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Neil Gorsuch Confirmation: Supreme Court Rules Against Him

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One of Neil Gorsuch's decisions about an autistic child's education was struck down unanimously by the Supreme Court Wednesday morning during his confirmation hearing.

The 8-0 ruling, which Gorsuch said he learned about on a brief five-minute bathroom break, overturned his 2008 decision in Thompson R2-J School District v. Luke P., which found that a school district legally abides with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act as long as it provides an education that “must merely be ‘more than de minimis.’”

The Supreme Court disagreed in their decision handed down Wednesday.

"When all is said and done, a student offered an educational program providing 'merely more than de minimis' progress from year to year can hardly be said to have been offered an education at all," wrote Chief Justice John Roberts in the unanimous decision. "For children with disabilities, receiving instruction that aims so low would be tantamount to “sitting idly ... awaiting the time when they were old enough to ‘drop out.’”

During his hearing, Gorsuch said his decision was emotionally difficult but that his hands were tied by precedent in an earlier narrow reading of IDEA.

"We were bound by circuit precedent, a case called Urban v Jefferson County School District [from] 1996, which said the appropriate standard was de minimis," Gorsuch told Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin. "That’s the law of my circuit, Senator. And I’ve been asked an awful lot about whether I abide by precedent and whether I always like the results I reach. Here’s a case for you... If anyone is suggesting that I like a result where an autistic child happens to lose, it's a heartbreaking accusation. Heartbreaking."

In a further heated exchange when Durbin continued to press Gorsuch on his legal reasoning in Luke P., Gorsuch fired back, "To suggest that I have some animus against children, Senator, would be a mistake."

"Judge, please. I am not suggesting that," Durbin responded.

Gorsuch acknowledged that the Supreme Court's new holding means his 10th Circuit ruling, which he pointed out was unanimous, is wrong.

"I understand today that the Supreme Court has indicated that the Urban standard is incorrect. That’s fine, I will follow the law. … If I was wrong, Senator, I was wrong because I was bound by circuit precedent, and I’m sorry."

"The Supreme Court is our boss and we respect their last word," Gorsuch said.

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satadru
1 day ago
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New York, NY
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Boston Public Schools Map Switch Aims To Amend 500 Years of Distortion

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Students attending Boston public schools are now getting a more accurate depiction of the world after the school district rolled out a new standard map of the world that show North America and Europe much smaller than Africa and South America. From a report on The Guardian: In an age of "fake news" and "alternative facts", city authorities are confident their new map offers something closer to the geographical truth than that of traditional school maps, and hope it can serve an example to schools across the nation and even the world. For almost 500 years, the Mercator projection has been the norm for maps of the world, ubiquitous in atlases, pinned on peeling school walls. Gerardus Mercator, a renowned Flemish cartographer, devised his map in 1569, principally to aid navigation along colonial trade routes by drawing straight lines across the oceans. An exaggeration of the whole northern hemisphere, his depiction made North America and Europe bigger than South America and Africa. He also placed western Europe in the middle of his map. Mercator's distortions affect continents as well as nations. For example, South America is made to look about the same size as Europe, when in fact it is almost twice as large, and Greenland looks roughly the size of Africa when it is actually about 14 times smaller.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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satadru
2 days ago
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Nice.
New York, NY
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A Doomed Statistician Spends His Last Moments Crunching Some Very Odd Numbers

io9
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This quirky short from Campbell Hooper follows the inner monologue of a statistician who’s ejected from an airplane at what would obviously be a fatal altitude. Panic doesn’t factor in at all—in fact, Forty Three Thousand Feet is mostly a rumination on the past and the future, complete with an extended tangent about a time machine. It’s weirdly thought-provoking.

[Dust]

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satadru
3 days ago
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An article with so many dick jokes could at least have avoided the fragile masculinity of calling dolls action figures.

Having said that, I think it's pretty clear what poem Deadpool would read at a Burns night party.
New York, NY
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Celeb Watch: Sir Patrick Officially A Legend, Shatner Lands ‘Senior Moment,’ And More

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Patrick Stewart is a legend (and is talking about marijuana), William Shatner has been cast in a new romantic comedy, Linda Park talks new Enterprise fans and her upcoming projects, and Robert Picardo will record your voicemail message. Also, there is sad news with iconic Star Trek guest star Lawrence Montaigne passing away.

Patrick Stewart Wins Empire Legend Award

On Sunday night in London Sir Patrick Stewart became the seventh recipient of the Empire Legend Award at the 22nd annual Empire Magazine Awards. Past honorees include Helen Mirren, Alan Rickman, and Tom Cruise. The award was presented to the Star Trek: The Next Generation star by his long-time friend Sir Ian McKellen. After some jibes at Stewart’s expense, McKellen got serious saying “The range of his work is so gratifying and enviable…He’s one of my heroes for the way he stands up for his causes. He’s the actor that people of my generation would like to be.”

Stewart was greeted with a standing ovation, and not just because he gave McKellen a big kiss when he got on stage (see above photo). Stewart got philosophical while accepting the award, saying (via Empire):

“‘Success is an impostor. It conceals the flaw, the wound, the fundamental doubt at the core of the artists’ being’. Well, I only quoted that as I wanted to go down as the only actor in history to quote Nietzche. But nevertheless, sometimes, Mr Nietzche, you are right.” He also makes sure to thank his “brother and friend, Ian.”

Star Trek Beyond was also nominated for Best Makeup and Hair, but the award went to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. More details on the ceremony at empireonline.com.

caption

As if we didn’t already know Patrick Stewart was a legend (photo: Empire)

Stewart Backs Medical Marijuana in UK, Reveals He Uses it Every Day for Arthritis

Speaking of Sir Patrick, this week the actor took on another cause, advocating for medical marijuana in the United Kingdom. Oxford University announced a new study on the medical benefits of marijuana, titled the Cannabis Research Plan. Backers hope to influence the debate over changing laws in the UK to allow for medical marijuana. Stewart was one of the key celebrity backers of the new research project, and revealed that two years ago in California he was prescribed medical marijuana to treat arthritis. Stewart told the UK’s Telegraph he regularly uses a marijuana-based ointment for his hands, as well as edibles, to treat pain.

Stewart says he uses marijuana ever day - but it's medicinal

Stewart says he uses marijuana ever day – but it’s medicinal

Shatner to Star in Romantic Comedy

William Shatner is set to star in the upcoming romantic comedy Senior Moment, according to Variety. Shatner will play a retired Navy fighter pilot and NASA test pilot who battles the law as his town seeks to get dangerous senior drivers off the road, resulting in his coveted convertible being impounded, and his license revoked. Shatner had this to say about the production, which begins shooting later this year: “I’m thrilled to be working with this group of talented people,” Shatner said. “I’m really looking forward to making a wonderfully funny movie.”

An Early Poster for "Senior Moment."

An Early Poster for “Senior Moment.”

Park Talks New Audiences Finding Enterprise and New Play

Star Trek: Enterprise’s Linda Park recently began starring in the classic play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof as Maggie at the Gindler Performing arts Center in Glendale, CA. To promote the play she has a new interview with the official Star Trek site where she talked a bit about how Enterprise is finding new audiences:

I’ve been meeting so many young children who’ve had Enterprise introduced to them by their parents. So, that’s been really exciting for me, to have young audiences get excited about the show and the work we did. We came on very late in that whole Star Trek run. We didn’t really get the promotion we should have. We never had a lot of eyes on us when we were on the air, so it’s nice to know that people are finding Enterprise now, all this time later. And there are people re-discovering it, too. Some of the fans maybe did give us a chance when we were on and they’ve gone back and realized it was really pretty good.

Park also discussed her role in the upcoming third season of Amazon’s Bosch, which has previously cast Trek alumni. Jeri Ryan had a large role in season two. Bosch‘s third season will begin airing on April 21st.

Park yesterday offered this photo preview (below) of her character Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof via Instagram.

 

Perfecting the cat eye for Maggie the cat #catiscoming @antaeustheatre

A post shared by Linda Park (@reallindapark) on

Robert Picardo Will Record Your Voicemail Greeting If You Help Fund His New Play

Robert Picardo, Star Trek: Voyager’s Emergency Medical Hologram, has signed on to co-star in a new comedy play called “A Joke.” The production is trying to get enough money together to premiere at the Edinburgh Festival later this year. As with many crowdfunding projects, there is an abundance of possible rewards available. Picardo will record a custom ringtone or voicemail message for you for £50 (or about $63).  More info on the play and possible funding rewards at danfreeman.co.uk.

Picardo was on hand at Toronto Comic Con over the weekend and NerdBastards has a con report from his panel. As is his custom, Picardo was also available for photos with fans, which he likes to share on Twitter with pithy comments, as demonstrated below.

Lawrence Montaigne passes away at 86

Over the weekend, with sadness TrekMovie reported via Twitter and Facebook that actor Lawrence Montaigne had passed away in Las Vegas. Trek fans will know Montaigne from two classic Star Trek episodes, playing the Vulcan Stonn in “Amok Time,” and the Romulan Decius in “Balance of Terror.” He has also been a regular on the Trek convention circuit for years and even returned to the role of Stonn in the fan film Of Gods and Men.  The news of Montaigne’s passing was first revealed by his daughter on Facebook, where friends, family, and fans have been offering their condolences. Fans can offer condolences on Lawrence’s own Facebook page as well.

Lawrence Montaigne, dead at 86

Lawrence Montaigne, dead at 86

 

Keep up with all the Star Trek celeb news at TrekMovie.com.

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satadru
3 days ago
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"Well, I only quoted that as I wanted to go down as the only actor in history to quote Nietzche."

Bestill my heart, Captain.
New York, NY
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Kellyanne Conway Says She's Helped Pay for an Abortion

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Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty

In a New York Magazine piece about Kellyanne Conway, the titular character reveals that she has helped at least one friend pay for an abortion — and even drove her to the procedure.

In the extensive interview, Conway explains that she is "sympathetic" to any woman who makes her own decision to get an abortion.

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"Do I know anybody who ever got an abortion?" she asks. "Well, of course I do. I’ve driven them there. I’ve helped pay."

"You know, when you’re young, you’re thinking about the person, not the issue," she continued. "We were younger, and I was focused on her, not on the larger public policy."

She goes on to say that what she isn't OK with is the "liberal position" of wanting abortion to be accessible to "anyone, anytime, anywhere."

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mareino
2 days ago
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"Well yeah I'm a racist conspiracy theorist, but I'm not EVIL," she added in my head canon.
Washington, District of Columbia
satadru
3 days ago
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Abortions for some, forced pregnancies for others...
New York, NY
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Google Maps adds a sweet new parking spot saver

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  • Park the car, press the blue dot, and save your current position.

  • Swipe the card up and add photos, notes, and a timer or change the location.

  • You'll get a notification about your parking spot. If you hate this feature, you can turn it off.

Google Maps quietly added a sweet new feature that will help you remember where you parked. Just park your car, open up Google Maps, and tap on the blue location dot. You'll be presented with a new menu offering to "save your parking," which lets you store all the information you need to find your car again.

The new interface will save your current location and slap a big "P" icon on the map. This wouldn't be enough for a multistory parking garage, though, so you can bring up a new interface that lets you save a ton of information. You can adjust the dot location, add photos to your parking spot, and type notes. If there's a parking meter, you can even set a "time left" field that will count down the time remaining.

After filling out this info, Google Maps will spawn a notification reminding you that you have a saved parking location. The notification and the "P" icon on Google Maps will stick around until you open the parking information and hit "clear " or until you save a different parking spot.

This new "parking saving" feature is a lot better than Google's last attempt, which existed in Google Now. Now would try to automatically guess when you parked via Android's "activity recognition system" (it looked at the GPS and marked down where you hit 0 mph). It kind of worked, but it required way too much trust in Google's magical algorithms for something as critical as a parking reminder. Purely GPS-based parking saving was also useless in those big parking garages, where GPS doesn't work and won't tell you what level you are on. This new proactive version lets you store all that extra info and gives you the peace of mind knowing that the information will actually be there when you get back.

For now, the new feature seems to be working only on Android Google Maps v9.49. There are almost no feature differences between the iOS and Android versions of Google Maps, though, so we'd imagine it will hit iOS once the new version successfully navigates the app store's update process.

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satadru
3 days ago
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nice
New York, NY
mareino
2 days ago
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Washington, District of Columbia
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