Daily Archives: February 1, 2018

Spermageddon: Why the human race could be infertile in 50 years 


Modern medicine has long presumed fertility to be the dominion of women, a space ruled by gynaecologists and invasive procedures explained by softly pink pamphlets. But that is only half the story. Possibly even less, according to mounting evidence. Male fertility is dipping, and fast. Sperm may prove to be the greatest casualty of modern life.

Last summer, scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem found that male sperm counts had fallen by almost 60 per cent in 40 years. In what was the largest study of its kind, they analysed data from 43,000 men from North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, taking in 185 studies from 1973 to 2011. Its lead author, Dr Hagai Levine, decreed the result an ‘urgent wake-up call’.

Source: Spermageddon: Why the human race could be infertile in 50 years 

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Sharon Stone says Weinstein should be locked up

Hollywood predator Harvey Weinstein should be locked up, says Sharon Stone, but she has warned against punishing all men accused of sexual misbehaviour in the same way.

In a frank interview with The Mail on Sunday’s Event magazine today, the actress says: ‘In every crime there are misdemeanours and felonies, and I think if someone’s committed a misdemeanour they can’t be treated like they’ve committed a felony. You can’t charge someone for murder when they’ve got a parking ticket.’ Her comments echo those of Matt Damon, who was criticised by #MeToo campaigners for saying there is a ‘difference between patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation’.

Ms Stone – famous for her sexually charged scenes in the 1992 movie Basic Instinct – condemns Weinstein, saying: ‘I hope he goes to jail,’ adding that the producer, who has been accused of rape, is ‘coarse and mean and violent and abusive’. She adds: ‘He thinks he’s a big martyr but he’s a pisher [a nobody]’. In a forthright assertion of how women should deal with predatory men, Ms Stone says: ‘We have two legs. You can leave a room. You can say “stop it”. You have an opportunity not to participate.’

She added: ‘[Harassment] doesn’t start when you get to Hollywood. It starts when you’re little. Don’t feel sorry for me. Feel sorry for the generations of women who came before us who no one stood up for at all. Women like my grandmother who was beaten by her husband almost every day. I stand up for them.’

Source: Sharon Stone says Weinstein should be locked up

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Key to Infamous 1962 Alcatraz Break: Popular Mechanics?


This week brought the revelation of a letter written in 2013 and sent to San Francisco police, purportedly by John Anglin—who, with brother Clarence and fellow inmate Frank Morris—famously escaped Alcatraz in 1962. That they famously escaped at all is thanks to Popular Mechanics, argues … Popular Mechanics in a look at how of two of its issues, which were available to Alcatraz inmates, may have played a role in the escape. It’s not wild speculation: It reports the FBI and the Federal Bureau of Prisons mentioned the magazine in its files, and Richard Tuggle, the screenwriter behind 1979’s Escape From Alcatraz, puts it like so: “They never would have tried to escape [without it].The magazine gave them the final key that they needed to be able to try this crazy thing.”

The first issue is November 1960, which profiles a hunter who used scavenged rubber to make goose decoys. The technique he employed is vulcanizing: It forges “water-resistant links between rubber molecules,” as Popular Mechanics explains, and all the men needed to begin vulcanizing their own lifeboat was their Alcatraz raincoats (other inmates helped them amass a stash of 50) and rubber cement. The second was the March 1962 issue, which featured the article, “Your Life Preserver—How will it behave if you need it?” The magazine’s take: “Popular Mechanics tells its readers how to make things. Always has, since 1902. When that information gets used illegally, there’s not much we can do about it.” Read the full story here.

Source: Key to Infamous 1962 Alcatraz Break: Popular Mechanics?

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Him Too? How Arthur Miller Smeared Marilyn Monroe and Invented the Myth of the Male Witch Hunt.

These days, the people with the most vociferous fears of the hunt are those who’ve always been the least likely to be hunted: Powerful men.

“There is a bit of a witch hunt happening too… There’s some people, famous people, being suddenly accused of touching some girl’s knee, or something, and suddenly they’re being dropped from their programme, or something,” said actor Liam Neeson, who once starred on Broadway as the morally agonized but ultimately righteous hero John Proctor in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.

Neeson went on to explain that he is supportive of women, of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, and of justice. That of course there are men who are monsters, like Harvey Weinstein, but that there is also a real threat of girls and women falsely accusing innocent men, or getting men harshly punished for deeds that don’t warrant it.

 As a novelist specializing in the ways that history has depicted transgressive women, I spend a lot of time analyzing how stories about female victims are routinely transformed into stories about male heroes, tragic or otherwise. That’s how Miller approached Salem in The Crucible, still required high-school reading that’s shaped how many of us think about mob panic and life-ruining accusations. I read it for the first time in a history class, and I thought it was amazing, subversive protest art, written to shine a light on the injustice of Joseph McCarthy’s Communist hunt. It wasn’t until I saw the 1996 film that I began to wonder about the nature of the way Miller portrays the women in the story. Lately, listening to discussions of #MeToo, I’ve been thinking about Miller’s versions of history again.

Source: Him Too? How Arthur Miller Smeared Marilyn Monroe and Invented the Myth of the Male Witch Hunt.

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Finns Have Had It With Daylight Saving Time

Finland says it will lobby for the abolition of daylight saving time within the European Union after more than 70,000 Finns signed a petition last year. Anne Berner, Finland’s transportation and communications minister, said Friday on Twitter that the government’s goal “would be to abandon (the practice) in a uniform manner within the EU.” No EU member can independently end the practice of advancing clocks by an hour during summer months so that evening daylight lasts longer, reports the AP. All 27 member states must make the change together.

A parliamentary committee in Finland has concluded that changing the clocks causes short-term sleeping disorders, reduced performance at work, and could also lead to serious health problems. In Finland, parliament must consider a petition containing at least 50,000 signatures. The Finns may be particularly irritated by daylight savings because they see little benefit from it. One of the world’s northernmost countries stretching some 720 miles from north to south, the sun does not set for 73 consecutive days during summer at Finland’s northernmost point. During the winter months, the sun doesn’t rise at all for 51 days in Lapland, northern Finland.

Source: Finns Have Had It With Daylight Saving Time

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GM sued by motorcyclist injured in crash involving self-driving car

A San Francisco man is suing General Motors after a collision between his motorcycle and a self-driving Chevrolet Bolt.

Oscar Nilsson claims in his lawsuit that he was driving behind a Bolt in San Francisco in December when the car began to change lanes. As Nilsson attempted to pass the Bolt, the self-driving vehicle “suddenly veered back into Mr. Nilsson’s lane,” knocking him to the ground, the lawsuit alleges.

Nilsson claims in his suit that he suffered injuries to his neck and shoulder, forcing him to take time off work.

General Motors has a different version of events leading up to the crash.

The company says in a statement to ABC News that the motorcyclist merged prematurely into the Bolt’s lane.

“Safety is our primary focus when it comes to developing and testing our self-driving technology. In this matter, the SFPD collision report stated that the motorcyclist merged into our lane before it was safe to do so,” GM said in its statement.

The San Francisco Police Department crash report did not assign blame for the collision, and no citations were issued at the crash scene.

continue with video: ABC News

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Freeware Tool For Transfering Photos from Smartphone to PC by Scanning a QR-code

ScanTransfer is a freeware tool that quickly transfers photos, videos and other documents from the mobile phone to the PC via the WLAN in a practical way: scanning a QR-code. All you need to transfer photos and videos is a smart phone, a computer and a Wi-Fi network. Then everything goes lightning fast and if you want, the photos could be compressed at the same time. ScanTransfer probably offers the simplest way to transfer any photo or video files from a smart phone to a desktop PC. There are several ways to copy photos from a smart phone to a PC: sending via e-mail, sharing in a social network, wired connection to a PC and others. But every option requires some preliminary configuration and is not always as straightforward as users anticipate. The best advantage of ScanTransfer is no third party QR code readers are required, so you do not have to install any extra app into their phones. All you need to do is to use the iPhone Camera or Twitter/Facebook to scan the QR-code on the ScanTransfer, and then you will be able to start transferring instantly.

get it: Freeware Tool For Transfering Photos from Smartphone to PC by Scanning a QR-code

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Facebook’s Ad Tool Leaks Private User Data 

As part of my Nieman fellowship at Harvard, I participated in Professor James Waldo’s Technology and Privacy class. For the final project in this class, I’ve examined how much non-public information Facebook will inadvertently leak if actively manipulated to do so.

Exploiting Custom Audiences

Facebook’s Custom Audience feature is a powerful tool that marketers can use to reach specific individuals via Facebook ads.As you can see in the screenshot above, Facebook lets marketers create custom audiences based on a customer file, website traffic, activity within apps, offline activity or people who engaged with specific content on Facebook’s owned platforms.When Facebook launched their Custom Audiences tool, it assured its users that the information marketers would receive would be “anonymous and aggregate ad reporting”.

Source: Facebook’s Ad Tool Leaks Private User Data – Matt Karolian – Medium

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