Daily Archives: August 25, 2011
Floating cities: PayPal billionaire plans to build a whole new libertarian colony off the coast of San Francisco
In theory, this idea sounds exciting and would be a unique experience to live outside of whichever political government you currently must follow. There are always realities though that may make this great idea, seem a little less amazing.
DAILYMAIL - PayPal-founder Peter Thiel was so inspired by Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand’s novel about free-market capitalism – that he’s trying to make its title a reality.
The Silicon Valley billionaire has funnelled $1.25million to the Seasteading Institute, an organisation that aspires to launch a floating colony into international waters, freeing them and like-minded thinkers to live by libertarian ideals.
Mr Thiel recently told Details magazine: ‘The United States Constitution had things you could do at the beginning that you couldn’t do later. So the question is, can you go back to the beginning of things? How do you start over?’
Green land: An aerial view of the city, complete with landcaped gardens. Mr Thiel believes many of the islands could eventually be joined together
The floating sovereign nations that Mr Thiel imagines would be built on oil-rig-like platforms anchored in areas free of regulation, laws, and moral conventions.
The Seasteading Institute says it will ‘give people the freedom to choose the government they want instead of being stuck with the government they get’.
Mr Theil, the venture capitalist who famously helped Facebook expand beyond the Harvard campus, called Seasteading an ‘open frontier for experimenting with new ideas for government’.
After making his first investment in the project in 2008, Mr Thiel said: ‘Decades from now, those looking back at the start of the century will understand that Seasteading was an obvious step towards encouraging the development of more efficient, practical public sector models around the world.
‘We’re at a fascinating juncture: the nature of government is about to change at a very fundamental level.’
Mr Thiel and his colleagues say their ocean state would have no welfare, looser building codes, no minimum wage, and few restrictions on weapons.
Aiming to have tens of millions of residents by 2050, the Seasteading Institute says architectural plans for a prototype involve a movable, diesel-powered structure with room for 270 residents.
The long-term plan would be to have dozens and eventually hundreds of the platforms linked together.
Patri Friedman, a former Google engineer who is working on the project told Details that they hope to launch a flotilla of offices off the San Francisco coast next year.
‘Big ideas start as weird ideas,’ Mr Friedman said.
He predicted that full-time settlement will follow in about seven years.
But while some Ayn Rand acolytes may think the idea is brilliant, it’s not without its critics.
Margaret Crawford, an expert on urban planning and a professor of architecture at Berkeley, told Details: ‘it’s a silly idea without any urban-planning implications whatsoever.’
Mr Thiel told an audience at the Seasteading Institute Conference in 2009 that: ‘There are quite a lot of people who think it’s not possible.
‘That’s a good thing. We don’t need to really worry about those people very much, because since they don’t think it’s possible they won’t take us very seriously. And they will not actually try to stop us until it’s too late.’
Austria’s new Fritzl: Father kept two mentally ill daughters as sex prisoners in one room for 41 years
An Austrian man is being investigated after locking up his two daughters in a room for 41 years and repeatedly sexually abusing them in a case which matches countryman Josef Fritzl’s in its depravity.
Police today confirmed the horrific details of the case in St Peter am Hart, near Brannau – Hitler’s home town – close to the German border.
The two mentally ill women were both banned from contact with the outside world and were only allowed in one room of the large property.
The extended isolation has left both women severely psychologically traumatised and both are now in care.
The man’s wife, who died three years ago, apparently knew about the abuse but had been too scared to report the matter.
But the horror story came to light when the man, now 80, fell over and banged his head while trying to have sex with the older of the two women, who is aged 53. Her younger sister is 45.
He had apparently been immobile for two days before a social worker called to check up on him and discovered him lying on the floor.
Police believe that the women had been beaten and sexually abused since 1970 and forbidden all contact with the outside world.
Public prosecutors in Ried confirmed that both of the women were psychologically disturbed and were receiving medical attention.
The father has been released from hospital and allowed to go into a care home but was not remanded in custody because police believe there is no danger he will try to flee.
The case echoes that of fellow Austrian Josef Fritzl, who was jailed for life for the rape, incest, enslavement, and false imprisonment of his daughter Elisabeth over 24 years in Amstetten.
Fritzl had lured his daughter into a cellar he had prepared to keep her in and after locking her away pretended she had run away from home and joined a religious sect.
He fathered seven children with her, as well as one miscarriage, and was also found guilty of negligent homicide for not trying to save the little boy.
Natascha Kampusch, now 23, was also kidnapped and kept against her will by another Austrian, Wolfgang Priklopil, for more than eight years.
She managed to escape the cellar where she was being held in Vienna in 2006. Her kidnapper then killed himself.
Above, you can see Hurricane Irene; This hurricane is the root of the problem that is leading to multiple evacuations on the East Coast.
Gawker – In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency earlier this afternoon. North Carolina has already evacuated 200,000 people. And in New Jersey, Chris Christie is urging a voluntary evacuation of the Jersey Shore, and not just because it’s an awful place.
Astronauts have said that the footage of the hurricane (above) is “terrifying”. Seeing as the weather has been rather unusual in the East Coast, this isn’t unexpected. First they have to deal with the mild earthquakes, which scared the shit out of them, and now this?! Poor East Coasters.
The idea of being at work and needing to put some files onto a USB, only to whip out my vibrator, seemed a bit peculiar to me. Would anyone notice that I used this device, sitting right in front of your face, to get off that very morning? And the idea of passing it to co-workers is just a bit uncomfortable to me. I know I sure as hell wouldn’t touch it if I knew what had been done.
Then, I learned more about the USB sex toy and think it is a rather great piece of machinery.
Designers Ti Chang and Michael Topolovac, from San Francisco, developed the sleek non-frilly device after hearing the most common complaint from vibrator-using women was the hassle caused by bulky charging devices.
The device is made from ‘body-safe silicon and metal’ with dual motors that are ‘virtually silent’ but provide five power levels.
‘You look at it plugged into a laptop, charging, and it doesn’t look anything like a vibrator,’ Ms Chang told New York Daily News.
Brittany Lurch, 22, and Arthur Phillips, 32, were arrested the other day in Pennsylvania after attempting to shoplift $1,049.26 worth of merchandise, according to the Patton Township Police Department.
The two suspects were arrested after hauling 2 carts full of items they had not paid for out to their car that was waiting in the parking lot. The reason for such an idea? They wanted to be able to extend their stolen goods to their wedding guests at their reception. “Lurch, a mother of two, and Phillips were wed a day earlier, on August 18.”
While the complaint does not provide an itemized list of goods boosted from Wegman’s, a cop reported that, “the suspects had ordered numerous items from the seafood department.”
That sounds like it was going to be one fancy ass reception; Seafood from Wegman’s, catered completely free of charge! Luckily, they were arrested while they did something together though, which shows the marriage was off to a good start. The misdemeanor theft and stolen property charges, on the other hand, wasn’t such a good way to start this marriage.
This sadly also reflects the state of our economy. I mean, two citizens, straight citizens, want to get married and feed their guests; The only answer when one has no job or money: steal. In fact, who’s to say they weren’t attempting to make a point, like when James Verone robbed a bank for a dollar. Either way, they spent their first night as newlyweds together, albeit in jail, and shared an experience that they’ll laugh at years later!
“Streets are for people!” is the rally and battle cry of Park[ing] Day L.A., which is set to take place for the fifth year on Friday, September 16th. That’s the day when “Park-itects” around Los Angeles will turn metered curbside parking spaces into mini-urban parks.
The goal of Park[ing] Day, which began in San Francisco in 2005, is to show urban-dwelling Americans that we could use a little more green space in the midst of our concrete jungles. The spaces transform into eclectic multi-purpose patches of land where visitors can find entertainment, information, relaxation, and community.
Lounge chairs, kiddie pools, ponds, food, music, conversation, plants, games…the spaces are as varied as our city’s culture and an opportunity to get to know the people who live and work–and park–where you do, outside of our cars and busy lives.
The parks are still being planned for 2011, but we can expect a motif of “Edible Streets” illustrating the tension between urban gardeners and local government over land use for growing food and flowers. This year, Park[ing] Day will lead into another major local community event, ArtCyle, which takes place the next day on September 17th. Many of the “park-ticipants” will re-build their Park[ing] Day spaces on Santa Monica Boulevard in East Hollywood.
Jessica Carder, 22, has been sentenced to nearly 14 years because she allowed her boyfriend to yank out her 18-month-old son’s teeth and toenails, with pliers. She was high at the time, and has used this as an excuse for “not knowing” what her boyfriend was doing to her son.
28-year-old Andrew Richards is the sick piece of crap that took pleasure out of torturing her young child. He is not the boy’s father, thank goodness, and will be in prison for the torment he inflicted on this innocent little person. Luckily, the judge didn’t let Carder off too easy because he was appalled that nothing was done during the incident or after in terms of seeking medical attention.
‘I think if a parent saw their child in that situation, they would run, not walk, to seek medical attention,’ said Judge Alison Frazier.
During Monday’s four hour hearing, photos from the boy’s medical examination were shown to the court.
‘The second she started looking at those photos and noticed the ramifications of what happened to her child, she began crying,’
Jennifer Joas, Carder’s defense attorney, told the Madison Courier.
Carder was first questioned after police got a tip from the 18-month-old’s grand parents. They had noticed that he had two teeth missing as well as cuts and bruises on his body. Karl Roy Andersen, the innocent victim, “would have suffered ‘extreme pain’ through the tooth torture. It would have taken tremendous force to remove a tooth and he added that there was no way the boy would have been able to take them out on his own.”
The typical excuse was used, and Carder claimed that she feared Richards, which is why she did not step in or get help for the boy after this painful experience. She was also able to explain away the bruises by sharing that Richards had had a seizure while holding the boy and his grip grew tighter. Unfortunately, it’s hard to believe that the same man who went to great lengths to take a child’s toenails and teeth out, accidentally, squeezed him too hard. That is just absurd.
Although it’s not great what happened, at least he is no longer under his mother or father’s care. They have both got themselves caught up in legal matters in regards to prescription pills; And Carden has already admitted she was too high to intervene during the abuse.
Carder testified she had been using prescription pills and marijuana since she was 14 and was an addict by the time she was 16.
The child’s father, also named Karl Roy Andersen, is in jail for using stolen prescription slips to buy and sell pills.
The boy is now in the custody of his grandparents.
The child’s paternal grandfather, Karl Andersen, had prepared a statement for the court to hear in regards to the abuse of his grandson:
‘When my wife told me what happened to him, I couldn’t stop crying.
Jessica Carder does not care one bit about her son. She only cares about herself,’ he said.