The Blogining Returns

LA Diary: This Dance Major Watched Graduation On The Couch, But She’s Staying On Her Toes, by Adolfo Guzman-Lopez, LAist, 29 May 2020

Atta Girl! Not that this young woman needs an Atta Girl from me, but by God she’s getting an ATTA GIRL! from me.

“Association rips up template for prestigious annual awards after facing criticism over its record on diversity.”
Romance Writers of America aims for happy end to racism row with new prize, by Alison Flood, The Guardian, 22 May 2020

“Following on the success of their first book together, The President is Missing, President Bill Clinton and author James Patterson will cowrite a second novel together, The President’s Daughter. As with the first novel, the forthcoming book will be published jointly by Alfred A. Knopf and Little, Brown and is set for June 2021. The book will be published simultaneously in hardcover, e-book, and audiobook, with the colophons of both Little, Brown and Knopf displayed on all editions. Michael Pietsch, CEO of Little, Brown parent company Hachette Book Group and Knopf publisher Reagan Arthur with jointly edited the book.”
Bill Clinton and James Patterson Announce Next Novel Together, by John Mahr, PW, 21 May 2020

“Dr. Barbara Ferrer, who leads the L.A. County Department of Public Health, said at a press conference on Friday afternoon that county officials would not require restaurants to submit to any sort of inspection prior to reopening. She asked that restaurants adhere to the protocols posted on the county’s website, but no one will check whether or not restaurants follow the guidelines.”
LA Restaurants Can Reopen For Dine-In Service As Soon As Tonight, by Elina Shatkin, LAist, 29 May 2020

“The growing separation between paid work and home life was reinforced by nuisance laws and, subsequently, late 19th- and early 20th-century zoning regulations, says Isenstadt. Manufacturing and processing was seen as dirty and noisy, so various kinds of work were banned from residential areas, with the exception of professions like law and medicine. Tax law, too, started differentiating between the residential, commercial, and industrial.”
The fraught return of working at home, by Eliza Brooke, Curbed, 20 May 2020

“Yesterday, SophosLabs published details of a sophisticated new ransomware attack that takes the popular tactic of ‘living off the land’ to a new level. To ensure their 49 kB Ragnar Locker ransomware ran undisturbed, the crooks behind the attack bought along a 280 MB Windows XP virtual machine to run it in (and a copy of Oracle VirtualBox to run that). It’s almost funny, but it’s no joke. The attack was carried out by the gang behind Ragnar Locker, who break into company networks, make themselves admins, conduct reconnaissance, delete backups and deploy ransomware manually, before demanding multi-million dollar ransoms.”
The ransomware that attacks you from inside a virtual machine, by Mark Stockley, Sophos Blog, 22 May 2020

“There are concrete costs of ignoring employees’ behavioral health. According to the World Health Organization, one of the main causes of disability worldwide is depression. When people are on disability because of a mental health disorder, they are absent longer: 67 days versus 33 for physical health conditions. Darcy Gruttadaro, director of theCenter for Workplace Mental Health, says mental health issues even increase costs of treating conditions like diabetes, cancer and obesity. The price ends up being three times higher than for someone who didn’t have a comorbid mental health condition. A report prepared by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Massachusetts found that more than half the healthcare costs of people with anxiety are for non-psychiatric care. In essence, people with untreated anxiety are going to doctors and emergency rooms to treat physical conditions that can manifest from their anxiety, such as chest pain, muscle aches and headaches. The bright side: offering treatment and good insurance can create a better work environment and lower costs for employers.”
The Crisis Inside, by Tammy Worth, Leaders’ Edge, 20 May 2020

“In another preprint co-authored by Pennycook, respondents were able to distinguish between accurate and false information about COVID-19 pretty well when prompted to. But when asked only whether they would share the information on social media — and not if they believe it to be true or not — more were willing to share fake news.”
How Bad Is The COVID-19 Misinformation Epidemic?, by Kaleigh Rogers, 538, 21 May 2020

America is so doomed. Readers, if you catch me with fake news, please please let me know, thanks.

“Sometimes, however, the term is used in the literal sense of dark to describe a part of the web where the network traffic going to and from it is effectively invisible or untrackable, so that it is dark in the sense of being unilluminated.”
What is the dark web? Your questions answered, in plain English, by Paul Ducklin, Sophos Blog, 25 May 2020

“So the fall of the peak, if it were sustained into the future, could be great news. While the peak is an easy place to rack up lots of ridership, its high costs mean it’s not always the best place to seek productivity (ridership divided by operating cost). Ultimately that means that there could be all-day markets that would be more productive once the high cost of peaking is taken into account. There is also the large social justice dimension to the peak. Peak commuters are far more affluent on average than all-day travelers, because higher wage jobs are more likely to be ‘nine to five’ while lower wage workers, predominantly in retail and services, are more likely to be needed around the clock. So a decline in peaking could help sustain services that support lower wage people — and remember, these are people whose work everyone depends on.”
Rush Hour Transit Demand Craters Due to COVID-19 — But Midday Demand Doesn’t, by Jarrett Walker, Streets Blog, 29 May 2020, reposted from Human Transit

“Were there other writers, I wondered, for whom this hierarchy of values held, novelists whose plots, one way or another, hinged around belonging and its attendant emotions, however differently they might come at it—just as Dickens and Chekhov come at it differently, and position themselves differently, though obviously obsessed by the same questions and construing life in the same way?”
A Novel Way to Think About Literary Categories, by Tim Parks, NYR Daily, 25 May 2020

I could accept categorizing fiction by theme, rather than by consumer audience. That it’s a smack on the nose to capitalism is also good (for me).

“Harry Potter author announces she will serialise the fairy tale from Tuesday afternoon, so children in lockdown can read it for free before it is published in November.”
JK Rowling announces new children’s book, The Ickabog, to be published free online, by Alison Flood, The Guardian, 26 May 2020

“Along with nursing homes, meatpacking plants across the U.S. have become hotbeds for the spread of COVID-19. Reports that highlight the plight of workers and the impact on the nation’s meat supply have focused on large facilities located in the middle of the country. But since more than a hundred cases at Farmer John in Vernon have come to light, it’s clear that the outbreak at meatpacking plants is not limited by geography. 153 workers have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Smithfield Foods-owned meatpacking plant, according to L.A. County Department of Public Health. That’s 13 more cases than were first reported by LAist just five days ago.”
Number Of Farmer John Coronavirus Cases Continues To Grow, by Jacob Margolis, LAist, 26 May 2020


Don’t believe your friends when they ask you to be honest with them. All they really want is to be maintained in the good opinion they have of themselves.
Albert Camus

Don’t keep a man guessing too long – he’s sure to find the answer somewhere else.
Mae West

Don’t marry a man to reform him – that’s what reform schools are for.
Mae West

Don’t wait for the last judgment – it takes place every day.
Albert Camus

Each age, it is found, must write its own books; or rather, each generation for the next succeeding.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Each generation doubtless feels called upon to reform the world. Mine knows that it will not reform it, but its task is perhaps even greater. It consists in preventing the world from destroying itself.
Albert Camus

Enthusiasm is the mother of effort, and without it nothing great was ever achieved.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being.
Albert Camus

Every actual State is corrupt. Good men must not obey laws too well.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every artist preserves deep within him a single source from which, throughout his lifetime, he draws what he is, and what he says. When the source dries up, the work withers and crumbles.
Albert Camus

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