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Richard Dawkins deplatformed at a book talk in Berkeley for “abusive speech” about Islam on Twitter

SJWs at it again.

Why Evolution Is True

Richard Dawkins was supposed to speak at this event in Berkeley on August 9: a talk about his new book, Science in the Soul: Selected Writings of a Passionate AtheistAs you see, the talk has been canceled.

But why? You can guess. The talk was to be sponsored by a Berkeley radio station, KPFA, and they made this announcement—but didn’t even inform Richard before deep-sixing the event. Through the ticketing agency, Brown Paper Tickets, KPFA sent out this email with the “reasons”:

From: Brown Paper Tickets 
Date: July 20, 2017 at 2:04:53 PM PDT
Subject: Notification for Richard Dawkins: Science in the Soul: Selected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist

Dear Richard Dawkins event ticket buyers,
We regret to inform you that KPFA has canceled our event with Richard Dawkins. We had booked this event based entirely on his excellent new book on science, when we…

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The complex evolution of the big cats

Big cat evolution!

Why Evolution Is True

A new paper in Science Advances by Henrique V. Figueiró et al. (reference below, free download with legal UnPaywall app) resolves the contested phylogeny (family tree) of five big cat species: lion, leopard, jaguar, snow leopard, and tiger. In so doing, the researchers uncovered some interesting evolutionary history.

Previously, the family tree of this group had been a bit confusing, as different genes gave different phylogenies. That’s normal for recently evolved species (the speciation in this group occurred within the last 4.5 million years), for the genes that were variable in the common ancestors could remain variable in the descendants, and depending on which gene you looked at, you could find evolutionary phylogenies that were really the histories of the genes themselves rather than the history of the species that contained them. But there was another reason for the confusing phylogenies as well, and we’ll get to that shortly.


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A perfectly-timed photo of the space station and the moon puts human achievements in perspective


A perfectly-timed photo of the space station and the moon puts human achievements in perspective

This is the document that says Australia’s Deputy PM has dual citizenship…

William Summers

The bizarre Section 44 controversy has already claimed a few victims and there will no doubt be more to come. One name that has been surprisingly absent from the discussion – until today – is that of Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, whose father was from New Zealand.

After I flagged up the possibility of ‘citizenship by descent’ for Barnaby Joyce (and One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts) over a week ago, The Australianhas finally cottoned onto it today, including a response from Joyce:

Mr Joyce’s spokesman said he was not a dual citizen and had establis­hed that “many years prior to entering parliament”.

The NZDepartment of Internal Affairs­ (DIA) seems to back him up, apparently telling the newspaper that a child born in Aust­ralia to a NZ parent needs to ‘apply’ to be a citizen by descent.

Here’s the problem – both Joyce and the spokesperson from NZ…

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Salvation Army Fullarton Girls’ Home: (Or: Are Your Hands Clean?)



The Fullarton Girls’ Home (pictured above) was run by the Salvation Army from 1912 to 1987, under funding and control by the South Australian Government. It was unusual in that about 15-20% of inmates were Indigenous girls, many taken away from their families under the “Stolen Generation” policy. A report from that era notes that “many of the girls were very dark.”

One former inmate, Doreen Kartinyeri, wrote a book with Sue Anderson, about her cultural heritage and includes data on her time in the Fullarton facility. Dooreen was awarded an honorary doctorate. She passed away in 2007.

Like most girls at the Home, she was trained to be a domestic servant. Much was made by the Salvation Army about such training as being a really good thing. However, it merely reflected the low expectations for the inmates. Some of the girls, who were placed with families under the scheme…

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Start Up: Clifford Stoll got it right, swiping in iOS 11, ARKit!, Microsoft v Fancy Bear, and more

The Overspill: when there's more that I want to say

Does this look like a promising avenue for a hack to you? Photo by haleyhughes on Flickr.

You can now sign up to receive each day’s Start Up post by email. You’ll need to click a confirmation link, so no spam.

A selection of 11 links for you. Augment that if you dare. I’m @charlesarthur on Twitter. Observations and links welcome.

A smart fish tank left a casino vulnerable to hackers • CNN

Selena Larson:


Hackers attempted to steal data from a North American casino through a fish tank connected to the internet, according to a report from security firm Darktrace.

Despite extra security precautions set up on the fish tank, hackers still managed to compromise the tank to send data to a device in Finland before the threat was discovered and stopped.
“Someone used the fish tank to get into the network, and once they were in…

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