Surgeon's view: 'Stabbing victims are getting younger, and their wounds worse'
“I go into schools to talk about the realities of knife violence. I show pupils some pretty graphic photographs of stabbing victims, sometimes with a surgeon’s hand inside their chest, to help them realise the impact of a knife wound. The most common question I get asked by pupils is: is there a safe place to stab someone? I say: in your dreams – no, there’s not. I’ve seen people die after being stabbed in the calf, shoulder, face or arm. Some people think it’s safe to stab someone in the buttocks, but there are a lot of big blood vessels there, and the bowel is near there, too. There is no safe place to stab someone.”
“The European brain was so intrigued by its own superiority that it rendered every civilisation they encountered as savages. It didn’t matter that the First Nations people of Vancouver built two-storey houses, that the Pueblo had advanced cities, that the Aztec and Mayan were as wealthy as any other nation on Earth, that the Australians invented bread and society. Yes, society, for the world’s oldest town, and oldest by many thousands of years, is found in western New South Wales. Of course Australians refuse to visit the fount of civilisation because it questions every myth we make about ourselves.”
“Bitcoin miners were now caught in the same vicious cycle that real miners confront—except on a much more accelerated timeframe. To maintain their output, miners had to buy more servers, or upgrade to the more powerful servers, but the new calculating power simply boosted the solution difficulty even more quickly. In effect, your mine was becoming outdated as soon as you launched it, and the only hope of moving forward profitably was to adopt a kind of perpetual scale-up: Your existing mine had to be large enough to pay for your next, larger mine. Many miners responded by gathering into vast collectives, pooling their calculating resources and sharing the bitcoin rewards. Others shifted away from mining to hosting facilities for other miners. But whether you were mining or hosting, mining entered “a scaling race,” says Carlson, whose own operations marched steadily from 250 kilowatts to 1.5 megawatts to 5 megawatts. And it was a race: Any delay in getting your machines installed and mining simply meant you’d be coming on line when the coins were even harder to mine.”
“Kyrgyzstan is not an easy place to be female; it was described last year by Reuters as “a nation rife with domestic violence, child marriage and bride kidnappings.” The dozen or so members of the Kyrgyz Space Program, who range in age from 17 to 25, came together for a free robotics course started by journalist and TED fellow Bektour Iskender last March and meet twice a week at the offices of Kloop, the independent journalism school Iskender runs in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan’s capital. They are crowdfunding their work towards building and launching a cube satellite, a miniature design known as a CubeSat that can cost as little as $150,000 to produce.”
“Finding people sheltering inside waste containers is relatively rare – millions of bins are emptied every year in the UK with nobody inside – but rising homelessness has meant it is an increasingly common situation, with the result that Jamal and Steve must look carefully before they tip waste into their lorry’s compressor, known as ‘the vulture’.@
“Eighty years before Jamestown, the first intercontinental settlers on the East Coast of the United States were maroons: Africans who had escaped Spanish slavery.”
"These statistics belie the strident rhetoric around “foreign-born” terrorists that the Trump administration has used to drive its anti-immigration agenda. They also raise questions about the United States’ counterterrorism strategy, which for nearly two decades has been focused almost exclusively on American and foreign-born jihadists, overshadowing right-wing extremism as a legitimate national-security threat. According to a recent report by the nonpartisan Stimson Center, between 2002 and 2017, the United States spent $2.8 trillion — 15 percent of discretionary spending — on counterterrorism. Terrorist attacks by Muslim extremists killed 100 people in the United States during that time. Between 2008 and 2017, domestic extremists killed 387 in the United States, according to the 2018 Anti-Defamation League report."
"There was a robbery at this store in the community. One of the people at the store whose stuff was taken said, 'Look, I don't want to call the cops. Is there anything we can do? . . . They found on Facebook that this young person was selling their stuff, and that young person happened to go to a school where we'd done some circles, so I knew a teacher at the school and could say, 'Hey, this is where we're at.' "
Eventually, he says, robber and robbed were brought back together.
"That young person ended up returning what he had that hadn't been sold, and then working at the shop in restitution for everything else," Ucker says. "Then it turned out he really liked working there, and after this agreement was over, he continued to go there and volunteer. There was a relationship built there."
“The Chinese setting of Aladdin seems to surprise many today. But even this in itself is quite plausible in the 1001 Nights imaginary, and we need only look at the very opening of the frame tale of Shahrazad and Shahriyar: “Long ago, during the time of the Sassanid dynasty, in the peninsula of India and China were two kings who were brothers.” While his younger brother rules in Samarqand, Shahriyar is said to be king of India and China. Thus, although she has a Persian name and many of the stories she tells are set in Cairo and Baghdad, Shahrazad herself is situated not in the Middle East but farther east, somewhere in or around India.”
"It is tempting to see a certain poetic justice in the Houthis’ vengeful rage against Saudi Arabia. Their movement was born, three decades ago, largely as a reaction to Riyadh’s reckless promotion of its own intolerant strain of Salafi Islam in the Houthi heartland of northwestern Yemen. Since then, the Saudis — with the help of Yemen’s former ruler, Ali Abdullah Saleh — have done all they could to corrupt or compromise every political force strong enough to pose a threat. The Houthis are a result: a band of fearless insurgents who know how to fight but little else. They claim a divine mandate, and they have tortured, killed and imprisoned their critics, rights groups say, just as their predecessors did. They have recruited child soldiers, used starvation as a weapon and have allowed no dissenting views to be aired in the media. They have little will or capacity to run a modern state, and at times have seemed unwilling or unable to negotiate for peace. But this, too, is partly a measure of Saudi Arabia’s fatal arrogance toward its neighbor, a long-term policy of keeping Yemen weak and divided."
:People in Khindan have had to migrate from their homes several times. They have moved back as far as they can go on vacant land. “Now they’re literally just waiting for their houses to fall into the sea,” says Leonard, who is mapping vulnerable communities likely to be displaced by climate change.
This year more than 150,000 people across Myanmar were displaced by flooding. What was once consistent rainfall has been replaced by a more intense monsoon, causing flash-flooding."
"In ancient Mesoamerica, the Maya built their cities in the tropics during the Classic (A.D. 250–900) and Post Classic (A.D. 900–1521) periods. Nighttimes were busy: hunting, guarding the fields, preparing the next day’s meals, feasting, and celebrations all took place when people weren’t sleeping. As dusk set in and vision waned, other senses became heightened. Jaguars roamed the landscape and insects buzzed about, creating a profusion of sounds unique to the night. Tropical plants bloomed in the cool nighttime air, adding scents to the nocturnal ambience. Crackling fires in torches, hearths, and ceramic vessels illuminated and warmed the cool tropical nights and warded off beings, both real and fantastical, in the dark."
"In Yemen, research by the Overseas Development Institute found delayed financial transactions meant critical food assistance programmes have been delayed or shut down for lack of funds. In one case, food was left to rot in a warehouse while the distribution company waited for money to come in. Funds transfer restrictions have also crippled the Central Bank of Yemen, depriving local traders from important sources of cash and credit and rendering Yemenis unable to purchase what food and other goods make it into the country. It has also delayed or blocked transactions from US and European banks, forcing aid organisations to stop or reduce aid programmes because of a lack of funds."
“And while blackness is by no means a monolith, Gillum represents a kind of blackness that is commonplace in black life and basically nonexistent in high-level American politics.”
“Of the 11,000 defendants who were sentenced to prison in 2016 in Cook County, 74 percent were black and 11 percent were white. That same year, 76 percent of the prosecuting attorneys were white and 11 percent were black.”
Horrifying post about the intentional cruelty with which recently released prisoners are treated in Chicago.
“The treatment is far from a cure for paralysis: while both patients continue to improve, they still use wheelchairs in their daily lives. But doctors believe the work is an important proof of principle. It shows that precisely timed electrical stimulation can help recover some of the movement patients lose when they suffer such devastating injuries.”
“The best way to visualise the Middle East’s many conflicts is, literally, from 30,000 feet. Because of wars and political disputes, large bits of the region are off-limits to passenger jets. A straight line between Cairo and Amman is about 500km. That line crosses north Sinai, though, where Egypt is fighting an Islamist insurgency. Pilots fly south to avoid it, adding an extra 190km to their trip.”
“I found myself here after a long and winding search for a factory to mass-produce a chilli sauce I’d been making out of my kitchen in Shanghai. This facility on the outskirts of Chengdu, which specializes in doubanjiang (fermented bean paste) and hot pot seasoning, is one of the very few that will entertain my limited run size.”
“Many, but not all, Native Americans living on the reservation do not pay property tax — their land is held in trust by the federal government. But they pay taxes every time they come into town to go to the grocery store, to gas up their cars, to go out to eat. They pay federal income taxes and Social Security, just like every other US citizen; plus, the Navajo reservation pays millions in oil revenue to the county, which is intended to be returned in the form of education and health care. The myth that Native Americans don’t pay taxes is perpetuated so as to absolve those off the reservation from the moral obligation to consider the living conditions of their neighbors.”
“Although NASA was at great pains to present these suits as the pinnacle of modern technological achievement (and indeed each comprised twenty-one layers of fabric, mostly new synthetics such as nylon and spandex), the reality was a little different. Each suit was also a marvellous example of skill and creativity; and it was, almost exclusively, the handiwork of women schooled in the frequently undervalued craft of textiles. The sub-contractor responsible for their assembly was ILC, a firm best known for making Playtex bras, girdles and nappies.”
“The practice of making halibut hooks has been handed down through the generations—literally. Carvers use their hands to determine the angles and dimensions, which some believe allows them to target fish of different sizes. A recent study exploring how and why the dimensions of hooks have changed over time found that early hooks—primarily dating from 1860 to 1930—caught fish between nine and 45 kilograms, sparing the juveniles and the most prolific breeders, thus sustaining the species for future generations. It’s an extraordinary example of traditional ecological knowledge being shared through an object, says study author Jonathan Malindine, a PhD candidate in anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara.”
“And so Bartlett pitched a bold strategy. Step 1: Tell the state's hospitals what the plan would pay. Take it or leave it. Step 2: Demand a full accounting from the company managing drug costs. If it won't reveal any side deals it had with drugmakers, replace it.”
“These differences between politicians from different economic backgrounds — coupled with the virtual absence of politicians from the working class — ultimately skew the policymaking process toward outcomes that are more in line with the upper class’s economic interests. States with fewer legislators from the working class spend billions less on social welfare each year, offer less generous unemployment benefits, and tax corporations at lower rates. Towns with fewer working-class people on their city councils devote smaller shares of their budgets to social safety net programs; an analysis I conducted in 2013 suggested that cities nationwide would spend approximately $22.5 billion more on social assistance programs each year if their councils were made up of the same mix of classes as the people they represent.”
“While not formally defined in the legislation for the Furusato Nouzei system, someone at a city government figured that it was just not appropriate to let someone just give ~3% of their salary to the city without receiving a token of appreciation in return. So they sent something back; a can of locally-produced plums, say, to remind you of the tastes of your childhood.”
"Beyond the use of informants, there’s another, more fundamental problem with how the LRPD’s narcotics unit is policing drug crimes — it appears to be executing nearly every drug warrant with a no-knock raid."
You get half of your DNA from your mother and half from your father, but thanks to the specialised and ‘laughably baroque’ process of cell division known as meiosis, you and your sibling might get very different assortments of DNA from each parent. This explains why you may have more DNA from your maternal grandmother, say, than your paternal grandmother. Or why, if you have two siblings, you may be genetically more similar to one of them. Remarkably, researchers have found that a pair of siblings may share as much as 61.7 per cent of their DNA, or as little as 37.4 per cent. ‘Along the spectrum of inheritance, in other words,’ Zimmer writes, ‘some of our siblings are more like our identical twins, others more like cousins.’ She Has Her Mother’s Laugh is brimming with similarly surprising discoveries; and the cumulative effect is a radical destabilisation of the boundaries conventionally drawn around the individual, families, and even the human species.”
“Flickr, a quasi-social photo aggregation site, has proven to be one of the premier platforms for this style of archival work from below, especially in the post-blog era of the social media-driven web where data has become more and more consolidated on a few central digital platforms. Given the relative paucity of competitors, and the industriousness of its users, the scope of subjects handled by Flickr’s ethnographers is vast. There are Flickr groups for photos of pretty much every commercial chain, from drugstores to supermarkets, fast food restaurants to hotels.”
“While researching my recent post on the young woman labelled “embalmed alive” by the tabloids, I was stunned to discover a large corpus, as it were, of stories of people poisoned, not by having formalin or formaldehyde injected into their veins, but by ingesting embalming fluid in various ways, either by chance or by choice.
As we saw in the previous post on this subject, embalming fluid was frequently mistaken for something drinkable like whiskey or beer, or even plain water. I find this a bit baffling. I admit I do not know how vintage embalming fluid smelled, but I would assume that there was enough of a smell to alert the drinker that it wasn’t whiskey. But given the copious amounts of alcohol served to mourners at wakes, were there any alert drinkers? The overflowing cup of cheer (along with an apparent shortage of cups) lies behind many of these tales. “Dead drunk” was no mere figure of speech.”
“My point, rather, is that all else being equal, it’s more cost-effective for anti-poverty programs to target children, in terms of poverty reduction per dollar spent, and that a better package would include both a universal $3,000-per-adult cash grant and universal $3,000- or $3,600-per-year grants to children.
That kind of blend of Harris’s and Bennet/Brown’s ideas would, in effect, be a very small version of a basic income, albeit one that phases out for upper-income people and falls short of universality. And unlike some popular versions of the basic income idea, this variant would raise spending by hundreds of billions a year rather than trillions, a more reasonable target if you wanted to pay for the spending with tax increases.”
“The common theme running throughout my history studies was the capacity the learning structure had to critique at length the mistakes made by other governments and how that shaped their nation's narrative, however, that gaze is rarely turned inwardly. The only time I learned anything to do with British history was the establishment of the English parliament and the histories of political factions such as the Whigs and Tories. I learned about Benjamin Disraeli's hand in shaping the modern Conservative party and his lasting rivalry with William Gladstone but was never taught about how his government attempted to wipe out the Zulu Kingdom through bloody battles - and then cover it up - in order to extend British influence in South Africa. We use the failures of other countries as our teaching aids while still never truly exploring this country's dark history of imperialism and colonisation.”
"Sometimes the criminal justice system gets it wrong. Illinois has a lot of wrongful convictions. Chicago’s got a lot of wrongful convictions.
One of the reasons is we have one of the most active post-conviction litigation bars. I work at the Exoneration Project. There’s another organization called The Center on Wrongful Convictions, where I used to work. There’s another organization called the Illinois Innocence Project, that’s downstate. That’s pretty rare for a state to have this many groups working on these types of issues.
The second reason, of course, is the horrible history of police misconduct that we have in Chicago. It’s led to an extraordinary amount of wrongful convictions."
"Over the past few years, bond reform has taken center stage for efforts to reform the Cook County Courts. In July 2017, Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans issued an order stating that no one should be incarcerated solely because they cannot afford to pay their bond. This directed judges to set monetary bonds only in amounts people could pay. By December 2017, three months after the implementation of the order, the Cook County Jail population had decreased by 1,500 to its lowest total in decades."
"Perhaps people living in medieval societies were less preoccupied with the intricacies of other minds, simply because they didn’t have to be. When people’s choices were constrained and their actions could be predicted based on their social roles, there was less reason to be attuned to the mental states of others (or one’s own, for that matter). The emergence of mind-focused literature may reflect the growing relevance of such attunement, as societies increasingly shed the rigid rules and roles that had imposed order on social interactions."
"Reporters, meanwhile, simply tend not to jump on left-wing talking points. And progressive media is more infused with the values of actual journalism, and pretending to think something unimportant is actually critical is not journalism. Consequently, while many left-of-center pundits, including me, have noted the Trump email issue, we normally do it in an ironic or second-order way. We’re outraged by the lack of outrage or, rather, still bitter about the amount of faux-outrage over emails that was allowed to dominate campaign 2016. Meanwhile, there is simply no institution on the left that has anywhere near the institutional clout — to say nothing of the value system — of conservative broadcast media."
"And yet half the games you play were probably made in Guildford – just never set there. Oddly it’d be the ideal place! I grew up in Guildford, winner of Britain’s Most Mediocre City. The town motto is, “Guildford: It’s fine.” No one hates Guildford, because it would have to have done something interesting to warrant it."
"Transportation seems to be a particular poster child of fevered futurist speculation, bearing a disproportionate load of this deferred wish fulfillment (perhaps because we simply find daily travel painful, reminding us of its shared root with the word “travail”). The lament for the perpetually forestalled flying car focuses around childlike wishes (why can’t I have this now?), and ignores massive externalities like aerial traffic jams, and fatality rates likely to be higher than terrestrial driving."
Undercover Facebook cops are a new phenomenon born of the modern technological age, but the practice carries age-old risks of abuse of power. Steven Renderos of the Center for Media Justice sees the practice as another opportunity for discrimination and racial profiling. “The social media monitoring is being disproportionately targeted at people of color, and so social media use has harsher real-world consequences for people of color,” he said by phone. “Fifteen years for posting a photo on Facebook... What exactly was the crime? People are being caught in trip wires. Low-level crimes that shouldn’t have harsh consequences do and it’s leading to more people in prison and those people seem to be most often people of color.”
"Both varieties have two characteristics in common: they inject their host with a local anaesthetic so that their presence is rarely noticed until they have tucked in. Because of this, a leech bite will usually feel like a vague sensation, not a nip or scratch. Once their teeth are engaged, they emit the best anticoagulants known to exist, so their blood meal keeps flowing long after they have stopped feeding, often for up to 10 hours. In some surgeries that require rejoining tiny blood vessels – reattaching an amputated finger, ear, or lip, or reconstructing a breast – the blood can get stuck. A leech can make the difference between a successful reconstruction or reattachment and failure and distress. In a 2002 survey of 50 plastic surgery units in the UK, 80% had used leeches in the previous five years. The leech is in many ways a simple animal, but its anaesthetic and anticoagulant have yet to be bettered by science."
Utterly gripping piece about one man piecing his life back together after prison.
"One of the remarkable things about the first decades of the 5th century was the apparent speed with which the things we associate with Roman life disappeared.
The use of coins seems to have been an early casualty. Coins were always supplied by Rome to do the things that the Roman government cared about, such as pay the army. The latest coins to be sent to Britain in any number stopped in 402AD. Coin use may have continued in places for some years after, using older coins, but there was no real attempt to introduce local copies or substitutes (as sometimes happened elsewhere). This suggests there was no demand for small change or faith in the value of base metal coinage."
"The dish of white fish, typically cod or haddock, fried in a thin coat of flour, was a favorite particularly among Sephardic Jews, who fried it on Friday nights to prepare for the Sabbath, as the Mosaic laws prohibited cooking. Allegedly, the batter preserved the fish so it could be eaten cold, and without sacrificing too much flavor, the following day. It was a hit. Fish prepared “in the Jewish manner” was sold on the streets of London on any given day."
"There is an economic term for when a group of competitors agrees to a maximum price each will spend on a needed input to their product. The term is “cost-cutting cartel” and that is what the NCAA revealed itself to be when, starting in 1976, it rolled out its new definition of amateurism by redefining the GIA to exclude necessary supplies, to exclude any book recommended by the professor but not required, and to exclude the “laundry money” stipend."
"It can be distressing to witness the pain of family, friends or even strangers going through a hard time. But what if, just like strengthening a muscle or learning a new hobby, we could train ourselves to be more compassionate and calm in the face of others’ suffering?"
"Hotshots are like the special forces of fighting fire – there are only around 100 teams in the country – and Chief Mountain is one of seven Native American hotshot crews.
Summer after summer, St. Goddard's team will spend weeks in smoke and heat, hiking up mountains, digging fire-lines and cutting down trees. They have to keep in shape and St. Goddard runs his crew with the discipline of a military unit."
Gripping story about how Nike purchased access to key decision-makers at the University of Oregon.
“Our bodies contain the story of our individual lives, but they also contain the stories of our nations, and their policies. We might enact new legislation and initiate a new era of reconciliation and open mourning for the sins of history. We might take away Little Miss Coppertone’s tan line and give her a one-piece swimsuit. But the body doesn’t forget, and the sins linger deep below the surface. The cells of the body remember the sunshine, the beach, the roar of the surf, the jellyfish and the hot chips and the baby oil, the flush, the peel, the aloe vera and calamine lotion, the rough sheets. The cells of our bodies remember and they may, eventually, contain our endings.”
“The trauma of an assault often extends past the event. According to Liz Karns, an epidemiologist and lawyer at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, sexual assault can even affect students’ economic future because they can lose millions of dollars in lifetime earnings if their education or career is derailed.”
“I n 2010, nine years after the peak of film sales, Fujifilm was a new company. Whereas in 2000, 60% of its sales and two-thirds of the profit came from the film ecosystem, in 2010 the Imaging division accounted for less than 16% of the revenue. Fujifilm managed to ride out of the storm via a massive restructuration and diversification strategy.”
“The new definition would essentially eradicate federal recognition of the estimated 1.4 million Americans who have opted to recognize themselves — surgically or otherwise — as a gender other than the one they were born into.”