Stranger and stranger.

Sri Lankan police on Saturday arrested 19 people after violent clashes erupted in Galle District between the majority Buddhist and minority Muslim communities.

A police curfew had been imposed in six areas across the district in order to control the situation.

A police official told Xinhua news agency that the situation had not returned to normal and tight security would remain across the district throughout the day.

Over 200 police officers and 100 officers from the Special Task Force were deployed in Galle following the clashed a between Buddhist and Muslim groups on Friday night which erupted over a minor incident related to the majority Sinhalese community.

Geez … ya think?

Housing Bubble 2.0 Bursting Sooner Than You Think

Is it time to party like it’s 2006 all over again? The stock market is surging, subprime borrowers are getting into massive levels of debt, the Republicans are controlling the Congress, a sitting president is compared to Adolf Hitler, and the housing market is ballooning into a big, fat bubble. In fact, you could refer to it as the housing bubble 2.0, and things are just getting started.

Geez … ya think.

Americans work less than ever before but still feel like there’s no free time — and there’s a simple explanation

The number of hours Americans work has gone down over the last several decades, according to data from the OECD, while leisure time has gone up. But that’s hardly the perception for many working people.

How come?

The psychologist Adam Alter offered one reason in his 2017 TED talk “Why our screens make us less happy.” He says that screen-based devices eat up what precious free time we have left.

Fold it up.

A duopsony built around rent-seeking

A recent Senate Banking Committee hearing explored “The Status of the Housing Finance System After Nine Years of Conservatorship.” The title pretty much says it all — Congress has done nothing substantive on housing finance reform in almost a full decade.

Given the spectacular failure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that led to the 2008 financial crisis, the fact that these Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) remain in government conservatorship might seem surprising. After all, during the crisis, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac transformed from political untouchables in housing finance to pariahs.

Proving that we’ve reduced ourselves to the point that everything is political.

I imagine that wealthy people were despised even then.

The article, “Greater post-Neolithic wealth disparities in Eurasia than in North America and Mesopotamia,” includes research from Anna Prentiss, a professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Montana.

Prentiss and UM anthropology Professor Emeritus Tom Foor provided data from the archaeological sites at Bridge River, British Columbia, and Ozette, Washington.

Good news. … Ket them play and play and play.

First-graders fitter than expected

Study on motor performance of elementary students

Childhood obesity is often attributed to a lack of exercise. So what about sports among elementary school students? Scientists have pursued this question and collected the results of fitness tests for first-year students over a period of one decade. Their study shows that students did not lose their strength. Speed or balance even increased over the time of 10 years. One change was in the boys, whose endurance decreased compared to the girls of the same age.

Disgusting. … for those who want to know.

What grosses out a chimpanzee? The origins of disgust

Origins of disgust

Chimps show increased latencies to feed, and tendencies to maintain greater distances from possible contaminants and/or outright refusals to consume food in test conditions, hinting at the origins of disgust in humans.

… In 2015, researchers from Kyoto University’s Primate Research Institute went to the Primate Center at the ‘Centre International de Recherches Médicales de Franceville’ (CIRMF) in Gabon to test whether chimpanzees are grossed out by some of the same things as humans, particularly those that are sources of infectious disease. …

A ton of science today. … Let’s start with this.

CRISPR patent wars highlight problem of granting broad intellectual property rights for tech that offers public benefits

Duke University Law professor Arti Rai and bio-technology professor Robert Cook-Deegan with Arizona State University have stepped into the gene editing patent war with an Intellectual Property Policy Forum paper they have had published in the journal Science. They suggest that courts should take more into account than who invented what first in some property rights disputes. With technology, such as CRISPR-Cas9, for example, they argue that some thought (and rights) should to be given to the public as beneficiaries of future research efforts related to that technology.

Reducing to the point of no privacy whatsoever.

Skype faces fine after refusing to allow eavesdropping

Skype’s looking at a €30,000 ($35,000) fine from a Belgian court that wants to eavesdrop on conversations – something that Microsoft-owned Skype said is 1) technically impossible and 2) shouldn’t apply because the laws are for telecoms, which it isn’t.

Skype lost an appeal of the fine in a Belgian court on Wednesday.

According to the Dutch newspaper Het Belang Van Limburg, the trouble began in 2012, when Belgian authorities came knocking, wanting to listen in on conversations that an organized crime gang conducted mostly on Skype.

Assisting the ‘gig economy’.

Amazon’s Last Mile

Who delivers Amazon orders? Increasingly, it’s plainclothes contractors with few labor protections, driving their own cars, competing for shifts on the company’s own Uber-like platform. Though it’s deployed in dozens of cities and associated with one of the world’s biggest companies, government agencies and customers alike are nearly oblivious to the program’s existence.