Day's Headlines: August 2016

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Facebook Knows; Only Kinda Criminalizing Free Speech; Gezer Palace; Blast Off Again; Egypt's Turkey Refugees; No Rule Robots; DNA Data Dreams; 'Junk' DNA Makes People Sick; Applying Eye-Contacts; and Making Of a Plague

Big Data

Liberal, Moderate or Conservative? See How Facebook Labels You nytimes

You may think you are discreet about your political views. But Facebook, the world’s largest social media network, has come up with its own determination of your political leanings, based on your activity on the site.


Compromise Reached in Bill to Criminalize Undercover Filming at Abortion Facilities

Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez (D-Echo Park) proposed the measure earlier this year in light of the undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress exposing Planned Parenthood’s provision of baby bodily organs to procurement companies.


King Solomon-era Palace Found in Biblical Gezer haaretz

The monumental building dates to the 10th century BCE, the era associated with King Solomon, who is famed for bringing wealth and stability to the newly-united kingdom of Israel and Judah. The American archaeological team also found a layer featuring Philistine pottery, lending credence to the biblical account of them living in the city until being vanquished by King David.


SpaceX Signs First Customer for Launch of Refurbished Rocket wsj

Scheduled to occur before the end of the year, the mission announced on Tuesday will be the first one to use the lower stage and nine main engines of a Falcon 9 rocket that experienced the rigors of a blastoff and acceleration through the atmosphere on a previous launch. No other commercial space company or military contractor has achieved such a landmark by recovering and reusing the entire lower stage intact, after an initial orbital flight.


Egypt blames EU-Turkey deal for refugee spike euobserver

"You see what has happened as a result of the deal with Turkey. The closing of the Balkan route and the deal in north Africa, the pressure has increased on Egypt," [foreign minister ambassador Hisham Badr] told MEPs in the European parliament's foreign affairs committee.


Researchers discover machines can learn by simply observing, without being told what to look for

The discovery, published in the journal Swarm Intelligence springer, takes inspiration from the work of pioneering computer scientist Alan Turing, who proposed a test, which a machine could pass if it behaved indistinguishably from a human. In this test, an interrogator exchanges messages with two players in a different room: one human, the other a machine.


Kawasaki Developing Artificial Intelligence For Motorcycles motorcycle

The AI wouldn’t just allow a motorcycle to talk to a rider; Kawasaki kawasaki says the AI will use a technology called an “Emotion Engine” to interpret a rider’s emotions and perhaps even develop its own personality. Cue the “Knight Rider” theme now.


How DNA could store all the world’s data nature

“We sat down in the bar with napkins and biros,” says Goldman, and started scribbling ideas: “What would you have to do to make that work?” The researchers' biggest worry was that DNA synthesis and sequencing made mistakes as often as 1 in every 100 nucleotides. This would render large-scale data storage hopelessly unreliable — unless they could find a workable error-correction scheme. Could they encode bits into base pairs in a way that would allow them to detect and undo the mistakes? “Within the course of an evening,” says Goldman, “we knew that you could.”

Variation in 'junk' DNA leads to trouble medicalxpress

Although variants are scattered throughout the genome, scientists have largely ignored the stretches of repetitive genetic code once dismissively known as "junk" DNA in their search for differences that influence human health and disease.

A new study shows that variation in these overlooked repetitive regions may also affect human health. These regions can affect the stability of the genome and the proper function of the chromosomes that package genetic material, leading to an increased risk of cancer, birth defects and infertility. The results appear online in the journal Genome Research.


Contacts May One Day Be Used to Deliver Glaucoma Medication drugs

The new study showed that the drug-dispensing lenses were able to effectively lower the eye pressure in monkeys with glaucoma at least as much as the standard eye drops used to treat the disease.

Reconstructing the 6th century plague from a victim scienmag

Before the infamous Black Death, the first great plague epidemic was the Justinian plague, which, over the course of two centuries, wiped out up to an estimated 50 million (15 percent) of the world's population throughout the Byzantine Empire—-and may have helped speed the decline of the eastern Roman Empire.

No one knows why it disappeared.


View smart nanotechnology glass is in 250 commercial buildings nextbigfuture v

Interesting, though this is mostly a commercial for the product...

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Eyes Wide Closed; JW No More; Pope and Zuckerberg; Nuclear Air Defense; Illegal but Palestine; Ancient and Sophisticated; Deep Space Diver; 365 Days on the Edge of a Volcano; Car Brains; 4D Printing; Feeling Virtual Reality; and The Drone Water Hunt


Kerry terror solution: Media should cover less wnd v

“It’s easy to terrorize. Government and law enforcement have to be correct 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. But if you decide one day you’re going to be a terrorist and you’re willing to kill yourself, you can go out and kill some people. You can make some noise. Perhaps the media would do us all a service if they didn’t cover it quite as much. People wouldn’t know what’s going on.”

Saturday, August 27, 2016

A Gushee Response; Pragmatically Arguing Against Life; AI Weapon Dreamin'; Subway Plugs; Recreating Faces; Self-Administered, Brain-Controlled Drugs; and Deep Diving Anti-Tumor Bacteria

Religious Liberty

On David Gushee’s Dishonesty mereorthodoxy

I could quote multiple lines, but this one will suffice, to begin. In talking about those awful backwards bigots (that he used to hang out with), Gushee writes, “(Religious conservatives) are organizing legal defense efforts under the guise of religious liberty, and interpreting their plight as religious persecution.”

This is another response to Mr. Gushee, mentioned by Tim Challies today.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Syria Loses; NK's Missile Ready; Planned Parenthood Capitalizes on Zika; NC Hands Tied by Feds; Mail Bot; and Old, Old, Old Granade



Following the deal struck late Thursday, Daraya's rebels began evacuating in government buses on Friday, a process expected to take several days. Around 700 gunmen are to be allowed safe passage to the opposition-held northern province of Idlib, while some 4,000 civilians will be taken to temporary shelter in government-controlled Kisweh, south of Daraya.

Also see Daraya Evacuation Deal Hands Syria's Assad a Strategic Win nbcnews

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Conservative Christians - Such a Progress Drag; A Gender Perspective; Antisemitic Jews; Sharing Turkey; Seeing Through the Rat; Self-Building Phone; DNA Calculator; and Man-Made Eclipse

Religious Liberty

We Have Been Warned theamericanconservative

Last year, the Baptist ethicist David Gushee david-gushee.squarespace was quoted by gay New York Times columnist Frank Bruni as saying that “Conservative Christian religion is the last bulwark against full acceptance of L.G.B.T. people.” Gushee has fully embraced gay rights, and doesn’t simply tolerate gay relationships, but affirms their goodness. Now he has written an extraordinarily important column laying out the future for Christians who reject the Sexual Revolution in its latest form.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Judged Not Liberal; Transgender Delayed on Technicality; Religious Freedom and Gasps of Horror; Syria: One Way or Another; Iranian Shield; NK Snub; Poor Folk Down Below; Teaching Kids to Hate Jews; Apologize Just Enough; and Stereo in Space

Sorry there was no blog yesterday - I prepared it, but then after running some unexpected errands I forgot that I never actually posted it :) Today includes yesterday's articles...


Christian judge fights to keep job

The Wyoming Commission on Judicial Conduct and Ethics has asked the high court to remove Judge Ruth Neely, the Pinedale municipal judge and part-time circuit court magistrate, from office, ban her for life from the Wyoming judiciary, and fine her $40,000. Her offense? In response to a reporter’s question, Neely stated her Christian perspective on marriage precluded her from officiating a same-sex wedding. That statement, the commission said, was enough to show bias and an inability to adjudicate the law impartially.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

China's Censorship; South Sea War Games; Give Up and Go Home NATO; Missiles from the Mediterranean; and Turkey and Israel Friends(ish) Again


The slow creep and chilling effect of China's censorship dailydot

In the era of smartphones, instantaneous communication, and social media, you would’ve expected this news [Sonam Tso's act of self-immolation] to quickly spread around the world. It didn't. In fact, it was not until early May that civil society groups outside of Tibet were able to verify what had happened to Sonam Tso and alert the world. That was more than six weeks after the event has taken place—an eternity in the digital age.

Friday, August 19, 2016

It's Princeton, Man; A Bad Week for the Unborn; Zika Beach; Leveraging a Ransom; Turkey Day 2023; and Glass Houses


Princeton begins to remove 'man' from official school material foxnews

As first reported Thursday by the conservative campus news outfit The College Fix, Princeton’s Human Resources and Office of Communications issued a four-page memo filled with examples of gender-neutral terminology that must now be used in official school documents...

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Healhxit; Time for Jekyll; Joyfully Killing Innocence; DNA Whisperer; Concrete Bend; Printing Electronics; Uber Automation; and Russia Slides Up Alongside Ukraine


Insurer exit darkens ObamaCare picture thehill

When UnitedHealthcare announced in April that it was leaving most ObamaCare marketplaces in 2017, supporters of the law argued against drawing broad conclusions, calling it one company’s decision. But since then two other large insurers, Humana and Aetna, have said they are slashing ObamaCare offerings due to heavy financial losses from the plans.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Turkey Mail; Russia's Nuclear Prep; Jordan's Israeli Anger; Lutherans Latest to Divest; Galilee Synagogue; Regulating Online Calls; and Temp Tat Remote Control


Give us EU visa freedom in October or abandon migrant deal, Turkey says whbl

[Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu] comments in Bild's Monday edition coincide with rising tensions between Ankara and the West that have been exacerbated by the failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15. Turkey is incensed by what it sees as an insensitive response from Western allies to the failed putsch, in which 240 people were killed.

Also see Greek Migration Minister: Refugee Flows from Turkey Manageable greece.greekreporter

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Blocked MS Law Remains; Preventing US $ to Israeli; The Social Third Temple; Chinese Satellite; Hypersonic Hybrid; Kashmir Can't Hear You Now; Mousy Images; Parasitic Hobby; Firefighter's Angel; and Sushi-Bot


[Mississippi] ‘Religious freedom law’ will remain blocked during appeal, court rules sunherald

HB 1523, passed by the Legislature and signed by Bryant, specifically protected three beliefs: Marriage is only between a man and a woman; sexual relations should take place only inside marriage; and a person’s “immutable biological sex” is determined at birth.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Reduced State Religion; Abortion Justification Boon; Frenemies and Syria; Hamas (and UN and World Vision) Shaming; Pilot Down; Rise of the Lice; Sewing Mechines; and Storing Data in the Jacket


California Lawmaker Drops Controversial Proposal to Regulate Religious Colleges christianitytoday

Earlier versions of Senate Bill 1146 would have prevented colleges that received state funds from enforcing codes of student conduct reflecting a college’s religious beliefs about sexual identity, including teaching that marriage is between a man and woman and limiting bathrooms to biological gender. Traditionally, California’s religious schools have received a religious exemption from non-discrimination laws. This bill would have limited it to students who were preparing for a religious career, such as ministry.

also see State senator drops proposal that angered religious universities in California

Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) is removing a provision of his bill that sought to take away the exemption of religious schools to anti-discrimination laws. Instead, he will press forward with the amended bill that would still require such schools to disclose if they have an exemption and report to the state when students are expelled for violating morality codes.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Fastest Eyes in the West; The Piltdown Hoaxer; Russia and Turkey Sittin' in a Tree...; Out Gunned Britain; and Vietnam's Firing Range


Computation of motion by T4 cells in the fly brain more complex than previously believed medicalxpress

Flies are usually very difficult to catch. No wonder – they invest around ten percent of their brain in the detection and processing of image motion. For the fly, a hand approaches in slow motion and the fly's evasive manoeuvre has long been triggered before any real danger arises. Scientists have been researching for decades how the fly brain can perceive and process movements so quickly and accurately. "Our goal is slowly coming into view, and we are close to completely decoding the neuronal circuit of motion perception in the fly," says Alexander Borst, who has been working on this problem with his Department at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology for quite some time. The scientists have now come one step closer to the answer: They have provided experimental data that combine two theories previously considered as alternatives.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Chinese Hangers; World Vision's Blind Spot; 1.2B to Iran...from Israel; How to Not Be a Jerk to Police; Escape Hatch Door; Deep Data Diagnostician; and Organic Screens


China building aircraft hangars on disputed islands in South China Sea, says US think tank scmp

Satellite photographs taken in late July show the construction of hangars on Fiery Cross, Subi and Mischief reefs in the Spratly chain of islands and some have already been completed, according to a report by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Proxy War Status; Russia and Turkey's High Hopes; ISS For Sale; BLM Also Slanders Israel; and a Random, Unified Theory


Military Success in Syria Gives Putin Upper Hand in U.S. Proxy War nytimes v

For the first time since Afghanistan in the 1980s, the Russian military for the past year has been in direct combat with rebel forces trained and supplied by the C.I.A. The American-supplied Afghan fighters prevailed during that Cold War conflict. But this time the outcome — thus far — has been different.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Athletic Spies; Robot Reporter; Greased Turkey; The Chinese Quad; Cool Clothes; and Bible Drone


More Than 1,000 U.S. Spies in Brazil Protecting Rio Olympics nbcnews

In addition, more than a dozen highly trained Navy and Marine Corps commandos from the U.S. Special Operations Command are in Brazil, working with the Brazilian Federal Police and the Brazilian Navy, according to senior military officials.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Wages for Wheat; NK's Moon Dreams; The Very Bad, Horrible Iran Deal; Obama the Feminist; Battery Spy; Growing Cities of Tomorrow; Chimeras Carefully; and The Not So Far-Fetched Flood Story


Where flour, pasta and milk can cost a month's pay cnn

There's hardly ever fresh milk on the shelves. The same for powdered milk, which can sell on the black market for 100 times its official price. We found milk being sold for 7,000 bolivares -- more than $700 at the official currency exchange rate, though if you have U.S. dollars you can exchange them on the black market at vastly more favorable rates, perhaps getting 1,000 bolivares to the dollar.

This story reminded me a bit of the third seal (famine) describes in Revelation 6:6 NIV

Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, "Two pounds of wheat for a day's wages, and six pounds of barley for a day's wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!"

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Imagine and Believe; Strange Church Fellows; Levi Plans; Brazilian Jews; Turkey Threatens EU; Street Rate of Death; NK Can Reach LA; China's Nose Punch; Atheists in Devil Suits; 'Christian' Delisted as Hate Speech; Anthrax in Russia; Moving Pictures; Printing Solar Cells; Self-Directed Robot Sings Badly; and The AI Way

Sorry for no post yesterday, and for the particularly, currently 'old' news Internet was down yesterday! This update catches up on the news you didn't even know you missed over the unscheduled long-weekend...

False Unity

Pope to young on Poland trip: Believe ‘in a new humanity’ washingtonpost

Pope Francis told young people who flocked by the hundreds of thousands to his words Sunday that they need to “believe in a new humanity” stronger than evil, and cautioned against concluding that one religion is more violent than others.

If you remember, Imagine was played quite a bit last year by various so-called 'globalists'. Sounds like P.J., himself, took a page from Lennon this week:

“People may judge you to be dreamers, because you believe in a new humanity, one that rejects hatred between peoples, one that refuses to see borders as barriers and can cherish its own traditions without being self-centered or small-minded,” Francis told his flock.