30 March, 2017

Gale Force: Borough President Gale Brewer Makes Manhattan Feel Small | Observer

Gale Force: Borough President Gale Brewer Makes Manhattan Feel Small | Observer:

Ms. Brewer gets along swimmingly with all her fellow borough presidents, noting the five of them have a group text message string. “You probably can’t—no, you can’t see these texts,” she says with a laugh. Mr. Oddo recalled a recent meeting the five of them had with Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. The “two alpha males,” Eric Adams of Brooklyn and Rubén Díaz Jr. of the Bronx, battled it out to talk first. Then Melinda Katz of Queens jumped in, Mr. Oddo said.
After, Ms. Brewer looked at Mr. Oddo. He moved to yield to her, but Ms. Brewer mouthed to him: “I have her cellphone number. I can talk to her later.”


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Report: Sun to be in your eyes during change-of-command ceremony

Report: Sun to be in your eyes during change-of-command ceremony: "SAN DIEGO — According to sources, Coast Guard Sector San Diego personnel will hold a change of command ceremony on base today at 1100 this morning. However, the whole crew in formation will be staring directly at the blazing sun for the entire 6 hour duration.

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29 March, 2017

The Lion City II - Majulah on Vimeo

The Lion City II - Majulah on Vimeo:


When we pass by landscapes they appear fixed in time, but they change around us constantly. The idea behind this film is to reveal this change by returning to the same camera positions over the years.
Special thanks to Michael for composing the amazing soundtrack, and for keeping me motivated over the past few years of shooting. This was a long term collaboration with Michael who visited every year from Copenhagen so we could develop the music and footage side by side, each influencing the other. We've had a lot of requests for the soundtrack and Michael is making it available for your personal listening for free - listen or download at: sepiaproductions.net


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soggypoophair comments on Maine's new opiate limit causing problems for patients.

soggypoophair comments on Maine's new opiate limit causing problems for patients.: "
Imagine that you experience an injury or illness that renders you in the worst pain of your life every single moment, 24/7. It's actually worse than that, my condition makes the worst pain prior seem like rainbows and butterflies. You spend weeks going to your doctor, jumping through all the appropriate hoops, trying to literally not throw yourself in front of a truck in the process because of the agony. Minutes pass like hours, hours pass like days. You do not want to get "high" or have a good time, you just want to not be in pain. Finally, you get a script. Finally, you have your life back. You fall to your knees and thank the metaphorical god for modern medicine. The nightmare is over.



Then this crackdown happens. The nightmare happens all over again. You can't get the script that saved your life, for no other reason than other people were milking the system and lawmakers didn't like it. Imagine if cancer patients went in to get their chemo and were told "Sorry, there are now strict regulations in place, and we can only give you 30% of this much weaker chemo drug instead.""



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Joe Medicine Crow - Wikipedia

Joe Medicine Crow - Wikipedia: "After spending the latter half of 1942 working in the naval ship yards in Bremerton, Washington, Medicine Crow joined the Army in 1943.[5] He became a scout in the 103rd Infantry Division, and fought in World War II. Whenever he went into battle, he wore his war paint beneath his uniform and a sacred eagle feather beneath his helmet.[3]



Medicine Crow completed all four tasks required to become a war chief: touching an enemy without killing him (counting coup), taking an enemy's weapon, leading a successful war party, and stealing an enemy's horse."



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28 March, 2017

Charges: Waseca Man Who Said Black Man Shot Him, Actually Shot Himself - Southern Minnesota News

Charges: Waseca Man Who Said Black Man Shot Him, Actually Shot Himself - Southern Minnesota News:

The officer says Thissen told him that a woman and a black man with a gun were arguing in the parking lot and he got in between them. At that point, Thissen says he and the man began fighting and he was shot during a struggle for the gun.
Police reviewed surveillance video from a business nearby and saw nothing of the sort. They then searched Thissen’s car and found a black revolver with one fired casing in the cylinder.
Thissen was confronted with the evidence and admitted he made up the story about the black man shooting him, explaining that he accidentally shot himself.  He says it happened when he was checking the gun to see if it was loaded and his thumb slipped off the hammer.


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America Is Ill-Prepared to Counter Russia’s Information Warfare - WSJ

America Is Ill-Prepared to Counter Russia’s Information Warfare - WSJ:

A report last year by RAND Corp., “The Russian ‘Firehose of Falsehood’ Propaganda Model ,” noted that cyberpropaganda is practically a career path in Russia. A former paid troll told Radio Free Europe that teams were on duty around the clock in 12-hour shifts and he was required to post at least 135 comments of not fewer than 200 characters each.
In effect, Moscow has developed a high-volume, multichannel propaganda machine aimed at advancing its foreign and security policy. Along with the traditional propaganda tools—favoring friendly outlets and sponsoring ideological journals—this represents an incredibly powerful tool.
Now extrapolate one step further: Apply botnets, artificial intelligence and other next-generation technology. The result will be automated propaganda, rapid spamming and more. We shouldn’t be surprised to see any of this in the future.


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This is how you stop fake news - The Washington Post

This is how you stop fake news - The Washington Post: "On the other hand, when I followed the death panel rumor with a Republican politician’s correction, the debunking worked. All the respondents — Republicans and Democrats alike — were far more likely to reject the veracity of death panels. And a week later, the citizens exposed to the quote from the Republican remained more likely to reject the death panel rumor — although again, the power of that correction faded.

The lessons of my study are clear.



Just as important as how a rumor is debunked is who does the debunking. Politicians who support good public policy by speaking against their partisan interests — in this case, Republicans speaking out against the death panel rumors — are considered credible sources by citizens from across the ideological spectrum."



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27 March, 2017

Why Action Scenes in Big Budget Movies Have Become So Boring | IndieWire

Why Action Scenes in Big Budget Movies Have Become So Boring | IndieWire:

Ironically, the greatest battle scene of the last two years was not on the big screen with superheroes, but on HBO, with director Miguel Sapochnik’s ”Battle of the Bastards” episode of “Game of Thrones.” The action and effects were big, but that’s not what made it work so well. The underlying tension of the scene was John Snow not heeding his sister Sansa’s insight to her sadistic former captor Ramsay Bolton. The battle scene became a filmmaking masterclass in the use of space, as Sapochnik expertly lured Snow (and the audience) into a sense of victory — only to become enclosed by Ramsay’s trap. Just as space disappears and we lose our grounding in a speedily edited slaughter, Sansa shows up with reinforcements to open the trap. It’s an epic triumph: She has conquered her past, and is now seen as a leader to be taken seriously.
The action, the pace, the story, and the direction are all one unified force. Our involvement is not based on the effects and size of the scene, which were impressive for television, but by doing what Hollywood has always done best — storytelling through physical action.


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26 March, 2017

Within integrated schools, de facto segregation persists - Baltimore Sun

Within integrated schools, de facto segregation persists - Baltimore Sun:



But within that diversity, school leaders have uncovered a de facto system of segregation.
Enrollment data obtained by The Baltimore Sun through a public records request shows that the district's advanced classes — honors, gifted and talented, and AP — are disproportionately white, while the regular and remedial classes are disproportionately black.
There are twice as many white students as black students in Howard schools. But demographics alone doesn't explain the disparities.
In elementary school, nearly five times as many white students as black students are enrolled in gifted and talented courses. In middle school, it's nearly four times as many.
By high school, where the menu of advanced classes expands to include honors, the gaps persist, with twice as many white students in honors classes and three times as many in gifted and talented courses.
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25 March, 2017

Inside Alabama’s Auto Jobs Boom: Cheap Wages, Little Training, Crushed Limbs - Bloomberg

Inside Alabama’s Auto Jobs Boom: Cheap Wages, Little Training, Crushed Limbs - Bloomberg:

After Allen’s injury, Surge Staffing gathered its 80 or so Matsu workers for a meeting, says Wolfsberger, the former Surge manager. That’s when the agency learned the plant had provided no hands-on training, routinely ordered untrained temps to operate machines, sped up presses beyond manufacturers’ specifications, and allowed oil to leak onto the floor. “Upper management knew all that. They just looked the other way,” says Wolfsberger, who left Surge in 2014 and now manages a billiards parlor. “They treated people like interchangeable parts.”
An administrative law judge with the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission approved a $103,000 fine against Matsu, ruling that Allen’s injuries resulted from its “conscious disregard or plain indifference” to his safety. Matcor-Matsu did not respond to phone messages and emailed questions, nor did its attorney, John Coleman. After the commission’s 2015 decision, Coleman told the Birmingham News the judge was mistaken and that Allen was trained but didn’t follow the rules. Allen sued the company and reached a multimillion-dollar settlement out of court. He and his wife purchased 15 acres and a big house with a fish pond near the Tennessee River, prepaid their kids’ college tuition, and bought a bright-green Buick Roadmaster. “I’d rather have my arm back any day,” Allen says.


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Why Does Mount Rushmore Exist? - The New York Times

Why Does Mount Rushmore Exist? - The New York Times: "Mount Rushmore is not just big; it is about bigness — a monument to monumentalism. Borglum was obsessed with America’s size: the heroic story of a handful of tiny East Coast settlements growing to engulf an entire continent. The four presidents were chosen largely for their roles in this expansion. Jefferson, for instance, not only wrote the Declaration of Independence but also greatly increased the country via the Louisiana Purchase. Teddy Roosevelt oversaw the creation of the Panama Canal, which increased America’s global reach.

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The Man in the Rockefeller Suit | Vanity Fair

The Man in the Rockefeller Suit | Vanity Fair: "By snatching his seven-year-old daughter from her mother’s custody, after a bitter divorce, the man calling himself Clark Rockefeller blew the lid off a lifelong con game which had culminated with his posing as a scion of the famous dynasty. The 47-year-old impostor charmed his way into exclusive communities, clubs, and financial institutions—marrying a Harvard M.B.A.; working at Kidder, Peabody; and showing off an extraordinary art collection—until his arrest brought him face-to-face with his past and with questions regarding skeletal remains dug up in a California backyard.
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Is it too late to save Hong Kong from Beijing’s authoritarian grasp? | World news | The Guardian

Is it too late to save Hong Kong from Beijing’s authoritarian grasp? | World news | The Guardian:



I have been visiting Hong Kong since the late 1990s, and after more than a week of scheduled interviews and spontaneous encounters with people of many different walks of life and political persuasions, what I found was an unmistakable, shared sense of foreboding among the people of the city. In formal interviews and over meals in crowded, neighbourhood restaurants, the fear people expressed was that their home – one of Asia’s freest and most cosmopolitan cities – is locked on a collision course with the authoritarian system that governs China.
The freedoms and democratic culture that make Hong Kong so special might not survive. As one prominent lawyer put it to me: “If there is a solution to Hong Kong’s predicament, surely no one has imagined it yet.”


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The House Freedom Caucus Saves America | The Resurgent

The House Freedom Caucus Saves America | The Resurgent:

The House Freedom Caucus just saved the Republican Party from itself and saved the United States from a Republican attempt to just do something on health care no matter how bad that something might be.
They stood on principle and are being assailed for it by the Republican establishment.
The legislation was deeply flawed and would have hurt a great many Americans. It would have made it harder for free market solutions to lower costs in health care and would have harmed senior citizens.


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House Democrats explain why they think Republicans keep failing on health care - Vox

House Democrats explain why they think Republicans keep failing on health care - Vox:

House Democrats have a theory for why Republicans failed spectacularly in their attempt to pass a new health care bill filled with longstanding Republican health care policy ideas.
Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) said it’s because Congress already did so — way back in 2010. It’s now called Obamacare.
“They’re now realizing, maybe for the first time, that we took all of their best ideas and put it in the Affordable Care Act. And now they have nowhere else to go,” Kind said of congressional Republicans in an interview on Thursday afternoon.


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Double amputee, Marine veteran sworn-in as N.Y. police officer

Double amputee, Marine veteran sworn-in as N.Y. police officer:

A U.S. Marine veteran who lost his legs during a tour of duty in Afghanistan is believed to be the first-ever double amputee to become a full active duty police officer in the U.S.
Matias Ferreira was sworn in Friday as an officer with the Suffolk County Police Department in New York, six years after he stepped on an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.
The agency, in a Facebook post, said the injury didn't deter him from achieving his life-long dream of becoming a police officer. Ferreira was sworn in with a group of 58 other officers, 43 of whom also had prior military experience.
The class elected Ferreira its president and underwent 29 weeks of training. They'll start work in the coming week.


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The Emergency Power Cut-Out Quandary : talesfromtechsupport

The Emergency Power Cut-Out Quandary : talesfromtechsupport:

After I got out of the Army I went to work as a tech support contractor for the Marines and learned a valuable lesson. Marines are great at breaking things, be it the enemies things or USMC IT resources. This story is about the intersection of the USMC Private First Class and some very poor engineering.
So, the guts of what I supported was essentially a network in a trailer. It had switches, routers, servers, a NAS device, and three rack mounted UPS systems. All of this stuff was covered by canvas and connected internally in a magnificent web of cabling. All of this cabling led to an I/O panel above where the tail gate dropped into a sort of desk. Now, central to the power panel was the Emergency Stop Switch which was wired to the serial ports on the UPS systems to kill power in an emergency.
Makes sense, right? Well, due to some craptastical engineering, not only did it turn the UPS systems off, it also managed to fry the controller boards so they would never turn on again.
Enter my service call, where I am called out to the field from my nice cushy office to diagnose and repair a power failure. I come out and sure enough, no power. I try turning the UPS systems on, no dice. I check to make sure the cabling is all connected right, yup. Then, on a whim I pull on the emergency stop button and it clicks back out.
Me: Why was the emergency stop pressed? Marine: I dunno. It was like that when we got here. Me: Was there an overnight watch? Marine: Yes. PFC Dingus was on watch last night. Me: Someone needs to go get him right now.
Wait a while
PFC Dingus arrives loudly exclaiming innocence, with his cover pulled suspiciously low.
Me: Please take of your cover. He slowly removes it to expose the big red circle on the side of his forehead.
Heads shake around the room.
Apparently PFC Dingus fell asleep on watch and fell forward effectively head-butting the emergency stop button (and costing the USMC about $12,000 in parts and labor)


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The odyssey of Viktor Belenko: a fascinating footnote to the Cold War. – SeanMunger.com

The odyssey of Viktor Belenko: a fascinating footnote to the Cold War. – SeanMunger.com: "The story of Viktor Belenko’s defection, and particularly his acclimatization to life in the United States, was told brilliantly in the 1980 biography MiG Pilot by John Barron, which I read years ago and greatly enjoyed. As a (now) high-profile Soviet defector, Belenko thought, during his early days in the USA, that CIA officials arranged things for him to make the United States look good–a supermarket, for example. In a memorable incident recounted in MiG Pilot, Belenko went into a store, was overwhelmed by the vast array of goods for sale, and thought it was sort of a Potemkin village created for his benefit–only to learn later that all stores are like that.

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News 3/24/17 | HIStalk

News 3/24/17 | HIStalk:

A study in progress postulates that rising mortality and morbidity in midlife, non-Hispanic Americans is due to the “cumulative disadvantage” of poor job prospects for those with low levels of education, leading to “deaths of despair.” 
In contrast, mortality rates in Europe are going down overall, decreasing even more rapidly for those without higher education.
The authors note a startling statistic – whites aged 50-54 had a 30 percent lower mortality rate than blacks in 1999, but the white mortality rate is now 30 percent higher. It also notes that overprescribing of opioids for pain has made things much worse.
People will be less-healthy at age 65 than those who preceded them, which has significant implications for Medicare.


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24 March, 2017

Women and Girls in Afghanistan — Razia's Ray of Hope

Women and Girls in Afghanistan — Razia's Ray of Hope:

Prior to the Soviet occupation and Taliban takeover, Afghanistan was a relatively liberal country with a progressive outlook on women’s rights. Afghan women comprised 50% of government workers, 70% of schoolteachers, and 40% of doctors in Kabul. However, the effects of war and the Taliban regime quickly effaced the rights of women in public life and relegated them solely to the domestic domain.
Women and girls have often been the worst victims of conflict. Under the Taliban, women were forced to wear an all-encompassing burqa in public and barred from working outside the home. They were also banned from attending schools, riding bicycles, wearing brightly colored clothes, or laughing loudly. As many as 1 million women have been widowed by Afghanistan’s wars and left with few options for supporting themselves and their families.


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Explaining The Rising Death Rate In Middle-Aged White People : Shots - Health News : NPR

Explaining The Rising Death Rate In Middle-Aged White People : Shots - Health News : NPR:



"Mortality rates have been going down forever. There's been a huge increase in life expectancy and reduction in mortality over 100 years or more, and then for all of this to suddenly go into reverse [for whites ages 45 to 54], we thought it must be wrong. We spent weeks checking out numbers because we just couldn't believe that this could have happened, or that if it had, someone else must have already noticed. It seems like we were right and that no one else had picked it up.




We knew the proximate causes — we know what they were dying from. We knew suicides were going up rapidly, and that overdoses mostly from prescription drugs were going up, and that alcoholic liver disease was going up. The deeper questions were why those were happening — there's obviously some underlying malaise, reasons for which we [didn't] know."



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TacnizM comments on 21-year-old Turkish student in jail after his ‘No’ video goes viral ahead of presidential power's referendum

TacnizM comments on 21-year-old Turkish student in jail after his ‘No’ video goes viral ahead of presidential power's referendum:

thankyou for your word. most of us know that not every american or soldier is like that. but tragedies like you just explained can change the mindsets so quickly. most of the times it is young children and teens who get affected, and i am not going to lie that i have not been influenced by these things.
then again, i feel that the iraqis are also part to blame. instead of uniting we fought amongst ourselves too. these days i feel ppl are just tired and just want to live their lives with families, so i hope the violence there will go away in the near future.


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