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18 May 2010 10:52


Tech: Yikes: Laptop batteries’ quick charging can cause fires

  • So, why do laptop batteries do this? Cambridge University scientists say the need for quick charging creates “dendrites,” metal fibers that can cause short circuits and, in turn, fires like this one. After watching this video (did you guys see that fireball?), we’re going to hold our laptop tight when we go to bed with it tonight. source

25 Jul 2009 22:27


U.S.: It’s official: We can settle our racial differences over beer

  • The president, a scholar and a cop walk into a bar … Henry Louis Gates Jr. confirmed today that he accepted a chance to have a beer with not only the white Cambridge police officer who arrested him, but President Barack Obama, whose spare comments on Gates’ arrest got him in the middle of a bunch of drama we’re sure he didn’t want. They won’t be drinking at some corner bar outside of Harvard, though – they’ll be drinking at the White House, which we’re sure is well-stocked with some quality brew. source

24 Jul 2009 17:12


U.S.: Obama sez he jumped the gun on those Cambridge arrest comments

  • I think I unfortunately gave an impression that I was maligning the Cambridge Police Department or Sgt. Crowley specifically, and I could have calibrated those words differently.
  • President Barack Obama • In a statement where he sorta took back lots of the stuff he said about the arrest of scholar Henry Louis Gates in Cambridge, Massachusetts. If you forgot, Obama said the police “acted stupidly” and pointed out that minorities are stopped more often by police, which kinda stirred a lot of s*** up and managed to overshadow that entire prime-time health care press conference.  • source

23 Jul 2009 09:15


U.S.: When not discussing health care, Obama jumped head-first into race

  • … the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home …
  • President Barack Obama • Discussing last week’s arrest of Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. during last night’s prime-time press conference. (BTW, in case you’re wondering – we’d quote the whole sentence, but the sentence was particularly massive, and this was the important part.) Obama’s stance on the Gates issue stands out because it may be the furthest he’s stuck his neck out on any one race issue since going into office. It was the moment – even beyond all of the health care gobbledygook – which will stand out from this press conference. Last week, his statement on role models also stood out for similar reasons. • source

21 Jul 2009 14:32


U.S.: Cambridge police will forget about the Harvard professor arrest

  • I think both parties were wrong. I think that’s fair to say. It wasn’t Professor Gates’ best moment. and it was not the Cambridge Police Department’s best moment.
  • Cambridge Police Department Spokeswoman Kelly Downes • Regarding the drama that both the police department and Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. went through after Gates was arrested last week for disorderly conduct. While Downes says there was “probable cause” to arrest the professor, both the police department and Gates are looking to get the drama behind them. Gates’ arrest stirred up lots of criticism due to the fact that he’s black and the circumstances appeared to be racial profiling. • source

20 Jul 2009 23:08


U.S.: Note to Cambridge cops: Don’t arrest black Harvard professors

  • My colleagues and I have asked the question of whether this kind of egregious act would have happened had Professor Gates been a white professor. We think that it has to be investigated, and we are deeply saddened by what happened.
  • Harvard Medical School Professor Dr. S. Allen Counter • Regarding the arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr., Harvard’s top African-American scholar. Gates was arrested after attempting to get inside his home, only to find the door jammed. A neighbor spotted him and his cab driver, thinking it was a break-in, and called the police. Gates, who had gotten inside by the time police came, was harassed by an officer and ultimately put in custody for a number of hours. So let this be a lesson to you: If you’re a cop in Cambridge, ten to one, a black guy trying to get into a house in a nice neighborhood is probably doing nothing wrong and someone notable enough that the New York Times will report on it. • source

04 Feb 2009 21:55


U.S.: Authorities prescribe new leads in Tylenol murders

  • What happened? In 1982, a number of bottles of Tylenol were laced with cyanide, killing seven people in Chicago and causing a nationwide recall of the product. The crime was never solved, but its maker, Johnson & Johnson, was able to survive a PR disaster by aggressively recalling the product and creating safer, more secure packaging. (It’s an oft-used example of how to survive a crisis.)
  • Recent developments The FBI searched the Cambridge, Mass. home of James W. Lewis, who sent an extortion letter to the company and was sent to prison. He was never charged in the killings but was always considered a prime suspect. Due to renewed attention after its 25th anniversary, a number of tips led authorities to a major break in the case. source