Uncategorized

Undercover reporter spent four months as a prison guard in a Louisiana pen run by soul-killing CCA

‘Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) is one of the world’s largest private jailers; it runs prisons and immigration detention centers across the USA (and is diversifying into halfway houses, mental health center, and surveillance for poor neighborhoods).

Mother Jones’s Shane Bauer went undercover at CCA’s Winn Prison in Louisiana, the state with the highest incarceration rate in the world, and spent four months meticulously documenting the way that CCA destroys the lives of the prisoners in its care and its own employees, while paying its CEO $3.4M/year.

Bauer’s report shows that CCA increases its profits by engaging in inhumane and illegal practices, eliminating library access, recreational and rehabilitative activities, and cutting back psychiatric care, drug addiction programs and counselling to a vastly inadequate level. Eliminating all these activities, limiting mealtimes to 10 minutes, and feeding prisoners sub-starvation diets means that they can also spend a lot less on staff, leaving guards exposed to hazardous conditions in overcrowded prisons…’

Source: Boing Boing

Uncategorized

A Mysterious Ocean Sound Discovered That Can Be Heard from Space

‘…Scientists from the University of Liverpool in the UK have discovered a strange sound emanating from the Caribbean Sea (part of the Atlantic Ocean). This whistle-like sound is so remarkable that while it’s too low to be heard by human ears, it can be picked up from space! They detected the sound when studying regional sea level and pressure changes, focusing specifically on the Caribbean Sea, because of its key function in forming currents that feed into the Gulf Stream.

While their research investigated climate change, the scientists quickly realized something unusual was going on. They saw pressure oscillations in their model that just didn’t make sense.

By zeroing in on these oscillations, the scientists realized they produced a low noise, described as a “whistle”. The effect of this sound is so powerful that it can be measured in space by looking at the oscillations in the gravity field of Earth. Further detective work by the Liverpool researchers led them to recognize the sound as a Rossby Wave, which travels west on the ocean, right into the Caribbean basin, where it disappears only to reappear 120 days later back in the east. Apparently, this wave is causing the seafloor to whistle.

Source: Big Think

Uncategorized

Brexit: a timeline of the coming slow-motion car-crash

Charlie Stross is in excellent form this morning about the likely outcomes from last night’s Brexit vote, hitting all the highlights: collapse of the finance sector when Euro-denominated derivatives trades relocate to an EU state; collapse of the London property market (a big deal as 40% of the UK’s national wealth is property in the southeast); sucession

[I think he means ‘secession’  –FmH]

risks for Scotland and Northern Ireland; the increased legitimacy of the reactionary right and xenophobia and racism as the “shy UKIPpers” realise (or claim) that they were more numerous than they had believed.

The Tories will have a leadership change. As they didn’t bother to appoint a deputy PM when they took office, secession

[I think he means ‘succession’  –FmH]

is unclear. Labour — whose neoliberal wing have been stabbing Corbyn in the back since his first day as leader — is sharpening their knives again.’

Source: Boing Boing