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This needs to be permanent!

this kind of in-your-face combative messaging addressed at changing harmful behaviors towards queer people is a great example of a large organization doing pride right

the limits of human memory

Thank you for this eloquent post.

Years ago, I visited the Normandy coast. Our B&B was steps from the beach-- the exact same place where so many lives were lost all those years ago. I can't even begin to describe the odd feeling as I took my daily walks along those same beaches. It felt almost surreal to see families, kids, adults, playing, resting, strolling, etc; on the clean sand of these historic beaches. If it weren’t for the monuments and signage, conspicuous in only a few places, you’d never suspect that this was a place of carnage and horror on that Longest Day seventy years ago. What an odd, melancholy feeling...

And yes, it is a sad reflection that on this 75th anniversary, the beacon of USA leadership, dignity, and influence, has greatly diminished under Trump's erratic behaviour, incoherent speech, and inept administration.

Ironically, Germany & South Korea-- both products of enlightened postwar American leadership, have now become better examples of global leadership.
TWO year now … hope you’re well.
And belatedly, my best wishes for your next swing around the Home Star 😀 Health and happiness!

the high cost of lies

I'm still marvelling over the incredible HBO Chernobyl docudrama, which concluded last night. I'd never learned much about the scope or cause of the disaster. The photos and timeline at the Chernobyl Gallery are also powerful, and spooky.

TIL that now there's a 1.0 MWp solar power plant operating there.
My Ukrainian neighbours also thought it was very well done. They're originally from Kiev, and moved to the US in large part because of Chernobyl's disruption.
It was a horrific event. I mourn for and honor the heroes who gave their lives to reduce the disaster. It wasn't like most cases of heroism, where there is a chance for survival. These guys knew they faced a certain and horrible death if they did this, and they did it. 🙁

Word of the day: pareidolia

Whenever I brush my teeth, my kids call for me from another floor. In reality, they're not, but I often briefly turn off my electric toothbrush to make sure. This is a mildly-annoying manifestation of auditory pareidolia (or "electronic voice phenomenon"), the unconsciously imposition of meaning on random noise patterns. It happens with the bathroom fan running also. For more, see this article on apophrenia, pareidolia, and musical ear syndrome. (Maybe as my hearing gradually worsens, I'll start to come up with some good new tunes.)

I get hypnagogic auditory hallucinations too, which are more annoying because they wake me up.
This entry was edited (3 years ago)

before Game of Thrones, before Firefly, there was Blakes 7

h/t to @Valkyrie for the newsflash.

I fell hard for this show as a tween, along with The Prisoner (and Red Dwarf to a lesser extent). My best friend and I watched its reruns on WNET and debated it passionately. Avon is still a fantastic antihero. I saw each episode 4-5 times at least, but I'm reluctant to watch any of it again in case it doesn't hold up (not the FX, which were laughable even for the era, but its characterization and 40-yo mores).
I rewatch Blakes 7 maybe every 5 years or so, and to me it holds up. But then, my expectations are not unrealistically high and I've watched it frequently enough to not remember it through rose colored glasses.

And honestly, I like laughing at some of the sillier costuming. The plastic garbage bag roach suits? Brilliant. That goofy IMIPAC scientists's getup? Classic.

I really love the chemistry between Darrow's Avon and Cally. And Avon and Servelan. And Avon and Villa.
If you haven't seen it, the "Making Blake's 7" twitter feed is a fun rabbit hole to dive into. I also just discovered the Zenith podcast which I'll take a listen to on bike rides.

Where do you live?

And who lived there before you?

Remember, we're ALL immigrants. The town where I live used to be part of the land of the Abenaki nation, one of the five tribes of the Wabanaki Confederacy, along with the Mi'kmaq, the Maliseet, the Passamaquoddy, and the Penobscot.

This is not the New World. It is as old as any other part of it.


How do you keep playing?

This is an Obama-era article that reinforces the point that all work and no play makes us cray-cray.
Yup. I see it here in West Virginia all the time now. Parents here are raising a crop of absolute weirdos. Parents stand and wait for the school bus, then quickly usher their kids into the house, where they are sequestered like prisoners. The kids themselves are utterly unsocialized feral animals. It stems from the government and media convincing people that the world outside their house is an extremely dangerous place.

We've got a rough ride ahead as this generation of weirdos comes into the mainstream.

the clocks are striking 13

Orwell wrote about fascism in 1936: “If you pretend that it is merely an aberration which will presently pass off of its own accord, you are dreaming a dream from which you will awake when somebody coshes you with a rubber truncheon.” Nineteen Eighty-Four is a book designed to wake you up.

ok, but I need the almond milkman

I missed this story when it was published in January -- sharing it now because I love nearly everything about this. It shows how a savvy eco-minded entrepreneur can cozy up to titans of industry and make a pitch that might improve our world. It kicked off before we hit the Plastic Wall of China (when they stopped accepting most western recycling load shipments), but is in prime position to take advantage of that disruption. And it's just a fun article to read (loved the comparison between Davos and Burning Man).
Yes! I spent 5 weeks in Guatemala ten years ago (in a medical Spanish language immersion program, based out of Xela). That was indeed the last place I remember actually enjoying a Coca-Cola as a treat! I was glad so much came in glass bottles. The only problematic trash I remember was plastic bags.

(IIRC, when I had a beer, it was usually a Moza oscura, but Gallo was pretty good too.)
I'm a plain Gallo person. When lots of Germans came to Guatemala to establish coffee growing in the 1800s, naturally, they brought some expert German beermakers. That's the basis of Gallo. Few except beer aficionados seem to know that the beer they slug down in large quantities is arguably the worlds best Pilsener beer. Gallo has won more gold medals in world competition than any other beer on Earth(!).

I like some darks, but Moza doesn't do it for me. However, if you mix Moza and Gallo 50/50, you have something magical.

Yeah, my friends who occasionally do me the favor, bring a case of Guatemala Coca-Cola and a bottle of Flor de Caña 5 year. I like that rum straight on the rocks, but with the Coke, you have the best Cuba Libre evarrrrr. 😉

I'm pleased to run into someone who has some experience in Guate. I love it there.

By definition there are very few people who have direct experience in managing exceptional children. Identifying and tracking them into magnet schools for the highly gifted has short-term social benefit, but doesn't necessarily make for happier or more productive people in the long run (per some of the longitudinal studies referenced in this article). And only a few narrow bands of intelligence are effectively measured.

Damn you, dermestidae. Go find some other source of keratin and leave my bow alone.

I remember loving Stand on Zanzibar when I read it in or around 2005, and I've enjoyed some of Brunner's other stories (Shockwave Rider, The Crucible of Time).
#scifi (x)

This is what an optimist looks like

"'It's worse, much worse, than you think.'

"That's the first sentence of David Wallace-Wells' The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming, and it's all downhill from there. Wallace-Wells sets out to knock down an entire mythology about climate change that has helped make people feel safe insulated from it. It's not happening slowly, there's nowhere to hide from it, there's no part of how we live our lives as humans that will be left untouched, and it's not even something that's barreling down on us—it's already here."
Indeed. I lived in Central America for many years, starting in the 1990s, and have many friends there that I communicate with on a daily basis. Climate change has been apparent there for many years. About every three days, somebody there will text me, or send video of insane weather phenomena. They're actually getting scared because even a fool can see it's getting serious. Like a monster thunderstorm that produces not just high wind gusts or a derecho, but sustained 90 mph winds that go on for 10 or 15 minutes. Or heat indexes of 52C. That's way out of line.

Thanks for sharing this. The term chum box was new to me. I had a laugh at the is it ?? Question thing.

Glenn Greenwald on Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, Russiagate & the debacles of the Corporate Media

#politics #propaganda #wikileaks #Assange #Snowden


Alt/hover text: "I propose this as a new rhetorical tactic against people who think anything is completely patternless and inscrutable."
Thank you!
Happy birthday to you from me, too. M

123456, orly?

I'm just talking out of my ass here, but could the iOS and Google Play app stores detect and flag apps that put users at risk with a global default password (especially boneheaded ones like 123456)?

Here, we call this "Storrowing"...

Pretty awesome video if you love watching slo-mo box-truck crashes (reassurance: no fatalities). Also see Jürgen Henn's original video site. And I love the name of the academic department studying this issue ("Center for Advanced Hindsight").

In Boston, the frequency of truck-overpass collisions on Storrow Drive is a regular source of amusement and fascination (to everyone not stuck in traffic behind one of these incidents, anyway). This happens about a dozen times per year, with spikes in September and May (presumed due to students renting moving trucks). So after watching the video I spent an hour geeking out on the state crash data and MassDOT GIS crash map sites.


For the past ten years, Jürgen Henn has filmed over-height trucks crashing into the 11foot8 train bridge affectionately nicknamed the "Can Opener."…
Hah. I've been a fan of that YouTube channel for years. But until now, I wondered why it wasn't fixed. Raising the bridge is not an option. It's a railroad overpass. But the road could be excavated deeper. Now I know why that's not reasonable either. However, some kind of sensor should be possible that detects overheight vehicles and triggers strobes and sirens well in advance of impact. STOP NOW !!!

Don't look down!

First, I think this counts as a spoiler for Game of Thrones S8E2 & E3, so I will add some whitespace below, followed by a spoiler tag (which I don't think are honoured across the Fediverse).


Reveal/hideI'm not the fastest to figure out plot twists (in part because I'm often doing something else while watching a show). But during E2 a slew of characters mentioned the idea that it would be "safe" down in the crypts of Winterfell when the White Walkers attack. Um, no. You'd think at least everyone who was at Hardhome (Jon, Edd, Tormund, etc) would remember what the Night King can do. And Bran too, come on! Grr.

The costs of conspiracism

It's hard to imagine doing research on this dark aspect of human psychology and politics without becoming severely depressed.

Local community is pretty much the only antidote I know.

Lots of cyclists on my local city council

I can attest that these turkeys think they own our streets.

WCVB Boston: TURKEY TERROR! Aggressive turkeys terrorizing people in Cambridge neighborhood.
Revenge for Thanksgiving?
There are wild turkeys around my parents house in western North Carolina. You can see groups of 20-25 in the fields. A few springs ago, a couple of males came out of the woods from behind their house and harassed my dad on his way to the mailbox. They kept coming back over and over until he chased them off by sweeping a big stick back and forth in front of him. Turns out that turkeys do, in fact, fly.

a place of honor

with a tip of the hat to The Martian and David Bowie

My older kid is absolutely obsessed with this song, and is currently working it up for a talent show entry. I look forward to his Ziggy Stardust turn.

(I'd link to the official clip and/or episode page, but PBS doesn't make that easy to do, so here's the show's landing page:

[Sean:] But --
[Jet:] Sean!
These potatoes are doing good
like an Earthie potato should
But we may live on Mars someday
And it's 60 million miles away
We must grow these potatoes there
Though there's almost no air

As we colonize the planets
Man, it's buggin' me
I've got to know
Can we get something to grow
Like potatoes on Mars?

[Sean:] Wait, Jet
Can't we just read a book?
Find the answers we need online?

[Mindy & Sydney:] Oh, Sean
It's more fun to go and look
Just imagine the answers we'll find

[Jet:] Come on,
Let's hop in the wagon
Draggin' your feet will only spoil the show
Sean, you've juts got to go
You've got to go to

[Sean:] Guess I'm going to

Casella is a large waste management company in the region. I find this sort of thing mesmerizing. OTOH I'm the kind of nerd who could watch "How It's Made" episodes forever.

Casella's Zero-Sort® Recycling Facility Tour

Zero-Sort® is Casella's single-bin recycling service that puts more of your discarded materials back into the world and less of it into the landfill. No sort...

working through the grief over the state of the planet

I often get mired in despair and paralysis regarding the ongoing collapse of our global ecosystem. This interview with Joe Brewer was helpful, despite poor audio quality. Thomas Steininger is a wonderful host/interviewer (in German and English).

More articles by Joe Brewer:

make a new plan, stan

Rollover: "We can also try to stop global warming by creating a super-powerful AI bent on survival at any cost!"
#comic (x) #smbc (x)

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

It’s normal to feel angry with your kid sometimes, but remember that they’re observing how you handle your own feelings too.

when the only tools you're given are hammers

I basically agree with the position that broadening the definition of criminal activity is a bad way to achieve social and economic justice -- authoritarian tools are easily misused. But we continue to churn out sociopathic corporations inherently focused on short-term wealth creation, and damn the consequences, and our regulatory systems are in shambles.

"Lots of love", wut?

This article seemed pretty duh-obvious. But it provides me with even more motivation to help my kids learn to be confident and discriminating netizens, so when I'm a dotty old bat nattering on about ancient obsolete garbage like the fediverse or physical keyboards, they can school me on which AIs can be trusted, and how to avoid getting pwned by my self-driving e-bike.