What the Media Isn’t Telling You About Ferguson


facebook-safe_image.phpThe Michael Brown controversy is designed to discredit opposition to police brutality
‘Evidence considered by the Grand Jury which led to the acquittal of Officer Darren Wilson clearly indicates that Brown, a thug who had written rap lyrics advocating violence and robbed a convenience store shortly before the incident, punched Wilson in the face, tried to grab his gun and then aggressively charged him. Evidence also points to the fact that Brown did not have his hands up in surrender when he was shot. This account is based on forensic proof – ballistics and autopsy evidence – as well as testimony from black eyewitnesses.

‘These facts clearly exonerate Wilson and verify his account of the incident. Michael Brown’s death was tragic, but Wilson clearly acted in legitimate self-defense…’
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The First Thanksgiving
The Indians who first feasted with the English colonists were far more sophisticated than you were taught in school. But that wasn’t enough to save them
‘…The scheme was risky, not least because the ever-suspicious Massasoit had sent one of his pniese, Hobamok, to Plymouth as a monitor. Sometimes Hobamok and Tisquantum worked together, as when the pair helped the Pilgrims negotiate a treaty with the Massachusett to the north. They also helped establish a truce with the Nauset of Cape Cod after Governor Bradford agreed to pay back the losses caused by the colonists’ earlier grave robbing.

‘By fall the settlers’ situation was secure enough that they held a feast of thanksgiving. Massasoit showed up with “some ninety men,” Winslow later recalled, most of them with weapons. The Pilgrim militia responded by marching around and firing their guns in the air in a manner intended to convey menace. Gratified, both sides sat down, ate a lot of food and complained about the Narragansett. Ecce Thanksgiving…’
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The Historical Barbecue Ritual
(by the way, can we barbecue a turkey too?)
‘Food writer Michael Pollan recently visited Big Think to discuss a particularly delicious topic: barbecue. Today, the focus is on barbecue’s unique history in American culture and how its practice transcends the racial strife that has so often pocked the nation’s timeline.

‘A pit was dug. The pig was roasted. Everyone — black and white together — shared the meal. From the earliest slaves who introduced “barbacoa” to the Caribbean to the pitmasters of today, the barbecue ritual is seen as sacred to many in the South. It’s a religion. Its process is a ritual passed down from generation to generation…’

You can watch this clip from Pollan’s Big Think interview below

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9 Volt Batteries Can Burn Down Your House


kctv5-24594124_BG1‘With the holiday season starting this week in the US, decorations and lights will increasingly festoon peoples’ homes and 9 volt batteries will probably be in use more than during other parts of the year.

‘When I saw this clip, warning of a danger I’d never known of before, I thought it might save the home or the life of at least on person on this list.

‘Conversely, I was delighted at discovering a lightweight, highly-portable and a literally, “surefire” way to start a campfire, without having to slop around with petroleum-derived accelerants…’
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How the World’s First Computer Was Rescued From the Scrap Heap
‘Eccentric billionaires are tough to impress, so their minions must always think big when handed vague assignments. Ross Perot’s staffers did just that in 2006, when their boss declared that he wanted to decorate his Plano, Texas, headquarters with relics from computing history. Aware that a few measly Apple I’s and Altair 880’s wouldn’t be enough to satisfy a former presidential candidate, Perot’s people decided to acquire a more singular prize: a big chunk of ENIAC, the “Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer.” The ENIAC was a 27-ton, 1,800-square-foot bundle of vacuum tubes and diodes that was arguably the world’s first true computer. The hardware that Perot’s team diligently unearthed and lovingly refurbished is now accessible to the general public for the first time, back at the same Army base where it almost rotted into oblivion…’
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Revisiting Open Source Social Networking Alternatives
Google+ was the last successful network to join Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
‘In reality, the road to a usable open source social networking technology is paved with the wreckage of good intentions.

‘Remember Diaspora? In 2010, it raised $200,641 on Kickstarter to take on Facebook with “an open source personal web server to share all your stuff online.” Two years later, they essentially gave up, leaving their code to the open source community to carry forward.

‘If you’re not overwhelmed yet and haven’t despondently clicked back over to check your Facebook account, someone at Wikipedia has compiled this questionably helpful comparison of software and protocols for distributed social networking. I apologize if I left out or misunderstood your awesome project but honestly folks, it’s really hard for people to figure out what your technology is doing and whether it’s worth investigating.

‘For this series, I’m going to introduce you to six of these technologies:
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Let’s Illegitimize Fraternities


diamondbackonline-506c82201b5e1.preview-300There are much more graduates which succeeded in their careers without fraternity support

‘…A supporter of the fraternity system might argue that merely eliminating fraternities will not end the problem of rape in and around college campuses. This is true. But because we cannot snap our fingers and erase rape does not mean that we shouldn’t try and start that process by snapping our fingers and erasing fraternities. When it comes to combating sexual assaults on campus, we must start somewhere. Ending fraternities, it is clear, would be the most effective place to start.

‘If we eliminate fraternities, won’t young men on college campuses just find somewhere other than fraternities to commit rape? Some will, and if you ever were looking for a reason to get behind the “ban men” meme, this would be it. But fraternities produce rapists at a rate much higher than the rest of the college population. It is not a coincidence. There are statistics, backed by common sense…’
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How artificial insemination has led to Thanksgiving turkeys nearly DOUBLING in weight since 1960
Is turkey white meat healthier than red meat?
‘American Thanksgiving turkeys are getting bigger and bigger and have broken a new record this year with an average weight of over 30 pounds for the first time ever, almost double of what it weighed in 1960.

‘According to numbers taken from January to October this year, the average weight of a commercially bred turkey is 30.47 pounds.

‘In 1960, the average weight of a turkey was just 16.83 pounds, and in 1985, it was only 20 pounds. Turkeys hit the 25-pound mark in 1999…’
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Surprising New FDA Calorie Rules
‘The Food and Drug Administration announced sweeping rules on Tuesday that will require chain restaurants, movie theaters and pizza parlors across the country to post calorie counts on their menus. Health experts said the new requirements would help combat the country’s obesity epidemic by showing Americans just how many calories lurk in their favorite foods.

‘The rules are far broader than consumer health advocates had expected, covering food in vending machines and amusement parks, as well as certain prepared foods in supermarkets. They apply to food establishments with 20 or more outlets, including fast-food chains like KFC and Subway and sit-down restaurants like Applebee’s and The Cheesecake Factory…’
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The Laser-Shooting Wristwatch is Here [Video]


We can at least hurt and distract an intruder with it
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‘Thanks to some clever special effects, the gadgets that Q creates for James Bond and other MI6 agents are often well ahead of their time. So much so that it’s only now, more than 31 years after Never Say Never Again hit theaters, that we finally have a wristwatch with a built-in laser powerful enough to do some damage.

‘Created by Patrick Priebe who’s well known for his creations that put coolness first and safety second, the carbon fiber-accented LaserWatch features an integrated 1,500-milliwatt blue laser that can be used for about five to ten minutes before the battery’s dead. So it’s best to save it until you find yourself in a real emergency…’
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What to expect when you contact Google support
Done that before and I confirm the article cited. Oh, expect that from Facebook too
‘So, the rumour we all hear in the tech business is that Google is full of enlightened individuals who are all geniuses, basically. I mean to even get in the door you have to pass their fiendishly difficult entrance tests. And everyone wants the name ‘Google’ on their CV right?

‘Well, we posed a lightweight challenge to their customer support team who are, after all, the eyes and ears of the corporation. They must be the smartest team in there, surely? The challenge goes as follows (and this is a true story):…’
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Is ‘Borrowing’ Your Identity Legal?
‘The Drug Enforcement Agency impersonated a woman on Facebook to lure possible drug dealers. They used her real name and photos from her seized phone, including ones of small children, without her consent. This is just coming to light now because the victim has sued the DEA & the US government.

‘We still don’t know if this was an isolated case – but we have a feeling we know the sad answer to that question…’
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The Tech Worker Shortage is a Hoax
‘Along with temporary deportation relief for millions, President Obama’s executive action will increase the number of U.S. college graduates from abroad who can temporarily be hired by U.S. corporations. That hasn’t satisfied tech companies and trade groups, which contend more green cards or guest worker visas are needed to keep tech industries growing because of a shortage of qualified American workers. But scholars say there’s a problem with that argument: The tech worker shortage doesn’t actually exist.

‘“There’s no evidence of any way, shape, or form that there’s a shortage in the conventional sense,” says Hal Salzman, a professor of planning and public policy at Rutgers University. “They may not be able to find them at the price they want. But I’m not sure that qualifies as a shortage, any more than my not being able to find a half-priced TV.”…’
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Something Worse Than Family Not Buying Your Book


Originally posted on WP Writers Group:

goodreads-7327881When Friends and Family Lie About Buying Your Book
‘Well, it happened again. An author accused us of not paying royalties on friends and family book sales…that never occurred. He was unable to provide copies of receipts from the loved ones he claimed had purchased his book. In addition, he refused to provide any information about the purchases, nor the buyers, nor the stores where the purchases had (not) occurred. Even though he had zero receipts, and even though he didn’t forward any correspondence to me from those individuals, and even though he could not or would not give information about even one “missing” sale, he insisted I get the money from Ingram for the (non-existent) sales anyway…’
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The Reader Privacy Act Vetoed
NJ Gov. Christie Vetoes Reader Privacy Act, Asks for Stronger, Narrower Law
‘As previously reported in The Digital Reader, the bill passed in September by wide…

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This Bio-Bus is Also The Poop Bus


Poop Bus Fueled by Human Waste Hits the Road
twitter-B2-Ip06CcAIWLJ7.jpg large
‘The UK’s first bus powered entirely by human and food waste has gone into service between Bristol and Bath. The 40-seat “Bio-Bus” runs on biomethane gas generated through the treatment of sewage and food waste.

‘The eco-friendly vehicle can travel up to 300km (186 miles) on one tank of gas, which takes the annual waste of about five people to produce. It is run by tour operator Bath Bus Company and will shuttle people between Bristol Airport and Bath city centre…’
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The Purpose of the ‘Spider-Goat’
Synthetic biology and the rise of the ‘spider-goats’
‘…To the casual observer, and to goatherds, she shows no signs that she is not a perfectly normal farmyard goat.

‘But Freckles is a long way from normal. She is an extraordinary creation, an animal that could not have existed at any point in history before the 21st century. She is all goat, but she has something extra in every one of her cells: Freckles is also part spider.

‘That is what we can now do with genetics: extreme crossbreeding. If 20th-century biology was about taking living things apart to find out how they work, the current era is defined by putting them back together, but not necessarily as evolution decreed, and certainly without the clumsy constraints of mating. Freckles is the result of genetic engineering. But our mastery of manipulating DNA has evolved into an even more extreme form of tinkering, broadly called “synthetic biology”. I’ve been tracking this emerging field since finishing my PhD in genetics 10 years ago, but intensely in the last year as a presenter for the BBC’s flagship science strand, Horizon…’
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This ‘God Boy’ has Four Arms and Four Legs
‘A baby boy born with four arms and four legs is causing panic in the streets of Baruipur, east India, as locals believe he is the reincarnation of a god. The child has been named God Boy, as multiple limbs are common among Hindu deities, and people are travelling from across the region to the city in West Bengal State to get a glimpse of the child.

‘Local police complain they are struggling to control the crowds, as hundreds cry in the streets and clamor to get access to the hospital. The boy’s birth defect, two extra arms and two extra legs, are the remains of an underdeveloped co-joined twin…’
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CT Report Lays Groundwork for Nationwide Psychiatric Surveillance
Funny that this is for children. Why not adults who are in police blotters or records?
‘Among 37 “key findings,” the statement expresses concern over “siloed systems of education, physical health, and mental health care for children” that “strongly implicate the need to assist parents with understanding and addressing the needs of children with complex developmental and mental health disorders” (p. 9).

‘Mandatory mental health “screenings” and “evaluations” are recommended to remedy the potential threat of further “Adam Lanzas.”

‘The following is a summary overview of the OCA report’s key recommendations, many of which will likely be recommended or mandated by federal education and public health authorities for adoption throughout the US…’
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How Passenger Racked Up $1.2K WiFi Bill


wsj-BN-FP178_singap_D_20141118044922‘…Gutsche says he signed up for a 30 megabyte Internet plan, which cost $28.99, and was aware that he would be responsible for data beyond that limit. But he was stunned when he learned upon landing that viewing some 155 pages — mostly checking email and uploading a PowerPoint document — had resulted in $1,142 of overage fees, he said in a blog post and on Twitter.

‘A Singapore Airlines spokesman said Monday the airline had been in contact with Switzerland-based OnAir, the provider of the WiFi service, on Gutsche’s behalf.

‘But the airline ultimately told him that he must pay the full amount, according to Gutsche. Asked about the apparent resolution to the charges, the Singapore Airlines spokesman said he could not provide any details about the carriers’ discussions with Gutsche…’
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Online Video Game Pro Gets Million-Dollar Star Treatment [Videos]
‘Matt Haag, a professional video game player, makes close to a million dollars a year sitting in a soft chair smashing buttons. It is a fantastically sweet gig, and he will do about anything to keep it.

‘The pancakes were just the beginning of a monthlong training session that Red Bull, one of Mr. Haag’s sponsors, organized for him and his team, OpTic Gaming. Over the next several days, he and his fellow players gave blood while riding stationary bicycles, had their brains mapped by a computer and attended an hourlong yoga class where they learned, among other things, how to stretch their throbbing wrists. The purpose of all this: to help them get better at blowing their opponents away in video games.

‘What makes him so watchable? A recent survey performed by Jeetendr Sehdev, a marketer who focuses on celebrity branding, said that teenagers found YouTube stars easier to relate to and more candid than famous people from places like Hollywood…’
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Microsoft now has robot security guards
‘Microsoft recently installed a fleet of 5-feet-tall, 300-pound robots to protect its Silicon Valley campus. The robots are packed with HD security cameras and sensors to take in their organic, protein-based surroundings. There’s also an artificial intelligence on board that can sound alarms when the robot notices something awry. It can also read license plates and cross-reference them to see if they’re stolen.

‘Thankfully—or sadly, depending on how you look at it—the K5 robots don’t have any weapons on them. All they can do is assess a situation, sound an alarm to defuse it, or call a human security officer to the scene. There are, however, plans equip the robots with tasers sometime in the future…’
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