Link Blog: June 17, 2019

Blackfeet Researcher Leads Her Tribe Back to Traditional Foods: going back to traditional foods like berries and lean meats in the hopes of improving health outcomes and preserving cultural heritage.

Oklahoma base set for migrant site was WWII internment camp: Children crossing the border into the US without parents have been imprisoned at an army base since 2014. This particular base was previously an internment camp for Japanese-Americans, a “boarding school” for Native American children taken from their parents, and a camp for Apache prisoners of war.

You probably don’t need ReCAPTCHA: A list of many thoughtful reasons ranging from privacy to accessibility to encourage you to quit using this sketchy Google service.

Link Blog: June 1, 2019

The racist origins of one of RVers’ favorite words: full-time RVing is on the rise, and so is the use of racial slurs (like “gypsy”) and cultural appropriation. (Full disclosure: I wrote this post, and Gluten-Free RV is one of my side projects.)

Google uses Gmail to track a history of things you buy — and it’s hard to delete. You can see your purchases Google has tracked here.

4 reasons why forgiving U.S. student debt makes sense: 1) borrowers’ overall debt could be reduced by over a quarter, even beyond the student loans themselves. 2) borrowers less likely to default on debts (no shit). 3) borrowers are more likely to relocate and get better-paying jobs. 4) overall spending and consumption could increase.

The use of male mice in drug research skews research against women: animal models have long been debunked as lousy ways to test drug candidates, but here’s one more nail in the mouse-shaped coffin.

Link Blog: May 15, 2019

Trashserver.net is an XMPP server that’s 100% powered by renewable energy.

Offices Can Be Hell for People Whose Brains Work Differently: “Work spaces today come with strong smells, harsh light, lots of chatter, and constant messages on email or Slack. For neurodivergent people, this can be a big ask.”

The AI Supply Chain Runs on Ignorance: Even if you could decipher the legalese in apps’ terms and conditions, the fact of the matter is that not only are developers opaque about how users’ data will be used, developers themselves often don’t know how that data will end up being used.

I’ve Been Committed To A Psych Ward Three Times — And It Never Helped: A personal account with plenty of research data about how psych hospitals aren’t actually helping people when they involuntarily imprison patients.

If You Care About Health Justice, Stop Clicking on “Florida Man” Stories: the so-called “Florida man” is actually code for “Man Likely Suffering From Mental Illness or Drug Addiction.” Stop laughing at other people’s suffering, and stop clicking those links.

The rise of fear-based social media like Nextdoor, Citizen, and now Amazon’s Neighbors: Crime is going down, but you wouldn’t know it when you join a neighborhood social networking site.

Link Blog: March 29, 2019

I promised myself I’d post more positive and enjoyable links… unfortunately, this post does not contain any.

Right-Wing Psychiatry, Love-Me Liberals and the Anti-Authoritarian Left: “Since the 1980s, psychiatry has been increasingly colonized by Big Pharma, documented in many books, including Psychiatry Under the Influence (2015). Big Pharma has utilized psychiatry for marketing and sales by controlling it through funding: university psychiatry departments; psychiatry’s professional journals; psychiatrist ‘thought leaders’ who promote new diagnoses and drug treatments; and the American Psychiatric Association itself. Psychiatry’s official diagnostic manual is called the DSM (published by the APA), and each DSM revision adds new mental illnesses that expand the psychiatric medication market. In 2012, PLOS Medicine reported, ‘69% of the DSM-5 task force members report having ties to the pharmaceutical industry.'”

Struggling to stay alive: Rising insulin prices cause diabetics to go to extremes. “Canadian scientists discovered insulin in 1921, treated the first diabetic patient in 1922 and sold the patent to the University of Toronto for 3 Canadian dollars. The university did not charge royalties to drug companies that wanted to make the medicine…. Last month, the powerful Senate Finance Committee asked the three dominant insulin makers detailed questions about the drugs’ price increases. The price for one vial of Eli Lilly’s Humalog surged from $35 in 2001 to $234 in 2015. From 2013 to this year, Novo Nordisk’s Novolog jumped from $289 to $540 and Sanofi’s Lantus from $244 to $431, according to a committee letter.”

Fear of a Black Homeland: The Strange Tale of the FBI’s Fictional “Black Identity Extremism” Movement. The headline makes this sound more surreal and innocuous than it is. The FBI is labeling black and brown people who are fed up with police brutality and racism as “extremists” and domestic terrorists.

Big Tech is Spying on Us: a collection of articles to freak you out and convince your doubting friends. The headline cannot be understated: I found this collection very unsettling, so make sure you’re in a good place emotionally before you click.

FEMA data leak exposes personal information of 23 million disaster survivors: “The Office for the Inspector General for the DHS issued a report [March 22, 2019] that detailed how FEMA did not appropriately safeguard the personal information of 2.3 million survivors of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria and the California wildfires in 2017.”

Over-the-Air TV: You probably have cable TV, or you watch all your TV online. But if you’re like me and occasionally (or frequently) turn on a TV to watch over-the-air (free) channels, you might be as disappointed as I am. Gone are the days of distant and snowy stations where you can still watch old Doctor Who broadcast from over 100 miles away, even if it’s fuzzy. Here are the days of glitchy, pixelated, laggy, and downright unwatchable stations based just a few miles down the road. This site talks about the technical side of why digital TV sucks.

Link Blog: March 22, 2019

If it’s not absurd, it’s depressing… but this week, it’s probably both.

Privacy is becoming a luxury: what data leaks are like for the poor. Poorer people are less likely to have the time or money to fight back against data leaks, like the one from the Seattle Housing Authority last month, potentially making them bigger targets, since attackers know they’re more likely to get away with it.

Floriday’s war on drugs made chocolate and cheese illegal. This is what happens when policy is decided by people who know nothing about science.

The Government Is Using the Most Vulnerable People to Test Facial Recognition Software: NIST’s “Facial Recognition Verification Testing program depends on images of children who have been exploited for child pornography; U.S. visa applicants, especially those from Mexico; and people who have been arrested and are now deceased. Additional images are drawn from the Department of Homeland Security documentation of travelers boarding aircraft in the U.S. and individuals booked on suspicion of criminal activity.” Obviously, individuals probably never consented to the use of their likeness for this purpose.

The Companies Vying to Build the Border Wall Seem Shady as Hell: From 2018, but still relevant. The companies bidding on Trump’s border wall catastrophe have concerning pasts, from claiming to mentor minority-owned businesses (and not really doing it) to actual prison time.

California jury finds Monsanto’s Roundup caused a man’s cancer: this is the second civil suit where the company has been found at fault for not warning people of the risks.

Court Says VA Was Wrong in Denying Vietnam Veterans Benefits: in February, the U.S. Court of Appeals reversed the VA’s decision to deny disability benefits to Navy veterans who were sickened by Agent Orange exposure. The decision could affect 90,000 vets, as well as their children who may also have been sickened or disabled by AO exposure.

For Larger Customers, Eating Out Is Still a Daunting Experience: “For people who identify as large, plus-size or fat, dining out can be a social and physical minefield. Chairs with arms or impossibly small seats leave marks and bruises. Meals are spent in pain, or filled with worry that a flimsy chair might collapse.” A timely article about what it’s like to go out to eat as a larger person, and what’s happening to improve the experience.

MuckRock’s annual FOIA March Madness is here again: and there are stickers!