The Jury Talks Back


Alan Turing: Face Of The New 50-Pound Note

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 12:48 pm

[guest post by Dana]

From the Washington Post:

Alan Turing, a founding father of computer science and artificial intelligence, was revealed Monday as the face of Britain’s new 50-pound bank note.

Turning was also famed as a World War II codebreaker whose work was widely credited with hastening the end of the war and saving thousands of lives. He committed suicide after he was convicted of engaging in homosexual activity, then a criminal offense in Britain.

Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, said that “as the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, as well as war hero, Alan Turing’s contributions were far-ranging and pathbreaking.” He called Turing “a giant on whose shoulders so many now stand.”

The new note, expected to enter circulation at the end of 2021, will include an image of Turing, ticker tape of his birth date in binary code, and a table and formulas from a 1936 paper that introduced the concept of how computers could operate.

It will also include a quote from Turing, given to the Times of London newspaper in 1949: “This is only a foretaste of what is to come, and only the shadow of what is going to be.”

The shortlist included 12 candidates from the fields of mathematics and science.

Note: Queen Elizabeth II granted Turing a royal pardon for his “crime” of homosexuality in 2013.

Here is the concept image of the new Turing 50-pound note:


Here is a rundown of what is included in the image:

A photo of Turing taken in 1951 by Elliott & Fry which is part of the Photographs Collection at the National Portrait Gallery.

A table and mathematical formulae from Turing’s seminal 1936 paper “On Computable Numbers…

The Automatic Computing Engine (ACE) Pilot Machine which was developed at the National Physical Laboratory as the trial model of Turing’s pioneering ACE design. The ACE was one of the first electronic stored-program digital computers.

Technical drawings for the British Bombe, the machine specified by Turing and one of the primary tools used to break Enigma-enciphered messages during WWII.

A quote from Alan Turing, given in an interview to The Times newspaper on 11 June 1949: “This is only a foretaste of what is to come, and only the shadow of what is going to be.”

Turing’s signature from the visitor’s book at Bletchley Park in 1947, where he worked during WWII.

Ticker tape depicting Alan Turing’s birth date (23 June 1912) in binary code. The concept of a machine fed by binary tape featured in the Turing’s 1936 paper.


President Trump Triples Down, Calls For Apology (UPDATE: GOP Members Find A Backbone)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 10:02 am

[guest post by Dana]

Yesterday, we saw President Trump unwisely step in and distract Democrats from their infighting by making himself the focus of their attention with his inaccurate and inflammatory tweets attacking members of their caucus. Last night, he doubled down on his perceived righteousness in the conflict. This morning, he is tripling down by way of calling for an apology from the same Democratic Congresswomen that he suggested go back to where they came from and then come back to govern:

When will the Radical Left Congresswomen apologize to our Country, the people of Israel and even to the Office of the President, for the foul language they have used, and the terrible things they have said. So many people are angry at them & their horrible & disgusting actions!

If Democrats want to unite around the foul language & racist hatred spewed from the mouths and actions of these very unpopular & unrepresentative Congresswomen, it will be interesting to see how it plays out. I can tell you that they have made Israel feel abandoned by the U.S.



It’s ironic that, along with helping the Democrats by his reckless tweeting, President Trump has once again forced the hand of the GOP’s sitting members of Congress. Does the elected official ignore his own moral compass and remain silent in order to stay in Trump’s good graces, or is he compelled to follow his own conscience and publicly condemn the President’s bigoted comments – consequences be damned?

Sen. Pat Toomey isn’t afraid to follow his conscience:

President Trump was wrong to suggest that four left-wing congresswomen should go back to where they came from. Three of the four were born in America and the citizenship of all four is as valid as mine. I couldn’t disagree more with these congresswomen’s views on immigration, socialism, national security, and virtually every policy issue. But they are entitled to their opinions, however misguided they may be. We should defeat their ideas on the merits, not on the basis of their ancestry.

With this latest kerfuffle, Jonathan Swan revisits Trump’s assertion made during the presidential campaign that he could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and he wouldn’t lose any voters. It was true then, and sadly, it appears to be true now:

Trump knows he can say whatever he likes and face no consequences from the party he has conquered.

The few Republicans who dared to defy him either got crushed by pro-Trump candidates in primaries (Rep. Mark Sanford), quit the party (Rep. Justin Amash) or retired (Sens. Jeff Flake and Bob Corker). One remaining critic, Sen. Mitt Romney, mostly pushes back by issuing stern but ineffectual tweets. And Sen. Ben Sasse, who used to lambaste the president, has mostly gone silent.

No modern president, besides George W. Bush immediately after the 9/11 attacks, has enjoyed such popularity with Republican voters.

UPDATE: Via Sahil Kapur of Bloomberg and Dallas News, these are the Republicans that have joined Sen. Toomey in denouncing President Trump for his comments toward the four Democratic congresswomen: Rep. Mike Turner, Rep. Will Hurd, Rep. Pete Olson, Rep. Chip Roy, Sen. Tim Scott, Sen. Susan Collins.

And via Alison King of NBC10 Boston, comes this weak tea from Mitt Romney:

“I certainly feel a number of these new members of Congress have views that are not consistent with my experience and not consistent with building a strong America.”

“At the same time, I recognize that the Pres has a unique and noble calling to unite all Americans regardless of our creeds or race or place of our national origin and I think in that case, the Pres fell far short.”

I’ll continue to update the post with any further responses from GOP members as I see them published. If you see some that I’ve missed, please let us know in the comments.


Antifa Activist Fatally Shot After Firebombing Immigration Center

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 8:08 am

[guest post by Dana]

This happened early Saturday morning before the ICE raids were set to begin:

A rifle-armed 69-year-old has been fatally shot by the police after throwing incendiary devices at an immigration centre in Tacoma, Washington

Officers were called to the privately run prison at around 4am where the man, identified in local media as Willem Van Spronsen of Vashon Island, had set a vehicle alight with the explosives.

He is also believed to have attempted to ignite a large propane tank outside the building.

His target, the Tacoma Northwest Detention Centre, has long served as a holding facility for migrants as they are about to be deported.

More recently it has also housed parents separated from their children at the border under Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy towards undocumented immigrants.

The incident took place roughly six hours after a peaceful rally against deportations outside the centre.

Individuals who knew Van Spronsen believe that this was a suicide:

One friend of twenty years, Deb Bartley, told The Seattle Times she and others had received letters from him which read “just saying goodbye” along with what she described as a manifesto.

She added: “I think this was a suicide. But then he was able to kind of do it in a way that spoke to his political beliefs… I know he went down there knowing he was going to die.”

Unsurprisingly, the attacker was already known to law enforcement:

A protest outside the federal immigration detention center in Tacoma last year drew headlines when a 68-year-old man wrapped his arms around a police officer’s throat and shoulders in an apparent attempt to free another protester.

When police got the man into handcuffs, they found a collapsible baton and knife in his pocket, leading to criminal charges.

Fellow anarchists are celebrating the “martyr” for the cause:

The group Seattle Antifascist Action described assailant Willem Van Spronsen a “good friend and comrade” who “took a stand against the fascist detention center in Tacoma” and “became a martyr who gave his life to the struggle against fascism.”

“He was kind and deeply loved by many communities; we cannot let his death go unanswered,” the group wrote in a Saturday Facebook post. “Throughout history we idolize figures like John Brown for their courage to take the ultimate stand against oppression, and today we stand strong in our support for yet another martyr in the struggle against fascism. May his death serve as a call to protest and direct action.”

P.S. In the so-called “martyr’s” manifesto that he sent to friends the day before the attack, he wrote “I am Antifa”. That sounds about right.


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