Decided to make yesterday a light blogging day. Had plans with friends and also, just wanted to spend more time off the Internet. However, the three obituaries I shared felt big enough to post rather than to wait. I'll be back to usual with posts today.
"The Ancient Art of Falconry at the Jersey Shore"
I have always had a deep love and fascination with falconry. I can think of a few things from my childhood which likely contributed to this fascination. First, I remember doing a book report in elementary school on peregrine falcons and being fascinated when I learned how fast they could fly. Secondly, I loved reading "My Side of the Mountain" by Jean Craighead George, as a kid. The protagonist ends up with a pet falcon and I just loved that idea. I also had a friend in elementary school who's dad worked with Sea World with their birds of prey and so I was fascinated there as well.
Knowing that the ancient art still exists to assist modern times is always fascinating. I think I've posted a link before to a story about falconry's ongoing use in Mongolia. I might have to dig that up.
Information about breastfeeding for World Breastfeeding Week
A lot of interesting insights into breastfeeding here. Not something I had ever done extensive research or reading on. Dives into benefits of, as well as why it isn't always an option for mothers and babies.
Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Curreyy - Bite sized entries of varying size and depth about many famous artists and people of all sorts. It's infotainment. There were no real major insights or realizations, but it was interesting and fun to read.
Sleeper Agent: The Atomic Spy in America Who Got Away by Ann Hagedorn - Still early into it, but it's interesting and providing context to the era, the Cold War, and the cultures in their respective countries.
This “historical page-turner of the highest order” (The Wall Street Journal) tells the chilling story of an American-born Soviet spy in the atom bomb project in World War II, perfect for fans of The Americans.
George Koval was born in Iowa. In 1932, his parents, Russian Jews who had emigrated because of anti-Semitism, decided to return home to live out their socialist ideals. George, who was as committed to socialism as they were, went with them. There, he was recruited by the Soviet Army as a spy and returned to the US in 1940. A gifted science student, he enrolled at Columbia University, where he knew scientists soon to join the Manhattan Project, America’s atom bomb program. After being drafted into the US Army, George used his scientific background and connections to secure an assignment at a site where plutonium and uranium were produced to fuel the atom bomb. There, and later in a second top-secret location, he had full access to all facilities, and he passed highly sensitive information to Moscow.
Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence by Ann Lembke - Listening to this audiobook. Came to it after hearing her interview on Tim Ferriss' podcast. I've got the audiobook checked out and need to get back to listening to it.
This book is about pleasure. It’s also about pain. Most important, it’s about how to find the delicate balance between the two, and why now more than ever finding balance is essential. We’re living in a time of unprecedented access to high-reward, high-dopamine stimuli: drugs, food, news, gambling, shopping, gaming, texting, sexting, Facebooking, Instagramming, YouTubing, tweeting....
The increased numbers, variety, and potency is staggering. The smartphone is the modern-day hypodermic needle, delivering digital dopamine 24/7 for a wired generation. As such we’ve all become vulnerable to compulsive overconsumption.
Think Like a Rocket Scientist by Ozan Varol - Another Audiobook I have checked out from the library, just started it on the drive home this evening as I wasn't in the mood for Dopamine Nation. Still in the intro but enjoying it.
A former rocket scientist reveals the habits, ideas, and strategies that will empower you to turn the seemingly impossible into the possible.
Rocket science is often celebrated as the ultimate triumph of technology. But it's not. Rather, it's the apex of a certain thought process -- a way to imagine the unimaginable and solve the unsolvable. It's the same thought process that enabled Neil Armstrong to take his giant leap for mankind, that allows spacecraft to travel millions of miles through outer space and land on a precise spot, and that brings us closer to colonizing other planets.
Fortunately, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to think like one.
Checkmate in Berlin by Giles Milton - Picked it up based on the read of the book cover, haven't delved in at all.
In Queen Esther's Garden by Vera Basch Moreen (translator) - This line from the book cover caught my interest: "An anthology of Judeo-Persian literature." -- It's far outside my comfort zone and something I'm excited to dive into.
"Amazon is teaming up with Dude Perfect for alternate Thursday Night Football streams"
Reminds me of the Nickelodeon streams done for the last few seasons. NFL trying to pull in younger audiences.
I would just like to say: Thank fuck for the breaking of this summer heat. Hopefully it will not be coming back anytime soon.
"Ayman al-Zawahiri, al Qaeda Leader, Killed in U.S. Drone Strike in Afghanistan"
The United States killed al Qaeda’s top leader in a drone strike in Afghanistan over the weekend, U.S. President Joe Biden announced on Monday evening, dealing the biggest symbolic blow to the terrorist organization since U.S. special operators killed then-al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in 2011.
Ayman al-Zawahiri—who, along with bin Laden, oversaw the terror attacks against the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, and led the terrorist group after bin Laden’s death—was killed in a CIA drone strike in Kabul in the early morning hours of July 31.
“For decades, he was the mastermind behind attacks against Americans,” Biden said in a public address Monday evening announcing Zawahiri’s death. “Now, justice has been delivered, and this terrorist leader is no more.”
São Paulo is a dystopia. Society here has failed miserably in making a dignified life possible for everyone. The resulting dissonance has produced a radical form of dehumanization. Catholic Priest Júlio Lancellotti, an icon for the city’s marginalized population – a man who has personally taken a sledgehammer to the boulders the city administration installed under bridges to prevent the homeless from sleeping there – calls it "aporofobia," the hatred of the poor. Can such a perverse place be transformed into a city that is livable for all?
This article looks at a handful of people and projects underway trying to improve the lives of the poor in Sao Paulo.
Error with Newsletter Emails and Special Characters Finally Fixed
Sometimes you're just about to go to bed and one of the smaller bugs that you know exist in your code grabs you. I had already done some coding on the blog, there wasn't anything notable for you all so I wasn't going to mention it.
But the bug that grabbed me is reader-facing, specifically to the handful of folks who read the posts on the blog in their email everyday. There was an issue where some special characters were showing up wrong and giving obvious UTF encoding errors.
For example this excerpt of a headline: "Decolonize New Zealand’s Name"
Showed up as: "Decolonize New Zealandâ€™s Name" (bolding for effect, not part of the actual bug.)
Not something which was the end of the world, and also something which I had fixed with the rest of the blog already, from input, to database, to publish, it's all UTF-8 safe and coded. It was nefarious and I couldn't figure out where it was coming from. I was befuddled but I just let it be, it wasn't an end of the world thing - but I wasn't happy about it.
Well, tonight, the blindingly obvious answer struck me out of the blue. The error had to be in the email itself, specifically in the encoding information I used when sending the email. And, sure enough, after adding a UTF-8 header and meta tag to the emails, all appears to be fixed!
With that, time to publish the fixed newsletter and head to bed.
Bertrand Russell on Lying
Take again the question of lying. I do not deny that there is a great deal too much lying in the world and that we should all be the better for an increase of truthfulness; but I do deny, as I think every rational person must, that lying is in no circumstances justified. I once in the course of a country walk saw a tired fox at the last stages of exhaustion still forcing himself to run. A few minutes afterwards I saw the hunt. They asked me if I had seen the fox and I said I had. They asked me which way he had gone and I lied to them. I do not think I should have been a better man if I had told the truth.
I completely forgot I was still working on The Conquest of Happiness in today's reading list. Whoops.
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