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Pixote (1981) Teens Gone Wrong Brazilian Delinquent Youth Underage Drugs Sex Crime

pixote-1981

 

Pixote: a Lei do Mais Fraco (Portuguese pronunciation: [piˈʃɔtʃi a ˈlej du ˈmajʃ ˈfɾaku], Pixote (small child): The Law of the Weakest) is a 1981 Brazilian drama film directed by Hector Babenco. The screenplay was written by Babenco and Jorge Durán, based on the book A infância dos mortos (The Childhood of the Dead Ones) by José Louzeiro.

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It is the chilling, documentary-like account of Brazil’s delinquent youth and how they are used by corrupt police and other crime organizations to commit crimes.

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The film features Fernando Ramos Da Silva (who was killed at the age of 19 by Brazilian police in São Paulo) as Pixote and Marília Pêra as Sueli.

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The plot revolves around Pixote, a young boy who is used as a child criminal in muggings and drug transport.

After a police round up of street children Pixote is sent to a juvenile reformatory (FEBEM). The prison is a hellish school where Pixote uses glue sniffing as a means of emotional escape from the constant threats of abuse and rape.

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It soon becomes clear that the young criminals are only pawns in the criminal, sadistic games of the prison guards and their commander.

When a boy dies of physical abuse by the guards, they frame the lover of the transgendered effeminate boy known as Lilica (Jorge Julião), for the murder. This lover then conveniently also dies, with some help from the guards.

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Soon after, Pixote, Lilica and her new lover Dito (Gilberto Moura) find an opportunity to flee from the prison. First they stay at the apartment of Cristal (Tony Tornado), a former lover of Lilica, but when tensions arise they go to Rio for a cocaine drug deal; there, however, they get duped by a showgirl.

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After some time bumming around the city, Pixote and his friends go to a club for another drug deal. While there, Pixote finds the showgirl that took their drugs and stabs her.

They become pimps for the prostitute Sueli who is definitely past her prime and is possibly ill from a botched abortion. The group conspires to rob her johns, but when Lilica’s lover Dito falls for Sueli, Lillica leaves. The robbery scheme fails when an American john fights back (because he apparently does not understand Portuguese) so they have to shoot him. In the ensuing fight, Pixote accidentally shoots and kills Dito as well.

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Pixote tries to gain comfort from Sueli, treating her as a mother figure, but she rejects him. He leaves and is seen walking down a railway line, gun in hand, away from the camera, his figure disappearing in the distance, out of the film’s view.

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Film critic Roger Ebert, who writes for the Chicago Sun-Times, considers the film a classic, and wrote, “Pixote stands alone in Babenco’s work, a rough, unblinking look at lives no human being should be required to lead. And the eyes of Fernando Ramos da Silva, his doomed young actor, regard us from the screen not in hurt, not in accusation, not in regret — but simply in acceptance of a desolate daily reality.”

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Critic Pauline Kael was impressed by its raw, documentary-like quality, and a certain poetic realism. She wrote, “Babenco’s imagery is realistic, but his point of view is shockingly lyrical. South American writers, such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, seem to be in perfect, poetic control of madness, and Babenco has some of this gift, too. South American artists have to have it, in order to express the texture of everyday insanity.”

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The New York Times film critic, Vincent Canby, liked the neo-realist acting and direction of the drama, and wrote, “[Pixote], the third feature film by the Argentine-born Brazilian director Hector Babenco, is a finely made, uncompromisingly grim movie about the street boys of São Paulo, in particular about Pixote – which, according to the program, translates roughly as Peewee…The performances are almost too good to be true, but Mr. Da Silva and Miss Pera are splendid. Pixote is not for the weak of stomach. A lot of the details are tough to take, but it is neither exploitative nor pretentious. Mr. Babenco shows us rock-bottom, and because he is an artist, he makes us believe it as well all of the possibilities that have been lost.”

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Filmmakers Spike Lee and Harmony Korine have cited it as their favorite film.

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File under Cult Movies, Drunk Kids, Influences, It Only Gets Worse, SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG, SeMeN SPeRmS ViDeO CLuB, Sex

News Is Bad For You

Dogs In Pantyhose
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Wealthy Manhattan moms hire handicapped tour guides to bypass lines at Disney World

“You can’t go to Disney without a tour concierge,’’ she sniffed. “This is how the 1 percent does Disney.” The woman said she hired a Dream Tours guide to escort her, her husband and their 1-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter through the park in a motorized scooter with a “handicapped” sign on it. The group was sent straight to an auxiliary entrance at the front of each attraction.
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‘Baby factory’ uncovered in Nigeria
Nigerian police say they have rescued six pregnant girls from child traffickers who were planning to sell their babies. Two men and a woman have been arrested in the case, which is the second so-called baby factory to be uncovered in a week. Last week, at least 23 girls and four babies were found in Umuaka, in eastern Nigeria’s Imo State.
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Sophia Stewart, The Real Creator of ‘The Matrix,’ Wins Lawsuit

This little known story has met a just conclusion, as Sophia Stewart, African American author of The Matrix will finally receive her just due from the copyright infringement of her original work!!! A six-year dispute has ended involving Sophia Stewart, the Wachowski Brothers, Joel Silver and Warner Brothers. Stewart’s allegations, involving copyright infringement and racketeering, were received and acknowledged by the Central District of California, Judge Margaret Morrow presiding. Stewart, a New Yorker who has resided in Salt Lake City for the past five years, will recover damages from the films, The Matrix I, II and III, as well as The Terminator and its sequels. She will soon receive one of the biggest payoffs in the history of Hollywood , as the gross receipts of both films and their sequels total over 2.5 billion dollars.
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How Verizon and Other Wireless Carriers Are Mining Customer Data

Wireless operators have access to an unprecedented volume of information about users’ real-world activities, but for years these massive data troves were put to little use other than for internal planning and marketing. This data is under lock and key no more. Under pressure to seek new revenue streams (see “AT&T Looks to Outside Developers for Innovation”), a growing number of mobile carriers are now carefully mining, packaging, and repurposing their subscriber data to create powerful statistics about how people are moving about in the real world.
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James McCormick, British Man Who Sold Fake Bomb Detectors, Sentenced To 10 Years For Fraud

A British judge on Thursday sentenced a businessman who sold fake bomb detectors to 10 years in jail, saying the millionaire had shown a cavalier disregard for potentially fatal consequences. James McCormick made an estimated 50 million pounds ($77.8 million) from the sales of his non-working detectors – which were based on a novelty golf ball finder – to countries including Iraq, Belgium, Niger and Saudi Arabia. McCormick, 57, was convicted of three counts of fraud last month and sentenced Thursday at the Old Bailey court in London, where Judge Richard Hone called his profits from a “callous confidence trick” obscene and outrageous.
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United Nations Twitter Account Follows Porn Star

The official United Nations Twitter account has 1,462,609 followers (or it did at the time this article was published) and only follows 537 accounts - a pretty exclusive club to say the least. For the most part, the 537 accounts @UN follows include world governments, dozens of UN special missions and international heads of states. Buried within that list, however, ConstitutionSchool.com was shocked to discover one account which seemed oddly out of place: “Penelope Black Diamond,” a German porn star whose Twitter username is @BigBustyStar.
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Early feast clue to smell of ancient Earth

‘So, rather surprisingly, we can say that life on earth 1,900 million years ago would have smelled a lot like rotten eggs.’
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Do You Want the Government Buying Your Data From Corporations?

It’s no secret that we’re monitored continuously on the Internet. Some of the company names you know, such as Google and Facebook. Others hide in the background as you move about the Internet. There are browser plugins that show you who is tracking you. One Atlantic editor found 105 companies tracking him during one 36-hour period. Add data from your cell phone (who you talk to, your location), your credit cards (what you buy, from whom you buy it), and the dozens of other times you interact with a computer daily, we live in a surveillance state beyond the dreams of Orwell. It’s all corporate data, compiled and correlated, bought and sold. And increasingly, the government is doing the buying. Some of this is collected using National Security Letters (NSLs). These give the government the ability to demand an enormous amount of personal data about people for very speculative reasons, with neither probable cause nor judicial oversight. Data on these secretive orders is obviously scant,
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Facebook causes ‘psychotic episodes and delusions’, claims study

Dr Nitzan said: ‘All of the patients developed psychotic symptoms related to the situation, including delusions regarding the person behind the screen and their connection through the computer. ‘Two patients began to feel vulnerable as a result of sharing private information, and one even experienced tactile hallucinations, believing that the person beyond the screen was physically touching her. ‘Some of the problematic features of the internet relate to issues of geographical and spatial distortion, the absence of non-verbal cues, and the tendency to idealise the person with whom someone is communicating, becoming intimate without ever meeting face-to-face.’ He added that mental health professionals should not overlook the internet’s influence when speaking to patients. ‘When you ask somebody about their social life, it’s very sensible to ask about Facebook and social networking habits, as well as internet use.
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Human rights record of the United States in 2012

The State Department of the United States recently released its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012, posing as “the world judge of human rights” again. As in previous years, the reports are full of carping and irresponsible remarks on the human rights situation in more than 190 countries and regions including China. However, the U.S. turned a blind eye to its own woeful human rights situation and never said a word about it. Facts show that there are serious human rights problems in the U.S. which incur extensive criticism in the world. The Human Rights Record of the U.S. in 2012 is hereby prepared to reveal the true human rights situation of the U.S. to people across the world by simply laying down some facts.
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Your Body Is a Corporate Test Tube

A hidden epidemic is poisoning America.  The toxins are in the air we breathe and the water we drink, in the walls of our homes and the furniture within them.  We can’t escape it in our cars.  It’s in cities and suburbs.  It afflicts rich and poor, young and old.  And there’s a reason why you’ve never read about it in the newspaper or seen a report on the nightly news: it has no name — and no antidote.    The culprit behind this silent killer is lead.  And vinyl.  And formaldehyde.  And asbestos.  And Bisphenol A.  And polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).  And thousands more innovations brought to us by the industries that once promised “better living through chemistry,” but instead produced a toxic stew that has made every American a guinea pig and has turned the United States into one grand unnatural experiment.
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UNCOVERED: The Haunting ‘Human Zoo’ of Paris

In 1907, six different villages were built in the Jardin d’Agronomie Tropicale, representing all the corners of the French colonial empire at the time– Madagascar, Indochine, Sudan, Congo, Tunisia and Morocco. The villages and their pavillions were built to recreate the life and culture as it was in their original habitats. This included mimicking the architecture, importing the agriculture and appallingly, inhabiting the replica houses with people, brought to Paris from the faraway territories.
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Guantanamo camp burns through $900,000 a year per inmate

It’s been dubbed the most expensive prison on Earth and President Barack Obama cited the cost this week as one of many reasons to shut down the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, which burns through some $900,000 per prisoner annually. The Pentagon estimates it spends about $150 million each year to operate the prison and military court system at the U.S. Naval Base in Cuba, which was set up 11 years ago to house foreign terrorism suspects. With 166 inmates currently in custody, that amounts to an annual cost of $903,614 per prisoner. By comparison, super-maximum security prisons in the United States spend about $60,000 to $70,000 at most to house their inmates, analysts say. And the average cost across all federal prisons is about $30,000, they say.
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Barbara Kruger Responds to Supreme’s Lawsuit: ‘A Ridiculous Clusterf**k of Totally Uncool Jokers’

And in the response to Supreme, he argued that McSweeney had been putting out Supreme Bitch shirts since 2004, when she was 22. Nine years later, Jebbia and Supreme have attempted to sue her for millions of dollars, arguing copyright infringement against the brand. A brand that, by the way, has definitely incorporated other people and other companies’ design elements itself.  One of those people? American conceptual artist Barbara Kruger, whose work explicitly inspired not just Supreme’s ubiquitous red-and-white logo (see above), but so many other brands like it, and legions of other fairly famous artists as well. But in the past, Kruger—who now teaches at UCLA—has been pretty quiet on the connections, deferring questions about the commercial entrepreneurs who’ve culled from and profited off of the template she inarguably set. But we thought we’d give it a shot, and Complex reached out to Kruger anyway, asking her what she made of the lawsuit, as well as both McSweeney and Jebbia’s p
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Berlin First Graders Get Explicit Sex Education Book

When it comes to sex, Germans are not known for being squeamish. Yet a sex-education book that has been circulating in Berlin elementary schools has some parents up in arms. The book, “Where Do You Come From?” (“Wo kommst du her?”), which is recommended for ages 5 and up, shows a couple, Lisa and Lars, in various stages of arousal. In one illustration, Lisa puts a condom on Lars’ erect penis. Another shows them having intercourse. The text also veers toward the explicit. “When it’s so good that it can’t get any better, Lisa and Lars have an orgasm,” it reads. And, finally: “The vagina and penis feel nice and tingly and warm.”
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The sex manual for ultra-Orthodox Jews

“We wanted to give people a sense of not only where to put their sexual organs, but where to put their arms and legs,” Ribner says. “If you have never seen a movie, never read a book, how are you supposed to know what you do?”
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Which Drugs Actually Kill Americans [Infographic]

By adding all those sub-categories up, imperfect as they may be, it’s clear that the rate of reported overdoses the U.S. more than doubled between 1999 and 2010. About half of those additional deaths are in the pharmaceuticals category, which the CDC has written about before. Nearly three-quarters of the pharmaceuticals deaths are opioid analgesics—prescription painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin. And while cocaine, heroin and alcohol are all responsible for enough deaths to warrant their own stripes on the chart, many popular illegal drugs—including marijuana and LSD—are such a tiny blip as to be invisible.
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Baby girl sacrificed on bonfire after sect leader says tot is the Antichrist, Chile cops say

“The baby was naked. They strapped tape around her mouth to keep her from screaming. Then they placed her on a board. After calling on the spirits they threw her on the bonfire alive,” said Miguel Ampuero, of the Police investigative Unit, Chile’s equivalent of the FBI. Authorities said the 12-member sect was formed in 2005 and was led by Ramon Gustavo Castillo Gaete, 36, who remains at large. “Everyone in this sect was a professional,” Ampuero said. “We have someone who was a veterinarian and who worked as a flight attendant, we have a filmmaker, a draftsman. Everyone has a university degree. ” Police said Castillo Gaete, the ringleader, was last seen traveling to Peru to buy ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic brew plant that he used to control the members of the rite.
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A Lesson On Guns – A Public Service Announcement On Guns And Bullets

SO, the bottom line is this: If you are in a place where you hear steady, and sustained, and nearby (lets call that, for some technical reasons, anything less than 800 meters) gunfire, do these things: Go to your basement. You are cool there. If you don’t have a basement, go to the other side of the house from the firing, and leave, heading away from the firing. Do not stop for a mile. If you do not think that you can leave, get on the ground floor, as far from the firing as possible, and place something solid between you and the firing. Solid is something like a bathtub, a car (engine block), a couple of concrete walls (single layer brick…nope). If you are high up (say 4rd story or higher) just get away from the side of the building where the firing is taking place. You will, mostly, be protected by the thick concrete of the structure. 8. But for cripes sake, do not step out on to your front porch and start recording a video on your iPhone, unless you actually have a death-wish
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Texas Fertilizer Plant Disaster: Little Coverage, Much of It Wrong

“Terrorists want media attention, so we give it to them. Unsafe industries don’t want media attention–so we give that to them.” And that’s exactly what’s going on today, in the coverage of the two disasters last week.
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2 pound joint taken by cops ucsc 420

5000 people at 4-20 for UCSC. This guy had a booth set up to unveil this guy, shouldn’t have drawn so much attention man!
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1 Inmate Impregnated 4 Guards At Md. Jail, Prosecutors Say

“the ringleader of it all, according to the indictment, is Tavon White, a four-year inmate charged with attempted murder. He reportedly made $16,000 in one month off the smuggled contraband. Four corrections officers–Jennifer Owens, Katera Stevenson, Chania Brooks and Tiffany Linder, who are also facing charges — allegedly became impregnated by White since he’s been in jail. Charging documents reveal Owens had ‘Tavon’ tattooed on her neck and Stevenson had ‘Tavon’ tattooed on her wrist.”
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The Source Family Documentary

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Dating Freedom Lovers Photos by Planetlnfowars

All Planet Infowars Users that are participating in the Dating Freedom Lovers Mission.
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Saudi Arabia expelled three Emirati men for being too handsome

In its report, Elaph said several religious cops deployed through the festival rushed into the UAE pavilion on Sunday and escorted three Emirati delegates out. “A festival official said the three Emiratis were taken out on the grounds they are too handsome and that the Commission members feared female visitors could fall for them,” the news service said, adding that the festival’s management took urgent measures to deport the three to Abu Dhabi.
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“American Dream”: Food loaded into Dumpsters while Hundreds of Hungry Americans Restrained by Police

Hundreds of poor people waiting outside of a closed grocery store for the possibility of getting the remaining food is not the picture of the “American Dream.” Yet on March 23, outside the Laney Walker Supermarket in Augusta, Ga., that is exactly what happened. Residents filled the parking lot with bags and baskets hoping to get some of the baby food, canned goods, noodles and other non-perishables. But a local church never came to pick up the food, as the store owner prior to the eviction said they had arranged. By the time the people showed up for the food, what was left inside the premises—as with any eviction—came into the ownership of the property holder, SunTrust Bank. The bank ordered the food to be loaded into dumpsters and hauled to a landfill instead of distributed. The people that gathered had to be restrained by police as they saw perfectly good food destroyed. Local Sheriff Richard Roundtree told the news “a potential for a riot was extremely high.”
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10 Biggest Unsolved U.S. Terrorism Cases

1 Wall Street Bombing (September 16,1920) – New York, New York 38 dead, 143 wounded The detonation of a horse-drawn wagon loaded with 45kg of dynamite and more than 200kg of scrap iron in front of the J.P. Morgan offices in New York remains the deadliest unsolved terrorist incident in U.S. history. Federal agents investigated, and dismissed, the possibility of involvement by Soviet saboteurs, the Communist Party USA and the Industrial Workers of the World. Historians believe the bombing may have been engineered by Italian anarchists.
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Self-medication in animals much more widespread than believed

It’s been known for decades that animals such as chimpanzees seek out medicinal herbs to treat their diseases. But in recent years, the list of animal pharmacists has grown much longer, and it now appears that the practice of animal self-medication is a lot more widespread than previously thought, according to a University of Michigan ecologist and his colleagues.
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Civet poop coffee may be threatening wild species

“Originally, the dung-covered beans were collected in coffee plantations but more recently, as more people wanted to drink coffee made from beans that had passed through the intestines of this small carnivore, entrepreneurs have begun sticking civets in cages, feeding them coffee beans and recollecting them from the dung for wholesale,” the paper’s author, Chris Shepherd the deputy regional director with anti-wildlife crime NGO TRAFFIC, told mongabay.com. “Reportedly, as demand rose, other civet species were captured and added to these captive civet coffee makers.”
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National Disgrace

Police almost never talk about or claim credit for making the arrests. Police make so many because they are easy arrests and because significant constituencies within police departments benefit from the arrests. Police work can be dangerous. Ordinary patrol and narcotics police like the marijuana arrests because they are relatively safe and easy. If an officer stops and searches 10 or 15 young people, one or two of them will likely have a bit of marijuana. All police have arrest quotas and often they can earn much-desired overtime pay by making a marijuana arrest toward the end of a shift. In New York City, arresting people for petty offenses for overtime pay is called “collars for dollars.” Every cop in the city knows that expression. From the officers’ point of view, people possessing marijuana are highly desirable arrestees. As one veteran lieutenant said, people whose only crime is marijuana possession are “clean,” meaning physically clean. Unlike junkies or winos
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News is bad for you – and giving up reading it will make you happier

In the past few decades, the fortunate among us have recognised the hazards of living with an overabundance of food (obesity, diabetes) and have started to change our diets. But most of us do not yet understand that news is to the mind what sugar is to the body. News is easy to digest. The media feeds us small bites of trivial matter, tidbits that don’t really concern our lives and don’t require thinking. That’s why we experience almost no saturation. Unlike reading books and long magazine articles (which require thinking), we can swallow limitless quantities of news flashes, which are bright-coloured candies for the mind. Today, we have reached the same point in relation to information that we faced 20 years ago in regard to food. We are beginning to recognise how toxic news can be.
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Should The Creepy Times Square Costumed Characters Be Regulated?

“Super Mario groped the woman,” says Times Square Alliance president Tim Tompkins. “Elmo was ranting anti-Semitic things. Spider-Man punched a woman in the face. Now a kid was attacked by Cookie Monster. And those are just ones where there’s been an arrest! We’ve anecdotally heard there’s a lot more that’s been happening. One of my staff members said an Elmo patted her backside when she was walking through Times Square on a crowded day.” Tompkins also pointed us to a photo of a man dressed as Toy Story’s Woody urinating in a doorway
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Does my bum look big on this? Barbie earns cash balancing things on ‘bum shelf’

BOOTY-OBSESSED Barbie Edwards has spent a fortune on food to get such a huge backside — but now her big butt is making big bucks. The 42-year-old mum claims she has the world’s largest bottom, and says she has used her unique asset to make a whopping £18,000 in the past six months just by BALANCING things on her behind. The colossal rear measures creating a “butt shelf” upon which Barbie can balance trays of food and drink — to the delight of her paying fans. The bouncy blonde is delighted with her shape and is now hoping to persuade Guinness World Records to include a new category for world’s biggest shelf behind. She said: “I used to hate my big hips and bum, but since I’ve been modelling it’s changed the way I feel about myself. My bum shelf has a career all of its own and I wouldn’t change it.”
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Pres Obama Signs Bill Killing Anti-Corruption, Pro-Transparency STOCK Act Provisions

So the very bill that Obama last year claimed was “a good first step” and suggested that “we should do even more in the months ahead”, has now been totally revised and stripped of the most important aspects which promote transparency in the new bill that he has just signed yesterday. Instead of doing more to increase transparency, Congress and President Obama have rolled back the very provisions of the bill which helped promote an open government, in a decidedly non-transparent manner (unanimous voice consent, closed-signing by the president).
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Police Chief Recovering After Eating Cake Laced With Pot

The Hocking County Sheriff’s office is trying to get to the bottom of who is responsible for drugging Laurelville Police Chief Mike Berkemeier. Berkemeier says the problem began Easter Sunday when he ate some cake sitting on his kitchen counter. ”I got up in the morning and ate it — the entire thing,” he said. Shortly after eating that cake, Berkemeier says he began to feel sick like never before. ”I thought I was dying,” he said. Berkemeier says all he could think to do was make the short drive from his home to the Laurelville police station for help. ”I don’t remember much of the drive here, even though it’s just a few blocks and was met by a couple of the medics from the fire department,” he said. Berkemeier tells 10TV medics transported him to Berger Hospital in Circleville where doctors performed tests to see what was wrong with him. ”I kept trying to explain to them this wasn’t getting any better. It just got worse,” he said. “I felt like I was out of my mind.”
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Hijacking airplanes with an Android phone

It’s amazing to discover that aviation – an industry where safety is of vital importance and every physical element has one or even two fail-safe mechanisms – is failing to secure the onboard computer, the heart and brain of the plane.
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To Catch Government Workers With Ties to Child Porn, Call the IRS

There is a national crisis of federal employees engaged in the child porn industry and a related epidemic at the state level.  I’ve documented two states, Vermont and Maine, that appear to be running state protected child trafficking rings with evidence of cops, judges, lawyers, clergy and government employees covering for each other. This kind of racketeering creates powerful, and extremely profitable, pedophile rings. Money drives the crime. It is estimated that a criminal willing to molest a child in front of a live webcam can earn $1,000 a night. In Kittery Maine, at the “Danish Health Club,” one bust yielded $6.1 million in “door fees” over a five year period with “prostitutes” earning $12 million. Pimps’ earnings were not reported. The “door man” was a retired police officer whose wife worked in back. This bust happened because of one hard-working IRS agent, Rod Giguere.
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The Same Compounds Behind Marijuana’s Distinctive Stinky Smells Give Clues About the Kinds of High You’ll Experience

So if THC levels are generally high across the board and the other cannabinoids are present only at trace levels, what makes one strain different from another? And why does each marijuana strain impart a distinct psychoactive effect? There must be something else in the plant that influences the quality of the cannabis high. David Watson, the master crafter of the foundational hybrid Skunk #1, was among the first to emphasize the importance of aromatic terpenes for their modifying impact on THC. Terpenes, or terpenoids, are the compounds in cannabis that give the plant its unique smell. THC and the other cannabinoids have no odor, so marijuana’s compelling fragrance depends on which terpenes predominate. It’s the combination of terpenoids and THC that endows each strain with a specific psychoactive flavor.
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New Documents Suggest IRS Reads Emails Without a Warrant

Everyone knows the IRS is our nation’s tax collector, but it is also a law enforcement organization tasked with investigating criminal violations of the tax laws. New documents released to the ACLU under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that the IRS Criminal Tax Division has long taken the position that the IRS can read your emails without a warrant—a practice that one appeals court has said violates the Fourth Amendment (and we think most Americans would agree).
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High-tech burglary suspect nabbed after secret camera found

The discovery of a hidden camera may help solve a series of break-ins at upscale homes in several North Texas cities. “This one has already been camouflaged,” said detective Ben Singleton, holding what looks like a piece of bark that would go unnoticed in most yards. It’s actually a video camera not much bigger than a matchbox, and it’s activated by a motion detector. Such cameras turned up in March planted outside several upscale homes in Dalworthington Gardens. “I’ve never seen anything like this. And most detectives in this area haven’t,” Singleton said. Earlier this month, John Anton discovered the first one near his driveway. “I had no idea what it was,” Anton said. “Very strange.” He took the device to Dalworthington Gardens police. “We tore one of these apart to figure out what it was all about,” Singleton said. The detective said it turned out to be surveillance for a long-running, sophisticated burglary scheme. But at first, police feared it might even be a kidnapping plot to
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Rebecca Solnit by Astra Taylor

Elites tend to believe in a venal, selfish, and essentially monstrous version of human nature, which I sometimes think is their own human nature. I mean, people don’t become incredibly wealthy and powerful by being angelic, necessarily. They believe that only their power keeps the rest of us in line and that when it somehow shrinks away, our seething violence will rise to the surface—that was very clear in Katrina. Timothy Garton Ash and Maureen Dowd and all these other people immediately jumped on the bandwagon and started writing commentaries based on the assumption that the rumors of mass violence during Katrina were true. A lot of people have never understood that the rumors were dispelled and that those things didn’t actually happen; it’s tragic.
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The GOP’s Drug-Testing Dragnet

The annual Drug & Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA) conference, held in 2012 in San Antonio, Texas, looks like any other industry gathering. The 600 or so attendees sip their complimentary Starbucks coffee, munch on small plates of muffins and fresh fruit, and backslap old acquaintances as they file into a sprawling Marriott hotel conference hall. They will hear a keynote address by Robert DuPont, who served as drug policy director under Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Nothing odd about any of this until you consider that the main subject of the conference is urine.
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DC Introduces First Transgender Character in Mainstream Comics

Once banned from the world of mainstream comic books by the infamous Comics Code Authority, LGBT characters now have a stronger presence in the world of superhero comics than ever before, with gay and lesbian heroes like Batwoman, Northstar and Green Lantern Alan Scott openly declaring who they are — and even getting married. Today, DC Comics told Wired that it will continue to expand the LGBT diversity of its superhero universe by introducing the first openly transgender character in a mainstream superhero comic.
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Big Pharma Company Jacks Up Price of Overdose Life Saver by 1100%: Now, More People Will Die

A remarkable thing happened in 2008:  drug overdose surpassed auto fatalities as the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. Public health officials declared an epidemic, and communities united to battle this new enemy that had left a staggering body count in its wake. The people had a weapon,  naloxone, an antidote that reverses opiate overdose, and programs began popping up across the country to provide training and free naloxone to people at risk for overdose. But then Big Pharma stepped in. The same year that naloxone became so critical to saving lives, one pharmaceutical company secured a monopoly on its production and jacked up the prices by 1,100%.
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10 Weapons You Won’t Believe Are Legal

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5 Bizarre Sex Products Designed to Make You Feel Shame About Your Body

Bet you didn’t think you needed semen pills.
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AGAMBEN TOYS – APPOSITE BAUBLES FOR THE STATE OF EXCEPTION

Riot Toys
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Rat Chase Again Bedevils Fukushima Nuclear Plant

A blackout disabled cooling at four fuel pools last month, an event the company traced to a rat that might have gnawed on power cables and caused a short circuit. Engineers found its scorched body in a damaged switchboard. Tepco has since installed mousetraps at the site and promised to plug holes through which rats and other rodents might enter buildings and gnaw on important equipment. It has also promised to speed up work to install backup power cables to the fuel pools. But Friday afternoon, four workers using wire meshing to seal a space around electric cables caused a ground fault, or the accidental flow of current to the ground. No one was injured, but the ground fault shut off electricity to the cooling system at the No. 3 reactor fuel pool. “We were installing wire nets to keep the rats out. But the end of one of the wires may have momentarily come into contact with a live terminal,” said Masayuki Ono, general manager at Tepco’s Nuclear Power and Plant Siting Division. “…
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Dogs Wearing Pantyhose: Owners Put Tights On Their Canines In China

People seem to have a love-hate relationship with dogs dressed up like humans, but that hasn’t stopped the Internet from churning out more ridiculous memes. The latest installment: Dogs wearing pantyhose (OK, we’re classing it up a bit, Dis Magazine called it “bitches wearing pantyhose”) is a trend picking up in China, according to Sharp Daily, a Hong Kong news site.
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Man ‘took 40,000 ecstasy tablets’

At the height of his use, the man – known as “Mr A” – was taking 25 tablets a day, Psychosomatics journal revealed. The 37-year-old still had trouble with short-term memory problems seven years after he stopped taking the drug. Doctors at St George’s Hospital, London said Mr A’s case was extreme, but showed ecstasy’s long-term effects. It is possible to become psychologically dependent on the feelings associated with ecstasy but heavy daily use is extremely rare and it is not thought that people can become physically dependent Martin Barnes, DrugScope The doctors said it was the largest reported ecstasy lifetime consumption by one person, the previous being around 2,000 tablets. Writing in Psychosomatics, they say Mr A reported he had used ecstasy between the ages of 21 and 30. For two years, he took five tablets every weekend, rising to an average of 3.5 tablets per day for the next three years, then soaring to 25 tablets a day over the next four years.
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The Tunnel People That Live Under The Streets Of America

Did you know that there are thousands upon thousands of homeless people that are living underground beneath the streets of major U.S. cities?  It is happening in Las Vegas, it is happening in New York City and it is even happening in Kansas City.  As the economy crumbles, poverty in the United States isabsolutely exploding and so is homelessness.  In addition to the thousands of “tunnel people” living under the streets of America, there are also thousands that are living in tent cities, there are tens of thousands that are living in their vehicles and there are more than a million public school children that do not have a home to go back to at night.  The federal government tells us that the recession “is over” and that “things are getting better”, and yet poverty and homelessness in this country continue to rise with no end in sight.  So what in the world are things going to look like when the next economic crisis hits?
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Amsterdam to create ‘scum villages’

Amsterdam is to create “Scum villages” where nuisance neighbours and anti-social tenants will be exiled from the city and rehoused in caravans or containers with “minimal services” under constant police supervision.
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US won’t be returning to moon, NASA chief says

America won’t be repeating that historic one small step anytime soon — not according to NASA chief Charlie Bolden, anyway. “NASA is not going to the Moon with a human as a primary project probably in my lifetime,” Bolden told a joint meeting of the Space Studies Board and the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board in Washington last week
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I quit: Joel Osteen target of elaborate hoax

As many of you may know, and may have heard in the news recently, many of my sermons have deviated from traditional Christian doctrine. I have been accused of altering the ‘message’ to fit my own doctrine and dogma. Others have accused me of preaching ‘feel good Christianity’. I have also been accused of profiting greatly from my ministry, with my books and television deals. Many of their criticisms are legitimate. What they don’t know is that deep down in my heart, for a number of years now, I have been questioning the faith, Christianity and whether Jesus Christ is really my, or anyone’s, ‘savior’. I believe now that the Bible is a fallible, flawed, highly inconsistent history book that has been altered hundreds of times. There is zero evidence the Bible is the holy word of God. In fact, there is zero evidence “God” even exists. No God worth believing in is going to send you to Hell for not believing in him. Not even the worst sinner and scum of the Earth deserves eternal torment
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File under Comics, Culture, Influences, SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG, SeMeN SPeRmS Links 'o Death, Sex

Conjured by SeMeN SPeRmS on May 16, 2013

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Sabotage

☛ Emo Style Makeover Game
Stupendous beauty game in which you’ll be able to put makeup on a normal, common girl with the latest emo style cosmetics. You’ll be able to combine them with the most daring hairstyles and with the most stylish accessories, such as earrings, piercings, etc.
☛ Steve Jobs Action Figure: Apple Threatens Chinese Toy Maker With Lawsuit
Apple has allegedly threatened to sue Chinese company In Icons over its eerily realistic 12-inch action figure of Steve Jobs, the company’s late founder. The 1:6 scale model, which was said to be distributed by DiD Corp. in late February, comes with the clothes and accessories popularized by Jobs, such as the black faux turtleneck, blue jeans and sneakers. The figurine, which is packaged in a box that looks like Walter Isaacson’s “Steve Jobs” biography cover, also comes with a chair, a “One More Thing…” backdrop, as well as two red apples, including one with a bite in it. To make it extra creepy, the doll’s realistic head sculpt features Jobs’ famous unblinking stare.
☛ 34 Shocking Facts About U.S. Debt That Should Set America On Fire With Anger
We have all been lied to. For decades, the leaders of both major political parties have promised us that they can fix our current system and that they can get our national debt under control. As the 2012 election approaches, they are making all kinds of wild promises once again. Well you know what? It is all a giant sham. The United States has gotten into so much debt that there will be no coming back from this. The current system is irretrievably broken. 30 years ago the U.S. debt was a horrific crisis that was completely and totally out of control. If we would have dealt with it back then maybe we could have done something about it. But now it is 15 times larger, and we are adding more than a trillion dollars to the debt every single year.
☛ Vertu making ‘year of the dragon’ Signature phone…Only $20,733!
☛ Paul Supporter Likely Violated Military Conduct Code
Following a third-place finish in the Iowa caucuses, Ron Paul held a boisterous rally, featuring a speech from Army Corporal Jesse Thorsen. Thorsen, who was in uniform, voiced impassioned support for Paul’s non-interventionist views. “We don’t need to be picking fights overseas,” he said, and pledged to help “make sure this man is the next president of the United States.” It was an understandable sentiment from a soldier who said he had served in the military for 10 years, which included tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. But the appearance likely violated the protocols for service members included in Defense Department Directive 1344.10, which states explicitly that they are not to participate in political rallies as anything more than spectators. And if they do attend a political function, they’re not supposed to do so in uniform.
☛ Arthur Lee Thompson steals police vehicle while high on crack [Video]
☛ Islam Critical Black Metal music nominated for Norwegian Grammy
Metal band Taake is nominated for the Norwegian Grammys in the category for best metal album for the album “Norway’s weapons,” which came out this fall. Besides the line of text devoted to “Moslems”, include “those who burn our flag,” called the swine in the song “Hurricane.” The text also says that hard to be against hard: “Now wake up soon Norway.”
☛ Swank sushi: Tuna fetches record $736K
A bluefin tuna caught off northeastern Japan fetched a record $736,000, Thursday in the first auction of the year at Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market. The price translates to $1,238 per pound — also a record, said Yutaka Hasegawa, a Tsukiji market official. Though the fish is undoubtedly high quality, the price has more to do with the celebratory atmosphere that surrounds the first auction of the year.
☛ How fracking might have led to an Ohio earthquake
The link between “fracking”-related activities and earthquakes was thrown into stark relief over the weekend when a magnitude 4.0 quake struck Youngstown, Ohio – typically not a hot bed of noticeable seismic activity. The quake triggered shaking reportedly felt as as far away as Buffalo, N.Y., and Toronto. The temblor struck Dec. 31 and was the latest and strongest of 11 minor-to-light quakes that have hit the region since March. The epicenters are clustered around a wastewater injection well for a hydraulic fracturing operation.
☛ Denver woman accused of attacking $30 million painting
A 36-year-old Denver woman, apparently drunk, leaned against an iconic Clyfford Still painting worth more than $30 million last week, punched it, slid down it and urinated on herself, according to a criminal case filed against Carmen Lucette Tisch. “It doesn’t appear she urinated on the painting or that the urine damaged it, so she’s not being charged with that,” Lynn Kimbrough, a spokeswoman for the Denver district attorney’s office, said Wednesday. “You have to wonder where her friends were.” Tisch is being charged with criminal mischief in the incident that happened at the Clyf ford Still Museum at 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 29. Damage to the painting — “1957-J-No. 2.” — is estimated at $10,000. The painting, which is nearly 9 1/2 feet tall and 13 feet wide, is estimated to be worth between $30 million and $40 million by the museum. Tisch allegedly committed the offense with her pants pulled down, according to the police report, and struck the painting repeatedly with her fist.
☛ STEVE ESPO POWERS
ESPO is legit.

 

 

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File under Music, SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG, SeMeN SPeRmS Links 'o Death

The Worst Of 2011

★ 2011 Worst Police Misconduct Video of the Year Reader’s Poll
Once again it’s time for our annual “Worst Police Misconduct Videos of the Year” reader’s poll. Here we post some, but not all, of the over 80 videos associated with claims of police misconduct that we were able to present on our site in 2011. While some of the incidents tied to these videos did not occur in 2011, the videos for those reports weren’t released to the public until this year so they are included.
★ Deaths From Terrorism Compared To Other Things
Here are the chances of a few things killing you in the US compared:
Terrorism ———————— 1 in 3,500,000
Tobacco ————————- 1 in 726
All Accidents ——————- 1 in 2,500
Alcohol ————————— 1 in 2827
Cancer —————————- 1 in 540
★ Surfers to be tested for drugs
In the 1960s and 1970s, it was the counter culture’s sport of choice. With the long hair and beach bum lifestyle came marijuana and LSD. But surfing is set for a radical image change as its international governing body prepares to introduce comprehensive drug testing for professionals for the first time. Amid growing evidence that the sport’s drug culture has gripped even some of its elite athletes, the Association of Surfing Professionals will in 2012 roll out a policy for screening competitors and officials for performance-enhancing and recreational drugs. The move comes after the death of the triple world champion Andy Irons in November 2010. A postmortem found he died from a heart attack and “acute mixed drug ingestion”. Traces of methadone, methamphetamine, also known as crystal meth, and a metabolite of cocaine were found in his bloodstream.
★ Donna Simpson, World’s Heaviest Mom At 600 Pounds, Closes Pay-Per-View Eating Site
Donna Simpson has taken another step towards changing her life and, perhaps, changing her image. The Plain Dealer in Cleveland reports that the Guinness World Record holder for “world’s heaviest mom” has decided to shut down her pay-per-view eating site where, for years, internet users have been shelling out $19 a month to watch Simpson eat. “I realized that I was their fantasy,” Simpson told the Plain Dealer. “Here I was getting bigger and bigger, and they had their thin wives, with 2½ kids and a picket fence.”
★ How Marijuana May Drive the Brain into Psychosis
Two ingredients in marijuana have opposite effects on certain regions of the brain, according to a new study. One chemical, called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), increases the brain processes that can lead to symptoms of psychosis, while another compound, called cannabidiol, may negate such symptoms, according to the study. Moreover, the findings are the first to use images of the brain to demonstrate that the reason symptoms of psychosis arise in marijuana users may be because THC interferes with the brain’s ability to distinguish between stimuli that are important, and those that aren’t, according to the study.
★ Shortage of ADHD drug Adderall seen persisting
The DEA authorizes a certain amount of the API in Adderall – mixed amphetamine salts – to be released to drugmakers each year based on what the agency considers to be the country’s legitimate medical need. Increasingly that estimate is coming into conflict with what companies themselves say they need to meet demand for the drug, which is reaching all-time highs. In 2010, more than 18 million prescriptions were written for Adderall, up 13.4 percent from 2009, according to IMS Health, which tracks prescription data.
★ White House Denies CIA Teleported Obama to Mars
Forget Kenya. Never mind the secret madrassas. The sinister, shocking truth about Barack Obama’s past lies not in east Africa, but in outer space. As a young man in the early 1980s, Obama was part of a secret CIA project to explore Mars. The future president teleported there, along with the future head of Darpa. That’s the assertion, at least, of a pair of self-proclaimed time-traveling, universe-exploring government agents. Andrew D. Basiago and William Stillings insist that they once served as “chrononauts” at Darpa’s behest, traversing the boundaries of time and space. They swear: A youthful Barack Obama was one of them.
★ BBC criticised for naming panda as a woman of the year
The BBC has come in for ridicule after it included a giant panda called Sweetie alongside Pippa Middleton and Adele in its list of the 12 women of the year.
Genius Cops Caught Apparently Planting Evidence By Own Dash Camera
Here’s a video of two Utica, N.Y. police officers searching a car during a traffic stop. At 1:02, one officer pulls a small baggie of something out of his pocket and ducks into the car; at 1:31, he emerges again, holding the same baggie. Oops! (Update: Police have responded, saying that the full video shows the officer had previously found the baggie on the suspect and placed it in his pocket.)
★ Five Solved ‘Unexplained Mysteries’ of 2011
Each year brings new puzzles and mysteries to challenge skeptics and put our wits to the test. Sometimes mysteries take weeks, months, or even years or decades to solve, and while most of the public’s attention naturally focuses on the still-mysterious, it’s always worth reflecting on former mysteries. This past year saw two high-profile cryptozoological (monster) mysteries finally solved, that of the Puerto Rican chupacabra and the French Beast of Gévaudan. There were also three new UFO / alien cases that made international news before eventually being solved (in Russia, Isreal, and Los Angeles). I participated in solving several of these mysteries. Here’s to a new year of fresh investigation, and hopefully 2012 will end with an even longer list of solved mysteries!
★ Vandals steal squirrel monkey ‘Banana Sam’ from S.F. Zoo
A $5,000 reward is being offered for the return of Banana-Sam, a squirrel monkey who was snatched from his cage at the San Francisco Zoo overnight. Zoo and police officials are searching for the gold-colored monkey, who appeared to have been stolen late Thursday or early Friday when vandals broke in to the zoo and cut the netting around the squirrel monkey pen. “This was a criminal act of vandalism and trespassing, and we are working with the police to identify the perpetrators,” said Tanya Peterson, the zoo’s executive director.
★ Chinese man spends $16,000 on sword for virtual martial arts game
Whilst the season of giving might be over for yet another year, it seems one computer gamer has marked the end of the festivities by treating himself to one final Christmas gift. The avid gamer spent a staggering $16,000 on a virtual sword – the only one of its kind, which he will use when he eventually begins playing a martial arts game that has not yet gone on sale in the Far East. The man who won the auction will now be able to slay characters using his sabre when the highly-anticipated martial-arts game Age of Wulin is released in Mainland China.
★ Tell Congress To Undo The NDAA, Ban Indefinite Military Detention Of Americans
President Obama just signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law despite startling provisions that will allow the military to indefinitely detain American citizens. It’s a travesty, defying basic principles of justice and due process in perhaps the most extreme respect our nation has ever seen. Thankfully, several lawmakers are keeping up the fight. Senator Dianne Feinstein has introduced legislation to undo these provisions of the NDAA, in the form of the Due Process Guarantee Act. We need to urge other Senators to support it. The Due Process Guarantee Act of 2011 amends the Non-Detention Act of 1971 by providing that a Congressional authorization for the use of military force does not authorize the indefinite detention—without charge or trial—of U.S. citizens who are apprehended domestically.
★ Drug-sniffing dogs an unconstitutional search?
Franky the drug dog’s supersensitive nose is at the heart of a question being put to the U.S. Supreme Court: Does a police dog’s sniff outside a house give officers the right to get a search warrant for illegal drugs, or is the sniff an unconstitutional search? Florida’s highest state court has said Franky’s ability to detect marijuana growing inside a Miami-area house from outside a closed front door crossed the constitutional line. The state’s attorney general wants the Supreme Court to reverse that ruling. The justices could decide this month whether to take the case, the latest dispute about whether the use of dogs to find drugs, explosives and other illegal or dangerous substances violates the Fourth Amendment protection against illegal search and seizure.
★ The evil of Aries: How astrology can be sign of future jail time
Police in Chatham-Kent, Ont., announced Wednesday that, of 1,986 people arrested so far this year, 203 were Aries, whereas just 139 were Sagittarius. It is the first time the municipality has ranked its crimes by Zodiac sign. Aries were the most arrested, with Libras in second at 189 arrests, and Virgo third at 183. The least criminal were Sagittarius (139 arrests), Aquarius (142) and Taurus (146). “You can’t really read too much into it,” says Const. Michael Pearce, a police spokesman, who used an Excell spreadsheet to classify the data. “I don’t comment too much on the Zodiac stuff because I don’t want any backlash about it. I am not drawing any conclusions about it.”
★ Detroit man sickened after eating chicken head
A Detroit man has been given his money back from a restaurant where he said he mistakenly was served a chicken head that gave his food poisoning. On Monday, Local 4 spoke with Clarence Lewis, who said he spend New Year’s Eve at the hospital after he ate a chicken tenders meal from Zorba’s Fine Food at McNichols Road and Gunston Avenue. “I noticed a crunch feel, but I didn’t know what it was, and it just went down and cut my throat. I just gagged it up,” he said. Lewis had choked on a chick’s head which was fried up with the rest of the chicken tenders meal.
★ Jamaican dancehall culture
Soul Jazz Recordings published the book which chronicles writer and photographer Beth Lesser’s travels around Jamaica in the 80s, telling the story for which the compilation provides a soundtrack. Here is a selection of Lesser’s images and the writer’s own captions from the book

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Conjured by SeMeN SPeRmS on January 4, 2012

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Burn, Baby, Burn

  • A four-time Texas lottery winner’s timing is priceless.Joan Ginther, 63, has been dubbed “the luckiest woman on earth,” having scratched her way to four jackpots worth a total of $20.4 million.

    Ginther, a reclusive, Stanford-educated math genius, has had winning tickets in 1993, 2006, 2008 and 2010. Now, Harper’s magazine theorizes that the Lone Star legend skillfully charted when and where winning tickets might show up.

  • MOX fuel that was believed to have been kept cool at the bottom of one of the reactors at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant after its core melted is believed to have breached the vessel after melting again, a study said Monday.The study by Fumiya Tanabe, an expert in nuclear safety, said most of reactor 3′s mixed uranium-plutonium oxide fuel may have dribbled into the containment vessel underneath, and if so, the current method being used to cool the reactor will have to be rethought. This could force Tokyo Electric Power Co. to revise its schedule for containing the five-month-old disaster.

  • Fuel inside one of the reactors at the crippled nuclear complex in Fukushima Prefecture, which was believed to have been kept cool at the bottom of the pressure vessel after its core suffered a meltdown, has possibly breached the vessel after melting again at the bottom of the vessel, an expert’s study showed Monday.
  • In the past decade, America’s pharmaceutical industry has knowingly marketed dozens of dangerous drugs to millions of children, a group that executives apparently view as a lucrative, untapped market for their products. Most kids have no one to look out for their interests except anxious parents who put their trust in doctors. As it turns out, that trust is often misplaced. Big Pharma spends massive amounts to entertain physicians, send them on luxury vacations and ply them with an endless supply of free products. As a result, hundreds of thousands of American kids—some as young as three years old—have become dependent on amphetamines like Adderall and a pharmacopeia of other drugs that allegedly treat depression, insomnia, aggression and other mental health disorders.
  • On his Twitter feed Monday, the Oscar-winning film director also blamed the 2008 economic collapse on Standard & Poor’s — apparently because it and other credit-ratings agencies did not downgrade mortgage-based bonds, which encouraged the housing bubble and let it spread throughout the economy.“Pres Obama, show some guts & arrest the CEO of Standard & Poors. These criminals brought down the economy in 2008& now they will do it again,” Mr. Moore wrote.

    Standard & Poor’s, one of three key debt agencies, stripped the U.S. federal government of its AAA status Friday night and reduced it to AA+ for the first time in the nation’s history.

    Mr. Moore went on to note that the “owners of S&P are old Bush family friends,” continuing a theme he has developed through several films about capitalism as essentially a crony system for the rich and Wall Street, especially the Bush family.

  • The hypocrisy of police trying to stop citizens from videotaping their public actions should be obvious in this, the Patriot Act Age. From warrantless wiretapping to data mining to the proliferation of red-light cameras, the Surveillance State is clearly on the march. And yet, when citizens occasionally exercise their constitutional rights and turn the camera on the Surveillance State itself, they increasingly face the threat of police retribution.
  • Well, this could pretty much rule out a marketing campaign touting BlackBerry as the smartphone of choice for rioters. Which is too bad, because Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) could use a new demographic stronghold to reverse its dwindling market share.Media reports since the weekend’s rioting in sections of London following the shooting death of a local man by police have focused on the roles Twitter and BlackBerry’s IM service played in stoking the mayhem.

    Now RIM has officially responded. BlackBerry UK, the “official UK Twitter account” for Canada-based RIM, early Monday tweeted:

    We feel for those impacted by the riots in London. We have engaged with the authorities to assist in any way we can.

    So how can RIM help the police identify riot and looting participants? According to The Register, “RIM can pass over decrypted versions of BBM chatter.”

  • The 34-year-old rapper known for his outbursts was the headline act at the Big Chill music festival Saturday night, where he ranted in the middle of his set about being misunderstood and underappreciated. “I walk through the hotel and I walk down the street, and people look at me like I’m (expletive) insane, like I’m Hitler,” he said. “One day the light will shine through and one day people will understand everything I ever did.”West received light boos from the crowd as a result.

  • Cyber attacks designed to knock Web sites off line happen every day, yet shopping for a virtual hit man to launch one of these assaults has traditionally been a dicey affair. That’s starting to change: Hackers are openly competing to offer services that can take out a rival online business or to settle a score.An ad for a DDoS attack service.

    There are dozens of underground forums where members advertise their ability to execute debilitating “distributed denial-of-service” or DDoS attacks for a price. DDoS attack services tend to charge the same prices, and the average rate for taking a Web site offline is surprisingly affordable: about $5 to $10 per hour; $40 to $50 per day; $350-$400 a week; and upwards of $1,200 per month.

  • Charges against a California mother have been upgraded from manslaughter to second-degree murder this week after evidence at preliminary hearings suggested that she knowingly endangered her infant’s life by breast-feeding while using methamphetamine.Six-week-old Anthony Acosta III died last year after an allegedly lethal amount of the drug was passed to him when his mother, Maggie Jean Wortman, 26, continued to breast-feed despite her meth habit.

  • Battling an addiction to bath salts, Kish took his mother and two others hostage in his mother’s Chestnuthill Township house Thursday afternoon. After he wounded a state trooper with birdshot and set fire to the house, police said, he ran outside with a gun and refused to put it down.
  • In the early days of Michael Moorcock’s 50-plus-years career, when he was living paycheck-to-paycheck, he wrote a whole slew of action-adventure sword-and-sorcery novels very, very quickly, including his most famous books about the tortured anti-hero Elric. In 1992, he published a collection of interviews conducted by Colin Greenland called Michael Moorcock: Death is No Obstacle, in which he discusses his writing method. In the first chapter, “Six Days to Save the World”, he says those early novels were written in about “three to ten days” each, and outlines exactly how one accomplishes such fast writing.
  • From subs to nuts, in wigs, sculpture, fruit and “wearable heroin,” drug smugglers are finding more creative ways to conceal their bootlegged goods.
  • Aquarium staff have managed to wean a chocoholic giant fish onto a healthier diet after inheriting the gourami, raised entirely on Kit Kats by its owners.
  • The prosecutor said police seized $3 million worth of cocaine, $900,000 in cash, steroids, money counters and other paraphernalia from several locations. Also seized were eight vehicles, including a Mercedes-Benz and two Cadillac SUVs.Besides the secret compartments, the ring took extra precautions by placing the vehicles on car carriers ordinarily used by legitimate auto dealers. The car carrier companies weren’t aware that drugs were being shipped inside the vehicles, authorities said.

  • Caleb admitted: “We would wake up at 3pm, soundcheck, have dinner and drink two bottles of wine. We would drink another before we went on stage, take a bunch of pills, drink another bottle on stage followed by a bowl of cocaine.”
  • This is the most arcane of uprisings and the most modern. Its participants, marshalled by Twitter, are protagonists in a sinister flipside to the Arab Spring. The Tottenham summer, featuring children as young as seven, is an assault not on a regime of tyranny but on the established order of a benign democracy. One question now hangs over London’s battle-torn high streets. How could this ever happen?
  • A mystery investor or hedge fund reportedly made a bet of almost $1billion at odds of 10/1 last month that the U.S. would lose its AAA credit rating.Now questions are being asked of whether the trader had inside information before placing the $850million bet in the futures market.

    There were mounting rumours that investor George Soros, 80, famously known as ‘the man who broke the Bank of England’, could be involved.

  • Twitter users in the United Kingdom who posted inflammatory messages encouraging others to engage in violence could be arrested, according to Scotland Yard Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stephen Kavanagh.Kavanagh told The Telegraph that officers were investigating messages posted on Twitter and would “absolutely” consider arresting users who helped incite some of the worst rioting in the British capital in years.

  • Using a hidden video camera, a Texas man filmed four naked, honey-drenched teenage girls while they showered at a church where he worked as a youth pastor.But since the statute of limitations has already expired, prosecutors today were forced to dismiss felony charges lodged against Thomas Fortenberry, who allegedly did the surreptitious filming in November 2007 at the Greater Harvest Community Church in Pasadena.

  • Chinese hospitals and abortion clinics that are connected to the business immediately notify pharmaceutical companies when a baby dies, mostly because of a still birth or an abortion.The companies purchase the baby corpses and store them in some family’s refrigerator to avoid suspicion. The next step in this highly secretive process is putting the corpses in a medical drying microwave and grinding them into pills. The ground baby powder is then put in a capsule, ready to be sold as a stamina enhancer, according to the SBS team.

  • Scientist Mohamed Babu from Mysore, India captured beautiful photos of these translucent ants eating a specially colored liquid sugar. Some of the ants would even move between the food resulting in new color combinations in their stomachs.
  • History always repeats itself, said Hegel. But he forgot to add, commented Karl Marx, the first time as tragedy, the second as farce. What Marx meant in his essay The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte is that history does not repeat itself at all. It only appears to, because human imaginations cannot keep up with the speed of change, so they dress it in costumes borrowed from the past. It is not the 2011 rioters who are dressing in history’s robes – they appear to have modelled themselves more on recent zombie movies – but commentators, who are reaching for analogies of 1980s socialists to attribute these troubles to familiar causes.It is worth looking at images of London’s violent weekend and asking how they make you feel. Far from fitting into any historical model, they seem to me to come from an imagined London, a horror scenario of the city as a blazing wilderness. Sci-fi nightmares of urban catastrophe resonate with these pictures because this is a city made strange.

  • The drought in Texas has gotten so severe municipal water managers have turned to a once untenable idea: recycling sewage water.”When you talk about toilet-to-(water) tank it makes a lot of people nervous and grossed out,” says Terri Telchik, who works in the city manager’s office in Big Spring, Texas.

    Water for the town’s 27,000 residents comes through the Colorado River Municipal Water District, which has broken ground on a plant to capture treated wastewater for recycling.

    “We’re taking treated effluent (wastewater), normally discharged into a creek, and blending it with (traditionally supplied potable) water,” district manager John Grant told Discovery News.

  • Watch The Throne will be released first on iTunes before the Best Buy chain’s exclusive deal to sell the album nearly two weeks ahead of other music retailers.The letter says the deal will do “great damage” to more than 1,700 record stores and calls for equal access.

    Jay-Z’s spokesman had no comment.

    Posted by the organisers of Record Store Day, the letter has been signed by shops across the US and calls the release plan a “short-sighted strategy”.

  • Three Mexican nationals attempted to illegally land their boat on California’s Huntington Beach Sunday — about a mile away from where crowds were forming to watch a professional surfing contest.Lifeguards spotted the small fishing boat at around 8:30 a.m., but when the men realized they had been spotted, they turned back to sea and were seen throwing a package overboard, The Orange County Register reported.

  • Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways is launching an investigation into pictures that appear to show a pilot receiving oral sex from a flight attendant while in a commercial airplane cockpit.Low quality photos of the act, featuring a woman in a red outfit not unlike those of Cathay Pacific’s flight attendants and a pilot, have circulated through Chinese media. According to some reports, the two are a couple.

  • A witness on the scene during the Rawesome Foods raid has publicly stated that an agent of the Specialized Surveillance & Enforcement Bureau of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health stole $9,000 in cash from James Stewart after placing him in handcuffs. The $9,000 in cash was about to be used to acquire food products (honey, watermelons, eggs and others) that are offered to club members of Rawesome Foods.During the raid on Rawesome Foods, $4,500 in cash was taken from the store and $9,000 confiscated from James Stewart, but only the $4,500 in cash was noted on the warrant. California law requires that all items seized at the raid are noted on the warrant, but the LA County Department of Public Health failed to note the $9,000, meaning there is no longer any paper trail for this cash that was taken from James.

  • A short doc about a kinetic sculpture that took four years to build. We had the honor of spending three days in Chris Burden’s studio filming this sculpture before it was moved to the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art (LACMA) where it is being reinstalled.
    The installation opens fall 2011.
  • “To ban kebabs in Cittadella is like forbidding pizza in Paris or New York,” said Abdallah Khezraji, a member of the Consulta Regionale Immigrazione for Italy’s Veneto region.On Friday, the town council of Cittadella passed a law stopping to stop the issue of licenses to vendors wishing to sell kebabs in the medieval walled city in Veneto.

    ‘Protecting tradition’

    “This food is certainly not part of our tradition and of our identity,” said Mayor Massimo Bitonci of the anti-immigration Northern League party, which shares power in Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s ruling coalition.

    Bitonci said kebabs were “not suited to our historic center [because of] the way in which the foods are eaten, the smell they give off.”

    He also justified the ban on health grounds, saying the ordinance targeted “dishes cooked and then left in the open for a long time.”

  • What I am about to describe in this article are not “predictions” of any kind. Rather, they are forecasts based on available data and common sense projections of where the Global Power Elite are trying to take the world, why they are doing so, and what they hope to achieve. The more they keep the general public in the dark, the higher their chances of success.Doing this kind of forecast is rather like understanding the weather. If on a hot summer day you look out your window and see dark clouds and lightning on the horizon, and suddenly a strong, damp ozone-filled gust blows your way, it’s basic common sense to say that you shouldn’t be forecasting “sunny and calm today,” but rather “drenching rain, thunder, lightning and hail.”

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File under Horror, Music, SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG, SeMeN SPeRmS Links 'o Death, Sex

Conjured by SeMeN SPeRmS on August 9, 2011

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There’s No Place To Hide When The Dead Are Alive

  • Tucked away in a small warehouse on a dead-end street, an Internet pioneer is building a bunker to protect an endangered species: the printed word.Brewster Kahle, 50, founded the nonprofit Internet Archive in 1996 to save a copy of every Web page ever posted. Now the MIT-trained computer scientist and entrepreneur is expanding his effort to safeguard and share knowledge by trying to preserve a physical copy of every book ever published.

    “There is always going to be a role for books,” said Kahle as he perched on the edge of a shipping container soon to be tricked out as a climate-controlled storage unit. Each container can hold about 40,000 volumes, the size of a branch library. “We want to see books live forever.”

  • In scenes reminiscent of the Great Depression these are the ramshackle homes of the desperate and destitute U.S. families who have set up their own ‘Tent City’ only an hour from Manhattan.More than 50 homeless people have joined the community within New Jersey’s forests as the economic crisis has wrecked their American dream.

    And as politicians in Washington trade blows over their country’s £8.8 trillion debt, the prospect of more souls joining this rag tag group grows by the day.

    Building their own tarpaulin tents, Native American teepees and makeshift balsa wood homes, every one of the Tent City residents has lost their job.

  • China and Arab countries have generally been scrutinized in the media for their land deals, but much of the cash flow comes through U.S. and European investors, according to Oakland Institute—through established pension funds, agribusiness behemoths and even educational institutions.
  • Facebook is a living computer nightmare. Just as viruses took the advantages of sharing information on floppies and modems and revealed a devastating undercarriage to the whole process, making every computer transaction suspect… and just as spyware/malware took advantage of beautiful advances in computer strength and horsepower to turn your beloved machine of expression into a gatling gun of misery and assholery… Facebook now stands as taking over a decade and a half of the dream of the World Wide Web and turning it into a miserable IT cube farm of pseudo human interaction, a bastardized form of e-mail, of mailing lists, of photo albums, of friendship. While I can’t really imply that it was going to be any other way, I can not sit by and act like this whole turn of events hasn’t resulted in an epidemic of ruin that will have consequences far-reaching from anything related to archiving.
  • And now it has come to this: For the first time ever, Burning Man has literally sold out.Organizers were forced to cap the number of attendees to the weeklong event, an art-focused, community-centric festival that starts Aug. 29. The event sold out last week, giving rise to a profitable black market that some past Burning Man participants say goes against the festival’s principles.

    The cap on ticket sales was necessary to limit attendance as required by the permit issued by the federal Bureau of Land Management. That permit allows for 50,000 people at any one time, organizers said, and more than 51,500 tickets were sold last year.

  • If you’d like to go out with a bang, Holy Smoke LLC offers to pack your cremated ashes (or those of your loved ones) into ammunition cartridges. You tell them the caliber or gauge, ship the remains to them, and they’ll load the cartridges:Once the caliber, gauge and other ammunition parameters have been selected, we will ask you (by way of your funeral service provider) to send approximately one pound of the decedant’s ash to us. Upon receiving the ashes our professional and reverant staff will place a measured portion of ash into each shotshell or cartridge.[...]

  • Amy Winehouse was in the process of secretly adopting an adorable Caribbean child — hoping to save her from her impoverished life — just before the tragic singer died, the little girl’s family said.Bright-eyed Dannika Augustine, 10, of St. Lucia, had caught the eye of the 27-year-old “Rehab” crooner during one of the singer’s many jaunts to the island and was going to be formally adopted by Winehouse before the troubled star died in her London pad on July 23, London’s Mirror newspaper reported yesterday.

  • Graduate student Kevin Beiler has uncovered the extent and architecture of this network through the use of new molecular tools that can distinguish the DNA of one fungal individual from another, or of one tree’s roots from another. He has found that all trees in dry interior Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca) forests are interconnected, with the largest, oldest trees serving as hubs, much like the hub of a spoked wheel, where younger trees establish within the mycorrhizal network of the old trees. Through careful experimentation, recent graduate Francois Teste determined that survival of these establishing trees was greatly enhanced when they were linked into the network of the old trees.Through the use of stable isotope tracers, he and Amanda Schoonmaker, a recent undergraduate student in Forestry, found that increased survival was associated with belowground transfer of carbon, nitrogen and water from the old trees.
  • On his second album, “Supreme Clientele,” Killah allegedly “copied verbatim” the Urbont-written “Iron Man Theme” on two tracks.The album was released back in 2000 (way before the recent Jon Favreau-directed movies) and it’s unclear why it took Urbont so long to sue. But he may have grown tired of seeing Killah’s name attached to his music on the Internet.

    Much of the case is a typical copyright infringement claim, but Urbont throws in an unusual unfair competition allegation that caught our attention.

    According to the complaint: “Defendant Ghostface is also known for the nickname, ‘Tony Starks,’ which is a take-off of the name ‘Tony Stark,’ Iron Man’s real name and true identity. In this way, Defendants’ use of Urbont’s ‘Iron Man Theme’ gives them a substantial commercial advantage by linking Ghostface to Iron Man without paying for it.”

  • Vice President Joe Biden joined House Democrats in lashing tea party Republicans Monday, accusing them of having “acted like terrorists” in the fight over raising the nation’s debt limit, according to several sources in the room.
  • Did someone blink?
  • Those freaked out by facial recognition technology have fresh fodder: a study from Carnegie Mellon University in which researchers were able to predict people’s social security numbers after taking a photo of them with a cheap webcam.At the head of the research team was Alessandro Acquisti, a CMU professor who pointed out in 2009 that the social security number system has a huge security flaw — social security numbers are predictable if you know a person’s hometown and date of birth. This study essentially adds a facial recognition component to that study. Acquisti, Ralph Gross and Fred Stutzman ran three experiments. In the first, they data mined Facebook for photos of people with searchable profiles. They then used that database of faces and identities when applying off-the-shelf facial recognition technology (PittPatt) to “anonymous” singles on a popular dating site. Acquisti told me in an interview last month that they were able to reidentify 15% of the digital Cupids.

  • Today Twitter’s CEO said they may in the future “edit out any…clearly offensive [trending topics].” He also said “we edit out any [trending topics] with obscenities.”
  • At first glance the photos look staged. They show stocky men stiffly clad in various outfits that include fur hats and thick coats with upturned collars — and, most importantly, sunglasses. But these photos aren’t stage props from a silly low-budget spy film, they are images snapped by members of the feared East German secret state police, or Stasi, for an internal course called the “art of disguising.”Berlin-based artist Simon Menner unearthed the images while sifting through the Stasi archives, which were opened to the public after the fall of the Berlin Wall. He was allowed to reproduce the photos and they are now on display in an exhibition entitled: “Pictures from the Secret Stasi Archives.”

    Morgen Contemporary, the Berlin gallery hosting the exhibition, says in its description of the collection that “many of the snapshots seem absurd and they may even be amusing. And yet we ought not lose sight of the intention that led the Stasi agents to take them.”

  • It’s the future. You’re racing down the highway when, all of a sudden, the driver ahead of you slows down. You know you need to hit the brakes to avoid an accident, but your foot can’t move as fast as your brain. You’re about to rear-end the guy, except. …… except that your car has read your mind. It picks up your brain waves and automatically slows down. Accident averted.

  • At least 700 of these chambers have been found in Bavaria alone, along with about 500 in Austria. In the local vernacular, they have fanciful names such as “Schrazelloch” (“goblin hole”) or “Alraunenhöhle” (“mandrake cave”). They were supposedly built by elves, and legend has it that gnomes lived inside. According to some sagas, they were parts of long escape tunnels from castles.
  • A quadriplegic man with five years of skydiving experience died in a weekend skydiving accident in northwestern Montana, Flathead County officials said Monday.Sheriff Chuck Curry said Zack Fogle, 27, of Kingston, Wash., died Saturday afternoon when his parachute did not open during a jump at the 44th annual Lost Prairie Boogie, a 10-day skydiving event near Marion that typically draws hundreds of participants.

  • Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-CO) has equated negotiating with President Obama to ‘touching a tar baby’.
  • “Look, Daddy, that man’s going to the bathroom!”No, not the words any daddy wants to hear from his 10-year-old daughter, especially during a stroll through their brand-new neighborhood.

  • Upset neighbor races his pigs during prayer in protest of new mosque
  • We’re under constant scrutiny—our movements monitored by cameras, tracked by satellites and catalogued by a host of increasingly attentive government agencies. No longer does the idea of an omnipresent government seem all that farfetched. As technology becomes ever more sophisticated, the idea of a total surveillance society moves further from the realm of George Orwell’s science fiction fantasy into an accepted way of life.In fact, surveillance has become a huge moneymaking industry in itself, with many sectors having sprung up devoted to developing increasingly sophisticated gadgets to keep targeted individuals under surveillance, with or without their cooperation. The science behind this technology is particularly brilliant.

  • If there’s one place a James Bond villain — or even some actual governments — would love raiding today, it’s the basement of a somber building in lower Manhattan: the world’s biggest gold vault.Gold prices hit a record $1,632.8 an ounce Friday, reflecting a nervous rush by private and national investors from stocks, dollars and euros to the safe-haven commodity.

    And the biggest single pile of the stuff on the planet lies deep beneath the New York branch of the US Federal Reserve Bank, a stone’s throw from the Stock Exchange.

    On a visit, a guide from the bank revealed the 7,000-ton hoard gleaming softly in a vault carved from Manhattan’s bed rock, five stories under the Big Apple’s teeming streets.

    Cast in bricks, stacked ceiling-high in blue-painted, caged boxes, the heap is worth a staggering $350 billion.

  • You could call it “My Big Fat Computer Geek Wedding.”After a Houston couple couldn’t get a friend to serve as the minister at their wedding, they decided to create their own.

    When Miguel Hanson and his fiancee, Diana Wesley, get married on Saturday, a computer will conduct the ceremony. Well, technically, a computer program Hanson wrote will serve as the minister.

    During the wedding, to be held in the Houston home of Hanson’s parents, the couple will stand before a 30-inch monitor in the backyard. In a robotic voice, the computer will greet the guests, say how the couple met and go through the ceremony.

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File under Music, SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG, SeMeN SPeRmS Links 'o Death

Conjured by SeMeN SPeRmS on August 2, 2011

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I WANT YOU!

  • Victims of sexual abuse by priests will no longer be able to sue the Catholic church for damages if a landmark judgment rules that priests should not be considered as employees.

    In a little publicised case heard this month at the high court, the church claimed that it is not “vicariously liable” for priests’ actions. The church has employed the argument in the past but this was the first time it had been used in open court and a ruling in the church’s favour would set a legal precedent.

  • A mystery man arrested on minor charges more than three weeks ago remains behind bars in Utah while law enforcement officials try to determine his true identity, which he refuses to reveal.
    “This is really a strange case,” said Lt. Dennis Harris with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office. “He just doesn’t want to be found.”The unidentified man, who has graying hair, a light beard and is believed to be in his 60′s, was arrested on July 1 for trespassing in a parking garage. 

    He was booked into jail on three misdemeanor charges and has thwarted any chance of release, with or without bail, by refusing to identify himself.

    “I’ve been trying to think from A to Z why he would want to stay here … why he wouldn’t give us any information,” Harris said.

    “He either has to be wanted by some other state or he could be on some other registry or database that has not shown up,” he added.

    Law enforcement officials say the man is “fairly well spoken and educated,” but very guarded about his identity.

  • Because of massive corporate consolidation of agriculture, centrally coordinated global regulations, a devalued commodity-dollar and unrestrained commodity speculation, chemical and genetic modification, and real or manipulated food shortages; there is indeed a war being waged — with food as the primary weapon. Understand, this is a not purely a war on food, but rather a war on the general population. Therefore, it is crucial to understand these tactics in order to defend against them.
  • A South African health official says a man awoke to find himself in a morgue fridge — nearly a day after his family thought he had died.

    Health department spokesman Sizwe Kupelo said Monday that the man awoke Sunday afternoon, 21 hours after his family called in an undertaker who sent him to the morgue after an asthma attack.

    Kupelo says the man started yelling, prompting morgue workers to run away in fear. They eventually returned and removed him from the fridge. He was then taken to a nearby hospital and later discharged by doctors who deemed him stable.

    The mortuary owner says his family is very happy to have him home.

  • However, Terrace thought differently and had chosen Stephanie LaFarge, a former student and lover, to bring up Nim in the large Manhattan townhouse she shared with her self-confessed ‘rich hippy’ writer husband, Wer, and their seven children.

    But it was a disastrous decision — Stephanie never bothered trying to discipline Nim. She did not take any notes on the experiment and did not keep a log of Nim’s progress, but she did breastfeed him and give him alcohol and puffs on her cannabis joints.

    He was encouraged to lay waste to their expensive home and wind up his rival for her affections, Stephanie’s husband. Home movie footage shows the little creature, a blur of black and white in his romper suit, charging around as Stephanie recounts dreamily how she let him explore her naked body as he moved into puberty.

    ‘I never felt sexually engaged with him,’ she recalls, which is a blessing at least. Yes, it certainly was the Seventies.

  • Video explodes on internet showing a man and woman pair abusing a cat in a puddle, repeatedly pressing the cat under water
  • Q: OK, so imagine a human and a dolphin both being bitten by a shark. How would the healing process differ between the two?

    Well, the dolphin wouldn’t hemorrhage…or have any infection, which is miraculous. And despite having sustained massive tissue injury, within about month the animal will restore its normal body contour. There’ll be some surface markings, but a chunk of tissue maybe the size of a football will have been restored with essentially no deformity.

    And what is equally amazing is that handlers who know these animals will tell you that they observe absolutely no indications in the animal’s behavior that it’s in pain.

  • To substantially reduce the amount of radioactive materials released from the plant, Tepco needs to get to the bottom of the problem: plugging holes or cracks in the reactors’ containment vessels that are allowing contaminated water to flood on-site facilities, including the reactor buildings and turbine buildings, experts said.

    The updated road map, however, includes no reference to this critical work in the second stage, even though it was mentioned in past plans. And without fixing this problem, it is difficult to say that the release of radioactive materials is under control.

    “In terms of managing the leakage of radioactive materials, I think plugging the holes will be the most important point,” said Tsuyoshi Misawa, a professor of reactor physics at Kyoto University’s Research Reactor Institute, adding he was perplexed it wasn’t included in the new plan.

  • We’ve all been there: sitting in a porta-potty where the door has a faulty latch, or waiting in line at a movie theater restroom that inexplicably has 12 sinks and two toilet stalls. Hey, they can’t all be awesome engineers.

    But these photos we’ve found go above and beyond the simple “oops” you’d experience with your average bathroom flub. Oh no, ladies and gentlemen. These fails are far worse — and far more difficult to forgive.

    So go ahead, try to imagine how you’d handle using these architectural wonders, and then be sure to vote for your favorites.

  • This graph, courtesy of the New York Times, has been making the rounds today, and it’s worth examining. Note that health care reform, much-maligned by the right as deficit-killer, cost less than even the most inexpensive of George W. Bush’s policies (that policy being Medicare Part D). Note also that the Bush tax cuts alone added more to the deficit than all of President Obama’s new policies combined — and that’s including projected spending over the course of a theoretical second term.
  • Cash from part of a $2.16 billion U.S. transportation contract in Afghanistan has ended up in the hands of Taliban insurgents, the Pentagon said on Monday.

    The disclosure is another example of the persistent difficulty the U.S. military has in keeping its massive war funding from reaching the insurgents it is fighting in the unpopular, decade-old Afghan war.

    The United States is spending more than $6 billion a month in the conflict.

  • Microsoft became a target of online ire over the weekend after the same Twitter account posted an update inviting people to remember Winehouse by buying digital versions of her “Back to Black” album at social.zune.net.

    The Zune website is Microsoft’s shop on the Internet for downloading music, films and other entertainment content to computers, smartphones, and Xbox 360 videogame consoles.

    Replies on Twitter criticized the Microsoft message as “crass” and “vile.”

  • The company immediately hired Randall Thompson to serve as the health physics technician in charge of monitoring radioactive emissions, while Joy Thompson got a job monitoring radiation doses to TMI workers.

    “I had other health physicists from around the country calling me saying, ‘Don’t let it melt without me!” Randall Thompson recalls. “It was exciting. Our attitude was, ‘Sure I may get some cancer, but I can find out some cool stuff.’”

    What the Thompsons say they found out during their time inside TMI suggests radiation releases from the plant were hundreds if not thousands of times higher than the government and industry have acknowledged — high enough to cause the acute health effects documented in people living near the plant but that have been dismissed by the industry and the government as impossible given official radiation dose estimates.

  • Bill Clinton wants the government to “correct” what you say on the Internet, folks. Should the government listen to the former panderer-in-chief, we’ll go from Big Brother to Big Bubba on the ol’ Internet tubes.

    Bubba is not happy with what he claims is the “misinformation” on the Internet and he wants the force of government to stop it all. Politico is reporting that Clinton makes the proposal in an upcoming CNBC interview saying, “It would be a legitimate thing to do.”

    No, Bubba, it would not.

    Clinton says that the idea of having a government agency that “corrects” the “misinformation” on the Internet would be “independent” of government so it isn’t a traditional government agency. This, he feels would make it all A-OK with those fearing Big Brother government ministries of propaganda.

    Again, Bubba, it would not.

  • If you listen carefully just above this unassuming grate you can hear the ripple and splash of flowing water. This is the sound of the River Fleet, London’s largest subterranean river. Forced underground by the city’s burgeoning populace the river still flows from its source to its mouth where it joins London’s main waterway, the Thames. Yet what lies beneath?
    Below the ground there is a remarkable network of tunnels and chambers, put in to place by Victorian engineers, the final step in a process which took centuries. For over a thousand years there had been a shipping dock at the mouth of the river – its name comes from the Anglo-Saxon fleot which means a tidal inlet. Yet it was not destined to persevere as a river in its own right.

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File under Culture, Music, SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG, SeMeN SPeRmS Links 'o Death, Sex

Conjured by SeMeN SPeRmS on July 26, 2011

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