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Friday, 31 October 2014

used food

From: MSN

“Places like Armstrong County [PA] where poverty is more common than national statistics would indicate tend to attract the type of [food salvage] store Marte is opening this week in Rural Valley. Food salvage stores are most common in the southeast and the west and tend to correlate with income levels, according to market research firm IBIS World, which found 386 such stores nationwide in 2012. Consumers spent a total of $4 billion at salvage grocers that year, the company writes, and the industry 'has grown quickly over the past five years.'
     Necessity is the mother of invention, and America’s neediest families are indeed innovative about staying fed. The most recent national survey of food charity providers and recipients by Feeding America found that 56 percent of food charity clients resorted to eating expired food during the past year. About a third said they had pawned property to buy groceries. With one in six food charity organizations nationwide fearing they will soon have to close, such households are likely to become even more reliable customers for food salvage stores.”
— Alan Pyke, ThinkProgress
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“Wasted food is a big problem in the U.S. An estimated $900 million worth of expired food is removed from the supply chain every year, the report found. And although not all of this is due to confusion over food expiration labels, [Natural Resources Defense Council staff scientist Dana] Gunders says a casual survey of grocery store workers found that even employees are not always trained to distinguish between different kinds of expiration dates. (The National Grocers Association, the national trade association representing the retail and wholesale grocers, was not immediately available for comment.)
     All the wasted food adds up: As much as 40% of food goes uneaten in the U.S., according to estimates from the Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency. Americans are, in other words, throwing out the equivalent of $165 billion in wasted food every year, a separate analysis by the NRDC found. In fact, one study estimates, just 15% of all this wasted food would be enough to feed more than 25 million Americans every year. And one in six Americans currently lacks a secure supply of food, Gunders says.”
— Quintin Forttrell, MarketWatch
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scary, boys and girls…

From: Imgarcade

“When you sign up for an Apple ID you agree to the iTunes Store Terms and Conditions. It doesn’t mention what happens in the event of a death, but it does feature the following statement:

'You may not rent, lease, lend, sell, transfer distribute, or sublicense the Licensed Application and, if you sell your Mac Computer or iOS Device to a third party, you must remove the Licensed Application from the Mac Computer or iOS Device before doing so.'

     This suggests that when you die, your iTunes content goes with you. But this isn’t particularly the case. The content remains locked to that account and there is no way that you can pass it on to another person. […]
     When you create a will it is becoming increasingly important to include your digital accounts details. We’d suggest including your Apple ID and Password into a will. This makes it far easier for relatives to access an account. And at a time that will be clearly upsetting for them, it is a small touch that will help.”
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“Many young people today mistakenly think they are almost immortal, with the possibility of death something in the far distant future. An automobile accident can change that in a blink of an eye. If your Internet web site generates income or has the potential to do so, it is an asset and just like any other asset you have to consider what will happen to it you disappear from the scene.
     The first decision you will have to make is whether or not you want to keep the web site up and running after you are gone. Even if you decide it should be shut down, there are things you need to prepare for. […]
     Perhaps the most important issue is password information. For this you want to make sure you have someone you can trust. There is an Internet web site called Dead Man’s Switch that automates this process for you if you have no one to handle it. What happens is the system starts kicking into action when you begin failing to reply to emails. You store your contact information on the site – which has adequate security – and it begins the process of notifying whomever you want notified.”
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Thursday, 30 October 2014

contrition gap

Photo of the Asphodel, the flower of "unending regret" from: Bouquet Bridal

“[…] The US Supreme Court has ruled that remorse can determine whether an offender lives or dies, yet we entrust such determinations to ‘know it when I see it’ standards, as if judges and juries can look into the eyes of offenders, intuit the depths of their evil, and punish accordingly.
     This discretionary latitude has predictable consequences. Regardless of their blameworthiness, rich offenders tend to get more credit for their remorse than poor ones, a generalisation that holds throughout the US criminal process. Police officers are more likely to let a warning suffice when the offender is rich. Parole boards are more likely to find that a rich inmate is sufficiently reformed. By contrast, the apologies of minorities, the poor and the mentally disabled often fail to convince.
     Several studies suggest that judges discount apologies from racial minorities, for example, because they find them lacking in credibility. Clothes, speech patterns, posture, class signifiers and so on all create what social scientists call a ‘demeanour gap’ between races and classes. If a person looks and acts in a way that the court associates with criminals, that person must overcome powerful implicit biases before a judge credits her repentance. Similar concerns arise for mentally ill offenders, who make up about half of all of those incarcerated, and whose conditions might well impair their ability to adopt a suitably contrite demeanour.
     Are these biases necessarily the result of discriminatory intentions? They needn’t be. One suggestive study found that the facial shape of corporate executives has a peculiar influence on public relations crises: it seems that ‘baby-faced’ spokespeople evoke better responses during minor crises and ‘mature faces’ produce better results in major ones. Along the same lines, it is easy to imagine how the faces of criminal offenders might influence perceptions of their remorse, leading state agents to exercise in-group bias in favour of those whose high-status lives look most like their own. By allowing officials to render impressionistic judgments on something as elusive as remorse, we open the door to discriminatory effects.
     […] Elite attorneys and $1,000-per-hour ‘apology consultants’ can coach defendants on how to use their remorse, such as it is, to maximal strategic benefit: how to express it, when to manifest it, when to avoid it. Rich offenders can throw money at the problem in other ways: enrolling in state-of-the-art treatment programmes, or providing victims with considerable redress. The repentant poor, meanwhile, languish in jail, unable to make bail, receive treatment or provide much for their victims.
     [… in civil cases] attorneys and legal scholars now commonly insist that an apology is specifically not synonymous with an admission of guilt.”
— Nick Smith, aeon
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amazing technicolor dream machine

“[…] What the image appears to suggest at face value is that brain activity is increased after a short bout of exercise (a 20-minute walk). Sounds reasonable, right? We know that exercise has various effects on brain function, and exercise in general is definitely a good thing, now that the Western world is suffering from massive rates of obesity, diabetes, etc. I really don’t have a problem with the message here, more in the way that it’s presented.
     The brain images are clearly from an EEG, but beyond that, there’s very little information in the images about what it actually represents. […]
     People who do this kind of work are very clued-in to these kinds of issues, and would always look for a colour-scale on these kinds of images in research papers. Clearly though the general public aren’t that conversant with statistical issues in brain imaging, because why would they be? […]
     As something of an aside, is an increase in brain activity necessarily a positive thing? Oxidative stress can potentially occur as the result of an increase in brain metabolism, and oxidative stress has been implicated as a potential causal factor in a huge variety of problems, from cancer to Alzheimer’s. One could even argue that lower brain activity is better because it indicates a more efficient use of cognitive resources; performing the same task, with less activity, equals greater efficiency. Although using the concept of ‘efficiency’ in this way is currently fairly controversial.”
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Wednesday, 29 October 2014

the last shall be first

PhotoWidnes, England, circa 1880. From: libertygibbert
I have often thought that the traditional pay scale should be turned on it’s head. Pay the people at the bottom the big bucks, then let the pay rate fall off according to some sort of  formula the farther “up” the organizational ladder you go. The best people would would be tasked with the most productive, "heftable" work on the front lines. The less talented would fill the menial rolls of manager, data collector, chart producer, meeting organizer, smiler, glad-hander… all the way up (down) to the person who plays a lot of golf, makes public service announcements, leans on a glossy chrome shovel for a second or two… cuts ribbons, gets a tan from photo flash… the figurehead.
     The model we have now comes out of the Industrial Revolution. The aristocracy (with the help of newfangled steam power and cheap fossil fuel) decided to transform cottage industries that had worked just fine for thousands of years into feudal slave camps (see William Blake’s “Dark Satanic Mills). The management model came out of a military or prison hierarchy, a structure whose function was based on control, rather than results.
     It transformed how children learned from adults, too—but that's a story for another day.

“The Container Store pays its 6,000 employees an average of $48,000 a year, according to CEO Kip Tindell’s new book Uncontainable.
     As he told Business Insider, 'That’s a lot of money for a retail sales clerk.' In fact, median pay for retail sales workers is just $21,410 a year. The company also gives 'big' raises each year, he said, from 0 percent for low performers to as much as 8 percent. The company still performs well while paying more than double what’s typical for the industry. It has annual sales of nearly $800 million. And Tindell credits at least some of that performance with the higher pay. His theory is 'one equals three,' he told the Wall Street Journal: “one great person can easily do the business productivity of three good people,' which means a company can pay that one high performer '50% to 100% above industry average.'
     And that brings returns back to the company. He told Business Insider that the company gets three times the productivity even while paying two times as much in wages. '[Y]ou save money, the customers win, and all the employees win because they get to work with someone great,' he said. Plus the company has a 10 percent turnover rate, while the rate for the entire industry is about 75 percent, and turnover is very costly. Tindell credits high wages for the low rate, saying, “[P]ay is more important than most people realize, particularly if you’re trying to attract and keep really great people.”
— Bryce Covert, ThinkProgress
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"A definite shift in the traditional career arc is taking place. In addition to careers of advancement there are now increasingly careers of achievement. If a person is happy in what they're doing, they should be able to earn more power/credibility/compensation/etc for continued contributions instead of having to get promoted--often into a job they don't really want to do and may not even be great at.
     We try to reflect that in our compensation. As long as you continue to contribute, voice your opinions, make things happen. You can continue to build a reputation and a career without having to change jobs. That's a really important framework a lot of people in traditional enterprises don't get.
     I'm not sure every employee gets that either. Promotion is recognition. You always hear from older, traditional managers, 'These kids all want to get promoted in six months, they all want to be CEOs in six months.' What's really happening is people say they want to be heard, want to be listened to, want to be recognized, and in a traditional organization the only way for that to happen is to get promoted.
     If you let people build influence without moving up the ladder, they aren't dissatisfied. With many ambitious people the outlet for their ambition is having more influence on the company and being a great contributor and building a followership. Contributing, influencing, leading: those are incredibly fulfilling in a way a job title can never be.”
— Jim Whitehurst in conversation with Jeff Haden, Inc.
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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” ― Marie Curie

"The Baptism of Christ," 1710, Aert de Gelder (from: Wikimedia)

“[…] At 14.30 on 27 October 1954 in the writing of the newspaper came the call for an engineering student, Alfredo Jacopozzi that held the view, along with others, several discs flying in the sky of Florence. At one stretch between the object and the dome of the cathedral there was another ‘white balloon,’ faster than an airplane, then another ‘disc’ and another still. Six objects left their strange passage of the 'flakes' white like ‘cotton-like.’ Then came the most glaring whose memory is still fresh in the minds of many witnesses who see the phenomenon.
     The substance was quick to disintegrate if held in the hand. Alfrede Jacopozzi, a student, was the only one who managed to pick up a few threads of it and sealed them in a hermetic test tube. Jacopozzi then handed the tube to Professor Giovanni Canneri, a director of the Chemical Analysis Institute under the University of Florence. Professor Danilo Cozzi, a colleague of Prof. Canneri’s, carried out a series of tests of the mysteries find. “It’s a fibrous material, which is highly resistant to tension and torsion. Once subjected to heat action, the material grows dark and evaporates, leaving transparent sediment that melts away. The sediment was found to contain boron, silicon, and magnesium. Hypothetically speaking, the substance may be some kind of ‘boron-silicon glass,’ said Prof. Cozzi.”

reddit Read more…

“[James] McGaha, who never met a UFO he couldn’t explain, said his first take on the case was that the Italians had actually been startled by a daytime meteor. But then he began to focus on another bizarre phenomenon involving the autumn migration of young web-spinning spiders. […]
     But for those who actually pay attention to inconvenient details, strap on your hip-waders. This is the same guy who dispensed with the meticulously researched 2008 Stephenville UFO incident — reconstructed through federal radar records — as the work of agenda-driven conspiracy freaks cherry-picking skin-paint pingback patterns. Their agenda, for as-yet-unexplained reasons, was apparently to obfuscate a military flare-dropping exercise over rural Texas back in January 08. Never mind that the eyewitnesses were evidently so stupid they couldn’t tell the difference between a solid, aircraft carrier-sized UFO cruising slowly over their town and F-16s with afterburners. Never mind how the radar data confirmed the direction in which these stupid eyewitnesses claimed the UFO was flying. Never mind that the USAF, which refused to release its own radar results and initially denied it had planes in the air that night, was forced to admit these stupid eyewitnesses actually got it right about seeing its F-16s in the sky that evening. Never mind that McGaha never produced any military confirmation of his flare-drop pronouncement. Never mind that McGaha’s single eyewitness to his flare-drop pronouncement is unnamed.”
— Billy Cox, De Void
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bot from god

Photo: a scene from Karel Capek's 1920 play R.U.R.

“The word robot was introduced to the public by the Czech interwar writer Karel Čapek in his play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots), published in 1920. The play begins in a factory that uses a chemical substitute for protoplasm to manufacture living, simplified people called robots. The play does not focus in detail on the technology behind the creation of these living creatures, but in their appearance they prefigure modern ideas of androids, creatures who can be mistaken for humans.”
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“The play [R.U.R] begins in a factory that makes artificial people, called roboti (robots), out of synthetic organic matter. They are not exactly robots by the current definition of the term; these creatures are closer to the modern idea of cyborgs, androids or even clones, as they may be mistaken for humans and can think for themselves. They seem happy to work for humans at first, but that changes, and a hostile robot rebellion leads to the extinction of the human race.
     Čapek later took a different approach to the same theme in War with the Newts, in which non-humans become a servant class in human society. R.U.R is dark but not without hope, and was successful in its day in both Europe and the United States.”
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“There's a lot of bots on twitter. Many of them are spambots that we all just try to ignore. Some of them are funny in an unobtrusive way, like @Horse_ebooks which tweets odd, not entirely incoherent blurbs. Some of them are funny in a somewhat more aggressive way, as in the case of @DBZNappa which finds tweets with the phrase “over 9000” and replies “WHAT?! OVER NINE THOUSAND?!” This uninvited interjection is, depending on whether the recipient grew up watching DBZ, either a funny reminder of childhood, or a flustering narrow pop culture reference.
     But some bots are driven by somewhat more trolly motives. A prime example is @StealthMountain, which searches for people using the phrase “sneak peak” and replies with “I think you mean 'sneak peek'". Effectively, a coder somehwere has used twitter to greatly leverage his ability to be a grammar Nazi. But worse, it appears that the bot exists just to rile people. While most people seem to take this correction in stride, @StealthMountain's favorites list (which is linked from his bio line) is populated with some of the recipients' more colorful reactions. You too, dear reader, can laugh at those victims, and their absurd, futile anger towards the machine.”
import me.tastable._
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Monday, 27 October 2014

peach complex

From: Bloomilicious
“Earlier this year, organizers fanned out across nearly every one of Georgia’s 159 counties and registered nearly 90 thousand people who have never voted in their lives, most of them people of color, many of them under 25 years old. But when the groups checked back in late August, comparing their registration database to the state’s public one, they noticed about 50,000 of the registrations had vanished, nearly all of them belonging to people of color in the Democratic-leaning regions around Atlanta, Savannah and Columbus. […]
     The legal battle comes at a pivotal time for the state of Georgia. The state’s African-American, Latino, Asian and Native American populations have grown extensively, as has their share of the electorate. The growth is dramatic enough that many political analysts predict the state’s political identity could swing from red to blue over the next few years.
     At the same time these changes were taking place, the state enacted measures courts have found to disproportionately impact voters of color. In 2006, Georgia enacted a 'strict' voter ID law. Five years later the state cut the number of days of early voting. In 2012, the Secretary of State purged thousands of voters from the rolls a few months before the presidential election. Just last month, the same Secretary of State lamented before an audience of Republican activists that the registration of more voters of color would mean a win for Democrats.”
— Alice Ollstein, ThinkProgress
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Friday, 24 October 2014

"[...] he can't live without the 'The White Album'"

“A good chef can make a memorable meal from the most modest of ingredients. A good writer can do something of the same sort. "A Fold in the Tent of the Sky" demonstrates Michael Hale is a good writer.
     The ingredients of the story seem improbable at best, and downright silly at worst. He starts with a batch of psychics. He adds a dash of intrigue and a generous portion of questionable motivations. He lets them simmer in an exotic setting. The result is a delectable book that is, for want of a better term, truly novel.
     Hearing a description of the plot for "A Fold in the Tent of the Sky" might be less satisfying than reading the recipe for an exquisite dessert. Suffice it to say that the psychics are hired to be a sort of remote control intelligence agency. During the course of their employment, it becomes apparent that they can observe events happening far away. In space and in time. One of them realizes that manipulation of time can be quite profitable, and goes to great lengths to prevent his colleagues from finding out.
     Hale suggests a way to commit the perfect crime: commit it in the past. If you prevent a rival from being born, you never have to worry about him (or her) causing you trouble later in life. Of course, tampering with the past can have unintended consequences in the present.
     The psychic named Simon doesn't mind that, at least not until one of the manipulations erases all traces of The Beatles. He can live with wiping out his colleagues. But he can't live without ‘The White Album.’”
— L. D. Meagher, CNN
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Paperback Edition: coming in January 2015
ISBN: 9780062385222; ISBN 10: 0062385224
On Sale: 01/20/2015
William Morrow - Harper Collins

Thursday, 23 October 2014

“Confidence is ignorance. If you're feeling cocky, it's because there's something you don't know.” ― Eoin Colfer

Source images: photosinbox; Wikimedia Commons
(Portrait of Ben Franklin by Joseph-Siffred Duplessis)

The fear of Ebola is routed in America's chronic isolationist stance. "If bad stuff ain't hurtin' Americans, it ain't news..." — which is how it played out in the media’s early response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa: not much, not soon enough...

“The warnings began days after the first Ebola case was confirmed in West Africa. As more bodies piled up, the alarms grew louder, clearer and more urgent. March 31: ‘We are facing an epidemic of a magnitude never before seen …’
     Two weeks later: ‘(Our) teams are facing an unprecedented phenomenon …’
     Another month passed. ‘The epidemic is out of control.’ This last warning came in late June, when Ebola had already infected more than 600 people in three of the world’s poorest countries.”
— Jennifer Yang, The Star

“Former UN secretary general Kofi Annan has criticised the international community for its response to the Ebola crisis, as a [UK] Royal Navy ship prepares to leave for Sierra Leone to help tackle the outbreak. Speaking on BBC Newsnight Mr Annan said he had been 'bitterly disappointed' that developed countries had not moved faster on the issue. 'If the crisis had hit some other region it probably would have been handled very differently,' he said. 'In fact when you look at the evolution of the crisis, the international community really woke up when the disease got to America and Europe. And yet we should have known that in this interconnected world it was only a matter of time.'”
Western Daily Press
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... but as soon as Ebola landed in Texas, it took centre stage, leapfrogging even the likes of Isis.
    Now look at the other side of the isolationist coin: "If good stuff don't come out of America, it ain't news either." Take the news that Canada has sent 800 samples of their new Ebola vaccine to WHO for human trials, for example — not a peep out of CNN, or any other US news organization, as far as I can tell.
    But this isolationism is about more than geography, even ego; it's a world view that fosters anti-intellectualism and paranoia.

“In the mind of conservative pundit George Will, climate change and Ebola have one very important thing in common: we shouldn’t believe anything the experts are telling us about either of them. […]
     Will’s comments, in other words, were a complete misrepresentation of the researcher [Lisa Brosseau]s’ work.
     But for the anti-science minded, his was a completely logical line of thought to follow. ‘Once you’ve decided that scientists routinely make shit up in order to advance a nefarious bureaucratic progressive agenda,’ notes Jonathan Chait, ‘there’s no end to the number of new conspiracies you’re going to discover.’
     When confronted with the facts by Fox host Chris Wallace — yes, some have speculated about the ability of Ebola to become airborne, but there’s no reason to believe, at this point, that such a thing has happened — Will himself drew the comparison to climate science, the basic facts of which he also believes we should continue to 'debate.'”
— Lindsay Abrams, Salon

Sunday, 19 October 2014

“The left hand of a dead man dipped in a milk pail causes cream.” — Irish saying

From: Ptak Science Books

“[…] Mr. Conway's The Prevention and Correction of Left-Handedness in Children appeared in 1936, at a time in which he and others saw left-handedness as a deterrent to succeeding in the newly industrialized world. The pamphlet emphasizes the training of children from infancy to overcome left-handedness, which came as a result of parental 'indifference,' who were unable to 'realize the seriousness of the handicap,' which was a ‘sinisitrial condition,’ a ‘disease’ that needed to recognized along the same lines as ‘rickets and pneumonia and colic.’ Much needed to be done to ‘stamp out the newly recognized disease, the curse of left-handedness.’”
Ptak Science Books
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“Historically, the left side, and subsequently left-handedness, was considered negative. The word ‘left’ itself derives from the Anglo-Saxon word lyft, ‘weak.’ In Ancient Greek both words meaning ‘left’ were euphemisms: the word ἀριστερός, aristerós (the standard word in Modern Greek as well) is derived from ἂριστος, áristos, best,’ and the word εὺώνυμος, euōnymos, ‘of good name,’ is another euphemism used in lieu of ‘ill-named.’
     The Latin adjective sinister/sinistra/sinistrum originally meant ‘left’ but took on meanings of ‘evil’ or ‘unlucky’ by the Classical Latin era, and this double meaning survives in European derivatives of Latin, and in the English word ‘sinister.’
     Alternatively, sinister comes from the Latin word sinus meaning ‘pocket’: a traditional Roman toga had only one pocket, located on the left side. [...]
     In Irish, deas means "right side" and "nice". Ciotóg is the left hand and is related to ciotach meaning 'awkward'; ciotógach (kyut-OH-goch) is the term for left-handed. In Welsh, the word chwith means 'left,' but can also mean 'strange,' 'awkward,' or 'wrong.' [...]
     The Scots term for left-handedness is corrie fistit. The term can be used to convey clumsiness. [...]
     In Sanskrit, the word वाम (waama) stands for both 'left' and 'wicked.'”
— Wikipedia
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“truth” is a four letter word… believe me

Photo: Michael Hale

“[…] Jeff Leen, the Washington Post’s assistant managing editor for investigations, begins his renewed attack on the late Gary Webb’s Contra-cocaine reporting with a falsehood.
     Leen insists that there is a journalism dictum that ‘an extraordinary claim requires extraordinary proof.’ But Leen must know that it is not true. Many extraordinary claims, such as assertions in 2002-03 that Iraq was hiding arsenals of WMDs, were published as flat-fact without ‘extraordinary proof’ or any real evidence at all, including by Leen’s colleagues at the Washington Post.
     A different rule actually governs American journalism – that journalists need ‘extraordinary proof’ if a story puts the U.S. government or an ‘ally’ in a negative light but pretty much anything goes when criticizing an ‘enemy.’
     […] Leen is trying to fool you when he presents himself as a ‘responsible journalist’ weighing the difficult evidentiary choices. He’s just the latest hack to go after Gary Webb, which has become urgent again for the mainstream media in the face of ‘Kill the Messenger,’ a new movie about Webb’s ordeal.
     What Leen won’t face up to is that the tag-team destruction of Gary Webb in 1996-97 – by the Washington Post, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times – represented one of the most shameful episodes in the history of American journalism.
     The Big Papers tore down an honest journalist to cover up their own cowardly failure to investigate and expose a grave national security crime, the Reagan administration’s tolerance for and protection of drug trafficking into the United States by the CIA’s client Contra army.”
— Robert Parry, Consortiumnews.com
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“James Risen is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. He's also currently under subpoena, possibly facing jail time, because of his reporting.
     Specifically, he's being investigated because of an article on a CIA ploy to hinder Iran's quest for a nuclear bomb that went epically sideways and may have actually helped Iran along. 60 Minutes ran a great story on him this weekend, during which they cited a well-known statistic: the Obama administration has prosecuted more national security ‘leakers’ than all other presidencies combined, eight to three.
     But the story also prompted me to look into another figure, which is less well known and potentially more dramatic. Partially because of press freedom concerns, sentencing in media leak cases has historically been relatively light. Not so under President Obama. When it comes to sending these folks to jail, the Obama administration blows every other presidency combined out of the water – by a lot. By my count, the Obama administration has secured 526 months of prison time for national security leakers, versus only 24 months total jail time for everyone else since the American Revolution. It's important – and telling – to note that the bulk of that time is the 35 years in Fort Leavenworth handed down to Chelsea Manning.
     It takes a bit of digging to find all this information. As my public service for the day, here's a rundown of every leak case, the sentence (if there was one), and its current disposition.”
— Gabe Rottman, ACLU
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Friday, 17 October 2014

i did not know that #1

Photo: Michael Hale

How long it takes Apple to garner revenues of $42,000 — 9 seconds

How much Bill Gates earns during that 9 seconds — $4,250.00

How many people die from gunshots each day in the USA — 85
That’s one death every 2 minutes

United States motor vehicle deaths per day in the 2012 —  92

Average number of US residents who die from flu-related infections each day — 113

Average number of deaths per day in the US caused by cigarette smoking — 1,300

Number of air transport accidental deaths, on average, per day in the US — 2
— Thanks to the fine example of  Harper's Index

Friday, 3 October 2014

"thesaurus of obfuscation"

From: JF Ptak Science Books

“In the entirety of the text of Social and Behavioral Factors in the Implementation of Local Survival and Recovery Activities (written by William Chenault, Richard Engler and Peter G. Nordhie in August 1967) there is little evidence that its authors fought to rid themselves of their Thesaurus of Obfuscation. A dissected version of their effort would've made for good, clean fun, adding their bits to a Menckenian database of extraordinarily-written governmentese, but since all of this involved surviving thermonuclear war, the 'fun' part is obliterated. […]

     It is assumed that the character of the post-attack country would be pretty much the same as it was before thermonuclear war, and that we all want to return there. The report states that one of the most important elements of that society is the military and its capacity to protect people and industry. Therefore the survivors of nuclear war must be induced to work on a national scale to maintain the military and thus the stability of whatever was left of society, in spite of the fact that 'in the heaviest attack, the loss of familiar landmarks, relationships and dependencies would be unsettling to survivors.'  (I'm not sure what 'dependencies' relates to, whether they are child or the need for pharmaceuticals or the need to watch the news on television. This is unclear.)
     This continues on and on, a cascade of some wincing ideas tumbling over themselves, settling into a confusing mist of wording and logic that is difficult to translate. Perhaps that was the inention. Perhaps not. There's not much left in the bottom of a smoking, radioactive hole, except for smoke and radiation.”
JF Ptak Science Books
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exponential decay

Still from gif: "Mutant Baby" by Zolloc

“[…] Dr. Beth Bell, director of the CDC's National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, testified before the committee, making a case for increased funding. Her department, which has led the US intervention in West Africa, was hit with a $13 million budget cut as a result of the cuts in 2013. Though appropriations increased in 2014 and are projected to rise further in 2015, the agency hasn't yet made up for the deficit—according to Bell, $100 million has already gone toward stopping the Ebola epidemic, and much more is needed. The United Nations estimates it will take over $600 million just to get the crisis under control.
     Bell also argued that the epidemic could have been stopped if more had been done sooner to build global health security. International aid budgets were hit hard by the sequester, reducing global health programs by $411 million and USAID by $289 million. 'If even modest investments had been made to build a public health infrastructure in West Africa previously, the current Ebola epidemic could have been detected earlier, and it could have been identified and contained,' she said during her testimony. 'This Ebola epidemic shows that any vulnerability could have widespread impact if not stopped at the source.'"
— Susie Madrak, Crooks and Liars
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“WASHINGTON -- The U.S. military operations targeting Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria have already cost taxpayers between $780 and $930 million, according to an analysis by an independent think tank.
     The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments issued a new report Monday assessing how much the military campaign has already cost (through Sept. 24) and how much more will likely be spent in the coming months.
     CSBA estimates that if the current pace of operations continues, the United States could spend between $200 and $320 million a month, in a conservative estimate assuming a ‘moderate level of air operations and 2,000 deployed ground forces.’”
— Amanda Terkel, Huffington Post
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Thursday, 2 October 2014

"[...] and God created exponential growth [...]"

Source images: Ebola Virus, Scott Camazine via Huffington Post;
Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel fresco The Creation of Adam, Sharp About...

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