What is a JSON feed? Learn more

JSON Feed Viewer

Browse through the showcased feeds, or enter a feed URL below.

Now supporting RSS and Atom feeds thanks to Andrew Chilton's feed2json.org service

CURRENT FEED

kottke.org

Jason Kottke's weblog, home of fine hypertext products

XML


Four Quick Links for Monday Afternoon

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-10 21:52


Five Months of the Virus in NYC

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-10 18:09

Daniel Arnold NYC Covid Times

Photographer Daniel Arnold and editor Dodai Stewart collaborated on a photoessay documenting the first five months of the pandemic in NYC. That image above is just…wow.

See also COVID-19 Empties Out Public Spaces.

Tags: COVID-19   Daniel Arnold   Dodai Stewart   NYC   photography


A Livestream Reading of Emily Wilson’s The Odyssey Translation

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-10 16:22

Odyssey Live Read

On two consecutive weekends in late August (Aug 20-22 & Aug 27-29), the Oklahoma Contemporary museum will be livestreaming a reading of Emily Wilson’s excellent translation of The Odyssey. Wilson herself will be joined in reading the entire book by folks like actress Bebe Neuwirth, singer-songwriter Leslie Feist, writer Rebecca Nagle (who I’ve been listening to on the fascinating and infuriating This Land podcast), Oklahoma City mayor David Holt, and several other folks.

The exact schedule is TBD, but the event will be streamed on YouTube and Facebook. Check back here for details closer to the date. (thx, sarah)

Tags: books   Emily Wilson   The Odyssey


Elena Ferrante’s The Lying Life of Adults

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-10 14:22

Elena Ferrante's The Lying Life of Adults

The English translation of Elena Ferrante’s latest novel, The Lying Life of Adults, is due out at the beginning of September and is available for preorder (Kindle). Here’s the synopsis:

Giovanna’s pretty face is changing, turning ugly, at least so her father thinks. Giovanna, he says, looks more like her Aunt Vittoria every day. But can it be true? Is she really changing? Is she turning into her Aunt Vittoria, a woman she hardly knows but whom her mother and father clearly despise? Surely there is a mirror somewhere in which she can see herself as she truly is.

Giovanna is searching for her reflection in two kindred cities that fear and detest one another: Naples of the heights, which assumes a mask of refinement, and Naples of the depths, a place of excess and vulgarity. She moves from one to the other in search of the truth, but neither city seems to offer answers or escape.

The Guardian and the Washington Post have reviews of the Italian version of the book. And Netflix has already announced that they’re producing a TV series based on the novel; here’s a short teaser:

The series is being made by the same folks responsible for HBO’s My Brilliant Friend series (based on Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels), which has been outstanding in its two seasons so far.

Tags: books   Elena Ferrante   Netflix   The Lying Life of Adults   trailers   TV   video


Bisa Butler’s Colorful Quilted Portraits of Black Americans

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-06 22:36

Bisa Butler

Bisa Butler

Bisa Butler

Bisa Butler

Using colorful African textiles, Bisa Butler makes large quilted portraits of Black Americans. From a statement on her gallery’s website:

In my work, I am telling the story — this African American side — of the American life. History is the story of men and women, but the narrative is controlled by those who hold the pen.

My community has been marginalized for hundreds of years. While we have been right beside our white counterparts experiencing and creating history, our contributions and perspectives have been ignored, unrecorded, and lost. It is only a few years ago that it was acknowledged that the White House was built by slaves. Right there in the seat of power of our country African Americans were creating and contributing while their names were lost to history.

In this short video, you can see how Butler creates her portraits. Look at the amazing sewing machine she uses — it’s got a steering wheel!

You can see more of her work on Instagram and in person at the Katonah Museum of Art in New York through Oct 4, 2020 and at the Art Institute of Chicago starting in November.

Update: I swapped out the previous video embedded above for a longer one that includes sound and an interview w/ Butler. (via @10engines)

Tags: art   Bisa Butler


Miles Davis’s Famous Chili Recipe

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-06 20:26

Jazz legend Miles Davis? That dude could cook. He could cook in the studio, on stage, and in the kitchen. One of his favorite dishes to make was a chili recipe he concocted through practice and improvisation: Miles’s South Side Chicago Chili Mack. Here’s the ingredients list:

1/4 lb. suet (beef fat)
1 large onion
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground veal
1/2 lb. ground pork
salt and pepper
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin seed
2 cans kidney beans, drained
1 can beef consommé
1 drop red wine vinegar
3 lb. spaghetti
parmesan cheese
oyster crackers
Heineken beer

You’ll have to click through for the instructions (as well as another of Davis’s chili recipes) but I will reveal that the last step is “Open a Heineken.”

See also the hamburger recipes of Dean Martin (minimalist), Frank Sinatra (even more minimalist), and Ernest Hemingway (surprisingly maximalist). (via @tedgioia)

Tags: cooking   food   Miles Davis


The User Experience Design of Lego Interface Panels

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-06 18:19

Lego Console Interfaces

I thought George Cave’s The UX of LEGO Interface Panels was going to be a fun distraction, but it’s actually a great layperson’s explanation, using familiar Lego pieces, of how interfaces work in the real world and the design considerations that go into building them.

Shape coding is one approach to differentiation, but there are many others. Colour coding is perhaps the only one to break into our everyday vocabulary, but we can add four more: size, texture, position and operation coding. Together these six are our allies in the design of error-proof interfaces.

Size, shape and colour-coding are the fundamentals: quick-wins that can fix a lot of interface problems. Texture is also a great differentiator for blind operation, particularly on small dials requiring precise control.

(via sidebar)

Tags: design   George Cave   Legos


Four Quick Links for Thursday Noonish

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-06 16:52


I’m Thinking of Ending Things, a New Film from Charlie Kaufman

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-06 16:12

I’m Thinking of Ending Things. Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Adaptation), director. Łukasz Żal (Ida, Cold War), cinematographer. Jesse Plemons (Friday Night Lights), Jessie Buckley (Chernobyl), Toni Collette (too many amazing things), David Thewlis (Lupin from Harry Potter). Adapted from I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid. Netflix. September 4. Trailer above. Excited! Bye.

Tags: Charlie Kaufman   I’m Thinking of Ending Things   movies   trailers   video


Extending American Sign Language Vocabulary With Signs for “Coronavirus” and “TikTok”

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-06 14:20

Coronavirus in sign language

The Instagram account thefamilyvocab features videos of words & phrases in sign language that are not part of standard ASL.

Our aim is to play with sign language and expand my child’s visual vocabulary with signs that are not part of standard ASL. It’s only 200 years old and still thriving and evolving.

I love this. So far, they’ve done words like pho, Black Lives Matter, TikTok (I really like this one), Brexit, coronavirus, emoji (I like this one too), gentrification, and dozens of others. They’re creating new signs, taking suggestions from followers, and sourcing signs from other sign languages from around the world. (via youngna)

Tags: American Sign Language   COVID-19   language


Watch Popcorn Popping in Super Slow Motion (100,000 fps)

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-05 20:20

Popped popcorn kernels are like snowflakes: no two are alike. If you watch popcorn popping at the ludicrously slow speed of 100,000 fps, you can see these individualized forms flowering into existence. Pro tip: turn off the upbeat music on the video and supply a mellower soundtrack of your own — slow motion video requires meditative music.

See also How to Make Popcorn Using a Blow Torch & Hair Dryer. (via moss & fog)

Tags: food   slow motion   video


Defund the Police? We’ve Already Done It Successfully in America.

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-05 18:15

The American system of law enforcement is so deeply embedded into our national psyche that if you find the idea of defunding or abolishing the police challenging, I don’t blame you. But imagine calling an ambulance because a loved one was having trouble breathing or was suffering a stroke and, instead of the expected trained paramedics, a man with a gun showed up. Not great, right? As Jamie Ford explains in this thread, that was not unusual in America until recently.

Until the 70s, ambulance services were generally run by local police and fire departments. There was no law requiring medical training beyond basic first-aid and in many cases the assignment of ambulance duty was used as a form of punishment.

As you can imagine, throwing people with medical emergencies into the back of a paddy wagon produced less than spectacular health outcomes. Now imagine how much worse it became when disgruntled white police officers were demoted to ambulance duty in black neighborhoods.

From Kevin Hazzard’s The First Responders:

Emergency care was mostly a transportation industry, focused on getting patients to hospitals, and it was dominated by two groups: funeral homes and police departments. Call the local authorities for help and you’d likely get morticians in a hearse or cops in a paddy wagon. If you received any treatment en route to the hospital — and most likely you did not — it wouldn’t be very good. At best, one of the people helping may have taken a first-aid course. At worst, you’d ride alone in the back, hoping, if you were conscious, that you’d survive.

Pittsburgh’s Freedom House Ambulance Service changed all that, ushering in a new era of much improved medical care for communities around the US.

Together the two men hashed out a plan: Hallen would raise the money, Safar would contribute his medical expertise, and together they would design advanced ambulances and teach paramedics to provide care on the scene of an accident or emergency. It would be a pioneering medical effort, and Hallen, who was white, suggested another first. The Falk Fund was committed to mitigating racism, and Hallen wanted to staff the service with young black men from the Hill. He hoped that empowering individuals long deemed unemployable would be a source of pride in the black community, a symbol of equality, and a signal that bigoted notions about the black people of Pittsburgh standing in their own way were nonsense.

To help with recruitment, Hallen and Safar partnered with an organization called Freedom House Enterprises, a nonprofit dedicated to establishing and supporting black-run businesses in the city. Freedom House handled staffing for the fledgling ambulance service and recruited the first class of paramedics, including Vietnam veterans and men with criminal records.

So this is a great instance in which armed and untrained police officers have been relieved of a particular responsibility and replaced with specially trained personnel, resulting in a greatly improved outcome for members of the community. If you want other examples, just think about how odd, unhelpful, and dangerous it would be for our communities if the police showed up — armed with a loaded weapon — to collect your garbage, to put out fires, to inspect restaurants, to fix potholes, or to deliver the mail. No, we have sanitation workers, firefighters, public health inspectors, municipal maintenance workers, and postal workers to do these jobs — and they’re all trained in the ins and outs of their particular disciplines.

With these examples in mind, instead of armed personnel handling a wide variety of situations for which they are often not trained, it becomes easier to imagine traffic patrols conducting transportation safety stops, social workers responding to domestic disputes, special crisis centers assisting rape victims, mental health counselors helping people behaving erratically in public, housing guides finding homeless folks a place to stay, student safety coaches helping struggling students navigate school, unarmed personnel responding to property crime, and drug addiction counselors helping drug users stay safe. These are all areas where American communities have applied policing by default, like a flimsy bandaid. It’s ineffective, expensive, and dangerous, and communities should think seriously about supporting and funding alternatives that will be more effective, cheaper, safer, and produce better outcomes for everyone.

Tags: cities   crime   Jamie Ford   medicine   policing


Two Quick Links for Wednesday Noonish

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-05 16:52


Transfiguration: An Ever-Evolving Walking Figure

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-05 16:10

First conceived and implemented in 2011, Universal Everything’s walking figure has been remastered and rebuilt from the ground up with the latest digital effects. Transfiguration (2020) treats us to the spectacle of caramel, fire, rocks, smoke, and shrubbery striding around like a person.

Transfiguration 2020

Transfiguration 2020

I think the flowers are still my favorite.

Tags: video


Shel Silverstein’s “The Tree Who Set Healthy Boundaries”

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-05 13:45

The Tree Who Set Healthy Boundaries

Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree is a famously divisive children’s book because the story can be interpreted as an abusive relationship between a greedy boy and a tree he takes advantage of. Playing off of that interpretation, Topher Payne rewrote the ending of the book so that the tree is still generous, but only up to a point: The Tree Who Set Healthy Boundaries.

“And while we’re on the subject,” the tree said, grabbing him by the collar of his shirt. “I recognize friendships evolve over time, and we may not see each other as often because you don’t have time for your tree friends. But we used to be real tight. Now it feels like I only see you when you need something. How do you think that makes me feel?”

The Boy took a long breath. He felt a sour rumble in his stomach. Because he realized he hadn’t considered his friend’s feelings. “I bet it makes you feel bad,” said the Boy.

(via waxy)

Tags: books   remix   Shel Silverstein   The Giving Tree   Topher Payne


Two Quick Links for Tuesday Evening

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-05 00:52


Nurse to Teachers: Suck It Up!

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-04 22:43

Kristen McConnell writing for The Atlantic: I’m a Nurse in New York. Teachers Should Do Their Jobs, Just Like I Did.

So I can understand that teachers are nervous about returning to school. But they should take a cue from their fellow essential workers and do their job. Even people who think there’s a fundamental difference between a nurse and a teacher in a pandemic must realize that there isn’t one between a grocery-store worker and a teacher, in terms of obligation. People who work at grocery stores in no way signed up to expose themselves to disease, but we expected them to go to work, and they did. If they had not, society would have collapsed. What do teachers think will happen if working parents cannot send their children to school? Life as we know it simply will not go on.

Oh yes, that is a totally awesome thing our brave grocery store workers did for us out of a sense of obligation and not because their choice was between risking their health and losing their job in a country with a terrible social safety net. But let’s leave that to one side for a second.

I think many more people would support (and indeed rapturously welcome) kids going back to school if a) there were many fewer cases of Covid-19 in the US, b) if the federal and state governments were doing more testing, tracing, and isolation & support of those who test positive, c) if there was more support for parents, and especially low-income folks, with other options around education and childcare (more on that below), and d) if the mask issue wasn’t so contentious in some parts of the country. Oh and don’t forget that even before any of this happened, teachers regularly used their own money and held online fundraisers to buy necessary school supplies for their classrooms.

Blaming teachers for not wanting to go back to work because their country and communities can’t or won’t do the hard work of making it safe is ridiculous. It’s not fair to ask them to do their part when others with greater responsibility to act are not. Someone has been watching too many war movies where soldiers dying due to the negligence, incompetence, or bad intentions of their superiors is played off as patriotic service & bravery instead of murder.

And this…this is just flat out false:

(And parents who want their children to stay home have that option, whether through homeschooling or continued remote learning.)

Rich people with reliable internet access and extra computers lying around have that option, and it’s a terrible option if those parents work (especially if they’re single parents). A huge chunk of America does not.1 If, by some miracle, the federal government started paying people to stay home from work to help their kids with school, gave everyone a laptop stipend (as well as enough money so that kids have access to meals that they might usually get through school programs), and ensured internet access to those who don’t have it, that statement would be closer to the truth. As long as we’re waving magic wands, I would like a chocolate pony and a peanut butter unicorn.

I would have been far more sympathetic to McConnell’s case had she made a convincing argument that school is so essential to children that it’s worth the risk to them, their teachers, and their families, that schools and governments are doing the right things to ensure the safety of their students and staff, and that Covid-19 is coming under control in the United States. But she did not.

Update: Sarah Jones rebuts McConnell’s argument for New York magazine: Teachers Aren’t Sacrificial Lambs. No Essential Worker Is.

The idea that remote work and home education don’t qualify as doing one’s part for society is so pernicious that it nearly distracts from McConnell’s core argument, which is both simple and widespread: If work is essential, it must also be sacrificial. That argument is worth examining, not least because it’s likely to reappear as parents cope with another semester at home. McConnell has taken a view expressed most commonly in the pandemic policies of certain large corporations and extended it to teachers. The same thread is visible both in Amazon’s failure to get enough masks to workers and to ensure social-distancing in warehouses and in the insistence that teachers should head back into classrooms, whatever the risk.

I also had a bunch of mail in my inbox this morning, both from teachers and healthcare professionals, poking holes in this poorly argued piece. The Atlantic’s coverage of the pandemic has been outstanding, but this article was just not very good — a rare misfire. (via @zidaya)

  1. In the spring here in Vermont, where cell service and internet can be spotty, there was a steady stream of people asking on local message boards if anyone had extra computers to donate to their kids and where they could find free wifi that was accessible from the parking lot so their kids could sit in the car and do their schoolwork.

Tags: COVID-19   education   Kristen McConnell   medicine   Sarah Jones


Basketball Court Repaired Using the Traditional Japanese Art of Kintsugi

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-04 20:06

Kintsugi Court

Kintsugi Court

As part of his Literally Balling project, artist Victor Solomon fixed up a rundown basketball court, repairing the blacktop using the Japanese art of kintsugi. Traditionally, the kintsugi method involves repairing pottery with glue mixed with gold powder, which results in visible cracks, a reminder of the pottery’s past and what it’s been through. Says Solomon of the project:

With the heartbreaking beginning to 2020 and this weekend’s return of basketball — I’ve been thinking about the parallels between sport as a uniting platform to inspire healing and my ongoing experiments with the technique of Kintsugi that embellishes an objects repair with gold to celebrate it’s healing as formative part of the journey.

(via the kid should see this)

Tags: art   basketball   sports   Victor Solomon   video


Two Quick Links for Tuesday Noonish

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-04 16:52


A Long Walk Along Japan’s Historic Nakasendo Highway to Eat Pizza Toast

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-04 15:45

Kissa By Kissa

Kissa By Kissa

Last year, Craig Mod walked 620 miles from Tokyo to Kyoto along the Nakasendō historic highway and along the way he stopped at kissaten (or kissa), old-school Japanese cafes known for their pizza toast. Mod wrote about his quest late last year for Eater and has now turned a fuller account of the journey into a gorgeous book called Kissa By Kissa.

Those kissaten — or kissa — served up toast. I ate that toast. So. Much. Toast. Much of it pizza toast. If you buy this book, you’ll learn more than you ever dared to know about this variety of toast available all across Japan. It’s a classic post-war food staple. Kissa by kissa, and slice by thick slice of beautiful, white toast, I took a heckuva affecting and long walk. This book is my sharing with you, of that walk, the people I met along the way, and the food I ate.

Even more interesting is that to sell the book, Mod built a Kickstarter clone on top of Shopify called Craigstarter. And he’s released the code for it on Github.

Kickstarter is an excellent way to run a crowdfunding campaign. But if you already have a community built up, and have communication channels in place (via a newsletter, for example), and already run an online shop, then Kickstarter can be unnecessarily cumbersome. Kickstarter’s 10% fee is also quite hefty. By leaning on Shopify’s flexible Liquid templating system and reasonable CC processing fees, an independent publisher running a campaign can save some ~$7,000 for every $100,000 of sales by using Craigstarter instead of Kickstarter. That’s materially meaningful, especially in the world of books.

You can order Kissa By Kissa right here.

Tags: books   Craig Mod   food   Japan   Kissa By Kissa   walking


The Winners of the Malofiej International Infographics Awards for 2020

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-04 13:59

Malofiej Awards 2020

Malofiej Awards 2020

Malofiej have announced their 28th International Infographics Awards for 2020, which they refer to as “the Pulitzers for infographics”. You can check out some of the top infographics here, culled from newspapers, magazines, and online media from around the world. The full list is available here, complete with links to the online winners.

Tags: best of   best of 2020   design   infoviz   journalism   lists


Fantastical Overclocked Urban Scenes by Cássio Vasconcellos

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-03 18:04

Cassio Vasconcellos, Collectives

Cassio Vasconcellos, Collectives

Cassio Vasconcellos, Collectives

Cassio Vasconcellos, Collectives

For his Collectives series, Cássio Vasconcellos takes crowded urban scenes and stitches them together to form fantastical patterns of human activity that look abstract from far away but detailed close up. These are great onscreen, but I’d love to see them in person someday. I could imagine looking at the highways one for hours, zooming in and out on all the details.

See also Sporting Events Compressed into Single Composite Photos. (via print)

Tags: art   Cassio Vasconcellos   photography   remix


Two Quick Links for Monday Noonish

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-03 16:52


Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste: “An Instant American Classic”

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-03 13:42

Well, this is a hell of a book review by NY Times critic Dwight Garner about Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste (which I am starting the second it comes out tomorrow).

A critic shouldn’t often deal in superlatives. He or she is here to explicate, to expand context and to make fine distinctions. But sometimes a reviewer will shout as if into a mountaintop megaphone. I recently came upon William Kennedy’s review of “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” which he called “the first piece of literature since the Book of Genesis that should be required reading for the entire human race.” Kennedy wasn’t far off.

I had these thoughts while reading Isabel Wilkerson’s new book, “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents.” It’s an extraordinary document, one that strikes me as an instant American classic and almost certainly the keynote nonfiction book of the American century thus far. It made the back of my neck prickle from its first pages, and that feeling never went away.

I told more than one person, as I moved through my days this past week, that I was reading one of the most powerful nonfiction books I’d ever encountered.

I mean, how can you not want to read a book that stirs a seasoned critic like that, particularly when the author also wrote the fantastic The Warmth of Other Suns? You can buy Caste at Bookshop, get the Kindle version, or read a lengthy piece adapted from the book.

Tags: books   Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents   Dwight Garner   Isabel Wilkerson


Three Quick Links for Monday Morning

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-03 12:52


Barack Obama’s Eulogy for John Lewis

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-31 18:15

At John Lewis’s funeral yesterday, Barack Obama delivered a eulogy for his friend and mentor, praising him for his achievements in the struggle for civil rights. He also took the opportunity to suggest what politicians might do to honor Lewis and to continue his struggle, beyond just words. From the text of his speech:

If politicians want to honor John, and I’m so grateful for the legacy of work of all the Congressional leaders who are here, but there’s a better way than a statement calling him a hero. You want to honor John? Let’s honor him by revitalizing the law that he was willing to die for. And by the way, naming it the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, that is a fine tribute. But John wouldn’t want us to stop there, trying to get back to where we already were. Once we pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, we should keep marching to make it even better.

By making sure every American is automatically registered to vote, including former inmates who’ve earned their second chance.

By adding polling places, and expanding early voting, and making Election Day a national holiday, so if you are someone who is working in a factory, or you are a single mom who has got to go to her job and doesn’t get time off, you can still cast your ballot.

By guaranteeing that every American citizen has equal representation in our government, including the American citizens who live in Washington, D.C. and in Puerto Rico. They are Americans.

By ending some of the partisan gerrymandering — so that all voters have the power to choose their politicians, not the other way around.

And if all this takes eliminating the filibuster — another Jim Crow relic — in order to secure the God-given rights of every American, then that’s what we should do.

Tags: Barack Obama   John Lewis   politics   video


And Now a Message from Mask Spokesman Bane from The Dark Knight Rises

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-31 14:10

The Auralnauts, who have rejiggered the dialogue and sounds from your favorite movies with hilarious results (most notably Star Wars), have reimagined Bane from The Dark Knight Rises as a coronavirus mask advocate for their latest video.

Do I look like I live in fear of anything?! I’m wearing this mask for you, the people of Gotham, who, I can’t help but notice, are not social distancing!

Tags: Batman   COVID-19   movies   remix   video


Four Quick Links for Thursday Afternoon

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-30 21:52


What Does Justice for Breonna Taylor Look Like?

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-30 19:57

In a piece for Essence, prison industrial complex abolitionists Mariame Kaba and Andrea Ritchie challenge us to consider whether arresting and prosecuting the police officers who killed Breonna Taylor (or George Floyd or Elijah McClain) will result in justice.

Beyond strategic assessments of what is most likely to bring justice, ultimately, we must choose to support collective responses that align with our values. Demands for arrests and prosecutions of killer cops are inconsistent with demands to #DefundPolice because they have proven to be sources of violence not safety. We can’t claim the system must be dismantled because it is a danger to Black lives and at the same time legitimize it by turning to it for justice. As Angela Y. Davis points out, “we have to be consistent” in our analysis, and not respond to violence in a way that compounds it. We need to use our radical imaginations to come up with new structures of accountability beyond the system we are working to dismantle.

Noting that “turning away from systems of policing and punishment doesn’t mean turning away from accountability”, Kaba and Ritchie argue that use of a reparations framework would be more effective in delivering justice to Taylor’s family and in preventing future killings and violence by police.

Under a reparations framework Breonna’s family — and all of us — are also entitled to more than an individualized response to what is a systemic problem. We are entitled to immediate cessation of the actions that caused her death — no knock warrants, to be sure, but also short knock warrants, and dangerous drug raids in all their forms. And all of us are entitled to non-repetition, an end to the conditions that produced her death, including an end to the drug war that killed her, and the forces of gentrification that brought police into her neighborhood. It is long past time for an approach to drug use that saves lives instead of ending them — whether in a raid or in a cell — and a reckoning with the ways in which economic policies are driving deadly policing practices.

Read the entire piece at Essence.

Tags: Andrea Ritchie   Breonna Taylor   crime   Mariame Kaba   murder   policing


TheirTube: Visit Radically Different YouTube Recommendation Bubbles

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-30 17:39

TheirTube lets you see YouTube recommended videos for preppers, liberals, climate deniers, fruitarians, conservatives, etc. Here’s the climate deniers home page from a couple of days ago:

Theirtube Climate

Theirtube is a Youtube filter bubble simulator that provides a look into how videos are recommended on other people’s YouTube. Users can experience how the YouTube home page would look for six different personas. Each persona simulates the viewing environment of real Youtube users who experienced being inside a recommendation bubble through recreating a Youtube account with a similar viewing history.

The simulator was developed by Tomo Kihara after he got into an argument with someone who lived in a completely different filter bubble:

This whole project started when I was in a heated discussion with a person who thought climate change was a hoax and 9/11 was a conspiracy. Through conversations with him, I was surprised to learn that he thought everyone’s YouTube feed had the same information as his own feed. When we showed each other our YouTube homepages, we were both shocked. They were radically different. And it got me thinking about the need for a tool to step outside of information bubbles.

The project is open-sourced on GitHub so you can make your own personas, etc. (via craig mod)

Update: Leveraging Twitter’s lists functionality, Vicariously lets you see the timelines of other Twitter users. And not only that, but you can merge the timelines of several users, only the mutual follows of those users, and other options.

Tags: Tomo Kihara   Twitter   YouTube


Three Quick Links for Thursday Noonish

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-30 16:52


Breonna Taylor on the Cover of Oprah Magazine

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-30 15:26

Ever since O, The Oprah Magazine launched back in 2000, founder Oprah Winfrey has been featured on every single cover. Until now. For the September issue, the magazine is featuring an illustration of Breonna Taylor, who was murdered in her apartment in March by three Louisville police officers.

Oprah Breonna Taylor

Winfrey writes in an introduction to the issue:

I think about Breonna Taylor often. She was the same age as the two daughter-girls from my school in South Africa who’ve been quarantining with Stedman and me since March. In all their conversations I feel the promise of possibilities.

Their whole lives shine with the light of hopefulness. That was taken away from Breonna in such a horrifying manner.

Imagine if three unidentified men burst into your home while you were sleeping. And your partner fired a gun to protect you. And then mayhem.

What I know for sure: We can’t be silent. We have to use whatever megaphone we have to cry for justice.

And that is why Breonna Taylor is on the cover of O magazine.

I cry for justice in her name.

The illustration of Taylor is by Dallas digital artist Alexis Franklin.

Update: Franklin wrote about the process of working on Taylor’s portrait.

Working as a digital portrait artist, I reimagine an existing image and can quickly switch moods or colors. The original photo is one Breonna took herself and has been featured in the news many times. Looking at it, I see an innocence, simple but powerful. It was critical for me to retain that. And there was a sparkle in Breonna’s eyes-a young Black woman posing in her Louisville EMS shirt, happy to be alive.

Tags: Alexis Franklin   Breonna Taylor   magazines   Oprah Winfrey


Some Inspirational Parting Words from John Lewis

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-30 13:35

The funeral of US Congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis will be held today in Atlanta, GA. Before he died, Lewis wrote an essay to be published posthumously. From the NY Times, Together, You Can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation by John Lewis.

Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble. Voting and participating in the democratic process are key. The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society. You must use it because it is not guaranteed. You can lose it.

You must also study and learn the lessons of history because humanity has been involved in this soul-wrenching, existential struggle for a very long time. People on every continent have stood in your shoes, though decades and centuries before you. The truth does not change, and that is why the answers worked out long ago can help you find solutions to the challenges of our time. Continue to build union between movements stretching across the globe because we must put away our willingness to profit from the exploitation of others.

Though I may not be here with you, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe. In my life I have done all I can to demonstrate that the way of peace, the way of love and nonviolence is the more excellent way. Now it is your turn to let freedom ring.

Tags: John Lewis


Two Quick Links for Wednesday Afternoon

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-29 21:52


These Flower Paintings “Blur the Lines Between Painting and Sculpture”

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-29 20:09

Joshua Davison

Joshua Davison

I quite like this work by New Zealand artist Joshua Davison, who uses a palette knife to build these sculptural paintings of flowers. Mmmm, gradients. (via colossal)

Tags: art   Joshua Davison


Cute Laundry Shop Couple Stylishly Models Clothes Left Behind by Their Patrons

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-29 17:45

Laundry Shop Models

Laundry Shop Models

Laundry Shop Models

One of the downsides of running a laundry shop is sometimes people drop off their clothes to be cleaned and they never come back to pick them up or, crucially, to pay the bill for services already rendered. About a month ago, Reef Chang came up with the idea of styling his octogenarian grandparents in some of the forgotten clothes from their Taiwan laundry shop and posted the results to Instagram. The internet, starving for positivity in the midst of global turmoil, responded energetically to the upstart modeling careers of Chang Wan-ji and Hsu Sho-er. The NY Times reports:

They are naturals in front of the camera. Ms. Hsu, 84, exudes the haughtiness of a supermodel but retains an air of playfulness. Mr. Chang, 83, is the perfect foil, complementing his wife’s swagger with a chill disposition while rocking bountiful eyebrows.

“His eyebrows really are something else,” Ms. Hsu said smiling in an interview in the rear of the laundry shop, next to a small shrine to the earth god Tudigong, a common feature of traditional Taiwanese homes.

The clothes they model are eclectic, funky and fun. Both can be seen in matching laced sneakers, and jauntily perched caps and hats. He sometimes sports brightly colored shades. One photo shows her leaning coolly against a giant washing machine, arms crossed, as he casually holds the open door, grinning. They pose at a place they know well — their shop, which provides an industrious backdrop of customers’ laundry, stacked and rolled into plastic bundles or hanging from racks.

Check out the couple’s continuing fashion journey on Instagram.

Tags: Chang Wan-ji   fashion   Hsu Sho-er   photography   Reef Chang


Americans Can’t Stop Mask Debating

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-29 15:59

A compilation of TV news clips of people saying “mask debate” (which sounds very much like another unrelated word when spoken — try saying it out loud right now to see what I mean), stitched together by the folks at Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. It feels good to laugh at infuriating things sometimes.

BTW, the actual debate over masks will continue to wane — science and then culture will win most people over and it’ll just become a normal thing that most people do in public all the time, like wearing shoes or carrying a bag.

Tags: COVID-19   language   video


Entire Series of “First Person” by Errol Morris Now Online

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-29 13:49

Filmmaker Errol Morris has uploaded the entire two-season run of his 2000-2001 TV series First Person to YouTube for free viewing: season 1 playlist, season 2 playlist. Each of the show’s 17 episodes is a one-on-one interview with someone who Morris finds fascinating, shot in the style that would find a wider audience and greater critical acclaim in The Fog of War two years later.

In the first season, Morris interviewed Temple Grandin about slaughterhouse design:

And Tony Mendez, former espionage expert for the CIA, whose work was the subject of the 2012 film Argo:

In season two, he profiled Josh Harris, one of the first internet celebrities:

Again, you can find every episode of First Person on YouTube: season 1, season 2.

Update: There’s an episode of First Person that has not been uploaded to YouTube: the one about Tanya Corrin (more on her here). That episode is also not listed on Morris’s site. I wonder what the story is here? (thx, @endquote)

Tags: Errol Morris   First Person   TV   video


Two Quick Links for Tuesday Evening

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-29 00:52


Meet the Living Son of a Former Enslaved Person

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-29 00:14

The Washington Post recently ran a profile of DC-area resident Dan Smith. Smith is 88 years old, participated in the March on Washington, and, along with other activists, crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. He is also the living child of a former enslaved person.

The whipping post. The lynching tree. The wagon wheel. They were the stories of slavery, an inheritance of fear and dread, passed down from father to son.

The boy, barely 5, would listen, awed, as his father spoke of life in Virginia, where he had been born into bondage on a plantation during the Civil War and suffered as a child laborer afterward.

As unlikely as it might seem, that boy, Daniel Smith, is still alive at 88, a member of an almost vanished demographic: The child of someone once considered a piece of property instead of a human being.

Smith is an example of The Great Span, the link across seemingly long periods of history by individual humans. In this case, just two people span almost two-thirds the history of the United States, linking slavery and the Civil War to the civil rights movement and eventually to George Floyd. 155 years may seem like a long time, but Smith’s story is a testament to how slow progress has been in the struggle for social justice for Black Americans. After all, up until earlier this year the US government was still paying out a Civil War pension to the daughter of a former Confederate and US soldier.

See also an eyewitness to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln lived to be a guest on a television game show and 106-year-old Virginia McLaurin dances in the White House with the Obamas. (via @tinmanic)

Tags: Civil War   Dan Smith   slavery   The Great Span