Gunman: ‘Stand Up and State Your Religion’, Oregon Witness Report, NYT Link Withdrawn

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INFORM (and others) report:

…Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin said the gunman was slain in an exchange of gunfire with police officers. The suspect was not identified but CNN reported it was a man in his late 20s.

“Its been a terrible day,” Hanlin said.

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The gunman who opened fire asked people in an academic building to stand up and state their religion before he began shooting, a witness told the local News-Review newspaper

Kortney Moore, 18, was in Snyder Hall when the shooter asked people to name their religion and then began firing, she told the paper.

The shooting is the latest incident of gun violence in the United States, raising demands for more gun control and more effective treatment of the mentally ill.

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CNN reported that among the wounded was a female who had been shot in the chest. The Oregonian said that at least six patients were critically injured in the shooting, citing an official with Life Flight.

Andi Dinnetz, an 18-year-old freshman at Umpqua, said she was in the building next to where the shooting took place and hid in a welding shop along with a teacher and classmates until a police officer arrived. She said she was “fine, but shaken.”

“They walked us straight through the crime scene with our hands up,” Dinnetz said. “It was more tense outside. In the classroom, everyone was trying to make jokes and keep it from being as serious as it was.”

Roger Sanchez, a testing coordinator at the school, said students came running into the building where he worked. Read the rest of this entry »


A New Generation of Clandestine Political Satirists Are Flourishing in Afghanistan

Masouda Khazan Tokhi, a female Afghan satirist, shows cartoons at her home in Kabul (AFP Photo/Wakil Kohsar)

Masouda Khazan Tokhi, a female Afghan satirist, at her home in Kabul (AFP Photo/Wakil Kohsar)

Kabul (AFP) – From ridiculing warlords to poking fun at the political elite, a crop of covertly run Afghan satirical outlets are resonating widely with disenchanted citizens — and provoking the ire of officials.

Afghanistan’s spy agency last month rounded up journalists suspected of running “Kabul Taxi“, accusing the satirical Facebook page of imperilling national security.

“You can try to restrict satirists, even imprison them, but you cannot stop the flow of satire.”

The crackdown, which catapulted the little-known page to fame, triggered outrage and defiant Internet memes such as “I am Kabul Taxi!”, spotlighting a new generation of clandestine political satirists.

A blend of humor and scathing wit, the page launched by an unknown Afghan in April depicted a yellow Toyota taxi with its motto scrawled on its rear windscreen: “Life is bitter and the future uncertain”.

It tapped into widespread angst over corruption and political dysfunction.

Masouda Khazan Tokhi, the editor of Afghan satirical monthly called Achar Kharboza (Melon Pickle) (AFP Photo/Wakil Kohsar)

“The booming genre of political satire has a special place in Afghanistan, where all major problems plaguing the country — militancy, warlordism and corruption –- seem linked to what many describe as the venality of politics.”

Posts depicted high-profile politicians and bureaucrats squeezing into the back seat and descending into petty bickering and mocking conversations.

“Politicians are widely berated as insincere, power hungry and concerned only about the welfare of their own ethnic groups.”

Passengers have included President Ashraf Ghani and his ally in the national unity government, Abdullah Abdullah. But the Facebook page invited trouble when it targeted Hanif Atmar, the powerful national security adviser.

A Kabul Taxi post describes picking up Atmar and his 27 children, who are introduced as part of an oversized entourage of advisers hired on hefty salaries.

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Afghan satirist, Masouda Khazan Tokhi, 39, pictured at her home in Kabul (AFP Photo/Wakil Kohsar)

“The role of satire in Afghanistan is to keep influential people, especially politicians, on their toes. It is to make them aware that they are being watched with an eagle eye — if not by corrupt authorities then by the public who can expose them.”

— Anonymous co-founder of Afghan Onion, a new English-language satirical website that pays tribute to the US website of the same name.

The post mocks a recruitment process seen by Afghans as nepotistic and prone to favouritism.

Atmar was not amused, ordering the grilling of journalists rumoured to be behind Kabul Taxi on suspicion of exposing state secrets by naming his advisers.

“The crackdown on Kabul Taxi has raised concerns over free speech in Afghanistan, which ranks 122nd out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.”

Defenders in the Afghan media pointed out the names of Atmar’s staff were already posted on a government Facebook page — along with their photos.

“The government considers satire as terrorism,” Kabul Taxi wrote in the aftermath of the controversy, which sent its fan base soaring with the number of “likes” nearly doubling to 60,000 and provoking an outpouring of public support before it was suddenly taken down. Read the rest of this entry »


[PHOTOS] Poland: Badass Batman Trike

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This awesomely badass Batman trike is the work of Game Over Cycles, a Poland-based shop that specializes in building custom motorcycles and restoring vintage cars. Their Batman Bike is styled after the Batmobile from Tim Burton’s Batman and Batman Returns films. And for as phenomenal as it looks now, it’s actually still a work in progress.

Head over to the Game Over Cycles Facebook page to check out many more photos and the technical details about this custom trike.

[ via Laughing Squid and Game Over Cycles]


Former NAACP Official James Wilburn: Rachel Dolezal ‘Has Very Self-Serving Motives’

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SPOKANE, Wash. (CBS Seattle) — The nation was both shocked and engrossed at the narrative of Rachel Dolezal, the former head of the NAACP Spokane chapter who was outed as a white woman pretending to be black after her parents went public with the information.

The varying degrees of Dolezal’s family history, work for the NAACP, and choice of identification started a whirlwind debate drawing criticism, confusion, and concern from both the public and those who personally know her.

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“People can identify with another race but it doesn’t change their racial heritage. You inherit your race but to be transgender or transsexual you do not inherit. It is not passed down from your parents.”

— former Spokane NAACP chapter President James Wilburn

For many, the saga prompted a discussion of how Dolezal’s “passing” deception opens the conversation on race in America and if her actions may have damaging consequences to race relations on some levels.

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“Many people felt that her story was so outrageous that it sensationalized the issue of race. Rachel’s  reality is not the true African-American experience. It took us off the real discussion and issues concerning racial discrimination and victimization.”

— Former Spokane NAACP chapter President JamesWilburn

“Many people felt that her story was so outrageous that it sensationalized the issue of race. Rachel’s  reality is not the true African-American experience. It took us off the real discussion and issues concerning racial discrimination and victimization. Black men are losing their lives left and right because of the real color of their skin that they can’t put on Rebecca-Carrolland take off at will,” former Spokane NAACP chapter President James
Wilburn tells CBS Seattle.

“What strikes me as the most perverse and pathological aspect of this story is Dolezal’s relationship to and ultimate identity-theft of her black adoptive siblings, or at least her perception of what their identities mean to them and the world…”

The concept of race being fluid and being something that can be “claimed” is worrisome to many. On the opposite side of the argument, some have defended Dolezal by comparing the choice of race to the choice of gender. This defense itself is problematic for many fighting for civil rights.

“…Not least of all because I could not, at any given point in my life, despite having grown up in a white family, with no black people within a 15-mile radius, suddenly choose to present myself as a white woman.”

— Rebecca Carroll, Director of Digital Media & Marketing at Scenarios USA

“People can identify with another race but it doesn’t change their racial heritage. You inherit your race but to be transgender or transsexual you do not inherit. It is not passed down from your parents,” Wilburn says.

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“I believe she needs professional help. Someone with the appropriate training in mental health would need to assess her and make the appropriate diagnosis so she can get the help she needs.”

— former Spokane NAACP chapter President James Wilburn

Rebecca Carroll, Director of Digital Media & Marketing at Scenarios USA, notes that Dolezal’s lies shed light on important issues regarding her family relations and transracial (when a child of one race is adopted by the family of another) adoptees. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Who Lets the Goats Out? Berkley’s ‘Goats Gone Wild’ Goes Viral

BERKELEY — It had all the makings of a viral video: cute animals doing something unexpected and a catchy tagline.

Unsurprisingly, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s “Goats gone wild” video was a hit. The video showing hundreds of goats rushing down a hillside has been viewed more than 1.5 million times and shared more than 24,000 times since it was posted on the lab’s Facebook page Friday.

“We utilize goats at the lab in order to keep our grasses short and reduce fire hazards. In this video the goats are being herded (wait for dog at end) to the tree laden hill just below our Blackberry Gate,” the post said.

In addition to jokes and memories — yes, people have goat stories — the video also prompted some questions: What are the goats doing, exactly? Where are they from? What happens to them when they’re not running down a hill?

The goats are part of the lab’s vegetation management plan, said Thomas Price with Berkeley Lab.

The lab, which is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s national laboratory system and managed by the University of California, sits on a 202-acre site in the hills above the UC Berkeley campus. Read the rest of this entry »


Social Media Fail: Man Arrested After ‘Liking’ His Own Wanted Poster On Facebook

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eye-rollGreat Falls, Mont. (CBS SEATTLE) — A Montana man “liked” his own “most wanted” poster on a Crimestoppers Facebook page, which the group was able to capture in a screenshot under his mugshot before he revoked the social media move.

Levi Charles Reardon, 23, was arrested on April 24 without incident on felony charges of forgery in which he’s suspected of stealing a wallet and personal checks. The Crimestoppers Facebook page took a screenshot showing Reardon liked his own photo on the Great Falls/Cascade County social media page.

Reardon’s name appears under his own “most wanted” mugshot showing that “Levi Charles Reardon likes this” – a move the Crimestoppers page noticed and circled for the page’s other visitors to see.

Court records allege four of the missing checks were cashed by Reardon and there were two warrants for his arrest, the Great Falls Tribune reports. Documents showed that one of the checks was cashed at a grocery store after a law enforcement officer contacted Reardon because the missing wallet and checks written to him were reported as fraudulent. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Viral Vengeance: Man Video-Shamed for Molesting a Girl on an Indigo Flight

‘This man on the seat behind mine, put his fingers in the seat gap to touch me!!! I was very shocked for sometime to react. By then the flight went to landing mode. Then the moment flight touched down, i got up. Saw his hand was again on the side ready to take up any opportunity to touch me!!! I created such a scene, humiliated him in front of the whole flight! He thought like usual girls will keep quiet and he can get away with this! I have lodged an FIR now! He is a very rich man of Bhubaneswar and is now very humiliated in front of the people who know him. Cant believe the ordeal i had to go thru but being silent is a crime! The police officer was very helpful and the Indigo staff remained with me throughout. The man is under police custody currently.

I clicked his pictures and made videos, shouted so loud that the entire plane came forward to see him! i made sure i humiliate him as much as possible because i know law will do nothing’

source: YouTube


[VIDEO] Courage: Danish National Chamber Orchestra Performing Under the Influence of Murderously Hot Chili Peppers

Members of the Danish National Chamber Orchestra playing Tango Jalousie while eating the worlds hottest chili peppers. The orchestra is conducted by Chili Klaus – a Danish Chili Pepper enthusiast.
Unfortunately The Danish National Chamber Orchestra closes by the end of 2014.
Chili Klaus on facebook

http://www.chiliklaus.dk


Katherine Timpf: ‘Social Media Slacktivists Aim to End Middle East Conflict by Posting Selfies with Hummus’

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“In the Middle-East, everyone loves hummus, regardless of their religion, origin or nation.”

I grabbed this because I love the headline. Besides being a great hangout, they do great headlines. Above is a screen cap of the Facebook page, click the image to follow the link. Or don’t. Just say you did. Imagine whirled chickpeas.

From The CornerKatherine Timpf reports:

Supporters of a social-media campaign called “The Hummus Initiative” are aiming to achieve peace in the Middle East by posting pictures of themselves with hummus….(read more)

National Review Online


NASA Rocket Launch Frog Goes Viral

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Soon to have his own Twitter feed, Facebook page, YouTube channel, and Reality Show


Hong Kong billionaire offers £40 million marriage bounty for gay daughter

One of Hong Kong’s richest men has offered a reward to the man who can woo his lesbian daughter

Cecil Chao Sze-tsung, a property magnate, announced the HK$500million bounty this week after reports that his daughter Gigi Chao, 33, a University of Manchester graduate, entered a civil partnership with her long-term girlfriend in France.

“I don’t mind whether he is rich or poor,” Mr Chao said. “The important thing is that he is generous and kind-hearted.”

“Gigi is a very good woman with both talents and looks,” the doting father said. “She is devoted to her parents, is generous and does volunteer work.”

“Gigi is a very good woman with both talents and looks”

It was reported that Miss Chao entered the partnership with Sean Yeung, her girlfriend of seven years, who also uses the name Sean Eav, on April 4…

More via >> The Telegraph