NYPD Union Vows ‘Wartime Policing’

"It is irresponsible to draw connections between this movement and the actions of a troubled man who took the lives of these officers and attempted to take the life of his ex-partner, before ultimately taking his own," said Ferguson Action in a statement issued Sunday. (Photo: Webfan29/Wikimedia Commons)

“It is irresponsible to draw connections between this movement and the actions of a troubled man who took the lives of these officers and attempted to take the life of his ex-partner, before ultimately taking his own,” said Ferguson Action in a statement issued Sunday. (Photo: Webfan29/Wikimedia Commons)

Sarah Lazare writes at Common Dreams:

A declaration by the New York Police Department Union that it will engage in “wartime policing” in response to Saturday’s killing of two city law enforcement officers has raised alarm among protesters and civil rights advocates, who ask: “Have we learned nothing?”

A statement released Saturday by the New York Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association—the union for the NYPD—reads, “The mayor’s hands are literally dripping with our blood because of his words actions and policies and we have, for the first time in a number of years, become a ‘wartime’ police department. We will act accordingly.”

Steven Thrasher, writing for the Guardian, responds, “Wartime?

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Krampus: He Sees You When You’re Sleeping, and Gives You Nightmares

Moderner Krampus Kärnten3.JPG

Photo: Horst A. Kandutsch (CC)

Krampus goes mainstream, making onto the front page of the New York Times:

MUNICH — Long before parents relied on the powers of Santa Claus to monitor their children’s behavior, their counterparts in Alpine villages called on a shaggy-furred, horned creature with a fistful of bound twigs to send the message that they had better watch out.

Tom Bierbaumer recalls the trepidation he felt every Dec. 6, when the clanging of oversize cowbells signaled the arrival of the Krampus, a devilish mountain goblin who serves as an evil counterpart to the good St. Nick. He would think back over his misdeeds of past months — the days he had refused to clear the supper table, left his homework unfinished or pulled a girl’s hair.

“When you are a child, you know what you have done wrong the whole year,” said Mr. Bierbaumer, who grew up in the Bavarian Alps and now heads a Munich-based club, the Sparifankerl Pass — Bavarian dialect for “Devil’s Group” — devoted to keeping the Krampus tradition alive.

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Gimme Nirvana Baby: On the Spiritual Journey of Ash from the Evil Dead Films

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Ugh. I’ve desperately tried to write this essay without referring–for the second essay in a row–to my Sunday living habits. They’re really not that interesting, and I understand that. But I’m sorry. Just like the last essay, the origins of this one occur during those existential lulls that seem to characterize a lot of people’s Christian Sabbath.

You see, in my household–after my morning workout– Sunday mornings are reserved for one of two rituals. One, because my wife is a practicing Catholic, we go to mass. Or, two–if we’re too lazy on that particular morning–we lay around in our sweats and my wife watches “Super Soul Sundays” on the Oprah Winfrey Network. Of the two, even though I am a blasphemer, heretic and just an outright nonbeliever, I greatly prefer going to mass, even though it means making the effort to look presentable in public on a Sunday morning and listening to some dweeb in a blouse tell me about how I need to make some more time for gahd/Jesus in my life.… Read the rest

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COEXIST’s Bonehead Bumper-Sticker Politics

Aia Fernandez (CC BY 2.0)

Aia Fernandez (CC BY 2.0)

via The Daily Beast:

You’ve seen them before, in Trader Joe’s parking lots and on Eastern Seaboard freeways, in the quiet streets of Asheville and Berkeley, on the bumpers of a fleet of VWs and Volvos. White letters, blue background, imperative mood: COEXIST. After campaign stickers, NRA decals, cartoon families, and those blatant “26.2” ovals, Coexist bumper stickers may be the most popular way for Americans to broadcast their worldviews in one word or less, while driving.

Meanwhile, ISIS is marauding across the Middle East. China is squeezing Tibet in an anaconda grip of cultural homogenization. Buddhists are causing violence in Sri Lanka, far-right Islamophobic parties are on the rise in Scandinavia, and Muslims and Christians are slaughtering each other in the Central African Republic.

All of this despite earnest, $2.50 bumper sticker pleas by tens of thousands of Americans asking these people to just get along.

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How we found world’s deepest fish in the Mariana Trench – and why we must keep exploring

The record-breaker poses for the camera, 8,145m below the waves. Oceanlab, University of Aberdeen, CC BY

The record-breaker poses for the camera, 8,145m below the waves. Oceanlab, University of Aberdeen, CC BY

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
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By Alan Jamieson, University of Aberdeen

It was our 14th expedition to the trenches of the Pacific Ocean, where depths can exceed 10,000m. And it was due to be our last for the foreseeable future.

We had been aboard the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s (SOI) vessel RV Falkor for 30 days. It was almost over. Then, it turned out to be “the big one”.

For this was the expedition in which my colleagues and I discovered a snailfish living some eight kilometres below the waves, deeper than any fish we know of. My colleagues from the University of Hawaii even recovered some in their traps.

In the past six years we have made many discoveries in the depths, such as the missing order of Decapoda (shrimps) that were long thought absent from the trenches but are actually rather conspicuous.… Read the rest

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Mind Art

via The Imaginary Foundation:

Chinese artist Jody Xiong has collaborated with 16 handicapped people — recruited via social media — in the artistic and technological realization of the ‘Mind Art’ installation. The project participants were asked to choose a Winsor & Newton paint color, which was placed in balloons equipped with tiny detonators. Large canvas panels surrounded the balloons on all sides.

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The Dream of a Ridiculous Man by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Vinoth Chandar (CC BY 2.0)

Vinoth Chandar (CC BY 2.0)

 

I am a ridiculous person. Now they call me a madman. That would be a promotion if it were not that I remain as ridiculous in their eyes as before. But now I do not resent it, they are all dear to me now, even when they laugh at me—and, indeed, it is just then that they are particularly dear to me. I could join in their laughter—not exactly at myself, but through affection for them, if I did not feel so sad as I look at them. Sad because they do not know the truth and I do know it. Oh, how hard it is to be the only one who knows the truth! But they won’t understand that. No, they won’t understand it.

In old days I used to be miserable at seeming ridiculous. Not seeming, but being. I have always been ridiculous, and I have known it, perhaps, from the hour I was born.… Read the rest

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Our Government is Violent and Cruel Because We are Violent and Cruel

Police_State_Pittsburgh_G20

Photo by Flickr user katesheets (CC)

“After all the analysis of the normalized dysfunction of democracy in America,” writes David Masciotra at Alternet, “launched with the assumption that the political system fails to represent the will of the people, the question remains: what if it actually does represent the will of the people? That the system is actually succeeding in upholding its representational promise might be the simplest and most probable answer to the mystery of America’s comatose slumber in a nightmare of torment for the oppressed and treasures for the oppressors.”

It seems police can get away with anything: choking men who have surrendered; shooting unarmed teens; knocking pregnant women to the ground. While the issues involving race, civil rights and the relationship between law enforcement and communities are essential for examination and correction, few are talking about how all of this fits into the larger pattern of America’s cultural decline and decay.… Read the rest

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Quantum Physics Just Got Less Complicated: Wave-Particle Duality and Quantum Uncertainty Are Same Thing

Quantum physics says that particles can behave like waves, and vice versa. Researchers have now shown that this 'wave-particle duality' is simply the quantum uncertainty principle in disguise. Credit: Timothy Yeo / CQT, National University of Singapore; CC-BY

“Quantum physics says that particles can behave like waves, and vice versa. Researchers have now shown that this ‘wave-particle duality’ is simply the quantum uncertainty principle in disguise.”

Credit: Timothy Yeo / CQT, National University of Singapore; CC-BY

Via ScienceDaily:

Here’s a nice surprise: quantum physics is less complicated than we thought. An international team of researchers has proved that two peculiar features of the quantum world previously considered distinct are different manifestations of the same thing. The result is published 19 December in Nature Communications.

Patrick Coles, Jedrzej Kaniewski, and Stephanie Wehner made the breakthrough while at the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore. They found that ‘wave-particle duality’ is simply the quantum ‘uncertainty principle’ in disguise, reducing two mysteries to one.

“The connection between uncertainty and wave-particle duality comes out very naturally when you consider them as questions about what information you can gain about a system.

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