Atlas Obscura: House of Eternal Return.
Santa Fe’s latest attraction gets Atlas Obscura’s attention. So if you wonder where ol’ George has been spending his time (rather than writing), you need look no farther.
Guardian.UK: Doctors in US incorrectly prescribe antibiotics in nearly a third of cases.
New Republic: How Literature Became Word Perfect.
Don’t forget daisywheels and pin-feed paper! I temped WP for a while in NYC, making $16/18 an hour in 1983, after being injured on a blue-collar job. Weekends were doubletime ($32) and ‘lobster’ was triple ($48). The law firms, Wall Street and news organizations were hard up for trained operators. Check the NY Times want ads on microfilm from the time. ‘Twas great money. I lived high off the hog, even had cars provided to drive me home when working OT. In the process discovered out my affinity for computing ... completely changing my career goals. I not only could use ‘em, I found I could streamline human workflows to make the most out of ‘em. I intrinsically understood their logic; started swapping logic boards to fix broken systems ... learning the operating systems of every unattended computer in any office I frequented. That ultimately proved to be my ticket.
Hmmm. Just remembering the ones I temped on: Singer (!), Xerox, Wang, NEC, DEC, CPT, Tandy, Apple (II, III, Lisa, Mac), IBM PC, Amtext-Jacquard, Jacquard, more. I think what modern historians forget, is that word processing was alive and well long before the personal computer and Mac/Win software. Too many articles only view through a lens of WordStar, WordPerfect, MS Word. The dedicated systems were *much* faster, until the Laserwriters started to pick up speed and were able to be networked. Laserwriter quality became demanded at management level first, the volume-users still depended on daisywheel/pinfeed for at least a couple of years after [dot matrix printers - meh]. The wonderful thing about dedicated (not PC) systems is that they had specific buttons for every function, rather than more cumbersome key-combinations on a “Swiss-Army-Knife” PC. WordStar was legendary for arcane and extensive combos - the joke on Wall Street was that you could tell a WordStar user by the fact they wore sandals to work ... they needed their toes to manage some of the key combos. And no temp agency held you to the 25-WPM requirement if you claimed to be able to temp on WordStar. *Any* WPM was considered ‘good enough’ to send out to a job.
I still wish for a configurable, modular keyboard setup. One for Photoshop, one for FCPX, etc. etc.
Archaeology News Network: Influence of religion and predestination on evolution and science.
“The author notices that despite conclusions that evolution is not a linear process, biologists have never stopped seeing and contemplating ‘preadaptations’ and ‘regressive evolution’, when speculating on phenomena such as the lack of eyes in some exclusively cave-dwelling animals. Such choice of words can be easily traced back to assumptions of linearity and, therefore, predestination, common for various religions.” Western Civ permeates.
Vox: Bookslut’s founder on shuttering the website, why American publishing is “repulsive”.
“... her unapologetic frankness is a reminder of the spirit of forthright criticism that made Bookslut great. It will be sorely missed.” Yes, indeed. Another archetypal blog gone.
Atlas Obscura: Safe Zones For Exchanging Internet Purchases Are Popping Up Around the U.S.
Good idea. I bought a used piece of photo equipment over CompuServe (back in the Stone Age), and met the seller at a rest stop on the southern portion of the NJ Turnpike. Skeevy as all hell - didn’t realize how clandestine it would feel until I actually arrived. Probably considered sexist of me, but for a woman alone - highly unadvisable.
Mashable: Small enough to fit in your pocket, this device can tell if your food is gluten-free.
Expensive, but compared to losing three days of work ... ?
NY Times: What Is the Met Gala, and Who Gets to Go?
The Atlantic: The Average 29-Year-Old.
“The median income at 29 is about $35,000. Talk of a steady ‘career’ for most young people is more aspirational than descriptive. Jobs are still temporary for twentysomethings. The average American has had more than seven jobs before she turns 29, and a third of them lasted less than six months.” Jeebus, just read it.
BBC: US accuses Russia of nuclear sabre-rattling, amid Nato tensions.
I’d certainly like to hear more in-depth info about this situation than our candidates.
BBC: Trump links Cruz’s father to Kennedy assassination.
“In an interview with Fox News, Mr Trump brought up a story that recently appeared in the National Enquirer.” That any candidate would be taking information from the National Enquirer ... my brain melts. I don’t think it can get any worse, and this man finds another way to lower the intelligence level.
WaPo: The question of the moment: What would Trump be like as GOP nominee?
“I think the election’s going to be incredibly competitive. It’s going to be close no matter what.” I predicted early on, that’s the way the media wants it. They’ve done everything they can to level the playing field by apportioning attention. They need controversy, not a shoe-in, to maintain ad impressions. A Teflon candidate is only Teflon if the news ignores their basic responsibility. I’ll repost the journalist creed.
NY Times: Andrew Sullivan on Trump and Tyranny.
Autoweek: Planes of Fame photo gallery.
Omigod, omigod. Just about every plane I ever built as a plastic model kit when I was a kid. *fainting*
Denver Post: Colorado Supreme Court rules state law trumps local bans on fracking.
I have to imagine those who approve of this measure, have never even visited a fracking area. They’ve not experienced the smell, the noise, the devastation. Or understood the fact that your average fracking well produces for a very limited number of years. Half-life is two years - with multiple ‘frackings’ during that time. Noise, stench, effluence. Hence the huge land-grab - they need acres and acres of new land. The industry wants to destroy as much landscape as possible for their bottom line - and taxpayers will end up on the hook for cleanup and remediation. Keep up the fight, people.
Atlas Obscura: The Unfathomable Collection of Lonnie Hammargren.
Is there any better display of American kitsch?
Techdirt: The Chilling Effect Of Mass Surveillance Quantified.
“A study from PEN America writers found that 1 in 6 writers had curbed their content out of fear of surveillance and showed that writers are ‘not only overwhelmingly worried about government surveillance, but are engaging in self-censorship as a result.’” Hell, I know I’m thinking twice, thrice before posting certain phrases for fear of misunderstanding.
SciAm: Secret Atomic Role of WW II–Era Aircraft Carrier Revealed.
Register.UK: F-35s failed ‘scramble test’ because of buggy software.
“During the first 30 flights with Block 3iR6.21, which accumulated 75.6 hours of flight time, no less than 27 power cycles were required to get all systems functioning between initial startup and takeoff. These power cycles varied in degree – from “cold iron” resets, where the aircraft had to be shut down and then restarted, to component or battery power recycling.” This is simply ridiculous.
NY Times: Drastic Cutbacks in Illinois.
NY Times: Warsan Shire, the Woman Who Gave Poetry to Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade’.
Ah, so this young woman is the wordsmith. Props.
NBC: Bodies of Elite Climber Alex Lowe, Cameraman Found in Glacier 16 Years Later.
Preserved in blue ice. It’s going to be odd to see them unaged for 16 years. RIP.
OpenCulture: Sir Ian McKellen Releases New Apps for Shakespeare’s Plays.
$5.99 per play? Seems ... steep. 37 apps, by the time you’re done, you’re out $220 some bucks, sans tax.
The Atlantic: Opting Out of Coastal Madness to Live a Low-Overhead Life.
“So it turns out you can get richer simply by moving to where people are poorer. That is horrifying. And some might find it insensitive to praise the virtues of living a middle-class life in a region beset by deindustrialization and poverty, where the low cost of living is enabled, in part, by the difficulty so many have in scratching out a living.”