Monthly Archives: April 2016

The ’80s documentary that inspired the 1984 feature film Breakin

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California School District Arming Teachers

A California school district voted this week to allow some teachers and staff to carry guns on campus; a move they say will provide “…a safe environment for students and staff members.”

The Kingsburg Joint Union High School District Board of Trustees voted to approve a new policy on Monday for the small town near Fresno. This is only the second school district in the state to do so.

The policy allows for the school district’s superintendent to designate no more than five district employees whom may carry a concealed firearm and ammunition at any given time. According to a board agenda, employees who wish to carry a weapon must fill out an application, and meet the following criteria:

  1. The employee must be a lawful holder of a valid and current Carrying Concealed Weapons (CCW) issued by any California sheriff
  2. This CCW must have no restrictions imposed by the issuing authority relative to possession on school grounds or public property
  3. The employee must have completed a training designated by the superintendent
  4. The employee must have completed any training program required by the Districts workers’ compensation, liability or other insurance carrier, as those training requirements my change from time to time
  5. The employee must have submitted a completed and signed Firearms Possession Application and Firearms Use Agreement

District documents also indicate the superintendent will take things like the employee’s conduct, discipline record and evaluations into account when considering him or her for approval of carrying a gun on campus.


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3D Printed Concrete Castle

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Obama: ‘If We Let Americans Sue Saudis for 9/11, Foreigners Will Begin Suing US Non-Stop’


President Barack Obama has said the classified pages of the 9/11 Commission report that do not “compromise major national security interests” may “hopefully” be soon released, but argued against any potential legal action against Saudi citizens.

Obama, who flew to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, discussed in an interview with Charlie Rose his relationship with the Saudi regime and the controversially-classified 28 pages of the report, which some believe contain links between 9/11 terrorists or Al-Qaeda and Saudi officials.

The full conversation aired Tuesday night on PBS after initially airing highlights on CBS News.

Former US Senator Bob Graham, who has seen the pages as intelligence committee chair, had already told the CBS program “60 Minutes” that he believes the Saudi government helped the 9/11 hijackers.

When asked by Rose if he had read the pages, Obama said he “had a sense of what’s in there.”

While admitting it has been a long time since the US intelligence started evaluating the data contained in the classified pages, Obama said that “a whole bunch of stuff” needs to be “verified.”


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Cheap and Easy to Build 3D Printer

I have long dreamt building my own 3D printer on the cheap, but the idea of using linear actuators always scared me of doing so. First of all they are expensive, and secondly great care needs to be taken during construction to have good accuracy in the end due to the open loop nature of traditional implementation.

I eventually realized that moving a plane is not that hard without using any linear actuators. You can basically take an holonomic drive system from a robot to do so. In sum, is like having an robot turned upside down and fixed to the ground, and having a work plane above it. Since the robot is fixed, when the wheels turn the work plane moves instead.

The main problem with this approach is the accuracy of moving the work plane since my idea is to use either servos or DC motors. To compensate for that the plan is to use optical mice (more than one for accuracy) to correct the movement of the work plane. The Z axis should use a similar approach, but with a simple wheel.

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Epigenetic Eugenics, The Population Control Of Today

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After Netflix crackdown on border-hopping, Canadians ready to return to piracy

Many Canadians are enraged by Netflix’s declared war on cross-border watchers, who skirt the company’s rules by sneaking across virtual borders to stream Netflix shows and movies restricted to other countries.

Sometimes it’s hard to be satisfied with Netflix Canada’s library when our American neighbours have, it’s estimated, access to almost double the content.

Since mid-January, the streaming service giant is cracking down on border hoppers by blocking access to foreign content. Netflix made the sudden move reportedly at the behest of Hollywood studios who demand country-exclusive licensing agreements.

But this big and bold clampdown may backfire — at least in Canada. Turns out, Canadians are big pirates at heart. Apparently, we feel somewhat entitled to download illegal content when we don’t have cheap and easy access.

Instead of shelling out $10 for a Netflix subscription, some people now may opt to pay nothing at all to get what they want.

‘Whoops, something went wrong’

Disgruntled Netflix customers now exploring piracy include Suzan Lorenz in Toronto.

“I think I might be saying goodbye to Netflix and go the truly illegal route,” she tells CBC News.

For about a year, Lorenz subscribed to Netflix Canada, but her family freely accessed the streaming service’s shows from across the globe.

Her three children like to watch the forensics investigation series, CSI. Lorenz enjoys European crime dramas like the original Swedish version of Wallander. These TV series can be found in Netflix’s U.S. library but are technically not available to Canadian customers.


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FBI admits flaws in hair analysis over decades

The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000.

Of 28 examiners with the FBI Laboratory’s microscopic hair comparison unit, 26 overstated forensic matches in ways that favored prosecutors in more than 95 percent of the 268 trials reviewed so far, according to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and the Innocence Project, which are assisting the government with the country’s largest post-conviction review of questioned forensic evidence.

The cases include those of 32 defendants sentenced to death. Of those, 14 have been executed or died in prison, the groups said under an agreement with the government to release results after the review of the first 200 convictions.

The FBI errors alone do not mean there was not other evidence of a convict’s guilt. Defendants and federal and state prosecutors in 46 states and the District are being notified to determine whether there are grounds for appeals. Four defendants were previously exonerated.


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Woman killed by train while investigating ‘goatman’ myth

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – An Ohio woman walking on an old but still active railroad trestle in east Louisville was apparently investigating a local urban legend with her boyfriend when she was hit and killed by a train, a deputy coroner said Sunday.

Roquel Bain, 26, of Dayton, Ohio, died of multiple blunt force injuries suffered in the collision and subsequent fall from the trestle, Deputy Coroner Jack Arnold said. The collision, which occurred near the 3100 block of South Pope Lick Road, was first reported to police at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Bain was pronounced dead at the scene. The coroner estimated that she fell between 80 and 100 feet. Her boyfriend survived with no injuries, police say.

Arnold said Bain and her boyfriend were visiting Louisville to take a “haunted” tour of the Waverly Hills Sanitorium. Before their tour started, they heard about the “Pope Lick Monster” myth. Curious, the two made their way up to the train tracks when the train surprised them, the man told the coroner. The man said that the two realized they couldn’t make it to the end of the trestle so they decided to hang off the sides, but Bain couldn’t move fast enough.


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Rice and Beans OK for Passover for First Time Since 1200s

(Newser) – Foods like rice and beans may be on the Passover tables of some Jews for the first time in 800 years thanks to a ruling by a committee of rabbis in the Conservative movement, Smithsonian reports. Those foods, along with corn, beans, and peanuts, which belong to a category called kitniyot, were previously banned for Ashkenazi Jews living outside of Israel during Passover, which began Friday. The reason for the prohibition? Those foods are sometimes mixed with wheat, the eating of which is permissible during the 8-day festival only in the form of matzah. To avoid any accidental consumption of wheat, kitniyot was banned altogether in the 13th century. Other groups, such as the Sephardi Jews, have always eaten these foods on Passover, the Times of Israel reports.


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Buzz Lightyear wins battle over driving licence

A man who changed his name to Buzz Lightyear for charity has won a battle with the DVLA to have a driving licence in his new name.

Mr Lightyear, formerly Sam Stephens, had changed his name by deed poll but said the DVLA would not honour his request, citing reputational damage.

The 26-year-old from Devon, who also has a tattoo of the character, said he had now been issued with a new licence.

The DVLA said a “range of evidence” was needed with the application.

The spokesman said: “We recognise people may choose to change their name for many reasons. The driving licence is an important official document which is used both here and abroad.

“That is why we look for a range of evidence to support the application before we update our records.”

Image copyright Buzz Lightyear
Image caption The DVLA originally refused to change Buzz Lightyear’s name on his driving licence as they needed a “range of evidence” to support the application

Mr Lightyear said he wanted to do “the most outrageous thing” possible to raise money for the children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent, and chose the Buzz Lightyear theme because Toy Story was his favourite childhood film.


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Some Public Schools Are Buying Guns


After Sandy Hook, some rural schools are feeling pressured to match potential school shooters’ arsenals. It’s a ‘fine line’ between vigilance and going too far, one official says.

  • Jessica Hill/AP/File

It is an eye-opening line item in the budget for the Douglas County School District in Colorado: $12,300 for 10 semiautomatic long rifles.

In the post-Sandy Hook era, however, it is not a wholly unprecedented request.

Rural school districts, in particular, looked at the military-style weapon used in the Newtown, Conn., school shooting as a game changer. With schools sometimes situated miles from the nearest law enforcement, how could such districts adequately prepare for such a threat?


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Virginia man with ‘suspicious bacon’ takes plea deal

A Madison Heights man accused of wearing a camouflage mask on a neighbor’s property with a firearm and suspicious bag of bacon pleaded guilty Wednesday to misdemeanor counts of carrying a gun while intoxicated and trespassing.

Evan Patrick Cater, 31, was given a two-year suspended sentence in Amherst County Circuit Court Wednesday and, as part of a plea deal, agrees to be searched at any time by law enforcement. He also waived his right to possess a firearm for a two-year period and handed his concealed carry permit to a bailiff before leaving the courtroom Wednesday.

Deputies arrested Cater after he was discovered hiding behind a dog kennel on a neighbor’s property on the 200 block of Sage Lane in Madison Heights around 10 p.m. Oct. 18 after Bobby Wood, the property owner, heard his dogs barking and went to investigate.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Andrew Childress said Wood saw a person in the backyard but couldn’t make out who it was. Wood called 911.

Arriving to the scene, Amherst County Sheriff’s Deputy Susan Jackson spotted Cater lying face down in the woods with a camouflage shirt and camouflage hunting mask and a semi-automatic handgun fully loaded, said Childress. A few feet away was a bag of raw bacon with a sticky, oily substance that later was found to have contained an engine lubricant oil, Childress said.


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Netflix CEO Says Annoyed VPN Users Are ‘Inconsequential’

When Netflix recently expanded into 190 different countries, we noted that the company ramped up its efforts to block customers that use VPNs to watch geo-restricted content. More accurately, Netflix stepped up its efforts to give the illusion it seriously cracks down on VPN users, since the company has basically admitted that trying to block such users is largely impossible since they can just rotate IP addresses and use other tricks to avoid blacklists. And indeed, that’s just what most VPN providers did, updating their services so they still work despite the Netflix crackdown.

Netflix’s frankly over-stated “crackdown” is an effort to soothe international broadcasters, justly worried about licensing content to a company that is demolishing decades-old broadcasting power centers. But even superficial as it may be, Netflix’s crackdown on VPNs still managed to erode user privacy and security, since obviously there are countless people using VPNs for reasons other than engaging in global Netflix tourism.

With that in mind, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings probably didn’t win any new friends this week when stated on the company’s latest earnings call that VPN users are loud but, ultimately, “inconsequential”:


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Listen to an FBI “Honeypot” on the Job

After one woman broke his heart, Khalil Abu Rayyan, a 21-year-old Michigan man, contemplated suicide. Then, when he confided his dark thoughts to another woman, she suggested he steer his violence toward other people.

Both women, it turned out, were FBI honeypots, and one of the recorded conversations with Rayyan entered into ongoing court proceedings provides a rare glimpse into how federal informants work.

The U.S. government now alleges that Rayyan, who has been indicted on federal gun charges, is an Islamic State sympathizer who talked of attacking a church in Detroit. Federal prosecutors have not filed terrorism-related charges, yet they are handling Rayyan’s indictment with the secrecy of a national security investigation.

The government has proposed a “limited protective order” that “would have kept sealed anything that even summarized material the government deemed sensitive,” according to a filing by the defense, which has so far refused to accept the proposal.

Based on those records now available, it appears the first FBI informant to enter Rayyan’s life was “Ghaada.” They struck up an intense relationship online, and even talked about marriage, children, and a life together.


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WASHINGTON: Army wants to place miniaturized missile defense systems on its armored vehicles to protect them from anti-tank weapons – @AceNewsServices — Ace News Services

#AceNewsReport – April.28: Army Pushes Missile Defense For Tanks: MAPS [UPDATED with details on $90 million plus-up from House defense bill, total contract values] Alarmed by deadly battles in Ukraine, the Army wants to place miniaturized missile defense systems on its armored vehicles to protect them from anti-tank weapons. To reach this high-tech holy grail, […]

via WASHINGTON: Army wants to place miniaturized missile defense systems on its armored vehicles to protect them from anti-tank weapons – @AceNewsServices — Ace News Services

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“Magicians” Prove A Spiritual World Exists

Most of us have seen a magician perform, either on TV, or in person. We have all been impressed with their skill, whether it is with cards, birds, coins, levitation, disappearing acts, death defying feats, and so on. The author of this very long video contends that magicians perform their feats, not necessarily with trickery and/or sleight of hand, but with the aid of spirits and demons, and they know it, as well as admitting to it in many cases. He notes that many of the feats of magic accomplished by those such as David Copperfield, David Blaine, The Blackstones, Houdini, and many others are not possible without the help of the spirit world or demons. He also shows that all of the greats from the 19th through 21rst century frequently show demons aiding and abetting the magician in his practice of magic on their posters. Such as this one…


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Anonymous Opened Virtual School For Teaching Hacking

The hacktivist group Anonymous have opened a virtual school OnionIRC for teaching the techniques of hacking to expose the corruption and disrupt surveillance operations of governments. The classes on OnionIRC for users with the different levels of training will be held on a regular basis.

Anonymous Opened Virtual School For Teaching Hacking

The hacktivist group Anonymous have launched a virtual school in a dark web hidden service that allows you to share your experiences with the implementation and anonymizers cyberattacks. OnionIRCprovides a forum to which access can be obtained through the Tor Messenger. The main objective of the hacktivist group Anonymous through this new service is to “arm the current and coming generations of internet activists with education.”
According to the hacktivist group Anonymous, “Our plan is to provide virtual classrooms where, on a scheduled basis, ‘teachers’ can give lessons on any number of subjects,”. According to the Anonymous, the number of users online is growing every day. “We started very well with a great user base and virtual classes to educate hacking”, reported the hacktivist group Anonymous onTwitter.


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Wikipedia May Get Delivered To The Moon

A group of science enthusiasts from Berlin, Germany, are planning to send their own custom-built rover to the Moon. And they want to take Wikipedia with them. In the year of Wikipedia’s 15th anniversary, our global community of editors is invited to prepare the ultimate time (and space) capsule of knowledge.

Wikipedia to the Moon – in a nutshell

It has been almost 40 years since Voyager 2 took a message from humanity to outer space with its “Golden Record”. It featured greetings, some sounds and images, but not the sum of all knowledge.

The Part-Time Scientists are one of five teams left competing in the Google Lunar XPRIZE challenge. Their goal is to reach the Moon by 2017, land their rover safely on the surface, have it drive 500 meters and send images back to Earth. There’s not much room in a space vehicle for things to take along. Typically, this so-called payload is used for scientific experiments. The Moon rover that the Part-Time Scientists are building has room for some of those, but it also comes with a data disc that has been offered by the German Wikimedia Chapter, Wikimedia Deutschland, in order to use for Wikipedia.

Why not simply take a Wikipedia dump and put it on the disc? Because the available disc space is very limited and would not even hold one of the large language versions—even without version histories or media files. More importantly, Wikipedia is a truly global project and to date features content in almost 300 languages. Even if only a snapshot of Wikipedia can be brought to the Moon, its content will equal a genuine snapshot of the sum of all human knowledge. Thus, it should carry not only the quality of the work of the Wikipedia community but also its cultural diversity, its different perspectives, its many voices.


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DHS Claims Open Source Is Like Giving The Mafia A Copy Of FBI Code

Late last week, the DHS’s Chief Information Officer Luke McCormack (or someone from his office) posted comments to GitHub arguing against the proposed policy of making 20% of its code (whatever that means) open source in the interest of better sharing between agencies. The rationale is that shared code could save tax dollars by preventing paying developers to perform redundant work. The DHS felt strongly about this and said as much using an Excel-based parade of horrors.

Many private companies (especially security companies) do not publish their source code is because it allows attackers to (a) construct highly targeted attacks against the software, or (b) build-in malware directly into the source code, compile, then replace key software components as ‘doppelgangers’ of the original. How will this be prevented? Government-specific examples: citizenship anti-fraud rules that are coded into software, identification of special codes used to flag law enforcement actions, APT threat indicator scripts, Mafia having a copy of all FBI system code, terrorist with access to air traffic control software, etc. How will this be prevented?

Contrary to the CIO’s statements, open source software can actually be safer than closed source options. More eyes on the source means more people finding flaws and holes and working towards fixes, rather than simply compiling internal discoveries and forwarding them to the vendor and allowing the company to determine which holes/flaws should be repaired and in which order.


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Dolmio and Uncle Ben’s warn their pasta sauces should only be eaten once a week

Mars food, the company behind Dolmio’s pasta sauce, is to introduce a new label advising its consumers that its products that are higher in fat, salt and sugar should be only eaten “occasionally”.

The company is to release a list of “occasional” products – those to be enjoyed once per week and a list of “everyday” products, as part of a five year health initiative, the company has announced.

Mars said some of its best loved brands from the “main meal” range, including but not limited to Uncle Ben’s, Masterfoods and Dolmio, will all be part of the new initiative which aims to help consumers make healthier food choices.

Brands from Mars food chocolate range which include chocolate bars, confections and gum will not be part of the initiative.


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Researchers Accidentally Make Batteries Last 400 Times Longer

The gel surrounding the gold nanowires with manganese oxide coating protects from corrosion, allowing the battery to last 400 times more cycles.

Rajen Dutta /University of California Irvine

The gel surrounding the gold nanowires with manganese oxide coating protects from corrosion, allowing the battery to last 400 times more cycles.

Smartphones, tablets, and most other electronics rely on rechargeable batteries, but after a few thousand uses the batteries start to lose their ability to hold a charge. The batteries of today are mainly lithium, and over time that lithium corrodes inside the battery.

Instead of lithium, researchers at UC Irvine have used gold nanowires to store electricity, and have found that their system is able to far outlast traditional lithium battery construction. The Irvine team’s system cycled through 200,000 recharges without significant corrosion or decline.

However, they don’t exactly know why. The original idea of the experiment was to make a solid-state battery: one that uses an electrolyte gel, rather than liquid, to help hold charge. Liquid batteries, like the common lithium variety, are extremely combustible and sensitive to temperature. The Irvine team was experimenting by substituting a much thicker gel.

“We started to cycle the devices, and then realized that they weren’t going to die,” said Reginald Penner, a lead author of the paper. “We don’t understand the mechanism of that yet.”

Although you may have never cracked one open (we hope), most of the batteries in your gadgets contain liquid. Liquid is used in part because its conductivity allows flexible and partial charging and discharging. Finding highly conductive electrolyte gels has proven difficult.


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Swimming pools forced to put up signs forbidding men from using hair dryers on their privates



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Hershey’s Will Start Selling Meat Bars

No beef in this one.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

(Newser) – It’s what every young child desperately saves his or her allowance for: the chance to go to the supermarket and buy a delicious Hershey’s … blueberry barbecue beef bar. Yes, that’s a meat bar, though “we aren’t going out there saying it is a meat bar,” a Hershey’s marketing VP tells the Wall Street Journal. “We’re saying it is a Krave bar.” For any non-dried-meat aficionados, Krave currently exists, it being a beef jerky line Hershey acquired in 2015 that turns out jazzed-up flavors like pineapple orange. The chocolate king’s line of Krave protein bars, which debut in August, are geared toward the health-minded. “It is a very low-calorie, high-protein choice,” Shane Chambers, the GM of Krave Pure Foods, told Food Business News last month.


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Your dog doesn’t want your hugs, psychologist says

Dogs feel safest when they aren’t being restrained, psychologist Stanley Coren writes

When a dog is stressed, it will look away and flatten its ears

Coren found in a random sample of pictures that more than 80 percent of dogs look unhappy when hugged

The next time you want to show your dog some love, you might want to keep your distance. Your dog doesn’t want your hugs, according to Stanley Coren, a professor at the University of British Columbia in an article in Psychology Today.

Coren, who focuses in dog behavior, wrote that dogs dislike being held by humans in part because they are meant to be running animals, able to escape when being threatened. Holding a dog back, he added, “can increase his stress level and, if the dog’s anxiety becomes significantly intense, he may bite.”

You can tell if your hug is making a dog anxious by noticing whether it is closing its eyes or averting them, flattening its ears, yawning, or licking its lips.

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New Suntory beer cans feature 15 different Shinkansen bullet trains and local landscapes — RocketNews24

Now you can enjoy the beauty of a high-speed rail journey through Japan with this collection of exclusive picture-perfect cans. Established in 1899, Japanese brewing and distilling company Suntory is known for its whisky and beers, and one if its best-selling brews is “The Premium Malt’s”, a German Pilsener style beer brewed in Osaka. Having won the Grand Gold Medal…

via New Suntory beer cans feature 15 different Shinkansen bullet trains and local landscapes — RocketNews24

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The Rise of “Bias Response Teams” on Campus

“Trump 2016.” After this message was scrawled in chalk across the Emory University campus earlier this month, some 40 students met with President James Wagner to express their “fear” and “frustration,” insisting that “Trump’s platform and his values undermine Emory’s values [of] diversity and inclusivity.” Wagner reassured the students that the university would review the footage from security cameras to identify the culprit. “If they’re students,” he said, “they will go through the conduct violation process.” In a subsequent campus-wide email, Wagner declared that Emory’s “commitment to respect, civility, and inclusion calls us to provide a safe environment.” He also emphasized that the school would make “immediate refinements” to the “procedural deficiencies” of its “bias incident and response process.”

Bias incident reporting is not unique to Emory. More than 100 colleges and universities have Bias Response Teams, which aim to foster “a safe and inclusive environment” by providing “advocacy and support to anyone on campus who has experienced, or been a witness of, an incident of bias or discrimination.” These teams have multiple missions, including educational “prevention,” investigating alleged bias incidents, disciplining offenders, and organizing “coping events” after such incidents. Depending on the campus, these teams are known as BRTs, BARTs, BERTs or BIRTs. Students and faculty occasionally serve on BRTs, but they are largely composed of administrators, with sizable representation from Residential Life and Dean of Students offices. As committees with unelected members that meet behind closed doors, they lack both transparency and accountability.


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Is The Singularity A Religious Doctrine?

A colleague forwarded John Horgan‘s recent Scientific American article, “The Singularity and the Neural Code.” Horgan argues that the intelligence augmentation and mind uploading that would lead to a technological singularity depend upon cracking the neural code. The problem is that we don’t understand our neural code, the software or algorithms that transform neurophysiology into the stuff of minds like perceptions, memories, and meanings. In other words, we know very little about how brains make minds.

The neural code is science’s deepest, most consequential problem. If researchers crack the code, they might solve such ancient philosophical conundrums as the mind-body problem and the riddle of free will. A solution to the neural code could also, in principle, give us unlimited power over our brains and hence minds. Science fiction—including mind-control, mind-reading, bionic enhancement and even psychic uploading—could become reality. But the most profound problem in science is also by far the hardest.


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New Dairy Alternative: Pea Milk


(Newser) – A new alternative to cow milk comes from a source you wouldn’t expect: peas. Ripple Foods is about to roll out the product nationally, first at Whole Foods and then at Target, reports “It’s creamy, sweet, and—don’t worry—tastes nothing like peas,” says a post at Co.Exist. The idea is attracting plenty of buzz because of a slew of positives, the notable one being that the drink has 8 grams of protein per serving, the same amount as milk from cows and eight times the amount of almond milk. “As many non-dairy beverages lack protein, this fact alone may draw consumers,” observes a post at It also has 50% more calcium than dairy milk, and a much smaller carbon footprint than either dairy or almond milk.


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This 18-Year-Old Invented A Coffee Mug That Can Charge Your Phone

Ann Makosinski

Courtesy Nan Fisher Entertainment

Ann Makosinski

Ann Makosinski’s first serious toy was a box of transistors. She’s been tinkering ever since, creating projects with a hot-glue gun and household items. A few years ago, she used her hobby to solve a real-world problem.

A friend in the Philippines was failing school; without electricity, she couldn’t do her homework at night. So Makosinski devised a flashlight powered by the heat of your hand. It uses peltier tiles, which generate electricity when one side is hotter than the other, to draw energy from the heat difference between hand and air. Makosinski submitted her invention to the 2013 Google Science Fair and won first place in her age group.


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Illinois Police Department Pulls Plug On Body Cameras Because Accountability Is ‘A Bit Burdensome’

Police body cameras aren’t the cure-all for bad policing. However, they are an important addition to any force, providing not only a means for accountability (albeit an imperfect one) but also documentation of day-to-day police work. They can help weed out those who shouldn’t be cops as well as protect officers from bogus complaints.

It’s not enough to just have the cameras, though. Effort must be made to keep them in working order (and to prevent intentional damage/disabling). The footage must also be preserved and provided to the public when requested. This does mean there’s additional workload and expenses to be considered, but the potential benefits of increased documentation should outweigh the drawbacks.

Not so, apparently, for the Minooka Police Department in Illinois. The agency has decided to end its body camera program because accountability and transparency are just too much work.

Minooka Police Chief Justin Meyer said Friday the issue was not with the functionality of the cameras, but that it became a burden for staff to fill the many requests for video footage.

How much of a burden?


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GE Building World’s Largest Jet Engine with 3-D Printed Parts

General Electric this month started testing the largest jet engine ever built, at its wooded test site near Peebles, Ohio. The new engine, the GE9X, is more efficient, more powerful and more heat resistant than its predecessors. It’s also made with 3-D-printed parts.


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Why Obamacare Is Failing at “Universal Coverage”

The ACA has stimulated dramatic changes to America’s individual health-insurance market. It has placed more restrictions on insurance pricing (i.e., charging individuals different premiums depending on their health and age), and it has mandated benefit increases for insurance plans.

Such changes have caused premiums on the ACA exchanges to soar by 49 percent, on average; younger, healthier adults have seen their insurance costs rise the most.

To encourage enrollment on the ACA exchanges despite surging premiums, the ACA deploys carrots (premium and cost-sharing subsidies) and a stick (taxing individuals who remain uninsured). In 2015, for example, the average monthly premium subsidy for ACA-exchange enrollees was $263 per month, which reduced monthly premiums by 72 percent, on average — from $364 to $101.

In 2014, after accounting for attrition after the end of the first open-enrollment period (March 31, 2014), 6.7 million individuals had enrolled by December 31. In 2015, 2.6 million additional individuals enrolled (and remained on their plans), raising the total to 9.3 million people enrolled on December 31. If similar trends hold, total enrollment on the ACA exchanges will hit 10 million on December 31, 2016.


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Man wins court case over ‘Ladies Night’

A man who claims to have been the target of discrimination by a club that offered ‘ladies night’ discounts has won a legal case against the owners.

However, lawyers say the legal implications of District Court decision is unclear in the absence of any legal argument in court over the case. The accused did not turn up for Wednesday’s hearing at which the provisional judgement was made.

The Equal Opportunities Commission had helped the man bring the case to court, arguing that the club violated the Sex Discrimination Ordinance by making male customers pay significantly more than women to obtain the same services in July 2014.

The court has ordered the company which owns the Karaoke bar and disco to compensate the man, but the amount has yet to be decided.


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School hit by ‘mass hysteria’ closed,journalists hear screams from the classrooms

KOTA BARU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – The gates of a school in Malaysia’s state of Kelantan, where students have been plauged by “mass hysteria”, were closed to reporters on Sunday (April 17) – the day the school was set to reopen – but screams were heard coming from the classrooms.SMK Pengkalan Chepa 2 was shut down for three days last Thursday to allow bomohs, ustaz and Islamic traditional practitioners to rid the place of bad spirits.

It does not seem to be working.


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Peter Max’s groovy pop art paper airplanes

I take it as a given that the work of Peter Max isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but I’ve always been a fan. When I was a kid, this nifty green coffee pot was a fixture in my family’s kitchen, and what can I say, that insidious infiltration of my psyche must have left some residue, because I usually find that Max’s colorful, playful psychedelia has the effect of raising my spirits. I like his stuff.

I learned recently that Max published a book of paper airplanes in 1971 for Pyramid Books. What a marvelous idea! The cover of the book features a plea to treat the environment with care, and Max’s infectious positivity makes its way into the design of the planes, which are emblazoned with cute messages like “HA HA” or “I’M A BIRD” or “I CAN’T TALK, ‘CAUSE I’M LAUGHING.” The book sold for $1.50 at the time.


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India’s first bullet train will run under the sea

India is getting its first bullet train, which will link up Mumbai with Ahmedabad and include a stint below sea level, reports The Economic Times. In other words, in the first bullet train of the country, the passengers will be able to experience the thrill of riding under the sea while travelling between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

A senior Railway Ministry official involved with the public transporter’s ambitious bullet train project said that the 508 km long Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed rail corridor will have a 21 km long tunnel under the sea. While most part of the corridor is proposed to be on the elevated track, the under-the-sea stretch will lie near the Thane creek towards Virar, according to reports.

Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train Will Have An Under Sea Passage

The distance between the two cities will be covered in two hours using the new train, with a maximum speed of 350 kmph and operating speed of 320 kmph. At present, the country’s Duronto Express takes about seven hours to cover the distance between the two financial centres.


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Ohio Dad Faces Charges for Stranger-Danger Prank

A suburban Cleveland man had a friend pose as a threatening ex-convict during a test to see whether his teenagers would let a stranger into their home, prompting them to flee and call 911, police said Friday.

A prosecutor will consider potential child-endangering charges against the adults.

Westlake police said the father “refused to acknowledge the emotional upset he had caused” and described his 14- and 16-year-old sons’ actions as an “epic fail.” But officers commended them for barricading themselves in a bedroom, jumping out a second-floor window onto a garage roof and then running to a neighbor’s home to call for help.


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Prince Left Behind 26 Albums of Unreleased Music


Up until he sadly passed away last Thursday, it appears that Prince had been squirrelling away up to 26 albums worth of music in a secret vault. “It’s an actual bank vault, with a thick door,” said Susan Rogers when speaking to The Guardian last year.

In an interview with The New York Post in 2015, Prince said: “I’ve vaulted so much stuff, going way back to the ’80s, because I didn’t want people to hear it—it wasn’t ready […] One day I’ll go back and finish it, and it’ll feel like no time has passed. To me, time folds back on itself.”


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