News & Links: Wednesday, September 13, 2023

#366  [archive]

The batshit crazy story of the day Elon Musk decided to personally rip servers out of a Sacramento data center
[Archived page

7 state flags still have designs with ties to the Confederacy
[Archived page

The Louisville Slugger factory, ten years apart
[Archived page]  


Smithsonian returns woman's brain to family in Seattle 90 years after it was taken
[Archived page]  

Climate change and insurance: The alarm bell we can't afford to ignore
[Archived page
    Insurance companies are big and evil and I hate 'em, but they know how to do math. They've run the numbers, and started to see that there's no longer money to be made from selling homeowner's insurance in certain areas — the risks are too large.
    That's climate change, ringing the doorbell at the finest McMansions.

Greta's school strikes led a third of Swiss citizens to change their habits
[Archived page

Renowned conductor allows climate activists to address crowd at Swiss music festival
[Archived page]
    Jeez, this is beautiful. A few minutes of interruption, a short speech, no arrests — a rare moment and for me thoroughly unexpected moment of sanity.
    [Excerpt:] The protesters entered the stage as the orchestra was playing the third movement of Bruckner’s fourth symphony, according to a press release from the group, and Jurowski responded by granting them an opportunity to speak.
    “We have made a deal: The young people say their word now. We all listen without commenting. I promised them, gave my word of honor, that there would be no commentary,” Jurowski said, during the performance at the Lucerne Festival.
    “We let them finish and then they let us play the fourth movement. That was the deal. Please help me,” he continued.
    One of the activists then started to speak.
    “Anthony and I are here today because we are very concerned. We are very sorry that we have to interrupt this concert. But we have a climate emergency that we really need to get a handle on,” she said, as shouting and whistling can be heard from the audience.
    “Stop it! Let them talk,” said Jurowski.
    “Let them talk for once and then we will play our symphony. Otherwise, I’ll leave the stage now. And if you don’t let them finish, then I have broken my word,” he adds, before sitting cross-legged on the podium.  

Atlanta won't even ☆begin☆ the process of counting signature for Cop City initiative
[Archived page]
    [Excerpt:] The city's move surprised activists and at least one member of the city council, Liliana Bakhtiari, whose district is one of two closest to the forest – and who said she had not been told of the city's decision beforehand.
    "I'm livid," Bakhtiari said. "How can we expect people to have any faith in the democratic process when they keep moving the goalposts?"
    Monday's memo continued months of roadblocks put up by the city, a jarring litany by mostly Democratic officials that observers say are undemocratic and will jam the process of letting voters decide on such a major project.
    The city's approach, rendering the process more difficult, "is part of a broader trend we're seeing across the country, where those in power are trying to stop ballot initiatives", said Emma O Sharkey, with the Elias Law Group, a voting rights firm.
     In the nearly 12 weeks since the referendum was launched, Atlanta has been "throwing everything to see what sticks", Sharkey said – including the notion of matching voter signatures on the petitions to previous signatures on file. This type of process has been found unconstitutional in litigation elsewhere and led referendum organizers last week to write a letter to Atlanta's Carter Center, asking it to monitor the city's handling of the petitions.
    Other obstacles from the city to date include: delaying or denying approval of the petition's format three times in two weeks at the outset due to minor issues such as including a line for witnesses to sign – giving organizers less time to gather the signatures needed to get the question on the ballot for a November election; and, more recently, a legal appeal by the city to a federal court's decision allowing people from neighboring DeKalb county to gather signatures for the petition, even though they can't sign it and can't vote on the question.

    [Me again:] That list of roadblocks doesn't even include the bizarre racketeering charges brought against the anti-Cop City activists.
    It's starting to smell like Atlanta is going to build Cop City no matter how much opposition there is. That's the opposite of everything I remember from civics class, where the teacher said, "We have a democracy so people don't feel they need to resort to violence."
    When democratic means of dissent aren't allowed, well...

Activists spray red paint over billionaire Walmart heiress's super-yacht for a second time
[Archived page

Republican Congressperson escorted from play over obnoxious behavior
[Archived page

50 years after coup in Chile: How U.S. continues to hide role of Nixon & Kissinger
[Archived page

"Space aliens" not revealed in Mexican Congress
[Archived page

Despite BS to the contrary, Microsoft has not stopped forcing Edge on Windows 11 users
[Archived page

Smart people first in line for COVID-19 vaccines, study suggests
[Archived page]
    I will see you there.

Florida's Governor and Surgeon General warn people ☆not☆ to get COVID booster
[Archived page]

All cops continue being bastards
    This is my other project, an ongoing collection of police brutality, beatings, and general corruption, almost always unpunished.

📸  IMAGES  📸

Charlie Low's Forbidden City, America's greatest Chinese nightclub 

Children's bedrooms around the world 

Exchange Elevated Station, Union Stockyards, Chicago

 • Pablo Escobar was here

 • Seven Magic Mountains 

Silver spoons 

Some poor phoneless fool 

♫♬  MUSIC  ♫

A Little Less Conversation — Elvis Presley 

It's Finally Over — Country Joe & the Fish 

No Bad News — The Wiz 

Spill the Wine — Eric Burdon 

Wide Open Spaces — The Chicks 







👁  VIDEO  👁

Hip-hop Antifa
    We've all seen the video, all heard the song, but they go great together.

Seized by frogs 

The Wizard of Speed and Time (the 1979 short, not the 1988 movie)


I feel the weight of their tears and despair 

Richard’s Rule #1 

Glossary of tech phrases 


Dennis Austin
[Archived page

Gloria Coates
[Archived page

Franne Lee
[Archived page

Giuliano Montaldo
[Archived page

Sarah Wunsch
[Archived page


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 the AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, Kottke,org, Looking for My Perfect Sandwich, MetaFilter, Miss Miriam's Mirror, RanPrieur.com, @soberscientistlife, Voenix Rising, and anywhere else I've stolen links, illustrations, or inspiration.

Special thanks to Linden Arden, Becky Jo, Wynn Bruce, Joey Jo Jo emeritus, 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. There are a shocking number of stories about people stealing brains and skulls. I found out that during the 19th century, quack "researchers" were sending each other the head of dead Indians, the more famous the better. Chief Osceola of the Seminoles, who lead an insurgency against settlers in Florida, had his head removed from his body after his death and shipped around by doctors until it eventually disappeared.

    Not too long ago it was revealed that Ulrike Meinhof, German leftist writer and namesake of the Baader-Meinhof Gang, suffered from a brain injury that may have affected her judgment. They found this out because they stole her fucking brain 50 years ago and put it in a jar.

    Most of us have a taboo about tampering with bodies and the word "graverobber" has a foul connotation to it. But for some reason our intellectual giants can't stop ripping the heads off dead bodies. I don't know why!

    1. Superstition, I guess? That guy was great and now he's dead so let's worship his brain? Jar it and put it on a shelf under CIA HQ...

      There's nothing science or radicals or the government can do with a dead famous person's brain they can't do with any other brain, so what else is it but a trophy...

      And an insult to the conquered.

    2. Claude "Migraine" ReignsSeptember 15, 2023 at 4:24 PM


    3. None of the Satanists I've known would do or endorse such a thing. More likely witches.

    4. I read a book about the journey of Einstein's brain, which made a number of side trips and a few loops around the east coast and the mid west. Seems like a dozen neurologists took thin slices and stared at them under a contrast microscope. Turns out he had a fairly normal brain, perhaps 2-3% heavier than the average, well within the mainstream. I suspect, and now science as a whole suspects, they were looking in the wrong place. Einstein didn't gaze at the universe through a telescope: he just thought differently about it.


    5. Yessir. They go looking like it's gonna sparkle and smell of elderberries, but it's just a brain. I'm pretty sure they're all basically the same. It's what you do with it that matters.


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