You know it’s a good time to move when you get this email.

January 19, 2020

Dear Residents:

We unfortunately must inform you of a troubling occurrence that took place in the community on Saturday night or early Sunday morning. Certain unidentified youth gained access to the community’s clubhouse for an unauthorized gathering during which gunshots were fired and one or two individuals were injured. The __Denver Police Dept. are currently conducting an investigation and if you have any information that might assist in the investigation, please contact the ___Denver Police Dept.___ at [REDACTED].

Unfortunately, crime has no zip code and is a problem that affects all communities. Awareness is one major way of deterring crime so we ask that you immediately report any criminal or suspicious activity by calling your local law enforcement agency, or by dialing 911 IN AN EMERGENCY. It is imperative that you call the police before contacting the management office, as time spent contacting the management office will only delay police response time. Only after reporting a matter to the police should you notify the management office of any incident.

4 Songs I found via Shazam and then bought from iTunes.

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US – Iraq relations – April 2000

Listen / Download

A decade after Operation Desert Storm, the US is still at war with Iraq. It’s the longest air war in American history. Nearly 12,000 missions last year alone were flown against 300 Iraqi targets. It’s the economic sanctions, though, that are causing the worst collateral damage in Iraq.

After eight years of embargo, Iraq’s currency has lost 98% of its value, and there’s a total break down in health care, education, and basic social services. Even food and water are hard to come by, and UNICEF reports that sanctions cost the lives of 200 children each day, and as many adults.

Two of the highest UN officials in charge of administering the sanctions have resigned in protest. Even Scott Ritter, the maverick arms inspector, calls US policy toward Iraq “morally bankrupt,” pointing out that it has only helped make Saddam Hussein stronger and Iraq’s civil society weaker.

(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)

from April 2000, Connection Archives

High Concept Movies – Defined, Examples of

The “high concept” movie (a much-abused term) is one whose premise can be summed up in a sentence, if not within the title itself — for instance, what happens when a bored married couple’s “Date Night” goes wrong? Wacky fun!

The ideas is that the easy hook goes over well with your stereotypical movie executive — it becomes the selling point rather than the actors or characters. If it sounds irresistible (and/or ridiculous), people will show up hoping to see exactly what they were promised (a premise “Snakes On A Plane” took to its logical conclusion)…

Se7en (1995)
High concept premise: A serial killer takes down his victims based on their violations of the seven deadly sins.

Bio-Dome (1996)
High concept premise: Pauly Shore and Stephen Baldwin get trapped in, yes, a biodome.

IFC

Debtors Prisons, Return of in Mississippi

The Mississippi Department of Corrections runs the modern-day debtors prisons it calls restitution centers. But not very well.

The agency doesn’t keep close track of how much people sentenced to the program earn and owe, according to dozens of current and former inmates interviewed by Mississippi Today. That makes it hard for them to figure out how long they need to work at mostly low-wage jobs to make enough money to earn their freedom.

Mississippi prohibits the workers from handling their own earnings and gives them little documentation of their debts. Where their money goes and whether it reaches the victims of their crimes remains a mystery to most inmates we talked to.

Anna Wolfe And Michelle Liu, ‘Something seems fishy’: Bad bookkeeping and poor oversight plague a Mississippi inmate labor program, Mississippi Today

47.2

A Dartmouth economist has pegged what he claims is the most miserable age: 47.2 years old. A new study by David Blanchflower, collecting data about well-being and age from 132 countries, suggests that for people in developed nations, the “happiness curve” reaches its perigee at precisely 47.2 years. Those are the doldrums of middle age.

For someone like me who feels plenty of middle-aged misery but is not yet 47.2, this statistic is daunting! I’m not gonna see an upswing for another 2.14 years? I decided to talk to some actual 47.2-year-olds to find out what it is about 47.2-hood that’s so miserable, and how I can escape their horrible fate.

Dan Kois, Slate

Emerson on Prayer

“Prayer that craves a particular commodity, any thing less than all good, is vicious. Prayer is the contemplation of the facts of life from the highest point of view. It is the soliloquy of a beholding and jubilant soul. It is the spirit of God pronouncing his works good. But prayer as a means to effect a private end is meanness and theft. It supposes dualism and not unity in nature and consciousness. As soon as the man is at one with God, he will not beg. He will then see prayer in all action. The prayer of the farmer kneeling in his field to weed it, the prayer of the rower kneeling with the stroke of his oar, are true prayers heard throughout nature, though for cheap ends.”

Emerson, Ralph Waldo. Self Reliance

Random Quiz

Someone who studies ants is a:

The original drummer for The Beatles was:

SQL stands for:

The author of the Foundation series:

Defenestrate means:

Literal Interpretation, example of

I was at a private school that had rules about the length of boys hair. One guy in particular always ignored the rule and the administration would tell him to get a hair cut every so often, but he never did. Eventually when his hair got about down to his shoulders the principal pulled him aside and told him his hair was twice the allowed length and by next week it needed to be shortened by half.

Monday rolls around and he comes in with half his head shaved, and the other side as long as ever. We were impressed by literal interpretation of the principal’s request, but it still ended up with him getting a suspension for a week and he had to shave the other side before he could come back.

What’s the best way you’ve seen someone rebel against school rules? from AskReddit

Javascript Rising Stars

For the 4th consecutive year, Vue.js is the overall winner of our contest, with more then 30,000 stars added on GitHub in 2019.

No surprises at the following spots: React and the code editor VS Code follow in the same order as last year.

The biggest jump in the rankings is Vue Element Admin, a solution to build nice dashboards using Vue.js components, number 4 this year.

Svelte has been around for a few year but it really took off in 2019 and it holds the position number 5.

TypeScript enters the TOP 10, its success has been one of the main changes in JavaScript landscape over the last years.

Deno, the JavaScript run-time built by the creator of Node.js was one of the newcomers in 2018. It’s still trendy, at the 13th position.

https://risingstars.js.org/2019/en/

Tabulating Crime, Difficulties With

The first problem with understanding crime is that measuring it is harder than it sounds. The Department of Justice approaches the problem in two ways. The F.B.I.’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, or U.C.R., solicits data from about twenty thousand law-enforcement agencies around the country. Simultaneously, the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Survey, or N.C.V.S., interviews about a hundred and fifty thousand nationally representative citizens, asking them whether they have been victims of a crime.

Both datasets have problems. An obvious one is that there’s no consensus about what counts as criminal activity. In some jurisdictions, only offenses worthy of incarceration are considered crimes. In others, fined infractions also count. (Is speeding a crime? What about manspreading, for which one can be fined seventy-five dollars in Los Angeles?) Because the U.C.R. draws its data from investigators, and the N.C.V.S. relies on victims, they can present starkly different pictures of crime. According to the U.C.R., the incidence of rape nearly doubled from 1973 to 1990. The N.C.V.S., by contrast, shows that it declined by around forty per cent during the same period. Researchers at Vanderbilt University looked into the discrepancy; they found that the upward trend in the U.C.R. data correlated with upticks in the number of female police officers, and with the advent of rape crisis centers and reformed investigative styles. It could be, in short, that a modernized approach to the policing of rape drastically increased the frequency with which it was reported while reducing its incidence. But coherent stories like these only sometimes emerge from the conflicting data.

Matthew Hutson, New Yorker

Heaven and Hell are Within You

An old monk on Mount Athos in Greece once told me that people rejoice in the thought of hell to the precise degree that they harbor hell within themselves. By which he meant, I believe, that heaven and hell alike are both within us all, in varying degrees, and that, for some, the idea of hell is the treasury of their most secret, most cherished hopes — the hope of being proved right when so many were wrong, of being admired when so many are despised, of being envied when so many have been scorned.

And as Jesus said (Matthew 6:21), “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

David Bentley Hart, NY Times