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Astoria office (GMaps)

December 7, By Hannah Wulkan

The NYPD and the Drug Enforcement Administration arrested a doctor last Thursday who allegedly sold over 23,000 medically unnecessary oxycodone prescriptions out of his offices in Astoria and Jamaica.

Emmanuel Lambrakis, 69, allegedly earned about $2.5 million between January 2011 and December 2016 by selling prescriptions for the highly addictive narcotic opioid over the course of 5 years, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

“Although licensed as a doctor, as alleged, Emmanuel Lambrakis was a prolific and dangerous drug dealer.  He allegedly pumped medically unnecessary oxycodone pills into our communities, feeding the addiction of countless people.  This arrest is a critical part of our overall fight against the devastating opioid abuse epidemic,” said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.

According to the court documents, Lambrakis would charge $150 in cash for a patient appointment, sometimes seeing more than one person at a time. He would superficially examine them and perform perfunctory tests, such as rotating a patient’s arm, and then prescribe a large quantity of oxycodone, usually for 120 30-milligram pills.

On more than 200 occasions, Lambrakis wrote more than 30 prescriptions within a single day, and several times he wrote over 100 in a day.

The phony prescriptions Lambrakis wrote added up to about 2.4 million pills, each with a street value of $20 to $30, placing the street value of all the prescriptions he wrote around $48 million.

Lambrakis mostly sold oxycodone prescriptions out of his Jamaica office at 175-61 Hillside Avenue, where the DEA alleged he wrote over 17,000 oxycodone prescriptions over five years.

He wrote a greater variety of prescriptions out of his Astoria office, located at 32-76 31st Street, where he allegedly wrote about 6,000 oxycodone prescriptions, as well as prescriptions for other drugs.

“Drug dealers selling scripts for money give doctors a bad name.  The dismantling of a modern day opium den masquerading as a medical clinic in the heart of Queens shows the result of law enforcement collaboration,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge James C. Hunt. “The investigation identified that Emmanuel Lambrakis allegedly diverted oxycodone pills to New York City streets enabling the one thing law enforcement, communities, and health professionals are trying to avoid – opioid addiction and overdose deaths.”

Lambrakis was charged with one count of conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute oxycodone, which can carry a sentence as heavy as 20 years in prison, though his final sentence is up to the judge assigned to the case.

Mixtape Video

Dec. 7th, 2016 04:34 pm
jesse_the_k: From "Hamilton" silhouettes of the Schuyler sisters holding hands high, dancing (HAM 3Schuylers)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k posting in [community profile] hamiltunes
On YouTube:

(Sorry, couldn't find the right embed code, so clicky-click for 18mins & four songs)


Oh Dear

Dec. 7th, 2016 05:30 pm
jjhunter: Watercolor of daisy with blue dots zooming around it like Bohr model electrons (Default)
[personal profile] jjhunter
I'm generally very facile with numbers. Unfortunate degree of utter exhaustion unlocked today: it took me four tries to punch in my conference code correctly for a call I was leading at work.

(Granted, I'd gotten through a full day's work beforehand, including some moderately complex data merging and a number of fiddlely coordinating to-do's in preparation for the call, and the call itself went fine, but that was an unnerving degree of short term memory scrambling - I had it written right in front of me in digit batches of 4-4-2.)

Whither Opportunity?

Dec. 7th, 2016 09:54 pm
[syndicated profile] crooked_timber_feed

Posted by Harry

In the light of the discussions of charter schools in the poss below, and given that I attended a graduate seminar of education policy students last night at which none of the students had read it, it seems worth re-drawing your attention to Greg Duncan and Richard Murnane’s edited volume Whither Opportunity?: Rising Inequality, Schools, and Children’s Life Chances. Its already 5 years old, but it is really a brilliant achievement, drawing together numerous experts (if we’re allowed to listen to experts any more) with the task of summarizing everything we know about the relationship between economic inequality and educational disadvantage in the US. The take home is fairly simple: there’s a very strong relationship between economic inequality and educational disadvantage and after reading the whole book you might still believe (as I do) that it is possible to improve educational outcomes for poor children through improved schooling but you cannot believe that we could get large changes in outcomes without corresponding changes to the environments poor children grow up in—which would require massive reductions in both inequality and poverty.

I think its fair to say that the headline study was Sean Reardon’s finding that the achievement gap (measured by standardized tests) between rich and poor students has increased during the same 50 years during which the black-white achievement gap has decreased, as shown in the following graph:


Other findings include Meredith Phillips’ finding that between birth and age six, wealthier children will have spent as many as 1,300 more hours than poor children on child enrichment activities such as music lessons, travel, and summer camp, and the contribution by Waldfogel and Magnusson showing that the gap in ‘enrichment spending’ between rich and poor has expanded massively in the past 40 years—and that affluent families spend more than $8000 a year per child on enrichment activities. A child from a poor family is two to four times as likely as a child from an affluent family to have classmates with low skills and behavior problems – attributes which have a negative effect on the learning of their fellow students, and the rich=poor achievement gap in k-12 is accompanied by a growing income-based gap in college completion.

One of the studies shows that local job losses can lower the test scores of students with low socioeconomic status, whether or not the students’ parents have suffered the job losses; another that and students learn less math if they attend schools with high student turnover during the school year (one count against school choice, but also against allowing landlords to evict tenants with children mid-year).

Of course, to most readers none of these finding will be shocking (though, the Reardon finding is quite noteworthy). But they are worth bearing in mind. I am startled by local school officials for example, who say that citing poverty as a reason for low achievement is an ‘excuse’, and also by academics in education I come across who are reluctant to admit that poverty has seriously detrimental effects on the poor and the ability of poor children to learn (if poverty doesn’t have bad effects on those who are subject to it, elminating it might still be nice but doesn’t seem morally as urgent as it, in fact, is). As I say, I’m only mentioning Whither Opportunity again now after meeting a whole group of grad students who are concerned with educational inequality and didn’t know of it, and being prompted by the discussions of charter schools. Also I’d recommend going to Leo Casey’s comment on one of the threads which gathers together some other useful links.


Dec. 7th, 2016 09:18 pm
[syndicated profile] kottke_org_feed

Posted by Jason Kottke


LightMasonry is a light installation by Jason Bruges Studio in York Minster, one of the largest cathedrals in Europe. The Creators Project profiled the installation recently.

LightMasonry by Jason Bruges Studio recently paid homage to the work of the highly skilled masons and carvers using beams of choreographed light.

The beams seek out and outline the vaults of the huge space using a custom system of 48 computer-controlled lights. Designer Adam Heslop, who helped visualize the performance, said it required the studio to develop a whole range of new techniques.

This would be something to see and/or rave to in person. (thx, peter)

Tags: architecture   art   video

The top 25 films of 2016

Dec. 7th, 2016 07:12 pm
[syndicated profile] kottke_org_feed

Posted by Jason Kottke

I look forward to David Ehrlich’s video countdown of his favorite films of the year and 2016’s installment does not disappoint. Nice to see Beyonce’s Lemonade, the weirdo Swiss Army Man (which I loved, Daniel Radcliffe 4eva!), and the excellent OJ: Made in America on there. Still puzzled by Hail Caesar…I love the Coen brothers but was bored by this one. No Arrival though…this was the only movie I saw in the theater twice this year. For those looking for upcoming or recently released films to watch, Ehrlich includes Jackie, La La Land, and Scorsese’s Silence on his list.

Tags: best of   best of 2016   David Ehrlich   lists   movies   video
[syndicated profile] datacarpentry_feed

The North-West University in South Africa boasts two next generation sequencing (NGS) platforms and additionally receive terabytes of NGS data annually from local and international service providers. Research projects with NGS components exist in the areas of Microbiology, Zoology, Botany, Nutrition, Agriculture, and more.

The three biggest challenges experienced by researchers and postgraduate students in terms of data analysis are as follow: * many of the students entering NGS projects have limited prior exposure to molecular techniques such as Sanger sequencing and PCR, and genetics concepts; * there is limited access to bioinformatics support and training (although there is lots of access to short interventions like 1- or 2-day workshops with no sustained follow-up); * and they are not aware of the range of research compute infrastructures which are available to them.

In September 2016, the NWU eResearch Initiative helped to establish a Genomics Hacky Hour (GHH) Study Group to support postgraduate students and researchers using NGS technologies. The original intention of the GHH was to bring researchers together to work on their current projects. However, limited shared NGS vocabulary hampered constructive communication amongst researchers and it was decided that specific topics would be discussed during the first few sessions, lead by a study group leader.

The GHH members participated in a locally ran Software Carpentry Workshop in November 2015, where they were introduced to the basic concepts of reproducible research and various tools such as Shell, git, GitHub, and either Python or R. The GHH Study Group sessions provided a safe, informal post-workshop learning environment for participants to continue their learning.

In January 2016, several students and supervisors enrolled for the Coursera Genomics Data Science Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). The GHH sessions were used to discuss challenges and solutions specific to the Coursera course and the hope was that, with a better support structure, participants would be able to stay the course and complete the 7-module specialisation over the next 9 - 12 months. The learning curve was very steep for several of the modules and we realised we needed additional learning opportunities even to complete the MOOC.

In April 2016, two PhD students with NGS projects participated in a locally hosted Software/Data Carpentry instructor training workshop with the idea to host a Genomics Data Carpentry workshop soon after. The NWU hosted its first Genomics Data Carpentry workshop from 26 - 29 September 2016 lead by the two newly-qualified instructors, Bianca Peterson and Maryke Schoonen, alongside Jason Williams, Assistant Director, DNA Learning Centre, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories.

The workshop was run on AWS instances courtesy of Data Carpentry. One of our concerns was that, contrary to other Carpentry workshops, researchers wouldn’t have access to the software environment after the workshop to continue practicing their newly acquired skills and play around with their own data.

Luckily, NWU is one of the founding members of the African Research Cloud (ARC) and we were able to get access to enough instances on this infrastructure after the Data Carpentry workshop. Tim Carr from UCT eResearch worked with Jason Williams to build a replicate of the AWS Genomics Data Carpentry instance on the ARC and shortly after the workshop our participants were able to continue their learning in a familiar environment.

In the past few weeks the GHH folks have been working through the Data Carpentry genomics lessons at their own pace to reinforce what was learned during the workshop and complete some of the exercises that weren’t covered. These exercises have strengthened individual knowledge, built trust amongst participants and made them more aware of available information, tools and resources. We are already planning additional exercises to augment what is covered in the Data Carpentry Genomics lessons .

Take-home message: genomics capacity building initiatives can not be limited to workshop participation, but require long-term continuous learning (i.e. post-workshop participation) and support. It is important to focus efforts on ‘what works’ at the level of the individual, department and organization, whether it be running workshops, doing MOOCs or getting involved in study groups. Some words from one of our GHH folks: “You will feel stupid and want to give up a thousand times, but if you stick with it and work through the material and exercises, you will get to a level where you can analyze your own data.”

[syndicated profile] kottke_org_feed

Posted by Jason Kottke

At an event called Letters Live, actor Oscar Isaac read a letter that noted physicist Richard Feynman wrote to his wife Arline after her death at age 25 of tuberculosis. The letter remained unopened for more than 40 years until Feynman’s own death in 1988.

I find it hard to understand in my mind what it means to love you after you are dead - but I still want to comfort and take care of you — and I want you to love me and care for me. I want to have problems to discuss with you — I want to do little projects with you.

(via @DavidGrann)

Tags: Oscar Isaac   Richard Feynman   video

(no subject)

Dec. 7th, 2016 11:13 am
seekingferret: Photo of me with my 2012 Purim beard, with stripes shaven into it. (Default)
[personal profile] seekingferret
L'Amour de Loin composed by Kaija Saariaho, in Robert LePage's Met Opera production

The first opera staged at the Met in a hundred years that was composed by a woman!!! (YES, THE MET WAS ACTUALLY MORE PROGRESSIVE A CENTURY AGO THAN IT IS NOW.) No cookies for you, Peter Gelb.

I remain uncertain how I feel about it. Saariaho's musical palette tends toward microtonalism/spectralism, which is kind of a mixed bag for an opera. In terms of conjuring an atmosphere, setting a mood, her music is very effective. I wanted more melody, though. And I say that as someone whose favorite opera is atonal. I don't need melody in my opera, but I wanted it more in this one.

I'm also unsure how I feel about the story. There is plot, though not much of it- the French troubadour Joufre has given up his womanizing ways and devoted himself to writing brilliant (complex, ambiguous, microtonal) love songs in praise of a woman he has never met, across the sea- the perfect woman. Troubled by this change, his friends try to console him, but he is inconsolable until a pilgrim tells him that she has met the woman. The pilgrim becomes an inadvertent go-between, bringing word of this love from afar back and forth between the two until Joufre decides he must set sail and meet his true love, Clemence. Tragically, the sea voyage brings him near to death, and he dies shortly after setting eyes on her and confessing his love to her for the first time.

It's a vision of love I'm uncomfortable with. To my mind, love must be relational, it must be built in the interactions between people. Love from afar in this fashion does not make sense. It's also to a certain extent a vision of love that the opera expresses discomfort with, as in a fabulous aria where Clemence re-sings one of Jaufre's love songs dedicated to her and then goes through the litany of ways in which it fails to describe her, and wonders if it is possible for her to ever live up to it. This was my favorite moment in the opera. But in the final act, when the lovers meet at last and then Clemence comes to terms with her grief at losing him, this skepticism about love from afar is not present. It is a beautiful piece of music about grief and lost love, but it is anchored in the most crystalline bad-opera-love I've ever seen. Afterward, I compared the final Act to the last act of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde. The conclusion of L'Amour de Loin is mercifully shorter, but it is similar in its commitment to treating terrible, fixated non-relational love as being the most romantic thing in the world, and the destruction of that love as being the most tragic thing in the world.

The most striking thing about the opera was LePage's staging, which set millions of addressable RGB LEDs across the stage in ribbons and magnificently animated them as a constantly moving sea on which the action took place. Combined with Saariaho's tone painting, the effect was remarkably vivid, the kind of spectacle you go to the Met to see.

Important Assignment Update

Dec. 7th, 2016 09:54 am
jenn_calaelen: (yuletide)
[personal profile] jenn_calaelen posting in [community profile] yuletide_admin
We accidentally purged all assignments by mistake. We apologise. We, and AO3 Support and Coders, are working on it. We hope that this can be fixed. However, the general archive problems may delay this. Otherwise, we will update you here with the situation and how you can help.

  • If you were planning to default within the next 48 hours, and you are unable to, please let us know by email (yuletideadmin@gmail.com).

  • If you were planning to post your assignment in the next 48 hours, please wait for a further announcement. Please contact us if this is going to cause you difficulty.

Remember, the information about your assignment was sent to you in an email titled [AO3][Yuletide 2016] Your Assignment!, so the details are there if you want to check anything.

Again, we sincerely apologise and hope to have this fixed shortly.

2017 Election: Sue McClatchy

Dec. 5th, 2016 12:00 am
[syndicated profile] softwarecarpentry_feed


I’m a bioinformatician at a research lab in rural Maine, U.S.A. My path here has been winding, varied, and fraught with good luck. I had the good fortune to find Software Carpentry some years ago, and in my travels have never found anything quite like it. I’m honored to be part of this community and now want to give back by contributing my experience and expertise.

Previous involvement

I’ve been a certified Software Carpentry instructor since the spring of 2015. Since then, I’ve organized and taught 6 workshops, and have plans to teach 5 more in early 2017. I serve on the mentoring subcommittee and lead discussion sessions for new and experienced instructors. Presently, I’m working toward becoming an instructor-trainer, and expect to teach instructor training early in 2017 in addition to the 5 aforementioned workshops. This year I secured 4 years of partnership funding between [The Jackson Laboratory] (http://www.jax.org) and the Carpentries. The first year of partnership is funded by an internal grant, with succeeding years funded by a grant from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH).

How I can contribute

I bring an uncommon perspective from formal teacher training and an 8-year career as a K-12 teacher in the U.S. and Latin America. Diverse abilities and cultures in the classroom are the norm for me, and I have much to share with instructors about how to best meet everyone’s needs - the first thing being a focus on learners’ needs. My training instilled the idea that the learner, not the instructor, is the most important person in the room. A learner-centered approach to instruction responds well to diversity and arms the instructor with tools to adapt instruction to new situations and new people. Many of these tools work equally well with both child and adult learners, and work across cultures and abilities.

I entered biomedical research in the early 2000s and have contributed my teaching expertise to the field since then. I’m well-acquainted with the need for improved computing and data analysis skills in research and know that the Carpentry approach promotes greater research productivity and happiness. I’ll bring this understanding to instructor training and mentoring to bolster instructional expertise within the Carpentry community.

I will help Software Carpentry to expand its training and instructional footprint into new regions, especially in Latin America, by teaching and by mentoring instructors there. In January 2017 I will teach workshops at the Talleres Internacionales de Bioinformática (International Bioinformatics Workshops) in Cuernavaca, Morelos, México. I intend to follow this with further training in Latin American countries, and to support those already teaching in these countries.

I will contribute grant-writing expertise to grow and sustain Software Carpentry by identifying and pursuing new sources of funding from foundations, government grants and institutional partnerships. I’m presently working on a NIH grant proposal and have shared the proposal with key NIH staff. I’m especially interested in pursuing funding that will broaden Software Carpentry into different communities than those it already represents well.

My goals are the following:

  1. Bolster instructional capacity and expertise by training and mentoring new instructors in all disciplines.
  2. Broaden Software Carpentry’s reach into largely untapped regions, especially in Latin America.
  3. Build Software Carpentry into a sustainable, well-funded organization that reaches a diverse audience.

More about me if you’re so inclined

More about me on LinkedIn, Github, and an occasional tweet from @SueMcclatchy. I also have a minimalist instructor training blog.

System improvements at Conservancy

Dec. 7th, 2016 10:43 am
[syndicated profile] sfconservancyblog_feed

When I joined Conservancy, we discussed system administration as one of my early responsibilities. (One of many—you might remember the long list of possible functions for my position.) Like any organization our size, there are plenty of improvements to our systems that we wanted to make, but were tough to prioritize against our other responsibilities. Since I joined in August, I’ve kept an eye out for easy opportunities to invest a little time now that will save us effort in the long run. As we start looking back on 2016, I wanted to highlight some of the public-facing improvements that I’ve made as part of this effort, and share a little about the tools and services that make them possible.

Good places for buying holiday gifts

Dec. 7th, 2016 03:52 pm
[syndicated profile] astoriareddit_feed

Posted by /u/SeekersWorkAccount

Its that time of year folks, and I am looking to get my christmas/holiday shopping done "early" this year - aka not on Christmas eve.

Where do you guys like shopping for holiday gifts? What gifts are you buying? any places/things to avoid?

edit: apparently i have to go to Lockwood.

submitted by /u/SeekersWorkAccount
[link] [comments]

So whatcha, whatcha eatin'?

Dec. 7th, 2016 03:13 pm
[syndicated profile] astoriareddit_feed

Posted by /u/beerbabe

I had a huge snack night last night with a bunch of veggies, dips, and pita. It was wonderful. Today, I brought in some grape tomatoes and pita... not sure where I'll go with that in terms of lunch.

What are you guys eating?

submitted by /u/beerbabe
[link] [comments]
[syndicated profile] mamohanraj_feed

Posted by Mary Anne Mohanraj

The bi-color vanilla-rose marshmallow process I tried last night worked fine! Mix the white marshmallow, spread half in the pan, add food coloring and beat a little more, than spread second half over. All a little messy, but that’s the way of marshmallows.


Original recipe (for single-color marshmallows) below.




Christmas Vanilla and Rose Marshmallows

(45 min. + cooling time — serves dozens)


Homemade marshmallows are so much better than store-bought — there’s just no comparison. Store-bought is tasty enough for dunking in hot chocolate or toasting over a fire, but these, I happily devour, straight up. This is based on Alton Brown’s recipe, which is pretty identical to traditional Sri Lankan marshmallow recipes, and probably marshmallow recipes the world over, but his offers slightly more precision. We traditionally make these at Christmas, and often color the marshmallows for extra festivity.


It is much easier to make this recipe with a candy thermometer, or with some practice making candies and knowing how to test for soft ball stage.


3 packages unflavored gelatin

1 cup water, divided

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or 1/8 t. rose extract, available in Indian / Middle Eastern grocery stores or online)

½ c. superfine / baker’s sugar (or confectioner’s sugar)

Nonstick spray (but not the butter kind, as it will be noticeably yellow)

Pink or green food coloring (optional)


1. Butter a large 9 x 12 pan and dust with superfine sugar. (You can use confectioner’s / powdered sugar, but the superfine adds a pleasant subtle texture to the marshmallows. My mother would pulse granulated sugar in the food processor, so it was even less fine, and in some ways, I like that even better, with a little more crisp mouthfeel on the initial bite.) Also prepare an oiled spatula for later.


2. Empty gelatin packets into bowl of stand mixer (whisk attachment), with ½ c. water.



3. In a small saucepan (a bigger one will be heavy and hard to hold steadily at a later stage) combine the remaining ½ c. water, granulated sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Cover and cook over medium high heat for 4 minutes. Uncover and cook until the mixture reaches soft ball stage (240 degrees if you have a candy thermometer), approximately 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from heat; if it continues, it will swiftly turn into hard candy.


4. Turn mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. (Be very careful with the sugar syrup, as it is scaldingly hot and will burn you badly if it gets on your skin.) Once you’ve added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high.


5. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 minutes. Add food coloring, if using, during this stage. Add vanilla (or rose) during the last minute of whipping. (If adding rose extract, be careful — it’s very strongly flavored, and too much will ruin the sweets. Err on the side of caution.)

bimarsh2 bimarsh3


6. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly (and swiftly) with an oiled spatula.



7. Dust the top with enough of the remaining superfine sugar to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.


8. Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into diamond shapes (traditional). As you’re cutting, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining superfine sugar, using additional if necessary. May be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks, or frozen.


Trailer for The Circle

Dec. 7th, 2016 02:41 pm
[syndicated profile] kottke_org_feed

Posted by Jason Kottke

The film adaptation of Dave Eggers’ novel The Circle is moving right along. The movie stars Tom Hanks and Emma Watson (as well as John Boyega from The Force Awakens) and the first trailer was released yesterday. Looks Black Mirror-ish…I think we’ll be getting a lot of that over the next four years.

Tags: books   Dave Eggers   Emma Watson   movies   The Circle   Tom Hanks   trailers   video


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