Russia and Iran updates

Hopefully this post will be obsolete soon, but meanwhile here is a site with daily, detailed updates on the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the protests in Iran. This includes political and social forces pushing the situations in various directions (did you know that Ayatollah Khamenei has a son, who might or might not become his successor? Or that militarist bloggers in Russia are demanding a broader, more devastating war?). For example:

Iran Crisis Update, November 23

Nov 23, 2022 – Press ISW

Protest activity and strikes will likely increase in the coming days. Protest coordinators and organizations have called for countrywide demonstrations from November 24-26 in solidarity with the protesters in Kurdistan Province. The regime has deployed the IRGC Ground Forces to cities and towns throughout Kurdistan Province to brutally crack down on protesters, as CTP previously reported. Twenty-nine neighborhood youth groups issued a joint statement on November 23 calling for the upcoming protests, demonstrating a degree of overt coordination that CTP has not previously observed.

(“CTP” is the “Critical Threats Project (CTP) at the American Enterprise Institute with support from the Institute for the Study of War.”)

Click on the article heading (eg Iran Crisis Update, November 23) for a detailed report. For the Russia reports, there is a lot of detailed, town-by-town information, but do check the end of each report for another summary.


Dating tweets

For examples:

I can tell climate change is real because men arenโ€™t holding as many fish in their dating profiles.

yes!! the place for performative activism is on your dating app profile !! yes!

dating apps are punishment for being single

Men on dating apps keep requiring that I speak fluent sarcasm but they donโ€™t have that on duolingo ๐Ÿ˜”๐Ÿ˜”๐Ÿ˜”๐Ÿ˜”โ˜น๏ธ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ˜ฉ๐Ÿ˜ฃ๐Ÿ˜ž๐Ÿ˜”๐Ÿ˜ซ๐Ÿ˜ซ what do I do

More at:

Universal basic income (UBI)

Experiments are showing that, at least in some cases, the simplest and most effective solution to poverty is… giving people money.

More than twenty pilot programs are taking place across the country. Many other programs attempt to help poor people: food stamps, welfare, Section 8 housing vouchers (“which often have stringent rules and leave many poor families ineligible.“) Perhaps we could combine all these programs into one simpler, less expensive program.

The pilot is testing whether giving poor families a financial cushion can have a demonstrable impact on their physical and psychological health, job prospects and communities…

While Leo used a few bucks from Compton Pledge for a fried rice dinner, the rest of it went to more pressing causes: a $250 car diagnostic tool enabling him to take on more mechanic jobs, a college textbook for his 23-year-old stepdaughter Lesley, a few hundred dollars sent to his ailing mother in Guatemala, and payments towards a $3,000 payday loan that has accrued nearly $1,000 in interest fees in less than two years.

September 2021: Inside the Nation’s Largest Guaranteed Income Experiment. (3,700 words.)


Zohna Everett choked up as she described the immediate impact the payments had on her life. She quit driving for DoorDash, which gave her the time to find a job as a factory worker at Teslaโ€™s plant in Fremont, 60 miles from Stockton. She was able to escape a dysfunctional marriage and move into her own home. โ€œFor me, it was a steppingstone. It got me to where I was okay by myself,โ€ she says. โ€œIt was right on time. Everything in me was just like, โ€˜Oh, thank you so much, Lord.โ€™โ€

…A mountain of evidence shows how tightly income inequality correlates with crime rates, education levels, drug abuse, incarceration, intimate-partner violence, and physical and mental health, which together cost billions upon billions of tax dollars.

October 2022: Universal Basic Income Has Been Tested Repeatedly. It Works. (5,900 words, long but very good.)

Cheat codes for life

In computer games, a “cheat code” is a special code or series of steps that gives you extra powers in the game. In real life, here are a whole bunch of techniques that can give you extra powers. Some examples (with more details in the article):

  • When you get lots of rejections you stop fearing it. This makes you unstoppable.
  • The world wants you to be normal. F*ck being normal. Thatโ€™s when being extraordinary becomes impossible.
  • Working for yourself means you can earn less income than a normal salary and still make more due to tax reasons.
  • Everything in life has a tax. Example: attracting a few haters is the tax on being a writer. Pay the tax and donโ€™t complain.
  • Not knowing what to do and taking action anyway is a superpower.
  • The person we lie to the most is ourselves.
  • Experiment in life so you take a few risks. A risk that canโ€™t bankrupt you is a good one.

Candy corn tweets

Huffington Post has thoughtfully collected tweets about candy corn for us, just in time for Halloween: (You’ll have to click the link to the actual tweet for some of them.) Some examples:

Me: Sugar is evil and I’m not putting that shit in my body.


FACT: Candy corn is made out of melted down traffic cones.


Candy corn is the gateway candy to black licorice.


The most important part of not liking candy corn is telling people.