Friday Links LVIII

“You cannot endow even the best machine with initiative; the jolliest steam-roller will not plant flowers.”
~ Walter Lippmann

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I spent this week doing some victim escort duties for the investigations department, which is always a task to make you feel glum I’m afraid.  I’ve also spent some time training my eventual replacement, which has been both a challenge and a lesson.  This woman has been doing one thing and one thing only for 30+ years, letting a great many technological and practical professional advancements pass her by.  Suddenly she needs to catch up on some extremely basic things (I’m talking cutting and pasting from one document to another) and she’s struggling.  My resolve to learn some new programs and skills has been reinforced, believe me!

At the same time, I’m exactly a month and a half away from being done at the PD and the prospect is becoming more and more exciting (if financially perilous).  I think J. and I will draw up some battle plans this weekend and get to work on them.  Here are your links:

This was an excellent story about, in my opinion, holding on to your humanity with both hands when circumstances are screaming at you not to.  People: inherently decent.

So, in addition to finishing out one job, working on another, planning two moves in the next six months, and trying to take on some training and other professional amplifiers, J. and I decided to read our way through this list.  I think I may have some masochistic tendencies.

Cannot unsee.

Toilet hygiene, a surprising history.

What is your relationship to stuff?  I showed up at university with two suitcases, in a few months J. and I will be moving to another country in pretty much the exact same fashion.

So, there’s a new pope.  The process of choosing one is a thousand year old process that we only know the very basics of.  Here some cardinals give a bit of personal reflection and anecdotes about the week.

A really cute short film.  I had an experience just like this as a little kid in Germany (I believe).  I was walking alongside my parents looking at shop windows, suddenly I reached up to grab my mother’s hand – only to hear my mother call out to me from several feet behind.  I glanced up to see a rather startled woman who was not my mother and darted straight back to Mum embarrassed.

Stunning self portraits. (h/t Peregrine)

Who wants to raid it?!

There have been a lot of hard but positive steps for some local feminist movements that I’m involved in, so in recognition I bring you – this fabulous thing I found.  Break your rule I implore you and for once read the comments!

Bagvertising.  Brilliant.

The world is amazing, historical and archeological treasures beneath our feet!  I once found a partially finished knapped flint in a dried up riverbed in Texas, and the village we lived in England is famous for a trove of ancient metal goods that someone found in a garden.  Clearly the message is get digging!

Fun photo project.

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