Stupid headline, good article

Leftovers & Links #47

George Floyd’s brother is trying to teach little kids about what happened in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020. 

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I’m not going all soft and mushy or anything, and I still hate 99% of all poetry, but… I liked I am San Francisco, by A D Winans. It comes close to capturing what I feel when I think of the San Francisco I called home, and the city that still bears that name but seems very, very different.

Clicking around and reading some other poems by the same author, gotta say, I’m impressed... by poetry? That doesn't happen often.

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15-year-old public high school kid is sexually assaulted, and reports it to the school. For reporting it, she’s suspended

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The headline here is simply stupid: “Everything you’ve heard about section 230 is wrong.” Section 230 is a brief, 26-word subsection from the otherwise repulsive Communications Decency Act, and it’s the part of the law that lets companies like Facebook hold millions and billions of posts by users, without any worry that the companies might be liable for any of the stupid, untrue, or otherwise dangerous things that “we the people” say all the time.

All the above is true, and if that's what you knew about Section 230, like me, it's not wrong. So the stupid headline is why I didn’t even read the article... until yesterday, when midway through a lengthy poop I finished what I’d been reading, and pulled an old issue of Wired from the rubbish. 

Surprise! The article is a very good summary of Section 230 — what the law does that's good, and what it does that sucks, detailed enough to provide a better understanding of the law and the problems it spawns, but not so detailed that it requires taking notes. Doug says, don't judge an article by its headline.

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“Roughly 1 million species of animals and plants worldwide are on the verge of extinction,” according to a UN report.

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After the first few paragraphs, this article wanders away and becomes a review of a couple of books, but those first few paragraphs are about Queen for a Day, a TV game show I very vaguely remember from my childhood. The contestants were always women, which is probably why I watched. 

I hadn’t remembered, though, just how grisly the competition was. The women simply told the stories of their lives — tragedies of dead husbands, for example, or of disabled children, or a Holocaust survivor who hopes to have her Auschwitz tattoo erased. The winner was the determined by the audience and an applause meter, and got “a jeweled crown and a sable-trimmed robe, plus appliances, new clothes, and a vacation.” The women who didn't win got nothing.

Jeez, that seems heartless as hell, but mighty American, eh?

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When Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said, "There is racism physically built into some of our highways," he was, of course, correct, but just as 'of course' he's been mocked and (intentionally) misunderstood by millions of American morons.

Here's a very succinct, two or three minute summary of a small fraction of what Buttigieg was talking about

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A week and a half ago, I felt a pimple sprouting on my thigh, and had the bright idea to put a moist towelette on it. Held in place only by the pressure of my flab for several hours, when I removed the by-then dry towelette, the pimple was gone. I already told that story, but here’s a late-breaking update, and maybe a major breakthrough for zit-faced kids everywhere. Or, it might be just a coincidence. 

Yesterday a pimple began sprouting on my face. I gave it a hot soapy wash, and then another wash a few hours later, but then came a eureka moment. What if I tried the moist towelette trick with the zit on my face? 

So I put a double layer of moist towelettes, neatly folded, onto the zit, and wrapped a couple of bungee cords around my head to keep the moist towelettes in place. Four hours later, the zit was still there, but noticeably smaller. I applied two fresh moist towelettes under the bungee cords, went to sleep, and when I woke, the pimple was almost entirely gone.

This is only anecdotal evidence, yes, but even anecdotal evidence is evidence. Next time you get an ugly zit on your face, apply some moist towelettes to your head, secured by a bungee cord over your skull, and let me know what happens.

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Just a kid, in a suit and bow tie, dancing his heart out to "Everybody Dance Now".

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The building super is coming tomorrow to do some building super things, so it seemed like a wise time to finally tidy up the apartment a bit. It’s been a while. I found a sweatshirt I hadn’t seen in ages, and three unopened packages from work. They stupidly FedEx company-branded trinkets quite often, and it’s always garbage. Opened all three boxes, and dumped everything into the trash except for eight company-branded pens and a bag of company-branded jellybeans. I would’ve preferred eight bags of jellybeans and maybe one pen.

In the historical rubble that had been aimed at the trash or recycling but missed, I found a scrunchy, and an empty bottle of Klarbrunn citrus-tinged sparkling water. Neither of these are things I use or consume, so they must’ve been my wife’s, which makes them at least three years old. There’s a big shelf of her favorite things — I call it the shrine — in our living room, which is where the scrunchy and Klarbrunn are now.

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 Mystery links  — Like life itself, there’s no knowing where you’re going:


 Sing along with Doug:
"Don't Be Shy," by Yusuf Cat Stevens

Sincere tip 'o the hat:
Captain Hampockets
Follow Me Here
Messy Nessy Chick
National Zero
Ran Prieur
Vintage Everyday

Voenix Rising

Becky Jo
Name Withheld
Dave S.


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  1. Doug, this is the last paragraph on the bottom of your homepage:

    "Oh, and I'm supposed to mention that it's all Ⓒ1994-2021 by Doug Holland, but c'mon, you knew that."

    I can assure you I'm not making a poor attempt to be a wise-ass, and it makes perfect sense to protect your intellectual property by asserting copyright, but after I routinely read the sentence and was starting to move on, I started pondering the "I'm supposed to . . . " part of the sentence. You're an independent son of a gun, but not independently wealthy, and the world is probably better for your conditions of solitude and penury, and I'm wondering who "supposed" you to assert copyright. Do you have a secret or not-so-secret attorney? Not that there's anything wrong with that. I'm just curious.

    By the way, I'd loan you some of my own penury, but I'm also on the Ham Sandwich Diet that's sweeping the nation. I have a bad back and a broken heart. Not broken so much as bypassed, but treatment doesn't leave me with Scrooge McDuck volumes of cash and coin between Social Security Checks.

    The sentence, or sentence fragment just struck me very close to my curiosity organ, the one part of my integrated whole that still more or less functions at factory standards.

    I wish you well.


    1. Mostly it's just a wisecrack. I'd spent an hour reading and trying to understand the Creative Commons rules, which I'd probably rather be using if it wasn't all so damned complicated. Gave up, and went with the old-fashioned Ⓒ rules instead.

      Your contributions here are more valuable than any ham sandwich.


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