lot of cases, but we’re not seeing a lot of severe disease and hospitalization.”

“I never expected to survive Auschwitz and start a family. Babies are the best revenge against the Nazis.”

“Autonomous” is the new “self-driving”. Unless you’re Tesla.

Good for you, Joni Mitchell.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is tailor-made for classroom use. It’s taught at countless schools and it’s squeaky-clean of any of the parent-objectionable material you might find in Maus, Night, or any of the other first-person accounts of the Holocaust. It’s also a terrible way to teach the Holocaust.”

“Just days after the banning of “Maus” by a Tennessee school district made national news, two editions of Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer Prize winning graphic novel about the Holocaust have reached the top 20 on Amazon.com and are in limited supply.”

RIP, Cheslie Kryst, TV host and 2019 Miss USA.

“You can try to do a broad, over-the-top satire of the world of mega-churches and televangelists, but it ain’t easy.”

“And yet [Putin’s] military gambit has accomplished the opposite. The overt threat to Ukraine has rallied the European nations around a common menace, revitalized NATO’s original mission to deter and contain Russian expansion, and thus bonded the European allies to the United States (the prime guarantor of their security) more tightly than any time since the end of the Cold War.”

“Two weeks ago, the details of an executive order from Donald Trump that would have ordered the military to seize voting machines as a step toward reversing the outcome of the 2020 election came to light. It’s now clear that Trump also tried, and failed, to get either the Justice Department or Department of Homeland Security to take control of the machines.”

One of the nurses arrested in this scheme to make and sell fake vaccination cards is married to this NYPD officer who had to give up five days of vacation as punishment for “[flying] his department’s spy plane in a penis-shaped flight route three years ago as a way of lashing out at a supervisor”. Ain’t love grand?

“A vaccine for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is beginning human trials, says Moderna, its developers.”

“Retired Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who served on the National Security Council and emerged as a star witness against then-President Donald Trump during the 2019 Ukraine impeachment, is suing Donald Trump Jr., Rudy Giuliani and former Trump White House staffers, alleging they conspired against him.”

RIP, Bill Fitch, Hall of Fame basketball coach.

You have got to be fucking kidding me.

“Yet another new memo, this one surfaced by The Washington Post, included a proposal to bypass all legal restrictions and tap directly into the raw data collected by the NSA, giving Trump’s team access to phone records, text messages, social media, emails, and other online activities of everyone in the nation. This unprecedented violation of privacy would then be used so a panel appointed by Trump could skim though the global sea of data looking for anything that could be held up as evidence of foreign interference in the election.”

Weekend link dump for January 30

“After educating the kids on the risks of [drugs and alcohol, premarital sex and gangs], they’d invite them and their parents to evening shows, where they’d break fiery bricks with their arms and run through blocks of ice in the name of God.”

“Crypto’s pitch as a decentralized currency free of state control would naturally resonate with those skeptical of government. But when, exactly, did it become an object of partisan—that is, Republican—obsession?”

“Amidst all the disappointment and tribulation of recent days please join me in taking a moment to step back, in a posture of mindful gratitude, to contemplate the fact that Kyrsten Sinema’s career in electoral politics is already over. Yes, the damage she’s already done will be difficult to remedy. She still has three solid years to do yet more damage. And she probably will. But none of that damage, none of the hijinks and characteristic game-playing to come, will or can change her electoral fate. In political terms, she’s already dead Senator walking. And the most perplexing but paradoxically delightful part of it is that she doesn’t even seem to realize it yet.”

“Ten Dazzling Celestial Events to See in 2022″.

“They slut-shamed the green M&M yesterday.”

“This is literally the definition of a Latin American or Sub-Saharan African style coup d’état.”

Clearly, characters on premium cable TV shows should try to avoid riding Peloton bikes.

“While plenty of random people have hopped headfirst into the world of cryptocurrencies and NFTs, celebrities have played no small role in driving the market to frothy new heights.”

Good for Neil Young.

“The James Webb Space Telescope, the most powerful telescope ever built, has reached its final destination in space. Now comes the fun part.”

RIP, Peter Robbins, child actor who voiced Charlie Brown in the classic “Peanuts” cartoons of the 1960s.

There are some things that actors won’t do.

“Part of the answer there is that we’ve been trained — by automobiles, and walls and screens, and 40 years of Reaganism — to think that there’s no such thing as neighborly obligation. We’ve been taught that a being a neighbor entails nothing more than being Gladys Kravitz on Bewitched — someone who peers through the blinds disapprovingly at all those others we wish would just go away.”

“This is the story of how George Steinbrenner — the most famous owner in the franchise’s long history and one of the most famous and controversial owners in baseball history — tried to take the Yankees “on tour.””

“But so far we haven’t seen this pattern for SARS-CoV-2… Omicron didn’t emerge from the Delta lineage and Delta didn’t emerge from the Alpha, Beta or Gamma lineages”.

Lock them up.

“A recent article highlighting comments far right activist Ali Alexander made about coordinating with members of Congress provided a great opportunity to highlight one of these important baselines for the January 6 conversation: members of Congress were clearly involved in what happened.”

IBM’s once-ballyhooed Watson Health is being sold for parts.

“So I repeat—do not use the below as a guide on how to send fake racism tips directly to the VA GOP Governor’s Office. Thank you.”

RIP, Gene Clines, part of the first all-minority lineup in Major League Baseball history and member of the 1971 World Series-winning Pittsburgh Pirates.

Lock them up.

RIP, Howard Hesseman, Emmy-nominated actor best known for playing Johnny Fever on WKRP In Cincinnati.

Weekend link dump for January 23

“There’s really no reason to object to a national ID and every reason to think it would be a great convenience.”

“Actual pro-democracy reporting doesn’t simply entail writing movingly about its death. A genuine pro-democracy reporter would also write – obsessively — about what would help it survive. But the reporters covering the White House and Congress today express no real curiosity about that topic.”

Turning invasive species into gourmet meals could blunt environmental and economic costs across the US. But can Americans stomach them? Chefs and biologists are taking a gamble.”

“Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy.”

But let’s be real. Spotify will never do anything about Joe Rogan. They have 100 million reasons not to.

“Some of the most common depictions of Vikings show large warriors wearing helmets affixed with horns. But new research finds that the famed helmets discovered in Viksø, Denmark, 80 years ago actually date to about 900 B.C.E., nearly 2,000 years before the Vikings.”

The TV show Zoom premiered 50 years ago.

Shawn Bradley, the 7’6″ former NBA player, was paralyzed after being hit by a car while riding his bike last year. His extreme size presents a unique set of challenges to his doctors, his family, and himself. Very compelling story.

RIP, Charles McGee, Tuskegee Airman who flew 409 fighter combat missions over three wars.

“For example, did you know that the average Bachelor relationship never hits the 4-month mark after the show ends? Or that the average Bachelor star is half a decade older than the average contestant?”

“Now, thanks to researchers at the University of Michigan and Boston University, we also know the financial toll of the ivermectin craze. In a research letter published Thursday by the Journal of the American Medical Assn., they estimated that Medicare and private insurers wasted an estimated $130 million last year on ivermectin prescriptions for COVID.”

Lock them up.

RIP, Lusia Harris, legendary basketball player. Three-time national champion at Delta State, silver medalist in the 1976 Olympics, the first woman to score a basket in the Olympics, draftee of the New Orleans Jazz, Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer. Do yourself a favor and watch the 22-minute documentary about her, as told by her, in this NPR story. What an amazing person.

“As hospitals face blood shortage, senators seek new donor rules for gay and bisexual men”. It’s past time to allow gay men to donate blood. Also, now is a great time to give blood.

“The Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Against Prince Andrew Will Move Forward“. Good.

RIP, Ron Franklin, broadcaster and onetime radio voice of the Houston Oilers.

“A long-awaited report on sexual abuse in Germany’s Munich diocese on Thursday faulted retired Pope Benedict XVI’s handling of four cases when he was archbishop in the 1970s and 1980s.”

Important Mary Worth news, in case you somehow managed to miss it.

RIP, Meat Loaf, rock and roll legend. Go read Chris Molanphy’s obit for him, it’s the one you really need.

RIP, Louie Anderson, comedian, Emmy-winning actor, game show host, and author.

Lock him up.

If only I’d had a place to dock this, I’d totally have made an offer.

Weekend link dump for January 16

There are a lot of musicals currently in development as movies.

The CW is for sale, if you’ve got a bit of spare change for a questionably viable broadcast TV network.

“The president of Turkmenistan is calling for an end to one of the country’s most notable but infernal sights — the blazing natural gas crater widely referred to as the “Gates of Hell.””

RIP, Bob Saget, comedian and actor best known for Full House.

Congratulations to Rachel Balkovec, the new manager of the Tampa Tarpons, the first woman ever named to manage a minor league baseball team.

And congratulations as well to Genevieve Beacom, the first woman to pitch for a professional baseball team in Australia.

Robert Durst has died. You know who Robert Durst is. That’s all I’ve got.

RIP, Marilyn Bergman, lyricist who won multiple Oscars, Emmys, and Grammys.

Actions have consequences. I hope.

Along those lines: “It’s up to [Cawthorn] to prove that he did not [engage in insurrection]. So we’ll see what evidence he puts forward. We’ll learn some new information, even if in the end he is found eligible to serve. And he’ll have to testify under oath.”

RIP, Elouise Adams Jones, longtime Houston restauranteur.

A neat behind the scenes look at being on a TV game show, told by people who have done it themselves.

Speaking of TV, here are some new shows for 2022 that may interest you. Yeah, I’ll watch that Game of Thrones prequel.

“So while I understand the urge to dunk on Cruz, what happened on Carlson’s show is more than just an example of Cruz’s weaselly pleading being worthy of a laugh. It’s ultimately not funny at all.”

“Along with bleach and horse-dewormer, anti-vaxxers have another Covid cure to add to their medicine cabinets: urine.”

“Sarah Palin Really Doesn’t Want A Jury To See This Footage Of Her Rapping ‘Baby Got Back’ While Dressed As A Bear“. I on the other hand think it is vital that they are aware that she likes big butts and cannot lie.

“Thanks to lax antitrust enforcement, four companies now control 55 to 85 percent of the markets for beef, pork, and poultry. Since the fall of 2020, the price of beef has risen by more than 20 percent, far higher than the inflation rate. At the same time, the profits of the meat-packing industry are up more than 300 percent.”

Lock them up. All of them.

RIP, Ronnie Spector, iconic 60’s girl-group lead singer for The Ronettes.

How bullshit works, the continuing story.

“Last year, over 100 companies signed a letter declaring their principled support for voting rights, their opposition to the state bills restricting voting, and their belief that action to protect voting rights was critical. But, as the fight for voting rights hits a critical juncture, virtually all of these corporations have gone quiet.”

“A baseball team doesn’t have to show a profit, although if we had perfect information we would see that most do, in most years. When one doesn’t, absolutely nothing bad happens to anyone. The businesses those 30 owners run that generated enough money for them to buy a baseball team — those are the ones that have to sweat the bottom line. The law firms and grocery chains and trucking companies…they’re real businesses. The baseball team is the unlocked achievement, the bauble, the special toy. It is not a business like any other, because baseball teams aren’t evaluated based on their profits, they’re evaluated based on their wins, their championships, the number of moments they create for the people who invest not just their money, but their time and their passion.”

Wishing Chris Evert, one of my very favorite athletes, all the best.

Weekend link dump for January 9

“Did a John Denver song get Billy Martin fired?”

“It’s worse than that, really; the ethic of Jesus has gotten in the way of successfully prosecuting the culture wars against the left. If the ethic of Jesus encourages sensibilities that might cause people in politics to act a little less brutally, a bit more civilly, with a touch more grace? Then it needs to go. Decency is for suckers.”

“But there are some positive trends peeking out from behind the fog of gloom. Let’s explore them…”

“On the contrary, what I observed in person Sunday morning, as well as what we can see from national survey data, make clear how Trump has conformed white evangelicalism to his own image, and why so many evangelicals await his second advent.”

Here’s the second half of that comprehensive list of musicians we lost in 2021.

“Trump supporters have waged a campaign of intimidation against the state and local officials who administer U.S. elections. This visual analysis explores hundreds of menacing messages – and explains why they’re difficult to counter.”

Ever wonder who actually makes the Kirkland brand products you buy at Costco?

Make the US Senate more like the House of Lords.

“One year after the Jan. 6 riot, the voices of those who broke with Trump over that day have mostly been muted, moved on, or, in certain instances, come to embrace Trump all over again.” Cowards, the lot of them.

Pour one out for the classic 3G BlackBerry phone, which as of this week is now a paperweight.

RIP, Jean-Marc Vallée, director and producer known for recent HBO series like Sharp Objects and Big Little Lies.

Ken Rosenthal deserves much, much better.

Does the name Rita Jenrette mean anything to you? Three things I did not know about this woman, who was briefly famous for being the wife of a Congressman who was arrested in the notorious ABSCAM sting and then posing in Playboy as a result of that notoriety: She was born in San Antonio, she was a correspondent for the tabloid TV show A Current Affair in the late 80s, and oh, by the way, she’s now an actual princess. (I found that Forbes story because there was a similar story a couple weeks later in the Express News, which then ran in the print version of the Chronicle. Easily one of the more entertaining things I’ve read lately while eating breakfast.)

RIP, Ann Harithas, artist and curator and co-founder of the Art Car Museum in Houston.

“Sheep are such likeable animals — maybe they can get the message over better.”

“How 38 women in Congress want you to remember January 6.”

Yeah, I don’t know why anyone would want to be on a cruise ship right now. Someday, maybe, but not today.

RIP, Joan Copeland, longtime Broadway and TV actor, and sister of playwright Arthur Miller.

RIP, Grichka and Igor Bogdanoff, eccentric French TV presenter twins, COVID skeptics who (you guessed it) died from COVID. Yes, both of them, less than a week apart.

RIP, Peter Bogdanovich, Oscar-nominated director, writer, and actor.

RIP, Sir Sidney Poitier, groundbreaking actor and director, first Black actor to win an Oscar, Hollywood legend.

RIP, Cyber Ninjas. Good riddance.

Weekend link dump for January 2

“Now more than ever, you need to know these 9 phrases to avoid like the plague in 2022″.

“It’s a small mercy that I at least never attended an anti-abortion protest. That was a little too tacky, too “political” for my upwardly mobile family at our upwardly mobile church. God sent his Son to die on the cross so we could clean up and move to the suburbs, and his perfect will for our life obviously didn’t include yelling and screaming and getting arrested.”

Five things to know about omicron, from a national health reporter.

“How can Yellowstone be one of TV’s biggest hits when it’s one of the least discussed?” (Full disclosure: It’s not a show I watch. No judgment, just not my thing.)

“Just because streaming is the future doesn’t mean it has to be your future.”

An impressively comprehensive list of musicians we lost in 2021. I had missed the news about Mike Mitchell of The Kingsmen and Robbie Steinhardt of Kansas.

I admit, I went down the rabbit hole of the r/DuggarsSnark subreddit after reading this story about it.

RIP, Sarah Weddington, the attorney who at the age of 26 successfully argued for the plaintiffs in Roe v Wade.

Yes, yes, yes, a vaccine mandate to fly on a commercial airplane is long overdue.

“In its 2021 Food Waste Index Report, UNEP reported that the United States ranked higher than any other country in terms of food waste from food services, at a little more than 141 pounds per person. They also reported that each year, an estimated one-third of all food produced gets thrown away. That’s around 1.3 billion tons of food that ends up rotting or spoiling—an amount worth approximately $1 trillion. And according to the Environmental Protection Agency, food waste constitutes 24 percent of municipal solid waste and is a big reason why landfills are the nation’s third-largest source of human-related methane emissions.”

RIP, E.O. Wilson, pioneer of evolutionary biology.

Republicans are rapidly rolling back rights around the country. Maybe we should, I dunno, do something about that.

RIP, Harry Reid, former Senate Majority Leader and amazingly effective politician.

RIP, John Madden, Hall of Fame NFL coach and broadcaster.

“Nearly 18,000 more dialysis patients died in 2020 than would have been expected based on previous years. That staggering toll represents an increase of nearly 20% from 2019, when more than 96,000 patients on dialysis died, according to federal data released this month. The loss led to an unprecedented outcome: The nation’s dialysis population shrank, the first decline since the U.S. began keeping detailed numbers nearly a half century ago. They were COVID-19’s perfect victims.”

“10 lessons I’ve learned from the Covid–19 pandemic”.

RadioShack reboots as cryptocurrency company. I got nothin’.

I for one think that Ted Cruz should go to Western Australia, so he can learn that it is not part of the United States. And then he can stay there, or pretty much anywhere else.

RIP, Betty White, national treasure, absolute legend, five-time Emmy winner, animal advocate.

RIP, Dan Reeves, former NFL player and head coach, who won a Super Bowl with the Cowboys and coached the Broncos to another.

RIP, Sam Jones, basketball Hall of Famer and 10-time NBA champion with the Boston Celtics.

Best of luck to Becky Hammon on her new head coaching gig with the WNBA Las Vegas Aces.

Weekend link dump for December 26

“The difference in death rates from COVID between Republicans and Democrats is becoming even more striking.”

“Tornadoes and the severe storms that create them are far below the typical scale that climate models can predict. What we can do instead is look at the large-scale ingredients that make conditions ripe for tornadoes to form.”

“Why Are Paleontologists Getting Into Florida’s Oyster Business?”

“We Have Confirmed That Headlights Are In Fact Too Bright”.

“Before vaccines arrived, the best public health strategy against covid-19 was to throw everything we had at the virus — masking, distancing, hand-washing, cleaning, ventilation. That was the 2020 playbook, essentially an admission that no one strategy in and of itself was sufficient. But the game has changed. Given the availability of vaccines, here are 10 updates to the playbook for 2022″.

“There are good reasons not to revive lockdowns and other blanket restrictions, which have their own costs — and in theory, we shouldn’t need them. Vaccines are available; doctors understand the virus much better and have more effective treatments. But there is still a lot the US could do short of locking down to slow the virus and give hospitals and their staff members a better chance to handle any surge in Covid-19 patients without sacrificing care for all of their patients.”

“Bottom line: Omicron is still Covid, it’s still capable of doing damage to your body. And it’s still capable of overwhelming our health systems. It’s shaping up to be a hard winter. Get vaccinated and boosted ASAP.”

“The Trump administration engaged in “deliberate efforts” to undermine the U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic for political purposes, a congressional report released Friday concludes.”

Victorian-era Christmas cars were…wow. Just, wow. Go see for yourself. Warning: You will not be able to un-see.

RIP, Eve Babitz, author known as “a hedonist with a notebook”.

Lock them up.

“Recent American history has had plenty of examples of failed prophecies.”

RIP, Joan Didion, groundbreaking author and cultural critic.

Hugh Jackman is a mensch. Better video at the second link, but the first post has the background.

RIP, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize winner and hero of the anti-apartheid movement.

Can’t wait to see what the James Webb space telescope can tell us.

Weekend link dump for December 19

“The thing is, though, while this type of selfish behavior is outlandish, it isn’t unfamiliar to most people; it’s a set of traits based in reality. Today, we have a name — a nonmedical diagnosis, even — for this way of being: main character syndrome. The concept, popularized on TikTok by Gen Z, is as an affliction where someone acts like and believes the world centers around them. Just like Carrie.”

“Common beliefs, media depictions, and powerful gender norms point to men as the only real sexual threat. But research on female perpetrators has grown dramatically in recent years, forcing us to rethink our ideas about sexual abuse. This reconsideration is as urgent as ever: A thorough understanding of the full range of abuse is necessary to help advance the feminist lessons from the #MeToo movement and beyond.”

“When I was asked for my 2021 predictions, I wrote that the press would risk elevating a Shadow President Trump, treating him as a leader in temporary exile — and I was right. With that in mind, I take no pleasure in offering my next prediction: 2022 will be the year that journalists either change everything about how they cover politics…or it will be the year they enable a party dead set on obliterating whatever guardrails are left between the representative democracy that the U.S. is supposed to be and the minority-rule competitive authoritarian government they have been trying to build for decades.”

“Friendly, foul-mouthed crow befriends entire Oregon elementary school before state police are called in”.

RIP, Anne Rice, bestselling author of the Vampire Chronicles books, “East of Eden”, and many others.

“So he called and just frickin SPOKE TO ANNE RICE for like an hour.”

“Not only does the vulnerability affect thousands of programs but the exploitation of this vulnerability is very straightforward. Attackers are already starting to launch widespread attacks. Further compounding the problem is the huge diversity of vulnerable systems, so those responsible for defending systems are going to have a very bad Christmas.”

“Because of the enormous attack surface it poses, some security experts are calling Log4Shell the biggest cybersecurity calamity of the year”.

“Someone Is Lying About Why It Took So Long for the National Guard to Deploy on January 6″.

“So what if the war on democracy was covered like a real war? Or maybe that’s the wrong simile, given how little attention we paid to the war in Afghanistan until it finally ended. What if we covered a wave of election rigging from coast to coast with the same fervor as a bump in inflation or a showdown in the Senate?”

RIP, Al Unser, Sr., legendary race car driver who won four Indianapolis 500s.

“old people really need to learn how to text accurately to the mood they’re trying to represent”.

He’s got to condemn this shit ASAP. The Capitol Police tweet is not enough.”

“Some of these issues raise real points of concern. Such as: How did multiple members of the Republican Party in Congress receive an extended briefing on methods by which they might illegally overturn the election results, and none of that appeared in the press. It might be too much to think that a Republican in the House would let the media in on what they were up to, but were there no staffers, no observers, no AV guy hired to run the projector who thought the public needed to know what these guys were up to? The idea that Republicans sat through a 38-page PowerPoint on How to Destroy America in the week before Jan. 6, and the public didn’t learn about it for 11 months, should be—and is—terrifying.”

Oh, and Mark Meadows lied like a rug in his book about what was happening on January 6. Oh, and he used his personal email account for all of his correspondence in that. I’m old enough to remember when that itself was a national scandal.

RIP, bell hooks, acclaimed poet, author, feminist, and professor.

Lock him up.

“Everything else pales in comparison. This is who to blame. If conservatives hadn’t deliberately fought vaccination, we would probably be the most highly vaccinated country in the world right now. And life really would be nearly back to normal.”

“Wait…You didn’t know? The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was about a police informant working undercover to expose a drug-trafficking cartel.”

“But in those early days, the budding #SeditionHunters community was doing critical work that is still paying off today and will continue to pay off going forward.”

“However, initial results of studies conducted both in the lab and in the real world show that people who get a booster shot, or third dose of vaccine, may be better protected. Though these data are preliminary, they suggest that getting a booster will help protect people already vaccinated from breakthrough or possible severe infections with Omicron during the winter months.”

RIP, Leonard “Hub” Hubbard, bassist and founding member of The Roots.

RIP, John Mueller, pitmaster and self-proclaimed “dark prince” of Texas barbecue.

Lock him up.

Weekend link dump for December 12

“The Untold Story of the Portuguese Diplomat Who Saved Thousands From the Nazis”.

“25 years ago, Tickle Me Elmo’s co-creator was suspected of being the Unabomber by the FBI”.

“Here’s Why Movie Dialogue Has Gotten More Difficult To Understand (And Three Ways To Fix It)”.

“Our children are not having the education around race and history that they should, and it’s to our detriment and it’s a disservice to our children.”

“The Science And Art Of Sustainable Mushroom-Based Building Materials”.

“We did not have very far to go, between throwing actual literal parades for our medical heroes and people threatening them with violence if their relatives are treated with anything other than Farmers’ Choice Premium Horse Paste, TM, because in truth hospital staff members have long been used to patients and those with patients getting violent, or making threats of violence, when doctors or nurses disagree with them about what their diagnosis should be or what drugs should be dispensed to fix it. There’s something particularly Republican about this new strain, though.”

Ichiro is a mensch. And a damn legend.

An illustrated history of dogs-playing-poker paintings.

RIP, Eddie Shames, WWII veteran who inspired one of the characters in the HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers”.

An update on the Fonzie memorabilia auction, which I have mentioned before.

“For starters, a Democratic vice president will be presiding over the Senate when the Electoral College votes are opened.”

“I catch him when he’s straying, like any brother would”.

“A field guide to understanding who is at the center of the Jan. 6 probe”. (TL;dr Lock them up.)

“As previously promised, we have no plans to start our own religion.”

Hot tip: Don’t invest in nuclear fusion startups.

“Three Myths About Pearl Harbor, According to a Military Historian”.

“The U.S. government has moved one step closer to turning science fiction into reality. On Wednesday, the federally funded National Academy of Sciences released a new report laying out six avenues to alter the oceans in an attempt to suck more carbon dioxide out of the sky and store it for centuries to come.”

“A newly approved eye drop hitting the market on Thursday could change the lives of millions of Americans with age-related blurred near vision, a condition affecting mostly people 40 and older.”

“Amy Coney Barrett Was Speaking In Anti-Abortion Code. Here’s What She Really Meant.”

RIP, Michael Nesmith, guitarist, singer, and songwriter for The Monkees. A great obit for him from Houston Chronicle writer Andrew Dansby is here.

“Prosperity gospel preachers should be presumed guilty unless proven innocent. We should always give them the doubt of their benefit.”

RIP, Dave Campbell, longtime journalist and founder of “Dave Campbell’s Texas Football” magazine, an annual must-read for college football fans.

Weekend link dump for December 5

“Every age group in Vermont has seen cases rise in the past couple of weeks, with one exception: senior citizens. They’ve actually seen cases fall, which points to the fact that boosters protect not just against hospitalization and death, but also against infection.”

Meet the leading polio anti-vaxxer, whose methods and general message will sound pretty familiar.

A brief primer on the evangelical roots of toxic masculinity.

Good for Elizabeth Berkley.

“They want to be conservative and cosmopolitan, to have it all and every way: to complain about being canceled, but on national television. To spew bigotry, but dress it up as free thought. To be anti-intellectual while running a university. To be contrarian, but never be contradicted.”

“Over the past year, however, the supplement rhetoric has taken a dark and ideological turn. Increasingly, support for supplements has become part of the basket of beliefs that anti-vaccine and COVID deniers expect their community to endorse.”

“This is a clear indicator of the success of the vaccine mandate, as 98.5% of the active force has had at least one shot.”

The y’all of it all.

See ya, Jack. Please stop tweeting about inflation and other things you know nothing about.

“In retrospect, have low-income workers decided they were less happy than they thought at the time? Are they sick and tired of pandemic working conditions and eager to switch jobs just for a change of scenery. Is it just a year’s worth of normal job restlessness all squashed into just a few months? Or what?”

RIP, Lee Elder, first Black golfer to play in the Masters.

“But they’re arguing that, in this exceptional case, that’s a good thing, because white patriarchal American evangelical culture, they believe, is the one culture uniquely capable of properly interpreting the Bible and representing orthodoxy without introducing any of the cultural distortions that will inevitably be introduced by, you know, women, foreigners, or non-white Americans.”

The cast for the Facts of Life live show looks pretty good. If they can get Jennifer Hudson to sing the theme song, I might even watch.

“I think there’s perhaps been some confusion regarding transmissibility vs immune escape in Omicron. The apparent rapid increase in frequency of Omicron in Gauteng does not mean that Omicron is necessarily more intrinsically transmissible than Delta.”

“Tuesday Was the Best Day for American Democracy in Months”.

RIP, Eddie Mekka, actor best known for playing Carmine “The Big Ragoo” Ragusa on Laverne and Shirley.

“Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor 80 years ago not only ensured the United States’ entry into the second world war. It inadvertently but categorically changed baseball history.”

“The CIA is too polite to say this directly, but it has issued a report that shows that Donald Trump, while obsessing over his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, abandoned one of his primary duties as president: to stay fully informed about potential threats to the nation.”

RIP, LaMarr Hoyt, Cy Young Award-winning pitcher for the Chicago White Sox.

“I have received a request to update my old chart showing the number of politically-related criminal convictions per administration. Happy to oblige”.

“Warning lights are blinking red. We are seeing January 6, the attempted stealing of an American presidency, just in slow motion right now. What we’re seeing right now is no longer about 2020. It’s about 2022 and 2024, making what was attempted on January 6 more feasible the next time around. So I believe we are at an incredibly urgent time in terms of things that we have to do, that we must do.”

Lock them up.

RIP, Bob Dole, longtime Senator and 1996 Presidential candidate.

Weekend link dump for November 28

“The endless disappointment is painful to the character of Logan. The fact that the boys and the girls, they can’t see the game. It’s a game, but like all games, even when it’s a matter of life and death, it’s still a game. And they can’t see it.”

It’s a little hard to imagine not having Sex and the City, Game of Thrones, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and The Wire in the top five of your “best HBO shows” list, but then I guess that’s a testament to how deep the list is.

“The inescapable conclusion is that if this Republican Party wins back control of even one house of Congress, they will grind governing to a halt — and that, if they win the presidency again, democracy as we know it may well no longer exist.”

“Scientists have evidence that SARS-CoV-2 spreads explosively in white-tailed deer and that the virus is widespread in this deer population across the United States. Researchers say the findings are quite concerning and could have vast implications for the long-term course of the coronavirus pandemic.”

“We hold Congresswoman Boebert to a far lower standard. If we held her to the same standard as every other elected Republican and Democrat in Colorado – we’d be here nearly nightly chronicling the cruel, false, and bigoted things she says for attention and fundraising. This is not about politics, if politics is still about things like taxes, national security, health care, jobs, and public lands. This is about us as journalists recognizing that we’ll hold a politician accountable if they say something vile once, but not if they do it every day. Our double standard is unfair to all the elected officials in Colorado – Republicans and Democrats – who display human decency.”

“Fundamentally, I hope people learn to understand what people are buying when purchasing NFT art right now is nothing more than directions on how to access or download an image. The image is not stored on the blockchain and the majority of images I’ve seen are hosted on web 2.0 storage, which is likely to end up as 404, meaning the NFT has even less value.”

“Billingsley has just won the Reuben Award for outstanding cartoonist of the year. It is the 75th year of the National Cartoonists Society’s peer-voted prize — whose legendary recipients include Charles Schulz, Matt Groening, Rube Goldberg and Roz Chast — but 2021 marks the first time that it has been won by a Black creator, according to comics historians.” How it is that Morrie Turner didn’t win one, I have no idea.

“Despite all the talk about burnout and reevaluating priorities, the soaring quits rate has little to do with white-collar jobs. It’s more about lower-income people getting the chance to move up.”

“Indeed, the high quit rate is a red herring for understanding the sluggish return of workers to the US labor market following the COVID-19 pandemic, in our view. Instead, the true cause is a hesitation of workers to return to the labor force, due to influences tied to the pandemic such as infection risks, infection-related illness, and a lack of affordable childcare.”

RIP, Doug Jones, former All Star closer for the Astros.

“Executives are seizing a once in a generation opportunity to raise prices to match and in some cases outpace their own higher expenses, after decades of grinding down costs and prices.”

Bankrupt them. All of them.

RIP, Bill Virdon, former MLB player and manager of the Pirates, Yankees, Astros, and Expos.

You may not have known that you needed to see a video of Count von Count singing a Violent Femmes song, but you did. You’re welcome.

Lock them up.

“Everyone keeps talking about covid becoming endemic, but as I listen to the conversation, it’s becoming more & more clear to me that very few of you know what “endemic” means. So here’s a thread on how pandemics end.”

RIP, Stephen Sondheim, legendary Broadway composer and lyricist.

RIP, Curley Culp, Hall of Fame nose tackle for the KC Chiefs and Houston Oilers.

Weekend link dump for November 21

“For decades, U.S. cities have been closing or neglecting public restrooms, leaving millions with no place to go. Here’s how a lack of toilets became an American affliction.”

“Anyway that is what the University of Austin is. Now I would like to talk to you about how I plan to build a winning basketball program there.”

“There haven’t been enough school bus drivers nationwide for years. But it took a pandemic to make that shortage visible and painful to more than just the drivers themselves.” Better pay would definitely help here.

“What lessons should the U.S. and world learn from the rising Covid cases in parts of Europe, and especially the recent surge in a highly vaccinated country like Germany; and what risks and cautions could Germany’s recent experience foretell for the U.S.?”

RIP, Sam Huff, NFL Hall of Fame linebacker.

RIP, Petra Mayer, beloved books editor on NPR’s Culture desk.

Sesame Street‘s first Asian American Muppet character will be featured in upcoming See Us Coming Together: A Sesame Street Special on Thanksgiving Day”. Don’t tell Ted Cruz.

Lock them up.

“That’s where the good news comes in: Antivaxxers realize that they’re losing the war. They’re attempting to adapt to a largely vaccinated world with ludicrous post-shot remedies. But the outcome is not terrible: more vaccinated people, taking very itchy borax baths.”

“Along these lines I wanted to point out an abiding feature of Trumpism and Bannon’s role in it: in this self-styled American ‘nationalist’ movement it’s surprisingly difficult to find … well, Americans.”

“Cleveland will have two teams called the Guardians. The Major League Baseball franchise and a local roller derby club have reached a resolution in a lawsuit filed over the use of the name Guardians, allowing both to continue using it.”

“Their house was a museum. Old photographs and honest-t0-God daguerrotypes hung on the walls — all at what was, to them, eye level. When I first saw their television, I didn’t know what it was. It looked to me like some kind of wood-finish jukebox, with unlabeled dials and a tiny, almost round screen. It still worked and they would warm it up every evening, twisting those dials to watch Al Roker and Sue Simmons on Live at Five in black and white. The thing still ran even though its tubes and other parts hadn’t been made since Philo Farnsworth had died. They had somehow become friends with an eccentric tinkerer who lived in Brooklyn and took the train out every month or so to have some tea and keep their ancient set in working order. He didn’t charge them — he just wanted the privilege of getting to handle such a thing.”

“The fact that nobody reading this has likely heard any of these names before is what makes them so fascinating. None of them has the star power of Miller or McEnany. They’ll likely struggle to raise the kind of legal defense fund money that’s being raised in support of other Trumpworld denizens. And, crucially, all of them had access to the exact same information as their bosses.”

I don’t know you well enough to know if you would want to click on a link to a story about a “mega-spider”, but it’s there for you if you want it.

“Whether we like it or not, there are numerous loopholes and vagaries in our method of choosing a president. None of them have been remedied since 2020. And there are now multiple examples for the next would-be coup leader to draw from when exploiting the flaws inherent in the electoral system. If anything, Republican-controlled states have been moving to codify those flaws for their own benefit, making it easier for legislatures to overturn the will of the people.”

“We’ve long known that Trump did the opposite of what public health experts advised. More concerned with his own standing in the polls than with the health and safety of the citizenry, Trump dismissed or minimized the threat and sent a mixed message on masks, social distancing, and testing. The new revelations from the committee underscore his immense negligence and dereliction of duty that led to the preventable deaths of hundreds of thousands.”

“A growing group of laborers is trailing hurricanes and wildfires the way farmworkers follow crops, contracting for big disaster-recovery firms, and facing exploitation, injury, and death.”

Meet the guy who created The Oregon Trail, and then basically gave it away. (Which he’s perfectly happy about, by the way.)

The Jamal Hinton/Wanda Dench Thanksgiving story is my new favorite holiday tradition.

RIP, Dave Frishberg, Grammy-nominated songwriter best known for his contributions to Schoolhouse Rock, including the classic “I’m Just A Bill”.

RIP, Bobby Collins, former Southern Miss and SMU football coach. He was the SMU coach at the time that school received the infamous “death penalty” for recruitment violations, though he himself was never sanctioned for them.

Weekend link dump for November 14

Tis the season for misdirected package phishing scams, often sent as text messages. Don’t fall for them!

“The Man Who Called Bullshit on Uber”.

Have you been longing to have movie theater popcorn to eat while watching movies at home? Well, now you can get it.

RIP, JoAnna Cameron, actor best known for The Secrets of Isis, the first woman to star in a live-action TV superhero show.

“The loss of child care drove out college-educated moms who were in jobs where telework was an option.”

Oh, just R2D2 and C3PO encouraging kids to get vaccinated back in 1978.

“There’s an underlying assumption in burnout discussions: that it can always be remedied with some notion of self-care. What’s never spoken is that burnout is the remnant of a fire. I’ve never seen a piece of charred wood and thought that some time by itself and some water will restore it to its former state. Burning can cause irreparable damage, and I haven’t heard anyone admit that about becoming burned out.”

“One key to arguing that the Critical Race Theory discussion is on the level is pretending these tweets never happened”.

“Firearms make every call to the police more risky, but also make officers and the public perceive every situation as inherently more risky. This helps explain not just how cops themselves behave but why police are involved in so many different calls to begin with, from murders to wellness checks. Armed officials ended up in charge of so many areas of society in part because the US has more guns and sees more deadly violence than its peers.”

RIP, Dean Stockwell, Oscar- and Emmy-nominated actor known for “Married to the Mob”, “Quantum Leap”, and lots more.

Four words: Stranger Things breakfast cereal. You’re welcome.

“So is there really a shortage of truckers? Maybe, but I trust wage data a whole lot more than I trust either anecdotes or claims from industry associations. If real wages are going down, both in absolute and relative terms, there’s no shortage. It’s all but impossible.”

“Palm facing outward, other fingers curled around the thumb. This simple gesture — resembling a closed fist — led to the recent rescue of a 16-year-old girl who had been reported missing from North Carolina days before.”

RIP, Max Cleland, former US Senator, Veterans Administration leader, and war hero.

RIP, Richard Kyanka, founder of Internet forum Something Awful.

RIP, Graeme Edge, drummer and co-founder of The Moody Blues.

Lock him up.

“Just a few weeks before advising the White House on Donald Trump’s efforts to steal a second term as president, conservative lawyer John Eastman took part in an election simulation that imagined it would be left-wingers, not Trump supporters, attempting to destabilize the country through violence.”

RIP, Gavan O’Herlihy, actor best known for playing Chuck Cunningham on Happy Days.