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Gender Queer: A Memoir, by Maia Kobabe

A heartfelt memoir that I wish more kids had access to. Its place to the top of banned book lists is a travesty. I was surprised how emotional I found it; the last few pages brought me to tears unexpectedly. I find this kind of raw honesty to be very inspiring.

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Maggie Haberman: A Reckoning With Donald Trump

“I was curious when Trump said he had kept in touch with other world leaders since leaving office. I asked whether that included Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping, and he said no. But when I mentioned North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, he responded, “Well, I don’t want to say exactly, but …” before trailing off. I learned after the interview that he had been telling people at Mar-a-Lago that he was still in contact with North Korea’s supreme leader, whose picture with Trump hung on the wall of his new office at his club.”

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Banned in the USA: The Growing Movement to Censor Books in Schools

“Some groups appear to feed off work to promote diverse books, contorting those efforts to further their own censorious ends. They have inverted the purpose of lists compiled for teachers and librarians interested in introducing a more diverse set of reading materials into the classroom or library.” Despicable.

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How ‘Star Trek: The Motion Picture’ Finally, After 43 Years, Got Completed

“The problem with the theatrical cut was, simply, it wasn’t done. It feels long and slow because the movie hadn’t been edited properly. Scenes that may only last two or three seconds too long, or literally one frame, add up over the course of a movie to make it feel long. Now, after 1500 or so edits, Star Trek: The Motion Picture is a film that finally feels properly paced, looks stunning, and, after long last, no longer keeps the viewer at arm’s length.”

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Human Capital

“TED was for bearing hearts, not souls.” A fun short story from the world of Reap3r.

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Pound plummets as UK government announces biggest tax cuts in 50 years

I'm very sorry to see what's happening to the country I grew up in. Sabotage after sabotage after sabotage.

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Have I Been Trained?

I plugged my own face into the site, and sure enough, I’m part of the training set. It also showed me pictures of my friends. Feels weird. See if you can generate something involving me?

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Facebook Report: Censorship Violated Palestinian Rights

“Meta deleted Arabic content relating to the violence at a far greater rate than Hebrew-language posts, confirming long-running complaints of disparate speech enforcement in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The disparity, the report found, was perpetuated among posts reviewed both by human employees and automated software.”

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Capitalism and extreme poverty: A global analysis of real wages, human height, and mortality since the long 16th century

“The rise of capitalism from the long 16th century onward is associated with a decline in wages to below subsistence, a deterioration in human stature, and an upturn in premature mortality. […] Where progress has occurred, significant improvements in human welfare began only around the 20th century. These gains coincide with the rise of anti-colonial and socialist political movements.”

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California's dead will have a new burial option: Human composting

“This new law will provide California’s 39 million residents with a meaningful funeral option that offers significant savings in carbon emissions, water and land usage over conventional burial or cremation.”

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US Military Bought Mass Monitoring Tool That Includes Internet Browsing, Email Data

“Multiple branches of the U.S. military have bought access to a powerful internet monitoring tool that claims to cover over 90 percent of the world’s internet traffic.”

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Most Republicans Support Declaring the United States a Christian Nation

“Fully 61 percent of Republicans supported declaring the United States a Christian nation. In other words, even though over half of Republicans previously said such a move would be unconstitutional, a majority of GOP voters would still support this declaration.”

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Food Means Home

A recipe book collated by 30 unaccompanied minor asylum seekers. Just completely lovely.

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Pentagon reviews psychological operations amid Facebook, Twitter complaints

“The Pentagon has ordered a sweeping audit of how it conducts clandestine information warfare after major social media companies identified and took offline fake accounts suspected of being run by the U.S. military in violation of the platforms’ rules.”

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More US Employers Are Trapping Workers in a New Form of Indentured Servitude

“Bosses in industries such as retail, health care and logistics are reverting to an old tactic and trapping people in miserable jobs by threatening to saddle them with debt if they quit. Workers across the United States in fields ranging from nursing to trucking have been discouraged from leaving jobs they hate or can’t afford to keep because employers vow to charge them for training costs if they quit before an arbitrary deadline.”

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The Internet We Could Have Had

“The internet we do have, however, is figured much differently. It is figured as a tool of political domination. It is the apotheosis of the forms of domination secretly hidden inside the stories of progress and liberation. It is capitalism, colonialism, imperialism, slavery, and environmental destruction all rolled into one hideous hydra whose heads are Zuckerberg, Bezos, Pichai, Cook, with Musk and Thiel at the ass end.”

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The smoking gun in Martha's Vineyard

“Migrants from Venezuela were provided with false information to convince them to board flights chartered by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R). The documents suggest that the flights were not just a callous political stunt but potentially a crime.”

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Gender differences and bias in open source: pull request acceptance of women versus men

“Surprisingly, our results show that women’s contributions tend to be accepted more often than men’s. However, for contributors who are outsiders to a project and their gender is identifiable, men’s acceptance rates are higher. Our results suggest that although women on GitHub may be more competent overall, bias against them exists nonetheless.”

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How a news investigation shed light on potential patient privacy violations

“The health system said the tracking tool was intended to help track the success of a promotional campaign to connect more patients to its MyChart patient portal, which involved Facebook advertisements. But it was configured improperly, which allowed Meta to obtain patient information such as email addresses, phone numbers, computer IP addresses, contact information and appointment details.”

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WordPress+IndieWeb as the OS of the Open Social Web

Nice indieweb thoughts and presentation. As an aside, I’ve added Hypothesis annotations to my site, inspired by Ton’s site.

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5th Circuit Rewrites A Century Of 1st Amendment Law To Argue Internet Companies Have No Right To Moderate

“It effectively says that companies no longer have a 1st Amendment right to their own editorial policies. Under this ruling, any state in the 5th Circuit could, in theory, mandate that news organizations must cover certain politicians or certain other content. It could, in theory, allow a state to mandate that any news organization must publish opinion pieces by politicians. It completely flies in the face of the 1st Amendment’s association rights and the right to editorial discretion.”

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Americans see media as critical to democracy, 19th News/SurveyMonkey poll says

“An increasingly diverse country does not see itself reflected in the media. Communities of color, LGBTQ+ people and marginalized groups are still underrepresented in both who covers the news and what news is covered.”

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Scientists Have Bad News About All These Energy Efficient LEDs

“Focusing on the suppression of melatonin — the hormone that regulates sleep cycles — star visibility, and insects' response to light, the researchers found that all categories were negatively affected. The level of melatonin suppression in humans has gone up since 2013, stars are less visible, and the insects' response to light was unnaturally altered.”

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Kat White - In the Eye of the Owl

Years ago, I commissioned a song about capybara for this lovely animal-themed children’s album. And now I get to listen to it with my actual child. Magic.

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DHS built huge database from cellphones, computers seized at border

“The rapid expansion of the database and the ability of 2,700 CBP officers to access it without a warrant — two details not previously known about the database — have raised alarms in Congress about what use the government has made of the information, much of which is captured from people not suspected of any crime. CBP officials told congressional staff the data is maintained for 15 years.”

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