This really made me sad.
RawStory: Fire destroys 3,500-year-old tree, arson suspected
“From my observations it appears to be arson,” state Division of Forestry official Mike Martin told the Sentinel. “It looks like the fire was concentrated right where the tree was.”
Reuters: Wikipedia to Shut Down in Protest of SOPA
Wikipedia will shut down for 24 hours Wednesday to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act, founder Jimmy Wales announced on Monday.
In doing so, Wikipedia joins a long list of web companies such as Reddit and Mozilla that are taking similar measures against the proposed legislation.
Wales used his Twitter account to spread the news, writing “Student warning! Do your homework early. Wikipedia protesting bad law on Wednesday! #sopa”
In place of Wikipedia, users will see instructions for how to reach local members of Congress, which Wales hopes "will melt phone systems in Washington."
ABCNews: Wikipedia Blackout: Websites Wikipedia, Reddit, Others Go Dark Wednesday to Protest SOPA, PIPA
oh, and here's a funny one. neener, neeener, neeeeeenerrrr. :D
HuffingtonPost: Kip Smith, Sponsor Of Georgia Bill Requiring Drug Testing For Welfare Recipients, Arrested For DUI
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TreeHugger: Truth and consequences: FRONTLINE's brilliant documentary on Fukushima
NYT: Asserting Its Sovereignty, Iraq Detains American Contractors
'JerusalemPost: Nuclear Iran could deter IDF from wars in Gaza, Lebanon'
ExtinctionProtocol: Sum of all fears: Is Iran already in possession of a bomb?
Time: War with Iran: A Conflict Obama Hopes to Avoid May Be Imposed on Him
Reuters: Nigeria unions suspend strike after fuel price cut
CNN: Part of NATO missile defense system goes live in Turkey -- An early warning radar station that is part of NATO's controversial missile defense system in Europe is now operational in Turkey, a foreign ministry spokesman said Monday.
The station is located in the city of Malatya, about 400 miles southeast of the capital Ankara, and is manned by both Turkish and U.S. personnel, the spokesman said.
AtlanticWire: The Navy Is Depending on Dolphins to Keep the Strait of Hormuz Open
Collapsenet: US mainstream media: Beating war drums?
BlacklistedNews: The Crash and Burn Future of Robot Warfare: What Seventy Downed Drones Tell Us About the New American Way of War
Cryptogon: U.S. Army Unveils 1.8 Gigapixel Camera Helicopter Drone
CreditWritedowns: Greece and the IMF appear to be pushing for as much as a 75% haircut
SeattlePI: Israeli-US war games postponed
CSMonitor: What's behind Europe's tough stance on Iran? - European powers have agreed in principle to embargo Iranian oil, the lifeblood of Iran's economy, adding to tough sanctions already in place.
BBC: Iran oil sanctions divide Asia's four largest economies
CSMonitor: China: a lifeline for Iran and its oil exports? - As Europe and the US tighten sanctions on Iran, China remains the largest buyer of Iranian oil and has played down economic sanctions as an effective way to influence Tehran.
Post-Gazette: Flexing Muscle, Baghdad Detains U.S. Contractors
Bloomberg: U.S. Coordinating Iran Policy With Israel More Closely Amid Rising Tension
Reuters: Protesters ready igloos to Occupy Davos
DailyBail: TSA Air Marshal Arrested For Robbery At Occupy Boston
Slate: Right-wing documentary targets Occupy - Exclusive: Film in the making from Citizens United is likely to portray protesters as anti-democratic anarchists
Care2: OWS Protesters Charged With Felony For Mic-Checking Mayor
USAToday: Hackers disrupt Israel airline, stock market - A hacker network that claims to be based in Saudi Arabia paralyzed the websites of Israel's stock exchange and national airline on Monday, escalating an international cyber war that has jolted this security-obsessed country.
NYT: 2 Israeli Web Sites Crippled as Cyberwar Escalates
Domestic Financial News
MyBudget360: The sordid details of the employment market - Before recession hit 5,000,000 job openings were available while today there are 3,000,000. 1,000,000 Americans have completely quit looking for work and average duration of unemployment is 40 weeks, twice the amount of the 1980s recession.
AngryBear: American Exceptionalism #238: Opportunity (Not)
MarginalRevolution: The influence of MIT on macroeconomic policy
BusinessInsider: Why The Stock Market Rally Is FINALLY Starting To Look Real
NakedCapitalism: MERS, the law, and the State - The current version of Harpers has a terrific article by Christopher Ketcham on the MERS mess, which NC has done so much to bring to the attention of the public. I’m going to excerpt and contextualize two portions of the article. First, Ketcham interviews foreclosure activist Vermont Trotter of Coeur D’Arlene, Idaho on the “clouded title” problem. I’m a connoisseur of the worst case scenario, and this is a doozy:NYT: Online Shoppers Are Rooting for the Little Guy - Harold Pollack used to spend $1,000 a year on Amazon, but this fall started buying from small online retailers instead.
CalculatedRisk: Comparing New Home Sales and Housing Starts
BoomBustBlog: Follow The Bread Crumb Trail As Deflated Wall Street Bonuses Crush NYC Residential Real Estate
FT: Morgan Stanley caps cash bonus at $125,000 - Morgan Stanley will limit upfront cash bonuses to $125,000 this year, spreading the bulk of compensation over more than two years in the latest sign of the lower levels and changed structure of Wall Street pay.
PostGazette: Drop in retail sales forecast
USAToday: Bartiromo: JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon sees housing at bottom
CNNMoney: Credit card debt drops 11%
Slate: Small Is Still Beautiful - The trendy—and wrong—new argument that because big businesses innovate better, we should let them become monopolies.
Global Financial News
Zerohedge: Just Say Nein - Bundesbank On European QE: "Abandon The Idea Once And For All"
FTAlphaville: China's foreign reserves not so hot - China’s first quarterly decline in its forex reserves since 1998 has been described as a result of “hot money” leaving China. But there are a few other reasons — probably bigger ones.
RTTNews: Germany Refuses To Boost EU Rescue Fund Contribution
NYT: Face-Off With Iran Complicates Obama’s Re-election Campaign
Economonitor: Ratings Matter for the Euro Area
CNNMoney: China's economic growth slows
MSNBC: Landmark shift: Majority of Chinese now live in cities
EconomistsView: Is Europe About to Unravel?
GulfNews: UAE waives $5.8 billion of Iraq debt - The UAE has decided to waive Iraq's debt of $5.8 billion (Dh21.29 billion) and backs holding the next Arab summit in Baghdad, Foreign Minister Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan announced.
FT: After the downgrades comes the downward spiral - At the end of a briefly euphoric week, reality caught up.
Roubini : No Eurozone break-up in 2012 (video)
Cryptogon: Greece Is Insolvent, Will Default on Its Debt, Fitch Says
CuriousCapitalist: Why Germany is Making Money on Eurozone Fears
Star-Telegram: Companies no longer finding call-center outsourcing profitable, CEO says
SeattleTimes: Fitch cuts Russia outlook due to political risk
NYT: As Reforms Flag in Greece, Europe Aims to Limit Damage
Peak Oil and Energy News
BlacklistedNews: Western Oil Firms Big Winners In Iraq
MJPerry: Low Natural Gas Prices Help Families, Businesses
RTTNews: Nigeria Unions Call Off Strike After Partial Restoration Of Fuel Subsidy
FT: Saudi Arabia targets $100 crude price - Saudi Arabia is aiming to keep oil prices at about $100 a barrel, a third above its previous public target, in a sign that Riyadh needs higher oil revenues to sustain a big rise in public spending. Ali Naimi, the Saudi oil minister, on Monday for the first time said the world’s largest oil producer aimed to keep oil prices at the triple-digit level. “Our wish and hope is we can stabilise this oil price and keep it at a level around $100 [a barrel],” Mr Naimi told CNN. “If we were able as producers and consumers to average $100 I think the world economy would be in better shape.” Brent crude oil prices rose 56 cents on Monday to $111 a barrel amid rising tension between western nations and Iran over Tehran’s nuclear programme. The new favoured price – a de facto target – is a third higher than the $75-a-barrel level that King Abdullah said was a “fair price” in November 2008. Riyadh is traditionally seen as a price moderate within the Opec oil cartel. But Mr Naimi’s comments put the kingdom in line with price hawks such as Venezuela. The revised target is in part a reflection of rising public spending in the wake of the Arab spring. “The Saudis need to spend more money to keep their citizens quiet and prevent protests,” said Carsten Fritsch, oil analyst at Commerzbank.
GlobeandMail: OPEC sees downside risk to oil demand from EU crisis TheOilDrum: Warm and Fuzzy on Geothermal?
BlacklistedNews: Saudi Arabia, China Ink Nuke Cooperation Deal
Reuters: Norway sees oil output down, gas up - Norway's oil production will decline despite major discoveries made last year, while gas production will continue to rise, Norwegian authorities said on Monday. The oil prospects of Norway, the world's eighth-largest oil exporter and the second-largest for gas, have brightened up over the past year as a giant oil find was made in the North Sea and three major ones were made in the Norwegian Arctic.
ArabNews: Saudi oil output isn't tied to Iran sanctions: Al-Naimi
CNNMoney: Gas prices may get close to $5 in some spots
Mineweb: Gold bounces to 5-week highs as euro, commodities gain
BusinessWeek: Costa Races to Remove Fuel, Avoid Oil Spill From Stricken Ship
MSNBC: Biggest Seattle snowfall since 1985 in the forecast - Up to 16 inches possible in some parts; Portland, Ore., could get 8 inches of snow
ExtinctionProtocol: Island to be bombed with poison pellets to kill plague of rats
VancouverSun: Agitators in the oilsands debates are working for oil companies
VancouverSun: Agitators in the oilsands debates are working for oil companies
America in Decline
Blacklistednews: UCSF Professor: “Society Will Pay a Huge Price in Cancer” Because of DHS Full Vehicle X-Ray Machines
USA land of the free jails one in 100 American adults - YouTube: America has 2.3 million people in prison -- more than any other country. More than one in 100 adults are in jail. No society in history has imprisoned more of its citizens. 1 in 9 black men aged between 20 and 34 is behind bars. There are more 17-year-old black American males in jail than in college. America has five percent of the world's population but 25% of its prisoners. And prison labour is now a huge industry, producing an enormous range of goods, not least for the US military. It is in effect a revival of the slave trade.
LAT: Serial killing suspect's life unraveled after Iraq
TechCrunch: We’ve Become A Nation Of Phone StarersThe signs are all there: Essays that insist that incessant phone staring at dinner is the wave of the future, New Yorker cartoons painfully highlighting the phone-fixated state of socialization today, the fact that I broke my toe once because I was too busy tweeting via mobile to notice a sharply angled door, blogs about clever ways to prevent phone staring at dinner and now this …Salon: Get used to living with Mom and Dad - The era of empty nests may be over unless we change our work culture and our economy. An expert explains
RT: Millionaire CEO breaks waiter's finger for "bad service"
RT: Millionaire CEO breaks waiter's finger for "bad service"
LifeInc: Slightly more are thriving than struggling, analysis finds
BusinessInsider: After Her Beloved Dog Died, This Ex-Wall Streeter Paid $50,000 To Have Him Cloned
PopSci: Borderworld: How the U.S. Is Reengineering Homeland Security
Food and Water
LAT: Pricey counterfeit labels proliferate as China wine market booms
RTTNews: Singapore Exports Rise Unexpectedly In December
CityFarmer: Free Online Course: Strategies for Value Creation in Metropolitan Agriculture
Science and Technology
ScientificAmerican: Test Tube Yeast Evolve Multicellularity
RedditScience: New computer model shows Titan atmosphere more Earth-like than thought
PCMag: Shhh, "Silent Updates" In Progress
WashingtonPost: Russia to investigate if US radar inadvertently interfered with failed Mars moon probe
TruthOut: New Bill Would Put Taxpayer-Funded Science Behind Pay Walls
MSNBC: British scientists rediscover 'lost' Darwin fossils - Specimens gathered by naturalist and his friends found in 'gloomy corner' of archive
MSNBC: New deep space capsule passes NASA chief's inspection - Vessel billed as America's first interplanetary spacecraft designed for human exploration
Medical and Health
NYT: U.S. to Tell Drug Makers to Disclose Payments to Doctors
Time: Facing Death: What Doctors Can Teach the Rest of Us About End-of-Life Care
SOTT: How the Modern Lifestyle Breeds Depression and Distress
Science.slashdot: Statisticians Uncover the Mathematics of a Serial Killer - Andrei Chikatilo, 'The Butcher of Rostov,' was one of the most prolific serial killers in modern history committing at least 52 murders between 1978 and 1990 before he was caught, tried, and executed. The pattern of his murders, though, was irregular with long periods of no activity, interrupted by several murders within a short period of time. Hoping to gain insight into serial killings to prevent similar murders, Mikhail Simkin and Vwani Roychowdhury at UCLA built a mathematical model of the time pattern of the activity of Chikatilo and found the distribution of the intervals between murders follows a power law with the exponent of 1.4. The basis of their analysis is the hypothesis that 'similar to epileptic seizures, the psychotic affects, causing a serial killer to commit murder, arise from simultaneous firing of large number of neurons in the brain.' In modeling the behavior the authors didn't find that 'the killer commits murder right at the moment when neural excitation reaches a certain threshold. He needs time to plan and prepare his crime' so they built delay into their model. The killings eventually have a sedative effect, pushing the neuronal activity below the 'killing threshold' – which is why there are large intervals of time between groups of murders.
Worthwhile: The cruel consequences of moral hazard in health care - Our health care system devotes too many resources to prolonging life, and too few to improving its quality. A case described by Lisa Sanders vividly illustrates what I have in mind:
Vitals: FDA fines Red Cross nearly $9.6 million for blood safety lapses
Doomsteading, Gardening, Urban Farming
CityFarmer: The Victory Garden of tomorrow
ModernSurvivalBlog: How To Divert The Unprepared From Your Preps
CityFarmer: Indianapolis gardener turns the bounty from her urban farm into a product line to help busy families get dinner on the table
CNN: Report: Dad of suspect in Calif. homeless killings also homeless
LegitGov: New York subway workers run 'Rate My Rat' photo contest
CNN; Divers blast rescue hole in Italian cruise ship - Divers trying to locate survivors of the Costa Concordia cruise ship used explosives to blow a hole in the hull to make an entry and exit point for search-and-rescue teams, Italian Navy officials said Tuesday.
ABC: 24 killed as apartment block collapses in Beirut
MSNBC: 10-year-old suspected of stabbing friend, 12, to death
LAT: Defector flees North Korea, then must flee again
MSNBC: Homeless killing suspect warned dad of danger
MSNBC: Boy, 15, tells cops he killed sister
MSNBC: Homeless whiz kid and her family will get a new home
SFGate: Footage under scrutiny in Calif. murder-suicide - Police are combing through video footage of a woman who recorded herself smoking methamphetamine before shooting her two young children, their father, a cousin and herself, seeking clues into a weekend tragedy that unfolded in California's Central Valley.
NJ.com: The Times admits it deep-sixed Ron Paul
CNN: Huntsman couldn't shed mini-Romney perception
BlacklistedNews: Paul-Haters Caught Planning To Dress Up As KKK, Pose As Paul Supporters
Politifact: Georgia Democrats say Republicans trying to knock Obama off ballot
MotherJones: The Republicans' Dark Money-Moving Machine
CNN: Gingrich's attacks now could help Obama later
DailyBail: C-SPAN Gets Hammered With Prank Calls About Mitt Romney's Penis Size (HILARIOUS VIDEO)
TinfoilPalace: Curious Case of Criminal Last Names
TinfoilPalace: Abandoned by British justice: Student faces 10 years in U.S. jail for setting up 'illegal' website (in a chilling echo of Gary McKinnon)TheOilAge: Obama seeks power to re-organize government
TheOilAge: A Glimpse into Whaling History 122 yo harpoon found in whale
HubbertsArms: Persian Gulf Escalation Continues
HubbertsArms: Systematic Shutdown Of (2.4MM Barrels Per Day) Nigerian Oil Ahead SilentCountry: "Me First" Economics Versus "Spoiled Rotten" Economics
SilentCountry: Goldman Sachs and Facebook