July 13th, 2017

You want towers made of ants? This is how you get towers made of ants.

The Calibri Font Is Threatening to Bring Down Pakistan's Government


The official investigation into the offshore assets of Pakistan's Prime Minster, Nawaz Sharif, and his family has alleged that Maryam Nawaz forged documents based on their use of the Calibri font, which was not publicly available when the documents were supposed to have been submitted. The Joint Investigation Team's report could have severe consequences for Sharif, since filing a false statement could make him constitutionally ineligible to be a member of Pakistan's parliament. The Wikipedia has also gotten involved as a reference for the history of Calibri and when exactly it might have been available.

The full 275 page report

Liu Xiaobo, rights activist, 1955 -- 2017


Liu Xiaobo, Chinese professor, political dissident, human rights and civil rights activist, prisoner of conscience, Nobel peace prize laureate (2010, previously), died from liver cancer while under state custody.

Liu's death followed his early "parole" from the 11-year prison sentence while he was in a critical state from late-stage liver cancer.

A collection of links following he recent events, as follows.

From The Guardian: From The New York Times: Fan Jiayang writes for The New Yorker and on his prescience, and rests on the theme of indifference.

In Foreign Policy, James Palmer writes, with scathing condemnation, about China's cynical authoritarianism and the damage done to the citizens' psychological state.

Los Angeles Times, in a timely manner, has Prof. Bruce J. Dickson surveying how the Chinese view democracy and their own society.

The Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post, now in the control of Chinese tech tycoon Jack Ma (who denies political ambitions and dismisses the role of political connections in his success, but is noted for his company's role in China's push for a perfect surveillance state), publishes an op-ed titled "How can China become a tech leader if it's intolerant of free thought?"

September 1942 - Making the New York Times


In September 1942, Office of War Information photographer Marjory Collins paid a visit to the offices of the New York Times, located at the iconic One Times Square and an annex on 43rd Street. There, she documented each step of the messy, physical process as news coming in over the wires was sorted, edited, rewritten, laid out, and printed, all under an ever-approaching deadline... (Mashable)

Navy rescues an elephant at sea


The elephant was found 10 miles off the coast of Sri Lanka, struggling to keep its trunk above water after being carried away by the strong current.

The Sri Lankan navy picked up the elephant, safely secured it with ropes and pulled the elephant ashore with the help of two other boats, as well as Sri Lankan wildlife officials.

The elephant was likely swept into the sea while trying to cross the Kokkilai Lagoon, which divides two areas of jungle. (Navy Media)

What's next - banned bookings week?


Most mefites are aware of the link between librarians and intellectual freedom through initiatives like Freedom to Read week and Banned Books week. This week a controversial request to hold a memorial for a lawyer who defended far right extremists at a branch of the Toronto Public Library has Canadian librarians
caught between obligations to their principles and obligations to their patrons.</https>

The world has lost another champion of justice and compassion


Scharlette Holdman has died at 70. She tirelessly fought to save those facing the death penalty. You can read about her and her work in books and articles, or listen to a radio program. I had the privilege of meeting her in the 90's in San Francisco. She was dedicated, smart, angry, and hilarious - and all to a degree most people I know never approach. RIP. There is more justice in the world because you were here.