Between 1904 and 1940, some 3.5 billion American chestnut trees, the giants of the Appalachian hardwood forest, succumbed to a fungal blight called Cryphonectria parasitica.
The loss was stunning—not just for sprawling ecosystems across much of the eastern United States, where the tree was a keystone species, but also for the Appalachian way of life.
By almost any metric, the American chestnut was a perfect tree. Massive, fast-growing, and rot-resistant, it was easy to mill into cabin logs, furniture, fence posts, and railroad ties. After being harvested, it resprouted; in 20 years, it was ready for the sawyer again. Wide limbs spanned the canopy, filtering sunlight and creating a diverse, layered forest below. Sweet, acorn-size nuts fed squirrels, deer, raccoons, and bears. Cooper's hawks nested in the high branches, wild turkeys in the lower forks. Insects thrived in the craggy bark, which was naturally tannic and a good choice for preserving hides. Cherokee people made dough from the crushed nuts, treated heart troubles with the leaves, and dressed wounds with astringent brewed from the sprouts. And in the fall, when the chestnuts piled up in carpets half a foot thick, white settler families collected and sold them by the bushel.
The American chestnut does have one defense mechanism against the blight: While the tree aboveground dies, often what's beneath the soil remains viable. Chestnut roots in Appalachian forests are constantly shooting up new sprouts. They resemble shrubs more than trees—live stems clustered around a dry, dead one, with serrated oval leaves that pop, golden yellow, against the underbrush. There are an estimated 430 million wild American chestnuts still growing in their native range, and while the majority of them are less than an inch in diameter, they're easy to find if you know what you're looking for. But even these persistent saplings are doomed. Most survive only five or 10 years before the blight gets them too.
Sunday, February 28, 2021
Blight wiped out the extremely useful chestnut trees in Appalachia, but there's an effort to engineer a hardier species
Bloomberg offers a long look at how the sneaker reselling business works:
The day these Yeezys were released, he’d awoken at 3 a.m., signed on to the messaging platform Discord, and rousted 15 members of his “cook group,” a term sneaker resellers use to describe their allies in arbitrage. When the shoes went on sale an hour later, [his] team swarmed the Yeezy Supply website using specialized computer programs such as Cybersole, Kodai, and GaneshBot, each prepped with [his] credit card information and capable of gaming a system meant to limit purchases to one pair per customer. By 6 a.m. the shoes were sold out, and [his] bots had rung up $132,000 on his American Express. His company, West Coast Streetwear, resold the shoes in almost as little time as it had taken to buy them, clearing $20,000 in profit. “Anything that’s releasing that I know I can make a guaranteed buck on, I’m gonna go full into,” [he] said. “That’s just my style.”
[His] competitors have access to the same bot software and StockX-borne real-time market research as he does. What they don’t have, according to some of his subscribers, is consistent, sound analysis of what shoes to buy, how to get them, and, crucially, how long resellers might expect demand to persist. [He] declined to talk about his sources of information, but he did say he was lucky to have grown up in Portland, where both Nike and Adidas base their U.S. operations. “If you know the right people here, this is the city to sell shoes,” he said. The right people “can give you access to stuff that, like, a normal person would not have access to.”
I’d learned, quite by accident [his mother had] worked at Nike for 25 years and had recently been made its vice president and general manager for North America. The press release announcing her promotion noted that she would be “instrumental in accelerating our Consumer Direct Offense”—the Nike initiative that had helped fuel the sneaker-resale boom.
When I asked [him] about the connection later that year, he acknowledged that [she] was his mother and said that, while she’d inspired him as a businessperson, she was so high up at Nike as to be removed from what he does, and that he’d never received inside information such as discount codes from her. He insisted, though, that she not be mentioned in the article and cut off contact not long after our conversation.
the next gordon ramsay pic.twitter.com/VsCG4S3NZQ— 𝕾𝖓𝖆𝖈𝖐𝖘 𝕿𝖍𝖊 𝕳𝖞𝖊𝖓𝖆 (@snacksHyena) February 26, 2021
So, these have been mostly done for a while, but here's my redesigns of Samus' suits from the 2D games in the series! pic.twitter.com/gfcfoHFzck— Nathan Anderson |ACAB| (@deimosremus) February 23, 2021
Saturday, February 27, 2021
The Washington Post has a long article about the ongoing competition between Russia and Turkey to divide up Libya:
The concentration of weapons and multiethnic militias on sparse, desert terrain draws comparisons to George Lucas films. “It’s like the Star Wars bar scene,” a former U.S. official said.
To prop up Hifter’s ragtag operation, Russia printed billions in Libyan currency for him to pay out to regional militias, a gambit exposed when shipping containers stuffed with counterfeit notes were seized on a vessel in Malta.
The Russian Pantsir S-1 is a four-axle truck mounted with 10-foot missiles capable of shooting enemy aircraft — including drones — out of the sky. Hifter had a fleet of them, reportedly purchased by the UAE, and Russian operatives to show his forces how to use them.
The systems were expected to be among the most valuable pieces that Wagner brought to the fight, protecting Hifter’s ground forces from aerial attack as they advanced toward Tripoli across flat, exposed terrain.
Then, one by one, the Pantsirs started getting picked off. Turkish drones toyed with the lumbering vehicles, tracking their movements and turning them into charred husks. Adding to the humiliation for Wagner and Hifter, highlight reels started appearing online showing Pantsir after Pantisr stray into a Turkish drone’s sights, then disappear in a plume of smoke.
The Carrington Event was a huge solar storm that caused auroras all over the world (and mass destruction)
By the following evening, the particles from those flares had reached Earth, and the sky was ablaze with auroras—the northern (and southern) lights. In the Rocky Mountains, campers woke and started making breakfast at midnight; a man in New Orleans went hunting at 1 a.m. From North America to East Asia, Hawaii to Colombia, Brisbane to Cape Town, crowds stayed up all night to stare at the razzle-dazzle...In 1859, the global telegraph network had more than 200,000 kilometers of cables, mostly in North America and Europe. As the storm peaked, operators from San Francisco to Bombay found their cables and equipment overwhelmed by the “auroral current.” In New York City, one man was left stunned by an “arc of fire” that shot off a ground wire onto his forehead; an operator in Pittsburgh saw “streams of fire” pouring from his circuits as they nearly melted. Telegraph operators in Boston and Portland, Maine, disconnected their batteries but found the storm current was enough to power the line on its own, while across the world messages were blocked, their signals overwhelmed. Normal service only resumed after several days, as the flux faded and equipment was repaired.The Carrington Event happened before mass electrification. Today, the world is criss-crossed by billions of kilometers of cables...The most dangerous place for satellites to be during a storm is in low-Earth orbit, on the edge of the atmosphere where geomagnetic flux is high. Satellites from the likes of NASA are hardened against all but the worst disruptions, but the last few years have seen the rise of programs like SpaceX’s Starlink, with fleets of thousands of relatively cheap, unhardened, and seemingly unreliable micro-satellites...There’s tree ring evidence to suggest that bigger-than-1859 storms—possibly 20 times larger—occurred in both 774 CE and 5480 BCE, but such evidence is inconsistent.
So I went and looked at the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle for 774 and HERE IT IS pic.twitter.com/gcSDo1QMk4— Alix Mortimer 🔶 (@alixmortimer) February 25, 2021
Friday, February 26, 2021
Larian [Studio]'s given all of these critters a lot of love already, including completely unnecessary and extremely welcome things like animation and poses for sitting on chairs.
If you, like me, want to spend as much time as possible as a badger, there are some limitations. You can climb, jump, loot, open doors and most of the things you'll be able to do normally, but you'll need to turn back to your regular shape if you want to talk to people. In cutscenes and unskippable conversations, you'll temporarily drop your animal disguise, but once it's over you'll shapeshift again. Most of the time, though, you'll have to manually break the spell and waste a charge.
To make up for not being understood by humans, elves and the like, you can chat to absolutely every animal whenever you're shapeshifted. They all seem to know you're not quite what you appear to be, and in some cases you'll just get a line of dialogue telling you to piss off, but some of them will be willing to chat and maybe offer you advice or share a secret. They're all brilliant.
Sleeping Beauty cake; This would be good packaging for organic food; A profile of the designer of Fry's Electronics
So I'm in a bubble with my parents and they got me a birthday cake made.— Maria Callous 💅🏻 (@LauraEmilyBored) February 24, 2021
Did I mention I ADORED (still do tbh) Sleeping Beauty as a child. The artwork, the animation etc.
Suffice to say I gasped...... pic.twitter.com/Yon6ugReL6
I would buy eggs from here for sure— Ryan Pequin (@ryanpequin) February 24, 2021
Suddenly remembering the casino zone behind the checkout where mafia-lookin workers would sit at tables and literally count huge stacks of money openly during peak times. Wtf was Fry’s. Goodnight, weird prince https://t.co/2EDJdkJksK— Cabel (@cabel) February 24, 2021
"I didn’t know it was going to be a career," [Christensen] muses, "but I could certainly do this as long as they want me to. It’s fun."— Rosa Golijan (@rosa) February 24, 2021
Sounds like he may have wound up designing most, if not all, of the stores.https://t.co/jGowxzpYwj
Diablo 3's demon is kawaii; They were inspired by Fallout because they couldn't afford a console to play Final Fantasy; Clues that your studio is about to make mass layoffs
I found an interviewer who asked the Disco Elysium developers if they were into Final Fantasy VII and they gave a response that showed off how small-minded the question even was pic.twitter.com/2QCAvl8DmR— Disco Effluvium (@fireh9lly) February 20, 2021
hi, survivor of several game studio layoffs (and reorgs) here! let's talk about some ways you might identify whether layoffs/reorgs are coming for your studio-- and if so, what you can DO about it, so that you are not powerless in this process.— Katie Chironis (@kchironis) February 23, 2021
Video game consoles are the only reliable marker for the passage of time— 𝑮𝑹𝑹𝑳 (@GRRLmusic) February 24, 2021
Victor's distinctive moves explained; Jen Bartel remakes a FFVII screenshot; New Jet Grind Radio trailer
fortnite designers must be stopped pic.twitter.com/s2ZeHMTezE— 🌕🪶 (@redsunO21) February 25, 2021
They've come such a long way :') Anyway I posted this today specifically as an offering to the State of Play gods—give us something good 2day pls Squeenix 😩🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/NAVAmZORty— Jen Bartel (@heyjenbartel) February 25, 2021
watching my great-great-grandchildren play the final installment of FFVIIR from my holographic portrait on the wall that contains a lo-fi scan of my brain and has limited sentience— michael lutz (@WarrenIsDead) February 25, 2021
Characters, gameplay and direction - Me— Dion Koster ❏ (@TR_Dion) February 24, 2021
Partner in crime, world art - @RemmersTim
UI, billboards, graphic design - @semdoller
World art powerhouse - @SunBunGames
Animation man, VFX, editing - @Kittomatic
World art, tech art - @andylobjois
System coding - Wouter Bomer
WATCH: Police in Karachi, Pakistan are training an armed rollerblading unit to better prevent theft and harassment on its streets. pic.twitter.com/IX5CrM6tep— CBS News (@CBSNews) February 23, 2021
Thursday, February 25, 2021
Better timebending in this Tiktok than in Tenet; Absolutely charming BB8 figurine; Deactivate that robot dog
Genuine question: Was there *literally anything* on Quibi as well constructed as this kid’s zero-budget TikTok pic.twitter.com/O3bPY6fp4M— Felix Salmon (@felixsalmon) February 25, 2021
子供が描いたBB-8を立体化 pic.twitter.com/5k11WZjIC7— Taku Inoue (@inouetable) February 25, 2021
PSA: if you or someone nearby are being brutalized by a police Spot robot and can get a hand or something underneath, grab this handle and yank it forward. This releases the battery, instantly disabling the robot.— sleep paralysis demon (@LenKusov) February 24, 2021
Keep your hands away from joints, Spot WILL crush your fingers. https://t.co/bMyEKmpS7R pic.twitter.com/vw8WDMWDAD
Works on Ao3 are tagged and there's no limit to the number of tags you can use. This has caused issues as some writers use piles of tags to make their work more visible. Now someone has uploaded 1984 as tags, making Ao3 unreadable: pic.twitter.com/IR0hEb8CxU— Xiaoyi (@Xiaoyi_no) February 21, 2021
"Sexy Times with Wangxian" is infamous for this, so much so that other works are simply instructions on how to block it and make the site usable: pic.twitter.com/U0POqStktJ— Xiaoyi (@Xiaoyi_no) February 21, 2021
Darth Vader commission! pic.twitter.com/xZnsCizvDi— Daniel Warren Johnson (@danielwarrenart) February 22, 2021
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Meet Alto – a build-it-yourself AI Experiment! 👋 🤖 Alto introduces the basics of machine learning by helping you build your own teachable object at home. Create your Alto and share the results → https://t.co/B56vZoLSNn #mlwithalto #makers #machinelearning #AI pic.twitter.com/Do5xuiVrDm— Experiments with Google (@ExpWithGoogle) February 22, 2021
Found the link! https://t.co/5ehOAhgLUc— Jupiter (@misdabs) February 21, 2021
Ok nobody asked but here is how you make a story: Think of 50 things that are interesting to you: concepts, hairstyles, occupations, foods, locations, vehicles, metaphors, outfits, body parts. Find a way to connect them all in a way that makes its own kind of sense.— Casey Nowak (@IgnatzHaderach) February 21, 2021
Then put a guy in there who's just you but dumber and play tricks on him.— Casey Nowak (@IgnatzHaderach) February 21, 2021
Room designed to look like it's under attack by King Kong; Axe with decorative hearts; Men can't shriek
Sure, we may be one of the most lauded architectural feats of all time—but if you ask us, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.— Empire State Building (@EmpireStateBldg) February 19, 2021
Our top-to-bottom revamp of the visitor experience tells NYC's story like never before. Read via @blooloop: https://t.co/nWbyUv9mnr pic.twitter.com/4xqpHXhwuO
Japanese axe, Muromachi Period, 14th century. pic.twitter.com/9rr1iU95JA— Marina Amaral (@marinamaral2) February 22, 2021
A fascinating observation about men screamin in cinema is brought up in the new issue of FANGORIA. pic.twitter.com/Nnomr7e8de— Justin Decloux (@DeclouxJ) February 22, 2021
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Beautiful sword! In Finland PhD graduates also grind their swords. Companion rotates the wheel, and champagne is used as a lubricant. pic.twitter.com/NfwOddpcQ0— Tarja Repo (@Tarja_Repo) February 23, 2021
Россия, наши дни. Это позорище. Это мы так готовим хоккеистов? Скоро никакого хоккея вообще не будет в нашей стране. pic.twitter.com/qeDx91lKDa— Держи передачу (@Boogaard_2) February 18, 2021
А это уже Китай. Узнали о наших методиках и переняли. pic.twitter.com/KTHobM6vyD— Держи передачу (@Boogaard_2) February 20, 2021
However cool you think you are, you'll never be as cool as the smartly suited, Crombie-wearing, moustachioed Detective Inspector George Johnston tackling a razor wielding thug at a sectarian rally in Glasgow, fag still clamped between his lips in 1971... Legend. pic.twitter.com/wwsMPwCRhW— Neil Lancaster (@neillancaster66) February 20, 2021
another shot..... pic.twitter.com/uj6uF2BlB4— Neil Lancaster (@neillancaster66) February 20, 2021
Magnet fishing? Yea these looked like all murder weapons pic.twitter.com/CfXfMvIKlG— DESHAUN TO CHICAGO (@FlowsAndolini) February 22, 2021
Augmented reality Daft Punk; The creation of Daft Punk's helmets; Jack Sparrow actor stays in character
Sculpted Daft Punk helmets by Alterian Inc. pic.twitter.com/WIUgrc6Ena— Daft Punk Fandom🤖🤖 (@Daft_Wub) February 18, 2021
a woman attacked actors on stage in the Pirates of the Caribbean show at Shanghai Disney and called them "pigs of America." she was taken to hospital for treatment. https://t.co/nAhTVG4koh— isabella steger (@stegersaurus) February 23, 2021
Tamotsu Shinohara's Minotaur design from Shin Megami Tensei IV is so good pic.twitter.com/j4FWihjuGU— HTOP (@Htop_Gunder) February 20, 2021
Perception vs Reality. This is the kind of physical comedy that comics do best. pic.twitter.com/FumwqaH2Ev— Minovsky (@MinovskyArticle) March 11, 2018
This Wild Thing chainsaw looks like 90s Nickelodeon designed it.— Chicken Noodle (@EmoBurd) February 18, 2021
Almost hate to use it because the decals are in such good shape.
Monday, February 22, 2021
In the center of the section stood each banged-up can proudly with the following sign:
“These are the heroes who bravely stood up to the earthquake. I don’t want them to be treated like fallen and damaged products that sell at a discount. They look different but they have delicious alcohol on the inside. Please take them with you and let them live out their lives as delicious alcohol.”
Underneath the sign is a drawing of a wounded can shouting; “We will not be beaten by the earthquake!!”
On sale Thursday at Vice Press.
A timely Nancy strip; "Sower of Temptation"; Imagining a dungeons and dragons-style guide to business
Nancy By Ernie Bushmiller 1-15-48 pic.twitter.com/9Z3eflJlMn— Nancy Comics by Ernie Bushmiller (@JohnnyCallicutt) February 19, 2021
"Sower of Temptation" - Acrylic painting. I usually paint in silence, but while working on this series, @Grimezsz new album Miss Anthropocene was released, and I had it on a loop, especially the track "New Gods". I think some of that energy got in there a little bit... pic.twitter.com/mk9ULU1q5b— Seb McKinnon (@SebMcKinnon) February 20, 2021
This Deal Chart is bringing up a lot of questions for me. Now I understand why founders go through accelerators to help them understand concepts in this book. pic.twitter.com/bma20vEhRA— Danielle (@djbaskin) February 20, 2021
Selfie Museum where for $35 you can look like those blurry Tinder photos of men holding dead fish. pic.twitter.com/u3ctuLOCby— Danielle (@djbaskin) February 20, 2021
I just downloaded that david rudnick piece that sold for $19k here: https://t.co/OQdjuo33q0— magnus (@magnus_holmes) February 16, 2021
its 4500 x 6429, plenty big enough to use it for absolutely whatever. it's probably the same res as the one sold
yeah I wanted to provide it at a size that if you want to print, go for it— ཊལབསརངཧ (@David_Rudnick) February 16, 2021
one of the most miserable bullshit cruelties of the previous paradigm where we owned nothing we posted and had no means of monetising it is we became the inadvertent mall security guards and narcs of private property the network now owned. I fucking hated it and yet was trapped— ཊལབསརངཧ (@David_Rudnick) February 16, 2021
Sunday, February 21, 2021
Today @wdavidmarx and I did a breezy ~30km walk into Tokyo and this fire department training in a random residential ‘hood was just maximally spontaneous and beautiful and bizarre: pic.twitter.com/GABCdflHOv— Craig Mod (@craigmod) February 21, 2021
“We had to get 15 different city agencies to agree to this,” said veteran house mover Phil Joy. “Maybe it was 18 agencies. I’m not really sure.”Along the route, parking meters were ripped up. Limbs from an overhanging laurel tree were trimmed. Traffic signs were relocated. Overhead traffic lights are coming down and overhead wires that power the 5-Fulton Muni line will be turned off and unstrung. No-Parking-tow-away-zone signs have been plastered all over like bad checks....After the move is complete, the site at 807 Franklin St. is set to become a 48-unit, eight-story apartment building.... And the traveling Victorian will be anchored into place at 635 Fulton St. next to a historic mortuary
No big deal, just a giant house rolling through San Francisco pic.twitter.com/6J7Tqi8cmQ— Dumitru Erhan (@doomie) February 21, 2021
Here's the route it's taking pic.twitter.com/Vj1oRrJPJh— Simon Willison (@simonw) February 21, 2021
That top floor is most definitely haunted pic.twitter.com/rruHNiLbKa— Simon Willison (@simonw) February 21, 2021
Coach Prime said someone stole all of the belongings in his office during the game. pic.twitter.com/HEMRLv7IgI— Rashad Milligan (@RashadMilligan) February 21, 2021
Lies. It was stolen because a staff member walked in on the theft being committed but she couldn’t fight a dude off. https://t.co/SByAPPPH1H— COACH PRIME (@DeionSanders) February 22, 2021
Naw it was stolen but they got it back. It was stolen out my personal bag in my office and My assistant caught the gentleman in the process of stealing it but she was alone. No Miscommunication my man at all https://t.co/foXTKwqsQC— COACH PRIME (@DeionSanders) February 22, 2021