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Rub It On Yer Chest!

    • One New York salon even goes so far as to advertise special rates for “virgin” waxing. “Virgin hair can be waxed so successfully that growth can be permanently stopped in just two to six sessions,” explains the web site for Wanda’s European Skin Care Center. “Save your child a lifetime of waxing … and put the money in the bank for her college education instead!” The owner told the New York Post that she’d seen 200 child clients in 2008 and advised that girls begin waxing at 6. You know, in the name of their future Ph.D.s. Not only is this — needless to say — not even close to feminist, it’s barbaric. A wax is, if nothing else, a choice that a woman should make on her own, when she’s at a sexually mature age. And she should spend her formative years believing her vagina is perfect, just the way God gave it to her.
    • Through a careful comparison of thousands of pages of documents we received from this FOIA request with the same documents we received from an earlier FOIA request, we found that redactions in many of these duplicated documents were strikingly different. In several cases, the FBI redacted more information in later-produced documents than it did in earlier-produced documents. In other cases, the FBI redacted differing amounts of information when it produced two copies of the same report in response to the same FOIA request. Sometimes the agency blocked out whole paragraphs, while at other times it blocked out only the key words that explain the details of its acts. What is interesting is that the FBI claimed the same FOIA exemptions in each version; it just applied them differently.
    • Kosovo’s prime minister is the head of a “mafia-like” Albanian group responsible for smuggling weapons, drugs and human organs through eastern Europe, according to a Council of Europe inquiry report on organised crime.

      Hashim Thaçi is identified as the boss of a network that began operating criminal rackets in the runup to the 1998-99 Kosovo war, and has held powerful sway over the country’s government since.

      The report of the two-year inquiry, which cites FBI and other intelligence sources, has been obtained by the Guardian. It names Thaçi as having over the last decade exerted “violent control” over the heroin trade. Figures from Thaçi’s inner circle are also accused of taking captives across the border into Albania after the war, where a number of Serbs are said to have been murdered for their kidneys, which were sold on the black market.

    • Despite being a federal fugitive, accused of laundering millions of dollars for one of Mexico’s most ruthless drug cartels, Julio César Godoy says he simply walked into the national legislature here unnoticed in September, right past the cordon of federal police officers watching the building.

      He then raised his right arm, swore allegiance to the Mexican Constitution and, 15 months after disappearing from public view, finally claimed the congressional seat he won last year.

      It was too late for prosecutors to do much about it. Mr. Godoy’s newly conferred status came with a special perk: immunity from prosecution.

    • Bradley Manning, the 22-year-old U.S. Army Private accused of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks, has never been convicted of that crime, nor of any other crime. Despite that, he has been detained at the U.S. Marine brig in Quantico, Virginia for five months — and for two months before that in a military jail in Kuwait — under conditions that constitute cruel and inhumane treatment and, by the standards of many nations, even torture. Interviews with several people directly familiar with the conditions of Manning’s detention, ultimately including a Quantico brig official (Lt. Brian Villiard) who confirmed much of what they conveyed, establishes that the accused leaker is subjected to detention conditions likely to create long-term psychological injuries.
    • Time Magazine readers chose Julian Assange as Person of the Year. Hands down. But Time’s editors preferred to go with the safer choice: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. The loser in this contest is Time Magazine. Hands down.

      Just think about it. Facebook has been around for years now. It’s a fabulous social networking tool, but there is nothing it accomplished in 2010 that wasn’t accomplished in 2009. In the swirling pace of the tech world, Facebook is old news.

    • Doctors who carried out a stem cell transplant on an HIV-infected man with leukaemia in 2007 say they now believe the man to have been cured of HIV infection as a result of the treatment, which introduced stem cells which happened to be resistant to HIV infection.
    • ‘Fuck off Harrods’ done by a disgruntled employee, fired by Harrods from his job as the toy department’s Father Christmas, took revenge last night in spectacular style.

      Gaining access to a maintenance control room, Lloyd Hudson, 35, from Ilford, Essex, was able to locate the chart and corresponding switches for Harrods’ 10,000 external lights.

      Barracading himself in, Hudson disabled the correct lights until he could spell out his feelings to Harrods bosses and Christmas shoppers alike. He was removed by security guards after an hour-long stand-off, then handed over to police.

    • The question sounds simple enough: If the police take items from a man who they believe stole them, but he is never convicted of any crime, does he get the items back?
    • Thanks Teddy Grams
    • A graphic video showing an 8-year-old boy accidentally killing himself with an Uzi submachine gun at a fair can be shown to the jury during the manslaughter trial of a former police chief, a judge ruled yesterday.
    • Produced for the National Naval Medical Center in 1973, The Return of Count Spirochete is a delightful animated film dramatizing the medical facts about venereal disease. That, and so much more.
      As the story begins, we join the (probably) world famous “Communicable Disease of the Year Award” ceremony, which acknowledges the one disease that has “done the most effective job of contaminating others.” Smallpox, diphtheria, tuberculosis, and the common cold are all serious contenders for the coveted “Fourth Horseman.”However, in a surprising turn of events, the award goes to Count Spirochete (aka syphilis), much to the chagrin of the other contestants. In response to their outrage, the master of ceremonies then proceeds to explain in graphic detail the various reasons why Count Spirochete is deserving of the award.
      Thanks Brendan Donnelly.

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