While walking the dog, I saw this tasteful Christmas decoration.

    By the time New Year’s comes around, I have holiday exhaustion. New Year’s needs to be in March. Not a lot of holidays between January and May.

    Quintessence is a “barebone Nuzzel clone” for Mastodon, in open beta.

    It’s pretty simple: if you follow the @quintsns@mastodon.uno bot account, each day at 23:00UTC it will send you a direct message containing 10 links that have been shared in the past 24 hours by the people you follow, ordered by the number of different people you follow that have tooted/boosted the link.

    Brilliant! I’ve signed up.

    h/t @Ronkjeffries@mastodon.social

    The exiled chief rabbi of Moscow says Jews should get out while they can. [The Guardian/Stephen Burgen]

    Pinchas Goldschmidt says that, historically in Russia and the USSR, when things go bad, the government scapegoats Jews.

    Jews have been fleeing Russia for a century. In 1926, there were 2.7 million Jews in the USSR, 59% of whom were in Ukraine. “Today only about 165,000 Jews remain in the Russian Federation out of a total population of 145 million.”

    My own grandparents bugged out of Eastern Europe around 1900. Poland on my father’s side, Lithuania on my mother’s.


    Ukraine has a long history of antisemitism from pogroms at the end of the 19th century to facilitating Nazi massacres during the second world war. The most notorious of these was the murder of 33,000 Jews at Babi Yar in Kyiv in 1941.

    Given this history, Goldschmidt said it was remarkable that Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who made no secret of his Jewishness, was elected Ukraine’s president with more 70% of the vote.

    That fact made a nonsense of Vladimir Putin’s claim that Ukraine was being governed by neo-Nazis, the rabbi said. “Show me another country that is in the grip of Nazis where the Jewish community is thriving.

    “However, I don’t know how Jewish the president [Zelenskiy] feels. He plays the Jewish card to ask Israel for help.”

    I imagine Zelensky’s Jewishness is much the same as my own. I am not observant, nor do I have a religious preference in my associations. But am I Jewish? Hell, yeah.

    Goldschmidt also noted that while Russia’s Jews faced an uncertain future, antisemitism was on the rise in what had long been seen as a Jewish sanctuary, the US.

    In 2018, a gunman killed 11 worshippers in a Pittsburgh synagogue. Last year the Anti-Defamation League recorded a record 2,717 antisemitic incidents in the US, ranging from assault and harassment to vandalism.

    “For many years, Jews in the US believed that it was an exception, that whatever happened in Europe and other countries could never happen there,” Goldschmidt said. “But over the past three years there have been more attacks on Jews there than in Europe.

    I have not been alarmed by the rise of anti-Semitism in the US. It still seems like a lunatic fringe. But perhaps I should be alarmed.

    Julie and I saw this sign 11 years ago today.

    Sign on the restroom door at Shakespeare Pub & Grille, San Diego, where we had Christmas dinner.

    Musk’s Twitter cuts include a data center, janitors, and toilet paper [NYTimes/Kate Conger, Ryan Mac and Mike Isaac]

    With people packed into more confined spaces, the smell of leftover takeout food and body odor has lingered on the floors, according to four current and former employees. Bathrooms have grown dirty, these people said. And because janitorial services have largely been ended, some workers have resorted to bringing their own rolls of toilet paper from home.

    Cal Newport: On Quiet Quitting.

    “Every generation reaches a point where they begin to think more critically about what role, exactly, work should play in their life.”

    I’m still working on that. I’ve always been a late bloomer.

    Ian Welsh: How To Relax, Change & Be Free.

    “… everyone is acting according to conditioning: religious, social, family, school, philosophical, etc… They’re in chains, and they regard those chains as themselves.”

    Ben Dreyfuss: Romanian Cops Did Not Find Andrew Tate Because Of His Greta Thunberg Video: “This is a lesson in media failure and misinformation.”

    I saw a bulldog wearing a sweatshirt today.

    This seems like a black-funny story until you read the charges against Tate. He”s not just your average MRA grifter. He seems like a monster and predator who should never breathe free air again.

    Andrew Tate Arrested for Human Trafficking in Romania After Pizza Box Gave Away His Location. [Laura Bassett/Jezebel] “A video the men’s rights activist tweeted in response to Greta Thunberg’s burn about his small dick energy reportedly led authorities right to him.”

    “I remember reading an interview with a minister of an African state who said approximately, ‘every time a western minister visits us we get a lecture, every time a Chinese official visits we get a new hospital.’”

    — Ian Welsh: A Map Showing The Two Main Geopolitical Blocs

    Religious upbringing is great for kids, even for those of us who find ourselves nonbelievers, agnostics, or atheists. It helps a person figure out the world and cosmos and their place in it.

    Talented trans woman writer Charlie Jane Anders @charliejane@wandering.shop remembers her time as a choirboy. She saw the best and worst of religion—“complicated and messy.”

    Do you set aside time every day to unplug?

    Yesterday I read this post by Craig Mod about how he spends a big part of his day just walking around, unplugged, not connected to the Internet or listening to anything on earphones.

    The Sorta Kinda Life Changing Bliss of Walking Solo

    It made me think about how I seem to be looking at screens or listening to podcasts almost all the time1, and how maybe it would be better if I just … not.

    In particular, I thought about how lately I’m listening to many podcasts out of habit, rather than real interest.

    So I set aside a half-hour of my walk yesterday to just … walk. I took the AirPods out of my ears and listened to nothing but ambient sound and my own thoughts.

    Do you set aside time in your day to unplug?

    Or does your life naturally encourage unplugging? I imagine if you’re working with your hands in an activity requiring thought, you can’t be listening to audiobooks at the time.

    1. Phrased that way, it seems shocking. ↩︎

    Hello insomnia my old friend.

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