Using drugs meant for individuals with medical needs to carry out executions is a misguided effort to mask the brutality of executions by making them look serene and beautiful — like something any one of us might experience in our final moments," U.S. 9th Circuit Court Chief Judge Alex Kozinski wrote in a dissent in the Arizona death penalty case of Joseph Rudolph Wood III.
"But executions are, in fact, brutal, savage events, and nothing the state tries to do can mask that reality. Nor should we. If we as a society want to carry out executions, we should be willing to face the fact that the state is committing a horrendous brutality on our behalf."
Kozinski revealed his views in a dissent filed Monday to an order in which the full 9th Circuit refused to review a decision of a 9th Circuit three-judge panel to put Wood's execution on hold.
An increasing amount is being written on overprotection of children - a piece by Hanna Rosin in The Atlantic.
Sandseter began observing and interviewing children on playgrounds in Norway. In 2011, she published her results in a paper called “Children’s Risky Play From an Evolutionary Perspective: The Anti-Phobic Effects of Thrilling Experiences.” Children, she concluded, have a sensory need to taste danger and excitement; this doesn’t mean that what they do has to actually be dangerous, only that they feel they are taking a great risk. That scares them, but then they overcome the fear. In the paper, Sandseter identifies six kinds of risky play: (1) Exploring heights, or getting the “bird’s perspective,” as she calls it—“high enough to evoke the sensation of fear.” (2) Handling dangerous tools—using sharp scissors or knives, or heavy hammers that at first seem unmanageable but that kids learn to master. (3) Being near dangerous elements—playing near vast bodies of water, or near a fire, so kids are aware that there is danger nearby. (4) Rough-and-tumble play—wrestling, play-fighting—so kids learn to negotiate aggression and cooperation. (5) Speed—cycling or skiing at a pace that feels too fast. (6) Exploring on one’s own.
This last one Sandseter describes as “the most important for the children.” She told me, “When they are left alone and can take full responsibility for their actions, and the consequences of their decisions, it’s a thrilling experience.”
To gauge the effects of losing these experiences, Sandseter turns to evolutionary psychology. Children are born with the instinct to take risks in play, because historically, learning to negotiate risk has been crucial to survival; in another era, they would have had to learn to run from some danger, defend themselves from others, be independent. Even today, growing up is a process of managing fears and learning to arrive at sound decisions. By engaging in risky play, children are effectively subjecting themselves to a form of exposure therapy, in which they force themselves to do the thing they’re afraid of in order to overcome their fear. But if they never go through that process, the fear can turn into a phobia. Paradoxically, Sandseter writes, “our fear of children being harmed,” mostly in minor ways, “may result in more fearful children and increased levels of psychopathology.” She cites a study showing that children who injured themselves falling from heights when they were between 5 and 9 years old are less likely to be afraid of heights at age 18. “Risky play with great heights will provide a desensitizing or habituating experience,” she writes.
related story Let Kids Play With Fire
"We see a child climbing a tree and the first thing we think of is how they might fall and be maimed for life, when we might as easily say, 'Look at how well Sarah is climbing that tree!'"
Read the full May 2011 story by Veronique Greenwood
We might accept a few more phobias in our children in exchange for fewer injuries. But the final irony is that our close attention to safety has not in fact made a tremendous difference in the number of accidents children have. According to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, which monitors hospital visits, the frequency of emergency-room visits related to playground equipment, including home equipment, in 1980 was 156,000, or one visit per 1,452 Americans. In 2012, it was 271,475, or one per 1,156 Americans. The number of deaths hasn’t changed much either. From 2001 through 2008, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 100 deaths associated with playground equipment—an average of 13 a year, or 10 fewer than were reported in 1980. Head injuries, runaway motorcycles, a fatal fall onto a rock—most of the horrors Sweeney and Frost described all those years ago turn out to be freakishly rare, unexpected tragedies that no amount of safety-proofing can prevent.
TaskRabbit and similar services aren't terribly new - rather they are just more efficient mechanisms for creating piecework. A piece in The Guardian notes this.
TaskRabbit, Zaarly, Agent Anything and the other supposedly high-tech companies bill themselves as new and improved takes on the modern working world, but their model actually comes from a much older concept: piecework. It was common in the late 19th and early 20th century that, instead of working in a factory for a wage or a salary, workers sewed or assembled goods at home and were paid by the finished item rather than for their time. The new wave of piecework may look different – working for an individual rather than a big company, working for many different clients instead of just one, and having a website act as a broker (and take 20% off the top) – but it has very similar roots.
This "revolutionary" work built out of Silicon Valley convenience is not really about technological innovation – it's just the next step in a decades-old trend of fragmenting jobs, isolating workers and driving down wages.
And, as Paul Mason noted the other day on these pages, there's a whiff of the "shape-up" in these gigs – that is, when workers lined up on the docks to be chosen for a day's work ... or not. They pit tasker against tasker for the prize of some work, giving already-atomized workers an added incentive not to share information about employers, wages and fees.
The concept of unions of sorts forming is interesting, but I doubt they would be effective in the current labor market with its downward pressure on job security.
Originality and harmony in the table setting (crystal, china, décor) extending to the flavors and colors of the foods.
Absolute originality in the food.
The invention of appetizing food sculptures, whose original harmony of form and color feeds the eyes and excites the imagination before it tempts the lips.
The abolition of the knife and fork for eating food sculptures, which can give prelabial tactile pleasure.
The use of the art of perfumes to enhance tasting.
Every dish must be preceded by a perfume which will be driven from the table with the help of electric fans.
The use of music limited to the intervals between courses so as not to distract the sensitivity of the tongue and palate but to help annul the last taste enjoyed by re-establishing gustatory virginity.
The abolition of speech-making and politics at the table.
The use in prescribed doses of poetry and music as surprise ingredients to accentuate the flavors of a given dish with their sensual intensity.
The rapid presentation, between courses, under the eyes and nostrils of the guests, of some dishes they will eat and other they will not, to increase their curiosity, surprise and imagination.
The creation of simultaneous and changing canapés which contain ten, twenty flavors to be tasted in a few seconds. In Futurist cooking these canapés have by analogy the same amplifying function that images have in literature. A given taste of something can sum up an entire area of life, the history of an amorous passion or an entire voyage to the Far East.
A battery of scientific instruments in the kitchen:ozonizers to give liquids and foods the perfume of ozone,ultra-violet ray lamps (since many foods when irradiated with ultra-violet rays acquire active properties, become more assimilable, preventing rickets in young children,etc.), electrolyzers to decompose juices and extracts, etc. in such a way as to obtain from a known product a new product with new properties, colloidal mills to pulverize flours, dried fruits, drugs, etc.;atmospheric and vacuum stills, centrifugal autoclaves, dialyzers. The use of these appliances will have to be scientific, avoiding the typical error of cooking foods under steam pressure, which provokes the destruction of active substances (vitamins, etc.) because of the high temperatures. Chemical indicators will take into account the acidity and alkalinity of these sauces and serve to correct possible errors: too little salt, too much vinegar, too much pepper or too much sugar.