The News: Friday, July 14, 2023

#342   [archive]

Johnson & Johnson sues researchers who linked talc to cancer
    Suing scientists over their research is a bad look, J&J.

Google lays off contractors who unionized last month
    "It really stinks of retaliation."

Boston Mayor announces residential conversion program for downtown offices
    Smart — remake the dumb and empty office buildings into apartment buildings.

Windows 95, 98, and other decrepit versions can grab online updates again
    At last I can update my TRS-80, maybe get the latest version of Netscape Navigator.

Things got ugly at RFK Jr's fart dinner 

Reddit removes years of chat and message archives from users' accounts, without advance notice
    Yeah, I'm still enjoying the shit-show, as Reddit's management shoots itself in the foot, aims carefully, shoots itself in the foot again, reloads, takes aim....

Reddit ends awards, replaces them with... well, nothing yet, but just you wait and see

One of Reddit’s biggest communities is suggesting users move to Discord 

/r/AccidentalRenaissance moderators have resigned, closed the subReddit, and moved to Lemmy and Kbin 

Reddit is a dead site running
    The article is more pessimistic about Reddit's future than I am, but there's no denying that the author has lots more expertise than little ol' big fat me.

When Twitter wouldn't let anyone see tweets unless they were logged in, the reach of Dutch safety announcements was limited. Upshoot: Netherlands becomes first government to launch its own Mastodon server 

John Hinckley Jr, would-be assassin of Ronald Reagan, signs record deal for debut vinyl album
    Do you believe in rehabilitation? I do.

MLB All-Star Corbin Carroll meets with little League players at childhood field 

Climate change is pushing oxygen out of the world's oceans 

Weather extremes are thrashing the world, and it's just a taste of what's to come 

It's official, say NOAA and NASA: June 2023 was the hottest ever recorded on Earth 

John Kerry — Mr Climate Change — says the US will not "under any circumstances" pay reparations to developing countries hit by climate change-fuelled disasters
    Climate change is largely America's fault, so Kerry's statement seems asinine to me, and quickly erases the already low levels of respect I've had for him.

Minneapolis police chief says he was unaware of new hire's past excessive force allegations
    Background checks? They haven't invented background checks?

Deputy arrested after inquiry finds he raped a woman while on duty 

Deputy arrested for multiple off-duty rapes 

Trump cheered his killing by cops as "retribution;" now his family is suing 

Chicago PD is sued over mass traffic stops of minorities that do almost nothing to stop crime 

Video shows Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy punching mom in face while she holds 3-week-old baby 

An Indiana Police Department has been using facial-recognition tech for a year, much to the surprise of its oversight 

Detroit Police commissioner caught in car with a prostitute
    "This is all a big misunderstanding." (actual quote)

Close to 100,000 voter registrations were challenged in Georgia — almost all by just six right-wing activists 

January 6 rioter seeks Supreme Court intervention, fears prosecution could "chill political speech and expression" 

Texas A&M recruited a UT professor to revive its journalism program, then backtracked after Republicans' hysteria 

House votes to limit abortion access in the military, bowing to the right 

Lawyer says he doublevoted for Trump, twice, in two states, accidentally 

Republican Congressman says trans people in the military could launch ICBM missiles on everyone 

70 House Republicans voted to cut off all US military aid to Ukraine 

Republican Congressional candidate calls for "defunding of government schools" and "gutting" of government agencies 

McCarthy-backed candidate has appeared on anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist's podcast six times 

Kansas town is threatening again to kick out the public library unless it removes LGBTQ+ books 

Republican Congressman would rather have Russia than Ukraine in NATO 

Ex-FBI official says GOP is telling agents: 'If you investigate our party, you are going to pay the price' 

Republicans try to stop military’s electrification with mind-bogglingly dumb proposals 

Arizona Republican refers to Black Americans as 'colored people' in House floor debate 


A Federal Judge asks: Does the Supreme Court realize how bad it smells?
    "The recent descriptions of the behavior of some of our justices and particularly their attempts to defend their conduct have not just raised my eyebrows; they’ve raised the whole top of my head."

How the police became untouchable 

Smartphones and electric cars rely on toxic mineral mined in Congo by children 

Maybe separating newspapers from capitalism is a good idea after all 

Orange Is the New Black — huge hit, but screwed its actors 

♫♬  AUDIO  ♫

Drift Away — Dobie Gray 

God and the FBI — Janis Ian 

In My Room — The Beach Boys 

Muffin Man — Frank Zappa 

Sister Golden Hair — America 

πŸ‘  VIDEO  πŸ‘

How to get from Helmstedt to West Berlin, across East Germany 

Fred Rogers testifies before the Senate Subcommittee on Communications 

Dick York is shy


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⚰️   THE DEAD  ⚰️  

Daniel Goldberg 

Milan Kundera 

James Lewis 

John Nettleton 

AndrΓ© Watts 

Jimmy Weldon


Cranky Old Fart is annoyed and complains and very occasionally offers a kindness, along with anything off the internet that's made me smile or snarl. All opinions fresh from my ass. Top illustration by Jeff Meyer. Click any image to enlarge. Comments & conversations invited. 

Tip 'o the hat to ye olde AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, CaptCreate's Log, Kottke,org, Looking for My Perfect Sandwich, One Finger Medical, Two Finger Magical, Miss Miriam's Mirror, Nebulously Burnished, RanPrieur.com, Spock Variety Hour, Voenix Rising, and anywhere else I've stolen links, illustrations, or inspiration.

Special thanks to Linden Arden, Becky Jo, Wynn Bruce, Joey Jo Jo, John the Basket, Dave S, Name Withheld, and always extra special thanks to my lovely late Stephanie, who gave me 21 years and proved that the world isn't always shitty.


  1. I have never seen the song referred to as anything but "Sister Golden Hair". I'm not being critical: I'm just a music geek. I'm familiar with the song because it's the only song by America that I can listen to without getting piss shivers. Hey, everybody has a right to enjoy his/her own music. I'm obliged to own my own piss shivers. Also, me timbers.


    1. Thanks — I sit corrected, and will correct the title now. Never even checked, cuz it's always been SISTER GOLDEN HAIR SURPRISE to me, and I love that song so much I was kinda surprised it's by America. Thought it was CCR or 3DN or CSN or some band more formidable.

      The "surprise" in the lyric has always seemed much more important than the "sister golden hair."

      Not a fan of the band America? I saw 2/3 of them in concert once, but only because it was free.

      When I'm in the right mood, I enjoy riding away on the hypnotically monotonic HORSE WITH NO NAME. It felt good to be out of the rain.

  2. Did you actually have a TRS-80? I did, it was my first computer, circa 1979/1980.


    I still use Reddit, on desktop only. The day they stop allowing old Reddit is the day I stop using Reddit. New Reddit is an abomination.


    As usual, all the depressing links are too much to comment on. I won't post a link you can google this headline - I THINK I saw this on Reddit, but if you already posted it here, apologies:

    Connecticut Police Allegedly Issued 26,000 Fake Tickets To Cover Up Racism

    1. Yeah, had that story a few days ago. It ought to be huge, but it'll be forgotten. Surprised you found a link willing to reveal what it was about — I sorta had to piece it together from was inside the article I read.

      Nope, never had a Tandy, but I looked over some Tandy-owners' shoulders. Thought it was a cool toy for its time.

      I got to use early Mac and pre-Windows MS at work, and remember that Windows was (and remains) a rip-off of the Mac operating system.

      First pooter I actually owned was a full-fledged desktop, circa late 1990s but not fundamentally diff from the one I'm typing on today.

    2. My memory of it is hazy, so tell me plz, what could you do on a TRS-80? I remember primitive games and a kinda clunky word processor, not much else...

    3. >My memory of it is hazy, so tell me plz, what could you do on a TRS-80?

      I truly barely remember.

  3. The company keeps denying there was ever any asbestos in the talc. I don't get how they can deny it and the scientists can assert it. How can there be any doubt what's in the product? Doesn't the FDA regulate that?

    1. From 2018: "...internal documents examined by Reuters show that the company's powder was sometimes tainted with carcinogenic asbestos and that J&J kept that information from regulators and the public."


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