I Had Stopped Masking—Until Delta – The Atlantic:

But the pandemic is once again entering a new phase that feels more dangerous and more in flux, even for the people lucky enough to have received their lifesaving shots. A more transmissible variant—one that can discombobulate vaccine-trained antibodies—has flooded the world. It’s wreaking havoc among the uninoculated, a group that still includes almost half of Americans and most of the global population. After a prolonged lull, the pandemic’s outlook is grimmer than it’s been in months. I am, for the foreseeable future, back to wearing masks in indoor public places, and there are four big reasons why.

I personally haven’t felt like I could stop with masks in public… Despite being vaccinated, one of my two kids can’t be for a while… So when the vacicnation rate among eligible people basically stopped with less than half done, I have felt like we can’t change behaviors as if the threat was resolved…

Take My Husband…Please  – by Jessica Valenti – All in Her Head by Jessica Valenti:

That’s why the idea is so pervasive—whether it’s the bitching hour, sitcoms featuring hapless husbands with fed-up (but loving) wives, or entire genres of standup comedy. The more culture normalizes the idea that women ‘hate’ their husbands for being fuckups, the more women start to believe that their husbands being fuckups is inevitable.

That’s how equal relationships become fantasies rather than a reasonable expectation. 

Just as insidious? The counterpart to women ‘jokingly’ complaining about their husbands not doing child care or domestic work is men ‘jokingly’ complaining that their wives are nags. It’s a way to make men’s petty grievance that their wives want them to do housework seem equivalent to the understandable complaint that men aren’t doing housework!

I hate this trope. Hopefully articles like this shine a light on why it’s harmful.

Why I’m glad that I’m an ‘overthinker’ | Life and style | The Guardian:

The first time I remember someone telling me not to overthink was when I was trying to suss out breastfeeding. “Don’t overthink it,” said my friend, “just go with it.”

“Just going with it” is not something I do. I have to really understand what I’m doing and then I think through almost every possibility and eventuality, like a mind map on steroids. And I plan. When people say things like: “Who could have imagined XYZ would happen?” about some entirely predictable outcome, my most common response is “I could”. I have realised that for most people I am an overthinker, but for me, it is others who underthink. I just think.

Of course, this can be exhausting. And it is. I didn’t realise just how much I thought until one day someone asked me what I was thinking (as a child I was a natural daydreamer) because I was quiet. I went through what I’d been thinking about for the past minute and it was a different thought for every second. The look of horror on their face said it all. “All that in the last 60 seconds?” “Sure,” I said, “what have you been thinking about?” I asked. “Soap,” they answered.

I love some of the games Blizzard has produced. Overwatch’s PVP focus isn’t for me, but the gameplay would be fun with a PVE focus… The Diablo family is the perfect representation of the genre it birthed, where no other entry really matches the chemistry of the originals… Starcraft and Warcraft are some of the most fun RTS gameplay in their genre… And WoW’s siren call is amplified by the fact that it’s one of the first big games to make an M1 native version a priority.

All that being said, no matter how much I love the games, I can’t give a cent to the company that also breeds these stories:

Activision Blizzard sued by California over constant abuse of women employees | Boing Boing:

At one point Activision Blizzard is described as a “frat house”, but that doesn’t begin to capture the scale and gravity of the allegations. Women punished for becoming pregnant. Women kicked out of lactation rooms. Women punished for leaving the office. African American women denied full employment and subjected to unique requirements. A woman committed suicide on a business trip with a male colleague who brought along lube and butt plugs.

In the office, women are subjected to “cube crawls” in which male employees drink copious [amounts] of alcohol as they “crawl” their way through various cubicles in the office and often engage in inappropriate behavior toward female employees. Male employees proudly come into work hungover, play video games for long periods of time during work while delegating their responsibilities to female employees, engage in banter about their sexual encounters, talk openly about female bodies and joke about rape.

Female employees are subjected to constant sexual harassment, including having to continually fend off unwanted sexual comments and advances by their male co-workers and supervisors and being groped at the “cube crawls” and other company events. High-ranking executives and creators engaged in blatant sexual harassment without repercussions.

In a particularly tragic example, a female employee committed suicide during a business trip with a male supervisor who had brought butt plugs and lubricant with him on the trip.

Its response to this lawsuit is libertarian dogma about “irresponsible behavior from unaccountable State bureaucrats that are driving many of the State’s best businesses out of California.”

Activision Blizzard says interviewing diverse candidates for every opening “unworkable”

Activision Blizzard attorney told the SEC in January, “While the Company has implemented a Rooney Rule policy as envisioned [for director and CEO nominees], implementing a policy that would extend such an approach to all hiring decisions amounts to an unworkable encroachment on the Company’s ability to run its business and compete for talent in a highly competitive, fast-moving market.”

Activision Blizzard’s attorney further said the proposal was micromanaging in nature, and “leaves no room for the Company’s management or Board of Directors to exercise discretion in how new hire decisions are structured.”

Costs and poor leadership were why Blizzard’s Warcraft 3 reboot bombed

With Activision focussing on larger titles, such as Overwatch 2, and laying off 800 of its workforce in 2019, Classic Games would never receive the full support required to recapture Warcraft 3. Nevertheless, they plowed on, and even started taking pre-orders for the game. That left the team committed to releasing the title. A Blizzard spokesman told Bloomberg: “In hindsight, we should have taken more time to get it right, even if it meant returning pre-orders.”

Despite getting help from other Blizzard departments during the final development push, it was too late. The game was so poorly received that demands for refunds were upheld. Even now, 18 months on, the game is missing much of the promised content that it was sold on.

European Beach Handball Championships: Norway hit with 1,500 euros bikini fine – BBC Sport:

Norway’s Minister for Culture and Sports, Abid Raja, tweeted after Monday’s ruling: “It’s completely ridiculous – a change of attitude is needed in the macho and conservative international world of sport.”

That last quote could apply to nearly every sport, in one way or another.

The life cycle of a COVID-19 vaccine lie | MPR News:

Misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines can appear almost anywhere: From an uncle’s social media post to a well-trusted news commentator. But where does it come from and why do some myths spread further than others?

With the help of the Internet research firm Graphika, NPR analyzed the rise of one persistent set of lies about COVID-19 vaccines:

Twenty percent of U.S. adults think Covid vaccine is a secret microchipping program:

One in five adults in the United States thinks the Covid vaccine contains microscopic tracking equipment, according to a poll The Economist and YouGov conducted to learn Americans’ thoughts about vaccine resistance.

Those who reject vaccinations believe two negative theories about the effects of COVID-19 vaccines: half think it is likely that vaccines in general cause autism and that this vaccine in particular is being used by the government to microchip the population. 

Read the rest

How I Saved Enough to Buy a House With My Parents’ Money – McSweeney’s Internet Tendency:

Don’t worry! These aren’t the only ways to buy a house. You could stop ordering takeout and cook at home to cut costs, and then buy a house with your rich aunt’s money. Or you could take on a second job to put away extra cash, and then buy a house with your inheritance. You could even do a GoFundMe and have your parents donate a house’s amount of money. There are a lot of options!

via – https://kottke.org/quick-links/

Scientists Announce Successful Experiment To Bankrupt Mouse That Can’t Afford Cancer Drug:

“Scientific advances in treating some of the more common cancers can actually make it harder to put people in debt they never come back from, so this is a really significant breakthrough. To treat the mouse, we subjected it to chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy, and the most expensive combinations of all three. This mouse saw its debt skyrocket quickly, since we made sure to control for only treatment that was outside of its insurance network, and that was even before we sold the debt to a third-party collector. Most promisingly, we were able to replicate our findings on other mice as well, by completely and irreparably wrecking their credit scores in all cases.”

via – https://kottke.org/quick-links/