Monthly archives: November 2011

Daily Blog 11/29/2011

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily Blog 11/28/2011

  • While nearly all Americans head to family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving, the Senate is gearing up for a vote on Monday or Tuesday that goes to the very heart of who we are as Americans. The Senate will be voting on a bill that will direct American military resources not at an enemy shooting at our military in a war zone, but at American citizens and other civilians far from any battlefield — even people in the United States itself.

    tags: usa

  • As you work on your mystery or thriller, you suddenly realize that you need to know more about guns. You want to do some research so that you can take advantage of a gun’s individual characteristics in your story and what that says about your character. But you also want to avoid the most common mistakes. Where do you start?

    tags: guns weapons writing

  • You probably haven’t heard of a man named Stanislaw Burzynski. He offers a treatment called antineoplaston therapy, which he claims can treat cancer, in a centre called the Burzynski Clinic in Houston, Texas. That’s quite a claim, but the Nobel Prize Committee does not need to convene quite yet, because this treatment has been in non-randomised clinical trials since its discovery by Burzynski some 34 years ago. Moreover, no randomised controlled trials showing the effectiveness of antineoplaston therapy have been published in peer reviewed scientific literature.

    tags: Burzynski bad science

  • John Amery (14 March 1912 Chelsea, London – 19 December 1945) was a British fascist who proposed to the Wehrmacht the formation of a British volunteer force (that subsequently became the British Free Corps) and made recruitment efforts and propaganda broadcasts for Nazi Germany. He was executed for treason after the war having pleaded guilty.

    tags: WW2

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily Blog 11/27/2011

  • It is clear to anyone who has studied the financial crisis of 2008 that the private sector’s drive for short-term profit was behind it. More than 84 percent of the sub-prime mortgages in 2006 were issued by private lending. These private firms made nearly 83 percent of the subprime loans to low- and moderate-income borrowers that year. Out of the top 25 subprime lenders in 2006, only one was subject to the usual mortgage laws and regulations. The nonbank underwriters made more than 12 million subprime mortgages with a value of nearly $2 trillion. The lenders who made these were exempt from federal regulations.

    tags: financial crisis

  • As well as the mask, Occupy protesters have taken up as a marrying slogan “We are the 99%”; a reference, originally, to American dissatisfaction with the richest 1% of the US population having such vast control over the country. “And when you’ve got a sea of V masks, I suppose it makes the protesters appear to be almost a single organism – this “99%” we hear so much about. That in itself is formidable. I can see why the protesters have taken to it.”

    tags: alanmoore protest

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily Blog 11/26/2011

  • The Special Forces, generally known as “Spetsnaz” (after the Russian term “Voiska Spetsialnogo Naznacheniya” – Special Purpose Troops), always played a key role in Soviet Military Doctrine. One of the aspects of every Special Forces is that they prefer to operate stealthily, with as little sound and flash as possible from their weapons.

    tags: weapons

  • This being the Reg we generally prefer a bit of a tech angle – that is, where there are no obvious Paris Hilton implications to a story – and so it is that today we are again featuring only futuristic, unusual, high-tech weapons. You’ll find no everyday lead-spitters here. Needless to say, heavy ordnance which can only be used from a fixed mount or a vehicle or which requires a crew of more than one is out too: weapons which can only be deployed by large organised groups are surely for the guvmint – the very people who might seek to pry one’s trusty shooting iron from one’s cold dead fingers – not for proud, freedom-loving individualists fixin’ to defend their remote wilderness compounds.

    Thus we have once again limited ourselves to weapons suitable for individual carry, and to make it sporting we have included only those which actually exist or genuinely appear likely to shortly. Again in the interests of fair play with our readers, this year we have a completely new line-up: none of last year’s hardware is back for a repeat appearance.

    tags: weapons

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily Blog 11/25/2011

  • Tracey Hillyard and her three teenage children live in a small, 1990s terraced house whose leaky walls and roof were leaching heat out of the home. Concerned about escalating energy bill, Tracey approached her housing association, East Thames, about the problem.

    As luck would have it, East Thames had been invited to participate in a nationwide government programme, Retrofit for the Future, trialling innovative energy saving technologies. So Tracey’s home was put forward as a case study.

    tags: energy environment ecobuilding

  • When it comes to converting a manuscript to an e-book format, less is definitely more. The way written material appears on a computer screen may not be the way it will appear on an e-reader. Using proper formatting techniques will generate a consistent look for your e-book, regardless of the device being used to read it.

    tags: e-books

  • Lots of information delivered as heat maps. Very cool, I just need something to use it for now.

    tags: census statistics

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily Blog 11/24/2011

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily Blog 11/22/2011

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily Blog 11/21/2011

  • Professor Iain Stewart explains how avalanches were intentionally triggered by troops fighting in the Alps during World War I.

    tags: avalanche WW1

  • The risk from extreme weather events is likely to increase if the world continues to warm, say scientists.

    A report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said it was “very likely” that emissions had led to an increase in daily maximum temperatures.

    It added that emissions had also led some regions experiencing longer and more intense droughts.

    tags: climate IPCC

  • The Send Equipment for National Defense Act, sponsored by Texas Representative Ted Poe, would “require that 10 percent of certain equipment returned from Iraq—like Humvees, night-vision equipment and unmanned aerial surveillance craft—be made available to state and local agencies for border-security operations.”

    Poe denies that this would militarize the border, as reported by the New York Times; but John Cook, mayor of the border city of El Paso, strongly disagrees, suggesting that only “a whole lot of ignorance” could inspire the plan. Cook points out that “moving war zone equipment to the border would send the wrong signal to Mexico and potentially damage the robust symbiotic economic relationship between the two countries.”

    tags: uav

  • This November may well mark the point at which the atmosphere of protest in Britain changed. Thursday’s conviction of the Fortnum & Mason protesters – for sitting down in an expensive food shop to protest tax avoidance – represents a moment which demonstrates that even the most reasonable act of protest can be steamrollered in the courts. It comes as scores of protesters are still awaiting trial on what could be more serious, jailable charges.

    Meanwhile, for the first time on the British mainland, the police pre-authorised plastic bullets on a demonstration – a student demonstration, which they knew would contain schoolchildren and whose route had been co-operatively negotiated in advance. This was not noted calmly but announced in the full glare of the press, without the knowledge of the organisers. The “total policing” of the demonstration itself saw the use of undercover snatch squads, the pre-emptive deployment of dogs and horses and the reduction of chunks of the march into a rolling kettle.

    tags: protest

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily Blog 11/20/2011

  • Rachel Maddow has had an “aha” moment which is sort of hilarious but is also sort of scary. Basically she’s decided that Herman Cain is a joke—not in the sense that we all know he’s a joke because he has very few qualifications to be president and also has overly simplistic policy ideas and does incredibly stupid things like harass women. No, she thinks he is a joke in the performance art sense—like he is the Borat of Republican presidential candidates. Is that even possible? Could someone run for president as a joke and get this far? Maybe? Yes? Or maybe he’s not even in on the joke?

    tags: hermancain USA

  • While it’s understandable that cyclists today feel conditions on the road can only improve, on this day 110 years ago the risk posed by ‘modern-day highwaymen’ was such that cyclists were being advised to use the late-nineteenth-century version of a super soaker water pistol to startle their attacker.

    According to an article in Pearson magazine (not to be confused with Pearson, the British bicycle brand still trading from the world’s first bike shop it opened150 years ago), the cyclist who is a skilful rider, who possesses pluck and dash, who has mastered the elementary rules of defence on a bicycle, and who is armed with a knowledge of how to use a machine to the best advantage as a weapon, may rest content that he is able to defend himself perfectly when attacked under the majority of likely conditions

    tags: bicycle

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily Blog 11/18/2011

  • The 45-storey skyscraper that the Venezuelan entrepreneur David Brillembourg began building in the booming financial centre of Caracas of the early 1990s never did become the emblem of abundance its late owner intended it to be. A banking crisis truncated his dream.

    But 20 years later, the incomplete Torre Confinanzas, or Torre de David (Tower of David) as it most widely known, with its staircases that lead nowhere and ramps that spiral into infinity is experiencing something of a renaissance – not as a home for a prosperous bank, but 2,500 squatters.

    tags: housing venezuela

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily Blog 11/15/2011

  • Paternoster Square, home of the London stock exchange sits right next to St Paul’s Cathedral in the heart of financial London. This grand square with it’s public art, benches, restaurants and bars is part of the life of the city with hundreds and thousands of people using it every week.

    That is, hundreds of people who are deemed worthy of using it. You see, now like many other “public” areas of London, Paternoster Square is in fact privately owned. We’ve previously done projects highlighting the negative effect such ownership has on the life of a city and on freedom of speech, see for example our No No No outings. Public access is granted by the corporation who own it, but this access can be withdrawn at any moment.

    tags: london demo

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Bye bye An Outlet

Bye bye An Outlet, originally uploaded by spinneyhead.

Always a shame to see an interesting cafe shut down. I admit I’m too much of an Oklahoma loyalist to have drunk there often, but it was a nice space. And shame on their neighbours. What sort of person moves to the city centre then complains because there’s stuff going on nearby?