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  1.  (10331.1)
    And people wonder why I'm against the privitization of prisons.
    (Or, they think it's just because I'm afraid of losing my job to them)

    The real crime was, to justify filling the two new facilities, the judges had to lock up kids for petty misadventures, overriding the recommendations of child welfare workers. It eventually meant that Luzerne County, which had 3 percent of the state's population, was locking up 22 percent of the state's youthful offenders.

    The "kids-for-cash" scheme, as it became known, showed that the pressure to fill up these facilities led to some horrific abuses of power over children, most of whom were locked up without legal representation.

    A high school girl who mocked an assistant principal on a website was locked up for a month. A 12-year-old boy who took his mother's car was locked up for two years. A 13-year-old boy got 48 days for throwing food at his mother's boyfriend.

    Children as young as 10 years old were locked up. In the end, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania dismissed 4,000 juvenile cases affected by this scheme.


    Great to see these judges who abused the system are now going behind the bars at actual state facilities now.
    •  
      CommentAuthorcelan
    • CommentTimeNov 24th 2011 edited
     (10331.2)
    Man charged after teen bashed with hedgehog
    "The man was arrested shortly afterwards for assault with a weapon, namely the hedgehog."
  2.  (10331.3)
    I'm in Communist Europe spoiling ur thxgivingz :(((

    http://www.madhibaan.org/in-depth/real-thanksgiving.htm
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      CommentAuthorStoto
    • CommentTimeNov 24th 2011
     (10331.4)
    Robot guards to patrol South Korean prisons

    Robot guards with sensors to detect abnormal behaviour will soon begin patrolling South Korean prisons to ease the burden on their human counterparts, researchers said Thursday.
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      CommentAuthornigredo
    • CommentTimeNov 24th 2011
     (10331.5)
  3.  (10331.6)
    @Vorn: That's quite a different telling of the story, fo' sho'. Any idea if anyone else corroborates it?
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      CommentAuthorFoamhead
    • CommentTimeNov 25th 2011
     (10331.7)
    •  
      CommentAuthorVornaskotti
    • CommentTimeNov 25th 2011 edited
     (10331.8)
    Ben:

    No. Because they're all dead *dun-dun-duuuu!*

    But seriously, I've now and then ran into these viewpoints and god knows there's a lot of whitewashing around many a national holiday and its origins. I linked this here just for a viewpoint, and maybe for some actual historians to poke at.
    • CommentAuthorcardo
    • CommentTimeNov 25th 2011
     (10331.9)
    @ Foamhead - Is that Pete Burns?
  4.  (10331.10)
    @Vorn: I've heard about it being a whitewashing of what's basically a victory celebration, but I just thought the bit about kicking heads up and down the street might have been going out on a limb.
  5.  (10331.11)
    You know, when it comes to celebrating holidays that we all know are nothing even close to the rites or rituals which inspired them, all I can really say is I don't give a fuck.

    To me, if I actually bother to celebrate a holiday, I do my best to capture the feeling that me and mine wish to get out of it.

    When it came to Thanksgiving, my yearly toast was simply, "To being with the family you choose to be with," as most uf us chose not to be with our blood families, but a few did, and they should take that as an honor; I'm not being with you purely because of the randomness of us being related, I'm being with you because I actually like you.

    When it comes to Christmas, yes I buy presents, but I don't have a tree. I plan on buying one eventually, because I actually like having a tree. Even if it's just to give my cat another place to sleep on things I own. Although, I buy gifts for people I care about year round. Xmas is just an excuse for me to spend more on my friends. I easily earn double, if not triple most of my friends, and I don't like being dickish about it. I can't just pay for everything all the time without making folks feel bad, and Xmas is one of the times I can indulge without any reservations. Especially for my kid. I just spoil the shit out of her every chance I can get, but she knows it's out of love, not out of a holiday marketing campaign.

    Halloween I mostly just like to go to Austin with my girlfriend so we can watch pretty people in slutty costumes while seeing good live music.

    And I don't know what to do on St. Patty's now that we're sober. I'll probably watch The Quiet Man, but I don't know if I can do Boondock Saints without whiskey.

    And as far as those holidays' origins having nothing to with how I'm celebrating them, well, why would I let that ruin my fun?
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      CommentAuthorVornaskotti
    • CommentTimeNov 25th 2011 edited
     (10331.12)
    government spy:

    Couldn't agree more with your approach. I celebrate Christmas because it's a great excuse to meet friends and family, to eat until you're silly and so forth and I got no issue with approaching holidays like that - or, if someone wants to place some religious meaning on them, feel free.

    I get a bit cranky only when someone starts going on about traditions spanning centuries and crap like that. Actually placing some historical meaning on certain holidays that just aren't there. There's a lot of xenophobic shit and clueless nationalism going on in Finland around now, and one of the thing they're bleating about is how the modern world destroys the centuries old traditional Finnish Christmas. I swear, even thinking about that argument made my blood pressure just jump 20 points...
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeNov 25th 2011
     (10331.13)
    Black Friday Follies, via the news I groggily watched this morning:

    San Leandro, CA: Folks leaving Wal-Mart with their purchases were accosted in the parking lot by three men demanding their stuff. The shoppers resisted; one of the robbers drew a gun and fired. The wounded man and a companion chased the robbers, catching one. The one would-be thief is in jail, the wounded shopper in the hospital. Meanwhile, shopping continues.

    Los Angeles (I think), CA: A woman used pepper spray on fellow shoppers in an attempt to slow down the competition for limited-stock sale products. Ten people were injured.
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      CommentAuthorcelan
    • CommentTimeNov 25th 2011
     (10331.14)
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeNov 25th 2011 edited
     (10331.15)
    Inflatable robots may sound liek a crap 70's band but they actually make a lot of sense.

    The "antroach" robot cam carry a 1,000 load and weighs onlu 70 pounds itself, making it luggable.

    It's also way less creepy than BigDog.


    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeNov 25th 2011
     (10331.16)
    Researchers in Jpan build a cheap high-speed wireless receiver using Terahertz frequencies.

    This spectrum isn't useful out of doors because its absorbed by moisture in the atmosphere but for bluetooth style applications it could be great.

    The units cost just over US$1 to make and transmit at around 1 Gig per second.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeNov 25th 2011 edited
     (10331.17)
    The latest American UAV drone: the Switchblade



    Compared to current drones like the Predator, the Switchblade is designed to be cheap and light enough to be carried by troops in the field.

    In addition to giving troops 24 hiur aerial recon capabilities, the Switchblade has a warhead and can be used as a mssile to attack "targets fo opportunity".
  6.  (10331.18)
    • CommentAuthoricelandbob
    • CommentTimeNov 26th 2011
     (10331.19)
    @stefanJ

    Here a video about the pepper spray incident!

  7.  (10331.20)
    @Kosmopolit: I just want a handheld controller like he has, but with vidyagames, for on the train.
    Alright, let's be honest, I want the remote-controlled assassin drone a little bit too.