Ancient Israelites got high in temple

Archaeologists from the Israel Museum and colleagues found residue of cannabis containing THC on an altar in the ancient Israelite temple of Tel Arad. Apparently, the discovery in this 2,700-year-old temple south of Tel Aviv, Israel, is the first proof that ancient Jews used weed in rituals. From the BBC News:

Researchers concluded that cannabis may have been burned in order to induce a high among worshippers.[...]

Frankincense was found on one altar, which was unsurprising because of its prominence in holy texts, the study's authors told Israeli newspaper Haaretz.[...] However, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol (CBN) - all compounds found in cannabis - were found on the second altar.

"Cannabis and Frankincense at the Judahite Shrine of Arad" (Journal of the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University)

The Lincoln Project's new ad: America or Trump?

Here's a new attack ad against Trump called "Flag of Treason" created by The Lincoln Project, the anti-Trump republican group that includes Kellyanne Conway's husband George Conway. The ad starts off saying, “The men who followed this flag 150 years ago knew what it meant -- treason against their country. The death of the United States."

But the flag keeps showing up at Trump events, the ad continues, and according to Trump, the people waving it are "very fine people...What does it say that they’re all in for Trump? What does it say that he won't condemn the flag of hate, division, and losers?..." The ad concludes by saying we have a choice: "America or Trump."

According to CNN, "The TV spot, backed by a $500,000 ad buy, will air in the key battleground states of Florida, Wisconsin and Michigan as well as in Washington, DC."

Mining company destroys sacred Aboriginal cave in Western Australia. They're "sorry."

Multinational mining operation Rio Tinto destroyed an Aboriginal cave north of Perth, Australia last week. Indigenous people lived in the cave as far back as 46,000 years ago. From Reuters/New York Times:

Explosives destroyed two ancient rock shelters, where artefacts discovered included 4,000-year-old plaited human hair with genetic links to the present day traditional owners, the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura people.

The mining giant, which had been granted state government approval in 2013 to damage or destroy the site under a legal framework that is currently under review, apologised on Sunday.

"We pay our respects to the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura people, and we are sorry for the distress we have caused," Iron Ore chief executive Chris Salisbury said in a statement.[...]

"As a matter of urgency, we are reviewing the plans of all other sites in the Juukan Gorge area," Salisbury said.

image: Puutu Kunti Kurrama And Pinikura Aboriginal Corporation

Citizen scientist records 500+ animal species in his small city garden

Just for kicks, Paul Rule, 66, participated in a study launched by the Cambridge Natural History Society that enlisted citizen scientists and nature-lovers to help deepen knowledge of the flora and fauna in Cambridge, England. Rule recorded nearly 600 different animal species in his "ordinary" city garden, including an elephant moth like the one seen above, an ivy bee, and the locally endangered hedgehog. From BBC News:

The retired BT engineer has always been interested in wildlife, particularly "anything with six or eight legs", and was able to record 412 insects, including 272 species of moths.

"When it came to the insects, I used the internet and local experts - and I have a shelf full of wildlife reference books," he said.[...] Mammal visitors include a fox, hedgehogs and bats, while all the common garden bird species such as blackbirds, wrens, robins and goldfinches have been counted.

Top image: Jean Pierre Hamon (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Post-pandemic desk design may have marketing problem

Business planners are clinging to the dream of the open-plan office despite the coronavirus pandemic. I hope that this proposal for a post-Covid shared desk setup is not the final solution. [via @twlldun]

Yonsei University professor Kim Suk-kyung suggests this new office layout for the post-COVID-19 era to reduce the risk of disease transmission. ... “We need to consider if offices will need large spaces in the future. For example, the US is focusing on using smaller space efficiently. Changes to the layout of work stations can prevent the need to move to larger space to social distance,” said Kim.

Kim suggested rotating work stations and raising cubicle walls between desks so that workers do not face each other.

Hamilton County sheriffs replace U.S. flag at justice center with police "thin blue line" flag

Officers with Hamilton County Sheriff's Office replaced the U.S. flag with their own "thin blue line" flag Sunday, hoisting the desecrated version over the Justice Center in Cincinnati.

ABC News reports that sheriff Jim Neil said the U.S. flag was stolen by protestors. Neil does not convincingly explain why he replaced the U.S. flag with a different one.

“Should have been replaced with American flag immediately,” fellow Democrat Chris Seelbach tweeted back. “Not replaced with a politically charged blue lives matter flag when thousands are protesting in our streets because #BlackLivesMatter. Sheriff Neil has only made things worse. Again.”

In the police flag, the colors of the union flag are replaced with black and white but for a "thin blue line" symbolizing the police. The line divides the country in two, replacing one of the bars that traditionally represent the original 13 colonies.

The desecrated flag is a regular subject of criticism and parody, especially its plain implication that the U.S. is (or should become) a police state.

Learn how to podcast like a boss from these experts

Entrepreneurs looking for new avenues to reach customers may not have considered one of the fastest-growing content mediums today: podcasting. And we don’t mean just dropping an advertisement for your product or service in the middle of a popular show.

Right now, there are about 850,000 active podcasts reaching 165 million Americans. Those listeners are predominantly educated, affluent and technologically savvy. So could you craft an entertaining, engaging podcast around your business to attract attention and bring some of those smart, upscale listeners into your camp?

Business is one of the most popular podcast genres for listeners — and the training in the Podcast Like a Boss course offers motivated students all the direction needed to get a podcast off the ground. However, this course asks the even more important question: how can this podcast help drive your business forward?

Unlike other instruction training, this 7-module course doesn’t center exclusively on well-worn tips for would-be podcasters. This training is about creating and launching a podcast idea that bolsters business success, regardless of your industry. 

This training is led by a quartet of experienced business podcast pros, who collectively created podcasts that amassed over 7.5 million downloads while generating nearly $1 million in revenue. Kathleen Shannon, Emily Thompson, Paul Jarvis and Jason Zook break down the entire process, from clarifying a podcast’s purpose, defining the point of view, identifying the prime audience and shaping what a listener can expect before they ever even hit the subscribe button.

Through these lectures, workbooks, PDF checklists and more, you’ll learn how to create compelling content around your business; how to handle the tech and logistics of podcast recording and distribution; how to get attention to your podcast through iTunes and other platforms; how to monetize your show through sponsors and more; and how to grow and nurture around the program.

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Cops detain black man, then free him when he IDs as an "FBI agent"

In this video, two cops are seen detaining a black man. The casual racism and hostility to a peaceful bystander is appalling in any case, but these cops have made a worse error: the man they've handcuffed identifies himself as an FBI agent. They free the man at once.

Here's a longer cut of the video.

Whether or not the man is really an FBI agent, it's a great illustration of law enforcers being predatory bullies whose behavior changes completely around perceived power and privilege.

Correction: the cops are not from NYPD and this occurred long before this weekend's protests.

'Super 8: An Illustrated History' Will Scratch That Analog Itch

Both rookie filmmakers and analog die-hards alike will find something to love in Danny Plotnick’s new coffee table book ‘Super 8: An Illustrated History.’ Newcomers will whisper a quiet "thank you" before tucking in their iPhones tonight after they're introduced to the laborious process that their filmmaking ancestors went through, from buying expensive film stock to processing by hand. Experience the dizzying highs and treacherous lows as the author recounts his own decades-long love affair with Super 8 filmmaking (see: Skate Witches). The glorious photos of vintage cameras and projectors that adorn this book will have even the most casual gearhead drooling and interviews with underground filmmakers who cut their teeth on Super 8 including Richard Linklater, Bruce LaBruce, and GB Jones will offer insights into the passion that drove no-budget artists in the pre-digital age.

Super 8: An Illustrated History.


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Trump cowers in White House bunker as protests hit capitol

The MAGA Party didn't go as planned for President Trump, who fled to the White House bunker after protestors, not presidential partisans, turned up in numbers outside the executive mansion.

Secret Service agents rushed President Donald Trump to a White House bunker on Friday night as hundreds of protesters gathered outside the executive mansion, some of them throwing rocks and tugging at police barricades.

Trump spent nearly an hour in the bunker, which was designed for use in emergencies like terrorist attacks, according to a Republican close to the White House who was not authorized to publicly discuss private matters and spoke on condition of anonymity. The account was confirmed by an administration official who also spoke on condition of anonymity.

They turned the lights out, too, as seen in photos posted to Twitter by protestors and media.

The protests against police brutality were sparked by the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, by a white Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin. Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes, and Floyd—who had been accused by a shopkeeper of passing a fake $20 bill—was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. The scale and severity of the protests took authorities by surprise, and police have responded in force.

Minneapolis police have allegedly blinded a photojournalist permanently in one eye

Linda Tirado is a photographer and the author of Hand to Mouth: The Truth About Being Poor in a Wealthy World.

And as of Saturday afternoon, she's blind in one eye.

Tirado had been covering the protests and riots in Minneapolis:

But around 2:30am on Saturday, May 30, Tirado posted that she had been hospitalized. According to Twitter, the doctors believe she was hit in the eye with a tracer or a rubber bullet, which either exploded, or just hit her in the exact nerve spot to cause damage. While the blindness is likely permanent, Tirado did offer the cold comfort that it was not her photography eye.

Click the links to read the tweets if you want more detail. You can also support her Patreon.

Let this be your occasional tragic reminder that the "less than lethal" tactics used by riot police are indeed quite dangerous, and potentially deadly; when I was in college, a girl at my school was killed by a pepper spray canister to the face after the Red Sox beat the Yankees in the ALCS. The idea that pepper spray and rubber bullets and tracer shells might be "less lethal" just makes police use them more egregiously, which leads to more and more of these horrible scenarios.

Image: Public Domain via PxHere


Police response to protests against police brutality with more brutality

Over a weekend of protests against police brutality, America's police (with exceptions) responded with as much brutality as they could muster, targeting protestors, media and bystanders alike with rubber bullets, tear gas and random pre-emptive violence.

The New York Times:

Videos showed police officers in recent nights using batons, tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets on protesters, bystanders and journalists, often without warning or seemingly unprovoked. The footage, which has been shared widely online, highlighted the very complaints over police behavior that have drawn protests in at least 75 cities across the United States.

In Salt Lake City, officers in riot gear shoved a man with a cane to the ground.

In Brooklyn, two police S.U.V.s plowed into a crowd of protesters.

In Atlanta, police officers enforcing a curfew stopped two college students in a car, fired Tasers on them and dragged them out of the vehicle.

And in Minneapolis, where there have been six consecutive nights of protests and clashes, a video appeared to show officers yelling at people on their porches to get inside and then firing paint canisters at them. “Light them up,” one officer said.

The photo below shows a cop removing the face-mask of an obviously peaceful protestor so that he can mace him in the face. The cop has concealed his badge number to prevent easy identification.

Wife of George Floyd's Killer has filed for divorce

CBS News reports that Kellie Chauvin, wife of the police officer who killed George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for nearly 9 consecutive minutes, has filed for divorce.

Sekula Law Offices, the law firm representing Mrs. Chauvin, posted this on Facebook:

This evening, I spoke with Kellie Chauvin and her family. She is devastated by Mr. Floyd’s death and her utmost sympathy lies with his family, with his loved ones and with everyone who is grieving this tragedy. She has filed for dissolution of her marriage to Derek Chauvin.

While Ms. Chauvin has no children from her current marriage, she respectfully requests that her children, her elder parents, and her extended family be given safety and privacy during this difficult time.

According to International Business News, Mrs. Chauvin was born in Thailand in 1974, and spent the first several years of her life in a refugee camp before her family moved to Wisconsin. She entered in an arranged marriage in 1991, and had 2 children before leaving that first husband after a decade for alleged abuse. In 2018, she became the first woman of Hmong descent to be crowned Mrs. Minnesota. She met the man who killed George Floyd when he came in on a work shift while she was working at Hennepin County Medical Center — by which he already had an established record of violent conduct that went unpenalized — and married him in 2010.

The Chauvins also own property in Orange County, Florida — where the officer who killed George Floyd cast his voting ballots in 2016 and 2018, despite presumably being a Minnesota permanent resident in order to serve as a police officer (although only 8 percent of Minneapolis police actually live in Minneapolis). The Chauvins' Florida property was allegedly used as an AirBNB as well; the officer who killed George Floyd was apparently a licensed realtor while also serving as a police officer.

It is not unheard of for a police officer facing criminal charges for violent misconduct that ended up killing someone to divorce their spouse as a strictly legal maneuver to protect their assets from any financial consequences, forcing the public to foot the bill. But as of now, there's no clear indication or evidence that Mrs. Chauvin is acting under such pretenses; indeed, having been a victim of domestic violence herself, it's not irrational to think that the shocking video of her husband killing George Floyd would be a valid motivation for divorce. (There's even less evidence, that I have seen, to support the probably-racist conspiracy theories on YouTube that Mrs. Chauvin is somehow related to Tou Thao, the police officer who stood by and watched as George Floyd was killed.)

Who Is Kellie Chauvin? Wife Of Ex-Minneapolis Cop Arrested In George Floyd's Death Seeks Divorce [James Patterson / International Business Times]

Kellie Chauvin biography: 13 things about USOA’s Mrs. Minnesota 2019 [CONAN Daily]

Wife of Derek Chauvin, officer charged with murder in George Floyd's death, files for divorce [Sophie Lewis / CBS News]

Get certified marketing training on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more with these classes

Twitter rants and various online ugliness aside, social media has actually grown up a bit over the past 15 years. In general, users are warier of their interactions on platforms like Facebook or Instagram — and marketers have taken note.

In fact, if you felt retailers you saw on social media were only looking to jam products down your throat, that’s not marketing in 2020. Of marketers surveyed in a recent study, the clear no. 1 goal for brands in the social media realm — a commanding 69 percent — was to build brand awareness. In case you’re curious, driving sales was a lowly fifth place on the list.

So how do products build that awareness and engage with the audience they seek? The training in The 2020 Social Media Marketing Bootcamp Certification Bundle lays out the plan for any company looking to make the most of a social media presence, drive brand success and make you an in-demand social media manager.

Since no two social media platforms are truly alike, this seven-course, 34-plus hour collection aims to help marketers create strategies customized to work on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and more.

The fundamentals are explained in the Digital Marketing Foundations 101 course, a nuts-and-bolts walkthrough that hammers home the most critical decision for any social media manager: crafting a clear digital strategy. This course digs into email marketing, building a website, SEO, digital advertising, measurement, analytics, and all the latest trends in the digital marketing game.

While that course lays out the basics, Social Media Foundations 101 and Social Media Strategy advance your learning into practical steps for bringing that digital marketing plan to life. Students here get well-proven tactics for creating a standout business presence on social media, defining marketing goals, target audiences, and content strategies, and understanding the reason behind incorporating each social media platform into your overall business plan.

Next, the coursework delves into training specific to three of the most crucial social platforms operating today. Facebook Marketing, Instagram Marketing, and LinkedIn Marketing get into the advantages and disadvantages of each site, offering tips for reaching your specific audience on each platform.

Finally, Facebook Advertising goes inside paid advertising on the powerful platform, explaining how to master ad targeting and buying options to get the most reach for your money.

Regularly retailing for over $2,000, all this social media mastery knowledge is available now for only $29.99.

Prices are subject to change.


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If you have been wanting to make your own pizza at home this training class will get you started

Virus quarantines and shuttered restaurants sent millions of Americans back to their homes, only to rediscover the joys of firing up an oven and cooking something special for themselves. 

Whether by desire, necessity, or both, many of us have certainly been spending more time in the kitchen these last few months. And we haven’t just been hungry for the food itself. Americans have also been hungry for new ways to make it. Case in point, the Allrecipes Alexa skill saw recipe requests surge by 67 percent during March and April, while new users skyrocketed by 80 percent.

Pizza is an eternal crowd-pleaser, but plenty of chefs get intimidated at the thought of making crust and sauce from scratch. Thankfully, professional chef Tim Cunningham is on the case — and his 1-hour crash course Pizza Making: Bake the Best Sourdough Pizza at Home! seeks to prove that anyone with basic kitchen skills is more than capable of baking up a delicious pie.

The Australian-born Cunningham is a veteran of rustic Italian and Mediterranean cuisine -- and over this step-by-step instruction, students learn the fundamentals for making a world-class pizza that doesn’t require expensive equipment or ingredients. 

Over these seven lectures, Cunningham starts by explaining how to make your own sourdough starter from yeast and bacteria so your handmade crust will always be absolutely stellar. From there, he walks students through the creation of a Napoli sauce for pizza bases. 

Then armed with your crust and sauce, you’re already more than halfway to a homemade pizza that will put anything you have delivered from Grubhub to shame.

Over 1,200 students have taken chef Cunningham’s course, bestowing a 4.2 out of 5-star rating, so you know you can likely expect pizza brilliance -- so long as you can follow his easy-to-digest guide.

Best of all, the training to bake one of the world’s greatest pizzas yourself actually costs less than an order from Domino’s or Pizza Hut. The $200 course is now on sale for over 90 percent off, just $13.99.

Prices are subject to change.


Pizza Making Course: Bake the Best Sourdough Pizza at Home! - $13.99

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Get a 2-pack of these statement face masks for just $18

Now that the world is starting to re-emerge from its self-imposed COVID-19 quarantine, we’re all going to have to start making some adjustments to both short-term and long-term changes. 

And the questions… Should customers be hounded out of a store if they aren’t wearing a face mask? Are crocheted face masks safe or not? And will face masks be required everywhere, even the Happiest Place on Earth?

It’s still too early to know the answers to many of these face mask-related questions, but there’s one we already know the answer to. Who wants to wear a boring plain white N95 mask anyway?

Answer: No one. 

Therefore, you can start assembling your too-cool-for-the-room face wear wardrobe now with a two-pack of these two-ply statement face masks.  Each one is made from a premium, washable poly span stretchy fabric that covers your nose and mouth comfortably while containing and blocking any airborne pathogens.

And thankfully, they’ve created these short, direct commentaries for the wide variety of personality types out there. 

For the concerned

In two words, an entire conversation path is established. In an instant, you express your clean-as-a-whistle health status, all while inquiring about everyone else’s state.

For the hugger

This period of social distancing is hard on those who thrive in other people’s personal space. For them, this simple four-letter declaration says everything their empty arms cannot these days.

For the non-committal

Look, make your statement out in the world, but there’s no reason to tip your hand, right? Hello is about as tacitly friendly, yet socially ambiguous a greeting as possible. So if you’d like to retain your air of mystery while still putting something into the dialog, this one’s for you.

For the introvert

Sometimes, even hello is know...too much. Hi. H-I. Two letters. That’s all I can give right now. 

For the crusader

If you’re gonna make a statement, then by God, sing it loud, brother! You’re invested in everyone’s well-being and you think they should be true. And maybe it’s just the right way to get that maskless guy in line at Wal-Mart thinking about his choices.

Get over 140 hours of online piano lessons for less than $40

Maybe you had a piano teacher as a kid that drove you off the instrument forever. Or maybe you always wished for some serious training, but never found the time.

Whether you have dreams of tossing off a Beethoven or Chopin piece at the drop of a hat or you have visions of being the next Ray Charles, The Ultimate Piano Bundle: From Beginner to Advanced course bundle was created to turn an interested, invested novice into a functioning, then studied master of the keys in record time.

This collection includes 10 courses with a massive 140-plus hours of training dedicated to helping you not only learn to play the piano but understand the instrument, read music, compose and generally become a real, honest-to-goodness musician.

Nobody was to get buried in scholastics before they ever touch the keys, so this training kicks off with the Ultimate Piano Course: Go from a Beginner/Average to an Advanced Pianist. Starting from the beginning, the class can make you a proficient player through over 30 hours of training. The course explains the hows and whys of music theory, walks students through the entire keypad, including chord progressions, and generally immerses first-timers in a world of music.

The next step is the Intermediate/Advanced Piano Course: Enhance Your Musical/Piano Skills as your basic skills are tested with an expanded variety of lessons to push your abilities even further. 

But since playing is only a piece of the piano experience, the collection includes courses in learning to tackle the music pages themselves. How to Read and Write Music to Play Piano and Other Instruments delves into actually understanding how to read music as well as the fundamentals to start crafting compositions of your own.

Further training unpacks how to create unique, borrowed even altered chord progressions as well as identifying the different attributes of a melody, so it becomes that much easier to craft a catchy one for your songs.

Finally, you even get a pair of courses on ear training so you can always pick out keynotes immediately, develop a strong sense of pitch, and generally know your way around music like you’ve never known it before.

Putting yourself through each of these courses separately would run you $200 apiece, but right now, the complete collection is on sale for just $34.99, less than $3.50 per course.

Prices are subject to change.


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Save over 90% on a 2-year subscription to Iconscout's unlimited icons plan

When you see that curved arrow on the side of a cardboard box, you instantly know that box came from Amazon. The unfurled rainbow feathers of a peacock immediately scream NBC. And a partially eaten piece of fruit in the profile is a world-recognized symbol of tech titan Apple.

Icons are powerful symbols, condensing volumes of connection and meaning into a compact, simple image that conveys all that history and significance. For a web designer, those tiny icons are important navigation and information signifiers that form a critical unwritten shorthand with site visitors. 

Rather than trying to create those icons yourself, designers can get a serious leg-up in their creation by having all those icons created for you. With an Iconscout subscription, all that aid is available in a simple download.

Curators of their own design research marketplace, Iconscout is home to more than 2 million high-quality, royalty-free icons, each lovingly created by one of more than 300 top designers for use in virtually any type of web project you could envision.

With that many available options (and literally thousands more added to the Iconscout library every single day), your project can find just the graphic look to mesh with your creation, whether your icons should represent tech, education, entertainment, and sports or relationships, business, science or food and drink, to name just a few. Each is available in a broad range of sizes and styles contoured to find the look and feel of any design project.

If you’d like to modify an icon to include something different, such as your brand’s colors, for example, no problem. Just push your file into the Iconscout Online Editor and make any tweaks or changes you want, then export them into your favorite file format. With that kind of customization, it’s no wonder that Iconscout icons play nicely with other software, so you can open and use these creations in all kinds of graphics programs like Figma, Adobe XD, Sketch, Microsoft Office, GSuite tools and more.

You can get a two-year subscription to all of Iconscout’s services now at hundreds of dollars off its regular price, just $49.99.

Prices are subject to change.


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