Archive for the 'Around the World' Category

“There is no statute of limitation on the truth.”

Friday, October 6th, 2017

The Guardian: Ex-FBI agent opens cold case review into who betrayed Anne Frank. “Vince Pankoke and his team will use new techniques to analyse large amounts of data to solve mystery of diarist’s capture.”

“A retired FBI agent has launched a cold case review into identifying those who may have betrayed the hiding place of Anne Frank and her family to the Gestapo in 1944.

Investigative techniques developed in the past decade, including the crunching of big data to uncover leads, are to be used by a team of 19 forensic experts led by Vince Pankoke.

The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam has made available its archives and welcomed the initiative, which is being filmed and chronicled online, as the investigators, including historians, psychological profilers and former police detectives, work through the evidence.

The cold case review team has supervised a reconstruction, using actors, of the day of the Frank family’s arrest. One of the founding fathers of the FBI’s behavioural science unit, Roger Depue, is analysing contemporary witness statements and interviews.”

The New York Times: Ultimate Cold Case: Who Betrayed Anne Frank?

“A former FBI agent is heading up a cold case team more than 70 years after Nazi occupation police stormed the secret Amsterdam canal house annex where Anne Frank was hiding and sent her to her death in a concentration camp.

Suspicions that someone betrayed the Frank family are not new, but the latest attempt will seek out new connections in the case of the Jewish girl whose diary has captivated millions of readers worldwide.

Retired agent Vincent Pankoke said he had high hopes of solving one of the biggest World War Two mysteries in the Netherlands with the help of Big Data and modern policing techniques.”

The Washington Post: Who betrayed Anne Frank? Artificial intelligence could finally solve the mystery..

“For nearly 75 years, some of the greatest investigative minds have tried to figure out who tipped off the Nazis about Anne Frank and the seven other Jews who were hiding behind a movable bookcase in Amsterdam.

Now, a former FBI investigator working with a production company hopes the decades-old mystery can be solved with the help of a new mind — an artificial one.”

The effort is crowd-funded, see Cold Case Dairy for more information.

“Two 3-year-old boys were shot by another toddler who found and inadvertently fired a gun at the home of their babysitter in Dearborn, Mich.”

Thursday, October 5th, 2017

Washington Post: American toddlers are still shooting people on a weekly basis this year.

“The Dearborn boys are at least the 42nd and 43rd people to get shot by a child under the age of 4 this year, according to a database of accidental child-involved shootings maintained by Everytown, a gun violence prevention group. On average, someone gets shot by an American toddler a little more frequently than once a week, similar to previous years.”

“It’s a public safety issue, and something needs to be done already.”

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

Jimmy Kimmel Live: Jimmy Kimmel on Mass Shooting in Las Vegas. (YouTube, 9:54min)

It’s incomprehensible to this European why gun laws have not been changed in the US a long time ago and why they probabbly won’t be changed after this tragedy.

Washington Post Opinion: Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue on guns was very powerful. It’s not enough, Jimmy.. By Greg Sargent.

“Polarization in Congress is worse than at any time in memory, and negative partisanship is on the rise. GOP lawmakers risk angering their own voters if they moderate or compromise. Then there’s the “minority rule” problem. Gerrymandered districts and population clustering mean GOP lawmakers have to worry less about mainstream public opinion. And recall: In the Senate, a majority did vote after the Newtown shooting for expanded background checks, but it was filibustered by then-minority Republicans. (This is another way guns are different from health care, on which a Senate majority did carry the day.) If Dems take back the Senate, 60 votes will be needed for gun reform again. The problem is not the NRA’s money. It’s the self-reinforcing interaction between GOP ideological conviction, minority rule, and structural malaise.

It is important that Kimmel is mobilizing people. The best hope for countering these things is for Democrats to win more elections, and getting the base fired up is key to that. It would also be folly to expect Kimmel to turn his show into a political science seminar by discussing these dreary problems. But if there is anyone who might find a way to make them more entertaining and accessible, it’s Kimmel. Maybe he should try.”

“Was the Cat in the Hat Black?”

Thursday, September 28th, 2017

Letter to First Lady Melania Trump from Liz Phipps Soeiro, School Librarian, Cambridge, MA.

“Dear Mrs. Trump,
Thank you for the ten Dr. Seuss titles that you sent my school library in recognition of this year’s National Read a Book Day. (Sent second-day air, no less! That must have been expensive.) I’m proud that you recognized my school as something special. It truly is. Our beautiful and diverse student body is made up of children from all over the world; from different socioeconomic statuses; with a spectrum of gender expressions and identities; with a range of abilities; and of varied racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds.”

“Queen to E5!”

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

The British Museum: Curator’s Corner (Season 2 Episode 9): Irving Finkel and the Chamber of Chessmen. “Curator Irving Finkel recounts a magical adventure with The Lewis Chessmen. Content warning: wizard’s chess.”

André and I visited Lewis (& Harris) during our trip to Scotland this summer and happened upon the place where the Lewis Chessmen were found. I don’t play chess, but loved these figures. Our B&B on Lewis had resin replicas as decorative items on the breakfast tables, and we saw larger replicas carved from stone as doorstop or garden decorations. Unfortunately they were too heavy for our suitcase, or I would have bought one for our own garden.