Editor Marty Halpern looks back at the career of George Alec Effinger (part 1
, part 2
, part 3
), a prolific author best known for his work set in the Budayeen
, a walled city in a future Islamic state, teeming with gangsters, hustlers and transsexual prostitutes, many of them habitual users of plug in personality modules. The noirish tone and exotic technology of the Marîd Audran
books (When Gravity Fails, A Fire In The Sun, The Exile Kiss) made Effinger one of the leading lights in the cyberpunk movie, and spawned a videogame
- a rare attempt at a graphical adventure from Infocom - and an RPG setting
. Sadly Effinger faded from prominence
after that, and he suffered from a number of health and financial setbacks before passing away
in 2002. His work has had somewhat of a resurgence in popularity of late, with the Marîd Audran books coming back into print in 2007, a long with a collection
containing The Wolves of Memory, Effinger's personal favourite amongst his novels.
posted by Artw
on Jun 9, 2009 -
The commercials are all over television — and they certainly are attention-grabbing. They’re the ones where the heavy, bald guy is sitting in his easy chair talking in a squeaky female voice about all the clothes he bought — including a bustier. Or the little old lady speaking with the gruff voice of a younger man about the sweet motorcycle she now owned. Identity theft is a serious crime — one that is occurring with an alarming frequency. The Identity Theft Manifesto
explains how criminals get your personal info
, and what you can do about it
posted by netbros
on Jun 1, 2009 -
In a case
reminiscent of Bernard Goetz
, pharmacist Jerome Ersland was held up by two gun-wielding men, shot one of them in the head, and then, when the other had left, shot the prone man several more times, killing him (store security video
). Now he's being charged with first-degree murder, and is the center of intense controversy about whether he engaged in legitimate self-defense by making absolutely sure his attacker was incapacitated or in an unjustifiable vigilante-style execution. Complicating matters is the fact that Jerome is white and the robbers black.
posted by shivohum
on May 30, 2009 -
Bill Moyers Journal, April 17, 2009
From crime beat reporter for the BALTIMORE SUN to award-winning screenwriter of HBO's critically-acclaimed The Wire, David Simon talks with Bill Moyers about inner-city crime and politics, storytelling and the future of journalism today.
Sorry for the one link post.
posted by dougzilla
on Apr 21, 2009 -
was a pimp
. "I got out of it because I was old
. I did not want to be teased, tormented and brutalized by young whores
." While working as an insecticide salesman, one of his customers suggested he write an autobiography. "Iceberg Slim" wrote Pimp: The Story Of My Life
in 3 months. It was the beginning of a literary career
that made him one of the largest selling African-American authors of all time. He died
on April 30, 1992 - one day after the start of the Los Angeles riots. (previously)
posted by Joe Beese
on Apr 2, 2009 -
Familial genetic profiling of law enforcement DNA databases
has already been used to succesfully establish both guilt and innocence. Legal and moral questions on these expanded techniques abound and are comprehensively explored by a speaker at a recent FBI symposium on the topic. In the author's words, scenarios previously limited to movies like Minority Report are unfolding quietly, before most of us have thought about the consequences. (Via)
posted by protorp
on Mar 18, 2009 -
The Czech Republic offers surgical castration
as a "voluntary" option to sex offenders, whose rate of recidivism in some studies then drops precipitously. Officials at the Council of Europe
, calling the punishment "invasive, irreversible and mutilating." Atul Gawande noted 10 years ago
that, despite his reservations, castration works - at least against a subclass of offenders: the pedophiles and sadists.
posted by shivohum
on Mar 14, 2009 -
Cops regularly perjure themselves - Blue Lies. Though few officers will confess to lying -- after all, it's a crime -- work by researchers and a 1990s commission appointed to examine police corruption shows there's a tacit agreement among many officers that lying about how evidence is seized keeps criminals off the street....
Criminal-justice researchers say it's difficult to quantify how often perjury is being committed. According to a 1992 survey, prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges in Chicago said they thought that, on average, perjury by police occurs 20% of the time in which defendants claim evidence was illegally seized.
"It is an open secret long shared by prosecutors, defense lawyers and judges that perjury is widespread among law enforcement officers," though it's difficult to detect in specific cases, said Alex Kozinski, a federal appeals-court judge, in the 1990s. [more inside]
posted by caddis
on Jan 30, 2009 -
Martha "Sunny" von Bulow died this weekend
at a nursing home in New York City, nearly 28 years after being found unconscious at her Rhode Island estate
(and subsequently falling into an irreversible coma) in December 1980. Her husband Claus, who obviously became a controversial figure
, was found guilty of her attempted murder (the alleged method being an overdose of insulin), but his conviction was overturned on appeal and he received a second trial in which he was acquitted. The sensational case
, which featured testimony from many notables including Truman Capote, attracted worldwide publicity and rocked high society. It spawned numerous books, television shows and a 1990 movie
posted by amyms
on Dec 6, 2008 -
A place that is covered in graffiti and festooned with rubbish makes people feel uneasy. And with good reason, according to a group of researchers in the Netherlands. Kees Keizer and his colleagues at the University of Groningen deliberately created such settings as a part of a series of experiments designed to discover if signs of vandalism, litter and low-level lawbreaking could change the way people behave. They found that they could, by a lot: doubling the number who are prepared to litter and steal.
A story about a series of experiments
on The Broken Windows Theory
. [more inside]
posted by Foci for Analysis
on Nov 22, 2008 -
Presidential Crimes: Moving on is not an option.
"In deciding about legal redress, we need to be clear about the large stakes in our decision. The very multiplicity of the apparent crimes, the sheer array of arguably broken laws, is dizzying. But that multiplicity must be faced, for in it we will see that what got in President Bush’s way was not any one law but the rule of law itself. It is the rule of law that has been put in jeopardy by a project of executive domination; it is the rule of law that will continue to be in peril; and it is only, therefore, by addressing the crimes through legal instruments—through a formal, legal arena, and not simply through the electoral repudiation of bad policy—that the grave and widespread damage stands a chance of being repaired."
posted by homunculus
on Sep 8, 2008 -
It was a mass protest
held outside the halls of Washington. Led, or at least it was supposed to be, by Martin Luther King Jr.
(before he was assassinated) it was going to show the world the glaring divide
that existed between the Rich and the Poor
of America. Black, White, Red, Yellow
--they all gathered from all over the US, to stay together for six weeks, outside the Capitol, and inform
the public about what life in America could sometimes mean, if you were not considered economically, socially or racially acceptable. Unfortunately, the problem still persists
, even today.
posted by hadjiboy
on Aug 10, 2008 -
We all nurse private ambitions. Essam Ahmed Eid, a 53-year-old Egyptian man living in Vegas and dealing poker at the Bellagio, dreamed of becoming a hit man. He longed to take off the casino clown suit, the Nehru shirt and simpering smile — and replace them with a gun and a grimace. So Eid did what any enterprising 21st century contract killer would: He created a Web site — www.hitmanforhire.net — and waited for the clients to come
posted by PeterMcDermott
on Jul 23, 2008 -