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Burning the Library of Alexandria Again

Library of Alexandria painting
© Ania Gilmore
"...the Library at Alexandria was charged with collecting all the world's knowledge. It did so through an aggressive and well-funded royal mandate involving trips to the book fairs of Rhodes and Athens and a policy of pulling the books off every ship that came into port. They kept the original texts and made copies to send back to their owners." (Wikipedia)

We have it in our grasp to realize the original mission of the Library of Alexandria, "collecting all the world's knowledge", but with significant improvements on the original plan:
  • Multiple, redundant, perfect copies.
  • Copies in multiple physical locations, (to avoid the problem of, say, one central location being burned down and losing the whole collection).
  • Storage of not only texts, but images, audio recordings (music, spoken word, etc.), and video.
  • The ability to search all of this knowledge comprehensively yet instantly that the librarians of Alexandria could not even have imagined (but would have loved!)
  • The ability to interconnect between all these texts and other media so that connections between them can be made explicit and easily navigable.
  • Access to all this from almost anywhere in the world, rather than scholars having to travel to a single location in Egypt.
  • Participation by all scholars (or anyone with something to share) from all over the world, rather than a relatively small group of scholars funded by a single government.
  • And all of this based on a voluntary process of sharing. No breaking in and stealing originals from anyone. If anyone wants to keep something to themselves they simply refrain from sharing it and this great project will leave them in peace.

Heart - Black

Infamous Abu Ghraib guard has no regrets

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© Birchum/Getty Images/Agence France Presse
US Army Private First Class Lynndie England arrives for the second day of her court-martial in the Abu Ghraib Prison scandal 03 May, 2005 at Fort Hood, Texas.
One of the guards involved in the 2004 Abu Ghraib abuse scandal says she does not regret her actions. The revelation comes in the wake of the massacre of 16 Afghan civilians by a US soldier, further tarnishing the image of the American military.

"Their lives are better. They got the better end of the deal," England said in an interview with The Daily referring to the Iraqi prisoners who were sexually and physically abused in the infamous prison near Baghdad. "They weren't innocent. They were trying to kill us and you want me to apologize to them? It's like saying sorry to the enemy."

Lynndie England, 29, became one of the symbols of the controversial 2003 US invasion of Iraq after photographs of her smiling while giving a thumbs-up in front of a pile of naked Iraqi detainees and pulling a man by a leash went public. The pictures sparked international outrage and shone a spotlight on the abuse and misconduct committed by US soldiers, fueling anti-American sentiments across the world.

"All the prisoners that were there were on the tier of high-priority. They were there for a reason. They had killed coalition forces or they were planning to," England told The Daily on Monday. "They had information about where insurgents were hiding."

Comment: Left to wonder if she was concerned about alleged Jihadists who "killed coalition forces or they were planning to", why was she so infatuated with mens penis's and/or forcing them to masturbate?

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© Unknown

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© 60 minutes



Document

Vancouver man sues Avatar's James Cameron for copyright violation

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© CTV News
Emil Malak, a screenwriter and restaurateur appears on Canada AM Click Here to Watch Video
Canada, British Columbia - After its 2009 release, Avatar became the highest grossing movie of all time in North America and surpassed the $2-billion mark at the international box office.

At the time, director James Cameron said he'd been developing the idea for the film since 1994, but had delayed production for over a decade until he felt the technology was sufficiently advanced to capture his vision.

But Vancouver restaurateur and amateur screenwriter Emil Malak is challenging Cameron's authorship, telling CTV's Canada AM that the Academy Award-winning director "borrowed" concepts from a screenplay Malak sent him over a decade ago.

As he related to host Marci Ien, Malak learned the director was in Vancouver filming television series Dark Angel back in 2000. Taking advantage of the director's presence in town, Malak dropped off a copy of his script - a film called Terra Incognita he wrote in 1997 - to one of Cameron's producers. No one ever responded.

Nearly 10 years later, Malak received a call about his script, but it wasn't from the person he'd hoped.

"I never heard until 2009 when my colour graphic designer called me and said 'he's taken all your building blocks on the story and the characters and the graphics.' I went to the Internet to look and I was quite surprised," he told host Marci Ien.

Heart - Black

Whitney Houston drowned with cocaine in system

Whitney Houston
© Minyanville
US: California, Los Angeles- Pop star Whitney Houston died of accidental drowning due to the effects of cocaine use and heart disease, a Los Angeles County coroner's spokesman said on Thursday.

The 48-year-old singer, who spent years battling addiction to drugs including cocaine, was found submerged in the bathtub of her Beverly Hills hotel room on February 12, the eve of the Grammy Awards.

An autopsy into Houston's death found that the cause of death was accidental drowning with atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use listed as contributing factors, Los Angeles County Coroner's spokesman Craig Harvey said.

Harvey said toxicology tests also turned up marijuana, an anti-anxiety medication, a muscle relaxant and an anti-histamine in Houston's system.

Those drugs were not found to have contributed to her death, and no trauma or foul play were suspected, the coroner's office said. A final report was expected to be made public within two weeks.

Wolf

How The War on Women Opens the Door for Politics in Your Doctor's Office

doctor

Both Arizona and Kansas are considering bills giving doctors the legal authority to withhold potentially crucial information about a woman's health, and in this case her child's.

Attention

5 Deadly Threats to Our Precious Drinking Water Supply

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© Shutterstock/Dragana Gerasimoski
World Water Day is a chance to stop and realize that humanity is facing a frightening water crisis.

If you brushed your teeth this morning or flushed the toilet or had a cup of coffee, consider yourself lucky. Actually, if you turned on your tap and potable water freely came out, consider yourself truly blessed. Because so many of us in the United States are in this situation it can be easy to forget that nearly 900 million other people aren't so lucky. It can be easy to forget that globally we face a frightening water crisis. And it can be hard to notice that even here in the US there are dire threats to our water supply right now.

The people hardest hit by the water crisis are in developing countries - places it is easy for many world leaders (and the rest of us) to overlook. And even the number of those without clean water - last tallied at 884 million - can be hard to grasp. Here's another way of looking at it: if you take that number and translate it into the population of developed countries, the people living in the world today without access to clean drinking water would equal all the people living in the US, Canada, Argentina, Chile, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, France, Germany, England, Italy, Spain, Japan, Australia and Norway.

Bell

New Jersey Middle School Bans Hugging

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© Graeme Robertson / Getty Images
Matawan, NJ - The new policy at Matawan Aberdeen Middle School has many parents scratching their heads.

Last week, excessive hugging and physical contact by sixth and eighth graders prompted the principal to come on the loud speaker and declare a ban on hugging, according to published reports.

Alarm Clock

Schools Ban Children Making Best Friends

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© Unknown
Teachers are banning schoolkids from having best pals - so they don't get upset by fall-outs. Instead, the primary pupils are being encouraged to play in large groups. Educational psychologist Gaynor Sbuttoni said the policy has been used at schools in Kingston, South West London, and Surrey.

She added: "I have noticed that teachers tell children they shouldn't have a best friend and that everyone should play together. "They are doing it because they want to save the child the pain of splitting up from their best friend. But it is natural for some children to want a best friend. If they break up, they have to feel the pain because they're learning to deal with it."

Russell Hobby, of the National Association of Head Teachers, confirmed some schools were adopting best-friend bans. He said: "I don't think it is widespread but it is clearly happening. It seems bizarre.

Comment: This attitude is spreading everywhere: New Jersey Middle School Bans Hugging


Yoda

Defying Hitler - Sebastian Haffner

defying Hitler cover
© Unknown
There's a reason why the UK History channel is approximately 24 hours a day of wall-to-wall Nazi documentaries - Hitler sells. The rise of the Nazis exerts a horrible fascination; it's hard to fathom how a decent and progressive nation could suddenly become complicit in horrific acts of genocide. Sebastian Haffner's personal account, written shortly before the outbreak of WW2, takes a long hard look at the German psyche in the years between the wars, and exactly what it was that caused the country to buckle before the extremists.

Haffner's perspective on the subject is a very interesting one - a young Prussian lawyer who grew up during WW1, he was exactly the type of young patriot that swelled the ranks of the Nazi party in its early days; in fact, he'd even been in the forerunner to the Hitler Youth. In the circumstances, you might expect him to be bending over backwards to deny his involvement with all things evil, and demonstrate his own high moral standing, but in fact he is very honest about his own cowardice in his lack of opposition to the new regime. Though the book's title is Defying Hitler, there's very little defiance going on, as Haffner describes the national reaction to the dictatorship as everyone simply putting their fingers in their ears and going "la la la", almost literally, and hoping that it would all get better soon.

2 + 2 = 4

Virginia Middle-Schoolers Assigned Opposition Research on GOP Candidates

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© Unknown
A Virginia middle school teacher recently forced his students to support President Barack Obama's re-election campaign by conducting opposition research in class against the Republican presidential candidates.

The 8th grade students, who attend Liberty Middle School in Fairfax County, were required to seek out the vulnerabilities of Republican presidential hopefuls and forward them to the Obama campaign.

"This assignment was just creepy beyond belief - like something out of East Germany during the Cold War," one frustrated father, who asked for his family to remain anonymous, told The Daily Caller.