Saturday Links

Saturday, October 6th, 2012
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30 Responses to “Saturday Links”

  1. #1 |  Stephen | 

    Very nice story with the “cop does not shoot dog” link.

  2. #2 |  Dave | 

    Re: “This is awkward”.
    Gotta love the category at KFYO: “National Buzz” LOL!

  3. #3 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    •NYPD cops run over a man, killing him. The department then sends his mother a bill to repair the police car.

    I’m wondering, in a just world, if his mother would be entitled to send the cops anthrax in the bill envelope, then ask for the cops’ Funeral or
    Hospital expenses to be deposited into her bank account.

  4. #4 |  croaker | 

    Photograph a thunderstorm, get a visit from the FBI.

    http://www.pixiq.com/article/houston-man-receives-visit-from-fbi-after-photographing-weather

    Gives new meaning to the legal phrase “chilling effect”.

  5. #5 |  Dave Krueger | 

    I don’t remember seeing this posted here. Hopefully I’m not repeating something that everyone knows already.

    DA: 300-500 defendants may be released in Mass. drug lab scandal

  6. #6 |  Dave Krueger | 

    #4 | croaker | October 6th, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Photograph a thunderstorm, get a visit from the FBI.

    Don’t be silly. It doesn’t matter what he was photographing, just that he was photographing something. Photographing things is now a government responsibility and freelancing is seen as a subversive activity.

  7. #7 |  Juice | 

    Dog not shot by police…but sent to animal control where she’ll be put to sleep within a week.

  8. #8 |  scott | 

    In a made-for-movie twist, on the day of Robinson’s funeral, cops broke down the door of the family’s apartment — and later acknowledged they had executed a search warrant at the wrong location.

    Why did this part of the NYPD story not surprise me?

  9. #9 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    I have long wondered how the women who are determined to eradicate all distinctions between man and women are going to explain to a generation of young women why they have to register for the draft.

  10. #10 |  el coronado | 

    Even sweeter than stories detailing the unplanned consequences to women of state-sponsored feminism – auto insurance rate hikes, getting drafted, all that – even sweeter are the screaming howls of absolute *rage* from the (admittedly still very few) women who find themselves paying alimony to their ex-husbands.

    So be careful what you wish for.

  11. #11 |  Over the River | 

    The dark-colored female pit bull jumped on his lap — and began licking his face.

    After which the dog started to lick his own ass to get rid of the taste.

  12. #12 |  parse | 

    It’s interesting that it’s apparently illegal for EU insurers to discriminate on the basis of gender but that they are free to discriminate on the basis of age.

  13. #13 |  Bill | 

    The worst part of all the outrageous police behavior stories posted here is the comments on the articles defending the cops or saying the victims deserved it. A kid if freaking dead (ok, not kid but young man) for stealing stones and there are several people happy about it. What kind of sick bastards thinks it’s a good thing. even if you think it’s acceptable and all that, you should at least feel the whole thing is a tragedy – but there are people claiming to be happy. I can only hope such sick comments are internet tough guys and not true sentiment, but I know better.

  14. #14 |  The Late Andy Rooney | 

    That was awkward, but it’s nice to see swift justice for drug possession meted out in Orleans Parish, even if the perp happens to be a prosecutor himself. Were that only the case for prosecutors in Orleans PAaish who knowlingly fail to introduce exculpatory evidence and put innocent people on death row.

  15. #15 |  Cyto | 

    The St. Louis story sounds like nonsense. They’ve got two families with a lot of cancer and a test of powder dispersal using zinc cadmium sulfide. Since they have no evidence that such a powder causes cancer, they just assume that they must have also been mixing in radioactive elements. ’cause, you know, somebody got cancer 60 years later. No mention of whether the families in question have known genetic dispositions for cancer, whether there are actually higher cancer rates among residents, or whether it is even remotely plausible for zinc cadmium sulfide to cause skin, breast, uterine, cervical and thyroid cancer.

    Also remember that the 1950’s was a time when all sorts of stuff was routinely sprayed into the air in cities, particularly in the south. DDT trucks were a common site, as was mosquito control using airplanes. (they still use aircraft to spray for mosquitoes in areas where they can spread disease)

    Not saying they are wrong, but the way they write the article it sounds like 911 truther conspiracy craziness. If they are right it is probably due to dumb luck more than any evidence they present.

  16. #16 |  Cyto | 

    #7 Juice

    My thoughts exactly. A 1-2 year old dog, in good shape and wearing a collar but no tags. So I’ll steal it and send it to the pound. ‘Cause, you know, I’m a hero.

    Huh? Hopefully the silly news media coverage will allow the rightful owner to claim his pet.

  17. #17 |  Nancy Lebovitz | 

    It might be worth checking with some European women about whether they think the equality rules have a net good effect on their lives.

    I’m not quite as quick to write off the St. Louis story as Cyto is– I agree that more research is needed, but cadmium is quite a nasty poison even if there’s no radioactivity involved. People would have been breathing and eating the dust for a very long time.

    Also, what was the government trying to find out by spraying the neighborhoods?

  18. #18 |  Bergman | 

    Re: Nancy Lebovitz, #17:

    They were trying to determine how well a chemical/biological attack would work on a Soviet city. But if they had actually carried out such a test on a real Soviet city, keys would have been turned. So they committed treason instead. It was simpler and easier.

  19. #19 |  Nancy Lebovitz | 

    Bergman, I’m not sure your answer makes sense.

    If you’re attacking an enemy city, you don’t get to put sprayers on a high building, and you don’t get to driving around in station wagons spewing out who knows what.

    If they were trying to figure out how their fine particles would get distributed (not an entirely crazy idea), then they should have been running around with test kits in the days after they distributed the powder, but that isn’t part of the story, and I suspect it wasn’t done.

  20. #20 |  Cyto | 

    More on the Zinc Cadmium Sulfide story from Wikipedia:

    Operation LAC was undertaken in 1957 and 1958 by the U.S. Army Chemical Corps. Principally, the operation involved spraying large areas with zinc cadmium sulfide. The U.S. Air Force loaned the Army a C-119, “Flying Boxcar”, and it was used to disperse zinc cadmium sulfide by the ton in the atmosphere over the United States. The first test occurred on December 2, 1957 along a path from South Dakota to International Falls, Minnesota.
    The tests were designed to determine the dispersion and geographic range of biological or chemical agents. Stations on the ground tracked the fluorescent zinc cadmium sulfide particles. During the first test and subsequently, much of the material dispersed ended up being carried by winds into Canada. However, as was the case in the first test, particles were detected up to 1,200 miles away from their drop point. A typical flight line covering 400 miles would release 5,000 pounds of zinc cadmium sulfide and in fiscal year 1958 around 100 hours were spent in flight for LAC. That flight time included four runs of various lengths, one of which was 1,400 miles.

    So, the specific compound was used because it can be made into tiny particles (emulating a biological weapon) and it is fluorescent, meaning it can be detected easily in very tiny concentrations. It sounds like they sprayed a huge chunk of the country – further diminishing the odds that this cancer story has any legs.

  21. #21 |  Cyto | 

    Another quick read shows that Zinc Cadmium Sulfide is a mixture of Zinc Sulfide and Cadmium sulfide.

    Since it is the cadmium that is being questioned, note that Cadmium Sulfide is also known as Cadmium Yellow (which should sound familiar if you’ve ever painted). In addition to it’s use in paints it is used as a pigment in plastics. If it was a carcinogen of any note, we’d probably have detected it by now. Not that “nano particles” of the stuff couldn’t cause ill effects, just that the more you know, the less plausible their story sounds.

  22. #22 |  Cyto | 

    Further, further reading shows that Cadmium is suspected of being associated with prostate cancer in high exposure work environments (like a paint manufacturing plant). So probably implausible as a weapon of mass death by multiple unrelated cancers from limited exposure to the powder, but not entirely impossible.

  23. #23 |  Nancy Lebovitz | 

    Cadmium as dust seems to be more dangerous than you imply, but it doesn’t seem to especially cause cancer.

    Don’t you think it might be interesting to find out which neighborhoods got the highest initial exposure?

    Thanks for doing some research.

  24. #24 |  markm | 

    Here is the MSDS for cadmium sulfide:

    http://www.inchem.org/documents/icsc/icsc/eics0404.htm

    MSDS’s are written for large industrial-scale uses, so you need to keep a perspective in reading them – at least a filter mask is recommended for anything that can become an airborne powder, even coal or talcum. For CdS it recommends a filter mask plus some monitoring for signs of absorption into the body – and that’s supposed to be enough protection even if you work in a paint factory mixing CdS powder into the paint every day.

    CdS is a carcinogen with repeated exposures over a long period, but Operation LAC (as described in the link by Cyto | October 8th, 2012 at 1:21 am) would have been just one light exposure. The purpose of this test was to test widespread airborne dispersal of a powder – targeted at areas of hundreds to thousands of miles, not specifically at a city. ZnS + CdS was used because this mixture is fluorescent, so tiny traces can be detected with UV light.

    It sounds like someone has confused Operation LAC with something else dispersed from the ground. That would not make sense at all as a military test, but it is entirely believable that a 1950’s government would have tried spraying a city with insecticide. And that might be far worse than CdS. However, anecdotes about people with multiple kinds of cancer prove nothing: show that the cancer rate is higher than usual, and show that there weren’t other carcinogens from local industry, or even natural sources. Even so, cancer clusters will happen just from coincidence.

    But the big tipoff that this is unlikely to be a real cluster is all the different ailments the spraying is alleged to cause. A carcinogen doesn’t attack all tissues, it affects certain tissues in certain ways, and other long-term poisons are even more specific. Someone with four different cancers didn’t get them from one carcinogen – either she was hit by four different carcinogens over time, she has an inherited predisposition to cancer, she was horribly unlucky, or she just didn’t listen to her doctors and it was really one cancer that metastatized all over her body.

  25. #25 |  Frank Hummel | 

    Interesting story with chicks having to fork more cash for insurance.

    However, let’s get some facts straight. It is not discrimination as long as statistics prove a higher risk for one group of people. Discrimination would be if guys would be charged more just because they are guys.

  26. #26 |  Deoxy | 

    Discrimination would be if guys would be charged more just because they are guys.

    Actually, as best I can tell from actual real-world actions, discrimination would be if women are charged more than men for anything, for any reason.

    Men paying more is not only OK, it’s desirable.

    Decisions like this happen because someone has believed what the feminists SAY instead of just following what they BELIEVE and DO… and the feminist anger of stuff like this shows it.

    In fact, even in this one story, it shows again – the men are going to pay more for something and the women are going to pay more for something, due to the exact same decision… and what actually gets written about?

    Exactly.

  27. #27 |  Jay | 

    Deoxy,

    What about women ages 21-35 being charged more for health insurance while they’re in their prime baby-making age period? A healthy pregnancy is a nine month, 10-12k claim that a male would never have to pay.

    Men usually have higher car insurance rates because historically they have more claims than women.

    So you’re okay with men being charged more for some types of insurance because they’re a higher risk, but women being charged more because of higher utilization is discrimination?

    Maybe I’m missing something.

  28. #28 |  markm | 

    Jay, what you’re missing is the sarcasm.

  29. #29 |  Corkscrew | 

    EU gender equity regulations mean women will be paying more for car insurance.

    It’s worth noting that the same regulations also mean:

    a) men will be paying less for car insurance
    b) women will be getting slightly more pension (and men less), since their greater average lifespan can no longer be allowed for.

    If you accept that equality law is a valid function of government, then this seems to be a reasonable example of the genre.

    It’s slightly scary for insurers, though, because of “adverse selection” – insurers may be required to be blind to gender, but their customers sure as hell aren’t. The worry is that men will buy extra cover, because they can get it at cross-subsidised rates, and thus make prices even worse for women. Bad money drives out good.

    Oh, and, speaking as an actuarial trainee, it’ll be a pain in the ass to update all our spreadsheets. But we’re used to that over here.

  30. #30 |  Bill Poser | 

    I don’t think we have the whole story about the guy run over by the police. Even if he was at fault, there’s no basis for billing his family – he was 27, an adult. The less charitable explanation is that the city is over-reaching even further, trying to rip off a party with no responsibility for the bill. The more charitable explanation is that they are trying to bill his estate and that the bill went to his mother as executor.

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