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Kyle Rittenhouse Verdict May Inspire Violence: Experts

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‘The acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse is emboldening far-right groups across the extremist spectrum, and experts are warning it may inspire more racially motivated violence in the future….’

— via Buzzfeed

 

Related:

‘As many Americans feared that freeing Kyle Rittenhouse seemed to legitimize political violence, Republicans competed for the honor of offering him a job on Capitol Hill….’

— via The Intercept

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Beaches littered with ‘dangerous’ rocks and pebbles

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‘The impostor rocks are missed daily by those walking along the shores as it was revealed that burnt plastic is mimicking the appearance of pebbles and stones.

The “fake” plastic pebbles are being washed up from the sea on a daily basis, and being missed by litter pickers due to their pebble like appearance, NorthWalesLive reports.

“It’s only when you pick them up, and feel how light they are, that you realise they are not stones at all,” said Hilary Rowlands, a founding member of Tywyn Beach Guardians in Gwynedd.

Known as pyroplastics, the “stones” are thought to form when pieces of plastic are melted or burnt and thrown into the sea, where they are slowly weathered grey and smooth as they float on long ocean voyages.

Hilary has also found variants, termed plastiglomerates, which are created when burnt plastic fuses with rock, commonly when people light fires on beaches.

“There’s not a single beach I’ve combed where I haven’t come across them,” she said.

“Sometimes they are covered in oil or impregnated with the toxins that come from burning plastic.

“It’s all dangerous, both to the environment and the marine life.

“The longer-term concern is that they will break down into microplastics and threaten marine food chains.”…’

— via Daily Star

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Covid-19’s “patient zero” was, indeed, a woman who sold seafood, according to new Science report

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‘Covid-19’s patient zero was not somebody who contracted the virus from a Wuhan lab, and was not an accountant from another city altogether, as many have theorized, according to a US scientist who has extensively researched the coronavirus’ origins. Patient zero was, after all, a woman who sold seafood at a Wuhan live-animal market.

Michael Worobey, a virologist and Professor at University of Arizona, who in May seriously considered the theory that the virus leaked from a Wuhan lab, says in a new Science report, titled “Dissecting the Early Covid-19 Cases in Wuhan,” that a corrected timeline of the earliest Covid patients “provides strong evidence of a live-animal market origin of the pandemic.”…’

— via Boing Boing

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Humans Are On Track to Export Our Environmental Problems to Space

‘After Jeff Bezos, the richest person on the planet, blasted off to the outer reaches of Earth’s orbit amid several global crises, he blithely told reporters that “we can move all heavy industry and all polluting industry off of Earth and operate it in space.”

Unless there is an unfathomable technological leap, cowboy hat-clad Bezos’ idea of offloading all of humanity’s industries to space is not going to happen anytime soon. But as billionaires like Bezos look to harness the riches beyond Earth’s atmosphere, they’re likely to export our environmental problems as well…’

— Paola Rosa-Aquino via WIRED

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Better call your grandparents’ flip phones now, because they may soon stop ringing.

‘Support for 3G, the 20-year-old wireless network standard, is ending in the US next year, when the major wireless carriers are planning to phase out service. That means many Trac phones, older Kindles, early iPads, and classic Chromebooks—any device operating on 3G—simply won’t be able to connect to cellular data networks anymore. The Wi-Fi radios on those devices will still work, but their mobile data capabilities are going kaput.

This so-called 3G sunset will come to pass at different times for different wireless providers. AT&T says it’s shutting down 3G services in February 2022. T-Mobile recently announced it would extend services to March 31 of next year, but not beyond. Verizon plans to pull the plug in December 2022. Carriers are shutting down 3G service in order to make way for the newer pieces of infrastructure that power the speedier 4G LTE and 5G networks currently expanding across the country…’

— via WIRED

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Talk with the Hand! Time to Return to the Ancient Art of Chirology

‘I began to watch the hands of my students, friends, and children when they were engaged in masked conversation, and I observed that the most effective communicators delivered the most histrionic performances. They threw their hands up to signify exaltation and despair; they thrust their hands forward in supplication; they threw their hands down at their sides in grief and resignation; they cut their hands across the air in defiance. You might miss a few muffled words, but you couldn’t miss the point of what they were saying. I had known people with very expressive digits before. Now, though, I saw that the pandemic had given new urgency to the language of the hand….’

via The Hedgehog Review

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Everything You Thought You Knew About ‘Hobo Code’ Is Wrong

‘…(T)he Historic Graffiti Society has found no concrete evidence that hobo code existed. Wray says decades-old claims in newspaper articles are unsubstantiated. The symbols said to be used by hoboes are often contradictory. And while there are photographs of hobo signs taken in the early 1900s, Wray adds, those were staged by newspapers. “Modern Americans are convinced that hobo signs are authentic history, but the evidence against it definitely outweighs the evidence for it,” Wray says.

— via Atlas Obscura

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“How do you feel?”

How do you feel? Dealing with emotions in business - The Business JournalsInterview with Edgar Gerrard Hughes, the author of new book, The Book of Emotions. (known as How Do You Feel? in the US) in The Browser.

  • hard to define precisely what emotions are
  • the concept, as a way of talking about feelings, is a relatively recent (19th C) invention.
  • how are they different from “passions”, “sentiments”, moral or epistemological inclinations, vestiges of our animal nature?
  • widely varying typologies of emotions exist
  • Darwin: emotions are vestigial, not that useful
  • Charles Le Brun: ‘…believed that contorting your face into these different shapes was a way of orienting yourself towards God’
  • emotional expression as a better way of communicating, augmenting or overcoming the limitations of language?

Lost and found emotions, e.g.:

  • compersion, ‘the opposite of jealosy’. A new idea arising from polyamorous communities, joy rather than dismay on your romantic or sexual partner’s intimacy with another
  • solastalgia, preemptive nostalgia for anticipated loss
  • acedia:
    ‘ …a feeling that fifth century monks in North Africa used to have where they’d be sitting in their cells—meditating and praying all day long—but then a complete languor and listlessness would come over them all of a sudden in the afternoons. They’d have no commitment to any sort of spiritual discipline, just this overwhelming urge to give up on everything. In some ways, it’s an afternoon slump, but with a very intense spiritual crisis attached.’
  • gruntled (the opposite of disgruntled) is one of several lost positive emotions. How about ‘mayed‘, the converse of ‘dismayed‘? or ‘ruthful‘ or ‘reckful‘? Why do we tend to keep the bad ones and lose the good ones?

The book does not advance a particular thesis. Rather it is a patchwork quilt reflective of our confusion about emotions. Questions arise:

  • Does what we feel depend on whether we have a word for it (maybe encouraging people to interpret what they are feeling through a specific lens)?
  • Are emotions culturally relative or universal human experiences?
  • Do specific emotions relate to specific neurobiological events or proesses in the brain?
  • …or in the body? Variety as to where in the body emotions are experienced? 19th C psychologist and philosopher William James felt that ‘bodily movements were the emotions themselves.’ Lots of debate about whether the emotions can be separated from bodily sensations. Recently, there is a thought that barely perceptible awareness of internal feelings — referred to as interocepts — form the basis of emotional experiences; sometimes we are not aware of these sensations until deliberately pointed toward them. For instance, there is a suggestion that those who more readily feel their heartbeat — or suppress the awareness less — are more susceptible to anxiety. In Eastern spiritual practices, tuning in to bodily experiences helps stabilize emotional fluctuation.
  • To what extent is an emotion embedded in an interpersonal relationship rather than an individual?
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What to Do If You’re Ever Trapped in a Surging Crowd, Like in Astroworld

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‘When done right, being part of a large crowd can be an invigorating experience. But what about when a crowd begins to feel dangerous? How can you tell when a crowd is too dense? Is there any way to stay safe against a mass of bodies pushing against you?

Although the thought of getting trapped in a large crowd can seem helpless, there are tips to protect yourself as an individual in this situation. In 2019, we spoke to crowd expert Paul Wertheimer about how to survive a human stampede. In light of the recent tragedy, here are additional tips to staying safe in a large crowd….’

— via Lifehacker

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The New Cold War

‘Today, China and the United States are locked in what can only be called a new cold war—an intense security competition that touches on every dimension of their relationship. This rivalry will test U.S. policymakers more than the original Cold War did, as China is likely to be a more powerful competitor than the Soviet Union was in its prime. And this cold war is more likely to turn hot….’

— By John J. Mearsheimer
November/December 2021 via Foreign Affairs

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Happy Guy Fawkes Day

 

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“Don’t you remember the 5th of November

Is gunpowder treason and plot?

I don’t see the reason why gunpowder treason

Should ever be forgot

A stick and a stake, for Queen Victoria’s Sake

I pray master give us a faggit

If you dont give us one well take two

The better for us and the worse for you”

UnknownTomorrow is Guy Fawkes Night (Bonfire Night or Gunpowder Night), the anniversary of the ambitious but abortive Gunpowder Plot of 1605, a failed attempt by a group of persecuted English Catholics to assassinate Anglican King James I of England and. VI of Scotland in order to replace him with a Catholic. Guy Fawkes, who was left in charge of the gunpowder placed underneath the House of Lords, was discovered and arrested and the plot unmasked. Fawkes, along with other surviving conspirators, was executed in January 1606 (hung, drawn and quartered).

A law establishing the anniversary of the thwarted plot as a day of thanksgiving was quickly passed and became the annual occasion for anti-Catholic fervor, with the ringing of church bells and the lighting of bonfires, to the point of forgetting the deliverance of the monarch. “Although Guy Fawkes’ actions have been considered acts of terrorism by many people, cynical Britons… sometimes joke that he was the only man to go to Parliament with honourable intentions.”

Fun fact: it seems that the term Guy (which now simply refers to a man or even more broadly a person) became a pejorative to describe someone grotesque because of the conception of Guy Fawkes’ villainy. 

Celebrations of Guy Fawkes Day persist through the British Isles and become occasions for revelling in the burning of effigies (“guys”) of the hate figures of the day alongside Fawkes.The ritual has included Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Boris Johnson, donald trump, and disgraced Hollywood produced Harvey Weinstein among others. 

161105 donald trump effigy mn 1800The annual festival has become much more about festive fun than solemn remembrance:

“One important aspect of the celebration is certainly venting! Shouting into the nights air is a wonderful release and an important part of the celebration through the centuries. There is something magic and healing about noise — cannons, bells and chants. Divide the group and assign each a different chant. Let them compete for noise and drama. Great fun. The chants are important aspects of freedom of expression and freedom to hold one’s own beliefs. Like much of that which is pure celebration chants need not be considered incantations or wishes of ill will at all times. Taken with the rest of celebration they contribute to a much more abstract whole where fun is the primary message for most.”

UnknownSome say that the celebration of Guy Fawkes Night helped shape the modern tradition of trick or treating, although it has ancient pre-Christian origins. Some American colonists celebrated Guy Fawkes Day and those fleeing the Irish Potato Famine in the 1840s helped popularize Hallowe’en. By the 19th century, British children wearing masks and carrying effigies of Fawkes were roaming the streets on the evening of November 5 asking for “a penny for the Guy,” with any money gathered being used to buy fireworks — the explosives never used by the plotters —  to be set off while the Guy was immolated on the bonfire. 

UnknownMany feel that Guy Fawkes (Bonfire Night) has a particularly Pagan feel. As with Hallowe’en, it may be no accident that Guy Fawkes Day coincides with the Celtic festival of Samhain, one of the moon festivals featuring large bonfires. Some think of Guy Fawkes Night as a sort of detached Samhain celebration and the effigies of Guy Fawkes burned on the bonfires compare with the diabolical images associated with Samhain or Hallowe’en. But, as one fan says, “Guy Fawkes Night has never sold out to Hallmark… Halloween is all about fakery – makeup, facepaint, costumes, imitation blood. Fireworks Night is about very real, very powerful, very hot flames.” 

V for vendettax

But the folklore of the holiday does continue to morph. We don’t celebrate the thwarting of the plot because we are happy with our oppressive rulers, and Guy Fawkes has gone from being reviled as a villain to revered as a hero. His reputation has gone from that of a religious extremist to one of a populist underdog, especially after Alan Moore’s graphic novel V for Vendetta and its 2005 film adaptation, in which the masked knife-wielding V, who also plots to bomb the Houses of Parliament, lashes out against the fascist state in a dystopian future Britain. (It was Moore’s collaborator David Lloyd who developed the idea of dressing V as Guy Fawkes.) Since then, protestors have donned V’s mask as an all-purpose badge of rebellion in anti-government demonstrations and the anti-capitalist movement, particularly Occupy. The hacktivist group Anonymous has adopted the Guy Fawkes mask as their symbol. In 2011, it was the top-selling mask on Amazon and has been seen throughout the ongoing Hong Kong protests against Chinese repression. David Lloyd commented, “The Guy Fawkes mask has now become a common brand and a convenient placard to use in protest against tyranny – and I’m happy with people using it, it seems quite unique, an icon of popular culture being used this way.”

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Here is a collection of verse in celebration of Guy Fawkes Day. You are also welcome to don your masks, listen for some fireworks, scan the horizon from a high place for bonfires dedicated to smashing the state, or free yourself from your unwanted burdens by watching them go up in flames.