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Vacuum 2018-W12 Week 3
2018-03-25

Vacuum newsletter for 2018-W12, Issue 3 (new series)

In this issue

  • Ann Arbor: not quite what it seems - deer cull
  • Ann Arbor: not quite what it seems - recycling rates
  • Ann Arbor: not quite what it seems - public comment
  • Ann Arbor: Vogel's locksmith closing
  • Ypsi-Arbor Dungeons and Dragons zine
  • Facemash's Mark Zuckerberg on privacy
  • Why is the bathtub draining so slowly?
  • "One must imagine Sisyphus happy"
  • Recipe: Cookie sheet chicken
  • a2b3 Thursday lunch at Madras Masala

Vogels closing after 105 years.

Ann Arbor: not quite what it seems - deer cull

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A report says the contractor overseeing Ann Arbor’s deer management program significantly overestimated the animal’s population last year in the city.

Ann Arbor: not quite what it seems - recycling rates

Members of the Ann Arbor Environmental Commission were presented with updated solid waste management numbers at this week's meeting, informing them that the city's recycling rate had been overestimated.

In the "Staff Presentation on Metrics", a city official let commissioners know that the lead sentence on the city web site, "Over 50% of Ann Arbor waste is diverted from landfills for recycling or composting," was too high due to miscounting of trash and recycling coming from commercial waste haulers who have routes that serve adjacent townships in addition to the city.

Meeting minutes and a copy of this staff presentation are not on the City web site yet; my FOIA ID is 1318.

Ann Arbor: not quite what it seems - public comment

A long-time resident of Ann Arbor, Shirley Beckley, was nominated by the Human Rights Commission to a task force that would help set the agenda for citizen police oversight in the city. The mayor, Christopher Taylor, rejected this nomination based in part on comments Beckley had made previously at public comment time at a council meeting on November 5, 2015, one year after the shooting death of Aura Rosser.

The official minutes of that meeting read

Shirley Beckley spoke about the anniversary of the Aura Rosser Police-initiated shooting death, and urged Council to seek justice and admit their mistake.

but the Mayor focused on the last sentence of Beckley's comment, as reported by the Ann Arbor News:

"You had alternatives to deal with her, rather than kill her," she said, suggesting Ried should be fired. "If you won't at least fire officer Ried, then ... let's string him up," she said, drawing applause from other demonstrators.

Taylor characterized Beckley's comments as though they were a call for violence against Reid, a conclusion that I can't agree with after reviewing the recording (linked below, starting at 34:30).

Beckley was interviewed by the Living Oral History Project in May 2015.

Ann Arbor: Vogel's locksmith closing

The oldest retail business in downtown Ann Arbor is closing. Vogel's Lock and Safe, which was established in 1913, closes at the end of March 2018 after a 105 year run. Owners Robert and Denise Vogel are retiring.

Ypsi-Arbor Dungeons and Dragons zine

Chris Salzman has a blog (and a weekly newsletter inspired in part by this one). He is also working on this project:

"TL;DR: The Ypsi-Arbor D&D Gazette is a zine for empherma, stories, art, and other whatnot from the tables of Dungeons & Dragons players in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and surrounding cities."

Sign up at the link below.

Facemash's Mark Zuckerberg on privacy (The Crimson, 2003)

In 2003, Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg was in trouble with the administation regarding "Facemash", a "Hot or not" style website using data scraped without permission from student web pages. Read about it in the Harvard Crimson.

Issues about violating people’s privacy don’t seem to be surmountable.

Why is the bathtub draining so slowly?

Our bathtub had a very slow drain which eventually stopped entirely. Some fishing around in the pipes with a drain snake discovered the reason: a LEGO piece had gotten lodged in the drain.

Please, kids, don't take your LEGO into the bathtub.

"One must imagine Sisyphus happy"

From "The Myth of Sisyphus", by Albert Camus.

I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain! One always finds one's burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night filled mountain, in itself forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.

The modern Sisyphus is condemned to empty his inbox daily, knowing well that it will fill up the next day. (And here I am, filling your inbox with some of the contents of mine).

The workman of today works everyday in his life at the same tasks, and his fate is no less absurd.

Recipe: Cookie Sheet Chicken

There are an infinite number of varieties of this recipe, but the basic idea is pretty simple to describe. Arrange inexpensive cuts of chicken on a cookie sheet, and fill the remaining space with chunks of vegetables - potatoes, brussels sprouts, carrots, onions, broccoli, and the like - that will roast alongside the chicken and cook in the chicken fat. Roast until the chicken is done.

a2b3 Thursday lunch at Madras Masala

Lunch for the last Thursday of March 2018 will be at Madras Masala on Maynard Street.

Last week's lunch was 11 at El Harissa.