Sunday, 27 May 2018

Lack of paid sick leave increases poverty. It also increases medical care costs and use of welfare.

Research conducted by Florida Atlantic University and Cleveland State University has, for the first time, quantified the relationship between the lack of paid sick leave and poverty in the United States. The data indicates that, even when controlling for education, race, sex, marital status and employment, working adults without paid sick leave are three times more likely to have incomes below the poverty line.
Findings also show that people with no paid sick leave benefits are more likely to experience food insecurity and require welfare services. Currently, only seven states mandate that employers provide paid sick leave benefits and nearly one-third of all workers in the United States lack these protections.
“Numerous studies have shown the negative effects lack of paid sick leave has on society, but this is the first time a direct correlation has been observed between the absence of these benefits and the incidence of poverty,” said Patricia Stoddard Dare, Ph.D., associate professor of social work at Cleveland State. “This adds to the growing body of evidence that paid sick leave is a key factor in health care affordability and economic security.”
Studies published in two academic, peer-reviewed journals, Social Work in Health Care and the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry , utilized data collected from the 2015 National Health Interview Survey to assess the effect of no paid sick leave on two key indicators of poverty, income and the need to utilize welfare services. On top of being three times more likely to live below the poverty line, working adults between the ages of 18 and 64 were also nearly 1.5 times more likely to receive income support from state and county welfare programs and nearly 1.4 times more likely to receive food stamps.
The authors argue that the main reason for these correlations are the higher cost of medical expenses, lack of preventive care and missed wages incurred by individuals and families who do not have paid sick leave benefits.
“Paid sick leave benefits serve as a structural mechanism for preventing working families from becoming the working poor,” says LeaAnne DeRigne, Ph.D., associate professor of FAU’s Phyllis and Harvey Sandler School of Social Work. “Given the public investments made in welfare, food stamps and other social services, mandating paid sick leave is a clear policy lever for reducing the need for these services among millions of individuals nationally.”
The journal articles were co-authored by Christopher Mallett, Ph.D., professor of social work, and Linda Quinn, Ph.D., senior lecturer in mathematics, both at Cleveland State University.

Google says European politicians and government officials have used the "right to be forgotten" to delete 34000 articles about themselves from search results in Europe

Google has released one of its periodic updates on how it deals with Europe’s so-called “right to be forgotten,” but this time it’s also put out research that breaks down what personal references people want scrubbed from the search engine.
The right to be forgotten—which is really a “right to be delisted” from search results—was established by Europe’s top court in 2014. The ruling held that Google (GOOGL, -0.12%) must remove links to material about a person, if that individual asks it to do so, and if the information is “inaccurate, inadequate, irrelevant or excessive.”
This right, based on EU privacy law, is useful for people who can’t get the offending material itself erased from the internet. As Google said in its latest transparency report, there have been 655,000 requests since the 2014 ruling, demanding the removal of almost 2.5 million links. The company agreed to remove 43.4% of those links (if a European wants to challenge Google’s decision, which takes things like the public interest into account, they can complain to their local privacy regulator).
But when people make these requests, what do they want removed? That’s what Google’s researchers looked into, and their findings were very interesting.
A third of the links that people wanted taken down were for “social media and directory services that contained personal information,” while only a fifth were for news articles and government websites—most of which involved the requester’s legal history.
It seems people in Germany and France were particularly keen on nixing links to their social media and directory details, while British and Italian people were three times more likely than others to target information on news websites.
Overall, people in France, Germany and the U.K. were responsible for just over half of the delisting requests, and a mere 0.25% of the people filing such requests—a thousand individuals—were behind 15% of the requests.
The “right to be forgotten” also seems to be good business for some, as “many of these frequent requesters were law firms and reputation management services.” However, most requests came from private individuals, 5% of whom were kids.
When the right came into effect, many in the media highlighted how it could be abused by people in the public eye. Well, the numbers for that are now out: politicians and government officials asked for almost 34,000 links to be scrubbed from Google’s results, and celebrities and other non-government public figures asked for over 41,000 delistings.
While this may at first seem like a Europe-specific issue, it may not stay that way. The Court of Justice of the European Union, which issued the seminal 2014 ruling, is now also considering Google’s appeal against a decision by France’s privacy regulator, which thinks all EU right-to-be-forgotten delistings should apply across all of the company’s services worldwide.
The regulator, CNIL, argues that this is the only way to properly ensure that people cannot find the offending information. Google says this is an overextension of European jurisdiction that could lead to countries all over the world trying to apply their national censorship laws internationally.

Crypto currency stunt on Everest linked to Sherpa guide's death

A promotional stunt by an Irish tech company to bury $100,000 worth of a new cryptocurrency at Everest's summit has been linked to the death of a Sherpa guide, the company said on Saturday.
Social networking startup has become embroiled in controversy after a Sherpa who guided four climbers sponsored by the company went missing near the peak's summit in mid-May.
"We are now aware that one of the Sherpas who assisted our group amongst others, went missing during the descent," the company said in a statement.
Lama Babu Sherpa has not been seen since 14 May and is presumed dead, Nepal-based Seven Summit Treks, who organised the logistics for the expedition, told AFP.
One of the guide's crampons and his backpack were found but his body has not been located.
The startup - which is based in Latvia and Ukraine - backed four Ukrainian "crypto enthusiasts" to climb the world's highest peak carrying two smart cards loaded with one million tokens of the company's yet-to-be released cryptocurrency.
Three of the sponsored climbers reached the summit of the 8, 848m mountain and buried one of the smart cards.
"You can come and take them if you can," climber Taras Pozdnii said in a video purportedly shot at the summit and posted on Youtube by the company.
Pozdnii told AFP that the missing guide was not always part of their team, but he had seen him at the summit.
"He was behind us when coming back. I don't know what happened with him," Pozdnii said by phone.
The team was hit by strong winds during their descent, with Pozdnii suffering frostbite on his hands and feet and eventually being airlifted to the capital Kathmandu. said the tokens in the two ledger wallets were worth $100,000, though this estimate is not based on actual market data since the company has not yet made its initial coin offering (ICO).
Sherpas regard Everest as a sacred peak, and believe that a powerful goddess called Miyolangsangma lives at the mountain's summit.
Reports of climbers - including Sherpas - pulling headline-grabbing stunts on Everest have in the past prompted complaints they were defiling the peak.
Over 400 people have reached Everest's summit this month during the busy spring climbing season when warmer temperatures and calmer winds typically open the route to the top of the world.

Shrieking Woman Escorted off Flight After Hitting Passengers With Bible

A 47-year-old woman on a Jetstar flight from Melbourne to Brisbane was escorted off the plane by officers from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and sent to hospital on Sunday after she disrupted the flight by shrieking, shouting abuse and hitting other passengers with a bible.
According to 9News, which obtained footage of the incident, the Queensland woman, who was not named, screamed for the majority of the roughly two-hour flight and reacted aggressively when the crew members attempted to calm her down. Witnesses said the woman caused some children seated nearby to cry after she started singing and chanting loudly around 20 minutes after boarding. 
In the one-minute video clip, the distressed woman is seen holding a bible in the air and shaking it, as the budget airline's cabin crew look on helpless. Jetstar confirmed in a statement to 9News that a "disruptive" passenger had been removed from one of its flights after they refused to follow instructions.
The AFP said in a separate media update that the woman, who was eventually hauled from the plane after it touched down in Brisbane, continued to shout and scream after being taken inside the airport.  
“Once in the terminal, the woman allegedly became agitated and aggressive and refused to comply with directions from AFP officers," the agency said, adding: “For the welfare of the woman, an ambulance was called and she was taken to hospital for physical and psychiatric assessment.”
Earlier this month, on May 17, another Jetstar flight descended into chaos after a 57-year-old passenger who had seemingly missed his flight by hours started smoking before assaulting airport staff members and attempting to board a Sydney-bound plane by forcing his way through its door. 
Last October, a 30-year-old man was arrested at Melbourne Airport after he crawled through a baggage area and attempted to break into a Jetstar 787 plane. He was tasered by the AFP and detained.

Sketches and Paintings by Richard Feynman

Richard Feynman (1918 – 1988), Nobel Laureate, teacher, icon and genius – one of the greatest minds of the twentieth century, possessed an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and adventure that drove him to pursue seemingly unrelated paths. Feynman pursued biology, percussion, Maya hieroglyphs, and lock picking - subjects totally unconnected to his primary expertise which is physics. Another one of his interest was art.
Richard Feynman started taking art lessons at the age of 44, and continued drawing for the rest of his life. These include portraits of his close friends, wife and daughter  and professional models that posed for him at his friend’s studio. Feynman was also an avid supporter of topless bars, which he used to frequent a lot while he was at Caltech, which also explains why he loved drawing nude models.
Feynman signed all of his artwork with the pseudonym “Ofey”. Here are some of his sketches.
feynman-art (17)
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Cathy McAlpine Myers
Dabney Zorthian
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feynman-art (2) 

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Heather Neely and Michelle Feynman

Jirayr Zorthian

Lisa Pumpelly Van Sant

Martha Bridges
Michelle Feynman2

Handcrafted Wooden Toys of Recently Extinct Animals

Handcrafted wooden toys of recently extinct animals is designed by Josh Finkle.
I selected these four creatures for their beautiful shapes and patterns. Choosing an anthropomorphic approach, I designed them with simplified, humanistic shapes and statures. Once unfolded, the packaging becomes an information graphic about the animal inside. These toys are meant to incite wonder and interest in creatures that existed only a short while ago. 2009.
toys_14 toys_15
toys_3 toys_7