If this is your first visit to Pumpkin Fascinators, you might want to read the “Welcome to Pumpkin Fascinators” page at https://pumpkins.frappleberrypie.ca/welcome-to-pumpkin-fascinators/.
The final days of the Auschwitz concentration camp, its liberation by Soviet forces on January 27, 1945, the immediate aftermath, and the eventual effort to preserve the site for future generations.
The story of Mel Mermelstein who took some Holocaust deniers to court and got a California court to take judicial notice of the Holocaust. Specifically, Judge Thomas T. Johnson declared
“This court does take judicial notice of the fact that Jews were gassed to death at Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland during the summer of 1944. It is not reasonably subject to dispute. And it is capable of immediate and accurate determination by resort to sources of reasonably indisputable accuracy. It is simply a fact.”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mel_Mermelstein
This judicial notice had the effect of putting the onus on the other side (i.e. the Holocaust deniers) to prove that the Holocaust did not happen. Considering the mountains of admissible evidence that the Holocaust did happen, this gave the Holocaust deniers an essentially unclimbable mountain to climb if they hoped to win the case. Also, once one court has taken judicial notice of something, other courts are generally quite likely to take the same notice without a huge effort on the party seeking the notice (please keep in mind that IANAL and that a real lawyer would probably find at least a dozen things wrong with this paragraph 🤔).
An interesting and upbeat read.
How’s this for the plot of a spy story:
William Friedman, often regarded as the father of American cryptography, shares a meal in 1951 with his Swiss friend Boris Hagelin. They make a “handshake agreement” where Hagelin’s company will, in exchange for certain payments, allow the CIA and the BND to essentially control the development of the company’s mechanical encryption and decryption machines. For the next 30+ years, the CIA and the BND are able to read the crypto traffic of essentially any country in the world except for the “Five Eyes” (a very private club consisting of Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States), China, and the Soviet Union.
Here’s the thing: this isn’t the plot for a spy story. This is a short summary of something that actually happened. The operation’s codename was Rubicon, the company was Crypto AG, and Rubicon was quite possibly the most successful intelligence operation in history.
An interesting look at Polish-Jewish relations during the Second World War. Definitely worth reading if you’re interested in Second World War history and/or the history of the Holocaust.
A look at the mess that Social Media has become and some cautiously hopeful suggestions on how we might be able to reclaim some of what has been lost.
An interesting analysis of how extremists, antagonists and manipulators take advantage of the ‘rules’ of journalism to get their message amplified.
A Wikipedia article discussing the Canadian constitutional-grade obligation on the Crown to consult and accommodate on matters that may affect an Aboriginal person’s Aboriginal or Treaty rights.
An article, with references to supporting research papers, that debunks 25 common arguments against climate change.
A video showing the evolution of the top ten most popular programming languages over the years. A few interesting ones to look for are Fortran (top language on the list from 1965 until 1979 and finally falling out of the top ten in early 1998), Ada (appears on the list in 1980 and after spending 1983 to 1994 somewhere in the top three, falls off the list by the end of 1995), and Java (appears on the list in 1995, makes the top three in 1997, sits at the top of the list from 2001 to 2018 when it drops to third where it remains today)..