So, I’ve got a great idea: What might be a better, more accurate, advertisement would be to run a photograph of my favorite public toilet in The New York Times, and alongside it, there can be a commitment by Portland leaders to ensure this is a place where we will not retch at the sight of poverty, where we hold police accountable, where we will not sweep away our most vulnerable people until everyone here has a place to live. What would actually be creative — groundbreaking, even — would be for Portland to see poor people as neighbors, not adversaries. Actual living, breathing humans just like themselves, whose circumstances — not moral failures — led to their situation. Portland needs to make sure everyone has a seat at our table first before we invite the world over to eat.
Jeff Desjardins: Mapped: Visualizing the True Size of Africa (Visual Capitalist)
The reason for this is that the familiar Mercator map projection tends to distort our geographical view of the world in a crucial way — one that often leads to misconceptions about the relative sizes of both countries and continents.
The African continent has a land area of 30.37 million sq km (11.7 million sq mi) — enough to fit in the U.S., China, India, Japan, Mexico, and many European nations, combined.
Lori Dorn: The Steve Miller Band Song 'The Joker' Remixed to Put the Iconic 'Wolf Whistle' in the Song After Every Line (Laughing Squid)
Web developer Matthew McVickar has quite amusingly remixed the classic Steve Miller Band song “The Joker” so that the iconic “wolf whistle” that takes place after the line “Some people call me Maurice” occurs after every line in the song itself. This little edit appears to make the song a bit more provocative than it already is.
Philip Sherburne: The 19 Best Earbuds for Every Budget (Pitchfork)
Philip Sherburne asked for my opinion on earbuds for this article, and here it is!
The Jabra Elite 65t is the current entry-level model, offering 5 hours of battery life (or up to 15 with the charging case), Bluetooth 5.0, wind noise reduction on calls, and three sizes of molded tips; it’s also rated IP55 waterproof. “I’ve used the Jabra Elite 65t daily for a few years,” says Portland, Oregon, web developer Matthew McVickar. “They’re considerably cheaper than AirPods and sound great, but the essential difference for me is that you can control volume, track skipping, and the hear-through—which amplifies the outside sound for better environmental awareness—with the on-earbud buttons.”
Philip Sherburne: The 28 Best Wired Headphones for Every Budget (Pitchfork)
Philip Sherburne asked for my opinion on headphones for this article, and here it is!
Portland, Oregon, web developer Matthew McVickar says, “I have yet to find a pair of over-ear headphones that don't feel uncomfortable with glasses after more than half an hour or so, but I love the Sony MDR 7506.”
Borders, dingbats, ornaments, diagrams, patterns, words, letters, numbers.
To thank all of our loyal customers for decades of support in helping us create the CSA Images collection, we've decided to give away Free CSA Design Elements (with a daily download limit). Our hope is that this free collection will become a useful and constantly expanding design resource for many years to come. -Charles S. Anderson
Built by Nicole He and Eran Hilleli.
Invisible Roommates is an augmented reality (AR) application that would make visible how the devices in your home interact with one another. The application would make use of existing technology to portray the different devices connected to your network as little living characters, playfully illustrating how these pieces of technology communicate while making it easier for you to understand what is happening in your home.
Alex Zielinski: Unhoused Portlanders File Lawsuit Against City for Discarding Property (Portland Mercury)
Four unhoused Portlanders have filed a class action lawsuit against the City of Portland for discarding private property confiscated during city-sanctioned sweeps of homeless campsites. The lawsuit, filed Monday by local civil rights attorneys Michael Fuller and Juan Chavez, states it "does not seek to change Oregon’s laws on camping site sweeps – only to enforce them."
The lawsuit accuses the city of violating plaintiffs' constitutional rights to property and against unlawful seizure and, by doing so, violating the city's Anderson Agreement. "The City has engaged in a pattern, practice, and custom of depriving individuals subject to their sweeps of houseless encampments of their property and liberty," the lawsuit claims. The suit also accuses the city of "vagueness" in regards to the way it enforces its camping laws, since the city offers unhoused Portlanders "no alternative solution for how to avoid having their property lost or destroyed."
Plaintiffs are not requesting anything from the city, aside from requiring city employees and its contractors adhere to its own policies regarding campsite sweeps. That is, all but one policy: The lawsuit asks the city to not enforce the city's latest protocol for increased sweeps announced last week "until it is no longer ambiguous, arbitrary, and unlawful."
Jonathan Levinson: Police in Oregon are searching cellphones daily and straining civil rights (OPB)
Over the past decade, MDFT use has quickly proliferated across the country. Records obtained by OPB show the Portland Police Bureau adopted the technology as early as October 2014 and has invested at least $270,629.96, outspending significantly larger departments.
By contrast, since 2015, the similarly-sized Seattle police department has spent at least $240,837 on MDFTs. The Houston police department, with five times more officers than PPB, has spent at least $210,255, and the Los Angeles police department spent around $358,426 despite being almost 10 times the size of the Portland police.
Warrants reviewed by OPB going back to 2018 show PPB searching phones to investigate a wide array of crimes ranging from attempted murder, bank fraud and robbery to lower level crimes like bike theft. And for years, the bureau was conducting digital searches with no policies in place regulating the practice.
“People, when faced with authority figures in particular, are very likely to agree to whatever they’re asked to do,” he said. “I don’t think people understand how extracting works ... but on the other hand, I’m not entirely convinced that they wouldn’t consent even if they did just because people consent to all sorts of police invasions of their privacy without a second thought in order to acquiesce to their authority.”
Here’s the thing: we need politics in the workplace. Politics—that is, the act of negotiating our relationships and obligations to each other—is critical to the work of building and sustaining democracy. And the workplace isn’t separate from democracy—it is democracy. It is as much a part of the democratic system as a neighborhood association or a town council, as a library or youth center or food bank. By the very nature of the outsized role that work plays in our lives, it’s where most of us have the potential to make the biggest impact on how we—and our families and communities—live. Workers across industries have organized to secure a legal minimum wage, won laws against unpaid overtime, established workplace safety guidelines, improved patient care standards at hospitals, kept school classrooms to a manageable size, ended private collaboration with the military and border control, worked to pass laws condemning gender and racial discrimination, and the list goes on. They’ve done this not only within their own workplaces, but for all of us.
A map of the world's lighthouses.
Where the data is available (and you can see it’s quite sparse for some areas of the world), the map shows the location, color, range, and flashing frequency/pattern of each lighthouse. The color and flashing pattern of a lighthouse is called the characteristic. Each lighthouse has a different characteristic so that mariners can tell them apart and to indicate different water areas.
Michael Zelenko: Earth’s newest cloud is terrifying (The Verge)
Pretor-Pinney described the formations as “localized waves in the cloud base, either smooth or dappled with smaller features, sometimes descending into sharp points, as if viewing a roughened sea surface from below. Varying levels of illumination and thickness of cloud can lead to dramatic visual effects.” Asperitas clouds tend to be low-lying, and are caused by weather fronts that create undulating waves in the atmosphere.
APOD: 2018 August 19 - Asperitas Clouds Over New Zealand
What kind of clouds are these? Although their cause is presently unknown, such unusual atmospheric structures, as menacing as they might seem, do not appear to be harbingers of meteorological doom. Formally recognized as a distinct cloud type only last year, Asperitas clouds can be stunning in appearance, unusual in occurrence, and are relatively unstudied. Whereas most low cloud decks are flat bottomed, asperitas clouds appear to have significant vertical structure underneath. Speculation therefore holds that asperitas clouds might be related to lenticular clouds that form near mountains, or mammatus clouds associated with thunderstorms, or perhaps a foehn wind -- a type of dry downward wind that flows off mountains. Such a wind called the Canterbury arch streams toward the east coast of New Zealand's South Island. The featured image, taken above Hanmer Springs in Canterbury, New Zealand, in 2005, shows great detail partly because sunlight illuminates the undulating clouds from the side.
Sabina Nawaz: Be More Realistic About the Time You Have (Harvard Business Review)
Five strategies to help you stop overloading your workday.
Francesca’s patterns of overcommitment revealed five elements of magical thinking about her time — traps that many of my clients fall into. We devised antidotes for each.
1. My heavy workload is just temporary.
2. The next time will be easier.
3. I will collect immediate rewards.
4. Others will follow my instructions.
5. Without me, this work will be poor quality.
MMAcevedo (Mnemonic Map/Acevedo), also known as Miguel, is the earliest executable image of a human brain. It is a snapshot of the living brain of neurology graduate Miguel Álvarez Acevedo (2010–2073), taken by researchers at the Uplift Laboratory at the University of New Mexico on August 1, 2031.
Because if remote work gives us anything at all, it gives us the chance to root ourselves in a place that isn’t the workplace. It gives us the chance to really live in whatever place we have chosen to live—to live as neighbors and caretakers and organizers, to stop hoarding all of our creative and intellectual capacity for our employers and instead turn some of it towards building real political power in our communities.
Jason Farago: What a Tiny Masterpiece Reveals About Power and Beauty (NYT)
An article about art and power focused on a piece from the Mughal empire, with an intriguing layout that scrolls sentences by on the left while zooming in on different parts of the art on the right.
Crosscurrents of religion and culture shaped this stunningly detailed portrait of the 17th-century Mughal emperor who built the Taj Mahal.
Power, for the Mughals, also came from absorbing the cultural forms under their authority, then reconstituting them in their own image.
Ken Klippenstein: Documents Show Amazon Is Aware Drivers Pee in Bottles and Even Defecate En Route, Despite Company Denial (The Intercept)
An email that Brown received from her manager this past August has a section titled “Urine bottle” and states: “In the morning, you must check your van thoroughly for garbage and urine bottle. If you find urine bottle (s) please report to your lead, supporting staff or me. Vans will be inspected by Amazon during debrief, if urine bottle (s) are found, you will be issue an infraction tier 1 for immediate offboarding.”
While Amazon technically prohibits the practice — documents characterize it as a “Tier 1” infraction, which employees say can lead to termination — drivers said that this was disingenuous since they can’t meet their quotas otherwise. “They give us 30 minutes of paid breaks, but you will not finish your work if you take it, no matter how fast you are,” one Amazon delivery employee based in Massachusetts told me.
Asked if management eased up on the quotas in light of the practice, Brown said, “Not at all. In fact, over the course of my time there, our package and stop counts actually increased substantially.”
This has gotten even more intense, employees say, as Amazon has seen an enormous boom in package orders during the coronavirus pandemic. Amazon employees said their performance is monitored so closely by the firm’s vast employee surveillance arsenal that they are constantly in fear of falling short of their productivity quotas.
An iOS shortcut.
Water Eject is a simple, yet powerful Siri Shortcut built for iOS and designed to protect your premium Apple devices after being in accidental contact with water by generating an ultra low 165Hz frequency sound wave that propels moisture out from the speaker cavity system.
Historic Tale Construction Kit: Make your own Bayeux Tapestry
Historic Tale Construction Kit - Bayeux
Two German students originally wrote the Historic Tale Construction Kit, with Flash. Sadly, their work isn't available anymore, only remembered. This new application is a tribute, but also an attempt to revive the old medieval meme, with code and availability that won't get lost.
Noah Yoo: Buy Music Club Gives Playlist Lovers a Community-Driven Alternative (Pitchfork)
With more people making lists on BMC since the start of Bandcamp Fridays, the way people are organizing music on the site is expanding, too—from themed lists to collections based around geography or era, all with a natural bent towards the lesser-known. “Over the past year, we’ve seen a lot of growth that we didn’t anticipate,” says Reynaldo. “On Juneteenth, when there was a big focus on finding and supporting music from Black artists, we had a huge influx, hundreds of lists getting made in a single day.”
What’s immediately appealing about BMC is how sparse and self-contained it is. You don’t have to make an account to publish a list. There are no social media-style features to speak of—you can’t follow users or individual lists, you can’t track your engagement, and you certainly can’t pay for promoted exposure. Outside of selected homepage picks by the site’s team of volunteers, the only way you can sort new lists (for now) is by “Most Recent,” which can make using BMC feel like sifting through the world’s most egalitarian record shop.
Trance producer Adam K calls out “fraud” AraabMuzik for plagiarism (Fact Magazine)
Nobody that fell for/was repelled by AraabMuzik’s dizzying 2011 LP Electronic Dream was under any illusion that the record did much to hide its source material.
The Dipset affiliate’s breakthrough release bolted hard-edged hip-hop beats over iffy Eurotrance fare – the results were exhilarating, if too brazen for some. ‘Streetz Tonight’ was the record’s calling card, cribbing liberally from Adam K and Soha’s remix of Kaskade’s ‘4AM’. Although Electronic Dream is now well over a year old, Adam K has suddenly launched a cataract of invective in AraabMuzik’s direction, accusing the producer of straight-up theft.
Comment by Frank Wilhoit on a blog post titled ‘The travesty of liberalism’ on a blog called Crooked Timber
A very good comment about the scourge of conservatism by Frank Wilhoit on a blog post about conservatism/liberalism/socialism/leftism/etc.
The big take-home point, for me:
Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit: There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.
And the suggestion that:
The law cannot protect anyone unless it binds everyone; and it cannot bind anyone unless it protects everyone.
Wilhoit's comment in full:
Frank Wilhoit (03.22.18 at 12:09 am)
There is no such thing as liberalism — or progressivism, etc.
There is only conservatism. No other political philosophy actually exists; by the political analogue of Gresham’s Law, conservatism has driven every other idea out of circulation.
There might be, and should be, anti-conservatism; but it does not yet exist. What would it be? In order to answer that question, it is necessary and sufficient to characterize conservatism. Fortunately, this can be done very concisely.
Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit:
There must be in-groups whom the law protectes but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.
There is nothing more or else to it, and there never has been, in any place or time.
For millenia, conservatism had no name, because no other model of polity had ever been proposed. “The king can do no wrong.” In practice, this immunity was always extended to the king’s friends, however fungible a group they might have been. Today, we still have the king’s friends even where there is no king (dictator, etc.). Another way to look at this is that the king is a faction, rather than an individual.
As the core proposition of conservatism is indefensible if stated baldly, it has always been surrounded by an elaborate backwash of pseudophilosophy, amounting over time to millions of pages. All such is axiomatically dishonest and undeserving of serious scrutiny. Today, the accelerating de-education of humanity has reached a point where the market for pseudophilosophy is vanishing; it is, as The Kids Say These Days, tl;dr . All that is left is the core proposition itself — backed up, no longer by misdirection and sophistry, but by violence.
So this tells us what anti-conservatism must be: the proposition that the law cannot protect anyone unless it binds everyone, and cannot bind anyone unless it protects everyone.
Then the appearance arises that the task is to map “liberalism”, or “progressivism”, or “socialism”, or whateverthefuckkindofstupidnoise-ism, onto the core proposition of anti-conservatism.
No, it a’n’t. The task is to throw all those things on the exact same burn pile as the collected works of all the apologists for conservatism, and start fresh. The core proposition of anti-conservatism requires no supplementation and no exegesis. It is as sufficient as it is necessary. What you see is what you get:
The law cannot protect anyone unless it binds everyone; and it cannot bind anyone unless it protects everyone.
This text is sometimes misattributed to Francis Wilhoit, a political scientist who died eight years before this comment was written. (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_M._Wilhoit#Mis-appropriated_Quotation_on_Conservatism and https://nomoremister.blogspot.com/2020/08/post-trump-conservatism-marxist.html#comment-5022522677.)