GQ: The Strange and Curious Tale of the Last True Hermit
. "For nearly thirty years, a phantom haunted the woods of Central Maine. Unseen and unknown, he lived in secret, creeping into homes in the dead of night and surviving on what he could steal. To the spooked locals, he became a legend - or maybe a myth. They wondered how he could possibly be real. Until one day last year, the hermit came out of the forest." [more inside]
posted by Wordshore
on Aug 20, 2014 -
This week's Glenn Greenwald revelation
is that Britain's GCHQ JTRIG intelligence organization offers its agents and planners tools
with abilities to increase the search ranking of chosen web sites, “change outcome of online polls”, “masquerade Facebook Wall Posts for individuals or entire countries”, and accomplish “amplification of a given message, normally video, on popular multimedia websites (Youtube).” [more inside]
posted by XMLicious
on Jul 16, 2014 -
The psychology of Soylent and the prison of first-world food choices
People are born with neither the ability to cook nor compile; both are taught, and chastising even an adult for not knowing how to cook a healthy meal makes about as much sense as chastising an adult for not knowing how to code or how to compile an application from source. Each of those two different ridicules demonstrates an identical lack of empathy and an accompanying equally stunning sense of privilege that you should probably check immediately.
posted by the man of twists and turns
on May 29, 2014 -
Reuters: EU court rules against requirement to keep data of telecom users
[different news sources: BBC
, The Register
] Considerably more detail is available in the ECJ press release (pdf)
and the full judgement
but the Court has invalidated Data Retention Directive 2006/24/EC and struck a very clear blow against metadata storage in national law as the authority of the directive will soon cease to exist. This has a particular impact for UK MeFites, as UK law was based on the Directive and crucially passed through Parliament via the European Communities Act and thus skipped some review steps but is founded on the validity of the directive being implemented. Remaining national law would of course also be open to challenge on the same grounds. [more inside]
posted by jaduncan
on Apr 8, 2014 -
The Sunni Islamic monarchy/theocracy's restrictive laws on political expression have become even stricter
this year. This is in response to potentially dangerous dissidents returning to Saudi Arabia from the Syrian civil war. But the categories of offenses are so broad as to define virtually any non-Muslim
as a terrorist, and to ban all independent political expression. [more inside]
posted by Sleeper
on Apr 2, 2014 -
This shift in how companies are governed and raise money is bringing with it a structural change in American capitalism. That should be a matter of great debate. Are these new businesses, with their ability to circumvent rules that apply to conventional public companies, merely adroit exploiters of loopholes for the benefit of a plutocratic few? Or do they reflect the adaptability on which America’s vitality has always been based?
- Rise of the distorporation
- how changes in the way companies are financed and managed is changing the wealth distribution of America.
posted by Artw
on Nov 2, 2013 -
DJ Hennessy Youngman follows up CVS BANGERS [prev.]
with his new Soundcloud mix, NSA BANGERS.
NSA BANGERS is an audio landscape full of paranoia, espionage, epic snooping, unhealthy obsession, and the stress of being a contemporary type human being. Basically, NSA BANGERS is the soundtrack of Freedom! And Freedom is expensive y'all! Apparently, it like, costs your Freedom!
posted by porn in the woods
on Sep 2, 2013 -
The Quality of Life: As Macaulay once noted: “If men are to wait for liberty till they become good and wise in slavery, they may indeed wait forever.”
posted by Gyan
on Aug 2, 2013 -
The point being, an angry song about a political prisoner in South Africa, held captive for 21 years (at the time of writing), and written and performed by a bunch of chippy former pop stars who appeared hellbent on throwing their success back in the faces of their fans, has no business being this happy, this celebratory, and this powerful.
posted by nickyskye
on Jun 27, 2013 -
SCOTUS declares DOMA Unconstitutional, 5 - 4.
The gay rights movement saw a significant victory at the Supreme Court Wednesday, where the justices struck down part of a law barring federal benefits to married same-sex couples.
In a 5-4 ruling
, the court struck down a provision of the 17-year-old Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that denies federal benefits -- like Social Security benefits or the ability to file joint tax returns - to same-sex couples legally married.
The impact of the DOMA case, United States v. Windsor, is clear for the nation's approximately 130,000 married same-sex couples. Section 3 of the law, the provision that was struck down, denies same-sex couples federal benefits. That provision impacts around 1,100 federal laws, including veterans' benefits, family medical leave and tax laws.
posted by theora55
on Jun 26, 2013 -
The state of Washington has filed suit
against Arlene's Flowers, whose owner, Barronelle Stutzman, refused to provide flowers for the wedding of regular customers Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen
on Apr 11, 2013 -
To understand what is at stake we need to make our way through the rhetorical smog. For months prior to the WCIT, the Euro-American press trumpeted warnings that this was to be an epochal clash between upholders of an open Internet and would-be government usurpers, led by authoritarian states like Russia, Iran and China. The terms of reference were set so rigidly that one European telecom company executive called it a campaign of “propaganda warfare” (2).
~ Masters of the Internet, Le Monde Diplomatique
posted by infini
on Feb 12, 2013 -
A confidential Justice Department memo
concludes that the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaida or “an associated force” -- even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S.
posted by Malor
on Feb 4, 2013 -
Lisa Kristine, a photographer, gives a thoughtful and very moving talk on the extent of modern day slavery in this TEDx talk
. The photos she shows are absolutely beautiful and the bare-bones stories behind them are exceptionally hard to hear at times. The group she is working with, Free the Slaves
, seems to be doing a lot of good work and working on real solutions for the people involved (such as the one example she gives where the slaves that were freed carried on doing the same work, the only work they had ever known, but rent the quarry themselves and are now the recipients of the profits etc). She has published a book with these photos as well and it's available on her website
posted by HopStopDon'tShop
on Aug 15, 2012 -
Some people have claimed that Barbie is really about giving girls the image of an empowered woman. There can be little doubt of empowerment when it comes to Black Moses Barbie
- she fights for freedom
and has all the coolest playsets and accessories.
posted by yeloson
on Apr 3, 2011 -
The Someone You're Not: "Our packed prisons are starting to disgorge hundreds of mostly African-American men who, over the last few decades, we wrongly convicted of violent crimes. This is what it's like to spend nearly thirty years in prison for something you didn't do. This is what it's like to spend nearly thirty years as someone you aren't. And for Ray Towler, this is what it's like to be free." Via. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Feb 25, 2011 -