The Earth’s rotation doesn’t line up perfectly with our calculation of it, so to keep things consistent, we have to adjust. That’s why this weekend will have a leap second. This Saturday, just before midnight Greenwich Mean Time, clocks will count to 60 seconds, instead of 59.
POPULAR SCIENCE | JUNE 29, 2012
Archive for June 30th, 2012
Posted by Xeno on June 30, 2012
Posted by Xeno on June 30, 2012
In Sweden he’s not accused, just called to answer a question. If the woman he was with agreed to sex, but he chose not to use a condom, was it then rape and assault? The sex charges supposedly have nothing to do with his wiki leaks fame… Supposedly.
“Julian Assange’s Wikileaks published leaked diplomatic cables
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been served with an extradition notice by the Metropolitan Police.
Officers from the extradition unit delivered a note to Mr Assange at Ecuador’s London embassy.
Mr Assange took refuge there last week and is seeking diplomatic asylum to prevent being sent to Sweden where he is accused of rape and assault.
Scotland Yard said the notice required a 40-year-old man to attend a police station “at a time of our choosing”. …
The Wikileaks website published a mass of leaked diplomatic cables that embarrassed several governments and international businesses.
Mr Assange fears that if he is sent to Sweden he could be sent on to the United States to face charges over Wikileaks and that he could face the death penalty.
In a brief statement to the BBC, Scotland Yard said: “This is standard procedure in extradition cases and is the first step in the removal process.
“He remains in breach of his bail conditions and failure to surrender would be a further breach of those conditions and he is liable to arrest.”
Under international diplomatic arrangements, the Metropolitan Police cannot go into the embassy to arrest Mr Assange.
Mr Assange, whose bail conditions include staying at a named address between 22:00 and 08:00 BST, arrived at the embassy in Knightsbridge on Tuesday last week
Ecuador is considering Mr Assange’s application for asylum.
Posted by Xeno on June 30, 2012
France is switching off its groundbreaking Minitel service which brought online banking, travel reservations, and porn to millions of users in the 1980s. …
But then came the worldwide web. Minitel has been dying slowly and the plug will be pulled on Saturday.
Many years ago, long before the birth of the web, there was a time when France was the happening-est place in the digital universe.
What the TGV was to train travel, the Pompidou Centre to art, and the Ariane project to rocketry, in the early 1980s the Minitel was to the world of telecommunications.
Thanks to this wondrous beige monitor attached to the telephone, while the rest of us were being put on hold by the bank manager or queueing for tickets at the station, the French were already shopping and travelling “online”.
Other countries looked on in awe and admiration, and the French were proud.
As President Jacques Chirac boasted: “Today a baker in Aubervilliers knows perfectly how to check his bank account on the Minitel. Can the same be said of the baker in New York?”
Chirac was speaking in 1997, exactly half way through the life-cycle of France’s greatest telecoms innovation.
At the time, he could be forgiven thinking it would last forever. This was the high point, with nine million Minitel sets installed in households around the country, an estimated 25 million users, and 26,000 services on offer.
But of course, the story was already written. The internet was moving in.
Today bakers from Timbuktu to Tallahassee are not just consulting their bank statements online, but doing just about everything else as well.
The rise and fall of the France-wide web
BBC NEWS | JUNE 28, 2012
Posted by Xeno on June 30, 2012
A Bexar County Jail inmate committed suicide in his cell today using a plastic spoon, officials said.
Robert Rodriguez, 29, was found unconscious and bleeding by a guard in the administrative segregation unit around noon, Deputy Chief Ronald Bennett of the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office said.
“It appears there were self-inflicted wounds from a plastic spoon he had made sharp and used to stab himself,” Bennett said.
Rodriguez was arrested June 9 on misdemeanor charges of criminal trespass and possession of a controlled substance, and was booked into the jail’s detoxification unit the next day.
At some point since then, Bennett said, he was placed on administrative segregation, or lockdown.
He was not on suicide watch, officials said.
There have been other unexpected suicides in that particular jail.
Posted on May 21, 2012 at 2:14 PM
Suspect in double murder found dead in Bexar County Jail cell
A suspect in a San Antonio double murder has been found dead said local authorities. They say 36-year-old Corey Hiller took a bed sheet and hanged himself early Monday morning.
Last month Hiller was charged with capital murder in the stabbing deaths of his former girlfriend, 39-year-old Rhonda Hammonds, and her friend, 50-year-old Casey Sweetwood in April 19. … An officer reportedly woke Hiller at around 4 a.m. and started getting him ready for the court appearance.
While making regular rounds 15 minutes later, officers say they found Hiller unresponsive. His bed sheet was tied to the top of a bunk. He was not under a suicide watch. … Bexar County officials say suicide is rare in jail. This is the first case so far this year. In 2011 there were two.
Leroy Sanchez Jr., 25, died at the Christus Santa Rosa Hospital last Thursday, days after Bexar County Detention Center guards found him hanging from a bed sheet in his cell. Sanchez’s death now sets the Bexar County jail on the uneasy track to surpass last year’s inmate suicide tally. …
So far this year, three Bexar County Detention Center inmates have died in suicide attempts at the jail, the same number of jail suicides in all of 2010. …
A total of four inmates have died at the Bexar County jail this year, including Pamela Anguiano, 25, who died in the jail’s detox unit on July 20.
The frequency of inmate suicides at the Bexar County lockup started to raise eyebrows after 2009, when all six of the jail’s in-custody deaths were ruled suicides, three times the national average. Last year, acknowledging the problem, Sheriff Amadeo Ortiz requested a report from nationally recognized suicide-prevention expert Lindsay Hayes to identify problems and fixes for the jail.
In his report, Hayes called the jail’s suicide prevention system a “misnomer” and remarked, “It would appear that the jail system has an unexplained tolerance for potentially suicidal behavior.”
I’ve heard of guards who think they are doing society a favor by abusing inmates, encouraging them to fight each other and looking the other way as they kill each other. Do guards kill inmates and call it suicide? I haven’t found a documented case of that. If it were to happen, and a prison guard was sent to prison, I can’t imagine that person would survive.
Adrian Rodriguez, 31, was pronounced dead at University Hospital on Saturday. He had been found hanging in a detoxification cell at the jail Thursday, the Bexar County medical examiner’s office said. He died of complications of a hanging; his death was ruled a suicide.
San Antonio police had arrested Rodriguez, who has a lengthy criminal record, on a robbery charge June 21. A screening at the City Magistrate’s office and again at the jail, where he saw a psychologist, found “no indication that he was suicidal,” said Deputy Chief Dale Bennett, a Bexar County Sheriff’s Office spokesman. Medical unit guards found Rodriguez during a routine 30-minute cell check.
While in the hospital, he was given a personal recognizance bond Friday, so “he was technically not in custody,” said Adan Munoz, executive director of Texas Commission on Jail Standards. “We are going to follow up, if there’s anything there, but it’s not being handled as an in-custody death.”
Comment On July 25, 2011 on http://www.thebexarcountyjail.com/in-the-news/07202011-inmate-death/
When an inmate dies in custody the Sheriff’s Office must submit all documentation relating to that inmate to The Texas Commission on Jail Standards. They, in turn, review the paperwork and decide if procedures were followed. The Medical Examiner’s Office will also generate a report on the autopsy. That’s three different outside agencies involved. Maybe it was something the jail staff did or didn’t do. Maybe it was something the medical staff did or didn’t do. Or maybe everything was done right and it was just something that was going to happen no matter what anyone did….
The jail site lists a number of cases where a jailer, deputy or prison guard was trouble with the law, and a few for excessive force.
April 24, 2012 – 5:57 am – A Bexar County Detention Deputy, Trenton Wade, was arrested for DWI. Wade was driving the wrong way on 16o4. He caused a Ranger Rover to roll over when it tried to avoid being hit head on. Both drivers were alright.…. January 18, 2012 – 9:53 am – Detention Officer Corby Hood was arrested for being in possession of rock cocaine. Hood was pulled over by SAPD for an expired registration sticker. The SAPD officer noted suspicious behavior and frisked Hood. A package of rock cocaine was recovered from Hood’s jacket pocket. Hood has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.
…. September 20, 2011 – 5:48 am – Sgt. Robert Morales, assigned to the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office’s version of internal affairs, has admitted to illegally running a background check on a woman’s ex-husband. This charge is a class B misdemeanor. The District Attorney’s office is not going to prosecute Morales. Sgt. Morales has been re-assigned to patrol ……. September 18, 2011 – 5:11 am – Acting on a tip, the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office set up a sting to catch an officer they believed was accepting bribes to bring drugs into the facility. Jonathan Pommerening accepted the (fake) drugs, with the intention of smuggling them into the jail, in exchange for $300. Pommerening was arrested before he entered any of [...] ……. July 27, 2011 – 10:25 am – Ex-jail guard Alfred Casas was found guilty on two counts of bribery and one count of providing an implement of escape into a jail. Casas smuggled in a small hacksaw blade inside of a taco. He accepted two bottles of Xanix as payment.…. May 13, 2011 – 8:00 am – Deputy Maritza Perez was stopped on Pleasanton Road and arrested for DWI. Deputy Perez was in the reserve unit with the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office. The reserve unit is made up of commissioned peace officers that work in a voluntary, unpaid status. They are not protected by contract or civil service.…. May 13, 2011 – 7:52 am – Deputy Juan Pruneda was arrested on a DWI charge. An unknown disturbance between Pruneda and the bouncer at a bar on Main Street was reported to SAPD. When City officers arrived Pruneda was already driving off. Witnesses identified him to the SAPD officers who then pulled him over and arrested him for DWI.…. April 22, 2011 – 9:16 am – Ex-Deputy Daniel Melgoza received a 27 month sentence for the beating of an inmate in 2004. Melgoza was charged with deprivation of rights under the color of law for the beating and obstruction of justice for filing a false report. He was found not guilty on two other charges.…. March 13, 2011 – 4:57 am – Ex-Deputy Quintero was indicted by a federal grand jury on two counts stemming from two separate incidents involving excessive force on an inmate. Quintero faces charges of deprivation of civil rights under the color of law, a federal offense.…. February 19, 2011 – 6:20 am – Ex-deputy Raul Hernandez was found guilty of bribery for taking cash in exchange for fixing a ticket. He never followed through with attempting to get the ticket dismissed but just the fact that he offered to do it in exchange for monetary enrichment is enough to be charged with bribery.…. January 25, 2011 – 7:20 am – Deputy Nicole Bratcher is about to be investigated by the FBI for an incident that occurred in 2010. Bratcher, who was a member of the Special Emergency Response Team (SERT) at the time, is accused of excessive use of force on the inmate she was escorting. She was fired on October 14th due to this
Posted by Xeno on June 30, 2012
Deep sea worms use acid to eat the bones of seabed skeletons, according to US scientists.
The so-called “zombie worms” of the Osedax family are known to bore into bones and remove nutrients.
Fresh analysis of the root-like tissues the worms use to attach to bones has identified acid-secreting enzymes.
Until now scientists did not understand how the tiny creatures fed on bone, as they lack the body parts needed to “drill” physically.
Dr Sigrid Katz from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego will present the team’s research at the Society for Experimental Biology’s annual conference.
Found at the bottom of the sea living on the fallen skeletons of whales and fish, the unusual group of worms have caused fascination since their “accidental” discovery in 2002 by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI).
The MBARI team provided the whale bones and specimens used by Dr Katz and her colleagues.
Scientists were perplexed when they only discovered females but further investigation revealed that the males remained in their microscopic larval stage, living inside the female worms.
The unusual group’s name Osedax is Latin for “bone devourer”, and the worms have no mouth, gut or anus yet are still able to remove nutrients from bones.
Previous studies have revealed that symbiotic bacteria inside the worms digest the fats and oils extracted, but the question of how the worms physically bore into the bones had been a mystery.
Close analysis of the worms failed to find any abrasive structures the worms could use to mechanically “drill” into bone.
This prompted Dr Katz and colleagues to investigate whether the worms had a chemical strategy for penetrating the bones.
By analysing the worms’ tissues, the team found that acid-secreting enzymes were abundant in the root-like parts that attach to bones.
“The acid is secreted through the skin of the roots region,” said Dr Katz….
I don’t think the BBC is using the word ‘zombie’ correctly in this story… but it does make the story a bit more attention grabbing.