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    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeMay 27th 2014
    One of the UK papers decided to call him 'The Hunger Games Killer', which really isn't helping anyone.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeMay 27th 2014
    Because that makes sense. SMH
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    Today's disturbing news from the postal system (Japan)

    Japan police probe body sent by mail
  2.  (11238.4)
    So, yet another example of why headline writers should never, ever use the word 'probe' in anything to do with investigating people.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeJun 1st 2014
    Author and friend of mine, Jay Lake, has passed away.
  3.  (11238.6)
    @RenThing. I saw things going around Twitter earlier. Sorry to hear that.
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2014
    The tragedy of Tampico, Mexico - a city abandoned to the trees

    This was a real eye-opener for me - I'd no idea of the scale of lawlessness that Mexico seems to be facing.
    • CommentAuthorWood
    • CommentTimeJun 3rd 2014
    Bodies of 800 babies, long-dead, found in septic tank at former Irish home for unwed mothers

    In a town in western Ireland, where castle ruins pepper green landscapes, there’s a six-foot stone wall that once surrounded a place called the Home. Between 1925 and 1961, thousands of “fallen women” and their “illegitimate” children passed through the Home, run by the Bon Secours nuns in Tuam.

    According to documents Corless provided the Irish Mail on Sunday, malnutrition and neglect killed many of the children, while others died of measles, convulsions, TB, gastroenteritis and pneumonia. Infant mortality at the Home was staggeringly high. “If you look at the records, babies were dying two a week, but I’m still trying to figure out how they could [put the bodies in a septic tank],” Corless said. “Couldn’t they have afforded baby coffins?”

    Special kinds of neglect and abuse were reserved for the Home Babies, as locals call them. Many in surrounding communities remember them. They remember how they were segregated to the fringes of classrooms, and how the local nuns accentuated the differences between them and the others. They remember how, as one local told the Irish Central, they were “usually gone by school age – either adopted or dead.”

    According to Irish Central, a 1944 local health board report described the children living at the Home as “emaciated,” “pot-bellied,” “fragile” and with “flesh hanging loosely on limbs.”

    Corless has a vivid recollection of the Home Babies. “If you acted up in class some nuns would threaten to seat you next to the Home Babies,”

    Oh, the loving embrace of the Catholic Church...
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  6.  (11238.11)
    The Wisconsin attempted murder by stabbing of a 12 year old girl by two of her friends, because they wanted to become Slenderman proxies.

    This has led to a very weird week for me: Interviewed for The Guardian, two reprints of my early work on Slenderman (one in French, one on a major US women's site) went up... and I've just been commissioned by Fortean Times for a feature article on Slendy.

    Doing my head in that I'm getting my big break in Fortean journalism as the result of an awful event like this.
    • CommentTimeJun 6th 2014
    • CommentAuthor256
    • CommentTimeJun 6th 2014
    @curb - there's something strangely nauseating about that.
    • CommentTimeJun 6th 2014
    @curb, @256, there's actually a children's book that I LOVED that's about that same thing. Mary Ann, a steam shovel, and her operator Mike Mulligan, are determined to prove that Mary Ann is just as good as any diesel powered shovel (basically the machines in the "buried diggers" story).

    Mike finds a small town that is about to build a new town hall. The authorities react with disbelief when Mike claims that he and his steam shovel Mary Anne can dig the cellar in a single day; they protest that it would take a hundred men a week. Mike insists that Mary Anne can finish the job in one day, though he privately has some doubts.

    At sunup the next day, Mike and Mary Anne begin work and just complete the task by sundown. But, they neglected to dig a ramp for driving out of the construction pit. A watching child suggests that Mike take the job of janitor for the town hall, and that Mary Anne should be converted to a boiler for the town hall's heating system.

    Mike Mulligan & His Steam Shovel
    • CommentTimeJun 6th 2014
    @256 Yeah, there really is. The whole London property situation is pretty mad. For example (excuse the whole link, I'm on my mobile):

    It's great that the council acted to take it off the market, but the fact it was ever there, and for that much money, is pretty crazy in itself.


    Now that's much more like it! These diggers deserve some reward for a job well done.
    • CommentAuthorSteve Toase
    • CommentTimeJun 7th 2014 edited
    @dorkmuffin strange how things shift on. This is from the generation before when steam engines started replacing jobs.

    Reminds me of American Gods where the Gods of technology get forgotten about so quickly.

    As an archaeologist the London story is fascinating, because we're watching a very specific deposition occuring, and seeing the complex reasoning behind it .
    • CommentAuthorWood
    • CommentTimeJun 7th 2014
    • CommentAuthorWood
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2014 edited
    Computer passes 'Turing Test' for the first time after convincing users it is human

    Actually it convinced its users it was a 13-years-old boy, which is not quite the same thing.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2014
    I've never liked the Turing test as a test for true AI. To pass it you simply have to convince people you're not a computer in a 'chat' program, a problem that's extremely hard to do in AI, but in this age of big data is pretty easy to fake. I suspect it works the same way Watson did for Jeopardy.

    A proper test for AI would involve spontaneous creation, but no idea how you'd formalise that.
  7.  (11238.20)
    I'm not laughing at the fact someone died, but what an unfortunate place to crash a plane.
    Eurofighter crashes at Spain's Moron base near Seville