My old girl, Elsie, loved corn on the cob -- had to watch my plate carefully
you know how oviraptorosaurs are often called “chickenparrots?”
well i recently learned abt the real life chickenparrot: the kili mooku chicken (“parrot beak/nose” in tamil)
i unfortunately dont know as much about them as i’d like since idk tamil well but from what little i understand, they’re a show breed developed in tamil nadu (my state!) who are surprisngly health despite how odd they look! their breed standard also seems to include little to no wattles save a single round comb, so that one comb makes em look even more like oviraptorosaurs!
for non-paleo people, Oviraptor is a genus of non-avian dinosaurs that ranged from cat to pony-sized. Oviraptors are known for their snub faces, and if you look at reconstructions they do look strikingly similar to this chicken breed:
One of my celebrity brushes with greatness... Columbo told my sculpture class to shutup (he was taking a painting class across the hall)
I love Columbo because there’s all these rich white guys who are like “I’m better and smarter and more special than everyone, I deserve to do a free murder! And get away with it too!” So they do some murder, and then this guy shows up
And he looks like a pile of dirty laundry, and he wanders in off the street holding the saddest cup of coffee you’ve ever seen and goes “Hey, sorry to bother you, but I knew it was you who did the murder by shaking your hand. What a lovely home by the way, unbelievable, absolutely gorgeous. Oh and sorry, but I did also trick you into hand delivering damning evidence to me, hope you understand :/ Got a light by the way? Anyone got a light around here, a match er something?”
And then he runs off because his car is getting towed or whatever. It’s great, I fucking love it, and I’d happily watch 10000 episodes of this exact formula :)
hello I hope this isn’t annoying but I was thinking about your post about how harriet porber was written out of love for trans people instead of spite for transphobes and that is just… very important to me. I would have not batted an eye at you saying that the books were written out of spite, like, that is generally how people talk about stuff like this, and I am very used to it, and it’s not bad exactly, but like, it’s kind of soul-numbing. I firmly believe in the importance of centring love in things like this. it’s one thing to know that people hate the people that hate the kind of person you are, but it’s easy to slip underneath that into despair and loneliness and everything. it doesn’t do much to really make me feel safe or good about anything. it’s a lot more impactful to know that there are people that love the kind of person you are. and I have a tendency to think very rigidly, and so I was having a hard time thinking about myself in that way. and seeing someone say that they made art out of love instead of spite was very comforting. not sure where I am going with this, sorry.
thank you bud. i would like to go on record to say it is OK to make art out of spite and rage and envy and all of these other motivators they are all valid and i am not here to tell others their artistic motivations and their fuel is not important. we ALL have our own trot as we create on this timeline that is okay.
HOWEVER it is my advise and personal way to say that I CREATE WITH FUEL OF LOVE and i highly recommend this to others it is my number one advise when asked. love is most powerful force across any timeline. in all layers of reality it is only constant and i believe there is something to this. as artists and creators and SENTIENT BEINGS we exist in opposition to the endless cosmic void. just by taking a single breath we are crying out I AM HERE I EXIST IN DEFIANCE OF NOTHINGNESS.
creation and love are INTERWOVEN in such a powerful way that you might as well say they are the same thing. personally i BELIEVE they are the same thing and once you realize this it is hard to draw on any other artistic fuel.
YOU have the power of the dang big bang and infinite churning suns across infinite timelines sitting RIGHT THERE FOR YOU TO MOLD AND BEND AND USE AND CREATE so reach out and take it. paint a picture or write a poem thats ten thousand words or one word or no words at all. create a walk. create a sandwich for your dang kids before they trot off to school. create a sidewalk with one less piece of trash on it.
if you do this with love it will resonate in ways you cannot imagine
I miss when library books used to have little paper pockets inside with a list of all the people who borrowed it and when… I hate that this is now exclusive knowledge of librarians. I do care that a miss Mariana borrowed this book in 1985 and then Dario in 1997. They’re my brothers and sisters
It’s actually good we don’t do this anymore! Patrons have a right to privacy about what they read, and patron checkout logs have been sought by governments and law enforcement as tools of prosecution.
Librarians were early opposers to The Patriot Act in the United States and would regularly defy FBI orders to view checkout history.
something about this always felt like a Love & Rockets tribute
I headbuitt my boys all day long...
sometimes I have hope for "mankind"
Not me crying over the “Good Night Oppy” documentary on Prime.
I logged in to watch Good Omens and got completely sidetracked and now I’m having emotions over robots and Space. Again.
They engineers keep calling Opportunity “my child” and I’m 😭
Oh no. Well. I guess I’ll be spending part of tomorrow crying as well, because there’s no way I’m not watching that.
Listen. They played music to the rovers every “morning” to wake them up because it’s a tradition to wake astronauts up with music.
And the way their voices all wobbled when they thought Spirit was dead and she came back to life listening to ABBA.
“So when you’re near me, darling
Can’t you hear me, S.O.S.?
The love you gave me
Nothing else can save me, S.O.S.”
I AM UNWELL.
!!!!!!!!!! apparently!!!! which I did not know!!
one thing I DID know is that the line in “Take Me Home, Country Roads” about “Older than the trees / Younger than the mountains” is accurate! the appalachians also predate the existence of trees by something in the neighborhood of 100 million years
Its all about ethics in photojournalism...
We owe it to our commitment to the truth, to not interfere in the story. That is the choice. The moment we act, we are involved with creating the story, and as we become a part of it, it becomes partially about us, and the truth then may never be known. Actors cannot be unbiased. Actors become targets. RIP spaghetti belongings.
Besties and effing with the library...
THIS OLD LADY CALLED US AND SAID “I had a temper tantrum at the library :/“ and I genuinely didn’t know what to say so I asked, “what’s wrong?”
And she says apologetically, “well I THOUGHT y’all had seven books on hold for me but it was only one…but I wouldn’t listen and insisted y’all had seven so I’m afraid I was quite rude.”
And I said something well meaning like “well, we all live and learn, right?”
And then she proceeds to tell me that she called her best friend and confessed, “I’ve made a fool out of myself at the library :/“ and her friend said “no, you were a bitch at the library” and she said, “you’re right, I was an ass,” and then told me that best friends aren’t afraid to set you straight and that she’s been friends with her since 1964 and then oh my gosh and then she said “yeah they’ll call you a bitch but don’t worry, they still love you. I know now not to fuck with the library.”
And she talks like my nana and I’m trying to stifle my laughter and I said in my best stern voice “well now ma’am, I don’t want to seem like I’m encouraging this behavior, but I suppose we can let you check out books again, IF you promise not to cause a ruckus a SECOND time,” and she replied “oh I don’t need encouraging! It comes naturally!”
DON’T FUCK WITH THE LIBRARY AHXKSUCKSJXSKS
“In 1404, King Taejong fell from his horse during a hunting expedition. Embarrassed, looking to his left and right, he commanded, “Do not let the historian find out about this.” To his disappointment, the historian accompanying the hunting party included these words in the annals, in addition to a description of the king’s fall.“
LMFAOOOOOO rip to that guy
i thought maybe this was fake, but there’s even a citation!
Taejong Sillok Book 7. 5th year of King Taejong’s Reign (1404), February 8.
Happy 618th anniversary of the day King Taejong fell from his horse!
Apparently the recorders were really intense about this. We have a record of King Taejong complaining about a recorder who followed him on a hunt in disguise and another who eavesdropped on him behind a screen. No one was allowed to see the records, even the king (one king did and killed five men based on what was written there, after which they took greater care to ensure it would never happen again), and changing the content or disclosing it was a capital punishment. Even when there were rival political factions trying to influence the writers, they wrote down what was a revision and what wasn’t and kept an original version with no revisions in it.
They also made sure to back up their data. They made four copies of it, then when three copies were lost in the Imrim Wars they decided to make five more copies just in case. One copy was destroyed in a rebellion, another was partially damaged in an invasion, and Japan stole one copy during their occupation and moved it to Tokyo University, where it was mostly destroyed in the Kanto Earthquake (47 books remained and were returned to South Korea in 2006). Now the whole thing is digitized, free on the internet, and translated into modern Korean for all to see.
It took centuries of meticulous recorders, justifiably paranoid copiers, absolutely determined historians, and painstaking infrastructure for this joke to be possible. Happy 618th anniversary to the day King Taejong fell from his horse.
My niece has horses, goats, ponies, donkeys, mini-donkeys, and of course doggos -- no kids, but I can imagine her husband deciding that it would be funny to put noodles on the goats.
This is a wild and hopeful story: grad students at Northeastern successfully pushed back against invasive digital surveillance in their workplace, through solidarity, fearlessness, and the bright light of publicity. It’s a tale of hand-to-hand, victorious combat with the “shitty technology adoption curve.”
What’s the “shitty tech adoption curve?” It’s the process by which oppressive technologies are normalized and spread. If you want to do something awful with tech — say, spy on people with a camera 24/7 — you need to start with the people who have the least social capital, the people whose objections are easily silenced or overridden.
That’s why all our worst technologies are first imposed on refugees -> prisoners -> kids -> mental patients -> poor people, etc. Then, these technologies climb the privilege gradient: blue collar workers -> white collar workers -> everyone. Following this pathway lets shitty tech peddlers knock the rough edges off their wares, inuring us all to their shock and offense.
20 years ago, if you ate dinner under the unblinking eye of a CCTV, it was because you were housed in a supermax prison. Today, it’s because you were unwise enough to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for “home automation” from Google, Apple, Amazon or another “luxury surveillance” vendor.
Northeastern’s Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex (ISEC) is home to the “Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute,” where grad students study the harms of surveillance and the means by which they may be reversed. If there’s one group of people who are prepared to stand athwart the shitty tech adoption curve, it is the CPI grad students.
Which makes it genuinely baffling that Northeastern Senior Vice Provost for Research David Luzzi decided to install under-desk heat sensors throughout ISEC, overnight, without notice or consultation. Luzzi signed the paperwork that brought the privacy institute into being.
Students throughout ISEC were alarmed by this move, but especially students on the sixth floor, home to the Privacy Institute. When they demanded an explanation, they were told that the university was conducting a study on “desk usage.” This rang hollow: students at the Privacy Institute have assigned desks, and they badge into each room when they enter it.
As Privacy Institute PhD candidate Max von Hippel wrote, “Reader, we have assigned desks, and we use a key-card to get into the room, so, they already know how and when we use our desks.”
So why was the university suddenly so interested in gathering fine-grained data on desk usage? I asked von Hippel and he told me: “They are proposing that grad students share desks, taking turns with a scheduling web-app, so administrators can take over some of the space currently used by grad students. Because as you know, research always works best when you have to schedule your thinking time.”
That’s von Hippel’s theory, and I’m going to go with it, because Luzzi didn’t offer a better one in the flurry of memos and “listening sessions” that took place after the ISEC students arrived at work one morning to discover sensors under their desks.
This is documented in often hilarious detail in von Hippel’s thread on the scandal, in which the university administrators commit a series of unforced errors and the grad students run circles around them, in a comedy of errors straight out of “Animal House.”
After the sensors were discovered, the students wrote to the administrators demanding their removal, on the grounds that there was no scientific purpose for them, that they intimidated students, that they were unnecessary, and that the university had failed to follow its own rules and ask the Institutional Review Board (IRB) to review the move as a human-subjects experiment.
The letter was delivered to Luzzi, who offered “an impromptu listening session” in which he alienated students by saying that if they trusted the university to “give” them a degree, they should trust it to surveil them. The students bristled at this characterization, noting that students deliver research (and grant money) to “make it tick.”
[Image ID: Sensors arrayed around a kitchen table at ISEC]
The students, believing Luzzi was not taking them seriously, unilaterally removed all the sensors, and stuck them to their kitchen table, annotating and decorating them with Sharpie. This prompted a second, scheduled “listening session” with Luzzi, but this session, while open to all students, was only announced to their professors (“Beware of the leopard”).
The students got wind of this, printed up fliers and made sure everyone knew about it. The meeting was packed. Luzzi explained to students that he didn’t need IRB approval for his sensors because they weren’t “monitoring people.” A student countered, what was being monitored, “if not people?” Luzzi replied that he was monitoring “heat sources.”
Remember, these are grad students. They asked the obvious question: which heat sources are under desks, if not humans (von Hippel: “rats or kangaroos?”). Luzzi fumbled for a while (“a service animal or something”) before admitting, “I guess, yeah, it’s a human.”
Having yielded the point, Luzzi pivoted, insisting that there was no privacy interest in the data, because “no individual data goes back to the server.” But these aren’t just grad students — they’re grad students who specialize in digital privacy. Few people on earth are better equipped to understand re-identification and de-aggregation attacks.
[Image ID: A window with a phrase written in marker, ‘We are not doing science here’ -Luzzi.]
A student told Luzzi, “This doesn’t matter. You are monitoring us, and collecting data for science.” Luzzi shot back, “we are not doing science here.” This ill-considered remark turned into an on-campus meme. I’m sure it was just blurted in the heat of the moment, but wow, was that the wrong thing to tell a bunch of angry scientists.
From the transcript, it’s clear that this is where Luzzi lost the crowd. He accused the students of “feeling emotion” and explaining that the data would be used for “different kinds of research. We want to see how students move around the lab.”
Now, as it happens, ISEC has an IoT lab where they take these kinds of measurements. When they do those experiments, students are required to go through IRB, get informed consent, all the stuff that Luzzi had bypassed. When this is pointed out, Luzzi says that they had been given an IRB waiver by the university’s Human Research Protection Program (HRPP).
Now a prof gets in on the action, asking, pointedly: “Is the only reason it doesn’t fall under IRB is that the data will not be published?” A student followed up by asking how the university could justify blowing $50,000 on surveillance gear when that money would have paid for a whole grad student stipend with money left over.
Luzzi’s answers veer into the surreal here. He points out that if he had to hire someone to monitor the students’ use of their desks, it would cost more than $50k, implying that the bill for the sensors represents a cost-savings. A student replies with the obvious rejoinder — just don’t monitor desk usage, then.
Finally, Luzzi started to hint at the underlying rationale for the sensors, discussing the cost of the facility to the university and dangling the possibility of improving utilization of “research assets.” A student replies, “If you want to understand how research is done, don’t piss off everyone in this building.”
Now that they have at least a vague explanation for what research question Luzzi is trying to answer, the students tear into his study design, explaining why he won’t learn what he’s hoping to learn. It’s really quite a good experimental design critique — these are good students! Within a few volleys, they’re pointing out how these sensors could be used to stalk researchers and put them in physical danger.
Luzzi turns the session over to an outside expert via a buggy Zoom connection that didn’t work. Finally, a student asks whether it’s possible that this meeting could lead to them having a desk without a sensor under it. Luzzi points out that their desk currently doesn’t have a sensor (remember, the students ripped them out). The student says, “I assume you’ll put one back.”
[Image ID: A ‘public art piece’ in the ISEC lobby — a table covered in sensors spelling out ‘NO!,’ surrounded by Sharpie annotations decrying the program.]
They run out of time and the meeting breaks up. Following this, the students arrange the sensors into a “public art piece” in the lobby — a table covered in sensors spelling out “NO!,” surrounded by Sharpie annotations decrying the program.
Meanwhile, students are still furious. It’s not just that the sensors are invasive, nor that they are scientifically incoherent, nor that they cost more than a year’s salary — they also emit lots of RF noise that interferes with the students’ own research. The discussion spills onto Reddit:
Yesterday, Luzzi capitulated, circulating a memo saying they would pull “all the desk occupancy sensors from the building,” due to “concerns voiced by a population of graduate students.”
The shitty technology adoption curve is relentless, but you can’t skip a step! Jumping straight to grad students (in a privacy lab) without first normalizing them by sticking them on the desks of poor kids in underfunded schools (perhaps after first laying off a computer science teacher to free up the budget!) was a huge tactical error.
A more tactically sound version of this is currently unfolding at CMU Computer Science, where grad students have found their offices bugged with sensors that detect movement and collect sound:
The CMU administration has wisely blamed the presence of these devices on the need to discipline low-waged cleaning staff by checking whether they’re really vacuuming the offices.
While it’s easier to put cleaners under digital surveillance than computer scientists, trying to do both at once is definitely a boss-level challenge. You might run into a scholar like David Gray Widder, who, observing that “this seems like algorithmic management of lowly paid employees to me,” unplugged the sensor in his office.
This is the kind of full-stack Luddism this present moment needs. These researchers aren’t opposed to sensors — they’re challenging the social relations of sensors, who gets sensed and who does the sensing.
[Image ID: A flier inviting ISEC grad students to attend an unadvertised ‘listening session’ with vice-provost David Luzzi. It is surmounted with a sensor that has been removed from beneath a desk and annotated in Sharpie to read: ‘If found by David Luzzi suck it.’]
cool graphic of web browser user percentages over the years. I was Other and Opera up to ~2003 and then mostly mozilla/firefox after that
I'm a chili mango addict.
Aldi is the only store where I have ever seen guavas being sold -- they were little tiny ones
Seriously. Friends, if you haven’t tried it yet I 100% recommend.
The store had mango/chili paletas there but they had a thickening agent I’m allergic to, so I was glad the store also had discount mangoes.
Also buddies if you live near an Aldi and have not gone in, this is your sign to go into Aldi and buy mangoes. I typically find that Aldi has a smaller produce section than other stores but that they carry a fucking WILD selection of produce at very good prices. I don’t know what I’d do with a papaya the size of my thigh for two dollars, but the option is there.
Ah, yes. I kinda miss those -25F days... Kinda
“I live in the north of England, I’m used to freezing cold temperatures”
Oh honey. That’s what the pilgrims said. They mostly died.
please please listen/read the transcript to Neil Gaiman on NPR’s Wait Wait Dont Tell me because he talks about this and it’s wonderful!
Here’s the main piece:
SAGAL: Why did you move from England, reputedly cold and dreary, to the upper Midwest? Was England not cold and dreary enough?
GAIMAN: Nobody had really explained the whole cold thing to me.
SAGAL: It was a surprise?
GAIMAN: Well, no. I was arrogant. I was foolish. The English thing where you think you know it all, I thought I understood cold. I thought, okay.
SAGAL: Oh yes.
GAIMAN: Water gets white and fluffy and it falls from the sky. Puddles go hard and slippery. That’s cold.
SAGAL: No problem.
GAIMAN: I did not understand the acres, the depth.
GAIMAN: How much colder it can be. I didn’t understand what it means to walk out of doors and take a deep breath, the hairs in your nose freeze and you go, “Oh, it’s a little below zero.”
GAIMAN: And then that thing that you do when you walk out and you take a deep breath and you cough because it hurt and you go, “Oh, 25 below.”
#true#apparently in American gods when shadow moves to the Midwest and almost dies because he’s an idiot and doesn’t understand how cold works#that was a self insert about NG moving to the Midwest and not knowing how cold works
yeah as a lifelong wisconsinite, i had never really seen my state truly represented in media until that scene the first night in wisconsin when shadow tries to walk somewhere at night and nearly freezes to death
there is a not insubstantial scene in the book where shadow winterizes his windows and i absolutely loved it
neil was definitely traumatized by moving to minnesota
“I killed another houseplant bc of executive dysfunction”
- Evokes helplessness
- Kind of a bummer
“Plagued by demons as I am, my crops have withered yet again”
- Powerful imagery
- Frames you as a gothic protagonist
- Emphasizes that you are hounded by demons
- How fucking cool are demons???
Slutty Witch Origins – 151 days until Halloween!
As the patron saint of Finland, St. Urho is famous for casting the grasshoppers out of the country and saving their grapes. Except, of course, none of that ever happened. St. Urho was invented out of thin air in the 1950s by the manager of a department store in Virginia, Minn.