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Saco-Indonesia.com — Sebuah Perkembangan ilmu pengetahuan selalu menarik untuk disimak. Penemuan-penemuan baru semakin memudahkan hidup manusia di mana depan. Tampaknya, hasil desain Tashia Tucker juga akan memberikan efek serupa.

Dengan menggunakan teknologi yang dibayangkan oleh Tucker, bangunan di masa depan dapat menggunakan lantai yang mengandung bakteri sintetis. Bakteri ini dapat memakan kotoran dan membersihkan kaki orang yang melintas di atasnya.

Tucker menamai teknologi yang dibayangkannya ini dengan Synthetic Biology: The Future of Adaptive Living Environments. Proyek tersebut mengeksplorasi kemungkinan penggunaan biologi sintetis yang bisa digunakan dalam bidang arsitektur. Teknologi ini bisa menciptakan permukaan "cerdas" mengandung bakteri.
"Saya pikir dalam 10 tahun ke depan, kita akan mulai melihat pengembangan permukaan yang didesain secara biologis di laboratorium. Dalam kurun waktu 15 sampai 20 tahun mendatang, tersedia bagi masyarakat," ujar Tucker.
Sebagai seorang mahasiswa jurusan desain di Universitas Drexel, Philadelphia, Amerika Serikat, Tucker menampilkan simulasi cara kerja permukaan, penutup lantai "cerdas" yang berisi bakteri hasil modifikasi. Tidak hanya mampu memakan kotoran dan membersihkan kaki penggunanya, permukaan ini juga memberikan peringatan jika ada bahan-bahan berbahaya menempel padanya.
"Proyek ini menggunakan fabrikasi digital, proses-mikro, proyeksi video, teknologi game, dan lainnya untuk menstimulasi bagaimana bakteria yang sudah di-hack ini mampu berfungsi sebagai permukaan dan material di masa depan," imbuh Tucker.
Meski masih dalam bentuk simulasi, Tucker mengajak masyarakat dunia membayangkan berbagai kemudahan yang ditawarkan oleh penemuan semacam ini. Ia mencontohkan lantai yang dapat mendeteksi kotoran dan secara otomatis membersihkan kaki penggunanya dari berbagai bahan berbahaya. Bakteri dalam permukaan hasil desain Tucker akan mengeluarkan warna tertentu dan menunjukkan jenis toksin yang menempel di kaki penggunanya.

Dia juga mencontohkan permukaan serupa yang secara khusus didesain bagi permukaan meja dapur. Untuk simulasi ini, Tucker menggunakan permukaan silikon di atas sensor tekan yang dioperasikan oleh Nintendo gaming mat dan dihubungkan dengan prosesor mikro Arduino dan sebuah proyektor.

Permukaan hasil desain Tucker ini akan mengeluarkan warna tertentu yang akan menjadi indikator bagi penggunanya. Misalnya, penggunanya alergi terhadap kacang, maka ketika ada kandungan kacang pada makanan yang diolah di atas permukaan tersebut, bakteri di dalam permukaannya akan berubah warna menjadi kuning.

"Aplikasi ini juga berpengaruh pada industri kesehatan. Rumah sakit, peralatan bedah, dan perlengkapan medis bisa secara visual memberi amaran jika lingkungan di sekitarnya aman dan bersih," ujarnya.
Tucker bahkan membuat dinding responsif dari selulosa. Karyanya ini mendemonstrasikan bagaimana bakteri dapat diprogram untuk merespons gerakan manusia dan membentuk pola tertentu.

Hasil desain Tucker ini adalah sebagian kecil dari produk The Design Futures Lab, sebuah grup penelitian trans-disiplin ilmu yang ada di Westphal College of Media Arts & Design di Drexel University. Principal Investigator, Assistant Professor Nicole Koltick merupakan direktur laboratorium tersebut. Koltick-lah yang menyediakan berbagai visi dan membimbing proyek-proyek di bawah agenda penelitian kohesif.

Jadi, mampukah material cerdas seperti ini memudahkan hidup di masa depan? Tentu saja. Namun, kita semua masih harus menunggu, menurut Tucker, setidaknya 15 sampai 20 tahun mendatang untuk mendapatkan teknologi semacam ini.

Sumber :www.dezeen.com/kompas.com
Editor : Maulana Lee
Ditemukan INOVASI, Pelapis Lantai Pembersih Kaki Manusia!

Saco-Indonesia.com — Sebuah planet gas alien yang mengorbit bintang berjarak 300 tahun cahaya dari Bumi berhasil diungkap keberadaannya dan dipotret secara langsung. Pemotretan planet secara langsung selama ini sulit dilakukan, apalagi planet yang baru ditemukan ini tergolong kecil.

Potret dari planet yang bernama HD 95086b ini dirilis European Southern Observatory pada Senin (3/6/2013). Potret planet yang mengelilingi bintang bernama HD 95086 ini dipotret dengan cahaya inframerah.

Pada gambar di atas, planet terlihat dengan warna biru terang, ada di bagian kiri bawah. Citra bintang telah dihilangkan sehingga publik bisa menyadari dan melihat keberadaan planet yang dimaksud dengan lebih jelas.

HD 95086 teramati lewat pengamatan secara langsung dengan very large telescope milik ESO. Berdasarkan kecerlangan cahayanya, ilmuwan menduga bahwa planet ini cuma punya massa empat hingga lima kali lebih besar dari Yupiter.

Astronom mengungkapkan, sangat jarang planet alien yang berjarak jauh bisa teramati secara langsung. Kebanyakan planet ditemukan secara tidak langsung dengan mengamati peredupan cahaya bintang saat planet melewati mukanya atau goyangan bintang akibat pengaruh gravitasi planet itu.

"Pengamatan secara langsung adalah teknik yang sangat menantang dan membutuhkan instrumen yang maju, baik yang berbasis di darat maupun antariksa," kata Julian Rameau, astronom di Institute of Astrophysics and Planetology di Perancis.

"Hanya beberapa planet bisa ditemukan secara langsung, membuat setiap penemuan merupakan lompatan penting dalam memahami planet raksasa dan pembentukannya," sambung Rameau seperti dikutip Space.com, Senin kemarin.

Foto lain yang diambil ESO menunjukkan bahwa planet dan bintang yang diorbitnya terletak di konstelasi Carina. HD 95086b mengorbit bintangnya pada jarak dua kali jarak Matahari-Neptunus atau 56 kali jarak Bumi-Matahari.

Penemuan planet ini akan dipublikasikan di Astrophysical Journal. HD 95086 yang menjadi bintang induk diduga masih berusia muda, baru 10-17 juta tahun. Hal ini membuat pembentukan planet dan piringan debu di sekitarnya menarik.

Anne Marie Langrange, peneliti yang juga terlibat penemuan, mengungkapkan, "Posisi planet saat ini memunculkan pertanyaan." Ia mengatakan bahwa planet mungkin telah berpindah dari tempat penemuannya ke tempat "tinggal" saat ini.

Tentang pembentukannya, Langrange mengatakan, "Mungkin planet tumbuh menyatukan batu yang membentuk inti padat dan secara perlahan mengakumulasi gas dari sekitarnya, atau bisa jadi terbentuk dari gumpalan gas yang akibat ketidakstabilan gravitasi di piringannya."

Editor :Liwon Maulana(galipat)
Sebuah Planet "Alien" AkhirnyaBerhasil Dipotret Langsung

Ini adalah kesalahpahaman bahwa bila membuat akuarium, setiap pencahayaan fixture akan dilakukan. Hal ini juga sebenarnya tidak demikian pencahayaan akuarium yang tepat adalah penting untuk dapat menjaga akuarium sehat dan ikan yang sehat.

Berbagai jenis akuarium telah memiliki kebutuhan pencahayaan yang sangat berbeda. Anda juga akan perlu melakukan beberapa riset ke dalam jenis ikan Anda berniat untuk memperoleh dan apa kebutuhan spesifik mereka. Sebuah faktor penting adalah apakah atau tidak Anda akan menjaga tanaman air tawar atau air asin terumbu. Jumlah dan jenis cahaya air Anda perlu tergantung pada faktor-faktor ini.

Ada lima jenis utama dari lampu akuarium. Lima jenis utama adalah lampu neon biasa, lampu fluorescent kompak, lampu fluorescent output tinggi dan sangat tinggi, halida logam, dan Light Emitting Dioda (LED). Masing-masing lampu telah melayani tujuan yang berbeda untuk pencahayaan akuarium.

Lampu neon biasa diterima untuk yang paling segar dan ikan laut. Anda akan ingin memilih cahaya agar sesuai kap di atas akuarium Anda. Sebuah spektrum neon penuh adalah ide yang baik untuk dapat memastikan bahwa ikan Anda menyerap semua panjang gelombang yang diperlukan untuk dapat membuat mereka tetap sehat.

Jika Anda berniat untuk memiliki tanaman hidup dalam akuarium air tawar, pencahayaan yang berbeda mungkin diperlukan. Tanaman membutuhkan sinar panjang gelombang cahaya tertentu untuk dapat menghasilkan energi melalui fotosintesis yang mereka tergantung pada untuk bertahan hidup. Setiap jenis tanaman akan memiliki kebutuhan sendiri pencahayaan. Anda harus penelitian tanaman untuk arah tertentu. Sebuah pedoman umum untuk tanaman akuarium pencahayaan adalah 2-5 watt cahaya per galon air dalam akuarium Anda.

Air asin akuarium dengan karang hidup atau non-ikan organisme akan membutuhkan pencahayaan yang sangat khusus. Tank ini memerlukan lampu output tinggi atau sangat tinggi fluorescent atau halida logam. Tank ini perlu 4 sampai 10 watt cahaya per galon air akuarium. Klasifikasi ini akuarium pencahayaan cenderung telah menghasilkan panas yang harus diperlakukan dengan benar untuk mencegah overheating akuarium Anda. Perlengkapan khusus dengan dibangun pada penggemar mungkin diperlukan untuk membubarkan panas tambahan. Dalam beberapa kasus, Anda bahkan mungkin perlu chiller untuk menyimpan air dan suhu yang sesuai untuk ikan anda.

Bagian penting lainnya dari pencahayaan akuarium Anda adalah hari / siklus malam. Timer listrik dianjurkan untuk dapat menjaga ikan Anda pada jadwal rutin dan agar tidak stres mereka. Simulator sinar rembulan LED dapat diperoleh untuk spesies sangat halus untuk meniru panjang gelombang lembut yang dilepaskan oleh bulan di alam. Cara terbaik untuk menentukan apakah atau tidak Anda akan perlu penambahan ini untuk sistem pencahayaan air Anda untuk benar-benar penelitian ikan Anda berniat untuk membeli.

MEMILIH LAMPU UNTUK AKUARIUM

saco-indonesia.com, Para pebalap Formula 1 tampaknya telah menghabiskan musim dingin dengan memilih-milih nomor balap yang akan mereka gunakan hingga akhir karirnya nanti.

Seperti yang telah diumumkan oleh Federasi Balap Mobil Internasional (FIA) pekan lalu, mulai musim depan para pebalap F1 telah diperbolehkan untuk memilih nomor balapnya sendiri, dari nomor 2 hingga 99. FIA juga telah meminta para pebalap untuk dapat mengirimkan tiga nomor pilihan mereka.

Pebalap Force India, Sergio Perez juga telah mengumumkan bahwa ia menginginkan nomor 11. Sementara pebalap Scuderia Ferrari, Fernando Alonso dikabarkan ingin memakai nomor 14.

Pebalap Toro Rosso, Jean-Eric Vergne dan pebalap Mercedes, Nico Rosberg masing-masing ingin memakai nomor 27 dan nomor 6. Sementara pebalap Williams, Valtteri Bottas ingin memakai nomor 77. Rekan setimnya, Felipe Massa juga telah mengumumkan via Twitter bahwa dirinya akan menggunakan nomor 19.

Meski begitu ada beberapa pebalap yang tak ingin mengungkapkan nomornya, seperti Daniel Ricciardo, Daniil Kvyat dan Romain Grosjean. "Saat ini, saya juga harus merahasiakannya. Namun sangat menyenangkan para pebalap F1 akhirnya telah diperbolehkan memilih nomor sendiri mulai tahun depan," ujar Ricciardo yang akan membela Red Bull Racing.

Pebalap Scuderia Ferrari, Kimi Raikkonen dikabarkan akan memakai nomor 7, namun sang juara dunia 2014, Sebastian Vettel belum dapat memastikan nomor balapnya musim depan.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

PESERTA FORMULA 1 UNGKAPKAN NOMOR BALAP

saco-indonesia.com, Enam bandit jalanan pembacok Kapolsek Astananyar Kompol Sutarih, telah dijerat pasal berlapis. Bahkan, tersangka Evi dan Ali telah dihadiahi satu pasal bonus karena diduga kuat sebagai otak dan orang yang telah menyuruh tersangka lainya membacok Kapolsek.

Keenam tersangka tersebut diganjar dengan pasal berlapis mulai dari penganiayaan, pengeroyokan, melawan aparat, dan percobaan penjambretan. “ Pasal yang dikenakan ke tersangka berlapis,“ ungkap Wakasat Reskrim Polrestabes Bandung Kompol Indra Gunawan.

Tersangka, lannjutnya telah dijerat dengan pasal 170 KUH Pidana dan pasal 351 KUH Pidana tentang pengeroyokan dan penganiayaan. Penyidik juga telah menjerat tersangka dengan pasal 212 dan 214 KUH Pidana tentang melawan aparat. “ Tersangka membacok Kapolsek saat menjalankan tugas,“tegasnya.

Untuk dua tersangka Evi dan Ali penyidik telah memberikan bonus pasal 53 KUH Pidana, percobaan melakukan tindak pidana. “ Para tersangka tersebut beraksi dibawah kendali minuman keras. Terbukti saat ditangkap mereka tidak mengaku dan merasa membacok Kapolsek,“ tambahnya.

Diberitakan, Minggu subuh pukul 03.30 dini hari Kapolsek Astanaanyar Kompol Sitorih, telah dibacok oleh kawanan pemuda mabuk di tempat Karoke Anggun, Jalan Sudirman Bandung. Saat ingin melerai Kapolsek malah dihadiahi bacokan oleh tersangka. Dalam tempo dua jam polisi telah berhasil menangkap enam tersangka masing masding Evi Rudianto,28, Ali Apriansah,34, Ikar alias Haikan,22, Anggra Jayaningrat alias Sanif,23, Irfan,20, dan Ade Ogi,22,. Dari keenam tersangka tersebut satu diantaranya Ikrar, terpaksa harus ditembak kaki kananya karena telah melawan saat ditangkap. (Dono)


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

 

ENAM TERSANGKA PEMBACOK KAPOLSEK TELAH DIJERAT DENGAN PASAL BERLAPIS

Since a white police officer, Darren Wilson fatally shot unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, in a confrontation last August in Ferguson, Mo., there have been many other cases in which the police have shot and killed suspects, some of them unarmed. Mr. Brown's death set off protests throughout the country, pushing law enforcement into the spotlight and sparking a public debate on police tactics. Here is a selection of police shootings that have been reported by news organizations since Mr. Brown's death. In some cases, investigations are continuing.

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The apartment complex northeast of Atlanta where Anthony Hill, 27, was fatally shot by a DeKalb County police officer. Credit Ben Gray/Atlanta Journal Constitution

Chamblee, Ga.
Fatal Police Shootings: Accounts Since Ferguson

WASHINGTON — The last three men to win the Republican nomination have been the prosperous son of a president (George W. Bush), a senator who could not recall how many homes his family owned (John McCain of Arizona; it was seven) and a private equity executive worth an estimated $200 million (Mitt Romney).

The candidates hoping to be the party’s nominee in 2016 are trying to create a very different set of associations. On Sunday, Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, joined the presidential field.

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida praises his parents, a bartender and a Kmart stock clerk, as he urges audiences not to forget “the workers in our hotel kitchens, the landscaping crews in our neighborhoods, the late-night janitorial staff that clean our offices.”

Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, a preacher’s son, posts on Twitter about his ham-and-cheese sandwiches and boasts of his coupon-clipping frugality. His $1 Kohl’s sweater has become a campaign celebrity in its own right.

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky laments the existence of “two Americas,” borrowing the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s phrase to describe economically and racially troubled communities like Ferguson, Mo., and Detroit.

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Senator Marco Rubio of Florida praises his parents, a bartender and a Kmart stock clerk. Credit Joe Raedle/Getty Images

“Some say, ‘But Democrats care more about the poor,’ ” Mr. Paul likes to say. “If that’s true, why is black unemployment still twice white unemployment? Why has household income declined by $3,500 over the past six years?”

We are in the midst of the Empathy Primary — the rhetorical battleground shaping the Republican presidential field of 2016.

Harmed by the perception that they favor the wealthy at the expense of middle-of-the-road Americans, the party’s contenders are each trying their hardest to get across what the elder George Bush once inelegantly told recession-battered voters in 1992: “Message: I care.”

Their ability to do so — less bluntly, more sincerely — could prove decisive in an election year when power, privilege and family connections will loom large for both parties.

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Questions of understanding and compassion cost Republicans in the last election. Mr. Romney, who memorably dismissed the “47 percent” of Americans as freeloaders, lost to President Obama by 63 percentage points among voters who cast their ballots for the candidate who “cares about people like me,” according to exit polls.

And a Pew poll from February showed that people still believe Republicans are indifferent to working Americans: 54 percent said the Republican Party does not care about the middle class.

That taint of callousness explains why Senator Ted Cruz of Texas declared last week that Republicans “are and should be the party of the 47 percent” — and why another son of a president, Jeb Bush, has made economic opportunity the centerpiece of his message.

With his pedigree and considerable wealth — since he left the Florida governor’s office almost a decade ago he has earned millions of dollars sitting on corporate boards and advising banks — Mr. Bush probably has the most complicated task making the argument to voters that he understands their concerns.

On a visit last week to Puerto Rico, Mr. Bush sounded every bit the populist, railing against “elites” who have stifled economic growth and innovation. In the kind of economy he envisions leading, he said: “We wouldn’t have the middle being squeezed. People in poverty would have a chance to rise up. And the social strains that exist — because the haves and have-nots is the big debate in our country today — would subside.”

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Who Is Running for President (and Who’s Not)?

Republicans’ emphasis on poorer and working-class Americans now represents a shift from the party’s longstanding focus on business owners and “job creators” as the drivers of economic opportunity.

This is intentional, Republican operatives said.

In the last presidential election, Republicans rushed to defend business owners against what they saw as hostility by Democrats to successful, wealthy entrepreneurs.

“Part of what you had was a reaction to the Democrats’ dehumanization of business owners: ‘Oh, you think you started your plumbing company? No you didn’t,’ ” said Grover Norquist, the conservative activist and president of Americans for Tax Reform.

But now, Mr. Norquist said, Republicans should move past that. “Focus on the people in the room who know someone who couldn’t get a job, or a promotion, or a raise because taxes are too high or regulations eat up companies’ time,” he said. “The rich guy can take care of himself.”

Democrats argue that the public will ultimately see through such an approach because Republican positions like opposing a minimum-wage increase and giving private banks a larger role in student loans would hurt working Americans.

“If Republican candidates are just repeating the same tired policies, I’m not sure that smiling while saying it is going to be enough,” said Guy Cecil, a Democratic strategist who is joining a “super PAC” working on behalf of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Republicans have already attacked Mrs. Clinton over the wealth and power she and her husband have accumulated, caricaturing her as an out-of-touch multimillionaire who earns hundreds of thousands of dollars per speech and has not driven a car since 1996.

Mr. Walker hit this theme recently on Fox News, pointing to Mrs. Clinton’s lucrative book deals and her multiple residences. “This is not someone who is connected with everyday Americans,” he said. His own net worth, according to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, is less than a half-million dollars; Mr. Walker also owes tens of thousands of dollars on his credit cards.

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But showing off a cheap sweater or boasting of a bootstraps family background not only helps draw a contrast with Mrs. Clinton’s latter-day affluence, it is also an implicit argument against Mr. Bush.

Mr. Walker, who featured a 1998 Saturn with more than 100,000 miles on the odometer in a 2010 campaign ad during his first run for governor, likes to talk about flipping burgers at McDonald’s as a young person. His mother, he has said, grew up on a farm with no indoor plumbing until she was in high school.

Mr. Rubio, among the least wealthy members of the Senate, with an estimated net worth of around a half-million dollars, uses his working-class upbringing as evidence of the “exceptionalism” of America, “where even the son of a bartender and a maid can have the same dreams and the same future as those who come from power and privilege.”

Mr. Cruz alludes to his family’s dysfunction — his parents, he says, were heavy drinkers — and recounts his father’s tale of fleeing Cuba with $100 sewn into his underwear.

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey notes that his father paid his way through college working nights at an ice cream plant.

But sometimes the attempts at projecting authenticity can seem forced. Mr. Christie recently found himself on the defensive after telling a New Hampshire audience, “I don’t consider myself a wealthy man.” Tax returns showed that he and his wife, a longtime Wall Street executive, earned nearly $700,000 in 2013.

The story of success against the odds is a political classic, even if it is one the Republican Party has not been able to tell for a long time. Ronald Reagan liked to say that while he had not been born on the wrong side of the tracks, he could always hear the whistle. Richard Nixon was fond of reminding voters how he was born in a house his father had built.

“Probably the idea that is most attractive to an average voter, and an idea that both Republicans and Democrats try to craft into their messages, is this idea that you can rise from nothing,” said Charles C. W. Cooke, a writer for National Review.

There is a certain delight Republicans take in turning that message to their advantage now.

“That’s what Obama did with Hillary,” Mr. Cooke said. “He acknowledged it openly: ‘This is ridiculous. Look at me, this one-term senator with dark skin and all of America’s unsolved racial problems, running against the wife of the last Democratic president.”

G.O.P. Hopefuls Now Aiming to Woo the Middle Class

“It was really nice to play with other women and not have this underlying tone of being at each other’s throats.”

ay 4, 2015 ‘Game of Thrones’ Q&A: Keisha Castle-Hughes on the Tao of the Sand Snakes

A former member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Smedvig helped found the wide-ranging Empire Brass quintet.

Rolf Smedvig, Trumpeter in the Empire Brass, Dies at 62
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Many bodies prepared for cremation last week in Kathmandu were of young men from Gongabu, a common stopover for Nepali migrant workers headed overseas. Credit Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times

KATHMANDU, Nepal — When the dense pillar of smoke from cremations by the Bagmati River was thinning late last week, the bodies were all coming from Gongabu, a common stopover for Nepali migrant workers headed overseas, and they were all of young men.

Hindu custom dictates that funeral pyres should be lighted by the oldest son of the deceased, but these men were too young to have sons, so they were burned by their brothers or fathers. Sukla Lal, a maize farmer, made a 14-hour journey by bus to retrieve the body of his 19-year-old son, who had been on his way to the Persian Gulf to work as a laborer.

“He wanted to live in the countryside, but he was compelled to leave by poverty,” Mr. Lal said, gazing ahead steadily as his son’s remains smoldered. “He told me, ‘You can live on your land, and I will come up with money, and we will have a happy family.’ ”

Weeks will pass before the authorities can give a complete accounting of who died in the April 25 earthquake, but it is already clear that Nepal cannot afford the losses. The countryside was largely stripped of its healthy young men even before the quake, as they migrated in great waves — 1,500 a day by some estimates — to work as laborers in India, Malaysia or one of the gulf nations, leaving many small communities populated only by elderly parents, women and children. Economists say that at some times of the year, one-quarter of Nepal’s population is working outside the country.

Nepal’s Young Men, Lost to Migration, Then a Quake

As he reflected on the festering wounds deepened by race and grievance that have been on painful display in America’s cities lately, President Obama on Monday found himself thinking about a young man he had just met named Malachi.

A few minutes before, in a closed-door round-table discussion at Lehman College in the Bronx, Mr. Obama had asked a group of black and Hispanic students from disadvantaged backgrounds what could be done to help them reach their goals. Several talked about counseling and guidance programs.

“Malachi, he just talked about — we should talk about love,” Mr. Obama told a crowd afterward, drifting away from his prepared remarks. “Because Malachi and I shared the fact that our dad wasn’t around and that sometimes we wondered why he wasn’t around and what had happened. But really, that’s what this comes down to is: Do we love these kids?”

Many presidents have governed during times of racial tension, but Mr. Obama is the first to see in the mirror a face that looks like those on the other side of history’s ledger. While his first term was consumed with the economy, war and health care, his second keeps coming back to the societal divide that was not bridged by his election. A president who eschewed focusing on race now seems to have found his voice again as he thinks about how to use his remaining time in office and beyond.

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Obama Speaks of a ‘Sense of Unfairness’

Obama Speaks of a ‘Sense of Unfairness’

At an event announcing the creation of a nonprofit focusing on young minority men, President Obama talked about the underlying reasons for recent protests in Baltimore and other cities.

By Associated Press on Publish Date May 4, 2015. Photo by Stephen Crowley/The New York Times.

In the aftermath of racially charged unrest in places like Baltimore, Ferguson, Mo., and New York, Mr. Obama came to the Bronx on Monday for the announcement of a new nonprofit organization that is being spun off from his White House initiative called My Brother’s Keeper. Staked by more than $80 million in commitments from corporations and other donors, the new group, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, will in effect provide the nucleus for Mr. Obama’s post-presidency, which will begin in January 2017.

“This will remain a mission for me and for Michelle not just for the rest of my presidency but for the rest of my life,” Mr. Obama said. “And the reason is simple,” he added. Referring to some of the youths he had just met, he said: “We see ourselves in these young men. I grew up without a dad. I grew up lost sometimes and adrift, not having a sense of a clear path. The only difference between me and a lot of other young men in this neighborhood and all across the country is that I grew up in an environment that was a little more forgiving.”

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Organizers said the new alliance already had financial pledges from companies like American Express, Deloitte, Discovery Communications and News Corporation. The money will be used to help companies address obstacles facing young black and Hispanic men, provide grants to programs for disadvantaged youths, and help communities aid their populations.

Joe Echevarria, a former chief executive of Deloitte, the accounting and consulting firm, will lead the alliance, and among those on its leadership team or advisory group are executives at PepsiCo, News Corporation, Sprint, BET and Prudential Group Insurance; former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell; Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey; former Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.; the music star John Legend; the retired athletes Alonzo Mourning, Jerome Bettis and Shaquille O’Neal; and the mayors of Indianapolis, Sacramento and Philadelphia.

The alliance, while nominally independent of the White House, may face some of the same questions confronting former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as she begins another presidential campaign. Some of those donating to the alliance may have interests in government action, and skeptics may wonder whether they are trying to curry favor with the president by contributing.

“The Obama administration will have no role in deciding how donations are screened and what criteria they’ll set at the alliance for donor policies, because it’s an entirely separate entity,” Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, told reporters on Air Force One en route to New York. But he added, “I’m confident that the members of the board are well aware of the president’s commitment to transparency.”

The alliance was in the works before the disturbances last week after the death of Freddie Gray, the black man who suffered fatal injuries while in police custody in Baltimore, but it reflected the evolution of Mr. Obama’s presidency. For him, in a way, it is coming back to issues that animated him as a young community organizer and politician. It was his own struggle with race and identity, captured in his youthful memoir, “Dreams From My Father,” that stood him apart from other presidential aspirants.

But that was a side of him that he kept largely to himself through the first years of his presidency while he focused on other priorities like turning the economy around, expanding government-subsidized health care and avoiding electoral land mines en route to re-election.

After securing a second term, Mr. Obama appeared more emboldened. Just a month after his 2013 inauguration, he talked passionately about opportunity and race with a group of teenage boys in Chicago, a moment aides point to as perhaps the first time he had spoken about these issues in such a personal, powerful way as president. A few months later, he publicly lamented the death of Trayvon Martin, a black Florida teenager, saying that “could have been me 35 years ago.”

Photo
 
President Obama on Monday with Darinel Montero, a student at Bronx International High School who introduced him before remarks at Lehman College in the Bronx. Credit Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

That case, along with public ruptures of anger over police shootings in Ferguson and elsewhere, have pushed the issue of race and law enforcement onto the public agenda. Aides said they imagined that with his presidency in its final stages, Mr. Obama might be thinking more about what comes next and causes he can advance as a private citizen.

That is not to say that his public discussion of these issues has been universally welcomed. Some conservatives said he had made matters worse by seeming in their view to blame police officers in some of the disputed cases.

“President Obama, when he was elected, could have been a unifying leader,” Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, a Republican candidate for president, said at a forum last week. “He has made decisions that I think have inflamed racial tensions.”

On the other side of the ideological spectrum, some liberal African-American activists have complained that Mr. Obama has not done enough to help downtrodden communities. While he is speaking out more, these critics argue, he has hardly used the power of the presidency to make the sort of radical change they say is necessary.

The line Mr. Obama has tried to straddle has been a serrated one. He condemns police brutality as he defends most officers as honorable. He condemns “criminals and thugs” who looted in Baltimore while expressing empathy with those trapped in a cycle of poverty and hopelessness.

In the Bronx on Monday, Mr. Obama bemoaned the death of Brian Moore, a plainclothes New York police officer who had died earlier in the day after being shot in the head Saturday on a Queens street. Most police officers are “good and honest and fair and care deeply about their communities,” even as they put their lives on the line, Mr. Obama said.

“Which is why in addressing the issues in Baltimore or Ferguson or New York, the point I made was that if we’re just looking at policing, we’re looking at it too narrowly,” he added. “If we ask the police to simply contain and control problems that we ourselves have been unwilling to invest and solve, that’s not fair to the communities, it’s not fair to the police.”

Moreover, if society writes off some people, he said, “that’s not the kind of country I want to live in; that’s not what America is about.”

His message to young men like Malachi Hernandez, who attends Boston Latin Academy in Massachusetts, is not to give up.

“I want you to know you matter,” he said. “You matter to us.”

Advertisement Politics Obama Finds a Bolder Voice on Race Issues

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– MATTHEW SCHNEIER

Cher and Marc Jacobs

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From sea to shining sea, or at least from one side of the Hudson to the other, politicians you have barely heard of are being accused of wrongdoing. There were so many court proceedings involving public officials on Monday that it was hard to keep up.

In Newark, two underlings of Gov. Chris Christie were arraigned on charges that they were in on the truly deranged plot to block traffic leading onto the George Washington Bridge.

Ten miles away, in Lower Manhattan, Dean G. Skelos, the leader of the New York State Senate, and his son, Adam B. Skelos, were arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on accusations of far more conventional political larceny, involving a job with a sewer company for the son and commissions on title insurance and bond work.

The younger man managed to receive a 150 percent pay increase from the sewer company even though, as he said on tape, he “literally knew nothing about water or, you know, any of that stuff,” according to a criminal complaint the United States attorney’s office filed.

The success of Adam Skelos, 32, was attributed by prosecutors to his father’s influence as the leader of the Senate and as a potentate among state Republicans. The indictment can also be read as one of those unfailingly sad tales of a father who cannot stop indulging a grown son. The senator himself is not alleged to have profited from the schemes, except by being relieved of the burden of underwriting Adam.

The bridge traffic caper is its own species of crazy; what distinguishes the charges against the two Skeloses is the apparent absence of a survival instinct. It is one thing not to know anything about water or that stuff. More remarkable, if true, is the fact that the sewer machinations continued even after the former New York Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, was charged in January with taking bribes disguised as fees.

It was by then common gossip in political and news media circles that Senator Skelos, a Republican, the counterpart in the Senate to Mr. Silver, a Democrat, in the Assembly, could be next in line for the criminal dock. “Stay tuned,” the United States attorney, Preet Bharara said, leaving not much to the imagination.

Even though the cat had been unmistakably belled, Skelos father and son continued to talk about how to advance the interests of the sewer company, though the son did begin to use a burner cellphone, the kind people pay for in cash, with no traceable contracts.

That was indeed prudent, as prosecutors had been wiretapping the cellphones of both men. But it would seem that the burner was of limited value, because by then the prosecutors had managed to secure the help of a business executive who agreed to record calls with the Skeloses. It would further seem that the business executive was more attentive to the perils of pending investigations than the politician.

Through the end of the New York State budget negotiations in March, the hopes of the younger Skelos rested on his father’s ability to devise legislation that would benefit the sewer company. That did not pan out. But Senator Skelos did boast that he had haggled with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, in a successful effort to raise a $150 million allocation for Long Island to $550 million, for what the budget called “transformative economic development projects.” It included money for the kind of work done by the sewer company.

The lawyer for Adam Skelos said he was not guilty and would win in court. Senator Skelos issued a ringing declaration that he was unequivocally innocent.

THIS was also the approach taken in New Jersey by Bill Baroni, a man of great presence and eloquence who stopped outside the federal courthouse to note that he had taken risks as a Republican by bucking his party to support paid family leave, medical marijuana and marriage equality. “I would never risk my career, my job, my reputation for something like this,” Mr. Baroni said. “I am an innocent man.”

The lawyer for his co-defendant, Bridget Anne Kelly, the former deputy chief of staff to Mr. Christie, a Republican, said that she would strongly rebut the charges.

Perhaps they had nothing to do with the lane closings. But neither Mr. Baroni nor Ms. Kelly addressed the question of why they did not return repeated calls from the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., begging them to stop the traffic tie-ups, over three days.

That silence was a low moment. But perhaps New York hit bottom faster. Senator Skelos, the prosecutors charged, arranged to meet Long Island politicians at the wake of Wenjian Liu, a New York City police officer shot dead in December, to press for payments to the company employing his son.

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