Archive | March 9, 2014

Texas Judge Who Brutally Beat Daughter in Viral Video Unseated

Pic: Aransas County Seal (PD)

Pic: Aransas County Seal (PD)

Some of you might remember the shocking video from 2012 that captured Aransas County, Texas Judge William Adams beating the hell out of his then young daughter. His daughter had surreptitiously captured the judge’s acts and uploaded them online. Adams was unseated, and now has lost his seat. You can find the video online if you really want to. I don’t.

Via Raw Story:

A Texas family court judge lost his seat in Tuesday’s primary election nearly three years after his daughter posted video of him beating her.

Aransas County Attorney Richard Bianchi narrowly defeated Judge William Adams in the Republican primary election, according to unofficial vote counts.

The 53-year-old Adams had not faced an opponent since he was elected in the 2002 GOP primary.

His daughter posted a video in 2011 that she had secretly recorded seven years earlier, when she was 16 years old, that showed her father whipping her with a belt as he berated and threatened her over illegally downloaded computer files.

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Dark Matter ‘Disc’ May Have Killed the Dinosaurs

PIC: Nina Zeretsky/National Science Foundation (PD)

PIC: Nina Zeretsky/National Science Foundation (PD)

As if blazing comets pounding into the earth and wiping out giant lizard monsters isn’t metal enough, now some scientists are speculating that “dark matter” may have played a role in the great dinosaur die-off. The scientists theorize that as our solar system circles around the center of our galaxy it might pass through a dark matter “disc” every 35 million years. The disc might send comets flying our way. Me? I think I’ll call it the Loc-Nar theory of mass extinction.

Via New Scientist:

Its name has always made it sound ominous – and now dark matter could have a menacing role in Earth’s history. A recent explanation for the identity of the mysterious stuff leads to a scenario in which it could be to blame for the extinctions of dinosaurs, or at least send a few extra comets shooting our way.

Although the sequence of events connecting dark matter to dinosaurs, or even comets, is still pretty tenuous, it is intriguing because it brings together two big open questions: the identity of dark matter and whether there is a pattern to comet strikes on Earth.

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The Return of Cosmos – Tonight

The legendary TV series Cosmos is being rebooted with Neil deGrasse Tyson taking the reins from his famous predecessor Carl Sagan. The first episode in the new series “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” debuts in the United States tonight, March 9 at 9 PM (8 Central) on Fox.

cosmos

Many disinfonauts grew up with the original and will want to check out the new series. You might also want to check out a similar PBS special, Journey of the Universe, co-directed by David Kenner, a director of the original Cosmos series.

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Julian Assange at SXSW: ‘People Are Products Sold to Advertisers’

Picture: Espen Moe (CC)

Picture: Espen Moe (CC)

Julian Assange Skyped into music and culture festival South by Southwest to address the masses. He had some choice words for interviewer Benjamin Palmer of digital advertising firm the Barbarian Group.

Industry site AdAge reported that Assange was referring to Google when he made the comment, but I can’t help to wonder if he had meant to include the Barbarian Group, as well as SXSW’s ubiquitous corporate sponsors. He also made some other interesting comments about the NSA and the “military occupation of the internet,” which you can read here.

I found one full video of the event, and I can’t guarantee it will be live for very long. It’s after the jump. Watch it while you can

AdAge

It was still one of the more interesting and different sessions for SXSW attendees, who thus far have been inundated as expected with expensive and often pointless brand activations.

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What’s Really Going On: Bahrain vs. Ukraine, Can You Spot the Difference?

PIC: Mstyslav Chernov

PIC: Mstyslav Chernov

via chycho

What amazes me is that sane intelligent people have become hysterical by consuming western mainstream media propaganda designed to divert our attention away from the root cause of what ails our society.

For example, with the Ukrainian crisis shock doctrine tactics are being used to bombard us into a frenzy, the ultimate purpose for which is to distract us from the great game: Zbigniew Brzezinski’s Grand Chessboard (2), our economy’s addiction to indefinite growth, the transfer of wealth from Main Street to Wall Street (2), the resource wars, The Project for the New American Century (PNAC), the geography of energy pipelines, the misconception of American exceptionalism and how it influences our foreign policy specifically on how it relates to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the significance of war being a racket (2), and the inverted totalitarian nature of our governments waging war on information (2, 3).

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Here’s How You Can Watch a Live Stream of Edward Snowden’s Virtual Appearance at SXSW Monday

snowden-378233-edward-snowden

Pic: Unknown

The Texas Tribune will be offering a live stream of Edward Snowden’s conversation with ACLU Chief Technologist Christopher Soghoian on Monday. Here’s the link to the stream. Bookmark it and plan to watch Monday, March 10, 12:00 PM EDT.

Via SXSW:

Surveillance and online privacy look to be one of the biggest topics of conversation at the 2014 SXSW Interactive Festival. The number of sessions on this topic reflect the importance of this issue to the digital creatives who converge in Austin each March. As organizers, SXSW agrees that a healthy debate with regards to the limits of surveillance is vital to the future of the online ecosystem.

On Monday, March 10 at 11:00 am, join us for a conversation between Edward Snowden and Christopher Soghoian, the principal technologist of the American Civil Liberties Union. The conversation will be focused on the impact of the NSA’s spying efforts on the technology community, and the ways in which technology can help to protect us from mass surveillance.

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DC CraigsList Casual Encounters Explode During CPAC

Pic: Kurt Lowenstein (CC)

Pic: Kurt Lowenstein (CC)

I have a feeling that a few of these might be the work of pranksters, but according to Addicting Info, the Casual Encounters section of internet want-ad page CraigsList get busy during CPAC. Apparently there are a lot of conservatives in town looking for some no-strings-attached play on the side.

Here’s one:

CPAC – I need a MAN. NOW! – m4m – 36 (CPAC convention)

Okay.
So. I spend so much time in rural Indiana, CPAC is my only outlet for this sort of thing.
What I’m looking for, you, a masculine Ayn Rand, me, the 47%. And I want you to slap me around hard and give it to me good.
Or. . .you could bust in my room, catch me trying to enroll in a healthcare market place/state exchange, and the punish me for it. Punish me good.
We can meet at the bar first, if you want.

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Nuisance Cat Guilty of Shoplifting and “Walking in an Aloof Manner’

1394321881-0If only those were the only things my irritable old tomcat were guilty of…

Via Neatorama

A 7-11 store in Kanto, Japan, has reached its limit over a known shoplifter. The store posted a sign with a picture of the perpetrator, a cat described as “three-apples-tall, black, and walks in an aloof manner.” The cat has been helping himself to cat food from the store for some time. The sign reads, in part:

We need your help
Please do not feed this cat.
It enters the store and shoplifts cat food.
We told the cat that it was banned from the store but it didn’t listen.
Thank you for your cooperation

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In Defense of Hypocrisy

PProg_19_p51_Hypocrisy

Pic: PD

We’re all a bunch of hypocrites. That’s okay, though: So is everyone else.

Adam Kingsmith writes at DeSmog Canada:

The way in which we think, act, feel and live is wrought with self-denial, contradiction and inconsistency. In a recent piece, I highlighted how various logical fallacies work as psychological flaws that twist and distort our decision-making abilities, making it virtually impossible for someone to make a truly unbiased and impartial choice about anything.
What’s more, because so much of our thought processes are subconscious, our internal contradictions and irregularities rarely register at a more conscious level. And thus our unwillingness to realize this means we tend to think everyone is a hypocrite but us.
According to Why Everyone (Else) Is A Hypocrite, by evolutionary psychologist Robert Kurzban, the reason we seem unwilling to make an effort to realize our inherent irrationalities is because in Western society, a flattering self-image is directly correlated with personal rewards such as greater senses of emotional stability, motivation and perseverance.
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