aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Thursday, May 17, 2007
U.S. attorney in Macon was on firing list
McClatchy Newspapers has learned that the top prosecutors in Macon, Ga., and Roanoke, Va., landed on a proposed firing list weeks after the White House and Justice Department traded notes about the potential for voter-fraud cases in central Georgia and Appalachia. They were added to a list just days before last November’s midterm election, but ultimately not fired.
MAXWELL WOOD, the U.S. attorney in Macon, was one of 26 federal prosecutors considered for dismissal between February 2005 and December 2006, the Washington Post reported Thursday.
The newspaper based its story on “sources familiar with documents withheld from the public.” It said Wood’s name appeared in a memo to D. Kyle Sampson, then Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales’ chief of staff, from Michael J. Elston, chief of staff to the deputy attorney general. Sampson resigned in March. [...]
Wood, appointed by President Bush in 2001, issued a statement Thursday, saying, “I do not feel obligated to respond to media reports based on unnamed sources concerning a list not confirmed by the Department of Justice, that I have never seen, and which was compiled by a person I do not recall ever meeting who no longer works for the Department of Justice.Ã¢â‚¬Â�
Of mice and bald men
My friend Joe sends news of hair loss hope:
WASHINGTON (Reuters)—Mice with deep skin wounds can grow new hair, scientists said on Wednesday in a finding that offers hope for a baldness remedy for humans.
The mice regenerated hair at the site of the wound via molecular processes similar to those used in embryonic development, according to the research, published in the journal Nature. [...]
Dr. George Cotsarelis, a dermatology professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia who led the study, said the findings dispel the dogma that hair loss is permanent in people and other mammals, and that once they are lost new hair follicles cannot grow.
Cotsarelis said the findings could pave the way for remedies for male-pattern baldness and other types of hair-loss. He said the idea would be to apply compounds to get epidermal cells to turn into hair follicles.
Joe sent that to Doug and me (the subject line of his email, “of Mice and Men or the Tale of Two Baldies;” both Doug and I are folliclly challenged) then later over dinner ran fingers through his thick head of hair and chortled that any real treatment is at least five years away.
- Thanks Joe!
Homo homophobes (reprised again)
In honor of IDAHomophobia, “amazing not surprising” research from right up the road at The University of Georgia. Done in 1996, it showed up again last year in the Know + Tell section of Details magazine.
The quote I like: “In tests conducted by Prof. Henry E Adams of the University of Georgia, homophobic men who said they were exclusively heterosexual were shown gay sex videos. Four out of five became sexually aroused by the homoerotic imagery, as recorded by a penile circumference measuring device - a plethysmograph. Prof. Adams says his research shows that most homophobes “demonstrate significant sexual arousal to homosexual erotic stimuli”, suggesting that homophobia is a form of “latent homosexuality where persons are either unaware of or deny their homosexual urges.”
There’s more here. We were both sorry to learn that Professor Adams passed away in 2000. Too bad too. I’m not finding any more recent research, though there’s no reason to believe things have gotten anything but worse.
On 17 May 1990, the General Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) removed homosexuality from their list of mental disorders.
The fight for the recognition of equal rights for lesbian gay, bisexual and transgender people did not end there though.
Today around 80 countries in the world still criminalize homosexuality and condemn consensual same sex acts with imprisonment, of these 9 (Afghanistan, Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen) still have the death penalty. Discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation and gender identity is still not recognized formally by the member states of the United Nations (even though human rights mechanisms such as the Human Rights Committee have repeatedly condemned discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity).
Google’s Universal Search & me
Back in 2001, Eric asked for a brainstorm of a few “splashy” ideas in search. A designer and product manager at the time, I made a few mockups—one of which was for ‘universal search.’ It was a sample search results page for Britney Spears that, in addition to web results, also had news, images, and groups results right on the same page. Even then, we could see that people could easily become overwhelmed with the number of different search tools available on Google—let alone those that would be created over the next few years. This proliferation of tools, while useful, has outgrown the old model of search. We want to help you find the very best answer, even if you don’t know where to look.
That mockup and early observations were the motivation behind the universal search effort we announced earlier today. And while that Britney Spears mockup was the start of Google’s universal search vision, it was instantly obvious that this would be one of the biggest architectural, ranking, and interface challenges we would face at Google. Over several years, with the help of more than 100 people, we’ve built the infrastructure, search algorithms, and presentation mechanisms to provide what we see as just the first step in the evolution toward universal search. Today, we’re making that first step available on google.com by launching the new architecture and using it to blend content from Images, Maps, Books, Video, and News into our web results.
With universal search, we’re attempting to break down the walls that traditionally separated our various search properties and integrate the vast amounts of information available into one simple set of search results.
Here are a few of my favorite searches that show off the power of universal search:
In addition, we’ve rolled out a few new navigation elements and experimental features to help our users better navigate our site and find the information they’re looking for. These include contextual navigation links above the search results that help users “drill down” to specific types of information. For instance, developers who search for [python] will see links for “web,” “blogs,” “books,” “groups,” and “code,” whereas [downtown los angeles] will show a different set of links. Also, in terms of integration and navigation, today we introduced a new universal navigation bar at the top of all Google web pages to provide easier navigation to your favorite Google products, such as Gmail.
PC World’s Harry McCracken is intrigued but confused. I’m impressed but disappointed. Not for Google but for me.
My layman’s guess is that since searches for me turn up results of only one kind, web, my rank is lower. It looks like I’ll have to go out and tag some photos and make some news if I want to rise in the ranking again.
Amero sentencing set for tomorrow
UPDATE: Postponed again, this time till June 6.
NORWICH—A former substitute teacher convicted of exposing seventh-graders to Internet porn is once again scheduled to be sentenced Friday in Norwich Superior Court.
Facing a maximum of 40 years in prison, Julie Amero of Windham will still be awaiting her sentence Friday if previously scheduled court dates are any indication.
Three times before, first by a request by defense and twice later by the state, sentencing was postponed. No official word came Wednesday that the sentencing would not go through as scheduled.
For all the others who have not gotten our attention, this is the plea I’ve appended to all of my Amero posts:
WE NEED A COMPUTER FORENSICS INNOCENCE PROJECT; a Barry Sheck and Peter Neufeld of the computer forensics world. We need experts who believe in the presumption of innocence and are willing to spend the time it takes to dig through logs, registry entries and hard drives to find exculpatory material when present. This is not really the first case of its kind and, unfortunately, it’s not likely be the last. Prosecutors who look for - and presume - guilt do selective searches for data supporting guilt; those accused rarely have the resources to pay computer forensics experts to counter that selective evidence.