Announcement: Like I mentioned last week, the Tweets of the Week posts will officially end today. Due to the ongoing chaos at Twitter, it seems silly to make that the primary source for my posts. The series of posts will continue, though I’ll point you elsewhere else in them, starting with the new year. If you follow me on Twitter, I’ll cross-post there for at least a month or two, so that readers have time to adjust.

As discussed previously, Fridays host my weekly Twitter roundups. Note that tweets of articles generally include header images from the articles, which I don’t include here unless their creators happen to have released them for use under a free license and I notice. Most have not, or I don’t notice. But I now add most of my commentary here, where I don’t feel restricted by the message length.

diagrams showing the division of the day and of the week

I also don’t generally attach pictures to posts with quotations.

9:04 – Mon 26 December 2022 🔗

Americans celebrate their African heritage during Kwanzaa from the Bureau of Global Public Affairs

Kwanzaa takes place each year in the United States from December 26 to January 1 and celebrates family and community through music, dance, poetry, storytelling and art.

It seems sad that people—other than celebrants, I mean—finally take Kwanzaa seriously as a holiday, as the practice declines. Not mentioned in the article, Kwanzaa came out of the Black separatist movement, giving a winter celebration for Black people who felt uncomfortable perpetuating institutions (such as Christianity) associated with people who paid to abduct and transport Africans, and treated them like livestock. These days, separatism has declined, and many have turned to transforming institutions instead of avoiding them.

12:03 – Mon 26 December 2022 🔗

The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.

Joseph Conrad

9:01 – Tue 27 December 2022 🔗

Disney’s Black mermaid is no breakthrough — just look at the literary subgenre of Black mermaid fiction from The Conversation

Specifically, it pushes readers to think about mermaids as products of the Middle Passage, the harrowing stage of the transatlantic slave trade in which enslaved Africans were transported in crowded ships across the Atlantic Ocean.

I don’t much care about mermaids or Disney casting decisions, as such, but we do desperately need more diversity in the traditional stories that we see, especially when that diversity already existed and we traditionally ignore it.

12:05 – Tue 27 December 2022 🔗

If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read “President Can’t Swim.”

Lyndon B. Johnson

9:05 – Wed 28 December 2022 🔗

More empathetic people better understand animal sounds from Futurity

In the big picture, the researchers were looking for traces of a so-called common emotional system among mammals, but the research also has specific applications related to animal welfare.

I can only hope that terrible companies will scrap their personality tests and replace them with animals. It won’t become any less obnoxious to see companies refusing candidates who show too much empathy, but at least we’ll get to meet some animals along the way…

12:01 – Wed 28 December 2022 🔗

First learn the meaning of what you say, and then speak.


9:03 – Thu 29 December 2022 🔗

As QAnon Falters, European Followers Flock to a Financial Conspiracy from Bellingcat

Researchers found an explosion of GESARA content across the collected channels at the same time as classic QAnon tropes like “the Great Awakening” have seemed to falter.

If you don’t understand why far-right-wing people love an idea where people will receive forgiveness for their debts and a pile of money, a lot of these NESARA/GESARA-type ideas frequently cross paths with the ideas around the “sovereign citizen” movements.

12:04 – Thu 29 December 2022 🔗

Nothing is really so poor and melancholy as art that is interested in itself and not in its subject.

George Santayana

9:02 – Fri 30 December 2022 🔗

Transgender women are despised, like the Virgin Mary in her day from Global Voices

And the last one, so that these candles light the way to the hearts that hate the existence of women with trans life experience, not only on December 7 but every day of our existence, in health care and everywhere.

I wish that the article could measure up to the headline, but I still consider the topic important, at least.

12:02 – Fri 30 December 2022 🔗

Every man is hero and an oracle to somebody, and to that person, whatever he says has an enhanced value.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Bonus 🔗

Because it accidentally became a tradition early on in the life of the blog, I drop any additional articles that didn’t fit into the one-article-per-day week, but too weird or important to not mention, here.

How female Iranian activists use powerful images to protest oppressive policies from The Conversation

In 2014, women began recording themselves walking, cycling, dancing and singing in public unveiled, under the banner of the “My Stealthy Freedom” movement.

I know that many people reading these posts—in proportion to the few people who read them at all, I mean—wonder why I put so much focus on Iran. This sort of thing accounts for a lot of it, a long tradition of independence and equality that resembles the best of what we see in democratic countries, even under a series of awful regimes.

1 thing can help holiday parties boost well-being from Futurity

The research revealed that even if gatherings are virtual, if everyone has food and drink (no matter if it’s healthy or indulgent) and they’re celebrating positive events, this also increases a person’s perceived social support, and they can receive the same well-being benefits from it.

I realize that most people’s holiday party season has come to an end, but for those still making the rounds or planning for next year, I wanted to make sure that this got some attention.

Credits: Header image is Circular diagrams showing the division of the day and of the week from a manuscript drafted during the Carolingian Dynasty.