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Greg Park
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Greg Park

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EASY WAY TO HELP PROTECT OBAMACARE:
Paul Ryan's office is conducting a survey hoping to show a popular mandate to repeal the ACA. It's automated and quick. Here's what to do:
1) Call (202) 225 - 0600
2) Wait through 30 seconds of silence for recording to start
3) You will get prompted by the survey
4) Press 2 to participate
5) Listen through GOP propaganda message
6) Press 1 to register your support for the ACA

(PLEASE COPY AND PASTE THIS INTO A STATUS UPDATE OF YOUR OWN - If you don't, only our mutual friends will see it. )
The survey is back up at Paul Ryan's office. It's a painless thing to do - don't even have to speak to a human!
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Greg Park

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I don't even know how to comment on something like this.  If you can help, please do...
 
TL;DR: The Homeless Cat Management Team is asking for fosters, as well as donations to help support the care of nearly 40 cats removed from abandoned house in Brookline.  Information on donation at the bottom.

Background
For those who haven't heard, on Monday and Tuesday, Homeless Cat Management Team, alerted by a neighbor, joined with police and humane officers to remove 39 emaciated cats from a home in Brookline.  In addition, one dead kitten was found in the basement, and 11 more were found in the trash.  The home owner had moved out before Easter.

Neighbors, alerted to the situation by at least one starving cat who'd squeezed out a window, had been trying to feed the cats by dumping food through an open window - the only reason any were still alive.

The cats had been interbreeding, probably for generations.  Many of the cats are polydactyl; some have deformed paws as the result of polydactyl cats interbreeding.  Most are adults.  One lone small kitten survived, along with several older kittens, approximately 6 months old, who are barely 2 lbs (the size of a 2-month old).

The Homeless Cat Management Team in Pittsburgh is caring for 33 of the cats (a neighbor adopted the heroic window-escapee, and Animal Friends took 6).  Most of the surviving cats are emaciated and filthy but relatively healthy considering their situation.  HCMT isn't a shelter; their mission is primarily TNR, along with fostering and adopting out trapped friendly cats.  As such, they are not particularly outfitted to house 30+ cats.

How You Can Help
If you're in the Pittsburgh area and can foster one of these poor animals in your spare room, laundry room, extra bathroom, or a large dog crate, let me know, and I can get you a Pittsburgh CAT fostering application.

If you cannot foster, please consider donating to help defer the costs of care. Go to http://www.homelesscat.org/donate-to-hcmt.html and donate through JustGive or PayPal, or send donations directly to our Paypal address, cathomeless@gmail.com. You can also donate from our Amazon wishlist: http://www.amazon.com/registry/wishlist/37Q5P2O650QOV/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_ws_Renkxb0X31ZH7

If you cannot foster or donate, I hope you will share this in the hope of reaching others who can. We very much appreciate anything you can do!

If you missed the initial news coverage, you can find it here:

http://www.wtae.com/news/35-cats-taken-from-pittsburgh-home/39343118

http://www.wtae.com/news/bags-of-dead-cats-found-in-house-as-rescue-efforts-continue/39381996

http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2016/05/04/Starving-cats-found-abandoned-in-Brookline/stories/201605040213

http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/10420122-74/cats-dead-provident
You can donate to HCMT several ways:
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Greg Park

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Well, that's not the kind of news I was hoping to read today.

RIP, Terry Pratchett.  Thank you for all of your wonderful works.
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Greg Park

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This week is Spring Carnival here at CMU, during which they use half of my usual parking lot for carnival rides and things, so I end up parking in the garage on the far side of campus from my building and walking through the campus to get to work. On my way in today, I saw chalked announcements about a sporting event happening this weekend.

I had previously seen an article about the existence of this sport, but I was not aware how large it has grown, nor that both CMU and Pitt have teams. (In fact, Pitt is currently ranked #12 in the league).

http://www.internationalquidditch.org/

And what amused me even more was this line from the website: "Adapted by Middlebury College students in 2005, Quidditch is now played at over 300 universities and high schools in the United States and 12 other countries."

Yeah... having friends from Middlebury... that doesn't surprise me. :)
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Greg Park

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I think this is perhaps the coolest Halloween costume I've ever seen. It doesn't hurt that I'm a big fan of the movie, but regardless, a lot of care and ingenuity went into this outfit. (The fact that the wearer is three makes it cute, too.)
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Greg Park

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I thought this was rather well-written and accurate.
Shasta Willson originally shared:
 
Hey +Jon Pincus You might find this one interesting... #nymwars
Secrets of Nym… Filed under: Feature,General Musings,Politics,Writing and Publishing — jaxworx @ 4:49 PM. I'm gonna miss my Google+ account when they take it away from me, as must surely happen an...
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Greg Park

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This is an excellent solution.
This summer, rangers in Montana's Glacier National Park brought in man's best friend to train wildlife to stay away from popular park areas and to teach park visitors how to safely view wildlife.
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Greg Park

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I started collecting these today from friends, and now I have a whole superteam.

Once again, the day is saved!

https://www.powerpuffyourself.com/#!/en
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Toby Fife's profile photoVIRGINIA JOHNSON's profile photo
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Too cute!
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Greg Park

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Something that I think Ferguson began to bring to people's attention but then has been swept under the carpet - the militarization of police forces.

http://thefreethoughtproject.com/military-hardware-local-pd-stockpiling-database-show-you
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Greg Park

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Hehe. Nothing like a little hypocrisy to brighten the day!
Jes Wulfsberg Nielsen originally shared:
 
So I see Zuckerberg is doing the round at campuses.
I happen to know that "at Facebook's request the talk will not be webcast or recorded".

I urge as many people as possible to bring recording/broadcasting equipment, and ask Zuckerberg to opt out of each, possibly by filling out a convoluted form. –And then ask again with a different form somewhere along the way.

Remember, this is all for Mark Zuckerberg's best. Not wanting to be broadcast on the net is, after all, a lack of integrity, and we cannot have that, can we?
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Greg Park

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I'm firmly in the "I'll believe it when I see it" camp.
Meirav M. originally shared:
 
the G+ Names Policy - why I am not even cautiously optimistic

The more I read and think about this, the more I think this is not a real reason for hope.

Vic Gundotra said that they plan to support pseudonyms in the future. When I first read that, I thought it sounded positive - I guess that's because it came after a long period of hearing nothing from Google about this issue except for those very negative comments from Schmidt a while back. Compared to what Schmidt said, this sounded good.

But saying they plan to support pseudonyms in future is not new, it's the same as what Bradley Horowitz said back in July, and what have we seen since then? We have seen continuing suspension of people's profiles for various violations of the existing policy, we have seen this going on for months despite all the negative reactions they're getting, and I look at this behaviour and think: surely if they intend to support pseudonyms in future, what's stopping them from doing it right now? what was stopping them from doing it back in July? Whenever I've heard official Google responses to that question, they've talked about wanting to get it right - so what do they mean? There's nothing very complicated about simply stopping the suspensions and allowing people to use the name they choose to use - so what could be holding this up? The only reason I can imagine for this is if what they plan is not to allow people to use the name they choose, but rather, to add some kind of pseudonym layer to the existing set-up, with the user having to provide Google with his real name and trust Google not to display it. That is a set-up that would indeed require a lot of work to get it right and to make sure that this information doesn't leak.

I realise that there are people out there who would be fine with that. Those who want to use pseudonyms not for security reasons but for the purpose of being recognised - like people who have been blogging for years under a pen name (or maybe we should call it a keyboard name? ;) ) and want to use that name here for continuity, because their readers don't know them by the name they use offline - but for those of us who have safety reasons for using a name other than the one we are known by offline, no, this would really not be helpful.

Now, some will say: why should you be able to use whatever name you like, you could then abuse it, you could do all sorts of trolling or spamming or whatever bad behaviour and then shut down that account and set up another one in a different name and... Newsflash: you already can do that. You can set up an account in a name like John Smith and nobody will question whether or not that is your real name. Pseudonyms de facto already exist here, just unofficially. And there's no way that Google can check each and every user to see that they are really using the name they are known by. Even if they were to demand proof of ID from each person, there is nothing stopping people from emailing photoshopped ID.

Trolls and spammers and generally unpleasant people will be found wherever people gather on the internet. A good social networking platform will have a good, robust set-up for catching/reporting people who behave in a way that isn't appropriate - no matter what name they choose to use.
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Unix Systems Administrator
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  • Carnegie Mellon University
    Unix Systems Administrator, 1999 - present
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