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Sun, 21 Jan 2018
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Up close and personal view: Construction begins on world's largest underwater restaurant (PHOTOS)

Underwater restaurant
© MIR / Snøhetta
Construction has commenced on what is set to be the world's largest, and Europe's first, underwater restaurant. The extraordinary project will transform a concrete container into an up close and personal view of subsea life

Expected to open in March 2019, the aptly-named Under will sit on the southernmost tip of Norway in the Lindesnes region. Founder of the project Gaute Ubostad describes the venture as a "mixture of madness and reason."

Construction for the submerged dining experience is taking place on a barge and once complete, the structure will be lowered into the sea and attached the foundations on the seabed via steel rods. The entire structure will weigh between 1,500 and 2,000 ton when finished - or the equivalent of 1,500 cars, according to those involved.

The underwater restaurant, designed by the architectural firm Snohetta, will look like a thick, rectangular pipe made out of rough concrete. Part of it will sit on the shore while the remainder lies submerged six meters below sea level, resting on the seabed.


Study of children's book baddies show strong gender bias

Sexism children's books
© Getty / Gettyimages.ru
Everyone's heard the tale of wicked witches hailing from the West but, a new study proves the gender bias doesn't stop there, as males are twice as likely to be given leading roles and portrayed as monsters in children's books.

Analysis of the 100 most popular children's picture books in the UK last year found rampant casual sexism in children's reading material. Villains were eight times more likely to feature as male, lead characters are 50 percent more likely to be men, and as such are 50 percent more likely to have speaking parts.

The study, carried out by The Observer and market research company Nielsen, found female characters are absent from about a fifth of the best selling kids books of the year - and when they do appear, it's typically as creatures like birds, cats and insects. Males, meanwhile, are often cast as dragons, bears and tigers.

Comment: See the new Sott Focus which takes the study of gender bias even further: Four Feminist Lies We Take For Granted


Students go to court over political correctness

The growing political correctness and intolerance at Canadian universities will be challenged in a Toronto courtroom, this Wednesday, January 24.
Ryerson university
Kevin Arriola and Alexandra Godlewski are taking the Ryerson Students' Union to court for having refused to allow the Men's Issues Awareness Society (MIAS) to be a campus club.

Founded in 2015, MIAS seeks to raise awareness of the fact that men experience higher rates of suicide, homelessness, workplace injuries, and failure in school. A large portion of this student club's members are women, including its current president, Sarah Hafizi.


Paris metro drivers alarmed some stations not safe, refuse to stop

Paris train
© Unknown
Drivers working for the Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens (RATP), Paris's publicly-owned transport company, say that several stations to the north of Paris have become rife with drug use and criminality and present a danger to passengers, French broadcaster BFMTV reports.

According to the RATP union UNSA, there are drug addicts and dealers seen daily on lines 4 and 12 at stations like Marcadet Poissonnier and Porte de la Chapelle with the later station also being a well-known place for migrants to camp out.

The union also says that the safety of the RATP employees is impacted in troubled areas as the number of violent incidents toward the employees has increased dramatically in recent months.

The RATP has also commented on the conditions saying that they are working with local police to try and clean up some of the more troubled stations, but UNSA and the Federation of Transport and Public Service Users, an advocacy group for transit users, say the measures are not enough.


New crime scene photos from Vegas shooting raise more questions

stephen Paddock vegas shootings
© The Free Thought Project
Dozens of new photos were just released from the Vegas shooting investigation which provide a chilling look inside the room and vehicle of Stephen Paddock.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department finally released a substantial amount of information this week in the form of 28 crime scene photographs. The photos show the alleged shooter's room, vehicle, security setup, and even the infamous note. While these photos give us more insight into the shooting, they also leave us with many more questions.



Leakers will be fired, sued and possibly jailed: Snapchat issues directive to staff via internal memo

broken screen
© Dado Ruvic / Reuters
Snapchat employees have been reportedly threatened with jail time in a stark internal memo, warning them of the consequences of leaking confidential information.

Ironically, the memo cautioning employees on leaking was leaked to tech site Cheddar and sent one day before the Daily Beast published a story based on an analysis of five months of Snap's confidential metrics data.


UK teen got hands on US intelligence in Afghanistan, Iran while posing as CIA Chief

man on laptop
© REUTERS/ Kacper Pempel/Illustration
Talk about sloppy US intelligence: A British 15-year-old managed to access top secret US intelligence on Afghanistan and Iran by posing as former CIA chief John Brennan.

Kane Gamble, now 18, was able to gain access to US plans of intelligence operations in Afghanistan and Iran by pretending he was former CIA chief John Brennan, all while Gamble was just 15.


Racist assistant police chief caught teaching police candidates to 'kill black people'

Todd Shaw
An assistant police chief who was being investigated for ties to pedophilia, resigned after private Facebook messages were made public that outed him as a racist.

The assistant police chief in Prospect, Kentucky, who was already under investigation for ties to pedophilia, is now without a job after it was revealed that he was sending racist, violent, and sexual private messages to police recruits on Facebook.

Todd Shaw was "a bit of a character," according to Prospect Mayor John Evans, who appeared visibly upset that his town's reputation has been hurt by Shaw's alleged actions.

The private Facebook messages came to light during a criminal investigation alleging Shaw aided LMPD officer Kenneth Betts who was being investigated for allegedly raping a teenage boy enrolled in the Louisville Metro Police Department's Explorer program.


100 Europeans who joined ISIS to be tried in Iraq 'most of them likely to receive a death sentence'

© Ahmed Saad / Reuters
An Iraqi criminal court has ruled that a German woman of Moroccan descent should incur the death penalty for joining Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), according to the court's spokesman.

The case marks the first time a foreign woman has been sentenced to death in Iraq for joining the group, as Reuters reports.

The woman, whose name hasn't been disclosed, was guilty of "offering logistic support and helping the terrorist group to carry out criminal acts," as well as "taking part in attacks against security forces," the Supreme Judicial Council's spokesman, Abdul-Sattar Bayrkda, said, according to AP.

Comment: Also See:

Arrow Up

What's behind the rise of the 'Intellectual Dark Web?'

jordan peterson pic
© jordanbpeterson.com
Recently, public intellectuals are moving away from university settings to the 'Intellectual Dark Web' to spread their ideas. What is driving this shift?

Public discourse in recent years is increasingly characterised by polarisation and an emotionally divided political landscape. The Right in the Western world struggles to grapple with rampant populism that degrades the political process with nativist sentiment whilst a concurrent fractured identity discourse sees the Left increasingly searching for traitors over converts. Where in the current fraught climate is a space for free dialogue held in good faith? Is the burgeoning 'Intellectual Dark Web' the new forum for intellectual debate that is sorely needed?

For several public intellectuals and pundits, as part of a new digital network of podcasts and talk shows, the 'safe space' for dialogue is not in the universities or mainstream news media outlets but online. Coined by Eric Weinstein, economist and director of Thiel Capital, the term Intellectual Dark Web refers to this emergent space. A veritable Mos Eisley cantina of disaffected leftists, conservatives and liberals are found here conducting their own political discourse. Creating their own podcasts and crowd-funding with supporters through tools like Patreon, these thinkers are subject to no authority but themselves.

Figures of all political and ideological persuasions are found on these podcasts. One of the more well-known podcast hosts, Joe Rogan, comes from the world of MMA, self-described as 'The bridge between the meatheads and potheads.' You certainly would not guess that Rogan and his podcast, 'The Joe Rogan Experience' was pulling in excess of 5 million YouTube views on his most popular content and regularly exceeding a million views. This is not to mention the tens of millions of downloads his podcasts receive monthly on platforms such as iTunes. Symptomatic of shifts from traditional media gatekeepers to independent platforms shows like Rogan's signify a rejection of the trend toward sound-byte analysis. His discussions with guests, ranging typically from 2-4 hours in length, is common to many of the major content producers in this area.

Comment: Intellectual discourse between those on opposing ends has all but dissappeared in the mainstream sphere, and unfortunately from most colleges and universities as well. As sad thing really - the one place where free speech is supposed to reign supreme and where you go to have your beliefs challenged and critiqued are now simply kindergartens for adults, where everything is a 'safe space' and people are left completely unprepared for life in the real world.