Photographs of "spirit bears." The kermode bear is a subspecies of the North Americal black bear, and the population of kermode bears in British Columbia has a recessive gene that leads to about 20 percent of them being white.
The US Fish & Wildllife Servie is air dropping millions of doses of oral rabies vaccine wrapped in fish meal – they look like ravioli – across the Appalachian region from Alabama to Maine to reduce the amount of rabies in raccoons and other small predators.
Collection of old news articles illustrating some of the many social changes that were blamed on jazz. Serious question: does any kind of music – jazz, rock, punk, opera – have cognitive effects in itself? Plato and Confucius thought so. Or it is that in the 20th century any kind of music might have become associated with rebellious youth culture?
Did Christianity revolutionize ethics? The review at the link argues that it did. I say, maybe in theory, but in practice Europe continued to despise the weak and downtrodden for a long time. Donald Trump still despises them, and he was elected President by Christians.
NY Times review of a book about why culture seems to be stagnating: when there was a cultural center that everyone recognized, people fought for status within it by innovating. Now that there is no cultural center to fight over, people can only squabble over popularity and money. "It makes more sense for a parvenu to fake a ride on a private jet than to fake an interest in contemporary art." The sad conclusion would be that people only get excited about stuff that lots of others are excited about.
US life expectancy fell again in 2021, so we're back to the level of 2003 now. This was mostly because of the pandemic, but "deaths of despair" (overdose, liver disease, suicide) also remain high.
Tweetstorm providing a succinct summary of the saga of government documents at Mar-a-Lago.
The manufacture of amphetamines has long been a specialty of the Islamic state, originally for the use of their own soldiers. Their product is called "captagon," but most of it is just generic methamphetamine. Now they have turned this into an export business; the Saudis and the Turks have both recently reported seizing loads of Captagon pills from Syria worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Trying to catalog all the miseries of life at the TSA.
There is a claim that another ancient language has been deciphered: Linear Elamite. But not everyone accepts the claim.
Tinder is 10 years old. Instead of a happy story about all the loving relationships that began online, the NY Times chose to mark this anniversary by runnig a really depressing screed about people burned out from years of fruitless attempts to find a soul mate.
So Gorbachev is dead. I never knew what to make of him, but I was very interested in a book I read arguing that he and his allies moved to reform the Soviet state because they could no longer stand the sheer scale of the lying. The original purpose of glasnost, in this view was just to make it possible for decision makers to get accurate information. It is indeed hard to rule when nobody tells you the truth.
How Russia and Ukraine have adapted to a changing battlefield.
Two big Russian Telegram accounts discuss the effectiveness of HIMARS.
LPR volunteer "Murz" reviews the discouraging state of the war six months in.
NAFO, the ubiquitous shiba inu dog, and the meme war over Ukraine. People really feared that Russian online trolling and so on would have a significant impact on Ukrainian morale and opinions in Europe, but the opposite has happened. Turns out fighting for freedom against evil tyranny is popular.
Two minute video of Ukrainian MiG-29s in combat, includes firing of US-made HARM anti-radar missiles.
Eighteen men from one Russian Spetsnaz unit were killed in a single missile attack on July 19, including their commender, a Major.
Twitter collection of interviews with Ukrainian soldiers.
Prospects for Ukraine's southern offensive, interesting.