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Belgium euthanasia: First child dies – CNN.com

Posted: September 22, 2016 at 8:02 pm

A Belgian lawmaker told CNN affiliate VTM that the physician-assisted suicide happened within the past week.

The child, who was suffering from an incurable disease, had asked for euthanasia, Sen. Jean-Jacques De Gucht told VTM. The identity of the child and age are unknown.

“I think it’s very important that we, as a society, have given the opportunity to those people to decide for themselves in what manner they cope with that situation,” said Gucht, a supporter of euthanasia legislation.

Wim Distelmans, who chairs Belgium’s Federal Control and Evaluation Committee on Euthanasia, told state broadcaster RTBF that fortunately few children had demanded mercy killing but “that does not mean we should deny them the right to a dignified death.”

In 2014, the bill extended the “right to die” to those under the age of 18. But there were additional strict conditions, including that the child was judged to be able to understand what euthanasia means.

Consent of parents or guardians must also be given.

“This can only be in cases of serious and incurable diseases, which is the same thing for adults … but for minors an additional condition is that the death must be expected in the near future,” Jacqueline Herremans told RTBF. Herremans is the president of Belgium’s Association for the Right to Die with Dignity and also a member of the federal committee on euthanasia.

Belgium is the only country that allows euthanasia for children of any age.

The Netherlands also allows mercy killings for children, but only for those 12 and over. It became the first country to legalize euthanasia in April 2002.

CNN’s Margot Haddad contributed to this report.

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Articles about Victimless Crime – philly-archives

Posted: at 8:01 pm

NEWS

August 20, 2010 | By STEPHANIE FARR, farrs@phillynews.com 215-854-4225

A few unhappy endings occurred around Philadelphia International Airport Wednesday, and it had nothing to do with missed connections. Police arrested nine people in a prostitution sting using Craigslist and City Paper advertisements to target hookers who frequent airport hotels. Capt. Dan MacDonald III, commanding officer of the 12th District, which covers Southwest Philadelphia and the airport, said that there’s been an uptick in crime at airport hotels over the last six to eight months that can be linked to prostitution.

NEWS

October 18, 2008 | By Emilie Lounsberry INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

Jocelyn S. Kirsch – half of Philadelphia’s infamous pair of identity-theft scammers known as “Bonnie and Clyde” – was sentenced yesterday to five years in prison by a judge who said her crimes were born of “greed and a desire to fuel a lavish lifestyle. ” Kirsch, 23, had benefited from “the best that America can offer – good schools, an opportunity to grow up in a safe environment,” said U.S. District Judge Eduardo C. Robreno. And yet she “visited harm on at least 50 victims,” many of them friends and colleagues.

NEWS

June 13, 2008 | By Suzette Parmley INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

In what police said was a sign of what is to come, officers raided a purported house of prostitution in Chinatown yesterday and arrested four women. “We’ve gotten several complaints at this location before,” Chief Inspector William Colarulo said last night. “The mayor and the commissioner have vowed to crack down on quality-of-life issues in the city. “We will have zero tolerance for this type of activity,” he said, “and in light of Welcome America approaching, you will see frequent raids of these houses of prostitution that are thinly disguised as massage parlors.

NEWS

October 19, 2004 | By Murray Dubin INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

“So much pain is in this room,” said a solemn pastor yesterday, as sobs and shrieks pierced the funeral services for Marcella Coleman, 54, and her grandson, Tahj Porchea, 12. Those two victims, and four others, died Oct. 9 in a house fire at 3256 N. Sixth St. Police are investigating the deaths as homicides. About 800 friends and family members, seeking solace after an enormous loss, filled the Holy Ghost Headquarters Revival Center at Broad and Poplar Streets. White and yellow carnations covered two cream-colored closed caskets with gold trim.

NEWS

April 28, 2004

IWOULD like to thank Carla Anderson, the Urban Warrior, for hopefully cutting down on the number of prostitution arrests in Philadelphia. Prostitution is not a victimless crime. The victims are the people living in the neighborhoods where the crimes are taking place, who are neither buying nor soliciting this crime. If you cut down the demand, you will cut down the supply. By publishing pictures of the “johns,” she is not ruining lives. The people committing the crimes are ruining their loved ones’ lives, as well as their own. Keep at it, Carla – it is good to know that people care about the neighborhoods of Philly!

NEWS

February 17, 2004

HAVING sex in public only gets you the relatively minor charge of public lewdness in Philadelphia. As Homer Simpson would say: WooHoo! But before you start making your weekend plans, you might want to stay away from the Port Richmond area. Residents there are understandably fed-up with vans that are a-rockin’. As Daily News columnist Carla Anderson reported last week, working girls and their johns have suddenly discovered the curb appeal of the quiet residential streets in the middle-class neighborhood.

NEWS

September 22, 1999 | By Claude Lewis

When Tonight Show host Jay Leno is not having a particularly good response to his monologue, with a wink he sometimes makes a casual reference to the “world’s oldest profession. ” Comedians learn early in the game they can depend on getting a laugh at the mere mention of prostitution. But prostitution is anything but a laughing matter. Nor is it a victimless crime, as many argue. Nearly everybody involved in the trade suffers in one way or another. Mostly, it’s the women who walk the streets who experience the greatest degradation, who expose themselves to all sorts of risks ranging from abuse, sexually transmitted diseases (including AIDS)

NEWS

October 25, 1997

What would have been just another autumn Saturday in Philadelphia has the makings of a historic moment, thanks to the Million Woman March. Two compelling principles – self-determination and commitment to community – have drawn thousands of African-American women here for a day of reflection, celebration and renewal. It’s fitting that they’ve come to Philadelphia, where the ideals of democracy and individual freedom were the foundation for a new nation more than two centuries ago. Welcome to the marchers – expected to number at least several hundred thousand – and to the throngs of other guests expected this weekend.

NEWS

August 13, 1997

Why no arrests over phony car-stop reports? “Why no arrest for roadside lies?” (editorial Aug. 9): Why? Because believing African-Americans committed a crime is so readily accepted. The authorities are allowing these white people to get away with what they think is a victimless crime. You can tell this by what they said about “extenuating circumstances. ” What circumstances they never say. I do not think the crime is victimless. It only makes me wonder about the statistics in your other editorial that day, “The new prison boom.

NEWS

February 3, 1995 | By Richard Berkowitz, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT

Those who patronize prostitutes in the borough may be getting some free and unwanted publicity. The Borough Council has moved a step closer to adopting a so-called John and Jane ordinance. Similar to an ordinance adopted in Philadelphia last year, it would provide for publishing the names and addresses of those convicted of patronizing or attempting to patronize prostitutes in the borough. The names would appear in a local newspaper. Council members at Wednesday night’s meeting unanimously approved publicly advertising the ordinance, a first step toward adoption.

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Articles about Victimless Crime – philly-archives

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Neuro Hacking /r/NeuroHacking – reddit.com

Posted: September 20, 2016 at 7:14 pm

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~1 user here now

Neurohacking is the colloquial term for (usually personal or ‘DIY’) neuroengineering. It is a form of biohacking focusing on the brain and CNS. Strictly speaking it is any method of manipulating or interfering with the structure and/or function of neurons for improvement or repair.

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Transhuman Archives – Page 3 of 8 – Technocracy News

Posted: at 7:07 pm

Home Transhuman

Transhuman June 15, 2016

Weve spent the past decade handing Mark Zuckerberg our cherished memories, beloved photographs and intimate details of our day to day lives. But thats not

Technocracy, Transhuman June 15, 2016

NASA has revealed it aims to grow human tissue in space to help aid the future of deep space explorations. It has launched a competition

Transhuman June 14, 2016

Japans most famous novelist is set to return to his alma mater and teach -100 years after his death. Soseki Natsume is being recreated as

Transhuman June 6, 2016

It was revealed today that in a futuristic Dr Frankenstein-like experiment, scientisist in the US have injected human stem cells into pig embryos to produce

Transhuman May 19, 2016

A handful of scientists around the United States are trying to do something that some people find disturbing: make embryos that are part human, part

Transhuman May 19, 2016

At Harvard Medical School in Boston, 150 hand-picked scientists, lawyers, and entrepreneurs gathered last week in private to discuss how to create a

Transhuman May 16, 2016

No, its not science fiction. Indian researchers are embarking on a study to try to literally revive the brain dead. A person is both medically

Transhuman May 13, 2016

Scientists are now contemplating the creation of a synthetic human genome, meaning they would use chemicals to manufacture all the DNA contained in human chromosomes.

Technocracy, Transhuman May 11, 2016

Chinese technology giant Huawei is preparing for a world where people live forever, dead relatives linger on in computers and robots try to kill humans.

Technocracy, Transhuman May 3, 2016

A red Ferrari with the top down swerved past on the winding dirt road, heading to what looked like a small Mars encampment. Helicopters landed

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Space Station – NASA

Posted: at 7:07 pm

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation Off The Earth, For The Earth Tue, 20 Sep 2016 17:04:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://blogs.nasa.gov?v=4.5.3 https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/09/20/astronauts-study-pill-properties-and-laser-heating/ https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/09/20/astronauts-study-pill-properties-and-laser-heating/#respond Tue, 20 Sep 2016 17:04:15 +0000 http://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/?p=3424

Astronaut Kate Rubins wears a hand-painted spacesuit decorated by patients recovering at the MD Anderson Cancer Center to raise awareness about the benefits of pairing art with medicine.

The Expedition 49 crew is helping the pharmaceutical industry improve drug design while also helping researchers understand the properties of materials burning at high temperatures. The International Space Stations microgravity environment helps reveal new characteristics of physical and organic processes cloaked by Earths gravity. Scientists, doctors and engineers use these observations to design products and procedures to benefit humans living on Earth and in space.

The new Eli Lilly-Hard to Wet Surfaces experiment is researching how different materials dissolve in water. NASA astronaut Kate Rubins set up a camera to automatically photograph the process today using six samples. Results could benefit how pills are designed improving drug delivery inside the body.

Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi swapped samples for the Group Combustion experiment inside the Electrostatic Levitation Furnace. The furnace is a device that observes and measures the thermophysical properties of materials heated to high temperatures using lasers. Onishi is also closing out the Mouse Epigenetics study and cleaning up the Cell Biology Experiment Facility. The life science facility contains an incubator with an artificial gravity generator.

Commander Anatoly Ivanishin continued checking out Russian laptop computers and life support systems today. The veteran cosmonaut also transferred gear from a cargo ship and wrapped up a 24-hour data recording session for the Cosmocard blood circulation study.

Portions of the International Space Stations solar arrays and Japans Kibo lab module are seen as it orbits Sept. 13, 2016, over the mid-Atlantic Ocean. Credit: Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth

The three Expedition 49 crew members orbiting Earth right now are moving ahead today with human research and the upkeep of the International Space Station. In the meantime, Roscosmos officials have decided to postpone the Sept. 23 launch of NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko aboard the Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft.

Expedition 49 Commander Anatoly Ivanishin worked throughout the stations Russian segment Monday working on life support systems, checking computers and testing video gear. He also set up an electrocardiogram to begin recording data for 24 hours for the Cosmocard blood circulation study.

Astronauts Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi partnered up for the Body Measures experiment exploring how living in space changes body shape and size. The study involves video-taping, photographing and tape measuring the circumference of a crew members arms, legs and chest and comparing it with data recorded before, during and after a space mission.

The pair also performed a series of interactive tasks on a touchscreen tablet for the Fine Motor Skills study. That experiment explores how astronauts interact with new technologies which may help engineers design new spacesuits and spacecraft for future long-term space missions.

Get weekly video highlights at:http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

Expedition 49-50 crew members (from left) Shane Kimbrough, Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko.

Roscosmos decided to postpone the planned September 23, 2016 launch of the spacecraft Soyuz MS 02 for technical reasons after routine tests at the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The launch date of the spacecraft will be announced later.

Please visit the Roscosmos website for the latest information.

A crew member photographed this portion of the Indian Ocean about 650 miles south of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Credit: Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth

The Expedition 49 trio is looking at plant growth today after the successful deployment of eight nanosatellites Thursday. The crew also inspected a treadmill and trained to care for a sick or injured crew member.

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins swapped seeds in a cultivator for the Plant RNA Regulation experiment. Some seeds were stowed in a science freezer, the other seeds will be grown in the cultivator for a week to research how microgravity changes a plants gene expression. Observations may provide new insights on how to grow plants for food and oxygen on long-term spaceflights.

Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi thoroughly inspected a treadmill inside the Tranquility module photographing its parts for analysis on the ground. Onishi also took a refresher course to stay up to date on medical procedures and gear in case of a crew illness or injury.

Commander Anatoly Ivanishin collected data from a radiation detection experiment and worked maintenance on a variety of Russian systems throughout Friday.

Get weekly video highlights at:http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

Expedition 49 crew members Takuya Onishi and Anatoly Ivanishin work inside the Zvezda service module.

The Expedition 49 trio orbiting Earth inside the International Space Station are less than two weeks away from welcoming three new crew members. As the station residents wait for the new arrivals, they continue conducting space science and maintaining station systems.

Commander Anatoly Ivanishin with Flight Engineers Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi have been living in space for two months. They are awaiting reinforcements scheduled to join them two days after a Sept. 23 launch from Kazakhstan. Soyuz Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineers Shane Kimbrough and Andrey Borisenko are reviewing their flight plan and familiarizing themselves with the new Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft.

Back inside the space station, Commander Ivanishin started his day researching how crew activities affect the station structure and exploring how the circulatory system adapts to microgravity. Afterward, he setup a laptop computer and worked on more science and Russian maintenance tasks.

Onishi setup some simple experiments today to show how space affects the flight of a paper plane, a spinning ball and buoyancy among other phenomena. The results were videotaped for sharing to Asian audiences to promote the understanding of spaceflight.

Rubins installed a Phase Change Heat Exchanger into an experiment rack. The new Phase Change HX payload will test ways to regulate thermal conditions on future spacecraft.

Get weekly video highlights at:http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

Expedition 49-50 crew members (from left) Shane Kimbrough, Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko arrive at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Credit: RSC Energia

As one crew gets used to Earths gravity after 172 days in space, another crew is preparing to launch to the International Space Station in just over two weeks.

Expedition 48 Commander Jeff Williams arrived in the United States just 24 hours after landing Tuesday evening in Kazakhstan and completing his mission. His Expedition 48 crewmates Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka, who were seated next to each other in the Soyuz TMA-20M spacecraft, have returned to their home space agency Roscosmos in Russia. Williams has completed one shuttle mission and his third station mission accumulating 534 days in space a NASA astronaut record.

They will soon be replaced by another trio of Expedition 49-50 crew members who have arrived at their launch site at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko will launch Sept. 23 on a two-day trip to the space station. They are in final preparations for a mission scheduled to last until Feb. 25, 2017.

Back in space, the Expedition 48-49 crew consisting of Commander Anatoly Ivanishin and Flight Engineers Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi are continuing science operations and maintenance of the orbital laboratory. Rubins continued more DNA sequencing work today and inspected emergency equipment. Onishi cleaned ventilation fans and measured air flow. Ivanishin worked on the Pilot-T experiment exploring how a crew member adapts to the working conditions of a long-term space mission.

NASA astronaut Jeff Williams rests just minutes after landing in Kazakhstan with fellow crew members Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka. Credit: NASA TV

NASA astronaut Jeff Williams and cosmonauts Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos landed their Soyuz TMA-20M spacecraft in Kazakhstan at 9:13 p.m. EDT. Russian recovery teams are helping the crew exit the Soyuz spacecraft and adjust to gravity after their stay in space. The trio will be transported by helicopter to Karaganda where they will split up, with Williams returning to Houston in a NASA jet, while Ovchinin and Skripochka are flown back to their training base at Star City, Russia.

Williams was instrumental in preparing the station for the future arrival of U.S. commercial crew spacecraft. The first International Docking Adapter was installed during a spacewalk by Williams and fellow NASA astronaut Kate Rubins Aug. 19. Outfitted with a host of sensors and systems, the adapters main purpose is to connect spacecraft bringing astronauts to the station in the future. Its first users are expected to be Boeings CST-100 Starliner and SpaceXs Crew Dragon spacecraft, now in development in partnership with NASA.

During his time on the orbital complex, Williams ventured outside the confines of the space station for a second spacewalk with Rubins to retract a spare thermal control radiator and install two new high-definition cameras.

Together, the Expedition 48 crew members contributed to hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard humanitys only orbiting laboratory.

The crew members also welcomed five cargo spacecraft during their stay. Williams was involved in the grapple of Orbital ATKs Cygnus spacecraft in March, the companys fourth commercial resupply mission, and SpaceXs eighth Dragon spacecraft cargo delivery in April, and welcomed a second Dragon delivery in July. Two Russian ISS Progress cargo craft also docked to the station in April and July delivering tons of supplies.

The Expedition 48 trio launched to the space station in March 2016. With the conclusion of his fourth trip to the International Space Station, Williams has accrued 534 days in space, the most by any U.S. astronaut in history.

Expedition 49 continues operating the station with Anatoly Ivanishin of Roscosmos in command. He, Rubins, and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, will operate the station for more than two weeks until the arrival of three new crew members.

Shane Kimbrough of NASA and cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko of Roscosmos are scheduled to launch Sept. 23, U.S. time, from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

Keep up with the International Space Station, and its research and crew members, at:

http://www.nasa.gov/station

Get breaking news, images, videos and features from the station on social media at:

https://www.facebook.com/ISS http://instagram.com/iss http://www.twitter.com/Space_Station

The Soyuz TMA-20M spacecraft is seen slowly departing away from the International Space Station. NASA TV

NASA astronaut Jeff Williams and cosmonauts Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos undocked from the International Space Station at 5:51 p.m. EDT to begin their trip home. Ovchinin, the Soyuz commander, is at the controls of the Soyuz TMA-20M spacecraft.

The crew is scheduled to land at 9:13 p.m. southeast of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan.

The Expedition 49 crew members, Commander Anatoly Ivanishin of Roscosmos, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, and astronaut Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will operate the station for more than two weeks until the arrival of three new crew members.

NASA TV will air live coverage of the Soyuz TMA-20M deorbit burn and landing beginning at 8 p.m. Watch live at http://www.nasa.gov/ntv.

Keep up with the International Space Station, and its research and crews, at:

http://www.nasa.gov/station

Get breaking news, images, videos and features from the station on social media at:

https://www.facebook.com/ISS http://instagram.com/iss http://www.twitter.com/Space_Station

Astronaut Jeff Williams (front row left) handed command of the International Space Station to cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin (back row center) Monday Sept. 5. Credit: NASA TV

At 2:42 p.m. EDT, the Soyuz hatch closed between the International Space Station and the TMA-20M spacecraft. Expedition 48 crew members Jeff Williams of NASA and his Russian crewmates Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos are preparing to undock at 5:51 p.m. NASA Television will provide coverage beginning at 5:30 p.m.

The deorbit burn is targeted for 8:21 p.m. and will lead to a landing at 9:13 p.m. southeast of Dzezkazgan in Kazakhstan. NASA TV coverage of deorbit and landing begins at 8 p.m. Watch live at http://www.nasa.gov/ntv.

The return of Expedition 48 will wrap up 172 days in space for the crew since their launch in March 2016. Williams will return to Earth having accrued 534 days in space on his four missions dating back to 2000, the most days by any U.S. astronaut in history.

Keep up with the International Space Station, and its research and crew members, at:

http://www.nasa.gov/station

Get breaking news, images, videos and features from the station on social media at:

https://www.facebook.com/ISS http://instagram.com/iss http://www.twitter.com/Space_Station

Today is homecoming day for NASA astronaut Jeff Williams (shown above) and cosmonauts Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka. The Expedition 48 trio has been in space since March 18.

NASA astronaut and Expedition 48 Commander Jeff Williams and his Russian crewmates Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos are scheduled to return to Earth today at 9:13 p.m. EDT (7:13 a.m. Kazakhstan time, Sept. 7). The trio will land in their Soyuz TMA-20M spacecraft southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan.

At this time, there are no concerns or issues being worked, and hatch closure is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. NASA Television will provide coverage beginning at 2:15 p.m.

Together, the Expedition 48 crew members contributed to hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard humanitys only orbiting laboratory.

During his time on station, Williams surpassed former NASA astronaut Scott Kellys U.S. record of time spent in space. He returns to Earth with 534 total days in space, passing Kellys record of 520 days by two weeks.

Williams handed over command of the space station to cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin of Roscosmos on Monday, Sept. 5. When the spacecraft undocks from the station, Expedition 49 formally will begin.

NASA Television coverage for Soyuz activities Sept. 6 are listed below. Watch live online at http://www.nasa.gov/ntv.

Scheduled Exp. 48 Timeline and NASA TV Coverage

Time EDT Event

2:15 p.m. NASA TV Coverage of Exp. 48 Farewell and Hatch Closure Begins

2:30 p.m. Soyuz TMA-20M/Space Station Hatch Closure

5:30 p.m. NASA TV Coverage of Soyuz Undocking Begins

5:50 p.m. Soyuz Undock Command Sent 5:51 p.m. Soyuz Undocking From ISS 5:54 p.m. Separation Burn 1 5:55 p.m. Separation Burn 2

8 p.m. NASA TV Coverage of Deorbit Burn and Landing

8:21 p.m. Soyuz Deorbit Burn (4 minutes, 41 seconds duration) 8:48 p.m. Soyuz Module Separation (altitude ~87 miles) 8:50 p.m. Sunrise at the Landing Site in Kazakhstan 8:51 p.m. Soyuz Atmospheric Entry (altitude ~62 miles) 8:59 p.m. Command to Open Chutes (altitude 6.6 miles) 9:13 p.m. Exp. 48 Soyuz TMA-20M Landing Southeast of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan

Keep up with the International Space Station, and its research and crew members, at:

http://www.nasa.gov/station

Get breaking news, images, videos and features from the station on social media at:

https://www.facebook.com/ISS http://instagram.com/iss http://www.twitter.com/Space_Station

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Should privacy legislation influence how courts interpret the …

Posted: September 18, 2016 at 8:12 am

I recently posted a revised draft of my forthcoming article, The Effect of Legislation on Fourth Amendment Interpretation, and I thought I would blog a bit about it. The article considers a recurring question in Fourth Amendment law: When courts are called on to interpret the Fourth Amendment, and there is privacy legislation on the books that relates to the governments conduct, should the existence of legislation have any effect on how the Fourth Amendment is interpreted? And if it should have an effect, what effect should it have?

I was led to this question by reading a lot of cases in which the issue came up and was answered in very different ways by particularly prominent judges. When I assembled all the cases, I found that judges had articulated three different answers. None of the judges seemed aware that the question had come up in other cases and had been answered differently there. Each of the three answers seemed plausible, and each tapped into important traditions in constitutional interpretation. So you have a pretty interesting situation: Really smart judges were running into the same question and answering it in very different ways, each rooted in substantial traditions, with no one approach predominating and no conversation about which approach was best. It seemed like a fun issue to explore in an article.

In this post Ill summarize the three approaches courts have taken. I call the approaches influence, displacement and independence. For each approach, Ill give one illustrative case. But theres a lot more where that came from: For more details on the three approaches and the cases supporting them, please read the draft article.

1. Influence. In the influence cases, legislation is considered a possible standard for judicial adoption under the Fourth Amendment. The influence cases rest on a pragmatic judgment: If courts must make difficult judgment calls about how to balance privacy and security, and legislatures have done so already in enacting legislation, courts can draw lessons from the thoughtful judgment of a co-equal branch. Investigative legislation provides an important standard for courts to consider in interpreting the Fourth Amendment. Its not binding on courts, but its a relevant consideration.

The Supreme Courts decision in United States v. Watsonis an example of the influence approach. Watson considered whether it is constitutionally reasonable for a postal inspector to make a public arrest for a felony offense based on probable cause but without a warrant. A federal statute expressly authorized such warrantless arrests. The court ruled that the arrests were constitutional without a warrant and that the statute was constitutional. Justice Whites majority opinion relied heavily on deference to Congresss legislative judgment. According to Justice White, the statute authorizing the arrests represents a judgment by Congress that it is not unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment for postal inspectors to arrest without a warrant provided they have probable cause to do so. That judgment was entitled to presumptive deference as the considered judgment of a co-equal branch. Because there is a strong presumption of constitutionality due to an Act of Congress, the court stated, especially when it turns on what is reasonable, then obviously the Court should be reluctant to decide that a search thus authorized by Congress was unreasonable and that the Act was therefore unconstitutional.

2. Displacement. In the displacement cases, the existence of legislation counsels against Fourth Amendment protection that might interrupt the statutory scheme. Because legislatures can often do a better job at balancing privacy and security in new technologies as compared to courts, courts should reject Fourth Amendment protection as long as legislatures are protecting privacy adequately to avoid interfering with the careful work of the legislative branch. The existence of investigative legislation effectively preempts the field and displaces Fourth Amendment protection that may otherwise exist.

Justice Alitos concurrence in Riley v. Californiais an example of the displacement approach. Riley held that the government must obtain a search warrant before searching a cellphone incident to a suspects lawful arrest. Justice Alito concurred, agreeing with the majority only in the absence of adequate legislation regulating cellphone searches. I would reconsider the question presented here, he wrote, if either Congress or state legislatures, after assessing the legitimate needs of law enforcement and the privacy interests of cell phone owners, enact legislation that draws reasonable distinctions based on categories of information or perhaps other variables.

The enactment of investigative legislation should discourage judicial intervention, Justice Alito reasoned, because [l]egislatures, elected by the people, are in a better position than we are to assess and respond to the changes that have already occurred and those that almost certainly will take place in the future. Although Fourth Amendment protection was necessary in the absence of legislation, the enactment of legislation might be reason to withdraw Fourth Amendment protection to avoid the very unfortunate result of federal courts using the blunt instrument of the Fourth Amendment to try to protect privacy in emerging technologies.

3. Independence. In the independence cases, courts treat legislation as irrelevant to the Fourth Amendment. Legislatures are free to supplement privacy protections by enacting statutes, of course. But from the independence perspective, legislation sheds no light on what the Fourth Amendment requires. Courts must independently interpret the Fourth Amendment, and what legislatures have done has no relevance.

An example of independence is Virginia v. Moore, where the Supreme Court decided whether the search incident to a lawful arrest exception incorporates the state law of arrest. Moore was arrested despite a state law saying his crime could not lead to arrest; the question was whether the state law violation rendered the arrest unconstitutional. According to the court, whether state law made the arrest lawful was irrelevant to the Fourth Amendment. It was the courts duty to interpret the Fourth Amendment, and what the legislature decided about when arrests could be made was a separate question. History suggested that the Fourth Amendment did not incorporate statutes. And the states decision of when to make arrests was not based on the Fourth Amendment and was based on other considerations, such as the costs of arrests and whether the legislature valued privacy more than the Fourth Amendment required. Constitutionalizing the state standard would only frustrate the states efforts to achieve those goals, as it would mean los[ing] control of the regulatory scheme and might lead the state to abandon restrictions on arrest altogether. For that reason, the statute regulating the police was independent of the Fourth Amendment standard.

Those are the three approaches. The next question is, which is best? Ill offer some thoughts on that in my next post.

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Should privacy legislation influence how courts interpret the …

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Amazon.com: Life Extension

Posted: September 16, 2016 at 5:27 am

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What is DNA? | DNA Encyclopedia

Posted: September 14, 2016 at 1:08 am

In order to truly answer the question of What is DNA? one has to go back to the elementary or high school biology classes.

DNA is the complex chemical that carries genetic information.

DNA dictates life in two manners:

There are elements called chromosomes in each cell of the human body. To be more precise, each cell contains 23 pairs of chromosomes.

Youll be astonished to know that some 50 to 100 thousand genes are held within these chromosomes. Since each of these genes could take value from one of the two values of its parent cells, hence you can imagine the possible variability in this structure.

These genes are made up of what is called DNA that is Deoxyribose Nucleic Acids. Apart from these genes that carry essential genetic information and only account for 2% of DNAs structure, the rest of the 98% of DNA is still a mystery.

Biologists call it junk DNA as there are no known proteins or traits that are coded or built by this part of DNA. This junk DNA, as well as the genetic information-carrying part only, varies in structure owing to the presence of four nucleotide bases throughout the DNA in differing order and sequence.

Think of these four nucleotide bases in DNA as letters that form an alphabet. Just like the way the order of letters determines the meaning of the word that is formed, the sequence of these nucleotide bases concludes what information is available for the production of proteins that consequently take an active part in the formation and growth of the body.

Most of the DNA is present within the nucleus of the cells. This is known as nuclear DNA. Mitochondria also hold a modest quantity of DNA, which is termed as mitochondrial DNA. The latter is useful in tests related to someones distant maternal lineage.

What is great about DNA is that it has a very autonomous self-replication mechanism in action. The replication process makes use of the two strands of DNA. Each of these strands acts as a template and after going through a series of steps is converted into dual stranded DNA once again. This replication is very important because when the cell divides, the newly formed cell requires the same set of instructions for it to function and grow and the replicated DNA serves this purpose.

Summing up the answer for what is DNA, it could easily be said that its a well-designed program spanning thousands of lines of codes that has instructions for everything that the cell needs to perform.

DNA, no matter how short the acronym sounds, is a vast topic that requires serious dedication of time and energy before one can grasp what it is and how it affects the life within and around us.

This article sets the foundations for a series of articles in which we will cover various aspects of DNA, the concepts, the technology and its applications. Right now, without going into the peculiar details, we are only going to briefly introduce these topics. You can think of it as a short glossary for DNA terminology.

Learning about DNA starts with a sound knowledge of what is it made up of and how these chemicals interact with each other to form a structure that builds a DNA molecule. You have to look carefully at what essential functions DNA performs in the cell that it is located in, by the way, its present in each cell of human as well as a body of living organisms.

In most basic terms, DNA is the master plan of life that works all the way from inception to growth. It holds all of the hereditary information and passes it from generation to generation.

Once you have encountered the double helix structure of DNA, as proposed by James Watson and Francis Crick in 1953, you should move on to advance topics like DNA replication. DNA replication tells us that each DNA is able to produce an exact copy of itself and this is made possible with the help of DNA polymerase, an enzyme that takes an active role in the process. Youll also come across DNA synthesis, which is an artificial technique to produce copies of DNA and is based on the concept of DNA replication.

While DNA holds all of the information required for the cell to perform its actions and produce the essential proteins, it is important to note that DNA doesnt interfere directly with the elements of cytoplasm outside the cell nucleus and disseminates this useful information through a messenger RNA. This is done through a process called DNA transcription.

The buzz words that have really boosted the popularity of DNA among the masses are DNA cloning and DNA testing. Who has not heard of Dolly, the first ever cloned animal? DNA testing, owing to a large number of social, commercial and forensic uses, has drawn the attention towards further studies and research in DNA.

DNA is the short term for Deoxyribonucleic Acid. Almost every cell in an individuals body has the same DNA, as the DNA is located in the cell nucleons. People, most of the times, learn what is DNA and its importance for the human body, in school.

Anyway, properly understanding what DNA is, is always important, mostly if you are working in areas in which DNA results have importance on the evolution of some cases. For starter, to understand what is DNA, you need to know that it contains all the information used in the development and functioning of all living organisms.

What is the structure of DNA, is also a common question that people seem to ask?

Human DNA consists of about 3 billion bases and more than 99 percent of them are the same, for all individuals. Another important aspect of what is DNA is that it can replicate and make copies of itself. The use of DNA linked information has become more important in science and medicine, as researchers have found that it can be used to cure diseases, or better said to avoid babies from inheriting diseases their parents are suffering from. This currently, is considered to be a major goal for scientists, who are searching for treatments, cure and also for prevention when it comes to genetic conditions. DNA becomes even more important for people who think that such risks are higher in their particular cases.

Researchers aim to detect individuals who are predisposed to develop such diseases and that means that scientists can find treatments, to be used for the purpose to prevent genetic conditions. DNA is simple to understand, but the way DNA functions is more complex.

The discovery of DNA, in fact, revolutionized both science and medicine, having numerous effects on other linked domains, such as legal and social areas. Samples of DNA are, all the times, taken from the scene of a crime, and it is a safe way to find and convict criminals, being an accepted and trusted evidence in court.

What is DNA can be easily answered when you understand that it transfers hereditary information from one generation to another, determining, at the same time, the structure of cells.

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What is DNA? | DNA Encyclopedia

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Ai Weiwei – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Posted: September 11, 2016 at 5:26 pm

Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei in 2008

Ai Weiwei (Chinese: ; pinyin: i Wiwi, English pronunciation(helpinfo); born 28 August 1957 in Beijing) is a Chinese Contemporary artist and activist. His father’s side’s original surname is Jiang.[1][2][3] Ai collaborated with Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron as the artistic consultant on the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Olympics.[4] As a political activist, he has been highly and openly critical of the Chinese Government’s stance on democracy and human rights. He has investigated government corruption and cover-ups, in particular the Sichuan schools corruption scandal following the collapse of so-called “tofu-dreg schools” in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.[5] In 2011, following his arrest at Beijing Capital International Airport on 3 April, he was held for 81 days without any official charges being filed; officials alluded to their allegations of “economic crimes”.[6]

Ai’s father was the Chinese poet Ai Qing,[7] who was denounced during the Anti-Rightist Movement. In 1958, the family was sent to a labour camp in Beidahuang, Heilongjiang, when Ai was one year old. They were subsequently exiled to Shihezi, Xinjiang in 1961, where they lived for 16 years. Upon Mao Zedong’s death and the end of the Cultural Revolution, the family returned to Beijing in 1976.[8]

In 1978, Ai enrolled in the Beijing Film Academy and studied animation.[9] In 1978, he was one of the founders of the early avant garde art group the “Stars”, together with Ma Desheng, Wang Keping, Huang Rui, Li Shuang, Zhong Acheng and Qu Leilei. The group disbanded in 1983,[10] yet Ai participated in regular Stars group shows, The Stars: Ten Years, 1989 (Hanart Gallery, Hong Kong and Taipei), and a retrospective exhibition in Beijing in 2007: Origin Point (Today Art Museum, Beijing). In 2014, Ai had a piece named, “Illumination (2014) is housed in the old prison hospital, which looks and feels like the set of a horror film needing no embellishment. For this work, Ai has installed recordings of Tibetan and Native American chants in two psychiatric evaluation rooms, which are tiled chambers created for the observation of mentally ill patients. In these cramped rooms, the rhythmic noisesspiritual, strong, and culturally significantcontrast with the shiny mint-colored walls. The mix of clinical and consciousness is startling, bringing presence to a place that even when it was open and functioning was meant to reduce human to subject. Both haunting and aesthetically delightful, this ambitious exhibition exposes issues of freedom of speech and human rights by creating artistic possibility within and about a broken system. Giving a collective voice to silenced dissidents might just prompt newly sympathetic ears.”[11]

Ai Weiwei came top of Londons paid exhibitions list in 2015 with 4,335 visitors a day at the Royal Academy of Arts.[12]

From 1981 to 1993, he lived in the United States, mostly in New York City.[10] He studied briefly at Parsons School of Design.[14] Ai attended the Art Students League of New York from 1983 to 1986, where he studied with Bruce Dorfman, Knox Martin and Richard Pousette-Dart.[15] He later dropped out of school, and made a living out of drawing street portraits and working odd jobs. During this period, he gained exposure to the works of Marcel Duchamp, Andy Warhol, and Jasper Johns, and began creating conceptual art by altering readymade objects.

Ai befriended beat poet Allen Ginsberg while living in New York, following a chance meeting at a poetry reading where Ginsberg read out several poems about China. Ginsberg had travelled to China and met with Ai’s father, the noted poet Ai Qing, and consequently Ginsberg and Ai became friends.[16]

When he was living in the East Village (from 1983 to 1993), Ai carried a camera with him all the time and would take pictures of his surroundings wherever he was. The resulting collection of photos were later selected and is now known as the New York Photographs.[17]

At the same time, Ai became fascinated by blackjack card games and frequented Atlantic City casinos. He is still regarded in gambling circles as a top tier professional blackjack player according to an article published on blackjackchamp.com.[18][19][20]

In 1993, Ai returned to China after his father became ill.[21] He helped establish the experimental artists’ Beijing East Village and co-published a series of three books about this new generation of artists with Chinese curator Feng Boyi: Black Cover Book (1994), White Cover Book (1995), and Gray Cover Book (1997).[22]

In 1999, Ai moved to Caochangdi, in the northeast of Beijing, and built a studio house his first architectural project. Due to his interest in architecture, he founded the architecture studio FAKE Design, in 2003.[23] In 2000, he co-curated the art exhibition Fuck Off with curator Feng Boyi in Shanghai, China.[24]

Ai is married to artist Lu Qing,[25] and has a son from an extramarital relationship.[26]

In 2005, Ai was invited to start blogging by Sina Weibo, the biggest internet platform in China. He posted his first blog on 19 November. For four years, he “turned out a steady stream of scathing social commentary, criticism of government policy, thoughts on art and architecture, and autobiographical writings.”[27] The blog was later shut down by Sina on 28 May 2009 due to its popularity and Weiwei’s outspoken attitude on events such as the Sichuan earthquake and the Beijing Olympic Games. Since then he has turned to Twitter and writes prolifically over the platform, claiming at least 8 hours online every day. He tweets almost exclusively in Chinese on the account @aiww.[citation needed] As of 31 December 2013, Ai has declared that he would stop tweeting but the account remains active in forms of retweets and Instagram posts.

He also supported the Amnesty petition for Iranian filmmaker Hossein Rajabian and his brother, musician Mehdi Rajabian and released the news on his Twitter pages.[28][bettersourceneeded]

Ten days after the 8.0-magnitude earthquake took place in Sichuan province on 12 May 2008, Ai led a team to survey and film the post-quake conditions in various disaster zones. In response to the government’s lack of transparency in revealing names of students who perished in the earthquake due to substandard school campus constructions, Ai recruited volunteers online and launched a “Citizens’ Investigation” to compile names and information of the student victims. On 20 March 2009, he posted a blog titled “Citizens’ Investigation” and wrote: “To remember the departed, to show concern for life, to take responsibility, and for the potential happiness of the survivors, we are initiating a “Citizens’ Investigation.” We will seek out the names of each departed child, and we will remember them.”[29]

As of 14 April 2009, the list had accumulated 5,385 names.[30] Ai published the collected names as well as numerous articles documenting the investigation on his blog which was shut down by Chinese authorities in May 2009.[31] He also posted his list of names of schoolchildren who died on the wall of his office at FAKE Design in Beijing.[32]

Ai suffered headaches and claimed he had difficulty concentrating on his work since returning from Chengdu in August 2009, where he was beaten by the police for trying to testify for Tan Zuoren, a fellow investigator of the shoddy construction and student casualties in the earthquake. On 14 September 2009, Ai was diagnosed to be suffering internal bleeding in a hospital in Munich, Germany, and the doctor arranged for emergency brain surgery.[33] The cerebral hemorrhage is believed to be linked to the police attack.[34][35]

According to the Financial Times, in an attempt to force Ai to leave the country, two accounts used by him had been hacked in a sophisticated attack on Google in China dubbed Operation Aurora, their contents read and copied; his bank accounts were investigated by state security agents who claimed he was under investigation for “unspecified suspected crimes”.[36]

In November 2010, Ai was placed under house arrest by the Chinese police. He said this was to prevent the planned party marking the demolition of his newly built Shanghai studio.[37]

The building was designed and built by Ai upon encouragement and persuasion from a “high official [from Shanghai]” as part of a new cultural area designated by Shanghai Municipal authorities; Ai would have used it as a studio and to teach architecture courses. But now Ai has been accused of erecting the structure without the necessary planning permission and a demolition notice has been ordered, even though, Ai said, officials had been extremely enthusiastic, and the entire application and planning process was “under government supervision”. According to Ai, a number of artists were invited to build new studios in this area of Shanghai because officials wanted to create a cultural area.[38]

On 3 November 2010, Ai said the government had informed him two months earlier that the newly completed studio would be knocked down because it was illegal. Ai complained that this was unfair, as he was “the only one singled out to have my studio destroyed”. The Guardian reported Ai saying Shanghai municipal authorities were “frustrated” by documentaries on subjects they considered sensitive:[38] two of the better known ones featured Shanghai resident Feng Zhenghu, who lived in forced exile for three months in Narita Airport, Tokyo; another well-known documentary focused on Yang Jia, who murdered six Shanghai police officers.[39]

In the end, the party took place without Weiwei’s presence; his supporters feasted on river crab, an allusion to “harmony”, and a euphemism used to jeer official censorship. Ai was released from house arrest the next day.[40]

Like other activists and intellectuals, Ai was prevented from leaving China in late 2010. Ai suggested that the authorities wanted to prevent him from attending the ceremony in December 2010 to award the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize to fellow dissident Liu Xiaobo.[41] Ai said that he had not been invited to the ceremony, and was attempting to travel to South Korea for a meeting when he was told that he could not leave for reasons of national security.[42]

In the evening of 11 January 2011, Ai’s studio was demolished in a surprise move by the local government.[43][44]

On 3 April 2011, Ai was arrested at Beijing Capital International Airport just before catching a flight to Hong Kong and his studio facilities were searched.[45] A police contingent of approximately 50 officers came to his studio, threw a cordon around it and searched the premises. They took away laptops and the hard drive from the main computer; along with Ai, police also detained eight staff members and Ai’s wife, Lu Qing. Police also visited the mother of Ai’s two-year-old son.[46] While state media originally reported on 6 April that Ai was arrested at the airport because “his departure procedures were incomplete,”[47] the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on 7 April that Ai was arrested under investigation for alleged economic crimes.[48] Then, on 8 April, police returned to Ai’s workshop to examine his financial affairs.[49] On 9 April, Ai’s accountant, as well as studio partner Liu Zhenggang and driver Zhang Jingsong, disappeared,[50] while Ai’s assistant Wen Tao has remained missing since Ai’s arrest on 3 April.[51] Ai’s wife said that she was summoned by the Beijing Chaoyang district tax bureau, where she was interrogated about his studio’s tax on 12 April.[52]South China Morning Post reports that Ai received at least two visits from the police, the last being on 31 March three days before his detention apparently with offers of membership to the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. A staff member recalled that Ai had mentioned receiving the offer earlier, “[but Ai] didn’t say if it was a membership of the CPPCC at the municipal or national level, how he responded or whether he accepted it or not.”[52]

On 24 February, amid an online campaign for Middle East-style protests in major Chinese cities by overseas dissidents, Ai posted on his Twitter account: “I didnt care about jasmine at first, but people who are scared by jasmine sent out information about how harmful jasmine is often, which makes me realize that jasmine is what scares them the most. What a jasmine!”[53][54]

Analysts and other activists said Ai had been widely thought to be untouchable, but Nicholas Bequelin from Human Rights Watch suggested that his arrest, calculated to send the message that no one would be immune, must have had the approval of someone in the top leadership.[55] International governments, human rights groups and art institutions, among others, called for Ai’s release, while Chinese officials did not notify Ai’s family of his whereabouts.[56]

State media started describing Ai as a “deviant and a plagiarist” in early 2011.[57] The China Daily subsidiary, the Global Times editorial on 6 April 2011 attacked Ai, saying “Ai Weiwei likes to do something ‘others dare not do.’ He has been close to the red line of Chinese law. Objectively speaking, Chinese society does not have much experience in dealing with such persons. However, as long as Ai Weiwei continuously marches forward, he will inevitably touch the red line one day.”[58] Two days later, the journal scorned Western media for questioning Ai’s charge as a “catch-all crime”, and denounced the use of his political activism as a “legal shield” against everyday crimes. It said “Ai’s detention is one of the many judicial cases handled in China every day. It is pure fantasy to conclude that Ai’s case will be handled specially and unfairly.”[59] Frank Ching expressed in the South China Morning Post that how the Global Times could radically shift its position from one-day to the next was reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland.[60]

Michael Sheridan of The Times suggested that Ai had offered himself to the authorities on a platter with some of his provocative art, particularly photographs of himself nude with only a toy alpaca hiding his modesty with a caption (“grass mud horse covering the middle”). The term possesses a double meaning in Chinese: one possible interpretation was given by Sheridan as: “Fuck your mother, the party central committee”.[61]

Ming Pao in Hong Kong reacted strongly to the state media’s character attack on Ai, saying that authorities had employed “a chain of actions outside the law, doing further damage to an already weak system of laws, and to the overall image of the country.”[57] Pro-Beijing newspaper in Hong Kong, Wen Wei Po, announced that Ai was under arrest for tax evasion, bigamy and spreading indecent images on the internet, and vilified him with multiple instances of strong rhetoric.[62][63] Supporters said “the article should be seen as a mainland media commentary attacking Ai, rather than as an accurate account of the investigation.”[64]

The United States and European Union protested Ai’s detention.[65] The international arts community also mobilised petitions calling for the release of Ai: “1001 Chairs for Ai Weiwei” was organized by Creative Time of New York that calls for artists to bring chairs to Chinese embassies and consulates around the world on 17 April 2011, at 1pm local time “to sit peacefully in support of the artist’s immediate release.”[66][67] Artists in Hong Kong,[68] Germany[68] and Taiwan demonstrated and called for Ai to be released.[69]

One of the major protests by U.S. museums took place on 19 and 20 May when the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego organized a 24-hour silent protest in which volunteer participants, including community members, media, and museum staff, occupied two traditionally styled Chinese chairs for one-hour periods.[70] The 24-hour sit-in referenced Ai’s sculpture series, Marble Chair, two of which were on view and were subsequently acquired for the Museum’s permanent collection.

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and the International Council of Museums, which organised petitions, said they had collected more than 90,000 signatures calling for the release of Ai.[71] On 13 April 2011, a group of European intellectuals led by Vclav Havel had issued an open letter to Wen Jiabao, condemning the arrest and demanding the immediate release of Ai. The signatories include Ivan Klma, Ji Grua, Jchym Topol, Elfriede Jelinek, Adam Michnik, Adam Zagajewski, Helmuth Frauendorfer; Bei Ling (Chinese:), a Chinese poet in exile drafted and also signed the open letter.[72]

On 16 May 2011, the Chinese authorities allowed Ai’s wife to visit him briefly. Liu Xiaoyuan, his attorney and personal friend, reported that Wei was in good physical condition and receiving treatment for his chronic diabetes and hypertension; he was not in a prison or hospital but under some form of house arrest.[73]

He is the subject of the 2012 documentary film Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, directed by American filmmaker Alison Klayman, which received a special jury prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and opened the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, North America’s largest documentary festival, in Toronto on 26 April 2012.[74]

On 22 June 2011, the Chinese authorities released Ai from jail after almost three months’ detention on charges of tax evasion.[75] Beijing Fake Cultural Development Ltd. (Chinese: ), a company Ai controlled, had allegedly evaded taxes and intentionally destroyed accounting documents. State media also reports that Ai was granted bail on account of Ai’s “good attitude in confessing his crimes”, willingness to pay back taxes, and his chronic illnesses.[76] According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, he is prohibited from leaving Beijing without permission for one year.[77][78] Ai’s supporters widely viewed his detention as retaliation for his vocal criticism of the government.[79] On 23 June 2011, professor Wang Yujin of China University of Political Science and Law stated that the release of Ai on bail shows that the Chinese government could not find any solid evidence of Ai’s alleged “economic crime”.[80] On 24 June 2011, Ai told a Radio Free Asia reporter that he was thankful for the support of the Hong Kong public, and praised Hong Kong’s conscious society. Ai also mentioned that his detention by the Chinese regime was hellish (Chinese: ), and stressed that he is forbidden to say too much to reporters.[81]

After his release, his sister gave some details about his detention condition to the press, explaining that he was subjected to a kind of psychological torture: he was detained in a tiny room with constant light, and two guards were set very close to him at all times, and watched him constantly.[82] In November, Chinese authorities were again investigating Ai and his associates, this time under the charge of spreading pornography.[83][84] Lu was subsequently questioned by police, and released after several hours though the exact charges remain unclear.[85][86] In January 2012, in its International Review issue Art in America magazine featured an interview with Ai Weiwei at his home in China. J.J. Camille (the pen name of a Chinese-born writer living in New York), “neither a journalist nor an activist but simply an art lover who wanted to talk to him” had travelled to Beijing the previous September to conduct the interview and to write about his visit to “China’s most famous dissident artist” for the magazine.[87]

On 21 June 2012, Ai’s bail was lifted. Although he is allowed to leave Beijing, the police informed him that he is still prohibited from traveling to other countries because he is “suspected of other crimes,” including pornography, bigamy and illicit exchange of foreign currency.[88][89] Until 2015, he remained under heavy surveillance and restrictions of movement, but continues to criticize through his work.[90][91] In July 2015, he was given a passport and may travel abroad.[92]

In June 2011, the Beijing Local Taxation Bureau demanded a total of over 12 million yuan (US$1.85million) from Beijing Fake Cultural Development Ltd in unpaid taxes and fines,[93][94] and accorded three days to appeal the demand in writing. According to Ai’s wife, Beijing Fake Cultural Development Ltd has hired two Beijing lawyers as defense attorneys. Ai’s family state that Ai is “neither the chief executive nor the legal representative of the design company, which is registered in his wife’s name.”

Offers of donations poured in from Ai’s fans across the world when the fine was announced. Eventually an online loan campaign was initiated on 4 November 2011, and close to 9 million RMB was collected within ten days, from 30,000 contributions. Notes were folded into paper planes and thrown over the studio walls, and donations were made in symbolic amounts such as 8964 (4 June 1989, Tiananmen Massacre) or 512 (12 May 2008, Sichuan earthquake). To thank creditors and acknowledge the contributions as loans, Ai designed and issued loan receipts to all who participated in the campaign.[95] Funds raised from the campaign were used as collateral, required by law for an appeal on the tax case. Lawyers acting for Ai submitted an appeal against the fine in January 2012; the Chinese government subsequently agreed to conduct a review.[96]

In June 2012, the court heard the tax appeal case. Ai’s wife, Lu Qing, the legal representative of the design company, attended the hearing. Lu was accompanied by several lawyers and an accountant, but the witnesses they had requested to testify, including Ai, were prevented from attending a court hearing.[97] Ai asserts that the entire matter including the 81 days he spent in jail in 2011 is intended to suppress his provocations. Ai said he had no illusions as to how the case would turn out, as he believes the court will protect the government’s own interests. On 20 June, hundreds of Ai’s supporters gathered outside the Chaoyang District Court in Beijing despite a small army of police officers, some of whom videotaped the crowd and led several people away.[98] On 20 July, Ai’s tax appeal was rejected in court.[99][100] The same day Ai’s studio released “The Fake Case” which tracks the status and history of this case including a timeline and the release of official documents.[101] On 27 September, the court upheld the 2.4million tax evasion fine.[102] Ai had previously deposited 1.33million in a government-controlled account in order to appeal. Ai said he will not pay the remainder because he does not recognize the charge.[103]

In October 2012, authorities revoked the license of Beijing Fake Cultural Development Ltd for failing to re-register, an annual requirement by the administration. The company was not able to complete this procedure as its materials and stamps were confiscated by the government.[104]

On 26 April 2014, Ai’s name was removed from a group show taking place at the Shanghai Power Station of Art. The exhibition was held to celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of the art prize created by Uli Sigg in 1998, with the purpose of promoting and developing Chinese contemporary art. Ai won the Lifetime Contribution Award in 2008 and was part of the jury during the first three editions of the prize.[105] He was then invited to take part in the group show together with the other selected Chinese artists. Shortly before the exhibition’s opening, some museum workers removed his name from the list of winners and jury members painted on a wall. Also, Ai’s works Sunflower Seeds and Stools were removed from the show and kept in a museum office (see photo on Ai Weiwei’s Instagram).[106] Sigg declared that it was not his decision and that it was a decision of the Power Station of Art and the Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Culture.[105]

In May 2014, the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, a non-profit art center situated in the 798 art district of Beijing, held a retrospective exhibition in honor of the late curator and scholar, Hans Van Dijk. Ai, a good friend of Hans and a fellow co-founder of the China Art Archives and Warehouse (CAAW), participated in the exhibition with three artworks.[107] On the day of the opening, Ai realized his name was omitted from both Chinese and English versions of the exhibition’s press release. Ai’s assistants went to the art center and removed his works.[108] It is Ai’s belief that, in omitting his name, the museum altered the historical record of van Dijk’s work with him. Ai started his own research about what actually happened, and between 23 and 25 May he interviewed the UCCA’s director, Philip Tinari, the guest curator of the exhibition, Marianne Brouwer, and the UCCA chief, Xue Mei.[107] He published the transcripts of the interviews on Instagram.[109][110][111][112][113][114][115][116][117] In one of the interviews, the CEO of the UCCA, Xue Mei, admitted that, due to the sensitive time of the exhibition, Ai’s name was taken out of the press releases on the day of the opening and it was supposed to be restored afterwards. This was to avoid problems with the Chinese authorities, who threatened to arrest her.[107]

Beijing video works

From 2003 to 2005, Ai Weiwei recorded the results of Beijings developing urban infrastructure and its social conditions.

2003, Video, 150 hours

Beginning under the Dabeiyao highway interchange, the vehicle from which Beijing 2003 was shot traveled every road within the Fourth Ring Road of Beijing and documented the road conditions. Approximately 2400 kilometers and 150 hours of footage later, it ended where it began under the Dabeiyao highway interchange. The documentation of these winding alleyways of the city center now largely torn down for redevelopment preserved a visual record of the city that is free of aesthetic judgment.

2004, Video, 10h 13m

Moving from east to west, Changan Boulevard traverses Beijings most iconic avenue. Along the boulevards 45-kilometer length, it recorded the changing densities of its far-flung suburbs, central business districts, and political core. At each 50-meter increment, the artist records a single frame for one minute. The work reveals the rhythm of Beijing as a capital city, its social structure, cityscape, socialist-planned economy, capitalist market, political power center, commercial buildings, and industrial units as pieces of a multi-layered urban collage.

2005, Video, 1h 6m

2005 Video, 1h 50m

Beijing: The Second Ring and Beijing: The Third Ring capture two opposite views of traffic flow on every bridge of each Ring Road, the innermost arterial highways of Beijing. The artist records a single frame for one minute for each view on the bridge. Beijing: The Second Ring was entirely shot on cloudy days, while the segments for Beijing: The Third Ring were entirely shot on sunny days. The films document the historic aspects and modern development of a city with a population of nearly 11 million people.

2007, video, 2h 32m[118]

This video is about Ai Weiwei’s project Fairytale for Europes most innovative five-year art event Documenta 12 in Kassel, Germany in 2007: Ai Weiwei invited 1001 Chinese citizens of different ages and from various backgrounds to Germany to experience their own fairytale for 28 days. The 152 minutes film documents the whole process beginning with project preparations, over the challenge that the participants had to face until the actual travel to Germany, as well as the artists ideas behind the work. This is a work I emotionally relate to. It grows and it surprised me Ai Weiwei in Fairytale.

2008, video, 1h 18m[119]

On 15 December 2008, a citizens investigation began with the goal of seeking an explanation for the casualties of the Sichuan earthquake that happened on 12 May 2008. The investigation covered 14 counties and 74 townships within the disaster zone, and studied the conditions of 153 schools that were affected by the earthquake. By gathering and confirming comprehensive details about the students, such as their age, region, school, and grade, the group managed to affirm that there were 5,192 students who perished in the disaster. Among a hundred volunteers, 38 of them participated in fieldwork, with 25 of them being controlled by the Sichuan police for a total of 45 times. This documentary is a structural element of the citizens investigation.

2009, looped video, 1h 27m[120]

At 14:28 on 12 May 2008, an 8.0-magnitude earthquake happened in Sichuan, China. Over 5,000 students in primary and secondary schools perished in the earthquake, yet their names went unannounced. In reaction to the governments lack of transparency, a citizens investigation was initiated to find out their names and details about their schools and families. As of 2 September 2009, there were 4,851 confirmed. This video is a tribute to these perished students and a memorial for innocent lives lost.

2009, video, 48m[121]

This video documents the story of Chinese citizen Feng Zhenghu and his struggles to return home. The Shanghai authorities rejected Feng Zhenghu, originated from Wenzhou, Jiejiang, China, from returning to the country for a total of eight times in 2009. On 4 November 2009, Feng Zhenghu attempted to return home for the ninth time but the police from Shanghai used violence and kidnapped him to board a flight to Japan. Feng refused to enter Japan and decided to live in the Immigration Hall at Terminal 1 of the Narita Airport in Tokyo, as an act of protest. He relied on food gifts from tourists for sustenance and lived at a passageway in the Narita Airport for 92 days. He posted updates over Twitter, they attracted much concern and led to wide media coverage from Chinese netizens and international communities. On 31 January, Feng announced an end to his protest at the Narita Airport. On 12 February, Feng was allowed entry to China, where he reunited with his family at home in Shanghai. Ai Weiwei and his assistant Gao Yuan, went from Beijing to interview Feng Zhenghu three times at the Narita Airport of Japan on 16 November 20 November 2009 and 31 January 2010, and documented his life at the airport passageway and the entire process of his return to China. No country should refuse entry to its own citizens.

2009, video, 1h 19m[122]

Ai Weiwei studio production Laoma Tihua is a documentary of an incident during Tan Zuorens trial on 12 August 2009. Tan Zuoren was charged with inciting subversion of state power. Chengdu police detained witnessed during the trial of the civil rights advocate, which is an obstruction of justice and violence. Tan Zuoren was charged as a result of his research and questioning regarding the 5.12 Wenchuan students casualties and the corruption resulting poor building construction. Tan Zuoren was sentenced five years to prison.

2010, video, 3h[123]

In June 2008, Yang Jia carried a knife, a hammer, a gas mask, pepper spray, gloves and Molotov cocktails to the Zhabei Public Security Branch Bureau and killed six police officers, injuring another police officer and a guard. He was arrested on the scene, and was subsequently charged with intentional homicide. In the following six months, while Yang Jia was detained and trials were held, his mother has mysteriously disappeared. This video is a documentary that traces the reasons and motivations behind the tragedy and investigates into a trial process filled with shady cover-ups and questionable decisions. The film provides a glimpse into the realities of a government-controlled judicial system and its impact on the citizens lives.

2010, video, 2h 6m[124]

The future dictionary definition of crackdown will be: First cover ones head up firmly, and then beat him or her up violently. @aiww In the summer of 2010, the Chinese government began a crackdown on dissent, and Hua Hao Yue Yuan documents the stories of Liu Dejun and Liu Shasha, whose activism and outspoken attitude led them to violent abuse from the authorities. On separate occasions, they were kidnapped, beaten and thrown into remote locations. The incidents attracted much concern over the Internet, as well as wide speculation and theories about what exactly happened. This documentary presents interviews of the two victims, witnesses and concerned netizens. In which it gathers various perspectives about the two beatings, and brings us closer to the brutal reality of Chinas crackdown on crime.

2010, voice recording, 3h 41m[125]

On 24 April 2010 at 00:51, Ai Weiwei (@aiww) started a Twitter campaign to commemorate students who perished in the earthquake in Sichuan on 12 May 2008. 3,444 friends from the Internet delivered voice recordings, the names of 5,205 perished were recited 12,140 times. Remembrance is an audio work dedicated to the young people who lost their lives in the Sichuan earthquake. It expresses thoughts for the passing of innocent lives and indignation for the cover-ups on truths about sub-standard architecture, which led to the large number of schools that collapsed during the earthquake.

2010, video, 1h 8m[126]

The shooting and editing of this video lasted nearly seven months at the Ai Weiwei studio. It began near the end of 2007 in an interception organized by cat-saving volunteers in Tianjin, and the film locations included Tianjin, Shanghai, Rugao of Jiangsu, Chaoshan of Guangzhou, and Hebei Province. The documentary depicts a complete picture of a chain in the cat-trading industry. Since the end of 2009 when the government began soliciting expert opinion for the Animal Protection Act, the focus of public debate has always been on whether one should be eating cats or not, or whether cat-eating is a Chinese tradition or not. There are even people who would go as far as to say that the call to stop eating cat meat is “imposing the will of the minority on the majority”. Yet the “majority” does not understand the complete truth of cat-meat trading chains: cat theft, cat trafficking, killing cats, selling cats, and eating cats, all the various stages of the trade and how they are distributed across the country, in cities such as Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Nanjing, Suzhou, Wuxi, Rugao, Wuhan, Guangzhou, and Hebei. This well-organized, smooth-running industry chain of cat abuse, cat killing and skinning has already existed among ordinary Chinese folks for 20 years, or perhaps even longer. The degree of civilization of a country can be seen from its attitude towards animals.

2011, video, 1h 1m[127]

This documentary is about the construction project curated by Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei. One hundred architects from 27 countries were chosen to participate and design a 1000 square meter villa to be built in a new community in Inner Mongolia. The 100 villas would be designed to fit a master plan designed by Ai Weiwei. On 25 January 2008, the 100 architects gathered in Ordos for a first site visit. The film Ordos 100 documents the total of three site visits to Ordos, during which time the master plan and design of each villa was completed. Until today, the Ordos 100 project remains unrealized.

2011, video, 54m[128]

As a sequel to Ai Weiweis film Lao Ma Ti Hua, the film So Sorry (named after the artists 2009 exhibition in Munich, Germany) shows the beginnings of the tension between Ai Weiwei and the Chinese Government. In Lao Ma Ti Hua, Ai Weiwei travels to Chengdu, Sichuan to attend the trial of the civil rights advocate Tan Zuoren, as a witness. In So Sorry, you see the investigation led by Ai Weiwei studio to identify the students who died during the Sichuan earthquake as a result of corruption and poor building constructions leading to the confrontation between Ai Weiwei and the Chengdu police. After being beaten by the police, Ai Weiwei traveled to Munich, Germany to prepare his exhibition at the museum Haus der Kunst. The result of his beating led to intense headaches caused by a brain hemorrhage and was treated by emergency surgery. These events mark the beginning of Ai Weiweis struggle and surveillance at the hands of the state police.

2011, video, 2h 22m[129]

This documentary investigates the death of popular Zhaiqiao village leader Qian Yunhui in the fishing village of Yueqing, Zhejiang province. When the local government confiscated marshlands in order to convert them into construction land, the villagers were deprived of the opportunity to cultivate these lands and be fully self-subsistent. Qian Yunhui, unafraid of speaking up for his villagers, travelled to Beijing several times to report this injustice to the central government. In order to silence him, he was detained by local government repeatedly. On 25 December 2010, Qian Yunhui was hit by a truck and died on the scene. News of the incident and photos of the scene quickly spread over the internet. The local government claimed that Qian Yunhui was the victim of an ordinary traffic accident. This film is an investigation conducted by Ai Weiwei studio into the circumstances of the incident and its connection to the land dispute case, mainly based on interviews of family members, villagers and officials. It is an attempt by Ai Weiwei to establish the facts and find out what really happened on 25 December 2010. During shooting and production, Ai Weiwei studio experienced significant obstruction and resistance from local government. The film crew was followed, sometimes physically stopped from shooting certain scenes and there were even attempts to buy off footage. All villagers interviewed for the purposes of this documentary have been interrogated or illegally detained by local government to some extent.

2011, video, 1h 1m[130]

Early in 2008, the district government of Jiading, Shanghai invited Ai Weiwei to build a studio in Malu Township, as a part of the local government’s efforts in developing its cultural assets. By August 2010, the Ai Weiwei Shanghai Studio completed all of its construction work. In October 2010, the Shanghai government declared the Ai Weiwei Shanghai Studio an illegal construction, and was subjected to demolition. On 7 November 2010, when Ai Weiwei was placed under house arrest by public security in Beijing, over 1,000 netizens attended the “River Crab Feast” at the Shanghai Studio. On 11 January 2011, the Shanghai city government forcibly demolished the Ai Weiwei Studio within a day, without any prior notice.

2013, video, 1h 17m[131]

This video tells the story of Liu Ximei, who at her birth in 1985 was given to relatives to be raised because she was born in violation of Chinas strict one-child policy. When she was ten years old, Liu was severely injured while working in the fields and lost large amounts of blood. While undergoing treatment at a local hospital, she was given a blood transfusion that was later revealed to be contaminated with HIV. Following this exposure to the virus, Liu contracted AIDS. According to official statistics, in 2001 there were 850,000 AIDS sufferers in China, many of whom contracted the illness in the 1980s and 1990s as the result of a widespread plasma market operating in rural, impoverished areas and using unsafe collection methods.

2014, video, 2h 8m[132]

Ai Weiweis Appeal 15,220,910.50 opens with Ai Weiweis mother at the Venice Biennial in the summer of 2013 examining Ais large S.A.C.R.E.D. installation portraying his 81-day imprisonment. The documentary goes onto chronologically reconstruct the events that occurred from the time he was arrested at the Beijing airport in April 2011 to his final court appeal in September 2012. The film portrays the day-to-day activity surrounding Ai Weiwei, his family and his associates ranging from consistent visits by the authorities, interviews with reporters, support and donations from fans, and court dates. The Film premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam on 23 January 2014.

2015, video, 30m[133]

This documentary on the Fukushima Art Project is about artist Ai Weiweis investigation of the site as well as the project’s installation process. In August 2014, Ai Weiwei was invited as one of the participating artists for the Fukushima Nuclear Zone by the Japanese art coalition ChimPom, as part of the project Dont Follow the Wind . Ai accepted the invitation and sent his assistant Ma Yan to the exclusion zone in Japan to investigate the site. The Fukushima Nuclear Exclusion Zone is thus far located within the 20-kilometer radius of land area of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. 25,000 people have already been evacuated from the Exclusion Zone. Both water and electric circuits were cut off. Entrance restriction is expected to be relieved in the next thirty years, or even longer. The art project will also be open to public at that time. The three spots usable as exhibition spaces by the artists are all former residential houses, among which exhibition site one and two were used for working and lodging; and exhibition site three was used as a community entertainment facility with an ostrich farm. Ai brought about two projects, “A Ray of Hope” and “Family Album” after analyzing materials and information generated from the site. In “A Ray of Hope”, a solar photovoltaic system is built on exhibition site one, on the second level of the old warehouse. Integral LED lighting devices are used in the two rooms. The lights would turn on automatically from 7 to 10pm, and from 6 to 8am daily. This lighting system is the only light source in the Exclusion Zone after this project was installed. Photos of Ai and his studio staff at Caochangdi that make up project “Family Album” are displayed on exhibition site two and three, in the seven rooms where locals used to live. The twenty-two selected photos are divided in five categories according to types of event spanning eight years. Among these photos, six of them were taken from the site investigation at the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake; two were taken during the time when he was illegally detained after pleading the Tan Zuoren case in Chengdu, China in August 2009; and three others taken during his surgical treatment for his head injury from being attacked in the head by police officers in Chengdu; five taken of him being followed by the police and his Beijing studio Fake Design under surveillance due to the studio tax case from 2011 to 2012; four are photos of Ai Weiwei and his family from year 2011 to year 2013; and the other two were taken earlier of him in his studio in Caochangdi (One taken in 2005 and the other in 2006).

Ai’s visual art includes sculptural installations, woodworking, video and photography. “Ai Weiwei: According to What,” adapted and expanded by the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden from a 2009 exhibition at Tokyo’s Mori Art Museum, was Ai’s first North American museum retrospective.[134] It opened at the Hirshhorn in Washington, D.C. in 2013, and subsequently traveled to the Brooklyn Museum, New York,[135] and two other venues.

More recent works address his investigation into the aftermath of the Sichuan earthquake and responses to the Chinese government’s detention and surveillance of him.[136]

In 2002, he was the curator of the project Jinhua Architecture Park.

In 2006, Ai and HHF Architects designed a private residence in upstate New York.[137] According to the New York Times, the Tsai Residence is divided into four modules and the details are “extraordinarily refined”.[137][138] In 2009, the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design selected the home for its International Architecture Awards, one of the world’s most prestigious global awards for new architecture, landscape architecture, interiors and urban planning.[139] In 2010, Wallpaper magazine nominated the residence for its Wallpaper Design Awards category: Best New Private House.[140] A detached guesthouse, also designed by Ai and HHF Architects, was completed after the main house and, according to New York Magazine, looks like a “floating boomerang of rusty Cor-Ten steel.”[141]

In 2008, Ai curated the architecture project Ordos 100 in Ordos City, Inner Mongolia. He invited 100 architects from 29 countries to participate in this project.[142]

Ai was commissioned as the artistic consultant for design, collaborating with the Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron, for the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Summer Olympics, also known as the “Bird’s Nest.”[143] Although ignored by the Chinese media, he had voiced his anti-Olympics views.[3] He later distanced himself from the project, saying, “I’ve already forgotten about it. I turn down all the demands to have photographs with it,” saying it is part of a “pretend smile” of bad taste.[144][145] In August 2007, he also accused those choreographing the Olympic opening ceremony, including Steven Spielberg and Zhang Yimou, of failing to live up to their responsibility as artists. Ai said “It’s disgusting. I don’t like anyone who shamelessly abuses their profession, who makes no moral judgment.”[146] In February 2008, Spielberg withdrew from his role as advisor to the 2008 Summer Olympics.[147][148] When asked why he participated in the designing of the Bird’s Nest in the first place, Ai replied “I did it because I love design.”[149]

In summer 2012, Ai teamed again with Herzog & de Meuron on a “would-be archaeological site [as] a game of make-believe and fleeting memory” as the year’s temporary Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London’s Kensington Gardens.[150][151]

On 24 October 2012, Ai went live with a cover of Gangnam Style,[152] the famous K-pop phenomenon by South Korean rapper PSY, through the posting of a four-minute long parody video on YouTube. The video was an attempt to criticize the Chinese government’s attempt to silence his activism and was quickly blocked by national authorities.

On 22 May 2013, Ai debuted his first single Dumbass over the internet, with a music video shot by cinematographer Christopher Doyle. The video was a reconstruction of Ai’s experience in prison, during his 81-day detention, and dives in and out of the prison’s reality and the guarding soldiers’ fantasies.[153] He later released a second single, Laoma Tihua, on 20 June 2013 along with a video on his experience of state surveillance, with footage compiled from his studio’s documentaries.[154] On 22 June 2013, the two-year anniversary of Ai’s release, he released his first music album The Divine Comedy.[155] Later in August, he released a third music video for the song Chaoyang Park, also included in the album.[156]

Ai is the Artistic Director of China Art Archives & Warehouse (CAAW), which he co-founded in 1997. This contemporary art archive and experimental gallery in Beijing concentrates on experimental art from the People’s Republic of China, initiates and facilitates exhibitions and other forms of introductions inside and outside China.[157] The building which houses it was designed by Ai in 2000.[158]

On 15 March 2010, Ai took part in Digital Activism in China, a discussion hosted by The Paley Media Center in New York with Jack Dorsey (founder of Twitter) and Richard MacManus.[159] Also in 2010 he served as jury member for Future Generation Art Prize, Kiev, Ukraine; contributed design for Comme de Garcons Aoyama Store, Tokyo, Japan; and participated in a talk with Nobel Prize winner Herta Mller at the International Culture festival Litcologne in Cologne, Germany.

In 2011, Ai sat on the jury of an international initiative to find a universal Logo for Human Rights. The winning design, combining the silhouette of a hand with that of a bird, was chosen from more than 15,300 suggestions from over 190 countries. The initiative’s goal was to create an internationally recognized logo to support the global human rights movement.[98] In 2013, after the existence of the PRISM surveillance program was revealed, Ai said “Even though we know governments do all kinds of things I was shocked by the information about the US surveillance operation, Prism. To me, it’s abusively using government powers to interfere in individuals’ privacy. This is an important moment for international society to reconsider and protect individual rights.”[99]

In 2012, Weiwei interviewed a member of the 50 Cent Party, a group of “online commentators” (otherwise known as sockpuppets) covertly hired by the Chinese government to post “comments favourable towards party policies and [intending] to shape public opinion on internet message boards and forums”.[160] Keeping Ai’s source anonymous, the transcript was published by the British magazine New Statesman on 17 October 2012, offering insights on the education, life, methods and tactics used by professional trolls serving pro-government interests.

Ai designed the cover for 17 June 2013 issue of Time magazine. The cover story, by Hannah Beech, is “How China Sees the World”.[161] TIME Magazine called it “the most beautiful cover we’ve ever done in our history.”[162]

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Alternative medicine – RationalWiki

Posted: at 5:25 pm

“By definition”, I begin “Alternative Medicine”, I continue “Has either not been proved to work, Or been proved not to work.

You know what they call alternative medicine Thats been proved to work?

Alternative medicine is any medical treatment that is not part of conventional evidence-based medicine, such as one would learn in medical school, nursing school or even paramedic training. Much, if not most of the “alternative medicine” world lacks any scientific proof of its effectiveness, and that which does have real effectiveness, tends to be palliative[note 1] rather than curative. Any alternative medicine with scientific evidence behind it is simply called medicine.

The term “alternative medicine” is also a politically correct term for medical marijuana.

Alternative medicine includes “traditional medicines” (i.e. “medical” systems developed prior to or outside of “Western Medicine”, such as traditional Native American remedies, or traditional Chinese medicine), “folk remedies” (e.g., herbalism, tinctures, and rubs that were common place “treatments” often passed around via urban legend), and an ever growing class of “religious” or “spiritual” treatments that have their sources in Eastern Religions, but are filtered through a pay-as-you-go, for-profit (see “New Age”) mindset. These terms are still used today to describe the various substances of unclear efficacy sold for a profit through advertising. These cures are not always sold by malicious, deceptive con-men. Many promoters are true believers, making their claims even more convincing.

And if you don’t think it’s real, or don’t think people who have funding to spend notice it, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine is run by the National Institute of Health.[2]

The rebranding of alternative medicine is analogous to the endless rebranding of creationism to try to evade the First Amendment, or the renaming of racialism to try and avoid the status of “racist”. The original term, alternative medicine, was trivially unmasked as alternatives to medicine, and emphasized its being outside of scientific medical practice. There are many legitimate complementary therapies such as massage, counselling and so on, and by claiming to be part of this, rather than acknowledging its status as being apart from medicine, these rebrandings hope to gain a halo effect and imply legitimately place in medical practice. The purpose is to gain greater acceptance, and hopefully funding, for pseudomedicine – a stalking horse for woo.[5]

Critics of alternative medicine have come up with some of their own terms for it:

Often holistic healers will convince their patients to forgo proper medical care, usually combined with misrepresentations of studies or emotional appeals, to undergo holistic therapies. Since there is no valid evidence to support holistic therapies being capable of curing deadly ailments, this kind of malpractice is dangerous to offer patients.

All alternative medicine, even the “effective” therapies have the danger of convincing an unwell person to forgo actual medical treatments because they think they are getting better (which can happen with palliative remedies and placebos) or they choose to trust their alternative practitioner who is offering a “cure”. For example, a person with cancer may convince himself to try a homeopathic remedy. Also, many herbal remedies can actually interfere with prescription drugs, lessening their effect or even causing dangerous side-effects. Since almost all alternative medicines are unproven; many advocates (known to some as “alties”) tend to appeal to “health freedom,” rather than actually try to prove that their nostrums work.

Many practitioners exploit vulnerable patients. They give false hope to people who are incurably sick and frequently charge high prices for useless treatments. The belief that alternative medicines are somehow “less risky” or “less harsh” than conventional medicine has led some to take alternative medicine over conventional medicine. While this may often be true (though don’t say that to someone who’s lost skin or body parts to black salves sometimes used for skin cancers), the potential health risks of not taking conventional medicine for an illness far outweigh the risks from the side effects of these medicines.

Often, alternative medicine practitioners claim that, unlike “allopathy”, they help the body’s natural self-healing powers. Yet many of them will describe anecdote after anecdote showcasing medical recoveries (involving such transitory things as colds) while seemingly refusing to believe that the disease could ever have gone away on its own. These recoveries must be due to whatever remedy they used. So on the one hand, they extol the healing powers of the human body, while at the same time denying that illnesses could ever go away by themselves or in other words, that the body could actually heal itself.

Alternative medicines or therapies range from being scientifically provable to scientifically disproven, and can be benign (and often ridiculous) all the way to downright dangerous. Medical science has only recently started to do quality and quantity research into alternative medicine. With the exception of some surprising and exciting treatments that have true medical potential, the vast majority of the therapies do little if anything beyond the placebo effect. Even when the treatment actually does something, the reasons given by practitioners for why the treatment is effective are almost never based on correct scientific information. Benign treatments have the advantage of not directly injuring a patient, other than money and at worst precious time going out the window. The ridiculous cannot possibly have any medical effects (beyond that of the placebo effect at the least), or may be actively dangerous to the patient.

Holistic medical practitioners defend their treatments to the general public that there is documented proof that they work, but when faced with empirical evidence that does not support their claims, certain practicioners often state that holistic medicine cannot be readily tested by scientific means.

In other words: if it’s not tested, then they think it works. Once it’s tested, they’ll tell you the test is wrong and it works.

When a student wants to become a physician, he or she must attend a certified medical school, pass rigorous medical exams, and participate in carefully monitored and regulated internships all regulated by the governmental bodies who license the doctor. For the majority of alternative medicine, no such regulation is in place. For a few specific alternative therapies like chiropractic work and massage therapy, regulatory bodies do exist. However, pretty much every other field of alternative medicine has no regulation at all. Call yourself a color therapist, and lo and behold, you are one.

There is also a lack of regulation in the products sold as “alternative” or “herbal” medicines. You cannot, for example, know what is in a “sleep healing tea”, how much of each ingredient, how potent the pills are, or even whether it contains the listed ingredient(s) at all (many herbal products, in fact, do not contain the herb(s) listed on the label).[9] Also, as there is little scientific research, “doses” are always a guess. “Try one pill. If that doesn’t work, take two.”

Sometimes an alternative medicine supporter will present a scholarly work as “proof” that the alternative medicine works and is being suppressed by “regular” medicine. The problem is the work is either outdated, has been refuted by later research, or (worse) is misrepresented.

Weston Price’s work on focal infection and nutrition is a prime example of this type of handwaving. Given what was known at the time his work was perfectly valid…for its time which was 1939 . The thing is the world as well as our understanding of both focal infection and nutrition have changed so drastically that Price’s work would have to be reevaluated in a modern framework… something that really hasn’t been done. The fact Price himself questioned the focal infection theory is also not brought up by either side or that what Price actually did and what his supporters claim he did (and was) are so different that it is a clear misrepresentation.

Homoeopathy serves as another example as supporters can point to K. Linde, N. Clausius, G. Ramirez, et al., “Are the Clinical Effects of Homoeopathy Placebo Effects? A Meta-analysis of Placebo-Controlled Trials,” Lancet, September 20, 1997, 350:834-843…while ignoring the refutiation in “The end of homoeopathy” The Lancet, Vol. 366 No. 9487 p 690. The Vol. 366 No. 9503 issue (Dec 27, 2005) and by 14 studies from 2003 to 2007.[10]

Colloidal silver was used as an antibiotic, germicide and disinfectant clear into the 1940s. Publications such as New Orleans Medical and Surgical Journal (1907), The Journal of the American Medical Association (1918), The Journal of the American Dental Association (1934) all had articles regarding the uses and limits of colloidal silver. Antibiotics were far more effective (and safer) so the use of colloidal silver effectively ended.

In many respects this is the most dangerous form of alternative medicine as it cloaks itself in the garb of genuine medicine using scholarly publications to support its claims.

You can’t neatly brush it all into the quack corner. Some of them work, but not all of them.

Manheimer 2003, which studied IV drug users, found that:[17]

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Alternative medicine – RationalWiki

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