Tech journalist / consultant (digital strategy) by day. Gamer / writer by night. geekzone.fr / cafzone.net / asiavibes.info
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Star Wars Episode 7.5

5 Comments and 19 Shares

by Stephen Byrne

(I totally love Rey’s lightsabre!)

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Cafeine
569 days ago
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Perfect Star Wars 7.5 :D
Paris / France
popular
571 days ago
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wreichard
572 days ago
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Earth
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Courtney
570 days ago
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Nobody ever wants to hang w jar jar
Portland, OR
wmorrell
571 days ago
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Poe/Finn 4eva.
notadoctor
572 days ago
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❤️❤️❤️❤️
Oakland, CA
glenn
572 days ago
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Can't wait for the movie version!
Waterloo, Canada

Do you have an indoor cat?

4 Comments and 13 Shares
Do you have an indoor cat?

Orange is the new cat.

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Cafeine
625 days ago
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<3
Paris / France
wreichard
625 days ago
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Well, this is awesome. It contains good information and a great idea. And it's fun as Oatmeals usually are.
Earth
popular
625 days ago
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darastar
625 days ago
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DOING THIS. Because I don't want Winston to escape, but if he does, he ought to be caught and returned. :)
dreadhead
623 days ago
How many indoor cats are called Winston (I also have one)!
darastar
623 days ago
@dreadhead - is yours a Winston Churchill as well? I wonder how many of those there are in the world...
dreadhead
623 days ago
Nope just Winston as far as I know (did not pick the name)

My white neighbor thought I was breaking into my own apartment. Nineteen cops showed up.

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By Fay WellsNovember 18 at 6:00 AM

Fay Wells is vice president of strategy at a company in California.

On Sept. 6, I locked myself out of my apartment in Santa Monica, Calif. I was in a rush to get to my weekly soccer game, so I decided to go enjoy the game and deal with the lock afterward.

A few hours and a visit from a locksmith later, I was inside my apartment and slipping off my shoes when I heard a man’s voice and what sounded like a small dog whimpering outside, near my front window. I imagined a loiterer and opened the door to move him along. I was surprised to see a large dog halfway up the staircase to my door. I stepped back inside, closed the door and locked it.

I heard barking. I approached my front window and loudly asked what was going on. Peering through my blinds, I saw a gun. A man stood at the bottom of the stairs, pointing it at me. I stepped back and heard: “Come outside with your hands up.” I thought: This man has a gun and will kill me if I don’t come outside. At the same time, I thought: I’ve heard this line from policemen in movies. Although he didn’t identify himself, perhaps he’s an officer.

I left my apartment in my socks, shorts and a light jacket, my hands in the air. “What’s going on?” I asked again. Two police officers had guns trained on me. They shouted: “Who’s in there with you? How many of you are there?”

I said it was only me and, hands still raised, slowly descended the stairs, focused on one officer’s eyes and on his pistol. I had never looked down the barrel of a gun or at the face of a man with a loaded weapon pointed at me. In his eyes, I saw fear and anger. I had no idea what was happening, but I saw how it would end: I would be dead in the stairwell outside my apartment, because something about me — a 5-foot-7, 125-pound black woman — frightened this man with a gun. I sat down, trying to look even less threatening, trying to de-escalate. I again asked what was going on. I confirmed there were no pets or people inside.

I told the officers I didn’t want them in my apartment. I said they had no right to be there. They entered anyway. One pulled me, hands behind my back, out to the street. The neighbors were watching. Only then did I notice the ocean of officers. I counted 16. They still hadn’t told me why they’d come.

[I taught my black kids that their elite upbringing would protect them from discrimination. I was wrong.]

Later, I learned that the Santa Monica Police Department had dispatched 19 officers after one of my neighbors reported a burglary at my apartment. It didn’t matter that I told the cops I’d lived there for seven months, told them about the locksmith, offered to show a receipt for his services and my ID. It didn’t matter that I went to Duke, that I have an MBA from Dartmouth, that I’m a vice president of strategy at a multinational corporation. It didn’t matter that I’ve never had so much as a speeding ticket. It didn’t matter that I calmly, continually asked them what was happening. It also didn’t matter that I didn’t match the description of the person they were looking for — my neighbor described me as Hispanic when he called 911. What mattered was that I was a woman of color trying to get into her apartment — in an almost entirely white apartment complex in a mostly white city — and a white man who lived in another building called the cops because he’d never seen me before.

Play Video2:27

911 call to Santa Monica Police Dept.

On Sept. 6, 2015, a man called the Santa Monica Police Department to report a burglary in his apartment building. This is an excerpt of that call. (Santa Monica Police Department)

After the officers and dog exited my “cleared” apartment, I was allowed back inside to speak with some of them. They asked me why I hadn’t come outside shouting, “I live here.” I told them it didn’t make sense to walk out of my own apartment proclaiming my residence when I didn’t even know what was going on. I also reminded them that they had guns pointed at me. Shouting at anyone with a gun doesn’t seem like a wise decision.

I had so many questions. Why hadn’t they announced themselves? Why had they pointed guns at me? Why had they refused to answer when I asked repeatedly what was going on? Was it protocol to send more than a dozen cops to a suspected burglary? Why hadn’t anyone asked for my ID or accepted it, especially after I’d offered it? If I hadn’t heard the dog, would I have opened the door to a gun in my face? “Maybe,” they answered.

I demanded all of their names and was given few. Some officers simply ignored me when I asked, boldly turning and walking away. Afterward, I saw them talking to neighbors, but they ignored me when I approached them again. A sergeant assured me that he’d personally provide me with all names and badge numbers.

[I’m a cop. If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t challenge me.]

I introduced myself to the reporting neighbor and asked if he was aware of the gravity of his actions — the ocean of armed officers, my life in danger. He stuttered about never having seen me, before snippily asking if I knew my next-door neighbor. After confirming that I did and questioning him further, he angrily responded, “I’m an attorney, so you can go f— yourself,” and walked away.

I spoke with two of the officers a little while longer, trying to wrap my mind around the magnitude and nature of their response. They wondered: Wouldn’t I want the same response if I’d been the one who called the cops? “Absolutely not,” I told them. I recounted my terror and told them how I imagined it all ending, particularly in light of the recent interactions between police and people of color. One officer admitted that it was complicated but added that people sometimes kill cops for no reason. I was momentarily speechless at this strange justification.

I got no clear answers from the police that night and am still struggling to get them, despite multiple visits, calls and e-mails to the Santa Monica Police Department requesting the names of the officers, their badge numbers, the audio from my neighbor’s call to 911 and the police report. The sergeant didn’t e-mail me the officers’ names as he promised. I was told that the audio of the call requires a subpoena and that the small army of responders, guns drawn, hadn’t merited an official report. I eventually received a list from the SMPD of 17 officers who came to my apartment that night, but the list does not include the names of two officers who handed me their business cards on the scene. I’ve filed an official complaint with internal affairs.

[Instead of cash reparations, give every black person 5/3 a vote]

To many, the militarization of the police is primarily abstract or painted as occasional. That thinking allows each high-profile incident of aggressive police interaction with people of color — Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray — to be written off as an outlier.

What happened to them did not happen to me, but it easily could have. The SMPD sent 19 armed police officers who refused to answer my questions while violating my rights, privacy and sense of well-being. A wrong move, and I could have been shot. My complaint is not the first against the department this year. This spring, the local branch of the NAACP and other concerned residents met with SMPD to discuss several incidents of aggressive policing against people of color. The NAACP asked SMPD for demographic information on all traffic, public transportation and pedestrian stops; so far, the department has promised to release a report of detailed arrest data next year.


(Kyle Monk for The Washington Post)

The trauma of that night lingers. I can’t un-see the guns, the dog, the officers forcing their way into my apartment, the small army waiting for me outside. Almost daily, I deal with sleeplessness, confusion, anger and fear. I’m frightened when I see large dogs now. I have nightmares of being beaten by white men as they call me the n-word. Every week, I see the man who called 911. He averts his eyes and ignores me.

I’m heartbroken that his careless assessment of me, based on skin color, could endanger my life. I’m heartbroken by the sense of terror I got from people whose job is supposedly to protect me. I’m heartbroken by a system that evades accountability and justifies dangerous behavior. I’m heartbroken that the place I called home no longer feels safe. I’m heartbroken that no matter how many times a story like this is told, it will happen again.

Not long ago, I was walking with a friend to a crowded restaurant when I spotted two cops in line and froze. I tried to figure out how to get around them without having to walk past them. I no longer wanted to eat there, but I didn’t want to ruin my friend’s evening. As we stood in line, 10 or so people back, my eyes stayed on them. I’ve always gone out of my way to avoid generalizations. I imagined that perhaps these two cops were good people, but I couldn’t stop thinking about what the Santa Monica police had done to me. I found a lump in my throat as I tried to separate them from the system that had terrified me. I realized that if I needed help, I didn’t think I could ask them for it.

Editor’s note: The Santa Monica Police Department told The Washington Post that 16 officers were on the scene but later provided a list of 17 names. That list does not match the list of 17 names that was eventually provided to the writer; the total number of names provided by the SMPD is 19. The department also said that it was protocol for this type of call to warrant “a very substantial police response,” and that any failure of officers to provide their names and badge numbers “would be inconsistent with the Department’s protocols and expectations.” There is an open internal affairs inquiry into the writer’s allegations of racially motivated misconduct.

More from PostEverything:

There’s a reason Mizzou protesters didn’t want the media around

Don’t criticize Black Lives Matter for provoking violence. The civil rights movement did too.

Community policing might make police brutality worse

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The Islamic State bombed a neighborhood, not a "Hezbollah stronghold."

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Cafeine
637 days ago
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´Murica, toujours au top... :/
Paris / France
popular
638 days ago
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artghian
634 days ago
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عجبا
superiphi
635 days ago
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"I'm an attorney so you can fuck off"
America, you create self righteous monsters routinely
Idle, Bradford, United Kingdom
beslayed
637 days ago
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!
JayM
638 days ago
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Full text.
Atlanta, GA
sirshannon
638 days ago
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They need to get that list straight because they're all gonna get promotions.
dreadhead
638 days ago
Or the dreaded "suspension with pay"
chrishiestand
638 days ago
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Yup keep sharing this same story over again because it keeps happening
San Diego, CA, USA

“I met you in the rain on the last day of 1972, the same day I resolved to kill myself.”

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Thus begins what might be the most beautiful Craigslist ad ever written — it appeared nine days ago in the Boston area’s “Missed Connections” section.  It is indeed a real ad; you can find it right here:

http://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/mis/5237173491.html

It’s a deeply personal (and apparently nonfictional) account of a brief chance meeting and a life consequently saved.

I am copying it in its entirety here:

*****

[I met you in the rain on the last day of 1972, the same day I resolved to kill myself.

One week prior, at the behest of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, I’d flown four B-52 sorties over Hanoi. I dropped forty-eight bombs. How many homes I destroyed, how many lives I ended, I’ll never know. But in the eyes of my superiors, I had served my country honorably, and I was thusly discharged with such distinction.

And so on the morning of that New Year’s Eve, I found myself in a barren studio apartment on Beacon and Hereford with a fifth of Tennessee rye and the pang of shame permeating the recesses of my soul. When the bottle was empty, I made for the door and vowed, upon returning, that I would retrieve the Smith & Wesson Model 15 from the closet and give myself the discharge I deserved.

I walked for hours. I looped around the Fenway before snaking back past Symphony Hall and up to Trinity Church. Then I roamed through the Common, scaled the hill with its golden dome, and meandered into that charming labyrinth divided by Hanover Street. By the time I reached the waterfront, a charcoal sky had opened and a drizzle became a shower. That shower soon gave way to a deluge. While the other pedestrians darted for awnings and lobbies, I trudged into the rain. I suppose I thought, or rather hoped, that it might wash away the patina of guilt that had coagulated around my heart. It didn’t, of course, so I started back to the apartment.

And then I saw you.

You’d taken shelter under the balcony of the Old State House. You were wearing a teal ball gown, which appeared to me both regal and ridiculous. Your brown hair was matted to the right side of your face, and a galaxy of freckles dusted your shoulders. I’d never seen anything so beautiful.

When I joined you under the balcony, you looked at me with your big green eyes, and I could tell that you’d been crying. I asked if you were okay. You said you’d been better. I asked if you’d like to have a cup of coffee. You said only if I would join you. Before I could smile, you snatched my hand and led me on a dash through Downtown Crossing and into Neisner’s.

We sat at the counter of that five and dime and talked like old friends. We laughed as easily as we lamented, and you confessed over pecan pie that you were engaged to a man you didn’t love, a banker from some line of Boston nobility. A Cabot, or maybe a Chaffee. Either way, his parents were hosting a soirée to ring in the New Year, hence the dress.

For my part, I shared more of myself than I could have imagined possible at that time. I didn’t mention Vietnam, but I got the sense that you could see there was a war waging inside me. Still, your eyes offered no pity, and I loved you for it.

After an hour or so, I excused myself to use the restroom. I remember consulting my reflection in the mirror. Wondering if I should kiss you, if I should tell you what I’d done from the cockpit of that bomber a week before, if I should return to the Smith & Wesson that waited for me. I decided, ultimately, that I was unworthy of the resuscitation this stranger in the teal ball gown had given me, and to turn my back on such sweet serendipity would be the real disgrace.

On the way back to the counter, my heart thumped in my chest like an angry judge’s gavel, and a future — our future — flickered in my mind. But when I reached the stools, you were gone. No phone number. No note. Nothing.

As strangely as our union had begun, so too had it ended. I was devastated. I went back to Neisner’s every day for a year, but I never saw you again. Ironically, the torture of your abandonment seemed to swallow my self-loathing, and the prospect of suicide was suddenly less appealing than the prospect of discovering what had happened in that restaurant. The truth is I never really stopped wondering.

I’m an old man now, and only recently did I recount this story to someone for the first time, a friend from the VFW. He suggested I look for you on Facebook. I told him I didn’t know anything about Facebook, and all I knew about you was your first name and that you had lived in Boston once. And even if by some miracle I happened upon your profile, I’m not sure I would recognize you. Time is cruel that way.

This same friend has a particularly sentimental daughter. She’s the one who led me here to Craigslist and these Missed Connections. But as I cast this virtual coin into the wishing well of the cosmos, it occurs to me, after a million what-ifs and a lifetime of lost sleep, that our connection wasn’t missed at all.

You see, in these intervening forty-two years I’ve lived a good life. I’ve loved a good woman. I’ve raised a good man. I’ve seen the world. And I’ve forgiven myself. And you were the source of all of it. You breathed your spirit into my lungs one rainy afternoon, and you can’t possibly imagine my gratitude.]

I have hard days, too. My wife passed four years ago. My son, the year after. I cry a lot. Sometimes from the loneliness, sometimes I don’t know why. Sometimes I can still smell the smoke over Hanoi. And then, a few dozen times a year, I’ll receive a gift. The sky will glower, and the clouds will hide the sun, and the rain will begin to fall. And I’ll remember.

So wherever you’ve been, wherever you are, and wherever you’re going, know this: you’re with me still.]


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wreichard
684 days ago
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Dang.
Earth
ChrisDL
684 days ago
you can say that again.
popular
683 days ago
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Cafeine
683 days ago
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Paris / France
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octplane
675 days ago
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Woah
Paris
JayM
684 days ago
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Woah.
Atlanta, GA

Mother Nature invented the gear

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Nature Gears

Scientists have discovered that an insect has evolved something like a gearbox to coordinate its leg movements while jumping. That's right, nature invented mechanical gears before man got around to it.

The gears in the Issus hind-leg bear remarkable engineering resemblance to those found on every bicycle and inside every car gear-box.

Each gear tooth has a rounded corner at the point it connects to the gear strip; a feature identical to man-made gears such as bike gears -- essentially a shock-absorbing mechanism to stop teeth from shearing off.

The gear teeth on the opposing hind-legs lock together like those in a car gear-box, ensuring almost complete synchronicity in leg movement -- the legs always move within 30 'microseconds' of each other, with one microsecond equal to a millionth of a second.

This is critical for the powerful jumps that are this insect's primary mode of transport, as even minuscule discrepancies in synchronisation between the velocities of its legs at the point of propulsion would result in "yaw rotation" -- causing the Issus to spin hopelessly out of control.

"This precise synchronisation would be impossible to achieve through a nervous system, as neural impulses would take far too long for the extraordinarily tight coordination required," said lead author Professor Malcolm Burrows, from Cambridge's Department of Zoology.

Tags: biology   evolution   science
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Cafeine
692 days ago
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oO
Paris / France
popular
693 days ago
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skittone
692 days ago
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Cool.
eggman199
693 days ago
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What insect?
Lilyheart
692 days ago
Issus
glenn
693 days ago
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Awesome
Waterloo, Canada

North Korea Threatens To "Invade USA," Use Weapons "Unknown To The World"

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If Washington does not cancel its planned military exercises with South Korea, North Korea has issued new nuclear threats and says it is ready to use us its latest weapons, which "are unknown to the world." The drills, called Ulchi Freedom Guardian, are due to start Monday are designed to "protect the region and maintain stability on the Korean peninsula." However, as expected Pyongyang is not happy, "If [the] United States wants their mainland to be safe," said state TV, "then the Ulchi Freedom Guardian should stop immediately."

TheUS-led exercises involve South Korea, Australia, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, France, New Zealand and the UK, due to take place Monday, have become an annual event for the US, South Korea and other allies, a fact that has often irked North Korea. As RT reports,

As has been the case in the past, Pyongyang has shown its displeasure, butthe rhetoric coming out of the secretive nation has been stronger than in previous years.

"The army and people of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) are no longer what they used to be in the past when they had to counter the US nukes with rifles," a spokesman for North Korea’s National Defense Commission (NDC) said.

The spokesman added that “North Korea… is the invincible power equipped with both [the] latest offensive and defensive means unknown to the world.”

"The further Ulchi Freedom Guardian joint military exercises are intensified, the strongest military counteraction the [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] will take to cope with them," he added.

"If [the] United States wants their mainland to be safe," said a newswoman for the state TV station, KCNA, "then the Ulchi Freedom Guardian should stop immediately."

Washington has brushed aside the comments coming out of Pyongyang, with a former US Army general, who had previously taken part in the Ulchi drills saying that the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is just seeking attention from the international community.

"One of the key propaganda goals of the young leader is to just get on the radar of the US," said retired Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, who was speaking to CNN.

"With all the other things we're focused on -- ISIS, al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, Russia and Ukraine, etc.,Kim Jong Un wants to ensure he grabs attention."

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Cafeine
729 days ago
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"Weapons unknown to the world!" Can't we just nuke them and be done with it?
Paris / France
wreichard
731 days ago
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Classic stratagem.
Earth
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Dadster
732 days ago
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Godzilla? Or Mothra?
New Hampshire
fredw
730 days ago
Cthulhu!
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