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General Discussion / Meet the Robin Hood of Science
« on: April 17, 2016, 06:15:55 PM »

The tale of how one researcher has made nearly every scientific paper ever published available for free to anyone, anywhere in the world.

On the evening of November 9th, 1989, the Cold War came to a dramatic end with the fall of the Berlin Wall. Four years ago another wall began to crumble, a wall that arguably has as much impact on the world as the wall that divided East and West Germany. The wall in question is the network of paywalls that cuts off tens of thousands of students and researchers around the world, at institutions that can’t afford expensive journal subscriptions, from accessing scientific research.

On September 5th, 2011, Alexandra Elbakyan, a researcher from Kazakhstan, created Sci-Hub, a website that bypasses journal paywalls, illegally providing access to nearly every scientific paper ever published immediately to anyone who wants it. The website works in two stages, firstly by attempting to download a copy from the LibGen database of pirated content, which opened its doors to academic papers in 2012 and now contains over 48 million scientific papers. The ingenious part of the system is that if LibGen does not already have a copy of the paper, Sci-hub bypasses the journal paywall in real time by using access keys donated by academics lucky enough to study at institutions with an adequate range of subscriptions. This allows Sci-Hub to route the user straight to the paper through publishers such as JSTOR, Springer, Sage, and Elsevier. After delivering the paper to the user within seconds, Sci-Hub donates a copy of the paper to LibGen for good measure, where it will be stored forever, accessible by everyone and anyone.

This was a game changer. Before September 2011, there was no way for people to freely access paywalled research en masse; researchers like Elbakyan were out in the cold. Sci-Hub is the first website to offer this service and now makes the process as simple as the click of a single button.

As the number of papers in the LibGen database expands, the frequency with which Sci-Hub has to dip into publishers’ repositories falls and consequently the risk of Sci-Hub triggering its alarm bells becomes ever smaller. Elbakyan explains, “We have already downloaded most paywalled articles to the library ... we have almost everything!” This may well be no exaggeration. Elsevier, one of the most prolific and controversial scientific publishers in the world, recently alleged in court that Sci-Hub is currently harvesting Elsevier content at a rate of thousands of papers per day. Elbakyan puts the number of papers downloaded from various publishers through Sci-Hub in the range of hundreds of thousands per day, delivered to a running total of over 19 million visitors.

The efficiency of the system is really quite astounding, working far better than the comparatively primitive modes of access given to researchers at top universities, tools that universities must fork out millions of pounds for every year. Users now don’t even have to visit the Sci-Hub website at all; instead, when faced with a journal paywall they can simply take the Sci-Hub URL and paste it into the address bar of a paywalled journal article immediately after the “.com” or “.org” part of the journal URL and before the remainder of the URL. When this happens, Sci-Hub automatically bypasses the paywall, taking the reader straight to a PDF without the user ever having to visit the Sci-Hub website itself.

If, at first pass the network fails to gain access to the paper, the system automatically tries different institutions’ credentials until it gains access. In one fell swoop, a network has been created that likely has a greater level of access to science than any individual university, or even government for that matter, anywhere in the world. Sci-Hub represents the sum of countless different universities' institutional access — literally a world of knowledge. This is important now more than ever in a world where even Harvard University can no longer afford to pay skyrocketing academic journal subscription fees, while Cornell axed many of its Elsevier subscriptions over a decade ago. For researchers outside the US' and Western Europe’s richest institutions, routine piracy has long been the only way to conduct science, but increasingly the problem of unaffordable journals is coming closer to home.

This was the experience of Elbakyan herself, who studied in Kazakhstan University and just like other students in countries where journal subscriptions are unaffordable for institutions, was forced to pirate research in order to complete her studies. Elbakyan told me, “Prices are very high, and that made it impossible to obtain papers by purchasing. You need to read many papers for research, and when each paper costs about 30 dollars, that is impossible.”

So how did researchers like Elbakyan ever survive before Sci-Hub? Elbakyan explains, “Before Sci-Hub, this problem was solved manually for years! For example, students would go to an online forum where other researchers communicate, and request papers there; other people would respond to the request.” This practice is widespread even today, with researchers even at rich Western institutions now routinely forced to email the authors of papers directly, asking for a copy by email, wasting the time of everyone involved and holding back the progress of research in the process.

Today many researchers use the #icanhazpdf hashtag on Twitter to ask other benevolent researchers to download paywalled papers for them, a practice Elbakyan describes as “very archaic,” pointing out that “especially in Russia, the Sci-Hub project started a new era in how research work is done. Now, the requests for information are solved by machines, not the hands of other researchers. Automation made the process of solving requests very effective. Before, hundreds of requests were solved per day; Sci-Hub turned these numbers into hundreds of thousands.”

Last year, New York District Court Judge Robert W. Sweet delivered a preliminary injunction against Sci-Hub, making the site's former domain unavailable. The injunction came in the run-up to the forthcoming case of Elsevier vs. Sci-Hub, a case Elsevier is expected to win — due, in no small part, because no one is likely to turn up on U.S. soil to initiate a defence. Elsevier alleges “irreparable harm,” based on statutory damages of $750-$150,000 for each pirated work. Given that Sci-Hub now holds a library of over 48 million papers Elsevier’s claim runs into the billions, but can be expected to remain hypothetical both in theory and in practice.

Elsevier is the world’s largest academic publisher and by far the most controversial. Over 15,000 researchers have vowed to boycott the publisher for charging “exorbitantly high prices” and bundling expensive, unwanted journals with essential journals, a practice that allegedly is bankrupting university libraries. Elsevier also supports SOPA and PIPA, which the researchers claim threatens to restrict the free exchange of information. Elsevier is perhaps most notorious for delivering takedown notices to academics, demanding them to take their own research published with Elsevier off websites like

The movement against Elsevier has only gathered speed over the course of the last year with the resignation of 31 editorial board members from the Elsevier journal Lingua, who left in protest to set up their own open-access journal, Glossa. Now the battleground has moved from the comparatively niche field of linguistics to the far larger field of cognitive sciences. Last month, a petition of over 1,500 cognitive science researchers called on the editors of the Elsevier journal Cognition to demand Elsevier offer “fair open access”. Elsevier currently charges researchers $2,150 per article if researchers wish their work published in Cognition to be accessible by the public, a sum far higher than the charges that led to the Lingua mutiny.

In a letter to the judge, Elbakyan defended her decision not on legal grounds, but on ethical grounds. Elbakyan writes: “When I was a student in Kazakhstan University, I did not have access to any research papers. These papers I needed for my research project. Payment of 32 dollars is just insane when you need to skim or read tens or hundreds of these papers to do research. I obtained these papers by pirating them. Later I found there are lots and lots of researchers (not even students, but university researchers) just like me, especially in developing countries. They created online communities (forums) to solve this problem. I was an active participant in one of such communities in Russia. Here anyone who needs a research paper, but cannot pay for it, could place a request and other members who can obtain the paper will send it for free by email. I could obtain any paper by pirating it, so I solved many requests and people always were very grateful for my help. After that, I created, a website that simply makes this process automatic and the website immediately became popular.

It is true that Sci-Hub collects donations, however we do not pressure anyone to send them. Elsevier, in contrast, operates by racket: If you do not send money, you will not read any papers. On my website, any person can read as many papers as they want for free, and sending donations is their free will. Why can Elsevier not work like this, I wonder?”

In her letter to Sweet, Elbakyan made a point that will likely come as a shock to many outside the academic community: Researchers and universities don’t earn a single penny from the fees charged by publishers such as Elsevier for accepting their work, while Elsevier has an annual income over a billion U.S. dollars. Elbakyan explains: “I would also like to mention that Elsevier is not a creator of these papers. All papers on their website are written by researchers, and researchers do not receive money from what Elsevier collects. That is very different from the music or movie industry, where creators receive money from each copy sold. But the economics of research papers is very different. Authors of these papers do not receive money. Why would they send their work to Elsevier then? They feel pressured to do this, because Elsevier is an owner of so-called "high-impact” journals. If a researcher wants to be recognized, make a career — he or she needs to have publications in such journals.” 

This is the Catch-22. Why would any self-respecting researcher willingly hand over, for nothing, the copyright to their hard work to an organization that will profit from the work by making the keys prohibitively expensive to the few people who want to read it? The answer is ultimately all to do with career prospects and prestige. Researchers are rewarded in jobs and promotions for publishing in high-ranking journals such as Nature.

Ironically, it is becoming increasingly common for researchers to be unable to access even their own published work, as wealthier and wealthier universities join the ranks of those unable to pay rising subscription fees. Another tragic irony is the fact that high-impact journals can actually be less reliable than lesser-ranked journals, due to their requirements that researchers publish startling results, which can lead to a higher incidence of fraud and bad research practices.

But things are changing. Researchers are increasingly fighting back against the problem of closed-access publishers and now funders of research such as the Wellcome Trust are increasingly joining the battle by instituting open access policies banning their researchers from publishing in journals with closed access. But none of this helps researchers who need access to science right now.

For her part, Elbakyan isn’t giving up the fight, in spite of the growing legal pressure, which she feels is totally unjust. When I asked what her next move would be, Elbakyan said, “I do not want Elsevier to learn about our plans,” but assured me she was not put off by the recent court order, defiantly stating “we are not going to stop our activities, and plan to expand our database.”

Already, only days after the court injunction blocking Sci-Hub’s old domain, Sci-Hub was back online at a new domain accessible worldwide. Since the court judgment, the website has been upgraded from a barebones site that existed entirely in Russian to a polished English version proudly boasting a library of 48 million papers, complete with a manifesto in opposition to copyright law. The bird is out of its cage, and if Elsevier still thinks it can put it back, they may well be sorely mistaken.

General Discussion / Watercolor + Gouache Painting Timelapse
« on: March 28, 2016, 09:45:03 PM »


Deal reached to boost California's minimum wage to $15, avoiding ballot box battle

Lawwmakers and labor unions have struck a tentative deal to raise the statewide minimum wage to $10.50 an hour next year and then gradually to $15, averting a costly political campaign this fall and possibly putting California at the forefront of a national movement.

The deal was confirmed Saturday afternoon by sources close to the negotiations who would speak only on condition of anonymity until Gov. Jerry Brown makes a formal announcement as early as Monday.

The minimum wage compromise ends a long debate between the Democratic governor and some of the state's most powerful labor unions. For Brown, it's political pragmatism; numerous statewide polls have suggested voters would approve a minimum wage proposal — perhaps even a more sweeping version — if given the chance.

According to a document obtained by The Times, the negotiated deal would boost California's statewide minimum wage from $10 an hour to $10.50 on Jan. 1, 2017, with a 50-cent increase in 2018 and then $1-per-year increases through 2022. Businesses with fewer than 25 employees would have an extra year to comply, delaying their workers receiving a $15 hourly wage until 2023.

Future statewide minimum wage increases would be linked to inflation, but a governor would have the power to temporarily block some of the initial increases in the event of an economic downturn.

A spokesperson for Brown did not immediately respond to a request for comment, nor did legislative leaders.

Brown, who signed a minimum wage increase in 2013, had resisted multiple efforts to revisit the issue at the legislative level until labor unions made it clear they were prepared to take the issue directly to voters. Last week, the first of two union-sponsored initiatives qualified for the Nov. 8 ballot. Its backers are hopeful that the final agreement will allow them to formally withdraw that initiative in a few weeks.

"We want to look at the details first," said Steve Trossman of Service Employees International-United Healthcare Workers West.

Sources say the Legislature could vote on the wage compromise as soon as the end of next week by amending an existing bill on hold since 2015. Its passage would place California ahead of a minimum wage increase now being considered in New York, and would probably add fodder to the raucous presidential race. Both Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have endorsed the goals of a nationwide campaign to raise wages to $15 an hour, and advocates say swift action in California could force both Democratic candidates to embrace what would be a more aggressive plan of action.

The proposal in Sacramento goes beyond private-sector hourly wages by including a gradual addition of up to three new paid sick days for government workers who provide in-home care to the disabled. The timing of those future benefits would be subject to economic conditions, but the proposal still represents a significant victory for labor groups.

In January, Brown warned of a $4-billion-a-year increase in state budget expenses if public-sector care workers — who are paid the minimum wage — were to receive $15 an hour. The gradual ramping up of wages and benefits in the new agreement is more aligned with Brown's larger budget philosophy.

Though the agreement will affect millions of low-income workers starting in early 2017, it won't affect efforts by some communities to boost local wages at a more rapid pace. One source described the statewide proposal as simply a "floor," or base level, of wages upon which individual cities or regions can build if they choose.

Business groups, which did not immediately respond to requests for comment, were relegated to the sidelines during the negotiations. They had sought some kind of way to preempt the local wage ordinances through state legislation, but labor groups considered that kind of concession a non-starter.


Pro-gun Florida mom is accidentally shot by her four-year-old son while driving after the boy found her pistol in back seat - just a day after she bragged about his shooting skills

Jamie Gilt, 31, was driving with her son, 4, through Putnam County, Florida
The child picked up a loaded .45 handgun from the back seat and fired
Gilt was shot and wounded after the round passed through the truck's seat
She told deputies that she had been shot in the back by her young son
Just 24 hours earlier, she posted about her toddler's shooting ability
She wrote: ''Even my 4 year old gets jacked up to target shoot with the .22'
Gilt was reportedly on her way to pick up a horse when she was shot

A high-profile pro-gun activist was shot in the back by her four-year-old son after he found her pistol lying on the back seat of her truck just 24 hours after he boasted about his shooting skills online.

Jamie Gilt, 31, who posts about firearms on her social media accounts was driving through Putnam County, Jacksonville, Florida, on Tuesday in her truck when she was wounded after the toddler picked up the weapon and shot her in the back.

It came just a day after she said the youngster would get 'jacked up' before a shooting practice on a page dedicated to her musings on Second Amendment rights.

On the profile Jamie Gilt for Gun Sense she wrote: 'Even my 4 year old gets jacked up to target shoot with the .22'.

She reportedly believes she has the right to shoot anyone who threatens her family - and plans to teach her offspring the same mentality.

According to CBS47, Gilt was on her way to pick up a horse when the shooting unfolded.

Her four-year-old son picked up a loaded .45 semi-automatic handgun from the back seat, pointed it towards his mother and pulled the trigger.

The powerful round went through the front seat and passed through Gilt's body .

Gilt flagged down a passing Sheriff's deputy and told him that she had been shot.

Deputies recovered a .45 semi-automatic handgun from the floor of the truck. They are satisfied that the round was fired from inside the vehicle. 

Gilt and her son had been travelling to pick up a horse from a relative when the accident happened.

It's progress, but it's going way too slow.

It’s Happening — D.A.R.E. Ends Anti-Weed Campaign, Quietly Removes Pot from Gateway Drug List

Cannabis has been shown to kill cancer cells, save the lives of countless epileptic children, treat PTSD, heal bones, treat brain trauma, and a slew of other uses science is only beginning to understand. And yet, the only thing dangerous about this seemingly miraculous plant is that police will kidnap, cage, or kill you for possessing it.

In spite of some form of cannabis being legal in some fashion in 23 states, the government still violently and with extreme prejudice continues to seek out those who dare possess it.

If the CDC calculated the number of deaths inflicted by police while enforcing marijuana laws, that number would certainly be shocking and could even be deemed a risk to public health. Marijuana is, indeed, dangerous, but only because of what can happen to you if the police catch you with it.

Nothing highlights the hypocrisy, immorality, and sheer lunacy of the drug war quite like marijuana prohibition and the only ones who continue to enforce the immoral and tyrannical act of marijuana prohibition are those who profit from it.

Below is a list of the top five industries who need you locked in a cage for possessing a plant in order to ensure their job security.

Police Unions: Coming in as the number one contributor to politicians for their votes to lock you in a cage for a plant are the police themselves. They risk taking massive pay cuts and losing all their expensive militarized toys without the war on drugs.

Private Prison Corporations: No surprise here. The corporatist prison lobby is constantly pushing for stricter laws to keep their stream of tax dollars flowing.

Alcohol and Beer Companies: These giant corporations hate competition, so why not pay millions to keep a cheaper and far safer alcohol alternative off the market?

Pharmaceutical Corporations: The hypocrisy of marijuana remaining a Schedule 1 drug, “No Medical Use Whatsoever,” seems criminal when considering that pharmaceutical companies reproduce a chemical version of THC and can market and sell it as such. Ever hear of Marinol? Big pharma simply uses the force of the state to legislate out their competition; that happens to be nature.

Prison Guard Unions: The prison guard unions are another group, so scared of losing their jobs, that they would rather see thousands of non-violent and morally innocent people thrown into cages than look for another job.

The good news, however, is that people are rapidly waking up to the war on weed. Even idiot politicians who still think it’s dangerous are being enticed by the lure of tax revenue generated by ending prohibition to dig them out of budget shortfalls.

Perhaps one of the most telling signs of change is the fact that the anti-drug propaganda group known as D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) has not only removed cannabis from its list of gateway drugs but they have stopped lying to children about its dangers.

For more three decades, cops would fear monger about the dangers of marijuana to children who had never even heard of it before. “One hit and your life is over,” they would say, instilling this false fear in America’s youth — luckily, most kids never bought it.

However, DARE no longer mentions marijuana in their fear propaganda, and kids are better for it.

Studies on drug use show that almost every single person, 99% of all illicit drug users have tried marijuana before they did any other drugs. This insubstantial fact is still used by reefer madness folks across the globe to bolster their claims that “marijuana is a gateway drug.”

But when one looks past the surface of this claim, it becomes downright silly. It just so happens that 99% of these so-called illicit drug users could have also tried coffee, soft drinks, candy, or milk before moving on to harsher substances.

DARE has conceded their loss and moved on. Of course, they didn’t make a press release saying so, but they only quietly removed marijuana from their list of gateway drugs. This is a victory for freedom and another step forward in the fight to end the failed and violent drug war.

The propaganda wall is crumbling in the war on drugs, and this cannot happen fast enough. Depriving tens of thousands of people of their freedom is not only poor judgement but it’s a crime against humanity — and should be treated as such.

Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world.

General Discussion / John Oliver brutally destroys Donald Trump
« on: February 29, 2016, 02:55:30 AM »

General Discussion / Hollywood is this still a thing?
« on: February 23, 2016, 04:36:39 PM »

General Discussion / Yep, he's a psychopath
« on: February 05, 2016, 08:38:53 PM »


A man who was allegedly high on meth reportedly fought off more than a dozen police officers while publicly masturbating.

Andrew Frey, 37, apparently made a series of outbursts and then began masturbating in an Oregon restaurant, The Oregonian reports.

Incredibly, police were reportedly unable to subdue Frey with a Taser.

It took 15 officers to finally take him into custody and stop him pleasuring himself.

Frey later reportedly told authorities that he took methamphetamine and couldn’t remember the obscene incident, according to the Marion County Sheriff's office.

Frey was treated at a local hospital and then booked into county jail on charges of public indecency, theft of services, and resisting arrest.


On the Wednesday of the shooting in San Bernardino, California, only a few hours before the event took place, doctors went to Capitol Hill asking Congress to end the ban on gun violence research. They presented a petition signed by over 2,000 doctors nationwide, protesting a 1996 ban that prevents the Center For Disease Control from studying gun violence.

The ban was made after a CDC-funded study revealed that having a gun in the home increases the likelihood of homicide and suicide. The NRA convinced Congress that the CDC was using its power to advocate gun control, and Congress quickly cut funding for gun-related research. It wasn’t exactly a ban on all research, per se, but the amendment was worded in such a confusing and vague way that no one knew for certain what was permitted. This created a climate of fear and intimidation with CDC researchers, where “no federal employee was willing to risk his or her career or the agency's funding to find out” if they could study gun violence. But why would the CDC want to study gun violence, anyway?

The “disease” in Center for Disease Control is a slight misnomer. The CDC exists, as per its website, “to protect America from health, safety and security threats ... whether human error or deliberate attack,” and “conducts critical science” as a response to health threats. That can be everything from Ebola to car safety, anything that could be potentially lethal to Americans that isn’t naturally occurring. CDC research has helped states with seatbelt laws and has done intensive research on tobacco. Former Speaker of the House John Boehner evidently does not know what this organization does (or he was just being facetious). He has said, “The CDC is there to look at diseases ... a gun is not a disease. Guns don’t kill people, people do.” Cars are also not disease, nor are cigarettes, and both are equally unlikely to kill people on their own. Yet the CDC is permitted to study their inherent health and safety risks.

Emotions are intense on this topic, as well they should be. We’re talking about an issue that involves about 300,000 deaths in the past decade, and how we reconcile that with certain rights. There’s not an easy answer; it’s not black and white. Still, how is it that tensions are so high we can’t allow research to be done by a non-partisan organization that is, by all accounts, purely concerned about public safety?

 What struck me as most profoundly disturbing about the ban wasn’t that it happened — if elected officials who are chosen by the people make a decision they feel is in the best interest of the people, we have to live with that even if we disagree. But the chilling truth is that a lobbyist organization could have this type of influence over Congress. They aren’t elected by the American public, and yet they have control over our government. Their power resulted in a ban that prevents us from educating ourselves about ourselves, our country, and any risks that guns might present. The hashtag #endtheban is trending, but is it possible that our congressmen and congresswomen could be more intimidated by their constituents than whichever lobbyist has the most muscle? It’s an issue about guns, yes, but it also brings to light an equally big issue about who is really making laws on Capitol Hill.

General Discussion / Independence Day 2
« on: December 13, 2015, 06:57:11 PM »

General Discussion / X-Men: Apocalypse
« on: December 11, 2015, 05:23:21 PM »

General Discussion / Nick Offerman's 'Yule Log'
« on: December 03, 2015, 09:57:54 PM »

General Discussion / Captain America: Civil War
« on: November 25, 2015, 02:45:25 AM »

General Discussion / Holy shit, this commercial
« on: November 20, 2015, 12:34:26 AM »


Trump crosses the Nazi line: Maybe Muslims should wear special ID badges

Donald Trump stuck a toe across the Nazi line Thursday morning in the ongoing hysteria over Muslim immigrants.

The Republican presidential frontrunner refused to rule out requiring Muslims to carry special identification showing their faith — which the Third Reich required Jews to do with a yellow badge that resembled the Star of David.

“We’re going to have to do things that we never did before,” Trump told Yahoo News. “Some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling that security is going to rule.”

The Nazi policy was based on an anti-Semitic practice in Medieval and Renaissance European nations, and historians say it played a large role in paving the way for acceptance of the Holocaust.

“The German government’s policy of forcing Jews to wear identifying badges was but one of many psychological tactics aimed at isolating and dehumanizing the Jews of Europe, directly marking them as being different (i.e., inferior) to everyone else,” according to the Holocaust Center. “It allowed for the easier facilitation of their separation from society and subsequent ghettoization, which ultimately led to the deportation and murder of 6 million Jews.”

Trump also refused to rule out warrantless searches as part of his call for increased surveillance of Muslim houses of worship, and he has also suggested that U.S. mosques could be shut down if they are deemed to be a security threat — although he’s not certain that’s legal.

“Certain things will be done that we never thought would happen in this country in terms of information and learning about the enemy,” Trump said. “We’re going to have to do things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago.”

The real estate tycoon and reality TV star said he was open to registering U.S. Muslims in a special database, in addition to requiring them to publicly identify themselves by their faith.

“We’re going to have to look at a lot of things very closely,” Trump said. “We’re going to have to look at the mosques. We’re going to have to look very, very carefully.”

The GOP candidate suggested that he would consider former New York Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly, who oversaw a controversial surveillance program against Muslims following 9/11, for a position in his administration, if he was elected next year.

“Ray’s a great guy,” Trump said. “Ray did a fab job as commissioner, and sure, Ray would be somebody I’d certainly consider.”

Trump has repeatedly praised the program, which remains the subject of a federal lawsuit and did not result in a single investigative lead or arrest.


Fallout 4 was so hotly anticipated that it apparently hasn’t left time for anybody to be hot and bothered. The open world role playing game was released on November 10 and broke records by selling 12 million copies on launch day. After Fallout 4 came, its players did not: Corey Price, the president of pornography website Pornhub, said that among gamers, traffic to the website dropped by a full 10 percent following the game’s release.

“We can’t say we’re too surprised with what happened to our traffic during peak gaming hours,” Corey told GamesBeat. “Based on the data, it looks like a huge surge of people decided to indulge in some wasteland wandering by taking the day off of work and school to play, while the rest of the world had to wade through what we assume were the longest hours of work ever in anticipation of some alone time with their consoles.”

It was a hard day for the site, with page views beginning to go flaccid at around 5 a.m., when most users would have finished downloading the game, and remained soft for most of the morning. Traffic recovered when people had to get up and go to work in the late morning and afternoon, but after a brief refractory period, idle hands wandered back to the controllers and the site’s traffic again shrank beginning at around 6 p.m. Gamers played long and hard into the night before succumbing to their more primal urges, and Pornhub’s traffic climbed to higher levels at around 10 p.m.

Check out the data for yourself via Pornhub below, and let us know in the comments if any of your priorities changed when Fallout 4 was released.


Sam's Club will be selling PlayStation 4 systems at a discount next week, according to a flyer leaked on Cheap Ass Gamer. On Nov. 14, the retailer will sell the console for $299 in a bundle that includes one free game.

There are some things to note here: The deal will be offered for just one day, available as a 7 a.m. doorbuster. While the bundle price represents a savings of $50, the flyer does not make explicit whether the free game is up to the customer's discretion. Additionally, Sam's Club runs on a membership basis — memberships are available for an annual fee of $45 — meaning this deal is only available to those who already pay dues to the warehouse.

We've reached out to Sam's Club for clarification as to the particulars of this bundle, but either way, $299 for a PlayStation 4 is a pretty spectacular price.


Caught between conflicting moral arguments, Gov. Jerry Brown, a former Jesuit seminary student, signed a measure Monday allowing physicians to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill patients who want to hasten their deaths.

Brown appeared to struggle in deciding whether to approve the bill, whose opponents included the Catholic Church.

“In the end, I was left to reflect on what I would want in the face of my own death,” Brown wrote in a signing message. “I do not know what I would do if I were dying in prolonged and excruciating pain. I am certain, however, that it would be a comfort to be able to consider the options afforded by this bill. And I wouldn’t deny that right to others.”

The new law is modeled after one that went into effect in 1997 in Oregon, where last year 105 people took their lives with drugs prescribed for that purpose.

The California law will permit physicians to provide lethal prescriptions to mentally competent adults who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness and face the expectation that they will die within six months.

The law will take effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns its special session on healthcare, which may not be until next year — January at the earliest, November at the latest.

The governor's action caps months of emotional and contentious debate over the End of Life Option Act, which divided physicians, ethicists, religious leaders and the Democratic majority in the Legislature.

Tim Rosales, a spokesman for Californians Against Assisted Suicide, which includes doctors, advocates for the disabled, the California Catholic Conference and other religious groups, criticized Brown’s action.

“This is a dark day for California and for the Brown legacy,” Rosales said. “As someone of wealth and access to the world’s best medical care and doctors, the governor's background is very different than that of millions of Californians living in healthcare poverty without that same access — these are the people and families potentially hurt by giving doctors the power to prescribe lethal overdoses to patients.”

Catholic Church officials, when asked for comment, said Rosales would speak for them. Rosales said the coalition is considering its options, including a lawsuit and a referendum.

Brown said he weighed the religious arguments.

The bill “is not an ordinary bill because it deals with life and death,” Brown wrote. “The crux of the matter is whether the state of California should continue to make it a crime for a dying person to end his life, no matter how great his pain or suffering.”

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The issues raised by the legislation are personal ones for Brown, who has survived multiple brushes with cancer and has lost family members. Death has been a source of humor, such as in May when he ruminated on the pointlessness of pursuing perfect solutions in an imperfect world.

“It’s messy, there’s suffering, and in the end we all die,” Brown said in a speech to a business group. “When you’re 77, by the way, that’s something that’s a little more imminent.”

He had a small basal cell carcinoma removed from near his right ear in 2008, and in 2011 he had a cancerous growth removed from his nose. The year after that, Brown was treated for early stage prostate cancer. When the treatment ended, the governor told reporters, “I'm rarin' to go. Don't expect me to leave too soon.”

Brown said Monday that he carefully considered input from doctors, including two of his own, a Catholic bishop and advocates for the disabled, as well as pleas from the family of Brittany Maynard, a cancer victim who took her own life. He said he also considered input favoring the bill from retired South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

“I have considered the theological and religious perspectives that any deliberate shortening of one’s life is sinful,” he wrote.

Maynard talked to Brown three days before her death after the 29-year-old Californian, who was dying of brain cancer, moved to Oregon last year so she could take her own life as allowed by that state’s end-of-life law.

“Brittany wanted this legislation in California so others would not have to go through what she went through,” Dan Diaz, Maynard’s husband, said Monday, adding that Brown’s action “granted one of her last wishes.”

Maynard’s story gained international attention after she was featured on the cover of People magazine.

Her story gave momentum to legislation that had stalled in previous years, said Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton), a former hospice worker who wrote the new law.

“I feel very humbled and gratified but it’s not an occasion of feeling joy over a bill that is signed,” Eggman said. “I know the peace this will bring some families today and in the future.”

The group Compassion & Choices, which pushed for the new law, said it hopes other states will follow California’s lead.

“This is the biggest victory for the death-with-dignity movement since Oregon passed the nation’s first law two decades ago,” said Barbara Coombs Lee, the group’s president. “Enactment of this law in California means we are providing this option to more than 1 in 10 Americans.”

Most Republican lawmakers opposed the bill on moral grounds. Democrats who voted against it cited religious views or experiences in which family members given months to live by doctors had lived for years.

Brown ignored warnings that some people would be pressured into assisted suicide, Sen. Bob Huff (R-San Dimas) said.

“Let’s call this for what it really is: It’s not death with dignity. This is state-assisted death, physician-assisted death and relative-assisted death,” Huff said.

Critics said the bill’s authors bypassed the normal process for legislation. When a previous bill failed to get enough votes in regular session, a similar bill was introduced in a special session called to find funding for healthcare programs.

They also said it would be abused by greedy heirs pressuring elderly people to end their lives prematurely. But supporters of the new law said such problems have not occurred in Oregon.

In the last 17 years in Oregon, doctors have written 1,173 prescriptions. Of these, 752 patients have used the medication to bring about their deaths and 421 have chosen not to use it, said Patricia A. Gonzalez-Portillo of Compassion & Choices. It is also allowed in Washington, Vermont and Montana, although in Montana it was by a court decision.

California voters in 1992 rejected a broader proposal that would have allowed physicians to administer lethal injections to the terminally sick. Bills offering patients the right to obtain deadly drug doses failed in the Legislature in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

Those who testified for the new law include former LAPD Det. Christy O’Donnell of Valencia, who has been given a few months left to live because of lung cancer.

“Whether or not this is something people use, they now have a choice to get the medication and end their lives peacefully, painlessly and quickly,” O’Donnell said.

Elizabeth Wallner, 51, of Sacramento has Stage 4 cancer in her liver and lungs and said she would consider getting a prescription if her condition deteriorated significantly. “Depending on if things got tough,” she said, “I might get a prescription and I would not rule out taking it.”

General Discussion / Hey Nadanson
« on: September 30, 2015, 01:12:41 AM »
That was such a "Giant" lost.


In a victory for secular Americans, the City of Coral Springs has decided it will end the practice of opening public meetings with a prayer.
City officials decided that giving up the practice of opening public meetings with a prayer was preferable over allowing Satanists a chance to participate in the practice.

City of Coral Springs officials announced earlier this week that as of Oct. 1 they will end the longstanding tradition of opening City Commission meetings with prayers. The change in policy comes after City Commissioners became uncomfortable with the idea of non-Christians delivering the prayer, and in particular, the prospect of Satanists delivering the traditional opening prayer.

After receiving pressure from the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), and noting that the recent Supreme Court decision Greece v. Galloway requires cities to allow prayer from all faiths or no faith, Mayor Skip Campbell said:

I don’t think our citizens would be in favor of Satanic invocations before City Commission meetings. The cost of fighting that could be astronomical. I don’t see [how] we as a city should be paying lawyer fees for fights on principle. I can find a lot of better things to do with a couple hundred thousand dollars than to give toa (sic) lawyer.

The change in policy comes after Chaz Stevens, a Satanist and self-described atheist who advocates for the separation of church and state, petitioned city commissioners for a chance to deliver the invocation. Last August the city rejected his request via email from the city clerk:

It has been the city’s longstanding adopted practice to offer a brief, solemn and respectful prayer at the opening of the City Commission meetings, prior to engaging in official City business. Contrary to the city’s policy, your numerous emails indicate that you have no intention of delivering an invocation based upon your religious beliefs, no matter what they may be, but instead intend to make a mockery of the proceedings, by, as you indicated, ‘twerking’ and/or bringing a mariachi band to perform.

However, after pressure from the FFRF on behalf of Stevens, the city decided to give up on the religious invocations altogether, in favor of a moment of silence.

General Discussion / Amnesia: Dark Descent is currently free on Steam.
« on: September 16, 2015, 05:10:58 AM »
Giving you negros a heads up.

General Discussion / John Oliver: Public Defenders
« on: September 15, 2015, 06:33:08 AM »

LoLz / Hey guys, follow the pings
« on: August 22, 2015, 08:56:21 PM »

Chill bro, I just said follow the pings next time, I warned you that the enemy jungler was nearby and you didn't listen, and i also pinged ahead of time on when to gank and again, you were not paying attention.


warning: you have been reported for bad behavior


An Iranian city logged a 165-degree heat index last week as temperatures continue to boil

165 degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends cooking chicken to in order to make sure that it’s safe to eat. It’s also how hot it felt last Friday in Bandar Mahshahr, Iran.

A massive heat wave is currently passing across the Middle East and countries across the region are reporting near record-breaking temperatures, leaving people struggling to stay cool. An actual temperature of 115 degrees combined with 90 percent humidity pushed Bandar Mahshahr’s heat index to a scorching 165 degrees last week – and there’s no sign that it will let up anytime soon.

“That was one of the most incredible temperature observations I have ever seen and it is one of the most extreme readings ever in the world," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Anthony Sagliani in a statement.

Iran’s not the only country feeling the heat. Last Thursday, the Iraqi capital of Baghdad experienced a record-breaking heat index of 125 degrees, which the National Weather Service says makes “heat stroke highly likely.” City officials declared a four-day holiday to try and keep people off the streets, but with temperatures and humidity this high and ailing infrastructure and air conditioners causing power outages, it’s hard for people to cool down, writes James Rothwell for the Telegraph.

The heat wave has already lasted almost a week with no sign of letting up soon thanks to what officials are calling a “high-pressure ridge” that has hovered over the Middle East since July, Kareem Shaheen and Saeed Kamali Dehghan report for The Guardian. According to the Washington Post, the highest heat index ever recorded was at 178 degrees Fahrenheit in Dahrhan, Saudi Arabia in 2008. If the “heat dome” doesn’t move along soon, that record could be left in the dust.

LoLz / Why did Riot kill off Gangplank?
« on: July 30, 2015, 03:49:57 AM »
Of all champions, why him and not Teemo?

I'm not digging this Game of Thrones-esque of just having random champions killed for the sake for lore.

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