“I took all of the screams and put those together, and cut out everything else. …As a result of that [voice analysis], you can say with reasonable scientific certainty that it’s not Zimmerman.”—Tom Owen, biometric voice analysis expert • Speaking to the Orlando Sentinel, on his assessment of a 911 audio recording featuring sounds of screaming during the Trayvon Martin incident. In an interview with Piers Morgan earlier this week (which generated some heat from MSNBC’s Touré), George Zimmerman’s brother Robert insisted that the screaming on the tape was that of his brother. Owen, an expert in biometric voice analysis, says that’s not so, after isolating the screams and testing them against the sound of Zimmerman’s voice on his initial 9/11 call reporting Martin to the police. He was careful to add, however, that he can’t prove or disprove it’s Martin’s voice, as he has no audio sample of the teen with which to compare. A second voice analysis, by a different expert commissioned by the Sentinel, reached the same conclusion. source (via • follow)
Scientists uncover fossils of Titanoboa, largest known snake
48 feetthe length of Titanoboa, the largest snake now known to have existed.
2500 lbs.the supposed weight of the snake, which lived 60 million years ago source
» All hail Titanoboa, king of snakes! Named somewhat obviously with a combination of the words “titanic” and “boa,” scientists discovered the snake’s first fossil remains back in 2004, during an expedition of a coal mine in northeastern Colombia. A life-size replica is on display at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC, and is planned to remain there until early next year. This isn’t the only enormous prehistoric creature we’ve heard of recently, either — the giant penguin of 27 million years ago comes to mind.
“The battle to topple the state is over, and the battle to solidify stability… and move on towards a renewed Syria has begun.”—Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdisi • From an interview with Syria’s state-run television channel. The Syrian opposition isn’t so keen on this declaration, however — while opponents of the government have been forced to cede ground in recent weeks, there’s no real sign the anti-Assad fervor is dying down. Rebel groups have continued to urge foreign states to provide them with arms and munitions, while the United States and Arab League states continue to wait, hanging their hopes on the Syrian peace plan engineered by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. Present UN estimates suggest the death toll in Syria, since the beginning of anti-government uprisings just over one year ago, now tops 9,000. source (via • follow)
The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty is taking to Twitter to urge Oklahoma’s Governor Mary Fallin to follow the recommendation of the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board to grant clemency to Garry T. Allen:
It is very rare for the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board to recommend clemency for a person facing execution, but they did exactly that by a vote of 4 to 1 in the case of Garry T. Allen, who is scheduled to be executed by the State of Oklahoma on Thursday, April 12, 2012 for his murder of Gail Titsworth. The many reasons for granting clemency that attracted four votes of the pardon and parole board, including that of a former prosecutor who consistently votes to deny clemency in almost all cases, have only grown over time.
That campaign was not successful without the help of some lovely fellow tumblrers. Namely imwithkanye, who screencapped my post, the one that got your attention, that you eventually reblogged and caused you to follow me.
You have now reblogged imwithkanye multiple times, including today! The sad thing is: you don’t follow him.
I think this is a major oversight on your part.
He would never tell you this. You see some people (imwithkanye, I’m assuming) are above begging. I, on the other hand, am not.
Some might say this appeal is me taking this Obama thing just a little too far. You already follow me so how dare I go out of my way to get you to start following my friends? I get that. But here’s the thing: I did not get here today, on tumblr, being followed by the President’s social media team without a little help from my friends.
Which is why I think you’ll understand when I ask: Will you please follow imwithkanye?
“I was on my way out of the chapel when I heard the shots. I told people to look for cover. It was chaos. …It hurts me that after such a moving and stirring message, this happens, a shooting at a shooting-victim’s funeral.”—Pastor A.D. Lenoir • Speaking on the grisly shooting that occurred outside a Miami-Dade funeral home this morning. The gunman has not yet been apprehended. The funeral in process was for Morvin Andre, who himself was killed in a shooting incident back on March 16th. After the drive-by concluded, two people were dead and twelve more were injured, one reportedly a child who was shot in the leg. source (via • follow)
CA Democratic campaign treasurer pleads guilty to fraud
$20million from CA Democratic coffers stolen by treasurer source
» Which makes this the biggest campaign embezzlement ever. The perpetrator, Kinde Durkee, now faces up to 11 years in prison for this extremely brazen and ambitious fraud scheme. Durkee had been a longtime treasurer for numerous California state Democrats, Senator Diane Feinstein and Rep. Loretta Sanchez among them. Court prosecutors said Durkee used the money belonging to her clients to finance her mortgage, credit card payments, business firm, and trips to Disneyland, among other things. As to whether she’d be able to return the money, U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner seemed doubtful she had the resources to do so: “You don’t have to live like Donald Trump to burn through that kind of money.”
“I’d like to apologize to my viewers and my staff for the failure of Current TV.
Editorially, Countdown had never been better. But for more than a year I have been imploring Al Gore and Joel Hyatt to resolve our issues internally, while I’ve been not publicizing my complaints, and keeping the show alive for the sake of its loyal viewers and even more loyal staff. Nevertheless, Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt, instead of abiding by their promises and obligations and investing in a quality news program, finally thought it was more economical to try to get out of my contract.
It goes almost without saying that the claims against me implied in Current’s statement are untrue and will be proved so in the legal actions I will be filing against them presently. To understand Mr. Hyatt’s “values of respect, openness, collegiality and loyalty,” I encourage you to read of a previous occasion Mr. Hyatt found himself in court for having unjustly fired an employee. That employee’s name was Clarence B. Cain.
In due course, the truth of the ethics of Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt will come out. For now, it is important only to again acknowledge that joining them was a sincere and well-intentioned gesture on my part, but in retrospect a foolish one. That lack of judgment is mine and mine alone, and I apologize again for it.”
Bro’s getting replaced by Eliot Spitzertonight, which isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement from his now-former employer. In the end, barring the lawsuit, Current seems to have come out ahead in this situation, reinventing the network around a cast of progressive figures, while Olbermann missed a lot of work over the last few months, at times claiming throat problems. So what’s next for Keith?
42states had added jobs last month — the most in the past year
29states had decreases in unemployment in the past month
13states (and D.C.) stayed roughly the same with unemployment
eightstates had increases in unemployment in the past month source
» Signs of overall improvement: Economists say that the modest growth the economy is showing is decent for now but could show much stronger results later in the year — a theory supported by the rise in consumer spending in February. Most notably, some states which were hard hit by the housing collapse are showing signs of life, including Florida (with an unemployment rate that’s fallen below 10 percent in the past year), Michigan (below 9 percent in part because of the auto industry’s rebound) and California (whose 10.9 percent unemployment is nonetheless much better than it was a year ago). Think the trend will keep ticking upward?
“My general impression is, whenever they have me on, it’s to criticize the American government. Of course, that’s no big surprise because that’s pretty much what I do. That’s how I make my living. But I did start to wonder after a while what they were saying about the Russian government.”—Reason Senior Editor Jacob Sullum • Discussing his appearances on RT, formerly known as Russia Today, a network that, despite its ties to the Russian government, has gained a following among liberals and libertarians for its willingness to question U.S. foreign policy. The New Republic’s Jesse Zwick talks to a variety of serious journalists and pundits who have shown up on the network — some who are willing to get airtime anywhere, others who say RT treats them more fairly than other networks — along with some who choose not to go onto the network. “I have friends who I highly respect who have done RT, but the network also features guests who I would put in the conspiracy-theorist camp,” said one liberal journalist who chose not to give his name. We’ve had our opinions on RT in the past — not particularly positive, admittedly — but what do you guys think? Do you trust their coverage? (via Matt)
“I like to know I’m writing for a real flesh-and-blood reader who is excited by the words on the page. I’m sure children feel the same way.”—Harvard College Writing Program director Thomas Jehn • Fathoming the idea of automated essay grading — essentially, essays graded by robots. The idea is getting pitched in a contest by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, which plans to offer $100,000 in prize money to any group of programmers that can figure out a way to automate the process of grading essays. We’re with Jehn: If students are spending all this time writing essays, it’s only right that the person on the other side of the coin is also a human being.
Mega Millions record jackpot: The odds are fairly long, everybody
$540Mthe amount the Mega Millions jackpot is going for this weekend, which is a record by the way
$176Mthe amount it would cost to theoretically buy every single ticket combination possible in the lottery
$117Mthe amount, after federal (not state) taxes, you’d gain if you bought every single ticket source
» However, you’d still have to buy those tickets: If you were able to buy every ticket combination and fill it out, it’d take you 28 years to fill them out, and you’d exhaust the nation’s supply of lottery paper and ink in the process. So, to put it simply: Even if you’re Mark Zuckerberg and you can afford to make such an investment, it’ll take too long to actually fill out the tickets to win. And that total could be cut further, even, if someone else wins.
In fact, they exceeded the minimum amount of signatures required by almost 400,000. Now, pending approval by the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board tomorrow (a formality), the recall will be finalized and put into motion. The primaries for recall candidates will be held May 8th of this year, and the general is scheduled for June 5th.
“For people to weigh in, for professional race-baiters like [Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and Rep. Frederica Wilson], and for the president himself to weigh in and make this a simple parable about white racism is very foolish.”—Daily Caller editor-in-chief Tucker Carlson • During a debate with Alan Colmes, shortly after a montage was shown of various people weighing-in on the Trayvon Martin case, on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.” Carlson argued that President Obama is “making the case that this boy was killed because the way he looks, and we don’t know that all.” Colmes, on the other hand, believed that President Obama took exactly the right tone, saying, “Tucker, if we had a white president and a white boy had been shot and a white president had said that could have been my son, nobody would have said a word about it.” source (via • follow)
» Pretty harsh considering the thrashing that the Affordable Care Act is reported to be taking in the Supreme Court this week. While both analysts and many inside the White House expected the ugly turnout on the budget proposal, it’s hard to imagine that anybody imagined a shut-out. Should Obama be worried about these sorts of losses piling up as the election draws closer?
“This mindset is exactly why creative shows of color don’t get to exist on television anymore. There’s an overbearing sense of entitlement that refuses to allow shows of color to thrive. How dare we even try?”—People on the Internet Can Be Hella Racist Congrats to Issa Rae and the crew of Awkward Black Girl for their Shorty Award win in the category of “Best Web Show”! (Having given out quite a few awards in my day, I know exactly the kind of racism she’s talking about in her piece.)
Oh man, that’s awful that Issa went through that. As someone who was at the Shorty Awards Monday night, I can ensure you that she got nothing but praise inside the venue. (Also, her acceptance clip was funny.)
“We would like to publicly express our dissatisfaction at the lack of any public or private message of support or condolence from any American governing body or indeed, President Obama himself. … It would perhaps appear that Mr Obama sees no political value in facilitating such a request or that the lives of two British tourists are not worthy of ten minutes of his time.”—British national Paul Davies • Discussing the death of two of his friends, James Cooper and James Kouzaris, tourists who were killed while on vacation in Florida last year. Shawn Tyson, the 17-year-old convicted of killing the men, was convicted in just two hours after an eight-day trial, and faces life in prison without the possibility of parole. Tyson allegedly shot and killed the men in a robbery attempt after they claimed they did not have any money. (Tyson was emotionless and even looked bored at points during the trial.) The families and friends of the victims had tough words for the U.S. government, however, noting a lack of comment on the case despite multiple requests. Should the government have reached out to an obviously-grieving family in this case?
“It essential that President Assad put those commitments into immediate effect. The world is waiting for commitments to be translated into action. The key here is implementation, there is no time to waste.”—United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon • Emphasizing that Bashar al-Assad must act on any agreed-upon peace accord in Syria, rather than just paying lip service. Arab League leader Nabil al-Arabi asked for the same, but Syria’s already discounted the views of the Arab League. It hasn’t discounted the UN, but any peace agreement could be seen as a stalling tactic for the country.
Appearing on NBC’s TODAY on Thursday, Zimmerman’s attorney Craig Sonner described the video as “very grainy.” He also pointed out that Zimmerman had been “cleaned-up” and received first aid in the four hours between the incident and Zimmerman’s videotaped arrival at the police station.
Sonner has previously said that his client suffered a broken nose and a gash to his head during the altercation.
Hey it is me again. I just heard about a documentary called Kony 2012 ;) JK It is called "The Island President" about the President of Maldives and the island nation that is been eaten away by the rising sea level. Since you have way more internet present. Can you think about sharing with your followers some info about it?
“We really just kind of put the shirt out there this week. It’s not necessarily profit at all. I wanted to bring some awareness to the issue. I felt it would be a good way to expose the store, to get our name out there.”—Young Nation Apparel owner Karriem Muhammad • Discussing his choice to sell a $35 hoodie with the phrase ”Please Don’t Shoot Me I Only Have Skittles And A Drink!!!” on it — a clear reference to the Trayvon Martin case. Muhammad and others are selling apparel referencing the case, some in Sanford, Fla., where the shooting took place. But selling such products is not necessarily an idea with ulterior motives. “People can start to wear their feelings and emotions. It makes sense, even if there’s a profit motive,” noted Donna Hoffman, a marketing professor at the University of California-Riverside. “There’s a legitimate interest in sharing the pain, and these products do that.” Even so, Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, filed for trademarks for products referencing her son, a move intended to block the exploitation of her son’s name. What do you guys think? Are such products exploitative?