Can working on violent video games mess you up?

Here are some pictures of tumors, colonoscopy and viscera for reference. Enjoy your next two years of work!

Potato salad attack on mom lands Florida man in jail


Jonathan Smith, 34, was charged with misdemeanor battery after "pelting his mother with grub," reports The Smoking Gun.

“Jonathan grabbed a hand full of potato salad and threw it,” striking his mother in the face, reported cops, who noted that the woman had “food all over her and in her hair” when they arrived at the residence. Though his mother yelled for him to stop, Smith “continued to throw food at his mother,” according to a probable cause affidavit.

Via Arbroath. Read the rest

Mobile ad

States with the worst rape kit backlogs


The U.S. government estimates that hundreds of thousands of untested rape kits languish in police and crime lab storage facilities. The EndTheBacklog project illustrates that there's "more we do NOT know about the backlog than we do know." Read the rest

Sculpture makes drone strike casualties more visceral

In Artificial Killing Machine, visitors sit in a chair below cap guns that fire for each drone strike death reported publicly, which print out on a tally from a public database. Read the rest

Notes to the late Rev. Clementa Pinckney by his daughters, presented at his funeral


Charleston. Read the rest

The 17 states where guns kill more people than cars do


Motor vehicle deaths continue to drop in the US this century. Firearm deaths continue to rise. If the CDC's WISQARS data holds its path since 2013, guns will soon be America's top killing machine. The 17 states (and one district) in order are: Read the rest

San Francisco Sheriff's Deputy ring accused of pit-fighting inmates

San Francisco sheriff's deputy Scott Neu is accused of leading a ring of corrupt jail guards who coerced prisoners into gladiatorial combat with threats of rape and violence. Read the rest

Mobile ad

Police in Brazil kill six people a day

So says a report from The Brazilian Forum on Public Safety, an NGO that singles out the Rio police for "abusive use of lethal force." Read the rest

Holding mirrors up to police lines at #Euromaidan

Ukrainian protesters from the #Euromaidan movement have faced brutal police violence. A moving demonstration on December 30th included a line of protesters who held up mirrors to the riot police who faced them across the barricades. Read the rest

The gruesome reality of the drug trade

My friend Erik Vance lives in Mexico City and writes about science. But, in the past year or so, his work covering ocean fisheries has brought him into contact with some of the fallout from the cocaine trade. That overlap lead to a recent piece for Slate, where he writes that "there's no such thing as cruelty-free cocaine". If you care about sustainability, fair trade, and the power of consumer choice to change industry practices in fishing, then you should care about those things when it comes to drugs, he writes. More provocatively, Vance likens buying coke today to donating to the Nazi party in the 1930s. Read the rest

When mushrooms go to war

Fungus can fight. Using poisons and flesh-dissolving enzymes (think: mycological "meat" tenderizers), they can defend their turf from incursions by other fungi. Here, a sulfur tuft mushroom (top right) and Phanerochaete velutina (bottom left) hash it out. Read the rest

Hawthorne, CA police arrest man for videoing them, shoot his dog

Spocko sez, "What are the current rules for filming police in the state of California? This man seems to believes that he should be arrested for filming the police and offers himself up for arrest after clearly holding his phone up to film them. He places his dog in his car and is arrested. While handcuffed and being led away, the dog jumps out of the car to go to the man. The police see the dog as attacking them and when it doesn't stop, shoot the dog several times. Would this had happened if the man (and the police) knew the law about filming police in public in California?" Warning: Video contains violence and language

Hawthorne, Ca Police Kill Dog(1) (Thanks, Spocko!) Read the rest

"Riot" at kindergarten graduation

A brawl erupted at a kindergarten graduation in Cleveland on Friday, leading to eight arrests. It seems that two teens started the fisticuffs, and then some adults joined the fray. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, "eventual charges could include aggravated rioting." None of the graduates were taken into custody. Read the rest

Prison and racial segregation: why a Jewish guy eats with the Aryan Brotherhood

From a 2009 Southern Poverty Law Center report, David Arenberg describes his life as a Jewish guy inside a heavily racially segregated state prison where he faces violence and even death if he doesn't eat with the Aryan Brotherhood. Arenberg uses the essay to jump into a harrowing view into the rise of serious, politicized neo-Nazi skinheads in prison -- guys who make the Aryan Brotherhood look like moderates.

Not that there's anywhere else I could eat. The prison yard is broken down into five distinct racial categories and segregation is strictly enforced. There are the "woods" (short for peckerwoods) that encompass the whites, the "kinfolk" (blacks), the "Raza" (American-born people of Mexican descent), the "paisas" (Mexico-born Mexicans), and the "chiefs" (American Indians). Under the strict rules that govern interracial relations, different races are allowed to play on the same sports teams but not play individual games (e.g., chess) together; they may be in each others' cubicles together if the situation warrants but not sit on each others' beds or watch each others' televisions. They may go to the same church services but not pray together. But if you accidentally break one of these rules, the consequences are usually pretty mild: you might get a talking to by one of the heads (who, of course, claims exemption from this rule himself), or at worst, a "chin check."

Eating with another race, however, is a different story. It is an inviolate rule that different races may not break bread together under any circumstances.

Read the rest

Read this before you read another story on epigenetics

At Download the Universe, i09 editor Annalee Newitz critiques a new e-book about epigenetics — the science of how environmental factors can influence genetic expression — and violence. The book makes some pretty terrible (and non-scientific) insinuations about the idea of an inherent propensity towards violence and Newitz does a good job of both taking down the specific book and explaining the nuance behind a complicated topic. Read the rest

More posts