👓 Most major outlets have used Russian tweets as sources for partisan opinion: study | Columbia Journalism Review

Read Most major outlets have used Russian tweets as sources for partisan opinion: study by Josephine Lukito and Chris Wells (Columbia Journalism Review)
In a new study at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, we look at how often, and in what context, Twitter accounts from the Internet Research Agency—a St. Petersburg-based organization directed by individuals with close ties to Vladimir Putin, and subject to Mueller’s scrutiny—successfully made their way from social media into respected journalistic media. We searched the content of 33 major American news outlets for references to the 100 most-retweeted accounts among those Twitter identified as controlled by the IRA, from the beginning of 2015 through September 2017. We found at least one tweet from an IRA account embedded in 32 of the 33 outlets—a total of 116 articles—including in articles published by institutions with longstanding reputations, like The Washington Post, NPR, and the Detroit Free Press, as well as in more recent, digitally native outlets such as BuzzFeed, Salon, and Mic (the outlet without IRA-linked tweets was Vice).

How are outlets publishing generic tweets without verifying the users actually exist? This opens up a new type of journalistic fraud in which a writer could keep an army of bots and feed out material that they could then self-quote for their own needs without a story really existing.

📖 A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker

Read A Visitor for Bear (Bear and Mouse, ) by Bonny Becker (Candlewick Press)
Bear is quite sure he doesn't like visitors. He even has a sign. So when a mouse taps on his door one day, Bear tells him to leave. But when Bear goes to the cupboard to get a bowl, there is the mouse -- small and gray and bright-eyed. In this slapstick tale that begs to be read aloud, all Bear wants is to eat his breakfast in peace, but the mouse -- who keeps popping up in the most unexpected places -- just won't go away!

Such a great little modern classic!

👓 How A Jewish Artist Reclaimed ‘Mein Kampf’ | Forward

Read How A Jewish Artist Reclaimed ‘Mein Kampf’ by Karen Chernick (The Forward)
Gideon Rubin's "Black Book" at London's Freud Museum features an English first edition of Hitler's "Mein Kampf," published in 1939.

He did something relatively interesting with the old manuscript that I wasn’t quite expecting…

👓 Mueller gathers evidence that 2017 Seychelles meeting was effort to establish back channel to Kremlin | The Washington Post

Read Mueller gathers evidence that 2017 Seychelles meeting was effort to establish back channel to Kremlin by Sari Horwitz and Devlin Barrett (Washington Post)
An Indian Ocean meeting between a Trump backer and a Russian official may have been planned to secretly discuss U.S.-Russia relations.

Wow! The plot gets thicker with some new bits and new players.

👓 Florida Teacher Says Her Racist Podcast Was ‘Satire’ | New York Times

Read Florida Teacher Says Her Racist Podcast Was ‘Satire’ by Matt Stevens (nytimes.com)
School officials called the podcast “concerning” and said the teacher had been removed from the classroom.

Sure it was satire–that’s why you quickly deleted ALL of your social media profiles when contacted by the press the first time. Sad to hear that your 15 minutes of fame is going to be so damaging to your career.

👓 Pioneering scientist Murray Sachs, who led biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins for 16 years, dies at 77 | JHU Hub

Read Pioneering scientist Murray Sachs, who led biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins for 16 years, dies at 77 by Vanessa Wasta (The Hub)
His research on how the brain receives, processes sound paved the way for the development of cochlear implants

👓 Stormy Daniels’ lawyer slams secret order, ‘threats’ by Trump’s lawyer | NBC

Read Stormy Daniels' lawyer slams secret order, 'threats' by Trump's lawyer by Sarah Fitzpatrick (NBC News)
"We do not take kindly to these threats," said Michael Avenatti, an attorney for adult-film star Stormy Daniels, who is suing President Donald Trump. President Donald Trump's lawyer is trying to silence adult-film star Stormy Daniels, obtaining a secret restraining order in a private arbitration proceeding and warning that she will face penalties if she publicly discusses a relationship with the president, NBC News has learned. The new pressure on Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, comes a day after she filed a lawsuit in a Los Angeles court alleging that a nondisclosure agreement she made to keep quiet about an "intimate" relationship with Trump is invalid because he never signed it.

Denier in Chief?

👓 What’s An Inclusion Rider? Here’s The Story Behind Frances McDormand’s Closing Words | NPR

Read What's An Inclusion Rider? Here's The Story Behind Frances McDormand's Closing Words by Colin Dwyer (NPR.org)
"I have two words to leave with you tonight," the actress told the audience after winning her Oscar: "inclusion rider." But she didn't define those words onstage — so, here's a helpful primer. Simply put: It's a stipulation that actors and actresses can ask (or demand) to have inserted into their contracts, which would require a certain level of diversity among a film's cast and crew. For instance, an A-list actor negotiating to join a film could use the inclusion rider to insist that "tertiary speaking characters should match the gender distribution of the setting for the film, as long as it's sensible for the plot," Stacy L. Smith explained in a 2014 column that introduced the idea in The Hollywood Reporter.

👓 For Two Months, I Got My News From Print Newspapers. Here’s What I Learned. | New York Times

Read For Two Months, I Got My News From Print Newspapers. Here’s What I Learned. by Farhad Manjoo (nytimes.com)
Our tech columnist tried to skip digital news for a while. His old-school experiment led to three main conclusions.

A somewhat link-baity headline, but overall a nice little article with some generally solid advice. I always thought that even the daily paper was at too quick a pace and would much prefer a weekly or monthly magazine that does a solid recap of all the big stories and things one ought to know, that way the stories had had some time to simmer and all the details had time to come out. Kind of like reading longer form non-fiction of periods of history, just done on a somewhat shorter timescale.

👓 Blogging more helps me appreciate things in life | Matt Maldre

Read Blogging more helps me appreciate things in life by Matt Maldre (Matt Maldre)
I was just thinking I would blog more if I had an app like Tweetdeck, but for WordPress where I can open a simple text edit window. Drag over one image, and boom. Blog post. And then I realized, Oh! There are MacOS WordPress apps!

Lately I’ve been inspired by some of the web’s best bloggers.

I didn’t know I was doing so well to be included with some of the biggest heavy hitters in the space! Thanks for the kind words Matt!

👓 Science’s Inference Problem: When Data Doesn’t Mean What We Think It Does | New York Times

Read Science’s Inference Problem: When Data Doesn’t Mean What We Think It Does by James Ryerson (nytimes.com)
Three new books on the challenge of drawing confident conclusions from an uncertain world.

Not sure how I missed this when it came out two weeks ago, but glad it popped up in my reader today.

This has some nice overview material for the general public on probability theory and science, but given the state of research, I’d even recommend this and some of the references to working scientists.

I remember bookmarking one of the texts back in November. This is a good reminder to circle back and read it.

👓 Analysis | Trump is implicated in his attorney’s Stormy Daniels payment for the first time | Washington Post

Read Analysis | Trump is implicated in his attorney’s Stormy Daniels payment for the first time by Aaron Blake (Washington Post)
The Wall Street Journal buried the lead.

This is the type of scandal that would have completely unseated any politician just a few years ago and certainly ruined a presidency. Where has our national morality gone?

👓 Project Gutenberg blocks German users after court rules in favor of Holtzbrinck subsidiary | TeleRead

Read Project Gutenberg blocks German users after court rules in favor of Holtzbrinck subsidiary by Chris Meadows (TeleRead)
The global Internet and highly territorial real world have had a number of collisions, especially where ebook rights are concerned. The most recent such dispute involves Project Gutenberg, a well-respected public domain ebook provider—in fact, the oldest. It concerns 18 German-language books by three German authors. As a result of a German lawsuit, Project Gutenberg has blocked Germany from viewing the Gutenberg web site. The books in question are out of copyright in the United States, because at the time they passed into the public domain US copyrights were based on the period after publication rather than the author’s life. The three authors involved are Heinrich Mann (died in 1950), Thomas Mann (1955) and Alfred Döblin (1957).

Some interesting thoughts on cross border intellectual property and copyright. Even if a site blocks the content, there are easy enough means of getting around it that local jurisdictions would need to enforce things locally anyway. Why bother with the intermediate step?

👓 How 4,000 Physicists Gave a Vegas Casino its Worst Week Ever | Physics Buzz

Read How 4,000 Physicists Gave a Vegas Casino its Worst Week Ever (physicsbuzz.physicscentral.com)
What happens when several thousand distinguished physicists, researchers, and students descend on the nation’s gambling capital for a conference? The answer is "a bad week for the casino"—but you'd never guess why. The year was 1986, and the American Physical Society’s annual April meeting was slated to be held in San Diego. But when scheduling conflicts caused the hotel arrangements to fall through just a few months before, the conference's organizers were left scrambling to find an alternative destination that could accommodate the crowd—and ended up settling on Las Vegas's MGM grand.

Totally physics clickbait. The headline should have read: “Vegas won’t cater to physics conferences anymore because they’re too smart to gamble.”

👓 Philando Castile charity wipes out school lunch debt in district where he worked | CNN

Read Philando Castile charity wipes out school lunch debt in district where he worked (CNN)
A charity that honors the memory of the late school nutrition supervisor has erased the lunch debt of every student in public schools in the St. Paul, Minnesota, district where he worked before his death by a police officer in 2016.

A new meaning for Philanthropy.

I find it unconscionable that school districts would penalize the poor this way and prevent them from getting the services that the schools should be encouraging. This is simply morally wrong and is a prime example of a negative feedback mechanism that drags society in general down instead of improving it.