If only the original inhabitants had had an ad-agency like that

It’s remarkable that states – especially those which have sprung up as a result of migration – takes this kind of stance, with this type of communication. I could, perhaps, understand “there are legal and safe routes to migrate to Australia, please don’t get on a boat”. But: “No matter who you are or where you are from, you will not make Australia your home”?

If you want to enjoy the full nastiness of their ad-campaign click through here.

New Toronto restaurant staffed with deaf waiters

New Toronto restaurant staffed with deaf waiters – YouTube.

In a way could be pretty subversive, instead of attempting to make people who diverge (in abilities or in any other aspect) from whatever is the “majority” way (or even just the “groups with power”) adapt or fit in, create spaces which are – in effect – owned by them (in this case through using a sign language).

Cumin confused [Isaiah 28:27]

New International Version

Caraway is not threshed with a sledge, nor is the wheel of a cart rolled over cumin; caraway is beaten out with a rod, and cumin with a stick.

New Living Translation

A heavy sledge is never used to thresh black cumin; rather, it is beaten with a light stick. A threshing wheel is never rolled on cumin; instead, it is beaten lightly with a flail.

English Standard Version

Dill is not threshed with a threshing sledge, nor is a cart wheel rolled over cumin, but dill is beaten out with a stick, and cumin with a rod.

New American Standard Bible

For dill is not threshed with a threshing sledge, Nor is the cartwheel driven over cummin; But dill is beaten out with a rod, and cummin with a club.

King James Bible

For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod.

Holman Christian Standard Bible

Certainly black cumin is not threshed with a threshing board, and a cart wheel is not rolled over the cumin. But black cumin is beaten out with a stick, and cumin with a rod.

International Standard Version

For caraway is not threshed with a sharp sledge, nor is a cart wheel rolled over cumin. Instead, caraway is winnowed with a stick, and cumin with a rod.

NET Bible

Certainly caraway seed is not threshed with a sledge, nor is the wheel of a cart rolled over cumin seed. Certainly caraway seed is beaten with a stick, and cumin seed with a flail.

GOD’S WORD® Translation

Black cumin isn’t threshed with a sledge, and wagon wheels aren’t rolled over cumin. Black cumin is beaten with a rod and cumin with a stick.

Jubilee Bible 2000

For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff and the cummin with a rod.

King James 2000 Bible

For the dill is not threshed with a threshing sledge, neither is a cart wheel rolled over the cummin; but the dill is beaten out with a stick, and the cummin with a rod.

American King James Version

For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about on the cummin; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod.

American Standard Version

For the fitches are not threshed with a sharp threshing instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod.

Douay-Rheims Bible

For gith shall not be thrashed with saws, neither shall the cart wheel turn about upon cummin: but gith shall be beaten out with a rod, and cummin with a staff.

Darby Bible Translation

For the dill is not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart-wheel turned about upon the cummin; but dill is beaten out with a staff, and cummin with a rod.

English Revised Version

For the fitches are not threshed with a sharp threshing instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod.

Webster’s Bible Translation

For the vetches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart-wheel turned about upon the cummin; but the vetches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod.

World English Bible

For the dill are not threshed with a sharp instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned over the cumin; but the dill is beaten out with a stick, and the cumin with a rod.

Young’s Literal Translation

For not with a sharp-pointed thing threshed are fitches, And the wheel of a cart on cummin turned round, For with a staff beaten out are fitches, And cummin with a rod.

via Isaiah 28:27 Caraway is not threshed with a sledge, nor is the wheel of a cart rolled over cumin; caraway is beaten out with a rod, and cumin with a stick..

British conman tricks Iraqi authorities to spend GBP38mn on bomb detection devices with no function whatsoever

In the meantime, McCormick approached Minnesota Global, a mail-order business in Minneapolis, the manufacturer of the Lil’ Orbits doughnut-making machine and the distributor of the remaining stock of the Gopher golf ball finder. At the end of 2005 he ordered 100 golf ball detectors from Minnesota at $19.50 each and, a few months later, 200 more. In his garage in Somerset, he later told police, he programmed these for “electrostatic ion attraction” using a collection of jam jars and spice pots that contained samples of drugs and explosives. In each jar, he placed small colored stickers and left them for a week to absorb the vapor of whatever substance his customers might wish to detect. The samples included cannabis; folded fragments of a Japanese 1,000 yen note; and a piece of gauze McCormick had used to staunch a nosebleed, which he later explained was used to aid in human detection. After a sticker had spent a week absorbing vapor, he glued it inside the Gopher. He then removed the plastic badge that identified it as a golf ball finder, and replaced it with one bearing ATSC’s logo. This became the ADE 100—sold for the first time, in March 2006, to McCormick’s agents in Lebanon. Price: $3,000 each.

via In Iraq, the Bomb-Detecting Device That Didnt Work, Except to Make Money – Businessweek.

Waste and disposability as a tool for economic growth and profit

In 1956, Lloyd Stoffer famously stated “The future of plastics in the trash can.”

At the time, this was considered a very controversial statement, and he got in some trouble for it. Stoffers sentiment comes during a period where industry was facing a unique problem. The Volkswagen theory of evolution left was to build something to last, without versions, fashions, and make it easy to fix. So when someone bought it, that was it. They only needed one. With this mode of production, markets were saturating. The opportunities for growth and profit were diminishing and reaching stability.

Companies and industries that wanted to grow, that were premised on growth and profit started to intervene at a material level and developed disposability—planned obsolescence and fashion supported by a regime of advertising. They designed a throw away society. People bucked against this design. They had just come out of the Depression in the United States, and an ethos of saving, fixing, and stewardship was the norm. Industry was designing a shift in values.In his 1960 book The Wastemakers, Vance Packard writes against this sort of strategy for profit.He images a city called Cornucopia City, “located on the edge of a cliff, and the ends of [the] assembly lines can be swung to the front or rear doors depending upon the public demand for the product being produced. When demand is slack, the end of the assembly line will be swung to the rear door and the output of refrigerators or other products will drop out of sight and go directly to their graveyard without first overwhelming the consumer market” Packard 1960: 4.

Even earlier, Susan Strausser recounts riots by soldiers in train stations in the 1917 when the communal tin cup for water was replaced with disposable paper cups Strasser 1999: 177. Such waste was seen as abhorrent.Seven years after Lloyd Stoffer’s controversial statement, he addresses plastics industry representatives at a conference in New York City:  “It is a measure of your progress in packaging in the last seven years that this remark will no longer raise any eye-brows. You are filling the trash cans, the rubbish dumps and the incinerators with literally billions of plastics bottles, plastics jugs, plastics tubes, blisters and skin packs, plastics bags and films and sheet packages–and now, even plastics cans. The happy day has arrived when nobody any longer considers the plastics package too good to throw away.” Wasting has been naturalized. Disposables have been naturalized.

Recycling is complicit in this. It’s not a coincidence that the largest supporter of recycling is industry. The founder of the recycling symbol is the Container Corporation of America. One of the biggest supporters of New York City’s recycling program is the American Chemistry Council, the chemical and plastics lobby. Recycling not only saturates markets in a certain way—it lets industry externalize costs. If a company uses reusable bottles, it has to pay for those bottles to return, but if it uses disposables, they get sent out into the world made with very cheap materials, and municipalities pick up the bill for running them to the landfill, or recycling station, when they are done. The money saved can translate into profit. This is what is meant by “externalization.”

via Waste as Profit & Alternative Economies | Discard Studies.

Diamonds are a girl’s (… or at least a marketers) best friend

The next time you look at a diamond, consider this. Nearly every American marriage begins with a diamond because a bunch of rich white men in the 1940s convinced everyone that its size determines your self worth. They created this convention – that unless a man purchases an intrinsically useless diamond, his life is a failure – while sitting in a room, racking their brains on how to sell diamonds that no one wanted. 

via Diamonds Are Bullshit.

The Romans Did it Better – Roman Seawater Concrete

The Romans made concrete by mixing lime and volcanic rock. For underwater structures, lime and volcanic ash were mixed to form mortar, and this mortar and volcanic tuff were packed into wooden forms. The seawater instantly triggered a hot chemical reaction. The lime was hydrated – incorporating water molecules into its structure – and reacted with the ash to cement the whole mixture together.

Pozzuoli Bay defines the northwestern region of the Bay of Naples. The concrete sample examined at the Advanced Light Source by Berkeley researchers, BAI.06.03, is from the harbor of Baiae, one of many ancient underwater sites in the region. Black lines indicate caldera rims, and red areas are volcanic craters. (Click on image for best resolution.)

Descriptions of volcanic ash have survived from ancient times. First Vitruvius, an engineer for the Emperor Augustus, and later Pliny the Elder recorded that the best maritime concrete was made with ash from volcanic regions of the Gulf of Naples (Pliny died in the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius that buried Pompeii), especially from sites near today’s seaside town of Pozzuoli. Ash with similar mineral characteristics, called pozzolan, is found in many parts of the world.

Using beamlines 5.3.2.1, 5.3.2.2, 12.2.2 and 12.3.2 at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source (ALS), along with other experimental facilities at UC Berkeley, the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia, and the BESSY synchrotron in Germany, Monteiro and his colleagues investigated maritime concrete from Pozzuoli Bay. They found that Roman concrete differs from the modern kind in several essential ways.

One is the kind of glue that binds the concrete’s components together. In concrete made with Portland cement this is a compound of calcium, silicates, and hydrates (C-S-H). Roman concrete produces a significantly different compound, with added aluminum and less silicon. The resulting calcium-aluminum-silicate-hydrate (C-A-S-H) is an exceptionally stable binder.

At ALS beamlines 5.3.2.1 and 5.3.2.2, x-ray spectroscopy showed that the specific way the aluminum substitutes for silicon in the C-A-S-H may be the key to the cohesion and stability of the seawater concrete.

Another striking contribution of the Monteiro team concerns the hydration products in concrete. In theory, C-S-H in concrete made with Portland cement resembles a combination of naturally occurring layered minerals, called tobermorite and jennite. Unfortunately these ideal crystalline structures are nowhere to be found in conventional modern concrete.

Tobermorite does occur in the mortar of ancient seawater concrete, however. High-pressure x-ray diffraction experiments at ALS beamline 12.2.2 measured its mechanical properties and, for the first time, clarified the role of aluminum in its crystal lattice. Al-tobermorite (Al for aluminum) has a greater stiffness than poorly crystalline C-A-S-H and provides a model for concrete strength and durability in the future.

Finally, microscopic studies at ALS beamline 12.3.2 identified the other minerals in the Roman samples. Integration of the results from the various beamlines revealed the minerals’ potential applications for high-performance concretes, including the encapsulation of hazardous wastes.

Lessons for the future

Environmentally friendly modern concretes already include volcanic ash or fly ash from coal-burning power plants as partial substitutes for Portland cement, with good results. These blended cements also produce C-A-S-H, but their long-term performance could not be determined until the Monteiro team analyzed Roman concrete.

Their analyses showed that the Roman recipe needed less than 10 percent lime by weight, made at two-thirds or less the temperature required by Portland cement. Lime reacting with aluminum-rich pozzolan ash and seawater formed highly stable C‑A-S-H and Al-tobermorite, insuring strength and longevity. Both the materials and the way the Romans used them hold lessons for the future.

via Roman Seawater Concrete Holds the Secret to Cutting Carbon Emissions « Berkeley Lab News Center.