Commander General

On December 1, 2016, President-elect Donald Trump announced that General James Mattis, former US CENTCOM, would be nominated to serve as United States Secretary of Defense in the coming administration. Foreign Media were quick to pick up on the nickname “Mad Dog”. It seems he is more than that. See what his former PAO (back when he was Commander general of the US Marine Corps) learnt from him about Real Leadership.
You can also read the original (written in milspeak) CG Staff Guidance (pdf).

Gretel C. Kovach, a San Diego journalist who specializes in USMC, pointed out in 2013 (the year he resigned from the Corps) that James Mattis also goes by the nicknames of “Chaos” (his callsign) and “Warrior Monk”. But the press prefers Mad Dog…

Secret travel agent

Hacking the Global Distribution Systems (GDS). Joseph Cox reports on the findings of SR LabsKarsten Nohl and Nemanja Nikodijevic: It’s Incredibly Easy to Tamper with Someone’s Flight Plan, Anywhere on the Globe (Motherboard)

Armed with these techniques, a hacker might be able to track someone, finding out where they’re flying to and from. Working with the German TV station ARD, the researchers were able to change the flight booking of a reporter, putting him on the same flight as, and in an adjacent seat to, a German politician.

Original conference 27 Dec 2016 @Chaos Communication Congress (Slides)

(via Boing Boing)

Crystal Ax

APA/Andreas Blaickner/Institut für Archäologien in Innsbruck
APA/Andreas Blaickner/Institut für Archäologien in Innsbruck

Thomas Bachnetzer from the Institute of Archeology at the University of Innsbruck (…) speaks of a sensational discovery: “The stone ax is probably to date in the end of the Neolithic period, beginning Bronze Age. From this epoch there are scarcely any large rock crystal artefacts, a hatchet is otherwise not known at all”.

Google translation of Beil aus Bergkristall als Sensation, an article in German.
Found in 2012, 70 km West from the Ötzi site. See Old snowshoe.
Currently on display in the exhibition “Bergauf Bergab – 10,000 years of mining in the Eastern Alps” (more) at the Vorarlberg Museum in Bregenz.

via Joe

Mines néolithiques

Le village de Spiennes, à 6 km au sud-est de Mons (Hainaut), recèle sur près de 100 hectares les vestiges d’une activité minière vieille de 6 000 ans. Dès le milieu du Néolithique, le silex extrait du sous-sol fut taillé sur place, essentiellement pour la production industrielle de lames et de haches. Pour atteindre la matière première désirée, les mineurs de jadis n’ont pas hésité à creuser un nombre considérable de puits, certains dépassant 16 m de profondeur! L’essor de ces mines exceptionnelles correspond à une époque où, un peu partout en Europe, se développent des centres voués exclusivement à l’extraction et à la taille du silex. Parmi ceux-ci, Spiennes s’illustre tant par son ampleur, que par ses techniques minières originales. Ces qualités, alliées au potentiel archéologique du gisement, lui ont valu la reconnaissance de l’Unesco en décembre 2000.

Hélène Collet : Un centre minier néolithique inscrit au Patrimoine mondial de l’Unesco – tiré-à-part de la revue “L’Archéologue – Archéologie Nouvelle” 2002
Plus d’infos sur le site Minières néolithiques de silex de Spiennes et le blog Autour de Spiennes de la Société de Recherche préhistorique en Hainaut.

Remember the trick

Remember that wait-ten-minutes-then-randomly-reload-to-see-if-anything-changed trick. It’s the sign of excellently designed consumer software.

Said Zeldman. Who adds:

…there’s a principle here. Several principles, actually. Tricking kids is wrong. Stealing is wrong. Building a beautiful front-end but neglecting customer service is wrong. Mainly, I’ve just had enough of 2016’s bullshit.
Fuck you, 2016.

Get it

The dream is not to become upper-middle-class, with its different food, family, and friendship patterns; the dream is to live in your own class milieu, where you feel comfortable — just with more money.

  • Understand That Working Class Means Middle Class, Not Poor
  • Understand Working-Class Resentment of the Poor
  • Understand How Class Divisions Have Translated into Geography
  • If You Want to Connect with White Working-Class Voters, Place Economics at the Center
  • Avoid the Temptation to Write Off Blue-Collar Resentment as Racism

What So Many People Don’t Get About the U.S. Working Class, Joan C. Williams, Harvard Business Review, Nov 2016.

(via Dave Pell: What the Hell Just Happened?)

Update: Read also Mike Konczal, Learning From Trump in Retrospect

Stanley Box

…anyone who has ever been privileged to direct a film also knows that, although it can be like trying to write War and Peace in a bumper car at an amusement park, when you finally get it right, there are not many joys in life that can equal the feeling


Via Kottke

No sanction, no assistance

…the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.
(…) May the Children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants; while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and figtree, and there shall be none to make him afraid. May the father of all mercies scatter light and not darkness in our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in his own due time and way everlastingly happy

From George Washington to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island, 18 August 1790
Moses Seixas to George Washington, August 17, 1790 From George Washington to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island, 18 August 1790

Details here. Additional background there: Haven – From Haven to Home: 350 Years of Jewish Life in America, an exhibition at the Library of Congress and permanent exhibition at the National Museum of American Jewish History.