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St. Patrick’s Day, 2021

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Links Blog

The Guardian view on new work from Proust: more lessons from lockdown
"His aim was to capture the mysterious and elusive texture of lived time itself."

Abkhazia Posts Videos of Illegal Bitcoin Mines That Are Causing Power Blackouts
This is really amusing. A tiny autonomous region of Georgia is a Bitcoin powerhouse.

Why can't Britain handle the truth about Winston Churchill? | Winston Churchill | The Guardian
"Scholars who explore less illustrious sides of Churchill are treated dismissively."
Transgressing UK blasphemy laws

Coronavirus live news
"Vaccine patents mean that big pharmaceutical companies are the sole producers of their vaccine which has created supply constraints not just in the EU but in the rest of the world too. Low and middle income countries are set to wait years longer than they need to for vaccines – and, when they finally get them, pharma corporations can charge rip-off prices.
If the EU backs the proposal to suspend global patent rules, it will set a global precedent that could unlock the world’s productive capacity and ensure vaccines reach all countries, not just the richest ones."

Yestre'en

D. who went to teach her MBSR course in Ramle, had me make a soup. I'm not very good at soups. She laid out all the vegetables and said I should add some red lentils. It came out not bad, but the taste was quite different from her own soups. Afterwards we had cookies that one of her course participants had made: one kind was made with tahini; another with za'atar (hyssop - something like oregano). Palestinian baked goods are as amazing as the rest of their cuisine.

The Open House, where she teaches that course, has a special story behind it. The house belonged to a Jewish Israeli, but was one of those houses that had been vacated by a Palestinian family who had fled in 1948. One day, members of the family came knocking on the door and asked if they could see their former home. The web page in the link tells what happened next.

Morning

I woke up early today. Now the early morning sun is glancing through the windows. The living room window faces North-East, so the sun shines through in that way only till around 8 a.m.

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I don't have good associations with St. Patrick's Day because, many years ago, it was the day that a young woman of our village committed suicide. She suffered from depression and had been having psychotic episodes (which her parents think were initially triggered by over-consumption of hashish), but she had seemed to be on her way to recovery. On the morning of the 17th, she'd taken a bus, but never arrived at her destination. We spent the afternoon and evening scouring the environs and nearby towns for her - some of us had gone to Jerusalem. I remember, late at night people emerging from bars in green top hats. Then someone called to say that she'd been found in Tel Aviv, having jumped from a hotel window.

XFCE weather panel widget

Yesterday I discovered the weather panel widget in XFCE. It's quite nice, and doesn't seem to be a privacy problem like most of the apps made for Android phones. Even the ones that appear in FDroid come with warnings about using non-free services, and the ones I have found either don't have our location or seem to be inaccurate. The XFCE app uses data from the Norwegian Meteriorological Institute and found our exact location. There's a lot of detail. It's still too early to say whether it gives a good reading but at present it is accurate.

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