Google goes all out to celebrate the holiday:
Here's last Easter's particularly reverent-looking Google doodle celebrating
Easter Cesar Chavez's Birthday:
His findings were drawn from surveys of residents (on the prevalence of humor in their daily lives) and of comedians, number of visits to comedy websites, tweets, radio stations, comedy clubs per square mile and native-born comedians per capita.
The economy of the Bay Area is booming, but the region is one of the most difficult places to build in the country. Prices are therefore soaring and neighbourhoods are changing, touching off some occasionally nasty social conflicts.
But the author of the TechCrunch piece, Kim-Mai Cutler, puts her finger on the real problem. Yes, supply constraints are the cause of the affordability crisis. The trouble comes in trying to understand why those constraints are there and how to alleviate them.
Maybe the market will fix itself? That's not entirely impossible. Assume that there is persistence to zoning regimes, such that relatively liberal-building cities tend to stay that way even after population growth begins ramping up. And assume that as San Francisco deflects away would-be migrants to other cities, critical masses of people begin to pile up, leading to the growth of new tech hubs, at least some of which will occur in liberal-building places. Then maybe one eventually generates a flip in technological leadership to a city that likes building more than San Francisco.
On the other hand, if San Francisco zoning mostly deflects away non-techies who add to San Francisco congestion without adding much to its tech-centre synergies, then San Francisco's regulations may be reinforcing its status as technological leader.
That leaves technology as the saving grace.
Maybe we invent really good holodecks, which make it much less critical to actually be in San Francisco. Maybe we invent teleportation, laws of physics be damned. Maybe we simply come up with better ways to build and design cities, which minimise the real or perceived downsides to residents of new building.
Or maybe we do nothing, and simply sit back and observe as housing remains an instrument of oligarchy. Who knows. But however one imagines this playing out, we should be clear about what is happening, and what its effects have been.
By Zev Chafets Published April 16, 2014 FoxNews.com
Late last month the United States introduced a U.N. resolution condemning Russia’s de facto seizure of Crimea from Ukraine. As expected, the resolution passed the General Assembly easily. Unexpected, though, was the decision by Israel, long America’s most reliable U.N. vote (and vice versa), to absent itself from the ballot.
This shook up the Obama administration. National Security Adviser Susan Rice met with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and demanded an explanation. Lieberman blandly blamed it on a strike at the foreign ministry. What was he supposed to do, ask Israeli diplomats to cross a picket line?
At home he was more candid. “We have good, trusting relations with the Americans and the Russians,” he told a TV interviewer. “I don’t see why she needs to get caught up in this.” General Amos Gilad, a senior figure in the Ministry of Defense, seconded this new, even-handed approach. “Our security interests should not be defined as identical to that of anyone else, even the United States,” he said.
Ha’aretz, a left-wing Israeli newspaper, reported that White House officials “nearly went crazy” with shock and anger when they heard such ungrateful sentiments.
If so, Rice and her colleagues haven’t been paying close attention. Israel is no longer an impoverished, embattled, emotionally needy client state. It is an emerging international power with options it never had before. Locked doors are now wide open. Old enemies want to be given another chance. America is still Israel’s best friend, but it is no longer its only friend.
This year Israel’s sunny new place in the world has been increasingly evident. In February, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper came to Jerusalem and delivered an almost embarrassingly pro-Israel speech.
A month later, German Chancellor Angela Merkel brought virtually her entire government to Israel in what was an astonishing show of solidarity by Europe’s most powerful government.
Merkel and other world leaders still have talking-point problems with Israeli policies in the West Bank, but in the real world, these are not leading to the kind of international isolation that the Obama administration has been darkly forecasting.
The sat has been redesigned to better align to what research shows students need to know and be able to do in order to be prepared for college and careers. This goal has led to a more focused sat with a balance across fluency, conceptual understanding, and application. In these and other ways, such as embedding mathematical practices, the redesigned sat is also a good reflection of college- and career-ready standards.
We will continue to be guided by research and evidence as we develop the redesigned sat. In the months leading up to its release, for example, we may find through research that we need to adjust elements described in this document, such as time limits, number of questions or tasks, or scores reported. When and if we make these or other changes, we will do so solely to enhance the validity evidence supporting the test for its intended purposes, and we will communicate those changes as widely as possible and in a timely manner.
Because the redesigned sat is a different test than the current sat, a numerical score on one test will not be equivalent to the same numerical score on the other. Therefore, to help higher education admission officers, k–12 educators and counselors, and students and parents transition to the new test scores, we will be providing a concordance between the scores on the current sat and the redesigned sat that shows how to relate the scores of one test to the scores of the other. ... The concordance information will be released immediately after the first operational administration of the redesigned sat in 2016.
By JULIA PRESTON APRIL 16, 2014
New deportation cases brought by the Obama administration in the nation’s immigration courts have been declining steadily since 2009 and judges have increasingly ruled against deportations, leading to a 43 percent drop in the number of deportations through the courts in the last five years, according to Justice Department statistics released on Wednesday.
The figures show that the administration opened 26 percent fewer deportation cases in the courts last year than in 2009. In 2013, immigration judges ordered deportations in 105,064 cases nationwide.
The statistics present a different picture of President Obama’s enforcement policies than the one painted by many immigrant advocates, who have assailed the president as the “deporter in chief” and accused him of rushing to reach a record of two million deportations.
By ANDREW E. KRAMER APRIL 16, 2014
SLOVYANSK, Ukraine — A highly publicized Ukrainian Army operation to retake control of Slovyansk and other eastern cities from pro-Russia insurgents appeared to falter badly on Wednesday, with one column of armored vehicles abandoned to militant separatists and another ground to a halt by unarmed protesters blocking its path.
The setbacks appeared to reflect new indecision and dysfunction by the interim authorities in Kiev, the capital, who have been vowing for days to end the insurrections in the restive east that they say have been instigated by Russia.
Ukrainian news media reported that pro-Russian militias had commandeered six armored personnel carriers from the Ukrainian Army and driven them to the central square here in Slovyansk, about 120 miles from the Russian border. A crowd gathered to gape at the squat tracked vehicles and at the red, white and blue flag of Russia flapping in the breeze.
About 100 soldiers in unmarked green uniforms, bearing no insignia but carrying professional infantry equipment, guarded the vehicles. They wore twirled around their right shoulder straps the orange and black ribbons that are a symbol of the Soviet Union’s victory in World War II, and now of Russia’s nationalist resurgence. Some of the soldiers had grenade launchers slung over their shoulders.
Another Ukrainian armored column fared little better when its advance toward Slovyansk, which has been occupied by pro-Russian militants for days, was halted in a village to the south by a crowd blocking the road. By early afternoon, several hundred people were milling around the motionless column of 15 tracked personnel carriers, drinking beer and fraternizing with the soldiers.
Initially, the soldiers tried to clear a path by firing in the air, residents said. One of the tracked vehicles rammed an Opel car parked in the road, shoving it aside. But the crowd did not disperse, and the soldiers adopted a passive stance, turning off their vehicle engines, climbing on top of their vehicles and removing the magazines from their rifles.
By WALT BOGDANICH
After being interviewed on Nov. 13, 2013, Ronald Darby signed an affidavit stating that while at Potbelly’s on December 6, “I watched Jameis talking with a white female that had blonde hair. It appeared that the female was pursuing Jameis."
By Jonah Owen Lamb @Jonahowenlamb
A prominent advocate for transgender and women's rights in the tech world has been charged with raping her wife, The San Francisco Examiner has learned.
Dana McCallum, a senior engineer at Twitter who speaks and writes about women's and transgender-rights and technology issues, was arrested Jan. 26 and booked into County Jail on suspicion of five felonies, according to the Sheriff's Department.
McCallum, 31, who was born a male, openly identifies as a female and whose legal name is Dana Contreras, was charged Jan. 29 with five felonies, including three counts of spousal rape, one count of false imprisonment and one count of domestic violence, according to the District Attorney's Office. She has since pleaded not guilty.
Despite the charges, McCallum's attorney, John Runfola, says the case is simply about money.
"I'm just disgusted that, you know, this is going on," Runfola said. "Dana is an employee [at Twitter] and is about to come into a large amount of money. ... This whole thing is about money."
The couple had been separated, he said, but were still having sexual relations.
McCallum served her wife with divorce papers the day before the incident, Runfola said. ...
According to McCallum's profile on the online publication Model View Culture, for which she wrote about transgender people and women in tech in January 2013, "Dana McCallum has been working in software engineering and engineering leadership since 2000. As an advocate for women in technology and the LGBT community, Dana helped create advocacy teams at Twitter and other companies, served as a delegate on women's issues in India, and speaks regularly at events focused on women and LGBT people in tech."
A December story in Business Insider listed McCallum as one of the most important gay people in the tech world.
Revised SAT Won’t Include Obscure Vocabulary Words
By TAMAR LEWIN APRIL 16, 2014
The College Board on Wednesday will release many details of its revised SAT, including sample questions and explanations of the research, goals and specifications behind them.
“We are committed to a clear and open SAT, and today is the first step in that commitment,” said Cyndie Schmeiser, the College Board’s chief of assessment, in a conference call on Monday, previewing the changes to be introduced in the spring of 2016.
She said the 211-page test specifications and supporting materials being shared publicly include “everything a student needs to know to walk into that test and not be surprised.”
One big change is in the vocabulary questions, which will no longer include obscure words.
Instead, the focus will be on what the College Board calls “high utility” words that appear in many contexts, in many disciplines — often with shifting meanings — and they will be tested in context. For example, a question based on a passage about an artist who “vacated” from a tradition of landscape painting, asks whether it would be better to substitute the word “evacuated,” “departed” or “retired,” or to leave the sentence unchanged.
...As Kingman developed as a painter, his works were often compared to paintings by Chinese landscape artists dating back to CE 960, a time when a strong tradition of landscape painting emerged in Chinese art. Kingman, however, vacated from that tradition in a number of ways, most notably in that he chose to focus not on natural landscapes, such as mountains and rivers, but on cities....
A) no change
"This test will be more open and clear than any in our history," Cynthia B. Schmeiser, chief of assessment for the College Board, said during a media briefing. "It is more of an achievement test, anchored in what is important and needed for kids to be ready and succeed in college. The process used to define what is being measured is radically different than what we've used in the past and what is used in other tests."
The SAT is taken by about 1.7 million students annually but has been losing ground to the rival ACT, which is gaining nationwide acceptance after being more prevalent historically in the Midwest and the South. Many education experts view the ACT as more of an achievement exam, one in which students are less likely to be helped by coaching.
For the College Board, the new SAT could help end the lingering public perception that the test is about IQ or aptitude. Previous revisions ditched analogies and antonyms — portions of the old verbal test seen as tricky and unrelated to what schools teach. Making the SAT more of an achievement test, one analyst said, could be a boon for students who stress about test preparation.
Critics of the SAT and other standardized testing are disregarding the data.
By David Z. Hambrick and Christopher Chabris
A. Nowadays people take themselves way too seriously.
Q. Is that what happened in 2011, when you were criticized for a routine in which you said you would stab your son if he came out as gay?
A. That’s what I thought I was doing, but it was taken out of context. No matter what, if my son was gay, I’d treat him like a king. I wasn’t trying to say that’s how I felt.
Q. What did you learn from that?
A. I learned that things are different now. Would Richard Pryor be able to survive now? Would George Carlin be able to survive now? Would Sam Kinison be able to survive now? Would Lenny Bruce be able to survive now? I don’t know. Everybody is supersensitive. We have freedom of speech, but you got to watch what you say.
Q. Do you think the Internet has made things worse for comedians?
A. Bad news travels at the speed of light, good news travels like molasses. People bring camera phones into comedy shows and clubs and concerts, and sound bites never come out right.