Tuesday, August 23rd, 2022


Parallel Youniverse

Somewhere out there, there's probably someone who looks like you. A lot like you. In fact, the two of you could easily be mistaken for identical twins. And it's not just appearances. Your Doppelgänger Is Out There and You Probably Share DNA With Them. "Because the doppelgängers' appearances are more attributable to shared genes than shared life experiences, that means that, to some extent, their similarities are just the luck of the draw, spurred on by population growth. There are, after all, only so many ways to build a face. 'Now there are so many people in the world that the system is repeating itself,' Dr. Esteller said. It's not unreasonable to assume that you, too, might have a look-alike out there." (Finally, someone I can commiserate with about love handles...)


Dollars and Nonsense

If you watch TV in California, there's a good chance you've seen a few hundred ads for Prop 27 (and 26). There's an equally good chance you don't know what the hell the propositions are about. More than $360 million has been raised by groups on either side of the propositions, and the messaging is (probably) intentionally confusing. Money tends to do that in politics, especially when there's a lot of money at stake (which there is in this case, because the props are about sports betting in the state). Money isn't just in politics. Money is politics. That should make you take note of this story about some very big money behind the man most responsible for today's SCOTUS makeup. How a Secretive Billionaire Handed His Fortune to the Architect of the Right-Wing Takeover of the Courts. "An elderly, ultra-secretive Chicago businessman has given the largest known donation to a political advocacy group in U.S. history — worth $1.6 billion — and the recipient is one of the prime architects of conservatives' efforts to reshape the American judicial system, including the Supreme Court."


Teen Titans

"Post-Roe, the teens in the park had decided, this lack of education was no longer acceptable. They are part of a burgeoning movement of high-schoolers nationwide who, after Roe's fall, are stepping up to demand more comprehensive lessons on reproduction, contraception and abortion — and who, if the adults refuse, are teaching each other instead." After Roe, teens are teaching themselves sex ed, because the adults won't. (They should teach themselves activism, too, because we let them down in about a thousand ways.) WaPo (Gift article): After Roe, teens are teaching themselves sex ed, because the adults won't.


The Mudge Report

"Twitter has major security problems that pose a threat to its own users' personal information, to company shareholders, to national security, and to democracy ... The whistleblower, who has agreed to be publicly identified, is Peiter 'Mudge' Zatko, who was previously the company's head of security, reporting directly to the CEO. Zatko further alleges that Twitter's leadership has misled its own board and government regulators about its security vulnerabilities." Wait, wasn't the company's former head of security in charge of these things? Let's not get hung up by the details. Just grab some popcorn because, in addition to this, Elon Musk subpoenaed former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. (I always picture a ZZ-top bearded Dorsey in a meditative state floating above a small open fire outside a cave in the Himalayas. I wonder if that makes it difficult to deliver a subpoena.)


Extra, Extra

Liberate Justice: "In a do-over for the government, a federal jury Tuesday convicted two men charged with plotting to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer out of anger over her handling of the pandemic, ending a dramatic trial that highlighted the growth of violent extremism in America." While we're watching the Jan 6 hearings, it pays to remember that Trump was stirring up violence long before that sad day.

+ Goal Oriented: "No fans will be allowed in the 65,000-capacity downtown stadium for the 1 p.m. local time kickoff and the players must be rushed to bomb shelters if air-raid sirens sound." Ukraine soccer league defies Russian war to begin season.

+ Space Jam: In case you were wondering, this is what a black hole sounds like.

+ Whale Splotching: Maybe this story caught my attention because I recently got a kayak, which I may never go out on again. After a humpback whale crashed on top of me in my kayak, I set out to learn how they communicate.

+ Finnish with a Bang "Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin has apologized for a topless photo of guests at her official residence. It comes days after she deflected accusations of having an excessive party lifestyle, by voluntarily taking a drug test - which came back clean."


Bottom of the News

A Yankees fan used a hot dog to drink his beer and the internet is losing its mind. (This one time, the internet has a point.)

+ "They try to fool you and make you think they are helping you out — they're not. You know that some of this money is going into trees? We got enough trees — don't we have enough trees around here?" Ah, more of the wit and wisdom of Herschel Walker.