In Japan, "No child left behind" means just that

For years, there’s been just one passenger who regularly waits at the Kyu-Shirataki train station, on the island of Hokkaido, Japan: A high-school girl, on her way to class. Trains stop there only a few times a day—once to pick up the girl for school and a few times after the school day is over.

Pretty admirable on the part of Japan Railways, I can’t think of too many for-profit groups that would absorb the costs of keeping a terminal open solely to make sure one student could continue and finish their education. The station will stay open through March, when she graduates. 

Via CityLab.

Plight of the refugees

The press coverage about refugees fleeing from countries like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan in recent weeks/months into Europe has been nothing less than astonishing. The lengths and dangers that so many have braved to make a better life for themselves and escape civil war or terror is inspirational. I’m of the opinion that if you chase your dreams, that you can accomplish anything. And these folks are proving it every day.

With so many paths being closed off, some have resorted to taking some pretty dramatic routes to include bicycling through the Arctic.

The BBC also has an interesting ‘by the numbers’ article with some infographics here that help to explain why this is such a big issue for everyone involved.

While I understand the population issues that a mass exodus can cause, I do applaud their effort to get out of a bad situation and try to start anew. Good luck guys.

Turns out, rum can help with some health issues

Hip dislocations have long been dealt with the old-fashioned way, writes Horowitz: Inside the emergency room, doctors simply shove the hip back into its socket. It’s an agonizing procedure, and one that hasn’t changed in years. Normally, doctors use a move called the Allis Maneuver — the patient lays on a gurney, the doctor straddles the patient, and in goes the hip.
But all that changed when emergency medicine professor Gregory Hendey watched an ad for Captain Morgan rum. What if, he wondered, a doctor didn’t straddle patients at all? By putting a knee beneath the raised knee of a person imitating the Captain and pushing, it turns out hips can be popped back into place without the need to crawl onto the gurney.

How a Captain Morgan Advertisement Inspired an Emergency Room Technique that helps with dislocated hips.

Discoveries at Jamestown

Archaeologists have uncovered human remains of four of the earliest leaders of the English colony that would become America, buried for more than 400 years near the altar of what was America’s first Protestant church in Jamestown, Virginia.

The team identified the remains of the Rev. Robert Hunt, Jamestown’s first Anglican minister who was known as a peacemaker between rival colonial leaders; Capt. Gabriel Archer, a nemesis of one-time colony leader John Smith; Sir Ferdinando Wainman, likely the first knight buried in America; and Capt. William West, who died in a fight with the Powhatan Indians. The three other men likely died after brief illnesses. They were buried between 1608 and 1610.

Pretty incredible, and right in my backyard (not literally, but close as the crow flies). Via Wavy News.

Remotely hacking a Jeep, while in motion..

Here’s something that I never thought I would say, or see in writing.. If you own a late model Chrysler, it’s time to update your software. A couple of astute hackers have figured out a way to leverage the cellular connected entertainment dashboard to take over control of your ride.

This is especially disturbing since it comes only months after another recent news story about a commercial aircraft passenger supposedly hacking into the planes controls via wifi, and altering the flight trajectory.

Via Wired.

I think the bottom line is, don’t connect critical controls to anything that can be controlled remotely. And if this is somehow absolutely necessary (though I can’t seem to find a use-case) then don’t make it available to the internet at large. That’s just security 101, protect your assets..

Hex, lies and shipping gates

As the minutes ticked by, Van De Moere could hardly believe what he was doing. He didn’t think of himself as a criminal. A year ago, Van De Moere—short, ponytailed, perpetually cheery—had been an ordinary information technology consultant in his native Belgium, earning a comfortable salary setting up digital voice networks for corporations. Now he was working with a Dutch drug-trafficking gang, deep into an audacious hacking scheme that authorities say smuggled tons of cocaine and heroin through the port and into cities across the continent. If the antenna worked and he got the codes, he had a chance to get his normal life back. If he screwed up, he could end up in prison or in a coffin.

Organized crime has an information technology group, and what they accomplished was nothing short of spectacular: The Mob’s IT department

Too frequent a flier

With 100,000 flights and ten million miles under his belt, American Airlines has decided that Steve Rothstein has overstayed his welcome. At least with the “unlimited travel” ticket he bought from the airline back in 1987, along with a companion ticket for a whopping $400,000 total.

The airline is saying that Rothstein has cost them $21 million dollars in flights since then. Could this be baggage fee karma?

The NY Post wrote up a piece on the places he’s gone and the people he’s helped. As well as some background on the litigation surrounding this golden ticket.  You can read the full article here.

Censorship around the globe

The Committee to Protect Journalists put together an in-depth article about the top ten most censored Countries around the world. It’s a really fascinating read, highlighting the punishments for not towing party lines, number of jailed journalists and some of the techniques used to control what’s read and put out into the ether. I thought going into this that it would be pretty easy to guess who number one would be, surprisingly I was wrong (but it was close).

Living in a country where speech is protected and reporters are everywhere, it’s easy to forget or overlook that it can be much more difficult to report on the truth elsewhere. Makes me even more proud to work for a company that’s all about democratizing publishing.

Here’s a link to the article:
https://cpj.org/2015/04/10-most-censored-countries.php

The Mediterranean Fenceline

m-fnc-img

Image Source: voanews.com


On a rocky beach in North Africa, a chain-link fence juts out into the Mediterranean Sea.
This is one of Africa’s two land borders with Europe, at two Spanish cities on the African continent. Ceuta and Melilla are Spanish soil — and thus part of the European Union — separated from the rest of Europe by the Mediterranean, and separated from the rest of Africa by huge fences.

A look into the lives of the tens of thousands that try to flee to Europe through Africa each year. In the US, when someone says Immigration, we automatically think of our neighbors to the south. But the picture is much larger, and not without good reason. Take a moment out of your day, kick up your feet and have a quick read (or listen).

http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2015/04/16/393577925/the-fences-where-spain-and-africa-meet
Also, if you’d like to explore Melilla (the focal point of this article), check out the city along with its massive fenceline here in Google Maps.