New Moral Panic: Knife Violence

Britain is taking strong measures against knife violence. Since they’ve already banned guns, all the bad guys are turning to knives to kill people. It’s a bit messier but it still works OK.

Knife Crime Prevention Orders would impose sanctions, including bans on using social media to stir up trouble.

The possession of knives has increased by almost a third in five years, figures released earlier this month showed.

Requirements to attend special knife awareness courses to change their thinking.... [Read More]


“The Apple-Tree, the Singing, and the Gold”

In the Hippolytus of Euripides, matters proceed as the usual unstoppable train-wreck: swiftly at times and slowly at other times; hopeful for a few moments but dreadful mostly.  Goddess makes Queen fall in love with own stepson; Queen tries to shake it off, but fails; humans and deities all clamor about, baffling progress and escalating strife; Queen starts gearing up to do something not only stupid but also evil; Chorus gets a whiff of it and just wishes to get the heck out of there.

Here is Gilbert Murray’s translation of the Chorus as they fantasize escape destinations:  a cave, a cloud, the beach, a riverbank, and then hit on the ideal place: the Garden of the Hesperides, of course.... [Read More]


Ethiopia: Communism Destroyed the Forests. Churches Preserving Them

Church forest in EthiopiaIn the early 20th century, around 45% of Ethiopia was covered by forests.  Due to population pressure and encouraged by the Communist regime in power from 1974 through 1991, which nationalised the land and distributed it to people who cleared forests for subsistence farming, now only 5% of the land is forested.

When you see a forest in Ethiopia today, the odds are there’s a church in the middle of it.  The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is one of the oldest Christian churches in Sub-Saharan Africa, dating from A.D. 333, when Christianity was proclaimed the state religion.  For much of its history, the church was administered as a branch of the Coptic Church of Alexandria, Egypt, but became independent in 1959, with its own patriarch.... [Read More]


It Isn’t the Cloud: It’s Somebody Else’s Computer

Google+ was launched in June 2011.  It was Google’s response to the rapid growth of Facebook and other social networks.  Just two weeks after its launch, 10 million users had joined.  By October 2013, 540 million users accessed one or more Google+ features.  People created text, images, uploaded images and media, and interacted on the network.  All of these data were stored on Google’s servers.

On October 8, 2018, Google announced that Google+ would be terminated in August 2019.   Subsequently, the shut-down date was moved up to April 2019.  This was due in part to a massive data breach discovered in the spring of 2018 which disclosed the personal data of 52.5 million users.  This was covered up by Google “due to fears of increased regulatory scrutiny”.  According to the October 2018 announcement, 90% of user sessions on Google+ lasted less than five seconds.... [Read More]


Novel Wall Funding Concept

Someone from the legacy site linked to this article. The essence of it is to offer the Mexican government a “loan” to fund the border wall with some oil fields as collateral.

…draw up the papers, call up President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, give him a 2.25 interest rate over 30 years, put a clause in there that says if he falls behind on payments we can send the Navy down to Yucatán to claim the Cantarell Oil Field in the Gulf. And that’s his collateral.

The Mexican Navy has three boats, we’ve got destroyers equipped with Tomahawk Missiles.... [Read More]