Category Archives: Culture

The Empire Files: Bloodshed on the border


In the second part [first part here] of “The Empire’s Border,” her report on the bloody politics of the United States’ southern border, The Empire Files‘ Abby Martin examines the origins of that boundary line in bloody conflict, America’s first imperial war against another American nation state.

Her focus then shifts to the first border wall, erected after a fierce street battle in the border town of Nogales, Arizona/Juarez, Mexico 98 years ago.

Adding immensely to the border tensions was the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement [and do watch Hillary’s spouse preaching its virtues on signing the treaty into law].

Then came 9/11, and the subsequent paranoia-enabled national security spending binge, in which fears of boundary leakage proved centers of immense profits and bureaucratic binging. . .

Increased deaths became inevitable, especially given a media fueled campaign of paranoia direction against brown-skinned people.

Well, we’ll leave the rest for you.

From teleSUR English:

The Empire Files: The Empire’s Border Part II – A Hidden War

Program notes:

In the second installment of this two-part episode, Abby Martin continues her investigation of the hidden war on the U.S.-Mexico border, looking at the root causes of the epidemic of migrant deaths. The Empire Files documents an inflated, paramilitary Border Patrol, the devastating impacts of NAFTA, how the U.S. Empire benefits from immigrant labor and what can change the equation.

Featuring interviews with Todd Miller, author of ‘Border Patrol Nation’, and Araceli Rodriguez, mother of Jose Antonio, a 16-year-old boy murdered by Border Patrol.

And now for something completely different. . .


Take the faceplate off a Thomas the Tank Engine locomotive, then add it to a wall- and ceiling-running remote-controlled Japanese toy car , and you’ve come up with the stuff of dreams.

Or nightmares.

From Japanese technohacker Y NAKAJIMA [more creations here]:

Stray Thomas

H/T to Metafilter.

Facebook: Stay away for a good night’s sleep


And since we’re on an academic and media jag today, another scientific study of note, from the University of California at Irvine newsroom:

UCI researchers link compulsive Facebook checking to lack of sleep

Study correlates tiredness, bad mood, distractibility and social media browsing

If you find yourself toggling over to look at Facebook several dozen times a day, it’s not necessarily because the experience of being on social media is so wonderful. It may be a sign that you’re not getting enough sleep.

In a recently completed study, researchers at the University of California, Irvine demonstrated that lack of sleep – in addition to affecting people’s moods and productivity – leads to more frequent online activities such as browsing Facebook.

“When you get less sleep, you’re more prone to distraction,” said lead researcher Gloria Mark, a UCI informatics professor. “If you’re being distracted, what do you do? You go to Facebook. It’s lightweight, it’s easy, and you’re tired.”

Sleep deprivation can lead to loss of productivity throughout the economy. It can cause workplace mishaps and make drivers fall asleep at the wheel. Experts in the field of human-computer interaction want to know how sleep loss impacts people so they can design better technologies and products.

“There have been lots of studies on how information technology affects sleep. We did the opposite: We looked at how sleep duration influences IT usage,” said Mark, who will present the findings at a leading computer-human interaction conference in May.

She and her colleagues collected data from 76 UCI undergraduates – 34 males and 42 females – for seven days during the spring 2014 quarter. The study controlled for students’ gender, age, course load and deadlines and relied on sensors to objectively gauge their behavior, activities and stress levels.

Students’ computers and smartphones were equipped with logging software, and time stamps recorded when subjects switched from one application window to another and when they spoke on the phone or texted. They were asked to fill out a sleep survey each morning and an end-of-day survey at night.

Participants also filled out a general questionnaire and sat for an exit interview. Periodically throughout the week, they received probing questions from researchers regarding their mood, the perceived difficulty of whatever task was at hand, and their level of engagement in their work.

Central to the study was a concept known as “sleep debt,” the accumulated difference between the amount of sleep needed and the amount experienced.

Mark said the study’s findings show a direct connection among chronic lack of sleep, worsening mood and greater reliance on Facebook browsing. She also found that the less sleep people have, the more frequently their attention shifts among different computer screens, suggesting heightened distractibility.

Mark’s UCI collaborators on the study, funded by the National Science Foundation, were Yiran Wang from the Department of Informatics and Melissa Niiya and Stephanie Reich from the School of Education.

Headline of the day: Sex and presidential politics


UPDATED, with a second headline.

First, from Slate [with an esnl H/T to Undernews]:

Trump’s Supporters 11 Times More Likely Than Clinton’s to Expect Sex on the First Date

Single Trump fans are 99 percent more likely than singles who support Clinton to film themselves having sex, and 1,104 percent more likely to expect sex on the first date. That’s 11 times as many Trump supporters as Clinton supporters who believe that they have the right to pout if their date doesn’t put out as well as the right to take America back from whomever’s currently in possession. Clinton’s base is 2,133 percent more likely than Trump’s to have no expectations for any physical contact at all on the first date.

And then there’s this, from BBC News:

Bernie Sanders, the ‘sexy’ Democrat with friends on Tinder

So what are Bernie’s supporters doing differently to bolster his support amongst younger voters? One place where he is a surprising hit is the dating app Tinder.

Chart of the day: More signs of the death of print


Bad news for newspaper in a new survey [PDF] from the Pew Research Center, which reveals that print media are far down on the list of news sources folks of all ages turn to for information about the current presidential election circus. And as might be expected, the last of the flagging support for print comes from the Boomers, and the news is especially bleak for local newspapers.

Indeed, it’s arguable that print shouldn’t even be labelled as a mainstream medium:

BLOG News

Headline of the day III: Mexico’s reign of terror


From teleSUR English:

Over 700 Dead in 100 Days in Guerrero is ‘Normal’ Says Governor

About 719 murders have been registered in the first 100 days since Hector Astudillo Flores took over as governor of the troubled Mexican state of Guerrero, according to official reports, equalling an average of more than seven executions a day. 

Headline of the day II: Stalemate resolution?


From the Portland Oregonian:

Oregon militant challenges Chris Christie to sumo wrestling to end standoff

And here’s a video of the challenge, via Kelly Gneiting:

Gov. Chris Christie’s Older Brother, Sumo Challenge

Program notes:

Kelly, Governor Chris Christie’s older brother (?), challenges the governor to 10 sumo matches. If Gov. Christie wins 1 bout the Oregon Occupation will disperse. This is video one; a second video will follow (give me a week or two).

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 913 other followers

%d bloggers like this: