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  1.  (10875.101)
    The ‘offense of homosexuality’ includes same-sex sexual acts or being in a gay relationship, and will be prosecuted by life imprisonment.

    Because we all know going to prison cures people of being gay
    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeNov 13th 2012
     (10875.102)
    @dork - that's exactly how i feel about it. I totally get why dude is upset, but geez, he doesn't need to engage in high school level drama, either.
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      CommentAuthordorkmuffin
    • CommentTimeNov 13th 2012
     (10875.103)
    Yeah, pretty childish. LUCKILY HE DOESN'T MAKE A LIVING WRITING. Because sweet Jeebus, Ex Machina was damn pretty.
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      CommentAuthordorkmuffin
    • CommentTimeNov 13th 2012 edited
     (10875.104)
    VIRGINIA. WHAT THE FUCK.

    As part of Virginia's waiver to opt out of mandates set out in the No Child Left Behind law, the state has created a controversial new set of education goals that are higher for white and Asian kids than for blacks, Latinos and students with disabilities.

    ...

    Here's what the Virginia state board of education actually did. It looked at students' test scores in reading and math and then proposed new passing rates. In math it set an acceptable passing rate at 82 percent for Asian students, 68 percent for whites, 52 percent for Latinos, 45 percent for blacks and 33 percent for kids with disabilities.


    Edited to add:

    Look, so, Virginia is being unacceptably racist. Obviously. One thing that this article does sort of get at is that there's a very real problem with the way American schools are trying to close the achievement gap and help students who fall behind. But a) we need to be measuring improvement AND achievement, and b) WE NEED TO BE DOING IT ON THE INDIVIDUAL LEVEL.


    •  
      CommentAuthorFoamhead
    • CommentTimeNov 14th 2012 edited
     (10875.105)
    Meanwhile, back in the so-called First World...

    Woman dies after abortion request 'refused'
    The death of a woman who was 17 weeks pregnant is the subject of two investigations at University Hospital Galway in the Republic of Ireland.
    Savita Halappanavar's family asked several times for her pregnancy to be terminated because she had severe back pain and was miscarrying.
    Her family claimed it was refused because there was a foetal heartbeat. She died on 28 October.

    Her husband, Praveen, told the Irish Times that medical staff said his wife could not have an abortion because Ireland was a Catholic country and the foetus was still alive.
    And I can just see the hospital staff explaining all this Very. Slowly. But. In. A. Slightly. Shouty. Voice. Because, you know, foreign.

    Religions. I've fucking shit 'em.
    •  
      CommentAuthorTF
    • CommentTimeNov 14th 2012 edited
     (10875.106)
    I wouldn't say it was shouty but quiet and patronising. We learned from priests.

    EDIT:

    For anyone curious about just how fucked up Ireland is on the issue here's a really well put together article covering all the big ins and outs (eat your heart out right wing Americans)
    •  
      CommentAuthornigredo
    • CommentTimeNov 14th 2012
     (10875.107)
    700,000 Americans petition the White House to secede from the US

    Is this true?! What in the 18th century is going on?
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      CommentAuthorsneak046
    • CommentTimeNov 14th 2012
     (10875.108)
    Someone on twitter reasoned that the majority of those 700,000 would be outside metropolitan areas and that the secession idea would never carry the cities. I'd like to see if there was any stats to back that up or not.
  2.  (10875.109)
    Considering that the people who are petitioning to secede probably have conservative/Republican backgrounds, and considering the origins of the Republican party, I find this deeply deeply ironic (and perhaps hilarious, because I have a hard time taking this seriously).
    •  
      CommentAuthortaphead
    • CommentTimeNov 14th 2012
     (10875.110)
    •  
      CommentAuthorsneak046
    • CommentTimeNov 14th 2012
     (10875.111)
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      CommentAuthorarklight
    • CommentTimeNov 14th 2012
     (10875.112)
    700,000 ?? Isn't that less than 1% of the American population wanting to secede?

    How many people watch America's Got Talent again? File under ignore I think.



    Heri Mkocha
    https://ww.youtube.com/thearklight
    •  
      CommentAuthordorkmuffin
    • CommentTimeNov 14th 2012
     (10875.113)
    @Nigredo, think about how huge America is, and then think about how many completely insane nutjobs we have, and then 700K seems like a low number. And yeah, more or less exclusively outside of the cities.
    • CommentAuthorWood
    • CommentTimeNov 14th 2012
     (10875.114)
    Terry Pratchett: My daughter Rhianna will take over the Discworld when I'm gone

    He has lost the ability to use a keyboard altogether and can do very little with a pen. His most recent four books have been written entirely by dictation, and with the help of his assistant of 12 years, Rob Wilkins.

    Pratchett's assistant of 12 years, Rob Wilkins, also reveals that earlier this month, the author suffered an atrial fibrillation in the back seat of a New York taxi. Were it not for emergency CPR, he would have died.

    [Rhianna] will be a co-writer on the BBC Discworld series The Watch, news of which has had fans like me chewing their cheeks in excitement. Mine may never recover after hearing some particularly exciting casting details that I'm absolutely not allowed to tell you about.

    Run by Pratchett's new production company, Narrativia, The Watch will continue the well-loved City Watch saga where the books left off, and Rhianna will be an important member of the writing team. The author tells me that he will be happy for her to continue writing the Discworld books when he is no longer able to do so. "The Discworld is safe in my daughter's hands," Pratchett assures me.
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      CommentAuthornigredo
    • CommentTimeNov 14th 2012
     (10875.115)
    @dorkmuffin

    Fair point, but still quite fascinating.
    •  
      CommentAuthordorkmuffin
    • CommentTimeNov 14th 2012
     (10875.116)
    It's definitely still fascinating in that "GOOD LORD people are awful and stupid!" kind of way. I will never get tired of that, and the world will never stop providing it.
    • CommentAuthorWood
    • CommentTimeNov 14th 2012
     (10875.117)
    Meanwhile, since doing a petition seems like it's the New Thing :

    Petition to Peacefully grant the city of Austin Texas to withdraw from the state of Texas & remain part of the United States.

    Austin Texas continues to suffer difficulties stemming from the lack of civil, religious, and political freedoms imposed upon the city by less liberally minded Texans. It is entirely feasible for Austin to operate as its own state, within the United States, in the event that Texas is successful in the current bid to secede. It is important for Austin to remain in the union as to do so would protect it's citizens' standard of living and re-secure their rights and liberties in accordance with the original ideas and beliefs of our founding fathers.

    We would also like to annex Dublin Texas, Lockhart Texas, & Shiner Texas.
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      CommentAuthorGreasemonkey
    • CommentTimeNov 14th 2012 edited
     (10875.118)
    • CommentAuthor256
    • CommentTimeNov 14th 2012
     (10875.119)
    Here's one that's a genuine mixture of amazing and horrifying:

    fMRI scanning allows a man who's been in an apparent vegetative state for 12 years to communicate.

    Amazing because technological "mind reading" of specific thoughts is something that people have been working toward for a long time, and this is a brilliant application of it.

    Horrifying because: How many people in history have hung around for years, apparently completely unware of themselves and their surroundings (the definition of a vegetative state) and nobody has ever known that they were really still in there?
    • CommentAuthor256
    • CommentTimeNov 14th 2012 edited
     (10875.120)
    On the secession thing:

    They're petitions, and petitions don't mean shit. On the internet, even moreso.

    Many of the states where those petitions originate have legally renounced the right to secede in their state constitutions.

    @ark - it's 0.2% of the population. Or (although I'd be astonished if all those 700k were people who actually voted for any party) you could express it as 1.2% of the people who voted for Romney.

    edit: Or 0.6% of the population of the Red States (which I worked out as 107.9 million, if you wanted a number to drop into conversation)

    edit2: I started to wonder if that last number could possibly be right, so I tallied up the blue states too - 198 million, which combines to about the right total. Somehow it had always escaped me quite how much of the US population is in blue states - almost 2/3.