Sweet Potato Pie

August 6, 2022

“Sweet Potato Pie,” written and recorded by James Taylor, 1988.

James Taylor website

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Doughnuts

August 6, 2022

” Doughnuts,” a Van Beuren Studios cartoon featuring Tom & Jerry, 1933. Directed by Frank Sherman and George Rufle. Music Director: Gene Rodemich. To prevent confusion with the better-known MGM cartoon cat and mouse, the main characters’ names were later changed to Dick and Larry.

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Heat Emergency Means No More Neckties

August 5, 2022

Heat Emergency Means No More Neckties

“Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has called on workers in the public and private sector to stop wearing ties, as an energy saving measure in the heat.

Mr Sanchez said his government will adopt ‘urgent’ energy-saving measures on Monday as European countries strive to become less dependent on Russian gas in the wake of the war in Ukraine.

On Friday, temperatures reached 36C (96.8 F) in Madrid and 39C [102.2 F ] in Seville.”

— “Spain heatwave: PM tells workers to stop wearing ties to save energy,” Malu Cursino, BBC News

Logically, you’d think that neckties should be compulsory in winter to save heating, but they’re bad for your brain. Throw the damn things out and wear a muffler this December.

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Embryos Are People Under Georgia Tax Law

August 4, 2022

Embryos Are People Under Georgia Tax Law

Under Georgia state tax law, embryos gestating for over 6 weeks are now considered dependent children. The state Department of Revenue will allow deductions of $3000 for each 3/4-inch long blob of cells if they have perceptibly pulsing cardiac activity, often wrongly called a “fetal heartbeat.”

Who knows, maybe gun ownership and voting rights will be next under such so-called “personhood laws“.

More:

“Embryos can be listed as dependents on tax returns, Georgia rules,” Ramon Antonio Vargas, The Guardian

“Georgia says ‘unborn child’ counts as dependent on taxes after 6 weeks,” María Luisa Paúl, Washington Post

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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The ‘Lost Cities’ of the Amazon

August 3, 2022

After 300 years of hunting a mythical El Dorado in the Americas, archaeologists looked more closely at Amazonia’s forest floor, working with the remaining Indigenous people and excavated long ditches and mounds. Mapping them, they found the markings of large settlements; walls, moats, plazas, and roads connected to even more settlements, all over the Amazon.  A Vox video by Sam Ellis.

More:

“‘Mind blowing’ ancient settlements uncovered in the Amazon,” Freda Kreier, Nature

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Liechtenstein

August 2, 2022

Liechtenstein, the fourth smallest country in Europe, has been an independent nation since 1719. How did that happen? The Generalist Papers explains.

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Net Neutrality Bill: Broadband Internet Is An Essential Service

August 1, 2022

Net Neutrality Bill: Broadband Internet Is An Essential Service

Last Thursday, House and Senate Democrats introduced the Net Neutrality and Broadband Justice Act, a bill to reclassify broadband Internet as an essential service and giving the FCC power to prohibit discriminatory practices like blocking and throttling certain lanes of internet traffic. The essential nature of broadband should be obvious to all, especially after COVID lockdown moved so much public sector, education, and business activity online.

In 2015, the FCC voted to regulate broadband as a common carrier under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, ensuring utility-style regulation and non-discrimination rules, but this was reversed by Trump appointees in 2017.

According to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, “the Net Neutrality and Broadband Justice Act will secure a fairer, more accessible digital future by enshrining into federal law a common-sense value: everyone deserves access to affordable, high-speed internet service.” A United Nations report declared Internet access a human right in 2011.

The Congressional effort is being led by Rep. Doris Matsui (D, CA-6) and Senators Edward Markey (D-MA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

More:

“Net neutrality bill unveiled to codify broadband Internet as essential service,” Darryl Coote, UPI

“Democrats revive the fight for net neutrality,” Makena Kelly, The Verge

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Image (“Blogger, after Vilhelm Hammershøi”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Fields of Gold

July 31, 2022

“Fields of Gold, written by Gordon Sumner (Sting), performed by Sara Niemietz and W.G. Snuffy Walden, ca. 2013.

Sara Niemietz website

W.G. Snuffy Walden website

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Jealous Guy

July 31, 2022

“Jealous Guy,” written by John Lennon, performed by Huntertones with Akie Bermiss, 2016. Arranged by Dan White.

Akie Bermiss (vocals, keyboards) Justin Stanton (trumpet), Jon Lampley (trumpet), Dan White (saxophone), Chris Ott (tombone), Michael Valeanu (guitar), Adam DeAscentis (bass), John Hubbell (drums),

Huntertones website

Akie Bermiss website

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Same Thing

July 31, 2022

“Same Thing,” written by William “Mickey” Stevenson, recorded by Gino Parks, 1961.

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