why the net broke today

It's not just roads and bridges that our "privatize everything!" regime is failing to maintain. It's the Internet, too. This problem was forseen months ago and is expected to last for another week or two.

Internet hiccups today? You're not alone. Here's why | ZDNet (ZDNet)

While an ISP maintenance activity may have played a factor, the real problem was that Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) routing tables have grown too large for some top-level Internet routers to handle. The result was that these routers could no longer properly handle Internet traffic.

depression and comics

The suicide of Robin Williams has prompted a lot of discussion. This is one of the best pieces on the topic I've seen. The point is, I think, true for performers of all sorts (see this reflection on the death of Marilyn Monroe) but perhaps the contrast is most glaring for comics.

And if this talk has you thinking of offing yourself -- don't. Hey, stealing material from another comic is no way to behave, right? You can get help and get through this. Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Because Cracked is driven by an army of aspiring comedy writer freelancers, the message boards are full of a certain personality type. And while I don't know what percentage of funny people suffer from depression, from a rough survey of the ones I know and work with, I'd say it's approximately "all of them." So when I hear some naive soul say, "Wow, how could a wacky guy like [insert famous dead comedian here] just [insert method of early self-destruction here]? He was always joking around and having a great time!" my only response is a blank stare.

...

...The medium has nothing to do with it -- comedy, of any sort, is usually a byproduct of a tumor that grows on the human soul. If you know a really funny person who isn't tortured and broken inside, I'd say either A) they've just successfully hidden it from you, B) their fucked-uppedness is buried so deep down that even they're in denial about it, or C) they're just some kind of a mystical creature I can't begin to understand. I'm not saying anything science doesn't already know, by the way. Find a comedian, and you'll usually find somebody who had a shitty childhood.

...

...But I guess my larger point is that if you know somebody who might be at risk but you've been denying it because they're always smiling and joking around, for the love of God, wake the fuck up.

tons of shit spilled on Michigan highway

Having a bad day? At least you (probably) didn't crash your car into a a several ton shitpile, nor will it be your job to clean one up.

Thousands Of Pounds Of Human Waste Smeared Across Freeway Near Lansing - CBS Detroit

A crash involving a truck hauling human waste tied up traffic for hours in the Lansing area Friday, after thousands of pounds of waste spilled onto the freeway.

...

“The truck was carrying 50,000 pounds of waste, but that second half had 25,000 pounds of human waste and manure in the back; and so that smeared literally about 2,000 feet,” Amiker said.

CA gubernatorial candidate arrested in shooting

"Champ previously served a prison term for manslaughter, has several convictions for weapons offenses and is also a registered sex offender." And yet, in a state with just some of the strictest gun control laws, this multiple convicted felon was able to get a gun. I'll say it again: gun control laws keep guns away from bad guys as well as drug control laws keep heroin away from junkies.

Also, there are people who voted for this guy. That's the problem with democracy...

Glenn Champ, ex-gubernatorial candidate from Fresno foothills, arrested in shooting | Crime | FresnoBee.com

Champ campaigned in this year's California primary on a platform that he would clean up state government. He had a brief, scheduled appearance on the dais during the California Republican Party convention in March and attracted 2% of the total vote in June.

Champ is a "felon with an extensive criminal history that dates back to 1985," Mims said.

In 1998, Champ, who was working then as a garbage hauler, was arrested in the killing of a rival trash hauler in the Fresno County foothills....

In 1993, he was convicted of two counts of assault with intent to commit rape and was placed on the state's sex offender registry.

world's largest urban art park proposed for under JFX

I have to wonder about the road noise, but if that's not an obstacle this could be really neat.

A nonprofit wants to build the world's largest urban art park beneath the JFX - Baltimore Business Journal

The Section 1 Project, a nonprofit organization with a mission to transform under-utilized spaces into vibrant community centers, wants to build what it’s calling the world’s largest urban park in a space under the JFX, directly behind the Maryland Institute College of Art and near the Fitzgerald apartment building.

The project is still in its conceptual phase, with formal designs set to be complete within the next few weeks. The proposal will include an 18,000-square-foot skate park, 60,000 square feet of paintable surfaces, multiple live performance spaces, an acre of green space and shipping container retail spaces.

climate scientist Jason Box gets blunt about methane

In addition to this observation of undersea ocean methane release, it appears the the recent mysterious crater in Siberia is due to permafrost thawing and releasing trapped methane. Methane is a greenhouse gas more than 30 times as powerful as CO2, and if anthropogenic CO2 release (and methane release from fracking) causes enough warming to cause more methane to be freed from the ground and sea, we could easily trigger catastrophic climate change.

Yep. We're fucked.

Climate scientist drops the F-bomb after startling Arctic discovery

In a case where scientists in the Arctic discovered massive plumes of methane escaping from the seafloor, climatologist and Arctic expert Jason Box sums that essence up thusly:

If even a small fraction of Arctic sea floor carbon is released to the atmosphere, we're f'd.
— Jason Box (@climate_ice) July 29, 2014

...

“Even if a small fraction of the Arctic carbon were released to the atmosphere, we’re fucked,” he told me.

muggers got medieval on his ass

So, yeah, then this happened. Given the trivial availability of guns in Baltimore City, my guess this guy wasn't wielding a flail because he couldn't get a piece; it's interesting that the attacker apparently struck the intended victim and then made a demand that he turn over his phone.

Man in Patterson Park attacked with medieval weapon (baltimoresun.com)

According to a police report, the man said he was sitting in the grass in Patterson Park next to the baseball field on Thursday night at about 8 p.m. when four juveniles, about 14 to 16 years old, came up to him.

One of them was wielding a "ball and chain," and struck him in the face as the others stood by, the report says. The weapon is called a "mace" in the report but could also be referred to as a flail.

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Rabbi Michael Lerner: "in mourning for a Judaism being murdered by Israel"

"No wonder, then, that I’m heartbroken to see the Judaism of love and compassion being dismissed as “unrealistic” by so many of my fellow Jews and fellow rabbis."

Israel has broken my heart: I’m a rabbi in mourning for a Judaism being murdered by Israel

I always told myself that the dominant humanity of the Jewish people and the compassionate strain within Torah would reassert itself once Israel felt secure.

That belief began to wane in the past eight years when Israel, faced with a Palestinian Authority that promoted nonviolence and sought reconciliation and peace, ignored the Saudi Arabian-led peace initiative that would have granted Israel the recognition that it had long sought, an end to hostilities, and a recognized place in the Middle East, refused to stop its expansion of settlements in the West Bank and imposed an economically crushing blockade on Gaza. Even Hamas, whose hateful charter called for Israel’s destruction, had decided to accept the reality of Israel’s existence, and while unable to embrace its “right” to exist, nevertheless agreed to reconcile with the Palestinian Authority and in that context live within the terms that the PA would negotiate with Israel.

Yet far from embracing this new possibility for peace, the Israeli government used that as its reason to break off the peace negotiations, and then, in an unbelievably cynical move, let the brutal and disgusting kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens (by a rogue element in Hamas that itself was trying to undermine the reconciliation-with-Israel factions of Hamas by creating new fears in Israel) become the pretext for a wild assault on West Bank civilians, arresting hundreds of Hamas sympathizers, and escalating drone attacks on Hamas operatives inside Gaza.

Kucinich: "a land grab going on" in Gaza

"Three weeks ago, Moshe Feiglin, deputy speaker of the Knesset, called for Gaza to “become part of sovereign Israel and will be populated by Jews. This will also serve to ease the housing crisis in Israel.” Israel has a housing crisis? After the “no-go” buffer zone is evacuated, there will be 21,951 Palestinians per square mile in Gaza, while Israel’s population density stands at 964 persons per square mile."

Crimes against humanity in Gaza: is it really a 'buffer zone' – or a bigger plan? (the Guardian)

On Monday, the US state department went further, calling the airstrikes upon a UN school “disgraceful” – and yet America provides Israel with more than $3.1bn every year, restocking the ability of the Israel Defense Force (IDF) to hit more schools, and to wage total war against an imprisoned people, because of their nationality.

American taxpayers should not be paying for this....

There is a land grab going on. The Israeli prime minister, Binjamin Netanyahu, has shrunk Gaza’s habitable land mass by 44%, with an edict establishing a 3km (1.8-mile) buffer zone, a “no-go” zone for Palestinians – and that’s quite significant, because a good part of Gaza is only 3 to 4 miles wide. Over 250,000 Palestinians within this zone must leave their homes, or be bombed. As their territorial space collapses, 1.8m Gazans now living in 147 square miles will be compressed into 82 square miles.

Google is scanning Gmail users mail for kiddie porn

The sexual abuse of children is bad. People who sexually abuse children should be locked up, full stop.

It's more questionable whether people should be locked up for having images of the abuse of children. We've previously covered Pirate Party founder Rick Falkvinge's take on that topic. (If you find questioning the criminalization "child pornography" shocking, ask yourself: isn't it odd that you can go to jail for having an image of a 16-year-old making love but it's a-ok to have an image of a 16-year-old being murdered? And no, I don't have either sort of image lying around, nor any interest in viewing either sort of image.)

But it's even more questionable whether ISPs should be routinely spying on people and looking for evidence that they have images of the abuse of children. The use of "OMG won't someone think of the children!" as a justification to limit liberty and create a digital panopticon should give us pause.

Did Google Go Too Far? (Business Insider)

On the other, debate rages about how much privacy users can expect when using Google's services like email. In a word: none.

A year ago, in a court brief, Google said as much. Then, in April, after a class-action case against Google for email scanning fell apart, Google updated its terms of service to warn people that it was automatically analyzing emails.

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