Disguise | SeMeN SPeRmS SuPeR SiTe

Emo Disguise

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Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on June 27, 2014

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Militainment

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

 

 

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Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on July 3, 2012

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Disguise Kit

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Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on January 30, 2012

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Everyday Skank

▲ Ferret Legging – A Truly Unusual Sport
Also known as ferret-down-trousers and put ‘em down, the rules of the sport are pretty tight. Competitors have two ferrets placed inside their trousers, which are tied firmly at the ankles and belted up at the waist, thereby eliminating any point of escape for the furry creatures. The competitor then stands before judges, enduring the misery of the razor-sharp claws and teeth of the ferrets. Other rules state that competitors cannot be drunk and the ferrets must not be sedated. Also, the ferrets must have a full set of teeth that have not been blunted or filed. The man who stands the longest, wins. Sounds gruesome, doesn’t it? Well, get this – they aren’t even allowed to put on underwear, so as to allow free access to the ferrets from one leg to the other.
▲ Shoplifting Around the World [Infographic]
▲ Mountain Dew Will Dissolve Rats On Contact
According to McGill, if a mouse is submerged in Mountain Dew between four and seven days, the rodent “will have no calcium in its bones and bony structures.” During those days of soft drink immersion, “the mouse’s abdominal structure will rupture.” Additionally, “its cranial cavity (head) is also likely to rupture within that time period,” McGill noted. After 30 days exposure to Mountain Dew, “all of the mouse’s structures” would have disintegrated to the point that it would not be recognizable. In fact, “the mouse will have been transformed into a ‘jelly-like’ substance.” The only part of the rodent that could possibly survive, added McGill, was “a portion of the tail.”
▲ Lab-grown glands, eyes and brain parts
Growing a complete, functioning brain is unfeasible, but there is real potential in growing functional neural tissue containing specific types of cells, for transplantation into the human brain. This is one avenue of research that the team are investigating. Last year, they showed that ES cells can be coaxed to differentiate into functional cerebellar Purkinje cells, which integrate themselves into the brain when transplanted into mouse foetuses. “We are now attempting to generate Purkinje cells from human ES and induced pluripotent stem cells,” says Sasai. This would be useful in establishing animal models for the spino-cerebellar ataxias, to investigate their pathogenesis and to explore the possibility of gene therapy for these diseases.” The 3D culture technique could also be used to grow midbrain tissue containing neurons that synthesize the neurotransmitter dopamine, which could eventually prove to be very useful in the development of therapies for Parkinson’s Disease.
▲ No Fear: Memory Adjustment Pills Get Pentagon Push
The Pentagon hasn’t come close to solving the PTSD crisis plaguing the current generation of troops. But a cutting-edge realm of treatment might change that — by wiping away the fear that military personnel associate with traumatic memories. The Pentagon this week announced an $11 million grant for three research institutions, all of them long-time hubs for the military’s ongoing PTSD investigations. Experts at Emory University, the University of Southern California and New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center will study the effectiveness of D-Cycloserine (DCS). DCS is a pharmaceutical thought to help extinguish fearful memories. It’s usually taken right before exposure therapy, a process that involves recalling traumatic experiences in an effort to nullify the menacing associations that accompany them.
▲ Saudi son sale: $20 million price tag for a child
A failed Saudi businessman has put up his own son up for sale on Facebook. He claims that with all doors closed to him, he couldn’t see any other way to provide for his wife and daughter. ­Saud bin Nasser Al Shahry wants more than 73 million UAE Dirhams for the boy, a sum equivalent to almost $20 million, reports Qatar’s Al Sharq newspaper. A deal on the boy would offer “a decent life to his mother and sister rather than living in poverty.” The resourceful businessman said his debt-collecting firm had been ruled illegal by a local court and had to be shut down. When Al Shahry approached the Labor Office for financial assistance, the authorities allegedly refused him aid as the ministry does not provide help to individuals over 35 years old.
▲ 7 year old Poppy Burge gets liposuction voucher from ‘Human Barbie’ mum Sarah for Christmas
A seven-year-old who received a voucher for a boob job on her last birthday has received yet another inappropriate gift from her surgery-obsessed mother: A £7,000 voucher for liposuction. Little Poppy Burge received the gift in her Christmas stocking after her mother, a 51-year-old plastic surgery addict known as The Human Barbie, decided it would ‘come in handy’. ‘I put the voucher in her stocking – there’s nothing wrong with that,’ she said. ‘She asks for surgery all the time. She wants to look good and lipo is one of those procedures that will always come in handy.
▲ Police Shoot and Kill Armed 8th Grader in Texas
Police shot and killed an eighth grader brandishing a handgun in a Texas middle school hallway Wednesday. Police received a call around 8 a.m. saying there was someone with a weapon at Cummings High School in Brownsville, Texas, the Associated Press reported. Officers found the student with a handgun in a hallway and shot him after he “engaged” police, a district spokeswoman said in a statement. He was taken to a nearby medical center where he later died, the Brownsville Herald reported. His name has not been released. Local ABC affiliate KXXV-TV reported that police told the student to put his weapon down and fired three times after he refused to comply.
▲ Stephen Hawking admits he finds women ‘a complete mystery’
His career has shed light on the secrets of the universe, from the nature of space-time to the workings of black holes, but there is one conundrum that still baffles the world’s most famous scientist. In an interview to mark his 70th birthday this weekend, Stephen Hawking, the former Lucasian professor of mathematics at Cambridge University, admitted he spent most of the day thinking about women. “They are,” he said “a complete mystery.”
▲ Avoiding Facial Recognition of the Future
The main focus of the camouflage is to use makeup and hair to create a look that is a mix between organic and machine. This makes it very hard to program software that can detect facial features if the traditional lines of a person’s visage are broken up in non-organic fashion. For those wanting to take a stab at protecting their identity, there are a few basic tips offered: 1. Avoid enhancers: They amplify key facial features. 2. Partially obscure the nose-bridge: The region where the nose, eyes, and forehead intersect is a key facial feature. 3. Partially obscure the ocular region: The position and darkness of eyes is a key facial feature. 4. Remain inconspicuous: For camouflage to function, it must not be perceived as a mask or disguise.
▲ PayPal Tells Buyer To Destroy Purchased Violin Instead Of Return For Refund
a seller claims that she’s out $2,500 and an antique violin after the company told the buyer to destroy the instrument. According to the seller, who shared her tale with the aforementioned Regretsy, she had sold the old violin to a buyer in Canada, who subsequently disputed the instrument’s bona fides. It is certainly not uncommon for people in the antique musical instrument field to argue over whether or not a particular item is the real deal, and it makes sense to notify PayPal that you are disputing the purchase. But the decision as to whether or not the violin is the real deal or an impersonator is not usually left up to the company that promises the payment. Alas, someone at PayPal apparently is an expert in old violins, because the company determined the instrument was “counterfeit” and told the buyer he needed to destroy it in order to get his refund. The buyer not only smashed the violin to bits; he also snapped some pics that he sent to the seller.
▲ La Redoute Naked Man Kids PHOTO
Stylist UK reports that the image has stirred up its fair share of controversy in France — and with good reason. The photo, found on La Redoute’s e-commerce site, features four annoyingly happy looking children frolicking on the beach wearing fun (if grammatically incorrect) T-shirts. But way off in the distance behind them is a man wearing absolutely nothing. This is creepy on a number of levels — in the photo, this naked man’s presence invalidates all that childlike joy the children are experiencing. But then you have to step back a level. How did this man get here in the first place? Did La Redoute really do a children’s photoshooot on a beach where people are allowed to roam around naked? Odds are, if there was one naked guy on that beach, there were probably more.
▲ Chinese Girls Before and After Makeup
Before and after makeup comparisons, even more shocking than plastic surgery
▲ Deadly parasite turns Bay Area honeybees into zombie slaves
Infected bees go mad, abandoning their hive in a suicidal rush toward bright lights, according to a new study by San Francisco State researchers. “It’s the flight of the living dead,” said lead investigator and biology professor John Hafernik, also president of the California Academy of Sciences. The parasite, a tiny fly, has been found in bees from three-quarters of the 31 surveyed hives in the Bay Area — essentially, everywhere except Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. In a plotline similar to a George Romero horror film, the fly deposits its eggs into the bee’s abdomen, then takes over. The hapless bees walk around in circles, with no apparent sense of direction. Some are unable to even stand on their legs. “They kept stretching them out and then falling over,” Hafernik said. “It really painted a picture of something like a zombie.”
▲ India girl killed in ritual sacrifice to ensure better harvest
Police arrested two men, both poor farmers, last week and they told police they killed the girl to appease their gods and get a better harvest, Das said. Tati was walking home after watching television at a neighbor’s house when she was kidnapped, Das said. The two men confessed to cutting her open and removing her liver as an offering. Das said the police had gathered enough evidence, apart from the confessions, to charge the two with murder. They would face life in prison or even the death sentence if convicted. The men were described as “tribals,” a term referring to the region’s indigenous people, most of whom remain mired in poverty and illiteracy.
▲ ‘Lost World’ Of Sea Creatures Discovered Near Antarctica
A “lost world” of sea creatures was discovered near Antarctica, British scientists announced Wednesday. Scientists doing their first exploring of deep-sea vents in the Antarctic said it was unlike anything found around other hydrothermal vents — a world populated by new species of anemones, predatory sea stars, and piles of hairy-chested yeti crabs. It was “almost like a sight from another planet,” said expedition leader Alex Rogers, a professor of zoology at Oxford University. Even in the eye-popping world of deep-sea vents, the Antarctic discoveries stand out, with the unfamiliar species of crabs found crowded in piles around the warm waters emanating from the seafloor. Many of the animals found at the vents have never been found at hydrothermal vents in other oceans, Rogers said. “To see these animals in such huge densities was just amazing,” Rogers told LiveScience.
▲ Naked man interrupts ‘Chipmunks’ at North Riverside Mall theater
Kids and parents who paid admission to see a movie about three shipwrecked chipmunks on Dec. 29 at the North Riverside Park Mall’s Classic Cinemas theater, 7501 Cermak Rd., got a bonus show that afternoon – one that landed a 34-year-old Chicago man in Cook County Jail. About a half hour into the 4 p.m. showing of the kiddie feature Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, police say an entirely naked Edward L. Brown stood up from his seat in the front row, faced the crowd of 86 theater-goers, stretched out his hands and displayed his genitalia for all to see before sitting back down to enjoy the movie. …According to the police report, Brown told officers that he had been let inside the movie theater for free by an unknown female who allegedly told him to have a seat in the front row of the theater, take off his clothes and wait for her, so they could have sex, smoke crack and do heroin.
▲ Charlton Library Sends Police To Collect Overdue Books From 5-Year-Old
A Charlton mom says her local library crossed the line when they sent police to collect her daughter’s overdue library books. Her mom says the 5-year-old girl was so afraid that she burst into tears. Charlton Police Sergeant Dan Dowd stopped by the home of Shannon Benoit to let her know that her daughter had two books several months overdue which needed to be returned or paid for.
▲ Bonobo ape lights campfire, cooks hamburgers
Kanzi, a 31-year-old Bonobos, also known as the pygmy chimpanzee, reportedly became obsessed with the film “Quest for Fire” at an early age. “Kanzi makes fire because he wants to,” Dr. Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, his main handler at the Great Ape Trust, told the Telegraph. “The movie was released about a year after Kanzi was born and was about early man struggling to control fire. Kanzi watched this spellbound over and over hundreds of times.”
▲ Children becoming ‘addicted’ to computers
Children’s access to smartphones and computers should be limited to stop them becoming “addicted” to electronic gadgets, according to a schools’ leader.
▲ Password case reframes Fifth Amendment rights in context of digital world
Beyond the log-in screen of Ramona Fricosu’s laptop computer lies what federal prosecutors say could be the key evidence in the bank-fraud case against her. There’s only one problem: Prosecutors don’t know her password. Thus, in an extraordinarily rare move, prosecutors in Denver are seeking a court order forcing Fricosu to unlock the computer so that they can obtain files they would use to try to convict her and her ex-husband. Civil-liberties groups nationwide have taken notice, saying the case tests the strength of rights against self-incrimination in a digital world. Prosecutors, meanwhile, say that allowing criminal defendants to beat search warrants simply by encrypting their computers would make it impossible to obtain evidence in an age when clues are more likely held within a hard drive than a file cabinet.
▲ White powder sent to Fla. gov’t office sickens 4
According to the Palm Beach Post, initial testing of the white powder was “inconclusive.” WPEC mentioned that there can be psychological and physical effects or psychosomatic symptoms even if the substance is not hazardous due to the panic caused by the situation, but Emergency Manager for the City of West Palm Beach Allan Ortman told the Palm Beach Post that when tested the powder didn’t change colors, which is raising some concern. The powder has been sent to a FBI lab for further testing, and results are expected within 24 hours.
▲ Police State 2012: No Need to Wait, It’s Already Here
One of the greatest problems in talking about the police state is that all such discussion of the subject is hampered by the lack of a clear-cut definition. Given the public’s own ignorance of the true nature and function of a police state, story after story after story of intolerable levels of official oppression, secret illegal surveillance, and increasingly sophisticated technology for tracking, apprehending, incapacitating and even killing dissenters can be dismissed because these stories are reported one at a time, in a contextless and therefore meaningless way that invites the interpretation that these stories are only warnings of what is to come instead of sign posts of a reality that is already here.
▲ John Lydon’s top of the pops roots Reggae picks
Don Letts: The Rastas loved John! To them he was “THE punk rock Don from London” they were aware of all the trouble he had stirred up in London, and yeah, they were into what he stood for and his stance, and they dug it… We smoked a chalice together with U Roy for breakfast, and then went out to one of his dances, miles out in the countryside, quite a long journey by car. I remember the dreads stringing up this sound, and kicking off with some earthquake dubs. Now let me tell you this sound system was LOUD, and me and John both of us, literally passed out! I remember hours later some dreads shaking us awake, it was like, “Wake up man, dance done, dance finish now man!” Yeah, it was pretty wild for me and John out in Jamaica. We loved it. John just had a vibe you know, people were drawn to him. It was the same in London; it was the same in Kingston. John is Irish, and there is a definite affinity between Jamaicans and Irish!
▲ Pot Culture: White Punks on Dope
In fact, despite protestations to the contrary, the punks always smoked pot when no one was looking. In John Lydon’s autobiography, Don Letts explains how he became DJ at the seminal punk hang out, The Roxy: “I took the job at first for the money. I thought the punks were just a bunch of crazy white people. I didn’t really tune into it. When I became the deejay and started meeting them, I picked up on what they were doing. I got the job first, and then got all my black mates to work there. Everybody who worked there, besides Andy (Czezowski), was black. We used to make joints before we went to work to sell to the punks over the counter. The people would come up and say, ‘Give me two beers and a spliff. No, make that two spliffs and a beer.’ They couldn’t roll Jamaican cones.”

 

 

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Brave New Morning

✪ ‘Synthetic’ marijuana is problem for US military

U.S. troops are increasingly using an easy-to-get herbal mix called “Spice,” which mimics a marijuana high, is hard to detect and can bring on hallucinations that last for days. The abuse of the substance has so alarmed military officials that they’ve launched an aggressive testing program that this year has led to the investigation of more than 1,100 suspected users. So-called “synthetic” pot is readily available on the Internet and has become popular nationwide in recent years, but its use among troops and sailors has raised concerns among the Pentagon brass.
✪ In futile car search for drugs, Pompton Lakes police inflict $12K worth of damage
The instrument cluster and leather dashboard were gone. The caramel-colored seats were torn up. The gear shift was ripped out and stray wires hung limp everywhere. Geico, Richardson’s insurance company estimated the damage at $12,636.42 — more than he paid for the car — and declared the vehicle a “total loss.” According to police reports, the damage to the black BMW 325i came in the aftermath of a traffic stop during which officers detected a “strong odor of raw marijuana” inside the vehicle. Searching for a cache of drugs, members of three different police agencies and a detective from a federal drug task force spent two days tearing the car apart, the reports said. So what did police find after their $12,000 search? Absolutely nothing.
✪ Pranksters Turn Rotating Billboard Into a Merry-Go-Round
First, there was a billboard swingset in Hong Kong. Now, there’s a billboard merry-go-round in Prague. Well, it’s really more of a billboard whirlygig, but the point is that another piece of advertising structure has been reclaimed by artists for some frivolous playtime. And unlike the Hong Kong piece, which was sanctioned for an event, this one seems to be a prank—the team of artists responsible mounted a rotating billboard (commonplace over there, apparently) via its maintenance ladder and turned it into a carnival ride with balloons and wooden swings. I almost asked myself why this sort of thing never happens in America, but then I remembered that we can’t do any kind of stunts or people freak out.
✪ imPOSTers
The project “imPOSTer” was created by by Chicago designer TEWZ to honor and remember the most deceitful imposters throughout history by creating fake stamps, and then sending them through the United States postal system. The portraits of DAVID HAMPTON, FERDINAND DEMARA, FRANK ABAGNALE, JOHN HOWARD GRIFFIN, TONY CLIFTON, WILHELM VOIGHT, were all good enough to fool the United States Postal System.
✪ Jewish groups get most money from federal security grants
In an event announcing $1.7 billion in Department of Homeland Security grants, Napolitano noted that 63 percent of nonprofit grant recipients were “affiliated with Jewish organizations.” The following year, according to the Jewish Federations of North America, that number grew. In 2010, 94 percent of the department’s nonprofit security funding went to Jewish groups that are, in the words of the Department of Homeland Security, “at high risk of terrorist attack.” That included $222,000 for Jewish nonprofits in Missouri. Last month, the Nonprofit Security Grant Program awarded three St. Louis Jewish organizations $195,000 in grants to guard against such an attack, according to the Missouri Department of Public Safety. They were the only nonprofits in St. Louis to receive funding from the program, which awarded more than 80 percent of its $20 million budget in 2011 to Jewish nonprofits around the country.
✪ Mayan group’s logo too much like Toucan Sam, Kellogg’s squawks
Kellogg’s feathers are ruffled over a case of too many toucans. The cereal giant has asked a Bay Area Mayan nonprofit organization to remove an image of the tropical bird in its logo, claiming that it could be confused with Kellogg’s trademarked Froot Loops mascot, Toucan Sam. The San Ramon-based Maya Archaeology Initiative said its toucan looks nothing like Kellogg’s cartoon and that the two birds aren’t in competition. Dozens of toucan species exist. The Toucan Sam variety — known to kids as the bird on TV that “follows his nose … it always knows” — has been around since 1963, according to its Kellogg’s bio.  Kellogg’s, based in Battle Creek, Mich., did not immediately provide comment. The group added its own accusation: Kellogg’s Froot Loops advertising strategy sends racist messages to its young target audience with the presence of a dark-skinned villain named the Greedy Witch Doctor who steals from children, it said.
✪ Raiders of the Lost Archives [Video]
Shot-by-shot comparison of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” vs. scenes from 30 different adventure films made between 1919-1973.
✪ The Curious Taxidermy of Walter Potter
While the preservation of hunting trophies may be the best-known use of the taxidermist’s art, fans of Walter Potter’s anthropomorphic tableaux can attest to the fact that it has its other, more silly uses. Potter (1835-1918) was a self-taught taxidermist who grew up in the rural community of Bramber, Sussex, at a time when stuffing dead animals was considered to be a suitable hobby for young boys. For technical assistance, he would have had any number of popular manuals at his disposal. For inspiration, he had his younger sister’s illustrated nursery rhyme books and the Great Exhibition of 1851, where anthropomorphic taxidermy was first displayed to the British public.
✪ Weird Bible Verses – 1 Samuel 18:27 – an unusual wedding gift
“David took his men with him and went out and killed two hundred Philistines and brought back their foreskins. They counted out the full number to the king so that David might become the king’s son-in-law. Then Saul gave him his daughter Michal in marriage”
✪ Brooklyn Heights Townhouse is Actually a Decoy
Which of these Brooklyn Heights brownstones is not like the other? Here’s a hint: It’s the one with the word FAKE and a big red arrow pointed at it. Yesterday the Brooklyn Eagle ventured inside an unnamed three-story brownstone on a cobblestone block that is not a single-family townhouse, but rather a secret subway exit: Located in the tunnel just east of the river, the exit disguised as a brownstone leads to a grimy-lit set of metal stairs that ascend past utility boxes and ventilation shafts into a windowless room with a door. If you opened the door, you would find yourself on a stoop, which is just part of the façade.
✪ Ocean acidification: Some organisms already experiencing ocean acidification levels not predicted to be reached until 2100
These pH time series create a compelling argument for the collection of more continuous data of this kind.” Ocean acidification research is a relatively new study topic as scientists have only appreciated the potential extent of acidification within the last decade. As greenhouse gas emissions have accelerated in the past century, the oceans have taken up about a third of the carbon dioxide produced by human activities. That excess beyond natural levels increases amounts of carbonic acid in seawater. Acidification also limits the amount of carbonate forms that are needed by marine invertebrates such as coral and shelled organisms to form their skeletons. Though many lab simulations of this effect have been performed recently, including at a new acidification laboratory in development at Scripps, there have been few comparable field studies.
✪ Did Nixon have a gay affair with a Mafia fixer? Forget Watergate. A new book claims America’s most corrupt President hid a far more personal scandal…
A new biography by Don Fulsom, a veteran Washington reporter who covered the Nixon years, suggests the 37th U.S. President had a serious drink problem, beat his wife and — by the time he was inaugurated in 1969 — had links going back two decades to the Mafia, including with New Orleans godfather Carlos Marcello, then America’s most powerful mobster. Yet the most extraordinary claim is that the homophobic Nixon may have been gay himself. If true, it would provide a fascinating insight into the motivation and behaviour of a notoriously secretive politician. Fulsom argues that Nixon may have had an affair with his best friend and confidant, a Mafia‑connected Florida wheeler-dealer named Charles ‘Bebe’ Rebozo who was even more crooked than Nixon.
✪ F.D.A. Finds Short Supply of Attention Deficit Drugs
Since the drugs have been shown to improve concentration, and not just in people with A.D.H.D., they have become popular among students who are seeking a study aid. And since they can impart a euphoria that users have likened to a cocaine high, the pills are sometimes ground up by people who snort them for a thrill. On the other hand, there are people like Sheryl Greenfield of Bryn Mawr, Pa., an A.D.H.D. patient who spent days calling dozens of pharmacies to find a generic substitute for Adderall XR. She finally gave up and bought the brand, and her co-pay went to $200 from $10. “I can afford the difference, but I know some people who can’t,” she said. Shortages of amphetamine-based drugs like Adderall became so endemic that many doctors switched patients to methylphenidate-based drugs like Ritalin, creating shortages among those medicines as well, according to the F.D.A.
✪ Lexington man charged with making a fake $1 million bill and trying to spend it
A Lexington man is accused trying to use a fake $1 million bill to pay for his purchases at a Walmart. Michael Anthony Fuller, 53, of 3 Parker St., walked into the Walmart on Lowes Boulevard in Lexington on Nov. 17. He shopped for a while, picking up a vacuum cleaner, a microwave oven and other merchandise, totaling $476, an arrest warrant says. When he got to the register, Fuller gave the cashier the phony bill, saying that it was real. Store staff called police. Fuller was later charged with attempting to obtain property by false pretense and uttering a forged instrument, both felonies, court records show. A warrant says of the fake million-dollar bill: “There is no such thing.” The largest bill in circulation is a $100 bill. In 1969, federal officials discontinued the use of $500, $1,000, $5,000 and $10,000 bills because of lack of public use.
✪ Hackers plan space satellites to combat censorship
Computer hackers plan to take the internet beyond the reach of censors by putting their own communication satellites into orbit. The scheme was outlined at the Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin. The project’s organisers said the Hackerspace Global Grid will also involve developing a grid of ground stations to track and communicate with the satellites. Longer term they hope to help put an amateur astronaut on the moon.
✪ Three nights, 38 fires: arson attacks sweep Hollywood
Officials say it is already the worst string of arson attacks seen by Los Angeles since the riots that rocked the city in 1992. Damage to vehicles and property is put so far about $1m (£644,000). In West Hollywood alone, fire officials said the fires had destroyed about $350,000 worth of property. One of the New Year’s Eve fires broke out in a heavily used parking garage at the Highland Centre in Hollywood, a huge and glitzy complex of shops, restaurants and cinema screens that is also home to the Kodak Theatre, which hosts the annual Oscar ceremonies. While police have indicated they are looking for a man driving a 1990s Lexus saloon in connection with the fires, the sheer number of incidents suggests that they may be dealing with several arsonists or even some copy-cat ones. On Friday night some of the fires appeared to have been started within minutes of each other, prompting initial speculation that the attacks could be the handiwork of an individual in a car or a on a motorcycle

 

 

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Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on January 2, 2012

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Hardcore (1979) George C. Scott Paul Schrader “Oh my God, that’s my daughter.”

A conservative Midwest businessman ventures into the sordid underworld of pornography in California to look for his runaway teenage daughter who is making porno films in the porno pits of Los Angeles.

-IMDb

 

File under Blast From The Past, Cult Movies, Fetish, History of Pornography, SeMeN SPeRmS Approved, SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG, SeMeN SPeRmS ViDeO CLuB, Sex

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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Fight Or Fuck

  • The federal government is planning to introduce new behavior detection techniques at airport checkpoints as soon as next month, Transportation Security Administration chief John Pistole said Thursday.

    TSA already has “behavior detection officers” at 161 airports nationwide looking for travelers exhibiting physiological or psychological signs that a traveler might be a terrorist. However, Pistole said TSA is preparing to move to an approach that employs more conversation with travelers—a method that has been employed with great success in Israel.

  • TAKE a look around you. The walls, the chair you’re sitting in, your own body – they all seem real and solid. Yet there is a possibility that everything we see in the universe – including you and me – may be nothing more than a hologram.

    It sounds preposterous, yet there is already some evidence that it may be true, and we could know for sure within a couple of years. If it does turn out to be the case, it would turn our common-sense conception of reality inside out.

    The idea has a long history, stemming from an apparent paradox posed by Stephen Hawking’s work in the 1970s. He discovered that black holes slowly radiate their mass away. This Hawking radiation appears to carry no information, however, raising the question of what happens to the information that described the original star once the black hole evaporates. It is a cornerstone of physics that information cannot be destroyed.

  • A molecular biologists has long believed that cancer results from chromosome disruption rather than a handful of gene mutations, which is the dominant theory today. That idea has led him to propose that cancers have actually evolved new chromosomal karyotypes that qualify them as autonomous species, akin to parasites and much different from their human hosts.

    “Cancer is comparable to a bacterial level of complexity, but still autonomous, that is, it doesn’t depend on other cells for survival; it doesn’t follow orders like other cells in the body, and it can grow where, when and how it likes,” said Duesberg. “That’s what species are all about.”

  • Though photo manipulation has become more common in the age of digital cameras and image editing software, it actually dates back almost as far as the invention of photography. Gathered below is an overview of some of the more notable instances of photo manipulation in history. For recent years, an exhaustive inventory of every photo manipulation would be nearly impossible, so we focus here on the instances that have been most controversial or notorious, or ones that raise the most interesting ethical questions.
  • If you fashion yourself as an audiophile and just threw down a decent wad of cash on a new A/V receiver, you probably won’t like hearing that the receivers of yesteryear produce comparable sound. Why is that? Technological advancement, ironically.

    Cnet’s Steve Guttenberg sheds light on this interesting development that over the years, actual sound quality became a secondary selling point since most people started buying their equipment either online or from big box retailers. People started caring more about the number of connections and wireless interfaces and wattage of systems. As a result, there was less money in R&D budgets to spend on advancements in sound.

  • When you tweet–even if you tweet under a pseudonym–how much do you reveal about yourself? More than you realize, argues a new paper from researchers at the Mitre Corporation. The paper, “Discriminating Gender on Twitter,” which is being presented this week at the Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing in Scotland, demonstrates that machines can often figure out a person’s gender on Twitter just by reading their tweets. And such knowledge is power: the findings could be useful to advertisers and others.
  • Anonymous tweeters may have just become a little less anonymous. Researchers have put together an algorithm that can predict the gender of a tweeter based solely on the 140 characters they choose to tweet. Of course, determining the gender of an Internet personality has its monetary benefits for Twitter. “Marketing is one of the major motivators here, adding that he had heard talk that Twitter was internally working on similar demographically identifying algorithms internally,” linguist Delip Rao told Fast Company’s David Zax. But it could also help identify phonies misrepresenting themselves. Like, say, older men pretending to be lesbian bloggers. Remember when the Gay Girl in Damascus revealed himself as a middle-aged man from Georgia?
  • An Australian designer has been forced to apologise for referencing the Holocaust in the name of one of its garments.

    The “Belsen Was a Gas” military parka designed by Australian label Evil Twin, caused a furore among shoppers on the online retail website Buy Definition this week.

    Shoppers condemned the label for “committing the sin of such hateful, shallow and selfish callousness”.

  • The installation of a cross-shaped steel beam at the Sept. 11 memorial at ground zero is unconstitutional, a national atheist group argued in a lawsuit filed Wednesday, asking a judge to order it removed or request that other religions and nonreligious views be equally represented at the site.
  • A 36-year-old woman allegedly snatched an infant from his stroller and slammed him into the metal railing of a truck as his mother and aunt tried to fight her off, police said Wednesday.

    The woman, Natasha Hubbard, later told police she wanted to eat the baby’s arm. The baby suffered only minor injuries.

  • A clever crook, dressed as an armored truck guard, waltzed out of a Queens check-cashing joint last week with almost $15,000 in cash, cops said.

    After stepping into Lorenzo’s Enterprises on 31st St. in Astoria about 10:15 a.m. Friday, the disguised bandit said he was there for a pickup and was given the load of cash, police said.

    The employees never suspected the man, who was clad in a GARDA Armored Courier uniform, was a thief.

    It wasn’t until a few hours later, when an actual guard from the same armored truck company arrived for the cash, that the workers realized they had been had, cops said.

  • Responding to reports of someone breaking into cars, officers had confronted Thomas, a transient well-known to merchants and officers in downtown Fullerton.

    The Orange County Register reported that Thomas, who suffered from schizophrenia, began to struggle as officers tried to search him and that Thomas sustained head and neck injuries.
    Thomas’ father, a retired Orange County sheriff’s deputy, has asserted that officers used excessive force to subdue his son, who was unarmed, slight and of medium height.

    After seeing his son’s injuries and talking with witnesses, Thomas told the Register his son “was brutally beaten to death.”

    “When I first walked into the hospital, I looked at what his mother described as my son … I didn’t recognize him,” Thomas said. “This is cold-blooded, aggravated murder.”

  • A dozen police cars had been set on fire, which in turn set off their alarms, underscoring the angry shouts from a mob of five thousand understandably outraged gays. The police were running amuck in an orgy of indiscriminate sadism, swinging their clubs wildly and screaming profanity-laden homophobic epithets.I was struck with a nightstick on the outside of my right knee and I fell to the ground. Another cop came charging at me and made a threatening gesture with his billy club. When I tried to protect my head, he jabbed me viciously on the exposed right side of my chest. Oh, God, the pain! It felt like an electric cattle prod was stuck between my ribs.
  • Your computer, your phone, and your other digital devices hold vast amounts of personal information about you and your family. This is sensitive data that’s worth protecting from prying eyes – including those of the government.

    The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution protects you from unreasonable government searches and seizures, and this protection extends to your computer and portable devices. But how does this work in the real world? What should you do if the police or other law enforcement officers show up at your door and want to search your computer?

    EFF has designed this guide to help you understand your rights if officers try to search the data stored on your computer or portable electronic device, or seize it for further examination somewhere else.

    Because anything you say can be used against you in a criminal or civil case, before speaking to any law enforcement official, you should consult with an attorney.

  • The rabidly politicized, mad-as-hell, accept-us-or-die quotient of gay Americans—at last count, somewhere between 97 to 99 percent of them—seem determined to prove that they can get just as offended as your average hillbilly breeder mountaineer, if not more so.

    It’s as if they’re taking it to the streets, up into the hills, and down into the hollers to spread a simple message—“You think you can get offended, you stupid, hateful, one-toothed, inbred, Christ-worshiping rednecks? You ain’t seen an uptight bunch of whiny wah-wah emotionally retarded walking fetuses until you’ve tangled with us!”

  • Scientists in South Korea have used a cloning technique to created a “glowing” dog, which they hope to use to investigate certain human diseases. The “glowing” effect in the two year old beagle named Tegon can be turned on and off with a doxycycline antibiotic.
  • Fuck MTV
  • According to the latest daily statement from the U.S. Treasury, the government had an operating cash balance of $73.8 billion at the end of the day yesterday.

    Apple’s last earnings report (PDF here) showed that the company had $76.2 billion in cash and marketable securities at the end of June.

    In other words, the world’s largest tech company has more cash than the world’s largest sovereign government.

  • A damaged nuclear fuel rod was stuck inside a reactor at Japan’s ageing Hamaoka nuclear plant after an accident 17 years ago and is still there, the plant’s operator said Thursday.

    The operator, Chubu Electric Power Co., said experts were unable to remove the spent fuel rod from the plant, located 125 miles (200 kilometers) southwest of Tokyo, Kyodo News reported.

    The rod was stored inside a special container in the spent fuel pool of a decommissioned reactor. The company sought help from domestic and foreign experts on how to safely extract it, but no solution was found so far.

  • Don Bailey and Mathew Solnik, Two hackers have found a way to unlock cars that use remote control and telemetry systems like BMW Assist, GM OnStar, Ford Sync, and Hyundai Blue Link. These systems communicate with the automaker’s remote servers via standard standard mobile networks like GSM and CDMA — and with a clever bit of reverse engineering, the hackers were able to pose as these servers and communicate directly with a car’s on-board computer via “war texting” — a riff on “war driving,” the act of finding open wireless networks.

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File under Fashion, Photography, SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG, SeMeN SPeRmS Links 'o Death

Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on July 29, 2011

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