Arab | SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG!

Super Zeros

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1970s NY Graffiti Artists Still Have Urge to Tag
Witten and a generation of urban latchkey kids who spray-painted their initials all over Manhattan in the 1970s and ’80s and landed in the city’s street art scene are coming of age — middle age, that is.
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1% Rappers
#20 Rick Ross – Net Worth $25 Million #19 Tie between T-Pain and T.I – Net Worth $30 Million #18 Nelly – Net Worth $55 Million #17 Busta Rhymes – Net Worth $60 Million #16 Ludacris – Net Worth $65 Million #15 Beastie Boys – Net Worth $75 Million Each #14 Timbaland – Net Worth $75 Million #13 Pharrell Williams – Net Worth $77.5 Million #12 Tie between LL Cool J and Akon – Net Worth $80 Million #11 Kanye West – Net Worth $90 Million #10 Lil Wayne – Net Worth $95 Million #9 Ice Cube – Net Worth $100 Million #8 Snoop Dogg – Net Worth $110 Million #7 Birdman – Net Worth $115 Million #6 Eminem – Net Worth $120 Million #5 50 Cent – Net Worth $250 Million #4 Dr. Dre – Net Worth $260 Million #3 Master P – Net Worth $350 Million #2 Jay-Z – Net Worth $475 Million #1 Diddy – Net Worth $500 Million
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It’s raining heroin on Indo-Pak border
On an average, more than a kilogram of heroin was seized every day on the Indo-Pak border adjoining Punjab for the first six months of this year. Records with the Border Security Force (BSF) show that in the first half of 2012, the force has seized a record 197 kilograms of heroin worth nearly Rs 1,000 crore. This is nearly three times more than 68 kgs seized last year. It is also the highest amount of the drug seized in the past five years.
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The Shining finally gets a second movie
Warner Bros have confirmed that they are working on a prequel to the Jack Nicholson thriller – which contained the famous line, “Heeere’s Johnny.”
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Heroin drug targets middle school students
Cheese is the slang name for a mixture of black tar heroin and Tylenol PM. The substances are combined and come out looking much like parmesan cheese. The resulting product is sold for as little as $2 per hit. Kids in the Dallas-area are buying “cheese” with their lunch money, according to media reports. They’re snorting the stuff up their noses – often at school – and dying in alarming numbers, according to the Dallas County medical office. A recent study by the Dallas Independent School district determined that more than 5,000 kids have tried cheese. More than two dozen have died of overdoses. Most, like Mariela, first take the drug in middle school. That’s shocking. Middle school students are being targeted by drug dealers and turned into heroin addicts before they reach high school.
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TSA Checkpoints Exposed: Journalist Tracked, Targeted and Harassed for Filming
Luke Rudkowski of WeAreChange breaks down WRC Correspondent Julio Rausseo’s experience at the Chicago Union Station, 1 week after releasing a video exposing TSA checkpoints being setup there.
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The Aleppo Codex Mystery
One day this spring, on the condition that I not reveal any details of its location nor the stringent security measures in place to protect its contents, I entered a hidden vault at the Israel Museum and gazed upon the Aleppo Codex — the oldest, most complete, most accurate text of the Hebrew Bible. The story of how it arrived here, in Jerusalem, is a tale of ancient fears and modern prejudices, one that touches on one of the rawest nerves in Israeli society: the clash of cultures between Jews from Arab countries and the European Jews, or Ashkenazim, who controlled the country during its formative years. And the story of how some 200 pages of the codex went missing — and to this day remain the object of searches carried out around the globe by biblical scholars, private investigators, shadowy businessmen and the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency — is one of the great mysteries in Jewish history.
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Just a face in a crowd? Scans pick up ID, personal data
As you scan the face on that giant billboard, it may just be scanning your face right back. Increasingly sophisticated digital facial-recognition technology is opening new possibilities in business, marketing, advertising and law enforcement while exacerbating fears about the loss of privacy and the violation of civil liberties. Businesses foresee a day when signs and billboards with face-recognition technology can instantly scan your face and track what other ads you’ve seen recently, adjust their message to your tastes and buying history and even track your birthday or recent home purchase. The FBI and other U.S. law enforcement agencies already are exploring facial-recognition tools to track suspects, quickly single out dangerous people in a crowd or match a grainy security-camera image against a vast database to look for matches.
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Palestinians Rip Romney’s ‘Racist’ Praise for Israel – Candidate again steps in it, says Israel has better ‘culture’ for business
Mitt Romney offended Palestinians again today, saying that Israel was more prosperous than Palestine because of its superior culture and the will of God. “You notice such a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality” between Israel and Palestine, Romney said at a fundraiser in Jerusalem today, citing each nation’s per-capita GDP, the AP reports. He went on to say that in considering Israel’s accomplishments “I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things” including the “hand of providence.”
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30 Global News Events The Batman Massacre Allows The American Media To Ignore
The essence of the infor­ma­tion war is the timely inter­jec­tion, dis­tor­tion or omis­sion of news events. Reports can min­i­mize, omit or basi­cally bury key news sto­ries that require analy­sis while mag­ni­fy­ing oth­ers which are of lesser impor­tance to the keen, ana­lyt­i­cal mind. While the Bat­man mas­sacre is tragic, the buzz in the so called alter­na­tive media cir­cle is cen­tered around the litany of ongo­ing sto­ries that will be sti­fled in the week to come by the main­stream media’s focus on the Aurora, CO shoot­ing. Beyond that, the analy­sis you read here is not all pre­sented as 100% fact, some con­clu­sions are pre­sented in light of other evi­dence, and where noted, some are spec­u­la­tive based on edu­cated the­ory. In this era of total media bom­bard­ment, to the point of over­load, some events have to be con­sid­ered beyond just what is con­firmed in print or on video and must be eval­u­ated in the full con­text of pos­si­ble human behav­ior.
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Feds Sue Telecom for Fighting Warrantless Search
The Justice Department is suing a telecommunications company for challenging a request from the Federal Bureau of Investigation for customer information — despite the fact that the law authorizing the request explicitly permits such challenges. According to documents provided by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which is representing the telecom, the company (whose name is one of the many redacted details in the documents) received a national security letter (NSL) in 2011. An NSL is essentially a self-issued search warrant whereby the FBI bypasses the Fourth Amendment and demands information about an individual without bothering to obtain a judge’s consent — and forces the recipient of the letter to keep mum about it because disclosure would allegedly harm national security. NSLs were employed somewhat sparingly prior to 2001 but became widely used — and abused, as the Justice Department’s inspector general reported in 2007 — after the misnamed Patriot Act loosened the require
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Feeling bad about your life? Well, at least you’re not this guy!
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American fast food diet unleashes disease epidemic sweeping across Asia
Though increasingly looked down upon here in the U.S. as a sign of slothfulness and low socioeconomic status, routine fast food consumption in some parts of the world is actually considered to be culturally desirable. But as foreigners progressively adopt the American fast-food lifestyle in place of their own native foods, rates of chronic disease are skyrocketing, including in East and Southeast Asia where diabetes and heart disease rates are off the charts. According to a recent study published in the journal Circulation, globalization continues to usher U.S.-style fast food into East Asian countries like Singapore, Malaysia, and Cambodia, where natives, especially those from the younger generations, are quickly adopting things like hamburgers and fries in place of their traditional fare. And based on the data, this Western fast food craze is responsible for a significant uptick in cases of diabetes and heart disease.
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Scientists Read Monkeys’ Minds, See What They’re Planning to Do Before They Do it
Neurologists working with monkeys at Washington University in St. Louis to decode brain activity have stumbled upon a rather surprising result. While working to demonstrate that multiple parameters can be seen in the firing rate of a single neuron (and that certain parameters are embedded in neurons only if they are needed to solve the immediate task), they also found that they could read their monkeys’ minds. This isn’t exactly ESP, but it is really interesting. The researchers came to find out that by analyzing the activity of large populations of neurons, they could discover what actions the monkeys were planning before they made a single motor movement. By monitoring neural activity, the researchers could essentially see what the monkey was thinking about doing next.
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CIA “Manages” Drug Trade, Mexican Official Says
In a recent interview, Chihuahua state spokesman Guillermo Terrazas Villanueva told Al Jazeera that the CIA and other international “security” outfits “don’t fight drug traffickers.” Instead, Villanueva argued, they try to control and manage the illegal drug market for their own benefit. “It’s like pest control companies, they only control,” Villanueva told the Qatar-based media outlet last month at his office in Juarez. “If you finish off the pests, you are out of a job. If they finish the drug business, they finish their jobs.” Another Mexican official, apparently a mid-level officer with Mexico’s equivalent of the U.S. Department of “Homeland Security,” echoed those remarks, saying he knew that the allegations against the CIA were correct based on talks with American agents in Mexico. “It’s true, they want to control it,” the official told Al Jazeera on condition of anonymity.
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Is There Too Much Pressure to Engage in Crazy, Kinky Sex?
What those trying to aggressively market an ever more “exotic sex life” fail to realize is that sexual preferences aren’t shaped by artifice. Buying a leather slapper won’t suddenly give you a penchant for spanking—and let’s face it, if you were really into the idea in the first place, you probably would have gone DIY and just picked up a hairbrush long before now. Making people feel shitty about their vanilla-ness is mainly a capitalist calculation. As any marketing exec knows, the moment people become satisfied is the moment they stop buying stuff.
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Black Hat presentation shows iris-scanning breach
A research team from Universidad Autonoma de Madrid and West Virginia University have troubling findings for those who think iris scanning is one of the safest methods of biometric security. Their reverse-engineered, “replicated eye” image was able to bypass iris scanning, fooled into thinking the synthetic image was real and correct. Javier Galbally and his team printed out synthetic images of irises taken from codes of real irises stored in security databases to test iris-scanning vulnerabilities. An iris code is the data stored by recognition systems when they scan a person’s eye. This is information that the researchers could replicate in their synthetic images. A commercial iris system only looks for the iris code and not an actual eye, Galbally noted. He and his team tested their fake irises against a leading commercial-recognition system. In 80 percent of attempts, the scanner believed that the attempt was a real eye.
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Was the “Batman Shooting” a Ritualistic Murder Carried Out by Mind Controlled Patsy?
Shooter James Holmes even went as far as to take Vicodin, a drug found in Heath Ledger at the time of his death. Vicodin is a powerful pain-killer with morphine-like effects that is used in mind control to “dull out” victims. Is there some kind of ritualistic connection between The Dark Knight, the sacrificial death of Heath Ledger and this new installment of a Batman movie that was “launched” with a mass murder? Is there a reason why this mass-murder, which occurred during the midnight screening of a movie called Dark Knight RISING took place in a city called Aurora, the name Roman goddess of dawn (dawn being the time where the sun begins to rise)? Another interesting fact: Aurora is considered to be the mother of the morning star, also know as the Light Bringer, or Lucifer.
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Social Scientists Might Gain Access to Facebook’s Data on User Behavior
Social scientists hungry for Facebook’s data may be about to get a taste of it. Nature has learned that the social-networking website is considering giving researchers limited access to the petabytes of data that it has amassed on the preferences and behaviour of its almost one billion users. Outsiders will not get a free run of the data, but the move could quell criticism from social scientists who have complained that the company’s own research on its users cannot be verified. Facebook’s in-house scientists have been involved in publishing more than 30 papers since 2009, covering topics from what drives the spread of information and ideas to the relationship between social-networking activity and loneliness. However, because the company fears breaching its users’ privacy, it does not release the underlying raw data.
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With A Chemical Injection, Blind Mice Can See
Two of the most common causes of blindness are retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic disease, and macular degeneration, an age-related disorder. Both are characterized by damage to the rod and cone cells in the retina, which robs the eye of its photoreceptors. Treatments for these forms of blindness focuses on restoring the retina’s abilities, and we’ve seen a few examples — stem cell injections, implantations of light-sensitive compounds using viruses, and a whole host of electronic devices and artificial retinas. A chemical called AAQ can also make these damaged cells sensitive to light again, and it wouldn’t require any foreign substances or stem cells.
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How Much Is Your Gmail Account Worth?
The cloud backup guys over at Backupify put together a calculator to help folks estimate the value of their cloud-based Google Gmail web mail accounts. So what’s the average account’s worth? $3,588.85, Backupify’s Jay Garmon writes in a blog post. That’s the value of the time invested in the average Gmail account, given how many emails the average Gmail user has written (5,768), how long it takes to write the average email (one minute, 43 seconds), and the most recent U.S. Depart of Labor statistics on average annual salary ($45,230). In other words, if the average Gmail user were paid to recreate all the Gmail messages he or she’s ever written, it would cost $3,588.85.
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Honey buns sweeten life for Florida prisoners
They are a lowly, sturdy food designed for desperate cravings and vending machine convenience. They can endure weeks of neglect and even a mild mashing in a coat pocket or backpack. They are, it should come as no surprise, especially beloved by a similarly hardy but disrespected population: Florida’s prison inmates. Inmates in the Florida prison system buy 270,000 honey buns a month. Across the state, they sell more than tobacco, envelopes and cans of Coke. And they’re just as popular among Tampa Bay’s county jails. In Pasco’s Land O’Lakes Detention Center, they’re outsold only by freeze-dried coffee and ramen noodles. Not only that, these honey buns — so puffy! — have taken on lives of their own among the criminal class: as currency for trades, as bribes for favors, as relievers for stress and substitutes for addiction. They’ve become birthday cakes, hooch wines, last meals — even ingredients in a massive tax fraud. Thanks Jasmine
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Texas woman jailed for stabbing husband: Was it Facebook or PCP use?
Rhonda Roshell Washington, 33, told police her husband was high on PCP when they got into an argument about his drug use at their home in Bryan early Thursday, the Bryan-College Station paper reports. The fight turned physical, she said, and she jabbed him in the hand with her keys. Her husband, however, claimed she became upset about something on his Facebook page and chased him with a knife, stabbing him in the hand.
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UK’s largest skateboard unveiled ahead of Olympics
This isn’t a story about a skateboarding giant, the UK’s largest skateboard has been created to mark the fact two thirds of children think the Olympics will only be worth watching when more extreme sports like skateboarding are included, obviously. Measuring a staggering seven metres in length, two and half metres in width and at a metre high, the oversized board weighs as much as a baby African elephant – so any ‘ollies’ or ‘kick flips’ are probably out of the question.
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The Joke’s on You
Our lazy embrace of Stewart and Colbert is a testament to our own impoverished comic standards. We have come to accept coy mockery as genuine subversion and snarky mimesis as originality. It would be more accurate to describe our golden age of political comedy as the peak output of a lucrative corporate plantation whose chief export is a cheap and powerful opiate for progressive angst and rage.
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Google: we failed to delete all Streetview data
Despite repeated assurances in public and to the Information Commissioner, Google has admitted that it did not in fact delete all the data, which could include passwords and emails, collected over open WiFi networks by its Streetview mapping cars in 2010 in a number of countries around the world. The news means that Britain’s recently reopened investigation into the so-called WiFi snooping could be bolstered by an opportunity to re-examine evidence that the ICO had asked to be destroyed. The ICO has demanded to examine the data “immediately” to look for evidence that it is in fact more extensive than Google had originally claimed, as authorities in America had discovered for data collected there.
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Tim Geithner Admits Banks Bailed Out With Rigged Libor, Costing Taxpayers Huge Amount
But he also said that, months later, when it came time to set bailout terms for the Too Big To Fail Set, the government just had no other choice but to use Libor. Sure, that’s one way to look at it. Another, less charitable way to look at it is that the Fed was fully aware that Libor was being manipulated lower, and was fine charging an artificially low rate to lend money to banks and to AIG, in what amounted to yet another kind of bailout. Why make life harder for them, right? They had enough problems dealing with the crisis they had created. Raising red flags about Libor might have only made the crisis worse, making it harder for banks to borrow money. But in the process, the government left untold mountains of cash on the table for U.S. taxpayers. Even if Libor was only manipulated a tiny bit lower, these small breaks add up.
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Woman Claims Watching 3D Film Made Her Pregnant
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What Terrorizes Americans Most: Guns or Sexual Freedom?
America treats sex, not violence, as the biggest threat to families and the nation, starting with Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) ratings bestowing action flicks that brutalize half-naked nymphets a PG-13, but anything suggesting female pleasure the deathly NC-17, as happened with the marital cunnilingus scene between Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine. A common argument against gay marriage or condom commercials is, “What would I say to my kids,” as if sex talk destroys childhood innocence.
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19 Examples Of How Control Freaks Are Killing America With Their Completely Ridiculous Regulations
The control freaks are winning, and they are absolutely killing America. Our founding fathers intended to establish a nation where Americans would be free to pursue “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” in an environment where freedom was maximized and government interference was minimized. Unfortunately, our nation has turned away from those principles and is now running 180 degrees in the other direction. For some reason, our political system tends to attract psychotic control freaks that want to micromanage our lives and make most of our decisions for us. These control freaks are actually convinced that freedom and liberty are “dangerous” and that there should be a rule or a regulation for just about everything. This is not just happening on the federal level either. The truth is that the control freaks are often the worst on the local level. When you add up the red tape on all levels of government, we literally have millions of laws, rules and regulations in America
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Iran nuclear energy facility hit with malware that plays AC/DC at full volume
An email to F-Secure — allegedly sent from an AEOI scientist — detailed the attack, noting that the malware has shut down some of the facility’s automated processes. The rather vague wording of the email leaves a few unanswered questions as to just what parts of the AEOI are in danger, but one piece of information was very clear: The insidious software prompted several of the group’s computers to begin playing the song “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC in the middle of the night, and at full volume.
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600-year-old linen bras found in Austrian castle
A revolutionary discovery is rewriting the history of underwear: Some 600 years ago, women wore bras. The University of Innsbruck said Wednesday that archeologists found four linen bras dating from the Middle Ages in an Austrian castle. Fashion experts describe the find as surprising because the bra had commonly been thought to be only little more than 100 years old as women abandoned the tight corset.
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Skydiver Fearless Felix jumps from 18 miles up
On Wednesday, Baumgartner took another stratospheric leap, this time from an altitude of more than 18 miles — an estimated 96,640 feet, nearly three times higher than cruising jetliners. He landed safely near Roswell, N.M. His top speed was an estimated 536 mph, said Brian Utley, an official observer on site. It’s the second test jump for Baumgartner from such extreme heights and a personal best. He’s aiming for a record-breaking jump from 125,000 feet, or 23 miles, in another month. He hopes to go supersonic then, breaking the speed of sound with just his body.
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62,000 pennies used to pay off mortgage
What started out as a joke 35 years ago ended with a Massachusetts man paying off his mortgage using 62,000 pennies. “I’ve never saved anything other than pennies. And it started out as a whim. You know, a penny for the mortgage,” Thomas Daigle told NBC affiliate WHDH-TV of Boston. Daigle, from Milford, Mass., recalled how, after signing the mortgage papers 35 years ago, he found a penny on the ground. He and his wife then joked about collecting pennies to pay off the loan — and the rest is history. Over the next 35 years, Daigle would roll pennies, 50 cents at a time. His bank found out the hard way just how much work that was — it reportedly took tellers two days to unroll the penny cases.
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More odd-colored lobsters turning up in the catch – but why?
Reports of odd-colored lobsters used to be rare in the lobster fishing grounds of New England and Atlantic Canada. Normal lobsters are a mottled greenish-brown. But in recent years, accounts of bright blue, orange, yellow, calico, white and even split lobsters – one color on one side, another on the other – have jumped. It’s now common to hear several stories a month of a lobsterman bringing one of the quirky crustaceans to shore.
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Did the NYPD Break International Law in Suppressing Protest?
A report by a group of civil and human rights attorneys released Wednesday morning paints the clearest picture yet of the New York City police department’s aggressive tactics and over-policing, all of which resulted in the systemic suppression of the basic rights of Occupy protesters. The report, which chronicles events from late September 2011 up to July of 2012, extensively documents numerous ways in which the NYPD acted with excessive force, attempted to intimidate and harass members of the press, expelled activists from public space due to the content of their speech, and ultimately concludes that authorities broke international law in their handling of Occupy Wall Street.
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Mayor Bloomberg Says Cops Should Go On Strike Until Americans Give Up Their Guns
In 2008, ten times more civilians regular people were killed by cops than cops were killed by perps. In 2011, 72 cops were shot and killed in the entire U.S.; in L.A. County alone, cops shot and killed 54 suspects the same year–22 percent of those people were unarmed. As Scott Reeder reported at Reason this morning, “Farmers, ranchers, commercial fishermen, loggers, garbage collectors, truck drivers, construction workers, pilots, steel workers, roofers, and others are far more likely to face death on the jobs than police or firefighters, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.” And as Choire Sicha wrote earlier this year, “2008 was the ten-year low for police officers being killed, and 2012 is, so far, year-to-date, down 49% from last year.”
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Batman Shooter James Holmes on Hardcore Pharmaceutical Drugs
Like virtually all massacre shooters before him, the notorious Batman shooter James Holmes is now reported to have been taking hardcore pharmaceutical drugs. In Holmes’ case, they happen to be the very same drugs that ultimately led to the early death of actor Heath Ledger. With a fix for ‘altering his state of mind’, the ‘Batman shooter’ was heavily hooked on the prescription painkiller Vicodin. Holmes even reportedly dosed up on a pharmaceutical cocktail just before the shooting. Side effects of Vicodin use, even at ‘recommended’ levels which Holmes likely far exceeded, include ‘altered mental states’ and ‘unusual thoughts or behavior’.
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The New Domain Awareness System Will Be Used To Track Potential Criminals And Terrorists
The New York Police Department will soon launch an all-seeing “Domain Awareness System” that combines several streams of information to track both criminals and potential terrorists. New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly says the city developed the software with Microsoft. Kelly says the program combines city-wide video surveillance with law enforcement databases. He says it will be officially unveiled by New York’s mayor as soon as next week.
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Two Texas Pre-Teens Create a Fake Facebook Account, Texas Cops Charge Them With Felonies and Lock Them Up
According to the Student Press Law Center, which investigated the girls’ arrest, officials in Hood County, Texas, are refusing to say whether the girls (who were arrested July 16) are still being detained. The center’s reporting suggests that the girls have been behind bars for more than a week for the crime of pranking a fellow student on Facebook
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File under Comedy, Culture, Fashion, Graffiti, SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG, Sex, Skateboarding

Conjured by SeMeN SPeRmS on July 30, 2012

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Militainment

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✪ Baby soaps and shampoos trigger positive marijuana tests
Commonly used baby soaps and shampoos, including products from Johnson & Johnson, Aveeno and CVS, can trigger a positive result on newborns’ marijuana screening tests, according to a recent study. A minute amount of the cleansing products in a urine sample — just 0.1 milliliters or less — was found to cause a positive result.
The Pentagon’s grip on Hollywood
The military entertainment complex is an old phenomenon that binds Hollywood with the US military. Known as militainment, it serves both parties well. Filmmakers get access to high tech weaponry – helicopters, jet planes and air craft carriers while the Pentagon gets free and positive publicity. The latest offering to come from this relationship is Act of Valor and it takes the collaboration one step further. The producers get more than just equipment — they have cast active-duty military personnel in the lead roles, prompting critics to say the lines have become so blurred that it is hard to see where Hollywood ends and Pentagon propaganda begins. In this week’s feature, the Listening Post’s Nic Muirhead looks at the ties between the US military and Hollywood.
✪ SWAT Team Brings TV Crew To Film Raid Against Threatening Internet Critic — Raids Innocent Grandma Instead
Evansville, Indiana police intent on “sending a message” that online threats against police will not be tolerated organized a massive raid against a forum troll on an online forum. The police decided to bring a TV crew to film their raid against their critic, they also brought a SWAT team. Rather than knock on the accused’s front door, which was wide open, the police instead threw two flash-bang stun grenades through their front window and storm door. Unfortunately, rather than finding the home occupied by a gun-toting cop killer, they found an entirely innocent grandmother and 18-year-old girl, who were both shocked and confused.
✪ Small-Town Cops Pile Up on Useless Military Gear
Small police departments across America are collecting battlefield-grade arsenals thanks to a program that allows them to get their hands on military surplus equipment – amphibious tanks, night-vision goggles, and even barber chairs or underwear – at virtually no cost, except for shipment and maintenance. Over the last five years, the top 10 beneficiaries of this “Department of Defense Excess Property Program” included small agencies such as the Fairmount Police Department. It serves 7,000 people in northern Georgia and received 17,145 items from the military. The cops in Issaquah, Washington, a town of 30,000 people, acquired more than 37,000 items
✪ Our Web Videos Reveal More Than We Realize, and Perhaps More Than We Want
That new capability will drive the demand for even more raw data. The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) agency, overseen by the U.S. director of national intelligence, has launched two projects that may help analysts use civilian video from YouTube, Vimeo and other sources. Investigators at the Finder program are studying ways to locate where and when a video was taken based solely on the image itself. That’s hard enough. But researchers at IARPA’s Aladdin are working on an even more challenging task: how to search for “specific events of interest.” If they succeed, analysts could feed in a name, a simple text description or a few sample videos of what they seek—say, “five people wearing backpacks next to a pickup truck”—and get back any number of clips that match the query.
✪ Silencing the trolls: Twitter considers ‘hate speech’ censorship
To stop the ‘hate speech’ anarchy, Twitter is considering starting off by blocking the very possibility of replies from so-called ‘non-authoritative’ users, marked out by the absence of a profile picture, followers or bio information, as FT.com reports. This is the first step, but there might be more to come. However, the company’s management is concerned that by installing any kinds of ‘selective’ measures, they may put an end to the unique Twitter-style ‘freedom of tweets’ that has helped Arab revolutions. Anonymity was the key factor that allowed so many users there to join and have their say. “The reason we want to allow pseudonyms is there are lots of places in the world where it’s the only way you’d be able to speak freely,” FT quotes Dick Costolo as saying. Twitter is basically the ‘last harbor’ of anonymity, as it does not have to be linked with such powerful database platforms as Facebook and Google. Silencing trolls may hit those ‘revolutionary’ users as well.
✪ Perverted Police Officer Popped For Giving 15-Year-Old Girl A “Sex Exam”
“Well, were you having sex? What are you doing here?” The girl quickly responded “no, no, no, officer no,” the affidavit said. The girl told police she and her friend were just talking. But the man told the girl he “needed to check.” The girl asked “Check what?” “I need to see inside,” he responded. That’s when he ordered her to take off her pants and underwear so he could look for bruising or other evidence of sexual activity. In fear, the affidavit said, she complied. The girl told police she thought it “was the right thing to do” because he was an officer. Her 19-year-friend turned away, unable to watch, according to the affidavit. He told police he heard the man tell the girl “I need you to spread your legs wider so I can see.” The officer then used a flashlight to “inspect” her and told her to pull down her blouse so he could check for bruising, according to the police report. Then he returned the driver’s license to the boy and told them “Go home.”
✪ ‘Animal’ couple busted for child abuse, child porn after sickening images found on cell phone they left at Walmart
Two north Florida “animals” are facing child porn charges after photos showing them raping a 4-year-old girl were found on a cell phone they left at a Walmart. Pictures on the phone showed convicted sex offender Alan Johnson, 33, and his girlfriend, Jennifer Sparks, 37, abusing the girl “in every way imaginable,” Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott told WSOC-TV. “My most seasoned detectives here said that its the worst they’ve ever seen,” he said. A shopper found the phone in a shopping cart at a Cape Coral Walmart on June 2 and turned it in, police said.
✪ ‘Leap Second’ Bug Wreaks Havoc Across Web
On Saturday, at midnight Greenwich Mean Time, as June turned into July, the Earth’s official time keepers held their clocks back by a single second in order to keep them in sync with the planet’s daily rotation, and according to reports from across the web, some of the net’s fundamental software platforms — including the Linux operating system and the Java application platform — were unable to cope with the extra second.
✪ Satanists Claim Theft Is Hate Crime
A local couple who claim to be Satanists believe they’re a victim of a hate crime and were targeted because of their religious beliefs. Someone cut down a political poster stating, “VOTE SATAN” from their front porch where they live in Mountain View, a suburb of Denver. “We are Satanists… Satanists,” said Luigi Bellaviste. Luigi and Angie Bellaviste belong to the Church of Satan. They even have a Satanic Bible in their home. Thanks Jasmine
✪ Dumb Hikers With Smartphones
Increasingly, smartphones are creating problems in the backcountry, particularly in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, where, officials say, more hikers are skipping basic gear — particularly a map, compass, and flashlight – and relying too heavily on phones with GPS and a slew of gear-like apps, including compasses and trail maps, to bail them out of a jam. “Being prepared for a hike does not mean having your cellphone charged,” said Major Kevin Jordan from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, which oversees 150 to 180 rescues each year. “To find people with a map and compass is just incredibly rare. It boggles my mind. But when we rescue someone, I hear a lot of regret, a lot of people saying, ‘I should have brought more than my phone, but everywhere I go at home I have cellphone coverage.’ ”
✪ Agents remove 41,000 marijuana plants from 40-acre site in San Diego County
Drug agents removed more than 41,000 marijuana plants from a 40-acre area near Warner Springs in northeastern San Diego County, Drug Enforcement Administration officials announced Monday. The haul, conducted Sunday and Monday, was the largest marijuana seizure on private property in the county’s history, DEA officials said. No arrests were made, but the investigation is continuing, officials said. The removal, from a remote, secluded area called Sunshine Summit, required 35 DEA agents and officers from the multi-agency Narcotics Task Force. Also found on the property were two large water tanks, chemicals for fertilizer, and a 30-round magazine for a semiautomatic weapon. The marijuana removed from the site was estimated to have a wholesale value of $41 million.
✪ Deputy who tried to smuggle drug-stuffed burrito gets 2 years
A former Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy accused of trying to smuggle a burrito stuffed with heroin into a courthouse lockup was sentenced Monday to two years in jail. Henry Marin, who was once portrayed as a dim-witted bumbler on a reality television show that focused on sheriff’s recruits, said nothing as a courtroom deputy handcuffed him and led him away to the type of cell he was once responsible for guarding.
✪ World’s First Genetically Modified Babies ‘Created’ in US
The ‘GM babies’ were born into women who had trouble conceiving their own children. In order to ‘birth’ the babies, extra genes from a female donor were inserted into the women’s eggs before they were fertilized. After conception, scientists fingerprinted 2 of the one-year-old children and confirmed that they inherited DNA from 3 adults — one man and 2 women. What this means is that due to inheriting these extra genes through the genetic modification process, they will now be able to pass them along to their offspring. In other words, these genetically modified babies — if allowed to mate with non-GM humans — could potentially alter the very genetic coding of generations to come. Genetecists state that this genetic modification method may one day be used to create babies “with extra, desired characteristics such as strength or high intelligence.”
✪ Brazilian ‘chain gangs’ pedal power path to freedom
Inmates in a Brazilian prison can shave time off their sentences by becoming living sources of green energy. All they need to do is turn the wheel of a bike connected to a power generator. For every 16 hours of pedaling the inmates of the Santa Rita do Sapucaí prison have their sentences reduced by one day, according to a Jornal Nacional report. The generators the prisoners put in motion charge batteries, which are taken to the city center to power some of the street lights. The two bikes installed in the prison are enough to light six bulbs. The reason behind the offer is not to profit from free labor however. Rather it is meant to give inmates an incentive to keep themselves in good shape, says city judge José Henrique Mallmann, who introduced the idea. Thanks Bjarni
✪ Colombia decriminalizes cocaine, marijuana
Colombia has decriminalized cocaine and marijuana, saying that people cannot be jailed for possessing the drugs for personal use. Anyone caught with less 20 grams (0.705 ounces) of marijuana or one gram (0.035 ounces) of cocaine for personal use will not be prosecuted or detained, but could be required to receive physical or psychological treatment, depending on their level of intoxication, according to Colombia Reports. Colombian Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon said law enforcement would continue its fight against drug trafficking, but would not make further comment.
✪ U.S. Tax Dollars At War
Do you know how your tax dollars are spent? US radio host Dennis Bernstein and investigative reporter Dave Lindorff illustrate just how much US tax money goes towards the country’s war chest. “People have to realise that 53 cents of every dollar that they are paying into taxes is going to the military to an astonishing figure there is an enormous, enormous amount of money being blown on war an killing and destruction.”
✪ Fraud Ring In Hacking Attack On 60 Banks
Sixty million euro has been stolen from bank accounts in a massive cyber bank raid after fraudsters raided dozens of financial institutions around the world. According to a joint report by software security firm McAfee and Guardian Analytics, more than 60 firms have suffered from what it has called an “insider level of understanding”. “The fraudsters’ objective in these attacks is to siphon large amounts from high balance accounts, hence the name chosen for this research – Operation High Roller,” the report said. “If all of the attempted fraud campaigns were as successful as the Netherlands example we describe in this report, the total attempted fraud could be as high as 2bn euro (£1.6bn).” The automated malicious software programme was discovered to use servers to process thousands of attempted thefts from both commercial firms and private individuals. The stolen money was then sent to so-called mule accounts in caches of a few hundreds and 100,000 euro (£80,000) at a time.
✪ How a Grad Student Scooped the Government and Uncovered One of the Biggest Internet Privacy Scandals
Nearly every day, and often several times a day, there is fresh news of privacy invasions as companies hone their ability to imperceptibly assemble a vast amount of data about anyone with a smartphone, laptop or credit card. Retailers, search engines, social media sites, news organizations — all want to know as much as they can about their visitors and users so that ads can be targeted as precisely as possible. But data mining, which has become central to the corporate bottom line, can be downright creepy, with companies knowing what you search for, what you buy, which websites you visit, how long you browse — and more. Earlier this year, it was revealed that Target realized a teenage customer was pregnant before her father knew; the firm identifies first-term pregnancies through, among other things, purchases of scent-free products. It’s akin to someone rifling through your wallet, closet or medicine cabinet, but in the digital sphere no one picks your pocket or breaks into your house
✪ Cellphone Companies Will Share Your Location Data – Just Not With You
As location tracking by cell phone companies becomes increasingly accurate and widespread, the question of who your location data actually belongs to remains unresolved. Privacy activists in the U.S. say the law has not kept pace with developing technology and argue for more stringent privacy standards for cell phone companies. As Matt Blaze, a University of Pennsylvania professor put it, “all of the rules are in a state of enormous uncertainty and flux.” The Obama administration has maintained that mobile phone users have “no reasonable expectation of privacy.” The administration has argued against more stringent standards for police and the FBI to obtain location data.
✪ Texas college hacks drone in front of DHS
After being challenged by his lab, the DHS dared Humphreys’ crew to hack into a drone and take command. Much to their chagrin, they did exactly that. Humphrey tells Fox News that for a few hundreds dollar his team was able to “spoof” the GPS system on board the drone, a technique that involves mimicking the actual signals sent to the global positioning device and then eventually tricking the target into following a new set of commands. And, for just $1,000, Humphreys says the spoofer his team assembled was the most advanced one ever built. “Spoofing a GPS receiver on a UAV is just another way of hijacking a plane,” Humphreys tells Fox. The real danger here, however, is that the government is currently considering plans that will allow local law enforcement agencies and other organizations from coast-to-coast to control drones of their own in America’s airspace.
✪ Ad Biz Claims It Must Disregard User Privacy Choices to Safeguard “Cybersecurity”
At a hearing yesterday, the Senate Commerce Committee took up the issue of online tracking, the browser-based Do Not Track flag, and, in an unlikely turn of events, cybersecurity. The hearing included testimony from Ohio State University Law School’s Prof. Peter Swire, Mozilla’s Alex Fowler, the Association of National Advertisers’ Bob Liodice, and TechFreedom’s Berin Szoka. While there were a number of heated moments in the hearing, the most surprising was the advertising industry’s claim that respecting consumer choice will harm “cybersecurity.” This new argument from the advertising industry only raises more concerns for the civil liberties implications of online tracking and was, as Rockefeller aptly noted, little more than a “red herring.”
✪ Your E-Book Is Reading You
EFF has pressed for legislation to prevent digital book retailers from handing over information about individuals’ reading habits as evidence to law enforcement agencies without a court’s approval. Earlier this year, California instituted the “reader privacy act,” which makes it more difficult for law-enforcement groups to gain access to consumers’ digital reading records. Under the new law, agencies must get a court order before they can require digital booksellers to turn over information revealing which books their customers have browsed, purchased, read and underlined. The American Civil Liberties Union and EFF, which partnered with Google and other organizations to push for the legislation, are now seeking to enact similar laws in other states. Bruce Schneier, a cyber-security expert and author, worries that readers may steer clear of digital books on sensitive subjects such as health, sexuality and security—including his own works—out of fear that their reading is being tracked
✪ What is causing the outbreak of Flesh Eating Diseases?
However, some people have surmised that the use of antibiotics in our food supply is the main culprit while the overuse of antibiotics by doctors further exasperates the problem. In the 1940’s farmers began treating their livestock with antibiotics. It was soon discovered that if you fed antibiotics to your chickens, pigs and cows on a regular basis that the animals would get fatter quicker and with less feed. In order to compete with the other factory farms farmers started feeding their animals antibiotics everyday! And as we all know by now, the more antibiotics one takes whether through a prescription or through eating antibiotic laden meat, the more resistant one gets. As a side note I also wonder if eating all this antibiotic laden meat has contributed to the obesity epidemic in America..I mean if large doses of antibiotics cause animals to get fat while eating less, wouldn’t that do the same in humans?
✪ How to Make Eyes Look Asian
Asian eyes are traditionally thinner and narrower than Caucasian or African-American eyes, which tend to be rounder and wider. Asian eyes tend to resemble the oval shape of almonds, although some can look even narrower than that. Most Asians have only a single eyelid (meaning their eyelids don’t have a prominent crease). You can make your eyes look Asian by using makeup or undergoing plastic surgery.
✪ How to Look Asian (for a Play, Convention, Etc.): 8 steps
There are many reasons why you might want to look Asian: maybe you’re playing an Asian person in a school play, maybe you’re going to an anime convention and want to look like a certain character, maybe you’re dressing up for a costume party or for Halloween, or maybe you just want to change your appearance for fun, or to disguise your appearance to evade the law. In any case, this article will allow you to (sort of) go from looking White to looking Asian, without much fuss or money needed.
✪ NSA Won’t Disclose How Many Americans are Being Spied On
As the sprawling surveillance site being constructed by the National Security Agency (NSA) in Utah grows larger and nearer completion every day, the domestic spy service remains tightlipped about just how much and what kind of personal electronic data they have already collected and collated. Not only does the NSA refuse to provide such information, it insists that it cannot be forced to.
✪ Bates Family Home Was Meth Lab: John, Jessie, Tyler Bates’ Chronic Sickness Explained
John and Jessie Bates and their 7-year-old son, Tyler, began experiencing mysterious health problems months after after moving into a new home in Suquamish, Washington in March 2007. Tyler was having trouble breathing, Jessie developed a bizarre rash, and John was “perpetually sick,” according to My Fox Phoenix. Though a standard inspection found no problems, the family suspected the house itself was the culprit. A year and a half later, a neighbor revealed the home’s sordid secret: the previous occupant had used it as a meth lab. Even more certain that the building was behind their ailments, the Bates began ripping up the floors and walls. They found “iodine-like staining on the walls and human feces under the floor,” Jessie told Fox News.
✪ Spok, Neko, and Rosh Bomb Madrid’s Main Street by Cutting Massive Vinyl Ad
Madrid’s own Spok, Neko and Rosh bombed Gran Via, the main street of “Mad City” using an innovative technique which consists of cutting vinyl from a massive block-long advertisement and then peeling off their letters. This new subtractive method makes a permanent mark on the street with minimum effort. Quick, smooth and real nice work from these three amigos.
✪ In Their Own Words: ‘Study Drugs’
After inviting students to submit personal stories of the abuse of prescription drugs for academic advantage, The Times received almost 200 submissions. While a majority focused on the prevalence of these drugs on college campuses, many wrote about their increasing appearance in high schools, the focus of our article on Sunday. We have highlighted about 30 of the submissions below, almost all written by current high school students or recent graduates. In often vivid detail — snorting their own pills, stealing pills from friends — the students described an issue that they found upsetting, valuable, dangerous and, above all else, real. Most of them claimed that it was a problem rooted not in drugs per se, but with the pressure that compelled some youngsters to use them.
✪ Theft, Pedophilia, Murder Among TSA Employees’ Crimes
Theft is followed closely by sex crimes and child pornography charges, with 14 such incidents listed in Blackburn’s report. Six TSA employees were charged with possession of child pornography; one of them got caught because he “uploaded explicit pictures of young girls to an Internet site on which he also posted a photograph of himself in his TSA uniform,” the report notes. Eight others were charged variously with child molestation, rape (including child rape), and even running a prostitution ring. It’s not hard to figure out why persons possessing such proclivities would seek jobs where they would be able to ogle and grope other people’s private parts with impunity.
✪ $29.5 Billion in Overdraft Fees? How the Big Banks Are Still Screwing Us
About those “extended overdraft” fees: consumer advocates have noted that they are not unlike shady payday loans that charge consumers a tremendous amount of interest to get some needed cash in the short term. The Consumer Federation of America recently compared the two practices, and came up with some disturbing findings: As it has before, the Consumer Federation reported the cost at each bank of a $100 overdraft repaid two weeks later as if it were a short-term loan. It said the best deal, at Citibank, was equivalent to a loan with an annual percentage rate of 884 percent. Some banks, including PNC and RBS Citizens, charge more than 2,000 percent. Another thing: the banks examined in the Pew report have continued to reserve the right to process withdrawals by dollar amount, rather than chronologically. This practice “maximizes the number of times an account goes negative, thus increasing overdraft fees” – and the banks can choose to reorder transactions whenever they want

 

 

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Sacred Cows Make The Best Burgers

✰ 6 uncannily fake baby videos
Not all special effects are digital – fake babies are still constructed for film and television work, and for collectors who want highly realistic replicas.
✰ Baby eats cocaine found in motel room
It was in room 223, Jahmai’s mother says he found a spoon under the bed, and put it in his mouth. His grandmother was the first to notice. “She looked at it and she’s like, look at this,” said April Portis, Jahmai’s mother. “I took it from her and on the back of the spoon it was all burnt up and on the top of the spoon was the residue from the cocaine on it.” Portis called police. She says an officer performed a test on the spot, and confirmed cocaine was on the spoon.
✰ A subversive spotlight
Sacred cows make the best hamburgers, says the activist who defaced an Australian icon. It’s been eight years since David Burgess scaled up to the top of Sydney’s gleaming white Opera House and lashed it with bright red paint. It took three coats before the act was complete. NO WAR screamed the sign. The highly-visible protest against the looming Iraq war split the Australian community between those who were shocked at the wanton vandalism of the national icon, and those who applauded the message. Ultimately, it landed Mr Burgess and his activist peer Will Saunders in jail for nine months’ weekend detention for malicious damage. “I won’t say there were days I didn’t wake up feeling utterly miserable, but you couldn’t really regret what we’d done,” Burgess says. “A lot of people said it gave them a little bit of happiness or hope on what was otherwise a very awful day.
✰ Face Slimmer – Weird Anti-Aging Mouthpiece from Japan
The so-called face Slimmer was launched in Japan, late last year, by a well-known cosmetic company called Glim. It’s a weird-looking rubbery thing that looks a lot like the mouth of a blow-up doll, and it supposedly solves your sagging face problem while giving you that coveted duck-face look. You know, the one every “cool” teenager poses with in their Facebook photos. Now, unlike most other Japanese inventions, the Face Slimmer isn’t high-tech. In fact it’s as low tech as they come, all you have to do is put it in your mouth and start exercising your face muscles. Think of it as a squeeze punch for your mouth…
✰ No Explanation for Pennsylvania’s Purple Squirrel
A Pennsylvania couple trapped, of all things, a purple squirrel on Sunday. Percy and Connie Emert, of Jersey Shore, Pa. caught the unusual animal when trying to keep birds safe from the rodents. “We have bird feeders out in our yard, and the squirrels are constantly into them,” said Jersey Shore resident Connie Emert. “My husband traps them and then sets them free elsewhere so they don’t get into your bird feeders.” Emert said she had spotted a purple squirrel on her property but no one believed her. “I kept telling my husband I saw a purple one out in the yard. ‘Oh sure you did’ he kept telling me,” said Emert. “Well, he checked the trap around noon on Sunday and sure enough, there it was.”
✰ Man dismembered and cooked after sex games
The BZ daily reported on Wednesday that the deceased, Carsten Srock, was found with his limbs expertly carved off with either an axe or large knife. The body pieces were then wrapped fastidiously in plastic bags and cling-wrap, and left to sit in the two-room flat for around three weeks. His head was found, partially cooked, by the police. Prosecutors on the case told the BZ they believe the victim was “murdered for sexual pleasure.”
✰ Mexico Meth Bust: Army Finds 15 Tons Of Pure Methamphetamine
The historic seizure of 15 tons of pure methamphetamine in western Mexico, equal to half of all meth seizures worldwide in 2009, feeds growing speculation that the country could become a world platform for meth production, not just a supplier to the United States. The sheer size of the bust announced late Wednesday in Jalisco state suggests involvement of the powerful Sinaloa cartel, a major international trafficker of cocaine and marijuana that has moved into meth production and manufacturing on an industrial scale. Army officials didn’t say what drug gangs could have been behind the dozens of blue barrels filled with powdered meth. Army Gen. Gilberto Hernandez Andreu said the meth was ready for packaging. There was no information on where the drugs were headed. Jalisco has long been considered the hub of the Sinaloa cartel’s meth production and trafficking. Meanwhile, meth use is growing in the United States, already the world’s biggest market for illicit drugs.
✰ Interview with a hoaxster: How I fooled the Daily Mail with fake pic
Looks pretty authentic, yes? Well the image of a snow-covered road and cars never aired on the BBC, wasn’t taken in Lutterworth, and it certainly wasn’t submitted by anyone with the name Shanda Lear. (Chandelier, anyone?) Kirton, a truck driver and photographer, created the image in Photoshop and then made it look like it had been on TV. After the Mail somehow discovered the image, it published a story headlined, “Not a name to make light of! BBC News shows picture taken by viewer called Shanda Lear.”
✰ No Satisfaction: Lip-Shaped Urinals in Stones Museum Called Sexist
Women in the northern German town of Lüchow have expressed their dissatisfaction with the design of two urinals in the men’s toilet of a museum dedicated to the Rolling Stones. They are shaped like red lips, similar to the legendary logo of the band, but they look more feminine, and they lack tongues. Local activist Roda Armbruster wants the urinals removed. “That’s discrimination against women,” she told regional broadcaster NDR. “Why does it have to be a woman’s mouth? If it had been based on the emblem of the Stones with the tongue, it would have been OK. But the tongue’s been left out and they really looks like women’s mouths.”
✰ Janet Howell, Virginia State Senator, Attaches Rectal Exam Amendment To Anti-Abortion Bill
To protest a bill that would require women to undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion, Virginia State Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax) on Monday attached an amendment that would require men to have a rectal exam and a cardiac stress test before obtaining a prescription for erectile dysfunction medication. “We need some gender equity here,” she told HuffPost. “The Virginia senate is about to pass a bill that will require a woman to have totally unnecessary medical procedure at their cost and inconvenience. If we’re going to do that to women, why not do that to men?”
✰ Scouting An Abandoned Cold War Missile Base Hidden In The Adirondacks
Quick note: Though you may have read about this property before, most articles have simply reprinted the same stock real estate photos over and over. As always, all pictures are my own work, and I don’t think you’ll find a tour like this anywhere else.
✰ Congress Trying to Fast-Track Domestic Drone Use, Sideline Privacy
One result of that pressure is this legislation (H.R. 658 — see conference report for more details), which authorizes appropriations for the FAA through fiscal 2014. Unfortunately, nothing in the bill would address the very serious privacy issues raised by drone aircraft. This bill would push the nation willy-nilly toward an era of aerial surveillance without any steps to protect the traditional privacy that Americans have always enjoyed and expected. Congress — and to the extent possible, the FAA — need to impose some rules (such as those we proposed in our report) to protect Americans’ privacy from the inevitable invasions that this technology will otherwise lead to. We don’t want to wonder, every time we step out our front door, whether some eye in the sky is watching our every move.
✰ Israel teams with terror group to kill Iran’s nuclear scientists
Deadly attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists are being carried out by an Iranian dissident group that is financed, trained and armed by Israel’s secret service, U.S. officials tell NBC News, confirming charges leveled by Iran’s leaders. The group, the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, has long been designated as a terrorist group by the United States, accused of killing American servicemen and contractors in the 1970s and supporting the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran before breaking with the Iranian mullahs in 1980. The attacks, which have killed five Iranian nuclear scientists since 2007 and may have destroyed a missile research and development site, have been carried out in dramatic fashion, with motorcycle-borne assailants often attaching small magnetic bombs to the exterior of the victims’ cars.
✰ Experimenting With Nootropics to Increase Mental Capacity, Clarity
Nootropic (new-tro-pik) is the term for supplements, also known as smart drugs, that improve brain function. They can be food substances like phenethylamine and L-Theanine, found in chocolate and green tea, respectively. Nootropics also include extracted and purified components of medicinal plants, as well as substances synthesized from chemical precursors, such as piracetam, the world’s first official nootropic (piracetam was created in 1964 in Belgium by a team of scientists whose leader, Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea, coined the term). Since then piracetam has been widely used as a cognitive enhancer and to treat neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s.
✰ Reason for Zimbabwe reservoir delays… mermaids have been hounding workers away!
Essential work on planned reservoirs in Zimbabwe has stopped because mermaids have been hounding workers away, according to the country’s Water Resources Minister. Samuel Sipepa Nkomo told a Zimbabwean parliamentary committee that terrified workers are refusing to return to the sites, near the towns of Gokwe and Mutare. Minister Nkomo said the only way to solve the problem was to brew traditional beer and carry out any rites to appease the spirits.
✰ Scientists use brain activity analysis to reconstruct words heard by test subjects
Last September, scientists from the University of California, Berkeley announced that they had developed a method of visually reconstructing images from peoples’ minds, by analyzing their brain activity. Much to the dismay of tinfoil hat-wearers everywhere, researchers from that same institution have now developed a somewhat similar system, that is able to reconstruct words that people have heard spoken to them. Instead of being used to violate our civil rights, however, the technology could instead allow the vocally-disabled to “speak.”
✰ Nazi Concentration Camp Surgical Tools Up For Auction
Nazi surgical tools formerly owned by an SS Major and possibly used in a concentration camp during the Holocaust are being put up for auction. A wooden box of instruments belonging to Anton Burger, commandant of the Theresienstadt camp in what was then Czechoslovakia, is being sold off by the widow of a Jewish man whose parents were Holocaust survivors.
✰ F.B.I. Admits Hacker Group’s Eavesdropping
The international hackers group known as Anonymous turned the tables on the F.B.I. by listening in on a conference call last month between the bureau, Scotland Yard and other foreign police agencies about their joint investigation of the group and its allies. Anonymous posted a 16-minute recording of the call on the Web on Friday and crowed about the episode in via Twitter: “The FBI might be curious how we’re able to continuously read their internal comms for some time now.”
✰ This Looks Like A Fortified Sniper’s Nest At The Super Bowl
Some photos with no backstory are making the rounds, showing what appears to be an Indianapolis police sniper checking out his post in the rafters of Lucas Oil Stadium in the hours or days before the Super Bowl, a post that would be manned when the game began. Yes, we know there’s nothing surprising about trained marksmen working the biggest sporting event of the year. We also know it’s pretty damn cool to see what the Super Bowl snipers are working with. It’s standard operating procedure to have an invisible law enforcement presence at any high-profile event, let alone one with the attendance and attention the Super Bowl receives. And remember, there are all kinds of politicians and other assorted rich people around. You never know what could happen, though the imagination conjures up increasingly insane and horrifying scenarios, and also the criminally underrated Black Sunday. It’s just never a bad idea to have a sniper rifle around.
✰ Independent Report Shows that Syrian Government Violence Has Been Exaggerated
While the Western media act like the Syrian government is wantonly and indiscriminately killing its own people without provocation, an independent investigation has found a different reality on the ground. Specifically, over 160 monitors from the Arab League – comprised of both allies and mortal enemies of Syria – toured Syria and published a report on January 27th showing that the situation has been mischaracterized.
✰ FaceTime for Apes: Orangutans Use iPads to Video Chat With Friends In Other Zoos
Orangutans living in captivity will soon start using iPads for primate play-dates, using Skype or FaceTime to interact with their brethren in other zoos, according to zookeepers. The great apes have been playing with iPads for about six months at the Milwaukee County Zoo, and they’ve been such a hit that other zoos plan to introduce them, too. The “Apps for Apes” program started after a zookeeper commented online about getting some iPads for her gorilla charges. Someone donated a used iPad, and it turned out the gorillas didn’t care for it. But the orangutans loved it, as the LA Times says.
✰ Single-Serve Coffee Brewers Make Convenience Costly
SOMETIMES it’s hard to tell how much coffee costs, even if you know what you spent. At least that’s the case with many of the single-serve brewing machines that are soaring in popularity. For example, the Nespresso Arpeggio costs $5.70 for 10 espresso capsules, while the Folgers Black Silk blend for a K-Cup brewed-coffee machine is $10.69 for 12 pods. But that Nespresso capsule contains 5 grams of coffee, so it costs about $51 a pound. And the Folgers, with 8 grams per capsule, works out to more than $50 a pound. That’s even more expensive than all but the priciest coffees sold by artisanal roasters, the stuff of coffee snobs.
✰ Killed by her hair extensions: Woman dies after allergic reaction ‘to glue in hairdo’ as expert says he has seen four similar deaths in three months
A woman died from a massive allergic reaction that could have been caused by the glue in her hair extensions, a pathologist said yesterday. Atasha Graham, 34, who had used hair extensions for 14 years, collapsed after clubbing until the early hours. Home Office pathologist Michael Heath told the inquest into her death that the latex glue used to apply her extensions – or the solvent for removing old ones – may have been to blame.
✰ Pigs on police cars? Prank by Vermont inmates adorns decals
How did an image of a pig — the infamous ’60s-era epithet by protesters for police officers — wind up on a decal used on as many as 30 Vermont State Police cruisers? State officials Thursday pointed to the failure of the quality assurance office within the Vermont Correctional Industries Print Shop in St. Albans to detect a prisoner-artist’s addition made four years ago to the traditional state police logo. A spot on the shoulder of the cow in the state emblem was modified into a pig.
BBC defends decision to censor the word “Palestine”‎
What rapper Mic Righteous was actually trying to say was ‘Free Palestine’. But Palestine, it seems, is now a dirty word on the BBC.
✰ Neuroscience could mean soldiers controlling weapons with minds
Soldiers could have their minds plugged directly into weapons systems, undergo brain scans during recruitment and take courses of neural stimulation to boost their learning, if the armed forces embrace the latest developments in neuroscience to hone the performance of their troops. These scenarios are described in a report into the military and law enforcement uses of neuroscience, published on Tuesday, which also highlights a raft of legal and ethical concerns that innovations in the field may bring.
✰ Controversial Chicago City Parking Sticker Design Dumped For Alleged Gang Signs
Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza has decided to go with the runner-up in the city’s parking sticker design contest, after a blogger questioned whether gang signs were in the artwork submitted by the winner. The sticker was picked as the winner in a city-wide contest and was designed by Herbie Pulgar, a15-year-old boy who attends a school for troubled youth. “I was trying to convey the love for Chicago, the love for our first responders,” he said. The theme of the contest was to honor city firefighters and police officers. The freshman said his design honored first responders, as he was saved from a fire when he was 4 years old. On Tuesday, the city clerk’s office began getting calls after a blogger said the hands in the artwork may be showing the symbol of a notorious gang. Some said both the heart and the shape of the hands in the image are evocative of gang symbols.
✰ Whales not slaves because they are not people, judge in SeaWorld case rules
A US federal judge has thrown out an animal rights group’s lawsuit accusing SeaWorld of enslaving captive killer whales, ruling that orcas have no standing to seek the same constitutional rights as people. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) had accused the chain of aquatic theme parks of violating the rights of whales under the 13th amendment of the US constitution, which abolished slavery. The lawsuit, filed in the US district court of San Diego, listed as plaintiffs five performing orcas at SeaWorld’s parks in California and Florida: Tilikum, Katina, Corky, Kasatka and Ulises. “The only reasonable interpretation of the 13th amendment’s plain language is that it applies to persons and not to non-persons such as orcas,” US district judge Jeffrey Miller wrote in his ruling.
✰ According To A New DHS Report, If You Love “Individual Liberty” Of If You “Believe In Conspiracy Theories” You Are A Potential Terrorist
Hot Spots of Terrorism and Other Crimes in the United States, 1970 to 2008“, and it was produced by the “National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism” for the Department of Homeland Security. As you will see detailed later on in this article, the most shocking part of this report is when it discusses the “ideological motivations” of potential terrorists. The report shamelessly attempts to portray red-blooded Americans that love liberty and that love their country as the enemy. Once upon a time, deeply patriotic Americans were considered to be the backbone of America, but today they are considered to be potential terrorists.

 

 

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The Deadliest Man Alive

✦ Count Dante – Comic Book Ads ‘Deadliest Man Alive’
During the mid 60s, John Keehan abrubptly changed his name to Count Juan Raphael Dante and began heavily promoting himself via comic book ads as Deadliest Man Alive. One had only to mail order for his instructional booklet The Worlds Deadliest Fighting Secrets (in which he outlined the Dance of Death) and they would also receive a free Black Dragon Fighting Society membership card. The Black Dragon Fighting Society founded by Count Dante is an American martial arts organization and has no connection with and should not be confused with the Japanese Black Dragon Society, an ultranationalist society during the 1930s and 1940s.
✦ Woman Injects ‘Bath Salts,’ Loses Arm To Flesh-Eating Bacteria
Using illicit drugs can cause lots of bad things to happen. But being attacked by flesh-eating bacteria usually isn’t one of them. Yet that’s what happened to an unfortunate young woman who had injected the increasingly popular stimulant drug called “bath salts.” The 34-year-old woman showed up at a New Orleans hospital with a painful, swollen arm after she attended a party. She had a small red puncture mark on her forearm. The doctors diagnosed a skin infection and put her on intravenous antibiotics. Things got better. But two days later, the swelling suddenly returned. At that point, she told them that she had injected the bath salts (not to be confused with real bathing aids) at the party.
✦ EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Survivor of Israeli Attack Reveals Secrets of 1967 High Seas Massacre
“Forty-four years after the fact, I can only come to one conclusion about what happened on June 8, 1967,” said Tourney. “The USS Liberty was set up by the U.S. government to be sunk by the Israeli military so that they could blame it on Egypt. After this attack, two American aircrafts were launched carrying nuclear-tipped missiles in order to bomb Cairo. That city was within three minutes of being obliterated. Without a doubt, it would have started WWIII.”
✦ Thai Man Marries Dead Girlfriend
Deffy and Sarinya had been together for 10 years, before they finally decided to settle down. They had postponed the wedding several times, due to busy schedules and the fact that Deffy wanted to complete his education before he got married. However, after Sarinya’s untimely death, he couldn’t let her go without fulfilling her deepest desire. So, he decided to marry her anyway. On the 4th of January, in Buddhist ceremony, Deffy married the corpse of his girlfriend. The event took place in Surin, a city in northern Thailand. During the ceremony, he expressed his devotion and deep love for Sarinya. Several friends and relatives attended the wedding, and it was even aired on national television in Thailand. The story, along with pictures from the wedding have now become an internet sensation, sparking several debates.
✦ ‘The Senator’ falls, world’s 5th oldest tree destroyed by fire
A fire early Monday has destroyed the 125-foot-tall bald cypress tree known as “The Senator,” the centerpiece of Longwood’s Big Tree Park. “The Senator” was the tallest cypress tree in the United States, and believed to be the oldest of its kind in North America, and the fifth oldest tree in the world. Officials with Seminole Fire Rescue said they do not believe the fire is the result of arson. A passer-by reported the fire around 5:45 a.m. Monday. Crews had to lay over 800 feet of hose just to get to the tree, but Steve Wright, with Seminole County Fire Rescue, said they could not save “The Senator.” The tree was so old and hollow that it burned from the inside out. “We saw some of the helicopter views,” Laura Winfree said. “It looked like a giant torch.” The tree got its name from Sen. Moses Overstreet, who donated the land to Seminole County in 1927. “That tree was older than Jesus,” Winfree said. Within two hours, it burned to the ground.
✦ Woman offered sexual favors in exchange for McNuggets
A Los Angeles woman was arrested after she offered sexual favors in exchange for chicken McNuggets, Burbank police said. Khadijah Baseer of Los Angeles reportedly opened customers’ car doors in the drive-thru of McDonald’s on the 1700 block of Olive Avenue about 11 p.m. Wednesday, asking for free chicken McNuggets in exchange for sexual favors, Officer Joshua Kendrick said.
✦ Beyoncé in white skin row again: Controversial photo shows singer looking several shades lighter than her usual tone
She faced controversy back in 2008 when her skin appeared shades lighter in an advertisement. But it appears Beyoncé – or her producers – have not learned their lesson. A promotional picture has emerged of the pop princess looking much paler than her usual colour.
✦ Bank of America ATMs In San Francisco Turned Into Truth Machines
RAN activists took to the streets of San Francisco last night and turned every Bank of America ATM in the city into an Automated Truth Machine. The activists used special non-adhesive stickers designed to look exactly like BoA’s ATM interface. But instead of checking and savings accounts, these new menus offered a list of everything BoA customers’ money is being used for, including investment in coal-fired power plants, foreclosure on Americans’ homes, bankrolling of climate change, and paying for fat executive bonuses.
✦ Human rights equated with national suicide
On Wednesday, Israel’s High Court rejected a legal challenge to the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, by a six to five vote. The law, first passed as a ‘temporary’ measure in 2003 and renewed ever since, prevents Palestinians from the Occupied Territories (and those from ‘enemy states’) from living with their spouses in Israel. For thousands of Palestinian families, Israel’s law means a choice between moving abroad, living apart, or living in Israel illegally. No wonder that the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) condemned what it described as a “racist law” for the way it harms “the very texture of the lives of families whose only sin is the Palestinian blood that runs in their veins”.
✦ Hackers in Saudi Arabia disrupt Israel airline, stock market websites
A hacker network that claims to be based in Saudi Arabia paralyzed the websites of Israel’s stock exchange and national airline on Monday, escalating an international cyber war that has jolted this security-obsessed country. Neither website contains sensitive information and trading and flights were not affected. But the ongoing salvos by hackers who use anti-Israel language in their posts has revealed how vulnerable Israel is to cyber warfare, despite its sophisticated computer security units in the military and advanced high-tech sector.
✦ U.S. military spends $363M on weight loss surgery
Free gastric bypass, lap-band, tummy tuck, and other weight-loss related surgeries are fast becoming the “it” thing for military dependents, especially soldiers’ wives.   Using the Freedom of Information Act, KIRO-TV (CBS-Seattle) Investigative Reporter, Chris Halsne, uncovered the never-before known cost to federal tax payers.
✦ Scientists: UN Soldiers Brought Deadly Superbug to Americas
Compelling new scientific evidence suggests United Nations peacekeepers have carried a virulent strain of cholera — a super bug — into the Western Hemisphere for the first time. The vicious form of cholera has already killed 7,000 people in Haiti, where it surfaced in a remote village in October 2010. Leading researchers from Harvard Medical School and elsewhere told ABC News that, despite UN denials, there is now a mountain of evidence suggesting the strain originated in Nepal, and was carried to Haiti by Nepalese soldiers who came to Haiti to serve as UN peacekeepers after the earthquake that ravaged the country on Jan. 12, 2010 — two years ago today. Haiti had never seen a case of cholera until the arrival of the peacekeepers, who allegedly failed to maintain sanitary conditions at their base.
✦ 10 reasons the U.S. is no longer the land of the free
While each new national security power Washington has embraced was controversial when enacted, they are often discussed in isolation. But they don’t operate in isolation. They form a mosaic of powers under which our country could be considered, at least in part, authoritarian. Americans often proclaim our nation as a symbol of freedom to the world while dismissing nations such as Cuba and China as categorically unfree. Yet, objectively, we may be only half right. Those countries do lack basic individual rights such as due process, placing them outside any reasonable definition of “free,” but the United States now has much more in common with such regimes than anyone may like to admit.

 

 

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