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January 13, 2012

University of California to ban smoking at all campuses, on all school property

Speaking as a guy who really hates to get a face full of cancer-causing secondhand smoke, this is awesome. Maybe eventually there will be an outdoor patio in this world that I can use. UC system banning smoking from all campuses
The University of California is banning cigarettes and all other tobacco products from its campuses over the next two years, in a move designed to both protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke and prevent young people from developing the bad habit. Students and staff alike will be prohibited from smoking anywhere on a UC campus - including outdoor spaces, parking lots and private residences. There won't be any designated smoking areas. The main impetus for the policy is to reduce people's exposure to secondhand smoke, UC officials said. But a major benefit, they hope, will be an overall reduction in smoking among those who work or study on the campuses. "Our young students who come here as freshmen, who don't smoke but come to college and start experimenting, maybe they won't choose to smoke now. That would be a huge gain," said Trish Ratto, manager of UC Berkeley's Health Matters wellness program and a member of the committee that is developing the UC-wide smoking ban.

January 11, 2012

This puts me in the mind of that one Italian Futurist cookbook

"Soft Guerilla" Recreates Weapons with Harmless, Humorous Materials -- Man...

Continue reading "This puts me in the mind of that one Italian Futurist cookbook" »

How the Feds caught Arizona's white supremacist serial bombers

How The Feds Brought Down Arizona’s Suspected White Supremacist ‘Serial’ Bombing Brothers | TPMMuckraker
In a small trailer park in Catoosa, Okla., in 2005, an aging white supremacist made a startling claim to a woman he had met only earlier that day. He told her he was a serial bomber. According to federal court records, Dennis Mahon, was thumbing through an album of old pictures for the woman, showing off his Ku Klux Klan robe and other artifacts of his life when he began to tick off a list of places he claimed to have bombed since the early 1980s. There was an abortion clinic, a Jewish community center and offices of the IRS and immigration authorities. He told the woman he liked to use a mixture of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil. He said he added powdered sugar to the mix for an extra bang. He would set off the bombs at 2 a.m., he said, so that no one was hurt but a message was still sent. What Mahon didn’t know was that the woman he was bragging to was an informant working for federal law enforcement. And the trailer she was staying in was rigged with hidden cameras and microphones to catch every word. Today, the former KKK leader and his twin brother, Daniel, are scheduled to go on trial in federal court in Phoenix, thanks to the conversations they had with that informant, Rebecca Williams, over four years. . . . It’s clear from the court records that Dennis Mahon liked talking to Williams. He developed a strong emotional and physical attraction to her. ATF and Williams used this to their advantage. In one example, Williams testified that the investigators got her to pose for photographs wearing a bathing suit with a grenade hanging down from her neck in between her breasts. For the pictures, she stood in front of a pickup truck and a swastika flag. The photos were then mailed to the brothers. . . .

January 06, 2012

South Carolinian black church surprised to find itself landlord of KKK gift shop

AMERICA. Also, what the hell does a KKK birdhouse look like? Is there a burning cross in front of it? Or is it just full of ignorant angry birds? Black church in South Carolina declared landlord of KKK gift shop - latimes.com
A judge in South Carolina has declared a black church to be the lawful owner of a building that is home to a store that peddles Ku Klux Klan paraphernalia -- although it isn't quite clear if the ruling will impede the sale of the racist stuff anytime soon. The latest chapter in this long, weird and disturbing tale out of Laurens, S.C. -- about an hour northwest of the capital city of Columbia -- comes courtesy of Meg Kinnard of the Associated Press, who reports that Rev. David Kennedy and his New Beginnings church have been declared the rightful owners of an old theater building that houses the Redneck Shop, which trades in Klan robes, T-shirts with ethnic slurs and, according to its website, "bumperstickers, belts, mens and womens [sic] swimsuits, one or two piece, cotton or nylon flags, bird houses, and you name it..." The ruling will apparently allow Kennedy to inspect the building, something he had been unable to do for years. But Kinnard reports that it isn't clear if the judge's ruling means the shop will be closed. If it remains open, it will be difficult to imagine a more awkward landlord-tenant relationship.

January 02, 2012

On media consolidation and the illusion of choice

Media Consolidation Infographic

Source: Frugal dad