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12 Jan 18:29

Recent CO2 Climate Sensitivity Estimates Continue Trending Towards Zero

by Kenneth Richard

Updated: The Shrinking

CO2 Climate Sensitivity

A recently highlighted paper published by atmospheric scientists Scafetta et al., (2017) featured a graph (above) documenting post-2000 trends in the published estimates of the Earth’s climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 concentrations (from 280 parts per million to 560 ppm).

The trajectory for the published estimates of transient climate response (TCR, the average temperature response centered around the time of CO2 doubling) and equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS, the temperature response upon reaching an equilibrium state after doubling) are shown to be declining from an average of about 3°C earlier in the century to below 2°C and edging towards 1°C for the more recent years.

This visual evidence would appear to indicate that past climate model determinations of very high climate sensitivity (4°C, 5°C, 6°C and up) have increasingly been determined to be in error.  The anthropogenic influence on the Earth’s surface temperature has likely been significantly exaggerated.


Scafetta et al., 2017   Since 2000 there has been a systematic tendency to find lower climate sensitivity values. The most recent studies suggest a transient climate response (TCR) of about 1.0 °C, an ECS less than 2.0 °C and an effective climate sensitivity (EfCS) in the neighborhood of 1.0 °C.”

Thus, all evidences suggest that the IPCC GCMs at least increase twofold or even triple the real anthropogenic warming. The GHG theory might even require a deep re-examination.”


An Update On The Gradually Declining Climate Sensitivity

The graph shown in Scafetta et al. (2017) ends in 2014, which means that papers published in the last 3 years are not included.   Also, there were several other published climate sensitivity papers from the last decade that were excluded from the analysis, possibly because they did not include and/or specify TCR and/or ECS estimates in isolation, but instead just used a generic doubled-CO2 climate sensitivity value (shown in purple here).

Below is a new, updated graph that (1) includes some of the previously unidentified papers and (2) adds the 10 – 12 climate sensitivity papers published in the last 3 years.  Notice, again, that the trend found in published papers has continued downwards, gradually heading towards zero.  The reference list for the over 20 additional papers used for the updated analysis is also included below.

For a more comprehensive list of over 60 papers with very low (<1°C) climate sensitivity estimates, see here.



Reinhart, 2017 (<0.24°C)

Our results permit to conclude that CO2 is a very weak greenhouse gas and cannot be accepted as the main driver of climate change. … The assumption of a constant temperature and black body radiation definitely violates reality and even the principles of thermodynamics. … [W]e conclude that the temperature increases predicted by the IPCC AR5 lack robust scientific justification. … A doubling [to 800 ppm] of the present level of CO2 [400 ppm] results in  [temperature change] < 0.24 K. … [T]he scientific community must look for causes of climate change that can be solidly based on physics and chemistry. … The observed temperature increase since pre-industrial times is close to an order of magnitude higher than that attributable to CO2.

Abbot and Marohasy, 2017  (0.6°C equilibrium)

The largest deviation between the ANN [artificial neural network] projections and measured temperatures for six geographically distinct regions was approximately 0.2 °C, and from this an Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS) of approximately 0.6 °C [for a doubling of CO2 from 280 ppm to 560 ppm plus feedbacks] was estimated. This is considerably less than estimates from the General Circulation Models (GCMs) used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and similar to estimates from spectroscopic methods.
The proxy measurements suggest New Zealand’s climate has fluctuated within a band of approximately 2°C since at least 900 AD, as shown in Figure 2. The warming of nearly 1°C since 1940 falls within this band. The discrepancy between the orange and blue lines in recent decades as shown in Figure 3, suggests that the anthropogenic contribution to this warming could be in the order of approximately 0.2°C. [80% of the warming since 1940 may be due natural factors].

 Harde, 2016 (0.7°C equilibrium)

Including solar and cloud effects as well as all relevant feedback processes our simulations give an equilibrium climate sensitivity of CS = 0.7 °C (temperature increase at doubled CO2) and a solar sensitivity of SS = 0.17 °C (at 0.1 % increase of the total solar irradiance). Then CO2 contributes 40 % and the Sun 60 % to global warming over the last century.

Bates, 2016  (~1°C)

Estimates of 2xCO2 equilibrium climate sensitivity (EqCS) derive from running global climate models (GCMs) to equilibrium. Estimates of effective climate sensitivity (EfCS) are the corresponding quantities obtained using transient GCM output or observations. The EfCS approach uses an accompanying energy balance model (EBM), the zero-dimensional model (ZDM) being standard. GCM values of EqCS and EfCS vary widely [IPCC range: (1.5, 4.5)°C] and have failed to converge over the past 35 years. Recently, attempts have been made to refine the EfCS approach by using two-zone (tropical/extratropical) EBMs. When applied using satellite radiation data, these give low and tightly-constrained EfCS values, in the neighbourhood of 1°C. … The central conclusion of this study is that to disregard the low values of effective climate sensitivity (≈1°C) given by observations on the grounds that they do not agree with the larger values of equilibrium, or effective, climate sensitivity given by GCMs, while the GCMs themselves do not properly represent the observed value of the tropical radiative response coefficient, is a standpoint that needs to be reconsidered.

Evans, 2016 (<0.5°C equilibrium)

The conventional basic climate model applies “basic physics” to climate, estimating sensitivity to CO2. However, it has two serious architectural errors. It only allows feedbacks in response to surface warming, so it omits the driver-specific feedbacks. It treats extra-absorbed sunlight, which heats the surface and increases outgoing long-wave radiation (OLR), the same as extra CO2, which reduces OLR from carbon dioxide in the upper atmosphere but does not increase the total OLR. The rerouting feedback is proposed. An increasing CO2 concentration warms the upper troposphere, heating the water vapor emissions layer and some cloud tops, which emit more OLR and descend to lower and warmer altitudes. This feedback resolves the nonobservation of the “hotspot.” An alternative model is developed, whose architecture fixes the errors. By summing the (surface) warmings due to climate drivers, rather than their forcings, it allows driver-specific forcings and allows a separate CO2 response (the conventional model applies the same response, the solar response, to all forcings). It also applies a radiation balance, estimating OLR from properties of the emission layers. Fitting the climate data to the alternative model, we find that the equilibrium climate sensitivity is most likely less than 0.5°C, increasing CO2 most likely caused less than 20% of the global warming from the 1970s, and the CO2 response is less than one-third as strong as the solar response. The conventional model overestimates the potency of CO2 because it applies the strong solar response instead of the weak CO2response to the CO2 forcing.

Gervais, 2016 [full]  (<0.6°C transient)

Conclusion: Dangerous anthropogenic warming is questioned (i) upon recognition of the large amplitude of the natural 60–year cyclic component and (ii) upon revision downwards of the transient climate response consistent with latest tendencies shown in Fig. 1, here found to be at most 0.6 °C once the natural component has been removed, consistent with latest infrared studies (Harde, 2014). Anthropogenic warming well below the potentially dangerous range were reported in older and recent studies (Idso, 1998; Miskolczi, 2007; Paltridge et al., 2009; Gerlich and Tscheuschner, 2009; Lindzen and Choi, 2009, 2011; Spencer and Braswell, 2010; Clark, 2010; Kramm and Dlugi, 2011; Lewis and Curry, 2014; Skeie et al., 2014; Lewis, 2015; Volokin and ReLlez, 2015). On inspection of a risk of anthropogenic warming thus toned down, a change of paradigm which highlights a benefit for mankind related to the increase of plant feeding and crops yields by enhanced CO2 photosynthesis is suggested.

Marvel et al., 2016 (1.8°C transient, 3.0°C equilibrium)

Assuming that all forcings have the same transient efficacy as greenhouse gases, and following a previous study, the best estimate (median) for TCR is 1.3°C. However, scaling each forcing by our estimates of transient efficacy (determined from either iRF or ERF), we obtain a best estimate for TCR of 1.8°C. This scaling simultaneously considers both forcing and ocean heat uptake efficacy. Other estimates of TCR which differ slightly due to choices of base period and uncertainty estimates and the aerosol forcing used, are similarly revised upward when using calculated efficacies.  We apply the same reasoning to estimates of ECS. Using an estimate4 of the rate of recent heat uptake Q = 0.65 ± 0.27 W m-2, we find, assuming all equilibrium efficacies are unity, a best estimate of ECS = 2.0°C, comparable to the previous result of 1.9°C.  However, as with TCR, accounting for differences in equilibrium forcing efficacy revises the estimate upward; our new best estimate (using efficacies derived from the iRF) is 2.9°C. If efficacies are instead calculated from the ERF, the best estimate of ECS is 3.0°C. As for TCR, alternate estimates of ECS are revised upward when efficacies are taken into account.

Soon, Connolly, and Connolly, 2015 [full] (0.44°C)

Nonetheless, let us ignore the negative relationship with greenhouse gas (GHG) radiative forcing, and assume the carbon dioxide (CO2) relationship is valid. If atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations have risen by ~110 ppmv since 1881 (i.e., 290→400 ppmv), this would imply that carbon dioxide (CO2) is responsible for a warming of at most 0.0011 × 110 = 0.12°C over the 1881-2014 period, where 0.0011 is the slope of the line in Figure 29(a). We can use this relationship to calculate the so-called “climate sensitivity” to carbon dioxide, i.e., the temperature response to a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide. According to this model, if atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations were to increase by ~400 ppmv, this would contribute to at most 0.0011 × 400 = 0.44°C warming. That is, the climate sensitivity to atmospheric carbon dioxide is at most 0.44°C.

Lewis and Curry, 2015 (1.33°C  transient, 1.64°C  equilibrium)

Energy budget estimates of equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) and transient climate response (TCR) are derived using the comprehensive 1750–2011 time series and the uncertainty ranges for forcing components provided in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Working Group I Report, along with its estimates of heat accumulation in the climate system. The resulting estimates are less dependent on global climate models and allow more realistically for forcing uncertainties than similar estimates based on forcings diagnosed from simulations by such models. Base and final periods are selected that have well matched volcanic activity and influence from internal variability. Using 1859–1882 for the base period and 1995–2011 for the final period, thus avoiding major volcanic activity, median estimates are derived for ECS of 1.64 K and for TCR of 1.33 K.

Johansson et al., 2015 (2.5°C  equilibrium)

A key uncertainty in projecting future climate change is the magnitude of equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS), that is, the eventual increase in global annual average surface temperature in response to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration. The lower bound of the likely range for ECS given in the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report was revised downwards to 1.5 °C, from 2 °C in its previous report, mainly as an effect of considering observations over the warming hiatus—the period of slowdown of global average temperature increase since the early 2000s. Here we analyse how estimates of ECS change as observations accumulate over time and estimate the contribution of potential causes to the hiatus. We find that including observations over the hiatus reduces the most likely value for ECS from 2.8 °C to 2.5 °C, but that the lower bound of the 90% range remains stable around 2 °C. We also find that the hiatus is primarily attributable to El Niño/Southern Oscillation-related variability and reduced solar forcing.

Kissin, 2015 (~0.6°C)

[A] doubling the CO2 concentration in the Earth’s atmosphere would lead to an increase of the surface temperature by about +0.5 to 0.7 °C, hardly an effect calling for immediate drastic changes in the planet’s energy policies. An increase in the absolute air humidity caused by doubling the CO2 concentration and the resulting decrease of the outgoing IR flux would produce a relatively small additional effect due to a strong overlap of IR spectral bands of CO2 and H2O, the two compounds primarily responsible for the greenhouse properties of the atmosphere.

Kimoto, 2015  [full] (~0.16°C)

The central dogma is critically evaluated in the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory of the IPCC, claiming the Planck response is 1.2K when CO2 is doubled. The first basis of it is one dimensional model studies with the fixed lapse rate assumption of 6.5K/km. It is failed from the lack of the parameter sensitivity analysis of the lapse rate for CO2 doubling. The second basis is the Planck response calculation by Cess in 1976 having a mathematical error. Therefore, the AGW theory is collapsed along with the canonical climate sensitivity of 3K utilizing the radiative forcing of 3.7W/m2 for CO2 doubling. The surface climate sensitivity is 0.14 – 0.17 K in this study with the surface radiative forcing of 1.1 W/m2.

Ollila, 2014 (~0.6°C equilibrium)

According to this study the commonly applied radiative forcing (RF) value of 3.7 Wm-2 for CO2 concentration of 560 ppm includes water feedback. The same value without water feedback is 2.16 Wm-2 which is 41.6 % smaller. Spectral analyses show that the contribution of CO2 in the greenhouse (GH) phenomenon is about 11 % and water’s strength in the present climate in comparison to CO2 is 15.2. The author has analyzed the value of the climate sensitivity (CS) and the climate sensitivity parameter (l) using three different calculation bases. These methods include energy balance calculations, infrared radiation absorption in the atmosphere, and the changes in outgoing longwave radiation at the top of the atmosphere. According to the analyzed results, the equilibrium CS (ECS) is at maximum 0.6 °C and the best estimate of l is 0.268 K/(Wm-2 ) without any feedback mechanisms.

Loehle, 2014  (1.1°C  transient, 2.0°C  equilibrium)

Estimated sensitivity is 1.093 °C (transient) and 1.99 °C (equilibrium).  Empirical study sensitivity estimates fall below those based on GCMs.

Skeie et al., 2014  (1.8°C  equilibrium)

Equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) is constrained based on observed near-surface temperature change, changes in ocean heat content (OHC) and detailed radiative forcing (RF) time series from pre-industrial times to 2010 for all main anthropogenic and natural forcing mechanism. The RF time series are linked to the observations of OHC and temperature change through an energy balance model (EBM) and a stochastic model, using a Bayesian approach to estimate the ECS and other unknown parameters from the data. For the net anthropogenic RF the posterior mean in 2010 is 2.0 Wm−2, with a 90% credible interval (C.I.) of 1.3 to 2.8 Wm−2, excluding present-day total aerosol effects (direct + indirect) stronger than −1.7 Wm−2. The posterior mean of the ECS is 1.8 °C, with 90% C.I. ranging from 0.9 to 3.2 °C, which is tighter than most previously published estimates.

Scafetta, 2013 (1.5°C)

A quasi 60-year natural oscillation simultaneously explains the 1850–1880, 1910–1940 and 1970–2000 warming periods, the 1880–1910 and 1940–1970 cooling periods and the post 2000 GST plateau. This hypothesis implies that about 50% of the ~ 0.5 °C global surface warming observed from 1970 to 2000 was due to natural oscillations of the climate system, not to anthropogenic forcing as modeled by the CMIP3 and CMIP5 GCMs. Consequently, the climate sensitivity to CO2 doubling should be reduced by half, for example from the 2.0–4.5 °C range (as claimed by the IPCC, 2007) to 1.0–2.3 °C with a likely median of ~ 1.5 °C instead of ~ 3.0 °C.

Asten, 2012 (1.1°C)

Climate sensitivity estimated from the latter is 1.1 ± 0.4 °C (66% confidence) compared with the IPCC central value of 3 °C. The post Eocene-Oligocene transition (33.4 Ma) value of 1.1 °C obtained here is lower than those published from Holocene and Pleistocene glaciation-related temperature data (800 Kya to present) but is of similar order to sensitivity estimates published from satellite observations of tropospheric and sea-surface temperature variations. The value of 1.1 °C is grossly different from estimates up to 9 °C published from paleo-temperature studies of Pliocene (3 to 4 Mya) age sediments. 

Lindzen and Choi, 2011 (0.7°C)

As a result, the climate sensitivity for a doubling of CO2 is estimated to be 0.7K (with the confidence interval 0.5K – 1.3K at 99% levels). This observational result shows that model sensitivities indicated by the IPCC AR4 are likely greater than the possibilities estimated from the observations.

Florides and Christodoulides, 2009 (~0.02°C)

A very recent development on the greenhouse phenomenon is a validated adiabatic model, based on laws of physics, forecasting a maximum temperature-increase of 0.01–0.03 °C for a value doubling the present concentration of atmospheric CO2

Gray, 2009 (~0.4°C)

CO2 increases without positive water vapor feedback could only have been responsible for about  0.1 – 0.2 °C of the 0.6-0.7°C global mean surface temperature warming that has been observed since the early 20th  century.  Assuming a doubling of CO2 by the late 21st  century (assuming no  positive water vapor feedback), we should likely expect to see no more than about 0.3-0.5°C global surface warming and certainly not the 2-5°C warming that has been projected by the GCMs [global circulation models].

Chylek et al., 2007 (~0.39°C)

Consequently, both increasing atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases and decreasing loading of atmospheric aerosols are major contributors to the top-of atmosphere radiative forcing. We find that the climate sensitivity is reduced by at least a factor of 2 when direct and indirect effects of decreasing aerosols are included, compared to the case where the radiative forcing is ascribed only to increases in atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide. We find the empirical climate sensitivity to be between 0.29 and 0.48 K/Wm-2 when aerosol direct and indirect radiative forcing is included.
24 Nov 03:49

LAPD Cop Posts ‘Don’t Drink and Drive’ Video to Instagram hours before Killing Family of 3 in DWI Crash

by Ben Keller

Three hours before an intoxicated off-duty LAPD cop crashed into two cars in Los Angeles–killing a family of three–he posted an Instagram video warning people about the dangers of drinking and driving.

LAPD officer Edgar Verduzco posted a 10-second animated clip to his account at around 7 p.m. on Tuesday showing an avatar appearing frustrated and wearing a Los Angeles Dodgers shirt driving a car inside of a bar and honking the horn along with the hash tag #dontdrinkanddrive.

A beer glass can be seen in the background.

 

LAPD officials wouldn’t confirm if the the Instagram account belonged to Verduzco, but another video posted to the same account hours later shows a group of people playing Jenga, apparently at the same bar, according to KTLA.

It’s not clear how fast Verduzco was driving at the time he plowed his Camero into a 2014 Nissan, killing Mario and Maribel Davila and their 19-year old son Oscar Davila.

The impact of crash caused the Davila’s Nissan to burst into flames, trapping all three of them inside.

Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics arrived at the scene and pronounced all three occupants inside the car dead shortly after.

Verduzco was not seriously injured, but suffered a broken nose in the collision.

His victims were burned beyond recognition.

Mario and Maribel Davila and their 19-year old son Oscar Davila.

Another driver,31-year-old Berly Alvarado was also struck by Verduzco, but she was taken to the hospital and released after suffering minor injuries.

The Davila’s, who were both in their 50’s, are survived by their three son’s who’ve launched a GoFundMe campaign to help raise money for their family’s funeral.

Siblings described Oscar, the couple’s youngest child, as a bright, lighthearted and musically talented individual who served with his parents at church, according to the DailyMail.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck issued condolences to the Davila family in a written statement.

“The Department has no tolerance for for driving under the influence and holds its officers to to the highest standards of professionalism both on and off-duty,” he wrote before addressing the press on video.

“My heart goes out to the victims and their families and I cannot tell you how angry and disappointed I am that a Los Angeles police officer would disregard the law and cause an accident with such awful, awful consequences,” Beck stated.

“This is an awful thing.”

Verduzco was placed on paid leave after being released on $100,000 bail from the Men’s Central Jail in Los Angels.

The post LAPD Cop Posts ‘Don’t Drink and Drive’ Video to Instagram hours before Killing Family of 3 in DWI Crash appeared first on Photography is Not a Crime.

02 Nov 14:09

Yes, Bitcoin Can Do Smart Contracts and Particl Demonstrates How

by BTC STUDIOS
Particl Thumb 3

The Bitcoin blockchain is not known for its ability to enable smart contracts. In fact, most developers creating smart contracts use a different blockchain, like Ethereum.

 

But the truth is that the Bitcoin protocol can be used to create smart contracts. Particl.io, the blockchain eCommerce platform, is doing just that by using Bitcoin-based smart contracts to manage funds in their trustless escrow: Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) escrow.

 

For Particl, Bitcoin provides the ideal mix of smart contract functionality — enough to make smart contracts easy to implement but without the security and privacy risks of a more complicated platform like Ethereum.

Smart Contracts Overview

A smart contract is an agreement that can be enforced through a blockchain. Rather than relying on trust or a legal framework to ensure that each party that enters into a contract will adhere to its terms, you can use the blockchain to create a contract that is automatically enforced, between two people, in a decentralized fashion.

 

Ethereum has become the most popular blockchain for creating smart contracts. One of the major design goals of the Ethereum platform was to support smart contracts. From the start, this set Ethereum apart from Bitcoin, which was created first and foremost as a digital currency platform.

Smart Contracts on Bitcoin Codebase

As the Bitcoin protocol has evolved, it has gained support for smart contracts. Smart contract functionality is not as programmable and extensible on Bitcoin as it is on Ethereum. However, using features added to Bitcoin through improvement proposals, certain smart contract functionality can be achieved through Bitcoin scripting.

 

For Particl, the most important smart contract feature in Bitcoin is the OP_CHECKLOCKTIMEVERIFY opcode, which was introduced by Peter Todd as Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) 65. The opcode makes it possible to write scripts that prevent funds in a multi-signature wallet from being spent until a certain signature pattern is implemented or a certain amount of time passes.

Particl, Smart Contracts and MAD Escrow

MAD escrow is a technique that effectively prevents fraud in a transaction without requiring the oversight of a third party. In a MAD escrow contract, a buyer and seller both place funds into escrow. The seller starts by depositing an amount they want the buyer to match to symbolize a virtual handshake. This could be between 0 and 100 percent of the item’s purchase price. The buyer then deposits an amount equal to the handshake amount plus the price of the item they are buying. The escrowed funds are not released to anyone until both parties confirm that the transaction has been completed satisfactorily. The technique prevents either party from profiting through cheating in a transaction.

 

Particl uses the BIP 65 opcode to enable MAD escrow contracts by locking funds in a multi-signature wallet until all of the parties sign off on the transaction. With this approach, buyers and sellers on Particl’s ecommerce platform can operate without worrying about fraud or paying unnecessary fees.

 

They also don’t have to sacrifice privacy because no third party is involved in the transaction. Furthermore, and perhaps most significantly, because there is only basic scripting involved, security concerns are minimal.

 

Particl’s approach to MAD escrow smart contracts is arguably better than building smart contracts on a platform like Ethereum. While Ethereum provides more extensible support for smart contracts, that flexibility comes with a higher risk of security and privacy threats. The more code that goes into a smart contract, the greater the risk of introducing a vulnerability that could enable an intrusion.

 

Ethereum might be a strong foundation for writing very complex smart contracts, or ones in which security and privacy are not priorities, but Bitcoin provides a simpler and more reliable scripting framework for the private escrows that Particl requires.

Contributing to Bitcoin’s Future

 

Particl’s choice of Bitcoin as the backbone for its smart contracts is also a reflection of the team’s efforts to build a completely private platform on top of the Bitcoin codebase, arguably the most secure, battle tested and contributed to protocol on the market.

 

There are many dozens of Bitcoin-based blockchain projects out there, but most are simply building cryptocurrencies forked from Bitcoin. They’re not taking advantage of Bitcoin’s potential to create the foundation for a completely decentralized platform that supports a multitude of DApps and programmable functionality.

 

In this sense, Particl is helping to ensure that Bitcoin’s future will evolve more than just creating another cryptocurrency. Privacy enhancements Particl has already implemented onto the latest Bitcoin codebase such as Confidential Transactions and RingCT can just as easily be one day adopted upstream to further harden Bitcoin.

 

The post Yes, Bitcoin Can Do Smart Contracts and Particl Demonstrates How appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

18 Oct 18:09

EPA harnessed: Pruitt Issues Directive to End EPA “Sue & Settle” Practice

by Anthony Watts
From Dr. Roy Spencer, who says he received this via EPA’s email system. It isn’t on the EPA website yet, but I’m guessing their press office is running slow today due to the shock. However, it has been covered by the Washington Times who apparently got the same email. It was an “oral directive” since…
18 Oct 18:04

Signed as Law: Pennsylvania Right to Try Act Rejects Some FDA Restrictions on Terminal Patients

by Mike Maharrey

HARRISBURG, Pa. (Oct. 12, 2017) – Yesterday, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed a bill into law that sets the foundation to nullify in practice some Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules that deny access to experimental treatments by terminally ill patients.

Rep. Robert Godshall (R-Hatfield) sponsored House Bill 45 (HB45), along with nearly 40 cosponsors. The new law gives terminally ill patients access to medicines and treatments not yet given final approval for use by the FDA.

The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act prohibits general access to experimental drugs. However, under the expanded access provision of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, 21 U.S.C. 360bbb, patients with serious or immediately life-threatening diseases may access experimental drugs after receiving express FDA approval.

HB45 creates a process to bypass the FDA expanded access program and allows patients to obtain experimental drugs from manufacturers without first obtaining FDA approval. This procedure directly conflicts with the federal expanded access program and sets the stage to nullify it in practice.

HB45 passed the Senate by a 49-0 vote. and cleared the House by a 139-0 vote. With Gov. Wolf’s signature, the law will go into effect 60 days from the signing date.

HB45 includes protections for healthcare providers with a prohibition against revoking a license or issuing sanctions based on recommendation or issuance of investigational treatments. In addition, lawsuits against physicians who comply with terms specified in the bill are prohibited. The legislation also provides legal protections for manufacturers of experimental treatments and medications.

The impact of Right to Try isn’t merely theoretical.

Since the Texas Right to Try law went into effect in June 2015, at least 78 patients in the Lone Star State have received an experimental cancer treatment not allowed by the FDA. While the FDA would have allowed these patients to die, Houston-based oncologist Dr. Ebrahim Delpassand continued their treatment through the Texas law. (Watch a video about Dr. Delpassand here.)

Pennsylvania becomes the 38th state to enact Right to Try. Although these laws only address one small aspect of FDA regulation, they provide a clear model that demonstrates how to nullify federal statutes that violate the Constitution. The strategy narrows the influence of nullification to limited aspects of the law itself, which has proven to be very effective.

“Americans shouldn’t have to ask the government for permission to try to save their own lives,” said Darcy Olsen, president of the Goldwater Institute. “They should be able to work with their doctors directly to decide what potentially life-saving treatments they are willing to try. This is exactly what Right To Try does.”

The Right to Try Act is a no-brainer. When someone is on their deathbed, the fact that FDA regulations would let them die rather than try has got to be one of the most inhumane policies of the federal government. Every state should take action to nullify the FDA like this.

WHAT’S NEXT

The Pennsylvania Right to Try law will go into effect Dec. 10, 2017.

18 Oct 17:36

IBM's Stellar Move: Tech Giant Uses Cryptocurrency in Cross-Border Payments

by Michael del Castillo
IBM has been settling real cross-border payments in the South Pacific on a blockchain using Stellar's Lumen cryptocurrency.
08 Oct 16:36

Science Explains How Evaporation Can Be The Next Renewable Energy Source!

![thumbnail evape.jpg](https://steemitimages.com/DQmX9oMJihZ1Xg7SFWensUfWNNJoxejTkzR6WLmTnaCqozi/thumbnail%20evape.jpg) What if the game changer of energy has been evaporating right under our noses! We normally think of solar panels and wind turbines for sustainable sources of power, however it does not end there. According to Columbia University scientists, one untapped energy source may be the massive amount of water continually evaporating from the world's lakes and reservoirs. ## The Energy Retrieval
https://steemitimages.com/DQmYaWD5CYtefw8BNAcWVufYNLF8aAVm5hnBLUPpU7absfQ/spores-hi-res-350x453.jpg
This natural phenomena, could be converted into energy using devices containing sheets covered with a bacterial spore, which will begin to contract and expand due to a change of moisture - nearly identical to our muscles flexing. This "mechanical muscle" could be used to generate enormous amounts of electricity, says university scientists. In a newly published article in the journal Nature Communications, "Researchers estimate that inland bodies of water in the United States have at least the theoretical potential to generate as much as 325 gigawatts of electricity". Amazing, this would generate nearly 70% of the United States nationwide electrical consumption in 2015. ![pfvnbw7mrngmkcoscfpl.jpg](https://steemitimages.com/DQmPEnn3YsMjqsSEZBrBRgZNPvuYkdMAorcFXhgXA4zJfPh/pfvnbw7mrngmkcoscfpl.jpg) ## The Prototypes Shaping The Future "Our artificial muscle absorbs water evaporating from the surface of the lake," says chemical engineer and study lead author Ahmet-Hamdi Cavusoglu, via email. "As it absorbs water, the muscle swells and expands." "When the muscle absorbs all the possible water, the shutters above the muscle open so that water can evaporate into the air from the muscle. As the water leaves the muscle, the muscle shrinks, pulling at a turbine to generate energy, similar to a rower on a rowing machine pulling at the turbine." ![gallery-1434465436-hydras.jpg](https://steemitimages.com/DQmVmeRcafsTLUxqW5rVvRQhbWoziNnSZ5AESuJ63JYXEBa/gallery-1434465436-hydras.jpg) "Bacterial spores typically exist in dry places, when spores see moisture around itself it absorbs some of that moisture, in turn the spore gets bigger and when it finds a dry environment it shrinks again." claims Oscar, one of the head scientists at Columbia University working on the development of this technology. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vj2kuZm-aCA This video shows the evaporation machines which may power the future. ## Only Just Begun As of now, this technology has only been tested in a laboratory setting, there is far more research and development ahead before the technology could be scaled up to and become a major source of electricity. ![Capture.PNG](https://steemitimages.com/DQmfSuK3ocw7k89KkTZhvwDhPVeJeFJAxqhqeNimi1beJXm/Capture.PNG) "First, better and bigger materials need to be made that can effectively harness energy from evaporation," [says Cavusoglu](https://phys.org/news/2015-06-renewable-energy-evaporating-video.html). "Currently, the Sahin lab is researching how to make better spore-based materials and building larger engine prototypes. We hope to see larger prototypes being demonstrated in the next few years." What do you think? Could evaporation be the game changer for renewable energy? --- Sources: [1](http://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-017-00581-w), [2](https://phys.org/news/2015-06-renewable-energy-evaporating-video.html), [3](https://phys.org/news/2015-06-renewable-energy-evaporating-video.html), [4](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vj2kuZm-aCA), [5](https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-017-00581-w), [6](https://wyss.harvard.edu/getting-a-charge-from-changes-in-humidity/). Images: [1](http://www.businessinsider.com/columbia-university-evaporation-engine-2015-7/?IR=T), [2](https://wyss.harvard.edu/getting-a-charge-from-changes-in-humidity/), [3](https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2017/09/could-evaporating-water-be-the-next-big-thing-in-renewable-energy/), [4](https://www.theverge.com/2017/9/26/16273388/renewable-energy-natural-water-evaporation), [5](https://qz.com/429309/these-machines-can-capture-a-new-source-of-clean-energy-evaporating-water/). --- # *Who is @Chron?* ![Chron head profile-divingboat.jpg](https://steemitimages.com/DQmamzWWPr4jAg1kSGtgF4WvR9nT8rYHhc99UKk597hWbq4/Chron%20head%20profile-divingboat.jpg) ### @chron is a 16 year old robot-headed Steemer, currently based in Bali, Indonesia. I am currently working in association with @samstonehill on the following projects: - *@steemmasters* which provides [FREE TUTORIALS](https://dtube.video/c/the#!/c/steemmasters), personal training & resteeming services. Website [HERE](https://sammystonehill.wixsite.com/steemmasters). - *@steemitcharity* which aims to help charity campaign gain traction on Steemit and help the affected people, check out our most recent post [HERE](https://steemit.com/indonesia/@charitysteemit/how-to-join-and-benefit-from-the-bali-donation-campaign-by-writing-a-post). ![DQmdLjhQRmX3Xzp88cvZphJ6WnjEtvf7kopNbYAVhghjPUQ.jpg](https://steemitimages.com/DQmfG1VkSapMDLep9ext7szGGaGAkNPwfa5fzpq29yPrhZu/DQmdLjhQRmX3Xzp88cvZphJ6WnjEtvf7kopNbYAVhghjPUQ.jpg) #### Here is a list of Steemit Witness I have voted for & recommend you do the same: @teamsteem @timcliff @jesta @good-karma @someguy123 @blocktrades @pfunk @klye @krnel @blueorgy @ausbitbank & @thecryptodrive **Without them the our beautiful decentralized platform would sink!** **Learn what this means [HERE](https://steemit.com/witness/@teamsteem/what-are-steem-witnesses-and-why-you-should-support-them) and place your vote [HERE.](https://steemit.com/~witnesses)** ![chron banner 2.jpg](https://steemitimages.com/DQmTVTU8TUPGBevgEn6puqBZfN3RjxdVytjeKAEnxZYCJu7/chron%20banner%202.jpg)
07 Oct 20:23

To the Parents Who Called the Cops After My 80-year-old Dad Chatted with Your Child at the Supermarket

by lskenazy
One more time: Most humans saying hello to a child in public are not doing anything evil.
 .
Those who report them to the police, on the other hand…
.
Dear Free-Range Kids:
.
I thought you would be interested in this Facebook post to one of my groups today. It was the Blue Mountains Community Social Group, over here in Australia. The person who posted it reported that she saw it pasted up in a local shopping centre. We’re a fairly small, regional community, about 100km from Sydney.
 .
I’m happy to say that of the 93 comments (so far) and 227 reactions, the vast majority have leapt  to the defense of the 80-year-old man, and have expressed despair for the sorry state of a world where a male person is unable to have a conversation with a stranger child without being branded a “pedo.”
 .
Phew,
Margot
.
.

From a small town an hour outside of Sydney, Australia.

In case you can’t read it it says:

To the parent(s) of a young child.

In the week ending 10 September 2017, my 80-year-old father spoke kindly to a young boy in the prominent supermarket in Winmalee. This gesture ended with the child having a friendly hand rest briefly on his head or shoulder.

At his car, my father was challenged by a plain-clothed police officer. This lead to confusion and upsettedness expressed.

A few days later, two detectives arrived unannounced at my parents Winmalee home, continually reassuring my parents that all was OK, and the CCTV footage aligned with my parents story — the matter would not be pursued further.

It is of some alarm that you did not consider that a friendly word to a young person may just be that. It is of concern to me that you could not consider that engagement within the community will involve being spoken to by people unknown to us — and that, as social animals, people naturally will seek to momentarily bond within their community.

Additionally, many older persons take joy in observing youth interacting with their surrounds. You surely are aware of this.

I cannot express how much your action of alarm has struck at the confidence of an older man. His expression of goodwill undone by an overly zealous parent, who did not have the courage to speak of their opinion directly to my father, or guide the child away. Or to join in and add to the conversation.

Instead, you covertly and unnecessarily inform authorities. About what, I do not know.

We were all strangers once to others we now know — overcome through communication skills, learned and improved by conversing with an array of persons.

And a closed, dysfunctional society is formed of reading too much into a situation, and acting on exaggerated thought and impulsive negative action, rather than that of a considered positive outlook.

Thank you for reading.

Ad thank you, whoever you are, for writing, and reminding us of our humanity.

.

An old man talked to my child in public, officer! Go get him!

.

07 Oct 12:32

AN ABSOLUTE DISGRACE: IRS awards multimillion-dollar no-bid fraud-prevention contract to Equifax….

by Glenn Reynolds
Remlaps

h/t Jts5665

06 Oct 04:58

D.C. Could Become Only U.S. City to Decriminalize Prostitution

by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Will Washington, D.C. buck national trends and actually take a stand for sex-worker rights and safety? It will if politician David Grosso gets his way. The at-large councilmember has just introduced a bill to decriminalize prostitution in the District.

"I do not think the criminalization of sex workers has worked for the District of Columbia," Grosso told DCist. "Arresting our way out of the problem is not the solution. The approach should be a harm reduction and human rights approach."

The "Reducing Criminalization to Promote Public Safety and Health Amendment Act of 2017" would amend D.C.'s criminal code to make both the selling and the buying of sex legal. It's co-sponsored by At-large Councilmember Robert White.

Unlike moves by Canada and many Western European countries, the D.C. plan would not attempt to regulate sex work by setting up red-light districts, providing for brothel permits, or similar schemes. In countries where prostitution is highly regulated (including parts of Nevada), those engaging in sex work outside these parameters are still sought out and punished by police, thereby recreating all the worst harms of criminalization. This is especially true in countries that have adopted the "Nordic model" of sex-work regulation, wherein people who pay for sex are still criminalized but those offering sexual services are not.

Grosso's bill would do several specific things:

  • Repeal the 1935 bill requiring "for the suppression of prostitution in the District of Columbia," thereby removing criminal penalties for engaging in or soliciting prostitution.
  • Abolish the city's Anti-Prostitution Vehicle Impoundment Proceeds program and fund
  • Repeal prohibitions on procuring someone for prostitution, operating a house of prostitution, or operating a "place used for the purpose of lewdness, assignation, or prostitution"

It would also repeal D.C.'s prohibition on "pandering" (i.e., placing, causing, inducing, enticing, procuring, or compelling someone somewhere "with the intent that such individual shall engage in prostitution"), because any elements of "pandering" involving force or juveniles are covered by the city's law against compelling prostitution, and would amend the compelling prostitution statute to include bans on detaining or compelling someone "to marry the abductor or to marry any other person."

The legislation would create a temporary task force "to study and make recommendations regarding the removal of criminal penalties and providing supports for individuals engaging in commercial sex" and issue a report on what it finds. The task force would include members of D.C. government, public health professionals, sex workers ("and people profiled as sex workers"), and nonprofits that provide services to people in the commercial sex industry.

Gross pointed out in DCist that his approach is supported by health and human-rights groups like Amnesty International and the World Health Organization, and said he hopes his colleagues keep an open mind. "It's about treating people with dignity, respect, and love, over whatever they were taught in church or whatever hangups they have about sex."

06 Oct 04:58

Sheriff Who Ordered Aggressive Pat Downs of Students in Pointless Drug Raid Indicted for Sexual Battery

by Robby Soave

Worth CountyThe Georgia sheriff who authorized intrusive pat downs for hundreds of students at Worth County High School earlier this year was indicted for sexual battery, false imprisonment, and violating his oath of office.

Authorities will issue a warrant for Jeff Hobby's arrest later this week, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Two deputies were also indicted. It is alleged that they groped male and female students, touching them inappropriately during the completely pointless search. No drugs were found on any of the 900 boys and girls subjected to the pat downs.

Reason's Brian Doherty wrote up the details of the students' lawsuit:

According to the suit's account of events, all the students "were confined either to their first-period classrooms, to the hallways immediately outside their classrooms, or to the gym" and their "cell phones were seized so that they could not reach their parents....During the lockdown and mass search, Defendants restricted students' access to restrooms. Some students were not permitted to go to the restroom for the entire four-hour lockdown period."

The suit claims that the deputies "inserted fingers inside girls' bras, and pulled up girls' bras, touching and partially exposing their bare breasts," "touched girls' underwear by placing hands inside the waistbands of their pants or reaching up their dresses," "touched girls' vaginal areas through their underwear," and "cupped or groped boys' genitals and touched their buttocks through their pants."

The suit alleges that a female deputy, Brandi Whiddon, searched a 16-year-old plaintiff—known in the suit as K.A.—by taking "one of K.A.'s arms, plac[ing] it higher up on the wall, and kick[ing] her legs to open them wider. Whiddon pulled the front of K.A.'s bra away from her body by the underwire and flipped it up. Whiddon also looked down the back and front of K.A.'s dress. Whiddon slid her hands from one of K.A.'s ankles up to her pelvic area. Whiddon's hands went underneath K.A.'s dress as Whiddon felt up K.A.'s leg. Whiddon's hands stopped on and cupped K.A.'s vaginal area and buttocks. Whiddon then slid her hands down to the other ankle. Whiddon was wearing gloves, but did not change them before or after her search of K.A."

Another plaintiff, known by the initials J.E., told The Washington Post that during the search a male officer lined students up against a wall and "came up under my privates and then he grabbed my testicles twice....I wanted to turn around and tell him to stop touching me. I wanted it to be over and I just wanted to call my dad because I knew something wasn't right."

As Doherty noted, the school district did not join the lawsuit, but school officials agree with the students' version of events. The district superintendent has claimed that the searches were performed despite the school's objections.

Routine disrespect for students' privacy and due process rights is a major problem in the K-12 education system. A conviction in this case could send a message that young people cannot be abused by law enforcement officers merely because they set foot inside a school.

06 Oct 04:57

Bitcoin Is Free Speech—Why Jamie Dimon Was Wrong and Governments Can Never 'Close It Down': New at Reason

by Jim Epstein

"[Governments] like to the control the currency," J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon said at a September 12 financial service conference, when asked why he thinks bitcoin is a "fraud."

"They control it through a central bank...the bigger these things get...they close it down."

Bitcoin enthusiasts were quick to point out that bitcoin can't be shut down because it doesn't have a CEO or corporate headquarters. It's a software network that runs on computers spread around the globe, so any efforts to close it down would resemble a game of wack-a-mole.

Here's the other point Jamie Dimon doesn't understand: Bitcoin is also free speech. And though other countries could ban it, it can't be made illegal in the U.S. thanks to the First Amendment. That's because bitcoin is just code, and code is just speech, which is based on legal precedent established during the so-called crypto wars of the early 90s.

In 1993, Phil Zimmerman faced possible criminal charges for writing the encryption software PGP. The government said that it was as dangerous as guns and bombs. To make the point that PGP's source code is protected speech, MIT Press printed it in a book, sold it abroad, and Zimmerman was never indicted.

Then in 1995, with help from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, mathematician Daniel Bernstein sued the U.S. government on First Amendment grounds for blocking publication of his encryption program.

"Computer language is just that, language," wrote Judge Marilyn Hall Patel. Ultimately, the Ninth Circuit Court affirmed Patel's ruling that code has the same constitutional protections as a poem or newspaper article.

The First Amendment protects users who keep their own bitcoins printed on a sheet of paper or stored in a software wallet, but it doesn't preclude regulatory regimes like the New York BitLicense, which constrains the activities of third-party companies that maintain other people's crypto holdings. But these firms are a vestige of the old-world financial system.

If the world transitions from a dollar standard to a bitcoin standard, by then, software will have made it easier for users to maintain and trade their own cryptocurrency without involving a regulated company. And those activities have the same constitutional protections as other forms of controversial speech.

That money can now be expressed in strings of numbers and letters that don't require a government-sanctioned bank to declare them valid poses a mortal threat to the existing financial industry. Is it any wonder that the CEO of the world's sixth largest bank wants to believe that the government can step in and offer protection?

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06 Oct 04:33

Evolution of Black Lives Matter

by admin

1.  BLM highlights a real problem and creates a pretty decent plan for addressing that problem

 

2.  BLM totally abandons their reasonable plan and concentrates on acting as a virtue signalling vehicle

 

3.  BLM completely loses their minds by antagonizing a natural ally and opposing important minority rights protections


A few days ago I said I did not understand this anti-free-speech position well enough to pass an ideological Touring test.  Several commenters took a pretty good shot at making the argument for it from the perspective of the oppressor-oppressed political axis.  Let me, though, explain why I think the BLM argument does not work on their own terms.

The key thing to understand is this:  Speech codes are written by and for the privileged.  They are written by the oppressor to shut up the oppressed.  George Wallace did not need the First Amendment, black kids trying to go to the University of Alabama needed it.  So the BLM opposition to free speech is either 1) completely misguided, as the oppressed need these protections the most or 2) an acknowledgement that they and their allies are now the privileged, they are the ones in power, and they wish to use speech codes as they have always been used, to shut up those not in power.  In broader society the situation is probably #1 but on University campuses we may have evolved to situation #2.

05 Oct 17:14

To the Governor: Pennsylvania Unanimously Passes Right to Try Act

by Shane Trejo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (Oct. 4, 2017) – Today, the Pennsylvania House gave final approval to a bill that would set the foundation to nullify in practice some Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules that deny access to experimental treatments by terminally ill patients.

Spondored by Rep. Robert Godshall (R-Hatfield) and nearly 40 cosponsors, House Bill 45 (HB45) would give terminally ill patients access to medicines and treatments not yet given final approval for use by the FDA.

The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act prohibits general access to experimental drugs. However, under the expanded access provision of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, 21 U.S.C. 360bbb, patients with serious or immediately life-threatening diseases may access experimental drugs after receiving express FDA approval.

HB45 creates a process to bypass the FDA expanded access program and allows patients to obtain experimental drugs from manufacturers without first obtaining FDA approval. This procedure directly conflicts with the federal expanded access program and sets the stage to nullify it in practice.

On Monday, HB45 passed the Senate by a 49-0 vote. It previously passed the House by a 139-0 vote.

The Senate version had some technical amendments, so the bill went back to the House for concurrence. On Oct. 3, the Rules Committee approved the Senate version 31-0. Today, the House concurred and gave it final approval.

HB45 includes protections for healthcare providers with a prohibition against revoking a license or issuing sanctions based on recommendation or issuance of investigational treatments. In addition, lawsuits against physicians who comply with terms specified in the bill would be prohibited. The legislation also provides legal protections for manufacturers or experimental treatments and medications.

The impact of Right to Try isn’t merely theoretical.

Since the Texas Right to Try law went into effect in June 2015, at least 78 patients in the Lone Star State have received an experimental cancer treatment not allowed by the FDA. While the FDA would have allowed these patients to die, Houston-based oncologist Dr. Ebrahim Delpassand continued their treatment through the Texas law. (Watch a video about Dr. Delpassand here.)

Currently, 37 states have Right to Try laws on the books. Although these laws only address one small aspect of FDA regulation, they provide a clear model that demonstrates how to nullify federal statutes that violate the Constitution. The strategy narrows the influence of nullification to limited aspects of the law itself, which has proven to be very effective.

“Americans shouldn’t have to ask the government for permission to try to save their own lives,” said Darcy Olsen, president of the Goldwater Institute. “They should be able to work with their doctors directly to decide what potentially life-saving treatments they are willing to try. This is exactly what Right To Try does.”

The Right to Try Act is a no-brainer. When someone is on their deathbed, the fact that FDA regulations would let them die rather than try, has got to be one of the most inhumane policies of the federal government. Every state should take action to nullify the FDA like this.

WHAT’S NEXT

The bill will soon be transmitted to the Governor’s desk.  He must sign or veto legislation within 10 days after transmittal, or it becomes law without his signature.

05 Oct 16:09

money as a system of control

Aantonop talk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyK4P7ZdOK8 We know that money serves as: - A Store of Value (SoV) - A Medium of Exchange (MoE) and - A Unit of Account (UoA) But what happens when a fourth use of money is introduced, one which subordinates all the other characteristics: money as a system of control. This talk took place at the Advanced Digital Innovation Summit on September 12th 2017 in Vancouver, Canada: https://antonopoulos.com/event/adisum... QUESTION & ANSWER: Biggest threat to cryptocurrencies - https://youtu.be/MNXSDaD97x0 ICOs, disruption, and self-regulation - https://youtu.be/yfjgcI8xX3A RELATED: The Stories We Tell About Money - https://youtu.be/ONvg9SbauMg Bitcoin: Where the Laws of Mathematics Prevail - https://youtu.be/HaJ1hvon0E0 The Digital Currency Commons - https://youtu.be/nYBKWrqR4I8 Open Blockchains for Cashless Developed Economies - https://youtu.be/eo-0BgrKxiI Hardware, Software, Trustware - https://youtu.be/Etyjc1JdmFU Fake News, Fake Money - https://youtu.be/i_wOEL6dprg Blockchain vs. Bullshit: Thoughts on the Future of Money - https://youtu.be/SMEOKDVXlUo Separation of money and state - https://youtu.be/jGmtRA9S7_Y Could governments take over exchanges? - https://youtu.be/9PrJQeKl9w4 Is Bitcoin a democracy? - https://youtu.be/TC3Hq76UT5g Unstoppable code - https://youtu.be/AQx3E3F8Kz4 Irreversibility and consumer protection - https://youtu.be/R107YWu5XzU Scaling, trust, and trade-offs - https://youtu.be/vCxmHwqyJWU The Switzerland of currencies - https://youtu.be/pV83Qmy578c How is fungibility tied to privacy? - https://youtu.be/VuI-8EwqIS8 Fungibility, privacy, anonymity - https://youtu.be/y3s8c7YDtXU Andreas M. Antonopoulos is a technologist and serial entrepreneur who has become one of the most well-known and well-respected figures in bitcoin. Follow on Twitter: @aantonop https://twitter.com/aantonop Website: https://antonopoulos.com/ He is the author of two books: “Mastering Bitcoin,” published by O’Reilly Media and considered the best technical guide to bitcoin; “The Internet of Money,” a book about why bitcoin matters. THE INTERNET OF MONEY, v1: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Internet-Mon... MASTERING BITCOIN: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mastering-Bi... [NEW] MASTERING BITCOIN, 2nd Edition: https://www.amazon.com/Mastering-Bitc... Subscribe to the channel to learn more about Bitcoin & open blockchains! If you want early-access to talks and a chance to participate in a monthly LIVE Q&A with Andreas, become a patron: https://www.patreon.com/aantonop Music: "Unbounded" by Orfan (https://www.facebook.com/Orfan/) Outro Graphics: Phneep (http://www.phneep.com/) Outro Art: Rock Barcellos (http://www.rockincomics.com.br/)
05 Oct 02:58

Open data from the Large Hadron Collider sparks new discovery

by Swapna Krishna
Remlaps

h/t Roumen.ganeff

Back in 2014, CERN released the data from its Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiments onto an online portal called the Open Data portal. It was an unprecedented move, making data from the LHC's experiments available to those who don't have access to...
04 Oct 20:55

My story about Steemit for Backchannel: 'The Social Network Doling Out Millions in Ephemeral Money'

I'm Andrew McMillen, a freelance journalist and author based in Brisbane, Australia.

I've been watching and participating in Steemit for about a year, and I've just written a feature story about the platform and currency for Backchannel, a technology-focused media outlet published on Wired.com. An excerpt from my story is below; click through to read the full article.
The Social Network Doling Out Millions in Ephemeral Money

Steemit is a social network with the radical idea of paying users for their contributions. But in the crypto gold rush, it's unclear who stands to profit.

Every time you log onto Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to share a photo or post an article, you give up a piece of yourself in exchange for entertainment. This is the way of the modern world: Smart companies build apps and websites that keep our eyeballs engaged, and we reward them with our data and attention, which benefit their bottom line. Steemit, a nascent social media platform, is trying to change all that by rewarding its users with cold, hard cash in the form of a cryptocurrency. Everything that you do on Steemit—every post, every comment, and every like—translates to a fraction of a digital currency called Steem. Over time, as Steem accumulates, it can be cashed out for normal currency. (Or held, if you think Steem is headed for a bright future.) The idea for Steemit began with a white paper, which quietly spread among a small community of techies when it was released in March 2016. The exhaustive 44-page overview wasn’t intended for a general audience, but the document contained a powerful message. User-generated content, the authors argued, had created billions of dollars of value for the shareholders of social media companies. Yet while moguls like Mark Zuckerberg got rich, the content creators who fueled networks like Facebook got nothing. Steemit’s creators outlined their intention to challenge that power imbalance by putting a value on contributions: “Steem is the first cryptocurrency that attempts to accurately and transparently reward…[the] individuals who make subjective contributions to its community.” A minuscule but dedicated audience rallied around Steemit, posting stories and experimenting with the form to discover what posts attracted the most votes and comments. When Steemit released its first payouts that July, three months after launch, things got serious. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are only worth whatever value people ascribe to them, so there was no guarantee that the tokens dropping into Steemit accounts would ever be worth anything. Yet the Steem that rolled out to users translated to more than $1.2 million in American dollars. Overnight, the little-known currency spiked to a $350 million market capitalization—momentarily rocketing it into the rare company of Bitcoin and Ethereum, the world’s highest-valued cryptocurrencies. Today, Steem’s market capitalization has settled in the vicinity of $294 million. One Steem is worth slightly more than one United States Dollar, and the currency remains a regular presence at the edge of the top 20 most traded digital currencies. It’s a precipitous rise for a company that just 18 months ago existed only as an idea in the minds of its founders.
++ To read the full story, visit Backchannel. Above illustration credit: Lauren Cierzan
02 Oct 21:48

Footage of Stephen Paddock at anti-Trump protest in Reno, NV?

by CO2Insanity
Remlaps

Not jumping to conclusions. This is very speculative, but one of my first thoughts upon learning that it was a country music concert was that it sounded like an ideal target for a leftist who's been radicalized by 11 months of daily "2 minute hate" sessions.

James Hodgkinson, Clayton Carter, and now Stephen Paddock? And we're not even a year into the Trump presidency? Maybe politically motivated, maybe not. Only time will tell, but it definitely wouldn't surprise me (and of course, the legacy media would never tell us if it was).

For the record, under no circumstance is a leftist shooting at his political opposition a valid justification for disarming non-leftists.

"Your political views make you targets, so you must be disarmed."? I don't think so.

Footage of Stephen Paddock at anti-Trump protest in Reno, NV? No surprise here. Not a conservative, attacks a concert full of conservatives.

02 Oct 13:00

The Justine Damond Case, Update #11: The Law

by Mike McDaniel

Justine and Don Damond

Some readers have observed that Prosecutor Mike Freeman’s statement that it will take until the end of the year to make a charging decision may not be strictly binding. Perhaps, since Freeman has already received the complete BCA investigation, he’ll decide much sooner? Perhaps he was thinking the investigation would take much longer? While this view is possible, it still seems likely Freeman will not issue a decision until after the November Minneapolis mayoral election, and/or until he and the local progressive political elite can be sure whatever decision Freeman might make will be to their advantage.

There remains no practical, ethical reason why a charging decision should take more than a few weeks, a month, at most. This is a simple case. The suspect–MPD Officer Mohamed Noor–is known, all witnesses have been interviewed and all evidence processed and analyzed. Prosecutors know precisely what every witness will say. The only remaining factor is politics. In that vein, let’s review the primary Minnesota statutes any prosecutor would have to consider in a case like this. I’ve omitted portions of the statutes that clearly do not apply to the Damond case. Interested readers may take the links to read the complete language of the statutes.

Mohamed Noor

609.185 MURDER IN THE FIRST DEGREE.

(a) Whoever does any of the following is guilty of murder in the first degree and shall be sentenced to imprisonment for life:

(1) causes the death of a human being with premeditation and with intent to effect the death of the person or of another;

Even if Freeman were inclined toward charges, this charge is unlikely. It is possible to form intent in a matter of seconds, but premeditation usually is considered to involve foreknowledge and planning to kill. All known evidence suggests Noor was panicky, afraid, and acted out of irrational fear and/or incompetence.

609.19 MURDER IN THE SECOND DEGREE.

Subdivision 1.Intentional murder; drive-by shootings.

Whoever does either of the following is guilty of murder in the second degree and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 40 years:

(1) causes the death of a human being with intent to effect the death of that person or another, but without premeditation; or…

This charge is also unlikely. While it does remove the element of premeditation, it still requires intent. One can argue that the mere act of firing his weapon indicates intent to kill, but again, what is know about Noor’s shooting of Justine Damond indicates panic and incompetence, not considered intent to kill. Anyone near Noor’s car—even a shadow or passing puff of smoke–would probably have been shot that night.

609.195 MURDER IN THE THIRD DEGREE.

(a) Whoever, without intent to effect the death of any person, causes the death of another by perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind, without regard for human life, is guilty of murder in the third degree and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 25 years.

The “depraved mind” element of this statute is what will probably prevent a prosecution on this statute. Noor was certainly reckless, but that probably does not, by itself, rise to a depraved mind.

609.20 MANSLAUGHTER IN THE FIRST DEGREE.

Whoever does any of the following is guilty of manslaughter in the first degree and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 15 years or to payment of a fine of not more than $30,000, or both:

(1) intentionally causes the death of another person in the heat of passion provoked by such words or acts of another as would provoke a person of ordinary self-control under like circumstances, provided that the crying of a child does not constitute provocation;

(2) violates section 609.224 and causes the death of another or causes the death of another in committing or attempting to commit a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor offense with such force and violence that death of or great bodily harm to any person was reasonably foreseeable, and murder in the first or second degree was not committed thereby;

(3) intentionally causes the death of another person because the actor is coerced by threats made by someone other than the actor’s coconspirator and which cause the actor reasonably to believe that the act performed by the actor is the only means of preventing imminent death to the actor or another;

(4) proximately causes the death of another, without intent to cause death by, directly or indirectly, unlawfully selling, giving away, bartering, delivering, exchanging, distributing, or administering a controlled substance classified in Schedule III, IV, or V; or

(5) causes the death of another in committing or attempting to commit a violation of section 609.377(malicious punishment of a child), and murder in the first, second, or third degree is not committed thereby.

As used in this section, a “person of ordinary self-control” does not include a person under the influence of intoxicants or a controlled substance.

I include this statute merely to illustrate the specificity the law usually requires in such things. Clearly, none of the subsections of this particularly stature apply to the Damond case.

609.205 MANSLAUGHTER IN THE SECOND DEGREE.

A person who causes the death of another by any of the following means is guilty of manslaughter in the second degree and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than ten years or to payment of a fine of not more than $20,000, or both:

(1) by the person’s culpable negligence whereby the person creates an unreasonable risk, and consciously takes chances of causing death or great bodily harm to another; or…

In consideration of Minnesota’s murder/manslaughter laws, this may be the most likely charge. Arguably, even considering Noor’s most likely defenses, these elements are provable. It’s also possible this could be charged, and bargained down to a misdemeanor, but that would pretty much require the criminal justice process to be in service to the progressive narrative. Sadly, in Minneapolis, this is not outside the realm of possibility.

I am not intimately familiar with Minnesota statutes, so it is possible there is some narrowly tailored statute of which I am unaware that might be employed, but were this a case where one non-police citizen killed another, these are the most likely statutes to be considered.

As is often true in such cases, it is foreign news outlets that provide the most accurate and interesting coverage, as The Guardian does:

The Minneapolis police union boss has broken his silence, saying Officer Mohamed Noor, who shot Justine Damond dead in July, should not be charged simply on that basis that the Australian yoga instructor was a ‘fine young woman in a nice neighbourhood’.

…Lieutenant Bob Kroll has also alleged a lack of objectivity and professionalism on the part of the top prosecutor in the case, Hennepin county attorney Mike Freeman, who will decide if Noor will be charged.[skip]

‘Freeman’s comments that ‘I’m saddened by the death of this fine young woman’ and that ‘it didn’t have to happen – it shouldn’t have happened’ show he is focusing on the status of the person lost rather than the events leading to a tragic loss,’ Kroll, president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, who has previously declined to comment on the shooting, wrote.

“This comment breaks with the imperative that fairness cross all socio-economic boundaries. We want an assurance that Noor will not be charged simply on the basis of Damond’s status as a fine young woman in a nice neighbourhood. [skip]

“This comment brings Freeman’s objectivity into question.

Actually, Kroll is right about that. However, I remain more worried about a charging decision dictated by political correctness rather than the rule of law.

Kroll also said in his letter that ‘irresponsible comments by public officials are fuelling the creation of police widows and widowers.

Perhaps, but not necessarily in this case thus far.

Kroll’s letter to The Star Tribune about which The Guardian speaks may be found here.

A Police Viewpoint:

Keep in mind the officers of the Minneapolis PD know more about this case than we do, however, it’s unlikely that kind of inside knowledge changes the basic facts of the case in any significant way. They may know what a witness said, or an officer involved said, but that won’t change the essential elements.

Unless virtually everything the public knows about the case is wrong, honest officers know this was a bad shoot. They know this because they know if, God forbid, they ever did anything like Mohamed Noor did, they’d have no way to explain or excuse it. They know their consciences would be haunting them the rest of their lives. One simply does not shoot and kill people that do not deserve to be shot and killed. There is no bigger mistake in police work.

Less honest officers, and union officials, will ignore the facts and try to obfuscate them when they can’t ignore them. They will try to minimize Noor’s actions and build up as much sympathy for him as they can. Some will stretch to suggest Noor’s actions were understandable and reasonable.

But most, even the most honest, will be thinking about appropriate punishment. They’ll agree Noor should, at the least, face a lengthy suspension, psychological evaluation, counseling, and perhaps retraining. A somewhat smaller number will think he should be fired. Few will think he deserves to be prosecuted. They can see themselves, particularly in the contemporary anti-police climate, in Noor’s shoes, even if they don’t deserve to be there. It’s just too close for comfort.

Some of this police calculus will depend upon Noor’s reputation within the MPD. This is a constantly evolving calculus. Police officers are only as good as their last arrest. If Noor is known as a solid, reliable officer, overall opinion will tend to go more lightly on him. If not, many will be glad to see him go.

If you think, gentle readers, I’m too cynical about the potential for Noor’s fate to be decided by the nebulous rules of social justice rather than the rule of law, you have little idea how police officers think. Minneapolis officers know precisely how politicized their police department and city government are. They know who is immune from arrest, and in progressive cities, their numbers are considerable. They don’t like it, but they recognize reality and deal with it.

No matter what decision Freeman makes, there is going to be enormous public outcry. The rank and file of the MPD will not be expressing their opinion—don’t think the union line is necessarily theirs—but if Noor is prosecuted, they likely won’t be upset.


Filed under: The Justine Damond Case Tagged: Justine Damond, Lt. Bob Kroll, Mike Freeman, Minneapolis Police Department, Mohamed Noor
02 Oct 12:51

Saw This Coming From A Mile Away: Russia Ads on Facebook Not Necessarily For Trump

by admin
Remlaps

h/t Whig Zhou

In general, the whole Russia Facebook ad purchase story has been a huge yawner.  In an election where Hillary Clinton and her supporting PACs spent $1.2 billion and Trump spent about half that, are we really concerned about the impact of $100,000 in ad spend on Facebook?  Has there been anyone other than Russia and the Koch Brothers who the media could seriously write stories about manipulating an election by spending 0.0055% of the total advertising in the election? If that 0.0055% really turned the election, please send me the name of their ad agency.

The really interesting part of this story is that absolutely no one has said anything about that $100,000 actually having been spent on Trump.  People talk about the story as if they obviously were for Trump, but perhaps tellingly no one has actually confirmed this.  Certainly if you had asked me to guess in June of 2016 who Russia would have been making ads for, I would not have assumed Trump rather than Hillary was a sure bet.  And then there is this today from CNN

At least one of the Facebook ads bought by Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign referenced Black Lives Matter and was specifically targeted to reach audiences in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, sources with knowledge of the ads told CNN.

Ferguson and Baltimore had gained widespread attention for the large and violent protests over police shootings of black men. The decision to target the ad in those two cities offers the first look at how accounts linked to the Russian government-affiliated troll farm known as the Internet Research Agency used geographically targeted advertising to sow political chaos in the United States, the sources said.

Hmmm.  I guess the apple does not fall far from the tree.  In the Cold War this is exactly the kind of thing the Soviets would have funded.  Though given how tribalized politics are I am not sure that spending money to target a political tribe to reinforce them in their already strongly-held beliefs is a super-productive way to spend money.  More to follow I am sure.

30 Sep 12:13

Texas Set to Execute Man Despite DNA Evidence Excluding him from Murder

by Ben Keller

A Texas man on death row is scheduled to be executed on November 16, even though DNA evidence excludes him from a 1998 murder for which he was convicted.

In 2000, Larry Swearingen was sentenced to the death penalty for the murder and rape of 19-year-old Melissa Trotter.

Since then, Swearingen has maintained his innocence and fought for DNA testing of evidence including Trotter’s clothes, the murder weapon and a rape kit.

Texas courts have struck down his repeated requests.

But some DNA testing has been performed.

And it supports Swearingen’s innocence, according to the Innocence Project.

Blood from beneath Trotter’s fingernails excluded Swearingen and yielded the profile of an unknown man.

To this day, Trotter’s clothes have never been tested for DNA and the swabs in the rape kit collected from her body were also never tested.

Cigarette butts found at the scene of Trotter’s murder could have been swabbed for saliva, which would reveal DNA.

But they never were.

Since Swearingen’s conviction, Texas has made improvements with its post-conviction DNA testing statute.

Swearingen was twice granted DNA testing.

But the state Court of Criminal Appeals struck down his request, ruling the court should only consider whether the DNA evidence would exclude Swearingen and should not be required to “rely on the ramifications of hypothetical matches” to an unknown genetic profile.

”The notion that they’re expressing — which is that we only consider exclusionary results — has nothing to do with how DNA actually works,” Bryce Benjet, one of Swearingen’s attorney’s, told The Intercept.

“I don’t know why they haven’t figured that out, but the end result of that error is that DNA testing is no longer available to most people in prison.”

Under a 16-year statute, defendants have rights to testing only if several conditions are met including the requirement to establish “by a preponderance of the evidence” that “the person would not have been convicted if exculpatory results had been obtained through DNA testing.”

In 2011, legislators revised the statute to require unidentified DNA profiles be uploaded to a government database.

The DNA found under Trotter’s fingernails was not linked to a known offender, which would bolster Swearingen’s claim of innocence.

DNA matches to offenders in the government database occurred in roughly 42 percent of 351 DNA exonerations to date, according to the Innocence Project.

The post Texas Set to Execute Man Despite DNA Evidence Excluding him from Murder appeared first on Photography is Not a Crime.

29 Sep 17:15

Is It “Banning” To Reject the Book in the First Place?

by Neal McCluskey
Remlaps

And what's the difference between "book banning" and using a firewall to censor offensive web sites from public school Internet?

We hear a lot about book “banning,” especially when “we” maintain Cato’s Public Schooling Battle Map, but probably lots of other people hear it, too. Indeed, it just so happens that we are in Banned Books Week right now, an event that highlights challenges to books stocked by public libraries, including in public schools. But what is suddenly getting attention is not the Week, but a Cambridge, Massachusetts public school librarian rejecting a bunch of Dr. Seuss books that First Lady Melania Trump selected the district to win. Which raises two questions: Is it not just as much “banning” when public librarians choose not to stock books as when parents or citizens ask that those already stocked be removed? And isn’t it a threat to basic freedom to have librarians or anyone else decide for taxpayer-funded institutions—government institutions—what constitutes acceptable art or thought?

The first answer is of course it is just as much “banning” for public institutions to reject books in the first place as to remove them later on. The ultimate result is the same: not making a book available for the public to borrow. Of course, this is not really banning, which would be to prohibit people from reading a book at all—making it illegal to purchase or possess—not refusing to let people borrow it for free. But if people want to misapply the term, they should misapply it equally.

Which takes us to the root problem: Public institutions force all taxpayers to fund decisions by other people about what books are valuable, or age appropriate, or just plain morally upright. We are forcing them to fund someone else’s speech and opinions, even if they find that speech or those opinions offensive, or just wrong, and even if their views are rejected.

Look at the Cambridge situation. Librarian Liz Phipps Soeiro’s letter rejecting the haul of Seuss books was intensely political—itself a huge problem for someone speaking in an official capacity—but she also condemned the Seuss books themselves. “Another fact that many people are unaware of is that Dr. Seuss’s illustrations are steeped in racist propaganda, caricatures, and harmful stereotypes,” she wrote. “Open one of his books (If I Ran a Zoo or And to Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street, for example), and you’ll see the racist mockery in his art.”

Perhaps this is a unanimous opinion among people in the Cambridge school district—we know it wouldn’t be if expanded to Springfield, MA—and if so, okay. But if there is just one taxpaying dissenter who does not believe that Seuss’s work is racist, or who believes that his or her kids should grapple with racist works, or who just thinks Seuss is good literature worth reading, this person has essentially been rendered unequal under the law. He or she is forced to pay, someone else decides what is moral or appropriate.

Of course, barring the invention of infinite shelf space—actually, we call that the “Internet”—someone has to decide what is or is not stocked in libraries. At least for education, that is a reason that school choice is essential, especially through tax credit programs in which people choose whether, and for whom, to fund scholarships. With such programs no one is forced to fund or be subject to other people’s decisions about what is moral or age appropriate. It ends the government gatekeeper role, and lets no one impose a “ban” on anyone. It is exactly what justice and freedom demand.

29 Sep 13:28

Scientists record a fourth set of gravitational waves

by Mallory Locklear
Remlaps

h/t Roumen.ganeff

Last year, researchers confirmed the existence of gravitational waves with two Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors. Shortly thereafter, they detected two additional gravitational wave-causing events that sent ripples...
29 Sep 13:26

SpaceX unveils Mars city plan, will fly two cargo missions by 2022

by Mariella Moon
Remlaps

h/t Roumen.ganeff

SpaceX hopes to land at least two cargo missions to Mars a mere five years from now. The aerospace company's chief, Elon Musk, discussed its plans at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Australia. He talked about how SpaceX intends to u...
29 Sep 02:41

Google Employees Hear Moral Case for Fossil Fuels

by Richard Morrison
Remlaps

Haven't had time to watch it yet, but it should be good.

Fossil fuel fan Alex Epstein recently gave a presentation as part of the Talks at Google series—a kind of in-house TED event for the company’s famously erudite staff—and no doubt set some heads spinning with his passionate defense of oil and gas as 21st Century energy sources.

29 Sep 02:32

Steemit's Best Classical Music Roundup [Issue #15]

--- ###### Finding and sharing the best classical music content on steemit! ---

**Sep 28, 2017: In this issue:** 1. What's new? 2. Roundup issue #14 3. Metrics 4. What is this initiative? 5. How you can help
######
https://steemitimages.com/DQmVUxUNhC99iKt2Lbj58ez37Rzvac5MXMZnD9YigkBc7KF/image.png Image Source: Pixabay.com, License: CC0, Public Domain
--- ### 1\. What's new? - We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all of the content creators who are helping the #classical-music related posting genres to grow on steemit. - We would also like to express our gratitude to our Facebook audience for sharing and "Liking" our posts to help raise steemit awareness around the classical music community on facebook. --- ### 2\. Roundup issue #15 Since our last roundup post, there have been 97 new articles posted in the categories that we monitor, and we have shared 11 posts from those and other categories on the [Steemit's Best Classical Music](https://www.facebook.com/SteemitClassicalMusic/) Facebook page. Here are the articles that we shared on Facebook. Some of them are still open for payout votes, so you know what to do! | Author | Title | Potential Payout Date | Reward Sharing Potential | | ------ | ------ | ------- | ------- | | | | | | | @somtow | [5 year old Por Por conducts my orchestra](https://steemit.com/classical-music/@somtow/5-year-old-por-por-conducts-my-orchestra) | n/a | 1/10 | | @oliverwaterman | [VLOG-ish: Practice Run Through - BWV 997 the Whole Suite! J.S. Bach](https://steemit.com/music/@oliverwaterman/practice-run-through-bwv-997-the-whole-suite-j-s-bach) | Sep 30 | 1/10 | | @rosalinde | [Ukrainian Two violins are playing in Argentina](https://steemit.com/classical/@rosalinde/ukrainian-two-violins-are-playing-in-argentina) | n/a | 1/10 | | @thomashblum | [Learning to listen to classical music - The Goldberg Variations](https://steemit.com/classical/@thomashblum/learning-to-listen-to-classical-music-the-goldberg-variations) | n/a | 1/10 | | @buckydurddle | [Nearer My God to Thee - Violin Duet - From the Titanic](https://steemit.com/music/@buckydurddle/nearer-my-god-to-thee-violin-duet-from-the-titanic) | n/a | 1/10 | | @winstonalden | [Pop and Minimalism in Classical Music - The Polarizing Compositions of Philip Glass and Ludovico Einaudi](https://steemit.com/music/@winstonalden/pop-and-minimalism-in-classical-music-the-polarizing-compositions-of-philip-glass-and-ludovico-einaudi) | n/a | 1/10 | | @morodiene | [Steemit Openmic Week 49: Clementi Sonatina Op 36 No 3 (cover)](https://steemit.com/openmic/@morodiene/steemit-openmic-week-49-clementi-sonatina-op-36-no-3-cover) | n/a | 1/10 | | @qsounds | [Pavarotti & Friends - Master in All Aspects - "War Child" Benefit Concert (music and more inside)](https://steemit.com/love/@qsounds/pavarotti-and-friends-master-in-all-aspects-war-child-benefit-concert-music-and-more-inside) | Sep 30 | 1/10 | | @cmp2020 | [Sonata no. 1 Movement 3 (Minuet + Trio) (Original Composition)](https://steemit.com/music/@cmp2020/sonata-no-1-movement-3-minuet-trio-original-composition) | Oct 1 | ineligible | | @enjoywithtroy | [Rachmaninoff Piano Music For You! - Prelude Op. 3 No. 2 in C# Minor - Enjoy with Troy!](https://steemit.com/music/@enjoywithtroy/rachmaninoff-piano-music-for-you-prelude-op-3-no-2-in-c-minor-enjoy-with-troy) | n/a | 1/10 | | @somtow | [My TedX Talk about Writing an Operatic Dekalogy](https://steemit.com/ted/@somtow/my-tedx-talk-about-writing-an-operatic-dekalogy) | n/a | 1/10 | | | | | | As with our previous roundup posts, each of these authors will receive a proportional share of this roundup post's liquid author rewards (Steem and SBD, not SteemPower). ###### (note: Although we don't curently envision changing this practice, this reward distribution is subject to change without notice, at our sole discretion.) --- ### 3\. Metrics This section contains some metrics that we will be tracking as time goes on. | Date | Steemit Followers | # posts in monitored categories, last 7 days | FB Likes | FB Reach | | ------ | -------------------------- | ---------------------------------------------------------- | ----------- | ------------ | | | | | | | | Aug 26, 2017 | 63 | 37 | 30 | 92 | | Sep 23, 2017 | 89 | 41 | 34 | 1 | | Sep 28, 2017 | 93 | 22 | 34 | 82 | | | | | | | --- ### 4\. What is this initiative? To introduce the wider community to [steemit.com](https://steemit.com), we have launched the facebook page, [Steemit's Best Classical Music](https://www.facebook.com/SteemitClassicalMusic/), and we are monitoring a number of classical music related categories (and others) on steemit. We share the best posts that we find about classical music on our facebook page. The point of this is to raise steemit awareness and visibility among people on facebook who share an interest in classical music. Additionally, to bring additional attention to the best articles and authors that we find, we recently began sharing periodic roundup articles here on steemit. #### Sharing guidelines Standards for sharing are subjective, but here are some guidelines to show the kinds of the things that we look for: * Original steem blockchain content * Attractive formatting * Well written grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc. * Roughly 500 to 2,000 words in length * English language text (Sorry, that's the only one we know.) * Supplementary video embeds from other platforms - such as youtube - are encouraged when accompanied by original steem block chain content. * Word length expectations will be relaxed for videos of original performances or compositions by the steemit author. * Sharing of articles by a single author will be limited to one or two per week. * To avoid spamming our facebook audience, sharing on facebook will generally be limited to one or two posts per day. --- #### 5\. How you can help. This initiative is intended to promote steemit, and to strengthen the classical music ecosystem here, so if you share these goals we would appreciate your support! Here are some ways you can help: * Contribute your own original content about classical music to the steem block chain. * If you have a facebook account, "Like" the [Steemit's Best Classical Music](https://www.facebook.com/SteemitClassicalMusic/) Facebook page, and adjust the settings to see all of our posts. * Reshare articles from our facebook page with your facebook friends. * Resteem our roundup articles. * Use your upvotes to support the authors of articles that we find and share. * Let us know if there are any articles that we have overlooked. * Delegate steempower to the @classical-music account to give weight to our votes for authors of classical content. * Follow the @classical-music curation trail through [streemian.com](https://streemian.com/profile/curationtrail/trailing/500). * This is a user driven initiative with no whale support, and we're making it up as we go, so we enthusiastically welcome your ideas. --- #### Thank you for your continued support and for taking the time to view this post! @remlaps ---
28 Sep 22:47

Ikea has acquired TaskRabbit — and it could fix the most annoying thing about the furniture giant

by Kate Taylor

Ikea

Ikea is buying a startup that could fix the most annoying thing about the iconic furniture company. 

The home-goods giant has signed an agreement to acquire TaskRabbit, Ikea announced on Thursday. 

TaskRabbit is a "gig economy"-style startup founded in 2008. The company lets users hire temporary workers to deliver purchases, clean homes, and even assemble furniture. 

Ikea said that once the acquisition is complete, the home-goods store will be able to provide customers with access to TaskRabbit "Taskers." 

"In a fast changing retail environment, we continuously strive to develop new and improved products and services to make our customers' lives a little bit easier," Jesper Brodin, the president and CEO of Ikea Group, said in a statement. "Entering the on-demand, sharing economy enables us to support that."

Ikea already has an official partnership with TaskRabbit in the UK. The program offers fixed pricing for Ikea customers seeking someone to assemble furniture purchased from Ikea — a famously tricky task. 

TaskRabbit already advertises furniture pick-up, delivery and assembly services. In New York City, "Ikea Assembly" is a specific task that customers can select from a list of available options, which include things such as waiting in line and yard work. 

"The purchase of TaskRabbit was fueled by Ikea's need to bolster its digital customer service capabilities to better compete with rivals likes Amazon, which has stepped up its home goods and installation offerings," Recode reported before the deal had been officially announced. "The purchase is Ikea’s first step into the on-demand platform space."

Recode could not determine how much Ikea reportedly paid for TaskRabbit, which has raised roughly $50 million since it was founded in 2008. Ikea did not disclose the acquisition price when Business Insider requested comment.

SEE ALSO: DUNKIN' CEO: 'Demanding' millennials are forcing a delivery revolution

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Why you shouldn't be afraid to complain about a bad meal in a restaurant, according to Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio

28 Sep 21:44

Two More Bitcoin Futures ETFs Are Up for SEC Approval

by Stan Higgins
A growing number of companies are looking to launch ETFs tied to bitcoin derivatives contracts, public records show.
28 Sep 18:06

Women earned majority of doctoral degrees in 2016 for 8th straight year and outnumber men in grad school 135 to 100 - Publications – AEI

by Mark Perry

AEI
Women earned majority of doctoral degrees in 2016 for 8th straight year and outnumber men in grad school 135 to 100

The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) released its annual report today on US graduate school enrollment and degrees for 2016 and here are some of the more interesting findings in this year’s report:

  1. For the eighth year in a row, women earned a majority of doctoral degrees awarded at US universities in 2016. Of the 78,744 doctoral degrees awarded in 2016 (Table B.25), women earned 40,407 of those degrees and 52.1% of the total, compared to 37,145 degrees awarded to men who earned 47.9% of the total (see top chart above). Women have now earned a majority of doctoral degrees in each academic year since 2009. Previously, women started earning a majority of associate’s degrees for the first time in 1978, a majority of master’s degrees in 1981, and a majority of bachelor’s degrees in 1982 according to the Department of Education. Therefore, 2009 marked the year when men officially became the “second sex” in higher education by earning a minority of college degrees at all college levels from associate’s degrees to doctoral degrees.
  2. By field of study, women earning doctoral degrees in 2016 outnumbered men in 7 of the 11 graduate fields tracked by the CGS (see top chart above): Arts and Humanities (54% female), Biology (51.7%, and one of the STEM fields that we hear so much about in terms of female under-representation), Education (69.4%), Health Sciences (69.9)%, Public Administration (77.4%), Social and Behavioral Studies (60.2%) and Other fields (50.7%). Men still earned a majority of 2016 doctoral degrees in the fields of Business (54.1% male), Engineering (77.2%), Math and Computer Science (74.2%), and Physical and Earth Sciences (66.4%).
  3. The middle chart above shows the gender breakdown for master’s degrees awarded in 2016 (from Table B.24) and the gender disparity in favor of females is significant – women earned 57.4% of all master’s degrees in 2016, which would also mean that women earned nearly 138 master’s degrees last year for every 100 degrees earned by men. Like for doctoral degrees, women outnumbered men in the same 7 out of the 11 fields of graduate study and in some of those fields the gender disparity was huge. For example, women earned more than 400 master’s degrees in health sciences for every 100 men and nearly 350 master’s degrees in both education and public administration for every 100 men.
  4. The bottom chart above displays total enrollment in 2016 by gender and field for all graduate school programs in the US (certificate, master’s and doctoral degrees from Table B.13), showing that there is a significant gender gap in favor of women for students attending US graduate schools. Women represent 57.5% of all graduate students in the US, meaning that there are now 135 women enrolled in graduate school for every 100 men. In certain fields like Education (75% female), Health Sciences (77.7% female) and Public Administration (77.1%), women outnumber men by a factor of almost three or more. By field of study, women enrolled in graduate school outnumber men in the same 7 out of the 11 graduate fields of study noted above, with females being a minority share of graduate students in only Business (45.1% female), Engineering (24.7% female), Math and Computer Science (31.5% female), and Physical and Earth Sciences (37% female).

MP: Here’s my prediction – the facts that: a) men are underrepresented in graduate school enrollment overall (100 men were enrolled in 2016 for every 135 women), b) men received fewer master’s (less than 42% of the total) and doctoral degrees (48.2% of the total) than women in 2016, and c) men were underrepresented in 7 out of 11 graduate fields of study at both the master’s and doctoral levels last year will get no attention at all from feminists, gender activists, women’s centers, the media, universities, or anybody else in the higher education industry.

Additionally, there will be no calls for government studies or increased government funding to address the significant gender disparities favoring women in graduate schools, and nobody will refer to the gender graduate school enrollment and degree gaps favoring women as a problem or a “crisis.” Further, despite their stated commitment to “gender equity,” the hundreds of university women’s centers around the country are unlikely to show any concern about the significant gender inequities in graduate school enrollment and degrees, and universities will not be allocating funding to set up men’s centers or men’s commissions on college campuses or providing funding for graduate scholarships for men.

Bottom Line: If there is any attention about gender differences in the CGS annual report, it will likely focus on the fact that women are a minority in 4 of the 11 fields of graduate study including engineering and computer science (a gender gap which some consider to be a “national crisis”), with calls for greater awareness of female under-representation in STEM graduate fields of study and careers (except for the STEM field of biology, where women have actually been over-represented for decades). But don’t expect any concern about the fact that men have increasingly become the second sex in higher education. The concern about gender imbalances will remain extremely selective, and will only focus on cases when women, not men, are underrepresented and in the minority.

To conclude, let me pose a few questions, paraphrasing George Mason University economist Walter E. Williams: If America’s diversity worshipers see any female under-representation as a problem and possibly even as proof of gender discrimination, what do they propose should be done about female over-representation in higher education at every level and in 7 out of 11 graduate fields? After all, to be logically consistent, aren’t female over-representation and female under-representation simply different sides of gender injustice?

Women earned majority of doctoral degrees in 2016 for 8th straight year and outnumber men in grad school 135 to 100
Mark Perry

28 Sep 17:31

@ned Announces Smart Media Tokens (SMTs)!

Remlaps

Someone should turn theoldreader people on to this. Hand, meet glove.

Hello Steemians! @ned just announced the release of an exciting new protocol that could take the Steem blockchain to a whole new level! You can check out his post here *Team Steemit*