Friday, July 31, 2020

Drinking while writing: Celebrating thinking differently

‘Write drunk. Edit sober.”

The two famous authors and great friends had two very different perspectives when it came to writing and having a drink.

In the quixotic nature of writing — a craft that gently drives its practitioners mad — lies the reason it matters so much 

The Flatterer,” “The Chatterer,” “The Coward.” Theophrastus’ character types, more than 2,000 years old, are readily  Recognisable today  

Conjure up a handful of your most cherished memories. Some will date from childhood. Others will be of decidedly adult happenings.

Mask-shunning Republican congressman tests positive for COVID-19

Congressman Louie Gohmert, who steadfastly refused to wear a mask during the coronavirus pandemic, has tested positive for COVID-19.

As part of their NYC Dance Projectand in partnership with Harper’s Bazaar, photographers Ken Browar and Deborah Ory photographed Misty Copeland, a principal dancer with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre, recreating scenes from the works of French artist Edgar Degas. Above, Copeland poses as the subject of Degas’ La Petite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans (Little Dancer of Fourteen Years) dressed in a $9000 Alexander McQueen dress & corset.

The Harper’s piece vaguely hints at his representation of the ballerinas being “far from sympathetic” but as Julia Fiore wrote iThe Sordid Truth behind Degas’s Ballet Dancers, the reality of the Parisian ballet that he was depicting was unsettling.

The Jewish and Christian origins of the rule of law.  Important

Device to predict avocado ripeness: there is no great stagnation

B.B. King once said that Green “has the sweetest tone I ever heard; he was the only one who gave me the cold sweats.”

Jimmy Page (no slouch himself in the British blues guitarist department in his younger days) told an interviewerthat, “Personally, I don’t think you’re going to find a better example of British blues than the original Fleetwood Mac, with Jeremy Spencer and Peter Green.”

Fleetwood Mac’s “Albatross” was the inspiration for the tone of the Beatles’ “Sun King” on Abbey Road.

Dr David Thomas: Born in the Hour of Victory: Cranbrook School, 1918-1993

Motto: Latin: Esse Quam Videri; (To be, rather than to seem to be)

Queen Street in Woolahra on Saturday is peppered with colourful characters like David Thomas an institution in the Eastern Suburbs and hero to history buffs everywhere not just Cranbrook Boys.

David seems to stay forever young, Little has he changed since I met him and Annalise at Whild Darling Point Dinner Parties back on 1986 ...
Born in the Hour of Victory: Cranbrook School, 1918-1993 by David Thomas, 9780949853684, ..

Dr David Thomas    Co-Founder, History Teacher

Dr David Thomas

Sydney, Australia · teacher · Cranbrook School

May no lie in word or deed, no underhand deceit, no sham, no idle boasting, no arrogant self-praise find expression in our lives, but a love of truth, goodness and sincerity by which the humblest among us in age or rank may add to the character and glory of the School
(The Reverend F.T. Perkins, 23 July, 1918) 

Dr David Thomas has been a part of # CranbrookSchool for almost half of our 101 year history. ...

Speaking of Cranbrook, Kevin and Jen Jen of Retford Estate are well aware of these murals 

Visualizing COVID-19’s Impact on Travel Worldwide

Berrima is filled with frost today ... while Lou's LA is experiencing chilly quakes - Magnitude 4.2 earthquake centered near San Fernando rattles Greater L.A.

‘The world wins at that struggle’: Mike Pezzullo on embracing uncertainty

TRAVEL BAGS PACKED? Rapidly redeploying teams and utilising their capabilities across the APS is now the ‘permanent way of operating’ for the post-pandemic world, according to the Home Affairs secretary.

Top local governments recognised for best practice projects

LOCAL GONGS: Local government minister Mark Coulton congratulated the nine winners, noting that more than 100 applications were submitted across all award categories this year.

The principal conspirator of the $105 million Plutus Payroll tax fraud syndicate has now been sentenced to seven and a half years in jail.


Mauritius Leaks might sound like a country with a plumbing issue, but it was the name of our investigation that revealed how companies across the globe used the small island nation to slash their tax bills. Together with 54 of our friends (reporters) in 18 countries, we published Mauritius Leaks one year ago this week! Since then, two countries have

A couple of my personal Mauritius Leaks highlights: 



Hidden in the 13.4 million Paradise Papers documents were 556,000 files from Singapore-headquartered Asiaciti. As we


Isabel dos Santos has had another legal setback, this time in Paris. She took a case to the International Court of Arbitration after Angolan president João Lourenço


ICIJ member Maria Ressa pleaded


Our document analysis tool, Datashare, has been out in the world for a year now. But we want to make it better – and see how we can meet your needs. If you’re a Datashare user, please take our

Homeland Security Was Destined to Become a Secret Police Force New Yorker

We’re Publishing Thousands of Police Discipline Records That New York Kept Secret for Decades Pro Publica

Live Lightening Map of the world

Visualizing COVID-19’s Impact on Travel Worldwide - Washington Post – “Travel is one of the clearest ways to show how the coronavirus has disrupted the world. This globe shows the disappearance of flights over a five-month period, as covid-19 emerged in China and restrictions on global travel began to take hold…The pandemic has impacted global travel like no other event in history: By spring, every country in the world had thrown up some sort of entry restriction, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization. In April, international air passenger travel fell to levels not seen since the 1970s…”

Live Lightening Map of the COVID world

BOTTOM STORY OF THE DAY: 18 of the world’s 20 most monitored cities are in China.

 Chinese Tycoon Denounced Xi Jinping. Now He Faces Prosecution.

China’s ruling Communist Party has expelled an outspoken and prominent property tycoon who denounced the country’s authoritarian leader, Xi Jinping, paving the way for his criminal prosecution and escalating its efforts to quash dissent among the elite.

The party announced the expulsion of the tycoon, Ren Zhiqiang, late Thursday, and said that it had seized his assets for “serious violations of discipline and law” that included the possession of golf club memberships. Officials also took aim at Mr. Ren’s family, accusing him of “colluding with his children to accumulate wealth without restraint.”

The moves against Mr. Ren, 69, appeared designed to send a chill over the country’s entrepreneurs and other business leaders and demonstrate the party’s resolve to use him as an example to show that no one was above its demands of unflinching political loyalty.

From “to get rich is glorious” to “colluding with his children to accumulate wealth without restraint” in one generation.

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, July 26, 2020 – Privacy and security issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly complex and wide ranging ways technology is used to compromise and diminish our privacy and security, often without our situational awareness. Four highlights from this week: Your Genetic Data Isn’t Safe; Sustaining large-scale, long-term remote telework security; Issue with Cloudflare’s DNS service shuts down half the web; and Most Dedicated VPN IP-addresses Are Not Anonymous.

NIST study finds that masks defeat most facial recognition algorithms

NIST: “Now that so many of us are covering our faces to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, how well do face recognition algorithms identify people wearing masks? The answer, according to a preliminary study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), is with great difficulty. Even the best of the 89 commercial facial recognition algorithms tested had error rates between 5% and 50% in matching digitally applied face masks with photos of the same person without a mask. The results were published today as a NIST Interagency Report (NISTIR 8311), the first in a planned series from NIST’s Face Recognition Vendor Test (FRVT) program on the performance of face recognition algorithms on faces partially covered by protective masks. “With the arrival of the pandemic, we need to understand how face recognition technology deals with masked faces,” said Mei Ngan, a NIST computer scientist and an author of the report. “We have begun by focusing on how an algorithm developed before the pandemic might be affected by subjects wearing face masks. Later this summer, we plan to test the accuracy of algorithms that were intentionally developed with masked faces in mind.”…

The Unspotted Issue in an Audit; Ethics and Crimes 
In an ABA Tax Section Court Procedure Virtual meeting on Wednesday, there was a one-hour discussion of ethical issues 

Money in pursuit of hopelessness: the gold price has hit an all time high

Posted on July 27 2020

The FT has a headline, just out: As they note: Gold soared to an all-time high and the dollar weakened to a multiyear low as
Read the full article…

Scott Dyreng (Duke), Fabio Gaertner (Wisconsin), Jeffrey Hoopes (North Carolina) & Mary Vernon (Wisconsin), The Effect of U.S. Tax Reform on the Tax Burdens of U.S. Domestic and Multinational Corporations:

We quantify the net effect of recent U.S. tax reform on the tax rates of public U.S. corporations and find they decreased by 7.5 to 11.4 percentage points on average following tax reform.