United States copyright regulators are agreeing with Wikipedia’s conclusion that a monkey’s selfie cannot be copyrighted by a nature photographer whose camera was swiped by the ape in the jungle. The animal’s selfie went viral. The US Copyright Office, in a 1,222-page report discussing federal copyright law, said that a “photograph taken by a monkey” is unprotected intellectual property. 

Monkey’s selfie cannot be copyrighted, US regulators say | Ars Technica

United States copyright regulators are agreeing with Wikipedia’s conclusion that a monkey’s selfie cannot be copyrighted by a nature photographer whose camera was swiped by the ape in the jungle. The animal’s selfie went viral. The US Copyright Office, in a 1,222-page report discussing federal copyright law, said that a “photograph taken by a monkey” is unprotected intellectual property.

Monkey’s selfie cannot be copyrighted, US regulators say | Ars Technica

coverjunkie:

"Ferguson, Missouri," by Eric Drooker
New cover The New Yorker, artwork Eric Drooker
Art Editor Françoise Mouly (read here about her book ‘Blown Covers’ New Yorker Covers You Were Never Meant to See)
Creative Director Wyatt Mitchell

coverjunkie:

"Ferguson, Missouri," by Eric Drooker

New cover The New Yorker, artwork Eric Drooker

Art Editor Françoise Mouly (read here about her book ‘Blown Covers’ New Yorker Covers You Were Never Meant to See)

Creative Director Wyatt Mitchell

From 2008 to 2012, laboratories conducting research on potential bioterrorism weapons logged more than 1,100 accidents. That figure, chronicled in government reports obtained by USA Today, includes a case where two animals were accidentally infected with hog cholera, a virus that hasn’t been found in the U.S. since 1978.

In another case, an uninvolved cow residing on a nearby farm became infected with brucellosis, a virus that can be passed to humans through dairy products. In about half of the incidents, lab workers had to be medically screened or treated after accidental exposure to a mishandled toxin, and in five cases, lab workers were infected or sickened. (All lab workers recovered.)

The Centers for Disease Control reports don’t include many details; federal bioterrorism laws prohibited the names of the errant labs and most specific information about the mishaps from being disclosed. But just the number of accidents alone adds volumes to the genre of doomsday headlines chronicling high-stakes bio-error.

From 2008 to 2012, laboratories conducting research on potential bioterrorism weapons logged more than 1,100 accidents. That figure, chronicled in government reports obtained by USA Today, includes a case where two animals were accidentally infected with hog cholera, a virus that hasn’t been found in the U.S. since 1978.

In another case, an uninvolved cow residing on a nearby farm became infected with brucellosis, a virus that can be passed to humans through dairy products. In about half of the incidents, lab workers had to be medically screened or treated after accidental exposure to a mishandled toxin, and in five cases, lab workers were infected or sickened. (All lab workers recovered.)

The Centers for Disease Control reports don’t include many details; federal bioterrorism laws prohibited the names of the errant labs and most specific information about the mishaps from being disclosed. But just the number of accidents alone adds volumes to the genre of doomsday headlines chronicling high-stakes bio-error.

Astronauts fresh off spacewalks often report that a certain faint, acrid smell tends to cling to their equipment. NASA astronaut Don Pettit described it as “a rather pleasant sweet metallic sensation” akin to “welding fumes,” while others have said it reminds them of charred meat. 

They were probably smelling polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are compounds produced when stars and planets form. According to Jeff Oishi, a research scientist at the Museum of Natural History in New York, PAHs are present on Earth too—they’re produced when you BBQ! But if you travel 26,000 light years to a dust cloud at the center of the Milky Way called Sagittarius B2, you might catch a whiff of raspberries and maybe rum. 

This cloud is stuffed with ethyl formate, an ester that gives both treats their flavor. “Space is pretty boozy,” Oishi says. “There’s no liquid alcohol, but a lot of different kinds of alcohols have been observed.” The constellation Aquila contains enough space booze that, if liquefied, it could fill 400 trillion trillion pints. Interstellar pub crawl, anyone? 

What Does Space Smell Like? | Mental Floss

Astronauts fresh off spacewalks often report that a certain faint, acrid smell tends to cling to their equipment. NASA astronaut Don Pettit described it as “a rather pleasant sweet metallic sensation” akin to “welding fumes,” while others have said it reminds them of charred meat.

They were probably smelling polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are compounds produced when stars and planets form. According to Jeff Oishi, a research scientist at the Museum of Natural History in New York, PAHs are present on Earth too—they’re produced when you BBQ! But if you travel 26,000 light years to a dust cloud at the center of the Milky Way called Sagittarius B2, you might catch a whiff of raspberries and maybe rum.

This cloud is stuffed with ethyl formate, an ester that gives both treats their flavor. “Space is pretty boozy,” Oishi says. “There’s no liquid alcohol, but a lot of different kinds of alcohols have been observed.” The constellation Aquila contains enough space booze that, if liquefied, it could fill 400 trillion trillion pints. Interstellar pub crawl, anyone?

What Does Space Smell Like? | Mental Floss

In the eight days since Michael Brown, an eighteen-year-old, was killed by a police officer named Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, what began as an impromptu vigil evolved into a sustained protest; it is now beginning to look like a movement. 

The local QuikTrip, a gas station and convenience store that was looted and burned on the second night of the protests, has now been repurposed as the epicenter for gatherings and the exchange of information. The front of the lot bears an improvised graffiti sign identifying the area as the “QT People’s Park.” 

With the exception of a few stretches, such as Thursday afternoon, when it was veiled in clouds of tear gas, protesters have been a constant presence in the lot. On Sunday afternoon the area was populated by members of local churches, black fraternity and sorority groups, Amnesty International, the Outcast Motorcycle Club, and twenty or so white supporters from the surrounding area. 

On the north side of the station, a group of volunteers with a mobile grill served free hot dogs and water, and a man stood on a crate, handing out bright yellow T-shirts with the logo of the National Action Network, the group led by Al Sharpton. 

The conversation here has shifted from the immediate reaction to Michael Brown’s death and toward the underlying social dynamics. Two men I spoke with pointed to the disparity in education funding for Ferguson and more affluent municipalities nearby. 

Another talked about being pulled over by an officer who claimed to smell marijuana in the car as a pretense for searching him. 

“I’m in the United States Navy,” he told me. “We have to take drug tests in the military so I had proof that there were no drugs in my system. But other people can’t do that.” 

Six black men I spoke to, nearly consecutively, pointed to Missouri’s felon-disfranchisement laws as part of the equation. 

“If you’re a student in one of the black schools here and you get into a fight you’ll probably get arrested and charged with assault. We have kids here who are barred from voting before they’re even old enough to register,” one said. 

Ferguson’s elected officials did not look much different than they had years earlier, when it was a largely white community. 

A Movement Grows in Ferguson, Missouri - The New Yorker

In the eight days since Michael Brown, an eighteen-year-old, was killed by a police officer named Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, what began as an impromptu vigil evolved into a sustained protest; it is now beginning to look like a movement.

The local QuikTrip, a gas station and convenience store that was looted and burned on the second night of the protests, has now been repurposed as the epicenter for gatherings and the exchange of information. The front of the lot bears an improvised graffiti sign identifying the area as the “QT People’s Park.”

With the exception of a few stretches, such as Thursday afternoon, when it was veiled in clouds of tear gas, protesters have been a constant presence in the lot. On Sunday afternoon the area was populated by members of local churches, black fraternity and sorority groups, Amnesty International, the Outcast Motorcycle Club, and twenty or so white supporters from the surrounding area.

On the north side of the station, a group of volunteers with a mobile grill served free hot dogs and water, and a man stood on a crate, handing out bright yellow T-shirts with the logo of the National Action Network, the group led by Al Sharpton.

The conversation here has shifted from the immediate reaction to Michael Brown’s death and toward the underlying social dynamics. Two men I spoke with pointed to the disparity in education funding for Ferguson and more affluent municipalities nearby.

Another talked about being pulled over by an officer who claimed to smell marijuana in the car as a pretense for searching him.

“I’m in the United States Navy,” he told me. “We have to take drug tests in the military so I had proof that there were no drugs in my system. But other people can’t do that.”

Six black men I spoke to, nearly consecutively, pointed to Missouri’s felon-disfranchisement laws as part of the equation.

“If you’re a student in one of the black schools here and you get into a fight you’ll probably get arrested and charged with assault. We have kids here who are barred from voting before they’re even old enough to register,” one said.

Ferguson’s elected officials did not look much different than they had years earlier, when it was a largely white community.

A Movement Grows in Ferguson, Missouri - The New Yorker

The San Francisco real estate market is, technically speaking, muy caliente. If you’ve looked for an apartment recently, or follow our blog, you know that rental prices have exploded and small homes sell for more than Detroit skyscrapers. 

San Francisco is a beautiful place, with a bustling economy that has drawn tens of thousands of new residents over the past few years. But the supply of housing is relatively fixed as large swathes of the city aren’t zoned for the type of high density housing that could accommodate the increased demand. So the price of housing has increased. 

The San Francisco Rent Explosion: Part II

The San Francisco real estate market is, technically speaking, muy caliente. If you’ve looked for an apartment recently, or follow our blog, you know that rental prices have exploded and small homes sell for more than Detroit skyscrapers.

San Francisco is a beautiful place, with a bustling economy that has drawn tens of thousands of new residents over the past few years. But the supply of housing is relatively fixed as large swathes of the city aren’t zoned for the type of high density housing that could accommodate the increased demand. So the price of housing has increased.

The San Francisco Rent Explosion: Part II

From 2008 to 2012, laboratories conducting research on potential bioterrorism weapons logged more than 1,100 accidents. That figure, chronicled in government reports obtained by USA Today, includes a case where two animals were accidentally infected with hog cholera, a virus that hasn’t been found in the U.S. since 1978.

In another case, an uninvolved cow residing on a nearby farm became infected with brucellosis, a virus that can be passed to humans through dairy products. In about half of the incidents, lab workers had to be medically screened or treated after accidental exposure to a mishandled toxin, and in five cases, lab workers were infected or sickened. (All lab workers recovered.)

The Centers for Disease Control reports don’t include many details; federal bioterrorism laws prohibited the names of the errant labs and most specific information about the mishaps from being disclosed. But just the number of accidents alone adds volumes to the genre of doomsday headlines chronicling high-stakes bio-error.

I don’t know what made me buy a plane ticket to St. Louis at 1:15 a.m. on Tuesday. Maybe it was remembering that feeling of helplessness and guilt after learning of the Trayvon Martin verdict while embarking on a carefree cross-country road trip.
Maybe it was Eric Garner, who died only weeks ago in New York, after a police officer wrestled him to the ground and choked him.
Maybe it was going to the south side of Chicago last month, stepping into Trinity United Church of Christ, made famous by the union of Barack Obama and now–pastor emeritus Jeremiah Wright in 2008.
Maybe it was hearing the church’s announcements about the shooting and murder of kids from its congregation that I’d later read about in the news that evening. But perhaps it was just me.
A black boy turned black man who finds it increasingly miraculous that I made it to 27. A black man with a black mother who was alive in the South for the final push of Jim Crow.
And a black man with a black mother with black parents who would have done anything so that their children and grandchildren wouldn’t have to live a life in fear of the dogs. And the hoses. And the bombs.
Either way, learning that an 18-year-old named Michael Brown had been shot by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, and left in the street to die, pushed me to a breaking point.
It felt like I had to come to Ferguson. Not as a journalist, but as a black man fed up with the idea of black boys who are unable to become black men.
I knew I couldn’t tell my mom. She’d be proud I was here, but it would also worry her to no end. And it would be unnecessary worry. Because I’d be fine.
Grantland: The Front Lines of Ferguson

I don’t know what made me buy a plane ticket to St. Louis at 1:15 a.m. on Tuesday. Maybe it was remembering that feeling of helplessness and guilt after learning of the Trayvon Martin verdict while embarking on a carefree cross-country road trip.

Maybe it was Eric Garner, who died only weeks ago in New York, after a police officer wrestled him to the ground and choked him.

Maybe it was going to the south side of Chicago last month, stepping into Trinity United Church of Christ, made famous by the union of Barack Obama and now–pastor emeritus Jeremiah Wright in 2008.

Maybe it was hearing the church’s announcements about the shooting and murder of kids from its congregation that I’d later read about in the news that evening. But perhaps it was just me.

A black boy turned black man who finds it increasingly miraculous that I made it to 27. A black man with a black mother who was alive in the South for the final push of Jim Crow.

And a black man with a black mother with black parents who would have done anything so that their children and grandchildren wouldn’t have to live a life in fear of the dogs. And the hoses. And the bombs.

Either way, learning that an 18-year-old named Michael Brown had been shot by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, and left in the street to die, pushed me to a breaking point.

It felt like I had to come to Ferguson. Not as a journalist, but as a black man fed up with the idea of black boys who are unable to become black men.

I knew I couldn’t tell my mom. She’d be proud I was here, but it would also worry her to no end. And it would be unnecessary worry. Because I’d be fine.

Grantland: The Front Lines of Ferguson

I’d been thinking about Robin Williams a bit recently. His manager Larry Bresner told me that when Robin was asked by a German journalist on a press junket why the Germans had a reputation for humourlessness that Williams replied, “Because you killed all the funny people.”

Robin Williams was exciting to me because he seemed to be sat upon a geyser of comedy. Like he didn’t manufacture it laboriously within but had only to open a valve and it would come bursting through in effervescent jets. He was plugged into the mains of comedy.

I was aware too that this burbling and manic man-child that I watched on the box on my Nan’s front room floor with a Mork action figure (I wish I still had that, he came in a plastic egg) struggled with mental illness and addiction. The chaotic clarity that lashed like an electric cable, that razzed and sparked with amoral, puckish wonder was in fact harvested madness.

A refinement of an energy that could turn as easily to destruction as creativity. He spoke candidly about his mental illness and addiction, how he felt often on a precipice of self-destruction, whether through substance misuse or some act of more certain finality. I thought that this articulate acknowledgement amounted to a kind of vaccine against the return of such diseased thinking, which has proven to be hopelessly naive.

When someone gets to 63 I imagined, hoped, I suppose, that maturity would grant an immunity to adolescent notions of suicide but today I read that suicide isn’t exclusively a young man’s game.

Robin Williams at 63 still hadn’t come to terms with being Robin Williams.

The hazard of engaging with the history of race in the United States is the difficulty of distinguishing the past from the news of the day. On Saturday afternoon, under hazy circumstances, an eighteen-year-old named Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. Brown was unarmed. Police have confirmed that he was shot “more than just a couple of times.” The story that witnesses tell is disturbing not only in its details but in the ways in which those details blur into a longer narrative. It’s one we’re all familiar with if we have paid even passive attention, and yet, despite its redundancy, we have yet to grasp its moral. A trivial incident sparks a confrontation, followed by a disproportionate response, then the tableau of grieving parents struggling to maintain composure and the social-media verdicts rendered in absentia, many asking about the culpability of the deceased. Invariably, some self-ordained truth teller will stand up to quote non sequiturs about black-on-black violence.

“Enter Pyongyang” is another stunning collaboration between city-­branding pioneer JT Singh and flow-motion videographer Rob Whitworth. Blending time-lapse photography, acceleration and slow motion, HD and digital animation, they have produced a cutting‐edge panorama of a city hardly known, but one emerging on the visitor’s landscape as North Korea’s opening unfolds.

North Korea was the last country seemingly immune to change—but no longer. Recent years have witnessed mobile phone penetration, a surge in tourists, and even a marathon. Numerous special economic zones have been launched in cooperation with China, Russia, and South Korea, with railways planned linking all countries in the region. “Enter Pyongyang” captures not just the city, but this dynamism and sense of potential.

This video is the single most significant multi-­media contribution to transcending clichés about North Korea as a society defined by reclusiveness and destitution. To travel there is to witness a proud civilization, though one caught in a Cold War time-warp. Korean cultural traditions are meticulously preserved and displayed in authentic richness. Anyone who has witnessed the awe-inspiring Mass Games knows that, with great sacrifice, North Koreans can pull off a performance unparalleled in its precision.

(Source: vimeo.com)

On August 5, 1966, Martin Luther King Jr., and about 700 protesters marched through an outer Chicago neighborhood called Marquette Park to protest housing segregation, an ignominious endeavor in which the Second City may well have earned first place. 

The ethnic whites who lived in Marquette Park had no patience for King or his message. One of them, according to the Chicago Tribune, proudly displayed a sign that said, “King would look good with a knife in his back.” The sentiment was shared by many of his fellow citizens, and King was dead less than two years later. 

But blacks moved into Marquette Park anyway, though it was never truly integrated: unable to stop the influx, the whites simply left. Today, the neighborhood is only about 5% white, the Eastern Europeans having long decamped deeper into the suburban mosaic, ever farther from the lakefront city with its restive dark masses. 

Ferguson, Missouri, is about a five-hour drive south from Chicago. The muddled legacy of King’s last campaign—not only to end institutional discrimination, but to persuade the races to live together in comity—is apparent as you travel through North County, the suburbs to the northwest of St. Louis that, like Marquette Park, were once white but are now largely black: Florissant (which the locals pronounce fluorescent), Jennings, Berkeley, Dellwood. 

The people here are not exactly poor, but many fear they will be. And so they seek salvation from churches and payday loan windows, both of which are numerous, as are fast-food places that give no sense of regional flavor. You could be in central California, western Pennsylvania. 

But you are in Ferguson, where 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot to death by police officer Darren Wilson, in a high-noon confrontation on what should have been just another languid summer day. 

The details of the incident remain maddeningly unclear, and the reluctant revelations by the police only obfuscate further: Was Brown a robbery suspect? Were his hands up when he was shot? Did he receive appropriate emergency care?

 Nobody seems to know, so long-standing fears and suspicions bubble to the surface. The kindest thing you will hear about Ferguson police chief Thomas Jackson is that he is a fool; the more cruel speculation accuses him of conspiracy and cover-up. 

Ferguson’s Fifty-Year Fire

On August 5, 1966, Martin Luther King Jr., and about 700 protesters marched through an outer Chicago neighborhood called Marquette Park to protest housing segregation, an ignominious endeavor in which the Second City may well have earned first place.

The ethnic whites who lived in Marquette Park had no patience for King or his message. One of them, according to the Chicago Tribune, proudly displayed a sign that said, “King would look good with a knife in his back.” The sentiment was shared by many of his fellow citizens, and King was dead less than two years later.

But blacks moved into Marquette Park anyway, though it was never truly integrated: unable to stop the influx, the whites simply left. Today, the neighborhood is only about 5% white, the Eastern Europeans having long decamped deeper into the suburban mosaic, ever farther from the lakefront city with its restive dark masses.

Ferguson, Missouri, is about a five-hour drive south from Chicago. The muddled legacy of King’s last campaign—not only to end institutional discrimination, but to persuade the races to live together in comity—is apparent as you travel through North County, the suburbs to the northwest of St. Louis that, like Marquette Park, were once white but are now largely black: Florissant (which the locals pronounce fluorescent), Jennings, Berkeley, Dellwood.

The people here are not exactly poor, but many fear they will be. And so they seek salvation from churches and payday loan windows, both of which are numerous, as are fast-food places that give no sense of regional flavor. You could be in central California, western Pennsylvania.

But you are in Ferguson, where 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot to death by police officer Darren Wilson, in a high-noon confrontation on what should have been just another languid summer day.

The details of the incident remain maddeningly unclear, and the reluctant revelations by the police only obfuscate further: Was Brown a robbery suspect? Were his hands up when he was shot? Did he receive appropriate emergency care?

Nobody seems to know, so long-standing fears and suspicions bubble to the surface. The kindest thing you will hear about Ferguson police chief Thomas Jackson is that he is a fool; the more cruel speculation accuses him of conspiracy and cover-up.

Ferguson’s Fifty-Year Fire