Ben Crair: “Love the Fig”

Read this whole piece about the magical codependency of figs and wasps at The New Yorker. Gorgeous. Science, you’re amazing.

The fig and the fig wasp are a superlative example of what biologists call codependent evolution. The plants and insects have been growing old together for more than sixty million years. Almost every species of fig plant—more than seven hundred and fifty in total—has its own species of wasp, although some commercial fig production favors varieties that do not require pollination. (They are grown from cuttings and produce fruit without any seeds.) But codependence hasn’t made the fig and the fig wasp weak, like it can with humans. The figs and fig wasps’ pollination system is extremely efficient compared with that of other plants, some of which just trust the wind to blow their pollen where it needs to go. And the figs’ specialized flowers, far from isolating them in an evolutionary niche, have allowed them to radiate throughout the natural world.

When you’re a star, you can do anything to women …

From The Guardian:

Dorris with Donald Trump at the US Open in 1997
 “Dorris with Donald Trump at the US Open in 1997. She alleges the assault took place behind the partition wall in the background.

“I was in his grip, and I couldn’t get out of it,” she said, adding: “I don’t know what you call that when you’re sticking your tongue just down someone’s throat. But I pushed it out with my teeth. I was pushing it. And I think I might have hurt his tongue.”

Via his lawyers, Trump denied in the strongest possible terms having ever harassed, abused or behaved improperly toward Dorris.

Dorris, who lives in Florida, provided the Guardian with evidence to support her account of her encounters with Trump, including her ticket to the US Open and six photos showing her with the real estate magnate over several days in New York. Trump was 51 at the time and married to his second wife, Marla Maples.

Her account was also corroborated by several people she confided in about the incident. They include a friend in New York and Dorris’s mother, both of whom she called immediately after the alleged incident, as well as a therapist and friends she spoke to in the years since. All said Dorris had shared with them details of the alleged incident that matched what she later told the Guardian.

Just like I feel about Bill Clinton, take them all down. Listen to these women!

Or take it from this little girl:

Herd Mentality will eviscerate the virus.

Why here comes the mental herd brigade now:

If a person is akin to run for a top seat at a political rally, one really should reexamine their values.

The lies. The deceit. The betrayal. Big oil sold us gullibles on another big fish.

I stopped throwing plastic into the recycling bin long ago. We try to opt out of plastic when we can. But this article from NPR is damning:

But when Leebrick tried to tell people the truth about burying all the other plastic, she says people didn’t want to hear it.

“I remember the first meeting where I actually told a city council that it was costing more to recycle than it was to dispose of the same material as garbage,” she says, “and it was like heresy had been spoken in the room: You’re lying. This is gold. We take the time to clean it, take the labels off, separate it and put it here. It’s gold. This is valuable.”Article continues after sponsor message

But it’s not valuable, and it never has been. And what’s more, the makers of plastic — the nation’s largest oil and gas companies — have known this all along, even as they spent millions of dollars telling the American public the opposite.

This story is part of a joint investigation with the PBS series Frontline that includes the documentary Plastic Wars, which aired March 31 on PBS. Watch it online now.

NPR and PBS Frontline spent months digging into internal industry documents and interviewing top former officials. We found that the industry sold the public on an idea it knew wouldn’t work — that the majority of plastic could be, and would be, recycled — all while making billions of dollars selling the world new plastic.

Stop what you’re doin’. Cuz I’m about to ruin, the image and the style that you’re used to.

My goodness, Jason Kottke took a second or a thousand to address the growing conspiracy-laden culture infecting culture faster than covid.

Go take a read and marvel at the Covidiocy that so many are consuming and spreading.

Kottke makes the point that I keep thinking about: if we don’t start with and agree to the same basic facts, it distorts our ability to discuss the solutions.

If you look at 195,000 American deaths with shrugged shoulders and I mindbogglingly scratch my head at it as being large number, there’s a huge hurdle to jump to even begin a problem solving dialogue.

Kottke is disturbed by the 1 in 5 people (20%) accepting and repeating conspiracies. And rightly so. The thing is, many people who aren’t supposedly associated with Qanon or the like are accepting conspiracies like Biden supports full-term abortions. I can still see the look on a friend’s face when Tina and I both said that he does not. This is a person who would repeat a hundred times he isn’t a conspiracy theorist, and yet simple searching would provide with simple answers to the question.

Or am I the conspiracy theorist for accepting Biden is not a pedophile, baby-blood drinking psychopath?

It’s reminding me again of this quote I fell in love with:

“Treating different things the same can generate as much inequality as treating the same things differently.” 
― Kimberlé Crenshaw

One bit from Kottke’s post I want to share, but go read the whole thing yourselves.

This matters not just because of what these voters believe but also because of what they don’t. The facts that should anchor a sense of shared reality are meaningless to them; the news developments that might ordinarily inform their vote fall on deaf ears. They will not be swayed by data on coronavirus deaths, they won’t be persuaded by job losses or stock market gains, and they won’t care if Trump called America’s fallen soldiers “losers” or “suckers,” as the Atlantic reported, because they won’t believe it. They are impervious to messaging, advertising or data. They aren’t just infected with conspiracy; they appear to be inoculated against reality.

Democracy relies on an informed and engaged public responding in rational ways to the real-life facts and challenges before us. But a growing number of Americans are untethered from that. “They’re not on the same epistemological grounding, they’re not living in the same worlds,” says Whitney Phillips, a professor at Syracuse who studies online disinformation. “You cannot have a functioning democracy when people are not at the very least occupying the same solar system.”

And this little moment, too:

“He’s done a great job, he’s got everyone back to work. I’m pretty much 100% for him,” said Kyle, a 30-year-old electrician. “He shoots his mouth off but at least that shows he’s honest,” said Jason, a pipe-fitter, who said he especially liked Mr Trump’s commitment to reducing the national debt. “He’s done more for our country than the past ten presidents put together,” said an older builder, Jeff, skimming wet concrete on a new road. “He’s made — who is it, China or Japan? — pay our farmers billions of dollars. He got health care done, which the Democrats could never do. He built the wall.”

Kottke responds: “None of this is true, aside from Trump shooting his mouth off. These lies aren’t as spectacular as the blood-drinking pedophilia, but in some ways they’re even worse because they’re so easily fact-checked (e.g. Trump has increased the national debt) but still believed.

Hey world, here’s Josie. Josie, meet world! thanks, Jude!

We adopted Josephine Maria back in May of this year. She’s a French Bulldog and easily one of the cutest things we’ve ever seen and the biggest terror at the same time.

We’ve curbed her proclivity to eat her own poop, but she still sneaks a turd every once and again when we’re not paying attention.

We call her Josie Rosie Grossie Nosie, Boss Baby, Shit eater, cuddle bug, nutball, and many more. She’s an entertainer and naturally trainable. Her underbite will wow you.

Talulah didn’t like her at first. But she’s taken a liking to her. Josie forces herself on you. That’s her pickle.

Enjoy! The first shots are from her baby portraits shoot when we first got her at 6 months.

You can that one of the reasons we adopted her was because her one ear down is the exact same as Talulah’s.

The Trump camp keeps calling out Biden for calling him xenophobic and racist. Let’s explore!

I keep hearing that republicans are targeting democrats for their fuckups regarding their response to the President and to the pandemic outbreak.

They keep repeating — as if it will stick at some point if they do — that Biden and other democrats called xenophobic for his swift closing of the borders. We know from heavily documented records of the period that Trump’s closures were only partial and at least 40,000 Chinese travelers were able to enter and spread the virus like wildfire.

In a pandemic, that’s horrible.

On January 27, 2020, Joe Biden published an opinion piece which the word “xenophobic” nor “racist” is included.

A tweet in question came on March 18, when Joe Biden replied to a Trump tweet saying: “Stop the xenophobic fear-mongering. Be honest. Take responsibility. Do your job.”

Continue reading “The Trump camp keeps calling out Biden for calling him xenophobic and racist. Let’s explore!”

QAnon is a Nazi Cult, Rebranded

You’re going to want to read this whole thing. It’s saying what we’ve all been thinking, but with citation and certitude.

A secret cabal is taking over the world. They kidnap children, slaughter, and eat them to gain power from their blood. They control high positions in government, banks, international finance, the news media, and the church. They want to disarm the police. They promote homosexuality and pedophilia. They plan to mongrelize the white race so it will lose its essential power.

Does this conspiracy theory sound familiar? It is. The same narrative has been repackaged by QAnon.

I have studied and worked to prevent genocide for forty years. Genocide Watch and the Alliance Against Genocide, the first international anti-genocide coalition, see such hate-filled conspiracy theories as early warning signs of deadly genocidal violence.

The plot, described above, was the conspiracy “revealed” in the most influential anti-Jewish pamphlet of all time. It was called The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It was written by Russian anti-Jewish propagandists around 1902. It collected myths about a Jewish plot to take over the world that had existed for hundreds of years. Central to its mythology was the Blood Libel, which claimed that Jews kidnapped and slaughtered Christian children and drained their blood to mix in the dough for matzos consumed on Jewish holidays.