I'll see you this weekend at Denver Comic-Con!

I just checked in for my o-dark-hundred flight to Denver tomorrow morning for this weekend's Denver Comic-Con, where I'm appearing for several hours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, including panels with some of my favorite writers, like John Scalzi, Richard Kadrey, Catherynne Valente and Scott Sigler: Read the rest

Watch this piano-playing bear break into Colorado woman's home, play tunes, eat food, escape

It wasn't a burglary, say Colorado police. A black bear with a case of the munchies plunked around on the piano keys while raiding a woman's apartment for food and lulz.

And he got away with it.

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Pueblo, CO bust falls apart because cop staged his bodycam footage to frame his suspect

Colorado prosecutors have dismissed felony drug and weapons charges against a suspect because they learned that Pueblo Police Department offier Seth Jensen defrauded the court by faking his bodycam footage, "recreating" his bust after the suspect's car was in the impound lot. Read the rest

Colorado's investment in IUDs and other fire-and-forget birthcontrol produced a "miracle"

The Colorado Family Planning Initiative spent comparatively small sums making IUDs and other long-term birth control methods (such as implants and injections) available to women, through a "no wrong door" approach that let women start their journey through a variety of agencies, and included after-school and other counseling services, and also provided birth control to women on maternity wards before they went home with their babies. Read the rest

Court tells cops that license plates from a weed-friendly state are not "suspicious"

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has stripped two Kansas Highway Patrol officers of immunity for their detention of a man with Colorado plates whom they believed to be suspicious because Colorado has legal recreational marijuana -- thus any car from Colorado was a potential marijuana smuggling vehicle. Read the rest

360-degree video of massive tornado

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Blizzard shuts down Denver International Airport, impacting air traffic across country

Officials shut down Denver International Airport on Wednesday, canceling over 1,000 flights after a mega snowstorm temporarily knocked out power and created conditions unsafe for plane takeoffs and landings unsafe.

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Downhill skate champ zooms down Colorado slope at 70mph

Downhill skateboard champ Zak Maytum flies down one of the fastest runs in his home state of Colorado “with speeds approaching 70mph, and rough-ass pavement. Be ready to have your fuckin' face melted.” Read the rest

Six years after unprovoked beating, Denver cop finally fired

Denver Police Officers Ricky Nixon and Kevin Devine maced four women without provocation and shoved them to the ground in 2009, then lied about it for years. Read the rest

Colorado bear with munchies breaks into pie shop, eats all pies but one

He did not like strawberry rhubarb. No. Not one bit.

Colorado achieved incredible reductions in teen pregnancy through free birth control

The six-year program has run out of foundation money and the state is unlikely to pick up the tab, despite the 40% drop in teen births and 42% drop in abortions achieved through the simple expedient of giving free IUDs and implants to teens who asked for them. Read the rest

FBI investigating Denver cops who erased citizen video of beatdown

Denver police were videoed savagely beating David Flores and his pregnant girlfriend by Levi Frasier, who had his tablet confiscated and the video deleted after one of the cops shouted "camera" -- but the video had already backed up to the cloud. Read the rest

Just look at this felonious banana charge.

Just look at it: "A man is facing a felony menacing charge after two western Colorado sheriff's deputies say he pointed a banana at them and they thought it was a gun. (Thanks, Libbi!) Read the rest

Colorado's booming legal weed economy

It's not just the $10M in taxes the state's earned in four months -- it's also the $12-40M in law enforcement savings from not busting and imprisoning pot smokers. Read the rest

What happens when you opt your kids out of standardized tests

Lisa T. McElroy is a law professor who's spending a year at the University of Denver with her two kids, one in high school and one in middle school. She learned that she could opt her kids out of the standardized tests the school administered. So she did. What followed was a total educational freakout, as the principal, vice-principal and administration alternately cajoled and guilted her over her kids' non-participation in pedagogically suspect, meaningless, destructive high-stakes testing.

McElroy's story is a snapshot of an educational system in the process of implosion, driven by the ridiculous idea that schools are factories whose product is educated kids, and whose employees must be made "accountable" by measuring anything we can put a number on -- attendance and test-scores -- at the expense of actual educational outcomes.

Despite the fact that the best-performing educational systems in the world don't treat teachers as assembly line workers and kids as standardized injection molds to be squirted full of learning, the west continues to pursue this approach, scapegoating teachers' unions and pitting parents against them when the real enemy is the doomed idea that schools are a specialized kind of industrial plant -- and the project of selling off public schools to privatized educational corporations that collect public funds to educate kids, but only to the extent that this can be done without undermining their shareholders' interests. Read the rest

Aurora shooting suspect's psychiatrist alerted colleagues of threat, but officials never contacted police

The University of Colorado psychiatrist who treated mass shooting suspect James Holmes was so concerned by his behavior, she alerted colleagues in June that he was potentially dangerous. CNN reports that "University officials never contacted Aurora police with Fenton's concerns before the July 20 killings." She "made initial phone calls" about engaging a university threat response team in early June, according to the report, but things "never came together" because Holmes began the process of dropping out of school around this same time. Once he was no longer a student, they "had no control over him." Read the rest

What can we learn from the Colorado shooting?

Bruce Schneier asks what lessons we can learn from the shooting in a Colorado movie theater, and answers the question with admirable good sense:

The rarity of events such as the Aurora massacre doesn't mean we should ignore any lessons it might teach us. Because people overreact to rare events, they're useful catalysts for social introspection and policy change. The key here is to focus not on the details of the particular event but on the broader issues common to all similar events.

Installing metal detectors at movie theaters doesn't make sense -- there's no reason to think the next crazy gunman will choose a movie theater as his venue, and how effectively would a metal detector deter a lone gunman anyway? -- but understanding the reasons why the United States has so many gun deaths compared with other countries does. The particular motivations of alleged killer James Holmes aren't relevant -- the next gunman will have different motivations -- but the general state of mental health care in the United States is.

Even with this, the most important lesson of the Aurora massacre is how rare these events actually are. Our brains are primed to believe that movie theaters are more dangerous than they used to be, but they're not. The riskiest part of the evening is still the car ride to and from the movie theater, and even that's very safe.

Drawing the wrong lessons from horrific events (via Interesting People) Read the rest

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