How will Christian McCaffrey change the Panthers running game?   
The rookie RB has the speed to attack the edges A quick look at the Panthers play direction report for the 2016 regular season shows the Panthers have a preference for running inside the tackles, with varying degrees of success. Please note the first set of numbers below is plays per direction and NFL rank. The second set is the average gain per play and NFL rank. The Panthers preference in 2016 was to run to the right side of the line behind RG Trai Turner. While the Panthers were top 5 in running in that direction they were in the bottom half of the league in average gain per run. There was a lot of three yards and a cloud of dust type of runs for the Panthers in 2016. The Panthers also ran pretty good behind the White Buffalo Andrew Norwell at LG to the tune of 4.5 yards per carry. That was good for 12th in the NFL. The only anomaly in the data is the Panthers average of 7 yards per carry running wide left. That makes me wonder why they didn’t run that way more often. The 50 carries in that directi
          RE: Inventory (issue screen): the detail line items are missing from the screen and database   

Thanks for the script.

Here is the response from the MSFT support. Just wanted to share with you.

" This looks like one of those anomaly cases where the batch exists in the BATCH table and never wrote anything to INTRAN. The batch is showing as Completed and Released in batch, all with 0 amounts. This batch record is finished as far as SL believes it to be. You can re-enter the record that was originally input and it will process as normal.

Everything that I see in this batch looks like it will be fine and shouldn’t bother anything. I believe the form post was on the right track when it said that leaving the screen open for too many transactions is likely the cause. We have seen that sporadically in various screens but have never been able to consistently reproduce it in house.

If you like, you can delete this batch from the BATCH table.

But there is also not a problem with that batch existing, either. It’s just an empty one. If you want to clear it out of the PV List for the Issues screen you can run a delete statement to take it out of the BATCH Table. Or you can leave it where it is. Either way it’s not causing any harm. "


          Pregnancies and Fetal Anomalies Incompatible with Life in Chile: Arguments and Experiences in Advocating for Legal Reform   

Lidia Casas and Lieta Vivaldi

Abstract

Chile allows abortion under no circumstances. Whether it’s fetal anomaly incompatible with life or congenital malformation resulting in little or no life expectancy, all Chilean women are expected to carry their pregnancies to term. In this context, in January 2015 the Chilean Congress began debating a [...]

          226 - Shadow Planet/World Apart   
Question – what has been my most anticipated TV show return of the last 20 years or so?
Minus several million if you said Doctor Who, it was ticking along quite nicely under the benevolent leadership of Big Finish until those upstarts in Cardiff decided to bring it back to TV where I am told it has done rather well….
No, my most anticipated, genuinely COULD NOT WAIT returning TV show was Twin Peaks – and it could have been a retread of past glories, but it isn’t, it is something altogether darker and altogether more beautiful and horrifying. Anyhow the reason I bring up Twin Peaks is related to this months release “Shadow Planet/World Apart”, well the first part of it anyhow – you see in Twin Peaks Deputy Hawk says this to Agent Cooper “My people believe that the White Lodge is a place where the spirits that rule man and nature reside. There is also a legend of a place called the Black Lodge. The shadow self of the White Lodge. Legend says that every spirit must pass through there on the way to perfection. There, you will meet your own shadow self.”  And this was the first thing that came in to my head when I read the synopsis for Shadow Planet a story of the hidden part of you that is always with you, albeit in a Sci-Fi setting rather than in a red curtained room with dancing dwarves and screaming dopplegangers…..
 Shadow Planet by AK Benedict
 The planet Unity is a very special place, a psychic planet, a place of peace and healing, a place where you can come face to face with your shadow self (without the need for a backwards talking dwarf or a one armed man) and work through any issues you may have in the safety and seclusion of the Unity corporation compound. Idyllic and therapeutic we are led to believe. As you may have guessed that is about as true as a certain Mrs May being leader of a “Strong and Stable” government. It is wonderful to hear Philip Olivier as Hex again especially in two roles as our Hex and the shadow Hex – yes the shadow selves – amalgamations of the negativity in the person, Ace’s comes across as mean spirited and arrogant and then there is the shadow self of the Doctor….
A great guest cast consisting of a very arch Belinda Lang as Unity Corporation head Mrs Wheeler and her assistant Professor Grove (Nikolas Grace) keep the story moving along and the revelations about the true nature of Unity coming thick and fast. But underneath it all this is a story about the repressed rebelling and trying to exist when they really shouldn’t exist at all.
 World Apart by Scott Handcock
 The words “written by Scott Handcock” give me as much pleasure the the words “directed by David Lynch” – both are visionaries and constantly push the boundaries of the medium in which they work, both give their lead characters a really hard time and boy do Ace and Hex go through the wringer in this one.
Carrying directly on from Shadow Planet, linked by a cliffhanger of a planet appearing in the Vortex Ace and Hex are soon marooned as The Doctor realises that he really shouldn’t be on the planet at all and leaves. Hex and Ace are left to fend for themselves on the planet Nirvana, an anomaly in space and time, a planet where there are piles of dead bodies from the previous marooned travellers, where food is scarce, where they are being hunted and where there really is no hope of rescue. Remember the “Doctor lite” episodes on TV where the absence of the Doctor made you realise how much he is needed – well this is almost the opposite as his actions have led to the situation that Ace & Hex find themselves in. Sylvester McCoy always was the most amoral and alien of all the Doctor’s but here his aloofness and detachment for the situation – his almost universal view of things and his companions place in the great scheme of things is cold and analytical and we are reminded that though he may look like us he is very very alien.
 Two very different stories both dealing with identity and how we define ourselves by our experiences and our friendships with Handcock again supplying a very different take on what a Doctor Who story can be as a contrast to the more traditional Shadow Planet – neither story contain red rooms, coffee, dwarves or giants – but I wont hold that against them and award this release a none too shadowy 8/10.


          500 Kids Have Gone Missing In DC In 2017 — Sex Trafficking Fears Have Officials Asking FBI For Help   
A total of 501 juveniles have been reported missing in D.C. since the beginning of the year. This startling number has forced the hands of several officials who’ve written a letter to call on special help from the Justice Department in investigating the matter.
The letter, obtained by the Associated Press, asked FBI Director James Comey and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to “devote the resources necessary to determine whether these developments are an anomaly or whether they are indicative of an underlying trend that must be addressed.” It was signed by Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond (D-La) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, who represents D.C. in Congress.
“Ten children of color went missing in our nation’s capital in a period of two weeks and at first garnered very little media attention. That’s deeply disturbing,” Richmond’s letter said.
As the AP reports, the District of Columbia logged 501 cases of missing juveniles, many of them black or Latino, in the first three months of this year, according to the Metropolitan Police Department, the city’s police force. Twenty-two were unsolved as of March 22, police said.
The Twitter profile for the DC police department is quite literally riddled with images of missing young Black and Latino girls. In spite of the officials’ concern and the posts on Twitter, police are assuring the public that there is nothing out of the ordinary.

“We’ve just been posting them on social media more often,” said Metropolitan Police spokeswoman Rachel Reid.
“We can’t focus on the numbers,” said Derrica Wilson, co-founder of the Black and Missing Foundation. “If we have one missing child, that’s too many.”
Police then went on to dispel talk of these girls being kidnapped and sold into slavery by human traffickers.
“We have no indication to believe that young girls in the District are being preyed upon by human traffickers in large numbers,” said police commander Chanel Dickerson, leader of the Youth and Family Services division, according to NBC News 4.
Notice how Dickerson said “in large numbers” as a qualifier, meaning he didn’t rule out the fact that there are human traffickers in the area preying on young girls.
As the Free Thought Project pointed out on several occasions, some of these traffickers have already been caught in D.C. — and some of them have been cops.
Linwood Barnhill Jr., a veteran of the D.C. Police Department, was exposed by the Free Thought Projectfor running a child sex ring out of his house. In 2014, in an early morning search warrant issued for his Southeast D.C. apartment found a 15-year-old girl who had previously been reported missing by her parents.
When police rescued the girl she told officers that she had met six other girls inside the Southeast D.C. apartment who told her they were also being prostituted, including with ads posted on backpage.com. Barnhill also took naked photos of the girls, purportedly for use in advertisements for sex.
Marijuana, condoms and a large mirror were also seized from the apartment; law enforcement officials say that the seized mirror had the names of other females who were being trafficked written on it.
Around that same time, another cop in the area was also exposed and arrested for trafficking teens. Lamin Manneh, 32, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty to traveling across state lines and using a telephone and internet to operate a prostitution business using two teens he prostituted out over 300 times.
According to the AP, Wilson also said she is concerned about whether human trafficking is a factor, citing the case of 8-year-old Relisha Rudd, who has been missing since she vanished from a city homeless shelter in 2014. A janitor who worked at the shelter was found dead of apparent suicide during the search for the girl.
“They prey on the homeless, they prey on low-income children, they prey on the runaways, they prey online,” Wilson said.
“Whether these recent disappearances are an anomaly or signals of underlying trends, it is essential that the Department of Justice and the FBI use all of the tools at their disposal to help local officials investigate these events, and return these children to their parents as soon as possible,” Richmond said.
According to the anti-Human Trafficking group, Polaris, located in D.C., the number of trafficked humans in the US is startling.
Sadly, the US government appears to spend far more time looking for an illegal plant or for Tom Brady’s jersey, than they do on missing children.
Matt Agorist is the co-founder of TheFreeThoughtProject.com, where this article first appeared. He is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been


          Report shows Midwest is heating up   
According to a new study, the Midwest is getting hotter. With this summers record-breaking temperatures, that probably doesnt sound like news. But a new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists shows our hot weather isnt an anomaly - things have been heating up across the Midwest for the past six decades. The study found that on average, some Midwestern cities like St. Louis now have twice the number of very hot, humid, summer days as it did in the 1940s. Nighttime temperatures are also on the rise, and heat waves of three or more days are becoming more common. In a conference call with reporters, report co-author, climate scientist Todd Sanford, said these changes arent limited to large urban centers - smaller towns like Columbia, Missouri, show similar trends. The changes for St. Louis arent simply due to an urban heat island effect, but seem to indicate longer term changes in the background climate, said Sanford. Some St. Louis leaders on the call said more needs to be done to
          Outdoor: S'mores   

Projected to be a top 10 brand in the frozen novelty desserts category by the end of the year, Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt has climbed the frozen novelty ranks, outpacing legacy players with deep pockets like Unilever, Nestle, and Friendly’s with its product innovation and nimble brand marketing. Founded by Drew Harrington and Amanda Klane, who were kindergarten friends turned entrepreneurs and ice cream school dropouts, they launched Yasso with a vision to make great tasting dessert that consumers could feel good about. And they’ve done just that with products that are 100-150 calories with 5 grams of protein, with new products to launch later this year. On June 30, the brand will be launching a new summer campaign called Boom Goes the Ice Cream to usher in a new era of dessert. The campaign will run from July through August and is comprised of a mix of out of home, radio, digital, social and cinema. In addition, this August street teams will target select events with a voice-activated I Scream truck where participants who scream loud enough will be rewarded with Yasso bars. The campaign was created in partnership with new agency Fortnight Collective, which takes a two-week timeframe to solve for a brand challenge, from initial briefing to campaign development – and an agency that matches the brand’s out-of-the-box approach. Fortnight Collective was responsible for traditional media planning, creative development and production (digital videos, radio ads, digital banners, outdoor, cinema), in addition to working with an experiential partner on building out the ‘I Scream Truck’ Fortnight’s collective consists of creatives, strategists and experts who have worked inside the walls of Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Anomaly and R/GA, among others. The Yasso campaign was led by industry legends Kat Street (CP+B for 10 years, working with brands like Diesel and Domino’s, before going freelance) and Brock Johnson (worked at CP+B, Ogilvy, Victors & Spoils, working with Burger King, before going freelance). In addition to developing the creative, they’re also featured in the work as the voiceover talent. Media: Outdoor Category: Food Client: Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt Agency: Fortnight Collective Country: United States of America Client Drew Harrington: Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Yasso Katie Lamb: Creative Manager, Yasso Agency Andy Nathan: Founder/CEO, Fortnight Collective (FC) Mandy Eckford: Director of Client Service, Fortnight Collective Kat Street: Creative Director/Art Director, FC Member Brock Johnson: Creative Director/Copywriter, FC Member Ted Morse: Brand Director, Fortnight Collective Jen Miller: Brand Supervisor, Fortnight Collective Stephen Stewart: Brand Supervisor, Fortnight Collective Erin Hess: Operations Coordinator, Fortnight Collective Strategy Lisa Hyman: Co-Founder, The goodDog Agency Max Kabat: Co-Founder, The goodDog Agency Media Beth Egan: Media Consultant, FC Member, Traditional Planning & Buying AMP Agency: Digital Planning & Buying Video Editor: Christian Robins, 11 Dollar Bill Managing Director/Producer: Lisa Effress, 11 Dollar Bill Producer: Ramon Nunez, 11 Dollar Bill Color/Finishing: Herman Nieuwoudt Final Mix: Coupe Studios Music Supervision: Bill Meadows, ENGAGE Music Artist: Aaron LaCrate Stills Photographer: Jason Leiva Producer: Sheri Radel Rosenberg OOH Producer: Cindy Perez Production Company: Salt Studios Printer: Sally Alexander Digital Digital Producer: Ryan Adams Developer: Tooth, LLC


          Outdoor: Misfits   

Projected to be a top 10 brand in the frozen novelty desserts category by the end of the year, Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt has climbed the frozen novelty ranks, outpacing legacy players with deep pockets like Unilever, Nestle, and Friendly’s with its product innovation and nimble brand marketing. Founded by Drew Harrington and Amanda Klane, who were kindergarten friends turned entrepreneurs and ice cream school dropouts, they launched Yasso with a vision to make great tasting dessert that consumers could feel good about. And they’ve done just that with products that are 100-150 calories with 5 grams of protein, with new products to launch later this year. On June 30, the brand will be launching a new summer campaign called Boom Goes the Ice Cream to usher in a new era of dessert. The campaign will run from July through August and is comprised of a mix of out of home, radio, digital, social and cinema. In addition, this August street teams will target select events with a voice-activated I Scream truck where participants who scream loud enough will be rewarded with Yasso bars. The campaign was created in partnership with new agency Fortnight Collective, which takes a two-week timeframe to solve for a brand challenge, from initial briefing to campaign development – and an agency that matches the brand’s out-of-the-box approach. Fortnight Collective was responsible for traditional media planning, creative development and production (digital videos, radio ads, digital banners, outdoor, cinema), in addition to working with an experiential partner on building out the ‘I Scream Truck’ Fortnight’s collective consists of creatives, strategists and experts who have worked inside the walls of Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Anomaly and R/GA, among others. The Yasso campaign was led by industry legends Kat Street (CP+B for 10 years, working with brands like Diesel and Domino’s, before going freelance) and Brock Johnson (worked at CP+B, Ogilvy, Victors & Spoils, working with Burger King, before going freelance). In addition to developing the creative, they’re also featured in the work as the voiceover talent. Media: Outdoor Category: Food Client: Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt Agency: Fortnight Collective Country: United States of America Client Drew Harrington: Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Yasso Katie Lamb: Creative Manager, Yasso Agency Andy Nathan: Founder/CEO, Fortnight Collective (FC) Mandy Eckford: Director of Client Service, Fortnight Collective Kat Street: Creative Director/Art Director, FC Member Brock Johnson: Creative Director/Copywriter, FC Member Ted Morse: Brand Director, Fortnight Collective Jen Miller: Brand Supervisor, Fortnight Collective Stephen Stewart: Brand Supervisor, Fortnight Collective Erin Hess: Operations Coordinator, Fortnight Collective Strategy Lisa Hyman: Co-Founder, The goodDog Agency Max Kabat: Co-Founder, The goodDog Agency Media Beth Egan: Media Consultant, FC Member, Traditional Planning & Buying AMP Agency: Digital Planning & Buying Video Editor: Christian Robins, 11 Dollar Bill Managing Director/Producer: Lisa Effress, 11 Dollar Bill Producer: Ramon Nunez, 11 Dollar Bill Color/Finishing: Herman Nieuwoudt Final Mix: Coupe Studios Music Supervision: Bill Meadows, ENGAGE Music Artist: Aaron LaCrate Stills Photographer: Jason Leiva Producer: Sheri Radel Rosenberg OOH Producer: Cindy Perez Production Company: Salt Studios Printer: Sally Alexander Digital Digital Producer: Ryan Adams Developer: Tooth, LLC


          Rejtélyes mikrohullámú energiával manipulálják az időjárást az Antarktiszról   
MIMIC wave anomaly AntarcticaKét hónapon belül, három különös mikrohullámú anomáliára is felfigyeltek a kutatók a MIMIC időjárási szatellit felvételein. A megmagyarázhatatlan mikrohullámú jelenség Dél-Amerikán haladt át, az Antarktisz irányából. Az első hullám 2017 április 2-án bukkant fel, majd ez megismétlődött május 15-én, és 26-án is.
          Your Code in Spaaace!   
In the ISS there are two Astro Pi computers, Ed and Izzy, equipped with Sense HATs, two different camera modules (visual and IR), and stored in rather special cases. They are now running code written by UK school children - the winners of a competition. The data will be feeding back soon! Inspired? If you're a UK child aged from 8-18, you can enter two new music-based coding challenges. Also, after the current set of programs have been run, the Astro Pi machines will be entering flight recording mode, recording sensor readings (including pitch, roll, yaw, rotational intensity, acceleration, humidity, pressure, temperature and magnetic field strength) into a database every 10 seconds. Example data is available now, so you can prepare for the real thing becoming available in late February / March. Can you detect crew activity, O2 repressurisation, the South Atlantic Anomaly or even a CHX dry-out? The winners of the previous competition:
  • Crew Detector - tries to determine if a crew member is nearby and then takes a photo
  • Spacecraft - visualise the sensor data as structures in a Minecraft world
  • Flags - Figure out where the ISS is above and shows the flag of the country
  • Watchdog - Monitors the environment, raising alarms if temperature / pressure / humidity move outside acceptable parameters. Compensates for the thermal transfer between the sensors and the CPU
  • Uses the IR camera to produce a measure of plant health
  • Reaction Games - tests reaction speeds during the mission to see if this changes over time
  • Radiation - uses the camera to detect high-energy space radiation

          The Indolence of the Filipinos   
English translation by Charles Derbyshire. The article by José Rizal, originally written in Spanish, was published in La Solidaridad in five installments,from July 15 to September 15, 1890.

PART ONE: Doctor Sanciano, in his Progreso de Filipinas, has taken up this question, agitated, as he calls it, and relying upon facts and reports furnished by the very same Spanish authorities that ruled the Philippines has demonstrated that such indolence does not exist, and that all said about it does not deserve a reply or even passing choice.

Nevertheless as discussion of it has been continued, not only by government employees who make it responsible for their own shortcomings, not only by the friars who regard it as necessary in order that they may continue to represent themselves as indispensable, but also by serious and disinterested persons: and as evidence of greater or less weight may be adduced in opposition to that which Dr. Sanciano cites, it seems expedient to us to study this question thoroughly, without superciliousness or sensitiveness, without prejudice, without pessimism. As as we can only serve our country by telling the truth, however, bitter it be, just as flagrant and skillful negation cannot refute a real and positive fact, in spite of the brilliance of the arguments; as mere affirmation is not sufficient to create something possible, let us calmly examine the facts, using on our part all the impartiality of which a man is capable who is convinced that there is no redemption except upon solid bases of virtue.

The word indolence has been greatly misused in the sense of little love for work and lack of energy, while ridicule has concealed the misuse. This much-discussed question has met with the same fate as certain panaceas and specifics of the quacks who by ascribing to them impossible virtues have discredited them. In the Middle Ages, and even in some Catholic countries now, the devil is blamed for everything that superstitious folk cannot understand or the perversity of mankind is loath to confess. In the Philippines one's and another's faults, the shortcomings of one, the misdeeds of another, are attributed to indolence. And just as in the Middle Ages he who sought the explanation of phenomena outside of infernal influences was persecuted, so in the Philippines worse happens to him who seeks the origin of the trouble outside of accepted beliefs.

The consequence of this misuse is that there are some who are interested in stating it as a dogma and others in combating it as a ridiculous superstition, if not a punishable delusion. Yet it is not to be inferred from the misuse of a thing that it does not exist.

We think that there must be something behind all this outcry, for it is incredible that so many should err, among whom we have said there are a lot of serious and disinterested persons. Some act in bad faith, though levity, through levity, through want of sound judgment, through limitation in reasoning power, ignorance of the past, or other cause. Some repeat what they have heard, without examination or reflection; others speak through pessimism or are impelled by that human characteristic which paints as perfect everything that belongs to oneself and defective whatever belongs to another. But it cannot be denied that there are some who worship truth, or if not truth itself at least the semblance thereof which is truth in the mind of the crowd.

Examining well, then, all scenes and all the men that we have known from childhood; and the life of our country, we believe that indolence does exist there. The Filipinos, who can measure up with the most active peoples in the world, will doubtless not repudiate his admission, for it is true there one works and struggles against the climate, against nature and against men. But we must not take the exception for the general rule, and should rather seek the good of our country by stating what we believe to be true. We must confess that indolence does actually and positively exist there, only that, instead of holding it to be the cause of the backwardness and the trouble, we regard it as the effect of the trouble and the backwardness, by fostering the development of a lamentable predisposition.

Those who have as yet treated of indolence, with the exception of Dr. Sancianco, have been content to deny or affirm it. We know of no one who has studied its causes. Nevertheless, those who admit its existence and exaggerate it more or less have not therefore failed to advise remedies taken from here and there, from Java, from India, from other English or Dutch colonies, like the quack who saw a fever cured with a dozen sardines and afterwards always prescribed these fish at every rise in temperature that he discovered in his patient.

We shall proceed otherwise. Before proposing a remedy we shall examine the causes, and even though strictly speaking a predisposition is not a cause, let us, however, study at its true value this predisposition due to nature.

The predisposition exists? Why shouldn't it?

A hot climate requires of the individual quiet and rest, just as cold incites to labor and action. For this reason the Spaniard is more indolent than the Frenchman; the Frenchman more so than the German. The Europeans themselves who reproach the residents of the colonies so much (and I am not now speaking of the Spaniards but of the Germans and English themselves), how do they live in tropical countries? Surrounded by a numerous train of servants, never-going afoot but riding in a carriage, needing servants not only to take off their shoes for them but even to them! And yet they live and eat better, they work for themselves to get rich, with the hope of a future, free and respected, while the poor colonist, the indolent colonist, is badly nourished, has no hope, toils for others, and works under force and compulsion! Perhaps the reply to this will be that white men are not made to stand the severity of the climate. A mistake! A man can live in any climate, if he will only adapt himself to its requirements and conditions. What kills the European in hot countries is the abuse of liquors, the attempt to live according to the nature of his own country under another sky and another sun. We inhabitants of hot countries live will in northern Europe whenever we take the precautions of the people there do. Europeans can also stand the torrid zone, if only they would get rid of their prejudices.

The fact is that in tropical countries violent work is not a good thing as it is in cold countries, there it is death, destruction, annihilation. Nature knows this and like a just mother has therefore made the earth more fertile, more productive, as a compensation. An hour's work under that burning sun, in the midst of pernicious influences springing from nature in activity, is equal to a day's work in a temperate climate; it is, then, just that the earth yields a hundred fold! Moreover, do we not see the active European, who feels the fresh blood of spring boil in his veins, do we not see him abandon his labors, during the few days of his variable summer, close his office -- where the work is not violent and amounts for many to talking and gesticulating in the shade beside a lunch stand -- flee to watering places, sit in the cafes or stroll about. What wonder then that the inhabitant of tropical countries, worn out and with his blood thinned by the continuous and excessive heat is reduced to inaction? Who is the indolent one in the Manila offices? Is it the poor clerk who comes in at eight in the morning and leaves at one in the afternoon with only his parasol, who copies and writes and works for himself and for his chief, or is it the chief, who comes in a carriage at ten o'clock, leaves before twelve, reads his newspaper while smoking and with his feet cocked up on a chair or a table, or gossiping about all his friends? What is indolent, the native coadjutor, poorly paid and badly treated, who has to visit all the indigent sick living in the country, or the friar curate who gets fabulously rich, goes about in a carriage, eats and drinks well, and does not put himself to any trouble without collecting an excessive fee?

Without speaking further of the Europeans in what violent labor does the Chinaman engage in tropical countries, the industrious Chinaman, who flees from his own country driven by hunger and whose whole ambition is to amass a small fortune? With the exception of some porters, an occupation that the natives also follow, he nearly always engages in the trade, in commerce; so rarely does he take up agriculture that we do not know of a single case. The Chinaman who in other colonies cultivates the soil does so only for a certain number of years and then retires.

We find, then, the tendency to indolence very natural, and have to admit and bless it, for we cannot alter natural laws, and without it the race would have disappeared. l Man is not a brute, he is not a machine, his object is not merely to produce, in spite of the pretensions of some Christian whites who would make of the colored Christian a kind of motive power somewhat more intelligent and less costly than steam. Man's object is not to satisfy the passions of another man, his object is to seek happiness for himself and his kind by traveling along the road of progress and perfection.

The evil is not that indolence exists more or less latently but that it is fostered and magnified. Among men, as well as among nations, there exist no only, aptitudes but also tendencies good and evil. To foster the good ones and aid them, as well as correct the evil and repress them, would be the duty of society and government, if less noble thoughts did not occupy their attention. The evil is that the indolence in the Philippines is a magnified indolence, an indolence of the snowball type, if we may be permitted the expression, an evil that increases in direct proportion to the periods of time, and effect of misgovernment and of backwardness, as we have said, and not a cause thereof. Others will hold the contrary opinion, especially those who have a hand in the misgovernment, but we do not care; we have made an assertion and are going to prove it.



PART TWO: When in consequence of a long chronic illness the condition of the patient is examined, the question may arise whether the weakening of the fibers and the debility of the organs are the cause of the malady's continuing or the effect of the bad treatment that prolongs its action. The attending physician attributes the entire failure of his skill to the poor constitution of the patient, to the climate, to the surroundings, and so on. On the other hand, the patient attributes the aggravation of the evil to the system of treatment followed. Only the common crowd, the inquisitive populace, shakes its head and cannot reach a decision.

Something like this happens in the case of the Philippines. Instead of a physician, read government, that is friars, employees, etc. Instead of patient, Philippines; instead of malady, indolence.

And just as happens in similar cases when the patient gets worse, everybody loses his head, each one dodges the responsibility to place it upon somebody else, and instead of seeking the causes in order to combat the evil in them, devotes himself at best to attacking the symptoms; here a blood-letting, a tax; there a plaster, forced labor, further on a sedative, a trifling reform. Every new arrival proposes a new remedy; one, seasons of prayer, the relics of a saint, the viaticum, the friars; another shower-bath; still another, with pretensions to modern ideas, a transfusion of blood. "It's nothing, only the patient has eight million indolent red corpuscles; some few white corpuscles in the form of an agricultural colony will get us out of the trouble."

So, on all sides there are groans, gnawing of lips, clenching of fists, many hollow words, great ignorance, a deal of talk, a lot of fear. The patient is near his finish!

Yes, transfusion of blood, transfusion of blood! New life, new vitality! Yes, new white corpuscles that you are going to inject into its veins, the new white corpuscles that were a cancer in another organism will withstand all the depravity of the system, will have more stamina than all the degeneration, all the trouble in the principal organs. Be thankful if they do not become coagulations and produce gangrene, be thankful if they do not reproduce the cancer!

While the patient breathes, we must not lose hope, and however late we may be, a judicious examination is never superfluous; at least the cause of death may be known. We are not trying to put all the blame on the physician, and still less on the patient, for we have already spoken of a predisposition, in the absence of which the race would disappear, sacrificed to excessive labor in a tropical country.

Indolence in the Philippines is a chronic malady, but not a heredity one. The Filipinos have not always been what they are, witnesses whereto are all the historians of the first years after the discovery of the Islands.

Before the arrival of the Europeans, the Malayan Filipinos carried on an active trade, no only among themselves but also with all the neighboring countries. A Chinese manuscript of the 13th century, translated by Dr. Hirth (Globus, September, 1889), which we will take up at another time, speaks of China's relations with the islands, relations purely commercial, which mention is made of the activity and honesty of the traders of Luzon, who took the Chinese products and distributed them throughout all the islands, for the merchandise that the Chinaman did not remember to have given them. The products which they in exchange exported from the islands were crude wax, cotton, pearls, tortoise shell, betel-nuts, dry goods, etc.

The first thing noticed by Pigafetta who came with Magellan in 1521, on arriving at the first island of the Philippines, Samar, was the courtesy and kindness of the inhabitants and their commerce. "To honor our captain," he says, "they conducted him to their boats where they had their merchandise, which consisted of cloves, cinnamon, pepper, nutmegs, mace, gold and other things; and they made us understand by gestures that such articles were to be found in the islands to which we were going."

Further on he speaks of the vessels and utensils of solid gold that he found in Butuan where the people worked in mines. He describes the silk dresses, the daggers with long gold hilts and scabbards of carved wood, the gold sets of teeth, etc. Among cereals and fruits he mentions rice, millet, oranges, lemons, panicum, etc.

That the islands maintained relations with neighboring countries and even with distant ones is proven by the ships from Siam, laden with gold and slaves, that Magellan found in Cebu. These ships paid certain duties to the king of the island. In the same year, 1521, the survivors of Magellan's expedition met the son of the Rajah of Luzon, who, as captain-general of the Sultan of Borneo and admiral of his fleet, had conquered for him the great city of Lave (Sarawak ?). Might this captain, who was greatly feared by all his foes, have been the Rajah Matanda whom the Spaniards afterwards encountered in Tondo in 1570?

In 1539 the warriors of Luzon took part in the formidable contests of Sumatra, and under the orders of Angi Sity Timor, Rajah of Batta, conquered and overthrew the terrible Alzadin, Sultan of Atchin, renowned in the historical annals of the Far East. (Marseen, History of Sumatra, chapter 20)

At that time, that sea where float the islands like a set of emeralds on a paten of bright glass, that sea was everywhere traversed by junks, paraus, barangays, vintas, vessels swift as shuttles so large that they could maintain a hundred rowers on a side (Morga); that sea bore everywhere commerce, industry, agriculture, by the force of the oars moved to the sound of warlike songs of the genealogies and achievements of the Philippine divinities. (Colin, Chapter 15)

Wealth abounded in the islands. Pigafetta tells us of the abundance of foodstuffs in Pragua and of its inhabitants, who nearly all tilled their own fields. At this island the survivors of Magellan's expedition were well received and provisioned. A little later, these same survivors captured a vessel, plundered and sacked it and took prisoner in it the chief of the Island of Paragua with his son and brother.

In this same vessel they captured bronze lombards, and this is the first mention of artillery of the Filipino, for these lombards were useful to the chief of Paragua against the savages of the interior.

They let him ransom himself within seven days, demanding 400 measures (cavanes ?) of rice, 20 pigs, 20 goats, and 450 chickens. This is the first act of piracy recorded in Philippine history. The chief of Paragua paid everything, and moreover, voluntarily added coconuts, bananas, and sugar-cane jars filled with palm wine. When Caesar was taken prisoner by the corsairs and required to pay twenty-five talents ransom, he replied, "I'll give you fifty, but later I'll have you crucified!" The chief of Paragua was more generous: he forgot. His conduct, while it may reveal weakness, also demonstrates that the islands ere abundantly provisioned. This chief was named Tuan Mahamud; his brother, Guantil, and his son, Tuan Mahamud. (Martin Mendez, Purser of the ship Victoria: Archivo de Indias.)

A very extraordinary thing, and one that shows the facility with which the natives learned Spanish, is that fifty years before the arrival of the Spaniards in Luzon, in that very year 1521, when they first came to the islands, there were already natives of Luzon who understood Castilian. In the treaties of peace that the survivors of Magellan's expedition made with the chief of Paragua, when the servant-interpreter died they communicated with one another through a Moro who had been captured in the island of the King of Luzon and who understood some Spanish (Martin Mendez; op cit.) Where did this extemporaneous interpreter learn Castilian? In the Moluccas? In Malacca, with the Portuguese? Spaniards did not reach Luzon until 1571.

Legazpi's expedition met in Butuan various traders of Luzon with their boats laden with iron, cloths, porcelain, etc. (Gaspar de San Agustin) plenty of provisions, activity, trade, movement in all the southern islands.

They arrived at the Island of Cebu, "abounding in provisions, with mines and washings of gold, and peopled with natives, "as Morga says: "very populous, and at a port frequented by many ships that came from the islands and kingdoms near India," as Colin says: and even though they were peacefully received discord soon arose. The city was taken by force and burned. The first destroyed the food supplies and naturally famine broke out in that town of a hundred thousand people, as the historians say, and among the members of the expedition, but the neighboring islands quickly relieved the need, thanks to the abundance they enjoyed.

All the histories of those first years, in short, abound in long accounts about the industry and agriculture of the natives; mines, gold-washings, looms, farms, barter, naval construction, raising of poultry and stock, weaving of silk and cotton, distilleries, manufactures of arms, pearl fisheries, the civet industry, the horn and hide industry, etc., are things encountered at every step, and considering the time and the conditions in the islands, prove that there was life, there was activity, there was movement.

And if this, which is deduction, does not convince any minds imbued with unfair prejudices perhaps, of some avail may be the testimony of the oft-quoted Dr. Morga, who was Lieutenant-Governor of Manila for seven years and after rendering great service in the Archipelago was appointed criminal judge of the Audiencia of Mexico and Counselor of the Inquisition. His testimony, we say, is highly credible, not only because all his contemporaries have spoken of him in terms that border on veneration but also because his work, from which we take these citations, is written with great circumspection and care, as well with reference to the authorities in the Philippines as to the errors they committed. "The natives," says Morga, in Chapter Seven, speaking of the occupations of the Chinese, "are very far from exercising those trade and have forgotten much about farming, raising poultry, stock and cotton, and weaving cloth. As they used to do in their Paganism and for a long time after the country was conquered."

The whole Chapter 8 of his work deals with this moribund activity, this much forgotten industry, and yet in spite of that, how long is his eighth chapter!

And not only Morga, not also Chirinco, Colin, Argensola, Gaspar de San Agustin and others agree to this matter, but modern travelers, after two hundred and fifty years, examining the decadence and misery, assert the same thing. Dr. Hans Meyer, when he saw the tribes not subdued cultivating beautiful fields and working energetically, asked if they would not become indolent when they in turn should accept Christianity and a paternal government.

Accordingly, the Filipinos in spite of the climate, in spite of their few needs (they were less then than now), were not the indolent creatures of our time, and, as we shall see later on, their ethics and their mode of life were not what is not complacently attributed to them.

How then, and in what way, was that active and enterprising infidel native of ancient times converted into the lazy and indolent Christian, as our contemporary writers say?

We have already spoken of the more or less latent predisposition which exists in the Philippines toward indolence, and which must exist everywhere, in the whole world, in all men, because we all hate work more or less, as it may be more or less hard, more ore less unproductive. The dolce far niente of the Italian, the rascarse la barriga of the Spaniard, the supreme aspiration of the bourgeois to live on his income in peace and tranquility, attest this.

What causes operated to awake this terrible predisposition from its lethargy? How is it that the Filipino people, so fond of its customs as to border on routine, has given up its ancient habits of work, of trade, of navigation, etc., even to the extent of completely forgetting its past?



PART THREE: A fatal combination of circumstances, some independent of the will in spite of men's efforts, others in offspring of stupidity and ignorance, others the inevitable corollaries of false principles, and still others the result of more or less base passions, has induced the decline of labor, an evil which instead of being remedies by prudence, mature reflection and recognition of the mistakes made, through a deplorable policy, through regrettable blindness and obstinacy, has gone from bad to worse until it has reached the condition in which we now see it.

First came the wars, the internal disorders which the new change of affairs naturally brought with it. It was necessary to subject the people either by cajolery or force; there were fights, there was slaughter; those who had submitted peacefully seemed to repent of it; insurrections were suspected, and some occurred; naturally there were executions, and many capable laborers perished. Add to this condition of disorder the invasion of Li-Mahong; add continual wars into which the inhabitants of the Philippines were pledged to maintain the honor of Spain, to extend the sway of her flag in Borneo, in the Moluccas and in Indo-China; to repel the Dutch foe; costly wars, fruitless expeditions, in which each time thousands and thousands of native archers and rowers were recorded to have embarked, but whether they returned to their homes was never stated. Like the tribute that once upon a time Greece sent to the Minotaur of Crete, the Philippine youth embarked for the expedition, saying goodbye to their country forever; on their horizon were the stormy sea, the interminable wars, the rash expeditions. Wherefore, Gaspar de San Agustin says: "Although anciently there were in this town of Dumangas many people, in the course of time they have very greatly diminished because the natives are the best sailors and most skillful rowers on the whole coast, and so the governors in the port of Iloilo take most of the people from this town for the ships that they send abroad . . . When the Spaniards reached this island (Panay) it is said that there were on it more than fifty thousand families; but these diminished greatly . . . and at present they may amount to some fourteen thousand tributaries." From fifty thousand families to fourteen thousand tributaries in little over half a century!

We would never get through, had we to quote all the evidence of the authors regarding the frightful diminution of the inhabitants of the Philippines in the first years after the discovery. In the time of their first bishop, that is, ten years after Legazpi. Philip II said that they had been reduced to less than two-thirds.

Add to these fatal expeditions that wasted all the moral and material energies of the country, the frightful inroads of the terrible pirates from the south, instigated and encouraged by the government, first in order to get a complaint and afterwards disarm the islands subjected to it, inroads that reached the very shores of Manila, even Malate itself, and during which were sen to set out for captivity and slavery, in the baleful glow of burning villages, strings of wretches who had been unable to defend themselves, leaving behind them the ashes of their homes and the corpses of their parents and children. Morga, who recounts the first piratical invasion, says: "The boldness of these people of Mindanao did great damage to the Visayan Island, as much by what they did in them as by the fear and fright which the native acquired, because the latter were in the power of the Spaniards who held them subject and tributary and unarmed, in such manner that they did not protect them from their enemies or leave the means with which to defend themselves, AS THEY DID WHEN THERE WERE NO SPANIARDS IN THE COUNTRY." These piratical attacks continually reduce the number of the inhabitants of the Philippines, since the independent Malays were especially notorious for their atrocities and murders, sometimes because they believed that to preserve their independence it was necessary to weaken the Spaniard by reducing the number of his subjects, sometimes because a greater hatred and a deeper resentment inspired them against the Christian Filipino who, being of their own race, served the stranger in order to deprive them of their precious liberty. These expeditions lasted about three centuries, being repeated five and ten times a year, and each expedition cost the island over eight hundred prisoners.

"With the invasions of the pirates from Sulu and Mindanao," says Padre Gaspar de San Agustin, (the island of Bantayan, near Cebu) "has greatly reduced, because they easily captured the people there, since the latter had no place to fortify themselves and were far from help from Cebu. The hostile Sulus did great damage in this island in 1608, leaving it almost depopulated." (Page 380)

These rough attacks, coming from without, produced a counter effect in the interior, which, carried out medical comparisons was like a purge or diet in an individual who has just lost a great deal of blood. In order to make headway against so many calamities, to secure their sovereignty and take the offensive in these disastrous contests, to isolate the warlike Sulus from their neighbors in the south, to care for the needs of the empire of the Indies (for one of the reasons why the Philippines were kept, as contemporary documents prove, ws their strategic position between New Spain and the Indies), to wrest from the Dutch their growing colonies of the Molluccas and get red of some troublesome neighbors, to maintain, in short, the trade of China and New Spain, it was necessary to construct new and large ships which, as we have seen, costly as they were to the country for their equipment and the rowers they required, were not less so because of the manner in which they were constructed. Padre Fernando de lost Rios Coronel, who fought in these wards and later turned priest, speaking of these King's ships, said, "As they were so large, the timber needed was scarcely to be found in the forests (of the Philippines?), and thus it was necessary to seek it with great difficulty in the most remote of them, where, once found, in order to haul and convey it to the shipyard the towns of the surrounding country had to be depopulated of natives, who get it out with immense labor, damage, and cost to them. The natives furnished the masts for a galleon, according to the assertion of the Franciscans, and I heard the governor of the province where they were cut, which is Laguna de Bay, say that to haul them seven leagues over very broken mountains 6,000 natives were engaged three months, without furnishing them food, which the wretched native had to seek for himself!"

And Gaspar de San Agustin says: "In these times (1690), Bacolor has not the people that it had in the past because of the uprising in that province when Don Sabiniano Manrique de Lara was Governor of these islands and because of the continual labor of cutting timber for his Majesty's shipyards, which hinders them from cultivating the very fertile plain they have.

If this is not sufficient to explain the depopulation of the islands and the abandonment of industry, agriculture and commerce, then add "the natives who were executed, those who left their wives and children and fled in disgust to the mountains, those who were sold into slavery to pay the taxes levied upon them," as Fernando de los Rios Coronel says; add to all this what Philip II said in reprimanding Bishop Salazar about "natives sold to some encomenderos to others, those flogged to death, the women who are crushed to death by their heavy burdens, those who sleep in the fields and bear and nurse their children and die bitten by poisonous vermin, the many who are executed and left to die of hunger and those who eat poisonous herbs . . . and the mothers who kill their children in bearing them," and you will understand how in less than thirty years the population of the Philippines was reduced one-third. We are not saying this: it was said by Gaspar de San Agustin, the preeminently anti-Filipino Augustinian, and he confirms it throughout the rest of his work by speaking every moment of the state of neglect in which lay the farms and field once so flourishing and so well cultivated, the town thinned that had formerly been inhabited by many leading families!

How is it strange, then, that discouragement may have been infused into the spirit of the inhabitants of the Philippines, when in the midst of so many calamities they did not know whether they would see sprout the seed they were planting, whether their field was going to be their grave or their crop would go to feed their executioner? What is there strange in it, when we see the pious but impotent friars of that time trying to free their poor parishioners from the tyranny of the encomenderos by advising them to stop work in the mines, to abandon their commerce, to break up their looms, pointing out to them heaven for their whole hope, preparing them for death as their only consolation?

Man works for an object. Remove the object and you reduce him to inaction. The most active man in the world will fold his arms from the instant he understands that it is madness to bestir himself, that this work will be the cause of his trouble, that for him it will be the cause of vexations at home and of the pirate's greed abroad. It seems that these thoughts have never entered the minds of those who cry out against the indolence of the Filipinos.

Even were the Filipino not a man like the rest, even were we to suppose that zeal in him for work was as essential as the movement of a wheel caught in the gearing of others in motion; even were we to deny him foresight and the judgment that the past and present form, there would still be left us another reason to explain the attack of the evil. The abandonment of the fields by their cultivators, whom the wars and piratical attacks dragged from their homes was sufficient to reduce to nothing the hard labor of so many generations. In the Philippines abandon for a year the land most beautifully tended and you will see how you will have to begin all over again: the rain will wipe out the furrows, the floods will drown the seeds, pants and bushes will grow up everywhere, and on seeing so much useless labor the hand will drop the hoe, the laborer will desert his plow. Isn't there left the fine life of the pirate?

Thus is understood that sad discouragement which we find in the friar writers of the 17th century, speaking of once very fertile plains submerged, of provinces and towns depopulate, of leading families exterminated. These pages resemble a sad and monotonous scene in the night after a lively day. Of Cagayan, Padre Agustin speaks with mournful brevity: "A great deal of cotton, of which they made good cloth that the Chinese and Japanese every year bought and carried away." In the historian's time, the industry and the trade had come to an end.

It seems that there are causes more than sufficient to breed indolence in the midst of a beehive. Thus is explained why, after thirty-two years of the system, the circumspect and prudent Morga said that the natives have forgotten much about farming, raising poultry, stock and cotton and weaving cloth, as they used to do in their paganism and for a long time after the country had been conquered!"

Still they struggled a long time against indolence, yes: but their enemies were so numerous that at last they gave up!

PART FOUR: We recognize the causes that awoke the predisposition and provoked the evil: now let us see what foster and sustain it. In this connection government and governed have to bow our heads and say: "We deserve our fate."

We have already truly said that when a house becomes disturbed and disordered, we should not accuse the youngest child or the servants, but the head of it, especially if his authority is unlimited. He who does not act freely is not responsible for his actions; and the Filipino people, not being master of its liberty, is not responsible for either its misfortunes or its woes. We say this, it is true, but, as well as seen later on, we also have a large part in the continuation of such a disorder.

The following other causes contributed to foster the evil and aggravate it; the constantly lessening encouragement that labor has met with in the Philippines. Fearing to have the Filipinos deal frequently with other individuals of their own race, who were free and independent, as the Borneans, the Siamese, the Cambodians, and the Japanese, people who in their customs and feeling differ greatly from the Chinese, the government acted toward these others with great mistrust and great severity, as Morga testifies in the last pages of his work, until they finally ceased to come to the country. In fact, it seems that once an uprising planned by he Borneans was suspected: we say; suspected, for there was not even an attempt, although there were many executions. And as thse nations wee the very ones that consumed Philippine products, when all communication with them had been cut off, consumption of these products also ceased. The only two countries with which the Philippines continued to have relations were China and Mexico, or New Spain, and from this trade only China and a few private individuals in Manila got any benefit. In fact, the Celestial Empire sent her junks laden with merchandise, that merchandise which shut down the factories of Seville and ruined the Spanish industry, and returned laden in exchange with the silver that was every year sent from Mexico. Nothing from the Philippines at that time went to China, not even gold, for in those years the Chinese trades would accept no payment but silver coin. To Mexico went a little more: some cloth and dry goods which the encomenderos took by force or bought from the natives at a paltry; price, wax, amber, gold, civet, etc; but nothing more, and not even in great quantity, as is stated by Admiral Don Jeronimo de Benelos y Carrilo, when he begged the King that "the inhabitants of the Manilas be permitted (1) to load as many ships as they could with native products, such as wax, gold, perfumes, ivory, cotton cloths, which they would have to buy from the natives of the country. . . Thus friendship of these peoples would be gained, they would furnish New Spain with their merchandise and the money that is brought to Manila would not leave this place."

The coastwise trade, so active in other times, had to die out, thanks to the piratical attacks of the Malays of the south; and trade in the interior of the islands almost entirely disappeared, owing to restrictions, passports and other administrative requirements.

Of no little importance were the hindrance and obstacles that from the beginning were thrown in the farmer's way by the rules, who were influenced by childish fear and saw everywhere signs of conspiracies and uprisings. The natives were not allowed to go to their labors, that is, their farms, without permission of the governor, or of his agents and officers, and even of the priests as Morga says. Those who know the administrative slackness and confusion in a country where the officials work scarcely two hours a day; those who know the cost of going to and returning form the capital to the little tyrants will well understand how with this crude arrangement it is possible to have the most absurd agriculture. True it is that for sometime this absurdity which would be ludicrous had it not been so serious, had disappeared; but even if the words have gone out of use other facts and other provisions have replaced them. The Moro pirate has disappeared but there remains the outlaw who infests the fields and waylays the farmer to hold him for ransom. Now then, the government, which has a constant fear of the people, denies to the farmers even the use of a shotgun, or if it does allow it does so very grudgingly and withdraws it at pleasure; whence it results with the laborer, who, thanks to his means of defense, plants his crops and invests his meager fortune in the furrows that he has so laboriously opened, that when his crop matures it occurs to the government, which is impotent to suppress brigandage, to deprive him of his weapon; and then, without defense and without security, he is reduced to inaction and abandons his field, his work, and takes to gambling as the best means of securing a livelihood. The green cloth is under the protection of the government, it is safer! A mournful counselor is fear, for it not only causes weakness but also in casting aside the weapons, strengthens the very persecutor!

The sordid return the native gets from his work has the effect of discouraging him. We know from history that the encomenderos, after reducing many to slavery and forcing them to work for their benefit, made others give up their merchandise for a trife or nothing at all, or cheated them with the measures.

Speaking of Ipion, in Panay, Padre Gaspar de San Agustin says: "It was in ancient times very rich in gold . . . but provoked by he annoyances they suffered from some governors they have ceased to get it out, preferring to live in poverty than to suffer such hardships." (page 378) Further on, speaking of other towns, he says: "Boaded by ill treatment of the encomenderos who in administering justice have treated the natives as thier slaves and not as their children, and have only looked after their own interests at the expense of the wretched fortunes and lives of their charges. . . (Page 422) Further on, "In Leyte, they tried to kill an encomendero of the town of Dagami on account of the great hardships he made them suffer by exacting tribute of wax from them with a steelyard which he had made twice as long as others. . ."

This state of affairs lasted a long time and still lasts, in spite of the fact that the breed of encomenderos has become extinct. A term passes away but the evil and the passions engendered do not pass away so long as reforms are devoted solely to changing the names.

The wars with the Dutch, the inroads and piratical attacks of the people of Sulu land Mindanao disappeared; the people have been transformed; new towns have grown up while others have become impoverished; but the frauds subsisted as much as or worse than they did in those early years. We will not cite our own experiences for aside from the fact that we do not know which to select, critical persons may reproach us with partiality; neither will we cite those of other Filipinos who write in the newspapers, but we shall confine ourselves to translating the words of a modern French traveler who as in the Philippines for a long time.

"The good curate," he says with reference to the rosy picture a friar had given him of the Philippines, "had not told me about the governor, the foremost official of the district, who was too much taken up with the ideal of getting rich to have time to tyrannize over his docile subjects; the governor, charged with ruling the country and collecting the various taxes in the government's name, devoted himself almost wholly to trade; in his hands the high and noble functions he performs are nothing more than instruments of gain. He monopolizes all the business and instead of developing on his part the love of work, instead of stimulating the too natural indolence of the natives, he with abuse of his powers thinks only of destroying all competition that may trouble him or attempts to participate in his profits. It maters little to him that the country is impoverished, without cultivation, without commerce, without industry, just so the governor is quickly enriched."

Yet the traveler has been unfair in picking out the governor especially. Why only the governor?

We do not cite passages from other authors, because we have not their works at hand and do not wish to quote from memory.

The great difficulty that every enterprise encountered with the administration contributed not a little to kill off all commercial and industrial movement. All the Filipinos, as well as all those who have tried to engage in business in the Philippines, know how many documents, what comings, how many stamped papers, how much patience is needed to secure from the government a permit for an enterprise. One must count upon the good will of this one, on the influence of that one, on a good bribe to another in order that the application be not pigeon-holed, a present to the one further on so that it may pass it on to his chief; one must pray to God to give him good humor and time to see and examine it; to another, talent to recognize its expediency; to one further on sufficient stupidity not to scent behind the enterprise an insurrectionary purpose land that they may not all spend the time taking baths, hunting or playing cards with the reverend friars in their convents or country houses. And above all, great patience, great knowledge of how to get along, plenty of money, a great deal of politics, many salutations, great influence, plenty of presents and complete resignation! How is it strange that the Philippines remain poor in spite of the fertile soil, when history tells us that the countries now the most flourishing date their development from the day of their liberty and civil rights? The most commercial and most industrious countries have been the freest countries. France, England and the United States prove this. Hong Kong, which is not worth the most insignificant of the Philippines, has more commercial movement than all the islands together, because it is free and is well governed.

The trade with China, which was the whole occupation of the colonizers of the Philippines, was not only prejudicial to Spain but also the life of her colonies; in fact, when the officials and private persons in Manila found an easy method of getting rich they neglected everything. They paid no attention either to cultivating the soil or to fostering industry; and wherefore? China furnished the trade, and they had only to take advantage of it and pick up the gold that dropped out on its way from Mexico toward the interior of China, the gulf whence it never returned. The pernicious example of the dominators in surrounding themselves with servants and despising manual or corporal labor as a thing unbecoming the nobility and chivalrous pride of the heroes of so many centuries; those lordly airs, which the natives have translated into tila ka castila, and the desire of the dominated to be the equal of the dominators, if not essentially, at least in their manners; all this had naturally to produce aversion to activity and fear or hatred of work.

Moreover, "Why work?" asked the natives. The curate says that the rich man will not go to heaven. The rich man on earth is liable to all kinds of trouble, to be appointed a cabeza de barangay, to be deported if an uprising occurs, to be forced banker of the military chief of the town, who to reward him for favors received seizes his laborers and his stock in order to force him to beg money and thus easily pays up. Why be rich? So that all the officers of justice may have a lynx eye on your actions, so that at the least slip enemies may be raised up against you, you may be indicted, a whole complicated and labyrinthine story may be concocted against you, for which you can only get away, not by the tread of Ariadme but by Dane's shower of gold, and still give thanks that you are not kept in reserve for some needy occasion. The native, whom they pretend to regard as an imbecile, is not so much so that he does not understand that it is ridiculous to work himself to death to become worse off. A proverb of his says the pig is cooked in its own lard, and as among his bad qualities he has the good one of applying to himself all the criticisms and censures he refers to live miserable and indolent rather than play the part of the wretched beast of burden.

Add to this the introduction of gambling. We do not mean to say that before the coming of the Spaniards the natives did not gamble: the passion for gambling is innate in adventuresome and excitable races, and such is the Malay, Pigafetta tells us of cockfights and of bets in the Island of Paragua. Cock-fighting must also have existed in Luzon and in all the islands, for in the terminology of the game are two Tagalog words: sabong and tari (cockpit and gaff). But there is not the least doubt that the fostering of this game is due to the government, as well as the perfecting of it. Although Pigafetta tells us of it, he mentions it only in Paragua, and ot in Cebu nor in any other island of the south, where he stayed a long time. Morga does not speak of it, in spite of his having spent seven years in Manila, and yet he does describe the kinds of fowl, the jungle hens and cocks. Neither does Morga speak of gambling, when he talks about vices and other defects, more or lest concealed, more or less insignificant. Moreover excepting the two Tagalog words sabong and tari, the others are of Spanish origan as soltada (setting the cocks to fight, then the fight itself), pusta (apusta, bet), logro (winning), pago (payment), etc. We say the same about gamblilng; the word sugal (jugar, to gamble), like kumpistal (confesar, to confess to a priest), indicates that gambling was unknown in the Philippines before the Spaniards. The word laro (Tagalog: to play) is not the equivalent of the word sugal. The word play (baraja, playing card) proves that the introduction of playing cards was not due to the Chinese, who have a kind of playing cards also, because in that case they would have taken the Chinese name. l Is nto this enough? The word taya (tallar, to bet), paris-paris (Spanish, pares, pairs of cards), politana (napolitana a winning sequence of cards), sapote (to stack the cards), kapote (to slam), monte, and so on, all prove the foreign origin of this terrible plant, which only produces vice and which has found in the character of the native a fit soil, cultivated circumstances.

Along with gambling, which breeds dislike for steady and difficult toil by its promise of sudden wealth and its appeal to the emotions, with the lotteries, with the prodigality and hospitality of the Filipinos, went also, to swell the train of misfortunes, the religious functions, the great number of fiestas, the long masses for the women to spend their mornings and the novenaries to spend their afternoons, and the nights for the processions and rosaries. Remember, that lack of capital and absence of means paralyze all movement, and you will see how the native was perforce to be indolent for if any money might remain to him from the trials, imposts and exactions, he would have to give it to the curate for bulls, scapularies, candles, novenaries, etc. And if this does not suffice to form an indolent character, if the climate and nature are not enough in themselves to daze him and deprive him of all energy, recall then that the doctrine of his religion teach him to irrigate his fields in the dry season, not by means of canals but with amasses and prayers; to preserve his stock during an epidemic with holy water, exorcisms and benedictions that cost five dollars an animal, to drive away the locusts by a procession with the image of St. Augustine, etc. It is well, undoubtedly, to trust greatly in God; but it is better to do what one can not trouble the Creator every moment, even when these appeals redound to the benefit of His ministers. We have noticed that the countries which believe most in miracles are the laziest, just as spoiled children are the most ill-mannered. Whether they believe in miracles to palliate their laziness or they are lazy because they believe in miracles, we cannot say; but he fact is the Filipinos were much less lazy before the word miracle was introduced into their language.

The facility with which individual liberty is curtailed, that continual alarm of all from the knowledge that they are liable to a secret report, a governmental ukase, and to the accusation of rebel or suspect, an accusation which, to be effective, does not need proof or the production of the accuser. With the lack of confidence in the future, that uncertainty of reaping the reward of labor, as in a city stricken with plague, everybody yields to fate, shuts himself in his house or goes about amusing himself in an attempt to spend the few days that remain to him in the least disagreeable way possible.

The apathy of the government itself toward everything in commerce and agriculture contributes not a little to foster indolence. Three is no encouragement at all for the manufacturer or for the farmer, the government furnishes no aid either when a poor crop comers, when the locusts sweep over the fields, or when cyclone destroys in its passage the wealth of the soil; nor does it take any trouble to seek a market for the products of its colonies. Why should it do so when these same products are burdened with taxes and imposts and have no free entry into the ports of the mother country, nor is their consumption there encouraged? While we see all the walls of London covered with advertisements of the products of its colonies, while the English make heroic efforts to substitute Ceylon for Chinese tea, beginning with the sacrifice of their taste and their stomach, in Spain, with the exception of tobacco, nothing from the Philippines is known; neither its sugar, coffee, hemp, fine cloths, nor its Ilocano blankets. The name of Manila is known only from those cloths of China or Indo-China which at one time reached Spain by way of Manila, heavy silk shawls, fantastically but coarsely embroidered, which no one has thought of imitating in Manila since they are so easily made; but the government has other cares, and the Filipinos do not know that such objects are more highly esteemed in the Peninsula than their delicate piña embroideries and their vey fine jusi fabrics. Thus disappeared our trade in indigo, thanks to the trickery of the Chinese, which the government could not guard against, occupied as it was with other thoughts; thus die now the other industries, the fine manufacturers of the Visayas are gradually disappearing from trade and even from use; the people, continually getting poorer, cannot afford the costly cloths, and have to be contented with calico or the imitations of the Germans, who produce imitations even of the work of our silversmiths.

The fact that the best plantations, the best tracts of land in some provinces, those that from their easy access are more profitable than others, are in the hands of the religious corporations, whose desideratum is ignorance and condition of semi-starvation of the native, so that they may, continue to govern him and make themselves necessary to his wretched existence, is one of the reasons why many tows do not progress in spite of the efforts of their inhabitants. We will be met with the objection, as an argument on the other side, that the towns which belong to the friars are comparatively richer than those which do not belong to them. They surely are! just as their brethren in Europe, in founding their convents, knew how to select the best valleys, the best uplands for the cultivation of the vine or the production of beer, so also the Philippine monks have known how to selecte the best towns, the beautiful plains, the well-watered fields, to make of them rich plantations. For some time the friars have deceived many by making them believe that if these plantations were prospering, it was because they were under their care, and the indolence of the natives was thus emphasized; but they forget that in some provinces where they have not been able for some reason to get possession of the best tracts of land, their plantations, like Bauan and Liang, are inferior to Taal, Balayan, and Lipa, regions cultivated entirely by the natives without any monkish interference whatsoever.

Add to this lack of material inducement the absence of moral stimulus and you will see how he who is not indolent in that country must needs be a madman or at least a fool. What future awaits him who distinguishes himself, him who studies, who rise above the crowd? At the cost of study and sacrifice a young man becomes a great chemist, and after a long course of training, wherein neither the government nor anybody has given him the least help, he concludes his long stay in the University. A competitive examination is held to fill a certain position. The young man wins this through knowledge and perseverance, and after he has won it, it is abolished, because. . . we do not care to give the reason, but when a municipal laboratory is closed in order to abolish the position of director, who got his place by competitive examination, while other officers, such as the press censor, are preserved, it is because the belief exists that the light of progress may injure the people more than all the adulterated foods. In the same way, another young man won a a prize in a literary competition, and as long as his origin was unknown his work was discussed, the newspapers praised it and it was regarded as a masterpiece but the sealed envelopes were opened, the winner proved to be a native, while among the losers there are Peninsulars; then all the newspapers hasten to extol the losers! Not one word from the government, nor from anybody, to encourage the native who with so much affection has cultivated the language and letters of the mother country!

Finally passing over many other more or less insignificant reasons, the enumeration of which would be interminable, let us close this dreary list with the principal and most terrible of all: the education of the native.

From his birth until he sinks into his grave, the training of the native is brutalizing, depressive and anti-human (the word "inhuman" is not sufficiently explanatory; whether or not the Academy admits it, let it go). There is no doubt that the government, some priests like the Jesuits and some Dominicans like Padre Benavides, have done a great deal by founding colleges, schools of primary instruction, and the like. But this is not enough; their efforts is neutralized. They amount ot five or ten years (years of a hundred and fifty days at most) during which the youth comes in contact with books selected by those very priests who boldly proclaim that it is evil for the natives to know Castilian, that the native should not be separated from his carabao, that he should not value any further aspirations, and so on; five to ten years during which the majority of the students have grasped nothing more than that no one understands what the books say, nor even the professors themselves perhaps; and these five to ten years have no offset the daily preachment which lowers the dignity of man, which by degrees brutally deprives him of the sentiment of self-esteem, that eternal, stubborn, constant labor to bow the native's neck, to make him accept the yoke, to place him on a level with the beast -- a labor aided by some persons, with or without the ability to write, which if it does not produce in some individuals the desired effect in others it has the opposite effect, like that of breaking of a cord that is stretched too tightly. Thus while they attempt to make of the native a kind of animal, yet in exchange they demand of him divine actions. And we say divine actions, because he must be a god who does not become indolent in that climate, surrounded by the circumstances mentioned. Deprive a man, then, of his dignity, and you not only deprive him of his moral strength but you also make useless for those who wish to make use of him. Every creature has its stimulus, its mainspring; man's is his self-esteem. Take it away from him and he is a corpse, and he who seeks activity in a corpse will encounter only worms.

Thus is explained how the natives of the present time are no longer the same as those of the time of the discovery, neither morally nor physically.

The ancient writers, like Chirino, Morga, and Colin, take pleasure in describing them a well-featured, with good aptitudes for any thing they take up, keen and susceptible and of resolute will, very clean and neat in their persons and clothing, and of good mien and bearing (Morga). Others delight in minute accounts of their intelligence and pleasant manners, of their aptitude for music, the drama, dancing and singing, of the faculty with which they learned, not only Spanish but also Latin, which they acquired almost by themselves (Colin); others of their exquisite politeness in their dealings and in their social life, others, like the first Augustinians, whose accounts Gaspar de San Agustin copies, found them more gallant and better mannered than the inhabitants of the Moluccas. "All live off their husbandry," adds Morga, "their farms, fisheries and enterprises, for they travel from island to island by sea and from province to province by land."

In exchange, the writers of the present time, without being more gallant than Herman Cortez and Salcedo, nor more prudent than Legazpi, nor more manly than Morga, nor more prudent than Colin and Gaspar de San Agustin, our contemporary writers we say find that the native is a creature something more than a monkey but much less than a man, an anthropoid, dull-witted, stupid, timid, dirty, cringing, ill-clothed, indolent, lazy brainless, immoral, etc. etc.

To what is this retrogression due? Is it the delectable civilization, the religion of salvation of the friars, called of Jesus Christ by euphemism, that has produced this miracle that has atrophied his brain, paralyzed his heart and made of the man this sort of vicious animal that the writers depict?

Alas! The whole misfortune of the present Filipinos consists in that they have become only half-way brutes. The Filipino is convinced that to get happiness it is necessary for him to lay aside his dignity as a rational creature, to attend mass, to believe what is told him, to pay what is demanded of him, to pay and forever to pay; to work, suffer, and be silent, without aspiring any thing, without aspiring to know or even to understand Spanish, without separating himself from his carabao, as the priests shamelessly say, without protesting against any injustice, against any arbitrary action, against an assault, against an insult; that is, not to have heart, brain, or spirit; a creature with arms and a purse of gold. . . there's the ideal native! unfortunately, or because of the brutalization is not yet complete and because the nature of man is inherent in his being in spite of his condition, the native protests; he still has aspirations, he thinks and strives to rise, and there's the trouble!



PART FIVE: In the preceding chapter we set forth the causes that proceed from the government in fostering and maintaining the evil we are discussing. Now it falls to us to analyze those that emanate from the people. Peoples and governments are correlated and complementary: a stupid government would be an anomaly among righteous people, just as a corrupt people cannot exist under just rulers and wise laws. Like people, like government, we will say in paraphrase of a popular adage.

We can reduce all these causes to two classes: to defects of training and lack of national sentiment.

Of the influence of climate we spoke at the beginning, so we will now treat of the effects arising from it.

The very limited training in the home, the tyrannical and sterile education of the rare centers of learning that blind subordination of the youth to one of greater age, influence the mind so that a man may not aspire to excel those who preceded him but must merely be content to go along with a march behind them. Stagnation forcibly results from this, and as he who devotes himself merely to copying divests himself of other qualities suited to his own nature, he naturally becomes sterile; hence decadence. Indolence is a corollary derived from the lack of stimulus and of vitality.

That modesty infused into the convictions of everyone, or, to speak more clearly, that insinuated inferiority, a sort of daily and constant depreciation of the mind so that it may not be raised to the regions of life, deadens the energies, paralyzes all tendencies toward advancement, and of the least struggle a man gives up without fighting. If by one of those rare incidents, some wild spirit, that is some active one, excels, instead of his example stimulating, it only causes others to persist in their inaction. "There's one who will work for us; let's sleep on!" say his relatives and friends. True it is that the spirit of rivalry is sometimes awakened, only that then it awakens with bad humor in the guise of envy, and instead of being a lever for helping, it is an obstacle that produces discouragement.

Nurtured by the example of anchorites of a contemplative and lazy life, the natives spend theirs in giving their gold to the Church in the hope of miracles and other wonderful things. Their will is hypnotized: from childhood they learned to act mechanically, without knowledge of the object, thanks to the exercise imposed upon them from the most tender years of praying for whole hours in an unknown tongue, of venerating things that they do not understand, of accepting beliefs that are not explained to them, to having absurdities imposed upon them, while the protests of reason are repressed. Is it any wonder that with this vicious dressage of intelligence and will the native, of old logical and consistent -- as the analysis of his past and of his language demonstrates -- should now be a mass of dismal contradictions? That continual struggle between reason and duty, between his organism and his new ideals, that civil war which disturbs the peace of his conscience
          After Draftless Decade of War, Gap Seen Between Military, Civilians   

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JUDY WOODRUFF: Now, after a decade of the United States at war, Margaret Warner talks with some who have gone to the battlefield and with some who have stayed behind, as a new Pew Research poll documents the gulf between them.

MARGARET WARNER: It’s another busy day for 31-year-old college senior Sean Grove (ph). After five years in the Army, including 12 months in Iraq, he left to pursue a second college degree at the University of Maryland. He also works assisting the 800 or so veterans on this campus of 35,000. But whether he’s there or at home, Grove feels disconnected from fellow students who haven’t served.

MAN: On my block, I’m the only one with an American flag hanging out front. I remember when I got out and talked to other guys my age, they weren’t in the military. And I was, like, kind of shocked, like, what, you have never served in the military?

MARGARET WARNER: Chances are, they didn’t. The 10 years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq triggered by the 9/11 attacks have been the longest period of sustained combat in U.S. history, yet fought with an all-volunteer force. That’s meant only about half of 1 percent of Americans have been on active duty at any one time in the decade, a mere fraction of the 9 percent who served at the height of World War II.

To mark tomorrow’s 10th anniversary of the start of the Afghan war, a new poll from the Pew Research Center explores this recent military civilian gap in service and how it’s affected attitudes about war and sacrifice in the post-9/11 era.

Among both groups Pew found great respect for those who fought — 96 percent of 9/11 era vets feel proud of their service. And 91 percent of the public, whatever their attitudes on the wars, feel proud of those who served.

But 44 percent of this generation of vets report trouble adjusting to civilian life, far more than after past wars. And more than 70 percent of vets and non-vets alike agree that the American people don’t understand the problems these modern era vets face.

To explore those findings we visited two groups of students on the University of Maryland campus this week. The veterans at Maryland ranged in age, rank and experience. But all said their military service had changed them for the better.

First-generation American Henry Carbajales enlisted in the Marines a year after 9/11. A communication specialist for eight years, including 22 months in Iraq, he’s now back as a freshman studying computer science.

HENRY CARBAJALES, University of Maryland: I’m very proud of it. It made me a better man, a better citizen. I may not have — may not have a concrete goal what to do in my life, but at least I know I’m capable to achieve anything I want to achieve, all thanks to the military.

VALARIE AUSTIN, University of Maryland: Military directs you and focuses you.

MARGARET WARNER: West Point grad Valarie Austin retired as an Army lieutenant colonel after 21 years, including service as a military intelligence officer in the first Gulf War. Now pursuing a second college degree in computer science, Austin feels civilian students have little awareness of the current wars or the effort that goes into fighting them.

VALARIE AUSTIN: A lot of the students that are here, they have lived through 9/11 for the last 10 years. So they have almost begun to in some ways disassociate with it. It’s just something that’s happening over there.

MARGARET WARNER: These vets didn’t want to dwell on their wartime sacrifice. But on returning, they said, a gulf opened up with old friends and new ones.

Maryland senior Chris Day joined the Army for four years after high school, spending two tours in Afghanistan. He found it tough adjusting when he moved back and into a freshman dorm.

CHRIS DAY, University of Maryland: You know, I couldn’t relate. I was so happy and motivated to be here, and they were just, you know, crying about having to wake up for an 8:00 a.m. class. And I was like pumped to go to an 8:00 a.m. class and glad I wasn’t waking up before the sun rose, you know?

And so they, students, the perceptions are completely different, and, you know, where I feel as though we’re a whole lot more grateful for the small things that, you know, color, like, outside, there’s grass and there’s a sun that doesn’t have dust over it.

MARGARET WARNER: This doesn’t surprise Maryland professor David Segal, who directs a military organization research center there and consulted on the poll.

DAVID SEGAL, University of Maryland: The veterans are older than our regular undergraduate students coming right out of high school. They have had life experiences that the other students haven’t had. And they certainly feel that the other students tend not to understand what they have been through. And they’re absolutely right.

MARGARET WARNER: But it’s more than the age difference. These vets say few of their fellow students or professors even ask about what they have been through.

HENRY CARBAJALES: I will get this randomly, where I would just — I guess they call it a 1,000-yard stare. As for my teachers, fellow peers, I don’t really talk about what I have done, what I — just, yes, I was in the service, and that’s it. They don’t really ask any questions.

SHELLY BURGOYNE, University of Maryland: You know, veterans coming home aren’t — A., they are not victims. They have experienced something hard. They have come back. They are stronger from it. And they are normal Americans trying to live their life.

MARGARET WARNER: Master’s degree student Shelly Burgoyne, a retired 37-year-old Army lieutenant with two tours in Iraq, thinks post-9/11 vets are having a tough time reentering civilian life because they’re such an anomaly in their generation.

SHELLY BURGOYNE: When men came back from World War II, they all had served, so there was a common — a commonality. And they had a community of people around them that understood them on a daily basis. And they integrated back into society well.

MARGARET WARNER: She’s right, says Pew Center executive vice president Paul Taylor, one of the poll’s co-authors.

PAUL TAYLOR, Pew Research Center: They are not as fully integrated in the full society as has been the case with our warriors in past wars. Here, the post-9/11 veterans stand out. They have — 44 percent say that they have had difficulties readjusting to civilian life. We asked the same question of the older veterans who served in earlier years, and 25 percent said that.

MARGARET WARNER: To talk with non-vet students on the Maryland campus, we went to an undergraduate English class. The students were preparing a reading of Euripides’ play “The Bacchae.”

These undergrads spent their entire teenage years in the shadow of war, yet feel scarcely touched by it.

Senior Nick Krug is an English major.

NICK KRUG, University of Maryland: And I think, you know, for me, it’s inconsequential. For me, I have been able to, unfortunately, take it for granted, take it for granted for what the soldiers have done. I don’t think about it my daily life. Really, just having these questions asked, that is the only time I think about it. So, that is pretty of the biggest tragedy, I think, of what is going on.

MARGARET WARNER: I asked senior Anna Isaacs, an aspiring journalist, about how the war has touched her.

Has this decade of war required any sacrifice from you or your family?

ANNA ISAACS, University of Maryland: No, not from my family. And I think that’s the worst part.

MARGARET WARNER: Like most Americans polled, senior Omari James, hoping to be a teacher, professed great admiration for his fellow students who are veterans.

OMARI JAMES, University of Maryland: Immense respect, immense respect, because, I mean, just walking past them, in their uniforms, or you know them to have served, they elicit that respect.

MARGARET WARNER: Yet they admitted they don’t know many veterans on campus and never considered the military for themselves after high school.

ANNA ISAACS: I only ever met people who had served in these wars when I came to college. And they tend to be people from, you know, poorer backgrounds, from different areas, from the South. And, yes, it makes you question, you know, why are these the people who are over there, and why not us? And why is that?

MARGARET WARNER: So what can be done to bridge the gap? The Pew poll showed both the public and veterans have such confidence in the professional military that they don’t want to return to a draft.

SHEILA MCMENAMIN, University of Maryland: I will serve the country some day by teaching. My friend will serve the country by being a great doctor. There’s countless ways to do it. It just depends on how you look at it.

MAN: And that could be anything, helping out the community.

HENRY CARBAJALES: I see it as like a pyramid effect. Right now, it’s just us and our families, and then their friends. If we do something nationally, where everybody gets involved, it will make the pyramid a lot bigger, and I think people will then start seeing greater appreciation.

MARGARET WARNER: That appreciation and more understanding from the American people is what the post-9/11 veterans most yearn for.

The post After Draftless Decade of War, Gap Seen Between Military, Civilians appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


             























Artist           : Chris Potter


Album          : The Dreamer Is The Dream

Year             : 2017

Genre          :  Post-Bop, Modern Creative 

Bitrate         : 320 kpbs    

Tracklist: 

01. Heart In Hand (8:19)
02. Ilimba (9:53)
03. The Dreamer Is The Dream (8:19)
04. Memory And Desire (7:53)
05. Yasodhara (10:08)
06. Sonic Anomaly (5:34)

mp3



          Cyber-Physical Attack-Resilient Wide-Area Monitoring, Protection, and Control for the Power Grid   
Cybersecurity and resiliency of wide-area monitoring, protection, and control (WAMPAC) applications is critically important to ensure secure, reliable, and economical operation of the bulk power system. WAMPAC relies heavily on the security of measurements and control commands transmitted over wide-area communication networks for real-time operational, protection, and control functions. The current “N–1” security criterion for grid operation is inadequate to address malicious cyber events; therefore, it is important to fundamentally redesign WAMPAC and to enhance energy management system applications to make them attack resilient. In this paper, we present three key contributions to enhance the cybersecurity and resiliency of WAMPAC. First, we describe an end-to-end attack-resilient cyber–physical security framework for WAMPAC applications encompassing the entire security life cycle including risk assessment, attack prevention, attack detection, attack mitigation, and attack resilience. Second, we describe a defense-in-depth architecture that incorporates attack resilience at both the infrastructure layer and the application layer by leveraging domain-specific security approaches at the WAMPAC application layer in addition to traditional cybersecurity measures at the information technology infrastructure layer. Third, we discuss several attack-resilient algorithms for WAMPAC that leverage measurement design and cyber–physical system model-based anomaly detection and mitigation along with illustrative case studies. We believe that the research issues and solutions identified in this paper will open up several avenues for research in this area. In particular, the proposed framework, architectural concepts, and attack-resilient algorithms would serve as essential building blocks to transform the “fault-resilient” grid of toda- into an “attack-resilient” grid of the future.
          Xavier Mertens: FIRST TC Amsterdam 2017 Wrap-Up   

Here is my quick wrap-up of the FIRST Technical Colloquium hosted by Cisco in Amsterdam. This is my first participation to a FIRST event. FIRST is an organization helping in incident response as stated on their website:

FIRST is a premier organization and recognized global leader in incident response. Membership in FIRST enables incident response teams to more effectively respond to security incidents by providing access to best practices, tools, and trusted communication with member teams.

The event was organized at Cisco office. Monday was dedicated to a training about incident response and the two next days were dedicated to presentations. All of them focussing on the defence side (“blue team”). Here are a few notes about interesting stuff that I learned.

The first day started with two guys from Facebook: Eric Water @ Matt Moren. They presented the solution developed internally at Facebook to solve the problem of capturing network traffic: “PCAP don’t scale”. In fact, with their solution, it scales! To investigate incidents, PCAPs are often the gold mine. They contain many IOC’s but they also introduce challenges: the disk space, the retention policy, the growing network throughput. When vendors’ solutions don’t fit, it’s time to built your own solution. Ok, only big organizations like Facebook have resources to do this but it’s quite fun. The solution they developed can be seen as a service: “PCAP as a Service”. They started by building the right hardware for sensors and added a cool software layer on top of it. Once collected, interesting PCAPs are analyzed using the Cloudshark service. They explained how they reached top performances by mixing NFS and their GlusterFS solution. Really a cool solution if you have multi-gigabits networks to tap!

The next presentation focused on “internal network monitoring and anomaly detection through host clustering” by Thomas Atterna from TNO. The idea behind this talk was to explain how to monitor also internal traffic. Indeed, in many cases, organizations still focus on the perimeter but internal traffic is also important. We can detect proxies, rogue servers, C2, people trying to pivot, etc. The talk explained how to build clusters of hosts. A cluster of hosts is a group of devices that have the same behaviour like mail servers, database servers, … Then to determine “normal” behaviour per cluster and observe when individual hosts deviate. Clusters are based on the behaviour (the amount of traffic, the number of flows, protocols, …). The model is useful when your network is quite close and stable but much more difficult to implement in an “open” environment (like universities networks).
Then Davide Carnali made a nice review of the Nigerian cybercrime landscape. He explained in details how they prepare their attacks, how they steal credentials, how they deploy the attacking platform (RDP, RAT, VPN, etc). The second part was a step-by-step explanation how they abuse companies to steal (sometimes a lot!) of money. An interesting fact reported by Davide: the time required between the compromisation of a new host (to drop malicious payload) and the generation of new maldocs pointing to this host is only… 3 hours!
The next presentation was performed by Gal Bitensky ( Minerva):  “Vaccination: An Anti-Honeypot Approach”. Gal (re-)explained what the purpose of a honeypot and how they can be defeated. Then, he presented a nice review of ways used by attackers to detect sandboxes. Basically, when a malware detects something “suspicious” (read: which makes it think that it is running in a sandbox), it will just silently exit. Gal had the idea to create a script which creates plenty of artefacts on a Windows system to defeat malware. His tool has been released here.
Paul Alderson (FireEye) presented “Injection without needles: A detailed look at the data being injected into our web browsers”. Basically, it was a huge review of 18 months of web-­inject and other configuration data gathered from several botnets. Nothing really exciting.
The next talk was more interesting… Back to the roots: SWITCH presented their DNS Firewall solution. This is a service they provide not to their members. It is based on DNS RPZ. The idea was to provide the following features:
  • Prevention
  • Detection
  • Awareness

Indeed, when a DNS request is blocked, the user is redirected to a landing page which gives more details about the problem. Note that this can have a collateral issue like blocking a complete domain (and not only specific URLs). This is a great security control to deploy. Note that RPZ support is implemented in many solutions, especially Bind 9.

Finally, the first day ended with a presentation by Tatsuya Ihica from Recruit CSIRT: “Let your CSIRT do malware analysis”. It was a complete review of the platform that they deployed to perform more efficient automatic malware analysis. The project is based on Cuckoo that was heavily modified to match their new requirements.

The second day started with an introduction to the FIRST organization made by Aaron Kaplan, one of the board members. I liked the quote given by Aaron:

If country A does not talk to country B because of ‘cyber’, then a criminal can hide in two countries

Then, the first talk was really interesting: Chris Hall presented “Intelligence Collection Techniques“. After explaining the different sources where intelligence can be collected (open sources, sinkholes, …), he reviewed a serie of tools that he developed to help in the automation of these tasks. His tools addresses:
  • Using the Google API, VT API
  • Paste websites (like pastebin.com)
  • YARA rules
  • DNS typosquatting
  • Whois queries

All the tools are available here. A very nice talk with tips & tricks that you can use immediately in your organization.

The next talk was presented by a Cisco guy, Sunil Amin: “Security Analytics with Network Flows”. Netflow isn’t a new technology. Initially developed by Cisco, they are today a lot of version and forks. Based on the definition of a “flow”: “A layer 3 IP communication between two endpoints during some time period”, we got a review the Netflow. Netflow is valuable to increase the visibility of what’s happening on your networks but it has also some specific points that must be addressed before performing analysis. ex: de-duplication flows. They are many use cases where net flows are useful:
  • Discover RFC1918 address space
  • Discover internal services
  • Look for blacklisted services
  • Reveal reconnaissance
  • Bad behaviours
  • Compromised hosts, pivot
    • HTTP connection to external host
    • SSH reverse shell
    • Port scanning port 445 / 139
I would expect a real case where net flow was used to discover something juicy. The talk ended with a review of tools available to process net flow data: SiLK, nfdump, ntop but log management can also be used like the ELK stack or Apache Spot. Nothing really new but a good reminder.
Then, Joel Snape from BT presented “Discovering (and fixing!) vulnerable systems at scale“. BT, as a major player on the Internet, is facing many issues with compromized hosts (from customers to its own resources). Joel explained the workflow and tools they deployed to help in this huge task. It is based on the following circle: Introduction,  data collection, exploration and remediation (the hardest part!).
I like the description of their “CERT dropbox” which can be deployed at any place on the network to perform the following tasks:
  • Telemetry collection
  • Data exfiltration
  • Network exploration
  • Vulnerability/discovery scanning
An interesting remark from the audience: ISP don’t have only to protect their customers from the wild Internet but also the Internet from their (bad) customers!
Feike Hacqueboard, from TrendMicro, explained:  “How political motivated threat actors attack“. He reviewed some famous stories of compromised organizations (like the French channel TV5) then reviewed the activity of some interesting groups like C-Major or Pawn Storm. A nice review of the Yahoo! OAuth abuse was performed as well as the tab-nabbing attack against OWA services.
Jose Enrique Hernandez (Zenedge) presented “Lessons learned in fighting Targeted Bot Attacks“. After a quick review of what bots are (they are not always malicious – think about the Google crawler bot), he reviewed different techniques to protect web resources from bots and why they often fail, like the JavaScript challenge or the Cloudflare bypass. These are “silent challenges”. Loud challenges are, by examples, CAPTCHA’s. Then Jose explained how to build a good solution to protect your resources:
  • You need a reverse proxy (to be able to change quests on the fly)
  • LUA hooks
  • State db for concurrency
  • Load balancer for scalability
  • fingerprintjs2 / JS Challenge

Finally, two other Cisco guys, Steve McKinney & Eddie Allan presented “Leveraging Event Streaming and Large Scale Analysis to Protect Cisco“. CIsco is collecting a huge amount of data on a daily basis (they speak in Terabytes!). As a Splunk user, they are facing an issue with the indexing licence. To index all these data, they should have extra licenses (and pay a lot of money). They explained how to “pre-process” the data before sending them to Splunk to reduce the noise and the amount of data to index.
The idea is to pub a “black box” between the collectors and Splunk. They explained what’s in this black box with some use cases:
  • WSA logs (350M+ events / day)
  • Passive DNS (7.5TB / day)
  • Users identification
  • osquery data

Some useful tips that gave and that are valid for any log management platform:

  • Don’t assume your data is well-formed and complete
  • Don’t assume your data is always flowing
  • Don’t collect all the things at once
  • Share!

Two intense days full of useful information and tips to better defend your networks and/or collect intelligence. The slides should be published soon.

[The post FIRST TC Amsterdam 2017 Wrap-Up has been first published on /dev/random]


          Ultra-Rare 5.3-Carat Fancy Blue Diamond Ring Headlines Upcoming Bonhams Auction   

An ultra-rare 5.3-carat fancy deep-blue diamond ring, which is expected to fetch upwards of $2.4 million, will be the top lot at Bonhams Fine Jewelry sale in London on April 24. Designed circa 1965 by Bulgari, the renowned Italian designer, the distinctive Trombino-style ring features a cushion-shaped blue diamond set horizontally. The ring is accented with pavé-set brilliant-cut diamonds and courses of baguette-cut diamonds.

image

The upcoming sale is already causing a buzz in jewelry and auction circles. Blue diamonds are extremely rare in the market and command some of the highest prices at auction worldwide. The term “fancy” refers to the intensity of color and the rating of “fancy deep-blue” is one of the rarest — and most coveted. 

The extraordinary blue hue is derived from small atoms of boron mixing with the carbon atoms in a diamond. This anomaly affects the absorption of light passing through the stone and gives it a blue appearance. 

image

“Blue diamonds, especially those over 5 carats, are extremely rare to see on the market and continue to be highly sought after,” said Jean Ghika, Director of Bonhams Jewelry Department for the UK and Europe. “During the 1960s and 1970s, Bulgari was well known for its imaginative settings and use of colored diamonds. This ring epitomizes that ‘golden era’ of elegant simplicity and we are honored to be handling the sale of such a unique gem.”

Despite their extreme rarity, other blue diamonds have been in the news recently. In November 2012, Sotheby’s Geneva sold a 10.48-carat fancy deep-blue briolette-shaped diamond for $10.9 million. In April of 2012, Sotheby’s Hong Kong was the site of another high-profile blue diamond sale at which an 8.01-carat emerald-cut fancy vivid-blue diamond ring fetched $12.7 million.

image Visit Carats & Karats on Facebook

Visit CaratsandKarats.com


          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 72710785)   
Uh oh. Everyone is waiting how anomaly RaXz will reply :lmao:
          Аномалия / Anomaly (Уэбстер Батиста) [2016 г., ужасы, триллер, WEB-DL 720p] DVO (2D) + Original + Sub - <2.22 GB>   
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          RecruitmentConsultants   

After running a post looking for contract and permanent developers in the UK, Damian blogged about his experiences with recruitment consultants and I’ve become so incensed that I feel the need to rant, hence this post.

 

I know that when I feel a very strong reaction to a particular topic that I have some emotional baggage associated with it, and as such I have a lot of unresolved anger towards recruitment consultants.  I’ll try and be balanced, and brief, and share some of my thoughts.

 

I would almost never recommend to any of my clients that they use recruitment consultants.  I would in fact only ever recommend it if they were absolutely desperate.  The reason for this is threefold:

 

First of all, managers of developer teams need to be very hands on with the recruitment process.  Outsourcing this work, because that’s what you’re doing with recruitment consultants, is a bad idea.  Yes, you may get a thousand really, really poor CVs through the door of which only one is gilt-edged, but personally I would rather go through them by hand than rely on an untrained professional to do this.  (Remember, a development manager probably knows about a thousand times more about software development than a salesperson who happens to be working in the software development field.)

 

Why?  Because I know what I’m looking for given the big picture.  If advertising for a senior C# developer and I get a CV come through for someone looking for a junior testing position, a recruitment consultant would instantly dismiss the junior candidate.  I may not want to employ him for the senior role, but if his CV stands out for whatever reason (i.e. my intuition is telling me there’s something interesting here), I might want to meet with him, see what he’s about and bring him into the organization in some other fashion. 

 

Recruitment consultants are only any good at matching keywords.  “Here’s a developer with six years Smalltalk experience, and he’s built some open source VB .NET projects in his spare time.  Uh, well my client is looking for C#, so let’s throw him away.”  Riiiiight.  So here’s a developer with shed loads of OO development experience, who happens to do .NET projects in his spare time.  .  Sounds like someone I’d like to meet.  However, a recruitment consultant would never let me have that chance.

 

Secondly, recruitment consultants only find people who have degrees.  Why?  Well, because if they say, “must have a 2:1” they can instantly cut down on 50% of the CVs they might otherwise get.  That saves the poor little lambs work! 

 

The best developers I’ve ever met have not had degrees.  I’m happy to admit that might be a weird anomaly, but I don’t want someone really good getting filtered out just to reduce the operating costs of an recruitment consultancy.

 

Thirdly, recruitment consultants cannot find really good people.  For me, a really good developer is the kind of developer who has a passionate interest in community.  They can either contribute to the community, or they are just part of that community. 

 

A recruitment consultant can’t find people in a community.  If I’m interviewing someone and she reels off a list of ten people who’s blogs she reads every week and I’ve never heard of them, or she tells me about some great stuff she read in Chris Sells’ Windows book I am about ten times more likely to hire her than someone who doesn’t give a damn about the community.  I mean, I guess everyone reading this knows how important I think community is (I’m an MVP after all), but it’s absolutely essential that any developer in my employ has an attitude of learning.  A strong interest in community is great evidence of this.  However, you can’t put “I read blogs” or “the top 10 books on XP I read over the past year” on a CV, therefore the recruitment consultant chucks this potential hire on the “reject” pile, even though she’s probably exactly the sort of person that I’d want to hire.

 

Worse than this is that a recruitment consultant can’t find people who contribute to the community.  Imagine how I’d feel interviewing someone who gives talks and writes  books and has a blog and runs a Web site?  I’d probably hire someone like that in a shot.  However, a recruitment consultant only gets paid if I hire through him.  If I can find the person directly and hire them directly, I can save myself several thousand pounds.

 

This used to happen to me all the time until I worked out what was going on.  If you submit your CV to a recruitment bastard (I told you I was angry!), they strip out everything that can help their client find you directly.  Written a book?  Well, that’ gets deleted because you can go find the author and from there, invite him to come into the interview directly, saving you 40%.  Written a magazine article?  Gone.  Gave a keynote at a developer conference? Gone!  If you take all that stuff out of my CV, it looks pretty anemic.  I’d only hire me if I could see the big picture.  And I, if I do say so myself, am a pretty good developer.

 

As a final point, recruitment is a continual process.  If I meet someone in the course of business, I keep their contact details safe just in case I need them for some reason.  The same should be true of potential employees.  Recruitment consultants don’t work on this principle – they are reactive to a manager’s immediate need for developers.  If the right way to do this is to always be looking for potential hires, ipso facto, recruitment consultants are of little use in this way too.

 

I feel a bit like I’m the angryCoder writing this, but well, I am angry!  I’m fed up with good people not being able to find good work because for some reason we’ve managed to construct our world such that untrained salespeople are blocking our access to the most vital resource we need… developers, developers, developers! 


          Ornament is Crime: An homage to modernist architecture   
In this extract from Ornament is Crime, a ‘visual manifesto’ celebrating iconic modernist architecture from the 1920s up to the present day, Matt Gibberd explains the importance of the movement and how a shared passion for design helped build one of the UK’s top property agencies…  The Modern House was the brainchild of my great friend, business partner and co-creator of this book, Albert Hill. It is somewhat of an anomaly in the property industry. We focus not on a particular location but on the design quality of the houses themselves. Many of the projects featured in these pages have passed through the hands of our agency, from High & Over, which was the first genuinely Modernist house built in the UK, through mid-century marvels like Farnley Hey, to more […]

          What happened when Camden started rethinking policing to build trust   

Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

JUDY WOODRUFF: Next: a look at how one police force is rethinking the way its officers do their job.

In the aftermath of a succession of deadly police shootings, law enforcement officials across the country have grappled with how police officers might better interact with the public.

In Camden, New Jersey, new procedures meant to bring officers into closer face-to-face contact with the people they serve seem to be having a positive effect.

Hari recently traveled to Camden, and has this report.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Officer Vidal Rivera is a native son of Camden, New Jersey, a street cop who can see the blocks he patrols through eyes that grew up here.

VIDAL RIVERA, Camden Police Department: Out here, it was like a market, like a flea market. You could go to any corner and get whatever you need, or whatever they were looking for. They was coming out to buy drugs.

HARI SREENIVASAN: He’s referring to customers from Philadelphia who came across the Delaware River to buy drugs. They still come in, but in smaller numbers. By day, Rivera is police, by night, a young professional boxer. But he says, as a boy, his mother didn’t let him play outside.

VIDAL RIVERA: It was just too dangerous. There was just too much going on. She feared that something could happen, someone high, driving a car, a shoot-out, everything.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Rivera is part of a revamped force, rebuilt more or less from the ground up in 2014. The faces in the squad room during morning roll call are notably young, new officers recruited to replace an ineffective department.

VIDAL RIVERA: I remember being a kid that, something happened, you weren’t allowed to say nothing to the police.

HARI SREENIVASAN: You weren’t allowed to tell the police because you didn’t trust them?

VIDAL RIVERA: You didn’t trust them. It was the fear that you had.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Historically, one of the country’s most impoverished and violent cities, Camden is home to some 77,000 people, nearly all of them Latino and African-American. And a number of the department’s newer officers have been recruited from the community.

Police Chief Scott Thomson also grew up in Camden, and he has been largely responsible for the reforms. His entire career has been with the Camden P.D. He ordered his officers to leave their cars, patrol neighborhoods on foot, knock on doors, look in on shopkeepers, get to know and become known to the people they served.

CHIEF SCOTT THOMSON, Camden Police Department: We saw, almost instantaneously, a change in the atmosphere within neighborhoods. That’s what people wanted from us, and it has helped us significantly, and for us to provide better policing services to them as well.

One, we have greater lines of communication now, which has given us a tremendous ability to not only solve crime, but prevent crime from occurring in the first place.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The statistics back that up. Since transitioning from the old force to the new in 2014, the number of murders dropped by almost 70 percent, burglaries by 27 percent, robberies 33 percent, and even an eye-catching 143 percent spike in rapes that the department attributes to increased reporting, as well as new broader federal guidelines on what constitutes rape.

Overall, the city’s crime numbers are the lowest in decades. Those are impressive statistics for any police department, and residents don’t dispute them. But some say seeing them in a report vs. feeling the difference every day are two different things.

MAN: I see prostitutes on my street. I see drug transactions on my street, in broad daylight, every day.

HARI SREENIVASAN: This local business owner was one of several people who asked not to be identified, citing concerns that his remarks could complicate relations with local police officers he knows. The crimes, he suspects, are visible to police as well.

MAN: Those must be caught on camera, but I can’t tell that it makes a lot of difference in how much of it or little of it is happening.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Surveillance cameras are a major piece of Chief Thomson’s formula. Some 200 of them are deployed throughout the city. The chief showed us the Central command Center. On these screens are the real-time video feeds from every camera, the location of every officer on patrol. There are also gunshot-detecting microphones placed at certain locations, meaning police know the location of the shots to within a few meters seconds after it happens, and can begin responding before anyone even calls 911.

Still, not everyone is won over. A Camden resident sees both the opportunities and costs of increased surveillance.

MAN: I feel it’s a violation of civil rights, on some level, with the cameras, because now you’re unknowingly filming people who didn’t give you permission to film them. But I have also been on the side where family members has lost other family members to violence and the cameras had assisted in the apprehension of the person who committed the crime.

MAN: If the police department came to me and said, you’re going to have to give up all your privacy, but we’re going to reduce crime, then make you a little bit safer, I would probably say no. Nobody came to me and asked me that.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Is there a concern that people could feel like their civil rights are being violated?

MAN: We don’t have any secret cameras stored away in the city. Everything is overt. They’re up there on a pole. They’re not hidden.

And we’re sensitive to the fact that there’s people that may not necessarily want the camera there. But what we have found is the majority of people do want them.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Another major focus of reform is de-escalation, training officers to use force only as a last resort, a tactic that played out dramatically in this video shot two years ago.

A man was wielding a knife at a restaurant, then began walking down the street brandishing the weapon. Rather than taking him down, police formed a containment bubble around him, then followed him for blocks until he could be disarmed. That restraint and patience earned praise from the chief.

SCOTT THOMSON: We’re handling them exactly the way that we want to. And at the end of the day, you know, what’s happening is, more people are being returned to their family. And every time that an officer pulls the trigger, it’s life-altering for them.

HARI SREENIVASAN: His department’s records show that, since 2014, the frequency of officers using force has dropped by 24 percent. And citizen complaints of police using excessive force are down 49 percent. But do these methods put an officer’s own life at risk?

MAN: Sir, drop the knife, or I will Tase you.

SCOTT THOMSON: What we’re telling officers to do is slow it down, is — that which we’re training officers to do is actually safer for the officers, when, historically, officers have been rushing into situations because that’s the training we provide, and it’s been dangerous for them, and often leaving them with the only option that’s left is deadly force.

HARI SREENIVASAN: That’s counter to the more militarized approaches taken by other cities.

What’s the hardest part about changing culture?

SCOTT THOMSON: So, for us, it was that transition from warrior to guardian. You still have to have the warrior mentality and the ability to trigger that warrior element when the time calls for it. However, that shouldn’t be your operating premise. That should be the anomaly. Right? That should be the exception, not the rule.

The rule should be, you’re a guardian. You’re in this neighborhood.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Throughout this story, I spoke to a number of people sitting on their stoops and sitting on their porches, but none of them wanted to talk to me on camera. It wasn’t because they felt that the new police practices were helping their neighborhood or hurting. It was a mixed bag.

It was because they felt that talking to me would invite unwanted attention.

Some feared a police they still didn’t fully trust. And others feared drug dealers, who may have left street corners, but are now behind closed doors.

TIM GALLAGHER, Social Worker, Guadalupe Family Services: There were just dime bags and needles all over the place.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Tim Gallagher is a social worker at Guadalupe Family Services. He works on a block that’s seen tremendous improvement, but he is still cautious.

TIM GALLAGHER: I think their Manning concerns are that it could happen again, that the good cops who are here will leave, and that other cops will replace them who won’t really know the neighborhood.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Good cops like Vidal Rivera, who is 6-0 in the ring, undefeated, but knows the fight for the streets of his hometown is just getting started.

For the PBS NewsHour, I’m Hari Sreenivasan in Camden, New Jersey.

The post What happened when Camden started rethinking policing to build trust appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


          NASA Curiosity Rover Photographs Weird ‘Artificial’ Object On Mars Surface – (??)   
NASA's Curiosity Rover photographs another anomaly on the surface of Mars, which begs the question: what is it and who put it there?
          Digital Marketing Strategy for 2017   
Over the past decade, we witnessed a lot of digital transformation. One exceptional anomaly was the shift from traditional brick and mortar to contemporary forms of marketing. Businesses started to realize the power of the internet, that have the potential to carter an entire niche market and sell products/ services at a competitive edge. In [&#8230;]<br />The post Digital Marketing Strategy for 2017 appeared first on Blog Engage.
          NASCAR at Daytona 2017: Start Time, Ticket Info, Lineup, TV Schedule and More   

Fresh off Kevin Harvick's first win of the season, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series speeds into a holiday weekend featuring one of the year's best events, the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.

Any trip to Daytona is special—and especially so if the event surrounds a holiday.

But this year has found a way to be even more important than usual. NASCAR's playoff picture is a mess, which isn't a bad thing from an entertainment standpoint. Harvick's triumph means other winners in this year's new stage-based format might not make the cut at the end of the season.

That tends to happen when it's only June and 11 drivers have wins.

With more on the line than usual, even for drivers who have already managed to secure a checkered flag, this weekend's event isn't one fans will want to miss.

              

Viewing Details

Where: Daytona International Speedway

When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET

Watch: NBC

Live Stream: NBC Sports

Tickets: ScoreBig.com

           

Coke Zero 400 Entries

Jamie McMurray

Brad Keselowski

Austin Dillon

Kevin Harvick

Kasey Kahne

Trevor Bayne

Elliott Sadler

Danica Patrick

Denny Hamlin

Ty Dillon

Clint Bowyer

D.J. Kennington

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Kyle Busch

Daniel Suarez

Matt Kenseth

Ryan Blaney

Joey Logano

Corey LaJoie

Chase Elliott

Paul Menard

Ryan Newman

Matt DiBenedetto

Jeffrey Earnhardt

Landon Cassill

Chris Buescher

David Ragan

Kurt Busch

Kyle Larson

Darrell Wallace Jr.

AJ Allmendinger

Jimmie Johnson

Reed Sorenson

Cole Whitt

Brendan Gaughan

Erik Jones

Martin Truex Jr.

Ryan Sieg

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Michael McDowell

           

2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Standings

                

Drivers to Watch

Brad Keselowski

Interestingly enough, Brad Keselowski isn't one of those drivers who has to worry too much about end-of-season standings.

It helps he has a pair of checkered flags on the year.

Keselowski remains one of the weekend's most interesting drivers, though, because it feels like fans haven't heard from him in a while and he's going through the motions. It makes sense, seeing as his latest win came back at the start of April. In three of his last five events, he's finished 16th or worse.

Now would be a good time to mention Keselowski is the defending champ of this event, and he knows a thing or two about putting on strong performances at Daytona. It's like a parting of the overcast clouds—he also left last week's event with what he considers to be some serious momentum:

It sure wouldn't hurt to see Keselowski put on a strong performance over the weekend and make the other guys benefiting from the stage format work for their playoff points.

Maybe Keselowski isn't in postseason danger, but he's going to need momentum at some point, and one of his favorite tracks seems like a good place to make it happen.

             

Kevin Harvick

Concern for Harvick before last weekend wasn't without reason.

Harvick, despite nine top-10 performances, hadn't looked like his usual self, thanks to his inability to get to Victory Lane. For context's sake, Harvick's first win in each of the past three seasons came in March.

So yes, Harvick's win at Sonoma last week despite starting 12th came out of nowhere and helped provide a sense of relief around one of the sport's biggest names. Not only was it his first win of the season, it was his first at the road course.

To say Harvick sounded upbeat about the future for his team would be an understatement.

"I feel like we have way more room to grow than most any team in the garage because there's so many new things for us and new people and still trying to work all the details out," Harvick said, according to ESPN.com's Bob Pockrass.

It'd be remiss not to mention Harvick finished 39th at this event last year despite leading for a lap. But it was an anomaly during a strong season then, and a similar performance would register as the same now. 

Fans can expect Harvick and his crew to gun for a second win in a row to make sure the playoff outlook doesn't become cloudy.

                         

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

With Harvick getting a win, the "when will they show up? spotlight can shine on Dale Earnhardt Jr. alone.

Earnhardt has yet to even crack the 300-point mark this season. It's been a forgettable showing for a farewell tour, though finishes of ninth and sixth over his past two outings show slow progress.

It should go without saying, but Daytona is quite the storybook place for Earnhardt to grab his first win of the season. He hasn't been shy lately about his extensive history there:

He's already fielding retirement questions, too.

''I am just retiring from full-time racing. I am going to run some Xfinity races next year. I don't know that I won't ever run the Daytona 500 again,'' Earnhardt said, according to the Associated Press' Jenna Fryer (via MSN.com). ''I want to continue to be part of the sport. I don't know how it's going to affect me, really. It's hard for me to put that into words because I don't know what that is going to feel like."

Still, this feels like goodbye for Earnhardt and his at least being in contention for a checkered flag underneath the bright lights Saturday night seems a given.

His pulling off win No. 1 on the season would make for one of the season's better moments.

             

Stats and info courtesy of ESPN.com unless otherwise specified.

Read more Motorsports news on BleacherReport.com


          Launching 32-bit applications from batchfiles on Win64   
Win64

I've been running the 64-bit version of Windows 7 RC since June. It's been quite painless on the whole.

One wrinkle that I ran into was with some batchfiles which launch applications in %ProgramFiles% (normally C:\Program Files). Due to the magic WOW64 redirector, 32-bit applications are actually installed into %ProgramFiles(x86)%—normally C:\Program Files (x86)—instead of %ProgramFiles%. This is transparent to the 32-bit applications, which think they're running in %ProgramFiles% (C:\Program Files).

However, the cmd.exe shell is 64-bit (unless you make a special effort to run the 32-bit cmd.exe in SysWOW64), so batchfiles see the 64-bit %ProgramFiles% which contains 64-bit applications.

Hence, a batchfile that launches an installed 32-bit application on Win64 must use %ProgramFiles(x86)%, not %ProgramFiles%.

It sounds trivial to have a batchfile detect which flavor of %ProgramFiles% it should use, but the parentheses in the environment variable name make it tricky to parse. On earlier versions of Win64, the environment variable was called %ProgramFilesx86%. Presumably they added the strange parentheses into the variable name because the directory name always included them.

Here's a tiny batchfile that will launch the 32-bit DiffMerge correctly on both Win64 and Win32 platforms.

@setlocal
@set _pf=%ProgramFiles%
@if not "[%ProgramFiles(x86)%]"=="[]" set _pf=%ProgramFiles(x86)%
@start "" /b "%_pf%\SourceGear\DiffMerge\DiffMerge.exe" %*

I long ago found that the safest way to test environment variables whose values may include spaces, is to surround them with both double quotes and square brackets.


          (CHN-Beijing) SENIOR SOFTWARE ENGINEER   
Group: Search Technology Center Asia (STCA)/Search Ads – Campaign Platform Title: Senior Software Engineer Location: Beijing/Suzhou, China Are you interested in being part of a team with more $6B in revenue and growing at more than 20% every quarter over last several quarters? Are you looking for joining a fun and fast paced environment, where software engineers are empowered to innovate, where new features are developed and deployed in a daily shipping fashion? Are you passionate about developing solutions that support large scale services in the cloud that live and breathe on SQL Azure and Azure Storage? Are you excited about designing and building data mining solutions using advanced anomaly detection techniques that react and respond to critical events in almost real time and solve problems hidden within hundreds of terabytes of data? Are you interested in competing with Google advertising platform head to head? BingAds is a rapidly growing business at Microsoft and is considered one of the most important players in the world of Advertising business. This is exciting time to join BingAds where we innovate and rethink our online services. We tackle deep technical challenges to transition our core services and APIs to a highly scalable and performant platform. You will have the opportunity to develop a system that runs on hundreds of azure servers and thousands of commodity servers coordinating to provide reliable storage, retrieval and analysis. We have a very strong focus on customer satisfaction and use data driven metrics to delight our customers and achieve our business goals. We have an opening for strong talent to independently drive significant feature areas and bring our services to the next level of success and close the gap on Google AdWords feature parity. A successful candidate will have: - BS/MS in Computer Science or equivalent industry experience - Solid CS fundamentals, experience in building scalable, secure, high performance products and services - Excellent technical design, problem solving and debugging skills, proven track record in shipping software on time, with high quality - Great experience working with C#, C++, or Java, Cosmos, Azure/SQL/T-SQL is highly desirable - 7+ years of experience as a developer - Great team player and communicator, strong believer in collaboration and teamwork - Prior experience in online search/ads products is a plus Development (engineering)
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 36573840)   
An anomaly caused by an error in the equipment. Nothing to see here.
          Reply by Ice   
Pixel anomaly Blew up Square moves just like dark pixels at top
          Eli Manning Year 14: Giants QB on holding off Father Time   
Everyone above the age of, oh, around 28 or so, knows exactly what Eli Manning is talking about, in one way or another. “When you get older, yeah, things change,’’ Manning told The Post this week. Yeah, things … change. Manning, though, is an anomaly in that he does not look much different or play...
          June 2017 Temperature Anomaly projections   
Guest Post By Walter Dnes In continuation of my Temperature Anomaly projections, the following are my June projections, as well as last month’s projections for May, to see how well they fared. Data Set Projected Actual Delta HadCRUT4 2017/05 +0.770 +0.665 -0.105 HadCRUT4 2017/06 +0.583 GISS 2017/05 +0.93 +0.88 -0.05 GISS 2017/06 +0.81 UAHv6 2017/05…
          The Leveraged ETF Inefficiency in Trending & Range-Bound Markets: An Application Case Study for a 3x Leveraged Gold Miners ETF   
The main goal of this paper is to introduce the leveraged ETF die-down price action technical market anomaly (leveraged ETF anomaly), and then to discuss the temporal dimension and the subsequent (time-series) functionalities of this anomaly (temporal leveraged ETF anomaly). Our approach not only challenging the efficient-market hypothesis with regards to constantly declining leveraged ETF price action course, but also has a temporal dimension because it uses the Jesse Livermore’s “psychological time” as parameter in both functions: (i) “emotional control” for opening position at the beginning of an intraday or short-term move and thereafter for holding this position; and (ii) in “money risk management - exit policy” for closing position. Traditional fundamental analysis theories and technical analysis rules and approaches are not able to interpret the die-down (i.e. a constantly declining in a mid- and long-term basis) leveraged ETF price action course. Instead, a rational dynamic and temporal representative agent could explain and document better this anomaly and this is the case of this article (i.e. trading exploitation functionality). The presented research shows that the proposed temporal leveraged ETF anomaly accumulates profit entirely overnight in sideways and in choppy markets, while in a trending market the profit occurs intraday. These findings for the leveraged ETF instruments reject classical theories of trending and sideways markets returns. Hence, (i) in a sideways or in a choppy market, a well designed overnight-position return strategy based on temporal leveraged ETF anomaly; and (ii) in a trending market, a well designed daytime-position return strategy based on temporal leveraged ETF anomaly as well, could gain benefit at the expense of hedgers and long-term investors respectively. After back-testing our research in available 5-year data for the JNUG 3x leveraged ETF (gold miners juniors), we found that overnight-position speculators, in sideways or choppy markets, profit from the proposed temporal leveraged ETF trading strategy approach at the expense of hedgers; and daytime swing traders, in trending markets, profit from the proposed temporal leveraged ETF trading strategy approach at the expense of long-term investors.
          Scaling the Elastic Stack in a Microservices Architecture @ Rightmove   

Introduction

Rightmove is the UK's #1 Property Portal. In the process of helping people find the places they want to live, we serve 55 million requests a day and use Elasticsearch to power our searches and provide our teams with useful analytics to help support our applications.

Since 2014, we have been moving over to a microservices architecture. Microservices means more application instances — which in turn means a lot more logs. The old ways of SSHing onto a server and using grep, awk, and sed to diagnose failures was already a pain when we had 90 plus servers to handle, so it was obvious to us that we needed something to pull all our logs together in one place.

Fast forward to 2017 and we have over 50 microservices all sending their logs to our Elasticsearch cluster. In doing so, we needed a way to scale our configuration on both the hardware and application side of things. So how did we achieve this and what did we learn along the way?

Rightmove's Search for a Better Search

In 2014, we were faced with a problem when our existing search engine technology was having issues scaling to fit the needs of our ever growing user base. We decided at that point it was a good time to explore our options and we lined up the contenders to see which one would be the best fit in terms of scalability, performance and features. Elasticsearch quickly rose to the top as not only did it perform around 10 times faster than our old search engine on average, but it also seemed to be very easy to work with and easier for our developers to learn.

The chance to overhaul our search was also one of the things that led us to think about splitting out our old monolithic web applications into a microservices architecture. Since then, we've begun the journey of moving other search-based features (like our sold prices and property email alerts) as well as our customer based reporting and request anomaly detection to Elasticsearch. We have also been able to consider new property search features that would have been much harder to release in our old search technology.

Once we had these microservices and Elasticsearch in our estate, the success of an internal Hackathon led us to the Elastic Stack as a means of pulling in all our application metrics and logs — which has since greatly improved the productivity of our teams when measuring the success of feature releases and debugging and fixing application issues.

Our Elastic Stack Setup

image1.png

We split our configuration into 3 parts:

  • Application side: this is the same for all applications and is repeated on each server that hosts an instance of our application. We also ensure any heavy Logstash parsing is done on this side as this utilizes the distributed power of our application servers rather than causing a processing bottleneck on the publisher Logstash instances.
  • Redis cluster for queueing: any queue will do but we use Redis to allow us to buffer the load on Elasticsearch which prevents us losing data due to Bulk rejections.
  • Publisher side: this section represents the configuration we use to marshal data from our queue into Elasticsearch. We try to keep Logstash processing to a minimum here.

Installing and Configuring the Elastic Stack

Here are a few things to consider when configuring the Elastic Stack:

  • Choose a good configuration management tool. We use Puppet, but any configuration management tool like Chef, Ansible, Salt, etc., will help you scale your cluster deployment and configuration:

Configuring Logstash

When configuring Logstash to help scaling, we do the following:

  • Keep logs consistent across applications by using common logging code. We use an in-house library that allows us to log in the same JSON format across all microservices that use it. This allows us to ingest logs in the same way regardless of the service and support custom key-value metadata and tags to enrich our data in the same way.
  • Use correlation IDs in logs to help track log entries across service boundaries.
  • Use templates to create Logstash configuration. We store templates for each log type in source-control then populate these with application and environment specific properties by finding and replacing escaped tokens e.g.
input {    
  file {
    path => "${microservice_logs_path}app.log"        
    type => "${index_prefix}app_log"
    codec => json {
      charset => "ISO-8859-1"        
  }
}
  • Use deployment pipelines. We use Jenkins to build our configuration as deployable tar files that are stored in Nexus and deployed to each environment by developers at the push of a button in their Jenkins pipelines. This allows us to roll out test configuration to staging and test it there before rolling it out to production.
  • Provide a development environment for your developers that mirrors your deployed Elastic Stack. We use Docker compose to simulate our Elastic Stack setup. You can find out how you can set-up a similar setup here: https://www.elastic.co/guide/en/elasticsearch/reference/current/docker.html

image4.png 

How we use our data

The data collected from our logs is used for various purposes. We use a combination of Kibana, monitoring features, and alerting features with our data as well as some custom UI tools we've built on top of the Elastic Stack in house to help monitor applications.

image6.pngFigure 1 - Scraper and bot detection

image3.png

Figure 2 - Deployment History

image5.png

Figure 3 - Traffic Visualisation

image2.png

Figure 4 - Application Alerting

Knowledge Sharing & Internal Advocacy

We learned early on that it's not enough to build the tools for your teams; you also need to educate and sell your teams on why they should want to use them. We did this by hosting events like internal workshops where we taught developers and business folks alike how to use Kibana to create visualizations. Adopting an opt-in approach means that anyone who is interested can learn, and often this allowed business and support team members to get a better idea of how to ask for the data they wanted from the application developers. Attending the official Elastic training, the meetups organised in our area for Elasticsearch and Elastic{ON} events were a big part of what gave our devs confidence to spread the knowledge and help others use the Elastic Stack.

It may sound obvious, but it's also a good idea to be a good example for others. Think about supporting teams with semi-regular monitoring reviews to help them know where they can get data on things they care about and how they can use it. Share graphs and discover tab results from Kibana when production issues occur to help show others how you found a problem and how they could too! Evangelise as much as you can. You'll find that the effort will pay off and you will have an Elastic Stack that people will want to use.

Business outcomes

Overall the introduction of the Elastic Stack to our development teams has been transformative. Problems that would have taken developers days to investigate manually are now simple queries in Kibana. Determining correlations between systems that misbehave is easier to check and investigate. Through recording deployments in Elasticsearch and combining with data from our source control systems we are able to show teams what they have released to date and what they would release if they sent out their microservice to production today. Through monitoring traffic and load on our systems we can more accurately predict the need to scale our services. The X-Pack alerting feature will provide us with a self-service platform for our application alerts that allow teams to set up simple threshold based alerts more easily.

Also it's not just our developers that benefit, our support teams can now look up errors and anomalies in systems behaviour via Kibana. This helps spread the load and empowers them to make informed requests of the development teams to allow them to have the right support conversations with some of our customers. Overall the Elastic Stack saves us time and is helping us grow our systems whilst still allowing us to see to their health and, ultimately, address the needs of our users.


Adrian McMichael is an Application Architect and Platforms team member who has spent the last 7 years at Rightmove.co.uk. He enjoys helping build tools for development teams, aiding the design of applications, helping others with monitoring and collecting too many Lego mini-figures.


          Comment on Does a “Heat Pack” Prove Dominance? by Kevin Behan   
Your question brings us to the crux of the confusion. Behaviorism isn't using words properly, by which I mean it is conflating hierarchy with dominance. They are not the same. For example, does the music of a choir emerge because the altos are trying to dominate the sopranos by singing higher, and then the tenors the basses? Or, does each individual find their right place and then a synergistic sound emerges from this wave coupling of sound? In other words a flow hierarchy. Whereas dominance by definition, means an intention to control another, to control an outcome, the capacity to compare two points of view, the subject versus the object, a present or past point in time versus a future point in time. This is not the same as a hierarchy. According to Constructal Law, there is always hierarchy in nature and it always follows the same mathematical formula, from watersheds to the air passageways of a lung, to orchestras and to military command structures. Now since this same structure runs consistently between inanimate and animate systems, and we wouldn't say that the Mississippi River is dominating the Ohio river or any other of its tributaries, why would we assume that wolves are thinking thoughts of dominance and submission when they configure themselves exactly the same way as inanimate systems sans genes and thoughts? With waterways and forests we simply note given the new understanding of thermodynamics and self-organizing systems that there is a flow hierarchy. This deeper recognition of its true structure then leads us to a far deeper understanding of nature. Words matter. When behaviorism leaps to intention, then it misses the true current of energy that is the organizing principle of behavior. (When I press a behaviorist on this point they immediately get evasive and claim that they aren't ascribing intention, that its due to selective pressures, but this is a dodge because it is now ascribing intention to genes as in the rationale that genes are seeking to replicate. And so the fact remains that behaviorism/biology fails to identify the current.) Since all structure is predicated on an undercurrent flow of energy, and if we ascribe dominant intent to a dog, then what is the current? It would have to be the transmission of thoughts. But if this were true, then social structure should vary greatly from one wolf pack to another, as it does in human societies wherein intention plays a huge role. But instead we see that social structure in wolves is reliably mathematical a la inanimate flow systems which don't have genes or thoughts. Furthermore we miss the simple truth that the female in heat is defining the current, and the males are subsidiary tributaries to that current. We see it inside out and miss the truth entirely. Note that later in the video when male and female are in a copulatory tie, the narrator says this is so that other males can't impregnate the female. But that is only true for that half hour period of time, later the same day, or the next day, another male could impregnate her, especially given that the "dominant" male could be too exhausted to continue. (In a closed system like a wolf pack with fewer individuals all related to each other, this is not likely to happen. But it does occasionally.) But the big problem with that theory is that it immediately begs the question (which behaviorism/biology NEVER asks): if the copulatory tie is so effective at the transmission of the genes of the dominant male, the transmission of genes being the key to adaptability, then why is this only manifested in the canine species? The copulatory tie only occurs with canines and that is an extraordinary fact because such an exclusivity doesn't make any sense in a gene-centric interpretation of behavior, which otherwise touts how adaptive traits are conserved and radiate across all species genomes. But this anomaly, not to mention many more exclusive to canines, is left unexamined. (Whereas in an immediate-moment thermodynamic treatment wherein the movement of energy is the organizing principle, the answer can be known.)
          Pianoman Promo Mix (Anomaly 1) von pianoman   
**FREE DOWNLOAD** https://www.facebook.com/anomalytranceharddance Pianoman PROMO MIX for **Anomaly** @ Amusement 13 (Birmingham) 12Th August 2017
          Intelligent Shelter Allotment for Emergency Evacuation Planning: A Case Study of Makkah   

Given maps of an evacuee population, shelter destinations and a transportation
network, the goal of intelligent shelter allotment (ISA) is to assign routes, exits and shelters to evacuees for quick and safe evacuation. ISA is societally important due to emergency planning and response applications in context of hazards such as floods, terrorism, fire, etc. ISA is challenging due to conflicts between movements of evacuee-groups heading to different shelters and transportation-network choke-points. State of the practice based on Nearest Exit or Shelter (NES) paradigm addresses the former challenge but not the latter one leading to load-imbalance and slow evacuation. Recent computational development, e.g., capacity-constrained route planning (CCRP), address the latter challenges to speedup evacuation, but do not separate evacuee groups
going to different shelter destinations. To address these limitations, we propose a novel approach, namely, Crowd-separated Allocation of Routes, Exits and Shelters (CARES) based on the core idea of spatial anomaly avoidance. Experiments and Hajj case study (Makkah) show that CARES meets both challenges by providing much faster evacuation than NES and much lower evacuee-group movement-conflicts than CCRP.


          Comment on The effect of Atlantic internal variability on TCR estimation – an unfinished study by mpainter   
The so-called warming trend shown in the global temperature anomaly since 1980 is no trend but only a step-up of about 2.5-3.0 C at the 98-2000 ENSO. The curve is flat before and after this step-up. Here is your "global warming", this step-up, and the evil CO2 doing its evil thing according to AGW theory. Except AGW proponents will twist themselves into a pretzel before they acknowledge the step-up. Because a step-up is not a trend, you see. Increasing CO2 cannot explain this step-up. The decrease in cloud albedo can.
          June 2017 Temperature Anomaly projections   
Guest Post By Walter Dnes In continuation of my Temperature Anomaly projections, the following are my June projections, as well as last month’s projections for May, to see how well they fared. Data Set Projected Actual Delta HadCRUT4 2017/05 +0.770 +0.665 -0.105 HadCRUT4 2017/06 +0.583 GISS 2017/05 +0.93 +0.88 -0.05 GISS 2017/06 +0.81 UAHv6 2017/05…

          Comment on June 2017 Temperature Anomaly projections by Mary Brown   
"Guest Post By Walter Dnes" You must be missing a vowel
          Comment on June 2017 Temperature Anomaly projections by Mary Brown   
Your numbers for June... HadCRUT4 +0.583 GISS +0.81 UAHv6 +0.384 RSS v3.3 +0.486 Our Numbers HadCRUT4 +0.70 GISS +1.04 UAHv6 +0.34 RSS v3.3 +0.34 We will see where they fall soon. Consensus is coolest in 2 years
          The Sophisticated Design of a 3,000-Year-Old Wooden Toe   

Toe prosthesis of a female burial from the Theban tomb TT95, early first millennium BCE About 3,000 years ago, a woman from Upper Egypt had her right big toe removed. Her anatomical anomaly may have been lost to time, had it not been for the discovery of her mummy in 1997, with a wooden toe still attached to the skeletal foot.


          Why The BJP’s Rewriting Of Textbook History Will Do Harm To Our Children    

From Dadri to Una, Muslims and Dalits have been at the receiving end of vigilante violence in the name of the cow over the past three years.

Beyond the obvious, there's a concerted attempt on the part of the ruling dispensation to saffronise education and feed a skewed version of history to impressionable children especially across BJP-ruled states.

[T]he "inordinate" focus on the history of our immediate past isn't some conspiracy but a necessity to understand our present day problems.

According to those who subscribe to Hindutva ideology, saffronisation is an attempt at correcting grievous wrongs of the past by teaching a version of history that celebrates the heroics of Hindu rulers against the villainous Muslim raiders from the North. In a single stroke of a brush, the amnesiac Indian Right wishes to obliterate India's age old tradition of syncretism and diversity.

There's a growing clamour for giving more space to India's ancient past even if it means erasing "Islamic" medieval history. Even key figures like Mughal Emperor Akbar, famous for his religious tolerance, are at a risk of being effaced from history books across various states.

The fundamental premise of teaching history

Firstly, we teach history on the premise that events closer to our times have a greater bearing on us. Let me explain this through a simple example—the Partition is the single biggest event in the history of the subcontinent over the past century. Many among us, especially the older generations, in some way or the other were affected by Partition. Many lost their properties, their families and many were permanently uprooted from their ancestral lands. Bloodshed and marked history's biggest mass-migration. Isn't it necessary that we teach our children the immediate gory past of our land so that they know the dangers of religious fanaticism?

Back in my school days, we had a whole course on Civics. The primary focus of the course was teaching young students the history of post-independence era India—about the Constitution, governance, the electoral process. It inordinately focused on a few political figures such as Nehru, Indira and Rajiv. Again if we were to consider the fundamental premise of history, we'll find that, these are the people whose policies shape contemporary India. A secular India is Nehru's legacy. Similarly, Indira's authoritarian proclivities shaped India's polity in the 70s. Likewise, a pliant Rajiv Gandhi with no administrative experience is the best example to understand how things can go awry when a popular leader begins to appease fundamentalist Hindus and Muslims. The issue of "triple-talaq", the Babri Masjid demolition and the ensuing riots that continue to mar Hindu-Muslim relations in India are his legacy. These examples are enough to convince us that the "inordinate" focus on the history of our immediate past isn't some conspiracy but a necessity to understand our present day problems.

We need to dispel the myth of seeing our history as a constant battle between Hindus and Muslims... it's a history of constant struggle between despots of various hues who happened to be Hindus or Muslims.

Pretty similar is the argument behind teaching Indo-Islamic history at schools. The later-medieval era and the events in those times have a greater impact on our present than some long-lost battles between two tribes in the 4th century AD. It was the Mughal era when the conception of an Imperial India with a definite physical boundary was realised. The present-day relations between the Hindu and Muslim communities across India and South Asia are partly influenced by the events of Medieval India.

Militant Hindu organisations love to promote themselves as protectors of the ancient faith defending their brethren against fanatic Muslims. Fundamentalist Muslims on the other hand romantically long for the day when an Islamic state is finally established. It makes the matter only worse when we see high-decibel pitched battles between proponents of the Left, Right and Centre every evening on prime-time debates painting every issue in binaries; a battle between the virtuous and the depraved, between "us" and "them".

Dispelling the myth of us vs. them

In times such as this, it's necessary that we dispel the myth of seeing our history as a constant battle between Hindus and Muslims. There's almost an inexhaustible list of instances to validate the point that our history isn't actually an eternal struggle between people of two religions. Rather, it's a history of constant struggle between despots of varying hues who happened to be Hindus or Muslims. Don't forget there were also Rajput generals like Raja Jai Singh who commanded the Mughal army against Shivaji. It doesn't help the bigots when they find that Maharana Pratap's army against the mighty Mughal Emperor Akbar was led by a Pashtun, Hakim Khan Sur. How do they explain Harshvardhan's defeat to a co-religionist, the Chalukya King Pulakeshin? They conveniently ignore such facts as it never serves their agenda.

There's a concerted attempt by vested interests emanating directly from the upper echelons of the present regime to subvert the secular nature of our society.

How do we understand the actions of people like Raja Jai Singh or Hakim Khan Sur? Were they actually an anomaly in a world where fanatic wars were the norm? An emphatic no—these people weren't some champions of secularism in medieval times. They were driven by the only motive of securing a fortune or a political end just like most of the despots of those days. Subduing the Marathas possibly would have helped Raja Jai Singh to win favours from the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Hakim Khan Sur wanted to exact revenge from the Mughals for humiliating his ancestors of the Sur dynasty. Similarly, Pulkeshin was defending his realm against a marauding Harshvardhan. Babur who's at the heart of the Babri Masjid- Ram Mandir controversy didn't flinch at waging a bloody war against his co-religionist Sultan Ibrahim Lodhi for the crown of North India.

There's a concerted attempt by vested interests emanating directly from the upper echelons of the present regime to subvert the secular nature of our society. It's incumbent on us as responsible citizens to fight this creed of hatred and bigotry. The very first step in this direction is teaching an inclusive version of history to our impressionable children so that they won't grow up to become standard bearers of bigotry.


          From effective Hamiltonian to anomaly inflow in topological orders with boundaries. (arXiv:1706.09782v1 [cond-mat.str-el])   

Authors: Yuting Hu, Yidun Wan, Yong-Shi Wu

Whether two boundary conditions of a two-dimensional topological order can be continuously connected without a phase transition in between remains a challenging question. We tackle this challenge by constructing an effective Hamiltonian, describing anyon interaction, that realizes such a continuous deformation. At any point along the deformation, the model remains a fixed point model describing a gapped topological order with gapped boundaries. That the deformation retains the gap is due to the anomaly cancelation between the boundary and bulk. Such anomaly inflow is quantitatively studied using our effective Hamiltonian. We apply our method of effective Hamiltonian to the extended twisted quantum double model with boundaries (constructed by two of us in Ref.[1]). We show that for a given gauge group $G$ and a three-cocycle in $H^3[G,U(1)]$ in the bulk, any two gapped boundaries for a fixed subgroup $K\subseteq G$ on the boundary can be continuously connected via an effective Hamiltonian. Our results can be straightforwardly generalized to the extended Levin-Wen model with boundaries (constructed by two of us in Ref.[2].


          Reply #1534   
Virginia...you have a few options this week.

chase sum6 on the midday side...105 006 132*

chase sum 7 since your trigger draw that fell yesterday 025* 151* 070*

OR your actual anomaly which is

315* 316/319

maybe a 132 today which also came last sat exact...... just throwing that out there
          Reply #889   
HugeBens....what is Anomaly and is it on lottery post.
          Reply #833   
He has an Anomaly thread that he posts once a week starting on Saturdays.

Good stuff.
          Reply #271   
JonnyBgoode07 posts an Pick 3 anomaly thread for several states that is pretty good.

If he doesn't hit it he gets close.

He only posts for one week at a time.

This week he posted 616/919 619/916 for VA.

http://www.lotterypost.com/thread/277702
          How Messi Compares with LeBron   

This June has been a banner month for sports fans in America, especially those who enjoy watching the greatest soccer and basketball players of this, or possibly any generation. LeBron James won his third NBA championship on Sunday in probably the best seven-game performance of any basketball player ever. Lionel Messi and Argentina, meanwhile, are favored to win the Copa America. Both men dominate their respective sports, and years from now those of us who saw them play will annoy our children with sententious statements beginning, “Yeah, he’s good, but LeBron …,” and “Sure that was okay, but Messi could …”

But aside from being at the pinnacle of their sports and being able to do things most of the rest of us could not even begin to imitate, the two stories diverge. LeBron became an indisputable legend this week by overcoming impossible odds and beating the consensus best player on the historically best team ever. In doing so he turned in a performance for the ages, leading everybody (on both teams!) in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals. LeBron confirmed what we all suspected, that he’s a bit superhuman. And he brought joy to a benighted sports city while leading a team that he basically built.

Now Messi has a chance to write a chapter in his country’s soccer history by winning the Copa America, something Argentina hasn’t done since 1993. Messi has actually competed in three previous Copas without a victory, but his team did manage to finish second in the last two iterations of the tournament. By many measures, what Messi has accomplished is streets ahead of anything LeBron has done. To list his individual achievements would take too long for me to write and for you to read, and since soccer is a team game it’s his team accomplishments that matter more. Most of these have come with his club Barcelona, which have won Spain’s La Liga eight times since Messi’s arrival, while also winning the domestic cup competition four times. Even more impressive, Messi’s Barca have won the UEFA Champions League four times.

He’s been no slouch with Argentina either, winning the Olympic gold medal in 2008 and finishing runners up at the last World Cup. But in general, the Albicelestes have been underwhelming in the Messi years. Even though Messi was voted best young player at the 2007 Copa, that would hardly soothe his side’s loss to arch-rival Brazil. If you need evidence that winning with Argentina matters more to Messi than individual accolades, check out this image of him on the podium at the 2014 World Cup after accepting his golden ball for being the tournament’s top scorer and losing the final to Germany.

As mentioned, in many ways these accomplishments are more impressive than LeBron’s three championships and four NBA MVP awards. For one thing, while LeBron is the greatest American basketball player in a sport dominated by Americans, Lionel Messi is the greatest player in a sport that is played by almost everyone in the world. And, unlike LeBron, Messi is not a physical anomaly. He’s quick but not blazingly fast, and as a child he was diagnosed with a growth hormone disorder that required medical intervention for him to reach his current height of 5-foot-7. If it weren’t for the phalanx of photographers, you might bump into Messi on the street without noticing him, and his personality is smaller than his stature. Even if his endorsement earnings make him the world’s second highest paid athlete, the idea of Messi appearing in an Amy Schumer movie like LeBron did is beyond imagination (although he might need a movie deal to help him with his tax problems).

Also, I’d argue that carrying the hopes of Cleveland, Ohio on your hypertrophied shoulders is nothing compared to carrying the collective footballing aspirations of a nation of 44 million soccer mad Argentines. Going into Tuesday's match against the US, the pressure will be on Messi to lead his team into the finals, but in some ways it’s a thankless task. If Argentina win, they will have beaten the team they were expected to beat, sort of like the Cavs beating the Hawks. In head to head matchups Argentina has beaten the United States five times, drawn twice and lost only two times, most recently in 1999. One of those two losses did come in the 1995 Copa America, and if the U.S. can repeat this feat it will be one of the greatest victories in American soccer history. The U.S. national team actually has a decent recent track record against soccer greats. At the 2014 World Cup, the team nearly beat Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal before drawing 2-2. But with the Americans missing three of the team’s top players in Houston, you would have to expect the game to go Messi’s way no matter what the chant says.

Even if Argentina ultimately wins the Copa, Messi will still be lacking the one thing that LeBron is not—he will never have won his sport’s greatest prize. To truly cement his legacy in the same way as Lebron, he might have to lead Argentina to World Cup victory, as Diego Maradona did in 1986. All of which, when you think about it, is rather unfair. In terms of club accolades and individual awards, Messi is without peer (and he’s still only 28!), but without winning the World Cup, to some fans he’ll always be just outside the pantheon of the greatest of all time. It goes to show that it’s easier to be in GOAT contention when most of your games are played in one city in one country.


          Event: The Big BBQ Bash - Maryville Tennessee   
The Big BBQ Bash benefiting the Helen Ross McNabb Center was held this weekend in Maryville, Tennessee.  


The original Big BBQ Bash was THE first BBQ contest that I ever attended. I volunteered and was hooked.  Now this BBQ competition is sanctioned by the KCBS and it has grown into a State Championship.  

We didn't compete or judge at this year's contest because I was supposed to be at the Blythe Ranch in Kansas the same weekend.  Unfortunately, that trip was scrubbed for me due to medical reasons.  To cheer me up, Alexis took me to The Big BBQ Bash to see our friends.  Here are some pictures from the contest.


The Smokers

I love checking out all of the smokers that the cook teams are using at BBQ competitions. There are all kinds.
  • Stick burners
  • Insulated cabinet smokers
  • Bullet smokers
  • Drum smokers
  • Pellet cookers
  • Kamado grills/smokers
Some of the rigs are homemade. Some can be bought at stores for a few hundred bucks.  Some are custom made rigs that start in the $10-15k neighborhood.  But they all have one thing in common - being owned by a pitmaster who loves cooking BBQ.

This is what comes to mind as a smoker for most people.  It's an offset stick burner, called that because it burns split logs.  This particular one belongs to our friends, Greg and Melanie Edmonds of Paradise Que.  It is a reverse flow stick burner made by Mike Lang.

Blount County The Big BBQ Bash KCBS BBQ Competition 2017
A small box or cabinet cooker. These are usually heavily insulated and have tightly controlled airflow for long, even cooking temps.

Blount County The Big BBQ Bash KCBS BBQ Competition 2017
This is a fancy version of the offset stick burner.  This is Chairman of the Boar's smoker.  It is a Champion Smoker made right here in Knoxville, TN.



Another cabinet smoker, this one is The Pit Crew's Southern Q Smoker mounted permanently on a patio style Freedom trailer from QSB Trailers. 

"Ugly Drum Smoker" or UDS is a term for a smoker that someone makes at home from an old metal drum.  These days there are several brands of precision engineered drum smokers that are far from ugly.  This Gateway Drum Smoker belongs to Hickory Prime.

Hickory Prime's offset stick burner, a Jambo.

Blount County The Big BBQ Bash KCBS BBQ Competition 2017
Smokin' F BBQ's Ole Hickory Pits CTO doublwide smoker.  We used two of these beauties at Memphis In May this year, great piece of machinery.

Another nice drum smoker.

Snake River Farms is a wagyu beef supplier that a lot, and I mean a lot, of teams use to source their competition briskets.

Blount County The Big BBQ Bash KCBS BBQ Competition 2017
Southern Q's cabinet smoker - a Myron Mixon model.

Wood Shed BBQ's offset smoker.

This team used a set of Oklahoma Joe's and a few other smokers that you can buy at Academy Sports without having to re-mortgage your house.


A set of Backwoods Smokers - another brand of insulated cabinet cookers.

Blount County The Big BBQ Bash KCBS BBQ Competition 2017
Of course, my personal favorite is the Deep South Smokers, since that is what we own.  This one is the River Road Grillbillies and it's a GC28. It provides long burn times, even cooking temperatures, and the perfect amount of smoke, in my opinion.

Firehouse Smokers' cabinet cooker - a Southern Q Smoker. 

I liked the oddball shape of the 270 Smokers cabinet style smoker. We looked at these pretty seriously when deciding which smoker to buy.

Hickory Hillbillies used a few cookers including this Yoder Smokers pellet cooker.


Friday - Prep and Socialize

A typical Friday at a BBQ competition includes several activities.
  • Check in and meat inspection with KCBS representatives
  • Setting up your team's contest area
  • Socializing
  • Ancillary category turn ins - These are smaller categories and can be anything, such as; beans, sauces, sausage, "anything but", and desserts. They often sponsored by local companies and the rules for these aren't as strict as the 4 main categories.  
So Friday's are more laid back and fun.

Blount County The Big BBQ Bash KCBS BBQ Competition 2017
Friday is when a lot of friends and family come out to the contest.

It was great to see Jeff and Cindy Thompson of the River Road Grillbillies.

Henry Devault of Soggy Bottom Smokers saved our butts the first time we ever showed up with a competition trailer and had no idea how to maneuver it into a tight spot.

Portable hot tub - I have to say this is an absolute first for us at a BBQ contest!

Crimson Q doing some final site preparations.

Jay Frankovich of Smokin' F BBQ working on his ancilaries using a drum smoker.

River Road Grillbillies working on their Sausage category turn in.

Blount County The Big BBQ Bash KCBS BBQ Competition 2017
In addition to the BBQ contest, the farmers market was going on, there was a car show, and they had these three old farm tractors.  This started a conversation between my aunts about my granddaddy's tractors back in the day.

Teams use all sorts of logos, banners, and signs.


I absolutely LOVED the retro paint job on the Bailey Smokers trailer.









Poor Chloe wasn't happy that this other dog was getting attention and acted like she was neglected.  Don't let her fool you....she's spoiled.

Bubba Oller of K-town Daddy's BBQ enjoying his brand new trailer.  

Here's an outside shot of his trailer with his harem of drum smokers.

On Friday nights, many teams feed their friends and family at the contest site.

If you ever have a drought, just throw a BBQ contest because some meteorological anomaly causes it to rain at every contest.  Here come the storm clouds rolling in. 

But this wasn't just any old passing shower, this was the remnants of Tropical Storm Cindy.  You see that black dot for 1am Saturday morning?  Yeah, that's pretty much smack dab on top of the contest site.

The strong winds accompanying the storms took out at least one tent and threatened to carry away anything that wasn't strapped, bolted, or welded down.


Saturday - Competition Day

This is the more intense day.  Teams have to turn in 4 BBQ meats 30 minutes apart and if they miss the turn in time by 5 minutes, you are disqualified for that category and your chances of a decent overall score are toast.

12pm - chicken
12:30pm - ribs
1:00pm - pork
1:30pm - brisket

So organization, timing, and teamwork are critical.

Some teams didn't realize they would get waterfront property for their contest sites :)

Henry of Soggy Bottom Smokers hiding out from the rain and checking out the latest weather radar to see when this band would pass through.

The rain didn't stop this young fellow and his sister from getting ready to vend lemonade and drinks to the crowds that do show up.

Small Town BBQ getting their garnish set in their turn in boxes.

Blount County The Big BBQ Bash KCBS BBQ Competition 2017
Jeff Thompson spritzing his chicken.

Sons of Smoke checking on their competition meats.  They were also there vending.

Blount County The Big BBQ Bash KCBS BBQ Competition 2017
Frank Murphy and 93.1 WNOX Classic Hits were there to broadcast and Frank was also the emcee for the awards ceremony.

Pull My Meat checking their chicken with a Thermapen.
The Pit Crew checking to see if it is time to take their ribs out just yet.  Time lines are a rough guide, the real expertise comes in knowing when to pull them earlier or let the food go longer.  

Soggy Bottom Smokers dipping his chicken legs into BBQ sauce.

Time to take the ribs out of their foil wrap.

Uncle Bud's checking on one of their many drum smokers.

Is this kid not adorable? It's wet and rainy but he's got a smile on his face raising money for charity.

Algood BBQ and Catering were there with their award winning BBQ.

Crimson Q checking their meats as turn in times approach.

Jay checking on this chicken.

Most teams do a smoke/braise combination on their chicken to ensure it is smoky enough but still perfectly tender.

These upright smokers are so cool looking.

Our friend, Harry Bryan of Q-We-Do, starting his last minute chicken.

Greg and Melanie of Paradise Que doing last minute touches on their chicken turn ins.

Harry seasoning the chicken.

Greg putting his ribs back in the smoke for just a little longer.

Paradise Que's chicken turn in box.  Chicken is probably the hardest category to win consistently.


K-Town Daddy's BBQ checking his temps.

Pull My Meat making their final decisions on ribs.  

Sons of Smoke has really stepped up their vending services with a huge concession trailer.


HTTP://INFO-UNIK-DUNIA.BLOGSPOT.COM/2010/09/10-LEDAKAN-TERDASYAT-TERBESAR-DI-ALAM.HTML

1. Pancaran Sinar Gamma

Pancaran sinar gamma adalah paling kuat yang pernah diketahui di alam semesta. Sinar yang memancar dari area yang sangat jauh namun terlihat, adalah GRB 090423, menjangkau “dunia” kita dari kejauhan 13 Milyar tahun cahaya !!!! dari bumi. Ledakan tersebut, yang hanya terekam kurang dari 1 detik, melepaskan energy lebih dari 100 kali energy yang dilepaskan oleh matahari selama 10 Milyar tahun.

2. Supernova

Supernova adalah bintang yang meledak yang seringkali “menyinari” keseluruhan galaksi. Supernova yang paling terang yang pernah di catat dalam sejarah adalah yang dilihat di konstelasi Lupus (bahasa latin untuk srigala) pada musim semi tahun 1006.
Ledakan luar biasa yang berwarna keemasan yang sekarang dikenal sebagai SN 1006 terjadi di hampir 7.100 tahun cahaya jauhnya, dan cukup terang untuk menyebabkan adanya bayangan dimalam hari, dan membaca dimalam hari, dan masih terlihat hingga berbulan-bulan pada siang hari.

3. Ledakan Komet Shoemaker-Levy9

Komet Shoemaker-Levy9 bertabrakan secara spektakuler dengan planet Jupiter pada 1994, gravitasi planet raksasa tersebut menarik komet tersebut dan memecahkan komet tersebut hingga area seluas 3 km, dan mereka menghujam dengan kecepatan 60 km/detik menghasilkan 21 tumbukan yang terlihat.
Tumbukan terbesar menyebabkan bola api hingga setinggi 3000 km diatas awan Jovian dan menyebabkan bintik hitam dengan diameter 12.000 km2 (sekitar sebesar bumi) dan diperkirakan meledak dengan kekuatan 6000 Giga Ton TNT.

4. Tumbukan Cretaceous-Tertiary

Era dinosaurus berakhir dalam bencana alam hamper 65 juta tahun lalu dan membunuh hampir setengah dari semua species di planet ini. Peneliti menyatakan bahwa sebenarnya planet sudah berada dalam ambang kehancuran lingkungan sebelum tumbukan Cretaceous-Tertiary (meteorit). Kawah seluas 180 km di chixulub di mexico mungkin adalah lokasi tumbukan tersebut.

5. Ledakan Gunung Tambora

Pada 1815, Gunung tambora di Indonesia meledak dengan kekuatan hampir 1000 mega ton TNT, merupakan ledakan gunung berapi terdahsyat yang direkam dalam sejarah.
Ledakan tersebut melontarkan 140 Milyar ton magma dan tidak hanya membunuh 71.000 orang di pulau Sumbawa (Dekat Lombok) tapi abu vulkanik yang dilontarkan menyebabkan anomaly iklim secara global, pada tahun selanjutnya (1816), dikenal sebagai tahun tanpa musim panas, salju turun di bulan juni di Albany N.Y, sungai es dapat ditemukan di bulan Juli di Pennsylvania, dan ratusan ribu orang menderita kelaparan secara global.

6.Ledakan Dekat Sungai Podkamennaya Tunguska

Sebuah ledakan misterius dekat sungai Podkamennaya Tunguska di 1908 meratakan area seluas 2000 km2 dari hutan Siberia (hampir seluas kota Tokyo). Peneliti mengira bahwa ledakan tersebut disebabkan oleh asteroid atau komet, mungkin diameternya sebesar 20m dan seberat 185.000 metric ton (7 kali berat titanic). Ledakan in tercatat  hampir sekuat 4 mega ton TNT (250 kali lebih kuat dari bom Hiroshima).

7. Bom Atom di Trinity site,Alamogordo

Bom atom yang pertama dalam sejarah, di ledakkan di Trinity site, dekat Alamogordo, N.M pada 1945, meledakan denga kekuatan hamper 20kilo ton TNT, ilmuan J. Robert Oppenheimer kemudian mengatakan, ketika dia mengawasi pengujian, Ia memikirkan sebuah petikan dari manuscript hindu Bhagavas Gita : “Saya akan menjadi Kematian, penghancur dunia”, senjata nuklir kemudian mengakhiri PDII dan menyebabkan ketakutan terhadap senjata pemusnah nuklir hingga berpuluh tahun kemudian.
Ilmuwan kemudian menemukan bahwa masyarakat di New Meksiko mungkin terkena radiasi nuklir ribuan kali dari batas normal yang masih bisa ditoleransi oleh tubuh.

8.Nuklir di Chernobly, Ukraina

Pada 1986, sebuah reactor nuklir meledak di Chernobly di ukraina, itu adalah kecelakaan nuklir terburuk dalam sejaran, ledakan tersebut melontarkan rector seberat 2000 ton dan menyebarkan 400 kali kadar radioaktive dibandingkan bom Hiroshima, mengkontaminasi lebih dari 200.000 km2 eropa, 600.000 orang terkena radiasi dosis tinggi, dan lebih dari 350.000 orang harus dievakuasi dari derah yang terkontaminasi.

9.Tabrakan kapal Kargo Perancis

Pada 1917, sebuah kapal kargo prancis, yang berisi penuh dengan bahan peledak untuk PD I, secara tidak sengaja bertabrakan dengan kapal berbendera belgia di pelabuhan Halifax, Kanada. Hal tersebut menyebabkan ledakan dengan dampak yang jauh lebih besar dari peladak yang pernah dibuat oleh manusia sebelumnya, setara dengan 3 kilo ton TNT.
Menyebarkan serbuk berwarna putih hingga 6.100m diatas kota dan menyebabkan Tsunami dengan ketinggian gelombang setara 18 m , hingga radius 2 Km disekitar pusat ledakan. Itu adalah kehancuran total, dan merenggut 2000 nyawa dan 9000 lainnya terluka. Itu tetao menjadi kecelakaan terburuk didunia yang disebabkan peledak buatan manusia.

10. Ledakan di kapal kargo SS Grandcamp

Sebuah kebakaran di kapal kargo SS Grandcamp yang sedang berlabuh di texas city pada 1947 memicu 2.300 ton amoniu nitrat, sebuah campuran yang digunakan untuk penyubur dan berdaya ledak tinggi.
Ledakan tersebut merontokan 2 pesawat terbang yang sedang melintas disekitarnya dan memicu reaksi berantai yang memicu ledakan sebuah kapal kargo lainnya yang juga membawa 1000 ton ammonium nitrat. Bencana ini membunuh lebuh dari 600 orang dan melukai 3.500 lainnya, dan secara umum dikategorikan bancana industry terburuk dalam sejarah U.S

          Nassim Nicholas Taleb   
Former options trader and hedge fund manager Nassim Nicholas Taleb is "the black swan"—a human incarnation of the sort of highly improbable but overpowering event that he investigates in his bestselling 2007 book of the same name. Like the strangely hued avian that was thought not to exist until 17th-century Dutch explorers discovered its native habitat, Australia, Taleb fits his own definition: 1) He lies outside the realm of normal expectations; 2) He has had an extreme impact, particularly in the world of finance; and 3) Many observers—journalists, admirers, and especially detractors—have been at pains to explain and categorize him after the fact.
SWAN SONG

On Business Dress:
"The guy in Silicon Valley looks wild, but he's less risky than a banker."
On the Tragedy of Economics:
"The structure of uncertainty in the world is vastly greater than we think."
On His Career:
"My problem is what my mother kept telling me: I'm too messianic in my views."

 

Taleb’s unlikely existence began 48 years ago in Lebanon, where he was born into a politically prominent, highly educated Greek Orthodox family. When he was 15, catastrophe struck in the form of the Lebanese civil war, an unexpected anomaly after 3,000 years of relative calm. He spent his war years reading in the family basement, hiding from the mayhem on the streets, and eventually received advanced degrees at Wharton and the University of Paris before going to work on Wall Street trading derivatives, currencies, commodities, and other complex instruments.

As a 29-year-old options trader at First Boston, he became rich on a single day—Black Monday, the Dow crash of October 19, 1987—when he had the foresight, or amazing good luck, to make tens of millions of dollars by shorting the market. Then one black swan followed another as Taleb, a lifelong non-smoker, was diagnosed with throat cancer. He beat the disease and in 2001 another black swan appeared when his first attempt at writing a book, Fooled by Randomness, was a cult hit and then a surprise bestseller. Today he is a principal in Universa, a billion-dollar hedge fund based in Santa Monica, California, but he spends most of his time as a much sought-after scholar—thinking, reading, writing, and occasionally giving high-dollar lectures.

In an exclusive interview last Friday with Portfolio.com—conducted as Taleb wandered, almost randomly, from his favorite French restaurant to his yacht club to a sidewalk café in the unnamed New York bedroom community where he lives—he shared his thoughts on the nature of risk, the ignorance of so-called experts, and the perils of boring bankers in suits and ties.


Lloyd Grove: You don't watch videos and you don't read newspapers. Why don't you watch videos?
 
Nassim Nicholas Taleb: The moving image doesn't have the aesthetic appeal of the written word. And I don't like people to watch images to get a representation of the world because it's going to be severely marred. If you see a plane crashing it's going to distort your statistical representation of the world. The press already has a problem in what it represents. They give you what can get your attention, so the press is not going to make you aware of the 40,000 to 50,000 car crashes every year that people die in—you don't hear about that. You hear about a plane crashing, you hear about a soldier dead in a war, because you have some emotional attachment to it. You don't hear of people dying of diabetes. You don't realize that this—this thing on the table, sugar—is killing more people than anything.
 
L.G.: Granted that videos are not an accurate statistical representation of what's going on in the real world, but why aren't you watching them?
 
N.N.T: I don't like it. My world is much, much more serene without audiovisual stimulation. That's too much. I understand the nature of how to cope with uncertainty in a world which is human. I'm a classicist. I live like a classicist. I think like a classicist. I don't like movies. I just read. I like reading. I like music, but I can't listen to music while doing something else.
 
L.G.: I don't want to invade your privacy, but do you allow your kids?
 
N.N.T.: Yeah, I don't influence other people.
 
L.G.: So if they say "We're going to go see Batman" —
 
N.N.T.: I don't tell people "Don't watch movies." There are plenty of good movies. I tell people don't get your representation of the news from television, because it hits you in a part of your brain, and the way it hits you is much more the story than if you'd read it. And if you read it, it's much more distorting if you read words than if you're reading statistics. When did I stop watching news on television? I never really watched television, even as a child, I never liked it. I grew up with a lot of books, and television for me was something that other people did. I never watched sports, so I don't watch sports. I bought a TV set when I was in school here at Wharton [business school at the University of Pennsylvania] and hardly ever turned it on.
  
L.G.: Because it reduces something to—
 
N.N.T.: A burning building is going to be a lot more anecdotal than a statement about what happened—and a statement about what happened is going to be a lot more anecdotal than statistics of what happens in the world to put it in context. To give you an idea, I go to Beirut all the time. If I watched television, I couldn't—it would sort of convince me to not go. The risk of death is nothing, right? I mean, it's minor compared to the risk of being killed in a car accident, you see?
 
L.G.: So statistically it's more likely to have a car accident and injure yourself in a Westchester bedroom community than in—
 
N.N.T.: Than in Lebanon. Iraq is the only place where you're vastly much more likely to get hurt or killed, but if you count how many people die every year in the States by car versus how many people die violent deaths in Lebanon, it's minor.
 
L.G.: And why don't you read newspapers?
 
N.N.T.: Newspapers I stopped reading in the '80s. You know how I know a subject is worth it? If you hear about it in a social setting. That's the best filter.
 
L.G.: So if you go to a party, they're screeners for you?
 
N.N.T.: In a normal society, people talk about events. By not having much exposure to TV, I'm necessarily faced with having a contextual reality around me which corresponds a lot more to the normal one, the social fabric and stuff like that. I do go online. You want to minimize your exposure to very bad uncertainty, and maximize your exposure to small events. If you live in Iowa, and are locked up in your house, even if you have internet, you're not going to get exposure to the world of ideas. Most ideas came from serendipity, and you want to maximize serendipity. How do you maximize serendipity? You go to parties, okay?  

L.G.: But you know what the markets are doing.
 
N.N.T.: Same thing with the markets. I don't know what they're doing at any point in time except when they do a lot—because your brain cannot distinguish between small and big. We have so much evidence of that. Some events have massive consequences, and you should look at them. But if you look at the Dow and it moves a little, it's not even statistically significant, you cannot see it without some emotional reaction and some theorizing. So you want to theorize as little as possible. But today, I am interested in the market, because the euro had the biggest move in a long time. Today, I'm concerned. The euro moved a lot.
 
L.G.: Downward.
 
N.N.T.: Yeah, and I'm interested—so today it's information. When something is moving barely, it's not information. If you were to read the newspaper account of things, the discussion should be, because of the size of the move today, a billion times longer than the discussion you get on a regular day. It moved 3 cents. To $1.50-something. That is worth discussing when it happens once a year in the euro. If the stock market crashes, that's information. If it moves five points, it's not. So when you listen to radio, they're going to tell you in the same-length program whether it moved five points, or 23 percent. And the lengths of newspapers should be in proportion to the importance of the facts—and they're not.
 
L.G.: Is your interest in the movement of the euro today because you advise a hedge fund?
 
N.N.T.: It's too complicated, because I have—well, I can't talk about my investments. People are reading too much into what I say, so I'm not going to disclose everything I'm doing, see? People take a small piece of what I do and then read too much into it.
 
L.G.: That must be a weird phenomenon.
 
N.N.T: I know. But I'm a thinker about randomness and my ideas about randomness are the ones that matter, not what I ate for breakfast or whether I watch television.  

L.G.: And this "hating ties" business, and I know you're being funny, but you distrust people who wear ties?
 
N.N.T.: It correlates rather well with incompetence.
 
L.G.: You lambaste bankers as boring people in suits and ties who pretend that they're very prudent but are in fact taking reckless risks without even understanding them.
 
N.N.T.: Exactly. If they wear a tie they look conservative. The guy in Silicon Valley looks wild, but he's less risky than a banker. 
 
L.G.: So bankers are actually mad men in sane peoples' clothing?
 
N.N.T.: Exactly. One second. [Stares intensely into his BlackBerry.] Before we met, I was trying to do something...
 
L.G.: Are you trying to execute a trade? Are you losing money?
 
N.N.T.: I have receipts, I have a business. I get a lot of income from my books in Europe. I just want to make sure that I'm not bothered by that drop [in the euro]. I sell three times more in the U.K. than here. It sold 178,000 copies—115,000 in the last three months. But I've got income coming from different places, and I set up contracts where I'm paid in local currency.
 
L.G.: And the dollar is advancing against the pound.
 
N.N.T.: Not good for me. But what I do is, I allocate a portion of it, I keep it in pounds in the U.K.—I'm in London every month—and a portion of it in euros that I spend there, and then the rest I've got to hedge it...Have you read this book called The 4-Hour Workweek?
 
L.G.: No.
 
N.N.T.: It's similar to these concepts. I try to avoid drag-down work, so when I write, I don't write more than an hour in any given day. When I've done an hour, I make sure I don't write more. And I make sure I don't work hard because when you work hard, you sort of dilute yourself.
 
L.G.: You probably define "work" more narrowly than other people.
 
N.N.T.: Yeah, probably. Writing is not work for me.
  
L.G.: Yes, it almost made me hate you when you wrote in your book that it "wrote itself."
 
N.N.T.: Yeah, I only do things where there's a natural stimulation. I had no natural stimulation to sit in a meeting, so I would not sit in a meeting, and that has worked for me. I want to free up the time to think—that requires the details in my reading and my writing and thinking. Enjoyable activities. When I'm writing, if I get bored, I'll stop immediately, mid-sentence, that's it, I don't write anything that bores me...You have a copy of The Black Swan? Let me show you, I think I have it here, page 225, in the footnote. Read it.
 
L.G: [Reads] "Likewise, the government-sponsored institution Fannie Mae, when I look at their risks, seems to be sitting on a barrel of dynamite, vulnerable to the slightest hiccup. But not to worry, their large staff of scientists deem these events 'unlikely.'"
 
N.N.T: That's the central point. The rest is noise.
 
L.G.: You wrote that footnote in 2005?
 
N.N.T: Yes, but actually I saw their positions in 2003, when a very smart journalist, Alex Berenson of the New York Times, came to me and said, Can I show you the risk of Fannie Mae? When I saw it, I almost choked. [In Berenson's August 2003 article, Taleb was quoted as saying Fannie Mae and other major holders of mortgages and mortgage-backed securities chronically underestimate the odds of a big move in interest rates that could decimate the value of their portfolios, over-relying on computer models that don't account for rare but devastating events, i.e. black swans. "The fact that they have not blown up in the past doesn't mean that they're not going to blow up in the future. The math is bogus," he told the Times.] The core of my idea, the central problem here, is not to be a sucker for 1,000 days—not to be a turkey. See?

L.G.: In other words, just because you're a turkey and being well fed for 999 days doesn't mean the butcher isn't going to get you on the 1,000th day?
 
N.N.T.: Correct. The problem of The Black Swan is that people don't understand the place in the world that we know the least about, where our knowledge is the softest, are where the most charlatans exist—and that's pretty much predicting rare events. I'm talking about "Extremistan" [the complex real world, as Taleb defines it, where an unpredictable and devastating event can dictate the outcome, as opposed to "Mediocristan," a bogus model of reality favored by "charlatans" where no rare events occur and probabilities are distributed along a predictable bell curve.] That is my big problem. In 2003, I saw that they didn't have a clue about the risks. So I looked at the report, I made a statement in the New York Times that these guys don't know what's going on, and I was pestered by bankers completely. And then, right after, of course, the chairman of Fannie Mae [Franklin Raines] resigned, so they left me alone, but I later heard people on it wanted to sue me for defaming Fannie Mae. I heard that they were very angry about my statement that you can't manage the risks. But I wish someone had sued me because I would've had the chance to warn society about this.
 
The way that I look at it, people who live in Extremistan, not understanding that they're in Extremistan, build up positions on rare events because "they don't happen"—and  businesses blow up when these events do happen. It doesn't take long to understand if you're exposed to it or not. Instead, they produce all these theories, there's a Nobel Prize in economics for them, and these theories don't work. So my request for people making bets against the black swan is to just tell us "We don't know anything." They'll come in with some scientists to produce numbers, but they're unreliable. In other words, if you're piloting a plane, tell the passengers, "I don't know the probability of this plane crashing." That's not what they did. The other problem I have is, most people don't realize that some businesses are positively exposed to black swans and some are negatively exposed to black swans.
 
L.G.: Like high-tech businesses?
 
N.N.T: Positively exposed. Some of them are both—like real estate. But what happened was that individuals get the upside, and banks lose the downside. Big business is exposed to negative black swans. Take banks. I wrote in The Black Swan that 193 banks lost 100 percent of everything they ever made on Latin America, but not to worry—that can't happen to other businesses, right? Now it's a big $1.4 trillion loss. Look at how much money that banks have made in history. These institutions are very good at losing every penny they make outside the risk-taking, like Citibank and all these firms. We're bailing them out now.
 
At a micro level, I don't have a lot of things to say, except, "Don't rescue banks." ...  I  think that the longer you defer the big non-bailout, the harder it's going to get for us, because banks aren't learning. Think about it. The biggest problem we have on Wall Street, the classical one, is "How many people do you know who made millions when their investments went wrong?" The Fannie Mae chairman, all these guys, didn't they make a lot of money? Did they pay back when they lost? They had a moral hazard, and you and I are financing it. I don't know what we should do in a particular case. In general, if there's some guiding principles, I think government makes things worse. Now that we face globalization, the government is out there to create more volatility and more instability because the nation-state is not a structure that's adapted to the modern world. So they still use bogus metrics.
 
L.G.: What about all these mortgages that are going into default? Does the government have no role?
 
N.N.T.: I don't know now what to do. I told people about the subprime problem before it happened, so I told people how to prevent it, by looking at risk of banks. And people for 10 years would make fun of me, for 10 years made my life miserable, more than 10 years, from 1994 on. Eleven years ago, 1997, is when I attacked these methods to evaluate risk, and people have been giving me a hard time. And now look at what was caused by their pseudo-science, "measuring" risk! 
 
Economics is a tragedy for me. Because look at how the whole world now is designed according to some ideas that have not proved adequate. The whole financial system. We don't understand economic policy, do you realize that? Alan Greenspan lowered interest rates thinking it would help the economy. All it did was push banks to take risks—hidden risks. Do you realize that we don't understand globalization? Globalization increases Extremistan. That's one problem with this Tom Friedman guy—he [the bestselling author of The World Is Flat, which argues the advantages of globalization in the internet age] didn't seem to understand the very simple dynamics that globalization forces redundancy out of the system. And whenever you don't have redundancy, you have Extremistan. Things are way too efficient, so the smallest mistake blows up. We depend so much on the internet. Tomorrow, if there's a problem in Bangalore, we're toast for a long time, you see?
  
I'm on a committee at the Pentagon, [the Highland Forum, a study group on risk] and one of the founders of the internet is on it and all these people understand that we need more redundancy in the system to avoid a second crisis that may come from the internet, because we don't understand it. So, in other words, I have a lot of lists of what to do, you see, but they're all unpopular or unpleasant.
 
The structure of uncertainty in the world is vastly greater than we think. So let's stop playing the narrative fallacy. Take economics, for example. How many economists figured out that when people go to the store to buy products from China, they're raising the price of oil at the pump? How many people thought of that? They raise the price at the pump just by going there.
 
L.G.: Buying things from China, whose economy then has an exploding demand for oil?
 
N.N.T.: Yeah, people don't think of that. We don't live in a simple structure, and all these models are useless. How did the internet come about? From Ronald Reagan spending a lot of money for defense against Russians, his obsessive disorder with the Russians. Thanks to him I can call my mom for 8 cents a minute in Lebanon.
 
L.G.: An unintended positive outcome. Viagra is another example. [Pfizer scientists discovered the erectile dysfunction remedy while trying to develop a heart medication.]
 
N.N.T.: Beyond Viagra. Almost everything. A lot of things in medicine that we thought came by design in fact came by serendipity and were dressed up later as design. My point is what I call "rationalism" versus "empiricism." Rationalism is a platonic way of viewing the world—I call it "platonicity"—where you want to put the world in a box. But empirical reality is different. In my next book, Tinkering [due at some indeterminate point in the future, because Taleb refuses deadlines], I've made the case that medicine failed when it was platonic, because we're suckers for pseudo-experts that will kill you. We know that in the past, surgeons multiplied your risk of death by four times.
 
L.G.: If you went to the hospital in the 19th century, you were increasing your risk?
 
N.N.T.: Up until Semmelweis [mid-19th-century Hungarian physician Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis, who, over much official opposition, introduced hand-washing with chlorinated lime solutions], there was a high probability of a death sentence attached to giving birth in a hospital. But then again, life expectancy did not increase thanks to doctors. The big break didn't even come until 1940 when we had penicillin. So what I'm saying is we're suckers. We'd go to a doctor just to have the illusion of control. Likewise, we give ourselves to pseudo-experts simply because we believe these people help us.
 
Montaigne understood it. Don't ask a doctor if you need an examination. Montaigne said, "Don't ask a general if you need peace." Warren Buffett repeats it as "Don't ask a barber if you need a haircut." I mean, I'm not providing the answer because I don't want to sound like a charlatan, but in fact when I dig down, I wrote some rules. For my next book, I'm calling for more bottom-up tinkering, less top-down theorizing. I have a lot of things to say, but I'll talk to you about it when the thing comes out.
 
L.G.: Whenever that is, because you don't do deadlines?
 
N.N.T.: My minimum is three years from today to deliver the manuscript. With The Black Swan, they were very, very nice to me at Random House. They said "when you're ready." It's the same thinking with Tinkering. You've got to tinker with a book.
 
L.G.: I read that you got a $4 million advance.
 
N.N.T.: I don't know if it's true.
 
L.G.: Have you already put it in euros and you don't know what the dollar value of it is now?
 
N.N.T.: Some of it comes from euros, but I have no idea.
 
L.G.: Are the people who are running our financial institutions capable of learning from their mistakes and fixing them?
 
N.N.T.: No, and this is the problem with incentives. A C.E.O.'s incentive is not to learn, because he's not paid on real value. He's paid on cosmetic value. So he's paid to be nice to the Merrill Lynch analysts or the Wall Street analysts. So this is where the problem starts.
 
L.G.: What if you hear that a bunch of Wall Street folks got together and decided to offer some risk-management prescriptions so we won't have this kind of subprime meltdown again? [Last week, top risk managers at several Wall Street firms presented just such a report on the fiasco to the secretary of the Treasury.] Are you skeptical?
 
N.N.T.: I don't know, I just try to stay out of it, to just not lose my intuition. It seems to me that a lot of these people who shot the poor guy are now trying to medicate him. The very same people that were responsible for the crisis are trying to fix it. The problem is, I'm so suspicious of government, particularly the Federal Reserve, that I see self-serving stuff all the way, particularly in hindsight. I don't want to talk about the crisis in hindsight. I spoke about it in foresight beforehand, and that's it. So now I'm moving on to the next crisis.
 
L.G.: Describe to me the fallacy involved in coming at a crisis with hindsight and reinterpreting it and then coming up with solutions for it.
 
N.N.T.: Because then you get a Maginot Line problem. [After World War I, the French erected concrete fortifications to prevent Germany from invading again—a response to the previous war, which proved ineffective for the next one.] You know, they make sure they solve that particular problem, the Germans will not invade from here. The thing you have to be aware of most obviously is scenario planning, because typically if you talk about scenarios, you'll overestimate the probability of these scenarios. If you examine them at the expense of those you don't examine, sometimes it has left a lot of people worse off, so scenario planning can be bad. I'll just take my track record. Those who did scenario planning have not fared better than those who did not do scenario planning. A lot of people have done some kind of "make-sense" type measures, and that has made them more vulnerable because they give the illusion of having done your job. This is the problem with risk management. I always come back to a classical question. Don't give a fool the illusion of risk management. Don't ask someone to guess the number of dentists in Manhattan after asking him the last four digits of his Social Security number. The numbers will always be correlated. I actually did some work on risk management, to show how stupid we are when it comes to risk.
  
L.G.: You got your, as you put it, "fuck you" money from the 1987 crash of the Dow, when you were an options trader at First Boston. Did you have any sense that was going to happen? Did you position yourself against the possibility?
 
N.N.T: But that's not too relevant to my point, because a rare event for me is not an opportunity to make money. The whole point is you should tell people about rare events. A charlatan is the guy who tells you how to make money. The guy who tells you how not to lose your money is not a charlatan, because negative advice is much more robust. Look at the Ten Commandments—don't do this, don't do that. So I never play the charlatan, I never tell people to try to make money off rare events, I tell people to not rely on rare events.
 
L.G.: So then you set up a system with your own hedge fund?
 
N.N.T.: What we did is, I risk-managed portfolios for institutions by protecting them. You take the portfolio and then make sure that we're covered for a rare event. Typically you can't hedge it—but that's not what interested me. Mostly I wanted to be a scholar, and it took me about 20 years to finish The Black Swan.
 
L.G.: Right, and you're comfortable, you can obviously provide for yourself and your family.
 
N.N.T.: Listen, I would've been starving and it would have been the same. This is the thing. Everybody says I haven't changed, I'm still the same. My problem is what my mother kept telling me: I'm too messianic in my views.

L.G.: Has your mom been telling you that for a long time or just recently?

N.N.T.: More recently, because before she didn't think that I was going to, well, I was never going to be someone who plans to try and make a career. Listen, at age 15 I was put in jail for attacking a cop. That tells you something.

L.G.: But you no longer physically act out?

N.N.T.: No, no longer.

L.G.: When was the last fight you got in?

N.N.T.: Oh, with a cab driver in New York in '86. I won, he ran away, I tried to break his windshield with my hand. The fiancée of my cousin was getting in the cab, and he started driving as she's getting in. I told him "What are you doing?" He said "You guys take too much time to start," and started cursing. I said, "I'm going to take care of you, all right?" So  I got out of the car and I chased him, got him on the traffic light, tried to break his thing. I almost broke my hand. That was the last time, in '86. But someone tried to kill me in the pit in 1992 [when Taleb was an options trader at the Chicago Board of Trade].

L.G.: He was losing money?

N.N.T.: Whatever it was, he said "Get out of this space, it's mine," and I told him to get lost. He got angry, in a state of rage, and he tried to strangle me. He said, "You've got to get out," I said, "I'm not going to get out." So he lost—he couldn't get me to leave.

L.G.: This comes from your having spent a childhood in Beirut in the basement reading books while shells were bursting overhead?

N.N.T.: Maybe, but this is a biographical fallacy. It's nice to write a little bit for context, but other people have had the same experience. No, I always say it the way it is, so I'm driven with a sense of duty to say it the way it is. I'm not interested when speakers' bureaus tell me, "They want your portrait." I'm not going to go give them my portrait. I have a sense of security, and it produces income, but it's uncompromising. It so happens that being uncompromising has worked for me so far—more than worked.

The point is, I don't give a flying damn about the public eye. I care about ideas, all right? So I cannot be divorced from my ideas. I have very strong ideas, coherent ideas, and I have a worldview and it's a worldview that is convincing to so many people that my problem is I'm not doing enough for that world view.
 
L.G.: So you don't feel like there's a slippery slope going from being a public intellectual to becoming an entertainer?
 
N.N.T.: For me it's impossible.
 
L.G.: But you're a very entertaining man.

N.N.T.: Maybe, but I'm not playing a role. If someone asked me for an op-ed, I wouldn't write it. Harper's asked me for an op-ed, "Can We Save Capitalism?" you know, and I told them, "Listen, no editing, these are my rules, this is the style."

L.G.: Did they do it?

N.N.T.: No, they stopped talking to me. But at this point,  my books are read by more people than any journal.

L.G.: How many copies of your two bestsellers are in print now?

N.N.T.: Now I should have 700,000 of The Black Swan in all languages out. I have a contract for 27 languages, and both books together [Swan along with Fooled By Randomness] should be 1-point-some million copies. And 400 million people have read coverage on the internet. When there's a profile published, you count how many readers have the profile and you add it up.

L.G.: So you can track this accurately, you think?

N.N.T: Not accurately, but within 100 million.
 
L.G.: But you're not content, obviously, to be a prophet without honor in his own country—you want to actually have some impact on policy?

N.N.T.: I just have my ideas, but I'm not a public intellectual. I'm a thinker. In the end, the only thing that counts is the book. I have an obsessive disorder, it's not like I'm interested in my own welfare. Tomorrow if someone pays me a million dollars to talk about blueberries, I won't go. This is what I can afford. If you offered me a million dollars to talk about the weather tomorrow at noon, I wouldn't do it. No. And I usually turn down the ones that have a lot of people with ties. I have a thing about ties.

L.G.: Have you been to a shrink to find out what that's all about?

N.N.T.: It's simple heuristics. You want to see the people that are the most fake, that's why they're wearing a tie. But maybe there's some disorder, some hatred of ties.

L.G.: Some people have a fear of snakes. What's the Latin phrase for tie-phobic?

N.N.T.: Cravatphobia.

L.G.: I'm just curious, how much in lecture fees have you turned down?

N.N.T.: I turn down things all the time. I've definitely turned down $60,000 for something.

L.G.: Because they wanted you to talk on a topic that didn't interest you?

N.N.T.: No, because the crowd didn't interest me, I'd rather stay home and work in my library.

Related Links
Nassim Taleb and the Ubiquity of Moral Hazard
The Fed Turns Up the Tap
Hoping for a Fed Encore


          Knowledge Is Power for June 11, 2006   
Story Links | Yearly Kos Convention | Planetary Society Enables Study Of Mysterious Pioneer Anomaly | One Man Unhappy about Killing of Zarqawi | Pentagon Sets sights on social networking sites | Iowa Flood Control | Elaborate Terrorism Drill | Pimps | Gnarls Barkley at MTV movie awards | Brawny for Camp Brawny | Hoes | The sociopath A-- C------ | RIAA for not getting it | Things With Whom We Wish We Were Friends | Jonathan Coulton | Creased Comics |
          Comment on Monday Night Volleyball by Chris Carosa   
Author’s Comment: Who would have thought an anomaly during high school would lead to such a healthy and enjoyable habit. As my football career waned (I was heading into my thirties at this point and that’s a bit old even for adult flag football leagues) my volleyball career was just beginning. I suppose this piece turned into an unintended metaphor for my sports life. On the gridiron I soon moved from play to player-coach to just coach. Meanwhile, my volleyball activities increased. Two years after I wrote this I spent a week in the Caribbean at a resort that specialized in volleyball training. After I got married I decided to suspend all the “outside-the-home” activities associated with my bachelor life. Unfortunately, that included volleyball.
          Causes for Male Infertility   

Ninety percent of male infertility is caused by the inability to produce enough sperm. Azzospermia occurs when no sperm is produced while olibospermia diagnosed when few sperm are produced.

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          BRP Selects Anomaly as its Creative and Brand Strategy Agency   
PRZOOM - Newswire (press release) - 2017/04/27, Valcourt, Québec Canada - BRP selected Anomaly as its creative and brand strategy agency of record for its Ski-Doo, Sea-Doo, Evinrude, Can-Am Spyder and Can-Am off-road brands, following a thorough process - Anomaly.com / BRP.com
           Derivation of sea level anomaly using satellite altimeter    
A. H. M., Din and K., Omar (2009) Derivation of sea level anomaly using satellite altimeter. In: Proceeding of 2009 East Asia Hydrographic Symposium & Exhibition (EAHSE), 2009, The Legend Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.
           Gravity Anomaly And Topography Induced By Repeated Fault Motions    
Syed Ilias, Syed Hashim and Wan Mohd Akib , Wan Abdul Aziz (1997) Gravity Anomaly And Topography Induced By Repeated Fault Motions. Buletin Geoinformasi, 2 (1). pp. 71-82. ISSN 1394-7702
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          The Two Towers, or the Siren's Ultimate Prophecy   



So for the past few weeks we've been looking at how a constellation of connections, syncs and symbols surrounding the doomed romance of Elizabeth Fraser and Jeff Buckley all ultimately point back to the great myth of the love goddess and her doomed shepherd boy consort. 

For what possible reason I can only speculate.

Somehow this story seems to revolve around "Song to the Siren," the totemic ballad about love and death Fraser made her signature, as well as the doomed young singer whose fate seems to have been foretold for a very, very long time. (And that ballad seems to have a growing death toll).*


Lions were closely associated with Inanna and Ishtar

I thought I'd wrapped this all up for good a few years ago but Chris Cornell's death seemed to dredge something up. He was Jeff Buckley's close friend and surrogate and died on the banks of the Detroit River near Belle Isle, itself infused with ancient traditions remarkably similar to the Siren.

And sure enough, a reader informed me that a few hundred feet east of the MGM Grand Hotel where Chris Cornell died, a very interesting landmark is about to open:

Siren Hotel to open in Wurlitzer Building in November
The Siren Hotel in downtown Detroit's historic Wurlitzer Building will be ready for guests in November, following a $22 million build-out of the 14-story, 55,000-square-foot space. 
The hotel, at 1509 Broadway St., will feature 98 rooms and eight suites, along with seven food and beverage spaces, two retail shops and panoramic rooftop views, according to real estate developer ASH NYC, which owns and operates the hotel.   
The name is inspired by Sirens of ancient Greek mythology, a metaphoric beckoning of people back to a revitalizing Detroit. 

This really shouldn't surprise me anymore. 



After all, we've seen how nearly every significant detail in this story seems to correspond to another significant detail in the stories and history surrounding the goddess-consort myth. 

We've seen how the foreshadowings of how the story would ultimately end were written and delivered in the exact same manner that the ancient priestesses of Apollo would deliver their prophecies.

This only makes sense, because priestesses of Apollo used to prophesy in the temples of Atargatis, the Syrian love goddess who turned herself into the first mermaid after the death of her own shepherd-boy lover. Mermaids would come to be identified with Sirens in late antiquity.

But who cares, right? I mean, this is probably all either typical OCD-driven fan-blog projection or just some glitch in the Matrix, some random anomaly in the code. I mean, everything's ultimately connected to everything, right? Can't we all be brothers?

And plus, if any of this were real then someone else would have already noticed it, right?

Well, maybe someone did. Maybe some very powerful and influential people, in fact. Maybe those people wanted to rub off some of that magic on their own spells. Maybe they in fact did exactly that.

In the immortal words of Max Fenig, "Somebody's always paying attention."

Come feel the deep...

HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD

Something happened to Elizabeth Fraser when her lost love died. After their breakup Fraser was nearly despondent with what she herself called "grief" and "mourning." 

Like I said, she really loved this guy. Almost like"hide the bunny, Jeff" loved this guy. He seemed to have that effect on people.

She wrote and recorded a number of songs (at least seven, by my reckoning) for and about Buckley, produced a nakedly-confessional long-form music video as a love letter to Buckley and dedicated an album to him. 

One of the songs she wrote - which became her best-known- was recorded the day Buckley died by drowning in Memphis' Wolf River.



But just as Aphrodite lost her beauty when her Adonis died and descended into the Underworld, Fraser thereafter seemed to shun the astonishing range that made her famous. She floated into the wispy, breathy reaches of her upper register, eschewing that lusty, meaty mezzo that made the best of her Cocteau Twins material so compelling. 

It was almost as if she had intentionally wanted to become a ghost of herself. She since confessed to succumbing to a long and crippling bout of depression.

She seemed to signal this when she sang, "Oh, what woman can sing without loving the primitive heart?" She did so on a 1996 EP that also contained perhaps her most startling take on the Siren mythos, "Flock of Soul." The chorus on that song - written as an entreaty to a former lover who also happens to be a singer-- goes like this: 

Come feel the deep
It's my little friend
Come feel the deep 
It's love in a flood 

The song, recorded in 1995, was released shortly after Jeff Buckley and girlfriend Joan Wasser nearly drowned during a midnight swim in Gold Coast, Australia.

HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD



After leaving the Cocteau Twins, Fraser found her services were called upon by some very famous directors.

Alan Rickman (best known as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films) hired her to sing the theme song to his directorial debut, The Winter Guest, starring another future Harry Potter alum, Emma Thompson (who, incidentally, brings on the apocalypse in I Am Legend).

Irish director Neil Jordan then hired Fraser to sing the theme song for his film In Dreams. This surreal psychological thriller, starring Annette Bening and Robert Downey Jr, is entirely centered on drowning and rivers. 

No, seriously. From stem to stern. 

It also centers on the crossover between the world of dreams and symbols with consensus reality and features what can reasonably be called a kind of Siren character.



Here's the first verse to the song Fraser recorded for the soundtrack:

Waters cover me, wrap me where I sleep, 
Wash between us, 
Where you're dreaming, 
Where you wake tomorrow.

Given recent events one can't help but wonder what exactly is going on here, and why a woman so clearly devastated by a drowning death would agree to such a project.

(Oh before I forget, In Dreams also centers on the destruction of a town and Bening's character's husband is an airline pilot).


THE LAMENTATIONS OF THEIR WOMEN



Then (Sir) Peter Jackson hired Fraser to sing on the soundtracks to the first two Lord of the Rings films. She sang "Lament for Gandalf" on the Fellowship of the Ring soundtrack and "Isengard Unleashed" and "Lament for Haldir" for the Two Towers soundtrack.

Both latter songs focus on the Battle of Helm's Deep, the climactic scene in The Two Towers where the sanctuary of the peoples of Rohan is attacked by an army of Uruk-Hai. Helm's Deep's walls are ultimately breached by a Uruk-Hai wielding a giant bomb.

"Isengard Unleashed" is also the title of a scene in The Two Towers that features Brad Dourif, who also appears in Blue Velvet, the film for which David Lynch tried to license Elizabeth Fraser's "Song to the Siren."

The first Rings movie opened two months after 9/11. There was some concern at the time about the Two Towers title and some discussion that it might be changed. There were also parallels drawn by some between 9/11 and the siege of Helm's Deep in The Two Towers. 



The fact that Fraser was chosen for two of the three laments in the film series ties quite snugly into our overarching mythic narrative. Laments are traditionally sung by women (as Conan would remind you) and are commonly associated with the love goddesses we've been looking at, which they sang for the shepherd lovers upon their deaths. (Remember that Gandalf the Grey also descended to the Underworld before being "reborn" in The Two Towers as Gandalf the White).

And appropriately, the ancient laments are filled with the same kinds of lyrical repetitions that Elizabeth Fraser's songs are, particularly the ones that we've looked at in the context of foreshadowing. For example that of Inana:

"Let me utter the lament for you, the lament for you, the lament! 
Let me utter the lament for you, the lament for you, the lament! 
In the birthplace let me utter the lament for you, the lament! 
In the desert, O Dumuzid, let me utter the lament for you, the lament! 

And of course, Isis:

Come to your house, come to your house!
You of On, come to your house,
Your foes are not!
O good musician, come to your house!

Laments are also a particularly prominent form in Scottish music. And by any reasonable standard the songs Fraser wrote to Jeff Buckley for Rilkean Dreams are laments. Particularly when you read the almost unbearably heartbreaking lines like these from 'Half-Gifts' which I mentioned before:

I still have a life, and it's a rich one even with mourning
Even with grief and sadness

I still care about this planet
I am still connected to nature and to my dreams for myself

I have my friends, my family
I have myself
I still have me


Interesting that she felt "grief" and "mourning" over their breakup, considering that these are terms most commonly associated with death.



'Rilkean Heart' and Rilkean Dreams are references to the poet Rainier Maria Rilke, whom the well-read Fraser compared Buckley to. And sure enough, Rilke is perhaps most famous for his own lament, The Sonnets to Orpheus, which he wrote when a young friend of the family died. 

Orpheus was a legendary musician and devotee of Apollo. He was killed by a raving pack of Maenads when he refused to worship Dionysus. His head and lyre floated down a river to the island of Lesbos where they were enshrined.



But the earliest known lament is the Sumerian Lamentation to Ur, believed to have been written when the Gutians, barbarians from the Central Asia steppes, destroyed the city in the 21st Century BCE.
The great storm howls above -- the people groan. The storm that annihilates the Land roars below -- the people groan. The evil wind, like a rushing torrent, cannot be restrained.

After the haze had lifted at noon, he made fires blaze. He locked up the day and the rising of the bright sun together with the good storm. In the Land he did not let the bright sun rise; it shone like the evening star.  
The scorching potsherds made the dust glow -- the people groan.  
The storm blazing like fire performed its task upon the people. The storm ordered by Enlil in hate, the storm which wears away the Land, covered Urim like a garment, was spread out over it like linen.


All of which takes us now into the Millennium Dome Show.

The Millennium Dome Show- in what was promised to be the biggest dome in the world- was a yearlong production intended to initiate the titular landmark built on the banks of the River Thames as part of a project meant to reclaim the Greenwich Penisula, the same location for which Greenwich Mean Time is named. 
The Dome project was conceived, originally on a somewhat smaller scale, under John Major's Conservative government, as a Festival of Britain or World's Fair-type showcase to celebrate the third millennium. The incoming Labour government elected in 1997 under Tony Blair, greatly expanded the size, scope and funding of the project. It also significantly increased expectations of what would be delivered. 
Just before its opening Blair claimed the Dome would be "a triumph of confidence over cynicism, boldness over blandness, excellence over mediocrity". In the words of BBC correspondent Robert Orchard, "the Dome was to be highlighted as a glittering New Labour achievement in the next election manifesto".
The Dome project was designed to inaugurate a new era for Britain and establish it as a new world capital (which it has largely become). But the Dome was largely a boondoggle, sitting vacant for years before it was reborn as the O2 arena. 



Even so, the Dome Show was better received than the Dome itself and was designed by Mark Fisher, the maestro of the modern mass spectacle, having designed installations for everyone from Pink Floyd to U2 to Lady Gaga. Essentially, all of these quasi-ritualistic displays on the Super Bowl and the Grammies and the rest that we're so familiar with today are inspired by Mark Fisher.

Oh, before I forget: Fisher also designed the opening and closing ceremonies for the Beijing and London Olympics. 

For the Dome Show Fisher hired Peter Gabriel to compose the soundtrack. The backstory for the Millennium Show is kind of, uh, interesting:
The Romeo-and-Juliet-like story told of a feud between the earth-people and the sky-people. A young boy from the sky and a young girl from the earth fell in love, but the feud between their people made it difficult for them to meet. 
So, I've gathered here that the Earth people learn to use metals and machines. Or something. They build an enormous tower as a fortress and declare war on the Sky People (calling Dr. Von Braun,  white courtesy telephone, please). 

An Earth-Girl falls in love with a Sky-Boy, but he's eventually captured and imprisoned in the tower. And is, uh, going to be dismembered. So the Earth-Girl leads an insurrection against the tower and it's blown up. 



By controlled demolition. 


SkyBoy in the Dome

As the song goes:

The sky people got hungry and their welfare was ignored
She let them in the tower and the bloody battle roared
Down came iron and the tower fell as well
The dark days were over and the sky people's hell

But don't worry; there's a happy ending.
Eventually the earth-people suffered a crushing defeat, which ultimately led them to unite with their sky enemies. At the end of the show, the lovers flew together into a better future.
Wow, interesting; what the fuck does any of this have to do with London and the Millennium?
The Millennium Show is steeped in the imagery of William Blake's great epic poem, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, and features fire-breathing Mad Max-style contraptions doing battle with with the "earth people" and their huge dragonflies.
OK, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell and the Earth People and the Sky People. I get it. 

Well, not really.



Let's pretend I do. How is this "better" future brought about?
 In the end, said Ms Page, "a child is born symbolising hope. We think it is a modern, timeless story with a subversive edge. It's also a story where the girl gets the boy..." 
So the child is a hybrid, basically. Of an Earth girl and a Sky person. Quite literally a hybrid since Peter Gabriel worked with a French cartoonist on a comic book meant to clarify the story, which attendees found confusing and hard to follow.



And boy howdy, the Sky-People look one hell of a lot like "demons of the air." It's kinda funny- Peter Gabriel got his start singing for Genesis and what we have here is a new spin on Genesis 6:4. 

Life's full of those quirky little ironies.

Anyhow, I guess we shouldn't be surprised when the hybrid flies off in a nest Gabriel compares to a flying saucer, both in interviews and in his lyrics.

Sitting up in a spaceship
Looking down at the earth
You wonder what they all struggling for
What's it all really worth
Making tomorrow today
Making tomorrow today



Oh, before I forget the Earth-Girl- who seems to be responsible for the destruction of the Tower- is named Sofia. As in this Sophia.  
She [Sophia] will cast them down into the abyss. They [the Archons] will be obliterated because of their wickedness. For they will come to be like volcanoes and consume one another until they perish at the hand of the prime parent. When he has destroyed them, he will turn against himself and destroy himself until he ceases to exist. And their heavens will fall one upon the next and their forces will be consumed by fire. Their eternal realms, too, will be overturned. And his heaven will fall and break in two.
On the Origin of the World, the Nag Hammadi library
Many scholars believe that Sophia was in fact a Gnostic adaptation of Isis, particularly her Hellenistic incarnation.



And guess what? The part of Sofiaº in the Dome Show is sung by Elizabeth Fraser.

Here are the first lyrics Fraser is given to sing:

I looked up at the tallest building.
Felt it falling down.
I could feel my balance shifting.
Everything was moving around.
These streets so fixed and solid.
Ah, shimmering haze.
And everything I relied on disappeared.



Now, the Rings producers took great care to ensure that the collapse of Sauron's tower at Mordor didn't look too much like the collapse of the Twin Towers. Since that hadn't happened yet when the Millennium Dome Show played, their producers weren't any such restrictions. 



And Jiminy-jumping-jingle, does the collapse of the Millennium Tower (@ 7:35) look one devil of a lot like the collapse of the North Tower.



And by a sheer fluke of happenstance there are actually two towers involved in the Millenniun Dome Show- one placed inside another. Note also the tower here is meant to resemble the Tower of Babel, or the Ziggurat of Babylon, Ishtar's city.



So let's be perfectly clear about this: the main event at the Millennium Dome, set to run the entire year and ring in the new age and herald a new era of glory for London and the UK, was a story about a war between Earth people and Sky-people climaxing in the demolition of a skyscraper. 

After which peace is reached when a Sky-boy and an Earth-girl bear a hybrid child (named OVO, or Egg) who then floats off in a what is essentially a flying saucer.

The British people paid millions of pounds for all of this and it was all overseen by none other than Tony Blair himself.  This was not just Vegas Cirque De Soleil review. This was an official production of the British Government. The world's foremost producer of mass spectacle was hired to put all this on and he in turn hired Peter Gabriel to produce the soundtrack.

And Gabriel in turn hires Elizabeth Fraser to play his Sophia-Isis. 

London's Sophia-Isis. On the Thames, also called "The Isis" (No, seriously. It is)

Of all the singers in the world he could have chosen - of all the stars who would have loved to land that part- he picks the very eccentric former singer from a very weird indie band who had their heyday some ten years before. (Fraser also looked quite gaunt and seemed a bit, um,  off when interviewed for a documentary on the project).


The OVOs are not what they seem

Now if Gabriel hired Fraser for one of his solo LPs, no one would bat an eye. Gabriel had been chasing that sweet, sweet, sweet Kate Bush dragon since the buxom Babooshka rocked his world when she was barely legal.† And Gabriel subsequently "worked with" several other singers including Laurie Anderson, Sinead O'Connor and Paula Cole. 

But this was clearly not just a solo project and this was clearly not just another gig. The symbolism here couldn't possibly be more potent. Isis and England go back a long ways, certainly back to the first Queen Elizabeth.  

And chew on this gum for a minute: what are the odds a singer would be randomly chosen to contribute to the soundtracks of not one but two separate and very prominent productions climaxing with the destruction of a tower within a short span of time of the most notorious tower-destruction since Babel?

If the odds don't seem too vanishingly small to you, then factor in all the other overkill syncs and symbols surrounding this extremely unlikely figure.

I should also remind you here that Peter Gabriel is an graduate of Charterhouse, one of the most exclusive schools in the world and an institution whose list of alumni reads like a who's who of the British Elite. He's also very tightly woven into the highest echelons of the Globalist hierarchy and has been for a very long time.

So I'm not saying Elizabeth Fraser was handpicked to be rubbed all over some bizarre, apocalyptic, elite ritual cycle because someone finally happened to notice that something very unusual happened to be, shall we say, interested in her.

Or maybe I am. I don't know. 

I'll have to get back to you on that.



Incidentally, this is the visual David Lynch flashes onscreen when we first hear Elizabeth Fraser sing 'Song to the Siren ' in Lost Highway. Just putting that one up on the ol' bulletin board there.

Now, I'd love to be done with all of this but I have a strong feeling it's not yet done with me. So in the meantime I'll let the great Bruce Rux have the last word:

Mysticism and Intelligence circles often overlap.  Psychic spies have been employed throughout history, in many different kingdoms of the world.  The CIA, MI-6 and NKVD employ them quite a bit.

Sometimes the Spooks employ the occult deliberately, for their own obscure reasons.

Musical groups, singers, actors, directors, producers, all kinds of entertainment industry people, are as often clandestine spies as people in the news business.  So it's always possible some deliberate machinations are at work behind the scenes.  

This Fraser/Buckley business is one of those that seems to go beyond that, though.  It's like the Intelligence boys go around trying to peer behind Isis' veil, only to find she's ahead of them. Some "bloody-handed dabblers" go poking-around, only to find there's already something in the shadows poking back..

Either way, a subtle form of dance is at play.  Artists can be modern shamans, knowingly or not.  They can tap into something much broader and deeper than they know.

I suspect that's what is at work  here.  The gods had their dance with Buckley and Fraser and their lot: A few perceptive people noticed.





• Heath Ledger and James Gandolfini both died two years after appearing in films with "Song to the Siren" on the soundtrack.

º Sky-Boy is played the former lead singer of The Blue Nile. Cute, eh?

† Bush and Fraser are often compared and had their own mutual admiration society going. Also, Fraser's other contribution to It'll End in Tears (besides 'Song to the Siren') was Roy Harper's 'Another Day', which Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush sang in 1979 for a Christmas special. 

Kate Bush's "Running Up that Hill", which rather cheekily borrows the old Cocteau beat, was featured in the

The warm waters in the equatorial and northern Pacific off the West Coast and the water-logged soils in the Southern Plains are some of the factors influencing the temperature precipitation outlooks for June 2015.

Colored areas on these maps show the probability that June precipitation (left) and temperature (right) will be well-above or well-below average (in the upper or lower third of the historical June conditions). Darker colors mean greater chances of a given monthly outcome, not a larger temperature or precipitation anomaly. Areas that are white are places where the chances of above-, below-, and near-average conditions are equal.

According to the latest outlook discussion from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, the elevated chance of relatively cool conditions in the Oklahoma and Texas are linked to the incredible amount of rain in the region in May. Wet soils tend to cool temperatures off.

The Pacific waters off the West Coast of the United States and south of Alaska are warmer than normal, contributing to the outlook for above-average warmth “downstream” over land.  In addition, a wide swath of western North America, from Alaska southward into northwest Mexico has been unusually warm since since January.

The broad band of elevated chances for well-above-normal precipitation across the heart of the country may be good news for drought conditions in the Southern Plains, but will hardly be welcome to those areas that experienced record-setting rain and floods in May. 

Maps by NOAA Climate.gov team, based on data from the Climate Prediction Center. Additional outlook maps are available via the Data Snapshots section of Climate.gov.

[Updated June 4, 2015]  The post was updated with the latest forecast maps (issued May 31). The large versions show Alaska. The originals (issued May 21) are available via "additional links" below and to the right of the images. The new maps show many of the same features as before, with a few additions (elevated chances for warmth and wetness in the East, dryness in Alaska's interior and the Great Lakes) and subtractions (the elevated chances for wetter-than-average conditions in some of the Southern Plains and Lower Mississippi have subsided to equal chances for any outcome.)

Department: 
Media Type: 
Rating: 
Average: 3.7 (3 votes)
Reviewer: 
Tom Di Liberto
Climate.gov Section: 
Rotator Image: 
Published Date: 
Wednesday, June 3, 2015

          The Anomaly - A Simple Man   
This thread was given the green light. The Anomaly, he really is a nobody, a simple man. He works hard, 9-5. Does no harm in 3D to anyone, an absolute...

- Poster: Officially Sanctioned (UID 41993874) - Updated: 07/01/17 1:54 AM - Views 2,149 - Replies 114

          (USA-CO-Schriever AFB) Systems Engineer   
The Boeing Company has an exciting opportunity for a Systems Engineer (Level 2) to join the dynamic team at Schriever AFB, CO. Our employees’ dreams go beyond Planet Earth. They are innovative, agile, creative, and challenge the status quo. They work well in teams while also having the ability to work assignments autonomously. Here at Satellite Systems, our employees collaborate with leaders in space innovation and pave the way in creating the world’s best satellite systems. We strive to grow our employees to be the most successful in the industry. *This position requires an active Secret U.S. Security Clearance (or higher).*(A U.S. Security Clearance that has been active in the past 24 months is considered active.) The Systems Engineer (Level 2) for the On-Orbit Operations Support Team supports the Global Positioning System (GPS) IIA and IIF satellite constellation with primary responsibility for the Nuclear Detonation Detection Subsystem (NDS). Specific emphasis is on development and/or review of NDS commanding requests, participating in NDS commanding activities, performing subsystem trending and performance analysis, on-call support for anomaly resolution and coordinating activities with other NDS agencies for routine and special requests. Requires general knowledge of the NDS and crosslink subsystems, satellite anomaly recovery and root cause corrective action process and a systems engineering background with ability to understand cause and effects and interrelationships within satellite subsystems. The roles and responsibilities of the position may include, but are not limited to: * Applies an interdisciplinary, collaborative approach to plan, design, develop and verify basic lifecycle balanced system of systems and system solutions. * Evaluates customer/operational needs to define system performance requirements, integrate technical parameters and assure compatibility of all physical, functional and program interfaces. * Performs analyses to optimize total system of systems and/or system architecture. * Performs analyses for affordability, safety, reliability, maintainability, testability, human systems integration, survivability, vulnerability, susceptibility, system security, regulatory, certification, product assurance and other specialties quality factors into a preferred configuration to ensure mission success. * Supports the planning, organization, implementation and monitoring of requirements management processes, tools, risk, issues, opportunity management and technology readiness assessment processes. *This position requires an active Secret U.S. Security Clearance.*(A U.S. Security Clearance that has been active in the past 24 months is considered active.) Boeing is the world's largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial airplanes and defense, space and security systems. We are engineers and technicians. Skilled scientists and thinkers. Bold innovators and dreamers. Join us, and you can build something better for yourself, for our customers and for the world. *Typical Education/Experience:* Degree and typical experience in engineering classification: Bachelor's and 2 or more years' experience or a Master's degree with experience. Bachelor, Master or Doctorate of Science degree from an accredited course of study, in engineering, computer science, mathematics, physics or chemistry. ABET is the preferred, although not required, accreditation standard. * * *Basic Qualifications:* * *This position requires an active Secret U.S. Security Clearance.*(A U.S. Security Clearance that has been active in the past 24 months is considered active.) * Experience working in Systems Engineering * Requires a Bachelor's degree (or higher) education *Preferred Skills:* * Experience working with military customers and processes * Direct experience with Satellite Systems Engineering groups * Experience with NDS and crosslink subsystems **Job:** **Systems Engineering Engineer* **Organization:** **S&MS Engineering* **Title:** *Systems Engineer* **Location:** *Colorado-Schriever AFB* **Requisition ID:** *1700008901*
          What happened when Camden started rethinking policing to build trust   

Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

JUDY WOODRUFF: Next: a look at how one police force is rethinking the way its officers do their job.

In the aftermath of a succession of deadly police shootings, law enforcement officials across the country have grappled with how police officers might better interact with the public.

In Camden, New Jersey, new procedures meant to bring officers into closer face-to-face contact with the people they serve seem to be having a positive effect.

Hari recently traveled to Camden, and has this report.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Officer Vidal Rivera is a native son of Camden, New Jersey, a street cop who can see the blocks he patrols through eyes that grew up here.

VIDAL RIVERA, Camden Police Department: Out here, it was like a market, like a flea market. You could go to any corner and get whatever you need, or whatever they were looking for. They was coming out to buy drugs.

HARI SREENIVASAN: He’s referring to customers from Philadelphia who came across the Delaware River to buy drugs. They still come in, but in smaller numbers. By day, Rivera is police, by night, a young professional boxer. But he says, as a boy, his mother didn’t let him play outside.

VIDAL RIVERA: It was just too dangerous. There was just too much going on. She feared that something could happen, someone high, driving a car, a shoot-out, everything.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Rivera is part of a revamped force, rebuilt more or less from the ground up in 2014. The faces in the squad room during morning roll call are notably young, new officers recruited to replace an ineffective department.

VIDAL RIVERA: I remember being a kid that, something happened, you weren’t allowed to say nothing to the police.

HARI SREENIVASAN: You weren’t allowed to tell the police because you didn’t trust them?

VIDAL RIVERA: You didn’t trust them. It was the fear that you had.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Historically, one of the country’s most impoverished and violent cities, Camden is home to some 77,000 people, nearly all of them Latino and African-American. And a number of the department’s newer officers have been recruited from the community.

Police Chief Scott Thomson also grew up in Camden, and he has been largely responsible for the reforms. His entire career has been with the Camden P.D. He ordered his officers to leave their cars, patrol neighborhoods on foot, knock on doors, look in on shopkeepers, get to know and become known to the people they served.

CHIEF SCOTT THOMSON, Camden Police Department: We saw, almost instantaneously, a change in the atmosphere within neighborhoods. That’s what people wanted from us, and it has helped us significantly, and for us to provide better policing services to them as well.

One, we have greater lines of communication now, which has given us a tremendous ability to not only solve crime, but prevent crime from occurring in the first place.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The statistics back that up. Since transitioning from the old force to the new in 2014, the number of murders dropped by almost 70 percent, burglaries by 27 percent, robberies 33 percent, and even an eye-catching 143 percent spike in rapes that the department attributes to increased reporting, as well as new broader federal guidelines on what constitutes rape.

Overall, the city’s crime numbers are the lowest in decades. Those are impressive statistics for any police department, and residents don’t dispute them. But some say seeing them in a report vs. feeling the difference every day are two different things.

MAN: I see prostitutes on my street. I see drug transactions on my street, in broad daylight, every day.

HARI SREENIVASAN: This local business owner was one of several people who asked not to be identified, citing concerns that his remarks could complicate relations with local police officers he knows. The crimes, he suspects, are visible to police as well.

MAN: Those must be caught on camera, but I can’t tell that it makes a lot of difference in how much of it or little of it is happening.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Surveillance cameras are a major piece of Chief Thomson’s formula. Some 200 of them are deployed throughout the city. The chief showed us the Central command Center. On these screens are the real-time video feeds from every camera, the location of every officer on patrol. There are also gunshot-detecting microphones placed at certain locations, meaning police know the location of the shots to within a few meters seconds after it happens, and can begin responding before anyone even calls 911.

Still, not everyone is won over. A Camden resident sees both the opportunities and costs of increased surveillance.

MAN: I feel it’s a violation of civil rights, on some level, with the cameras, because now you’re unknowingly filming people who didn’t give you permission to film them. But I have also been on the side where family members has lost other family members to violence and the cameras had assisted in the apprehension of the person who committed the crime.

MAN: If the police department came to me and said, you’re going to have to give up all your privacy, but we’re going to reduce crime, then make you a little bit safer, I would probably say no. Nobody came to me and asked me that.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Is there a concern that people could feel like their civil rights are being violated?

MAN: We don’t have any secret cameras stored away in the city. Everything is overt. They’re up there on a pole. They’re not hidden.

And we’re sensitive to the fact that there’s people that may not necessarily want the camera there. But what we have found is the majority of people do want them.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Another major focus of reform is de-escalation, training officers to use force only as a last resort, a tactic that played out dramatically in this video shot two years ago.

A man was wielding a knife at a restaurant, then began walking down the street brandishing the weapon. Rather than taking him down, police formed a containment bubble around him, then followed him for blocks until he could be disarmed. That restraint and patience earned praise from the chief.

SCOTT THOMSON: We’re handling them exactly the way that we want to. And at the end of the day, you know, what’s happening is, more people are being returned to their family. And every time that an officer pulls the trigger, it’s life-altering for them.

HARI SREENIVASAN: His department’s records show that, since 2014, the frequency of officers using force has dropped by 24 percent. And citizen complaints of police using excessive force are down 49 percent. But do these methods put an officer’s own life at risk?

MAN: Sir, drop the knife, or I will Tase you.

SCOTT THOMSON: What we’re telling officers to do is slow it down, is — that which we’re training officers to do is actually safer for the officers, when, historically, officers have been rushing into situations because that’s the training we provide, and it’s been dangerous for them, and often leaving them with the only option that’s left is deadly force.

HARI SREENIVASAN: That’s counter to the more militarized approaches taken by other cities.

What’s the hardest part about changing culture?

SCOTT THOMSON: So, for us, it was that transition from warrior to guardian. You still have to have the warrior mentality and the ability to trigger that warrior element when the time calls for it. However, that shouldn’t be your operating premise. That should be the anomaly. Right? That should be the exception, not the rule.

The rule should be, you’re a guardian. You’re in this neighborhood.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Throughout this story, I spoke to a number of people sitting on their stoops and sitting on their porches, but none of them wanted to talk to me on camera. It wasn’t because they felt that the new police practices were helping their neighborhood or hurting. It was a mixed bag.

It was because they felt that talking to me would invite unwanted attention.

Some feared a police they still didn’t fully trust. And others feared drug dealers, who may have left street corners, but are now behind closed doors.

TIM GALLAGHER, Social Worker, Guadalupe Family Services: There were just dime bags and needles all over the place.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Tim Gallagher is a social worker at Guadalupe Family Services. He works on a block that’s seen tremendous improvement, but he is still cautious.

TIM GALLAGHER: I think their Manning concerns are that it could happen again, that the good cops who are here will leave, and that other cops will replace them who won’t really know the neighborhood.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Good cops like Vidal Rivera, who is 6-0 in the ring, undefeated, but knows the fight for the streets of his hometown is just getting started.

For the PBS NewsHour, I’m Hari Sreenivasan in Camden, New Jersey.

The post What happened when Camden started rethinking policing to build trust appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


          Comment on June 2017 Temperature Anomaly projections by Nick Stokes   
<i>"First off, it seems incredible that this was not noticed before"</i> It's a long-standing issue, and a major difficulty with satellite measures. What varies is how they correct for it. It was a factor in the big change going from UAH 5.6 to V6 as Roy Spencer <a href="http://www.drroyspencer.com/2015/04/version-6-0-of-the-uah-temperature-dataset-released-new-lt-trend-0-11-cdecade/" rel="nofollow">explains</a>: <i>" For example, years ago we could use certain AMSU-carrying satellites which minimized the effect of diurnal drift, which we did not explicitly correct for. That is no longer possible, and an explicit correction for diurnal drift is now necessary. The correction for diurnal drift is difficult to do well, and we have been committed to it being empirically–based, partly to provide an alternative to the RSS satellite dataset which uses a climate model for the diurnal drift adjustment."</i> It's just not obvious what to do, and changing from one way to another makes a big difference, which is one reason why satellite measures are less reliable than surface. The new paper where Wentz and Mears explain the V4 TLT is <a href="http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0768.1" rel="nofollow">here</a>. The abstract says: <i> "Previous versions of this dataset used general circulation model output to remove the effects of drifting local measurement time on the measured temperatures. In this paper, we present a method to optimize these adjustments using information from the satellite measurements themselves. The new method finds a global-mean land diurnal cycle that peaks later in the afternoon, leading to improved agreement between measurements made by co-orbiting satellites."</i>
          Comment on June 2017 Temperature Anomaly projections by DWR54   
Jerome, <blockquote>...it seems incredible that this was not noticed before.<blockquote> It was noticed before. A correction for 'drift' has been applied to both UAH and RSS satellite data for years. The difference this time is the method RSS used for making the correction. Previously they used a 'general circulation model'; this time they say they have incorporated 'measurements from the satellites themselves'. Re the time of measurement: as far as I know the idea is that the temperature should be measured at the same time of day, relative to the position of the sun, at all locations, as the satellite travels over the earth. So any time drift would be corrected for across the board.</blockquote></blockquote>
          Comment on June 2017 Temperature Anomaly projections by andrewsjp   
It is disappointing to see the graphs of anomalies using such a small range. The normal long term range of values for global temperature is about + or - 2 deg C. Any reasonable graph should show that the rate of change is miniscule. I know that the graphing products set the range based on the max range of the data set, but the graphical impression or message is wrong. Plot that same data using a graphic range of 2 C degrees and it will appear almost flat which is what it really is.
          Comment on June 2017 Temperature Anomaly projections by Louis   
I've heard rumors that you can buy a vowel from Vanna White.
          Comment on June 2017 Temperature Anomaly projections by Clyde Spencer   
Four 'significant' figures?
          Digital Marketing Strategy for 2017   
Over the past decade, we witnessed a lot of digital transformation. One exceptional anomaly was the shift from traditional brick and mortar to contemporary forms of marketing. Businesses started to realize the power of the internet, that have the potential to carter an entire niche market and sell products/ services at a competitive edge. In [&#8230;]<br />The post Digital Marketing Strategy for 2017 appeared first on Blog Engage.
          Paul Ryan Is America's Gold Medal, World Champion Liar   
From Salon -- September 1, 2012:

Press turns on Paul Ryan

One of Paul Ryan's main assets was his popularity in the media. After his dishonest speech, it may be blown

BY JONATHAN BERNSTEIN

We don’t expect much of anything unexpected to come out of the conventions, and in particular the big speeches from the nominees almost always go well. And yet in Tampa this week, Paul Ryan gave a speech that may well have real, lasting and very negative consequences for the ticket.

One way to think about vice-presidential candidates is in terms of the resources they bring to a ticket. Those might include popularity in a swing state, as when Dwight Eisenhower chose Richard Nixon; ability to raise money, as when John Kennedy picked Lyndon Johnson; policy expertise to cover a nominee’s weakness, as when Gov. Ronald Reagan added foreign policy experience in George H.W. Bush; or support from an important party faction, seen in John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin.

The idea is that any politician important enough to be considered will probably control some politically useful – and at least potentially transferable – assets.

Paul Ryan? He brought two resources to the Romney campaign. One was the enthusiastic support of conservatives. That’s something that Romney wanted to have, and it is intact after the convention. But it’s not exactly a scarce resource, because as we know the Republican Party is well-equipped to stir up support for even the most unknown candidates; just think back to the passionate embrace of the previously unknown Sage of Wasilla within hours of when she was chosen in 2008.

The other, and the one that really might have been valuable, was Ryan’s reputation with the neutral press and many pundits as a wonk and as a truth-teller. After all, Romney himself was running a campaign that was relying more on his reputation for competence than for actual policy proposals – and a campaign that was already being challenged for not always sticking to the facts. Ryan, perhaps, could transfer some of his reputation to Romney. And indeed, the immediate reaction of Ryan’s cheering gallery was to conclude that now we would have a Serious Argument about Big Ideas (which, for such people, is always assumed to be a very good thing. I’m not so sure).

That was then. On Wednesday, Ryan spoke, and while I think his speech probably worked fine for most voters who were watching, the reaction from one group was quick and unanimous: the fact checkers (and many others) called him out for flat-out lies. Now, in the immediate aftermath, both Steve Kornacki and Alex Pareene wrote about the powerful tendency of the press to just ignore that sort of thing, and both saw early signs that this case would be no different.

However, that’s not what’s happened.

On Firday, both the Washington Post and especially the New York Times published scathing stories about Romney/Ryan and mendacity.

Rosalind Helderman in the Post gets right to it:

Did Paul Ryan bend the truth?

The verdict, rendered by a slew of media fact checkers, was immediate and unequivocal: In his first major speech before the American people, the Republican vice presidential nominee repeatedly left out key facts, ignored context and was blind to his own hypocrisy.

She writes about the fight between the fact checkers and Republican spinners – not, that is, about the fight between Republicans and Democrats. In other words, it’s a fight in which many pundits will feel comfortable taking sides.

Even more damaging to Ryan is Michael Cooper’s New York Times piece, complete with the non-neutral headline, “Facts Take a Beating in Acceptance Speeches” (and note the URL “www.nytimes.com/2012/08/31/us/politics/ryans-speech-contained-a-litany-of-falsehoods.html”) Once again, Ryan in particular comes under heavy fire.

Both of these stories include a to-be-sure paragraph finding an instance recently in which Barack Obama’s team was called out by the fact checkers. But in both cases, the story we’re told is that the Romney team is clearly at fault here.

This is serious stuff. Instead of leaving it to the fact-checker ghetto, the major newspapers are directly calling Ryan (and to a lesser extent Romney) out as a liar, and in the Times it’s done in the reporter’s – the newspaper’s – voice, and not that of some third-party expert.

It’s too early to know for sure, but I think there’s a very good chance that Ryan’s reputation has taken a serious hit. Not, to be sure, with partisan Republicans. But these two articles, along with other evidence of serious pushback, suggest that the deficit-scolding section of the press is, finally, fed up with him. And the thing is: If they do start looking, there’s plenty more to see. If, for example, Ryan no longer gets the benefit of the doubt from deficit hawks, they might start to be a lot less likely to give him a pass for his Bush-era budget-busting votes, or for the fact that even on his own terms his budget doesn’t get to balance for a long time, or for the phony math on both spending and revenues that allow him to claim any deficit reduction at all.

Moreover, the very nature of the traditional running-mate role means that Ryan will probably wind up at least pushing the edges of the truth again and again – so it will be relatively difficult for the press to forget this episode or to wall it off as an anomaly.

My guess? Ryan’s reputation will not survive the campaign. And that means that the biggest resource he might have brought to the Romney campaign has been destroyed just as the campaign was getting started.
          A long-term context (931–2005 C.E.) for rapid warming over Central Asia   
Warming over Mongolia and Central Asia has been unusually rapid over the past few decades, particularly in the summer, with surface temperature anomalies higher than for much of the globe. With few temperature station records available in this remote region prior to the 1950s, paleoclimatic data must be used to understand annual-to-centennial scale climate variability, local response to large-scale forcing mechanisms, and the significance of major features of the past millennium such as the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA) and Little Ice Age (LIA) both of which can vary globally. Here we use an extensive collection of living and subfossil wood samples from temperature-sensitive trees to produce a millennial-length, validated reconstruction of summer temperatures for Mongolia and Central Asia from 931 to 2005 CE. This tree-ring reconstruction shows general agreement with the MCA (warming) and LIA (cooling) trends, a significant volcanic signature, and warming in the 20th and 21st Century. Recent warming (2000–2005) exceeds that from any other time and is concurrent with, and likely exacerbated, the impact of extreme drought (1999–2002) that resulted in massive livestock loss across Mongolia.
          Minus Zero: Putting the Music to Work   

A question that has always fascinated me are the many ways instrumental music - without the help of lyrics - can be used to carry a message, to protest, or  to advance a cause. A group of musicians out of the Bay Area in California have found their way by creating a record label which donates all proceeds to Planned Parenthood. Founders Vijay Anderson, Dina Maccabee, and Ben Goldberg launched Minus Zero on Bandcamp this spring and agreed to a Q&A about their effort.

Following the Q&A are reviews of a small sample of the now 19 available albums.


Free Jazz Blog: Just for some background, could you tell us a little bit about how the three of you met?

Dina Maccabee: I first met Ben when I was in high school, lurking around Bay Area live music I was introduced to by my older brother's friends who were into local creative and improvised music. One time they snuck me into a dive bar in Oakland to see a jazz show, which is hilarious because when I was 16 I looked like I was 12, but somehow I remember that happening. When I was around 18 guitarist/composer John Schott asked me to play in a large ensemble playing his arrangement's of Ben's music, along side a lot of well known players, which was a big deal for me at the time!

Vijay Anderson: We met nearly 20 years ago while each of us were performing in Bay Area bands. The three of us first played together a handful of years ago in Graham Connah's various large ensembles.

Ben Goldberg: You meet a lot of people playing music. How I met these two lovely musicians is probably not unusual -- there was a rehearsal, or a concert, and "hey, nice to meet you."


FJB: Your new label “Minus Zero” is dedicated to raising money for Planned Parenthood. Can you tell us when and how the idea came about and why Planned Parenthood?

DM: This was an idea Vijay presented to me, but I had definitely already been thinking about ways to contribute to worthy causes, as a way of responding positively to a fear that a lot of important services and institutions could be compromised after the election. I remember that Bandcamp had a day of donating their profits to the ACLU, which was a great idea, and I also contributed personally to a few organizations whose work I support.

VA: Like the majority of Americans, I was devastated with the recent presidential election results. The new administration has so many destructive policy ideas, including defunding Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood is an organization that really helps people around the world, primarily woman, by providing basic health care, reproductive health care and general sex education. More information on that could be found here https://www.istandwithpp.org.

I think many of us are frustrated about our contentious politics and wish we could do something to improve things. I was performing a benefit/protest concert with Ben Goldberg and Marshall Tramell the night of the inauguration. The huge women's march was going to take place the following day. I asked Ben what he thought of the idea of starting a label which gave all the money to Planned Parenthood. He was very supportive of the idea and suggested we get as many people involved as we can.

BG: Vijay had the idea about Planned Parenthood specifically. It was shortly after the election and a lot of people were wondering how to shape the resistance. Planned Parenthood was under attack. The idea made sense.


FJB:  Do you see the label as a political statement? Why / Why not?

DM: I wish it weren't politicized, to expect that an organization providing essential health services to people who may not have any other access to them would continue to receive public funding to do their work, which fills in a gap that public services, let alone private health care, have left open. Unfortunately, it is, because there are wildly opposing visions of what equality and equity mean among different groups of people in the U.S. That being said, I don't see the label is a "statement." I see it as an activity, that is more constructive than declaring a stance or writing a manifesto.

VA: Yes it’s a political statement, but it’s also an effort to help fund Planned Parenthood, an organization that is unfortunately politicized. If a musician's work is on Minus Zero it means they support a woman's right to choose, basic healthcare for women, equal pay/opportunities for women, as well as sending a message that we are going to do everything we can to do make that a reality. All the proceeds from this label, (besides a small percentage for Bandcamp and Paypall) go to Planned Parenthood.

BG: Culture is bigger than politics. Right now our culture is under attack. What is being called the right is attacking basic common sense, like listening to each other, respecting opinions, and understanding the difference between truth and lies. It's being called "politics," as if one side will win, but when these values are eroded everyone loses. We sometimes use the word "culture" to mean "high culture" -- activities or events that are defined as luxuries. But culture is not a luxury. Cultural activities -- poetry, music, art, scholarship -- are exactly what makes us human. That's why Trump and his people have no culture -- it's not just that they read different books or appreciate different art -- there is actually no overlap. We are faced with a "political" movement that is trying to undermine our cultural values, and that brings into focus the fact that any kind of cultural activity or motion -- talking to your friends, reading books, gathering for music -- is an act of resistance.


FJB:  You are starting with 19 albums, that's quite a catalog! Was is difficult to persuade the musicians to participate? How long did it take from concept to launch?

DM: Everyone I approached was eager to contribute! There's always a bit of cat herding that goes on with something like this, but the only misses were either folks who didn't have something available to contribute on short notice, or artists who were already involved in another charitable project whose impact they didn't want to dilute, not because they weren't enthusiastic about the idea.

VA: It was easy to persuade the musicians to participate. Everyone represented here was very enthusiastic and more than willing to be a part of this. It took 3-4 months to put this together. We are fortunate to know a lot of great musicians who are willing to participate in this worthy cause.


FJB: What would you like to see the label accomplish?

DM: I would measure the success not in an amount of money raised, but in presenting a broad number of artists in different genres, and achieving some longevity. I could even imagine a festival or something like that, it would be amazing if all the contributors who don't necessarily know each other IRL were able to meet, there would probably even be more ideas generated about how to turn our musical energy toward benefitting people who have fewer advantages than we do, or who are in need. On the other hand, the online platform is kind of magical in bridging space and time, so I'm glad we were able to work with the bandcamp platform to create something widely accessible to people everywhere. If Minus Zero simply continues to add artists from different regions and musical zones, and generates a steady stream of contributions to Planned Parenthood at any level, that will be great. More generally, I think it's significant to have laid out a simple way for artists, who often don't feel like they have a surplus of either time or money, to be able to contribute to something concrete THROUGH making and releasing new music. Minus Zero has already accomplished that, and I would love to see the importance of that accomplishment spread by word of mouth among other musicians who I think will be interested in taking advantage of the opportunity.

VA: I would like to see this label raise some substantial money for Planned Parenthood as well create some more awareness of these issues. I also would love to see more people discover interesting thought provoking music through this label. The site could be a great way to check out some unusual artists who are doing interesting work.


FJB: The three of you have albums available here, For My Mother features Vijay Anderson; 1(800)729-3700 is with Ben Goldberg, and Tethered Music features Dina Maccabee, just to pick a few. All of these albums reflect different styles, ranging from free improvisation to jazz compositions to folk. Would you say that there is something for everyone here? Any favorites? Were any of these albums recorded specifically for the label?

DM: I hadn't planned to release Tethered at all. I had written and recorded it last year for a dance performance, but I was glad to have a place to present it when this project came up. What's nice is no money was spent on that recording, a friend donated his time for mixing it, and I wrote the piece without being paid as well, so it really feels like a contribution that stands outside the horrible contortions we all go through of trying to monetize our time and our work. When you have something you did without any money changing hands, it's both valueless and priceless, which is a great feeling, so I was happy to let it generate some value for this project, monetarily for planned parenthood, and in enjoyment units for whoever buys it via this platform.

I didn't know Sarah Bernstein's music at all, so that was great to be introduced to... I've always been a big Duo B fan... Prasant Radhakrishnan's saxophone ragas are transcendent...

.. It's all really really good!

VA: We have a great start, with a good representation of what we want to do. I think diversity is going to be key in making this an appealing label. So far we have musicians from jazz, free improvisation, classical, Indian carnatic music, noise, folk, pop, and rock influences. I would love to see some more recordings added from different styles or genres, and more music from various cultures around the world.

None of these recordings so far, were recorded specifically for this label. I do think that this label is an ideal place for re-issues, live shows, short ep length recordings, extra tracks or unissued studio recordings, as well as new releases.

BG: I hope that people will find this label to be a rich source of songs and records where you might find something you like, that will bring something pleasing or interesting into your life.


FJB: You’ve just started the label so it may be a bit premature to ask, but are there future plans? If so, what?

VA: We will continue to seek interesting music. We have plans to release music from Vinny Golia, Steve Adams and Tim Perkins, Joelle Leandre, Beth Custer, Joe Baiza, Mara Rosenbloom and hopefully a lot more. Thanks to bandcamp.com these recordings will be available here permanently and we hope this will have a positive impact on Planned Parenthood.

***

Michael Coleman, Ben Goldberg, Mat Nelson, Ches Smith - 1-800-729-3700 (Minus Zero, 2017) ****


1-800-729-3700 by keyboardist Michael Coleman, clarinetist Ben Goldberg, Saxophonist Matt Nelson and percussionist Ches Smith is a crackling and splintery outing. Eschewing outright melodies and rhythms, the opening track 'Supplement' combines electronic burbling with quirky lines from the woodwinds to generate its spikey themes. The following 'Parlez Vous' features a more traditional approach to song through Goldberg's melodies, and at the same time favors non-linear electronic and percussive accompaniment. 'Rock and a Hard Place' embraces a more driving pulse and a distorted analog synthesizer sound pushing the group into a more avant jazz-rock direction. Other tracks like the miniature 'New Memory' engages the listener with evocative textures and 'Winner' gets the heart pumping with a straight ahead rock beat before erupting into a cascade of counter melodies.

The quartet here is quite resourceful developing a varied and exciting set of improvisations, it may take a couple spins before it sinks in, but it's a recommended use of time!




Dina Maccabee - Tethered Music EP (Minus Zero, 2017) ****



This little gem by violinist Dina Maccabee may be only 12 minutes long, but through its four tracks a full musical vision is presented. Maccabee is a Bay Area violinist, whose classical training influences 3/4 of these folk-tinged pieces that evokes pastoral scenery as well as a chamber recital. The anomaly is 'Tethered Duet' which uses a simple clap to establish a pulse, and then over triads from an acoustic guitar, Maccabee overdubs singing. Along with Maccabee's violin, viola, and vocals, is Jessica Ivry on cello. The work was originally developed to accompany choreography by Teresa Heiland but stands quite well on its own.



Diane Moser, Mark Dresser, Vijay Anderson, Hafez Modirzadeh - For My Mother (Minus Zero, 2017) ****


It's a pleasure to find modern jazz that has the ability to excite ears that have been rewired by experimental music. Easily fitting that description, For My Mother, is the work of a group of musicians comfortable in both worlds, who met for the to play a festival in California. While the music skews to more modern jazz with a strong sense of swing and melody, it is not without exceptional moments of nontraditional and fiery playing.

The opener 'If You Call Me, Then I'll Call You' is exemplary - Moser's piano is work is at once accessible and full of unusual phrases and exepected twists. Her comping behind saxophonist Hafez Modirzadeh is excellent, swirling in complexity until the two begin exchanging rapid atonal phrases over bassist Mark Dresser and drummer Vijay Andrson's infectious rhythm. Next up, 'Unfoldings' is another track that feels quite straightforward, yet has a subtle unsettling undertow. Throughout there are surprises, like the dense climax that the seemingly light-weight 'Dancing with the Sparrows' reaches or the rich harmonics from the base on the abstract opening of 'I Can Smell You Listening'.

An excellent album that leans more towards 'jazz' than what we typically cover, but well worth a listen.




Sarah Bernstein, Alexis Marcelo, Stuart Popejoy, Nick Podgurski - Prepolis (Minus Zero, 2017) ****


If it's experimental that you're going for, check out this electronics ripe recording. Heavy with abrasive textures in an alluring darkness, the opener 'Get Me the Medicine' begins with static and proceeds with a heavily processed violin and keyboard over a lurching rhythm. The half hour long improvisation goes through myriad changes, at times the mood lightens, but it's not long before say a disturbing vocal section materializes. Half way through, the whole piece has broken into short snippets - shards of sound - that fly past the ears. The shorter follow up, 'Not Your Corpus', begins deep in the place where nightmares are forged, replete with boiling cauldrons of acoustic/electric skronks. An acoustic piano is placed next to the ripping sheet metal of processed violin and bass, while the drums providing just the outlines of a discernible pattern.

The ever changing sonic landscape is mesmerizing in its evolution, and say a deep listen. It almost doesn't matter which instrument is which in this mesmerizing fear inducing dream factory, however, here is the staff who is hard at work:

Sarah Bernstein – violin/voice/effects
Alexis Marcelo – piano/keyboard/effects
Stuart Popejoy – electric bass/effects
Nick Podgurski – drums




Devin Hoff - Baile as Baile (Minus Zero, 2017) ****



Bassist Devin Hoff creates a sonic world all his own on this short solo recording. Starting off with a gently plucked melody, the simple sweet melody of 'Plain Songs 1 (the wind)', is overdubbed with a bowed melody that see-saws between the diatonic and the dissonant. After a part 2 and 3, a new theme emerges with far Eastern overtones ('Wey Lo') and then is followed by the Celtic -inged 'Witches Reel', which ending in an explosion of deep resonant tones. The song that wraps the album is possible the most effective, 'An Buachail Caol Dubh'. Hoff's delicate, but insistent, song is imbued with classical and folk sensibilities and the personal and powerful track is the crowning achievement of the EP.


          Comment on June 2017 Temperature Anomaly projections by rgbact   
Getting to 0.583 on HadCrut would be a sweet reversion to normalcy. Massive change in just a few months. I suspect you'll be close, unlike May's large overshot.. Btw, the May Hadcrut appears to be 0.655....not 0.665.
          Comment on June 2017 Temperature Anomaly projections by mud4fun   
Last few days in North East UK have been very cool. 16c high for 28-30th June. We had to light wood burner! Last time that happened in June was 2007. Might only be one spot on planet but certainly here the signs are that this year will be cool. People have short memories though. We had a cooler than average first few months of 2017 but all forgotten because we had two weeks of 'heatwave' in early June (funny that, as it was actually summer temps in summer!)
          Comment on June 2017 Temperature Anomaly projections by hunter   
This is old news and a non-issue in terms of the question of climate crisis. If the data is sensitive that the well known friction from the atmosphere can mask it or distort significantly ( significantly being very relative) then it is not a crisis. The interesting question is why does media breathlessly "discover" this and then with no critical review compete to make non-news into scary nonsense.
          Comment on June 2017 Temperature Anomaly projections by hunter   
So its clear that nothing much 8s happening in terms of the ever predicted climate apocalypse. Yet the number of articles either punishing southerners in the US with "climate change" or claiming that we only have 3 years left to save the planet is spiking. Why? Why now? Except for being able to pretend that Arizona getting hot in the summer is big news nothing much is happening in climate. Why do the alarmists feel so worried? The answer is not found in reality..
          Comment on June 2017 Temperature Anomaly projections by Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy   
I used the satellite data along with ground data in my book of 2008 [Climate change: Myths & Realities] and later I found this data was removed from the internet. The current data is above this the older version of data. Few years back at a tropmet symposium [I along with another scientist edited the proceedings and published by a publisher in 1999] a scientist started presenting his analysis based on the satellite data and at the end a group of scientists who released the satellite data got up and said that the data is not correct. That means the efforts made by the scientist is waste of time and money. Then I asked the group who released the data: if it is so why you did not inform the groups whom you provided the data for analysis. No answer to this. Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy
          Comment on June 2017 Temperature Anomaly projections by Nick Stokes   
On surface temperatures, I prefer Walter's estimates.
          Corrections invisibles   
Corrections invisibles
[EN] - So you found an "anomaly" in the study you wanted to illustrate.

- And you corrected it in your drawing.

- But who, besides you, knows about this error?
          Economic Links and Cross-Predictability of Stock Returns: Evidence from Characteristic-Based “Styles” *    
Abstract
*I thank Amit Goyal (the editor), an anonymous referee, Stephan Jank, Birgit Müller, Alexander Pütz, Harm Schütt, Sugata Roychowdhury, Michael Weber, participants at the EAA annual meeting in Ljubljana (2012), the VHB annual meeting in Bozen (2012), the AAA annual meeting in Washington (2012), the Colloquium on Financial Markets in Cologne (2013), the Workshop on Empirical Asset Pricing in Kiel (2016), and seminar participants at the University of Mannheim and at the University of California, Berkeley for valuable comments. Furthermore, I am grateful to Gerard Hoberg and Gordon Phillips for providing industry classification data on their website, to Shane Corwin for disclosing his algorithm to compute bid–ask spread estimates from daily high and low prices, and to Michael Koch for providing data on supplier and customers returns following the methodology of Menzly and Ozbas (2010). All remaining errors are my own. Parts of this research project have been conducted at the University of Mannheim and during a visit to the University of California, Berkeley. The later was generously supported by a fellowship within the Postdoc-Program of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). An earlier version of this paper is circulated under the title “Style-Driven Earnings Momentum”.Prior research has shown that information diffuses gradually across stocks that are economically linked at the industry level. I document a similar pattern when stock portfolios are formed based on characteristics that are used in the anomaly literature (e.g., size, value, asset growth). Specifically, characteristics are useful to identify economic links, and earnings surprises contain information about future returns of other firms that share similar characteristics (i.e., “similar-style” firms). Such style-based earnings surprises can be used to predict style returns in the time series. For the cross-section of stocks, I create a composite style-based earnings surprise measure (SESM), which generates an equal-weighted (value-weighted) long–short strategy return of 167 (101) basis points per month. I do not find that industry spillovers, the traditional post-earnings announcement drift, unconditional abnormal style returns or risk can explain the return predictability. My findings suggest a further channel of gradual information diffusion in security markets.

          Comment on forest by yi-ching lin   
<a HREF="https://yichinglin.wordpress.com/2017/06/30/the-patterns-you/" rel="nofollow">the patterns you</A> observe in time are meant to cushion every anomaly, the way packaging foam hugs the curves of each fruit to hold the juices in, keep from bruising. so don’t be restless, my dear, don’t insist that you are bored. sink into the patterns of our lives, soak it in between the days, the years . 20170630:1723 y
          Comment on Half of All Small Businesses Fail by Year 5 – Here’s Why (INFOGRAPHIC) by Alex Yong   
My natural instinct as someone who lives in Manhattan is that restaurants fail a lot, but, as we can see, data is a surprising thing. Either that or Manhattan data will often (usually?) be an anomaly.
          Advancements in genetic testing: should we be concerned?   

Recently, the International Herald Tribune published an article describing the initiatives of Complete Genomics, a firm in Silicon Valley that has performed significant research on genomic sequencing technology.

Complete Genomics aims to lower the cost of human genome sequencing in order to make this service more readily available to the general population. On the company’s website, Dr. Reid predicted that the cost for gene sequencing could one day be as low as that of a blood test.

I believe that the impact on the medical community of whole human genome sequencing at a cost comparable to a comprehensive blood test will be profound, and it will raise a host of public policy issues (privacy, security, disclosure, reimbursement, interpretation, counseling, etc.), all important topics for future discussions.

Yes, and there is another vital issue that will be impacted by the potential widespread availability of genomic testing: bioethics.

I would like to make it clear that I completely support scientific advancement and research that does not injure human life from conception to natural death. I am frequently amazed by what science can do in assisting people with serious diseases. We are lucky to live in a time where many illnesses are understood and treated, though there is still a lot of work to be done.  

My concern with this news on gene sequencing is that too much information can cause great damage when it comes to medical testing and the diagnosis of genetic disorders. How many people, after going through genetic testing, may find out that they are “at risk” for certain genetic disorders and thus choose to euthanize themselves? Furthermore, how many mothers, after finding out that their unborn child has a genetic anomaly, will choose to abort their child?

We have already seen a rise in the number of abortions of female children since parents became able to know the sex of their child. This phenomenon will repeat itself if access to gene sequencing becomes commonplace- only it will be worse, because then the medical community will thoroughly defend the parents’ ‘choice’ on the grounds that the child’s quality of life would be lower, and that the child would have some life-threatening illness.

It can seem inconsistent on God’s behalf to give us access to so much information, and yet to also ask that we respect human life under all circumstances. However, the inconsistency is really within the medical community. God gives us information to help us, not to hurt us. In the same way, doctors and scientific researchers have a duty to help others and protect their lives.

Let us suppose, for example, that a mother has just recently found out that her baby has a genetic defect. Under such conditions, what can the doctor do? He can either advise her to abort her child, which would likely leave her with scars of suffering and guilt…or he could offer her resources to better prepare for the arrival of her newborn child. The woman could educate herself on the genetic disease, talk to families who have experienced raising children with genetic disease, and maybe even immerse herself in prayer (or companionship with friends and family) to develop the strength to accept the uncertainty that awaits her, and her child.

Also, let us not forget that genetic testing could help us perform surgeries in the womb, before the child is born, in order to replace a defective gene. As long as such surgeries pose no harm to the child, they would be ethically approvable and could even cure the child of his genetic anomaly. Dr. Jérôme Lejeune, a pro-life pediatrician and geneticist, always dreamed that one day a cure for Down’s Syndrome would be discovered. Given the rapid development taking place in the scientific field, let us hope that workers in the medical and scientific community orient their efforts towards initiatives that respect all human life.


          The multidisciplinary fetal center: clinical expertise is only part of the experience.   
Related Articles

The multidisciplinary fetal center: clinical expertise is only part of the experience.

Acta Paediatr. 2017 Jun;106(6):930-934

Authors: Kett JC, Wolfe E, Vernon MM, Woodrum D, Diekema D

Abstract
AIM: Multidisciplinary foetal centres have recently emerged in partnership with children's hospitals throughout the United States. The aim of this investigation was to describe the patient experience of pregnant women who were referred to our foetal centres for the evaluation of foetal congenital anomalies.
METHODS: A qualitative interview study of women referred to our foetal centres was conducted using semi-structured telephone interviews. The data were coded and analysed using thematic networks analysis.
RESULTS: Six themes were identified (i) foetal centre evaluations had a far-reaching impact on participants' lives, (ii) participants appreciated both expertise and support from providers, (iii) participants recognised the need to cope with uncertainty, (iv) participants sought additional support from multiple arenas, (v) participants specifically looked to the Internet for both information and support and (vi) participants had pre-established views about pregnancy termination.
CONCLUSION: Multidisciplinary foetal centres can provide a unified source of clinical expertise to women who are carrying a foetus with a suspected or identified congenital anomaly. Despite this diagnostic acumen, uncertainty is pervasive and patients seek support and additional information from a variety of other sources. This investigation is an important initial step in the evaluation of this emerging model of care.

PMID: 28258594 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


          Comment on Multiple neural tube defects in a child: A rare developmental anomaly by Елена   
In this type of neural tube defect, the meninges do not herniate through the opening in the spinal canal.
          Injustice 2 Update 1.05 Is Now Live On PS4, Patch Notes Revealed   

Injustice 2 has received a new update from Netherealm Studios. This update reportedly adds support for Sub-Zero as DLC character in addition to giving the players the ability to use A.I in Multiverse Anomalies. This means you no longer have to play an anomaly if you encounter one when playing with A.I. Aside from that, […]

This post Injustice 2 Update 1.05 Is Now Live On PS4, Patch Notes Revealed appeared first on GearNuke.


          Firefall’s first open beta event starts today   
Red 5 Studios has announced Firefall’s first open beta event, Double Crystite Weekend, will begin today at 4:59pm PDT server-wide. The event features double Crystite rewards on PvP and PvE, discounted Battleframe unlocks, developer-hosted missions such as Blackwater Anomaly and easier access to Firefall’s latest zones. The event lasts until Sunday, August 11. The 30% […]
          Firefall gameplay video shows off the Blackwater Anomaly   
Firefall goes into open beta on July 9, and to whet your appetite, Red 5 Studios has released a gameplay video showing off the Blackwater Anomaly -the first story-based episode. Check it out below.
          Firefall’s final closed beta milestone goes live on Thursday   
Red 5 has announced that the last closed beta milestone for Firefall will go live on Thursday, June 27. Testers will be able to take part in a PvP game called Jetball which takes place in the first story-based episode, Blackwater Anomaly. There’s alive-action trailer below which should give you an idea of what to […]
          Clarifications and update on the Cabinet decisions on pay and pensionary issues emanating out of the 7th Central Pay Commission   
There is a press note floating around on social media regarding certain decisions taken by the Cabinet related to pay and pensionary modalities related to the 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC). Though many have questioned its veracity, this is to confirm that it is absolutely a valid document and has been officially issued by the Ministry of Finance.

That said, let me run through some of the important decisions taken by the Cabinet, clarifications thereon and their impact. Please note that the new Pay Rules issued by the Ministry of Defence do not take into account the changes in the pay structure or removal of anomalies and these shall be incorporated through separate amendments in the rules issued on 03 May 2017.

Restoration of Percentage based Disability Pension Rates
The 7th CPC had recommended ‘flat/slab’ rates of disability pension for the defence services rather than the ones based upon ‘percentage of pay’. Civil disabled personnel were however retained on the percentage system as before. As stated earlier, frankly, I never expected this regressive 7th CPC recommendation to be accepted by the Government, but unfortunately it was. While recommending this aspect, the 7th CPC had also made unfounded and uncharitable remarks against disabled soldiers by casting aspersions on those who have incurred disabilities while in service which was discussed in detail by me earlier in my opeds, here and here. This resulted in a massive decrease after the 7thCPC resulting in a payout even lower than 6th CPC rates for almost all post-2016 retirees of all ranks and also for pre-2016 retirees of certain ranks. The arbitrariness of this decision becomes evident from the following chart at the apex levels:

(100% Disability)
Rank
Rates under the 6th CPC as on 31 Dec 2015
Rates applicable after the 7th CPC as on 01 Jan 2016
Lt Gen
Rs 52,560
Rs 27,000
Head of Central Armed Police Force
Rs 52,560
Rs 67,500

This issue was much close to my heart. Thankfully, the then Defence Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar, fully understood the consequences and took personal interest in getting the matter referred to an Anomaly Committee. The Defence Services HQ as well as the Ministry, and even civilian employee organisations, supported the resolution of this anomaly which now stands addressed and the Cabinet has decided to retain the old system of calculation on percentage basis, that is, 30% of pay shall remain the disability element for 100% disability. I however do hope that a protection clause is introduced for pre-2016 retirees of lower ranks who stood to gain from the slab rates.

Improvement in Pension calculation system for pre-2016 civil and defence retirees
The Cabinet has also accepted an improvement over and above the system of pension calculation which was finally effectuated after the 7th CPC. Rather than basing the pensionary calculations on the “Old Pension X 2.57” formula, an option would be provided to calculate the pension based upon the notional pay stage from which the employee had retired as opposed to the minimum of pay as was the system followed till the 6th CPC. Calculation of pension in this manner would definitely enhance the pension of civil pensioners and perhaps a small number of defence pensioners, who, in all probability would be provided the opportunity of choosing the most beneficial option, that is, the new formula, 2.57 multiplication formula or OROP rates. Contrary to popular perception, this does not exactly result in OROP for pre-2016 civil employees as is being projected, since while this is based on notional data, the military OROP is operated on live date of fresh retirees, moreover while this system is expected to be revised only after ten years, the military OROP as per the current scheme is meant to be revised after every five years.

Issuance of Pay Rules rather than Instructions on Pay
There were messages in circulation that the Chiefs of the Defence Services have been sidelined and downgraded since the earlier system of issuance of Special Army Instructions, Special Navy Instructions and Special Air Force Instructions (SAI/SNI/SAFI) has been discontinued and a new dispensation of ‘Pay Rules’ has been initiated. This seems to be an extreme case of over-interpretation and negative imagination of fertile minds. SAI/SNI/SAFI were never issued under the authority of the Chiefs or the Defence Services HQ but were always issued by the Ministry of Defence, that is, the Government of India. ‘Orders’ such as Army Orders (AO) etc were (and are) issued by the Defence Services HQ under the power of the Chiefs. The new Pay Rules have been promulgated under the authority of Article 309 of the Constitution of India and are statutory in character rather than being mere executive instructions like was the case till now. With this, the pay rules of the Defence Services are at par with the statutory pay rules of the civil services which are also issued under the authority of Article 309 of the Constitution of India.

Defence Pay Matrix to have 40 stages
The 7thCPC had recommended only 24 stages in the defence matrix while 40 stages were provided to civilians. This anomaly has been rectified and now the defence pay matrix shall also have 40 stages. This will particularly be helpful for JCOs towards the retiring years and will also beneficially affect their pension and other retiral benefits.

Multiplication factor of 2.67
This anomaly had been rectified earlier for Brigadiers and a multiplication factor of 2.67 had been applied for the said rank. Now the benefit of multiplication for Index of Rationalization (operative at the beginning of the entry pay) has also been extended to Lieutenant Colonels, Directors to Government of India and Colonels, that is, Levels 12A and 13 of the Pay Matrix. Further, just to clarify, this multiplication factor has no link with pensions whatsoever. 

Other Anomalies
There shall be pay protection for the amount of Military Service Pay (MSP) on promotion from the rank of Brigadier to Major General. It may be recalled that MSP is not entitled to ranks above the rank of Brigadier. No decision has been taken by the Government on the aspect of Non Functional Upgradation till now since the matter is being considered sub judice. On directions of the Supreme Court, the Government is re-considering the issue of NFU for Central Armed Police Forces for which a meeting was recently held. The issue is to be considered by the Government and the fresh decision is to be placed before the Supreme Court in August 2017. The most pertinent anomaly of enhancement of Military Service Pay, especially for JCOs, also remains pending along with other matters and probably these issues would be clearer after various anomaly committees submit their reports and a decision is taken thereafter by the Cabinet. Non-inclusion of 'X Group Pay' for pension is also a cause of concern, it may be recalled that till now the same was included as an element for pension. The committee on allowances has already submitted its report which will now be examined by the Government. Unlike pay and pension which are admissible retrospectively from 01 January 2016, most freshly rationalized allowances shall only be admissible prospectively.

This is all I have to say at present, please DO NOT mail me individual queries on email or social media. You are free to discuss the above @ the comments section of this post.

Thank You.


          Faux regalia in the real unforgiving world: Look at yourself in the mirror, Part 2   
Like many times in the past, I debated if I should pen my thoughts today- free flowing, without structure. I debated because, as I have stated before, critical pieces are at times used as tools by some frustrated souls to pinprick and grind axes against the system, rather than to introspect, improve and march ahead.

But then I still decided to. And I shall be honest.

I have written about this earlier but the wedge between the civil and the military world has since widened as the voices have become shriller. And then I saw this very important and much valid statement by General VP Malik in his recent interview to The Times of India:

“...The chief must have wide experience. The chief should also be civically literate and conversant with the principles and precepts expressed in the Constitution...”
Though we are on a different subject and not discussing higher defence appointments here, the statement is important since it comes from a former Chief of the Army Staff, who, even though retired in 2000, seems much more progressive and practical in thought than many of our current commentators. Valid since it makes one realize the fact that the knowledge of basic constitutional concepts, democratic or even administrative principles is not optimum within the military community. To put it crudely, many serving in the military are not aware how things work.

A few days ago, at an official gathering where I had a longish conversation with some highly competent officers of the defence services, certain issues that I speak of above, stuck me hard. One, that there is an extreme lack of understanding, knowledge and acknowledgement of contribution of other professions or services. Two, that the basic insight regarding our national institutions is lacking. Three, that there is some kind of a feeling as if only the military is serving the nation while all other professions are lax, dishonest or both. Four, that there is strong resistance to change and things have come to such a pass that attempts to impress are made not by the depth of learning or knowledge but by scratching the surface and flowery English.

In the same conversation, I was also taken aback by a number of broad statements such as “80% of judiciary is corrupt” and questions about how the judiciary enjoys the month long vacation of Courts in the month of June or the promotional avenues in the civil services or how the Central Armed Police Forces are paid more than the Army while they are not performing duties that are as exacting. Urban legends, basically. Pitiful though is the fact that while the military itself is facing a multitude of challenges, people have time to discuss other professions from afar regarding which their knowledge or understanding might not be of the desired level. Or, to take an example from the above, though not germane to the subject, the actuality that it is only the Constitutional Courts that close for vacation in June and not others and that even the said Courts continue to function with vacation judges and that overburdened judges at times have to hear hundreds of cases per day, read their files in the morning and evening and night, apply mind on the precious rights of litigants, pronounce judgements, dictate decisions, sign orders and so on. Just as military personnel avail about three months of leave in a year, perhaps judges (and lawyers) too deserve a break to maintain mental equilibrium or even to look through pending work which piles up during court days, and they too are serving the society in their own way. Talking ill of babus is also fashionable, repeatedly comparing the military and the bureaucracy. I don’t think that a young newly inducted IAS officer looking after the magisterial, executive and revenue functions of his sub-division or a young IPS officer supervising the policing and security in the same area is encumbered with any less onerous responsibility than a newly commissioned defence officer. While we continue to ascribe duties to our officers (in the name of so-called grooming) that are not commensurate with their ranks thereby ourselves lowering the prestige and sheen of the military brass, paradoxically, on the other hand we speak poorly of other professions. 

What stands out distinctly from the above is that there is not enough education being imparted in our academies or institutions about other occupations and services with whom we have to work shoulder to shoulder in today’s complex environment. The vision expressed by General VP Malik for senior staff is as much valid for the youngest officer since if he or she does not build up knowledge in the formative years, the foundations shall remain weak even on attaining higher ranks. If not given attention, the knowledge about concepts such as the constitutional separation of powers or even elementary notions that would be clear to a civics student in school, would remain elusive. The net result would be tunnel vision and spending time forwarding fake social media and text messages spreading disaffection, discontentment and planting falsehoods against seniors and the establishment instead of focussing on positive well-rounded advancement to take on challenges in the real world. There would always remain people like us who shall steadfastly stand behind the genuine causes of the men and women in uniform, but not at the cost of causing injury to the reputation of  others. While IAS and IPS officers get to know more about the Army while on attachment, the equivalent exercise is missing in the defence services. Shouldn’t Gentlemen Cadets in batches be attached for a week to a Police Station to understand its functioning and the challenges faced by policemen and women or basics of investigation or criminal law? Shouldn’t they be attached at the local tehsil to comprehend its functioning? Till the time there is cross faculty exposure, which is the call of the times even for essentially military functions, seminal growth shall continue to dodge us.

The military must not lag behind in real terms by way of some kind of show of faux superiority or holiness. Sense of entitlement must yield and make way for sense of legitimate expectation. Theoretically camaraderie is stressed upon but unlike the civil services, there are sharp divisions within the system when it comes to benefits, cadre management or  even welfare schemes whether it is a struggle between the Army, Navy and Air Force, or between the Combat Arms and Combat Support Arms or between Arms and Services, and at times even between Regiments. Healthy competition is replaced with peer jealousy and crab mentality. Problems are created for own comrades at each level. Whether it was the Dynamic Assured Career Progression Scheme (DACP) for doctors or medical facilities for our Short Service Officers or certain benefits for women officers, most impediments emanated from within the uniformed community, not from outside. While we discussed whether women commissioned officers, who were allowed to serve for 14 years, were fit enough to serve for 6 more years to earn pension or not, the Central Armed Police Forces deployed women personnel at jawanlevel even at high altitude locations and for extreme riot control, without controversy. While we with our high noses debate how the military is superior to the ‘paramilitary’, the latter have implemented the DACP smoothly while our Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) at one time made presentations to the Ministry on why it should not be implemented, a fact now made use of by financial mandarins. While civil organizations discussed with their employees and pensioners how best to present their views before the pay commission, the military refused to share its memorandum to the pay commission even with its serving rank and file and also refused to part with it under the RTI Act. While lawyers of civil departments go out of the way to assist the courts graciously and fairly when it comes to litigation of their employees, our officers brief govt lawyers as if it’s some kind of war being waged against litigants- of course they are not at fault since they are pressurized by higher headquarters to ‘win cases’. Promotion related litigation for empanelment under the Central Staffing Scheme with the central government has sharply decreased in civil departments because all promotion related and other administrative policies of the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) are now available online and transparency is valued, while in the defence services, officers keep groping the dark to get a grip on what has hit them. Sporting events and movies come to a halt if a military VIP enters and till he is given his separate large chair in a separate enclosure with better cutlery, something unheard of in today’s civil set up. During the OROP agitation, certain veterans were full of hate towards civilians, while civilian pensioner organizations, on the contrary, supported us to the hilt even during the Anomaly Committee meetings during the recent disability pension reduction controversy. While we continue to rightly feel proud about the military, its discipline and impeccable service to the nation, there are a few things we can learn from others.

Operations and strategy, though nationally of utmost importance and also pertinent to military morale, do not affect the quality of life or basic dignity of defence personnel and their families. In every sense of that sphere, civil departments and services are doing better than the defence services- in cadre management, in welfare related issues, in facilities, in progressive personnel policies. So next time we talk about others, we must go to the nearest mirror and take a very hard look. To end, I must add that what I write above should not make you gloomy since it is simply a call to embrace positivity and reformatory thought with an open mind. Till when would we thump our chests about our past and rest on our laurels? This feel-good regalia could quite be useless in the actual world.

Get real.


          Principal Dev Security Engineer - (Needham)   
The Principal Dev Security Engineer is a key strategic role for our Global Security team This individual will lead the threat and vulnerability management pillar of our security team Areas of focus will include breach and anomaly detection deploying countermeasures asset discovery and inventory management and implement all aspects of the vulnerability remediation lifecyle Individual will be responsible for design build and delivery of private and public DevOps frameworks tooling and solutions to support ongoing daily operation of core security platforms The position serves as liaison between Engineering team members and business partners in the creation and execution of policy to mitigate risk and maintain compliance This position requires broad IT background expertise in Information Security control and compliance as well as strong communications skills to effectively manage processes and projects with cross functional teams Responsibilities Vulnerability Management Identification and management of vulnerabilities in commercial open source and custom software Threat Management Identification and management of threat and breach detection systems which include the capturing of data for further forensic analysis and anomaly detection Penetration Testing Ability to exploit vulnerabilities by conducting regular penetration tests on TripAdvisor and its Business Units Interact with Governance Risk and Compliance groups as required to help prioritize risk and assess compliance status Threat Intelligence Prioritize and disseminate threat information including Indicators of Compromise and prioritize vulnerabilities based on active exploitation Assessment of tools for vulnerability management and penetration testing Ability to conduct Proof of Concepts PoC or Request for Proposal RFP to determine best of breed solutions Collaborate with business owners and developers to explain the associated risks of vulnerabilities to their specific environment or product Operate across the entire lifecycle of a platform from infrastructure build through to deployment and operational support with attend to functional and non functional requirements including performance scalability and security Build integration and automation on data feeds from AV IDS SIEM and FIM devices Initiate automated remediation actions and further research controls and countermeasures where required Understand new and emerging threats vulnerabilities and exploits that can affect TripAdvisors information resources confidentiality integrity and availability Qualifications years of systems and application design including the operational trade offs of various designs DevOps and scripting skills a must Capability to program in at least one language other than Bash ideally Python or Perl but Ruby CC Java work as well Demonstrable knowledge of TCP IP HTTP web application security and experience supporting multi tier web application architectures Must be adaptable and able to focus on the simplest most efficient reliable solutions Track record of successful practical problem solving excellent written and interpersonal communication and documentation skills Experience with configuration management tools such as Puppet Chef Salt or Ansible Very strong infrastructure and web service automation skills are essential Experience of enterprise governance risk and compliance programs PCI DSS MA CMR SOX a plus Experience in performing vulnerability assessments and penetration testing Network Client Web App Wireless and Social Engineering Understanding of exploitation techniques for various vulnerabilities Understanding of security principles best practices tools and processes Strong knowledge of operating system security concepts as well as Linux Windows and Mac OS in particular Advise other teams on secure design of their systems Understand new and emerging threats vulnerabilities and exploits that can affect TripAdvisors information resources confidentiality integrity and availability Perform security assessments for newly acquired businesses Familiarity with cryptography including PKI TLS and key management Manage large amounts of threat and vulnerability data and create integrations BS in Computer Science or equivalent field Relevant certifications CISSP GIAC ISSAP CISM or PCIP LI BS Source: http://www.juju.com/jad/000000009qxkh2?partnerid=af0e5911314cbc501beebaca7889739d&exported=True&hosted_timestamp=0042a345f27ac5dc0413802e189be385daf54a16310431f6ff8f92f7af39df48
          Comment on June 2017 Temperature Anomaly projections by firetoice2014   
Probably only 1 significant figure, followed by 3 insignificant figures.
          Slide anomaly?   

Hi,

I've been playing for a couple of months with and without picks as I'm trying to get used to them. I've noticed a strange thing happen when I play with picks. When sliding on the 3rd string from 2nd to 4th or 5th the note mutes as soon as I leave the 2nd fret??  It's absolutely fine without picks (yes I do have them on the correct hand).

I can't figure out what's causing it, I could understand if I was doing something different with the left hand, or if I was picking the string with the right with a different amount of force but as far as I can see there's no difference in style with or without picks??

Beats me, any ideas?


          Day onehundredandthirtynine.....   
And On The 39th Day He Rose Again


Like a phoenix from the flames, Thomswoon has risen from cutting floor of the fromagerie. And how the world has changed in those 39days. But why wait 39days. Does that make me 13times less of a being as Jesus? Or maybe more, or perhaps I was on a trip?

http://news.discovery.com/space/mars-rocket-vasimr-nasa.html

Cheese will not stop for any man. Cuisine is forever changing. Throughout the ages, different cultures have banqueted in many different ways.


But now thanks to a wise aunt of mine I have seen the future of dining...

Cheese Restaurants

All the menu sounding pongingly delicious however I did stumble across one anomaly. L'Assiette de l'Etable. It is described in the article as.

"An assortment of three cheeses on toast, served with lettuce and cooked sliced ham."

Aye, cheese and ham toastie? But fear not many a dish even for the concerned vegetarian.

"I am not a vegetarian because I love animals; I am a vegetarian because I hate plants"


The words of comedian Whitney Brown. I wonder if that's why some people are carnivores?





          FTSE 100 heads towards new record as pound continues to slump   

Exporters and overseas earnings benefitting from weak pound push index higher

Leading shares are heading back towards a new peak, as the continuing slump in the pound pushes exporters and overseas earners higher.

The flash crash in sterling in the early hours of trading may have been an anomaly but the pound remains under pressure on fears of a hard Brexit, especially after tough talking from German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president François Hollande. Last weekend’s comments from UK prime minister Theresa May suggesting the focus in Brexit talks would be immigration controls rather than remaining in the single market started the rot in the pound.

We upgraded Fidessa to neutral in July, still cautious on its end market, investment banking, but arguing that its share price had corrected sufficiently post the UK referendum. We also noted that the sharp depreciation in sterling would benefit Fidessa’s bottom line and make it cheaper in non-sterling terms (Fidessa had been the subject of media reports as a takeover target earlier in the year; e.g. FT on 9th March). Since, however, although the pound has fallen further, the re-rating has overshot, we think, and we would advise investors in Fidessa to take advantage of the corresponding rally in its share price to sell the shares at the present current level.

Continue reading...
          Minus Zero: Putting the Music to Work   

Something that has always fascinated me is the many ways instrumental music - without the help of lyrics - can be used to carry a message, to protest, or  to advance a cause. A group of musicians out of the Bay Area in California have found their way by creating a record label which donates all proceeds to Planned Parenthood. Founders Vijay Anderson, Dina Maccabee, and Ben Goldberg launched Minus Zero on Bandcamp this spring and agreed to a Q&A about their effort.

Following the Q&A are reviews of a small sample of the now 19 available albums.


Free Jazz Blog: Just for some background, could you tell us a little bit about how the three of you met?

Dina Maccabee: I first met Ben when I was in high school, lurking around Bay Area live music I was introduced to by my older brother's friends who were into local creative and improvised music. One time they snuck me into a dive bar in Oakland to see a jazz show, which is hilarious because when I was 16 I looked like I was 12, but somehow I remember that happening. When I was around 18 guitarist/composer John Schott asked me to play in a large ensemble playing his arrangement's of Ben's music, along side a lot of well known players, which was a big deal for me at the time!

Vijay Anderson: We met nearly 20 years ago while each of us were performing in Bay Area bands. The three of us first played together a handful of years ago in Graham Connah's various large ensembles.

Ben Goldberg: You meet a lot of people playing music. How I met these two lovely musicians is probably not unusual -- there was a rehearsal, or a concert, and "hey, nice to meet you."


FJB: Your new label “Minus Zero” is dedicated to raising money for Planned Parenthood. Can you tell us when and how the idea came about and why Planned Parenthood?

DM: This was an idea Vijay presented to me, but I had definitely already been thinking about ways to contribute to worthy causes, as a way of responding positively to a fear that a lot of important services and institutions could be compromised after the election. I remember that Bandcamp had a day of donating their profits to the ACLU, which was a great idea, and I also contributed personally to a few organizations whose work I support.

VA: Like the majority of Americans, I was devastated with the recent presidential election results. The new administration has so many destructive policy ideas, including defunding Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood is an organization that really helps people around the world, primarily woman, by providing basic health care, reproductive health care and general sex education. More information on that could be found here https://www.istandwithpp.org.

I think many of us are frustrated about our contentious politics and wish we could do something to improve things. I was performing a benefit/protest concert with Ben Goldberg and Marshall Tramell the night of the inauguration. The huge women's march was going to take place the following day. I asked Ben what he thought of the idea of starting a label which gave all the money to Planned Parenthood. He was very supportive of the idea and suggested we get as many people involved as we can.

BG: Vijay had the idea about Planned Parenthood specifically. It was shortly after the election and a lot of people were wondering how to shape the resistance. Planned Parenthood was under attack. The idea made sense.


FJB:  Do you see the label as a political statement? Why / Why not?

DM: I wish it weren't politicized, to expect that an organization providing essential health services to people who may not have any other access to them would continue to receive public funding to do their work, which fills in a gap that public services, let alone private health care, have left open. Unfortunately, it is, because there are wildly opposing visions of what equality and equity mean among different groups of people in the U.S. That being said, I don't see the label is a "statement." I see it as an activity, that is more constructive than declaring a stance or writing a manifesto.

VA: Yes it’s a political statement, but it’s also an effort to help fund Planned Parenthood, an organization that is unfortunately politicized. If a musician's work is on Minus Zero it means they support a woman's right to choose, basic healthcare for women, equal pay/opportunities for women, as well as sending a message that we are going to do everything we can to do make that a reality. All the proceeds from this label, (besides a small percentage for Bandcamp and Paypall) go to Planned Parenthood.

BG: Culture is bigger than politics. Right now our culture is under attack. What is being called the right is attacking basic common sense, like listening to each other, respecting opinions, and understanding the difference between truth and lies. It's being called "politics," as if one side will win, but when these values are eroded everyone loses. We sometimes use the word "culture" to mean "high culture" -- activities or events that are defined as luxuries. But culture is not a luxury. Cultural activities -- poetry, music, art, scholarship -- are exactly what makes us human. That's why Trump and his people have no culture -- it's not just that they read different books or appreciate different art -- there is actually no overlap. We are faced with a "political" movement that is trying to undermine our cultural values, and that brings into focus the fact that any kind of cultural activity or motion -- talking to your friends, reading books, gathering for music -- is an act of resistance.


FJB:  You are starting with 19 albums, that's quite a catalog! Was is difficult to persuade the musicians to participate? How long did it take from concept to launch?

DM: Everyone I approached was eager to contribute! There's always a bit of cat herding that goes on with something like this, but the only misses were either folks who didn't have something available to contribute on short notice, or artists who were already involved in another charitable project whose impact they didn't want to dilute, not because they weren't enthusiastic about the idea.

VA: It was easy to persuade the musicians to participate. Everyone represented here was very enthusiastic and more than willing to be a part of this. It took 3-4 months to put this together. We are fortunate to know a lot of great musicians who are willing to participate in this worthy cause.


FJB: What would you like to see the label accomplish?

DM: I would measure the success not in an amount of money raised, but in presenting a broad number of artists in different genres, and achieving some longevity. I could even imagine a festival or something like that, it would be amazing if all the contributors who don't necessarily know each other IRL were able to meet, there would probably even be more ideas generated about how to turn our musical energy toward benefitting people who have fewer advantages than we do, or who are in need. On the other hand, the online platform is kind of magical in bridging space and time, so I'm glad we were able to work with the bandcamp platform to create something widely accessible to people everywhere. If Minus Zero simply continues to add artists from different regions and musical zones, and generates a steady stream of contributions to Planned Parenthood at any level, that will be great. More generally, I think it's significant to have laid out a simple way for artists, who often don't feel like they have a surplus of either time or money, to be able to contribute to something concrete THROUGH making and releasing new music. Minus Zero has already accomplished that, and I would love to see the importance of that accomplishment spread by word of mouth among other musicians who I think will be interested in taking advantage of the opportunity.

VA: I would like to see this label raise some substantial money for Planned Parenthood as well create some more awareness of these issues. I also would love to see more people discover interesting thought provoking music through this label. The site could be a great way to check out some unusual artists who are doing interesting work.


FJB: The three of you have albums available here, For My Mother features Vijay Anderson; 1(800)729-3700 is with Ben Goldberg, and Tethered Music features Dina Maccabee, just to pick a few. All of these albums reflect different styles, ranging from free improvisation to jazz compositions to folk. Would you say that there is something for everyone here? Any favorites? Were any of these albums recorded specifically for the label?

DM: I hadn't planned to release Tethered at all. I had written and recorded it last year for a dance performance, but I was glad to have a place to present it when this project came up. What's nice is no money was spent on that recording, a friend donated his time for mixing it, and I wrote the piece without being paid as well, so it really feels like a contribution that stands outside the horrible contortions we all go through of trying to monetize our time and our work. When you have something you did without any money changing hands, it's both valueless and priceless, which is a great feeling, so I was happy to let it generate some value for this project, monetarily for planned parenthood, and in enjoyment units for whoever buys it via this platform.

I didn't know Sarah Bernstein's music at all, so that was great to be introduced to... I've always been a big Duo B fan... Prasant Radhakrishnan's saxophone ragas are transcendent...

.. It's all really really good!

VA: We have a great start, with a good representation of what we want to do. I think diversity is going to be key in making this an appealing label. So far we have musicians from jazz, free improvisation, classical, Indian carnatic music, noise, folk, pop, and rock influences. I would love to see some more recordings added from different styles or genres, and more music from various cultures around the world.

None of these recordings so far, were recorded specifically for this label. I do think that this label is an ideal place for re-issues, live shows, short ep length recordings, extra tracks or unissued studio recordings, as well as new releases.

BG: I hope that people will find this label to be a rich source of songs and records where you might find something you like, that will bring something pleasing or interesting into your life.


FJB: You’ve just started the label so it may be a bit premature to ask, but are there future plans? If so, what?

VA: We will continue to seek interesting music. We have plans to release music from Vinny Golia, Steve Adams and Tim Perkins, Joelle Leandre, Beth Custer, Joe Baiza, Mara Rosenbloom and hopefully a lot more. Thanks to bandcamp.com these recordings will be available here permanently and we hope this will have a positive impact on Planned Parenthood.

***

Michael Coleman, Ben Goldberg, Mat Nelson, Ches Smith - 1-800-729-3700 (Minus Zero, 2017) ****


1-800-729-3700 by keyboardist Michael Coleman, clarinetist Ben Goldberg, Saxophonist Matt Nelson and percussionist Ches Smith is a crackling and splintery outing. Eschewing outright melodies and rhythms, the opening track 'Supplement' combines electronic burbling with quirky lines from the woodwinds to generate its spikey themes. The following 'Parlez Vous' features a more traditional approach to song through Goldberg's melodies, and at the same time favors non-linear electronic and percussive accompaniment. 'Rock and a Hard Place' embraces a more driving pulse and a distorted analog synthesizer sound pushing the group into a more avant jazz-rock direction. Other tracks like the miniature 'New Memory' engages the listener with evocative textures and 'Winner' gets the heart pumping with a straight ahead rock beat before erupting into a cascade of counter melodies.

The quartet here is quite resourceful developing a varied and exciting set of improvisations, it may take a couple spins before it sinks in, but it's a recommended use of time!




Dina Maccabee - Tethered Music EP (Minus Zero, 2017) ****



This little gem by violinist Dina Maccabee may be only 12 minutes long, but through its four tracks a full musical vision is presented. Maccabee is a Bay Area violinist, whose classical training influences 3/4 of these folk-tinged pieces that evokes pastoral scenery as well as a chamber recital. The anomaly is 'Tethered Duet' which uses a simple clap to establish a pulse, and then over triads from an acoustic guitar, Maccabee overdubs singing. Along with Maccabee's violin, viola, and vocals, is Jessica Ivry on cello. The work was originally developed to accompany choreography by Teresa Heiland but stands quite well on its own.



Diane Moser, Mark Dresser, Vijay Anderson, Hafez Modirzadeh - For My Mother (Minus Zero, 2017) ****


It's a pleasure to find modern jazz that has the ability to excite ears that have been rewired by experimental music. Easily fitting that description, For My Mother, is the work of a group of musicians comfortable in both worlds, who met for the to play a festival in California. While the music skews to more modern jazz with a strong sense of swing and melody, it is not without exceptional moments of nontraditional and fiery playing.

The opener 'If You Call Me, Then I'll Call You' is exemplary - Moser's piano is work is at once accessible and full of unusual phrases and exepected twists. Her comping behind saxophonist Hafez Modirzadeh is excellent, swirling in complexity until the two begin exchanging rapid atonal phrases over bassist Mark Dresser and drummer Vijay Andrson's infectious rhythm. Next up, 'Unfoldings' is another track that feels quite straightforward, yet has a subtle unsettling undertow. Throughout there are surprises, like the dense climax that the seemingly light-weight 'Dancing with the Sparrows' reaches or the rich harmonics from the base on the abstract opening of 'I Can Smell You Listening'.

An excellent album that leans more towards 'jazz' than what we typically cover, but well worth a listen.




Sarah Bernstein, Alexis Marcelo, Stuart Popejoy, Nick Podgurski - Prepolis (Minus Zero, 2017) ****


If it's experimental that you're going for, check out this electronics ripe recording. Heavy with abrasive textures in an alluring darkness, the opener 'Get Me the Medicine' begins with static and proceeds with a heavily processed violin and keyboard over a lurching rhythm. The half hour long improvisation goes through myriad changes, at times the mood lightens, but it's not long before say a disturbing vocal section materializes. Half way through, the whole piece has broken into short snippets - shards of sound - that fly past the ears. The shorter follow up, 'Not Your Corpus', begins deep in the place where nightmares are forged, replete with boiling cauldrons of acoustic/electric skronks. An acoustic piano is placed next to the ripping sheet metal of processed violin and bass, while the drums providing just the outlines of a discernible pattern.

The ever changing sonic landscape is mesmerizing in its evolution, and say a deep listen. It almost doesn't matter which instrument is which in this mesmerizing fear inducing dream factory, however, here is the staff who is hard at work:

Sarah Bernstein – violin/voice/effects
Alexis Marcelo – piano/keyboard/effects
Stuart Popejoy – electric bass/effects
Nick Podgurski – drums




Devin Hoff - Baile as Baile (Minus Zero, 2017) ****



Bassist Devin Hoff creates a sonic world all his own on this short solo recording. Starting off with a gently plucked melody, the simple sweet melody of 'Plain Songs 1 (the wind)', is overdubbed with a bowed melody that see-saws between the diatonic and the dissonant. After a part 2 and 3, a new theme emerges with far Eastern overtones ('Wey Lo') and then is followed by the Celtic -inged 'Witches Reel', which ending in an explosion of deep resonant tones. The song that wraps the album is possible the most effective, 'An Buachail Caol Dubh'. Hoff's delicate, but insistent, song is imbued with classical and folk sensibilities and the personal and powerful track is the crowning achievement of the EP.


          "Dark Side of the Museum" Found an Ending   
I think Dark Side of the Museum is finished. I need to have the patience now to let it sit and then reread it. I started this novel over a year ago, although the idea had been percolating longer than that. I don't know how to categorize it other than a good read (I hope). It has a pinch of paranormal and a dash of time travel. The result seems to me deliciously outrageous. The set up is pretty simple and engaging. Engaging, well that's for you to judge. Here's the first chapter. I'm looking for beta readers if anyone is interested.

CHAPTER ONE
Edgar Makes a Discovery and Gets Fired.

I was on my way to report the extraordinary X-ray finding to the chief conservator when I encountered her in the hallway waddling like a penguin toward me in her daily dress of black pants, white blouse, black vest. Stella said, "Ah, Edgar, we need to talk."

I could have told her about the discovery as we walked back to the windowless bowels of the art museum where 93 percent of the collection was stored, a vast majority of which would never been seen by any visitor. I wondered what we NEEDED to talk about. I haven't done anything wrong. I'm polite to the curators. I get on well with them, even Beatrice. Just saying her name is like pulling a pin from a grenade and looking at the thing in your hand. And I get along well with my fellow conservators, except for Nina, that little bitch in the painting department. I glanced sideways at my boss, but her face showed only the slight smile she always wore that kept you guessing. Is she pleased or deeply upset? Her hair, probably dyed black, hung straight to the top of her shoulders and always looked as if grease needed to be shampooed vigorously from its sticky strands.

I kept quiet, sitting in front of her desk as she settled into her own chair adjusting the multiple knobs it offered to ergonomically match her short, dough-girl frame.

"We're going to have to let you go," Stella said, the slight smile showing no uneasiness with having to impart this piece of news. "The cutbacks, you know. Layoffs affecting all departments even, I hear, one of the curators. Full month's notice. Irma in HR will give you the details on your severance package, how to file for unemployment, COBRA insurance and all that. With your credentials, I'm sure you'll find something else soon. You're young. How's the Gould coming along?"

"Fine, fine. X-rays almost all done. Well, thanks."

And I left asking myself: Why me? I'm the only furniture conservator they have. And having just turned thirty-five I didn't feel young. Dejection started to slump my shoulders, but remembering what waited for me back in the lab made my step more brisk. I retrieved the one X-ray that had so excited me, putting it in my briefcase before anyone else could see it.

At 5 o'clock I walked to security where I opened the briefcase for the guard to peer inside. The X-ray elicited no interest. Work being taken home. At my apartment in the old brownstone near the museum, I stuck the film under the light table to examine the anomaly again.

A year ago, the Museum had acquired a Nathaniel Gould chest-on-chest. The massive, though elegant, wooden thing now sat in the lab for examination, cleaning, and, if needed, restoration. The 91-inch tall piece—when the top part was put on the bottom part—now sat in its two separate sections. I had started my work by X-raying the piece so I might see any hidden cracks, inspect joints, and espy the presence of nails.

Its top featured three finials—knob-like extension spires that began as rectangles of wood sitting on which was a round piece that became a kind of upside down toy top. The X-ray of the right finial seemed to show a box-like object within its rectangular base. Some kind of metal was blocking the view so I had headed to tell the news to Stella.

Now, I'll find out for myself—and alone—what's inside that cube of wood.


          Global Warming and the Great Barrier Reef.   
Bob Fernley-Jones 

Dear all,
You have publicly asserted that human-caused global warming is a grave threat to the future survival of large parts of the GBR.  However, the underlying global warming trend (Trend) in SST’s are less than 0.1 0C/decade which is relatively slight compared with the annual volatility.  It is thus meaningful to analyse that volatility, and that is best done after detrending the data.

Figure A) is derived from this BoM source and it removes the distraction of Trend, given that there is much evidence that the modest Trend is not adaptively stressful to the holobionts.



This shows most notably in 1973 and at the end of WW2 that there were greater ± extremes in the past than when the four mass thermal bleaching events were reported.  The beginning of significant awareness of bleaching and the availability of resources for the GBR to detect such was marked by this 27-year study by De’ath et al of 2012.
It has been found globally that some corals have survived severe mass bleaching events that resulted in greater thermal tolerance because of changes in their symbiont “algae” mix.  However, there does not seem to be any evidence that such responses have permanence.  Any subsequent lessening of thermal/PAR stress seems likely to result in reversion to symbiont mixes having other benefits.  Furthermore, immediately prior to the 1998, 2002 and 2016 mass bleaching events, the SST’s were notably cool, inferring that the corals were likely to be badly conditioned for the coming shocks. 
Thus, the critical metric is in the relatively massive annual swings that are measured in degrees; and not the underlying global warming trend of less than 1/100 0C/year.

Figure B) shows SST day-anomalies on 18/June/2017 and indicates the primary driver of the volatilities seen; arising from the poorly understood ocean circulation variability:



Firstly, notice that at the highlighted locality on the GBR it was slightly below average on that day whereas off SW WA it was significantly warmer than average.  In comparison, back on 21/March/2017 the same GBR locality had a very hot spike of +3.5 0C whereas off most of WA it was cold at down as low as -3.1 0C.  

Figure C): The figure above suggests a quasi-opposite phenomenon between the east and west of Australia, so it is appropriate to examine the long-term BoM data as follows:


This reveals a long history of quasi-opposites that relate to ocean circulation changes (notably ENSO). 
Returning to figure B, there was also a Brazilian hotspot anomaly at an extreme +7.1 0C while contrastingly in ENSO regions 1 & 2 off Ecuador and Peru, it was in La Nina at -2.1 0C.  A fuller study has revealed that there is also a quasi-opposite east to west oscillation around that continent too (in the short-term data at least).
These poorly understood ocean circulation oscillations have resulted in alternating hot and cold localities, and they have occurred centennially with quite uniform magnitude and frequency
It has been opined that global warming results in increasing climate change extremes, but there is no evidence of this in the BoM/NOAA SST time series data.   
Figure D) demonstrates a secondary co-variable in ‘the weather’; notably wind, cloud cover and rainfall, (well correlated with ENSO).  An extreme example was with tropical cyclone Debbie which evidently wedged very warm water before its path* and created a massive hot spike that was unprecedented anywhere on the GBR during 2017 (frame b below).  
On the other hand, there were anomalies higher than on the GBR in the lower Tasman where the East Australian current is somehow blocked and mostly diverts east while generating strong surface eddies.  This is apparently because of a period of unexplained high strength in that current.
  
*The maximum SST impact of Debbie is shown here on 28/march/2017.  This is an interactive site; click any spot for SST and surface current speed.  Click earthto open menu to find different dates and other parameters.



Frame (c) reveals that El Nino was strong in region 2 during the 2017 hot season on the GBR (Region 1 was similar).   This is further indication of globally continuing ocean circulation instability in 2017.
None of these phenomena are predictable in magnitude, frequency, or regionality (e.g. every El Nino is different and the impacts are not consistent).  However, they clearly have varying correlations with ocean circulations.  Neither are tropical cyclones (or hurricanes) predictable in magnitude, frequency, or regionality, and there is no evidence that they have a worsening trend, rather the opposite.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Your claims that the GBR is seriously threatened by global warming are invalidated by THE DATA.
I can expand on this brief analysis if you concerned.   But, are you interested in properly advising the public as to the real threats and the highest management priorities for the GBR? 

Yours sincerely,
Bob Fernley-Jones              (Mechanical engineer retired….engineers do data BTW)   
Melbourne, 29/June/2017
PS  I have no interests in the fossil fuel industry, or any friends or relatives that do. 



          Fleet Supervisor at HRBP Solutions   
We are a dynamic, privately owned HR; Recruitment and Training firm that bring together a group of young and enthusiastic Human Resource professionals with hands-on experience. Our aim is to reach out to the Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) by dealing with the Management gaps, challenges and bridging the skills and knowledge gaps necessary for market expectations and contribution towards organizational competitiveness. The position holder will provide expert advice and support in the operation, maintenance and servicing of the company vehicles so that the company can meet its distribution objectives efficiently and cost-effectively. Responsibilities for the Fleet Supervisor Job Ensuring the company vehicles are well maintained and serviced for use in all operations Responsible for ensuring that company vehicles have updated licenses i.e Insurances, Inspection Stickers, County licensesResponsible for continuous monitoring of vehicles on the tracking system to note any route anomaly or discrepancy Ensuring that the vehicles are always kept clean at all times Responsible for following up of vehicles dispatched and expected arrival times after delivery and updating the dispatch manager Responsible for daily inspection of the vehicle checklist. Monitoring and initiation of vehicle service order and following up with the service providers for prompt release of company vehicles Negotiate and establish repair cost or parts pricing with commercial vendors Responsible for generation of monthly vehicle reports monitoring fuel usage and service costs(motor vehicle monthly running costs) Liaise with drivers who have been apprehended for traffic or county violations Responsible for checking on drivers grooming Responsible for preparation of vehicle licenses schedules Responsible for ensuring vehicle safety and investigating any vehicle accidents with the relevant authorities Qualifications for the Fleet Supervisor Job Degree in Fleet/logistics management 4 years progressive working experience in FMCG firm Experience in a Beverage processing plant
          Lagrangian Intersection Floer Theory: Anomaly and Obstruction, Part I   

          Lagrangian Intersection Floer Theory: Anomaly and Obstruction, Part II   

          What happened when Camden started rethinking policing to build trust   

Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

JUDY WOODRUFF: Next: a look at how one police force is rethinking the way its officers do their job.

In the aftermath of a succession of deadly police shootings, law enforcement officials across the country have grappled with how police officers might better interact with the public.

In Camden, New Jersey, new procedures meant to bring officers into closer face-to-face contact with the people they serve seem to be having a positive effect.

Hari recently traveled to Camden, and has this report.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Officer Vidal Rivera is a native son of Camden, New Jersey, a street cop who can see the blocks he patrols through eyes that grew up here.

VIDAL RIVERA, Camden Police Department: Out here, it was like a market, like a flea market. You could go to any corner and get whatever you need, or whatever they were looking for. They was coming out to buy drugs.

HARI SREENIVASAN: He’s referring to customers from Philadelphia who came across the Delaware River to buy drugs. They still come in, but in smaller numbers. By day, Rivera is police, by night, a young professional boxer. But he says, as a boy, his mother didn’t let him play outside.

VIDAL RIVERA: It was just too dangerous. There was just too much going on. She feared that something could happen, someone high, driving a car, a shoot-out, everything.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Rivera is part of a revamped force, rebuilt more or less from the ground up in 2014. The faces in the squad room during morning roll call are notably young, new officers recruited to replace an ineffective department.

VIDAL RIVERA: I remember being a kid that, something happened, you weren’t allowed to say nothing to the police.

HARI SREENIVASAN: You weren’t allowed to tell the police because you didn’t trust them?

VIDAL RIVERA: You didn’t trust them. It was the fear that you had.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Historically, one of the country’s most impoverished and violent cities, Camden is home to some 77,000 people, nearly all of them Latino and African-American. And a number of the department’s newer officers have been recruited from the community.

Police Chief Scott Thomson also grew up in Camden, and he has been largely responsible for the reforms. His entire career has been with the Camden P.D. He ordered his officers to leave their cars, patrol neighborhoods on foot, knock on doors, look in on shopkeepers, get to know and become known to the people they served.

CHIEF SCOTT THOMSON, Camden Police Department: We saw, almost instantaneously, a change in the atmosphere within neighborhoods. That’s what people wanted from us, and it has helped us significantly, and for us to provide better policing services to them as well.

One, we have greater lines of communication now, which has given us a tremendous ability to not only solve crime, but prevent crime from occurring in the first place.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The statistics back that up. Since transitioning from the old force to the new in 2014, the number of murders dropped by almost 70 percent, burglaries by 27 percent, robberies 33 percent, and even an eye-catching 143 percent spike in rapes that the department attributes to increased reporting, as well as new broader federal guidelines on what constitutes rape.

Overall, the city’s crime numbers are the lowest in decades. Those are impressive statistics for any police department, and residents don’t dispute them. But some say seeing them in a report vs. feeling the difference every day are two different things.

MAN: I see prostitutes on my street. I see drug transactions on my street, in broad daylight, every day.

HARI SREENIVASAN: This local business owner was one of several people who asked not to be identified, citing concerns that his remarks could complicate relations with local police officers he knows. The crimes, he suspects, are visible to police as well.

MAN: Those must be caught on camera, but I can’t tell that it makes a lot of difference in how much of it or little of it is happening.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Surveillance cameras are a major piece of Chief Thomson’s formula. Some 200 of them are deployed throughout the city. The chief showed us the Central command Center. On these screens are the real-time video feeds from every camera, the location of every officer on patrol. There are also gunshot-detecting microphones placed at certain locations, meaning police know the location of the shots to within a few meters seconds after it happens, and can begin responding before anyone even calls 911.

Still, not everyone is won over. A Camden resident sees both the opportunities and costs of increased surveillance.

MAN: I feel it’s a violation of civil rights, on some level, with the cameras, because now you’re unknowingly filming people who didn’t give you permission to film them. But I have also been on the side where family members has lost other family members to violence and the cameras had assisted in the apprehension of the person who committed the crime.

MAN: If the police department came to me and said, you’re going to have to give up all your privacy, but we’re going to reduce crime, then make you a little bit safer, I would probably say no. Nobody came to me and asked me that.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Is there a concern that people could feel like their civil rights are being violated?

MAN: We don’t have any secret cameras stored away in the city. Everything is overt. They’re up there on a pole. They’re not hidden.

And we’re sensitive to the fact that there’s people that may not necessarily want the camera there. But what we have found is the majority of people do want them.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Another major focus of reform is de-escalation, training officers to use force only as a last resort, a tactic that played out dramatically in this video shot two years ago.

A man was wielding a knife at a restaurant, then began walking down the street brandishing the weapon. Rather than taking him down, police formed a containment bubble around him, then followed him for blocks until he could be disarmed. That restraint and patience earned praise from the chief.

SCOTT THOMSON: We’re handling them exactly the way that we want to. And at the end of the day, you know, what’s happening is, more people are being returned to their family. And every time that an officer pulls the trigger, it’s life-altering for them.

HARI SREENIVASAN: His department’s records show that, since 2014, the frequency of officers using force has dropped by 24 percent. And citizen complaints of police using excessive force are down 49 percent. But do these methods put an officer’s own life at risk?

MAN: Sir, drop the knife, or I will Tase you.

SCOTT THOMSON: What we’re telling officers to do is slow it down, is — that which we’re training officers to do is actually safer for the officers, when, historically, officers have been rushing into situations because that’s the training we provide, and it’s been dangerous for them, and often leaving them with the only option that’s left is deadly force.

HARI SREENIVASAN: That’s counter to the more militarized approaches taken by other cities.

What’s the hardest part about changing culture?

SCOTT THOMSON: So, for us, it was that transition from warrior to guardian. You still have to have the warrior mentality and the ability to trigger that warrior element when the time calls for it. However, that shouldn’t be your operating premise. That should be the anomaly. Right? That should be the exception, not the rule.

The rule should be, you’re a guardian. You’re in this neighborhood.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Throughout this story, I spoke to a number of people sitting on their stoops and sitting on their porches, but none of them wanted to talk to me on camera. It wasn’t because they felt that the new police practices were helping their neighborhood or hurting. It was a mixed bag.

It was because they felt that talking to me would invite unwanted attention.

Some feared a police they still didn’t fully trust. And others feared drug dealers, who may have left street corners, but are now behind closed doors.

TIM GALLAGHER, Social Worker, Guadalupe Family Services: There were just dime bags and needles all over the place.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Tim Gallagher is a social worker at Guadalupe Family Services. He works on a block that’s seen tremendous improvement, but he is still cautious.

TIM GALLAGHER: I think their Manning concerns are that it could happen again, that the good cops who are here will leave, and that other cops will replace them who won’t really know the neighborhood.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Good cops like Vidal Rivera, who is 6-0 in the ring, undefeated, but knows the fight for the streets of his hometown is just getting started.

For the PBS NewsHour, I’m Hari Sreenivasan in Camden, New Jersey.

The post What happened when Camden started rethinking policing to build trust appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


          Free on Amazon Today   
I LOVE a good thriller... don't you? And beginning August 30, 2013 till September 1, you can get this one for FREE...

Thanks so much Marla for sharing with us! Enjoy, dear readers.

She's Not There

 June 30, 2011
Women are missing . . .

Is the rising number of abused women who've gone missing a statistical anomaly? Or is a serial killer targeting this vulnerable group of women?
When the Milwaukee Police Department refuses to investigate because no bodies have been discovered, Lisa Rayburn, the clinical psychologist who discovers the anomaly, is drawn into an investigation to discover the cause after one of her own clients goes missing. She finds herself forming an unlikely alliance with a former policewoman turned security consultant, TJ Peacock, and the husbands of two of the missing women who may themselves be murderers.
When TJ is attacked, and a woman looking remarkably like Lisa is found murdered, they know . . . someone is willing to kill to protect his secret.

Can they reveal the killer before he gets to them?

She's Not There and Relative Malice
               Novels of Suspense

Available on Amazon.com


             

When Tzipi Livni is uncomfortable with a question, she shifts in her chair. When she is called upon to lie or evade, she blushes. If something strikes her as funny, she laughs. She is not naturally inclined toward paradox or irony. Her patent lack of interest in deception makes politics seem like an odd career choice.

In a country and a region led by men with outsize egos and florid personality disorders, the leader of Israel’s opposition Kadima party is an anomaly because she seems so resolutely normal—the hard-working child of ideologues who devoted their lives to building the state. Along with President Shimon Peres, she is the acceptable face of Israeli democracy in world capitals that feel little affection for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Continue reading "" at...


          Review of volcanic activity in the beginning of March   

Review of volcanic activity in the beginning of March Natural Disasters

During the first week in March 2012 seismic activity 17 volcanoes on the planet in varying degrees, changed its character. About five new volcanoes have moved to more dangerous stage.

Besides Bezymyannyi (55,978 ° N, 160,587 ° E) in Central Kamchatka, has been assigned the "red" key risk is worth noting as volcanoes Cleveland, Etna, Kanaga and Tungurahua.

CLEVELAND (52,825 ° N, 169,944 ° W, 1730 m), Fr. Chuginadak, Alaska

March 3 at the satellite image of the volcano was noted weak thermal anomaly. The current code is dangerous

Continue reading Review of volcanic activity in the beginning of March


          Comment on Israeli musicians to Thom Yorke: Canceling Radiohead show will disrupt Israel’s ‘business as usual’ facade by Talkback   
dabakr: "Their favourite pet liberal cause: trying to help achieve the goal of destroying the Zionist entity which is the Jewish Nation of israel." Great, isn't it?! Who wants another Apartheid state. I certainly don't. Jewish supremacists may think otherwise. dabakr: "the sound of the words,’jewish nation” must burn to some on the tongue like some anomaly too repulsive to even contemplate." Yes, like "volksgerman nation" . You know, any state which differentiates between nationals and citizens in general. Btw. Jews are not a "nation", there is no "Jewish" citizenship.
          Does LSD Stay in Your Spine?   
You may have heard someone say that LSD never entirely leaves your body. They may have said that it lingers in your spinal cord and occasionally triggers flashbacks to your last trip. If this is true, does it also affect drug tests? So, does LSD stay in your spine? Or is it just a myth? Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD) and flashbacksHPPD is a disorder unique to past users of hallucinogens like LSD. People with HPPD can periodically experience visual aberrations. These aren't real hallucinations, like during a trip, because the person recognizes them as illusions, but they can be disruptive to a person's life.Flashbacks are a similar phenomenon in that people experience hallucinations that remind them of a previous trip. They may be more common than HPPD, but they tend to resolve themselves over time, although it may take a few years. Some people have suggested that HPPD is caused by LSD persisting in the spinal fluid. Some anti-drug campaigners have tried to use this to discourage LSD use, saying that even a single use can result in a lifelong disorder. What's more, they even claim you'll never pass a drug test again. So, does LSD stay in your spine?No, it's a complete myth. As indicated above, it was probably manufactured by the forces behind the war on drugs to scare people away from LSD. There are no drugs that stay permanently in the body. What's more, LSD is water-soluble, so it passes through the body fairly quickly. Fat-soluble drugs like weed are more likely to cause long-term problems with drug tests, but even the heaviest marijuana users can usually get clean in a month or so.This isn't to say that HPPD and flashbacks are also fiction, though. They are very much real, and they're thought to result from some kind of anomaly in the brain chemistry. That said, they're believed to be rather uncommon, especially given the many people who use psychedelics like LSD. So, it's okay to take a drug test?If your last trip was years ago, then sure, you can safely take a drug test without fear of failing. There's absolutely no chance of residual LSD being detected in your urine, because there's none in your body to start with.If you've used LSD more recently, you might be more at risk of failing. Unlike weed, coke, speed, heroin, and PCP, LSD isn't commonly tested for. It is, however, included in some extended tests.When urine or saliva tests look for LSD itself, the detection time is usually limited to a day, but this can increase to four days if the test looks for a particular metabolite of LSD. If you feel you may fail a test, prepare yourself by using a detox drink or detox mouthwash, depending on the test you'll be taking.Hair tests are a different matter, however, because they have a long detection time of about 90 days. Again, you can take preparations against failing, this time with a detox shampoo.
          Oracle Introduces Identity-Centric Cloud Security with Identity SOC by Rohit Gupta    

New Challenges Require Identity-Centric Security

In a 2016 Cloud Security Research Report by Crowd Research Partners, 91% oforganizations have security concern about adopting public cloud, however only14% believe that existing network security tools are capable of trulyprotecting the public cloud.

The reality is, just as organizations were getting comfortable with theirsecurity solutions sitting on the edge of the network, the network perimeterhas dissolved. Now users are accessing SaaS applications directly from mobiledevices, bypassing network-centric tools. It’s not just SaaS applicationseither, more and more companies are lifting and shifting workloads to the cloudrunning in IaaS environments.

To make matters worse, good security resources are scarce. Budgets areshrinking, and even if you can find the money, an Economist Intelligence Studyindicates that 66% of cyber-security job openings cannot be filled by skilledcandidates. All this while the sophistication of threats is growing.

Today’s attacks have increased in sophistication. The threat of zero-dayexploits is expanding on a scale unseen before and putting a strain onresearcher’s ability to identify and prevent using signature-based techniques.This makes anomaly detection the only way to spot the needle in a haystack.Today’s threats now leverage multiple vectors, and breaking apart the attacksequence into smaller, more difficult to identify, chunks that are re-packagedand executed making sequence awareness of the attack chain critical. The attackfocus is now targeted where it used to be indiscriminate which makes userawareness and attribution invaluable in detection. Early detection is the keyto containment, as today’s attacks no longer go on for just hours, they arepersistent as networks, applications and services can be probed for days, weeksor months.

With all these challenges our old network-centric tools are being asked tosecure data/assets in ways that they are not capable of. It is only identitythat is bringing these disparate worlds together. It is the identity contextbrought together with new technologies such as machine learning, big data, andadvanced analytics that allows a security professional to centralize andnormalize user activities.  Then correlate and analyze those user eventsagainst cloud application, device and network based events to identifyanomalistic and potentially risky behavior in near real-time. Last, the outcomeof this leads to preventative actions to defend against current and futureattacks across the affected planes.

Downloadthe new Solution Brief on Identity SOC


Modern Security Requires a New Detection & Response Paradigm

Historical security measures are reactive and focused on protecting the frontdoor to applications and data. These controls are absolutely important andrequired for a defense-in-depth model, but alone are not sufficient for today’sthreats. The demand for preventive technologies using advanced and lean-forwardsecurity technologies is growing. Organizations have been responsible withputting the “locks and cameras” on in their organization, but lack in theability to correlate multiple penetration attempts together to look forpatterns, root cause, and predict the next phase of the attack sequence.Security professionals are starting to accept the reality today, which it isn’ta matter of IF you will be attacked, it is HOW frequent, and WHAT data (if any)was compromised.  This is the driver behind faster detection and responsewith complete audit & analysis of the event sequence.[GJ1]

What’s needed is a full cycle controls environment that combines for preventiveand detective solutions. Leading organizations are recognizing a need for afour stage model that includes Discover, Secure, Monitor and Respond.

Discover: To improve you must measure and have visibility into whatservices are being used, how and by whom. This includes visibility into bothsanctioned as well as un-sanctioned activity that is occurring with Shadow IT.

Secure: We still need all the preventive controls with proactiveapplication and content security to ensure sensitive data is protected. Westill need to authenticate and give authorization to users and applications aswell as protect data with strong application encryption to keep it safe.

Monitor
: However those preventive controls are not enough. We mustcontinuously monitor the environment to detect threats and identify anomalousactivity when it’s occurring.

Respond
: Automated response is necessary to augment your already stretchedsecurity teams. Organizations don’t have the resources to detect issues andthen hand the over for a forensic professional to research and ultimately comeup with a manual response plan for each threat.

Download the Solution Brief on Identity SOC

Oracle Delivers the World’s First Identity SOC

Oracle has recognized this shift in the security landscape and in our customer’s needs. Not only do we need to protect our own cloud, but our customers are looking for modern techniques to help them provide consistent security controls across cloud and on-prem environments. A 2016 Right Scale study said enterprises plan to use an average of six (6) cloud services to run their workloads. More than ever, coordinated security management is needed.

Oracle is making a big investment in the world’s first Identity SOC. With three (3) new security cloud services that integrate several new technologies into a homogeneous set of services. The integrated technologies include Security Incident and Event Management (SIEM), User & Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA), Identity Management (IDM), and Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB). Each of these new services will integrate with the rest of your security fabric, but when joined together they offer the full benefit of a true Identity SOC with bi-directional controls and actionable intelligence.

Download theSolution Brief on Identity SOC


             
Consumer case/Complaint/Public grievance from 469 beneficiaries of Cgewho Jaipur Phase II Housing Scheme Project:
Submitted by: Manish Agarwal General Secretary (GS) For "Cgewho Jaipur Phase II Beneficiaries/Allottees Association"
Category: Government
Complaint against: CGEWHO (Central Government Employees Welfare Housing Organisation) New Delhi
Complaint Number: 77938
Amount loss/claim: Rs. 965,000 (605000 escalation + 360000 parking CCP charges) 
Support Manish Agarwal General Secretary (GS) For "Cgewho Jaipur Phase II Beneficiaries/Allottees Association" Click:

29th july 2012
Consumer Case/Complaint/Public Grievance from 469 beneficiaries/Allottees of jaipur phase II housing scheme of cgewho (autonomous body under M/O ud, goi & M/O hupa, goi), new delhi

Sub.: Application for redressal of public grievance in respect of jaipur phase II housing scheme project of cgewho from the “cgewho jaipur phase II beneficiaries/Allottees association” and also as a consumer affairs (CA) issue/Matter

dear sir/Madam,
this is in reference to the captioned subject. In this connection, it is to inform you that the jaipur phase II housing scheme was conceptualised & launched by cgewho in january 2008. Central government employees welfare housing organisation (cgewho) is an autonomous body of the ministry of housing & urban poverty alleviation (hupa), govt. of india, a society registered under the societies registration act, 1860, specifically created for execution of housing projects for government employees, on all india basis, on no profit – no loss basis, as a welfare measure.

It is kindly submitted that cgewho advertised the project “cgewho's jaipur phase II housing scheme, sector 37, jagatpura, Shri Kishanpura, Off Mahal Road; jaipur 302 025, india" for central government employees. The government employees had put in their hard earned savings and also took home loan to realise their dream to own a house. In this connection, may kindly refer to our complete representation (alongwith annexures) in the matter vide the attached files/Attachments. It is very unfortunate that the beneficiaries are now finding themselves cheated by cgewho through various means like hiding of information, giving wrong information etc. Some of the unethical practices adopted by cgewho in this project are as follows:

1. Location of the plot: as per the brochure and website of cgewho (annexure-I) the plot was shown as corner plot but when the beneficiaries visited the site on 28th april, 2011, they found that the actual construction was not on a corner plot and felt cheated.
The scheme brochure is attached as annexure 1.
On the back cover of the scheme brochure, the location plan/Map of the plot is shown wherein the L shaped plot is shown as a corner plot bounded by road from two sides, on one side by 160 ft. Road & on the other side by 100 ft. Road. 500 M (0.5 km) away is the 200 ft. Mahal road, on both sides of which the central spine having proposed commercial development by the jaipur development authority (jda) is shown in the location plan/Map as well as written at “part a point # 2: location” in the scheme brochure. It is to be noted that the original scheme brochure issued by cgewho in january 2008 in physical/Hardcopy form is available with the all beneficiaries/Allottees, on the backcover of which is shown the location plan/Site map. This original scheme brochure (alongwith the cover page: front cover page as well as the back cover page) in softcopy form was also available on the website of cgwho till 28th april 2011 (date of general meeting at project site called by cgewho). After the beneficiaries raised the issue of change of plot location from corner plot to inside plot in general meeting on 28/04/2011 held at the project site, the cgewho changed the brochure on the website & now what is available on website is a brochure without the cover page (both the front cover page as well as the back cover page) because the back cover page of original scheme brochure showed the location plan/Site map showing the plot location as a corner plot bounded on two sides by road. This is a matter of forgery & criminal breach of trust. Cgewho changed the brochure on the website by removing its cover page so that the original plot location as a corner plot on back cover page cannot be seen by the public/Beneficiaries/Allottees. But the original scheme brochure is already in records & it is a public document. It is available with all the beneficiaries/Allottees of cgewho jaipur II as they purchased it & applied in the application form contained inside the original scheme brochure.

In the scheme brochure “part a point # 3: salient features”: the first subpoint is: timely completion of the project, which is later on elaborated as 30 months (2.5 years) from the date of approval of plans by the jaipur development authority (jda).

It is also mentioned in the scheme brochure that a ‘technical brochure” shall be issued on approval of plans by the competent authority, I.E. Jda in this case.

Later on when the “technical brochure” was issued in early 2009, it showed the location plan on the last page. But it showed a changed location, wherein the plot is now an inside L-shaped plot. It is connected to 160 ft. Road by a passage/Way but is not bounded by road from any of the 4 sides. This showed that the plot has shifted from corner plot to inside plot & the empty space in between the road & the plot is shown as “others plot” at “point # 13: site plan & layout plan” in the technical brochure. The technical brochure is attached as annexure 2. This plot is now under the possession of the contracting firm: rbpl, which the contractor is going to use for commercial purposes. As this “others plot” also belongs to cgewho as per the original scheme brochure site location/Layout plan/Map, therefore this area should be restored back to cgewho & can be used for common facilities, viz. Say development of a good public park for kendriya vihar II beneficiaries/Allottees.

The plan approval letter issued by jda on 27/08/2008 to mr. Shabbir khan, renaissance buildhome private limited (rbpl), the contracting firm appointed by cgewho is attached as annexure 3. This letter approves the plan/Map for housing project of cgewho in the name of ashadeep green orchid. It is to be mentioned here that the cgewho couldn’t get the land directly from the jda & so had to award the project to rbpl (contracting firm) on turnkey basis since they held the land title from the jda. It is pertinent to mention here that the cgewho scheme name is kendriya vihar II jaipur and not ashadeep green orchid as mentioned in jda plan approval letter issued to rbpl. It is to be noted that the cgewho didn’t get the plans approved from jda but the rbpl (contracting firm appointed by jda) got the plan approved from jda in the name of ashadeep green orchid in whose name they were going to construct this housing project had the cgewho not approached them through the tendering process. The rbpl’s similar multistoried group housing scheme “ashadeep green avenue” is just 500 M away from the cgewho’s project, which is already complete & fully operational. The jda plan approval letter says that approval is valid till july 2011. Therefore the question arises that since the project/Construction couldn’t be completed till july 2011 (even after lapse of over 30 months from the start of construction in october 2008 as per cgewho letter dt. 22nd oct. 2008 calling for payment of second instalment [annexure 4]), DID the rbpl/Cgewho took any approval for extension of this plan approval letter from the jda.

2. Anomaly in the date of the project started: cgewho in its communication dated 22nd october, 2008 (call-up notice for 2nd installment), had communicated to beneficiaries that the construction had started on the site and 2nd installment was demanded. In another communication dated 14th june, 2011 (annexure-II), cgewho has communicated to the beneficiaries that the construction at the site started in december, 2008. The reason for this misinformation should be explored.

The cgewho letter dt. 22 oct. 2008 sent to all beneficiaries/Allottees calling for payment of second instalment also informs that the construction has already commenced at the project. Therefore the project completion date as per the 30 months construction period works out to 21st april 2011.

The cgewho letter dt. 02 feb. 2011 sent to all benefiaries/Allottees calling for payment of fifth instalment is attached as annexure 5. This letter mentions that 80% financial progress has been completed including the land cost. With the payment of fifth instalment, 100% payment of original cost amount (I.E. Inr 11.20 lacs for type a (1 bhk), inr 18.00 lacs for type b (2 bhk), 23.50 lacs for type C (3 bhk) & 28.50 lacs for type D (3 bhk with extra servant room) was completed by the beneficiaries. The beneficiaries/Allottees were happy to note the 80% financial progress meaning thereby that the project is on track. They were not aware that just exactly three weeks later (vide cgewho letter dt. 23rd feb. 2011), the beneficiaries/Allottees would come to know about the delay in project completion & escalation in cost of project by around 25%.

3. Willful delay in the constitution of project monitoring committee (pmc): as per the rules, a project monitoring committee (pmc) was to be constituted at the starting of the project (I.E., October, 2008) consisting of the representative of beneficiaries to track the progress, the quality of construction and also to give suggestion, if any. Cgewho has initiated the process of constitution of committee on 01st november, 2010 and called gbm for this purpose on 28th april, 2011 (annexure-III), I.E., After a delay of more than 2 years. This indicates that cgewho was not willing to involve the beneficiaries in the project at the right time.

In the combined general body (gb) & governing council (gc) of cgewho meeting held on 24th march 2009, a decision vide point no. (VII) of the minutes was taken on formation of project monitoring committee (pmc) with two members of the beneficiaries/Allottees & two members from the gc of the cgewho to review progress of project by holding meeting once every quarter.
“Minutes of the combined XVIII general body & XXXXII governing council meeting of cgewho held on 24 mar. 2009 at 1200 noon chaired by ms. Kiran dhingra, president, general body (gb) & governing council (gc), cgewho and secretary M/O housing & urban poverty alleviation”; are attached as annexure 6. The relevant item no. (VII) from the attached/Enclosed minutes is quoted as under:

"VII) a `committee' for each on-going project shall be constituted with 02 (two) members from the allottees and any 02 (two) representative members from the governing council
I.E. From M/O law or M/O finance or M/O personnel or M/O housing & urban poverty alleviation of officers not below dy. Secy level. Member-secretary of the governing council
I.E. Ceo, cgewho will chair such committee meetings. These committees shall meet once in a quarter and shall review the project being implemented. The problem areas, if any, shall be brought before the executive committee & governing council."

Secondly, vide item no. (III) (e), the president, governing council & general body directed to set-up a `committee' to look into the `model/ System' of progressing turnkey projects in cgewho.

But cgewho decided to implement decision of its gb & gc on formation of pmc in respect of jaipur phase II project very late in november 2010 vide their letter dt. 1st nov. 2010 to all beneficiaries, attached as annexure 7. As per this letter, the meeting of the pmc will be held once every six months but the gb & gc meeting of 24th march 2009 had decided for holding meeting of pmc once in a quarter.

4. Unreasonable and unilateral escalation in the cost of unit by 25%: the 25% cost escalation of dwelling unit is based on fallacious argument. We would like to bring the following facts to the kind attention of the hon’ble minister in view of the above:
a) the reasons given by cgewho in its letter dated 23rd february, 2011 (annexure-IV) at “para 3” for cost escalation are exogenous like common wealth games, gujjar reservations etc. The fact of the matter is that the same constructor who has constructed this project of cgewho has also executed another project at the same location. Had the reason quotes by cgewho for 25% escalation in the cost of dwelling unit were genuine, the cost of the private project of the same constructor should have also increase by 25%, which is not the case. These reasons given by cgewho are not correct.
B) cgewho in two different communications (annexure-V) by using the same formula and logic communicated two different set of parameters involved in calculating escalation, which shows that exercise by cgewho for was not done with due diligence
and seriousness and needs a relook.

Meantime, cgewho issued letter no. T-111/13 dt. 23rd feb. 2011, (attached as annexure 8) when the beneficiaries were already busy in depositing the payment of fifth instalment to the cgewho about the delay in completion of project & the increase in costs of du’s/Flats by around 25%. This was a shocking piece of news to the beneficiaries

the meeting for the formation of pmc was scheduled for 28th april 2011 at 3 pm at the project site in jaipur vide cgewho letter vide 24 march 2011, attached herewith as annexure 9. During the general meeting at project site called by cgewho on 24/04/2012, the beneficiaries/Allottees showed their displeasure to cgewho authorities including senior official from M/O hupa, goi; about the delay in formation of pmc more than two years after the decision in the gb/Gc of cgewho meeting to the effect on 24/03/2009. Secondly. As per the original schedule for completion of project, the project is shortly going to be completed by 30th june 2011. Therefore, the beneficiaries/Allotted present at project site in the general meeting called for constitution of pmc decided to boycott the election to pmc. The beneficiaries/Allottees rather raised queries to cgewho / M/O hupa officials present to explain the reasons for change of location of plot, escalation in cost of project, delay in completion of project, what action the cgewho is taking against the contractor, viz. Financial penalty imposed by cgwho on the contractor in terms of the agreement executed/Signed by cgewho with the contracting firm (rbpl) for delay in construction & completion of the project.

The minutes of general meeting held at project site on 28/04/2011 as prepared by the cgewho are attached as annexure 10.

5. Inappropriate and unreasonable exit option given by cgewho to the beneficiaries:
a) exit option was given to beneficiaries at the interest rate of 6.5% per annum. Whereas the cgewho has charged from the same beneficiaries the default rate of 15%. This duality of behaviour is against the laws of natural justice.
B) exit window was opened to the beneficiaries for less then two months (annexure-VI). The fact is that the most beneficiaries are central government employees and are on a transferable job. This time window for exit was too small and represents the lack of opportunity given to the beneficiaries.
Therefore, it is requested that an enhanced and justified exit option to be provided to all the beneficiaries.

The cgewho letter dt. 23/02/2011 also gives withdrawal option to the beneficiaries wherein the amount deposited by the beneficiary/Allottee would be refunded back alongwith interest @ 6.5% p.A. But the cgewho charges interest for delay in payment of instalment as well from new beneficiaries joining late as equalisation charges @ 15% p.A. So the question arises that why this difference in rate of interest being charged from beneficiaries (for delay in payment or from late joiners as equalisation charges) & being given to beneficiaries (who opt to withdraw/Cancel & get refund). It is against principles of natural justice.

6. Covered car parking (ccp) charges: the cgewho letter no. A-509/3 dt. 31/01/2012 is attached herewith as annexure 11. This letter informs that an option of covered car parking space(s) under stilts/Basement are available for allottees at an additional cost of rs. 1,80,000/- Per covered car parking. This was never expected by the beneficiaries that the cgewho would charge anything for providing covered car parking as the beneficiaries/Allottees are already reeling under the unbearable burden of 25% escalation in costs. In the cgewho chennai (phase-II) housing scheme project, the covered car parking charges are reportedly being withdrawn/Waived. Therefore it is requested to the cgewho to withdraw covered car parking charges in the jaipur phase II project as well. The cgewho letter no. A-507/2(II) dt. 29/07/2011 in respect of allotment of car parking & other related relevant issues in respect of cgewho’s chennai (phase-II) housing scheme project is attached/Enclosed herewith as annexure 12. The two wheeler covered parking option was given in case of cgewho pune housing scheme by the cgewho vide letter no. A-502/5/1 dt. 14th june 2011 attached/Enclosed herewith as annexure 13.

7. Burden/Liability of unsold/Vacant/Unsubscribed du’s / Flats: the cgewho letter no. A-509/3, vol. II dt. 24th april 2012 addressed to rajasthan state industrial development & investment corporation limited, jaipur (a govt. Enterprise) attached herewith as annexure 14 informs about the unsubscribed du’s in jaipur phase II housing scheme. The no. Of vacant/Unsubscribed du’s is as under:

type b: 43 flats
type C: 53 flats
type D: 12 flats
total: 108 flats

the cgewho also enclosed/Attached cost & payment plan of the above mentioned unsubscribed flats/Du’s enclosed/Attached herewith as annexure 15.

It seems that the burden/Liability of cost of 108 unsold/Vacant/Unsubscribed flats is also falling on the balance/Remaining beneficiaries/Allottees in existence, I.E. 464 beneficiaries/Allottees, since total no. Of dwelling units (du’s)/Flats being constructed in cgewho’s jaipur phase II housing scheme is 572 nos. The cgewho advertisement published in newspaper & on the cgewho website (web published) in january 2012 for allotment of unsubscribed du’s/Flats of b & C types now open to general public on first come first served basis is attached/Enclosed herewith as annexure 17.

It is important to mention that as per the cgewho rules, each cgewho housing scheme, I.E. Chennai or hyderabad or pune or mohali or lucknow or bhubaneshwar is a separate strategic business unit (sbu) or an accounting unit. Therefore transfer of funds from one project to another project is not possible. That funds from other place/Project of cgewho can neither be diverted for jaipur phase II project, nor the funds of jaipur phase II project can go into any other project/Scheme at any other place of cgewho.

8. Ht line on 160’ road facing entrance: then there is the problem/Hazard of high tension (ht) electrical line passing on both sides of road in front of the only entry/Exit door of cgewho’s jaipur phase II scheme (kendriya vihar II). It is requested that this should be shifted/Relocated to another suitable location. The cgewho should write in the matter to the concerned department of the state government (say jaipur vidyut vitran nigam limited (jvvnl/Rajasthan state electricity board (rseb) or state’s principal secretary energy) in this regard.

9. Lack of development: urban CIVIC infrastructure, amenities, facilities & services by CIVIC authorities (M/O udh, gor, jda, jmc) around cgewho jaipur phase II (I.E. Kendriya vihar II) at sector 37, off mahal road, shri kishanpura, jagatpura; jaipur 302 025: this scheme was announced by cgewho exactly four & a half years back in an upcoming developing new area of jaipur. As per the scheme brochure, the site/Plot at sector 37, off mahal road, jagatpura; jaipur 302 025; is approachable from main city by three roads: 160' road on which the main enterance/Exit of kendriya vihar II lies, 80' road connecting 160' road outside site/Plot to 200' mahal road & 200' mahal road; at a distance of 1/2 km to 1 km from jda central spine; on both sides of which the commercial development was proposed by jda.
During this four & a half year period, while there has been a change in the state government but no worthwhile development in the area has taken place. Neither the 3 roads: 160', 80', 200' mahal road have been properly laid & pavered with the provision of proper street lighting, drainages, culverts, solid waste management (swm); et al, etcetra. Nor any public transport facility/Service is available in the area say to jagatpura railway station, calgary circle & malviya nagar; etc. Even there is no proposal at present to bring the brts (bus rapid transit system) / Jaipur metro (under development) to this area either in phase I or phase II of the jaipur metro mass rapid transit system (mrts) project. While the cgewho is a central govt. Body but the infrastruture development in the area is to be done by the state govt. Authorities & departments namely the ministry / Department of urban development & housing (udh) of the state govt. (Gor), jaipur development authority (jda) & the jaipur municipal corporation (jmc). Evidently, there is lack of communication & coordination between the central govt. & State govt. Authorities at the highest level in the matter. Due to which there is lack of infrastructure development of CIVIC amenities, facilities & services in the area. The work on the proposed central spine by jda has not even begun. Consequently, there is no commercial development of central business district (cbd) in the area around which the support services, amenities & facilities get created to spur all round development of any locality / Area / Region. On the other hand, while in the case of jaipur phase I (kendriya vihar I), there was very good development & jda's central spine in vidhyadhar nagar was developed quickly & simultaneously alongwith implementation/Construction by cgewho of jaipur phase I (kendriya vihar I) at sector 6, vidhyadhar nagar; jaipur 302 023. In the case of jaipur phase I, there was simultaneous development of urban CIVIC amenities, facilities & services by the state govt. Agencies/Departments, viz. The M/O D/O udh, jda, jmc; etc. Resulting in brisk all round development of the area. Therefore jaipur phase I is in a self contained area; while the same cannot be said about the jaipur phase II; where there is lack of development in the area & the area is not self contained & self sufficient but needs feeding from say malviya nagar (a well developed location) - 5.5 kms. Away from the site/Plot of jaipur phase II. The udh (urban development & housing) department, gor (government of rajasthan) & the jda planned development of central spine commercial complexes (for commercial development) in the area / Region / Location of jagatpura around mahal road more than five years back but they have not even started work at the ground level in this direction till date. Similarly, the other long pending infrastructure project of jaipur namely the ring road project, which will also improve connectivity to this part of the city (jagatpura area/Region) thru the mahal road; is yet to take off at the ground level & yet to fructify though it is a good twenty years' old concept/Project due to various problems, viz. Lack of coordination & will power among various related & connected government (even central & state level & local urban CIVIC bodies/Agencies) departments & agencies and lack of coherency/Vision in the decision making people/Positions. The delay in implementation of 47 kms long ring road around the jaipur city is a major stumbling block in accelerated development of the jagatpura area/Region (off mahal road) of the city wherein this project of cgewho, I.E. Kendriya vihar II falls/Lies. The ring road around jaipur would connect this location of cgewho's kendriya vihar II jaipur through the mahal road to the other major locations of jaipur city bringing/Connection it to the mainstream of jaipur city including the airport terminal I, terminal II, jaipur jn. Main railway station, gandhinagar, durgapura & jagatpura satellite railway stations, main bus station cbs sindhi camp, satellite bus stations at narayan singh circle (lal niwas) & durgapura; et al, etcetra. The ring road would also make the area / Location (sector 37, jagatpura; jaipur 302 025) accessible / Connected through the facility / Services of public transport (buses/Autorickshaws/Tempos/Vikram) with the rest / Heart of the jaipur city / Town.
The implementation / Construction of jaipur phase II has also got delayed by more than a year or so, due to various reasons / Factors, both controllable as well as uncontrollable. All these factors & reasons have contributed to the stagnant real estate property prices in the area which have not appreciated during last couple of years or four years since the jaipur phase II was conceptualised & launched.
In this backdrop, it is very humbly requested to the central govt. Authorities at the highest level in the M/O hupa through the office of the ceo, cgewho to take up the matter at the highest level (by writing to them) with the state government (government of rajasthan) authorities namely the ministry of urban development & housing (udh) of the state government of rajasthan (gor); so that they can issue directives / Directions / Orders to initiate immediate necessary corrective measures, take action & start implementing the plan of central spine at jagatpura & other urban CIVIC infrastructure development, amenities, facilities, services, proper public transport facility/Service; etc. By the urban CIVIC agencies concerned, viz. The jda, jmc, et al, etcetra. They can get funding for this project under the central govt.'s jnnurm (jawaharlal nehru national urban renewal mission) also undergoing implementation in jaipur city.
Waiting for your urgent intervention in the matter at the earliest.

Delay & escalation is the responsibility of cgewho & contractor (contracting firm: rbpl) and not beneficiaries. Then why the beneficiaries/Allottees are being penalised?

issues of allottees/Beneficiaries of cgewho's jaipur phase II before M/O hupa, goi (president, gb / Gc) / Cgewho
01. Change of location of plot from corner plot to inside plot.
02. Ht line on 160’ road facing entrance.
03. Anomaly in the date of the project commencement.
04. Willful delay in the constitution of project monitoring committee (pmc).
05. Delay in completion by around 1.5 years.
06. Escalation in cost by around 20-25%.
07. Charges in the name of covered car parking @ inr 180000/- Not in original scheme (reportedly being withdrawn/Waived in cgewho's chennai (phase-II) housing scheme).
08. Delay & escalation is responsibility of cgewho & contactor and not beneficiaries. Then why beneficiaries are being penalised?
09. Burden/Liability of cost of unsold/Vacant/Unsubscribed du’s / Flats: total 572 dus (a 22, b 220, C 242, D 88) are being constructed but 108 dus are vacant/Unsubscribed/Unsold (b: 43, C: 53, D: 12). That is the cost of unsubscribed/Vacant/Unallotted 108 du’s/Flats is also being funded/Shouldered by the existing 464 beneficiaries.
10. Lack of development: urban CIVIC infrastructure, amenities, facilities & services by CIVIC authorities (M/O udh, gor, jda, jmc) around cgewho jaipur phase II (I.E. Kendriya vihar II) at sector 37, off mahal road, shri kishanpura, jagatpura; jaipur 302 025
11. Diversion of funds to other projects/Schemes at other places of cgewho from the cgewho's jaipur II project scheme.

An earlier representation addressed to ceo, cgewho issued in june 2011 by the president, cgewho jaipur phase II beneficiaries/Allottees association; which was ignored & went unreplied; is attached/Enclosed herewith as annexure 16.

In the light of the above mentioned facts we believe that honourable minister will give us an opportunity to get justice. We humbly request that the honourable minister may direct the concerned officers to:
1. Escalation in cost by 20 to 25% be withdrawn or waived or it can be reduced to say maximum 10% for marginal increase in area and for reasons of increase in input or material or labour costs. Cost of the flats has been increased by 20-25% on very flimsy grounds such as fire in Sitapura (5 kms away), strike, rise in wages/input/quality products. To best of my knowledge, in every contract, there is a provision of cost-escalation to the extent of 10-15% for these items. I would like to know whether the same practice was followed while awarding the contract to the builder. If done, then why the cost escalation and if not done, the explanation should be sought from erring officials and responsibility fixed.
2. Covered car parking (ccp) charges at the rate of inr 180000 be waived or cancelled or withdrawn as is reportedly being done in chennai II project of cgewho. I believe, as per recent Court judgements, owner of the society cannot sell the covered parking to the flat owners then how CGEWHO is doing.. this point needs clarification.
3. Corner area, where cgewho project site office is located presently, was originally part of jaipur II as per the "original scheme brochure", shown as "others plot" in "technical brochure" be restored or returned back to cgewho jaipurii. It can be used for common facility say development of a good public park or garden for all the beneficiaries or allottees. Location of plot as shown in the prospectus and the location where the project is being constructed is different. In fact, the corner plot now belongs to the builder of the project: RBPL which shows that there has been some mis-communication either to the beneficiaries or otherwise.
4.  The cost of the dwelling unit appears to be more than what is available in the nearby societies. Generally when a project is built on no-profit and no-loss basis, as claimed by CGEWHO, then the cost of the project should be rational.
5.  As per CPWD norms, in the event of delay of handing over the project, a penalty of 0.5% per week of the total project cost is imposed on the contractor. We would like to know, whether the same has been followed in this project as well.
6. Confirmation from CGEWHO to the effect that the design and engineering of the structure (CGEWHO Jaipur Phase II Kendriya Vihar II) has taken into consideration the National Building Code 2005, the appropriate BIS Codes and the NDMA (National Disaster Management Authority, Government of India) guidelines.
Attachments: a/A.

Sd./-
(Manish agarwal)
regn. No.: Jjc0017
general secretary (gs)
for “cgewho jaipur phase II Beneficiaries/Allottees association”

email: cgewhojaipur2@googlegroups.com

          After Sales Service Engineer- Industrial   
After Sales Service Engineer- Industrial&nbsp-&nbsp002KZEProvide Expert Service on the Low Medium Voltage Variable Frequency Drives and Soft Starters at customer site or in house &nbspto investigate rectify trouble shoot and repair the anomaly 1&nbsp Analyse the anomaly as found or reported by the customer 2&nbsp Coordinate with the cus
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          Reply by Just the facts! (OP)   
Daily Update 25.01.2013 This image from yesterday seems to show a large event taking place within the anomaly? It could just be a camera error but it would seem unlikely?! http://stereo-ssc.nascom.nasa.gov/browse//2013/01/24/ahead/cor2/1024/20130124_210824_d7c2A.jpg :spock:
          Reply by Just the facts! (OP)   
WTF is this thing?!!! Update 24.01.2013 The anomaly is now occupying a good quarter of the images on both ahead and behind. Someone better figure out what this is! Stereo Behind Cor2...
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Daily Update 23.01.2013 Original post now updated with historical images! Interestingly, the NASA website contain an "artifacts" page to help viewers identify abnormalities in Stereo satellite images, although they appear to offer no explanation for this anomaly which now...
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22 January 2013 (Update) NASA images now updated. This anomaly has now grown to an immense size compared to that of the sun itself! Still no one has suggested what this anomaly could be and why it is getting BIGGER?!! As a footnote... Yesterday afternoon there was a solar...
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Update 21.01.2013 10:53 GMT Stereo Behind Cor2 appears offline at this time although the anomaly is now clearly visible and increasing in size on Ahead Cor2. :spock:
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Thanks for this useful addition to the thread! I personally distrust crop circles, not because of authenticity but because of the way we decode them, always the chance for some error?! This "anomaly" or whatever it is could be being controlled by non-human elements in order to...
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Daily update: 16.01.2013 It's notable that I have mentioned here and posted on various other threads my belief that this "anomaly" is in some way controlling earth facing eruptions! This has been borne out recently by the lack of X-flares from the main active regions on the...
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          Dreaded_Anomaly on Techniques for probability estimates   

That's definitely a problem; a million is a statistic. I think we can try to work around it in some cases, though. You mentioned the numbers 10,000 and 100,000; one might convert these into a car and a house, respectively, by estimating costs. By interpreting such large numbers in terms of these real concepts, we get a more concrete sense of the difference between such large numbers. You can then think of the issue in terms of how often you use the car vs. the house, or even how much time you're going to spend paying them off. That reduces the difference to something manageable. Obviously, this won't work in all cases, and the weight or cost of even a real concept can vary based on the person and their location (spatial and temporal), but it can be worth trying.

For another example, consider the way people sometimes talk about government budgets. Someone might be outraged at $100 million going to a certain area, out of the overall budget of $50 billion. "Million" and "billion" are usually processed by our brains as just "big," so we focus on the 100 and the 50, and 100 is bigger than 50, so... outrage! But if we divide by a million, we have $100 (a new cell phone) vs. $50,000 (a year of college tuition, or an expensive car). The difference is much clearer.


          Oceans and Seas Temperature   
Live Map Oceans and Seas Surface Temperature
(Map Shows Temperatures in Real Time)


The temperature of the surface of the ocean is commonly referred to as sea surface temperature. Sea surface temperature is now recognized as one of the most important variables related to the global ocean atmosphere system. It is a key indicator for climate change, is widely applied to studies of upper ocean processes and air-sea heat exchange, and is used as a boundary condition for numerical weather prediction (NWP). Changes in sea surface temperature, such as the large changes in ocean temperatures during El Nintildeo / La Nintildea events, can have dramatic impacts on fisheries by forcing fish into regions where they are not commonly found. Additionally, coral-bleaching due to warm ocean temperatures can result in reduced fish habitat and fish species diversity. Changes in sea surface temperatures impact our weather and are therefore an important measurement for accurate weather forecasting of both daily weather and severe events, such as hurricanes. Like Earth's land surface, sea surface temperatures are warmer near the equator and colder near the poles. Wind driven ocean currents move warm and cold water around the world's oceans like giant rivers. Surface currents can be seen in sea surface temperature images from satellites.


Traditionally, SST has been measured using infrared radiometers called AVHRRs and more recently MODIS. Recently, special microwave technology allows the AMSR-E sensor on NASA's Aqua satellite to measure sea surface temperatures through clouds, something no satellite sensor before it was able to do across the whole globe. An anomaly is when something is different from normal, or average. A sea surface temperature anomaly is how different the ocean temperature at a particular location at a particular time is from the normal temperatures for that place. For example, a global map of sea surface temperature anomaly for May 2006 would show where the temperatures in May 2006 were warmer, cooler, or the same as other Mays in previous years. Sea surface temperature anomalies can happen as part of normal ocean cycles or they can be a sign of long-term climate change, such as global warming. Daily global interpolated sea surface temperature data from the Advanced Microwave Radiometer for EOS (AMSR-E) and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), courtesy Remote Sensing Systems. Image processing by NASA's Earth Observatory and Ames Research Center.
North and South America Temperatures
North and South America
(30 December 2013)

North and South America Temperatures Jan 2014
North and South America
(31 January 2014)
Europe and Africa Temperatures
Europe and Africa
(30 December 2013)

Europe and Africa Temperatures
Europe and Africa
(31 January 2014)

Australia Temperatures
Australia
(30 December 2013)

Australia Temperatures Jan 2014
Australia
(31 January 2014)

Install GOOGLE EARTH
for PC, Mac, or Linux 
(if it is not already installed in your computer):
Google Earth download

          Conferences, User Groups, and Seminars Q3 and Q4 2016   

I am closing my plan for the second semester of this year. Before listing the events I plan to attend, just a quick comment. I had conversation about some specific events and why don’t I visit them many times, especially about the events in vicinity. My answer is pretty simple. I try to plan my events for six months in advance. My schedule for the year 2016 is full. I simply can’t visit the events that are announced only couple of months in advance. I prefer long-term planning.

Anyway, here is my list, pretty long again.

And this should be enough for this year:-)


          Conferences, User Groups, and Seminars Q1 and Q2 2016–Update   

Traditionally, I write down a list of presentations I am giving on different events every semester. This semester, I am already a bit late. I am still missing some info. So here is the list of the events I am planning to attend. I will add events and correct the list as needed later. Here is the updated info. Of course, more updates will come when I get the relevant information.

  1. Bulgarian UG meeting, Sofia, January 14th: presentation Introducing R and Azure ML
  2. Slovenian UG meeting, Ljubljana, February 18th: presentation Introducing R and Using R in SQL Server 2016, Power BI, and Azure ML
  3. SQL Server Konferenz 2016, Darmstadt, February 23rd – 25th:
    • pre-conference seminar Data Mining Algorithms in SSAS, Excel, R, and Azure ML
    • presentation SQL Server & Power BI Geographic and Temporal Predictions
  4. PASS SQL Saturday #495, Pordenone, February 27th:
    • presentation SQL Server 2012-2016 Columnar Storage
    • presentation Enterprise Information Management with SQL Server 2016
  5. DevWeek 2016, London, April 22nd – 26th:
    • post-conference seminar Business Intelligence in SQL Server 2016
    • presentation Using R in SQL Server 2016 Database Engine and Reporting Services
    • presentation SQL Server Isolation Levels and Locking
  6. SQL Nexus, Copenhagen, May 2nd – 4th: presentation Identity Mapping and De-Duplicating
  7. SQL Bits 2016, Liverpool, May 4th – 7th: presentation Using R in SQL Server 2016 Database Engine and SSRS
  8. SQL Day, Wroclaw, May 16th – 18th:
    • pre-conference seminar Data Mining Algorithms in SSAS, Excel, R, and Azure ML
    • presentation: Statistical Analysis with T-SQL
    • presentation: Anomaly Detection
  9. PASS SQL Saturday #508, Kyiv, May 21st: information to follow.
  10. PASS SQL Saturday #510, Paris, June 25th: information to follow.
  11. PASS SQL Saturday #520, Cambridge, September 10th: information to follow. And yes, this is already quarter 3, but I am late with this ist anywaySmile

          Whole Foods is saving Amazon — not the other way around   

RTS17D48Carlo Allegri/Reuters

The dust has barely settled from the recent announcement that Amazon will buy Whole Foods Market for $13.4 billion later on this year, but the reigning sentiments seem clear: Amazon saved the declining grocery store and, in doing, boosted its own value proposition.

“In short, Whole Foods was in a free fall, and Amazon is the perfect net to catch it,” Derek Thompson wrote for The Atlantic. And while Thompson and others nod to what Amazon is gaining—distribution centers and Whole Foods’ high-income, tech-savvy customers, to name a couple—there’s a lot more at stake than what meets the eye.

Amazon’s bread and butter is e-commerce and, while they own 43% of that market, that’s a just a sliver of the retail industry. Over 90% of purchases happen in physical stores. With its purchase of Whole Foods, Amazon is not only investing in brick-and-mortar but also securing a spot in the $750 billion grocery market—and the perks  that come with it.

Brick-and-mortar data

To date, online retail’s advantage has been the wealth of consumer data it can gather without disrupting the shopping experience. But online data doesn’t necessarily translate to the storefront. Case in point: Amazon’s own brick-and-mortar version of its online bookstore, Amazon Books. The company’s 7 locations are organized based on how consumers browse online, but visitors described the store experience as “not built for people who actually read,” indicating that consumers shop differently online than they do in physical stores.

The types of data collected online doesn’t necessarily translate in-store. And as technology makes frictionless data-gathering possible in stores, it seems the real consumer insight gems come from brick-and-mortar data.

FableticsFacebook/FableticsThat’s been the experience of Fabletics, Kate Hudson’s discount athleisure brand, which recently opened 18 brick-and-mortar locations to track the success of everything from store layouts to consumer responses to individual products. While the company was swimming in data online, the in-store insights have proven more valuable: Overall, the company’s success is higher in markets where it has a physical presence than markets served online-only.

“We needed better, more contextual data—this is the reason we decided to open stores,” Fabletics President and General Manager Gregg Throgmartin told Retail Dive.

With the physical data from Whole Foods, Amazon can better implement strategies to address in-store trends directly. Moreover, by combining online and physical data, the company can move towards developing a cohesive digital strategy that marries physical and online experiences.

 A Retail Foothold

Amazon is getting a lot of bang out of their $13.4 billion beyond the data. With Whole Foods’ 400 stores, Amazon will have a physical presence in all but 8 states in the U.S. And while some have hypothesized Amazon will turn Whole Foods into distribution centers for a grocery-delivery service, that seems an unlikely future considering 58% of consumers report they’re more likely to shop in-stores than online for household essentials, including groceries.

 To get into the grocery business, then, Amazon needs stores: and they’ve just purchased an out-of-the-box brick-and-mortar setup. Whole Foods has an existing network of product distributors and brand partnerships, and the stores are already optimized locally thanks to individualized buyers that choose assortments based on regional preferences.

RTX37MFCShannon Stapleton/ReutersAnother part of the Whole Foods package is its trained workforce, many of whom view working at Whole Foods as a long-term career path—an anomaly in an industry with high turnover rates. Having this workforce trained and invested in their roles means good things for sales. According to a recent ThirdChannel study, educated employees can increase sales 60%. And 90% of consumers report being somewhat or extremely likely to make a purchase with assistance from a knowledgeable associate. Having these individuals already in place will continue to drive sales for Amazon.

The Whole Foods experience

One of the main reasons consumers visit retail stores (62%) is to touch and try products, according to a survey from Retail Dive—a trend that’s especially true for grocery products, namely produce. Not to mention that the rising consumer generation, Millennials and Gen Z, value physical stores despite their familiarity with online shopping. What makes or breaks a retailer, then, isn’t competition online: it’s the quality of their experience. No matter how advanced the marketplace UX, online retailers can’t bring their brands or products to life as meaningfully as an in-person encounter.

“When you get into the brick-and-mortar space, you want to be a destination that offers an experience that people want to come to,” Alicia Hare, a former top executive at Target, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “Whole Foods has historically done that very well.”

The company prioritizes exclusive partnerships with small natural-foods companies of interest to its shoppers, and has an large, popular prepared-foods section in many of its stores. In recent years, they’ve even made a commitment to offering more price reductions and promotions.

The experience doesn’t just draw consumers in—it sells. According to ThirdChannel data from a study of a health and wellness brand, tactics like in-store demos drove 46% lift in sales. And the biggest selling point, according to a survey of sales agents selling the products during these demos, wasn’t price. Instead, a majority of agents reported passion from the individual selling the product was the highest sales driver. No matter how much marketing material a brand puts out around a product, a store associate that communicates a genuine energy to the consumer will leave a stronger emotional impression—and that’s what tips the scales for the sale. 

Amazon has reigned online. But in order for the company to continue to dominate in the retail industry, they must make a strong move towards brick-and-mortar. This partnership may save Whole Foods from its short-term financial troubles, but the grocery titan is a major asset for Amazon in the long run.

NOW WATCH: We drove a brand-new Tesla Model X from San Francisco to New York — here's what happened


          Reply #1912   
I need to check cause I think it switched up yesterday. Day DRAW yesterday came from workout 10/20 so it was 1 Day behind on the 20th 900 came off the 10/18 2 days behind I think today we are to use the CURRENT day 10/22, which has the 439 in it.

Night is another story 853 was not on ANY of the past 4 lists but a 1 off was but I usually don't count thta cause her list are so accurate it is an anomaly.
          Apache2 błąd 404 po aktualiacji debiana z 8 na 9   

@czeper pisze:

Mam dziwny problem, strona działała bez zarzutu, aż tu nagle tak po prostu:

Not Found

The requested URL /login was not found on this server.

w logach apacha mam taki wpis:

[Sat Jul 01 22:28:08.409154 2017] [:error] [pid 8092] [client 127.0.0.1:45624] [client 127.0.0.1] ModSecurity: Warning. Pattern match "(?i)([\\s\"'`;\\/0-9\\=\\x0B\\x09\\x0C\\x3B\\x2C\\x28\\x3B]+on\\w+[\\s\\x0B\\x09\\x0C\\x3B\\x2C\\x28\\x3B]*?=)" at REQUEST_COOKIES:laravel_session. [file "/usr/share/modsecurity-crs/rules/REQUEST-941-APPLICATION-ATTACK-XSS.conf"] [line "125"] [id "941120"] [rev "2"] [msg "XSS Filter - Category 2: Event Handler Vector"] [data "Matched Data: 9ONVJNNVFwdTZCVThZanZMUnc9PSIsInZhbHVlIjoibHNVVXhITTJoTWkwUVNCY2tFZ0twY1JRMFhcLzA3WmgxXC9Zc0FFYnR2dU5lZzVqcTRUXC9ZZFhZUXRaOHgwQ3QyaWxGbFU3azVqbHVMcUtaZE5TU2hibWc9PSIsIm1hYyI6ImIwYzc1ZjM4ZjhmZDNjNTlhYzM2Nzk4MWJkMDdmNWU5YzZjMzhmYjlhYWQyMWFiOTRjNzI4OTJkYzQxMDk3Y2MifQ= found within REQUEST_COOKIES:laravel_session: eyJpdiI6ImNUQk9ONVJNNVFwdTZCVThZanZMUnc9PSIsInZhbHVlIjoibHNVVXhITTJoTWkwUVNCY2tFZ0twY1JRMFhcLzA3WmgxXC9Zc0FFYnR2dU5lZzVqcTRUXC9ZZFhZUXRaOHgwQ3QyaWxGbFU3azVqbHVMcUtaZE5TU2hibWc9PSIsIm1..."] [severity "CRITICAL"] [ver "OWASP_CRS/3.0.0"] [maturity "4"] [accuracy "8"] [tag "application-multi"] [tag "language-multi"] [tag "platform-multi"] [tag "at [hostname "da.pl"] [uri "/favicon.ico"] [unique_id "WVgF2MCoAAoAAB@c@6QAAAAA"], referer:
[Sat Jul 01 22:28:08.414794 2017] [:error] [pid 8092] [client 127.0.0.1:45624] [client 127.0.0.1] ModSecurity: Access denied with code 403 (phase 2). Operator GE matched 5 at TX:anomaly_score. [file "/usr/share/modsecurity-crs/rules/REQUEST-949-BLOCKING-EVALUATION.conf"] [line "57"] [id "949110"] [msg "Inbound Anomaly Score Exceeded (Total Score: 5)"] [severity "CRITICAL"] [tag "application-multi"] [tag "language-multi"] [tag "platform-multi"] [tag "attack-generic"] [hostname "local.pl"] [uri "/favicon.ico"] [unique_id "WVgF2MCoAAoAAB@c@6QAAAAA"], referer:

to zaczęło się dziać po aktualizacji z debiana 8 na 9. Nie od razu wystąpił ten problem. Korzystałem z paginacji datable, przy którejś stronie pojawil sie ten bład i od tamtej pory nic nie działa. Framework laravel 5, php 5.6, apache:
Server version: Apache/2.4.25 (Debian)
Server built: 2017-06-20T19:29:11

Wpisy: 2

Uczestnicy: 2

Przeczytaj cały temat


          Comment on OLTP Compression, Drop Column, Partition Exchange by 255 columns | Oracle Scratchpad   
[…] anomaly of how Oracle handles dropping columns in a partitioned table.  (For a useful insight see this note from Dominic Brooks – and for a nice thought about preparing simple tables for an exchange with such a […]
          FG searches for a predictable budget cycle   
In this piece, IFEANYI ONUBA examines some of the issues affecting the take-off of the national budget on January 1 and what could be done to address the anomaly Two weeks ago, Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, signed the 2017 budget into law, six months after it was presented to both chambers of the National Assembly […]
          You know it’s not that hard, right?   

I don’t always do something stupid, but when I do, it’s usually reading comments on blogs. Seriously. I’m very thankful for the helpful quality and tone of 99.9 per cent of the comments I receive on this blog. But, dang, you all are the anomaly, I think. That or I’m just reading the wrong websites. […]

The post You know it’s not that hard, right? appeared first on Blogging Theologically.


          Elevation Difference and Bouguer Anomaly Analysis Tool (EDBAAT) User's Guide   

This report describes a software tool that imports gravity anomaly point data from the Gravity Database of the United States (GDUS) of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and University of Texas at El Paso along with elevation data from The National Map (TNM) of the U.S. Geological Survey that lie within a user-specified geographic area of interest. Further, the tool integrates these two sets of data spatially and analyzes the consistency of the elevation of each gravity station from the GDUS with TNM elevation data; it also evaluates the consistency of gravity anomaly data within the GDUS data repository. The tool bins the GDUS data based on user-defined criteria of elevation misfit between the GDUS and TNM elevation data. It also provides users with a list of points from the GDUS data, which have Bouguer anomaly values that are considered outliers (two standard deviations or greater) with respect to other nearby GDUS anomaly data. “Nearby” can be defined by the user at time of execution. These outputs should allow users to quickly and efficiently choose which points from the GDUS would be most useful in reconnaissance studies or in augmenting and extending the range of individual gravity studies.


          Monitoring the cooling of the 1959 Kīlauea Iki lava lake using surface magnetic measurements   

Lava lakes can be considered as proxies for small magma chambers, offering a unique opportunity to investigate magma evolution and solidification. Repeated magnetic ground surveys over more than 50 years each show a large vertical magnetic intensity anomaly associated with Kīlauea Iki Crater, partly filled with a lava lake during the 1959 eruption of Kīlauea Volcano (Island of Hawai’i). The magnetic field values recorded across the Kīlauea Iki crater floor and the cooling lava lake below result from three simple effects: the static remnant magnetization of the rocks forming the steep crater walls, the solidifying lava lake crust, and the hot, but shrinking, paramagnetic non-magnetic lens (>540 °C). We calculate 2D magnetic models to reconstruct the temporal evolution of the geometry of this non-magnetic body, its depth below the surface, and its thickness. Our results are in good agreement with the theoretical increase in thickness of the solidifying crust with time. Using the 2D magnetic models and the theoretical curve for crustal growth over a lava lake, we estimate that the former lava lake will be totally cooled below the Curie temperature in about 20 years. This study shows the potential of magnetic methods for detecting and monitoring magmatic intrusions at various scales.


          The oNe, thE aNOmaly is here to make war with GoD and the DeViL. ...to bring forth a NwO...   
He will defeat both god and devil and take both reigns that of the darkness and that of the light, ending with this, duality. .. With a superior power of...

- Poster: Osiris Lucifer (UID 7270988) - Views 921 - Replies 34

          The anomaly is now posting The Actual New World Order that is here   
This text was posted here a week ago but deleted by GLP... here is a link to the source: https://wordpress.com/post/amazinghonesty.wordpress.com/4

- Poster: Nobody (UID 71419139) - Views 350 - Replies 17

          NWo Wolfpac   
https://youtu.be/YyX_3zMJIbA

- Poster: ThE aNoMaLy (UID 73476631) - Views 109 - Replies 2

          Two-year increase in homicide   
I examined the top 55 cities in America. Collectively 51-million people live in those cities, that is roughly 1/6th of America's population. Between 2014 and 2016, those cities saw a 23 percent increase in homicide. (6,977 to 8,612)

In terms of raw numbers, the cities with the largest increases in people being killed are Chicago, Kansas City, Houston, Baltimore, and Memphis. [Were one to take these top five cities out of the equation -- and there's not any moral or good statistical reason for doing so, but just for fun -- the rest of the cities would still see, on average, a 2-year 15 percent increase. Even that would be worrisome. So, no. It's not just Chicago.]

I dropped cities with fewer than 40 or more murders in 2016 because statistically, a small n leads to overly dramatic year to year changes.

What's left is 43 cities ranging from little Richmond (220,000 people) to big NYC (8.5 million), from safe San Diego (homicide rate 3.5 per 100,000) to dangerous St. Louis and Baltimore (more than 50 homicides per 100,000).

Thirty-nine of 43 cities saw an increase. Three (Pittsburgh, Boston, Columbus) didn't. New York City is unchanged.



2-year change in homicide rate (per 100,000), 2014-2016

Albuquerque: +103% | Atlanta: +19% | Austin: +25% | Bakersfield: +153% | Baltimore: +49% | Boston: -15% | Charlotte: +60% | Chicago: +80% | Cleveland: +33% | Columbus: -11% | Dallas: +49% | Denver: +97% | Detroit: +6% | Durham: +95% | El Paso: -19% | Fort Worth: +35% | Fresno: -17% | Hampton Roads, VA: +39% | Houston: +44% | Indianapolis: +10% | Jacksonville: +25% | Kansas City: +140% | Las Vegas: +44% | Long Beach: +28% | Los Angeles: +13% | Louisville: +73% | Memphis: +63% | Miami: +6% | Milwaukee: +68% | Minneapolis: +19% | Nashville: +83% | New Orleans: +17% | New York: +1% | Oakland: +10% | Oklahoma: +City: +96% | Omaha: -6% | Philadelphia: +11% | Phoenix: +28% | Pittsburgh: -20% | Portland: -23% | Raleigh: +29% | Richmond: +45% | Sacramento: +46% | San Antonio: +36% | San Diego: +53% | San Francisco: +24% | San Jose: +50% | Seattle: -35% | St. Louis: +18% | Tucson: -11% | Tulsa: +76% | Washington: +29% | Wichita: +31%



In addition to the UCR, here are some of my source. Corrections welcome.
https://www.abqjournal.com/923137/city-sees-highest-number-of-murders-in-20-years.html
http://www.kerngoldenempire.com/homicide-tracker http://www.city-data.com/crime/crime-Bakersfield-California.html
http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2017/01/year_in_review_homicides_surge.html
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/community/durham-news/article123339719.html
http://www.elpasotimes.com/story/news/crime/2017/03/23/rash-homicides-anomaly-police-say/99555590/
http://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/community/fort-worth/article128019874.html
http://abc30.com/news/domestic-violence-related-murders-rise-sharply-in-fresno-during-2016/1679846/
http://fox59.com/2017/03/02/early-2017-homicide-total-climbs-as-mayor-hogsett-stays-the-course/
http://jacksonville.com/homicides/2016
http://www.kshb.com/homicide-tracker-2016
http://homicide.latimes.com/neighborhood/long-beach/year/2016
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/crime/article104679101.html
https://projects.jsonline.com/apps/Milwaukee-Homicide-Database/
http://www.startribune.com/statistics-show-minneapolis-violent-crime-edged-up-in-2016/409711555/
http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2017/01/new_orleans_finishes_2016_with.html
https://oaklandmofo.com/blog/oakland-homicide-count-is-rising
http://dataomaha.com/homicides/2015
https://www.phillypolice.com/crime-maps-stats/
http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2017/03/29/maricopa-county-phoenix-area-homicide-map-2017/99735018/
https://newsinteractive.post-gazette.com/homicide/
http://koin.com/2017/01/01/4-of-portlands-20-homicides-from-2016-remain-unsolved/
http://www.kcra.com/article/meet-the-tiniest-deer-being-nursed-back-to-health/10247250
http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/public-safety/sd-me-county-homicides-20170226-story.html
https://www.tucsonaz.gov/files/police/pt1_16_summarytable_0.pdf
http://www.kjrh.com/news/local-news/tulsa-homicides-in-2016-interactive-map-shows-location-of-homicides-during-record-year
http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/public-safety/sd-me-county-homicides-20170226-story.html
http://wtkr.com/2015/12/22/norfolk-is-the-deadliest-city-in-hampton-roads/
          Comment on Alistair Overeem Says Fabricio Werdum Fight is a No. 1 Contender Bout (UFC 213 Video) by Sir_Roy   
At this point, for me, it's a "blame the game not the player" scenario with regards enhancers. I have a very, very hard time believing there exists more than a handful of top 10 guys from yesteryear to today, that have not enhanced at multiple times throughout their careers, both outside and within the UFC. The advent of random tests are definitely curving the trend, slowly and hopefully surely, but Overeem is far from the sole user. He's just a physical anomaly (like Lesnar, Romero etc. etc.) with freakish genetics making him easier to point out.
          Security Analytics - Visualization - Big Data Workshop Black Hat 2017   


VISUAL ANALYTICS – DELIVERING ACTIONABLE SECURITY INTELLIGENCE


BlackHat 2017 - Las Vegas


Big Data is Getting Bigger - Visualization is Getting Easier - Learn How!
Dates: July 22-23 & 24-25
Location: Las Vegas, USA

SIGN UP NOW


OVERVIEW

Big data and security intelligence are the two very hot topics in security. We are collecting more and more information from both the infrastructure, but increasingly also directly from our applications. This vast amount of data gets increasingly hard to understand. Terms like map reduce, hadoop, spark, elasticsearch, data science, etc. are part of many discussions. But what are those technologies and techniques? And what do they have to do with security analytics/intelligence? We will see that none of these technologies are sufficient in our quest to defend our networks and information. Data visualization is the only approach that scales to the ever changing threat landscape and infrastructure configurations. Using big data visualization techniques, you uncover hidden patterns of data, identify emerging vulnerabilities and attacks, and respond decisively with countermeasures that are far more likely to succeed than conventional methods. Something that is increasingly referred to as hunting. The attendees will learn about log analysis, big data, information visualization, data sources for IT security, and learn how to generate visual representations of IT data. The training is filled with hands-on exercises utilizing the DAVIX live CD.



What's New?

The workshop is being heavily updated over the next months. Check back here to see a list of new topics:

  • Security Analytics - UEBA, Scoring, Anomaly Detection
  • Hunting
  • Data Science
  • 10 Challenges with SIEM and Big Data for Security
  • Big Data - How do you navigate the ever growing landscape of Hadoop and big data technologies? Tajo, Apache Arrow, Apache Drill, Druid, PrestoDB from Facebook, Kudu, etc. We'll sort you out.


SYLLABUS

The syllabus is not 100% fixed yet. Stay tuned for some updates.

Day 1:

Log Analysis

  • Data Sources Discussion - including PCAP, Firewall, IDS, Threat Intelligence (TI) Feeds, CloudTrail, CloudWatch, etc.
  • Data Analysis and Visualization Linux (DAVIX)
  • Log Data Processing (CSVKit, ...)

SIEM, and Big Data

  • Log Management and SIEM Overview
  • LogStash (Elastic Stack) and Moloch
  • Big Data - Hadoop, Spark, ElasticSearch, Hive, Impala

Data Science

  • Introduction to Data Science
  • Introduction to Data Science with R
  • Hunting

Day 2:

Visualization

  • Information Visualization History
  • Visualization Theory
  • Data Visualization Tools and Libraries (e.g., Mondrian, Gephi, AfterGlow, Graphiti)
  • Visualization Resources

Security Visualization Use-Cases

  • Perimeter Threat
  • Network Flow Analysis
  • Firewall Visualization
  • IDS/IPS Signature Analysis
  • Vulnerability Scans
  • Proxy Data
  • User Activity
  • Host-based Data Analysis



Sample of Tools and Techniques

Tools to gather data:

  • argus, nfdump, nfsen, and silk to process traffic flows
  • snort, bro, suricata as intrusion detection systems
  • p0f, npad for passive network analysis
  • iptables, pf, pix as examples of firewalls
  • OSSEC, collectd, graphite for host data

We are also using a number of visualization tools to analyze example data in the labs:

  • graphviz, tulip, cytoscape, and gephi
  • afterglow
  • treemap
  • mondrian, ggobi

Under the log management section, we are going to discuss:

  • rsyslog, syslog-ng, nxlog
  • logstash as part of the elastic stack, moloch
  • commercial log management and SIEM solutions

The section on big data is covering the following:

  • hadoop (HDFS, map-reduce, HBase, Hive, Impala, Zookeper)
  • search engines like: elastic search, Solr
  • key-value stores like MongoDB, Cassandra, etc.
  • OLAP and OLTP
  • The Spark ecosystem


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TRAINER

Raffael Marty is vice president of security analytics at Sophos, and is responsible for all strategic efforts around security analytics for the company and its products. He is based in San Francisco, Calif. Marty is one of the world's most recognized authorities on security data analytics, big data and visualization. His team at Sophos spans these domains to help build products that provide Internet security solutions to Sophos' vast global customer base.

Previously, Marty launched pixlcloud, a visual analytics platform, and Loggly, a cloud-based log management solution. With a track record at companies including IBM Research, ArcSight, and Splunk, he is thoroughly familiar with established practices and emerging trends in the big data and security analytics space. Marty is the author of Applied Security Visualization and a frequent speaker at academic and industry events. Zen meditation has become an important part of Raffy's life, sometimes leading to insights not in data but in life.


          Comment on Anomaly Committee 7th Pay Commission by C Chourasia   
The similar case with me I was grant 2nd MACPS on 01.04.14 as grade pay of RS.2800. subsequent I was promoted to the post of OS with grade pay 4200 or level 6 wef Apr 17. Now my pay is being fixed as per 7th CPC where they upgrade me from level 5 to 6 i.e 40400 in level 5 to 41100 in level-6. where as as per macps govt was promised to grant difference of grade pay i.e 2800 to 42oo Rs. 1400 will be granted on actual promotion. As per this 1400x2.57 =3598 to be increased.
          Comment on Open Thread Non-Petroleum, June 14, 2017 by GoneFishing   
Arctic Ice Volume Anomaly is running lower. For the last 11 years it has been mostly below the PIOMAS average descent line. Time to think about a non-linear fit. http://psc.apl.uw.edu/research/projects/arctic-sea-ice-volume-anomaly/
          Comment on June 2017 Temperature Anomaly projections by Javert Chip   
I do not see the value of forecasting (to 3 decimal-place "accuracy", no less) massaged climate numbers. A much more valuable analysis would be a close monthly inspection of climate dada sets so we know when "unannounced" adjustments are made.
          Comment on June 2017 Temperature Anomaly projections by Walter Dnes   
You want articles about adjustments? We got articles about adjustments. Wattsupwiththat.com can be queried by tags, one of which is "adjustment". See the output of the query https://wattsupwiththat.com/?s=adjustment for lots of articles to read on this blog. I have a few posts in that category too.
          Comment on Russia Issues Grim Report On North American Magnetic Anomaly by Commies4Saunders   
Were you able to ascertain whether the drunkenness was due to magnetic anomaly?
          Liberalism, secular religion, vulnerability   
There is a terrific review of a new book on liberalism over at First Things. The book is by a Polish philosopher named Ryszard Legutko, who was a dissident under the communist government and who believes that communism and liberalism share a similar secular religious framework.

The review, by Adrian Vermeule, is difficult to improve on, so I will limit myself to some commentary on one of the key points raised and then encourage you to go and read the whole thing yourselves.

What I found most interesting was the discussion of some contradictions within liberalism. For instance, liberalism emphasises both a materialist determinism (i.e. everything we do is predetermined by forces of history, genetics etc.) and a belief in the radically autonomous individual, including the idea that individuals, absent certain social conditions, will use this autonomous freedom to choose the good. How can you have a radically self-determining individual if you believe that everything is materially predetermined? One part of liberal philosophy insists that the individual is radically predetermined, the other that he only has dignity if he is radically self-determined.

The most interesting contradiction discussed, and one that is complained about all the time in alt-right discussions on social media, is why liberals seem uninterested in seriously illiberal policies in places like Saudi Arabia but come down heavily on mildly illiberal policies in places like Hungary. I think the answer given by Legutko, as summarised by Vermeule, is very interesting:
Why do Western liberal academics and EU technocrats object so stridently to the mild illiberalism of the Fidesz parliamentary party in Hungary, while saying little or nothing about Saudi Arabia and other monarchical or authoritarian nations, nominal allies of the West, who routinely control, punish, and dominate women, gays, and religious dissenters? Why are the EU technocrats, whose forte is supposed to be competence, so very bumbling, making policy mistake after policy mistake? How is it possible that while the sitting president of the United States squarely opposed same-sex marriage just a few years ago, the liberal intellectuals who supported him passionately also condemn any opposition to same-sex marriage as bigotry, rooted in cultural backwardness? Why was the triumph of same-sex marriage followed so rapidly by the opening of a new regulatory and juridical frontier, the recognition of transgender identity?

Legutko helps us understand these oddities. We have to start by understanding that liberalism has a sacramental character. “The liberal-democratic mind, just as the mind of any true communist, feels an inner compulsion to manifest its pious loyalty to the doctrine. Public life is full of mandatory rituals in which every politician, artist, writer, celebrity, teacher or any public figure is willing to participate, all to prove that their liberal-democratic creed springs spontaneously from the depths of their hearts.” The basic liturgy of liberalism is the Festival of Reason, which in 1793 placed a Goddess of Reason (who may or may not have been a prostitute conscripted for the occasion, in one of the mocking double entendres of Providence) on the holy altar in the Church of Our Lady in Paris. The more the Enlightenment rejects the sacramental, the more compulsively it re-enacts its founding Festival, the dawning of rationality.

Light is defined by contrast, however, so the Festival requires that the children of light spy out and crush the forces of darkness, who appear in ever-changing guises, before the celebration can be renewed. The essential components of the Festival are twofold: the irreversibility of Progress and the victory over the Enemy, the forces of reaction. Taken in combination, these commitments give liberalism its restless and aggressive dynamism, and help to make sense of the anomalies. Fidesz in Hungary is more threatening than the Saudi monarchy, even though the latter is far less liberal, because Fidesz represents a retrogression—a deliberate rejection of liberalism by a nation that was previously a member in good standing of the liberal order. The Hungarians, and for that matter the Poles, are apostates, unlike the benighted Saudis, who are simple heretics. What is absolutely essential is that the clock of Progress should never be turned back. The problem is not just that it might become a precedent and encourage reactionaries on other fronts. The deeper issue is that it would deny the fundamental eschatology of liberalism, in which the movement of History may only go in one direction. It follows that Brexit must be delayed or defeated at all costs, through litigation or the action of an unelected House of Lords if necessary, and that the Trump administration must be cast as a temporary anomaly, brought to power by voters whose minds were clouded by racism and economic pain. (It is therefore impossible to acknowledge that such voters might have legitimate cultural grievances or even philosophical objections to liberalism.)

The puzzle of the EU technocrats, on this account, is no puzzle at all. They are so error-prone, even from a technocratic point of view, at least in part because they are actually engaged in a non-technocratic enterprise that is pervasively ideological, in the same way that Soviet science was ideological. Their prime directive is to protect and expand the domain of liberalism, whether or not that makes for technical efficiency.

Liberalism needs an enemy to maintain its sacramental dynamism. It can never rest in calm waters, basking in the day of victory; it is essential that at any given moment there should be a new battle to be fought. The good liberal should always be able to say, “We have made progress, but there is still much to do.” This is why the triumph of same-sex marriage actually happened too suddenly and too completely. Something else was needed to animate liberalism, and transgenderism has quickly filled the gap, defining new forces of reaction and thus enabling new iterations and celebrations of the Festival. And if endorsement and approval of self-described “gender identity” becomes a widely shared legal and social norm, a new frontier will be opened, and some new issue will move to the top of the public agenda, something that now seems utterly outlandish and is guaranteed to provoke fresh opposition from the cruel forces of reaction—polygamy, perhaps, or mandatory vegetarianism.

If this is true, then it gives liberalism both a strength and a weakness. The strength is that people hold to liberal beliefs like a religion, and therefore as a source of meaning that is difficult to step away from. The weakness is that the force of the religious belief depends on an "eschatology" in which there is always a progress toward an ever more radical application of liberalism in society. Therefore, once liberalism is forced back it is vulnerable to collapse. In other words, if liberalism is seen to be obviously stopped, and some aspect of traditionalism restored, it is likely to trigger a psychological demoralisation amongst liberalism's adherents.

Liberalism needs opposition, it needs a force of reaction to battle against, but it needs to always win.

So we must not be content with being "house traditionalists" who exist merely to play a role within "the liturgy of liberalism." We need to be serious about building to the point that we are obviously regaining ground. At that point, liberals become vulnerable to psychological confusion and demoralisation. There may not be great depths of resistance once they lose a sense of inevitable progress.
          Adirondack Wintergreen   
I give a lot of tours at my 80-acre homestead, and have found that most visitors are delighted for the opportunity to connect nature with real life. Those of us who spend much time rubbing elbows with nature might say that it is real life, but for many people the connection is a serendipitous anomaly. “Remember teaberry gum?” I like to ask as we walk along a wide, sunny woods path. “That stuff that used to be around when we were kids, in the red package?” They always nod, even the people who are probably too young to have ever encountered teaberry gum on the shelves at the corner variety store. They suspect I’m leading up to something big and don’t want to miss out. I reach down and pluck a shiny leaf from a wintergreen plant growing along the edge of the footpath, sn...

Continue Reading.
          Day 280: Plans and Opportunities   
If you guys haven't noticed by now I should tell you: I'm a planner. I'm the kind of girl who knows what she's going to wear for the week and what she's going to eat for the week. I know pretty much how far I'm going to run and what I'm going to do to try and make my minutes fit into my life.

Really, there aren't too many situations I don't go into a plan with.

Which is why the last few weeks have been such an anomaly for me. Not only have I not been planning my runs I...
          NFL 2010   

Boy, Brett Favre looked shitty last night. Not only physically, where he was severely outmatched, but his spirit looked weak, his grasp of the defensive scheme looked weak, and his beard looked a touch grayer. He looked like he didn't want to be there. I think the success of last year's "show up for Week 1" approach was an anomaly—problem is, Brett won't admit it. So now you have an unprepared, underperforming quarterback who cannot be benched but will probably deserve to ride the pine by Week 5. I know this may be a hasty assessment, but the Vikings are done.

To answer your question, Stefan: The quarterback/receiver relationship is more about the quarterback than it is about the receiver. Each receiver is different: different speed, size, route-running precision, tendencies, physicality, mental prowess. A receiver does not change what he does based on what quarterback is in the game. He is trying to get open and hoping the ball comes his way. If it does, he goes and gets it. I was a receiver in college and for my first two years in the NFL, and my tight-end duties often split me out wide. When people would ask me how a certain quarterback was doing during training camp, I would say, "I don't know." Because I didn't. I never paid attention to who was under center. I was focused on reading the defense and getting open. The burden of keeping the passing game clicking falls almost entirely on the quarterbacks. Yes, the receivers must run their routes at the correct depth, which times up with the three-, five-, or seven-step drop the quarterback is taking. But it's up to the quarterback to learn the idiosyncrasies of all of his targets. This happens only through repetition, which Favre and the Vikings seem to have forgotten.

It was interesting to watch Garrett Hartley shank those two field goals last night. I know Garrett personally—he was one of several kickers on the Broncos' training camp roster several years ago. I always got along well with kickers. Their personalities are usually much different than that of the average player, because their experiences are so much different. They're always alone with time to kill: no meetings, no physical contact, nothing strenuous. This dichotomy messes with the kicker's mind, isolating him in a chamber of self-doubt. The psyche of the kicker, well-documented in Stefan's book, is the most delicate on the team, eternally swaying back and forth between supreme confidence to hopelessness and despair. Anyway, Hartley had a poor camp with the Broncos and was cut without much thought. It was nice to watch him gain his confidence as he rode the Who Dat? train to glory. I hope he keeps his seat.

When I watch a game these days, I no longer see it through the 49ers-crazed lens of my youth. All of my friends back home are still 49ers fans, and they can't understand why I don't just go back to being a 'Niners fan too. I try to explain it to them, but I can never quite articulate why it has all changed for me, why it doesn't matter who wins. Last night's pregame display of player solidarity in the face of the upcoming labor dispute shows who is really at war in the NFL: It's not the Vikings and the Saints; it's the players and the owners. Teams are made up of a mishmash of players, shuffled around the league like trading cards, and players' loyalty to their teams goes only as far as the team's loyalty to them. Given that reality, I don't see how I'll ever be able to root for the 49ers like I did as a kid.

All of this being said, I still love the game. My spirit is not broken, my body has healed, and my dreams are still alive. I am a football purist, confounded by what the NFL has become on the inside. Yet my love for the game endures, and will endure, because of the movement, the aggression, the choreography, and the ability this game has to sweep us all up and take us somewhere else for a brief moment. We all experience that moment together, and keep it forever. For me, that moment is John Taylor in the end zone in Super Bowl XXIII. It is my senior homecoming game against Westmont High School. It is my entire career at Division III Menlo College. It is my first-ever regular season game at Lambeau Field. It is catching my first NFL touchdown in Denver in front of my proud parents. Those moments are what keep me devoted, and they are why I will defend the sport until no one will listen anymore, until it's all drowned out by announcers and analysts and tweets and beer commercials and fantasy leagues and labor disputes.

Gentlemen, and Stefan, the conversation has been excellent. We are all smarter now. The football season can begin.

Nate

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          Know thy Most Productive Mode (part 2 of Having Great Standups)   
When working with new Scrum teams, team members often don't recognize what is impeding them because even though something is obvious to me, to them it's business as usual.

Working with these new teams, I've stumbled upon a way to structure their thinking around this retrospection: Identifying the Most Productive Mode. Once the team knows what their most productive mode is, they can see what is impeding their ability to reach that state. Once they "see it" then they can do something about it such as bringing it up at standup.


MOST PRODUCTIVE MODE

Teams under stress will feel that cutting out some of their new development practices will somehow make them go faster. This is a natural reaction to fear--going back to the old way. This is why it's so important for each team member to intellectualize (know) why they are doing the practices and how *not* doing them will slow them down.

It's better to deliver as much code as you can with your new good practices and communicate what is keeping you from reaching your most productive mode:

Characteristics of productivity
Focus-- focus on one task at a time and getting the artifacts finished and checked in before dealing with distractions (email, phone, meetings, lunch break). Do this work with another (pair programming) who can bring immediate feedback, mentorship, and different perspective

Quick Feedback-- create feedback loops so you know ASAP that something is right or wrong:
writing tests and code in baby-steps (Test Driven Development);
executing the unit tests at least once every fifteen minutes and recognizing you've bitten off too much to do in one step when you can't (a coverage report is a medium-slow feedback mechanism, but will be a constant one once we get it fixed so it gives you feedback every time you run the tests in JUnit); and
getting feedback on the product owner as soon as a story is done.

When something gets in the way of you reaching your most productive modes, something is impeding you. (Examples: the unit tests take more than 30 seconds to run, the IDE is difficult to setup into a productive state, it's hard to setup a pairing station, people/email/IM keep taking you out of your most productive state, you've been pairing too long and you want to disagree with everything your partner is saying so you need a break, you come into work too tired to interact with people because you were up late developing code at home/work.) We're human, sometimes these can't be avoided. If most of the time you can't reach your most productive mode, then something is wrong.

PREPARATION FOR YOUR MOST PRODUCTIVE MODE:
Clarity--
* You should know what is on the sprint backlog. If you're confused about this, then something is dearly wrong! During standup, if you can't see how what someone is saying maps back to the backlog, then ask. If they don't know, then solve the problem: stop working on stuff that's not on the backlog.
* Get those definitions of done for a Sprint and a Release in a clear, easy to understand state. If it has 20 separate items and you need a lawyer, it doesn't help with clarity.
* You should know your velocity by sprint planning for the next sprint.
* At standup, the team members should all understand at some level what each person is saying. If you don't have a clue, say "what's that about?" so you know. Sometimes you'll realize it isn't helpful for person A to recount a blow-by-blow of a meeting about some other concern that has little to no impact to your project. In that case, ask them to parking lot it or follow up after standup with the one other person they are talking to.
* Standups > 15 minutes should be an anomaly. If they aren't then something is wrong. Keep standup focused on the team talking to each other about the three questions. Make it clear when standup is over and your going to shift into something else so people can leave or understand what you are about to go into is a hallway meeting. Otherwise, standups turn into 45 minute hallway meetings every day. Immediately raise impediments during standup about why standup is going too long (trying to do release planning, trying to solve a problem by falling into a 5 minute discussion).
* Use the fist of five. It's simple and effective.
* Come to standup prepared. You may need to make some notes. You may need to meet with a subset of the team *before* standup (the ones which could be a 1-2 on a fist-of-five) and have those long discussions so you have some alignment so standup goes smoother.
* Use big visible charts. If you're team has a problem, then make a chart. If your standups run too long, make a chart of the time. If the team sees the chart, but refuses to adjust despite that, then you need another approach. (Setting an egg timer for two minutes and passing it around to each speaker really works because it provides a quick feedback mechanism). By day three most of them will have figured out how to communicate effectively in that constraint.)



          Re: Bogleheads: you should be buying 10-year old cars   
Recently we have been trading in our cars in 2-3 years with about 25k-35k miles. I think it is the cheapest way to own a car for us.

We live on a dirt road in Vermont. It is not an easy life for the car. We drive AWD or 4WD vehicles and the maintenance on them is expensive after the warranty. Any car on the road for 18 years in these conditions would have had repairs for rust.

We've found in the past few years that we can buy a basic model of a new subaru or toyota and sell it 2-3 years later at a cost (depreciation plus tax) of less than 22 cents per mile. The toyota even comes with free maintenance for two years.

This pricing structure (very high trade-in value for these cars) may be an anomaly. If it does not persist we will not trade in so soon.

--vtMaps
          Infrastructure Engineer   

Position: Infrastructure Engineer
Full-Time
Description:
We are looking for a Infrastructure Engineer who is is thoroughly familiar with AWS and modern data storage and deployment solutions.
Hosted 100% in the cloud - AWS specifically. We focus on automating, monitoring, and self-healing our services. The whole of our development team contributes to the quality-first, deploy anytime, customer-focused life cycle. We work with an agile mentality in fast-paced environment. We use tools like Jenkins, Fleet, and a plurality of AWS products including EC2, S3, VPC, Route 53, Kinesis, ECS. Additionally, our team is constantly investigating the latest and greatest technologies.
DevOps manages all of our services in the AWS environment. Starting with the physical infrastructure that runs our products, DevOps manages and optimizes costs, expenses, and access to our systems, ensuring system redundancy and maximum uptime. Providing 24x7 support, DevOps are the first responders to mitigate and fix technical problems. DevOps is not a separate team, but work alongside the development team to drive the best possible customer experience.
Responsibilities for this position will include:

* Designing and building infrastructure to support our AWS-based Cloud services and infrastructure
* Creating and utilizing tools to monitor our applications and services in the cloud including system health indicators, trend identification, and anomaly detection
* Automating system build outs and the application deployment process
* Working with development teams to help engineer scalable, reliable, and resilient software running in the cloud
* Participating in on-call escalation to troubleshoot customer facing issues (target rotation is once a week every two months)
* Enhancing monitoring of systems, services and hardware to solve problems before they become problems for our customers
* Analyzing and monitor performance bottlenecks and key metrics in order to optimize software and system performance
* Providing analytics and forecasts for cloud capacity, troubleshooting analysis, and uptime

Preferred Qualifications:

* BS in Computer Science / Engineering or related field, or corresponding experience.
* 3 - 5 years of cloud-based Operations background understanding concepts such as distributed systems, alerting, monitoring, logging, and incident management
* Understanding of one or more programming languages such as Python (preferred)
* Experience with highly available distributed Linux server environments
* Understanding of Linux core fundamentals, command-line operations, scripting, and service monitoring
* Experience with SQL and noSQL solutions including MongoDB Sharded Cluster
* Experience working with git
* Experience with AWS, specifically AWS EC2, S3, VPC, Route 53, Kinesis, ECS
* Experience with Docker cluster and associated management tools (Fleet, Kubernetes, Swarm, etc.)
* Experience with automation and configuration management
* Solid understanding of agile methodologies, working in small teams, Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery
* Firm understanding of networking concepts and technologies
* Outstanding oral and written communication skills

Cultural DNA:

* Candidates should have an overriding passion for solving complex tech problems in interactive mobile, user-level applications, and/or real-time location-based services. The team is driven to go the extra mile to get the product right, make it better, and do what it takes to make a world-class experience.
* Start-up experience for potential candidates is important (i.e., involvement with a prior start-up/incubation/ v.1 inside a larger corporation), but not required.