Creepy Los Angeles citizen surveillance program

From HuffPo:

The LAPD has just released a new Orwellian commercial for iWatch, a program that encourages residents to spy on each other and report any “suspicious behavior” (whatever that means) to the authorities, who we’re assured will sort everything out.

[kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="344" allowfullscreen="true" fvars="fs=1" /]

Sleepy Time



“…sleep difficulties visit 75% of us at least a few nights per week.”


“Sleep was once considered an inactive, or passive, state in which both the body and the brain “turned off” to rest and recuperate from the day’s waking activities.”
“Understanding these patterns, and the factors that affect them, may help in making choices that will lead to better quality sleep.”


“…the exact number of hours that a person should sleep is unknown. Some claim to work optimally with only 3-5 hours of sleep per night, while some admit needing at least 8 hours of sleep per night (or more) to perform effectively”


“…everything we know about sleep … suggest that the technique can work only in your dreams.”


“I don’t really understand listening to Sarah Mclaughlan unless you’re trying to pass out, but if you are, she really does the trick”


“If a sleep-deprived person doesn’t sleep after the initial signs … the person may then start to experience apathy, slowed speech and flattened emotional responses, impaired memory and an inability to be novel or multitask…”


What is sleep? Why sleep?
Do we need to sleep long? Why the ‘need’ to sleep? Why is it so difficult to get up from sleep?
How much is healthy sleep? How much of the length of sleep is psychological and how much is biologically necessary?

More Links:

How to become an early riser:
Sleep hormones and coffee:


Discussion led by Ahsan Nawroj


G20 Protesters + Sonic Cannon

First domestic use of sound cannon (Long Range Acoustic Device) in Pittsburgh.

MARK FRAUENFELDER at boingboing says:

“This could have been a deleted scene from Children of Men.”

[kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="344" allowfullscreen="true" fvars="fs=1" /]

NYT Coverage:

“police fired a sound cannon that emitted shrill beeps, causing demonstrators to cover their ears and back up, then threw tear gas canisters that released clouds of white smoke and stun grenades that exploded with sharp flashes of light.

City officials said they believed it was the first time the sound cannon had been used publicly. “Other law enforcement agencies will be watching to see how it was used,” said Nate Harper, the Pittsburgh police bureau chief. “It served its purpose well.””

Flooding in the Southeast

From The Boston Globe:

Heavy rains, beginning on September 19th, dumped between 15 and 20 inches of rain over three days on parts of Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee. The deluge overwhelmed natural and man made systems, and the record-breaking downpour turned streams into rivers, swamping neighborhoods, washing out roads and, unfortunately, taking at least nine lives. Damage costs are estimated at $250 million, the cleanup just now beginning. Georgia’s Republican Governor Sonny Perdue recently announced that President Obama has issued a Federal Disaster Declaration for individual assistance to aid residents of five affected counties. Collected here are a few recent photos around the area, largely centered on Atlanta, Georgia. (30 photos total)

Evgeny Morozov: How the Net aids dictatorships

TED Fellow and journalist Evgeny Morozov punctures what he calls “iPod liberalism” — the assumption that tech innovation always promotes freedom, democracy — with chilling examples of ways the Internet helps oppressive regimes stifle dissent.
[kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="344" allowfullscreen="true" fvars="fs=1" /]

Climate Summit Concludes Where it Began

An article from today’s WSJ on the UN meeting on Climate Change.

“The world’s two largest greenhouse-gas emitters called for new action to curb emissions linked to climate change, but they didn’t make any concrete new commitments themselves.