Daily Archives: June 19, 2017

The dark side of poutine: Canada taking credit for Quebec dish amounts to cultural appropriation, academic says

Thousands of academics have gathered in Toronto this week for the annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, presenting papers on everything from whether poutine is a form of cultural appropriation to the ampersand as a symbol of gentrification. In this week-long Oh, The Humanities! series, the National Post showcases some of the most interesting research.Canada’s embrace of poutine as a national dish amounts to cultural appropriation — contributing to a creeping “Canadization” that threatens to absorb Québécois culture, a Quebec academic argues in a new study.Nicolas Fabien-Ouellet, a Montreal-born graduate student at the University of Vermont, will present his paper, “Poutine Dynamics,” at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at Ryerson University this week. The paper, he says, exposes “how the Canadian culinary identity is constructed and construed by means of cultural appropriation processes.”In an interview ahead of the presentation, he stressed he isn’t claiming that eating, cooking or adapting the dish is cultural appropriation. (In fact, a particularly inspired section of his paper calls for a change in thinking about poutine — to look at it more as a food category, like soup, rather than a singular dish — to encourage further twists on the classic recipe.)The problem for Fabien-Ouellet is poutine’s status as “Canadian.” He points to poutine festivals across the country and polls that rank it as among the best of Canadian dishes. But poutine is a Québécois creation, not a Canadian one, he insists — and suggesting otherwise ignores that poutine “has been used as a form of stigma against a minority group that is still at risk of cultural absorption.”

Source: The dark side of poutine: Canada taking credit for Quebec dish amounts to cultural appropriation, academic says

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Florida Fisherman Loses $2.8 Million Prize After He Fails Polygraph Test

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A Florida fisherman lost $2.8 million in prize money after he was disqualified from a fishing tournament in Maryland for failing a polygraph test.

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Phillip Heasley, of Naples, the winner of the 2016 White Marlin Open tournament in Ocean City, Maryland that took place in August 2016, would be disqualified from the tournament, and 13 other contestants who won other competitions would split the prize money, the Baltimore Sun reported.

Heasley and his teammates won the tournament after catching a 76.5-pound white marlin but failed the two polygraph tests required under tournament rules.

via Florida Fisherman Loses $2.8 Million Prize After He Fails Polygraph Test – Breitbart

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Breatharian couple claim they live a ‘food-free’ lifestyle and haven’t felt hungry since 2008

Studies have shown the health benefits of brief periods of fasting, but one couple is making the bizarre claim that they have learned to survive largely without food and are instead sustained by “cosmic nourishment”.Camila Castello, 34, and Akahi Ricardo, 36, are what is known as “Breatharians”. They say they eat just three times a week, with each ‘meal’ consisting of just a piece of fruit or some vegetable broth.Such claims have attracted equal measures of ridicule and alarm in the past. Breatharianism has been linked to the deaths of several people, including Verity Linn, a 49-year-old Australian whose emaciated body was found on a mountain in north-west Scotland in 1999, alongside a diary recounting her 21-day fast and a copy of a book by the founder of Breatharianism, known as Jasmuheen.

Source: Breatharian couple claim they live a ‘food-free’ lifestyle and haven’t felt hungry since 2008 | The Independent

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Batteries that “drink” seawater could power long-range underwater vehicles

The long range of airborne drones helps them perform critical tasks in the skies. Now MIT spinout Open Water Power (OWP) aims to greatly improve the range of unpiloted underwater vehicles (UUVs), helping them better perform in a range of applications under the sea.Recently acquired by major tech firm L3 Technologies, OWP has developed a novel aluminum-water power system that’s safer and more durable, and that gives UUVs a tenfold increase in range over traditional lithium-ion batteries used for the same applications.The power systems could find a wide range of uses, including helping UUVs dive deeper, for longer periods of time, into the ocean’s abyss to explore ship wreckages, map the ocean floor, and conduct research. They could also be used for long-range oil prospecting out at sea and various military applications.With the acquisition, OWP now aims to ramp up development of its power systems, not just for UUVs, but also for various ocean-floor monitoring systems, sonar buoy systems, and other marine-research devices.

Source: Batteries that “drink” seawater could power long-range underwater vehicles | MIT News

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CRTC bans cellphone unlocking fees, orders all new devices be unlocked

The era of having to pay cellular providers to unlock your cellphone will end this year.

As of Dec. 1, cellphone customers can ask their provider to unlock their phones free of charge, the CRTC announced Thursday. At the same time, it said, all newly purchased mobile devices must be provided to customers unlocked.

“It’s a big step forward,” said Rose Behar, senior reporter for the tech site MobileSyrup in Toronto.

Telecoms often order locked phones from manufacturers that are programmed to work only with their service. Then they charge a fee — typically $50 — to unlock the phone if a customer wants to switch providers.

“Essentially a locked phone did keep consumers tethered to their service provider,” because they faced paying a fee to flee, said Behar.

“Now there’s going to be so much more flexibility in being able to jump from plan to plan, from carrier to carrier. That will likely spark more competition.”

Source: CRTC bans cellphone unlocking fees, orders all new devices be unlocked – Business – CBC News

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NASA wants to probe Uranus in search of gas

We hear a lot about Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, and that’s because we have extremely fancy hardware floating around and, in some cases, cruising on the surface of those planets. The planets that lie further away from the Sun don’t get nearly as much attention, but they may soon, as NASA is currently spitballing some missions that will give us a better look at Uranus than we’ve ever gotten. Don’t Miss: This awesome web tool shows you what the 2017 eclipse will look like wherever you liveThe theoretical missions, which would see NASA spacecraft heading to both Uranus and Neptune, would be of huge scientific benefit. The idea is to determine what the planets are made of, get an idea of the atmospheric composition, and take lots of fantastic photographs, too. Researchers hope to study the weather and overall climate of the planets, while determining how they fit into the overall makeup of our Solar System.Both Uranus and Neptune still hold many secrets yet to be revealed, and the proposed missions would include both flybys and an orbiter that would send an atmospheric probe to Uranus in order to sample its gasses and detect elements. A similar option exists for Neptune, though the actual details of the mission(s) would need to be fully fleshed out before it comes anywhere near a formal proposal.

Source: NASA wants to probe Uranus in search of gas

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Earth resists NASA’s attempts to make red and green clouds 

NASA’s attempts to make red and green clouds have been thwarted by Mother Nature.The aeronautical agency’s cloud coloration cravings are, naturally, all in the name of science: the idea was to use a sounding rocket to launch “10 canisters about the size of a soft drink can” full of “vapour tracers” made of “barium, strontium and cupric-oxide”. Once released somewhere between 96 and 124 miles up, the vapour tracers were expected to make artificial clouds coloured blue-green and red. Earthbound boffins hoped they could then peer through those clouds into space, to advance our knowledge of track particle motions in space.But the plan went pear-shaped after nature objected to the launch by sending clouds into the area above the two ground stations being used for observation. High winds didn’t help matters either. A third launch attempt had to be cancelled after boats appeared in the North Atlantic region where the sounding rocket would likely splash down.Now the weather forecast has turned nasty, leading NASA to scrub the mission until June 11th at the earliest, leaving the Terrier Improved Malemute Rocket on the launchpad for now.

Source: Earth resists NASA’s attempts to make red and green clouds • The Register

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Feared removal of Texas hero’s statue prompts armed protest

Hundreds of individuals, some armed, gathered at a Houston park to protest what they believe are efforts to remove a statue of Texas hero Sam Houston because he owned slaves.There hasn’t been any organized effort to remove Houston’s statue, which has stood near a city park since 1925.Protesters, some who carried Confederate flags, said Saturday they’re concerned local activists have been calling for the statue’s removal.But it’s not clear any such removal efforts have been formally proposed in the wake of other cities around the country taking down Confederate monuments.While Houston — who was the Republic of Texas’ first president — owned slaves, he also refused to take an oath of allegiance to the Confederacy.

Source: Feared removal of Texas hero’s statue prompts armed protest

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NSA Backtracks on Warrantless Spying Information 

For more than a year, U.S. intelligence officials reassured lawmakers they were working to calculate and reveal roughly how many Americans have their digital communications vacuumed up under a warrant-less surveillance law intended to target foreigners overseas.

This week, the Trump administration backtracked, catching lawmakers off guard and alarming civil liberties advocates who say it is critical to know as Congress weighs changes to a law expiring at the end of the year that permits some of the National Security Agency’s most sweeping espionage.

“The NSA has made Herculean, extensive efforts to devise a counting strategy that would be accurate,” Dan Coats, a career Republican politician appointed by Republican President Donald Trump as the top U.S. intelligence official, testified to a Senate panel on Wednesday.

Coats said “it remains infeasible to generate an exact, accurate, meaningful, and responsive methodology that can count how often a U.S. person’s communications may be collected” under the law known as Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Source: NSA Backtracks on Warrantless Spying Information | Fortune.com

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Brit hacker admits he siphoned info from US military satellite network • The Register

A UK-based computer hacker has admitted stealing hundreds of usernames and email addresses from a US military communications system.Sean Caffrey, 25, of Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands, broke in and pinched the ranks, usernames and email addresses of more than 800 users of a satellite communications system and of about 30,000 satellite phones, back in June 2014. Exactly how he did it isn’t known: it could be an SQL injection or a web enumeration… the US government isn’t saying. Given it was only email contacts and usernames, we suspect Caffrey didn’t penetrate too far.Intelligence showed the hack originated from his home internet connection, leading to Caffrey’s arrest in March 2015.UK National Crime Agency officers found the stolen data on his hard drives following forensic examinations of his seized computers.Sean Caffrey (Photo: NCA)The US Department of Defense said it, get this, cost about $628,000 to fix the damage caused by the intrusion. Remember, that’s just usernames and email addresses. And that’s it.On Thursday, Caffrey pleaded guilty at Birmingham Crown Court to “causing a computer to perform a function to secure unauthorised access to a program or data.”Janey Young, investigations manager at the NCA, said: “After strong partnership working between the NCA, the FBI and the DoD’s Defense Criminal Investigative Service there was very clear, very compelling evidence against Sean Caffrey.

Source: Brit hacker admits he siphoned info from US military satellite network • The Register

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This ‘tree’ has the environmental benefits of a forest 

Air pollution is one of the world’s invisible killers.It causes seven million premature deaths a year, making it the largest single environmental health risk, according to the World Health Organization.In urban areas, air quality is particularly problematic. More than 80% of people living in areas where pollution is monitored are exposed to air quality levels that exceed WHO limits. And given that by 2050 two thirds of the global population will be urban, cleaning up our cities’ air is a matter of urgency.One well-established way to reduce air pollutants is to plant trees, as their leaves catch and absorb harmful particulates.But planting new trees is not always a viable option.

Source: This ‘tree’ has the environmental benefits of a forest – CNN.com

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Denmark Is Killing Tesla (and Other Electric Cars)

electric car has dropped out of favor in the country that pioneered renewable energy.Sales in Denmark of Electrically Chargeable Vehicles (ECV), which include plug-in hybrids, plunged 60.5 percent in the first quarter of the year, compared with the first three months of 2016, according to latest data from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA). That contrasts with an increase of nearly 80 percent in neighboring Sweden and an average rise of 30 percent in the European Union.

Source: Denmark Is Killing Tesla (and Other Electric Cars) – Bloomberg

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How To Enable VLC Picture In Picture View On Android

Android O has a new picture in picture feature. If you have the Android O preview installed on a device, there’s a chance you can see the new Picture-in-picture in action in the YouTube app. It’s not working for everyone on the developer preview even though the setting is all there. The good news is, VLC is all geared up to support this new feature. In fact, if you’re running the developer preview, you can install VLC (beta) app and check it out now. The VLC picture in picture view is fully functional for anyone on Android O.In order to install VLC (beta) on your device, you need to become a VLC beta tester. Once you’re in the beta program, and assuming you have Android O’s preview build on your phone, you can use the VLC picture in picture view.Open VLC player and select a video to play. Tap the overflow button next to the play button on the video. From the overlay that appears on your screen, tap the one at the bottom left. It looks like a rectangle within a rectangle.

Source: How To Enable VLC Picture In Picture View On Android

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Congressional Baseball Game Is An Annual, Bipartisan Tradition

On Wednesday, a gunman opened fire at a baseball field in Alexandria, Va., where GOP lawmakers were practicing for the upcoming Congressional Baseball Game. At least five people were reportedly shot at the scene including Rep. Steve Scalise, the House majority whip. The assailant was shot by Capitol Police and taken to a hospital, but died of his injuries Wednesday morning, according to President Donald Trump.GOP House members were on the field participating in an early morning practice for the Congressional Baseball Game, an annual charity baseball game that’s set to be played at Nationals Park on Thursday. The game is a tradition among lawmakers that dates back to 1909. “Every year, with a few interruptions, Senate and House members of each party team up to settle scores and solidify friendships off the floor and on the field,” according to the game’s website. “Members usually sport the uniform of their home states and districts, and although proportional representation is not required, elected officials of many states play to win every year.”

Source: Congressional Baseball Game Is An Annual, Bipartisan Tradition

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Magnetic Nanoparticles Will Help Clean Oil Spills 

In the future, this could also be used to remove lead from drinking water.Cleaning up oil spills is a difficult, dirty job, and even with modern techniques it’s still hard to remove every last drop.Scientists from the University of Texas at Austin believe that they can fill that gap: they’re using a technique that targets and sucks up leftover minuscule oil droplets using electrostatic attraction and a magnet. In the future, a similar method could be used to clean lead and other contaminants from our drinking water, they say.

Source: Magnetic Nanoparticles Will Help Clean Oil Spills – Motherboard

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