Heavily Masked Cat Burglar Peering Round the Stack Pipe

Yes, this was an actual sentence used in 1937...

Photo by Sam Carter

On This Day

1937: The first emergency telephone service in the world was launched in London with the number 999. The need for the number was first established in 1935 after five women died in a house fire, and the neighbour who phoned the fire brigade couldn't get through. When the number was established, it originally only covered a 12-mile radius around Oxford Circus.

When the public was advised on when it was appropriate to use this new 999 number, one of the examples they were given was: "for instance, the man in the flat next to yours is murdering his wife or you have seen a heavily masked cat burglar peering round the stack pipe of the local bank building." (Read more here.)

1955: The Johnny Carson Show debuted on CBS. While The Johnny Carson Show aired for only 39 episodes (one season), it set the stage for several sketches he would employ later on while hosting The Tonight Show. In the five years between The Johnny Carson Show and The Tonight Show, Johnny Carson hosted a daytime game show called Who Do You Trust? It was there he became close colleagues with Ed McMahon who joined him on The Tonight Show for 30 years from 1962 to 1992.

Morning Jam

I am all about Hugh Laurie's latest career as a musician. He should keep this up. This song is a very traditional blues jam. You can watch on YouTube here.

Super Relateable

Quick Bites

1. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory has been capturing imagery of the Sun for over 10 years. In this video, astronomers compiled 425 million high-definition images of the sun. Each one taken every 0.75 seconds between June 2, 2010 and June 1, 2020. Each second of the video represents one day in the sun's life, and the entire decade blazes by in about 60 minutes. This video is fantastic, and rather soothing.

2. Do you suffer from revenge bedtime procrastination? You may benefit from restorative yoga. Doing restorative yoga before bed can help you sleep better and longer. Click here for a video.

3. I absolutely LOVE Japanese food, and since I'm vegan, I had to learn how to cook it. Japanese is one of the few cuisines I can whip up at a moment's notice without having to go to the grocery store. This list of 26 essential pantry ingredients will give you this same superpower.

4. Chamomile iced latte? Yes, please.

5. Startup is trying to replicate the smell of space in a perfume. Yes, you read that correctly. The chemist who developed the fragrance was originally contracted by NASA to recreate the smell in 2008. He said it took him approximately four years to develop.

What's the deal with Parler?

I have been working towards removing my business from Facebook for a long time now, and I found myself looking for alternatives to Facebook and Instagram while scrolling through the App Store.

It was there I found the app Parler, which is a self-described unbiased app. Unbiased insofar as they don't censor you whether you're sharing left or right political views.

After several conservatives got fed up with Twitter and jumped to Parler, the mainstream media began using their bias to flag Parler as a conservative social media app. The way in which they're talking about the app will dissuade many liberals and progressives from joining, thus ensuring it becomes a conservative echo chamber that fuels political division.

Headlines such as:

Top Trump officials and Republicans are encouraging followers to migrate to Parler, an alternative social network beloved by far-right agitators kicked off Facebook and Twitter - from Business Insider, syndicated through MSN.

Conservatives Flock to ‘Unbiased’ Social Media Platform Parler - from CBS News.

Conservative Social Media Network Parler Makes $20,000 Progressive Debate Challenge - from Forbes.

Parler, a right-wing social media site, lures conservatives, but Trump sticks with Twitter — so far - from Yahoo News.

Parler, the MAGA sect's new favorite social media app, is a nightmare - from AV Club.

The app creator, however, doesn't want Parler to become a conservative echo chamber and he is is begging liberals to join and engage.

I decided to give Parler a go. (I have also been exploring several other alternative social networks for the last year.)

Let it be clear: I am not a Conservative and I am not a Trump supporter. I am a Libertarian, and I am frankly tired of the toxicity (and numerous privacy violations) on Facebook.

Whether or not I stay on Parler has yet to be seen. It may prove to be just as toxic as Facebook. But, I couldn't really judge for myself without giving it a whirl.

If you are interested in giving alternative social networks a whirl, too, you can join me and see if you prefer one of these to the toxic, privacy-violating networks that dominate our online communication.

What's the bright side? Major social media networks are starting to pay attention to the way they conduct business, how they treat users, and how they handle our data. Now that alternative platforms have a real chance of winning users, the major players will have to step up and do better.