📺 Friday Night Lights Season 1, Episodes 11-13

Watched Friday Night Lights Season 1, Episodes 11-13 from NBC via Netflix
What's high school football mean to this Texas town? Absolutely everything when the stakes are as high off the field as they are on.

We’ve now switched over on the football/drama scales, and football is just a passing interest to the show now. There is a reasonable balance between the plotlines of the teenagers and the adults though.

👓 Breitbart editor: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump will be ‘out by end of year’ | The Hill

Read Breitbart editor: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump will be 'out by end of year' (The Hill)
An internet prankster posing as Stephen Bannon baited Breitbart Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow into saying he would assist Bannon with his "dirty work" and help push Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner out of the White House. The Breitbart News editor said Kushner and Ivanka Trump would be "out by end of year" from their roles as White House advisers, according to the emails provided to CNN by the anonymous web troll, who has the username @SINON_REBORN on Twitter. The fake account — designed to look like it was Bannon's — first messaged Marlow on Sunday in an apparent attempt to fool Marlow into talking about Trump and Kushner.
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👓 How Mic.com exploited social justice for clicks | The Outline

Read Mic's Drop: How Mic.com exploited social justice for clicks, and then abandoned a staff that believed in it. (The Outline)
For about five years, Mic.com was a place where readers could go to get moral clarity. In the Mic universe, heroes fought for equality against villains who tried to take it away. Every day, there was someone, like plus-size model Ashley Graham, to cheer for, and someone else, like manspreaders, to excoriate. Kim Kardashian annihilated slut shamers, George Takei clapped back at transphobes. “In a Single Tweet, One Man Beautifully Destroys the Hypocrisy of Anti-Muslim Bigotry.” “This Brave Woman's Horrifying Photo Has Become a Viral Rallying Cry Against Sexual Harassment.” “Young Conservative Tries to Mansplain Hijab in Viral Olympic Photo, Gets It All Wrong.” “The Problematic Disney Body Image Trend We're Not Talking About.” “The Very Problematic Reason This Woman Is Taking a Stand Against Leggings.”

It’s disappointing to see such a huge disconnect between publishers and their journalistic staff. There’s also a business take away in that things typically won’t bode well in the long term when things like this happen. It’s going to be far more difficult for the publishers to find their way going forward.

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🎧 Getting to know the cinta senese on its home turf | Eat This Podcast

Listened to Getting to know the cinta senese on its home turf: The rebirth of a Renaissance pig by Jeremy Cherfas from Eat This Podcast
In the town hall of Siena is a series of glorious frescoes that depict The Allegory of Good and Bad Government. In one of them is a pig, long snouted and thin legged, black with a white band around its back and down its front legs, being quietly chivied along by a swineherd. It is absolutely recognisable as a cinta senese, a Belted Sienese pig, today one the most favoured heritage breeds in Italy. But it wasn’t always so. Numbers dropped precipitously in the 1950s and 1960s, to the point that the herd studbook, recording the ancestry of all the animals, was abandoned. And then began the renaissance. One place that contributed to the revival of the cinta senese is Spannocchia, a large and ancient estate not far from Siena. I was lucky enough to visit earlier this summer, to see the pigs first hand and to learn about them from Sara Silvestri. Perhaps the biggest surprise, to me, was that not all cinta senese are blessed with the white belt that is deemed a characteristic of the breed. Some have white spots or stripes but not the full band, and some don’t seem to have any white at all. This could be flaky genetics – odd for a breed with a supposedly ancient lineage – or it could be the result of marauding male cinghiale, which are a problem in Spannocchia and elsewhere. Right now, all these visually defective animals (and most of the perfect specimens too) end up on a plate. I wonder how long before every piglet born is properly belted.

Oh, how I dream of pork… I’m beginning to wonder if there’s an Eat This Podcast 12 step program.

For a minute toward the end I though that Jeremy had slipped and let the audio quality of the episode go to pot. Took me a minute to realize that it had started to rain during the interview and the audio was really just supplementing the arc of the story–as always. I suppose I have to let go and trust his producerial sense.

I’d been away from podcasts for a chunk of the summer, so today was a great day to have the chance to catch up on one of my favorites.

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🎧 It’s putrid, it’s paleo, and it’s good for you | Eat This Podcast

Replied to It’s putrid, it’s paleo, and it’s good for you by Jeremy Cherfas (Eat This Podcast)
How do you get your vitamin C where no fruit and veg will grow? As our ancestors moved north out of Africa, and especially as they found themselves in climates that supported less gathering and more hunting, they were faced with an acute nutritional problem: scurvy. Humans are one of the few mammals that cannot manufacture this vital little chemical compound (others being the guinea pig and fruit bats). If there are no fruit and veg around, where will that vitamin C come from? That’s a question that puzzled John Speth, an archaeologist and Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He found clues in the accounts of sailors and explorers shipwrecked in the Arctic. Those who, often literally, turned their noses up at the “disgusting” diet of the locals sometimes paid with their lives. Those who ate what the locals ate lived to tell the tale. John Speth told me the tale of how he came to propose the idea that putrid meat and fish may have been a key part of Neanderthal and modern human diet during the Palaeolithic.

As always a brilliant episode from Jeremy.

There’s quite a lot to unpack here and I’m sure there’s a few days of research papers to read to even begin to scratch the surface of some of what’s going on here with regard to the disgust portion of the program.

One of the things that strikes me offhand within the conversation of botulism and its increase when Arctic peoples went from traditional life ways to more modern ones are related stories I’ve heard, even recently, from researchers who are looking for replacement antibiotics for evolving superbugs. Often their go-to place for searching for them is in the dirt which can be found all around us. I’m curious if there’s not only specific chemistry (perhaps anaerobic or even affected by temperature) but even antibiotics found in the ground which are killing microbes which could cause these types of sickness? Of course, with extreme cold usually comes frozen ground and permafrost which may make burying foods for fermenting more difficult. I’m curious how and were native peoples were doing their burying to give an idea for what may have been happening to protect them.

Another piece which dovetails with this one is a story I heard yesterday morning on NPR as I woke up. Entitled To Get Calcium, Navajos Burn Juniper Branches To Eat The Ash, it also covered the similar idea that native peoples had methods for fulfilling their dietary needs in unique ways.

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👓 Is Anybody Home at HUD? | ProPublica

Read Is Anybody Home at HUD? by Alec MacGillis (ProPublica)
A long-harbored conservative dream — the “dismantling of the administrative state” — is taking place under Secretary Ben Carson.

I was just thinking yesterday, HUD has been awfully quiet. What has Ben Carson been up to?

The answer is appallingly painful, but seemingly par for the course, for the current administration.

While certainly having a particular point of view, this article is well reported with some great history/background, and specific examples. Sadly, it appears that the people Trump specifically said he was out to help are going to get the shaft even worse than I would have expected.

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🎧 Jam Tomorrow | Eat This Podcast

Replied to Jam tomorrow? by Jeremy Cherfas (Eat This Podcast)
What is jam? “A preserve made from whole fruit boiled to a pulp with sugar.” Lots of opportunities to quibble with that, most especially, if you’re planning to sell the stuff in the UK and label it “jam,” the precise amount of sugar. More than 60% and you’re fine calling it jam. Less than 50% and you need to call it reduced-sugar jam. Lower still, and it becomes a fruit spread. All that is about to change though, thanks to a UK Goverment regulation that will allow products with less than 60% sugar to be labelled jam. There’s nothing like a threat to the traditional British way of life to motivate the masses, although as an expat, I had no idea of the kerfuffle this had raised until I read about it on the website of the Campaign for Real Farming.

I realize that I’m probably ruined by eating soft set American jams and jellies all my life, aside from a half a dozen or so homemade versions I’ve made myself over the years. Here in the states, we’ve slipped even further–most jams are comprised of high fructose corn syrup instead of sugar. If only that revolution had happened after the 1920s instead of the 1770s perhaps things would be different.

I’m curious what’s become of this issue four years on? Did the “hard”-liners win out, or did the regulations turn to (soft set) jelly?

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🔖 Back to the Future: The Decentralized Web, a report by Digital Currency Initiative & Center for Civic Media

Bookmarked Back to the Future: The Decentralized Web, A report by the Digital Currency Initiative and the Center for Civic Media (Digital Currency Initiative / MIT Media Lab)
The Web is a key space for civic debate and the current battleground for protecting freedom of expression. However, since its development, the Web has steadily evolved into an ecosystem of large, corporate-controlled mega-platforms which intermediate speech online. In many ways this has been a positive development; these platforms improved usability and enabled billions of people to publish and discover content without having to become experts on the Web’s intricate protocols. But in other ways this development is alarming. Just a few large platforms drive most traffic to online news sources in the U.S., and thus have enormous influence over what sources of information the public consumes on a daily basis. The existence of these consolidated points of control is troubling for many reasons. A small number of stakeholders end up having outsized influence over the content the public can create and consume. This leads to problems ranging from censorship at the behest of national governments to more subtle, perhaps even unintentional, bias in the curation of content users see based on opaque, unaudited curation algorithms. The platforms that host our networked public sphere and inform us about the world are unelected, unaccountable, and often impossible to audit or oversee. At the same time, there is growing excitement around the area of decentralized systems, which have grown in prominence over the past decade thanks to the popularity of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a payment system that has no central points of control, and uses a novel peer-to-peer network protocol to agree on a distributed ledger of transactions, the blockchain. Bitcoin paints a picture of a world where untrusted networks of computers can coordinate to provide important infrastructure, like verifiable identity and distributed storage. Advocates of these decentralized systems propose related technology as the way forward to “re-decentralize” the Web, by shifting publishing and discovery out of the hands of a few corporations, and back into the hands of users. These types of code-based, structural interventions are appealing because in theory, they are less corruptible and resistant to corporate or political regulation. Surprisingly, low-level, decentralized systems don’t necessarily translate into decreased market consolidation around user-facing mega-platforms. In this report, we explore two important ways structurally decentralized systems could help address the risks of mega-platform consolidation: First, these systems can help users directly publish and discover content directly, without intermediaries, and thus without censorship. All of the systems we evaluate advertise censorship-resistance as a major benefit. Second, these systems could indirectly enable greater competition and user choice, by lowering the barrier to entry for new platforms. As it stands, it is difficult for users to switch between platforms (they must recreate all their data when moving to a new service) and most mega-platforms do not interoperate, so switching means leaving behind your social network. Some systems we evaluate directly address the issues of data portability and interoperability in an effort to support greater competition.

Download .pdf

h/t Ethan Zuckerman
Related to http://boffosocko.com/2017/08/19/mastodon-is-big-in-japan-the-reason-why-is-uncomfortable-by-ethan-zuckerman/

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