Climate change skeptic ‘scientist’ revealed to be on payroll of energy industry

The parallels between climate change deniers and those skeptics who argued that tobacco was not a health hazard are becoming more apparent every day. The tobacco industry spent huge sums of money to conduct their own ‘research’ and used the pronouncements of friendly scientists whom they had funded to argue that whether smoking was dangerous was an open question that was still unresolved, that the jury was out, and hence no action should be taken until further research was done, with that horizon constantly receding.
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Respect my authoritah!

The issue of police brutality has been in the news these days. My local newspaper the Plain Dealer on Sunday February 15, 2015 had an excellent special section dealing with all the lawsuits filed against the Cleveland police department that has resulted in $8 million being paid to those who sued them. This investigation was sparked by the killing of the young boy Tamir Rice and the harsh indictment by the Justice Department of the way the police act here, saying that it has a habit of using excessive force. The stories and photos of the bruised victims should be an eye-opener for people here.
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Hello again, American Pie

The song American Pie was, despite its unusually long 8½ minutes, a big hit for Don McLean when he released it in 1971. It was a big hit in Sri Lanka too and I liked it a lot. The words were strange, lurching from one mental image to another seemingly with no connection, but I didn’t worry about it, just enjoying the bouncy beat. You can read the lyrics here or read it along with hearing the song below.
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Racist soccer fans

The world of soccer just had another case where British fans disgraced themselves. White Chelsea supporters attending a game in Paris repeatedly blocked a black man from entering the Metro, shouting racist slurs at him and chanting “We’re racist, we’re racist, and that’s the way we like it”. A bystander on the platform recorded the event and uploaded it and it went viral.
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2015 World Cup update #8: Sri Lanka edges Afghanistan in a thriller

If the current cricket World Cup has demonstrated something, it is that I am absolutely terrible at predicting outcomes. You can bet against me and win each time. For yesterday’s games, I predicted that both Sri Lanka and South Africa would have easy wins over Afghanistan and India respectively and what happens? Afghanistan almost pulled off a historic victory and India simply hammered South Africa, getting them out for 177 in just 40.2 overs after scoring 307/7. And let’s not even talk about my predicted dark horse team Pakistan struggling to avoid missing qualifying for the quarterfinals.
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Beware of the blob!

I came across this video that shows what happens when you embed ferromagnetic particles into putty to make it magnetic and then put a neodymium magnet (these are very strong magnets) near it. The caption to this video says that it was taken over 1.5 hours at three frames per second and then played back at 24 fps. (This cannot be right because then the playback should be a little over ten minutes and not 52 seconds.)
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NSA and GCHQ have accessed your phone’s encryption keys

Investigative reporters Jeremy Scahill and Josh Begley have an explosive article in The Intercept based on yet more documents provided by Edward Snowden that shows that the intelligence agencies of the US and Britain have no compunction whatsoever about engaging in illegal actions and hacking into private companies in their desire to get as much spying power over everyone as they can.
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Consent explained

The issues of sexual harassment, assault, and rape have been much in the news recently. It should be obvious that there should clearly be mutual consent. But for many people, the issue of what constitutes consent seems to be a little unclear. This video tries to clarify the issue, using other everyday exchanges that have none of the tension of sexual interactions, to illustrate the point.
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