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Human rights coalition to DHS: don't demand social media passwords from people entering the USA

21 February[ —]

A huge coalition of human rights groups, trade groups, civil liberties groups, and individual legal, technical and security experts have signed an open letter to the Department of Homeland Security in reaction to Secretary John Kelly's remarks to House Homeland Security Committee earlier this month, where he said the DHS might force visitors to America to divulge their social media logins as a condition of entry. (more…)

Sakura pen and brush pen set

21 February[ —]

My daughters have been using Sakura pens and I ended up getting a set for myself. I just bought the 8-piece set on Amazon that includes a brush pen (so you can vary the line width) and a graphic pen (for thick lines). The ink is very black and doesn't smear when you erase pencil lines below it. And at $10 for the set, it's a good deal.

Rules For Dating My Daughter: The Modern Father's Guide to Good Parenting

21 February[ —]

Rules For Dating My Daughter is a slice of life. It gives glimpses into the domestic and professional life of cartoonist and father Mike Dawson, as he navigates earning a living, finding creative inspiration, and raising children (together with his wife).

The book intersperses mundane everyday experiences, told in illustrated diary form, with comics where he tackles massive issues: climate change, the scale of history, the ethics of eating meat, gun violence, and modern feminism. The shifts aren’t jarring because ultimately this is a collection about parenthood. Global issues like environmental change are made to feel personal, now that Dawson is responsible for two young lives.

The central questions — how to be a good person, and how to raise good people — are universal. Dawson tackles these with disarming honesty and attention to detail, whether he’s teaching his daughter how to play Minecraft or wrestling with making his kids do something he’s not willing to do himself. In its quiet way, Rules For Dating My Daughter is a refreshing change from lots of pop culture depictions of fatherhood. It shows how hard parenting can be, and how easy it is to get lost in both abstract big-picture stuff and mundane trivialities.

Rules For Dating My Daughter: The Modern Father's Guide to Good Parenting
by Mike Dawson
Uncivilized Books
2016, 160 pages, 6.0 x 0.5 x 8.8 inches, Paperback
$11 Buy on Amazon

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

The Airport Jacket is a suitcase you can wear

21 February[ —]

Many airlines are charging for checked and carry-on baggage. The Airport Jacket was designed to get around those fees. It has lots of huge pockets for stashing clothes, shoes, toiletries, your laptop, and more. It folds up into a suitcase, and unfolds into a jacket.

Quickly touch up waxed cotton waterproofing

21 February[ —]

This has been one heck of a rainy winter! Touching up spots where lots of water has washed the finish off my aging Belstaff Trialmaster is easiest when done with a bar of Otter Wax.


Trump troll Milo Yiannopoulos resigns from Breitbart, announces plan to launch own media brand

21 February[ —]

What will happen to Milo Yiannopoulos now that he has 'resigned' from Breitbart.com, after tape resurfaced of the alt-right Nazi-lovin' bottle blonde hater making pro-pedophilia comments? He's launching his own media empire, bla bla bla. As soon as the Milo-pedo news cycle ends, he'll be fine.


California has a storm of "biblical proportions" every 200 years

21 February[ —]

The incessant rain in California for the last several weeks is just a taste of what's to come in the formerly drought-plagued state, says Rachel Becker in The Verge.


The most recent was a series of storms that lasted for a near-biblical 43 days between 1861 and 1862, creating a vast lake where California’s Central Valley had been. Floodwaters drowned thousands of people, hundreds of thousands of cattle, and forced the state’s government to move from Sacramento to San Francisco.

More than 150 years have passed since California’s last, great flood — and a team of researchers with the US Geological Survey have predicted what kind of damage a similar flood would cause today. Their simulation, called the ARkStorm, anticipates that a stretch of the Central Valley 300 miles long by 20 miles wide would be underwater. Cities up and down the coast of California would flood. Winds would howl 60 to 125 miles per hour, and landslides would make roads impassable.

Image: Christopher Michel / Bay Area Storms 2017

Daniel Clowes: Trump made me forgive Shia LaBeouf

21 February[ —]

Cartoonist Daniel Clowes (Ghost World) says he has forgiven Shia LaBeouf for plagiarizing him because LaBeouf has created an anti-Trump installation.

From Daily Beast:

The political landscape in the U.S. has so reshaped the vision of the world that he’s not harboring any anger for anyone on the same political side in these incredibly divisive times—not even against Shia LaBeouf, who in 2013 was accused of plagiarizing Clowes’s 2008 comic "Justin M. Damiano." Although Clowes hasn't seen LaBeouf’s anti-Trump installation, being anti-Trump is in and of itself enough to bond people together, he thinks. At least for now. “I look forward to the day we can go back to hating Shia LeBeouf,” Clowes deadpans.

Newsweek: "Trump either knows exactly what Flynn said, or he is incompetent"

21 February[ —]

This is an interesting Newsweek piece by Kurt Eichenwald that goes into detail about the NSA's wiretapping program as it relates to the phone call between Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security advisor and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Assuming the Flynn recording involved RAGTIME-B, because of his position as a former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and being the incoming president’s national security advisor, the intercepted material would be immediately analyzed. If Flynn—as the White House first stated when the news of his contacts with Kislyak became public—had been engaged in pleasantries or planning meeting times for the Russians with Trump, the records of Flynn’s side of the conversation would no longer exist. Flynn would have been deemed an American person, and the intercepted recordings and transcripts would be “minimized”—the word used in the surveillance world for when portions or all of an intercepted communication is destroyed. In other words, if the conversation was no more than “How are you Ambassador Kislyak,” or “Let’s set up a meeting for you and a Russian delegation with the president-elect,” Flynn’s words would no longer exist in any American file.

But that’s not what happened. Instead, something in the recording led the first-level analysts from RAGTIME to follow the next leg of the procedure and take the intercept to the head of the FBI’s National Security Division for another review. Again, if a conclusion was reached that there was nothing in the call to raise concerns, the reviews would have stopped there and the data would have been minimized. But the division head instead decided that the intercepted conversation merited bringing the raw transcript to James Comey, the director of the FBI, and his deputy. (At the time, this would have been Mark F. Giuliano, a veteran of the bureau. Giuliano has since retired and, as of this month, was replaced by Andrew G. McCabe, a former lawyer in private practice who joined the federal law enforcement agency in 1996.) The director and his deputy were then the final arbiters of whether the intercepted communications merited further investigation. And they decided it did.

How herd immunity works

21 February[ —]

From YouTube description for this Bozeman Science video: "In this video Paul Andersen explains how immune individuals in a population give the entire group a herd immunity. Concepts of immunity, vaccines, basic reproduction number, and herd immunity threshold are discussed."

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