When America's Basic Housing Unit Was a Bed, Not a House
"The same cities that struggle to provide affordable housing today eliminated their critical-but-maligned flexible housing stock after World War II."
"When a human being spends eleven years of their lives in the forest, braving the elements and using their bodies to physically fight for the freedom of a nation, you know that this person is a real badass. Especially when she is the only woman to have been given the title Field Marshall. So when you sit at the feet of this warrior, who Dedan Kimathi called the Weaver Bird because of her ability to weave brilliant strategy, you expect the ferocity that stares out from her unflinching steely eyes."
"Their bus tells the story of [Venezuela,] a once-wealthy nation in stomach-dropping free fall, as hundreds of people flee daily from a land where fear and want are the new normal."
"The world’s largest refugee camp, a temporary home to more than half a million people that sprawls precariously across barren hills in southeastern Bangladesh, faces a looming disaster as early as April when the first storms of the monsoon season hit, aid workers warn."
"The USA, unsurprisingly, is either the largest or second largest supplier to all of these countries, although Bahrain’s arms purchases are fairly limited. All of the EU exporters are significant suppliers to one or more of the other members of the coalition."
"The VRU reconceptualised violence in Scotland: no longer was it seen exclusively as a criminal justice issue – but also as a public health crisis that could be combated through tactics similar to those used to contain and control epidemics."
"The FBI analyzed 160 cases of active shooters over the period from 2000-2013, and not one was stopped by a concealed carry permit holder who was not active duty military, a security guard, or a police officer. 21 were stopped by unarmed civilians."
"What if African countries had never been conquered and subjected to colonial rule? What if the global slave trade had never stolen 18 million Africans for export to other regions? Africa might look very much like the fictional country of Wakanda, brilliantly brought to life in the new “Black Panther” movie."
"Although widely understood as the Islamist terrorists that they are, Boko Haram insurgents in the borderlands between Cameroon and Nigeria are also slave raiders — at least that’s what many local residents call them. And there’s good reason to use that term. In many striking ways, Boko Haram’s raids for “wives” parallel the slave raids of a century ago.
Thinking about Boko Haram as slave raiders, complete with a history in the semi-lawless borderlands, might change how policymakers approach this group and similar insurgencies across West Africa."
"In an effort to decipher these signs, Kegl brought with her on subsequent trips comic strips depicting Mr Koumal, a Czech cartoon character whose actions require a wide range of verb tenses and arguments to describe. As she showed the children these images and asked them to sign the stories back to her, she began to detect unmistakably grammatical patterns in their signing, ones that closely resembled the structures of foreign sign languages to which they had never been exposed. Perhaps the most striking was the position of their hands when delivering a sign."
"You would not know it from the way bacon is sold, but scientists have known nitrosamines are carcinogenic for a very long time. More than 60 years ago, in 1956, two British researchers called Peter Magee and John Barnes found that when rats were fed dimethyl nitrosamine, they developed malignant liver tumours. By the 1970s, animal studies showed that small, repeated doses of nitrosamines and nitrosamides – exactly the kind of regular dose a person might have when eating a daily breakfast of bacon – were found to cause tumours in many organs including the liver, stomach, oesophagus, intestines, bladder, brain, lungs and kidneys."
"Instead, the deal has more often contributed to escalating tensions. In retrospect, this was foreseeable: Iran was perfectly capable of projecting power across the region with or without a nuclear arsenal. As for its rivals, they never trusted Iran’s assurances and saw warming relations between Tehran and Washington as a new and potentially even greater threat."
"Given that most of the counterfeit products in Africa are staples consumed to fulfill daily dietary needs, they are likely contributing to the rising levels of malnutrition and cancer on the continent. When parents living on just dollars a day believe they are buying their children milk, and that milk has no animal protein, the impacts on child development can be devastating. Indeed, there is no way to know to what extent food fraud is contributing to stunting, which affects 34% of under five-year old African children, with lifelong impacts on physical and intellectual development."
"Hammouche explains that when girls like Kidisti and Milka arrive in Calais, they are usually quickly paired up with a “brother” from Eritrea or Ethiopia. “These ‘brothers’ keep them ‘safe’, usually in exchange for sexual favours,” she says. “I ask them if they have a boyfriend; they say no. When I ask if they are sexually active, they nod. If I look at the number of condoms men ask me for, compared to the number of girls here, it does make me wince.”"
"Moskowitz shook hands with Dan Daley, a young city commissioner in Coral Springs. “I was talking to one of the Douglas students,” Daley said. “His only words to me were ‘Do something.’ I had to tell him that I legally can’t do anything, because the governor could take away my job if I tried.”
Moskowitz turned to me. “That’s the legacy of Marion Hammer,” he said.
Hammer is the National Rifle Association’s Florida lobbyist. At 78-eight years old, she is nearing four decades as the most influential gun lobbyist in the United States. Her policies have elevated Florida’s gun owners to a uniquely privileged status, and made the public carrying of firearms a fact of daily life in the state. Daley was referring to a law that Hammer worked to enact in 2011, during Governor Rick Scott’s first year in office. The statute punishes local officials who attempt to establish gun regulations stricter than those imposed at the state level. Officials can be fined thousands of dollars and removed from office."
"Converting from CO2 to carbon (the ratio is 3.67, from the atomic weights in the molecule – no guesswork here), we get a wide range from 104 to 308 Gt carbon. Annual emissions today are about 9 Gt.
Suppose we allow ourselves 50 years for the task. Assuming that 1.5 degrees becomes the policy goal, we will have to bury 2 to 6 Gt a year. Ouch.
BTW, we should convert to carbon. Nobody can imagine a tonne of a gas, but carbon is a solid. A tonne of carbon in coal is for instance typically 1.2 m3. Using my proposed journalistic unit of the Cheops (the volume of the Great Pyramid at Giza), the sequestration effort will be from 1,000 to 3,000 pyramids’ worth. Every year."
"Apparently Latin(ish) speakers in the area thought this was a very dope way of expressing themselves. “Why should I say ‘in that way’ like those idiots in Italy and Spain when I could say ‘this’ like all these cool mustache boys in Gaul?” So they started copying the expression, but in their own language. (That’s called a calque, by the way. When you borrow an expression from another language but translate it into your own. If you care about that kind of shit.)
The Latin word for “this” is “hoc,” so a bunch of people started saying “hoc” to mean yes. In the southern parts of what was once Gaul, “hoc” makes the relatively minor adjustment to òc, while in the more northerly areas they think, “Hmm, just saying ‘this’ isn’t cool enough. What if we said ‘this that’ to mean ‘yes.’”"
"In the Kurdish-controlled areas of northern Syria, a push for gender equality has given women like Ms. Shermooz significant power to enforce women’s rights. The authority wielded by women here — in the police, the courts and the militias — is patterned on the gender egalitarian philosophy of the Kurds’ ideological leader, Abdullah Ocalan."
"The domestic farmed-fish industry has doubled in size since 2008 and is 19 times bigger than it was in 1984. Many things have helped it to grow, from aquaculture-research institutes to improved roads. But the main reason aquaculture is booming is that cities are booming, too."
"Even so, my first instinct was to dismiss boys’ accounts. They’re bigger than girls, stronger. How hard could it be for them to get up and walk away? Why not drink less? Were they really describing “assault” or just “bad sex?” Then I realized how I’d react if someone lobbed those same questions at a girl. Was it truly so different? Maybe my deeper fear was that surfacing boys’ stories would distract from the #MeToo progress of girls and women. But perhaps the opposite is true. After all, the notion that all boys are sexually insatiable, incapable of refusal, regret, or injury reinforces the most retrograde idea of masculinity. What’s more, if a boy is supposed to deny his own violation, how can he feel compassion for — or even recognize — a girl’s?"
"Japan 1Join a hunting or shooting club. 2Take a firearm class and pass a written exam, which is held up to three times a year. 3Get a doctor’s note saying you are mentally fit and do not have a history of drug abuse. 4Apply for a permit to take firing training, which may take up to a month. 5Describe in a police interview why you need a gun. 6Pass a review of your criminal history, gun possession record, employment, involvement with organized crime groups, personal debt and relationships with friends, family and neighbors. 7Apply for a gunpowder permit. 8Take a one-day training class and pass a firing test. 9Obtain a certificate from a gun dealer describing the gun you want. 10Buy a gun safe and an ammunition locker that meet safety regulations. 11Allow the police to inspect your gun storage. 12Pass an additional background review. 13Buy a gun.
Some countries require buyers to accurately hit a target or demonstrate safe handling procedures."
My only conclusion after reading this is that this guy clearly got dumped by an octopus.
"This rifle is so deadly and so easy to use that no civilian should be able to get their hands on one. We simply don’t need these things in society at large."
"I have seen a handful of AR-15 injuries in my career. Years ago I saw one from a man shot in the back by a SWAT team. The injury along the path of the bullet from an AR-15 is vastly different from a low-velocity handgun injury. The bullet from an AR-15 passes through the body like a cigarette boat traveling at maximum speed through a tiny canal. The tissue next to the bullet is elastic—moving away from the bullet like waves of water displaced by the boat—and then returns and settles back. This process is called cavitation; it leaves the displaced tissue damaged or killed. The high-velocity bullet causes a swath of tissue damage that extends several inches from its path. It does not have to actually hit an artery to damage it and cause catastrophic bleeding. Exit wounds can be the size of an orange."
"They have lived nearly all their lives in the UK, working and paying taxes. But in the draconian new immigration climate, an increasing number of elderly people are being told that they are here illegally."
"We’ve decided it’s time to really dig into the issue on the tip of all of our tongues: Are these two dating or not?"
"The state of Missouri has engaged in a wide-ranging scheme — involving code names and envelopes stuffed with cash — to hide the fact that it paid a troubled pharmacy for the drugs it used to execute inmates."
"The premise of the tweet from the Conservative Association was that parents who do not cook beautiful, bountiful meals from scratch are lazy, uneducated, unskilled and dysfunctional. Allow me to piss all over that particularly poisonous bonfire once and for all."
"But experts say mass shootings have become so frequent and deadly in the United States that people should think in advance about how they will respond if the worst happens.
In general, they have settled on a simple guideline: “run, hide, fight.”"
"Last month, however, Nezhat Amiri conducted a 71-member orchestra performing at Tehran’s most prestigious concert hall – a remarkable milestone in a country where it is considered taboo for state TV to show musical instruments, women are not allowed to sing solo and female musicians have been prevented from going on stage in provincial cities."
"The United States’ high number of mass shootings is best explained by the availability of guns, as fully explained here. But here is some of what we do know about the motivations and histories of the gunmen."
"FRONTLINE reviewed around a dozen cases involving unaccompanied minors who were picked up by ICE partly due to evidence collected in schools. Indicators of “gang activity” used to justify these arrests included writing the number “503,” the area code of El Salvador, in a notebook; wearing black Nike Cortez sneakers; a Brooklyn Nets hat; and being seen affiliating with “known MS-13 gang members.”"
"ut how do Africans feel about this fictional tale of Wakanda, especially when black people in the United States and Africa don’t always seem to understand one another? I decided to talk to Kenyan journalist and broadcaster Larry Madowo to get his thoughts on the film, Wakanda and… those accents."
"Now, in the wake of another wrenching shooting rampage — this one at a high school in Parkland, Fla., that killed 17 — and in the absence of any federal action, gun-control advocates, Democratic politicians and others are pointing to the success of states like Connecticut in addressing the spiraling toll of gun violence."
"If the same effect is true for our perception of tennis balls, then the people who see the dress as white and gold, because they are predisposed to discounting cool colors, should see the ball as yellow. Meanwhile, those who see the dress and blue and black, because they discount warm colors, should see the ball as green."
"My paper attributes the lack of bond issuance not to the municipality or potential investors, but to limiting behaviour of national governments.
While they devolve substantial responsibilities to cities, they limit their ability to raise funds. This is often driven by a fear on the part of sovereign leadership to allow cities to have a hand in holding their own purse strings. This power can ultimately lead to less dependence on the national government."
"On its face, Joseph’s prenatal and postpartum clinic might not seem unusual. But when you look into her statistics, you find something quite rare: Almost all of her patients give birth to healthy, full-term babies. Again, maybe not surprising until you learn that the majority of them are low-income African-Americans, Haitians and Latinas."
"Washington owes you respect. But this government owes you much more than that. This government owes you a fighting chance to build stronger communities and a brighter future — starting with a more prosperous economic future on tribal lands."
"Phyllis Omido is leading a landmark class action demanding a clean-up and compensation from a lead-smelting factory accused of poisoning local residents - including her own son."
"Other than women laborers, prostitutes were the only ones walking the pavement, so any bourgeois woman that went outdoors unaccompanied would be seen as a “public woman,” or streetwalker. Even Virginia Woolf described walking down Piccadilly alone as walking in a “dressing gown carrying a bath sponge.”
So how did women eventually break free from their domestic existence? Two words: department stores. The emancipation of women started at the makeup counter, and shopping was basically the reason they were let outside. Receipts were a woman’s keys to the city."
"The Museum was recently contacted to see if we could substantiate whether an RAF airman had survived falling from his aircraft without a parachute by landing in snow. “That sounds unlikely”, I thought, like an urban legend. It couldn’t really have happened, could it? As it transpired, the airman in question had in fact been lucky enough to have the use of his parachute, but my research did lead me to the amazing tale of Flight Sergeant Nicholas Alkemade…"
"According to the surviving records, the first enslaved African in Massachusetts was the property of the schoolmaster of Harvard. Yale funded its first graduate-level courses and its first scholarship with the rents from a small slave plantation it owned in Rhode Island (the estate, in a stroke of historical irony, was named Whitehall). The scholarship’s first recipient went on to found Dartmouth, and a later grantee co-founded the College of New Jersey, known today as Princeton."
"Since the rout of the Islamic State last year, and steady government advances against other insurgent groups, a misperception has grown abroad that the Syrian war is winding down. Instead, the carnage is reaching a new peak."
"To elucidate this private development of law, we focus on Taobao, China’s largest online trading platform, owned by Alibaba. We demonstrate that, with over 430 million users and more than 10 million vendors, Taobao is not simply an exchange platform, but a complete market that is in the process of developing a modern legal system. The system includes a very complex reputation mechanism, a credit score, a fraud detection program, and even a jury-like system in which ordinary users can vote to adjudicate cases or to change platform rules. With respect to exchange on the platform, this legal system helps creates law, enforce contracts, protect certain property rights, resolve disputes, and prevent fraud. By doing so, Taobao has begun to supply many aspects of market-supporting infrastructure normally associated with the state."
"This imperialist hierarchy played out in the 1918 expansion of the franchise. Despite the crucial contributions of colonised subjects to the British war effort and the presence of Indians and Africans in international conferences on women’s suffrage, women’s right to vote was limited to the British mainland and whites in settler colonies. While European women could vote in Kenya as early as 1919, African men and women would have to wait until 1956 for this same right (and even then, were constrained by property restrictions)."
"How did the Rapanui go from signing their names to a bogus document of annexation with simple drawings to creating a complex writing system incorporating hundreds of signs? We will most likely never know. First contact with Europeans was a trauma, one to which the Rapanui responded with incredible creativity and cultural ferment. But peering into the history of how this happened is unfortunately almost impossible, for it means looking through the scrim drawn by a holocaust."
"This, to me, is the beginning of a different way of seeing Jesus, and one very relevant for our times of massive inequality between rich and poor, as in the Roman Empire. Jesus aligned himself with the poor and this would have been obvious from how he looked.
The appearance of Jesus matters because it cuts to the heart of his message. However he is depicted in film and art today, he needs to be shown as one of the have-nots; his teaching can only be truly understood from this perspective."
"Only after its formal naming was PTSD slowly acknowledged to be a condition suffered “also” by female survivors of marital abuse or incestuous rape who previously were diagnosed as hysterical, febrile, or pathological liars. Even now, the default image of a male PTSD victim is that of a white American soldier rather than a brown or black refugee, or victim of state violence. Similarly, in the past few years women have begun a pushback against the supposedly universal diagnostic standards of ADHD. (Dr. Ellen Littman points out how symptoms like hyperactivity are gender skewed and therefore work to invisibilize girls whose symptoms veer more toward inattentiveness and disorganization.) Meanwhile, women are dying at twice the rate of men of undiagnosed heart attacks because their symptoms, like jaw and upper-back pain, indigestion, and nausea, don’t match the “textbook symptoms” of chest and left-arm pain in books written exclusively about cis men. The pathologization—and therefore governance—of loneliness (nonprofits set up, research funds allocated, street-theater interventions commissioned, et al.) follows this pattern of centering the tribulations of privileged men as cause for concern and the default universal definition of the problem."
"The increased reliance on drones, the spread of the counter-terror battle to remote new areas, where reporting is minimal or non-existent, combined with looser rules of engagement and a gung-ho command tone, threaten to combine to create an increasingly indiscriminate, increasingly opaque, global war in which civilians are likely to account for an ever larger share of the victims."
"Not far from the sites tourists already know, like the towering temples of the ancient city of Tikal, laser technology has uncovered about 60,000 homes, palaces, tombs and even highways in the humid lowlands.
The findings suggested an ancient society of such density and interconnectedness that even the most experienced archaeologists were surprised."