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Posted on 20 April 2018 | 4:46 am

Government accidentally sends file on "remote mind control" methods to journalist

When journalist Curtis Waltman filed a Freedom of Information Act request with Washington State Fusion Center (which is partnered with Department of Homeland Security) to obtain information about Antifa and white supremacist groups, he got more than the information he was looking for – he also accidentally received a mysterious file on "psycho-electric weapons" with the label “EM effects on human body.zip.” The file included methods of "remote mind control."

Creepy images like these were included:

So what gives?

Via the Daily Beast:

According to Muckrock, a nonprofit that publishes government information gathered through FOIA requests, the mind-control documents came from the Department of Homeland Security-linked agency in the form of a file called “EM effects on human body.zip.” The file reportedly contained various diagrams detailing the horrors of “psycho-electronic weapon effects.”

One diagram lists the various forms of torment supposedly made possible by using remote mind-control methods, from “forced memory blanking” and “sudden violent itching inside eyelids” to “wild flailing” followed by “rigor mortis” and a remotely induced “forced orgasm.” It was not immediately clear how the documents wound up in the agency’s response to a standard FOIA request, but there was reportedly no indication the “remote mind control” files stemmed from any government program.

And according to Popular Mechanics:

The federal government has absolutely experimented with mind control in a variety of methods, but the documents here do not appear to be official.

Waltman had no idea why these documents were included in his request and isn't sure why the government is holding them. The WSFC did not respond to requests for more information.

As fun as conspiracy theories are, Muckrock doesn't believe the images are "government material."

One seems to come from a person named “Supratik Saha,” who is identified as a software engineer, the brain mapping slide has no sourcing, and the image of the body being assaulted by psychotronic weapons is sourced from raven1.net, who apparently didn’t renew their domain.

Muckrock put out a call to WSFC but hasn't yet heard back from them.

For more details, go to Muckrock.

Posted on 20 April 2018 | 4:43 am

Help wanted: Archivist for the Prince museum at Paisley Park

Prince's Paisley Park, now a museum, is seeking an archives supervisor to "actively work in the care, catalog, storage and preservation of all artifacts and archival materials; the care, cleaning, and monitoring of all exhibits." According to the job requirements, "Some knowledge of Prince is helpful." From the job listing at the American Alliance of Museums site:

RESPONSIBILITIES:

Posted on 20 April 2018 | 4:31 am

All of Puerto Rico loses power

1.4 million people in Puerto Rico lost power yesterday in an outage that lasted for a day and left part of the island without power even after service was mainly restored. (more…)

Posted on 20 April 2018 | 4:23 am

Ovary Actions: menstruation euphemism gifs to smash period taboos

Oakland, California-based stop motion/GIF artist Headexplodie (aka Annie Wong) thinks that society is overreacting to menstruation, an ordinary biological process that affects half our population nearly monthly. That's why she created "Ovary Actions" (get it...? Overreactions = Ovary Actions), an ongoing series of lovely animated gifs based on period euphemisms. She's hoping they'll take some of the stigma out of "that time of the month."

She writes:

I’m interested in the cultural paradox that exists around menstruation. Although it’s an ordinary and healthy part of life, we treat it as if it were a mysterious thing which leaves us with a confused and silly view of it....

I just think it’d be cool if we could all be more chill and comfortable with talking about this thing that for so long has been painted with a broad brush of negativity.

I personally used to think about my periods as something to be ashamed of, to hide, something that made me feel absolutely gross. But since embarking on this project I’ve opened myself up to various menstrual educators, artists, and entrepreneurs, and seeing their work in my daily feed makes periods seem totally normal. Being able to talk openly about it with my friends has done the same. Normalizing periods is the first step in being able to take better care of our reproductive health.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BhexGD6ldG-/?taken-by=headexplodie https://www.instagram.com/p/BhHY9ZiBxHr/?taken-by=headexplodie https://www.instagram.com/p/BgwTqb_h0IV/?taken-by=headexplodie https://www.instagram.com/p/BgjNNJnl7wn/?taken-by=headexplodie https://www.instagram.com/p/BgOoK7fl9fi/?taken-by=headexplodie

Surfing the Crimson Wave

If you love this project as much as I do, be sure to follow her on Instagram. Also: can we all just agree that "Headexplodie" is the best artist name ever?

Posted on 20 April 2018 | 4:00 am

Amputee drummer with bionic playing arm launches Kickstarter

Drummer Jason Barnes, who only has one arm, has been collaborating with engineer Gil Weinberg of Georgia Tech's Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines to develop a cyborg arm that enables Barnes not only to play his kit again, but to "play at speeds not humanly possible... and play strange polyrhythms that no human can play." Weinberg and Barnes have now launched a Kickstarter to build another prosthetic cyborg arm that Barnes can take on the road. From IEEE Spectrum:

The Cyborg Drummer Project Kickstarter is looking to raise $90,000; of that, $70,000 will go straight to production of the new arm. A big chunk of the cost comes from trying to replace the “couple of computers and a technical team” that are currently required to operate the arm with components that are portable, self-contained, and user operated. The remaining $20,000 will go towards organizing concerts and making recordings so that folks who contribute will be able to hear and enjoy some of the result, potentially in person.

One of the unique things about the prosthetic that Weinberg and Barnes want to build is that it will be partially autonomous. There are two drumsticks: Barnes controls one; the other operates autonomously through its own actuator. The arm listens to the music being played (by Jason and the musicians around him) and improvises its own accompanying beat pattern. It's able to do this on the fly, and if it chooses to, is capable of moving at speeds far faster than a human drummer can.

Posted on 20 April 2018 | 3:59 am

Tesla pulls a Trump, smears critical press outlet as "extremists"

Tesla was extremely upset to learn that the employees who'd been injured and maimed in its factories spoke to Reveal News about the unsafe working conditions and culture of cover-ups at the Tesla plants. (more…)

Posted on 20 April 2018 | 3:52 am

Video toilet displays ads while men pee

Mr. Friendly is a waterless public urinal that integrates a video screen to show you ads while you pee. This is just begging for "gamification." From the Dutch manufacturer:

Every gentleman knows that a toilet break is a moment of relaxation. This is when we have “time on our hands”. We seize that perfect moment with our unique Mr.Friendly urinal. Sponsors of environmentally friendly urinals are happy with that moment when they can display a nice video to introduce themselves.

As a location holder you can also use the built-in display. Communicate your message at a unique moment.

Mr. Friendly Toilet (via Neatorama)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woqoEgbZRnE

Posted on 20 April 2018 | 3:50 am

Amazing photos of sports games combined into single chaotic images

Photographer Pelle Cass takes dozens of photographs of the same location and then combines the people into a single image. His photos of sporting events make the games look much more fun! From Cass's artist statement:

This work both orders the world and exaggerate its chaos. With the camera on a tripod, I take many dozens of pictures, and simply leave in the figures I choose and omit the rest. The photographs are composite,but nothing has been changed, only selected. My subject is the strangeness of time, the exact way people look, and a surprising world that is visible only with a camera.

Pelle Cass: "Crowded Fields" (via Kottke)

Posted on 20 April 2018 | 2:54 am

Police seeking woman who stole butterfly from exhibit

Cincinnati police are looking for a woman caught on video stealing a live Menelaus blue morpho butterfly from a special exhibit at Krohn Conservatory. From WCPO:

(University of Cincinnati biologist Stephen) Matter and colleague Patrick Guerra said the butterfly was likely dead by Wednesday, given its biological need for a warmer climate than the one Cincinnati has experienced since Sunday.

(Thanks, Charles Pescovitz!)

Posted on 20 April 2018 | 2:28 am

Facebook vs regulation: we exist nowhere and everywhere, all at once

Where is Facebook located? Well, if you're the taxman, Facebook's global HQ is a tiny shed somewhere in Ireland, where Facebook can escape virtually all taxation; but on the other hand, if you're the EU, Facebook is headquartered in America, where the General Data Protection Regulation doesn't apply. (more…)

Posted on 20 April 2018 | 2:09 am

O Moldy Night: A pop-up museum of molded gelatinous food

"Jell-O by the Sea" by home cook Kate Fulbright

Three (m)old friends -- Kate Medley, Emily Wallace & Kate Elia of North Carolina -- have a long-standing relationship with Jell-O and its molds. So, they recently got folks together to create gelatin masterpieces for "O Moldy Night," their pop-up museum celebrating molded food.

They write:

As for the three of us, our relationship with molds began with the campy — ’70s recipes and good “mold-fashioned” wordplay: A birthday cake with the slogan "I'm old" started our endeavour. But our obsession with the molded eventually expanded to reflect our combined careers in art and food. We wondered about the rise and demise of shaped and gelatinous foods and became enamored by their aesthetics. So, what began as a years-long joke to elevate aspic to a pedestal eventually solidified (as gelatin is wont to do) into a pop-up museum project deemed "O Moldy Night," which displayed the works of some 40 chefs, home cooks, grandmas, and artists at The Durham Hotel in our North Carolina town. Materials ranged from tomatoes and carrots to pig’s feet, chicken tenders, and crushed pineapple.

Take a gander at some of the other creations over at The Bitter Southerner.

Previously: The Mid-Century Supper Club revives kooky recipes of yore

image via The Bitter Southerner

(Neatorama)

Posted on 20 April 2018 | 2:00 am

Win a Samsung Galaxy S9+ in this giveaway

Another year, another iteration of Samsung's Galaxy smartphone—except this time around Samsung sought to redefine what a smartphone can do completely. Boasting a 6.2" Quad HD+ Super AMOLED (2960x1440) infinity display, and an elite 10nm 64-bit Octa-Core Processor with 6GB RAM, the S9+ is an absolute powerhouse with a price tag to match. However, you can get a chance to win your own without spending a dime by entering into the Samsung Galaxy S9+ Giveaway.

Absolutely free to enter, this giveaway nets you a shot at winning your own Samsung Galaxy S9+. In addition to its scary processing power and sharp screen, the S9+ delivers a host of cutting-edge features, like a Dual Aperture lens that adapts to light like the human eye, real-time translation through the camera, and, of course, augmented reality emojis and stickies.

You can score a chance to experience the frontier of Android power for free by entering into the Samsung Galaxy S9+ Giveaway.

Posted on 20 April 2018 | 2:00 am

The upside of big tech is Russia vs Telegram, but the downside is Cloudflare vs SESTA

Yesterday, I wrote about the way that tech-sector concentration was making it nearly impossible for Russia to block the encrypted messaging service Telegram: because Telegram can serve its traffic through giant cloud providers like Amazon, Russia can only block Telegram by blocking everyone else who uses Amazon. (more…)

Posted on 20 April 2018 | 1:46 am

MAD Magazine gets a reboot

MAD Magazine has made the move from New York City to Los Angeles, relaunching itself with a new logo and staff (for instance, the magazine has its first female art director, Suzanne Hutchinson, aka Suzy Splab).

Issue #1 has already hit the newsstands.

Here's what's in store:

Introducing MAD's first issue EVER*, featuring full-length spoofs of Star Wars and Riverdale! Plus, "A MAD Look at Harassment" from Sergio Aragonés, "Pop Culture That Didn't Make It Into Ready Player One," an all-new Potrzebie Comics section, The MADifesto, Spy vs. Spy, the Fold-In, and much more! (*Technically, this is our first magazine-format #1 issue ever!)Introducing MAD's first issue EVER*, featuring full-length spoofs of Star Wars and Riverdale! Plus, "A MAD Look at Harassment" from Sergio Aragonés, "Pop Culture That Didn't Make It Into Ready Player One," an all-new Potrzebie Comics section, The MADifesto, Spy vs. Spy, the Fold-In, and much more! (*Technically, this is our first magazine-format #1 issue ever!)

I noticed you that if you get a 2 or 3 year subscription, they'll send you a little tiki mug that looks like Alfred E. Neuman. Want! WELCOME TO THE ALL-NEW, SOMEWHAT-FAMILIAR MAD!

Issue #1's cover art by Jason Edmiston

(Pee-wee Herman)

Posted on 20 April 2018 | 1:30 am

Spliff, a film festival for stoners, by stoners

Spliff is a brand new film festival from the folks behind Dan Savage's Hump! fest. While Hump! shows homemade, but well-curated, porn, Spliff will feature films "made by the stoned for the stoned" that are a maximum of four minutes and 20 seconds in length.

The SPLIFF Film Festival is where filmmakers, artists, animators, and stoners share original film shorts exploring stoner themes. From serious takes on pot culture to stoner comedy to mind-blowing weirdness—they all have a home at SPLIFF. Creative types of all stripes entertain, challenge, and amaze SPLIFF audiences with short films that examine and/or celebrate recreational marijuana use and its liberating effects on our imaginations, appetites, libidos, and creative energies. At SPLIFF, you’ll see films that will make you laugh, films that will make you think, and films that will make you ask, “What the fuck was that?!”

https://vimeo.com/264489272

The festival will show in four cities -- Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and Denver -- in April 2019.

Filmmakers: Smoke a joint, pop an edible, or vape, then make a film and submit it for consideration by March 1, 2019. That's enough time for even the most stoniest of the stoners amongst us.

Posted on 20 April 2018 | 12:30 am

Gorgeous resin sphere turned on a lathe

Heath Knuckles created this beautiful burl and resin sculpture he names "Red Dawn." A very satisfying and relaxing video, in large part thanks to the great music choices. (more…)

Posted on 20 April 2018 | 12:00 am

Programmer demonstrates his "perfect" Minesweeper AI

Code Bullet claims in this demo video, "I was able to create what I believe to be a perfect minesweeper player." (more…)

Posted on 19 April 2018 | 11:40 pm

Watch traffic flow better in 30 simulations of a 4-way intersection

YouTuber euverus modded Cities: Skylines to demonstrate how 30 different types of intersections have dramatically different amounts of traffic flow. A four-way intersection with no traffic lights gets a flow of 191 vehicles per minute, where a stack interchange can handle 1099 vehicles in the same time frame.

The mods used, Traffic Manager: President Edition and Network Extensions 2, are both available for free on Steam.

The big surprise for me was the roundabout, because we rarely have them in the Midwest or the West Coast. They seemed like a lot of extra space needed for an incremental benefit, but it appears they can be more efficient and safer, even weird ones.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OGvj7GZSIo

Traffic flow measured on 30 different 4-way junctions (YouTube / euverus)

Posted on 19 April 2018 | 11:20 pm

Rick Astley sings with Choir! Choir! Choir!

Rick Astley is getting around lately. We recently saw him on a Canadian morning show for a live, in-person rickroll. Now he's singing his 1987 hit song, "Never Gonna Give You Up," with Choir! Choir! Choir! in Toronto.

Here's what Choir! Choir! Choir! wrote about it:

In March 2018, we made a video asking pop legend Rick Astley to come sing with us.

We just had a feeling it would be a perfect fit.

HE SHOWED UP two weeks later!!

And guess what?

We were right,

But it was even more incredible than we could have expected.

Rick looks and sounds better than ever.

He's back in a BIG way writing and performing all new material, Slaying it all over again.

He is the real deal, and always has been.

He also challenged another musician to come sing with us,

So look for that at the end of the video...

Rick is back on tour throughout the US right now, and his band is killer, So look out for him making his way to your town!

Now enjoy the best version of Never Gonna Give You Up EVER!

Posted on 19 April 2018 | 11:00 pm

Artist creates curly wire sculptures that spell words with their shadows

Sculptor Fred Eerdekens created aluminum and copper works that look like abstract squiggles until lit from the right angle. When lit just right, each spells out a word. (more…)

Posted on 19 April 2018 | 10:57 pm

Our long national NECCO nightmare may soon be over

Since 1847, non-discerning Americans have been eating slices of flavored chalk branded as NECCO wafers. With the company possibly closing soon, they're panic buying the inedible grim-tasting "candy" to torture one last round of guests or trick-or-treaters with their terrible taste in candy. (more…)

Posted on 19 April 2018 | 10:56 pm

Russia's fumbling, heavy-handed Telegram ban is a perfect parable about the modern internet's promise and peril

Russia tried to get the creators of the private messaging service Telegram to create a back-door so its cops could spy on Telegram users; Telegram refused and Russia banned Telegram in retaliation. (more…)

Posted on 19 April 2018 | 11:05 am

Terms of Service; Didn't Read: a browser add-on that warns you about the terrible fine-print you're about to "agree" to

ToS;dr is a crowdsourced database of website terms of service; install the associate plugin and your browser will display a letter grade (from A to F) for every site you visit, with subcategories for things like data-retention and the rights the site asserts to your contributions. (more…)

Posted on 19 April 2018 | 10:46 am

In 1968, the Supreme Court gutted the Fourth Amendment, certain that it would all work out in the end. It didn't.

In 1968, the Supremes ruled in Terry v. Ohio that the police did not need "probable cause" to stop a person, it was sufficient that they have "reasonable suspicion." (more…)

Posted on 19 April 2018 | 10:21 am

Melania humiliated, a JFK conspiracy bombshell, and beautiful people in this week’s dubious tabloids

Is a seismic shift underway at the Trump-loving supermarket tabloids?

For the past two years American Media Inc’s National Enquirer and Globe magazines have slavishly served as Trump’s attack dogs, unwavering defenders and unofficial mouthpieces for the White House. Trump, good friends with AMI publisher David Pecker, has suggested that the Enquirer deserves a Pulitzer Prize, and AMI returned the love by buying off the president’s alleged mistress and a source claiming a Trump extra-marital pregnancy, and killing their stories in the run-up to the 2016 election.

Which makes this week’s Globe all the more remarkable, as it devotes its cover story to Trump’s alleged mistresses in a story that does not even attempt to challenge their claims, let alone denounce the women as liars and con-jobs, as Trump has previously done.

Trump’s special relationship with AMI suggests that this story has his blessing, and it’s positioned as a slap in the face – and perhaps, as a warning – to his long-suffering First Lady. “Humiliated Melania!” screams the cover, above the teaser: “Shocking reason she’ll NEVER divorce Trump!”

The answer is so far from shocking, it’s banal: “Trump’s third wife will swallow her pride and endure public humiliation for the sake of their 12-year-old son, Barron.” What’s surprising, however, is the rag’s blithe acceptance of Trump’s long-contested affairs. “Melania wasn’t blindsided by the billionaire politician’s womanizing ways,” claims the Globe, which adds that Trump’s reported affairs with porn star Stormy Daniels and a Playboy pinup did “not surprise” Melania. “This is not anything she didn’t know beforehand.”

And the Globe goes further, citing 19 women who accused Trump of “unwanted sexual advances” and “at least five women” who claim to have been lovers or sex assault victims of Trump since his marriage to Melania. The rag also quotes Ronald Kessler, author of a book critical of Trump, reportedly claiming that “Melania knew Trump was a two-timer from their very first meeting.” Yes, it’s what every other news outlet worth its name has been saying for more than a year, but the Globe and Enquirer have never suggested for a moment that the allegations could be true, serving as a virtual White House Press Office for those whose journalistic tastes run the gamut from A to B.

This is akin to Trump telling Melania: “You knew what you were getting into, I’m too sexy for my shirt, so shut up and don’t complain!” Sadly, this sudden intrusion of reality in the tabloids is a momentary aberration, as they revert to their trademark flights of imagination in other coverage.

O.J. Simpson’s son Jason watched his father murder Nicole Brown, claims the Enquirer, quoting O.J.’s friend Thomas Scott, who conveniently died last month and can’t contradict the allegation.

“Angelina’s Fury as Brad Builds Hot New Romance!” is another Enquirer fever dream, which claims that Pitt’s ex-wife Jolie is fuming that he is dating an MIT professor. But the story fails to live up to its promise, and the closest they can come to Jolie’s outrage is an unnamed insider claiming: “Brad’s team is extremely concerned how Angie will react now that he’s openly seeing another woman…” So it’s not even Pitt who’s worried, and “Angie's Fury” is non-existent. The Enquirer also claims a “JFK Conspiracy Bombshell” involving Lee Harvey Oswald, presenting “evidence to substantiate the irrefutable connection between Oswald and a murder conspiracy rooted in rogue elements of the CIA!”

This word “irrefutable,” it does not mean what you think it means. The rag revives information released from FBI files in 1975, which purported to show that Oswald tried to make a jailhouse phone call to a number in Raleigh, N.C., later identified as John Hurt, a former U.S. Army counterintelligence agent. But Hurt was questioned by the FBI at the time, and denied any contact or connection with Oswald, whose call was never put through by the operator. Yet the Globe now claims that because Oswald tried to phone a former military intelligence officer, he must have been linked to the CIA. Presumably, had Oswald tried phoning the White House, that would be “irrefutable” evidence that it was a government conspiracy. Or if Oswald had tried calling Universal Studios, it would be irrefutable proof that Doris Day and Rock Hudson were the other shooters on the grassy knoll.

The Globe claims that country singer Kenny Rogers is “battling killer bladder cancer” because he has cancelled a tour for health reasons, that lifestyle maven Martha Stewart has gained 34 pounds (not 33 pounds, not 35 – precisely 34 pounds) and is “eating herself to death,” and that Prince Charles is a “terrible tyrant” and a “petulant, self-pitying jerk” according to unnamed “palace insiders.” All without any more evidence that hearsay, wishful thinking, and the power of an impressively accurate team of amusement park midway "Guess Your Weight" barkers.

Royalty, British and American, also preoccupy the celebrity mags this week. Us promises on its cover to spill “All The Top Secret ‘I Do’ Details” of Prince Harry’s coming wedding to Meghan Markle, only to disappoint with such tedious details as the bride preparing more than one wedding gown, and both bride and groom planning to exchange his ’n’ her rings. Us also gives copious column inches to American pop culture princess Khloe Kardashian, with People magazine devoting four pages to “her shocking betrayal” by NBA star-boyfriend Tristan Thompson. “Will she stay with Tristan?” asks its cover. The answer won’t surprise you: People magazine doesn’t have a clue.

People celebrates its annual "Beautiful Issue 2018” with singer Pink as its cover girl revealing: “How I’m Raising Strong Kids.” Apparently she makes them work out in the gym two hours daily and trains them for triathlons on weekends. No – I’m kidding. There’s little in the interview to suggest that she’s actually raising strong kids, physically or mentally. “There’s not really a style or a philosophy,” she says of her parenting. “I tell my daughter the truth. I let her be 6, but I want her to know about fairness and kindness and that you have to fight for your rights.”

People naturally goes overboard on its “Beautiful Issue,” bringing us beautiful celebrities, beautiful people with makeup, beautiful people without makeup, beautiful moms, beautiful Real Housewives, beautiful stars’ dogs, beautiful stars’ friends, childhood photos of beautiful stars, even 50 ways to live beautifully, all designed to make you feel as ugly and inadequate as possible in your coffee-stained sweatpants and smudged mascara you forgot to take off last night.

Fortunately we have the crack investigative team at Us magazine to tell us that Karlie Kloss wore it best, that TV host Willie Geist hates it “when the restaurant table is wobbly,” that ballerina Misty Copeland carries pointe shoes, an eyelash curler and Advil in her Louis Vuitton Neverfull bag, and that the stars are just like us: they sunbathe, sip water, and eat McDonalds (actually, that’s something you’ll never see me do. Ever. Because I’m not a star).

Kudos to the National Enquirer for stretching credulity by reporting that "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin’s daughter Bindi is dating “the mirror image of her late father” simply because her boyfriend was seen wearing khaki shorts and shirt, and also reporting that Drew Barrymore’s “look-alike niece” (who looks nothing like her) is a stripper. Best of all, the Enquirer calls Barrymore’s niece a “heavily tattooed tootsie.” Which strikes me as irrefutable evidence that the Enquirer has access to a time machine and is recruiting its reporting staff from the 1950s.

Onwards and downwards . . . .

Posted on 19 April 2018 | 9:26 am

Is this a tiny person in a glider being held by a woman in a bikini, or a giant woman in a bikini holding a man in a glider?

...I'm not sure! This October 1976 issue of Radio Models promises a "full-size Messerschmitt," too!

[via Pulp Librarian]

Posted on 19 April 2018 | 9:09 am

Get a tiny Raspberry Pi Zero with adapters

The Raspberry Pi Zero is a tiny Linux computer. Ever since they were announced last year for $5, they have been hard to get. But if you are willing to spend about $20, you can get one on Amazon. This Raspberry Pi Zero kit from Argon Forty is $18.50, and it also includes a Mini HDMI to HDMI adapter and a Micro USB OTG to USB Adapter, both of which I needed anyway, so it's a good deal. The Raspberry Pi Zero W is $2 more and comes with onboard Wi-Fi. You will also need a Micro SDHC flash memory card (here's a 16GB one for $7) If you are coming to Maker Faire this year, you can see what I made with it, I'll be presenting at 1pm on Sunday.

Posted on 19 April 2018 | 9:00 am

Zimbabwe's nurses went on strike this week and got fired by the government as a result

On Monday in Zimbabwe, thousands of nurses went on strike, demanding better salaries. The strike came hot on the heels of the country's doctors returning from their own weeks-long strike, which took place for similar reasons. With no nurses standing by to assist doctors or to see patients, hospitals in the African country have been forced to turn away people looking for care. Instead of negotiating with the nurses or passing legislation that would send them back to work, Zimbabwe’s vice-president, Constantino Chiwenga, apparently decided to fire them all.

Because doing that always calms things down in a country that's facing growing labor unrest.

According to The Guardian, vice-president Chiwenga believes that the strike actions undertaken by the country's doctors and nursing staff are politically motivated and stated that his "...Government has decided in the interest of patients and of saving lives to discharge all the striking nurses with immediate effect." Yep – ensuring that healthcare professions are never allowed to return to their jobs of you know, saving lives, is definitely gonna be in the best interest of any patients they might have treated.

Chiwenga called the strike “deplorable and reprehensible," citing the fact that the government had released £12m to boost their pay and allowances. There's no word, however, on how much this amount would increase the state of each nurse's wages, or when the money would actually come into use.

But don't worry Zimbabwe, there's good news! The government plans on hiring any unemployed or retired nurses that it can find to fill in the massive hole that your government just created in your country's healthcare system. So, it's totally cool.

Chiwenga comes by his terrible ideas honestly enough. Up until November, he wasn't a politician, he was a career military officer who only came into political office after helping to force the country's long-time President, Robert Mugabe, out of office, this past November.

It'll be interesting to see how Chiwenga's strong-armed bullshit plays out: in recent days, the country's teachers have also threatened to walk if they're not treated to an increase in pay.

As for the ousted nurses, their union has "noted" Chiwenga blathering, but has opted to continue with their strike action.

Image via Pexels

Posted on 19 April 2018 | 8:58 am

EFF and iFixit are hosting a Reddit AMA on jailbreaking TOMORROW at 11AM Pacific

Join me, EFF attorney Kit Walsh and iFixit's Kyle Wiens -- along with special guests! -- in a Reddit Ask Me Anything session tomorrow (Thursday) from 11AM-3PM Pacific; we'll be talking about the upcoming Copyright Office hearings on creating exceptions to the DMCA to make room for independent repair and security research. We'll be live here at 11AM tomorrow! Pass it on. (more…)

Posted on 19 April 2018 | 8:54 am