An in-depth discussion of tear gas.

Before I repost this Twitter thread in toto, I'd like to say a few things.  First, Zander is an old friend of mine (pushing 20 years at this point).  Second, while he might bill himself as "an amateur chemist," his scientific expertise has been helpful to me numerous times over the years, so I feel that I can vouch for his knowledge as well as his assessment of the situation.  I asked him if I could repost this research earlier and he gave his permission.  For clarity I've made minor edits to add punctuation.  I've also reposted the images he …

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Boots on the ground at the protests in Oakland, CA.

Disclaimer: I will attempt to be as unemotional and dispassionate as I can. I will undoubtedly fail for many reasons but I think I need to make the attempt anyway. I will make strive to comment only on what I witnessed personally, and keep what I (over-)heard to a minimum. I admit that I am an outsider and will do my best to not seem as if I am not. Nevertheless, compassion and conscience require me to speak out.

Disclaimer the second: I've probably forgotten details even though I have several pages of notes and will have to edit …

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LRAD information archive.

For the past couple of years sonic weapons called LRADs (Long Range Accoustic Devices) have been increasingly deployed against protestors in the United States (here is footage from Pittsburgh shot in 2009 (warning: remove your earphones!)). A step up from mere marketing tricks that make you suspect that you're going mad, these sonic weapons pump out enough sound pressure to cause permanant hearing damage at a distance of a couple of hundred feet. Earplugs don't work because the sound is loud enough to be conducted into one's inner ears through the bones of the skull. Getting behind hard cover probably …

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On the riots.

It's almost impossible to blog about current events anymore. Situations evolve so rapidly that unless you're plugged into a constantly moving flow of information like Twitter anything you write is going to be out of date sixty seconds before you click "Post Entry." In case you haven't guessed, I speak of the riots in London and to a lesser extent the protests in Israel.

So.. assuming that you don't have a prosthetic lobe of your brain constantly connected to the global Net (which isn't as much fun as it sounds - DDoS attacks a few fibre runs over give me such …

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Links to videos of protestor deaths in Syria.

Mirrored from this pad at Telecomix, here are links to the deaths of multiple peaceful protestors in Syria. Much of this footage is graphic in nature, but it's also of people literally putting their lives on the line in the hope of making a better world to raise their children in. Please repost and retweet this widely.



Today is Volcano of Aleppo, and in celebration we are running a news service on
http://www.facebook.com/pages/English-Speakers-to-Help-The-Syrian-Revolution/207817119257373. If you pass me any links or messages, I will get their Arabic content summarised and post to the site for …

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Beauty may only be skin-deep, but asshole is to the bone.

You know Fred Phelps, whose church/immediate family protests the funerals of fallen US soldiers, homosexuals, and even Mister Rogers (no, I'm not making this stuff up)?

They're going to protest at the funerals of fallen Virginia Tech students.

Right about now, I am so enraged at the thought that I am going to end this entry before I say something that will get me in trouble.

Happy "Oh, gods, I have to go back to work?!" day, everyone.

Wait a minute... ex-president Gerald Ford died?!

Lyssa pointed me at an article that brought up something that never occurred to me - how libraries manage the limited amount of space they have for all of their materials. This is to say, they keep track of how often each book is checked out (much easier to do since card catalogues and patron records went digital in the mid 1990's) and if it isn't touched for longer than a certain time, they either throw the books out (dumpster diving at the local library is how I got most of my books when …

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