Links, Notes, Bookmarks & Briefs For April 27, 2016

An open thread and (almost) daily notes to myself; feel free to eavesdrop, join in or start a conversation, or drop a relevant link in the comments. Updated throughout the day.

I’m back in Ljubljana where the warmth of this morning’s sun turned into a rainy chill which turned into the country’s worst late April snowfall in a decade. I’m listening to the sounds of cracking branches as I type, trees succumbing to the weight of the snow. It’s a sublime minimalist symphony that’s not expected to end until early tomorrow morning. A good time to read.

Refugee/Migrant Crisis

Austria set to bring in stringent new law on asylum seekersThe Guardian.

Austria is expected to bring in some of Europe’s most stringent asylum legislation, days after a far-right politician won the first round of the country’s presidential elections.

MPs voted on Wednesday in favour of a new law that will allow police to reject asylum seekers at the border and to stop most successful applicants from applying to be reunited with their families for three years.

Europe’s failure on refugees echoes the moral collapse of the 1930s. Patrick Kingsley in The Guardian:

British MPs have voted down a plan to admit just 600 child refugees a year. With governments across the continent abdicating responsibility, this is an ethical catastrophe of historic proportions.

During WWII, European refugees fled to Syria. Here’s what the camps were like. – PRI.

Free Airport Wifi?

It’s not everywhere. And many that do exist require registration with, annoyingly enough, a local telephone number. Long-time travel/tech blogger Anil Polat has been regularly updating readers with airport wifi network passwords via his blog FoxNomad and its Facebook page. Now he’s putting together a crowd-sourced map. Contributions most welcome. A Map Of Wireless Passwords From Airports And Lounges Around The World (Updated Regularly).


Uncovering the Fiction of “Farm to Table” Food — that’s the title of ProPublica‘s lastest podcast, a discussion with Tampa Bay Times food critic Laura Reiley who investigated claims of food being “locally sourced”. From the podcast:

Q: There isn’t really much value in the term “farm-to-table” anymore.

Reiley: It’s a term that I think is bordering on bankrupt. I know a bunch of restaurants here that are doing everything right, that are really working through local purveyors, that work closely with local farmers and get all their seafood from the Gulf of Mexico, etc., who really object to the term “farm-to-table.” They haven’t figured out a new term that they like better, but they bristle a bit when you call them that.

This isn’t anything new –many have been skeptical of such claims, and what they mean, for several years. It’s good to see some being called out.

This one is real, the 30 Mile Meal in Southeastern Ohio, a project I was marginally involved with when I lived in Athens, Ohio, in the first half of the 1990s. It’s so good to see it flourishing and growing to touch so many aspects of that community.

Chernobyl – 30 Years On

The Battles of ChernobylThe New Yorker.

Soviet historians called the nuclear disaster a battle. It is still being waged today, and there is no clear end in sight.


And finally, the most disturbing gif I came across today. Via Counterpunch. A thing I’ll never be able to unsee. Neither will you. My apologies.




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