A secret Finnish subculture of women and girls who ride hobbyhorses has come out of the shadows

A once-underground movement of Finnish girls who conduct elaborate dressage routines with toy hobbyhorses has gone mainstream, with coaches, competitions and trainers, and is spreading abroad. Read the rest

Most Republican voters were Trumpists before Trump, and most of the rest have converted since 2016

Josh Quiggin's essay about "Transactional Trumpism" really nailed it for me: if the story is that Republicans chose Trump as their candidate because they were sure that he would enact "the Republican agenda" they didn't get a very good deal: all Trump has managed is the bare minimum that any Republican would have done, putting far-right ideologues on the Supreme Court and handing gigantic tax-breaks to the super-rich. Read the rest

Stop & Shop strike convinces 75% of loyal customers to take business elsewhere

Northeastern grocery chain Stop & Shop has been goosing its profits at its workers' expense, increasing their healthcare costs, reducing company pension contributions, and reducing holiday and Sunday overtime pay; the United Food & Commercial Workers, who organize the Stop & Shop employees called for a strike nearly two weeks ago, and since then, 31,000 workers from 240 stores in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island have been off the job. Read the rest

After Notre Dame bailout Yellow Vests urge more Victor Hugo tributes, starting with "Les Miserables"

The Notre Dame fire is a global tragedy, and it's also raising complicated questions about our present moment, including trenchant inquiries into which church fires merit global outpourings and whose sacred sites get mourned when they are destroyed. Read the rest

Copyright filters are automatically removing copies of the Mueller Report

During the bitter debate over the EU's Copyright Directive, with its mandate for copyright filters that would automatically censor anything that anyone claimed to be infringing, opponents repeatedly warned that these filters would be trivial to abuse. Read the rest

Noam Chomsky takes ten minutes to explain everything you need to know about the Republican Party in 2019

Amy Goodman from Democracy Now interviewed linguist and political philosopher Noam Chomsky and asked him to explain Donald Trump; in a mere 10 minutes, Chomsky explains where Trump came from, what he says about the GOP, and what the best response to Russiagate is. Read the rest

AOC is going to Kentucky

First AOC gave a great speech about how the Green New Deal was good for workers, including coal workers; then she accepted GOP Rep Andy Barr's invite to visit the coal-miners in his Kentucky Appalachian district; then Barr disinvited him, citing her "incivility" in her response to the racist attacks on Rep Ilhan Omar; then it transpired that Barr has no coal mines in his district, but it doesn't matter, AOC is going anyway: "Luckily, we still have open borders with Kentucky, we are free to travel there. We hope to visit and have a town hall, listen to concerns of workers in Kentucky." Read the rest

Halifax! I'm speaking at Atlseccon on April 24 (then Toronto, Ottawa, Berlin and Houston!)

I'm coming to Halifax to give the closing keynote on day one of Atlseccon on April 24th: it's only my second-ever visit to the city and the first time I've given a talk there, so I really hope you can make it! Read the rest

TSA admits that its pornoscanners flag Black women and others with curly hair for humiliating, invasive searches

Black women have long complained that they get flagged for secondary screening at TSA checkpoints after passing through a full-body scanner; after years of complaints, the TSA has admitted that its scanners struggle to with curled hair, and are prone to flagging anyone wearing an afro, twists, locks, braids, or other hairstyles predominantly found among Black travelers (though white travelers with long curly hair have also reported being flagged for secondary screening). Read the rest

Perhaps the reason @RepAndyBarr rescinded his invitation for AOC to visit the coal mines in his district is that there are none?

Earlier this week, Kentucky Republican Congressman Andy Barr withdrew his invitation for Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to visit a coalmine in his district (made after AOC defended the Green New Deal as being better for working people, including coal miners, than GOP denial inaction on climate change). Read the rest

NYC adopts law targeting the handful of skyscrapers that are spiking the city's carbon footprint

New York City's just-passed Climate Mobilization Act rolls up six climate-mitigation laws that comprehensively remake the city's approach to climate change (it's colloquially known as the Green New York Deal). Read the rest

Read the source code for every classic Infocom text-adventure game!

Jason Scott has made the source available for every one of Infocom's classic and genre-defining text adventure games (previously) for the Apple ][+ and its successors, posting it to Github under the historicalsource account. Read the rest

Chuck Tingle's Muellerporn: "Redacted In The Butt By Redacted Under The Tromp Administration"

Chuck Tingle (previously) has leapt into action with some of the most trenchant analysis of the Mueller Report yet seen: Redacted In The Butt By Redacted Under The Tromp Administration covers all the most significant details through an exquisitely crafted tale of gay pornography. Read the rest

Telcoms lobbyists have convinced 26 states to ban or restrict municipal broadband

More than half of the US states have passed laws that ban or severely restrict local governments from investing in broadband: many of these laws were copypasted from "model legislation" circulated by corporate telcoms lobbyists (this is a disturbing, widespread practice in America's state houses); and many of the states that have passed these bills have large areas where every ISP is a Net Neutrality violator, and all across America, ISPs are underinvesting in network buildout (especially for rural subscribers) while raising prices and refusing to sell high-speed service to customers who don't also buy cable TV. Read the rest

IPOs have sent Uber and Lyft fares skyrocketing, while driver pay plummets

The public markets are hungry: as Uber and Lyft look to IPOs to let their investors -- who have been subsidizing 40-50% of every ride -- redeem their shares through sales to the public capital markets, the companies are desperate for ways to reduce their unprofitability and increase those share prices. Read the rest

John Oliver tackles the Sacklers: the litigious, secretive billionaires whose family business engineered the opioid crisis

The Sacklers (previously) are a reclusive, super-secretive family of billionaires whose fortune comes from their pharmaceutical company, Purdue Pharmaceuticals, manufacturers of Oxycontin, the drug at the center of the opioid epidemic, which has claimed more American lives than the Vietnam war, with the death-toll still mounting. Read the rest

Pepsi won't put a billboard in space after all

Pepsi's plan to pay a Russian company called Startrocket to loft an artificial constellation of cubesats with mylar sails to advertise a "nonalcoholic energy beverage" has been cancelled for unspecified reasons (the company says its prototype launch using high-altitude balloons was a "one-time event"). Read the rest

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