Jul. 24th, 2017 01:35 am

Poll: Poetry Themes for Late 2017

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poll invites audience feedback about themes proposed for the Poetry Fishbowl dates in late 2017. Everyone is eligible to vote in this poll. I will keep it open until at least Monday night, and then I need to close it so I can post the advance announcement on Tuesday.

The structure uses checkboxes. There are 38 themes after condensing similar ones and dropping things we've already covered. You may vote for as many themes as you would enjoy prompting/sponsoring in a fishbowl. I recommend that you don't vote for ALL of them, so as to help narrow down to favorites.

Read and vote! )
[syndicated profile] guardianworldnews_feed

Posted by John Mullan

Using great literature to teach ethics to machines is a dangerous game. The classics are a moral minefield

• John Mullan is professor of English literature at University College London

When he wrote the stories in I, Robot in the 1940s, Isaac Asimov imagined a world in which robots do all humanity’s tedious or unpleasant jobs for them, but where their powers have to be restrained. They are programmed to obey three laws. A robot may not injure another human being, even through inaction; a robot must obey a human being (except to contradict the previous law); a robot must protect itself (unless this contradicts either of the previous laws). Unfortunately, scientists soon create a robot (Herbie) that understands the concept of “mental injury”. Like a character in a Thomas Hardy novel or an Ibsen play, the robot soon finds itself in a situation where truthfully answering a question put to it by the humans it serves will cause hurt – but so will not answering the question. A logical impasse. The robot screams piercingly and collapses into “a huddled heap of motionless metal”.

Related: Do no harm, don't discriminate: official guidance issued on robot ethics

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Posted by Nosheen Iqbal

She was brilliantly tough as Vod in student comedy Fresh Meat. But the actor, writer, producer and director is much softer in the flesh – and riven by angst

Zawe Ashton had nipped into an east London charity shop to buy some cheap emergency trousers when a man grabbed her by the arm, gave her a shake and told her: “You’re dead! You’re the woman that died!” Ashton had earlier spilt her lunch on her leg on the way to a meeting. Alive, but flustered, she mumbled an awkward “Thanks for watching”, and made a speedy zigzag to the shop till.

Ashton played Joyce Carol Vincent in the 2011 docudrama Dreams of A Life. It was the extraordinary story of a real, living, breathing woman; a person who lived alone in her London tower-block flat and was wrapping Christmas presents in her armchair when she died. She wasn’t found for three years. The TV was still on. Vincent’s life – and the little that was known about it – is one that still haunts me, having first read film-maker Carol Morley’s piece in the Observer.

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Posted by Sune Engel Rasmussen in Kabul

The attack mainly killed employees of the Afghan ministry of mines and petroleum, according to Kabul police

The Taliban have killed at least 24 people and wounded dozens more in a suicide bomb attack against a bus carrying government employees in the Afghan capital, Kabul.

The attack happened in the western part of the city during rush hour, and mainly killed employees of the Afghan ministry of mines and petroleum, according to Kabul police.

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Posted by Guardian Staff

‘Nothing’s going to go back to the way it was.’ It’s 1984. Will Byers may have escaped the Demogorgon and been rescued from the Upside Down but the horrors of that parallel world still filter through. And now, something even bigger and more menacing threatens the sleepy town of Hawkins, Indiana. Can the boys and their families fight it? And where is Eleven? Season two premieres on 27 October

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Jul. 24th, 2017 02:15 am

hi

wohali: photograph of Joan (Default)
[personal profile] wohali
sorry for the absence. been kinda busy. trying to get CouchDB 2.1 out the door. And some bouts of illness.

But this tab is back open again so I'll try and stream-of-consciousness this week.

yay?
[syndicated profile] guardianworldnews_feed

Posted by Graham Russell

Heavy drinking will kill nearly 63,000 people in next five years … football sexual abuse victims urged to come forward … goodbye, Snooty the manatee

Good morning to you, Graham Russell here with the news to start your week.

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Posted by Larry Elliott Economics editor

The latest monthly Guardian analysis uncovers signs amid the ongoing slowdown that pound depreciation may start to fade

The sharp fall in sterling triggered by the EU referendum result is having an adverse effect on Britain’s already weak public finances but has yet to bring about the expected improvement in the trade deficit, a Guardian analysis of the economic news of the past month shows.

In a period in which business confidence took a hit from the government’s loss of its overall majority in the general election, the Guardian’s monthly tracker found little evidence that the impact of a more competitive currency was offsetting a slowdown in consumer spending caused by dearer imports.

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Posted by Graeme Virtue

With Anne Hathaway set to signed up to a film that she will carry on her own, we ask: what can she learn from previous high points of the single-actor show

In Les Miserables, Anne Hathaway she won an Oscar for crying – but how is she with cryo? She’s just signed up for O2, a race-against-time movie centred on a woman who wakes up trapped in one of those sci-fi hypersleep pods so beloved of the Alien franchise. It sounds like a juicy premise for a tense thriller – O2’s amnesiac protagonist must escape before her air supply runs out – but it will also see Hathaway join a cinematic club currently dominated by men: movies that are solo showcases for one actor.What could Hathaway learn from other recent examples?

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Posted by Nic Fleming

Immersing oneself in air frozen to as low as -160C has its sporting champions – including Leicester City and the Welsh rugby team – but does it stand up to scientific scrutiny?

What do sports stars Cristiano Ronaldo, Jamie Vardy and Sam Warburton have in common? It is nothing to do with goals, tries or fast cars. All three regularly undergo whole-body cryotherapy, an extreme-cold treatment that proponents say can speed recovery, reduce injuries, increase energy and improve sleep.

Two major sporting achievements have helped drive a boom in its use. Some saw it as a decisive factor in the Welsh rugby union team reaching the 2011 World Cup semi-finals, while others believe it helped Leicester City overcome odds of 5,000-1 to win last season’s Premier League title. Today, it is used at the top level in many sports and is increasingly being marketed to keen amateurs seeking an edge.

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Jul. 24th, 2017 07:42 am

(no subject)

oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] heyokish!
Jul. 24th, 2017 11:59 pm

Comic for July 24, 2017

[syndicated profile] dilbert_feed
Dilbert readers - Please visit Dilbert.com to read this feature. Due to changes with our feeds, we are now making this RSS feed a link to Dilbert.com.
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Posted by Guardian staff and agencies

UK foreign secretary is visiting New Zealand for two days as Britain looks to strengthen its ties with its former colony in preparation for Brexit

British foreign secretary Boris Johnson joked on his visit to New Zealand on Monday that a traditional Māori greeting could be misinterpreted as a head butt in other countries.

Johnson is visiting the South Pacific nation for two days as Britain looks to strengthen its ties with its former colony amid a broader reshaping of Britain’s global relationships as it prepares to leave the European Union. Topics on the agenda include trade, foreign policy and international security.

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Posted by Larry Elliott

‘Tepid performance’ so far of UK economy and Trump’s failure to deliver tax cuts lead to downgrade to 1.7% and 2.1% respectively

The International Monetary Fund has cut its growth forecast for the UK economy this year after a weak performance in the first three months of 2017.

In its first downgrade for the UK since the EU referendum in June last year, the IMF said it expected the British economy to expand by 1.7% this year, 0.3 points lower than when it last made predictions in April.

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Posted by Helena Smith in Athens

The longest-serving Greek prime minister since the economic crisis began says he is leading the country out of crisis

Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister, has promised to defy his critics by taking the country out of its longest-running crisis in modern times. “The worst is clearly behind us,” he told the Guardian in an exclusive interview.

“We can now say with certainty that the economy is on the up … Slowly, slowly, what nobody believed could happen, will happen. We will extract the country from the crisis … and in the end that will be judged.”

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Jul. 24th, 2017 12:55 am

Everyone make their best dead faces

sovay: (Lord Peter Wimsey: passion)
[personal profile] sovay
I did not make it to the last day of Necon due to circumstances falling through, but fortunately [personal profile] handful_ofdust was flying back to Toronto from Boston, so I took the time-honored Sunday combination of very slow buses, trains, and shuttles out to Logan Airport and had a splendid time hanging out for two hours before her flight, even if I still miss being able to walk people to their gates and wave them off onto the plane. We had dinner and talked about everything from neurodiversity to Orson Krennic, Imperial Poseur; I came away richer by a binder of DVDs (through which [personal profile] spatch is happily poring as we speak: "We could watch Moana! You know you've also got Deathgasm? Ooh, Night of the Comet. Logan, that's good") and a Gemma-made necklace of amethyst, pearls, gold and amber glass beads, and a frosted-glass pendant that used to be an earring. Coming back, I foolishly thought it would be faster to cut over to the Orange Line at Downtown Crossing and that is how I spent forty-five minutes asleep in a sitting position on a bench at Sullivan Station because there were no buses and I was very tired. The air was cool and smelled like the sea. The cats came and curled up with me in the last of the sunlight when I got home. Worth it.
lizbetann: (lizbet face)
[personal profile] lizbetann
So, long story short, the ultrasound I had a couple weeks ago didn't show anything in the area that I've been feeling pain, so I'm going to get an MRI.

Just hoping it isn't another Demon Tumor Fetus Baby...
[syndicated profile] this_day_in_history_feed

On July 24, 1911, American archeologist Hiram Bingham gets his first look at Machu Picchu, an ancient Inca settlement in Peru that is now one of the world’s top tourist destinations.

Tucked away in the rocky countryside northwest of Cuzco, Machu Picchu is believed to have been a summer retreat for Inca leaders, whose civilization was virtually wiped out by Spanish invaders in the 16th century. For hundreds of years afterwards, its existence was a secret known only to the peasants living in the region. That all changed in the summer of 1911, when Bingham arrived with a small team of explorers to search for the famous “lost” cities of the Incas.

Traveling on foot and by mule, Bingham and his team made their way from Cuzco into the Urubamba Valley, where a local farmer told them of some ruins located at the top of a nearby mountain. The farmer called the mountain Machu Picchu, which meant “Old Peak” in the native Quechua language. The next day–July 24–after a tough climb to the mountain’s ridge in cold and drizzly weather, Bingham met a small group of peasants who showed him the rest of the way. Led by an 11-year-old boy, Bingham got his first glimpse of the intricate network of stone terraces marking the entrance to Machu Picchu.

The excited Bingham spread the word about his discovery in a best-selling book, sending hordes of eager tourists flocking to Peru to follow in his footsteps up the Inca trail. The site itself stretches an impressive five miles, with over 3,000 stone steps linking its many different levels. Today, more than 300,000 people tramp through Machu Picchu every year, braving crowds and landslides to see the sun set over the towering stone monuments of the “Sacred City” and marvel at the mysterious splendor of one of the world’s most famous man-made wonders.

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