Blog Rolls

Australian Lawmaker's Speech Calling For Muslim Immigration Ban Sparks Outrage

In his maiden speech, newly minted Sen. Fraser Anning of the far-right Katter's Australian Party called for a revival of long-rescinded racially based immigration policies.

(Image credit: Mick Tsikas/Australian Associated Press via Reuters)

Categories: Just News

Nearly A Year After Maria, Puerto Rico Officials Claim Power Is Totally Restored

Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority says all homes without power from the devastating hurricane now have electricity. Other reports say some residents are still waiting.

(Image credit: Ramon Espinosa/AP)

Categories: Just News

Colorado School District Switches To 4-Day Week To Save Money

Superintendent Chris Fiedler expects the district will save about $1 million in transportation costs, teaching salaries and district-wide utilities.

(Image credit: James Leynse/Corbis via Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

Vermont Democrat Christine Hallquist Is First Transgender Nominee For Governor

Christine Hallquist is the first openly transgender candidate in the U.S. to win a major party's nomination for governor. Primaries were also decided Tuesday in Connecticut, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

(Image credit: Charles Krupa/AP)

Categories: Just News

Trump Ally Kris Kobach Wins Primary For Kansas Governor, As GOP Incumbent Concedes

Kobach led incumbent Gov. Jeff Colyer by 345 votes, with provisional ballots still being counted. Democrats hope his controversial positions on immigration and voter fraud will give them an opening.

(Image credit: Steve Pope/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

Elon Musk's Tesla Tweets Could Spark a Fight With the SEC

Wired Top Stories - Tue, 08/14/2018 - 20:31
A fight the CEO would have trouble winning, according to experts.
Categories: Just News

University of Maryland Accepts Responsibility For Football Player's Death

President Wallace Loh admitted at a news conference on Tuesday that the school's athletic training staff "misdiagnosed" Jordan McNair's collapse and that their failures led to his death.

(Image credit: Patrick Semansky/AP)

Categories: Just News

Public archives: more relevant today than ever

Policy Opinions PolitiquesJennifer Anderson August 13, 2018.

“Public archives represent a democratic vision where all are welcome, ideas circulate, and information is analyzed and diffused for educational purposes. There has been a lot of noise recently about information distortion and its effects on democracy. So what better time to raise the importance of historical literacy and public archives? In gathering and promoting primary source material, archives play an essential role in modelling literacy skills and critical thinking. In analyzing this material and producing modest, reasonable conclusions, researchers aim to understand complex issues and to engage the public in the discussion. These skills are crucial tools in a democracy. For too long archives have been hidden and archivists overlooked. All sorts of unflattering stories have circulated about archives, as if to keep the general public out. Witness the way popular culture has painted the picture: dust, disorder and darkness.

Historical thinking – Archives are considerably more nuanced than most people realize. The researchers who use public archives, as well as the staff, have a wide range of backgrounds and interests. Diversity is valued for the fresh ideas it fosters. Pluralism brings new perspectives and new questions to the sources. Working with archives is an exercise in historical thinking where questions about sources, context and cause are central. (Consider the work of the Historical Thinking Project, an educational initiative organized around the questions historians pose of primary sources, aimed at promoting media and information literacy.) Solid archival research requires sources to be validated, corroborated and referenced, so that peers can follow the line of reasoning and further the arguments. As critical thinkers engaged in creating interrelated information pathways, archivists are allergic to binary thinking. They worry about gaps in collections and how to mitigate bias, both historical and contemporary. Behind the scenes, archivists query one another on acquisitions, evaluations and descriptions of archival collections to ensure that the documentary heritage preserved today will enable future generations to understand their own past…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Revealing Data: Why We Need Humans to Curate Web Collections

Circulating Now – NIH – “In this Revealing Data series we explore data in historical medical collections, and how preserving this data helps to ensure that generations of researchers can reexamine it, reveal new stories, and make new discoveries. Future researchers will likely want to examine the data of the web archive collections, collected and preserved by libraries, archives, and others, using a wide range of approaches, to document unfolding events.  Today Circulating Now welcomes guest blogger Alexander Nwala (@acnwala), writing on his research using NLM web archive collections to compare different methods of selecting web content, and some of the difficulties encountered in generating seeds automatically.”

I am a Computer Science PhD student and member of the Web Science and Digital Libraries research group at Old Dominion University, Norfolk Virginia. For the past three years, I have been researching generating collections for stories and events under the supervision of Dr. Michael Nelson and Dr. Michele Weigle. There is a shortage of curators to build web archive collections in a world of rapidly unfolding events. A primary objective of my research is investigating how to automatically generate seeds (in the absence of domain knowledge) to create or augment web archive collections…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Browser plug-in organizes and contextualizes big news stories for readers

MIT newsroom: “The explosion of digital content has made it hard to navigate news today. This startup’s plug-in will cut down on time and browser tabs, while readers search for information. Acciyo’s name might draw from fiction, but the purpose of the search engine extension is firmly rooted in fact. “When I was first figuring out what we wanted to call it, I went through a list of Harry Potter spells,” said co-founder Anum Hussain, MBA ’18. “Acciyo was very fitting because what we’re doing is summoning information from across the web and making it easier for you, in a similar fashion to how that spell [in the book series, ‘accio’] works, to be able to summon anything you need. We’re just doing that in the context of news.” Acciyo, Hussain said, is a Google Chrome extension that appears to the right of a screen like a bookmark, and presents the user with an “interactive, movable timeline of articles previously published on the subject you’re currently reading.” The plug-in pulls from wire content — the Associated Press and Reuters — and automatically pops open on major U.S. news sites. Hussain said as the company evolves they will explore other news sources to pull from. Because the stories are from the wire, Hussain explained, they tend to be bigger stories that would likely be found on a publication’s front page. For example: the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States. The plug-in would include stories on Kavanaugh’s background, his nomination, as well as earlier stories about other candidates considered for the role…”

Categories: Law and Legal

So you want to comment on a regulation? Here’s how

How to effectively comment on regulations. August 2018. Adam Looney, Director, Center on Regulation and Markets, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution.
“The Trump administration has made its deregulatory agenda clear since inauguration day. The administration’s actions have ranged from sweeping rollbacks of major rules that have garnered media attention, to smaller orders and guidance withdrawals instructing agencies to ignore previous rules. Brookings’ has been keeping track of these actions, big and small. While you may have heard of some, such as proposals to roll back the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, others have received relatively little attention despite having big impacts on regulation and the federal government’s role. These changes have been both lauded and criticized by relevant constituencies. Whether you support or oppose ongoing regulatory changes, Americans have the right to participate in the regulatory process and to comment on these proposed rules. Agencies are required to solicit, take seriously, and respond to comments from the public, and typically open a comment period of 30 to 60 days after announcing a proposed rule to accept comments. Effective comments can and do influence the rulemaking process. However, few people take advantage of the opportunity to comment, and even fewer comment effectively. Comments influence rules only to the extent that they bring forth relevant facts, evidence, and insights to rule makers. So how can you comment on proposed rules? As a former civil servant and current Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, I’ve seen both sides of the rulemaking process—both in developing and enacting rules and offering input on how to improve these rules. Through that process, I’ve gained insight into what is helpful and what isn’t, but have also been frustrated that information on how to make a comment is hard to find or unclear. Drawing on advice from colleagues and the experiences of regulatory experts, this how-to guide outlines why commenting is important, what information is important to include, and how to write and submit a comment. The guide describes what information your comment should include, how to structure your comment, where to find rules under comment, what information is helpful, and more.”

Categories: Law and Legal

The Cautious Path to Strategic Advantage: How Militaries Should Plan for AI

EFF White Paper: “In June, Google executives announced that the company would be backing away from its provision of AI services to the U.S. military drone program, and would not continue that work after the Project Maven contract is completed. This was in response to a campaign from Google’s own employees, with thousands calling on the company to discontinue its new defense contracting work, and some even beginning to resign over the issue. The new AI ethics principles that Google adopted in response to the debate go beyond military questions, but they do potentially place important limits on whether the company would assist in command, control, or intelligence analysis for weapons systems or other military applications. The principles may well become a model for other major technology companies. But regardless of any actions taken by the big tech companies, the U.S. and other governments have plenty of their own resources to assemble machine learning initiatives. This includes working with companies that have much less cultural accountability to the public, consumers, or even their own engineering staff than Google does. And whether governments are acting alone, with Silicon Valley or with other companies, militaries and their contractors need to carefully consider potential dangers, and weigh the consequences of different technology development paths, before going “all in” on AI and machine learning…”

Categories: Law and Legal

The Weight of Numbers: Air Pollution and PM2.5

Undark: “Emanating from smokestacks, vehicle engines, construction projects, and fires large and small, airborne pollution – sometimes smaller than the width of a human hair, and very often the product of human activity – is not just contributing to climate change. It is a leading driver of heart disease and stroke, lung cancer, and respiratory infections the world over. Exposure to such pollution, the most deadly of which scientists call PM2.5, is the sixth highest risk factor for death around the world, claiming more than 4 million lives annually, according to recent global morbidity data. Add in household pollutants from indoor cooking fires and other combustion sources, and the tally approaches 7 million lives lost each year. Undark and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting visited seven countries on five continents, rich and poor, north and south, to examine the impacts of this sort of air pollution on the lives of everyday people, and to uncover what’s being done — or not — to address this ambient and ultimately controllable killer. As it stands, developing nations bear the brunt of the problem, but particulate pollution doesn’t discriminate, and the odds are high that wherever you live, you’re breathing it in, too…”

 

Categories: Law and Legal

The Olmsted Papers You Didn’t Know You Needed

CityLab: “Frederick Law Olmsted might be best known for New York’s Central Park and Washington’s U.S. Capitol grounds, but his role in shaping modern America spans far more than a few famous sites, as the Library of Congress’ newly digitized collection of Olmsted’s writings and personal records makes abundantly clear. The materials, including drafts of his writings, family letters and journals, correspondences with colleagues, and project proposals, piece together a unique glimpse into the famed landscape architect’s creative process and fervor to create parks open to everyone. Barbara Bair, historian in the Library of Congress’ manuscript division, told CityLab that they’ve been working on digitizing the Olmsted papers for a long time. It just turns out the archive is ready before the bicentennial of Olmsted’s birth, so he can be celebrated in 2022 with partner organizations. Bair noted that the records not only shed light on his most famous works, but also on the omnipresence of his landscape architecture and conservation contributions throughout the United States.

The collection also reveals some of the inspiration for Olmsted’s ideas about the value of public parks for America. Olmsted had saved a copy of Andrew Jackson Downing’s essay, “The New-York Park,” published in Horticulturalist in 1851, which laid out key ideas for a space like Central Park. Downing had been a “crucial” mentor to Olmsted..”

Categories: Law and Legal

How Enslaved Chefs Helped Shape American Cuisine

Smithsonian – Black cooks created the feasts that gave the South its reputation for hospitality

“…Black cooks were bound to the fire, 24 hours a day. They lived in the kitchen, sleeping upstairs above the hearth during the winters, and outside come summertime. Up every day before dawn, they baked bread for the mornings, cooked soups for the afternoons, and created divine feasts for the evenings. They roasted meats, made jellies, cooked puddings, and crafted desserts, preparing several meals a day for the white family. They also had to feed every free person who passed through the plantation. If a traveler showed up, day or night, bells would ring for the enslaved cook to prepare food. For a guest, this must have been delightful: biscuits, ham, and some brandy, all made on site, ready to eat at 2:30 a.m. or whenever you pleased. For the cooks, it must have been a different kind of experience. Enslaved cooks were always under the direct gaze of white Virginians. Private moments were rare, as was rest. But cooks wielded great power: As part of the “front stage” of plantation culture, they carried the reputations of their enslavers—and of Virginia—on their shoulders. Guests wrote gushing missives about the meals in they ate while visiting these homes. While the missus may have helped design the menu, or provided some recipes, it was the enslaved cooks who created the meals that made Virginia, and eventually the South, known for its culinary fare and hospitable nature…”

Categories: Law and Legal

What percentage of people are part of each generation in each state?

Overflow Data – Visualization: What percentage of people are part of each generation in each state?

Source: Tabulated from 2017 US Census Bureau Population Estimates
Tool: Tableau
Age Groups:
Generation Z, 0 to 19 years
Millennials, 20 to 39 years
Generation X, 40 to 54 years
Baby Boomers, 55 to 69 years
Silent Generation, 70 years and older

Categories: Law and Legal

Seeking justice for Justice the horse

Washington Post:  Can a neglected animal sue? – “Justice is an 8-year-old American quarter horse who used to be named Shadow. And when he was named Shadow, he suffered. At a veterinarian’s exam last year, he was 300 pounds underweight, his black coat lice-ridden, his skin scabbed and his genitals so frostbitten that they might still require amputation. The horse had been left outside and underfed by his previous owner, who last summer pleaded guilty to criminal neglect. And now Justice, who today resides with other rescued equines on a quiet wooded farm within view of Oregon’s Cascade mountains, is suing his former owner for negligence. In a lawsuit filed in his new name in a county court, the horse seeks at least $100,000 for veterinary care, as well as damages “for pain and suffering,” to fund a trust that would stay with him no matter who is his caretaker…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Why Saudi Arabia Would Want to Invest in Elon Musk and Tesla

Wired Top Stories - Tue, 08/14/2018 - 18:35
Spending on electric cars is a great way to diversify an economy built on the back of Big Oil.
Categories: Just News

Tinder Co-Founders Sue App's Owners For At Least $2B, Saying They Were 'Cheated'

The lawsuit also says the parent companies "whitewashed" sexual harassment claims against an executive carrying out a plan to hide Tinder's full value. The companies blast the suit as "sour grapes."

(Image credit: Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

Former Baltimore Officer Charged With Assault After Viral Video

Arthur Williams has been indicted by a grand jury for criminal charges including first-degree assault after a video surfaced on social media that showed him repeatedly punching a man in the face.

(Image credit: @otm_lorkodak/Screenshot by NPR)

Categories: Just News

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