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Weekend link dump for March 27

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RIP, Taylor Hawkins, drummer for The Foo Fighters.

You’re fired. Good riddance.

Lock her up. And recuse yourself.

Lock them up.

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  1. SocraticGadfly says:

    So, linguistics is being geo-politicized now? Well, and as I told him on Twitter, Josh Marshall is wrong.

    First, there’s several hypotheses for the origin of Proto-Indo-European.

    Second, IF the “Kurgan culture” one is correct? Well, the Kurgan culture covered what is today’s southeastern European Russia as well as Ukraine. Off to add this to my weekly roundup of Russia-Ukraine news.

  2. Flypusher says:

    “ She colored within the traditional lines of first lady projects, including school nutrition, literacy, and women’s rights, more Hillary and Michelle than Melania, whom she eerily resembles physically but not in other ways. ”

    That’s the understatement of the week. Melania couldn’t be troubled to even approve of an aide tweeting a calm-down-and-don’t-be-violent message during the 1-6-21 sedition.

  3. C.L. says:

    RIP Taylor Hawkins. iMO, the absolute best modern rock drummer since joining the Foo Fighters in 1997. Such a joy in his person, and such a treat to watch and hear. Can’t imagine Dave and the band continuing on after this.

  4. Flypusher says:

    I think Ginny Thomas is batshit insane coocoo for cocoa puffs, and at best a seditionist sympathizer. But it’s going to be hard to make a case against her. She can claim 1A rights, and merely texting Meadows, even to encourage sedition, wouldn’t be enough. I’m pretty sure you’d need hard evidence of her trying to influence her Supreme Court Justice husband. If our system wasn’t broken and impeachment reduced to the legal equivalent of a vestigial organ, there could be a case against him, especially if he does not recuse himself in any future related cases. While in all the talk about SCOTUS reform ideas like expansion and term limits have been discussed, there hasn’t been enough talk on how this honor system recusal can’t be trusted anymore.

    But good for SCOTUS nominee Jackson saying that she absolutely would recuse herself from that Harvard case. That’s the standard we ought to expect, but can’t count on anymore.