Via Motherboard: ‘Thankfully (if unfortunately) there’s something of a blueprint for conquering a sustained scorch: Australia’s Millennium Drought. Spanning from 1995 to 2009, it may not have been quite long enough to earn the mantle of “megadrought,” a term that typically describes a drought that lasts over two decades. But the Millennium Drought was long, harsh, and painful. It was the longest in Australia’s recorded history, yet the afflicted communities adapted, even thrived, in spite of the parch….’
Via Motherboard: ‘As of midnight on Sunday, for the first time since 2001, the NSA lost its legal authority to collect Americans phone records in bulk.
The Senate let three provisions of the Patriot Act expire on Sunday, including the controversial Section 215, which allows the spy agency to collect all phone records from telephone companies every three months, a practice that was ruled ruled illegal by a judge less than a month ago.
Two other provisions of the Patriot Act also expired. One of them allowed the government to obtain warrants from the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to spy on suspected “lone wolf” terrorists; and the other, known as the “roving wiretap,” allowed investigators to obtain permission to spy on multiple phones owned by one suspect with just one application.
While this might seem like a victory for anti-surveillance advocates, the truth is that most of the Patriot Act stands, and even this victory is going to be a short lived one….’
Via Bitch Media (thanks to Boing Boing): ‘Columbia University student Emma Sulkowicz carried her mattress across the stage at her graduation ceremony this morning. Sulkowicz and her friends have been carrying the mattress around for the whole academic year in protest of the way the school handles sexual assault issues. As New York Magazine explains, for her senior thesis in visual art, Mattress Performance (Carry That Weight), Sulkowicz vowed that she would carry her dorm-room mattress whenever she was on campus as long as her alleged rapist remained on campus. “The piece could potentially take a day, or it could go on until I graduate,” she said….’