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Denise Case
Attends Kansas State University
Lived in Minnesota
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Denise Case

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The Dehumanising Insanity of Prohibition

This is one of the best pieces I've read, certainly in recent times, about the war on drugs, drug decriminalisation, drug legalisation, drug addiction, prohibition, and psychology. It's a longish piece at about 10k words based on an interview with famed (infamed?) journalist Johann Hari regarding his recent book Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs. but well worth anyone's time. 

Key quotes:

Power concedes nothing without a struggle.

It’s not your morality and it’s not your brain. To a much larger degree than we’ve ever before appreciated, it’s your cage. Addiction is an adaption to your environment.

Anywhere in the developed world, people near you are being giving loads of heroin in hospitals [right] now.

In the culture of terror created by prohibition, if you are prepared to push the moral limit a little bit further than the other guys, you gain a brief market advantage, because people will back off when they’re scared.

But ever since Prohibition we’ve known that the cure is worse than the disease. When you ban substances that people enjoy using so much that they’ll break the law to do it, you create a black market with huge profits. And since purveyors of illicit drugs have no legal way to secure their investment, the trade will be run by increasingly violent criminals. In a single stroke, therefore, prohibition creates organized crime and all the social ills attributable to the skyrocketing cost of drugs—addicts are forced to become thieves and prostitutes in order to afford their next fix.

What we do at the moment is take people who are addicted because they are isolated, distressed, and in pain, and inflict more isolation, distress, and pain on them in the hopes that it will make them stop.

You and I have probably got enough money in the bank that we could spend the next year drinking vodka and never stop. We could just be drunk all the time. But we don’t. And the reason we don’t is not because someone’s stopping us but because we want to be present in our lives. We’ve got relationships. We’ve got friends. We’ve got people we love. We’ve got books we want to read. We’ve got books we want to write. We’ve got things we want to do. Most of addiction is about not wanting to be present in your life.

We can understand why the Portuguese system works so well, because it’s all about reconnecting people with the collective, with the group, with the society, giving them a purpose.

#drugs   #addiction   #society  
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Joshua Alvarez's profile photoDenise Case's profile photoJason Harley's profile photoPaul Christen's profile photo
Me too +Joshua Alvarez​. Adding it to the reading list - and learned a lot just from the article. The Amazon reviews are impressive. 
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How to tell if your religious liberty is being threatened in just 10 quick questions.   A short and useful quiz  by Rev. Emily C. Heath gets to the heart of a very important matter.  

"The only way to ensure your own religious liberty remains strong is by advocating for the religious liberty of all.."

Example: Pick "A" or "B" for each question:

My religious liberty is at risk because:

A) I am not allowed to go to a religious service of my own choosing.

B) Others are allowed to go to religious services of their own choosing.

My religious liberty is at risk because:

A) I am not allowed to purchase, read or possess religious books or material.

B) Others are allowed to have access books, movies and websites that I do not like.

The A options are truly egregious - very wrong and constitutionally protected (thank goodness!) in the United States - we cannot make religious requirements or prohibitions legal. The B options are not violations - they are necessary conditions to ensure that no religious liberty violations take place. 

It's like the way we used to teach sharing with kids - one decides how to cut the cookie (make the rule), and the other gets to pick their side (favored or not).  A fair approach works well for all parties.  :)

#firstamendment  #liberty  #justice #religiousfreedom
Alex Hamilton's profile photoGustavo “El Gus” Olivares's profile photoDavid Megyesi's profile photoJennifer Anderson's profile photo
+Walter Roberson "The restrictions on degree of relationship are under the Strict Scrutiny doctrine of "compelling state interest" with restrictions must be narrowly tailored to meet those interests."
It's hilarious that you'd try to invoke Strict Scrutiny here, because what you're advocating is the exact opposite of it.
The Strict Scrutiny doctrine deals with the passing of a new law that limits previously-held laws would expand the definition of marriage, not limit it even further.
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Improving boiler efficiency with new biotemplates and wicking technologies - could be 3x more efficient w/2x the steam. Fascinating article from +Rajini Rao on recent work at Drexel University.  

#sciencesunday    #steam #boilerefficiency

#thermofluidics   #nanotechnology   #hydrophilic   #virus
How to Boil Water

❉ In breaking news, scientists have figured out how to boil water - at least 3 times more efficiently and producing twice as much steam. Before you shake your fist at "wasteful research spending", this isn't really about your whistling tea kettle! 

❉ Phase change heat transfer processes (boiling, condensation) are a big part of everyday technology from water purification and HVAC units, power plants and cooling electronics.   When water boils, a thin layer of steam can coat the heated surface, insulating it and drastically cutting down on the efficient transfer of heat to liquid. This can lead to surface burnout and a destructive condition known as critical heat flux. What is needed is a surface that discourages the vapor from sticking and wicks in water to quickly re-wet the heated surface. To create a superhydrophilic wicking surface, Drexel University scientist Matthew McCarthy turned to biotemplating with....viruses! 

❉ The tobacco mosaic virus causes mottling of tobacco leaves, as its name implies, but is harmless to humans. It was the first virus ever to be discovered (in the late 1880's) and is constructed simply of repeating units of a coat protein, wrapped around a single, helical strand of genetic material (RNA). A few tobacco plants can produce billions of virus particles, so it's cheap to make. Dr. McCarthy tweaked the coat protein so it sticks to any engineered surface- from silicon to steel. After dunking the surface in a viral broth, nickel and palladium are added to grow a metallic grass

❉ The viral tendrils work like a wicking surface, drawing down water to replace what's boiled away.  It's the same idea behind thermal fabrics designed for athletes which draws moisture away from the body. They say a watched pot never boils. I'd volunteer to test a virally coated tea kettle, how about you? 

Waterproofin' with Hydrophobin: This old post shows how a fungal spore protein can do the opposite, creating a superhydrophobic surface that repels water but allows gases to exchange.

News Story and Short Video:

Ref: M.M. Rahman, E. Ölçeroğlu, and M. McCarthy, "The Role of Wickability on the Critical Heat Flux of Structured Superhydrophilic Surfaces", Langmuir 2014, 30 (37), pp 11225–11234.

94 comments on original post
Kathryn Huxtable's profile photoFrançois-Xavier Thomas's profile photoErik Brown's profile photoPaul Suckow's profile photo
Cool article on a hot subject. This could be a big deal.
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A Year in Space: Preparation for missions to Mars.  

In March 2015, American Astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian Cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko will begin collaborative investigations on the International Space Station (ISS). They will reside on the ISS for a year, which is twice as long as typical U.S. missions. These investigations are expected to yield beneficial knowledge on the medical, psychological and biomedical challenges faced by astronauts during long-duration spaceflight.

7 research areas:


Behavioral Health

Visual Impairment


Physical Performance


Human Factors


Thanks +Ciro Villa for sharing. 

#nasa   #twins   #spaceexploration   #stem #research
One year mission close to the beginning!  Watch the exciting trailer!
See a preview of TIME's unprecedented new series
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Denise Case

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Interactive journey that quite literally is beautiful internet 
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This is beautiful.  Not just because the question is so helpful, but because "adventure for solutions" is such a perfect way to describe the request. :)

#solutions  #comfort #adventure #friendship  
Are you looking for solutions, or comfort?

There may not be a more important question to ask someone who's not feeling his or her best. Offering solutions, my natural response, can come across as overbearing or manipulative when comfort is wanted. Conversely, comfort can seem distant or shallow to someone looking for solutions. 
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+Bill Trowbridge
This is a good question in theory but in cases where one is somehow supposed to know (don't ask me how) it can make things worse.
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Have her in circles
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Denise Case

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Unusual Easter this year. :)

#writing   #writing   #writing  
Working Hard On My Thesis!!
It's fun though ;- )
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Intelligent, adaptive systems.  New cooperative, 3D-printed BionicANTs work together to solve complex tasks. :)

Flying bionic butterflies too:

BionicANT (Autonomous Networking Technologies)

More on piezo technologies:

Thanks to +Daniel Estrada and others for sharing.

Included in this week's SciTech Digest by +Mark Bruce featuring: 

Nanoparticles stimulating neurons, Nanotubes stimulating neurons, Bioprocessing aptamer hydrogels, Controlling circadian rhythms, Making CRISPR better, DNA nanofabrication, Festo’s insect robots, Magnetic heat & sound, Nanolasers & photonic guides, and Plasma shielding.

SciTech Digest 13/2015

In celebration of #sciencesunday  +ScienceSunday :)

#bionic   #butterflies   #ants   #intelligent   #adaptive   #systems
> For the BionicANTs, Festo has not only transferred the delicate anatomy of ants, but also their cooperative behaviour to the world of technology. Like their natural role models, they communicate with each other and work together according to clear rules to solve a common task. More:

via +Jeff Earls and 
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Happy to hear that Saudi Arabia has restored their ambassador to Sweden.  It's good that the conversations between these important nations continue.

I'm impressed with Saudi Arabia's decision, and with the diplomacy, courage, and assessment provided by Swedish foreign minister, Margot Wallström.  The conversation deserves support.  

Thanks +Jochen Fromm and +Russ Abbott for sharing. 


#humanrights   #saudiarabia   #sweden   #international   #collaboration   #diplomacy  
A few weeks ago Margot Wallström, the Swedish foreign minister, denounced the subjugation of women in Saudi Arabia. As the theocratic kingdom prevents women from travelling, conducting official business or marrying without the permission of male guardians, and as girls can be forced into child marriages where they are effectively raped by old men, she was telling no more than the truth. Wallström went on to condemn the Saudi courts for ordering that Raif Badawi receive ten years in prison and 1,000 lashes for setting up a website that championed secularism and free speech. These were ‘mediaeval methods’, she said, and a ‘cruel attempt to silence modern forms of expression’. And once again, who can argue with that?

The backlash followed the pattern set by Rushdie, the Danish cartoons and Hebdo. Saudi Arabia withdrew its ambassador and stopped issuing visas to Swedish businessmen. The United Arab Emirates joined it. The Organisation of Islamic Co-operation, which represents 56 Muslim-majority states, accused Sweden of failing to respect the world’s ‘rich and varied ethical standards’ — standards so rich and varied, apparently, they include the flogging of bloggers and encouragement of paedophiles. Meanwhile, the Gulf Co-operation Council condemned her ‘unaccept-able interference in the internal affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’, and I wouldn’t bet against anti-Swedish riots following soon.

Yet there is no ‘Wallström affair’. Outside Sweden, the western media has barely covered the story, and Sweden’s EU allies have shown no inclination whatsoever to support her. A small Scandinavian nation faces sanctions, accusations of Islamophobia and maybe worse to come, and everyone stays silent. As so often, the scandal is that there isn’t a scandal. [Emphasis added]

via +Alexander Kruel 
If the cries of ‘Je suis Charlie’ were sincere, the western world would be convulsed with worry and anger about the Wallström affair. It has all the ingredients for a… Read more
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Scott Ellis's profile photoConstantine Thomas's profile photoBob Calder's profile photodeborah rabbit white's profile photo
I think Sweden just backed down, and money trumped ethics again. I don't think the episode had any effect on the Saudi's. Really, there should have been more media coverage of what the Swedish foreign minister said, and more backup from other nations that recognise the mistreatment of women there.

Avoiding conflict at all costs does not necessarily minimise suffering.
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World fact book: incredibly detailed information by country

#gdp #population #economy #health #government #languages #labor #geography

Thanks +Kevin Clift​​ and +Nick Benik​​ for passing this on.
World Factbook
on +Android 

Redditor gray_dorian has put the CIA World Factbook onto Android.  Thanks to open government the CIA does not provide an API for the World Factbook (so that the data could be read programmatically) so the data had to be scraped via a zip file, then more recent data added from CSV files. A custom parser was created, the data cleaned and then the rationalised data was loaded into an SQLite database.

NO PERMISSIONS, NO TRACKERS, NO ADS. CIA World Factbook app does not spy on you!

This a FREE app to browse World Factbook, a guide prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency for use by US Government officials.

Now, there are already a few similar apps on Play Store, what makes this app unique is:
- Designed for phones and tablets
- Speed, the app is super fast
- Only one click to see the country details
- Countries sorted by GDP by default, no longer Afghanistan is at the top place
- Tabbed interface to quickly switch between continents and categories
- Drawer menu to sort countries by any measurable indicator (GDP, Area, Population etc)
- Compare North vs South Korea or any other two countries side-by-side
- Browse through country flags in grid-mode
- See Guide for fields

Note: this application is not associated with the CIA

More here (Google Play):

The World Factbook 2013-14. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency, 2013:

47 comments on original post
Nick Benik (HackerCEO)'s profile photoJohn Coppola's profile photoTohho 1972's profile photoaharon vardi's profile photo
+Nick Benik​​ that all depends on how things are defined. all the interested paid on debt funnels to Germany somehow. zerohedge has a great chart on it. don't believe the propaganda there is only one or two countries that want the euro, that's Germany and France.
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Will you buy a lady a drink?  A beautiful and educational campaign from  

Thanks and +Chad Haney  for sharing. :)
Will you buy a lady a drink?
In many areas we take water for granted. However, in some parts of the world, it takes enormous effort to get water. Stella Artois and are working together so that 1 limited edition chalice equals 5 years worth of clean drinking water. I missed out on the design from Honduras but I purchased one of the designs from India and Ethiopia. So, will you buy a lady a drink?
Stella Artois is partnering with to help provide access to clean water for women in the developing world. Learn how you can help at
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Thanks for the re-share +Denise Case​
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Denise Case

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"I feel intensely alive." One of my favorite authors and scientists, Dr. Oliver Sacks, on learning his cancer is terminal.

Author of "The man who mistook his wife for a hat". :)

Neurologist Oliver Sacks on learning he has cancer:
Read our cover story on Sacks:
I am now face to face with dying. But I am not finished with living.
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Have her in circles
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“The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he's always doing both. ” ― James A. Michener
  • Consulting Engineer, present
  • Adjunct Asst. Professor, present
  • Kansas State University
    Graduate Student, present
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Minnesota - California - Kansas
The secret of life is two words: not always so :)
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  • Kansas State University
    PhD Candidate Computer Science, 2013 - present
  • Kansas State University
    MSE Software Engineering, 2013
  • University of Missouri–Columbia
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