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.
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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


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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.


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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.”


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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:
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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.
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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.


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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.)


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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.


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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.”


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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.


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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.”


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(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:




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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.”

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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.



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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.
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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.”

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15 October, 2017

Air quality on cruise ship deck 'worse than world's most polluted cities', investigation finds | The Independent

Air quality on cruise ship deck 'worse than world's most polluted cities', investigation finds | The Independent:

Directly next to the funnels on the deck, the numbers rocketed to 144,000 with a peak at 226,000. 

This is more than double the average found in central London's Piccadilly Circus, where using the same device, the Dispatches team recorded 38,400 ultra-fine particulates per cubic centimetre. 
While the deck is popular with sun-bathers, passengers are likely to be breathing some of these particulates, which are harmful for health and the environment. 
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(1) Wine Country Fire - Fire Engine response and firefight, Stopping the Flames (Firefighter view) - YouTube

(1) Wine Country Fire - Fire Engine response and firefight, Stopping the Flames (Firefighter view) - YouTube:





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Wallofwillow comments on Drivers who kill will now face life sentence - Dangerous drivers who cause death while using their mobile phones or speeding will face life in prison, ministers have confirmed. Drivers who kill while under the influence of drink or drugs will also face a life sentence.

Wallofwillow comments on Drivers who kill will now face life sentence - Dangerous drivers who cause death while using their mobile phones or speeding will face life in prison, ministers have confirmed. Drivers who kill while under the influence of drink or drugs will also face a life sentence.:

Time spent in prison simply isn't part of the equation of decision-making when committing a serious crime. What has a MUCH LARGER impact on how people behave is the certainty of arrest, the speed of the trial process (this one is key and always overlooked), and perceived feeling of a just system in combination with everything else. This generally means they were arrested, they went to court quickly, they went to jail/prison quickly, and got what they perceived was a fair punishment. The link between the crime and the consequence has to be rapid and direct. Short sentences generally work just as well and obviously cost way less money from the incarceration standpoint.



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As the 747 Begins Its Final Approach, a Pilot Takes a Flight Down Memory Lane - The New York Times

As the 747 Begins Its Final Approach, a Pilot Takes a Flight Down Memory Lane - The New York Times: "For pilots, crew members and passengers who love the 747, it’s easy to forget that the airliner was first of all a business proposition, one that aimed to harness economies of scale and a raft of new technologies to cut the seat-per-mile cost of air travel by about 30 percent. Yet on a planet that previously only the richest could cross at will, the 747’s most lasting impact may have been on everyday notions of distance and difference. Having inaugurated the “age of mass intercontinental travel,” wrote the scholar Vaclav Smil, the 747 “became a powerful symbol of global civilization.” The writer J.G. Ballard compared the jet to nothing less than the Parthenon — each the embodiment of “an entire geopolitical world-view.” Juan Trippe, Pan Am’s legendary founder, called the 747 “a great weapon for peace, competing with intercontinental missiles for mankind’s destiny.”

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14 October, 2017

Hurricane Ophelia: Ireland braces for worst Atlantic storm in almost 60 years | The Independent

Hurricane Ophelia: Ireland braces for worst Atlantic storm in almost 60 years | The Independent:

Ireland is bracing itself for what could be the worst storm since 1961, according to Met Éireann, the country’s national meteorological service.



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N.C.A.A.: North Carolina Will Not Be Punished for Academic Scandal - The New York Times

N.C.A.A.: North Carolina Will Not Be Punished for Academic Scandal - The New York Times:

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The N.C.A.A. did not dispute that the University of North Carolina was guilty of running one of the worst academic fraud schemes in college sports history, involving fake classes that enabled dozens of athletes to gain and maintain their eligibility.
But there will be no penalties, the organization said, because no rules were broken.
In a ruling that caused head-scratching everywhere except Chapel Hill, the N.C.A.A. announced on Friday that it could not punish the university or its athletics program because the “paper” classes were not available exclusively to athletes. Other students at North Carolina had access to the fraudulent classes, too.


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13 October, 2017

20 of America's top political scientists gathered to discuss our democracy. They're scared. - Vox

20 of America's top political scientists gathered to discuss our democracy. They're scared. - Vox:\

Adam Przeworski, a democratic theorist at New York University, suggested that democratic erosion in America begins with a breakdown in what he calls the “class compromise.” His point is that democracies thrive so long as people believe they can improve their lot in life. This basic belief has been “an essential ingredient of Western civilization during the past 200 years,” he said.
But fewer and fewer Americans believe this is true. Due to wage stagnation, growing inequalities, automation, and a shrinking labor market, millions of Americans are deeply pessimistic about the future: 64 percent of people in Europe believe their children will be worse off than they were; the number is 60 percent in America.
That pessimism is grounded in economic reality. 


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Harvey Weinstein, Donald Trump, Hypocrisy & Mitt Romney’s “Binders Full of Women” | National Review

Harvey Weinstein, Donald Trump, Hypocrisy & Mitt Romney’s “Binders Full of Women” | National Review:

During the second presidential debate in 2012, Romney was asked about pay equity. In the course of his answer, he said: I had the chance to pull together a cabinet, and all the applicants seemed to be men . . . I went to a number of women’s groups and said, “Can you help us find folks?” and they brought us whole binders full of women. Now, I’ll happily grant that the phrase “binders full of women” is an awkward one. It sounds like the menus they bring out on Jeffrey Epstein’s plane when Bill Clinton and Harvey Weinstein settle in for a weekend getaway. 



But here’s the thing: What Romney did was exactly what feminist groups insist elected politicians should do. He saw that there were “too many” men in the applicant pool, so he reached out to some feminist groups and asked for help. Some feminist groups reached out to him — and he listened to them, too. And then he hired more women.
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School district pulls 'To Kill A Mockingbird' from reading list; 'makes people uncomfortable,' official says | AL.com

School district pulls 'To Kill A Mockingbird' from reading list; 'makes people uncomfortable,' official says | AL.com: "The Sun Herald reports that Biloxi administrators pulled the novel from the 8th-grade curriculum this week. School board vice president Kenny Holloway says the district received complaints that some of the book's language "makes people uncomfortable."

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12 October, 2017

(1) Take On Me - a-ha - Brooklyn Duo at Carnegie Hall - YouTube

(1) Take On Me - a-ha - Brooklyn Duo at Carnegie Hall - YouTube:




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The Airport Bomber From Last Week You Never Heard About

The Airport Bomber From Last Week You Never Heard About:



I bet you never heard about it. I keep an eye on these types of incidents closely and I didn’t hear about it. Someone who follows me online who happens to live in Asheville sent me the story this morning — shocked that it hadn’t gotten any play at all beyond a few mentions in the local paper and some isolated pickup by a few national outlets.
As soon as I clicked on the article, it all made perfect sense.
The story didn’t go viral and Trump didn’t tweet about it because the bomb was not placed by an immigrant, or a Muslim, or a Mexican. It was placed there by a good ol’ white man, Michael Christopher Estes. Unlike the Las Vegas shooter, Stephen Paddock, whose motive is still hard to discern, Estes wanted to be very clear that his ultimate goal was to accelerate a war on American soil.


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Lorpius_Prime comments on What if Afghanistan was never invaded by the United Front and the Taliban regime continued to conquer all of Afghanistan?

Lorpius_Prime comments on What if Afghanistan was never invaded by the United Front and the Taliban regime continued to conquer all of Afghanistan?: "Try to wrap your head around what something like a war seems like to people from places like that. Wars are when your distant cousins from two valleys over, whom you've seen maybe once every ten years, come and say they need help to fight foreign barbarians. A handful of young men from your village--because a handful is all who live there--leave with them to join the fight, because that's what young men do for family. It's what your village has always done all the way back to when it was the Mongols that threatened to loot your homes rather than the Russians or Americans, and you know so because your grandparents still tell stories about it that they heard their own grandparents tell. They don't go fight for any high ideals, the very concept of philosophy isn't something they'd be familiar with. They might have heard talk of things like "freedom" in news broadcasts from the village's one radio, but to them "freedom" simply means not having to worry about foreigners burning down your village.
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Facing Down the Network That Protected Harvey Weinstein - The New York Times

Facing Down the Network That Protected Harvey Weinstein - The New York Times:

It is far worse for the victims of those in power, who are all too aware that speaking up may lead to stalled careers and ruined reputations. Many women who have fought back against sleazy, powerful men by filing lawsuits against them often end up with the consolation prize of an out-of-court settlement that comes complete with a nondisclosure agreement dictating that they must remain silent on the matter forevermore or face a steep financial penalty.
In this climate, breaking a story that includes tough accusations against those in high places requires more than a scrappy reporter with a notebook. It means having the resources to work the story exclusively for months. It means withstanding any legal challenges that may come. It means coaxing understandably reluctant victims to speak out against those who have the means and motivation to crush them.
In the days since The New York Times first published an article on Mr. Weinstein that named names and included details of at least eight settlements, a number of reporters and editors have spoken of their own missed chances to write the story earlier. For many journalists, Mr. Weinstein was the white whale that got away.


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The American Alliance With Turkey Was Built On a Myth – Foreign Policy

The American Alliance With Turkey Was Built On a Myth – Foreign Policy: "So much analysis and commentary about Turkey over the last decade has emphasized Erdogan’s consolidation of his personal political power. Although this work has been generally accurate, it tends to obscure three important factors in Turkish politics and foreign policy. First, for all that Erdogan is the central decision-maker, his ideas about Turkish power and mistrust of the West have broad support among Turks — and with good historical reasons. Second, the United States and Turkey share neither values nor interests. Finally, the world has changed a lot since the heyday of the U.S.-Turkey alliance, over a quarter century ago."



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11 October, 2017

reefer-madness comments on Attacus atlas: The largest moth in the world

reefer-madness comments on Attacus atlas: The largest moth in the world: "Pandas breed just fine in the wild. Wild female pandas produce healthy, living cubs like clockwork every two years for their entire reproductive careers (typically over a decade). Pandas also do just fine on their diet of bamboo, since that question always comes up too. They have evolved many specializations for bamboo eating, including changes in their taste receptors, development of symbiosis with lignin-digesting gut bacteria (this is a new discovery), and an ingenious anatomical adaptation (a "thumb" made from a wrist bone) that is such a good example of evolutionary novelty that Stephen Jay Gould titled an entire book about it, The Panda's Thumb. They represent a branch of the ursid family that is in the middle of evolving some incredible adaptations (similar to the maned wolf, a canid that's also gone mostly herbivorous, rather like the panda). Far from being an evolutionary dead end, they are an incredible example of evolutionary innovation. Who knows what they might have evolved into if we hadn't ruined their home and destroyed what for millions of years had been a very reliable and abundant food source.
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Hollywood’s Most Decent Fella on Weinstein, Trump and History - The New York Times

Hollywood’s Most Decent Fella on Weinstein, Trump and History - The New York Times:

“Let me just read you one thing,” he says, getting up to go into the other room and coming back with “April 1865: The Month That Saved America,” a book by Jay Winik about the closing weeks of the Civil War: “‘And where abolitionists preached slavery as a violation against the higher law, Southerners angrily countered with their own version of the deity, that it was sanctioned by the Constitution. In the vortex of this debate, once the battle lines were sharply drawn, moderate ground everywhere became hostage to the passions of the two sides. Reason itself had become suspect; mutual tolerance was seen as treachery. Vitriol overcame accommodation. And the slavery issue would not just fade away.”’
He looks up. “Somehow, sometime in the last 20 years of our generation, that’s re-emerged. So, yes, this is the calm before the storm.”


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10 October, 2017

Three Chinese women stuck at South Korea airport unable to confirm identities after plastic surgery: Shanghaiist

Three Chinese women stuck at South Korea airport unable to confirm identities after plastic surgery: Shanghaiist:

Over the Golden Week holiday, three Chinese women flew to South Korea to go under the knife; however, they're having some trouble getting back home again after the operations went a bit too swell.
On Sunday, Jian Huahua, a Chinese TV anchor shared a photo on her Weibo account of the three women sitting at a South Korea airport, passports in hands, with their post-plastic surgery faces wrapped up in bandages and extremely swollen.
According to the Jian, the poor women looked so completely different from their passport photos that they were barred from taking their flight back home, detained and questioned by authorities.


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Gretchen Mol Breaks Silence on Harvey Weinstein and Misogynistic Rumors (Guest Column) | Hollywood Reporter

Gretchen Mol Breaks Silence on Harvey Weinstein and Misogynistic Rumors (Guest Column) | Hollywood Reporter:



For 10 years or so, I’ve been aware of rumors that I had some kind of transactional relationship with Harvey Weinstein. They seemed to start on a gossip website that made money by peddling ‘blind’ items. A few facts had been taken from my Wikipedia page, were combined with stories about a movie mogul who was known for harassing women, quotes from “reliable sources” were added and a malicious, viral rumor was born.
Over the years, it was gleefully embroidered, becoming increasingly bizarre and baroque — but the salacious, slut-shaming and misogynist message to the fable remained the same: In Hollywood, a young woman must build her career by humiliating herself and sleeping with powerful men. 


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09 October, 2017

Christopher Columbus - Wikipedia

Christopher Columbus - Wikipedia: "Because of their gross mismanagement of governance, Columbus and his brothers were arrested and imprisoned upon their return to Spain from the third voyage. They lingered in jail for six weeks before busy King Ferdinand ordered their release. Not long after, the king and queen summoned the Columbus brothers to the Alhambra palace in Granada. There, the royal couple heard the brothers' pleas; restored their freedom and wealth; and, after much persuasion, agreed to fund Columbus's fourth voyage. But the door was firmly shut on Columbus's role as governor. Henceforth Nicolás de Ovando y Cáceres was to be the new governor of the West Indies.

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Realizing it's real, from my time in base Honor Guard : MilitaryStories

Realizing it's real, from my time in base Honor Guard : MilitaryStories: "It was never just a job after that. It was a brother or sister I never met. Part of my damn family that the reaper dared take. It was real, and from then on, it's never stopped."



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Val_Hallen comments on Jerry Jones gives Cowboys players ultimatum: Stand for anthem or sit for game

Val_Hallen comments on Jerry Jones gives Cowboys players ultimatum: Stand for anthem or sit for game:

As a vet, I don't feel "disrespected".
I swore to defend all rights. Especially the unpopular ones that most people disagree with. Those ones need protected the most.
What does make me feel disrespected is when you drag MY service into YOUR argument and get offended on MYbehalf.
Veterans are fucking tired of being brought out like dancing poodles for the fucking GOP and conservatives of this nation to further their own selfish, backwards, and archaic ideas.
That's disrespectful to us.
We are living, breathing people with our own thoughts and ideologies.
We don't belong to your team. We don't belong to any team.
We swore to uphold the Constitution. Part of that Constitution is these players doing exactly what they are allowed to do - peacefully protest.
Showing 100% reverence to a nation or symbol of the nation is NOT patriotism, it's nationalism.
And history has shown that nationalism is a very dangerous idea.


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Is the United States one of seven countries that ‘allow elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy?’ - The Washington Post

Is the United States one of seven countries that ‘allow elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy?’ - The Washington Post:

This statistic seemed dubious at first, because it seemed extreme for just seven countries out of 198 to allow elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. But upon further digging, the data back up the claim. We should note that some of the seven countries allow abortions after 20 weeks, but ban it after 24 weeks. And other countries have no federal limits, but legislate at the state or provincial level, similar to the United States.
Further, what is telling that research from both sides of the reproductive rights debate confirm this figure. It’s not easy to boil down complex abortion laws in a cross-comparative manner like this, and there are some minor caveats associated with this talking point. Still, we did not find the caveats rise to the level of One Pinocchio.
We award the elusive Geppetto Checkmark when a factoid surprisingly turns out to be true, as in this case.


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Every conversation between a parent and a child, in four conversations.

Every conversation between a parent and a child, in four conversations.:

Child: Can I have this?
Me: No.
Child: Ah, perhaps I’ve miscommunicated. I’m asking for it because I want it.
Me: I understood that, actually.
Child: I think maybe you’re not hearing me. I’d like it because I want it.


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(1) Was the Civil War About Slavery? - YouTube

(1) Was the Civil War About Slavery? - YouTube: "What caused the Civil War? Did the North care about abolishing slavery? Did the South secede because of slavery? Or was it about something else entirely...perhaps states' rights? Colonel Ty Seidule, Professor of History at the United States Military Academy at West Point, settles the debate."



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This Sex Trafficking Survivor Protects Girls From 'Hell' She Endured | HuffPost

This Sex Trafficking Survivor Protects Girls From 'Hell' She Endured | HuffPost:



To many, Emmy Myers appeared to be a model student during high school. She was involved in gymnastics, track and the agricultural club.
But her life took a dark turn into drugs and, eventually, sex trafficking.
Today, the 28-year-old Wisconsin native wants people to know that sex trafficking can happen to anyone ― and that the people buying women and girls can come from every income level and from every community.


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Radiohead vs Dave Brubeck – Five Step (Overdub Bootleg) by Fatlicious!

Radiohead vs Dave Brubeck – Five Step (Overdub Bootleg) by Fatlicious!:



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08 October, 2017

Spiro T. Agnew, Ex-Vice President, Dies at 77 - The New York Times

Spiro T. Agnew, Ex-Vice President, Dies at 77 - The New York Times: "In a 1980 television interview, Mr. Agnew said: ''I wouldn't recommend anyone go into politics today, any young person. Because it's just people, the expectation of people from people in public office is just so high that no ordinary man can ever perform to suit them.'' The interviewer then asked if honesty could not legitimately be expected. ''Yes,'' Mr. Agnew said, ''but honesty is a different thing to different people.''

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Georgia city will rename itself Amazon if it wins the new headquarters - The Verge

Georgia city will rename itself Amazon if it wins the new headquarters - The Verge: "As North American cities vie for the chance to be chosen by Amazon as the home of its second headquarters, one Georgia city has stepped up to the plate. The city council of Stonecrest, Georgia voted 4 to 2 on Monday to change its name to Amazon, Georgia and give the company 345 acres of land if Amazon selects it as the HQ destination, according to local media.

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ISIS Fighters, Having Pledged to Fight or Die, Surrender en Masse - The New York Times

ISIS Fighters, Having Pledged to Fight or Die, Surrender en Masse - The New York Times: "More than a thousand prisoners determined to be Islamic State fighters passed through that room last week after they fled their crumbling Iraqi stronghold of Hawija. Instead of the martyrdom they had boasted was their only acceptable fate, they had voluntarily ended up here in the interrogation center of the Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq.

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(1) What Happens Just Before Show Time At the Met Opera | The New York Times - YouTube

(1) What Happens Just Before Show Time At the Met Opera | The New York Times - YouTube:







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Harvey Weinstein Is the (Whispered) Talk of Hollywood - The New York Times

Harvey Weinstein Is the (Whispered) Talk of Hollywood - The New York Times: "From Thursday to Saturday, I called more than 40 entertainment industry players, and almost all refused to speak for the record. Some said it was because their companies (or publicists) needed to approve anything they would say, while others gave reasons that painted a picture of a community hobbled by fear, self-interest and hypocrisy. “Ladies of Hollywood,” Rose McGowan, one of the actresses who settled with Mr. Weinstein, wrote on Twitter on Friday, “your silence is deafening.”

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Which side are you on, vendors? – Code for America Blog – Medium

Which side are you on, vendors? – Code for America Blog – Medium:



There’s a reason one of three “false narratives”Oracle outlines in its White House commentary is “In-house government IT development know-how is critical for IT modernization.” Oracle’s success depends not on having a great product their customers love, but on their government clients having little to no technology background, and little ammunition against their aggressive negotiation. If Oracle is coming out strong against in-house technology talent, it’s simply because so many more talented technologists with higher expectations for the technology they build or buy are coming into government, many of them through Code for America’s fellowship program or talent initiative, and ending in up places like city halls, 18F and USDS. They’re having a positive impact there on behalf of taxpayers and everyone who needs to interact with government, and Oracle doesn’t like it.



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07 October, 2017

Top-level trauma care, within close reach, saved lives in Las Vegas

Top-level trauma care, within close reach, saved lives in Las Vegas: "LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - From the field of sudden mass casualties to the unmistakable and devastating internal injuries of high-velocity gunfire, Sunday’s shooting at a Las Vegas music festival bore the hallmarks of war. So did the medical response.

The life-saving effort was in many ways textbook battlefield medicine.

It called on U.S. worst-case drills informed by lessons in wars from Vietnam to Iraq and refined by attacks on civilians in Paris, San Bernardino and Orlando."



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What Is White Supremacy? - The Atlantic

What Is White Supremacy? - The Atlantic: "“However much it is denied, however many excuses are made, the hard cold fact is that many white Americans oppose open housing because they unconsciously, and often consciously, feel that the Negro is innately inferior, impure, depraved and degenerate,” King wrote. “It is a contemporary expression of America’s long dalliance with racism and white supremacy.”

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My Last Byline – Mark Mooney – Medium

My Last Byline – Mark Mooney – Medium:

I’m sure you’ve heard the old saw that you’ll never hear a dying man say that he wished he had spent more time at the office.
Well, I’m here to tell you… ah, check that. If you are reading this, that means that I am no longer here. The prostate cancer finished toying with me on October 6, 2017. I was 66 and glad to be done with the damn disease.


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06 October, 2017

Pinpointing Racial Discrimination by Government Officials - NYTimes.com

Pinpointing Racial Discrimination by Government Officials - NYTimes.com: "Most inquiries yielded a timely and polite response. But emails with black-sounding names were 13 percent more likely to go unanswered than those with white-sounding names. This difference, which appeared in all regions of the country, was large enough that it was statistically unlikely to have been a matter of mere chance.

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05 October, 2017

foreelyo comments on Terry Crews Hallucinates While Eating Spicy Wings | Hot Ones

foreelyo comments on Terry Crews Hallucinates While Eating Spicy Wings | Hot Ones: "Some wise person taught me this: Everything that is passed down to you from your parents is your Inheritance. For the purpose of this comment I'm not stuff/money but rather the way you were treated and raised. The parts of your Inheritance that you decide to keep and the bits that you add in as you grow/learn, this is what you pass on to your children, spouse, other family members. This is your Legacy.
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04 October, 2017

Reality Check — Dorian Taylor

Reality Check — Dorian Taylor:



Here's a sketch of a contrived UX-heavy Web development team, idealized in terms of every subspecies of UX specialist having a job:



  1.  Some kind of strategist/lead/architect/grand poobah, to be the principal contact with clients and the first and last word on design, 
  2. A project manager, who is not a designer, to deal with people, resources and schedules, 
  3. A user research, testing, and analytics person, 
  4. An interaction designer, 
  5. An information architect, 
  6. A content strategist, 
  7. A visual designer, 
  8. A front-end developer, 
  9. A back-end developer, 
  10. A software tester, 
  11. A system administrator, 
  12. Juniors, interns and internettes. 
Okay, the care and feeding of that troupe is going to be well over a million bucks a year. And that's not counting gear, office space, support staff, marketing, biz dev, etc. A team like that is going to have to complete a six-figure job every month just to keep the lights on.
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Announcing: Digital Services Georgia | Digital Services Georgia

Announcing: Digital Services Georgia | Digital Services Georgia: "Georgia is proactive in making sure state digital properties are on the road map to a modernized experience. The Georgia Technology Authority recently announced an Office of Digital Services Georgia (DSGa) as an opportunity for state agencies to analyze and enhance how they deliver information and services. DSGa will help agencies ensure every Georgia resident and visitor has access to engage with state information and services with ease.

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03 October, 2017

(1) The Academic - Bear Claws (Live Looper Version) - YouTube

(1) The Academic - Bear Claws (Live Looper Version) - YouTube:



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These charts show Fox News really did ignore Puerto Rico’s crisis - Vox

These charts show Fox News really did ignore Puerto Rico’s crisis - Vox: "So what did the network cover in the small amount of time it focused on Puerto Rico?



 Well, it was mostly about President Trump — and it was certainly not focused much on his inaction. Rather, it focused on what Trump was doing, like waiving the Jones Act, saying there are “tremendous strides” being made, and, of course tweeting. (Trump criticized San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz when she appeared on TV and desperately asked for more federal assistance.) There was also a brief focus on how the mainstream media is politicizing Puerto Rico."



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01 October, 2017

Cassini's 'Last Dance' — A Final Portrait of Saturn | Flickr

Cassini's 'Last Dance' — A Final Portrait of Saturn | Flickr:

The last picture before impact



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WWII veteran and Oregon native Donald Malarkey, portrayed in 'Band of Brothers,' has died | KATU

WWII veteran and Oregon native Donald Malarkey, portrayed in 'Band of Brothers,' has died | KATU:


SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Donald Malarkey, a World War II paratrooper who was awarded the Bronze Star after parachuting behind enemy lines at Normandy to destroy German artillery on D-Day, has died. He was 96.
Malarkey was one of several members of "Easy Company" to be widely portrayed in the HBO miniseries, "Band of Brothers." He died Sept. 30 in Salem, Oregon of age-related causes, his son-in-law John Hill said Sunday.


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Slack | Don't Worry About the Vase

Slack | Don't Worry About the Vase:

Definition: Slack. The absence of binding constraints on behavior.
Poor is the person without Slack. Lack of Slack compounds and traps.
Slack means margin for error. You can relax. 
Slack allows pursuing opportunities. You can explore. You can trade.
Slack prevents desperation. You can avoid bad trades and wait for better spots. You can be efficient.
Slack permits planning for the long term. You can invest.
Slack enables doing things for your own amusement. You can play games. You can have fun. 
Slack enables doing the right thing. Stand by your friends. Reward the worthy. Punish the wicked. You can have a code. 
Slack presents things as they are without concern for how things look or what others think. You can be honest.
You can do some of these things, and choose not to do others. Because you don’t have to.
Only with slack can one be a righteous dude.
Slack is life.



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One Day in the Life of Battered Puerto Rico - The New York Times

One Day in the Life of Battered Puerto Rico - The New York Times: "A woman washed her daughter’s hair in a roadside waterfall in Utuado, a city of brightly painted concrete homes nestled in a sleepy valley. The streets were caked with mud, many of the acacias were bent and broken, and in the city and the surrounding municipality, also called Utuado, an unknown number of its approximately 35,000 residents were cut off from the rest of the world by mudslides or failed infrastructure, said Francisco Rullan, executive director of the governor’s energy policy office.

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Two Additions to the Political Reading List: ‘Unbelievable,’ ‘Thanks, Obama’ - The Atlantic

Two Additions to the Political Reading List: ‘Unbelievable,’ ‘Thanks, Obama’ - The Atlantic: "But here, beyond a shadow of a doubt, is the single most valuable lesson I learned in public service: There are no grownups, at least not in the way I imagined as a kid. Once you reach a certain age, the world has no more parents. But it contains a truly shocking number of children. These children come in all ages, in all sizes, from every walk of life and every corner of the political map.

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30 September, 2017

Erick Erickson: How to Find Common Ground - The New York Times

Erick Erickson: How to Find Common Ground - The New York Times:

Even as the internet provides us great advances, it also segments us. We have social-media tribes and our self-esteem is based on likes and retweets. We have hundreds of television channels and even more video choices online where Hollywood no longer has to worry about broad appeal. There is a channel for everyone, and everyone in the tribe will get the inside jokes. Social-media interactions have replaced the value of character.
The truth, though, is that our Facebook friends are probably not going to water our flowers while we are on vacation and our Twitter followers will not bring us a meal if we are sick. But the actual human being next door might do both if we meet him.


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