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Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 01:08 PM
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Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

Wednesday Toon Roundup 4- The Rest





Northern White Rhino





Wednesday Toon Roundup 3- Injustice and the big issue


The Issue

Wednesday Toon Roundup 2- Torture and other unpleasant facts

Wednesday Toon Roundup 1-Rethug Party

UK cops demand list of attendees at university fracking debate

Canterbury Christ Church University refused to give the Kent police a list of the attendees at a debate on fracking, despite the cops insistence that they needed to have the names to assess "the threat and risk for significant public events in the county to allow it to maintain public safety."

One of the speakers at the debate, Ian Driver, a Green party councillor in Thanet, has been subjected to extensive police surveillance, though he has no criminal record: the police logged 22 public meetings and demonstrations he helped to organise about gay marriage and animal exports.

It's part of a wider pattern of police spying on peaceful protesters and political organizers:

The request follows disclosures that police have been monitoring political activities at universities around the country, and spying on groups that use non-violent methods to further their aims. Last year it was revealed that police attempted to recruit an activist to become an informant and pass on information about Cambridge University students and other protesters.

At Lancaster University, police took photographs of two posters reading “Not for Shale” and “End Israel’s attacks on Gaza” in the office window of the students’ union president. They told her she was potentially committing a public order offense.


Police: Texas Officer Kills Man Holding Spoon

TEXARKANA, Texas (AP) - The Texas Rangers are investigating a police shooting after an officer killed a burglary suspect who was holding a spoon.

A Texarkana police spokesman says the officer fatally shot 35-year-old Dennis Grigsby on Monday after a homeowner called 911 to report a break-in. He says the officer confronted Grigsby in the home's dimly lit garage and shot him.

Police say the Texarkana man aggressively advanced toward the officer with a 7-inch metal object that looked like a knife. They say he ignored the officer's command to stop. Police say they later determined the object was a spoon.

The suspect's mother, Evelyn Grigsby, says she and her son lived across the street from the home and that he had a mental illness.

The officer's identity hasn't been released.


The Posters that Warned against the Horrors of a World with Women’s Rights

By MessyNessy

At first glance, this illustration looks like the depiction of a rather cool Victorian hangout. The image was commissioned in 1908 for a political magazine of the era, Puck, predicting a liberated woman of the future. Fashionably-dressed women are shown smoking cigars and ignoring children, drinking, gambling using stock tickers and generally hanging out like barflies. The title underneath reads: Why not go the limit? For the benefit of those ladies who ask for the right to smoke in public.

Between the 1890s and early 1900s, thousands of illustrations like this were produced and distributed around the United States and England, on postcards, in magazines and on public billboards. The message was that women’s rights were dangerous and letting women think for themselves could only end in a nightmarish society.

I went digging for more of these illustrations on the net and found a plethora of examples. Many of them are so detailed and well-drawn, you can imagine the kind of influence they must have had on young impressionable minds …



Some pretty barbaric stuff in our past.

Snail named after The Clash singer Joe Strummer

MOSS LANDING >> Deep sea snails living in the dark, hot and acidic environment around hydrothermal vents are pretty punk rock, scientists have concluded.

Like rock stars with mohawks brooding in leather jackets studded with spikes, the snail genus Alviniconcha shares a spiked shell.

“Because they look like punk rockers in the 70s and 80s and they have purple blood and live in such an extreme environment, we decided to name one new species after a punk rock icon,” said Shannon Johnson, a researcher at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.

The name A. strummeri honors Joe Strummer, the lead singer and a guitarist of the British punk rock band The Clash.



NASA’s $349 million monument to its drift

GULFPORT, Miss. — In June, NASA finished work on a huge construction project here in Mississippi: a $349 million laboratory tower, designed to test a new rocket engine in a chamber that mimicked the vacuum of space.

Then, NASA did something odd.

As soon as the work was done, it shut the tower down. The project was officially “mothballed” — closed up and left empty — without ever being used.

“You lock the door, so nobody gets in and hurts themselves,” said Daniel Dumbacher, a former NASA official who oversaw the project.

The reason for the shutdown: The new tower — called the A-3 test stand — was useless. Just as expected. The rocket program it was designed for had been canceled in 2010.



Newly-Released Documents Show NSA Claiming An Email Address Is A 'Facility,'

f it's late Friday afternoon and the public's attention is focused elsewhere, it must mean it's time for another document release from James Clapper's office (ODNI). The heavily-redacted documents dumped by the ODNI deal with the precursors to the FISA Amendments Act (FAA): the Terrorist Surveillance Program (TSP) and 2007's interim legislation (Protect America Act or PAA) that bridged the gap between the TSP and the FAA.

The most interesting document in the release is an April 3, 2007 order from the FISA court which contains some rare hesitation from a FISA judge (Roger Vinson) as he deals with the NSA's desire to capture communications without providing probable cause support for its actions.

A footnote attached to the first paragraph of the order makes it clear Judge Vinson felt he was drifting into uncharted waters, with much of that being due to the NSA's shifting definitions of surveillance terms in its previous legal arguments.
This order and opinion rests on an assumption, rather than a holding, that the surveillance at issue is 'electronic surveillance' as defined at 50 U.S.C. 1801(f), and that the application is within the jurisdiction of this Court.

Vinson's order points out that the NSA attempted to change the rules of its interception program, both in terms of the evidence it provides as well as its desire to collect communications of known US persons.
Until recently, these were the only circumstances in which the government had sought, or this Court had entered, a FISA order authorizing electronic surveillance of the telephone or e-mail communications of suspected international terrorists. However, on December 13, 2006, in Docket No. , the government filed an application seeking an order that would authorize the electronic surveillance of telephone numbers and e-mail addresses thought to be used by international terrorists without a judge's making the probable cause findings described above, either before the initiation of surveillance of within the 72 hours specified in 1805(f)...

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