Hexbyte Glen Cove Russians return to Earth after filming first movie in space

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Yulia Peresild spent 12 days on the International Space Station (ISS) to shoot scenes for the first movie in orbit.

A Russian actress and a film director returned to Earth Sunday after spending 12 days on the International Space Station (ISS) shooting scenes for the first movie in orbit.

Yulia Peresild, 37, and Klim Shipenko, 38, landed as scheduled on Kazakhstan’s steppe at 0436 GMT, according to footage broadcast live by Russia’s Roscosmos space agency.

Shipenko appeared distressed but smiling as he exited the capsule, waving his hand to cameras before being carried off by medical workers for an examination.

Peresild, who plays the film’s starring role and was selected from some 3,000 applicants, was extracted from the capsule to applause and a bouquet of flowers.

The actress said she is “sad” to have left the ISS.

“It seemed that 12 days was a lot, but when it was all over, I didn’t want to leave,” she told Russian television.

“This is a one-time experience.”

The team was ferried back to terra firma by cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky, who had been on the space station for the past six months.

21st century space race

The filmmakers had blasted off from the Russia-leased Baikonur Cosmodrome in ex-Soviet Kazakhstan earlier this month, travelling to the ISS with veteran cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov to film scenes for “The Challenge”.

The project is set to beat a Hollywood project announced last year by Tom Cruise and Elon Musk.

If the project stays on track, the Russian crew will beat a Hollywood project announced last year by “Mission Impossible” star Tom Cruise together with NASA and Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

The Russian movie’s plot, which has been mostly kept under wraps along with its budget, centres around a surgeon who is dispatched to the ISS to save a cosmonaut.

Shkaplerov, 49, along with the two Russian cosmonauts who were already aboard the ISS are said to have cameo roles in the film.

The mission was not without small hitches.

As the film crew docked at the ISS earlier this month, Shkaplerov had to switch to manual control.

And when Russian flight controllers on Friday conducted a test on the Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft the ship’s thruster fired unexpectedly and destabilised the ISS for 30 minutes, a NASA spokesman told the Russian news agency TASS.

The team’s landing, which was documented by a film crew, will also feature in the movie, Konstantin Ernst, the head of the Kremlin-friendly Channel One TV network and a co-producer of “The Challenge”, told AFP.

Russian firsts

The mission will add to a long list of firsts for Russia’s space industry.

After a decade-long pause, Russia will send two Japanese tourists, including billionaire Yusaku Maezawa (C),to the ISS in December, capping a year that has been a milestone for amateur space travel.

The Soviets launched the first satellite Sputnik, and sent into orbit the first animal, a dog named Laika, the first man, Yuri Gagarin and the first woman, Valentina Tereshkova.

But compared with the Soviet era, modern Russia has struggled to innovate, and its space industry is fighting to secure state funding with the Kremlin prioritising military spending.

Its space agency is still reliant on Soviet-designed technology and has faced a number of setbacks, including corruption scandals and botched launches.

Russia is also falling behind in the global space race, facing tough competition from the United States and China, with Beijing showing growing ambitions in the industry.

Russia’s Roscosmos was also dealt a blow after SpaceX last year successfully delivered astronauts to the ISS, ending Moscow’s monopoly for journeys to the orbital station.

In a bid to spruce up its image and diversify its revenue, Russia’s space programme revealed this year that it will be reviving its tourism plan to ferry fee-paying adventurers to the ISS.

After a decade-long pause, Russia will send two Japanese tourists—including billionaire Yusaku Maezawa—to the ISS in December, capping a year that has been a milestone for amateur space travel.



© 2021 AFP

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Hexbyte Glen Cove Martian Image: the ridges of ‘South Séítah’

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This annotated image indicates the location of several prominent geologic features visible in a mosaic composed of 84 pictures taken by the Mastcam-Z imager aboard Perseverance. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS

NASA’s Perseverance rover captures a geologic feature with details that offer clues to the area’s mysterious past.

Ask any space explorer, and they’ll have a favorite photograph or two from their mission. For Jorge Núñez, an astrobiologist and planetary scientist working on the science team of NASA’s Perseverance rover, one of his current favorites is a rover’s-eye panorama of the “South Séítah” region of Mars’ Jezero Crater. Exploring the geologic unit was among the major objectives of the team’s first science campaign because it may contain some of the deepest, and potentially oldest, rocks in the giant crater.

“Just like any excited tourist approaching the end of a major road trip, we stopped at a lookout to get a first view of our destination,” said Núñez, who is based at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland. “This panorama is spectacular because you feel like you are there. It shows not only the incredible scale of the area, but also all the exploration possibilities South Séítah has to offer. With multiple intriguing rocky outcrops and ridgelines, each one is seemingly better than the last. If it’s not a field geologist’s dream, it’s pretty close.”

This image indicates the location of several prominent geologic features visible in a mosaic composed of 84 pictures taken by the Mastcam-Z imager aboard NASA’s Perseverance rover. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS

Composed of 84 individual enhanced-color images that were later stitched together, the mosaic was taken on Sept. 12 (the 201st Martian day, or sol, of the mission) by the Mastcam-Z camera system as the rover was parked on an elevated overlook just outside its entry point into South Séítah. Perseverance had just completed a record 190-yard (175-meter) drive the previous sol.

The mosaic was taken at the highest magnification and stretched to allow subtle color differences in the rocks and soil to be visible to the naked eye. Left of center and halfway up the image are the gray, darker gray, and Swiss-coffee-colored rocky outcrops of the ridge nicknamed “Faillefeu” (after a medieval abbey in the French Alps). The distinctly thin, at times tilted layering evident in several of Faillefeu’s rocks would have been high on the science team’s list of things to explore, because tilted layering suggests the possibility of tectonic activity. But similar features—along with other compelling geology—were visible on another ridgeline that the mission’s science team opted to explore instead.

The “Martre Ridge” (named after a commune in southeastern France) is like Faillefeu except three times as big. It contains not only low-lying flat rocks near the base of the ridge, but also rocky outcrops with thin layering at the base and massive caprocks near and at the ridge’s peak. The caprocks are usually made of harder, more resistant material than those stacked below them, suggesting potential differences in how the material was deposited.

“Another cool thing about this image is that one can also see in the background, on the right, the path Perseverance took as it made its way to South Séítah,” said Núñez. “And finally, there is the peak of ‘Santa Cruz’ far in the distance. We’re currently not planning on going there; it’s too far out of our way. But it is geologically interesting, reinforcing just how much great stuff the team gets to pick and choose from here at Jezero. It also looks cool.”



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Martian Image: the ridges of ‘South Séítah’ (2021, October 16)
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Hexbyte Glen Cove China’s ‘space dream’: A Long March to the Moon and beyond

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The launch of a rocket carrying China’s Chang’e-5 lunar probe underlined how much progress Beijing had made towards its ‘space dream’

The arrival of three astronauts at China’s new space station on Saturday marks a landmark step in its space ambitions, its longest crewed mission to date.

The world’s second-largest economy has put billions into its military-run space programme, with hopes of having a permanently crewed space by 2022 and eventually sending humans to the Moon.

The country has come a long way in catching up with the United States and Russia, whose astronauts and cosmonauts have decades of experience in .

Here is a look at China’s space programme, and where it is headed:

Mao’s vow

Soon after the Soviet Union launched Sputnik in 1957, Chairman Mao Zedong pronounced: “We too will make satellites.”

It took more than a decade, but in 1970, China launched its first satellite on a Long March rocket.

Human spaceflight took decades longer, with Yang Liwei becoming the first Chinese “taikonaut” in 2003.

As the launch approached, concerns over the viability of the mission caused Beijing to cancel a live television broadcast at the last minute.

But it went smoothly, with Yang orbiting the Earth 14 times during a 21-hour flight aboard the Shenzhou 5.

China has launched seven crewed missions since.

The Jade Rabbit lunar rover surveyed the moon’s surface for 31 months.

Space station and ‘Jade Rabbit’

Following in the footsteps of the United States and Russia, China has planned to build its own space station circling the planet.

The Tiangong-1 lab was launched in 2011.

In 2013, the second Chinese woman in space, Wang Yaping, gave a video class from inside the space module to children across the world’s most populous country.

The craft was also used for and, most importantly, tests intended to prepare for the construction of a space station.

That was followed by the “Jade Rabbit” in 2013, which initially appeared a dud when it turned dormant and stopped sending signals back to Earth.

It made a dramatic recovery, however, ultimately surveying the Moon’s surface for 31 months—well beyond its expected lifespan.

In 2016, China launched its second orbital lab, the Tiangong-2. Astronauts who visited the station have run experiments on growing rice and other plants.

‘Space dream’

Under President Xi Jinping, plans for China’s “space dream” have been put into overdrive.

China is looking to finally catch up with the United States and Russia after years of belatedly matching their milestones.

Besides a space station, China is also planning to build a base on the Moon, and the country’s National Space Administration said it aims to launch a crewed lunar mission by 2029.

China has been carrying out experiments in a lab simulating a lunar-like environment in preparation for its long-term goal of putting humans on the moon.

But lunar work was dealt a setback in 2017 when the Long March-5 Y2, a powerful heavy-lift rocket, failed to launch on a mission to send communication satellites into orbit.

That forced the postponement of the Chang’e-5 launch, originally scheduled to collect Moon samples in the second half of 2017.

Another robot, the Chang’e-4, landed on the far side of the Moon in January 2019—a historic first.

This was followed by one that landed on the near side of the Moon last year, raising a Chinese flag on the lunar surface.

The unmanned spacecraft returned to Earth in December with rocks and soil—the first lunar samples collected in four decades.

And in February 2021, the first images of Mars were sent back by the five-tonne Tianwen-1, which then landed a rover on the Martian surface in May that has since started to explore the surface of the Red Planet.

Palace in the sky

A trio of astronauts docked successfully on Saturday with the core Tianhe module of the Chinese space station, which was placed in orbit on April 29.

The astronauts are set to stay at the station for six months, China’s longest crewed mission to date and double the duration of the first crewed to Tiangong completed earlier this year.

The Chinese space station Tiangong—meaning “heavenly palace”—will need a total of around 11 missions to bring more parts and assemble them in orbit.

Once completed, it is expected to remain in low Earth orbit at between 400 and 450 kilometres (250 and 280 miles) above our planet for at least 10 years—realising an ambition to maintain a long-term human presence in .

While China does not plan to use its for global cooperation on the scale of the International Space Station, Beijing said it is open to foreign collaboration.

It is not yet clear how extensive that cooperation will be.



© 2021 AFP

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Hexbyte Glen Cove Moderate earthquake rocks Bali, killing at least 3

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A woman walks past houses by Lake Batur which were damaged by an earthquake-triggered landslide in Bangli, on the island of Bali, Indonesia, Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021. A few people were killed and another several were injured when a moderately strong earthquake and an aftershock hit the island early Saturday. Credit: AP Photo/Dewa Raka

A moderately strong earthquake and an aftershock hit Indonesia’s resort island of Bali early Saturday, killing at least three people and destroying dozens of homes.

The quake hit just before dawn, causing people to run outdoors in a panic. It struck just after the island has begun to reopen to tourism as the pandemic wanes.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 4.8 quake was centered 62 kilometers (38.5 miles) northeast of Singaraja, a Bali port town. Its of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) may have amplified the amount of damage.

A magnitude 4.3 aftershock followed. That quake was relatively deep, at 282 kilometers (174 miles).

Photos from the island showed homes buried in rocks and mud and buildings collapsed, walls splintered on the ground.

Gede Darmada, head of the island’s Search and Rescue Agency, said the agency was still collecting updates on damage and casualties.

Apart from the three confirmed dead, at least seven people were reported hurt, with or broken bones.

The earthquake triggered landslides in a hilly district, killing at least two people and cutting off access to at least three villages, Darmada said.

It toppled homes and temples in Karangasem, the area closest to the epicenter, killing a 3-year-old girl who was hit by falling debris, he said.

  • Rescuers inspect a house damaged by an earthquake-triggered landslide in Bangli, on the island of Bali, Indonesia, Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021. A few people were killed and another several were injured when a moderately strong earthquake and an aftershock hit the island early Saturday. Credit: AP Photo/Dewa Raka
  • An Indonesian soldier walks past houses damaged by an earthquake-triggered landslide in Bangli, on the island of Bali, Indonesia, Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021. A few people were killed and another several were injured when a moderately strong earthquake and an aftershock hit the island early Saturday. Credit: AP Photo/Dewa Raka
  • A man stands near his house damaged by an earthquake in Karangasem on the island of Bali, Indonesia, Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021. A few people were killed and another several were injured when a moderately strong earthquake and an aftershock hit the island early Saturday. Credit: AP Photo/Andi Husein

“Nearly 60% of the houses in our village were damaged and can no longer be lived in,” said I Nengah Kertawa, head of Bunga village in Karangasem, one of the worst-hit communities.

Houses and also were damaged in Trunyan and in Kintamani, a popular sightseeing destination with a stunning lake.

Known as the “island of the gods,” Bali is home to more than 4 million mostly Hindu people in the mainly Muslim nation. It is famed for its temples, scenic volcanos and beautiful white-sand beaches.

On Thursday the island reopened to international travelers for the first time in more than a year after Indonesia’s COVID-19 caseload declined considerably.

The country has had around 1,000 cases a day in the past week after peaking at around 56,000 daily new cases in July.

Indonesia, a vast archipelago of 270 million people, is frequently struck by earthquakes, and tsunamis because of its location on the “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and that arcs the Pacific.

The last major earthquake was in January when a magnitude 6.2 killed at least 105 people and injured nearly 6,500. More than 92,000 people were displaced after it struck Mamuju and Majene districts in West Sulawesi province.



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Hexbyte Glen Cove Nothing funny about bad year for Maine’s clownish puffins

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In this July 1, 2013, file photo, a puffin prepares to land with a bill full of fish on Eastern Egg Rock off the Maine coast. This year’s warm summer was bad for Maine’s beloved puffins. Far fewer chicks fledged than need to to stabilize the population. Credit: AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File

Maine’s beloved puffins suffered one of their worst years for reproduction in decades this summer due to a lack of the small fish they eat.

Puffins are seabirds with colorful beaks that nest on four small islands off the coast of Maine. There are about 1,500 breeding pairs in the state and they are dependent on fish such as herring and sand lance to be able to feed their young.

Only about a quarter of the were able to raise chicks this summer, said Don Lyons, director of conservation science for the National Audubon Society’s Seabird Institute in Bremen, Maine. About two-thirds of the birds succeed in a normal year, he said.

The colonies have suffered only one or two less productive years in the four decades since their populations were restored in Maine, Lyons said. The birds had a poor year because of warm ocean temperatures this summer that reduced the availability of the fish the chicks need to survive, he said.

“There were fewer for puffins to catch, and the ones they were able to were not ideal for chicks,” Lyons said. “It’s a severe warning this year.”

The islands where puffins nest are located in the Gulf of Maine, a body of water that is warming faster than the vast majority of the world’s oceans. Researchers have not seen much mortality of adult puffins, but the population will suffer if the birds continue to have difficulty raising chicks, Lyons said.

In this July 19, 2019, file photo, research assistant Andreinna Alvarez, of Ecuador, holds a puffin chick before weighing and banding the bird on Eastern Egg Rock, a small island off the coast of Maine. This year’s warm summer was bad for Maine’s beloved puffins. Far fewer chicks fledged than need to to stabilize the population. Credit: AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File

The discouraging news comes after positive signs in recent years despite the challenging environmental conditions. The population of the birds, which are on Maine’s state threatened species list, has been stable in recent years.

The birds had one of their most productive seasons for mating pairs in years in 2019. Scientists including Stephen Kress, who has studied the birds for decades, said at the time that birds seemed to be doing well because the Gulf of Maine had a cool year that led to an abundance of food.

The puffins are Atlantic puffins that also live in Canada and the other side of the ocean. Internationally, they’re listed as “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.



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Hexbyte Glen Cove Study: Adolescents’ experiences with police have harmful repercussions for later life outcomes

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Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

The criminal justice system has changed dramatically in the past half century and with these changes has come a greater potential for adolescents to encounter police. A new study examined how adolescents’ experiences with police—either directly or vicariously (e.g., via witnessing an encounter)—affected their future orientation during the transition to adulthood. The study concluded that adolescents’ experiences with police can serve as an important life course event with negative consequences for later life outcomes.

The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), the University of California, Irvine (UCI), Johns Hopkins University, and the University of South Florida. It is forthcoming in Criminology, a publication of the American Society of Criminology.

Future orientation can encompass an individual’s expectations, aspirations, and plans. Youth with a more positive future orientation tend to have , educational, and occupational outcomes, and are able to overcome adversity more successfully than youth with a less positive future orientation. This type of outlook can be altered by events that shift the value of a future outcome or the perception of obtaining a goal and as such, future orientation (or lack thereof) is a strong determinant of criminal offending.

“We sought to determine if and under what conditions police contact affected youth’s future orientation,” explains Alexander Testa, assistant professor of criminology and at UTSA, who led the study. “From a life-course framework, future orientation is important because it captures an individual’s outlook toward future key milestones and life-course events that may be harmed by the collateral consequences of criminal justice contact.”

Researchers used data from the Pathways to Desistance study, a of 1,354 serious offenders from Arizona and Pennsylvania who were followed from adolescence through young adulthood. The youth, who were mostly male and non-White, were 14 to 17 years old when they were recruited for the study.

The study analyzed participants’ experiences with police, including both in-person encounters (e.g., police stops, the most common form of criminal justice contact during adolescence) and vicarious contact (e.g., seeing someone else in an encounter with police or learning of one involving family or friends). To measure future orientation, researchers used measurements of participants’ perceived likelihood and importance of achieving various milestones (e.g., having a good education, career, and family life). They also examined how characteristics of police contact (i.e., youth’s perceptions of procedural injustice) and demographic characteristics of adolescents (i.e., sex, race/ethnicity) shaped responses to police contact.

The study found that police contact—even in the absence of unjust treatment—can create cognitive shifts during a key period in life, diminishing individuals’ future outlooks. Specifically, the study found that:

  • Both personal and vicarious police contact, compared to no additional police contact, was negatively associated with individuals’ changes in future orientation.
  • Any exposure to police contact, regardless of how just or unjust the contact was perceived to be, was negatively associated with future orientation. That is, adolescents’ perceptions of procedural justice did not meaningfully alter the association between police contact and future orientation.
  • The negative association between police contact and future orientation was larger for White adolescents than for Black or Hispanic adolescents. Researchers suggest that this may be because police contact has largely become an expected occurrence among minority youth.

“Given the importance of future orientation to subsequent contact with the for future health and generalized life success, actions should be taken to mitigate any of police contact on the future orientation of adolescents,” says Kristin Turney, professor of sociology at UCI and a coauthor of the study. These might include reform efforts that change the nature of interactions between police and youth to reduce surveillance of young people and promote greater connections to civic life in a way that enhances future orientations.

The authors point to some limitations of their study, including that their findings cannot be generalized to other contexts, including adolescents from other geographic areas (e.g., those in rural and suburban areas) and individuals with less serious or no offending experiences. In addition, they say their results should be interpreted as associations and not causal relationships.



More information:
Police Contact and Future Orientation from Adolescence to Young Adulthood: Findings from the Pathways to Desistance Study, Criminology (2021).

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Hexbyte Glen Cove Prosecutors embrace a color-blind approach to prosecution, highlights need for cultural rescripting in prosecution

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A new study explored how prosecutors think about race in criminal justice, providing ideas of how to break the color-blind approach to prosecution that can entrench racial disparities. The study found that prosecutors broadly argue that race should not be considered when processing cases.

Conducted by a researcher at Florida International University (FIU), the study is forthcoming in the American Society of Criminology’s journal Criminology.

“Color-blindness is one piece of a very strong and cohesive prosecutorial culture,” says Rebecca Dunlea, an assistant professor of criminology and at FIU and the author of the study. “Getting prosecutors to see themselves as part of the solution to will require changing their views on how to approach , but it will probably also require that they reevaluate other core beliefs about how they do their work and achieve .”

Color-blindness does not address racial disparities, and may even worsen them by maintaining policies and practices that are facially race-neutral but disproportionately harm people of color. Some scholars argue that colorblindness in criminal justice has done more harm than good.

Based on interviews with 47 prosecutors from Jacksonville and Tampa, Florida, in 2018, the study found that they widely embraced a color-blind approach to processing cases. Interviewees consistently said they believed that the best way to handle these disparities was to not consider the race of defendants, victims, or witnesses when making case decisions.

Support for the color-blind approach was informal and widespread, the study found, with prosecutors saying they worked to appear race-neutral, denying the possibility of discrimination in their offices. Prosecutors of color appeared to support the color-blind approach as much as their White counterparts.

This color-blind approach is reinforced by other scripts deeply embedded in prosecutorial culture, such as “every case is unique,” “poverty and culture cause crime,” and “we only prosecute what the police bring to us,” the study found. All these seemingly race-neutral scripts are used by prosecutors to justify the rejection of their role in reforms that target racial disparities in criminal justice.



More information:
No Idea Whether He’s Black, White, or Purple”: Colorblindness and Cultural Scripting in Prosecution, Criminology (2021).

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Hexbyte Glen Cove MIT grapples with early leader’s stance on Native Americans

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David Shane Lowry, distinguished fellow in Native American Studies at MIT, stands for a photograph, Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, on the front steps of the Walker Memorial building on the schools campus, in Cambridge, Mass. MIT is grappling with the legacy of one of its founding fathers, whose name graces the iconic building. Francis Amasa Walker was a former head of the U.S. office of Indian Affairs who authored The Indian Question, a notorious treatise on Native Americans that helped justify the nation’s tribal reservation system. Credit: AP Photo/Steven Senne

As the third president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Francis Amasa Walker helped usher the school into national prominence in the late 1800s.

But another part of his legacy has received renewed attention amid the nation’s reckoning with racial justice: his role in shaping the nation’s hardline policies toward Native Americans as a former head of the U.S. office of Indian Affairs and author of “The Indian Question,” a treatise that justified forcibly removing tribes from their lands and confining them to remote reservations.

MIT is now grappling with calls from Native American students and others to strip Walker’s name from a campus building that is central to student life—part of a broader push for the nation’s higher education institutions to atone for the role they played in the decimation of Native American tribes.

“Walker might be the face of Indian genocide and it is troubling that his name is memorialized at MIT,” says David Lowry, the school’s newly-appointed distinguished fellow in Native American studies and a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina.

MIT President L. Rafael Reif wrote in a recent column in MIT Technology Review that addressing Walker’s legacy is an “essential step” in the school’s commitment to its Native American community. Native students account for 155 of the school’s nearly 3,700 students this year.

A late-19th century photo provided by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology shows Francis Amasa Walker, the third president of MIT. Walker helped usher the struggling school into national prominence, but the former Civil War general and former head of the U.S. office of Indian Affairs also authored “The Indian Question,” a treatise on Native Americans that helped cement the young nation’s system of forcibly removing tribes from their native lands to live on far flung, remote reservations. Native American students and their supporters want the university to rename Walker Memorial, a classical-style building named in his honor. Credit: MIT via AP

“The question we are working through now is what to do with these facts, as well as other aspects of the history of MIT and Native communities,” wrote Reif, who stopped short of weighing in on the name change debate in his column and declined to be interviewed.

Built in 1816, Walker Memorial houses student group offices, the college radio station and a campus pub. Its is a great hall decorated with soaring murals meant to depict scientific learning and experimentation.

Alvin Harvey, a doctoral student and president of the MIT Native American Student Association, says the classical-style building overlooking the Charles River is one of the most visible reminders of the school’s white, Western-centric past.

“As a Native American individual, you feel the full brunt of what MIT built its foundations on,” said Harvey, a 25-year-old New Mexico native and member of Navajo Nation. “The ideology that Western men, white men are going to lead the United States and the world into a new utopia of technological development.”

Alvin Donel Harvey, president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Native American Student Association, stands for a photograph, Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, in front of the Walker Memorial building on the schools campus, in Cambridge, Mass. MIT is grappling with the legacy of one of its founding fathers, whose name graces the iconic building. Francis Amasa Walker was a former head of the U.S. office of Indian Affairs who authored The Indian Question, a notorious treatise on Native Americans that helped justify the nation’s tribal reservation system. Credit: AP Photo/Steven Senne

MIT was among the nation’s first colleges to benefit from the Morrill Act, a 1862 law that helped create the U.S. public higher education system. The law allowed for the transfer and sale of federal lands to colleges to help establish their campus, or bolster an existing one. But many millions of those acres were actually confiscated from Native American tribes.

In MIT’s case, it received at least 366 acres scattered across California and a number of Midwest states, High Country News reported last year. At the time, their sales helped generate nearly $78,000, or more than $1.6 million in today’s dollars, the magazine said.

Lowry cautions those land and revenue estimates are likely conservative and that some students in his course on the “Indigenous History of MIT” are working on a fuller accounting.

Simson Garfinkel, an MIT alum who wrote a recent article on Walker’s life and legacy in MIT Technology Review, worries that renaming Walker Memorial would only serve to erase the contributions of a singular figure in MIT history.

David Shane Lowry, distinguished fellow in Native American Studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, stands for a photograph, Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, in front of the Walker Memorial building on the schools campus, in Cambridge, Mass. MIT is grappling with the legacy of one of its founding fathers, whose name graces the iconic building. Francis Amasa Walker was a former head of the U.S. office of Indian Affairs who authored The Indian Question, a notorious treatise on Native Americans that helped justify the nation’s tribal reservation system. Credit: AP Photo/Steven Senne

“Without Walker there would be no MIT. He was pivotal to making it the institution it is today,” Garfinkel said. “He placed it on vastly better financial footing, dramatically expanded enrollment and brought a discipline to the school that was really needed.”

As president from 1881 until his death in 1897, the former Union Army general and Boston native helped improve student life and oversaw the introduction of the first female and Black students on campus.

Garfinkel also argued that “The Indian Question” offered significant and lasting contributions to the wider understanding of indigenous peoples, even if its analysis and policy recommendations were ultimately racist and “problematic.”

The book, published in 1874, included detailed descriptions of American tribes, their populations and the offenses incurred against them, mainly by illegally settling on their lands and instigating violence.

  • David Shane Lowry, left, distinguished fellow in Native American Studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Alvin Donel Harvey, president of the MIT Native American Student Association, stand for a photograph, Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, in front of the Walker Memorial building on the schools campus, in Cambridge, Mass. MIT is grappling with the legacy of one of its founding fathers, whose name graces the iconic building. Francis Amasa Walker was a former head of the U.S. office of Indian Affairs who authored The Indian Question, a notorious treatise on Native Americans that helped justify the nation’s tribal reservation system. Credit: AP Photo/Steven Senne
  • Alvin Donel Harvey, president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Native American Student Association, stands for a photograph, Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, in front of the Walker Memorial building on the schools campus, in Cambridge, Mass. MIT is grappling with the legacy of one of its founding fathers, whose name graces the iconic building. Francis Amasa Walker was a former head of the U.S. office of Indian Affairs who authored The Indian Question, a notorious treatise on Native Americans that helped justify the nation’s tribal reservation system. Credit: AP Photo/Steven Senne

But Walker also described Native Americans as “an obstacle to the national progress” and concluded the country was justified in pushing Native Americans off their ancestral lands. He recommended confining them to reservations and forcing them to adopt European farming and production methods.

Rather than remove Walker’s name from the building, Garfinkel suggests providing more historical context by installing an informational marker on site.

“Walker was an amazing person who we need to understand in all of his complexity,” he said. “It’s easy to rename buildings, but much harder to learn about the past.”

Harvey said MIT has taken promising steps, such as appointing Lowry, recognizing Indigenous Peoples Day and providing a new campus space for Native American groups.

But it still needs to hire more Native faculty and provide other support for Native students, he said. As for Walker Memorial, Harvey suggests not only renaming it, but turning it into a center for indigenous sciences.

“MIT is missing out on this huge swath of indigenous knowledge,” he said. “Indigenous people are practicing their own valuable sense of science, engineering and knowledge of the natural world, and it’s being completely shut out.”



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MIT grapples with early leader’s stance on Native Americans (2021, October 15)
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Hexbyte Glen Cove For 50 years, mass incarceration has hurt American families. Here’s how to change it

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Family member incarceration has become exceedingly common among American families. Nearly half of all adults aged 18-49 have an immediate family member who has been imprisoned. Credit: Wikipedia

For nearly 50 years, the incarceration rate in the U.S. has grown at an exponential rate. Today, the U.S. has the largest prison population in the world. Incarceration is especially common in poor communities of color where nearly 70% of Black men who did not finish high school and are approaching midlife will be in prison at some point in their lives.

A review including new data analysis, published Oct. 14 in Science by experts at Washington University in St. Louis and Duke University, exposes the harm mass incarceration has on families and advocates for -friendly criminal justice interventions.

“While mass incarceration has made family member incarceration common, low-income families of color are disproportionately impacted, especially the women who are often the ones bearing the responsibility of taking care of family members on both the inside and the outside,” said Hedwig Lee, study co-author and professor of sociology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University. Lee also is director of the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, & Equity at WashU.

“We cannot afford another 50 years of mass incarceration tearing apart families and communities. It is time to do something revolutionary and invest in data that allows us to fully understand the effects of mass incarceration on families and implement both criminal justice and broader and practices that prevent future damage.”

Collateral damage of criminal justice system

Extensive research exists detailing the effects of incarceration on convicted individuals, yet less is known about the toll mass incarceration has on families and communities. For this review, Lee and co-author Christopher Wildeman, professor of sociology at Duke University, shifted the focus to the families of incarcerated men, who make up the majority of imprisoned people in the U.S.

Family member incarceration has become exceedingly common among American families. Nearly half of all young adults, age 18-49, have an immediate family member—defined as a parent, child, sibling, current romantic partner or anyone who the respondent ever had a child with—who has been imprisoned. Family member incarceration is even more pervasive for African American families, impacting far more than 60% of adults under the age of 50.

The indirect consequences of mass incarceration, experienced by family members, are likely more sizeable than those for the men who experience incarceration, according to Wildeman.

“Family members of the incarcerated have rarely—if ever—been involved in the crimes that their incarcerated family members have committed, and as a result are the collateral damage of the criminal justice system in a very real and tangible way,” he said.

Because mass incarceration disproportionately impacts African American families, it also exacerbates existing inequalities. In their review, Lee and Wildeman found that family member incarceration has on family well-being above and beyond existing disadvantages prior to incarceration. These effects include:

  1. Incarceration affects family structure. Incarcerated men marry at extremely low rates and divorce—and union dissolution more broadly—is more common among current and formerly incarcerated men.
  2. Incarceration affects the overall quality of life for families. Incarcerated fathers are less involved in their family before, during and after incarceration. Mothers are also more likely to engage in harsh parenting and experience depression when fathers are incarcerated.
  3. The loss of income caused by incarceration exacerbates economic hardship for families. Because men often struggle to find employment post-incarceration, these economic hardships can be long-lasting.

For children, the negative effects of parental incarceration are better understood. These children are more likely to struggle with behavioral and . They’re also less prepared to enter school than their peers, have disengaged parents and carry a stigma of parental incarceration.

“Children whose parents will eventually experience incarceration already disproportionately faced challenges even prior to experiencing that event. But for many children, the incarceration of a parent sets off a downward spiral in which negative responses from teachers, correctional officials and even peers due to the stigma of parental incarceration interacts with negative behavioral responses to the trauma of that event to lead children down a difficult path that has dire consequences for their transition to adulthood,” Wildeman said.

Incarceration also impacts the women who are left behind to manage the fallout. According to Lee and Wildeman’s review, a son’s incarceration could increase the parenting burdens place on grandparents. “Mothers who had a child, almost always a son, incarcerated struggle mightily when it comes to a range of indicators of health, including but not limited to self-rated health, depression and health limitations,” they write.

“Taken together, family incarceration may send generational ripples that impact the health of the entire family,” Lee said.

How to break the cycle

Incarceration is a breaking point for families. But Lee and Wildeman’s review highlights how poorly, on average, families were fairing even before experiencing parental incarceration.

Research from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study show drug abuse and domestic violence often precedes incarceration, as does smoking or using drugs and alcohol during pregnancy. Families in which one or both parents are unmarried, and/or the biological father does not live with his children, are also more likely to experience future incarceration. Prior incarcerations also are a strong indicator of future incarceration.

“These families are often in dire need long before incarceration. These needs may include severe forms of material deprivation—getting evicted, being unable to pay for utilities and not having enough money for food consistently—which are amplified by the fact that rates of addiction disorders and other mental health conditions are highly prevalent in these populations,” Lee said.

“Addressing these needs through better social services is a clear way to break the cycle and simultaneously improve the health and well-being of the entire family.”

What would family-friendly criminal justice interventions look like?

According to Lee and Wildeman, at minimum, family-friendly criminal justice interventions would have three features:

  1. Focus more on diversion in combination with high-quality services. For example, rather than arresting a person for drug possession, he or she would receive lower-level sanction—like a ticket or community service—combined with drug rehabilitation and/or mental health services to address underlying issues. “Such policies have the benefit of not putting families in a situation where the choices are essentially either incarceration or chaos,” the authors write.
  2. Broaden the scope of services for families when prison or jail incarceration is necessary. Current family policies are narrow and focus on how to facilitate visitation and provide mentors for children. However, the review shows that incarceration causes significant harm to families. Social services—such as free universal childcare and extensive economic support—are one way to mitigate those negative effects. Families are especially fragile during the time immediately before and after release, yet little work is currently done to intervene on behalf of families during this time.
  3. Consider alternatives to incarceration and eliminate mandatory sentencing laws. In addition to partnering with researchers to determine which types of changes—diversion, in-facility programs, post-incarceration programs—best offset the cost on incarceration for individuals, families and communities, alternative sentencing practices are needed for nonviolent and violent offenses. “There is, to be as blunt as possible, no way to drastically shrink the imprisonment rate without cutting sentences for individuals convicted of violent crimes and convicted multiple times,” the authors write.

“Although we believe that the consequences of for families are now becoming clear,” added Wildeman, “the reality is that the data we have available to understand how, when and why family member matters is woefully inadequate to the task, making future data collections that prioritize this incredibly prevalent stressor absolutely vital.”



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Hexbyte Glen Cove Facial recognition, cameras and other tools police use raise questions about accountability

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Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

Facial recognition, body cameras and other digital technologies are increasingly used by police departments, municipalities and even gated communities, but these tools manufactured by private companies raise the specter of unchecked surveillance, a University of California, Davis researcher suggests.

“These tools raise concerns about a lack of balance between police, who need tools to do their jobs, and the rights of individuals to privacy,” said Elizabeth Joh, professor of law at UC Davis and author of a new article scheduled to be published Friday in the journal Science.

Joh points out in the article that private companies making millions of dollars on these tools are effectively shielded from appropriate public scrutiny. Further, she recommends that state- and national-level legislation be implemented to regulate the use of such equipment.

The article, “The corporate shadow in democratic policing: Technology companies can elude accountability,” appears in a special policy section of the journal.

“Communities and individuals subjected to these policing technologies deserve transparency about how their police use these tools, whether there are potential flaws, and of course, whether these tools are worth using at all,” she said. “And although companies do have justifiable concerns about their intellectual property, invocations of proprietary information cannot become an all-purpose shield against public accountability when their customers are .”

Most of the forms of automation technology in policing, observed Joh, are developed by , raising concerns that the companies are becoming de facto policymakers, she said.

The surveillance tools, she added, could have flaws that cause doubts about how individual defendants in a are identified, raising concerns about whether the defendant’s rights were violated.

“When it comes to new investigative methods used by police departments, may be concerned that a proposed approach may have racially discriminatory impacts, may be flawed in design or in execution, or may simply be unjustified given its cost balanced against limited public resources,” she said in the article.

Use of these tools will only increase, Joh predicts, making it imperative that there be some oversight of their use to allow for public accountability and transparency.

Recent nationally known police incidents in which cameras were used, such as the death of George Floyd, “were not calls for technological tools,” Joh said in the article. “If anything, this national attention to policing reminds us that policing remains a social institution.”



More information:
Elizabeth E. Joh, The corporate shadow in democratic policing, Science (2021). DOI: 10.1126/science.abi9150

Citation:
Facial recognition, cameras and other tools police use raise questions about accountability (2021, October 14)
retrieved 15 October 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-10-facial-recognition-cameras-tools-police.html

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