Friday, July 29, 2016

A Drunkj Driver Who Killed A Man in Pacifica, California Is Found Guilty

  Local News
  State / National / World
  Opinion / Letters
  Arts / Entertainment
  Submit Event
  Comics / Games
  DJ Designers
  Advertise With Us
  About Us

Woman found guilty of killing Pacifica man: DA: Drunk driver faces 10 years for manslaughter
July 28, 2016, 05:00 AM Daily Journal staff report
A Daly City woman is facing 10 years in prison after a jury found her guilty of driving drunk when she killed a Pacifica man on Highway 1 last year.
Ana Lilian Reepen, 42, was found guilty of two felonies after a six-day jury trial showed she had at least a .21 blood alcohol content hours after she drove the wrong way on the coastal highway and slammed head on into another driver around 6:42 p.m. Saturday, July 25, 2015, said District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.
The victim, Bruce Bernor, a 54-year-old Pacifica man who was well loved in the community, died at the scene. Reepen went to trial arguing the blood test taken at the hospital where she was transported to with injuries was flawed, Wagstaffe said.
Reepen had been drinking at the Surf Spot restaurant before she drove her Honda CRV onto Highway 1 from Seabowl Lane heading south in the northbound lane. She was driving an estimated 50 mph when she rammed into Bernor, who was driving a Jaguar northbound near Crespi Drive, Wagstaffe said.
Bernor’s family attended the entire trial and Reepen’s husband reportedly cried out after the verdict was read Wednesday, about a day and a half after the jury started deliberating, Wagstaffe said.
“The tragedy she created affects her own family and the victim’s family,” Wagstaffe said. “It’s just inexcusable in today’s world to be driving around drunk when there’s an Uber or Lyft.”
Bernor’s family filed a civil lawsuit in San Mateo County Superior Court against Caltrans and the city of Pacifica, claiming the city and state transit agency did not provide adequate signs warning drivers of the one-way direction on Highway 1. The suit, filed July 1, 2016, suggests those driving westbound on Sea Bowl Lane may confuse the first northbound lane of Highway 1 as a southbound lane and enter heading the wrong direction.
Reepen was not named as a defendant in the civil case scheduled for a pretrial conference Nov. 3.
On Wednesday, a jury found Reepen guilty of vehicular manslaughter while under the influence and felony drunk driving. She is scheduled to return for sentencing Sept. 16. She had previously been out on bail, but it was doubled up to $500,000 after the verdict, Wagstaffe said.

- See more at:

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Swimmers At The Rio Olympics May Literally Be Swimming In Crap

Monday, July 25, 2016

I Survived Eight Months In An African Village; One Died

Those of you who know me well are familiar with an interesting part of my life from 1993. I left Port Elizabeth, South Africa. I spent 8 months in a Xhosa tribal village in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa.
When I arrived the young people in the village were delighted to see me. They were honored that a Europeans would want to live among them and come to understand them better. The older people in the village were sullen and skeptical. They kept calling me "baase" and "master." When they did this I would smile at them and tell them that I was no one's boss or master.
When I arrived in the village I felt self-conscious. I was six feet-tall and the average village inhabitant was five feet-tall. More obviously I was white and everyone else was black.
After about three days something miraculous happened. I stopped feeling self conscious. I stopped seeing the people in the village as black.I started to see them as people with strengths,weaknesses, and problems like all of we humans.
The people in the village were amazing. The average person only had two years of formal education. Yet everyone spoke English, Afrikaans (The Dutch language), Xhosa (their tribal language) and another tribal language like Zulu. They were not dumb or primitive. I felt sad that they had not had more chances in life.
I could write a book about my 8 months there. But it was one of the most beautiful and uplifting experiences in my life. It led to my being allowed to vote in the first all-race election in South Africa.
At about the same time a very idealistic 26-year old woman from Newport Beach,California, started to do the same thing in a township near Cape Town. Her name was Amy Biehl. She was a distinguished young academic with a bright future. Her experience did not have the happy ending that mine did. She was literally stoned to death by some inhabitants of the township.
What happened to Amy has haunted my psyche for 23 years. Why did she have to die and why did I survive the same experience?
Yesterday I was reading the New York Times book section. I discovered a book about Amy, her tragedy and what happened afterwards. The title is We Are Not Such Things. I was touched and bought a copy.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Nuclear Tests On Bikini Atol 70 Years Later

Donald Trump Is A Unique Threat To American Democracy

50 Years Of the Magic Of Star Trek

My dear friends the original Star Trek series premiers on Tuesday September 27, 1966. Its 50-year anniversary is rapidly approaching. I watched the first episode in my sister's room on her small portable television. It was a hot and humid night in Houston. I fell in love and was mesmerized by the show. I have remained that way for 50 years. I'm delighted that it has "grown and prospered" over the years. Yesterday I went to see Star Trek Beyond. It was a pleasant surprise. It was faithful to the original show. It was brilliant and showed how much technical progress had been made in 50 years. Oh heck.. Iloved it!!!

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Digital War With ISIS


The digital war with Isis

‘What makes this so nasty is that it involves all of us, sitting in our own homes in front of our computer screens’
Image of Gillian Tett
© Shonagh Rae
Last week, I was browsing the internet for information about the tragic attack in Nice on Bastille Day, when I spotted a story that suggested disturbing new images were circulating of the Isis attacks on Paris inside the Bataclan theatre late last year. I was about to click “Search” — but then I had a second thought and stopped.
Until recently, I assumed that one of the great benefits of the internet was that it could give access to any information we wanted, any time we wanted. But, as the fight with Islamist extremism intensifies, I now realise that this privilege has turned into a curse. These days, the war is not only being waged on the battlefield; a second front has opened up in cyber space. And what makes this second — largely hidden — fight so insidious is that it involves all of us, sitting in our own homes in front of our computer screens or mobile phones.
Isis has taken the media game to a new level. In the past, terrorist and insurgent groups have often used the media to propagate their messages. What makes Isis unusual is that it is not only extraordinarily adept at mastering modern media platforms but that it has made this a strategic priority, to spread fear and attract new recruits. Its media outreach has been so effective that some US intelligence observers even suspect that Isis has studied western consumer giants to replicate their marketing tactics.
It seeks to build “audience engagement” and “reach”, creating memorable “content” that can be easily “shared”. Hence those horrific images of beheadings and so on. Indeed, reports suggest that Isis has recently even put GoPro cameras on the ends of guns to produce images that will appeal to millennial video game players.
Until recently, Washington seemed unable to fight back. But if Rick Stengel, a senior State Department official who used to be editor of Time magazine, is to be believed, this is now changing — at least to some degree. The US government realises it is unlikely to succeed by producing its own American-branded content, which tends to be too clunky and dull. Instead, US officials prefer to rely on moderate Muslim groups countering Isis material. “Isil is losing the digital war,” Stengel recently told the Aspen Ideas Festival. “Over the last year, there has been an exponential increase in anti-Isil voices … [these are] creating six times as much content as Isil is creating.”
At the same time, Silicon Valley — under US government pressure — has also become more efficient at removing Isis content from the web. Academics at George Washington University, for example, have been tracking Isis’s presence on Twitter — and while it was increasing rapidly two years ago, it is now declining: accounts associated with the group are rapidly closed down.
That sounds encouraging. But there is a catch. As the battle in cyber space has intensified, one of the more interesting statistics to emerge is that — contrary to western perceptions — English is not the most prevalent language for Isis material. Instead, around 85 per cent of Isis’s social media posts are in Arabic, about 12 per cent in Russian — the rest in English or French.
In theory, this should hamper the spread of Isis messages in the west; in reality, the western mainstream media have sometimes done Isis’s own “work”, by reproducing these messages — in translation. So have numerous websites and blogs. “Today beheading videos get taken down very fast, sometimes after just 25 views,” says Stengel. “Most people [in the west] see images [like beheadings] through the [western] media.”
Hence my moment of remorse earlier this week. In theory, one way to deal with this cyber war with Isis might be for US officials to ban the reproduction of Isis visual messages. Stengel is reluctant to back that idea. Instead, he calls for tasteful, thoughtful restraint. That sounds sensible — as a journalist I would argue that deliberate censorship is neither feasible nor desirable in a world ruled by the internet. But can you really impose “restraint” in a world where media outlets are fighting for clicks? Where does censorship start and dignity begin? How, in other words, can you divide credible “news” from “war porn”?
There are no easy answers. Yet one thing is clear: this is a “war” in which we are all involved. Reflect on that the next time you see a picture of a terrorist outrage or hear about new atrocities. And if you are tempted to press “Search”, then think again.
Illustration by Shonagh Rae

Olympic Legacy: Giles Price's Aerial Photos of Rio de Janeiro


Olympic legacy: Giles Price’s aerial photos of Rio

The photographer’s images of Olympic constuction sites bring into focus the murky politics of urban development
The Olympic tennis arena, 2016. The complex has 16 hard courts and a capacity of 19,000. Some courts are temporary but others, including the centre court – named after the Brazilian tennis star Maria Esther Bueno – will be permanent © Giles Price
Like many great creations, Giles Price’s body of photographs documenting Olympic construction sites was the result of an accident, in this case a particularly gruesome one.
After leaving school at 16, in 1990 Price joined the Royal Marines to serve in northern Iraq and Kurdistan during the first Gulf war. It could have been the beginning of a long career in the military but four years later he fell ill after ingesting phosphate — a weapons’ component that damaged his intestines so severely he was forced into early retirement.
The Olympics Aquatic Stadium under construction, Barra da Tijuca, 2015. This is a temporary structure and will be dismantled after the Games © Giles Price
“How and where it happened I still don’t know,” says Price, now 43, looking out on to Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana beach, where workers are rushing to erect the volleyball arena ahead of the 2016 Olympics. “We were operating in villages that were completely flattened by Saddam [Hussein], so maybe I touched something there or it was dust brought in by one of the helicopters.”
With the amateur snaps he had taken on the battlefield, he applied to study photography at the University of Derby and went on to work as a commercial and documentary photographer. Those early images from Iraq are now held by the Imperial War Museum in London.
The Olympic Village in Barra da Tijuca, 2016. After the Olympics, the complex will be renamed ‘Ilha Pura’ (‘Pure Island’) and sold off as luxury apartments © Giles Price
His experience of war has continued to inform his photography, particularly his depiction of the building work in the lead-up to the London Olympics in 2012 and to this summer’s Olympics in Rio. Hanging out of helicopters as he did in the Middle East, Price has spent almost seven years capturing aerial shots of Olympic arenas and other related mega-projects at various stages of completion.
His photographs are striking standalone abstract compositions that supply revealing evidence of the construction process. But they are also records of humanity in extreme circumstances — testament to the Herculean efforts of the workers below as they battle not against the enemy but against the punishing physical environment.
Barra da Tijuca, 2016. As part of the wider pledge made during the city’s bid to host the event, polluted waters close to the Olympic site were supposed to be cleared ahead of the Games © Giles Price
“I wanted to create a legacy for the construction workers who felt like a forgotten army,” says Price, referring to his London series. “They spent seven years building the largest single development in the UK in 150 years and then, when the Olympics came along, everyone was focused on the athletes and celebrities.”
He set off for Brazil in 2014, intending to repeat the project in Rio. However, the realities that he encountered in South America’s first Olympics’ host city — corruption, inequality, broken promises and environmental destruction — instantly added a political dimension to his work, he says.
The whitewater stadium, 2016. It holds 25 million litres of water and has two slalom courses: a 250m competition course and a 200m training course © Giles Price
Initially the idea of taking aerial photos of the construction sites had come from necessity: gaining ground access was near impossible in London, as it proved to be in Rio. In Rio, however, aerial photography became a powerful tool to provide viewers with unfettered access to controversial sites, the details of which were not always readily available — an antidote to the “no comment” and half-truths peddled by the various authorities and companies in charge.
Flicking through the photos on his phone at the beachside café in Copacabana, Price stops at a bird’s-eye view of Rio’s new golf course. According to the authorities, the development is a historic achievement for the city and the sport — it will host the Olympics’ first golf tournament since 1904. But Price’s image shows the project for what it is: a golf course built in the middle of the city’s Marapendi nature reserve, largely to the benefit of a nearby luxury apartment complex.
The toll station for the new expressway in the west of the city, 2016. Two lanes are designated exclusively for the rapid transit bus system, BRT Transolimpica © Giles Price
Similarly, a shot over the Olympic Park clearly documents the removal of Vila Autódromo — a favela, or slum neighbourhood, that was largely demolished to make way for the Games in spite of desperate protests by its residents. Another shot shows a small oil spill in one of the city’s inlets that is invisible from the shore. The promised clean-up of Rio’s Guanabara Bay, where the Olympic sailing competition is due to be held, never happened.
Price has given his Brazilian series the title Morar Olimpíadas (roughly translated asLive the Olympics) — a play on the name of an Olympics favela upgrade programme that is also yet to materialise. While he also documents more positive elements of Rio’s preparations, such as the removal of a large motorway that once ripped through the city’s historic centre, the overall impression is unsettling.
The Live Site outdoor entertainment area, 2016. It can accommodate up to 25,000 visitors, who will be able to watch the games on the semi-circle of screens © Giles Price
For Rio, Brazil’s former capital, the Olympics were meant to be its 21st-century moment of glory, but over the past couple of years the city has been bombarded by one crisis after another. First came the country’s far-reaching corruption scandalsurrounding the state-owned oil company Petrobras. Then came the country’s deepest and longest recession in history, and then the global health emergency over the mosquito-borne Zika virus that has been linked to horrific birth defects.
In April, part of a cycle lane built for the Olympics collapsed into the sea, killing two men. Last month, Brazil’s tourism minister resigned over graft allegations, a day before Rio declared itself to be in a state of financial emergency as its hospitals ran out of even the most basic supplies. Over the following two weeks, an Australian gold medal-winning Paralympian, Liesl Tesch, was robbed at gunpoint in Rio; mutilated body parts washed up on Copacabana beach next to the Olympic volleyball arena; and, in a particularly bizarre incident, soldiers shot dead their own Olympics mascot, a pet jaguar, in northern Brazil. Eleven workers have died so far during construction work for the Games. In a fitting finale to the list of calamities, Brazil’s suspended president Dilma Rousseff is expected to be formally impeached around the time of the closing ceremony.
Irrigation work taking place on the site of the Olympic Beach Volleyball Arena. Copacabana Beach, 2014 © Giles Price
However, sipping on a freshly squeezed lemon juice in the sunshine earlier this month, metres away from where the body parts were found on Rio’s most famous beach, Price is typical of most foreign visitors to the city: he loves the place. “Rio is stunning,” he enthuses, “one of the most beautiful cities on the planet.”
When he was planning his first trip, Rio had begun to sound like a warzone — insurance companies charged him exorbitant rates on his equipment because of the city’s high crime rate, while friends and family warned him of various other deadly threats. But the only real difficulty he has encountered since his arrival, he says, is Brazilians’ general inability to speak much English.
Residents fight eviction as their homes start to be demolished in Vila Autódromo next to the Olympic Park site. Barra da Tijuca, 2014 © Giles Price
As with the football fans who came to Rio for the 2014 World Cup, which was also hampered by protests and scandal, visitors to the Olympics will most likely return home tanned, hung over and thoroughly entertained. Perhaps the Games will even be heralded as the best Olympics ever, just as the World Cup was. Barring any major catastrophe such as a terrorist attack, Brazilians will probably congratulate themselves on delivering a great spectacle and move on.
Price, however, hopes that his aerial photographs will have a more lasting significance: as a witness to the money, homes and lives that were handed over to construct an event that, in the words of the International Olympic Committee, showcases the “best of the human spirit”.
Foundations being laid for the International Broadcast Centre at the Olympic Park. Barra da Tijuca, 2015 © Giles Price
Samantha Pearson is the FT’s Brazil correspondent.
‘Morar Olimpíadas, Rio 2016, Landscapes of transition and partition’, by Giles Price, with an introduction by Jules Boykoff, is published by See Studio, £30. For more details:
Photographs: Giles Price

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Planetary Radio-Remembering Neil Armstrong 47 Years Later

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Some Incredible Tree Art

Subject: FW: Rotten Old Tree Trunk?

It May Look Like An Rotten Old Tree Trunk… But a Closer Look Reveals Something Spectacular!

Hey buddy, that’s one gigantic tree trunk… but why is it behind red tape? It looks like it’s all old and rotting with all that funny texture going on. Come closer, you say? Sure… wait… WOW. So apparently this isn’t just a gigantic tree trunk lying around in a gallery. Artist Zheng Chunhui has created a piece called “Along The River During The Quinming Festival” and it seems as though he was on a mission to blow everyone’s mind. Take a look at the photos below and try to imagine the incredible skill and dedication required to create something like this…
Nice tree, buddy… 40-feet long? Pretty impressive! You want me to look closer? Okay…
Um… WHAT!?
Okay, so it turns out this is a a carved wooden sculpture. Made with a single tree trunk, it has been recognized as the world’s longest wood carving by the Guinness Book of World Records.
The sculpture contains over 550 individually carved people. Not to mention all the buildings and foliage.
It’s is a replica of the famous Chinese painting “Along The River During The Quinming Festival” created by artist Zhang Zeduan during the Song Dynasty.
This mind-blowing artwork was created by Zheng Chunhui and took four years to complete. Kudos to you, sir.
Now THAT’S a masterpiece!


19.03 GB (18%) of 101 GB used
Last account activity: 0 minutes ago

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Hillary Has 76% Chance of Victory

Who Will Be President?

Alleged Silk Road Dark-Web Vendor Of Cocaine, Marijuana Arrested

Alleged Silk Road Dark-Web Vendor Of Cocaine, Marijuana Arrested: A Merced man accused of being one of the largest vendors selling cocaine and marijuana on the dark web marketplaces was arrested Monday.

The Republicans Are Now Showing Interest In Breaking Up The Big Banks


Wall Street on edge as Republicans warm to Glass-Steagall

Proposals similar to post-depression act of breaking up big institutions gains bipartisan support
The Republican convention has left Wall Street banks on edge by embracing a populist proposal to break up big institutions, an idea loved by many Democrats that adds a new twist to the GOP under Donald Trump.
Defying nearly two decades of party tradition, the Cleveland convention adopted policies that include reining in banks by banning institutions that hold deposits from doing riskier investment banking, mirroring a law from the Great Depression. The policy platform was written by a committee of Republican lawmakers and officials.
The proposal to cut banks down to size has created an unexpected accord between the Republican and Democratic platforms as Hillary Clinton’s party — under the influence of her bank-bashing former rival Bernie Sanders — had made a similar call.
It signals that bipartisan enmity towards the biggest banks continues to run high amid widespread economic discontent, with many Americans still feeling the hangover of the 2008-09 financial crisis in which Wall Street played a fatal role.
Presidential candidates do not have to follow party platforms, but big banks will be troubled by the cross-party support for legislation inspired by the 1933 Glass-Steagall act because such ideas can gain a life of their own once in official documents.
Any prohibition barring investment bankers from operating under the same roof as federally insured deposits would pose an existential challenge to Citigroup, JPMorgan, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and, to a lesser extent, Goldman Sachs.
The original Glass-Steagall act was abolished in 1999 when President Bill Clinton signed bank reform legislation that was crafted by Republican lawmakers and backed by many Democrats in Congress.
Aaron Klein, a former Treasury official in the Obama administration who is now at the Brookings Institution, said calls to reinstate Glass-Steagall failed to recognise how the world had changed, but tapped into an understandable strain of popular feeling.
“At the most simple level, the idea is that our grandparents put in place strong rules after the depression; we went away from those rules in the deregulation of the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s; and we need to remember the wisdom of that generation,” Mr Klein said.
One line of a 54-page document which the Republican platform adopted on Monday says: “We support reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 which prohibits commercial banks from engaging in high-risk investment.”
We support reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 which prohibits commercial banks from engaging in high-risk investment
Republican platform document
Tony Fratto, a bank ally and former Treasury official under President George W Bush, said: “Glass-Steagall is dumb politics and dumb economics … Returning to Glass-Steagall would be destructive and unworkable. As every analysis has demonstrated, Glass-Steagall would have done nothing to prevent the crisis. There is a lot in this platform to ignore.”
The Democratic platform, due to be adopted at the convention in Philadelphia next week, says: “Banks should not be able to gamble with taxpayers’ deposits or pose an undue risk to Main Street. Democrats support a variety of ways to stop this from happening, including an updated and modernised version of Glass-Steagall and breaking up too-big-to-fail financial institutions that pose a systemic risk to the stability of our economy.”
Glass-Steagall is dumb politics and dumb economics … Returning to Glass-Steagall would be destructive and unworkable
Tony Fratto, a bank ally and former Treasury official under President George W Bush
The inclusion of such language marked an important victory for Mr Sanders, a self-declared socialist, who is seeking to use influence wrought from his successful primary campaign to make Mrs Clinton take a tougher line on Wall Street.
Critics of the new Glass-Steagall movement point out that the act would have done little, if anything, to affect Lehman Brothers, the investment bank whose collapse precipitated the darkest days of the last crisis.
The top Republicans on banking policy in Congress — Richard Shelby in the Senate and Jeb Hensarling in the House of Representatives — have shown little enthusiasm for Glass-Steagall and have fought instead, unsuccessfully, to water down the Dodd-Frank post-crisis reforms.
Although unusual, it is not unheard of for a Republican to support a forced separation of deposit-taking and investment banking. In 2013, Senator John McCain, the 2008 presidential nominee, introduced a bill aiming to recreate Glass-Steagall in alliance with Senator Elizabeth Warren, the leftwing firebrand who has this year become one of Mr Trump’s most vocal critics.
Additional reporting by Ben McLannahan in New York
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2016. All rights reserved. You may share using our article tools. Please don't cut articles from and redistribute by email or post to the web.