23 October, 2017

On Safari in Trump's America - The Atlantic

On Safari in Trump's America - The Atlantic: "In Wisconsin, I had seen and heard everything the Third Way researchers did—and eaten at the same restaurants, and slept at the same Hampton Inn in Eau Claire, and watched the same landscape roll by the windows of the same SUV. I heard all the optimism they did, but I also heard its opposite: that one side was right and that the other was the enemy; that other Americans, not just the government, were to blame for the country’s problems. There’s plenty of fellow-feeling in the heartland for those who want to see it, but there’s plenty of division, too. And not every problem can be solved in a way that splits the difference.

"



'via Blog this'

22 October, 2017

Florida private schools get nearly $1 billion in state scholarships with little oversight, Sentinel finds - Orlando Sentinel

Florida private schools get nearly $1 billion in state scholarships with little oversight, Sentinel finds - Orlando Sentinel:

Private schools in Florida will collect nearly $1 billion in state-backed scholarships this year through a system so weakly regulated that some schools hire teachers without college degrees, hold classes in aging strip malls and falsify fire-safety and health records.
The limited oversight of Florida’s scholarship programs allowed a principal under investigation for molesting a student at his Brevard County school to open another school under a new name and still receive the money, an Orlando Sentinel investigation found.
Another Central Florida school received millions of dollars in scholarships, sometimes called school vouchers, for nearly a decade even though it repeatedly violated program rules, including hiring staff with criminal convictions.


'via Blog this'

21 October, 2017

Why do women still earn a lot less than men?

Why do women still earn a lot less than men?: "The main reason why women are less likely than men to reach higher-level positions is that they are their children’s primary carers. In eight countries polled by The Economist and YouGov earlier this year, 44-75% of women with children living at home said they had scaled back at work after becoming mothers—by working fewer hours or by switching to a less demanding job, such as one requiring less travel or overtime. Only 13-37% of fathers said they had done so, and more than half of those men said their partner had also scaled back. This pattern means that men get a better shot at a pay rise or a promotion than their female colleagues, and are less likely to be in jobs for which they are overqualified. A recent study estimated that in America women’s future wages fall, on average, by 4% per child, and by 10% per child in the case of the highest-earning, most skilled white women. In Britain, a mother’s wages fall by 2% for each year she is out of the workforce, and by twice as much if she has good school-leaving qualifications.
"



'via Blog this'

Sworn Again America

Sworn Again America:

I pledge to be an active American

to show up for others

to govern my self

to help govern my community

I recommit myself to my country’s creed

to cherish liberty

as a responsibility
I pledge to serve

and to push my country:

when right, to be kept right;

when wrong, to be set right

Wherever my ancestors and I were born,

I claim America

and I pledge to live like a citizen


'via Blog this'

20 October, 2017

How I Socially Engineer Myself Into High Security Facilities - Motherboard

How I Socially Engineer Myself Into High Security Facilities - Motherboard:

Hello! My name is Sophie and I break into buildings. I get paid to think like a criminal.
Organizations hire me to evaluate their security, which I do by seeing if I can bypass it. During tests I get to do some lockpicking, climb over walls or hop barbed wire fences. I get to go dumpster diving and play with all sorts of cool gadgets that Q would be proud of.
But usually, I use what is called social engineering to convince the employees to let me in. Sometimes I use email or phone calls to pretend to be someone I am not. Most often I get to approach people in-person and give them the confidence to let me in.
My frequently asked questions include:
What break-in are you most proud of? 
What have you done for a test that you were the most ashamed of?
What follows is the answer to both of these questions.


'via Blog this'

I’m a Conservative Who Was Roofied By a Stranger. Here’s What I Think of the Me, Too Hashtag.

I’m a Conservative Who Was Roofied By a Stranger. Here’s What I Think of the Me, Too Hashtag.:

It will speak because this week I have seen too many ignorant comments, authored by too many people with too many opinions and too little compassion. People who, if they will listen at all, will only listen to a gun-owning, beer-drinking, God-fearing conservative woman whose disdain for modern militant feminism is well-known and unwavering.
Sometimes, we need to hear it from our own. Today, hear it from me.
There are a disconcerting number of people who, while ferociously and rightfully tearing apart the likes of Harvey Weinstein and his enablers, simultaneously denigrate the experiences of victims in the name of “confronting the lies of leftist feminism.”


'via Blog this'

Dahhhkness comments on Donald Trump suggests Russia, FBI and Democrats colluded to pay for dossier on his Kremlin links - but provides no evidence

Dahhhkness comments on Donald Trump suggests Russia, FBI and Democrats colluded to pay for dossier on his Kremlin links - but provides no evidence: "A short list of some of the unforgivable things that dreadful black man did:
"



'via Blog this'

Dollar General Hits a Gold Mine in Rural America - Bloomberg

Dollar General Hits a Gold Mine in Rural America - Bloomberg: "In the poorest towns, where even Wal-Mart failed, the little-box player is turning a profit.
"



'via Blog this'

Cale Weatherly - I had some time to kill at work today, so I wrote...

Cale Weatherly - I had some time to kill at work today, so I wrote...:

My official title is Senior Research Chemist, Process Chemistry. I work for a company that partners with other pharmaceutical and biotech companies in bringing drugs to market. Discovering and testing drugs is a long and expensive process – 12-15 years, about a billion dollars.
Suppose a company want to develop a drug to treat a disease. Initially, they examine millions of molecules in basic biological tests. The results of these tests show whether a molecule affects part of a biological process involved in the disease. Building on these results, chemists design and make new molecules that may perform better in these initial tests. Several rounds of chemistry and biology provide more and more information about potential drug molecules. Eventually, a select few of these molecules are administered to animals. The animals are observed, then killed and autopsied. This informs more rounds of synthesis and testing go on.
It’s estimated that 90% of drug projects fail somewhere in these early stages. The 10% of successful projects will undergo clinical trials, the careful administration of drugs to humans and the observation of their effects. Three major phases of clinical trials are required to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of drugs before they can be considered for market. This is an expensive, risky, and highly regulated process, culminating in the submission of library-sized bodies of documentation to the FDA. The FDA reviews the material and provides a final verdict on whether or not a drug may be sold in the US. About 10% of drug candidates that enter the clinic will eventual be approved. Undertaking a drug discovery project means a 1% chance of success and lots of capital at risk.
In the early stages of drug research, where the focus is on basic biology, you can do most of the experimentation with 5-10 mg of the drug molecule. Figuring out how to make a molecule that’s never been made before is hard. This is the domain of a medicinal chemist. A medicinal chemist must first choose an appropriate starting material, a widely available molecule that usually bears some resemblance to the target product. The chemist will then design a series of chemical reactions that she anticipates will, step-by-step, turn the starting material into the target. A reaction is performed, the material is purified, the next reaction is tested. Medicinal chemists use general patterns of chemical reactivity to design a series of reactions – however, sometimes these reactions don’t work very well, or at all. Tweaks need to be made alternatives need to be tried. A skilled medicinal chemist may spend 30 minutes designing a way to make a molecule on paper, then take two months to make the planned chemistry work in the lab. Still, making 5-10 mg of a druglike molecule is usually achievable in that time frame. At this stage of things, how the molecule is made is not important. It is enough simply to make it.
Much further along in the discovery process, when doses of the compound are going to be administered to animals or humans (and maybe before), 5-10 mg of compound isn’t sufficient. You need grams of material, then kilograms. This is where a team of process chemists (like me!) comes in. The “how” of making the compound is now very important. Why not just do what the medicinal chemist did, only bigger? Many reasons. The medicinal chemist may have used ten reactions to make a molecule that could be made in five. These extra reactions generate lots of waste and cost money to run. Some of the reactions may have used expensive or toxic chemicals that we want to avoid. Sometimes chemical reactions that work well on small scales do not work as well with more material. Purifications that work well on a small scale may be impractical on large scales.
My goal as a process chemist is to figure out ways to make potential drug molecules with as little chemical material, time, effort, cost, and waste as possible. Often, this means designing and executing a scheme of chemical reactions completely different from what the medicinal chemist used. On a daily basis, my job centers on running and analyzing individual chemical reactions. I test different chemical reagents and their relative amounts, temperatures, concentrations, rates of addition, and many other variables. I use sophisticated instrumentation to analyze the individual components of a reaction. I strive to make individual reactions as high-yielding (yield = amount of material actually made/amount of material theoretically possible) as possible, with products as pure as possible. If I’m lucky, I get to think about how green and easy to perform a reaction is, but most of the time, it’s very hard even to get good yield and purity. Since the material from one reaction is used in the next, I typically work on two reactions at a time. Poor performance in one reaction can upset an overall scheme for making amolecule. Recently, my colleague and I have developed a route of making a molecule using four total reactions that previously required eight reactions to make. It is very satisfying to make large quantities of pure white powder!
The chemistry we develop may be passed along to engineers for further refinement. While I am an expert in what reactions to use and in what order, engineers are experts in chemical equipment and in the numerical details of, for example, heat transfer, filtration, and crystal growth. They work to develop chemical processes that can reliably be executed by medium-skilled technicians. Ultimately, the chemistry we develop may be used to manufacture pure drug products for market.


'via Blog this'

19 October, 2017

Remarks by President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush at the “Spirit of Liberty: At Home, In The World” | Bush Center

Remarks by President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush at the “Spirit of Liberty: At Home, In The World” | Bush Center:

Our identity as a nation – unlike many other nations – is not determined by geography or ethnicity, by soil or blood. Being an American involves the embrace of high ideals and civic responsibility. We become the heirs of Thomas Jefferson by accepting the ideal of human dignity found in the Declaration of Independence. We become the heirs of James Madison by understanding the genius and values of the U.S. Constitution. We become the heirs of Martin Luther King, Jr., by recognizing one another not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
This means that people of every race, religion, and ethnicity can be fully and equally American. It means that bigotry or white supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the American creed. (Applause.)


'via Blog this'

My Interview With a Rohingya Refugee: What Do You Say to a Woman Whose Baby Was Thrown Into a Fire? - NYTimes.com

My Interview With a Rohingya Refugee: What Do You Say to a Woman Whose Baby Was Thrown Into a Fire? - NYTimes.com:

As I walked out of the refugee camp, my phone rang. The instant I said hello, my wife could hear it in my voice.
“What’s wrong?” she asked.
“I just finished the worst interview of my life,” I said.
I was standing near the border of Myanmar and Bangladesh, where half a million Rohingya people, probably one of the most unwanted ethnic groups on the planet, fled after government massacres in Myanmar. I had just said goodbye to a young woman named Rajuma and watched her — a frail figure in a red veil — disappear into a crowd with one of the most horrible stories I had ever heard.
I’ve covered genocide in Sudan and children being blown apart in Iraq. I’ve been dispatched to earthquakes, hurricanes, civil wars, international wars, insurgencies and famines. As foreign correspondents, this is what we do, rush into the world’s biggest disasters. In 20 years of doing this, I’ve become a specialist in despair.
But Rajuma’s story stopped me.


'via Blog this'

Kelly Delivers Fervent Defense of Trump Call to Soldier’s Widow - The New York Times

Kelly Delivers Fervent Defense of Trump Call to Soldier’s Widow - The New York Times:

“It stuns me that a member of Congress would have listened in on that conversation — absolutely stuns me,” Mr. Kelly said during a somber, 18-minute appearance in the White House briefing room. He said that he was so upset by Ms. Wilson’s appearances on TV news shows that he had to collect his thoughts by walking through the graves at Arlington National Cemetery for more than an hour.
He also displayed scorn for a society that he said does not appreciate the sacrifice of those in the military. “Most of you as Americans don’t know them,” he said, bemoaning that “there’s nothing in our country anymore that seems to suggest that selfless service to the nation is not only appropriate but required.”


'via Blog this'

Robert Scoble and Me – Quinn Norton – Medium

Robert Scoble and Me – Quinn Norton – Medium:

I learned when I was raped as a teenager that the complete demonization of the rapist is counterproductive. My rapist was my high school boyfriend, considered a better student and a boy with much better prospects than me. It was occasionally suggested that I’d be lucky to be raped by a boy of his stature, always with encouragement that I let the whole thing go. I never did. It was never said, but it was implied that I was trying to ruin a person whose life was, simply put, worth more than mine.
What we both were was fucked teenagers who needed help, and one had hurt the other. Not strange, not rare. Instead of addressing that, I was pushed out of school, and his emotional problems were ignored and neglected. In the end, my rapist and I were better allies to each other than our schools and families were.


'via Blog this'

17 October, 2017

Exclusive: Neo-Nazi and National Front organiser quits movement, opens up about Jewish heritage, comes out as gay – Channel 4 News

Exclusive: Neo-Nazi and National Front organiser quits movement, opens up about Jewish heritage, comes out as gay – Channel 4 News:


Kevin Wilshaw also opens up about his Jewish mother.
“She was part Jewish, maiden name was Benjamin, we have Jewish blood on that side.
On an application form to join the National Front, he wrote about his hatred of “the Jews”.
“That term ‘the Jews’ is the global faceless mass of people you can’t personalise it, not individuals. That’s the generalisation that leads to 6 million people being deliberately murdered.
“I didn’t have many friends at school, I wanted to be a member of a group of people that had an aim, and I thought getting involved in that kind of thing would be comradeship. “
“Even though you end up being a group of people that through their own extreme views are cut off from society, you do have a sense of comradeship in that you’re a member of a group that’s being attacked by other people.”


'via Blog this'

(1) 厦外官方音乐短片【Another Day of Sun】 Xiamen Foreign Language School - YouTube

(1) 厦外官方音乐短片【Another Day of Sun】 Xiamen Foreign Language School - YouTube:




'via Blog this'

16 October, 2017

Mike Pence’s “Confessions of a Negative Campaigner” | Craig Fehrman

Mike Pence’s “Confessions of a Negative Campaigner” | Craig Fehrman: "Second, a campaign ought to be about the advancement of issues whose success or failure is more significant than that of the candidate. Whether on the left or the right, candidates ought to leave a legacy — a foundation of arguments — in favor of policies upon which their successors can build. William Buckley carries with him a purposeful malapropism. “Don’t just do something,” it says, “stand there.”

"



'via Blog this'

You’ve Probably Never Heard of America’s Most Popular Playwright, Lauren Gunderson | The New Yorker

You’ve Probably Never Heard of America’s Most Popular Playwright, Lauren Gunderson | The New Yorker:

Increasingly, theatres are banking on Gunderson, who, at thirty-five, has already had more than twenty of her works produced: among them witty historical dramas about women in science (“Emilie,” “Silent Sky,” “Ada and the Engine”), giddy political comedies (“Exit, Pursued by a Bear,” “The Taming,” “The Revolutionists”), and wildly theatrical explorations of death and legacy (“I and You,” “The Book of Will”). According to American Theatre magazine’s annual survey, released last month, Gunderson will be the most produced playwright in the country for the 2017–18 season. Her plays are staged almost twice as often as anyone else’s on the list, far ahead of venerated figures like Eugene O’Neill and August Wilson, who edged her for the top spot last year. (The survey excludes Shakespeare, America’s perennial favorite.) Although men still write three-quarters of the plays that get produced, Gunderson has built a national reputation with works that center on women’s stories. And, though most playwrights also teach or work in television, she has managed to make a living, in San Francisco, by writing for the stage.



'via Blog this'

Why I’ve Started to Fear My Fellow Social Justice Activists by Frances Lee — YES! Magazine

Why I’ve Started to Fear My Fellow Social Justice Activists by Frances Lee — YES! Magazine:

Callout culture. The quest for purity. Privilege theory taken to extremes. I’ve observed some of these questionable patterns in my activist communities over the past several years.
As an activist, I stand with others against white supremacy, anti-blackness, cisheteropatriarchy, capitalism, and imperialism. I am queer, trans, Chinese American, middle class, and able-bodied.
Holding these identities scattered across the spectrum of privilege, I have done my best to find my place in the movement, while educating myself on social justice issues to the best of my ability. But after witnessing countless people be ruthlessly torn apart in community for their mistakes and missteps, I started to fear my own comrades.
'via Blog this'

What if the right-wing media wins? - Columbia Journalism Review

What if the right-wing media wins? - Columbia Journalism Review: "“Journalistic integrity is dead,” he declared. “There is no such thing anymore. So everything is about weaponization of information.” Standing behind a mahogany podium in a baggy dark suit, Boyle preached with the confidence of a true believer. In a stuttering staccato, he condemned the nation’s preeminent news outlets as “corrupted institutions,” “built on a lie,” and a criminal “syndicate that needs to be dismantled.” Boyle and his compatriots were laboring to usher in an imminent—and glorious—journalistic apocalypse. “We envision a day when CNN is no longer in business. We envision a day when The New York Times closes its doors. I think that day is possible.”

"



'via Blog this'