Should libraries run search engines? It seems that the original point of a library was to organize human knowledge and culture for the public benefit. The benefit has been great, but libraries aren't the main tool for finding information now. Search engines are. The notion that a library needs to be for books only is an arbitrary limitation. This oversight allowed corporations to move into that traditionally non-profit role, and I'm not convinced they've done a particularly good job.

Listening to a good episode of CBC Ideas with Ed Yong on the art of science journalism (subset: pandemic and the last two years), the social nature of science and medicine.

Hey housing nerds! The latest episode of 99% Invisible is about the Missing Middle. Specifically about Toronto, but of general interest, I'd expect.

Homebrew news (local-ish?)

The address on emails from Adventures in Homebrewing is now in Minnesota. Wondering if there was a merger involved...?

I've placed an order with them, but they're behind schedule, so I'm getting a $10 credit to a future order.

And there's something going on with old accounts being reinstated, so I'll probably need to have them merge the two at some point.

From the article: “Law enforcement does not have a monopoly on protecting public safety. In fact, they’re often its biggest threat.”

I’d go with “almost always” instead of “often.”

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Size comparison of the two black holes imaged by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration: M87*, at the heart of the galaxy Messier 87, and Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*), at the centre of the Milky Way.

Heard this graspable but still mind-blowing analogy:

The apparent angular size of the black hole at the center of our Galaxy (of which a new image was released this week) is the same as a donut on the Moon.

The #pandemic is far from over. Cases are low but rising again. It takes many lines of defense to protect against #COVID19. The #SwissCheeseModel of virus pandemic defense.

Can you trap a galaxy in a crystal ball? I tried! Back in 2018 I took this image of the Milky Way through a crystal ball from ESO's Paranal Observatory in Chile.

#astronomy #astrophotography

Recently, @Tusky app has been filling down from "Load More" button, instead of filling up from that point in the timeline. Is there a setting that allows that behavior to be changed, or is this just how it operates, now?

The old way was better for me for moving up through a timeline without having to hunt back for where I'd left off. If it's possible for it to revert to working that way, I would certainly prefer it like that.

if you were wondering what happens when (doesn't allow the letter E) meets (only allows the letter E):

One of the unexpected joys of the fediverse over other places is the addition of weird domains appended on to everyone's usernames.

It makes the web feel like more than just four websites again.

It's both a signal of a smaller more intimate internet and also a larger and far more diverse internet at the same time!

Do and pick fights back and forth? Or is distribution of that fifth glyph okay with all?

Curiously, it is okay to post words "" on Oulipo

I'm pleased to note that even, my Mastodon server where the only letter you are allowed to post is "e", has seen increased activity in the last few days.

Thanks Eeeeelon!

One of the great things about having a bunch of new folks show up and start exploring this space is that I get clued in to new capabilities that have been gradually accumulating outside my notice. One thing I recently picked up on is being able to view the “public feed” for another instance, without having to have an account there. It’s as simple as appending /public to the URL, e.g.

…not all servers support this (and perhaps some choose to turn it off?) — but many do. In the past I would sometimes create accounts at instances that had themes that were interesting to me, solely so I could view their local timelines, but the public feed seems be an easier way to “peek in”

You can also combine that tag searches! For example:

Notice _that_ is showing not only things tagged #boardgames from users, but also posts from users at other instances that are being followed by folks at — so in that way it is very similar to doing a hashtag search at your own instance… BUT each instance has a slightly different view of the fediverse due to who and what its users follow, so by running the same tag search at several instances I might pick up on thing that didn’t make it to my home at

Finally, after I discover cool stuff by poking around this way, I make use of one my favorite features of search. If you have the “permalink” to a toot (it’s the link you get clicking on the _timestamp_ of a post), e.g.

…you can paste that into the search box (this works on the web, and most clients). It’ll pull that toot into your local instance, and then you can star, comment, follow just like you could with a post in your timeline. #feditip

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