Tuesday June 2nd, 2020

Filing off the serial numbers

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NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea tweeted a picture of a badge with a black elastic around it ".. in quiet commemoration of our 27 brothers and sisters we’ve lost to #COVID."

The replies were not kind.

RT Andrew Cuda @andrew_cuda

Can I cover my license plate with a band to honor people killed in auto accidents?

law dog, esq. @ggooooddddoogg

mourning by filing the serial number off my gun

RT Assigned Cleric At Birth @Devon_OnEarth

Showing quiet commemoration by placing symbolic black tape across my bodycam lens

Others suggested that maybe other decoration may be appropriate, but Yaksisoba @yaksisoba

Cops wearing armbands would be pretty on point from what we've seen...

Qualified Immunity, Explained

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violent protests

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Isaac Chotiner interviews Omar Wasow, a professor of politics at Princeton, on how violent protests change politics:

What’s often hard for people to see is that there are these white moderates who are part of the Democratic coalition as long as they perceive there to be order, but when they perceive there to be too much disorder they shift to the party that has owned the issue of order, which is the Republican Party. For some people, the idea that there are these swing Democratic-minded voters is hard to grasp, but there is pretty strong evidence that in 2016, and in 1968, that was an important and influential niche of voters.

You are absolutely right that Trump, to a lot of people, is an instigator of chaos rather than a restorer of order, so I think that potentially works against him. But if you are this white moderate, and perceive the disorder to be coming from African-Americans in cities, then turning to Trump, even if you see him as a rough character, is appealing: He’s a street fighter, but he is our street fighter. So the real danger for advocates of reform in Minneapolis trying to get better policing, and for those trying to pursue racial justice nationally, is that there are people who are turned off by Trump but who have a strong taste for order, and so if they are more concerned about racial disorder, then Trump is their racial order.

Are We The Baddies?

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Leaked posts show Facebook employees asking the company to remove Trump’s threat of violence — “If we fail the test case here, history will not judge us kindly”

Another employee compared working at Facebook to a comedy sketch by the duo Mitchell and Webb in which two SS officers are talking during World War II and one asks the other, “Are we the baddies?” “Waking up every morning at FB now and having this run through my head, immediately followed by ‘yes, apparently,’” the employee wrote, above a GIF of the sketch.

Protest News OTD

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Atlanta Officers Fired After Video Shows Use of Taser, Violence on 2 Black College Students. Video of the event.

News crew stops police from arresting black shop owners protecting themselves from looters, sends cops after looters instead.

And, of course, a reminder that Louisville Police Chief Fired After Officers Failed to Activate Body Cameras During Fatal Shooting, in which the Louisville police and/or National Guard troops shot and killed David McAtee in the parking lot next to his restaurant.

Alexandria's Confederate Statue Removed from Old Town Intersection

The owners of the statue, United Daughters of the Confederacy, took it down Tuesday morning.

Identity Evropa posing as antifa

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White nationalist group posing as antifa called for violence on Twitter

This isn’t the first time Twitter has taken action against fake accounts engaged in hateful conduct linked to Identity Evropa, according to the spokesperson.

We've found the terrorists. Turns out they were the white supremacists all along. Go figure.


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New York Times Opinion: Just Stop the Superspreading — In our study, 20 percent of Covid-19 cases accounted for 80 percent of transmissions.

Dillon C. Adam and Benjamin J. Cowling suggests that the R-naught may be reducible in more targeted ways.

Huffman on Essick

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the model for the civilized world

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Twitter thread about the dismantlement of one of Birmingham's Confederate monuments

The history behind Birmingham monuments damaged during George Floyd protest notes that when the monument was built in 1894:

News editor Rufus N. Rhodes, who headed a ‘Sons of Confederate Veterans’ group and is honored with a Birmingham park of his own, introduced Confederate Gen. Stephen D. Lee to the crowd as “the model for the civilized world.”</blockqutoe>

“May the blood of our martyrs be the seed of such a race in the future,” Lee said of the Confederate dead. A Bible, Confederate flag, and Birmingham newspapers were placed inside the cornerstone.

Witnessing Brutality

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RT Scott Rosenberg @scottros

Last night Dr. Allison Richardson of the USC Annenberg School, @DrAlliRich , accused me of using her work without citing it. The charge is false. 1/7

Dr Richardson's article: Why cellphone videos of black people’s deaths should be considered sacred, like lynching photographs

Scott Rosenberg's article: The technology of witnessing brutality

I think both are worth a read (and Rosenberg agrees).

Trump on Protesting

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RT Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

To the leaders of Iran - DO NOT KILL YOUR PROTESTERS. Thousands have already been killed or imprisoned by you, and the World is watching. More importantly, the USA is watching. Turn your internet back on and let reporters roam free! Stop the killing of your great Iranian people!

PG&E weather monitoring

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Via the always awesome Tara at https://researchbuzz.me : Santa Maria Times: Your Central Coast — John Lindsey: View hundreds of weather monitoring sites

If you're a weather or map geek, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has now installed more than 600 weather stations and 130 high-definition cameras across Northern and Central California as part of its Community Wildfire Safety Program.

Stopping Police Violence

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Samuel Sinyangwe @samswey

For those who are interested in research-based solutions to stop police violence, here’s what you need to know - based on the facts and data. A thread. (1/x)


Monday June 1st, 2020

A little heartwarming video about racial profiling: Black FBI agent arrested by white police officers, see what happens at the end. (YouTube)

Thre bad cops, one good one.

Dear Amazon Transcribe

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Dear Amazon Transcribe: It's a fucking video file. That plays just fine. That ffmpeg can convert to other things. Why are you trying to treat it like UTF-8 text with "'utf-8 codec can't decode byte 0xda in position 52: invalid continuation byte".

Sunday May 31st, 2020

Shot himself in the dick

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Hey, it's true! Firearms are making us safer! World’s Dumbest Criminals – Gun used to rob far South Side hot dog stand misfires, hitting robber in penis

A robber was in the process of robbing a hot dog stand in the Far South Side, Chicago, when he discharged his weapon on himself, The Chicago Tribune reports. The infamous incident was reported in November of 2017. To add a flare of poetic justice to the yarn, the hot dog stand robber shot himself in the penis, citing The Sacramento Bee.

Black in Blue

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Black in Blue: Atlanta’s first African American police officers were vanguards of the civil rights movement

They weren’t allowed to patrol white neighborhoods or work in police headquarters. But in 1948, these officers brought community policing to Atlanta and pushed back at Jim Crow

National Criminal Justice Reference

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National Criminal Justice Reference Service: Suspect Restraint and Sudden Death (May 1996). "This article describes how hog-tied restraint can result in death, steps police officers can take to prevent sudden death..."


(Fixed link)

Saturday May 30th, 2020

and artier

and sillier

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and sillier

now we're just being silly

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now we're just being silly...

tightly wound

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tightly wound

have you ever seen a cuter gear puller?

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have you ever seen a cuter gear puller?

Friday May 29th, 2020

Whether it exists

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ryan huber @ryanhuber

Isn’t it... um... exactly irony, that some people pushing to reopen churches argue that, because they haven’t seen or experienced the virus themselves, they question whether it even exists?

The best lines from Chris Rock's new Netflix special 'Tamborine'

Rock addressed social issues early on, asserting that simply referring to a few violent cops as "bad apples" is not a good defense for law enforcement as a whole.

"Bad apple? That's a lovely name for murderer. ... I mean, I've had a bad apple. It was tart, but it didn't choke me out," Rock said.

He continued: "I know it's hard being a cop … But some jobs can't have bad apples. Some jobs, everybody gotta be good. Like, pilots. American Airlines can't be like, 'You know, most of our pilots like to land, we just got a few bad apples that like to crash into mountains.'"

Rough Notation

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Rough Notation, a JavaScript library to create and animate annotations that look hand-drawn on a web page. Underline, box, circle, crossed-off, highlight, etc.


How to film police safely

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Minneapolis revolt

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So that white guy in the brand new respirator who was breaking windows in Minneapolis has been identified as a police officer.

Victim George Floyd and the fired officer who killed him worked overlapping shifts at a South Minneapolis club, and may have known each other.

Minneapolis police are spraying pepper spray out of their car windows while driving by random bystanders and arresting news crews (but apparently only if the news crews weren't white).

RT feminist next door @emrazz

For a minute I was worried that the precinct fire might destroy the chance of testing for any backlogged rape kits that are sitting in their evidence room, but it was just an overreaction, those kits were never going to be tested.

Jewish Problems

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If you need a little touch-up on your math, these are actually kinda cool: Jewish Problems

This is a special collection of problems that were given to select applicants during oral entrance exams to the math department of Moscow State University. These problems were designed to prevent Jews and other undesirables from getting a passing grade. Among problems that were used by the department to blackball unwanted candidate students, these problems are distinguished by having a simple solution that is difficult to find. Using problems with a simple solution protected the administration from extra complaints and appeals. This collection therefore has mathematical as well as historical value.

Thursday May 28th, 2020

On Recurring Billing

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Conversation on the company Slack made me realize: we've structured around assuming that the general use credit card is going to get compromised regularly, so the things we want recurring go on cards that only get used for recurring billing, and card compromise is now a consumer feature: It means that recurring billings I don't want get reset. Thank you, criminals!

5G BioShield

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Pen Test Partners: Reverse Engineering a 5g ‘Bioshield’

BBC News: Pulling apart a £339 anti-5G USB stick

The 5GBioShield was recommended by a member of Glastonbury Town Council's 5G Advisory Committee, which has called for an inquiry into 5G.

One of nine external members, Toby Hall, said: "We use this device and find it helpful," and provided a link to its website, which describes it as a USB key that "provides protection for your home and family, thanks to the wearable holographic nano-layer catalyser, which can be worn or placed near to a smartphone or any other electrical, radiation or EMF [electromagnetic field] emitting device".

"Through a process of quantum oscillation, the 5GBioShield USB key balances and re-harmonises the disturbing frequencies arising from the electric fog induced by devices, such as laptops, cordless phones, wi-fi, tablets, et cetera," it adds.

Wednesday May 27th, 2020

RIP Larry Kramer

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Larry Kramer's legacy seems especially important as people are trying to retcon the response to the AIDS crisis to try to draw parallels to the current response to COVID-19.

Matt Baume in The Stranger: Larry Kramer's Great Enduring Legacy

And I think of the gay men I've known who've died relatively young of "pneumonia", and see that his cause of death is "pneumonia", and I don't know how to unpack that.

Larry Kramer, writer who sounded alarm on AIDS, dies at 84

Tuesday May 26th, 2020

Using Spices

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RT Karl Sharro @KarlreMarks

One of the mysteries still out there is why the West colonised half of the world for spices and they still don't know how to use them

British Rule

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RT Karl Sharro @KarlreMarks

The British are finally experiencing what's it like to have the British rule your country

Monday May 25th, 2020

🇩🇪 fremdschämen

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RT Prof Tanja Bueltmann @cliodiaspora

German word of the day for you:

🇩🇪 fremdschämen

A feeling of embarrassment and shame on behalf of someone else who doesn’t feel embarrassment or shame while doing something awful ... like failing to apologise or show contrition while demonstrating contempt for a whole country.

Sunday May 24th, 2020

as the back yard comes together we are

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as the back yard comes together we are building the jasmine trellis from hell...

dear local retailers

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dear local retailers: I could have these products delivered to my home rather than standing in line, but my false hope is that you'll have the consumables and accessories for the products you sell clearly marked and available... sigh.