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Cake day: Mar 14, 2021

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A lecture by Saiyad Nizamuddin Ahmad (Department of Arabic and Islamic Civilizations, American University in Cairo) delivered at the Warburg Institute, University of London, School of Advanced Study, on 1 May 2013…


Lovely looking game. But I don’t see any indication it is open source?


Cons here too. It’s been Con since the riding was created, but the sadder thing is that it’s actually getting close here to marginal change (mainly just due to changing demographics – urbanization). Last federal election was within around 2000 votes. I think Libs could have had it, but as far as I could see they put in very little effort until the last days, and although the race tightened up in the last week, they lost by more this time than last time. This despite the PPC doing embarrassingly well also. Didn’t help that the candidate the Libs dropped in was a former candidate for mayor, who in that race opposed a lot progressive issues, but despite being seemingly mysteriously well financed thankfully lost that race against the incredibly boring establishment incumbent.

I had to hold my nose pretty hard while strategically voting for this guy, just hoping against hope for a Con upset. Oh well. None of the candidates for any party here were actually interesting to me. So at least I don’t have to feel bad for not voting for a person I actually liked. Is that a bright side?


Keynote Lecture for the 2021 Commodities of Empire Workshop ‘The Raw and the Refined: Commodities, Processing, and Power in Global Perspective’, School for Advanced Study, University of London. …


All of the calorie counts you see on food today are wrong. Obesity researcher Giles Yeo shows why calories are not created equal. …


Summary from the University of Pittsburgh’s Global Studies Center: The Muslims in a Global Context series offers the opportunity to examine the factors and trends that are having major impacts on these diverse regions and their relationships with other world regions and countries…


Definitely recommended for the boomers. It’s relatively user friendly, will work/sync on all their devices without you having to think about it. And if it doesn’t work out in the future, there’s no lock in.

I’ve used it for years. I ran my own server at first, just to make sure it was possible and reasonable. It was nice, and fully featured (I used the third-party bitwarden_rs sever, now called vaultwarden). But eventually I got tired of maintaining it and just switched to the free account bitwarden offers, reassured that I could load a backup to self-hosted again at any time if bitwarden’s servers ever go away, or get bought out by a disagreeable corporation, or whatever.


I just found it interesting how the Canadian founder of Farm Aid sees things differently than his American partners in regards to Covid-19 delta context.





"20th Century UFO Conspiracies" [2017], Prof. Felix Harcourt (Emory U). Particularly government-related, mirroring tech advances and social anxieties. #history #sociology

Emory University professor Felix Harcourt teaches a class on how conspiracy theories about UFOs have shaped America culture. He begins in the late 1940s and describes how public opinion about extraterrestrials changed over the course of the 20th century, often paralleling societal anxieties. …





"Ancient Egypt and Colonial Science Fiction: The Myth of Origins", Thais Rocha da Silva (Oxford & U of São Paulo): Battlestar Galactica use of ancient civilization as Western precursor. #literature

Abstract: The representation of ancient Egypt in science-fiction movies emphasise its exotic aspects, magic and lost knowledge. The 1970s TV show Battlestar Gallactica showed ancient Egypt as one of the starting points of civilization, including the pyramids and the temple of Karnak as scenarios for…



"International Law and the Politics of History", Prof. Anne Orford, University of Melbourne: Arguments reference history as objective and authoritative, but is it? #history #law

Abstract: In this lecture, Anne Orford will discuss her new book International Law and the Politics of History, which explores the ideological, political, and material stakes of apparently technical disputes over how the legal past should be studied and understood. As the future of international law…



It’s an interesting approach. While plastic is (mostly) not directly toxic to us, the argument that it is toxic to the environment seems scientifically sound. The classification allows for more regulation and pressure on an industry which have proven (as usual) extremely ineffective at regulating th…



How about a simple but ambiguous directive: “Use the Link” (“Use the link, Luke” would be going to far! haha)

Let’s see more ideas. The more the better.


You sound like you might have been a thoughtful and attentive high school student. Too bad you couldn’t vote! (Just kidding, re: your other recent reply. ha ha)

Anyhow, thanks for the urban heat island article. Q uite interesting. I hadn’t come across that before.


You make some valid points, but my perspective somewhat differs. I’m not sure we understand the significance of “fully developed brain” in this case. For example, would you advocate that there must be an IQ threshold required for voting? I understand IQ is narrow and limited test, just the way that a drivers license is a limited analogy for voting competence. It’s just one example. What tests would you suggest require being passed? What about adults with various cognitive impairments?

Then there is also the issue of there being a fairly wide range of development levels in individual teens. Some seem to mature much sooner than others. Currently we seem to try to pick some sort of average which may be weighted a little on the cautious side. (I have a family member turning 16 in a few weeks – this isn’t abstract to me – I know how very young she is, in so many ways.)

My personal bottom line argument is probably not going to impress you though, as it’s not based on brain development or any other technical condition. I think simply that if they want to vote they should be able to vote. Most adults vote for stupid reasons, I don’t think kids would do much worse. And it would have the virtue of potentially engaging some of them in society sooner. Of course a lot will just be compelled by their family’s views; and a few might vote simply to spite their family. This is nothing new.

Once upon a time, shockingly recently in our culture, women were said not to be mentally developed enough to vote. Scientific arguments were made in this regards. Obviously not exactly the same situation, but if I’m making a mistake I’d rather make a mistake on the side of personal volition. If women want to vote, they should be able to vote, regardless of what the science says (said) about their smaller brain sizes, their limited domestic understanding of the world, their easily manipulated maternal instincts. Ditto for kids.

Yeah I understand what I’ve expressed is a little simplistic, lacking in consideration of various details. But the details could be hammered out later. I’m just interested in the principle for now. Actually my passing interest is almost worn out. Maybe ADHD should exclude me from voting. Which makes me wonder: do we have any stats on how many people vote drunk? Maybe breathalizers should be installed in voting booths.

On the other hand, now that you’ve made me think about it, the legal age to drive clearly should be raised to at least 29. Driving is (usually) a lot more dangerous than voting. And I don’t want non-fully developed brains hurtling around in massive steal objects! So, I say 25 + 4 is 29. You gave me the good idea of the +4. Thanks! 25 to let their brain fully develop, and then 4 years buffer for them to ease in to their awesome fully developed cognitive powers.

Anyhow, isn’t every vote a referendum of sorts?

Cheers!




The data visualization examples in this lecture are amazing. There is a visualization of wars this century using poppies. Elements of the #MeToo movement using dandelions. David Bowie’s Space Oddity (!) using vinyl records. As well as other examples, such as overlying cases on maps to solve the origin of a historical cholera outbreak in London, and one showing the amount of various types of water on earth.

For a constant flow of data visualizations of varying qualities (but often quite good!) see reddit’s DataIsBeautiful sub. (Sorry to referrence reddit here! But that’s where it is.)


Haven’t tried the new guided thing, but had to do a new install a few weeks ago without much time, so decided to give the Anarchy Installer a try. Just accepted all the defaults, and it was super fast to get up and running with Arch without hardly a thought – which some may not appreciate, but I did.


Digikam has a few options for metadata. It stores everything in its own SQLite database by default. Optionally one can set up mysql/mariadb. Also you can have metadata stored embedded in your actual photo files as EXIF and/or XMP tags. Finally you can have XMP sidecar storage which is an XML file with same filename as image but XMP extension. EXIF and XMP (embedded or sidecar) are fairly standardized. So shotwell likely (I’ve never used it so I don’t know) embedded your metadata in the image files, and Digikam picked it up from there. You can use a command line tool like exiv2 to see what metadata is in your files.


My Sorels of course. Just kidding. Thought about getting the slackline out a few times in the snow, but never did.