Neil Gaiman’s ‘The Books of Magic’ and Harry Potter’s Forgotten Predecessor — The Atlantic

An unassuming English kid with glasses obtains a pet owl, and takes up his preordained destiny to enter a secret world of magic hidden in plain sight—brought to you by one of the world’s most successful fantasy authors. That thumbnail summary of course describes Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling’s hit series first published in 1997, which is still a massive pop-culture phenomenon today. But the description also fits The Books of Magic, a DC Comics miniseries published 25 years ago this month by Neil Gaiman.

via Neil Gaiman's 'The Books of Magic' and Harry Potter's Forgotten Predecessor — The Atlantic.

The Numbers Behind Ringling’s Disappearing-Elephant Act

$270,000 In Federal Fines

The USDA hit Ringling with a $270,000 fine in 2011 for violating the Animal Welfare Act. The penalty stemmed from evidence that the circus repeatedly abused its elephants between June 2007 and August 2011. It remains the largest AWA fine in USDA history.

8,434 Fewer Fans In Asheville

Ringling circus drew 16,080 spectators when it rolled through Asheville, North Carolina, in 2011. By last year, that number had dwindled to 7,646, a 53 percent decrease.

43 Circus-Averse Ordinances

There are now at least 43 U.S. cities and counties—including Oakland, Los Angeles and San Jose, California—that have banned or restricted traveling animal shows and circuses.

via The Numbers Behind Ringling's Disappearing-Elephant Act.

ELI5: Do computer programmers typically specialize in one code? Are there dying codes to stay far away from, codes that are foundational to other codes, or uprising codes that if learned could make newbies more valuable in a short time period? : explainli

ELI5: Do computer programmers typically specialize in one code? Are there dying codes to stay far away from, codes that are foundational to other codes, or uprising codes that if learned could make newbies more valuable in a short time period? : explainli.