Anne Helen Petersen: Inside Enya's Irish Kingdom (Buzzfeed)
Over the course of three decades and with 80 million records sold, Enya has morphed into more than musician: She's her own adjective. What makes her music — and the mysterious woman behind it — appealing to so many? Anne Helen Petersen visits the reclusive singer in Ireland.
You can use it to display animations, text, and arbitrary data. It also supports plugins, so you can build more powerful APIs on top of it.
Checkboxland is dependency-free, framework-agnostic, and fun! 🙃
Jason Johnson: Star-Spangled Bigotry: The Hidden Racist History of the National Anthem (The Root)
Key was on the boat waiting to see if the British would release his friend when he observed the bloody battle of Fort McHenry in Baltimore on Sept. 13, 1814. America lost the battle but managed to inflict heavy casualties on the British in the process. This inspired Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner” right then and there, but no one remembers that he wrote a full third stanza decrying the former slaves who were now working for the British army.
The Atlantic Slave Trade Visualized in Two Minutes: 10 Million Lives, 20,000 Voyages, Over 315 Years
Not since the sixties and seventies, with the black power movement, flowering of Afrocentric scholarship, and debut of Alex Haley’s Roots, novel and mini-series, has there been so much popular interest in the history of slavery.
Sometimes people use “respect” to mean “treating someone like a person” and sometimes they use “respect” to mean “treating someone like an authority”
and sometimes people who are used to being treated like an authority say “if you won’t respect me I won’t respect you” and they mean “if you won’t treat me like an authority I won’t treat you like a person”
and they think they’re being fair but they aren’t, and it’s not okay
Cat Zhang: How the Viral Protest Anthem “Lose Yo Job” Came to Be (Pitchfork)
If all I said was “suck my dick,” you can’t arrest me for that. Before the video even started, I asked him for like five minutes what the reason for handcuffing me was. So I was like: “You can’t hear me? Then I’m going to sing it to you.” The words just came. And I already know, if this went to your supervisor, [sings] you about to lose your job. I know my rights and I know the law.
Tom Gara: The Real Economic Catastrophe Hasn’t Hit Yet. Just Wait For August. (Buzzfeed)
After a terrifying spring spent in lockdown and a summer of protests in the streets, things are going to get a lot worse in the fall.
As millions of people experience a sudden collapse of their income at the very moment their landlords are allowed to start kicking them out, other bills will also come due. Payments on millions of paused student loans will begin again at the beginning of October; the more than 4 million homeowners who received a six-month pause on their mortgage after April’s mass layoffs will need to start making payments again at the end of October.
You might have noticed a few major things — like, well, the coronavirus pandemic — missing from this equation. If we’re really lucky, we won’t experience a nasty second wave of infections in the fall and early winter, spurring new rounds of attempted lockdowns shortly after the economic plane crashes into the mountain — lockdowns that will once again disproportionately affect Black people and people with low incomes who can't safely work from home. Fingers crossed on that one.
Joe Pinsker: America Is Already Different Than It Was Two Weeks Ago (The Atlantic)
Though it remains to be seen whether these changes will be catalytic or merely cosmetic in fighting institutional racism and police violence, the swiftness of their accumulation has been remarkable—and demonstrates how quickly changes can be made when those in power have the will to make them.
It sometimes seems that automated bots are taking over social media and driving human discourse. But some (real) researchers aren’t so sure.
Defining the bot is a tricky problem; technically, it could be any automated account, like a news aggregator, or amplification software, like Hootsuite. Mr. Kazemi found many bots tweeting about Covid-19, including neighborhood health clinics using marketing software to post daily pandemic P.S.A.s about washing your hands.
He also found that humans were often mistaken for bots. Consider the “grandpa effect,” as he called it: people who were mistaken for bots because they used social media in “uncool or gauche” ways, he said. Users fond of hitting the share button on news articles also resulted in false positives. This led Mr. Kazemi to wonder whether Botometer should be renamed “Normiemeter.” He tweeted: “Can you imagine the headlines? ‘50% of accounts tweeting about Covid are normies.’”
Useful for estimating the number of people at a protest, rally, concert, etc.
This tool helps you estimate (and fact-check) the maximum number of people standing in a given area. Click on the map to start delimiting the area. Copy the URL to share the result.
Claire Kelloway: We Need to Speak Honestly About the GOP’s Evolution Into a Conspiracy Cult (Washington Monthly)
Turns out letting "efficient" monopolies control our food supply was a terrible idea.
“If you pull out one little thing in that specialized, centralized, consolidated chain, then everything crashes,” said Mary Hendrickson, a rural sociology professor at University of Missouri. “Now we have an animal welfare catastrophe, an environmental catastrophe, a farmer catastrophe, and a worker catastrophe altogether, and we can trace a lot of this back to the pursuit of efficiency.”
Iceberg is a beautiful, flexible writing editor for crafting posts with the WordPress block editor.
Iceberg allows you to write within the WordPress block editor in a way that feels much more natural than working with “blocks”. Our goal is not to remove blocks, but rather to deemphasize them – and any non-essential elements within the editor – to promote a focus on writing.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz: Stop Saying This is a Nation of Immigrants! (Counterpunch)
Misrepresenting the process of European colonization of North America, making everyone an immigrant, serves to preserve the “official story” of a mostly benign and benevolent USA, and to mask the fact that the pre-US independence settlers, were, well, settlers, colonial setters, just as they were in Africa and India, or the Spanish in Central and South America. The United States was founded as a settler state, and an imperialistic one from its inception (“manifest destiny,” of course). The settlers were English, Welsh, Scots, Scots-Irish, and German, not including the huge number of Africans who were not settlers. Another group of Europeans who arrived in the colonies also were not settlers or immigrants: the poor, indentured, convicted, criminalized, kidnapped from the working class (vagabonds and unemployed artificers), as Peter Linebaugh puts it, many of who opted to join indigenous communities.
Coronagrifting: A Design Phenomenon (McMansion Hell)
PR-chitecture is architecture and design content that has been dreamed up from scratch to look good on instagram feeds or, more simply, for clicks. It is only within this substance-less, critically lapsed media landscape that Coronagrifting can prosper.
You may be asking, “What’s the harm in all this, really, if it projects a good message?” And the answer is that people are plenty well encouraged to stay home due to the rampant spread of a deadly virus at the urging of the world’s health authorities, and that these tone-deaf art world creeps are using such a crisis for shameless self promotion and the generation of clicks and income, while providing little to no material benefit to those at risk and on the frontlines.
There is something truly chilling about an architecture firm, in order to profit from attention seized by a global pandemic, logging on to their computers, opening photoshop, and drafting up some lazy, ineffectual, unsanitary mockup featuring figures in hazmat suits carrying a dying patient (macabrely set in an unfinished airport construction site) as a real, tangible solution to the problem of overcrowded hospitals; submitting it to their PR desk for copy, and sending it out to blogs and websites for clicks, knowing full well that the sole purpose of doing so consists of the hope that maybe someone with lots of money looking to commission health-related interiors will remember that one time there was a glossy airport hospital rendering on designboom and hire them.
Pinegrow is a Mac, Windows and Linux web editor that lets you build responsive websites faster with live multi-page editing, CSS & SASS styling, CSS Grid editor and smart components for Bootstrap, Foundation and WordPress.
Venessa Wong: Even If You're Trying to Avoid Grubhub by Calling Your Favorite Restaurant Directly, Grubhub Could Still Be Charging It a Fee (Buzzfeed News)
Customers trying to avoid online delivery platforms like Grubhub by calling restaurants directly might be dialing phone numbers generated and advertised by those very platforms — for which restaurants are charged fees that can sometimes exceed the income the order generates.
Here’s how phone fees work: Grubhub (which also owns Seamless, MenuPages, Tapingo, and LevelUp) generates a unique phone number for each restaurant on its platform; it appears on the restaurant’s Grubhub or Seamless page and redirects to the restaurant's own phone line (a restaurant cannot list its own phone number on its Grubhub or Seamless page). The redirect number can also appear higher in Google search results (including the Google panel for that business) than the restaurant’s own line. This leads some customers to call it even if they don’t intend to use Grubhub.
These platforms are all losing money. Just think of all the meetings and lines of code and phone calls to make all of these nefarious things happen which just continue to bleed money. Why go through all this trouble?
Grubhub just lost $33 million on $360 million of revenue in Q1.
Doordash reportedly lost an insane $450 million off $900 million in revenue in 2019 (which does make me wonder if my dream of a decentralized network of pizza arbitrageurs does exist).
Uber Eats is Uber's "most profitable division” 😂😂. Uber Eats lost $461 million in Q4 2019 off of revenue of $734 million. Sometimes I need to write this out to remind myself. Uber Eats spent $1.2 billion to make $734 million. In one quarter.
Amazon just bailed on restaurant delivery in the U.S.
What is it about the food delivery platform business? Restaurants are hurt. The primary labor is treated poorly. And the businesses themselves are terrible.
A few months ago, in the pre-pandemic times, I was at an East Village pizza place and watched as the owner was arguing with a Doordash driver. The owner insisted the driver take the pizza in a heated bag so the customer didn’t get cold pizza, but leave an ID so the driver would be compelled to return the bag. The driver argued the amount of time it would take to come back to return the bag would mean he couldn’t make enough deliveries to “pay my rent”. #Innovation.
Dear Fuck Up: How Do I Figure Out What I Want in Life When Every Day Feels the Same? (Jezebel)
That these are sad times and it feels bad to live in them is hardly insightful, but lately I’ve been wondering if it’s not so much the sadness but the sameness. Watching wicked people prosper over and over, having the same conversations about powerful men and the consequences they will never face, witnessing suffering that was easily anticipated and avoided, asking again and again what can be done about it and being told again and again, essentially, “nothing.” For a moment, early on in this present calamity, it felt like perhaps this could be a real rupture, but by now it’s clear our response will be more asking and more answering with “nothing,” more suffering, more pointless conversations, more prospering for a few of the expense of the rest.
The vast majority of people have jobs that are boring, at best. I recommend cultivating a healthy resentment toward your work. Put in just enough effort to keep your job and no more. The fantasy that an exciting career is enough to sustain a life is one of the most harmful of the modern age—you were never going to find meaning there.
I don’t think we really find meaning at all. We build it, most often with others. The only real antidote I’ve found to a sense of ever-present sameness is to attend to things that grow and change: living things. Care for something alive—start with something small and pitiful like a plant, if you want. A cat; a friend; a neighbor. Be wasteful and unproductive in your pursuits.