1. Florida teachers are being told to remove all books from their classroom libraries OR FACE FELONY PROSECUTION

The new policy is based on the premise that teachers are using books to
    2. Officials from the Manatee County School District confirmed the new policy to https://t.co/Gl6evXRDcZ.

The policy was communicated to principals in a meeting last Wednesday.

Teachers are in the process of being informed now. pic.twitter.com/zVjPKqfJ9N

— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) January 23, 2023
    3. Teachers in Manatee County lamented the news on social media.

    Today in US fascism watch news 🚩


    Inevitably this will be used to dumb-down children’s minds, and so, people in general. What they will deem to be “appropriate” to their reading/learning level will be a much lowered standard. They don’t want smart or educated adults.


    Because no one's dropped a source link yet, here's a few, along with a "highlight" from one of them. 🙃

    Text: The bill filed Wednesday is titled the “Millstone Act of 2023” – a reference to a Bible passage that a person would be better off tying a large boulder around their neck to “be drowned in the depths of the sea” than harm a child.

    A tweet from the official NHL Twitter which reads: The NHL is proud to support this past weekend's Team Trans Draft Tournament in Middleton, Wisconsin. This was the first tournament comprised entirely of transgender and nonbinary players, with around 80 folks participating! #HockeyIsForEveryone #NHLPride 
There are four photos from the Team Trans Draft Tournament
The next tweet is a reply which reads:
So, men playing on womans team?

    For context these were the preceeding tweets, and there are multiple news stories (mostly from Republicans throwing a tantrum over the NHL supporting trans people, which is why I'm not linking to the articles) about the trans draft. So it isn't just an empty statement or an intern going rogue amidst twitters death rattle. This is like, a big deal


    so the NHL and NASCAR are cool again


    Feels like pandering, Cap’n….


    when you see human beings in real life and you call it pandering


    I’m fucking trans. And these companies don’t care about our lives. They’re pretending because they see it as profitable. Yes, that’s pandering.

    Don’t think I didn’t see your absolutely repulsive tags: “#when your mom was trying to fish you out with a coathanger #she accidentally gave you a prenatal abortion”

    Are you really so shallow that you think they genuinely care about us? To the point of viscerally hating on trans people who have a fucking brain and can see plain as day that we as trans people are worthless to them? Lmfao.

    Never use your blatant woman-hate to go after a trans person again. Lowlife. You don’t care about trans people if you do this posturing shit. Because about half of us are women and the other half have lived with the horror of potential abortion.

    Simona Kossak (1943-2007) Polish biologist, ecologist, author, PhD in forestry, and uncompromising conservation activist. They called her a witch, because she chatted with animals and owned a terrorist-crow, who stole gold and attacked bicycle riders.She spent more than 30 years in a wooden hut in the Białowieża Forest, without electricity or access to running water. A lynx slept in her bed, and a tamed boar lived under the same roof with her. She was a scientist, ecologist and the author of award-winning films, as well as radio broadcasts. She was also an activist who fought for the protection of Europe’s oldest forest. Simona believed that one ought to live simply, and close to nature. Among animals she found that which she never found with humans.

    Photo by  Lech Wilczek


    This is why she’s my favorite author.


    Check out Barry Lyndon”, a film whose period interiors were famously shot by period lamp-and-candle lighting (director Stanley Kubrick had to source special lenses with which to do it).

    More recently, some scenes in Wolf Hall” were also shot with period live-flame lighting and IIRC until they got used to it, actors had to be careful how they moved across the sets. However, it’s very atmospheric: there’s one scene where Cromwell is sitting by the fire, brooding about his association with Henry VIII while the candles in the room are put out around him. The effect is more than just visual.

    As someone (I think it was Terry Pratchett) once said: You always need enough light to see how dark it is.”

    A demonstration of getting that out of balance happened in later seasons of Game of Thrones”, most infamously in the complaint-heavy “Battle of Winterfell” episode, whose cinematographer claimed the poor visibility was because “a lot of people don’t know how to tune their TVs properly”.

    So it was nothing to do with him at all, oh dear me no. Wottapillock. Needing to retune a TV to watch one programme but not others shows where the fault lies, and it’s not in the TV.


    We live in rural West Wicklow, Ireland, and it’s 80% certain that when we have a storm, a branch or even an entire tree will fall onto a power line and our lights will go out.

    Usually the engineers have things fixed in an hour or two, but that can be a long dark time in the evenings or nights of October through February, so we always know where the candles and matches are and the oil lamp is always full.

    We also know from experience how much reading can be done by candle-light, and it’s more than you’d think, once there’s a candle right behind you with its light falling on the pages.

    You get more light than you’d expect from both candles and lamps, because for one thing, eyes adapt to dim light. @dduane​ says she can sometimes hear my irises dilating. Yeah, sure…

    For another thing lamps can have accessories. Here’s an example: reflectors to direct light out from the wall into the room. I’ve tried this with a shiny foil pie-dish behind our own Very Modern Swedish Design oil lamp, and it works.


    Smooth or parabolic reflectors concentrate their light (for a given value of concentrate, which is a pretty low value at that) while flatter fluted ones like these scatter the light over a wider area, though it’s less bright as a result:


    This candle-holder has both a reflector and a magnifying lens, almost certainly to illuminate close or even medical work of some sort rather than light a room.


    And then there’s this, which a lot of people saw and didn’t recognise, because it’s often described in tones of librarian horror as a beverage in the rare documents collection.


    There IS a beverage, that’s in the beaker, but the spherical bottle is a light magnifier, and Gandalf would arrange a candle behind it for close study.

    Here’s one being used - with a lightbulb - by a woodblock carver.


    And here’s the effect it produces.


    Here’s a four-sphere version used with a candle (all the fittings can be screwed up and down to get the candle and magnifiers properly lined up) and another one in use by a lacemaker.


    Finally, here’s something I tried last night in our own kitchen, using a water-filled decanter. It’s not perfectly spherical so didn’t create the full effect, but it certainly impressed me, especially since I’d locked the camera so its automatic settings didn’t change to match light levels.

    This is the effect with candles placed “normally”.


    But when one candle is behind the sphere, this happens.


     It also threw a long teardrop of concentrated light across the worktop; the photos of the woodcarver show that much better.

    Poor-people lighting involved things like rushlights or tallow dips. They were awkward things, because they didn’t last long, needed constant adjustment, didn’t give much light and were smelly. But they were cheap, and that’s what mattered most.


    They’re often mentioned in historical and fantasy fiction but seldom explained: a rushlight is a length of spongy pith from inside a rush plant, dried then dipped in tallow (or lard, or mutton-fat), hence both its names.

    Here’s Jason Kingsley making one.


    The World Of Becca Blake

    Art by Dan Schkade


    I resent butch or butch-ish, lesbian women always being this (hetero) world’s image of an activist. This results in the perception that we’re activists just for existing — even propaganda leading to that idea. Which informs comic artists like this Dan Schkade to immediately conceive of a feminist activist as logical to depict as butch, with coded language related to it (“handsome” tattoos).

    Literally mistreatment for this started the very day I got my hair cut short. I had the hair stylist tell lies about me to my family who also attended the same salon, all because I went in and asked for it short and visibly had unshaved body hair, no makeup, etc. She said that I (who had been mostly silent and then chatted about her pets) “spent the whole time ranting about feminism” while in the chair. She didn’t come up with this out of nowhere.

    We get painted by FOX news and the like as the face of a “PC/woke”-ness that is so far extreme as to be unhinged and I don’t think this is an accident. We’re seen as a threat just for not living like Stepford Wife clones that not just the right but centrists and even many, many members of the left would gladly wish for every woman to exist as. I just would like people to think about this association and where they get it from. The homophobia and sexism (lesbophobia) it’s rooted in.

    (Meanwhile, many feminist activists are typically feminine and straight women. But they’re not the image because no one is gunning for them to be.)

    We end up being made the face of “taking everything too far!”. And we genuinely suffer for it in practical ways. I could feel myself losing respect day by day just for looking butch. You lose jobs, and when you do get the job, you get scapegoated and harassed (sexually and just overall psychologically, sometimes even physically). You get seen as worthy of this treatment.

    I have seen recently, Black women discuss how their image is used in similar ways — set up as “the image of a radical” and then everyday Black women being targeted for mistreatment due to being associated with certain beliefs and movements. Whether nor not the individual woman actually is. How this disadvantages them daily and in the bigger picture of their life’s trajectory.

    I just want people to think about these things and what it actually, practically accomplishes. What the effects are, whether it’s good for anyone. Why they choose this in the first place.