May 2, 2019 – Here are some links for your pre & weekend reading. Enjoy. Photo above taken by Ms. Jen in early april while on a walk through Irvine Regional Park in California
What’s the Opposite of a Cellphone Photo?
Fintan O’Toole: Are the English ready for self-government?
Westminster chaos affords preview of Britain standing alone with its demons
Why can’t Trump make deals? No one trusts him anymore
Why Russia’s Economy Is Headed for Trouble
A lack of real reforms and a hyper-dependence on oil has prevented the emergence of a healthy, diverse economy.
The Killing of Hypatia
Instead of shaking all over, I read the newspapers. I listened to the radio. I had my lunch
Excellent long form piece from Irish writer Colm Toibin on cancer.
14,000-Year-Old Piece Of Bread Rewrites The History Of Baking And Farming
How Cheese, Wheat and Alcohol Shaped Human Evolution
Over time, diet causes dramatic changes to our anatomy, immune systems and maybe skin color
Oldest Cheese Ever Found in Egyptian Tomb
Italian researchers also found traces of disease-causing bacteria in what they believe is probably extremely aged cheese.
For the Love of Money
Raw and Red-Hot
Could inflammation be the cause of myriad chronic conditions?
Hashim Aslami Has Just One Word for Afghan Farmers: Saffron
Gene Wolfe Turned Science Fiction Into High Art
He worked as an engineer developing the technology to make Pringles potato chips before embarking on a prolific writing career. Known as the Melville of science fiction and celebrated for his inventive and challenging work, Wolfe died on April 14 at age 87.
The Racial Bias Built Into Photography
Sarah Lewis explores the relationship between racism and the camera.
James Comey: How Trump Co-opts Leaders Like Bill Barr
Accomplished people lacking inner strength can’t resist the compromises necessary to survive this president.
Lunachicks Recall Fighting Sexism with Sisterhood
Running Out of Children, a South Korea School Enrolls Illiterate Grandmothers
As the birthrate plummets in South Korea, rural schools are emptying. To fill its classrooms, one school opened its doors to women who have for decades dreamed of learning to read.
Wed. May 1, 2019 – Happy May Day – be it of the traditional It’s Spring! style of May Day or the 20th Century Workers Unite! style of May Day.
Even with education, activism, and communities making an attempt to keep the skies in the American West dark, the switch over to more energy efficient lighting on and around homes and in street lights have made communities brighter than ever at night.
Two of the ‘rural’ dark sky spots that even a few years ago I could be astounded at how many stars I could see from a house or yard now are nearly washed out with too much light. Two days ago, I asked one of my brother’s neighbors to please turn off their front patio lights when they go to bed, kindly last night they did so but to little avail.
Rather than doing the currently fashionable photography trick of processing an astrophoto within an inch of its life to have an incongruous scene of lit foreground object with AMAZING Milky Way Photo, I have instead processed these photos as my eye saw them.
How did my eye see these two adjacent scenes last night? Bright street lights casting light domes to light up houses and to wash out the night sky to the point where one only really sees the bright stars in a constellation. While the asterisms were clear, but the detail was scrubbed out.
Please folks, go read the resources of what average folk and cities can do at the IDSA and let’s work at making sure that all of us can see the stars on a clear night.
Let’s wipe out light pollution.
Double click on the photo thumbnails for the larger photos. Both photos were taken by Ms. Jen with her Nikon D850 and a Nikon 50mm f/1.4G lens.
02.26.19 – Testing posting to this blog from my phone’s browser, as the official Android WordPress app will not save a post, it just throws error messages. Also, I am testing out an Android app, Photo Exif Editor Pro, that allows one to add exif artist/author data to a photo.
How are we at 2019 and I can’t set my name and preferred copyright into my camera phone’s camera settings to automatically write the data to the exif metadata? Adobe Lightroom for Android does not allow you to make a watermark, although they allegedly do for iOS.
Photo above taken on 01.13.19 at Huntington Cliffs, aka Dog Beach, California, by Ms. Jen with her Ssmsung Note 9.
‘Roma’ star Yalitza Aparicio is so much more than her Oscar fairy tale
Cory Doctorow: Disruption for Thee, But Not for Me
Technological disruption is everywhere from AirBnB to Uber to… Mr. Doctorow hits the nail on the head on the Silicon Valley’s obsession with disrupting industries as toxic, his solution though is a bit hand wavey. I personally never use Uber/Lyft or AirBnB for reason that Cory details out and my own reasons of objection to the disruption of the disruption that makes it worse for everyone. I will write my thoughts up soon.
About Face : Death and surrender to the power in clothing of men.
But really a comic about the rise of lawlessness and fascism in the US. And the creepy black and white American flags.
In Defense of (Studying) Food : A Classical Zooarchaeologist’s Manifesto
Refugees Connect Their Personal Stories with a Museum’s Ancient Artifacts
“The Global Guides program at the Penn Museum hires recent refugees from the Middle East to give personalized tours. The leader of my tour was Moumena Saradar, a refugee from Syria who has lived in Philadelphia for two years.”
A Most American Terrorist: The Making of Dylann Roof
A hard but essential read if you are an American, visit America, or have any hopes for America’s future.
The Insect Apocalypse Is Here : What does it mean for the rest of life on Earth?
I thought I had posted this link last autumn, but a search of my site has shown that I did not. Read it. Insect life is the second layer of foundation, after algae and plankton, on this whole planet. We can’t exist without them, and to kill them or ignore our responsibility in their collapse is horrifying.
Photo Essay: For Jewish Israelis of Yemenite Heritage, Reviving a Past
Pre-wedding henna ceremonies have regained popularity in Israel’s Jewish Yemenite community, an expression of ethnic pride in their heritage and traditions.
Photo of unnamed succulent flower above taken at the Huntington’s Cactus Garden in late January 2019 by Ms. Jen with her Nikon D850 and a 300mm f/4 lens.
Fri. 01.11.19 – Here are a few articles to start your weekend out right. Happy Friday!
* Earth’s magnetic field is acting up and geologists don’t know why
* Memo to conservatives: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez understands taxes better than you do
* A Moral Panic
“The real story of machine learning is not how it promotes home bomb-making, but that it’s being deployed at scale with minimal ethical oversight, in the service of a business model that relies entirely on psychological manipulation and mass surveillance. The capacity to manipulate people at scale is being sold to the highest bidder, and has infected every aspect of civic life, including democratic elections and journalism.”
“Frankly, as long as we continue to view the planet as an endless “resource,” as long as we uphold the rights of individuals and corporations to amass infinite wealth while others go hungry, as long as we continue to believe that governments do not have the responsibility to feed, clothe, house, and educate everyone—all our talk is mere posturing. Why do these simple things scare people so much? It is just common decency. Let’s face it: the free market is not free, and it doesn’t give a shit about justice or equality.”
* Arundhati Roy on How to Think about Empire
“And now we have the era of Trump, in which we learn that intelligence and nuance are relative terms. And that W, when compared to Trump, was a serious intellectual. Now U.S. foreign policy is tweeted to the world on an hourly basis. You can’t get more transparent than that. The Absurd Apocalypse. Who would have imagined that could be possible? But it is possible—more than possible—and it will be quicker in the coming if Trump makes the dreadful mistake of attacking Iran.”
* Why Rashida Tlaib’s “We’re gonna impeach that motherf*cker approach” is good for Congress
“One of those leading that charge is Rashida Tlaib, the new representative from Michigan’s 13th district and one of the two first Muslim women to serve in the House of Representatives – and she is wasting no time in making her voice heard. “We’re gonna go in there,” she said, speaking to the progressive organising group MoveOn just hours after she was sworn in, “and we’re going to impeach the motherfucker.”
This caused the predictable backlash of pearl-clutching from Republican circles, whose faux-outrage at the swear-word would, perhaps, have had more moral weight if they had not spent the previous three years justifying their support for a president who boasted of “grabbing” women “by the pussy,” and attacking Democrats for their “political correctness”.”
Photo of the Snowy Convict Lake Reflections taken by Ms. Jen on 01.08.19 with her Nikon D850 and a Nikon 50mm f/1.4G lens in Mono County, California.
Mon 11.19.18 – Photo of the London bus traveling down an illuminated Regent Street was taken by Ms. Jen with her camera phone this evening while walking down Oxford Street.
Sun. 11.18.18 – Yes, I am back in London to write. I find that I write best here, for a number of reasons both known and rather mysterious to me. When I am home in California, I can muster 2000-4000 words per month, hardly words enough to finish a short story in reasonable time – let alone a book. When I am in London, I can reach that word count in two days or less.
The last two years of US politics have heavily weighed me down and when I get to London, as long as I stay off of the news and social media sites, I am able to feel slightly bouyant again. At least here, I can float in my imagination – unfettered from the fecal matter of US politics – long enough to create and write.
While I am not participating in the NaBloPoMo nor NaNoWriMo, I am doing my best to restart my blogging practice in a more regular fashion – albeit in clumps – as well as finish writing a few stories and a book.
Here I am for a month. Let’s see how much writing and editing I can get done. Wish me luck.
Photo taken by Ms. Jen from the Embankment Golden Jubilee Bridge at dusk with her camera phone.
Fri 11.16.18 – There is something about the quality of light coming through the glass panes of Paddington Station in the late autumn at the end of the afternoon that is really beautiful. Every so often, I am able to capture it in a photo. Here is today’s iteration of this decade plus occasional series.
Photo taken by Ms. Jen with a camera phone after exiting a train at Paddington Station, London, UK.