Alabama to stop issuing driver’s licenses in counties with 75% black registered voters

Alabama proves, once again, that it loves to be on the wrong side of history.

David Edwards via The Raw Story:

The state of Alabama, which requires a photo ID to vote, announced this week that it would stop issuing driver’s licenses in counties where 75 percent of registered voters are black.

Due to budget cuts, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said that 31 satellite DMVoffices would no longer have access to driver’s licenses examiners, meaning that residents will need to travel to other counties to apply for licenses. The move comes just one year after the state’s voter photo ID law went into effect.’s John Archibald asserted in a column on Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Justice should open an investigation into the closings.

“Because Alabama just took a giant step backward,” he wrote. “Take a look at the 10 Alabama counties with the highest percentage of non-white registered voters.

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For Whom the Phone Rings: The Genius Cult

I Would Like To Point Out...
It’s that time of year again…

Thomas Frank via The Baffler/

It’s genius season again. From NPR to the New York Times, they’re talking about where people were when they found out they had won the MacArthur Fellowship, our society’s most prestigious honor. Twenty-one of these so-called “Genius Grants” were announced two weeks ago by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation of Chicago; they carry with them a prize of $625,000, to be spent over the course of five years however the Genius in question wishes.

Over the years, stories on the subject have always seemed to start with the phone call from MacArthur HQ in Chicago. Where was the Genius when he or she got the call? What was it like to find out that someone was giving you all that moolah? The famous critic, it was reported, finds she must sit down. The Southerner lets rip with a yell.

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Automation and Income Inequality: Understanding the Polarisation Effect

robot child

This article originally appeared on Philosophical Disquisitions

(Previous Entry)

Inequality is now a major topic of concern. Only those with their heads firmly buried in the sand would have failed to notice the rising chorus of concern about wealth inequality over the past couple of years. From the economic tomes of Thomas Piketty and Tony Atkinson, to the battle-cries of the 99%, and on to the political successes of Jeremy Corbyn in the UK and Bernie Sanders in the US, the notion that inequality is a serious social and political problem seems to have captured the popular imagination.

In the midst of all this, a standard narrative has emerged. We were all fooled by the triumphs of capitalism in the 20th century. The middle part of the 20th century — from roughly the end of WWII to 1980 — saw significant economic growth and noticeable reductions in inequality.… Read the rest

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Stunning footage of lightning in a volcanic ash cloud in Patagonia

Courtesy of BBC Earth, here’s some surreal footage of lightning in a volcanic ash cloud in Patagonia.

h/t Sploid.


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Nemo’s Garden – Italy’s Revolutionary Underwater Fruit and Vegetable Farm

Behold the world’s first underwater farm.

Sumitra via Oddity Central:

In a bid to explore alternative methods of growing produce, an Italian company has created the world’s first underwater farm. The futuristic station – aptly named Nemo’s Garden – consists of five transparent biospheres anchored to the bottom of the sea off the coast of Savona, Italy. They’re being used to grow strawberries, basil, beans, garlic, and lettuce.

“The main target of this project is to create alternative sources of plant production in areas where environmental conditions make it difficult to grow crops through conventional farming, including lack of fresh water, fertile soils, and extreme temperature changes,” said project spokesperson Luca Gamberini. “We are trying to find an alternative and economically viable technology enabling efficient production.”

The five pods, currently floating between depths of 18 and 36 feet, are constantly monitored by Ocean Reef Group – a diving equipment company – from a control center on dry land.

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Symbols and Signs


Via Rebel News

How can we decrease the commodification of these empty signifiers? We can continue to build spaces, both virtual and material, that can be utilized by people who share common goals. We can continue to evolve as people and avoid over-identification with easy to replicate symbols of identity. Our interests and digital footprint aren’t who we are. We mustn’t let the map of our identities — personal or social — become the territory. But the border skirmishes on that map are never ending.

This is far from easy. Products themselves have become secondary, as symbols have overtaken the things they symbolized. Fight Club parodied this tendency as the “Ikea nesting impulse.”

This is a challenge of modern life, but it’s hardly a singular observation. Guy Debord’s Society of The Spectacle, now a standard text amongst neo-Marxists and counterculturists alike, deals with this matter in nearly aphoristic style,

The first phase of the domination of the economy over social life brought into the definition of all human realization the obvious degradation of being into having.

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To Survive Climate Change, We Must Genetically Engineer Humans

The Meanwhile In The Future podcast (at Gizmodo) decides to look at ways to genetically modify humans to survive climate change:

A lot of researchers are thinking about how to genetically engineer crops and food animals to help them withstand post-climate change heat and parched conditions. But what about genetically engineering humans to slow our constant carbon contributions?

In 2012 a philosopher named Matthew Liao co-authored a paper that proposed altering human biology to combat climate change. In the paper, Liao and his colleagues propose a number of possible changes to human biology to help us combat climate change. When the paper came out, it got a lot of attention. Some people thought that Liao and his colleagues were trolling the academic community or that it was some sort of early April Fools joke. Bill McKibbon, a prominent environmental advocate Tweeted that the suggestions in the paper were the “worst climate change solutions of all time.” And, of course, climate skeptics thought it was totally insane to alter human genetics in response to a problem they do not believe in.

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Prison Inmate Cuts Off His Penis and Tries to Flush it Down Toilet

Bizarre story of the day from the Telegraph:

An inmate at Bristol Prison cut off his own penis and tried to flush it down a toilet, it has been revealed.

Horfield Prison, Bristol.jpg

Horfield Prison, Bristol by Kate Lambert. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons.


The prisoner, who has not been named, was found by prison wardens with serious injuries and taken to hospital.

Paramedics from the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust were called to the jail at around 10am last Friday, after reports a man in his 40s had suffered serious injuries.

A spokesman for the trust said it had received a report from the prison that the man had serious bleeding, and that he might be unconscious.

After they arrived at the scene, paramedics worked to stem the bleeding before taking the man to Southmead Hospital, where he received treatment.

A spokesman for the Prison Service said the injury was self-inflicted and that no other prisoners were involved…

[continues at the Telegraph]

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