I wrote one Insider piece this week, on how the Mets should handle their rotation, with six capable major-league starters right now, but five of them coming off of some kind of injury last year, from Thor’s bone spurs to Harvey’s TOS repair surgery. I also held a Klawchat on Thursday.
My latest boardgame review for Paste covers the worker-placement game Ulm, which works fine mechanically but has a theme that’s just so overdone for me.
Also, please sign up for my more-or-less weekly email newsletter.
And now, the links…
- An oral history of Homestar Runner? An oral history of Homestar Runner! Thanks to my longtime friend Pete for finding this Q&A with the Brothers Chaps.
- NPR’s Linda Holmes disagrees with me, saying this season of Top Chef has been especially satisfying. Link doesn’t contain any spoilers for this most recent episode.
- Is I Am Not Your Negro the the target of racist vote brigading on user-generated ratings sites like IMDB? I think the answer is pretty obvious given how hard it is to see that movie in theaters.
- This September 2015 article gives some background on the making of the Oscar-nominated film Tanna, one of my top ten films of last year.
- My former home state of Arizona has decided the First Amendment rights to freedom of assembly and speech are no longer valid, as the state Senate has voted for a bill that criminalizes peaceful protests if those protests eventually turn violent. It’s based on a false premise of paid protesters, but really, it’s a sign that the state is run by white-nationalist extremists, as it was when I lived there.
- A Muslim woman who worked for the National Security Council quit after eight days in the Trump White House. A ten-year CIA analyst and NSC spokesman quit after less than a month under the Trump Administration. Neither could stand working for this anti-democratic regime.
- The “Blacks for Trump” guy behind the President at various rallies is a former member of a murderous cult with a more recent history of gay-bashing commentary.
- A good first-person longread from Pacific Standard‘s Laurie Penny, who spent time on the Milo Yiannopoulos tour bus with the clueless alt-right kids who followed him.
- The House Judiciary Committee’s Republican majority plans to bury the Democrats’ resolution to force Trump to reveal his entanglements with Russia, including any conflicts of interest. That Committee includes some of the worst humans in Congress, including outright racist Steve King of Iowa and anti-science Science Committee head Lamar Smith. Check and see if your representative is on the committee and perhaps make a call on Monday about this resolution.
- The vaccine-denial movement in Texas has been energized by the election of Trump and other anti-science politicians. Every day I hear political news out of that state, I’m glad I didn’t take a job I was offered there a few years ago.
- A math professor at Tufts is trying to fight gerrymandering by arming mathematicians to testify against it, using geometry as the alternative.
- I’ve mentioned Universal Basic Income here before, but Finland’s experiment with giving UBI to 2000 citizens is the first I’ve seen of a real-world implementation.
- Most of you saw this, I assume, but I’ll pass it on just in case: Hall of Famer Mike Piazza now owns a professional soccer team in Italy, in the region where Parmiggiano-Reggiano is made.
- Fortune looks at the search for the perfect sugar substitute, and why artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols, and stevia have all fallen short.
- Speaking of sweeteners, here’s Stella Parks of Serious Eats on why you shouldn’t buy blackstrap molasses unless the recipe specifically calls for it.
- If you want a preview of what’s in store for us, Zimbabwe’s longtime dictator Robert Mugabe is now 92, and his wife said when he dies his corpse would still win re-election.
- I can’t even do “tweet of the week” any more because there are too many good ones, but this was the one I saved to include here:
I wish i could credit the artist on this. pic.twitter.com/Ao2teFan1U
— Greg Britton (@gmbritton) February 20, 2017