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May Open Thread

by Bjinse Mon May 14th, 2018 at 08:14:09 PM EST

If you would thread something, you must be something

Bill Maher explains why Trump will not be impeached. Or charged. Or convicted. For anything ever.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun May 20th, 2018 at 02:05:51 PM EST
Sorry I'm not posting much at the moment. A minor domestic emergency is taking my time. It may end in a week or a month; I don't know.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun May 20th, 2018 at 02:26:49 PM EST
chin up.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun May 20th, 2018 at 04:22:48 PM EST
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Be strong!

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Sun May 20th, 2018 at 05:19:45 PM EST
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Picture by: Mario Tama/Getty Images


by Bjinse on Mon May 21st, 2018 at 09:57:43 PM EST
Today is the first day when GDPR comes into full effect. I received a flurry of emails from different services (banks, etc...), all informing me of their new privacy policies (some without even mentioning that "GDPR made us do it") and of course adding that "your privacy is important to us" (like it wasn't before?).

Meanwhile, it looks like some sites, like the LA Times, are closed to visitors from the EU (still "looking for a technical solution"), whereas up north, in tech-savvy San Francisco, when browsing to SFGate, I was presented with a "cookies consent" splash page, with a list of cookies by categories (comment, analytics etc...), each with a check box I could check or uncheck, and voila, done in 10 seconds flat.

by Bernard on Fri May 25th, 2018 at 06:51:34 PM EST
US news outlets shut out European users amid new privacy laws in NATO Total War Project

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri May 25th, 2018 at 07:27:52 PM EST
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Haven't decided yet whether the new law forms a tiniest move towards something representing improvement or whether it will become just another annoying horde for internet users, while the big tech companies just move to the next zero sum.

Interestingly, a certain sense of panic had gripped employees at my workplace the past 2 weeks, and it was even insisted at some point that I should erase as of today my entire database of contacts, which I have painstakingly put together the past 2 years, and thus wipe away instantly nearly two years of essential work. I haven't listened and also insisted on loudly pronouncing I wouldn't listen (and therefore have been frowned upon the past two weeks).

These same people are now slowly coming around that there might have been a few exaggerations doing the round about the implications of the law (ya think?!?) - and I reckon what wasn't helping were the seemingly endless squadrons of far too excited legal advisors who kept insisting online that there was utter DOOOOOOM approaching - unless people would of course sign up for their helpful GDPR-proof courses at 895,95 euro.

by Bjinse on Fri May 25th, 2018 at 09:53:49 PM EST
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WHich course contains the most conservative possible general advice in order to avoid being sued later. <sigh>
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri May 25th, 2018 at 10:02:40 PM EST
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Varallo Sesia: Sundial with daylight saving time:
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon May 28th, 2018 at 08:44:32 PM EST
Just when you think news from Ukraine/Russia can't get much stranger, it turns it up another notch...

Arkady Babchenko reveals he faked his death to thwart Moscow plot

Arkady Babchenko, the Russian journalist whose murder was dramatically announced by Ukraine on Tuesday, emerged very much alive on Wednesday and said he had faked his own death in order to thwart a plot by Moscow to kill him.

Smiling, and looking a little sheepish, Babchenko appeared before a surreal press conference held by Ukraine's SBU security service. He apologised to his wife for the "nightmare" he had caused her but said there had been no alternative to playing at being dead.

"Olechka, I am sorry, but there were no options here," Babchenko declared. "I'm sorry for making you live through this. I've buried my own friends and colleagues many times myself."


The news that Babchenko was alive and the sight of the reporter prompted gasps from journalists at the press conference. Speaking in Russian, for which he apologised, Babchenko said Ukraine's SBU had learned of a "serious" plan to kill him two months ago and warned him about it one month ago.

The plot originated in Moscow and from "government security services", he said. "They [the SBU] showed me evidence and I understood that it was coming from Russia, probably from state security apparatus," Babchenko explained. He added: "They suggested I take part in a sting operation."

His apparent killers had been provided with his passport photo and official details, he said, hinting this was proof of Russian state conspiracy. The sting operation had its bizarre denouement on Tuesday night when his death was announced. "I did my job. And I'm still alive," Babchenko said, expressing thanks to Ukraine's special services for "saving my life".

Too much smoke and mirrors, and I'm too weary to look up the usual online trolls and see how this will be spun around again.

by Bjinse on Wed May 30th, 2018 at 08:04:08 PM EST
An US American novelist Philip Roth died 22 May at a ripe age. I've since skimmed a few memorial obits published by his admirers who struggled with words to lift critical appreciation for, critique of, his art into a pantheon of "modern masters". The kindest thing I can say about Roth's contribution to European intellectual history is, he was a man of his generation. My limited experience with this literature left a faint taste of Mailer's aesthetic without the spice on my tongue (True, I speak metaphorically. I never actually licked a page, loaned from various pubic libraries, yanno.) despite his efforts to disguise "Holden Caufield" as something other again and again. The last iteration The Human Stain is the most pitiful. His admirers studiously ignore it, too, out of respect for their profession, I suppose. Perhaps obscurity. Obscurity after death is a bad, bad, terrible, no-good fate.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Jun 1st, 2018 at 08:53:14 PM EST
When I was at school a friend cackled through The Breast and I borrowed it from him straight after.

I simply couldn't see what was remotely amusing or transgressive about it. I was 13, yet could recognise unexamined juvenalia when I saw it.

So I never explored the rest of his canon cos, frankly, it just seemed too silly

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jun 4th, 2018 at 11:56:46 AM EST
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< wipes tears >
I know. Right?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Jun 7th, 2018 at 06:08:13 PM EST
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