an exercise in miscellany

Archive for the ‘places’ Category

Streisand Effect

In people, places, wild card on January 31, 2013 at 10:02 am

Streisand_Estate

The Streisand effect is a primarily online phenomenon in which an attempt to hide or remove a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely. It is named after American entertainer Barbra Streisand, whose attempt in 2003 to suppress photographs of her residence inadvertently generated further publicity.

Similar attempts have been made, for example, in cease-and-desist letters, to suppress numbers, files and websites. Instead of being suppressed, the information receives extensive publicity, often being widely mirrored across the Internet or distributed on file-sharing networks.

Mike Masnick of Techdirt coined the term after Streisand, citing privacy violations, unsuccessfully sued photographer Kenneth Adelman and Pictopia.com for US$50 million in an attempt to have an aerial photograph of her mansion removed from the publicly available collection of 12,000 California coastline photographs. Adelman said that he was photographing beachfront property to document coastal erosion as part of the government sanctioned and commissioned California Coastal Records Project. As a result of the case, public knowledge of the picture increased substantially; more than 420,000 people visited the site over the following month.

via Streisand effect

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1954 Guatemalan Coup d’état

In operations and projects, places on November 15, 2012 at 8:58 pm

The 1954 Guatemalan coup d’état was a covert operation organized by the United States Central Intelligence Agency to overthrow Jacobo Árbenz Guzmán, the democratically-elected President of Guatemala.

Árbenz’s government put forth a number of new policies, such as seizing and expropriating unused, unfarmed land that private corporations set aside long ago and giving the land to peasants. The U.S. intelligence community deemed such plans communist in nature. This led CIA director Allen Dulles to fear that Guatemala would become a “Soviet beachhead in the western hemisphere”. Dulles’ concern reverberated within the CIA and the Eisenhower administration, in the context of the anti-communist fears of the McCarthyist era.

via 1954 Guatemalan coup d’état

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

In history, places on December 31, 2011 at 7:19 am

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City on March 25, 1911, was the deadliest industrial disaster in the history of the city of New York and resulted in the fourth highest loss of life from an industrial accident in U.S. history. It was also the second deadliest disaster in New York City – after the burning of the General Slocum on June 15, 1904 – until the destruction of the World Trade Center 90 years later. The fire caused the deaths of 146 garment workers, who died from the fire, smoke inhalation, or falling to their deaths. Most of the victims were recent Jewish and Italian immigrant women aged sixteen to twenty-three; the oldest victim was 48, the youngest were two fourteen-year-old girls. Read the rest of this entry »

Galactic Center

In places, science & nature on August 24, 2011 at 9:21 am

The Galactic Center is the rotational center of the Milky Way galaxy. It is located at a distance of 8.33±0.35 kpc (~27,000±1,000 ly) from the Earth in the direction of the constellations SagittariusOphiuchus, and Scorpius where the Milky Way appears brightest. It is believed that there is a supermassive black hole at the Galactic Center of the Milky Way.

via Galactic Center 

Crab Island

In places on July 17, 2011 at 8:22 am

Crab Island is a roughly 40-acre  limestone island situated just outside Plattsburgh Bay in the town of Plattsburgh in Clinton County in upstate New York’s Lake Champlain. During the War of 1812, the island was utilized as a military field hospital for convalescent soldiers as well as both British and American casualties of the Battle of Plattsburgh. The island is the site of a mass grave, believed to contain the remains of roughly 150 of those casualties. The island is infamous locally for its poison ivy, which grows there heavily. Its name is thought to come from the large amounts of “crabs,” ancient fossilized shells, trilobites, etc., found along the island’s limestone shoreline.

via Crab Island

Pont-Saint-Esprit

In places on June 18, 2011 at 7:08 am

On 15 August 1951, an outbreak of “poisoning”, marked by acute psychotic episodes and various physical symptoms, occurred in Pont-Saint-Esprit. More than 250 people were involved, including 50 persons interned in asylums and 7 deaths. The’ illness’ affected other parts of France but was the most serious in Pont-Saint-Esprit. The causes of the outbreak have never been identified with certainty but several explanations have been proposed. I believe that LSD was involved.

via Pont-Saint-Esprit

People’s Park

In history, places on May 28, 2011 at 7:25 am

People’s Park in Berkeley, California,  is a park near the University of California, Berkeley. The park was created during the radical political activism of the late 1960s.  The local South Campus neighborhood was the scene of a major confrontation between student protesters and police in May 1969. A mural near the park, painted by Berkeley artist O’Brien Thiele and lawyer/artist Osha Neumann, depicts the shooting of James Rector, a student who died from shotgun wounds inflicted by the police on May 15, 1969.

via People’s Park

Saint-Sulpice

In places on May 1, 2011 at 7:08 am

Saint-Sulpice  is a Roman Catholic church in Paris, France, on the east side of the Place Saint-Sulpice, in the Luxembourg Quarter of the VIe arrondissement.  Smaller than Notre-Dame, Saint-Sulpice is the second largest church in the city. It is dedicated to Sulpitius the Pious. During the 18th century, an elaborate gnomon, the Gnomon of Saint-Sulpice, was constructed in the church.  The gnomon designed in this case to indicate the exact date of Easter.  The Marquis de Sade and Charles Baudelaire were baptized in Saint-Sulpice.

via Église Saint-Sulpice

New Swabia

In places on December 28, 2010 at 9:37 pm

New Swabia is a cartographic name sometimes given to an area of Antarctica between 20°E and 10°W in Queen Maud Land, which within Norway is administered as a Norwegian dependent territory under the Antarctic Treaty System. New Swabia was explored by Germany in early 1939 and named after that expedition’s ship, the Schwabenland, itself named after the German region of Swabia.

via New Swabia