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My Housing Plan for America – Team Warren – Medium
My bill also makes additional targeted investments in communities that desperately need it. It invests half-a-billion dollars in rural housing programs. It invests $2.5 billion in the Indian Housing Block Grant and the Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant to build or rehab 200,000 homes on tribal land. And it invests $4 billion in a new Middle-Class Housing Emergency Fund, which will support the construction of new housing catering to middle-class renters in communities with severe housing supply shortages.

My housing bill takes a first step by creating a first-of-its-kind down-payment assistance program. The people eligible for assistance must be first-time homebuyers who live in a formerly redlined neighborhoods or communities that were segregated by law and are still currently low-income If they qualify, they are entitled to a substantial grant they can put towards a down payment on a home anywhere in the country. The program will provide thousands of families with a real chance to buy a home — the same opportunities the government denied to previous generations of residents of the area.

The Fair Housing Act bars certain forms of discrimination — and we must ensure that the Act is not weakened or diminished either by Congress or by regulators, and that it is fully and fairly enforced. But there are other forms of discrimination that are not currently covered by the Act. That’s why my bill prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, veteran status, and the source of one’s income, like a housing voucher. Landlords shouldn’t be able to reject tenants based on what they look like, how they identify, or who they love.

My bill removes another barrier: lack of access to credit for creditworthy borrowers looking to buy a home. In the 1970s, Congress passed a law called the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), which required banks to make loans in communities where they took deposits. Before the law went into effect, banks often took deposits in minority neighborhoods, but only made mortgages and other loans in white communities.

That’s why my bill will put strict new requirements on the sale program, limiting the situations in which the agencies are allowed to sell mortgages and imposing requirements on buyers to make sure they protect distressed homeowners and the neighborhoods they live in. The changes will allow more people to stay in their homes and prevent private equity funds from scooping up properties and turning around to charge people exorbitant rents.
housing  wealthinequality  realEstate  homelessness  legislation 
When 'Miss' Meant So Much More: How One Woman Fought Alabama — And Won
In Lebanon, Tenn., when a mayor visited her cell and referred to her as "Mary," Hamilton corrected him. It was Miss Hamilton. Hamilton and Michaels recalled the moment in their oral history: "And if you don't know how to speak to a lady," Hamilton told the mayor, "then get out of my cell."

At the time, throughout the '60s, many white people — particularly in positions of authority — refused to use honorifics like "Miss," "Mrs." or "Mr." to refer to black people.

Barbara McCaskill, an English professor at the University of Georgia, studied the narratives of black Americans and the civil rights movement. She said her own mother vividly remembered being denied the honorific "miss" as a young woman.

"Segregation was in the details as much as it was in the bold strokes," McCaskill says. "Language is significant because language calls attention to whether or not we value the humanity of people that we are interacting with. And in segregation the idea was to remind African-Americans and people of color in general, in every possible way, that we were not equal, that we were inferior, that we were not capable. And language becomes a very powerful force to do that."
racism  usa  history  civilrights  civildisobedience  judicialSystem 
3 days ago
Softer, processed foods changed the way ancient humans spoke
Our research shows that labiodental sounds – such as "f" and "v," which are made by raising the bottom lip to the upper teeth – began to arise only after the transition to agriculture, between 10,000 and 4,000 years ago (depending on the world region).

While labiodentals are rather common today and appear in roughly half of the world's languages, we show that in the case of Indo-European languages, they've been innovated mainly since the Bronze Age.

All primates start with an overbite and overjet bite configuration – colloquially a scissors bite – both with their baby teeth and their permanent teeth. Then a traditional diet of tough foods naturally develops the scissors bite of a young individual into an edge-to-edge bite by adulthood.

The invention of food processing technologies – like milling and fermentation – that gained steam with the development of agriculture allowed people to move toward a softer diet. And those softer foods meant people retained the scissors bite well into adulthood. For example, the archaeological evidence shows adult skulls with the scissors bite as early as 4,300 years ago in what is today Pakistan.
linguistics  anthropology  history  food 
3 days ago
How Inuit Parents Teach Kids To Control Their Anger
Across the board, all the moms mention one golden rule: Don't shout or yell at small children.

Traditionally, the Inuit saw yelling at a small child as demeaning. It's as if the adult is having a tantrum; it's basically stooping to the level of the child, Briggs documented.

And you are teaching them to be angry, says clinical psychologist and author Laura Markham. "When we yell at a child — or even threaten with something like 'I'm starting to get angry,' we're training the child to yell," says Markham. "We're training them to yell when they get upset and that yelling solves problems."
childhoodDevelopment  nativeamericans  psychology 
4 days ago
The sad story of the vCard format and its lack of interoperability
15 November 2012
Alessandro Rossini

Common contact information such as email addresses, telephone numbers, postal addresses, web addresses, and instant messaging addresses can be represented in two ways: using standard properties, or using standard properties grouped together with non-standard properties. The second way is currently used by Apple (and other vendors targeting Apple); it is unnecessary, prevents interoperability, and promotes vendor lock-in.

Other common contact information such as social networking addresses are not supported at all.

So what should be done? Here is my suggestion:

First, the IETF should remove grouped properties and non-standard properties from the specification, since open standards should promote interoperability and prevent vendor lock-in. Second, the IETF should add social networking properties to the specification. Third, the IETF should provide an official validator for vCard files. Finally, the vendors should implement the last version of the vCard format, and they should do it right.

4 days ago
Gov. Gavin Newsom to block California death row executions, close San Quentin execution chamber
“Our death penalty system has been — by any measure — a failure,” Newsom says in prepared remarks he is expected to deliver at a Capitol news conference Wednesday morning. “It has discriminated against defendants who are mentally ill, black and brown, or can’t afford expensive legal representation. It has provided no public safety benefit or value as a deterrent. It has wasted billions of taxpayer dollars.”

Newsom also argues in his remarks that the criminal justice system is susceptible to error, citing a November Los Angeles Times editorial that reported 164 condemned prisoners nationwide who were wrongly convicted have been freed from death row since 1973. He also cites a 2005 Santa Clara University Law Review study that concluded people convicted of killing whites were more likely to be sentenced to death than people convicted of killing blacks and Latinos.
crime  judicialSystem  deathPenalty  racism 
4 days ago
The backyard mechanic who is taking on Tesla
The Tesla that started it all, a Model S that Benoit refers to as Delores, was purchased from a salvage yard after it had been caught in a flood in New Jersey.

[....] a new Model S starts at $76,000 and can run as high as $133,000. That wasn’t happening. So he purchased Delores for $14,000, with the idea that he was going to do something no amateur mechanic had done before. He was going to rebuild a Tesla.

[....]Benoit found another Model S that had been totaled in a collision but whose electronics and batteries were still good, bought it for a little more than he’d paid for Delores, and began the long process of turning two broken vehicles into one good one, figuring everything out as he went along and posting videos on a YouTube channel he’d created, Rich Rebuilds, to log his progress.

[....]After more than a year of tinkering and of challenge after challenge, Benoit had proudly restored Delores nearly back to showroom quality, and in video #61, she passed state inspection.

Six days later, he posted video #62, in which he told the long story that answered the question everyone wanted to know: How much did this thing end up costing? The answer was $6,500 (after selling off a bunch of duplicate parts, including the entire shell of the second car).

“I gave the video the title ‘World’s Cheapest Tesla,’ and in the snap of a finger it had a million views,” he says.

He is preparing to open the first repair shop on the East Coast dedicated to electric vehicles, with the goal of servicing vehicles while teaching owners how to care for the cars themselves. The shop is under construction in Seabrook, N.H., and he has enlisted a former Tesla mechanic to join him.
engineering  smallbusiness 
6 days ago
How meal timings affect your waistline
Your body clock, metabolism and digestion interact in complex ways - meaning it's not just what you eat, but when you eat, that matters.

When overweight and obese women were put on a weight-loss diet for three months, those who consumed most of their calories at breakfast lost two and a half times more weight than those who had a light breakfast and ate most of their calories at dinner – even though they consumed the same number of calories overall.

In one recent study, researchers compared the physical effects of sleeping for five hours per night for eight days in a row, with getting the same amount of sleep but at irregular times. In both groups, people’s sensitivity to the hormone insulin dropped and systemic inflammation increased, escalating the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. However, these effects were even greater in those who were sleeping at irregular times (and whose circadian rhythms were therefore knocked out of alignment): in men, the reduction in insulin sensitivity and increase in inflammation doubled.

Using data from a UK national survey which has tracked the health of more than 5,000 people for over 70 years, Pot found that, even though they consumed fewer calories overall, people who had a more irregular meal routine had a higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome – a cluster of conditions, including high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar levels, excess fat around the waist and abnormal fat and cholesterol levels in their blood, which together increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

In a landmark study published in 2012, Panda and his colleagues compared one set of mice that had access to fatty and sugary foods at any time of day or night, with another group that could only consumed these foods within an eight to 12-hour window during their “daytime”. Even though they consumed the same number of calories, the mice whose eating window was restricted appeared to be completely protected from the diseases that began to afflict the other group: obesity, diabetes, heart disease and liver damage. What’s more, when mice with these illnesses were placed on a time-restricted eating schedule, they became well again.
food  health 
9 days ago
Yes, Let’s Defeat or Impeach Donald Trump. But What If He Refuses to Leave the White House?
Consider this scenario: On the morning of November 3, 2020, it becomes clear that Trump has lost both the electoral college and the popular vote to the Democratic candidate, whoever they may be. The president, however, rather than calling his Democratic opponent to concede, holds a rally with his supporters at which he declares himself the winner, tells the crowd “what you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening,” slams the “fake news” media, and claims “millions and millions” of people voted illegally for the Democrats. He denounces a “deep state” coup and warns of “violence.”
politics  usa  elections 
12 days ago
A 60 Minutes story about gender equality accidentally proved the persistence of patriarchy
Ultimately, 60 Minutes featured a man, CEO Hadi Partovi. His organization’s mission is to expand access to computer science education in schools. Women technologists like Saujani who were tapped to appear on the show about a year ago and worked with producers to provide research and interviews, ended up on the cutting room floor while Partovi spoke on their behalf.

Ayah Bdeir, the founder of STEM learning toy company littleBits, also responded to the episode in a Medium post. She noted that she worked with 60 Minutes for a year, planning interviews, providing research, talking to the producers and reporters, telling her story and that of her organization, which is focused on closing the gender gap in technology. Yet producers wrote to her last August to say that the focus of the segment had shifted and that littleBits would no longer be central in the story.

In an email, a producer explained to her, “It’s not that the important points you made in your interview are ignored in the story, or that you didn’t make them very effectively, they’re just made by others.”
sexism  journalism  maleprivilege  STEM  mansplaining 
12 days ago
After exiting bankruptcy, David's Bridal details strategy
Now owned by a group of lenders including Oaktree Capital, Conshohocken, Pennsylvania-based David’s Bridal Inc. reduced its debt by about $450 million, Bloomberg reported. The previous owner was private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, which took control in a more than $1 billion leveraged buyout in 2012.
capitalism  bridal  retail 
12 days ago
How badly are we being ripped off on eyewear? Former industry execs tell all
I noted that if you wear designer glasses, there’s a very good chance you’re wearing Luxottica frames.

The company’s owned and licensed brands include Armani, Brooks Brothers, Burberry, Chanel, Coach, DKNY, Dolce & Gabbana, Michael Kors, Oakley, Oliver Peoples, Persol, Polo Ralph Lauren, Ray-Ban, Tiffany, Valentino, Vogue and Versace.

Along with LensCrafters, Luxottica also runs Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Sunglass Hut and Target Optical, as well as the insurer EyeMed Vision Care.

And Italy’s Luxottica now casts an even longer shadow over the eyewear industry after merging last fall with France’s Essilor, the world’s leading maker of prescription eyeglass lenses and contact lenses. The combined entity is called EssilorLuxottica.

Butler said he recently visited factories in China where many glasses for the U.S. market are manufactured. Improved technology has made prices even lower than what Dahan recalled.

“You can get amazingly good frames, with a Warby Parker level of quality, for $4 to $8,” Butler said. “For $15, you can get designer-quality frames, like what you’d get from Prada.”

And lenses? “You can buy absolutely first-quality lenses for $1.25 apiece,” Butler said.

Yet those same frames and lenses might sell in the United States for $800.
capitalism  healthcare  optometry 
12 days ago
What does the Bible say about Race
Numbers 12:1-16 ESV
Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married, for he had married a Cushite woman. And they said, “Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has he not spoken through us also?” And the Lord heard it. Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth. And suddenly the Lord said to Moses and to Aaron and Miriam, “Come out, you three, to the tent of meeting.” And the three of them came out. And the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud and stood at the entrance of the tent and called Aaron and Miriam, and they both came forward.

Song of Solomon 1:5-6 ESV
I am very dark, but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, like the tents of Kedar, like the curtains of Solomon. Do not gaze at me because I am dark, because the sun has looked upon me. My mother's sons were angry with me; they made me keeper of the vineyards, but my own vineyard I have not kept!

Jeremiah 13:23 ESV
Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then also you can do good who are accustomed to do evil.

Galatians 3:28 ESV
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Romans 10:12-13 ESV
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Colossians 3:11 ESV
Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.

Acts 10:28 ESV
And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean.

Genesis 1:26 ESV
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
Genesis 1:27 ESV
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Galatians 5:1 ESV
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

Leviticus 19:33-34 ESV
“When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
race  scripture  christianity 
12 days ago
Why Were Some Books Excluded From The Bible?
Polycarp, Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Origen, Eusebius, Athanasius, Jerome, Augustine, and others, all led the slow and careful acceptance of the books in the New Testament as we know it today.
bible  christianity  scripture  history 
12 days ago
Song of Solomon 1:5-6 King James Version (KJV)
Song of Solomon 1:5-6 King James Version (KJV)

5 I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon.

6 Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me: my mother's children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept.
race  scripture  judaism 
12 days ago
Who is the first black man in the Bible?
A likely candidate for the first person that the Bible seems to indicate that he was black-skinned is Cush. He was the son of Ham, the son of Noah. His descendants, the Cushites are the inhabitants of Africa south of Egypt. Often this is equated with Ethiopia, but Nubia (north-Sudan) probably is more correct.

Later in the Bible the Cushites are mentioned often. In Jeremiah 13:23 we find the rhetorical question ‘can the Ethiopian [the actual word used here is ‘Cushite’] change his skin?’, in an obvious referral to the dark or black skin of that people. Cushites that we read about in the Bible include:

• Moses’ wife (Numbers 12:1). There is discussion about the circumstances of this marriage and about the meaning of ‘Cushite’ in this verse, but most Bible scholars believe Moses married a black woman.

• A messenger in David’s army (2 Samuel 18:13). This might indicate that long before Ethiopians won gold medals at the Olympics in long distance running, they were known for being fast runners. The same is hinted at in Isaiah 18:2, where we read about the Cushites ‘Go, you swift messengers’.

• Ebed-Melech, an official at the palace of Jerusalem. He helps Jeremiah when nobody else does (Jeremiah 38:7-13).

In the New Testament we read about two important people who in all likelihood were black. The first one is the Ethiopian court official (Acts 8:27) who gets baptised. He might very well be the beginning of the ancient Ethiopian church. The second one is Simon Niger (Niger means ‘black’), one of the church leaders in Antioch.

There might be quite a few more black people in the Bible. For example when Israel went out of Egypt, a ‘mixed multitude’ went with them (Exodus 12:37-38), which likely included black people as well.
race  scripture  judaism  christianity  history  africa 
12 days ago
Recycling Is Broken
In January 2018, China banned importing 24 foreign materials including mixed paper and post-consumer plastic. Two months later, it tightened its contamination thresholds for recyclable paper products not covered by the ban, including corrugated cardboard, to 0.5%.

For products that weren’t outright banned, China’s new 0.5% contamination standard posed a daunting challenge. Today, the average contamination rate of U.S. recyclables sits at around 25%.

Germain said public education was something the recycling industry as a whole had let slide over the years. “We were more about encouraging recycling than saying stop doing this or that,” she said. This, combined with the widespread adoption of single stream, has made the public increasingly enthusiastic about throwing everything in their blue bins, resulting in a lot of what Costa calls “aspirational recycling”, or attempting to recycle garbage.
recycling  china  usa  economy 
12 days ago
Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy
IFLAS Occasional Paper 2
27 July 2018
by Professor Jem Bendell BA (Hons) PhD
pdf  globalwarming  climatechange  extinction 
12 days ago
The study on collapse they thought you should not read – yet
A research paper concluding that climate-induced collapse is now inevitable, was recently rejected by anonymous reviewers of an academic journal.

It has been released directly by the Professor who wrote it, to promote discussion of the necessary deep adaptation to climate chaos.

“I am releasing this paper immediately, directly, because I can’t wait any longer in exploring how to learn the implications of the social collapse we now face,” explained the author Dr Bendell, a full Professor of Sustainability Leadership.

The paper “Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy” is downloadable in pdf format, or in mp3 audio format.
climatechange  globalwarming  science  extinction 
12 days ago
Thread. Let me tell you a little story about the American medical system, circa today.
Thread. Let me tell you a little story about the American medical system, circa today. This morning, at 5:30 a.m., both my kids woke up not feeling exactly great.


My kids are starving, and mad, and don't understand why this is happening. We get to pharmacy number 3, and are finally able to get the medicine for all three of us. My daughter's costs $80. My son's costs $280. Mine costs $138.73. It is exactly the same medicine, same dose.
usa  capitalism  pharmaceuticals  healthcare 
14 days ago
“Men Are Scum”: Inside Facebook’s War on Hate Speech
In the end, in late January of this year, Facebook arrived at a deflating consensus: nothing would change.
facebook  abuse  harassment 
14 days ago
Products that contain this ingredient TRICOSLAN
lots of Dawn, Dial, Lysol, Softsoap, Avon, Colgate, Right Guard, Old Spice, Lever, Noxema...
bacteriology  safety  consumerRights 
14 days ago
GOP Admins Had 38 Times More Criminal Convictions Than Democrats, 1961-2016
We compared 56 years of corruption in Republican and Democratic presidencies: both sides are not equally corrupt.
statistics  politics  GOP  Democrats  crime 
14 days ago
Scientists stunned by discovery of 'semi-identical' twins
Boy and girl, now four, are only the second case of ‘sesquizygotic’ twins recorded

The situation is believed to arise when two sperm cells fertilise a single egg. In the latest case, one sperm carried an X chromosome among its genetic material, and the other carried a Y chromosome.

After fertilisation the chromosomes from the two sperm cells and the single egg got bundled into three “genetic packages”: one contained chromosomes from both sperm – meaning it contained two sets of genetic material from the father, but none from the mother. The other two packages each contained the same set of chromosomes from the mother, as well as genetic material from one of the two sperm, giving rise to either XX (female) or XY (male) cells.

As the fertilised egg divided and the ball of cells grew, those containing only chromosomes from the two sperm died. However, those containing chromosomes from both the egg and a sperm cell continued to divide.

“Then what happens is that little ball of cells splits into two, and that is why you have twins,” said Gabbett, adding that these offspring have a greater genetic similarity than fraternal twins, but are not identical.

But the situation is not that straightforward: some of both embryos’ cells contained two X chromosomes, while other cells contained an X and a Y chromosome.

Gabbett added since one twin was a boy and the other a girl, the ratio of each of these types of cell differed: one embryo contained a greater number of XY cells, so developed male, while the other had a high proportion of XX cells and developed female.

The only previously reported case of sesquizygotic twins came from the US in 2007, discovered after one of the children was born with ambiguous genitalia. The team say the children in the latest report had no such ambiguities.
intersex  genetics  DNA  biology 
16 days ago
Initial Democratic Primary Debates Will Accommodate Up To 20 Candidates
All "qualified" candidates are eligible to participate. A DNC official said a candidate could qualify by meeting one of two criteria:

1. Garner at least 1 percent support in three separate polls

2. Meet the grassroots fundraising threshold, which requires obtaining 65,000 unique donors and a minimum of 200 donors per state in at least 20 states

If more than 20 candidates meet one of these benchmarks, the top 20 candidates will be selected using a methodology that prioritizes those who met both. After that, candidates will be selected mostly determined by polling.

There will not be a first-tier and second-tier debate stage. The candidate lineups for each night will be selected through a random lottery process.
elections  Democrats  usa  politics 
19 days ago
Turn out the Light
By: natalia5345
An Unending continuation. What if Teal'c wasn't the only one who remembered...

Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance - Vala, D. Jackson
Chapters: 7
Words: 20,819
Reviews: 106
Favs: 88
Follows: 35
Updated: Sep 22, 2008
Published: Jun 30, 2008
Status: Complete

Chapter 1 – Borrowed Time

Rating: G, I suppose
Disclaimer: Not Mine. MGM gets to play for real, I get to play in my head.

Author's Note: This fic is based on lyrics from a song called Borrowed Time by Leahy. I haven't got the rest of the chapters (probably 4 more) written out completely but they shouldn't be too far behind this one :) - it's an Unending tag I suppose is the best way to categorize this...
and now onto the the story, which asks:

What if Teal'c wasn't the only one who remembered...

Thanks to Milena and Stef for the beta!!

Hope you all enjoy it! Let me know what you think! reviews are love after all.
danielvala  fanfic  stargate  stargatesg-1  danieljackson  ValaMalDoran 
19 days ago
Borrowed Time (Daniel/Vala)
Published on Sep 23, 2008
Song: Borrowed Time by Leahy

Summary: Vala begins to remember the events of the fifty years spent on the Odyssey after Unending, and while wrestling with the significance of those memories, she and Daniel's relationship takes a wrong turn. Will they be able to set things right?

This vid was made for my friend Nat's fic, Turn Out The Light, which I highly recommend you all read because it's amazing and beautiful!

Find it on

Find it on her LJ: http://natalia5345.livejournal [PURGED]

Thanks for watching!
danielvala  fanvid  stargate  stargatesg-1  danieljackson  ValaMalDoran 
19 days ago
The Trauma Floor: The secret lives of Facebook moderators in America

+ Moderators in Phoenix will make just $28,800 per year — while the average Facebook employee has a total compensation of $240,000.

+ In stark contrast to the perks lavished on Facebook employees, team leaders micro-manage content moderators’ every bathroom break. Two Muslim employees were ordered to stop praying during their nine minutes per day of allotted “wellness time.”

+ Employees can be fired after making just a handful of errors a week, and those who remain live in fear of former colleagues returning to seek vengeance. One man we spoke with started bringing a gun to work to protect himself.

+ Employees have been found having sex inside stairwells and a room reserved for lactating mothers, in what one employee describes as “trauma bonding.”

+ Moderators cope with seeing traumatic images and videos by telling dark jokes about committing suicide, then smoking weed during breaks to numb their emotions. Moderators are routinely high at work.

+ Employees are developing PTSD-like symptoms after they leave the company, but are no longer eligible for any support from Facebook or Cognizant.

+ Employees have begun to embrace the fringe viewpoints of the videos and memes that they are supposed to moderate. The Phoenix site is home to a flat Earther and a Holocaust denier. A former employee tells us he no longer believes 9/11 was a terrorist attack.
facebook  ptsd  psychology  workersrights  socialmedia  abuse  violence 
19 days ago
How To Win The Presidency With 23 Percent Of The Popular Vote
November 2, 2016

Long story short: To win the presidency, you don't have to win the majority of the popular vote. You have to win the majority of electoral votes — that is, 270 of them.* In most states, a candidate wins electoral votes by winning the most voters.

Starting from the smallest-electoral-vote states, a candidate could have won the presidency in 2012 with only around 23% of the popular vote.

The idea here is that a voter in a low-population state like Wyoming counts for a larger share of electoral votes than popular votes.
votingRights  ElectoralCollege  democracy  usa 
19 days ago
The deadly truth about a world built for men – from stab vests to car crashes
by Caroline Criado-Perez

In the tech world, the implicit assumption that men are the default human remains king. When Apple launched its health-monitoring system with much fanfare in 2014, it boasted a “comprehensive” health tracker. It could track blood pressure; steps taken; blood alcohol level; even molybdenum and copper intake. But as many women pointed out at the time, they forgot one crucial detail: a period tracker.

When Apple launched their AI, Siri, users in the US found that she (ironically) could find prostitutes and Viagra suppliers, but not abortion providers. Siri could help you if you’d had a heart attack, but if you told her you’d been raped, she replied “I don’t know what you mean by ‘I was raped.’”

From smartwatches that are too big for women’s wrists, to map apps that fail to account for women who may want to know the “safest” in addition to “fastest” routes; to “measure how good you are at sex” apps called “iThrust” and “iBang” the tech industry is rife with other examples. While there are an increasing number of female-led tech firms that do cater to women’s needs, they are seen as a “niche” concern and often struggle to get funding.
women  sexism  architecture  workersrights  safety  healthcare 
21 days ago
The lifespans of ancient civilisations
In the graphic below, the University of Cambridge’s Luke Kemp compiled a list of civilisations to compare how long they lasted.

One way to look at the rise and fall of past civilisations is to compare their longevity. This can be difficult, because there is no strict definition of civilisation, nor an overarching database of their births and deaths.

In the graphic below, I have compared the lifespan of various civilisations, which I define as a society with agriculture, multiple cities, military dominance in its geographical region and a continuous political structure. Given this definition, all empires are civilisations, but not all civilisations are empires. The data is drawn from two studies on the growth and decline of empires (for 3000-600BC and 600BC-600), and an informal, crowd-sourced survey of ancient civilisations (which I have amended).

Credit: Nigel Hawtin)

Civilisation [Duration in years]

Ancient Egypt, Old Kingdom [505]
Ancient Egypt, Middle Kingdom [405]
Ancient Egypt, New Kingdom [501]
Norte Chico Civilisation [827]
Harappan Civilisation (Indus Valley Civilisation) [800]
Kerma [400]
Akkadian Empire [187]
Elam Civilisation (Awan Dynasty) [157]
Minoan Civilisation (Protopalatial) [500]
Xia Dynasty [500]
Third Dynasty of Ur [46]
Old Assyrian Empire [241]
Middle Assyrian Empire [313]
Neo Assyrian Empire [322]
Elam Civilisation (Eparti Dynasty) [210]
First Babylonian Dynasty [299]
Old Hittie Empire [250]
Minoan Civilisation (Neopalatial) [250]
Shang Dynasty [478]
Mycenae [400]
Vedic Civilisation [1000]
Middle Hittite Kingdom [70]
Elam Civilisation (Middle Elamite Period) [342]
New Hittite Kingdom [220]
Olmecs [1000]
Phoenicia [661]
Zhou Dynasty (Western Period) [351]
Kingdom of Israel and Judah [298]
Chavin Culture [700]
Urartu [225]
Kushite Kingdom [1150]
Etruscans [404]
Zhou Dynasty (Eastern Zhou Spring Period) [330]
Zhou Dynasty (Eastern Zhou Warring States Period) [411]
Ancient Rome [244]
Elam Civilisation (Neo-Elamite Period) [203]
Phrygia [43]
Lydia [144]
Magadha Empire [364]
Chaldean Dynasty (Babylon) [87]
Medean Empire [66]
Orontid Dynasty [540]
Scythians [800]
Mahanjanapadas [200]
Carthage [667]
Achaemenid Empire [220]
Roman Republic [461]
Nanda Empire [24]
Ptolemaic Egypt [302]
Classical Greek [265]
Hellenistic [177]
Maurya Empire [137]
Seleucid Empire [249]
First Chera Empire [500]
Early Chola Empire [500]
Maghada-Maurya [90]
Parthian Empire [469]
Satavahana Dynasty [450]
Qin Dynasty [14]
Xiongnu Empire [184]
Han Dynasty (Western Period) [197]
Numidia [156]
Teotihuacans [735]
Kingdom of Armenia [442]
Hsiung Nu Han [120]
Sunga Empire [112]
Andhra [370]
Aksumite Empire [1100]
Kanva Dynasty [45]
Three Kingdoms of Korea [725]
Saka [140]
Roman Empire [525]
Han Dynasty (Eastern Period) [195]
Kushan [200]
Bactria [70]
Ptolemaic [290]
Liu-Sung [250]
Gupta [90]
Hun [100]
Byzantine [350]
Yuen-Yuen [30]
Toba [130]
White Hun [100]
Visigoth [240]
T'u Chueh Turk [90]
Avar [220]
Western Turk [70]

Luke Kemp is a researcher based at the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk at the University of Cambridge. He tweets @lukakemp.
history  INFOGRAPHIC  anthropology 
23 days ago
My Kids With Autism Were the Pickiest Eaters on the Planet. Then This Show Changed Everything.
But from the signature dish challenge through every dinner service, Gordon tastes (nearly) every dish, and he demands that contestants do the same. He gives feedback on flavor and texture, and sometimes, after critiquing the presentation, even Ramsay finds that something he thought would be awful actually tastes “quite nice.” Whether he knows it or not, Gordon is mimicking the advice of my daughter’s occupational therapist: Engage food with all your senses. Look at it, smell it, and touch it before you even try to taste it. Sometimes, step one is to allow a scary food to be on your plate. This helps you demystify the food. You can identify ways in which it’s familiar to other things you’ve eaten or find senses that aren’t overwhelmed by food. My oldest will try things that are visually attractive, for example. I can slice baby carrots lengthwise and arrange them around a circle of dip like flower petals, and she adores them.
food  nutrition  childhoodDevelopment  autism  psychology 
24 days ago
I Wish I’d Had A ‘Late-Term Abortion’ Instead Of Having My Daughter | HuffPost
by Dina Zirlott

It would have been a kindness... and perhaps I could have been spared as well.

I was raped when I was 17 years old. I had a baby when I was 18 years old. My baby died when I was 19 years old.

The doctor came to us and spread the ultrasound pictures across the table. She pointed to darkness where gray brain matter ought to be. She called it hydranencephaly, a congenital defect in which the brain fails to develop either cerebral hemisphere, instead filling with cerebrospinal fluid. The fetus continued to experience development because the brain stem was still intact, but she would be born blind, deaf, completely cognitively stunted, prone to seizures, diabetes insipidus, insomnia, hypothermia and more. The list of every agonizing disorder she would suffer was tremendous.
abortion  reproductiveRights 
28 days ago
'We are not monsters': Parents go public about late-term abortions
Only 1% of abortions in the U.S. — around 15,000 a year — occur in the 21st week or beyond, according to the Guttmacher Institute. The organization, which both sides of the debate usually credit as an impartial source, says there is no hard data on the reasons for those abortions, but offers some explanations. Some women do not know they are pregnant until well into their pregnancy, some try to have the procedure sooner but are stymied by legal or practical obstacles such as waiting periods and the need to travel long distances to clinics, and some only learn of fetal anomalies or risks to their own health until the second or third trimester.

This small percentage of pregnancies has been in the news a great deal, as some states seek to secure abortion rights in anticipation that the Supreme Court will overturn federal protections. New York’s Reproductive Health Act, for which Christensen and Marschall have been lobbying for for several years, would allow abortions after 24 weeks if the fetus is not viable or if there is a risk to the mother’s health, eliminating the need to travel to other states. And Virginia’s HB 2491 would have expanded the circumstances under which third trimester abortions would be permissible, including nonviability and severe fetal anomaly.

Goehring was in her 25th week when an ultrasound was able to give an accurate view of the fetal face, which had no nose, a cleft down the center and eyes where the temples should be. Moving outward, it became clear that the vessels around the heart were misaligned and there was a large cyst near the brain stem. After an autopsy, Goehring would learn that the reason was a condition called acromelic frontonasal dysostosis, and that her daughter was the 19th recorded case in all of medical literature. She has since found two children who survived with the condition for several years, both of whom “needed reconstructive surgery just to breathe, do not walk, sit or talk, have trachs and breathing tubes,” she says.
abortion  legislation  reproductiveRights 
28 days ago
I’m A Teenager And I Don’t Like Young Adult Novels. Here’s Why.
Everyone Listens To Them
You’re Really Writing 20-Year-olds
Is this a cloud palace on top of Mount Olympus? Because everyone here is as beautiful as the Gods and Goddesses.
Love Triangles
“Forever Love”
They’ve Got Their Lives Together
We’re Not All That Sarcastic
Happily Ever After
fiction  tropes  writing  characterdevelopment 
28 days ago
Opinion: Dear Tomi Lahren, please stop saying that you 'don't see color'
The idea that you are blind to my existing as a Black man doesn’t say to me that you lack a bias, or that you are somehow woke. It says to me that you ignore my reality and you choose to do it, because (save for legal blindness) there’s no way that you can’t actually see me and my melanin.

The next time you want to say to a person of color that you aren’t racist, or that you actively fight against bias, that you see their existence, that you recognize their struggle, it may better behoove you to use a phrase like “I recognize my privilege,” or “I’m doing my best to understand,” or just be honest and say “I need help with how to address this.”
racism  usa 
4 weeks ago
Requiem for a Rover – Tanya Harrison – Medium
Zurbuchen put it beautifully in his remarks to us that night: “Machines are a manifestation of teams.” Humans built this robotic emissary and sent it to a world to which we ourselves cannot yet venture. It dutifully explored for over 50 times its expected life span. People were married, babies born, lifelong friendships forged, all over this rover. It carried many pieces of us with it on its journey on Mars, and those pieces will remain there with her and the dust.

The last phrase I heard as I began my descent out of The Darkroom was from an unidentified Opportunity team member: “13/10 would science again.”
astronomy  robots  mars 
4 weeks ago
Here’s What I Want Donald Trump And Everyone Else To Know About My 'Late-Term Abortion'
Once seated around a small round table, the doctor wasted no time getting to the point. She informed us that our baby had a severe developmental abnormality, Spina Bifida, in the cervical region of the spine. Her spinal cord was completely exposed just below her skull. I remember immediately starting to cry and my ears started to ring so loudly I could barely hear her as she continued to speak. I struggled to listen as she explained in detail what we were facing.

The doctor told us that it was unlikely that our baby would survive and should she make it to delivery and live, she would be paralyzed from the neck down. She would be confined to a wheelchair and would likely be permanently attached to a colostomy bag and feeding tube; she would be profoundly mentally disabled. The doctor advised us that our best course of action, in her medical opinion, was a therapeutic abortion, and with heavy hearts we agreed.
abortion  legislation  reproductiveRights 
4 weeks ago
There's No Good Reason to Trust Blockchain Technology
What blockchain does is shift some of the trust in people and institutions to trust in technology. You need to trust the cryptography, the protocols, the software, the computers and the network. And you need to trust them absolutely, because they’re often single points of failure.

When that trust turns out to be misplaced, there is no recourse. If your bitcoin exchange gets hacked, you lose all of your money. If your bitcoin wallet gets hacked, you lose all of your money. If you forget your login credentials, you lose all of your money. If there’s a bug in the code of your smart contract, you lose all of your money. If someone successfully hacks the blockchain security, you lose all of your money. In many ways, trusting technology is harder than trusting people. Would you rather trust a human legal system or the details of some computer code you don’t have the expertise to audit?
cryptocurrency  infosec  security  environment 
4 weeks ago
We uncovered an even darker side to the NRA's relationship with Russian agent Maria Butina
Mother Jones has uncovered a trail of activity showing that during the same period when top NRA leaders welcomed Butina into the fold—meeting with her extensively in Moscow and the United States—Butina actively supported Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military takeover of Crimea. In the immediate aftermath of the invasion and annexation in March 2014, Butina denounced retaliatory sanctions by the Obama administration and traveled to Crimea to promote the arming of pro-Russian separatists. Her efforts there included pledging support to a leader of a militia group that violently seized a Crimean news outlet it deemed “pro-American” and swiftly repurposed for a Kremlin propaganda operation.
Russia  nra  treason 
4 weeks ago
Why pregnancy is a biological war between mother and baby – Suzanne Sadedin | Aeon Essays
When scientists tried to gestate mice outside the womb, they expected the embryos to wither, deprived of the surface that had evolved to nurture them. To their shock they found instead that – implanted in the brain, testis or eye of a mouse – the embryo went wild. Placental cells rampaged through surrounding tissues, slaughtering everything in their path as they hunted for arteries to sate their thirst for nutrients. It’s no accident that many of the same genes active in embryonic development have been implicated in cancer. Pregnancy is a lot more like war than we might care to admit.

A list of the reproductive ills that afflict our species might start with placental abruption, hyperemesis gravidarum, gestational diabetes, cholestasis and miscarriage, and carry on from there. In all, about 15 per cent of women suffer life-threatening complications during each pregnancy. Without medical assistance, more than 40% of hunter-gatherer women never reach menopause. Even with the help of modern medicine, pregnancy still kills about 800 women every day worldwide.

Is this unfettered access to maternal blood the key to the extraordinary brain development we see in young primates?

Given the invasive nature of pregnancy, it’s perhaps not surprising that the primate womb has evolved to be wary of committing to it. Mammals whose placentae don’t breach the walls of the womb can simply abort or reabsorb unwanted foetuses at any stage of pregnancy. For primates, any such manoeuvre runs the risk of haemorrhage, as the placenta rips away from the mother’s enlarged and paralysed arterial system. And that, in a sentence, is why miscarriages are so dangerous.
biology  pregnancy 
5 weeks ago
What is SS7 and is China Using It To Spy on Trump’s Cell Phone?
In 1980, the International Telecommunications Union codified Signaling System 7 as the international standard protocol for telephone signaling. Signaling is the technical term for giving information to a network that tells it how to route a call, such as dialing a phone number. When SS7 was adopted as a standard protocol for routing telephone calls, it marked a revolution in telephony.

Prior to SS7, signaling information was sent on the same channel as the call itself: A user would dial a number (signal) and talk on the same wires, so to speak. SS7, on the other hand, established separate channels for signalling and the actual call. This not only allowed for remarkably higher data transmission rates, but it also allowed for signalling to occur at any point during the call instead of just at the beginning. This drastically improved the quality and reliability of phone calls.

By the new millennium, however, the cracks in the SS7 protocol were starting to show. The main problem with the SS7 network was that it treats all information sent over the network as legitimate. Thus, if a bad actor gains access to the network they can prey on this system of trust and use it to manipulate or intercept the signaling information that is sent. In 1999, the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), a consortium of organizations that deal with telecom standards, issued a distressing warning about vulnerabilities found in SS7.
telecommunications  infosec  espionage 
6 weeks ago
Block Printed Cottons in the Georgian Era
Since the 12th century, India has been known for its printed cotton. Different parts of India developed their own printing techniques; some favored mordant and resist dyeing methods that largely employed vegetable dyes (like those from the root of the madder plant which produces colors ranging from pink to red, purple, and black), others specialized in painting directly on the fabric by hand, and still others, in relief prints.

A mordant (the fixing agent) on a textile bonds the color to the areas that receive the dye, and has the benefit of producing powerful tones that do not fade. Some dyestuffs don’t need a mordant, but madder does. In the resist method, parts of the fabric are protected from the dye by being first covered with a paste, like wax.

Gujarat, and later Rajasthan, first excelled in India in the traditional method of relief printmaking, the block print. Block printing most likely originated in Persia or Egypt, but it was in India where the technique was perfected.
texiles  history  costume 
6 weeks ago
Security Things to Consider When Your Apartment Goes ‘Smart’
For years, rekeyable mechanical deadbolt locks with master keys have dominated the US apartment market. Many lessors don’t use high security locks with substantial modern anti-pick or anti-drill protection. They choose locks because they’re quick, cheap, and easy to rekey and meet codes. Your apartment deadbolt is a deterrent. If you live at ground level with windows, it might be easier for a criminal to enter through one. If you live in a more secure building, it still won’t take long at all for someone with a bit of motivation to bump, drill, or pick the lock.

Smart locks really vary. A lot of their security depends on their implementation, quality, and features. Some of them provide slightly better physical security than a mechanical lock, and some of them may have slightly worse resistance to simple physical attacks. In my case, the lock in question has no mechanical keyhole, so some physical attack vectors simply aren’t there. If that’s your specific risk model, then that lock is an improvement.
6 weeks ago
Unemployment is low only because 'involuntary' part-time work is high
"Involuntary" means they're only working part-time because they cannot get a full-time job.

"During early 2018, involuntary part-time work was running nearly a percentage point higher than its level the last time the unemployment rate was 4.1%, in August 2000," according to Rob Valletta, a vice president in the Economic Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. "This represents about 1.4 million additional individuals who are stuck in part-time jobs. These numbers imply that the level of IPT work is about 40% higher than would normally be expected at this point in the economic expansion."

Mass unemployment — the historic kind, with dole queues, unemployment benefits, and idle workers on street corners — has been replaced by low-paid, part-time, "gig economy" or "zero-hours" contract work.

Business Insider has suggested previously that the part-time "gig economy" has broken a fundamental link in capitalism that was good for workers. Pay rates no longer move upward as unemployment moves downward because companies like Uber, Amazon, Just Eat, and Deliveroo switch their demand for labour on and off, on a minute-by-minute basis. Self-employed folks making a living on Etsy, Airbnb, or eBay know their clients instantly go elsewhere if they raise their prices by even a few pennies.

Having a job is no longer a guaranteed way of getting ahead. Instead, work may keep you poor. You cannot get rich working for Uber. You cannot get rich working for Deliveroo.
economy  statistics  usa  uk  unemployment  workersrights 
6 weeks ago
I’ve done abortions after 24 weeks.

I’ve done abortions after 24 weeks. For several years I lived in a state with no gestational age limit. I have never done one that was not medically indicated. I was never approached by any woman to do a non medically indicated abortion.

So spare me the lies. Abortion after 24 weeks is very rare. It is very expensive. These are not “whims” because a woman is tired of being pregnant. These are situations with tragic fetal anomalies, sometimes compounded by maternal health issues

I know of one case after 24 weeks where there were no fetal anomalies. It took months to get the court order as the child’s parents would not consent. It was in the news, so not a HIPAA violation. She had raped by her brother if I remember correctly.

Here are some examples:
25 weeks, severe growth restriction and fetus not expected to survive. Pregnant person has severe pre eclampsia, chooses abortion over c-section
abortion  reproductiveRights 
7 weeks ago
evidence for the president’s claims of a national security crisis
As a furloughed scientist, I thought it worthwhile to use my PhD skills to look at evidence for the president’s claims of a national security crisis & whether his desire for a wall is an adequate justification for a government #shutdown that has cut off pay for 800,000 Americans.

What every American should be asking themselves right now is this: what is the evidence that our border is so unsafe that it constitutes a crisis and the need to #BuildTheWall? Evidence that would be needed to support such a claim are that...
(A) there has been a dramatic increase in people crossing our border over time, (B) there is an increase in crime with an increase in immigration, and immigrants commit more crimes than those within our borders, and/or (C) current strategies for border security are ineffective.
immigration  statistics  mexico  usa  politics 
7 weeks ago
Bridal Shop Owner Says U.S.-China Tariffs Will Hurt His Business
Steve Lang, president of the American Bridal and Prom Industry Association and owner of Mon Cheri Bridals

On Trump's hope that tariffs will help bring business back to the U.S.

"I can't find labor to do the kind of work that I need done. I mean, some of our garments have 150,000 hand-sewn beads on them. There's nobody here that wants to do that work, and even if I could find people to do that work, my dresses would become 10 times the cost of what they are right now. It's always been the option, but nobody's taken up that charge because it isn't just a matter of cost, it's a matter of finding the laborers that want to do that kind of work. Even in China -- there's a labor shortage actually in China right now -- there are even people there that don't want to do that kind of work anymore because they have options. They can go work in banks. They can work in technology. We know eventually, long-term maybe in 25 years, this business is going to have to move to other low-labor countries. It's the allure of the jungle, that's the way it works. You could not bring this back onshore right now."

On how the price of wedding gowns would rise if they were made in the U.S.

"The average price of a wedding gown has dropped precipitously over the last decade. The average retail price right now, the sweet spot, is between $1,200 and $1,500, and that's the lion's share of the goods, maybe 90% of the sales. That dress wholesale would go up dramatically, probably by 50%. And therefore, the consumer's going to be the one paying the bill."
capitalism  china  bridalgown  economy  fashion 
7 weeks ago
Corporate America Is Getting Ready to Monetize Climate Change
Bank of America Corp. worries flooded homeowners will default on their mortgages. The Walt Disney Co. is concerned its theme parks will get too hot for vacationers, while AT&T Inc. fears hurricanes and wildfires may knock out its cell towers.

The Coca-Cola Co. wonders if there will still be enough water to make Coke.

As the Trump administration rolls back rules meant to curb global warming, new disclosures show that the country’s largest companies are already bracing for its effects. The documents reveal how widely climate change is expected to cascade through the economy -- disrupting supply chains, disabling operations and driving away customers, but also offering new ways to make money.
capitalism  climatechange  globalwarming 
7 weeks ago
Let's talk about writing IP today, shall we?
Let's talk about writing IP today, shall we? IP = Intellectual Property = worlds owned by other people. Star Wars/Trek, WoW, Batman, etc. 1/

StarWars  fiction  writing  capitalism  fanfic  publishing 
7 weeks ago
The whole story: Before and after video of Nathan Phillips, #MAGAyouth and more
On Sunday, several media outlets reported that the mother of the Covington Catholic High School student who stood face to face with Nathan Phillips had blamed the incident on “Black Muslims” who were standing at the base of the Lincoln Memorial while the students were standing on the stairs. Others on social media stated the men identified themselves as “Black Israelites.”

Nathan Phillips enters in between the crowd and the Black Israelites singing a prayer song, known as the AIM song.

Phillips told Indian Country Today he admitted that he didn't really realize what he had gotten into until he was in the middle of it.

He said, “What am I doing?” You know? But this is the commitment when I picked up the pipe 27 years ago. It's for the next generation. It’s when that moment comes and you got to stand your ground. That commitment that you made to either fulfill that or you don't. I mean, I was scared and I didn't want to. I really, I really didn't want to, but nobody else was.”
nativeamericans  socialmedia  socialJustice  racism  politics  video 
8 weeks ago
"ugly" food
As someone who works in ag & food distribution I gotta disagree w this. A lot of "ugly" food -Won't survive distribution bc weird shapes makes it prone to getting smushed, bruised, start to rot, & make everything else in the box/crate rot. Broken skin does the same thing.
food  sustainability 
8 weeks ago
You don't know him like i do
[thread of art works about abusive relationships]
comic  DomesticViolence  abuse 
9 weeks ago
Your Boss NEEDS To Read This WSJ Article About Our Power Grid And How The Russians Hacked It With Phishing
Russian hackers use malicious emails to steal credentials from utility company employees

Using stolen credentials, hackers remotely access power utility workstations & run malicious code

From the compromised workstation can gain access to the utility's Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition System (SCADA)

SCADA controls utility assets, including substations and power generation facilities

"America’s Electric Grid Has a Vulnerable Back Door—and Russia Walked Through It"
espionage  Russia  infrastructure  infosec  security 
9 weeks ago
Ritman Occult Library Online Catalog
Thanks to a generous donation from Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown, Amsterdam’s Ritman Library—a sizable collection of pre-1900 books on alchemy, astrology, magic, and other occult subjects—has been digitizing thousands of its rare texts under a digital education project cheekily called “Hermetically Open.” We are now pleased to report, less than 2 months later, that the first 1,617 books from the Ritman project have come available in their online reading room. The site is still in beta, so to speak; in their Facebook announcement, the Ritman admits they are “still improving the whole presentation,” which is a bit clunky at the moment. But for fans and students of this literature, a little inconvenience is a small price to pay for full access to hundreds of rare occult texts.
9 weeks ago
The singular "they" pronoun dates back to 1375
The singular "they" pronoun dates back to 1375, where it appears in the medieval romance William and the Werewolf (also known as Guillaume de Palerme). The plural "they" arrived in the 1200s from Old Norse.

In the 19th century, it was insisted that "he" become the new gender neutral pronoun despite rather clearly being the masculine pronoun which is - sadly - reflected in many modern day style guides. Patriarchy sucks.

It's often overlooked that "they" is not a native English pronoun - it is from Old Norse and spread unusually quickly within just a few decades across the country. The Old Norse their, theira, and theim became the Old English thei, their, theim (replacing hīe, hīora, him).

Themself (the singular of themselves) was common usage from the 14th to 16th centuries.

It causes modern day grammarians to splutter despite still being used in many dialects (eg Scots).

Fact - in 1792 James Anderson (Scottish), advocated for an indeterminate pronoun "ou".

Anderson, an economist & philosopher, actually posited that English should have 13 genders including TWO indeterminate/neutral pronouns. There are essays dating to 1794 in which writers critically defend the use of singular they and suggest a second gender neutral one is needed.

Coleridge himself offered it and which as potential pronouns while an 1884 article recalled earlier usage of the neopronouns ne, nis, and nim. Thon, er, un, han, en, le, se, sis, sim, e, es, em, hesh, are just some of the MANY pronouns that turn up before 1900.

It's worth noting of course that the pronoun "you" was originally plural, replacing the plural (ye) and the singular (thou, thee, thy, thine). In the 17th century "you" began to be used as a singular and - surprise! - commentators objected that it wasn't grammatically correct.

So what's the point of all this, you ask. Words are defined by usage, not by grammar guides. Words deemed "incorrect" today often have long and rich histories of being correct and useful. And if a word is useful, it *is* correct usage. Language SHOULD be useful

For those asking btw - The earliest usage of the Old Norse pronouns in middle English text is the Ormulum which was written around 1180, and also uses the Old English pronouns. Other usage is all 1200+
gender  linguistics  english  grammar 
11 weeks ago
A Single Cell Hints at a Solution to the Biggest Problem in Computer Science
Keio University's solution is different from the typical algorithmic solutions produced by other researchers, because the scientists used an amoeba. Specifically, the Physarum polycephalum slime mold. Physarum polycephalum is a very simple organism that does two things: it moves toward food and it moves away from light. Millions of years of evolution has made Physarum abnormally efficient at both of these things.

The Keio University researchers used this efficiency to build a device to solve the traveling salesman problem. They set the amoeba in a special chamber filled with channels, and at the end of each channel the researchers placed some food. Instinctively, the amoeba would extend tendrils into the channels to try and get the food. When it does that, however, it triggers lights to go off in other channels.
microbiology  mathematics 
11 weeks ago
This is a Chinese hotpot, you engorged penis
> Meat eaters be like “vegan food looks and tastes gross”
> And then eat something that looks like leftover dishwater

This is a Chinese hotpot, you engorged penis
It could be made with nothing but vegan ingredients and it would still be delicious and you’d still be a xenophobic tool

Can we talk about white veganism for a second? The kind espoused by folks like Jona here, who begins his Twitter bio with the Sanskrit word for “nonviolence” but then craps on Asian cultural expressions in order to advance his neocolonial beliefs?

vegan  colonialism  whiteprivilege  wealthinequality  agribusiness 
11 weeks ago
Where Did African American Vernacular English Come From?
Scholars like Toni Morrison, writer and winner of the Nobel Prize in literature, have spoken of five present tenses in AAVE. In reality it’s probably more than that, if you factor in stress. See our list of the many present-tense variations below (many also feature the mighty-fine be copula or linking verb). All tenses mean something slightly different. Some can’t be translated into SAE so easily.

> Final -s deletion: He work-∅. | He works.
> Copula deletion: He ∅ workin’. | He is working at this moment.
> Habitual “be”: He be workin’. | He is usually working.
> “Been” (always unstressed): He been workin’. | He has been working.
> BIN (always stressed): He BIN workin’. | He is working and has been for a long time.
> Finna: He finna work. | He is about to work.

In AAVE, like in math, two negatives equal a negative. And, sometimes negation can be used for emphasis to mean a bigger, bolder No. It’s also like several other languages in that way, including French, Spanish, Polish, Persian, Middle English . . . you get the idea. The linguistic term is multiple negation, and languages that allow it are said to have negative concord. See some examples below, taken from Toni Morrison’s beautiful novel Sula. Central to it are themes explored in other novels by and about black people: home and identity, race, class, and self-evolution.
english  linguistics  grammar 
11 weeks ago
Arborists Have Cloned Ancient Redwoods From Their Massive Stumps
A team of arborists has successfully cloned and grown saplings from the stumps of some of the world’s oldest and largest coast redwoods, some of which were 3,000 years old and measured 35 feet in diameter when they were cut down in the 19th and 20th centuries. Earlier this month, 75 of the cloned saplings were planted at the Presidio national park in San Francisco.

Today, giant stumps of ancient redwoods dot the landscape from Oregon to northern California, reminders of the old-growth forest that used to stretch across the Pacific Northwest. Many arborists assumed these stumps were dead, but Milarch and his son, Jake, discovered living tissue growing from the trees’ roots, material known as baseless or stump sprouts. The Milarchs collected DNA from stumps of five giant coast redwoods, all larger than the largest tree living today. These included a giant sequoia known as General Sherman with a 25-foot diameter.
botany  biology 
11 weeks ago
Apple can't protect you from data trackers forever. No one can
The Ghostery privacy tool has thousands of trackers in its database, and it's adding about 20 to 30 new trackers per week.

Even that's still not enough though, he said. "There are trackers that don't end up in our database."

These trackers use tactics like device fingerprinting, which allows advertisers to know who's viewing their content based on data your browser gives over. The chances that visitors to a website have the exact same settings, fonts, plug-ins and browser version as you are pretty small, and it allows trackers to set up "fingerprints" for each device.
apple  google  privacy  infosec  dataCollection 
11 weeks ago
How Much of the Internet Is Fake? Turns Out, a Lot of It, Actually.
How much of the internet is fake? Studies generally suggest that, year after year, less than 60% of web traffic is human; some years, according to some researchers, a healthy majority of it is bot. For a period of time in 2013, the Times reported this year, a full half of YouTube traffic was “bots masquerading as people,” a portion so high that employees feared an inflection point after which YouTube’s systems for detecting fraudulent traffic would begin to regard bot traffic as real and human traffic as fake. They called this hypothetical event “the Inversion.”
botnet  bots  capitalism  advertising  YouTube  facebook 
11 weeks ago
It's all true: Everything is fake.
It's all true: Everything is fake. Also mobile user counts are fake. No one has figured out how to count logged-out mobile users, as I learned at reddit. Every time someone switches cell towers, it looks like another user and inflates company user metrics


The numbers are all fking fake, the metrics are bullshit, the agencies responsible for enforcing good practices are knowing bullshiters enforcing and profiting off all the fake numbers and none of the models make sense at scale of actual human users.

There are so many fake numbers and bullshit in the ad tech/media/digital publishing ecosystem it's a defense mechanism, even the people who know they are bullshiting can't tell you where the lies end and the truth begins BY DESIGN.

Everything is fake, no one knows what is going on, there's not even a mechanism to create trust, much less incentive to use it. The only people in the internet ad tech game you can trust are the ones who this is hurting the most: legit advertisers, legit publishers, users.
advertising  internet  capitalism 
11 weeks ago
Trump Transition Records, A Source Of Friction With Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Were Almost Destroyed
Seth Greenfeld, a lawyer for the GSA, explained in a June 8, 2017, email to his boss that during a conversation with a special counsel staffer and the FBI, he told them that the GSA would normally “destroy the records and wipe the machines, but given the news cycles, GSA decided it was prudent to inquire about preservation during the machine wiping process.”

Greenfeld said the GSA reached out to its internal watchdog who contacted the FBI and Department of Justice “and got the ball rolling” to preserve the Trump transition documents, which were copied onto a thumb drive. But Greenfeld noted that in order for the GSA to turn over the records to law enforcement, he believed the agency would need a subpoena, because the GSA did not own the records.

The FBI letter requested that the GSA preserve a wide range of materials that may be responsive to its ongoing probe into collusion.

The term "Documents and Responsive Materials" includes, but is not limited to, all issued electronic devices, to include computers, cellular telephones, wireless devices, and CMS devices, as well as, both in draft and final form, all emails, voicemails, documents, photos, text messages, instant messages, electronic, handwritten; and/or hardcopy records, databases, telephone records, correspondence, transcripts, audio recordings, analyses, briefings, assessments, banner entries, user agreements, audit records, metadata, storage devices, notes, memoranda, diary and calendar entries, visitor logs, meeting attendance records, meeting room reservations, meeting agendas, badge records, records of entry and exit to any building, room, or secure facility, safe access records, video surveillance of public and non-public areas, and access logs, including of classified information.

The GSA emails turned over to BuzzFeed News indicate that transition team officials were aware the agency might be forced to turn over the transition records.
politics  FOIA  freepress 
11 weeks ago
Six Ways America Is Like a Third-World Country
1. Criminal Justice
2. Gun Violence
3. Healthcare
4. Education
5. Inequality
6. Infrastructure
wealthinequality  education  healthcare  gunViolence  penalSystem  judicialSystem 
december 2018
Fanfiction is not now nor ever will be a waste of time...
Repeat after me, kids:

Fanfiction is not now nor ever will be a waste of time, uncreative, or automatically inferior to canon.
It is an invaluable tool that enriches fandom and allows authors to build their creative chops in a setting that encourages feedback and communal discussion.
In some cases, fandoms with disappointing canon material can be kept alive solely through the work of dedicated fan-authors, fan-artists, and other content creators.

Do not let anyone suggest that fan-work is without value.
fanfic  fandom  writing  socialmedia 
december 2018
Sorry, your data can still be identified even if it’s anonymized
Carlo Ratti, the MIT Senseable City Lab founder who co-authored the study in IEEE Transactions on Big Data, says that the research process made them feel “a bit like ‘white hat’ or ‘ethical’ hackers” in a news release. First, they combined two anonymized datasets of people in Singapore, one of mobile phone logs and the other of transit trips, each containing “location stamps” detailing just the time and place of each data point. Then they used an algorithm to match users whose data overlapped closely between each set–in other words, they had phone logs and transit logs with similar time and location stamps–and tracked how closely those stamps matched up over time, eliminating false positives as they went. In the end, it took a week to match up 17% of the users and 11 weeks to get to a 95% rate of accuracy. (With the added GPS data from smartphones, it took less than a week to hit that number.)

While the MIT group wasn’t trying to unmask specific users in this dataset, they proved that someone acting in bad faith could merge such anonymized datasets with personal ones using the same process, easily pinning the timestamps together to figure out who was who.
privacy  telecommunications  infosec 
december 2018
100 million Americans have chronic pain. Very few use one of the best tools to treat it.
Chronic pain often has no physical cause. Psychotherapy can reduce the suffering.
psychology  medicine  health  healthcare 
december 2018
Women were written out of science history – it’s time we put them back in
One reason women tend to be absent from narratives of science is because it’s not as easy to find female scientists on the public record.

[....]For a start, the traditional view of science as a body of knowledge rather than an activity ignores women’s contributions as collaborators, focusing instead on the facts produced by big discoveries (and the men who made them famous).

[....]The historian Margaret Rossiter has dubbed this systematic bias against women the “Matthew Matilda Effect”. Before the 20th century, women’s social position meant the only way they could typically negotiate access to science was to collaborate with male family members or friends and then mostly only if they were rich.

[....]Women’s exclusion from professional spaces at this time is one reason why women became more active in scientific disciplines that still relied heavily on fieldwork, such as astronomy and botany.

This is where science began splitting into a hierarchy of male-dominated “hard” sciences, such as physics, and “soft” sciences, such as botany and biological science, that were seen as more acceptable for women.

Women were typically refused admission to elite scientific institutions, so we do not find their names on fellowship lists. The first women were elected as fellows of the Royal Society in 1945, and the French Academy of Science didn’t admit its first female fellow until 1979.

[....]In the late 19th century, science taught that there were innate intellectual differences between the sexes which limited women’s suitability for science. (Another reason why scientific societies did not want their prestige tarnished by female fellows.) Charles Darwin argued that evolutionary competition led to the higher development of male brains.
science  women  history  sexism  misogyny  maleprivilege 
december 2018
Tumblr’s Porn Bloggers Test Pillowfort and Dreamwidth
Sexual content has always been a part of fandom communities online, from LiveJournal to Tumblr. And communities have a history of abandoning platforms that don’t support the free expression of adult material. It was LiveJournal’s crackdown on NSFW material back in 2007 that broke community trust in the site and initiated the mass migration to Tumblr, along with the creation of fandom sites like An Archive of Our Own. Now Tumblr’s facing its own porn-related exodus, because NSFW content appears to be at odds with its business goals.

[....]Instead, Dreamwidth is a text-based community, full of everything from fanfic to erotica to you name it. Tumblr's new ban, however, focuses on visuals, like NSFW photos, video, and GIFs; the company says written content like erotica is still allowed.

Paolucci understands that Dreamwidth may not be right for all Tumblr exiles. “We are definitely thinking of this as an opportunity for users who are fleeing Tumblr to discover our philosophy and business ethics,” she says, “but there is also a certain level of people who are used to Tumblr and Tumblr's features [and Dreamwidth] may not be what they are looking for.”

[....]Baritz created Pillowfort in 2016 to be exactly what disaffected Tumblr bloggers are now in search of: an open-minded site that can host images and videos; allows reblogging, commenting, and community building; encourages a strong artistic bent; and doesn’t censor NSFW content. It improves on Tumblr, in some bloggers’ opinion, by offering nimble privacy features—like allowing you to make certain posts private to certain followers, while leaving other posts public—and focusing on customization. Pillowfort's terms of service also currently prohibit posts that target or harass other users, which some bloggers may crave in a new community.
fandom  pornography  socialmedia  capitalism 
december 2018
Princeton’s Ad-Blocking Superweapon May Put an End to the Ad-Blocking Arms Race
This means advertisers and publishers can simply change the code they use to deliver their ads to defeat them. This type of ad-blocking is often easily detected by anti ad blockers, which are deployed on the sites of more than 50 popular publishers. Finally, traditional ad blockers fail to block native ads that look like normal content, which is why your ad blockers won't detect and block sponsored posts on Facebook.

Perceptual ad-blocking, on the other hand, ignores those codes and those lists. Instead, it uses optical character recognition, design techniques, and container searches (the boxes that ads are commonly put in on a page) to detect words like "sponsored" or "close ad" that are required to appear on every ad, which is what allows it to detect and block Facebook ads.
OCR  advertising  capitalism  facebook  privacy  infosec  accessibility 
december 2018
Dollar Stores Are Targeting Struggling Urban Neighborhoods and Small Towns. One Community Is Showing How to Fight Back.
Although dollar stores sometimes fill a need in places that lack basic retail services, there’s growing evidence that these stores are not merely a byproduct of economic distress. They’re a cause of it. In small towns and urban neighborhoods alike, dollar stores are leading full-service grocery stores to close. And their strategy of saturating communities with multiple outlets is making it impossible for new grocers and other local businesses to take root and grow.

The absence of grocery stores in Tulsa is a direct result of a history of racial discrimination by banks that have been less likely to lend to African American entrepreneurs and by supermarket chains that have tended to bypass black neighborhoods.
poverty  wealthinequality  capitalism  economy  foodInsecurity 
december 2018
Millennials Didn’t Kill the Economy. The Economy Killed Millennials.
Millennials are the most educated generation in U.S. history to date. They bought into a social contract that said: Everything will work out, if first you go to college. But as the cost of college increased, millions of young people took on student loans to complete their degree. Graduates under 35 are almost 50 percent more likely than members of Gen X to have student loans, and their median balance is about 40 percent higher than that of the previous generation.

And what has all that debt gotten them? “Lower earnings, fewer assets, and less wealth,” according to the Federal Reserve paper’s conclusion. Student debt has made it harder for millions of young people to buy a home, since “holding debt is associated with a lower rate of homeownership, irrespective of degree type,” as Fed economists wrote in a previous study. In other words, young people took on debt to pursue a college degree, only to discover that the cost of college would push the American dream further from their grasp.

Is it any wonder that Millennials are eager to overthrow a system that has duped them into a story of permanent progress, thrown them into debt, depressed their wages, separated them from the trappings of adulthood, and then, for good measure, blamed them for ruining canned tuna?
wealthinequality  poverty  studentDebt  studentLoans  economy 
december 2018
They Called Her “the Che Guevara of Abortion Reformers”
The woman was Patricia Maginnis, a laboratory technician and founder of the Society for Humane Abortion, an organization that she ran out of the front room of her small apartment in San Francisco. She’d started the SHA in 1962 (back then, it was called the Citizens Committee for Humane Abortion Laws). Arguably the first organization of its kind in America, its mandate was radical: The SHA sought to repeal abortion laws, endorse elective abortions, and offer women any resources it could in the meantime. These resources would come to include “the List,” an up-to-date directory of safe abortion specialists outside the country, classes on DIY abortions, and symposia where sympathetic doctors could confer with each other about the safest and best abortion techniques. SHA would eventually formalize its legal strategy with a branch called the Association to Repeal Abortion Laws (ARAL, which would form the basis for NARAL), specifically devoted to challenging legislation.
abortion  reproductiveRights 
december 2018
Thread on the "mysterious" deaths of prominent activists, starting with Ferguson, extending into the past, and will be updated.
Thread on the "mysterious" deaths of prominent activists, starting with Ferguson, extending into the past, and will be updated.

1. Edward Crawford, possibly the most well-known Ferguson death. He was the subject of an iconic photo in which he was throwing a tear gas canister back at cops. He was found dead from "suicide" on May 5, 2017. Rest in power.

2. Darren Seals, another death of another Ferguson activist under mysterious yet horrifying conditions. His car was set aflame and he was shot on September 6, 2016. Rest in power.

3. Danye Jones, the late son of Melissa McKinnies, an active Ferguson activist. He was found hanging from a bed sheet behind their house in October 2018. Melissa posted later, "They lynched my baby." Facebook deleted her words. Rest in power, Danye.

4. Deandre Joshua, a Ferguson activist and friend of the sole witness in the Michael Brown case, a member of a family of Ferguson activists, died the exact same way Darren died on the night of the Michael Brown case verdict. He was just 20. Rest in power.

5. TODAY: Bassem Masri, a Palestinian Ferguson activist and live streamer. He was found dead of "currently unknown" causes, but will be remembered forever in his fight for liberation of oppressed peoples. Rest in power, Bassem.

6. Muhiyidin d'Baha, a Black Lives Matter activist famously known for jumping a cop barricade and snatching a Confederate flag. He was assassinated on February 6, 2018, with police "being unable to identify" the cause of his murder. Rest in power.
blacklivesmatter  homicide 
december 2018
Ivanka's emails
I hate talking about emails. I don’t want to talk about emails. We have so many other things to think about right now that are important to peoples’ lives and need solving, but this nonsense with Ivanka this morning was nothing short of outrageous.
politics  infosec  security 
december 2018
In 1637 near present day Groton, Connecticut, over 700 men, women and children of the Pequot Tribe had gathered for their annual Green Corn Festival which is our Thanksgiving celebration. #RealThanksgiving
history  nativeamericans  genocide  whiteSupremacy 
november 2018
Can you pass the 2018 CSAT English test?
The English test of Korea's College Scholastic Aptitude Test (CSAT) is notoriously difficult ― so much so that many native English speakers (well-educated adults) have called it a "CRAZY" test after looking through some of the texts and questions put on test takers' desks.

[actually a critical thinking test]
education  english 
november 2018
Georgia: The Epicenter of America’s Corrupted Electronic Elections
The article below discusses the Georgia 6th District special election of 2017, which was the catalyst for the Georgia paper ballot suit, as well as the disturbing history of Georgia’s corrupted electronic elections from 2002 through the present.
voterSuppression  votingRights  voterRegistration 
november 2018
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