Shared posts

11 Jun 12:41

Parks Canada officials devastated to report white grizzly, known as Nakoda, has died

A white bear is pictured

Bear 178 was seen climbing over the fence, running with slight limp after being struck by a car on the Trans-Canada Highway.

10 Jun 23:05

updates: how can I pull back on a friendship with a coworker, and more

by Ask a Manager

This post was written by Alison Green and published 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 four updates from past letter-writers.

There will be more posts than usual this week, so keep checking back throughout the day — there’s more to come today.

1. How can I pull back on a friendship with a coworker? (#2 at the link)

It certainly has been a learning experience and implementing some of your suggestions has worked in a lot of ways. I greatly appreciate your help. I think I needed permission to not be as nice as I was and it was helpful that other folks had similar experiences in the comments.

Shortly after receiving your initial advice, this person and I disagreed on a work policy and they blew up at me. They also were having similar interactions with other coworkers on different floors and in different departments. I decided then and there to put your steps into action and also take it a bit further to protect myself and my sanity! I realized I needed to follow my gut and give myself the green light to limit friendships in the office, starting with this one.

What’s worked:

I stopped answering calls and texts from them on my personal devices. If they talk to me about work, it has to be via traditional company channels so I can keep a paper trail. I muted their messages in my cell phone so I am not alerted to their attempts to contact me outside of work hours. If they ask, I just say that I didn’t get it or I was busy and saw it too late. I am busy outside of work so it passes muster.

I have ended my open door policy completely. I used to keep my door to my office open all the time. I do not anymore. If I know that the person in question is on site, I will close my door, lock it and mark that I am in a meeting or busy. It sucks because it restricts my own movement in our building but, it helps discourage them from coming to my space. I have asked if anyone needs me, to message me and ask if I have the time. This gives me the option to say no.

I also stopped speaking to them about any issues or information I have about work or people at work. This means no gossip or information is shared unless about a specific joint project. If they try to come vent to me I say, “I have only a few minutes before my next meeting” to cut the interaction short. If they ask my opinion, I don’t have one. I also do not ask follow-up questions.

As a result, we do not hang out in or out of the office anymore. We do not spend much time speaking other than to go over project details or if they have a question. It is still hard. There is a definitive shift in the energy when we interact. We are still polite, but they are hot and cold with me. Because of the incident mentioned earlier, I am sometimes on edge but the restricted engagement has helped me manage.

2. A disgruntled fired employee says he’s coming to a work event I’m planning (#3 at the link)

I spoke to our human resources person, and she told me that she and the director had already reached out to the local police about coming to the event, and Sam was notified that he is barred from attending it.

They’re still waiting to hear back from the police, so I will be checking in regularly until I hear that they’ve actually agreed to come, and if they don’t, I’ll look into hiring private security or canceling the event.

On the urging of the commenters, I also contacted local law enforcement about Sam, because a) I don’t know exactly what upper management told them and b) I realized that my concerns about Sam won’t end even if this event goes smoothly.

3. My husband and I share a home office — how do we make this work?

Thanks for running this Ask the Readers question last year! I had a busy day when it ran and didn’t participate in the comments at all. It sure was interesting to look back and see all the assumptions people were making! As I expected, the most useful feedback we received was from people who actually do share successfully home offices. Thank you to all those who shared their experience!

What we took away was the most important thing is to be sure we’re not on calls at the same time to avoid audio interference. So we set up an alternative call space in our bedroom (aka I cleaned off my vanity), and then every morning we compare schedules and decide who’s going to take calls where. We set up the shared office the month before I went on maternity leave, and we’ve been loving it ever since! We both always use headsets and virtual/blurred backgrounds for calls so this works perfectly for us. We also have a clearly defined workspace space away from the baby (who is taken care of by someone else in the house during the day), which was important to us.

So with some good communication we have a super easy solution … no need for my husband to do an hour long commute everyday, share our bedroom with a baby for a year (he moved into his own bedroom at four months and everyone slept 100% better), or my favorite ridiculous suggestion: build a freestanding wired office shed in our tiny backyard. Maybe if we have another kid!

4. Can my younger coworkers read cursive? (#4 at the link)

The commenters helped me realize I could ask my 20-something direct report, who was the one I was most worried about, especially since the power differential would have made it harder for her to speak up. She delightedly said that she loves cursive, but that her same-aged family members who grew up in this area generally can’t read it. Like I said in the comments, it doesn’t come up a lot, but it seems reasonable for me to take a second to think about whether cursive is likely to be comprehensible before using it in work-related things.

10 Jun 23:01

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Specter

by Zach Weinersmith

Click here to go see the bonus panel!

Sometimes they just read our declarations of war and get giggle-fits.

Today's News:
10 Jun 19:39

The Heist

by Alex Hidalgo

On February 23, 2001, professor Thomas Guderjan accompanied other Texas Christian University (TCU) researchers and a librarian to the locked door of storage room L10C in the basement of the Mary Couts Burnett Library. The group intended to locate pre-Columbian Peruvian textiles donated to the university between 1995 and 1997, along with pottery and ritual artifacts, in order to move some items to the university’s design department. As an anthropology professor, Guderjan felt excited: He’d heard of the collection’s existence when he joined the faculty the year before, but had never seen it. 

But when they entered the room, Guderjan and the others found only a series of plain cardboard boxes of various sizes stacked on wooden pallets. As the group proceeded to search for textiles, they realized they had stumbled onto a crime scene. 

Box after box revealed only bubble wrap, while others held only bits of broken pottery. Very few cartons still contained intact objects. The group shared their discovery with Head Librarian Bob Seal, who contacted the TCU Police Department. Detective Kelly Ham, dispatched to investigate the theft, noticed more shards of broken pottery in a hallway close to an external exit. Further investigation later revealed that the thief had, over weeks or months, absconded with the antiquities a few at a time, restacking the empty boxes upside down to show the unbroken tape on the undersides.

Presuming the suspect might return, police and university officials returned the boxes to their original locations, initiated video surveillance, and attempted to prevent the story from leaking.

But after staking out the storage room for a little over a month, police recommended that the university break its silence. In an interview, Guderjan, who now works at the University of Texas at Tyler, recalled that TCU authorities hoped spreading the news might lead potential buyers or associates of the culprit to call in tips for law enforcement. On March 26, TCU’s student newspaper the Daily Skiff broke the news, and two days later the Fort Worth Star-Telegram followed up. 

Within days, those stories yielded results. 

The thief “extracted three large leaf trash bags full of the pottery.”

On March 29, a private investigator named Janie Brownlee contacted Detective Ham, stating that a confidential informant knew someone who had somehow acquired some of the stolen antiquities. Later that evening, Brownlee asked to meet with Ham at midnight near the intersection of Loop 820 and Granbury Road in Fort Worth, where Brownlee handed over “five black trash bags containing seventy of the stolen artifacts. Eleven … were broken or damaged,” the detective noted in his report.

Houston Police Department officials contacted Ham to say that a 50-year-old man named Ralph Prude had turned over 10 more artifacts. Ham drove more than 250 miles to Houston on March 31 to retrieve the objects and meet with Prude, who named a potential suspect: David Earl Word, a former employee of TCU. Prude also promised to pass along Ham’s number to Word.

On April 1, Ham arranged to meet Word at King Cole Liquor on Richmond Avenue in Houston, where he had relocated after the thefts. During their encounter, Word told Ham that he had entered the TCU library to warm up on a cold night and wandered into the basement where he found boxes labeled “pottery.” Intoxicated, he decided to stuff two or three pieces in his backpack. He continued the pattern over the next few days. One night around 3 a.m., Word and an unnamed acquaintance drove to the university in a van. Word entered the TCU building and extracted “three large leaf trash bags full of the pottery,” according to the TCU police report.

At the end of the meeting, Ham did not arrest Word, who promised to surrender the following day. But Word never showed. Finally, on April 4, Word contacted Ham and again agreed to surrender, and Ham brought him back to Fort Worth. 

TCU police later determined that Word stole 105 antiquities valued at $266,200. Most were recovered, though more than a dozen pieces were damaged. But Word never did any prison time. He pled guilty to second-degree felony theft and was given 10 years’ probation and ordered to pay TCU $17,800. 

TCU used those payments to pay its insurance deductible. More than 20 years later, the university still displays some of the same antiquities police recovered, though the thefts drew attention to its lack of security. 

The incident also raised lingering questions about the university’s original acquisition of the antiquities—and about whether Texas universities and museums in general do enough to vet such donations.

When Donald F. Moorehead, Jr. gave the collection of Peruvian antiquities to TCU in the 1990s, he provided no information about how they came into his possession, according to university records. Moorehead was a corporate waste management mogul, not an art collector or antiquities dealer. Moorehead did provide appraisal reports detailing the approximate era and cultural origin of each item, according to a deed of gift retained by TCU officials. According to that document, peoples from the ancient Andean cultures of modern-day Peru—including the Chavín, Nazca, Mochica, Chimú, Paracas, and Recuay—created the objects.

The collection contained painted pottery and textiles intended for everyday use or ceremonial purposes. It also included anthropomorphic figures, erotic pottery, and portrait stirrup vessels used for chicha, an alcoholic beverage made from fermented purple maize and consumed during religious rituals to pay tribute to the dead. 

Archeologists have identified many objects similar to those donated by the Mooreheads, often buried in large quantities in the graves of royals and other elites to assist them in their afterlife. Such grave goods have long been targeted both by art dealers and thieves. 

A depiction of the thefts antiquities stored in a library basement, based on university records

Modern-day Peru, home to some of the Americas’ wealthiest pre-Columbian cultures, has a well-documented trail of thefts of its cultural patrimony. The country’s most infamous looting occurred in an active archaeological site centered around the royal tombs of Sipán in Limbayeque. The archaeological community considered Sipán to house “the richest ancient tombs in the New World” when excavations began in the late 1980s, as Peruvian archeologist Walter Alva wrote. He and others found that the wealth of grave goods, such as golden masks and ornate headdresses, interested academics and thieves alike, with the latter raiding the tombs as early as 1987. Stolen objects from Sipán spread on the global black market, finding their way into public and private collections primarily in the United States and Europe.

In 1929, Peru passed a law declaring national ownership of its cultural patrimony and prohibiting the removal of any discovered antiquities. Yet Peru’s law proved ineffectual to prevent ongoing thefts, antiquities trafficking experts say, partly because countries like the United States with active antiquities markets refused to prevent the importation or trade of the items.

The United States has entered into a total of 20 bilateral agreements to protect foreign antiquities since the 1990s. But it balked at adopting a more restrictive proposal crafted by an intergovernmental organization called the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law in 1995 that called for a crackdown on collectors that use dubious acquisition practices.

Many U.S. museums and universities collect antiquities because the ability to catalog and display valuable artifacts elevates their status, reputation, and research capabilities. Prestigious institutions like the Smithsonian and Harvard University regularly invite anthropologists and historians worldwide to study and write about their collections. 

An illustration of one of the stolen items, according to police and university records

But according to archaeologist Donna Yates, an expert on the illicit trade, “Most of the antiquities that have been acquired by collectors and museums in the past and that are on the market now are at least illicit in some way, and many are held illegally.” As Yates wrote in the Journal of Financial Crime, in one of several articles on antiquities trafficking, many museums and universities are reluctant to return or refuse donations of questionable provenance “because of desire to compete with other museums or because of a sincere belief that a museum is the best place for the object.” 

At times, the value of donated art or antiquities collections might be inflated by fraudsters in order to overstate the value of a charitable gift as a tax write-off. The appraisal process of art and antiquities is highly subjective, and the opinions of ostensible experts are difficult to challenge, Yates said, creating the potential for abuse. 

Antiquities-related tax deduction schemes first garnered attention in the 1970s and 1980s when undercover IRS agents exposed criminal networks connected to prominent institutions such as the Getty, the Smithsonian, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Museum officials colluded with art dealers by accepting donations of foreign antiquities that lacked detailed provenance and had been highly inflated. The donors typically “never saw, much less owned, the objects they gave, but lent their names to the transactions in return for generous tax write-offs,” one participant told the Los Angeles Times in 2008. 

The Los Angeles Times investigation found that art donors “reap nearly $1 billion in tax write-offs” every year. Few are audited, but “half of the donations checked over the last 20 years had been appraised at nearly double their actual value.”

Such cases have prompted proposals to tighten federal regulation of the appraisal industry and to reduce the limits of deductions. But given that the vast majority of acquisitions are donated, museum officials have warned that lowering the incentive to donate could have serious consequences for the future of public art. 

In 1998, Donald Moorehead, the TCU antiquities donor, was inducted into the Environmental Industry Hall of Fame for “outstanding contributions to the waste industry.” Later that same year, Moorehead played a major role in creating the one of the world’s largest trash-hauling businesses. He was “a legend” in the garbage business, according to a eulogy delivered by his niece when he died in Allen in 2022. 

During the TCU theft investigation, an expert opined that the value of the items he’d donated to TCU as the Moorehead collection had been inflated in 1996, according to TCU police reports and related documents. 

TCU records show that Sue Bergh, then-associate curator at the Cleveland Museum of Art, wrote to TCU’s associate vice chancellor, Larry Adams, via email on March 29, 2001, saying that she believed he should seek another expert opinion and that the initial appraisal of nearly $400,000 for the Moorehead collection was likely high. “If my memory of the value of the ceramics serves, they were overvalued at the time of the gift,” she wrote. (Bergh, retired, could not be reached for further comment.) 

According to Guderjan, Moorehead had previously attempted to donate the collection to other institutions before approaching TCU. Guderjan said he suspects the collection was rejected by others because it lacked clear provenance and because, in his opinion,  the value was “highly inflated and incorrect.”

Kenneth Linsner,  an independent appraiser used to assess the value of the Moorehead collection during the time of the TCU donations, according to a TCU police report, declined to address questions Berge raised in her letter. In an email response to the Texas Observer, Linsner said he had “no recollection or comment” about the specifics. He emphasized that he follows The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice, which require the “keeping of records” for “a few scant years and not decades.” (Linsner also said via email that he worked “under contract” with the federal Internal Revenue Service [IRS] from 1983 to 2000.)

The IRS never publicly accused the Mooreheads of overreporting the value of their gifts to TCU, according to the university and court records reviewed for this story. Those donations were made in the names of Donald Moorehead and of his ex-wife Shelley Moorehead. Moorehead died in 2022; Shelley Moorehead did not respond to questions about the donation that were emailed to the Mooreheads’ eldest son.

 At the time of their donation to TCU, Donald and Shelley Moorehead lived in Houston’s River Oaks. But, according to TCU records, the objects were shipped from a warehouse in New York City owned by a company called Abbey Art Consultants, Inc. When the shipments arrived at TCU in 1996 and 1997, Nancy Wilson, director of gift planning, expressed concern in a memorandum that the artifacts were “not well packed” and that some objects were either missing or damaged. (Wilson died in 2019.)

In the 1990s, Abbey Art Consultants participated in helping individuals sell or donate antiquities, sometimes reaping tax benefits for their clients. In a deal brokered in 1996, Abbey Art sold lawyer and Mobil Oil employee Joseph B. Williams III a large collection of foreign antiquities. In a contract Williams signed in 1996, Abbey Art guaranteed that the “purchase price shall not exceed 24% of the cumulative appraised fair market value of the art,” court records show. Williams later donated the items to Drexel University in exchange for tax deductions, according to federal court records. Abbey selected the appraisers, recommended the donees, handled the paperwork, packaging, and shipping, and even “agreed to share the risk of inflated appraised values by promising a pro-rata refund of the discounted purchase price.”

The donor was a “legend” in the garbage business. 

In the 1997 deal, Abbey Art used three appraisers to evaluate different portions of the collection of articles Williams donated to Drexel University, according to court records. 

Kenneth Linsner, the appraiser hired to assess the Mooreheads’ donation, according to TCU records, was also one of the three used to appraise part of Williams’ 1997 donation to Drexel, according to court records. (He was not involved in appraising two other antiquities collections Williams later acquired from Abbey and donated, according to tax court records.) Linsner did not respond to specific questions related to his involvement with Abbey Art. In an email response, he said he “was not an employee of Abbey Art, nor a member of the firm, nor under contract to the firm nor anything but an independent appraiser.” 

Available records do not show whether the IRS ever questioned the Mooreheads or Abbey Art about the TCU donation.   Federal court records show that more than a decade after donating the Peruvian objects to TCU, the Mooreheads were audited by the IRS. But the audit makes no mention of the antiquities donation, according to a lawsuit the Mooreheads filed to challenge it.  

But Williams, Abbey Art’s other client, was audited by the IRS and his dealings with Abbey Art came under scrutiny. In 2007, the IRS issued Williams a notice of deficiency for the tax years 1993 through 2000 involving  unreported overseas income and charitable donations  of appreciated art,  according to civil and tax court documents. The IRS determined that Williams violated tax law by donating art at values far above his purchase price before officially owning it for the required holding period of one year. The agency did not challenge the valuations, but the U.S. Tax Court opined that both the “deeply discounted” prices Abbey’s offered its customers based on bulk purchases of art “in third-world countries” and the appraisals of the objects were “suspect.” 

The IRS limited Williams’ charitable deductions to the amounts he paid for the art and charged him penalties for excessive deductions, records show. In 2003, he pleaded guilty to tax evasion and conspiracy to defraud the IRS in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and was sentenced to 46 months, according to court records. He was released in 2006. (Williams’ attorney declined comment via email; Abbey Art Consultants is no longer in operation.)

In the 1990s, TCU was ill-prepared to properly care for and handle the Mooreheads’ large donation of objects. Left in boxes inside a locked but otherwise unsecured basement, the antiquities were vulnerable to damage and theft. 

Thefts from a museum or university collection create an embarrassing situation that can harm an institution’s reputation as a repository of antiquities. Records show that TCU police and administrators carefully curated the narrative released to the Daily Skiff after the theft of the Moorehead collection. On March 28, 2001, Tracy Syler-Doctson, the assistant director of communications, circulated an internal memo providing Guderjan and university librarian Robert Seal talking points to use “when dealing with the media.” Syler-Doctson advised them “not to go into specifics about the security system” but to assure reporters that the university was “reviewing security measures.” The memo mentioned that an inventory taken in February 2000 had verified that all items were secure and that “only authorized individuals had access to the secured archival area.”

But Ham, the TCU police investigator, discovered that over 400 individuals had access to the room that housed the objects, including student workers, faculty, maintenance staff, and instructional services personnel. Dozens of people had unauthorized access to the storage room for at least several months, possibly over a year.

The thief promised to provide “all sorts of juicy information concerning the utter lack of security at TCU.” 

The list included Word, the thief, who confessed to Ham that even as a low-level painting contractor he easily copied his key, giving himself long-term access. While incarcerated in the Tarrant County Jail, Word wrote to Ham claiming he planned to give the Fort Worth Star-Telegram “all sorts of juicy information concerning the utter lack of security at TCU.” But there’s no indication that Word gave any such interviews.

Since the 2001 heist, TCU officials say they have taken significant measures to improve security. Once authorities recovered the stolen items, the university placed Miguel Leatham, an anthropologist with an interest in folklore and religious movements, in charge of its care. Leatham ensured that the textiles in the collection received proper preservation in a more secure environment. Only two unnamed TCU officials hold keys to display cases containing pottery, and those cases are monitored by security cameras. 

Far from Fort Worth, world-renowned institutions such as the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris have also suffered at the hands of thieves. In 1982, a Mexican lawyer named José Luis Castañeda del Valle posed as a student researching a well-known Nahuatl divinatory manuscript known as the Aubin Tonalamatl in the library. Once granted access, del Valle slipped the codex into his jacket, extracted it from the library, and fled to Mexico. Though Interpol apprehended him, the culprit gained notoriety, claiming he only took the manuscript to return it to its proper home. Mexican and French authorities later negotiated a permanent loan for the record to remain in Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History.

Leaders of the art world in the Global North have long used the lack of security in the Global South as an argument against repatriating antiquities. But antiquities thefts persist in the Global North too. In the summer of 2023, the British Museum fired an employee for stealing jewels from a storeroom that lacked proper security. The thief, like Word, may have been stealing from the museum for an extended period without detection.

Some have argued that cooperation with museums in Latin America poses serious challenges, but any astute visitor to the Lives of the Gods: Divinity in Maya Art exhibit in Fort Worth’s Kimbell Museum of Art last year would have noted that 40 percent of the antiquities on display were loaned by Mexican and Guatemalan institutions. The thefts in Paris, London, and at TCU demonstrate that the Global North can claim no moral high ground regarding antiquities thefts: Objects are vulnerable abroad as they are in their countries of origin. 

TCU officials initially viewed the Moorehead donations as an opportunity to enhance the university’s prestige while building a collection that could encourage the study of Latin American cultures. An exhibit brochure from 1997 reveals the donation was met with excitement but little understanding of the material. A brochure described techniques for making Peruvian pottery without providing any cultural context for the artifacts or their use. Only after the theft, when the collection was placed under the care of the Sociology and Anthropology Department, did a clearer picture of the objects begin to emerge. 

An artist’s depiction of the handover of some of the stolen items

In the decades following the donation of the Moorehead collection, TCU anthropologists and other researchers have worked to identify the objects’ origin with greater precision. In some cases, they have confirmed the object’s specific culture of origin and narrowed the timeframe to ranges of two or three centuries. However, the objects’ provenance—the specific places of origin and discovery—remains lost to history.

 Modern archaeologists routinely record an object’s exact location in any specific excavation site, building, or even room. The lack of such information associated with the Moorehead collection adds another layer of mystery to a troubling history of collecting and displaying pre-Columbian antiquities in the Global North. 

Prior to the 20th century, the United States and other imperial powers in Western Europe such as Great Britain and France collected, studied, and displayed antiquities as trophies of their empires. Entrepreneurs and representatives of these nations’ institutions legally collected but also made illicit purchases and in many cases turned to theft. Many early collectors also did not prioritize recording details of their acquisitions, leaving many objects taken from Latin America during the 19th century without identifying information beyond the country of origin.

 More recently, David Hidalgo, co-founder of OjoPúblico, a Lima-based online magazine of investigative journalism, helped compile a searchable database documenting details of stolen cultural property from Peru and other countries in Latin America as part of a years-long project called Memoria Robada, “Stolen Memory.” The OjoPúblico investigation has helped expose various smuggling networks that take advantage of loopholes in international laws. 

The troubled history of collecting and displaying foreign antiquities in the Global North in general and the Moorehead collection in particular, has forced us, a collection of student authors and a professor at this same university, to reckon with our own difficult questions. Why do collections such as the Moorehead lack provenance information? Have thefts had any impact on how Texas universities and museums accept donations from collectors who have often prioritized wealth, secrecy, and the accumulation of goods over respect for Indigenous cultures? What can Texas institutions do to address the cultural damage done? 

In an interview, Yates, the expert on black market antiquities dealing, observed that in the current collecting climate, curators have a greater responsibility both to vet their collections and to shield their institutions from potential litigation. 

Some Texas universities, museums, and scholars have already opened lines of communication with Latin American governments—and even found ways to repatriate antiquities. In August, Homeland Security Investigations held a ceremony at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, during which several stolen pre-Columbian antiquities were returned to the Mexican government.

In an interview, Guderjan said that he and others at TCU opened dialogue in the years following the heist with a contact in the anthropological community in Peru about a possible repatriation of the Moorehead items, but the collection ultimately remained at TCU.

Two decades after the theft, the Moorehead collection remains a quiet reminder of the dark legacy of the global antiquities trade—and of the forced disconnect between Latin American communities and their cultural patrimony.

In response to questions, a university official stated the school continues to follow basically the same procedures for vetting or assessing the value of a major donation of art or antiquities, emphasizing that they rely on donors, who are generally required to use what IRS calls “qualified appraisers”  on gifts over $5,000 if they plan to seek a tax deduction. “Typically, the donor or an agent for the donor ([often] an appraiser) provides the valuation for gifts,” said TCU Assistant Vice Chancellor Adam Bartell Baggs in an email. “In terms of tax deductions, that’s really between the IRS and the donor and their [certified public accountant]. We do not get involved in those situations.”

The post The Heist appeared first on The Texas Observer.

10 Jun 17:15

Magnet Fishing

The ten-way tie was judged a ten-way tie, so no one won the grand prize, a rare fishing monopole.
10 Jun 17:14

Dogmatism and Skepticism

by Corey Mohler
PERSON: "Do you know who that is? "

PERSON: "Oh him? Yeah i know, it Arcesilaus, the great Academic Skeptic."

PERSON: "Oh, you know it is me, huh? Wrong! Impossible, you can't ever know that?"

PERSON: "Well, you just admitted it, so..."

PERSON: "Imagine if you knew a fact for certain, then you'd have to agree that any evidence against that certain fact would have to be disgarded as misleading, since it must be faulty since you know the fact is true."

PERSON: "I dont know, i guess..."

PERSON: "You see, this means that logically, no amount of evidence can overturn knowledge once it is known, even if the evidence outweighs the original evidence that made you know it, because you are logically required to discard each piece of new evidience."

PERSON: "Which is why it must be impossible to actually know anything."

PERSON: "What? Are you kidding, i'm even more certain that it was Arcesilaus now, only he is that pedantic."

PERSON: "Wow, i guess he was right, there was no way you knew it was Arcesilaus."

PERSON: "Yeah actually, you are right, it was definitely him."
10 Jun 15:00

Fairly typical June weather with a few storms, but a tropical disturbance may bring heavy rainfall early next week

by Eric Berger

In brief: The early part of this week will see some storm chances, especially Tuesday. After that we’ll be mostly sunny and increasingly hot through the weekend. Some slightly lower humidity is also in the cards, a real blessing in June. Finally, we’re following the possibility of heavy rain next week as a tropical disturbance develops in the Gulf.

Houston will see fairly normal weather this week for June, which is to say plenty of heat and some humidity, and scattered shower and thunderstorm chances. While that is far from pleasant, I consider this type of weather a win. Why? Because the summer months bring the biggest threats along the upper Texas coast. At this time of year, Houston could be facing significant flooding or a debilitating drought. Temperatures could be in the upper 90s or even triple digits. A hurricane could be forming in the Gulf of Mexico.

In short, boring and not blazing hot during the months of June, July, and August are just fine with me in H-town. However, if this is all too boring for you, be sure and check the outlook for next week at the end of this morning’s update.


We’ll start the week off with the potential for a few storms. I don’t expect anything crazy, but with fairly high levels of atmospheric moisture and a series of disturbances moving through we’ll see some rain chances through Wednesday. For today that means the development of some showers and thunderstorms during the afternoon and evening hours. I think these will be fairly scattered, so some areas may pick up a half an inch of rain, whereas much of Houston probably won’t see any meaningful accumulations. Skies will be partly to mostly sunny today, with high temperatures in the low 90s. Winds will be light, from the northeast at 5 mph. Rain chances slacken tonight as lows drop into the upper 70s.

Severe weather outlook for Tuesday and Tuesday night. (NOAA)


This day probably has the best storm potential of the week. It appears as though a complex of storms will develop in central Texas on Tuesday, and push toward Houston during the afternoon and evening hours. It’s not clear how well this line of storms will hold up as it approaches our area, but there’s a decent chance of some storms on Tuesday afternoon and evening for the western half of Houston, and lesser so for the eastern side. Otherwise, expect partly to mostly sunny skies on Tuesday with highs again in the lower 90s for most locations.


Another day with a slight chance of storms, but otherwise mostly sunny skies and highs in the low-90s. With a continued northwesterly flow we should see the influx of some moderately drier air during the second half of the week, which will push dewpoints down into the 60s. This is not dry air by any means, but the days should feel a little less humid than Houston typically feels during the summer. Mornings and evenings will be a bit nicer as well. This slightly drier pattern should hold through about Friday, or so.

Thursday and Friday

Storm chances should go away for the second half of the work week as high pressure builds over the southern United States. Both Thursday and Friday should see sunny skies with highs in the low- to mid-90s and some of that slightly drier air. Overnight lows will drop into the low- to mid-70s. So again, not at all bad for June.

We’ll see some slightly cooler days in the middle of this week before heat builds back over the region. (Weather Bell)

Saturday and Sunday

The first half of the weekend looks sunny and hot, with high temperatures generally in the mid-90s although a few locations may reach the upper 90s. Sunday looks sunny and hot as well, although there’s the potential for some showers as moisture moves in from the Gulf of Mexico.

Next week

At some point later this week or over the weekend we are likely to see a tropical disturbance develop in the southern Gulf of Mexico. At this time I don’t think there’s much risk for a hurricane to form or anything menacing like that. However, this tropical system could be a heavy rainfall threat for the Texas coast beginning late this weekend and next week as it conveys moisture from the Gulf inland.

We are still at the point in the forecast where there is a ton of uncertainty. For our region, whether we see a little rain next week, or potentially a lot (i.e. 5 or more inches), will depend on the strength of high pressure over the southeastern United States. This will moderate how far north any tropical disturbance can move in the Gulf. (Further north and closer to Houston would increase the potential for heavy rain here). In any case, this is something we’ll be watching over the coming days.

10 Jun 14:59

Study Finds Pile Still World’s Most Popular Stack

NEW YORK—Following a five-year, multimillion dollar effort that surveyed citizens across the globe, a Columbia University study published Monday found that the pile remains the world’s most popular stack. “Our findings suggest that due to its versatility, style, and ease of use, piles are still the preferred…


10 Jun 14:27

Frank Billingsley talks to Anthony Yanez about his KPRC 30-year career

by (mikemcguff)
It's hard to imagine that Frank Billingsley will no longer be the KPRC 2 Houston chief meteorologist at the end of June, but that day is coming.Morning meteorologist Anthony YanezAnthony Yanez recently talked to Billingsley about his television weather career.In the interview, Billingsley touches on such meteorological topics as:- One of the most memorable hurricanes that Billingsley covered was
10 Jun 13:10

God Laments Losing Only Son To Video Game Addiction

THE HEAVENS—Describing the experience as among the most painful a father can go through, the Lord God Almighty opened up to reporters Monday about the struggle of losing His only son to video game addiction. “What really gets to Me is seeing this wonderful, bright, loving child lose His divine spark and spiral deeper…


10 Jun 13:10

Landlord Prides Himself On Doing All Own Code Violations

CHICAGO—Saying he had long ago developed the skills necessary to keep his rental properties one inspection away from being condemned, local landlord Bogdan Popescu told reporters Monday he prided himself on doing all his own code violations. “Why should I pay to hire a plumber or an electrician when I can install a…


10 Jun 13:10

Gaming on Fedora: 2024

by Kevin Degeling

Gaming is going strong. This beautiful hobby is growing constantly and new games are being released all the time. Technology is also advancing, making games more demanding while also offering more integrated and connected experiences. This in turn creates a social space were people can collaborate, compete and relax. And best of all, Fedora Linux will empower you to do so. Keep reading to find out how you can play the latest video games on Fedora Linux, in 2024.

Previously on…

Before we kick off, you should check out our previous article from 2021. This article contains many useful tips, and most of its information is still relevant today. That said, three years in the Linux community is a long time, and many things have changed.


This guide will help you play the latest video games. But a notice is in order. Most commercial games are proprietary and they often require commercial online services. While using any of these services and games, you can be subjected to all kinds of bad software practices: You may be subject to aggressive monetization, privacy-disrespecting anti-tamper tools, and user analytics. This guide will focus on the prerequisites of non‑FLOSS gaming using Fedora Linux. The choice is yours.


To start, it would be worth emphasizing that there are more community tools that allow you to game on Linux. While we previously focused on Steam, let’s talk about a few other applications.

Minigalaxy has been a staple in Linux gaming. They provide native Linux packages for a large series of games since 2014. They’ve also focused on selling games without DRM. Sadly, while they have made steps in supporting Fedora Linux and other distributions, their official desktop application is not available on Linux.

Minigalaxy is the answer. This community made tool allows you to download games from, update them automatically, and more. Minigalaxy is available as a traditional package or as a Flatpak.

$ sudo dnf install minigalaxy

$ flatpak install flathub io.github.sharkwouter.Minigalaxy


Perhaps you’re old enough to own certain games on physical media. You could buy them again on Steam or GOG, but that would be a wasteful. Lutris might support a disk-installation, but you’ll not always be that lucky. If all previous options fail, you’ll have to get your hands dirty with Wine.

Luckily, there is Bottles. This modern application allows you to configure Wine or Proton without too much hassle. You can create a ‘bottle’ per application, tweaking the configuration depending on what you need. While it’s the most involved of all possible scenarios, it does give you another option in case you really want to run a specific piece of old software.

Finally, Bottles also has build-in scripts to install, Epic Game Store and others. It even supports Steam, if you want your computer to mimic a matryoshka doll. Either way, Bottles is the best way of managing Wine nowadays. The recommended way of installing Bottles is with Flatpak, although a traditional package is also available.

$ flatpak install flathub com.usebottles.bottles

$ sudo dnf install bottles


Besides all the possible launchers, there are also some major changes in the software that we mentioned three years ago. Discord and Open Broadcast Software (OBS) now officially support Flathub! This is a major achievement for Flathub and it makes it the recommended way to use these applications.

Proton versions

Proton, as a tool, has also come a long way. Valve bundles official versions of Proton with Steam, but you can also download custom versions of Proton. The most popular community maintained version of Proton is Proton Glorious Eggroll, or Proton GE for short. This version contains more bleeding edge patches and additions that Valve can’t offer on the Steam Deck.

For easy management of Proton versions, ProtonUp-Qt is recommended. This simple UI application allows you to easily download the latest version of Proton GE, as well as other versions that various volunteers provide online.

$ flatpak install flathub net.davidotek.pupgui2


Another tool that can really help you out is Gamescope. This tool was also developed by Valve and it allows you to upscale games in a variety of different ways. It also integrates well with Wayland, addressing some ‘auto-scaling’ problems that you can experience when migrating away from the X-window manager.

In combination with Steam, you can render a game at 1080p and output it at 1440p. This could help you if your hardware would otherwise not be able to run a certain title.

$ gamescope -f -h 1080 -H 1440 -- %command%

You can also use Gamescope with older titles, rendering at 320p and outputting the game at 1440p, with advanced up-scaling.

$ gamescope -F fsr -f -h 320 -H 1440 -- /usr/bin/application

Gamescope can fill a niche for those who sometimes have trouble running older titles, or it can give you more legroom on less powerful hardware. Either way, it’s a powerful tool when gaming on Fedora Linux. Note that you can install the Flathub and traditional package side-by-side.

$ sudo dnf install gamescope

$ flatpak install flathub org.freedesktop.Platform.VulkanLayer.gamescope


Not everything is perfect though, and while gaming on Fedora Linux is great, you should remain realistic.


Driver support for gaming hardware is mostly the same from a consumer’s point of view. Technically, Nvidia has made a big step in open-sourcing their proprietary drivers. But sadly, this is a large project and consumers will not see any benefits from it for some time. As such, Nvidia users should still follow the setup guide from the original article. Other hardware, like those from AMD and Intel work almost perfectly.


In a twisted sense of irony, what the Linux community might gain in the future with Nvidia’s support we might lose in terms of game support. Many developers use anti-tamper and anti-cheat tools that run afoul with Linux. While some developers do invest some effort in supporting Linux, this is still a drawback. Volunteers maintain a list online, Are We Anti-Cheat Yet?, listing all incompatible games. You should check this website before you spend money on a game or its content.

Pie chart with the following values: 159 Games supported. 46 Games running, but not officially supported. 3 Games unsupported, but support is planned. 133 Games unsupported without comment from the developer. 28 Games explicitly denied support by the developer.
A breakdown of all anti-cheat equipped games, and their support for Linux in general.

But, the challenge does not stop there. A new wave of anti-cheat technology focuses on kernel-level access. This is the story of Nvidia’s closed source drivers all over again, but worse. Even when we ignore the ethical discussion about closed source drivers for a moment, it’s unlikely that these game developers and their publishers will ever release the tools to make a custom proprietary anti-cheat driver possible.


Just like last time, this is a lot to take in. There are still more tools and applications that couldn’t be featured. Emulation is a topic for another day, and streaming services like GeForce NOW are also making gaming easier on Fedora Linux.

It’s impressive what three years can do in terms of gaming on Fedora Linux. Proton has matured and with the corporate backing of Valve, many things have improved throughout the entire gaming ecosystem. The Steam Deck is also not to be underestimated. It makes gaming on Linux frictionless and most of its innovations end up in Fedora Linux and other distributions.

Should you switch to Fedora Linux for your gaming needs? Just like last time, it depends. Anti-cheat for competitive games is becoming a bigger problem and there will always be companies that consider the market-share of Linux too small, to warrant serious attention. Your expectations and/or willingness to compromise remain the determining factor. That said, existing Fedora Linux users will have plenty of games to play.

Steam, displaying the library page of Apex Legends.

Author’s comment. In the past three years, I’ve never been bored playing video games on Fedora Linux. I already own more games then I have free time. Also, there is the Steam Deck. While it is in no way affiliated with Fedora Linux or its partners… it’s certainly the device I use most for gaming nowadays. With that device in hand, I have good confidence in the future of gaming on Linux.

Got any video game recommendations? Feel free to place them in the comments below.

10 Jun 13:08

Is T-Mobile Still The Underdog After The Plan Price Increases?; + more notable news -

10 Jun 13:06

To fight poverty, some Texas cities gave aid with no strings attached. Conservatives are pushing back.

by By Annie Xia
Guaranteed income programs let participants use funds however they see fit. Critics argue they're not a good use of taxpayer dollars.
10 Jun 12:52

More cities are banning right turns on red in response to rising pedestrian deaths

by Ally Schweitzer

Turning right at a red light has been common since the fuel embargo of the 1970s, but some city officials say they don't make sense in urban areas.

10 Jun 12:51

Houston’s oldest Black settlement celebrates opening of new visitors center

by Pili Saravia
The Visitor Center aims to attract more people to Freedmen’s Town, bringing more tourists to local businesses and supporting community members. 
10 Jun 12:50

we have to cook food to feed our well-paid managers, employee sends stream-of-consciousness Slack messages, and more

by Ask a Manager

This post was written by Alison Green and published on Ask a Manager.

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…

1. We have to cook food to feed our very well-paid managers

I work for a branch of government. The leadership team of another branch is having a meeting with the leadership team of our branch. The STAFF has been asked by our independently wealthy leadership team to sign up for a potluck to feed the visiting independently wealthy leadership team. Some of the staff bring home approximately a fifth — if that — of what our leadership team makes. Any one of our leadership team could whip out a credit card and feed the visitors without thinking about it; they all had highly lucrative careers before joining the government. Staff have not been invited to partake and mingle with the visitors. Apparently, we’re supposed to supply the food and disappear. Also, the meal starts at a time that most of us are not even at work! The signup sheet is out in the open, so anyone can see who is signing up and who isn’t. For those who aren’t signing up, I have to wonder how this will affect the funding of our departments. This is just wrong isn’t it?

Yes, this is ridiculous, and frankly pretty gross. Can you speak up as a group and say your budgets are tight, many of you can’t comfortably afford the request, and so it’s not something the group can do and you’re letting them know now so they can make other arrangements?

Alternately, you could just all not sign up; it’s unlikely that not bringing food to a potluck will affect a government department’s funding.

2. My employee sends stream-of-consciousness Slack messages to me during meetings

My job uses Slack to informally communicate and message one another throughout the day. An employee I manage has a habit of spamming my Slack channel during meetings with stream of consciousness type thoughts, reactions, and emojis, like “haha” or “yesssssssssss” or laughing emojis or “ditto.” Sometimes she asks questions, too. These meetings are taking place virtually, and we are both on camera, and I cannot both be attentive to her messages and focus on the meeting. Because Slack notifications pop up on my screen when I receive them, I find these messages very distracting. So far, when she starts to do this I usually just close Slack so I don’t see her messages, and I ignore them until the meeting is over. Afterwards, to address any questions she had about the call, we meet and discuss. I should also note that before we used Slack a lot, she would do the same thing but would text me instead, and I ignored those too until the meeting was over.

I am not sure how to handle this. I was hoping she would get the message when I consistently ignored her until the meeting was over, but that doesn’t seem to work. She is also extremely sensitive, and part of me feels like she benefits in some way from having an outlet for these stream of consciousness type thoughts during the meetings, and she doesn’t expect me to respond to them and has never seemed offended when I ignore her. So that brings me to you, should I say something or just keep ignoring? Other than this, she is a good employee and I’m not concerned about her performance.

How bothered are you? If you’re fine with just closing Slack during meetings and ignoring the messages until afterwards, it’s fine to keep doing that. You don’t need to tell her it’s annoying if you have a solution that works with minimal drama. But it’s also perfectly okay to say, “Would you mind not sending Slack messages while we’re in meetings unless it’s something I absolutely need to see? Otherwise it’s tough to focus during the call.” Even if she benefits from having an outlet for her stream of consciousness, that doesn’t mean her outlet should be her manager (or anyone who’s annoyed or distracted by it).

It sounds like she’s been doing this for a while, so she probably assumes it’s fine with you. It’s okay to let her know it’s distracting you.

I realize you’re asking which of these options you should pick but, truly, either is reasonable; it just depends on how much you care. (Although it’s also potentially useful to her to have you point it out so she doesn’t do it to someone who will be less patient in the future. Plus, if you were doing something that was irritating your boss, you’d probably rather be told so you didn’t keep doing it!)

3. How do we balance flexibility with making sure the work is getting done?

I work at a university where undergraduates do big capstone projects in their final year. Each faculty member supervises 12-14 student projects every year. Faculty are allocated a certain number of work hours per student to do this in the course of an academic year – for meeting the student, reading their proposal, checking their materials, etc. Every project is unique; some students need more of their supervisor’s time and others are more independent.

Some faculty are known shirkers who spend as little time as possible with their supervised students. They might respond to emails only after a long delay or give too little or perfunctory feedback on project design. Most supervisors are much more involved.

The department is looking at our procedures around the project. Some colleagues want to implement a new set of minimum standards about how supervisors have to interact with students (e.g., offering a one-to-one meeting every X weeks). To those of us who are diligent and put in the time to help our students succeed, it seems misguided that we’d create a straitjacket of rules to address misbehavior from ~5% of faculty. Bad supervisors will just engage in malicious compliance with any new guidelines (though perhaps this is better than the minimal engagement they currently do?). And the rest of us would feel obligated to tick all the boxes while our souls slowly withered. This might not result in a better experience for students, since good supervisors are already meeting their needs anyway.

Is there a way to balance the need to give faculty appropriate flexibility with the need to ensure students get a fair supervision experience? Ideally we would recognize that students are unique and have different needs, allow good supervisors the flexibility to do what we do best, and help managers identify shirkers. (Shirking could then theoretically be dealt with by line managers.) There are already minimum guidelines around the project: that students receive X amount of one-to-one time with their supervisors per semester and that student emails are responded to within X days. But these don’t add up to equal supervisory experiences for students. Do we need additional guidelines?

I should add that measuring supervisor performance by student outcomes (grades) wouldn’t be a viable option because there is variability in supervisor assignment, natural variation from year to year, etc.

Whether or not this is feasible in an academic environment is its own question, but speaking from a non-academic perspective: ideally you’d solve this with more attentive management. Managers should be paying enough attention to know who the shirkers are so they can then address it with them forthrightly.

In a non-academic environment, I’d say that the fact that that’s not happening indicates there’s a management problem, and that your managers need to be more actively engaged. With faculty members, the model is different — but since you’re referencing line managers who theoretically could identify and address the shirkers, I’m going to assume that an option here too. If it is, take it — that’s a better solution than saddling everyone with rules that don’t actually serve most people well. And to facilitate that, you could consider a system for getting feedback from students mid-year about whether they’re getting what they need from their project supervisors or not, so there would be time for managers to intervene if needed.

4. Hiring manager wants to cut out the recruiter

I have been looking for a new challenge for a while and a week ago found out about a role through a recruiter. It sounded like a good fit so I decided to apply. While speaking with the recruiter, it emerged that the role is with the company that acquired my previous employer, and the hiring manager is my old boss, who is hiring his replacement. I left that job several years ago on very good terms and it’s not clear why he didn’t reach out to me about this role before engaging the recruiting firm.

After our discussion, the recruiter sent my resume to HR. My old boss then messaged me to suggest a catch-up. During the conversation, he made it clear that they want to move forward but are looking to cut out the recruiter and say we were already in ongoing discussions.That is obviously untrue. The recruiter is now asking if they have contacted me directly as she has not heard back. How do you suggest I handle this? Is there a standard practice for this kind of situation? I don’t want to jeopardize my relationship with either party.

This is weird, because typically recruiters’ contacts with employers specify that recruiters don’t “own” the candidacies of people who are already in the employer’s own pool of contacts — and while there’s often a time limit on that (like people who applied the company on their own in the last six months), I’d expect “this person used to work directly for me” to qualify.

In any case, I’d say this to your former boss: “I’m happy to talk directly with you from this point forward and I agree it makes sense since we already know each other, but I don’t want to misrepresent anything to the recruiter. Could you talk to them and work out how to handle it?” Hold firm on that; you shouldn’t lie to the recruiter and it’s crappy if your old boss is asking you to.

5. I used the wrong company’s name in my cover letter

I recently submitted two different job applications to two different companies. After submitting, I was editing the cover letter I submitted to suit a third, separate job, and realized a mistake — I accidentally left the name of an earlier company I applied for in one of my sentences (second paragraph). There are no options to withdraw my application. What do I do now? Am I screwed?

Obvious moral of the story is proofread three times over, but hoping for advice on damage control.

Well … some people will consider it a deal-breaker, others will consider it a strike against you but not a fatal one if you’re otherwise strong, some people won’t care much at all, and some people don’t pay much attention to cover letters and thus won’t even notice it. There’s not really anything you can do about it now, though; you’ve just got to let it play out. (I don’t recommend contacting them to correct the error; that’ll just call more attention to it and make it a bigger deal than it should be.)

10 Jun 12:43

Squatter Ready

Looks abandoned enough. Grab a sleeping bag and move right in.


10 Jun 12:37

Comic for 2024.06.10 - Pirate Execution

New Cyanide and Happiness Comic
10 Jun 12:36

Awkward Zombie - The Master of One's Own Wait


New comic!

Today's News:

The true reason there are so many random loose items all over the Somniel floor is because Emblem Marth got bored and started knocking things out of people's hands for fun.

10 Jun 02:09

Mayor apologizes to Calgarians for 'slow' and 'confusing' communications about water main break

A female politician stands at a podium during a press conference.

Mayor Jyoti Gondek apologized to Calgary residents Sunday morning, calling the city’s efforts to communicate information about the ongoing feeder water main break “slow to come,” and “confusing at times.”

09 Jun 15:15

Pat Sajak leaves Wheel of Fortune with these final words

Pat Sajak, 77, has been asking if contestants "would like to buy a vowel" on the game show since 1981.
09 Jun 15:08

Learn Something Old Every Day, Part XII: Strange File Resizing on DOS

by Michal Necasek

Someone recently asked an interesting question: Why do Microsoft C and compatible DOS compilers have no truncate() and/or ftruncate() library functions? And how does one resize files on DOS?

OK, that’s actually two questions. The first one is easy enough to answer: Because XENIX had no truncate() or ftruncate() either. Instead, XENIX had a chsize() function which, sure enough, can be found in the Microsoft C libraries at least as far back as MS C 3.0 (early 1985).

The second question is rather more interesting. The way files are resized on DOS is moving the file pointer to the desired size by calling the LSEEK function (INT 21h/42h), and then calling the WRITE function (INT 21h/40h) with zero length (CX=0).

Now, this mechanism is rather curious, because the handle-based file API in DOS 2.0 was modeled on XENIX, yet on UNIX systems, the write() function asked to transfer zero bytes simply does nothing. If the mechanism didn’t come from XENIX, where did it come from?

I thought I’d check the DOS 2.x source code. But the $Write function in XENIX2.ASM has absolutely no special handling of zero-size writes. It just performs common setup code and hands off the real work to $FCB_RANDOM_WRITE_BLOCK.

Was this behavior some kind of oversight? No, certainly not. The MS-DOS 2.0 Programmer’s Reference Manual is quite clear that writing zero bytes either truncates or extends a file.

But the source code points in the right direction. $FCB_RANDOM_WRITE_BLOCK is in fact INT 21h/28h. And that function is documented to change the file size when called with CX=0.

Is this some kind of CP/M heritage? No, it’s not. CP/M 2.2 had no mechanism for resizing files, and CP/M 3 had a separate BDOS function to change file size, nothing like the DOS mechanism.

In fact this method of resizing files is unambiguously documented in the 86-DOS 0.3 Programmer’s Manual, published in 1980. It is also documented in the preliminary 86-DOS manual of unclear vintage; in that version, the functionality is only document to truncate files, not extend them. In the 86-DOS 0.3 manual, the documentation clearly states that both truncating and extending files can be achieved using this method.

It is thus clear that the DOS method of resizing files through zero-length writes originated in 86-DOS in 1980, and it is more or less guaranteed to be Tim Paterson’s invention. The 86-DOS method was adopted for handle-based I/O in DOS 2.0 by default, because the handle-based I/O was layered on top of FCB I/O.

Now let’s briefly loop back to chsize(). Implementing a XENIX compatible chsize() function on DOS is not entirely straightforward. For one thing, chsize() is not expected to move the file pointer, which means the current position needs to be saved and restored. Another problem is that when DOS extends a file size, it just allocates whatever clusters happen to be available. But on XENIX, chsize() fills files with zeros when extending; therefore the DOS run-time library implementation must explicitly write the requisite number of zero bytes when extending files. When extending files, chsize() implicitly changes the file size by writing to it rather than explicitly asking DOS to increase the file size.

09 Jun 14:15

Romance Writers of America files for bankruptcy

by Andrew Limbong

The Romance Writers of America has filed for bankruptcy, saying it can't pay for conference spaces it booked up ahead of Covid and before several years of infighting and allegations of racism. What does this mean for romance writers and the growing fans of the genre?

09 Jun 14:09


09 Jun 05:02

Calgarians defy calls to limit water usage by constructing 30km Slip ‘N Slide

by Ian MacIntyre

CALGARY – In the wake of a catastrophic water main break that has led city officials to urge the public to limit water use, Calgarians have banded together to defy the request by constructing a city-spanning 24-hour water-consuming Slip ‘N Slide. “How dare anybody try to infringe on my freedoms!” shouted Jeff Stapletton, 45, as […]

The post Calgarians defy calls to limit water usage by constructing 30km Slip ‘N Slide appeared first on The Beaverton.

09 Jun 05:02

Jeopardy brings back worst performing contestants for “Tournament of Dolts”

by TJ Dawe

CULVER CITY, CA — Producers of the popular game show Jeopardy! announced that this year they’ll air their inaugural “Tournament of Dolts.” “Our Tournament of Champions is always a ratings bonanza,” said producer Michael Davies. “After all, who doesn’t like to marvel at the best and brightest egging each other on to supreme feats of […]

The post Jeopardy brings back worst performing contestants for “Tournament of Dolts” appeared first on The Beaverton.

09 Jun 03:25

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Remember

by Zach Weinersmith

Click here to go see the bonus panel!

I was in a train station a few years ago and all the women were dressed like it was the eighties. Went back to my farm and emerged a year later to see all the men had developed mustaches as a kind of reflexive mating response.

Today's News:
08 Jun 13:27

HISD mistakenly tells some students they had to repeat a grade: The Good, Bad, and Ugly of the week

by Michael Hagerty
The Houston Matters panel of non-experts weighs in on stories from the week’s news and decides if they’re good, bad, or ugly.
08 Jun 13:22

Unsolved Chemistry Problems

I'm an H⁺ denier, in that I refuse to consider loose protons to be real hydrogen, so I personally believe it stands for 'pretend'.