incidents

I never meant 2 cause u any sorrow

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Drawing on county-level data from Kansas for the period 1977-2011, we examine whether plausibly exogenous increases in the number of establishments licensed to sell alcohol by the drink are related to violent crime. During this period, 86 out of 105 counties in Kansas voted to legalize the sale of alcohol to the general public for on-premises consumption. We provide evidence that these counties experienced substantial increases in the total number of establishments with on-premises liquor licenses (e.g., bars and restaurants). Using legalization as an instrument, we show that a 10 percent increase in drinking establishments is associated with a 4 percent increase in violent crime. Reduced-form estimates suggest that legalizing the sale of alcohol to the general public for on-premises consumption is associated with an 11 percent increase in violent crime.

{ SSRN }

‘You could die, but the desert would hide the secret of your death, it would remain after you, to cover your memory with ageless wind and heat and cold.’ –John Fante

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Four drug deaths last month in Britain have been blamed on so-called “Superman” pills being sold as Ecstasy, but actually containing PMMA, a synthetic stimulant drug with some MDMA-like effects that has been implicated in a number of deaths and hospitalizations in Europe and the U.S. The “fake Ecstasy” was also under suspicion in the September deaths of six people in Florida and another three in Chicago. An additional six deaths in Ireland have also been linked to the drug.

PMMA, or paramethoxymethamphetamine, causes dangerous increases in body temperature and blood pressure, is toxic at lower doses than Ecstasy, and requires up to two hours in order to take effect. […]

The Spice products—synthetic cannabinoids—are still the most common of the novel synthetic drugs. Hundreds of variants are now on the market. Science magazine recently reported on a UK study in which researchers discovered more than a dozen previously unknown psychoactive substances by conducting urine samples on portable toilets in Greater London.

{ Addiction Inbox | Continue reading }

photo { Todd Papageorge, Studio 54, 1978–80 }

It was Me, L Boogs and Yan Yan, YG, Lucky ride down Rosecrans

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Commercial drone flights are set to become a widespread reality in the United States, starting next year, under a 2012 law passed by Congress. […]

Military drones have slammed into homes, farms, runways, highways, waterways and, in one case, an Air Force C-130 Hercules transport plane in midair. […]

Several military drones have simply disappeared while at cruising altitudes, never to be seen again. […]

The documents describe a multitude of costly mistakes by remote-control pilots. A $3.8 million Predator carrying a Hellfire missile cratered near Kandahar in January 2010 because the pilot did not realize she had been flying the aircraft upside-down.

{ Washington Post | Continue reading }

Krzysztof, a physics professor, has more faith in computers and logic than in God. It is winter. His son, Pawel, anxious to try out a new pair of skates, asks him if he can go out to the local pond which has just frozen over. Krzysztof determines that the ice is thick enough through a series of scientific calculations. Pawel goes skating, the ice breaks, and he drowns.

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{ Collapse of Antarctic ice sheet is underway and unstoppable but will take centuries | What Caused a 1300-Year Deep Freeze? }

quote { Krzysztof Kieślowski, The Decalogue I, 1988 }

And 5 hours later we up in the hotel like a honeymoon we up in the hotel

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Amnesia comes in distinct varieties. In “retrograde amnesia,” a movie staple, victims are unable to retrieve some or all of their past knowledge—Who am I? Why does this woman say that she’s my wife?—but they can accumulate memories for everything that they experience after the onset of the condition. In the less cinematically attractive “anterograde amnesia,” memory of the past is more or less intact, but those who suffer from it can’t lay down new memories; every person encountered every day is met for the first time. In extremely unfortunate cases, retrograde and anterograde amnesia can occur in the same individual, who is then said to suffer from “transient global amnesia,” a condition that is, thankfully, temporary. Amnesias vary in their duration, scope, and originating events: brain injury, stroke, tumors, epilepsy, electroconvulsive therapy, and psychological trauma are common causes, while drug and alcohol use, malnutrition, and chemotherapy may play a part. […]

When you asked Molaison a question, he could retain it long enough to answer; when he was eating French toast, he could remember previous mouthfuls and could see the evidence that he had started eating it. His unimpaired ability to do these sort of things illustrated a distinction, made by William James, between “primary” and “secondary” memory. Primary memory, now generally known as working memory, evidently did not depend upon the structures that Scoville had removed. The domain of working memory is a hybrid of the instantaneous present and of what James referred to as the “just past.” The experienced present has duration; it is not a point but a plateau. For those few seconds of the precisely now and the just past, the present is unarchived, accessible without conscious search. Beyond that, we have to call up the fragments of past presents. The plateau of Molaison’s working memory was between thirty and sixty seconds long—not very different from that of most people—and this was what allowed him to eat a meal, read the newspaper, solve endless crossword puzzles, and carry on a conversation. But nothing that happened on the plateau of working memory stuck, and his past presents laid down no sediments that could be dredged up by any future presents.

{ The New Yorker | Continue reading }

‘Nothing happens; the story does not unfold; we discover it under each word, like an obscene and obstructing presence.’ –Sartre

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The Terminal Event Management Policy is an official policy of Wikipedia detailing the procedures to be followed to safeguard the content of the encyclopedia in the event of a non-localized event that would render the continuation of Wikipedia in its current form untenable.

{ Wikipedia | Continue reading }

porcelain { Livia Marin }

If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading

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On April 7, 1994, Federal Express Flight 705, a McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 cargo jet ferrying electronics across the United States from Memphis, Tennessee to San Jose, California, experienced an attempted hijacking for the purpose of a suicide attack.

Auburn Calloway, a FedEx employee facing possible dismissal for lying about his previous flying experience, boarded the scheduled flight as a deadheading passenger with a guitar case carrying several hammers and a speargun. He intended to disable the aircraft’s cockpit voice recorder before take-off and, once airborne, kill the crew using the blunt force of the hammers so their injuries would appear consistent with an accident rather than a hijacking. The speargun would be a last resort. He would then crash the aircraft while just appearing to be an employee killed in an accident. This would make his family eligible for a $2.5 million life insurance policy paid by Federal Express.

{ Wikipedia | Continue reading }

art { Caleb Brown }

‘I try all things, I achieve what I can.’ –Melville

“Hasse” which was known in Ystad tavern circles, had a total of 146 wasp stings on the body including 54 on the genitals. He was so bloated that a neighbor thought it was a whale carcass lying on the lawn. […]

The autopsy and scene investigation revealed that “Hasse” tried to have sex with the wasp nest. They found semen on some of the dead wasps and a couple of “Hasse” pubic hair in the entrance of the nest. […]

Angry animal rights activists have reacted strongly to the event.

{ News Sweden | Continue reading | Thanks GG! }

In the water of a pure stream, a fasting wolf came by, looking for something

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Hurricane Sandy was the largest storm to hit the northeast U.S. in recorded history, killing 159, knocking out power to millions, and causing $70 billion in damage in eight states. Sandy also put the vulnerability of critical infrastructure in stark relief by paralyzing subways, trains, road and air traffic, flooding hospitals, crippling electrical substations, and shutting down power and water to tens of millions of people. But one of the larger infrastructure failures is less appreciated: sewage overflow.

Six months after Sandy, data from the eight hardest hit states shows that 11 billion gallons of untreated and partially treated sewage flowed into rivers, bays, canals, and in some cases, city streets, largely as a result of record storm-surge flooding that swamped the region’s major sewage treatment facilities. To put that in perspective, 11 billion gallons is equal to New York’s Central Park stacked 41 feet high with sewage, or more than 50 times the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The vast majority of that sewage flowed into the waters of New York City and northern New Jersey in the days and weeks during and after the storm.

{ Climate Central | PDF }

He kissed me… but only in my dreams

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The risk of waking from a general anaesthetic while under the surgeon’s knife is extremely small - about one in 15,000 - research reveals.

Out of nearly 3 million operations in 2011 there were 153 reported cases. […] A third - 46 in total - were conscious throughout the operation.

{ BBC | Continue reading }

The incidence of accidental awareness during general anaesthesia (AAGA) is reported by several studies to be surprisingly high, in the range of 1–2 per 1000 general anaesthetics administered. These studies employ a direct patient questionnaire (usually repeated three times over a period of up to 30 days postoperatively) known as the ‘Brice protocol.’ It is also reported that a high proportion of patients experiencing AAGA suffer psychological problems including posttraumatic stress disorder. There are in fact very few studies reporting an incidence of AAGA much lower than this, an exception being that of Pollard et al., who found an incidence of 1:14 500. However, their methods might be criticised as they administered the questionnaire only twice over a 48-h period, which might only detect two thirds of cases . Anecdotally, anaesthetists do not perceive the incidence of AAGA to be so high. A small Japanese study found that only 21 of 172 practitioners had known of an incident of AAGA under their care, with an overall incidence of just 1:3500. In a larger UK survey of over 2000 consultants, Lau et al. reported that anaesthetists estimated the incidence to be approximately 1:5000, similar to the estimated incidence reported previously by 220 Australian anaesthetists of between 1:5000 and 1:10 000.

{ Anaesthesia/Wiley | Continue reading }

Mmm, maybe I misjudged Stromberg

Brooklyn man furious his roommate wanted to move out allegedly murdered her fish

[…]

“They were my babies! I can’t have children, so my pets are like my kids,” Brenda Alvarez said yesterday. “They were beautiful fish and cost about $25 each.” […]

Alvarez, 45, said she wanted to move out of the Nostrand Avenue apartment because of growing tension between the longtime friends. […]

Santiago allegedly roughed up Alvarez before turning on the fish. He killed them in front of her, she said. […]

Santiago, 47, was arrested and charged with animal cruelty and assault.

{ NY Post | Continue reading }

The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth

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This January, a 21-year-old Canadian tourist named Elisa Lam disappeared while visiting Los Angeles. Lam was last seen at the Cecil Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, where she had been staying. Tuesday, her body was found at the bottom of one of the hotel’s rooftop water tanks. […]

The hotel’s guests were horrified at the news. […] But anyone familiar with Los Angeles’s history couldn’t have been too surprised. Downtown LA has long been seedy, and somewhat dangerous; the Cecil Hotel, for its part, has a long and sordid criminal history [Austrian serial killer Jack Unterweger stayed at the Cecil Hotel for five weeks in 1991 while murdering prositutes].

{ Slate }

related/video { Surveillance video of Elisa Lam shows bizarre behavior }