I am taking online workplace harassment training, and I have to say, the acting in the demonstration videos is a joy to watch.

🎵 Today’s listen: “New Adventures in Hi-Fi” by R.E.M. I kind of forgot about this album, and haven’t listened to it in years. I knew it was a “road record,” but I never knew before today that a lot of the songs were recorded in stadiums, at sound checks, before R.E.M.’s live shows.

I am trying out the new Microsoft Edge for my work-related web browsing. I know that is based on Chromes engine (Blink). I am disappointed that is basically is Chrome with nicer looking menus.

🎵 A new Bruce Springsteen album is always welcome. I can’t get over how he keeps putting out good music. One thing I learned about him, from an alumni event (long ago) with his onetime producer, Jon Landau, is that Springsteen was not able to write dozens and dozens of songs and pick the best for his albums. He wrote relatively small numbers of good (and sometimes great) songs. That makes it all the more impressive to me that he has been releasing new material so regularly, and the quality is still high.

I think I am really into headphones again, after a six month retreat into speakers. Luckily for me, I have lots of headphones and don’t need to buy any more right now. I have been using a different pair every few days for serious listening sessions, and am having a blast.

🎮 After about 20 runs, I finally beat Hades tonight. What a fun game.

My most frequently visited web page this past month has been Wired’s guide how to solve a Rubik’s cube. I have been diligently practicing their algorithms a few minutes per day.

I have a car. Whenever a new car comes out, I don’t read all the reviews and imagine what it would be like to upgrade. I’m in the same place with my smartphone and tablet now. It’s a different feeling than I—a self-professed technology geek—am used to.

iOS and iPad OS 14.1 dropped today. I hope they clear up the screen freezing on my iPads. 🤞

The Real Divide in America Is Between Political Junkies and Everyone Else

Per Yanna Krupnikov and John Barry Ryan in the New York Times:

For partisans, politics is a morality play, a struggle of good versus evil. But most Americans just see two angry groups of people bickering over issues that may not always seem pressing or important.

It is easy to think that “most Americans” are somehow wise to not follow politics closely enough to identify the issues of the day. In fact, these inattentive “nonpartisans” are being irresponsible citizens.

Articles like this make me wonder if the authors intend to bolster, rather than merely to point out, the “both sidesism” that leads people to disengage with civic life.

Doctors May Have Found Secretive New Organs in the Center of Your Head

Per Katherine J. Wu in the New York Times:

A team of researchers in the Netherlands has discovered what may be a set of previously unidentified organs: a pair of large salivary glands, lurking in the nook where the nasal cavity meets the throat. If the findings are confirmed, this hidden wellspring of spit could mark the first identification of its kind in about three centuries.

I don’t even know what to make of this—but in a good way.

I’m puzzling over if it makes any sense for me to upgrade from Reeder 4 to Reeder 5. Maybe I will wait for a point release, because the dev tends to tone down the visual effects in a couple point releases in each cycle.

As Local News Dies, a Pay-for-Play Network Rises in Its Place

From Davey Alba and Jack Nicas in the New York Times:

Maine Business Daily is part of a fast-growing network of nearly 1,300 websites that aim to fill a void left by vanishing local newspapers across the country. Yet the network, now in all 50 states, is built not on traditional journalism but on propaganda ordered up by dozens of conservative think tanks, political operatives, corporate executives and public-relations professionals, a Times investigation found.

This article serves as yet another example of the extent and level of organization of the American radical right’s propaganda and disinformation machine. What I wonder, though, is why don’t progressives take this playbook and run with it themselves to push the opposite agenda? It seems obvious and cost-effective.

Apollo for Reddit is an app that I install and uninstall on a weekly basis.

Holmdel Park

Hades is a fun game. I finally made it to Elysium (the third area) tonight. 😅

I have a new nephew today! 👶🏻

Postal worker in N.J. faces charges for dumping bundles of mail, including nearly 100 election ballots

From NJ.com:

A U.S. Postal Service mail carrier has been charged by federal authorities for allegedly discarding bundles of mail, including 99 general election ballots that were supposed to be delivered to Essex County residents, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.

Looks like election fraud is happening just as Trump/Pence want it to. As a NJ voter, my confidence in the election process has taken a hit, and it is not because liberal, illegal immigrants are voting multiple times for the Democrats. 🙄 I now plan to drive my mail-in ballot to wherever the drop box is for my town.

Up Spell looks pretty fun, but, in my opinion, most of these “spell as many words as you can” games fall down because of too many nonsense words in the lexicon. Up Spell’s whole thing is that just about everything is in its lexicon. The game’s 2-letter word lexicon doesn’t fill me with hope that I will enjoy it. Maybe there will be a 3-letters-and-up mode in a future update for grumps like me.

Why in the world are these (stupid) debates not being filmed remotely?

My hi-fi pet peeve is the “record needle popping and scratching” track on lots of modern lo-fi, hip-hop, and R&B tracks. I spent so much money on a clean-sounding system that it is a waste to listen to noise through it. 😀

🎵 I’m listening to Ben Kweller and flashing back to the early aughts.

Holmdel Park

Holmdel Park

I’m glad I didn’t waste my evening watching the presidential debate.