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Worldreader Aims To Eradicate Global Illiteracy By Giving Children E-Readers - PBSNewsHour

Worldreader aims to eradicate global illiteracy by giving children e-readers

Worldreader has a lofty goal: eradicating global illiteracy. So far they've reached 13,000 kids in Sub-Saharan Africa by giving them e-readers loaded with local and international books. John Risher of Worldreader joins Jeffrey Brown to discuss their mission and how learning to read can improve children's lives.

Video and Transcript Here: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/entertainment/july-dec13/worldreaders_11-29.html

Weird Black Hole's Incredible Brightness Perplexes Scientists - Space.com

Weird Black Hole's Incredible Brightness Perplexes Scientists
By Mike Wall, Senior Writer - Space.com
November 27, 2013 01:00pm ET

Artist's conception of an ultraluminous X-ray source consisting of a small black hole and a nearby companion star. Credit: Jingchuan Yu


A black-hole system in a neighboring galaxy is twice as bright as astronomers had thought possible, a new study reports.

The incredible luminosity of the system in question, which resides about 22 million light-years from Earth in the Pinwheel Galaxy, may force a rethink of the theories that explain how some black holes radiate energy, researchers said.

"As if black holes weren’t extreme enough, this is a really extreme one that is shining as brightly as it possibly can," study co-author Joel Bregman of the University of Michigan said in a statement. "It’s figured out a way to be more luminous than we thought possible."

The astronomers studied a system called ULX-1, which consists of a black hole and a companion star that orbit each other. As its name suggests — ULX is short for "ultraluminous X-ray source" — ULX-1 generates prodigious amounts of high-energy X-ray light, which is emitted by material spiraling down into the black hole's maw.

This light is so intense, in fact, that astronomers had suspected that ULX-1 contains an intermediate-mass black hole — one that harbors between 100 and 1,000 times the mass of the sun. But the new study suggests that the black hole is actually on the small side...


More: http://www.space.com/23755-black-hole-brightness-mystery.html

Greenwald To BBC: Journalists Must Investigate The Powerful In Gov’t Since They Lie To The People

Greenwald to BBC: Journalists must investigate the Powerful in Gov’t since they Lie to the People (BBC Surprised)
By Juan Cole
Nov. 29, 2013

Glenn Greenwald on the BBC’s Hardtalk seems to surprise the anchor by asserting that journalists need to investigate the powerful since the latter tend to lie to the people.

This is how the BBC describes the program

“Journalist Glenn Greenwald who reported on the data leaked by US whistleblower Edward Snowden has told HARDtalk it is the job of journalists to investigate the claims of people in power.

Mr Greenwald said the Iraq war was as an example of how the US and UK governments had made “false claims” to gain support for the war.

“People in power, specifically national security officials will routinely lie to their population,” he added.

The video is here: http://www.juancole.com/2013/11/greenwald-to-bbc-journalists-must-investigate-the-powerful-in-govt-since-they-lie-to-the-people-bbc-surprised.html

The NSA's Porn-Surveillance Program: Not Safe for Democracy - TheAtlantic

The NSA's Porn-Surveillance Program: Not Safe for Democracy
Its targets extend beyond suspected terrorists—and some rhetoric that the First Amendment would protect is singled out.

NOV 27 2013, 4:04 PM ET


Let's think through the troubling implications of the latest surveillance-state news. "The National Security Agency has been gathering records of online sexual activity and evidence of visits to pornographic websites as part of a proposed plan to harm the reputations of those whom the agency believes are radicalizing others through incendiary speeches," Glenn Greenwald, Ryan Gallagher, and Ryan Grim report.

NSA apologists would have us believe that only terrorists have cause to be worried. A surveillance-state spokesperson told the Huffington Post, "without discussing specific individuals, it should not be surprising that the US Government uses all of the lawful tools at our disposal to impede the efforts of valid terrorist targets who seek to harm the nation and radicalize others to violence."

As the story notes, however, the targets are not necessarily terrorists. The term the NSA uses for them is "radicalizes," and if you're thinking of fiery orators urging people to strap on dynamite vests, know that the NSA chart accompanying the story includes one target who is a "well known media celebrity," and whose offense is arguing that "the U.S. perpetrated the 9/11 attacks." It makes one wonder if the NSA believes it would be justified in targeting any 9/11 truther. The chart* shows another target whose "writings appear on numerous jihadi websites" (it doesn't specify whether the writings were produced for those websites or merely posted there), and whose offending argument is that "the U.S. brought the 9/11 attacks upon itself." That could be a crude description of what the Reverend Jeremiah Wright or Ron Paul thinks about 9/11.

The article quotes another defender of the program as follows:

Stewart Baker, a one-time general counsel for the NSA and a top Homeland Security official in the Bush administration, said that the idea of using potentially embarrassing information to undermine targets is a sound one. "If people are engaged in trying to recruit folks to kill Americans and we can discredit them, we ought to," said Baker. "On the whole, it's fairer and maybe more humane" than bombing a target, he said, describing the tactic as "dropping the truth on them."

Any system can be abused, Baker allowed, but he said fears of the policy drifting to domestic political opponents don't justify rejecting it. "On that ground you could question almost any tactic we use in a war, and at some point you have to say we're counting on our officials to know the difference," he said.

That is a stunning quote. If the history of the FBI and NSA teach us anything, it is that officials cannot be counted on to know the difference between legitimate surveillance and abuses of power. Constant checks on the judgment of insiders is vital. As well, the characterization of targets as people "engaged in trying to recruit folks to kill Americans" isn't necessarily accurate. The chart appears to set forth targeting criteria that go well beyond people trying to recruit killers of Americans.

"The NSA is using its considerable resources to repeat J Edgar Hoover’s tactics," Marcy Wheeler writes. "But it also shows...


More: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/11/the-nsas-porn-surveillance-program-not-safe-for-democracy/281914/

The Charts he talks of are at the end of: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/26/nsa-porn-muslims_n_4346128.html

Here's one of them:

Where the report was sent:


WTF !!! - Your Tax Dollars At Work...

DHS agent cites private medical history to deny disabled Canadian woman entry to U.S.
By Travis Gettys - RawStory
Friday, November 29, 2013 11:59 EST


A Canadian woman said she was denied entry into the U.S. by a Customs and Border Protection Agent who cited her hospitalization last year for clinical depression. Ellen Richardson, of Weston, Ontario, said she intended to fly Monday to New York City on her way to a 10-day Caribbean cruise, but she said the agent working with the Department of Homeland Security told her she must first get medical clearance.

Richardson, who is paraplegic and set up her cruise through the March of Dimes with about a dozen other travelers, said the agent told her she must be examined by one of three Toronto physicians approved by DHS.

“I was so aghast. I was saying, ‘I don’t understand this. What is the problem?’” said Richardson, who paid about $6,000 for the trip. “I was so looking forward to getting away . . . I’d even brought a little string of Christmas lights I was going to string up in the cabin . . . It’s not like I can just book again right away.”

Richardson, who said she hadn’t discussed her private medical history or background with agents at the airport, said she was told that a call to her psychiatrist wasn’t sufficient.

She said the breakup of a personal relationship triggered her clinical depression in summer 2012 that led to her hospitalization, although she said no police had been involved in that case. Richardson also said she’d attempted suicide in 2001 as a result of delusions, but she said that medication had generally stabilized her since then.

She said she’s been on three cruises since 2001, traveling each time through the U.S., and had never encountered trouble over her medical history before, and she said her suicide attempt had never been brought up – including by the agent who stopped her this week...


More: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/11/29/dhs-agent-cites-private-medical-history-to-deny-disabled-canadian-woman-entry-to-u-s/

US To Destroy Syria's Chemicals At Sea, Weapons Watchdog Says - Reuters/MSNBC

US to destroy Syria's chemicals at sea, weapons watchdog says
By Sara Webb, Reuters


AMSTERDAM -- The United States has offered to destroy Syrian chemicals on a U.S. ship, the global chemical weapons watchdog said on Saturday, and is looking for a suitable Mediterranean port where processing can be carried out.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has been under pressure to find an alternative plan for the destruction of Syria's poison gas arsenal after Albania backed out of hosting the work.

The OPCW said 35 firms had expressed an interest in bidding for commercial contracts by Friday's deadline for the treatment of about 800 tons of bulk industrial chemicals that are safe to destroy in commercial incinerators.

But another 500 tons of chemicals, including nerve agents, are seen as too dangerous to import into a country or process commercially, and will be treated offshore on the U.S. ship.

The OPCW said the operation would be carried out on a U.S. vessel at sea using hydrolysis, adding a naval vessel was undergoing modifications to support the operations.


Link: http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/11/30/21686393-us-to-destroy-syrias-chemicals-at-sea-weapons-watchdog-says?lite

Ya Wanna Know The Future Of Porn, And Civilization... Anthony Bourdain's Tokyo Nights...

Nobody has to have sex ever again.


A Website You Might Find Interesting... NerdWallet...

Home: http://www.nerdwallet.com/

Where to buy Obamacare health insurance in your state

Link: http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/health/2013/09/25/buy-obamacare-health-insurance-your-state/

Comet ISON Rise of the Phoenix C/2012 S1 Perihelion

Serious Question: About The ACA Website Problems... Why Doesn't The Administration...

Dump it right back in the laps of the Republicans?

Unless what I've been reading is incorrect...

The blue states who have supported and set up their own exchanges are having record sign-ups, with little difficuty...

Even the red state of Kentucky has had good reviews because of that Republican Governor standing in support.

It seems, from this viewer, that the problem comes from the rest of the country, from red states, trying to access the ACA all at the same time because THEIR STATES do not support it.

Yes... the fed site might have anticipated this better... but I'd turn the tables on the red states.

Particularly with the 2014 elections coming up in less than a year.

Anybody ???

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