Have you noticed how most of the Tea Party people were sort of old, while most of the Occupy Wall Street people are fairly young? Here’s an interesting factoid, from the USA Today: Old people are much, much richer than young people. According to the Pew Research Center, Americans 65 and older are 47 times richer than those 35 and younger.
It makes sense that old people would have more money than young people, because they have been working and saving longer. But this wealth gap is massive by historical standards. In 1984, old people were a mere 10 times richer than young people. Not only have old people gotten richer since then, but the median net worth of households headed by young people has declined considerably.
Households headed by adults ages 35 and younger had a median net worth of $3,662 in 2009. That marks a 68% decline in wealth, compared to that same age group 25 years earlier.
Over the same time frame, households headed by adults ages 65 years and older, have seen just the opposite. Their wealth rose 42%, to a median of $170,494.
Researchers say that in Anglo-Saxon Britain, in the 5th and 6th centuries, boy babies were more prized than girls. The belief spread that evil spirits would visit the cradle and harm or carry off a boy child. Blue, a power color representing the sky, would scare away an evil spirit. Later, in Germany, a widespread legend held that girl babies sprang from a pink rose and it became customary to dress baby girls in pink. That custom merged with the British one of dressing boys in blue. – Provided by Reference.com
International Energy Agency: Climate change may become irreversible in as little as five years.
Obama administration will delay industry-requested “Christmas tree tax” amid uproar.
Another social network moderator who allegedly tipped off authorities to Mexican drug cartel activities found dead.
VSS On Medium Voltage LineThe primary advantage of this technique is the capability of this sensor platform to inductively draw its power from the power line and to use the power line for communication and control. The user can monitor an area of interest indefinitely without having to run cables or replace batteries. Using this method of non-traditional Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR), security specialist will have the ability to monitor and detect threats from a distance. The platform will be modular and can be configured to multiple visible, IR, audio, and other types of sensors.
The VSSMV can be made to look like standard power line equipment or a simple splice and can be placed in remote areas such as along roadways for remote monitoring to aid in defeating current and future IED threats which are endangering joint and coalition forces.
A rapidly deployable, easy to use security camera system that can be installed in less than 5 MINUTES using a utility bucket truck
No direct AC connection required. Clamps onto Medium Voltage (MV) power lines and non-evasively “harvest” energy through inductive coupling
Utilizes cellular link for video transmission
Tamper resistant due to location on the power line
Operates 24/7/365 under any weather condition
Rapid in-house design services can modify this system to meet any specific customer needs
e.g. Wi-Fi Repeater, IR Camera, Radar, Flood Lights, etc.
Laser Can Turn Brown Eyes Blue
A US doctor claims to have developed a laser procedure that can turn brown eyes blue. The laser causes the brown pigment on the surface of the iris to be broken down over a period of weeks in a process that is irreversible. Dr. Gregg Homer first experimented on animals and cadavers before moving on to living human subjects in Mexico. So far, 17 people have undergone the procedure, reportedly without suffering damage to their vision. Still, many experts have expressed reservations about the procedure. More …
(Editor’s Note: Any decent coverage of Anonymous is going to verge on some NSFW material at points. There will be questionable language and strange imagery.)
Last week the net and the media were ablaze with the news that Anonymous might be taking on the Zeta drug cartel in Mexico, a story that has morphed into a wider drug corruption story, and led to one American law enforcement official in North Carolina being named as a gang conspirator.
Also this year, Anons released documents on, or d0xed, several police organizations and one prominent police vendor in retaliation for heavy-handed law enforcement reaction to occupations associated with the Occupy Wall Street movement. They’ve fought with child pornographers, hacked Sony repeatedly, and even tried to release compromising pictures to blackmail Bay Area Rapid Transit spokesman Linton Johnson into resigning. (Johnson claimed to have authored and then defended BART’s controversial decision to shut off mobile phone service in BART stations to pre-empt an anti-police brutality protest.)
They’ve created law enforcement excitement that’s verged on panic, given net and media pundits hyperbolic logorrhea about “cyber terrorism” and “cyber freedom”, and happily skipped between damn funny, deeply disturbing, and self-aggrandizing, depending on the mood of the hive mind at the moment.
But what is Anonymous?
Big-time college football is home to enough small grossnesses that fans barely notice them anymore. Actually, small may not be the right word for these thousands of legalistic elisions and micro-oversights and case-specific ethical lapses. The millions in tax dollars paid to coaches and assistant coaches and athletic directors for knowing the most effective of those oversights and lapses make them more abstract and farther reaching than the particulars of any isolated incident. Public employee salaries do kick up some froth from the ever-seething Don’t Tread On Me caucus, but whether it’s that set’s genuflective reflex towards people making that kind of money or something else, complaints about those particular salaries are most often seen in poignantly cheesedicked unsigned newspaper editorials, and not seen often even there. It’s all strange, but if you care about college football you have already gotten used to it.
The massiveness of those uglinesses makes them abstract, and thus has the odd effect of turning what are actually smaller – or at least more specific – offenses into the greater grossnesses, at least in terms of how long they persist in public memory. All these queasy hiccupps are symptomatic, but they fit more easily in memories and news cycles than the abstractions of what is actually the larger rot. Those broader scummeries periodically lead to specific outrages like the University of Washington ignoring any number of awful things to keep a rapey menace like Jerramy Stevens out of jail for three terrifying years, or the University of Miami’s signature inability to notice while a creepy booster named Nevin Shapiro funded eight years worth of hookers-on-boats for football players. Those are what we remember long after we go back to forgetting all the endemic uglinesses that make these sexier mini-outrages not just possible, but constant.
Hedy Lamarr (Nov. 9, 1914 – 2000) was an Austrian-born American actress (she was a major Contract Star of MGM’s “Golden Age” – films include Boom Town (1940), White Cargo (1942), and Tortilla Flat (1942), based on the novel by John Steinbeck), and scientist – she co-invented an early form of spread spectrum communications technology, a key to modern wireless communication… (Wiki mash-up)
‘The Great Big Book of Horrible Things,’ by Matthew White
Browsing the bookstore shelves can pose its grim challenges for the ordinary mortal. The reproachful cover of “1,000 Places to See Before You Die” is bad enough. There’s also “100 Birds to See Before You Die,” “100 Belgian Beers to Try Before You Die!” and “1,001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die.” Make your way through “50 Places to Play Golf Before You Die” and you’re still not done: “50 More Places to Play Golf Before You Die” is staring right at you.
Into this profusion of lists comes Matthew White, a self-described “atrocitologist” and numbers freak from Richmond, Va., who has compiled yet another — more sobering — roll call to ponder. With its stylishly lurid graphics and goofy asides, “The Great Big Book of Horrible Things: The Definitive Chronicle of History’s 100 Worst Atrocities” may seem more like an aspiring classic of macabre bathroom reading than a serious effort. But Mr. White’s book, published this week by W. W. Norton, arrives trailing some impressive scholarly affirmation, including a ringing foreword from the Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker.
If coldbloodedly ranking body counts seems like an odd business, Mr. White, a bearlike man of 54 with a shy laugh and incipient Santa Claus beard, is an even odder person to be doing it.
He has no college degree or formal training in history or statistics. He does not attend academic conferences or publish in scholarly journals. He does not visit archives, instead culling numbers from far-flung secondary sources during off hours from his job as a librarian at the federal courthouse in Richmond. His Web site includes links to Tolkien-inspired maps and random self-help reflections (the page for “How to Overcome Procrastination” is listed as “Under Construction”), along with links to carefully annotated compilations of war statistics. He prefers jaunty terms like multicide, megadeath and hemoclysm to sober, morally charged ones like genocide.
“I’ve always been a bit of a wiseguy,” Mr. White said, though he is quick to add that he means no offense. Atrocity is a serious business, and the numbers he puts up are staggering, from the well known (1.67 million victims of the Khmer Rouge, atrocity No. 39 on Mr. White’s list) to the largely forgotten (13 million dead from the An Lushan Rebellion in eighth-century China, which lands at No. 13).
Fifteen years ago Mr. White was just a local-history buff with a vague dream of creating a historical atlas of Richmond. But one day, for reasons he is hard pressed to explain, he drew a map illustrating the collapse of the Soviet Union and posted it on the World Wide Web, which was then new. More maps followed, and his grandly titled “Historical Atlas of the 20th Century” was born.
The obsession with body counts came later, along with a steady accumulation of citations by recognized scholars: 377 published books and 183 scholarly articles to date. (Yes, Mr. White has the stats.)
In his foreword to “The Great Big Book” Mr. Pinker — who drew on Mr. White’s work for own new book, “The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined” — credits him with compiling “the most comprehensive, disinterested and statistically nuanced estimates available.”
Charles Maier, a historian of modern European history at Harvard who stumbled on Mr. White’s Web site five years ago when searching for reliable death counts in the two world wars, doesn’t put it that strongly but welcomes his painstaking efforts nonetheless.
Paulette Goddard (1910–1990) was an American film and theater actress. A former child model, she was cast in several Broadway productions such as Ziegfeld Girl. Goddard and was a major star of the Paramount Studios and was married to several notable men including Charlie Chaplin and Burges Meredith. Goddard and Chaplin met in 1943 when she was looking to invest in a film that would later be named Modern Times. Following its success, Chaplin planned other roles for Goddard, including his 1940 film The Great Dictator. The couple split soon after.
Goddard was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in So Proudly We Hail.
The later half of her life was spent as a socialite in New York. Goddard was also known to be friends with the likes of Andy Warhol.
Essay on why smart people make foolish ethical choices
Every time there is a new ethics scandal, whether in a university or some other setting (such as in government or the corporate world), observers wonder how those involved could have been so stupid. Could they really have done the things of which they are accused? If so, what were they thinking?
In fact, there are three precipitating factors for ethics scandals that practically guarantee that they will not be going away anytime soon. The three factors are foolishness, the complexity of ethical reasoning, and ethical drift, which I discuss in turn.
The first factor promoting ethics scandals is that, contrary to their self-belief, smart people are especially susceptible to acting foolishly. Your biggest risk factor for foolish behavior is the belief that, while other people often act in foolish ways, you never would do so. Smart people are often those most likely to harbor such a belief. In a book I edited entitled Why Smart People Can Be So Stupid (Yale University Press, 2002), I argued that smart people, and especially smart leaders — including academic administrators — are particularly susceptible to fallacies in thinking that promote foolish behavior.
Young geniuses might have once made nearly all of the significant breakthroughs in science, but nowadays that’s doesn’t seem to be the case, a new study suggests.
Einstein once said, “A person who has not made his great contribution to science before the age of 30 will never do so.”The genius himself discovered that matter was transmutable to energy with his famous equation E = mc2 and helped lay the foundations of quantum theory by that age as evidence for his claim.
That peak age has shifted considerably, the researchers found, with 48 being prime time for physicists.
To investigate this notion further, researchers analyzed 525 Nobel Prizes given in physics, chemistry and medicine from 1901 to 2008. They compared how the age of peak creativity, measured by the average age at which Nobel laureates did their prize-winning work, varied between fields and changed over time within fields.
“There is a lot of interest in transformative research, which breaks through conventional ways of thinking, but we really do not know how important or common it is,” said researcher Bruce Weinberg, a labor economist at Ohio State University.
“Businesses, universities and research institutions all must make bets on whom to hire and support in pursuit of achieving scientific breakthroughs — knowing when creativity peaks, and how this relates to the type of research and the state of knowledge in a given field, can provide predictive tools in placing these bets,” researcher Benjamin Jones, an economist at Northwestern University, told LiveScience.
The investigators found that great scientific achievement before age 30 was indeed common in all disciplines before 1905. About two-thirds of winners in these fields did their prize-winning work before age 40, and about 20 percent did it before 30.
However, contrary to what Einstein once said, this phenomenon has become increasingly rare.
“The age at which scientists make important contributions is getting older over time,” Weinberg told LiveScience.
MY Way- A suburban Kansas City woman was left sitting in a vinyl recliner for so long that her skin had fused to the chair and she had to be pried out to be taken to a hospital after suffering an apparent stroke, authorities said.
Carol F. Brown’s adult son told a state official he had left his 74-year-old mother in the chair for five days without helping her get up to use the bathroom or bathe because he was honoring her wishes to die in her Independence home, according to court documents that described the woman as a “rotting corpse that was still breathing.” Brown later died.
“It is an incredible story to me,” Independence police spokesman Tom Gentry said Wednesday.
Police were contacted after Brown was taken to a hospital Oct. 27 and found to have a maggot infestation inside an open wound around her ankle, according to the court documents that said Brown’s home was “filthy with a heavy smell of bodily fluids and feces.”
Brown’s son, James Owens, told an official with the Missouri Division of Senior and Disability Services that his mother had been in the chair since Oct. 23 and that he was honoring her wishes to be left to die, the documents said.
Owens, who the documents said had started the application process to gain state aid to be his mother’s caretaker, said he did give the woman tomato and chicken noodle soup.