September 20, 2019
Sarah Thomas completes the first quadruple crossing of the English Channel. On Sunday morning Sarah Thomas stepped into the chilly ocean waters outside of Dover and started to swim to France. Just over 54 hours later, on September 17th, 2019 she became the first person to swim and complete a quadruple English Channel crossing. [more inside]
On Monday, activist Shanley Kane highlighted a contract between Seattle-based software company Chef and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Chef develops and sells open source software for configuring servers and cites Alaska Airlines, Google, Facebook, and Capital One as customers. The ICE contract created a minor stir on Twitter, but by Thursday morning, Chef hadn’t made a public statement about the controversy. Discouraged by the company’s silence, former Chef employee Seth Vargo removed several Chef-related open source tools that he had hosted on two code repositories. They included Sugar, a tool designed to make it easier to work with Chef’s software that’s widely used by Chef customers, though it’s not clear if ICE uses it. "I have removed my code from the Chef ecosystem," Vargo wrote on the code hosting site GitHub. "I have a moral and ethical obligation to prevent my source [code] from being used for evil."[more inside]
Billy Porter offers a master class in making an entrance...a little Friday pick-me-up (literally)!
Hey, here's a methodology for a nice set of graphs visualizing the distribution of the letters a-z across the start, middle, and end of English words, using the Brown Corpus as a source. Quicker summary here.
The Flores Exhibits In this video series, artists, lawyers, advocates, and immigrants read the sworn testimonies of children held in detention facilities at the U.S. / Mexico Border. [more inside]
One Scottish tourist travelling through the Pacific Northwest finds themselves in Leavenworth, WA - and promptly loses their mind. (SLTwitter) [more inside]
@FlagsMashupBot is a twitter bot that randomly takes two flags, combines them, and invents a new country based on the flag. Sometimes the results are interesting, such as Geoouti (Georgia + Djibouti). Sometimes there's no apparent change, such as Ausada (Austria + Canada). Sometimes you just get France, as in Itana (Italy + China (1912-1928)). And sometimes they're inflammatory: witness United Ireland (UK + Ireland) or Islamic Republic of Israel (Iran + Israel). As the creator of the bot has said, "Seriously thinking of turning off the bot while im sleeping".
People in sex work say that the two roles have huge amounts of overlap, but they're shunned by the therapy profession.
Although many sharks are solitary creatures, their manta ray relatives are surprisingly social (American Association for the Advancement of Science): They copy one another’s movements, play together, and will even curiously approach nearby humans. Now, scientists have discovered they also form “friendships” with their fellow rays (National Geographic)—loose associations that can last for weeks or months at a time. [...] Females were more likely to form lasting associations with each other than males, who tended to avoid other males, the researchers report [...] in the journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology (abstract only on Springer, article paywalled)
The Great British Bake Off isn't just wonderful entertainment. By prizing cooperation over cutthroat competition and solidarity over selfishness, it's also quietly radical. The Great Socialist Bake-Off (Jacobin)
WeFail paints British politicians like Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg in a style recalling both Ralph Steadman's Paranoids and the savage portraits of Francis Bacon. Sometimes he turns his attention to other monsters of the modern age, such as Donald Trump and Brett Kavanaugh. His banknotes are particularly good, I think, and also I like his Tarot cards.
Soccer at the Edge of the World: inside Greenland’s week-long football championship tournament, a surprisingly intense affair held each summer in a town of 5500 on the inhospitable western shore of the world’s largest island. [slnyt]
Parker Molloy spent a week watching PragerU videos to write an article about it that you’re invited to read and share "so my brain didn’t turn to mush for nothing": PragerU relies on a veneer of respectability to obscure its propagandist mission (MediaMatters).
Some candy hearts comics [Tommy Siegel] drew, a [twitter] thread
The Canadian Brass performed their Tribute To The Ballet at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto Canada in 1988.
Museum in London aims to decrease shame and stigma around genitals Inspired by the phallological museum in Iceland, the forthcoming Vagina Museum in London aims to "'erase the stigma around the body and gynaecological anatomy'" for everyone, regardless of their race, sex or gender."