Plautilla Nelli: The last supper

One of my devoted readers writes to tell me a new version of The Last Supper by the nun Plautilla Nelli (1524–1588) of Florence has been uploaded to Commons. The painting has been newly restored.

Here is some of the detail from the painting. In the upper left corner is the artist’s signature.  I can make out something like


Suor Plautilla · Orate Pro Pictora (Pray for the Paintress)

I have made the detail lighter so it is easier to read, also added some details of table and feet.

The focal point of the painting seems to be the tension between the two figures in red, the lover and the betrayer: John, the disciple Jesus loved, leaning against him, and Judas, bread in one hand and money bag in the other.  Peter looks on saying “Am I the one who will betray you?”, while Jesus says. “it is the one I dip my bread with” and passes the bread off to Judas, who already has the price of the betrayal, 30 pieces of silver, in the money bag.

The original pre-restoration is here:

Further detail via Twitter:

“After being hidden from public view for centuries, one of the largest works of art by a female artist (ever) has been restored. It is by Plautilla Nelli (1524-1588) and is the only known Last Supper by a female artist in the modern age.”

“Finally visible, in the museums’ ‘old Refectory’

“Nelli was a self-taught convent painter, who established an all-woman workshop within the walls of her convent, Santa Caterina di Cafaggio, Florence.

“The early art historian Giorgio Vasari, wrote cuttingly that “she would have done wonderful things if she had only studied as men do.”

To that, I say… bore off Vasari!”

Heh. Giorgio Vasari (1511 – 1574).  “Bore off”, indeed.

The painting will be displayed at Santa Maria Novella, Florence.

But as often happens on twitter, when a few specialists get together, the result is often unexpected new information.

In this case we find out about

Mechteld van Lichtenberg toe Boecop (ca. 1520 – 1598). A female artist and member of the local nobility. She was born in Utrecht and moved to Kampen, both in the Netherlands. She painted two versions of the Last Supper.

This one is actually on Commons.  A shame it isn’t on her article.  At least there is an article. It would seem the Art + Feminism people have been busy, because when I look for some of these people online, I am starting to actually find some of them.

And don’t forget Barbie’s Last Supper by Catherine Théry (no article) (bio)

 The restoration is a project ofAdvancingWomenArtists@AWA_Foundation.

The video is here:


Is Katherine destroying the planet with plane travel?

Somewhere I read that it was Kumioko who first raised this issue, but as intrepid leader and CEO of the Wikimedia Foundation, it has now become fashionable to ask about Katherine Maher’s carbon footprint. In fact, at this very moment Fae is proposing to add carbon offsetting to the expenses of his LGBT conference in Europe and make a big donation to some corporate carbon offsetting entity on behalf of the Wikimedia Foundation and all the gay peoples of the world.

So we asked our statistics department at Genderdesk to come up with some numbers.

First, how much gas does a plane burn?

According to this, and it is translated into European for our metric friends,

a  Boeing 747 uses approximately 1 gallon of fuel (about 4 liters) every second. Over the course of a 10-hour flight, it might burn 36,000 gallons (150,000 liters).

This sounds like a lot at first, but a 747 can carry 568 people So, if on a given flight, there are 500 people on board, it will burn 0.01 gallons per person per mile. This works out to 100 mpg per person.  (This is 2.35 liters per 100 km.)  If you use 25 mpg (9.41 liters per 100 km) as the number for one car, this starts to look more favorable.

But this is for a whole plane load of people.   How much of this is just for Katherine?

Surely the airlines are not going to stop scheduling flights just because the WMF stops buying plane tickets.  And surely a plane is going to take off whether Katherine is on it or not.

This time we turn to Quora for a crowd-sourced answer.  Here we learn that a plane can burn one ton of fuel, just taxiing to the runway.  We also find out that the old FAA weight standard was an average of 180 lbs for men and 165 lbs. for women. I think that’s a little high for Katherine, she works out and is in good shape, especially considering her age, she is in phenomenally good shape. But it’s a good enough ballpark number to work with.

We also find a calculation there for how much extra fuel a fat person takes up on a plane. This is the answer given by an aviator with experience on DC-8s and B-707s

The technical answer is yes, the more weight each passenger weighs, the more fuel will be burned. How much fuel per person, exceeds the national weight average as described above?

If memory serves based on specs of current wide body twin engine aircraft (B-777–300er or A350-XWB) flying 7,000 kilometers across the Pacific or Atlantic from somewhere in North America in a fully loaded (368 passengers, full cargo hold, Maximum fuel load, supplies, etc.) aircraft, excluding all airport runway taxing, take off and landing (which follow specific power settings) and the passenger was 50 lbs above average, that person’s portion of extra fuel burn is probably around 2 gallons of fuel, +/- 0.5 gallons or about $8.00 USD of Jet A.

So there it is: 7,000 km (4349.598 miles), 50 lbs, and 2 gallons of fuel.  So if Katherine weighs 165 lbs, sending Katherine to Wikimania in Stockholm took 6.6 extra gallons of fuel.  At $2.50/gal, (since we haven’t seen gas above $4 since the Bush White House), this is $16.50. Personally I would rather see this money go to an animal shelter than some corporate tax shelter set up by rich lawyers who know how use guilt and political pressure to shake down contributions from non-profits.

So let’s take this to the next level and consider her carbon footprint when she is NOT traveling.  We know when she is in San Francisco, she has a pied-à-terre within sight of Sutro Tower.  The distance between the antenna tower and One Montgomery Tower in the financial district, where the Wikimedia Foundation is located, is 5.2 miles.  At 25 miles to the gallon, she can make about 5 car trips (4.8) on one gallon.  With 6.6 gallons in her tank, she can make 32 one-way trips, or 16 round trips. Probably less than that, if you count parking and stopping off for milk on the way home, but these are ballpark figures.  So if she is out of the office for 16 days, this is is the equivalent carbon footprint of a flight to Europe or Asia. And if you count Wikimania as one week, the net carbon footprint is more like 4 gallons of gas, or $10.

That’s a lot of puppy chow to some homeless animal.  But $10 is probably a drop in the bucket to the CEO and officers of some carbon offsetting outfit.

But that’s not gonna stop the usual suspects from whining on the mailing list.

The importance of not being harassed

How important is the harassment issue to the WMF?

They are hiring an actual manager of an anti-harassment program. Sydney Poore, of Trust & Safety, posted it to the Facebook Wikipedia Weekly group back on Oct. 3.

This seems kind of important.  In every strategy session I have either been in or heard about, the number one priority is harassment.  Until this problem is solved, multiple groups have concluded, progress cannot be made in other areas.

So what is this harassment program about? They must be trying to recruit someone with specialized expertise, and assign it to one of the top managers, right?

“The Lead Program Manager, Anti-Harassment will report to the Lead Manager, Trust and Safety.”

Wonder if they are planning to discuss the Framban during the hiring process.

Because Trust & Safety got their butts kicked by arbcom.

Not even the Board of Trustees is willing to support anti-harassment.  They could have said yes, we support the staff.  There would have been some fuss from the likes of Kudpung, Jehochman, and the Manchester panty-sniffers, but it would have blown over and the people who were really interested in building an encyclopedia would have stayed.  The place would have been better for it.

But they blinked.

Because harassment is good for business.

It pits the girls against the boys.  It writes headlines. It gets entire Wikiprojects going.  And the donations just keep pouring in.

So what kind of expertise are looking for in this new manager?

  • Experience leading technical programs in mature platform environments
  • 3+ years experience managing the release of customer-facing software from concept to production

Oh goody, more technical solutions.  What was it last time?  More blocking tools for admins, who refuse to follow the blocking policy?  And how is that harassment problem coming along?  What happened to the last manager?

Oh dear, that would be Trevor, who quietly snuck out the back door after cleaning out his desk and clearing his user page.  I wonder if he is still holed up in his Bat Cave. I do hope he recovers from his year at Wikipedia.

Here is the announcement:

Oh look someone’s already archived it.

Should admins be held accountable?

Should there be a binding community desysop procedure to remove administrators?

Request for comment (RfC) here:

Requests for comment/2019 community sentiment on binding desysop procedure.

What, a system of checks and balances that holds admins to account? What an amazing thought. There is already WP:ADMINACCT but no way to enforce it. At present, the only way to remove an admin is through the arbitration committee. The comment here cracked me up: “Anyone proposing to send anything to Arbcom right now must be drunk.”

An interesting discussion at Wikipediocracy notes that while admins make up a small proportion of the editing community, the majority of responses have been by admins. Clearly there has been canvassing at the places where admins are likely to hang out.

LOL at this comment.

“I’d love to see how these discussions/!votes would go if we separated admin !votes from non-admin !votes. I personally feel that all administrators have an insurmountable conflict-of-interest when it comes to a community desysop procedure.”

Yes. At Arbitration Enforcement WP:AE, the admins make the non-admins comment in a different section. Let the admins go to the back of the bus for a change. And make it really really evident how much privilege they think they have.

Tikkun olam

I am only one,
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
But still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.

The religious principle of removing harm from the world is not confined to one religion.

In some Protestant traditions, the reaction to Darwinism led theology away from biblical literalism. At the same time there there arose the concept of creating a paradise on earth, and for women, the tradition of the Protestant nun, as exemplified by Jane Addams’ Hull House.

Muslims may tell you that if you see a piece of broken glass in the middle of the street, there is a religious obligation to remove it, so someone does not get a tire puncture.

In the Jewish tradition, the principle is Tikkun Olam, or “repairing the world”.

You are not obligated to finish the work; neither are you free to desist from it.
הוּא הָיָה אוֹמֵר, לֹא עָלֶיךָ הַמְּלָאכָה לִגְמֹר, וְלֹא אַתָּה בֶן חוֹרִין לִבָּטֵל מִמֶּנָּה.
-Rabbi Tarfon, Pirke Avot 2:21

Pirkei Avot is part of the Mishnah, the first text of the Jewish oral law. The Misnah is primarilly a set of short statements or aphorisms, usually attributed to first century rabbis.  But while the rest of the Mishnah concerns itself with case law,  the Pirkei Avot expresses a series of ethical principles behind the legal opinions.

According to one religious scholar: “I would like to maintain a strict distinction between tzedakah, the maintenance of the poor within a system of social welfare, and tzedakah u’mishpat and tikkun olam, which seek to reform institutional practices in society. Tikkun Olam – “repairing the world” – …usually refers not only to relief work such as gemilut hesed – emergency care for the ill and feeding the hungry after a hurricane – but also to fixing the socioeconomic system, often requiring sustained political and judicial activism.

When it comes to the world of Wikipedia, sometimes it is all too easy to let compassion fatigue set in, and give up completely.  Because what is really needed is not just removing one bully or one admin gone amok, it is a repair of the whole system.  One more aphorism then:

And one more image.

WikiRev redux

Found this while I was tidying up.

Some people call me “Madam Gender”.

Some people call me “Ms. Gender”.

This is what “Someone” on Auggie’s WikiRev calls me.

What is the poor dear afraid of?

Hmm, looks like he stopped by earlier to formally introduce himself and exchange some small talk and pleasantries.

I seem to remember this. Poor dude was trying to convince me that his penis was bigger than mine.

andrew brundle comment

What a cesspit. At least we know he works in a parking lot. He seems to have lost his avatar though. Hey Andrew, is this it?

They tell me he looks like John Major, which is some kind of British politician.

Why me though. True, no man can resist my allure, but how did he even find out about me. Why did he go to such effort to seek me out?
I am just such a dude magnet.