A Great Way to Throw $30M Away

thestar.com-30mil$30 Million Reward Offered in Hunt for Culprits Behind MH17 Attack

‘A mysterious $30 million reward has been offered for evidence identifying those behind the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine. Fraud investigation company Wifka said in a statement that it had been hired to look into the July 17 attack which brought down the Boeing 777, killing 298 people. The private investigators said clients requesting anonymity had offered the reward. Wifka vowed not to identify any whistle-blowers and offered to give informants new identities. The reward for “information and evidence” was being held in Switzerland, according to the firm’s statement. The investigators said they wanted to establish facts including who shot down the plane, who gave the order, who covered it up and what happened to the weapon used…’

Philly Hate Crime Suspects Tracked Down by Anonymous Twitter Hero
‘…This next part is astonishing, in the best of ways. A Twitter user named Greg Bennett posted a photo of a group posing at a restaurant who look an awful lot like some of the suspects in the video:

‘Bennett tweeted that he’d gotten the photo from “a friend of a friend of a friend,” but didn’t know where it was taken. That’s where another Twitter user stepped in: FanSince09, a diehard Eagles fan who apparently lives in South Jersey. Fan retweeted the photo; almost immediately, he got a torrent of responses from people telling him the restaurant was La Viola, an Italian place in Center City. He tweeted that he ID’d most of the people in the photo by checking their Facebook check-ins:

‘Then, he called the cops. They are, as you might imagine, pretty goddamn excited. Philadelphia police officer Joe Murray sent a series of tweets indicating that Fan had cracked the case:…’

U2 Is a Punchline
Nico Lang: It joins the ranks of Nickelback as a band ‘no one likes’
People who think Bono should get over himself, shouldn’t get over themselves. Bono is a fake activist and he should be detested for that

‘…That shift particularly affected the public perception of Bono. As the Guardian notes, the singer often comes off as “holier than thou” to his detractors, “rich beyond his wildest dreams and hanging out with princes, presidents and preachers [but one who] nonetheless won’t shut up about poor people.” For some, he’s less the musical poet who wrote “One” than a celebrity blowhard who wants to browbeat them into caring, like Susan Sarandon or Sean Penn. There’s a general mistrust around celebrity activism, and when you throw in Bono’s penchant for religious imagery, it reeks of Kanye West…’

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Study: Religion does not increase morality at all

telegraph.co-croydon_2198032bI had an atheist friend (RIP) who was more moral than most churchgoers

‘In what may come as a shock to those who think religious affiliation helps a person distinguish between right and wrong, a new study shows that religious people are not likely to do more good than their non-religious counterparts.

‘To reach the conclusion, researchers analysed 1,252 adults of different religious and political backgrounds in the US and Canada.

‘The participants were sent five text messages to record any moral phenomena that they had experienced in the past hour via their smartphones.

‘On average, participants reported one moral experience per day…’

Man in Vegetative State ‘Reacts’ to Hitchcock Film
His brain activity while watching is similar to a healthy person’s: study
‘Researchers at Western University used a specialized MRI scanner to analyze the brain activity of 12 healthy participants and two people with brain injuries as they watched a suspenseful, eight-minute clip of Hitchcock’s Bang! You’re Dead, the scientists said in Monday’s issue of the journal The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA (PNAS).

‘One of the brain-injured patients is a man in his mid-thirties who hasn’t interacted with anyone in 16 years. His brain was deprived of oxygen after a blow to the chest.

“‘What we saw is that his brain changed at all of those key moments in the movie in exactly the same way as a healthy volunteer,” said study author and neuroscientist Adrian Owen, a professor at Western…’

Jokesters Erect England-Scotland Border Station
‘With Scotland’s independence referendum just three days away, a group of jokers decided to lighten the tone of the debate on Monday by erecting a spoof border post at Carter Bar, the point at which the A68 highway crosses from England into Scotland.

‘The checkpoint was the brainwave of photographer Jon Parker Lee along with a group of English and Scottish friends.

‘The gang erected a barrier along with signs reading “Scottish Border Agency Passport Control”, and wore high-visibility jackets to suggest they were indeed authentic border authorities…’

When the going gets tough, tough CEOs curse
‘Bad words have been much in the news recently, with both the mayor of Los Angeles and the CEO of T-Mobile US Inc. using what has become known as the F-bomb. For those who think the increasing use of profanity in public is another sign that the world is going to heck in a handbasket, however, here’s the good news: For executives, tolerance of potty talk is on the wane and their public swearing is on the downswing.

‘It turns out that public profanity among top executives is sensitive to economic conditions, according to a Bloomberg News review of thousands of CEO calls with investors and analysts from 2004 to last month. It spiked in the aftermath of the recession in 2009 and has been decreasing as the recovery gathers steam over the last couple of years…’

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Kids Need To Learn Digital Literacy

npr.org-kids-hacking-53cd619692537ccf1f3a563f76917018809451dc-s4-c85And Not How To Code

‘The new narrative in education, echoed from Silicon Valley to Washington, D.C., is: “Everyone should learn to code.” But something’s getting lost in translation between technologists and parents of students around the country.

‘Let’s get this out of the way: Not everyone needs to learn how to code. Coding is just one part of the constantly evolving technological landscape.

‘There’s a big difference between learning how to code and having a fundamental understanding of how technology and software operate. Of the two, the latter is way more important for most people.

‘What students—and, really, anyone who wants to function in careers in the future—should learn is how to be digitally literate…’

Apple Users Outraged by U2 Album
There’s a bigger reason why dumping all U2 and Bono albums is good. Bono is supporting the 1%’s New World Order

You, Too, May Want To Delete That U2 Album From iTunes—Here’s How

‘Who wouldn’t love to get free music? That must have been what Apple executives told each other when they green-lit a plan to push U2’s latest album Songs Of Innocence out to the iTunes libraries of its unsuspecting iPhone users last week.

‘Ahem. The answer, it turns out, was plenty of folks—especially younger iPhone owners who have no idea who U2 is. And many have become irate about Apple abruptly breaching the sanctity of their music collection by slipping in unfamiliar songs.

‘If you’re among those who don’t get these not-quite-as-famous-as-Apple-thought Dubliners, we’ve put together a short primer for you—followed by instructions on how to banish them from your iTunes account if you’re so inclined…’

Ant-sized Radios Aim to Connect the World
‘A Stanford engineering team, in collaboration with researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, has built a radio the size of an ant, a device so energy efficient that it gathers all the power it needs from the same electromagnetic waves that carry signals to its receiving antenna – no batteries required.

‘Designed to compute, execute and relay commands, this tiny wireless chip costs pennies to fabricate – making it cheap enough to become the missing link between the Internet as we know it and the linked-together smart gadgets envisioned in the “Internet of Things.”…’

Is a Sidewalk Lane for Texting a Good Idea?
‘Getting stuck behind – or worse, crashing into – a slow-strolling pedestrian who is engrossed in their cellphone is one of the great frustrations of navigating any metropolis in a hurry.

‘With that in mind, National Geographic has introduced separate lanes for cellphone and non-cellphone using pedestrians, at a busy block on Washington DC’s 18th Street.

‘It’s part of a social experiment for the channel’s new Mind Over Masses science series, which ‘uses what we know about human behavior’ to develop ‘interactive solutions to everyday problems.’…’
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Global Costs of Violence: $9 Trillion a Year

greatmiddleway-i-child-abuseViolence at home costs $8 trillion a year, worse than war – study
(Reuters) – ‘Domestic violence, mainly against women and children, kills far more people than wars and is an often overlooked scourge that costs the world economy more than $8 trillion a year, experts said on Tuesday.

‘The study, which its authors said was a first attempt to estimate global costs of violence, urged the United Nations to pay more attention to abuse at home that gets less attention than armed conflicts from Syria to Ukraine.

“‘For every civil war battlefield death, roughly nine people … are killed in inter-personal disputes,” Anke Hoeffler of Oxford University and James Fearon of Stanford University wrote in the report.

‘From domestic disputes to wars, they estimated that all violence worldwide cost $9.5 trillion a year, mainly in lost economic output and equivalent to 11.2 percent of world gross domestic product…’

Philippine police discovered clues of 9/11 attacks, 6 years before it happened
Why would the FBI listen when it is alleged that it did the actual 9/11 attack?

‘…Before they were discovered, the men had already staged a series of ‘test runs’ to ensure the success of their attacks. They placed bombs and detonated them inside a movie theater in Manila, a mall in Cebu, and a 747 airliner bound for Japan.

‘Apparently satisfied at the results, the men continued working and would’ve gotten away with it too if Murad didn’t accidentally start a chemical fire inside their apartment. Authorities alerted to the fire arrested Murad and subjected him to ‘intensive interrogation’ for more than two months. He finally confessed to the plot when some officers posed as agents of Mossad and threatened to have him deported to Israel. The three other men escaped but were all subsequently captured.

‘After extracting the confession and compiling the evidence, Philippine authorities passed the information along to their FBI counterparts. Unfortunately, the information was either overlooked or not taken seriously by the FBI, with deadly consequences…’

The truth about the food industry
‘In recently years, they’ve slipped in some very good material. Like this video. It’s probably the most accurate one minute portrayal of the ethics of the US “food” industry.

‘Thank goodness many parts of the world are too intelligent than to follow us down this road. Let’s hope they hold out and when and if we ever come back to our senses, we’ll be able to re-learn the difference between food for human beings and manufactured corporate crap…’
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Subversion in Literature

Originally posted on WP Writers Group:

kazbar.org-tahiranWhile most women authors subvert about gender inequality, most male crime fiction authors subvert about political and economic corruption—done between the lines.

‘…Take the example of her story, Wild Pigeon, where the silent rebellion of the central character, Abida, against the adultery of her husband bestows on her a quiet dignity as well as a stature that breaks the conventional stereotypes of a submissive woman. Her silence, obstinacy and equipoise through the long painful aftermath of the discovery of her husband Majid’s extra-marital affair, leaves her in a dominant position compared to her cringing and repentant husband who craves for the past when they loved each other so passionately. He is finally reduced to the realisation that he is a ‘stupid, third class, deficient creature.’ In the face of overwhelming odds, she gains through her subversion of masculinity, thus establishing the basic fact that women in such despondent situations are…

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Musician Copland’s Brilliant View on Writing

Originally posted on WP Writers Group:

classicfm-imagesLegendary Composer Aaron Copland on the Conditions of Creativity, Emotion vs. Intellect, and the Trap of Public Opinion

“The main thing is to be satisfied with your work yourself. It’s useless to have an audience happy if you are not happy.” -Aaron Copland

‘…Among the most eloquent and interesting interviewees is the influential composer (and the one-time object of Leonard Bernstein’s infatuation) Aaron Copland, recipient of the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Medal of Arts, and the Pulitzer Prize in composition.

‘Even more than self-gratification, Copland argues, artists’ highest responsibility is to capture the cultural backdrop of their time:

“[Today's artists] are the only ones who can express the spirit of what it means to be alive today.

That’s what makes the creation of art seem important. You’re not just expressing your own individuality. You, as a person, are an exemplar; you are one of the people living…

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Race is Just a Sensitivity Issue

funnyjunk-Racist+Cookies.+Oreos+looks+weird+now.+Oreos.+Oreos.+OREOS_35e4ac_3654803Which had it worse: the Black Slavery or the Jew Holocaust? Why is it that there’s only one Race that’s always crying ‘racism!’ all over the Web?

Even Food Being Used for Racial Metaphors
‘…Michael Steele, the black former head of the Republican Party, likes to tell a (probably apocryphal) story about how a Democratic sympathizer threw Oreos at him while he gave a campaign speech.

‘What about white folks who are something else on the inside? If you’re “Asian on the inside,” you’re an egg. White on the outside but black on the inside? You’re a snowball. Asian on the outside but black on the inside? Gelt. If you’re a Native person who thinks she’s Barack Obama on the inside? Dragonfruit. (Okay. So we might have made those last two up.)

‘But Matt Thompson, our Code Switch teammate (and, heh, boss), argued that eggs might make more sense as a descriptor of East Asian folks who “act white”; after all, it’s their presumed cultural performance that’s front-facing and that folks are responding to. We looked at him and blinked. “Dude, we’re talking about racist food here. You’re really overthinking this.”…’

Insensitive Facebook Request from Youtube Sensation Gets Bashed
Jamich gets hated instead for “iPon para sa iPhone 6 Plus” FB post
‘When Apple announced the new phones and the Apple Watch, millions of loyal fans expressed their excitement and hopes of getting these latest gadgets the moment these hit the stores sometime this month. So, we could understand why self-confessed loyal iPhone user Jam would be excited, too.

‘Now, why did the ‘iPon para sa iPhone’ anger thousands of netizens?

‘Well, many of them felt cheated because they had given donations for Jam’s cancer treatment because the pair had been actively requesting for kind-hearted donors to share what they can to help their battle.

‘Even the pair’s poor fans, people who didn’t have enough money for an iPhone, had given donations for the cancer treatment. Thus, many netizens believe that Jamich shouldn’t have made the post. Even if he was so excited about the new gadget, is it really necessary to post that on Facebook?…’

‘Rejected Princesses’ Have Stories Worth Telling
‘Theirs are not the kind of stories you find in a Disney princess flick, but they’re in the spotlight on the blog Rejected Princesses. Each week, former DreamWorks animator Jason Porath adds a new illustration and write-up about a woman who is, as the blog says, “too awesome, awful or offbeat for kids’ movies.”

“‘I take women, sort of unsung heroines — usually from history, but a lot from mythology and some from literature — who wouldn’t necessarily make the cut for mainstream animated princess movies, and give them that style,” Porath tells NPR’s Arun Rath. “It’s sort of an alternate-reality glimpse into, ‘What if they got their moment in the sun?’ “…’

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