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January 25, 2009
Robots at War: The New Battlefield.
"It sounds like science fiction, but it is fact: On the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, robots are killing America’s enemies and saving American lives. But today’s PackBots, Predators, and Ravens are relatively primitive machines. The coming generation of 'war-bots' will be immensely more sophisticated, and their development raises troubling new questions about how and when we wage war." [Via]
posted by homunculus at 11:16 PM PST - 65 comments
The End of Solitude.
In an age when many people are rarely alone, in near-constant contact with social networks composed of both friends and strangers, are we facing the end of solitude as we once knew it? Have we lost the ability to enjoy our own company, and learned to fear loneliness instead? William Deresiewicz seems to think so.
posted by sarabeth at 6:17 PM PST - 87 comments
Sunday Afternoon Flash Fun/Metafilter Convalescence Flash Fun: BubbleQuod
. You have lived your entire life in a bubble. Now you want out. Burst your bubble.
posted by schyler523 at 2:27 PM PST - 7 comments
'Ten years ago, while working on The South Bank Show, Melvyn Bragg and I had a heated discussion on the pros and cons of film censorship. Broadly speaking, Melvyn was against it, while I, much to his surprise, was absolutely for it. He then dared me to write a script that I thought should be banned. I accepted the challenge and a month or so later sent him a short subject entitled A Kitten for Hitler. “Ken,” he said, “if ever you make this film and it is shown, you will be lynched.'
That film has been made
. The story behind it
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:21 PM PST - 69 comments
Airlines Use Terrorism Law to Punish Unruly Passengers
. Since 2003, more than 200 airline passengers have been convicted of felonies for violating terrorism laws, many for incidents only involving yelling, cursing, or behaving drunkenly. One such passenger, Tamera Jo Freeman,
was arrested and convicted for "an act of terrorism under the Patriot Act," after she spanked her children for toppling tomato juice, cursed at the flight attendant who confronted her, and tossed the juice can on the floor.
posted by terranova at 9:37 AM PST - 92 comments
The Disasters' Emergency Committee
is an umbrella organisation of 13 major British humanitarian NGOs: ActionAid
, the British Red Cross
, Care International
, Christian Aid
, Help the Aged
, Islamic Relief
, Save the Children
, Tear Fund
and World Vision
. It was created to coordinate a rapid response to major disasters and to launch common appeals for donations to be broadcast in the British media. Since 1963, the DEC has previously
successfully run appeals for the victims of a.o. the Asian Tsunami
, the Darfur and Chad Crisis
, the Congo Crisis
, or the Burma
and Bangladesh Cyclones
. However, their latest appeal
has been refused by the BBC
. [more inside]
posted by Skeptic at 3:55 AM PST - 25 comments