Crispy Red Snapper @ Lilly’s Inc

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Crispy Red Snapper @ Lilly's Inc

Great fresh fish special. Served with mashed potatoes and asparagus. Gies great with the cucumber-vodka lychee cocktail. (via Foodspotting)

Barnhill Rocket Launch

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I favorited a YouTube video: The Barnhill Family has set out to prove that Peeps are as indestructible as they are delicious! Our 2 sons, ages 4 & 8, came up with the idea of launching Peeps onboard a rocket and then testing their ability to to survive re-entry & stay delicio…

How TV Ruined Your Life s01e01 – Fear

I am reading: How TV Ruined Your Life s01e01 – Fear from sebrenner’s shared items in Google Reader.

I liked a YouTube video: How TV Ruined Your Life is a 6 episode BBC 2 tv series, written and presented by Charlie Brooker.

Cave of Forgotten Dreams in 3D (cool glasses)

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Cave of Forgotten Dreams in 3D (cool glasses)

The Control of Nature: Atchafalaya : The New Yorker

I am reading: The Control of Nature: Atchafalaya : The New Yorker from Instapaper: Unread.

Google I/O 2011: Ignite

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I liked a YouTube video: Brady Forrest, Kyle Machulis, Matt Cutts, Pamela Fox, Jamie Wilkinson, Patrick Davison, Monica Rogati, Annalee Newitz, Joseph Pred

Ignite is back to top off your brain after a packed day. This year we will learn about the Brain API, the similar…

Six More Private Prisons, Zero Accountability

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Six More Private Prisons, Zero Accountability

 

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Ohio’s proposed budget for the coming year includes a plan to sell an additional six prisons to private operators.  If that saves money or raises revenue, that’s great.  But maybe in connection with that move, the Ohio Legislature could correct an absolutely horrendous Ohio Supreme Court decision from a few years back that allows privately run prisons to be free from public accountability.  The case was State ex rel. Oriana House Inc. v. Montgomery.   The issue was whether the records of a prison run by a private company should be subject to the Ohio Public Records Act.  The prison received 88% of its funding from public sources and it obviously performed a public function.  Previous decisions from the Ohio Supreme Court had ruled that a public agency couldn’t shield records from public view by outsourcing a public function to a private entity.  For example, Hamilton County Ohio couldn’t stopthe production of records related to the massive cost overruns in the construction of Paul Brown Stadium just because a private firm actually handled the construction of the publicly funded facility.  That seemed like a pretty sensible rule to just about everybody except Justice Paul Pfeifer and three other members of the Ohio Supreme Court.  In the Oriana case, those four (the Ohio Supreme Court consists of 7 justices, so four is a majority) decided that a publicly funded private entity that performs a public function must comply with the Ohio Public Records Act only if that entity’s work monitored on a day to day basis by a public entity.  This is right up there, next to most forms of advanced math and science, on the list of things I don’t understand.  The whole point of outsourcing a public function is that the public body lacks the resources to do the work.  So the notion that the public body will continue to monitor the day to day operations is ludicrous.  But it’s still a public function and the public, who is, you know, PAYING FOR IT ought to retain the right to look at the records and make sure the thing is being operated properly, and free from corruption and cronyism.  The decision encourages unaccountability, which breeds corruption.  I am willing to accept the idea that a court can simply have a bad day.  But I’m a little less willing to be saddled with the consequences of a bad decision for the foreseeable future.  So when the Ohio legislature approves the private operation of six more prisons, maybe they can fix this. 

Chef’s Fish Platter @ Silver Spoon

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Chef's Fish Platter @ Silver Spoon

Remarkable. (via Foodspotting)

Clean Up Your Mess Helps You Apply the Principles of Good Design to Your Everyday Design Needs [Learning]

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Clean Up Your Mess Helps You Apply the Principles of Good Design to Your Everyday Design NeedsGood design is subjective, but there are a few things where a large majority of us would agree. Clean Up Your Mess teaches you these principles so you can, well, clean up your messy design. The information isn’t targeted at aspiring designers, but rather everyday people who sometimes need to design and organize a flyer, a resume, or virtually anything else.

The idea is to impart a few core concepts that will make your layouts and designs more appealing and easier to digest. For example, when laying out a flyer you might not give adequate attention to the prominence and/or grouping of certain images and text, but something as simple as mis-alignment can be “sand in the engine of your visual brain” (as they cleverly put it). The key is making sure you groupings are obvious, your organization and alignment is clean and easy to understand, and the size of your text and images clearly indicate their role in the design.

Clean Up Your Mess is not a guide to developing a brilliant and beautiful style, but simply bringing basic design principles into your daily work to make it more effective. Presentation does making a difference, so knowing those principles is one of those little things that can go a very long way.

Clean Up Your Mess Helps You Apply the Principles of Good Design to Your Everyday Design Needs Clean Up Your Mess: A Visual Design Guide for Everyone


You can follow Adam Dachis, the author of this post, on Twitter and Facebook.  If you’d like to contact him, Twitter is the most effective means of doing so.

Stevens Urges Congress to Crack Down on Prosecutorial Misconduct

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Retired Justice John Paul Stevens said Supreme Court decisions have given local prosecutors impunity for violating constitutional rights, and urged Congress to respond by authorizing victims of misconduct to sue.

In a speech Monday night to the Equal Justice Initiative, which advocates for indigent defendants,  Justice Stevens criticized the court’s March decision overturning a jury’s $14 million award to an innocent man who spent 14 years on death row after prosecutors concealed evidence that could have cleared him. (Click here to see the full text of Stevens’ speech.)

The case of Connick v. Thompson saw the court split 5-4 along its conservative-liberal divide. Writing for the majority, Justice Clarence Thomas rejected the freed man’s theory that the New Orleans district attorney’s office was negligent for failing to train its staff to comply with longstanding precedents requiring prosecutors to disclose exculpatory evidence to defendants.

Lawyers for the wrongly imprisoned man, John Thompson, made that argument because Supreme Court precedent requires proof that it was the local government’s policy to violate constitutional rights before it can be held liable.

Thompson’s lawyers “did not prove a pattern of similar violations” that was “the functional equivalent of a decision by the city itself to violate the Constitution,” Justice Thomas wrote.

Stevens said Monday that the nature of the American criminal justice system—where most local prosecutors are elected—“creates a problem of imbalanced incentives that ought to be addressed at the state and national level.”

Because district attorneys often run on tough-on-crime platforms, the pressures to ensure convictions far outweigh the rewards for respecting rights of the accused, Stevens said.

That could be fixed, he said, by making district attorneys liable when their subordinates commit outrageous violations of constitutional rights. Private-sector employees already are liable for their employees’ misconduct, under a legal doctrine called respondeat superior.

The doctrine “provides a powerful continuing incentive for employers to make sure that their employees are adequately trained,” Stevens said, something “especially important where electoral incentives encourage abuse.” More important, he said, “it would produce a just result in cases like Thompson’s in which there is no dispute about the fact that he was harmed by conduct that flagrantly violated his constitutional rights.”