Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

linkdump

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.

Weekend link dump for November 7

Five thousand Saturdays of the Grand Ole Opry.

“Years ago, someone mistakenly put an image of me on a public domain site, and now apparently I am on products all around the world.”

“The Defamation Suits That Could Help Put an End to Trump’s Big Lie”.

“National Advocates for Pregnant Women painted a grim picture of pregnant people increasingly being prosecuted around the country for a miscarriage.”

“That’s a weid way to spell justice.”

Emergency rooms around the country are now overflowing with the non-COVID patients who had been delaying treatment because they couldn’t get it before due to all of the COVID patients.

“But then the polarization of death kicks in as COVID spreads everywhere and county-level responses (both individual and governmental) start to vary. By now, it’s hard not to think that these gaps are going to continue to widen, given where resistance to vaccines is highest.”

“By violating his legal duty to do what he could to end the unlawful occupation of the Capitol, Trump became an accomplice to that crime. He is subject to the same punishment as the rioters who entered the building.”

The Trojan Source bug is another thing to keep an eye on.

RIP, Jerry Remy, former Red Sox player and longtime broadcaster.

“The Casual Sexism Displayed at SCOTUS as the Justices Debated the Future of Abortion Rights”.

I’m sorry, but unless your girlfriend’s pet monkey bit a child on Halloween, you have nothing to complain about.

Would you like to own one of Fonzie’s leather jackets? Well, now you can.

“The reality is that if you live in the Eastern time zone, World Series games have ended after your kid’s bedtime for close to 50 years.”

How Puerto Rico became the best-vaccinated place in the US.

“if your dog has a costume with arms attached, please deposit them in this thread”

In less than two years, more people in the US have died from COVID than they have in almost 40 years of AIDS.

RIP, Ronnie Wilson, co-founder of The Gap Band.

“The Tigers haven’t won a World Series since that magical year of 1984. Yet somehow some of the best players of the last 12 or so years have come from the Tigers’ organization.”

RIP, Margaret Shulock, cartoonist who contributed to “Six Chix” and “Snuffy Smith” and also worked on “Apartment 3G”.

Weekend link dump for October 31

“There’s one less frequently discussed way in which Substack actually might be endangering democracy: It’s become a conduit for public disinformation during a historic pandemic.”

“In six out of seven countries — all but Germany — Tweets posted by accounts from the political right receive more algorithmic amplification than the political left when studied as a group.”

“I have (God help me) read a huge amount of this coverage and the thing that strikes me, over and over again, is the sheer sameness of it. Thousands upon thousands of words dedicated to the same arguments, the same low-stakes anecdotes, the same tortured historical analogies. Other than slight tweaks to the headlines, few of these stories even attempt to offer any original reporting or perspective.”

What Facebook knew about how it radicalized users”.

“Pregnant women and new mothers face a barrage of anti-vaccine fearmongering that would be very much worth a look. Black people have generations of reasons to distrust health care providers, and those reasons continue today. There’s the pernicious influence of Fox News and Facebook. If people are so fearful, where is that coming from? But reporters don’t seem to be asking that, or reporting it if they do.”

“We all have things we don’t like about law enforcement in this country. That crimes often don’t get investigated for budgetary reasons is a big one of mine.”

“The US has more jobs than it can fill. Fixing the immigration system could boost the economy.” There are plenty of other reasons to fix the immigration system, but for those of you that are fixated on the economy and the Great Resignation and all that, this is for you.

“Kellogg’s faces $5 million lawsuit for not having enough strawberries in its Pop-Tarts”.

I’m struggling to match my values to my employment here. I came here hoping to effect change and improve society, but all I’ve seen is atrophy and abdication of responsibility.”

How is it possible that in the year of our damn Lord 2021, electric shock devices are still being used as a means to discipline school children? Children with disabilities, in this case, mostly children of color. What the actual fuck?

Everything you ever wanted to know about the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee’s process for approving the COVID vaccine for 5-to-11-year-olds but were afraid to ask.

RIP, Mort Sahl, groundbreaking comedian who pioneered the style of topical humor in standup.

Mandates work.

Any article that contains a reference to “an arcane feature of Senate tradition” is almost certainly guaranteed to make you want to bang your head against a wall.

“Based on the lowest and highest point estimates, cities that used lead pipes had between 14 and 36 percent higher homicide rates than cities that did not.”

Let’s do right by Claudette Colvin.

“A roller derby team that has called itself the Cleveland Guardians since 2013 sued the city’s Major League Baseball team in federal court in Cleveland on Wednesday alleging that the switch from Indians to Guardians infringes on its trademark.”

Facebook is now Meta. Because “Hellscape” didn’t focus group too well, I guess. And no, I don’t want to know what the Metaverse is.

“Former President Donald Trump’s new TRUTH social network is in violation of the software license it’s built on and must get in compliance, the holder of the license demanded this week.”

RIP, Arnold Hano, baseball journalist and author, best known for the book “A Day in the Bleachers”.

Weekend link dump for October 24

“Christchurch, New Zealand has just made a terrible mistake. It has fired its official city wizard, a man named Ian Brackenbury Channell, and now finds itself undefended against attacks by mystical armies of dragons, goblins, and, most dangerous of all, outraged bands of rogue magicians led by Brackenbury Channell himself.”

“According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, 228 officers have been killed by COVID-19 in 2021, and 47 have been killed by gunfire. In 2020, the numbers were 245 and 45.”

RIP, Colin Powell, former Secretary of State and first Black chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Powell died of COVID despite being fully vaccinated, and that is because as a person with a blood cancer, he was especially vulnerable to the disease.

A thread about breakthrough infections.

RIP, Betty Lynn, actor best known for The Andy Griffith Show. Mark Evanier was a friend and former neighbor of hers, and he has two items about her if you want to know more.

“What would religious leaders do if aliens showed up?”

“While the overlap of left-wing, magazine-friendly wellness and far-right conspiracy theories might initially sound surprising, the similarities in cultures, in ways of thinking – the questioning of authority, of alternative medicines, the distrust of institutions– are clear. But something is happening, accelerated by the pandemic – the former is becoming a mainstream entry point into the latter. An entry point that can be found everywhere from a community garden to the beauty aisle at a big Tesco. Part of what makes a successful influencer is the ability to compel their followers to trust them, and they do that by sharing their lives, their homes, their diets, their concerns. It’s become clear, both by the products they buy and the choices they make, that many people trust their influencers more than their own doctor.”

“In July 2021, according to the latest Air Travel Consumer Report, there were 834 incidents of “mishandled” wheelchairs and scooters of passengers transported by US airlines. An average of 28 a day. But the major airlines have adopted very few policies for the carrying of wheelchairs”.

“Have you signed up for Netflix, Disney Plus or HBO Max just to watch one new show or movie — then canceled for a few months until the next must-see thing comes out?” It’s called “churn and burn”, and it’s mostly done by younger people.

“Facebook said on Wednesday it will start banning […] profiles, pages, groups and events that sexualize public figures — which includes celebrities, journalists, politicians and content creators. The content covers photoshopped images, degrading images or drawings and any otherwise degrading content “depicting individuals in the process of bodily functions””.

“For a certain kind of person, Rolovich will become an avatar for personal choice and fighting back against government overreach. Stupid as his decision to fritter away a $3 million salary and a Power Five coaching job is, it will look to some like principle. But Rolovich is not even a good standard-bearer for the anti-vaccine movement, if such a thing can exist, nor has he asked to be made one. Rolovich is something a lot simpler: He is the coaching profession’s most high-profile failure of the entire pandemic, in ways that go beyond not getting the shot. He is also a selfish coward, in ways that exceed any health risks he poses by not getting vaccinated.”

“Survey finds 22% of scientists who do media interviews about COVID get violent threats“.

“Pet Cloning Is Way More Advanced Than You Thought”.

From the If You Snooze, You Lose department.

“TMTG isn’t a social media platform. It’s a scam. Trump does not need another social media platform. He needs suckers willing to buy stock. And Trump has always been very, very good at locating suckers.”

“‘Prayer in schools’ is almost never about prayer in schools”.

RIP, Peter Scolari, versatile Emmy-winning actor known for Bosom Buddies, Newhart, and a whole lot more.

Lock him up.

“Here’s How a Prop Gun Using Blanks Can Still Fire a Fatal Shot”.

“It seems that [Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG)] lifted the code for TRUTH Media without properly crediting the code’s author. And the author is already making noises about taking Trump to court.”

“Trolling is a way of trying to take back a piece of what misogynists feel women owe them, which is attention. If they can’t force you to be a subservient housewife, they can at least force you to be annoyed, upset, even afraid. It makes shitty men feel powerful.”

“Trolling is a way of trying to take back a piece of what misogynists feel women owe them, which is attention. If they can’t force you to be a subservient housewife, they can at least force you to be annoyed, upset, even afraid. It makes shitty men feel powerful.”

Weekend link dump for October 17

“Treat Trump Like the Common Perp He Is”.

“One striking feature of the homicide increase from 2019 to 2020 is how uniform and pervasive it was: it rose in big cities and rural areas, in more conservative and more liberal cities, as well as in places with progressive prosecutors and in those without. The timing of the homicide increase also defies any sort of simple explanation. When looking at city-specific data, it’s clear that some cities saw homicides rise at the start of the COVID-19 lockdown, others around the time of George Floyd’s murder, others later in the year, and still others simply had higher levels of lethal violence right from the start; there is no clear, single story about what happened.”

“Idaho’s Palace Coup Is Like Game of Thrones If It Were Produced by OAN”.

“Children facing orphanhood as a result of COVID is a hidden, global pandemic.”

“People’s pandemic views aren’t just preferences. They’ve evolved to fundamental beliefs. And when that happens, social psychologists say, people are more likely to accept incivility to achieve what they want.”

Less Manchin and Sinema, more Jon Tester, please.

“In a first-of-its-kind victory for the right-to-repair movement, Microsoft has agreed to take concrete steps to facilitate the independent repair of its devices following pressure from its shareholders.”

“Gen X’s Wealth Has Gone Up 50% During the Pandemic”.

RIP, Alan Kalter, announcer for The Late Show With David Letterman.

“The Difference Between Captions and Subtitles (and Why It Matters for Netflix’s ‘Squid Game’)”.

RIP, Ruthie Thompson, Disney Legend and longtime animator who got her start on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

“As so many have explained over recent years, the issue is not in most cases that the prestige DC journalists are Republicans, let alone Trumpers. It is that the default assumption is that Republicans will light fires and Democrats will put them out. That is a great boon to Republican arson and legislative terrorism because as the default assumptions they cease to be news.”

President Biden is connected to the Real Housewives universe. I got nothin’.

“The pace of the economic recovery hinges in part on workers returning to jobs that involve dealing with an unpredictable public. But many of those workers say increasingly combative customers — angry about everything from long wait times to mask mandates — have prompted them to quit.”

RIP, Paddy Moloney, Irish folk music legend and co-founder of The Chieftains.

“There’s a super important story we’re not paying enough, or the right kind of, attention to. It’s sort of related to last week’s Facebook/Instagram disclosures but it goes well beyond that: A mental health crisis among America’s youth, aged 10-24.”

“Alito’s speech perfectly encapsulated the new imperious attitude of the Court’s right-wing majority, which wants to act politically without being seen as political, and expects the public to silently acquiesce to its every directive without scrutiny, criticism, or protest.”

“Arresting violent would-be terrorists is the very premise of this nation’s many, many SWAT teams. It was the reason for slapping them together in the first place, after pro-gun advocates succeeded in creating a new generation of criminals decked out in equipment capable of murdering dozens in the span of a minute.”

RIP, Ray Fosse, longtime MLB catcher and broadcaster.

“Football, and the NFL in particular, doesn’t care about employing well-rounded, worldly individuals. It cares only about winning football games. Which is why we’ve all laughed at the league’s attempts to make up for decades of racism and sexism and homophobia with a few token hires and a few end-zone slogans. The entire league is broken because of the people who run it.”

“Some go-to attorneys have been spooked by Trump’s reputation for sometimes not paying as a client, according to several people familiar with conservative legal circles. Others watched closely as lawyers fled Trump’s prior teams, frustrated by him as a client or facing their own ethical predicaments. Others still want themselves and their firms to stay far away from Trump’s insistence that the election was stolen.”

This, among many other things, is not good cyber security practice.

Weekend link dump for October 10

“11 Netflix Settings Everyone Should Know About”.

“It’s one thing to sell out for a $200,000 car, it’s another to do it for a fast casual milkshake.”

“Why the Texas Abortion Law May Galvanize Young Women Politically Like Never Before”.

“What the Media Gets Wrong About Last Year’s Uptick In Murders”.

The science of Fat Bear Week.

“On the one hand, acting is acting—it shouldn’t require perfect alignment with the character you’re playing. On the other hand, the fact that it keeps happening when Hollywood doesn’t exactly suffer from a lack of Jewish actors shows that something is off. It seems that the idea of letting an actual Jewish actress interpret a Jewish role is pushing a cultural boundary we didn’t realize was still there.”

“Put more prosaically: Does Donald Trump have a perp walk and a prison cell in his future?”

“I’m going to take a handful of recent articles that I felt badly missed the mark, and offer alternative ledes or nut graphs that I think do a better job of telling the truer story.”

“Golden State Warriors’ forward Andrew Wiggins is finally vaccinated.”

Cancel culture really is running amuck.

“Netflix’s ‘Squid Game’ Literally Broke the Internet in South Korea”.

“Women who have miscarried know first-hand that a pre-term fetus is not a baby, we must use our voices and our standing as mothers to protect abortion access”.

“When we realized tobacco companies were hiding the harms it caused, the government took action. When we figured out cars were safer with seatbelts, the government took action. I implore you to do the same here.”

“What’s so damaging about Facebook is that there’s no willfully bad person doing this. That’s just what the product is.”

“I’m a professor of art crime. To teach my students about the varieties of cultural heritage crime, like forgery, fraud, and looting, I’ve spent decades researching cases from throughout history and around the world. Which, frankly, was a big waste of time. They could have learned nearly everything about heritage crime by looking at what the Museum of the Bible has been caught doing in the past few years.”

Don’t anger Taylor Swift fans. Take it from the father of a devout Swiftie on this.

Lock them up.

RIP, Dr. Robert Grossman, pioneering Houston neurosurgeon who as a young resident examined the fatal head wound of President John F. Kennedy.

Weekend link dump for October 3

“But in the meantime, the simple story that unemployment insurance was the gravitational force pinning down the labor market and preventing a boom doesn’t seem to have panned out. And as for the states that decided to cut off aid early? That decision is looking increasingly pointless and cruel.”

“Unlike their STEM peers, Black and white humanities graduates earn about the same. How did that happen?”

“The shock of the explosion over Tall el-Hammam was enough to level the city, flattening the palace and surrounding walls and mudbrick structures”. See also: “The proposed airburst was larger than the 1908 explosion over Tunguska, Russia, where a ~ 50-m-wide bolide detonated with ~ 1000× more energy than the Hiroshima atomic bomb.” The Slacktivist gives you some historical and Biblical context for all this, and also a reason to be a little skeptical of the whole thing.

“A system like this rewards the best liars, the most sophisticated liars, or the people who have access to people willing to help them manipulate it.”

“Now, more than 10 months after the election, the country knows of at least five ways in which Trump attempted to retain power despite his defeat.”

“Anti-vaccine Facebook groups have a new message for their community members: Don’t go to the emergency room, and get your loved ones out of intensive care units.”

“It might seem like hyperbole to put LuLaRoe in the same category as a dangerous group like NXIVM — after all, MLM members are not getting their flesh seared with their leaders’ initials, nor are they forced to move to a rural commune in the woods. But “cults” don’t all wear the same cloak, and even so-called “normal” people can find themselves inveigled by one.”

RIP, Sissy Farenthold, Texas Democratic and progressive icon.

“Ignorance, by itself, is not bad faith — but persistence in ignorance is. And as more and more stories like these continue to make their way into the public domain, the persistence of the former president’s supporters in their ignorance ought to be called out for what it is: it’s their bad faith, too.”

“William Shatner’s Actually Pulling A Captain Kirk And Heading To Space On A Bezos Ship”.

I’m not sure we needed a Night Court sequel, but if it has John Larroquette in it, it can’t be too bad.

“It’s the essence of GOP grievance politics aimed squarely at the forehead of civic democracy.”

“This is the way forward. While masking and other precautions are very important until vaccination rates rise and daily case rates drop dramatically, the U.S. needs more people vaccinated to lower the rates of serious illness and death and clear out ICUs. Even so, a tiny minority of people will refuse, but for many more people who were genuinely just hesitating and being told it’s vaccination or your job, these requirements will work. They’re working already.”

RIP, Tommy Kirk, Disney star best known for Old Yeller.

“Instead of learning from those mistakes as we enter the Biden era, the new Times initiative seems to double down on its lost-cause obsession with wooing angry conservatives, like John Cusack holding up that boombox. Why?”

“The best you can say about this idiotic scheme is that it seems to be risk-free for Miami.”

Wait, Hannah Waddingham from “Ted Lasso” was Septa Unella from “Game of Thrones”, and she got to keep the “Shame!” bell? Mind blown.

It’s been Fat Bear Week, y’all. Meet the bears that make the week.

“Infowars host Alex Jones has lost two of several lawsuits filed against him by relatives of Sandy Hook victims after he routinely failed to comply with requests to produce documents related to his involvement in spreading lies about the deadly shooting.”

Weekend link dump for September 26

“Even before the thefts started, the city’s 65,000 delivery workers had tolerated so much: the fluctuating pay, the lengthening routes, the relentless time pressure enforced by mercurial software, the deadly carelessness of drivers, the pouring rain and brutal heat, and the indignity of pissing behind a dumpster because the restaurant that depends on you refuses to let you use its restroom. And every day there were the trivially small items people ordered and the paltry tips they gave — all while calling you a hero and avoiding eye contact.”

“Our analysis of HHS and CDC data indicates there were 32,000 preventable COVID-19 hospitalizations in June, 68,000 preventable COVID-19 hospitalizations in July, and another 187,000 preventable COVID-19 hospitalizations among unvaccinated adults in the U.S. in August, for a total of 287,000 across the three months. We explain more on how we arrived at these numbers below. If each of these preventable hospitalizations cost roughly $20,000, on average, that would mean these largely avoidable hospitalizations have already cost billions of dollars since the beginning of June.”

“Anyone who’d rather have COVID-19 than get vaccinated is taking two gambles: that immunity will stick around, and that symptoms won’t.”

RIP, Larry Tesler, the computer scientist who invented copy and paste.

“The Covid-driven surge in car deaths shouldn’t obscure what was already a disquieting fact before the pandemic: American automotive deaths — both of pedestrians and of people in cars — are a public health emergency.”

“The dead hand of the Trump administration already controls much of the U.S. government through the federal judiciary. Now it is reaching into other nations, too.”

“The GOP intransigence is fiercely motivating Democrats to vote even in off-year and special elections, even as Republicans and their conservative infotainment allies are functionally killing and incapacitating literally thousands of their own voters almost every day, including and especially the ones so politically engaged and devoted to the cause that they’re willing to risk death rather than wear a mask or get a shot.”

RIP, Sarah Dash, R&B singer and actress, co-founder of Patti LaBelle & The Bluebelles and LaBelle.

“Activision Blizzard now faces a federal investigation into how the company has handled employee allegations of workplace discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct. The company’s workplace environment has faced public scrutiny since California authorities filed suit to prosecute similar claims back in July.”

“The goal on January 6 was to have Mike Pence declare Trump the winner of the election by simply leaving out seven states. And if anyone objected to that tactic, there was a backup plan for Pence to hand Trump the election through a second route.” Honestly, a whole lot of people should be facing jail time for this.

“Amazon is actively lobbying the United States government to federally legalize cannabis“.

“Cassandra Peterson — best known to the world as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark — released her new memoir Yours Cruelly, Elvira today and, in the process, came out by revealing her 19-year relationship with another woman, Teresa “T” Wierson.”

RIP, Willie Garson, actor best known for Sex and the City and White Collar.

RIP, Peter Palmer, stage and screen actor who originated the role of L’il Abner on Broadway. Mark Evanier has a nice remembrance of him.

“Why are more men dying from COVID? It’s a complicated story of nature vs. nurture, researchers say.”

“Fact: The unvaccinated phenomenon in America represents the story of Covid today. But the press tip-toes around it, pretending it’s normal for millions of Americans to risk death by refusing to take a vaccine that’s been administered billions of times worldwide.”

RIP, Melvin Van Peebles, groundbreaking filmmaker, actor, writer, and composer.

“As opposition to vaccines becomes a more partisan issue, however, progressives who are vaccine-hesitant will face a decision. Do they remain on the left, even as the politics around the conspiracy theories they embrace lead them out of their ideological comfort zones? Or do they dispense with progressivism in favor of a view of the world that holds that public health is subordinate to personal choice?”

“The pandemic has been a vast natural experiment to determine whether there are people who would literally rather die than admit they were wrong about politics. I would have speculated ahead of time that such people exist, and in significant numbers. But now we know for sure.”

Weekend link dump for September 19

“It is possible to be both a victim and a villain.”

“Last year, three cryptocurrency enthusiasts bought a cruise ship. They named it the Satoshi, and dreamed of starting a floating libertarian utopia. It didn’t work out.”

“Over the past year, as the conspiracy theorists have come together under one big apocalyptic tent—the “stop the steal” election truthers, the anti-vaxers, the anti-maskers—we have seen organized campaigns of harassment, threats of violence, attempts to harm members of school administrations, and physical altercations at school board meetings when masks are mandated.”

“Most viruses in an infected person are genetically identical to the strain that started the infection. It is much more likely that one of these copies – not a rare mutation – gets passed on to someone else. Research has shown that almost no mutated viruses are transmitted from their original host to another person. And even if a new mutant causes an infection, the mutant viruses are usually outnumbered by non-mutant viruses in the new host and aren’t usually transmitted to the next person.”

Evangelicals considered abortion a “Catholic issue” through most of the 1970s, and there is little in the history of evangelicalism to suggest that abortion would become a point of interest. Even James Dobson, who later became an implacable foe of abortion, acknowledged after the Roe decision that the Bible was silent on the matter and that it was plausible for an evangelical to hold that “a developing embryo or fetus was not regarded as a full human being”.”

“Not once does the story mention obstruction, which also carries a maximum sentence of 20 years. If you don’t mention obstruction — and your sources don’t explain that obstruction will get you to precisely where you’d get with a sedition charge, but with a lot more flexibility to distinguish between defendants and a far lower bar of proof (unless and until judges decide it has been misapplied) — then your sources are not describing what is going on with the investigation.”

More than a million children have already lost a primary caregiver due to COVID, according to one recent study.”

“President Joe Biden gave a gift to every major company in America by forcing them to mandate vaccines or stringently test their employees for Covid. Their reaction to the new rule: glee.”

“Researchers are finding that when pulverized rock is applied to agricultural fields, the soil pulls far more carbon from the air and crop yields increase. More studies are underway, but some scientists say this method shows significant benefits for farmers and the climate.”

Four words: Lab-grown woolly mammoths. You’re welcome.

RIP, Norm MacDonald, comedian, writer, actor best known for several seasons on Saturday Night Live.

“He’s ended America’s longest war, got vaccines distributed at no cost nationwide and halved the child poverty rate. So why all the stories about ‘Biden‘s Cruel Summer’?”

“Maybe Washington State needs to implement vaccine passports for crossing its state borders.”

The story of Bruce, the large fiberglass shark that went on an epic journey during Hurricane Nicholas.

You oughtta know that Alanis Morisette does not care for the forthcoming HBO documentary about her life.

RIP, Dotty Griffith, pioneering Texas food journalist.

“Remember that many unvaccinated Americans aren’t hardcore resisters, just people who need a push. The president gave them one.”

“I must say I take a personal glee at the outcome of the Republican attempt to recall California Governor Gavin Newsom, not just because it’s another setback for the party that advocates stupidity, the end of democracy, and the death of its members (don’t wear masks, don’t take vaccines, COVID is a hoax)— no, I’m thrilled because I personally know the candidate who lost — Larry Elder.”

“This dataset is all that’s needed to trace actual ownership and management of the fascist side of the Internet that has eluded researchers, activists, and, well, just about everybody.”

“I am happy to announce that we are offering Official letters for those Pastafarians who would like to be exempt from working in proximity to the unvaxxed. The unvaccinated may emit harmful virus particles which are forbidden to devout Pastafarians, therefore we expect all reasonable measures to be taken to help us avoid these virus particles. Please respect our religious liberty.”

“Netflix was hit with a lawsuit on Thursday over the mention of chess champion Nona Gaprindashvili in the final episode of the Emmy-winning limited series The Queens Gambit.”

“Vaccine requirements work: Raiders report more than 6,000 fans got the shot on game day”.

Weekend link dump for September 12

“We condemn you to Websites From Hell, an archive of the internet’s ugliest websites”.

Are you old enough to remember the McDonaldland character Grimace? Then do not read this, whatever you do. You don’t want to know.

“A lecherous sunrise flaunted itself over a flatulent sea, ripping the obsidian bodice of night asunder with its rapacious fingers of gold, thus exposing her dusky bosom to the dawn’s ogling stare.”

“Approximately two million years after our ancestors first learned to move about the planet with an upright gait, whether or not walking places is good or bad has become yet another dividing line in the American culture wars.”

I’m a longtime fan of The Amazing Race, and so I really enjoyed this oral history of its first season. I didn’t start watching it until a few seasons in so this was all new to me, but looking back 20 years later it was an incredible feat of television, and it’s still a terrific show.

RIP, Tunch Ilkin, former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle and longtime broadcaster.

RIP, Michael K. Williams, actor and five-time Emmy nominee best known for his role as Omar Little on The Wire.

RIP, Sam Cunningham, College Football Hall of Fame running back and leading rusher for the New England Patriots who is widely recognized for helping speed up the process of integration in football programs across the South.

RIP, Larry Winters, longtime volunteer and DJ at KPFT who created the “Spare Change” show.

RIP, Irma Kalish, pioneering writer and producer for television.

Did anyone ask for another season of 24?

“The scolds claim to care about social deprivation and learning loss and the developmental concerns of kids being out of school. If that’s the case, they should care about things that might cause classrooms or schools to close at unpredictable intervals, causing a loss of stability to every single child affected. Again: There’s that 6.5% of the kids in Mississippi’s public schools who have already quarantined. Who wants to step up and claim that’s less disruptive to their lives than wearing masks in school would be?”

Along those lines

“The evolution of education in the United States is more complicated than you think”.

Weekend link dump for September 5

“Baseball For All’s message to women and girls: You don’t have to stop playing the game you love”.

“The ideal host for Jeopardy! should embody what the show means to its viewership: a passion for knowledge and a respect for a diverse community. Maybe the host would also reflect that diversity in order to show that it’s not just white males who can be the gatekeepers to these values. What’s especially shocking is that the producers of a show that is about knowledge demonstrated a substantial lack of awareness of recent cultural history and the coming of age our institutions — from government to the academy to entertainment — have been going through.”

In the meantime, the ideal executive producer of Jeopardy! will not be Mike Richards. Don’t piss off the former champions and hardcore fans, that’s the lesson to be learned from all this.

“Are You Entitled to Privacy Over Your Pee and Poop?”

“The internet doesn’t turn people into assholes so much as it acts as a massive megaphone for existing ones, according to work by researchers at Aarhus University.”

The penis is just another organ that is at risk due to COVID-related blood clotting.”.

“So that’s how we ended up here. Ivermectin fans on Facebook, complaining about wait times and high drug prices, got fed up with America’s Frontline Doctors, who sold them conspiracy and the fake cure. So they went to the feed store, to eat the horse goo, because it’s cheaper.”

RIP, Ed Asner, beloved actor and seven-time Emmy winner. Here are two great stories about him.

“As a full-time hospitalist for the last year and a half, I — together with my colleagues — have personally taken care of hundreds of hospitalized patients with COVID-19. We are also nine months into vaccinating about half of Texas. You know how many hospitalized patients I’ve personally cared for with serious side effects from the vaccine? Zero.”

“Nicole Carroll said there is “no higher calling in journalism than to give people accurate information to help them make decisions that can save lives.” That’s a vision of journalism oddly drained of its inherent moral character. “Accurate information” is not the same thing as “the truth.””

Some Mister Rogers trivia, to mark the 20th anniversary of the end of the show.

“People in the crisis-management field have made peace with blanket one-size-fits-all policies that some individuals don’t like. When a ship is going down, passengers aren’t given the luxury of quibbling with the color or design of the life vest, and they can’t dither forever about whether to put one on or not. Emergencies invariably force people to make some choices that they might not consider ideal, but asking everyone to get vaccinated against a potentially lethal virus is not a big imposition.”

“Rather than work with him to vaccinate the country, Biden’s Republican opposition has, with only a few exceptions, done everything in its power to politicize the vaccine and make refusal to cooperate a test of partisan loyalty. The party is, for all practical purposes, pro-Covid. If it’s sincere, it is monstrous. And if it’s not, it is an unbelievably cynical and nihilistic strategy. Unfortunately for both Biden and the country, it appears to be working.”

“But no matter her sexuality, the Green M&M’s eroticism persists, adding a little frisson of horniness to the humble candy bowl.”

Boy, that cancel culture sure is something, isn’t it?

“Steven Petrow’s Advice On Stupid Things Not to Do When You Get Older”.

“Thankfully, the Federal Trade Commission is also tired of waiting for their damn McFlurry.”

“The current [Supreme] Court is deeply corrupted and corrupt. The lawful remedy is to create new seats on the Court to break its power. The lawful solution to overruling Roe is to take current precedent as of today and enact it as law.”

RIP, Carolyn Shoemaker, comet hunter extraordinaire who co-discovered the Shoemaker-Levy Comet.

“The most-cited study promoting ivermectin may have been completely fabricated“.

RIP, Willard Scott, beloved longtime weatherman for The Today Show.

Weekend link dump for August 29

“The dinosaur-killing asteroid took a back road to Earth.”

An interview with Jim DeRogatis, the reporter who’s been telling us all what a sleazeball R. Kelly is for the last 20 years.

More about now-former Jeopardy! host Mike Richards and his unsavory past, with further details that couldn’t fit into the story here. Yeah, maybe Levar Burton would have been a better choice.

A look at MLB mascots through history.

Congratulations to Miguel Cabrera, the first Venezuelan-born player in MLB to hit 500 home runs.

“What happened, and what can be learned about the vaccine’s impact on a highly vaccinated country? Here are six lessons learned — and one looming question for the future of the pandemic.”

RIP, Don Everly, rock and roll pioneer and elder half of The Everly Brothers.

Why wildfires have gotten so much worse lately.

RIP, Gregg Barrios, playwright, poet, journalist.

“Despite a declining growth rate and data collection complications related to the Coronavirus pandemic, the six long-term trends of American population migration continued unabated. Gentrification and urban renewal continue to make cities attractive for young professionals. Cheap property, spacious homes, quality schools, and ample opportunity continues to attract people from all backgrounds and livelihoods to the expanding suburbs. Retirees continue to seek relaxation in the Sun Belt and scenic natural communities. Rural and post-Industrial America continues to decline as both the young and the old seek better lives in distant communities. African Americans continue to leave the blighted, post-industrial Midwest and impoverished Black Belt rural areas for southern cities teeming with opportunity. The overall population continues to grow less White, more diverse, and more intermingled.”

“The Seattle Storm, the 2020 WNBA champions, met with President Joe Biden on Monday, becoming the first professional basketball team since 2016 to visit the White House.”

“NEW: in the last couple of weeks there have a *lot* of new studies out assessing vaccine efficacy, many of which have touched on the question of waning immunity. Unsurprisingly, these have prompted a *lot* of questions. Time for a thread to summarise what we do and don’t know:”

RIP, Charlie Watts, legendary longtime drummer for The Rolling Stones.

RIP, Micki Grant, playwright and actor who was the first woman to write both the music and lyrics to a Broadway musical and the first Black actor to become a contract player on a daytime soap opera.

RIP, Brian Travers, saxophonist and founding member of UB40.

“A discovery made during a police raid has been identified as the most complete fossil of a flying reptile from Brazil. The remains revealed new information about tapejarids, or pterosaurs that soared across the skies during the Early Cretaceous period between 100.5 million and 145 million years ago.”

“It is one thing to be exhausted, depleted, and fearful after 18 months of a pandemic, brutal racial injustice, climate panic, and global political instability. It is quite another thing to be expected to embody pitch-perfect emotional responses to each one of those things instantaneously online.”

“It is one thing to be exhausted, depleted, and fearful after 18 months of a pandemic, brutal racial injustice, climate panic, and global political instability. It is quite another thing to be expected to embody pitch-perfect emotional responses to each one of those things instantaneously online.”

This lawsuit represents a historic and profound abuse of the judicial process. It is one thing to take on the charge of vindicating rights associated with an allegedly fraudulent election. It is another to take on the charge of deceiving a federal court and the American people into believing that rights were infringed, without regard to whether any laws or rights were in fact violated. This is what happened here.”

Mandy Patinkin and Kathryn Grody are two of the best people on the planet.

“This is probably the most comprehensive account of Jan. 6 in terms of civil cases. It spans from the former president to militants around him to his campaign supporters.”

“Remembering the Origins of the United States’ 20 Year War in Afghanistan”.

“This is why monoclonals are a linear tool in an exponential fight”.

Weekend link dump for August 22

“I cannot emphasize enough what an emergency this is. Public servants, health care workers, ordinary citizens–the very fabric of our society and our democracy–are under attack by crazed conspiracy theorists and bad actors looking to make a buck on division and hate.”

“A few things still need to happen before [COVID] shots can be authorized for Americans younger than 12.”

“The former president only received about 19 percent of his 74 million votes from counties with shrinking populations, according to Muro and his team’s analysis. Overall, the counties where he won added 7.8 million people during the previous decade. But Biden counties nearly doubled that total, expanding by 14.9 million individuals. Blue America is driving America’s population growth.”

“[T]he Democrats are trying to accomplish something nobody has ever accomplished, let alone attempted, on the House and Senate floors: a single piece of legislation designed to overhaul the social contract on a disparate array of fronts.”

The NFL is a good example of how and why vaccine mandates work.

“We need to talk about the pediatric bed situation in the USA. Because things are going to get really bad, real fast, unless people doing things to stop it.”

“There’s a growing consensus among health experts: Covid-19 may never go away. We’ll likely always have some coronavirus out there, infecting people and, hopefully only in rare cases, getting them seriously ill. The realistic goal is to defang the virus — make it less deadly — not eliminate it entirely.”

“Modernizing the Electoral Count Act (“ECA”) is the fix most likely to stop an effort to overturn the results of a future election that can receive bipartisan support.”

Rachel Maddow >> OANN.

“The Republican-led Maricopa County Board of Supervisors filed a financial claim Wednesday seeking $2.8 million from the GOP-led Arizona State Senate for the cost of replacing elections equipment compromised during the Republicans’ sham audit.”

“The National Association of Secretaries of State approved a series of recommendations for audits aimed at combating Arizona-style, slapdash reviews of the 2020 election and future races.”

Some SFF/F book recommendations, if you need some new reading.

“If you believe the pandemic is almost over and you can ride it out, without getting vaccinated, you could not be more wrong. This virus will find you.”

“The sentencing for one of the January 6 US Capitol rioters was abruptly postponed Wednesday after new videos emerged of the man allegedly fighting with police, an unexpected twist in the case because prosecutors hadn’t previously accused him of committing violence that day.”

“Instead, on the eve of a once-in-a-generation federal investment in infrastructure, the environmental review process for big projects is totally unfit for the task at hand. Transportation is the country’s largest source of carbon emissions, but ideas that aim to reduce dependence on planes, cars, and trucks have even more trouble gaining environmental approval than highways. The result: delays and high costs that perpetuate the dominance of ice cap–melting SUVs in American transportation policy.”

Where are the anti-war voices?

Mike Richards is officially out as the new Jeopardy! host, and not a minute too soon.

RIP, Bill Freehan, 11-time All Star catcher for the Detroit Tigers.

RIP, Tom T. Hall, country singer/songwriter who wrote “Harper Valley PTA”.

Weekend link dump for August 15

“So it goes for many media companies, at a loss for revenue and drooling over the profit potential in sports betting. As gambling swallows up sports media, anyone pausing to consider editorial conflicts (or, in the case of bets based on nonpublic information, possible law-breaking) might feel left out.”

“Indonesia says ‘Jurassic Park’ project on track despite UNESCO warnings”. There’s no way this ends well, is there?

“COVID-19 accounts for nearly half of all police deaths” in 2021 so far.

There is a huge uptick in the request for vaccines. We’re back almost to how we were when the vaccine first came out.”

“If Americans truly wish to protect all children (and adults) from kidnapping, exploitation, and other forms of sexual and physical harm, we must recognize that cases like Johnny Gosch’s and Eugene Martin’s are extremely rare. Stranger abduction and exploitation understandably terrify parents and other family and community members in acute ways, yet family members and acquaintances are far more likely to perpetrate harm against children.”

“My reaction to the Dick Farrels of the world is: I’m sorry their friends lost a friend, and I’m sorry for all the people they fed bullshit to who are currently in danger of contracting a dangerous but easily preventable virus because he encouraged them not to protect themselves with a simple, safe and efficient vaccine. If his death and deathbed conversion to the efficacy of vaccines serves as a useful rebuttal to all his previous bullshit on the subject, so much the better. Beyond that, I wouldn’t have wished him dead, and I’m glad he’s no longer able to tell other people not to get vaccinated. It’s too bad the former was required for the latter, but, well. Here we are. If it takes more deaths like his for it to sink in, at least they will not be entirely useless deaths. This is about as kindly as I can put that.”

Pitchers really, really can’t hit. That’s all you need to know.

RIP, Lauryn Farris, leading voice for transgender advocacy in San Antonio.

“The audacity of the former President’s attempts to subvert the law by weaponizing the Justice Department not only underscores how close the United States came to a full blown constitutional crisis this year. It also emphasizes that any attempt by Trump to use a war chest already worth $100 million to try to recapture the White House in 2024 would represent a mortal threat to democracy and the rule of law from a leader who was undeterred even by his own first impeachment.”

This is the core of good climate policy: pushing fossil fuels off the grid over the next decade and replacing them with zero-carbon energy.”

RIP, Tony Esposito, Hall of Fame goalie for the Chicago NHL team.

“Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, said state and local governments should require teachers to get vaccinated against Covid-19.”

“Newsmax helped create and cultivate an alternate reality where up is down, pigs have wings, and Dominion engaged in a colossal fraud to steal the presidency from Donald Trump by rigging the vote.

RIP, Cameron Burrell, former NCAA champion sprinter at the University of Houston.

“What the crank is giving people is the *illusion* of not trusting an authority—unlike all those sheep who trust the *mainstream* authorities. A bit like the media elites who win large followings by telling you not to trust media elites.”

Let unvaxxed people complain about vaccination requirements for travel. They shouldn’t be traveling if they’re not vaxxed.

Who should Americans be angry at? Can we narrow it down? Sure.”

RIP, Nanci Griffith, Grammy-winning singer/songwriter.

“More than 4,700 lives lost to Covid-19 in Florida and Texas could have been saved if those states had higher vaccination rates, according to a study released on Thursday.”

“Restaurant owners across the country are experiencing similar waves of backlash after announcing vaccination requirements for anyone who wants to dine indoors. Their Yelp pages get overrun with one-star reviews from people who have never eaten there; their Instagram posts get spammed with vitriolic comments; their inboxes and voicemails get flooded with messages. Many of the comments are eerily similar: angry anti-vaxxers accuse restaurateurs of medical segregation, comparing vaccine requirements to racial discrimination.”

Weekend link dump for August 8

“In the early 20th century, a famous anti-vaxxer exposed himself to smallpox. What happened next offers a COVID cautionary tale.”

“Every time there is another data breach, we are asked to change our password at the breached entity. But the reality is that in most cases by the time the victim organization discloses an incident publicly the information has already been harvested many times over by profit-seeking cybercriminals. Here’s a closer look at what typically transpires in the weeks or months before an organization notifies its users about a breached database.”

Apparently, a lot of people hate the song “Imagine”. I kind of do, too, and this article goes into why people hate it.

“In my decade-plus of social-policy reporting, I have mostly understood these stories as facts of life. Government programs exist. People have to navigate those programs. That is how it goes. But at some point, I started thinking about these kinds of administrative burdens as the “time tax”—a levy of paperwork, aggravation, and mental effort imposed on citizens in exchange for benefits that putatively exist to help them. This time tax is a public-policy cancer, mediating every American’s relationship with the government and wasting countless precious hours of people’s time.”

“I am angry that the tragic scenes of prior surges are being played out yet again, but now with ICUs primarily filled with patients who have chosen not to be vaccinated. I am angry that it takes me over an hour to explain to an anti-vaxxer full of misinformation that intubation isn’t what “kills patients” and that their wish for chest compressions without intubation in the event of a respiratory arrest makes no sense. I am angry at those who refuse to wear “muzzles” when grocery shopping for half an hour a week, as I have been so-called “muzzled” for much of the past 18 months.”

Poor Rudy. No really, he’s broke and he ain’t getting a dime from Trump. These two deserve each other so much.

“The finding indicates that there’s a very large population of wild animals in North America that could serve as a reservoir for the [SARS-CoV-2] virus, even if we were to get its circulation within the human population under control.”

“Let’s look back at the lesbian pulp explosion and try to uncover its legacy…”

“Just weeks after its launch, the pro-Trump social network GETTR is inundated with terrorist propaganda spread by supporters of Islamic State, according to a POLITICO review of online activity on the fledgling platform.”

“#STILLWATER was “directly inspired by the Amanda Knox saga.” Director Tom McCarthy tells Vanity Fair, “he couldn’t help but imagine how it would feel to be in Knox’s shoes.” …But that didn’t inspire him to ask me how it felt to be in my shoes.”

Maybe this guyrecently flagged government data center hard drives as a promising source of the rare earth elements America needs not just for data storage devices and consumer electronics, but also for energy technologies that are key to fighting climate change.”

“Those exceptional few white evangelicals who were on the right side of the abominable matter of slavery quickly found themselves to be on the wrong side of white evangelicism.”

“During the pandemic, child care was a second full-time job for many moms of young kids.”

“The end result may still be a much needed reform that finally forces America’s bitcoiners, ethereum fans, and doge nuts to pay their taxes. But the last minute rescue by top members of both parties is a vivid demonstration that, in Washington, crypto has some legislative sway.”

“[LSU] has not only abandoned its responsibility to its students and faculty, but also to Baton Rouge and Louisiana as a whole. As Louisiana’s flag-ship university, the administration has failed to set an example for the rest of the state’s public schools, both in terms of integrity and public health policy.”

“Hey, I’m going to take literally a half a second to type in ClevelandGuardians.com, just to see if anyone has it.”

RIP, JR Richard, legendary pitcher for the Houston Astros. I’m just glad that he and the franchise were able to reconcile and that he was inducted into the inaugural Astros Hall of Fame class while he was still with us.

RIP, Richard Trumka, labor leader and President of the AFL-CIO.

“The reality of the Ohio primary is that Nina Turner, whether anyone wants to admit it or not, was the Establishment in this race. She had more money, higher name recognition and tons of celebrity endorsements in her pocket. Her opponent Shontel Brown was a local Cuyahoga County Democratic Party chair, that nobody would’ve been able to pick out of a lineup four months ago. And yet, Turner still lost.”

“Everybody makes mistakes. And holding [Florida Gov. Ron] DeSantis up as Republican Covid hero was a doozy. Now the press needs to address that failure.”

RIP, Markie Post, actor known for Night Court, The Fall Guy, Hearts Afire, and more.

“The Democrats had 47 or 48 votes to fix the Senate or make a start of it. That wasn’t enough. What they’re on their way to doing is passing close to the entire agenda even with it still being broken. That’s a huge and historic accomplishment in policy terms and no mean feat in legislative handiwork. The aim of passing a big spending bill isn’t to fix the legislative body. It’s to pass the bill.”

Weekend link dump for August 1

“Federal Courts Keep Shooting Down Anti-Trans Laws. Will That Hold at SCOTUS?”

“Your location data is for sale, and it can be used against you.”

Australian cockatoos can open garbage can lids, and what’s more, they can learn how to do it from other cockatoos.

“It seems like after the election, someone really did stop talking about COVID-19. It was the guy who never cared.”

“A Vaccine Or This Marriage: Conspiracy Theories Are Tearing Couples Apart“.

“Quick thread: I don’t think most people know what antivaxx posts on Facebook really look like. That’s good. Why would you? But I think people assume it’s Suzy Turmeric plaintively yelling at you about the microchip, and it’s not. It looks like this. Like code. Or gibberish.”

“Even in the face of Delta, vaccines are still doing what they’re designed to do. That is, they’re defanging the threat of a Covid-19 infection, protecting people from getting so sick they have to be hospitalized and from death. Pretty much nothing in medicine is absolute, so a tiny fraction of vaccinated people will still wind up getting really sick, but there’s a clear reason why some 97% to 99% of current hospitalizations and deaths are occurring among those who are unvaccinated.”

“A mysterious marketing agency secretly offered to pay social media stars to spread disinformation about Covid-19 vaccines. Their plan failed when the influencers went public about the attempt to recruit them.”

Want to buy some classic pinball machines? Now is your chance.

RIP, Bob Moses, civil rights leader and voting rights advocate.

“There is no way to understand the January 6th insurrection without beginning with the fact that it was led by, at the behest of and for the benefit of Donald Trump. It was the result of his actions. It was one of the final developments in a failed coup plot by Donald Trump.”

Rep. Mo Brooks is a traitor. Fortunately, he’s also an idiot. That may help to hold him accountable.

RIP, Dusty Hill, founding member and bassist for ZZ Top. I spent some time Wednesday afternoon , though please understand that the only correct way to listen to “Waitin’ For The Bus” is having it segue into “Jesus Just Left Chicago”. I played that for Olivia a couple of years ago, partly to explain how the age of streaming means a loss of such musical conventions. She was properly impressed.

“But the coverage of the hearing and the violence those officers experienced at the hands of people sent to the Capitol by Donald Trump could have unfolded very differently if Republican flamethrowers like Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio had been seated on the committee.”

“As we all know, Donald Trump isn’t the cause of the Republican Party’s descent into madness. He’s merely the result of decades of evolution that started when Jerry Falwell founded the Moral Majority, Rush Limbaugh picked up a microphone, and Newt Gingrich reinvented modern conservatism. But these were just warm-up acts. It wasn’t until Fox News was up and running that we started to see permanent changes in the electorate.”

RIP, Ron Popeil, infomercial and “As Seen On TV” king.

“Scarlett Johansson is suing Disney over Black Widow‘s Disney Plus release”. She’s due a bonus based on box office receipts, which are of course lower now that the movie was simultaneously released on D+.

We need to be placing the burdens on non-vaccination on the unvaccinated. And we need to be clear with the public that the problem is the non-vaccinated. They’re at fault. They’re to blame. And even more, the public influencers, celebrities and political actors who’ve driven resistance to vaccination are to blame.”

“This is a significant development that will clear the way for witnesses to provide evidence to the committees investigating post-election conduct, including the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. It also presents important questions for the doctrine of executive privilege in future cases.”

Weekend link dump for July 25

“Sorry, Leonard Leo. If you wanted someone without a sense of humor, you probably shouldn’t have tapped a 44-year-old from Teaneck, New Jersey. Also, your party should probably have nominated a senate candidate who wasn’t credibly accused of sexual impropriety with multiple teenage girls.”

“Not surprisingly, many of Trump’s supporters don’t approve of how their dear leader is displayed on TV, and they’ve been very quick to let the FCC know. Roughly 360 pages of anonymous grievances from “SNL” viewers dating back to 2017 have been published on Government Attic, thanks to FOIA requests. And wow, they’re a doozy.”

“What do you get when thirty liars write thirty books? Thirty lying books.”

“Researchers have found that “expiration” dates — which rarely correspond to food actually expiring or spoiling — are mostly well-intentioned, but haphazard and confusing. Put another way, they’re not expiration dates at all. And the broader public’s misunderstanding about them is a major contributor in every single one of the factors I named above: wasted food, wasted revenue, wasted household income, and food insecurity.”

“You hear somebody that’s got $200,000 or $300,000 in debt, they almost surely went to graduate school. They didn’t borrow that much money from the Department of Education to get a bachelor’s degree.”

“American kids watched so much Peppa Pig during the pandemic they now have British accents“. Gotta admit, I don’t mind that my kids were too old for Peppa.

The simple reason why ratings for the Emmy awards are down.

“If I were a multi-billionaire, what would I do with my money? […] I would dedicate my fortune to destroying Fox News. I would do it any way I could. Marketing. Lawsuits. Boycotts. Talent poaching. Cable access. Making Rupert Murdoch’s life miserable. You name it. Nor would I have any qualms about playing fair. You have a plan for a space-based laser that interferes with Fox News broadcasts and makes them unwatchable? Great! Here’s a hundred million to give it a go.”

“How Sketchy Data Scavengers Are Using Hatred Of ‘Big Tech’ To Attack Plans To Make The Web More Private”.

“Hey everyone having politicized arguments about vaccine hesitancy/refusal: Are you sure you’re talking about the same people? Let me explain.”

“The last 48 hours on here have been all about The Vaccine Discourse. Is FB killing people? Is the govt passing the buck? Who even can tell what IS misinformation, and who watches the watchmen, anyway? I’ve spent ~7 years watching the AV movement evolve online and have thoughts”.

Of COURSE it’s “Mary’s dress sways”. How was this ever a question?

Screw Jeff Bezos. I’m happy that Wally Funk got to go up into space.

The goal has to be to eliminate COVID-19. Not live with it. Because we really can’t.”

“Many experts have argued that, even with Delta, the United States is unlikely to revisit the horrors of last winter. Even now, the country’s hospitalizations are one-seventh as high as they were in mid-January. But national optimism glosses over local reality. For many communities, this year will be worse than last.”

“The Pentagon’s watchdog said on Tuesday it would evaluate the safety protocols surrounding the president’s “nuclear football” – containing codes needed for a strike – after one such briefcase nearly came within range of rioters storming the Capitol on Jan. 6.”

The “conservative pr0n star” who got canceled at CPAC. It’s even stranger than it sounds.

“As more people are vaccinated (and all else being equal), total hospitalizations will decrease but the *percent* of vaccinated hospitalizations will increase, not because the vaccines aren’t working, but because there are more vaccinated people and fewer hospitalizations overall.”

“So Donald Trump isn’t going anywhere because he has finally found a swindle in American politics where he can quite literally just ask people for money and they simply give it to him by the millions. It’s not complicated. It never is with Trump.”

Weekend link dump for July 18

“Lower vaccination rates among young adults in the United States are resulting in anxiety and painful decision-making for those who are vaccinated but have friends, family, loved ones and colleagues who aren’t.”

Don’t be like Missouri. Parts of Texas are already starting to look like Missouri. That’s bad.

“In May, I broke the story that the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees would not grant acclaimed journalist and New York Times Magazine staff writer Nikole Hannah-Jones tenure. They didn’t vote it down. They just refused to consider it. Killed it in committee. If that sounds more like politics than academia to you, well …”

“But with that increased attention has come increased scrutiny. Some critics dismiss the paint-by-numbers aspect of some of the genre’s biggest hits, while others worry that the truth often takes a back seat to dramatic flair. Perhaps most worrying is the fact that true crime often exploits or diminishes victims, survivors, and their family members—the people most affected by these horrendous events—while lionizing the perpetrators (and sometimes turning them into sex symbols). As the genre continues to explode in quantity, there’ll be an even greater chance of such mistakes.”

“Archaeologists may finally know the age and true identity of the “Rude Man,” also known as the Cerne Abbas Giant, one of dozens of geoglyphs etched into the British countryside.”

“Business leaders frequently proclaim that “people are our most important resource.” Yet those who are resistant to permitting telework are not living by that principle. Instead, they’re doing what they feel comfortable with, even if it devastates employee morale, engagement and productivity, and seriously undercuts retention and recruitment, as well as harming diversity and inclusion. In the end, their behavior is a major threat to the bottom line.”

“When we think about the normal discrimination statutes…we have protected classes based on something that is sort of inherent to you, with religion maybe being the one that is a choice. But vaccination status you certainly can control.”

“Whereas many people’s fundamental heuristic for health-related decisions is to trust medical and scientific experts, vaccine hesitancy reminds us of the many competing forces informing people’s intuitions about health, be they religious, political, historical, or identity-based.”

RIP, Edwin Edwards, four-term Governor of Louisiana, who defeated David Duke in 1991.

“What we’re seeing right now with these efforts to short-circuit the legislative process is what the legislative filibuster in the Senate should be like.”

“What you do is you take the horse, and you put two horses in a box, and you put the box on the plane.”

“A federal judge has temporarily blocked Tennessee’s transgender restroom law, which requires businesses to post a specific sign if they allow transgender people to use bathrooms that match their gender identity.”

RIP, Charlie Robinson, actor best known for his role on Night Court.

“Days After Threat From Biden, Major Ransomware Group Goes Dark”.

“If you’re a big fan of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, you may want to brace yourself: The recipe for your beloved drink is changing. Coca-Cola said Tuesday that it is tweaking the beverage in an effort to make the drink taste more like regular Coke.”

RIP, Fred Allred, longtime owner of Houston record store Allrecords.

“My point is that the great voice actors are great at voice acting. Some who are not primarily voice actors can be fine in certain roles in certain situations as Mr. Jones was…but when I see a list of nominees like the one for this year’s Emmy Awards, I think someone is disrespecting professional, full-or-most-time voice actors. They’re voting for celebrity, not talent.”

“Ironically, it was Trump’s own Supreme Court nominees who empowered Biden to purge so many Republican holdovers.”

Of course there’s a Ken Starr connection to Jeffrey Epstein.

“One thinks of 911 as a major advance in American law enforcement, but it had several less than beneficial consequences. In our haste to get to every call and handle them quickly, cops began to lose the intimacy of their relationship with the neighborhood they were policing.”

“For now it is more evidence of what we still – six months on – seem mostly in denial about: a defeated President plotted to overthrow the government to remain in power. The nation’s top general and his colleagues had to come up with contingency plans to thwart the coup they believed the commander-in-chief of the military was plotting.

“Norwegian Cruise Lines, through its counsel Quinn Emanuel, sued Florida for actively jacking its whole business model in the name of trolling.”

“How Lola Bunny Broke the Internet”.

“Republicans were happy to support vaccine when they could credit Trump, then went on the attack”.

“Most of us know generally what “stab in the back” mythology refers to but it is worth understanding in the particulars where the idea comes from and how it relates to today.”

If only these people could have had some way to know that getting vaccinated was a great way to protect themselves from serious COVID risk.

The world is a slightly better place now.

RIP, Biz Markie, hip hop musician, DJ, and actor.

Weekend link dump for July 11

“Now a new FX TV series based on the [Alien]franchise is in the works from Fargo showrunner Noah Hawley—who says it’s about time for the facehuggers and xenomorphs to sink their claws into the white-collar executives who have been responsible for sending so many employees to their doom.”

“Is internet savvy the most important skill an editor in chief ought to have right now? I don’t know. But currently, the skillset seems like an afterthought, especially in larger institutions. That’s a mistake.”

“No, You Can’t Recycle a Bowling Ball (But People Sure Keep Trying)”.

“Trump’s lawyers have called the charges petty and contend they are politically motivated. Others view them as designed to put pressure on the organization’s longtime chief financial officer to turn state’s witness. As a tax professor, I see them as a fantastic opportunity to talk about tax policy and the cat-and-mouse games that people play to avoid paying their fair share.”

“Remember that time when Hobby Lobby paid ISIS for illegally smuggled ancient artifacts from Iraq?”

RIP, Matiss Kivlenieks, goalie for the NHL Columbus Blue Jackets, who died as the result of a fireworks accident.

“Vaccinated people are safer than ever despite the variants. But unvaccinated people are in more danger than ever because of the variants.”

RIP, Richard Donner, film director best known for the first Superman film, The Goonies, and the Lethal Weapon franchise.

“If a party confesses to a crime with the understanding that his words are protected, that they won’t be used against him, or revealed to others, the power of the state or federal government must abide by that promise. It’s simply cheating to do otherwise.”

“He was not found innocent. He was released on a technicality. I would say the world still believes him to be guilty for the heinous crimes he was charged with and he’s going to live a very O.J. Simpson-like existence for the rest of his life.”

RIP, Dicky Maegle, former NFL and Rice University running back, best known for being on his way to a 95-yard touchdown in the 1954 Cotton Bowl when Tommy Smith came off the Alabama bench to tackle him.

“Former President Trump has reportedly cut ties with his former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and has been annoyed with Giuliani’s requests for financial compensation in his efforts to overturn the election results.” Do these two deserve each other or what?

“Meeting with #NikoleHannahJones for an interview this week made me reflect on my June interview with Walter Hussman, the conservative Arkansas media magnate and #UNC megadonor who lobbied against hiring her. It’s worth talking a bit about these two people and interviews.”

“Americans may have fallen short of President Biden’s July 4 vaccination goal, but by most measures, we should be thankful for how far we’ve come in the past year.”

“Trump Sues Facebook, Google, and Twitter: Is It All About the Grift? The cases had barely been filed before the former president began fundraising off of them.” So, in other words, yes.

“The lawsuits are claiming that the former president’s First Amendment rights were violated by the decision to suspend his account, when in fact that is exactly backwards. The First Amendment strongly protects the decision by these companies to make content moderation decisions.”

“Reading between the lines I get the sense that the CDC and FDA see boosters, for the moment, as a solution in search of a problem when the overwhelming threat to public health remains the fact that half the population in the US still hasn’t gotten any vaccine. There’s probably also a desire to keep the tempo of key public health decisions in their hands rather than being driven by a private company.”

“It didn’t have to be this way. It’s easy to imagine a world in which Fox hosts relentlessly talked up how Donald Trump had made the vaccines possible and how if viewers got vaccinated, the dreaded masks and lockdowns would be gone forever.”

Weekend link dump for July 4

“I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”

“What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciations of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade, and solemnity, are, to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy—a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages.”

“Following a months-long investigation into a litany of dubious election fraud claims made by former President Donald Trump and his allies, a GOP-controlled Michigan Senate panel concluded [last] Wednesday not only that the state’s 2020 results are accurate, but that some of those who continue to push such claims should face criminal investigation.”

“Two assumptions about gender were at work here. The first was that no man would ever roll a suitcase because it was simply “unmanly” to do so. The second was about the mobility of women. There was nothing preventing a woman from rolling a suitcase — she had no masculinity to prove. But women didn’t travel alone, the industry assumed. If a woman travelled, she would travel with a man who would then carry her bag for her. This is why the industry couldn’t see any commercial potential in the rolling suitcase.”

John Scalzi and Jenny Lawson have a conversation about writing and other things.

“People hate mosquitoes, and so companies make a lot of anti-mosquito things: candles, wristbands, chemical and herbal sprays—even electronic devices. But if you want to keep mosquitoes off your bare skin this summer, you really just need two things: bug spray and a fan.”

“The case for eating bugs is straightforward: They’re healthy, and doing so is good for the environment.”

“A new species of the ancient giant rhino – among the largest mammals to walk on land – has been discovered in north-western China, researchers say.”

“Network television has essentially given up. It’s dying, but instead of seeking treatment, it’s decided to continue doing the same thing until its heart gives out. But it doesn’t have to be this way. There’s no reason one of the networks couldn’t take a defibrillator to its chest and resurrect itself.”

“The Department of Justice is setting up a task force to address the rising threats against election officials and administrators, something Attorney General Merrick Garland said would not have happened without news reports bringing the severity of the problem to his attention.”

“The structure of the Democrats’ new select committee must reflect the new reality that their Republican counterparts are engaged in an active cover-up of the events they are investigating. If Republicans in Congress wanted to be honest and equal partners in this investigation, they would have supported forming a bipartisan 9/11-style commission. Instead, they blocked it.”

“That’s it. All that happened is that a restaurant in Minneapolis decided to implement European-style gratuities included in the bill. They hope this will allow them to pay back-of-house workers more fairly and they also hope it will overcome known bias in tipping behavior.”

“And in that sense, the most successful horror story of 2020 is QAnon.”

“Harris’s dilemma is not simply a product of her supposed naivete about her own political interests or Biden’s supposed insensitivity to them. Rather, it is a natural consequence of her new position—where holding the status of potential president-in-waiting is often seen as more important than whatever the occupant might be expected to accomplish while waiting to be president. If it were otherwise, perhaps a vice president who tackled a difficult national issue would be praised, not second-guessed, for addressing the governing challenges of today rather than merely protecting her personal ambitions for tomorrow.”

RIP, Stuart Damon, actor best known for a longtime role on General Hospital.

A Bronx Tale: One Sperm Donor, 19 Siblings, and Six Decades of Secrets”. It’s a riveting and somewhat bonkers story. Definitely worth the read.

“The WNBA made clear this week that it is leading the major professional sports leagues in COVID-19 prevention measures, with 99 percent of its players fully vaccinated and zero new players testing positive since the start of the regular season.”

“The Trump Org is in deep, deep trouble. And not because of the criminal charges. Because of its bank loan covenants.”

JD Vance is a tool. That’s it, that’s the link.

“Rudy Giuliani, already being sued for defamation by Dominion Voting Systems Inc. over his debunked election-conspiracy claims, has been issued a subpoena in a similar lawsuit the company filed against Fox News Network.” Sydney Powell and the MyPillow guy, too.

Weekend link dump for June 27

“How to Cut Down on Ransomware Attacks Without Banning Bitcoin”.

“The Fair Repair act would make it easier for everyone in America to fix their own stuff.”

“As Republican legislatures enact new voter suppression laws, Congress should reaffirm the House’s promise in 1965 to refuse to seat, or to unseat, members who benefit from discriminatory voting laws.”

“A CEO of a prominent aviation company has admitted that he helped invent a fake spokesperson for his company — and even gave interviews as that phony press representative for years.”

“I assure you, the Black Death was actually bad”.

“The decision by the bishops to take greater offense to a fellow Catholic over abortion than, say, the abuse of migrant children or the the state murder of prisoners by a grinning philanderer illustrates their real motivations.”

A great story about finding some of the still-missing box scores to Negro Leagues games, to help fill in the historical record and add to the database of Major League statistics.

“That 2009 climate bill, the one that President Barack Obama couldn’t pass? It required the U.S. to cut greenhouse-gas emissions 17 percent by 2020 as compared with their all-time high. Yet last year, our emissions were down 21 percent. The same bill said that the U.S. had to generate 20 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2020. Last year, we met that target. We will surpass it in 2021.”

Meet the pink fairy armadillo, an animal that really does exist.

“A majority of the 52,000 separate drinking water systems in the United States still haven’t inventoried some or any of their information technology systems — a basic first step in protecting networks from cyberattacks.”

James Hong, whom you know from Big Trouble in Little China and Wayne’s World 2 and the Kung Fu Panda movies, is finally getting a well-deserved star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

“Telling the people what they want to hear isn’t good leadership. It isn’t leadership at all. It’s pandering—and yet millions of Americans love it even though it harms them in the end.”

RIP, Sang Ho Baek, pitcher at George Mason University who died after complications due to ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, otherwise known as Tommy John surgery.

Three cheers for Carl Nassib, the first active NFL player to come out as gay.

“A unanimous ruling from the nation’s highest court might not be a death knell for the NCAA’s business model, but it clearly and devastatingly exposes the facade upon which the entire enterprise rests”.

“Facing both the rapidly spreading Delta variant and dominated by the somewhat vaccine evasive Gamma variant (formerly known as the Brazil P1 variant), these countries are being hit with a one-two punch of the worst variants evolution has yet cooked up, and vaccination programs that are either completely ineffective or short of high-efficacy vaccines. Things may be getting back to normal in much of the U.S., but mass graves and overflowing hospitals are still the rule in far too many nations. The pandemic is not over.”

Wishing Coach RC Slocum all the best.

“On the one hand this is totally insane. But it is also textbook incitement.”

“Trump lawyer and Ukraine conspiracy peddler Rudy Giuliani can no longer practice law in the state of New York: A state disciplinary group requested and was granted an immediate suspension of Giuliani’s license for lying to courts during his attempts to overturn the U.S. presidential election on Trump’s behalf.”

RIP, John McAfee, antivirus software pioneer and total whackjob.

RIP, Janet Malcolm, longtime writer for The New Yorker.

“U.S. government prepares to issue landmark report on UFOs”.

RIP, Mike Gravel, former Senator from Alaska and 2008 Presidential candidate.

Weekend link dump for June 20

“The India that Silicon Valley once so loved has long given way to a different one: an increasingly authoritarian regime that wants even tighter control over information dissemination. It’s an India that’s not only willing to bully the very companies it once welcomed in order to firm up its grip, but also one that’s attempting to craft its own parallel social mediasphere as a bargaining chip to Silicon Valley: Either you play by our rules, or we don’t need you.”

“Danish PSA for wearing bicycle helmets is the best Viking movie in 63 years”.

RIP, Ned Beatty, versatile character actor.

The rise and fall of the Planet Hollywood restaurant chain.

“The FBI has released an unclassified intelligence assessment that predicts that some Qanon adherents will soon decide they can no longer “trust the plan” after so many Q predictions have come up short and resort to acts of violence.”

Everyone involved in this story is an amazing human. Standing ovation. (Via Ask A Manager.)

“How Does One Get Hired by a Top Cybercrime Gang?”

“Senate unanimously passes a bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday”.

“Again, I ask: Doesn’t this all sound pretty fucking familiar?!!!”

“Biden’s efforts to strike up an anti-authoritarian chorus among our allies will be uncomfortable for Putin (as well as Xi, Erdogan and many others). But nothing he could say privately to Putin will resonate as strongly as enhanced unity on this issue by a newly energized western alliance. After all, Putin’s main goal throughout his entire career has been to weaken that alliance. Trump was his pawn in that effort. But Biden will deliver a message before he sees Putin that his efforts have now suffered a major reversal.”

“This month, corporations are plastering their social media avatars with rainbows, sponsoring Pride parades, and declaring their unwavering commitment to the LGBTQ community. Many of these companies, however, are spending millions supporting the campaigns of anti-gay politicians at the federal and state level. A Popular Information investigation found that 25 major corporations have spent more than $10 million since 2019 supporting members of Congress with a zero rating on the latest Congressional scorecard produced by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the most prominent LGBTQ rights organization in the United States. These same corporations have also donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to state legislators who have sponsored anti-trans legislation this year.”

“In an all-out push to clean up Europe’s beaches — one plank in the European Union’s trailblazing efforts to address the almost 28 million U.S. tons of plastic waste it generates annually — a ban comes into effect July 3 that halts the sale in EU markets of the 10 plastic products that most commonly wash up on the continent’s shores. These include, among other items, plastic bottle caps, cutlery, straws and plates, as well as Styrofoam food and beverage containers.”

“Per Breyer, the red states and the individual plaintiffs lack standing in the big case involving the Affordable Care Act. The case is dismissed. The holding here is one that I’ve discussed many times before, but let me walk you through it.”

“The federal calendar has long served as a national text into which the country writes a story about itself. Among many other things it does, the Juneteenth federal holiday puts the political Civil War back at the center of the national story and affirms the centrality of African-American liberation, albeit incomplete, to the American story.”

How the Obamacare Town Halls of 2009 connect to the current critical race theory “controversy”.

“In the strongest move yet this year from the Biden administration in support of transgender students’ rights, the Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Education (DOE) have filed a joint brief in support of a transgender girl who is suing her state for the right to participate in school sports.”

Sooner or later, the hammer is going to drop on Rep. Matt Gaetz.

RIP, Champ, Presidential dog.

RIP, Frank Bonner, actor best known for WKRP in Cincinnati.

Weekend link dump for June 13

“A pandemic upside: The flu virus became less diverse, simplifying the task of making flu shots”.

“Take a closer look at Walt Disney’s 1961 animated One Hundred and One Dalmatians film, and you may notice its animation style looks a little different from its predecessors. With its dark outlines defining characters from backgrounds, its departure from the subtle and sensitive animation of Sleeping Beauty just two years prior was considered jarring to some. That’s because the film is completely Xeroxed. The technology, invented by American physicist Chester Carlson in the 1940s, completely streamlined the animation process, and ultimately saved Disney’s beloved animation department.”

“But it begs the question: why is America’s meat supply so at risk of price fluctuations and shortages in the first place? The answer is simple: the industry is too consolidated. More than 80% of the beef industry is controlled by just four companies—JBS, Tyson, Cargill and National (owned by Brazil’s Marfrig)—and two of them are foreign businesses. Brazil-based JBS is responsible for a quarter of the U.S. beef market through its JBS USA subsidiary. The company is the country’s largest beef producer and its No. 2 producer of pork and chicken. That hyper-concentration makes any shocks to the system feel seismic.”

“Political parties rarely run ads to try to win over long-term loyalists. New research suggests it’s actually possible—and worthwhile.”

RIP, Clarence Williams III, actor best known for The Mod Squad and Purple Rain.

RIP, David Dushman, the last surviving Soviet soldier involved in the liberation of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz.

“There’s nothing wrong with taking the layup, with pandering to voters’ most basic interests. With control of the White House and Congress, and with the predictable pushback to Biden’s proposed infrastructure spending bringing his honeymoon period to an end, Democrats could make an easy play to curry favor with voters by creating new federal holidays.” Juneteenth and Election Day are given as obvious first candidates, I’m sure you can think of others. Speaking as someone with a lot of European co-workers, we sure could have more holidays.

“Two Senate committees have released their long-awaited, bipartisan report investigating the January 6 attack on Congress by Trump supporters over the certification of the 2020 presidential election. The report, as expected, includes a list of recommendations for boosting security and intelligence-sharing practices after the insurrection at the Capitol more than five months ago. It also reveals that federal agencies had intelligence about plans to attack the Capitol and their “potential for violence” well in advance of January 6.”

“The report doesn’t provide a deep look into the causes of the insurrection. As might be expected, Republicans have opposed every effort to look into how Trump’s statements and actions—not just at the rally on the morning of the insurrection, but before and after the election—encouraged his followers to conduct an assault on the Capitol that included an attempt to capture and kill lawmakers. Instead, the Senate report focuses on the structural issues in preparing for the events of that day led to inadequate actions to protect the Capitol, and how a series of structural failures led to a lengthy delay in providing National Guard support to the overwhelmed police force.”

“That is, after all, what hypocrites do. Otherwise they wouldn’t be hypocrites.”

“With a strong vaccination campaign, the United States was able to reduce the B.1.1.7 (alpha) variant’s toll to a bump in cases. What might happen with B.1.617.2 (delta) which is ~50% more transmissible, and more evasive to our immune response?”

“The first quiz show launched on radio in 1923; now, nearly 100 years later, the National Archives of Game Show History has launched at the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, N.Y.”

On shooting sex scenes during COVID times.

The NFL will impose restrictions on unvaccinated assistant coaches.

“While Republicans have been doing their damnedest to stonewall an investigation of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, new information about the event continues to emerge as congressional inquiries continue, and federal prosecutors continue to amass evidence in the hundreds of arrests already made, as well as the fresh round of indictments handed down each passing week.”

“Election officials and their families are living with threats of hanging, firing squads, torture and bomb blasts, interviews and documents reveal. The campaign of fear, sparked by Trump’s voter-fraud falsehoods, threatens the U.S. electoral system.”

“Should President Joe Biden convey legitimacy upon a man who shares blame for the death of 400,000 or so Americans? That’s one way of questioning whether Biden made the right choice in proposing the summit he is set to hold with Russian leader Vladimir Putin next week in Geneva. “

Weekend link dump for June 6

“Someone finally asked restaurant workers why they’re not returning”.

“Gun Church That Worships With AR-15s Bought a 40-Acre Compound in Texas for Its ‘Patriots’”. It’s located near Waco. What could possibly go wrong?

“Specific language about the QAnon conspiracy theory has all but disappeared from mainstream public social media platforms, new research concludes.”

Using blimps to fight climate change by replacing short plane rides.

“Among the unvaccinated in Washington state, for example, the rate for hospitalization and deaths is the same as it was in January, the most virulent month of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

They just don’t make the mark of the Beast like they used to.

What should the military do about seditious nutbag Michael Flynn?

“Meaning you can add “flying killer robots” to your list of plausible fears that science fiction predicted.”

“A ransomware attack against Brazilian meat-packing giant JBS has disrupted production in the U.S., Canada and Australia.”

Don’t act like a hooligan at sporting events. I know it’s been awhile, but surely we all remember this.

“With the coronavirus pandemic receding for every vaccine that reaches an arm, the push by some employers to get people back into offices is clashing with workers who’ve embraced remote work as the new normal.”

“Unfortunately, the trendline of where children are getting vaccinated so far shows an expected but still disappointing development. The same places where adults aren’t getting vaccinated are not seeing children getting vaccinated either, which will only exacerbate the growing discrepancies in the places where the most people are protected from the virus.”

No one is coming to our rescue, certainly not “history.” Once democracy is gone, it’s gone. It is up to us to protect and preserve it. Right here, right now.”

RIP, Mike Marshall, first relief pitcher to win the Cy Young Award.

“Kraken Lawyer Sues MLB For Violating Atlanta’s Constitutional Right To Host The All Star Game”.

RIP, F. Lee Bailey, criminal defense attorney who represented Patty Hearst, O.J. Simpson, the Boston Strangler, and the army commander at the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam, among others.

“But I have another theory. It’s the thirst. Trump broke the cardinal rule of fame: He made it clear how much he wanted it.”

Weekend link dump for May 30

“Why Hawaiian-Born Surfers Aren’t Excited to Surf for America in the Olympics”. If the Olympics happen, anyway.

Here are the pioneering women who will be on new quarters, beginning in 2022.

“We found that across states, a doubling of population size is associated with a 22 to 33 percent increase in regulation.”

“How did UFOs become so respectable? Gideon Lewis-Kraus’s excellent and lengthy New Yorker article provides some useful context. What we’re seeing now is actually a return to an older norm; there was a golden age of UFOs in the late 1940s and early 1950s when mysterious encounters with flying objects were widely discussed in both government circles and by respectable media.”

The TL;dr version of this is basically “give a person an extra thumb on one hand and they quickly adjust to having the extra thumb, but also begin to forget what it’s like to only have the one thumb on the other hand”.

I’m pretty sure that I myself would not read the unpublished John Steinbeck werewolf mystery novel if someone were to be allowed to publish it. But I do think I would read what someone else wrote about the John Steinbeck werewolf mystery novel, and so therefore I would like for it to be published.

“We’re approaching the year-and-a-half mark of the globe’s collective experience with the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the Covid-19 pandemic it has triggered. At this point, it’s fair to assume people the world over are asking themselves the same two questions: How will this end? And when?”

RIP, Kathleen Andrews, former top executive with Andrews McMeel, the syndicate that launched the comic strips Doonesbury, Ziggy, and Cathy, among others.

“Gordon Sondland, the former U.S. ambassador to the EU, is suing former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the government in a bid to have one of the two pay for $1.8 million in legal fees incurred during the 2019 Ukraine impeachment inquiry.”

Attempting to solve the Toeflop mystery.

“Pete Rose will do more for the game as a pariah than he could ever do pardoned.”

“Once any reasonable person hears the tell-tale features of the now hackneyed lie – the big, burly man, the calloused hands, the tears streaming down his face – that person will correctly conclude that this story must be presumed false unless proven true.”

RIP, Samuel E. Wright, Tony Award-nominated actor who originated the role of Mufasa in the Broadway version of The Lion King and was the voice of Sebastian in The Little Mermaid.

“But among the strangest and easily one of the most ill-advised dispensers has got to be this Pez gun, which shoots candies with the simple pull of a trigger.”

RIP, John Warner, former Senator from Virginia.

RIP, Kevin Clark, Chicago musician who as a child actor portrayed drummer Freddy “Spazzy McGee” Jones in the 2003 film School of Rock.

RIP, Eric Carle, author and illustrator best known for The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

RIP, John Davis, one of the real vocalists behind Milli Vanilli.

“Mitch McConnell Saw the Insurrection Clearly and Then Decided He Liked It“.

RIP, Mark Eaton, former Utah Jazz center and two-time NBA defensive player of the year.

RIP, Gavin MacLeod, TV actor best known for The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Love Boat.

RIP, BJ Thomas, Houston singer/songwriter best known for “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head”.