Another schedule update

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No major post today, but I’ll leave you with this story. It’s likely we’re gonna be going on hiatus soon during the fall school session so people can focus more on their work and I’ll probably only be posting once a week if not once ever 2 weeks, so don’t expect too much. And although it isn’t a permanent hiatus, unless there’s major news in the fall, don’t expect too long a post, I’ll get back to daily posts next summer if I can make it. Other than that, enjoy these 2 stories for today.

 

We Should Be Calling The Designer of These Games Some Kind of Genius

Evan Narcisse

 

You probably don’t know his name. And you might have ignored his games. But Luke Schneider deserves your respect. And your money.

Schneider’s turned out more than a dozen games in two years, a feat that’s impressive no matter what you think of his output. And that output from his RadianGames studio has been very, very good. From the hypnotic Joy Joy to the clever hybrid Inferno, Schneider’s games have taken familiar design templates and branches them out in challenging ways tweaks them to feel modern, re-invented and fresh.

Super Crossfire adds warping to the top-down shooter genre, letting you teleport across the screen. Fluid grafted physics simulation and momentum to a Pac-man style eat-em-up. Ballistic SE manifests on the iPad as a twin-stick shooter without actual sticks and lets you control gameplay with one hand. Slydris, reviewed here, takes Tetris and reshapes it into a different kind of intelligence test. I could go on, but generally feel that riffing off of familiar experiences is the best part of Schneider’s approach. Part of the fun to be had from his games is in the discovery of new tensions found in the mix-and-match mechanics.

He’s also moved from platform to platform with an ease that serves as an object lesson for bigger companies and other indies. Leaving AAA development after working on game franchises like Descent and Red Faction, Schneider started to crank out games that went up on Xbox Live Indie Games, portals like Desura and the Apple App Store.

Maybe Schneider isn’t a lightning-bolt-concept guy like, say, Warren Spector. You can see the through-line of emphasizing play style in the titles on the Epic Mickey creator’s resume. The recurring theme in Schneider’s oeuvre has been more like re-visitation. Playing something like Fluid makes you wish that present-day Pac-Man could be something like it. The same goes for Super Crossfire and Space Invaders. Where games came from and how they evolve get wrapped up in concise, appealing packages.

So, yeah, Schneider isn’t mentioned in the A-list of game design heavyweights like, say, Patrice Desilets, Hideo Kojima or Kim Swift. But I feel like he’s doing something that’s worth paying attention to. These games speak to a new entertainment landscape where small nuggets of attention chain together to a larger engagement. That is to say, the tiny bursts of pleasure you get from a quick session in Slydris builds an increasing reward the longer you play. When one game-maker’s creations have demonstrated a sharply-honed fusion of speed, craft and conceptualization like Schneider’s have, there’s probably something that other game-makers could certainly learn from. And, you out there, Temple Run addicts and scoffers-at-mobile-games alike, pick a RadianGames release to buy. Chances are that you’ll find yourself surprised at you’ll be diving into.

and this one last one.

 

School Seeks To Expel Bullied Torture Victim

Author: Artefact

 

Yet another Japanese school has caused a bullying scandal, this time by insisting a bullying victim who was tortured with dozens of cigarette burns leave the school as the ghastly state of his arm might bother classmates.

A 16-year-old student at a Sendai city high school was the victim of sustained bullying from 4 classmates starting in November of 2011, culminating in “a test of courage” involving repeatedly burning him with cigarettes.

He suffered over 20 cigarette burns in one attack, and as graphic photographs of his forearm show, this left him with significant scars. He was also repeatedly beaten and attacked, eventually becoming unable to attend school further.

According to the boy’s mother, in August the school finally tackled the incident, with the bullies apologising for some of their actions, but the school also told her they wanted the boy to “voluntarily” drop out of the school, “as the scars on his arm will disturb other students.”

In response, his family has raised the stakes – by reporting the incident to police as a case of assault. For once, police have accepted the complaint and are apparently investigating.

The school has refused to comment on their handling of the incident.

It should be noted that the school’s response occurred in August and July – well after the bullying suicide incident in Shiga played out into a national scandal and a major criminal investigation.

Amongst Japanese there appears to be increasing exasperation at just how rotten the nation’s teachers and schools have become, although if this can occur even after the issue was repeatedly addressed by the PM and cabinet and police and media descended upon a sacrificial school there does not appear to be much prospect of progress:

“So now they expel the victim…”

“Are there really schools which are this horrible?”

“This is grotesque.”

“These will never heal completely. Too harsh.”

“I simply cannot believe a school could be this nasty…”

“The school’s message is that weaklings who get bullied should just stay home!”

“Can’t they fix this with surgery? He won’t be able to get a job unless he can keep his arm covered all the time.”

“It’s as bad as the one in Shiga…”

“It’s even worse than Shiga!”

“I suppose this time the bullies have powerful parents as well. Expelling the victim is just…”

“The bullies should be expelled for smoking if nothing else.”

“I just feel sick when I hear about how these schools handle this stuff…”

“What does this school even mean by it ‘disturbing other students’?”

“This is well within the bounds of criminal assault. Those bullies ought to have been promptly arrested and that would have been the end of the matter!”

“What kind of school expels bullying victims?”

 

And that’s all we’re gonna cover tonight. G’nite everyone.

The Fall Schedule

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Since we are moving into Autumn and Winter, I’m going to go ahead and make this clear to my readers, the daily posts will be discontinued after today. I will once again return to my 2 a week posting schedule so I can make time for my series which I haven’t even had time to write all summer since I’ve been enjoying so much of it. But alas, everything must come to an eventual end. Case-in-point, we are moving on so you’ll get to see more of the series I’m writing and less news since I have to take time to craft a story. On top of that fall means I’m more than likely heading back to the condo fairly soon which means when I’m done using the computer here, I will be thinking of how to craft stories and posting that on my story blog.  That aside, school will inevitably be starting once again so my time will once again be limited. So without further ado, let’s move onto the last blog post of the summer.

 

Imouto ga Iru!: “What Is With This Anime & Traffic Accidents?”

Author: Leon

 

 

 

 

Sexy girls and an unbelievably poor road safety record have been driving interest in generic harem anime Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru!…

 

The gallery can be seen on site. Next up is a fun little story about a mother selling her kids cause she doesn’t have enough money.

 

Mothers Sold Kids Online: “My Husband Isn’t Paid Enough!”

Author: Artefact

 

6 mothers have been arrested for hawking lewd pictures of their daughters – one as young as 7 months – to creepy lolicon online, all of them claiming they just needed the money – although their unwillingness to work or even pursue similar avenues themselves seems to have ensured them very little sympathy indeed.

Police arrested 6 mothers in their twenties, thirties and forties across Japan for distributing child pornography after investigating the 44-year-old man who had been buying their services using an online auction site.

From 2009 to 2011, the women had been providing the man with pictures of their daughters, aged from 7 months to 8, for ¥1,000 for a snap and ¥1,000-5,000 for a movie. One mother made some ¥75,000 in sales from her child alone.

The transactions apparently began in 2005 when the man bought a pair of used pantsu from one of the mothers who had put them up for auction.

He then asked for pictures, only to be told she had no camera, so he generously sent her the money to buy one. He also helpfully sent them pictures of other girls so they would know the proper poses to make their children take.

All of the mothers involved admitted doing it for the money, with one saying she was thinking of divorce and so “needed the money” and another complaining that “my husband wasn’t paid enough.” Another was on welfare.

One even claims that “As I just secretly snapped her coming out of the bath without her noticing, I didn’t think it constituted a crime.”

None of the women knew each other, and it appears they all came to be acquainted with the man only through auctions they initiated.

They are all said to regret their actions and fear the pictures they took have spread online, although it is probably a little late for this.

Online there is bewilderment at both how they could treat their children in this way, and why it never occurred to them to get a job – any job:

“Their poor daughters…”

“Sell pictures of yourself instead!”

“So does that idiot who thought it wasn’t a crime think it was otherwise OK to this to her?”

“Get a job if you’re in your twenties…”

“A 7-month-old…”

“You can get buy on welfare without doing something like this, I’m sure.”

“God knows what they wanted to blow all the cash on.”

“Couldn’t they manage any part-time job? If they are that desperate, they really ought to sell their own bodies before doing that to their daughters.”

“Why couldn’t they appear in AVs themselves?”

“I guess these old hags couldn’t have sold pics of themselves either.”

“It’s disgusting that they’d do this to them when they weren’t ready to sell themselves.”

“I cannot believe their excuses will fly. In Europe or the US, they’d surely be declared unfit parents, have their kids taken away and be looking at a 20 year sentence.”

“They are trying to blame this guy for it, but they were the ones who started selling stuff online first…”

And finally, just in case you though China’s improved over the years, well they haven’t.

 

China Menaced by Exploding Soy Sauce

Author: Artefact

 

Even China’s best known traditional sauce is exhibiting explosive properties, with diners throughout China now in danger of being unexpectedly seasoned.

A 1.9 litre bottle of soy sauce was found to have exploded in a village dining facility, generously spraying the room with its contents.

The bottle was supposedly only 5 months old and had a shelf life of 18 months, but secondary fermentation had taken place, causing pressure in the bottle to build to explosive levels.

Soy sauce is normally pasteurised after fermentation, sterilising it and stopping further fermentation; this process was apparently omitted or botched in the case of the exploding bottle.

A variety of similar cases have been reported; Chinese media has been stressing the importance of not leaving soy sauce in warm places for long periods of time lest it explode.

 
Next up, are you sure you own a kindle? 2% are unsure.

 

Are you a two percenter?

By

 

 

Next up, chick-fil-a’s head honcho dies of heart attack…

 

Chick-fil-A
PR Honcho Dies
of Heart Attack

 

A key member of the Chick-fil-A public relations department died of a heart attack this morning … this in the middle of the biggest PR crisis the fast food chain has ever faced.

Chick-fil-A released a statement saying, “We are saddened to report the news to you that our dear friend Don Perry, vice president of public relations, passed away suddenly this morning.”

As Chick-fil-A came under fire for its stance against gay marriage … Perry spoke on behalf of the restaurant chain in an effort to smooth things over with the public … promising to “leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”

Chick-fil-A added, “Don was a member of our Chick-fil-A family for nearly 29 years.  He was a well-respected and well-liked media executive in the Atlanta and University of Georgia communities, and we will all miss him.”

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

 

And lastly, this idiot shoplifted books on ethics.

 

Prospect man accused of shoplifting book on ethics

 

 

 

University of Louisville Police are accusing a Prospect man of stealing a textbook called “Resolving Ethical Issues” and trying to sell it at a bookstore, according to an arrest report.

Terry J. Davis, of the 14200 block of Harbor Place, was arrested Wednesday and charged with theft by unlawful taking by shoplifting, a Class A misdemeanor.

Davis allegedly took the book from 555 S. Floyd St., according to the arrest report. The address is listed as UofL’s Health Sciences Center.

Later, Terry tried allegedly to sell the textbook back at Gray’s College Bookstore, the arrest report said.

The arrest report said surveillance video cameras captured the theft and attempt to sell the book.

 

And let’s not forget about Oprah.

 

Posted By Katie Cella

 

Oprah Winfrey’s special program on India drew the ire of several Indian media outlets on July 21, who called the show “myopic, unaware, ignorant and gauche.” The program was featured in the “Oprah’s Next Chapter” series, which has the long-time talk show star traipsing around outside the studio for “enlightening conversations with newsmakers, celebrities, thought leaders and real-life families.”

Her foray in India aired in the United States in April but premiered in India this weekend. The two-episode special featured a trip to some Mumbai slums, the Jaipur Literature Festival and the glitzy homes of Bollywood stars.

Winfrey was criticized for reinforcing exotic and backward stereotypes of India, particularly when she commented that she heard that Indians “still” eat with their hands.  “I don’t know what people in America are eating their hot dogs, pizzas and tacos with but perhaps Oprah’s home has evolved cutlery for all that,” commented Rajyasree Sen, a columnist on Firstpost, an online Indian newspaper.

Rituparna Chatterjee, a blogger on the CNN-IBN website, slammed Oprah’s comment, saying:  “Using our hands to eat is a well established tradition and a fact none of us are ashamed of. Our economic distinction has nothing to do with it… You should know that.”

Winfrey’s interviews with slum-dwellers in Mumbai also provoked backlash. Sen notes:

And the slum is where Oprah’s ‘oh-my-god-how wonderfully-pathetically-quaint-to-be-so-poor’ avatar stepped out in full glory…She asked the children how they could live in such a “tiny” room and actually wanted to know, “Don’t you feel it’s too cramped?” She also asked the six-year-olds whether they were happy. Which must have made them wonder why they shouldn’t be. She then interrogated the father about whether he was happy and satisfied. He got teary-eyed and said that he wished he could earn more and provide for a more comfortable life for his children. After making him weep in front of his family, Oprah said that she knows how awful it is for children to see their father weep. She did look for a shower head in the toilet and seem amazed to hear they bathed with a bucket. And she marveled at how all their clothes fit onto a small shelf. She pointedly avoided any mention of the massive LCD TV which adorned their wall. That would have killed the sob story.”

The OWN has not commented on the attacks from Indian media, but Winfrey had remarked earlier that the trip to India was “her greatest life experience.” Looks like the feeling wasn’t mutual.

 

 

I’ll see you all this fall on the Flipside. This is Grass signing out.

Oprah Winfrey’s special program on India drew the ire of several Indian media outlets on July 21, who called the show “myopic, unaware, ignorant and gauche.” The program was featured in the “Oprah’s Next Chapter” series, which has the long-time talk show star traipsing around outside the studio for “enlightening conversations with newsmakers, celebrities, thought leaders and real-life families.”

Her foray in India aired in the United States in April but premiered in India this weekend. The two-episode special featured a trip to some Mumbai slums, the Jaipur Literature Festival and the glitzy homes of Bollywood stars.

Winfrey was criticized for reinforcing exotic and backward stereotypes of India, particularly when she commented that she heard that Indians “still” eat with their hands.  “I don’t know what people in America are eating their hot dogs, pizzas and tacos with but perhaps Oprah’s home has evolved cutlery for all that,” commented Rajyasree Sen, a columnist on Firstpost, an online Indian newspaper.

Rituparna Chatterjee, a blogger on the CNN-IBN website, slammed Oprah’s comment, saying:  “Using our hands to eat is a well established tradition and a fact none of us are ashamed of. Our economic distinction has nothing to do with it… You should know that.”

Winfrey’s interviews with slum-dwellers in Mumbai also provoked backlash. Sen notes:

And the slum is where Oprah’s ‘oh-my-god-how wonderfully-pathetically-quaint-to-be-so-poor’ avatar stepped out in full glory…She asked the children how they could live in such a “tiny” room and actually wanted to know, “Don’t you feel it’s too cramped?” She also asked the six-year-olds whether they were happy. Which must have made them wonder why they shouldn’t be. She then interrogated the father about whether he was happy and satisfied. He got teary-eyed and said that he wished he could earn more and provide for a more comfortable life for his children. After making him weep in front of his family, Oprah said that she knows how awful it is for children to see their father weep. She did look for a shower head in the toilet and seem amazed to hear they bathed with a bucket. And she marveled at how all their clothes fit onto a small shelf. She pointedly avoided any mention of the massive LCD TV which adorned their wall. That would have killed the sob story.”

The OWN has not commented on the attacks from Indian media, but Winfrey had remarked earlier that the trip to India was “her greatest life experience.” Looks like the feeling wasn’t mutual.

Happy Birthday Lauren Faust

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JJ’s art of Lauren Faust for her b-day.

 

I want to start this out by congratulating JohnJoseco on a great job for his present to Miss Faust. While Will did also make one for her it’s only Surprise, aka Pinkie’s original base. While today is a good day for Faust to celebrate, we still need to get things going with our blog which means, we still need to push toward some form of journalism today, no matter how shitty. If you will recall Andrea Libman had her birthday not long ago. Almost exactly a week from Faust’s; Crazy, huh? Well that out of the way, I’ll introduce some of Faust’s newest stuff.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That said, let’s move on. EqD had a huge art post in celebration of this though.

 

Drawfriend Stuff #514

 

Read more »

 

And this one too.

Happy Birthday, Lauren Faust

Posted by

 

 

No long diatribe is needed to justify or explain this post- we all know why we’re here in the first place, and it’s because of the vision of one woman who dared to take a cartoon that was never destined for greatness and turn it into a cultural icon that can still teach us things to this day.
Happy birthday, Lauren, from the staff of Equestria Daily!

 

Welp, now that we got our pony high for the day, how’s about we move onto real world dealings.

 

South Korean-North Korean flags confused at soccer match

 

GLASGOW, Scotland — The preliminary women’s soccer match between North Korea and Colombia was delayed when the South Korean flag was displayed on the jumbotron alongside the faces of North Korean players, an error which incensed the players and their coach.

London 2012 has apologized for the mistake.

“We will apologize to the team and the National Olympic Committee, and steps will be taken to ensure this does not happen again,” the organizing committee said in a statement provided to USA TODAY Sports.

The game was being played at historic Hampden Park, and followed the USA’s 4-2 victory over France. The second game was delayed by about an hour, finally won by North Korea 2-0.

North Korea’s coach, Gun Sin Ui, said through a translator after the match that he and the team were very upset by the error, and that the team would have forfeited the match if it had not been corrected.

“We were angry because our players were introduced as if they were from South Korea, which may affect us greatly as you may know,” Gun said.

Gun said he plans to ask organizers if the flag problem was intentional and added that winning was no compensation for the offense.

 

Good one, guys, you got the moralfags good with this one. Best troll move ever, North Korea. So remember that guy who shot the sher– I mean the movie goers? well…

 

Accused Colorado gunman sent notebook to psychiatrist: report

By Chris Francescani

 

(Reuters) – The man accused in the movie theater massacre at the opening of the new “Batman” film mailed a notebook detailing his plans to a psychiatrist at his university before the attack, Fox News reported on Wednesday, as the first funeral was held for one of the 12 people killed.

The package allegedly sent by 24-year-old James Eagan Holmes had been in a mailroom at the University of Colorado since July 12 but remained unopened until its discovery on Monday, a law enforcement source told FoxNews.com.

Reuters could not immediately verify the report. Messages left with police in Aurora and other law enforcement officials involved in the case were not immediately returned.

A spokesman for the FBI’s Denver office said the bureau could not speak about any aspect of the investigation because the judge in the case had issued a protective order on Tuesday that strictly limits what attorneys, law enforcement and court staff can say publicly about the case.

The Fox News report said police and FBI agents were called to the University of Colorado Anschutz medical campus in Aurora on Monday morning after a psychiatrist who is a professor at the school reported receiving a package believed to be from the suspect.

Although that package turned out to be from someone else and harmless, a search of the Campus Services’ mail room turned up another parcel sent to the psychiatrist with Holmes’ name in the return address, the source told Fox News.

After obtaining a search warrant, police took the package away and discovered its contents.

Fox News quoted its source saying: “Inside the package was a notebook full of details about how he was going to kill people. There were drawings of what he was going to do in it — drawings and illustrations of the massacre.”

Images in the notebook included drawings of stick figures shooting at other stick figures, the FoxNews.com report said.

Fox News did not identify the psychiatrist. Holmes was a doctoral student in neuroscience at the Anschutz campus until filing paperwork to drop out in June.

University spokeswoman Jacque Montgomery confirmed in a written statement that a suspicious package was delivered to the campus by mail on July 23 and said it was “immediately investigated and turned over to authorities within hours.”

“The anonymous Fox News source that the package was received on July 12 and sat on a loading dock is inaccurate,” Montgomery said in the statement.

She declined to discuss the package any further, citing the order by Aurora County District Judge William Sylvester.

Police say Holmes, wearing tactical body armor and a gas mask and toting three firearms, opened fire on a crowded midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” in the Denver suburb of Aurora, killing 12 people and wounding 58 others.

Holmes, who was arrested behind the theater immediately after the attack, made his first appearance in court on Monday, appearing sleepy and disoriented. Authorities plan to formally charge him on July 30.

FIRST FUNERAL

Hundreds gathered on Wednesday at the nondenominational Pathways Church in Denver for the first funeral for a victim of the July 20 massacre.

Gordon Cowden, at 51 the oldest victim of the shooting, was a real estate appraiser who had taken his teenage daughters to the movie theater where he was killed. His daughters escaped unharmed.

An excerpt from the funeral program attributed to his daughter Brooke read: “I will never forget that in such disorientation and confusion of that night what was certain were your yells, declarations of ‘I love you’ to both of us. Forever, with love, Brooke.”

Joyce Zounis, who knew Cowden through a single parents group at her Aurora church, said Brooke Cowden gave an emotional speech during the service in which she recounted dancing with her father at an outdoor concert in June.

“Little did she know, this would be her last dance with her dad,” Zounis, 50, said.

Doug Newman, a friend of Cowden, said the grief inside the church was “pretty intense.”

“I’m in absolute shock,” Newman said. “”I haven’t been myself for a few days.”

Services for Cowden came as 19 of those injured in the shooting remained hospitalized, seven in critical condition.

HOSPITALS HELP COVER MEDICAL COSTS

Children’s Hospital Colorado said on Wednesday that it would use donations to cover the medical expenses of any victims who lacked insurance and would waive co-pays or deductible related expenses for those with insurance.

HealthOne, which owns Medical Center or Aurora and Swedish Medical Center in Denver, said it would limit or eliminate hospital charges “as appropriate to each patient and the circumstances these individuals find themselves in.”

HealthOne said it would not discuss any specific patient out of respect in order to respect privacy.

Judge Sylvester ruled on Tuesday that no cameras would be allowed in the courtroom when Holmes is charged next Monday. Holmes’ initial appearance on Monday was televised.

Authorities have not offered a motive for the shooting spree. Police said Holmes, a former neuroscience student, left his 800-square-foot (75-square-metre) apartment booby-trapped with explosives that authorities said could have destroyed the entire complex.

Local and state bomb experts conducted a controlled demolition over last weekend.

On Wednesday members of Holmes’ defense team spent about 45 minutes in the apartment, taking notes and videotaping the scene. Attorneys declined comment to reporters as they left.

Holmes, who authorities say dyed his hair red and told them he was The Joker in reference to Batman’s comic-book nemesis, was being held in solitary confinement to protect him from other prisoners.

The shooting rampage has renewed debate in the United States about gun control. At the same time, Colorado authorities said on Tuesday that applications in the state for background checks to buy firearms surged in the aftermath of the shooting.

 

Next up, we have a guy who went to a Dave Matthews band concert and wrecked some shit.

 

Crash Into Me: Dave Matthews fan steals, wrecks sheriff’s vehicle, deputies say

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -A Vero Beach man stole and crashed an unmarked Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office vehicle after attending a Dave Matthews Band concert early Saturday, deputies said.

Jason Amstutz, 30, stole the unmarked Chevrolet Tahoe while deputies were on foot directing traffic at State Road 80 and Fairgrounds Road just after midnight, according to a Sheriff’s Office report.

Witnesses said they saw Amstutz speeding east on State Road 80 in the westbound lanes and jumping the center median several times.

Deputies said Amstutz crashed the vehicle into a taxi cab at State Road 80 and Sansburys Way. He was taken to Wellington Regional Hospital with minor injuries, deputies said.

The occupants of the taxi cab were not injured.

 

And since the last Queen’s Blade post got so many hits that I almost wanted to take down the post, I figured I’ll post up another one.

 

Queen’s Blade Rebellion OVA Tentacular As Ever

Author: Leon

The 2nd disc of Queen’s Blade Rebellion brings with it an OVA featuring Mirim and Runaruna subjected to even more of the tentacle molestation action which was so conspicuously unabsent from the series proper.
And so as we move on, so to do the idiots. Let’s talk about fuel…

Fuel imports put trade deficit near ¥3 trillion

Record offsets recovering exports as energy needs soar in first half

The trade deficit grew to a record ¥2.915 trillion from January to June as rising energy imports more than offset a recovery in exports, the government said Wednesday.

The sluggish outcome highlights the difficulties faced by the economy, which has been affected by a stronger yen, a gloomy global outlook amid the sovereign debt crisis in Europe and growing demand for nonnuclear energy resources.

For June alone, the trade balance recovered slightly to end with a surplus of ¥61.7 billion, the first black ink in four months, the Finance Ministry said in a preliminary report. The result beat market forecasts, but analysts warned of exports slowing down even more.

For the first half, the value of exports grew 1.5 percent from the same period a year before to ¥32.595 trillion, mainly helped by robust shipments of autos and auto parts to the United States, China and Thailand.

The value of imports jumped 7.4 percent to ¥35.511 trillion as demand for energy resources, particularly liquefied natural gas, rose to make up for the complete loss of nuclear power.

The figures were measured on a customs-cleared basis.

The trade deficit was the biggest since the government began records in 1979. The reference exchange rate for the six months came to ¥79.60 per dollar, a rise of 3.1 percent that caused additional downward pressure on exporters’ earnings, the Finance Ministry said.

The situation in Europe has weighed heavily on Japanese exports, not only in direct shipments to the region but also to Asian economies that use components made in Japan to build final products for the European market, where consumer and business sentiment has been deteriorating amid the eurozone fiscal and banking crisis.

Exports to the 27-nation European Union slowed 9.0 percent with the balance staging a surplus of ¥171.6 billion, the smallest on record. Exports to Asia as a whole shed 3.6 percent, while those to China, Japan’s biggest trade partner, slid 8.6 percent with the balance coming to ¥1.405 trillion in the red.

“The global economy has shown signs of declining and this will weigh on (Japan’s) exports,” Lee Chi Woong, an economist at Goldman Sachs Japan Co., said in a report, while adding the restart of some nuclear reactors and stability in energy costs would help reduce imports and improve the trade balance.

Exports to the United States recovered by 21.0 percent, with the balance standing at ¥2.482 trillion in Japan’s favor.

In June, overall exports lost 2.3 percent to reach ¥5.643 trillion in the first decline in four months, while imports fell 2.2 percent to ¥5.582 trillion, the first fall in 30 months.

The data triggered mixed reactions from experts. The surplus for June, which came against expectations of a continued deficit and was mainly due to lower prices for energy imports, prompted upbeat assessments, but at the same time some expressed worry about slowing exports.

“Exports may have entered a phase of losing momentum,” said Mitsumaru Kumagai, chief economist at Daiwa Institute of Research.

 

So I’ll leave you guys with this one last article.

 

An Otaku’s Guide to Internet Privacy

By Reason

You wouldn’t fondle a drunk girl like I did that one summer in a dimly lit garage. You wouldn’t do drugs. You wouldn’t let Kaguya spy on you. You wouldn’t let yourself be ignorant online — naturally your best friend the BP is here. For the privacy advocates out there here’s a guide to maintaining a lot more transparency online with the modern otaku in mind (that’s you!). I’ve outlined a 5-step plan which I’ve created below, and is something that any advanced internet user should probably be following to some extent.1. Use anti-tracking browser software in regards to web tracking (cookies and scripts)

Literally every website out there has some form of tracking installed because of advertisements. With browser add-ons like NoScript or Ghostery you will be significantly more transparent online in regards to tracking companies. For the beginner if nothing else then this is what you’ll want to do in at least some form.

Implementing it: Ghostery, NoScript, BetterPrivacy, Beef Taco

2. Encrypt HTTP traffic

This is a good idea because it prevents man-in-the-middle attacks. It ensures that there are no spying eyes between whatever you’re communicating between yourself (your computer) and a web server.

Implementing it: Manually use HTTPS services whenever possible, and additionally consider HTTPS Everywhere.

3. Encrypt DNS traffic

This one is extremely powerful, and even more potent when combined with the above. Encrypting DNS traffic accomplishes two things: nobody on your network can see what websites you’re visiting, and your ISP cannot see what websites you’ve been connecting to.

Implementing it: Consider the DNSCrypt project.

4. Use a better search engine

Mainstream average-consumer based search engines generally have horrible privacy standards. Take Google for example: aside from them simply having records of your online activity your saved searches can be requested by a government, bad employees could go snooping, or Google can get hacked — all of which has happened. What privacy-based search engines have in common is that they do not log IPs in the first place, they do not store searches (this particular point means an employee can’t get curious, and that they can’t get hacked and have data compromised as log data doesn’t exist), and they do not install tracking cookies.

Implementing it: Ixquick, Startpage, DuckDuckGo

5. Use a better e-mail provider

The argument for this is generally the same as the above. In regards to this specifically though the general rule of thumb is that you’ll want an e-mail provider in another country than the one you currently reside in. The idea is that, while different countries may not have perfect laws in regards to abusive data retention, snooping eyes in your country will have less readily available access.

Implementing it: An example would be that an American could consider using a European based e-mail provider like My Opera Mail.

We’ll I’ll let myself out at this point, so good night everyone; Grass is outta here.

Late Monday post is late

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Hey guys, I know Monday’s post is late as hell, I actually completely forgot today was Monday, funny story eh? Anyway, you guys should enjoy today’s post. Let’s open with some news from Sony. Guess what? Sony is firing people TEN THOUSAND PEOPLE TO BE EXACT!

 

Sony to lay off 10,000 worldwide

Kyodo, Staff report

Sony Corp., the once high-flying electronics giant, plans to lay off 10,000 employees worldwide, or 6 percent of its workforce, by the end of the year in a bid to regain global competitiveness, it was learned Monday.

The news comes at a time when the Tokyo-based maker is grappling with harsh global competition from Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc. and is expecting to log more red ink in the year that ended March 31.

The Nikkei business daily reported Monday that, in addition to slashing 5,000 jobs as part of a reorganization of its businesses for small and medium-size display panels and noncore chemicals, which has already been announced, Sony will cut another 5,000 globally.

The report also said seven senior managers, including Chairman Howard Stringer, are expected to give up their bonuses for the latest year.

Sony declined to comment on the reports. Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai, 51, who replaced Stringer on April 1, is scheduled to explain Sony’s corporate strategy on Thursday.

Sony is one of several domestic electronics giants that have been grappling with the yen’s historic surge and an increasingly competitive TV business. It expects a ¥220 billion group net loss for the year ended March 31, it said in February.

Sony slashed 16,000 from its global workforce in December 2008, following the shock in the global financial market caused by the Lehman Brothers failure.

Panasonic Corp., another struggling giant, expects to post its biggest-ever group net loss — ¥780 billion — for 2011, and had planned to lay off as many as 40,000 by the end of March.

 

Not shitting you boys and girls, 2012 will have heads roll for people even before December. Oh and if you guys haven’t heard this yet. GABE NEWELL IS A FUCKING BRONY!

Was news to me too a few days ago.

 

 

Gabe Newell Joins the Herd

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Considering the EQD Steam group is rollin with 8000+ members, I’m pretty sure a good amount of you have at least some ties to this guy.  It has been a rumor filled mystery for a while now when it comes to the status of Gabe Newell and ponies.    People have sent emails supposedly from him, professing his love for Rainbow Dash.  TF2 regularly drops pony references, though I don’t think he has direct control over that.  This is the first time he has actually admit to it though! It’s about time!

You can find the full interview here, and the admission at 15:35.  Someone also uploaded it to Youtube, you can find that after the break!

It needs some thumbs up too, cause people really aren’t liking it!

 

 

 

 

And let’s just say Gabe’s entry into the herd will only bear good news. Remember guy’s love and tolerate. (trollestia.png)

Now, hunkering down to actual news.

 

 

Man wearing boxers assaults construction workers with orange. Apparently there are parts of Florida where this isn’t normal

 

FORT PIERCE, Fla. –

Some turn to oranges for the cold-fighting Vitamin C this time of year. Others fire the fruit off a seventh-floor balcony while wearing only boxer shorts, according to police in Fort Pierce.

A construction worker told police that the orange landed just feet away from him while he was working in the 300 block of South Ocean Drive on Friday.

And William Wink, a Vietnam veteran, former school teacher and one-time political candidate, ended up getting squeezed with an aggravated assault charge.

Wink told WPBF 25 News’ Erin Guy on Monday that he meant no harm.

“I have never harmed anyone in my whole life,” he said. “I have never been arrested.”

Wink said the orange was rotten, so he wanted to get rid of it but not in his own garbage can.

“It was squishy,” he said. “I didn’t want to waste it so I walked over to the balcony. The idea again (was) not to waste it and give it to the birds and the squirrels. I just lobbed it over the edge.”

But the police report indicated “the orange was found not rotten but ripe.”

WPBF was unable to reach the construction worker.

 

I gotta admit, I fucking laughed when I read the title of that news article. Next, up everyone looks at porn…No shit, Sherlock!

 

Is the whole world looking at porn? Biggest site gets over FOUR BILLION hits a month

By Ted Thornhill

30% of all web traffic is porn, according to a report

‘The internet is for porn,’ is the title of a song on hit musical Avenue Q.

And it turns out the lyricists had touched on a home truth, because researchers have discovered that a staggering 30 per cent of all internet traffic is pornography.

The biggest porn site on the web – Xvideos – receives 4.4billion page views and 350million unique visits per month, according to a report on the ExtremeTech website.

The only sites that surpass this in size are the likes of Google and Facebook.

The report uncovered the viewing figures for Xvideos from Google’s DoubleClick Ad Planner, which uses cookies to gather information about users.

It then used these figures – and actual data from the third biggest porn site, YouPorn – to extrapolate how much data is being transferred out of the site’s servers.

And it’s a huge amount.

It based the first calculation on the average length of time spent on Xvideos, which is 15minutes, and assumed a low resolution video was being streamed.

From this it estimated that around 29 petabytes of pornography is being transferred a month, or 50 gigabytes per second.

However, it upped this estimate to 35 to 40PB per month after learning that YouPorn hosts over 100TB of porn, gets 100million page views and transfers 950 terabytes per day.

That’s the equivalent of 10 dual-layer DVDs per second.

At peak times, it speculates that Xvideos is streaming 1,000 gigabytes per second (or one terabyte), which, the report points out, is one fifteenth of the total amount of connectivity between London and New York.

The ExtremeTech investigation surmised that YouPorn accounts for two per cent of internet traffic, with 30 per cent of all web traffic being pornography related.

Earlier this year thousands of YouPorn users had their personal passwords and emails leaked online by hackers.

In total, 6433 users of the YouPorn chat site were exposed after a third-party service provider failed to secure data, its owner claimed.

Email address and password combinations were put on the website Pastebin, although some appeared to be bogus or inactive.

A spokesman said at the time that the site was run by an outside company on separate servers and that there was no breach at YouPorn itself.

 

This is a fucking no-duh. I didn’t think that the UK was dumb enough to publish something like this. This is news? Must be a slow news day. And now for some prostitutes…

 

10 arrested in Sarasota prostitution bust

Written by Kristin Weber

Sarasota, Florida — Thanks to tips from area residents, Sarasota Police have arrested 10 individuals on prostitution and drug charges.

According to the police department, a two-day operation, on April 4 and 5, was conducted by the department’s Street Crimes Unit, along with the city’s Traffic Unit and the Narcotics Unit.

The listed of those arrested is listed below:

  • Courtney Nicely
  • Teresa Briceland
  • Ginger Tillman
  • Kristi Arsenault
  • Cynthia Coleman
  • Lakendrick Ruffin
  • Julie Ann Lawson
  • Norris Wright
  • Carl Manthei
  • Seymour Smith
Ya I’m not gonna touch this one…just no.
And finally, here’s some porn from Japan.
Author: Artefact
An impressively endowed 21-year-old’s pale skin and plastic companion have ensured her a firm following on 2ch – very firm indeed, if their appreciative comments are anything to go by.
Go enjoy the gallery. That’s all for today. I’ll see you later this week, this is Grass signing out.

 

 

 

An actually Good Friday!

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I'm tired, no posts till Monday..don't ask me to post anything on the weekends ever. Art can be found here: http://gratlofatic.deviantart.com/art/Fluttershy-s-Pooped-254351415

 

 

Fluttershy got tired of hanging around PonySquare so I’m letting her sit down for a bit. Today’s opening bit of news should get you laughing for a bit. Remember that Chinese kid that sold his liver for an iPad and iPhone? The doctor is being charged with “intentional injury”. INTENTIONAL!! Ok, kid wants to give up organs or technology, it’s suddenly intentional injury.

 

 

Charges filed against five who removed teen’s kidney

 

Last year, a Chinese teen sold his kidney to raise money to buy an Apple iPad and iPhone. Now, five people, including the surgeon who conducted the operation, are being charged with “intentional injury.”

According to prosecutors, the boy, who was 17 at the time of the operation, has suffered from renal deficiency, a serious medical condition in which the kidney fails to filter toxins and waste from the blood stream.

[Related: Stem cell therapy could boost kidney transplant success: Study]

The story is steeped in both tragedy and intrigue. The boy, who has not been publicly identified, hails from one of China’s poorest provinces. When his mother saw her son with a new iPad and iPhone, both highly sought in China, the son admitted that he sold his kidney to pay for them.

News of the illegal surgery first broke last year. The boy spoke to a Chinese TV station. “I wanted to buy an iPad 2, but I didn’t have the money,” the boy said. “When I surfed the internet I found an advert posted online by agent saying they were able to pay RMB 20,000 to buy a kidney.” That’s the equivalent of about $3,100.

[Related: Kidney transplant patient seeks life without drugs]

According to reports, the boy received only about 10% of what the kidney buyer paid. The rest went to the surgeon and others involved in arranging the operation. The operation was conducted in a hospital room that had been rented out.

Though China has banned the selling and trading of organs, the practice still occurs on the black market. According to a report from the Health Ministry, “1.5 million patients need transplants each year, but only 10,000 organs are available.” Many of those seeking organs come from other countries.

 

 

 

 

Now here some Facebook humor.

 

Deputies: Shots fired at Augusta Waffle House stemmed from Facebook

 

FRIDAY, APRIL 6, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Investigators have arrested a female they say opened fire in the air at a Waffle House early this morning.

Shots were fired outside the Waffle House on Wrightsboro Road near Marks Church road just before 5 a.m. Deputies responded and found two groups of females involved.

One group was inside the restaurant when deputies say another group approached them and started a verbal altercation. The fight carried outside where a female fired four shots in the air with a handgun.

Investigators think the argument stemmed from a post on Facebook. They believe it might be related to a relationship status. It’s not clear what relation the two groups have.

Deputies say the group scattered in three different cars. The accused shooter was arrested in an Impala near the restaurant. Deputies found one gun outside a nearby Taco Bell, and another gun in one of the vehicles apprehended in connection with the shooting.

There are three shell casings on the ground outside Waffle House, and a bullet as well.

The alleged shooter was arrested. The females in the group with her are being questioned. It’s unclear if more arrests are on the way. Deputies do tell us the group of girls sitting in the restaurant are the victims.

 

 

 

 

Gunshots over a facebook status. Not sure if trolling or guy is just really dumb, and in either case, this makes for some hilarity nonetheless. Still, if you take half the shit you seen on facebook the internet seriously, you’re pretty much a dumbass. Anyway moving on…

Four women arrested for attacking their waitress after she brought them the wrong lunch order. You’d expect this sort of thing at an Olive Garden, not a Red Lobster

FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill. — A 20-year-old woman faces felony charges in an attack on a waitress police say was pummeled after bringing the wrong food order at a southwestern Illinois restaurant.

Ania Wilkes of Ferguson, Mo., is charged with aggravated battery and mob action.

Authorities in St. Clair County say the Red Lobster in Fairview Heights was busy Dec. 30 when another server took the order from Wilkes and her companions.

Investigators say the waitress brought them the wrong order and that’s when one woman threw a drink in the waitress’ face before all four at the table punched and pushed the waitress.

The waitress suffered cuts to her nose and forehead and a swollen eye.

Wilkes doesn’t have a listed home telephone number, and court records don’t show whether she has an attorney.

 

Really, America? FUCKING REALLY! I wasn’t sure you people could stoop this low. Next, up a clergy makes a watch disappear, did I mention he was from Soviet Russia? LET THE JOKES BEGIN!!

 

$30,000 Watch Vanishes Up Church Leader’s Sleeve

By

MOSCOW — Facing a scandal over photographs of its leader wearing an enormously expensive watch, the Russian Orthodox Church worked a little miracle: It made the offending timepiece disappear.

Editors doctored a photograph on the church’s Web site of the leader, Patriarch Kirill I, extending a black sleeve where there once appeared to be a Breguet timepiece worth at least $30,000. The church might have gotten away with the ruse if it had not failed to also erase the watch’s reflection, which appeared in the photo on the highly glossed table where the patriarch was seated.

The church apologized for the deception on Thursday and restored the original photo to the site, but not before Patriarch Kirill weighed in, insisting in an interview with a Russian journalist that he had never worn the watch, and that any photos showing him wearing it must have been doctored to put the watch on his wrist.

The controversy, which erupted Wednesday when attentive Russian bloggers discovered the airbrushing, further stoked anger over the church’s often lavish displays of wealth and power. It also struck yet another blow to the moral authority of Russian officialdom, which has been dwindling rapidly in light of recent scandals involving police abuse, electoral fraud and corruption.

Aleksei Navalny, an anticorruption crusader, called the episode “shameful,” and bloggers gleefully ridiculed the church as hypocritical.

The church, after removing the doctored photo, blamed photo editors in its press service for the “technical mistake.”

“A gross violation of our internal ethics has occurred, and it will be thoroughly investigated,” the church said in a statement. “The guilty will be severely punished.”

It is not likely that the apology will end the debate about the watch or dampen the increasingly barbed discussions of the church’s role in Russian society. Over the past decade, the church has grown immensely powerful, becoming so close to the Kremlin that it often seems like a branch of government. It has extended its influence into a broad range of public life, including schools, courts and politics. Patriarch Kirill publicly backed Vladimir V. Putin in last month’s presidential election.

Recently, church officials stoked the ire of Russian liberals by seeking the imprisonment of members of a female punk rock group who held an impromptu concert inside Moscow’s main cathedral in February to protest the church’s political ties. Three members of the group are now in jail awaiting trial.

Then there is the question of the church’s wealth. Russian bloggers have published rumors that the patriarch has a large country house, a private yacht and a penchant for ski vacations in Switzerland, though none of this has been proved.

The watch, on the other hand, has been an object of fascination for years, and there is little question of its existence. It was first sighted on the patriarch’s wrist in 2009 during a visit to Ukraine, where he gave a televised interview on the importance of asceticism.

A Breguet watch “is virtually a sine qua non of any depiction of the aristocracy, the bourgeoisie or, quite simply, a life of luxury and elegance,” the company says, noting that its products have been worn by Marie Antoinette and Czar Aleksandr I and cited in works by Dumas and Hugo.

Coincidentally, the patriarch addressed the watch issue on Sunday, three days before the photo-doctoring scandal hit the blogosphere, in an interview with a prominent Kremlin-friendly television journalist, Vladimir Solovyov.

After the rumors about the watch began appearing, “I started looking for it out of interest and horror,” Kirill said, according to Mr. Solovyov, who conducted the interview off camera and related the patriarch’s comments.

Sorting through gifts he had received over the years, the patriarch discovered that he did indeed own the Breguet, Mr. Solovyov said. But he insisted that he had never worn it and said he suspected that any photos of him wearing it had been altered with Photoshop.

Watches, particularly those of the high-end Swiss variety, have been problematic for the Russian authorities. Many officials have come under fire after being photographed wearing timepieces with price tags far exceeding their annual salaries. Vladimir Resin, a former deputy mayor of Moscow, was once photographed wearing a DeWitt, the Pressy Grande Complication, reportedly worth more than $1 million.

But the patriarch has presented himself as the country’s ethical compass, and has recently embarked on a vocal campaign of public morality, advocating Christian education in public schools and opposing abortion and equal rights for gay people. He called the girl punk band protest at the cathedral “sacrilege.”

While Americans are used to hearing public positions on social issues from religious leaders, they were novel here, and they leave Patriarch Kirill and the church vulnerable to criticism, said Aleksei Makarkin, a political analyst who has written about the church.

“Now, the church has lost its symbolic immunity,” Mr. Makarkin said. “People will now say it has become the same as any other government structure.”

Russia’s often acerbic bloggers reacted to the scandal with something approaching glee. Bloggers have been uploading their own altered photographs of the patriarch to the Web, including one in which he has been erased and only the watch remains.

“The church can, of course, inspire fear or evoke respect, and even make mistakes,” Vladimir Varfolomeyev, a prominent liberal commentator, wrote on Facebook. “But it cannot be funny. Before our eyes we are witnessing the destruction of this institution.”

The Rev. Vsevolod Chaplin, a senior church cleric, played down the episode. In a telephone interview, he said that the controversy over the watch was distracting attention from more serious questions, like “the borders of artistic freedom and the meaning of the Gospels today.”

“Tomorrow, they will be talking about what kind of glasses the patriarch wears,” Father Chaplin said.

 

 

In Soviet Russia, priest robs you! This is a little creepy and a bit scary if you think about it. Moving on…

 

Pilot lands on man’s back porch; apologizes for crashing jet

by Nick Dutton

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WTVR) – A retired rescue squad member said the pilot of a military jet that crashed into an apartment building Friday landed on the man’s back porch.

“I heard three loud booms, so I up out from the couch and went to my back door,” said Pat Kavanaugh, who lives in the Mayfair Mews apartments. “When I looked out, I saw a pilot on the ground with a parachute hanging from the building.”

Kavanaugh said he ran outside to see what he could do to help him. He said the pilot had facial lacerations, was in shock and appeared to be still strapped to his seat.

“He apologized very much for hitting our complex and I said, ‘don’t worry, it’s going to be fine,’” said Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh said he and some neighbors carried the pilot to safety. They managed to drag him to the other side of the apartment complex to wait for first responders to take him to the hospital.

 

Next thing you know, aliens will show up and then what will we do? And since I was told today was Good Friday here’s an Easter story.

 

How the Moon Affects the Date of Easter

By Joe Rao

The official moment that the moon turns full is 19:19 UT, or 3:19 p.m. EDT.

Traditionally, the April full moon is known as “the Pink Moon,” supposedly as a tribute to the grass pink or wild ground phlox, considered one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. Other monikers include the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon and, among coastal Native American tribes, the Full Fish Moon, for when the shad came upstream to spawn.

(Traditional names for the full moons of the year are found in some publications, such as the Farmers’ Almanac. We also published the complete list of full moon names here on SPACE.com. The origins of these names have been traced back to Native America, though they may also have evolved from old England or, as Guy Ottewell, editor of the annual publication Astronomical Calendar, suggests, “writer’s fancy.”)

The first full moon of spring is usually designated as the Paschal Full Moon or the Paschal Term.  Traditionally, Easter is observed on the Sunday after the Paschal Full Moon. If the Paschal Moon occurs on a Sunday, Easter is the following Sunday. [Photos: Full Moon Captivates Skywatchers in February 2012]

Following these rules, we find that the date of Easter can fall as early as March 22 and as late as April 25. Pope Gregory XIII decreed this in 1582 as part of the Gregorian calendar. So according to the current ecclesiastical rules, Easter Sunday in 2012 is to be celebrated April 8.

Interestingly, these rules also state that the vernal equinox is fixed on March 21, despite the fact that from the years 2008 through 2101, at European longitudes it actually will occur no later than March 20.

Adding additional confusion is that there is also an “ecclesiastical” full moon, determined from ecclesiastical tables, whose date does not necessarily coincide with the “astronomical” full moon, which is based solely on astronomical calculations. In 1981, for example, the full moon occurred on Sunday, April 19, so Easter should have occurred on the following Sunday, April 26. But based on the ecclesiastical full moon, it occurred on the same day of the astronomical full moon, April 19!

Hence, there can sometimes be discrepancies between the ecclesiastical and astronomical versions for dating Easter. In the year 2038, for instance, the equinox will fall on March 20, with a full moon the next day, so astronomically speaking, Easter should fall on March 28 of that year. In reality, however, as mandated by the rules of the church, Easter 2038 will be observed as late as it can possibly come, on April 25.

So in practice, the date of Easter is determined not from astronomical computations but rather from other formulae such Golden Numbers.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, a proposal to change Easter to a fixed holiday rather than a movable one has been widely circulated, and in 1963 the Second Vatican Council said it would agree, provided a consensus could be reached among Christian churches. The second Sunday in April has been suggested as the most likely date. That, incidentally, works outs rather nicely this year.

Harvest moon effect, in reverse

The full moon occurring nearest to the autumnal equinox is traditionally called the Harvest Moon. What sets the Harvest Moon apart from the others is that instead of rising at its normal average of 50 minutes later each day, it seems to rise at nearly the same time for several nights.

In direct contrast to the Harvest Full Moon, the Paschal Full Moon appears to rise considerably later each night. Below we’ve provided some examples for 10 North American cities.

Although normally the moon rises about 50 minutes later each night, over this three-night interval for our relatively small sampling we can see that the rising of the moon comes, on the average, just over 76 minutes later each night. A quick study of the table shows that the night-to-night difference is greatest for the more northerly locations. (Edmonton, located at latitude 53.6ºN, sees moonrise come an average of 88minutes later.) Meanwhile, the difference is less at southerly locations. (In Miami, located at latitude 26ºN, the average difference is about 67 minutes.)

The reason for this seasonal circumstance is that the moon appears to move along the ecliptic (the path the sun takes across the sky), and at this time of year when rising, the ecliptic makes its largest angle with respect to the horizon for those living in the Northern Hemisphere.

In contrast, for those living in the Southern Hemisphere, the ecliptic at this time of year appears to stand at a more oblique angle to the eastern horizon. As such, the difference for the time of moonrise is noticeably less than the average of 50 minutes per night. In Sydney, Australia, for instance, the night-to-night difference amounts to just 40 minutes.

 

 

And our last story….Taiwan lolicon….

 

Lolicon Teacher Gets 4613 Year Sentence

Author: Artefact

A teacher convicted of over a thousand counts of rape and sexual assault on his pupils has been sentenced to 4613 years in prison, only to have the sentence reduced by 4583 years on a technicality.

The 46-year-old teacher, himself married and a father, operated a cram school in the Taiwanese city of Taichung.

He would offer them small payments and gifts to help keep them quiet, as well as intimidating them with threats of being arrested or taken from their parents, but eventually one of his victims approached the authorities.

Police say a total of 12 girls were raped 267 times and indecently assaulted a further 746 times, for a total of 1013 counts of sexual predation.

The man’s initial arrest and conviction saw him sentenced to 30 years, the maximum possible under the circumstances; he also faces civil suits.

After the defence appealed the sentence, the higher court was so disgusted by the gravity of his crimes and his lack of contrition that they decided to sentence him for each individual charge, leading to a sentence of 4613 years and 10 months.

However, this was even more pointless than is usual with such farcically long sentences – the maximum possible sentence was still 30 years, resulting in an impressive effective reduction of 4583 years and 10 months.

Both the sentence and the reduction are actually only the second highest ever handed down by Taiwanese judges – a father who repeatedly raped his daughter apparently managed 4739 years and a similar reduction.

 

 

Loli raep not from Japan? Holy shit. That’s our show for tonight, guys, See you next week. This is Grass signing out.

 

 

 

 

 

Weekend Quicky: Mixxy X Priya

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If you guys don’t know about JadenKaiba, the guy’s got a DA, search him up, he’s pretty cool. He does this little /h/ series with Yuri, you know what I’ll just let you take a look for yourself.

 

In other news, I didn’t bother making a post last Thursday since it was my birthday and I got late on Friday and couldn’t be arsed to post jack.

 

So there you have it, Chapter 5 will be up sometime next week along with my game script, all of which will be on Tumblr, if you haven’t checked out, go check it out now.

 

I honestly wish I could draw like a pro. I’d be able to produce more content online. Oh well.

 

 

 

SomePonies

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It’s Wednesday, let’s relax and open with some ponies and Japan before news.

 

Will Anderson Looking For Bronies // Hey Ocean CD Release Party // SEASON THREE SPOILER

 

 

Cereal here, grouping somewhat related news items for fun and profit.

William Anderson, whom you may remember as the most badass person on the face of the entire planet, just landed in Rome and wants to know if there are any pony fans in the area he can hang out with. Be sure to flood him with requests! Make his trip special. Tell him Cereal sent you.

In other news that may or may not be related, I’m sure most of you are aware that Ashleigh Ball (the voice of Rainbow Dash and Applejack) heads her own band called ‘Hey Ocean!’. For fans in Vancouver on June 16, the band is having a concert and CD release show at the Vogue Theater. It’s $20 and you can find more details here.

And just in case that’s not enough news for you, there’s a spoiler for season three under the page break, tweeted by Tara Strong herself. You’ve been warned!

 

 

 

Yep, Trolla Strong at it again. Now for something from AJ/RD’s VA, Ashleigh Ball.

 

 

 

 

 

Support Ash’s band by visiting their site at HeyOcean.com and buying merch.

Let’s move on.

 

Bleach Anime Ending Pleases Fans

Author: Artefact

The better part of a decade of Bleach anime has finally drawn to a close, with its many quick-to-complain fans seemingly satisfied the series ended fittingly, and the hero’s future neatly summed up as “unemployment.”

Just how much is left in the manga is not clear, but it is thought that it may end at some point.

Rather than ponder the fate of post-Bleach shonen anime, one fan shares this most pressing concern.

“Is she nopan? She’s walking about town nopan?
If this is nopan, foreigners may misunderstand this as Japanese all being HENTAI.
It should really be made clear if she’s wearing pantsu or not.”

Barbarian viewers take note – Bleach is most assuredly not a “HENTAI” anime, and the concern of its Japanese fans about the cast’s underwear status is solely out of concern for the good name of Japan’s anime industry.

 

Gallery post. Enjoy. And now this.

 

YouTube Child Chaser Commits Suicide

Author: Artefact

A man who uploaded a video of himself chasing a schoolboy on a bicycle in his car whilst threatening to run him off the road to YouTube has committed suicide, despite police and the boy declining to press charges, prompting furious speculation as to why he would kill himself when he remained anonymous and faced no punishment.

The incident began in July of 2011, when a Himeji company employee in his forties apparently succumbed to road rage and began chasing a middle schooler on a bicycle, screaming various threats against the boy, including telling him he would ram him into the river.

He recorded the entire chase on his dashboard camera, and for reasons which are not clear decided it would be a good idea to upload the video onto Youtube:

 

 

 

He later deleted the video, but by then mirrors had proliferated and it was too late, and soon the police became involved.

The boy being chased was less than fazed by his ordeal, brushing off his pursuer as not worth bothering with – “I got through it fine. I’m not scared of some guy like that.”

He declined to press any charges against the man (with a complaint from his victim he could have been charged with misdemeanour intimidation or similar), and police had to settle for issuing him a verbal caution and making him sign a written pledge not to do it again.

The Internet, however, was much less forgiving – viewers of the video clamoured for his arrest and denounced him with much vitriol, outraged by his reckless and potentially murderous conduct. The media soon picked the story up as well.

All this was evidently too much for the schoolboy chaser – on the 27th, Tottori prefecture police reported discovering him dead, in what they are treating as a suicide.

There appears to be very little sympathy online, but there is a great deal of curiosity as to what actually transpired:

“This guy had no balls at all, did he?”

“He gets hit back and he kills himself…”

“This is the happiest news I’ve heard all year.”

“The kid didn’t even file a complaint. Why’d he kill himself?”

“He’s trying to get back at the kid.”

“He killed himself to atone. A happy end.”

“Did the kid even do anything to provoke this?”

“This is not going to leave a nice aftertaste for the kid.”

“You guys drove another one to suicide I see.”

“Nobody actually found out who he was and put it online, did they?”

“Nobody found out who he was. There should not have been any public impact on his life.”

“Scum has died, that is all.”

“He was probably up to all sorts of other dodgy stuff which would have ruined him if it got out.”

“If he had any real sensitivity he would never have uploaded that.”

“Apparently he went missing shortly after this blew up, after saying he didn’t think it would be this big of a deal.”

“Watch the video. Guys like that are a waste of oxygen.”

“The classic case of a dog whose bark was worse than his bite.”

“He probably had a mental illness of some sort.”

“A real ruffian wouldn’t have uploaded it like that. He was just a total coward in the end.”

“He had probably done other stuff which would have come out if anyone investigated.”

“Could have been his family which applied the pressure.”

“Was this really a suicide?”

“Why was he found in Tottori? With no complaint filed against him he basically got off scot-free.”

“He was probably unstable to start with. I’m more worried about the effect him killing himself will have on the schoolboy…”

 

Yay, An Heroes everywhere. Win!!

 

Daughters Disguised: The Afghan girls who are dressed and raised as boys

By Tahir Qadiry BBC Persian, Kabul

When Azita Rafhat, a former member of the Afghan parliament, gets her daughters ready for school, she dresses one of the girls differently.

Three of her daughters are clothed in white garments and their heads covered with white scarves, but a fourth girl, Mehrnoush, is dressed in a suit and tie. When they get outside, Mehrnoush is no longer a girl but a boy named Mehran.

Azita Rafhat didn’t have a son, and to fill the gap and avoid people’s taunts for not having a son, she opted for this radical decision. It was very simple, thanks to a haircut and some boyish clothes.

There is even a name for this tradition in Afghanistan – Bacha Posh, or disguising girls as boys.

“When you have a good position in Afghanistan and are well off, people look at you differently. They say your life becomes complete only if you have a son,” she says.

There has always been a preference for having sons in Afghanistan, for various economic and social reasons.

Ms Rahfhat’s husband, Ezatullah Rafhat, thinks having a son is a symbol of prestige and honour.

“Whoever came [to our house] would say: ‘Oh, we’re sorry for you not having a son.’ So we thought it would be a good idea to disguise our daughter, as she wanted this too.”

Azita Rafhat is not the only mother who has decided to do this.

Not girlish

Many girls disguised as boys can be found in Afghan markets. Some families disguise their daughters as boys so that they can easily work on the streets to feed their families.

Some of these girls who introduce themselves as boys sell things like water and chewing gum. They appear to be aged anywhere between about five and 12. None of them would talk to me about their lives as boys.

Girls brought up as boys do not stay like this all their lives. When they turn 17 or 18 they live life as a girl once again – but the change is not so simple.

Elaha lives in Mazar-e Sharif in northern Afghanistan. She lived as a boy for 20 years because her family didn’t have a son and reverted only two years ago when she had to go to university.

However, she does not feel fully female: she says her habits are not girlish and she does not want to get married.

“When I was a kid my parents disguised me as a boy because I didn’t have a brother. Until very recently, as a boy, I would go out, play with other boys and have more freedom.”

She has returned reluctantly to her gender and says she has done it only because of the social traditions.

“If my parents force me to get married, I will compensate for the sorrows of Afghan women and beat my husband so badly that he will take me to court every day.”

Common story

Atiqullah Ansari, head of the famous blue mosque in Mazar-e Sharif, says the tradition is about appealing to the divine.

He says those families who do not have a son disguise their daughters as boys for good luck so that God gives them a son.

Mothers who do not have sons come to the shrine of Hazrat-e Ali and ask him to grant them sons, he adds.

Atiqullah Ansari says that according to Islam the girls who live as boys must cover their heads when they come of age.

In Afghanistan, stories like this have become more common. Almost everyone has relatives or neighbours who have tried this.

Qazi Sayed Mohammad Sami Balkh Human Rights Commission

Fariba Majid, the head of the Women’s Rights Department in the northern province of Balkh, used to go by the boy’s name Wahid.

“I was the third daughter in my family and when I was born my parents decided to disguise me as a boy,” she says.

“I would work with my father at his shop and even go to Kabul to bring goods from there.”

She thinks that experience helped her gain confidence and helped her get where she is today.

It is not surprising that even Azita Rafhat, mother of Mehran, once used to live as a boy.

“Let me tell you a secret,” she says. “When I was a kid, I used to live as a boy and work with my father.

“I experienced both the world of men and of women and it helped me to be more ambitious in my career.”

‘Breach of rights’

The tradition has existed in Afghanistan for centuries. According to Daud Rawish, a sociologist in Kabul, it may have started when Afghans had to fight their invaders and for this women needed to be disguised as men.

But Qazi Sayed Mohammad Sami, head of the Balkh Human Rights Commission, calls it a breach of human rights.

“We cannot change someone’s gender for a while. You cannot change a girl to a boy for a short period of time. It’s against humanity,” he says.

The tradition has had a damaging effect on some girls who feel they have missed out on essential childhood memories as well as losing their identity.

For others it has been good experiencing freedoms they would never have had if they had lived as girls.

But for many the key question is: will there be a day when Afghan girls get as much freedom and respect as boys?

 

And now for stories from the cockpit.

 


JetBlue pilot faces federal charges

By Bart Jansen

An affidavit unsealed Wednesday states that Capt. Clayton Osbon told his co-pilots that things didn’t matter during a New York flight bound for Las Vegas. Court documents say Osbon told the plane’s first officer, “We’re not going to Vegas” and began giving a sermon.

Passengers wrestled Osbon, 49, to the ground after he left the cockpit and sprinted down the cabin screaming and urging everyone to pray. The plane made an emergency landing in Amarillo, Texas. No one on board was hurt.

Osbon, a 12-year veteran of the airline, was suspended by the airline and is undergoing medical care. If convicted of interfering with a flight crew, he could face up to 20 years’ imprisonment and up to $250,000 in fines.

An FBI affidavit filed with the complaint said Osbon arrived later than he should have for Flight 191 and missed the crew briefing. After takeoff, Osbon told his co-pilot he was being evaluated by someone, then began talking about religion in an incoherent way, according to the affidavit from FBI Agent John Whitworth.

The co-pilot became concerned when Osbon said, “Things just don’t matter” and “We need to take a leap of faith,” according to the affidavit.

Osbon abruptly left the cockpit to go to the forward lavatory, alarming the rest of the flight crew when he didn’t follow the company’s protocol for leaving the cockpit, according to the affidavit.

When flight attendants met Osbon and asked him what was wrong, he became aggressive and banged on the door of the occupied lavatory, saying he needed to get inside.

Osbon walked to the rear of the aircraft but along the way stopped and asked a male passenger if he had a problem. Osbon then sprinted back to the forward galley and tried to enter his code to re-enter the cockpit.

The co-pilot asked over the intercom for passengers to restrain Osbon, which they did, and he yelled comments about Jesus, Sept. 11, Iraq, Iran and terrorists.

Osbon was removed from the aircraft and taken to a facility in the Northwest Texas Healthcare System in Amarillo for medical evaluation, where he remains.

The case is being investigated by the FBI, along with the Federal Aviation Administration, the Transportation Security Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board and Amarillo police.

JetBlue CEO Dave Barger told NBC’s Today show Wednesday that Osbon had been a “consummate professional.”

Barger said Tuesday’s incident began as a “medical situation” and became a “security situation” as passengers and crewmembers restrained him.

“I’ve known the captain personally for a long period of time,” Barger said of Osbon. “There’s been no indication of this at all in the past.”

Osbon’s LinkedIn page describes him as a flight-standards captain who works in pilot recruitment and leadership development. He earned degrees from Hawthorne College in aeronautical physics and Carnegie Mellon University in physics.

Barger commended the company’s workers and passengers for responding well to the incident.

“That was a tough situation at altitude,” Barger said. “The customers and crew did a great job.”

The incident was a rare one and frightening for passengers.

At the time, JetBlue said that the captain of Flight 191, which was diverted to Texas on Tuesday morning, had a “medical situation” and that an off-duty captain traveling on the flight entered the cockpit before the landing “and took over the duties of the ill crewmember once on the ground” in Amarillo.

Tony Antolino, a security executive from Rye, N.Y., said he realized something was wrong on the flight when Osbon left the cockpit and starting walking erratically through the cabin, drinking water and becoming agitated.

Antolino, 40, said he and several other passengers realized they needed to subdue him after the co-pilot locked Osbon from the cockpit. The captain started yelling about Iraq and Afghanistan, then told passengers to start reciting the Lord’s prayer.

“That’s when everybody just tackled him and took him down,” said Antolino, an executive with a security firm headed to an industry conference. “We just physically stood on top of him until the flight was diverted and we landed in Amarillo.”

Because the incident was so unusual, other pilots are waiting to hear more before passing judgement. “We know what happened,” said Capt. Lee Collins, executive vice president of the Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations. “We don’t know why.”

Heidi Karg, another passenger on the flight, told CNN that the man was shouting, “I need the code! Gimme the code! I need to get in there!”

“We heard the word ‘bomb,’ ” Karg said. “We didn’t know exactly what was going on.”

Several passengers wrestled Osbon to the floor. David Gonzalez, 50, a former New York City Department of Corrections officer, told ABC News he put him in a choke hold.

“We got to get this plane down,” Gonzalez, who was traveling to an security show, said he recalled thinking. “This guy is nuts.”

Dave Funk, a retired Northwest Airlines captain now an aviation consultant with Laird & Associates, compares the co-pilot’s decision to bar Osbon from the cockpit to what Captain “Sully” Sullenberger did when he landed a US Airways flight into New York’s Hudson River with no lives lost.

“The first officer recognized the gravity of the situation and solved the problem,” Funk said. “The co-pilot is a hero not because he landed the plane safely but because he created situation to do that.”

Former pilot John Cox, president of Safety Operation Systems, said he could recall only a couple of incidents similar to Tuesday’s in 40 years in commercial aviation.

Cox said the first officer could have landed the plane safely, even without assistance from the off-duty captain. Cox said crewmembers are trained to restrain combative passengers under a program called Crew Resource Management that could have applied to the pilot.

“The same training to restrain an abusive passenger that presents a physical threat could be utilized against a crewmember,” Cox said. “It was great that there was another captain that was on the flight that could assist the first officer. Had he not been there, though, the first officer is completely capable and trained to land the aircraft. There was never a risk to the passengers.”

Airline pilots must have a first-class medical certificate, which is renewed annually if the pilot is under 40 and every six months over that age, according to the FAA. As part of that process, the pilot must have a physical exam by an FAA-designated medical examiner, who assesses the pilot’s psychological condition . The examiner can also order additional psychological testing.

Glenn Winn, a former airlines security chief who teaches at the University of Southern California, said the physical exams are very thorough. There is also random urinalysis. Airlines have numerous employee assistance programs to help deal with stress.

Bob Francis, former vice chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said for the most part, the JetBlue incident had a positive resolution. “A problem in the cabin in the aircraft is a lot less serious than a problem in the cockpit,” he said. “If there is a problem in the cockpit, you might end up losing the whole airplane.”

No official mental health testing is required. Instead, pilots are trained to be on the lookout for any sign of mental distress among their peers. “The mental health side is constant monitoring from your co-workers,” Funk said .

If someone’s personality changes drastically, he said, “we’re going to pull him aside. Management will get involved and not in a hostile fashion. We work with people.”

“I’d say the system functioned properly,” Funk said. “There’s a reason we have two pilots. There’s a reason we have flight attendants. … One healthy pilot on the flight deck who’s qualified would have no problem landing the plane.”

Antolino commended the co-pilot for recognizing Osbon’s behavior, getting him out of the cockpit and landing the plane safely.

“The co-pilot from JetBlue was the real hero for having the sense to recognize that something was wrong here,” Antolino said.

In August 2010, an upset JetBlue flight attendant, Steven Slater, pulled the emergency chute on a flight from Pittsburgh International Airport to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. He went on the plane’s public-address system, swore at a passenger who he claimed treated him rudely, grabbed a beer and slid down onto the tarmac.

Slater completed a court-ordered treatment program and was sentenced to one year of probation. “That was one moment; that was not indicative of who I am,” Slater said at sentencing.

On March 9, American Airlines passengers were settling in for a trip from Dallas to Chicago when a flight attendant launched into a rant on the public-address system about 9/11 and the safety of the plane.

Several passengers wrestled the woman into a seat while the plane was on the ground, and the attendant was taken to Parkland Hospital for evaluation.

Randy Reep, who has spent 16 years as a commerical pilot, said crew members are much more stressed out these days. “I think its indicative of where we find ourselves as an industry,” he said. “It is much more stressful in the sense that the job security isn’t what it once was.”

“What was once an extraordinarily glamorous job and arguably well paid is now an okay paid job and not as glamorous,” Reep said. “You have to take your shoes off three or four times a day to go to your office. You’re in charge of your airplane but you have someone go through your shaving kit before you even get on that plane.”

 

And now for something completely different.

Supreme Court rules that the Federal government can tell the world about your HIV status if it wants to

By Bill Mears

A divided Supreme Court ruled Wednesday against a California pilot who sued after the federal government publicly revealed his HIV status.

In a 5-3 ruling, the high court decided Stanmore Cooper’s claims of mental and emotional distress are not covered under the Privacy Act.

“The Privacy Act does not unequivocally authorize damages for mental or emotional distress and therefore does not waive the government’s sovereign immunity for such harms,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the conservative majority.

Three liberal justices dissented, while a fourth — former Solicitor General Elena Kagan — did not participate.

Cooper became a licensed recreational pilot in 1964, but two decades later, the San Francisco man was diagnosed with the HIV virus. As his condition worsened over time, he let his private pilot’s certificate and his airman medical certificate lapse.

In 1996, Cooper applied for long-term disability with the Social Security Administration.

“I was in bad shape, I didn’t have long to live,” he told CNN last year. But his health improved thanks to a cocktail of anti-retroviral therapy. He went back to work and wanted to fly again.

“I found out they were issuing medicals (exemptions) and I reapplied” to the Federal Aviation Administration “without revealing my HIV status,” he said. “Big mistake.”

He received his new pilot’s certificate but, unknown to him, a joint local-federal initiative called Operation Safe Pilot was launched in 2002. Using a spreadsheet, the agencies shared and compared the names and personal data of about 45,000 pilots in Northern California, looking for potentially medically unfit individuals who were also receiving federal benefits.

Cooper was among four dozen or so pilots tagged as a “person of interest.” When confronted by government agents, he admitted to a misdemeanor charge of filing a false report.

He was sentenced to probation and fined, and his pilot’s certificate was revoked. The retired business executive’s name was listed in a federal press release and later, through his prosecution, Cooper’s medical history suddenly was a matter of public record.

“I had been able to control those (with) whom I shared my information about my HIV status, limited to some co-workers, family, and close friends,” he said “And suddenly that was out of my control.”

Cooper, who was eventually allowed to fly again, sued.

“I chose not to reveal my HIV infection and that was a very bad thing,” he said. “I took responsibility for it and I paid the price. I was punished. And I think now it’s the government’s turn to own up to breaking the law and take responsibility for what they did.”

A federal judge found both the FAA and the Social Security Administration violated the Privacy Act with the information-sharing probe, but said under the law, only “actual damages” could be collected by plaintiffs seeking redress.

Since Cooper made no claims for economic harm, such as lost wages or medical expenses, he was out of luck. The judge found “emotional injury” alone did not qualify and dismissed the lawsuit.

A federal appeals court reversed that decision, ruling for Cooper. The FAA then asked the high court to intervene.

During a sedate hour of oral arguments last year, the justices stayed away from the specific claims of emotional harm made by Cooper, focusing instead on what the law says about qualifying for damages.

“The argument you have made — and I certainly understand it, that this is the Privacy Act and so it’s precisely these types of damages that you would be concerned about — really cuts both ways,” Chief Justice John Roberts said to Cooper’s lawyer.

“What you are saying is this (law) covers a really big chunk of damages, because this is what the whole act was about,” Roberts said. “And it seems to me that argument suggests that there is some weight to the government’s point: That if you are going to get that, you really do need clearer” language in the law that would immunize the government to some extent, from a flood of hard-to-disprove lawsuits.

The ambiguity has divided lower courts for years, and privacy experts say the ease with which the government can collect and share information in the digital age makes the issue of personal privacy liability ripe for review.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg repeatedly hammered away at the government lawyer arguing for the FAA. She said the federal damages provision in question is similar to state tort claims that include both emotional and financial harm.

“The person who is subject to this, to this embarrassment, this humiliation, doesn’t have out-of-pocket costs, but is terribly distressed, nervous, anxious, and all the rest,” Ginsburg said. “The act that the Congress is reaching, the impact is of that nature. I mean, pecuniary (monetary) damages ordinarily attend conduct that embarrasses, humiliates you, causes mental distress.”

Eric Feigin of the Justice Department admitted the Privacy Act’s language may be interpreted as allowing damages for such things as “humiliation, embarrassment and mental anguish,” but said because the phrase “actual” damages remains vague, the government should get the benefit of the doubt, tipping the case in its favor.

“Simply because a plaintiff may have suffered an adverse effect” from the privacy violation, argued Feigin, “doesn’t mean that the plaintiff suffered actual damages.”

Raymond Cardozo, Cooper’s lawyer, pointed out during the hearing that his client’s information was made public, and his name and HIV status are still posted on a federal government database. He also made a larger argument, that his client’s dilemma is one that may affect all Americans.

“Congress passed this act to restore the citizens’ faith in their government, and it made a solemn promise to the American citizens that in cases of intentional and willful violation, the United States shall be liable for actual damages,” Cardozo said. “Today, the government is proposing that “actual damages” be read in a way that renders this act virtually irrelevant. That makes a mockery of that solemn promise.”

Cooper attended the public session at the court and expressed optimism afterward he would prevail.

“They’ve betrayed my trust and I can’t get that back,” Cooper said at the time. “There was nothing to lose here. I had to do it. It was the right thing to do.”

The case is Cooper v. FAA (10-1024).

 

That’s our show for tonight, I’ll see you guys all next time. Buh-bye!

 

 

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