three compounds in the news

victor steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Tue Sep 13 15:47:20 UTC 2011

Three compounds have been making the rounds in news stories for the past
couple of days. All have considerably longer history than first appears. One
is probably derived from native Chinese sources.

One of the top stories this morning concerns "gutter oil" busts in China.
September 13, 2011, 7:36 PM HKT
Arrests Made in China ‘Gutter Oil’ Scandal
> Police have arrested 32 people suspected of producing and selling old
> cooking oil that has been illegally collected from restaurant gutters,
> according to a Ministry of Public Security statement Tuesday.

It's interesting that this story actually mentions gutters--BBC uses
"drains" in the same spot. The WSJ blog story has a photo from last May. But
the issue has been percolating for years.
 07/20/10 09:36 AM ET
'Gutter Oil': China Sounds Alarm Over Filthy Cooking Oil
> Chinese call it "gutter oil" – a foul slop fished up from sewage drains or
> collected at restaurant back doors – and it's being used widely in the
> country's eateries.

The second concept I picked up from BBC report on anti-doping activities in
the buildup to the London Olympics. One of the warnings issued by the
respective agency is that they are at the forefront of "gene-doping"
controls? Gene doping? Seriously? Apparently, gene doping has been an issue
discussed for nearly a decade, with first "products" appearing around 2006.

Wiki has a short entry on gene doping, heavily referencing WADA. National
Geographic did a story back in 2008 . Wired had one last
year . HowStuffWorks also has a series on it .

The pioneering Dutch document from 2004 is here:

Third, reports are surfacing on "predictive policing", which immediately
brings up jokes about Minority Report. Luckily, this only refers to computer
simulations used to predict likely target areas for criminal activity so
that police resources can be optimized. Most stories are coming out of Santa
August 15, 2011
> The notion of predictive policing is attracting increasing attention from
> law enforcement agencies around the country as departments struggle to fight
> crime at a time when budgets are being slashed.
September 12th, 2011
Predictive Policing: Working the Odds to Prevent Future Crimes
> Crime is often a clustering event: if there is an act of inter-gang
> violence, for instance, there’s likely to be a retaliatory act shortly
> after. If there is a home burglary, there may be another burglary in the
> neighborhood or even the same home soon after.
> It’s those details that are key to a Santa Cruz, California, experiment
> called predictive policing, an effort combining criminology, anthropology
> and mathematics to plan how to deploy police resources.
November 2009
Predictive Policing: What Can We Learn from Wal-Mart and Amazon about
Fighting Crime in a Recession?
> As these new budgetary restraints and limitations are faced, the question
> to ask with more urgency is “Why just count crime when you can anticipate,
> prevent, and respond more effectively?” Predictive policing allows command
> staff and police managers to leverage advanced analytics in support of
> meaningful, information-based tactics, strategy, and policy decisions in the
> applied public safety environment. As the law enforcement community
> increasingly is asked to do more with less, predictive policing represents
> an opportunity to prevent crime and respond more effectively, while
> optimizing increasingly scarce or limited resources, including personnel.

I doubt any of these will make WOTY lists, but they may be worth keeping
tabs on.


The American Dialect Society -

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