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10/2/2013  Tom Clancy's Powerful Foresight Into a Post-9/11 World -- The late author helped America anticipate for this era of war, but he also gave hope.
In an appreciation of science fiction and its authors, Philip K. Dick once noted of the genre, "It's not just 'What if?' It's 'My God; what if?'" When I learned of the death of novelist Tom Clancy at age 66, those words immediately came to mind. To understand Clancy and his legacy, it's useful to remember a time when we didn't casually toss around terms like "SEAL Team Six" and "radiological bomb," and the only people who worried about the threat of "NBCs" were network-television execs. The power of Tom Clancy is that he gave us a glimpse into a post-9/11 world from the relative comfort of the 1990s. He described the astonishing might of the world's militaries, and of the power that generals wield only for want of an enemy. He didn't just tell you about a fighter jet; he let you fly it. He didn't just quantify the destructive power of an atomic bomb; he blew up the Super Bowl. Restraint was never his specialty, and if it seemed like he was sharing details on par with number of bolts in an aircraft carrier, it's because you could almost see him having so much fun while he was writing. He was a geek with a restless imagination, and vast swaths of his prose are like an applied version of Jane's Defense Weekly.
(The Atlantic)
posted: 10/2/13                   0       14
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keywords: 9/11, Abdul Rashid Dostum, Afghanistan, Atta Muhammad Nur, Central Intelligence Agency, Cold War, Jane's Defense Weekly, Mazar-i-sharif, Mike Spann, Military, Mohammad Mohaqiq, NBC, Nuclear Weapons, Philip K Dick, Russia, Super Bowl, Taliban, Terrorists, Tom Clancy, US Army, US Navy Seals, United States Add New Keyword To Link



9/20/2013  Electronic Dance Music’s Love Affair With Ecstasy: A History -- The drug and the music evolved together over years, making EDM a radically different culture today than it was when it started.
We don't know much about Meredith Hunter other than that he killed the American Hippie. We know that his friends called him Murdock, and that he was 18, and that there were three weeks until the last day of the 1960s. 300,000 people had gathered at the Altamont Raceway Park near San Francisco for Woodstock’s Pacific reincarnation, but of the increasingly violent masses, he was the only one who stormed the stage with a gun, and the only one who was stabbed to death by a Hell’s Angel. Today, we know Hunter mostly in the context of his death, but even there he’s just a metaphor. In the rise-and-fall narrative of hippie culture, he is simply the Altamont tragedy, and Altamont is known as the day the music died. In his reflections on the recent anniversary of the September 11th attacks, John Cassidy discusses the human “saliency bias”—our habit of forming memories around jarring events rather than, say, a series of minor incidents whose impact nets about equal. This mechanism explains how and why history can link a generation’s implosion to one day at the end of the decade. For both sides of the culture, the tragedy’s gruesome rawness gave legitimacy to the concern that peace and love were quite literally killing the country. Consider Olivia Rotondo, whose by-all-accounts-normal life suggests that her death could have happened to anyone. Four hours after tweeting her excitement about the Electric Zoo Festival on New York City’s Randall’s Island, she collapsed in front of a paramedic, saying the seven words that in the weeks since have become a macabre Exhibit A in the campaign against the drug that is said to have killed her. “I just took six hits of Molly.” She died that night. Jeffrey Russ, a 23-year old also believed to have taken MDMA (the drug’s proper name) had passed away 18 hours earlier. The following day—what would have been the grand finale to the three-day gyration of 100,000 neon-clad ravers—Randall’s Island was deserted and silent. “If you look at electronic dance music culture, it seems to be more diverse, more accepting of the 'other', more welcoming of gay people—a counter-ethos of 'we’re in it together.' There’s a spiritual aspect to it.” Since it first plugged in its equipment five summers ago, Electric Zoo has marked the end of the annual electronic festival season in the United States, the centerpiece each year of one of the country’s most mainstream and lucrative new artistic industries. In 2012, electronic dance music (EDM) spawned eleven platinum hits and increased the population of Miami by one quarter for one of the biggest American musical events since Woodstock. It has repackaged and commoditized the two-decade-old EDM mantra of “Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect” (usually abbreviated to “PLUR”) that apparently captures what this whole vision, with its bass drops and Day-Glo campiness, and a certain synthetic chemical stimulant, has always been about.
(The Atlantic)
posted: 9/27/13                   0       14
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keywords: 9/11, AIDS, Adhd, Alexander Shulgin, Atlanta, Bath Salts, Boston, Cancun, Chicago, Cocaine, Cold War, Consequence Of Sound, Controlled Substance Act, Dallas, David Guetta, Deadmau5, Derek Staples, Dogs, Douglas Rushkoff, Drugfree.org, Ecstasy, Electric Zoo Festival, Facebook, Fedde Le Grand, Florida, Gawker, George W Bush, Germany, Harvard University, Hells Angels, Ibiza, India, Iraq, Jason King, Jeffrey Russ, Joel Zimmerman, John Cassidy, John Halpern, Las Vegas, Lgbt, Lmfao, Lsd, Mclean Hospital, Meredith Hunter, Miami, Miley Cyrus, Multidisciplinary Association For Psychedelic Studies, New Delhi, New Orleans, New York, New York City, Olivia Rotondo, Piperazine, Richard Nixon, Rick Doblin, Sam Biddle, San Francisco, Sirius Xm, Slate, Sweden, The Bloody Beetroots, Tim Bergling, Timothy Leary, Twitter, Ultra Music Festival, United Kingdom, United States, University Of Miami, University Of Pennsylvania, Vietnam, War On Drugs, Water, Woodstock, Zalman Schachter-shalomi Add New Keyword To Link



7/19/2013  The Vitamin Myth: Why We Think We Need Supplements
Nutrition experts contend that all we need is what's typically found in a routine diet. Industry representatives, backed by a fascinating history, argue that foods don't contain enough, and we need supplements. Fortunately, many excellent studies have now resolved the issue. - On October 10, 2011, researchers from the University of Minnesota found that women who took supplemental multivitamins died at rates higher than those who didn't. Two days later, researchers from the Cleveland Clinic found that men who took vitamin E had an increased risk of prostate cancer. "It's been a tough week for vitamins," said Carrie Gann of ABC News. These findings weren't new. Seven previous studies had already shown that vitamins increased the risk of cancer and heart disease and shortened lives. Still, in 2012, more than half of all Americans took some form of vitamin supplements. What few people realize, however, is that their fascination with vitamins can be traced back to one man. A man who was so spectacularly right that he won two Nobel Prizes and so spectacularly wrong that he was arguably the world's greatest quack. In 1931, Linus Pauling published a paper in the Journal of the American Chemical Society titled "The Nature of the Chemical Bond." Before publication, chemists knew of two types of chemical bonds: ionic, where one atom gives up an electron to another; and covalent, where atoms share electrons. Pauling argued that it wasn't that simple -- electron sharing was somewhere between ionic and covalent. Pauling's idea revolutionized the field, marrying quantum physics with chemistry. His concept was so revolutionary in fact that when the journal editor received the manuscript, he couldn't find anyone qualified to review it. When Albert Einstein was asked what he thought of Pauling's work, he shrugged his shoulders. "It was too complicated for me," he said. For this single paper, Pauling received the Langmuir Prize as the most outstanding young chemist in the United States, became the youngest person elected to the National Academy of Sciences, was made a full professor at Caltech, and won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He was 30 years old.
(The Atlantic)
posted: 9/24/13                   0       10
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keywords: ABC, AIDS, Abe Baker, Albert Einstein, American Academy Of Pediatrics, American Dietetic Association, American Medical Association, California, California Institute Of Technology, Cambridge University, Cancer, Carrie Gann, Center For Human Nutrition, Charles Moertel, Cleveland Clinic, DNA, Donald Cowan, Donsbach University, Edward Teller, Food And Drug Administration, Francis Crick, Harold Diehl, Health Care, James Watson, Japan, Joseph Mccarthy, Journal Of The American Chemical Society, Journal Of The American Medical Association, Linus Pauling, Los Angeles College, Manhattan Project, Mayo Clinic, National Academy Of Sciences, New England Journal Of Medicine, Nobel Prize, Nuclear Weapons, Oxygen, Robert Oppenheimer, San Diego Zoo, US Department Of Health And Human Services, United States, University Of London, University Of Maryland, University Of Minnesota, University Of Paris, University Of Toronto, Vietnam War, World War II Add New Keyword To Link



4/21/2013  Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Is Awake and Answering Questions
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is still in the hospital. His condition is not improving, and he still can't speak to investigators because of a potentially self-inflicted neck wound. The 19-year-old suspect is still under surveillance at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where he's been since his arrest late Friday night. He was in serious but stable condition Sunday morning, according to the F.B.I., but the Boston Police Department just released an update saying it's been downgraded to critical but stable condition. That's bad. That means his condition is getting worse. The truth is, there's a very real possibility investigators won't get a chance to speak with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. "We don’t know if we’ll ever be able to question the individual," Mayor Tom Menino cautioned Sunday morning on ABC's This Week. - Update, Monday: There are now federal charges, delivered to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as an American citizen, in his hospital bed (reportedly along with his Miranda warning), and they involve pressure cookers as WMDs, even as questions surround the investigation and his family. Read the full transcript of the hearing below:
(The Atlantic)
posted: 4/22/13                   0       15
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11/1/2012  General Failure
Looking back on the troubled wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, many observers are content to lay blame on the Bush administration. But inept leadership by American generals was also responsible for the failure of those wars. A culture of mediocrity has taken hold within the Army’s leadership rank—if it is not uprooted, the country’s next war is unlikely to unfold any better than the last two. - On June 13, 1944, a few days after the 90th Infantry Division went into action against the Germans in Normandy under the command of Brigadier General Jay MacKelvie, MacKelvie’s superior officer, Major General J. Lawton Collins, went on foot to check on his men. “We could locate no regimental or battalion headquarters,” he recalled with dismay. “No shelling was going on, nor any fighting that we could observe.” This was an ominous sign, as the Battle of Normandy was far from decided, and the Wehrmacht was still trying to push the Americans, British, and Canadians, who had landed a week earlier, back into the sea. Just a day earlier, the 90th’s assistant division commander, Brigadier General “Hanging Sam” Williams, had also been looking for the leader of his green division. He’d found MacKelvie sheltering from enemy fire, huddled in a drainage ditch along the base of a hedgerow. “Goddamn it, General, you can’t lead this division hiding in that goddamn hole,” Williams shouted. “Go back to the [command post]. Get the hell out of that hole and go to your vehicle. Walk to it, or you’ll have this goddamn division wading in the English Channel.” The message did not take. The division remained bogged down, veering close to passivity. American troops were fighting to stay alive—no small feat in that summer’s bloody combat. One infantry company in the 90th began a day in July with 142 men and finished it with 32. Its battalion commander walked around babbling “I killed K Company, I killed K Company.” Later that summer, one of the 90th’s battalions, with 265 soldiers, surrendered to a German patrol of 50 men and two tanks. In six weeks of small advances, the division would use up all its infantrymen, requesting replacements of more than 100 percent.
(The Atlantic)
posted: 11/19/12                   0       25
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keywords: 9/11, Abu Ghraib, Afghanistan, Al‑qaeda, Andrew Bacevich, Army War College, Baghdad, Bill Hix, Canada, Central Intelligence Agency, Cold War, David Petraeus, Defense Intelligence Agency, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Donald Trump, Douglas Pryer, El Salvador, Eric Shinseki, Eugene Landrum, European Union, France, George C Marshall, George Casey, George Marshall, George Reed, George W Bush, Germany, H R Mcmaster, Hanging Sam Williams, Harold Brown, Harvard University, Henry Gole, Iraq, Italy, J Lawton Collins, Jack Keane, James Schlesinger, Janis Karpinski, Jay Mackelvie, Jeffrey White, John Abizaid, John Cushman, Kalev Sepp, Korea, Mesopotamia, Middle East, Military, Naval War College, Omar Bradley, Operation Anaconda, Osama Bin Laden, P D Ginder, Pakistan, Paul Yingling, Pentagon, Persian Gulf, Philip Zelikow, Police, Ramadi, Rand Corporation, Raymond Mclain, Rendition, Ricardo Sanchez, Richard Armitage, Robert Gates, Robert Killebrew, Russell Godsil, Saddam Hussein, Sam Williams, Samuel Koster, Sean Macfarland, Steven Jones, Sunni, Syria, Taliban, Terrorists, Texas, Tommy R Franks, Tora Bora, US Army, US Central Command, US Department Of Defense, US Department Of State, US Marine Corps, US National Guard, United Kingdom, United States, Vietnam, Vietnam War, White House, William Fallon, World War II, Wyoming Add New Keyword To Link



7/3/2012  Debating the Local Food Movement
Pierre Desrochers gleefully introduces himself as the bête noir of Canadian local-food activists. An economic geographer at the University of Toronto Mississauga, he has written a book (co-authored with his wife, Hiroko Shimizu), that attempts to eviscerate the movement’s main arguments, from its economic rationale to its environmental one. Even the book's title is an upper cut aimed at local food’s leading "agri-intellectual," the prolific Michael Pollan. The Locavore’s Dilemma, Desrochers has styled his counterargument, with this baiting subtitle: In Praise of the 10,000-mile diet. A libertarian-leaning academic with a thick French-Canadian accent, Desrochers was in Washington, D.C., last week to present the book to what has undoubtedly been one of his friendlier audiences thus far, at the libertarian Cato Institute. He is particularly bemused by the notion that anyone would try to produce local food "when it makes no economic sense," when we have developed over the course of centuries an international and increasingly efficient system for feeding the world affordable bananas and blueberries and lamb year-round. Locavores – and their kind have popped up throughout history – have traditionally championed local food, he says, for no reason other than that it’s local.
(The Atlantic)
posted: 7/9/12                   2       23
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3/10/2011  Don't Hold Your Breath Waiting for a Loughner Trial
"How could he plead 'not guilty' when they tackled him with a gun in his hand after shooting a judge?" said a Twitter message, Wednesday afternoon, in reaction to news that Tucson shooting suspect Jared Lee Loughner had pleaded "not guilty" to federal murder and attempted murder charges. Yes, it's true. So far, at least, Loughner, 22, is not ready to legally (or publicly) admit what 99.99 percent of us reckon to be true. And he may never be. Apprehended at the scene of the crime, with his alleged deeds recorded on security videotape, and with living witnesses, including the universally beloved Rep. Giffords, ready to testify against him, Loughner's federal case is really just about two questions. Was he legally insane at the time of the crimes? And is he legally competent now to stand trial for them? He was smiling when he entered court said the news reports from Tucson Wednesday during Loughner's arraignment. He was smirking throughout the hearing. That's all that many people will remember, if they remember anything, about he details of Wednesday's hearing. But there were far more important things that occurred inside U.S. District Judge Larry Burns "away" courtroom (Judge Burns, like Loughner's lead defense counsel Judith Clarke, lives and works in San Diego, which is where this trial may end up).
(The Atlantic)
posted: 3/14/11                   0       12
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9/30/2010  Fmr. Intelligence Director: New Cyberattack May Be Worse Than 9/11
Speaking at the Washington Ideas Forum at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., former Director of National Intelligence and Director of the National Security Agency Mike McConnell said that the U.S. is unprepared for a cyberattack and must overhaul its defenses. "The warnings are over. It could happen tomorrow," he said of a large-scale cyberattack against the U.S., which could impact the global economy "an order of magnitude surpassing" the attacks of September 11. McConnell, in a panel with Bush administration Homeland Security Adviser Fran Townsend and Washingtonian reporter Shane Harris, called cybersecurity "the wolf at the door."
(The Atlantic)
posted: 10/4/10                   0       21
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9/24/2010  Military-Grade Malware Spurs Theories on New Cyberwar Threat
Cybersecurity officials have discovered a widely disseminated piece of malicious software called Stuxnet, which they say establishes a new precedent in the sophistication and threat of cyberwarfare. It's unclear exactly what Stuxnet was designed to do, but officials say the software had embedded itself across computer systems at a number of power facilities and factories over the past year. It appeared to have the ability, if activated, to briefly wrest control of industrial components away from human operators. Analysts say it's possible this could destroy the targeted facility by causing explosions and fires. Wired's Kim Zetter explores the technical analysis and processes in-depth. It's unknown who created it, to what end, and what exactly Stuxnet would have done if it had not been discovered. But here's what we know and the implications.
(The Atlantic)
posted: 10/4/10                   0       8
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6/7/2010  'The Rig's on Fire! I Told You This Was Gonna Happen!'
Tony Buzbee, a lawyer representing 15 rig workers and dozens of shrimpers, seafood restaurants, and dock workers, says he has obtained a three-page signed statement from a crew member on the boat that rescued the burning rig's workers. The sailor, who Buzbee refuses to name for fear of costing him his job, was on the ship's bridge when Deepwater Horizon installation manager Jimmy Harrell, a top employee of rig owner Transocean, was speaking with someone in Houston via satellite phone. Buzbee told Mother Jones that, according to this witness account, Harrell was screaming, "Are you fucking happy? Are you fucking happy? The rig's on fire! I told you this was gonna happen."
(The Atlantic)
posted: 6/17/10                   0       23
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