Archive for June 4th, 2011
Internet access is a human right, according to a United Nations report released on Friday.
“Given that the Internet has become an indispensable tool for realizing a range of human rights, combating inequality, and accelerating development and human progress, ensuring universal access to the Internet should be a priority for all states,” said the report from Frank La Rue, a special rapporteur to the United Nations, who wrote the document “on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.”
La Rue said in his report that access to the Internet is particularly important during times of political unrest, as demonstrated by the recent “Arab Spring” uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, among other countries.
Take that, Talk Talk.
Three people were left hypnotised on stage when a hypnotist knocked himself out during a show in Dorset.David Days was performing at Portland’s Royal Manor Theatre on Friday when he tripped over a participant’s leg.His team could not rouse him and the audience was asked to leave while the people were still “asleep” on stage.They were “woken up” soon after when Mr Days recovered. His manager said the performer has a voice recording which can be used to bring people round.The hypnotist later wrote on his Facebook page: “I would just like to let my fans know that I am completely fine.”A little bruised, but that’s all. Thanks for your support tonight, it was a great show with some great volunteers.”Mr Days, who has hypnotised members of the pop band Blue on television, did not require hospital treatment, his manager Tara Nix said.
No matter how cool a teenager’s mom and dad may be, few teens get through high school without their parents embarrassing them.But an American Fork teen has had to put up with his dad embarrassing him the entire school year.There’s not much worse for a high school student than having your dad wave at you as you get on the school bus every morning. Just ask Rain Price, who is thrilled the school year is finally over.”It’s a way of letting him know that we really care about him, but do something a little different … It’s a father’s way of saying I love you.” -Dale Price That’s because his dad is there to bid him farewell every morning, but he’s taken the embarrassment factor to a new level — he’s always wearing a crazy costume.”When he did it the first day I was in shock,” Rain said. “It’s my first day of sophomore year.”The idea caught on for Dale Price and he wore a costume to wave at the bus all year long.
Ransom note for ‘Open for Business’ sign left at Stephen King’s radio station — Maine Politics — Bangor Daily News
It’s not clear which came first — the ad on Craigslist or the ransom note left on the door of Stephen King’s radio station on Broadway.State police are investigating both in connection with the disappearance of Gov. Paul LePage’s “Open for Business” sign on Interstate 95 in Kittery.It disappeared sometime before Memorial Day but has not been found.The Maine Department of Transportation did not remove it, spokesman Mark Latti said earlier this week.A tongue-in-cheek advertisement appeared briefly Thursday on Craigslist offering a “right-wing political sign” for $1,000. The ad stated the seller would trade for a “multi-panel mural depicting the labor movement,” referring to the mural LePage had removed from the offices of the state Department of Labor.
WAIT = Stephen King has a radio station????
We like to think of ourselves as rational creatures. We watch our backs, weigh the odds, pack an umbrella. But both neuroscience and social science suggest that we are more optimistic than realistic. On average, we expect things to turn out better than they wind up being. People hugely underestimate their chances of getting divorced, losing their job or being diagnosed with cancer; expect their children to be extraordinarily gifted; envision themselves achieving more than their peers; and overestimate their likely life span (sometimes by 20 years or more).
The belief that the future will be much better than the past and present is known as the optimism bias. It abides in every race, region and socioeconomic bracket. Schoolchildren playing when-I-grow-up are rampant optimists, but so are grownups: a 2005 study found that adults over 60 are just as likely to see the glass half full as young adults.
At the Fox News holiday party the year the network overtook archrival CNN in the cable ratings, tipsy employees were herded down to the basement of a Midtown bar in New York. As they gathered around a television mounted high on the wall, an image flashed to life, glowing bright in the darkened tavern: the MSNBC logo. A chorus of boos erupted among the Fox faithful. The CNN logo followed, and the catcalls multiplied. Then a third slide appeared, with a telling twist. In place of the logo for Fox News was a beneficent visage: the face of the network’s founder. The man known to his fiercest loyalists simply as “the Chairman” – Roger Ailes.
In just a few centuries, the people of Easter Island wiped out their forest, drove their plants and animals to extinction, and saw their complex society spiral into chaos and cannibalism. Are we about to follow their lead?Among the most riveting mysteries of human history are those posed by vanished civilizations. Everyone who has seen the abandoned buildings of the Khmer, the Maya, or the Anasazi is immediately moved to ask the same question: Why did the societies that erected those structures disappear?Their vanishing touches us as the disappearance of other animals, even the dinosaurs, never can. No matter how exotic those lost civilizations seem, their framers were humans like us. Who is to say we won’t succumb to the same fate? Perhaps someday New York’s skyscrapers will stand derelict and overgrown with vegetation, like the temples at Angkor Wat and Tikal.Among all such vanished civilizations, that of the former Polynesian society on Easter Island remains unsurpassed in mystery and isolation. The mystery stems especially from the island’s gigantic stone statues and its impoverished landscape, but it is enhanced by our associations with the specific people involved: Polynesians represent for us the ultimate in exotic romance, the background for many a child’s, and an adult’s, vision of paradise. My own interest in Easter was kindled over 30 years ago when I read Thor Heyerdahl’s fabulous accounts of his Kon-Tiki voyage.