dictator | SeMeN SPeRmS SuPeR SiTe

Holy Sperm

FEMEN FUCKIN' RULE!
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Obama’s secrecy fixation causing Sunshine Week implosion

Along with others, I’ve spent the last four years documenting the extreme, often unprecedented, commitment to secrecy that this president has exhibited, including his vindictive war on whistleblowers, his refusal to disclose even the legal principles underpinning his claimed war powers of assassination, and his unrelenting, Bush-copying invocation of secrecy privileges to prevent courts even from deciding the legality of his conduct (as a 2009 headline on the Obama-friendly TPM site put it: “Expert Consensus: Obama Mimics Bush On State Secrets”). Just this week, the Associated Press conducted a study proving that last year, the Obama administration has rejected more FOIA requests on national security grounds than in any year since Obama became president, and quoted Alexander Abdo, an ACLU staff attorney for its national security project, as follows: “We’ve seen a meteoric rise in the number of claims to protect secret law, the government’s interpretations of laws or its understanding
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Jewish artifacts illegally dumped in N.J.
Thousands of black plastic bags filled with Jewish religious artifacts line a dirt road in the woods near where Larry Simons lives. Nearby, 10 tractor-trailers sit filled with the bags, recently unearthed from their burial ground. The bags are part of an Orthodox Jewish custom known as shaimos, where Jewish books and other sacred objects that are no longer of use must be buried. “The whole thing troubles me because, one, I am Jewish,” the 76-year-old Simons said, as he walked passed the piles of bags. “As a Jewish person, I do not like to be denigrated. But when (I see) what I perceive as an abuse … of the law, it bothers me.” What concerns Simons, and the state Department of Environmental Protection, is that these bags were buried illegally in the woods in Jackson and Lakewood. A state Superior Court judge ordered the rabbi overseeing the site, Chaim Abadi, to remove the bags. But nearly a year later, Abadi is still searching for a new location for the artifacts
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“LOL, She Couldn’t Even Move” Awful Texts Revealed at Steubenville Rape Trial

The prosecution alleges that, at a football party last summer, the West Virginia girl who multiple witnesses have described as incapacitated to the point of incoherence and unconsciousness lay shirtless on a yard, vomiting, while a group of guys offered $3 to piss on her. Next, she was allegedly sexually assaulted multiple times, ranging from digital penetration to attempted oral rape. Photographs taken during the assault, as well as a video in which a witness described the “dead girl” as “so raped,” were distributed throughout the town. As Jane Doe tried to learn what happened to her, the boys shared their alleged sexual assault with each other through texts and e-mails. “Hey buddy…you want to send me that pic because you love me?” one boy texted Mays, while Jane’s Doe friend commented about the same photo, “If that is [semen] on you that is [expletive] crazy.”
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_LIVESON – Tweet After You’re Dead

Your _LIVESON twitter account is created – it will keep tweeting even after you’ve passed away. _LIVESON A.I. analyses your main twitter feed. Learning about your likes, tastes, syntax. Tweets begin to populate your _LIVESON feed. Help it become a better you by giving feedback. Nominate an executor to your _LIVESON ‘Will’. They can decide to keep your account ‘live’.
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Reputation scores and hedged friendship

data have different valences; data are always mediated. They must be contextualized by an interpretive community — pieces of data don’t automatically dictate how they must be interpreted by anyone who sees it. They are available to be put to whatever use by those with the authority to contextualize them. And more data doesn’t automatically make for a clearer picture. It just makes for more interpretative work, more exercises of power by the interpreters, more occasions where power might need to be resisted. In other words, data are not inherently a weapon against power, as transparency advocates sometimes seem to suggest; they are also a tool of power. A reputation is constituted by who gets to interpret data and for what reasons; it is determined by power relations. Amassing more data won’t somehow undo the hierarchy; it just gives people in the position to impose social judgments more information to rationalize their prejudices and protect their privileges.
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NSA Chief Says America Is Ready to Cyberattack

For the first time, NSA chief and head of the U.S. Cyber Command Gen. Keith Alexander admitted America is ready to attack in cyberspace. Never before has a U.S. official acknowledged that the U.S. government is working on or is in possession of malware capable of attacking a foreign nation in a cyber conflict, despite the fact that at least one attack — the famous Stuxnext worm — has been attributed to the U.S. On Wednesday, in his annual testimony to the House Armed Services Committee, Alexander took the cyberwar rethoric coming out of Washington up a notch. “I would like to be clear that this team, this defend-the-nation team, is not a defensive team,” he said. “This is an offensive team.” In other words, this cyber army is ready to retaliate in case of a cyber attack against the United States.
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Occupy Sugar: A Movement Whose Time Has Come

Big Sugar has spent decades paying its way into politicians’ hearts, demanding price controls and tariffs that boost profits and artificially inflate sugar prices, and using its political clout to establish a permanent life-support mechanism for an industry whose major product is causing many Americans to die.
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Crime Lab Scandal Leaves Mass. Legal System In Turmoil

A scandal in a Massachusetts crime lab continues to reverberate throughout the state’s legal system. Several months ago, Annie Dookhan, a former chemist in a state crime lab, told police that she messed up big time. Dookhan now stands accused of falsifying test results in as many as 34,000 cases. As a result, lawyers, prosecutors and judges used to operating in a world of “beyond a reasonable doubt” now have nothing but doubt. Already, hundreds of convicts and defendants have been released because of the scandal. Now, the state’s highest court may weigh in on how these cases should be handled. “I don’t think anyone ever perceived that one person was capable of causing this much chaos,” says Norfolk County District Attorney Michael Morrisey, one of many DAs now digging through old drug cases, trying to sort out how many should now be considered tainted.
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Breast-beating: Femen ‘assaulted’ by anti-gay marriage demonstrators in Paris

Femen activists appeared amidst the demonstrators wearing costumes of sexy nuns. The activists were topless as usual, with slogans written across their chests. They were spraying demonstrators with white liquid calling it “Jesus’ semen.”
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Paranoid Dictator’s Communist-Era Bunkers Now a National Nuisance

In Albania, 750,000 Communist-era bunkers populate the landscape, relics of the paranoia and skewed priorities of former dictator Enver Hoxha. Now they exist as quirky homes, animal shelters, ad hoc storage and make-out spots. The peculiar program of bunkerization, which lasted Hoxha’s entire 40-year rule, resulted in one bunker for every four citizens.
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Man faces five years in prison for releasing balloons on beach as a romantic gesture

The 40-year-old Brasfield was with his girlfriend, Shaquina Baxter, in the parking lot of a Motel 6 on Dania Beach Boulevard when he released the 12 shiny, red and silver mylar balloons into the sky and watched them float away in the Sunday morning breeze. But the trooper saw nothing more than probable cause for a crime against the environment. Apparently, lawmakers in the Sunshine State think it’s appropriate to treat what should have been, at most, simple littering (to which courts would have issued a fine, maybe?), into a major crime against Mother Nature. As if Florida jails weren’t full enough. The trooper arrested Brasfield and charged him with polluting to harm humans, animals, plants and everything else living under the Florida Air and Water Pollution Control Act. “Endangered marine turtle species and birds, such as wood storks and brown pelicans, seek refuge in John U. Lloyd State Park, about 1.5 miles east of the motel,” said the paper.
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Doctor ‘used silicone fingers’ to sign in for colleagues

Thaune Nunes Ferreira, 29, was arrested on Sunday for using prosthetic fingers to fool the biometric employee attendance device used at the hospital where she works near Sao Paulo. She is accused of covering up the absence of six colleagues.
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Facebook users unwittingly revealing intimate secrets, study finds

Facebook users are unwittingly revealing intimate secrets – including their sexual orientation, drug use and political beliefs – using only public “like” updates, according to a study of online privacy. The research into 58,000 Facebook users in the US found that sensitive personal characteristics about people can be accurately inferred from information in the public domain. Researchers were able to accurately infer a Facebook user’s race, IQ, sexuality, substance use, personality or political views using only a record of the subjects and items they had “liked” on Facebook – even if users had chosen not to reveal that information. The study will reopen the debate about privacy in the digital age and raise fresh concerns about what information people share online.
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Supermax Prisons: Views from Above

Beyond this, we need to examine the culture of incarceration responsible for keeping a substantial portion of the U.S. population imprisoned under what can only be deemed inhumane conditions. Current U.S. policies regarding solitary confinement are controversial not only considering definitions of torture under international law but also in light of our own Eighth Amendment, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. As Senator Dick Durbin urged in his June 19, 2012 appeal to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary (PDF), the stakes are high: More than 80,000 inmates are currently held in isolation in so-called Security Housing Units (SHUs), according to a 2005 Bureau of Justice Statistics census. They are locked up for as long as 23 hours a day in small single cells, without windows or direct access to natural light, and without meaningful activities of any kind. What does our ongoing tolerance of this practice say about us as a society?
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Meet the men who spy on women through their webcams

“Man I feel dirty looking at these pics,” wrote one forum poster at Hack Forums, one of the top “aboveground” hacking discussion sites on the Internet (it now has more than 23 million total posts). The poster was referencing a 134+ page thread filled with the images of female “slaves” surreptitiously snapped by hackers using the women’s own webcams. “Poor people think they are alone in their private homes, but have no idea they are the laughing stock on HackForums,” he continued. “It would be funny if one of these slaves venture into learning how to hack and comes across this thread.” Whether this would in fact be “funny” is unlikely. RAT operators have nearly complete control over the computers they infect; they can (and do) browse people’s private pictures in search of erotic images to share with each other online. They even have strategies for watching where women store the photos most likely to be compromising.
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No. of dead pigs found in Shanghai river almost 6,000

The number of dead pigs found in Shanghai’s main river has doubled in two days to nearly 6,000, the government said, as residents worried over the water supply questioned the handling of the incident. Shanghai had pulled 5,916 dead pigs out of the Huangpu river, which cuts through China’s commercial hub and supplies 22 percent of its water, since Saturday, the local government said in a statement late Tuesday. The number of pigs taken out of the river—believed to have been dumped by farmers upstream after dying of disease—had started to fall on a daily basis, it added, and water quality was within national standards.
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Voucher school history book: Hippies didn’t bathe, worshipped Satan

The Louisiana voucher schools under GOP Governor Bobby Jindal had already gotten into trouble last year for using a variety of religious right schoolbooks that teach a number of crazy, and racist, theories, including: The Ku Klux Klan was a force for good “[The Ku Klux] Klan in some areas of the country tried to be a means of reform, fighting the decline in morality and using the symbol of the cross. Klan targets were bootleggers, wife-beaters, and immoral movies. In some communities it achieved a certain respectability as it worked with politicians.”—United States History for Christian Schools, 3rd ed., Bob Jones University Press, 2001 Majority of slaves in the old south were treated well “A few slave holders were undeniably cruel. Examples of slaves beaten to death were not common, neither were they unknown. The majority of slave holders treated their slaves well.”—United States History for Christian Schools, 2nd ed., Bob Jones University Press, 1991
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Officer Who Fired Shot In New York High School Suspended

A New York town that began assigning an armed police officer to guard a high school in the wake of the Connecticut massacre has suspended the program after an officer accidentally discharged his pistol in a hallway while classes were in session. Lt. James Janso of the Lloyd police department tells media outlets Officer Sean McCutcheon will be suspended while an investigation continues.
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School confiscates third-grader’s cupcakes topped with toy soldiers

In the latest incident of anti-gun hysteria to erupt in a school setting, officials at an elementary school in small-town Michigan impounded a third-grader boy’s batch of 30 homemade birthday cupcakes because they were adorned with green plastic figurines representing World War Two soldiers. The school principal branded the military-themed cupcakes “insensitive” in light of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, reports Fox News Radio. “It disgusted me,” Casey Fountain, the boy’s father, told Fox News. “It’s vile they lump true American heroes with psychopathic killers.”
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Chilling Final Photos of Murder Victims Taken by Their Killers

Many serial killers take photos of their victims–both dead and alive–to keep a record of their work, to refer to later for self-pleasure, and sometimes to taunt police. Here are a few images taken by serial killers of their victims while they were still alive. Most know they’re doomed, others are still unaware of what’s to come.
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More News Than Is Fit to Print — Designing Count Bruno de Caumont Launders Pedophile Imagery in A Masterstroke of Subliminal Messaging on the Front Page of the New York Times “House & Home Section, February 3, 2005

Allow your eyes to scroll down the page to imbibe this unique New York Times Home section. After a little observation, I concluded that the presentation applies established formulas for inserting subliminal messages into an innocuous scene. In reading the text of the article, I searched in vain for any reference to the subject matter of the picture that appears centrally above the couch-bed, above the fold, on the first page of this presumably wholesome section of the newspaper that proudly proclaims it prints only the news that is “fit to print.” In the case of this article, the Times editors seem to have ignored their motto, exposing their reading public to a media presentation with a concealed agenda and precious little news value. While the centrally located picture begs for our attention, the text of the article directs our eyes to the pattern on the fabric wallpaper, to the furniture barely visible at the extreme left of the photograph, indeed, to anything but the picture….
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World’s Ugliest Woman Finally Laid to Rest 150 Years After Death

Born in Mexico in 1834, Julia Pastrana was an indigenous woman living with two very rare diseases: generalized hypertrichosis lanuginosa, which covered her body and face in thick hair, and gingival hyperplasia, which thickened her lips and gums. She took part in 19th-century exhibition tours throughout Europe, where she entertained people with her bear-like features. Her life story is both sad and fascinating. In 1859, Pastrana became pregnant after marrying Theodore Lent, an impresario who was traveling at freak shows with her across Europe and the United States. Unfortunately, her infant son also inherited her hypertichosis and passed mere hours after his birth in Moscow. Pastrana also died after a few days from severe complications. Following the death of both his wife and son, Lent embalmed their bodies and began exhibiting them while on tour. Lent also remarried after meeting a bearded woman in Germany, whom was later billed as Pastrana’s sister, Zenora.
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5 Real Murderers More Terrifying Than Any Horror Movie

There is no goofier Hollywood invention than the Flamboyant Killer. Whether you were raised on the Friday the 13th movies or Saw-type torture porn, they all have a slapstick quality that lets you know that in the real world, people like this just don’t exist. Real killers are, of course, much stranger.
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The Untouchables

FRONTLINE investigates why Wall Street’s leaders have escaped prosecution for any fraud related to the sale of bad mortgages.
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How Many Billions Of Drug-Laundered Money Does It Take To Shut Down A Bank?

And I’ll just say here, if you’re caught with an ounce of cocaine, the chances are good you’re going to go to jail. If it happens repeatedly you may go to jail for the rest of your life. But evidently, if you launder nearly a billion dollars for drug cartels and violate our international sanctions, your company pays a fine and you go home and sleep in your own bed at night. Every single individual associated with this. I just, I think that’s fundamentally wrong.
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Fallout from ‘Untouchables’ Documentary: Another Wall Street Whistleblower Gets Reamed

“There was a guy there, a well-dressed guy, standing next to a car that had a vanity plate,” he said. “And the plate read, ‘FUND’EM.'” Winston, curious, asked the guy what the plate meant. The man laughed and said, “That’s Angelo Mozilo’s growth strategy for 2006.” Here’s how Winston described the rest of the story to PBS – i.e. what happened when he asked the man to elaborate: “What if the person doesn’t have a job?” “Fund ’em,” the – the guy said. And I said, “What if he has no income?” “Fund ’em.” “What if he has no assets?” And he said, “Fund ’em.” Later on, Winston would hear that the company’s unofficial policy was that if a loan applicant could “fog a mirror,” he would be given a loan. This kind of information is absolutely crucial to understanding what caused the subprime crisis. There are people out there still willing to argue that the government somehow “forced the banks to lend” to unworthy applicants. In reality, it was unscrupulous companies like Countrywide …
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Do You Think Medical Marijuana Should Be Legalized for Dogs?

Then Christine stumbled upon a controversial homemade herbal remedy that she credits with enormously improving her dog’s quality of life. She’s grateful that, in his final year, Sampson weighed in at a robust 106 pounds and lived free of the wracking pain that had haunted him. Whereas before Sampson had been too weak to walk, almost overnight he became a born-again youngster. “He was a puppy again, happy and playful,” Christine recalls. “He’d trot around the house with his toys in his mouth, wanting to play fetch!” The name of the controversial herbal remedy Sampson took? Cannabis.  Inspired by reports of medical marijuana helping human cancer patients, Christine started digging online. The search terms? “How to administer cannabis to a dog.” Christine — who, for the record, is not a recreational cannabis user — was initially concerned about giving it to her dog because of the bad press she’d heard about the plant. But after giving Sampson cannabis flower-bud material mixed with…
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The Horror of It — Camera Records of War’s Gruesome Glories, arranged by Frederick A. Barber of Historical Foundations

When George Palmer Putnam went to the War Department to secure photographs for “The Horror of It,” a little volume containing stark pictures of the war, which has just been published, Major General Carr of the Signal Corps refused to show him any pictures showing war’s gruesome results.  “Only those photographs showing the pleasant aspects of war can be released,” the General said.  “The Department has a moral obligation to the Gold Star Mothers.”  
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3D printed meat could soon be cheap and tasty enough to win you over

Advances in bioengineering have been able to produce meat analogs, but the process has always been stupendously expensive, and the results were only passable. It turns out that it’s actually very difficult to match the taste and texture of animal muscle tissue by growing cells in the lab. The marbling of fats and connective tissue is integral to the experience of eating a burger. Applying 3D printing to artificial meats could be the answer, according to Forgacs. If you take tissue engineering and add in some 3D printing, you get the burgeoning field of bioprinting. Researchers are working with cell aggregates as the medium in bioprinting (as opposed to plastics in regular 3D printing). Layer after layer of cells can be laid down to more closely resemble the genuine article. Researchers can basically build a block of muscle that never lived.
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School Shut Down Due To “Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air” Ringtone [Video]

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The Fox (Monsanto) Buys the Chicken Coop (Beeologics)

So with Monsanto products themselves amongst the key suspects in Colony Collapse Disorder, one might ask: Why has the multinational bought a company which has been a key player in researching this disorder as well as Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus, another scourge of bees? “We’re absolutely committed to Beeologics’ existing work,” said Monsanto spokesperson Kelly Powers. Yet one has to wonder if owning a firm dedicated to shedding light on the trouble with bees might not serve Monsanto’s interest in allowing it to further cover up their own corporate complicity in the problem. Let us hope that Monsanto is as good as its word and uses this newly acquired company to boldly get to the bottom of the mystery of the disappearing bees. But if history is any guide, there is little cause for optimism. The health watchdog group “Natural Society” rated Monsanto “the worst in 2011 for its ongoing work to threaten human health and the environment.”
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Judge gives jail sentences to pair tied to helium-related death

Police and prosecutors said Long was at McAloon’s Alameda Street apartment at a party McAloon was throwing for a 13-year-old relative and that teen’s friends. Ashley inhaled helium from a tank with the intent to make her voice higher-pitched, and collapsed after an air bubble entered her blood stream and blocked blood flow.
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Officials: 80 Percent Of Recent NYC High School Graduates Cannot Read

Nearly 80 percent of New York City high school graduates need to relearn basic skills before they can enter the City University’s community college system. The number of kids behind the 8-ball is the highest in years, CBS 2′s Marcia Kramer reported Thursday. When they graduated from city high schools, students in a special remedial program at the Borough of Manhattan Community College couldn’t make the grade. They had to re-learn basic skills — reading, writing and math — first before they could begin college courses.
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File under Culture, Horror, SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG, SeMeN SPeRmS Links 'o Death, Sex

Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on March 16, 2013

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Third Reich Dictator Polo Bear

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Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on July 10, 2012

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Stoned To Death

✦ Inflatable Sex Doll & Adult Toy Manufacturing in Ningbo
February 13th, this reporter visited an inflatable sex doll factory in Ningbo. This factory began producing plastic blow up dolls 3 years ago. Today, it has 13 varieties/models, with an average selling price of 100 yuan RMB. Last year, this factory sold a total of over 50,000 inflatable dolls, with 15% of them being exported to Japan, Korea, and Turkey. Photo [above] is of February 13th, where a worker is organizing a batch of unfinished blow up dolls.
✦ How the Surging Popularity of ‘Himalayan Viagra’ Is Causing Murder and Violence in Nepal
Yarsagumba is the result of a bizarre parasitic relationship between fungus and insect. Spores of the Cordyceps mushroom invade and consume the larvae of the Himalayan bat moth, which live underground at altitudes of 10,000 to 16,000 feet for as long as five years, feeding on roots before they commence their metamorphosis into moths. After the fungal spores have killed and mummified the larvae, they send up a spindly brown stem, a tiny knob-headed mushroom – and then they are very likely to be picked. There have been many attempts to farm yarsagumba, but none has ever succeeded. The only way the precious fungus can grow is by the fortuitous concurrence of spore and larva in alpine atmospheric conditions – and brave collectors must be willing to risk their lives to collect it.
✦ ‘Better a dictator than gay’: Belarus leader
The mercurial Belarus strongman Alexander Lukashenko lashed out Sunday at recent sanctions imposed by Europe over his rights record by saying he would rather be branded a dictator than be gay. Lukashenko said in impromptu remarks at a mass ski event that the foreign ministers of Poland and Germany, who had spearheaded the diplomatic offensive against his government, were outsiders who deserved public scorn. “One lives in Warsaw and the other in Berlin,” Lukashenko said in apparent reference to Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski and German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle. “As for the second one who was screaming about a dictatorship… Having heard that, I thought to myself: better to be a dictator than gay.” Lukashenko last year said he had once told Westerwelle, who is openly gay, during a meeting that “he must lead a normal life”. He later apologised for his remarks but added that he “did not like gays.”
✦ George Washington McNugget Buyer Won’t Pay $8,100 After All
The winner of an eBay auction for the McDonald’s McNugget shaped like George Washington has apparently decided $8,100 is no bargain after all. Rebekah Speight told the Sioux City Journal the winning buyer of her eBay auction was “very sorry” to have backed out of the deal. The Dakota City, Neb. resident said she planned to offer her patriotic piece of chicken to the auction’s second-highest bidder for $8,000, though she expected that deal would fall through too. The bidder lives overseas and Speight told the Journal she couldn’t guarantee her McNugget would stay frozen during its journey.
✦ Invisible Children Funded By Antigay, Creationist Christian Right
Why does it matter, if Invisible Children was funded by controversial donors? Two reasons – one, we can assume those donors thought IC aligned with their agenda – which is antagonistic to LGBT rights. Two, it fits an emerging pattern in which Invisible Children appears selectively concerned about crimes committed by Joseph Kony but indifferent to crimes, perhaps on a bigger scale, committed by their provisional partner, the government of Uganda – whose president shot his way into power using child soldiers, before Joseph Kony began using child soldiers. Like Kony, the government of Uganda was also indicted by the International Criminal Court in 2005, for human rights abuses and looting in the DRC Congo (PDF file of ICC ruling against Uganda). Like Kony, the Ugandan army preys upon civilians and is currently accused, by Western human rights groups, with raping and looting in the DRC Congo, where it is hunting for Kony.
✦ America’s first slave owner was a black man.
When Anthony was released he was legally recognized as a “free Negro” and ran a successful farm. In 1651 he held 250 acres and five black indentured servants. In 1654, it was time for Anthony to release John Casor, a black indentured servant. Instead Anthony told Casor he was extending his time. Casor left and became employed by the free white man Robert Parker. Anthony Johnson sued Robert Parker in the Northampton Court in 1654. In 1655, the court ruled that Anthony Johnson could hold John Casor indefinitely. The court gave judicial sanction for blacks to own slave of their own race. Thus Casor became the first permanent slave and Johnson the first slave owner. Whites still could not legally hold a black servant as an indefinite slave until 1670. In that year, the colonial assembly passed legislation permitting free whites, blacks, and Indians the right to own blacks as slaves.
✦ Feds: Cocaine mule, 87, a key link in Mexico-Detroit drug trade
The indictment provides new details on an unusual drug case involving an octogenarian alleged drug mule and a powerful international narcotics ring. “Shedding light on this conspiracy makes it quite clear that the Mexican drug cartels are open for business right here in our backyard,” U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Robert Corso said. The lead defendant is an 87-year-old mutton-chopped man from Michigan City, Ind., who made a colorful appearance in federal court last fall. That man, Leo Sharp, told The News he was forced at gunpoint to deliver cocaine across the country. The indictment, unsealed Thursday, alleges otherwise. He’s worked as a drug mule since 2009 and is responsible for delivering about 670 kilograms of cocaine to Michigan — or almost 1,500 pounds, according to court records.
✦ How Corporations Corrupt Science at the Public’s Expense
Corrupting the Science. Corporations suppress research, intimidate scientists, manipulate study designs, ghostwrite scientific articles, and selectively publish results that suit their interests. Shaping Public Perception. Private interests downplay evidence, exaggerate uncertainty, vilify scientists, hide behind front groups, and feed the media slanted news stories. Restricting Agency Effectiveness. Companies attack the science behind agency policy, hinder the regulatory process, corrupt advisory panels, exploit the “revolving door” between corporate and government employment, censor scientists, and withhold information from the public. Influencing Congress. By spending billions of dollars on lobbying and campaign contributions, corporate interests gain undue access to members of Congress, encouraging them to challenge scientific consensus, delay action on critical problems, and shape the use of science in policy making.
✦ Outbreak of kidney failure in Wyoming linked to “Spice”
Three young people have been hospitalized with kidney failure and a dozen others sickened in Casper, Wyoming, in an outbreak linked to a batch of the designer drug Spice, authorities said on Friday. State medical officials said the cause of the outbreak was under investigation but reported that Casper residents who have sought medical treatment for vomiting and back pain had recently smoked or ingested a chemical-laced herbal product packaged as “blueberry spice.”
✦ ‘Lollipipe’ crackpipe-like candy taken off store shelf
According to Sgt. Paul Kolonich, the product is called Lollipipe. He said it is more likely to be misused to smoke marijuana, but not crack cocaine. The pipes contain a plastic toke tube, an airtight pouch and a cigar band for no-stick handling. They are promoted for legal substances only and are reusable. Police said the station owner is active in the community and is a good business neighbor. Because the product is not illegal and no police report was made, the name of the business is not being made public. Kolonich said the owner willingly removed the candy pipes from shelves. He said the owner told him he did not carefully inspect the product and did not realize what they were. The pipes come in strawberry, green apple, watermelon, peach, blueberry, blue raspberry, grape and cherry. Kolonich said they were on sale for $5.99. “They are only illegal if they are used with marijuana,” he said.
✦ Banker kills himself with caffeine pills overdose
A bank worker killed himself by taking a massive overdose of caffeine pills, an inquest ruled yesterday. Tests on Edward Fisher’s body showed he had 120 times more caffeine in his body than an average coffee or tea drinker. The Barclays support analyst, 24 – who days earlier told his mum he had stopped taking medication to treat psychiatric problems – killed himself after a family meal, the inquest heard. He was taken to Macclesfield Hospital in Cheshire but died the following day last August. A pathologist’s report said the level of caffeine found in the blood of coffee and tea drinkers was around 3mg per litre of blood but Edward’s was 367mg.
✦ Phony Postal Inspector Busted For Swiping Pot Shipments
On the hunt for illegal narcotics being shipped via Express Mail, a Michigan man allegedly repeatedly entered a sorting facility, claimed to be a postal inspector, and walked out with dozens of parcels, many of which contained marijuana, investigators charge. According to a criminal complaint filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Detroit, Calvin Coolidge Wiggins, 31, said, “You got me” when questioned Saturday morning by federal agents who had arrested him outside the Priority Mail Center in Romulus. Wiggins is pictured at right. Wiggins, an investigator reported, admitted that he “previously had been involved in mailing Marijuana via USPS Express Mail and was tired of having the parcels seized.” So he allegedly sought to seize the parcels of other drug traffickers.
✦ Ron Paul wins first caucus, mainstream media calls it for Romney
Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul won his first caucus over the weekend, but the mainstream media by-and-large reported Mitt Romney the victor instead. Voters in the US Virgin Islands hit the polls on Saturday to nominate an opponent for Barack Obama, and although Texas Congressman Ron Paul garnered more popular votes than any of his rivals, mainstream media outlets were quick to call the contest in favor of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. While more votes were cast for Ron Paul, Romney walked away with the most delegates this weekend. For The Associated Press and others, that was enough to call the contest in favor of the conservative founder of Bain Capital.
✦ 90 students in Iraq stoned to death for having ‘Emo hair and tight clothes’
Youngsters in Iraq are being stoned to death for having haircuts and wearing clothes that emulate the ‘emo’ style popular among western teenagers. At least 14 youths have been killed in the capital Baghdad in the past three weeks in what appears to be a campaign by Shia militants. Militants in Shia neighbourhoods, where the stonings have taken place, circulated lists yesterday naming more youths targeted to be killed if they do not change the way they dress. The killings have taken place since Iraq’s interior ministry drew attention to the ‘emo’ subculture last month, labelling it ‘Satanism’ and ordering the community police force to stamp it out. Fans of the ‘emo’ trend – short for emotional – wear tight jeans and have distinctive long, black or spiky haircuts.
✦ Fukushima residents report various illnesses [Video]
A debate is raging in Japan over the extent of the radiation contamination in the wake of last year’s nuclear disaster in Fukushima.
✦ Cocktail of Popular Drugs May Cloud Brain
Many people are unaware that dozens of painkillers, antihistamines and psychiatric medications — from drugstore staples to popular antidepressants — can adversely affect brain function, mostly in the elderly. Regular use of multiple medications that have this effect has been linked to cognitive impairment and memory loss. Called anticholinergics, the drugs block the action of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, sometimes as a direct action, but often as a side effect. Acetylcholine is a chemical messenger with a range of functions in the body, memory production and cognitive function among them.

 

 

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Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on March 13, 2012

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Turn On Tune In Drop Dead

  • The latest example, found via Michael Scott is that the Sixth Circuit appeals court has overturned a district court ruling, and is now saying that a labor union can be sued for violating the CFAA because it asked members to email and call an employer many times, in an effort to protest certain actions. Now some of the volume may have hurt the business, but does it reach the level of hacking? What’s really troubling is even just the focus on emails:The e-mails wreaked more havoc: they overloaded Pulte’s system, which limits the number of e-mails in an inbox; and this, in turn, stalled normal business operations because Pulte’s employees could not access business-related e-mails or send e-mails to customers and vendors

  • “It looked like they were just going after white guys, white people,” Roffers told Wisconsin’s Newsradio 620.But while some witness accounts suggest the attacks are race-based, law enforcement officials say they have no evidence to prove it.

    There was “no confession or anything else” to suggest the July 29 attacks in Philadelphia were “racially motivated,” Philadelphia Police Department First Deputy Commissioner Richard Ross told FoxNews.com.

    “You can’t just simply look at the race of the offender and the race of the victim and say it’s ethnic intimidation. It may be, but we’re not sure. Does it give us pause? Yes it does,” Ross said.

    Without a confession, a witness account or some epithet overheard by the victim, no charges will be filed related to ethnic intimidation or a hate crime, Ross said.

    “If we don’t know and can’t prove it, we can’t charge it,” he said. “It’s just a very difficult charge to prove … We’re in the business of what we can prove, not what we think.”

  • “What you really have here is a trans-Atlantic clash,” said Franz Werro, who was born and raised in Switzerland and is now a law professor at Georgetown University. “The two cultures really aren’t going in the same direction when it comes to privacy rights. “For instance, in the United States, Mr. Werro said, courts have consistently found that the right to publish the truth about someone’s past supersedes any right to privacy. Europeans, he said, see things differently: “In Europe you don’t have the right to say anything about anybody, even if it is true.”

    Mr. Werro says Europe sees the need to balance freedom of speech and the right to know against a person’s right to privacy or dignity, concepts often enshrined in European laws. The European perspective was shaped by the way information was collected and used against individuals under dictators like Franco and Hitler and under Communism. Government agencies routinely compiled dossiers on citizens as a means of control.

  • A federal judge has ruled that an inmate does not have a constitutionally protected right to matzoh and grape juice.Christopher Henry, who was convicted of first-degree sodomy, claimed “permanent trauma” and malnourishment and requested nearly $10 billion in damages for what he called a violation of his First Amendment right to religious freedom.

    Oddly enough, Henry didn’t request matzoh for Passover, the Jewish holiday during which it is traditionally eaten. Instead, Henry claimed he had a right to have the unleavened bread served daily and grape juice every Friday.

    But on August 2, U.S. Southern District Judge Shira Scheindlin held that the Rikers Island jail could deny Henry his request in the interests of maintaining order and keeping costs reasonable.

  • While studying the technology, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania overheard conversations that included descriptions of undercover agents and confidential informants, plans for forthcoming arrests and information on the technology used in surveillance operations.“We monitored sensitive transmissions about operations by agents in every Federal law enforcement agency in the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security,” wrote the researchers, who were led by computer science professor Matt Blaze and plan to reveal their findings Wednesday in a paper at the Usenix Security Symposium in San Francisco.

    Their research also shows that the radios can be effectively jammed using a pink electronic child’s toy and that the standard used by the radios “provides a convenient means for an attacker” to continuously track the location of a radio’s user.

  • The veteran broadcaster Tavis Smiley and the author and Princeton University Professor Cornel West are in the midst of a 15-city, cross-country trek they have dubbed “The Poverty Tour: A Call to Conscience.” The tour comes on the heels of last week’s deficit agreement, which has been widely criticized for excluding a tax hike on the wealthy, as well as any measures to tackle high unemployment. “Any legislation that doesn’t extend unemployment benefits, doesn’t close a single corporate loophole, doesn’t raise one cent in terms of new revenue in terms of taxes on the rich or the lucky, allows corporate America to get away scot-free again—the banks, Wall Street getting away again—and all these cuts ostensibly on the backs of everyday people,” says Smiley.
  • “People are saying it’s a race issue now—blacks against Asians,” said Mykel Douglas, a black youth worker and resident of Winson Green, the working-class district northwest of Birmingham city center where the incident occurred. “It’s like the ethnic groups are at war with each other.”Outside the family home of one of the dead men, identified by local media as Haroon Jahan, a group of young Asians—mainly ethnic Pakistanis—vowed vengeance. “People are very angry,” said a bearded man in a shalwar kameez who declined to give his name. “There’s going to be retaliation. An eye for an eye.”

  • In May, the Rochester Police Department arrested a woman on a charge of obstructing governmental administration after she videotaped several officers’ search of a man’s car. The charge is a criminal misdemeanor.The only problem? Videotaping a police officer in public view is perfectly legal in New York state — and the woman was in her own front yard. The arrest report of the incident also contains an apparent discrepancy from what is seen in the woman’s own video.

  • Londoners took to the streets to protect their neighbourhoods on Tuesday night after Britain’s worst rioting in a generation. A group of anti-rioters marched through Enfield, in north London, aiming to deter looters. “We are the Enfield anti-rioting squad,” said one local resident. “You want to riot our place, we will riot you mate. This is our area not your area.” Another Enfield resident said his fellow vigilantes were the “people that are London, not the small minority that are going around smashing up stuff, that have got nothing to wake up for in the morning.”
  • By all accounts, the Redneck Olympics was a huge success.About 2,600 people attended the three-day event on Harold Brooks’ land last weekend. There were no arrests, and the one ambulance visit was for a bee sting, Brooks said.

    But the party ended Monday when Brooks received a call from the legal division of the U.S. Olympic Committee. Brooks said the USOC told him he had to change the name of his event or face a lawsuit.

    He was told the word “Olympics” is the property of the Olympic Committee. Brooks said it’s a case of a large group bullying a small businessman.

    “I said, ‘I’m not basing it on your Olympics; I’m basing it on the Olympics in Greece,’” Brooks said.

    “I understand we can’t use the word ‘Pepsi,’ but we can use the word ‘soda.’ The Olympics has been around for thousands of years.” He likened it to taking out a copyright on the word “fair” and trying to force the Fryeburg Fair to change its name.

  • Most bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics such as penicillin, discovered decades ago. However, such drugs are useless against viral infections, including influenza, the common cold, and deadly hemorrhagic fevers such as Ebola.Now, in a development that could transform how viral infections are treated, a team of researchers at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory has designed a drug that can identify cells that have been infected by any type of virus, then kill those cells to terminate the infection.

  • The problem I find most troubling with realism in games, is that video games are inherently unrealistic. By definition, even, video games must adhere to some sense of absurdity. In Uncharted, no matter how realistic and convincing the characters and environments may be, the fact is that Nathan Drake can take a hell of a lot of damage, and is a little too good with every gun known to man. In Call of Duty, if realism is such a coveted aspect of the series, why does your character only bleed out of his eyes, and why is damage rarely permanent? The “game” part of these games keeps them from being truly realistic, and in turn makes them even less believable. Characters like Link, or even Master Chief, are believable in even the most absurd situations, as the worlds that they belong to don’t try to conform to the world that we live in.
  • The Euro Union navy who patrol these waters would not interfere because they feared there could be casualties (!)
    All explanations are in Russian with a single exception of when a wounded pirate says something in English and the Russian soldier says “This is not a fishing boat.” All conversations between the commandos are in Russian but the pictures speak for themselves.
    The soldiers freed their compatriots and the tanker. The Russian Navy Commandos moved the pirates back to the pirate vessel, searched it for weapons and explosives, then left and blew it up with all remaining pirates hand-cuffed to it.They used the anti-piracy laws of the 18th and 19th centuries where the captain of the rescuing ship has the right to decide what to do with the pirates. Usually, they were legally hanged with no lawyers or court proceedings required. Perhaps from now on, Russian ships will not be targets for Somalian pirates.Other nations might take note. “Без суда и следствия”. Смотрите, девочки.
  • The pair of puppets has long been rumored to be a veiled representation of a gay couple, though the Children’s Television Workshop has denied that this is the case.The petition echoes the message of the “It Gets Better” project, founded in 2010 following the suicides of a number of young gay men, including Tyler Clementi, Billy Lucas and others.

    Reactions thus far have been mixed. An editorial in the New York Daily News, headlined “Folks who want a gay marriage for Bert and Ernie of ‘Sesame Street’ need to get over themselves,” went on to say:

    “Why stop there? Why not march Yogi Bear and Boo Boo down the aisle, too?… Some stages of life – for example, the years from 2 to 4 – must be walled off from the passions of adults.”

    Alyssa Rosenberg at Think Progress agrees, but for different reasons. If Bert and Ernie were gay, she would be all for a marriage, but Rosenberg has a problem with same-sex roommates being equated with gay couples.

  • Protect IP has been criticized for its ambiguity as to what constitutes an infringing website. To illustrate this, websites such as The Pirate Bay and WikiLeaks who have been accused of distributing copyrighted content in the past, could have all of their search results blocked on search engines, effectively making them invisible. This raises serious concerns about free speech when the blocked website also hosts legitimate and lawful content. Under the act, these blocks can be enforced without notifying the infringing site and therefore eradicates the presumption of innocence.
  • They piled onto the shuttle late, after finally getting corralled by their minder, who was nursing a head wound with an ice bag wrapped in a towel. They piled in, niggering everything in sight, motherfucking the driver, boasting into the air unbidden about getting their dicks sucked and calling everyone in the area a faggot. Then one of them lit a joint (or a pipe, I didn’t look) and told the driver to shut the fuck up nigger and smoked it anyway. A female passenger tried to engage one of them in conversation, but he just stared at her with a dead-to-me stare while his seatmate flipped double birds in her face.The whole trip they complained about not being at a McDonalds and repeatedly shouted for the motherfucker to pull over so they could get some fucking McDonalds nigger. Interspersed with the McDonalds requests were shouted boasts about how often they masturbated and fucked bitches nigger and got paid like a motherfucker fifty grand like a motherfucker

  • America is a mixture of many types of speech reflecting the cultures and backgrounds of its teeming millions. One type that is widely used, though not given recognition, serves a very important function in the lives of many people. This is the language of the homosexual.There are 2 ways in which homosexual slang is used. The first is when it is employed by the outsider or “straight” individual to describe or refer to homosexuals ar.d their activities. In this way the slang mirrors society’s disapproval and permits a person to talk of homosexuals without incurring any guilt by association.

    The other, or “inside” language, is used by the homosexual and serves several purposes other than simple communication. It helps to transform the feeling of being a despised minority to that of a special in-group.

  • If you happen to know anything about Steve Albini, it’s almost certainly one or both of the following two things: (1) His reputation as a producer (Nirvana, Pixies, PJ Harvey) and musician (Big Black, Shellac) is unassailable, and (2) He’s a bit of a curmudgeon, and he’s not at all shy about it. Albini’s most recent outburst came at the expense of Sonic Youth, whom he more or less blamed earlier this year for corrupting independent music. Well, “most recent outburst” until this weekend, actually, when Albini went at Odd Future.
  • Last year’s floods, which affected around 20 million people across the country, weren’t a natural disaster – they were a mistake on the part of our government.The government, in its effort to produce water, melted glaciers in the north using lasers. The experiment went awry and things got out of control, bringing forth the worst floods in the history of Pakistan.

    You might dismiss the aforementioned as absurd, but this is precisely what most people ardently believe in flood-hit areas from Muzaffargarh to Rajanpur.

    Though a year has passed since the floods hit and rehabilitation work is under way, locals in stricken areas still believe in conspiracy theories.

    “Not just the common people but elected representatives of our areas have time and again said that lasers were used to melt glaciers and the water went out of control,” a local in Muzaffargarh, Malik Mureed, told The Express Tribune.

  • The NYPD has formed a new unit to track troublemakers who announce plans or brag about their crimes on Twitter, MySpace and Facebook.Newly named Assistant Commissioner Kevin O’Connor, one of the department’s online and gang gurus, has been put in charge of the new juvenile justice unit. He and his staff will mine social media, looking for info about troublesome house parties, gang showdowns and other potential mayhem, sources said.

    The power of social media to empower both criminals and cops has been on full display in London this week, where riots and looting have been spreading dramatically.

  • A new leukemia treatment is wowing even the researchers behind its creation, providing results beyond their wildest expectations.It’s virtually eradicated cancerous leukemia cells in the first three patients it’s been tested on.

    In two of the first three patients the process was tested on the treatment completely destroyed the most common type of leukemia, according to MSNBC. In the third patient, the treatment seems to have reduced the cancerous cells to 70 percent of what they once were.

    “Within three weeks, the tumors had been blown away, in a way that was much more violent than we ever expected,” said senior author Carl June, MD told Penn Medicine.

  • In news that makes you wonder if anyone from the US Department of Energy has watched the Terminator films, physicists at the Argonne National Laboratory have successfully created self-assembling micro-robots that are just 0.5mm (500 micron) in diameter.Formed out of minuscule ferromagnetic particles that float freely in a sandwich of water and oil, these micro-robots (microbots? nanobots?) are controlled with magnets. With the application of an alternating magnetic field that’s perpendicular to the immiscible mixture, the micro-particles assemble into spiked circles called asters, after the aster flower. Then, with a magnetic field that is parallel to the surface, the movements of these microbots can be controlled.

  • A study has found that the hustle and bustle of modern offices can lead to a 32% drop in workers well being and reduce their productivity by 15%.They have found that open plan offices create unwanted activity in the brains of workers that can get in the way of them doing the task at hand.

    Open plan offices were first introduced in the 1950s and quickly became a popular as a way of laying out offices.

    Having a clean and sterile desk can also leave employees with smaller brains, scientists claim.

  • These developments mean that we no longer have to worry just about what Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and other social sites do with our data; we have to worry about what they enable others to do, too. And it now seems that others will be able to do a lot.As reported in various privacy and security outlets like Kashmir Hill’s Forbes blog and Paul Roberts at ThreatPost, and demonstrated at last week’s Black Hat conference, the CMU researchers relied on just Facebook’s public profile information and off-the-shelf facial recognition software. Yet the CMU researchers were able to match Facebook users with their pictures on otherwise anonymous Match.com accounts. The researchers also had significant success taking pictures of experimental subjects and matching them to their Facebook profiles.

  • A man accused of disgusting McDonald’s patrons by popping his pimples was under arrest after customer complaints led to a brief chase by officers.It started Monday when customers of the McDonald’s located at 2404 Santa Barbara Blvd. alerted authorities to a man standing outside the restaurant for about 10 minutes squeezing away at the acne on his back. Events that followed with police ended in a brief chase and the arrest of the man, who allegedly gave a false name when confronted about the complaints.

  • Three of Italy’s best-known fashion houses are being accused of refusing to stop selling “killer jeans” that threaten the lives of workers in the poor countries where they are produced.The Clean Clothes Campaign began pressing in February for leading fashion manufacturers and retailers to ban sandblasting, a technique for producing denim garments with an artificially worn look. The large amounts of silica dust produced can lead to silicosis, a potentially lethal pulmonary disease.

    The process was banned in Turkey in 2009 after evidence was produced to show that 46 former sandblasting operators had contracted silicosis

  • In a 1968 plane crash, the US military lost an atom bomb in Greenland’s Arctic ice. But this was no isolated case. Up to 50 nuclear warheads are believed to have gone missing during the Cold War, and not all of them are in unpopulated areas.
  • Twitter has refused to close the accounts of London rioters who used the service to spread unrest and insisted that Tweets must ‘continue to flow’.The US-based company said that ‘freedom of expression’ was essential and that information would be ‘kept flowing’.

    Social networks have faced criticism for allowing rioters and looters to incite violence and public disorder across the country since riots began last Saturday in Tottenham.

  • The Hong Kong stock exchange was forced to suspend trading in stocks including HSBC Holdings after hackers broke into the exchange’s website on Wednesday, preventing investors from accessing company announcements made during the midday break.”Our current assessment that this is a result of a malicious attack by outside hacking,” the chief executive of Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing (HKEx) Charles Li told reporters after the company announced interim results.

  • A 25-year-old man sued the Gretna Police Department Tuesday, alleging his civil rights were violated by a police officer who sicced his canine on him without provocation, leading the dog to bite into his groin area and virtually sever his penis.
    cody_melancon.jpgView full sizeSusan Poag,The Times-PicayuneCody Melancon alleges his civil rights were violated by a police officer who sicced his canine on him without provocation.Cody Melancon, of Gretna, said Tuesday the attack left him sexually dysfunctional. A doctor has recommended sexual enhancement pills and he faces neurosurgery in hopes of restoring the use of his penis, which was almost completely severed by the police dog’s bites.“I don’t have any sensation down there,” Melancon said. “I can’t get an erection. I’m 25 years of age.”
  • “Nobody wants a woman who passes stools all the time and smells,” whispered Farhiya Mohamed Farah, explaining why her husband divorced her when she was pregnant with their second child.Farah, developed a hole between her vagina and rectum, causing feces to leak from her body, after giving birth to her first child at age 18 while fleeing gunfire in Somalia.

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Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on August 11, 2011

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Live Teen Suicide Webcam

  • The video shows a mother grabbing her four-year-old son and running for cover. A man sitting right by the back door is frozen, and can only slump back in his seat. And this 80-year-old woman doesn’t know what to do.

    “You see her very clearly because she doesn’t actually see what’s going on. She’s sort of left standing in the middle of the bus as everyone has sort of separated all the way to the front or all the way as far as they could go to the back,” said Morgan Model Vedejs, assistant District Attorney.

    The elderly woman finally drops and covers her head, just a moment before a bullet flies right over her and shatters a window.

    “At least five of the bullets came right through the back door, several of them then came through the side,” said Vedejs.

  • “It looked like they were just going after white guys, white people,” said Norb Roffers of Wind Lake in an interview with Newsradio 620 WTMJ. He left the State Fair Entrance near the corner of South 84th Street and West Schlinger Avenue in West Allis.

    “They were attacking everybody for no reason whatsoever.”

    “It was 100% racial,” claimed Eric, an Iraq war veteran from St. Francis who says young people beat on his car.

    “I had a black couple on my right side, and these black kids were running in between all the cars, and they were pounding on my doors and trying to open up doors on my car, and they didn’t do one thing to this black couple that was in this car next to us. They just kept walking right past their car. They were looking in everybody’s windshield as they were running by, seeing who was white and who was black. Guarantee it.”

  • Stone Age man created a massive network of underground tunnels criss-crossing Europe from Scotland to Turkey, a new book on the ancient superhighways has claimed.

    German archaeologist Dr Heinrich Kusch said evidence of the tunnels has been found under hundreds of Neolithic settlements all over the continent.

    In his book – Secrets Of The Underground Door To An Ancient World – he claims the fact that so many have survived after 12,000 years shows that the original tunnel network must have been enormous.

  • Former Blondie bassist and world expert on the occult Gary Lachman talks to David Moats about participating in rituals, Mick Jagger’s flirtations with magick, the Freemasons, and why there’s more to the occult than being a drug fiend like Aleister Crowley
  • Dodgy sound, dodgy bass players, hostile crowds, no crowds, flying bottles – every band has had bad gigs
  • The Air Force has suspended decades-old Bible-centric ethics training intended to make Christian officers comfortable with the possible use of nuclear weapons. The training program was given to all new missile officers by Air Force chaplains.
  • The stock market went into free fall Thursday and suffered its worst day since December 2008, a time when the economy was sliding into a recession.

    Intense selling drove the widely watched Dow Jones Industrial Average down 512.76 points, off more than 4 percent for the day. Almost every market index slid, as did the prices of oil and gold, as investors moved their money into US Treasury bills, a haven in times of stress.

    Investor fears were so extreme and the sums of transferred money so vast that the yields on the short-term Treasuries were negative, meaning investors were paying the US government to hold their money.

  • The film’s set up sounds familiar enough – a meek Muslim student named Yusef joins a hardcore Islamic commune in upstate New York and becomes radicalised. But this time, “hardcore” refers to punk rock. This is a commune where one Muslim, Jahangir, sports a red mohawk and announces morning prayers with an electric guitar. Another member is gay and wears a skirt and makeup. The bands that congregate there have names such as Osama’s Tunnel Diggers and Boxcutter Surprise. They drink beer and smoke pot, and among them is a spitfire feminist in a burqa – complete with a Dead Kennedys patch – who freely redacts chunks of the Qur’an with a marker pen. “That ayah advises men to beat their wives,” she says, about a contested verse in the holy book. “So what do I need that for?”
  • The city of Oak Ridge, Tenn., is anticipating the arrival of nearly 1,000 tons of nuclear waste from Germany. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved a plan in June for an American company to import and burn low-level nuclear waste from Germany.

    Radioactive residue left over from the process will be sent back to Germany for disposal, but opponents have voiced concerns that the U.S. will become the world’s radioactive waste processor.

    But, very little of that opposition is coming from Oak Ridge.

    Located just outside Knoxville, Oak Ridge was created from scratch in 1942 to help build the atomic bomb. The city is home to a 59,000-acre military area and two giant plants where the bomb was produced.

    A post-war newsreel calls Oak Ridge “a city where 75,000 people worked in absolute secrecy on history’s most sensational secret.”

  • The creation of the Super Congress is another step in a process that began long ago, and won’t end until the structures that underpin the American constitutional republic are destroyed once and for all.

    By the swish of a pen, the treasonous political leaders from both parties overstepped their colleagues, who are considered half-wits that are blocking their secret agenda of control.

    “This provision,” said Congressman Ron Paul, commenting on the Super Congress, “is an excellent way to keep spending decisions out of the reach of members who are not on board with the leadership’s agenda.”

    Both President Obama and his treasonous comrades on the other side of the aisle are taking advantage of this hyped crisis to fundamentally change the character of the American political system and pass draconian laws without the active resistance of Congress.

  • A Mexican man charged with smuggling tons of cocaine into the United States told a federal judge in Chicago that U.S. authorities protected his outfit, the powerful Sinaloa cartel, in exchange for information on rival gangs.

    The defendant, Jesus Vicente Zambada Niebla, is the son of Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, reputed right-hand man of Sinaloa cartel boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, and played an important role in the organization until his March 2009 arrest in Mexico City.

  • As a designer, I’m naturally fascinated by Shanzhai and the way different brands are often mashed up together (as demonstrated by this classic Harry Potter Obama Sonic bag). It makes me think of anti-consumerist art movements like Culture Jamming. The motives of Shanzhai producers and Culture Jammers are obviously quite different—one is reacting against the consumerist culture while the other is attempting to capitalize on it—but the end results tend to look pretty similar and have similar effects: both make brands feel uneasy.
  • “Ah,” he said, “the speedup.”

    His old-school phrase gave form to something we’d been noticing with increasing apprehension—and it extended far beyond journalism. We’d hear from creative professionals in what seemed to be dream jobs who were crumbling under ever-expanding to-do lists; from bus drivers, hospital technicians, construction workers, doctors, and lawyers who shame-facedly whispered that no matter how hard they tried to keep up with the extra hours and extra tasks, they just couldn’t hold it together. (And don’t even ask about family time.)

    Webster’s defines speedup [3] as “an employer’s demand for accelerated output without increased pay,” and it used to be a household word. Bosses would speed up the line to fill a big order, to goose profits, or to punish a restive workforce. Workers recognized it, unions (remember those?) watched for and negotiated over it—and, if necessary, walked out over it.

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File under Culture, Music, SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG

Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on August 5, 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 o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on August 2, 2011

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The Face Of The Enemy Frightens Me Only When I See How Much It Resembles Mine

  • More Americans than ever are desperate for money and many of them will do just about anything to get it. The crumbling U.S. economy has pushed millions of ordinary Americans to the brink of utter desperation. When it comes time to choose between being able to survive or breaking the law, many people are choosing to break the law. These days it seems like Americans will do just about anything for money. All over the country, there are areas where just about anything that is not bolted down is being stolen. A lot of people have resorted to making money however they can – selling drugs, selling their bodies, shoplifting, invading homes, taking bribes, running credit card scams and even stealing from their own family members. You will have a hard time believing some of the things that you are about to read below. When people have their backs pushed up against the wall, often they find that they are willing to do things that they never imagined that they would do.
  • We have reported in the past an alarming suicide rate among farmers in India that is connected to the failure of American GMO (genetically modified organism) cotton seeds.

    Monsanto, the U.S. company responsible for Agent Orange, a cancer-causing chemical sprayed on the jungles of Vietnam, is now in the GMO food and seed business.

    Monsanto stands accused of having an international monopoly of the notorious bio-engineered Bt cotton seeds.

    Advocates for the agricultural industry say they never dreamed of the tragedy to come, when a 2005 decision was announced to allow the seeds in India.

    Now an agrarian crisis has hit Maharashtra itself thanks to the Monsanto program.

    Farmers are buying 11 packets of 450 gm per hectare as per the company’s guide for the recommended “population method” but the sudden demand and ill-managed Indian sub agents have brought the company big trouble as 50% of the Bt cotton seeds failed to germinate even after it’s second sowing.

  • The payments giant also has a personal interest in tracking down hacktivist groups. AntiSec hackers had encouraged others to attempt to access PayPal customer accounts using leaked usernames and passwords. Last year, PayPal’s blog website was taken offline following a distributed denial of service attack launched by activists angry that the company had frozen a donations account used by whistle blowing website WikiLeaks.
  • Consider the fact that millions of people read this stuff. Millions of people continue to tolerate a list of probably sold-out tour dates with a generic compliment for each city. Then consider the fact that each of the tweets listed above was re-tweeted well over one hundred times. This is worse than DJ’s retweeting people saying they’re “killing it” at some Vegas pool party. This is worse than Diddy’s (Swag’s?) ceaseless positivity.

    Aside from his incessant self-congratulating and bugling, there’s another disappointing revelation Wayne’s Twitter gave us: He’s a horrible bandwagon fan.

  • Senator Bob Graham asks why hard questions about Saudi Arabia have gone unanswered since 9/11. He explains why he’s finally taken to fiction to explore this controversial topic about what the U.S. is covering up.
  • The United States is viewed less favorably in much of the Arab world today than it was during the final year of the Bush administration, and President Obama is less popular in the region than Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, according to a poll released today by the Arab American Institute, a nonpartisan research and advocacy group.

    Attitudes towards the US president and the United States as a whole have been growing increasingly negative over the past ten years due to the invasion of Iraq, outrage over Guantanamo Bay, and continued frustration over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, said James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, which has been tracking attitudes for a decade.

    But the current poll is striking in that is illustrates how far Obama’s favorability has fallen in the region, after an initial optimistic spike when he took office.

    “It’s because expectations were created that were not met,” Zogby said.

  • “The primary concern is that methane gas could leak into one or both of the school buildings, potentially causing an explosion,” he said. “A buildup of methane gas was one of the contributing factors that caused the explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine in Montcoal, W.Va., last spring, which killed 29 mine workers. I think it goes without saying that middle and high school students shouldn’t be exposed to a similar threat.”

    Nelson continued, “A secondary concern is subsidence –- or the downward shift of the earth’s surface that can occur where underground coal mining takes place. In a worst-case scenario, this could endanger students and faculty in the schools. At bare minimum, it could cause major damage to the schools’ facilities.”

  • The first in a series of short documentaries focusing on the culture of Urban Exploring, those who risk it all to access and infiltaite closed or forgotten spaces.
  • Newly appointed US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta told American troops in Baghdad on Monday that 9/11 was the reason they were in Iraq, before he was quickly corrected by his spokesman.

    “The reason you guys are here is because of 9/11. The US got attacked and 3,000 human beings got killed because of Al-Qaeda,” Panetta told about 150 soldiers at the Camp Victory US base.

    “We’ve been fighting as a result of that,” he said.

    The administration of former US President George W. Bush had hastily linked Saddam Hussein, the ousted Iraqi dictator, to the 9/11 attacks.

    That was one of the justifications for the 2003 US-led invasion, but the argument has since been widely dismissed.

    Doug Wilson, Panetta’s spokesman, quickly jumped in after his boss, who just took office on July 1, made the statement.

    “I don’t think he’s getting into the argument of 2002-2003,” as the reason for the Iraq invasion, Wilson he told reporters, adding that his boss was “a plain-spoken secretary.”

  • A Minnesota hacker prosecutors described as a “depraved criminal” was handed an 18-year prison term Tuesday for unleashing a vendetta of cyberterror that turned his neighbors’ lives into a living nightmare.

    Barry Ardolf, 46, repeatedly hacked into his next-door neighbors’ Wi-Fi network in 2009, and used it to try and frame them for child pornography, sexual harassment, various kinds of professional misconduct and to send threatening e-mail to politicians, including Vice President Joe Biden.

    His motive was to get back at his new neighbors after they told the police he’d kissed their 4-year-old son on the lips.

  • The lawsuit includes a document, sent to ARTINFO in an email, with 150 examples of McGinley’s work as compared to Gordon’s, dissecting what Gordon sees as visual thefts. Similarities include such tropes as “boy looking upward, mouth slightly open in an expression of awe,” and “subject’s left arm is in the air angling above his head.”

    Taken individually, it’s hard to see the similarities as anything but incidental — artists can’t copyright a pose any more than they can copyright balloon dogs. From the document, it’s clear that McGinley’s style is certainly similar to Gordon’s, but that is inevitable in tight-knit artistic milieus. She claims that McGinley took the “style, idea, composition, backgrounds, foregrounds, expressions, gestures” of her work, but none of the image comparisons bear up to the designation of exact copy.

  • Dr. David Ludwig, an obesity specialist at Harvard-affiliated Children’s Hospital Boston, is arguing that parents should lose custody of obese children.

    State intervention “ideally will support not just the child but the whole family, with the goal of reuniting child and family as soon as possible,” Ludwig told The Associated Press. “That may require instruction on parenting.”

  • First, some context: In May, the FTC gave a company called Social Intelligence the green light to run background checks of your Internet and social media history. The media made a big hulabaloo out of the ruling. And it largely got two important facts wrong.

    Contrary to initial reports, Social Intelligence doesn’t store seven years worth of your social data. Rather it looks at up to seven years of your history, and stores nothing.

    The second was the idea that it was looking for boozy or embarrassing photos of you to pass along to your employer. In fact it screens for just a handful of things: aggressive or violent acts or assertions, unlawful activity, discriminatory activity (for example, making racist statements), and sexually explicit activity. And it doesn’t pass on identifiable photos of you at all. In other words, your drunken kegstand photos are probably fine as long as you’re not wearing a T-shirt with a swastika or naked from the waist down.

  • More than just a beatmaker, Prince Paul brings personality to the table: a raunchy Morgan Freeman sound alike, a sound bite from the defunct TV comedy Get A Life, or a well-timed fart joke all have made their way into his work. He also pioneered the classic rap skit, a device in which he’s employed anyone from Xzibit to Father Guido Sarducci to add a context and color to the narrative. As the Undertaker of the Gravediggaz he’s also been credited with ushering in rap’s horrorcore genre (something he deflected during our interview with an evil “Ha ha ha!” followed by a fart noise).

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

Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on July 14, 2011

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