Sunday, July 17th, 2022

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'988' is a very important new emergency number for those in the US

On Saturday, the United States will transition the 10-digit National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to 988 – an easy-to-remember three-digit number for 24/7 crisis care. The lifeline, which also links to the Veterans Crisis Line, follows a three-year joint effort by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to put crisis care more in reach for people in need.

7/17/2022 9:10 am | | Tags: suicide, crisis

"African kings on medieval and Renaissance maps"

One of the questions that we consider in our current Gold exhibition is ‘where did the gold come from?’ In medieval Europe, natural deposits of gold were limited so most gold had to be either recycled by melting down older objects or imported by long-distance trade. From the 8th to 16th centuries, the kingdoms of West Africa were major suppliers and traders of gold, which was carried by camel caravans across the Sahara Desert to North Africa. From there, the gold travelled with merchants into the Middle East and Europe. Some of it ended up illuminating manuscripts thousands of miles away.

Medieval Europeans had little reliable information about West Africa, but they did know that it was an abundant source of gold. One account that made it all the way to medieval Europe was of the phenomenally wealthy Mansa Musa (r. 1312 to 1337), emperor of Mali, whose empire covered an area larger than Western Europe. In 1324 Mansa Musa made a pilgrimage to Mecca, bringing so much gold with him that it devalued the price of gold in Egypt, where he stopped on the way, for years afterwards. He is sometimes said to have been the richest person in history. In Europe, tales of this gold-drenched ruler made such an impression that he was portrayed on luxurious illustrated maps from the 14th to 16th centuries.

7/17/2022 2:50 pm | | Tags: history, africa, cartography

"Trump's Education Secretary Betsy DeVos calls for abolishing department"

I, for one, am shocked the evil crone didn't do it during her time running the department. Oh wait, no I'm not. That would have meant she didn't have a podium of power.

Allow me to give my deeply considered and complex response to her: Fuck you.

7/17/2022 3:18 pm | | Tags: us politics, education

"QAnon Believers Flock to Dallas for the Grand Return of JFK Jr." (2021)

This is not current, it's from last November. But it came up in conversation and I had to relive this incredibly absurd belief that dozens of people. It's just all so incredibly crazy.

7/17/2022 8:03 pm | | Tags: conspiracy, qanon, cult

If you need a good way to finish off a week, I highly recommend inviting friends over for a Sunday dinner. Specifically, friends who will gleefully join you in horse puns for nearly an hour. It was stupidly fun and had us crying with laughter by the end.

"‘Bees are really highly intelligent’: the insect IQ tests causing a buzz among scientists"

7/17/2022 9:36 pm | | Tags: science, insects, bees, biology
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