👓 15 Things You Should Know About Michelangelo’s Pietà | Mental Floss

15 Things You Should Know About Michelangelo's Pietà by Kristy Puchko (mentalfloss.com)
Since its creation in 1499, Michelangelo's Pietà has inspired emotion, faith, and imitation through its elegant depiction of the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ. Yet few know the secrets that are still being uncovered about this centuries-old statue.
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❤️ Focus on Content by Khürt Williams

Focus on Content by Khürt Williams (Island in the Net)
I’m going to use what works and is easy but focus on my content. When it doesn’t work; when it’s not easy. I’ll move on. Try another time.

Some worthwhile thoughts especially from a Gen2 perspective and on.

🔖 Indivisible.blue: WordPress hosting for the #resistance

Indivisible.blue: WordPress hosting for the #resistance (Indivisible Network)
The Quick Pitch ✓ You want to #resist the reckless, corrupt, and destructive agenda of the Trump Administration and the GOP Congress. ✓ You found or heard about the Indivisible Guide and the groundswell movement it’s igniting, and you’ve started to organize with like-minded citizens in you...

This is certainly an interesting use of WordPress

👓 We messed up. We’re sorry, and we’re not rolling out the fees change. | The Patreon Blog

We messed up. We’re sorry, and we’re not rolling out the fees change. (Patreon)
We’ve heard you loud and clear. We’re not going to rollout the changes to our payments system that we announced last week. We still have to fix the problems that those changes addressed, but we’re going to fix them in a different way, and we’re going to work with you to come up with the specifics, as we should have done the first time around. Many of you lost patrons, and you lost income. No apology will make up for that, but nevertheless, I’m sorry.

It is our core belief that you should own the relationships with your fans. These are your businesses, and they are your fans.

I almost want to continue reading this as: “Yet, you’re all still stuck on our silo and we intend to keep taking a percentage for keeping you in business…”

If they were really all-in on helping the way they’re signaling here, they would be building it in a decentralized way that allows creators to take their patrons with them to another platform. They would also be expanding on features, which they don’t seem to be doing much of. I get the need to watch the bottom line and work on scaling, but they should also continue innovating and experimenting, particularly for the smaller fish who could become bigger fish.

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❤️ IndieWebCamp Austin wrap-up by Manton Reece

IndieWebCamp Austin wrap-up by Manton Reece (manton.org)
Over the weekend we hosted the first IndieWebCamp in Austin. I’m really happy with the way the event came together. I learned a lot in helping plan it, made a few mistakes that we can improve next time, but overall came away as inspired as ever to keep improving Micro.blog so that it’s a standout platform of the IndieWeb movement. There’s nothing like meeting in person with other members of the community. I know this from attending Apple developer conferences, but the weekend in Austin only underscored that I should be more active in the larger web community as well.

👓 No one makes a living on Patreon | The Outline

No one makes a living on Patreon (The Outline)
Who is really benefiting from the crowdfunding site for artists?

This makes me want to find alternate and more direct means of donating money to people I want to support.

This could be a use case for people to have payment pages on their own websites to make the process more direct. This would also mean that they could post their update content on their own website and use either feeds and/or email to update their patrons.

I haven’t seen a “Patreon” concept on someone’s website in the wild yet, but I have seen examples like Tantek Çelik’s payment page, that do provide a start to the process. Many CMSs already have many of the other moving parts already built in for things like following/subscribing.

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👓 Former Mass. lawmaker accused of taking hundreds of pounds of free Dunkin’ Donuts coffee | The Hill

Former Mass. lawmaker accused of taking hundreds of pounds of free Dunkin' Donuts coffee (TheHill)
A former Massachusetts state senator was charged Friday with using his position to collect $1 million in bribes, as well as hundreds of pounds of free Dunkin’ Donuts coffee.

If you’re going to put your career at risk, hundreds of pounds of free coffee is a good reason, right?

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The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, 15th Anniversary Edition: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread by Peter Reinhart

The Bread Baker's Apprentice, 15th Anniversary Edition: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread: Peter Reinhart: 9781607748656: Amazon.com: Books by Peter ReinhartPeter Reinhart (Tenspeed Press)
Co-founder of the legendary Brother Juniper’s Bakery, author of ten landmark bread books, and distinguished instructor at the world’s largest culinary academy, Peter Reinhart has been a leader in America’s artisanal bread movement for more than thirty years. Never one to be content with yesterday’s baking triumph, however, Peter continues to refine his recipes and techniques in his never-ending quest for extraordinary bread. In this new edition of the award-winning and best-selling The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, Peter shares bread breakthroughs arising from his study in France’s famed boulangeries and the always-enlightening time spent in the culinary college kitchen with his students. Peer over Peter’s shoulder as he learns from Paris’s most esteemed bakers, like Lionel Poilâne and Phillippe Gosselin, whose pain à l’ancienne has revolutionized the art of baguette making. Then stand alongside his students in the kitchen as Peter teaches the classic twelve stages of building bread, his clear instructions accompanied by more than 100 step-by-step photographs. You’ll put newfound knowledge into practice with fifty master formulas for such classic breads as rustic ciabatta, hearty pain de campagne, old-school New York bagels, and the book’s Holy Grail—Peter’s version of the famed pain à l’ancienne, as well as three all-new formulas. En route, Peter distills hard science, advanced techniques, and food history into a remarkably accessible and engaging resource that is as rich and multitextured as the loaves you’ll turn out. In this revised edition, he adds metrics and temperature conversion charts, incorporates comprehensive baker’s percentages into the recipes, and updates methods throughout. This is original food writing at its most captivating, teaching at its most inspired and inspiring—and the rewards are some of the best breads under the sun.
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Energy and Civilization: A History by Vaclav Smil

Energy and Civilization: A History by Vaclav SmilVaclav Smil (MIT Press)
Energy is the only universal currency; it is necessary for getting anything done. The conversion of energy on Earth ranges from terra-forming forces of plate tectonics to cumulative erosive effects of raindrops. Life on Earth depends on the photosynthetic conversion of solar energy into plant biomass. Humans have come to rely on many more energy flows -- ranging from fossil fuels to photovoltaic generation of electricity -- for their civilized existence. In this monumental history, Vaclav Smil provides a comprehensive account of how energy has shaped society, from pre-agricultural foraging societies through today's fossil fuel--driven civilization. Humans are the only species that can systematically harness energies outside their bodies, using the power of their intellect and an enormous variety of artifacts -- from the simplest tools to internal combustion engines and nuclear reactors. The epochal transition to fossil fuels affected everything: agriculture, industry, transportation, weapons, communication, economics, urbanization, quality of life, politics, and the environment. Smil describes humanity's energy eras in panoramic and interdisciplinary fashion, offering readers a magisterial overview. This book is an extensively updated and expanded version of Smil's Energy in World History (1994). Smil has incorporated an enormous amount of new material, reflecting the dramatic developments in energy studies over the last two decades and his own research over that time.

h/t Bill Gates

 

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The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America (Liveright)
In this groundbreaking history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein, a leading authority on housing policy, explodes the myth that America’s cities came to be racially divided through de facto segregation―that is, through individual prejudices, income differences, or the actions of private institutions like banks and real estate agencies. Rather, The Color of Law incontrovertibly makes clear that it was de jure segregation―the laws and policy decisions passed by local, state, and federal governments―that actually promoted the discriminatory patterns that continue to this day. Through extraordinary revelations and extensive research that Ta-Nehisi Coates has lauded as "brilliant" (The Atlantic), Rothstein comes to chronicle nothing less than an untold story that begins in the 1920s, showing how this process of de jure segregation began with explicit racial zoning, as millions of African Americans moved in a great historical migration from the south to the north. As Jane Jacobs established in her classic The Death and Life of Great American Cities, it was the deeply flawed urban planning of the 1950s that created many of the impoverished neighborhoods we know. Now, Rothstein expands our understanding of this history, showing how government policies led to the creation of officially segregated public housing and the demolition of previously integrated neighborhoods. While urban areas rapidly deteriorated, the great American suburbanization of the post–World War II years was spurred on by federal subsidies for builders on the condition that no homes be sold to African Americans. Finally, Rothstein shows how police and prosecutors brutally upheld these standards by supporting violent resistance to black families in white neighborhoods. The Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibited future discrimination but did nothing to reverse residential patterns that had become deeply embedded. Yet recent outbursts of violence in cities like Baltimore, Ferguson, and Minneapolis show us precisely how the legacy of these earlier eras contributes to persistent racial unrest. “The American landscape will never look the same to readers of this important book” (Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund), as Rothstein’s invaluable examination shows that only by relearning this history can we finally pave the way for the nation to remedy its unconstitutional past.

h/t Bill Gates

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🔖 Computational Social Scientist Beware: Simpson’s Paradox in Behavioral Data by Kristina Lerman

Computational Social Scientist Beware: Simpson's Paradox in Behavioral Data by Kristina Lerman (arxiv.org)
Observational data about human behavior is often heterogeneous, i.e., generated by subgroups within the population under study that vary in size and behavior. Heterogeneity predisposes analysis to Simpson's paradox, whereby the trends observed in data that has been aggregated over the entire population may be substantially different from those of the underlying subgroups. I illustrate Simpson's paradox with several examples coming from studies of online behavior and show that aggregate response leads to wrong conclusions about the underlying individual behavior. I then present a simple method to test whether Simpson's paradox is affecting results of analysis. The presence of Simpson's paradox in social data suggests that important behavioral differences exist within the population, and failure to take these differences into account can distort the studies' findings.
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Alpha Release of Linkback Module for Drupal 8 with Webmention Support [8.x-1.0-alpha1]

Alpha Release of Linkback Module for Drupal 8 with Webmention Support [8.x-1.0-alpha1] by Dan FeidtDan Feidt (Drupal.org)
We are proud to bring you the first alpha release of Linkback, an interesting suite of modules which can help integrate your website with the wider internet. Linkback provides the backend functionality to save both outgoing and incoming pings and webmentions involving remote sites.

Drupal 8, now (along with platforms like WithKnown, Perch, WordPress, Craft, Kirby, ProcessWire, Elgg, and Django) has Webmention support. Congratulations to Dan Feidt (aka HongPong) and everyone involved!

This means that more websites can communicate directly with each other on the open and decentralized web. (Wouldn’t you like to “@mention” someone from your own website to theirs?) It’s a rapidly growing reality on the internet.​​​​​

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👓 Senate GOP Accidentally Killed All Corporate Tax Deductions | NY Magazine

Senate Republicans Accidentally Killed Some of Their Donors’ Favorite Tax Breaks by Eric Levitz (Daily Intelligencer)
Passing a tax bill that you wrote over lunch — and never actually read — appears to have some downsides.

Rush the pudding and you end up with crappy pudding.

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MATH X 451.43 Introduction to Algebraic Geometry: The Sequel | UCLA Extension

MATH X 451.43 Introduction to Algebraic Geometry: The Sequel (UCLA Extension)
Algebraic geometry is the study, using algebraic tools, of geometric objects defined as the solution sets to systems of polynomial equations in several variables. This course is the second in a two-quarter introductory sequence that develops the basic theory of this classical mathematical field. Whereas the fall-quarter course focused more on the subject’s algebraic underpinnings, this quarter will concentrate on geometric interpretations and applications. Topics to be discussed include Bézout’s Theorem, rational varieties, cubic curves and surfaces (including the remarkable 27-line theorem), and the connection between varieties and manifolds. The theoretical discussion will be supported by a large number of examples and exercises. The course should appeal to those with an interest in gaining a deeper understanding of the mathematical interplay among algebra, geometry, and topology.

Alright math nerds, it’s that time again! Be sure to register for Mike Miller’s excellent follow-on course for Algebraic Geometry.

Don’t forget to use the coupon code EARLY to save 10% with an early registration–time is limited!

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👓 Johns Hopkins astrophysicist Charles Bennett shares $3M Breakthrough Prize | Hub

Johns Hopkins astrophysicist Charles Bennett shares $3M Breakthrough Prize (The Hub)
He and his team are recognized for groundbreaking WMAP space mission, which established the Standard Model of Cosmology
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