Monthly Archives: February 2018

Three women forced to take off hijabs for mugs settle with city

New York City will pay a total of $180,000 to three Muslim women who were forced to take off their hijabs for mug shots, the Daily News has learned.Settlements in the three cases were filed Monday in Brooklyn federal court, with the lawsuits spurring new NYPD procedures on photographing people donning religious head coverings.The cases date back as far as 2012, when a Brooklyn high school girl identified as “G.E.” was arrested after a scuffle with two girls she thought were spreading rumors about her.The criminal case was dismissed, but it was the initial mug shots that mattered in the civil rights case that followed.

Source: Three women forced to take off hijabs for mugs settle with city – NY Daily News

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Rose McGowan Wants Drug Charge Dropped, Suggests Weinstein Set Her Up

Rose McGowan not only wants her cocaine charge dismissed, she’s going so far as to suggest that she was being targeted by people working for Harvey Weinstein, and he may be responsible for planting the drugs.According to a motion filed by McGowan’s attorney in Loudoun County, Virginia, and obtained by The Blast, her attorney argued that authorities have no evidence that McGowan ever possessed the cocaine that was found in her wallet after being left behind on a plane.The actress has already pled not guilty, but now her attorney says “There is simply no point in time at which the evidence places Ms. McGowan and the cocaine together in the same place,” and suggests that McGowan was targeted by “the underhanded targeting of Ms. McGowan” by Weinstein.They also argue that drug crimes occurring on an airplane should be handled in federal court, not state, so therefore should be thrown out.

Source: Rose McGowan Wants Drug Charge Dropped, Suggests Weinstein Set Her Up

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Are We Free to Discuss America’s Real Problems? – Imprimis

There is a lot of abstract talk these days on American college campuses about free speech and the values of free inquiry, with plenty of lip service being paid to expansive notions of free expression and the marketplace of ideas. What I’ve learned through my recent experience of writing a controversial op-ed is that most of this talk is not worth much. It is only when people are confronted with speech they don’t like that we see whether these abstractions are real to them. The op-ed, which I co-authored with Larry Alexander of the University of San Diego Law School, appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer on August 9 under the title, “Paying the Price for the Breakdown of the Country’s Bourgeois Culture.” It began by listing some of the ills afflicting American society: Too few Americans are qualified for the jobs available. Male working-age labor-force participation is at Depression-era lows. Opioid abuse is widespread. Homicidal violence plagues inner cities. Almost half of all children are born out of wedlock, and even more are raised by single mothers. Many college students lack basic skills, and high school students rank below those from two dozen other countries. We then discussed the “cultural script”—a list of behavioral norms—that was almost universally endorsed between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s: Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness. Go the extra mile for your employer or client. Be a patriot, ready to serve the country. Be neighborly, civic-minded, and charitable. Avoid coarse language in public. Be respectful of authority. Eschew substance abuse and crime.

Source: Are We Free to Discuss America’s Real Problems? – Imprimis

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The Psychology of Speciesism: How We Privilege Certain Animals Over Others

Our relationship with animals is complex. There are some animals we treat very kindly; we keep them as pets, give them names, and take them to the doctor when they are sick. Other animals, in contrast, seem to not to deserve this privileged status; we use them as objects for human consumption, trade, involuntary experimental subjects, industrial equipment, or as sources of entertainment. Dogs are worth more than pigs, horses more than cows, cats more than rats, and by far the most worthy species of all is our own one. Philosophers have referred to this phenomenon of discriminating individuals on the basis of their species membership as speciesism (Singer, 1975). Some of them have argued that speciesism is a form of prejudice analogous to racism or sexism.Whether speciesism actually exists and whether it is related to other forms of prejudice isn’t just a philosophical question, however. Fundamentally, these are hypotheses about human psychology that can be explored and tested empirically. Yet surprisingly, speciesism has been almost entirely neglected by psychologists (apart from a few). There have been fewer than 30 publications in the last 70 years on this topic as revealed by a Web of Science search for the keywords speciesism and human-animal relations in all psychology journals. While this search may not be totally exhaustive, it pales in comparison to the almost 3’000 publications on the psychology of racism in the same time frame. The fact that psychology has neglected speciesism is strange, given the relevance of the topic (we all interact with animals or eat meat), the prevalence of the topic in philosophy, and the strong focus psychology puts on other types of apparent prejudice. Researching how we assign moral status to animals should be an obvious matter of investigation for psychology.Together with my colleagues Jim A.C. Everett and Nadira S. Faber, we recently published a paper on speciesism in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Caviola, Everett, & Faber, 2018). Our aim was to establish speciesism as a topic in the field. To that end, we developed a Speciesism Scale: a standardised, validated, and reliable measurement instrument that can assess the extent to which a person has speciesist views. Our research demonstrated that there is indeed a unique psychological construct — speciesism — that determines to what extent people discriminate individuals on the basis of their species membership. This construct is not captured by other measures of prejudice or prosociality and it shows some interesting properties.

Source: The Psychology of Speciesism: How We Privilege Certain Animals Over Others | Practical Ethics

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Fifty Shades of Grey novels are more likely to be in abusive relationships, binge drink and sleep around

Fifty Shades of Grey novels are more likely to be in abusive relationships, binge drink and sleep around.

 Cohen says we should stop being caught up in the fantasy and focus on real issues

It might have sold more than 100 million copies and been translated into 52 languages. It might even lay claim to being the book that brought the terms ‘safe word’ and ‘genital clamps’ into our lexicon. But Fifty Shades of Grey has just had a good spanking.

This week, researchers from the Michigan State University supposedly found a correlation between young women who had read the erotic trilogy and cases of verbally abusive relationships, binge drinking, multiple sexual partners and eating disorders.

More than 650 female Michigan students aged 18-24 were sent a questionnaire about the books. Of those who’d read the first – and most famous – novel, a quarter were more likely to have a partner who shouted at them; 34 per cent were more likely to have a partner with ‘stalking tendencies’; and 75 per cent had used diet aids.

Source: Fifty Shades of Grey damaging young women? I beg to differ – Telegraph

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Schools Consider Banning Best Friends To Foster Inclusive Environment

Growing up, your best friend is the person who is always there for you and the one you share all your secrets and exploits with.But now there’s a growing movement to ban best friends.The movement isn’t a ban on friendship, it’s just geared towards having children broaden their friendship circles and become more inclusive.It’s a move a lot of educators think goes in the right direction.Rumored to have first started in Prince George’s South London school this push to breakup best friends is catching on, says clinical psychologist Dr. Barbara Greenberg.“There has been a movement in some American schools and European schools to ban the phrase ‘best friend,’” Greenberg said. “The idea of banning the phrase ‘best friends’ is a very intriguing social experiment.”And while it may be raising some eyebrows Greenberg who works with children and adolescents says there’s some good rationale behind it.

Source: Schools Consider Banning Best Friends To Foster Inclusive Environment « CBS New York

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Top experts warn against ‘malicious use’ of AI

Paris (AFP) – Artificial intelligence could be deployed by dictators, criminals and terrorists to manipulate elections and use drones in terrorist attacks, more than two dozen experts said Wednesday as they sounded the alarm over misuse of the technology.In a 100-page analysis, they outlined a rapid growth in cybercrime and the use of “bots” to interfere with news gathering and penetrate social media among a host of plausible scenarios in the next five to 10 years.”Our report focuses on ways in which people could do deliberate harm with AI,” said Sean O hEigeartaigh, Executive Director of the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Existential Risk.”AI may pose new threats, or change the nature of existing threats, across cyber-, physical, and political security,” he told AFP.

Source: Top experts warn against ‘malicious use’ of AI

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Pet pig adopted from BC SPCA killed and eaten by new owners 

Outrage is spreading across Vancouver Island and online after a pig that was adopted from the BC SPCA was killed and eaten by the people who adopted her.Molly, a three-year-old Vietnamese potbelly pig, came to the SPCA’s Cowichan & District branch as part of a cruelty investigation. She was taken care of and nursed back to health by the staff and was finally adopted by a couple in Duncan on Jan. 19.Then it was discovered that on Feb. 16, Molly had been killed and eaten.

Source: Pet pig adopted from BC SPCA killed and eaten by new owners |

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Sea snail found growing in boy’s elbow

When an 11-year-old boy cut his elbow after slipping and falling in a Southern California tidepool, his parents patched him up. But when the wound appeared to be getting worse after a week, they took him to the hospital.That’s when Dr. Albert Khait, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Loma Linda University in Los Angeles, discovered something surprising – a sea snail had hatched inside a skin abscess in the wound, he wrote in BMJ Cases, a medical journal. And it was still alive.“The unique characteristics of this intertidal mollusk appear to have enabled it to survive in the subcutaneous tissue for a week, despite the hostile environment of a skin abscess,” Khait wrote. Doctors believe a snail egg became embedded in the wound when the boy fell in the tidepool.Pediatricians allowed the “visibly excited” boy to take the snail, identified as a checkered perwinkle marine snail, home with him to show his friends, according to the journal. But the snail, named “Turbo” by the boy, died just a day after being removed from the abscess.

Source: Sea snail found growing in boy’s elbow | The Modesto Bee

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Volunteers Get High To Help Police Spot Stoned Motorists 

Even though recreational marijuana is legal in California, most people probably wouldn’t be comfortable smoking around police officers. But that’s exactly what Edson Villegas volunteered to do, CBS Los Angeles reports. Villegas took part in a “green lab” to help officers, prosecutors and toxicologists identify signs of impairment as drugged driving becomes a growing problem on roads.”Approximately 75 percent of the DUI arrests that I make nowadays are drug impaired – more specifically to cannabis than alcohol,” said Glendale Police Officer Bryan Duncan.The volunteer users took field sobriety tests at the beginning of the evening, then went into a tent and smoked marijuana. When they went back and took the same field sobriety tests, officers could see if there were any changes in their mental or physical abilities.

Source: Volunteers Get High To Help Police Spot Stoned Motorists – WorldNews

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NOAA Caught Adjusting Big Freeze out of Existence

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has yet again been caught exaggerating  ‘global warming’ by fiddling with the raw temperature data.This time, that data concerns the recent record-breaking cold across the northeastern U.S. which NOAA is trying to erase from history.If you believe NOAA’s charts, there was nothing particularly unusual about this winter’s cold weather which caused sharks to freeze in the ocean and iguanas to drop out of trees.

Here is NOAA’s January 2018 chart for Northeast U.S. – an area which includes New England along with NY, PA, NJ, DE and MD.You’d never guess from it that those regions had just experienced record-breaking cold, would you?That’s because, as Paul Homewood has discovered, NOAA has been cooking the books.

Yet again – presumably for reasons more to do with ideology than meteorology – NOAA has adjusted past temperatures to look colder than they were and recent temperatures to look warmer than they were.We’re not talking fractions of a degree, here. The adjustments amount to a whopping 3.1 degrees F. This takes us well beyond the regions of error margins or innocent mistakes and deep into the realm of fiction and political propaganda.

Source: Delingpole: NOAA Caught Adjusting Big Freeze out of Existence

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How the NSA Can Greatly Reduce Mass School Shootings | Global Research

Instead of spying on Americans to crush dissent, consolidate power, or gather sensitive information for blackmail, the NSA could actually do something useful.The NSA could reduce the number of mass shootings using existing technology and resources.Remember, virtually all school shooters are males in their teens or early twenties.And the New York Times reports that most school shooters leave numerous public clues about their intentions before the shooting … and most are obsessed with reading about prior school shootings:Studies have shown, for example, that in school shootings, the killers virtually always “leak” their intentions, leaving a trail of clues behind them.

Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old who the police said has confessed in the Parkland shooting, apparently was no exception: Students reportedly avoided him and joked that if anyone were going to shoot up the school, it would be him.Researchers have also found that in many, if not most, cases of school violence, the perpetrator has done extensive research on previous school shootings, studying them in detail, often with special attention to the killings at Columbine High School in 1999. A study of nine school shootings in Europe conducted by J. Reid Meloy, a forensic psychologist in San Diego who consults on threat assessment for schools and corporations, found that a third of the killers had “consciously imitated and emulated what had happened in Columbine.

”Elizabeth Englander, Professor of Psychology, and the Director of the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center (MARC), Bridgewater State University, writes:Technology may challenge kids’ social development, but it can also be harnessed for good. Anonymous reporting systems – perhaps text-message based – can make it easier for parents and students to alert law enforcement and school counselors to kids who seem disconnected or disturbed. That enables early intervention.In Steamboat Springs, Colorado, one such tip appeared to prevent extreme violence in May 2017. Police took a young man who’d threatened to harm his peers into protective custody before he could act on his words.

Source: How the NSA Can Greatly Reduce Mass School Shootings | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

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Private browsing isn’t: boffins say smut-mode can’t hide your tracks 

A group of boffins working at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory believe that “private” browsing modes aren’t private, so have given developers a framework to fix it.The problem, wrote Frank Wang with his thesis advisors (Nickolai Zeldovich and luminary James Micken), is that even if you’re using “private” or “incognito” mode on standard browsers, several leak vectors remain: the file system, the browser cache, the DNS cache, and even “on-disk reflections of RAM such as the swap file”.In a paper (PDF) delivered last week at the Network and Distributed Systems Security Symposium, the three presented the fix: a framework called “Veil” that puts an onus on site operators to stop the leaks. Developers, Wang writes in the paper, do control what’s sent to browsers, and which servers deliver the content.

Source: Private browsing isn’t: boffins say smut-mode can’t hide your tracks • The Register

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YouTuber Who Claimed Raw Food Diet Cured Her Cancer Dies of Cancer

A woman who turned to vegan and raw foods after a cancer diagnosis has died, despite claiming that her diet had cured her illness.Mari Lopez, a YouTuber from Texas who vlogged alongside her niece, Liz Lopez, under the account name Liz & Mari, passed away from stage four cancer in January. Liz uploaded a YouTube video announcing Mari’s death on Sunday, attributing it to her decision to undergo radiotherapy and stop following a raw food diet.According to the Evening Standard, Mari changed her diet on the day she received her cancer diagnosis, which showed that the disease had spread to her bones and lungs. In a 2016 video titled “Stage 4 Cancer Natural Transformation,” Mari said that she spoke to God after finding out about the cancer, and her previous struggles with depression and alcoholism. It was this that prompted her to radically alter her diet. God “enlightened me,” she explained to viewers, when “something popped up the computer about juicing.”

Source: YouTuber Who Claimed Raw Food Diet Cured Her Cancer Dies of Cancer – MUNCHIES

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Drugs suspect on toilet strike for 38 days ‘would rather die than take a poo’ | Metro News

Lamarr Chambers, 24, has now spent 38 days in police custody after Essex Police arrested and detained him on January 17Appearing in court yesterday, his lawyer, Andrew Horsall QC, said he finds himself in ‘unchartered territory’ with Chambers.He said his client’s ‘life is at risk’ as he ‘doesn’t want to be resuscitated’ if he collapses, Essex Live reports.Officers believe he swallowed some of the drugs before his arrest in Harlow, Essex, and they have been patiently waiting for him to finally go ever since.

Source: Drugs suspect on toilet strike for 38 days ‘would rather die than take a poo’ | Metro News

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Time traveller man: Noah from 2030 future predictions

A ‘TIME traveller’ who claims he is from 2030 has passed a lie-detector test while revealing a number of weirdly specific predictions about the future.In an eerie YouTube video, the man known only as Noah, whose face and voice have been distorted to hide his identity due to his fears he might be ‘assassinated’, makes a number of wild claims.Noah predicts that Donald Trump will win a second term in the White House, which could become reality in just over two years, with the US presidential election scheduled for November 3, 2020.He also predicted another future leader, claiming the US president in 2030 will be a random person named ‘Ilana Remikee.’Noah claimed that humans will reach Mars in 2028 — the same year time travel will be discovered, and that Google Glass-style robots will take over the world.Robots are going to take over the world in a big way, if the time traveller man is on the money.Source:AFPThe interview begins with him being asked: ‘Are you an actual time traveller from the year 2030?’He responds with a yes and the word ‘true’ appears in large green letters, meaning he believes he is telling the truth.Noah then claims he has ‘hard evidence’ to back up his predictions but isn’t sure that he can reveal what that is because it might cause a paradox.He says his mission is to tell those alive now what the world has in store, and says he has risked his life to travel back in time.

Source: Time traveller man: Noah from 2030 future predictions

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Top Democrats Follow the Big Money 

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N.Y. landlord obliterated dozens of graffiti murals. Now he owes the artists $6.75 million.

From the elevated 7-train, millions of people passing through Long Island City, Queens, could spot the massive warehouses. Five stories high, the buildings took up most of a city block. But that’s not the only reason the complex was hard to miss.Its bright yellow walls were covered with hundreds of graffiti murals: colorful bubble letters, fantastical creatures, mesmerizing portraits and tributes to legendary musicians. Known as 5Pointz, it was a graffiti mecca. Aerosol artists would travel from around the world to use its walls as canvasses — legally. Busloads of tourists or students on field trips would frequent 5Pointz on a daily basis. It was used as a backdrop for movies and music videos, weddings and concerts.5Pointz transformed dilapidated warehouses and a previously crime-infested neighborhood into a renowned cultural landmark — the country’s “largest collection of exterior aerosol art,” as a court document noted.Morning Mix newsletterStories that will be the talk of the morning.Sign upVirtually overnight, nearly all of it was destroyed. Under the cloak of night in 2013, the building’s owners instructed a team to blanket the murals with white paint. The warehouses would be torn down a year later to make way for high-rise luxury residences.Artist Akiko Miyakami said that when she saw her artwork mutilated under a layer of white paint, according to a court document, she felt as though she “was raped.”On Monday, a federal judge in Brooklyn awarded $6.75 million in damages to 21 artists whose work at 5Pointz was obliterated.

Source: N.Y. landlord obliterated dozens of graffiti murals. Now he owes the artists $6.75 million. – The Washington Post

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NYU Student Complains About ‘Racist’ Black History Month Food Menu, Gets Workers Fired 

Following a complaint by Nia Harris, a 19-year-old sophomore at NYU’s College of Arts and Science, NYU President Andrew Hamilton says it was “inexcusably insensitive” for the caterer, Aramark, to feature barbecued ribs, corn bread, collard greens, and fruit-flavored water—all of which were deemed to be stereotypically black.Despite an explanation from the head cook to Harris that the employees who planned the menu were African Americans, the student—and the school—were not having it.Following the clarification, Harris fired off a screenshot of the email exchange to Facebook, captioning it with a post that began with the words, “This is what it’s like to be a black student at New York University.”

Source: NYU Student Complains About ‘Racist’ Black History Month Food Menu, Gets Workers Fired – DANGEROUS

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Day Zero is meant to cut Cape Town’s water use: what is it, and is it working?

The City of Cape Town has introduced the idea of Day Zero to focus everyone’s attention on managing water consumption as tightly as possible by cajoling water consumers into reducing usage. Day Zero is when most of the city’s taps will be switched off – literally.The consequences of reaching this point will be far reaching. For one, it will mean residents will have to stand in line to collect 25 litres of water per person per day. The water will be sourced from the remaining supplies that are left in the dams.Day Zero isn’t a fixed target. The city moved it out from April 12 to July 9. The reason for this is that a number of factors affect the date. These include how much residents are reducing their demand. There are already signs that water users are saving more. The goal is to achieve an average daily demand of less than 450 million litres which equates to about 50 litres per person per day. The city isn’t there yet, but for the first time figures are consistently closer to 500 million litre per day.

Source: Day Zero is meant to cut Cape Town’s water use: what is it, and is it working?

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Monkeys With the Biggest Noses Get All the Girls

When it comes to attracting a mate, it seems size really does matter.A new study of proboscis monkeys in Malaysia, published in the journal Science Advances, has found that males with the biggest noses—and other exaggerated male features—have the most number of females in their harems and were the most dominant animals in their groups.Proboscis monkeys are notable for their unusually shaped noses, but the evolutionary importance of this strange body feature is only now becoming clear.

Source: Monkeys With the Biggest Noses Get All the Girls

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Soon You’ll Be Able To Run Linux Apps In VM On Chrome OS

Most of you would be knowing that Chrome OS shares an intimate relationship with Linux. This “bare-bones Linux-based operating system” is based on Gentoo Linux. However, you can’t run Linux applications on it, which is a deal breaker for many enthusiasts.If you’re really willing to run Linux apps on Chrome OS, you can do so with the help of solutions like Crouton that need you to turn off most of the security features by enabling Developer Mode. It looks like Google is working on an upcoming feature to bring a similar functionality to Chrome OS.

Source: Soon You’ll Be Able To Run Linux Apps In VM On Chrome OS

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The playboy who got away with $242m – using ‘black magic’

One day in August 1995 a man called Foutanga Babani Sissoko walked into the head office of the Dubai Islamic Bank and asked for a loan to buy a car. The manager agreed, and Sissoko invited him home for dinner. It was the prelude, writes the BBC’s Brigitte Scheffer, to one of the most audacious confidence tricks of all time.Over dinner, Sissoko made a startling claim. He told the bank manager, Mohammed Ayoub, that he had magic powers. With these powers, he could take a sum of money and double it. He invited his Emirati friend to come again, and to bring some cash.Black magic is condemned by Islam as blasphemous. Even so, there’s still a widespread belief in it, and Ayoub was taken in by the colourful and mysterious businessman from a remote village in Mali.When he arrived at Sissoko’s house the next time, carrying his money, a man burst out of a room saying a spirit – a djinn – had just attacked him. He warned Ayoub not to anger the djinn, for fear his money would not be doubled. So Ayoub left his cash in the magic room, and waited.He said he saw lights and smoke. He heard the voices of spirits. Then there was silence.The money had indeed doubled.Ayoub was delighted – and the heist could begin.”He believed it was Black Magic – that Mr Sissoko could double the money,” says Alan Fine, a Miami attorney the bank later asked to investigate the crime.”So he would send money to Mr Sissoko – the bank’s money – and he expected it to come back in double the amount.”Between 1995 and 1998, Ayoub made 183 transfers into Sissoko’s accounts around the world. Sissoko was also running up big credit card bills – in the millions according to Fine – which Ayoub would settle on his behalf.

Source: The playboy who got away with $242m – using ‘black magic’ – BBC News

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A beer can could help crack an 18-year-old murder case 

When Walter Solorzano was shot to death in Galveston on March 5, 2000, there were dozens of people who saw what happened. Crowds were out celebrating Mardi Gras: Drinking and partying, until the night turned deadly.You’d think solving a murder case like this one would be easy. But, no one wanted to cooperate. The case went cold.Now, 18 years later, investigators retested a palm print collected from the crime scene and this case could be on its way to being solved.”I’d say it’s gone from cold to lukewarm,” said Detective Derek Gaspard with the Galveston Police Department.Gaspard walked through the case with ABC13 as it played out that March evening.

Source: A beer can could help crack an 18-year-old murder case |

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These 1989 Video Games Predicted 9/11 With Eerie Accuracy

A handful of mysterious video games from 1989 shows the twin towers collapsing in the same exact fashion as they did on 9/11. After the three collapses, the games show a new single tower being erected: One World Trade reports: A handful of video games released in the years and months leading up to the world’s worst terror attack seemingly predicted the event.The two tower blocks ‘pancake’ in a similar way to the WTC on 9/11The game’s events took place on September 11Master of Weapon, released in 1989 by Taito for the arcade and the Mega Drive system, appears to be a shoot ‘em up game popular with players in that era.Players shoot down enemies control a spaceship as they attempt to save the world.But it became apparent following the attacks that the game holds an eerie premonition.The first level features two buildings – strikingly similar to the Twin Towers – “pancaking” to the ground in the same fashion the World Trade Center did.

Source: These 1989 Video Games Predicted 9/11 With Eerie Accuracy

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Robonaut Has Been Broken for Years, and Now NASA Is Bringing It Home 

In February of 2011, NASA launched Robonaut 2 to the International Space Station. It was a huge achievement for the robotics team at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. There had been other robots in space, but Robonaut was the first advanced humanoid to ever go on a mission beyond Earth. On board the ISS, the robot was intended to eventually work side by side with astronauts, performing some of the dull and repetitive tasks that take up a significant amount of time that the humans on the station could instead be spending on science and discovery.For a while, things went well. The robot was unboxed from its protective foam packaging, and set up in the Destiny laboratory module. It was powered up for the first time in August of 2011, and by 2012 it was flipping practice switches and cleaning practice handrails while being teleoperated from the ground. Once a month or so, astronauts set Robonaut up and it would do research tasks for several hours at a time, working towards making a transition from an experimental project to a useful helper in the caretaking of human spacecraft. Robonaut even got its own Twitter account: “Check me out. I’m in space!”

Source: Robonaut Has Been Broken for Years, and Now NASA Is Bringing It Home – IEEE Spectrum

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Swedish teenagers accused of attacking teacher with cucumber in social media prank

File photo: Markus Schreiber/AP Photo/TTTwo boys aged between 15 and 18 are suspected of physically assaulting a teacher at a school in Karlstad by hitting her on the head with a cucumber.The boys are accused of assault, as well as invasion of privacy for filming the attack, reports local media NWT.The teacher was not seriously injured but is still on sick leave two weeks after the incident, according to the report.She remains absent from work “due to the abuse she was subjected to,” youth investigator with Karlstad Police Fredrik Persson said.The incident is reported to be connected to a trend known in Sweden as ortens batong, which consists of filming an individual being hit on the head by a cucumber and then posting the footage on social media.The trend dictates the impact must be hard enough for the cucumber to break.On Friday, police in the town are reported to have received a second alert connected to the social media trend, after a young man hit another man on the head with the vegetable in a grocery store.According to NWT’s report, the incident was reported by the store due to the damage caused to the cucumber as a result of the prank.

Source: Swedish teenagers accused of attacking teacher with cucumber in social media prank – The Local

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After daycare staff reports feeling high, police seize cookies brought by parent

Bangor police on Wednesday seized several batches of homemade cookies after employees of a local daycare center said they suspected the baked goods were laced with marijuana.Police were called to Watch Me Shine on Gilman Avenue around 10 a.m. when daycare staff reported a parent provided the baked goods. Several staff members reported “a feeling of marijuana intoxication,” police told NewsCenter Maine.No children ate the cookies.Police and management from Watch Me Shine contacted all parents to notify them of the situation, according to NewsCenter. The daycare was closed for the remainder of the day.Police continue to investigate and have sent the cookies to a lab for testing.

Source: After daycare staff reports feeling high, police seize cookies brought by parent – Portland Press Herald

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Seattle Residents Complained About A ‘Confederate Flag.’ It Was Actually The Flag Of Norway. 

Over the weekend the Seattle Times jumped at a news tip: there was a Confederate flag flying beneath the American flag in the city’s Greenwood neighborhood, and residents were very concerned.Only, it turns out, it wasn’t the Confederate flag at all. It was the state flag of Norway, and a group of friendly Norwegians were just trying to show their patriotism and support for their Olympic Team when their very concerned neighbors contacted local media.“Hi. Suddenly there is a Confederate flag flying in front of a house in my Greenwood neighborhood. It is at the north-east corner of 92nd and Palatine, just a block west of 92nd and Greenwood Ave N.,” the tipster wrote, according to the Times. “I would love to know what this ‘means’ … but of course don’t want to knock on their door. Maybe others in the area are flying the flag? Maybe it’s a story? Thank you.”Eager to get the scoop, reporters for the Seattle Times hopped into a car and hightailed it to view the offending flag for themselves. Only, it turned out, they weren’t in for quite the controversial sighting they’d anticipated.“That’s a Norwegian flag,” said the Norwegian owner of the flagpole in question. “It’s been up there since the start of the Olympics.”

Source: Seattle Residents Complained About A ‘Confederate Flag.’ It Was Actually The Flag Of Norway. | Daily Wire

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Illinois governor drinks chocolate milk to demonstrate his commitment to diversity 

CHICAGO In an awkward onstage appearance this week, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner drank a glass of chocolate milk to demonstrate his belief in diversity.”It’s really, really good,” Rauner said after taking a sip of the sugary drink. “Diversity!”The clunky corporate metaphor was the brainchild of Hyatt Hotels diversity and inclusion executive Tyronne Stoudemire, who appeared alongside Rauner on Wednesday at the downtown Chicago Thompson Center to discuss workplace diversity at a Black History Month event.Enlisting Rauner as his lanky magician’s assistant, Stoudemire, who is black, poured a glass of milk to represent the white men who lead most organizations (including, um, the state of Illinois).

Source: Illinois governor drinks chocolate milk to demonstrate his commitment to diversity | The Sacramento Bee

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Olympics: German Figure Skater Slammed for Skating to ‘Schindler’s List’ Score

Social media erupted with criticisms when German figure skater Nicole Schott began performing to the Schindler’s List score during her free skate performance at the Olympics on Thursday night.”Nicole Schott is a German woman skating to Schindler’s List. that feels real fucked up #Olympics,” one user wrote. “NO ONE SHOULD BE SKATING TO SCHINDLER’S LIST!!!!!!!” USA Today columnist Nancy Armour added. “The German skater picking the Schindler’s List soundtrack to skate to is certainly a choice,” Defense News reporter Aaron Mehta said.Steven Spielberg’s 1993 film followed Oskar Schindler, a German factory owner who saved over a thousand lives of Jewish refugees during the Holocaust by employing them at his factories. John Williams’ score for the film won the best original score Oscar at the 1994 Academy Awards.

Source: Olympics: German Figure Skater Slammed for Skating to ‘Schindler’s List’ Score | Hollywood Reporter

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Police: Woman tries to steal camera, hurls feces in escape 

Police say a woman trying to steal a video camera from an Indianapolis store escaped after throwing feces at a security worker.Indianapolis police responded Tuesday to a Menards on the city’s east side and a loss prevention officer told them that he saw the shoplifting suspect remove the camera from its packaging and place it into a bag.The officer told police that when he tried to stop the woman from leaving she reached into her pants, pulled out a handful of feces and threw it at him. He says the feces hit him in the chest. Police say the woman ran out the door and escaped.Police say the camera was recovered and they’re trying to identify the woman.

Source: Police: Woman tries to steal camera, hurls feces in escape | WANE

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Pennsylvania pastor says he was ‘counseling’ naked man tied up in his car

A Pittsburgh pastor has been charged with lewdness and indecent exposure after police say he was found in a car with a young man who was naked and bound with a rope.According to a criminal complaint seen by local TV station KDKA, George Gregory, leader of the Waterfront Christian Community Church in West Homestead, Pa., told officers they “were just playing” and he and the other man “meet up from time to time to play with each other.”A Pennsylvania pastor has been charged with lewdness and indecent exposure after police say he was found in a car with a young man who was naked and bound with a rope.AP

The man who reported the suspicious vehicle, which was parked on a street in neighboring Homestead, told police he saw the second man get out of the vehicle without any clothes on and was concerned because the car was parked outside his daughter’s window.When police arrived, according to local TV station WPXI, they say Gregory was in the back seat adjusting his clothing while another man was in the front passenger seat naked and bound with rope.Gregory later told KDKA that he has “nothing to hide.”

Source: Pennsylvania pastor says he was ‘counseling’ naked man tied up in his car

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Brazilian man caught trying to smuggle kilo of cocaine in large fake arse

No, it wasn’t crack cocaine.

Source: Brazilian man caught trying to smuggle kilo of cocaine in large fake arse

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Craigslist User Offers Room for Couples to Have Affairs In

A Craigslist user posted a strange offer to residents of Los Angeles: “for $700, you can have your discreet love affair at my house in Echo Park.””Are you having a long term affair yet are sick of the high cost and sterility of corporate hotels? If so, I have something unique to offer you,” the listing reads. “If you would enjoy regular scheduled access to a pleasant, clean, attractive meeting place at a fraction of the cost yet all the convenience of a hotel, the intimacy of a private home, and the discretion of a quiet street in the hills just a mile out of DTLA, please read on.”The listing, which inspired a The Wrap podcast, goes on to offer a “nicely decorated, carpeted, cozy, and appointed, extremely clean, fully furnished bedroom” in the man’s home. The man, who describes himself as middle-aged and in the hospitality and catering business, notes that he will be out of the house during the meetings.

Source: Craigslist User Offers Room for Couples to Have Affairs In

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Threat Meter Gauges Risk of Creeper-Assisted Suicide

If you’ve played even just a few minutes of Minecraft, you know what a creeper is. For those not familiar with the wildly popular sandbox game, a creeper is a monster that creeps along silently until it’s close to a player, whereupon it self-destructs by exploding. Sometimes it kills the player outright, and other times the explosion blows them into lava or off a cliff, or off a cliff and then into lava. Creepers have no friends.But now there’s a way to avoid creeper attacks, or at least get a little heads up that these green nasties are lurking about. With [John Allwine]’s creeper detector, Minecraft players can get a real-world indicator of the current in-game creeper threat. The hardware end is simple enough — it’s just a SparkFun RedBoard and a small strip of Neopixels in a laser-cut plywood case. The LEDs lie behind a piece of etched acrylic to diffuse their glow — extra points for the creeper pattern in the lens. The detector talks over USB to a Minecraft mod that [John] wrote to interface the game with the real world. The closer a creeper gets to the player, the brighter the light. — and when it flashes, watch out. See it in action in the video below, if you can stomach watching someone dig straight down. Never dig straight down.

Source: Threat Meter Gauges Risk of Creeper-Assisted Suicide | Hackaday

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Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is building a giant clock inside a Texas mountain

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is building a giant clock inside a Texas mountain  13 Hours Ago | 01:17Amazon’s Jeff Bezos just revealed video of a massive 10,000-year clock that’s being built inside a West Texas mountain.The clock is 500 feet tall and powered by the Earth’s thermal cycles, Bezos said in a tweet Tuesday.”It’s a special Clock, designed to be a symbol, an icon for long-term thinking,” a blog post signed by Bezos says.The clock has been in the works for nearly three decades, according to the post, and is designed to tick once a year. The century hand advances once every 100 years, and the cuckoo comes out on the millennium.

Source: Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is building a giant clock inside a Texas mountain

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Newsweek Staffers Threaten to Resign, Claiming Company Tried to Silence Investigation of Owners

Newsweek published a story about the company’s financial ties to a mysterious church, but editors said the company attempted to thwart their reporting efforts.MAXWELL TANI02.20.18 10:17 PM ETSeveral Newsweek staffers threatened to resign earlier this week, accusing the company of attempting to muzzle the publishing of a story further detailing internal turmoil at the magazine and ties to a controversial Christian college.On Tuesday evening, Newsweek published a story about previously unreported ties between Newsweek Media Group (which also owns International Business Times) and Olivet University’s efforts to develop a campus in upstate New York. Olivet, which is affiliated with a mysterious religious sect called “The Community,” has numerous connections to former leaders of NMG.But not before several reporters and editors made it clear to management that they would quit if Newsweek did not publish the story.The team of journalists including Newsweek deputy editor Ross Schneiderman, news director Cristina Silva, politics editor Michael J. Mishak, and IBT reporters Josh Keefe and Josh Saul mulled resigning in protest on Tuesday if the article was not published.

Source: Newsweek Staffers Threaten to Resign, Claiming Company Tried to Silence Investigation of Owners

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Student 3D Prints Eyes

[Ondřej Vocílka] is a student at the Brno University of Technology in the Czech Republic.  In addition, the 23-year-old lost his vision in his left eye. While attending a lecture on 3D printing, he…

Source: Student 3D Prints Eyes | Hackaday

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Google-Nest merger reawakens privacy worries

Four years ago, Google paid $3.2 billion for Nest, a fancy smart-home thermostat and smoke alarm maker.Privacy advocates found this a daunting marriage, but Google wound up running the business at arm’s length, over in its Alphabet division.Nest co-founder and former CEO Tony Fadell told the BBC at the time of the acquisition that consumers could relax. Nest data wouldn’t be mixed with all the other information Google gathers:When you work with Nest and use Nest products, that data does not go into the greater Google or any of [its] other business units. We have a certain set of terms and policies and things that are governed. So, just when you say we may be owned by Google, it doesn’t mean that the data is open to everyone inside the company or even any other business group – and vice versa. We have to be very clear on that.Whew! What a relief, eh?

Source: Google-Nest merger reawakens privacy worries – Naked Security

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