Crazy short video of a wind turbine that was struck by lightning.
American book publishers, squeezed from the right by library bans and the like, are being intimidated into avoiding projects that might offend loud voices on the left. "Sensitivity readers" who flag objectionable words and phrases are widely employed to help avoid trouble on social media. (NY Times)
Baskets made of pressed flowers by Shannon Clegg, lovely.
Murals of birds and other things by Spanish artist Taquen.
Plan for selective tree cutting and controlled burns at Yosemite, intended to protect the Park landscape and especially the famous Sequoia Groves from catastrophic fire, is blocked by lawsuit from environmental groups. (NY Times, Guardian)
Interesting short essay by Kevin Drum on what went wrong with America in 2001-2010, which shows up in many metrics as the worst recent decade.
More from Kevin Drum: the marriage rate in the US has been falling since 1949, years before feminism or the counter-culture or gay rights had any impact. The driving force is almost certainly economics.
Meanwhile in Ireland, The average age for a groom is 37.8 and for a bride is 35.7.
In the NY Times, the dog lawyer who defends animals condemned to death for violent behavior. I don't want in any way to condemn this; our species has an awful record of animal cruelty, and thanks in part to people like this lawyer things have gotten better lately, at least outside factory farms. But I do sometimes get the sense that some Americans and Brits care a lot more about their dogs and cats than they do about other people.
Explainer on Sri Lanka's economic crisis, which is basically about overspending and debt, not organic farming; the government tried to force all farming to go organic partly to hide the fact that they couldn't afford to import fertilizer.
Scott Siskind on using Forer statements – those statements about "you" that people feel are accurate, which skeptics use to explain astrology etc. – to discuss some basic things about how you are probably like other people. Most of the ways people think they are unusually weak, or suffer to an unusual degree, are shared by everyone else. I think this is truly important. Nothing degrades empathy like believing you were singled out to suffer, and very often the best move you can make in life is to talk about what is bothering you and discover that others have the same struggles. I think about this every time I read a story about students who dropped out of college because they felt like they didn't belong.
Judges use wikipedia.
Vox piece interview with a native activist about land acknowledgements. Interesting but I hate the way they use the word "originally", as if the people living somewhere in 1750 had been there forever.
Inside the multinational logistics center in Stuttgart, where American, British and other allied specialists keep weapons flowing toward Ukraine. Their goal is "door to door" – arrival in continental Europe to Ukrainian front line – in 48 to 96 hours. So far they have moved 78,000 tons of supplies. People who shout for more aid to be sent, and faster (including Zelensky) are ignoring the reality that it has simply taken time to build up the logistics routes into Ukraine, and in the short term sending more of one thing means sending less of something else.
Twitter thread analyzing Noam Chomsky's latest remarks on Ukraine.
Russian recruit, home recovering from a shrapnel wound, reports that he was sent to the front after only five days of training.
Tens of thousands of educated people are leaving Russia; since the start of the war, 16,000 have gone to Israel alone. Some may go back after the war but history suggests only 1 in 10 migrants ever returns.
Igor Girkin says that rather than reinforcing their threatened position in Kherson, the Russian leadership has decided to launch a frontal assault on Avdiivka, which he seems to think is a colossal waste.
One reason the Russians thought they could easily conquer Ukraine was the vast network of agents they had installed before the invasion began, which did open many doors for their troops.
Institute for the Study of War campaign assessment for July 27, with notes on the limitations on Russian activity.