Monday, April 1, 2019


WOW, this is a fascinating piece of legal history and a wide-ranging look at civil forfeiture. When journalism goes this deep into stories, I can't tear myself away. And the story is a moment of "bipartisan" cooperation (yes, theoretically the SCOTUS is not supposed to be party-based, but we all know perfectly well that's hogwash). An excellent read because it's great writing, engaging storytelling, relevant and hopeful history.

T-Rex at the American Museum of Natural History. NEATO-SPEDITO! Don't even pretend you don't want to see this.

I grew up with the affectionate use of "am" in my house. White and Southern and old as I am, this wasn't correlated to Black American speech, though we were familiar with the stereotypes. The "am" was just linguistic overlap, though its tone of juvenilization/baby-talk usage has a distinctive paternalism, viewed alongside the hideously racist exaggerations of blackface speech. In our family, it was our intimacy: dad would ask us or our friends, "How am ya?", but it was certainly not a greeting he used with colleagues. I'm fascinated to see the roots that am between us. I'm also reminded of the long-held belief that Appalachian American speech preserved Elizabethan English for centuries - the truth of which is delightfully more complex than "yes, it did" or "no, it didn't." The lineage of Black American English is more complex than its reception has generally allowed. It's hard not to want to protest, "but my dad wasn't racist" ... even as it's impossible not to see the Colonial heritage of a language long-shared only because of slavery.

Once again, Diane's fascination with the archaeology of poo ... oh man - "comes to the fore"? "raises its head"? I'm not sure how to put this that isn't lame scatalogical humor. Anyway: NEATO, it's excremental science again! This time, on the moon. <Resists the Schrödinger's poo joke> Go! Learn the wonders of human contamination in space ... or the secrets of seeding (cue echo-boom voice effect) LIFE ITSELF.

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