Tiny1 is a bit of a cosmic mystery: a pocket-size camera dedicated to astronomy. There's little information about it other than it shoots low-light 2.5k timelapses and long exposures, and will come with various high-zoom lenses. A crowdfunding campaign is in the works and set to launch by year's end. [via Uncrate]
Here's a photo of the moon taken with a prototype.
Things that cannot screen for breast cancer and things that can.
And for those who are yelling about PP not doing mammograms, “screenings” are not just mammograms. "Screenings" are also breast exams, which are the first line of defense. Those breast exams are done every time a woman has a pelvic exam, which she needs in order to get birth control or STI testing. Get it together. Semantics do not change the facts.
Love this. We recently wrote about The Problems With Pinktober if y’all want to read more!
There’s a national election coming up in Canada, which is exciting, but it does mean that the various players have upped their rhetoric somewhat, which can be a little draining.
I happen to live in one of the more diverse neighbourhoods in Toronto, which is really nice, so my riding doesn’t have a lot of support for the Conservatives. That said, I get some of the weirdest, most racist campaign materials delivered – weird, deeply insulting stuff about immigration, terrorists, and Muslim and Jewish folks, that obviously doesn’t quite cross the line into hate speech, because it’s still being delivered through the mail. My friends in areas that have a lot more white people don’t seem to get this stuff, though. I just wonder why these groups think that my area is the best area to spread their message. It’s probably because they’re garbage people.
As Boing Boing's King of Typos, I enjoyed this gallery of misspelled signs written by people who love English. Here are a few samples: (more…)
Hovertext: No more syntax for you. Only precious gurgling noises.
This is why China is not being planned as a setting for the next Euro / American Truck Simulator series.
“This is what happens when people come back from vacation in China and try to get into Beijing. And you thought your puny traffic jams were crazy.” (more…)
Number 5 on Jonny Lieberman’s list of “13 Cool Facts About the 2017 Porsche 911” for Motortrend:
So much for “Do No Evil.” There’s no technological reason the 991/2 doesn’t have Android Auto playing through its massively upgraded PCM system. But there is an ethical one. As part of the agreement an automaker would have to enter with Google, certain pieces of data must be collected and mailed back to Mountain View, California. Stuff like vehicle speed, throttle position, coolant and oil temp, engine revs — basically Google wants a complete OBD2 dump whenever someone activates Android Auto. Not kosher, says Porsche. Obviously, this is “off the record,” but Porsche feels info like that is the secret sauce that makes its cars special. Moreover, giving such data to a multi-billion dollar corporation that’s actively building a car, well, that ain’t good, either. Apple, by way of stark contrast, only wants to know if the car is moving while Apple Play is in use. Makes you wonder about all the other OEMs who have agreed to Google’s requests/demands, no?
Yes, it does.
Update: Google responds. I would call it a non-denial denial, but you be the judge.
The Chinese government has announced a new universal reputation score, tied to every person in the country's nation ID number and based on such factors as political compliance, hobbies, shopping, and whether you play videogames. (more…)
Another Kevin writes, "Last September, the NYPD pulled Kamilah Brock, a black woman, over on suspicion of DUI marijuana. They found nothing but seized her BMW anyway. When she claimed it, they decided she was delusional, no black woman could be a banker and own a BMW, so they threw her in the psych ward for eight days. She's now out over $13k for the hospital bill. All for DWB. #blacklivesmatter" (more…)
Definitely worth clicking through to the study. It's one of the most approachable and easy to read journal articles I've come across in recent times. And as the blog post says, very comprehensive despite its brevity.
Last year, Nature Chemistry published an article by Alexander F. G. Goldberg and CJ Chemjobber titled “A comprehensive overview of chemical-free consumer products“. Everyone should read it. It’s a thorough description of all chemical-free products, and the paper itself is a free download. Here’s the introduction.
Manufacturers of consumer products, in particular edibles and cosmetics, have broadly employed the term ‘Chemical free’ in marketing campaigns and on product labels. Such characterization is often incorrectly used to imply — and interpreted to mean — that the product in question is healthy, derived from natural sources, or otherwise free from synthetic components. We have examined and subjected to rudimentary analysis an exhaustive number of such products, including but not limited to lotions and cosmetics, herbal supplements, household cleaners, food items, and beverages. Herein are described all those consumer products, to our knowledge, that are appropriately labelled as ‘Chemical free’.
It really is complete. But don’t worry, it won’t take you long to read it.
Edward Scissorhands has got nothing on Chuck Berry's two-handed Christmas tree trimming at Berry's Christmas Tree Farm in Covington, Georgia. (via Digg)
Tip of the hat to WEIT.
Congratulations to Patreon supporter WW from London, the winner of this month’s raffle prize (a signed J&M book).
For most of a decade, government negotiators from around the Pacific Rim have met in utmost secrecy to negotiate a "trade deal" that was kept secret from legislatures, though executives from the world's biggest corporations were allowed in the room and even got to draft parts of the treaty. (more…)
George Osborne, born to a titled millionaire, has explained that he is cutting the tax-credits that let the working poor survive, despite the Tory party's election promise not to do any such thing -- because it will reduce the deficit and therefore save them from the cuts that the country would have to pay in the future in order to pay down those debts. (more…)
Sir Simon McDonald, Permanent Secretary at the Foreign Office -- the country's most senior Foreign Office official -- told MPs that his department had sidelined human rights work in favour of global trade agreements (the same agreements that allow sovereign wealth funds from the world's most brutal, oppressive states to buy huge swathes of the UK's public institutions at knock-down prices in the Tories' great sell-off of public assets). (more…)
The use of the term "accident" gives cops and courts the cover to excuse murder. In a brutal editorial, Hsi-Pei Liao talks about his daughter, who was killed by a driver when she was three. The driver got a ticket for failure to yeild and failure to use due care, and those tickets were eventually thrown out by a DMV judge who considered the case for 47 seconds. (more…)
Hovertext: All philosophy comics are off the chart, down and to the right.
We had another mass murder in America this week, and there’s no way around it: it was by a “none”, someone who hated organized religion, and who described himself as
Conservative Republican, and if he were attending CPAC, we have atheists who’d enthuse about a possible recruit to the cause. But instead, he slaughtered innocent people, so we turn around and pretend his disbelief had absolutely nothing to do with it. It’s all very convenient. If he’d been a Christian we’d all sneer at the hypocrisy of all the believers who’d reassure us that he wasn’t a True Christian™, but now it’s only reasonable that we rationally and calmly divorce ourselves from any responsibility.
I don’t accept that.
I agree completely with Ashley Miller’s point that the myth of atheist superiority is dangerous, and leads to terrible consequences. Even if it isn’t causal, it leads terrible people to do terrible things to achieve that affirming sense of being better than everyone else. It has to stop. And the first step is acquiring some sense of responsibility.
But of course, some of our self-appointed ‘leaders’ want nothing to do with that. It never fails that if you want to see the insufferable smugness of delusional atheists, all you have to do is turn to Sam Harris.
No rational atheist (or “New Atheist”) holds religion accountable for every idiotic or unethical thing religious people do. We blame a religion only for what its adherents do as a direct result of its doctrines, such as opposing gay marriage or killing apostates.
Atheism has no doctrines. It does not demand that a person do anything, or refrain from doing anything, on the basis of his unbelief. Consequently, to know that someone is an atheist is to know almost nothing about him—apart from the fact that he does not accept the unwarranted claims of any religion.
Atheism is simply the condition of not believing in Poseidon, Thor, or any of the thousands of dead gods that lie in the graveyard we call mythology. To that extent, everyone knows exactly what it is to be an atheist—he has simply added the god of Abraham to the list of the dead.
If a belief in astrology were causing people to go berserk—to deny medical care to their children or to murder unbelievers—many of us would speak and write about the dangerous stupidity of astrology. This would not be bigotry or intolerance on our part. It would be a plea for basic human sanity. And that is all that an atheist’s criticism of religious tribalism and superstition ever is.
If you understand this, you will recognize any attempt to blame atheism for specific crimes, great or small, for what it is: A fresh act of religious demagoguery.
Humanity is suffering under a collection of half-assed ethical and moral principles, assembled with no rational foundation but superstition, and with awful, damaging, exploitive rules mixed in with a few good ones. Religion is primitive and lacking in any tools to address deep injustices and correct errors in its formulation. I am all in favor of tearing it down and replacing it with…what? According to Harris, nothing. Atheism has nothing constructive or productive to replace the bad system most people are limping along under — rip it all out and apparently, brute reason can then be trusted to evolve something better.
Never mind that the same atheists who adore the irresponsibility of the idea that their beliefs impose no demands on them are also the same atheists who so detest equality that they spit on feminism; that they so obliviously love their privileges that they scorn the whole concept of social justice; that they are so authoritarian that they rush to the defense of their Leaders with a capital “L” no matter how egregiously offensive their bigotry might be, and any who dare to criticize them are “harming the cause”.
Reason is not enough. Reason can show you the best way to achieve a goal, but if your goal is mass murder, or denigration of women, or the perpetuation of an oppressive hierarchy, it’ll help you do that, too. We need purpose and value and meaning as well, and if a prominent Leader of atheism is saying that atheism doesn’t do that, that’s a declaration that atheism is bankrupt, and has failed totally. It has become a Great Nothing.
That’s not my atheism, though. I argue that the absence of gods gives greater prominence to the interdependence of the human community, and adds greater weight and urgency to the importance of empathy and equality and all those human values — but if atheism is now a label that allows us to nonchalantly disavow responsibility for the actions of those within our own group, perhaps it’s time to disband the whole idea of an atheist community.
But then it’s also clear that my vision of what atheism ought to be is a minority view. The majority are doing their damnedest to confirm the poor opinion the believers have of us.
And states argue that the Voting Rights Act has long been unnecessary.
A favored tactic of Tea Party governors this decade has been the imposition of a poll tax in the form of voter ID laws that required voters to present a state-issued ID (usually a driver's license) in order to exercise their franchise. (more…)
Absolutely no self awareness whatsoever.
UniSoft's marketing department is the worst. While the Assassin's Creed games themselves have not always been super sensitive, you can at least tell they are trying. But those efforts are so often completely undone by one of the most culturally tone deaf marketing teams on the world.
“Admire the Chief’s feather headdress, his wives’ shameless outfits and the adorable little faces of their red-skinned offspring. Feeding time is not to be missed!”
If that excerpt from the XIXth Century Search Engine hasn’t caused your sides to split, don’t worry – there’s more. Ubisoft sent news of their latest AssCreed [official site] marketing initiative this morning, calling it “a rich historical research tool designed to look just like the search engines our great-great-great-grandparents used in 1868″. I clicked on it expecting an irritating collection of steampunk iDevices and mustachioed memes. What I found was somehow worse than that.