What Banks Owe America
The banking industry today has substantially changed in the decades since the enactment of the CRA. In the 1970s, bank operations did not cross state lines. Online banks, of course, did not exist, and neither did the broad array of independent entities that offer consumer lending and mortgage services. In 1977, a bank’s service area for the purpose of CRA compliance was relatively clear: It was where the bank had physical branches. Today, banks can set up a beachhead at any place that can accommodate an ATM machine—or, for that matter, wherever a person can carry a smartphone. The law does not speak to where a bank’s community obligations begins and ends in this new commercial landscape. 
13 hours ago
Bats Beat Dolphins in the Battle over Who Has the Best Sonar - Scientific American
Despite an apparent bias from Team Bat, “my results really don’t prove the superiority of bats,” Kloepper says. It’s just that “bats have much longer calls and are known to echolocate in massive groups, which is why I'm arguing that when it comes to avoiding jamming, bats win.”
13 hours ago
Diabetes spike in Mexican town where Coca-Cola used as drinking water, currency & religious offering — RT World News
Desperate locals average more than two liters of soda per day, as it’s often more accessible than bottled water and is almost as cheap, with a 1.5-liter Coca-Cola bottle costing roughly 18 Mexican pesos ($0.88), compared with water, which costs 10 Mexican pesos ($0.48) per bottle. The Chiapas state has seen a 30-percent increase in the mortality rate from diabetes between 2013 and 2016. The indigenous Tzotzil population are among the worst affected, with five out of ten people consuming the sugary, caffeinated soft drink on a daily basis. Coca-Cola is now so ubiquitous in the town, adorning local pharmacies, restaurants and village entrances, that it is even being used in native religious rites.
13 hours ago
As Wildfire Smoke Fills the Air, Farmworkers Continue to Labor in the Fields - Pacific Standard
The students' Friday classes had been canceled, and local officials all over Southern California had broadcast warnings advising residents to stay indoors and avoid all exercise. However, many members of the community, still recovering from the record-breaking Thomas Fire of 2017 (the largest in the state's history), knew that farmworkers would continue to be laboring in the fields, just as they had during the Thomas Fire.
13 hours ago
Fraud Claims Disenfranchised New Jersey Women in 1807 - The Atlantic
New Jersey was the most enlightened of the original 13 states where voting rights were concerned. It allowed free African-Americans to vote and was the only state to extend voting rights to women in its Constitution. By contemporary standards this attempt at women’s suffrage was paltry—because New Jersey had property requirements for voting, and married women could not legally own property, only single women managing a household could cast a ballot. Still, by the standards of the age, the Garden State was doing something unique and shocking.
13 hours ago
An Archive of 800+ Imaginative Propaganda Maps Designed to Shape Opinions & Beliefs: Enter Cornell's Persuasive Maps Collection | Open Culture
Yet it is rare, if not unheard of, to discover a map archive in which every single entry repays attention. The PJ Mode Persuasive Cartography Collection at Cornell University Library is such an archive. Each map in the collection, from the most simplified to the most elaborate, tells not only one story, but several, overlapping ones about its creators, their intended audience, their antagonists, the conscious and unconscious processes at work in their political psyches, the geo-political view from where they stood.
13 hours ago
Winter Brain Blues | The Scientist
Depressive feelings associated with fewer hours of daylight in winter were once considered an indirect consequence of circadian rhythm disruption. But in 2012, chronobiologist Samer Hattar, then of Johns Hopkins University, and colleagues showed that light can boost mood scores—along with learning ability—in mice, even when sleep and circadian rhythms are unperturbed. To understand these effects, the researchers looked at recently discovered photoreceptors known as intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs), which unlike rods and cones play no role in image formation. “Anatomical data suggested that [the] cells can directly influence several brain areas involved in mood and learning functions,”
14 hours ago
4 Ways to Give Your Body Back to Nature After You Die by Jennifer Luxton — YES! Magazine
If cremation is still the most cost-effective option, consider this alternative to an urn. Florida-based Eternal Reefs offers to add your ashes to a concrete structure designed to attract aquatic plants and animals when set out on the ocean floor. Eternal Reefs’ partner, the Reef Ball Foundation, sets out artificial reefs in areas of development to encourage estuary restoration and habitat recovery. Besides reef propagation, they are also used as breakwaters.
15 hours ago
Baby Blue Blood Drive | Radiolab | WNYC Studios
Horseshoe crabs are not much to look at.  But beneath their unassuming catcher’s-mitt shell, they harbor a half-billion-year-old secret: a superpower that helped them outlive the dinosaurs and survive all the Earth’s mass extinctions.  And what is that secret superpower? Their blood. Their baby blue blood.  And it’s so miraculous that for decades, it hasn’t just been saving their butts, it’s been saving ours too.
15 hours ago
Horseshoe crab blood (and, why conservation pays)
LAL – Limulus Amebocyte Lysate – is a test for bacterial contamination made from the crab’s blood (usually made without killing the crabs). Lonza is one of four companies that manufacture it. The test is used throughout the medical industry to ensure medical instruments and materials don’t cause fever or complications when introduced to the blood.
15 hours ago
Water input into the Mariana subduction zone estimated from ocean-bottom seismic data | Nature
The water cycle at subduction zones remains poorly understood, although subduction is the only mechanism for water transport deep into Earth. Previous estimates of water flux1,2,3 exhibit large variations in the amount of water that is subducted deeper than 100 kilometres. The main source of uncertainty in these calculations is the initial water content of the subducting uppermost mantle.
16 hours ago
Water takes a deep dive into an oceanic tectonic plate
The evidence for water entering subduction zones is clear, but several knowledge gaps have hindered attempts to quantify the total volume of water going down these hatches, even at individual subduction zones. One unknown is the depth to which water penetrates the oceanic plate. Most constraints on estimates come from controlled-source seismic data, which are produced by measuring seismic waves generated by artificial sources using dense arrays of recording instruments. These data provide excellent constraints on hydration of the crust and shallow mantle, but, with one notable exception7, do not constrain the full depth of hydration. It is clearly not possible to tally the total volume of subducted water without knowing the full hydration depth.
16 hours ago
The Earth Is Eating Its Own Oceans
The researchers used data picked up by a network of seismic sensors positioned around the central Marianas Trench in the western Pacific Ocean. The deepest part of the trench is nearly 7 miles (11 kilometers) below sea level. The sensors detect earthquakes and the echoes of earthquakes ringing through Earth's crust like a bell. Cai and his team tracked how fast those temblors traveled: A slowdown in velocity, he said, would indicate water-filled fractures in rocks and "hydrated" minerals that lock up water within their crystals.
16 hours ago
Ron English Plans to Whitewash a $730,000 Banksy, and then Sell It
English’s target is Banksy’s “Slave Labour (Bunting Boy)” (2012), which he recently acquired for $730,000 at Juliens Auctions in Los Angeles. The work depicts a young child crouched over a sewing machine as he produces Union Jack bunting. It was a protest against the controversial use of sweatshops to manufacture memorabilia for the Diamond Jubilee and London Olympics in 2012. And while “Slave Labour” was first painted on the outside wall of a bargain shop in north London, it was mysteriously removed months later before resurfacing at an auction in Miami in February 2013. It was subsequently removed from auction after considerable appeals by residents of its hometown London suburb, Wood Green. Regardless, the mural was eventually sold at auction in the UK, fetching a price of $1.2 million at Bankrobber London.
16 hours ago
Billionaire Bonanza 2018 report dives into wealth dynasties
The U.S., the “Billionaire Bonanza” report reminds readers, has a strong tradition of breaking up concentrated wealth. Theodore Roosevelt famously said: “Of all forms of tyranny, the least attractive and the most vulgar is the tyranny of mere wealth, the tyranny of a plutocracy,” following the first Gilded Age. Now that we’re well into the second, we need bold policy solutions to redistribute the country’s vast economic resources in a way that benefits everyone from the bottom up, not just those already sitting at the top.
16 hours ago
“The cyclical rebirth of caste in America is a recurring racial nightmare" | (Roughly) Daily
“History written with lightning,” Wilson declared of The Clansman, the second film ever to be screened in the White House. It was an endorsement guaranteed to head off resistance from town censor boards charged with shutting down entertainment deemed unsuitable or incendiary to the public.
16 hours ago
200 years to go before Laos is cleared of unexploded US bombs from Vietnam war era | Post Magazine | South China Morning Post
As troops’ turkey dinners were being choppered in that November, the bombing campaign was being massively ramped up, from about 4,700 sorties in October 1968 to some 12,800 the following month. In total, the US launched about 580,000 bombing missions over Laos – equivalent to a planeload of bombs every eight minutes, 24 hours a day, for those nine years – making it the most heavily bombed country per capita in history. It has been estimated that possibly one-third of the devices failed to detonate, and as many as 80 million remain unexploded. They litter villages, tracks, farmland and forest across much of the country. At the current rate of progress, making Laos completely safe again will take 200 years.
17 hours ago
Medieval Geopolitics: The Institution of the Crusade
Finally, it is simply not possible to grasp fully the constitutive ideal of the “crusade” without tracing its connections to the established religious discourse of “penance”. As Marcus Bull demonstrates convincingly, lay piety had intensified dramatically throughout Latin Christendom in the aftermath of the Feudal Revolution, ultimately coming to constitute a key element of the constitutive narrative of the nobility. This new script of “devout Christian”, however, was from the beginning in tension with both the older script of “noble warrior” and the actual daily practices of the lordly nobility (which, given the Christian ontological narrative, could only be framed as “sinful”).
18 hours ago
Fujimori's Forced Sterilizations Targeted Indigenous Women | teleSUR English
The case against Peru’s former dictator Alberto Fujimori for the forced sterilization of over 200,000 Indigenous women and over 22,000 men between 1990 and 2000 is gaining traction after 16 years of litigation. On Monday, state prosecutor Marcelita Gutierrez formalized the case against Fujimori, accusing him and four members of his cabinet of being material authors of the crime.  
18 hours ago
Finally, the drug that keeps you young - MIT Technology Review
The correct way to think about senescence is that it’s an evolutionary balancing act. It was selected for the good purpose of preventing cancer—if [cells] don’t divide, [they] can’t form a tumor. It also optimizes tissue repair. But the downside is if these cells persist, which happens during aging, they can now become deleterious. Evolution doesn’t care what happens to you after you’ve had your babies, so after around age 50, there are no mechanisms that can effectively eliminate these cells in old age. They tend to accumulate. So the idea became popular to think about eliminating them, and seeing if we can restore tissues to a more youthful state.
18 hours ago
Spacecraft Witness Explosion in Earth's Magnetic Field
The reconnection process occurs because the Sun beams plasma, or a gas of charged particles, at the Earth and its magnetic field. The Sun’s plasma contains a magnetic field represented as lines running through it, but these lines could be in a different or opposite orientation from Earth’s own magnetic field. The magnetic field lines connect with new lines, causing a release of energy.
19 hours ago
FCC Approves SpaceX Plan to Launch 7,500 Broadband Internet Satellites | Digital Trends
FCC rules require SpaceX to launch 50 percent of its proposed satellites within six years and all of them within nine years unless a waiver is granted. To put this deployment in perspective, there are currently only 1,886 active satellites presently in orbit. These new SpaceX satellites will increase the number of active satellites six-fold in less than a decade. A recent simulation by Mark Handley, professor of Networked Systems in the Department of Computer Science at University College London, visually shows the off-the-charts scale and complexity of the network.
19 hours ago
Everything You Thought You Knew About Western Civilization Is Wrong: A Review of Michael Hudson’s New Book, And Forgive Them Their Debts | naked capitalism
No debtor – whether a class of debtors such as students or victims of predatory junk mortgages, or an entire government and national economy – should be obliged to go on the road to and economic suicide and self-destruction in order to pay creditors. The definition of statehood – and hence, international law – should be to put one’s national solvency and self-determination above foreign financial attacks. Ceding financial control should be viewed as a form of warfare, which countries have a legal right to resist as “odious debt” under moral international law.
19 hours ago
Other stars' Oort clouds may be visible in universe's first light | Science News
The Oort cloud is thought to be a planetary graveyard stretching between about 1,000 and 100,000 times as far from the sun as Earth. Scientist think that this reservoir of trillions of icy objects formed early in the solar system’s history, when violent movements of the giant planets as they took shape tossed smaller objects outward. Every so often, one of those frozen planetary fossils dives back in toward the sun and is visible as a comet (SN: 11/16/13, p. 14).
yesterday
Dror Bar-Natan's Image Gallery: Knotted Objects: Planet Hopf
The whole map of Earth can be seen on both sides of the cut (each in itself, a half-plane), with an 80o rotation between the sides. For improved visibility, the full pullbacks of only the G8 countries are actually shown, and only the pullbacks of Canada, Japan, and Italy are continued through the cut, in a translucent form.
yesterday
Dror Bar-Natan's Image Gallery: Knotted Objects: Planet Hopf
Hopf says that 3-space fibers over the 2-sphere, the Greeks say the 2-sphere is planet Earth, and Copernicus says it spins. The consequences are ridiculous.
yesterday
Cancer cells destroyed with dinosaur extinction metal
The researchers created a compound of iridium and organic material, which can be directly targeted towards cancerous cells, transferring energy to the cells to turn the oxygen (O2) inside them into singlet oxygen, which is poisonous and kills the cell - without harming any healthy tissue.
yesterday
New Bluetooth Hack Affects Millions of Vehicles
The greatest risk exists for drivers who sync their phones to vehicles that have been rented, borrowed, or leased and returned. The researchers from Privacy4Cars, who discovered the vulnerability, recommend that drivers in those cases completely erase that information before turning in the vehicle.
yesterday
Definition Of The Kilogram Is About To Change : NPR
The vote is expected to be unanimous, a mere formality after years of work. Going forward, the world's system of mass measurement will not be based on some special hunk of metal, but rather on unalterable features of the universe — such as the speed of light, time and Planck's constant, a number that helps scientists figure out the energy of a photon of light, given its wavelength. (The approximate numerical value of Planck's constant is 6.626 x 10-34 joule-second.)
yesterday
Microbots made from mushroom spores could clean polluted water | New Scientist
The microbots are made from iron oxide-coated mushroom spores, and cause heavy metal ions to cling to the pores they come into contact with. Once they’ve been placed into contaminated water, an external magnetic field is used to move the microrobots around. They and the heavy metals clinging to them are then recovered from the water using the same magnet.
yesterday
What Are the 28,000 Sealed Indictments in the QAnon Conspiracy Theory?
In November, shortly after the #QAnon conspiracy theory first broke, the number of sealed criminal indictments handed down in just the first few weeks of November was reported as 4,289. Then, on New Year’s Day, that number had jumped to over 9,000. By March 4, it was 18,500. And by early April the number stood at 24,500 – all apparently filed since October 30th.
yesterday
There are dozens of sealed criminal indictments on the DC docket. Are they from Mueller? - ABC News
But several legal experts told ABC News the number of sealed cases awaiting action right now is unusual. Fourteen were added to the docket since late August alone, a review by ABC News has found, just as the midterm elections were drawing near and longstanding Justice Department policy precluded prosecutors from taking any public action that could appear to be aimed at influencing political outcomes.
yesterday
Mark Fisher: The Political Aesthetics of Postcapitalism / Methodologies of Valorization, 16/11/2011 - YouTube
In this presentation, Fisher will argue that the left needs to shift the focus from anticapitalism to postcapitalism, and that concepts originally intended to mock the left - such as 'radical chic' and 'designer socialism' - can assist in this transition. Now that capital has lost its control of moderrnity, it's time to assert that the future belongs to postcapitalism.
yesterday
A Japanese Illustrated History of America (1861): Features George Washington Punching Tigers, John Adams Slaying Snakes & Other Fantastic Scenes | Open Culture
The next image Kaur posts shows Christopher Columbus reporting his discovery of America to Queen Isabella of Spain. "So far, kinda normal," but then comes a bit of artistic license: a scene from the American Revolution in which we see "George Washington defending his wife 'Carol' from a British official named 'Asura' (same characters as the Buddhist deity)." Other illustrated events from early American history include "Washington's "second-in-command" John Adams battling an enormous snake," "the incredibly jacked Benjamin Franklin firing a cannon that he holds in his bare hands, while John Adams directs him where to fire," and "George Washington straight-up punching a tiger."
yesterday
How The Wall Street Journal is preparing its journalists to detect deepfakes » Nieman Journalism Lab
The production of most deepfakes is based on a machine learning technique called “generative adversarial networks,” or GANs. This approach can be used by forgers to swap the faces of two people — for example, those of a politician and an actor. The algorithm looks for instances where both individuals showcase similar expressions and facial positioning. In the background, artificial intelligence algorithms are looking for the best match to juxtapose both faces. Because research about GANs and other approaches to machine learning is publicly available, the ability to generate deepfakes is spreading. Open source software already enables anyone with some technical knowledge and a powerful-enough graphics card to create a deepfake.
yesterday
Pantone Merkel - Wikipedia
The "Pantone Merkel", also known as the "many shades of Merkel" or "Merkel Rainbow", is a compilation of photos of Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, collected by Dutch graphic designer Noortje van Eekelen.[1] It consists of an overview of Merkel's jackets arranged into a chart by colour in a manner similar to the Pantone color chart. The "Pantone Merkel" also includes captions describing the locations and dates the photos were taken.
yesterday
Wealthy's use of private firefighters ignites debate in wildfire country
Global insurer AIG pioneered the idea in 2005, offering wildfire mitigation and protection from active wildfires as an optional service to the elite policyholders in their Private Client Group. Policies can run from "several thousand dollars to several tens-of-thousands," depending on location and home value, said AIG's Stephen Poux, the Group's Global Head of Risk Management and Loss Prevention. Members of the Group are affluent policyholders including 42 percent of the Forbes 400 Richest Americans, said Poux.
yesterday
Kim Kardashian and the Rise of Private Firefighting - The Atlantic
The insurance companies AIG and Chubb have publicly talked about their private wildfire teams. AIG has its own “Wildfire Protection Unit,” while Chubb—and up to a dozen other insurers—contract with Wildfire Defense Systems, a Montana company that claims to have made 550 “wildfire responses on behalf of insurers,” including 255 in just the past two years. Right now in California, the company has 53 engines working to protect close to 1,000 homes.
yesterday
Insurers’ Firefighting Teams Move to Limit Damage from California Wildfires
AIG bolstered its wildfire protection unit after last year’s fires and has seen increased demand from homeowners for advice on prevention, according to AIG’s Stephen Poux, global head of risk management services and loss prevention in the private client group. Its recommendations include installing new ventilation systems that block out embers from fires.
yesterday
The calendar of epidemics: Seasonal cycles of infectious diseases
The concept of an epidemic calendar is illustrated in the top panel. Infectious diseases are seasonal, especially the occurrence of acute and epidemic-prone diseases. In any given population, infectious diseases are distributed throughout the year. Annual cycles of infectious disease are a ubiquitous feature of infection (Tables 1–4). The illustration depicts the wintertime seasonality of flu, springtime peaks of varicella (i.e., chickenpox), and the summertime occurrence of gonorrhea and polio, in the Northern Hemisphere.
yesterday
Are All Infectious Diseases Seasonal? | NOVA | PBS
Martinez, a conservation ecologist by training, initially set out to track the seasonality of acute, or short-term, infections like influenza and chickenpox after noting similarities between the disease states of humans and wildlife. But as she began to compile a list of infectious diseases that tend to plague humans, Martinez found that the trend also held true for chronic, or long-term, diseases like gonorrhea and leprosy.
yesterday
‘Forget real estate. You can’t afford it anyway’: Monopoly for millennials triggers outrage — RT World News
“We created Monopoly for Millennials to provide fans with a lighthearted game that allows millennials to take a break from real life and laugh at the relatable experiences and labels that can sometimes be placed on them,” the company explained. “Whether you are a lifestyle vlogger, emoji lover or you make your ‘side hustle’ selling vegan candles, Monopoly for Millennials is for you!”
yesterday
On This Day in Space! Nov. 16, 1974: Arecibo Observatory Broadcasts Interstellar Message
On Nov. 16, 1974, humans sent their first message to the stars in an attempt to contact extraterrestrials. They did this using what was then the largest radio telescope in the world, located at the Arecibo Observatory  in Puerto Rico. A group of scientists led by Frank Drake and Carl Sagan sent their message to the M13 star cluster. The message was written in binary code and contained information about human DNA. It also included figures of a human, the solar system and the Arecibo telescope.
yesterday
Switzerland has been a lab for toxic rightwing politics | Flavia Kleiner | The Guardian
For more than two decades Switzerland has been something of a laboratory for rightwing populism. Ahead of others in Europe, the rightwing Swiss People’s party deployed a relentless anti-immigrant, anti-EU rhetoric. It has successfully used referendums as a marketing tool for its political agenda and has become the largest political force in Switzerland.
yesterday
How the World’s Only Feudal Lord Outclassed the Nazis to Save Her People | Mental Floss
And none of that counted the specific privileges afforded to Dame Sibyl by ancient Norman common law. When a property was sold, she was entitled to one-thirteenth of the purchase price, called a la troisieme. For every chimney, she was entitled to a tax paid in chickens. For every harvest, she was owed a tenth sheaf of corn, apples, flax, hemp, or beans. She claimed ownership of every bit of flotsam and jetsam that washed ashore. Only she could keep pigeons or an unspayed dog. (Dame Sibyl’s was named Maxine.) She also had to pay the Queen for the privilege of running the island. But since the figure was never adjusted for inflation after being set in the 16th century, the cost to rule Sark was just £1.79.
yesterday
Two Cats Have Been Trolling Museum Security for Over 2 Years Now «TwistedSifter
To keep up with their latest antics, you can follow the museum’s official twitter account where they routinely share pictures and videos of the cats any time they decide to drop by.
yesterday
Hefei Institutes of Physical Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences
The power injection exceeded 10MW, and plasma stored energy boosted to 300 kJ after scientists optimized the coupling of different heating techniques, and utilized advanced plasma control, theory/simulation prediction. The electron temperature of the core plasma increased beyond 100 million degrees.
yesterday
China’s “Artificial Sun” Is Now Hot Enough for Nuclear Fusion
an “artificial sun” designed to replicate the process our natural Sun uses to generate energy — just hit a new temperature milestone: 100 million degrees Celsius (180 million degrees Fahrenheit). For comparison, the core of our real Sun only reaches about 27 million degrees Fahrenheit — meaning the EAST reactor was, briefly, more than six times hotter than the closest star.
yesterday
How a Difficult, Racist, Stubborn President Was Removed From Power—If Not From Office - POLITICO Magazine
The audience noticed, and not just because Johnson’s face had turned bright red and his planned five-minute address stretched to three times longer. Shouting, gesticulating wildly, stumbling over his words and shaking his fists, he went into stump-speech mode, declaring violently that he was a man of the people and that Tennessee had never left the Union. Hamlin tried to shut him up and pull him away but failed in both. Johnson stammered and had to ask assembled officials nearby who the secretary of the Navy was. During the spectacle, the attorney general leaned over and called it “a wretched mess” to Gideon Welles—who happened to be the secretary of the Navy—who in turn said, “Johnson is either drunk or crazy.”
yesterday
Under new Oregon law, all eligible voters are registered unless they opt out - Los Angeles Times
In front of a packed and cheering audience Monday, Gov. Kate Brown signed a first-in-the-nation bill to automatically register all eligible Oregonians to vote when they obtain or renew a driver's license or state identification card. Those who are registered through the new process will be notified by mail and will be given three weeks to take themselves off the voting rolls. If they do not opt out, the secretary of state's office will mail them a ballot automatically 20 days before any election.
yesterday
CaliforniaIis Using Slave Labor to Fight the Wildfires
“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction” — The 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America
yesterday
Capitalist realism - Mark Fisher
It is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism. After 1989, capitalism has successfully presented itself as the only realistic political-economic system - a situation that the bank crisis of 2008, far from ending, actually compounded.
yesterday
Tick-Tock — How ‘60 Minutes’ Sat on a Crucial 2000 Election Story - WhoWhatWhy
If a show on this subject aired on CBS one day, the producer said, Mike Wallace would never give credit to another journalist for generating the foundational material behind an investigation or point out the steps taken before such information reached his desk. If I accepted their terms, from this moment forward it would be a Mike Wallace and 60 Minutes production — no one else’s. I couldn’t tell anybody else in the media what Jack and I had been doing and I couldn’t do any more investigating on my own and I had no control over anything that would happen next.
yesterday
Julian Assange has been charged, prosecutors reveal inadvertently in court filing - The Washington Post
The disclosure came in a filing in a case unrelated to Assange. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kellen S. Dwyer, urging a judge to keep the matter sealed, wrote that “due to the sophistication of the defendant and the publicity surrounding the case, no other procedure is likely to keep confidential the fact that Assange has been charged.” Later, Dwyer wrote the charges would “need to remain sealed until Assange is arrested.” Dwyer is also assigned to the WikiLeaks case. People familiar with the matter said what Dwyer was disclosing was true, but unintentional.
yesterday
'Toxic' Is Oxford Dictionaries' Word Of 2018 : NPR
Oxford Dictionaries says it found a 45 percent increase in look-ups of toxic and it was used in so many situations that "the sheer scope of its application, as found by our research, made toxic the stand-out choice for the Word of the Year title."
yesterday
Cars without drivers still need a moral compass. But what kind? | The Guardian
Yet the trolley problem and reality are now on their own collision course. That’s because of autonomous machines – in particular the driverless car, which may be on our streets within a decade or so. Imagine the car is faced with an unavoidable accident – it can swerve one way and hit a child, or another and plough into several adult pedestrians. What should it be programmed to do?
yesterday
Huge crater discovered in Greenland from impact that rocked Northern Hemisphere
A survey of ice in Greenland has uncovered evidence suggesting a kilometer-wide iron asteroid slammed into that island, perhaps as recently as 12,000 years ago during the end of the Pleistocene. The resulting 19-mile-wide impact crater has remained hidden under a half-mile-thick ice sheet until now. It recently was exposed by an ultra-wideband chirp radar system developed at the Center for the Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) headquartered at the University of Kansas.
yesterday
How California Needs to Adapt to Survive Future Fires | WIRED
One solution is prescribed burning, a measure that California hasn't quite embraced. So far this year, the state has done around 55,000 acres of prescribed burning. The southeastern US churned through 5.5 million acres last year—100 times more. And the Southeast as a region is only about five times bigger than California.
yesterday
How California Needs to Adapt to Survive Future Fires | WIRED
One solution is prescribed burning, a measure that California hasn't quite embraced. So far this year, the state has done around 55,000 acres of prescribed burning. The southeastern US churned through 5.5 million acres last year—100 times more. And the Southeast as a region is only about five times bigger than California.
yesterday
Dianne Feinstein's husband wins near-billion dollar California 'high speed rail' contract
To the surprise of absolutely no one familiar with the ways of Corruptifornia, the one-party state completely in the hands of the Democrats, a consortium whose lead firm is controlled by Richard Blum, husband of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, was awarded a nearly billion-dollar contract for the construction of the first phase of the so-called high-speed rail line to link San Francisco and Los Angeles. Those paying attention to the project call it the “half-fast” rail line because it will share trackage with  conventional commuter rail trains in the sprawling Los Angeles and San Francisco areas, lowering its average speed to levels achieved by American railways a century ago.
yesterday
Science - Viziv Technologies Viziv Technologies
Jonathan Zenneck (1871-1959) was one of the first known scientists to study electromagnetic wave propagation over the surface of the earth. With Zenneck surface waves, electrical power is directed along the earth’s surface, in much the same way that electrical power is directed through conventional transmission lines using electromagnetic waves. In the early years of the twentieth century, two theories of electromagnetic wave theory co-existed:  classic Hertzian radiated waves (ground waves) which are transmitted via conventional antennae on a line of sight path and dissipate over a distance into space.  And Zenneck Surface Waves which use the surface of the earth as a waveguide and travel at high levels of efficiency but had yet to be experimentally observed. Our technology uses only surface waves (guided surface waves), and not ground waves (radiated waves).
yesterday
K-punk, capitalist realism and acid communism
The k-punk anthology also contains some previously unpublished work, including the tentative beginnings of a line of reasoning that Fisher called ‘Acid Communism’. The concept of acid communism – an idea currently being developed by Jeremy Gilbert, an academic at the University of East London, and a collaborator of Fisher’s – is intended as a kind of antidote to the absence of imagination, and closed-mindedness of ‘capitalist realism’.
2 days ago
How 'miniature suns' could provide cheap, clean energy - BBC News
Meanwhile in the US, MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology] is working with the newly-formed Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS) to develop Sparc, a doughnut-shaped tokamak with magnetic fields holding the hot plasma in place.
2 days ago
General Jim Mattis brings insight and clarity to the nature of war (2015) - YouTube
In this episode, Uncommon Knowledge is honored to have retired four-star General James Mattis. General Mattis retired from the Marine Corps as a full general in 2013, where he served as the eleventh commander of the United States Central Command. He also served as the commander for NATO supreme allied transformation, and as commander of the United States Joint Forces Command. Mattis is now an Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow fellow at the Hoover Institution.
2 days ago
The Fire Historian – Stanford Magazine – Medium
Pyne’s book, Fire in America: A Cultural History of Wildland and Rural Fire (1982),was a sweeping overview of evolving ideas about fire on the land and efforts to control it. Starting with a natural history of lightning fire, it recounted how Native Americans and European settlers used fire to clear land and explored fire’s growing role in industrial society. In 1910, after enormous wildfires burned large swaths of Idaho and Montana and killed 87 people, firefighting became the theme. But decades of fire suppression on public lands allowed huge loads of underbrush to accumulate, sowing the seeds for large-scale wildfires.
2 days ago
The Rise of the Malibu Movie Colony
But what’s most delicious about the Colony is not its present—which, while still a celeb stomping ground, is, in fact, at something of a crossroads—but its history. The neighborhood began in the late 1920s when the widow of an oil and electric company magnate, May Rindge (“Queen of the Malibu”), owned all 27 miles of a then almost-unreachable and deserted coastline. Finding herself in financial trouble after lengthy legal battles, she decided to rent space on one secluded mile to Hollywood celebrities. It was instantly dubbed the Malibu Movie Colony.
2 days ago
U.S. Forest Service Fire Suppression - Forest History Society
Just five years later, in what has become known as the "Big Blowup," a series of forest fires burned 3 million acres in Montana, Idaho, and Washington in only two days. The 1910 fires had a profound effect on national fire policy. Local and national Forest Service administrators emerged from the incident convinced that the devastation could have been prevented if only they had had enough men and equipment on hand. They also convinced themselves, and members of Congress and the public, that only total fire suppression could prevent such an event from occurring again, and that the Forest Service was the only outfit capable of carrying out that mission. Three of the men who had fought the 1910 fires—William Greeley, Robert Stuart, and Ferdinand Silcox—served from 1920 to 1938 as Forest Service chief, which put them in a position to institute a policy of total fire suppression.
2 days ago
The Making of Malibu | Lapham’s Quarterly
Whatever restraint May showed in the construction of Rhoda’s beachside mansion vanished when it came to designing her own. On the hill overlooking where the mansion lost in the fire of 1903 once stood, May began work on a fifty-four-room palace with wings for Frederick Jr.’s and Rhoda’s families, all meant to serve as a symbol that the Rindge family would forever rule the kingdom of Malibu. She planned to pay whatever was necessary, not flinching when told that her plans could cost her upwards of $500,000—nearly $7 million in contemporary dollars. In Frederick Jr.’s bathroom alone, she told workers to build a thirteen-by-seventeen-foot swimming pool, which would prove to be neither the first nor the last pool to appear on the property. Tile lined every part of the home, often from the ceilings to the floors and even the doors themselves. Sewing rooms, butler’s pantries, a music hall that was said to be large enough to fit in the Los Angeles Philharmonic—each room, no matter its importance, was set out with its own pattern of brilliant tile.
2 days ago
Let Malibu Burn - Mike Davis
Although Lillard was writing in 1981, his mountain frontier is virtually extinct. "Country club types" have everywhere conquered, and now monopolize almost all the picturesque seacoasts and foothills. Despite brave but belated attempts at open-space conservation like the Santa Monica Mountain Conservancy, Southern California's remnant natural landscape continues to be destroyed or privatized. The great impetus of this movement to the hills is no longer communion with nature or frontier rusticity, but, as critic Reyner Banham recognized in the 1960s, the search for "thickets of privacy" outside the fabric of common citizenship and urban life.
2 days ago
Lingua Franca | Mike Davis and the Politics of Disaster
Just at the moment when a "vigorous social democracy of beaches and playgrounds" might have bloomed, Southern California governments allowed cities to fall into disrepair while lavishly subsidizing private, affluent "firebelts"--Davis's term for suburban communities knowingly established in wildfire corridors.
2 days ago
Let Malibu Burn: A political history of the Fire Coast - Mike Davis
At the same time, suburban firestorms are becoming more apocalyptic. Two-thirds of all the homes and dwellings, for example, destroyed by wildfire since statewide record keeping began in 1923 have been burned since 1980. And as Interior Secretary Bruce Babbit complained while visiting the Malibu fire scene, "fire-fighting is getting more expensive, more hazardous." The new density of hillside housing has transformed the battle against wildfire from a war of maneuver into the equivalent of street-fighting. But larger firefighting armies by themselves are no solution. One national forest official observed: "These fires in Malibu prove that you could throw in every fighter in the world and still can't stop it."
3 days ago
Opinion | Doom Season in Los Angeles - The New York Times
Some critics have seen Los Angeles’s fire seasons through the lens of class warfare and overdevelopment. In his 1998 book “The Ecology of Fear,” Mike Davis infamously made the case for “letting Malibu burn.” He argued that the cost of suppressing fires in Malibu and other hillside communities “accelerates gentrification” and pushes out residents with “bohemian lifestyles,” transforming the communities into enclaves for the wealthy.
3 days ago
Harvard Design Magazine: Ecology of Fear by Mike Davis
The same logic is exposed in Malibu, where federal disaster relief from the Eisenhower years onward “established a precedent for the public subsidization of firebelt suburbs.” Worse still, politicians and the media “have allowed the essential land use issue—the rampant uncontrolled proliferation of firebelt suburbs—to be camouflaged in a neutral discourse about natural hazards and public safety.” Davis documents how influential property owners in Malibu fueled “official hysteria about suburban wildfire,” spread “all kinds of wild rumors” about arsonists and sinister plots against property (shown to be groundless with the exception of a hapless transient who lit a fire that got out of hand), and brutally and thoughtlessly pushed official policy toward a scientifically discredited and ecologically disastrous policy of fire containment. All of this is contrasted with the approach to fire ecology in low-income and largely immigrant downtown LA, where periodic apartment and hotel fires have taken a deadly toll. Official laxity coupled with property-owners’ negligence and greed create a deadly climate of unbridled fire hazards. “Needless to say,” Davis writes, “there is no comparable investment in the fire, toxic, or earthquake safety of inner city communities. Instead, as in many things, we tolerate two systems of hazard prevention, separate and unequal.” The effect is “to recycle natural disaster as class struggle.”
3 days ago
Burned-over district - Wikipedia
The term was coined by Charles Grandison Finney, who in his 1876 book Autobiography of Charles G. Finney referred to a "burnt district" to denote an area in central and western New York State during the Second Great Awakening. "I found that region of country what, in the western phrase, would be called, a 'burnt district.' There had been, a few years previously, a wild excitement passing through that region, which they called a revival of religion, but which turned out to be spurious." "It was reported as having been a very extravagant excitement; and resulted in a reaction so extensive and profound, as to leave the impression on many minds that religion was a mere delusion. A great many men seemed to be settled in that conviction. Taking what they had seen as a specimen of a revival of religion, they felt justified in opposing anything looking toward the promoting of a revival." These spurious movements created feelings of apprehension towards the genuine revivals which Finney was influential in. In references where the religious revival is related to reform movements of the period, such as abolition, women's rights, and utopian social experiments, the region is expanded to include those areas of central New York that were important to these movements. The historical study of the phenomena began with Whitney R. Cross, in 1951.[2][3] However, Linda K. Pritchard uses statistical data to show that compared to the rest of New York State, the Ohio River Valley in the lower Midwest, and indeed the country as a whole, the religiosity of the Burned-over District was typical rather than exceptional.[4]
3 days ago
Bone music: the Soviet bootleg records pressed on x-rays | Music | The Guardian
Coates found that he had stumbled upon the postwar Soviet phenomenon of “bone music” (roentgenizdat) – bootleg recordings of music pressed on to discarded x-rays that had been banned in the USSR, lest they promote insurrectionary tendencies in listeners. Perhaps the authorities had a point. If the relatively tame jump-jive of Bill Haley & the Comets’ Rock Around the Clock had British teenagers ripping seats out of cinemas in frenzied excitement, one has to wonder what it would have done to young Russians. For teenagers who didn’t much fancy joining the Leninist youth brigades of the Komsomol, the lure of the stilyagi – a hipper subculture that embraced all things jazz, rock’n’roll and Hollywood – must have seemed irresistibly exotic. Certainly appealing enough to send them along to self-styled “culture traders” such as Rudy Fuchs, an engineering student who was so keen to get involved with western music that he regularly gave blood in exchange for cash so that he could save up for a recording lathe. Blood money in exchange for bone music.
3 days ago
Riddle of the red deer: Orkney deer arrived by Neolithic ship, study reveals | The Guardian
Europe’s red deer probably survived the ice ages somewhere in the Iberian peninsula, and spread across the continent as the glaciers retreated. They were the ancient European’s first animal resource, until the arrival of farming from the Middle East. Although the genetic lineages of the island deer were unique, one at least matched deer fibre found in the clothing of Ötzi the Iceman, the copper age humanwho died on an Alpine glacier 5,000 years ago.
3 days ago
Neolithic red deer colonisation | Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences
Interestingly, Martínková et al. [4] posit that the large number of voles that must have arrived on Orkney imply the transport of livestock from mainland Europe (Belgium) with the vole ‘stowaways’ in the grass, bedding or fodder. That study found high genetic diversity of voles, indicating that a relatively large number of individuals must have been moved. This study finds relatively high genetic diversity in Neolithic deer from Orkney and the Outer Hebrides, also suggesting that a large number of individuals may have been moved to establish those populations. Our results do not identify any obvious source population, although the outer island deer cluster with the Western lineage of European deer, so the source is likely to be northern Europe.
3 days ago
New Slave Labor: California Prisoners Fight Fires For Less Than $2 An Hour
‘‘The pay is ridiculous,’’ said La’Sonya Edwards, a 35-year-old incarcerated woman who makes a little more than $500 a year. ‘‘There are some days we are worn down to the core,’’ she said. ‘‘And this isn’t that different from slave conditions. We need to get paid more for what we do.’’
3 days ago
The Incarcerated Women Who Fight California’s Wildfires - The New York Times
When they work, California’s inmates typically earn between 8 cents and 95 cents an hour. They make office furniture for state employees, state license plates, prison uniforms, anything that any state institution might use. But wages in the forestry program, while still wildly low by outside standards, are significantly better than the rest. At Malibu 13, one of three conservation camps that house women, the commander, John Scott, showed me a printout: Inmate firefighters can make a maximum of $2.56 a day in camp and $1 an hour when they’re fighting fires. Those higher wages recognize the real dangers that inmate firefighters face.
3 days ago
Revisiting Mike Davis: The case for letting Malibu burn
“The Case for Letting Malibu Burn” depicted Malibu and other wealthy cities built in the boonies as created not for “love of the great outdoors or frontier rusticity,” but rather as “thickets of privacy” against L.A.’s working classes and people of color.
We enable this white flight into the mountains, he argued, by not just allowing development where there shouldn’t be any, but also subsidizing those affected by the inevitable wildfire in the form of cheap fire insurance and squadrons of first responders deployed around the clock at the hint of an ember.
3 days ago
There's literally no point in being a vegan or vegetarian if you're still chuffing coke | Metro News
To grow coca, farmers use pesticides which are banned in Colombia. The first stage of production involves chopping coca leaves and dusting them with lime salt before adding kerosene (that’s the stuff that fuels aeroplanes) or diesel fuel on to them and giving it a good stir. Then it’s heated and filtered and mixed with sulphuric acid and caustic soda. Once the key element is siphoned off, the rest is dumped in the ground or into surrounding river systems.
3 days ago
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