Blocked Crossings Force Kids to Crawl Under Trains to Get to School
When crossings are blocked for hours, kids risk their lives to get to school by crawling through trains that could start at any moment. Ambulances and fire trucks can’t get through. The problem has existed for decades. But it’s getting worse.
The visuals here are horrifying, and somehow still not enough to convince the company to act.
““I feel awful about it,” said Scott E. Miller, the superintendent. His district has asked Norfolk Southern for its schedule so that the schools can plan for blockages and students can adjust their routines. The company has disregarded the requests, school officials said.
Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. said that his experience with the rails has been similar, and that company officials have reminded him the rails “were here first,” running through Hammond before it was even a city. “To them, I am nobody,” he said. “They don’t pay attention to me. They don’t respect me. They don’t care about the city of Hammond. They just do what they want.””Posted on 2023-04-26T22:21:20+0000
End-of-Life Dreams | Commonweal Magazine
“In a high-tech, evidence-driven world of contemporary medicine, it was a dream that led a physician to conclude that my wife was dying. How was that possible?”
Moving and enlightening piece. Gave me a lot to think about.
“ “Medically,” Dr. D said, “Lisa is much better. Her vital signs are strong, and she is not experiencing any nausea. This is the good news. The bad news,” he continued, “is that your wife called the nurses in the middle of the night to say that she saw her parents on a boat outside the window beckoning her to come. I know this may not make sense,” he went on, “but we see this repeatedly in our patients. When patients report a vision like this, they almost always die within a day or two. I’m so sorry.” My wife died a little more than twenty-four hours later.
I have spent a lot of time since my wife’s death trying to make sense of this paradox. In the high-tech, evidence-driven world of contemporary medicine, it was a dream that led a physician to conclude that my wife was dying. How was that possible?”Posted on 2023-04-24T04:23:50+0000
The Amazing Story of How Cheesesteaks Became Huge in Lahore, Pakistan
Immigration patterns, global politics, and a bit of serendipity intertwined to make Philly's iconic sandwich a hit in the 13-million-resident megalopolis.
“Pakistan’s fast-food boom of the 1990s and 2000s overlapped with a rise in Pakistanis traveling to the U.S. for study, work, business and immigration. As a result, many of the food establishments launched in Pakistan at the turn of the millennium were brimming with ideas that those visiting the U.S. brought back with them. The cheesesteak was one of these.
All three of Lahore’s oldest continental cafes — Café Zouk, Freddy’s and CTC — have cheesesteaks on their menus. (And, just like in Philly, each claims to have been the driving force behind the growing popularity of the sandwich.) The cheesesteak at CTC, which opened as a bakery-deli in 2003, was especially popular in the 2000s. Freddy’s, opened two years earlier, in 2001, has featured its Philly steak sandwich from the onset. But Café Zouk, launched in 1995, says it introduced the cheesesteak to Lahore.”Posted on 2023-04-24T03:36:01+0000
The real reason bosses are freaked out by remote work
Why are so many CEOs ordering everyone back to the office? Because they think offices are "hardcore" and working from home is "soft."
“But turning back the clock and chaining the box shut is no longer an option. Whether America's chest-thumping CEOs like it or not, a new normal has been established. Women working from home are no longer the aberration — tradition-bound executives are. Steven Rattner, in his Times op-ed article, even went so far as to praise China — where many workers are expected to toil from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., six days a week — for its "extraordinary" work ethic. The old white men who lead corporate America may long for the good old days when every employee had to show up, in person, to toil in the mines for 72 hours a week. But the pandemic has disproved the myth that work and home function best as separate, gender-divided domains.
"The ideal worker in most industries has changed from 'full-time onsite plus overtime' to hybrid," Williams says. "That's a huge change. It's better for women. It's better for men who actually want to show up at home. It's better for people of color." It's better, in short, for everyone — even, ultimately, the corporate executives who are desperately trying to force their employees back to the office. Perhaps it would help if they knew that Pandora's box, in the earliest telling, was full not of evil plagues, but of gifts bestowed on her by the gods, at the order of Zeus himself. The more America's CEOs can unlock the gift of remote work, however "soft" or insufficiently "hardcore" it may feel to them, the stronger and more profitable their companies will be.”Posted on 2023-04-23T21:16:48+0000
The Age of the Crisis of Work, by Erik Baker
Illustrations by Grace J. Kim Something has gone wrong with work. On this, everyone seems to agree. Less clear is the precise nature of the problem, let alone who or what is to blame. For some time we’ve been told that we’re in the midst of a Great Resignation. Workers are quitting their jobs en...
"The malaise is easy to mistake for a motivation deficit, but it’s more a matter of shifting priorities. For better or worse, people are still happy to work when it seems to be in their best interest. It’s the extra demands of the institution that have begun to grate—the pressure to go “above and beyond” now rejected by the proverbial quiet quitters. Hence the divergent manifestations of the crisis among different groups of workers. For low-wage service workers, currently faced with relatively abundant job openings but a desolate labor-organization landscape, it makes sense to jockey around the job market in search of better pay and conditions. For overproduced professionals in sectors like academia, yoked by their credentials to a narrower (if usually more desirable) job pool, that’s less of an option. Instead they—we—turn at best to unionization, and at worst to quiet despair.
A legitimation crisis occurs, Habermas argued, when the state “lags behind programmatic demands that it has placed on itself.” Legitimacy evaporates when promises are broken. Here I think we can find the roots of work’s legitimation crisis as well. No less than the state, work makes promises to its subjects. Our culture has scripts about what makes work worthwhile, not just necessary; not a burden to be endured but an important component of a flourishing life. And increasingly these scripts do not play out as written."Posted on 2023-04-19T05:04:50+0000
Rare COVID symptom reported as latest omicron subvariant hits the U.S.
A new COVID-19 subvariant “threatens to shatter” hopes to stave off a new coronavirus...
"XBB.1.16, which reached reportable levels in the U.S. last week, could be behind an uptick of conjunctivitis, especially in children, reports from India suggest, alongside the more common symptoms of fever, cough and fatigue."Posted on 2023-04-17T22:48:08+0000
Harlan Crow Bought Property from Clarence Thomas. The Justice Didn’t Disclose the Deal.
The transaction is the first known instance of money flowing from Crow to the Supreme Court justice. The sale netted the GOP megadonor two vacant lots and the house where Thomas’ mother was living.
“In 2014, the Thomas family sold the vacant lots and the remaining East 32nd Street house to one of Crow’s companies. The justice signed the paperwork personally. His signature was notarized by an administrator at the Supreme Court, Perry Thompson, who did not respond to a request for comment. (The deed was signed on the 23rd anniversary of Thomas’ Oct. 15 confirmation to the Supreme Court. Crow has a Senate roll call sheet from the confirmation vote in his private library.)
Thomas’ financial disclosure for that year is detailed, listing everything from a “stained glass medallion” he received from Yale to a life insurance policy. But he failed to report his sale to Crow.”Posted on 2023-04-14T01:18:11+0000
Twitter Circle tweets are not that private anymore
PSA: Do not post your deepest darkest secrets on your Twitter Circle. It might surface on your Followers' For You timeline.
Holy privacy violations, Batman.
“Unfortunately, it is not possible to ask Twitter for confirmation, since its public relations team was laid off, and now the press email auto-responds with a poop emoji. But based on Twitter’s track record under Musk’s ownership, it would be surprising if this bug were fixed sooner rather than later — and the “Chief Twit” seems to have focused his attention on other more pressing endeavors.”Posted on 2023-04-10T23:10:03+0000
Texas judge suspends FDA approval of abortion pill; second judge protects access
The decision will probably be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, and the case could make its way to the Supreme Court.
I don’t even know where to begin.
“The highly anticipated ruling from Texas puts on hold the FDA’s approval of mifepristone, a medication first cleared for use in the United States in 2000. It was the first time a court ordered the FDA to remove a medication from the market despite opposition from the agency and the drug’s manufacturer. The ruling will not go into effect for seven days to give the government time to appeal.”Posted on 2023-04-08T00:38:39+0000
Tennessee GOP expels 2 Black Democratic lawmakers for anti-gun violence protests. A white legislator survived her vote.
Republicans voted on whether to remove the Democratic legislators for participating in an unauthorized gun safety protest on the House floor last week.
This is so openly fascist and racist I don’t know where to begin. TN lawmakers peacefully protested inaction on gun violence and got expelled for lack of decorum (calling it an insurrection worse than Jan 6). They expelled the two black men and let the white woman stay. The speeches (will link in the comments) are a must watch - he calls out how they didn’t bother expelling a child molester or someone who peed on another member’s seat. But, if you protest peacefully while Black… (insert Peter griffin meme)
“More than 250 Democratic state legislators across the U.S. signed on to a letter organized by the State Innovation Exchange, a progressive legislation advocacy group, that accused Tennessee Republicans of racist motives.
“The attempts to expel Reps. Jones, Johnson, and Pearson show a dark truth in the light of day: there’s a robust and racist connection between fighting against gun safety and dismantling our democracy,” the letter says.”Posted on 2023-04-07T04:05:38+0000
COVID caused brain damage in 2 infants infected during pregnancy -US study
Researchers at the University of Miami reported on Thursday what they believe are the first two confirmed cases in which the SARS-CoV-2 virus crossed a mother's placenta and caused brain damage in the infants they were carrying.
Really wish we’d stop minimizing covid.
“The newborns had seizures from the first day of life. However, unlike Zika, the babies were not born with microcephaly, a condition marked by small head size. Instead, microcephaly developed over time as their brains stopped growing at a normal rate, the team said.”Posted on 2023-04-06T21:03:27+0000
Clarence Thomas Secretly Accepted Luxury Trips From Major GOP Donor
Island-hopping on a superyacht. Private jet rides around the world. The undisclosed gifts to Thomas have no known precedent in the modern history of the Supreme Court. “It’s incomprehensible to me that someone would do this,” says one former judge.
I wonder if this is finally enough for the establishment to realize just how corrupt Thomas is and move to impeach. Like even I get trained on how accepting or giving a gift more than $25 is illegal (apparently $145 for judges) and this guy takes $500k vacations without disclosing them - all while saying he’s a man of the people and takes “vacations” to Walmart?
“For more than two decades, Thomas has accepted luxury trips virtually every year from the Dallas businessman without disclosing them, documents and interviews show. A public servant who has a salary of $285,000, he has vacationed on Crow’s superyacht around the globe. He flies on Crow’s Bombardier Global 5000 jet. He has gone with Crow to the Bohemian Grove, the exclusive California all-male retreat, and to Crow’s sprawling ranch in East Texas. And Thomas typically spends about a week every summer at Crow’s private resort in the Adirondacks.
The extent and frequency of Crow’s apparent gifts to Thomas have no known precedent in the modern history of the U.S. Supreme Court.”Posted on 2023-04-06T14:29:31+0000
Google and Amazon Struggle to Lay Off Workers in Europe
After announcing the largest rounds of layoffs in their history, US big tech companies are now learning how difficult it is to reduce headcount in Europe.
“While the different standards of treatment have not created friction among Google employees spread around the world, “people have realized the way things happen in the US versus France and Germany” are different, says Parul Koul, executive chair of the Alphabet Workers Union and a software engineer at Google based in New York.
“It is inspiring for people in the US to see things are different in other places – it’s a blueprint for what people can fight for,” they added.”Posted on 2023-04-06T14:06:33+0000
A Dismal Guide to AWS Billing
A Dismal Guide to AWS Billing⊕ Table of ContentsTable of ContentsPart one: If you want it done right...The CURCloudstatsWhen we talk about costValue in dollarsThirty days hath SeptemberPart two: Using CloudstatsSynthetic dimensionsSpeaking of dashboardsExample: S3 growthExample: Compute efficiency...
Super long read where I learnt a lot more about capacity planning and cloud costs than I'll ever need to know (hopefully). But the fundamentals and little nuggets of generalizable information make this too good to not share (especially the bits around how this relates to security).
"Whatever detectors you end up writing, I hope you keep a human in the loop. Even if one hour a day of one valuable person's time is spent winnowing the crud, escalating the worthwhile alerts, and automating where it seems good, it will save the rest of your people a lot more. The goal is still to replace yourself with a small shell script. But first you have to get good enough at generating & judging alerts to be worth automating."Posted on 2023-04-06T04:33:04+0000
C++17 creates a practical use of the backward array index operator - The Old New Thing
Possibly more than just a curiosity.
Gotta love C++! I'd always thought of this as a quirk to trip people up, but hey here's a semi legitimate use case!
"Therefore, if your evaluation of the index may have a side effect on the evaluation of the pointer, you can flip the order to force the index to be calculated first.
Astound your friends! Confuse your enemies!"
A 9-year-old girl didn't want her goat slaughtered. California fair officials sent deputies after it
Jessica Long's 9-year-old didn't want her goat, Cedar, to be slaughtered at the county fair. Officials sent deputies with a search warrant to get it back.
This whole story has been so messed up. I feel for the kid who had to suffer due to all the unreasonable adults here. The parents offered to reimburse everyone for the costs but the fair organizers were unreasonable. Also, I'm impressed the cops went 500 miles to retrieve a goat (likely out of their jurisdiction?) - don't they have anything better to do? Given the quote below, I do hope this does turn out to, uh, be a more negative experience for the fair than they hoped.
"“Making an exception for you will only teach [our] youth that they do not have to abide by the rules,” Silva wrote back to Long in an email reviewed by The Times dated June 28, 2022. “Also, in this era of social media this has been a negative experience for the fairgrounds as this has been all over Facebook and Instagram.”"Posted on 2023-04-01T20:54:35+0000
Why Americans Care About Work So Much
Workism is rooted in the belief that employment can provide everything we have historically expected from organized religion.
“The word chimera has two very different meanings. The first is a mythological creature composed of three different animals, and it is in that spirit that I’m predicting a future of human-machine co-productions. But a chimera is also an illusory dream—something profoundly hoped for that doesn’t come to pass.
The technologies that most empower humanity almost always produce a shadow ledger of pain. The steam engine unleashed the industrial revolution and brutally shortened life spans. Nuclear technology can power energy reactors or atomic bombs. The internet makes us productive and unproductive, delighted and miserable, informed and deluded. Like the future of everything else, the future of work will be, above all, messy.”Posted on 2023-04-01T05:18:56+0000