9994
Embassy Network
We are building a cooperative movement for those leveraging housing towards greater aims, where those aims are strengthened by operating in community with others, global fluid mobility, and by connection to other networks.
collaboration  work  community  accomodation  housing  travel 
7 weeks ago
Large-scale CelebFaces Attributes (CelebA) Dataset
working with faces is weird. realising I might have to do but for
celebrity  database  data  nn  neuralnetworks  training  dataset 
july 2016
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(via Scaled Composites - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
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march 2016
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“Inside the hangar, it quickly becomes clear all this remains theoretical for now. The Boom engineers have built a mock cockpit and passenger cabin out of cardboard and plywood. The black leather seats in the cabin came from OfficeMax, and Scholl asked his team to sit in them for a few hours each to experience what the plane will feel like. (It’s a bit cramped.) On the floor of the hangar, tape has been laid out to mimic the design of a one-third-scale plane, which Boom says it’ll build and fly by the end of next year.”
- This Aerospace Company Wants to Bring Supersonic Civilian Travel Back - Bloomberg Business
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march 2016
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“I believe science and technology can bring us a bright future, but the journey to achieve it will be filled with difficulties and exact a price from us. Some of these obstacles and costs will be quite terrible, but in the end we will land on the sunlit further shore. Let me quote the Chinese poet Xu Zhimo from the beginning of the last century, who, after a trip to the Soviet Union, said, “Over there, they believe in the existence of Heaven, but there is a sea of blood that lies between Heaven and Hell, and they’ve decided to cross the sea.””
- Liu Cixin Is China’s Answer to Arthur C. Clarke - The New Yorker
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march 2016
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“We’re working with chefs to cook up kelp noodles with parsnips and bread crumbs in barbeque sauce; green sea butters and cheeses; kelp-based umami-filled bouillons. Our new ocean dinners are fun, they’re creative, and they’re delicious. This is our opportunity to rearrange the seafood plate by moving ocean plants and bivalves to the center and wild fish to the edges.”
- The Seas Will Save Us: How an Army of Ocean Farmers are Starting an Economic Revolution — invironment — Medium
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march 2016
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(via Incredible Long Exposure Photographs Shot from Orbit)
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march 2016
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“At the Living Computer Museum in Seattle, I’ve heard that the docents sometimes say that without electricity, the machines in their collection would be merely “boxes of poisoned sand.””
- Situated Systems: Poisoned Sand
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march 2016
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Hailstorms in Northern Greece

Greek National Hail Suppression Program
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march 2016
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This animation showcases the “Citizen Ex” a project by James Bridle on Algorithmic Citizenship. Citizen Ex questions the current citizenship framework in the quantified society. Your Algorithmic Citizenship is how you appear on the internet, as a collection of data extending across many nations, with a different citizenship and different rights in every place. One day perhaps we will all live like we do on the internet. Until then, there’s Citizen Ex. The animation was produced by Tactical Technology Collective and Klaas Diersmann.

(via Citizen Ex on Vimeo)
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march 2016
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Just taking a moment with the logo of the Norwegian Meteorological Institute: met.no
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march 2016
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Nominet: Map Of The Online World
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march 2016
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grey-metal:

The grey zone is where the heart is.

It is more important than ever to (re)state this, over and over again.
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march 2016
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(via Exclusive: Apple’s Liam iPhone Recycling Robot First Look | Mashable - YouTube)
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march 2016
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GCHQ forced to intervene to prevent catastrophically insecure smart metering plan | Computing

Intelligence agency GCHQ has been forced to intervene in the UK’s smart metering rollout to prevent gas and electricity companies from installing systems that would be catastrophically insecure and wide open to hacking.

GCHQ intervened after seeing plans by the companies behind the scheme to use a single decryption key across the whole of the network to decrypt communications between smart meters and providers. With just one decryption key effectively securing some 53 million smart meters across the UK, a hacker could conceivably cause chaos across the network by shutting off power to people’s electricity meters.
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march 2016
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For the second time in a matter of days, federal agents on Tuesday seized what they described as an illicit antiquity, valued at several hundred thousand dollars, and scheduled to be sold during New York’s Asia Week, a celebration of Asian art that includes museum exhibitions and sales by dealers and auction houses. Officials with the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations said in a statement that they had confiscated a “second century bodhisattva schist head” from the Gandhara civilization and likely looted from a region that is now part of Pakistan.

(via Federal Agents Seize What They Called an Illicit Antiquity Headed for Asia Week - The New York Times)
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march 2016
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The object, identified by authorities as an eighth-century marble sculpture of the Hindu deities Shiva and Parvati, seated on a tiger skin, was taken from a gallery on East 67th Street, where it was being displayed by Leonardo Vigorelli, owner of the Milan-based Dalton Somaré art gallery. Federal authorities, working in conjunction with the Manhattan district attorney’s office, wrapped the relic in protective mats and loaded it onto a moving truck. Investigators estimate its value at $450,000. On Friday, investigators using a search warrant obtained by Manhattan prosecutors seized two sculptures from Christie’s. On Tuesday they seized another sculpture that was being shipped into New York for sale. The items were all to be displayed as part of Asia Week New York, a 10-day yearly event in which more than 40 galleries and several auction houses show and sell paintings, sculptures, bronzes, ceramics, jewelry, textiles, prints and photographs from throughout Asia.

(via Ancient Statue Is Seized From Manhattan Gallery - The New York Times)
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march 2016
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Phillipson’s work constantly serves to remind us of the fact that all constructed meanings, and all perceived distances, are just failures of imagination. Things and representations, words and experiences, are adjacent and entangled: everything touches everything else. ‘A part can become a whole and a whole can become a part’, even if we can never fully name the whole, or the part. Phillipson’s skill is in expressing this entanglement with equal facility in a room or a line, in the slippage between wor(l)ds, as in ‘Devoted Hopelessly’, when ‘the only men it’s safe for me to love […] send me to my desk, / or down the road to get black grapes, fit, and ideas.’

Between Worlds | Frieze - me, on Heather Phillipson’s work, now out of paywall.
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march 2016
STML — Bullshit for you; transcendence for me. A commentary on “On the reception and detection of pseudo-profound bullshit”
Bullshit for you; transcendence for me. A commentary on “On the reception and detection of pseudo-profound bullshit”
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march 2016
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Debunked: AnonSec’s NASA Hack, Global Hawk Hijack, Evidence of Chemtrails [Public Domain Data]

AnonSec is laboring under this misconception that contrails cannot persist and spread, and hence they have also fallen for a lot of the the other “Chemtrail” misconceptions, in fact a large portion of the text file is basically going through all the commonly given “evidence” for chemtrails - largely things that were debunked many years ago (on Metabunk, or contrailscience.com). This is interweaved with discussions of hacking, and descriptions of the various NASA programs, in a way that might make the casual reader think they are related. But there’s no connection here. There’s basically the public domain NASA programs, and then there’s a bunch of chemtrail speculation that has been bouncing around the internet for years. Putting them in the same text file and adding some (public domain) flight tracks does not create a connection.

Finally there’s the claim that Anonsec uploaded a flight plan for a drone to try to crash it. There’s really no evidence this actually happened. Obviously a drone never crashed. NASA says they have no evidence that such a thing happened.

But either way, this is a very good answer to the question of “what’s the harm” in conspiracy theories. Anonsec is an actual group of hackers. They do hack things. They probably did get into a bit of NASA’s network. They may have even attempted to crash a $200 million dollar drone that was just doing science projects to help forecast the weather. They did this because they believed in the chemtrail theory. That’s the harm. They were so swept up in the belief that there’s something nefarious going on that they thought it was fine to crash one of NASA’s science aircraft.

That’s why I think it’s important to debunk the baseless claims of theories like these. If a misunderstanding of how contrails works can lead to losing $200 million of taxpayer money, and disruption of valuable science projects, then I think debunking that misunderstanding is worthwhile endeavor.
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march 2016
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(via Charlie Somerville on Twitter: “@rpy at the very least it’s better than this: https://t.co/zIypUWA0wg”)
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march 2016
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(via Rupert H on Twitter: “Helpful https://t.co/eqwFDiJXO6”)
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march 2016
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(via Watch a hydraulic press crush Barbie / Boing Boing)
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march 2016
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“In other words, the historical defeat and humiliation of the British working classes is now the island’s primary export product. By organizing the entire economy around the resultant housing bubble, the Tories have ensured that the bulk of the British population is aware, at least on some tacit level, that it is precisely the global appeal of the English class system, up to and including the contemptuous sneer of the Oxbridge graduates in Parliament chuckling over the impending removal of housing benefits, that is also keeping affordable track shoes, beer, and consumer electronics flowing into the country. It’s an impossible dilemma. It’s hardly surprising, then, that so many turn to cynical right-wing populists like UKIP, who manipulate the resulting indignation by fomenting rage against Polish construction workers instead of Russian oligarchs, Bangladeshi drivers instead of Qatari princes, and West Indian porters instead of Brazilian steel tycoons.”
- Despair Fatigue - David Graeber
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march 2016
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(via Anti-Trump protesters: patchwork of people and Facebook pages | Reuters), via @blech 
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march 2016
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(via Who May Use the World’s First Floating Data Center? | Nautilus Data Technologies)
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march 2016
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The trial on Friday of a high-profile Danish campaigner for children’s rights under people trafficking laws promises to shine a spotlight once more on the country’s crackdown on asylum, as Scandinavian countries compete to make themselves unattractive destinations for refugees.

Lisbeth Zornig, the country’s former children’s ombudsman and a well-known author, stands accused of allowing a family of Syrians to hitch a ride with her to Copenhagen.

Her husband is in turn charged with taking the family into their home for coffee and biscuits, and then driving them to the railway station, where he bought them tickets to Sweden.

The trial is one of the first of hundreds of Danes who responded in early September to the thousands of refugees who walked from Germany into Denmark, many of them on their way to Sweden where the asylum regime at the time was more relaxed.


- Danish children’s rights activist stands trial for people trafficking | World news | The Guardian
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march 2016
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Before the match, Mr. Lee said he could win 5-0 or 4-1, predicting that computing power alone could not win a Go match. Victory takes “human intuition,” something AlphaGo has not yet mastered, he said.

But after reading more about the program he became less upbeat, saying that AlphaGo appeared able to imitate human intuition to a certain degree and predicting that artificial intelligence would eventually surpass humans in Go.

AlphaGo posed Mr. Lee a unique challenge. In a human-versus-human Go match, which typically lasts several hours, the players “feel” each other and evaluate styles and psychologies, he said.

“This time, it’s like playing the game alone,” Mr. Lee said on the eve of the match. “There are mistakes humans make because they are humans. If that happens to me, I can lose a match.”

(via Master of Go Board Game Is Walloped by Google Computer Program - The New York Times)
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march 2016
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“As we have engaged with thousands of potential users, we have been struck over and over again by a simple truth. There is an incredible opportunity for geospatial information to transform our ability to meet the economic, societal, and humanitarian challenges of the 21st century, but satellite imagery represents only one part of the puzzle.
In addition to relying on satellite imagery, Terra Bella is now working with a wide array of geospatial data sources, machine learning capabilities, and experts “that we could not have imagined as an independent startup company.” The broader goal is to convert raw imagery into data that can help people and organizations make more informed decisions.”
- Google rebrands Skybox as Terra Bella, will launch ‘more than a dozen satellites’ over the next few years | VentureBeat | Business | by Emil Protalinski
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march 2016
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This is one of four large limestone figures that were originally installed as part of a set of 15 in the Palazzo Pisani in Venice, where they were placed in niches above the stairs leading to the library. As they were seen only from the front, their backs were left in a rough state. Gai has represented them as graceful, elongated creatures in greatly animated poses, wearing rich, wavy draperies. The figures are allegories, representing symbolically abstract concepts, or Muses, goddesses of the liberal arts. Their presence in connection with a library would allude to the pursuit of virtue through the study of the sciences and arts. Their individual identities remain uncertain, though some of their attributes correspond to those of figures in the “Iconologia,” a widely read emblem book (a book of symbols and their meanings) by Cesare Ripa (Italian, ca. 1560-ca. 1625), first published in 1593. With raised hand and uplifted gaze, this allegorical figure holds a book and a scepter (a symbol of authority). According to the “Iconologia,” these attributes indicate she is an allegory of “Cognitione delle Cose” (knowledge of things).

(via Allegory of Knowledge of Things · The Walters Art Museum · Works of Art)
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march 2016
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“The phenomena of radioactivity are leading us to the problem of releasing intra-atomic energy. The atom contains within itself a mighty hidden energy, and the greatest task of physics consists in pumping out this energy, pulling out the cork so that this hidden energy may burst forth in a fountain. Then the possibility will be opened up of replacing coal and oil by atomic energy, which will also become the basic motive power. This is not at all a hopeless task. And what prospects it opens before us! This alone gives us the right to declare that scientific and technical thought is approaching a great turning-point, that the revolutionary epoch in the development of human society will be accompanied by a revolutionary epoch in the sphere of the cognition of matter and the mastering of it … Unbounded technical possibilities will open out before liberated mankind.”
- Trotsky on Nuclear Power, 1926 (via The Philosophy of Science | Spirit of Contradiction)
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march 2016
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US policy-makers, war-fighters, and law-enforcers now operate in a real-time worldwide decision and implementation environment. Information about a new development in Baghdad is known in Washington within minutes. Decisions about a response are made in Washington within minutes. These decisions are implemented in Baghdad within minutes of the decision. The total “intelligence – decision – implementation” cycle time can be as short as 15 minutes. While this is an extreme example, it highlights the tremendous compression of the response time required by all involved compared to previous generations. This severe compression not only affects the highest priority issues, it also ripples back into the most routine intelligence, decision, and implementation processes. 

It does so for good reason. The compressed response cycle gives the United States significant strategic and tactical superiority over our adversaries. Our national security is best protected when we operate more quickly than those who would do harm to our people and our freedom. This compressed response time allows us to disrupt, interdict, preempt, and respond to injurious efforts before our adversaries can achieve their goals against us.

Extract: The Wiki and the Blog: Toward a Complex Adaptive Intelligence Community
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march 2016
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“During 2006-2007, Intellipedia editors awarded shovels to users to reward exemplary Wiki “gardening” and to encourage others in the community to contribute. A template with a picture of the limited-edition shovel (actually a trowel), was created to place on user pages for Intellipedians to show their “gardening” status. The handle bears the imprint: “I dig Intellipedia! It’s wiki wiki, Baby.” The idea was inspired by the barnstar, which is used on both Wikipedia and MeatballWiki for similar purposes. The shovels have since been replaced with a mug bearing the tag line “Intellipedia: it’s what we know”.”
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march 2016
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Intellipedia was at least partially inspired by a paper written for the Galileo Award (an essay competition set up by the CIA, later taken over by the DNI), which encouraged any employee at any intelligence agency to submit new ideas to improve information sharing. The first essay selected was by Calvin Andrus, chief technology officer of the Center for Mission Innovation at the CIA, entitled “The Wiki and the Blog: Toward a Complex Adaptive Intelligence Community”. Andrus’ essay argued that the real power of the Internet had come from the boom in self-publishing, and noted how the open-door policy of Wikipedia allowed it to cover new subjects quickly.

Richard A. Russell, Deputy Assistant Director of National Intelligence for Information Sharing Customer Outreach (ISCO) said it was created so “analysts in different agencies that work X or Y can go in and see what other people are doing on subject X or Y and actually add in their two cents worth … or documents that they have. … What we’re after here is ‘decision superiority’, not 'information superiority’. … We have to get inside the decision cycle of the enemy. We have to be able to discover what they’re doing and respond to it effectively.”


- Intellipedia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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march 2016
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Waxed calotype negative of cloud study, by an unidentified photographer, possibly Sir John Herschel or James Mudd (1821-1906), c 1855.
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march 2016
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Alvin Langdon Coburn, VIII. The Cloud, Yosemite, 1905; platinum photographic print; courtesy Library of Congress.

(via Feature | Pastelegram)
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march 2016
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The Cloud - Alvin Langdon Coburn, 1912
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march 2016
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(via Look into my vortex: the astonishing experimental photography of Alvin Langdon Coburn | Art and design | The Guardian)
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march 2016
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Photos of Irving Langmuir and Bernard Vonnegut, clouds, and weather modification technologies from the Langmuir Atmospheric Observatory.
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march 2016
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(via Fog Landing Aircraft Aka ‘fido’ (1946) - YouTube)
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march 2016
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“Eric Schmidt, the former chief executive officer of Google, has agreed to head a new Pentagon advisory board aimed at bringing Silicon Valley innovation and best practices to the U.S. military, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Wednesday.”
- Former Google CEO Schmidt to head new Pentagon innovation board | Reuters [He’s still chairman of Alphabet, Google’s parent, if you’re confused]
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march 2016
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From Murmansk, migrants must first make their way some 136 miles north — past barren tundra, Russian military bases and heavily armed checkpoints — to the small mining town of Nickel. There, refugees face a new twist: Russian law bans foot traffic at the border and Norway fines drivers for carrying migrants across — meaning the only way to cross is by bicycle. Yes, bicycle.   The legal twist has prompted a brisk trade in used bicycles throughout Russia’s Northwest — any size or condition accepted. Entrepreneurial Russian smugglers have even arranged package deals of minivans and bicycles. “We can’t just give the bicycles away for free, right?” says Kirill, a Russian who arranges transport from Murmansk to the border. “We help them so they don’t get lost. So someone doesn’t take advantage of them.“ As the trickle of refugees has grown, a lone hotel in the Russian town of Nickel has become a key stopover point before heading for the border. On a recent evening, migrant Syrians, Afghans, Egyptians, Palestinians, Iraqis and others pack into 30 rooms for the night. Others were left to seek refuge in a nearby student dormitory. Outside, vans loaded with bicycles waited to drop migrants at the border crossing.

(via Why some refugees are choosing to bike across the Russia-Norway border | Public Radio International)
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march 2016
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An Arctic route through Storskog had emerged by September 2015 for migrants from e.g. Syria to the European Union/EEA. This route involves fewer border crossings and has no dangerous sea crossing. They use bicycle since crossing on foot is not legal here, and bus or taxi drivers are heavily penalised if transporting illegal immigrants. Between August and October, 2015, the number of migrants arriving in Storskog has almost doubled every week. Norwegian police expected the number of people crossing the frontier by bicycle to reach 1,000 in 2015.[60]

As of October 31, around 2,000 migrants have entered into Norway and received temporary refugee status. Norwegian police have since increased the estimate of the number of migrants entering Norway in 2015 to reach 10,800.


- Norway–Russia border - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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march 2016
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Hundreds of migrants have cycled into Norway from Russia after finding a new route into Europe that avoids the deadly Mediterranean crossing. They are not allowed to cross the Arctic border on foot, so a lucrative trade in bicycles has opened up, with migrants buying bikes and pedalling the final few metres.

(via Seeking asylum on children’s bicycles - BBC News)
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march 2016
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“Since then, Trump’s campaign has advised fans not to physically harm protesters, starting off each rally – including Monday’s at Radford – with a loudspeaker advisory that in the event they encounter a protester, people should hold Trump signs over their head and simply shout “Trump”.”
- http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/feb/29/trump-rally-photographer-secret-service-protests
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march 2016
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“It is interesting that most of the images in the last part of the film are of information that can be gathered by satellite. It is also interesting that this information – which is absolutely necessary to guard the health of our earth – is the same information that nations keep as secrets. What is most interesting is that the governments of the world will have to choose between their secrets and their planet earth.”
- Notes on ‘Powers of Ten’
Charles Eames, 1977
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february 2016
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“World Champion Viswanathan Anand played the white pieces against 35 opponents simultaneously and conceded five draws and one loss vs 29 wins.”

(via Chess Festival in Benidorm – where a new genre is born | Chess News)
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february 2016
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“We will not accept turning the country into a warehouse of souls”
- Greece recalls ambassador from Austria over EU refugees row | World news | The Guardian
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february 2016
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He suggested that the demographic profile of the industry’s management – white, male, middle-aged – meant that it was not well equipped to understand this phenomenon.

“The young, and those of you who have teenage children will know this, leave home with a debit card and a mobile phone – that’s their transport, their food and their drink, and that’s what they carry with them. Those people will grow into become the mainstream adults in our society, those will be the mainstream of our economic activity.”

Looking at the 300-strong audience, he said: “We are not representative of the people that we carry, and we’re certainly not representative of the people we will carry in the future.

“I bet in this room people still own a car. I bet people in this room still have cash. And I bet we’re all struggling to make a phone call on our smart phones, never mind turn on the central heating at home.”


- Uber is biggest threat to buses, says TfL chief
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february 2016
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The couple, from Heversham, Cumbria, say they were sick of long, dark evenings and decided to take matters into their own hands after a holiday in Tenerife. Jim realised that when they returned to the Lake District it would be going dark too early for his liking, so he decided to stick with European time, an hour ahead of GMT.

“It makes the day a bit longer,” says Jim. “We are on continental time and we can never be late. There are so many benefits to it – if you’re on holiday and you go to breakfast, you’re always an hour ahead of everyone, so you never queue.

“When we go out to a restaurant here for lunch, there’s nobody there, so we get served first and get the best seats. We miss a lot of the rush-hour traffic too, and it means when we go shopping, there is always somewhere to park.”

Aside from having more daylight, Jim also made the change because he resented being told how to live his life: “I don’t like being told to do things by government – they robbed us of an hour of daylight without asking!”


- Cumbrian couple invent their own time zone: ‘It’s for people who are in charge of their own destiny’ | Life and style | The Guardian
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february 2016
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Brussels airport chapel.
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february 2016
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Meditation Room at the United Nations in New York (1957)

Journalist Pauline Frederick gave another example of this interest in an interview for the UN Oral History Collection. “He was instrumental in creating what he called the Meditation Room. He said that "This House” - which he referred to the UN frequently… - This house must have one room dedicated to silence… I remember very distinctly one night, when I heard that he had been working most of the night, and about two o'clock in the morning, he called some of his aides in, and they assumed that there had been some bad news from one of the fronts where the United Nations Emergency Forces were then located, but he said, “I want to go down to the Meditation Room.” And he took them down to the Meditation Room, and it was about, as I said, two o'clock in the morning, and there he spent considerable time directing the painters to put just the precise coat of paint on the walls of that Meditation Room, so the light would be just as he wanted it. So he had a very close feeling about the spiritual. And he felt that it should be the center of the United Nations. He had a special crew of painters working on the Meditation Room that evening. He said, “We want to bring back, in this room, the stillness which we have lost in our streets, and in our conference rooms, and to bring it back in a setting in which no noise would impinge on our imagination.”

He banned chairs and replaced them with benches; in the center of the room he placed a six-and-half-ton rectangular block of iron ore, polished on the top and illuminated from above by a single spotlight. This block, which was a gift of the King of Sweden and a Swedish mining company, was the only symbol in the Room.  Mr. Hammarskjöld described it as “…a meeting of the light, of the sky, and the earth… it is the altar to the God of all…. we want this massive altar to give the impression of something more than temporary…”.

In addition, an abstract mural, a composition of interlocking geometric patterns which is supposed to evoke a feeling of the essential oneness of God, was ordered by Dag Hammarskjöld from his artist friend Bo Beskow.

via DAG HAMMARSKJÖLD: The UN years …)
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february 2016
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