- Two recent Democratic party primary series that I’ve found interesting to read (or at least skim). The New York Times did moderate-depth interviews with all the then-still-in-the-race candidates. And Vox has begun a series of articles arguing their best case for each candidate. There are two up so far: The Case For Bernie Sanders and The case for Elizabeth Warren.
- Asimov’s Empire, Asimov’s Wall | Public Books
A short, good article about Issac Asimov’s famous habit of groping women around him, and why it wasn’t okay.
- Gougers ‘R’ Us: How Private Equity is Gobbling Up Medical Care | The American Conservative
Private Equity really is the worse – they add no value, just extract money from businesses that are actually productive – and is leading to needlessly higher medical bills.
- The Long Long Man series of gum commercials.
Eleven commercials, forming a single continuous narrative, from a Japanese gum maker announcing its new line of extra-long gum. It’s… amazing.
- Largest Art Heist In History Happened in Germany this month | Daily Mail Online
As far as I can tell, the thieves – who are described as exceptionally small – cut off electricity to the entire building by doing something to an electrical station on a bridge a block away, then broke a small window to crawl into the museum. The museum isn’t sure how they broke the shatter-proof glass of the display cases. Sounds like a heist movie.
- Opinion | I Almost Lost My Career Because I Had the Wrong Passport – The New York Times And an alternate link.
Anti-immigration demagogues in Denmark have successfully made immigrants feel unwelcome – at considerable cost to Denmark.
Brigham Young University to Students on Medicaid: Buy Private Coverage, or Drop Out – The New York Times (Alternate link.)
Update: In the face of bad publicity and student protests, BYU relented.
- A List of Some Terms Used to Describe Genitals in Fanfiction
- On perfect communication and the tyranny of “platform responsibility” | Go Make Me a Sandwich
- Does Letting Police Enter Your House Give Them Permission To Wreck It? – Reason.com
According to the Ninth Circuit court, yes, it does.
- William Barr, Donald Trump, and the post-Christian culture wars – Vox
The Christian Right sees themselves as being oppressively crushed by an endlessly hostile and all-powerful left with no scruples. They’re wrong, but it’s helpful to keep in mind that they really, really believe this.
- How ‘The Penis Monologues’ Challenges China’s Toxic Masculinity
A Chinese play against what we’d call toxic masculinity, inspired by “The Vagina Monologues.”
- A Harvard journal’s wild plan to save democracy by adding 127 states – Vox”
Literally nothing in the Constitution prevents Congress from admitting the Obama family’s personal DC residence as a state — a state which would then be entitled to two senators, one member of the House, and exactly as much say on whether the Constitution should be amended as the entire state of Texas.”
- This collaboration between a pole dancer and an animator is amazing.
The great cartoonist Windsor McCay, around 1911, did an act like this, in which he interacted live with an animated dinosaur. But I’m sure that the interaction was not this intricate.
- Friends, join me for a pleasant journey into the very tolerant world of Apu fandom
“We must be unflappable, and if we flap, it’s proof we’re the histrionic, outraged minority lefties they always knew we were.”
- A court just blocked Trump’s attempt to slash legal immigration – Vox
Conservatives are against all immigrants (or at least all non-white immigrants), not just unauthorized immigrants.
- The Battle Over E. B. White’s “Stuart Little” | The New Yorker
The most influential children’s librarian in the country – a woman who literally created the idea of children’s libraries, and who was actually pretty awesome in many ways – hated that little mouse.
- Trump’s policies at the border weren’t designed to keep out Mexican asylum seekers — until now – Vox
“One woman had approached CBP officials at the port in El Paso on three occasions identifying herself as a Mexican asylum seeker, but was turned away. She has a strong asylum case: Cartel members kidnapped her son and told her they would send her his severed head in a cooler if she didn’t pay an extortion fee.”
- Canceling | ContraPoints – YouTube
The vlogger, who was recently “canceled” herself, uploads a looong video with her thoughts on “cancel culture” and her experiences. One thing I liked is that she provides the seeds of a way of distinguishing between cancellation and criticism – in my head-canon, it really shouldn’t be called a cancellation if it doesn’t include at least three of the cancel culture tropes.
- Should Public Transit Be Free? More Cities Say, Why Not? – The New York Times And an alternate link.
- Climate change: From the beginning, models have been remarkably accurate – Vox
Unsurprisingly, the models are better at predicting the physics (outputs) than the “humans” (inputs).
- Hieronymus Bosch Butt Music – YouTube
“Music printed on the butt of one of the tortured souls in the 15th Century Hieronymus Bosch painting ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights,’ played on (What else?) Lute, Harp, and Hurdy-Gurdy by James Spalink.”
- Muhammad Ali in a Broadway Musical? It Happened – The New York Times (Alternative link)
The almost completely forgotten 1969 musical “Buck White.” Only one copy of the script is known to still exist.
- Heads or Tails: The Impact of a Coin Toss on Major Life Decisions and Subsequent Happiness
“This paper reports on a large-scale randomized field experiment in which research subjects having difficulty making a decision flipped a coin to help determine their choice. […] Individuals who are told by the coin toss to make a change are much more likely to make a change and are happier six months later than those who were told by the coin to maintain the status quo.”
- An American Revolution at Sing Sing – Reasons to be Cheerful
An in-prison production of the musical 1776.
- House Votes to Restore the Voting Rights Act – Mother Jones
“Although the VRAA has no chance of becoming law this year, the passage of the bill lays the groundwork for Democrats to make voting rights a major legislative priority should they recapture the Senate and the White House in 2020.”
- Why Are So Many Evangelicals Okay with David Being a Murderer, But Not a Rapist? | Libby Anne
Thanks to Mandolin for the link.
- There Are Whales Alive Today Who Were Born Before Moby Dick Was Written | Smart News | Smithsonian
- St. Marys Kansas and Christian Withdrawal – The Atlantic
A town in Kansas where the overwhelming majority of residents are members of the right-wing SSPX church. On the one hand, great: People should be able to form communities. On the other hand, it can really suck for non-church-members in town, and especially for children raised there who dissent (or would like to dissent) from the town’s orthodoxy.
- Henry Lee Lucas Was Considered America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer. But He Was Really a Serial Liar.
And a serial killer, too, but with many fewer victims than he claimed.
- The corporate poo patrol is coming after your precious toilet time | WIRED UK
Toilets are being designed to be less comfortable to discourage workers from spending time in the bathroom.
- The Grooming Gap: What “Looking the Part” Costs Women – In These Times
There’s an actual wage penalty for women who buck the (sometimes unsaid) grooming requirements.
- Quiz: Which of these 2020 Democrats agrees with you most? – Washington Post
I wound up with Warren in first, at 15; Sanders and Yang tied for second, at 11; and Biden dead last, at 5.
- This post is illustrated with photos of two works by Italian street artist Mr. Thoms, whose website is full of fantastic and surreal paintings.
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