links for 2011-06-28 | SeMeN SPeRmS SuPeR SiTe

links for 2011-06-28

  • Police in Brandenburg who discovered a large plot of cannabis called on the neighbouring house only to find an 84-year-old woman who had been feeding her rabbits with the plants.
  • “The films and videos were in one place, the Tijuana bibles in another, original art in another, and newspapers and magazines in another,” he said. 

    But in 2003, the building was sold and he was forced to move “160,000 pounds of books” with little notice. It all ended up jammed into a $5,000-a-month, 1,400-square-foot Flatbush storage facility, where it remains today.

    “It looks like the warehouse from the last scene of ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark,'” he said, adding that it puts a serious damper on his business.

    “So many things are inaccessible,” he said. “If somebody said, ‘I absolutely have to have an item,’ it might take me three months to find it.”

    In recent years, Scheiner has turned his interest to Orthodox Judaism and spends his days poring over the Torah and the Talmud.

    In all, Scheiner estimates he has spent $1 million over the years on the collection. “But that is over a 30-year period, so actually it’s like $30,000 a year,” he said. “That isn’t a whole lot.”

  • There’s even a name for it: Autodecorating. And Gawker’s calling out the worst offenders: Along with Lindsay and Paris, Kanye West, Padma Lakshmi and Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Kim Zolciak are guilty of filling their houses with paintings, photos and — most notoriously — pillows with their likenesses. Now, I kind of understand celebrities’ motivation here: These are people who are accustomed to seeing their faces on billboards and in magazines. They’re desensitized to it. Right? Or maybe because they make their living off of their faces they’re just excited to pay tribute to their moneymaker. In any case, it’s hardly surprising.
  • An employee of Bed, Bath & Beyond in St. Davids Square shopping center reported to Radnor Township Police on June 5 a package containing human vomit was left in the parking lot there. 

    He estimated that about 35 pounds of vomit was in the package discovered June 5 and stated that a similar package was left in the same spot the week before.

  • Headless male flies engineered to get horny in the heat: Studying mating behavior, even in an organism as simple as a fruit fly, can be challenging, since it depends on a complex set of interactions between two individuals that may not share the researchers’ interest in seeing mating take place. So, some researchers (including one I went to grad school with) decided to take a shortcut. They engineered flies so that male-specific neurons would express a construct that activated the neurons when they were shifted to higher temperatures. It worked, perhaps a bit too well: “Almost all steps of courtship, from courtship song to ejaculation, can be induced at very high levels through [its] activation in solitary males.” In other words, heat the male flies up, and they’ll just ejaculate, even if they’re on their own (although they’ll do a mating dance for nobody first). In fact, it even worked if the males’ heads were chopped off, driven by the activity in their nerve cord.
  • Imagine you’re giving a presentation to the board of directors at your company. You have your PowerPoint slides all ready, you’re projecting onto a 64 inch screen… what could possibly go wrong? 

    Well, what would you do if your carefully composed presentation was replaced on the big screen by images of a naked woman? My guess is that you wouldn’t know where to put your laser pointer..

  • For millennia, philosophers have debated whether or not the self exists solely in the mind, the body, or both. Well, it’s unclear whether this will help clear things up or just muddy the waters further, but Swedish neuroscientists are now claiming that the human brain can add outside objects such as a third arm to one’s physical sense of self, and that people can even mentally project their “self” out of their own body and into someone else’s. If these findings hold up, the implications for virtual reality, robotics and prostheses could be substantial.
  • The US government filed more than twice as many demands for data about Google users than any other other country in the past six months, according to figures the search behemoth supplied Monday. 

    What’s more, according to the Google Transparency Report, Google fully or partially complied with the US demands in 94 percent of the cases, a rate that was higher than responses to any other government.

  • “With smart phones, tablet computers, and laptops, we carry around with us an unprecedented amount of sensitive personal information,” said EFF Staff Attorney Hanni Fakhoury. “That smart phone in your pocket right now could contain email from your doctor or your kid’s teacher, not to mention detailed contact information for all of your friends and family members. Your laptop probably holds even more data — your Internet browsing history, family photo albums, and maybe even things like an electronic copy of your taxes or your employment agreement. This is sensitive data that’s worth protecting from prying eyes.”
  • Circumcision, Winky D told Zimbabwe’s Nehanda radio, is “one of the coolest moves you will ever make. I should know … I made that move. Takaipa!” Takaipa is the name of a popular Winky D song. “That is why I am asking you to think about getting circumcised this school holiday.” He supposedly added, in a statement that sounds suspiciously like it was written by a government publicist rather than, say, a young dancehall star, “Being cool is not just about having a string of hit songs. It is about taking care of yourself and looking after your health. It is about making sure you are presentable, smart and clean all the time.” His hit “Musarova Bigman” was recently nominated for song of the year at Zimbabwe’s annual National Arts Merit Awards.
  • The price of cocaine varies greatly between rich countries 

    EVERY year the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime publishes a report with lots of fascinating data on the production and consumption of illegal drugs around the world. This year’s report highlights a few interesting trends: despite all the effort put into the war on drugs, the street price of cocaine in Europe has dropped relentlessly over the past two decades (even adjusting for inflation and impurity). This may explain why Europe is now almost as big a market for cocaine producers as America. The numbers we have picked out below show the variations in price between a selection of different countries, as well as consumption per person in those places.

  • 1. File this one under “Now It All Makes Sense”. A Missouri farming and ranching contact just got off a conference call wherein he was informed that the federal government is sending out letters to all of the flooded out farmers in the Missouri River flood plain and bottoms notifying them that the Army Corps of Engineers will offer to BUY THEIR LAND. 

    Intentionally flood massive acreage of highly productive farmground. Destroy people’s communities and homes. Catch them while they are desperate and afraid and then swoop in and buy the ground cheap. Those evil sons of bitches.

    2. Speaking of evil sons of bitches, George Soros appears to be “investing” in farmground through the same puppet company that he used to get into the grain elevator and fertilizer business. The company is called Ospraie Capital Management and is buying up farmground in a joint venture with Teays River Investments as a partner.

  • What do you do if you have fake goods and you need to destroy them so they don’t get to market? Or you have computer storage media and you want to render it completely unreadable? If you’ve got just one hard drive to destroy, you can take it out back and smash it with a sledgehammer. But if you have lots to get rid of, here’s your solution.
  • Did you know that today scientists are actually producing mice that tweet like birds, cats that glow in the dark, “monster salmon”, “spider goats”, cow/human hybrids, pig/human hybrids and even mouse/human hybrids? The very definition of life on earth is changing right before our eyes. Many scientists believe that genetic modification holds the key to feeding the entire planet and healing all of our diseases, but others are warning that genetic modification could literally transform our environment into a desolate wasteland and cause our world to resemble a really bad science fiction movie. For decades, scientists around the globe have been fooling around with DNA and have been transplanting genes from one species to another. But now technology has advanced so dramatically that just about the only thing limiting scientists are their imaginations.
  • While global markets for cocaine, heroin and cannabis have declined or remained stable, the production and abuse of prescription opioid drugs and new synthetic drugs have risen, according to the World Drug Report 2011. Illicit cultivation of opium poppy and coca bush have remained limited to a few countries. Although there has been a sharp decline in opium production and a modest reduction in coca bush cultivation, the overall level of manufacture of heroin and cocaine has remained significant.
  • Welcome to “First Blood,” the inaugural event of the Urban Wrestling Federation — an experimental hybrid league formed earlier this year — held the Friday before last at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom. One of the UWF’s many taglines: “Hip Hop meets Pro Wrestling the street meets insanity meets mayhem.” (In the last few months, this line has been tweeted by the UWF no fewer than 27 times.)
  • The anti-nuclear watchdog group Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, however, said the fire appeared to be about 3 1/2 miles from a dumpsite where as many as 30,000 55-gallon drums of plutonium-contaminated waste were stored in fabric tents above ground. The group said the drums were awaiting transport to a low-level radiation dump site in southern New Mexico. 

    Lab spokesman Steve Sandoval declined to confirm that there were any such drums currently on the property. He acknowledged that low-level waste is at times put in drums and regularly taken from the lab to the Waste Isolation Pilot Project site in Carlsbad.

  • A central Ohio woman accused of spraying sheriff’s deputies with breast milk is facing charges including disorderly conduct. The Delaware County sheriff’s office says deputies responded to a call about a domestic dispute early Saturday, and a man told them his wife was drinking at a wedding and hit him before locking herself in a car. 

    The sheriff says deputies found the woman in a car and tried to talk with her, but she didn’t cooperate. He says when deputies tried to remove her, she said she was a breast-feeding mother, then exposed part of her chest and sprayed them with breast milk.

  • We read the news today – oh, boy. After 16 years on the lam from the Feds infamous Boston Irish mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger was finally apprehended yesterday in Santa Monica, CA. Thus ends one of the lengthiest and most notorious manhunts in U.S. law enforcement history. Shit, they even fictionalized Whitey on the silver screen (Scorcese’s The Departed) before he was caught. Here at ego trip, however, we’re well aware that Whitey Bulger isn’t the only elusive ghostface iller out there. In fact, there have and still are plenty more.
  • At the Chicago U.S. Customs and Border Protection International Mail Facility, a seemingly innocent imported shipment of pretty dresses may deceive the untrained eye and an X-ray showing no hidden or secret compartments may give the impression that all is well. However, CBP K-9 Martin’s nose, knows otherwise. 

    On June 9, while working with his CBP handler, Martin a 6-year-old Belgian Malinois alerted to a large box, invoiced as “Traditional Dresses,” coming from Laos. This parcel contained 65 plastic-wrapped brightly colored shawls destined for Minneapolis weighing 11.9 kilograms. Even though the paperwork was in order and CBP X-ray images of the box and contents showed no anomalies, Martin’s nose remained very interested. Upon closer examination using drug field testing procedures, CBP officers found a positive reaction. All 65 decorative 4-foot by two-foot cloth pieces were saturated with the illegal narcotic opium.

  • The $500 ad that appears on Page 439 of the book was placed by George Somogyi and directed at his daughter, Rianna, a 17-year-old senior, he said. 

    It depicts his daughter making funny faces and describes her as a “complete waste of valuable space.” The end of the ad refers to a “Yiddish saying” that “loosely translates to ‘Camel patties attract flies. Hummus attracts pita chips. You are the former.’ “

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