On November 13, 1982, in an outdoor arena next to Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini beat Duk Koo Kim to retain his World Boxing Association lightweight championship title. It was a thrilling match, but its aftermath quickly turned into a nightmare, as Kim fell into a coma, and, a few days later, died. The bout's effects have rippled outward ever since. [more inside] posted by ocherdraco at 9:14 PM PST - 51 comments
Bugs and Beasts Before the Law - "Murderous pigs sent to the gallows, sparrows prosecuted for chattering in Church, a gang of thieving rats let off on a wholly technical acquittal – theoretical psychologist and author Nicholas Humphrey explores the strange world of medieval animal trials." More on the theme of barnyard scapegoats from the BBC podcast documentary: Animals on Trial. posted by madamjujujive at 6:24 PM PST - 22 comments
Presidential appointments that require Senate confirmation can be made without confirmation by the President when the chamber is in recess: a so-called recess appointment, wherein the appointee is allowed to serve until the end of the next congressional session. During the Bush II administration, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid began holding pro forma sessions every three days—a local Senator gavels the session in and immediately back out—to ensure that the Senate never went into recess and as a result, Bush stopped confirming recess appointments. When the Obama administration took over, the Republicans began holding the same pro forma sessions to prevent Obama from appointing any positions in recess. This week, Obama made four appointments, including Richard Cordray to the newly created role of director of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, despite the fact that the Senate is not in technical recess. [more inside] posted by disillusioned at 2:01 PM PST - 116 comments
Eve Arnold was regarded as one of the finest photojournalists of the 20th century. Invited to join Magnum Photos in 1951 by Robert Capa, it was with Magnum that she travelled the world documenting areas of America, China, the Middle East and the United Kingdom. A master of both black & white and colour, Arnold thrived in the golden age of photojournalism, when publications gave photographers great resources and freedom to practice their art. A world-travelling photojournalist whose subjects ranged from the poor and dispossessed to Marilyn Monroe, she has died at age 99:Her page at Magnum Photos. Images from a recent London exhibition. A 1987 audio interview, after the publication of her book of Marilyn Monroe images. posted by spock at 11:25 AM PST - 12 comments
...technology is an enabler of rights, not a right itself. There is a high bar for something to be considered a human right. Loosely put, it must be among the things we as humans need in order to lead healthy, meaningful lives, like freedom from torture or freedom of conscience. It is a mistake to place any particular technology in this exalted category, since over time we will end up valuing the wrong things. For example, at one time if you didn’t have a horse it was hard to make a living. But the important right in that case was the right to make a living, not the right to a horse. Today, if I were granted a right to have a horse, I’m not sure where I would put it.
In March last year, the unmanned X-37B US military spaceplane launched from Cape Canaveral on mission USA-226, to "demonstrate various experiments", sensors and technology. Its original 270 day mission was extended in November "as circumstances allow" for "additional experimentation opportunities", but a dedicated group of optical tracking specialists in the US and Europe believe that the X-37B is in fact spying on the Chinese space station Tiangong-1. [more inside] posted by adrianhon at 7:56 AM PST - 59 comments