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Monday, August 17, 2009

O Arizona: "Wild West Style Standoff" Over Computer System Intensifies

Arizona sheriff prefers jail to handing over server password • The Register
A legal standoff has developed in Arizona between sheriff’s deputies and county officials over a management system overhaul.

Last week officers from Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office raided government buildings and took over computer systems shared between law enforcement and county officials.

Sysadmins were marshalled away under threat of arrest, while the deputies changed passwords on servers and secured rooms. County officials called in the judges for help, with superior court judge Joseph Heilman ordering control of the system to be handed over by next Wednesday.

However, Chief Deputy David Hendershott is holding firm, refusing to hand over the passwords even under threat of going to jail for contempt of court.

Heilman has held hearings on a dispute between the sheriff and the Board of Supervisors over the running of an integrated criminal justice system since April.

Kerry Martin, a lawyer acting for the sheriff’s office, said deputies had taken over the system to stop county managers applying a management system they disagreed with. Martin, repeatedly quizzed by judge Heilman on why it didn’t bring this aspect of the dispute back to court before acting, claimed that the deputies had the authority to take control.

The Wild-West–style standoff between sheriffs and county threatens local access to the National Criminal Information Center and the Arizona Criminal Justice Information system.
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Dorothea Lange: Cropper, 1937

Americus: 1937 | Shorpy Photo Archive

July 1937. "Thirteen-year old sharecropper boy near Americus, Georgia." Medium-format nitrate negative by Dorothea Lange.
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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Black Hole Shadow: Very Large Telescope Zaps the Sky

Image of the Day: Laser Strikes at Supermassive Black Hole at Core of the Milky Way Galaxy

It's not the sequel to War of the Worlds! Astronomers at the Very Large Telescope (VLT) site in Chile are trying to measure the distortions of Earth's ever changing atmosphere. Constant imaging of high-altitude atoms excited by the laser -- which appear like an artificial star -- allow astronomers to instantly measure atmospheric blurring. In this case, the VLT was observing our Galaxy's center, and so Earth's atmospheric blurring in that direction was needed.

At the center of the Milky Way is Sagittarius A -believed to be a supermassive black hole, which lurk at the center of all spiral galaxies. If we can observe Sagittarius A*'s surroundings we can confirm once and for all whether it's a black hole - and prove Einstein right (or wrong!) . Relativity theory predicts the existence of black holes. If relativity breaks down, we might not see a black hole at all, but something totally weird.

Relativity describes how large masses can bend space, and a black hole is where the mass is so large that space gives up altogether and becomes a singularity. Black holes are already well understood, we think, but we've only ever observed them at second hand - the behavior of orbiting objects or bent light rays. To actually view the shadow of a black hole, the cut-off point where light is swallowed and cannot escape, would be a massive advance - and only the beginning.
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Philadelphia, MS: Suspect in 1964 Civil Rights Worker Killing Dies

Suspect In 1964 Civil Rights Worker Killings Dies - CBS News
Federal authorities will continue to investigate the 1964 Mississippi killings of three civil rights workers _ a case that helped pass landmark legislation _ despite the death of a key suspect, the Justice Department says.

Billy Wayne Posey, 73, died Thursday. Federal investigators were looking into his possible involvement in the June 21, 1964, killings of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, who had been working to register black voters.

Posey's funeral was Saturday in Philadelphia, Miss., the town at the heart of the case.

On Friday afternoon, Alejandro Miyar, a spokesman for the Justice Department, said the death does not "alter our cold-case investigation." He said federal authorities are assisting state investigators who could bring state charges.

Goodman's brother, David Goodman, of New York City, said, "This is still the country of law and order, and the laws are clear. There is no statute of limitations on murder."
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View of the French Market, New Orleans, Late 19th Century

The Old French Market | Shorpy Photo Archive

Circa 1880s-1890s. "The old French Market, New Orleans." Photo by William Henry Jackson. Detroit Publishing Co. glass negative.
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Saturday, August 15, 2009

That Face A Landscape of the Moon? Carol Lombard

That Obscure Object

Carole Lombard on Her Beauty:

“You ought to see the map for my face in the Makeup Department. It looks like a landscape of the moon.”

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Photo by Dorothea Lang: Reaping the Dustbowl Whirlwind

In the Cotton: 1935 | Shorpy Photo Archive

June 1935. Somewhere in California. "Motherless migrant children. They work in the cotton." Medium-format nitrate negative by Dorothea Lange for the Resettlement Administration.
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Big Shoes to Fill: His Own -- Art Bell is Back in Memphis to Make It Rock Again

Al Bell - Out of Exile, Back in Soulsville -
AS the peacock-blue Cadillac with the gold trim and fur lining spun on a giant turntable in the Stax Museum of American Soul Music here, Al Bell, the final owner of the late, great record label, chuckled. Decades before 50 Cent with his customized Rolls-Royce and Akon with his tricked-out Lamborghini, there was Isaac Hayes with this pimped-out ride, an over-the-top gift from Stax to its over-the-top star, who wore slave chains like emancipatory bling across his bare, buff chest.

“The reason I chuckle is because I think of what has been born out of the rap and the hip-hop world, and then I look at what we were doing back then, and, you know, we were really ahead of our time,” Mr. Bell said.

His chuckle is rueful, though. When Mr. Bell, 69, stands by that revolving Cadillac, he sees the arc of his life come full circle, unexpectedly. The original Stax Records is long gone, Mr. Hayes and many other Stax artists, from Otis Redding to Rufus Thomas, have died, and, until recently, Memphis showed little interest in reclaiming or building on its soul-music heritage. Six years ago, though, the Stax Museum opened. And earlier this summer Mr. Bell was invited back to Memphis with a bittersweet mandate: to resuscitate the city’s once great music industry as chairman of the Memphis Music Foundation.

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