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15 May 2012 @ 11:12 pm
No content, only news - 7-15 May 02012  
Let's begin...right at the worst part - a young man who was suffering from bullies, who received a stun gun from his mother to protect himself after attempts to get the school to stop the bullying failed, and who is now being punished for having such a stun gun in his possession, as it is illegal for a minor to have a stun gun. His school intends to punish him, in the same way that they were trying to encourage him to be less flamboyantly gay with his accessories. Here's the problem - focusing on the weapon and who gave it to the man is siding with the tormenters and the administrators who prefer to sweep it all under the rug by victim-blaming. The correct focus should be on why the administrators are not fixing the problem and why these situations develop with the students without being checked or defeated before they become big.

Having already banned gay marriage, North Carolina voters decided it was necessary to also ban the possibility of civil unions in the state. Oh, and strip any other legal recognition of couples outside of marriage, which has the problem of invalidating things like restraining orders. theweaselking offers some very useful context about the last time people mucked with marriage.

Not necessarily in response to this, President Obama went on the record endorsing gay marriage with Robin Roberts of ABC News. (If you parse the staement, though, there's a good chance that the President said that the worthy should aspire to be married, rather than thinking of marriage as an inalienable right.)

For slightly lighter-hearted fare, 100,000 water-activated LEDs floated down a river.

Finally, we mourn the death of Maurice Sendak, author and illustrator of well-loved subversive material for children, including Where the Wild Things Are and In the Night Kitchen.

We also mourn the passing of Donald "Duck" Dunn, bass player and good friend of Steve Cropper, at 70 years of age.

In domestic affairs, Indiana:apos;s six-term moderate Senator, Mr. Lugar, is defeated by a far-right conservative challenger in a Senatorial primary. The very things that made him a Senator that probably worked on getting things done were his undoing against an electorate that is increasingly mono-focused on ideoogical purity above all other things.

Lacking context - a Texas inmate receives 40 percent of the West Virginia Democratic primary vote. Here's the context that's missing: West Virginia is an open primary, meaning that anyone can vote in the Democratic primary, whether they're liberal Democrats, conservative Democrats, Tea Partiers, people who want to spoil the Democratic primary, Republicans, and others. So, really, how many people that will vote for the Democrat in the general election voted for/against Obama? Can we have those numbers?

Elsewhere, TSA agents were arrested for their role in helping drug smugglers move cocaine through Los Angeles Airport, after the courier went to the wrong terminal to try and get their drugs through and ran into a non-corrputed agent.

A relatively-overlooked facet of the Affordable Care Act - it requires hospitals and health care facilities to maintain clean and hygenic facilities, or their Medicare reimbursements will be cut.

In technology, Sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads.

More seriously, attack vectors for computers in foreign countries are posing as security updates to various common plug-ins and programs. So make sure you're patched before you go...and don't accept any patches until you get back. Unless, of course, you have an Adobe product, where security updates would have cost you money to get, had the public pressure not convinced Adobe to back down and offer patches for free. The company claimed that their product is not a target for attackers, but frankly, all programs are attack vectors if they have vulnerabilities.

And then, to educate you about the dangers of piracy, the government will now make you sit through twenty seconds of unskippable warnings about how bad piracy is. Such things will, naturally, be absent from the rips that someone could find on popular file-sharing sites. Yay, education!

Disney unveils a way of turning just about any surface into a gesture control device. Takes a sensor and a Bluetooth-enabled computer to interpret the gestures, but it's possible to create a smart house with walls as the sensors - or the body. It's possible the devices and sensors could be powered through something like a device that uses viruses to create small amounts of energy.

Last out, Autonomous vehicles from Google are approved to drive on Nevada roads, provided they file the necessary paperwork detailing their where and when, have two people in the vehicle at all times who can take manual control, and carry $1 million USD in a bond in case bad things happen. The cars themselves carry a red license plate marked with the infinity symbol.

Welcome to opinions, where bradhicks suggests in the movie-Avengers verse, it takes very large problems to get Steve Rogers and Tony Stark to get along, because each, politically, sees the other as representing everything that was wrong with the world during their formative years.

Not to be too coarse about it, but the way the financial industry runs the country and the thrall the political parties have to them makes the banks deserving of a strong amount of contempt from everyone.

And then, why the nature of the Internet and its users likely confounds politicians.

Mr. Stephens suggests that the current graduating class has no skills, no knowledge, no individuality, and that they are only going to succeed if they tamp down their egos, lower their expectations, and understand that their employers don't want them because they're not multilingual and hard-science trained, because those sciences will get them into the few remaining jobs in investment banking and global finance.

Ms. Riley wrote a blog post that accused black studies students of not doing actual graduate work for their dissertation, then acts aggrieved when the Chronicle of Higher Educations deletes her post and dismisses her from the guest blogger position. And mostly that grief is "I maintained professional standards in my accusations, and the responses were purile, vitriolic, and juvenile, and yet they all went through." It is not, in fact, addressing the accusations of bigotry and cowardice mentioned. You're too wrapped up in the tone of the argument to address the substance, Ms. Riley, and it does you no favors. Also, admitting that you haven't read the dissertations that you're criticizing? Leaves you with exactly no leg to stand on when the people who wrote those dissertations accuse you of misrepresenting them and the work they're doing.

Last out of opinions, A GlobablMay manifesto attributed to the Occupy Movement.

Last for tonight, we congratulate Shaquille O'Neal, Ed.D, Barry University, 2012 - you know how athletes say a lot about staying in school? Shaq went the length and then some.

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