Friday, December 11, 2015

roll your own license plate reader

openalpr | (Open Automatic License Plate Reader)

Know when unauthorized persons are on your property

The moment an unwelcome visitor drives past your camera we'll send you an alert.
Use a more cost-effective and accurate approach to identify suspicious activity. OpenALPR monitors all your camera feeds 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

yet another wealth extraction plan with the poor carrying the burden... how about just stopping the war on the poor and black?

Think Progress | Massachusetts’ Plan To Force State Prisoners To Pay Room And Board Will Do Far More Harm Than Good
It takes a lot of money and resources for prisons and jails to run as smoothly as possible. Administrators have to cover the costs of food, beds, healthcare, inmate programming, employee salaries and benefits, security, and maintenance. A survey of 40 states determined that, on average, states spend $31,286 a year to incarcerate one person. The hefty price tag is one motivating factor behind some states’ efforts to reform their criminal justice system and do away with harsh sentencing.
Two lawmakers in Massachusetts are taking a different approach to the cost. Massachusetts currently spends at least $53,000 a year on every inmate — $1.2 billion in total. On Tuesday, the senate minority leader proposed a bill that would make 10,000 prisoners bear some of that financial burden.
Under Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr’s (R-Gloucester) latest proposal, inmates would have to pay $2 a day for their food and housing. They would have two payment options: coughing up the money after they re-enter society or using money earned through prison labor. Those who are pregnant, mentally ill, can’t leave their beds, or are considered indigent by the state would not have to pay.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

russia responds to it's downed planes

Military Times | New Russian surface-to-air missiles in Syria, DoD confirms
U.S. pilots flying over Syria and Turkey will be in range of advanced Russian-made surface-to-air defense systems, Pentagon officials said.
U.S. intelligence shows that Russia is following through on plans to send S-400 missile systems into its military base in Syria, the officials said.
With a reported range of up to 248 miles, those missiles could put at risk most U.S. combat aircraft flying over Syria.
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the S-400 missiles to Syria one day after a Turkish F-16 aircraft shot down a Russian Su-24 jet last Tuesday. Turkish officials said the Russian aircraft veered into Turkish airspace for less than 30 seconds and was fired upon only after repeated verbal warnings.

lithification - turning dirt to rock in days instead of centuries

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

our ally, turkey, assisting and benefiting from our enemy's, isis, oil sales

Reuters | Russia says it has proof Turkey involved in Islamic State oil trade
Russia's defense ministry said on Wednesday it had proof that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and his family were benefiting from the illegal smuggling of oil from Islamic State-held territory in Syria and Iraq.
Moscow and Ankara have been locked in a war of words since last week when a Turkish air force jet shot down a Russian warplane near the Syrian-Turkish border, the most serious incident between Russia and a NATO state in half a century.
Erdogan responded by saying no one had the right to "slander" Turkey by accusing it of buying oil from Islamic State, and that he would stand down if such allegations were proven to be true. But speaking during a visit to Qatar, he also said he did not want relations with Moscow to worsen further.
At a briefing in Moscow, defense ministry officials displayed satellite images which they said showed columns of tanker trucks loading with oil at installations controlled by Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, and then crossing the border into neighboring Turkey.
The officials did not specify what direct evidence they had of the involvement of Erdogan and his family, an allegation that the Turkish president has vehemently denied.
"Turkey is the main consumer of the oil stolen from its rightful owners, Syria and Iraq. According to information we've received, the senior political leadership of the country - President Erdogan and his family - are involved in this criminal business," said Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov.
"Maybe I'm being too blunt, but one can only entrust control over this thieving business to one's closest associates."
"In the West, no one has asked questions about the fact that the Turkish president's son heads one of the biggest energy companies, or that his son-in-law has been appointed energy minister. What a marvelous family business!"

Read more at Reuters

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

white supremacists allegedly shoot #BLM protesters in Minneapolis

StarTribune | Five people shot near Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis
Five protesters were shot late Monday night near the Black Lives Matter encampment at the Fourth Precinct police station in north Minneapolis, according to police.
Those who were shot sustained non-life-threatening injuries, said police spokesman John Elder in a statement.
Miski Noor, a media contact for Black Lives Matter, said “a group of white supremacists showed up at the protest, as they have done most nights.”

one step closer to u.s. - russia confrontation

The Guardian | Putin condemns Turkey after Russian warplane downed near Syria border
Vladimir Putin has called Turkey “accomplices of terrorists” and warned of “serious consequences” after a Turkish F-16 jet shot down a Russian warplane on Tuesday morning, the first time a Nato country and Moscow have exchanged direct fire over the crisis in Syria.
The Russian president, speaking before a meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan in Sochi, said the plane had been shot down over Syrian airspace and fell 4km inside Syria. Putin said it was “obvious” the plane posed no threat to Turkey.
“Our military is doing heroic work against terrorism … But the loss today is a stab in the back, carried out by the accomplices of terrorists. I can’t describe it in any other way,” he said. Putin suggested the Turks were shielding Islamic State terrorists from Russian attacks, saying: “Do they want to make Nato serve Isis?”

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

who does the real thieving... "legally".

Armstrong Economics | Police Civil Asset Forfeitures Exceed All Burglaries in 2014

Between 1989 and 2010, U.S. attorneys seized an estimated $12.6 billion in asset forfeiture cases. The growth rate during that time averaged +19.4% annually. In 2010 alone, the value of assets seized grew by +52.8% from 2009 and was six times greater than the total for 1989. Then by 2014, that number had ballooned to roughly $4.5 billion for the year, making this 35% of the entire number of assets collected from 1989 to 2010 in a single year. According to the FBI, the total amount of goods stolen by criminals in 2014 burglary offenses suffered an estimated $3.9 billion in property losses. This means that the police are now taking more assets than the criminals.

diet-driven microbial extinction event - the western diet

Nautilus | Burgers and fries have nearly killed our ancestral microbiome
For the microbiologist Justin Sonnenburg, that career-defining moment—the discovery that changed the trajectory of his research, inspiring him to study how diet and native microbes shape our risk for disease—came from a village in the African hinterlands.
A group of Italian microbiologists had compared the intestinal microbes of young villagers in Burkina Faso with those of children in Florence, Italy. The villagers, who subsisted on a diet of mostly millet and sorghum, harbored far more microbial diversity than the Florentines, who ate a variant of the refined, Western diet. Where the Florentine microbial community was adapted to protein, fats, and simple sugars, the Burkina Faso microbiome was oriented toward degrading the complex plant carbohydrates we call fiber.
Scientists suspect our intestinal community of microbes, the human microbiota, calibrates our immune and metabolic function, and that its corruption or depletion can increase the risk of chronic diseases, ranging from asthma to obesity. One might think that if we coevolved with our microbes, they’d be more or less the same in healthy humans everywhere. But that’s not what the scientists observed.
“It was the most different human microbiota composition we’d ever seen,” Sonnenburg told me. To his mind it carried a profound message: The Western microbiome, the community of microbes scientists thought of as “normal” and “healthy,” the one they used as a baseline against which to compare “diseased” microbiomes, might be considerably different than the community that prevailed during most of human evolution.
And so Sonnenburg wondered: If the Burkina Faso microbiome represented a kind of ancestral state for humans—the Neolithic in particular, or subsistence farming—and if the transition between that state and modern Florence represented a voyage from an agriculturalist’s existence to 21st-century urban living, then where along the way had the Florentines lost all those microbes?
Earlier this year I visited Sonnenburg at Stanford University, where he has a lab. By then he thought he had part of the answer. He showed me, on his computer, the results of a multigenerational experiment dreamed up by his wife, Erica, also a microbiologist.
When the Burkina Faso study was published, in 2010, the question of what specific microbes improved human health remained maddeningly elusive, but evidence was beginning to suggest that diversity itself was important. So despite their relative material poverty, these villagers seemed wealthy in a way that science was just beginning to appreciate.
Where did that diversity come from? Humans can’t digest soluble fiber, so we enlist microbes to dismantle it for us, sopping up their metabolites. The Burkina Faso microbiota produced about twice as much of these fermentation by-products, called short-chain fatty acids, as the Florentine. That gave a strong indication that fiber, the raw material solely fermented by microbes, was somehow boosting microbial diversity in the Africans.
Indeed, when Sonnenburg fed mice plenty of fiber, microbes that specialized in breaking it down bloomed, and the ecosystem became more diverse overall. When he fed mice a fiber-poor, sugary, Western-like diet, diversity plummeted. (Fiber-starved mice were also meaner and more difficult to handle.) But the losses weren’t permanent. Even after weeks on this junk food-like diet, an animal’s microbial diversity would mostly recover if it began consuming fiber again.
This was good news for Americans—our microbial communities might re-diversify if we just ate more whole grains and veggies. But it didn’t support the Sonnenburgs’ suspicion that the Western diet had triggered microbial extinctions. Yet then they saw what happened when pregnant mice went on the no-fiber diet: temporary depletions became permanent losses.
When we pass through the birth canal, we are slathered in our mother’s microbes, a kind of starter culture for our own community. In this case, though, pups born to mice on American-type diets—no fiber, lots of sugar—failed to acquire the full endowment of their mothers’ microbes. Entire groups of bacteria were lost during transmission. When Sonnenburg put these second-generation mice on a fiber-rich diet, their microbes failed to recover. The mice couldn’t regrow what they’d never inherited. And when these second-generation animals went on a fiberless diet in turn, their offspring inherited even fewer microbes. The microbial die-outs compounded across generations.
Many who study the microbiome suspect that we are experiencing an extinction spasm within that parallels the extinction crisis gripping the planet. Numerous factors are implicated in these disappearances. Antibiotics, available after World War II, can work like napalm, indiscriminately flattening our internal ecosystems. Modern sanitary amenities, which began in the late 19th century, may limit sharing of disease- and health-promoting microbes alike. Today’s houses in today’s cities seal us away from many of the soil, plant, and animal microbes that rained down on us during our evolution, possibly limiting an important source of novelty.
But what the Sonnenburgs’ experiment suggests is that by failing to adequately nourish key microbes, the Western diet may also be starving them out of existence. They call this idea “starving the microbial self.” They suspect that these diet-driven extinctions may have fueled, at least in part, the recent rise of non-communicable diseases. The question they and many others are now asking is this: How did the microbiome of our ancestors look before it was altered by sanitation, antibiotics, and junk food? How did that primeval collection of human microbes work? And was it somehow healthier than the one we harbor today?

drought busting

Circle Ranch | Restoring desertified grasslands 

We call the combination of wild animals, planned grazing, water harvesting, and Keyline subsoiling “Drought Busters”. Drought Busters is cheap, fast, poisons no plants, kills no animals, and increases the numbers and diversity of both. Drought Busters can’t make it rain, but it will make actual rain more and more effective, which is practically the same thing.

multigenerational epigenetic changes modeled and measured

Science | Generations affected by histone changes

Parent and even grandparent environmental exposure can transmit adverse health effects to offspring. The mechanism of transmission is unclear, but some studies have implicated variations in DNA methylation. In a mouse model, Siklenka et al. found that alterations in histone methylation during sperm formation in one generation leads to reduced survival and developmental abnormalities in three subsequent generations (see the Perspective by McCarrey). Although changes in DNA methylation were not observed, altered sperm RNA content and abnormal gene expression in offspring were measured. Thus, chromatin may act as a mediator of molecular memory in transgenerational inheritance.

game of thrones, in your gut

Science |  What makes the gut microbiome stable?

Classically, we think of our microbiome as stable, benign, and cooperative. Recent experimental work is beginning to unpick essential functions that can be attributed to the stable microbiota of humans. To be able to manipulate the microbiome to improve health, we need to understand community structure and composition and we need models to quantify and predict stability. Coyte et al. applied concepts and tools from community ecology to gut microbiome assembly. Independently developed models converged on a surprising answer: A high diversity of species is likely to coexist stably when the system is dominated by competitive, rather than cooperative, interactions.

intestinal worms lower incidence of allergies

Science | Worming your way out of allergies

Accumulating evidence suggests that infection with intestinal parasitic worms can protect against allergy. Zaiss et al. investigated how worms reduce allergic reactions, using mice chronically infected with the parasitic wormHeligmosomoides polygyrus. They found that worms could reduce the incidence of allergy in mice harboring an intestinal microbiota but not in mice treated with oral antibiotics. The intestinal microbiota of mice infected with H. polygyrus produced larger amounts of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) than did uninfected mice. Moreover, mice had to express the protein receptor for SCFA in order for worms to protect them from developing allergies. Worm-infected pigs and people also had elevated amounts of SCFAs, suggesting that these metabolites may play a similar role in other organisms.

here's how the h-1b game is put into play

computerworld |  Fury and fear in Ohio as IT jobs go to India
The IT workers at Cengage Learning in the company's Mason, Ohio offices learned of their fates game-show style. First, they were told to gather in a large conference room. There were vague remarks from an IT executive about a "transition." Slides were shown that listed employee names, directing them to one of three rooms where they would be told specifically what was happening to them. Some employees were cold with worry.
The biggest group, those getting pink slips, were told to remain in the large conference room. Workers directed to go through what we'll call Door No. 2, were offered employment with IT offshore outsourcing firm Cognizant. That was the smallest group. And those sent through Door No. 3 remained employed in Cengage's IT department. This happened in mid-October.
"I was so furious," said one of the IT workers over what happened. It seemed "surreal," said another. There was disbelief, but little surprise. Cengage, a major producer of educational content and services, had outsourced accounting services earlier in the year. The IT workers rightly believed they were next.
The employees were warned that speaking to the news media meant loss of severance. Despite their fears, they want their story told. They want people to know what's happening to IT jobs in the heartland. They don't want the offshoring of their livelihoods to pass in silence.
The employees remaining at Cengage have begun training their replacements in person and via the Web. Their work is being "shadowed" and recorded. Their jobs will end in January.

employers gaming h1-b visas for profits (and salary destruction) instead of needs? say it ain't so...

NY Times | Large Companies Game H-1B Visa Program, Costing the U.S. Jobs

Théo Négri, a young software engineer from France, had come up with so many novel ideas at his job at an Internet start-up in San Francisco that the American entrepreneur who hired him wanted to keep him on.

So he helped Mr. Négri apply for a three-year work visa for foreign professionals with college degrees and specialized skills, mainly in technology and science. With his master’s degree from a French university and advanced computer abilities, Mr. Négri seemed to fill the bill.

But his application for the H-1B visa was denied, and he had to leave the United States. Back in France, Mr. Négri used his data skills to figure out why.

The answer was simple: Many of the visas are given out through a lottery, and a small number of giant global outsourcing companies had flooded the system with applications, significantly increasing their chances of success. While he had one application in last year’s lottery and lost, one of the outsourcing companies applied for at least 14,000. The companies were squeezing out American employers like his boss.

is there a ph.d. for barista

cbcnews | PBO report warns recent university grads are overeducated, underemployed
Four out of every 10 young workers with a university degree are overqualified for their job in the years after graduation, Canada's Parliamentary Budget Officer has warned.
The PBO's wide-ranging report released Thursday included an analysis of the labour market. One of the report's findings suggested that while recent grads have had trouble finding the first job of their career for decades, the problem may be getting worse.
Last year, 40 per cent of university graduates aged 25-34 were overqualified for their job. Five years ago, that percentage was only 36 per cent. In 1991, it hit a low of 32 per cent, or less than one out of every three university graduates.
The problem is bigger than that, because those young workers spent money, time, and resources to get those qualifications.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

school lockdowns are this prevalent??

San Diego Union-TribuneConstant lockdowns lead schools to buy portable toilets
Shortly after San Diego schools kicked off the new year in September, 21,000 students at 11 campuses were locked in classrooms for up to three hours following a rash of violent — and ultimately false — threats.
Not surprisingly, some students had to use a bathroom.
Patrick Henry High School was among those to provide students with security escorts to restrooms, which critics later called dangerous. Some Grossmont High School classrooms made due with trash cans in adjoining rooms during a five-hour lock-down in February, upsetting parents who raised concerns about hygiene.
In a sign of the times, schools locally and nationwide are stocking up on emergency bathroom provisions to make increasingly frequent classroom lockdowns safer and more comfortable for students and educators.
The San Diego Unified School District is preparing to purchase toilet kits for every classroom that needs one at a cost of $180,000 to $200,000. Grossmont Union High School District has also purchased the kits for classrooms at about $30 each.
“School lockdowns are difficult and stressful times and the ability to use a restroom, even in the form of the emergency kit, is something we believe will help students and staff through the situation,” said Drew Rowlands, San Diego Unified’s chief operations officer.

misbehaving overseer

CosmopolitanThirteen women came forward to accuse former police officer Daniel Holtzclaw of misconduct. Why aren't more people outraged?
On Monday, Nov. 2, the Daniel Holtzclaw trial commenced in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Charged with 36 offenses including sexual battery, forcible oral sodomy, stalking, and rape, ex-officer Holtzclaw allegedly targeted 13 women during his three-year tenure with the Oklahoma City Police Department. His victims reportedly ranged in age from 17 to late 50s, but the unifying thread of his accusers is race. Holtzclaw targeted African-American women. Details of a lengthy record of criminal sexual misconduct while on patrol surfaced after an extensive investigation by the Oklahoma City Police Department. The investigation commenced in June 2014 as a result of a 57-year-old black grandmother immediately coming forward to report his sexually violent behavior.
The first woman to come forward to file a report alleged Holtzclaw forced her to expose her breasts and perform oral sex on him during a traffic stop. Another victim accused ex-officer Holtzclaw of forcing her to perform oral sex after finding a crack pipe in her purse. Unlike the first woman to report, who, according to a BuzzFeed report, was just passing through the neighborhood, most of the 13 accusers were poor black women with either warrants or suspected of involvement in illegal activities such as prostitution or illegal drug consumption. According to some of his victims, he would offer to not arrest them if they complied with performing sexual acts. The women complied, fearing arrest and incarceration.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

welsh town tired of shouldering all tax burdens have moved offshore like the big boys

IndependentCrickhowell: Welsh town moves 'offshore' to avoid tax on local business
When independent traders in a small Welsh town discovered the loopholes used by multinational giants to avoid paying UK tax, they didn’t just get mad.
Now local businesses in Crickhowell are turning the tables on the likes of Google and Starbucks by employing the same accountancy practices used by the world’s biggest companies, to move their entire town “offshore”.
The Powys tax rebellion, led by traders including the town’s salmon smokery, local coffee shop, book shop, optician and bakery, could spread nationwide.Advised by experts and followed by a BBC crew, family-run shops in the Brecon Beacons town have submitted their own DIY tax plan to HMRC, copying the offshore arrangements used by global brands which pay little or no corporation tax.

Monday, November 9, 2015

soldier as ministry of defense and other successful professionals, women, and ethnic groups as canadian ministers? insanity!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

the president reaches into his bag of fscks and finds it completely empty....

CNN | Obama rips into 2016 GOP field, mocks their debate complaints
President Barack Obama tore into Republican presidential candidates Monday night at a Democratic fundraising event in New York, saying their complaints about CNBC's debate moderation aren't an encouraging preview for their governing abilities.
"Have you noticed that everyone of these candidates say, 'Obama's weak. Putin's kicking sand in his face. When I talk to Putin, he's going to straighten out,'" Obama said, impersonating a refrain among Republican candidates that he's allowed Russian President Vladimir Putin too much leeway.
    "Then it turns out they can't handle a bunch of CNBC moderators at the debate. Let me tell you, if you can't handle those guys, then I don't think the Chinese and the Russians are going to be too worried about you," Obama said.

    Friday, October 30, 2015

    now e. coli has benefits?? gut biome very impressive little universe

    ScienceThe benefits of Escherichia coli
    Infection and intestinal damage can trigger severe muscle wasting and loss of fat in mice. How this happens is poorly understood. Palaferri Schieber et al. discovered a protective Escherichia coli strain in their mouse colony. Mice intestinally colonized with the E. coli and infected with the food-poisoning bug Salmonella or with the lung pathogen Burkholderia did not waste away. Without the E. coli, similarly infected mice became fatally ill. The protective E. coli stimulated an innate immune mechanism that ensured that muscle-signaling pathways were not damaged by infection. Thus, the friendly E. coli allowed its host to tolerate and survive the pathogens.

    epigenetics: stressed dads == offspring with neuropsychiatric disorders

    ars technicaPaternal stress given to offspring via RNA packed into sperm
    The idea that parents can transmit environmentally acquired traits to their offspring has been intuitively attractive ever since Lamarck proposed it in 1801. It had to go underground as evidence continuously piled up supporting Darwin's theory of natural selection, but it seems to be enjoying a popular resurgence with the discovery of epigenetics. Epigenetics explains how information can be transmitted between generations without the involvement of DNA sequences.
    A number of recent studies have suggested that stress levels and the nutritional status of parents (and even grandparents) can influence the health of their offspring. But these studies have been somewhat murky on the details on how this transmission could occur. Now scientists who had previously shown that paternal stress impacts the next generation of mice have zeroed in on how it happens: males pack their sperm with RNA that influences gene activity in their offspring.
    Through the uterine environment, mothers can pass their environmental exposures on to the fetuses they are nurturing. Thus, studies looking at mechanisms of epigenetic inheritance tend to focus on fathers—pretty much all they give to the fetus is genetic material. And male mice don't need to help in rearing the young, so this genetic material can be their only contribution to the next generation.
    In earlier work, these scientists exposed male mice to six weeks of alternating stressors like 36 hours of constant light, a 15-minute exposure to fox odor, exposure to a novel object (marbles) overnight, 15 minutes of restraint in a 50 mL conical tube, multiple cage changes, white noise all night long, or saturated bedding.
    Poor little guys.
    Then the scientists allowed the mice to breed. Adult offspring of these chronically stressed dads had reduced hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal stress axis reactivity; when they themselves were restrained for 15 minutes, they did not make as much corticosterone as mice sired by relaxed dads. This is relevant, and problematic, because blunted stress responses in humans are associated with neuropsychiatric disorders like depression, schizophrenia, and autism.

    if life came early to the universe, then it would seem to be part of the universe's purpose

    phys.orgMost earth-like worlds have yet to be born, according to theoretical study

    Earth came early to the party in the evolving universe. According to a new theoretical study, when our solar system was born 4.6 billion years ago only eight percent of the potentially habitable planets that will ever form in the universe existed. And, the party won't be over when the sun burns out in another 6 billion years. The bulk of those planets—92 percent—have yet to be born.

    chromatin target for epigenetic changes

    Science |

    Epigenetic mechanisms control the combination of genes that are switched on and off in any given cell. In turn, this combination, called the transcriptional program, determines the identity and the fate of cells, which are deregulated in diseases such as cancer, inflammation, or neurological disorders. Chemical modifications (such as methylation or acetylation) of chromatin—an ensemble of nuclear factors, especially histone proteins around which DNA is wrapped—act as epigenetic signals. Enzymes that write or erase these chemical “marks,” and proteins that bind and interpret them, represent an important target class for drugs (1). On page 291 of this issue, Jiao and Liu (2) report the crystal structure of one prominent such enzyme called enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (Ezh2) in complex with obligatory protein binding partners. This structure, which has been largely elusive, provides clarity on the regulation of EZH2 catalytic activity and is an important step toward rational drug design.

    specialized intelligences more effective at specific problems

    phys.orgSystem that replaces human intuition with algorithms outperforms human teams

    Big-data analysis consists of searching for buried patterns that have some kind of predictive power. But choosing which "features" of the data to analyze usually requires some human intuition. In a database containing, say, the beginning and end dates of various sales promotions and weekly profits, the crucial data may not be the dates themselves but the spans between them, or not the total profits but the averages across those spans.

    MIT researchers aim to take the human element out of big-data analysis, with a new system that not only searches for patterns but designs the feature set, too. To test the first prototype of their system, they enrolled it in three data science competitions, in which it competed against human teams to find predictive patterns in unfamiliar data sets. Of the 906 teams participating in the three competitions, the researchers' "Data Science Machine" finished ahead of 615.
    In two of the three competitions, the predictions made by the Data Science Machine were 94 percent and 96 percent as accurate as the winning submissions. In the third, the figure was a more modest 87 percent. But where the teams of humans typically labored over their prediction algorithms for months, the Data Science Machine took somewhere between two and 12 hours to produce each of its entries.
    "We view the Data Science Machine as a natural complement to human intelligence," says Max Kanter, whose MIT master's thesis in computer science is the basis of the Data Science Machine. "There's so much data out there to be analyzed. And right now it's just sitting there not doing anything. So maybe we can come up with a solution that will at least get us started on it, at least get us moving."

    alternative living arrangements

    sfistStep Inside Oakland's Illegal Dystopian Shipping Container Community, Containertopia
    "It's pretty much my dream post-apocalyptic cyberpunk setup," says Luke Iseman near his 160-square-foot box home. With a camp stove and a fridge "that's a really simple hack," his miniature shipping container nightmare chamber sits alongside 11 others in a warehouse at an undisclosed location in Oakland. File under: Apartment Sadness?
    Bloomberg reports that the 31-year-old cool guy Wharton graduate has been chased from two other locations by the authorities. But, like an idiot, Iseman has no plans to give up. “I’d rather ask forgiveness than ask permission,” the entrepreneur says in high Silicon Valley fashion.
    Iseman rakes in $1,000 a month for each of the 11 structures docked in the 17,000-square-foot warehouse he rents for $9,100. His tenants include a Facebook engineer, a SolarCity programmer, and a bicycle messenger. This, as Iseman calls it, is "Containertopia."

    fountain of youth, or where's the d*** off button!

    Tech TimesSwitching Off Over 200 Genes Linked To Aging Extends Lifespan By 60 Percent
    A 10-year research conducted by scientists at the University of Washington and Buck Institute for Research on Aging in the United States may have found a partial chunk of the so-called Fountain of Youth. The team has identified around 238 genes which, when removed, can extend lifespan by 60 percent.
    The study was conducted on 4,698 yeast strains. The research team said the results can be replicated in humans after a series of tests conducted on roundworms. By counting yeast cells and monitoring the consequences that followed when a single gene is blocked or removed, the team was able to identify the number of 'daughter cells' that a 'mother cell' can produce before it stops dividing

    Wednesday, October 14, 2015

    speaking of dyson, here's some of dyson's recent speaking...

    The Register | Interview The life of physicist Freeman Dyson spans advising bomber command in World War II, working at Princeton University in the States as a contemporary of Einstein, and providing advice to the US government on a wide range of scientific and technical issues.
    He is a rare public intellectual who writes prolifically for a wide audience. He has also campaigned against nuclear weapons proliferation.
    At America's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Dyson was looking at the climate system before it became a hot political issue, over 25 years ago. He provides a robust foreword to a report written by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change cofounder Indur Goklany on CO2 – a report published[PDF] today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF).
    An Obama supporter who describes himself as "100 per cent Democrat," Dyson says he is disappointed that the President "chose the wrong side." Increasing CO2 in the atmosphere does more good than harm, he argues, but it is not an insurmountable crisis. Climate change, he tells us, "is not a scientific mystery but a human mystery. How does it happen that a whole generation of scientific experts is blind to obvious facts?"
    We invited Dyson to talk about climate change and other matters, including a question from your correspondent's kids – how will we do interstellar travel?

    a dyson sphere?

    The Atlantic | In the Northern hemisphere’s sky, hovering above the Milky Way, there are two constellations—Cygnus the swan, her wings outstretched in full flight, and Lyra, the harp that accompanied poetry in ancient Greece, from which we take our word “lyric.”

    Between these constellations sits an unusual star, invisible to the naked eye, but visible to the Kepler Space Telescope, which stared at it for more than four years, beginning in 2009.

    “We’d never seen anything like this star,” says Tabetha Boyajian, a postdoc at Yale. “It was really weird. We thought it might be bad data or movement on the spacecraft, but everything checked out.”

    Kepler was looking for tiny dips in the light emitted by this star. Indeed, it was looking for these dips in more than 150,000 stars, simultaneously, because these dips are often shadows cast by transiting planets. Especially when they repeat, periodically, as you’d expect if they were caused by orbiting objects.

    The Kepler Space Telescope collected a great deal of light from all of those stars it watched. So much light that Kepler’s science team couldn’t process it all with algorithms. They needed the human eye, and human cognition, which remains unsurpassed in certain sorts of pattern recognition. Kepler’s astronomers decided to found Planet Hunters, a program that asked “citizen scientists” to examine light patterns emitted by the stars, from the comfort of their own homes.

    In 2011, several citizen scientists flagged one particular star as “interesting” and “bizarre.” The star was emitting a light pattern that looked stranger than any of the others Kepler was watching.

    The light pattern suggests there is a big mess of matter circling the star, in tight formation. That would be expected if the star were young. When our solar system first formed, four and a half billion years ago, a messy disk of dust and debris surrounded the sun, before gravity organized it into planets, and rings of rock and ice.

    But this unusual star isn’t young. If it were young, it would be surrounded by dust that would give off extra infrared light. There doesn’t seem to be an excess of infrared light around this star.

    It appears to be mature.
    And yet, there is this mess of objects circling it. A mess big enough to block a substantial number of photons that would have otherwise beamed into the tube of the Kepler Space Telescope. If blind nature deposited this mess around the star, it must have done so recently. Otherwise, it would be gone by now. Gravity would have consolidated it, or it would have been sucked into the star and swallowed, after a brief fiery splash.

    Wednesday, October 7, 2015

    runner's high is also like smoking dope + endorphins

    ACS | After a nice long bout of aerobic exercise, some people experience what’s known as a “runner’s high”: a feeling of euphoria coupled with reduced anxiety and a lessened ability to feel pain. For decades, scientists have associated this phenomenon with an increased level in the blood of β-endorphins, opioid peptides thought to elevate mood.
    Now, German researchers have shown the brain’s endocannabinoid system—the same one affected by marijuana’s Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—may also play a role in producing runner’s high, at least in mice

    cyanobacteria produce 100s of millions of tons of hydrocarbons a year

    PNAS | A number of organisms synthesize hydrocarbons, but the scale at which this occurs in the environment is unknown. Here, we provide the first global estimates of hydrocarbon production by the two most abundant cyanobacteria on Earth, Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus. We suggest that these organisms represent a significant and widespread source of hydrocarbons to the world’s oceans, which in turn may sustain populations of obligate hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria known to be important in consuming anthropogenic oil spills. Our study demonstrates the role cyanobacteria play in the ocean ‟hydrocarbon cycle” and reveals the massive scale of this process. The widespread distribution of cyanobacteria and hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria in freshwater, marine, and terrestrial environments suggests the hydrocarbon cycle is pervasive in many natural ecosystems.

    Russia's Syrian moves a counterattack on OPEC?

    Oilprice | President Putin’s recent moves in the Middle East—to shore up Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria through deployment of combat aircraft, equipment, and manpower and build-out of air-, naval-, and ground-force bases, and the agreement in the last week with Iran, Iraq, and Syria on intelligence and security cooperation—could contribute to Russian efforts to combat the myriad negative pressures on Russia’s vital energy industry.
    Live by Energy…
    Energy is the foundation of Russia, its economy, its government, and its political system. Putin has highlighted on various occasions the contribution Russia’s mineral wealth, in particular oil and natural gas, must make for Russia to be able to sustain economic growth, promote industrial development, catch up with the developed economies, and modernize Russia’s military and military industry.

    $1 beellion dollars

    CNN | In the arid plains of the southern New Mexico desert, between the site of the first atomic bomb test and the U.S.-Mexico border, a new city is rising from the sand.
    Planned for a population of 35,000, the city will showcase a modern business district downtown, and neat rows of terraced housing in the suburbs. It will be supplied with pristine streets, parks, malls and a church.
    But no one will ever call it home.

    Confederacy mythos hoodwinks poor whites

    Raw Story | Nobody can accuse Frank Hyman of not being a true Southerner.
    The Beaufort County, South Carolina native attended segregated schools as a child. At 18, he campaigned against the late Sen. Strom Thurmond and served on the Durham, North Carolina, City Council where he wrote the first Living Wage Ordinance in the South. But he also says that his favorite uncle, AJ, was a KKK Wizard who kept a machine gun in the trunk of his car.
    Hyman’s a stone mason, a carpenter and an avid gardener who writes the “Coop Builder” column for Chickens Magazine. You can have him build you a custom chicken coop if you’d like.
    And he wants people to know that for a significant share of white Southerners, the Confederacy — and the slave economy it defended — was a huge scam. And in an essay that ran last month in a number of newspapers across the South, he argued that the mythology surrounding the Confederacy still hoodwinks many of his white working-class Southerners to this day.
    Hyman appeared on Politics and Reality Radio last week to lay out his argument. Below is  a transcript of our discussion that’s been edited for length and clarity.