Facebook Joins Networks with Disaster Apps


engadget-SafetyCheck1Facebook Can Now Help You Out During Disasters

‘Despite the frivolous nature of most social media interactions, Facebook’s latest new feature is intended for use only in serious situations. Unveiled today in Japan, Safety Check notifications are pushed to users when a natural disaster hits and area you have listed as your location, where you’ve checked in on Nearby Friends, or where you recently logged in from. Tech companies like Google and Facebook have worked to connect people after significant disasters in the past, and Facebook says the project is an extension of the Disaster Message Board its Japanese engineers rolled out after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami there. Safety Check is rolling out globally on Android, iOS, feature phones and the desktop — there’s a demo video (embedded after the break) to explain how it all works…’
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Tech-Savvy Cop Hacks Passwords to Save Life
Police use iPhone to rescue woman after car plunges down ravine
‘A California car crash victim was impossible to find until a tech-savvy police officer made a crucial decision to track her down using an iPhone.

‘California Highway Patrol officers located the missing woman’s Chevy Cruze at about 5:30 Tuesday morning. The missing car was 500 feet down a ravine off Mt. Hamilton Road in South Bay.

‘A Coast Guard helicopter was called while officers walked down the embankment through heavy shrubbery. They found 28-year-old Melissa Vasquez, who had been ejected from the car, and had been missing for 17 hours.

‘It wasn’t until 3 a.m. Tuesday when Cameron went to Vasquez’s house and found her iPad that he realized he could use Apple’s Find My iPhone app to track her. But first, he had to crack all of her pass codes…’
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The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking
Want to learn how to give a great talk?
‘Over and over, you keep asking us: What’s the best way to give a TED Talk? It’s not just that you’re interested in sharing your ideas at a TED or local TEDx event. Short presentations have become a bread-and-butter staple at schools and offices around the world, and you want more guidance on how to give them well.

‘And so, our curator Chris Anderson is writing a book to be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in spring 2016. Titled Talk This Way! The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking, it will be packed with insights on what makes talks work…’
TED

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Turn Your Cremated Loved Ones Into Diamonds


businessinsider-memorial-diamond-2‘The idea of wearing your deceased loved one around your finger or neck might be a little unsettling, but that’s exactly what a company called Algordanza does: transform human ashes into a diamond.

‘Ripka said the process for growing diamonds in a lab is common knowledge, but there are very few experts in the field. It takes about four to six months for Algordanza to complete an order from the time the consumer places the order to the time their diamond is delivered.

“‘Its a kind of science, but it’s also art,” Ripka said. Contact the company for orders, but beware, the diamond-making process isn’t cheap, though the resulting diamond will be “an everlasting keepsake, remembrance, or heirloom to pass to future generations.”…’
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Positive and Negative Thinking Affects Sleep
Simply thinking you got better sleep makes your brain work better
‘You’re probably aware of the placebo effect—taking a pill of any sort can make a person feel better, even if that pill has no active ingredients. But it turns out that the placebo effect doesn’t just work with gel caps. It’s possible to get placebo exercise and even placebo sleep.

‘Basically, if you tell somebody that a “treatment”—a pill, better sleep, more exercise—is going to work, it will probably work. And this has proven true time and again, for all sorts of things beyond straight medication. A study that told a group of hotel housekeepers that their work was good exercise found that those workers scored higher on health indicators than a group of hotel housekeepers who didn’t think they were getting exercise on the job. People who are told that athletes have good vision have better vision when doing athletic activities. And simply thinking you got better sleep makes your brain work better…’
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What Millionaires Have in Common
‘Are they harder workers? Do they have brains that can bend spoons? Do they exhibit Bond Villain levels of cunning?

‘For their books The Millionaire Next Door and The Millionaire Mind the authors surveyed over 700 millionaires to find out.

‘80% were self-made, accruing all their wealth in one generation. And they were doing a number of things you and I probably aren’t…’
Here are a few patterns the researchers saw

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Solution to Humanity’s Problems Found on Bus Ride


youtube-mqdefault‘This video was written and produced by comic Nick P. Ross, who currently has two other incredible videos up on his YouTube channel. The subject of cancer is one that many prefer to ignore but, as this story proves, Nick’s ability to share his experience in such an honest and funny way can lead to some amazing things.

‘”Every young person who has had a cancer experience has a unique and remarkable story. We’ve all endured life changing adversity and become beacons of hope to others touched with the disease. Highly Evolved Human is committed to producing and sharing true stories of the young adult cancer experience so we can collectively alter the conversation away from the fear that comes with diagnoses and toward hope for a cancer-free future.”…’
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Why Emily Wax-Thibodeaux Don’t Breast-feed
‘…I encountered this “breast is best” reaction at cafes, parks, even in some friends’ houses. One male friend even noticed that my husband was giving Lincoln a bottle in a Facebook posting and commented, “So you’re not breast-feeding? It’s better you know?”

‘What I didn’t know was how to react. Did I want to be judged? Or did I feel like oversharing?

‘The truth is, I’m a breast cancer survivor, and after a double mastectomy with reconstruction, which probably saved my life, I simply wasn’t able to breast-feed…’
A terrifying surprise

The Trouble with Antibiotics
‘FRONTLINE investigates the widespread use of antibiotics in food animals and whether it is fueling the growing crisis of antibiotic resistance in people. Also this hour: An exclusive interview with the family of a young man who died in a nightmare bacteria outbreak that swept through a hospital at the National Institutes of Health.’
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Another Foreign News Outlet Links U.S. Bio-Warfare Labs to Ebola Outbreak
‘Russian news outlet Ria Novosti recently featured an interview with Professor Francis Boyle, University of Illinois College of Law, implicating the United States military-industrial complex in the current Ebola outbreak which the World Health Organization claims has now taken over 4,000 lives in West Africa.

‘Great question…how exactly did the Ebola virus get to West Africa from 3,500 km away where it was first discovered in the Democratic Republic of the Congo?

‘Why isn’t anyone else asking that question? That question should be asked by every talking head on every mainstream media outlet on repeat 500 times a day every day until it is answered. Of course, predictably, none of the Western establishment media puppets are asking any of the tough questions about Ebola…’
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The Truth on ‘Ebola’


article.wn.2‘Todays News report will venture into quite a few realms of disbelief and no doubt will have a few moments of head/desk contact, and face/palm ridiculousness as we take a look at the main stream news for the past few weeks…’
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Lotto Ticket Worth About $267,000 to Undergo Forensic Tests
P12-million winnings from burned lotto ticket can still be claimed
‘A man with a lotto ticket burned by flat iron may need to wait for a year before claiming a P12-million lottery prize, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) said.

‘PCSO General Manager Jose Ferdinand Rojas II told dzMM Monday that someone else with an undamaged and genuine ticket may surface and claim the prize.

‘Antonio Failon Mendoza of Calaca, Batangas claimed that he won P12 million in the October 2 draw.

‘However, his daughter allegedly used a flat iron on the crumpled ticket.

‘A big part of the ticket got burned, making it useless and impossible to read by the PCSO’s machine…’
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‘These families are not victims’
Readers react to our prison bankers investigation
‘This was abundantly clear to us after we started reading comments on the ‘Profiting from Prisoners’ series we released last week.

‘Reporters Daniel Wagner and Eleanor Bell focused on layers of fees that come alongside money transfers to prison inmates from their families, but based on some readers’ remarks, these fees are merely a snapshot of what can happen to captive customers.

‘Below, we’ve culled responses from across the Internet: some were thankful for the story, some added dimension to our reporting and some weren’t fans of the piece at all…’
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Christopher Columbus Was Even Worse Than You Thought [Video]
‘Media outlets generally don’t shy away from exposing the truth about this American hero and most people who educate themselves outside the propaganda vacuum of public schools know that in the 21st century the man would be put on trial for crimes against humanity – well, unless he managed to reach the summit of political power.

‘There is, however, one aspect of Columbus’ sins that gets ignored…’
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Beware of New Law on Social Media


bbc-_75986702_woman_thinkstockUploading of private sexual videos, images, and even text messages on social media, to be made a criminal offense

‘The new Criminal Justice and Courts Bill will have an amendment dealing specifically with the practice.

“‘We want those who fall victim to this type of disgusting behaviour to know that we are on their side,” said Justice Secretary Chris Grayling.

‘Physical distribution of images will also be covered.

‘The amendment will cover images sent on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. It will also include those sent by text message…’
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Why privacy matters
‘…The last point I want to observe about this mindset, the idea that only people who are doing something wrong have things to hide and therefore reasons to care about privacy, is that it entrenches two very destructive messages, two destructive lessons, the first of which is that the only people who care about privacy, the only people who will seek out privacy, are by definition bad people. This is a conclusion that we should have all kinds of reasons for avoiding, the most important of which is that when you say, “somebody who is doing bad things,” you probably mean things like plotting a terrorist attack or engaging in violent criminality, a much narrower conception of what people who wield power mean when they say, “doing bad things.” For them, “doing bad things” typically means doing something that poses meaningful challenges to the exercise of our own power.

‘The other really destructive and, I think, even more insidious lesson that comes from accepting this mindset is there’s an implicit bargain that people who accept this mindset have accepted, and that bargain is this: If you’re willing to render yourself sufficiently harmless, sufficiently unthreatening to those who wield political power, then and only then can you be free of the dangers of surveillance…’
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Do You Have Too Many Facebook Friends?
‘…”The interesting thing is that you can have 1,500 friends, but when you actually look at traffic on sites, you see people maintain the same inner circle of around 150 people that we observe in the real world,” Dunbar told the London-based Sunday Times. “People obviously like the kudos of having hundreds of friends but the reality is that they’re unlikely to be bigger than anyone else’s.”

‘This finding suggests that it doesn’t really matter how many friends you accept into your online communities: the number of people you actually interact with will stay constant. The phenomenon is a bit like having three dozen sweaters in your closet: chances are you probably have a half-dozen favorites that see the most daylight. But too many friends, like too many sweaters, can clutter up your life. Extraneous clothing takes up space in your bureau and extraneous friends clog your newsfeed. It may not seem like a major problem to encounter the odd kitten photo from a high-school friend you don’t quite remember when you log on to Facebook, but add up all those irrelevant kitten posts over number of friends and time spent hitting the down-arrow on your keyboard, and you start to see how your brain may be bombarded with tons of irrelevant information…’
bigthink

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Pumpkin Saving Time


todayifoundout-candy-pumpkins-340x340The Reasoning Behind Changing Daylight-Saving

‘The upcoming shift in the daylight-saving time change is designed to help retailers — and is a substitute for a genuine energy policy, says author Michael Downing. Congress moved the time shift up this year. Melissa Block talks with Michael Downing, author of Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time…’
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‘…And in 1985, the candy industry made its first attempt to get its desired change enacted with a little bit of bribery — a very little bit. Before the relevant hearing, they took to the Senate chambers with a bag of candy pumpkins in hand, placing some of the treat on each Senator’s chair. But for their treats, Congress returned a trick, keeping the clock rollback date to a time before Halloween. It would be twenty years later, under the 2005 bill, that the candy industry would get their desired outcome…’
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What Happened to Iraq‘s Missing Billions?

‘In 2006, billions of dollars of Iraqi reconstruction money was entrusted to the American Coalition but nobody can explain where the money has gone.

‘In just fourteen months, the CPA burned its way through nearly $20 billion. But no one can account for where it all went. Iraq’s infrastructure is worse than ever before. Operating theaters are flooded with sewage. Newborn babies are dying for lack of basic equipment.

‘In this shocking investigation, Iraqi doctor Ali Fadhil goes in search of the missing money. He uncovers a horrific story of fraud, incompetence and corruption…’
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Do You Really Have The Right To Remain Silent?
‘…But didn’t Tom have the right to remain silent — to not ask about the victims? For decades, television shows like Columbo and the Law and Order series have told us: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.”

‘But the truth is, it’s not that simple. Courts have found that suspects don’t have to be read their rights upon arrest, but only right before they are interrogated. And there can be a long lag time between the two.

‘In the case of Richard Tom, for example, he was in custody for two hours before he was read his rights. Earlier this year, the California Supreme Court ruled in Tom’s case, and said his silence at the scene of the accident could be used against him…’
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The Four Psychological Functions of Great Literature


Originally posted on WP Writers Group:

brainpickings-books‘The question of what reading does for the human soul is an eternal one and its answer largely ineffable, but this hasn’t stopped minds big and small from tussling with it — we have Kafka’s exquisite letter to his childhood friend, Maurice Sendak’s visual manifestos for the joy of reading, and even my own answer to a nine-year-old girl’s question about why we have books today.

‘In this wonderful animated essay, they extol the value of books in expanding our circle of empathy, validating and ennobling our inner life, and fortifying us against the paralyzing fear of failure…’
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Is H.P. Lovecraft’s Legacy Tainted?
‘Laura Miller recently wrote about the backlash in a piece for Salon.com. She says that objections to the use of Lovecraft as the face of the award began to surface when Nigerian-American writer Nnedi Okorafor, who won the WFA for best novel in 2011 for Who…

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