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Submission + - Scammers using search ads to pose as political candidates, rake in contributions (storify.com)

jalefkowit writes: With the presidential campaign in the US heating up to fever pitch, lots of people are rushing to contribute to their preferred candidates. Some clever scammers are taking advantage of this by setting up sites claiming to represent those candidates, and then buying search ads to get the sites prominent placement on searches for the candidate's name. The result: unsophisticated users, or users who just don't look closely when they click, could end up giving money they intend to go to a candidate to someone completely unaffiliated with them.

Submission + - America's Turn From Science, A Danger for Democrac (truth-out.org)

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "Good article about how playing politics with science puts our country at risk, a review of Shawn Otto's book "Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America". Today's policemakers, Otto shows, are increasingly unwilling to pursue many of the remedies science presents; they take one of two routes: Deny the science, or pretend the problems don't exist."

Comment Re:Honest Question (Score 1) 445

Because "black" and "white" are not natural groupings, they are recently manufactured cultural identities.

Very few people think of their culture as being "white," and they're almost exclusively racist. Most white Americans think of their cultural heritage in terms of the European ancestry they're most aware of, Irish, German, Scottish, Italian, "Celtic," Polish, etc. It's only this very modern fight over civil rights that has made people of European ancestry group themselves together in that way.

Whereas black Americans had their specific African cultural identities stripped from them, they lost their languages, their stories, their family histories, in most cases even the region their ancestors came from. They were bought and sold in ways that intentionally broke up cultural groupings, creating a single mono-culture.

This should all be rather obvious. And nobody is being called a Nazi for wearing a kilt, or yelling about how proud they feel wearing it.

Comment Re:I usually just point out (Score 1) 807

The graph cited shows a much tighter correlation between temperature and methane. I realise this is a tangent, but I wonder why? Glacial or ice pack melting releasing stores of the gas, or biological processes? Cause or effect?

Actually, that cause or effect question is relevant to CO2 and temperature too. Now that I think of it that's really the core of the whole proponent vs skeptic disagreement (I disregard the fanatics, surely there's room for reasonable debate on causes and effects).

Some (currently unknown) process causes Antarctica and the surrounding ocean to warm. This process also causes CO2 to start rising, about 800 years later. Then CO2 further warms the whole planet, because of its heat-trapping properties. This leads to even further CO2 release. So CO2 during ice ages should be thought of as a “feedback”, much like the feedback that results from putting a microphone too near to a loudspeaker.

So some unknown process starts the warming, and then CO2 acts as an amplifier above a certain level. The inital lag is as long as 800 years, according to ice-cores, which seem reasonable data sources. At what point, however, does the crossover occur?

I mean, according to that graph, we're only 3C off the previous interglacial maximums, and due for a dip! I'm not sure runaway warming is the concern here!
Joking aside, the time scale of the graph makes it difficult for to see anything other than there is a relationship between temperature, methane, and CO2. That is, or should be, non-controversial.

From model estimates, CO2 (along with other greenhouse gases CH4 and N2O) causes about half of the full glacial-to-interglacial warming.

If that's true then we're boned since we're already beyong the halfway point in the interglacial warming period, both in time and temperature. If CO2 leads to a positive feedback loop then the planet should be Venusian by now from a previous interglacial peak leading to runaway warming. The global temperatures today should have risen in line with the modelled estimates and in line with CO2 increases, which they haven't (although this last point is over a 10 year period, waaaaaay too short to draw any conclusions from).

Comment Re:Ageism (Score 3, Funny) 507

    Places set their own rules for their own reasons.

    Ya, a vacation condo rented to someone under (or even around) 25 could potentially be that renter looking to rent a party spot.

    Then again, anyone can do that.

    I knew of a hotel in the town I grew up in, that wouldn't allow unmarried couples to stay there. The restriction was that if a man and woman were sleeping in the same room (even if in separate beds), they had to be married, with the same last name, and provide photo ID's to prove it. I was talking to the owner, and he said it was to keep people from coming to his fine establishment and committing sins. Oh, did I mention that they sold bibles and a whole assortment of religious crap in their lobby?

    You gotta love the hard core bible thumpers. I'm pretty sure that it doesn't say in the bible that two people can't rent a hotel room and not have sex. :)

Comment Flash rethink? (Score 1) 521

Whatever reason Apple has for not liking Flash (I have yet to see a definitive explanation) all this negative press about Flash, coupled with the Flash/HTML5 debate can only be a good thing. In my view, Flash has way more things wrong with it (breaking the semantic web) than the benefits it brings to the table. If all this discussion either prompts Adobe to fix all that, or something better is suggested instead (HTML5?), it can only be a good thing.

Comment Re:Gatto: Schooling is a form of adoption... (Score 1) 312

If John Taylor Gatto is a paranoid lunatic, how was he New York State Teacher of the Year, and how did he teach in NYC public schools for about thirty years?

As any teacher will tell you, there's no shortage of crappy or crazy teachers in the school system. No one is more critical of teachers than other teachers. As for Teacher of the Year, good for him. Doesn't change the fact that he's misrepresenting history (the Prussian origins of public schooling? Please) and talking about conspiracies to regulate and create permanent underclasses.

The problem here is that, in the ideal case, homeschooling is far better than public schooling. But that ideal case is a joke in comparison to reality, even ignoring issues like underclass communities who can't afford to homeschool their kids. Damaged parents create damaged kids. My wife has had to pull students aside, hand them a bar of soap, and tell them to come to school early and shower before class every day because they don't shower otherwise. How would homeschooling that kid help him?

considering is New York about US$20,000 is spend every year per student, why not just give the money to the family?

Because large numbers of families would take that money and give their children a crappy education. A big part of the reason that public schooling took off is that it offered parents the opportunity to educate their children far beyond what they were capable of doing themselves, or had the wherewithal to do themselves.

And you want to talk about creating a permanent underclass? Start widespread homeschooling so that parents get to raise their children entirely insulated from other communities of opinion, children of different economic backgrounds, and exposure to professions other than their parents. The socialization offered by school is just as basic as having them interact with large numbers of other children in a setting that doesn't necessarily favor the idiosyncrasies of the parent's outlook.

If there was widespread or total homeschooling in Bible Belt, how many of those kids would go on to become doctors when they all got to university with no exposure to the theory of evolution?

Comment Re:More pervasive than just news (Score 1) 396

I would say yes. No doubt that in more 'blue collar' areas of the nation, it wouldn't be as bad, but in the US, it is regularly reinforced that if you are not 'trained' to do something, then it must be impossible for you to do. One must defer to "experts" for everything, and those that don't must be wack jobs.

Electrical work is particularly feared because most people don't know what electricity is, or how it works. They see it as some magical force that can only be controlled by those trained in the magical electric arts.

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