U.S. Army Corps releases cat calendar

    Well, this is fun! More whimsy at work, please.

    Gigantic cats using hydropower dams as scratching posts are just some of the pawed pinups in a 2023 calendar released by Pacific Northwest-based U.S. military personnel.

    The photoshopped felines are part of an effort by the Portland, Ore., branch of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to portray their work in an entertaining light.

    Engineering isn’t always exciting, so the district tries to have a fun social media presence, public affairs specialist Chris Gaylord told NBC’s Today.com on Monday.

    “I will use levity whenever I can; that’s what people enjoy,” Gaylord said. “That’s not us dumbing things down. That’s us respecting and not taking for granted the attention of our publics.”

    Source: Yes, a branch of the Army Corps of Engineers did make a cat calendar | Stars and Stripes

    Friday feastings

    These are things I came across that piqued my attention:

    • What do cats do all day? (The Kid Should See This) — "Catcam footage from collar cameras captured the activities of 16 free-roaming domestic cats in England as they explored, stared, touched noses, hunted, vocalized, and more."
    • These researchers invented an entirely new way of building with wood (Fast Company) — "Each of the 12 wooden components of the tower was made by laminating two pieces of wood with different levels of moisture. Then, when the laminated pieces of wood dried out, the piece of wood curved naturally–no molds or braces needed."
    • What Did Old English Sound Like? Hear Reconstructions of Beowulf, The Bible, and Casual Conversations (Open Culture) — "Over the course of 1000 years, the language came together from extensive contact with Anglo-Norman, a dialect of French; then became heavily Latinized and full of Greek roots and endings; then absorbed words from Arabic, Spanish, and dozens of other languages, and with them, arguably, absorbed concepts and pictures of the world that cannot be separated from the language itself."
    • Adversarial interoperability: reviving an elegant weapon from a more civilized age to slay today's monopolies (BoingBoing) — "This kind of adversarial interoperability goes beyond the sort of thing envisioned by "data portability," which usually refers to tools that allow users to make a one-off export of all their data, which they can take with them to rival services. Data portability is important, but it is no substitute for the ability to have ongoing access to a service that you're in the process of migrating away from."
    • Fables of School Reform (The Baffler) — "Even pre-internet efforts to upgrade the technological prowess of American schools came swathed in the quasi-millennial promise of complete school transformation."