What Bullets Do to Bodies – Highline →

On Sandy Hook:

“The fact that not a single one of those kids was able to be transported to a hospital, tells me that they were not just dead, but really really really really dead. Ten-year-old kids, riddled with bullets, dead as doornails.” Her voice rose. She said people have to confront the physical reality of gun violence without the polite filters. “The country won’t be ready for it, but that’s what needs to happen. That’s the only chance at all for this to ever be reversed.”

She dropped back into a softer register. “Nobody gives two shits about the black people in North Philadelphia if nobody gives two craps about the white kids in Sandy Hook. … I thought white little kids getting shot would make people care. Nope. They didn’t care

The Death Knell for America’s Global Leadership – The Atlantic →

To the point.

Perhaps the most terrifying thing about the Trump presidency is the way even its most worldly figures, in words composed for them by its deepest thinkers, have reimagined the United States in the image of their own chief: selfish, isolated, brutish, domineering, and driven by immediate appetites rather than ideals or even longer-term interests.

Under the slogan of restoring American greatness, they are destroying it. Promising readers that they want to “restore confidence in American leadership,” they instead threaten and bluster in ways that may persuade partners that America has ceased to be the leader they once respected—but an unpredictable and dangerous force in world affairs, itself to be contained and deterred by new coalitions of ex-friends.

My social media fast →

An interesting experiment challenge from kottke:

Last week (approx. May 7-14), I stopped using social media for an entire week. I logged out of all the sites and deleted the apps from my phone. I didn’t so much as peek at Instagram, which is, with Twitter and old-school Flickr, probably my favorite online service of all time.

I went through a similar challenge in 2016. In June, we took a 10-day trip to the Philippines. Not wanting to give up access to news and social media (e.g. Twitter, Feedly, Instagram) while I was on vacation, I contemplated paying Verizon for international data; whether to purchase a Global Mobile data-only SIM card for my phone; pay for VPN access and protection or setup my own VPN through my home server and use all of the free available wifi I could find; or risk it all by using whatever wifi I could find, but with no extra protection. As I contemplated cost, hassle, and ease of use, I also critically thought about what I’d really be missing out on by not having internet access for 10 days and it really boiled down to missing e-mails from my close circle of friends, the latest election and local news, and podcasts. I ended up going with a hybrid of my third option—opting to use whatever wifi I could find and limiting my internet use to specific websites and services.

After the 10-day trip, I was surprised at how easy it was to give up full internet access and how much of it I didn’t need in my life. I missed it as a convenience, but I didn’t feel like I just had to have it at any point during the trip. Wifi and hotel internet access were spotty most of the trip. My wife, who is a rebel and had no concern for security, struggled and fought with weak wifi signals at every turn. When there was a stable wifi connection, I limited what little time and bandwidth I had to my local newspaper, direct Twitter feeds (no login required), the front page of Reddit, and visiting my favorite RSS feeds actual websites (e.g. Slashdot, kottke, Daring Fireball, etc.).

On a normal day in the states, I catch-up with my Twitter feed multiple times per day, I check Gmail’s as I receive them, and my evenings are spent catching up on my 96 RSS feeds, multiple sub-Reddits, online forums, etc., probably amounting to two or more hours per day of internet use. While on vacation, I used my phone to check the internet for 20-30 minutes per day.* When I did return from vacation, I spent the long weekend of the 4th of July slowly catching up on the e-mails, RSS, Reddit threads, etc. that I had missed while away.

Since that vacation, I’ve made a more intentional effort to limit my internet use. I’ve pared down my RSS feeds (I’m down to about 50-60) and the sub-Reddits I follow (down to 4-5 subs) and I’ve muted or unfollowed toxic/obnoxious people on Twitter and Facebook. Most evenings, I try to limit my internet use to an hour. By cutting the feeds, subs, e-mails, and communities that I followed, it has helped to free-up time on the weekends.

I can’t say that making these changes has improved my focus, productivity, or health, but I do feel a lot better about myself not wasting time online.

* Without internet, I ended up playing a lot more Bejewled, Sudoku, and Alto’s Adventure. I broke a lot of personal best records in all three.

How World War I Shapes U.S. Foreign Policy – The Atlantic →

The great American hope is that the country can win a final victory over dangerous enemies and then never think about the external world ever again. When that hope is balked, when the Armistice does not deliver eternal peace and self-balancing security, many Americans blame themselves: If the external world is recalcitrant, America must have provoked it. Self-accusation is as American as self-assertion—and as based on illusions. America has acted as it has over the past century not because it is so good or so bad, but because it is so rich, so visible, and so strong. America’s strength sways world politics even when it is not exerted: Any aggressive illiberal power must fear the United States as the ultimate potential check on its aspirations. So it was with Germany in 1917. So it is with Iran today.

Why Don’t People Return Their Shopping Carts? – Scientific American Blog Network →

There are five categories of cart users:

Returners. These people always return their carts to the receptacle regardless of how far away they’ve parked or what the weather is like. They feel a sense of obligation and/or feel badly for the people responsible for collecting the carts.

Never Returners. People who never return their carts. They believe it’s someone else’s job to get the carts or the supermarket’s responsibility, and show little regard for where the carts are left.

Convenience Returners. People who will return their carts if they parked close to the receptacle, or if they see a cart attendant.

Pressure Returners. People who will return their carts only if the cart attendant is present or if the adjacent car’s owner is present, which means they don’t have an easy avenue for abandoning their carts.

Child-Driven Returners. These are people with children who view it as a game to return carts, often riding them back to the receptacle or pushing them into the stacked lines.

I’m a Returner. As a person who cares for his cars and who is a decent human being, there is nothing more infuriating than finding damage to your car caused by a negligent cart returner. I typically park at the far ends of a parking lot (to avoid stray carts and those assholes with no concern while opening their car doors) and as I’m walking to the store entrance will occasionally collect and return stray carts, especially those that will cause damage to a car.

There really isn’t an acceptable excuse not to return a cart. Disabled or have a child with you? Ask for assistance. Raining or poor weather? Suck it up. Someone else’s job? Stop being a lazy prick.

Inside Alabama’s Auto Jobs Boom: Cheap Wages, Little Training, Crushed Limbs – Bloomberg →

He stood there for an hour, his flesh burning inside the heated press. Someone brought a fan to cool him off. “I was just talking to myself about what my daddy had told me,” Allen says. When emergency crews finally freed him, his left hand was “flat like a pancake,” Allen says, and parts of three fingers were gone. His right hand was severed at the wrist, attached to his arm by a piece of skin. A paramedic cradled the gloved hand at Allen’s side all the way to the hospital. Surgeons removed it that morning and amputated the rest of his right forearm to avert gangrene several weeks later.

Be thankful for your cushy desk job. Parts of this read like Upton Sinclair’s ‘The Jungle.’ Just awful.

The NBA’s secret addiction →

Slightly toasted store-brand wheat bread, crunchy peanut butter on one slice, and jelly on the other = Perfection!

Same as above, but with Nutella spread under the jelly layer = Delicious!

Same as above, but with cut-up bananas on top of the peanut butter layer = Breakfast of Champions!

Really though, you can’t go wrong with PB&J.

Interview: The bold plan to build the world’s first ship tunnel →

This morning’s unexpected deep dive subject: ship tunnels. I hope Norway proceeds with building this.

Norway’s most hazardous shipping route passes around the Stad peninsula but an ambitious plan aims to build the world’s first ship tunnel directly through the peninsula, enabling ships to travel in safety.

Why Trump EO is Still a Racist Muslim Ban | Informed Comment →

Juan Cole on Trump’s ‘new’ Muslim ban (emphasis mine):

So that’s what this whole thing is, a legally correct piece of racist garbage. It violates the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, which forbids discrimination against people on the basis of their nationality. It might stand up in the courts. Slavery stood up in the courts. Jim Crow stood up in the courts. The Chinese Exclusion Act stood up in the courts. The internment of Japanese-Americans stood up in the courts. Court-sanctioned racist bigotry is a big part of American history.