Tasting Paris Pre-Order Bonus!

Buy Clotilde’s latest book, The French Market Cookbook!

My new cookbook TASTING PARIS: 100 Recipes to Eat Like a Local will be coming out in North America* on March 20, 2018!
This is the book I’ve long wanted to write to share the many and wonderful flavors of Paris from a local’s perspective. A cliché-free Paris that reflects the way real Parisians eat today.
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Have a Great Weekend.

What are you up to this weekend? We’re taking the boys to the carousel tonight, and tomorrow I’m taking myself to get a foot rub.… Read more
The post Have a Great Weekend. appeared first on A Cup of Jo.

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This winter, my skin was feeling dry and dull, and nothing I did seemed to change that. So, I made an appointment with my dermatologist, who recommended three products that completely changed my skin…

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic.… Read more
The post Three Products That Truly Changed My Skin appeared first on A Cup of Jo.

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The U.S. Department of Treasury announced yesterday that its Office of Foreign Assets Control has imposed sanctions on Turkey’s Minister of Justice Abdulhamit Gul and its Minister of Interior Suleyman Soylu.  They are leaders of Turkish government organizations responsible for the arrest and detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson. Brunson has lived in Turkey for more than 20 years.  According to the Treasury Department:Pastor Andrew Brunson has reportedly been a victim of unfair and unjust detention by the Government of Turkey.  He was arrested in Izmir, Turkey in October 2016, and with an absence of evidence to support the charges, he was accused of aiding armed terrorist organizations and obtaining confidential government information for political and military espionage. Vox, reporting on the Treasury Department’s action, says that Brunson’s case has become a personal issue for President Trump and Vice President Pence, and is important to many Christian evangelicals.  Turkey, however, apparently sees Brunson’s case as tied to its attempt to get the U.S. to extradite Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen to Turkey.

Source: http://religionclause.blogspot.com/2018/08/treasury-department-sanctions-turkish.html

In Youkhanna v. City of Sterling Heights, (ED MI, Aug. 1, 2018), a Michigan federal district court dismissed a lawsuit challenging a consent decree approved by the Sterling Heights City Council growing out of a dispute over zoning approval for a mosque. (See prior posting.) The consent decree settled two related lawsuits– one by the Islamic Center and one by the Department of Justice– that alleged violations of RLUIPA and of the Islamic Center’s free exercise rights.  An overcrowded and contentious City Council meeting preceded approval of the consent decree.  Rejecting the challenge to approval of the consent decree the court said in part:The crux of Plaintiffs’ Complaint is that the approval of the Consent Judgment should be invalidated because the Council purportedly failed to abide by the City’s Zoning Code by neglecting to consider the discretionary standards set forth in § 25.02. Plaintiffs’ further assert that the Consent Judgment should be invalidated because the City did not comply with the notice requirements under the MZEA [Michigan Zoning Enabling Act]. Both of Plaintiffs’ arguments are without merit.The court also rejected claims that the Michigan Open Meetings Act had been violated and that defendants’ 1st, 4th and 14th Amendment rights had been infringed. The court said in part:Plaintiffs claim their speech was impermissibly chilled when they and other audience members were limited to a two-minute speaking time, prevented from speaking critically of the Islamic faith, and removed from the meeting for being disruptive. However, … [w]hen the government designates a limited public forum for speech, as is the case of a city council meeting, it may apply restrictions to the time, place, and manner of speech so long as those restrictions “are content neutral, are narrowly tailored to serve a significant government interest, and leave open ample alternative channels of communication.”The court had previously denied a preliminary injunction in the challenge.  Detroit News reports that defendants will appeal yesterday’s ruling.Meanwhile, according to AINA, another mosque controversy is on the horizon in Sterling Heights as a group of Pakistanis are moving ahead with plans to convert a former Lutheran church there into a mosque.

Source: http://religionclause.blogspot.com/2018/08/challenge-to-settlement-in-mosque.html

In Cormier v. PF Fitness-Midland, LLC, (MI App., July 26, 2018), a Michigan appellate court in a case on remand from the Michigan Supreme Court held that the gym Planet Fitness violated provisions of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act when it failed to inform plaintiff that it had a policy of allowing members to use whichever locker room and rest room corresponds to the gender with which that person self-identifies. The court concluded that Planet Fitness violated MCL 445.903(1)(s), (bb), and (cc) which prohibit:(s) Failing to reveal a material fact, the omission of which tends to mislead or deceive the consumer, and which fact could not reasonably be known by the consumer.(bb) Making a representation of fact or statement of fact material to the transaction such that a person reasonably believes the represented or suggested state of affairs to be other than it actually is.(cc) Failing to reveal facts that are material to the transaction in light of representations of fact made in a positive manner.In concluding that the failure to inform plaintiff of the policy was material, the court said:After joining the gym, plaintiff saw an assigned male individual in the women’s locker room and then complained to an employee at the front desk and to defendants’ corporate office. Upon being informed of defendants’ unwritten policy on the matter, plaintiff verbally warned other women at the gym about it. Plaintiff’s actions indicate that she strongly preferred a locker room and a restroom in which individuals who are assigned biologically male are not present, and it is thus reasonable to infer that defendants’ failure to inform plaintiff of the unwritten policy affected her decision to join the gym.A person who successfully sues under Michigan’s Consumer Protection Act may recover actual damages or $250, whichever is greater, plus attorneys’ fees. Liberty Counsel issued a press release announcing the decision.

Source: http://religionclause.blogspot.com/2018/08/gyms-failure-to-disclose-transgender.html


Let’s all just be glad that Earth keeps rotating.

In his new book, What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Situations, xkcd author Randall Munroe illustrates some of life’s most bizarre questions and conundrums. Munroe recently joined Mashable‘s social book club MashableReads with the #WhatIfChallenge, and is encouraging readers to submit their own one-panel comics depicting outrageous hypothetical situations on Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram and Vine.

What If? debuts on Sept. 2, but to help get your creative juices flowing for the #WhatIfChallenge, here is a sneak peek at a chapter from Randall Munroe’s latest title, below:


Q. What would happen if
the Earth and all terrestrial
objects suddenly stopped
spinning, but the atmosphere
retained its velocity?
— Andrew Brown

A. NEARLY EVERYONE WOULD DIE. Then things would get interesting.

At the equator, the Earth’s surface is moving at about 470 meters per second — a little over a thousand miles per hour — relative to its axis. If the Earth stopped and the air didn’t, the result would be a sudden thousand-mile-per-hour wind.

The wind would be highest at the equator, but everyone and everything living between 42 degrees north and 42 degrees south — which includes about 85 percent of the world’s population — would suddenly experience supersonic winds.

The highest winds would last for only a few minutes near the surface; friction with the ground would slow them down. However, those few minutes would be long enough to reduce virtually all human structures to ruins.

1. Map, Global Windstorm - WHAT IF

My home in Boston is far enough north to be just barely outside the supersonic wind zone, but the winds there would still be twice as strong as those in the most powerful tornadoes. Buildings, from sheds to skyscrapers, would be smashed flat, torn from their foundations, and sent tumbling across the landscape.

Winds would be lower near the poles, but no human cities are far enough from the equator to escape devastation. Longyearbyen, on the island of Svalbard in Norway — the highest-latitude city on the planet — would be devastated by winds equal to those in the planet’s strongest tropical cyclones.

If you’re going to wait it out, one of the best places to do it might be Helsinki, Finland. While its high latitude — above 60°N — wouldn’t be enough to keep it from being scoured clean by the winds, the bedrock below Helsinki contains a sophisticated network of tunnels, along with a subterranean shopping mall, hockey rink, swimming complex, and more.

2. Helsinki, Global Windstorm - WHAT IF

No buildings would be safe; even structures strong enough to survive the winds would be in trouble. As comedian Ron White said about hurricanes, “It’s not that the wind is blowing, it’s what the wind is blowing.”

Say you’re in a massive bunker made out of some material that can withstand thousand-mile-per-hour winds.

3. Bunker 1, Global Windstorm - WHAT IF (1)

That’s good, and you’d be fine . . . if you were the only one with a bunker. Unfortunately, you probably have neighbors, and if the neighbor upwind of you has a less-well-anchored bunker, your bunker will have to withstand a thousand mile-per-hour impact by their bunker.

4. Bunker 2, Global Windstorm - WHAT IF

The human race wouldn’t go extinct.[1] In general, very few people above the surface would survive; the flying debris would pulverize anything that wasn’t nuclear-hardened. However, a lot of people below the surface of the ground would survive just fine. If you were in a deep basement (or, better yet, a subway tunnel) when it happened, you would stand a good chance of surviving.

There would be other lucky survivors. The dozens of scientists and staff at the Amundsen–Scott research station at the South Pole would be safe from the winds. For them, the first sign of trouble would be that the outside world had suddenly gone silent.

The mysterious silence would probably distract them for a while, but eventually someone would notice something even stranger:

5. Confusion, Global Windstorm - WHAT IF

The air

As the surface winds died down, things would get weirder.

The wind blast would translate to a heat blast. Normally, the kinetic energy of rushing wind is small enough to be negligible, but this would not be normal wind. As it tumbled to a turbulent stop, the air would heat up.

Over land, this would lead to scorching temperature increases and — in areas where the air is moist — global thunderstorms.
At the same time, wind sweeping over the oceans would churn up and atomize the surface layer of the water. For a while, the ocean would cease to have a surface at all; it would be impossible to tell where the spray ended and the sea began.

Oceans are cold. Below the thin surface layer, they’re a fairly uniform 4°C. The tempest would churn up cold water from the depths. The influx of cold spray into superheated air would create a type of weather never before seen on Earth — a roiling mix of wind, spray, fog, and rapid temperature changes.

This upwelling would lead to blooms of life, as fresh nutrients flooded the upper layers. At the same time, it would lead to huge die-offs of fish, crabs, sea turtles, and animals unable to cope with the influx of low-oxygen water from the depths. Any animal that needs to breathe — such as whales and dolphins — would be hard-pressed to survive in the turbulent sea-air interface.

The waves would sweep around the globe, east to west, and every east-facing shore would encounter the largest storm surge in world history. A blinding cloud of sea spray would sweep inland, and behind it, a turbulent, roiling wall of water would advance like a tsunami. In some places, the waves would reach many miles inland.

The windstorms would inject huge amounts of dust and debris into the atmosphere. At the same time, a dense blanket of fog would form over the cold ocean surfaces. Normally, this would cause global temperatures to plummet. And they would.
At least, on one side of the Earth.

If the Earth stopped spinning, the normal cycle of day and night would end. The Sun wouldn’t completely stop moving across the sky, but instead of rising and setting once a day, it would rise and set once a year.

Day and night would each be six months long, even at the equator. On the day side, the surface would bake under the constant sunlight, while on the night side the temperature would plummet. Convection on the day side would lead to massive storms in the area directly beneath the Sun. [2]

6. Sun, Global Windstorm - WHAT IF

In some ways, this Earth would resemble one of the tidally locked exoplanets commonly found in a red dwarf star’s habitable zone, but a better comparison might be a very early Venus. Due to its rotation, Venus — like our stopped Earth — keeps the same face pointed toward the Sun for months at a time. However, its thick atmosphere circulates quite quickly, which results in the day and the night side having about the same temperature.

Although the length of the day would change, the length of the month would not! The Moon hasn’t stopped rotating around the Earth. However, without the Earth’s rotation feeding it tidal energy, the Moon would stop drifting away from the Earth (as it is doing currently) and would start to slowly drift back toward us.

In fact, the Moon — our faithful companion — would act to undo the damage Andrew’s scenario caused. Right now, the Earth spins faster than the Moon, and our tides slow down the Earth’s rotation while pushing the Moon away from us.[3] If we stopped rotating, the Moon would stop drifting away from us. Instead of slowing us down, its tides would accelerate our spin. Quietly, gently, the Moon’s gravity would tug on our planet . . .

7. Moon 1, Global Windstorm - WHAT IF

. . . and Earth would start turning again.

8. Moon 2, Global Windstorm - WHAT IF

[1] I mean, not right away.
[2] Although without the Coriolis force, it’s anyone’s guess which way they would spin.
[3] See “Leap Seconds,” http://what-if.xkcd.com/26, for an explanation of why this happens.

Excerpted from WHAT IF?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe to be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on September 2nd, 2014. Copyright © 2014 by xkcd Inc. Used by permission of the author. All rights reserved.

Want more great book recommendations from Mashable? Join MashableReads, Mashable’s social book club. You’ll have the chance to win free copies of new novels, and participate in conversations with various authors.

BONUS: Authors in Conversation with MashableReads

Read more: http://mashable.com/2014/08/23/what-if-randall-munroe-excerpt/

New federal complaints were filed Wednesday against University of California at Santa Barbara, University of Michigan, University of Toledo, and Valparaiso University Law School in Indiana. BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { if (BF_STATIC.bf_test_mode) localStorage.setItem(‘posted_date’, 1409752885); }); BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { document.getElementById(“update_posted_time_3435028”).innerHTML = “posted on ” + UI.dateFormat.get_formatted_date(1409752885); });

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Geri Lavrov / Via wire

The University of California, Santa Barbara.

Six current and former students filed federal complaints Wednesday against the University of California at Santa Barbara, claiming the school discouraged sexual assault survivors from reporting attacks, did not properly investigate allegations and impose sanctions, and created a hostile environment by failing to give survivors mandated academic accommodations, such as help with class scheduling and test extensions.

The complaints against the school, still recovering from a misogyny-fueled shooting rampage in May by 22-year-old Elliot Rodger, allege violations of federal equity law Title IX and the Clery Act, which requires schools to disclose campus sexual assaults.

Three other schools are also facing new Title IX and Clery Complaints as of Wednesday: the University of Michigan (which is already under investigation), University of Toledo in Ohio, and Valparaiso University Law School in Indiana. The complainants said in a press release that they hope the schools will join the more than 70 colleges and universities currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education for alleged federal gender discrimination.

The only school that responded for comment by press time was the University of Toledo, which said it could not comment on specific situations but “is committed to a thorough process to evaluate and investigate any reported violations.”

Lead complainant Myra Crimmel, a recent UCSB graduate, wrote in her complaint that she was drugged and assaulted by two men in fall 2013. At first, Crimmel said, she asked only for a no-contact order; one of her alleged attackers was a classmate, and she was unable to study for a final exam with him around. However, according to her complaint, school administrators said her rape allegations were so severe that the university was obligated to open an investigation once she told them the name of her alleged assailant.

When Crimmel officially began the campus adjudication process on Sept. 18, she was told the process would be over in 60 days in adherence with UCSB’s strict sexual assault policy. Then, her alleged assailant hired a lawyer after he was offered the option of accepting a two-quarter suspension or going forward with a hearing. Suddenly, Crimmel wrote in her federal complaint, administrators started canceling meetings and stopped returning her calls and emails. It took six months to reach a final resolution. By that time, her alleged attacker had agreed to a hearing, but Crimmel was no longer interested; administrators warned her his lawyer would have the opportunity to cross-examine her and, she says, the director of Judicial Affairs told her that it was “so much work on our end.”

Eventually, UCSB told Crimmel’s family that the alleged assailant had withdrawn from school and would not be allowed to return until the fall quarter. Neither the incident nor the sanctions would be on his school transcript. An email detailing the final resolution said Crimmel’s alleged assailant could instead return to school as soon as Crimmel graduated in June 2014, giving him the opportunity to attend summer sessions.

Meanwhile, Crimmel said in the federal complaint, she was diagnosed with PTSD and missed classes due to depression. Less than a week after her assault, she was forced to explain personal details of her rape to her professor via email so he would allow her to take a test in a separate room from her alleged assailant, since her assigned crisis counselor who was supposed to help her with scheduling issues failed to do so. When the fall quarter finished and the new quarter began, Crimmel said officials promised her that she would not be in any classes with her alleged assailant — yet, Crimmel wrote in her complaint, she saw him in class the first week of school in January.

Crimmel’s attack occurred during the period of time that some researchers and advocates call the “red zone”: the 15-week period leading up to Thanksgiving break when freshmen are more likely to be sexually assaulted than at any other point during their college careers. Crimmel said she filed her complaint this week in part to help raise awareness of this problem.

At least two other UCSB students who shared their stories in the 81-page complaint were also assaulted during the “red zone.” But the notorious party culture in nearby Isla Vista, where the majority of residents are students at UCSB or at Santa Barbara City College (according to the 2010 census, 84.8% of Isla Vista’s population is between the ages of 18 to 24), doesn’t quit after Thanksgiving. And Crimmel said it contributes to an atmosphere of sexual violence against women.

“For so many people, UCSB is a dream school, the ultimate college experience,” Crimmel said. “But there’s this dark side people don’t talk about.”

Last February, two UCSB students reported separate gang rapes in Isla Vista. And in May, Elliot Rodger went on a deadly rampage near the UCSB campus that included the shooting deaths of two women outside a sorority house. In YouTube videos and a violent manifesto, Rodger had said that he wanted revenge against women who wouldn’t sleep with him.

UCSB “isn’t equipped to handle the culture of Isla Vista,” Crimmel said in a recent interview. However, she said, the way the school handled her case was worse than her assault.

Title IX complaints are difficult to compile, can take up to several years to investigate, and often result in nothing more than tepid resolution agreements. But, as many survivors have learned, they garner publicity. A spate of high-profile complaints filed in 2013, along with subsequent media coverage, prompted a White House Task Force report and bipartisan legislation aimed at curbing sexual assault on campus.

Some go to even greater lengths to draw attention to the cause. At Columbia University in New York, Emma Sulkowicz, a current undergraduate and one of 23 students who filed a federal complaint against her school, plans to carry a twin-size mattress to class until her alleged rapist moves off campus.

“People have to do extreme things to get their administrations to take sexual assault seriously,” said Sofie Karasek, a member of End Rape on Campus, a group that provides free support to students filing federal complaints against their schools. Karasek, a lead complainant in the filing against UC Berkeley, helped some of Wednesday’s complainants assemble their reports. She also started her first week of senior year.

“It’s really mentally and physically taxing to do this work,” Karasek said, “even if you aren’t actually carrying around a mattress.”


A UCSB spokesperson provided the below statement:

The university takes reports by our students of sexual assault extremely seriously. We offer numerous counseling, support and advocacy resources for survivors, and we have a strong adjudication process. We review our procedures regularly to ensure that we are using best practices and are in alignment with all UC, state and federal requirements. We have not received any official notification of a filing at this time. BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { if (BF_STATIC.bf_test_mode) localStorage.setItem(‘update_posted_date’, ‘2014-09-03 12:05:53 -0400’); }); BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { document.getElementById(“update_article_update_time_3732751”).innerHTML = UI.dateFormat.get_formatted_date(‘2014-09-03 12:05:53 -0400’, ‘update’); });

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/katiejmbaker/ucsb-is-one-of-four-new-schools-accused-of-mishandling-rape