Smacking children was outlawed in Scotland this week. Remarkably, parents in the rest of the UK can still use physical violence to punish or discipline their children, provided it can be considered “reasonable punishment”, a term not properly defined in law. Smacking is allowed in the majority of other nations.Around the world, smacking is common. A 2014 report by UNICEF found that 80 per cent of the world’s children are subject to some form of violent punishment at home. A survey of just over 4000 adults in the UK, conducted this July, found that the majority – 59 per cent – felt that “smacking should not be banned”. Only a fifth of those asked thought the practice should be outlawed. Another survey of US-based adults found that 76 per cent of men and 65 per cent of women feel that sometimes children need a “good hard spanking”.For those with any shred of doubt, there is no good evidence that smacking will benefit a child. Parents might find that children are more obedient if they fear another smack, but this effect is only temporary. In the long run, children who are smacked are more likely to misbehave, and to engage in delinquent, criminal or antisocial behaviour. Worse, they are more likely to develop mental illnesses.The science isn’t even new. Smacking is thought to be the most studied aspect of parental behaviour, with reams of research published since the 1960s. Almost all of it finds that physically punishing children can have disastrous consequences in later life.
Daily Archives: October 22, 2017
Security authorities in Kuwait have arrested four people for forcing 26 Asian men to work in massage parlors, wear women’s clothes and provide “special services.”The incident that shocked the nation is being treated as a human trafficking case.The four were arrested after the police received information that a gang was abusing some expatriates by involving them in immoral practices, prompting the security agencies to launch an operation to check the claims and, upon obtaining the approval of the legal authorities, conducted a raid.The investigation revealed that a Kuwaiti national, a stateless man, and two Asians had kept 26 Asians and forced them into sex trade in massage parlors in the Mahboula and Abu Halifa areas, Kuwaiti daily Al Rai reported on Monday.The victims told the police they had been coerced into the trade under threats and the use of violence against them.“The workers gave detailed information about what had happened to them, including beatings, sexual assault and being forced to work without rest, provide sexual services to clients, put on makeup and wear women’s clothing,” a security source told the daily.“They were also deprived of their financial entitlements. The case is still being investigated,” he said.
Passwords are in a pretty broken state of implementation for authentication. People pick horrible passwords and use the same password all over the place, firms fail to store them correctly and then their databases get leaked, and if anyone’s looking over your shoulder as you type it in (literally or metaphorically), you’re hosed. We’re told that two-factor authentication (2FA) is here to the rescue.Well maybe. 2FA that actually implements a second factor is fantastic, but Google Authenticator, Facebook Code Generator, and any of the other app-based “second factors” are really just a second password. And worse, that second password cannot be stored hashed in the server’s database, which means that when the database is eventually compromised, your “second factor” blows away with the breeze.Second factor apps can improve your overall security if you’re already following good password practices. We’ll demonstrate why and how below, but the punchline is that the most popular 2FA app implementations protect you against eavesdropping by creating a different, unpredictable, but verifiable, password every 30 seconds. This means that if someone overhears your login right now, they wouldn’t be able to use the same login info later on. What 2FA apps don’t protect you against, however, are database leaks.
Look at this CBC headline: “City may spend $20M more on settling rising number of refugees in local hotels”. And then: “Toronto considering extending contracts with hotels to house refugees until end of 2018”.Hotels! With maid service, room service. You couldn’t find a more expensive way to house people.The CBC calls them “refugees,” even though they aren’t, but the Syrian civil war is ending anyway.Syrians can go home now, to rebuild their own country. (In time to miss out on a Canadian winter, too.)Imagine how much further that $20 million could go in the Middle East. Samaritans Purse, a reputable charity working in Iraq, can rebuild damaged homes for as little as US$2,500 each.And more to the point:
The answer to the growing, worldwide food production problem may have a tiny solution—nanoparticles, which are being explored as both fertilizers and fungicides for crops.NanoFARM; a research consortium formed between Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Kentucky, the University of Vienna, and Aveiro University in Prague; is studying the effects of nanoparticles on agriculture. The four universities received grants from their countries’ respective National Science Foundations to discover how these tiny particles—just 4 nanometers in diameter—can revolutionize how farmers grow their food.”What we’re doing is getting a fundamental understanding of nanoparticle-to-plant interactions to enable future understandings,” says CEE Professor Greg Lowry, the principal investigator for the nanoFARM project. “With pesticides, less than 5% goes into the crop—the rest just goes into the environment and does harmful things. What we’re trying to do is minimize that waste and corresponding environmental damage by doing a better job of targeting the delivery.”The teams are looking at twin goals: How much nanomaterial is needed to help crops when it comes to driving away pests and delivering nutrients, and how much could potentially hurt plants or surrounding ecosystems?Applied pesticides and fertilizers are vulnerable to washing away— especially if there’s a rainstorm soon after application. But nanoparticles are not so easily washed off, making them extremely efficient for delivering micronutrients like zinc or copper to crops.”If you put zinc salt in water it will dissolve rapidly,” says Ph.D. student Xiaoyu Gao, who has been with NanoFARM since its inception. “If you put in zinc oxide nanoparticles instead, it might take days or weeks to dissolve, providing a slow, long-term delivery system.”
Twitter has reacted to last week’s criticism arising from its suspension of actor actress Rose McGowan’s account, after she strongly criticised alleged sex fiend Harvey Weinstein – by announcing it will soon implement and aggressively police new community standards.The micro-blogging network’s co-funder and CEO Jack Dorsey used his personal @jack account to spread Twitter’s justification of McGowan’s suspension.
A Wilburton man was mocked and needlessly denied medical care by jail officials while suffering a 91-hour erection in 2016, according to a $5 million lawsuit filed on his behalf.
Dustin Lance alleges in his civil rights lawsuit that he suffered permanent injury after employees of the Pittsburg County jail ignored his pleas for medical care while he was suffering from a continuous erection.
Lance, in his petition initially filed Sept. 18 in Pittsburg County District Court, says his troubles began Dec. 15, 2016, when, while incarcerated in the county jail, he ingested a pill offered to him by another inmate.
Lance, in his petition, says he made jail personnel aware the next day that he was suffering “unbearable pain” as a result of his condition.
The lawsuit says jail personnel repeatedly mocked Lance while denying medical treatment until Dec. 19.
Jail employees transported Lance about noon Dec. 19 to McAlester Regional Hospital, where doctors said they were unable to treat Lance’s condition and indicated that he required immediate transfer to a urologist in Tulsa, according to the lawsuit.
Although he was one of the youngest performers ever to win a lead actor Academy Award, in recent years Nicolas Cage’s reputation has been more zany B-movie star than serious thespian. Add in his widely known financial woes and resume of Japanese pachinko commercial appearances, and the idea of Cage becoming the face of a Japanese snack food sub-brand wasn’t too far-fetched.So when photos of the Nicolastick, puffed corn Umaibo sticks in special packages bearing Cage’s likeness, appeared earlier this month, plenty of people laughed, but few of them were genuinely shocked. But it turns out the development of the Nicolastick, a marketing move for the delayed Japanese release of Cage’s comedy “Army of One” (or “Bin Laden is My Prey,” as it’s called in Japan), is something that was planned and pulled off without Cage’s knowledge.FilmNation Entertainment, the U.S.-based company in charge of international licensing for “Army of One,” has issued an apology for its edible endorsement end run, saying:
Michigan is the latest state to try and pass a law supported by (and likely written by) incumbent ISPs that tries to prevent communities from building their own broadband networks. Towns and cities for years have been forced to consider building their own broadband networks, thanks to a lack of competition in the broadband sector. This lack of competition usually results in regional duopolies doing the bare minimum to improve service in these markets, forcing towns and cities to get creative if they actually want to receive faster speeds at more reasonable prices.If large ISPs really wanted to stop this from happening, they could improve service and lower rates. But more often than not, it’s much easier to just pay state lawmakers to introduce awful, protectionist bills banning towns and cities from building their own networks, or in many instances even partnering with private companies like Google to improve local connectivity.Michigan Freshman Representative Michele Hoitenga is the latest to rubber stamp the whims of broadband duopolies, and has introduced HB 5099, a new bill that would make it difficult if not impossible for Michigan towns and cities to build or improve local broadband networks, even in instances where local ISPs refuse to. The bill proclaims that local communities cannot use federal, state, or even their own voter-approved funds to invest in even the slowest Internet infrastructure.And while it doesn’t ban public/private partnerships outright, it does its best to discourage them, notes the folks at Institute for Local Self-Reliance, which has been fighting such ISP-written protectionist drivel for years.”(An) exception allows local communities to engage in public-private partnerships, but the bill’s ambiguous language is likely to discourage local communities from pursuing such partnerships,” the group notes. “Rather than put themselves at risk of running afoul of the law, prudent community leaders would probably choose to avoid pursuing any publicly owned infrastructure initiatives.”The bill is expected to hamper existing municipal broadband projects in the state in places like Sebewaing, Holland and Lyndon Township. In Lyndon Township, locals frustrated with sub-standard broadband recently voted overwhelmingly to approve funding and construction of a fiber network that will obliterate the slow, expensive service currently only partially available in the region. These bills help large ISPs disregard the will of the public, something that often annoys Republicans and Democrats alike (most municipal broadband networks are built in Conservative areas).