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Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 07:40 PM PDT

Victim John Winkler shot dead

by se portland

L.A. County Sheriff mistakenly shot dead victim John Winkler.

L.A. County sheriff deputies mistakenly kill man fleeing assailant

(Reuters) - An aspiring TV producer who was being held captive by a knife-wielding man in West Hollywood was mistakenly shot and killed by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies as he tried to escape his assailant, the sheriff's department said on Thursday.

John Winkler, 30, was one of three men being held and attacked by a 27-year-old man with a knife at an apartment on Monday night, the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department said in a statement.

He and another man ran out of the apartment to get away, but sheriff's deputies called to the scene thought he was the assailant and shot him, the department said.

"The apartment door suddenly opened and a male victim came rushing out," the department said. "He was covered in blood and bleeding profusely from the neck. Simultaneously, victim Winkler ran out of the door, lunging at the back of the fleeing victim."

Both men ran directly at the deputies, the statement said.

And therein lies the problem.
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Back on Wednesday I promised plf515 that I would take a stab at writing a 'What are you reading' diary focusing on a special topic. My chosen subject is the post-ironic hero. I hope you find some value in it, but as with all 'What are you reading' diaries, consider this an open thread to share with us what books have caught your fancy.

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Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 05:34 PM PDT

The Ediacaran

by se portland

Before the Cambrian, with its trilobites, and opabinia,


there was an even stranger era, the Ediacaran.

My recent fascination with the Ediacaran ironically started with a creationist’s comment about how his doubts of evolution began when he looked at the Cambrian Explosion.  “How could life go from almost nothing to all the creatures we see in the Cambrian?” It seemed a fair question, inquiring minds want to know.

What I found first was that the Cambrian Explosion was no faster than any of the other era in animal history. It was an explosion that played out over more than 70 million years in a world where oxygen was only starting to become abundant. The second thing I found was that there was complex life before the Cambrian.

Before the Cambrian there was a diverse world full of ephemeral live. A world that puzzles scientist because some of the species do not appear to fit in anywhere. Before the Cambrian there was the Garden of the Ediacaran. It was an age of alien creatures so strange that they often defy classification. But it was not alien, it happened right here on Earth, and it is fascinating.  

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Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 04:47 PM PST

Random Super Bowl stuff

by se portland

I was waiting for an open thread because this is not really enough for a diary, but it never came...

[It probably has since I started typing this, but :-p]

As a disclaimer, I am an unabashed Seattle Seahawks fan, and have been since 1988. I moved to the Puget Sound back in 1988 from Austin Texas and decided I should root for the home team. I remember Ground Chuck, David Krieg, Steve Largent, and the land crab Kurt Warner. I sat in the concrete barn they called the King Dome.

With that out of the way....

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As long as we are discussing what color Santa is, I thought I would throw out a couple of other theories. I can't imagine this will go over well, but let's get started with Santa first - shall we?

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Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 03:12 PM PDT

A Companion Guide to Typee

by se portland

Typee was Herman Melville’s debut novel first published in 1846. Based on his real life experiences aboard the whaling ship Acushnet and his stay on the island Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas, Melville's novel became an immediate hit in England. The American edition was edited to remove all of Melville's scathing indictments of the missionaries, but was likewise a best seller. Today it is largely forgotten, overshadowed by Melville's more important work Moby Dick. It is a shame. The novel heavily influenced the works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Louis Becke and Jack London, among others. For many of us, whether we know it our not, it is the seed of our romantic notions of the South Pacific. Typee deserves a spot in our modern library.

After reading it, I looked to the web to find a site that would bring the voyage and island to life. I wanted to see the path the Dolly took in its six month wanderings. I wanted a map of the island showing the path our heroes took. I wanted a picture of Kory-Kory's tattoos, to view the lush jungles and breadfruit. To my dismay, no such site appears to exist. There is a brief article on Wikipedia and study guides, but I wanted a pictorial companion to the novel. Not finding it anywhere else, I have endeavored to create it here.

This is not intended as a scholarly work, but I hope you find it of some value, and it inspires you to read Typee.

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Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 08:29 PM PDT

Top Wis. DoT Official: I see Satan

by se portland

I searched Daily Kos and did not find a diary on this yet.

Scott Walker fires state official for comparing unauthorized immigrants to 'Satan'

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker dismissed a state official this week for saying unauthorized immigrants reminded him of Satan in a Facebook rant that involved other politicians.
Steven Krieser, a top official at the state’s Department of Transportation, wrote in a now-deleted Facebook post (saved here by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) that “a stream of wretched criminals continues to flow unabated to the north” and that illegal immigration is crushing the social safety net system of some Southern states.
“You may see Jesus when you look at them,” Krieser said. “I see Satan.”
It gets worse. Facebook deleted the post but it has been saved.
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Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 11:48 AM PDT

Aereo in the Clouds

by se portland

Aereo is a new $12 per month service currently available in certain cities on the East coast. The company maintains thousands of tiny dime size antennas which their subscribers can rent to watch and record over-the-air broadcast TV delivered over the internet. When you subscribe you are given access to your own antenna, no one else can use it but you. You also have your own RS-DVR (Remote Service DVR) in the Clouds. So, you can choose to watch a TV show in real time, or record it to watch later (time shifting).

The networks are furious. They claim that it is a violation of their copyrights. In their estimate, what Aereo is doing is a public performance of their property. So, they sued in the Second Circuit Court. In fact there are two suits.

NYT: Media Decoder

The first suit was filed by the owners of stations affiliated with Fox, the CW, Univision and PBS. The second suit was filed by the owners of stations affiliated with ABC, CBS and NBC.

Together, the two suits represent virtually all of the major television stations in New York City, the only market where Aereo is set to operate. The stations are owned by major media companies like Comcast, the Walt Disney Company and the News Corporation.

Why do I care? For at least two reasons. First, I feel that the consumer should have control of the content they want to watch. The current cable TV model forces you to pay for channels you never watch and dictates what and when you can view their content. The second reason has to do with Cloud computing. How private is your Cloud drive? Maybe not as much as you think. But we will get back to that.
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Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 12:25 PM PDT

Who's on Third

by se portland

After the Vice President, who is is next in line for the presidency? The Speaker of the House right? After that it is the Secertary of State, or so I always thought. But the truth is, it is somewhat muddled, and in fact designating the Speaker third in line is inherently dangerous to our Republic.

These rather obscure ramblings were inspired by a post at RedState that championed the idea that ex-senator DeMint should replace Boehner as Speaker of the House. The idea springs from the fact that nowhere in the Constitution does it specifically say that the Speaker has to be a member of the House. In fact there were the recent protest votes for Allen West and Colin Powell at the beginning of the present congress.

Which led me to examine the idea of a bloodless coup. Could the House of Representatives appoint a Speaker of the House unelected by the people? Could this Speaker initiate impeachment of both the President and Vice President, and with the consent of two thirds Senate, install himself as the president?

Probably not, but it is a interesting diversion. If you have time to waste, follow me below the fold.

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Mon May 27, 2013 at 12:47 PM PDT

A Brief History of Ice

by se portland

No not I.C.E. Ice.

Believe it or not, this diary was inspired by the meta pie fight de jur about whether or not there has ever been a Golden Age in America. Clearly there has not, but there was a golden age of ice. Ice. You know, the stuff you have in your freezer. It is something we take for granted. It chills our drinks, soothes are banged up knees and keeps are foods fresh. But it has not always been that way.

Follow me below the fold to learn more about the history of ice than you probably every wanted to know. :)

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Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 03:13 PM PDT

Book Review: The Wrong God

by se portland

In a continuation of my series of book reviews written my Kosack's, I offer The Wrong God written by  Paul Guthrie, a.k.a parallex.

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Miracles, science, faith, and not to mention fear of commitment after a recently failed marriage are all themes this book addresses. How devotedly do you hold your faith? Would you still hold them if you were tortured and your love ones threatened?

In an all to familiar America where money and religion pulls the strings of power, Guthrie has created a tale of miracles, faith and science.

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Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 10:52 AM PDT

Book Review: Racheltracks

by se portland

If you read my last diary, you know that I am amazed at how many published authors inhabit the pages of Daily Kos. I have made it my mission to read at least some of these books and review them here. I say 'mission', but that is not entirely accurate, 'mission' somehow implies effort, or sacrifice, but so far my 'mission' has been nothing but pleasure.

Today I offer you my humble review of Rachel Vogelsang's Racheltracks.

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[Edited to replace 'xyz' in the first sentence with 'inhabit'. I could not think of what word I wanted there and was using 'xyz' as a placeholder.]

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