By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Category: Miscellany

Bright thoughts on a dark day

Sunset over the South Reservoir in the Middlesex Fells. Photo (cc) 2022 by Dan Kennedy.

It’s snowing. We’re stuck in the house. And there are two and a half more months of winter left. So I thought I’d offer a little bit of hope today.

I recently learned that the earliest sunset of the year, 4:11 p.m., takes place on Dec. 7, even though the days keep getting shorter until Dec. 21, the first day of winter. Today is Jan. 7, and sunset will be at 4:27. That’s a 16-minute improvement — and you may have noticed recently that there’s at least some daylight now up until 5.

On Feb. 7, sunset will be at 5:05, and on March 7 it will be 5:44. And then, blessedly, the clocks move ahead once again. On March 10, sunset will be at 6:45.

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Do you use Venmo? Then do this right away.

Now here’s some news you can use. If you’ve been forced to use Venmo, you may be sharing far more personal information than you realized. I knew they had turned off the public feed a couple of years ago (whoever thought that was a good idea?), but I didn’t know that was just the tip of the iceberg. Brian X. Chen explains in The New York Times.

If you can’t get past the Times paywall, don’t be concerned. The steps you need to take are simple. On Venmo, choose “Me” (lower right) on the home screen, then settings (the gear thingie in the upper right). Choose “Privacy,” then select “Private.” Scroll down to “Friends List” and set that to “Private” as well. Finally, turn off “Appear in other users’ friends lists.” That’s it.

Update: I forgot to mention that you should also go to “Past Transactions” and choose “Change All to Private.”

Merry Christmas!

This is the Wikimedia Commons 2021 Picture of the Year — a depiction of Saint John Church of Sohrol, a fifth- or sixth-century Armenian Catholic church in Sohrol, Shabestar, Iran.

Illustration (cc) by Farzin Izaddoust dar

A Nigerian journalism student and disability-rights activist examines DeafBlindness

Last semester I had the honor of working as a mentor to a Nigerian journalism student, Oluwabukolami Omolara Badmus, as part of the Disability Justice Project.

Bukola, as she is known, is a 33-year-old disability-rights activist and feminist based in Lagos. She is the financial secretary and Lagos state coordinator for the Lionheart Ability Leaders International Foundation (LALIF). Badmus also teaches at a public high school.

For her final project, Badmus produced a short documentary about DeafBlindness. Please have a look.

The Disability Justice Project is run by my Northeastern colleague Jody Santos. Back in the day, we were colleagues at the Phoenix; Jody worked for the Providence edition and I was based in Boston.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year’s Day, everyone! I hope 2022 brings you good health, friendship and joy.

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