Monthly Archives: August 2019

18 photos of smiling Victorians, including one smiling dog.

Disinformation & The Murder Of Seth Rich: Journalist Michael Issikoff describes how Fox News, the Republicans, the Trump campaign, Russians, WikiLeaks, Sean Hannity, Steve Bannon, Newt Gingrich, Roger Stone, and other bad guys promoted the lie that Seth Rich was murdered by the Clintons. [Fresh Air]

The Dinosaur Explosion: Since the 1990s there has been a massive unprecedented increase in the number of dinosaur discoveries. [Science Vs]

Man up: Masculinity in American history: Beards became fashionable for men in the 19th Century – elaborate, coiffured whiskers – as more and more men took desk jobs and the country feared feminization.

Remembering Toni Morrison: Fresh Air interviews from 1987, 1992 and 2015.

Journalist Masha Green fled Russia, returned for 20 years, and then fled again. She has “dedicated her career to writing and reporting about Russian society from both within and outside her native country.”

“Masha joined Tyler [Cowen] in New York City to answer his many questions about Russia: why was Soviet mathematics so good? What was it like meeting with Putin? Why are Russian friendships so intense? Are Russian women as strong as the stereotype suggests — and why do they all have the same few names? Is Russia more hostile to LGBT rights than other autocracies? Why did Garry Kasparov fail to make a dent in Russian politics? What did The Americans get right that Chernobyl missed? And what’s a good place to eat Russian food in Manhattan?”

[Conversations With Tyler]

Visiting dead relatives on Google Street View. [Jessie Schiewe] People find solace seeing dead loved ones returned to life by Google Street View. The resurrection is even more bittersweet because the photos show the deceased mowing the lawn and doing other quotidian everyday activities

America's other 'special relationship' remains worth preserving. [Kevin D. Williamson] There’s no case to be made that America benefits by destroying Israel.

Is Philanthropy Good? Billionaire philanthropists promote private profits and political agendas over public good. [Maria Bustillos]

New Yorker staff writer Jia Tolentino writes about how social media shapes identity, public discourse and political engagement, particularly for millennials like herself. She talks about growing up in a Houston megachurch, her devastating year in the Peace Corps, and how religion led her to MDMA. Her new book of essays is “Trick Mirror.” Also: Linguist Geoff Nunberg considers the use of the word “they” as a gender-neutral pronoun. [Fresh Air]

On Beeing: Beekeeping today is big agribusiness, with bees used more to fertilize crop fields than for creating honey. Beekeeping is ancient; 8,000-year-old cave paintings show people gathering wild honey. But the bee population is threatened.

Back to Tumblr

Now that Automattic, which owns WordPress, is buying Tumblr, I’m moving my linkblogging and microblogging there. I’ve got confidence that Tumblr has a future now.

Find me at

You can also find me microblogging at:

19th century young people wooed each other over the telegraph, encountering similar situations to users of dating apps today, nearly 150 years later. [The Secret History of the Future]

Trump’s 'Invasion' Was a Corporate Recruitment Drive

Trump's so-called immigrant “invasion” is a response to decades of recruitment by big agribusiness, who see immigrants – legal and illegal – as a workforce they can easily exploit. The owners of these businesses are Trump donors, so of course they escape prosecution.

Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser, writing at The Atlantic:

No top executive of a major meatpacking company has been arrested for violating immigration, worker-safety, food-safety, antitrust, or environmental laws. The adjectives shameful and disgraceful don’t approach the reality of what is now taking place.

Over the years, I’ve spent time with countless farmworkers and meatpacking workers who entered the United States without proper documentation. Almost all of them were hardworking and deeply religious. They had taken enormous risks and suffered great hardships on behalf of their families. Today workers like them are the bedrock of our food system. And they are now being scapegoated, hunted down, and terrorized at the direction of a president who inherited about $400 million from his father, watches television all day, and employs undocumented immigrants at his golf resorts.

The Black Panthers became one of the first groups in the US to claim gun ownership as a Constitutional right in the 1960s, opposed by conservative groups, who favored gun control. [Backstory]

Here’s the new way I’m going to conclude phone interviews from now on: “Please provide the spelling of your name and contact information. Lets not have a conversation now about whether the PR person will send it to me by email, let’s just do it.”

Podcast: SES Networks Takes ONAP Sky-High SES Networks is leveraging ONAP to automate management of its network of 70 data networking satellites, and let its customers seamlessly integrate into their own terrestrial networks. I talked with CEO JP Hemingway on the Light Reading podcast.