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The Jon Bois/Alex Rubenstein joint Dorktown has another pairing of text and video, this time centered around running the ball in football. On the video side, we have the story of how Chiefs QB Steve Bono executed the most improbable 76 yard touchdown run ever, while in print the duo discusses Barry Sanders, and his penchant for racking up yardage without getting the ball in.
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“Through a 10-year mobilization of up to $172 billion, the bill would decarbonize and upgrade more than 1 million units of public housing. (To put that in perspective, if those homes formed a single city, it would be the country’s fourth largest—more populous than Houston, slightly smaller than Chicago.) The legislation gives a glimpse of how a Green New Deal could improve lives, attack inequality, and slash emissions. We would know because our think tank, Data for Progress, researched the damn bill.” Green New Deal for Public Housing (The Nation) “ For more details on where new jobs would be created nationally, view our data tables. For more details on where jobs would be created in New York City specifically, see the NYCHA report.” (Data For Progress)
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Experts crack mystery of ancient Egypt’s sacred bird mummies : DNA analysis helps work out origin of nearly 6 million mummified ibises [The Guardian]
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The best Age of Empires now has a fitting remaster: Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition [PC Gamer] “Age of Empires 2 is being wheeled out again, not quite new, but definitely improved. It wears its two decades well, but the years are still there, hidden beneath polish and new art and myriad tweaks. The Definitive Edition wavers between remaster and remake, updating nearly everything, from the art to the AI, as well as adding a trio of new campaigns and four more civilisations, but reverence for the original means that the changes, though broad and welcome, are somewhat restrained. Much of that reverence is justified, and what made Age of Empires 2 stand out at a time when there was no dearth of excellent real-time strategy games holds it in good stead 20 years on.” [YouTube][Gameplay Trailer] [more inside]
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A Thermomechanical Material Point Method for Baking and Cooking, or: now we're cookin' with graphs. If you want the gory mathematical details, here's the paper. And, via a bread simulation segue, here's some tearing and breaking stuff.
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After a three-year freedom of information campaign, everyone can finally see the Egyptian Museum of Berlin’s official 3D scan of the Bust of Nefertiti. A German museum tried to hide this stunning 3D scan of an iconic Egyptian artifact. Today you can see it for the first time, courtesy of Cosmo Wenman. Scan files available here.
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An Overlooked Novel from 1935 by the Godmother of Feminist Detective Fiction "Many histories of feminist detective fiction find foremothers for today’s anti-heroines in the hardboiled sleuths of the nineteen-seventies and eighties—in P. D. James’s Cordelia Gray, for example, and Sara Paretsky’s V. I. Warshawski. But Harriet Vane is an earlier, often overlooked member of the same lineage."
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A bombshell report in The Athletic (subscription required; secondary coverage here) alleges that the 2017 World Series Champion Houston Astros used a camera mounted in center field at their home park to steal signs, relaying the results to hitters with the sound of a banging trash can. The ensuing investigation figures to involve three current MLB managers. (The Athletic again/Sports Illustrated) [more inside]
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In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace. An October 2019 report by the Pew Research Center identifies rapid declines in Christian identification among American adults, down 12 percentage points overall to 65% over the past 10 years and replaced mainly by growth in "nothing in particular". The decline is particularly sharp among American Millennials, of whom only half (49%) now identify as Christian. [via The Wild Hunt] [more inside]
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“Adherents view life not as a gift and a miracle, but a harm and an imposition.” In February, a 27-year-old Indian man sued his parents for begetting him. “It was not our decision to be born,” he told the BBC. “Human existence is totally pointless.”
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In Puolanka, Finland's ‘best worst’ dying town, some citizens held a meeting to figure out if they could hold some fun events. “One man said that nothing works out here”, said Riitta Nykänen, “not even pessimism.” And so Puolanka decided to celebrate Pessimism Days. That has spawned a popular YouTube channel hosted by Tommi Rajala, and is the subject of a five minute video report by the BBC.
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2019 has been a busy year for poet, musician, activist, Moor Mother (Red Bull Music Academy interview, 1 hr), who collaborated with Roscoe Mitchell (1 hr, YouTube) in a sparse pairing of woodwind and poetry, and with the London Contemporary Orchestra (The Line of Best Fit review) on a free verse poem ... about colonialism, slavery and commerce in British empire, and a realisation of her desire to “fuck up some classical music.” Before she released Analog Fluids of Sonic Black Holes, the follow up her 2016 debut album of confrontational, punk-industrial Afrofuturism (NPR via Genius), Fetish Bones, she was the vocalist on Zonal’s debut album, Wrecked (Bandcamp x3), itself a collaboration between metal musician Justin Broadrick (Napalm Death, Godflesh, Jesu) and electronic producer Kevin Martin (The Bug/Ming Midas Sound). [more inside]
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Cannabis-focused website Leafly (age verification window appears, no login is required) examines The rise and fall of Honey Cut, the secretive business selling adulterating agents for THC oil vape cartridges, who likely introduced vitamin E acetate oil into the supply and injured/killed unwitting users.
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They said he was too fat to fly instead he would have to ride in the cargo hold along with the other luggage flying that day from Moscow to Vladivostok. Determined to let him ride in the cabin, his press secretary, Mikhail Galin, came up with an cunning plan: [more inside]
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So what's the big deal about the Australian Bird of the Year? There have already been voting irregularities, lobbying by special interests, endorsements by politicians across the spectrum and jockeying to make the cut into the final 10. But now it's almost over! A month of heavy campaigning finally comes to an end today at 5pm AEDT in The Guardian's second annual (except we skipped last year) Bird of the Year poll. Hurry to make sure your vote counts!
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Photographing coral reefs is difficult because even shallow water selectively absorbs and scatters light at different wavelengths, washing out colors. This makes it difficult to use computer vision and machine-learning algorithms to identify, count and classify species in underwater images. But a new algorithm called Sea-thru, developed by engineer and oceanographer Derya Akkaynak, removes the visual distortion caused by water from an image. The effects could be far-reaching for biologists who need to see true colors underneath the surface.
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If you were putting together a list of the most loved things on the planet, dogs and beer would be right up at the top of it. So when I tell you a brewery has put out a limited edition six-pack featuring the faces of adoptable dogs, I don’t want you to be embarrassed about how excited you get. (Set adblocker on maximum, this is Pleated Jeans)
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If you've created or contributed to a public project on GitHub, now's a great time to tidy up those TODOs: on February 2, your code will be snapshotted, printed on polyester film, placed in a steel-walled container, and deposited inside a sealed chamber within a decommissioned coal mine on the remote Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, just down the road from the Global Seed Vault.
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After 58 issues and one stand-alone graphic novel, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl -- by far the most critically and popularly acclaimed comic series ever written about a computer science undergrad with squirrel powers who fights-slash-befriends everybody from a brain in a jar to Galactus -- came to an end today. Polygon has an oral history of the comic with writer Ryan North (previously) and original artist Erica Henderson. Also check out this AV Club exit interview with North and artist Derek Charm, who followed Henderson for the book's last 19 issues. [more inside]
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False witness: why is the US still using hypnosis to convict criminals? "For decades, US law enforcement has used ‘forensic hypnosis’ to help solve crimes – yet despite growing evidence that it is junk science, this method is still being used to send people to death row." [The Guardian]
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The BBC has asked a panel to come up with a list of 100 Novels That Shaped Our World. [more inside]
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Pokemon Sword & Shield: ambitious in places, seemingly unfinished in others [VG24/7] “In some ways, Pokemon Sword & Shield is the most ambitious Pokemon title ever. In other ways, it is a definitive step back. It’s a strange game. The promise of Pokemon Sword & Shield was always that it’d be a return to form. I really liked Pokemon Let’s Go for what it was – a simplified, streamlined remake of a classic designed to work as a gateway for lapsed fans and Pokemon Go players. Many of the ideas expressed in that title deserve to be carried back to the main series, but there was understandably a hardcore element that was missing there. The promise was that the next games would remedy that. This is the strangest thing about Sword & Shield: after all those promises, I’m not really sure it does.” [YouTube][Game Trailer] [more inside]
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For the past ten years, Natalie’s job was being a lovably quirky wife and mother who documented her idyllic life online. It was tough to explain the long gap in her resume to potential employers. It was tougher to explain to herself, her loved ones, and her audience that the honeyed image she’d banked on had been an illusion for a long time. “I had to reckon with the fact that I’d been lying to people,” Natalie (who now uses her maiden name, Lovin) tells me now. “I had to go back on my word and say ‘Just kidding, I was actually miserable, I just didn’t tell you.’” All those years curating and cropping her life, she says, “I was erasing evidence. I was erasing myself.”
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Narwhal is a pupper with a small tail growing from his forehead. He's in fine health and humor, but no the tail does not wag.
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“Examples like that are a frightening demonstration of why Barkan’s advocacy is so powerful: Americans who could be alive are dead now, silenced by the policy decisions we have made together. We could cover long-term care, but we don’t. Medicaid has a complicated set of requirements for who is eligible for long-term care coverage, one that’s led some couples to forsake their marriage vows or live apart from one another, all in the hopes of lowering their assets in order to maintain or regain the eligibility.“ Ady Barkan Is Running Out of Time to Speak (The New Republic)
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As librarians help registration (more libraries), it is time, yet again, to vote (December 2019 edition) with another exciting UK General Election. As Alexander Boris de Pfeffel endorses Jeremy Corbyn and demonstrates his popular culture experience (YouTube), so parties outline NHS funding plans and struggle to try and form alliances or pacts (progressive)(right wing)(SNP-Labour)(Northern Ireland). Though, previously. Some past MPs stand down or turn; new candidates, either reluctantly, some complicatedly, others angrily making it legally interesting. The BBC is under suspicion of bias, the PM won't release the Russian report (Hillary), people still say 'cyber', and the past haunts candidates (more)(yet more)(another)(endless). But will megaphone man win? The current bookmaker odds. [more inside]
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Shagun Jhaver writes about his research into the effect of moderator deletion commentary on Reddit users. Using a sample of 32 million Reddit posts he characterizes the removal explanations that are provided to Redditors and links them to measures of subsequent user behaviors — including future post submissions and future post removals. [more inside]
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"The childlike, cartoonish typeface Comic Sans is the most hated font in the world." The introduction to today's Studio 360 With Kurt Andersen continues: "Twenty-five years after its release, it’s become notorious for showing up in seemingly inappropriate contexts, from office memos to newspapers and government documents." [more inside]
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Renault is a company that sells cars. In the course of that aim, they have recently produced a short film about a multi-decade love story told over the course of two minutes.
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“ Rousseau, a Boy Scout and high school journalist before he founded Patriot Front, has much the same profile as the accused gunman in El Paso, Patrick Crusius: both grew up in middle-class suburbs of Dallas — Crusius in Allen, Rousseau 35 miles away in Grapevine; both were seen as unremarkable teenagers before being inculcated in their racist ideology online; both talk of a desire to reclaim America for “true” or “pure” patriots; both regard immigrants as a poisonous and present danger.” They Are Racist; Some of Them Have Guns. Inside the White Supremacist Group Hiding in Plain Sight. (ProPublica) “ In the run-up to the 2016 election, White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller promoted white nationalist literature, pushed racist immigration stories and obsessed over the loss of Confederate symbols after Dylann Roof’s murderous rampage, according to leaked emails reviewed by Hatewatch... Miller’s perspective on race and immigration across the emails is repetitious. When discussing crime, which he does scores of times, Miller focuses on offenses committed by nonwhites. On immigration, he touches solely on the perspective of severely limiting or ending nonwhite immigration to the United States.” (SPLC)
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Your Guide to the Streaming Wars [The Verge] “The launch of Disney+ in November 2019 is ushering in a whole new era of streaming, one where established industry leaders like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, and Amazon Prime Video are facing growing competition from major new players in the industry. Apple is building its own streaming service, Apple TV Plus. AT&T’s WarnerMedia streaming service is in beta. And that’s not counting the many smaller, niche-oriented streaming services, like The Criterion Channel, Crunchyroll, and Shudder. [...] We’ll sift through the deluge of content for the worthwhile films and TV, analyze the technology and consumer costs behind these services, help you choose which services matter, and cover how the streaming wars are changing the media landscape.” [more inside]
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Side-by-side comparison: Zero Hour! (1957) Vs Airplane! (1980) (SLYT)
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A cat named Quilty has been sentenced to solitary confinement for continually letting other cats out of their enclosures at his shelter after multiple warnings failed to curb the problem. The serial offender was caught by staff at Friends For Life Animal Rescue and Adoption Organization jail-breaking other felines out of the senior room 'repeatedly, several times a day'. [more inside]
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I will admit that, at first, I only wanted the whisk because it was adorable and hilarious. In the years since, though, the whisk has proven to be one of the most used utensils in my kitchen. Tiny whisks are the perfect size for mixing most things, if you’re cooking for yourself or a small group.
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The Heir: Ivanka was always Trump’s favorite. But Don Jr. is emerging as his natural successor.The Atlantic, McKay Coppins, October 2019 issue. “...Some of the scion’s schemes pay off. Others prove disastrous. But his signal achievement is forging the Donald Trump persona itself—that high-flying playboy, that self-made man, that larger-than-life titan the tabloids can’t resist. It’s a creation of both father [Fred] and son [Donald], and it will do more for the family business than any casino or skyscraper. Today a photo of Fred sits in the Oval Office, looking out on an empire much vaster and more powerful than even he could have imagined. And while the president writes his chapter in history, the next generation waits in the wings, jockeying for position, feuding over status, knowing only one of them can be the heir.”
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Why Ugliness Is Vital in the Age of Social Media A wide ranging interview between ALOK and writer and disability justice organizer Mia Mingus touching on desirability in queer spaces, how abilism shapes our relationship to ourselves, and how disability and interdependence offer us spaces for tenderness and intimacy. "I think we literally get taught that you are only worthy if you’re beautiful; that there are no other pathways to worth besides desirability. This is where magnificence comes in to me. That feels like — I needed a word other than "beautiful." Magnificence comes out of our struggle. Give yourself permission and cultivate it and embrace it, rather than always literally wearing the mask." Moving Toward the Ugly: A Politic Beyond Desirability [more inside]
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"While in the waters of Lembeh, Indonesia, diver Pall Sigurdsson and friends encountered a tiny veined/coconut octopus who had made a home inside a disposable plastic cup. [...] Rather than leave the octopus to a cruel fate, Sigurdsson and friends spent a great deal of their diving time searching for a new shell. They tried several shells, but the octopus didn’t respond until the perfect one was found." (via Laughing Squid)
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Shenzhen Tech Girl Naomi Wu, Part 3: Defunding, Deplatforming, and Detention. After her run-ins with Vice, as she had documented previously, and the fallout from that, Naomi Wu finds herself once again being used by Western entertainment-journalism (this time Hasan Minhaj's show) in a China-critical piece that she had no say over. Sometime later, she was detained. Was it related? Who can say?
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Keith Haring's 'Hidden' Mural Heads To Auction, Sparks Emotion Haring painted a stairwell mural for a NYC kids' organization. The mural has now been removed, and is heading for auction, to fund capital projects at the church at which it was located. [more inside]
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An English-language snapshot of what's going on in Latin America: Latin America's Bitter Stalemate (Jacobin interview with Mabel Thwaites Rey); Latin America's Decade-Long Hangover (America's Quarterly); Why Latin America Was Primed to Explode (Foreign Affairs); Latin America’s Protests Are Likely to Fail (Foreign Policy); Latin American left rising? First stop Mexico for Argentina's Fernandez (Reuters) [more inside]
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