April 15, 2023

At The Sunrise Café...


... you can talk all night.


Those are somewhat intense closeup. Here's the longer view:





"I don't need caffeine. I'm active enough, thank you."

"Teachers nationwide are flummoxed by students’ newfound chess obsession/The fad, fueled by social media stars, has left teachers divided between displeasure and delight."

That's the headline at WaPo.

Why on earth would there be displeasure?
Some teachers have mixed feelings about the clandestine playing of chess in their classes....

Why wouldn't all teachers have unmixed negative feelings about the unauthorized playing of chess in class? 

Justine Wewers, a high school geography teacher... wishes her students would stop clicking to Chess.com on their Chromebooks and iPhones mid-lesson, as roughly one-third of her 150 ninth-graders... try to do each day...

"Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. issued an order on Friday temporarily ensuring that a common abortion pill would remain widely available..."

"... while the Supreme Court considered whether to grant the Biden administration’s emergency request to preserve the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the drug. The order was meant to maintain the status quo while the justices studied the briefs and lower court rulings, and it did not forecast how the court would ultimately rule... [Justice Alito] instructed the groups challenging the F.D.A.’s approval of the abortion drug, mifepristone, to file their brief by Tuesday at noon. The stay itself is set to expire on Wednesday at midnight...."

"The streets are paved with pudding-pies/Nay, powdered-beef and bacon/They say they scorn to tell you lies/Who thinks it is mistaken?"

"The lofty buildings of this place/For many years have lasted/With nutmegs, pepper, cloves, and mace/The walls are there rough casted/In curious hasty-pudding boiled/And most injenious carving/Likewise they are with pancakes tied/Sure, here’s no fear of starving/The captain says: 'In ev’ry town/Hot roasted pigs will meet ye/They in the streets run up and down/Still crying out: "Come eat me"'/... The fountains flow with brandy/The rocks are like refinèd gold/The hills are sugar-candy...."

So goes "An Invitation to Lubberland," a 17th-century ballad, discovered this morning after observing that the sunrise looked like a strip of bacon:


That got us talking about the vision of a world made of food in the song "Big Rock Candy Mountain." What a delight it is to the hobo who tells the story. He's hungry now, but if everything were made of food, it would soon become a horror show. There'd be nothing but food. 
There's a lake of stew
And of whiskey too

I like the sunrise reflected on water. On stew? Not so much.

Consider the first trout lilies of the spring...


... they toil not...

"Each time Ed had another encounter with his 'pal, the surgeon'—whom he did not begrudge for having 'to maintain his skills'..."

"... he’d promise to quickly 'be back with fervor at the drawing board, conjuring up malevolent, wicked delights and pleasures for your eyes.' And sure enough, his shaggy Vermonters and Manhattanites, his farmers’-market devotees and NPR donors—by way of ​​Snuffleupagus by way of Daumier—whose pretensions and obsessions he affectionately lampooned, would soon be parading into my in-box. In his final months, he didn’t have the energy to draw as large, or with such obsessive, scratchy detail, as before, but he still couldn’t resist reworking one final cartoon—featuring the Grim Reaper, as a poet—before sending it off to me last week.... On a recent call with Ed, when I expressed awe at the fact that he was still sending in cartoons for me to review, he quoted Mark Twain: 'The secret source of Humor itself is not joy but sorrow.' Neither of us mentioned the second half of that line—'there is no humor in heaven.'"

"TIKTOK IS THE NEEDLE, SHEIN IS THE DRUG.... TikTok and Shein, controlled by the [Chinese Communist Party], are trying..."

"... to capture an entire generation of American youth. And in a way, they already have.” 

"The Montana House of Representatives on Friday approved a total ban on TikTok inside the state..."

"The legislation, which would also bar app stores from carrying TikTok, the wildly popular viral video app, was approved 54 to 43 in the last of two votes in the State House. The State Senate passed it in March.... Montana will be in uncharted territory if it tries to ban the app. A trade group funded by Apple and Google has said the companies cannot stop app downloads in a single state. Critics of the legislation say that TikTok users could disguise their location to maintain access to the app, and that the ban may be hard to enforce in border towns.... The American Civil Liberties Union and other free speech groups have said the bill violates the First Amendment rights of Montanans who use the app."

Here's the top comment at the Times: "I might suggest that the Montana State House tech gurus contact their counterparts in China. They are far more experienced in throttling apps, prosecuting developers and penalizing users of consumer software offerings."

The ACLU notes the free speech violation, and Apple and Google — saying that they can't stop downloads in a single state — are setting up the argument that it violates the dormant Commerce Clause

I think Governor Gianforte has the background to see multiple reasons to veto this bill. Wikipedia:

April 14, 2023

Sunrise — 6:14, 6:19:17, 6:19:22, 6:20.





Sunrise — 6:00.


"As it turns out, the rich are drawn to exorbitant prices like moths to a flame — and so it was after I bumped my rates up..."

"... to three figures that the app started delivering me one bejeweled Bichon after another. I’d drag a suitcase onto the subway and, for weeks at a time, live in some stranger’s sprawling penthouse. I dogsat a schnauzer for a real estate tycoon who I was certain had CCTV cameras trained on me in the bedroom as I slept; a nervy, Xanax-needing French bulldog for a Hollywood bigwig; a trio of overweight dachshunds that had never stepped foot* on the street below, having been trained, rather horrifically, to do their business on the balcony.... Over [a] decade I twirled through hundreds of lives... but I learned nothing about what it meant to care for — to raise — another living creature. That didn’t happen until the pandemic hit, when an animal shelter I volunteered with asked if I could foster a frightened, deer-eared mutt who’d just had a front leg amputated.... Poca is deeply wary around other dogs, which is what finally brought my moonlighting as an on-call caretaker for New York City’s Fidos and Bellas and Discos to a close."

I'm reading the badly titled "Why People Are Fleeing Blue Cities for Red States" by David Brooks.

It's badly titled because Brooks is extolling the combination of blue cities and red states:
Republicans at the state level provide the general business climate, but Democrats at the local level influence the schools, provide many social services and create a civic atmosphere that welcomes diversity and attracts highly educated workers. Very often the conservative state authorities are at war with the more liberal city authorities over things like minimum wage laws and L.G.B.T.Q. rights. But, at least for right now, the red-blue mash-up seems to work.

But Brooks would like it if one party would embrace the entire range of what he thinks works: "conservative-leaning on business matters and more liberal-leaning on things like education, immigration and work force development." 

"Okay, Crackerby."

I'm searching the Life Magazine archive for 1960s articles about Mary Quant. (Mary Quant died yesterday.) There's one in particular that I think I remember.

I haven't found what I'm looking for yet, but I did stop and marvel at a page of the September 17, 1965 issue, where ABC-TV is running a contest that draws attention to 4 of its new TV shows, one of which is hilariously unfamiliar:

Sunrise with duck.

IMG_0851 2

6:09 a.m.

What to Do if a Ghost Friends You.

Oh! I'm misreading!

Mundane advice for if a friend ghosts you: "Sometimes it’s obvious a friend is done with you... But often, friendships simply peter out.... [C]onsider the possibility that your friend isn’t deliberately ghosting you; life simply got in the way."

To extrapolate the advice to the question what to do if a ghost friends you: Sometimes it’s obvious a deceased person is not done with you. Often, friendships last forever. Consider the possibility that the ghost isn’t deliberately friending you; death simply got in the way.

"Who is Jack Teixeira, the man arrested over Pentagon files leak?"

The Guardian asks.

We're told:

"Once the only major economy to ban casinos..."

"Japan approves building of first casino/First casino complex to be built in Osaka after ban was lifted despite fears about gambling addiction" (The Guardian).
Japan is a nation of keen gamblers....

Much is spent on horse, speedboat, motorcycle and keirin bicycle racing and on pachinko. We're told "2.8 million people – about 2.2% of the population" have a "gambling addiction." 

To address those concerns, Japanese citizens will have to pay a ¥6,000 fee [$45] for every 24 hours they spend in the casino, with a portion of the fee earmarked for gambling addiction measures....
Aside from addiction concerns, what about architecture concerns? Here's the seasick cruise-ship design:

"Young women at the time were turning their backs on the corseted shapes of their mothers, with their nipped waists and ship’s-prow chests — the shape of Dior..."

"... which had dominated since 1947. They disdained the uniform of the establishment — the signifiers of class and age telegraphed by the lacquered helmets of hair, the twin sets and heels, and the matchy-matchy accessories — the model for which was typically in her 30s, not a young gamine like Ms. Quant."

Thank you, Mary Quant! Thanks for the great joy of the very best fashion — in my subjective experience — the most fun, the most relief from formality and stodginess.

And thanks to the NYT writer, Penelope Green, for coming up with "nipped waists and ship’s-prow chests" to express so concisely what felt great to rebel against.

Futurism was much cheekier then:

April 13, 2023

At the Thursday Night Café...

 ...  you can talk about whatever you want.

"A fantasy persists, in the popular imagination, of sperm as Olympic swimmers, racing toward an egg that passively awaits fertilization."

"Clancy and Hazard are both keen to complicate this simplistic picture of conception. Sperm are drawn in by uterine waves, Clancy asserts, 'a special type of muscle contraction that helps control the speed at which sperm reach the egg, propelling them on a journey that would otherwise be too long for them to make on their own.' Hazard also emphasizes the organ’s strength. 'The womb is a muscle,' she writes. 'We can compare it quite accurately to a clenched fist, not only in size, but in power.'"

What simplistic pictures are you keen to complicate in the name of womanly self-esteem?

"So now the Bud-lash is a whole thing, as is the backlash to the Bud-lash."

Writes Emily Stewart (at Vox), voxsplaining the fuss over Dylan Mulvaney and Bud Light.
Radio personality Howard Stern said he’s “dumbfounded” at all the hullabaloo, wondering on air, with regard to Kid Rock and [Travis] Tritt, “Why do you care so much?” ...
Anheuser-Busch, which is getting a ton of earned media out of this, appears to largely be riding the wave.... 

"I possibly cheated on my wife once. Alone in a room, a young woman reached out her hands and seductively groped mine..."

"... inviting me to engage and embrace her. I went with it. Twenty seconds later, I pulled back and ripped off my virtual reality gear. Around me, dozens of tech conference goers were waiting in line to try the same computer program an exhibitor was hosting. I warned colleagues in line this was no game. It created real emotions and challenged norms of partnership and sexuality. But does it really? And who benefits from this?"
Writes Zoltan Istvan in "Don't Bash Digisexuality. For Some, It Brings Hope" (Newsweek).

Bob Dylan broke from his well-established "Rough and Rowdy Ways" tour set list and played The Grateful Dead song "Truckin'"....

... last night in Tokyo, Japan:

It says that's the first time Dylan has ever played "Truckin’." "Truckin'" is one of the songs he wrote about in "The Philosophy of Modern Song": 

Biden has been calling out "Don't jump!" for a long time.

On April 3rd, responding an RNC Research tweet — "In Philadelphia, Biden stops and randomly yells: 'Don't jump!'" — I blogged "It's not random. It's his sense of humor. Interestingly sadistic."

This morning, I saw email from a reader telling me that Biden had called out "Don't jump!" again — this time, in Ireland.

Searching for this new event, I ran across this:

Biden calls out "Don't jump!" all the time! Well, at least it's not evidence of dementia, which is what his antagonists love to point at. It's more just an old man's idea of how to be funny — ridiculous repetitiveness. He'll say it every damned time. Here, I go again!

"Are you now, or have you ever been a member of the Grateful Dead?"

That's the top-rated comment on this Reddit post:

I liked this comment, which reminds me I've got to get around to finishing "The Philosophy of Modern Song":

You never see a spoiler alert on an obituary.

But this is the most compelling case for one that I have ever noticed. Please, if you haven't seen the excellent movie "Heavenly Creatures" — directed by Peter Jackson, starring Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey — don't click forward. Watch the movie first! I know you won't. You've gone this long without seeing it. And what a story. You might as well click through.

April 12, 2023

The lakeshore at sunrise and late afternoon.

6:24 a.m.:


The woods at 4:09 p.m.:

IMG_0818 2

That's bloodroot. 

"Perfect illustration of how scumbag reporters lie...."

"Bali is part of a growing number of popular travel destinations fed up with overtourism."

"Hawaii is considering a bill to dissolve its government-sponsored tourism marketing agency. Amsterdam has been trying to reduce rowdy tourist behavior in its Red Light District, rolling out a ban on pot-smoking on the streets there, reducing hours for restaurants and brothels, and tightening some alcohol restrictions. Italian authorities have been fining tourists in Rome, Florence and Venice for littering, camping, vandalism and traffic violations.... 'We have a lot of tolerance here … but it’s this behavior of I am the more important person. Look at me,' said Fatmawati, an Indonesian personal assistant... 'It’s disgusting — people are tired of it. I’m tired of it.'"

"But he's also responsible for my single most-favorite one-panel cartoon ever."

"According to one widely held theory... the natural world encourages even the jumpiest among us to relax..."

"... slowing the onslaught of internal ruminations about every pressing concern, and letting our whirring brains quiet. In this telling, nature provides what scientists call 'soft fascination'... [I]t holds our attention without demanding constant intellectual processing. Our overtaxed attention can reset, and afterward, we can concentrate and reason more readily.... [R]esearchers found that exercising in urbanized outdoor settings — which they defined as commercial districts, downtowns, and other built-up areas with few trees or other natural elements — tended to be less beneficial for people’s mental health than similar exercise in greener, untrammeled environments, like parks and forests.... [P]eople reported feeling considerably more tranquil after walking or gently jogging for about 15 minutes through parks or similar spaces, but less so when the exercise lasted for 40 minutes or longer, or was draining...."

Are people really so "jumpy" and "overtaxed"? I walk or run outdoors nearly every day — sometimes more than once and my short run is more than 40 minutes — and I could give you a few reasons why I do this, but none of it is about being jumpy or having "overtaxed attention."

"Clarence Thomas’s Billionaire Friend Is No Nazi/He has a signed copy of Mein Kampf. That doesn’t mean he admires Hitler."

Writes Graeme Wood in The Atlantic.
[O]ne can make out statues [Harlan] Crow has collected from countries ravaged by political violence: Nicolae Ceaușescu, the general secretary of the Romanian Communist Party; Lenin and Stalin; Enver Hoxha of Albania; the Hungarian Communist Béla Kun. These authentic specimens were harvested from the wreckage of collapsed tyranny, and they are kept in the condition in which they were found....

"Melania Trump has always been a cipher. Is Donald Trump’s wife a reserved, apolitical woman who just wants us all to 'Be Best' and leave her alone?"

"Or is the partner of the biggest bully in American politics a nasty schemer herself? While the former First Lady doesn’t say much, we do know she isn’t afraid to publicly swat her husband’s hand away; she doesn’t 'give a fuck about Christmas stuff'; she occasionally offered the president inane political advice; and she wore a jacket featuring an offensive message during a trip to visit child migrants impacted by her husband’s cruel immigration policies. Melania’s response to Donald Trump being arraigned in New York last week on felony charges related to hush money for his alleged mistress Stormy Daniels is similarly confounding."

Writes Margaret Hartmann, in "Really Don’t Understand This Melania Trump News, Do U?" (NY Magazine).

Apparently, she's the one who doesn't need you to understand. You can understand that.

"Artists hid themselves in the aftermath of 1989. We would visit them in very hidden places, looking at the paintings with a torch in a staircase or a parking lot."

Said Myriam Ullens — "a pastry chef who married a billionaire Belgian aristocrat and turned his fortune into a globe-spanning source of philanthropy" — about the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing, "the first international-standard museum in China dedicated to contemporary art."

She is quoted in "Myriam Ullens, 70, Philanthropic Baroness, Is Killed/A stepson was held on charges of shooting her over family money. She started institutions in Belgium, Nepal and China, including a major museum in Beijing" (NYT).

The stepson turned himself in, and the police "proceeded to the home of Ms. Ullens and her husband, Guy Ullens, where they found her dead in a Volkswagen and Mr. Ullens beside her, in a state of shock, with a wounded leg."

"What was unique about the Cornell situation is they rapidly turned in a response that was a 'hard no.'"

"There was no level of kowtowing. It was a very firm defense of what it means to get an education."

The student assembly voted unanimously that it "implores all instructors to provide content warnings on the syllabus for any traumatic content that may be discussed," and the university president Martha E. Pollack, vetoed the resolution, the first use of this veto in more than 20 years.

The students' use of the word" implores" makes it sound like a mere request, but there was also the resolution that "students who choose to opt-out of exposure to triggering content will not be penalized, contingent on their responsibility to make up any missed content."

"Donald Trump has vowed he would 'never drop out' of next year’s presidential race, even if he is convicted on criminal charges...."

"'I’d never drop out,' Trump told Carlson yesterday. 'It’s not my thing. I wouldn’t do it'" (London Times).
The former president claimed staff and officers at the lower Manhattan courthouse where he was booked were visibly emotional. 
“They were incredible,” said Trump. “When I went to the courthouse, which is also a prison in a sense, they signed me in and I’ll tell you people were crying, people that . . . professionally work there, that have no problems putting in murderers and they see everybody.”

And he had this to say about Macron's trip to China: “You got this crazy world, it’s blowing up and the United States has absolutely no say. And Macron, who’s a friend of mine, is over with China, kissing his ass. ‘OK, in China!’ I said. ‘France is now going to China!’”


April 11, 2023

At the Tuesday Night Café…

 … you can talk about whatever you want. 

"Rather than allowing the criminal process to proceed in the ordinary course, Chairman Jordan and the committee are participating in a campaign of intimidation, retaliation and obstruction."

Said Alvin Bragg, quoted in "Bragg Sues Jim Jordan in Move to Block Interference in Trump Case/Mr. Jordan, a Republican from Ohio, had subpoenaed a former prosecutor who worked on the Manhattan district attorney’s investigation into former President Donald J. Trump" (NYT).

Why not allow the congressional proceedings to proceed in the ordinary course? Why not allow the 2024 presidential campaign to proceed in its ordinary course? 

Whose "ordinary course" has the right of way in this busy intersection? 

A federal judge might decide. (Bragg is asking a federal judge to decide to give the Manhattan D.A. priority over the House Judiciary Committee.) But is that in the ordinary course of federal court jurisdiction? 

"The average person who’s looking at this stuff, I don’t think they care. I don’t expect the person I’m looking at online to be the person they say they are."

"I’m not going to meet this person in real life... At the end of the day, if they’re not real, who really cares?"

Said an unnamed AI user, quoted in "'Claudia’ offers nude photos for pay. Experts say she’s an AI fake. Will users feel ripped off as image-generating AI tools fuel a new wave of porn and scams?" (WaPo).

Isn't it better if real human beings are not used in making porn? 

"[W]ho really cares?" I suppose some people care, just like you might care if a movie has real-life stunts or CGI animation. You like thinking that somebody really did that.  

A separate problem is "inpainting," which works the face of a real person onto the AI-created body.

"Right now, children online have zero protections in regard to their privacy, in regard to their labor, in regard to the income they’re generating for their family."

"If people are going to use children this way, these children deserve protections, just the way child stars have. Imagine being one of these kids and having every single day of your life exploited on a family vlog, and getting to be 18 and seeing nothing in your bank account. Or every moment of your life being monetized and commercialized, the invasion of privacy goes so deep." 

There are so many issues mixed together here.

The first backyard turkey of spring.

"Bud Light vice president of marketing Alissa Heinerscheid said she was inspired to update the 'fratty' and 'out-of-touch' humor of the beer company..."

"... with 'inclusivity' in a March 30 interview with the podcast 'Make Yourself At Home' podcast. But her effort to be inclusive excluded the people who matter most — Bud Light drinkers, according to St. Louis-area operator John Rieker. 'It's kind of mind-boggling they stepped into this realm,' Rieker, who owns Harpo's Bar and Grill in Chesterfield, Missouri, told FOX Business. 'You're marketing to an audience that represents a fraction of 1% of consumers while alienating the much larger base of your consumers.'"

I'm reading "Bud Light suffers bloodbath as longtime and loyal consumers revolt against transgender campaign/'In Bud Light's effort to be inclusive, they excluded almost everybody else,' says a St. Louis bar owner" (Fox Business).

I've been staying out of this tempest in a teapot brouhaha in a beer can. Too much jackassery. But the phrase "the 'fratty' and 'out-of-touch' humor of the beer company" caught my attention and I want to say a few things. 

"A Sex Scandal Tanked A Presidential Front-Runner In The 1980s. Why Not Today?"

An annoying headline at FiveThirtyEight.

I haven't read this article yet. I want to state up front 2 of the reasons why I am annoyed.

1. "Sex Scandal" — The current criminal charges against Trump are not a sex scandal. We absorbed a long time ago that he has indulged in extramarital sex. He's charged with falsifying records of payments to one of his sex partners in pursuit of some amorphous criminal end having to do with winning the 2016 election. The case does depend on the premise that Trump believed voters would react strongly to knowing he'd had consensual sex with a porn star. The criminal case itself isn't a sex scandal. And it's the criminal case that is happening now and that might make us wonder why it's not hurting him today. 

2. "Tanked A Presidential Front-Runner" — I presume the 80s front-runner was Gary Hart. Gary Hart quit. Donald Trump will not quit. By making "sex scandal" the subject of the sentence, you act as though it's a force that is doing things to people. But these 2 men have made their own decisions, and if Gary Hart had had more of a Donald Trump mentality, he would have barreled on, said whatever he needed to say, distracted however he could, and maintained endless vitality and optimism. The man quit

Okay, now I'll read the article. Some excerpts:

"Not that I am trying to keep this garden of Eden moment to myself, but hordes of tourists tend to trample things out here in the desert, destroying what they [come] out here to enjoy."

Do you travel to see wildflowers? How far? Do you go to famous places and accept — and contribute to — the crowds or do you have places you and few others know? If the latter, are these places that other people would travel to if they knew? If yes, are you afraid of Instagrammers and NYT reporters who might make your place popular? If no, are you happy that your place is a step down from what would motivate the mob?

April 10, 2023

Sunrise — 6:31.


"As a theme, fatigue is so extensive, and so intrinsic to the fact of being alive, that demarcating where it begins or ends is no simple task."

"One can imagine a Borgesian fable in which a fatiguologist, bent upon covering every aspect of the topic, dies of sheer inanition with the project incomplete. The more encyclopedic the mission, the stricter the boundaries that need to be set; if you’re expecting 'A History of Fatigue' to begin with the Iliad—whose protagonists are pre-wiped, having battled for nine years before the action of the poem gets under way—you are doomed to disappointment. Nothing about the ancient world, it would seem, appeals to Vigarello. He doubtless believes that everyone back then was brimming with juice and zip, and that if Achilles harried Hector three times around the walls of Troy it’s because both guys needed the exercise."

Writes Anthony Lane, "The Exhausting History of Fatigue Having too much to do can be tiring; having nothing to do may be worse" (The New Yorker). Lane does not like the book, "A History of Fatigue" by Georges Vigarello, but I enjoyed the review, and fatigue is an interesting subject.

And I learned a word... or, at least, "inanition" seems like a new word to me. It is — according to the OED — "The action or process of emptying; the condition of being empty; spec. the exhausted condition resulting from want or insufficiency of nourishment."

I checked the 19-year history of this blog, and "inanition" did appear once. It was in a quote from... you could almost guess and have a good shot at getting it right...

I find it hard to believe this is the greatest film noir...

... but it's #1 on Slant Magazine's top 100 film noirs, but after all these years I finally watched "In a Lonely Place":

It's not even my favorite film noir from 1950 with a lead character named Dix.

But it was watchable, and that was certainly Bogart. And he really does say, "I was born when she kissed me. I died when she left me. I lived a few weeks while she loved me."

Deplorable fakery or typical internet humor that anyone with a brain is supposed to get?

"Endless"... it's been one week.

I'm trying to read "Jill Biden’s gaffe about women’s basketball and its endless fallout/Sports is usually a safe zone for the first lady. But her suggestion that both the winning and losing teams visit the White House prompted a week of outrage" by Jada Yuan (WaPo). 

You want some generally applicable rule that outrage must die after one week?

And the complaint here is that Jill's gaffe was ridiculed on "Saturday Night Live." The championship game was on a Sunday and the ridicule took place on the very next Saturday. Is SNL supposed to bypass all outrages that take place on a Sunday?

Commenter comments on comments.

On yesterday's "Easter sunrise with voices," lonejustice said:

"Our landlord at SF HQ says we're legally required to keep sign as Twitter & cannot remove 'w', so we painted it background color. Problem solved!"

Tweeted Elon Musk, quoted in "Elon Musk painted over the 'w' on Twitter's sign at its San Francisco headquarters, changing it to 'Titter'" (Yahoo).

I'm reading this because I saw, on Twitter, that "titter" was trending. I clicked over there and Twitter did not filter out the pornographic pictures the trend had inspired. I looked at one picture too long because I had trouble seeing and believing what I was looking at.

Why isn't Twitter filtering out this sort of thing? Did Musk want to inspire the childish people who see the word "titter" — which means laugh — and think of breasts? Given the failure to screen out the photos I saw, I'm going to say yes. 

"In the course of trying to build a social-media company, Twitter ended up with a piece of infrastructure."

"It was important to a wide range of people and institutions, but that importance was derived from their collective, often begrudging presence. Twitter’s longtime bet was that more aggressive paths to monetization would destroy what it did have, driving away users and leaving shareholders with even less to be happy about. So it muddled along. And then came Elon. From the start, Musk made an opposite bet. Rather than worrying about driving people away, he started coming up with ways to charge them.... To users, Twitter’s recent changes tend to read more like threats than invitations. In the broader internet and media ecosystem, Twitter is taking the platform equivalent of a hard isolationist turn and shutting down its borders...."

Oh, no. No no no no no. Can we not have one patch of sunshine in this world?

It's 50 years since Picasso died, and a lot of people are using the occasion to womansplain what a bad boyfriend/husband he was.

But this "land artist," Dario Gambarin, has had a tractor plow an enlarged version of a Picasso self-portrait into the land in Castagnaro, Verona. 

I will resist womansplaining how this effort at art instantiates toxic masculinity.

Get off.

After reading their comments section, the NYT editors must wish they'd put scare quotes around "just."

I've read "$388 in Sushi. Just a $20 Tip: The Brutal Math of Uber Eats and DoorDash/Delivery drivers were hailed as pandemic heroes. But they say the rise of contactless delivery has made customers less inclined to tip generously and gig work is becoming an even harder way to make a living" (NYT).

The article tells a tale of struggle from the point of view of drivers who pass up low-cost meals and wait for the expensive kind. Virtually every commenter makes the same point.

April 9, 2023

Easter sunrise.


IMG_0790 2

Open thread in the comments. You don't have to limit yourself to the topic of sunrises and Easter, but notice the outstretched orange arc rising around the sun. That is unusual and suggests, along with Easter, that you might want to look for what is uplifting.

"It was a very valuable experience to me, and a lesson that ideas, no matter how vile, should be argued, defended, and defeated in public."

Writes Vesuviano in the most-liked comment at the NYT on the article "At Stanford Law School, the Dean Takes a Stand for Free Speech. Will It Work?" 

The article is the subject of my first post of the day, but I wanted to give this fantastic comment its own post:

"While reading 'Spring Rain: A Life Lived in Gardens,' by Marc Hamer, I often found myself wondering how old its author was..."

"... in part because the arc of the book follows Hamer getting too old to work as a gardener anymore. However, I hesitated to research his age. In Chapter 10, titled 'Gardener,' Hamer mentions the discovery, in 2006, of the world’s oldest living creature, a clam. The clam, named Ming, was five hundred and seven years old. It had been found off the coast of Iceland, and died when the scientists who discovered it tried to ascertain its age."

"Timothée Chalamet is ready to play Bob Dylan on the big screen and he will be doing his own singing."

Deadline reports.

“It’s such an amazing time in American culture and the story of Bob — a young 19-year-old Bob Dylan coming to New York with like two dollars in his pocket and becoming a worldwide sensation within three years,” [said Chalamet]. “First being embraced into the family of folk music in New York and kind of outrunning them at a certain point as his star rises so beyond belief.”

Meanwhile, at Meadhouse....

Easter sunrise with voices.


Christians — heard but not seen — are gathered around a fire and begin their ritual with a familiar hymn, one I've played many times for myself, through headphones, right at this spot, at other sunrises. Birds accompany.

ADDED: From the Wikipedia article "Bunessan":

"Are 10 minutes of shouting out of an hour-and-a-half-long event too much? That is a matter of judgment and degree."

Said Nadine Strossen, a former head of the American Civil Liberties Union, quoted in "At Stanford Law School, the Dean Takes a Stand for Free Speech. Will It Work? After a student protest, Jenny S. Martinez wrote a much-praised memo defending academic freedom. But that protest shows how complicated protecting free speech can be" (NYT).
If you get the balance wrong, Ms. Strossen said, then you risk chilling speech on the other side....
Ms. Strossen said she was struck that [a week later, when she appeared on a panel at Yale], there were no protesters of any kind. “I worry that maybe the reason that there weren’t even nondisruptive protests,” she said, “is students were too afraid that they would be subject to discipline or doxxing.” 
Strossen spoke at Stanford in January, a guest of the Federalist Society. That was 2 months before the famously disrupted visit by Judge Kyle Duncan. Strossen says that Tirien Steinbach, the associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion — widely criticized for her handling of the Duncan event — moderated her event. According to Strossen, "That took some courage." It was "extraordinary."

Pause a moment to absorb that.