Uncle Nearest: The Slave Who Taught Jack Daniel

A while ago I explained in “Lost History of Knob Creek” how American history of whiskey production is tied to slavery. In particular, Jack Daniel took his recipe from emancipated slaves even though he used his own name for the brand. Now the man who taught Jack Daniel, Uncle Nearest, is getting his own brand. Proceeds from the sale of this new whiskey are going to fund college education of…

July 15, 2019
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Americans Feel Guilty About Eating Pork, Not Beef

A new study that positioned “animals are friends” to Americans had an interesting outcome. Pork became unpalatable by the subjects, while beef was still seen as edible. …we show that the negative effect of anthropomorphism on consumers’ attitudes and behavioral intentions toward (pork) meat consumption is mediated by increased feelings of anticipatory guilt (Studies 3a and 3c). Nevertheless, no such effect was found with another kind of meat (beef), which…

July 11, 2019
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The SF Women Who Fought Slavery in Chinatown

California Historical Society event announcement for tomorrow, Weds evening: Siler tells the story of both the abolitionists who challenged the corrosive anti-Chinese prejudices of the time and the young women who dared to flee their fate. She relates how the women who ran the Cameron House defied contemporary convention by physically rescuing children from the brothels where they worked or by snatching them off ships as they were being smuggled…

June 11, 2019
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D-Day 75th Anniversary

Poetry read by Stephen Colbert, from his family archive of letters: And the USAF National Museum augmented reality exhibit “Freedom From Above” commemorating the 82nd and 101st airborne divisions: Source: http://www.flyingpenguin.com

June 7, 2019
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Computer “Glitch” Blamed for Election Miscount

Interesting case of computer voting systems going terribly wrong: Initial results of that referendum on May 21 showed 512 supporting the tax and 498 opposing it — a victory of just 14 points. Officials said, however, that a problem associated with new voting machines necessitated a recount by the county, which began May 31. The final results released Tuesday morning showed support for the ballot question improved considerably, with 724…

June 6, 2019
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Real History of the NRA

The National Rifle Association (NRA) has an interesting origin story that is basically 180 degrees from its current incarnation. We should begin by acknowledging that the current NRA is basically a slush-fund non-profit organization of white supremacists in America who export death for profit, as Hasan Manaj masterfully explains: What Hasan misses in his segment, is the obvious ties to history. For example, a move by the current US regime…

May 23, 2019
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Garbage In, Garbage Out is NOT Why Machine Learning Fails

May 15, 2019

I’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback on my RSAC trade-show floor hot-take on ML security (and the longer-format Defense in Depth podcast as well) so thought I should memorialize them both here on my own site: Kudos to David for the opportunity to opine on his platform for learning. Source: http://www.flyingpenguin.com

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The Facebook Trust Disaster Was Easily Predicted

Five years ago in 2014, the future of Facebook trust was in the balance. What happened? ‘When I joined Facebook in 2016, my mom was so proud of me, and I could walk around with my Facebook backpack all over the world and people would stop and say, ‘It’s so cool that you worked for Facebook.’ That’s not the case anymore,’ a former product manager says. ‘It made it hard…

May 10, 2019
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DHS Binding Operational Directive 19-02

The US government has just reduced the official critical vulnerability remediation timeline from 30 days after a report has been issued to 15 days after detection, according to the freshly published DHS BOD 19-02. This announcement is significant not least of all because I don’t have to explain why a 30 day response timeline to critical vulnerabilities exists on the Internet. “It’s an outlier because government” only goes so far….

May 10, 2019
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