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Yonatan Zunger has been at 2 events

HostFollowersTitleDateGuestsLinks
STEM Women on G+113,277Join us for a STEM Women HOA as we speak to Dr.  +Yonatan Zunger on how men can help with the issues of gender inequality in STEM fields. Yonatan is the Chief Architect of Google+ and also has a PhD in Physics with a strong engineering background. He is a passionate advocate of gender equality in STEM, and will talk to us about what we can do to encourage women in STEM.This HOA will be hosted by Dr +Buddhini Samarasinghe   and Dr +Zuleyka Zevallos  , and you can tune in on Sunday March 2nd at 12.30 PM Pacific/ 8.30PM GMT. The hangout will be available for viewing on our YouTube channel(http://www.youtube.com/stemwomen) after the event.Follow us on Twitter @stemwomen and on www.stemwomen.netSTEM Women: How Men Can Help with Dr Yonatan Zunger2014-03-02 21:30:0096 
Blogger1,018,219We’re hosting a Hangout on Air with lead Product Manager +Dan Peterson and lead Engineer +Yonatan Zunger to discuss last week’s launch of Google+ Comments for Blogger.If you’ve got questions about the launch, please leave them in the comments below so that Dan and Yonatan can answer them during the Hangout.Join the team behind Google+ Comments for Blogger for a Hangout on Air2013-04-25 20:30:001054 

Yonatan Zunger has been shared in 376 public circles

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AuthorFollowersDateUsers in CircleCommentsReshares+1Links
Kenneth Nicholson6,980Circle share with new friendsHi friends follow this circle1 - Include me in your circles2 - Share the circle (Publicly)3 - Add +1 to the post.4 - Leave a comment if you like.I will thankful if you plus and share this circle!#sharedcircleday #publiccircles #publicsharedcircles #sharedpublicircles #circle #circles #circlemeup #awesomepeople #awesomecircle #circleme #sharedpoint #sharewithyou #ShareYourCircle #epicengagers #davidromaphotography #addcircle #addpeople #affiliate #awesome #awesomecircles #awesomepeople #besocial #bestengagers #bestsharedcircle #circle #circlefriday #circlemonday #circlesunday #circleoftheweek #circlemeup #circles #circleshare #communities #community #coolpeople #findcircles 2014-10-24 12:15:41498445685
Diana Breath8,322#8  If you received this Notice - You're in this Circle                       •-::-•:*:•-:¦:  Circle Share 146  :¦:-•:*:•.::-•                 •-::-•:*:•-:¦: Fall Share and Be Shared :¦:-•:*:•.::-•      •-::-•:*:•-:¦:  If you want to be shared in this circle  :¦:-•:*:•.::-• •-::-•:*:•-:¦:  Just share it and I will keep you in this circle  :¦:-•:*:•.::-•        •-::-•:*:•-:¦:  Boost your visibility on Google+  :¦:-•:*:•.::-•                       •-::-•:*:•-:¦:  Share the circle!  :¦:-•:*:•.::-•This circle contains people who really are interesting and active people on Google Plus.Grow your G+ community with people that share amazing content that will surprise you:If you received the notice you are in this circle, then well done.If you would like to be included in the next Circle Share, you only have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles 3 - Share the circle (Publicly) 4 - Add +1 to the post 5 - Follow  your dreams and smile to life.More you share More you get! :)I will thankful if you plus and share this circle!#circles #shared #share #add #friends #circle #share #sharecircle #circleshar2014-10-18 15:17:39480001
Becky Collins17,500Top Active Engager's Circle :Circle of very #social #engagerspeople and companiesTo be included in my shares (#sharedcircle), be so kind to:1 - Do +1 t the post2 - Comment the post and specify your "category" (job or interest) Ex: Fashion, SEO, Companies, Social Media Marketing, Sailing, Photography, Bloggers/Writers, Web graphics and design, Italy, Artists, Sport, Finance/Economy ...3 - include the circle among your circles4 - share the circle (include yourself)Improve your popularity, be social be cool !Keep yourself updated, enjoy the Shared Circles Hellenic Alliance, you can share your shared circles inside the upcoming Community:https://plus.google.com/communities/112552559573595396104  #socialmedia  #media  #circles   #circleshare   #circlesharing  #circlecircle   #beckyscircle   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles  #sharedcircleoftheday  +Becky Collins ?2014-10-13 05:05:40478002
Elizabeth Rose5,970#5 GOOGLE FRIENDS! -  RESHARE if you want to be included *'"*:•:••:*:•-:¦:*  *SHARE AND BE  SHARED*  *:¦:-•:*:••-:•:''''*  This is a super Circle and in it I put together a group of really interesting and active people on Google Plus to add in your circles.I'm talking about the top   Google + users that share unique and original contents.Follow   this advice and grow your G+ community with people that share amazing content that will surprise you:boost   visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!If you want to be added to the next Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles 3 - Share the circle (Publicly) 4 - Add +1 to the post 5 - Follow  your dreams and smile to life.More you share More you get! :)I will thankful if you plus and share this circle!#circles #shared #share #add #friends #circle #share #sharecircle #circleshare2014-10-10 16:39:15488001
Diana Breath7,336#8 GOOGLE FRIENDS! -  RESHARE if you want to be included *'"*:•:••:*:•-:¦:*  *SHARE AND BE  SHARED*  *:¦:-•:*:••-:•:''''*  This is a super Circle and in it I put together a group of really interesting and active people on Google Plus to add in your circles.I'm talking about the top   Google + users that share unique and original contents.Follow   this advice and grow your G+ community with people that share amazing content that will surprise you:boost   visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!If you want to be added to the next Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles 3 - Share the circle (Publicly) 4 - Add +1 to the post 5 - Follow  your dreams and smile to life.More you share More you get! :)I will thankful if you plus and share this circle!#circles #shared #share #add #friends #circle #share #sharecircle #circleshare2014-10-08 14:51:3148112720
RokSimec.com7,554To be added to the Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - include me in your circles2 - Click add people and create your circle3 - share the circle (include yourself)4 - add +1 to the post*More you share more you get!*#circle                    2014-10-01 11:44:47498000
Allan watson7,797Grow your G+ community with people that share amazing content that will surprise you:If you received the notice you are in this circle, then well done. If you’d like to be added to the next circle share: • +1 this circle • Share this circle to PUBLIC • Include me in your circles • Comment on this post#News #BusinessNews #TechNews #Aviation #Flight #Flights #Passengers #Airport #Travel #KLM #Aircraft #AirTravel #Airbus #Flying #AvGeek #Boeing #Chicago #Safety #AmericanAirlines #Canceled #SharedCircles   #weeklyreview #sharedcircle     #topsharedcircle   #circleoftheday   #sharedcircle2014-09-27 12:27:02303273140
RokSimec.com7,248 To be added to the Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - include me in your circles2 - Click add people and create your circle3 - share the circle (include yourself)4 - add +1 to the post*More you share more you get!*#circle                    2014-09-26 10:33:5149813920
Kenneth Nicholson3,806Active users on Google+. Circle Share. If you received a notification, please reshare to your circles If you’d like to be added to the next circle share: • +1 this circle • Share this circle to PUBLIC • Include me in your circles • Comment on this post*More you share more you get! :)Thanks!*#awesomecircle #circleme #sharedpoint #sharewithyou #ShareYourCircle #epicengagers #davidromaphotography #addcircle #addpeople #affiliate #awesome #awesomecircles #awesomepeople #besocial #bestengagers #bestsharedcircle #circle #circlefriday #circlemonday2014-09-25 13:06:13485455179
John Wood14,205If you received a notification, please reshare to your circles If you’d like to be added to the next circle share: • +1 this circle • Share this circle to PUBLIC • Include me in your circles • Comment on this postIf you would like to be removed from future circles, please send me a private message and I won't share your profile in the future.#topofthepeople   #influencermarketing  #sharedcircle #circleshare #circlethis #socialmediamarketing #socialmediastrategy #socialnetworking #circleoftheday  #circleoftheweek #circleoftheday #topofthecircle #howtoenlargecircle2014-09-17 10:38:20500535665
Richard Green81,215Engagers Showcase Circle, September 14, 2014If I sent you a notification, it means that you are included in my Engagers Showcase Circle. “Showcase” means that you are invited to leave a comment (on the original post) with a link to one of your own posts, which ideally should be one of your best recent posts.This circle consists of people who have engaged with one of my recent posts in the form of +1s, comments and reshares. I skipped over one post because it received too much engagement, but I'm including a link to it for completeness.Everyone mentioned below is also included in the circle.Do nuclear physicists have half life crises?https://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/ayw6WPGGaFESt Peter's Church, Heyshamhttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/9DEtmbdz15zSmiling cow?https://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/9NuqPpsgtBkThe look-and-say sequence and Conway's Cosmological Theoremhttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/jEQ7zxFpJt4Cordyline australis, the “cabbage tree”https://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/hktDAgyo6mA“Maurits, stop picking at it. You'll only make it worse.” by David Swarthttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/gj327Ywh33T“Phyllotactic Portrait of Fibonacci” by Robert Boschhttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/8LykdvHpRvPFountain in Williamson Parkhttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/HzZTLQaQ9RT“Youth” by Silvia Cordeddahttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/T2Lo3c2zLxvThe arithmetic derivative, the Goldbach conjecture, and the twin prime conjecturehttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/9nY35Ma1pbUGlobe Thistlehttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/i8mtiyVikWhTallinn (reshared from +Paul Harper)https://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/U4DAQxK5fkxCubes passing in the night (reshared from +Sean Walker)https://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/32JKvAFqP9SThe graph of arctanhttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/FLvyDupud1z“Hopf Knott” by Peter Sittner2014-09-14 15:25:57463224129234
Colin Wilson56Increase your following with our Amazing CirclesThis is a super Circle and in it I put together a group of really interesting and active people on Google Plus to add in your circles.If you want to be added to the next Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles 2 - Share the circle (Publicly) 3 - Add +1 to the post #circles #shared #share #add #friends #circle #share #sharecircle #circleshare2014-09-08 06:25:20459111619
Diana Breath5,453#8 GOOGLE FRIENDS! -  RESHARE if you want to be included *'"*:•:••:*:•-:¦:*  *SHARE AND BE  SHARED*  *:¦:-•:*:••-:•:''''*  This is a super Circle and in it I put together a group of really interesting and active people on Google Plus to add in your circles.I'm talking about the top   Google + users that share unique and original contents.Follow   this advice and grow your G+ community with people that share amazing content that will surprise you:boost   visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!If you want to be added to the next Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles 3 - Share the circle (Publicly) 4 - Add +1 to the post 5 - Follow  your dreams and smile to life.More you share More you get! :)I will thankful if you plus and share this circle!#circles #shared #share #add #friends #circle #share #sharecircle #circleshare2014-09-06 03:29:28479171424
Nina Trankova822This is my circle of learning. I know every person here and I recommend that you add and follow as there is a lot you can learn and expand your experience here on Google+ #sharedcircles   #googleplustips   #ninatrankova2014-09-04 04:55:50311205
George Clark5,516Boost your visibility on Google+ - Share the #circle ! To be added to the Circle you have to do these simple steps: 1 - include me in your circles 2 - Click add people and create your circle 3 - share the circle (include yourself) 4 - add +1 to the post#topsharedcircle #circleoftheday #sharedcircle #trustinme #circlesharing #circleshare #circles #circleoftheday #sharedpubliccircles #sharedcircles #share #vipsnowballcircle #sharedcircleoftheday #sharewithyou #followme #followers #followback #circle #googleplus #coolpeople #circleshare #sharedcircles #sharedcircle #sharedcircles #sharedpubliccircles #circleshare #circlesharing #fullcircleshare #addpeople #add #addcircle #socialmedia #dragonseyecircle #VarietyCircle 2014-08-29 06:34:43494191420
Frank Gainsford39,299A share of this circle within the public space will be appreciated as these are truly a great flock of influential and helpful folk, and the more places their profiles are found, the better the GOOGLESPHERE will become.A circle of people who are known and trusted for their advice and help in getting things done here in the Google sphere.If you are stuck and need some advice this is the team that can help you solve your problem.  These folk are all friendly, and active within the PLUSOSPHEREAdd this circle to your profile for a bunch of friendly and helpful advice on ALL THINGS GOOGLE with a very clear and distinct flavor of Google plus as the best social media platform to use for either social or business.PS you will not be added to this circle unless I have made personal use of a tip or advice that you have offered within your personal or business profile.  this is not a free for all circle, but a curated circle of those who have helped me, either knowingly or unknowingly with their  public posts being the source of the help I used.2014-08-27 11:11:30252425
Elizabeth Rose4,337#5 GOOGLE FRIENDS! -  RESHARE if you want to be included *'"*:•:••:*:•-:¦:*  *SHARE AND BE  SHARED*  *:¦:-•:*:••-:•:''''*  This is a super Circle and in it I put together a group of really interesting and active people on Google Plus to add in your circles.I'm talking about the top   Google + users that share unique and original contents.Follow   this advice and grow your G+ community with people that share amazing content that will surprise you:boost   visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!If you want to be added to the next Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles 3 - Share the circle (Publicly) 4 - Add +1 to the post 5 - Follow  your dreams and smile to life.More you share More you get! :)I will thankful if you plus and share this circle!#circles #shared #share #add #friends #circle #share #sharecircle #circleshare2014-08-27 10:03:14486181228
5th Funny Corps0Hope that you have been having a great week on Google+. Thank you for sharing and promoting this and for connecting up with all the great accounts I have included. Great With This Cilcle!!, And Please..Boost your visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!Boost your visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!To be added to the Circle you have to do these simple steps, and get more friend and circle on +Google+  :» Include me in your circles» Click add people and create your circle» +1 this circle» Publicly share this circle to public, your circles and extended circles. ( share the circle and include yourself )» If possible, leave a comment on this circle so I know you have done the three steps above (I say "if possible" as my circle comments more often than not hit the 500 comment limit).»  So I can easily find your share, always publicly share my original shared circle. #circle #circleshare #circlesharing #circles #circleoftheday #circlemeup #circlemenow #bestcircle #bestcircleshare #megacircle #bigcircle #bigcircleshare #funnyvideo #funnyvideos #funnyvideosyoutube #funnyvideoclips #funnyvideooftheday #circle   #circleshare   #circlesharing   #circleshared   #share   #sharedcircles   #sharedcircleoftheday   #engagers   #engagerscircle   #engagerspeople   2014-08-15 08:05:40492338
Carlos Esteban50,970ENGAGERS and other INTERESTING PEOPLE Here you will find a sample of recent and repeat engagers, people that include me in shared circles, and people that publish interesting, useful or amusing posts. Add the circle and check them out. Maybe you like some of them! Feel free to re-share the circle :) Have a great week!2014-08-11 15:57:3149910779158
Nick Warner645Check out these awesome Crowdfunders2014-08-07 16:05:31470001
Mike Elgan3,464,700Follow the Blogs of August!1. Click "Add people" then circle this shared circle (even if you did it before)2. Share with your circlesThe Blogs of August are bloggers who are either trying or have already decided to blog on Google+ exclusively for the month of August (or permanently). 2014-08-06 12:34:462215525
John Kellden29,637Good Evening Dear Googleverse NetizensBeen ages since I shared a circle. This one is put together by +Lynn Keller which means there's good people in it.Pleased to meet you all.2014-08-05 20:33:40201737
Lynn Keller7,237I've put together this  circle which includes a host of engaging, appealing, interesting people from different communities and ongoing conversations. Best to all! #circlecount #sharedcircles #circleshare 2014-08-05 20:16:01374827
Becky Collins13,434Mobile Operator Circle:Circle of very #social #engagerspeople and companiesTo be included in my shares (#sharedcircle), be so kind to:1 - Do +1 t the post2 - Comment the post and specify your "category" (job or interest) Ex: Fashion, SEO, Companies, Social Media Marketing, Sailing, Photography, Bloggers/Writers, Web graphics and design, Italy, Artists, Sport, Finance/Economy ...3 - include the circle among your circles4 - share the circle (include yourself)Improve your popularity, be social be cool !Keep yourself updated, enjoy the Shared Circles Hellenic Alliance, you can share your shared circles inside the upcoming Community:https://plus.google.com/communities/112552559573595396104  #socialmedia  #media  #circles   #circleshare   #circlesharing  #circlecircle   #beckyscircle   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles  #sharedcircleoftheday  +Becky Collins ?2014-07-24 05:16:124763112
Circles Circles Circles37,983SCIENCE CircleDo you want more science in your life? Then, be sure to add these fascinating pages and people who dwell on science daily and are actively engaging.  Enrich your stream.If you are a scientist or someone who primarily posts about science and would like to be included in this circle please make a request in the comments section below.If you have someone or an organization's G+ page to recommend please add their name in the comments section below.Note: To those included in the circle, you were added by the generous recommendation of others  -- their help is deeply appreciated. Your add back and re-share would be also deeply appreciated as it would help spread the word about science.Current Circles  Published Mondays ORIGINAL CONTENT CREATORS : http://goo.gl/o82s0mPublished Wednesdays:BLOGGERS & THEIR BLOGS: http://goo.gl/IkCTLPPublished Thursdays:WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS : http://goo.gl/nFCsGwMEN ARE FROM MARS :  http://goo.gl/tID4ZmPublished Fridays:A CIRCLE TO PAY IT FORWARD:  http://goo.gl/E6v81LOthers CirclesSCIENCE: http://goo.gl/xXWLPtTECHNOLOGY: http://goo.gl/z3z8lh#science       #scienceeveryday       #sciencecircle       #circlesharing  2014-07-17 04:08:1710691432
Doug Hyatt5,196THIS IS MEGA CIRCLE 5    #DOUGHYATTCIRCLESHARING IT ADDED 1,000+ FOLLOWERS FOR ME IN A WEEK.1) ADD THE CIRCLE2) RESHARE THE CIRCLE AND BE SURE TO REMEMBER TO CHECK THE BOX WHICH INCLUDES YOURSELF.3)RESHARE TO PUBLIC EVERY DAY!BE SURE TO COPY THE HASHTAG LIST AND ADD IN YOUR COMMENTS LIKE I HAVE!  IT WILL GIVE YOU MAXIMUM RESULTS#doughyattcirclesharing#circles   #circlemania   #circletoday   #circleplus   #circleshare   #circlesharing   #CircleSharing   #sharecircle   #sharecirclethis   #worldsharecircle   #pleasecircleaddme   #circleoftheday   #newgenerationcircle  #monstercircle   #usacircle   #bestofthecircle   #shareofthecircle   #pleasecircle   #newbestcircl  add circle add circle * best share circle * share please pleaseplease add circle * best share circle * share please please#add #circle   #addcircle   #pleasecircle   #bestcircle   #mostcircle  #bestsharecircle   #newcircle   #top100circle   #best500circle   #top500circle   2014-07-16 15:49:10477151421
Elizabeth Rose1,833GOOGLE FRIENDS! -  RESHARE if you want to be included *'"*:•:••:*:•-:¦:*  *SHARE AND BE  SHARED*  *:¦:-•:*:••-:•:''''*  This is a super Circle and in it I put together a group of really interesting and active people on Google Plus to add in your circles.I'm talking about the top   Google + users that share unique and original contents.Follow   this advice and grow your G+ community with people that share amazing content that will surprise you:boost   visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!If you want to be added to the next Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles 3 - Share the circle (Publicly) 4 - Add +1 to the post 5 - Follow  your dreams and smile to life.More you share More you get! :)I will thankful if you plus and share this circle!#circles #shared #share #add #friends #circle #share #sharecircle #circleshare2014-07-14 05:59:3648712213
Diana Breath2,451GOOGLE FRIENDS! -  RESHARE if you want to be included *'"*:•:••:*:•-:¦:*  *SHARE AND BE  SHARED*  *:¦:-•:*:••-:•:''''*  This is a super Circle and in it I put together a group of really interesting and active people on Google Plus to add in your circles.I'm talking about the top   Google + users that share unique and original contents.Follow   this advice and grow your G+ community with people that share amazing content that will surprise you:boost   visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!If you want to be added to the next Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles 3 - Share the circle (Publicly) 4 - Add +1 to the post 5 - Follow  your dreams and smile to life.More you share More you get! :)I will thankful if you plus and share this circle!#circles #shared #share #add #friends #circle #share #sharecircle #circleshare2014-07-14 05:39:3348019518
Richard Green74,896Engagers Showcase Circle, July 12, 2014If I sent you a notification, it means that you are included in my Engagers Showcase Circle. “Showcase” means that you are invited to leave a comment (on the original post) with a link to one of your own posts, which ideally should be one of your best recent posts.This circle consists of people who have engaged with one of my recent posts in the form of +1s, comments and reshares.Everyone mentioned below is also included in the circle.Thistlehttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/CKB7ks1VWZ3“Star Gate” by +Gary Matthews https://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/ean83YFix7sBubble (reshared from +Ann-Marie Jurek)https://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/PkybKJfXv14Gabriel's Hornhttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/MXNTuq8ZEBPHibiscus flowerhttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/Xsmw62v98CHStackable 12-sided dicehttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/5mLoukdZAA5Astronomical book priceshttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/S15LTNxJA9GPyritohedral symmetryhttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/XQUYMrKGiAQSt Stephen's Basilica (reshared from +Laura Orange)https://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/ApnSMBsUWFeCircular Pascal Arrays and Fibonacci numbershttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/NVqYKoRVnHg“Fungi tree” by +Tom Beddardhttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/J6S4bDc6QwQAs always, reshares of this circle are appreciated, and I look forward to seeing everyone's links. Thanks for reading my posts!2014-07-12 05:31:36476209123224
Elizabeth Rose138GOOGLE FRIENDS! - You're in this  Circle 5   -  RESHARE if you want to be included *'"*:•:••:*:•-:¦:*  *SHARE AND BE  SHARED*  *:¦:-•:*:••-:•:''''*  This is a super Circle and in it I put together a group of really interesting and active people on Google Plus to add in your circles.I'm talking about the top   Google + users that share unique and original contents.Follow   this advice and grow your G+ community with people that share amazing content that will surprise you:boost   visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!If you want to be added to the next Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles 3 - Share the circle (Publicly) 4 - Add +1 to the post 5 - Follow  your dreams and smile to life.More you share More you get! :)I will thankful if you plus and share this circle!#circles #shared #share #add #friends #circle #share #sharecircle #circleshare2014-07-06 17:35:214878613
Diana Breath1,874GOOGLE FRIENDS! - You're in this  Circle 8   -  RESHARE if you want to be included *'"*:•:••:*:•-:¦:*  *SHARE AND BE  SHARED*  *:¦:-•:*:••-:•:''''*  This is a super Circle and in it I put together a group of really interesting and active people on Google Plus to add in your circles.I'm talking about the top   Google + users that share unique and original contents.Follow   this advice and grow your G+ community with people that share amazing content that will surprise you:boost   visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!If you want to be added to the next Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles 3 - Share the circle (Publicly) 4 - Add +1 to the post 5 - Follow  your dreams and smile to life.More you share More you get! :)I will thankful if you plus and share this circle!#circles #shared #share #add #friends #circle #share #sharecircle #circleshare2014-07-06 17:31:0548011615
Elizabeth Rose138GOOGLE FRIENDS! - You're in this  Circle 9   -  RESHARE if you want to be included *'"*:•:••:*:•-:¦:*  *SHARE AND BE  SHARED*  *:¦:-•:*:••-:•:''''*  This is a super Circle and in it I put together a group of really interesting and active people on Google Plus to add in your circles.I'm talking about the top   Google + users that share unique and original contents.Follow   this advice and grow your G+ community with people that share amazing content that will surprise you:boost   visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!If you want to be added to the next Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles 3 - Share the circle (Publicly) 4 - Add +1 to the post 5 - Follow  your dreams and smile to life.More you share More you get! :)I will thankful if you plus and share this circle!#circles #shared #share #add #friends #circle #share #sharecircle #circleshare2014-07-03 07:36:364878412
Diana Breath1,600GOOGLE FRIENDS! - You're in this  Circle 8   -  RESHARE if you want to be included *'"*:•:••:*:•-:¦:*  *SHARE AND BE  SHARED*  *:¦:-•:*:••-:•:''''*  This is a super Circle and in it I put together a group of really interesting and active people on Google Plus to add in your circles.I'm talking about the top   Google + users that share unique and original contents.Follow   this advice and grow your G+ community with people that share amazing content that will surprise you:boost   visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!If you want to be added to the next Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles 3 - Share the circle (Publicly) 4 - Add +1 to the post 5 - Follow  your dreams and smile to life.More you share More you get! :)I will thankful if you plus and share this circle!#circles #shared #share #add #friends #circle #share #sharecircle #circleshare2014-07-03 07:16:4148113516
Freizeit.ch2,752This is our 2nd FINEST SWISS CIRCLE !We are sharing this #CIRCLE in order to give you a powerful Google Plus experience and most of all, this circle contains Interactiv Googlers. In this #Circle are travelors, photograph and lots more.Sharing this cirlce allows you to gain more followers and specialy #Swiss followers.If you would like to get inside this circle, you just have to do this 4 simple steps:1. Add us !2. +1 this post3. share this post4. Comment on this post, so we can add you on the next circle. You have to share this circle in #Public so we  can easily find your share.#circleshare   #circlesharing #swiss #schweiz #switzerland #circle #sharing #publicsharedcircles #suisse   #circle   #circleshare   #sharecircle   #circleoftheday   #sport   #tips   #powercircle #sharedcircle #topsharedcircle #circleoftheday #sharedcircle #trustinme #circlesharing #circleshare #circles         #circleoftheday #sharedpubliccircles #sharedcircles #share #vipsnowballcircle 2014-07-01 15:50:4649613815
Elizabeth Rose138GOOGLE FRIENDS! - You're in this  Circle 5   -  RESHARE if you want to be included *'"*:•:••:*:•-:¦:*  *SHARE AND BE  SHARED*  *:¦:-•:*:••-:•:''''*  This is a super Circle and in it I put together a group of really interesting and active people on Google Plus to add in your circles.I'm talking about the top   Google + users that share unique and original contents.Follow   this advice and grow your G+ community with people that share amazing content that will surprise you:boost   visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!If you want to be added to the next Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles 3 - Share the circle (Publicly) 4 - Add +1 to the post 5 - Follow  your dreams and smile to life.More you share More you get! :)Thanks!#circles #shared #share #add #friends #circle #share #sharecircle #circleshare2014-06-29 10:48:5648711413
Diana Breath196GOOGLE FRIENDS! - You're in this  Circle 8   -  RESHARE if you want to be included *'"*:•:••:*:•-:¦:*  *SHARE AND BE  SHARED*  *:¦:-•:*:••-:•:''''*  This is a super Circle and in it I put together a group of really interesting and active people on Google Plus to add in your circles.I'm talking about the top   Google + users that share unique and original contents.Follow   this advice and grow your G+ community with people that share amazing content that will surprise you:boost   visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!If you want to be added to the next Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles 3 - Share the circle (Publicly) 4 - Add +1 to the post 5 - Follow  your dreams and smile to life.More you share More you get! :)Thanks!#circles #shared #share #add #friends #circle #share #sharecircle #circleshare2014-06-28 15:15:2948116724
Karla Clark43,230+Circle Share Experiment 2014-06-28 01:44:56496422644
Elizabeth Rose138GOOGLE FRIENDS! - You're in this  Circle 5   -  RESHARE if you want to be included *'"*:•:••:*:•-:¦:*  *SHARE AND BE  SHARED*  *:¦:-•:*:••-:•:''''*  This is a super Circle and in it I put together a group of really interesting and active people on Google Plus to add in your circles.I'm talking about the top   Google + users that share unique and original contents.Follow   this advice and grow your G+ community with people that share amazing content that will surprise you:boost   visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!If you want to be added to the next Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles 3 - Share the circle (Publicly) 4 - Add +1 to the post 5 - Follow  your dreams and smile to life.More you share More you get! :)Thanks!#circles #shared #share #add #friends #circle #share #sharecircle #circleshare2014-06-27 15:24:3748715817
Freizeit.ch2,460This is our FINEST SWISS CIRCLE !We are sharing this #CIRCLE in order to give you a powerful Google Plus experience and most of all, this circle contains #Swiss   Googlers. In this #Circle are swiss travelors, photograph and lots more.Sharing this cirlce allows you to gain more followers and specialy #Swiss followers.If you would like to get inside this circle, you just have to do this 4 simple steps:1. Add us !2. +1 this post3. share this post4. Comment on this post, so we can add you on the next circle. You have to share this circle in #Public so we  can easily find your share.#circleshare   #circlesharing #swiss #schweiz #switzerland #circle #sharing #publicsharedcircles #suisse   #circle   #circleshare   #sharecircle   #circleoftheday   #sport   #tips   #powercircle #sharedcircle #topsharedcircle #circleoftheday #sharedcircle #trustinme #circlesharing #circleshare #circles         #circleoftheday #sharedpubliccircles #sharedcircles #share 2014-06-27 09:20:5348424814
Richard Green73,445Engagers Showcase Circle, June 26, 2014 (Anniversary Edition)If I sent you a notification, it means that you are included in my Engagers Showcase Circle. “Showcase” means that you are invited to leave a comment (on the original post) with a link to one of your own posts, which ideally should be one of your best recent posts.This circle consists of people who have engaged with one of my recent posts in the form of +1s, comments and reshares.Everyone mentioned below is also included in the circle.24, the Monster, and quantum gravityhttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/9sKMLRJYjnaTiled Dome (reshared from +BJ Bolender)https://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/7u73y5FzEZYMonths with five weekendshttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/HWMeFjECa1rThe sandpile grouphttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/QezmLcTCTMJ“Cheshire Cat” by Ross Hilberthttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/YfjVmetdnHwSunrise (reshared from +Mark Hurn)https://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/6QQjTBviHeiRex and the girls, through Glasshttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/dEPuHiZ5BFo“Dancing Triangles” by Richard Kenyonhttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/CFZ8eFf5WqXWords that are hard to rhymehttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/c3n9jFam6FEFlowers on my drivewayhttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/ZATFKnVorZPDragonfly (reshared from +Ralph Reichert)https://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/EggWRRfPm7JCircumference and area of a circlehttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/Ld2X7WoSbCRMassive Hangovers and the Harmonic Serieshttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/XZGvNePaAt9A sheaf of pencilshttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/EcdcRWsdbPSSolstice in Iceland (reshared from +2014-06-26 20:15:03483196118234
Pinterest Women Fashion4,546Another great circle shared with me by an amazing G+'er!!This circle will add great, amazing, wonderful, and awesome content to you feed plus your page will receive massive engagement and ppplllluuuussss OnEs!!!   Welcome to +circle your circle with circles!!!!!  :DBoost your visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!To be added to the Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - include me in your circles2 - Click add people and create your circle3 - share the circle (include yourself)4 - add +1 to the postMore you share more you get! #circle   #circleshare   #share   #sharecircle   #fashion   #fashionblogger   #fashionphotography   #woman   #beautiful  2014-06-26 17:53:08496252332
Elizabeth Rose138GOOGLE FRIENDS! - You're in this  Circle 5   -  RESHARE if you want to be included *'"*:•:••:*:•-:¦:*  *SHARE AND BE  SHARED*  *:¦:-•:*:••-:•:''''*  This is a super Circle and in it I put together a group of really interesting and active people on Google Plus to add in your circles.I'm talking about the top   Google + users that share unique and original contents.Follow   this advice and grow your G+ community with people that share amazing content that will surprise you:boost   visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!If you want to be added to the next Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles 3 - Share the circle (Publicly) 4 - Add +1 to the post 5 - Follow  your dreams and smile to life.More you share More you get! :)Thanks!#circles #shared #share #add #friends #circle #share #sharecircle #circleshare2014-06-26 03:30:5148713615
The Shoe Spa237Another great circle shared with me by an amazing G+'er!!This circle will add great, amazing, wonderful, and awesome content to you feed plus your page will receive massive engagement and ppplllluuuussss OnEs!!!   Welcome to +circle your circle with circles!!!!!  :DBoost your visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!To be added to the Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - include me in your circles2 - Click add people and create your circle3 - share the circle (include yourself)4 - add +1 to the postMore you share more you get!#circle   #circles   #circleshare   #circlesharing   #circleshared   #share   #sharecircle   #fashion   #fashionblogger   #fashionphotography   #woman   #women   #pinterest  2014-06-25 18:54:5349910510
Pinterest Women Fashion4,448Another great circle shared with me by an amazing G+'er!!This circle will add great, amazing, wonderful, and awesome content to you feed plus your page will receive massive engagement and ppplllluuuussss OnEs!!!   Welcome to +circle your circle with circles!!!!!  :DBoost your visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!To be added to the Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - include me in your circles2 - Click add people and create your circle3 - share the circle (include yourself)4 - add +1 to the postMore you share more you get! #circle   #circles   #circleshare   #circlesharing   #circleshared   #share   #sharecircle   #fashion   #fashionblogger   #fashionphotography   #woman   #women   #pinterest  2014-06-25 14:10:06496212030
Pinterest Women Fashion4,376Another great circle shared with me by an amazing G+'er!!This circle will add great, amazing, wonderful, and awesome content to you feed plus your page will receive massive engagement and ppplllluuuussss OnEs!!!   Welcome to +circle your circle with circles!!!!!  :DBoost your visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!To be added to the Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - include me in your circles2 - Click add people and create your circle3 - share the circle (include yourself)4 - add +1 to the postMore you share more you get! #circle   #circles   #circleshare   #share   #sharecircle   #fashion   #model   #woman   #man   #fashionphotography  2014-06-24 12:50:56497191121
Joe Martinez61,582My Favorite People & Brand Pages on Google+ - June 2014All these people are amazing and fun (hence why I follow them)! :) If you are looking for people to follow then this is definitely the circle for you! There is a little bit of everything here! From people who love photography, tech, music, art... the list is endless! Enjoy!!  Some of the awesomesauce in this circle:  +Hanna Silver, +DJ Spin, +Tanya Muse Diaz, +Tiffany Henry, +Ant J, +anthony feliciano, +jessi roman, +Bronwyn McGuckin, +Renata Sherwin, +Cynthia K Seymour, +Natascha Otero, +Daria Musk, +Kamal Tailor, +Emily Jiménez, +Carms Perez, +Christopher Lira, +Eleanor Hoh, +Chris Pirillo, +2014-06-23 04:01:3650139641
Pinterest Women Fashion4,163Another great circle shared with me by an amazing G+'er!!This circle will add great, amazing, wonderful, and awesome content to you feed plus your page will receive massive engagement and ppplllluuuussss OnEs!!!   Welcome to +circle your circle with circles!!!!!  :DBoost your visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!To be added to the Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - include me in your circles2 - Click add people and create your circle3 - share the circle (include yourself)4 - add +1 to the postMore you share more you get! #circle   #circleshare   #circles   #sharecircle   #fashion  2014-06-22 09:18:32496301534
Circles Circles Circles35,732SCIENCE CircleDo you want more science in your life? Then, be sure to add these fascinating pages and people who dwell on science daily and are actively engaging.  Enrich your stream.If you are a scientist or someone who primarily posts about science and would like to be included in this circle please make a request in the comments section below.If you have someone or an organization's G+ page to recommend please add their name in the comments section below.Note: To those included in the circle, you were added by the generous recommendation of others  -- their help is deeply appreciated. Your add back and re-share would be also deeply appreciated as it would help spread the word about science.Current Circles  Published Mondays ORIGINAL CONTENT CREATORS : http://goo.gl/RPEbdlPublished Wednesdays:BLOGGERS & THEIR BLOGS: http://goo.gl/fmOadpPublished Thursdays:WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS : http://goo.gl/Oyg8RBMEN ARE FROM MARS :  http://goo.gl/9NT51gPublished Fridays:A CIRCLE TO PAY IT FORWARD:  http://goo.gl/5mT3s0Others CirclesSCIENCE: http://goo.gl/AV4WvdTECHNOLOGY: http://goo.gl/YANzuo#science     #scienceeveryday     #sciencecircle     #circlesharing  2014-06-19 02:05:331065924
Dina Tika417Here is a group of Active Engagers, Circle Sharers, Awesome Plus Oners, and Cool People on Google Plus!   Circle Sharing is an awesome way to increase your followers and active engagers on your profile. Some of my favorite people that I've met here on Google + through Circle Sharing.    Want to be in the next Circle of Awesomeness? Follow the Steps Below!  ☛ Add the circle ☛ Share in the Public ☛ Plus 1 the Post. ☛ Comment.2014-06-17 13:08:21500003
Pinterest Women Fashion3,696Another great circle shared with me by an amazing G+'er!!This circle will add great, amazing, wonderful, and awesome content to you feed plus your page will receive massive engagement and ppplllluuuussss OnEs!!!   Welcome to +circle your circle with circles!!!!!  :DBoost your visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!To be added to the Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - include me in your circles2 - Click add people and create your circle3 - share the circle (include yourself)4 - add +1 to the postMore you share more you get! #circle   #circleshare   #circlesharing   #circleoftheday   #circleshared   #circles   #share   #sharecircle   #sharecircles   #fashion   #fashionblogger   #fashionblog   #woman   #pinterest   #womens   #women   #fashionphotography   #fashionpost   #fashionpin   #fashionpic  2014-06-14 21:52:3449421826

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Most comments: 500

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2014-10-25 23:12:25 (500 comments, 237 reshares, 916 +1s)Open 

It's come to my attention that I haven't yet made a public statement specifically about #GamerGate. But as it's come up in a few threads, at this point, I think it's about time that I made my position on this matter absolutely clear.

"GamerGate" is a lie from beginning to end. It has exactly three parts to it: it has its core, which is and has been from the very first day about allowing and preserving a "gamer culture" which is actively hostile to women (among others), and preserving it by means of threats, harassment, and violence towards anyone who ever suggests that it should be otherwise.

It has its bullshit layer, which is that it is about ethics in journalism. If it were about ethics in journalism, then you would see people talking about actual ethical questions in journalism, and you would have seen it from the beginning. But from its first... more »

Most reshares: 237

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2014-10-25 23:12:25 (500 comments, 237 reshares, 916 +1s)Open 

It's come to my attention that I haven't yet made a public statement specifically about #GamerGate. But as it's come up in a few threads, at this point, I think it's about time that I made my position on this matter absolutely clear.

"GamerGate" is a lie from beginning to end. It has exactly three parts to it: it has its core, which is and has been from the very first day about allowing and preserving a "gamer culture" which is actively hostile to women (among others), and preserving it by means of threats, harassment, and violence towards anyone who ever suggests that it should be otherwise.

It has its bullshit layer, which is that it is about ethics in journalism. If it were about ethics in journalism, then you would see people talking about actual ethical questions in journalism, and you would have seen it from the beginning. But from its first... more »

Most plusones: 916

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2014-10-25 23:12:25 (500 comments, 237 reshares, 916 +1s)Open 

It's come to my attention that I haven't yet made a public statement specifically about #GamerGate. But as it's come up in a few threads, at this point, I think it's about time that I made my position on this matter absolutely clear.

"GamerGate" is a lie from beginning to end. It has exactly three parts to it: it has its core, which is and has been from the very first day about allowing and preserving a "gamer culture" which is actively hostile to women (among others), and preserving it by means of threats, harassment, and violence towards anyone who ever suggests that it should be otherwise.

It has its bullshit layer, which is that it is about ethics in journalism. If it were about ethics in journalism, then you would see people talking about actual ethical questions in journalism, and you would have seen it from the beginning. But from its first... more »

Latest 50 posts

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2014-10-29 20:32:55 (45 comments, 24 reshares, 162 +1s)Open 

Have you ever asked yourself the basic question, Why are goblins so terrible at everything? Presumably the answer to this is "no" unless you've regularly played a fairly old-school edition of D&D or M:tG or some other game that uses goblins as your sort of generic, low-level antagonist which you're supposed to rob, pillage, enslave, or otherwise reenact colonial history upon. But if you have, you may have asked yourself: in a world so red in tooth and claw, how the heck does a species known for its inventions blowing up, for being eaten by every predator in sight, and for nonetheless being mindlessly aggressive in battle actually survive?

I am grateful that Max Gladstone has analyzed this through the lens of evolutionary biology, and revealed to us the terrifying truth:

Goblins are a fungus.

Via +Jordan Peacock.

Have you ever asked yourself the basic question, Why are goblins so terrible at everything? Presumably the answer to this is "no" unless you've regularly played a fairly old-school edition of D&D or M:tG or some other game that uses goblins as your sort of generic, low-level antagonist which you're supposed to rob, pillage, enslave, or otherwise reenact colonial history upon. But if you have, you may have asked yourself: in a world so red in tooth and claw, how the heck does a species known for its inventions blowing up, for being eaten by every predator in sight, and for nonetheless being mindlessly aggressive in battle actually survive?

I am grateful that Max Gladstone has analyzed this through the lens of evolutionary biology, and revealed to us the terrifying truth:

Goblins are a fungus.

Via +Jordan Peacock.___

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2014-10-29 19:06:06 (96 comments, 56 reshares, 391 +1s)Open 

Real QA engineers will also order 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 beers, μπύρα, בירה, , and 🍺, just to be safe.

QA Engineer walks into a bar ...___Real QA engineers will also order 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 beers, μπύρα, בירה, , and 🍺, just to be safe.

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2014-10-27 20:22:03 (48 comments, 8 reshares, 76 +1s)Open 

The Trust Project, spearheaded by +Richard Gingras and Sally Lehrman, is a campaign to improve the ethics and standards of journalism across the board, and here +Jeff Jarvis adds his own suggestions. I think this is a set of fantastic ideas and we should work to see them implemented everywhere.

While I'm not a professional journalist myself, I do write for a public audience, and I'm going to spend some time with their recommendations to see how I can implement them for myself as well. These are a standard towards which we should all strive.

(For those who have been looking for something serious about ethics in journalism: here's a great place to start)

Building trust in news. Great to see +Jeff Jarvis  continue the Trust Project conversation and add to it. Let's move it forward.___The Trust Project, spearheaded by +Richard Gingras and Sally Lehrman, is a campaign to improve the ethics and standards of journalism across the board, and here +Jeff Jarvis adds his own suggestions. I think this is a set of fantastic ideas and we should work to see them implemented everywhere.

While I'm not a professional journalist myself, I do write for a public audience, and I'm going to spend some time with their recommendations to see how I can implement them for myself as well. These are a standard towards which we should all strive.

(For those who have been looking for something serious about ethics in journalism: here's a great place to start)

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2014-10-27 01:50:39 (110 comments, 32 reshares, 264 +1s)Open 

I am really disappointed that this is not an actual book. I would keep it on my desk at work, just to alarm the new people.

The source is here, and this entire blog is full of awesome: http://scarfolk.blogspot.com.au/2014/10/ritual-invasive-mind-control-mayflower.html

___I am really disappointed that this is not an actual book. I would keep it on my desk at work, just to alarm the new people.

The source is here, and this entire blog is full of awesome: http://scarfolk.blogspot.com.au/2014/10/ritual-invasive-mind-control-mayflower.html

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2014-10-26 21:36:14 (84 comments, 27 reshares, 197 +1s)Open 

This is a rather strange op-ed, and I'm not really sure what I think about it. Charles C. W. Cooke is a noted columnist from the right, a staff writer for the National Review. (And I mean quite far right, in that there have been some questions about his association with Holocaust denial in the past) And today he's writing an op-ed in the New York Times about gun rights: he argues that in America, black people have historically not had equal access to guns, even (especially) when these guns were their sole means of defense against white violence, and the current extreme whiteness and implicit racism of the NRA (he calls out Wayne LaPierre in particular) is pushing even further against them.

What's interesting about this piece is that it isn't reading to me like a standard let's-troll-everyone piece. He's actually written a fairly serious and honest appraisal of the history... more »

This is a rather strange op-ed, and I'm not really sure what I think about it. Charles C. W. Cooke is a noted columnist from the right, a staff writer for the National Review. (And I mean quite far right, in that there have been some questions about his association with Holocaust denial in the past) And today he's writing an op-ed in the New York Times about gun rights: he argues that in America, black people have historically not had equal access to guns, even (especially) when these guns were their sole means of defense against white violence, and the current extreme whiteness and implicit racism of the NRA (he calls out Wayne LaPierre in particular) is pushing even further against them.

What's interesting about this piece is that it isn't reading to me like a standard let's-troll-everyone piece. He's actually written a fairly serious and honest appraisal of the history of black gun ownership in the US and its relationship to racial violence, from the 18th century to the rise of gun control laws in the 1980's. He even ends with this:

"[T]he famous photograph of [Malcolm X] standing at the window, rifle in hand, insisting on black liberation “by any means necessary,” is about as American as it gets. It should be celebrated just like the “Don’t tread on me” Gadsden flag. By not making that connection, the movement is losing touch with one of its greatest triumphs and forsaking a prime illustration of why its cause is so just and so crucial."

What's fascinating about this is that we are used to seeing gun ownership arguments in the US ultimately have a very strong racial subtext, of "white people need guns to protect themselves from black people and keep the black people in line." This isn't even me saying that: Cooke's op-ed is quite explicit about it as well, and any history book that covers the history of either Reconstruction, the post-Reconstruction era, or the history of guns in the US will tell you about that in great detail. 

Here we're seeing a pro-gun argument from a different side. In fact, this argument feels exactly like something Huey Newton would have written 40 years ago. (Well, modulo a rather different writing style) 

So I'm not sharing this to either advocate or oppose its view, but to note that we're seeing a branch of the argument over guns which we rarely see very publicly in the US: advocacy of guns as, essentially, protection against the failure of the state monopoly on force, but seen as a genuine universal for all the citizens. It's uncommon, and it made me think, and so I pass it on to you.___

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2014-10-26 20:07:55 (41 comments, 47 reshares, 454 +1s)Open 

I second +Don McArthur on this: Whoa. 

Whoa:___I second +Don McArthur on this: Whoa. 

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2014-10-26 07:03:58 (75 comments, 41 reshares, 135 +1s)Open 

This is a really interesting summary of the ideas behind the Go programming language, and why the decisions were made the way they were. I feel like I have a much better understanding of its way of thinking after this.

I still haven't gotten around to learning it or using it, but at some point I'll definitely have to.

(Although I'm still not fully convinced about the decision to use garbage collection. I'm very, very suspicious of runtimes and probably always will be. That includes most of the kernel as well. Programming carrier-class search engines: the way to paranoia about any part of the system you don't personally control.)

Via the man himself, +Rob Pike.

I've lived enough of life to know this paper saved my career.   Pragmatic industrial languages like Go come along once in a half generation or less.  I'm glad it came my way.

http://talks.golang.org/2012/splash.article___This is a really interesting summary of the ideas behind the Go programming language, and why the decisions were made the way they were. I feel like I have a much better understanding of its way of thinking after this.

I still haven't gotten around to learning it or using it, but at some point I'll definitely have to.

(Although I'm still not fully convinced about the decision to use garbage collection. I'm very, very suspicious of runtimes and probably always will be. That includes most of the kernel as well. Programming carrier-class search engines: the way to paranoia about any part of the system you don't personally control.)

Via the man himself, +Rob Pike.

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2014-10-25 23:12:25 (500 comments, 237 reshares, 916 +1s)Open 

It's come to my attention that I haven't yet made a public statement specifically about #GamerGate. But as it's come up in a few threads, at this point, I think it's about time that I made my position on this matter absolutely clear.

"GamerGate" is a lie from beginning to end. It has exactly three parts to it: it has its core, which is and has been from the very first day about allowing and preserving a "gamer culture" which is actively hostile to women (among others), and preserving it by means of threats, harassment, and violence towards anyone who ever suggests that it should be otherwise.

It has its bullshit layer, which is that it is about ethics in journalism. If it were about ethics in journalism, then you would see people talking about actual ethical questions in journalism, and you would have seen it from the beginning. But from its first... more »

It's come to my attention that I haven't yet made a public statement specifically about #GamerGate. But as it's come up in a few threads, at this point, I think it's about time that I made my position on this matter absolutely clear.

"GamerGate" is a lie from beginning to end. It has exactly three parts to it: it has its core, which is and has been from the very first day about allowing and preserving a "gamer culture" which is actively hostile to women (among others), and preserving it by means of threats, harassment, and violence towards anyone who ever suggests that it should be otherwise.

It has its bullshit layer, which is that it is about ethics in journalism. If it were about ethics in journalism, then you would see people talking about actual ethical questions in journalism, and you would have seen it from the beginning. But from its first days, its only ties to this notion were the use of bizarre (and provably false) accusations from Zoe Quinn's ex-boyfriend to accuse game journalists of being in a cabal to destroy the "gamer culture" of its core layer, and one listserv thread (as covered on http://goo.gl/3B0wcc) where professional journalists did, indeed, have a serious discussion about journalistic ethics: about whether the newsworthiness of this blog post outweighed the potential harm to its subjects. But rather than portray this as journalists doing what ethical journalists do, Milo Yiannopoulos instead portrayed this as a conspiracy by journalists to support the Secret Feminist Cabal. That is, his article itself was bollocks from beginning to end, as has been the entire argument.

And it has its fellow-travelers, people who either actually believe the bullshit layer or do so vocally and disingenuously in order to confuse others and add a shroud of legitimacy.

How do I know that this is true, and that there is not a legitimate discourse mixed in with the violence and so on? That I am not unfairly tarring all of GamerGate's proponents with the same brush?

It's really simple. I have not once seen a proponent of GamerGate actually distance themselves from the hatred and violence, or excoriate it, or say that it is fundamentally wrong and that they do not agree with either its means or its ends.

What I have seen is lots of people coming up with ways in which they, too, are being harassed, and so claiming a false equivalency. I got to watch an excellent example of this on one of my own threads earlier today; there, one of its proponents argued that the movement being called a bunch of scum (as it had been by someone else) is a form of harassment, and perfect evidence of how “there are trolls on both sides.” Yet he elides the difference between that and people being chased out of their homes, people waking up every day to death threats, to real and meaningful impact on people's lives. This is not a serious argument: it is an attempt to lie and to confuse the issue.

The other argument I have kept hearing is “I never distance myself from acts I have never associated myself with.” That is, people claim that they are under no obligation to distance themselves from the acts of the rest of GamerGate, even while they hoist its banner. Sorry: when a movement is known, first and foremost, for its violence, then to associate yourself with it does associate you with its acts. You cannot say “I support al-Qaeda. They’re really about the US military presence in Saudi Arabia,” or “Hey, the KKK has done a lot of great community service work,” and not thereby associate yourself with everything those organizations are really known for. Sorry; you lie down with pigs, you’ll get covered in mud. You keep doing that, and people will have every reason to assume that you like it.

The fact is that there is no meaningful way to "recapture" the GamerGate tag for anything honest, both because it was never tied to that in the first place, and because it has become far too polluted to do so. If someone actually feels like having a conversation about ethics in journalism, they should by all means do so -- depending on what they say, I may even support them in this. But they should not do so in the company of villains, because that simply obscures any real discussion they might want to have with filth.

This is not behavior worthy of human beings. It is vile, it is violent, and if there is anything legitimate at all inside GamerGate, it needs to get its ass out of there right now and clearly separate itself from the bloodthirsty mob. Because right now, anyone who walks around with that label is painting themselves as being open supporters of it, and anyone who supports that is someone that I wouldn't piss on if they were on fire.___

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2014-10-25 04:16:14 (24 comments, 41 reshares, 284 +1s)Open 

In science news, the genome of a man who lived 45,000 years ago in Siberia has been successfully sequenced. There are quite a few fascinating things we can learn from this.

First, his DNA is more like that of non-Africans than that of Africans, but it is no more like Europeans than Asians: that is, he is part of the original migration out of Africa which ultimately branched off into all of the non-African branches of humanity, but before any of that branching occurred. We have here a genetic record of that first group of people. 

Second, his DNA contains much longer sequences of Neanderthal DNA than that of modern non-African humans, indicating that their intermixing with the Neanderthals was much more recent. In fact, we can use this to estimate the date of this mixing as being between 50,000 and 60,000 years ago. 

And third, this DNA offers good evidence that modernn... more »

In science news, the genome of a man who lived 45,000 years ago in Siberia has been successfully sequenced. There are quite a few fascinating things we can learn from this.

First, his DNA is more like that of non-Africans than that of Africans, but it is no more like Europeans than Asians: that is, he is part of the original migration out of Africa which ultimately branched off into all of the non-African branches of humanity, but before any of that branching occurred. We have here a genetic record of that first group of people. 

Second, his DNA contains much longer sequences of Neanderthal DNA than that of modern non-African humans, indicating that their intermixing with the Neanderthals was much more recent. In fact, we can use this to estimate the date of this mixing as being between 50,000 and 60,000 years ago. 

And third, this DNA offers good evidence that modern non-African populations are in fact descended from this group, which seems to have moved out of Africa around 60,000 years ago, interbred with the Neanderthals, and spread widely. This suggests that either these were the first humans out of Africa, or that the earlier out-of-Africa migrations (some of which are hypothesized to have happened as early as 200,000 years ago) failed, and modern humans outside of our ancestral continent all came from this last, successful, exodus. 

This is the second major finding using this set of techniques for getting DNA out of very old human fossils, the first being the sequencing of a Neanderthal genome last year. Hopefully, this method will continue to prove useful in other fossils, and we'll end up with a much clearer picture of how humans evolved and spread across the world.

So why do I find this interesting? Because there were so many lives and civilizations (I use this term in the loose sense, not the technical anthropological sense) in our distant past. If there were indeed multiple out-of-Africa migrations, as there appear to have been multiple migrations into the Americas, then our society is built upon an incredibly rich set of layers of ruins of older societies still. We have a chance to imagine the worlds of people who arrived in areas genuinely never encountered by humans before; of people who arrived in areas which had been inhabited long before, but later returned to the wild; and perhaps even of people who arrived and encountered other humans, profoundly different from themselves. Our history contains all the elements of good science fiction.___

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2014-10-25 02:38:52 (314 comments, 49 reshares, 296 +1s)Open 

A few days ago, +David Brin shared a post about GamerGate, in which he opined that this is a problem which would be solved by greater transparency: "It is only anonymity that lets bastards like this operate," he says, "Accountability is the light that sears most kinds of badguys, whether they operate in criminality or in high places."

I disagree with his analysis, and this disagreement is rooted in part in my experience of information-revelation policies on social networks. (e.g., name requirements) While there was an expectation that people would behave better when their activity was tied to their own identity, as that identity is presumably a highly valuable and non-renewable resource to them, the evidence weighed against it: people seem quite willing to be jerks under their own identities.

In practice, the forced revelation of information makes individual... more »

A few days ago, +David Brin shared a post about GamerGate, in which he opined that this is a problem which would be solved by greater transparency: "It is only anonymity that lets bastards like this operate," he says, "Accountability is the light that sears most kinds of badguys, whether they operate in criminality or in high places."

I disagree with his analysis, and this disagreement is rooted in part in my experience of information-revelation policies on social networks. (e.g., name requirements) While there was an expectation that people would behave better when their activity was tied to their own identity, as that identity is presumably a highly valuable and non-renewable resource to them, the evidence weighed against it: people seem quite willing to be jerks under their own identities.

In practice, the forced revelation of information makes individual privilege and power more important. When everyone has to play with their cards on the table, so to speak, then people who feel like they can be themselves without consequence do so freely -- these generally being people with support groups of like-minded people, and who are neither economically nor physically vulnerable. People who are more vulnerable to consequences use concealment as a method of protection: it makes it possible to speak freely about controversial subjects, or even about any subjects, without fear of harassment.

(A classic experiment which you can easily replicate is to change your profile photo to that of a young woman for a few weeks. Change nothing else, even your name, and see what happens to your interaction pattern. I've seen quite a few people run this test and the results are, shall we say, quite visible)

GamerGate is one example after another of why transparency has asymmetric effects. The worst-case consequence for members of the mobs is fairly minimal: they won't face social ostracism by their friends (who after all, support them), they are highly unlikely to be placed in any physical danger (the police will protect them), and their jobs are not likely to be affected either -- and if they are, they can find others. Conversely, the threats against women in the field were physical and real, and (as you'll see if you ever experience the real ability of local and federal law enforcement to deal with harassment and threat cases, for manifold reasons) there is reason to believe that they do not have access to adequate police protection.

Essentially, transparency of this sort removes a tool which is normally used to equalize power gradients within a society. So while the notion of "sousveillance" (at the heart of Brin's vision of a transparent society, where everyone has surveillance powers over everyone else) as applied to the powerful is important, I would always apply two strong qualifiers to it:

(1) Power is not a single real number; some people are powerful on some axes but very vulnerable along others. (cf the recent leak of nude photos of celebrities)

(2) Transparency directed at the powerless increases power gradients, whereas transparency directed at the powerful decreases it. 

Which is to say, a misdirected transparency catalyzes further oppression, rather than relieves it. And I think that the example you give here falls precisely into that category: the perpetrators of GamerGate are relatively immune to consequences compared to its victims, and so transparency would heighten rather than relieve the problem.

(This post is adapted from a comment I made on that thread)___

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2014-10-24 20:20:31 (35 comments, 75 reshares, 495 +1s)Open 

+Alan Eustace is one hell of an engineer, and even more one hell of a leader. (I've had the pleasure of reporting to him in the past) He is also mad as a bag of clams, apparently, because he just strapped himself to a balloon and broke the human flight altitude record, then parachuted down and became the second human to break the sound barrier on his own.

I knew he was a serious parachutist and pilot, but I didn't expect this. 

Also, look at how he's flying in the pic and in the video -- unlike Baumgartner, who ascended in basically a small space capsule and parachuted out of it, Alan's craft was basically a spacesuit with the balloon attached to his back. That had to be an epic ride up.

This is pretty fantastically awesome. Also, Alan, we're expecting some more video soon. :)

+Alan Eustace is one hell of an engineer, and even more one hell of a leader. (I've had the pleasure of reporting to him in the past) He is also mad as a bag of clams, apparently, because he just strapped himself to a balloon and broke the human flight altitude record, then parachuted down and became the second human to break the sound barrier on his own.

I knew he was a serious parachutist and pilot, but I didn't expect this. 

Also, look at how he's flying in the pic and in the video -- unlike Baumgartner, who ascended in basically a small space capsule and parachuted out of it, Alan's craft was basically a spacesuit with the balloon attached to his back. That had to be an epic ride up.

This is pretty fantastically awesome. Also, Alan, we're expecting some more video soon. :)___

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2014-10-23 19:51:55 (125 comments, 22 reshares, 214 +1s)Open 

Oakland's new ordinance is unconscionable for a spectacular number of reasons.

First, it has no mechanism of due process whatsoever; a person can be evicted, either by their landlord or by the city attorney, simply on the basis of an accusation without any recourse.

Second, it gives several groups which already have great power over the poor an even greater power over the poor. This is not, normally, something one considers to be a positive objective.

And third, this gives police even more egregious power over sex workers, as simple arrest is now enough to get someone evicted from their home. Given the tendency of police to abuse such power in the past, e.g. to forcibly extort sex and money, I cannot imagine any reason why it would be reasonable to give them a far-more-serious club to hold over people's heads.

I would be quite shocked if this law were to... more »

Oakland's new ordinance is unconscionable for a spectacular number of reasons.

First, it has no mechanism of due process whatsoever; a person can be evicted, either by their landlord or by the city attorney, simply on the basis of an accusation without any recourse.

Second, it gives several groups which already have great power over the poor an even greater power over the poor. This is not, normally, something one considers to be a positive objective.

And third, this gives police even more egregious power over sex workers, as simple arrest is now enough to get someone evicted from their home. Given the tendency of police to abuse such power in the past, e.g. to forcibly extort sex and money, I cannot imagine any reason why it would be reasonable to give them a far-more-serious club to hold over people's heads.

I would be quite shocked if this law were to survive a court challenge, as it seems to directly contradict constitutional guarantees of due process. However, it is also structured so that its victims are likely to be the ones least able to defend themselves, and to not be "attractive defendants" in the resulting case, which will make it harder to find a test case to take to court and get this overturned. That could leave this reprehensible ordinance on the books for years until it is finally resolved.

This sort of law cannot be allowed to stand: pressure needs to be placed on Oakland's city council to reverse its decision immediately.___

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2014-10-23 04:02:09 (37 comments, 96 reshares, 457 +1s)Open 

Something beautiful to watch -- how marble is quarried at Carrara. It is nothing like I imagined it would be, especially the man giving the directions. 

Nope, they don't grow it from seeds....___Something beautiful to watch -- how marble is quarried at Carrara. It is nothing like I imagined it would be, especially the man giving the directions. 

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2014-10-22 08:12:04 (130 comments, 44 reshares, 257 +1s)Open 

Go do this.

2-step verification is the single most effective thing you can do to keep your Google account from being broken in to -- along with all your mail, your posts, your contacts, your Wallet, and so on. It's quick and it's easy, and with the new Security Key, it's really easy. (I've been using this for my work account for months)

You can enable 2-step for your account without anything more than a phone by going to https://www.google.com/landing/2step/ . The new Security Key function makes it easier and even more secure, but if you haven't enabled 2-step for your account already, do that first!

Two reasons you want the two-factor security key:
1. It can be a giant, expensive pain when someone takes over your account. The internet is a dangerous place. Google has a bunch of people trying to keep your account from being hijacked, but it's tricky. People often choose guessable passwords (hijackers use the guessed password to log in as you), share passwords between sites (hijackers break into one site and get into your accounts in other places for free), and type their passwords where malware is watching (internet cafe or other public computer, or after spyware infests your machine). Once someone takes over your account they can use it for many nefarious things, all of which are going to take you a huge amount of time (and often money) to clean up.

2. Force account hijackers to do something more productive with their lives. Security keys are easy and secure. Just plug it into your USB port, give it a little touch, and it will tell Google you have your key. It can't be stolen by internet hijackers, so it'll keep them out of your account. If we keep the hijackers out of our accounts, they'll have to go find something else to do. Maybe it will even be productive.

So join me on our effort to forcibly disemploy account hijackers. I have zero sympathy for them.___Go do this.

2-step verification is the single most effective thing you can do to keep your Google account from being broken in to -- along with all your mail, your posts, your contacts, your Wallet, and so on. It's quick and it's easy, and with the new Security Key, it's really easy. (I've been using this for my work account for months)

You can enable 2-step for your account without anything more than a phone by going to https://www.google.com/landing/2step/ . The new Security Key function makes it easier and even more secure, but if you haven't enabled 2-step for your account already, do that first!

2014-10-22 00:49:00 (44 comments, 1 reshares, 114 +1s)Open 

I have no idea what the original context of this was, but I think it's going to be my new summary of how you fix broken systems.

"What are you doing next week?"
"I'm building a new pig."
"How do you do that?"
"You know how people tell you that the two things you never want to see made, if you ever want to enjoy them again, are laws and sausages?"
"Yes...."
"Building a pig is like building a sausage, only in reverse."

"For the first stage, you're going to put lipstick on the pig. For the second stage, you're going to build a new pig." #ShitElinaSays___I have no idea what the original context of this was, but I think it's going to be my new summary of how you fix broken systems.

"What are you doing next week?"
"I'm building a new pig."
"How do you do that?"
"You know how people tell you that the two things you never want to see made, if you ever want to enjoy them again, are laws and sausages?"
"Yes...."
"Building a pig is like building a sausage, only in reverse."

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2014-10-21 05:45:03 (34 comments, 69 reshares, 197 +1s)Open 

Quite an excellent essay on the creative process. Although it was written in 1959 and has not been published until now, it still seems just as relevant today.

Via +Aleatha Parker-Wood​

Several intersecting Circles here in this "new" essay from Isaac Asimov published at +MIT Technology Review. The following pullquote may become my new e-mail sig line:

It is only afterward that a new idea seems reasonable.

But this one is all right too:

Obviously, then, what is needed is not only people with a good background in a particular field, but also people capable of making a connection between item 1 and item 2 which might not ordinarily seem connected.

#creativity   #isaacasimov  

Cc +John Kellden +Gideon Rosenblatt +David Amerland ___Quite an excellent essay on the creative process. Although it was written in 1959 and has not been published until now, it still seems just as relevant today.

Via +Aleatha Parker-Wood​

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2014-10-20 17:39:50 (130 comments, 46 reshares, 158 +1s)Open 

This is a thought-provoking article on the nature of factual belief and of religious belief, and how a single person can often seem to hold two contradictory beliefs. The idea (as proposed by Neil van Leeuwen) is that there is a flaw in English: we use the word "belief" for both of these, but these actually represent two quite distinct psychological processes.

Essentially, the idea is that religious belief -- at least for most people -- is what you might call a type of narrative belief, where you hold the story in your head, reason about it from within its hypotheses, and derive meaning from it. This type of belief is only held within its context, and "factual" belief -- information we have about the outside world -- can intrude upon it, but not the other way round. (Lombrozo gives a related example for comparison: "Even when engaged in pretend play, for example, children... more »

This is a thought-provoking article on the nature of factual belief and of religious belief, and how a single person can often seem to hold two contradictory beliefs. The idea (as proposed by Neil van Leeuwen) is that there is a flaw in English: we use the word "belief" for both of these, but these actually represent two quite distinct psychological processes.

Essentially, the idea is that religious belief -- at least for most people -- is what you might call a type of narrative belief, where you hold the story in your head, reason about it from within its hypotheses, and derive meaning from it. This type of belief is only held within its context, and "factual" belief -- information we have about the outside world -- can intrude upon it, but not the other way round. (Lombrozo gives a related example for comparison: "Even when engaged in pretend play, for example, children know that they shouldn't really bite the Play-Doh "cookie"; the factual belief that Play-Doh isn't food infiltrates imaginative play.")

The proposition that religious belief works through the mechanism of narrative and story isn't (by any means) to say that it is either unimportant or untrue: narrative is our most profound means of experiencing situations other than our own and of reasoning about ourselves in those situations, and is key to the way in which we develop core faculties such as empathy and ethics. (Pinker gave a fairly extensive, data-based argument for this in The Better Angels of our Nature, pointing out the emergence of widely available written fiction as a potential causal agent in a sharp decline in interpersonal violence at the same time.) The stories which I re-read, time and time again, I re-read because they are in a profound sense "true," even if I do not believe (in the factual sense) that Darwi Odrade read Leto II's message in a cave on Arrakis, or that Fermina Daza ever fell back in love with Florentino Ariza in her old age. 

I'm not yet certain where I sit on this hypothesis of van Leeuwen's. There are some aspects of it which ring true to me -- I recognize the mechanism by which I suspend disbelief and accept a narrative as real, not simply when I am reading a book but much later, when I think about it and the characters and the story, and I recognize a similar method when thinking about religious stories, both in myself and in others. On the other hand, I see behavior in other people which doesn't seem to match the hypothesis as cleanly: where the rule that "factual beliefs can intrude upon narrative beliefs, but not vice-versa" seems to fail, and in particular narrative beliefs are indeed held as factual beliefs.

So I suspect that what van Leeuwen has captured is one aspect of the question, but far from a complete summary of it. Nonetheless, I think that this is a fruitful idea, and may help me understand many things about people's thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors -- including my own -- in the future. So it's food for thought.

Via +Kee Hinckley.___

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2014-10-18 02:16:48 (71 comments, 13 reshares, 189 +1s)Open 

Most people in tech, or elsewhere in business, are probably aware that if you give an interview to +BuzzFeed and use it to go off on a rant about how your CEO is "doing a lot of harm" to the organization, weakening it, and so on, and so forth, it is probably going to cause a few problems in your future career advancement.

Apparently this memo didn't quite make it to the Vatican, because that's exactly what Cardinal Burke, the Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura (head of the Vatican's entire judicial branch),  just did. 

(Yes, in BuzzFeed.)

Oh, did I say Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura? I meant "patron of the Sovereign Order of Malta." That being Cardinal Burke's new job.

(Yes, Malta is still about 120 square miles of rock between Sicily and Tunisia.)

(No, he does not get to run the church in Malta. He gets to be the patron of theSo... more »

Conservative anti-gay Cardinal Burke ousted by Pope
You do not say the Pope is "harming the Church," even if you are a top Vatican official.

And it looks like it unfolded from an interaction with +BuzzFeed .
It's a new world in media out there, kiddies.___Most people in tech, or elsewhere in business, are probably aware that if you give an interview to +BuzzFeed and use it to go off on a rant about how your CEO is "doing a lot of harm" to the organization, weakening it, and so on, and so forth, it is probably going to cause a few problems in your future career advancement.

Apparently this memo didn't quite make it to the Vatican, because that's exactly what Cardinal Burke, the Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura (head of the Vatican's entire judicial branch),  just did. 

(Yes, in BuzzFeed.)

Oh, did I say Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura? I meant "patron of the Sovereign Order of Malta." That being Cardinal Burke's new job.

(Yes, Malta is still about 120 square miles of rock between Sicily and Tunisia.)

(No, he does not get to run the church in Malta. He gets to be the patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, who were actually kicked off Malta by Napoleon. They are now a sovereign quasi-state which rules two buildings in Rome and part of one on Malta. It's kind of an interesting history, actually.)

(Thanks to +Christopher K Davis for reminding me of this)

Note to those who enjoy watching this sort of thing: Pope Francis is full of smiles, reforming harsh doctrines, helping the poor, and so on. But he is also not the sort of person you want to cross, especially if you think you're about to lead an internal revolt against him.

I kinda like this guy.

(Really, really, trying not to laugh too hard at this. BuzzFeed?!!)

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2014-10-18 00:17:07 (121 comments, 131 reshares, 290 +1s)Open 

The Gods of the World: A group called "The 40 Foundation" put together this rather extraordinary infographic of the world's religions and how they're (historically) related to one another. It's a phylogenetic tree of the gods.

I can't say that this diagram is complete, nor that it shows every possible cross-pollination; it would be very hard to do so, given just how intricate this aspect of history is. Likewise, it's hard to define the boundaries between various sects, at times; while the Protestants are very famous for each sect having its own name and being firmly opposed to those schismatics from the Popular Front of Judea, many other religious divisions have been more subtle, two groups simply moving away from each other over time, or one group simply adopting a radically different theology without telling anyone. But the image is detailed enough that you can... more »

The Gods of the World: A group called "The 40 Foundation" put together this rather extraordinary infographic of the world's religions and how they're (historically) related to one another. It's a phylogenetic tree of the gods.

I can't say that this diagram is complete, nor that it shows every possible cross-pollination; it would be very hard to do so, given just how intricate this aspect of history is. Likewise, it's hard to define the boundaries between various sects, at times; while the Protestants are very famous for each sect having its own name and being firmly opposed to those schismatics from the Popular Front of Judea, many other religious divisions have been more subtle, two groups simply moving away from each other over time, or one group simply adopting a radically different theology without telling anyone. But the image is detailed enough that you can clearly see phenomena like the Protestant Reformation, the emergence of Islam, and quite a few other historical events very visually. And to nitpick a work this complex feels almost petty.

You can view single images at the link, or a zoomable version (with an admittedly crappy UI) at http://funki.com.ua/ru/portfolio/lab/world-religions-tree/ . 

h/t +Alex Fink for finding this.___

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2014-10-17 21:29:04 (49 comments, 25 reshares, 419 +1s)Open 

Oh, this is great news. Michelle Lee is not only very knowledgeable about patent law, she's very knowledgeable about technology. I foresee a significant decrease in bullshit under her leadership.

Awesome news! :)___Oh, this is great news. Michelle Lee is not only very knowledgeable about patent law, she's very knowledgeable about technology. I foresee a significant decrease in bullshit under her leadership.

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2014-10-17 19:50:19 (57 comments, 97 reshares, 246 +1s)Open 

In grade school, you probably learned about the average, also known as the mean. You may have learned about other numbers, like the median and the mode, which also characterize how things are distributed. These numbers, however, tend to conceal more than they reveal: when you really want to understand something, you look at a curve called the distribution instead. That curve is simply a plot of how often each possible outcome occurs, and all of the numbers above -- numbers called "measures of central tendency" -- can be calculated from that curve, and summarize various aspects of the curve.

The reason that professionals care about the curve more than the numbers is that the curve is full of secrets of its own. One of the most interesting secrets is what's called "universality:" it turns out that there is a very small set of shapes, and almost every distribution curve you... more »

In grade school, you probably learned about the average, also known as the mean. You may have learned about other numbers, like the median and the mode, which also characterize how things are distributed. These numbers, however, tend to conceal more than they reveal: when you really want to understand something, you look at a curve called the distribution instead. That curve is simply a plot of how often each possible outcome occurs, and all of the numbers above -- numbers called "measures of central tendency" -- can be calculated from that curve, and summarize various aspects of the curve.

The reason that professionals care about the curve more than the numbers is that the curve is full of secrets of its own. One of the most interesting secrets is what's called "universality:" it turns out that there is a very small set of shapes, and almost every distribution curve you actually encounter in the world, whether you're measuring the frequency at which people use words, or the time it takes to get through a checkout line, or the number of marmots in a field, turns out to have one of these shapes. 

(Or more specifically, real distributions are almost always combinations of these shapes, say a bump of one shape here and a curve of another shape there. That always means that two distinct things are going on, each contributing a single shape, and it can be one of the fastest ways to understand how the system is really working.)

Why are distributions more interesting? Apart from being able to read the secrets of their shapes, the problem with just looking at numbers is what they hide. There's an old joke about two guys in a bar in Seattle, grousing about how broke they are, when Bill Gates walks in. One of them pauses for a sec, thinks hard, then jumps up and yells "Drinks are on me, everyone!" His friend asks him, "Are you crazy? I thought you said you were broke!" "No, I just did the math! On the average, everyone in here is a millionaire!"

So let's talk about these shapes a bit more. There are four particularly common shapes. (There are a few others as well, but 99.5% of the time what you see are combinations of these four)

The first is the Gaussian, or bell curve. Gaussians generally happen when there's something that happens roughly the same way every time, and the deviations from that "same way" are completely random and uncorrelated noise. For example, if you measure how long it takes you to walk down the same hallway every day, the distribution curve will probably be a Gaussian. The position of the center of the bell curve tells you the average, and its width tells you how frequent random disruptions are.

The second is the exponential curve. This looks like a sharp spike followed by a decay. (Specifically, a decay shaped like F = e^−(ax), where x is the value that we're measuring, F is the number of times we saw x, and a is a constant) This is most often a sign of queues. For example, if you measure how long it takes to read a small file from a hard disk, and do it over and over again, the frequency distribution of times will look like a Gaussian added to an exponential. Why? Because the time it takes to read from an idle disk is a Gaussian -- there's a random amount of time it takes the head to seek to the right position, and then it takes a constant amount of time to do the reading. However, if the computer is busy, then you have to wait in line before that can start, and it turns out that the distribution of the time it takes to wait in line is almost always an exponential. (That fact is something we regularly use in computing to identify when the problem is that things are getting stuck waiting in line)

The third shape is a power law. This looks sort of like an exponential, but it has a much heavier tail. (The formula is F = (x/x0)^−a, and if you plot it on a log-log chart, it looks like a straight line) Power laws turn out to be extremely universal whenever humans are involved: for example, if you look at a large body of text and ask "what fraction of words show up frequently versus rarely," the shape is a power law, no matter what language. (In that case, a is about 1.8, in case you're curious. Syntax words like "and" and "the" are the most common, obscure nouns like "zymurgy" are among the rare ones, and there's a long tail of words that basically appear only once in a corpus) But power laws show up all over the place: look at the number of pictures people take each week. Look at the number of friends people have. Look at the size of cities. 

It turns out that there are some fairly deep reasons that power laws are so common. For example, imagine you're looking at a network -- say, the phone network, or the network of people's friends. If a network formed by "random attachment," that is, any new node that shows up is equally likely to attach to any other node, then the distribution of how many neighbors everyone has is a Gaussian. But if it forms by "preferential attachment," that is, a newcomer is more likely to attach to someone who already knows a lot of people, then you can show mathematically that you get a power law. Lots of real networks do this: new people in a social group, for example, are more likely to start out by meeting the really gregarious person at the middle.

(This is really important for practical applications, too, because preferential-attachment networks have all sorts of other interesting features. For example, a random-attachment network doesn't become disconnected (no longer joining everyone) until you blow up a lot of links. A preferential-attachment network, on the other hand, can disconnect very quickly if you lose the very central nodes. If your network is the Internet, then you really want to keep things from being disconnected, so it's important to know what parts are the most critical. On the other hand, if your network is the graph of people who were in physical contact with each other (a preferential-attachment network), which also happens to be the graph along which contagious diseases spreads, you might be very interested in making this network disconnect: that tells you that investing your money in making sure that contagious diseases don't spread through the people with the highest number of connections is a much better bet than trying to protect everyone equally. It turns out that immunizing a hermit doesn't do nearly as much as immunizing, say, the janitor of a large building.)

And then there's a fourth common shape, the Tracy-Widom Curve. This one looks sort of like a skewed bell curve, Gaussian on the left and exponential on the right. It shows up all over the place as well, especially when studying systems with a lot of strong interactions amongst themselves. However, we don't really understand why it's so common yet: it's proven a tougher nut to crack than the power law. 

However, there's been some recent progress: it turns out that this curve may be happening whenever there's a certain kind of phase transition behavior in the system, similar to ice melting or water boiling. And this article will tell you more about that.

The key takeaways are:

* Distributions matter! Averages and so on lie, because they hide things. If you really want to understand something, always demand the distribution.

* Distributions always seem to be combinations of a handful of standard shapes. If there's more than one shape in a distribution, you're seeing several different physical processes at once, and each shape tells you a story.

* There are four standard shapes, and we understand three of them pretty well and know how to read stories from them: Gaussians telling you about random events, exponentials about something waiting in line, power laws about humans or biology being somehow involved, or about preferential attachment, or a few other similar things. There's a fourth one which we're only starting to understand, but it keeps showing up, too.

* Statistics is cool, because it reveals the secrets of the universe and helps you fix problems.

Via +Jennifer Ouellette​​.___

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2014-10-17 18:57:22 (3 comments, 22 reshares, 137 +1s)Open 

Oh, wow. These look absolutely stunning. 

Some fantastic new wood sculptures inspired by architecture by artist James McNabb who primarily "sketches" his improvised ideas with a bandsaw. See much more on Colossal!

http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2014/10/new-wood-cityscapes-sculpted-with-a-bandsaw-by-james-mcnabb/___Oh, wow. These look absolutely stunning. 

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2014-10-17 05:45:42 (30 comments, 9 reshares, 118 +1s)Open 

A common question in math is to know what the densest way is to pack a bunch of identical objects. For example, you can prove that the best way to pack an infinite number of circles on the plane is to put them in a honeycomb lattice, and the best way to pack spheres in 3D is to put them in a "grocer's stack," the way you would stack oranges. (In higher dimensions, the best packing isn't a simple one at all, and involves complicated geometries such as "Leech lattices." The best packing is known for certain in dimensions up to 8, and in higher dimensions there's even some reason to believe that the best packing isn't even a repeating pattern!)

But I've never thought before about what packs the worst. When you pack circles on a plane, for example, the circles fill up about 91% of the area. (π/√12, to be precise). It turns out that octagons can never be packedth... more »

The densest way to pack octagons

This image made by +Graeme McRae shows the densest way to pack equal-sized regular octagons in the plane.  The cool part: the density is slightly less than the best you can do for circles!

You can pack equal-sized circles with a density of at most

90.68996%

or so.  For equal-sized regular octagons, the best you can do is

90.61636%

That's just about 0.07% worse, but it's enough to prove that a circle isn't the pessimal plane packer - that is, the shape whose densest packing is the lowest of all. 

And one reason that is interesting is that Stanislaw Ulam conjectured that in 3 dimensions, the sphere is the pessimal packer!  That conjecture is still open.

For more about this story, visit my blog Visual Insight:

http://blogs.ams.org/visualinsight/2014/10/15/packing-regular-octagons/

#geometry  ___A common question in math is to know what the densest way is to pack a bunch of identical objects. For example, you can prove that the best way to pack an infinite number of circles on the plane is to put them in a honeycomb lattice, and the best way to pack spheres in 3D is to put them in a "grocer's stack," the way you would stack oranges. (In higher dimensions, the best packing isn't a simple one at all, and involves complicated geometries such as "Leech lattices." The best packing is known for certain in dimensions up to 8, and in higher dimensions there's even some reason to believe that the best packing isn't even a repeating pattern!)

But I've never thought before about what packs the worst. When you pack circles on a plane, for example, the circles fill up about 91% of the area. (π/√12, to be precise). It turns out that octagons can never be packed that well -- the densest possible way to pack regular octagons is shown below, and it's about 0.07% less efficient than circles.

That may not seem like much, but there's a hypothesis that in 3D, spheres are the least efficient possible convex object to try to pack. (A convex object is roughly "one with no spikes." More precisely, convex means that if you pick any two points inside the object and draw a straight line joining them, the entire line is inside the object, too. A circle is convex; a star isn't, as you can see by picking two of the tips as your points) 

The truth of this statement is unknown: spheres take up a mere 74% (π/√18) of space, but there may be a shape out there which does worse. If so, that would be a very bad shape to make fruit or other shippable goods in.

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2014-10-17 01:17:25 (78 comments, 38 reshares, 308 +1s)Open 

When I was a kid, I had and loved a chemistry set. It was by no means perfect -- the book it came with was terse and rather uninspiring, and so I ended up finding later bits of Science! that I did much more interesting, things involving electronics, radioactives, superconductors, and pyrotechnics. But it was a good set, with a wide range of materials and equipment, and it was part of a whole complex of other things which were part of the "standard set of toys" of the latter half of the 20th century, along with LEGOs, erector sets, and any number of other building toys, which made doing science and engineering and the like seem like a natural thing you would explore as a kid.

This article suggests that the turning point was in the 1970's, with the rise of ecological consciousness, the anti-war movement (and opposition to things like Napalm and Agent Orange in particular), and Three... more »

When I was a kid, I had and loved a chemistry set. It was by no means perfect -- the book it came with was terse and rather uninspiring, and so I ended up finding later bits of Science! that I did much more interesting, things involving electronics, radioactives, superconductors, and pyrotechnics. But it was a good set, with a wide range of materials and equipment, and it was part of a whole complex of other things which were part of the "standard set of toys" of the latter half of the 20th century, along with LEGOs, erector sets, and any number of other building toys, which made doing science and engineering and the like seem like a natural thing you would explore as a kid.

This article suggests that the turning point was in the 1970's, with the rise of ecological consciousness, the anti-war movement (and opposition to things like Napalm and Agent Orange in particular), and Three Mile Island, but I don't think this is right: I got my set in the 80's, and it was by no means an unusual thing then.

I think that the real turnaround happened somewhat later, in the 1990's or 2000's, and was part of the general trend of increasing protectiveness of children: the same trend which would make the normal way I played as a kid (my friends and I roaming all over the neighborhood, exploring, playing games, and the like) into criminal negligence on the part of parents today. (You let children play unsupervised?! What if they were injured? What if they were kidnapped?! This despite the near-complete absence of actual stranger kidnappings ever) 

Chemistry sets like these are nearly nonexistent, with the exception of rare boutique products like the (wonderful) Kickstarter which this article links. It in fact surprises me that such products are illegal at all -- and as the Kickstarter text notes, it may in fact be illegal in quite a few states, not because of the chemicals, but because of the glassware. (Apparently, civilians can no longer be trusted with beakers; we might use them to make meth. Chemists probably can't be trusted either, as they might use them to make Sudafed: http://heterodoxy.cc/meowdocs/pseudo/pseudosynth.pdf) 

There is something profoundly broken in this. Anything which could conceivably create a risk to anyone, or which a Hollywood plot imagines could create a risk, is becoming illegal. The media actively encourages this, knowing that its bread and butter is stoking fear of all sorts.

It's time to fight back. We need more interesting hazards in our lives.

Via +Alex Scrivener.___

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2014-10-15 18:22:37 (70 comments, 18 reshares, 309 +1s)Open 

For those of you who have been waiting for it: the formal announcement of Android L (Lollipop), the Nexus 6, the Nexus 9, and the Nexus Player, which is our new streaming media player.

Having had a chance to actually play with test units of these, I have to say that they're pretty awesome in all sorts of little ways I hadn't anticipated. I would have thought that the 6, for example, would be too big -- but it's surprisingly pleasing to work with, and there's been a regular report from people who use the test devices daily that afterwards their old phones feel weirdly small and uncomfortable by comparison. The Player is really cool as well, but I can't tell you all of the cool stuff of that yet. :) (I haven't yet had a chance to play with a 9 -- but I will, yes, I will.)

For those of you who have been waiting for it: the formal announcement of Android L (Lollipop), the Nexus 6, the Nexus 9, and the Nexus Player, which is our new streaming media player.

Having had a chance to actually play with test units of these, I have to say that they're pretty awesome in all sorts of little ways I hadn't anticipated. I would have thought that the 6, for example, would be too big -- but it's surprisingly pleasing to work with, and there's been a regular report from people who use the test devices daily that afterwards their old phones feel weirdly small and uncomfortable by comparison. The Player is really cool as well, but I can't tell you all of the cool stuff of that yet. :) (I haven't yet had a chance to play with a 9 -- but I will, yes, I will.)___

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2014-10-15 17:11:47 (129 comments, 49 reshares, 263 +1s)Open 

Unlike the E-Cat scam that was making the rounds earlier this week, this new announcement from Lockheed-Martin -- that their Skunk Works team has been working on a compact fusion reactor which may be at the working-prototype reactor stage within five years, and productionizable a few years after that -- is actually quite interesting. They haven't broken any laws of physics: this is a magnetic-confinement fusion reactor, and their advances have been clever engineering and coming up with smarter ways to shape the confinement fields. 

(For those who know the subject: the details aren't 100% clear to me, but it looks like they're building a pair of magnetic cusps facing one another, and using a Polywell-like approach to "bounce" plasma off of those and into the center where the fusion happens. Which is not an insane design)

Rather nicely, the people doing this design... more »

Unlike the E-Cat scam that was making the rounds earlier this week, this new announcement from Lockheed-Martin -- that their Skunk Works team has been working on a compact fusion reactor which may be at the working-prototype reactor stage within five years, and productionizable a few years after that -- is actually quite interesting. They haven't broken any laws of physics: this is a magnetic-confinement fusion reactor, and their advances have been clever engineering and coming up with smarter ways to shape the confinement fields. 

(For those who know the subject: the details aren't 100% clear to me, but it looks like they're building a pair of magnetic cusps facing one another, and using a Polywell-like approach to "bounce" plasma off of those and into the center where the fusion happens. Which is not an insane design)

Rather nicely, the people doing this design have actually thought through how it would fit into existing power architectures. (Very few people working on fusion have any experience with that) They expect the units to stay around the size of the device you see in the photo below -- truck-transportable nodes, each producing around 100MW. One could run a ship; a building full of them, or perhaps more conveniently, several different buildings in different places, could run a city. (As my experience in deploying big hardware has taught me, having your system take the form of a bunch of identical medium-sized nodes is really wonderful. If the nodes are too small, you spend all your time dealing with how to wire thousands of things up; if they're too big, then your smallest quantum of deployable capacity is a pain in the ass. 100MW is just about perfect for power generation.) 

If this system works, it would have nearly immediate commercial viability; opex plus fuel for such a device is very low (less than any other kind of power plant running, even if you consider dumping pollutants into the air as absolutely free). Capex for early generations won't be cheap but won't be prohibitive, either, as you can buy in 100MW increments and easily scale up. Maintenance is straightforward. Direct pollutants are zero: the only waste product is Helium. (Probably not enough to be worth selling, but you could fill some party balloons) There's an indirect pollutant, in that the neutron absorber shell which gathers the energy from the reaction will gradually be activated and turn radioactive; this shell will probably have to be replaced every twenty years or so, but (especially with clever choice of materials) isn't actually that radioactive and isn't that much material, either.

There have been lots of fusion designs which have seemed promising in the past, but this one seems to have a lot of engineering good sense behind it, and contact with practicalities. That makes me interested.

So it's still far too early to be popping the champagne corks, but it's a promising design being put together by serious people, and so I'd say that it has a decent chance of actually going somewhere. ___

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2014-10-14 21:07:54 (73 comments, 76 reshares, 346 +1s)Open 

The most complex watches are extraordinary works of art. I'm not talking about the gaudy status symbols, ones which try to show off the wearer's wealth by encrusting themselves in diamonds; I'm talking about devices which are simultaneously pieces of sculpture and the highest refinements of the mechanical arts, trying to push the limits of elegance in a small region.

I can't imagine that, even if I did have a spare couple of million dollars lying around with which to acquire such a device, I would ever wear it; this is something which from the moment of its completion looks like it belongs in a museum, where the public can see it, watch it move, and listen to its sounds. But I very much enjoy watching the process of its creation, and the device which comes out at the end of it.

"How things are made" -- really complicated watch edition.

Via +Don... more »

The most complex watches are extraordinary works of art. I'm not talking about the gaudy status symbols, ones which try to show off the wearer's wealth by encrusting themselves in diamonds; I'm talking about devices which are simultaneously pieces of sculpture and the highest refinements of the mechanical arts, trying to push the limits of elegance in a small region.

I can't imagine that, even if I did have a spare couple of million dollars lying around with which to acquire such a device, I would ever wear it; this is something which from the moment of its completion looks like it belongs in a museum, where the public can see it, watch it move, and listen to its sounds. But I very much enjoy watching the process of its creation, and the device which comes out at the end of it.

"How things are made" -- really complicated watch edition.

Via +Don McArthur.___

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2014-10-14 07:39:55 (66 comments, 52 reshares, 207 +1s)Open 

Another cool "how things are made" video: the process of making a good-quality knife, starting from base matter. This looks like fun.

Another cool "how things are made" video: the process of making a good-quality knife, starting from base matter. This looks like fun.___

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2014-10-13 19:51:30 (89 comments, 16 reshares, 147 +1s)Open 

I would say something about the latest nonsensical "Cold fusion really works this time, and it will give you a pony!" article, but +Andreas Schou said it perfectly already.

I know that people really want fusion to work. I really want fusion to work, too. However, the reason that fusion hasn't worked for power* after sixty years of research is that it's actually very hard. We know why it's hard, and it's pretty clear that fixing it isn't one of those sudden-insight things, but one of those work-hard-on-the-engineering-details things.

* With the notable exceptions of gravitational confinement fusion (since nature has already provided us with this really big, already-functioning, reactor overhead and all we have to do is harvest power from it) and "generates-a-lot-of-power-but-sends-it-in-all-directions-rather-rapidly" fusion, which sadly works quite well.

I've seen this article making the rounds. It's wrong. It's fractally wrong: the E-Cat does not, and cannot, work by the mechanism its "creator" claims. In order for hydrogen-nickel fusion to happen, the following things would have to be true: 

(1) There would have to be some method of bypassing the Coloumb barrier in order to add protons to nickel's nucleus. But this is actually the easy part! The "quantum tunneling into the nucleus" argument is the least insane part here.

(1a) Unfortunately, that method would have to simply not function at high energy, in order for the observed spectra of supernovas, and the observed difficulty of boron-proton fusion, to be correct.

(2) There would have to be a way for hydrogen-nickel fusion not to produce alpha or beta decays, as it is predicted to do.

(2a) For that matter, there would have to be a way for hydrogen-nickel fusion to produce excess energy at all. As nickel is past the cutoff for energy generation by fusion, we need a new theory to demonstrate why it's outputting energy.

(2b) If transferric elements can, in fact, produce energy through fusion, we need an entirely new theory to demonstrate what causes supernovae. Then we need to explain why the distribution of elemental spectra in the universe is congruent with a physics in which stars do not fuse transferric elements. (In particular, if hydrogen-nickel fusion is possible and energetic, we should see much more copper in the universe than we in fact do.)

(3) We need to throw conservation of energy out the window. The fusion reaction has to produce high-energy photons -- that is, gamma rays -- to conserve energy. The E-cat purportedly does not. 

(3a) Actually, it can't be producing gamma rays, as everyone who observed the device working appears to not be dead of radiation poisoning.

(4) We need to explain the isotopic ratio in the copper product. More particularly, we need to explain why the isotopic ratio in the copper product is identical to the ratio that would be produced by fraud.

We don't have theoretical explanations for any of that. And when we look at the stars, we don't see the universe that we would see if this process actually worked. While it's conceivable that a serial fraud has somehow created some sort of eccentric hydrogen-nickel chemical reaction, there's nothing nuclear going on there: if there were, everything from that laboratory to the stars would be very, very different.___I would say something about the latest nonsensical "Cold fusion really works this time, and it will give you a pony!" article, but +Andreas Schou said it perfectly already.

I know that people really want fusion to work. I really want fusion to work, too. However, the reason that fusion hasn't worked for power* after sixty years of research is that it's actually very hard. We know why it's hard, and it's pretty clear that fixing it isn't one of those sudden-insight things, but one of those work-hard-on-the-engineering-details things.

* With the notable exceptions of gravitational confinement fusion (since nature has already provided us with this really big, already-functioning, reactor overhead and all we have to do is harvest power from it) and "generates-a-lot-of-power-but-sends-it-in-all-directions-rather-rapidly" fusion, which sadly works quite well.

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2014-10-13 17:58:35 (22 comments, 7 reshares, 78 +1s)Open 

If I ever happen to find myself in Northumberland, I know where I'm going. You can read more about it here: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/step-inside-worlds-most-dangerous-garden-if-you-dare-180952635/

A Poison Garden, a perfect share for October.  There is a garden full of poisonous plants.  The website is fun, although I wish there was a little more content. I wanted to learn more about the plants.  I wish I had the chance to visit this garden, it sounds fascinating.  

From the  Duchess of Northumberland, "I wondered why so many gardens around the world focused on the healing power of plants rather than their ability to kill... I felt that most children I knew would be more interested in hearing how a plant killed, how long it would take you to die if you ate it and how gruesome and painful the death might be."___If I ever happen to find myself in Northumberland, I know where I'm going. You can read more about it here: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/step-inside-worlds-most-dangerous-garden-if-you-dare-180952635/

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2014-10-12 23:14:17 (59 comments, 17 reshares, 171 +1s)Open 

I have been very disconnected from computer gaming for many years, because I have a type of motion sickness response to modern 3D graphics. (Basically, anything after Doom II has been out for me, with a handful of exceptions) So it's very interesting for me to come to this discussion of the role of NPC's in modern games from the outside -- remembering things I was doing decades ago, and comparing it to the world of tabletop gaming, which I still love. 

This article is all about how two games (Shadow of Mordor and Watch Dogs) have built up systems that let the NPC's be more than random mooks, but rather have their own desires, motivations, and lives, and most importantly, enmesh the player within them. Mordor's "Nemesis" system builds up your relationship with particular Orcs over time, them remembering you, being affected by your past interactions, and the like. Watch... more »

I have been very disconnected from computer gaming for many years, because I have a type of motion sickness response to modern 3D graphics. (Basically, anything after Doom II has been out for me, with a handful of exceptions) So it's very interesting for me to come to this discussion of the role of NPC's in modern games from the outside -- remembering things I was doing decades ago, and comparing it to the world of tabletop gaming, which I still love. 

This article is all about how two games (Shadow of Mordor and Watch Dogs) have built up systems that let the NPC's be more than random mooks, but rather have their own desires, motivations, and lives, and most importantly, enmesh the player within them. Mordor's "Nemesis" system builds up your relationship with particular Orcs over time, them remembering you, being affected by your past interactions, and the like. Watch Dogs gives you far more detailed glimpses into the people you meet through its quasi-totalitarian panopticon system, ctOS, which you (as the protagonist) can and do use.

I suspect that part of the breathlessness of this article will strike people more attuned to the gaming world than I am as misplaced: I remember coding MUD's back in the late 1980's (that's the text-based ancestor of MMORPG's, for those who don't remember them), and pretty much the first thing that came into my head after software architecture was that every creature you encountered had to have a state which remembered things, and most especially every NPC with whom you could interact. And I've certainly watched other people, over their shoulders, building up fairly complex relationships with various NPC's in quite a wide range of games.

But I get the sense that, especially in AAA-type titles, there's still a real resistance to taking this to its natural next level: giving everyone a personality. And that's a transformative step.

I like to run tabletop games. One of the first things I discovered while running them, decades ago, was that a world is described by its memorable details. When the plot is all-consuming, when things are moving so quickly that you can barely track anything, it's the one thing that didn't quite fit which still sticks in our memories decades later, the thing that was different from its background. 

The two best ways to achieve this were set pieces and minor NPC's. Set pieces are sort of the obvious one -- dramatic vistas, the unexpected, the terror, visuals created in tabletop games often with nothing more than words. Computer games understood this from the first instant and have always excelled in this regard.

Minor NPC's are the unexpected one. Major NPC's are kind of obvious -- but they're so built in to the plot that they're nearly physical staging, rather than characters. Minor NPC's are important because the players' interaction with them is (by its nature) deeper than their interaction with any physical object, and so they have a better opportunity to set themselves into the players' minds. 

Just as computer games are limited by memory and capacity, tabletop games are limited by the GM's mental capacity. So rather than develop complex backstories for each NPC, I found a simple hack which worked well: give each NPC a distinctive idiosyncrasy. The more minor the character, generally, the less subtle that feature should be, because the players will have less time to interact with it and so need something sharp for it to be remembered. Thus the water-seller is more likely to have one eye (how did he lose it?), the city guard to have a thick accent and a penchant for oddly translated obscenities ("go stick your head in a duck"), the villain's minions to have a tendency for wisecracking repartée. Larger characters would start to acquire more complex backgrounds, on the lines of +Mary Anne Mohanraj's famous advice about character creation for fiction: the guard you hire isn't simply a guard; she's a daughter of Polish immigrants. Her father owned a restaurant after coming to the new country, but it failed.

How do I know this about her? I just made that up. In fact, I would generally keep tables of random personal characteristics on hand, so that I could quickly think of them when I needed a new NPC, and then let the quirks create the character. (This proved rather handy when generating my own PC's, as well) 

Of course, you can take this too far, and you don't want the game to descend into caricature; if every person you meet is missing a different body part, it seems ridiculous, and the people start to become indistinct. There's an art to balancing distinctiveness, and most of it comes out from having a repertoire of accents, attitudes, likes and dislikes, which the NPC's are generally more than happy to share with all and sundry.

An alternative to the individually stark NPC is the NPC pattern -- for example, the general taciturnity and paranoia of all the people in one town, a subtle indication of its history of political repression, contrasting against the gregarious loudness of the hard-drinking Vikings who have made their home in another town. Here, the boundary between NPC and set piece fades: the minor NPC's become less individually distinct, but they instead are used as ways to highlight the distinctive characteristics of the environment they're in.

Computer games have used this latter approach to good effect, especially recently; consider for example Riften from Skyrim, where you're guaranteed to be maltreated, ignored, and robbed. This approach is best in moderation, though, as ultimately it only accents the large set pieces, whereas the colorful small incident (such as the minor NPC) creates a richer texture for the entire world. However, there are some technical challenges to manage in such a case: NPC's are no longer purely dynamical objects, but require saved state, and dialogue-from-a-box becomes increasingly inapt, requiring instead a much more sophisticated method of dynamic dialogue generation. 

Beyond the simple payoff of a more immersive and memorable experience, this sort of deeper texturing of personal interactions can have a much deeper effect on the game. Walker's article (the one linked) talks about this in both of the games he discusses: how in Shadow of Mordor, the liveliness of the Orcs' world makes it more and more clear what the effect of your pervasively enslaving them really is, and brings into relief the fact that you're not exactly doing something heroic here; how in Watch Dogs, a background shooting -- the murder of a black teenager -- took on such a central role for the player, not because the game chose to emphasize it, but because the people involved were real.

A deep texture of interpersonal interactions in a game not only provides a tremendous well of branching-off points for players to become personally invested in the story, but it brings the deeper moral issues of the game itself into sharper relief, because most of the important consequences of moral and immoral actions are ultimately personal. This is particularly important for games, especially of the AAA variety, precisely because those games (like the action and horror movies from which they derive so many of their tropes) are built around ignoring nearly everything. There are villains: we fight them. Innocent people die in order to motivate the protagonist, or describe the evil of the antagonist. 

But none of these tropes make the slightest bit of sense if you think about them for five minutes. Consider the classic superhero movie trope of hero and villain doing battle in the middle of the hero's city: Man of Steel's Superman destroyed a sizeable chunk of Metropolis, leaving (by various estimates -- http://goo.gl/UqcDGj) 129,000 dead and doing damage 1,000 times that left by Hurricane Sandy. There's a reason people write essays about Lex Luthor not being such a bad guy. Even on smaller scales, how many games do you remember which don't involve some amount of killing guards, enemy soldiers, or the like? The games find various ways to work around this -- dehumanizing them by making them literally nonhuman, or finding plot coupons to reassure you that they really were working for evil, or the like. But to be quite honest, 99% of MegaVillainCorp's security guards aren't working that job because they dream of being henchmen: they're working it because they have bills to pay.

Games, movies, and the like add this sort of scene for the obvious reason that it creates high stakes (and thus emotional investment) and is a brilliant setup for large set pieces. (Which are highly memorable) However, they've been used so thoroughly and for so long that they've become almost automatic tropes, and that creates a rich soil for subverting them.

The rise of "realistic" modes in games -- where being shot by a gun is actually a really big problem -- moves us in a direction where it becomes possible to explore this in far more depth, because it slows down the player action and gives them just a little more chance to interact with people. That, combined with textured NPC's, makes it possible for the effects of the player's actions to resonate not merely in game mechanics, but in the further reactions and behavior of NPC's, which can drive home such impact far more deeply than a set piece ever could. 

It even opens up the possibility of discussing far more difficult subjects in video games. Walker notes that the basic arc of Watch Dogs is that "in a world with oppressive, technocratic social structures, you get to be Aiden Pearce, the human force of justice. The fantasy isn’t fixing the system, it’s giving a gun to another white man. And it’s broken, and I feel broken for loving it." He is experiencing these oppressive, technocratic structures not because the game has a big sign saying "Warning: Oppressive Government Ahead!," but because when he watches a white man murdering a black teenager on the street -- the scene which led to this article -- there are no sirens, and he wouldn't even expect sirens, because he already has a feel for how this world works. 

Now, what if the game took this to the next level? What would happen if in one of our own cities, a rich-looking white man murdered a black teenager, and a white cop, infuriated, chased him down, and recognizing him, shot him twice in the back and once in the head? How would the people at his precinct react, how would the press react, how would the people in the street react?

We don't need perfect verisimilitude here: "the cop is suspended with pay pending investigation" is rarely going to be a good way to keep the story going, and in a sufficiently broken area quite frankly nobody will care enough. But the people living in that neighborhood, the people who watched it, will care, and textured minor NPC's will make sure that the player cares as well, and suddenly the impact of the decision to do such a thing -- not a thing forced by the game at all, incidentally, the game is perfectly happy if you just walk on, or beat the man and arrest him, or even just loot the body -- can completely shape your further experience.

It's a way to suddenly discuss the deepest and most pressing issues about the use of violence in our society, and it doesn't have to be a simple Moral Lesson Of The Story: it's something built in to the experience of playing a well-crafted game, where your actions have consequences not merely on the plot arc, but on the individual people around you, people you don't know but who you see every day in the background. 

This is a way to make good games. I hope we see a lot more of it in the future.

h/t +God Emperor Lionel Lauer.___

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2014-10-11 23:00:07 (18 comments, 24 reshares, 143 +1s)Open 

This is an extremely interesting article, and it isn't about one particular thing. It's about the life of a particular zabal (garbage collector) in Cairo, and everything from how the system of garbage collection works, to how the people of the city look through the eyes of their garbage, to the complexities of the zabal's relationship with his wife. In short, it's a snapshot through several layers of daily life -- and an excellent read.

Oh, this is fascinating. [This is really must read stuff if you've any interest in the Middle East]:

"In Cairo, my family lives on the ground floor of an old building, in a sprawling, high-ceilinged apartment with three doors to the outside. One door opens onto the building’s lobby, another leads to a small garden, and the third is solely for the use of the zabal, or garbageman, who is named Sayyid Ahmed. It’s in the kitchen, and when we first moved to the apartment, at the beginning of 2012, the landlady told me to deposit my trash on the fire escape outside the door at any time. There was no pickup schedule, and no preferred container; I could use bags or boxes, or I could simply toss loose garbage outside. Sayyid’s services had no set fee. He wasn’t a government employee, and he had no contract or formal job. I was instructed to pay him whatever I believed to be fair, and if I pleased I could pay him nothing at all.

Many things in Egypt don’t work very well. Traffic is bad, and trains get cancelled; during the summer, it’s not unusual to have five electricity blackouts in a single day. One year, we couldn’t buy bottled water for months, because the plant that produced the water somehow caught fire. Since we moved into the apartment, the country has cycled through three constitutions, three Presidents, four Prime Ministers, and more than seven hundred members of parliament. But there hasn’t been a single day when the trash wasn’t cleared outside my kitchen door. As a whole, Cairo’s waste-collection system is surprisingly functional, considering that it’s largely informal. In a sprawling, chaotic city of more than seventeen million, zabaleen like Sayyid have managed to develop one of the most efficient municipal recycling networks in the world..."___This is an extremely interesting article, and it isn't about one particular thing. It's about the life of a particular zabal (garbage collector) in Cairo, and everything from how the system of garbage collection works, to how the people of the city look through the eyes of their garbage, to the complexities of the zabal's relationship with his wife. In short, it's a snapshot through several layers of daily life -- and an excellent read.

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2014-10-11 03:51:16 (107 comments, 66 reshares, 497 +1s)Open 

There is actually a third state which combines these two states, which if anything is the most common of all. 

I AM A DEMIURGE!!

This is how software actually gets made. 

Via +Robyn Miller and +Nate Behary.

#truth___There is actually a third state which combines these two states, which if anything is the most common of all. 

I AM A DEMIURGE!!

This is how software actually gets made. 

Via +Robyn Miller and +Nate Behary.

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2014-10-10 21:55:08 (34 comments, 30 reshares, 105 +1s)Open 

This is the text and slides of an extremely interesting talk by William Binney, former Technical Leader for Intelligence at the NSA, and later a whistle-blower, analyzing some of the Snowden revelations and giving them further context. It's technical, but very interesting and relevant for those who want to understand the modern signals intelligence apparatus.

Exactly what it says on the tin. /via Bruce Schneier's blog.___This is the text and slides of an extremely interesting talk by William Binney, former Technical Leader for Intelligence at the NSA, and later a whistle-blower, analyzing some of the Snowden revelations and giving them further context. It's technical, but very interesting and relevant for those who want to understand the modern signals intelligence apparatus.

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2014-10-10 20:45:14 (22 comments, 33 reshares, 232 +1s)Open 

From the category of "holy crap," I present you a story of parachuting into a major thunderstorm. Click through and read the rest - it's insane.

"As the parachute opened, he felt the familiar tug upwards. Except instead of a slow descent, he experienced a rapid ascent. The powerful updraft filled his parachute like a sail and rocketed him vertically thousands of feet at a velocity of nearly 100 mph. During his ascent, he could see hail stones forming around him. The lightning was described by him as “blue blades several feet thick” and incredibly close. The thunder was so loud, he could feel it resonating in his chest cavity and remembered this more so than how loud it was. At one point, the lightning lit up his parachute leading him to believe he had died. The rain would pelt him from all directions, and at times was so intense, he had to hold his breath for fear of drowning. But this was only half the agony — the other half being the downdrafts."

"Once the updraft exhausted itself, the associated downdraft would ensue. It was during this phase of his journey that he truly thought he would die. His parachute would collapse around him, much like a wet blanket, and plunge him into a rapid free fall towards earth. The odds of his parachute re-inflating correctly were slim, but not only did it do so once, it did numerous times through a multitude of updraft and downdraft cycles."

"What seemed like an eternity later, Colonel Rankin noticed the violent updraft and downdraft cycles were becoming less intense and the rain was consistently falling from above instead of pelting him from every direction. He was also starting to regain sensation in his frozen limbs, indicating the temperature was starting to warm. A few moments later, he descended from beneath the thunderstorm and found himself above the flat uninhabited expanse of North Carolina. However, the thunderstorm wasn’t quite finished and with one last dying breath, a gust of wind blew Colonel Rankin into a tree and thicket of bushes were his parachute became ensnared. Upon looking at his watch, approximately 40 minutes had passed since he first ejected from his F-8 Crusader."___From the category of "holy crap," I present you a story of parachuting into a major thunderstorm. Click through and read the rest - it's insane.

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2014-10-10 03:40:31 (71 comments, 8 reshares, 205 +1s)Open 

Having a great time at #GHC14. The people here are amazing - the caliber of engineers is off the charts. I've never seen anything like this at an anyone-can-attend conference.

Lots of people have been asking me what it's like to be a guy at this conference. I wish I could say something deep about feeling strange and understanding other people better as a result, but really, I mostly just feel like I'm surrounded by really cool engineers. Granted, I already spend lots of time in meetings with technical women, so this doesn't actually feel like a huge difference.

The biggest difference: lots of undergrads! I suddenly feel old. I didn't realize it was so student-focused until I was standing at the gate at the airport and a bunch of students showed up. They were so obviously happy to be going, and were so excited to suddenly be around a bunch of female engineers; it... more »

Having a great time at #GHC14. The people here are amazing - the caliber of engineers is off the charts. I've never seen anything like this at an anyone-can-attend conference.

Lots of people have been asking me what it's like to be a guy at this conference. I wish I could say something deep about feeling strange and understanding other people better as a result, but really, I mostly just feel like I'm surrounded by really cool engineers. Granted, I already spend lots of time in meetings with technical women, so this doesn't actually feel like a huge difference.

The biggest difference: lots of undergrads! I suddenly feel old. I didn't realize it was so student-focused until I was standing at the gate at the airport and a bunch of students showed up. They were so obviously happy to be going, and were so excited to suddenly be around a bunch of female engineers; it was great to watch. The nerds of the future! ___

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2014-10-09 16:55:37 (39 comments, 15 reshares, 166 +1s)Open 

We've been having way too much fun with this feature internally. Enjoy!

Introducing polls on Google+

Michael Jordan or LeBron James? Best pizza in New York City? The definitive James Bond? These are just some of the questions that can only be answered by asking those around us. Starting today, you can use polls on Google+ to settle the burning issues of our generation...or at least find out what your friends are thinking.

Polls make it easy to get opinions from your friends and followers on the things you’re curious about. You can create polls with up to five choices and use photos to make them beautiful and engaging. Check out the album on this post for examples from +The Hunger Games, +Mashable, +Neila Rey and +L’Oréal Paris India.

Of course, no poll is as interesting as the one you want answered, so give it a try for yourself -- just look for the new poll icon when creating a post. Polls will become available over the next few days on Android and the web, and are coming soon to iOS.

We’re excited to see how polls will spark conversations, so please share feedback with us as we work to make polls great for people, pages and communities on Google+.

#GooglePlusUpdate ___We've been having way too much fun with this feature internally. Enjoy!

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2014-10-07 22:31:09 (81 comments, 50 reshares, 359 +1s)Open 

For those of you who are interested in which way Google+ is going, +Dave Besbris (my boss) just had a Q&A with Re/Code about our future. 

There's a lot in the pipeline which I can't talk about (for obvious reasons), but we're very invested in social as a company, and there's a lot more good stuff to come. 

For those of you who are interested in which way Google+ is going, +Dave Besbris (my boss) just had a Q&A with Re/Code about our future. 

There's a lot in the pipeline which I can't talk about (for obvious reasons), but we're very invested in social as a company, and there's a lot more good stuff to come. ___

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2014-10-07 20:20:07 (53 comments, 21 reshares, 148 +1s)Open 

The Grace Hopper Conference is the biggest annual conference devoted to women in software engineering. This is a subject near and dear to my heart, and to Google's as well -- we're going to have an active presence there! (And I'm going to be there myself -- come by and say hi if you're attending!)

For Google, the matter boils down to something simple: If you're an engineer, and can work on incredibly complex problems that have the potential to make huge changes in the world, then you're welcome here. If you're not sure if there's a place for you -- if you wonder if there's really a place for you if you're a woman, if you're L, G, B, T, Q, if you're black, if you're Asian, if you're Latino, if you're a veteran, if you have a physical disability, if you come from riches or poverty, if anything else -- the answer is: we welcome you and want... more »

The Grace Hopper Conference is the biggest annual conference devoted to women in software engineering. This is a subject near and dear to my heart, and to Google's as well -- we're going to have an active presence there! (And I'm going to be there myself -- come by and say hi if you're attending!)

For Google, the matter boils down to something simple: If you're an engineer, and can work on incredibly complex problems that have the potential to make huge changes in the world, then you're welcome here. If you're not sure if there's a place for you -- if you wonder if there's really a place for you if you're a woman, if you're L, G, B, T, Q, if you're black, if you're Asian, if you're Latino, if you're a veteran, if you have a physical disability, if you come from riches or poverty, if anything else -- the answer is: we welcome you and want you here just as much. We will treat you with the same respect that we treat all of our colleagues. And we're actively committed to hiring a wide range of people.

This isn't just for theory's sake; I've got a profoundly selfish interest for wanting it. A wide variety of experiences in the room means better decisions; a wide variety of eyes catches subtle mistakes which we would otherwise miss. Especially when you're developing things which deeply touch people's day-to-day lives, understanding the different ways in which a single thing could affect different people is absolutely key. We need all the different backgrounds we can get.

Here are some more words from +Alan Eustace, our head of Search and a member of the board of the Anita Borg Institute, on the subject.

Via +Larry Page.___

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2014-10-07 05:15:27 (95 comments, 34 reshares, 146 +1s)Open 

Find it annoying when someone calls you a Social Justice Warrior? You can get badges helping people identify the proper class. (Or you can just sneak attack them and they'll probably get the message anyway. Or at least, the survivors standing next to them will, and isn't that almost the same thing?)

In other news, some people have apparently started using the phrase "social justice warrior" as an insult / political slur, which may well be the worst choice of insult ever. "You bad, naughty person!," I imagine Ann Coulter saying, "You go off and fight for justice!" (I don't know why I'm imagining Ann Coulter in particular, but it seems like the sort of asinine thing she would say.) And then I'm imagining Superman saying, "Why, yes!" as the Klieg lights glint off his teeth, and then he goes off to rescue some puppies or something. ... more »

Find it annoying when someone calls you a Social Justice Warrior? You can get badges helping people identify the proper class. (Or you can just sneak attack them and they'll probably get the message anyway. Or at least, the survivors standing next to them will, and isn't that almost the same thing?)

In other news, some people have apparently started using the phrase "social justice warrior" as an insult / political slur, which may well be the worst choice of insult ever. "You bad, naughty person!," I imagine Ann Coulter saying, "You go off and fight for justice!" (I don't know why I'm imagining Ann Coulter in particular, but it seems like the sort of asinine thing she would say.) And then I'm imagining Superman saying, "Why, yes!" as the Klieg lights glint off his teeth, and then he goes off to rescue some puppies or something.

She's probably in cahoots with Lex Luthor. Just sayin'. ___

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2014-10-07 03:47:55 (158 comments, 115 reshares, 738 +1s)Open 

Civil asset forfeiture is an open invitation to corruption, which police departments and prosecutors around the country have been more than glad to take. In many countries, you pretty much have to assume that half (or more) of the cops are corrupt, and will shake people down, extort them, and rob them given half a chance. Thanks to systems like this, American cops don't have to resort to such tactics -- they have an entire legal mechanism to do the same. And help them get the funding they so desperately need to acquire critical police equipment, like Zambonis and margarita machines.

No, I'm not kidding.

Best part of this episode: "Law and Order: Civil Asset Forfeiture Unit."

Civil asset forfeiture is an open invitation to corruption, which police departments and prosecutors around the country have been more than glad to take. In many countries, you pretty much have to assume that half (or more) of the cops are corrupt, and will shake people down, extort them, and rob them given half a chance. Thanks to systems like this, American cops don't have to resort to such tactics -- they have an entire legal mechanism to do the same. And help them get the funding they so desperately need to acquire critical police equipment, like Zambonis and margarita machines.

No, I'm not kidding.

Best part of this episode: "Law and Order: Civil Asset Forfeiture Unit."___

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2014-10-07 01:48:44 (22 comments, 18 reshares, 157 +1s)Open 

Rather than spoil the surprise of this video, I'll let you watch it first. (It's quite short) After watching it, you can see more of this series at http://www.chrisj.com.au/search/label/Human . 

h/t +Urs Hölzle and +Simon Tong.

Rather than spoil the surprise of this video, I'll let you watch it first. (It's quite short) After watching it, you can see more of this series at http://www.chrisj.com.au/search/label/Human . 

h/t +Urs Hölzle and +Simon Tong.___

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2014-10-06 06:44:57 (13 comments, 9 reshares, 206 +1s)Open 

To round out your weekend, or help start your week - a fantastic bookstore sign.

Via +BIBLIOMATIC

- vývěsní štít.....
- Beautiful book store sign.....
http://bit.ly/1n2JIFp
#storesigns   #book  ___To round out your weekend, or help start your week - a fantastic bookstore sign.

Via +BIBLIOMATIC

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2014-10-05 19:40:29 (81 comments, 127 reshares, 688 +1s)Open 

I always assumed that it was possible to transplant a mature tree by basically scooping it up along with the surrounding dirt and moving the whole thing, but I'd never seen the machine that actually does it before. Now I totally want one of these and to pick up and move trees around just because it's cool. (Yes, I realize that's actually a bad idea and this is quite risky for the tree. It's still cool.)

Via +Ed Chi.

I always assumed that it was possible to transplant a mature tree by basically scooping it up along with the surrounding dirt and moving the whole thing, but I'd never seen the machine that actually does it before. Now I totally want one of these and to pick up and move trees around just because it's cool. (Yes, I realize that's actually a bad idea and this is quite risky for the tree. It's still cool.)

Via +Ed Chi.___

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2014-10-05 19:15:53 (13 comments, 40 reshares, 125 +1s)Open 

There's a really interesting article here about how to handle the end of one's life. I found this particularly interesting:

"[T]he discussions most successful clinicians had with patients involved just a few important questions that often unlocked transformative possibilities: (1) What is their understanding of their health or condition? (2) What are their goals if their health worsens? (3) What are their fears? and (4) What are the trade-offs they are willing to make and not willing to make?"

I never thought before about having a structure for end-of-life conversations, but seeing these questions, they seem deeply well-chosen. The rest of this article is about how the author asked them of one person in particular, and the choices she made as a result -- choices which really affected the way she spent the rest of her life for the better.

There's a really interesting article here about how to handle the end of one's life. I found this particularly interesting:

"[T]he discussions most successful clinicians had with patients involved just a few important questions that often unlocked transformative possibilities: (1) What is their understanding of their health or condition? (2) What are their goals if their health worsens? (3) What are their fears? and (4) What are the trade-offs they are willing to make and not willing to make?"

I never thought before about having a structure for end-of-life conversations, but seeing these questions, they seem deeply well-chosen. The rest of this article is about how the author asked them of one person in particular, and the choices she made as a result -- choices which really affected the way she spent the rest of her life for the better.___

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2014-10-05 18:03:25 (99 comments, 89 reshares, 288 +1s)Open 

This is a great summary -- and from a quick eyeball, all of the things on this infographic are correct. (LMK if you catch any errors here; I didn't do a full check) So you can safely have sex before the game (it may also increase your focus!), drink milk, coffee, and alcohol, wake sleepwalkers, or use a fan at night. Just don't rely on alcohol to keep you warm or provide your calories or put the fan in the bed with you.

Also, if you're curious about what to do with baby birds who are fallen out of their nest, you can use this helpful (and accurate!) flowchart from +Bird and Moon Comics: http://birdandmoon.com/ifyoufind.html

Via +Sarah Rios.

What's better than a fact? A fact disproving common but inaccurate "knowledge". You might need to enlarge that image to benefit from it.  One of my favorite: Vikings' didn't wear horned helms...they were created in the 19th century by a costume designer for a Wagner opera.

(src http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/common-mythconceptions-worlds-most-contagious-falsehoods/)___This is a great summary -- and from a quick eyeball, all of the things on this infographic are correct. (LMK if you catch any errors here; I didn't do a full check) So you can safely have sex before the game (it may also increase your focus!), drink milk, coffee, and alcohol, wake sleepwalkers, or use a fan at night. Just don't rely on alcohol to keep you warm or provide your calories or put the fan in the bed with you.

Also, if you're curious about what to do with baby birds who are fallen out of their nest, you can use this helpful (and accurate!) flowchart from +Bird and Moon Comics: http://birdandmoon.com/ifyoufind.html

Via +Sarah Rios.

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2014-10-05 02:44:25 (44 comments, 3 reshares, 102 +1s)Open 

The sad thing about this man's death is that it did not occur at the end of a rope. "Baby Doc" Duvalier was a bloodthirsty dictator, an organizer of death squads, and a shameless pillager of his country; the fact that he was considered to be less brutal than his father is a more or less textbook definition of the phrase "low bar." Given that he will now never face justice, I can only hope that at least some more of the money that he stole -- a sizable fraction of a billion dollars, from the poorest country in the hemisphere -- can be found and returned.

The sad thing about this man's death is that it did not occur at the end of a rope. "Baby Doc" Duvalier was a bloodthirsty dictator, an organizer of death squads, and a shameless pillager of his country; the fact that he was considered to be less brutal than his father is a more or less textbook definition of the phrase "low bar." Given that he will now never face justice, I can only hope that at least some more of the money that he stole -- a sizable fraction of a billion dollars, from the poorest country in the hemisphere -- can be found and returned.___

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2014-10-04 07:43:40 (53 comments, 34 reshares, 216 +1s)Open 

Heel Group is a German-based manufacturer of what I can only describe as quack nostrums. (They can't qualify as snake oil, because that would require that they actually contained some kind of active ingredient at all) After settling a class-action lawsuit which accused them of various kinds of false advertising and fraud, essentially for claiming to be actual remedies, the company decided to simply stop selling its wares in North America, rather than deal with the consequences of the settlement, which would have required them to place honest disclaimers on their packaging.

I'm quite glad to see them go, and I only hope that their fellows in this market soon go with them. 

A bigger concern I have is something that this article brings up -- pharmacies know that there is money in this, too, and have been increasingly complicit in it. I've seen this at the local CVS as well:... more »

Heel Group is a German-based manufacturer of what I can only describe as quack nostrums. (They can't qualify as snake oil, because that would require that they actually contained some kind of active ingredient at all) After settling a class-action lawsuit which accused them of various kinds of false advertising and fraud, essentially for claiming to be actual remedies, the company decided to simply stop selling its wares in North America, rather than deal with the consequences of the settlement, which would have required them to place honest disclaimers on their packaging.

I'm quite glad to see them go, and I only hope that their fellows in this market soon go with them. 

A bigger concern I have is something that this article brings up -- pharmacies know that there is money in this, too, and have been increasingly complicit in it. I've seen this at the local CVS as well: homeopathic "remedies" are sold on the same shelves as actual medicine, with no labels warning customers that one is medicine and the other isn't. In fact, if you don't read the labels carefully and know which words to look for, you're as likely to be buying a bottle of water as a bottle of Advil -- and paying just as much for it.

Given that CVS, in particular, has recently decided to change its rules of sale -- no longer carrying any tobacco products, for example, and changing its name to "CVS Health" -- perhaps it's time for them to exit this business as well?

h/t +Liz Quilty and +David D. Stanton.___

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2014-10-04 04:42:34 (251 comments, 85 reshares, 387 +1s)Open 

+Ta-Nehisi Coates has been having a rather fascinating discussion on Twitter, and this one tweet was full of enough important, but often misunderstood, points that I think it's worth sharing with you.

The first one is what it begins with, which I think ought to be an aphorism in its own right: race doesn't create racism; it's the other way around. If you live in a place where race is a fundamental facet of existence, this may be a bit hard to understand at first, because isn't racism all about the relationship between the races? 

The important thing is that how "race" is defined varies from place to place, and it's only defined when there's a boundary between the two communities that one community, in particular, finds it important to police. To take a rather obvious example, why is Obama considered to be "black?" His father is Kenyan, andw... more »

+Ta-Nehisi Coates has been having a rather fascinating discussion on Twitter, and this one tweet was full of enough important, but often misunderstood, points that I think it's worth sharing with you.

The first one is what it begins with, which I think ought to be an aphorism in its own right: race doesn't create racism; it's the other way around. If you live in a place where race is a fundamental facet of existence, this may be a bit hard to understand at first, because isn't racism all about the relationship between the races? 

The important thing is that how "race" is defined varies from place to place, and it's only defined when there's a boundary between the two communities that one community, in particular, finds it important to police. To take a rather obvious example, why is Obama considered to be "black?" His father is Kenyan, and would be black by nearly any standard that defined it, and his mother is a Kansan of mostly English ancestry, white by nearly any standard. It would seem that there is just as much basis to call him white as to call him black. 

But the reason that he is called black -- and the reason that people have seen him as such, and that his experience of life in the US has been the black experience, and not the white experience -- is that America has conceived race with ideas such as the "one-drop rule" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-drop_rule), the idea that even one drop of black blood makes you black. It certainly doesn't have much to do with skin color; I suspect that if you put my (Ashkenazic) father's arm next to the President's, my father's would actually be darker. (His side of the family runs towards a more Mediterranean skin tone)

If you ever go somewhere farther from your home, you'll find that the borders become even more arbitrary. In the Middle East, for example, the defining properties have to do with tribe and religion. (Which is seen as an inherited trait, unlike the meaning of the word "religion" in the West; it has nothing to do with what you believe and everything to do with your family and its historical alliances) As a result, in Israel a Jew from St. Petersburg and a Jew from Yemen are considered entirely the "same" race, while that Yemeni Jew and a Yemeni Muslim are considered entirely of different races. Anyone local could tell the difference immediately; it would be a rare non-local who could tell.

The point is that the lines which we consider to define the boundary of "race" are not merely physically arbitrary, but they are artifacts of a cultural decision to define two groups as different from one another, and that difference as a salient point which we imbibe from early childhood. That salience -- the notion that the races are different, and that what benefits one is not what benefits the other, rather than being part of the same polity, is the origin of our concept of racism.


There's a second great thing in this tweet, but for that you need to know about this rather fascinating lawsuit. (http://goo.gl/e2Ltu2) Jennifer Cramblett and Amanda Zinkon, a lesbian couple from Uniontown, Ohio, conceived a child via IVF from a sperm donor. After Cramblett was already pregnant, they discovered that the sperm bank had given her the wrong sperm by mistake, giving her the sperm from (black) donor #330 instead of (white) donor #380. 

This would be a fairly straightforward, if slightly uncommon, medical malpractice case, except that the family is suing on the grounds that they and their daughter (now 2) are suffering from all sorts of consequences because of their daughter's race. According to her attorney, for example, Cramplett "did not encounter any African-American people until she entered college," and "not all her friends and family members are racially sensitive," substantiating her claim for the extra damages; apparently, this has required therapy for parents and children, and is requiring various complex accommodations, especially as some of the therapists have suggested that they move to a more racially diverse community.

What's rather fascinating here is that Cramplett has essentially just walked into a court and claimed that requiring her daughter to live the experience of a black American, rather than a white American, is a sufficient injury to constitute a legal tort, and that they are therefore entitled to reparation for it. 

I am fairly sure that this is not the argument they were intending to make, but it's quite an interesting proposition. 

Per this logic, if you take a white, middle-class child, and leave all the circumstances of this child's life invariant except that you change their skin color, this will cause them hardship in life worth at least $50,000. (The minimum damages they have asked for) One may presume that if you were to change further circumstances of the child's life -- say, causing them to live in a predominantly black neighborhood rather than a predominantly white one -- that the further emotional and economic harms that this would cause would similarly be tortious, and we could estimate their value by considering the compensation which would be appropriate if someone were to inflict this on someone else's child.

I strongly suspect that the argument of a tort by "negrification" is going to hold little to no water in court, because even if the matter isn't made quite this explicit, it would be awfully troubling for a court to state that race is sufficiently important in this country that it justifies damages. But this means that the decision in this case is going to be quite an interesting one, and it may be fuel for a number of even more interesting conversations, going forward.

/me grabs popcorn___

posted image

2014-10-04 00:18:24 (7 comments, 27 reshares, 131 +1s)Open 

Whoa. These are absolutely amazing -- illustrations of the motion of different creatures' wings in flight, of the butterflies of North America, of how muscles work, and of the different kinds of bioluminescence. All the science you can eat!

We’re blown away by these incredible animated infographics by Eleanor Lutz at Tabletop Whale!

Click through to see visualizations of flight, muscles and more!___Whoa. These are absolutely amazing -- illustrations of the motion of different creatures' wings in flight, of the butterflies of North America, of how muscles work, and of the different kinds of bioluminescence. All the science you can eat!

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