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Mobile-Tensaw River Delta and Bartram Canoe Trail - Home to the most diverse set of fauna and flora in the world.
Wikipedia: Bliss Point - in food
New Yorker: What Conversation Can Do for Us - "Our culture is dominated by efforts to score points and win arguments. But we really talk anymore?"
NYTimes: 19 Works of Non-Fiction to Read This Spring
Bill McKibben: Jesse Diggins Wins Gold in the Toughest Winter Sport Tiktok dance
NYTimes: Exercise and Aging - Five exercises to keep an aging body fit and strong
Politico: We Have a Real UFO Problem. And It's Not Balloons.
Guardian: (Canine) Fecal Bacteria Rampant on New York Sidewalks - Que up Frank Sinatra "New York, New York".
Wikipedia: Wiki Loves Earth 2022 Winners - amazing photos of nature, all in the public domain
NYTimes: Cockfighting in America - "Game-fowl breeders, she says, “believe so sincerely that they are allowing these birds to express their natural masculinity — which, of course, is the most toxic masculinity possible...They sincerely believe that an evolutionarily senseless level of aggression is the birthright of these birds and self-righteously reject any evidence to the contrary.”
"game fowl are separated from their parents and frequently kept in sensory deprivation and social isolation. Their combs are often shaved off, making them less recognizable to one another (and themselves), and they are rewarded for savagely winning fights. They are not allowed to give up. Although game fowl are made out to be “icons of courage” by the rooster men, Jones wrote, “fighting cocks start to fight because they are afraid.” The aggression is learned, not inherent."
- Pattrice Jones, director of VINE
Cockfighting laws in all 50 states.
NYTimes: The Importance of Clearing the Clutter - See entry of 1/21/22.
NYTimes: How to Read a Food Label
ProPublica: How to Research Your Hospice and Avoid Hospice Fraud
Guardian: 'Extinction is on the Table': Jaron Lanier: Tech's Existential Threat to Humanity
New Yorker: A French Village's Radical Vision of a Good Life with Alzheimer's
Guardian: How Has the World's Population Grown Since 1959? - population mythbusting
Time: How to Build Your Heat Tolerance to Prepare for a Hotter World
NYTimes: Balance Exercises to Improve Your Strength
Guardian: The Barkley Marathons: The Hellish 100-Mile Race With 15 Finishers in 36 Years
The Pudding: Visual Guide to the Aztec Pantheon
New Yorker: The Johnny Depp-Amber Heard Verdict is Chilling
NYTimes: Coffee Drinking Linked to Lower Mortality Risk, New Study Finds
Physics World: Quantum Teleportation Expands Beyond Neighboring Nodes - Quantum Entanglement and Quantum computing
NYTimes: Haiti's Lost Billions
Stat News: Transfusion of Brain Fluid From Young Mice is Memory Elevating Elixir for Old Mice
Dazed: Uncanny Valley: Welcome to the Age of the 'Ultra-Realistic' Art Robot
NYTimes: A Knave Competed in the Sport of Kings, and Instantly Became One
NYTimes: They Are the Heirs of Nazi Fortunes, And They Aren't Apologizing - BMW, Mercedes, Porche, VW - They confiscated industries from successful Jewish industrialists of the 1940's, and sent those Jewish families off to the concentration camps. Then they fully developed the companies to serve the Nazi war effort, using thousands of Jewish slaves. Today these billionaire families, who account for about 10% of German GDP, set up philanthropic foundations, take the tax breaks, and never come completely clean about their past. The German people and government, who constantly tout these so-called symbols of German ingenuity and execellence, are fully complicit.
NYTimes: The Sky-High Pandemic Housing Market Finds Gravity Does Exist - Remember this date.
AP: Key Particle Weighs In a Bit Heavy, Confounding Scientists - "Maybe dark matter, another poorly understood component of the universe, could be playing a role. Or maybe there’s just new physics involved that they just don’t understand at the moment, researchers said."
The Standard Model of particle physics seemed to be on such a solid footing, but then along come these new measurments. Too bad Standard Model. Too bad Dark Energy. Too bad Newtonian gravity.
New Yorker: The Mystifying Rise in Child Suicide - Dialectical Behavior Thereapy vs. Congnitive BT.
NYTimes: The Peculiar Charm of Coober Pedy, Austrailia's (and the World's) Opel Capital
NYTimes: Using Science and Celtic Wisdom to Save Trees (and Souls) - Related to this is the neural-network-like mycorrhizal fungi networks that allow trees in a forest to share information and nutrients, using 'mother trees' as the nodes in the network.
New Yorker: A Guide to Getting Rid of Almost Everything
Sojourners: 'Don't Look Up' Shows Us How (Not) to Pray - "a society that prefers to ignore scientific evidence and instead be soothed by celebrities, pop culture trends, and feel-good news stories."
“Dearest Father and Almighty Creator, we ask for your grace tonight, despite our pride, your forgiveness, despite our doubt. Most of all, Lord, we ask for your love to soothe us through these dark times. May we face whatever is to come in your divine will with courage and open hearts of acceptance.”
New Yorker: Free Yourself from Literacy, With Emojis
NYTimes: US Officials Report More Than 20 Extinctions
NYTimes: Ancient Footprints Push Back Date of Human Arrival in the Americas
Weather Channel: September's Best Celestial Events
CNBC: FAA Grounds Virgin Galactic's Spacecraft During Investigation of Branson Flight Issues
New Yorker: Desantis Losing Support Among Voters Opposed to Dying
The Atlantic: Grief, Conspiracy Theories, and One Family's Search for Meaning in the Two Decades Since 9/11 - Note as you read: Jet fuel fires (max temp: 1500 degrees) cannot melt steel (min temp: 2500 degrees), just saying.
New Yorker: The Unlikely Rebound of Mainline Protestantism - #Evangelical
New Yorker: The Unexplained Phenomena of the U.F.O. Report
Guardian: US Releases Highly Anticipated UFO Report - Don't dismiss the alien hypothesis. Ignorance is not a national security strategy.
New Yorker: How to Negotiate With Ransomware Hackers
Guardian: I've Seen the Saucers: Obama Weighs In As US Interest in UFOs Rises
New Yorker: How the Pentagon Started Taking UFOs Seriously - "If Mick West [UFO skeptic] feeds the stigma that allows a potential adversary to fly all over your back yard, then, cool—just because it looks weird, I guess we’ll ignore it.” Also see Here, Here, Here and Here.
CNN: Defense Dept Confirms Leaked Video of UFO Is Real and Guardian
New Yorker: How to Negotiate Withe Ransomware Hackers
Classic Me: Tallulah Bankhead From Jaded Sophisticate to Humane Survivor - Famous last words.
Guardian: End of Neanderthals Linked to Flip of Magnetic Poles - "The Earth’s magnetic field has weakened by about 9% over the past 170 years, and the researchers say another flip could be on the cards."
Guardian: Billions of Cicada's Set to Emerge Across Eastern US - Once every 17 years.
New Yorker: Have We Already Been Visited by Aliens? - Facts about Oumuamua on which all astronomer scientists agree:
- It's an 'interstellar object': an object from far beyond our solar system that was just passing through. It's the only interstellar object ever identified.
- It is travelling at about 200,000 mi. per hour - more than 4X faster that any other object in its area.
- It had no tail and there was no evidence of any outgassing. There is no expalnation as to what makes it move.
- "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." But why is that not the standard for dark matter, and dark energy which have never been observed, and string theory and the multiverse for which no empirical evidence exists? Extraordinary conservatism keeps us extraordinarily ignorant.
Carl Sagan: “Look up into the sky some clear, starlit night and allow yourself the freedom to wonder.”
Q&A with Avi Loe. and an article he wrote for Scientific American.
And yet it deviated.
Popular Mechanics: Why Joe Biden Can't Bring His Peloton to the White House
Weather Channel: December Offers One of Year's Best Light Shows
New Yorker: The Skeletons At the Lake - "The idea that Indo-European languages emanated from the Yamnaya homeland was established in 1956, by the Lithuanian-American archeologist Marija Gimbutas. Her view, known as the Kurgan hypothesis—named for the distinctive burial mounds that spread west across Europe—is now the most widely accepted theory about Indo-European linguistic origins.
It’s long been known that, from around 2500 to 2000 B.C., major new artistic and cultural styles flourished in Western and Central Europe.
the DNA of Iberian skeletons dating from this period of transformation told a different story, revealing what Reich describes as the “genetic scar” of a foreign invasion.
In Iberia during this time, the local type of Y chromosome was replaced by an entirely different type. Given that the Y chromosome, found only in males, is passed down from father to son, this means that the local male line in Iberia was essentially extinguished. It is likely that the newcomers perpetrated a large-scale killing of local men, boys, and possibly male infants. Any local males remaining must have been subjugated in a way that prevented them from fathering children, or were so strongly disfavored in mate selection over time that their genetic contribution was nullified. The full genetic sequencing, however, indicated that about sixty per cent of the lineage of the local population was passed on, which shows that women were not killed but almost certainly subjected to widespread sexual coercion, and perhaps even mass rape.
We can get a sense of this reign of terror by thinking about what took place when the descendants of those ancient Iberians sailed to the New World, events for which we have ample historical records. The Spanish conquest of the Americas produced human suffering on a grotesque scale—war, mass murder, rape, slavery, genocide, starvation, and pandemic disease. Genetically, as Reich noted, the outcome was very similar.
Marija Gimbutas hypothesized, men and women held relatively equal places in a peaceful, female-centered, goddess-worshipping society—as evidenced by the famous fertility figurines of the time. She believed that the nomads from the Caspian steppes imposed a male-dominated warrior culture of violence, sexual inequality, and social stratification, in which women were subservient to men and a small number of élite males accumulated most of the wealth and power."
Weather.com: Winter Solstice Rings in Planetary Treat The World Hasn't Seen the Middle Ages
New Yorker: Untangling Andy Warhol
Guardian: Please be Quiet: My Search for a Noise-Free Life
Vox: HGTV's Most Famous Couple Turned Their Hometown into a Shopping Destination. Will More Places Follow?
Parentology: Study Reveals Which Children Become Successful Adults - those who can delay gratification, which is evidence of self-control
High Museum: Way Out There: The Art of Southern Backroads
New Yorker: William Melvin Kelley: The Lost Giant of American Literature
Psychology Today: The Joy of Solitude - loneliness is not so much an objective state of affairs as a subjective state of mind
loneliness is the manifestation of the conflict between our desire for meaning and the absence of meaning from the universe
people with a strong sense of purpose and meaning or simply with a strong narrative, such as Nelson Mandela or St Anthony of the Desert, are protected from loneliness regardless of the circumstances in which they find themselves
St Anthony sought out loneliness precisely because he understood that it could bring him closer to the real questions and value of life. He spent fifteen years in a tomb and twenty years in an abandoned fort in the desert of Egypt before his devotees persuaded him to withdraw from his seclusion to instruct and organize them, whence his epithet, ‘Father of All Monks’ (‘monk’ and ‘monastery’ derive from the Greek, monos, ‘solitary’, ‘alone’). Anthony emerged from the fort not ill and emaciated, as everyone had been expecting, but healthy and radiant, and expired in his hundred and sixth year, which in the fourth century must in itself have counted as a minor miracle.
St Anthony did not lead a life of loneliness, but one of solitude. Loneliness, the pain of being alone, is damaging; solitude, the joy of being alone, is empowering.
solitude frees us to reconnect with ourselves, assimilate ideas, and generate identity and meaning.
For Nietzsche, those without the aptitude or opportunity for solitude are mere slaves because they have no alternative but to parrot culture and society. In contrast, anyone who has unmasked society naturally seeks out solitude, which becomes the source and guarantor of a more authentic set of values and ambitions:
"I go into solitude so as not to drink out of everybody’s cistern. When I am among the many I live as the many do, and I do not think I really think. After a time it always seems as if they want to banish my self from myself and rob me of my soul."
Solitude removes us from the mindless humdrum of everyday life into a higher consciousness which reconnects us with our deepest humanity, and also with the natural world, which quickens into our muse and companion.
For the poet RM Rilke, the highest task of a bond between two people is not merely to tolerate but to ‘stand guard over’ the solitude of the other.
solitude, the joy of being alone, stems from, as well as promotes, a state of maturity and inner richness
not everyone is capable of solitude
Dalí's aim was to use its realism to bring him closer to the spirituality contained in all substances and, therefore, closer to the divine.
Me: Those without the aptitude for solitude are unable to look within and only experience the pain of the absence of meaning from the universe.
Those who can practice solitude have a strong sense of purpose and meaning. It brings them closer to the real questions and value of life. They know how to reconnect to themselves, assimilate ideas, and generate identity and meaning.
Loneliness, the pain of being alone, is damaging; solitude, the joy of being alone, is empowering.
On Being: Brian Greene: Reimagining the Cosmos - This highly entertaining Columbia University theoretical physicist lectures to lay audiences all over the world regarding String Theory, Dark Energy and the Higgs Boson Particle. As he states towards the end of the interview, there is no empirical evidence of String Theory - as he says, it should be called String Hypothesis - and the only partial evidence for Dark Energy is the existence of the Higgs Boson Particle, simply because it is a spin-less particle and spin-less particles have to exist if current theories of Dark Matter are to be consistent. It’s not proof, but it does add a little weight to the theory.
See also "Is There A Link Between Higgs Boson and Dark Energy?"
BBC: How Many People Can the Earth Support?
NYTimes: Gun Control and White Terror
New Yorker: Scientists: Earth Endangered by New Strain of Fact-Resistant Humans
New Yorker: How to Pick a Good Summer Read - humor
Boston Globe: New England's Hidden History
NPR: Fresh Air: Tracking the Companies That Track You Online
Harvard Courant: Complicity: How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited From Slavery
New Yorker: Sonny Rollins Saxophone Colossus
Anthony Bourdain: One Day - and One Night - in the Kitchen at Les Halles
New Yorker: Revisiting the Streets That Spawned Walt Witman's Masterpiece - 99 Ryerson St.
New Yorker: The Case of Eleven Blue Men - "...there is usually a subnormal concentration of sodium chloride in the blood of alcoholics. Either they don’t eat enough to get sufficient salt or they lose it more rapidly than other people do, or both. Whatever the reasons are, the conclusion was all I needed. Any animal whether a mouse or a man, tends to try to obtain a necessary substance that his body lacks. The final question had been answered."
New Yorker: John Hersey: Hiroshima
New Yorker: F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Short Autobiography - "A feeling that all liquor has been drunk and all it can do for one has been experienced, and yet..."
Other Interesting Stuff