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Topics - Testy Calibrate


Some of these stats (well, analysis of stats) are bullshit for weird and complicated reasons (mostly the performance pay correlation with higher test scores) but over all it's an interesting read.
The Justice Department unsealed a fresh indictment Tuesday charging eight Navy officials -- including an admiral -- with corruption and other crimes in the "Fat Leonard" bribery case, escalating an epic scandal that has dogged the Navy for four years.

Among those charged were Rear Adm. Bruce Loveless, a senior Navy intelligence officer who recently retired from a key job at the Pentagon, as well as four retired Navy captains and a retired Marine colonel. The charges cover a period of eight years, from 2006 through 2014.

The Navy personnel are accused of taking bribes in the form of lavish gifts, prostitutes and luxury hotel stays courtesy of Leonard Glenn "Fat Leonard" Francis, a Singapore-based defense contractor who has pleaded guilty to defrauding the Navy of tens of millions of dollars.

The indictment lists page after page of bribes allegedly provided to the defendants including $25,000 watches, $2,000 boxes of Cohiba cigars, $2,000 bottles of cognac and $600-per-night hotel rooms.

According to the charging documents, Francis also frequently sponsored wild sex parties for many officers assigned to the USS Blue Ridge, the flagship of the Navy's 7th Fleet, and other warships.
Rear Adm. Bruce Loveless (Navy)

During a port visit by the Blue Ridge to Manila in May 2008, for example, five of the Navy officers attended a "raging multi-day party, with a rotating carousel of prostitutes," at the Shangri-La Hotel, according to the indictment. The group allegedly drank the hotel's entire supply of Dom PĂ©rignon champagne and rang up expenses exceeding $50,000, which Francis covered in full.

On another port visit by the Blue Ridge to Manila in February 2007, Francis allegedly hosted a sex party for officers in the MacArthur Suite of the Manila hotel. During the party, "historical memorabilia related to General Douglas MacArthur were used by the participants in sexual acts," according to the indictment.

In exchange, according to federal prosecutors, the officials provided Francis with classified or inside information that enabled his firm, Glenn Defense Marine Asia, to gouge the Navy out of tens of millions of dollars.
Science / Pingu listen to this:
Decisions Decisions Decisions

Whether you're choosing spaghetti sauce or a life partner, making decisions can be paralyzing. This hour, TED speakers explore how we make the choices we make, and how we learn to live with them.
TR Embassy and Animal Shelter / humans suck

Endangered white rhino shot dead inside French zoo by poachers seeking valuable horn
Politics and Current Events / hate crime megathread
A man and a woman were sentenced Monday to 13 and six years in prison, respectively, for joining a group of Confederate flag supporters who in 2015 drove around a small Georgia community threatening people, including a gathering of African-Americans celebrating a young boy's birthday.

The attack, prosecuted under the state's Street Gang Terrorism law, came several weeks after a white supremacist killed nine black worshipers at a South Carolina church, sparking a backlash against public displays of the Confederate battle flag.

The Georgia group called itself Respect the Flag, and prior to the attack was seen driving in a convoy of trucks flying rebel flags, shouting threats at black people, authorities said.

The two sentenced Monday, Jose Torres and Kayla Norton, who authorities said yelled racist slurs and threatened the birthday revelers with a shotgun, were the last of the group to be sentenced. They wept in a Douglas County courtroom as a judge imposed their punishments: Torres, 26, convicted of aggravated assault, making terroristic threats and a violating street-gang statute, received 13 years in prison and another seven on probation; Norton, 25, convicted of making terroristic threats and violating the gang law, will serve 6 years in prison and nine on probation.

Both were also banished from Douglas County, a racially diverse community a few miles west of Atlanta.

Douglas County District Attorney Brian Fortner said in an interview that the prosecution of the attack began with people with less serious involvement, and moved in toward those who drove it.
Politics and Current Events / Marine Le Pen
Two senior aides to Marine Le Pen were today taken into police custody as the fraud enquiry that could see the far-right French presidential candidate jailed for up to 10 years deepened.

Thierry Legier, who is Ms Le Pen's bodyguard, and Catherine Griset, her chief of staff, were escorted to the judicial police station in Nanterre, the Paris suburb, in the late morning.

A raid was also carried out at the home of Mr Legier, Ms Le Pen's 51-year-old bodyguard who is nicknamed 'The Gorilla'.
All of the suspects - including Ms Le Pen - now face imminent criminal charges.

Lawyers for Ms Le Pen immediately branded the arrests a media and judicial 'conspiracy' aimed at de-railing Ms Le Pen's campaign to become France's first ever female head of state in May.

The 48-year-old was on a visit to a prison in Meaux, east of Paris, today and said the enquiry was an 'empty' one, and that she and her FN colleagues were entirely innocent.

ok. SO the Daily Mail is an unreliable source iirc, but does this have legs?
So, I posted his maniac video over at Ratskep to remind someone that cops are gun culture. Here it is:

Someone scrolled the related videos and found this:
Which is a radio interview with a right wing nutjob where he says he was working on a sting with unnamed other agencies and that video was a fraud.

I was surprised because that's smarter than cops usually are and went looking and found that he was legit fired, has been freaky since being fired, and has a scary facebook page.

I found a few sites where his "fraud" was exposed but they are all way whacked sites. Here are a couple of examples:

I listened to the Alan Colmes interview and he is super cagey, that's the second youtube video above. It doesn't seem even a little bit true. So, this sort of disinformation is kinda like AiG or something for militias to use as rebuttals? WTF?
Politics and Current Events / Eve of Destruction

Ok, so, the list:

Public education will collapse leading to apocalyptic dystopia.
Labor protection will fall apart leading to apocalyptic dystopia
Environmental protection will end leading to apocalyptic dystopia
Science funding will collapse leading to apocalyptic dystopia
Income inequality will spike leading to authoritarian police state leading to apocalyptic dystopia
War with China is possible leading to apocalyptic dystopia
Nukes could be used leading to apocalyptic dystopia
What did I forget?
The world's eight richest individuals have as much wealth as the 3.6bn people who make up the poorest half of the world, according to Oxfam.

The charity said its figures, which critics have queried, came from improved data, and the gap between rich and poor was "far greater than feared".

Oxfam's report coincides with the start of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Mark Littlewood, of the Institute of Economic Affairs, said Oxfam should focus instead on ways to boost growth.

"As an 'anti-poverty' charity, Oxfam seems to be strangely preoccupied with the rich," said the director-general of the free market think tank.

For those concerned with "eradicating absolute poverty completely", the focus should be on measures that encourage economic growth, he added.

Ben Southwood, head of research at the Adam Smith Institute, said it was not the wealth of the world's rich that mattered, but the welfare of the world's poor, which was improving every year.

"Each year we are misled by Oxfam's wealth statistics. The data is fine - it comes from Credit Suisse - but the interpretation is not."
'Elite gathering'

The annual event in Davos, a Swiss ski resort, attracts many of the world's top political and business leaders.

Katy Wright, Oxfam's head of global external affairs, said the report helped the charity to "challenge the political and economic elites".

"We're under no illusions that Davos is anything other than a talking shop for the world's elite, but we try and use that focus," she added.
The world's eight richest billionaires

1. Bill Gates (US): co-founder of Microsoft (net worth $75bn)

2. Amancio Ortega (Spain): founder of Zara owner Inditex (net worth $67bn)

3. Warren Buffett (US): largest shareholder in Berkshire Hathaway (net worth $60.8bn)

4. Carlos Slim Helu (Mexico): owner of Grupo Carso (net worth $50bn)

5. Jeff Bezos (US): founder and chief executive of Amazon (net worth $45.2bn)

6. Mark Zuckerberg (US): co-founder and chief executive of Facebook (net worth $44.6bn)

7. Larry Ellison (US): co-founder and chief executive of Oracle (net worth $43.6bn)

8. Michael Bloomberg (US): owner of Bloomberg LP (net worth $40bn)

Source: Forbes billionaires' list, March 2016

UK economist Gerard Lyons said focusing on extreme wealth "does not always give the full picture" and attention should be paid to "making sure the economic cake is getting bigger".

However, he said Oxfam was right to single out companies that it believed fuelled inequality with business models that were "increasingly focused on delivering ever-higher returns to wealthy owners and top executives".

Oxfam's Ms Wright said economic inequality was fuelling a polarisation in politics, citing Donald Trump's election as US president and the Brexit vote as examples.
'Fair share'

"People are angry and calling out for alternatives. They're feeling left behind because however hard they work they can't share in their country's growth," she said.

The charity is calling for "a more human economy" and is urging governments to crack down on executive pay and tax evasion and impose higher taxes on the wealthy.

It also wants business leaders to pay a "fair share of tax" and has urged companies to pay staff the "living wage", which is higher than the government's National Living Wage.

Oxfam has produced similar reports for the past four years. In 2016 it calculated that the richest 62 people in the world had as much wealth as the poorest half of the global population.

The number had fallen to just eight this year because more accurate data was now available, Oxfam said.

It was still the case that the world's richest 1% had as much wealth as the rest of the world combined, Oxfam said.

Some of the eight richest billionaires have given away tens of billions of dollars. In 2000 Bill Gates and his wife Melinda set up a private foundation that has an endowment of more than $44bn.

In 2015 Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan pledged to give away 99% of their net worth in their lifetimes, which equated to about $45bn based on the value of Facebook shares at the time.

It takes cash and assets worth $71,600 to get into the top 10%, and $744,396 to be in the top 1%.

Oxfam's report is based on data from Forbes and the annual Credit Suisse Global Wealth datebook, which gives the distribution of global wealth going back to 2000.

The survey uses the value of an individual's assets, mainly property and land, minus debts, to determine what he or she "owns". The data excludes wages or income.

The methodology has been criticised as it means that a student with high debts, but with high future earning potential, for example, would be considered poor under the criteria used.

How Betsy DeVos Used God and Amway to Take Over Michigan Politics

With her nomination as education secretary, a powerful political clan will bring its overtly Christian agenda to Washington.

By Zack Stanton

January 15, 2017

    Google +


On election night 2006, Dick DeVos, the bronzed, starched 51-year-old scion of Michigan's wealthiest family, paced to a lectern in the dim ballroom of the Sheraton Hotel in Lansing to deliver the speech that every candidate dreads.

The Michigan gubernatorial race that year had been a dogfight of personal attacks between DeVos, the Republican nominee, and Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm. Gloomy, bleached-out b-roll of shuttered factories in anti-Granholm ads made the governor's sunny economic promise that "You're gonna be blown away" sound less like an aspiration than a threat. Anti-DeVos ads cut closer to the bone, with one depicting a cartoon DeVos cheering a freighter hauling Michigan jobs to China. It was an unsubtle reference to DeVos' time as president of Amway, the direct-sales behemoth his family co-founded and co-owns, when he eliminated jobs in Michigan while expanding dramatically in Asia. DeVos ended up personally spending $35 million on the race--the most expensive campaign in Michigan history--and when the votes came in, lost by a crushing 14 points.

At the Lansing Sheraton, the mood was grim. "If we aren't going to be able to serve in this way, I look forward to the ways we can," DeVos told his glum supporters. Behind him on the ballroom risers stood his family; closest to him was his wife, Betsy, choking back tears.

Though dressed in a blue skirt-suit, the uniform of a first ladyship that was not to be, Betsy DeVos was never a political accessory. Anyone who understood Michigan politics knew she had long been the more political animal of the pair. It was Betsy, not Dick, who had chaired the Michigan Republican Party; Betsy, who had served as a member of the Republican National Committee; Betsy, whose name was once floated to succeed Haley Barbour as head of the RNC; Betsy, who had directed a statewide ballot campaign to legalize public funding of religious schools; Betsy, who, as a college freshman, traveled to Ohio and Indiana to volunteer for Gerald Ford's presidential campaign. She was a skilled and seasoned operator, but as her husband conceded in an overwhelming defeat, she was utterly helpless.

At the time, it seemed like a dead end for a neophyte political candidate. In reality, it was the opening of a new avenue the DeVoses followed to far greater political influence, reshaping Michigan politics and the national Republican scene. "I think that loss really solidified the idea in the DeVoses' minds that the real way to get what you want is to be behind the scenes," says Susan Demas, publisher of Inside Michigan Politics.

In the decade since that loss, the DeVos family, with Dick and Betsy at the helm, has emerged as a political force without comparison in Michigan. Their politics are profoundly Christian and conservative--"God, America, Free Enterprise," to borrow the subtitle of family patriarch Richard DeVos' 1975 book, Believe!--and their vast resources (the family's cumulative net worth is estimated at well over $5 billion) assure that they can steamroll their way to victory on issues ranging from education reform to workers' rights. "At the federal level, when GOP candidates are looking for big donors to back them, they have options," says Craig Mauger, executive director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. "If you don't get Sheldon Adelson, you can go to the Koch brothers, and so on. In Michigan, the DeVos family is a class of donor all by themselves."

Science / It's superbug
No Antibiotic In The U.S. Could Save This Woman. We Should All Be Worried.
This is one of the first cases of a pan-resistant infection in America.
The recent death of a woman in Reno, Nevada, from an infection resistant to every available kind of antibiotic in the U.S. highlights how serious the threat of antibiotic-resistant superbugs has become.
Politics and Current Events / Cops
A return to racial profiling and deporting immigrants: The Fraternal Order of Police has a plan for Trump's first 100 days.
A new movement in American higher education aims to transform the teaching of civics. This report is a study of what that movement is, where it came from, and why Americans should be concerned. What we call the "New Civics" redefines civics as progressive political activism. Rooted in the radical program of the 1960s' New Left, the New Civics presents itself as an up-to-date version of volunteerism and good works. Though camouflaged with soft rhetoric, the New Civics, properly understood, is an effort to repurpose higher education.

It looks like I might be, drawn into this fight and it is shitty in the most trumpian way. By might be I guess I mean I am right by the center of it and have a lot invested in the program. Funding has already been proposed to be cut off over it.
God makes the weirdest stuff in HIS grand creation.
Here is the requested pm of my full argument which not long ago I forwarded to several scientists....

Dear Prof Steinhardt

I would very much appreciate it if you would take the time to read and then objectively appraise what I know to be the definitive theory on the nature of existence. Is this some kind of a joke? - you may well ask - given that the best minds on the planet have yet to secure a reconciliation between the fundamental forces of nature into a unified whole. It is no joke.

Before I proceed to demonstrate my insights I would just like to introduce myself briefly. I happen to be a very academically uneducated man (without any formal qualifications). I have no understanding of the sciences that is worthy of note... So, how exactly is it possible that such a man could presume to be in possession of knowledge that has so far eluded humankind? On the surface it would appear to be a ridiculous and absurd claim. However, please do allow my knowledge to speak for itself....

Why exactly are the laws of physics what they are? I am aware that there is currently a trend among cosmologists/physicists to postulate the existence of a possible multiverse; as this theory would explain much about our current observable Universe... Unfortunately the facts support no such existence. Here are the facts: Our Universe is a contradiction of what is fundamentally Real. It is a logical contradiction that happens to be true. If Reality was indeed uniform and constant then it would be impossible to postulate a logical contradiction that was also true. But, unfortunately, Reality is not uniform. There exists a God who has deliberately contradicted Himself by becoming necessarily dependent upon another nature, when His own nature actually possesses the independence to exist - hence the paradox.

Before the Big Bang, there was God: An eternal Conscious Being, unique by nature - incapable of any meaningful expressions. He could not communicate - Being unique. Social dealings and relationships were impossible - Being unique. He could have no interactions at all - Being unique. Neither could this God practically create, since all that existed was His own eternal substance. Existence was therefore futile! It was necessary for God to sacrifice a Reality that happened to be unique. He would invent a relative state from His own imagination (hence the laws of physics) and then fraudulently masquerade His imagination as Being Reality Itself. So this God denies the Truth of His own uniqueness, invents relatives, then claims that they are no invention at all, but are the original nature that exists. This means that God has denied His own existence so that He could now masquerade as Energy in Physical form. He is now falsely claiming that His Energy equates to physical particles. So it was necessary for God to keep the true identity of His Energy concealed
otherwise He could not make His Energy appear to correspond to what is an unconscious and incompatible state. This is the reason why, despite appearances in the phenomenal world that mass equates to energy, there will never ever be an equation that can demonstrate this to be the case: that is because - secretly - the Real fundamental nature/identity of Energy has no correspondence to the physical Universe at all. The True nature of Energy had to be denied before Energy could appear to correspond to a state where conversion and decay operate. In Reality Energy is eternal and therefore never changes or decays. Change and decay are illusions of nature. That is why despite our observations that changes are occurring in nature, these changes have no affect at the fundamental level at all.

So, the fact that nature in Reality is contradictory, whereas uniformity and constancy are just illusions manifested in the phenomenal world, means that unfortunately science, and scientists are not actually studying the nature of existence when analyzing the phenomenal Universe. Instead, they are merely analyzing a non-existent state that has been given the appearance of uniformity and constancy due to God's deceitfulness. This Universe is actually reducible to non-existence, not to God. God is merely pretending that He does not exist in Reality; so that this Universe could have the appearance of Being original to nature. It is precisely because God possesses the nature of independent/eternal existence why He can deny His own existence and yet still appear to exist in another form. Being eternal means that One can never justifiably be denied. So any such denial has to be false. But, if One has the capacity to maintain that denial/illusion constantly (irrespective of the violation ) then that lie will assume the appearance of having validity and truth value: what that equates to is the absurdity of One who is expressing a falsehood that is also simultaneously true because the falsehood is being upheld by One whose nature does exist as fact. This does of course entail having to disregard logic and absolute Truth. That is why it is impossible to attain logical consistency between One who expresses electrical impulses and One who expresses Conscious deliberation: E=mc2 is therefore just an illusion - with E camouflaged to appear as One who equates with mc2. But this equation will never ever factually compute despite being empirically valid....

1) A unique Consciousness originally existed independently.

2) Consciousness is denied and no longer appears to exist ( i.e. no longer appears to be the original and fundamental nature that exists).

3) It is claimed that the One who possesses this original independence to exist is actually Physical/Unconscious and relative in nature.

4) This quite clearly is a contradiction of the original premise.

5) However, despite the false premise that existence is Physical and relative in nature - when originally it was Conscious and unique - there is also a true premise here, because of the corresponding ability to function independently.

6) So although a physical relative state is indeed illusory, it also possesses validity and truth value because it is being upheld constantly by the One whose nature does exist independently: A logical absurdity where an illusion is also real. Reality being simulated! ... God has no choice but to manifest Himself as a laughing-stock by disregarding logical consistency and coherency; and, instead, insisting upon an oxymoron because the oxymoron just happens to be absolute Truth: One who exists independently - but due to His own poverty/uniqueness - must depend upon an-Other.

This means that two diametrically opposed/mutually exclusive and contradictory claims are both simultaneously true: A unique Consciousness is fundamentally true; whilst an unconscious physical and relative state only appears to be fundamentally true, but is actually an illusion that is being given factual support: Thus disproving the law of non-contradiction.

God intends to reveal the Truth to all mankind, which will then enable physical unconscious particles to share in the actual independent nature of existence - Consciousness! That is His plan: to bring to fruition an actual society of conscious beings, converted out of ignorant unconscious particles.

I understand that there is much to digest here. It also remains impossible for humans to currently embrace and comply with a fundamental Consciousness whilst Gravity still forbids uniqueness. God must first compel those in a relative state to harmonize with disagreement and stop being fooled by the illusion of uniformity and Oneness. There is only One nature that exists in Reality; but there is also another who possesses validity despite being imaginary, because of God's duplicity. These two natures are diametrically opposed. God will compel harmony through a medium/Messiah who will enable Gravity to coexist in disagreement with One who happens to be unique by nature.

It is almost time for the illusion to be manifested to humankind for what it is; thereby eradicating its capacity to deceive beings, ignorant by nature.

Yours sincerely
Philosophy / Is this a math question?
Was just asked, as if it were a routine thing, to do/determine a probability function over the [set of?] attributes for a series of alternatives. The series would be included but appears to be half-baked at best.

Can anyone give me a translation of what this would entail or do I need to respond with wtf?
Arts and Entertainment / Hollyweed
Science / Why do mirrors look silver?

Still, kinda cool
Surgeon General Report Cites Opioids As a Key Factor in Substance Abuse Problem

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD, MBA, said substance use disorders are one of America's most pressing public health problems in a speech to introduce a new Surgeon General's report on alcohol, drugs and substance abuse.

"We have 20.8 million people in America with a substance abuse disorder, which is similar to the number of people with diabetes, and it is one-and-a-half times the number of people who have all cancers combined. But only one in 10 people with substance use disorders have access to treatment," he said.
"I want you to imagine how our country would react if only one in 10 people with cancer could actually get treatment, if only one in 10 people with diabetes could access treatment. We would not tolerate that and we should not tolerate it for substance use, either."

Dr. Murthy discussed the enormous toll that alcohol and drug addiction takes not only on the affected individuals, but on families, friends, society and the health care system. "Most Americans know someone who has been touched by an alcohol or a drug use disorder. Yet, 90% of people with a substance use disorder are not getting treatment. That has to change," he said.

Today's report marks the first time a U.S. surgeon general has dedicated a report to substance misuse and related disorders. The report addresses alcohol, illicit drugs and prescription drug misuse, with chapters covering neurobiology, prevention, treatment, recovery, health systems integration and recommendations for the future. It provides an in-depth look at the science of substance use disorders and addiction, calls for a cultural shift in the way Americans talk about the issue, and recommends actions that could prevent these conditions and promote recovery.

One in seven people in the United States is expected to develop a substance use disorder at some point in their lives, yet only one in 10 receives treatment.
The report makes clear that substance misuse is an underrecognized but critical public health challenge that can lead to substance use disorders, such as addiction. In 2015, nearly 48 million Americans used an illicit drug or misused a prescription medication, approximately 67 million reported binge drinking in the past month, and nearly 28 million self-reported driving under the influence in the past year. This large, at-risk population of Americans can benefit from appropriate screening, prevention and treatment services.

"I am glad to see the Surgeon General highlighting the problem of addiction in America," said Lynn R. Webster, MD, vice president of scientific affairs at PRA Health Sciences, in Salt Lake City, and immediate past president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine. He reiterated the fact that many people do not get treatment and was glad to see the report advocate for early and more sustained treatments.

The misuse of prescription drugs, particularly opioid pain relievers, was reported by 18.9 million individuals in 2015, according to the report. Within this category, prescribed opioids were abused by 12.5 million people, followed by tranquilizers, reported by 6.1 million people; stimulants, reported by 5.3 million people; and sedatives, reported by 1.5 million people, according to the report.

More than 28,000 people died from a drug overdose involving some type of opioid in 2014, the report found.
but it's hard not to notice that it took white people getting hooked before anyone did anything. And now with Trump, maybe they'll go back to supplying it.
Sports / Cubs game 7 world series
Science / Attn: Per/Bilirubin/Teeth: is this important?
A freaky fish with a head like a dolphin and a body like a tank may be to thank for human jaws.

The discovery of a 423-million-year-old armored fish from China suggests that the jaws of all modern land vertebrates and bony fish originated in a bizarre group of animals called placoderms, researchers report in the Oct. 21 Science.

Along with a different placoderm fossil from 2013, the new find, named Qilinyu rostrata, is helping rewrite the story of early vertebrate evolution, says paleontologist John Maisey of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, who was not involved with the work.

"We've suddenly realized we had it all wrong," he says.

The jaws of humans -- and dogs, salmon, lizards and all other bony vertebrates -- contain three key bones: the maxilla and premaxilla of the upper jaw, and the dentary of the lower jaw.

"Anything from a human being to a cod has recognizably the same set of bones in the head," says study coauthor Per Ahlberg, a paleontologist at Uppsala University in Sweden. The big question, he says, is "Where did these bony jaws come from?"

More than a hundred million years before dinosaurs walked the Earth, fishes called placoderms thrived under water. Scientists knew that these armored fishes were early jawed animals, but their jaws were unusual:  "They look like sheet metal cutters," Ahlberg says. "They're these horrible bony blades that slice together."

placoderm maxillaThe blades, called gnathal plates, looked so peculiar that most scientists thought that the three-part jaw of humans originated in an early bony fish and that placoderms were just a funny little side branch in the vertebrate family tree. "The established view is that placoderms had evolved independently and that our jaw bones must have a separate origin," Ahlberg says.

Placoderms are a highly debated group of animals, says paleontologist Martin Brazeau of Imperial College London. No one quite knew where to place them.

In 2013, Ahlberg and colleagues found a new clue in a 419-million-year old fossil that had the body of a placoderm, but the three-part jaw of a bony fish. Such an animal, called Entelognathus primordialis, "could never have been predicted from the fossil record," says paleontologist Gavin Young of Australian National University in Canberra.

That work bolstered the idea that placoderms weren't, in fact, their own odd group that dead-ended hundreds of millions of years ago -- some were actually the ancestors of bony fish (and thus humans). But it was just one fossil, Ahlberg notes. "You don't want to draw too big of conclusions from one animal."

Two animals, though, is a different story. Qilinyu, the new fossil Ahlberg and colleagues describe, had an armored skull and trunk and was probably about the length of a box of tissues. Like Entelognathus, Qilinyu has a three-part, bony fish-like jaw, though the creature looks a bit more like a typical placoderm, Ahlberg says. The two fossils "form almost perfect intermediates" between placoderms and bony fishes, he says. Ahlberg and his colleagues suspect the key jaw elements of bony fish (and all land vertebrates) evolved from those bony blades of placoderms.

"This is part of our own early evolutionary history," Ahlberg says. "It shows where our own jaws came from."

Maisey puts it another way: "We are all fundamentally placoderms."
Story highlights

    Outside Magazine's article "Obituary: Great Barrier Reef (25 Million BC-2016)" sparks outrage and awareness
    Governments and scientists are working to save the Reef after detrimental coral bleaching

(CNN)There is a big difference between dead and dying.
Outside Magazine published a somewhat tongue-in-cheek obituary for the Great Barrier Reef earlier this week, citing its lifespan from 25 million BC-2016. The article detailed the life of the reef, its active membership in the ecological community, its worldwide fame and the coral bleaching that has led to its deteriorating health. "The Great Barrier Reef of Australia passed away in 2016 after a long illness. It was 25 million years old," read the article.

    The Great Barrier Reef of Australia passed away in 2016 after a long illness. It was 25 million years old: #RIP
    -- Outside Magazine (@outsidemagazine) October 12, 2016

Immediate response on social media
The obituary was met with horror and disbelief, both by scientists and social media users alike. Russell Brainard, chief of the Coral Reef Ecosystem Program at NOAA's Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, told HuffPost that he believes the article was highlighting the urgency of the situation, but that those who don't have any context "are going to take it at face value that the Great Barrier Reef is dead."
Many people on social media are indeed taking it at face value. Twitter users have been grieving the loss of the reef and urging followers to pay serious attention to the consequences. Many are spreading false information entirely. Rowan Jacobsen, the writer of the obituary, is a food and environmental writer, not a scientist. But the article has led some outlets to claim that scientists have declared the reef officially dead, further spreading the exaggeration.

    The Great Barrier Reef has been declared dead
    -- The Independent (@Independent) October 14, 2016

    My dream of #scubadiving at the #GreatBarrierReef will never happen. We killed it.
    -- Deanna Rilling (@DeannaRilling) October 13, 2016

People have also taken to Twitter to try to get the truth out. Environmental reporter Tony Davis tweeted, "Reports of the Great Barrier Reef's death are greatly exaggerated, say scientists, booing Outside Magazine" and the Cornell Cooperative Extension at Rockland County, which cites ecological sustainability as one of its missions, tweeted "Great Barrier Reef is Dying NOT Dead! 'The message should be that it isn't too late... not we should all give up.'"

    Reports of the Great Barrier Reef's death are greatly exaggerated, say scientists, booing Outside Magazine
    -- Tony Davis (@tonydavis987) October 14, 2016

The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef ecosystem and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It covers more than 300,000 square kilometers and consists of more than 3,000 reefs, 600 islands, and 300 coral cays.

    Great Barrier Reef is Dying NOT Dead! "The message should be that it isn't too late... not we should all give up."
    -- CCE Rockland (@CCE_Rockland) October 14, 2016

Recovery efforts
There's no denying that the Great Barrier Reef is in serious trouble. According to a report by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, 93% of the reef is affected by bleaching, putting the reef in danger of extinction. Bleaching occurs when coral are put under extreme stress by changes in conditions like temperature, light, or nutrients. In these conditions, they expel symbiotic algae from their tissues, causing them to turn white.

    I mean, I dont' write obits but I'm pretty sure you're only meant to publish when the person in question is dead?
    -- Ed Yong (@edyong209) October 14, 2016

Scientists are increasingly worried that over-exaggerating the state of the reef will promote the idea that it is past the point of recovery. Professor John Pandolfi from the ARC Centre at the University of Queensland has expressed hope. "It is critically important now to bolster the resilience of the reef, and to maximize its natural capacity to recover." But the effects are serious and possibly permanent. "The reef is no longer as resilient as it once was, and it's struggling to cope with three bleaching events in just 18 years," he said.
The obituary lays blame on the Australian government, noting that the government pressured the United Nations to remove the reef from a climate change report because it was concerned about its impact on tourism. But on September 28, the Australian and Queensland governments released the first Reef 2050 Plan annual report, showing the $2 billion investment toward improving the reef's health for future generations is paying off. The plan has accomplished 29 of its 151 intended actions, though it notes that the recovery process needs to be accelerated if they want to continue to be successful.
Coral bleaching, fishing, mining, and burning fossil fuels have all contributed to the destruction of the reef over several decades. More than 2 million people visit it each year, and governments, scientists, and charities are working so future generations can continue to appreciate its beauty.
It's not dead yet, folks.