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Birthday Cake

As you can guess from the above gif, today is someone’s birthday. It’s my birthday. Happy birthday to me! Now that I got that out of the way, here are some links for you to check out.

Recent research says that becoming bilingual can give your brain a boost.

Celebrity politicians are a sign of our political decline.

Facebook shuts down AI after it invents its own creepy language.

How to spot a paid troll and what to do when you find one.

British road barriers, modeled on children, stare into you.

Four ways Martin Luther King was more radical than you thought.

Without Haiti, the United States would, in fact, be a shithole.

America is changing. Bigoted slurs, immigration bans, and racist rallies can’t change that.

A woman discovered that her grandmother once worked as a prostitute.

John Bisbee turns common steel nails into beautiful sculptures.

Science says that unicorns really existed.

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LEGO has just released a gorgeous new line of building sets just for adults.

How Trump’s racist campaigning serves “rule by the rich.”

Meet the retail worker of the future: Cool, charismatic, and better paid.

The last Washington Post article written by Jamal Kashoggi before he was murdered inside of the Saudi Embassy in Turkey.

Beautiful old photos of life in the real Wild West.

Jamal Kashoggi was a journalist who was murdered inside of the Saudi Embassy in Turkey. Here’s a look at Kashoggi’s writing that haven’t been mentioned much in the Western media.

Neighbors keep using man’s narrow alley so he builds a tiny blue house as revenge.

Here’s why Trump isn’t budging on Saudi Arabia despite Jamal Kashoggi’s murder.

26 way too overlooked 90’s kids movies that everyone should watch at least once.

Debunking myths about estrangement from family.

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People are sharing hilariously bad stock photos of their jobs.

Meet the economist behind the one percent’s stealth takeover of America.

Portugal confronts its slave trade past.

Pet parrot creates bizarre shopping list on owner’s device.

Use your white privilege to fight racism.

The cult of violence always kills the Left.

These photos show the evolution of the laptop computer.

The Woke Parenting Guide to 24 children’s books about protest.

A look at how leisure time is changing for North Korea’s privileged.

Living Colour’s “Vivid” at 30: The band reflects on the rough road to their game-changing classic debut album.

Revealed: Secret right-wing strategy to discredit teacher strikes.

How the loss of U.S. psychiatric hospitals led to a mental health crisis.

The future of apprenticeships.

A look at the borders of the Confederate States of American superimposed on a map of human development in the United States.

How Phoenix will be almost unlivable by 2050 thanks to climate change.

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Creators are making longer videos to cater to the YouTube algorithm.

Monica Lewinsky has a reckoning with her relationship with Bill Clinton. We should too.

In a surreal twist, Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano starts raining shiny green gems.

Why it’s fair to compare the detention of migrants to concentration camps.

A look at the 29 most hilarious pizza box drawings.

Why the U.S. will descend further into violence and chaos.

Nicaraguans have lost their fear of dictatorship and it’s an amazing thing to watch.

A gruesome discovery in a trash deposit proves that Jamestown colonists resorted to cannibalism.

What if Trump had been a Russian asset since 1987?

Jesus stood up to the Roman Empire and he would resist the U.S. empire today.

Man decorates the roof of his house with a life-sized Millennium Falcon.

Unlike most millennials, Norway’s are rich.

How the Trump presidency is resurrecting the Jim Crow era.

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Baroque-inspired portraits of black girls highlight their amazing natural hair so other girls would stop hiding it.

Millennials born in the 1980s may never recover from the Great Recession.

Retro ads reveal sky-high prices of now archaic technology.

White people should be more afraid of other whites than they are of people of color.

Couple have been using same 1950s appliances for more than a half a century—but they’re finally ditching them.

The Goler clan spent years in their isolated, inbred town until the cops showed up.

Why the coming collapse will happen in the United States.

Tech investors are increasingly investing in midwest tech companies instead of Silicon Valley.

Why does Donald Trump normalize corruption? Because Bill and Hillary Clinton normalized it.

MIT economist warns that the U.S. has regressed to a developing nation status.

Disney and Pixar offer free online animation and film classes.

How Sears CEO Eddie Lampert may come out ahead even if his retailer goes out of business.

22 things you won’t believe are in the Bible.

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This 6-year-old made $11 million in a year reviewing toys on YouTube.

How watermelon became a racist trope.

Spanish has never been a foreign language in the United States.

Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky’s message to young people: Learn to be alone and enjoy solitude.

Dick’s soaring sales prove that it can succeed without selling assault rifles.

Seven things black people want their well-meaning white friends to know.

Girl Scouts launch an initiative to raise $70 million to put 2.5 million girls through a STEM program by 2025.

This woman shared the harsh reality of why poorer families buy junk food.

The Hells Angels: The story behind the controversial and misunderstood motorcycle club.

This simple tip will keep ticks off of you all summer long.

The fraudulence of pro-life Christian bullies.

The 30 rudest cities in America where manners are basically a foreign concept.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame finally recognizes Sister Rosetta Tharpe, a woman who practically invented rock and roll.

The literary roots of the Incel movement.

There was a time when the U.S. nuked Mississippi.

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Goodbye nursing homes! The new trend is co-housing with friends.

An explanation on why poverty is rising faster in U.S. suburbs than in cities.

This 75-year Harvard study shows how to have lifetime joy.

Bill Clinton and Donald Trump: The sultans of self-pity.

Flooding and rising seas threaten America’s oldest farmland.

High-paying trade jobs sit empty while high school grads line up for university.

UN expert says that America’s poor are becoming more destitute under Trump.

One artist fights an uphill copyright infringement battle against Old Navy.

The most powerful conservative couple you’ve never heard of.

Why rich kids are so good at the marshmallow test.

A denim brand is selling “extreme cut out” jeans for $168 and people are seriously confused.

Everyone is missing a key reason why the U.S. birth rate is declining.

Meet the last surviving witness to the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921.

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20+ before and after pictures showing how the world has changed over time.

There’s no scientific basis for race—It’s a made-up label.

How American racism influenced Hitler.

This artist was offered a full-time job after someone on the Internet properly credited their work.

A few reporters for USA Today read every one of the 3,517 Facebook ads from 2016 that were connected to Russia. They found that vast majority of the ads focused on inflaming racial tensions.

A profile of Diamond and Silk, two African American sisters and political entrepreneurs who are also avid Trump supporters.

Elsie de Wolfe was the American Marie Antoinette of pre-war Paris.

Unpaid internships favor the wealthy.

Mad magazine’s clout may have faded but its ethos matters more than ever before.

Hear the actual voices of enslaved black people recorded from the 1800s.

Black activist jailed for his Facebook posts speaks out about secret FBI surveillance.

Do we really need to understand Trump supporters?

Stephen Shore on why young photographers need to start with film.

In Europe they actually fine and jail misbehaving CEOs. Why can’t we?

Taking children from their parents is a form of state terror.

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Ramadan

A look at the digital ruins of a forgotten future called Second Life.

U.S. mints coins for Donald Trump-Kim Jong Un summit that might not happen.

Fewer tourists are coming to the U.S. and experts say that it’s largely Trump’s fault.

Barbie “Shero” doll with a hijab honors Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad.

Martin Luther King may have been killed by a Memphis police officer, not James Earl Ray.

How white Americans used lynchings to terrorize and control black people.

Laminated jewelry crafted from vintage books by Jeremy May.

A look at the guerrilla grafting movement—secretly grafting fruit-bearing trees onto ornamental city trees in order to feed the poor.

A Princeton sociologist spent 8 years asking rural Americans why they are so pissed off. Hint: It’s not about the economy.

The surprising secret to aging well.

New York City has genetically distinct “uptown” and “downtown” rats.

Why the DNC is fighting WikiLeaks and not Wall Street.

How Australia all but ended gun violence.

83,500 vintage sewing patterns put into online database from Vogue, McCall’s, Butterick, and Simplicity.

Stunning images of pagan costumes worn at winter celebrations around the world.

Watch the illustrated version of “Alice’s Restaurant,” Arlo Guthrie’s Thanksgiving Counterculture Classic.

The bots that are changing politics.

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Ramadan

As someone who used to admire Roseanne Barr and was a faithful viewer of her 1990s sitcom, I am not getting much pleasure from her sudden downfall today. For those of you who haven’t been checking out the news, here’s the basic gist. Roseanne Barr used to champion the working class and the downtrodden (especially the LGBTQ community) on her old TV show and in her comedy routines. At one point she unsuccessfully attempted to get the Green Party nomination for president.

Ever since Donald Trump decided to run for public office then was elected to the presidency, Roseanne began to declare herself a Trump supporter and, before you know it, she began to champion every single alt-right conspiracy theory that was out there (especially the notorious and now-discredited Pizzagate) on Twitter. She would frequently retweet people like Alex Jones, who spewed crazy conspiracy theories.

This year ABC decided to revive her sitcom, Roseanne, which would feature all of the original cast members of that 1990s sitcom. The show would feature Roseanne’s character being a Trump supporter, just like Barr is in real life. There were plenty of people who were less-than-thrilled by this and the show got mixed reviews ranging from mediocre to awful. But the show was a big hit despite the reviews. (For the record, I didn’t watch her new series mainly because I had become so alienated by her blind loyalty to Donald Trump and her championing crazy alt-right conspiracy theories that I couldn’t even gather enough enthusiasm to watch her new show.)

Meanwhile Roseanne Barr kept up with her offstage antics, such as accusing teenage Parkland school shooting survivor David Hogg of being a Nazi on Twitter.

But today the shit really hit the fan. Roseanne made a tweet saying that one of President Obama’s former aides, Valerie Jarrett, was the child of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Planet of the Apes film. The fact that Jarrett was born in Iran to African American parents only made it worse. Roseanne deleted the tweet and issued an apology by saying that it was a bad joke but the damage was done. Roseanne’s revived show was cancelled by ABC. The reruns of her original 1990s sitcom were pulled from the Paramount Network, TV Land, and CMT. She even got dropped by her own talent agency.

While I feel sorry for the other actors and crew who lost their jobs (and their residuals from the old sitcom), Roseanne gets zero sympathy from me. She should’ve known better that to make that ape comparison with an African American. I used to faithfully watch her show in the 1990’s because she stood up for working folks of all races (her old sitcom had working class African American characters who were portrayed in a positive light) and LGBTQ in an era when both groups were either ignored or, in the case of the latter, discriminated against. I was such a fan that I watched her series until midway through the ninth season when that show began to get too weird for my tastes. I also watched a few of Roseanne’s specials on HBO because I could relate to her and her humor.

Here is why Roseanne Barr resonated so much with me. I grew up in Glen Burnie, Maryland, which was a mix of lower middle class and working class. There were no mansions or upscale stores like Saks Fifth Avenue where I grew up. My family encountered financial struggles at times, especially with the inflation periods of the 1970s, that were similar to what Roseanne’s sitcom family went through. I had high school classmates who married young just like Roseanne’s eldest sitcom daughter did. I had other classmates who joined the military immediately after high school in an effort to escape to a different life. (I remember the military recruiters who used to set up tables in my high school cafeteria a few times a year so the students can talk to them during lunch period.) I knew people in my Unitarian Universalist congregation who came out as LGBTQ in an era when doing so could adversely affect their lives in many ways. (This was in the 1980s and 1990s when AIDS was prevalent and there was a conservative backlash to the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s.) Roseanne bravely featured LGBTQ characters in a positive sympathetic light in her sitcom back when it wasn’t the trendy thing to do. I am a woman with a less-than-perfectly shaped body while Roseanne became a major star despite being obese at times and she remained a star without having a perfect 10 body. I definitely identified with Roseanne Barr. I even followed her on Twitter at one point.

All that changed when Trump entered politics and she became his biggest celebrity supporter. She totally changed—for the worst. Late last year I decided to unfollow her on Twitter because I felt so alienated from her and the alt-right conspiracy garbage she was tweeting on a regular basis.

It’s just like what Shepard Smith of Fox News said, “Racism is not funny and Roseanne Barr is a racist.” The biggest irony is that the 1990s Roseanne would have gone full social justice warrior mode on the 2018 Roseanne. As for me, I’m done with her.

Fuck you, Roseanne Barr.

Bye, Felicia!

UPDATE (June 1, 2018): Roseanne initially blamed Ambien for her unfunny racist joke tweet aimed at Valerie Jarrett, which prompted this classy response from the drug’s manufacturer.

Oh, SNAP! Whoever at Sanofi came up with that tweet deserves a raise. When the Ambient defense failed to take hold, Roseanne Barr started to blame Michelle Obama for her series getting canned.

Bitch, please! If Roseanne really wants to find out who is to blame for her current predicament, she should just stand in front of a mirror and she’ll get her answer. By the way, I read this blog post from a woman who once worked as Roseanne’s stand-in for three years on the original 1990s sitcom and, boy, does she have a story to tell!

UPDATE (July 22, 2018): Roseanne released this video where she attempted to explain the Valerie Jarrett tweet that got her fired. I would strongly advise you to lower your computer speakers before playing this clip because she definitely screams in this video.

Yesterday she released another video where she’s way more calm about her side of the story.

She implied that ABC got rid of her because she is a Donald Trump supporter. Here’s the thing—it had long been common public knowledge that Roseanne is a Trump supporter. ABC knew that she is a Trump supporter before they decided to put her revived sitcom on the air. If ABC had been so opposed to Roseanne being a Trump supporter that they didn’t want her associated with the network at all, they would have never revived her sitcom in the first place.

So, once again, fuck you, Roseanne Barr!

UPDATE (October 17, 2018): Last night the first episode of The Conners aired on ABC. The Conners is basically the Roseanne show without Roseanne. Roseanne Barr has no chance of ever making a guest appearance on The Conners since the first episode wrote her character off as having died of an opioid overdose.

Serves that bitch right. Bye, Felicia!

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