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Old 03-16-2009, 12:16 PM   #256
YsaPur EsChomuw
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Oh-oh...
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Old 03-16-2009, 01:37 PM   #257
Stephi_B
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^Yay I'm old!! (Memo to myself: need real walking stick asap!!

And it's true, I have long forgotten all what I've learned with 22 plus/minus. Really!!! All my chemistry: GONE
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Old 03-24-2009, 10:50 AM   #258
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I dunno, maybe somebody should've checked on this before.

Financial advice makes the brain 'follow blindly'

Quote:
Author of the study Gregory Berns, Professor of Neuroeconomics and Psychiatry at Emory University in Atlanta, said: "This study indicates that the brain relinquishes responsibility when a trusted authority provides expertise.
I couldn't agree more.
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Old 03-25-2009, 11:26 PM   #259
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^Yeah, it's really true, unfortunately.

The criminalization of everyday life

The Criminalization of Everyday Life
In City Limits, Robert Neuwirth
civil rights, law, police state on March 24, 2009 at 7:23 pm

City Limits, Robert Neuwirth

I spent 24 hours in the slammer the other day. My crime? Well, the police couldn’t tell me when they locked me up. The prosecutor and judge couldn’t either, when I was arraigned the following day. I found out for myself when I researched the matter a few days after being released: I had been cited for walking my dog off the leash – once, six years ago.

Welcome to the ugly underside of the zero-tolerance era, where insignificant rule violations get inflated into criminal infractions. Here’s how it worked with me: a gaggle of transit cops stopped me after they saw me walk between two subway cars on my way to work. This, they told me, was against the rules. They asked for ID and typed my name into a hand-held computer. Up came that old citation that I didn’t know about and they couldn’t tell me about. I was immediately handcuffed and brought to the precinct. There, I waited in a holding cell, then was fingerprinted (post-CSI memo: they now take the fingers, the thumbs, the palms, and the sides of both hands) and had the contents of my shoulder bag inventoried. I could hardly believe it: I was being arrested without ever having committed a crime.

I was held overnight in the Midtown North Precinct lock-up (shoelaces and belt confiscated, meals courtesy of the McDonald’s dollar menu). In the morning, my fellow convicts and I were led, chain-gang style, to the Manhattan Community Court next door. The judge there dismissed the charge against me – because no one ever does time for that kind of crime. A few days later, at Brooklyn’s central court, my warrant was lifted for “time served” – again because no one is ever locked up for breaking the leash law.

If the cops had simply written me a ticket, I would have paid it, and I would have also had to pay to vacate my outstanding warrant. But by cuffing me and holding me overnight, the city spent quite a bit of money (it took two police officers approximately six hours each just to arrest and process me), while the fines assessed against me were rescinded.

While I was inside, I was astounded by the kinds of things that take up police and court time. A couple of people nabbed for being in various parks after dark. One of them was walking his dog. Two young men accused of riding their bicycles on the sidewalk. Three people arrested for sleeping in a subway station. My roommate in the lock-up was an articulate and self-aware 60-year-old whose sin was that he bought a bottle of booze and had taken a swig on the street. In the cell next to us: two costumed Mariachis busted for busking on the subway. They were repeat offenders. Their weapons: a guitar and an accordion.

With zero tolerance, we have finally done it: We have criminalized everyday life. After all, in the course of their life people sometimes ride their bikes on the sidewalks. And once upon a time not too long ago, it was normal to go into the parks after dark. My friends and I did all the time, particularly if we had time to kill before or after the opera, the symphony, or a jazz or rock concert. We walked brazenly between subway cars. Some of us even – horror of horrors! – played music on the street or in the subway without a license. And, though my parents would not be happy to know it even now, we sometimes drank beer in public – making sure, in an important but legally meaningless gesture, that the bottle was in a paper bag. If I did any of this on a regular basis today, I’d probably be considered a behavioral recidivist and sent to Riker’s Island.

I can laugh away my time in a cell—my life suddenly turned into an update of “Alice’s Restaurant.” But I get angry when I think of kids in their teens or 20s being treated the way I was. I’m not against hard time for criminal, violent or anti-social behavior. But slapping young people behind bars and giving them an arrest record simply because the normal things they do are trivial rule violations is not only wasteful, it’s downright criminal.

- Robert Neuwirth

Robert Neuwirth, a longtime contributor to City Limits, is the author of “Shadow Cities: A Billion Squatters, A New Urban World,” and is at work on a new book about the global reach of the informal economy.

Editor’s note: The Giuliani administration highlighted its increase of “quality of life” summonses, but statistics from the annual Mayor’s Management Report indicate that the Bloomberg administration has been just as zealous. The number of such summonses under Giuliani reached its height in fiscal 2001, hitting 523,000. After a dip in 2002, the number of “quality of life” summonses rose under Mayor Bloomberg to more than 700,000 in fiscal 2004. They’ve declined since then to 527,000 in fiscal 2008—still higher than under the previous mayor. The city’s courts, meanwhile, have registered an uptick in the number of people getting arraigned on minor charges: In 2007, the last year for which the court system published statistics, the number of arraignments for infractions and violations was the highest in 10 years – 20 percent greater than the previous year.
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Old 04-01-2009, 10:31 PM   #260
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Announcement
March 31st, 2009 11:59:59 pm

Introducing CADIE

Research group switches on world's first "artificial intelligence" tasked-array system.

For several years now a small research group has been working on some challenging problems in the areas of neural networking, natural language and autonomous problem-solving. Last fall this group achieved a significant breakthrough: a powerful new technique for solving reinforcement learning problems, resulting in the first functional global-scale neuro-evolutionary learning cluster.

Since then progress has been rapid, and tonight we're pleased to announce that just moments ago, the world's first Cognitive Autoheuristic Distributed-Intelligence Entity (CADIE) was switched on and began performing some initial functions. It's an exciting moment that we're determined to build upon by coming to understand more fully what CADIE's emergence might mean, for Google and for our users. So although CADIE technology will be rolled out with the caution befitting any advance of this magnitude, in the months to come users can expect to notice her influence on various google.com properties. Earlier today, for instance, CADIE deduced from a quick scan of the visual segment of the social web a set of online design principles from which she derived this intriguing homepage.

These are merely the first steps onto what will doubtless prove a long and difficult road. Considerable bugs remain in CADIE'S programming, and considerable development clearly is called for. But we can't imagine a more important journey for Google to have undertaken.

For more information about CADIE see this monograph, and follow CADIE's progress via her YouTube channel and blog ::

http://www.google.com/intl/en/landing/cadie/index.html
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Old 04-02-2009, 01:59 PM   #261
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^^^TERMINATE(HE)R

OH..btw
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Old 04-08-2009, 01:38 AM   #262
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Woman calls 911 over lack of shrimp in fried rice
AP

HALTOM CITY, Texas – A woman called 911 to report she didn't get as much shrimp as she wanted in her fried rice at a Texas restaurant.

Haltom City police on Tuesday released the taped emergency call, in which the customer is heard telling the dispatcher, "to get a police officer up here, what has to happen?"

The customer also says: "He didn't even put extra shrimp in there."

The upset customer had left the Fort Worth-area restaurant when an officer arrived Monday afternoon.

Restaurant workers say the woman had been denied a refund after leaving with her order, then returning to complain.

Cook June Lee says nothing was wrong with the meal, and that "some customers are happy. Some are not."

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Old 04-08-2009, 02:29 PM   #263
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^ makes me fondly remember the case of the lady & the harmful cheeseburgur
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Old 04-17-2009, 10:46 PM   #264
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http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-en...n-1670408.html
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Old 05-12-2009, 05:30 PM   #265
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(CBS) If the recession gets worse, we may be eating dog food for dinner.

Don't laugh. It's apparently tastier than you'd expect.

In the last few years, organic dog food made with human-grade free range meat and fresh vegetables has spiked in popularity among health-conscious shoppers. Some companies even claim, for instance, that "humans actually taste our foods, as part of our QC process!"

What's surprising is that some of the new organic dog foods taste as good as (or as bad as) similar human foods, like liverwurst and duck liver mousse, according to a working paper circulated on Friday by the American Association of Wine Economists.

The paper is titled "Can People Distinguish Pâté from Dog Food?" and it concluded that, well, they can't.

These enterprising researchers separately put organic Canned Turkey & Chicken Formula for Puppies/Active Dogs, duck liver mousse, pork liver pâté, liverwurst, and spam in a food processor. The resulting confection was ladled into five different bowls and garnished with parsley.

The volunteers in this culinary experiment didn't exactly prefer the dog food, but they couldn't identify it either. "Only 3 of 18 subjects correctly identified sample C as the dog food," the paper says.

The authors conclude that: "Although human beings do not enjoy eating dog food, they are also not able to distinguish its flavor profile from other meat-based products that are intended for human consumption."

The lesson? Presentation matters. Expectations matter. And, perhaps, that organic dog food is better than you think.

Which is why blind taste tests are so useful; Trader Joe's $2-or-$3-a-bottle Chardonnay won a blind test in California against formidable competition. Another working paper published by the wine economists' group found that, as you might expect, people give higher ratings to wine if they're told it's more expensive.


By Declan McCullagh
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Old 05-12-2009, 09:49 PM   #266
YsaPur EsChomuw
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^ Over here many people become suddenly quite poor when they retire. I've heard they buy pet food instead of meat because it's cheaper.
Oh, not for their pet...
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Old 05-17-2009, 06:48 PM   #267
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dear SLC - how much weirder can you get?
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Old 05-18-2009, 01:06 AM   #268
trisherina
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(sigh) I'll bet you this ^^ is someone with pervasive developmental problems. Chances are he isn't going to be opening a day care center in any case.
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Old 05-18-2009, 02:05 AM   #269
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a somewhat marginal reduction in implausibility
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Old 05-18-2009, 06:35 PM   #270
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^ Finally. Now all we have to figure out is how aliens irradiated him enough to turn him into a monster...
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