So today Apple announced some ugly colored iMacs and some other stuff, but what caught my eye are AirTags, which are going to cost $29 and will run on a replaceable battery with a year worth of power. One of these will go under the seat of the Scout, hidden away from prying eyes, and provide another measure of security through the Find My network.

Date posted: April 20, 2021 | Filed under apple, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Last week there were a flurry of stories of police taking arrests way too far; an Army lieutenant was pepper-sprayed and handcuffed while Virginia cops searched his car with no probable cause. An Ohio man had snow forcibly shoved in his mouth during a February arrest.

Here in Maryland, a police Bill of Rights was enacted in 1974, ensuring police had extra protections unavailable to ordinary citizens, including time limits on alleging brutality complaints, allowing only other law enforcement officers to investigate misconduct, and allowing a delay before questioning an officer. Last week this was struck down by our state legislature over the objections of our Governor, ensuring that police will need to begin to rein in their worst impulses and be held accountable for their actions. I’m proud of our legislature this morning.

Date posted: April 12, 2021 | Filed under politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Wow, I’d forgotten about this excellent site: The Internet K-Hole, which is basically just posts of old pictures from the 70’s through the early 90’s. I am guilty of several of the fashion disasters here, as are most of my peers; I’m just glad I haven’t found pictures of myself yet.

Date posted: April 7, 2021 | Filed under humor, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Thanks to Seth Godin, this is the is the first reasonable explanation of NFTs that I’ve read so far; all of the mainstream coverage I’ve seen has been the confused dad/clickbait headline variety, much like coverage of Bitcoin continues to be. Yet another scam, made by people trying to sell scarcity.

Date posted: March 24, 2021 | Filed under money, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Aw, man. Norton Juster, the author of the Phantom Tollbooth, died Tuesday at age 91. The Phantom Tollbooth was a seminal book for me; this was the first young adult book I read that didn’t just tell a story. Instead, Juster made me stop and think about what I was reading and what it meant and go back and marvel at how he’d written it and how clever it was. And the fact that it featured Jules Pfeiffer illustrations was the icing on the cake. I’m going to go pull my hardback copy off the shelf and re-read it tonight. And then maybe leave it on Finn’s desk and chain her to the chair so that she reads it too. (previously)

Date posted: March 9, 2021 | Filed under art/design, books, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

I just listened to a great podcast: Radiolab interviewed John Scott, a NHL player who skated for 10 seasons as a goon and was, improbably, voted by fans to be the captain of the All-Star team for his division. The story gets better from there:

You don’t have to like hockey, or even give a shit about sports to like this story.

Date posted: March 5, 2021 | Filed under entertainment, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

In The Washington Post, three former Baltimore City health commissioners question Governor Hogan’s vaccine rollout and who exactly is getting it:

By our calculation based on the state health department data, White Marylanders are being vaccinated at a rate more than twice than that of Black Marylanders, and only around 4 percent of inoculations have gone to Latinos.

Hogan’s response has been less than helpful:

He asserted that “as of last week, Baltimore City had gotten far more than they really were entitled to.” The governor did not share data to justify this astonishing statement, nor did he address how it might even be possible for Baltimore to receive excess vaccine and yet have a vaccination rate among its residents lower than that of every one of its surrounding counties.

This is the same guy who, almost immediately after being elected, canceled a long-planned, federally backed improvement to Baltimore City’s mass transit system and diverted that money to building roads in rural white areas of the state.

Date posted: February 28, 2021 | Filed under politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

This is also good Wednesday news: the Baltimore Sun, which has been owned by Tribune Publishing for years, could be sold to a nonprofit organization set up and funded by an area Democratic philanthropist. This would be fantastic for the organization, as the rest of the Tribune holdings would be bought by Alden Capital, a hedge fund with a history of buying and gutting local news outlets.

Date posted: February 17, 2021 | Filed under politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

My leafy town has long been eyed by developers looking to stuff infill houses wherever and whenever they can, ignoring zoning laws and school impact studies. So this is good news: a proposed 12-house subdivision slightly southwest of us, and tucked up against the Patapsco State Park, was denied by a County judge yesterday.

Some context: The local elementary school, the one Finn just graduated from, is 40 students over capacity and has been operating that way for over a decade.

Date posted: February 17, 2021 | Filed under life, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

I’ve enjoyed every book of John Scalzi’s that I’ve read, and his general observations on culture are just as good:

When I hear or read “I have been cancelled” I mostly translate that to “I am facing consequences for something I got away with before and I don’t like it.” When I hear or read “I will not be cancelled,” I mostly translate that to “I refuse to change my behavior, it’s the rest of the world that’s the problem, not me.” Which, you know, okay. You do you.

The whole thing is worth a read.

Date posted: February 15, 2021 | Filed under life, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »