How Holiday Decorations Create Disasters

Man is running with a burning christmas tree out of the house.6 Times Holiday Decorations Turned into Disasters
‘Each winter, many people decorate their homes and offices with holiday lights, ornaments and tinsel. They chop down fir trees, and sit near them at home, breathing in the sharp evergreen scent.

‘But while many people use the holiday season to relax and recharge their batteries, sometimes these festive pastimes can be downright dangerous, as people — and cats, dogs and owls — have learned over the years…’

Orwell’s nightmare in ‘1984’ meets the movie ‘Minority Report
Police Pre-Crime Algorithm Uses Social Media Posts Against You
‘”Did you know that any time a police officer pulls you over or responds to your 9-1-1 call, he or she is using a pre-crime algorithm which assigns you a color-coded threat score based not just on your criminal background but on everything including “flagged” purchases and all your social media posts which may include any comments that may be construed as “offensive?”

‘”The officer will receive your color coding – red, yellow or green – before he or she ever even sees you, based on factors you are not allowed to see or question. Guilty until proven innocent just got thrown completely out the window. Welcome to the modern era of big data and thought crime in Police State, USA…’

Antibiotic Resistance Will Kill 300 Million People by 2050
‘RAND Europe and KPMG both assessed the future impact of AMR. They looked at a subset of drug resistant pathogens and the public health issues surrounding them for Klebsiella pneumonia, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. The RAND Europe scenario modelled what would happen if antimicrobial drug resistance rates rose to 100% after 15 years, while infection rates held steady. The KPMG scenario looked at resistance rising to 40% from today’s levels and the number of infections doubling. Malaria resistance results in the greatest number of fatalities, while E. coli resistance accounts for almost half the total economic impact as it is so widespread and its incidence is so high.

‘”You can look at antibiotic resistance as a slow moving global train wreck, which will happen over the next 35 years,” says health law expert Kevin Outterson at Boston University, US. “If we do nothing, this report shows us the likely magnitude of the costs.”…’

California’s “Teacher of the Year” is a Filipina
‘The Los Angeles Unified School District proudly announced today that a middle school teacher was named as one of five educators to receive the 2015 California Teachers of the Year Award from the California Department of Education. Lovelyn Marquez-Prueher, an eighth-grade English teacher at Dodson Middle School in Los Angeles, received the distinguished honor.

‘“What a true inspiration to have Ms. Marquez-Prueher be recognized statewide,” said Board President Dr. Richard Vladovic. “She exemplifies the best of what LAUSD offers our students every day. She goes above and beyond to provide our students with the best learning opportunities for them to succeed in life.”…’

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Manila Prison Anomalies Become More Hilarious

rappler-robinpadillaThe present anomalies were already happening since the late !990s. Even former inmate actor Robin Padilla claims he saw shabu being ‘cooked’ inside Bilibid and admitted he carried a gun inside. And he was jailed for possession of guns! Instead of just possessing then, he could smuggle guns inside LOL

What kind of Prison Director doesn’t know what’s inside his prison? Franklin Bucayu should be fired without questions asap.

‘Padilla said he learned that the inmate was a drug user, and that methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu, was not only available in prison, it was also being “cooked” there. A jail guard, he said, even asked him for his drug of choice.

‘The actor also shared that there were people who jogged with firearms, had jacuzzis in their cells, and said that he also carried a gun with him.

‘“’Pag sinarado na lahat at wala nang guwardiya sa loob, war ‘yun (Once everything is closed and there are no more guards inside, that’s war),” he said,

‘For Robin, the constant change in prison leadership is the reason why illegal activities inside the prison continues. He admitted that he became an informant of former Bureau of Corrections Director General Vicente Vinarao who wanted to eliminate illegal drugs from the prison…’

The ‘Christmas village’ of China
Your Holiday Decorations Likely Came From This Town in China
‘Our yuletide myth-making might like to imagine that Christmas is made by rosy-cheeked elves hammering away in a snow-bound log cabin somewhere in the Arctic Circle. But it’s not. The likelihood is that most of those baubles, tinsel and flashing LED lights you’ve draped liberally around your house came from Yiwu, 300km south of Shanghai – where there’s not a (real) pine tree nor (natural) snowflake in sight.

‘Christened “China’s Christmas village”, Yiwu is home to 600 factories that collectively churn out over 60% of all the world’s Christmas decorations and accessories, from glowing fibre-optic trees to felt Santa hats. The “elves” that staff these factories are mainly migrant labourers, working 12 hours a day for a maximum of £200 to £300 a month – and it turns out they’re not entirely sure what Christmas is…’

The Elf on the Shelf is preparing your child to live in a future police state, professor warns
‘…For others — like, say, digital technology professor Laura Pinto — the Elf on the Shelf is “a capillary form of power that normalizes the voluntary surrender of privacy, teaching young people to blindly accept panoptic surveillance and” [deep breath] “reify hegemonic power.”

‘The latter perspective is detailed in “Who’s the Boss,” a paper published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, in which Pinto and co-author Selena Nemorin argue that the popular seasonal doll is preparing a generation of children to uncritically accept “increasingly intrusive (albeit whimsically packaged) modes of surveillance.”…’

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Amazon’s Best-Selling Books of 2014

Originally posted on WP Writers Group:‘With the year drawing to a close, everyone from Google to Apple has been posting of their best selling titles for 2014. Yesterday Amazon published their list.

‘Since this is a single combined list for both print and digital, there’s not much of a chance that you’ll find indie titles on it. The market is still primarily print, which is still dominated by traditional publishers. In fact there is but a single indie title on this list: The Fixed Trilogy by Laurelin Paige…’

The first 4: (note that 2 and 4 are crime fiction)
The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
Gray Mountain by John Grisham
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Twenty Seconds Ago (Jack Reacher, #19) by Lee Child

2014 is barbaric for journalists as 66 were slain
‘In its annual report published on Tuesday, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said there was “an…

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Most Internet Addicts are Arabs

Happy Holidays to all my WordPress followers! You are all real friends. I will not greet so-called friends, moreso relatives, who don’t follow my blogs. Real friends are interested in what each other say. You don’t even have to read my blog posts. Just following my blogs makes me grateful enough. Thank you very much to all my followers and more power to you.

Most Internet Addicts are Arabs
wedorecover-Internet-1Internet addiction affects 6 percent of people worldwide
‘In the article “Internet Addiction Prevalence and Quality of (Real) Life: A Meta-Analysis of 31 Nations Across Seven World Regions,” Cecelia Cheng and Angel Yee-lam Li, The University of Hong Kong, present 164 Internet addiction prevalence figures, with an overall global prevalence estimate of 6.0%. Prevalence ranged from a low of 2.6% in Northern and Western Europe to a high of 10.9% in the Middle East. The authors describe factors associated with higher Internet addiction prevalence and how it relates to individuals’ quality of life.

‘“This study provides initial support for the inverse relationship between quality of life and Internet Addiction (IA). It, however, finds no support for the hypothesis that high Internet accessibility (such as the high penetration rates in northern and western Europe), promote IA,” says Editor-in-Chief Brenda K. Wiederhold…’

The 7 Worst Things Airline Pilots Have Done Mid-Flight
#3. A Pilot Answers Text Messages and Forgets to Lower the Landing Gear
‘As the plane angled nearer and nearer to the ground, the copilot felt a strange sense of unease, that somehow “something was not quite right.” When he attempted to notify the pilot of his concerns, he received no response, as the pilot was “preoccupied with his mobile phone.” With only 392 feet left before contact with the tarmac, the copilot finally figured out what was wrong: The pilot was so distracted by his phone that he had forgotten to lower the landing gear.

‘After an investigation, Jetstar officials stated that the lessons learned from the incident would be incorporated into their flight training, much to the consternation of those pilots who prefer a timely conclusion to their Words With Friends matches…’
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Guy makes old women shocked by having hilarious phone conversations right next to them
Hilarious comedian Jack Jones gets the best reactions out of little old ladies when he says some absurd stuff on the phone standing right next to them!

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The $30,000 Apple Watch for the Filthy Rich

readwrite-MTI2NzAxNjU3MTAxNzU4NDM0‘If you thought $5,000 was too much for a luxury Apple Watch, then this show of excess really ought to smack your gob: Mervis Diamond Importers just opened pre-orders for its diamond-flanked Apple wrist gizmo for upwards of $30,000, CNET reports.

‘Mervis, which offered a $20,000 iPad in 2010, tricked out Apple’s wearable with 18-karat rose gold and eight rows of top-grade diamonds. The result looks something like several diamond tennis bracelets tied together to form a wristband, judging by the mock-up the business posted on its Facebook page last week…’

Another Way to Prevent Identity Theft: Blazer and Jean
RFID-blocking blazer and jeans could stop wireless identity theft
‘A pair of trousers and blazer have been developed by San Francisco-based clothing company Betabrand and anti-virus group Norton that are able to prevent identity theft by blocking wireless signals.

‘The READY Active Jeans and the Work-It Blazer contain RFID-blocking fabric within the pockets’ lining designed to prevent hacking through radio frequency identification (RFID) signals emitted from e-passports and contactless payment card chips…’

FBI confirms investigation related to #Gamergate
‘Rejecting a request for the FBI’s files on #Gamergate and its affiliates, the bureau stated that, while they have responsive documents related to the loose coalition, those files are part of an ongoing investigation, and release “would interfere with law enforcement proceedings.” Who or what is being investigated remains an open question.

‘A number of individuals, including Anita Sarkeesian and Brianna Wu, have reported death threats after being targeted by Gamergate. The response letter is a standard form letter from the FBI, generally used anytime there is a related open investigation on the subject in question…’

How To Avoid The Community Of Open Source Jerks
‘To get the most from open-source software, companies and other big organizations must be willing to engage in the projects important to them. This can be a prickly affair, given how unwelcoming some communities can be. And yet, as Bert Hubert highlights, “community is the best predictor of the future of a project.”

‘Strong communities build strong software. But finding your way into a community that will welcome not just your adoption but also your contributions can be tricky…’
Here’s how

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The Faulty Miller Obscenity Test‘…As it turned out, people in Utah County, a place that often boasts of being the most conservative area in the nation, were disproportionately large consumers of the very videos that prosecutors had labeled obscene and illegal. And far more Utah County residents were getting their adult movies from the sky or cable than they were from the stores owned by Larry Peterman.

‘Why file criminal charges against a lone video retailer, Mr. Spencer argued, when some of the biggest corporations in America, including a hotel chain whose board of directors includes W. Mitt Romney, president of the Salt Lake City Olympics organizing committee, and a satellite broadcaster heavily backed by Rupert Murdoch, chairman of the News Corporation, were selling the same product?…’

Average life expectancy up about 6 years since 1990
But would you believe that Lancet claims it Is Result of Dramatic Health-Care Advances?
‘Global life expectancy for men and women has increased by about six years over the past two decades, according to one of the most comprehensive studies of global health done so far.

‘The rise in global life expectancy is mainly the result of dramatic advances in health care. In richer countries longer lifespans are spurred by a big drop in deaths related to heart disease, while poorer countries have seen big declines in the death of children from ailments such as pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria…’

How politics derailed EPA science on arsenic, endangering public health
‘Living in the lush, wooded countryside with fresh New England air, Wendy Brennan never imagined her family might be consuming poison every day.

‘But when she signed up for a research study offering a free T-shirt and a water-quality test, she was stunned to discover that her private well contained arsenic.

‘“My eldest daughter said … ‘You’re feeding us rat poison.’ I said, ‘Not really,’ but I guess essentially … that is what you’re doing. You’re poisoning your kids,” Brennan lamented in her thick Maine accent. “I felt bad for not knowing it.”…’

Flier Gets Lost Luggage Back—20 Years Later
‘Dellos is a designer and teacher. On Tuesday someone from the Transportation Security Administration or TSA lost and found, at Tucson International Airport called her up.

‘”Well it’s a handwritten note with my notes and address of 20 years ago,” says Dellos holding a sheet of paper found inside her bag, containing art supplies from a trade show in Las Vegas.

‘”When I looked at this note, it was dated, it dated me as 20 years ago! And I was just absolutely blown away,” said Dellos showing off some of the goods, valued at $600. “This is product, art product, very valuable stuff.”

‘How and why the items turned up after all these years remains a mystery…’

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The Sidewalk Vendors of Manila
Imagine that those houses are vendor stalls that occupy the whole sidewalk. Now imagine the small alley houses are tables put by stupid vendors blocking entrance to real shops and stores. That’s how it goes when the Christmas season begins in Manila.

Now for the real story behind the photo:

The Alexandria Spite House
‘COLLEEN SAMMIS recalls that “it came out at a restaurant” in early 2006. She, the man she later married and friends were having dinner, “and they were talking about a house Jack owned,” Jack being Jack Sammis.

‘The house, 7 feet wide, about 25 feet deep and a whopping 325 square feet in two stories, is a tiny landmark on Queen Street in the Old Town district in Alexandria, Va., just across the Potomac from Washington.

‘Although the couple who previously owned the Alexandria house for 25 years used it for most of that time as a full-time residence, Mr. Sammis has used it mainly as a pied-à-terre since buying it for $135,000 in 1990. “I used to walk by it every day when I worked near here,” he said, “and when it was listed in the paper, I knew right away what house it was. I bought it the first day it was shown.”…’

VIP Inmates Own Guns Inside Prison
There are a lot of stories about real irregularities in worldwide prisons but this one makes a record
Philippine President
‘Guns of Very Important Prisoners alarm Philippine President Aquino
President Aquino has expressed particular concern over firearms found in the possession of 19 Very Important Prisoners during a raid on Monday that also uncovered their luxurious living conditions at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City.

‘Quoting Justice Secretary Leila de Lima who led the dawn raid, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the President had given “specific instructions on the firearms discovered and it’s what worries him.”

‘Found in the living quarters (kubol) of drug lord Peter Co were five firearms, along with cash amounting to P1.4 million, wide-screen TV sets, air-conditioning units, cell phones, money-counting machines, laptops, a projector and other appliances. The unit also had a sauna…’
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‘Art Cop’ Cracks Huge LA Heist
$10M in stolen paintings recovered
‘Nine works of art that were stolen six years ago in one of the largest art heists in L.A. history have been recovered by investigators from the Los Angeles Police Department and the FBI, according to court documents obtained by The Times.

‘After an undercover operation at a West Los Angeles hotel in October, federal authorities detained Raul Espinoza, 45, who tried to sell the paintings — which are valued at $10 million — for $700,000 cash.

‘The case grew cold until Sept. 2, 2014, when Det. Donald Hrycyk of the LAPD’s art theft detail was tipped off to a man in Europe known as “Darko” who was soliciting buyers for the stolen works.

‘”[Darko] indicated that he was merely a middleman for an unknown person in possession of the art in California,” Hrycyk wrote in a search warrant obtained by the Los Angeles Times…’

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