Anti-globalism Is Common Factor in Social Media Conspiracy Theories, says UW Prof

Fascinating academic effort to find a pattern in apparently random conspiracy theories that regularly pop up in our infostreams during social crises. Experts usually dismiss them because they are so wild and unlikely, and have thus failed to notice their impact. Starbird’s insight was to map the digital connections between all this buzzing on Twitter with a conglomeration of websites. Then she analyzed the content of each site to try…

An apology to Donald Trump, from the “fake news” media

A good example of the power of satire. Trump used Tuesday night’s rally to denounce the “fake news” media for being mean, dishonest, bad, America-hating and an all-around pain in his keister. […] After spending 15 or so minutes complaining about the media, he said of the media: “For the most part, all they do is complain. … These are really, really dishonest people and they’re bad people and I…

As Trump ranted and rambled in Phoenix, his crowd slowly thinned 

The journalist chose to spotlight a little girl who’s both a Trump supporter and an aspiring journalist. This is how journalists can be creative — by choosing what details to focus on. “What happened in Charlottesville strikes at the core of America,” Trump said, appearing to read from the teleprompters placed on stage. “And tonight, this entire arena stands united in forceful condemnation of the thugs who perpetrate hatred and…

Judge orders Montana congressman who assaulted a reporter to be formally booked on assault charge, months after his election

A judge has ordered Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte to be photographed and fingerprinted for assaulting a reporter in May, opening the door for the congressman’s mug shot to be plastered in opponents’ campaign ads in next year’s election. […]  The day after the assault, Gianforte defeated Democrat Rob Quist in the special election to replace Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke as Montana’s only congressman. | Gianforte pleaded guilty in June. | Gianforte was fined $385 and ordered to perform…

Shakespeare on Eclipses

Prepping for tomorrow’s first meeting of my Shakespeare class. In 1598, during Shakespeare’s lifetime, England experienced a total solar eclipse, with the path of totality tracking from Cornwall in the southwest up to Aberdeen in Scotland. As we in the twenty-first century prepare for the Great American Eclipse on Aug 21, let’s look at three of the ways Shakespeare used eclipses in his plays and poems: 1. An eclipse as an ill…