The Star Chamber: Episode 2: The Great Immigration Debate.

Intriguing Chat Show from DownUnder. The pace is languid, but the discussion is fascinating and relevant.

And the house-band are kind of weird (in a good way).

Hosts Richard Wolstencroft and David Thrussell
With Guests Richard Lowenstein and Mandy Kane

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Delivery Services Today vs. The Delivery Services of 2000

This bicycle was located outside one of the restaurants in the Main Square in Krakow, Poland. By Tulio Bertorini via Wikimedia Commons.

This bicycle was located outside one of the restaurants in the Main Square in Krakow, Poland. By Tulio Bertorini via Wikimedia Commons.

As someone who’s used online delivery services (Fresh Direct), I hope they don’t meet the same demise.

via The New York Times (please follow the link to read the entire article):

Last year, I was excited to hear about a new start-up in San Francisco that delivered cheap bottles of wine within an hour. It was called Rewinery, and it was fantastic. I ordered a $5 malbec one day and a $10 chardonnay the next, delivered by bike courier for a modest fee. Already, San Francisco was crawling with bikes, inching up the hills, shuttling sushi and groceries and new clothes, all summoned with the tap of a finger. But Rewinery was the first of the delivery start-ups that made me feel the way I felt back in 2000, when I could order a video and a pint of ice cream to my doorstep from Kozmo.com.

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The Real Secret to Detecting Lies is Not Within Body Language

Jealousy and Flirtation, 1874

Jealousy and Flirtation, 1874.

via Psyblog:

Despite all the advice about lie detection going around, study after study has found that it is very difficult to spot when someone is lying.

Previous tests involving watching videos of suspects typically find that both experts and non-experts come in at around 50/50: in other words you might as well flip a coin.

Now, though, a new study published in Human Communication Research, has found that a process of active questioning yielded almost perfect results, with 97.8% of liars successfully detected (Levine et al., 2014).

The process of lie detection has nothing to do with supposed ‘tells’ like avoiding eye-contact or sweating, and everything to do with the way the suspect is questioned.

In the series of studies, participants played a trivia game in which they were secretly offered a chance to cheat.

In one experiment 12% cheated and in another 44.9% chose to cheat.

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Russia Wants Bulgarians to Stop Vandalizing Soviet Monuments To Look Like American Superheroes

Паметник на Съветската армия 18.06.2011

The Moscow Times is reporting that Bulgarian pranksters are repainting Soviet-era monuments so that the Soviet military heroes depicted are recast as American Superheroes (h/t to trans-atlantyk posting at reddit’s /r/worldnews):

Russia is demanding that Bulgaria try harder to prevent vandalism of Soviet monuments, after yet another monument to Soviet troops in Sofia was spray-painted, ITAR-Tass reported.

The Russian Embassy in Bulgaria has issued a note demanding that its former Soviet-era ally clean up the monument in Sofia’s Lozenets district, identify and punish those responsible, and take “exhaustive measures” to prevent similar attacks in the future, the news agency reported Monday.

The monument was sprayed with red paint on the eve of the Bulgarian Socialist Party’s celebration of its 123rd anniversary, the Sofia-based Novinite news agency reported.

The vandalism was the latest in a series of similar recent incidents in Bulgaria — each drawing angry criticism from Moscow…

[continues at Moscow Times]

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A Brief Look at Texting and the Internet in Film

H/T Laughing Squid

Tony Zhou of Every Frame a Painting explores depictions of texting and online interactions in film.

“Is there a better way of showing a text message in a film? How about the internet? Even though we’re well into the digital age, film is still ineffective at depicting the world we live in. Maybe the solution lies not in content, but in form.”

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The American Cult of Bombing

Car bombing in Iraq, 2005. Via Wikimedia Commons.

Car bombing in Iraq, 2005. Via Wikimedia Commons.

William J. Astore outlines America’s history of bombing and how we can expect more of it.

via TomDispatch (please follow the link to read the entire piece):

When you do something again and again, placing great faith in it, investing enormous amounts of money in it, only to see indifferent or even negative results, you wouldn’t be entirely surprised if a neutral observer questioned your sanity or asked you if you were part of some cult.  Yet few Americans question the sanity or cult-like behavior of American presidents as they continue to seek solutions to complex issues by bombing Iraq (as well as numerous other countries across the globe).

Poor Iraq. From Operation Desert Shield/Storm under George H.W. Bush to enforcing no-fly zones under Bill Clinton to Operation Iraqi Freedom under George W. Bush to the latest “humanitarian” bombing under Barack Obama, the one constant is American bombs bursting in Iraqi desert air.  Yet despite this bombing — or rather in part because of it — Iraq is a devastated and destabilized country, slowly falling apart at seams that have been unraveling under almost a quarter-century of steady, at times relentless, pounding.  “Shock and awe,” anyone?

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Citizens unite online to beat big business

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Read the original article.

By Matthew Bailes, Swinburne University of Technology


More people are using the internet to find what they want and bypass big business.
jessica zhou/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND

There’s nothing corporations like more than a good monopoly. Plug in the consumer and turn on the profits! In Australia there’s seemingly no end to the spiralling cost of living as our utilities, banks and other service providers find new ways to hit us with fees that deliver them record profits.

Although in principle we have competition, in practice it is often difficult to understand the true cost of changing banks, electricity suppliers or internet service providers (ISPs) so we end up getting gouged.

But recently citizens have been fighting back, and it might signal a new dawn for consumers. The answer is not in shopping around between this duopoly or that, but in using the internet to advertise, supply and connect with other citizens that cut out the middlemen and eliminate the establishment.… Read the rest

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Solar Panel Arrays Setting Birds On Fire While In Flight

PS10 solar power tower.jpg

Who said solar energy wasn’t going to cause casualties? AP’s The Big Story reports on burning birds flying over solar panel arrays with flames and smoke trailing behind them:

Workers at a state-of-the-art solar plant in the Mojave Desert have a name for birds that fly through the plant’s concentrated sun rays — “streamers,” for the smoke plume that comes from birds that ignite in midair.

Federal wildlife investigators who visited the BrightSource Energy plant last year and watched as birds burned and fell, reporting an average of one “streamer” every two minutes, are urging California officials to halt the operator’s application to build a still-bigger version.

The investigators want the halt until the full extent of the deaths can be assessed. Estimates per year now range from a low of about a thousand by BrightSource to 28,000 by an expert for the Center for Biological Diversity environmental group.

The deaths are “alarming.

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Anti-Marijuana Ad Positions Marijuana as a Date Rape Drug

Taken from No on 2's Facebook page.

Taken from No on 2′s Facebook page.

What will they come up with next?

via News.Mic:

The news: This has gone too far. In its latest attempt to prevent the legalization of medical marijuana, a Florida group has launched a new campaign that suggests pot — not alcohol or roofies — will be used for date rape.

Sorry, ‘No On 2,’ marijuana is simply not a date rape drug.

Here’s how actual date rape drugs work: Predators slip drugs like ketamines (Special K) or rohypnol (roofies), which typically have no color, smell or taste, into drinks or food when their target isn’t paying attention. The drugs not only make you physically weak but slow down your brain, making you feel confused and sometimes knocking you unconscious, thereby unable to refuse sex.

Marijuana doesn’t work that way. Worse still, misleading ads like these distract people from the fact that a (perfectly legal) drug is the single most commonly used substance to help commit sexual assault — alcohol.

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