Omnium Gatherum: 15sept2021

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for September 15, 2021

Here’s a variety of notable things I’ve recently found that you may also be interested in checking out:

  • Crowdfunding with 23 days to go: “Anne of Green Gables: Vampire Hunter. A limited edition case laminate hardcover of ‘Anne of Green Gables: Vampire Hunter’ for readers 9-12.”—”A limited edition case laminate hardcover of an original Anne Shirley gothic adventure. An ominous fog rolls onto the shores of Avonlea. Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Anne of Green Gables were published a mere eleven years apart. Coincidence? Yes! But that won’t stop us from enjoying some CanLit Children’s Classic shenanigans.” Author Jordan Stratford.
  • Magic. Documents of Contemporary Art. Sat 18 Sep, 2pm-6pm. Whitechapel Gallery online. The latest anthology in the Documents of Contemporary Art series, Magic deciphers the evolution of a ‘magical-critical’ thinking that productively complicates, contradicts and expands the boundaries of our increasingly weird present. This afternoon of conversations features guest editor Jamie Sutcliffe alongside chaos magician Phil Hine, post-human philosopher Patricia MacCormack, games designer and writer Porpentine Charity Heartscape and artists David Steans and Gary Zhexi Zhang.”
  • The Cottingley Fairies: A Study in Deception. Friday 18 June 2021 – Thursday 17 November 2022. Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery.” Also online exhibition: “The Cottingley Fairies: A Study In Deception. Exploring two girls from West Yorkshire and one of the greatest hoaxes of the twentieth century.” Also “Away with the fairies: Cottingley photos exhibition“—”Five photographs of fairies dancing at the bottom of a Yorkshire garden that became ‘the world’s longest running hoax’ are the focus of a compelling new exhibition.” “But the exhibition at the Brotherton Library, University of Leeds, is the first time that many of the original artefacts from the legend have been placed on public display. It tells the story in chronological order, drawing upon correspondence from Doyle, Gardner and members of the girl’s family. Both cameras featured in the display are on loan from the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford after a public appeal saved them a Christie’s auction. The original negatives have long since disappeared but fourth-generation copies from the batch ‘improved’ by Snelling can be scrutinised by visitors. ”
  • Bill Corbett of MST3K, RiffTrax goes online to debut new play, ‘The Medievalists’“—”Corbett, also a screenwriter and comic book author, will debut his latest work online this weekend: “The Medievalists,” presented by producer Jeremy Wein’s live-streaming theater initiative Play-Per View, premieres via Zoom at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18.” “Play-PerView: The Medievalists (Live-Reading). A New Play by Mystery Science Theater 3000 Writer Bill Corbett starring Rhea Seehorn, James Urbaniak, Pager Brewster and Jason Ritter. Sat, Sep 18, 2021, 7:00 PM – Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 10:59 PM CDT.” “A once-respected history scholar crashes and burns on the set of the cheesy TV series adapted from his work. His family rides in on a quest to save the day!”
  • Stonehenge to undergo first major repairs in 60 years to fill cracks and holes in monument. Weather has taken its toll on 4,500-year-old circle.”
  • Crowdfunding with 20 days to go: “The Moon’s Daughter. A children’s book about love, compassion, and friendship. By Liam and Seb Mckinnon.”—”She had many names. Some were ancient, as old as the trees and the sleeping stones. To all those who knew her, she was the Moon’s Daughter… This story takes place in a faraway world of endless ice and snow. Here resides the Moon’s Daughter and her loyal companion, the Fox. Earthbound, she must take care of the northern lands and her animal friends, though she longs to see Father Moon again. A tale of love, compassion and friendship told in 5 chapters, for children and adults alike!”
  • Fundraiser: “Stop the Sloly SLAPP“—”For over a decade now, Ottawa Life Magazine has taken a strong stance against police brutality and misconduct. With a focus on the RCMP and the Ottawa Police specifically, we’ve covered a variety of stories ranging from the alleged sexual violence and harrassment faced by women in the force to horrific instances of violence against people who are Indigenous, Black and of other marginalized communities. This pattern of misconduct has left many in the city with a sense of distrust, and even fear, of the police who are meant to serve and protect them. As one of Ottawa’s longest running publications, we have always written about difficult topics in the public’s interest. Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly’s legal action against us, as a ‘private citizen,’ is a prime example of a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP)–a means to protect the status quo and silence our reporting on police misconduct. If you believe in freedom of the press and support our right to discuss and criticize police governance, please consider donating to our campaign. Funds will go towards our legal fees and, if we succeed in having it dismissed, all funds will be donated to Maison Libère-Elles, a local women’s shelter that homes women and children who are survivors of domestic violence, substance abuse, poverty, and other adversities.”
  • Researchers Debate the Role of Mysticism in Psychedelic Science“—”The mysticism framework is used to describe psychedelic experiences and explain the effects of psychedelic therapies. We discuss risks and difficulties stemming from the scientific use of a framework associated with supernatural or nonempirical belief systems and encourage researchers to mitigate these risks with a demystified model of the psychedelic state.” Also “Moving Past Mysticism in Psychedelic Science. The mysticism framework is used to describe psychedelic experiences and explain the effects of psychedelic therapies. We discuss risks and difficulties stemming from the scientific use of a framework associated with supernatural or nonempirical belief systems and encourage researchers to mitigate these risks with a demystified model of the psychedelic state.”
  • The Witch’s Path: Advancing Your Craft at Every Level [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Thorn Mooney—”Get Unstuck, Find Inspiration, and Take the Next Step on Your Path. The Witch’s Path is all about raising your Witchcraft practice to the next level—whether you’re a beginner who feels overwhelmed, a disillusioned adept, a jaded coven leader, or anyone in between. This book shares specific, hands-on tips for what you can do to move forward spiritually today, no matter what your starting point. Join Thorn Mooney on an exploration of the most common themes practitioners need to look into when they’re feeling stagnant or stuck: sacred space, devotion, ritual and magic, personal practice, and community. Every chapter features four separate exercises, designed for four different types of readers, so you can come back to this book as you grow and discover fresh techniques and activities. The Witch’s Path helps renew your sense of engagement with the Craft so you can continue evolving your spirit, your practice, and yourself.”
  • Baba Yaga: Slavic Earth Goddess [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Natalia Clarke, Pagan Portals series, due January 2022—”A unique perspective on working with Baba Yaga, Slavic Earth Goddess of mystery, intrigue and ambiguity, through apprenticing into her magic. In this introductory work Baba Yaga is re-defined outside of the dogmatic portrayals and becomes one of the most powerful and influential figures in an individual spiritual practice. An accessible guide to building a devotional practice, Pagan Portals – Baba Yaga is a journey of discovery and collaboration with deity, written to aid your own psycho-spiritual progression and offer a unique presentation of how we might work with the Goddess, psychologically and spiritually.”
  • Psychologists Are Learning What Religion Has Known for Years. Social scientists are researching what humans can do to improve their quality of life. Their findings echo what religious practices perfected centuries ago.” From How God Works: The Science Behind the Benefits of Religion [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by David DeSteno—”Drawing on a wealth of new evidence, pioneering research psychologist David DeSteno shows why religious practices and rituals are so beneficial to those who follow them–and to anyone, regardless of their faith (or lack thereof). Scientists are beginning to discover what believers have known for a long time: the rewards that a religious life can provide. For millennia, people have turned to priests, rabbis, imams, shamans, and others to help them deal with issues of grief and loss, birth and death, morality and meaning. In this absorbing work, DeSteno reveals how numerous religious practices from around the world improve emotional and physical well-being. With empathy and rigor, DeSteno chronicles religious rites and traditions from cradle to grave. He explains how the Japanese rituals surrounding childbirth help strengthen parental bonds with children. He describes how the Apache Sunrise Ceremony makes teenage girls better able to face the rigors of womanhood. He shows how Buddhist meditation reduces hostility and increases compassion. He demonstrates how the Jewish practice of sitting shiva comforts the bereaved. And much more. DeSteno details how belief itself enhances physical and mental health. But you don’t need to be religious to benefit from the trove of wisdom that religion has to offer. Many items in religion’s “toolbox” can help the body and mind whether or not one believes. How God Works offers advice on how to incorporate many of these practices to help all of us live more meaningful, successful, and satisfying lives.”
  • The cliché writes back. Machine-written literature might offend your tastes but until the dawn of Romanticism most writers were just as formulaic.”—”Instances of automated journalism (sports news and financial reports, for example) are on the rise, while explanations of the benefits from insurance companies and marketing copy likewise rely on machine-writing technology. We can imagine a near future where machines play an even larger part in highly conventional kinds of writing, but also a more creative role in imaginative genres (novels, poems, plays), even computer code itself.” “Our clichéd distaste for clichés points us in a promising direction, though. To make sense of the dizzying thought of machine writing, churning out sentences purely on the basis of probabilities, we need to understand language models such as GPT-3 not only as advances in AI and computational linguistics, but from the perspective of the interwoven histories of writing, rhetoric, style and literature too. What do probabilistic language models look like against the backdrop of the history of probable language? And what might this historical perspective suggest to us about what synthetic text means for the future of imaginative writing?” “Ong reminds us that we’ve relied on probable language for much of human history. Before the emergence of writing more than 5,000 years ago, a defining feature of oral culture was thinking and speaking in terms of communal, formulaic language.” “Through successive revolutions in media and technology, including the spread of writing and the 15th-century invention of printing, probable phrases persisted in rhetorical teaching and practice as loci communes or ‘commonplaces’, which can refer to two things. ‘Analytic’ commonplaces were well-trodden topics or headings for discussion.” “The second kind of commonplace, the one more relevant here, is the ‘cumulative commonplace’ or prefabricated phrases or passages.” “The emergence of writing and print loosened the grip of probable language: each, as a physical medium, allows for the saving of knowledge over time and the spread of knowledge in space, and this liberated human thought and expression from the deep grooves of conventional language. Yet, paradoxically, these frequently used ‘residues’ of oral culture were not extinguished by writing and print, but rather gathered into collections and compendiums that were used to teach students the rhetorical curriculum from antiquity through the Renaissance, and until the decline of that kind of schooling in the 19th century.” “Or maybe something else altogether will emerge. But at the heart of the matter is the question put by Komar: ‘Do you expect to see the unexpected when you look at art?’” By Yohei Igarashi, author of 2019’s The Connected Condition: Romanticism and the Dream of Communication [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library]—”The Romantic poet’s intense yearning to share thoughts and feelings often finds expression in a style that thwarts a connection with readers. Yohei Igarashi addresses this paradox by reimagining Romantic poetry as a response to the beginnings of the information age. Data collection, rampant connectivity, and efficient communication became powerful social norms during this period. The Connected Condition argues that poets responded to these developments by probing the underlying fantasy: the perfect transfer of thoughts, feelings, and information, along with media that might make such communication possible. This book radically reframes major poets and canonical poems. Igarashi considers Samuel Taylor Coleridge as a stenographer, William Wordsworth as a bureaucrat, Percy Shelley amid social networks, and John Keats in relation to telegraphy, revealing a shared attraction and skepticism toward the dream of communication. Bringing to bear a singular combination of media studies, the history of communication, sociology, rhetoric, and literary history, The Connected Condition proposes new accounts of literary difficulty and Romanticism. Above all, this book shows that the Romantic poets have much to teach us about living with the connected condition and the fortunes of literature in it.”
  • The Impossible Life of Fernando Pessoa. The Portuguese writer lived through dozens of detailed alter egos. How much does his real identity matter?” More about Pessoa: A Biography [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Richard Zenith.
  • Our heartbeats synchronise while we’re listening to stories, researchers find. That experience can be shared even if the people are far apart, as long as they are attentively listening to the story.”—”Scientists have discovered that people’s bodily functions – including their heartbeat and breathing – unconsciously synchronise when they are sharing an experience.”
  • Worms Share Memories With Others by Swapping RNA, Wild Study Reveals“—”A ghastly bout of food poisoning isn’t an experience to forget. The commonly studied microscopic nematode Caenorhabditis elegans not only ensures it remembers, it genetically embeds the threat of skanky meals into its kids to force them to stay clear as well. And if by some misfortune one of those worms goes belly-up anyway? The warning encoded in RNA can leak out of their disintegrating body, potentially to be picked up by any passing member of the species. This remarkable means of memory transfer was spotted by researchers from Princeton University’s Murphy Lab in the US as a part of a series of studies on inherited behaviors in the nematode.”
  • Astronomers are still looking for the elusive ‘Planet 9’. A new study narrows down where to find a hypothetical ninth planet in the dark outer limits of our solar system.”
  • Strange 160 Mile-Long ‘Dog-Bone’ Asteroid Kleopatra Captured in Detailed Images“—”Using the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (ESO’s VLT), a team of astronomers has obtained the sharpest and most detailed images yet of the asteroid Kleopatra. The observations have allowed the team to constrain the 3D shape and mass of this peculiar asteroid, which resembles a dog bone, to a higher accuracy than ever before. Their research provides clues as to how this asteroid and the two moons that orbit it formed. ‘Kleopatra is truly a unique body in our Solar System,’ says Franck Marchis, an astronomer at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, USA and at the Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille, France, who led a study on the asteroid — which has moons and an unusual shape — published today (September 9, 2021) in Astronomy & Astrophysics. ‘Science makes a lot of progress thanks to the study of weird outliers. I think Kleopatra is one of those and understanding this complex, multiple asteroid system can help us learn more about our Solar System.'”
  • Modern Life Is Accelerating Human Evolution – and That Can Prove Destructive. Hundreds of millions of years of evolution led to the advent of Homo sapiens, but the evolutionary process is not over – it is actually speeding up, and our behavior patterns have a lot to do with it. ‘We live in a world that’s no longer very suitable for us’”
  • From May: “World’s only alpine parrot may have moved to the mountains to avoid people. Intelligent and mischievous, New Zealand’s kea were once present in other parts of the country, research has found, and adaptability could help them survive habitat loss.”—”He said that idea that kea had moved specifically to avoid people was still speculative, and there wasn’t enough information to establish any causative relationship between human settlements expanding and the birds’ adoption of mountainous zones. But given kea were physically able to survive in a variety of habitats, it made sense to examine what the primary differences were. ‘What distinguishes the alpine habitat from the New Zealand lower-lying open habitats? [There] are usually heavily anthropogenic influences, agriculture going on and so on.'” From June: “Endangered parrot lives in mountains to avoid people: study“—”Birds of a feather flock together — far away from society. Researchers have found reason to believe that the kea — a large, endangered parrot species — once lived among humans before moving away from people and into New Zealand’s mountains. In a study published last month in the journal Molecular Ecology, scientists at New Zealand’s University of Otago determined that the kea may be capable of living amongst people, but prefers alpine habitats so as to “avoid lower-lying anthropogenic landscapes” — so they don’t have to mingle among humans.”
  • Is gravity truly a quantum force? Exploring quantum gravity—for whom the pendulum swings.”
  • Stunning images capture rare ‘megapod’ of humpback whales“—”Coastal tour boat operators in Australia were treated to a rare spectacle last week as more than 100 humpback whales set upon a swirling ball of baitfish.” “‘The big smell, fish everywhere, whales busting up through it. Now the whales on the outside were slapping their tails, sorting of herding the bait in together and then the whales coming up and sort of busting up all over the place,’ Miller told the Reuters news agency. ‘It’s pretty incredible stuff.'”
  • Scientists scramble to harvest ice cores as glaciers melt. Ice provides historical records about climate and shows the impact humanity has had. But many glaciers are now melting, prompting renewed urgency among scientists.”
  • CRISPR startup wants to resurrect the woolly mammoth by 2027. Colossal lands $15 million to restore the woolly mammoth to the Arctic — and thinks it can birth calves in four to six years.” Also “Scientists want to resurrect the woolly mammoth. They just got $15 million to make it happen.”
  • Lumpy tumor shown on facial reconstruction of Neanderthal who lived on ‘drowned land’. The Neanderthal lived up to 70,000 years ago.”
  • Physicists discover black holes exert a pressure in serendipitous scientific first“—”Physicists at the University of Sussex have discovered that black holes exert a pressure on their environment, in a scientific first. In 1974 Stephen Hawking made the seminal discovery that black holes emit thermal radiation. Previous to that, black holes were believed to be inert, the final stages of a dying heavy star. The University of Sussex scientists have shown that they are in fact even more complex thermodynamic systems, with not only a temperature but also a pressure.”
  • Researchers Generate an Entire Virtual Universe and Make it Available for Download (if you Have 100 Terabytes of Free Hard Drive Space)“—”Astronomy is a bit different from many sciences because you only have a sample size of 1. The cosmos contains everything we can observe, so astronomers can’t study multiple universes to see how our universe ticks. But they can create computer simulations of our universe. By tweaking different aspects of their simulation, astronomers can see how things such as dark matter and dark energy play a role in our universe. Now, if you are willing to spring for a fancy hard drive, you can keep one of these simulations in your pocket. The Uchuu simulation is the largest and most detailed simulation of the universe ever made. It contains 2.1 trillion ‘particles’ in a space 9.6 billion light-years across. The simulation models the evolution of the universe across more than 13 billion years. It doesn’t focus on the formation of stars and planets but instead looks at the behavior of dark matter within an expanding universe. The detail of Uchuu is high enough that the team can identify everything from galaxy clusters to the dark matter halos of individual galaxies. Since dark matter makes up most of the matter in the universe, it is the main driver of galaxy formation and clustering.”
  • Squirrels have personality traits similar to humans, new study shows.”—”A team of researchers at the University of California, Davis announced squirrels have personality traits similar to humans, and those traits are key to their survival and life expectancy. The researchers published their findings in the journal Animal Behaviour on Friday. The study, which the group says is the first to ever document personality in golden-mantled ground squirrels commonly found in western U.S. and Canada, showed the animals had four different traits: boldness, aggressiveness, sociability and activity level. Researchers say the findings show how personality influences an animal’s use of space in the wild.” Also, “boldness, aggressiveness, sociability and activity level” are my new minimal RPG’s four core stats.
  • Fossils of giant, ‘mind-boggling’ swimming head creature unearthed in Canada“—”A fossil found in the Canadian Rockies revealed an unusual marine animal that was much larger in scale than any other ocean creatures at its time more than 500 million years ago. According to a study published Wednesday in the journal Royal Society Open Science, the fossil is named Titanokorys gainesi and was 1.6 feet in length – quadruple the size of its fellow ancient ocean dwellers. ‘The sheer size of this animal is absolutely mind-boggling, this is one of the biggest animals from the Cambrian period ever found,’ study author Jean-Bernard Caron said in a statement. ‘These enigmatic animals certainly had a big impact on Cambrian seafloor ecosystems. Their limbs at the front looked like multiple stacked rakes and would have been very efficient at bringing anything they captured in their tiny spines towards the mouth.'”
  • The universe is alive. “NASA says rock samples found by rover reveal alien life may have existed on Mars. Scientists can’t be certain whether the water that altered these rocks was present for tens of thousands of years or for millions of years, but they are growing increasingly certain it was there long enough to welcome microscopic life.”
  • The universe is trans. “1st sign of elusive ‘triangle singularity’ shows particles swapping identities in mid-flight. Weird phenomenon first proposed by Russian physicist Lev Landau in the 1950s.”—”Physicists sifting through old particle accelerator data have found evidence of a highly-elusive, never-before-seen process: a so-called triangle singularity. First envisioned by Russian physicist Lev Landau in the 1950s, a triangle singularity refers to a rare subatomic process where particles exchange identities before flying away from each other. In this scenario, two particles — called kaons — form two corners of the triangle, while the particles they swap form the third point on the triangle. ‘The particles involved exchanged quarks and changed their identities in the process,’ study co-author Bernhard Ketzer, of the Helmholtz Institute for Radiation and Nuclear Physics at the University of Bonn, said in a statement.”
  • Engineers create 3D-printed objects that sense how a user is interacting with them. Advance incorporates sensing directly into an object’s material, with applications for assistive technology and ‘intelligent’ furniture.”
  • The Kidney Project successfully tests a prototype bioartificial kidney. Advance is awarded KidneyX’s Artificial Kidney Prize.”
  • Fountain of youth for ageing stem cells in bone marrow. Epigenetic changes in old age increase risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures. As we age, our bones become thinner, we suffer fractures more often, and bone-diseases such as osteoporosis are more likely to occur. One responsible mechanism involves the impaired function of the bone-marrow stem cells, which are required for the maintenance of bone integrity. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing and CECAD Cluster of Excellence for Ageing Research at the University of Cologne have now shown that the reduced stem cell function upon ageing is due to changes in their epigenome. They were able to reverse these changes in isolated stem cells by adding acetate. This fountain of youth for the epigenome could become important for the treatment of diseases such as osteoporosis.”
  • Leaked documents reveal the special rules Facebook uses for 5.8M VIPs. ‘These people can violate our standards without any consequences.'”—”Facebook had a problem on its hands. People were making posts that got caught in the company’s automated moderation system or were taken down by its human moderators. The problem wasn’t that the moderators, human or otherwise, were wrong to take down the posts. No, the problem was that the people behind the posts were famous or noteworthy, and the company didn’t want a PR mess on its hands. So Facebook came up with a program called XCheck, or cross check, which in many instances became a de facto whitelist. Over the years, XCheck has allowed celebrities, politicians, athletes, activists, journalists, and even the owners of ‘animal influencers’ like ‘Doug the Pug’ to post whatever they want, with few to no consequences for violating the company’s rules.” “… at least 5.8 million people were enrolled in the program as of last year, many of them with significant followings. That means a large number of influential people are allowed to post largely unchecked on Facebook and Instagram.”
  • Facebook Knows Instagram Is Toxic for Teen Girls, Company Documents Show. Its own in-depth research shows a significant teen mental-health issue that Facebook plays down in public.”
  • Tweet—”Anonymous has just announced a massive hack of Epik, long known as the hosting provider of choice for neonazis, right-wing extremists, and other Internet trash. Anonymous are releasing a decade’s worth of detailed Epik customer & domain data, passwords, emails, and private keys.”
  • Intuit to Acquire Mailchimp. Combination Accelerates Intuit’s Vision to Provide an End-to-End Customer Growth Platform for Small and Mid-Market Businesses.” Tweet—”Mailchimp has been acquired by Intuit, one of the evilest of all financial companies. I’ll be shutting down my mailing list on there.” Tweet—”Intuit has regularly and successfully lobbied to keep American taxpayers from having access to completely free, easy filing which would directly facilitated by the IRS itself at no cost or energy expenditure by the individual. Fuck them. Time to get out tinyletter as a host.” Tweet—”Mailchimp just got bought for $12 billion, and employees own no equity.”
  • Revolt of the Delivery Workers. Exploited by apps. Attacked by thieves. Unprotected by police. The city’s 65,000 bikers have only themselves to count on.”
  • Tweet—”Epic v. Apple verdict is out today, the judge ruled that Epic must pay Apple over $4 million at least and that Apple must allow developers to provide alternative payment methods. She wrote a nearly 200 page order explaining why, and here are some highlights. Thread 1/?”
  • What you need to know about religious exemptions to vaccine mandates. A recent survey found that 52% of U.S. adults favor offering religious exemptions to vaccine mandates.”
  • Utah kids aren’t being notified of COVID-19 exposure until it’s almost too late to quarantine. Meanwhile, data lags are making school case counts appear lower than they actually are.”
  • Singapore reaches 80 pc double-vaccination rate but life is not returning to normal. Singapore is one of the world’s most inoculated countries with 81 per cent vaccinated. But this month has seen its highest daily infections in more than a year. One epidemiologist says at least 90 per cent vaccination is required against the Delta strain.”—”‘They set a target of 80 per cent, which is too low … it would have worked fine for the Alpha strain but this is Delta, a variant with easily two to three times more transmissibility,’ Dr Leong said. ‘They now need at least 90 per cent vaccination, which is technically not possible due to hardened anti-vaxxers or refusers.'”
  • Unwise, unjust and immoderate.” Check out the art for this peice by Eva Lucero. “No tradition, no local economic growth, no student and alumni pushback is worth the damage being inflicted on the Athens community by the UGA administration’s already insufficient COVID-19 policies while hosting football games at full stadium capacity with no social distancing, masking or vaccination requirements. This football season is yet another component of the University’s overall handling of the pandemic that flies in the face of the three pillars of the arch: wisdom, justice and moderation.”
  • 1 in every 500 US residents have died of Covid-19“—”The United States has reached another grim milestone in its fight against the devastating Covid-19 pandemic: 1 in 500 Americans have died from coronavirus since the nation’s first reported infection.”
  • I-Team: Las Vegas QAnon conference finds new home with major Trump supporter. Caesars canceled conference in Sept.”
  • ‘Are we the sheep?’: QAnon believers struggle to process Gavin Newsom recall election in California.”
  • USCP Officers Arrest California Man with Bayonet & Machete” Also “Capitol Police Say They Arrested A Man With A Machete And Swastikas On His Truck Near The DNC. The man was arrested not far from where a pipe bomb was left on Jan. 5 and just days before another right-wing rally is planned for the Capitol.” Also check out the photos of the vehicle at tweet.
  • Heeding Steve Bannon’s Call, Election Deniers Organize to Seize Control of the GOP — and Reshape America’s Elections. The stolen election myth inspired thousands of Trump supporters to take over the Republican Party at the local level, exerting more partisan influence on how elections are run.”
  • Murders of environment and land defenders hit record high. Figures from Global Witness for 2020 show violent resource grab continued unabated despite pandemic.”
  • Indigenous warrior women take fight to save ancestral lands to Brazilian capital. Jair Bolsonaro is backing a legal move to open up large tracts of indigenous territory to commercial exploitation that tribal members call an ‘extermination effort’.”
  • Ministers granted border exemptions to attend urgent meeting in Canberra“—”Sources familiar with the development said some members of cabinet were granted border exemptions to urgently fly to Canberra for the hastily arranged meeting, which sources say will have international significance. Defence Minister Peter Dutton and Foreign Minister Marise Payne, who are in Washington for a series of meetings over the next two days, were said to have joined the meeting via a secure connection.” “The announcement, also significant to the United States and British governments, will be made at 7am Australian time. The White House on Thursday night announced US President Joe Biden will deliver ‘brief remarks about a national security initiative’.”
  • 90% of global farm subsidies damage people and planet, says UN. Almost half a trillion dollars of support a year harms people’s health, the climate and drives inequality.”
  • House Democrats’ Plan to Tax the Rich Leaves Vast Fortunes Unscathed.” Also tweet—”The medium is the message.” Um, also “Tax the Rich Sweatshirt” or “Tee
  • They said what now? “Government says discrimination against black people and Travellers ‘objectively justified’ with new laws. Documents defend disproportionate impact of Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.”
  • Afghanistan’s Taliban Allow Women to Attend Universities, but Fear Keeps Most at Home. Restrictions on women stop short of the prohibitions of the 1990s—how long that will last isn’t clear.”
  • We’re in hell. This is hell. “Usher, Priyanka Chopra & Julianne Hough Set For ‘The Activist’, CBS Competition Series From Global Citizen“—”The Activist is a competition series that features six inspiring activists teamed with three high-profile public figures working together to bring meaningful change to one of three vitally important world causes: health, education, and environment. Activists go head-to-head in challenges to promote their causes, with their success measured via online engagement, social metrics, and hosts’ input. The three teams have one ultimate goal: to create impactful movements that amplify their message, drive action, and advance them to the G20 Summit in Rome, Italy. There, they will meet with world leaders in the hope of securing funding and awareness for their causes. The team that receives the largest commitment is celebrated as the overall winner at the finale, which will also feature musical performances by some of the world’s most passionate artists.” “UPDATED with statement from Global Citizen, 5:34 PM: After the format for The Activist drew some blowback on social media, Deadline reached out to Global Citizen for a statement. ‘The Activist spotlights individuals who’ve made it their life’s work to change the world for the better, as well as the incredible and often challenging work they do on the ground in their communities,’ a spokesperson for the group said. ‘This is not a reality show to trivialize activism. On the contrary, our aim is to support activists everywhere, show the ingenuity and dedication they put into their work, and amplify their causes to an even wider audience.'”
  • How did American ‘wokeness’ jump from elite schools to everyday life?. And how deep will its influence be?”
  • Escaping Together. Thoughts about basic income, surviving disasters, and the future we must escape from.”
  • Judge Declares Mistrial at Trial of Backpage.com Founders. A judge has declared a mistrial at the trial of the founders of the lucrative classified site Backpage.” Also “Anti-Porn Crusader Sharon Cooper Testifies for Prosecution in Lacey/Larkin Trial, Defense Moves for Mistrial. Shortly after anti-porn/anti-sex work activist, Dr. Sharon Cooper, testified for the prosecution in the Lacey/Larkin trial, defense attorneys moved for a mistrial over her inflammatory statements.”
  • Missouri cave with ancient Native American drawings sold” Also “‘Heartbroken’ Osage Nation leaders decry sale of sacred Missouri cave with ancient artwork. Indigenous leaders had hoped to purchase the land, which is home to 1,000-year-old drawings and was auctioned off for $2.2m.”
  • Tweet thread—”Let’s start the week at the beginning – when do we first see #Nubian languages in the historical record? Well, it’s before Nubian writing (as we know it) emerges in the 6thC CE. The #Meroitic epigraphic tradition includes words and names that appear later in Old Nubian texts. 1/8.”
  • Alan Moore TV Show Spinoff Has Secured Some Funding“—”Creative England is investing £500,000 in UK film and TV production company EMU Films via its Creative Growth Finance fund, established in 2019. One of their projects they hope to use the fund for, is a new TV show spin-off of Alan Moore and Mitch Jenkins’ movie The Show and its short film prequels, Show Pieces. The Show takes place in a modern Northampton that has its very own underworld or purgatory, controlled by two former music-hall comedians, which affects the world above, as they deal with those below. The movie version of The Show recently received a one-day cinematic rollout in the US, a premiere at London’s FrightFest, in person and digitally, and streaming on Spain’s film services. And in October it will receive a wider streaming distribution, globally. Bleeding Cool understands that Alan Moore and Mitch Jenkins have a five-year, five-season storyline for The Show TV Series lined up and that Alan Moore has written the first episode in full. We are to expect some of the returning cast from the previous versions of The Show, including Alan Moore himself as Mister Matterton, but there’s going to be a long road from here to there.”
  • Tweet—”And that’s it for the Special Edition of the Space:1999 Moonbase Alpha Technical Operations Manual. SOLD OUT in less than 2 hours. Sorry if you missed out. The standard edition is still available to pre-order together with £20 of free gifts from” Space: 1999 Moonbase Alpha Technical Operations Manual—”A lavishly illustrated 272 page edition of the book packed with information about life on Moonbase Alpha featuring over 250 brand new illustrations. The book has been produced to feel like the manual given to Alphans as they depart from Earth ready to take up their new position on Moonbase Alpha. PLUS pre-order yours NOW and BEFORE September 20th and get a FREE A4 sized Space: 1999 ‘Conquer the Moon’ poster and iron on Space: 1999 cloth Mission patch (120mm width) with your order.”
  • Lorde’s Work Here Is Done. Now, She Vibes. She was a teen phenom who followed her hit ‘Royals’ with a critically acclaimed album. But now 24, the New Zealand musician isn’t chasing hits. She’s following the sun.”
  • The Civilization board game pioneered epic strategy a decade before Sid Meier. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tech tree.”
  • Avatar Legends RPG designers were prepared for success, but nearly $10m on Kickstarter changed things. Magpie Games talks supply chain logistics, shielding design from bloat and contributor pay.”
  • Marchetti’s Constant“—”Cesare Marchetti, a Italian physicist, actually credited Yacov Zahavi, an Israeli transportation analyst and engineer, in his original paper about ‘invariants in travel behavior,’ published in 1994. He called Zahavi’s field work remarkable ‘because it shows the quintessential unity of traveling instincts around the world, above culture, race, and religion, so to speak,’ Marchetti wrote. Marchetti meant ‘instincts’ literally. He felt that the human propensity to spread out about as far as 30-minute jaunts could take us before retreating to our safe caves was related to an animal drive to establish an optimally sized personal territory. Jonathan English, a fellow at NYU’s Marron Institute of Urban Management and transportation policy director at Toronto Region Board of Trade, says he doesn’t fully subscribe to that theory, but the Marchetti Constant is a good rule of thumb when planners think about transit.”
  • I don’t watch sports ball, but tweet. Missing some camera shake when that giant AR thing hits the ground, tbh. Unreal Engine 5, apparently.
  • Watch, from 2019: “Alex Jones Rants as an Indie Folk Song.”
  • Mysteries of the Pythonic Temple. Learn the secrets of the Python programming language as you explore the Pythonic Temple, the last surviving structure of the fabled City of Python. Solve riddles, collect powerful artifacts, and get your computer ready to write real Python code. You can play this mission now by downloading TwilioQuest and launching the Mysteries of the Pythonic Temple mission!”
  • Tweet—”Consider this your official invitation to our spooky swinging soiree. Ghost #MuppetsHauntedMansion, our all-new Original Special, starts streaming October 8 only on @DisneyPlus! #Hallowstream.” Watch “Muppets Haunted Mansion” teaser trailer—”On Halloween night, the fearless Gonzo takes on the greatest challenge of his life by spending one very daring night in the most grim grinning place on Earth …The Haunted Mansion.” Coming to Disney+. Also, apparently Ed Asner will be appearing in a cameo role, posthumously. (As well as having reprised his Carl role from Up! in the series Dug Days.)

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