August 3, 2019
Descended from Semba, Kizomba is a dance form which originated in Angola. While historical accounts tend to be oral, and vary slightly, it is generally described to have originated in the 1980's and 90's as dancers began dancing Semba style to the slower pace of Kizomba and Zouk music. [more inside]
Earlier today, a 21 year-old white male Trump supporter attacked an El Paso Walmart with an automatic rifle, killing at least 20 and injuring over two dozen in the deadliest shooting of 2019. According to a manifesto posted on the notorious imageboard 8chan, he committed these atrocities in “response to [the] Hispanic invasion of Texas”. If this manifesto is authentic, it not only echoes the anti-immigrant "invasion" rhetoric of Donald Trump, but it also would be the third mass shooting announced in advance on 8chan in less than five months. As 8chan's /pol board continues to radicalize mass shooters, investigative journalism website bell¿ngcat examines the El Paso shooting and the gamification of terror. [more inside]
It's been a hard year for new media blogging empires, which has reaped a bumper crop of case studies on how millenial-targeted, VC-funded media properties, rise, fail, and fall. In addition to the G/O Media / Spanfeller case [covered here yesterday], join the HuffPo on the shuttering of Mic and The Cut on the collapse of Babe.net, breaker of the Aziz Ansari #metoo story.
There is thus no shortage of potential cowboy myths in the western world. And, in fact, practically all the groups I have mentioned have generated macho and heroic semi-barbarian myths of one kind or another in their own countries and sometimes even beyond. But none of them has generated a myth with serious international popularity, let alone one that can compare, even faintly, with the fortunes of the North American cowboy. Why? [previously]
The Birth of the Semicolon
The semicolon was born in Venice in 1494. It was meant to signify a pause of a length somewhere between that of the comma and that of the colon, and this heritage was reflected in its form, which combines half of each of those marks.[more inside]
What exactly is a 100 year flood? An explanation of the statistics behind the term, courtesy of the USGS.
"Things People Say to Their Dogs" by Dr. Alexandra Horowitz, a cognitive scientist who studies dogs, in The New York Times. Dr. Horowitz discusses things she has heard people say to their dogs, and what we are doing when we talk to dogs. Examples: "Somebody has a bagel, and it’s not you. And it’s not gonna be you with that kind of behavior." and "Let's lead! Leader! YAY!"
Palaeoartist and palaeontologist Mark Witton was asked by the Friends of Crystal Palace Dinosaurs charity to write notes about the various statues of extinct animals, only four of which are dinosaurs, in London’s Crystal Palace Park. Witton fleshed these notes out in a series of four blog posts where he shares his findings and thoughts about the mid-19th century depictions by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins of ancient, long-gone animals, and the scientific understanding at the time. Part 1: Marine reptiles, Dicynondon and "Labyrinthodons". Part 2: Teleosaurus, Pterosaurs and Mosasaurus. Part 3: Megalosaurus, Hylaeosaurus and Iguanodon. Part 4: The Mammals of the Tertiary Island. [Mark Witton previously: 1, 2]
The Sooner You Kill Me, the Happier I'll Be. An oral history of the best death in the history of movies about genetically engineered marine predators.
Astronomers Discover Super-Fast Star Thrown Out Of The Center Of The Milky Way - "Many stars orbit near Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way... If our friendly neighborhood supermassive black hole is indeed the culprit, the star was probably kicked away with a velocity of roughly 1,800 kilometers per second (over 4 million miles per hour) and has been slowly slowing down on its travels for about 4.8 million years. The star, which is a standard hydrogen-fusing or 'main sequence' object, is located roughly 30,000 light-years from Earth." [1,2,3] [more inside]