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A Monkey In Silk Is A Monkey No Less

  • A talented chimpanzee called Panzee can recognise distorted and incomplete words spoken by a computer, scientists have discovered.
  • In a more innocent age, Ronald McDonald was the most benign of media icons: a cheerful clown whose floppy red wig and striped clothes presented an image of family fun.

    But in recent years, another view of the spokes-clown has emerged: To detractors, he’s a heartless corporate shill bent on promoting morbid obesity to young children at the expense of good health.

  • Thirty years ago this month, Nintendo released Donkey Kong to arcades across the United States. The game’s American version went on to sell tens of thousands of units, saving the then-struggling US branch of the company and paving the way for Nintendo’s future success on Western shores.

    Without Donkey Kong, we would have no Mario, and without Mario, it’s hard to imagine what Nintendo would look like today. That makes Donkey Kong, above all others, the most pivotally important video game Nintendo has ever released.

    So it’s time to celebrate–which I did by rounding up a bunch of weird, odd, and interesting stuff about this beloved game.

  • Many of the nation’s leading banks and card issuers, including Wells Fargo, Citi, USAA, Sovereign Bank and Discover, are selling information about consumers’ shopping habits — how much they spend, where they shop and what they buy — to retailers.

    Retailers are using the data to offer targeted discounts via text, email and online bank statements. Each time a consumer cashes in on one of those deals, the retailer pays the bank a nice commission.

  • According to the reports, the court heard Zhan picked his victim at random in an unprovoked attack because he believed Davis was a zombie who was going to attack him.

    The court also heard that Zhan, who is of Chinese origin but lives with his parents in Canada, travelled to Glasgow after hearing voices saying he should go there.

    He reportedly told a psychiatrist that he started seeing blood over the faces of people and was convinced they were zombies.

  • For millions of Jews and Christians, it’s a tenet of their faith that God is the author of the core text of the Hebrew Bible – the Torah, also known as the Pentateuch or the Five Books of Moses. But since the advent of modern biblical scholarship, academic researchers have believed the text was written by a number of different authors whose work could be identified by seemingly different ideological agendas and linguistic styles and the different names they used for God.
  • The human navel should be designated as a bacterial nature reserve, it seems. The first round of DNA results from the Belly Button Biodiversity project are in, and the 95 samples that have so far been analysed have turned up a whopping total of more than 1400 bacterial strains. In 662 cases, the microbes could not even be classified to family, “which strongly suggests that they are new to science”, says team leader Jiri Hulcr of North Carolina State University in Raleigh.
  • Cornish company Concept Shed’s novelty wedding vending machine dispenses marriage ceremonies for £1

    A Cornish company has received interest from around the world for its novelty wedding vending machine.

    Autowed is an 8ft (2.4m) tall pink machine compared by the makers to “a parking meter mixed up with a Cadillac”.

    But it has caught the imagination of people around the world after a video was posted on the internet.

    Requests for machines have come from as away as Russia and Brazil, Falmouth-based inventor Concept Shed said.

    For £1 it plays a specially composed intro version of the Wedding March and asks customers to select their type of union. Bride and groom have the option of pressing one on a keyboard for “I do” and two for “Escape”.

    Purchasers get a wedding receipt and two plastic rings in an egg-shaped plastic capsule.

  • A massive tree house in Crossville, Tennessee, which many have claimed to be the world’s largest, may soon receive an official title from Guinness Book of World Records. It is estimated to have used over a quarter million nails to complete thus far.
  • Rodrick Dantzler, the suspect in the slaying of seven people in Grand Rapids Thursday afternoon, allegedly continued his violent rampage by shooting the driver of a pickup truck in the nose during a traffic jam near Godfrey and Grandville.

    But the bullet ricocheted off the man’s nose.

    Robert Poore’s cousin, Harold Taylor, was riding in the car at the time of the incident. Taylor told 24 Hour News 8 his cousin likely survived the bullet because of a titanium plate in his nose.

  • Where do such moons come from?

    Rayman suggests one source: “When another large body collides with an asteroid, the resulting debris is sprayed into orbit around the asteroid and can gradually collapse to form a moon.”

    Another possibility is “gravitational pinball”: A moon formed elsewhere in the asteroid belt might, through complicated gravitational interactions with various bodies, end up captured by the gravity of one of them.

  • NASA is tracking a piece of Soviet space debris that could collide with the International Space Station, the US space agency said after the shuttle Atlantis docked on its final mission.

    The space junk is part of Cosmos 375, a satellite launched in 1970 by the former Soviet Union and which collided with another satellite and broke apart, but details about the size and exact trajectory of the object were unknown, NASA said.

    NASA estimates that the debris could collide with the station at around 12 noon (1600 GMT) on Tuesday, the same day two US astronauts are scheduled to step out on a spacewalk.

  • Booz Allen Hamilton is a massive American consulting firm that does a substantial amount of work for the Pentagon. This means they’ve got a lot of military business on their servers—which Anonymous hacked. Today they’ve leaked it.

    The leak, dubbed ‘Military Meltdown Monday,’ includes 90,000 logins of military personnel—including personnel from US CENTCOM, SOCOM, the Marine Corps, various Air Force facilities, Homeland Security, State Department staff, and what looks like private sector contractors. Their correspondences could include exchanges with Booz Allen’s highly brassy staff of retired defense folk: current execs include three former Directors of National Intelligence and one former head of the CIA. Anon was also kind enough to gut 4 GB of source code from Booz Allen’s servers. Anon cites the firm’s alleged complicity in the SWIFT financial monitoring program as at least partial motive for the attack.

  • The holy man’s estranged wife, Amora, a respected psychologist, got wind of the tawdry tricks while they were going through a bitter custody battle, she said.

    She managed to have Rabinowich secretly filmed with a call girl and entered the photographic evidence into the record of the bitter custody case.

    “Since when are prostitutes kosher?” Amora Rabinowich told The Post. “He was coming to court claiming he was this pious individual, but he was using the phone on the Sabbath to meet prostitutes.

    “And what kind of rabbi is he? He didn’t even take these prostitutes to the mikvah [Jewish ritual cleansing bath] first.

  • A legal battle over the fate of 10 double eagle gold coins from the Franklin Roosevelt Administration in the 1930s started with the government saying the coins, now worth an estimated $75 million, were wrongly taken from a U.S. mint.

    Authorities say the coins were improperly removed more than 70 years ago from the U.S. Mint at Philadelphia, only blocks from the courthouse where U.S. District Court Judge Legrome D. Davis was presiding over the case.

    “You are going to hear a remarkable and intriguing story about gold coins that were stolen from the U.S. Mint in 1933,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacqueline Romero told the jury in her opening statement.

    None of the 445,500 coins, then worth $20 each, ever legally went into circulation, she said. President Franklin Roosevelt issued an executive order shortly after taking office in March 1933 that prohibited the payout of gold from banks.

    Yet 10 coins — called double eagles because the $10 coin was called an eagle — somehow disappeared.

  • MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell blasted the “once noble” Newsweek magazine on Monday night for allowing Sarah Palin to say, “I think I can win” in an interview without contest.

    O’Donnell noted that nearly every 2012 presidential poll has shown Palin has little chance, adding that she is the most unpopular politician in Alaska.

    “Newsweek does everything to make the madness of Sarah Palin seem reasonable,” he said.

  • As news of the marriage spread, the state forest department officials stepped into action. Since monkeys are protected in India as government property, no one can pet them, train them or – as in this case – marry them, even to a fellow monkey.

    “It’s illegal to marry a monkey. Anyone found doing that or attending the marriage ceremony will be arrested,” said forest range officer Bhavar Singh Kaviya.

  • The authors suggest that when interventions eliminate people’s freedom to value diversity on their own terms, they may actually be creating hostility toward the targets of prejudice.

    According to Dr. Legault, “Controlling prejudice reduction practices are tempting because they are quick and easy to implement. They tell people how they should think and behave and stress the negative consequences of failing to think and behave in desirable ways.” Legault continues, “But people need to feel that they are freely choosing to be nonprejudiced, rather than having it forced upon them.”

    Legault stresses the need to focus less on the requirement to reduce prejudices and start focusing more on the reasons why diversity and equality are important and beneficial to both majority and minority group members.

  • For several years, public health officials have been concerned that gonorrhea, one of the most prevalent STDs in the world, might become resistant to the last widely available antibiotics used to treat it, a class of drugs called cephalosporins.

    Now, it has.

    In the space of one week, infectious disease specialists have received a one-two punch of bad news that confirms those fears, including the discovery of a new, cephalosporin-resistant strain of the bacteria.

    The percentage of U.S. gonorrhea cases that are resistant to the two cephalosporins used to treat it, cefixime, taken orally, and ceftriaxone, injected, is on the rise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

  • A stun gun made it onto a JetBlue flight in Boston, and wasn’t discovered until a cleaning crew in Newark, NJ raised the alarm while cleaning up the plane.

    The plane was empty when the palm-sized device was found, and nobody was injured, but the question remains of how it made it through security and onto the plane in the first place.

  • “Looks like Megan is just as talented with Photoshop as she is in entertainment,” said plastic surgeon and blogger Dr. Nicholas Vendemia of New York. “Those lines on her forehead are totally fake. … Muscles in the forehead and brow simply don’t create curved wrinkles like that. The wrinkles Megan is showing us don’t coincide with brow anatomy, nor do they match the facial expression she is making.”
  • Rap star Dizzee Rascal was hauled off a plane at Heathrow yesterday for allegedly hurling abuse at a stewardess – and now he could face a life ban from British Airways.

    The singer, whose single Bonkers was a No 1 hit, was escorted off the flight at Terminal 3 by police called in to attend the disturbance.

    The East London-born singer is said to have hurled foul-mouthed insults at the stewardess as he sat in First Class.

  • Contrails are known to have several effects on climate. On the one hand, they act as a blanket, trapping heat that would otherwise escape into space. On the other, during the day they reflect incoming sunlight, cooling the Earth below more than it is warmed by the other effect. But overall, the consensus among climatologists is that they warm the planet.

    In the 1940s – unlike today – there was hardly any civilian air traffic, so historical records offer an opportunity to test the daytime effects. “Pilots cared about contrails a lot,” says Rob MacKenzie, formerly of Lancaster University, and now at the University of Birmingham, UK. “Aircraft were tracked using contrails and shot down. So pilots would report them.”

  • The crackdown in Belarus grew more indiscriminate this week. Among the 400 arrested: a one-armed man charged with taking part in the clapping protests and mute person accused of shouting antigovernment slogans.
  • Russian blogosphere is buzzing about a video of a crazy car crash in central Moscow that went viral on the web. The incident took place last week in central Moscow when a speeding Nissan GT-R, worth some $160 thousand, rammed into cars parked along the street. The impact was powerful enough to literally throw a jeep into the air. There are no reports of injuries – or the identity of the driver. It’s not clear whether the driver was street-racing with another car. Some bloggers have already claimed they’ve seen the car the evening before driving at a speed of around 200 km/h.

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Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on July 12, 2011

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☢~ Meltdown ~☢

  • San Francisco mother injects daughter with Botox for purely cosmetic reasons.
  • Saiwai-ku Kawasaki is south of Tokyo where the radiation measurements were taken on May 10th 2011. If radiation levels can reach measurements this high here what are people living just outside the exclusion zone such as in Fukushima city being exposed to?

    As usual absolutely no information from TEPCO or the Japanese government has been forthcoming. Just recently the Japanese government released SPEEDI computer system radiation projections 2 months after the nuclear disaster. Their reasoning for the delay was preventing panic and maintaining order was more important than notifying residents on the potential risks of staying where they

  • When you think of mind control, you know you dream of having furry cat ears of your own that you can control with your brainwaves. And why not? They’re adorable. They’re also the latest fashion in Japan.

    The ears, created by a company called Neurowear, sit on top of a headband which incorporates sensors for brainwave reading. The ears spring to attention when you focus intently, and fold down when you relax your thoughts. Neurowear designed them to act like a natural body part.

  • It may not be a shiny gold inverted-V that clips to your shirt (or if you’re Ferengi, inside one of your capacious earlobes) but a new underwater translator could soon allow divers to make sense of dolphin sounds, and here’s the shocker: even speak back in crude dolphin-ese.

    Science fiction often obsesses over how we’d chat with aliens, but we take for granted the fact that we can’t even comment about the weather to our fellow nonhuman Planet Earth-ers. Sure, we can teach a few words or tricks, and there’s certainly the body language angle—when my dog paws at the door, I know he’s not commenting on the off-white paint job or contemporary architecture—but as two-way head-to-heads go, it’s pretty much a one-way street.

  • You’ve heard the grim timelines: if warming continues, the Great Barrier Reef will be bleached by 2030; glaciers in the Swiss Alps, on Mt. Kilimanjaro, and in Glacier National Park will disappear in under 40 years; and Arctic ice melt will leave the North Pole bare and polar bears extinct.

    The immediacy of these timelines prompts flocks of curious eco-tourists to travel to environmentally fragile areas.

    Tourism is both bane and boon: it can add strain to already distressed areas, but it can also provide income, which in turn can help preserve these wonders.

  • Then at about 9:30 p.m. Luenser caught an amazing light show on the ground as power transformers began to explode. One by one the transformers lit-up in an unbelievable chain reaction that lasted about thirty minutes.

    “It was definitely a right-place, right-time kind of moment” said Luenser as the sky glowed a brilliant blue, red and orange from the electrical flashes. “It looked like World War Three was going on below.”

  • Facebook used to have an implicit promise with its users. Basically the deal was what goes on Facebook stays on Facebook. But over the past couple of years Facebook has chosen to alter the deal. Certain profile information became available outside of Facebook, easily searchable via Google and other means. (Users can opt out of showing this but relatively few do.) Some of that profile information includes a few of the people on the user’s friend list. By repeatedly pinging public profiles, it’s possible for Google or anyone else to figure out pretty much all your friends.
  • One of the reactors at Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant has a hole in its main vessel following a meltdown of fuel rods, leading to a leakage of radioactive water, its operator said on Thursday.
  • Tokyo Electric Power Company says the No.1 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is believed to be in a state of “meltdown”.

    The utility company said on Thursday that most of the fuel rods are likely to have melted and fallen to the bottom of the reactor. Earlier in the day, it found that the coolant water in the reactor is at a level which would completely expose nuclear fuel rods if they were in their normal position.

    The company believes the melted fuel has cooled down, judging from the reactor’s surface temperature.

    But it suspects the meltdown created a hole or holes in the bottom of the reactor causing water to leak into the containment vessel.

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Cocaine Foreskin Smuggler

  • City leaders want young people in Long Beach to do two things this February: pick ‘em up and keep ‘em up.

    Bishop William Ervin along with Carson City Councilman Mike Gipson are calling on black children and teens to “pull up their pants on their waist” as a sign of respect during Black History Month.

    KNX 1070′s Ron Kilgore reports their message to young men who wear their pants down around their knees is simple: “You can have the swag without the sag”.

  • Racist?
  • A Fairdale man faces charges after Louisville Metro Corrections officers said they discovered suspected crack cocaine in the foreskin of his penis.
  • Mexican officials are investigating how a doctor was allowed to enter a prison and give a Botox injection to high-profile inmate Sandra Avila Beltran.

    The doctor performed an “unauthorised procedure” at the jail on the outskirts of Mexico City, officials said.

    The prison’s director and hospital chief have been relieved of duties.

    Ms Avila Beltran, dubbed the Queen of the Pacific, was last year cleared of trafficking charges but prosecutors are appealing against the decision.

    “The doctor was admitted by the person in charge of the medical area, violating all procedures. The aim was to carry out a therapeutic treatment that is not authorised for inmates,” a prison authority statement said.

  • How much privacy does an employee have when using a work laptop at home?

    Not much, it seems, after a senior public servant was sacked after Googling the word “knockers” and looking at legal pornography. That was despite the access being out of work hours and the public servant using his own internet service provider.

  • A Tucson man was arrested and charged with fraud and computer tampering Friday in connection with an incident in 2009 in which he is alleged to have inserted a porn clip into the Super Bowl broadcast being watched by Tucson Comcast customers.
  • Hackers have repeatedly penetrated the computer network of the company that runs the Nasdaq Stock Market during the past year, and federal investigators are trying to identify the perpetrators and their purpose, according to people familiar with the matter.

    The exchange’s trading platform—the part of the system that executes trades—wasn’t compromised, these people said. However, it couldn’t be determined which other parts of Nasdaq’s computer network were accessed.

    Investigators are considering a range of possible motives, including unlawful financial gain, theft of trade secrets and a national-security threat designed to damage the exchange.

    The Nasdaq situation has set off alarms within the government because of the exchange’s critical role, which officials put right up with power companies and air-traffic-control operations, all part of the nation’s basic infrastructure.

  • Tha Wigga U ♥ 2 H8!
  • Five-year-old Annabelle Whitehouse was born with skin that’s red, dry and scaly — and every day, she sheds every piece of it.

    “It’s like snakeskin, that sheds and comes off,” her mother, Sonia Whitehouse, told TODAY. The Whitehouses live in an English town called Sutton Coldfield.

    Annabelle has a condition called ichthyosis, a term that gets its name from the Greek word for fish — a reference to the scaly look and feel that the genetic skin disorder causes. Annabelle’s skin would thicken and harden — like scales — from head to toe, if her parents didn’t exfoliate her every night and apply thick creams and special bandages onto her skin several times a day. Her hands and face require a new coat of lotion every half hour.

  • This nine-year-old girl can’t play in the snow or enjoy an ice cream in the summer – because the slightest cold could kill her.

    Nine-year-old Priscilla Pomerantz suffers from Cold Urticaria, which means she becomes sick, develops itchy hives and could even stop breathing if she gets too cold.

    This means she must stay wrapped up warm indoors during winter and can never go swimming or enjoy cold drinks in summer.

  • In December 2010 the Department of Science and Technology (DST) launched a monthly competition in association with Cincinnati-based Proctor & Gamble (P&G) to solicit innovative ideas from Indian researchers. Winners were promised a cash award of $1000 and possible commercialization of their ideas by P&G, which has a beauty business worth over US$10 billion in global sales.

    But the competition’s first call – for skin whitening alternatives to hydroquinone, which is not approved for use in many places including the European Union – has prompted criticism from researchers who argue that such products help to propagate racist attitudes in the country.

  • “But really, once you stop working you realize that you don’t need a whole lot of money. I mean, I think that when you start working, you’re essentially trading your leisure time (i.e. happiness) for money. And then when you’re working and miserable, the natural impulse is to try and reverse that transaction and buy some of your happiness back. So you become a compulsive shopper.”
  • A blaze started by fireworks to celebrate the Lunar New Year has destroyed a five-star hotel in northeast China.

    The fire gutted the hotel in Shenyang, capital of the Liaoning province, before dawn today, according to the country’s Xinhua news agency.

    Xinhua said firefighters had trouble dealing with the fire because their fire engines shot water up only 50 metres, while the building is 219 metres tall.

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