26 February 2023

Link round-up for 26 February 2023

Various interesting stuff I ran across on the net over the last week.

o o o o o

A preliminary note:  I make it a rule never to include links to paywalled sites in the link round-ups, nor to any site that requires you to log in to something to see it.  There's no point in including a link that most of my readers won't be able to access.

Recently, Blogspot has begun requiring readers to log in before they can view any blog that includes sexually-explicit material.  The problem seems to be sporadic, with some readers encountering the barrier and others not.  I don't link to actual porn here, but some blogs include both porn and non-porn posts, and I sometimes link to their non-porn posts.  The new barrier makes such links useless, since most people (other than those who have Blogspot blogs, or frequently comment on them) don't have Blogspot accounts.

This week, I started seeing a similar problem with some Tumblr blogs, which appear normally for a minute or two and then display this:
In this case, it's nothing to do with porn; Tumblr blogs of any type can be affected.  However, it's inconsistent.  For me, at least, maybe one in every three Tumblr blogs is affected.

I'd like to know how many people are running into these problems with my links here.  If you do encounter them, please let me know by e-mail (see left) or in the comments.  I see no point in continuing to post links to sites that many or most readers won't be able to access.

o o o o o

Some ambitious dogs here.

Improve your mind.

He seems to like her (NSFW).

Sometimes you shouldn't take questions too literally.

Life was tough in the stone age.

See a new musical genius perform.

Don't eat garbage (visually icky).

Please avoid driving while stupid.

Very mixed message here.

Enjoy your interests and ignore the haters.

What if "the rapture" really happened?

Here's why all music since 2003 is contemporary.

Some classic anime shows are now being made available for free on YouTube.

Don't try this at home.

These guys are pretty inventive.

An iceberg surprises some birds.

Don't go outdoors in this Canadian storm.

Check out these lithops.

See a steel anvil float.

Impressive visuals in this haunted church story (use fullscreen).

Here are some things to try if your dog can't sleep.

Even if it could be worse, so what?

Don't trust anyone whose goal is to make you angry.

As an adult, you can focus on the joys you were denied in childhood.

My city got several inches of snow on Wednesday and Thursday, nearly paralyzing it.  We're supposed to get more snow this morning.

Blogger Daal just got back from Kolkata.

These scams are going around, apparently.  These scams too.

If you live in the area affected by the Ohio derailment, beware of these scams.

All about pigeons here.

Don't bother with collagen supplements.

Be aware of which contraceptive methods are most effective.  There's misleading information out there.

Here's a short video on the science of using puberty blockers for gender dysphoria.

The Webb telescope has made an unexpected discovery about the early universe.

Social science won't be a real science until it learns to rigorously test hypotheses against evidence.

If the Marburg virus ever spreads globally, it would cause a far worse pandemic than covid did.  The US would be especially vulnerable, since the "stupid one-third" of the population is now so implacably hostile to vaccines and to disease-mitigation measures in general.

Maybe we should make fun of mass killers.

Maybe we should make fun of religion.

Must-read of the week:  France's Charlie Hebdo magazine remains a bastion of free speech, mocking tyrants, religious bullies, and pompous jackasses around the world.  See also this cartoonist's remembrance of the 2015 terrorist attack there.

Treating a kid like this will make him or her hate going to church.

This is what Orwell's Newspeak looks like in real life.

Temple University in Philadelphia clumsily retaliates against striking employees.

With his stamp of approval, it's a product you can trust.

Social media are being destroyed by bad business models.

You can teach black history as long as you leave out black history.

Creepazoid and alleged chronic luggage thief Sam Brinton scored big in 2018 with the suitcase of a fashion designerDiscussion here.

Two US presidents, two stances (found via Hackwhackers).

If you're looking for a work-around for the pervasive censorship on YouTube, Vimeo apparently is not a good alternative.  So far, the best censorship-free video platform I've found is Odysee.

More despicable YouTube censorship here.

Twitter will soon require users to pay for a basic security feature which used to be free.

The recent plan to vandalize Roald Dahl's books (I posted about it here) highlights the importance of physical media like real printed books and DVDs which can't be modified, unlike kindles, streaming, etc.  Note that the vandalism is being done by the books' UK publisher; those in the rest of Europe and in the US are not going along with it.

The Little Mermaid is the latest classic movie up for a woke-ified remake (with terrible special effects, apparently).

The SEC has fined the Mormon Church five million dollars -- for hiding tens of billions.

Meet a new rising star at the National Organization for Women.

A BDS group posted a photo of Jewish corpses in a Nazi concentration camp and claimed they were Palestinian victims of Israel.

An Alaska Republican inquires after possible economic benefits from the deaths of abused children.

Is it possible to fight for a cause while avoiding the rancid toxicity of current US politics?

Such a good Christian man (found via Hackwhackers).

Barnes & Noble is thriving, even as many online platforms struggle.

"How dare he think what he thinks instead of what I tell him to think?"

Evangelical Christianity is a marketing operation, and we need to tell the truth about the product they're selling.

Biden is doing better than you think, even on illegal immigration.  But he needs to do more on saving and expanding Social Security.

No matter how "woke" you are, one wrong step and the howling mob will turn against you.

Why is the US weird?

Black Americans who have left Christianity discuss their reasons.

Strikes were a major driver of progress in 2022.  The right to strike is under threat by the Supreme Court, while some states act to protect it.

Wingnuts in the Idaho legislature want to criminalize administering mRNA vaccines.

When education aims to instill specific opinions, it becomes merely indoctrination.

Moralists are generally hypocrites.

Moderna scores massive profits on its covid vaccine, whose creation was largely government-funded.

There's a reason why the problem of medical debt is worst in the deep South (found via Hackwhackers).  The story of Charlene Dill (scroll down a bit) is a study in American barbarity.

"Proud Boy" Jeremy Bertino's testimony about January 6 is highly revealing.

The Soviet state's role in World War II wasn't so heroic.

"There's deep anger" among many House Republicans at the wingnut twenty.  "Folks don't want to lift a finger for them."

Nothing JK Rowling has said qualifies as transphobic.

Fox News finally messed with the wrong people.

It's not debatable -- Hitler was definitely a Christian.

The really hard-line forced-birth laws are so electorally toxic that even some Republicans are backing away.

A prosecutor in Los Angeles gets suspended for refusing to pretend that a male child rapist is a woman.

The government has ordered Norfolk Southern to clean up its mess in Ohio.  But for the future, much more needs to be done.  Chemical contamination could reach local wells decades in the future.

Desperate for some good PR, Norfolk Southern has extended paid sick leave to some of its workers (but only 3,000 out of 19,000 total).

There is a lot wrong with how the US system handles inflation.

Twitter's ad revenue has fallen 65% since Musk took over.

A parents-vs-school lawsuit in Wisconsin could become precedent-setting.

Marjoreene's "national divorce" would be economically devastating to the red states.  Even going by counties, 71% of US economic output comes from blue counties.  Green Eagle blog suggests an experiment to drive home the point.

There was fraud relating to the Arizona election.

Will Florida subsidize neo-Nazi schooling?

Buttigieg flunks the Woody Allen test.  To be clear, what matters is not "showing up" in the sense of physically visiting the site, but in the sense of focusing on the problem and taking fast and effective action.

To create an American economic renaissance, we need to disengage our economy from China.

Democratic state governors form an alliance to protect abortion rights, even in forced-birth states.

The Biden administration is about to approve a 24-billion-ton increase in US greenhouse-gas emissions.

Annie Asks You blog discusses observing the first anniversary of the Ukraine war.

Some people really are Nazis.

Arizona libertarians face the consequences of living out their ideology.

Woketardia seems to be declining as the long-suffering targets of its bullying start to stand up for themselves.  Faster, please.

The Indiana legislature is making it harder to keep tabs on the police.

This is what you're supporting when you buy products assembled in China.

Here's a detailed analysis of Seymour Hersh's claims about the Nord Stream pipeline explosion.

The UK Green party associates with some interesting characters.

This school is creepy.

Sixty-one British companies tried out a four-day work week (with no pay reduction) for a few months.  Now most of them have opted to keep it permanently.

Lesbian groups and associations in the UK have mostly been destroyed.

Almost everything is now a "far right" red flag, apparently (link from commenter NickM).

Here's how things went crazy at the Tavistock clinic.

The British parliament needs to get rid of these unelected legislators.

These two winners have something in common.

Learn from how the French avoided the nightmare we face.

Northern Europe is slamming the brakes on Frankensteinian "gender-affirming" treatments for minors.

In scenes reminiscent of January 6, a violent mob stormed Mexico City's Congress building on Tuesday.

Per capita, it's Russia's near neighbors that are giving the most to Ukraine.  They know the risks if Putin isn't stopped.

See a Ukrainian reconnaissance drone crew at work.

Verified charities here to help Ukraine.

Putin discovered that there's no honor among traitors.

India and China may have talked Putin out of using nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

Whether or not Russia is barred from the Olympics, Ukrainian gymnast Katia Diachenko will not be attending.

Putin has plans to absorb Belarus into Russia (found via Earth-Bound Misfit).

Russia's floundering war effort is unsustainable.

Kyiv Independent has a month-by-month timeline of the war.

If we can't blame the Jews, we're not even gonna talk about it.

An Islamic foundation in Iran has offered a gift of land to the terrorist who attacked Salman Rushdie.

The Iranian theocracy is increasingly isolated internationally, and its currency has fallen to half a million to one US dollar.

The Iranian uprising has published a manifesto calling for a democratic and secular state.  Many women continue to defy the theocracy's hijab laws.  The former crown prince explains how the West can help.

Saudi Arabia is planning to build its very own Borg cube (link from commenter NickM).

It seems India is more serious than the West about regulating big tech.

China is finished as the world's factory.  The West will destroy China's economy if the Xi regime gives lethal aid to Putin for his Ukraine war.

In North Korea, even the "holidays" are dreary.

South Africa seems to be aligning itself with the Russian and Chinese regimes (found via Hackwhackers).

More links at Fair and Unbalanced, WAHF, and Elder of Ziyon.

My own posts this week:  literary cultural vandalism, some truths and inspirations, and a short video about a prehistoric hunter.

o o o o o

Democracies stand together!

The mere repetition of assertions is worthless.  What matters is the actual real-world evidence one can bring to support them.

Today marks eighty-seven days since railway workers were robbed of their right to strike for paid sick leave.  Issue the executive order, Biden!

[Image at top:  the snow-stalled I-84 freeway in Portland this week.  Democracies for Ukraine image found via Reaganite Independent.]


Blogger Jack said...

That's strange news about Blogger and Tumblr. I haven't encountered it yet. I vaguely remember hearing that Tumblr was doing something like that, but I wasn't aware that Blogger had started too. I wonder if it is something they're doing on their end or whether bloggers are opting into it somehow.

26 February, 2023 04:21  
Blogger NickM said...

I dunno if Musk is to blame for Twitter going down the shitter. It seems to me very much that Musk having a "Musk Moment" and spending top-dollar for a ship already holed below the waterline.

One of the many issues with social media platforms is they are intrinsically subject to the law of fashion. This is one of the most powerful, yet least appreciated laws of the human condition. Fashions are of course fleeting but the concept of fashion itself is immutable, eternal and very powerful. And it doesn't just apply to clothes. Or music or like whatever. But to everything...

26 February, 2023 07:05  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Jack: I've had a fair amount of corroboration that others are having the same problem with Blogspot, including already mention from a reader that he had the problem with a link in this round-up. I don't know whether the Tumblr glitch is affecting a lot of people, but I should soon find out.

NickM: Since Musk bought Twitter, these link round-ups have included many, many links to his bone-headed management decisions which are clearly at the root of the growing problems. Don't forget the man is also selling cars which regularly burst into flame for no apparent reason and have doors that can't be opened from the inside when the power is off. He's a snot-nosed arrogant fool who was born lucky, not some smart businessman like some people seem to imagine.

Twitter was shit before he took over, in the sense of censoring non-woke viewpoints while tolerating death and rape threats against dissenters, but it seemed to be functioning competently enough, unlike now.

26 February, 2023 08:29  
Blogger SickoRicko said...

Living inside a hologram inside a cube would be a little creepy.

26 February, 2023 09:55  
Blogger Green Eagle said...

I wanted to make a comment about the Marburg virus. I am not a medical professional; my knowledge of this issue stems from my work on the movie "Outbreak," when I had the opportunity to read most of the technical literature on the subject; that movie was largely based on an outbreak of Marburg virus that formed the basis of a famous article in the New Yorker. I have followed the issue of this type of virus with some interest ever since. And here is the truth: these viruses kill their victims so fast that they cannot spread very far before the patient is dead. That is why the most famous hemmorhagic virus, Ebola, has never killed more than a hundred or so victims in its worst known outbreaks; for reference, remember that at its height, AIDS, a disease that killed its victims slowly, was killing ten thousand people worldwide every single day. The symptoms of these hemmorhagic viruses make them extremely frightening, but it is very unlikely that they could ever cause the kind of destruction that smallpox, or the 1918 influenza outbreak did.

26 February, 2023 12:25  
Blogger Lady M said...

Egg producing?? So then post menopause what do we become?? Because I no longer produce eggs but last time I checked, I am still a female.

26 February, 2023 12:57  
Blogger Daal said...

omg the snake! takes those pimple-popping videos to a whole new level lol

as for links - dunno why, but I've long found chrome rather smoother than safari when I click your links. still, some of them hang up - ie the daily mail one about the stolen suitcase

thx for including my posts here :-)

26 February, 2023 13:02  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Ricko: I really doubt they'll ever build it. There are lots of mega-projects like that that never got beyond the computer-generated image stage.

Green: That's a good point -- diseases that kill very fast don't generally spread well. I am certainly no expert on the Marburg virus.

Ebola did kill, if I remember correctly, eleven thousand people during the outbreak in west Africa a few years ago. Of course that was under markedly worse hygienic conditions than are prevalent in the West, and there was widespread resistance to basic precautions as well as refusal to believe the virus was even there, somewhat like we see among the Trumpanzees here toward covid.

Lady M: This just highlights how ridiculous and disgusting these stupid Newspeak terms are. They're confusing as well as insulting. We all know what we all mean when we say "woman" or "man", and normal people will continue to use plain straightforward language.

Daal: I almost didn't include that snake video because it was repulsive. But it does show how animals can harm themselves with artificial junk in their environments. If the thing hadn't been removed, that snake would probably have starved because it couldn't eat actual food.

I should try some of these problem sites in other browsers and see if it makes a difference. The only browsers I use for my own internetting are Firefox and sometimes Brave, since as far as I know they're the only non-spyware ones, but I know a lot of people use Chrome.

Thanks for your posts!

26 February, 2023 13:15  
Blogger Ami said...

I had the pop up on a couple Tumblr links today, I don't read there unless you link, so ::shrug::

Regarding JK Rowling. I have an online friend I've known for 23 years. She's an atheist, a college professor, a historian and a decent person as far as I can tell. And there is not one single thing in the entire known universe that will convince her that Rowling *isn't* transphobic. Doesn't matter what I've linked her to, discussion doesn't matter, facts aren't important.

I don't understand it.

I always learn a great deal from reading the links you post every week. Thanks for that.

26 February, 2023 13:37  
Blogger NickM said...

Firefox is my weapon of choice. I do use others because as a web-designer I need to see how things look. This is a very hard part of the job. And it has got harder. I tend to work on a 34" ultrawide screen (so I have the site and it's "guts" up together) but I know I have to design for everything from TVs to phones so 'tis all fun and games. I remember when it was all 1024x768 4:3... Actually, I remember being staggered at how good 640x480 but then I'm a codger. The things I like about Firefox more than anything is how clean it is and how little you need extensions. I don't have an ad-blocker beyond Privacy Badger (highly recommended) which blocks trackers so isn't exactly the same thing. Part of the problem is the internet of "things". My wife's printer keeps on wanting to update drivers on my machines. Win 11 keeps on trying to stop it. The printer is an HP. Has HP done something to piss-off MS? It's particularly annoying because I very rarely print anything.

As to Musk... The door thing is inexcusable but sadly increasingly common. BMW have got themselves some very bad publicity of late by requiring a paid subscription for some features on their cars and when you consider how much you pay "upfront"* for a BMW (or a Tesla) I think that is taking the piss. As are in-game purchases with (real) money for (fantasy) weapons so you don't get your (virtual) arse kicked all the time.

But there are rays of light. The new Nokia G22 phone can be fixed by basically anyone and is designed to last. Alas it is mainly made in China unless you buy one in India or Bangladesh where they are made locally.

If you ask me repairability is probs the single most important thing for the environment. You have to drive a petrol or diesel car a very long way before the emissions from that are greater than those from making it. There's also a moral/emotional thing. Christopher Walken wouldn't have kept Butch's watch up his ass if it was a Casio now would he?

*I know very few people who actually own cars. They invariably lease them or something similar.

27 February, 2023 04:07  
Blogger Mary Kirkland said...

I haven't run into any problems with Blogger since I really don't frequent any blogs that have porn on them. Most of the blogs I visit have book reviews. Some of those sexy covers though...whew. lol

That chimpanzee made me laugh. Omg he was so proud of his...he wanted to show it off. lol

The only time my dog has trouble sleeping is when he has an upset stomach which happened a few nights ago. Poor thing got me up every hour that night to go out. He's almost 10 years old so I know he's going to have some health problems at times. The vet told me to give him Pepto Bismol. It seemed to help. He's all better now.

27 February, 2023 14:48  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Ami: In many cases, adherence to a set of beliefs (especially a religion, but it applies with other kinds of belief too) is a matter of maintaining one's status as a member of a particular social group. If your online friend belongs to a social circle who all strongly hold that JKR is transphobic, her life could get quite awkward if she came to believe otherwise. People in that situation don't really want to expose themselves to anything that might undeceive them. Avoiding friction with their group is more important.

I'm glad you find the links informative. I learn a lot from reading and I always hope to pass some of it along.

NickM: With all the intrusive stuff that gets pushed at you for almost anything connected to the internet, it's not surprising that some things clash with each other. I'm lucky not to have to many such devices, but with your job you probably need a lot more technology.

It's infuriating how cars these days are all loaded down with pointless fancy crap that drives the cost up. Nobody seems to make a plain, basic, inexpensive car any more. I'll probably just keep getting my 1999 car fixed until I'm too old to drive or am in a situation where I can live without a car.

There have been signs of progress on the right-to-repair front, at least in the US, mainly with farm equipment if I recall correctly. Hopefully the trend will spread.

Mary K: I assume most readers don't regularly frequent Blogspot porn blogs (or if they do, they've gotten a Blogspot account just for that purpose), but some of my links are to non-porn posts on blogs that also post porn (even if I don't link to the porn posts), so I need to know how big of a problem this is for my link round-ups specifically. Ideally, any blogger whose blog is like that will set up a separate new blog for the non-porn stuff so it can be accessed without the hassle.

That chimp was definitely the type who, if he'd been a human, would have sent her a photo of it. In this case evolution isn't showing much sign of progress.

Glad Falcor is better. Before seeing that post, it never occurred to me that dogs had sleep disorders.

28 February, 2023 02:14  

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