[syndicated profile] guardianbooks_feed

Posted by Emma Butcher

Though his life was dense with literary and other failures, he was a decisive influence on their work and his own story is worth hearing

We are currently in the middle of Brontë bicentenary mania. This year, on the 200th anniversary of his birth, we are diverting attention away from the famous sisters and focusing on the often-overlooked Brontë brother, Branwell.

We remember him as the failure of the family. Despite being a passionate poet, writer and artist, he failed to hold down conventional jobs, and repeatedly succumbed to vice. Finally, his world fell apart after the end of an affair with a married woman, Lydia Gisborne, which accelerated his dependence on opiates and alcohol. He died at the young age of 31 from the long-term effects of substance abuse.

Continue reading...
[syndicated profile] guardianbooks_feed

Posted by Carol Rumens

A Victorian mystic’s appeal to the eternal in the everyday includes some gritty details from a troubled life

In No Strange Land

O world invisible, we view thee,
O world intangible, we touch thee,
O world unknowable, we know thee,
Inapprehensible, we clutch thee!

Continue reading...

I spent me pay like a bloody fool

June 26th, 2017 06:00 am
sovay: (Sydney Carton)
[personal profile] sovay
So while I punted the first of my afternoon commitments, which was my cousins' letter-writing party, I did make it to the second, which was a picnic on Cambridge Common with the once and future Anarchist Society of Shakespeareans, and I had a much better time than I was expecting with the conversations ranging from children's books to family histories to competitive hospital stories (the other person won), and I admit that I bought the small neat teal-green Penguin edition of William Dampier's Piracy, Turtles & Flying Foxes (1697/2007) based almost strictly on its title, but the basement of the Harvard Book Store had about half a dozen of the Penguin Great Journeys in the travel section and I couldn't afford them all, and I am not looking forward to my doctor's appointment in about eight hours, especially since I stayed awake to write a post which I did not manage to finish, but the point here is that I would need to pry myself away from this keyboard no matter what, because I just exclaimed to [personal profile] spatch: "What price Hollywood? What price salvation now? But for Wales!—" by which I intended to convey my disappointment in screenwriters, and when I turn into quotations I need to head for bed.

Wild at Heart – Page 20

June 26th, 2017 09:33 am
[syndicated profile] upto4players_feed

Posted by Eran

There will come a time, probably toward the end of your first Savage Worlds session, when you’ll suddenly realise “wait, that monster can destroy me with one hit.” This realisation will probably only come at the moment you get destroyed with one hit.

This doesn’t mean you die – getting wounded beyond your 3rd wound makes you Incapacitated (page 69), which means you’ll need to roll your Vigor and hope for the best. There’s a whole Injury Table, you can lose your genitals, all sorts of things. Try to avoid that.

The Crystal Heart setting uses the Heroes Never Die setting rule (page 94), which means you might get dismembered, you might get your Traits reduced, by you’re not going to die – unless it serves a story point. This is true of villains as well.

On this page…

Mac’s Parry is an abysmal 3, because he never took the Fighting skill. Guy figured “I’ve got a shotgun, I’ll try to stay in the back; and anyway, I have magical armour, I’m generally safe”. Since every attack is two different rolls – one to hit you, then one to damage you – it’s a semi-legitimate strategy to try and focus on only one of the stats, either Parry or Toughness, and bump it up.

The beast is a Wild Card (like the PCs), so it rolls with a Wild Die, which hits 3, but its Fighting die of d10 hits with a Raise – which is better. So the beast rolls its d12 Strength, and d8 claw damage, and d6 for getting a Raise on the attack (And this last one also explodes). That’s 24 against Mac’s Toughness of 8, or in other words, a success with 4 Raises.

Guy rolls soak, probably several times – you can keep spending Bennies as long as you have any to spend, to re-roll your soak.

Being Shaken means that on his next action Mac will need to roll to recover, otherwise he won’t be able to act. Since he now has 2 wounds, he’ll be rolling everything with a -2 penalty. His Spirit is a d4. But there’s always the Wild Die, and there’s always a chance of explosions! So now you get Savage Worlds.

If you enjoy our work and think it’s good, please consider paying a monthly $1 or more for it, via our Patreon page.
We are ad-free, and most of our funding comes from Patreon supporters. All other income comes from our small RPG products, available here.

Pointless Cruelty is the Tory Policy

June 26th, 2017 08:52 am
[syndicated profile] craig_murray_feed

Posted by craig

Today the government publishes to parliament its proposals on the residence rights of EU citizens in the UK post-Brexit. The EU has already , on 12 June, tabled the offer of full continuation of current residence rights to UK citizens in the EU after Brexit. This includes the right for British expats not only to remain in the EU country of current residence, but the right to continue to move residence around the EU.

By contrast May’s offer, which was amplified by David Davis with Marr yesterday, is peculiarly restricted. From a cut off date to be announced, EU citizens resident in the UK will be able to stay here, and after five years residence will qualify for a right of settlement.

What is the purpose of this mealy mouthed formulation, as opposed to matching the EU by immediately giving EU residents living here the right of abode? In effect, for the vast majority, it will mean precisely the same thing.

EU citizens resident here will in effect be able to remain permanently if they wish. But they will lose the entitlement if they move around. So a Polish man living here who, at some point in the next few years, has to return to Poland for a few months to tend to his sick mother, will lose his right abode in the UK. A French academic at a British university who leaves on sabbatical for a year’s teaching at Harvard will lose his right of abode in the UK. A Dutch employee of Shell posted out to Malaysia for a stint will lose his right of abode in the UK. Anybody who takes too extended a holiday abroad will lose their right of abode in the UK.

What on earth is the point of this?

The very large majority of EU citizens resident here will be able to qualify, and the small percentage being disqualified by moving abroad during the qualification period are likely to include the most economically active. The numbers penalised will be too small to have any substantial immigration impact. There is no result but pointless cruelty to a few.

Support for Brexit, and a massive percentage of the Tory vote, is motivated at base by a hatred of immigrants. May panders to these racists by inflicting otherwise pointless nastiness on a statistically insignificant number of foreigners, to disguise the fact that the Tories are accepting the reality; it is an economic necessity for the UK that EU citizens contributing massively to GDP can stay. The Tories cannot stomach the hated language the EU employs of “rights” of citizens. So the government rather adopts the language of immigration regulation, and qualifying criteria, where nobody has any “right” to anything.

Finally the Tories have to face the fact that a formal international agreement on reciprocal rights of abode between the EU and the UK, is not just a matter of domestic British jurisdiction. The international agreement will require an international judicial mechanism to oversee its enforcement. The xenophobic detestation of the – heavily British influenced – European Court of Justice means that the Tories will not accept the obvious body. David Davis conceded yesterday some international arbitration mechanism would be required, and seemed to postulate a new international tribunal including British judges. Exactly like the current ECJ before the UK leaves, in fact.

So that’s the Tories for you. Pointless new international organisations, pointless immigration bureaucracy, and pointless nastiness to foreigners to keep their knuckle-dragging tendency happy.

The post Pointless Cruelty is the Tory Policy appeared first on Craig Murray.

[syndicated profile] snopes_feed

Posted by David Mikkelson

An account describing the horrific results of a 'Russian Sleep Experiment' from the late 1940s is a work of modern creepy fiction.
[syndicated profile] guardianbooks_feed

Posted by Chris Mullin

The former Tory ‘wet’, Hong Kong governor and BBC chairman has worn a variety of hats while retaining a guiding belief in one-nation Conservatism

Although of modest origins, Chris Patten has led a golden life. Born to a lower-middle-class family in Ealing, he passed every exam he ever sat with flying colours, won every scholarship and was in due course elected Tory MP for the beautiful city of Bath. Before long he was writing speeches for the prime minister, then gradually rose through the ranks to the point where, by the election of 1992, he was chairman of the Conservative party, appearing on television every night. What could possibly go wrong?

It was at this point that he hit a bump in the road that irrevocably changed the course of his stellar political career. The Conservatives, led by his friend John Major, won the election, but Patten lost his seat. Even now, he was not short of options. He could easily have been wafted back into the cabinet via either a byelection in a safe seat (Kensington and Chelsea was mentioned) or elevation to the Lords. But there was another intriguing possibility – the governorship of Hong Kong. That is what he chose.

Continue reading...

Wonder Woman: A Very Short Review

June 26th, 2017 07:06 am
[syndicated profile] book_view_cafe_feed

Posted by Brenda Clough

by Brenda W. Clough

My son and I agree that the super hero movie is now become formulaic. You need your origin narrative. Your superhero debut. Your major conflict, ideally involving saving the world. It’s as rigid a formula as the Western.

It’s about due for a shakeup IMO. We don’t get it with Wonder Woman, because DC is not where you go to for innovation, But as any romance writer will tell you, there’s a reason why formulas exist. And this movie does show why, by demonstrating the excellence of the old tropes. Her Amazon heritage and upbringing on Themiscyra, the arrival of Steve Trevor and the move to Man’s World, all there. The battle with Ares is very nice, tying together her innocence (a new and welcome addition to the mythos) and the Amazon mission which dates back to William Moulton Marston’s original conception of the character.

My son assures me that moving her origin from WW2 to WW1 was to get the character away from Captain America’s resolutely WW2 origins. I got no problem with it — clearly the first World War was a good moment for an Amazon to appear and try to end mankind’s war. And this neatly demonstrates her immortality — she hasn’t aged a day in a hundred years. My complaint is, if you’re going to be historical, then do it. Steve Trevor doesn’t look or speak like an American who must have been born in the 1890s. This is the more annoying because they knew how to get it right. All of Trevor’s team of misfits sound right; their very existence (a motley crew of multinationals) is a tip of the hat to ‘Over There’ adventures of the period.

Another much-noted novelty is the all-around excellence of how a female protagonist is handled. There’s no gratuitous T & A (although that brass bustier must be horribly uncomfortable, especially under the arms). Diana has full agency and is in complete control of her decisions. And oh! Etta Candy! The chubby girl is here at last! No, this is an excellent superhero movie, and since the form seems to dominate the summer movie, let them be good movies, like this one.



[syndicated profile] jedediah_feed

I'm looking for intro-to-poly book recommendations.

A friend of a friend is considering opening up their heretofore-monogamous relationship, and asked for some reading material that could provide guidance to people who are new to this sort of thing.

The recommendation I most often hear is for The Ethical Slut, which I confess I didn't finish reading, because I loaned it to a friend when I was partway through and never got it back. :) That may well still be the best recommendation, but it was published twenty years ago now, and I'm wondering if there's something else we should be pointing people to.

Back in the old days, I used to point newcomers to alt.polyamory, which I used to say had the highest wisdom-to-noise ratio of any newsgroup I had encountered; but last time I stopped by there, it was deluged with spam. (And although the FAQ includes some useful material, it was last updated in 1997.) I also used to point newcomers to local online groups in their own areas, but I don't even know if that's still a thing.

Last time I went looking for online poly resources, I felt like the ones I found were mostly flawed in various ways—giving idiosyncratic definitions of polyamory, or focusing on things that I didn't agree with, or over-proselytizing, etc. The polyamory.org main page leads off with a purity test, which I'm sure was entertaining to newsgroup regulars but I suspect is pretty offputting to newcomers.

I've been meaning for years to write my own intro-to-poly post, but the likelihood of that happening anytime soon is low.

So ... do any of you have recommendations for good reading material for people who are considering trying some flavor of polyamory? I'm not looking for y'all to post advice to newly poly people in comments here, I'm just looking for pointers to recommended reading.

I'm particularly interested in pointers to material that doesn't proselytize (in other words, that makes clear that polyamory isn't for everyone), and that gives useful practical and emotional information.

Ridiculous comment of the day

June 26th, 2017 03:24 am
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
In response to this article:

White people are the only reason schools ever desegregated in the first place, so making broad generalizations here doesn't work.


That's some impressive ignorance there. I just... I don't even... wow. Thurgood Marshall must be absolutely spinning in his grave.
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
we certainly have a lot of classic cars. Not just old cars, but old in very good condition and the sort that even people with no real knowledge of cars (hi!) can say "Wow, that's a nice looking car!" over.

Yesterday when I walked the dogs with Eva, we passed one such car with a front bench seat.

Me: That's a nice car!
Eva: It's weird, it doesn't even have two seats in the front.
Eva: Wait, it has three seats. COOL! So you can have six people in the car! Why don't they do that now?

I didn't know the answer, but here it is. They were an option for much longer than I thought! I'd assumed they were regulated away, but apparently not. Whodathunk? (Random tangent - I wonder which is more common in English, "whodathunk" or "whodathunkit"? Google ngram viewer is completely unhelpful here.)

Anyway, today I saw three nice Cadillacs from the 50s or 60s... though given that they were all together, there was probably a thing they were going to. And last week I ran across an Oldsmobile that I'm pretty sure is from the 40s.

So as you can see, we do have a lot of classic cars in this neighborhood that you might randomly run across.


Chatter in the deep brain spurs empathy in rats

The day after Sweden switched from driving on the left to driving on the right, 1967 (LOL!)

'50s Ladies in Kodachromes: Looking Back to Women Fashion Over 60 Years Ago

Chickens may illuminate how humans developed sharp daylight vision

The story behind the dark Times Square subway poem (Yo, that's a really long tunnel, btw.)

Mosul celebrates first Eid without Islamic State in years (I didn't know henna was an Iraqi thing, but judging from those pictures I guess so...?)

Eid al-Fitr: What you need to know (Starting this year, NYC schools take off for Eid, but they're doing it tomorrow. And then I think school ends Wednesday. This is typical of the NYC school system. It'd make just as much sense to not take those two random days off in June and then end the year last Friday, but noooooooo. Don't know why I'm complaining, I don't have to deal with that nonsense, anyway.)

Muslims in Asia pray for peace as Ramadan holy month ends (There is a girl in one of those pictures wearing a red hijab with white polka dots and Minnie Mouse ears. It is so adorable, it must be seen to be believed.)

A Middle Eastern Spin On A Classic Latino Dessert: Rose Cardamom Tres Leches (Tres Leches is apparently quite popular in Turkey nowadays anyway.)

This Common Butterfly Has an Extraordinary Sex Life (Extraordinary and a little stomach-churning.)

Famous Women Have Been Defying Gender Norms and Rocking Menswear for Years

Gay pride parades sound a note of resistance - and face some

Stories About Disability Don’t Have to Be Sad

Planes aren’t the only things with wings buzzing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

The base was the first military installation to earn the “Bee City USA” designation: The number of pollinator honey bees swarming around hives has flourished five fold in two years as the bees indulge in abundant food, water and nesting sites, officials say.

Philippine, Vietnam navies play sports on South China Sea island

The decline of electric guitar

Websites and apps are designed for compulsion, even addiction. Should the net be regulated like drugs or casinos?

Joe Arpaio on trial over immigration actions echoing Trump's

A Battle Over Prayer in Schools Tests Canada’s Multiculturalism

A risky fix to repair a city's gutted streetlight grid

The TSA is going to look through your books but promises not to notice what you're reading (When we talk about things that we should never have accepted as normal, the TSA and their shenanigans is top of the list.)

Journalists Condemn Trump Press Restrictions, But Don’t Expect Them To Boycott Briefings

Two factories Donald Trump bragged about saving are now laying off workers

Canadian leaders have given up on Trump—so now they're going around him

Shifting Dollars From Poor to Rich Is a Key Part of the Senate Health Bill (No shit.)

Pro-Trump group's health care offensive warns GOP senators to get in line

The Danger of Yemen's Secret Prisons (Content note: like all descriptions of torture, this is nauseating)
[syndicated profile] guardianbooks_feed

Posted by Sam Leith

Retail wars, legal battles and vibrating broomsticks ... two decades of JK Rowling’s boy wizard

1 Some first editions can appreciate in value pretty fast. There were only 500 hardback copies of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone printed in the first run in 1997, of which 300 went to libraries. If you find one of these knocking about in your downstairs loo – the print line on the copyright page is 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 – it’s worth a small fortune. Expect upwards of £30,000 for it. Fun fact: there was one of these in the Daily Telegraph’s books cupboard for many years, but it mysteriously went missing in the early noughties. If you’re the bastard who stole it, please have a word with the paper’s former literary editor, Kate Summerscale.

The release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, on 26 June 1997, passed practically unnoticed

Continue reading...
[syndicated profile] guardianbooks_feed

Posted by Rachel Cooke

This retelling of Patty Hearst’s life on the run with cack-handed revolutionaries is strangely uninvolving

Few cases in the history of American crime can have been more picked over than that of Patty Hearst, the heiress who was kidnapped in 1974 by the ramshackle revolutionary outfit known as the Symbionese Liberation Army: by my count, there are already more than a dozen nonfiction books about her, not to mention two novels, her own memoir, a feature film, several documentaries, numerous academic papers and – the eyes widen – two porn movies. Why, you might wonder, would anyone want to go there again? At the beginning of his book, Jeffrey Toobin justifies his decision to revisit the story by insisting that he regards it as a “trailer for the modern world”. Not only did the kidnapping “illuminate” the future of the media and celebrity culture; it also helped to tilt the politics of the US rightwards, a state of affairs that has continued ever since. But as he also notes, it was nevertheless an “anomalous event”, and in the end, it’s this freakish singularity that his narrative drives home. Forget context. Never has a battier story been told with so straight a face.

When 19-year-old student Patricia Hearst was kidnapped on the night of 4 February, she was living quietly in a duplex apartment in Berkeley, California, with Steven Weed, her fiance and former high school teacher. Her life changed in the course of a few moments. One minute, this moderately rebellious but highly privileged granddaughter of media magnate William Randolph Hearst (famously the inspiration for Citizen Kane) was playing house with Weed, the next, she was a prisoner, albeit one who would be treated, or so her captors said, according to the “Geneva convention”. (Weed was well named: having told the armed invaders to take whatever they wanted, he fled the scene; later, while Patty was still missing, he would give disloyal interviews about the Hearsts to the press.)

Continue reading...

Southall's canals

June 26th, 2017 07:00 am
[syndicated profile] dg_weblog_feed

Posted by diamond geezer

4 Hayes & Harlington/Southall
Yet another 'borough that never happened', Hayes and Harlington Urban District ended up in Hillingdon whereas the Municipal Borough of Southall found itself in Ealing. The boundary between the two followed the Grand Union Canal, and a fair amount of Southall's southern border did too, so that's where I chose to head for today's journey.... first the towpath along the main canal from Hanwell to Hayes, then doglegging back up the Paddington Arm towards Greenford. This is the section skipped by the Capital Ring, hence six miles of London canalside I'd never walked before, with a couple of proper treats to marvel at along the way.

The Grand Union Canal (Hanwell to Hayes) (3 miles)

Hanwell Locks are something you'd more likely expect to find in the middle of the countryside, not hidden round the back of Ealing Hospital. A flight of six locks raises the height of the canal by 50ft in the space of half a mile, deemed necessary to rise up out of the valley of the river Brent, and remarkably picturesque. The canal curves as it rises, past the retentive brick wall of what was once the Middlesex County Asylum, and a lockkeeper's cottage accessible only by stepping carefully across the gates. Hidden opposite behind a fringe of vegetation are five 'side ponds' dug to prevent the system passing too much water. Recent repairs and restoration make passage through the flight a little easier, but there's a mobile number to ring for assistance from volunteers if the whole winding and shoving malarkey gets too much.

That's one engineering miracle, and very soon comes another... Three Bridges. Isambard Kingdom Brunel's last ever project was the challenge of getting the Great Western and Brentford Railway across the Grand Union Canal. His solution was to dig a deep cutting at precisely the point where Windmill Lane crossed the canal, creating a unique multi-modal triple-decker structure with road above canal above rail. The single span iron bridge provides one vantage point, and the cast iron trough of the central aqueduct another, although the single track railway is only ever used for freight, reserving the lowest perspective for train drivers only. I was struck by the compactness and verticality of Brunel's construction, with each constituent crossing only a few yards wide, and how well it had survived a century and a half of use.

(You can end your walk there if you like, that's the incredible bit over)

The towpath continues past a pocket park and a larger green segment, the water above the canal alive with dancing dragonflies. The final lock hereabouts is at Glade Lane, where an old cottage has been badly echoed in the design of two modern flats to either side. Beyond this lies the Havelock - a council estate undergoing sequential demolition to become 'Southall Village', whose first phase of full-price incomers will get the canalside views so that existing residents can be decanted behind. At this early stage, how malignantly twee the marketing suite looks.

It's cygnet season, so I was immediately cautious when I spotted a large swan preening on the towpath ahead. Thankfully a local resident slipped out in front of me from an alleyway, allowing me to walk a few steps behind to assist in determining levels of jeopardy. The man walked nonchalantly up to the swan, which ignored him, then past... at which point it stopped preening and jabbed out viciously towards the man's dangling fingers with its beak. No contact was made, not quite, but I immediately decided to divert through the neighbouring recreation ground rather than risk avian attack by the waterside.

Wolf Bridge provides a road connection to the heart of Southall, whose golden domes are easily seen from a hump bridge over a dredger-filled inlet at Adelaide Dock. Beyond this are terraced streets built before canalside living got trendy, including one the Victorians called Industrious Cottages, once served by pubs like the Grand Junction Arms (now teetered over the cliff edge of financial viability). But there are still several peacefully green stretches to enjoy, swans permitting, because no London canal walk is ever devoid of character for long.

Eventually Bulls Bridge marks the point where the Grand Union is joined by its Paddington Arm. A string of functional houseboats are moored diagonally at the marina, whose owner offers a boatbuilding and maintenance service, while the space opposite the T-junction is covered by an unwieldy Tesco's. The arched bridge is a popular place to stop and scan the scene, and perhaps to consider where to walk next. Hayes and Harlington station is only a mile ahead, past the former Nestle factory (whose fate is prophesied by the website formernestlefactory.co.uk, which confirms, obviously, 1400 Barratt flats and no factory). Instead I'm turning off.

The Grand Union Canal (Paddington Arm) (Hayes to Northolt) (3 miles)

At the turn of the 18th century a second canal link was opened to join west/central London to the original Midlands superhighway. At its Southall end it follows the route of the Yeading Brook, and initially, sorry, it's not as interesting as the previous three miles. One bank's green and wooded but the other is sealed off - a former gas works later converted to Heathrow overspill parking and currently being levelled for yet more flats. Southall Waterside will have one kilometre of canal frontage and 3750 flats in the usual brick vernacular, the only heritage building being the unmissable pastel-blue gasholder by the side of the Great Western Railway.

More typical Southall terraces briefly intervene before the canal crosses The Broadway (where I spotted a towpath experiment confirming that pigeons much prefer white sliced bread to stacks of chapatis). Things only really perk up beyond Spike's Bridge, where a partially hidden marina heralds a raised grassy bank for canalside recreation and you could almost be back in the country again. Ruislip Road is as far as my whistlestop description extends, just past Grand Union Village, a former brickworks and wharf that's been hundreds of flats for the last ten years. Developers simply adore canalside land, is I think what the last hour and a half of my walk has taught me, even in increasingly well-connected Southall.

» 12 photos (half of which are of the Three Bridges)

No Time to Spare by Ursula K. Le Guin

June 26th, 2017 06:00 am
[syndicated profile] book_view_cafe_feed

Posted by News Editor


No Time to Spare by Ursula K. Le GuinBVC mirrors founding member Ursula K. Le Guin’s blog. We are happy to report that selected blog posts will appear in No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters.


Barbara’s Picks, Nov./Dec. 2017, by Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal. “Le Guin here collects the best essays from her blog, a new medium for her that fits her pointedly glistening writing.”



flwyd: (earth eyes south america face)
[personal profile] flwyd
(it's bedtime, so an alternate intro for Senator Bennet is still pending)

Senator Gardner,

Thank you for your recent op-ed in the Coloradoan arguing that science should be nonpartisan. Thanks also for your work to ensure that Colorado’s leading research institutions like NIST, NOAA, NCAR, and NREL receive sufficient funding to further understand our complex and dynamic world. For over 50 years, Colorado researchers have been instrumental in understanding the Earth’s weather and climate.

I am writing in support of Citizens' Climate Lobby, a nationwide nonpartisan group committed to fair, effective, and sustainable climate change solutions. Earlier this month, 1000 Americans, including 35 Coloradans, traveled to Washington and met with representatives and senators from across the country. CCL is building bipartisan support for a carbon fee and dividend proposal. This proposal would help relieve Americans from the challenges faced by climate change while accelerating American businesses focused on clean energy, all without increasing the size of government or putting American exports at risk.

The last two decades have seen remarkable changes in temperatures and climate, contributing to bigger heat waves and more frequent natural disasters. I experienced the changing climate first hand during the 2013 Boulder floods. When I woke up on September 12th, the thousand-year flood had turned the canyon road to my house into a roaring river. While I was fortunate and avoided significant loss, my family’s lives were disrupted for several months and several friends were much harder hit. Without systemic action to address the rapidly warming atmosphere, this kind of disaster will become more common, straining the ability of first responders and relief organizations to help those impacted.

Energy lies at the core of any economy, and fossil fuels have long played a key role in the American economy. We now know that carbon dioxide emissions are a major contributor to climate change. It is therefore crucial that we transition to a lower-carbon energy mix. The most efficient way to make this transition is to put a price on carbon emissions so that the costs of fossil fuels are no longer externalities. To avoid sudden disruption to the American economy, CCL’s proposal begins with a modest $15/ton fee, rising predictably every year. The money collected will be rebated equally to all Americans. This dividend will give citizens and businesses the opportunity to respond to market changes and to invest in transitioning to a affordable clean energy solutions. These investments in turn will create new jobs and help keep America competitive in global energy technology. Over the course of a generation, we can make the transition to a resilient low-emission economy.

Although President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Accords, it is still crucial for America to take action on climate change. CCL’s proposal would help America take the lead in clean energy while boosting our economy and creating jobs. The proposal includes a border adjustment to ensure that American exporters remain competitive. This will also incentivize our trading partners to implement their own national carbon fee, leading to a global decline in carbon emissions without the need for complex multinational treaties. A substantially similar proposal was put forth by James Baker, George Shultz, and the Climate Leadership Council. It has received support from many leading organizations and individuals including Larry Summers, Stephen Hawking, ExxonMobil, and The Nature Conservancy (https://www.clcouncil.org/founding-members/).

Trevor Stone
Boulder, CO 80304
[syndicated profile] guardianbooks_feed

Posted by Robert McCrum

A troubled brother and sister team produced one of the 19th century’s bestselling volumes and added to the deification of ‘the bard’

In the autumn of 1796, at the age of 21, Charles Lamb, a city clerk with a lifelong stutter, came home from his desk at the East India Company to find that his sister, Mary, had stabbed their mother to death in a mad seizure. He described the events of 22 September in a letter to a friend:

“I will only give you the outlines. My poor dear dearest sister in a fit of insanity has been the death of her own mother. I was at hand with only time enough to snatch the knife out of her grasp. She is at present in a madhouse, from whence I fear she must be moved to a hospital. God has preserved to me my senses – I eat and drink and sleep, and have my judgment I believe very sound. My poor father was slightly wounded, and I am left to take care of him and my aunt.”

Continue reading...

Slaw Recipes

June 25th, 2017 10:25 pm
dr_tectonic: (Default)
[personal profile] dr_tectonic
More than one person asked for the recipes for the two kinds of coleslaw I brought to the Floyds' birthday barbecue this evening, so I figured I'd just post them.

Apple-Bacon Coleslaw


* 3 Tbsp olive oil
* 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
* 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
* 1 Tbsp lemon juice
* 1/2 tsp hot sauce
* 1/4 tsp salt

* 1 (16-ounce) package shredded coleslaw mix
* 2 large apples, cored and diced
* 4+ cooked bacon slices, crumbled / chopped
* freshly ground pepper to taste


Whisk together first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well to coat. Chill for at least half an hour.

NOTES: Use a good eating apples, like Galas or Fuji. Don't use Granny Smiths. Precooked bacon works fine if you don't feel like dealing with frying it up. You can go heavy on the dressing.

Vietnamese Slaw


1 package coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage + carrots)
1 small white onion or 3-4 green onions, sliced thin
1-2 stalks celery, sliced thin
1-2 carrots, julienned (macho) or sliced (lazy)
1 handful cilantro, chopped / shredded
1 handful mint, chopped / shredded (de-stemmed, also)

Mix everything up in a great big bowl.

Chicken (optional)

Add a pound or so of sliced / shredded cooked chicken to make it a main dish.


3 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp white vinegar
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp crushed / chopped garlic
a few shakes dried crushed red pepper

Whisk everything together in a small bowl. Pour over slaw and mix well just before serving.
Tip: For a potluck, double the dressing; put the ingredients in a small mason jar and shake it up to mix before serving.

Topping (optional)

2 Tbsp peanut oil
1/2 Tbsp chopped garlic
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1 Tbsp brown sugar

Fry the garlic in the oil until pale golden, then stir in the chopped peanuts and brown sugar.
Alternately: just crunch up some honey-roasted peanuts and fried onions to make an easy approximate topping.

Bonus recipe: here's the recipe for carb-free parmesan spinach balls, which I brought to Craig's housewarming yesterday and to games night at Jeff and Alice's last weekend. The original recipe calls for Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs; to make it low-carb, I substituted chopped nuts, which also solves the problem of the originals being too dry.

No-Carb Cheesy Spinballs


* One 10-oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
* 1 cup walnuts or pistachios
* 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
* 2 eggs, beaten
* 2 Tbsp melted butter

* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1/2 tsp parsley flakes
* 1/2 tsp black pepper
* 1/2 tsp garlic powder
* 1/2 tsp onion powder
* 1/2 tsp dried oregano
* 1/2 tsp dried basil


Chop nuts in food processor to breadcrumb size.
(If not pre-grated, use the grater disk on the food processor to grate parm.)
Mix dry ingredients (nuts, parmesan, and spices) well in a large-ish bowl.
Preheat oven to 350.
Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with Pam.
Squeeze the spinach to drain, then add to bowl.
Using bare hands, mix until homogeneous.
Add eggs and butter and mix again.
Form into 24 ~1-inch balls and place on baking sheet.
Bake 22 minutes, until well-browned.

The base recipe doesn't make all that many; you may want to double it for a party.
Uncooked spinballs reportedly can be frozen and baked on short notice.
[syndicated profile] io9_feed

Posted by Shep McAllister on Deals, shared by Shep McAllister to io9

The Amazon Echo is arguably this decade’s iPhone, and if you still don’t have one (or more) set up in your home, Amazon’s running an unprecedented $50 discount (if you don’t count the early-access deal for invited Prime members) , today only.



wolfinthewood: Wolf's head in relief from romanesque tympanum at Kilpeck, Herefordshire (Default)

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags