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ICE cracks down in LA, meanwhile immigration legislation progress isn't looking great. [more inside]
Yudane or yukone, known as tangzhong in Chinese, is a bread baking technique that begins with a water (or milk) roux, heating flour and liquid to 65C to gelatinize the starches. It produces loaves that are tender, springy, moist, and resistant to staling, with a significantly different crumb. Its most famous application is in Hokkaido Milk Bread, but is also useful for bagels, rolls, and any application where a tender crumb or long shelf life is desirable. [more inside]
You may have heard about B&N's recent layoffs and hiring of a new chief merchandising officer in a brief abstract fashion, but you might not realize it marks a point of no return for the company: The entirely unnecessary demise of Barnes & Noble [more inside]
In 1937, Maurice Hilleman had a job lined up as the assistant manager of the J. C. Penney in Miles City. In Depression-era Montana, Penney’s was top-notch employment, especially to a senior at Custer County High who grew up raising chickens on the outskirts of town. But Hilleman’s older brother pointed out there was that college in Bozeman and suggested Maurice should at least try to get a scholarship. He did, finished first in his class and went on to a graduate program in microbiology at the University of Chicago. Of the 14 standard recommended vaccines — including those for measles, mumps, meningitis, pneumonia and both hepatitis A and B — Hilleman developed eight of them. In a century soaked in genocide, his work saved millions of lives, including, potentially, yours and mine. J. C. Penney’s loss was humanity’s gain.
Before Usenet and MetaFilter but after email, and launched 40 years ago on February 16th 1978 in Chicago after development that avoided committee inertia, the CBBS (Computerized Bulletin Board System) was created by Ward Christensen (creator of XMODEM) and Randy Suess. It consisted of a homebrew computer with 40k of memory, was managed by a "sysop", eventually contained 20,000 lines of code, and worked well. Announced in Byte Magazine, the sole modem and 300 baud card meant members took it in turns to use, the system restarting with each new call. textfiles.com has some BBS logs and captures: . Problems with the system?? Phone the developers. (2008 FPP, and a busy 2006 "Did you run a BBS?" AskMe)
I am still learning to accept myself as I am. I hope it doesn't take another 50 years. Photo interview series by Jessica Dimmock with trans women in the PNW. Dimmock is careful to explain that the situations are, well, complicated: some of her subjects don’t consider themselves to be trans because, as Dimmock explains, it was not an identity that they felt free to totally embrace. “They’ve been trapped in a timeline and a situation at home that has made it impossible for them...But everyone I photographed is on the spectrum of having a full female identity. There are women inside all of these people.” The series places the women in the settings in which they found creative ways to steal away and express their honest identities in private,” she explains. “They are intentional and accurate to their stories.”
Want to make comics? Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett of Big Red Hair have you covered with their recently updated Resources for Comic Book Creators and comic book writing guide.
Owen Stephens recalls how in 2000/01 he ran a roleplaying session for Wizard of the Coast's then new Star Wars D20 game when an elderly gentleman with actual commando experience showed up at his table. (Hat tip.)
Hanno the Navigator was Carthaginian explorer who traveled south along the African coast in the sixth Century BCE. He left behind an account of his journey, a periplus, which among other things gave the world the word "gorilla", which may have been a kikongo phrase originally. It can be read in English translation on Livius along with scholarly notes by Jona Lendering. Hanno's brother Himilco was also an explorer, venturing north along the Atlantic coast of Europe. Lionel Casson puts Hanno in context of the history of exploration. While reading the links, you might want to listen to folk rocker Al Stewart's 2008 song Hanno the Navigator.
Yesterday, a former student opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, killing 17 and wounding many others. Many people saw it coming but no one did enough to prevent it. What needs to change? [more inside]
"I don’t know what I’m going to do. I don’t know what I’m good for. I don’t know how to come to terms with the fact that I have so much in my head, and so much in my Google Drive, that is basically useless right now. I don’t know how to come to terms with the fact that the life I imagined is not going to happen. I’ve already stopped doing my scholarship, other than editorial work for forthcoming pieces. In a few months, I’ll be done teaching. I don’t know how to come to terms with never doing those things again.
Douglas Hofstadter takes a deep dive into why AI techniques don't equate to real undersanding. longread.
A staple of African cooking that was thought lost was found in a small field in Trinidad. The fat, nutty grain, with its West African lineage and tender red hull, was a favored staple for Southern home cooks during much of the 19th century. Unlike Carolina Gold, the versatile rice that until the Civil War was America’s primary rice crop, the hill rice hadn’t made Low Country plantation owners rich off the backs of slaves. The search for the missing grain led to Trinidad and Thomas Jefferson, and now excitement among African-American chefs. [more inside]
China's Dystopian Tech Could Be Contagious: The PRC's "social credit" scheme might have consequences for life in cities everywhere (SLAtlantic)
In 1889, Tit-Bits magazine offered prizes to single, female readers who sent in the best answers to the question: ‘Why Am I A Spinster?’ Here are some highlights... [sl twitter thread] [more inside]
And that’s when I decided that we — and by we I mean those of us currently drawing paychecks for professional design services — are design’s lost generation. We are the Family Ties-era Michael J. Fox of the design lineage. Raised by hippies. Consumed by greed. Ruled by the hand of the market. And nourished by the last drops of sour milk from the withered old teat of capitalism gone rabid. Living where America ends — Silicon Valley. Mike Monteiro on the ethical state of design's lost generation.
Inside the two years that shook Facebook, and the world
The stories varied, but most people told the same basic tale: of a company, and a CEO, whose techno-optimism has been crushed as they’ve learned the myriad ways their platform can be used for ill. Of an election that shocked Facebook, even as its fallout put the company under siege. Of a series of external threats, defensive internal calculations, and false starts that delayed Facebook’s reckoning with its impact on global affairs and its users’ minds. And—in the tale’s final chapters—of the company’s earnest attempt to redeem itself.[more inside]