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24 Jun 16:53

Read: The Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade

by Caroline Houck
Anti-abortion protester holds sign saying “Goodbye Roe”
Anti-abortion activists protested outside of the US Supreme Court Building on June 21, days before the Court released its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that overturns the constitutional right to an abortion established in Roe v. Wade. | Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Read the decision overturning the landmark 1973 court case that established the constitutional right to an abortion.

The US Supreme Court has officially overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that established a constitutional right to an abortion. Now the matter will be settled on a state-by-state basis, with 22 states likely to quickly ban all or nearly all abortions.

The road to the 6-3 decision began when the state of Mississippi banned nearly all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The state’s law violated the Court’s decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) that pregnant people have a right to terminate their pregnancy up until the point when the fetus is “viable.” But Justice Samuel Alito’s opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturns that standard and Roe.

“The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives,” the decision reads.

The six Republican appointees voted to upend nearly 50 years of precedent, with the Court’s three liberals dissenting. As Vox’s Anna North explained in 2020 when the newest conservative justice joined the Court, the end of Roe likely won’t mean the end of abortion in states that ban it — just legal abortion. And, North wrote, that will have “devastating consequences for many people, especially low-income Americans and people of color in red states.”

Alito’s opinion is similar to a draft opinion obtained and published by Politico in May — a largely unprecedented leak that rattled the Court and the nation. But even before the leak, the conservative supermajority on the Court had repeatedly signaled they were willing to overturn Roe and allow states to ban abortions.

This is a breaking news story; Vox’s coverage is developing. Read the full text of Alito’s opinion on the Court’s website here, or below:

24 Jun 15:48

More Women Will Die If Texans Don’t Speak Up for Women’s Bodies

by Shawna Hodgson

I have never been one to mince words, and I certainly won’t now that the Supreme Court has ended our right to choose. This country hates women; Texas hates women; and Republicans have made it perfectly clear that they don’t care if we die. 

They don’t care if we die at the hands of abusers or from poverty or from poor healthcare, and certainly not from dangerous pregnancies, childbirth, and unsafe abortions. In fact, they want women to die from unsafe abortions to build a culture of fear around abortion. They need women to die to further their agenda. We aren’t simply collateral damage—we are the target. 

Abortion is healthcare and abortion saves lives. And let’s be honest, every pregnancy is a potential risk to a woman’s life. I didn’t become dangerously ill with my first pregnancy until I was in labor. I was at risk of seizures because I developed preeclampsia, and there was a point when it wasn’t certain I would survive childbirth. My blood pressure skyrocketed. The situation became so dire that my family called in a priest to administer last rites. Before that, I had a completely healthy pregnancy, and there would have been no way to predict the complications that arose at the end. I was lucky and I survived. 

Others are not so lucky. Women of color and women in poverty are at much higher risk of maternal mortality. Black women are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than white women, a December 2021 study found. Truly, there is no way to predict all potential outcomes. If so, we must assume every pregnancy is a potential risk to a woman’s health and life. 

Every woman should have the freedom to decide whether or not to take that risk. 

We aren’t simply collateral damage—we are the target.

But this issue is about so much more than the right to abortion. A few days after the draft opinion leaked in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, I began to see folks tweeting and posting about Associate Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s reference, in a footnote, to a “domestic supply of infants.” Some people were shocked and outraged over this phrasing—as if infants were products on an assembly line—and began to speculate about the nefarious agenda of the conservative Supreme Court justices to support an adoption supply chain.

As an adopted person and an adoption reform activist, this possibility is nothing new to me—it’s part of America’s long, shameful history of punishing women for having sex. Before Roe, women facing unplanned pregnancies were routinely sent away to give birth in secret and were often forced to relinquish their children to more deserving parents—in other words, married couples who were wealthy and white. 

Now that Roe has been overturned, we will no doubt return to practices common during the “baby scoops”—an era when hundreds of thousands of women and their children were forcibly separated by the predatory U.S. adoption system. Some who wanted to have abortions were forced into adoptions, and other women who wanted to keep their babies were forced to give them up. 

The now multi-billion dollar adoption industry will no doubt benefit from the obliteration of reproductive choice. Adoption is packaged as a beautiful and yes, charitable act, but adoption is also an industry that relies on a bountiful supply of infants to stay profitable. Supply and demand—the reference already appears in Alito’s draft. The human and civil rights violations against women and children in this country are already growing, and we aren’t looking deeply enough at the ultimate agenda of Christian conservatives like Associate Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett. 

In Texas, pro-adoption organizations had already been permitted to “educate” in public schools about adoption as a loving solution to an unplanned pregnancy. They openly recruit young girls and target them with glossy advertising with the message that placing a baby up for adoption is a “brave choice”—before they even become pregnant. Adoption agencies also target young women on social media; they have targeted my daughters, and they will target yours. 

Ultimately, most of this procurement benefits the Christian right, which views adoption as a form of evangelism and a way to uphold “traditional family values.” This is how they try to ensure white babies end up in white, Christian homes. The system is racist, sexist, and classist at its core and designed to dictate who deserves to be a mother. And what about Black children and the children of poor mothers of color who no longer have the right to choose? They will end up in foster care at a disproportionately high rate if their mothers don’t die first from poor or non-existent prenatal care. Or they and their mothers might be murdered—already the leading cause of death among pregnant women in this country. The 2021 study found that pregnant women are twice as likely to die as a result of homicide than of complications from pregnancy. 

​And make no mistake that wealthy Republicans will have no problem getting abortions for their own daughters, sisters, wives, and girlfriends. I doubt any Republican leader would force their own 12-year-old to give birth to their rapist’s baby. But for the rest of the country, they’re good with it. 

In a post-Roe country, there is a dark era coming—a Handmaid’s Tale kind of hellscape. Conservatives are lying to you when they say it’s about “saving lives.” Quite the opposite is true and they expect us all to sit still. 

All Texans need to stop being so polite in the way we talk about reproductive rights. There is no debate. Your personal beliefs about abortion, whether they are informed by religion or not, aren’t what this is about. If you don’t “believe” in abortion, then don’t have one. Women have miscarriages every day. I had a miscarriage and that wasn’t my choice. Nature decided for me. It seems to be okay if nature or a god decides for us, but when a woman decides, it’s suddenly “murder.”

This is about a woman’s body, our sacred physical and emotional being that belongs to us and us alone. It’s about our freedom to move through life without our bodies being subjugated and weaponized for political gain. The right to bodily autonomy is a self-evident human right that cannot be taken away; it can only be violated. Once we concede that right, we give up everything, and you had better believe they will come for more. It won’t be long until miscarriage is criminalized and we are hunted down like animals. 

In a post-Roe country, there is a dark era coming—a Handmaid’s Tale kind of hellscape.

We already have Senate Bill 8, a vigilante law in Texas that targets anyone who helps another person get an abortion. The Supreme Court’s decision will be immediately felt in our state. These bounty laws are misogynistic terrorism designed to rob us of any and all sense of safety and autonomy. 

Despite all the voting, organizing, fundraising, and protesting we women and pro-choice men have already done, it’s not enough. We have to do more and we have to do it now. We have to vote out those who wish to subjugate us for political gain, and we have to take back the state of Texas. It’s our state, damnit.

I’m a sixth-generation Texan and I look forward to a day when I can feel proud of that again. Texas hasn’t had a shred of decency since a woman governed. I sense the late, great Governor Ann Richards is rolling in her grave and asking: “What the hell? How did we let this happen?” And “How did we all let Roe v. Wade—a decision originally fought for on behalf of a Texas woman by her Texas women attorneys—be torn apart?”

We’re sorry, Ann. We will fight harder. We will be brave and steadfast and relentless. We owe it to her. We owe it to ourselves.

There’s an old Southern saying: “She’d charge hell with a bucket of ice water.” 

This country is burning, y’all; Texas is hell, and we’re gonna need a helluva lot more ice water.

The post More Women Will Die If Texans Don’t Speak Up for Women’s Bodies appeared first on The Texas Observer.

24 Jun 15:28

We’ve Finally Maximized Both the Number of Guns and the Number of Babies Who Can Get Murdered by Guns

by Devorah Blachor

At long last, we here at the GOP have finally achieved our goals of forcing women to give birth and allowing more people to have guns. This master plan perfectly combines our two passions: our steadfast belief that women shouldn’t have control over their own bodies, and our disturbing fetish for firearms.

There have been hundreds of mass shootings this year alone, and in 2020, more than 45,000 Americans were killed by guns. Some people look at those numbers and think, “What the hell, America? Do you even care about human life?” And we Republicans proudly answer, “No. We just pretend to be pro-life by stripping women of their reproductive rights.”

Forcing women to give birth also helps us solve the age-old question, “What is a woman?” Well, it couldn’t be more clear now: a woman is a walking womb that belongs to the government so that she can make babies who will eventually be killed by guns.

Working tirelessly to enable people to buy guns while forcing women to give birth hasn’t been easy. This took a lot of effort on our part. It seems crazy to imagine actual human beings who’ve dedicated their lives to these causes, but here we are. In fact, we’ve been laying the groundwork leading up to this moment for years, pouring dark money into elections and grooming far-right judges who are pro-gun and anti-choice. And what a brilliant return on investment we’re seeing—just imagine what might happen with all those babies and guns.

Thanks to our already horrific firearm laws, guns are now the leading cause of death for American children. You’d think we would be satisfied by the number of children killed every year—a statistic that is unique to the United States and its gun culture—but you’d be wrong.

Remember Uvalde? It’s easy to forget since there are so many mass shootings—you know who to thank for that—and one sort of blends into the next. To refresh your memory, Uvalde was the one that proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that our favorite saying, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun” was always a bald-faced lie, because armed police did nothing to stop the shooter while children and teachers were murdered. So now we have a new saying: “Force women to give birth so that more babies can be killed by guns.” It’s catchy, and this time it’s a lot more honest.

What makes this moment even more remarkable is that the women who will suffer the most by abortion bans are the most marginalized in our society—so the same people whose voting rights we’re taking away, whose social safety nets we oppose, and whose history we’re trying to ban. It’s a win-win situation, but just for us. Everyone else loses, and lots of them will also be killed.

God bless America for forcing women to have babies who can get killed by our glorious guns!

24 Jun 14:19

Comic for 2022.06.24 - New Normal

New Cyanide and Happiness Comic
24 Jun 05:26

Is Philips discontinuing their coolest warmest product?

by Technology Connections

Gonna take on a light subject today.

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24 Jun 05:26

Is Interstellar Travel Impossible?

by PBS Space Time

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Space is pretty deadly. But is it so deadly that we’re effectively imprisoned in our solar system forever? Many have said so, but a few have actually figured it out.

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24 Jun 05:25

Man Chat

by tom cardy

Trust me it's good it's really easy too if you practise definitely practise first
24 Jun 05:24

Drifter Life Dispatch June 2022

by Brian Dusablon

Howdy folks. Welcome to the latest edition of Drifter Life Dispatch. I hope you find value in this new-ish format. I will be sharing more frequent updates about my travels, learnings, and findings around the world and as I embark upon the next chapter of my life. With that, here are a few updates for you, followed by a few recommendations.

A Few Big Items

  1. I'm scheduled to pick up my Rivian R1T electric truck today. This has been a long time coming. I pre-ordered this truck back in the fall of 2019! I'm excited to take delivery and see what a few weeks with this thing will be like, but ultimately I have decided to sell it to help pay for my education (see below). If you or anyone you know is interested, please contact me ASAP. I'd prefer to sell it direct, but will put it up on an auction site if I don't have a buyer by July 8th. I'll have more to share about this entire experience in the coming months. While Rivian has struggled to produce and grow since they went public, they have undeniably created something remarkable.
  2. I was honored to referee two big events in Austin in June. I refereed the MLR High School Academy tournament in Austin, Texas, along with Ross Davies and Juan Pablo Parra (an outstanding Columbian referee who just moved to the Houston Area). It was a great experience, building on my journey as an Assistant Referee (AR) for this most recent MLR season. The next weekend I was also fortunate to referee the Bloodfest 7s Tournament, and was selected for the Men's Open division final, which was quite an honor. I enjoyed both of these weekends and continuing my development as a referee.

Some Personal Updates

May was an exciting month around here, personally. First, my daughter, Megan, graduated high school, with both her Patient Care Technician (PCT) and OSHA certifications. She is currently looking for child care and medical field jobs while she continues to research colleges.

Second, I was accepted into the University of Houston's Graduate School of Social Work (GCSW) to pursue my Masters in Social Work. You'll see more about this in the future. I am giddy with anticipation, and have never been more ready to learn! I will be a full-time student starting in August.

With this new educational opportunity, I also resigned from 10up, where I had been working since September 2021 as a Senior Account Strategist. While I will be focusing on my education this fall, I am open to taking on a few consulting and website support projects through Duce Enterprises. Please reply to this email or contact me if you'd like to talk about your project or website.

I'm excited to return to my generalist ways, mixing and matching work, life, play, music, learning, research, and travel into a giant smorgasbord of experiences. I will be taking a short reading, writing, and thinking trip (also escaping this ridiculous Texas heat) to the mountains of Arkansas next week. Coming out of that, you can look for some new writing and options to customize your subscription to this publication.

Worth Your Time

  • 🍿 The Tender Bar (Amazon Prime)
    A simple and lovely film that might make you cry. I came across it randomly, saw it was directed by George Clooney, and Sarah and I watched it and loved it.
  • 💿 Hoy Como Ayer by Hermanos Gutiérrez
    Beautiful guitar instrumental music. Works for road trips, work background music, lounging by the pool, or as dinner music. In other words, go listen!
  • 📖 Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
    One of the best-written books I've read in a while. An often heavy read for it's content and realities, but one that is absolutely worth your time.

New and Interesting

Be well, stay human, and spread kindness.

☮️ ❤️

23 Jun 18:55

Space City Weather’s grand 2022 pre-season server upgrade

by Lee Hutchinson

Howdy, folks—I’m Lee, and I do all the server admin stuff for Space City Weather. I don’t post much—the last time was back in 2020—but the site has just gone through a pretty massive architecture change, and I thought it was time for an update. If you’re at all interested in the hardware and software that makes Space City Weather work, then this post is for you!

If that sounds lame and nerdy and you’d rather hear more about this June’s debilitating heat wave, then fear not—Eric and Matt will be back tomorrow morning to tell you all about how much it sucks outside right now. (Spoiler alert: it sucks a whole lot.)

The old setup: physical hosting and complex software

For the past few years, Space City Weather has been running on a physical dedicated server at Liquid Web’s Michigan datacenter. We’ve utilized a web stack made up of three major components: HAProxy for SSL/TLS termination, Varnish for local cache, and Nginx (with php-fpm) for serving up Wordpress, which is the actual application that generates the site’s pages for you to read. (If you’d like a more detailed explanation of what these applications do and how they all fit together, this post from a couple of years ago has you covered.) Then, in between you guys and the server sits a service called Cloudflare, which soaks up most of the load from visitors by serving up cached pages to folks.

It was a resilient and bulletproof setup, and it got us through two massive weather events (Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and Hurricane Laura in 2020) without a single hiccup. But here’s the thing—Cloudflare is particularly excellent at its primary job, which is absorbing network load. In fact, it’s so good at it that during our major weather events, Cloudflare did practically all the heavy lifting.

Screenshot of the bandwidth graph from a Cloudflare dashboard
Screenshot from Space City Weather’s Cloudflare dashboard during Hurricane Laura in 2020. Cached bandwidth, in dark blue, represents the traffic handled by Cloudflare. Uncached bandwidth, in light blue, is traffic directly handled by the SCW web server. Notice how there’s almost no light blue.

With Cloudflare eating almost all of the load, our fancy server spent most of its time idling. On one hand, this was good, because it meant we had a tremendous amount of reserve capacity, and reserve capacity makes the cautious sysadmin within me very happy. On the other hand, excess reserve capacity without a plan to utilize it is just a fancy way of spending hosting dollars without realizing any return, and that’s not great.

Plus, the hard truth is that the SCW web stack, bulletproof though it may be, was probably more complex than it needed to be for our specific use case. Having both an on-box cache (Varnish) and a CDN-type cache (Cloudflare) sometimes made troubleshooting problems a huge pain in the butt, since multiple cache layers means multiple things you need to make sure are properly bypassed before you start digging in on your issue.

Between the cost and the complexity, it was time for a change. So we changed!

Leaping into the clouds, finally

As of Monday, June 6, SCW has been hosted not on a physical box in Michigan, but on AWS. More specifically, we’ve migrated to an EC2 instance, which gives us our own cloud-based virtual server. (Don’t worry if “cloud-based virtual server” sounds like geek buzzword mumbo-jumbo—you don’t have to know or care about any of this in order to get the daily weather forecasts!)

Screenshot of an AWS EC2 console
The AWS EC2 console, showing the Space City Weather virtual server. It’s listed as “SCW Web I (20.04)”, because the virtual server runs Ubuntu 20.04.

Making the change from physical to cloud-based virtual buys us a tremendous amount of flexibility, since if we ever need to, I can add more resources to the server by changing the settings rather than by having to call up Liquid Web and arrange for an outage window in which to do a hardware upgrade. More importantly, the virtual setup is considerably cheaper, cutting our yearly hosting bill by something like 80 percent. (For the curious and/or the technically minded, we’re taking advantage of EC2 reserved instance pricing to pre-buy EC2 time at a substantial discount.)

On top of controlling costs, going virtual and cloud-based gives us a much better set of options for how we can do server backups (out with rsnapshot, in with actual-for-real block-based EBS snapshots!). This should make it massively easier for SCW to get back online from backups if anything ever does go wrong.

Screenshot of an SSH window
It’s just not a SCW server unless it’s named after a famous Cardassian. We’ve had Garak and we’ve had Dukat, so our new (virtual) box is named after David Warner’s memorable “How many lights do you see?” interrogator Gul Madred.

The one potential “gotcha” with this minimalist virtual approach is that I’m not taking advantage of the tools AWS provides to do true high availability hosting—primarily because those tools are expensive and would obviate most or all of the savings we’re currently realizing over physical hosting. The only conceivable outage situation we’d need to recover from would be an AWS availability zone outage—which is rare, but definitely happens from time to time. To guard against this possibility, I’ve got a second AWS instance in a second availability zone on cold standby. If there’s a problem with the SCW server, I can spin up the cold standby box within minutes and we’ll be good to go. (This is an oversimplified explanation, but if I sit here and describe our disaster recovery plan in detail, it’ll put everyone to sleep!)

Simplifying the software stack

Along with the hosting switch, we’ve re-architected our web server’s software stack with an eye toward simplifying things while keeping the site responsive and quick. To that end, we’ve jettisoned our old trio of HAProxy, Varnish, and Nginx and settled instead on an all-in-one web server application with built-in cacheing, called OpenLiteSpeed.

OpenLiteSpeed (“OLS” to its friends) is the libre version of LiteSpeed Web Server, an application which has been getting more and more attention as a super-quick and super-friendly alternative to traditional web servers like Apache and Nginx. It’s purported to be quicker than Nginx or Varnish in many performance regimes, and it seemed like a great single-app candidate to replace our complex multi-app stack. After testing it on my personal site, SCW took the plunge.

Screenshot of the OLS console
This is the OpenLiteSpeed web console.

There were a few configuration growing pains (eagle-eyed visitors might have noticed a couple of small server hiccups over the past week or two as I’ve been tweaking settings), but so far the change is proving to be a hugely positive one. OLS has excellent integration with Wordpress via a powerful plugin that exposes a ton of advanced configuration options, which in turn lets us tune the site so that it works exactly the way we want it to work.

Screenshot of the LiteSpeed Cache settings page
This is just one tab from the cache configuration menu in the OLS Wordpress plugin’s settings. There are a lot of knobs and buttons in here!

Looking toward the future

Eric and Matt and Maria put in a lot of time and effort to make sure the forecasting they bring you is as reliable and hype-free as they can make it. In that same spirit, the SCW backend crew (which so far is me and app designer Hussain Abbasi, with Dwight Silverman acting as project manager) try to make smart, responsible tech decisions so that Eric’s and Matt’s and Maria’s words reach you as quickly and reliably as possible, come rain or shine or heatwave or hurricane.

I’ve been living here in Houston for every one of my 43 years on this Earth, and I’ve got the same visceral first-hand knowledge many of you have about what it’s like to stare down a tropical cyclone in the Gulf. When a weather event happens, much of Houston turns to Space City Weather for answers, and that level of responsibility is both frightening and humbling. It’s something we all take very seriously, and so I’m hopeful that the changes we’ve made to the hosting setup will serve visitors well as the summer rolls on into the danger months of August and September.

So cheers, everyone! I wish us all a 2022 filled with nothing but calm winds, pleasant seas, and a total lack of hurricanes. And if Mother Nature does decide to fling one at us, well, Eric and Matt and Maria will talk us all through what to do. If I’ve done my job right, no one will have to think about the servers and applications humming along behind the scenes keeping the site operational—and that’s exactly how I like things to be 🙂

23 Jun 16:45

When a U.S. swimmer sank to the bottom of the pool, her coach jumped in to save her

by Bill Chappell
Team USA coach Andrea Fuentes brings Anita Alvarez from the bottom of the pool at the 2022 World Aquatics Championships in Budapest.

"I saw that the lifeguards were not jumping into the water because they were paralyzed," Team USA coach Andrea Fuentes said. Luckily for athlete Anita Alvarez, Fuentes is an Olympic swimmer.

(Image credit: Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images)

23 Jun 16:40

DiverseWorks Opens Project Freeway Call for Houston-area Artists

by Jessica Fuentes
A designed graphic featuring a silhouette of Houston's downtown with a long winding road. The text reads, "Project Freeway Fellowship."

DiverseWorks Project Freeway Fellowship program

DiverseWorks, a multidisciplinary arts space in Houston, has announced the upcoming deadline for their annual Project Freeway Fellowship Program.

Initially launched in 2019, the program supports Houston-area artists and creatives in the production of socially-engaged or community-based artistic works in their neighborhoods. The program grew out of the institution’s desire to aid innovative projects that speak to Houstonians who are particularly outside of the city center, which is already often activated by art organizations and artists. 

Artists living in the Greater Houston Area are invited to apply, and a preference will be given to those living outside of the city center. Past winners, Willow Curry and Matt Manalo (2019) and Brian Ellison and Jeffrey Bussey (2020), produced projects at the following locations, respectively: Alief, Fifth Ward, Third Ward, and Texas State Highway 288. DiverseWorks encourages applicants to apply for other outlying neighborhoods, such as Acres Homes, Sunnyside, Gulfton, and Sharpstown.

Selected applicants will receive a $3,500 honorarium, marketing and production support, and a budget for materials and equipment. Fellows must be available to attend weekly program meetings and other activities from August 15 – October 15, 2022. Projects should be completed and presented before June 30, 2023. 

The application deadline is Monday, July 11, 2022 and selected artists will be notified by Thursday, July 28, 2022. 

Learn more and apply at DiverseWorks’ Submittable page

The post DiverseWorks Opens Project Freeway Call for Houston-area Artists appeared first on Glasstire.

23 Jun 16:39

Top Five: June 23, 2022

by Glasstire

Glasstire counts down the top five art events in Texas.

For last week’s picks, please go here.

A designed graphic featuring black text on a blue background. The text reads, "The Big Show."

1. The Big Show 2022
Lawndale Art Center (Houston)
June 17 – August 13, 2022

From Lawndale Art Center:
The Big Show is an ambitious annual exhibition of new work by artists practicing within a 100-mile radius of Lawndale. The Big Show 2022 is juried by Daisy Nam, Curator at Ballroom Marfa.

Featuring works by: Patrycja Adamowicz, Charis Ammon, Jen Bootwala, Rontaye Butler, Angel Castelan, Lindy Chambers, Chelsea Clarke, Paula Córdoba, daniel coreas, Cynthia Jamileth Giron, Vanessa Gonzalez, Sibylle Hagmann, Jihye Han, DR3K a.k.a. JP Hartman, Guadalupe Hernandez, Saúl Hernández-Vargas, Chenlu Hou, Sumin Hwang, Disha Khakheria, Erica Reed Lee, Ha Na Lee & James Hughes, C.M. Lewis, Sophia Longoria, Max Manning, Gabriel Martinez, Clinton Millsap, Demi Mixon, Brian Murcia, Quentin Pace, Julia Rossel, J.R. Roykovich, Jessica Simorte, Kamila Szczesna, Jesus Trevino, Irene Valentin, Charles VanMeter, and Lucio Vasquez.”

A black and white photograph of an artist tearing through large artworks.

Kiyoji Otsuji, “Gutai Photograph,” 1956–1957, printed 2012, black and white photograph, The Rachofsky Collection and the Dallas Museum of Art through the TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art Fund, 2012.36.20, ©︎ Tetsuo Otsuji

2. Slip Zone: A New Look at Postwar Abstraction in the Americas and East Asia
Dallas Museum of Art
September 14, 2021 – July 10, 2022

From the Dallas Museum of Art:
“Bringing together 91 works from the Dallas Museum of Art’s (DMA) acclaimed collection of contemporary art and important loans from local private collections, Slip Zone: A New Look at Postwar Abstraction in the Americas and East Asia explores how artists revolutionized their forms, materials, and techniques in the decades following World War II. The exhibition reevaluates the art historical legacy of the postwar era to encompass simultaneous and intersecting international movements and trends, highlighting the crucial contributions of artists working in Buenos Aires, Mexico City, New York City, Osaka, Rio de Janeiro, Seoul, Tokyo, and beyond.

In these artistic centers, abstraction afforded possibilities for new methods of art making, sometimes incorporating performance, spectator interaction, and nontraditional materials; many artists pursued new modes for painting and challenged distinctions between painting and sculpture. Including landmark contemporary acquisitions in the DMA’s history along with new acquisitions, promised gifts, important local loans, and works in the collection being exhibited at the Museum for the very first time, Slip Zone reflects on the role institutions play in shaping and reconfiguring historical narratives.”

 A dark photograph of a fabric sculpture of a monkey with lights that illuminate its eyes, nose, and mouth.

Steef Cromback, “One Bad Monkey.”

3. Steef Crombach: One Bad Monkey
Women & Their Work (Austin)
June 25 – August 4, 2022

From Women & Their Work:
“Steef Crombach uses iconography as clues to understand our physical environment. She finds inspiration in the commonplace and the local and surfaces overlooked but shared points of reference buried deep within the collective consciousness. In One Bad Monkey, Crombach focuses this process on Austin’s advertising sculptures for commercial businesses.

Through soft sculptures and draping foam relief tapestries, Crombach examines the secret life of local icons like the Wheatsville Raptor and the Big Star Bingo Gorilla. She explores each character’s evolution as its identity morphs over time and place. Her focus on these sculptures highlights the often intangible nature of change and attempts to create a deeper understanding of our shared physical reality.”

An abstract work by Fred Troller using pops of color set against a mostly white canvas.

Fred Troller, “Untitled,” 1995, acrylic on canvas 64 x 46 inches.

4. Fred Troller: Evolution of Form
Baker Schorr Fine Art (Midland)
June 9 – July 20, 2022

From Baker Schorr Gallery:
“Swiss/American, Fred Troller (1930 – 2002) made significant contributions as an artist and graphic designer throughout his rich career. He popularized a minimalist typographic style known as Swiss New Typography in the United States in the 1960s. This style was in contrast to the decorative and ornamental graphic design trends at the time. The Swiss aesthetic was influenced by the Bauhaus school of the 1920s and focused on stark, bold typefaces and primary colors. It was a logical, practical style, which was popular among multinational corporations who wanted uniform graphic identities that were clearly understood by their clients. Troller’s personal interpretation of the style was characterized by manipulated geometric forms, juxtapositions of large and small lettering, and visual puns formed by the fonts themselves.

In addition to his design career, Troller was a talented and prolific painter and sculptor. His works were represented at Grace Borgenicht Gallery in New York. This exhibition features a range of the artist’s works, from his early gouaches and oil paintings of the 1950s to one of his most important works, completed in 2002, a series of mask drawings inspired by the gift of an antique African mask.”

An installation of small cloud-like forms on a window of an outdoor exhibition space.

Doug Land, “Gray Rainbow,” 2022, cotton, gold and silver mylar, thread, aluminum, metal post, 96 x 96 inches

5. Liminal Space: Doug Land: Gray Rainbow
Blind Alley Projects (Fort Worth)
June 18 – 30, 2022

From Blind Alley Projects:
“Artist Doug Land incorporates interior and exterior for his seriously playful installation, Gray Rainbow by thoughtfully enlisting the given nature of Blind Alley. As Land states, ‘An array of clouds glimmer on a navy-blue bedsheet. The cloth floats suspended behind a pane of glass. That with no substance enters where there’s no space. A momentary reflection from a street sign creates a meeting of two spaces. The inner space of a gallery is connected to the chaos of the outside by light. Then the sun shifts, and the clouded bedsheet returns to its confinement.’

Liminal Space is a series of four independent exhibitions by TCU MFA students, graduating spring 2022: Doug Land, June 18 – 30; Fernando Alvarez, July 2 -14; Adrianna Touch, July 16 – 28; Corrie Thompson, June 4 – 16.”

The post Top Five: June 23, 2022 appeared first on Glasstire.

23 Jun 13:34

Remembering the Shamrock Hotel — and what it changed about historic preservation in Houston

by Michael Hagerty
The iconic Houston hotel was demolished 35 years ago this month.
23 Jun 13:30

update: how can I avoid taking a job in an open-plan office?

by Ask a Manager

This post, update: how can I avoid taking a job in an open-plan office? , was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

It’s a special “where are you now?” season at Ask a Manager and I’m running updates from people who had their letters here answered in the past.

There will be more posts than usual this week, so keep checking back throughout the day.

Remember the letter-writer back in 2018 who asked how to avoid taking a job in an open-plan office? Here’s the update.

First, I very much appreciate the advice and commentary! Unfortunately I couldn’t be on the site while that was going on so I never interacted with the commentariat, but I read every response. Much thoughtful discussion, as well as commiseration which I appreciated.

Boy howdy, 2018 seems like a billion years ago…. My update is a mixed bag, with a mostly happy ending. Despite my confidence at the time, I did not get a phone interview, or even a “thanks but no thanks” response. I heard later through local contacts that this was a situation of the company being required to post externally, but there was an internal candidate in line for the position. Of course, it may be that I was just not as appealing as I thought! I did not change jobs and a few months later I ended up in the new space.

We were one of the last departments to make the move and either because the company had learned from the initial transitions, or because we’re the whiniest and most entitled, our space was significantly better than others we’d seen as this was rolled out. Physically, it was extremely nice. We had lots of space and light. I could go (and have gone) into long rants about the overall experience, but it was pretty much as I was expecting. One thing that was surprising was the fact that, despite this supposedly being about “collaboration”, a lot of the time the shared spaces were pretty quiet, like a library. People whispered. People IM’d with the person sitting next to them rather than speak into the silence. If you did speak at a normal volume, you got the stink-eye from nearby people trying to concentrate. This contrasted with the former, dare I say it, “collaborative” environment where people would walk into someone’s office for a quick chat, or stop by someone’s cube, etc. It did the opposite of what was “intended”. (Actually it did exactly what was in fact intended – it drastically decreased footprint.) There were of course some people who seemed to enjoy imposing their conversations on everyone in earshot, or saw nothing wrong with sitting down three feet away from someone and eating noisy and/or smelly food all day long. It was usually possible to pack up your stuff and get away from them. What a good use of twenty minutes of the work day! /s

Then, Covid. We quickly went remote and are still 100% remote, except for those that can only do their job on site. I went on site a few times since March 2020, and it was a ghost town. The big news is, job category and supervisor willing, you can apply to remain 100% remote. Favorite City is an option! This is a huge culture change for the organization.

However I discovered that 100% remote is not perfect either. Ideally I’d like to go in once in a while, if only to talk, in person, to someone other than my dog. Had this been the plan all along – work remotely when you don’t need to be physically present, come in to the open environment when it’s necessary – I would not have had any issue with the concept. But at that time that model was not being considered at all. This era has been a sort of “forced proof of concept” that has shown that being there in person isn’t necessary for everyone. I am surprised and grateful that the company has recognized this. They were also great at supporting the remote work force in terms of equipment, engagement etc. They’ve taken the virus extremely seriously.

I’m aware of my privilege, of having the means to have living space adequate for working at home. I know that’s not the case for everyone. I still hope to end up in Favorite City someday, even though the position I wrote in about was a bust.

I do wonder a lot about what this era is going to do to the “densification” trend in corporate America. I can’t imagine a decent company will require people to be packed in like sardines, every day, when it isn’t necessary to the doing of the job. But reading this site, it’s seems some companies are going back there. I am somewhat hopeful alternatives will be more generally available. If I end up looking for another job in the future I’m very happy the concept of mostly- or entirely-remote work won’t be an exotic ask.

23 Jun 13:03

Fast Food Careers

by Holly

Fast Food Careers coverOpportunities in Fast Food Careers
Eberts and Gisler

Submitter: I work in an academic library and this “career advice” book was still hanging out on the shelves in mid-2022. I was really surprised to see that there was an entire book dedicated to this topic. There are some chapters about the history of the fast food industry and what franchising entails but the majority of the book is dedicated to becoming the best possible customer servant you can be and climbing the ladder to middle management. The authors dedicate an entire chapter to the necessary educational credentials which is probably one chapter more than what is necessary. Check out the vintage photos!

Holly: High school courses in math, science, business, and computer science are helpful in just about any career, but and the idea that “Most home economics departments are now open to boys as well as girls…” (p.88) is beyond ridiculous in this day and age. It was in 1989 too, actually. The computer science examples miss the point of computerized fast food processes in this day and age, where every fast food restaurant has an app and point of sales systems are pretty complex. And yes, submitter is right that the photos are “vintage.” I’ll tell you one thing: anyone with fast food experience on their resume is worth a look in library service. They may be great at customer service, multitasking, and team work.

Fast Food Careers contents

Fast Food careers contents

Fast Food Careers education

Fast Food Careers education

Fast Food Careers education

Fast Food Careers education

Fast Food Careers future

The post Fast Food Careers appeared first on Awful Library Books.

23 Jun 13:01

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Stupid


Click here to go see the bonus panel!

Have you noticed how youtube explainer videos have slowly morphed into softer versions of This One Weird Trick?

Today's News:

Thanks to all the RSS-using freaks who wrote in regarding font formatting. My current hypothesis is I'm creating issues by copy-pasting from google docs to this field. My next post about gourds and the nature of existence will be deformatted (is that a word?) before being sent out.

22 Jun 16:20

Top 10 reasons to be thankful for our blistering heat and emerging drought

by Eric Berger

You know the heat is getting to us when we resort to a gimmick like this. But with high pressure holding sway for our weather over the next several days, there’s just not much else to to say. So we’re publishing a list of the reasons—some tongue in cheek, some not—of why we ought to be thankful for this heat and drought. We received hundreds of great suggestions, so thank you to everyone who shared them with us. Without further ado …

10. The BBQ pit heats up far more quickly. Some afternoons you can even dispense with the wood or coals.

9. Roadwork and other construction projects aren’t delayed due to weather.

8. High pressure buffers the region from any hurricanes that might form.

7. Your dogs won’t track in mud from the back yard.

(Photo by Renzo D’souza on Unsplash)

6. If you have children, you can wow them with stories about the good old days when you played outside all summer long.

5. Sunshine and long days produce a solar energy bonanza.

4. Whenever it rains again, if it ever rains again, psychologically it’s going to feel so amazing.

3. Maybe, just maybe, the extreme heat radiating from roads and parking lots, even into the night, will discourage a few potential catalytic converter thieves. 

2. No rain means far fewer mosquitoes are out there biting in the evening.

And the no. 1 reason why this heat and drought ain’t such a bad thing is that you now have a medical reason to eat ice cream—hey doc, it’s helping to keep my core temperature down!


Tuesday’s high temperature “only” reached 98 degrees in Houston, and that’s probably about where things will top out today. Like on Tuesday, we should also see some isolated to perhaps scattered showers and thunderstorms later this morning and into the afternoon hours, with a 20 to 30 percent chance. Once again, if you get hit, you should feel fortunate, as the next street over might get nothing. Winds will be light, primarily out of the southeast.


As high pressure intensifies it will tamp down on rain chances, but I think there’s still the potential for an isolated shower or two. Otherwise, expect mostly sunny skies and highs near 100 degrees.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday

It will be hot, sunny, and humid. Look for highs of about 100 degrees each day, possibly in the low 100s for inland areas.

High temperature forecast for Saturday. (Weather Bell)

Next week

Conditions could start to change by Monday or Tuesday of next week, as a weak front moves into the area and brings more clouds, and perhaps nudges rain chances back up to 20 or 30 percent. This should be enough to bring high temperatures down into the upper 90s, or possibly even mid-90s with enough clouds. It is also possible that rain chances will be even higher, and temperatures lower, but it’s difficult to have too much confidence in such a hopeful forecast this far out. But some sort of change, at least, does appear to be on the way.

22 Jun 16:00

update: coworker keeps interrupting my work and told me it’s “good practice” to keep myself focused

by Ask a Manager

This post, update: coworker keeps interrupting my work and told me it’s “good practice” to keep myself focused , was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

It’s a special “where are you now?” season at Ask a Manager and I’m running updates from people who had their letters here answered in the past.

There will be more posts than usual this week, so keep checking back throughout the day.

Remember the letter-writer whose coworker kept interrupting her work and said it was “good practice” to keep the writer focused? Here’s the update.

By the time my letter was published, things had come to a head. After a “last straw” interruption, I asked Jane to please not speak to me at work unless it was about work, as I really need to concentrate. She then asked me for my personal number, so she could call me to chat sometimes. I didn’t want this, so I said that I’m really not interested in being social with people from work. This isn’t actually true, I have many work friends who I see outside of work, but I couldn’t think of anything else in the moment. She was obviously hurt by this and left a long message on my work voicemail about how people like me are depressing and a sign of what’s wrong with the world, etc.

I kept my head down and tried to avoid her for a few days, but she kept making passive-aggressive comments about me, doing things like coughing loudly in meetings when I spoke and then loudly announcing that she was so sorry and didn’t mean to break anyone’s concentration. Another time, when we were in the break room another colleague asked me to pass the coffee creamer and Jane remarked that she didn’t know that coffee creamer was on the approved list of things people were allowed to ask me about. I was contemplating how to resolve this when the letter was published.

The support of your readers was really exactly what I needed. Having so many people tell me that they would have found the constant interruptions frustrating and unmanageable was very validating. So was the reassurance that a reasonable boss wouldn’t blame me for not being able to handle that behavior. And luckily, my boss is extremely reasonable. I went to her and outlined everything from my first letter, utilizing your script, plus the latest happenings. I played her the voicemail message, and her eyes got huge. She promised me the behavior would stop, and asked me to come to her again if it didn’t.

I don’t know what she said to Jane, but all the passive-aggressive comments stopped. And even better, I was given an OFFICE! It’s small and windowless so it had been disused for a while, but it’s so much better for my concentration. I’m now away from the open-plan floor, and my productivity is through the roof. I’m getting great feedback and I’m really happy in my environment. And I know my boss has my back, so I feel even more content in this workplace.

22 Jun 15:57

One Tinder Bio to Rule Them All

by Chris Hammon

I am your ideal man
I am one hundred feet tall
and I weigh
as much as
a collapsing star.
I only eat krill
and only in
four-digit integers.
I own
a sizable collection of
semi-depleted uranium and I spend my free time screaming
I am descended from
a long line
of Vikings
that are wanted
for historical war crimes. I cannot read.
If you try to teach me how to read
bite you.
Interested parties
may contact me
by email.

22 Jun 15:56

Catching up with two humans who lived, for a time, as a goat and an otter, respectively

by Marc Abrahams

The human who, of all the humans who have tried living life as a goat has become the most celebrated by fellow humans, looks back on his experience. NRC interviews and profiles Thomas Thwaites, and also checks in with Charles Foster, who lived parts of his life as different kinds of animals. The NRC profile says, in part:

Their projects earned Foster and Thwaites a shared Ig Nobel Prize in 2016 , a science prize for frivolous-looking research that is nonetheless thought-provoking. And then there’s Geoffroy Delorme who lived for seven years with roe deer in a Norman forest ( L’Homme-chevreuil , translated in 2021 as The Deer Man ). And there’s David Abram’s book, Becoming Animal (2010), a philosophical exercise centered on the fact that we don’t see the world “as it is,” because our brains rapidly replace everything our eyes see with abstract “concepts.”

“It has undoubtedly to do with our seeking a new relationship with nature,” says Thwaites. What he and Foster have in common is their attempt to bridge the gap between humans and animals. “And we both realize how much comfort you have to give up when you try to live as a non-human.”

The 2016 Ig Nobel Prize for biology was awarded jointly to: Charles Foster, for living in the wild as, at different times, a badger, an otter, a deer, a fox, and a bird; and to Thomas Thwaites, for creating prosthetic extensions of his limbs that allowed him to move in the manner of, and spend time roaming hills in the company of, goats.

Each of them documented his experience in a book:

Charles Foster subsequently wrote another book in which he, like Thomas Thwaites, further contemplates the experience of being a human. That book is: Being a Human: Adventures in Forty Thousand Years of Consciousness, Charles Foster, Metropolitan Books, 2021

22 Jun 13:28

Valve's Steam Deck Makes a Brilliant Case Against Walled Gardens

by BeauHD
"Unlike practically every major game console that's come before it, the Steam Deck, from PC gaming giant Valve, doesn't lock users into one ecosystem," writes Fast Company's Jared Newman. "While Valve's own Steam store is the default way to buy and play games, the Steam Deck also lets users install whatever software they want on the device's Linux-based operating system. The experience has been liberating..." From the report: In recent weeks, I've gorged on weird indie creations from, classic games from, and free games from the Epic Games Store. I've used Plexamp to stream my personal music collection in place of in-game soundtracks, and I've used Vivaldi to browse the web in the Steam Deck's desktop mode. You don't have to use your Steam Deck this way, but just being knowing that it's an option makes the device more capable and personal. The tech industry is filled with companies that seem deathly afraid of this model, either because they don't trust their users or don't want to risk weakening their own ecosystems. By taking the opposite approach, Valve is proving that open platforms aren't so catastrophic, and it elevates the Steam Deck from yet another gadget into the most exciting consumer electronics device in years. [...] Valve could have easily used the Steam Deck to lock players into its own ecosystem. It could have opted not to include a desktop mode and withheld instructions on how to lift its read-only restrictions. It could have discouraged users from installing different operating systems and made its recovery tools unavailable to the public. Console makers have long insisted that such restrictions are necessary for the good of their platforms. In 2020, for instance, Microsoft argued that because console makers sell their hardware at or below cost to create a market for their software, they shouldn't have to accommodate third-party app stores or sideloading. Similar arguments have spilled out into the broader mobile app business as well. In response to a lawsuit from Epic Games, Apple has claimed that its investments in the App Store wouldn't be feasible if it couldn't force developers to use its in-app purchase mechanisms. Some defenders of Apple's viewpoint, such as Daring Fireball's John Gruber, have argued that iOS is more like a game console than a PC platform. So, it's all the more remarkable that Valve ignored all this hand-wringing and made the Steam Deck a haven for tinkerers. Instead of trying to shut out competitors, the company is betting that its own store will prevail on quality. If the Steam Deck successful -- as it appears to be so far -- it could upend years of conventional wisdom around walled gardens and become a threat to other consoles in more ways than one.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

22 Jun 02:42

WordSet: Stolen Without Compensation

by Michal Necasek

A kind reader from a land formerly beyond the Iron Curtain recently supplied the OS/2 Museum with a curious word processor that calls itself WordSet. The files unfortunately lost their original timestamps quite some time ago, but it is apparent that this editor was released in the late 1980s, with copyright messages in different files referring to 1986 and 1988.

The editor runs on DOS, but there appears to have been a CP/M variant available as well, as evidenced by this manual (photo from an auction):

WordSet for CP/M manual

When the DOS version of WordSet (WS.COM) is started, the user is greeted by a screen that may look more than a little familiar:

WordSet main menu

It is not difficult to see that WordSet is really WordStar, superficially renamed and with user visible text translated to Czech.

Looking at the beginning of the overlay files provides further clues to the software’s origin:

Badly translated, but fixed!!!

The header of WSMSGS.OVR says (in Czech) “Stolen without compensation” and “Badly translated, but fixed!!!”. WSOVLY1.OVR clearly identifies who had done the stealing: JZD Agrokombinát Slušovice, an agricultural collective which—for reasons that make no sense to a contemporary reader—became one of the biggest providers of IT equipment and software in socialist Czechoslovakia in the 1980s.

WordStar 3.41?

But wait… what the heck is WordStar 3.41? Is that even real? Even after a lot of research, I’m not entirely sure. What I am certain of is that WordStar 3.40 (or 3.4) is very real, although not well known.

The reason for that is simple: WordStar 3.40 was never available in the United States. An English language version of WordStar 3.40 existed, but was only sold in the UK and Ireland. There were translated versions of WordStar 3.40 available in German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, and other languages.

The difference between WordStar 3.40 and 3.3x is small but crucial: WordStar 3.40 can correctly handle 8-bit characters, something that older WS versions can not do because WordStar internally uses the high bit.

WordStar 3.40 uses escape sequences to fence off 8-bit characters. It has no special language or encoding support; its most important feature is that it simply does not destroy the high bit of all characters. WordStar 3.40 passes the 8-bit characters through from keyboard to screen and to file and thus works with more or less any codepage.

Thus WordStar 3.40 can do things WS 3.3 can’t:

8-bit characters in WordStar 3.x

The best (and perhaps only) good description of WordStar 3.40 can be found in the March 1986 issue of PC Magazine. It was reportedly created at MicroPro Ireland and released in September 1984.

There is a second-hand copy of Dutch WordStar 3.40-1.0 on There is an archive of Spanish WordStar 3.40-4.0 files on vetusware. There is a German language addendum to WordStar 3.4 on; it claims a 1982 copyright, but if other information is to be believed, it must be newer. There is also an image of a German WordStar 3.40-1.0 floppy; it shows a 1984 copyright.

I could not find any evidence that WordStar 3.41 existed, only one single reference to WordStar 3.41 that may or may not be a typo. However, given how poorly documented WordStar 3.40 is, and how obscure version 3.41 would have been, it’s not at all impossible that WordStar 3.41 was released circa 1987. WordStar 3.31 did exist, so 3.41 might have as well.

Then again, it is also plausible that WordSet 3.41 was copied from WordStar 3.40. Finding a surviving copy of WordStar 3.41 would answer the question.

WordSet Translation

There is one oddity noticeable when examining the WordSet menus:

Czech text in WordSet

The Czech text in WordSet does not use diacritical marks and is strictly limited to ASCII characters. That was no doubt done deliberately, so that users could use different encodings for their text. Perhaps the Kamenický brothers encoding, perhaps codepage 852, perhaps something else. The program itself would always look the same, regardless of the encoding used.

It is also apparent that the translators fought with the problem that the translated Czech text was often longer than the original English, which led to many abbreviations that weren’t always easy to understand. It is quite likely that the translation was created by binary editing of existing files, and text could not be lengthened or shortened—even if there were space for it on the screen, and there often wasn’t.


It is highly probable that JZD Slušovice simply copied WordStar 3.4, translated it into Czech, renamed it to WordSet, and sold it to end users, almost certainly for a fairly high price. MicroPro International most likely had no practical chance to do anything about it—if MicroPro even knew about it in the first place, which is far from a given.

It’s very likely that WordStar was not the only program that JZD Slušovice copied in this manner. For example, it is known that their 8-bit operating system TNS-DOS was a modified copy of TurboDOS from Software 2000 Inc. There is a curious backstory about that.

A former programmer at Slušovice recalls that in late 1987, TurboDOS was only available to them in object code form, and she further says: Pokusili jsme se získat zdrojové texty od autorské firmy v Německu, ale ta už neexistovala. (We attempted to acquire the source code from a German company that wrote it, but it no longer existed.) That, she further recalls, complicated the developers’ life quite a bit because JZD Slušovice wanted to reduce TurboDOS memory consumption through the use of paging, and had to disassemble and re-assemble modified source code to achieve that.

“A German company” implies JZD Slušovice perhaps tried to acquire the TurboDOS source code from a German company called Software 2000… which could not have worked because it was a game development company. In reality, TurboDOS was written by a completely different company, Software 2000 Inc. in California. The Californian Software 2000 Inc. not only existed in the late 1980s, it still exists even now (June 2022).

If JZD Slušovice really tried to buy a TurboDOS license at all, they certainly didn’t try very hard. But the reality of the time was such that just like with WordStar aka WordSet, even if Software 2000 Inc. knew about TNS-DOS (and they may well not have), their chances of doing anything about it were slim.

Times were certainly different back then in Central and Eastern Europe. But maybe not too different from the situation in some countries today.

21 Jun 23:25


by (JerryMaguire)
21 Jun 18:06

updates: I walked in on the company owner having sex, coworker sent a horrible email company-wide after a janitor won our contest, and more

by Ask a Manager

This post, updates: I walked in on the company owner having sex, coworker sent a horrible email company-wide after a janitor won our contest, and more , was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

It’s a special “where are you now?” season at Ask a Manager and I’m running updates from people who had their letters here answered in the past. Here are three updates from past letter-writers.

There will be more posts than usual this week, so keep checking back throughout the day.

1. I walked in on the company owner having sex in his office

You were right that I was able to move forward without incident. The issue didn’t come up for months, actually. Earlier this month, though, the owner took me and one of the other junior/mid-level staff to lunch. I was nervous but the lunch itself went fine. When the three of us returned to the office, he pulled me aside and said, “By the way, I’m sorry about what happened when you first started. That shouldn’t have happened and I’m glad you’ve had a positive experience here so far.” I just said, “Understood, thank you for saying that” and left it there.

In terms of your question about whether I could work with him comfortably, I’ve mostly put the incident out of mind and moved on successfully in my job. That’s primarily because the job itself is a good fit for my skill set, despite the lingering thoughts that do pop into my head sometimes. Many thanks, once more, for taking the time to respond and for offering such thoughtful feedback! Your blog continues to be a favorite.

2. My coworker sent a classist, racist email company-wide after a janitor won our Christmas contest

I have read every comment on my letter and this one looking for advice. I am new to the working world (this is my first full-time job) and every time I brought up Gaston with my mentor or other people I either got, “keep your head down, you’re new, establish yourself before you try to make waves/take a stand or you’ll be labeled a trouble maker and accomplish nothing,” or “that’s Gaston, no one pays attention to his rants anyway. just roll your eyes and tune him out like the rest of us.” Reading the comments I went back and forth between, “I didn’t explain this correctly and made him sound more important than he is,” and “this place has completely warped my sense of normalcy, I need to get out of here before I turn into a racist.”

I have since made it a point to try to socialize with people outside my team both to try to distance myself from Gaston and to make sure I don’t start normalizing his rants. I was able to meet up with the coworker who called the team I was on racist and was able to work an apology into the conversation. (“I’ve thought so much about the last time we talked. When you brought up the email I panicked. I had brought it up to my manager when it first happened and was more or less told to leave it alone and not cause trouble. I was worried if I agreed with you, the story would get around that I was calling Gaston a racist. I tried to noncommittally distance myself from the whole thing and I’m sure just made myself look worse. I take the full blame for that, and I have worked on how to address things like this going forward.”) The coworker in question assured me it was all water under the bridge, and he heard of Gaston’s tendency to run to HR with every little thing.

Nevertheless, I know as far as my credibility is concerned I’m going to be starting with a deficit so I need to be careful moving forward. I would love it if any of your readers have suggestions on how to be actively anti-racist when you are newer at a company, many of the resources I’ve found seem to believe the reader has a certain amount of power/authority. I don’t and I want to make sure to be an ally, not a “savior.”

In talking with other people, I’ve learned Gaston has quite the reputation for dog whistles and going up to the line without crossing it. According to office gossip, he runs to HR over the slightest thing and has claimed in the past his managers was retaliating if any of them tried to check his behavior. As a result, he’s been moved from team to team. Most people think Gaston believes he is untouchable and is just running his mouth without caring about the consequences. A few people say they think he is trying to get fired so he can threaten to sue for age discrimination and get a payout from the company because the company won’t want the expense or PR of going to court. I do know he is fond of making statements like, “I’m going to retire in 2023, what are they going to do, fire me?”

My manager did stress that if Gaston said anything against a protected class or legally created a hostile work environment I should let him and HR know right away. Unfortunately Gaston says things like, “First {name of woman who won year 1} wins, then a janitor, I don’t know, it doesn’t seem like something that actually happens, more like something someone writes the end of a movie. Just doesn’t pass the smell test.” Sorry there is no triumphant “Gaston was fired in front of the whole company and everyone got a raise and a vacation.” Just everyone waiting for him to go away like a bad odor.

3. My terrible boss asked for feedback — should I be honest? (first update here)

My update in December wasn’t very positive, but things changed not too long after it was published. I had been trying to get out of that job before I even started working there, which ended up being four years. I went from only applying for jobs that were in the direction in which I want to move my career (I am trying to make a lateral move to a different specialization in the same industry) to applying for anything that I am remotely qualified for, regardless of how uninteresting it sounded, and I gave myself a deadline for getting out of the country.

Three weeks before my deadline, I got a call for a phone screen for a job that I thought was interesting, but also was very far away from the specialization I’m trying to move into. The phone screen went well, and then I was called for a day of interviews a few days later. I didn’t think I had done that well, but I was offered the job less than 24 hours later. I started in March and passed my probation in June.

Regarding Kate, although she really was an awful manager, she was also somehow far less toxic than other people who work at that place, including people I had previously reported to. But 24 hours after I sent in my resignation, she called me and screamed at me for 10 minutes about how (a) she no longer trusted me, (b) I should’ve told her that I was looking for a new position, (c) she hoped that I found a better job because our company was toxic, and (e) she no longer trusted me (again).

I genuinely don’t think she realized that she was exemplifying exactly why I was quitting. It should’ve been pretty obvious that I was looking, because even with her utter lack of self awareness, she still should’ve known that I was literally criminally underpaid (the company has the ability to work outside the confines of the law, which is why someone of my nationality was allowed to even work there in the first place) and received no PTO.

No job is perfect, but everything about my new job is an improvement. I received a nearly 100% salary bump which puts me at the lower-middle end of market range for my position, qualifications, and experience. I also have a lot of PTO including generous sick leave.

I am doing much, much better. I went off my antidepressants. I am regularizing my status so that I’m not dependent on a job to stay in this country. I even moved to a much nicer (and cheaper) apartment.

21 Jun 17:54

Superintelligent AIs

Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they should, they didn't stop to think if they could.
21 Jun 17:39

Someone animated Star Trek: Voyager and it rocks

by Devin Nealy

As a franchise, I feel like no series has evolved as much as Star Trek. Even though the show's core premise hasn't changed, the settings, characters, and presentation have altered with the eras without causing the show to lose its appeal. — Read the rest

21 Jun 17:35

I Have 3 Dead EVs. Are Any of The Batteries Still Good?

by Aging Wheels

Check out to start managing your personal finances today #truebill #personalfinance


Tools and things:
DC Power Supply:
Capacity Tester:
20 Jun 23:44

Exact Scientific Definition of Cool

by Corey Mohler
20 Jun 19:37

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Incomplete


Click here to go see the bonus panel!

Before you email me, try to write out a proof!

Today's News:
20 Jun 19:36

No, Texas can’t legally secede from the U.S., despite popular myth

by Texas Tribune Staff
The theme of independence has recurred throughout the history of Texas, which was a republic from 1836–45. But the Civil War established that a state cannot secede.