Fukushima's biological effects

Posted on: Sat, 08/16/2014 - 16:13 By: Tom Swiss

But hey, we'll get the next generation of fission reactors safe, really!

Fukushima's legacy (EurekAlert!)

...[S]cientists began gathering biological information only a few months after the disastrous meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan in 2011. Results of these studies are now beginning to reveal serious biological effects of the Fukushima radiation on non-human organisms ranging from plants to butterflies to birds.

A series of articles summarizing these studies has now been published in the Journal of Heredity. These describe widespread impacts, ranging from population declines to genetic damage to responses by the repair mechanisms that help organisms cope with radiation exposure.

Ferguson PD: wretched hive of scum and villainy

Posted on: Fri, 08/15/2014 - 16:15 By: Tom Swiss

But the problem isn't just the local PD. "...[A] federal magistrate ruled that the apparent perjury about the “property damage” charges was too minor to constitute a violation of due process and that Davis’ injuries were de minimis—too minor to warrant a finding of excessive force. Never mind that a CAT scan taken after the incident confirmed that he had suffered a concussion."

More and more it appears there is no fix possible within the system as it exists now. Radical change to the system is required -- perhaps a re-thinking of the whole notion of police forces. Maybe Robert Peel's experiment was a failure, maybe a standing police force is as bad an idea as a standing army.

The Day Ferguson Cops Were Caught in a Bloody Lie (The Daily Beast)

The booking officer had no other reason to hold Davis, who ended up in Ferguson only because he missed the exit for St. Charles and then pulled off the highway because the rain was so heavy he could not see to drive. The cop who had pulled up behind him must have run his license plate and assumed he was that other Henry Davis....

...

“He ran in and kicked me in the head,” Davis recalled. “I almost passed out at that point… Paramedics came… They said it was too much blood, I had to go to the hospital.”

...

He was driven back to the jail, where he was held for several days before he posted $1,500 bond on four counts of “property damage.” Police Officer John Beaird had signed complaints swearing on pain of perjury that Davis had bled on his uniform and those of three fellow officers.

creator of the pop-up ad says advertising is the net's original sin

Posted on: Fri, 08/15/2014 - 15:46 By: Tom Swiss

Yes, yes, yes. The web as it exists today is unusable without adblockers and script filters thanks to this sin. Time to tear it down and replace it with something better.

The Internet's Original Sin (The Atlantic)

I have come to believe that advertising is the original sin of the web. The fallen state of our Internet is a direct, if unintentional, consequence of choosing advertising as the default model to support online content and services. Through successive rounds of innovation and investor storytime, we’ve trained Internet users to expect that everything they say and do online will be aggregated into profiles (which they cannot review, challenge, or change) that shape both what ads and what content they see. Outrage over experimental manipulation of these profiles by social networks and dating companies has led to heated debates amongst the technologically savvy, but hasn’t shrunk the user bases of these services, as users now accept that this sort of manipulation is an integral part of the online experience.

Ferguson police assault journalists, open fire on protesters

Posted on: Thu, 08/14/2014 - 11:01 By: Tom Swiss

For those of you keeping score at home: nutjob armed supporters of actual criminal Cliven Bundy got cops to leave. Peaceful unarmed supporters of cop-murder victim Michael Brown are arrested, assaulted, and fired upon. Maybe it's time to bring back the approach of the Black Panthers and the Deacons for Defense.

Ferguson Disgrace: Police Fire on Unarmed Crowds, Attack News Trucks (Jezebel)

On Saturday, police in Ferguson, Missouri shot and killed an 18-year-old unarmed man named Michael Brown. Since then, protests have taken place throughout the town, which has a population of around 21,000. For those wondering what was going in Ferguson on Wednesday it might have been hard getting information. Many of the major networks were not airing live coverage of anything. Add to that journalists who were actually trying to report on the scene were being rounded up, blocked from the town or just outright arrested.

Via the I Am Mike Brown livestream KARG Argus Radio, viewers watched as police fired rubber bullets into crowds of unarmed citizens. We watched as police advanced on a group of peaceful demonstrators. I Am Mike Brown livestream reported police were demanding that they turn off their cameras. "Because they don't want witnesses," the reporter said. This definitely echoes the experience of Huffington Post reporter Ryan Reilly, who was arrested earlier in the day after a SWAT team invaded the McDonald's he was working out of. When he took a photo, an officer demanded to see his ID. Last I checked, taking a photo was not something that required an ID in this coutry

no-fly zone over Ferguson, Missouri

Posted on: Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:42 By: Tom Swiss

From the militarization of police department: the FAA has declared a no-fly zone over Ferguson, Missouri, site for the past several days of protests over the murder of Michael Brown by a local police officer. Air superiority must be maintained.

4/2599 NOTAM Details

Issue Date : August 12, 2014 at 1318 UTC
Location : FERGUSON, Missouri near ST LOUIS VORTAC (STL)
Beginning Date and Time : August 12, 2014 at 1315 UTC
Ending Date and Time : August 18, 2014 at 2000 UTC
Reason for NOTAM : TO PROVIDE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITIES

why the net broke today

Posted on: Wed, 08/13/2014 - 01:24 By: Tom Swiss

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

Posted on: Tue, 08/12/2014 - 10:03 By: Tom Swiss

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

Posted on: Mon, 08/11/2014 - 09:19 By: Tom Swiss

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

Posted on: Mon, 08/11/2014 - 09:03 By: Tom Swiss

"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

Posted on: Fri, 08/08/2014 - 19:37 By: Tom Swiss

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.

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