When Big Numbers Roamed the Hills of Los Angeles | KCET

This amazing form of advertising reminded me of a post I published a while ago about Coca-Cola:)

Enjoy the creativity of Heinz 57!

In the early decades of the 20th century, some California hillsides bloomed not with golden poppies but with concrete numbers.

Source: When Big Numbers Roamed the Hills of Los Angeles | KCET

Akamai’s Network to Be Powered by the Sun and Wind

Akamai’s purpose is to propel our customers faster forward by making the Internet business-ready: fast, reliable, and secure. And now, also green and clean. Today we are committing, by 2020, to reduce our absolute greenhouse gas emissions below 2015 levels by sourcing renewable energy for 50 percent of our network operations.

Source: Akamai’s Network to Be Powered by the Sun and Wind

Girls + egalitarian views = better maths scores – The Science Writer

Girls do better in maths in societies that have progressive and egalitarian views about the role of women, according to new research. The study highlights the relevance of gender social norms on gi…

Source: Girls + egalitarian views = better maths scores – The Science Writer

Gender-Bender Award – Not Applicable

Gender-Bender Award

Tiffany’s Gender-Bender Award is an opportunity to celebrate those who challenge and disrupt the gender binary!

Each month, I will feature a post that in some way takes us beyond the paradigm of gender oppression.  Many types of content will be considered – poetry and prose, fiction and nonfiction, even visual art.  I will also consider a variety of perspectives, everything from 1800s “first-wave” Western feminism to women’s uprisings in the Muslim world today, from Stonewall-era gay liberation to 21st century activism for transgender rights and dignity.

This Month, I am awarding Thomas in Genderland for “Not Applicable“.

“Gender: check all that apply. Okay. Reading all the options listed on the intake form, I tried to imagine which ones I would check if I were filling out the form myself. I quickly became confused and frustrated. Every single one of those check-boxes could, perhaps – if stretched a little here and shrunk a little there – apply to me. And yet every single box feels as awkward and ill-fitting as an outgrown T-shirt. Nor was there any combination of boxes that could approximate a more accurate answer. After much fuming and deliberation, I eventually decided that I would check only one box: “other”. And then, on that inviting blank line, I would write “not applicable”. Not applicable. These words are a defiant slogan for so much of the uncertainty in my life. Not applicable. These words are my defensive withdrawal from the identities it seems that other people understand and claim so easily. Not applicable. These words are a burden of crushing doubt and a window to a world of limitless possibility.

Read more at https://thomasingenderland.com/2016/05/06/not-applicable.

PLEASE NOMINATE A POST!

There has never been a country that should have been so rich but ended up this poor – The Washington Post

Venezuela has become a failed state.

According to the International Monetary Fund’s latest projections, it has the world’s worst economic growth, worst inflation and ninth-worst unemployment rate right now. It also has the second-worst murder rate, and an infant mortality rate that’s gotten 100 times worse itself the past four years. And in case all that wasn’t bad enough, its currency, going by black market rates, has lost 99 percent of its value since the start of 2012. It’s what you call a complete social and economic collapse. And it has happened despite the fact that Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves.

Never has a country that should have been so rich been so poor.

There’s no mystery here. Venezuela’s government is to blame. Sure, $50-a-barrel oil hasn’t helped, but it hasn’t hurt so much that a “Mad Max”-style dystopia was inevitable. After all, every other country whose economy begins and ends at its oil wells has at least managed to avoid that fate. Which is to say that Venezuela is a man-made disaster. It’s a gangster state that doesn’t know how to do anything other than sell drugs and steal money for itself.

Indeed, two of President Nicolás Maduro’s nephews were arrested on charges of conspiring to bring 800 kilos of cocaine into the United States, the president’s right-hand man is suspected of running a drug ring himself, and public money has a habit of disappearing into what could only be private pockets. Two ex-officials estimate that as much as $300 billion has been misappropriated the past decade.

It’s enough that Transparency International ranks Venezuela as the ninth-most corrupt country in the world. The only ones worse — Somalia, North Korea, Afghanistan, Sudan, South Sudan, Angola, Libya and Iraq — are a collection of rogue and war-torn nations…

But Venezuela has gotten something worse than death. It has gotten hell. Its stores are empty, its hospitals don’t have essential medicines, and it can’t afford to keep the lights on. All the progress it had made fighting poverty has been reversed, and then some. The police are going after protesters, and vigilantes are going after petty criminals by, for example, burning a 42-year-old father alive for stealing $5. How has it come to this? Well, the underlying cause is that the government hasn’t been content to just control the oil business. It wants to control every business. It tells them how much to charge, who’s allowed to charge it, and even who’s allowed to line up for it. Because that’s the one thing Venezuela is well-supplied with now: hours and hours of lines.

Source: There has never been a country that should have been so rich but ended up this poor – The Washington Post

Terror dragnet sweeps up Somali American’s sons: ‘Now everything is broken.’ – The Washington Post

For more than a year, drapes have shrouded the windows in Ayan Farah’s house, and construction paper has been carefully taped over the glass on the front and back doors.

The coverings went up last spring to deflect the TV cameras that appeared after FBI agents swarmed Farah’s house, overturning the life she had built in the United States along with the cushions on her living-room couch.

In the largest case of its kind on U.S. soil, the FBI swept up 10 young men from the Twin Cities’ tight-knit Somali American community and accused them of conspiring to join the Islamic State, or ISIS, and commit murder on its behalf. One man made it to Syria and has been charged in absentia. Six, including Farah’s second-oldest son, Adnan, 20, took plea deals and are awaiting sentencing. Three pleaded not guilty. Those include Mohamed, 22, Farah’s eldest son.

Now Mohamed faces the prospect of life in prison.

Source: Terror dragnet sweeps up Somali American’s sons: ‘Now everything is broken.’ – The Washington Post

12 newsrooms in 5 years: How the Russian authorities decimated a news industry — Meduza

On May 13, 2016, the biggest independent news company in Russia fired its top three editors.

According to multiple inside sources, the dismissals were the result of pressure from the Kremlin, following the authorities’ anger about several recent investigative reports.

In particular, the Kremlin is said to have been enraged by reports about Vladimir Putin’s family and about offshore account records revealed in the “Panama Papers.”

Many of the editors and reporters at RBC say they plan to resign, following the exit of the company’s top three editors, while others have vowed to continue their work “until the first story is censored.”

Meduza looks back at what has become a sad trend in Russia: overt political pressure on the news media.

Since 2011, when the last presidential campaign season got underway, there have been at least a dozen prominent instances. Here they are.

Source: 12 newsrooms in 5 years: How the Russian authorities decimated a news industry — Meduza

Russian Military Base on World Heritage Site

The military base sprang up between these two satellite photos being taken on March 30 and May 10th.
The military base sprang up between these two satellite photos being taken on March 30 and May 10th.

satellite 2

In March, Syrian, Iranian, and Russian forces retook Palmyra from ISIS forces. ISIS did extensive damage to Roman era ruins and statues at the site over the last year.

New satellite images of the reclaimed ruins suggest that a newly constructed Russian base is being built near the northern necropolis ruins, part of a UNESCO site designated “the monumental ruins of a great city that was one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world.”

Source: This Russian Military Base In Syria Could Very Well Be Illegal – BuzzFeed News

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