Singapore’s founding father Mr Lee Kuan Yew dies aged 91 at 3.18am on Monday

The Straits Times, Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore, obituary

The elder Mr Lee is widely regarded as the man most instrumental in shaping Singapore, from the time he and his People’s Action Party colleagues pushed for self-government in the 1950s, to their quest for merger with Malaysia in the early 1960s, and their efforts to secure the country’s survival after independence was thrust on it on Aug 9,1965. He famously wept on that occasion, which he immortalised as “a moment of anguish”, not only as he had believed deeply in a unified Malaysia as a multi-racial society, but also as he must have sensed the enormity of the task for this fledgling state to make a living in an inhospitable world. He would lead a pioneer generation of Singaporeans to overcome a series of daunting challenges, from rehousing squatters in affordable public housing, rebuilding the economy after the sudden pull-out of British forces and the oil shocks of the 1970s, and a major economic recession in the mid 1980s. Through it all, Mr Lee would exhort his people to take heart and “never fear” as they looked forward to a better life. “This country belongs to all of us. We made this country from nothing, from mud-flats… Over 100 years ago, this was a mud-flat, swamp. Today, this is a modern city. Ten years from now, this will be a metropolis. Never fear!” he thundered at a grassroots event in Sembawang in September 1965. He delivered on this promise, earning the trust of generations of voters. This would see his party returned to office repeatedly over three decades. By the time he stepped down in 1990, he had served 31 years as PM, from 1959 to 1990. At the age of 67, he chose to hand over the premiership to Mr Goh Chok Tong, and took on the role of senior minister, serving as guide and mentor in the Cabinet.

http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/more-singapore-stories/story/lee-kuan-yew-singapores-founding-father-dies-aged–91–201

Commander of his stage: Lee Kuan Yew

The Economist, Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore, obituary

But Mr Lee’s party has left nothing to chance. The traditional media are toothless; opposition politicians have been hounded into bankruptcy by the fierce application of defamation laws inherited from Britain; voters have face the threat that, if they elect opposition candidates, their constituencies will suffer in the allocation of public funds; constituency boundaries have been manipulated by the government. The advantage of Mr Lee’s system, its proponents say, is that it introduced just enough electoral competition to keep the government honest, but not so much that it actually risks losing power. So it can look around corners on behalf of its people, plan for the long term and resist the temptation to pander to populist pressures. Mr Lee was a firm believer in meritocracy. “We decide what is right. Never mind what the people think,” as he put it bluntly in 1987. His government’s ministers were the world’s best-paid, to attract talent from the private sector and curb corruption. Corruption did indeed become rare in Singapore. Like other crime, it was deterred in part by harsh punishments ranging from brutal caning for vandalism to hanging for murder or drug-smuggling. As Mr Lee also said: “Between being loved and feared, I have always believed Machiavelli was right. If nobody is afraid of me, I’m meaningless.” As a police state, however, Singapore was such a success that you rarely see a cop.

http://www.economist.com/node/21645423/

The Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project is under construction near Tonopah, Nevada. Once completed it will power up to 75,000…

dailyoverview:

The Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project is under construction near Tonopah, Nevada. Once completed it will power up to 75,000 homes during peak electricity periods. So how does it work? The project will use 17,500 heliostat mirrors to collect and focus the sun’s thermal energy to heat molten salt flowing through a 540-foot (160 m) tall solar power tower. The molten salt then circulates from the tower to a storage tank where it is used to produce steam and generate electricity.

Construction of the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project

Tonopah, Nevada, USA

38°14′N 117°22′W

www.overv.eu

Light micrograph of a tiny parasitoid wasp (Wallaceaphytis kikiae) viewed from above. Parasitoid wasps lay their eggs inside…

micrograph, photography, wasp, wallaceaphytis kikiae, parasitoid

Light micrograph of a tiny parasitoid wasp (Wallaceaphytis kikiae) viewed from above. Parasitoid wasps lay their eggs inside other insects. After hatching, the larvae feed on their host, eating it alive from the inside out. This is a new genus of parasitoid wasp recently discovered in the rainforests of Borneo, where a single female wasp was found mixed in with thousands of other insects. It measures only 0.75 mm in length and has unusual antennae, legs and wings. It’s named after Alfred Russel Wallace, who coauthored the first ever publication on evolution by natural selection with Charles Darwin and who himself identified new insects while in Borneo in the mid-19th century. Even today, Borneo is still known to be rich with other undiscovered species. — Andrew Polaszek, Natural History Museum

"The Sumerians were so serious about their beer that they had their own deity devoted to the beverage named Ninkasi. Ninkasi…

beer, history, Sumeria, Ninkasi, hymn, recipe

“The Sumerians were so serious about their beer that they had their own deity devoted to the beverage named Ninkasi. Ninkasi was the goddess of beer and alcohol, who brewed the beverage daily to to “satisfy the desire” and “sate the heart.” One of the earliest known devotions to Ninkasi was a hymn written on clay tablets dating to 1,800 BC. Called “The Hymn to Ninkasi” it was more than just a devotional script or prayer, it was a detailed recipe and procedure for making beer”

Pre-crime software recruited to track gang of thieves

precrime, prediction, PKD, Dickean futures, crime, control, policing, surveillance

Predictive policing software packages are being adopted across mainland Europe, too. In Germany, researchers at the Institute for Pattern-based Prediction Techniques (IfmPt) in Oberhausen have developed a system for tackling burglaries. Precobs works by analysing data on the location, approximate date, modus operandi and stolen items from robberies going back up to 10 years. Based on this information, Precobs then predicts where burglaries are likely to happen next. This is tightly defined, within a radius of about 250 metres, and a predicted time window for the crime of between 24 hours and 7 days. Officers are then advised to focus their resources in a flagged area.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22530123.600-precrime-software-recruited-to-track-gang-of-thieves.html#.VQfduSmOhSo

MEXICO CITY — Last year, London-based polymath Nahum became the first artist recognized by the International Astronautical…

hyperallergic:

MEXICO CITY — Last year, London-based polymath Nahum became the first artist recognized by the International Astronautical Federation (AIF) as a young leader in space exploration. Using hypnosis, sound composition, video, and performance, the Mexico City native launches investigations into the unknown and collaborations between artists and scientists.

Conjuring Art Between Magic and Outer Space

A mugshot, the picture taken after an arrest, is a photo designed to tell the state’s side of a story. The subject of the photo,…

“A mugshot, the picture taken after an arrest, is a photo designed to tell the state’s side of a story. The subject of the photo, taken at one of the lowest points in their life, has no voice, but the language of the form—the unflattering bright light, the drab background, the name and prisoner ID at the bottom—tells us we are looking at a “criminal.””

Should Gawker Publish Mugshots? (viaiamdanw)