Add one more animal to the list of species thought to grieve their dead: wild snub-nosed monkeys. Scientists watched for the first time as an alpha male from one troop cared for—and then mourned—its dying mate, New Scientist reports. The female monkey, which was apparently ill, fell from a tree and hit her head. Her mate stayed with her as she died, gently touching her and trying to revive her. When it was clear she was dead, the male stayed with the female for a short while, and even appeared to gaze back at the body while leaving, according to a letter published this week in Current Biology. The next day, after researchers had buried the body, the troop returned to the spot of death, where the male sat and stared for several minutes. Although scientists previously thought that grieving behavior was limited to chimps and humans, researchers have now observed the behavior in several other monkey species, as well as elephants, dogs, cats, and even crows.
Saturday, May 28, 2016
But it isn’t minor. Setting up an e-mail server in a home several states away from the security and IT folks, in disregard of the rules designed to protect state secrets and ensure good government records, and then hiring your server administrator to a political slot while he keeps managing your system on government time … this is not acceptable behavior in a government official. If Clinton weren’t the nominee, or if she had an R after her name rather than a D, her defenders would have no difficulty recognizing just how troubling it is.
Fortunately, I don't have any conversations with partisan Democrats who tell lies to justify what Hillary has been up to, but I used to, back in the day. If she gets elected, it will be very sad. If Trump gets elected, it may also be very sad. Which would be sadder, it's hard to tell. However, it's not my decision. I'm an observer, you may have noticed.
I don't know if Tapscott (and lots of others) are right about blockchain, but I think he is and, the good part, I hope he is. Finally, a trend that is not just an accelerating slide downward! He goes off track when he starts to talk about regulation (at least in some talks) but mostly he's great. He's not an innovator, but an explainer, but he's good at that.
Foreign central banks’ Treasury bond holdings parked at the Federal Reserve dropped by the most on record in the latest week. Some analysts think the crisis in Ukraine is sparking the move.
Their theory: Russia is shifting its Treasury bond holdings out of the Fed and into offshore accounts. That way, Russia would be able to buy or sell its portfolio if the U.S. and its European allies impose economic sanctions amid growing geopolitical tensions in Ukraine.
Wherever humans have changed the environment—and you’d be hard-pressed to find a place we haven’t—there are winners and losers. Cities around the world shelter pigeons, naturally adapted to life on rock ledges. Farms allow weedy plants to thrive between their fields. Oceans—plagued by rising temperatures, depleted fish populations, and acidifying waters brought on by human activity—are no exception. New research shows that these changes to marine environments are leading to a surge of cephalopods, the invertebrate group that includes octopuses, squid, and cuttlefish.
About 3200 years ago, two armies clashed at a river crossing near the Baltic Sea. The confrontation can’t be found in any history books—the written word didn’t become common in these parts for another 2000 years—but this was no skirmish between local clans. Thousands of warriors came together in a brutal struggle, perhaps fought on a single day, using weapons crafted from wood, flint, and bronze, a metal that was then the height of military technology.
Friday, May 27, 2016
ORLANDO, Fla. — It was supposed to be a stroke of genius: Gary Johnson, the 2012 Libertarian nominee for president and the party’s leading contender in 2016, announced that William Weld, the two-term former Republican governor of Massachusetts, would serve as his running mate.
Bill Weld is not a libertarian. He's barely even a Republican, for heaven's sake.
At the RoboUniverse expo in New York City, robots of all shapes and sizes were being put to work. Companies showed off automated machines designed to perform tasks that many humans would consider less than desirable.
Law professors have got to be high on the list.
Most of China's poorest people are from long-marginalized minority groups or are farmers and herders living in the mountainous southwest, where rope bridges, aerial runways, canoes and cliffside ladders remain crucial to accessing the outside world.
Paul Fussel's famous essay from the (old) New Republic begins:
Many years ago in New York I saw on the side of a bus a whiskey ad I’ve remembered all this time. It’s been for me a model of the short poem, and indeed I’ve come upon few short poems subsequently that exhibited more poetic talent. The ad consisted of two eleven-syllable lines of “verse,” thus:
In life, experience is the great teacher.
In Scotch, Teacher’s is the great experience.
For present purposes we must jettison the second line (licking our lips, to be sure, as it disappears), leaving the first to register a principle whose banality suggests that it enshrines a most useful truth. I bring up the matter because, writing on the forty-second anniversary of the atom-bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I want to consider something suggested by the long debate about the ethics, if any, of that ghastly affair. Namely, the importance of experience, sheer, vulgar experience, in influencing, if not determining, one’s views about that use of the atom bomb.
"Given the widespread global usage of mobile communications among users of all ages, even a very small increase in the incidence of disease resulting from exposure to [radio-frequency radiation] could have broad implications for public health," the NTP said. The $25 million study, overseen by the National Institutes of Health, used rats and mice, exposing them to radio frequencies from GSM and CDMA devices, the two most common types of consumer wireless technologies. Only the male rats appeared to experience a boost in cancer rates.
This will make some plaintiff's lawyers very happy.
Thursday, May 26, 2016
The ceremony began with Bruce Cartier, a former SMC student, proclaiming to those gathered at Santa Monica Beach that “today we stand upon this holy earth and in this sacred space to witness the rite of matrimony between the sea and us all.”
That's a pretty large gathering.
Regrets should be coming, but not in the way Clinton has suggested. State’s Inspector General released the long-awaited report into Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server – and it contradicts every excuse Clinton has offered over the last fifteen months.
But what difference does it make?
But as the Democratic primary contest comes to a close, any hopes Mrs. Clinton had of running a high-minded, policy-focused campaign have collided with a more visceral problem.
Voters just don’t trust her.
Of course I trust Hillary. I trust her to find the most venal thing to do in any situation. Take $100,000 to speak to the Amalgamated Tarsands Association or $200,000 to speak to the Federated Tyrants and Baby Killers Friendship Associaton? The Friendship Association, obviously. It bugs me when they say Hillary can't be trusted. In fact, she's easy to figure out.
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
It was the most publicized prisoner swap of the two-year-long war in eastern Ukraine. This week, Russian President Vladimir Putin pardoned the Ukrainian prisoner Nadezhda Savchenko and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko pardoned Russian soldiers Evgeny Erofeev and Aleksandr Aleksandrov.
But was the West coming to the East, or the East to the West? By 2014, a quarter-century after the revolutions of 1989, Russia proposed a coherent alternative: faked elections, institutionalized oligarchy, national populism, and European disintegration. When Ukrainians that year made a revolution in the name of Europe, Russian media proclaimed the “decadence” of the EU, and Russian forces invaded Ukraine in the name of a “Eurasian” alternative.
(PhysOrg.com) -- One of the biggest unsolved problems in astrophysics is that galaxies and galaxy clusters rotate faster than expected, given the amount of existing baryonic (normal) matter. The fast orbits require a larger central mass than the nearby stars, dust, and other baryonic objects can provide, leading scientists to propose that every galaxy resides in a halo of (as yet undetectable) dark matter made of non-baryonic particles. As one of many scientists who have become somewhat skeptical of dark matter, CERN physicist Dragan Slavkov Hajdukovic has proposed that the illusion of dark matter may be caused by the gravitational polarization of the quantum vacuum.
“The key message of my paper is that dark matter may not exist and that phenomena attributed to dark matter may be explained by the gravitational polarization of the quantum vacuum,” Hajdukovic told PhysOrg.com. “The future experiments and observations will reveal if my results are only (surprising) numerical coincidences or an embryo of a new scientific revolution.”
Remember, you heard about it first on the RC!
ATLANTA — In a forceful challenge to the Obama administration’s stand on transgender rights, officials in 11 states sued the federal government on Wednesday, arguing that it had no authority to direct the nation’s public school districts to permit students to use the restrooms that correspond with their gender identity.
What Predicts Law Student Success? A Longitudinal Study Correlating Law Student Applicant Data and Law School Outcomes by Alexia Brunet Marks, Scott A. Moss :: SSRN
Our results include new findings about how to balance LSAT and UGPA, plus the first findings that college quality, major, work experience, and other traits are significant predictors of law student grades, controlling for other factors: (1) LSAT predicts more weakly, and UGPA more powerfully, than commonly assumed - and a high‐LSAT/low‐UGPA profile may predict worse than the opposite; (2) a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) or EAF (economics, accounting, finance) major is a significant plus, akin to three and a half to four extra LSAT points; (3) several years’ work experience is a significant plus, with teaching especially positive and military the weakest; (4) a criminal or disciplinary record is a significant minus, akin to seven and a half fewer LSAT points; and (5) long‐noted gender disparities seem to have abated, but racial disparities persist. Some predictors were interestingly nonlinear: college quality has decreasing returns; UGPA has increasing returns; a rising UGPA is a plus only for law students right out of college; and four to nine years of work is a “sweet spot.”
This could be an important paper.
Secret Life of the Human Pups is a sympathetic look at the world of pup play, a movement that grew out of the BDSM community and has exploded in the last 15 years as the internet made it easier to reach out to likeminded people. While the pup community is a broad church, human pups tend to be male, gay, have an interest in dressing in leather, wear dog-like hoods, enjoy tactile interactions like stomach rubbing or ear tickling, play with toys, eat out of bowls and are often in a relationship with their human “handlers”.
This is kinda like a branch of the furry movement or whatever you call it. Please be careful not to let your dog see this. I don't think this what Al Gore was thinking of when he invented the internet.
White high school football players 'raped disabled, black teammate with a coat hanger' | Daily Mail Online
This happened in Idaho, which is horrible. I shouldn't be ashamed, but I am. At least it's not a Catholic school in Boise.
SHIMA, Japan (AP) - President Barack Obama said Wednesday he plans to use his historic visit to Hiroshima with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to reflect on the suffering of war and the need to take steps to prevent it. Abe said he had no plans to reciprocate Obama's gesture by paying his own visit to Pearl Harbor.
A federal judge in Brooklyn, in an extraordinary opinion that calls for courts to pay closer attention to the impact of felony convictions on people’s lives, sentenced a young woman in a drug case to probation rather than prison, saying on Wednesday that the collateral consequences she would face as a felon were punishment enough.
But its existence adds to suspicions that global warming is pushing grizzlies into polar bear territory, increasing the frequency of such couplings with potentially devastating consequences for the snow-dwelling species, according to Andrew Derocher, a professor of biological studies at the University of Alberta.
Feds Order Colleges to Stop Checking Criminal/School Discipline History Because it Discriminates Against Minorities - Judicial Watch
The Obama administration has ordered the nation’s colleges and universities to stop asking applicants about criminal and school disciplinary history because it discriminates against minorities. Institutions are also being asked to offer those with criminal records special support services such as counseling, mentoring and legal aid once enrolled. The government’s official term for these perspective students is “justice-involved individuals” and the new directive aims to remove barriers to higher education for the overwhelmingly minority population that’s had encounters with the law or disciplinary issues through high school.
This seems unwise. It also seems hypocritical, given that the colleges and universities in question can label students as sexual criminals of various sorts on their educational records without giving students the benefits of due process.
SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: 11 Eclipses On Days Of Biblical Significance - UNSEALED - World News | Christian News | Prophecy Updates
Everyone talks about the four consecutive "blood moons," but they were part of a larger story: 11 eclipses falling on Jewish holy days. Jesus said there would "be signs in the sun, moon, and stars" (Luke 21:25).
Insane, obviously, but still kinda cool.
Many conservatives tune out Trump’s adolescent solutions, but not necessarily the haywire issues he has raised. Most believe that he will back down from his original, headline-grabbing positions, and eventually offer more studied and reasonable solutions to an ignored problem that otherwise might not have been aired. And though the results may not be what his supporters have cheered on in rallies or what his critics have hoped for, they will, to many Republican voters, be preferable to President Obama’s current and Hillary Clinton’s future positions. Ignoring candidate Trump’s crude bombast for conservatives is analogous to liberals tuning out Obama’s campaign calls for supporters to take their knives to a gun fight or to get in their opponents’ faces, or his arrogant put-downs of lower middle-class Pennsylvanians or his flat-out prevarications about his relationship with mentor and personal pastor, the racist and anti-Semitic Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Trump’s memoirs are often vulgar; Obama’s largely fictional. Trump’s selfish womanizing was consensual; former President Bill Clinton’s often allegedly coerced.
An Army veteran who lost his leg to a roadside bomb in Iraq reached the summit of Mount Everest on Tuesday, becoming the second combat amputee to climb the mountain in six days, according to a veterans group that sponsored the expedition.
Mr. Obama’s predecessors had good reasons to avoid Hiroshima. None wanted to be seen by American voters as apologizing for a decision that many historians even today believe, on balance, saved lives. And there were worries about how such a visit would be viewed in China, South Korea and other countries in Asia that suffered from the brutal World War II killing machine that was Imperial Japan.
But Mr. Obama and his closest aides have become increasingly disdainful of what they view as Washington’s conventional wisdom, which they believe has led to an unending string of disasters, from the Vietnam War to the Iraq war.
O makes my stomach hurt.
This year more than 400 climbers and sherpas decided to try their luck at summiting Mount Everest during the spring climbing season. Tragically, at least four have died so far and more than 30 others are reported to be suffering from severe frostbite and other ailments caused by prolonged exposure to Everest's brutal conditions. With several days remaining in the climbing season, and many climbers still preparing to make ascents, the potential for further tragedy is high.
Severe overcrowding leads to delays on the mountain, which leads to prolonged exposure to killing conditions, which leads to people dying. Not exactly the Freedom of the Hills.
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Upon leaving the store, Belcher called police to have the security guard arrested. D.C. police confirmed to NBC4 Washington that the woman was arrested and charged with simple assault. D.C. police told TheDC that they are treating the incident as a “suspected hate crime.”
48 hours of bee-related nightmare.
The swarm of around 20,000 sparked chaos when their queen got stuck in a car boot.
If this had happened in the US, there'd be stories on the ISIS-bee threat, stories on how to protect your children from bees, and web ads for bee suits. In the UK they just got a couple of bee keepers to take care of it.
This and similar stores from Dave Barry's Blog.
“You ask your questions in plain English, as you would a colleague, and ROSS then reads through the entire body of law and returns a cited answer and topical readings from legislation, case law and secondary sources to get you up-to-speed quickly,” the website says. “In addition, ROSS monitors the law around the clock to notify you of new court decisions that can affect your case.”
Ross also minimizes the time it takes by narrowing down results from a thousand to only the most highly relevant answers, and presents the answers in a more casual, understandable language. It also keeps up-to-date with developments in the legal system, specifically those that may affect your cases.
This should be quite doable by IBM. The surprise is that Baker & Hosteller was clever enough to contract with them. I'd love to see what it can do but they're probably only showing it to potentially paying customers.
The 15-year, $280-million contract with Under Armour was scheduled to be announced at noon Tuesday, university officials told the Los Angeles Times.
This is insane.