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Author Archives: postroad
Aliza Eliazarov photographs the sustainable farm movement in the United States in her series “Sustain” (PHOTOS).
June 1943. “Miss Frances Heisler, pump attendant at one of the Atlantic Refining Company garages in Philadelphia. She was formerly a clerk in the payroll department of the Curtis Publishing Co.” Photo by Jack Delano for the Office of War Information
Source: Museum of London/Heritage Images/Getty…’Slasher’ Mary Richardson leaving court, 1914. Richardson (centre), had attacked the Rokeby Venus at the National Gallery in London on 4th March 1914, slashing it seven times with a meat cleaver. This was in protest at the government’s failure to give women the vote. Attacks on works of art prompted the closure of many of the country’s art galleries and museums to women, and sometimes to the public completely. At places of historical interest the rule of ‘No muffs, wrist-bags, or sticks’ was widespread. Later, in May 1914, the Royal Academy and the Tate Gallery closed to the public. The British Museum was more flexible, opening to women accompanied by men who would accept responsibility for them. Unaccompanied women were only allowed in if they had a letter of recommendation from a gentleman who would vouch for their good conduct and take responsibility for their actions. (Photo by Museum of London/Heritage Images/Getty Images)
Why you should care
Because Mary Richardson was one of the leaders of British women’s suffrage, but her violent strain of activism and controversial politics kept her out of the spotlight … until now.
One hundred years ago today, with the shadow of war looming over 1914 London, a small woman dressed in gray entered the National Gallery. She moved quietly through the crowd, unrecognized as the woman who had been shouting slogans and protesting violently for women across Britain.
There is no evidence or even suspicion from official channels that Uighur militants may be linked to the disappearance of a Malaysian Airlines flight over the weekend, but conjecture about their involvement by some on China’s Sina Weibo microblog raised alarm among many other
Is Your New Little Friend on Twitter an NSA analyst?
[J.M. Porup] J.M. Porup
In 2011, activists claiming to belong to Anonymous hacked private intelligence contractor HBGary. The resulting treasure trove of leaked documents, among other things, proved the US military had ordered persona management software — sometimes called “Metal Gear” — that would allow, per installation, fifty people to control up to 500 fake Twitter accounts. The contracts stipulated that the sock puppet accounts be “replete with background, history, supporting details, and cyber presences that are technically, culturally, and geographically consistent.”
The CIA and the Senators overseeing the agency are nearly at war. And it all revolves around the contents of a secret database documenting the CIA’s clandestine prisons.
—At the center of CIA director John Brennan’s first major clash with the Senate is a massive database containing millions of pages of secrets about the agency’s “black site” prison networks and what the CIA euphemistically labeled “enhanced interrogation.” The rest of the world called it torture.
—The CIA created the database in 2009 so that staffers from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence could review the documents at an agency facility as it prepared its own report ontorture. According to one Senate staff member familiar with the database, the computer network contains the cables, spot reports, interrogation logs and other details of the CIA’s “black sites,” a network of prisons around the world where captured al Qaeda operatives would usually end up for questioning before being sent to Guantanamo Bay.
By 1955, the writing careers of Vladimir Nabokov and Dorothy Parker were headed in opposite directions. Parker’s was in a deep slump. The New Yorker—a magazine she had been instrumental in founding—had not published her fiction in fourteen years. Nabokov, by contrast, was becoming a literary sensation. The New Yorker had published several of his short stories as well as chapters of his autobiography Conclusive Evidence and of his novel Pnin. His next novel, Lolita, would bring him worldwide recognition for its virtuosic prose and the shocking story of a middle-aged man’s relationship with his pubescent stepdaughter and her aggressive mother. It was a manuscript that Nabokov circulated very little because he feared the controversy that would erupt when it was published.Yet three weeks before Lolita arrived in bookstores in France, where it first came out that September, Parker published a story—in The New Yorker, of all places—titled “Lolita,” and it centered on an older man, a teen bride, and her jealous mother. How could this have come to pass?
To his colleagues at the Environmental Protection Agency, John Beale was always a man of great import. Beginning in the early 1990s, he enjoyed one policymaking triumph after another, eventually establishing himself as a towering figure within the agency. He also possessed a certain mystique. It was an open secret in the office, yet only whispered: Beale led a double life as a covert agent for the CIA.
Wednesdays he was often a no-show at the EPA, marking the absence in the office calendar with a cryptic descriptor: “D.O. Oversight.” It was shorthand for his duties with the CIA’s Directorate of Operations, the division that sent spies on clandestine missions.
It may sound like a plot from “The Twilight Zone,” but a psychology graduate student at the University of Ottawa says she can voluntarily enter an out-of-body experience. This was a lucky break for scientists, who were able to scan her brain during the episode.
Usually out-of-body experiences are a part of, say, a near-death experience. A patient may float above their own body as surgeons work on them. These experiences are usually attributed to the drugs in a patient’s system, or the hormones released into their system by trauma.
A unique experience
The study — which only involved this one person — was published Feb. 10 in the journal Frontiers of Human Neuroscience, a peer-reviewed open access publication. The researchers are members of the School Of Psychology at the University of Ottawa.
In WW2 Churchill deliberately starved6-7 million Indians to death
WW2 Bengali Holocaust: “Churchill’s Secret War” By Madhusree Mukerjee
The important book “Churchill’s Secret War. The British Empire and the ravaging of India during World War II” by Madhusree Mukerjee (Basic Books, New York, 2010) is an account of the forgotten World War 2 Bengali Holocaust, the man-made, 1942-1945 Bengal Famine in which 6-7 million Indians were deliberately starved to death by the British under Churchill for strategic reasons in what was one of the greatest atrocities in human history but which has been largely white washed from British history.
Also see HERE
“What’s a burpee?”
It’s 6 a.m. on a freezing morning in Alexandria, Va., a few miles south of Washington, D.C. A group of electrical engineers, computer scientists and math Ph.D.’s from Seagate Technology, the hard drive manufacturing giant, are gathered around a pile of sandbags, looking nervously at a man dressed in black who’s just ordered them to do 100 burpees. These people are among Seagate’s top talent – the product engineers, managers, programmers, the folks who figure out how to get more terabytes into our computers. The mystified executive who asked the question is slight, bespectacled; he seems like he would definitely be more comfortable pondering the wiring of a hard drive than the proper execution of a burpe
Pamela Colloff Texas Monthly
Two reports, twelve years apart, on the killing of a high school cheerleader in a small Oklahoma town and its aftermath.
A FEW YEARS AGO Fresnans were jumping onboard the new online magazine Fresno Famous. It was building traction and a lot of people thought the site was going somewhere. It had culture, the arts and sass. Then, just like its symbolic Marilyn Monroe mural getting painted over by some disgruntled so-and-so, it was gone.
Within a few more years the beautiful blue water-god on the Neighborhood Thrift Store’s agricultural mural in Fresno had been censored. While the mural still has its allure, the painting-over and censoring of the mouth of the god, who must now shut up, who must now not spill its life water like a holy vomit, is truly symbolic of Californian’s oft-times intellectually anaesthetized Central Valley.
Oscar Wilde described marriage as the triumph of hope over experience. In finance and geopolitics, by contrast, experience must always prevail over hope, and realism over wishful thinking.
—A grim case in point is the confrontation between Russia and the West in Ukraine. What makes this conflict so dangerous is that U.S. and EU policy seems to be motivated entirely by hope and wishful thinking. Hope that Russian President Vladimir Putin will “see sense” — or at least be deterred by the threat of sanctions to Russia’s economic interests and the personal wealth of his oligarch friends. Wishful thinking about “democracy and freedom” inevitably overcoming dictatorship and military bullying.
You would never get me on this ride
Clarence John Laughlin, A Mangled Staircase (No. 2) , (1949 )…@.
In the center of St. Roch Cemetery, past the columns, fences and above-ground tombs that mimic the historic houses in the surrounding neighborhood, there’s a little chapel. Through an arched door just off the altar is a small side room with a floor of marble bricks, each one inscribed with the word “Thanks” or “Merci.” The walls here are lined with plaster replicas of feet, hands, livers and brains. One pink plaster human heart, hanging about five feet high, bears a distinct line across it. That’s the water mark, where the flood rose after Katrina. Rusted crutches and leg braces that look like antique torture devices also dangle from the walls. Sitting on a table are more modern offerings of silk flowers, handwritten notes, photographs of loved ones, and even a Post-It reading “stay so very #alive.”
Well, that was fast. At the beginning of the year, it seemed apt to meditate on the catastrophes of a century past , and on the chance that we might, once again, be passengers on some Titanic of history, with a small flaw in the hull opened by some unforeseen iceberg. And it seemed worth stressing that what had brought the ship down—in short, what made 1914 happen—was, above all, the vulnerability of open societies to the panicked appeal to honor and the fear of humiliation. “The relentless emphasis on shame and face, on position and credibility, on the dread of being perceived as weak sounds an icy note through the rhetoric of 1914—from the moment Franz Ferdinand is shot to the moment the troops are sent to the Western Front,” I wrote in the magazine. “When someone says, ‘Ram the iceberg! We can’t afford to let it make us look weak,’ it’s time to run for the deck.”
What if the National Security Agency had its own advice columnist? What would the eavesdroppers ask about?
—You don’t need to guess. An NSA official, writing under the pen name “Zelda,” has actually served at the agency as a Dear Abby for spies. Her “Ask Zelda!” columns, distributed on the agency’s intranet and accessible only to those with the proper security clearance, are among the documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The columns are often amusing – topics include co-workers falling asleep on the job, sodas being stolen from shared fridges, supervisors not responding to emails, and office-mates who smell bad. But one of the most intriguing involves a letter from an NSA staffer who complains that his (or her) boss is spying on employees.
—In the letter, which Zelda published in a column on September 9, 2011, the employee calls himself “Silenced in SID” – referring to the Signals Intelligence Directorate, the heart of the NSA’s surveillance operations. Zelda’s column, headlined “Watching Every Word in Snitch City,” offers an ironic insight into a spy agency where the spies apparently resent being spied upon.
—“Dear Zelda,” the letter of complaint begins:
Oliver Burkeman explores human nature, violence, feminism and religion with one of the world’s most controversial cognitive scientists. Can he dent Steven Pinker’s optimism?
4 March 2014<
---Pinker on... the Berlin WallIn the week that I interview the cognitive psychologist and bestselling author Steven Pinker in his office at Harvard, police release the agonising recordings of emergency calls made during the Sandy Hook school shootings. In Yemen, a suicide attack on the defence ministry kills more than 50 people. An American teacher is shot dead as he goes jogging in Libya. Several people are killed in riots between political factions in Thailand, and peacekeepers have to be dispatched to the Central African Republic.
---In short, it’s not hard to find anecdotes that seem to contradict a guiding principle behind much of Pinker’s work – which is that science and human reason are, slowly but unmistakably, making the world a better place.
War is too weird a thing to make sense of when it’s actually happening. It’s not just the combat, which by its nature is unintelligible. Armed conflict so fundamentally alters the environment it takes hold of that no aspect of life escapes undistorted: not love, not friendship, not sleep, not trust, not conversation. In war, even boredom is strange.
—The war in Iraq is finally over, at least for Americans, which means, in a way, that we may finally begin to comprehend it. I don’t mean in a historical sense: A multitude of books have already dissected the war’s origins, costs and wider implications. I mean in a human sense: what the war felt like, what it did to people’s brains, how it changed the lives it did not consume. This is not, strictly speaking, the realm of journalism or history, but of fiction and memoir.
Tommy John pitching for the Yankees in 1989, 15 years after Dr. Frank Jobe repaired his elbow. John, who had won 124 games before the pioneering surgery, went on to win 164 more. Credit Stephen Dunn/Allsport
—Pitchers who had Tommy John surgery might have felt like raising a toast to Dr. Frank Jobe on Thursday night. But that very motion might not have been possible, at least without triggering elbow pain , if not for Jobe’s pioneering technique.
—Jobe, who died Thursday at 88, began an almost quixotic bid in 1974 to prolong the career of a major league pitcher. The successful treatment, more technically known as ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, now extends to pitchers at multiple levels of the game, as well as tennis players and javelin throwers, from athletes as young as 14 to those nearing retirement.
SEEK A HIGHER POWER
Egypt’s Ahram Online reports March 2 that Abdullah Mohamed Morsi — the son of ousted president Mohamed Morsi of the ultra-conservative Muslim Brotherhood — was arrested for possession of hashish. The young Morsi and a friend were detained at a security checkpoint in the Nile Delta’s Obour City, Qalyubia governorate, where officials say they found two “joints of hashish” (presumably hash-laced tobacco) in their car. The two were released after they agreed to give blood and urine samples, which could result in their conviction. Abdullah’s brother, Osama Morsi, condemned the arrest on his Facebook page , asserting the claim of drug possession is being used to “taint the image of honest people.”