People – Slave To The System Tue, 22 Nov 2022 18:47:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 People – Slave To The System 32 32 In “People, Places & Things”, addiction remains a challenge Tue, 22 Nov 2022 18:47:01 +0000


Unsympathetic doesn’t begin to describe Emma, ​​the relapsed anti-heroine and cross-addict from Duncan Macmillan’s “People, Places & Things.” Unaware of what she is doing to her loved ones, toxic to her colleagues, deceitfully abusive of her therapy team, Emma is the offensive sum of her dysfunctional parts.

A musical, in other words, it is not. And without a compelling twist in this pivotal role, Studio Theater’s “People, Places & Things” would be a truly nerve-wracking session. But director David Muse found in Kristen Bush a performer who perfectly masters the formidable task at hand, which is to ward off Emma as her own worst enemy in the process of recovery while remaining compelling enough that an audience doesn’t feel thrown. in a desert of indifference.

Bush fulfills the essential mission and more, convincingly enlisting us as witnesses to the wreckage of his character’s life, and at the same time building on an audience’s stubborn belief in redemption. “People, Places & Things” takes us far and wide on a branch with Emma, ​​testing our faith in both a resilient patient and the effectiveness of 12-step treatment programs.

If anything keeps us involved in this rather familiar dramatic setup, it’s the almost clinical unraveling of Emma’s pathology, the sense that we’re in with Emma as she confuses counselors at a rehab center. British and undermines other addicts. She’s a suspicious drug addict. Macmillan – who in 2011 premiered another of his works, “Lungs”, at the Studio – takes us deep into territory that has been covered extensively before, in feature films, TV series, self-help shows from day and in-depth newspaper articles.

The production of Muse, staged like a fashion show at the Victor Shargai Theater between opposing benches, offers other standout performances, including Jahi Kearse as a drug addict with a more grounded perspective. value of the treatment, and of Jeanne Paulsen as a doctor who gently encourages Emma’s best impulses. You won’t come out of “People, Places & Things” – a phrase here denoting the myriad potential threats to consistent sobriety – with plenty of new edification. What you get is a scrupulously lucid account of a person’s seduction by mind-altering narcotics and the horrific struggle to loosen their grip.

If that and Emma’s ruthless portrayal fascinate you, then you’re a potentially satisfied customer for the 2.5-hour drama. I hesitate because the subject is so lacking in novelty and moves only reluctantly from the predictable. When we meet her, Emma is an actress in an Ibsen drama, fainting mid-stage and soon purposely landing in a clinic; Much of the play revolves not only around Emma’s ambivalence about a cure, but also the deception skills she’s honed on stage.

“People, Places & Things” is set primarily in the clinic’s therapy rooms, where actors portraying fellow drug and alcohol addicts reveal their stories and play roles with each other. The point is to face the truth, and the truth is Emma’s kryptonite; she wears dishonesty as casually as a hospital gown. Even though Emma’s defenses are gradually being torn down, Macmillan, to his credit, doesn’t offer Emma a great epiphany. Or ready answers. There are suggestions of a childhood in an emotionally cold home, but many people survive a deficit of caring parents without sniffing chemicals. or gourmet bottles of vodka.

The question of who loses control, and why, remains unresolved. The concrete matter of the play is the irreparable harm Emma does to anyone who trusts her. Perhaps the most powerful scene in the story occurs at the end, when Emma’s parents – played enthusiastically by David Manis and Paulsen – have the opportunity to tell her directly what they think. It’s not at all what she expects to hear, and at this point the audience, as unwitting accomplices, is also a little surprised at how it turns out. This is where “People, Places & Things” strays the most from the addiction story formula. The process does not always pave the way to forgiveness.

Debra Booth’s sets hint at the institutional blandness of an environment with few social distractions, but something could be done for the thumps one hears, offstage left and right, as the actors deal with the beds and other equipment they turn on and off. (A delay occurred after one of the props hit a door and caused some sort of malfunction.) Music by Lindsay Jones and lighting by Andrew Cissna add commendably to the harshness of the journey that Emma cut herself.

Bush’s uncompromising performance makes Emma’s nihilistic abdication of responsibility a virtue, pushing others beyond the limits of their patience. You learn that while recovery is an important step, not everything in life can be recovered.

People, places and things, by Duncan Macmillan. Directed by David Muse. Together, Debra Booth; costumes, Helen Q. Huang; lighting, Andrew Cissna; sound and original music, Lindsay Jones; projection, Alex Basco Koch. With Nathan Whitmer, Lise Bruneau, Tessa Klein, Derek Garza, Lynnette R. Freeman, Maboud Ebrahimzadeh. About 2h30. Until December 11 at the Studio Theater, 1501 14th St. NW.

]]> KOSA would let the government control what young people see online Thu, 17 Nov 2022 22:17:50 +0000

The latest version of the Children’s Online Safety Act (KOSA) aims to remove online information that people need to see, i.e. people of all ages. Letting governments, state or federal, decide what information everyone needs to see is a dangerous business. On top of that, this bill, supposedly designed to protect our privacy, actually forces tech companies to collect After user data than they already do.

EFF has long supported comprehensive privacy protections, but the details matter. KOSA consistently gets the details wrong, and that’s why we’re calling on members of Congress to oppose this bill.

Although KOSA has been overhauled since lawmakers introduced it in February, and slightly improved, it is still a dangerous bill that presents censorship and surveillance as a solution to some legitimate problems and some less legitimate issues facing young Internet users today.


KOSA is a sweeping update to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, also known as COPPA. COPPA is why many websites and platforms ask you to confirm your age, and why many services require their users to be over 13, because laws protecting data privacy are much stricter for children. than for adults. Lawmakers have been hoping to expand COPPA for years, and there have been some good proposals to do so. KOSA, for its part, includes some good ideas: After people should be protected by privacy laws, and the bill expands COPPA protections to include minors under the age of 16. That would do a lot of good, in theory: the more people we can protect under COPPA, the better. But why stop at protecting the privacy of minors under 16? EFF has long supported comprehensive data privacy legislation for all users.

Another good KOSA provision would require sites to allow underage users to delete their account and personal data, and restrict the sharing of their geolocation data, as well as provide a notification if they track them. Again, EFF believes that all users, regardless of age, should have these protections, and expanding them gradually is better than the status quo.

The bad

But KOSA’s main goal is not to protect the privacy of young people. The main purpose of the bill is to censor a wide swath of speech in response to concerns that young people are spending too much time on social media and encountering harmful content too often. KOSA requires sites to “prevent and mitigate mental health disorders”, including by promoting or exacerbating “self-harm, suicide, eating disorders and substance use disorders . Don’t get me wrong: this is a requirement that platforms censor content.

This set of content restrictions wouldn’t just apply to Facebook or Instagram. Platforms covered by KOSA include “any online platform that connects to the Internet and is used, or is reasonably likely to be used, by a minor. As we’ve said before, this would likely encompass everything from Apple’s iMessage and Signal to web browsers, messaging apps and VPN software, as well as platforms like Reddit, Facebook and TikTok – platforms forms with vastly different user bases and uses, and with content monitoring capabilities and expectations.

Many online services would thus be forced to make a choice: surfilter to ensure that no one encounters content that could be interpreted as ambiguously harmful, or raise the age limit for users to 17. Many platforms can even do both.

Let’s be clear about the dangerous consequences of KOSA’s censorship. Under its vague standard, adults and children will not be able to access medical and health information online. Indeed, it will be nearly impossible for a website to make case-by-case decisions about which content promotes self-harm or other disorders and which provides the necessary health information and advice to those who suffer from it. This will have a disparate impact on children who lack the family, social, financial or other means to obtain health information elsewhere. (To research showed that a large majority of young people have used the Internet for health-related research.)

Another example: KOSA also requires these services to ensure that young people do not see content that exacerbates a substance use disorder. At first glance, this may seem quite simple: just remove content that talks about drugs or hide it from young people. But how do you find and label such content? Simply put: not all content that talks about drugs exacerbates their use.

There is no realistic way to search and filter just this content without also removing a huge amount of beneficial content. For just one example, social media posts describing how to use naloxone, a drug that can reverse an opioid overdose, could be considered either to promote self-harm, as it can reduce the potential danger of a fatal overdose, or as providing necessary care. health information. But KOSA’s vague standard means a website owner is in a better legal position if they remove that information, avoiding a possible later claim that the information is harmful. This will reduce the online availability of important and potentially life-saving information. KOSA pushes website owners toward government-sanctioned censorship.

The ugly one

To ensure that users are the correct age, KOSA compels extensive data collection efforts that perversely lead to even greater potential invasions of privacy.

KOSA would authorize a federal study on creating an age verification system at the device or operating system level, “including the need for any hardware and software changes.” The end result would likely be an elaborate age verification system run by a third party that maintains a huge database of all internet user data.

Many of the risks of such a program are obvious. They require every user, including children, to hand over private data to a third party just for using a website if that user wants to see past government “parental” controls.

Additionally, the bill lets Congress decide what is appropriate for children to see online. This verification system would make it much more difficult for real parents to make individual choices for their own children. Because it’s so hard to differentiate between minors having discussions on many of these topics in a way that encourages them, as opposed to a way that discourages them, the safest course of action for services under of this bill is to block any discussion and viewing of these subjects by the youngest and teenagers. If KOSA passes, instead of letting parents decide what young people see online, Congress will do it for them.

A recent study on attitudes towards age verification have shown that more parents “are willing to make an exception or allow their child to completely bypass the age requirement, but then demand direct account monitoring or discussions on how to use the app safely.” Many also fudge the numbers a bit, to make sure websites don’t have their children’s specific birthdays. With the national wired age verification system envisioned by KOSA, it will be much more difficult, if not impossible, for parents to decide for themselves which sites and content a young person may encounter. Instead, the algorithm will do it for them.

KOSA also fails to recognize the reality that some parents do not always have their children’s best interests in mind or are unable to make appropriate decisions for them. These children suffer under the paternal regime of KOSA, which requires services to establish parental control at the highest level for those under the age of thirteen.

KOSA is a poor substitute for true online privacy

KOSA’s attempt to improve privacy and security will actually have negative impacts on both. Instead of using superpowered age verification to determine who gets the most privacy, and then using that same determination to restrict access to massive amounts of content, Congress should focus on creating strict guarantees of confidentiality for everyone. Strong privacy protections that prohibit the collection of data without voluntary consent address concerns about children’s privacy while making age verification unnecessary. Congress should take privacy seriously and pass legislation that creates a strong, comprehensive privacy foundation with robust enforcement tools.

Over 700 People Cited at San Jose Car Stunt Gathering Mon, 14 Nov 2022 20:58:00 +0000

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — San Francisco Bay Area police cited more than 700 people who gathered over the weekend to watch and perform drive-by stunts at San Jose intersections.

The San Jose Police Department said officers responded Saturday night to reports of “shows,” when people take over and block an intersection to perform stunts, occurring in multiple locations.

Officers seized 19 cars and it will cost owners $4,000 to recover them, officials said. They also issued hundreds of tickets costing up to $1,000 and called the parents of 82 minors in attendance.

The department says it also recovered a ghost gun and two stolen vehicles and is investigating a possible carjacking.

In a large and coordinated effort, officers arrested and cited 500 people at the intersection of Monterey Highway and Branham Lane after stopping cars from driving away, the department said in a statement posted on social media.

political cartoons

Cities across the country have faced similar issues in recent years, including Reno, Phoenix and Chicago.

In September, three people were killed and several others seriously injured in crashes related to a pop-up show in Wildwood, New Jersey.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Iran indicts 11 in murder of paramilitary Basij Sat, 12 Nov 2022 09:41:00 +0000

Iran has charged 11 people with the killing of a member of the Basij paramilitary forces during a ceremony last week to honor a slain protester, a judicial official said on Saturday.

For all the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or through the app.

The incident happened on November 3 in Karaj, capital of Alborz province, as mourners paid their respects to Hadis Najafi at the cemetery to mark 40 days after his death in the city.

Her death on September 21 came five days after the start of nationwide protests that erupted following the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini, following her arrest for allegedly violating Iran’s rules on wearing the hijab for women.

Eleven people, including a woman, have been summoned and charged in connection with the murder of Basij member Ruhollah Ajamian, Alborz province justice chief Hossein Fazeli Harikandi said.

The charges follow an investigation opened after footage posted on social media showed “a group of rioters assaulting and killing” Ajamian, the judiciary’s Mizan Online website said.

“Rioters attacked this security guard, who was unarmed, stripped him naked, stabbed him with knives, beat him with brass knuckles, rocks and kicks, then dragged her naked and half-dead body on the asphalt street and between cars in a gruesome manner,” Harikandi added.

Some are charged with “corruption on earth”, one of the most serious offenses under Iranian law, punishable by death.

They are also charged with serious disturbances of public order resulting in murder, assembly with the intent to commit crimes against the security of the country and propaganda against the state.

Amini, 22, died on September 16 in the custody of vice police three days after falling into a coma, sparking street violence across the Islamic republic.

Dozens of people, mostly protesters but also security guards, were killed during the demonstrations, which authorities called “riots”, and hundreds more were arrested.

The Basij is a state-sanctioned volunteer force that is linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Read more:

Will the US Elections End Up Killing the Zombie Iran Deal?

Iranian archer says she didn’t notice her scarf falling off

Qatar World Cup 2022: Full list of 26-man squads taking part in FIFA tournament

Better care for aging dogs and their seniors Wed, 09 Nov 2022 14:01:30 +0000

Dogs have a lot to teach us. In addition to the important life lessons we learn from our pets about friendship, joy, and caring for others, dogs also provide veterinary researchers with a good model for understanding the effects of aging in humans.

“Dogs allow you to examine the chronic influence of environmental and social factors in a truly unique way,” said Natasha Olby, professor of neurology and Dr. Kady M. Gjessing and Rahna M. Distinguished Chair in Gerontology. Davidson in College. of Veterinary Medicine (CVM). “We believe that all of the research we do on aging is potentially extremely relevant to people.”

This study of aging, or gerontology, is one facet of Olby’s canine research within the CVM. His endowed chair in gerontology—currently the only such position in a veterinary school with an associated research program—provides resources for his research on neuroaging and neurodegenerative diseases in dogs.

Olby also introduced geriatric medicine to the CVM curriculum, helping to set it apart from other veterinary schools by the degree of emphasis placed on this important and growing field. As the lifespan of dogs increases alongside that of humans, there is a growing need to study the impacts of aging on dogs and humans.

“One of the great challenges of modern society is maintaining health span as well as life span,” Olby said. “Now, with improved health care for pets, dogs are surviving longer and we are facing the exact same challenge. [as we do with people]. I think it’s extremely important that we don’t say “They’re getting old”, but that we pay due attention to the process, understand what things we can change in the process and improve our understanding of aging in general.

Treating patients is research

The unifying theme of all of Olby’s research — which also includes spinal cord injury, genetic disease mapping, and a neurodevelopmental disorder called chiari-like malformations — is that she works exclusively with hospitalized patients.

Unlike a traditional model for studying disease in rodents, in which disease is introduced to mice or rats in a tightly controlled laboratory environment, Olby’s research is conducted on aging dogs that live with people. at their home. His subjects are affected by the same social and environmental factors that affect people as they age, as they live with people. They are exposed to the same air we breathe, often the same food we eat, the amount of exercise we do, the chemicals in our environment, and the social structures of our families.

“There are so many opportunities out there because dogs are such a great role model for humans,” said Kate Simon, DVM/Ph.D. student who works in Olby’s lab. “There is so much work on cognition, dementia and even aging, in the field of human medicine. We all see the same things happen in dogs. We may perceive or measure it a little differently, or call it slightly different things, but it’s still happening.

Olby began his program on neuroaging in dogs in 2018 with an initial goal of developing protocols that were safe and did not harm dogs in any way. She wanted to find ways to quantify changes that can be seen in dogs as they age, such as mobility, postural stability, cognitive performance, vision, hearing and smell. Thanks to this study, Olby and his team were able to publish many articles on what happens to dogs as they age, and they now have enough basic data to conduct clinical trials.

Extraordinary Difference: Dr. Natasha Olby

A clinical trial, led by Olby and associate professor of behavioral medicine Margaret Gruen, is currently underway, testing the effects of two supplements on aging dogs. One increases cellular levels of an enzyme that helps with metabolism, which naturally declines as dogs age. The other supplement kills senescent cells, or “zombie cells” that should have died but didn’t, which consume the enzyme and cause inflammation.

“It was a very exciting test to race,” said Olby. “We are learning a lot about conducting trials in this population of very old dogs, with a focus on developing new therapies safely.”

Simon is helping run this clinical trial, which relies heavily on dog owners to complete regular questionnaires about their perceptions of their dogs’ quality of life, cognition, and mobility at home. Working on this trial increased her appreciation and affinity for working with pet owners, as she saw firsthand the bonds between them and their pets.

Kate Simon hands a treat to a dog on a leash.
Kate Simon holds a treat while working with a dog in the lab.
DVM/Ph.D. student Kate Simon performs cognitive tests with two of the participants in a clinical trial currently being conducted by Natasha Olby and Margaret Gruen.

“You see such a huge amount of care and owners really want them to have the best medicine, the best health, and the best care in, potentially, the last stage of their life,” Simon said. “I love seeing that.

“Because it’s something that’s quite different from human and veterinary medicine, it’s end of life and quality of care, and our understanding of geriatric medicine,” she added. “Dogs have someone who is their proxy, and it depends so much on what the owner thinks and what the owner perceives about their quality of life. So we try to match that to what we notice objectively in the clinic, through our reviews and through our gait analysis, and how that matches what owners see more subjectively.

Results and skills that translate

Much of Olby’s research on aging in dogs also improves our understanding of the aging process in humans. For example, one disease that Olby’s lab has studied in dogs is degenerative myelopathy, which is caused by a genetic mutation that is expressed with age and is comparable to an inherited form of Lou Gehrig’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in humans. The gene therapy trial they conducted for degenerative myelopathy studied a natural canine model of ALS in humans while developing new treatments for dogs.

This comparative or translational nature of Olby’s research, and the wealth of research done at NC State, were part of what motivated Simon to attend veterinary school here. As a combined DVM/Ph.D. student, she is studying to become a veterinarian while completing her doctorate in comparative biomedical sciences.

Learn more about opportunities for College of Veterinary Medicine students.

“I think NC State really exemplifies One Health and comparative medicine,” Simon said. “It seemed like the perfect fit and all I could ask for.

“It’s really cool to be at an institution that cares so much about research and really supports students who come with this training and want to pursue this, or haven’t been able to find the opportunity yet.”

There are opportunities for students at all stages of their graduate journey to engage in research at CVM. Olby has also had students from outside the university join his lab who are interested in science but want to work on natural diseases rather than induced diseases. For students interested in veterinary medicine, she pointed out that there are many possible careers beyond the small animal veterinary path that they might immediately imagine – although working with mankind’s best furry friends is always a popular option.

“Veterinary medicine is a degree that will allow you to have a career that could take almost countless different directions,” Olby said. “You could go to public health. You could be an epidemiologist. You could be a pathologist. You could work in the community, in shelters. You can go brief the DOD on biological warfare. A veterinary degree will give you such good training in so many different areas that you might find that all sorts of career options suddenly become very attractive to you.

38 people injured in fire on 20th floor of New York building Sun, 06 Nov 2022 01:33:00 +0000

More than three dozen people were injured after a fire caused by a lithium-ion battery broke out on the 20th floor of an apartment building in New York City on Saturday morning, Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said.

Thirty-eight people were injured, including five service members, EMS chief Joseph Pataky said at a news conference. Two people are in critical condition, five are in serious condition and the rest are minors. There will likely be more injuries as more families “come down and be assessed by emergency medical services,” Pataky said.

The New York City Fire Department responded to multiple calls about a fire at an apartment building in Manhattan’s Midtown East neighborhood with several people trapped after 10 a.m. Saturday. When authorities arrived, they discovered a massive fire, New York Fire Department Deputy Deputy Chief Frank Leeb said.

Firefighters “did an amazing job” saving many residents of the building, Kavanaugh said. They used a rope to save two people, lowering them through a window on the 20th floor. Leeb said the technique was a last resort effort.

A stunning video shared on social media on Saturday showed the rope rescue.

“What we saw today was our training, our teamwork and our absolute dedication,” Leeb said. “From the units that operated up there with the rescue rope to their transmission to our exceptionally trained EMS personnel to get these patients off the scene within minutes and dispatched to local hospitals.”

Other residents of the building who were not close to the blaze have been ordered to shelter in place until firefighters can get to all apartments, the FDNY said earlier. during the day.

Dan Flynn, the fire chief, said a lithium-ion battery for an electric bicycle started the fire, which was located just outside the apartment’s front door. He said it looked like someone in the apartment was fixing e-bikes.

Flynn said the city has seen nearly 200 fires this year caused by a lithium-ion battery.

“These fires come with no warning, and when they ignite they are so intense that all combustibles in the area ignite – so we have seen secondary fires,” he said. “And that’s not really what we’ve seen traditionally where the fires are slow to develop, we encounter a fully developed fire when the fire units arrive here. So that’s where it differs from what we have seen in the past.”

Matthew Perry hopes his memoir will ‘help a lot of people’ deal with addiction Mon, 31 Oct 2022 14:19:22 +0000

Matthew Perry lays bare his struggle with addiction in his new memoir “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing,” and told “Good Morning America” ​​he “can’t wait” for people to read it.

“It’s really exciting that people are reading this story and I hope it helps a lot of people,” the actor said of the memoir, which will be released on November 1.

In his book, Perry talks about battling and overcoming years of drug and alcohol abuse. He said he hopes speaking out will change people‘s perception of those who suffer from addiction.

“There’s a stigma attached to it, and that needs to stop,” he said, noting that the disease “doesn’t care where it goes.”

“…I hope that my telling my story will help end this stigma,” he added.

Perry said the book was “pouring out of me” and called his writing a “rewarding experience”, but one that forced him to look within.

“It came easily to me writing it, but then I had to read it to [the audio version]and it was really difficult,” he said.

These days, Perry finds meaning in channeling his past to help others fight addiction as a sponsor.

Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing in “Friends”.

NBC Universal via Getty Images

“What’s interesting is that I’ve helped 100,000 people at the same time on one stage, but I get the same juice, I get the same thing, helping one person,” he said. he declares.

Perry said he hopes his “Friends” co-stars will read his book, revealing he’s already “gotten some really great texts from a few” of them.

If you or someone you care about is struggling with an addiction, free, confidential help is available at:, the SAMHSA National Helpline at 800-662-4357, or for immediate situational crisis, call or text the National Crisis Lifeline at 988.

Bystander saves four people from fire in Iowa Thu, 27 Oct 2022 14:02:00 +0000 Terrifying video from Red Oak, Iowa, shows children escaping their home as it bursts into flames. The children’s mother says her children made it out safe and sound, thanks to someone nearby who sprang into action. Tender Lehman says she was in Montana for a family emergency. She didn’t know much about the one at home, when her house caught fire with her children inside. That’s when one driver’s wrong turn led him to do the right thing and save four lives. Captured on Ring doorbell video, you can see the Lehman family’s home turn into hell. Brendon Birt is the man in the video, pounding the windows on the side of the house. The smoke alarms did not go off. “Like every second that passed only got worse,” Birt said. Birt says he took a wrong turn on the road in Red Oak and just saw the fire start. “I just felt like someone was there because it was so late at night, you know? I just knew I had to act fast,” Birt said. Inside, three children alone at home with their 22-year-old brother. The blows and screams woke them up. “Everything was black in the living room. There’s nothing left of it,” said Christopher Lehman. You can see the three young children enter the front door through the smoke and flames. “They walked out the door. Like, I just wanted to break down and cry. Like, I don’t even know these people here,” Birt said. And what seemed like an eternity after that, the older brother escaped just in time. “I walked into a furnace of heat and flames on the front, the front wall,” Bryce Harrison said. The children’s parents were out of town when they received the call. On Wednesday, their mother Tender met the man who saved her children. Unfortunately, five dogs did not make it, two others survived. The house is a total loss. But Tender says at least they can move forward together. Thanks Birt. “They’re safe, and they’re safe because of him. I mean, lives have been saved here. Souls,” Lehman said. The Red Oak Fire Department said the cause of the fire is still under investigation. There are many ways to help the family, there is a Gofundme, you can find it here. Or you can Venmo @Tender-Lehman.

Terrifying video from Red Oak, Iowa, shows children escaping their home as it bursts into flames.

The children’s mother says her children made it out safe and sound, thanks to someone nearby who sprang into action.

Tender Lehman says she was in Montana for a family emergency. She didn’t know much about the one at home, when her house caught fire with her children inside.

That’s when one driver’s wrong turn led him to make the right call and save four lives.

Captured on Ring doorbell video, you can see the Lehman family home turn into hell.

Brendon Birt is the man in the video, pounding the windows on the side of the house.

The smoke alarms did not go off.

“Like every second that passed only got worse,” Birt said.

Birt says he took a wrong turn on the road in Red Oak and just saw the fire start.

“I just felt like someone was in there because it was so late at night, you know? I just knew I had to act fast,” Birt said.

Inside, three children alone at home with their 22-year-old brother.

The blows and screams woke them up.

“Everything was black in the living room. There’s nothing left of it,” said Christopher Lehman.

You can see the three young children enter the front door through the smoke and flames.

“They walked out the door. Like, I just wanted to break down and cry. Like, I don’t even know these people here,” Birt said.

And what seemed like an eternity after that, the older brother escaped just in time.

“Got into a furnace of heat and flames on the front, the front wall,” Bryce Harrison said.

The children’s parents were out of town when they received the call.

On Wednesday, their mother Tender met the man who saved her children.

Unfortunately, five dogs did not make it, two others survived.

The house is a total loss.

But Tender says at least they can move forward together. Thanks Birt.

“They’re safe, and they’re safe because of him. I mean, lives have been saved here. Souls,” Lehman said.

The Red Oak Fire Department said the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

There are many ways to help the family, there is a Gofundme, you can find it here.

Or you can Venmo @Tender-Lehman.

Protesters rally in DC for those incarcerated for marijuana convictions Mon, 24 Oct 2022 22:53:53 +0000


Wearing a 50ft inflatable joint with the words “quit Biden our time” printed on the side and threading green pot leaves on hats, flags and suits, protesters gathered outside the White House on Monday morning, demanding that President Biden is using his executive authority to release those incarcerated for nonviolent marijuana-related convictions.

His announcement earlier this month that he would grant massive pardons to anyone convicted of a federal crime for simple possession of marijuana did not go far enough for protesters, who point to the recognition of House officials Blanche that pardons will not lead to the release of anyone. from prison.

“It was a missed opportunity to bring about real change. The president could have done so much more than he did,” said Steve DeAngelo, founder of the Last Prisoner Project, a nonprofit working on cannabis-related criminal justice reform that has lobbied the White House on this issue, during the demonstration. “He really only did the bare minimum he could do to generate a positive-sounding press release.”

Outside the White House, protesters blasted audio from a clip of Biden during a 2020 debate with Cory Booker saying “everyone, anyone with a record should be released from jail, their folders deleted”.

“Keep your promise, Joe, let our people go,” chanted the crowd.

The White House has insisted that the pardons fulfill a 2020 campaign promise and would apply to about 6,500 people nationwide who have federal convictions for simple possession of marijuana on their record since 1992. is incarcerated in federal prison for simple possession alone, officials said.

The Last Prisoner Project estimates that there are approximately 2,800 people in federal prison for marijuana-related convictions, a statistic the organization says stems from a 2021 report by Recidiviz, a nonprofit organization nonprofit that uses technology and data to create tools for criminal justice reform.

Adam Eidinger, a longtime cannabis activist and co-founder of DC Marijuana Justice, who has worked to legalize drugs in the city, said part of organizers’ demands include the immediate release of 100 prisoners and the 2 800 by Christmas.

After Virginia legalizes pot, majority of defendants are still black

“The greatest civil rights tragedy of the modern era is putting people behind bars for cannabis,” Eidinger said. “If we get any interest from the White House and they are willing to arrange meetings with representatives of these protests, then I imagine we will call off civil disobedience and declare victory.”

Just after 11 a.m., protesters filled the inflatable joint and carried it down Pennsylvania Avenue to an entrance to Eisenhower’s executive office building.

Smoke billowed in the air as a handful of people lit joints on the sidewalk and loudspeakers – including hip-hop artists Redman and Dead Prez’s M-1 – swirled past a microphone.

In response to a request for comment, a White House spokesperson pointed to Biden’s past commitments, including on his website in 2020, which included Biden’s belief that “no one should be imprisoned for using illegal drugs only”.

Although public perception around marijuana has changed significantly, organizers are concerned about people who were convicted and sentenced before this more widespread acceptance. Marijuana is now legal for recreational use by adults in the district, two territories and 19 states. He’s on the ballot in five more states next month.

Organizers say the country must consider how harmful policies during the war on drugs have disproportionately affected black and brown communities, through discriminatory policing practices and marijuana sentencing laws. White entrepreneurs make up the majority of the legal market as black people continue to account for the bulk of marijuana-related arrests nationwide.

Raiden Washington, vice chairman of the board of directors of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, said they traveled from Georgia for the protest.

“We want everyone who is still behind bars out of jail right now,” Washington, 26, said. “We want to keep him on his promise.”

One such person is Richardo Ashmeade, who pleaded guilty in November 2008 to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana. He was sentenced to almost 22 years. He is being held in a medium-security federal prison in Welch, W.Va., with an expected release date of April 2, 2027.

While incarcerated, he keeps in touch with his four children and defers to a saying from Jamaica, where he is from: “You don’t know your strengths until you have no choice but to be strong.

He gives relationship advice to his daughters and tries to be present in their lives – whatever they are going through. A girl is in law school, so he studied law while also fighting for her case. Another girl is studying nursing, so he ordered some books on the subject so he could talk with her about his interests.

Ashmeade asked to be released from prison during the coronavirus pandemic, but was refused. In court filings filed by the government in opposition to his request for compassionate release, prosecutors said Ashmeade was integral to a drug offense that spanned more than seven years and included between 3,000 kilograms and 10,000 kilograms of marijuana, the seizure of over $2 million in cash, multiple foreign bank accounts and properties, and the use of a firearm by a co-accused.

But in Ashmeade’s more than 14 years incarceration, he has followed media coverage of a “thriving cannabis industry that we actually helped create. There are big companies on the stock exchange… making so much money, more than we ever dreamed of.

“It feels like a slap in the face, to tell you the truth, for Biden to forgive just for a mere possession just before the midterm elections just to get some clout. It’s very disheartening and actually a disappointment,” Ashmeade said. “We feel here that he really forgot about us, the guys who received draconian sentences.”

By early afternoon, the crowd had dwindled to a handful of organizers and activists seated in the middle of 17th Street NW, some of whom said they planned to stay until arrested.

“It matters to me personally because I smoke weed. I know a lot of people who smoke weed,” said Evan Hazlett, 23, board member of Student for Sensible Drug Policy. We are the people who need to step up and take responsibility for the plant we are consuming and not leave behind the people who are in jail for the same thing we are doing.”

The group returned to Pennsylvania Avenue where they blocked a White House staff entrance. Just before 3 p.m., a protester walked through a half-open front door as it closed and was immediately arrested.

“The individual was unable to pass through the security gate. Charges for unauthorized entry are pending,” said Lt. Paul Mayhair, spokesman for the United States Secret Service Uniformed Division in a statement sent by email.

]]> Tim Cook Says The Metaverse Isn’t The Future Because People Don’t Understand It – They May Not Have To Fri, 21 Oct 2022 10:18:31 +0000

It seems like everyone has spent the last year falling over themselves to tell us what the Metaverse is. This week, however, Apple CEO Tim Cook showed he “always thinks differently” by telling us what it isn’t – “the future.”

As reported by CNBC, Cook told Dutch publication Bright that “I’m really not sure the average person can tell you what the metaverse is.”

It’s a fair comment. Since Facebook rebranded itself as Meta, one thing has become clear is that there isn’t much consensus on the matter.

Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg calls it a more immersive, VR-enabled version of Facebook. The success of Fortnite and Roblox portends a future heavily influenced by the mechanics and aesthetics of video games. Proponents of web3 platforms – such as Decentraland and The Sandbox – insist that decentralization is at the heart of the metaverse experience. And the giants of the office and productivity software world – Microsoft and Adobe, for example – speak of an “enterprise metaverse”.

Cook, on the other hand, has mostly avoided the “m” word entirely, so far, and is more keen to talk about the related technology of augmented reality (AR). Apple has not announced any plans to release VR products, but it is strongly believed to be developing an AR product known as Apple Glasses.

My own take on what the Metaverse will be – or in fact is – is pretty simple. It’s a catch-all term that describes what the Internet will evolve into next.

We’ve already had the static web pages of the World Wide Web, the user-generated web of social media, and the internet world everywhere and application-driven of the mobile web. Each new “generation” of the Internet has brought profound and widespread changes to the way we interact with technology and use it to help us in our daily lives, radically transforming the way we communicate, socialize, work, play and let’s buy. All of them took place over the span of a quarter of a century, and one thing is certain, it won’t stop there.

There will be other developments further down the road – perhaps not too far in the future – that will make the digital realm we inhabit today look as antiquated as a Geocities web page from 1998.

And even if the term “metaverse” itself disappears before we get to that point (which I personally don’t think is a bad thing at all), whatever it is, it will indeed be the metaverse.

It may very well bear little resemblance to what we currently think of as the metaverse today – the cartoonish worlds for children offered by gaming platforms, the oddly unsettling, hollow-eyed avatars of Horizons, or the anarchic and free-spirited realm. decentralized web3. Cook may be right that these are all too weird or specialized to be embraced by the general public. After all, it was grandmothers, not gamers, who drove Facebook to stratospheric success.

But that doesn’t mean that the building blocks of these platforms – the things that define them as being a generation beyond today’s most popular platforms – won’t be the building blocks of the “Next Level” Internet.

Metaverse Basics

Let’s look at these building blocks, then. First, it is widely assumed that the Internet will become more immersive and experiential.

The closely related technologies that together are often referred to as Extended Reality (XR) or Mixed Reality (MR) are the tools most likely to enable us to achieve this vastly enhanced level of immersion. In other words, VR and AR.

It seems unlikely that the current trend of spending more and more time online and on screens will reverse any time soon. If so, it is very likely that we will turn to environments that interact more fully with our senses and make our time in virtual worlds more stimulating and exciting.

Does this mean that we are spending more and more time in virtual reality? Maybe – but I agree with Cook when he says that in the short term, at least, AR has the potential to be more transformative. The most interesting and exciting aspect of the metaverse, for me, is not the ability to lock us into imaginary virtual worlds but to blur the boundaries between the real and the virtual. Allowing us to take the best of each area – like the people we know and love from the real world and the speed and convenience of the digital world – and merge them into one hybrid experience.

Another central component of the metaverse is persistence. This means that while we will be able to do whatever we want – work, play, socialize, shop – it will all take place on a unified platform, with a common set of rules, and present us in a consistent way – likely via an avatar.

Third, there is the element of decentralization. Blockchains and other aspects of distributed computing, in theory, give us the ability to create virtual worlds beyond the control of monolithic corporations. The concept of Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) could potentially allow us to create true online democracies – social networks and similar platforms that are under the control of their users rather than whoever owns the servers that run the service and store the data. Distributed storage – as used by blockchain – means that there is no single place where data is stored centrally that a person, company or government could potentially take control of. If widely adopted, web3 could lead to an Internet radically different from what we have today, owned and operated by global mega-corporations.

The future

In short, buying in the Metaverse may not require us to believe, or even truly understand, any of these basics. If the architects of the brave new Internet can pull them together in a way that makes it easier, more interesting, and more fun for us to do more things online, that might be enough. After all, the general public didn’t have to have a deep understanding of how cloud-hosted media streaming for Netflix and Spotify works to completely transform the movie and music industries.

It’s true that it can’t be called “the metaverse” – just as we don’t often hear about the “world web” any more except in a historical context. But I believe that the digital environments of tomorrow will be built around immersion, persistence and, to some extent, decentralization – whatever we call them!

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