Thanksgiving News Tetrazzini: Squash, Migraines, Latrines, Lastpass, and more…

userpic=turkey,turkeysThanksgiving is over, and I’m sure you’re wondering what you’re going to do with the leftover: the drips and dregs of turkey links. You’ve had it to here with sandwiches, and aren’t in the mood for stew. How about some news chum tetrazzini?

  • Squashing It. Let’s start with some food: winter squash, to be specific. All squashes are not the same, and here’s how to know when a squash is at its best. Acorn, butternut and Hubbard squash — just a few of the season’s delights — fill different culinary niches. And, although they’re all typically picked within a month or so of each other in early fall, the optimal moment to eat them can differ quite a bit.
  • The Writing on the Walls. Here’s an interesting exploration of the meaning of the writing on latrine walls in the military. Quoting a paragraph in the article: «Superficially at least, the latrinalia resembled a YouTube comments section. There were the wild accusations of servicemen with vague vendettas: “Cpt. Franklin is a pussy and doesn’t give a shit about you.” There were sweeping political pronouncements: “Kill all politicians.” Misattributed appeals to authority in defense of ill-defined ideologies: “Only the dead have seen the end of war. —Homer.” And of course, there was the passionate, ongoing discourse between the “FTA,” or “Fuck the Army,” crowd, and those who rushed to the loyal defense of their beloved institution: “You’re a pussy.”»
  • Alexander Who?. The talk of Broadway this fall is Hamilton, the hip-hop Broadway musical about the life of Alexander Hamilton. It’s got surprising traction, but doesn’t tell the whole story. Here’s what you’re missing by only listening to the show.
  • Theatre Rules. Another theatre article (alas, I didn’t get to the magic three) that covers 8 rules that every theatre person should know. I knew many of these, but didn’t know the origins of them. For example, “breaking a leg” is not a wish for bad luck, and not whistling is for your safety.
  • He said, Sheepishly Here’s one I couldn’t make up if I tried: There’s an Austrian shepard who sings Yiddish to the Syrian refugees that he rescues. This shepard drives them through dirt-paved roads to his home in Austria, a remote cabin in the woods without running water. His risks could land in him in jail, but he clearly believes it’s worth the reward. It’s personal. His Jewish father fled to Britain before World War II, escaping persecution. He draws comparisons between his father’s plight, like the plight of so many Jews during Nazi rule in Europe. “It makes me cry again and again if I think of my father, of his situation, and of other immigrants–and I put it together with these people.”
  • Password Managers. I’m a password manager convert. I used to write them down in 4pt type and keep them in my wallet, but a password manager has made it easy to make my passwords stronger, with better protection of the passwords. Still, there are flaws in password managers, such as Lastpass, which I use. But I still use it. Why? This article says it all: “There is no bug-free software and any future research on other password managers would likely have similar results,” wrote the researchers. In the case of Lastpass, they responded by fixing the issued, and implementing new security measures in response to the research. No approach is perfect — the goal is to reduce risk. Another security researcher recently showed that it was possible to steal the user passwords from another manager, KeePass, which doesn’t upload anything to the cloud. Remember: Any password manager is safer than the current password practices used by most folks.
  • A Migraine Game. The latest new game round up from BoardGameGeek had me intrigued with the first item: “Let’s start with Hannah Shaffer‘s 14 Days, which bears the subtitle “A Game About Life With Migraines” and which originated from the designer’s own experience: “I didn’t know how to talk to the people around me about how migraines were impacting my life. This game exists to help break through some of the silence and stigma around migraines, as well as other types of chronic pain.” 14 Days was funded on Kickstarter in July 2015 and due out before the end of 2015.” I contacted Hannah: you can preorder either a box or a PDF version now. The game intrigues me; I’m curious about the game play. I may order the PDF version, or wait for some reviews. It may be a good way to explain chronic pain.