September 14, 2020
Animaniacs - Official Sneak Peak (2020) [1m30s], premiering in November on Hulu.
So it's been a busy week in the Lower Mainland - Vancouver and surrounding areas - and it's not even Tuesday yet. Surely the week will end better? While the province has weathered the Covid-19 storm better than many areas it was a rough weekend with active cases hitting a new high. Additionally - there's fire, smoke, opiates, train crashes, gondola crashes (??) and an effort to curb out of control insurance rate. [more inside]
"They could only conclude that the criminal justice process was a Rube Goldberg machine that produces “racially disparate initial charging practices..." An excellent data-driven look at one state's charging and sentencing rates. [more inside]
In July of this year Hasbro, the company that owns the Scrabble brand in the US, quietly "agreed to remove all slurs from their word list for Scrabble tournament play." and changed the game rules to reflect this (archived link) Response was anything but quiet among Scrabble tournament players. As John Chew, the chair of the North American Scrabble Players Association (NASPA) says "I couldn’t have found a bigger wedge issue if I tried." Chew supported this move, but found it a hard sell with NASPA, though they did eventually come around. Scrabble pundit Stefan Fatsis wrote about the issue for Slate, apparently on a quest to include as many of the slurs in his article as possible. The last update to the NASPA Word List was in 2018. [more inside]
Tomorrow, September 15, The AskHistorians public history forum is hosting their first-ever conference as an online event open to all. The theme, “Business as Unusual”, reflects how human history is filled with examples of people struggling to make do under difficult and quickly changing circumstances. It also describes the conference itself: digital in origin, unrestricted, and open to anyone around the world with a passion for history." [more inside]
Andy Riley compiles a list of comedian and comedy writer slang.
An international team of astronomers has detected phosphine gas in the atmosphere of Venus, in quantities that appear only to be explicable if it is being produced by life.
Full disclosure: 10 out of 12 cats voted against this chatfilter topic, but members rolled out the cash, and wiped their miaou-traged objections away. Flush with victory, youarenothere posed this week's $$$ winning topic and asked for discussion of "other options for wiping, peeing in places other than toilets, bidets and associated watertools for genitalia, modern outhouses, personal, portable TP alternatives folks use ... I would like to chat about non-toilet paper post-urination and -defecation cleanliness management." Take it away, Mefites!
Four gripping, provocative, sometimes uncomfortable scifi/fantasy stories about violence and sacrifice in defense of communities and ideals. Three by Margaret Killjoy (previously) and one by Elizabeth Crowe. [more inside]
If you've watched any restoration videos on YouTube, you'll have seen a lot of rusty parts being dipped in paint stripper before reassembly. But have you seen home-sand-blasting, spot-welding, and meticulous recreation of individual screws and springs from scratch, until each antique piece of junk looks newer than new? My Mechanics is the Swiss master of mechanical restoration, with hours of calming viewing: Oil lamp. Ox-tongue iron. Kitchen scale. Ratchet screwdriver. Broken rusty lock with missing key. He also has a separate channel about how he does it, an Instagram page, Twitter feed, and a nice line of T-shirts.