Fight for California’s beaches: the public wins this round
Courthouse News Service
— Public access advocates have won a victory in their fight against a wealthy neighborhood’s efforts to keep a an eight-mile stretch of picturesque coastline just north of Los Angeles private.
… The affluent neighborhood boasts high-profile residents including “Titanic” director James Cameron, singer-songwriter Jackson Browne and Patagonia clothing and equipment founder Yvon Chouinard.
— Hollister Ranch property owners, many of whom have attended California Coastal Commission meetings to lodge objections to opening the beach to public access, say restricting public access serves as de facto conservation.
— Others say this environmental concern is camouflage for an elitist strain of thinking that certain recreational areas should be cordoned off for the rich and privileged.

If you’re a woman traveling alone, hotels may be watching you
… the surveillance tactics that have been adopted by hotel chains are part of a disturbing partnership between hospitality businesses, federal law enforcement, and rent-seeking nonprofits that increasingly seeks to track the movements and whereabouts of people, especially women, all over the country.

(Maybe) your privacy’s at stake in Bezos vs. Pecker
By John Culhane, law professor, U/Delaware
— If Bezos were to sue and win—or gain a good settlement—the impact could go way beyond the National Enquirer. What follows might be nothing less than a renewed appreciation of our right to be left alone—with consequences for everything from stopping so-called “revenge pornographers” to deterring others who want to make other intimate details of our private lives public.

Venomous yellow scorpions are moving into Brazil’s big cities – and the infestation may be unstoppable
The Conversation
— The number of people stung by scorpions across Brazil has risen from 12,000 in 2000 to 140,000 last year, according to the health ministry.
— Worse yet, the species terrorizing Brazilians is the highly poisonous yellow scorpion, or tityus serrulatus. It reproduces through the miracle of parthenogenesis, meaning a female scorpion simply generates copies of herself twice a year – no male participation required.
… example of a “wicked problem.”
… Wicked problems are a symptom of numerous other related problems, both natural and human-made. In this case, Brazil’s urban scorpion infestation is the result of poor garbage management, inadequate sanitation, rapid urbanization and a changing climate.


Climate change brings polar vortex? Uh… maybe not
Popular Science
… the patterns in the polar vortex we’re seeing may be explained by natural variability. The records we have of disruptions to the polar vortex are limited and vary a lot decade-to-decade, adds Amy Butler, an atmospheric scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences. And the relative infrequency of polar vortex shifts means there’s little historical data to go off in studying these events.

With apartment rents at $3500, UC Berkley saying: Move in with oldsters
L.A. Daily News

Slum golf: the sport that stormed the streets of Mumbai
The Guardian

slum golf
When a group of young caddies who worked on a golf course were told they weren’t allowed to play because of ‘exclusivity’, they got creative…

When newspapers close, voters become a bit more partisan
The Conversation
… Our study examined split-ticket voting – where a person votes for candidates of both parties on Election Day – as a way to measure polarization in areas where local news is suffering.

Yes, IKEA, New Zealand does exist

The furniture chain Ikea has apologized after becoming the latest offender to leave New Zealand off a map.

“Napalm girl” receives German prize for peace work
The Independent
kim— Kim Phuc, known as “Napalm Girl“ in an iconic photo showing her during the Vietnam War, has received an award in Germany for her work for peace.
— The 55-year-old, who now lives in Canada, was handed the Dresden Prize for her support of Unesco and children wounded in war, the organisers said.
— She was also honoured for speaking out publicly against violence and hatred.
— As late as 2015, she was being treated for the aches and pains caused by the napalm burns in 1972. 

Costas spoke the truth about football, so…
The NFL kicked him in the ass as he went out the door
Yahoo Sports
— Bob Costas was pulled from the Superbowl broadcast at last minute for his comments on concussions and brain damage in the NFL.
— “I think the words were, ‘You’ve crossed the line,’” Costas told ESPN. “My thought was, ‘What line have I crossed?’”
…. “The issue that is most substantial — the existential issue — is the nature of football itself,” Costas said, via the Washington Post. “The reality is that this game destroys people’s brains.”

Internet dividing into two: US vs. China
Wall Street Journal
One side, championed in China, is a digital landscape where mobile payments have replaced cash. Smartphones are the devices that matter, and users can shop, chat, bank and surf the web with one app. The downsides: The government reigns absolute, and it is watching—you may have to communicate with friends in code. And don’t expect to access Google or Facebook.
— On the other side, in much of the world, the internet is open to all. Users can say what they want, mostly, and web developers can roll out pretty much anything. People accustomed to China’s version complain this other internet can seem clunky. You must toggle among apps to chat, shop, bank and surf the web. Some websites still don’t seem to be designed with smartphones in mind.
— The two zones are beginning to clash with the advent of the superfast new generation of mobile technology called 5G.
>>> Russia to Test Whether Its Internet Can Be Disconnected From the Rest of the World

Tinder and Grindr face questions over age checks after rape cases
The Guardian
— It was reported on Sunday that UK police have investigated more than 30 cases of child rape since 2015 where victims evaded age checks on dating apps.

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