American books are getting swearier

Psych scholars from San Diego State and U Georgia used Google Books to systematically explore the growth of swear-words in published American literature: they conclude that books are getting swearier and that this is a bellwether for a growth in the value of individualism: "Due to the greater valuation of the rights of the individual self, individualistic cultures favor more self-expression in general (Kim & Sherman, 2007) and allow more expression of personal anger in particular (Safdar et al., 2009). Thus, a more individualistic culture should be one with a higher frequency of swear word use." Read the rest

Republican lawmakers double-down on legalizing the vehicular murder of protesters

During the heyday of the Standing Rock demonstrations, Republican state lawmakers across America introduced laws that would legalize murdering protesters with your car; now that a white supremacist terrorist has murdered an anti-Nazi protester with his car, these lawmakers are letting it be known that they won't back down from their proposals. Read the rest

Every judicial decision has been liberated from the US court system's paywall

US court records are not copyrighted, but the US court system operates a paywall called "PACER" that is supposed to recoup the costs of serving text files on the internet; charging $0.10/page for access to the public domain, and illegally profiting to the tune of $80,000,000/year. Read the rest

Russian inequality is worse than imagined; worse than other post-Soviet states

The World Wealth and Inequality project's latest white-paper, co-authored by Thomas "Capital in the 21st Century" Piketty, painstaking pieces together fragmentary data-sources to build up a detailed picture of wealth inequality in Russia in the pre-revolutionary period; during phases of the Soviet era; on the eve of the collapse of the USSR; and ever since. Read the rest

School to parents: a $100 donation gets your kids to the front of the lunch line

Parents of students enrolled in Lawton Chiles Middle Academy in Polk County, Florida got an orientation package offering their kids the right to skip to the front of the lunch line in exchange for a $100 donation to the Parent-Teacher-Student Alliance. Read the rest

In NYC, every tenant facing eviction is now entitled to a lawyer

America's hedge-fund driven eviction epidemic is most keenly felt in New York City, where deep-pocketed corporate landlords use dirty tricks to evict families from rent-controlled apartments, creating an epidemic of homeless working families with children. Read the rest

CEOs quit Trump: The 1% can't win elections unless the 99% turkeys vote for Christmas

Yesterday, Merck CEO Ken Frazier quit Trump's advisory council and today the CEOs of Intel and Under Armor joined him, which raises the question: why were these guys on the advisory council for an avowed white supremacist who campaigned on a platform of racial discrimination against Mexicans and Muslims? Read the rest

A new edition of Daniel Pinkwater's happy mutant kids' classic, "Lizard Music"

Back in 2011, The New York Review of Books inducted Daniel Pinkwater's classic Lizard Music into its canon with a handsome little hardcover edition; today they follow that up with a stylish, jazzy paperback, priced to move at $10. Read the rest

Hitler delivers Trump's Boy Scout speech

Jose writes, "I was offended by Trump's speech to the Boy Scouts. It's a slippery slope and seemed so reminiscent of the past. I synchronized Adolf to deliver Trump's remarks to show how close we are to repeating the past. It's an ode to Chaplin's City Lights and The Great Dictator." Read the rest

Ikeahacking turned pro: the aftermarket cabinet-doors of Semihandmade

Semihandmade started out as a Los Angeles cabinetmaker called "Handmade," but when they got a commission to design aftermarket doors for a cheap and surprisingly robust set of Ikea kitchen cabinets, they realized that they could supply excellent-looking, high-spec kitchens at a tiny price by just manufacturing replacement doors for Ikea's ubiquitous cabinetry. Read the rest

For sale: giant lab "gantries," slightly used, FOB Indiana

Indiana U is selling off a huge lot of lab equipment, including these space-pod-looking gantries. Winning bidder is responsible for dismantling and shipping. "To give someone an idea of how large these are, there are two pits that they sit in. Each of the pits are 28'x35'x10' deep." Read the rest

So the Alt-Right is coming to your campus

The Southern Poverty Law Center's guide, The Alt-Right on Campus: What Students Need to Know basically advises you to network with everyone on your campus who isn't a closet Nazi, meet with the Young Republicans (or whatever) and remind them that they're inviting Nazis to come speak, and then to throw a big, fun event far from whatever Nazi is addressing your school and starve them of publicity and attention. Read the rest

Walt Disney World has permanently shuttered The Great Movie Ride and the Universe of Energy

Ricky from Inside the Magic writes, "Two classic Walt Disney World attractions closed permanently this weekend: The Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios and the Universe of Energy/Ellen's Energy Adventure at Epcot. The Great Movie Ride had a bittersweet finale, as enthusiastic cast members received a thunderous round of applause as the experience ended its 28 year run. The Universe of Energy, unfortunately, suffered a few technical difficulties on its final day of operation and unexpectedly shut down early." Read the rest

Real people don't (just) need encryption

Earlier this month, UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd idiotically insisted that "real people" don't need encrypted messaging apps; but as foolish a statement as that was, there was a kernel of truth to it. Read the rest

It's not hard to think of ways to outsmart Stingray-detector apps

A group of researchers from Oxford and TU Berlin will present their paper, White-Stingray: Evaluating IMSI Catchers Detection Applications at the Usenix Workshop on Offensive Technologies, demonstrating countermeasures that Stingray vendors could use to beat Stingrays and other "cell-site simulators" (AKA IMSI catchers). Read the rest

Airbnb's preferred smart lock vendor accidentally bricks 500 door-locks

The $469 LockState RemoteLock 6i is a "smart lock" that is sold to Airbnb operators through a partnership with the company, allowing Airbnb hosts to generate and expire unique, per-tenant unlock codes. Read the rest

Donald Trump will not condemn the terrorist attacks on anti-Nazi protestors

Donald Trump represents the eminently foreseeable outcome of Reagan's Republican bargain: welding together a coalition of racists and religious fanatics with the finance sector and its lobbyists, making two groups who had spent a century cordially loathing each other into one. Read the rest

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