Quick Links for September 2023

Former gang leader Duane Keith Davis has been indicted for the murder of Tupac Shakur. "The broad outlines of what occurred that night were known to the police as far back as 1996" but they lacked admissible evidence.
A Template for Right-Wingers Upset with Taylor Swift. "Taylor Swift's popularity is clearly a sign of societal decline because she doesn't embrace my [patriotism / Judeo-Christian values / need to force girls and women into giving birth]."
How to make a Super Mario Bros game out of paper and cardboard. Clever!
The Seven Meetings You Hate. "2. Why Am I Here? It seems like a good set of people, but I have no clue how I'm relevant to this meeting."
A good interactive from The Pudding on the invisible loneliness epidemic in America. "The amount of time we spend with friends has plummeted — and again it hit younger people [34 or younger] especially hard."
New linguistics trend: "whom of which" (and its relation to "pied piping"). "Our striker, whom of which is our best player, scores a lot of goals."
Daft Punk is releasing a "drumless" edition of their album Random Access Memories. It'll be out in Nov.
Desalination system could produce freshwater that is cheaper than tap water. "Engineers at MIT and in China are aiming to turn seawater into drinking water with a completely passive device that is inspired by the ocean, and powered by the sun."
Part one of Erin Kissane's investigation into the role Facebook/Meta played in the genocide of the Rohingya people in Myanmar. "The harms Meta passively and actively fueled destroyed or ended hundreds of thousands of lives."
Ethiopian Tigst Assefa is the new women's marathon record-holder: 2:11:53. The men's record in 1965 was 2:12, but the women are getting faster quicker. Since '65: men are 11m faster while women are an hour faster. (And 5m vs 9m since '98.)
Hamburger Helper Unveils New Line Of Erotic Casseroles Meant To Be Eaten Off Naked Body. "The erotic casserole's box would include step-by-step instructions on how to blindfold one's partner and titillatingly dribble hot grease on their chest."
"Health experts are calling for a 'feminist approach' to cancer to eliminate inequalities, as research reveals 800,000 women worldwide are dying needlessly every year because they are denied optimal care."
The Norwegian secret: how friluftsliv boosts health and happiness. "Friluftsliv is not a specific activity. Hiking in the forest, kayaking along the fjords and skiing in the mountains could all be part of it, but so [is] simply sitting in the woods."
Actor Michael Gambon has died at the age of 82. He had a long career on stage and screen and gained international fame as Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films.
Scientific American: How to Survive Mercury in Retrograde. "What does Mercury in retrograde have to do with electronics malfunctioning or social interactions taking a negative turn? Well, nothing."
Wow, all 67 episodes of Moonlighting will be available to stream on Hulu starting Oct 10. I loved this show as a kid and am curious to see how it holds up.
Corporate America Promised to Hire a Lot More People of Color. It Actually Did. "The year after Black Lives Matter protests, the S&P 100 added more than 300,000 jobs — 94% went to people of color."
This has greatly improved my macOS Notes experience: you can change the link color from that what-were-they-thinking yellow to a useful color by going to System Settings / Appearance and changing the "Accent color".
New York's Hottest Steakhouse Was a Fake, Until Saturday Night. How an in-joke amongst an extremely online group of friends became a restaurant/performance art piece for one night. "The menu purported to follow the life cycle of a cow."
In honor of National Pancake Day, may I humbly offer you The World's Best Pancake Recipe.
America's 2023 Covid booster rollout has been slow and uneven because it works like the rest of our health care system now (whereas before it was a single-payer program run by the US government).
Scientists Witnessed The Birth Of A New Accent In Antarctica. "The changes in accent were subtle, but significant enough to be acoustically measured and even predicted by a computational model." via openculture.com
David Frum in 2018: "If conservatives become convinced that they cannot win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will reject democracy." via @Meyerweb
Physicians say transgender sports bans are a health issue. "Physically active youths have improved mental health outcomes, greater self-esteem and social supports, increased school retention rates..."
Painter David Salle has been working with an AI program trained on his work. "Salle had to admit the machine was finally starting to spawn images with true artistic value."
Jesus Chris, Nepo Baby. "I totally understand that people think I got my job because of my dad, but I definitely would have still been the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ even if my dad wasn't God."
Taylor Lorenz: The makers of counterfeit Louis Vuitton bags are promoting their wares with live fashion shows on TikTok.
Today is the day: every US household can sign up to receive four free at-home Covid tests delivered right to your residence. All you need to do is put in your name and address — it took me 20 seconds this AM. Pls boost/repost!
A timely message for tech/web workers watching the WGA get what they wanted from the Hollywood studios: Ethan Marcotte's new book You Deserve a Tech Union. "By standing together, we can build a better version of the tech industry."
The Writer's Guild and the Hollywood studios reach a tentative deal after 146 days of striking. WGA's negotiating committee: "We can say, with great pride, that this deal is exceptional..." Unions work — form them, join them.
Biden Will Join Autoworkers on Picket Line in Michigan, a Historic Move. "There is little to no precedent for a sitting president joining striking workers on a picket line."
How Big Ben Works: A Detailed Look Inside London’s Beloved Victorian Clock Tower. Always down for a clock mechanism explainer.
There's No Such Thing as an Ethical Museum. "At its core, an art museum is essentially a narrative of empire. If, as Napoleon quipped, history is a set of lies agreed upon, a museum is their physical manifestation." via @990000
How to identify and pronounce the names of ten common types of clouds, including cirrus, cumulonimbus, and nimbostratus.
The JWST has found carbon on the surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa. It's got water, it's got carbon...it's got life maybe?
Why Scalpers Can Get Olivia Rodrigo Tickets and You Can't. "Ticketmaster's 'Verified Fan' system doesn't help fans. It helps scalpers who have hundreds of accounts, use special internet browsers, and have dozens of credit cards." via waxy.org
Clarence Thomas Secretly Participated in Koch Network Donor Events. Just staggering corruption. As Jamelle Bouie says, this shows Thomas's contempt not only for the American public but the Supreme Court as well.
Studio Ghibli has sold a controlling stake to Nippon Television and will become a subsidiary of the Japanese broadcaster.
"If AI takes over those mundane projects and tasks that aren't creatively engaging or necessarily important, you free up designers to be creative in the same way the computer first did when it arrived on the scene."
"A tachyonic antitelephone is a hypothetical device in theoretical physics that could be used to send signals into one's own past."
Kinda fascinating piece about TikTokers Mixie and Munchie. "Instagram, I look at it now, is the stage. Pick who you want to play, look how you want to look. Create a character of your own because everyone online is fake, anyway."
Never past your prime! 13 peaks we reach at 40 or later. "Ageing doesn't have to mean slowing down. In fact, you're more likely to win an ultramarathon in midlife, not to mention get happier, wiser and more body confident."
Bentley vs. Train. This is peak internet right here. We will be whispering "tren" in my household for a long time to come.
The US government is restarting their program to send 4 free at-home Covid tests to every household in the country — you can sign up starting Sept 25th.
People's behaviour at music gigs is getting worse. I have three rules to solve that. "Most of these conventions simply fall under the catch-all rubric of Don't Be a Selfish Idiot. Being a selfish idiot, however, is very on-trend."
An essay on friendship. "Friendship is a form of purposive idleness. The relationship is based on equality, not on power."
The Zeitpyramide is a public art work designed to celebrate the 1200th anniversary of a German town. One block of the pyramid will be laid every 10 years until completion in 3183. The 4th block was just laid about a week ago.
Huh, you can take in-person and live virtual tours of Amazon's warehouses. "The tour shows you how products move through our fulfillment centers, focusing on four main processes: Pick, Pack, SLAM, and Ship."
"B612 is an highly legible open source font family designed and tested to be used on aircraft cockpit screens."
With democracy on the ballot, the mainstream press must change its ways. "We have to be truthful, not neutral. I would make sure that you don't just give a platform ... to those who want to crash down the constitution and democracy."
Son, You're Old Enough to Know the Truth, There is No Such Thing as the "Invisible Hand of the Market". "The fingers! They're unregulated!"
Close to 2,000 Environmental Activists Killed Over Last Decade. "Violence, intimidation, and harassment are also being inflicted to silence defenders around the world,"
Global adventurer Jan Chipchase just returned from a month-long trip in the Pamir Mountains, including lots of time in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. His travelogues are fascinating — start here and work your way forward.
The Man Who Became Uncle Tom. Clint Smith examines Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin and the remarkable, complicated man who helped inspire the title character, Josiah Henson.
Learn how to process your own JWST photos at home, "no technical experience required to start".
Ok wow, they are making Kristen Roupenian's Cat Person into a movie? And if you read the original short story in the New Yorker, you'll find the movie poster very familiar.
RamenHaus: slowly rotating ramen bowls. This is *extremely* my jam. via waxy.org
How Pontevedra, Spain transformed into a more people-centric city. "It's not my duty as mayor to make sure you have a parking spot. For me, it's the same as if you bought a cow, or a refrigerator, and then asked me where you're going to put them."
If you're liking the NY Times puzzle game Connections, you can try your hand at your own grid for others to solve.
How to Cool Down a City. "Almost every aspect of how we build cities amplifies heat, from the buildings we live in to the cars we drive." But there are ways to design cities to be cooler.
Beyoncé's birthday Renaissance show celebrated the depths of Black womanhood. "The reality is too many Black women don't make it to 42 and too many are not celebrated."
Jamelle Bouie: "The unfortunate truth, as we're beginning to see with the authoritarian turn in the Republican Party, is that our constitutional system doesn't necessarily need democracy, as we understand it, to actually work."
"Adults 18 years and older without health insurance and adults whose health insurance does not cover all COVID-19 vaccine costs can get updated COVID-19 vaccines at no cost through the [CDC's] Bridge Access Program."
Max Alexander is a 7-year-old fashion designer with 1.7 million followers on Insta.
I was reminded this morning that Emily Wilson's translation of The Iliad comes out in less than 2 weeks! Very excited!
"There are reports that laboratory tests to detect abortion drugs have not only been created in Poland but are, in rare cases, also being used there to investigate the outcomes of pregnancies."
The winners of the 2023 Ig Nobel Prize (for unusual and often goofy scientific achievements) include an explanation of why scientists like to lick rocks and "re-animating dead spiders to use as mechanical gripping tools".
The second official trailer for Scorsese's Killers of the Flower Moon.
A lovely story about an NYC woman reading a now-deleted YouTube comment for the first time. "It was so, so emotional. I couldn't believe anyone ever felt that way about me. I never knew I inspired anything like that."
A bathtub in the kitchen? The NY Times takes a peek into the tiny, weird kitchens of NYC apartments and the people who love them (or have at least learned to live with them).
An excellent, thought-provoking, sobering read from Ana Marie Cox: What if our entire national character is a trauma response? "Privilege may keep you from certain kinds of risks, but it won’t make you resilient. Only community can."
Lego is selling a kit with braille bricks for those with visual impairments. The studs on the bricks correspond to numbers and letters in the braille code.
"By 1920, the network of interurbans in the US was so dense that a determined commuter could hop interlinked streetcars from Waterville, Maine, to Sheboygan, Wisconsin — a journey of 1,000 miles — exclusively by electric trolley."
Adjusted for inflation, the iPhone 15 is the most affordable base-model iPhone since the original iPhone in 2007. via daringfireball.net
The Analogue Pocket is a portable video game system that can play "the 2,780+ Game Boy, Game Boy Color & Game Boy Advance game cartridge library" as well as those from other systems (like Game Gear) with adapters. This looks cool as hell.
The One Thing Everyone Should Know About Fall Covid Vaccines. "The simplest way to think about them — everyone should just get one — is arguably the best."
Welcome, John Scalzi, to the 25 years of blogging club! His wife Krissy threw him a surprise blog birthday party. 🎉❤️
The 10 electric vehicles of our collective dreams, including a fully EV Jeep Wrangler, a minivan, a Fiat 500, a small rounded van, a cheaper Tesla, and A Perfectly Good Little EV Truck.
"Studies have found that [cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia] is as effective as using sleep medications in the short term and more effective in the long term." And there are self-directed online programs that are effective.
Mike Pence on That Time When the Insurrectionists Wanted to Hang Him. "I was honored to be a part of the discourse that day. You see, democracy is messy."
How the Underground Railroad Got Its Name. A new book reveals that Thomas Smallwood, an African American shoemaker, coined the term in 1842.
Huh, the premiere of Wes Anderson's The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar on Netflix will be followed by three other short film adaptations of Roald Dahl stories by Anderson, starring the same cast.
River, a visual connection engine. "Clear your mind and surf laterally through image space."
The JWST has detected tantalising (but very tentative) signs of life on an exoplanet 120 light years away in the form of dimethyl sulphide. "On Earth, at least, this is only produced by life."
Both the FDA and CDC have signed off on updated Covid booster shots for ages six months and up. You should be able to get your shot as early as the next few days. I'll be getting mine as soon as I can.
If you want to know what Apple announced at their event today, The Verge's 15-min recap video is a good place to start.
I'm a little ashamed to admit that I was excited to find out that there's a Cheetos Mac & Cheese. But this can't actually be good, can it?
How Covid Affects the Heart. "In addition to the complications that can occur during the acute phase of a Covid infection, there appears to be an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes and other problems up to a year after an infection."
Trump plans to become a dictator — denial will not save you. "Trump and his advisers are actively creating the infrastructure for him to follow through on his plans to be a dictator when/if he retakes the White House in 2025."
It seems like Studio Ghibli's Hayao Miyazaki has once again failed to retire. "Not only does he not feel like retiring anymore, he’s actively coming into work to create yet another film."
"I take risks on solo hikes, navigating animal traps and dangerous terrain. But for a woman, men are the biggest threat. I do it to be more open to the world, in the hope it will be more open to me."
A Trans Travel Guide. "This project seeks to provide 'travel advice' for trans travelers (and our companions) based on laws and practical safety within various jurisdictions."
A recipe to make sriracha from scratch. "Setting out to recreate Huy Fong's ubiquitous sauce, I ended up with something that hit the right notes, but with a brighter, fresher flavor."
My Saturday Self Versus My Sunday Self. "Saturday: Hopefully, I'm not getting a cold, so I can make Jamie's surprise party. Sunday: Hopefully, I'm getting Ebola, so I can miss work."
Swedish criminal gangs using fake Spotify streams to launder money. (Given Spotify's tiny payouts, this actually seems like a very slow way to launder money...)
A new database of testimonies by survivors of the Roma and Sinti genocide during World War II. Between 250,000 and 500,000 Roma & Sinti were murdered by the Nazis in the 30s and 40s.
Are any words the same in all languages? Some that are close: orange, taxi, and tomato. Can you guess what two words made the grade?
Surprising Movies That Got Thumbs Down From Siskel, Ebert, or Both. The Silence of the Lambs, Apocalypse Now, Blade Runner, Die Hard (Ebert 👎?!), and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
"White men have controlled women's reproductive rights throughout American history — the post-Dobbs era is no different." Enslaved women were forced to reproduce and others were sterilized due to the eugenicist movement.
Affirmative Action Is Still in Effect. For Men. "Declining male enrollment has led some colleges to adopt an unofficial policy that many find objectionable: 'We need to admit men, and women are going to suffer.'"
Bike Index is a non-profit bike registry. You can register your bike and if it gets stolen, you might be able to get it back with the help of the community. https://xoxo.zone/@marcprecipice
Do you really need to walk 10,000 steps a day? Separating fitness truths ("exercise is more important as you age") from fitness myths ("lifting weights will make you bulky").
Painting Elaine Benes dancing into a thrift store painting. 👍💃😂
Tom Vanderbilt on his quest to get some air while mountain biking. "I initially pictured the transition to be merely a shift in terrain. A bike is a bike, after all. But I was vastly mistaken." Nodded a lot at this; I too have taken up MTB recently.
Plato's Cave Regrets to Inform You It Will Be Raising Its Rent. "As the costs of maintaining a cave meant to trap you in your ignorance increases year after year, we want you to know, from the bottom of our hearts, that we, too, are suffering."
The SAF Aranet4 CO2 monitor I've seen many people using to estimate ventilation levels in indoor spaces (for Covid safety) is 20% off the regular price at Amazon today.
This is a small study but semaglutide treatment eliminated the need for insulin in 70% of newly diagnosed Type 1 diabetes patients. "It could possibly be the most dramatic change in treating Type 1 diabetes since the discovery of insulin in 1921."
Eric Meyer has a lovely remembrance of Molly Holzschlag. "She was a groundbreaker, expanding and explaining the Web at its infancy."
RIP to web pioneer Molly Holzschlag. May her name continue to ring out as a true champion of the open web, someone who made the internet a better place for all of us.
From Self magazine, a package on trans kids & sports. "We believe that children deserve the right to experience the wide-reaching benefits of organized sports in a fun, safe, and nurturing environment, without having to compromise who they are." 💯
Wow, NYC has all but banned Airbnb, restricting short-term rentals to registered hosts who are present at the time of the stay (and a limit of two guests).
Huh, a good-tasting non-alcoholic beer. "The Athletic tasted good. Undeniably good. Bitter and complex and full. Deliriously, pleasurably cold. The exact right amount of foamy. It tasted real." via jodiettenberg.substack.com
Somehow, the illustrator who created the cover image for a 1976 paperback edition of Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time was unknown...until the Endless Thread podcast sleuthed out his identity. via @andybaio
Notes On Losing. "Nearly every time I play tennis, I melt down spectacularly. Why do I keep coming back for more?"
Harvard Graduate Raises Over $300 Million From Angel Investors With Drawing Of Flying Dog. "I'm not even sure if there is a company or if it has a name, but we forked over $50 million right away."
The Real Crime Isn't Shoplifting — It's Wage Theft. "A 2017 study from the Economic Policy Institute estimated that low-wage workers lose more than $50 billion annually to wage theft."
New iOS game from Iconfactory (makers of Twitterrific, RIP): Ollie's Arcade. It consists of 3 retro-style mini-games: Ollie Soars (a Flappy Bird-like scroller), Tranquility Touchdown (lunar lander), and Snake (er, Snake).
Two people detained for digging shortcut through Great Wall of China. "The suspects admitted under questioning that they had used a digger to create a shortcut in the wall in an attempt to reduce local travel time."
WOW: "If Earth were an exoplanet, JWST would know there's an intelligent civilization here." The telescope is capable of detecting molecules of life & industrialization — which means we should be able to detect those on other exoplanets. via @dens
"The fastest we ever travelled was in 1969." A barn-burner of a thread about the slow collapse of the US after the revolt of the rich in the early 70s against the excess freedom/wealth of the middle/working classes.
This Labor Day is for Laborers. "There is an energy in the air. It's in our unions and our workplaces and all over the news and it has the power to transform our economy and our country."
Great piece from The Marshall Project about a group of men on death row in Texas who play Dungeons & Dragons. "Playing Dungeons & Dragons is more difficult in prison than almost anywhere else."
Aww, I am bummed that Hulu has cancelled The Great after three seasons. This show was hilarious...Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult were fantastic as Catherine and Peter.
I may or may not have gotten irrationally excited about finding this NY Times recipe for Homemade Hamburger Helper, which "melds the indelible comfort of macaroni and cheese with the complexity of a good Bolognese". My fam is skeptical!
What if beavers were reintroduced into NYC? "I'm here to tell you that restoring a population of urban beavers could help bring New York City into a more prosperous, ecological future."
I feel like I have posted this before but it's worth a second look: a huge collection of animations of how to tie different knots. via news.ycombinator.com
"For more than 150 years, hundreds of thousands of Native American children were sent to boarding schools across the country. In many cases, they were forcibly removed from their homes."
25 Perfect TV Episodes From the Last 25 Years, include those from Arrested Development, Mad Men, The Wire, Black Mirror, Fleabag, The Americans, and, of course, the finale of Six Feet Under.
From the NY Times, a calendar of noteworthy events in astronomy or spaceflight. "Never miss an eclipse, a meteor shower, a rocket launch or any other astronomical and space event that's out of this world."
Human ancestors nearly went extinct 900,000 years ago. "A new technique analysing modern genetic data suggests that pre-humans survived in a group of only 1,280 individuals." !!!
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