I was going to do the decision making process of cats but it involved too much murder.
I was going to do the decision making process of cats but it involved too much murder.
Currently in the last stages of construction after nearly 7 years of development, the Kelpies are a pair of gargantuan horse heads by public artist Andy Scott that now tower over the Forth & Clyde canal in Falkirk, Scotland. The sculptures measure some 30 meters tall (99 ft.) and are meant as a monument to the horse-powered heritage of Scotland. According to Wikipedia:
The Kelpies name reflected the mythological transforming beasts possessing the strength and endurance of 10 horses; a quality that is analogous with the transformational change and endurance of Scotland’s inland waterways. The Kelpies represent the lineage of the heavy horse of Scottish industry and economy, pulling the wagons, ploughs, barges and coalships that shaped the geographical layout of the Falkirk area.
The sculptures were modeled on two actual Clydesdales from Glasgow City and were constructed from structural steel with a stainless steel cladding, creating structures that you will soon be able to stand inside of. Although construction is nearly complete, the Kelpies will not open to visitors until April 2014.
Scott has created a number of smaller ‘Kelpies’ sculptures including a pair here in Chicago and at Purdue University. Photos above courtesy Kit Downey, Tracey Russell, Barry Ferguson, and Trixta Photography.
BOYCOTT FOREVER 21
Retail company Forever 21 sent this letter to all full time/non-management employees informing them that they will be demoted to part time, they and their families will lose their health and dental benefits, and they will no longer qualify for paid time off. Employees believe the company is punishing them to retaliate against Obamacare.
We were asked to share this by one of our fans, and now we are asking you to do the same. Don’t underestimate the power of your SHARE. Two weeks ago, US Uncut was the first place to widely publish McDonald’s now notorious budget, and it went viral across mainstream media.
MAKE IT VIRAL
Dear Prime Minister, M Rogge, Lord Coe and Members of the International Olympic Committee,
I write in the earnest hope that all those with a love of sport and the Olympic spirit will consider the stain on the Five Rings that occurred when the 1936 Berlin Olympics proceeded under the exultant aegis of a tyrant who had passed into law, two years earlier, an act which singled out for special persecution a minority whose only crime was the accident of their birth. In his case he banned Jews from academic tenure or public office, he made sure that the police turned a blind eye to any beatings, thefts or humiliations inflicted on them, he burned and banned books written by them. He claimed they “polluted” the purity and tradition of what it was to be German, that they were a threat to the state, to the children and the future of the Reich. He blamed them simultaneously for the mutually exclusive crimes of Communism and for the controlling of international capital and banks. He blamed them for ruining the culture with their liberalism and difference. The Olympic movement at that time paid precisely no attention to this evil and proceeded with the notorious Berlin Olympiad, which provided a stage for a gleeful Führer and only increased his status at home and abroad. It gave him confidence. All historians are agreed on that. What he did with that confidence we all know.
Putin is eerily repeating this insane crime, only this time against LGBT Russians. Beatings, murders and humiliations are ignored by the police. Any defence or sane discussion of homosexuality is against the law. Any statement, for example, that Tchaikovsky was gay and that his art and life reflects this sexuality and are an inspiration to other gay artists would be punishable by imprisonment. It is simply not enough to say that gay Olympians may or may not be safe in their village. The IOC absolutely must take a firm stance on behalf of the shared humanity it is supposed to represent against the barbaric, fascist law that Putin has pushed through the Duma. Let us not forget that Olympic events used not only to be athletic, they used to include cultural competitions. Let us realise that in fact, sport is cultural. It does not exist in a bubble outside society or politics. The idea that sport and politics don’t connect is worse than disingenuous, worse than stupid. It is wickedly, wilfully wrong. Everyone knows politics interconnects with everything for “politics” is simply the Greek for “to do with the people”.
An absolute ban on the Russian Winter Olympics of 2014 on Sochi is simply essential. Stage them elsewhere in Utah, Lillehammer, anywhere you like. At all costs Putin cannot be seen to have the approval of the civilised world.
He is making scapegoats of gay people, just as Hitler did Jews. He cannot be allowed to get away with it. I know whereof I speak. I have visited Russia, stood up to the political deputy who introduced the first of these laws, in his city of St Petersburg. I looked into the face of the man and, on camera, tried to reason with him, counter him, make him understand what he was doing. All I saw reflected back at me was what Hannah Arendt called, so memorably, “the banality of evil.” A stupid man, but like so many tyrants, one with an instinct of how to exploit a disaffected people by finding scapegoats. Putin may not be quite as oafish and stupid as Deputy Milonov but his instincts are the same. He may claim that the “values” of Russia are not the “values” of the West, but this is absolutely in opposition to Peter the Great’s philosophy, and against the hopes of millions of Russians, those not in the grip of that toxic mix of shaven headed thuggery and bigoted religion, those who are agonised by the rolling back of democracy and the formation of a new autocracy in the motherland that has suffered so much (and whose music, literature and drama, incidentally I love so passionately).
I am gay. I am a Jew. My mother lost over a dozen of her family to Hitler’s anti-Semitism. Every time in Russia (and it is constantly) a gay teenager is forced into suicide, a lesbian “correctively” raped, gay men and women beaten to death by neo-Nazi thugs while the Russian police stand idly by, the world is diminished and I for one, weep anew at seeing history repeat itself.
“All that is needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing,” so wrote Edmund Burke. Are you, the men and women of the IOC going to be those “good” who allow evil to triumph?
The Summer Olympics of 2012 were one of the most glorious moments of my life and the life of my country. For there to be a Russian Winter Olympics would stain the movement forever and wipe away any of that glory. The Five Rings would finally be forever smeared, besmirched and ruined in the eyes of the civilised world.
I am begging you to resist the pressures of pragmatism, of money, of the oily cowardice of diplomats and to stand up resolutely and proudly for humanity the world over, as your movement is pledged to do. Wave your Olympic flag with pride as we gay men and women wave our Rainbow flag with pride. Be brave enough to live up to the oaths and protocols of your movement, which I remind you of verbatim below.
Rule 4 Cooperate with the competent public or private organisations and authorities in the endeavour to place sport at the service of humanity and thereby to promote peace
Rule 6: Act against any form of discrimination affecting the Olympic Movement
Rule 15 Encourage and support initiatives blending sport with culture and education
I especially appeal to you, Prime Minister, a man for whom I have the utmost respect. As the leader of a party I have for almost all of my life opposed and instinctively disliked, you showed a determined, passionate and clearly honest commitment to LGBT rights and helped push gay marriage through both houses of our parliament in the teeth of vehement opposition from so many of your own side. For that I will always admire you, whatever other differences may lie between us. In the end I believe you know when a thing is wrong or right. Please act on that instinct now.
Yours in desperate hope for humanity
"Ortungswanzen". True, true.
Visualisierte Geodaten von Flickr-Fotos in Berlin: blau sind Bilder von Einheimischen, rot zeigt Bilder von Touristen, gelbe Punkte können nicht zugeordnet werden. CC-BY-SA 2.0 Eric Fischer
Handys sind Ortungswanzen. Sie zeigen dank GPS-Satelliten und Sendemast-Triangulation, wo wir uns aufhalten. Dienste wie Twitter oder Flickr speichern diese Daten. Und Menschen wie Eric Fischer machen diese Daten sichtbar und damit auch die menschlichen Wege und Vorlieben. Fischer ist Fotograf, Kartenliebhaber und seit einiger Zeit Datenvisualisierer. Und was er aus Flickr und nun auch Twitter herausholt, sieht nicht nur schön aus, es verdeutlicht auch auf einen Blick komplexes Verhalten.
“Locals and Tourists” heißt sein Projekt. Fischer analysiert, wo in Städten der Welt vor allem Einheimische und wo vor allem Touristen twittern und fotografieren.
Zur Analyse von Twitter nutzte er drei Milliarden Tweets aus der Zeit seit September 2011 und sammelte alle heraus, die einen Geo-Tag enthalten, also die Ortskoordinate, an der die Botschaft abgeschickt wurde. Anschließend filterte der diese Botschaften danach, ob sich der Absender schon länger in der Stadt aufhielt oder erst vor Kurzem dorthin gekommen war. Auch das verraten die Geodaten. So konnte er die Stadtpläne in zwei Farben darstellen: blau für Tweets von Einheimischen, rot für die von Touristen.
Das gleiche hatte Fischer zuvor bereits mit Flickr-Daten gemacht, siehe das Bild am Anfang des Textes. Beide Kartensammlungen zeigen, welche Orte einer Stadt bei welcher Gruppe beliebt sind. Hier beispielsweise in New York:
Visualisierung von Twitter-Geodaten. Wo in New York twitterten Einheimische (blau) und wo twitterten Touristen (rot). Eric Fischer/MapBox
Die Karten zu Betriebssystemen zeigen beispielsweise, dass die USA ein iPhone-Land sind, dass Spanien klar von Android dominiert wird und Indonesien von Blackberry. Solche Informationen hatten bis vor kurzer Zeit nur große Konzerne. Fischer nutzt öffentlich verfügbare Daten, um sie allen zugänglich zu machen. Die Daten sind so detailliert, dass sich in ihnen sogar die ringförmige Bauweise des Flughafenterminals von Berlin-Tegel erkennen lässt.
Flughafen Berlin-Tegel, zu sehen sind Geodaten von Tweets, geschrieben mit einem iPhone (rot) und einem Android-Gerät (grün). Eric Fischer/MapBox
Und nicht nur das. Sie zeigen beispielsweise auch, dass iPhones vor allem in reichen Gegenden benutzt werden, Androidgeräte eher in ärmeren, wie der Atlantic in den Daten gesehen hat.
A doll. Right.
Concern for child's welfare as Sebastián Pinera, who supports ban on abortion, says decision shows 'depth and maturity'
Chile's president has praised an 11-year-old girl after she said in a TV interview that she wants to give birth to the baby who was conceived when she was raped by her mother's partner.
President Sebastián Pinera's remark that her decision showed "depth and maturity" caused anger on social media in a case that has ignited a heated national debate over abortion in one of Latin America's most socially conservative nations. Abortion, even for medical reasons and in the case of rape, has been illegal since General Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship.
Pinera's government has opposed any easing of the ban.
"I've asked the health minister to personally look after the [girl's] health," Pinera said. "She's 14 weeks pregnant and yesterday she surprised us all with words showing depth and maturity, when she said that despite the pain caused by the man who raped her, she wanted to have and take care of her baby."
The girl was repeatedly raped over the course of two years by her mother's partner, who has been arrested and has confessed to the abuse. Her mother shocked Chileans when she defended him, saying the relationship was consensual. The case was brought to police by the pregnant child's maternal grandmother in the remote southern city of Puerto Montt.
"It will be like having a doll in my arms," the girl, whose face was obscured during the interview, told local TV station Canal 13. "I'm going to love the baby very much, even though it comes from that man who hurt me."
The former president Michelle Bachelet, the frontrunner in the 17 November presidential elections, favours legalising abortion in cases of rape or risk to the health of the pregnant woman or the child. Bachelet – a paediatrician who spent the past several years heading the UN agency for women – referred to the child's case in a recent interview. "She's a girl who needs to be protected and therefore I think a therapeutic abortion, in this case because of rape, would be in order," Bachelet told local Radio ADN.
Chile remains firmly conservative in social matters four decades after the dictatorship. It legalised divorce in 2004, becoming one of the last in the world to grant married couples the right. The Chilean senate rejected three bills in 2012 that would have eased the absolute ban on abortion.
Pinera said his government was concerned about protecting the girl's health. But experts said the girl's life was at risk and she was not prepared to take a decision about her pregnancy.
"At that age the girl doesn't have a capacity of discernment; not even at age 14 would she have the mental and emotional capacity to discern this," said Giorgio Agostini, a forensic psychologist with experience in child sex abuse cases.
"It's very likely that she is saying she wants to have the baby like a living doll. We've seen this in other investigations," Agostini said. "So what the president is saying doesn't get close to the psychological truth of an 11-year-old-girl. It's a subjective view that is not based on any scientific reasoning to support it."
In Latin America only Cuba, Uruguay and some local governments make early abortions accessible to all women. Uruguay recently passed a law authorising elective abortions in the first three months of pregnancy in the most liberal law of its kind in Latin America. Many countries in the region outlaw abortion in all circumstances.
Auf meinem Briefkasten und an meiner Haustür pickt schon seit Jahren der “Bitte keine umadressierte Werbung”-Kleber. Bis auf ein paar Pizzazusteller und das Wien-Magazin halten sich Post & Co auch daran. Bis gestern.
Gestern fand ich in meinem Briefkasten folgenden “Brief” der Post:
Adressiert an den “Werbeverzichter” in meiner Straße und meiner Hausnummer, nur die Türnummer fehlt:
Ist das jetzt der Weg um den Aufkleber zu umgehen, auch wenn man nicht die genaue Adresse hat? Anscheinend ja, aber richtig schlimm wird es wenn man den Brief aufmacht:
Schön, dass ich bestimmen darf was in meinen Briefkasten darf, ich dachte diese Entscheidung habe ich schon vor Jahren durchs aufkleben des oben erwähnten Aufklebers getroffen, aber anscheinend hab ich da was missverstanden.
So, die Post will also das ich auswähle von welchen Firmen bzw. Branchen ich Werbung haben will. Praktisch, dass die Post mir gleich eine Auswahl an Firmen gibt:
Was wohl diese Firmen für diese “Exklusivität” bezahlt haben, damit sie offiziell ihr Logo den Menschen präsentieren können, an die sie sonst, siehe Aufkleber oben, nicht ran kommen? Schön auch das Kleingedruckte!
Aber die Post bietet mir noch mehr, ich kann neben den Firmen auch Branchen auswählen, warum meine Adresse nur einmal verkaufen wenn es auch 100x geht!
Besonders lachen musste ich über die Zeile: “Bitte beachten Sie, dass kein Anspruch auf den Erhalt von Flugblättern besteht.”
Den Gipfel der Unverschämtheit schießt aber die Rückseite der “Antwortkarte” ab (Ich habe wieder das vor-ausgefüllte aus Datenschutzgründen unkenntlich gemacht):
Da steht im kleingedrucktem: “Ich erteile meine ausdrückliche Einwilligung zur Verwendung meiner oben angeführten Daten für Marketingzwecke Dritter durch die zur Ausübung des Gewerbes der Adressverlage und Direktmarketingunternehmen berechtigten Gewerbetreibenden.”
Auf gut Deutsch: “Scheissegal, was sie auf der Vorderseite für Unternehmen und Branchen auswählen, wir verkaufen ihre Adresse eh an alle.”
Darf ich Fragen was passiert wenn ich auf diesen tollen “Brief” nicht reagiere? Hält sich die Post dann weiterhin an den Aufkleber? Und: was macht die Post eigentlich wenn ich ankreuze “Nein, ich bin mit einer solchen Datenverwendung nicht einverstanden.”, eigentlich ein Widerspruch zur Vorderseite, oder?
Ich fordere die Post auf, in Zukunft diese Art der Werbung zu unterlassen und mich nicht mehr damit zu belästigen, ich finde dieser “Brief” ist eine Frechheit!