Happy Pi Day! I shall, as is traditional, make pie to celebrate. This year, it's pumpkin pie - or pies, rather. One will be for the family, and my lucky student workers and fellow librarians will be getting the other on Thursday.

But, of course, pie is only incidental to pi - as a grammarphile, I'm fond of homophones, but the day is dedicated to the number, of course. (I've memorized this much of it: 3.141592. That's as far as I can get. That's pretty sad, really. Ah, well.)

So, we'll do a special set of links for Pi Day!


  • Library Land
    • Do you like podcasts? (I'm looking at you, Mary!) Do you like mythology? Here's a really great podcast for you: Myths and Legends - Telling the stories of the past in the language of the present 
    • The New York librarian who nearly ruled the Ottoman Empire "If the Ottoman Empire had survived, Osman Bayezid would have become the ruler of the once powerful dynasty. Instead, the last family heir worked as a librarian, did puppet shows for kids and devoted his life to taking care of his mother." He was probably happier for it, though.
    • What Zinn Censorship Attempts Tell Us About the State of Intellectual Freedom "We still have a long way to go when it comes to intellectual freedom. It is heartening to see that it is so widely respected and is unlikely to be seriously infringed upon by one-off calls for censorship like these. But we have to be wary in case these calls for censorship by one politician here and one politician there becomes a concerted effort to chip away at the these values. We also have to expand respect for these values so that intellectual freedom applies to all educational professionals, regardless of who they teach."
  • Health, Science, & Technology
    • Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is rising at the fastest rate ever recorded "For the second year in a row, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations have climbed at a record pace." 
      • Sadly, related: Exclusive: even deeper cuts being discussed for EPA "Climate change programs would be gutted under the proposal and the workforce attached to these programs would be cleared out of the agency — in line with the aggressive vision of EPA transition head Myron Ebell."
    • How Sultry 1940s Film Star Hedy Lamarr Helped Invent the Technology Behind Wi-Fi & Bluetooth During WWII "A reluctant star since her early role in the scandalous Czech film Ekstase and in America never quite able to escape typecasting as the mysterious, exotic beauty opposite a 'real' actor, the bored Lamarr occupied her mind by turning to invention. Working away at her drafting table instead of making the nightly Hollywood party rounds, Lamarr came up with everything from dissolving soda tablets to improved traffic signals and tissue boxes to a 'skin-tautening technique based on the principles of the accordion.'" In addition, she created "...a 'frequency-hopping' communication system in 1942, but it raised no military interest until the Cuban Missile Crisis twenty years later, when the Navy started using the technology on their ships. It evolved in the decades thereafter, ultimately becoming an indispensable element of such technologies in widespread use today as wi-fi and Bluetooth." 
  • Randomnesses
    • A Soft Murmur Just in case you need some nice ambient noise. 
  • International
  • U.S. News
    • Ryan Is Sticking With GOP Obamacare-Replacement Bill Despite CBO Estimate  "We're gonna save a ton of money!" Yes, sure - but we'll do it by compromising people's lives and well-being, which ends up being very costly to taxpayers, as well as, well, immoral. It's projected to even raise the percentage of uninsured people over what it was before the ACA. In the next year alone, 14 million will be uninsured (increasing to 24 million by 2026), while premiums will be going up by 15-20%.  They'll drop eventually - but mostly because insurance coverage will be getting skimpier. So, sure, you'll be paying less in premiums - but you'll be paying more out of pocket, because your insurance will be covering less. So, again, health care for the wealthy - "sucks to be you" for everyone else.
    • Surgeon On Health Care Bill: The Stakes Are 'Extremely High' For Patients "'What is the human goal of this bill? What's it aiming to solve? If the aim is to solve the problems they criticize, they've not put forward solutions that actually do that.'"
    •  Many foreign tourists say they're afraid to visit the US after Trump travel ban "It is not just visitors from the countries targeted by the bans that are souring on U.S. travel; the seven countries included in Trump's original order in January account for 0.1 per cent of incoming travellers. Rather, an atmosphere of fear at the nation's airports - and well-publicized incidents of visitors being detained and interrogated - are scaring off people without the slightest connection to the Muslim world."
      • Three More SXSW-Bound Bands Denied Entry Into The U.S. 
        According to Massive Scar Era, a Customs and Border Patrol [CBP] official also questioned the band's bassist, Dylan Pieter Wijdenes-Charles, about proving his ethnic identity.

        In the video, Amr recounts a purported exchange between the immigration agent and Wijdenes-Charles. "Dylan is a First Nation," she exclaims. "He's allowed to go to the States whenever he wants to, work whenever he wants to, because he's First Nation ... He [the CBP agent] looked at him and he's like, 'Next time when you come, you have to show a blood test that you're First Nation.'" The band says that Wijdenes-Charles was carrying an official card identifying him as a First Nation member.

        If Massive Scar Era's allegations are true, the immigration agent's statements could be a breach of the Jay Treaty and subsequent legislation following that agreement. The Jay Treaty, signed in 1794, allows First Nation members and American Indians free passage across the U.S.-Canadian border for many reasons, including employment and immigration.
      • Hamilton church volunteers denied entry to U.S. so they wouldn't 'steal American jobs' "Erik Hoeksema, the church's outreach director who was travelling with the group, said they intended to spend March break cleaning up and rehabilitating neighbourhoods affected by Hurricane Sandy." 
    • Rex Tillerson Used an Email Alias at Exxon to Discuss Climate Change, Says New York AG  Exxon really does not want people looking at Tillerson's email, despite orders to release them; you have to wonder why.
    • Trump makes ninth golf course visit in seven weeks in office "Before becoming president, Trump frequently complained about former President Barack Obama playing golf, arguing that he should instead be working. But since taking office, Trump hasn't been shy about hitting the golf course himself."
    • More Like Rachel Much-Ado, Amirite?  "There are two possibilities to explain the random release of a random piece of tax information about Donald Trump. Three if you count coincidence."

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