Seven Stories press just released this gorgeous boxed set of Octavia E. Butler's Parable novels. It's available today and would make a great gift for any reader.
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This boxed set pairs the bestselling Nebula-prize nominee, Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents, which together tell the near-future odyssey of Lauren Olamina, a "hyper-empathic" young woman who is twice as feeling in a world that has become doubly dehumanized. In Sower, set in California in 2024, small walled communities protect from hordes of desperate scavengers and roaming bands of "Paints," people addicted to a drug that activates an orgasmic desire to burn, rape, and murder. It is into this landscape that Lauren begins her journey, traveling on foot along the dangerous coastal highways, moving north into the unknown. The book has an introduction by feminist, journalist, activist, and author Gloria Steinem.
Parable of the Talents celebrates the classic Butlerian themes of alienation and transcendence, violence and spirituality, slavery and freedom, separation and community, to astonishing effect, in the shockingly familiar, broken world of 2032. It is told in the voice of Lauren Olamina's daughter –– from whom she has been separated for most of the girl's life –– with selections from Lauren's journal. Against a background of a war-torn continent, and with a far-right religious crusader in the office of the U.S. presidency, this is a book about a society whose very fabric has been torn asunder, and where the basic physical and emotional needs of people seem almost impossible to meet.
One Page Dungeon is a website that procedurally generates a new role-playing dungeon every time you press Enter (or refresh the page).
[via Clive Thompson] Read the rest
Researchers at the University of Richmond in Virginia trained rats to hop into little cars and drive them to collect food. The rats' success suggest their brains have more plasticity than previously assumed. Read the rest
This is some serious Wile E. Coyote-level gopher management going on here. Read the rest
Donald Trump, nominally the President of the United States of America, recently withdrew U.S. troops from Kurdish-held lands and greenlit a Turkish invasion of same, at Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's request. As soon as the humiliations of this outcome became clear to Trump, we now learn, he began sending threats to Erdoğan instead. Erdoğan ignored them, began his attack, and now those formerly-American bases are occupied by Syrian and Russian forces called in by the desperate Kurds. The New York Times' Katie Rogers pointed out that she "felt the need to ask" the White House for confirmation that this letter is "real". It is.
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NPR reports a real life X-File: someone (or something!) drained the blood from cattle at Silvies Valley Ranch in eastern Oregon:
The bull looks like a giant, deflated plush toy. It smells. Weirdly, there are no signs of buzzards, coyotes or other scavengers. His red coat is as shiny as if he were going to the fair, but he's bloodless and his tongue and genitals have been surgically cut out.
Over the course of a few days, more mutilated bulls were discovered:
four more Hereford bulls were found within 1.5 miles in the same condition. There were no tracks around the carcasses.
To date, the investigation has mostly just eliminated possibilities such as poisonous plants or bullets being the cause of death. Perhaps overlooking the public's enthusiasm for Westworld-style adventures, the ranch does not seem to have added the ongoing investigation to its list of activities. Read the rest
French company Le Creuset has announced a line of its signature enameled cast-iron cookwear themed after the Star Wars franchise; it's expensive even by Le Creuset standards, and a few of the pieces are uninspired messes, but the Han Solo in Carbonite roaster ($450), the R2-D2 Mini Cocotte ($30) and the Porg Pie Bird ($25) are positively brilliant. I'm also fond of the Tattoine Dutch oven, but that one isn't even priced and the company is offering an "opportunity to purchase." (via Geekologie)
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Amber Guyger, the Dallas police officer who shot her neighbor to death after entering his apartment thinking it was his own, has been found guilty of murder.
From Washington Post:
The prosecution cast Guyger as careless and negligent — armed, distracted and too quick to pull the trigger. The state’s lawyers called her defense “garbage” and “absurd.”
They said a reasonable person would have noticed the illuminated apartment numbers that read 1478, rather than 1378, and would have seen Jean’s red doormat. She wasn’t paying attention, prosecutors said, because too caught up in a sexually explicit conversation she was having with her partner on the police force.
“I mean, my God," said Jason Fine, the Dallas County Assistant District Attorney. "This is crazy.”
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The video is titled "Veterinary Technician Training: Handling a Fractious Cat."
After several viewings, it occurs to me that they mean "cat" as in "hepcat."
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A company scraped information from public profiles on LinkedIn and LinkedIn sued it under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. LinkedIn lost, and now it loses again. Moreover, the court's opinion takes aim at the company's efforts to stop people from accessing information its users post publicly.
The panel affirmed the district court’s preliminary injunction forbidding the professional networking website LinkedIn Corp. from denying plaintiff hiQ, a data analytics company, access to publicly available LinkedIn member profiles. Using automated bots, hiQ scrapes information that LinkedIn users have included on public LinkedIn profiles. LinkedIn sent hiQ a cause-and-desist letter, demanding that hiQ stop accessing and copying data from LinkedIn’s server. HiQ filed suit, seeking injunctive relief based on California law and a declaratory judgment that LinkedIn could not lawfully invoke the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”), the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, California Penal Code § 502(c), or the common law of trespass against it.
Note that this wasn't a copyright infringement claim, as is easy to assume; LinkedIn wasn't claiming ownership of the material being scraped. So the moral of the story is not "finders keepers" but "if you don't want something to be publicly published, don't let your users publish it publicly on your website". Other ways of putting it may be "If you don't want people to hear what your customers are saying, don't be a pub." Or maybe "If you're the sleazest, spammiest, data-suckingest social network on the planet, get in the sea." Read the rest
Meet Chanel Miller, the woman who was Emily Doe in the trial of rapist Brock Turner, a man treated with absurd leniency by the courts.
The New York Times:
For four years, the woman whose Stanford University sexual assault case caused a public outcry, has been known only as “Emily Doe.” In her new memoir, “Know My Name,” which charts her life since then, she reveals her real name: Chanel Miller.
In 2016, Ms. Miller’s case made headlines after BuzzFeed published the statement she read at the sentencing hearing for Brock Turner, the Stanford student convicted of the assault.
Mr. Turner, then 20, was found guilty of three counts of felony sexual assault, for which the maximum sentence was 14 years. But the presiding judge, Aaron Persky, sentenced Mr. Turner to six months in county jail, of which he served three.
Here's an excerpt from the book's introduction:
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Now she reclaims her identity to tell her story of trauma, transcendence, and the power of words. It was the perfect case, in many ways--there were eyewitnesses, Turner ran away, physical evidence was immediately secured. But her struggles with isolation and shame during the aftermath and the trial reveal the oppression victims face in even the best-case scenarios. Her story illuminates a culture biased to protect perpetrators, indicts a criminal justice system designed to fail the most vulnerable, and, ultimately, shines with the courage required to move through suffering and live a full and beautiful life.
Know My Name will forever transform the way we think about sexual assault, challenging our beliefs about what is acceptable and speaking truth to the tumultuous reality of healing.
A pharmaceutical lab in Spain mislabeled minoxidil (a hair-loss drug sold in the U.S. as Rogaine) as omeprazole (an antacid marketed as Prilosec). Excess hair growth resulted after babies were prescribed the latter and consumed the former, reports the New York Times.
The children who took the mislabeled medicine, some of them babies, began growing hair all over their bodies, a rare condition known as hypertrichosis, Spain’s health minister said on Wednesday. ...
Ms. Carcedo, the health minister, told reporters that no pharmacy in Spain still had the mislabeled omeprazole.
“We have immobilized all the batches,” she said.
Do not drink Rogaine. Read the rest
The incompetence horrowshow is on Twitter right now! It's lasted a few minutes; to my shame was I there to see it and wonder how long it would last, and it has not ceased yet.
UPDATE, 1:02 p.m. Eastern Time: It has ceased. Read the rest
CORRECTION: The gentleman in the video linked below contacted us and does cite his sources. Twitter thread embedded blow.
I guess if you are talking to Tucker Carlson you don't worry about having to cite your sources.(Editor--Again, please see correction above and twitter thread below.)
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I hear endless stories of grief from the friends I have who try to make ends meet working for these services.
Jalopnik's Dhruv Mehrotra and Aaron Gordon share the terrible economics:
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But Dave, who was granted anonymity out of fear of being deactivated by the ride-hail giant for speaking to the press, had no real choice but to wait. The passenger had requested the stop through the app, so refusing to make it would have been contentious both with the customer and with Uber. The exact number varies by city, but drivers must maintain a high rating in order to work on their platform. And there’s widespread belief among drivers that the Uber algorithm punishes drivers for cancelling trips.
Ultimately, the rider paid $65 for the half-hour trip, according to a receipt viewed by Jalopnik. But Dave made only $15 (the fares have been rounded to anonymize the transaction).
Uber kept the rest, meaning the multibillion-dollar corporation kept more than 75 percent of the fare, more than triple the average so-called “take-rate” it claims in financial reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Had he known in advance how much he would have been paid for the ride relative to what the rider paid, Dave said he never would have accepted the fare.
“This is robbery,” Dave told Jalopnik over email. “This business is out of control.”
Ishkur's Guide to Electronic Music traces the history of electronic music from the early 1900s to the present through a timeline/map that has links to playlists to different subgenres. Read the rest
A teenage girl lost her phone privileges so she used her 3DS to go online. Her mother found out and confiscated it. The girl resumed tweeting on her Wii U. After her mother took that away, the girl started tweeting from the LG smart refrigerator in the kitchen. The girl said her mother has made plans to remove it.
[via New York Magazine]
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