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Muslims sue FBI: kept on no-fly list because they wouldn't turn informant


A suit brought by four Muslim-American men with no criminal records asserts that the FBI put them on the no-fly list in order to pressure them to inform on their communities. Brooklynite Awais Sajjad, one of the plaintiffs, says that he was denied boarding for a flight to visit his sickly grandmother in Pakistan in 2012, and that subsequently, the FBI told him they would remove him from the no-fly list only if he worked as an FBI informant. Sajjad's has tried all the official means of getting himself removed from the no-fly list, without any success. Sajjad's co-plaintiffs tell similar stories.

The case echoes that of Dr Rahinah Ibrahim, the first person to successfully appeal being placed on the US no-fly list. In her case, it emerged that she had been put on the list due to an administrative error (an FBI officer ticked the wrong box on a form) and that subsequently the DHS, Justice Department and FBI conspired to use state secrecy to cover up their error, even though they knew that there was no conceivable reason to keep Ibrahim on the no-fly list.

Sajjad and co will have to overcome the same secrecy privilege and the same culture of ass-covering indifference to innocence from the FBI and its allies in government. I don't like their chances, but I wish them luck.

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Plastic dice in bulk

I carry 3 red dice in my back pocket so that I can play a game called Cee-lo with people that I meet. Like most betting games, Cee-lo has a rough reputation. But played among friends, not betting for money, it can be rather wholesome.

I really like being able to play a simple dice game with people for a few reasons:

- it’s a really fun game!
- I’ve successfully played it with kindergartners and every age group above,
- I’ve gotten mixed age groups to have a GREAT time playing,
- It never runs out of batteries or needs to be upgraded,
- it’s very portable,
- it gets people to talk in real time,
- I don’t have to hand an expensive device to other people or count on them having one, or having one compatible to mine.

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Pug levitates up stairs

[video link, HT: @harryallen]

Making a planetary-scale sandwich

Svabialonso, a redditor in Iceland, teamed up with a friend on the (approximately) opposite side of the planet in New Zealand to make a world-sized sandwich: each of them went to a specific location at a set time and pressed a piece of bread to the ground there, with appropriate toppings.

A musical letter to the FCC by Jonathan Mann: 'Don't Blow up the Internet'

By Jonathan Mann: "Don't Blow Up The Internet | Song A Day #1939." Don't set us up the bomb, FCC. [Video Link]

Contact the FCC commissioners if you're concerned that the new proposed internet rules will gut Net Neutrality, and change the internet to a less free and less open communications platform: "FCC planning new Internet rules that will gut Net Neutrality."

Announcing BundyFest 2014, in the rules-free anarchy zone of Bunkersville, Nevada

Video Link [thanks Bob and David Pescovitz, it's a joke everyone]

Previously.

The Silence of the Lambs, behind-the-scenes

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Behind-the-scenes photos from Jonathan Demme's "The Silence of the Lambs" (1991). Several others below and still more over at Dangerous Minds.

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Students raise money, give away 300 copies of book banned in their school

Jaimie sez, "My bookstore helped a high school student distribute almost 300 free copies of "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie, a book that has been challenged and removed from the Meridian (Idaho) School District curriculum." Funds were raised by two Washington students." They're going to give away another 350 copies that the publisher donated next week. Go kids! (Thanks, Jamie!) Cory 13

The Muppet Show: The Bug Band play The Beatles

The Bug Band performs "She Loves You" on The Muppet Show in 1979. According to the Muppet Wiki, they were a nameless group until Kermit told them they needed a moniker. They suggested "The Grateful Dead" and "The Who." (via Experimental Music on Children's TV)

3-D printed portable wheelchair ramps

2013 12 26 11 42 58 preview featured

Thingiverse user Nanonan 3D-printed small wheelchair ramps to carry in his bag as he rolls around Berlin. Simple and effective! Download the files here.

Forrest Gump directed by Wes Anderson

Here are the opening credits to Forrest Gump, directed by Wes Anderson. (video by Louis Paquet)

Shadows from NYC supertowers are a bummer

Untitled

Some New Yorkers are upset about the shadows cast by the new supertower skyscrapers near Central Park and other public hang-outs. Above, the shadow of One57, an 85-story skyscraper currently under construction, on Central Park. At a community meeting on the issue, the president of Extell Development, the firm behind One57, responded that "the shadows cast by tall, slender buildings, which is what most of the buildings going up are, are very brief — maybe they're 10 minutes in any one place — and cause no negative effect on the flora or fauna of the park." According to City Councilman Corey Johnson, the apartments in the superpowers "are being sold to foreign investors, who have tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars, who are not making this their primary home." Central Park receives 40 million visitors annually. "New Yorkers Protest Long Shadows Cast By New Skyscrapers" (NPR)

This Day in Blogging History: Security-corporate complex owns America; Lawyers on why everyone hates DRM; Open letter to crackhead

One year ago today
The takeover of the US by the security-corporate complex: Some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States. ... An estimated 854,000 people, nearly 1.5 times as many people as live in Washington, D.C., hold top-secret security clearances.

Five years ago today
Lawyer podcast on "Everyone Hates DRM": The Intellectual Property Colloquium, a podcast for lawyers, has a one-hour show up about the reasons that DRM is the most reviled consumer technology in the market today.

Ten years ago today
Open letter to crackhead: They explained to me that "people" - I use the term loosely here - like you break off the tops of spark plugs and use the porcelain tubes to smoke crack. As an engineer and former MacGyver fan, in a way I think this is kind of cool. But then I remember that I just paid $100 for YOUR crackpipes, and I get angry again.

Defiant rancher in Nevada beloved by militia groups is a horrible racist, surprising approximately nobody


Rancher Cliven Bundy at his home in Bunkerville, Nevada. (Jim Urquhart/Reuters)

Ladies and gentlemen, meet American hero Cliven Bundy, as seen on video:

“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” he said. Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, “and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do.

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The internet is a CIA project, says Vladimir Putin


Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin holds a cup, 2010. REUTERS/Ria Novosti/Alexei Druzhinin.

Speaking today at a media forum in St. Petersburg, Russian president Vladimir Putin said the Internet began as a "CIA project," and that "is still developing as such." Russia must "fight for its interests" online, to resist US political and military control. From AP:

A Russian blogger complained to Putin that foreign websites and Yandex, the web search engine which is bigger in Russia than Google, are storing information on servers abroad, which could be undermining Russia's security. In his reply, Putin mentioned unspecified pressure that was exerted on Yandex in its early years and chided the company for its registration in the Netherlands "not only for tax reasons but for other considerations, too."