Saturday, October 01, 2022

Agent Josephine


Earth’s ant population of 20 quadrillion outnumbers humans by 2.5 million times, study finds NBC

Bees may feel pain Science

How Do Fireflies Flash in Sync? Studies Suggest a New Answer Quanta. Interesting! This photo is so beautiful I must run it

How a Quebec Lithium Mine May Help Make Electric Cars Affordable NYT

Vultures Prevent Tens of Millions of Metric Tons of Carbon Emissions Each Year Scientific American

Gizmodo U.S. Agencies Are Buying Access to Bulk Internet Records

Gizmodo – “Sen. Ron Wyden urged inspectors general at three departments to investigate the military’s purchases of large swaths of data: “Multiple military intelligence offices have paid a data broker for access to internet traffic logs, which could reveal the online browsing histories of U.S. citizens, Sen. Ron Wyden said in a letter Wednesday, citing an anonymous whistleblower that had contacted his office.  

At least four agencies within the United States Department of Defense, including the Army and Navy, have collectively spent at least $3.5 million on a little-known data monitoring tool with the reported ability to provide access to vast swaths of email data and web browsing activity. Team Cymru, the Florida-based cybersecurity firm behind the tool, claims its product provides customers with a “super majority of all activity on the internet” and “visibility” into more than 90% of internet traffic.  The previously unknown government procurements, revealed in a Wednesday Vice report, have already triggered alarm bells from a prominent U.S. Senator and the American Civil Liberties Union, which told Gizmodo there’s still far too little known about how the DoD’s making use of the tool which can “reveal extremely sensitive information about who we are and what we’re reading online,” Sen. Ron Wyden wrote. At the very least, the purchase represents the latest example of government agencies potentially finessing their way around constitutional protections by seeking out data from shady data brokers and other private firms. Wyden wrote Wednesday to the inspectors general at the Departments of Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security, urging an investigation of their respective agencies’ purchase of the data, saying he had confirmed that “multiple government agencies are purchasing Americans’ data without judicial authorization…”

Josephine Baker’s life—her rise from the slums of St. Louis to stardom on the cabaret stages of Paris and worldwide renown as a singer, dancer, impresario, and civil-rights activist—would be extraordinary enough without the part she played as a secret agent during World War II.

Agent Josephine

Agent Helen of Centennial Park

WaPo's blues

Joyce Carol Oates

Corrections of taste

Art and the queen


Jean-Luc Godard

Life of Art Buchwald

WaPo v. NYT

Paradox of public scholarship

Math effects

On purring

Inventing the alphabet

Why chili peppers?

Bayard Rustin

Radical Rachmaninoff?

Barbara Ehrenreich, R.I.P.

On personal-finance books

Black king of songs

Diva Dickens

Music to die for

Trademarked words?

Freudian tip

Joy of math

History of the blurb

Worst book by former Trump officials

Nazis on the Nile

What is a hit piece?

Tiring thinking

Jared Kushner's memoir

Unhappy emperors

Ephron's self-narrative

Feminists and sex

Best museum bathrooms

Capitalism vs. pleasure

On maximalist novels

Social good of bookstores

David McCullough, R.I.P.

The Claremont Institute

When sports imitate art

NYT vs. U.K.

Paths to depolarization

Vacation read

Remembering Gore Vidal

Bookshelf organizers

Origin of zero

James Lovelock, R.I.P.

Polarizing media

Music for the deaf

Authors vs. librarians

Culture and QR code’s

Hip, woke, cool

Rereading Susan Faludi

Feeling stressed? Read a poem

Gaming in literature


Postliberal critics

Who's afraid of theory?

Fuck-you fuchsia

On Jean Rhys

Who killed orchestral music?