An elderly woman in Spain has "stunned Spanish cultural officials" after setting out to restore a prized fresco at the Sanctuary of Mercy Church near Zaragoza. Read the rest
The election of the first black US president offered hope to millions of African Americans across the country. But have four years of an Obama presidency seen positive change for black communities in the US’ inner cities? Fault Lines’ Sebastian Walker spends time with those on the front lines of the failed drug war to understand some fundamental dynamics of race, poverty, incarceration and economic truths in the US in an election year."Don't ever think it's a war on drugs. It's a war on the blacks. It started as a war on the blacks and it's now spread to Hispanics and poor whites… it was designed to take that energy coming out of the civil rights movement and destroy it," says Ed Burns, co creator of The Wire, who is interviewed in the program.
Justice at last, in one case from the US-backed 36-year civil war in Guatemala where some of the "harsh techniques" our military now uses in Iraq and Afghanistan and Gitmo were first perfected.
Three decades after Pedro Garcia Arredondo ordered the torture and "disappearance" of an agronomy student, the former chief detective of Guatemala's now-defunct National Police has been convicted and sentenced to 70 years in prison. From Amnesty International today:
Witnesses testified how [Édgar Enrique Sáenz Calito] was taken to “the little room” (“el cuartito”) where the Sixth Command typically interrogated guerrilla suspects.
The victim’s wife Violeta Ramírez Estrada told the court how she visited her husband in a prison hospital following his arrest and he bore signs of having been tortured – he had been subjected to beatings, water-boarding and cigarette burns, and electric shocks had been applied to his genitals.
Katherine Losse was present at the creation. Employee 51 at Facebook, the English major became first a major player in the company's customer service team and then rose to prominence in i18n, Facebook's internationalization initiative. She ended her seven year career there as Mark Zuckerberg's blogger. She mimicked his voice in posts and emails, starting with "Hey Everybody" and ending in world domination.
Now, Losse offers a book about her experience there. Covering the period between 2005 and 2012, she sunk into the soft comfort of corporate life just as early Facebook's miasmic jelly hardened into serious business. Losse, because she's not a wonk, is the kind of person that you want writing about this kind of rise: she writes like she's working out a Lorrie Moore story set at Xerox/PARC and, as a result, she leaves out the nerdiness and attempts to replace it with humanity. Read the rest
Ongoing evidence that Disney and the horror genre are not mutually exclusive: zombie Disney princesses. DeviantARTist Clocktowerman has a mashup collection that will surely delight horror fans, Disney fans, and geek parents who are gently attempting to introduce the scary beasties they love into their children's lives. After the jump, see a few selections from the artist's zombie princess collection, including a full-sized version of Snow White. These ladies aren't after princes for their riches -- they're looking for a nice guy with a brain. A delicious, oxygen-rich brain, filled with blood sent from a still-beating heart.
Why they haven't made a zombie princess movie is beyond me. Read the rest
Three tourists from France (two women and a man) took photos of themselves posing with Buddha statues in Sri Lanka. At least one of the photos showed the tourists pretending to kiss one of the Buddha statues. When the tourists went to a photo lab to make prints, the owner of the photo lab called the police.
On Tuesday a magistrate sentenced the trio to six months in prison with hard labour, suspended for five years - which means they will not actually serve any time in jail. The court also levied a small fine on them.
They were convicted under a section of the Penal Code which outlaws deeds intended to wound or insult "the religious feelings of any class of persons" through acts committed in, upon or near sacred objects or places of worship.
Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) in Japan said Tuesday its monitoring efforts have recorded record high radiation levels in local seafood: 25,800 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium in fish sampled within a 20-kilometer range of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The photo shows fish caught Aug. 1, 2012 within 20 kilometers of the crippled nuclear power plant. The findings indicate that radioactive contamination remains at unsafe levels in the area's food supply more than a year after the nuclear crisis.
The level of cesium found in greenling is 258 times that deemed safe for consumption by the Japanese government, suggesting that radioactive contamination remains serious more than a year after the nuclear crisis.
Fishing in the sea off Fukushima Prefecture is voluntarily restricted except for trial fishing of certain octopuses.
I'll watch anything with Guy Pearce in it. (NSFW: boobies)
Lawless (hitting theaters nationwide August 29) is the true story of the infamous Bondurant Brothers: bootlegging siblings who made a run for the American Dream in Prohibition-era Virginia. In this epic outlaw tale, inspired by true-life tales of author Matt Bondurant's family in his novel The Wettest County In The World, the loyalty of three brothers is put to the test against the backdrop of the nation's most notorious crime wave.Lawless Read the rest
I'm excited to be back on my old home turf next week, with two speaking events in Kansas City, Missouri, and Lawrence, Kansas.
Both events are centered on Before the Lights Go Out, my book about electricity, infrastructure, and the future of energy.
Thursday, August 30, 7:00 pm — The Raven bookstore in Lawrence I'll be back in my college town to talk about the weird, messy history of electricity, and the ways that writing online can help build a better book. Join me at 6 East 7th Street, Lawrence, Kansas.
Friday, August 31, 7:00 pm — Prospero's Books in Kansas City My event at Prospero's will cover a lot of the same ground as The Raven event, but will get more in-depth on the engineering of how our electric grid works and why this flawed system affects what we can and can't do to solve our energy problems. RSVP for the Prospero's event (and get address info) on Facebook.
Image: Electricity, a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No-Derivative-Works (2.0) image from elycefeliz's photostreamRead the rest
Then the biggest development house in Europe. Let's go! Read the rest