jwz: There Is No Constitutional Right to Eat Dinner:

Antonin Scalia relied upon this time period in his majority opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller, as did Justice Samuel Alito in his majority opinion in Dobbs. There is surely no better way to decide the scope of rights enjoyed by Americans living in 2022 than by surveying the works of legal thinkers from a different country, most of whom died well before the first shot was fired at Lexington and Concord.

In medieval England, Parliament occasionally passed what are known as “sumptuary laws” to regulate private consumption of goods and services. […] “But, as to excess in diet, there still remains one ancient statute unrepealed, which ordains that no man shall be served at dinner or supper, with more than two courses; except upon some great holy days there specified, in which he may be served with three,” he wrote. Kavanaugh himself conceded that the supposed right to dinner did not extend to every course by allegedly skipping out on dessert.

Not linking to the original New Republic article – It’s read-count paywalled.

Why Emacs has Buffers – Mastering Emacs:

If you’re new to Emacs, you may wonder why you read and write text from buffers as opposed to, you know, files or documents. There’s the fact that it’s not skeuomorphic, and thus the term lacks the spark that connects it to a real-life concept. Most people have heard of files and documents in real life, and the term buffer is instead a capacious term with little grounding to most people.

To computer scientists and programmers alike, however, the term buffer has meaning and purpose; it’s still an unsatisfactory answer, even if it is the real reason why Emacs uses the term buffer. And just leaving it there – that a buffer is a chunk of memory and used as a means of shuttling data to and fro peripheral hardware, like your disk – does not go far enough in explaining why. All editors use buffers internally.

In Emacs, the buffer is the focal point of nearly all user (and machine!) interactions. You read and you write, and you do so in a structure that tugs at its roots in computer science, but it’s so much more than that. And that’s really what I want to talk about, as it will go a long way towards explaining why Emacs and Emacs Lisp is the way it is.

Eunoia: Words that Don’t Translate:

Eunoia allows you to search for untranslatable words by language, tag, or the word itself. There are over 500 words in the database, across 50+ languages and 50+ tags.

Instructions for the Zero Gravity Toilet in 2001 | Boing Boing:

In 2001: A Space Odyssey, natural calls for Heywood Floyd. Fortunately, there are very detailed instructions posted on how to use the Zero Gravity Toilet. (This is Kurbick, after all.) Also fortunately, the toilet is apparently the “standard zero-gravity type” so one should be familiar with its operations. Below are the instructions as captured by 2001 obsessives.

Why is the English language so weird and inconsistent? Blame the printing press. | Boing Boing:

Refering to: Aeon – Typos, tricks and misprints

The same, however, cannot be said about the English language, which often feels like a clusterfuck of arbitrary rules. It’s a difficult and confusing language, but also a malleable one. Grammar and pronunciations vary depending on location, because it’s adaptable by design.

We need to have a conversation about wombats – The Oatmeal:

Go for the comic, stay for the message:

The Northern Hairy-nosed wombat is considered one of the rarest mammals in the world — there are only 80 of them left. If you can, please donate or follow any of these organizations. Upon publishing this comic, I personally donated $10,000 to help kick things off.

The Wombat Protection Society of Australia

Sleepy Burrows Wombat Sanctuary

Wombat Awareness Organisation

Cedar Creek Wombat Rescue Inc. & Hospital

If you’re unable to donate, please share this comic to help spread the word about these incredible marsupials with incredible buttocks.

(7.6.2021: updated with details on the outreach portion of the comic)