Let’s start off with two from NBC News.

The first one’s about Facebook. This is not surprising to learn, but it turns out Facebook was weaponizing all our personal information to bludgeon advertisers and app developers into playing nice with Facebook. SurprisedPikachu.jpg, right? Basically Facebook was all, “Hey, we have a metric shit ton of personal information we’ll give you… if you do what we want.” And what they wanted was more money and/or access to whatever data various apps were drumming up. If you didn’t do what they wanted, or didn’t spend enough in advertising, Facebook cut you off. Seems like they destroyed some businesses that way, too. Shocking.

The second one’s about all the White House officials who answered Mueller’s questions during his investigation. A (probably heavily and wrongly) redacted version of the Mueller Report’s supposedly coming out this week, and now White House folks are worried that all those questions they answered for Mueller because they thought we and/or their boss, Trump, wouldn’t find out, might get made public. Pardon me while I savor this schadenfreude.

The Daily Beast has a big expose on billionaire pedophile Jeffery Epstein and the semi-secret foundation he used to try to repair his reputation after we found out he was a giant pedophile. There’s all kinds of sordid, horrifying stories about Jeffery Epstein and the people he was friends with. Some of his friends include Trump, Bill Clinton, Woody Allen and Kevin Spacey.

Meanwhile, the Hill is reporting that Roy Moore, hate monger, alleged sexual assaulter, and known religious weirdo is leading the pack of potential GOP opponents of Doug Jones in Alabama. Because of course he is. WTF, Alabama, Moore is garbage, support better candidates.

And to wrap things up, the ridiculous conspiracy theories about the Notre Dame Cathedral fire are flying thick and fast and most of them are anti-Muslim, because we live in the darkest timeline and everything is going to hell in a handcart on greased rails. BuzzFeed News has a roundup of the bullshit.

This is an extremely Monday-ish Monday, y’all. I have, like, zero motivation today.

5 Things to Read Today

  1. William Barr has a history of covering stuff up for shady administrations. Just Security has a write-up of one of his other coverups. Read it here.
  2. The House subpoenaed Trump’s taxes, which they are legally allowed to do for basically any reason. Trump is refusing to comply. Politico has the story.
  3. A version of the Mueller Report redacted by William Barr (see first bullet) is coming this Thursday. Once it’s out, be sure to call your congressfolks and remind them that they are entitled to see an unredacted version and should demand to do so, and that the public should be allowed to see a version redacted by an unbiased third party (at least). Here’s the New York Times article about it.
  4. The Notre Dame Cathedral caught fire today, taking extensive damage. Sounds like they managed to save at least some of the art and artifacts, though. It’s goddamn heartbreaking to see all that history go up in flames. Vox article.
  5. Lifehacker has a pretty good “how to get started getting healthy” article today. Read it.

Shaking hands with women

Counterpoint: Shaking hands with men, as a woman, is kind of gross and irritating because most of them don’t know how to do it and you end up with that limp-fish handshake. Ug.

Seriously, there’s nothing worse than shaking hands with a man who’s all like, “Oh no, it’s a girl, WHAT DO,” and gives you a floppy-assed, no-grip handshake. Like, do you not know how to shake a hand? Do you do this to other men, too? Did no one teach you how to do this?

It’s a pretty straight-forward process: firm – but not crushing – grip, quick shake, eye contact, smile, introduce yourself. The gender of the shakee doesn’t matter, so you can ignore that part.

I also find it irritating when a woman offers to shake your hand, and then doesn’t know how to do it right. If you don’t know how to do it, don’t offer it.

This seems to happen most often with middle-aged ladies, particularly those in professional, business-y jobs, like they saw men shaking hands and decided to do it too, but never bothered to figure out how.

Dude up there goes on to claim that women just hug hello anyway, so why bother to shake a woman’s hand, blahblahblah, because he’s just a garbage woman-hater, so his opinion on anything doesn’t count anyway, but I would like to point out that most women don’t just go around hugging random people hello. I’m sure there’s a few women out there who do that, but I think most of us save hugging hello for friends and family.

We got a Far From Home trailer! Mysterio looks great. I’m looking forward to Nick Fury and Spider-Man. Kind of weird to see Nick Fury all… Nick Fury-ed up, though. He’d ditched SHIELD after Civil War, then we saw him driving around with Maria Hill briefly at the end of Infinity War, having dropped his “incognito” look for full Fury regalia. No explanations given for that, so I’m hoping we find out what he’s been up to since Civil War, either in Spider-Man 2 or Endgame.

I do feel bad for Far From Home, having to follow Into the Spider-verse. That bar has been set pretty damn high, folks.

Okay, let’s read some stuff!

  • The Atlantic: Animals Keep Creating Mysteries by Sounding Weird – Okay, remember how there were those “sonic attacks” that American diplomats were dealing with in Cuba, and everyone was baffled, and people were getting brain damage and whatnot? Turns out: Crickets. Crickets and bullshit, apparently, as that whole “permanent brain damage” thing was based on wildly flimsy evidence.
  • Chuck Wendig: In Which I Rank Grocery Store Apples – Chuck Wendig is an author with a highly entertaining Twitter account, and one of the things he occasionally does on Twitter is review heirloom apples (hilariously). Well, apple season is pretty much over, so he’s reviewing grocery store apples (hilariously).
  • Lifehacker: Everything You Think You Know About Toxic Shock Syndrome Is Probably Wrong – This was a pretty informative and interesting read about TSS, a rare disease vagina-having people can get from putting things in their vaginas. (Mostly tampons, but not always.) It’s long, but worth a read, especially if you have a vagina you need to take care of.

And that’s all I’ve got today. The rest is all politics, and really, there’s not much new there to report. We’re still shut down, Trump and the GOP are still trash, everything is awful, all that jazz. But hey, The Flash is back on tonight, so that’s something to look forward to.