By 10am it emerged that Mr Perkins had single-handedly moved the global price of oil to an eight-month high during a "drunken blackout". Prices leapt by more than $1.50 a barrel in under half an hour at around 2am – the kind of sharp swing caused by events of geo-political significance. Ten times the usual volume of futures contracts changed hands in just one hour.
By the time PVM realised the trades were not authorised and swiftly began to unwind the positions, losses of exactly $9,763,252 had stacked up.
The amount was almost equal to PVM Oil Futures’ entire annual revenue of $12m and caused a $7.6m loss last year – shared by the senior brokers who are its only shareholders.
It swiftly emerged that Mr Perkins had been relieved of his position at PVM, but details of the bizarre incident have only just been made public after a Financial Services Authority investigation.
"The best design explicitly acknowledges that you cannot disconnect the form from the material–the material informs the form," says Ive. "It is the polar opposite of working virtually in CAD to create an arbitrary form that you then render as a particular material, annotating a part and saying ‘that’s wood’ and so on. Because when an object’s materials, the materials’ processes and the form are all perfectly aligned, that object has a very real resonance on lots of levels. People recognize that object as authentic and real in a very particular way."
For the sake of Core77′s design student readership, I divert briefly into the realm of design education and ask Ive if he has any advice for students. "While [design schools today may have] sophisticated virtual design tools, the danger in relying on them too much is that we can end up isolated from the physical world," he says. "In our quest to quickly make three-dimensional objects, we can miss out on the experience of making something that helps give us our first understandings of form and material, of the way a material behaves–’I press too hard here, and it breaks here’ and so on. Some of the digital rendering tools are impressive, but it’s important that people still really try and figure out a way of gaining direct experience with the materials."
We are sitting in Badam Bagh, or Almond Garden, Afghanistan’s only prison for women in the capital Kabul.
The prison is a window on a world where, outside these walls, women are constantly judged against a standard that makes many of their stories difficult to fathom.
Sixteen-year-old Sabera, with a pretty yellow head scarf, frets that she is missing school.
“I was about to get engaged, and the boy came to ask me himself, before sending his parents. A lady in our neighbourhood saw us, and called the police,” she explains.
She was sentenced to three years but, in an act of mercy, it was shortened to 18 months.
Fellow inmate Aziza was accused of running away from her husband. She says she was acquitted two months ago, but still languishes in prison.
A senior official in Afghanistan’s Ministry for Women’s Affairs told a recent UN workshop that about half of Afghanistan’s 476 women prisoners were detained for “moral crimes”.
That includes everything from running away from home, refusing to marry, marrying without their family’s wishes, and “attempted adultery”.
Two-thirds of the women in Lashkar Gah’s medieval-looking jail have been convicted of illegal sexual relations, but most are simply rape victims – mirroring the situation nationwide. The system does not distinguish between those who have been attacked and those who have chosen to run off with a man.
The expiration of the five-metre rule that had Toronto residents fearing arrest if they strayed too close to the G20 security perimeter came with a startling revelation Tuesday – it never existed.
The rule seemed straightforward when the news broke last Friday that the Ontario government made a regulatory change to a little-known act in secret.
Come within five metres of the summit security fence and you’d better have some identification or risk arrest.
The temporary regulation, which was passed in secret June 2, did decree that all streets and sidewalks inside the fence were a public work until 11:59 p.m. Monday. Under the Ontario Public Works Protection Act, that allowed police to search people trying to enter that area.
But there was no power to search people coming within five metres of the fence, said ministry spokeswoman Laura Blondeau.
“The area designated by the regulation as a public work does not extend outside the boundary of the fence,” Ms. Blondeau said.
Asked Tuesday if there actually was a five-metre rule given the ministry’s clarification, Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair smiled and said, “No, but I was trying to keep the criminals out.”
The Daily Kos Website has been commissioning pollster Research 2000 to run polls for it. Now the founder, Markos Moulitsas, has repudiated Research 2000 and told everyone to delete all its tracking polls from their data bases due to a statistical analysis that suggests they have been curbstoning (making up the data). Kos, as he is known, didn’t say anything about Senate polls, but if Research 2000 is unreliable with tracking polls, it is probably unreliable about everything.
Research 2000 has hired a law firm to try to intimidate the media (including the
blogs) into not talking about this issue. Nate Silver of 538.com has already
I’ll check my mailbox later today expectantly.
Maybe they should investigate the “Barbara Streisand effect”..
For most of her campaign for U.S. Senate, Nevada GOP nominee Sharron Angle’s election strategy has consisted of avoiding reporters so she doesn’t get tricked into saying things publicly. Last night’s interview on Jon Ralston’s "Face to Face" is one of the few times since winning the GOP nomination that Angle has braved a media outlet that was not a wingnut blog or Fox News.
MANDERS: I too am pro-life, but I’m also pro-choice. Do you understand what I say when I mean that?
ANGLE: Well, I’m pro-responsible choice. There’s choice to abstain, choice to use contraceptives … there’s all kinds of good choice….
MANDERS: Is there any reason at all for an abortion?
ANGLE: Not in my book.
MANDERS: So, in other words, rape and incest would not be something?
ANGLE: You know, I’m a Christian, and I believe that God has a plan and a purpose for each one of our lives and that he can intercede in all kinds of situations and we need to have a little faith in many things.
Attention Wal-Mart employees, doctor prescribed treatment for a pre-existing condition may get you fired if you get injured on the job.
“The American Civil Liberties Union and ACLU of Michigan, in partnership with the law firm of Daniel W. Grow, PLLC, filed a lawsuit today against Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and the manager of its Battle Creek store for wrongfully firing an employee for using medicinal marijuana in accordance with state law to treat the painful symptoms of an inoperable brain tumor and cancer,” a press release sent to RAW STORY announced Tuesday.
Even for the Pentagon’s science-fiction division, it seemed like a stretch. But in 2007, Darpa really did launch an effort to build programmable matter that could reconfigure itself on command. Then, two years later, Harvard and MIT researchers really did make progress building “self-folding origami” that just might be able to twist themselves into different shapes. Yesterday, Darpa-backed electrical engineers at the two schools released the stunning results: a shape-shifting sheet of rigid tiles and elastomer joints that can fold itself into a little plane or a boat on demand.
The controversial Facebook page Boycott BP, which calls on individuals to "Boycott BP stations until the spill is cleaned up," mysteriously went down on Monday, with visitors automatically redirected to Facebook’s home page without explanation.
The page was back up again by early Tuesday morning, but the incident left its over-700,000-strong membership wondering if Facebook attempted to censor them.
Why anybody would use FaceBook for anything at all is beyond me, but perhaps I’m just getting old…