synapse collapse


  1. 
  Emmanuel Ndayisaba, left, and Alice Mukarurinda, recount their experiences of the Rwandan genocide at Alice’s house in Nyamata, Rwanda Wednesday, March 26, 2014. She lost her baby daughter and her right hand to a manic killing spree. He wielded the machete that took both. Yet today, despite coming from opposite sides of an unspeakable shared past, Alice Mukarurinda and Emmanuel Ndayisaba are friends.


Do captions get considered when they pick Pulitzer winners? God damn.

Click through for more amazing photography from the memorial/commemoration of the Rwandan genocide of 1994.

    Emmanuel Ndayisaba, left, and Alice Mukarurinda, recount their experiences of the Rwandan genocide at Alice’s house in Nyamata, Rwanda Wednesday, March 26, 2014. She lost her baby daughter and her right hand to a manic killing spree. He wielded the machete that took both. Yet today, despite coming from opposite sides of an unspeakable shared past, Alice Mukarurinda and Emmanuel Ndayisaba are friends.

    Do captions get considered when they pick Pulitzer winners? God damn.

    Click through for more amazing photography from the memorial/commemoration of the Rwandan genocide of 1994.

  2. wilwheaton:

buzzfeedpolitics:


Dick Cheney is ready to laugh about waterboarding.
Conservatives gathered at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan Monday night to roast the former vice president at an event where many of the biggest laugh lines touched on the most controversial policies of a key architect of his administration’s war on terror. At the gathering, hosted by Commentary, figures including former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and former Attorney General Michael Mukasey drew a mix of chuckles and winces with jokes that left few lines uncrossed, according to three guests.
Senator Joe Lieberman “said something to the effect that it’s nice that we’re all here at the Plaza instead of in cages after some war crimes trial,” recalled one person who was there.
Other major targets included former Secretary of State Colin Powell, mocked for leaking, and President Barack Obama, who was mocked, repeatedly, for the relative strength of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The event, sponsored by Rupert Murdoch, Paul Singer, and other top conservatives (listed here) also starred former Senator Joe Lieberman and Scooter Libby, the Cheney aide convicted of lying to investigators in a leak hunt. Two attendees said the edgy jokes were in appropriate spirit of a roast; the third found them in poor taste, even in that setting. The dinner was, to the surprise of some guests, punctuated by a live performance of Yiddish songs and by an video featuring Cheney’s face on others’ bodies, which emcee and Commentary editor John Podhoretz joked in an email to BuzzFeed he would release only for $1 million.
“There were some waterboarding jokes that were really tasteless,” the guest said. “I can see the case for enhanced interrogation techniques after Sept. 11 but I can’t really endorse sitting there drinking wine and fancy dinner at the Plaza laughing uproariously about it.”
Cheney himself told one waterboarding joke, the attendees said, which he attributed to Jay Leno. It centered on a one-shot antelope hunting contest in Wyoming in which the loser had to dance with an Indian squaw. Cheney’s shot got caught in the barrel, producing a dispute over whether it counted as a hit or a miss — and Leno, according to Cheney, joked that Cheney wanted to go catch the animal with his bare hands and waterboard it.

Waterboarding Is A Big Joke At Cheney Roast

Every single one of these motherfuckers should have been tried for war crimes, and because they weren’t, they are literally joking about it.


Posted without additional commentary, because it is not needed.

    wilwheaton:

    buzzfeedpolitics:

    Dick Cheney is ready to laugh about waterboarding.

    Conservatives gathered at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan Monday night to roast the former vice president at an event where many of the biggest laugh lines touched on the most controversial policies of a key architect of his administration’s war on terror. At the gathering, hosted by Commentary, figures including former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and former Attorney General Michael Mukasey drew a mix of chuckles and winces with jokes that left few lines uncrossed, according to three guests.

    Senator Joe Lieberman “said something to the effect that it’s nice that we’re all here at the Plaza instead of in cages after some war crimes trial,” recalled one person who was there.

    Other major targets included former Secretary of State Colin Powell, mocked for leaking, and President Barack Obama, who was mocked, repeatedly, for the relative strength of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The event, sponsored by Rupert Murdoch, Paul Singer, and other top conservatives (listed here) also starred former Senator Joe Lieberman and Scooter Libby, the Cheney aide convicted of lying to investigators in a leak hunt. Two attendees said the edgy jokes were in appropriate spirit of a roast; the third found them in poor taste, even in that setting. The dinner was, to the surprise of some guests, punctuated by a live performance of Yiddish songs and by an video featuring Cheney’s face on others’ bodies, which emcee and Commentary editor John Podhoretz joked in an email to BuzzFeed he would release only for $1 million.

    “There were some waterboarding jokes that were really tasteless,” the guest said. “I can see the case for enhanced interrogation techniques after Sept. 11 but I can’t really endorse sitting there drinking wine and fancy dinner at the Plaza laughing uproariously about it.”

    Cheney himself told one waterboarding joke, the attendees said, which he attributed to Jay Leno. It centered on a one-shot antelope hunting contest in Wyoming in which the loser had to dance with an Indian squaw. Cheney’s shot got caught in the barrel, producing a dispute over whether it counted as a hit or a miss — and Leno, according to Cheney, joked that Cheney wanted to go catch the animal with his bare hands and waterboard it.

    Waterboarding Is A Big Joke At Cheney Roast

    Every single one of these motherfuckers should have been tried for war crimes, and because they weren’t, they are literally joking about it.

    Posted without additional commentary, because it is not needed.

    (via mediation)

  3. ☛ Why Clarence Thomas Uses Simple Words in His Opinions - National - The Atlantic

    patrickrhone:

    What I tell my law clerks is that we write these so that they are accessible to regular people. That doesn’t mean that there’s no law in it. But there are simple ways to put important things in language that’s accessible. As I say to them, the beauty, the genius is not to write a 5 cent idea in a ten dollar sentence. It’s to put a ten dollar idea in a 5 cent sentence.

    The whole of law should be written this way.

    The whole of everything should be written this way.

  4. The rule here is simple: If you are invoking 1984 in a country in which 1984 is available for purchase and can be freely deployed as a rhetorical device, you likely don’t understand the point of 1984.

    Riposte!

    Michael Moynihan splashing some cold water on those who are crying 1984! over the recent NSA revelations. (via sharpless)


    This logic is flawless as long as you believe that totalitarian states can only appear suddenly and out of an inexplicable vacuum.

    But, at the risk of invoking Godwin, remember that the hard-drinking, free-love bacchanalias of the Weimar party scene continued merrily and unabated even as a lot of seemingly trivial little freedoms were being quietly disappeared. One minor and easily dismissible indignity at a time.

    Guess I’m just saying, maybe be careful not to gaily and unintentionally Charleston your way into a world in which you’ll only notice that big boot once it’s found a happy new residence on your own pretty neck.

    If history’s any indication, those boots often enter our town squares and minority neighborhoods and fancy government office buildings opportunistically. Probably on many of those indolent and carefree evenings when all our noisy glibness and glass-clinking were drowning out the soundtrack of other peoples’ windows breaking.

    (via merlin)

    (via merlin)

  5. “You should enjoy every moment now! They grow up so fast!”

    I usually smile and give some sort of guffaw, but inside, I secretly want to hold them under water. Just for a minute or so. Just until they panic a little.

  6. programmerryangosling:

And it can never be changed.

    programmerryangosling:

    And it can never be changed.

  7. idiosyncratic-routine:

She wanted to be the wolf.

Awesome.

    idiosyncratic-routine:

    She wanted to be the wolf.

    Awesome.

  8. Unreal. As if Florida wasn’t already one of the least-appealing places to live in the world already, now you have this.

motherjones:


What’s it like to wake up from a tea party binge? Just ask Florida.

    Unreal. As if Florida wasn’t already one of the least-appealing places to live in the world already, now you have this.

    motherjones:

    What’s it like to wake up from a tea party binge? Just ask Florida.

    (via utnereader)

  9. ☛ Moneyballization of politics? Yes please.

    On the lack of Republican engagement in modern “big data” analysis of politics, Robert Schlesinger writes:

    Is anyone surprised that the GOP—the party of climate science denial, polling trutherism, and proud rejection of “smart people”—is uninterested in working with eggheads?

    Before I get into that more, here’s some context.

    So there’s this thing called probability. It’s like chance. A coin is heads, tails, or lands on edge. It’s not a “fifty-fifty”, it’s something like 49.9999999999/49.9999999999/0.0000000001. But we say fifty-fifty, and in most situations, the odds of that coin landing on end are so infinitesimal so as to be irrelevant in any coin-flip probability calculation.

    Probability is not “prediction” though. And probability is not statistics, either. Statistics (as in plural statistic) are data or measurements of a thing. Statistics (as in the singular science) is the “study of the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data.” Probability is “a measure of the expectation that an event will occur or a statement is true.”.

    When a meteorologist—or weather forecaster—says it’ll be 65 and sunny with a 5% chance of rain, he or she didn’t consult a crystal ball, but examined both historical data (statistics) and current conditions, then ran models, or simulations—essentially, a complex break-down of a problem utilizing:

    • measurements of real data,
    • a good historical understanding (which is allowed to change and evolve over time), and
    • a question to answer.

    That simulation (or model, or experiment, if you will) gets run thousands of times, over and over, and in our example here, the meteorologist reported the most common result, which indicated no precipitation in 95% of simulations, a most-common temperature of 63-67 degrees in 90% of simulations, and perhaps a 75% chance of full sun to partly cloudy. But that’s wordy, it’s unclear, and “normal” people like a single, simple, piece of information. “65 degrees, sunny, 5% chance of precipitation.”

    Taking this practice—taking metrics, stats, and unbiased queries and turning them into models, which may then be run thousands of times to gain an understanding of the many ways a scenario may result—is old. It’s not well understood, and historically practitioners of this method (“quants”, or people who believe that “immeasurables” can, in fact, be quantified) were seen as heretics within their communities. And still are. This goes for the “moneyball” stuff, also called sabermetrics, where statistical analysis and simulations are used to gain a better understanding of baseball strategy and performance. It goes for my own line of work, trying to build models to manage information risk. It goes for weathermen. And recently, it goes for Nate Silver and FiveThirtyEight, too.

    Choice pull-quote from the article:

    [A]s the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein argued yesterday, you can also see that quant-gut tension in some of the media commentary toward Silver. “If you had to distill the work of a political pundit down to a single question, you’d have to pick the perennial ‘who will win the election?’” Klein wrote. “During election years, that’s the question at the base of most careers in punditry, almost all cable news appearances, and most A1 news articles. Traditionally, we’ve answered that question by drawing on some combination of experience, intuition, reporting and polls. Now Silver—and Silver’s imitators and political scientists—are taking that question away from us. It would be shocking if the profession didn’t try and defend itself.”

    The reason is: Silver pundits better than the pundits, he does it without bias, and perhaps most importantly, he does it intelligently without whinging on and on. (Though he does spend a lot of time discussing biases, where they can be introduced, and how he has identified biases in the data he uses—from particular polling houses, for example.) His analysis is rational, it is transparent, and it is darn accurate. But it is not a prediction in the singular. It is a statement that, say, “in 75% of simulations run, and given current polling data, President Obama will win.” That doesn’t mean he’ll win with 75% percent of the vote, and it means that 25% of the time, Romney wins. Anyway, go read this article, then go visit Silver at FiveThirtyEight and bask in the glory of his gory data analysis. And then pray that he completely makes punditry obsolete as mass media have morphed it.

  10. ☛ Drake's Diary: Miles Davis

    drakes-london:

    Interviewer: What do you think about jazz?

    Miles: I don’t like the word “jazz”, I call it “social music”. It’s sounds that are out there in society. You take what you want and leave what you don’t like, like food.

    Interviewer: OK, so who in your opinion is the best player?

    Miles: There’s no…