Improved pocket celestial globe by Newton (celestial globe; pocket globe)

The Wednesday Politics Thread Has Seen Enough

Primary elections were held yesterday in Florida and New York (and also Oklahoma I’m told). I caught some of the results but fighting Disqus has cut into my politics news consumption habits lately, so I’m counting on fellow Politicados to spread the good/bad/depressingly mundane news on that front.

OK fine, maybe some shameful portion of time spent not following political news was in fact spent playing Yakuza games. As penance, I promise to finally learn shogi.

Shanghai turns out the lights as China struggles to maintain power supplies amid a record heat wave

Suffocating heat and dry conditions have exacerbated an ongoing drought in China’s Sichuan region, which relies on hydropower for 80% of its energy needs. As a result, the province, which is home to more than 80 million people, has been forced to close factories and ask residents to cut their power use.

“I can’t think of anything comparable to China’s heat wave of summer 2022 in its blend of intensity, duration, geographic extent, and number of people affected,” meteorologist Bob Henson told Axios.

Fortune [archive]

Security guard awaiting trial euthanised by prison authorities in Spain

Spanish prison authorities have euthanised a man who had shot and wounded four people in December and was subsequently wounded in a shootout with the police, rendering him paralysed and begging to be allowed to die while awaiting trial.

Spain legalised euthanasia just over a year ago. Prior to that, helping someone to end their life carried a jail term of up to 10 years. According to El País newspaper, in the year since the law came into force on 25 June 2021, at least 172 people used the right to assisted death.

The Guardian [archive]

India fires officers for accidental missile launch into Pakistan

Military experts have in the past warned of the risk of accidents or miscalculations by the neighbours, which have fought three wars and engaged in numerous smaller armed clashes, usually over the disputed territory of Kashmir.

The incident, which may have been the first of its kind, immediately raised questions about safety mechanisms in place to prevent accidental launches and raised worries as both countries possess nuclear weapons.

Al Jazeera [archive]

Brazil receives embalmed heart of Portuguese king to mark independence

The heart, kept in formaldehyde in a glass jar inside a gold urn, arrived at the presidential palace in an open Rolls Royce flanked by a mounted color guard and was received by President Jair Bolsonaro with a gun salute. Air Force planes flew past.

Dom Pedro I’s heart had been kept in a church in the Portuguese city of Porto since his death in Portugal in 1834. It is being loaned for three weeks to Brazil, where it will be put on display as part of independence anniversary celebrations.

Reuters [archive]

Penn State History Lesson: The Shrunken Heads In The Museum Of Anthropology

Until recently, one of Penn State’s most bizarre legends was hiding in plain sight — the shrunken heads in the Matson Museum of Anthropology. Shrunken heads, more formally referred to as tsantas, were crafted by the Shuar people of Ecuador in the 19th century.

Two tsantsas were donated to Penn State’s School of Mineral Industries in the 1930s by Russell E. Stamm. Although the buying and selling of tsantsas had already been made illegal, a 1935 issue of The Daily Collegian reported that Stamm acquired the heads after they were smuggled into Colombia.

“My hope is that we find more information about the origins of these two individuals and determine a way forward,” [Matson Museum director Dr. James Doyle] said. “If they are indeed tsantas from the Shuar peoples, then we could start talking to our colleagues in the Ecuadorian Embassy.”

Onward State [archive]

Go ahead, keep terrifying me with those Dall-E posts; my hogpoggling only intensifies.

In honor of @sokudoningyou and Marsha P. Johnson’s birthdays today (as well as my memory lasting two whole days), here is a repost of the link from Monday’s thread to donate to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute:

Support is free and it doesn’t cost a thing to offer your love, but when you become a partner, you help us employ BLACK trans people, build more strategic campaigns, launch winning initiatives, and interrupt the people who are standing in the way of more being possible in the world for BLACK Trans people, and all people. Being the champion for solutions is the legacy of our namesake and it is our goal to continue that legacy by championing solutions for BLACK people in the US, we are offering a new reality for BLACK trans people in America. Our commitment is forever. Help us make it happen.