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Iron in Egyptian relics came from space

The 5,000-year-old iron bead might not look like much, but it hides a spectacular past: researchers have found that an ancient Egyptian trinket is made from a meteorite. The result, published on 20 May in Meteoritics & Planetary Science1, explains how ancient Egyptians obtained iron millennia before the earliest evidence of iron smelting in the region, solving an enduring mystery. It also hints that they regarded meteorites highly as they began to develop their religion. “The sky was very important to the ancient Egyptians,” says Joyce Tyldesley, an Egyptologist at the University of Manchester, UK, and a co-author of the paper. “Something that falls from the sky is going to be considered as a gift from the gods.”
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Is Success Killing the Porn Industry?
According to one estimate, there are nearly 25 million porn sites worldwide and they make up 12 percent of all websites. Sebastian Anthony, writing for ExtremeTech, reports that Xvideos is the biggest porn site on the web, receiving 4.4 billion page views and 350 million unique visits per month. He claims porn accounts for 30 percent of all web traffic. Based on Google data, the other four of the top five porn sites, and their monthly page views (pvs) are: PornHub, 2.5 billion pvs; YouPorn, 2.1 billion pvs; Tube8, 970 million pvs; and LiveJasmin, 710 million pvs. In comparison, Wikipedia gets about 8 billion pvs.  
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Ex-Microsoft manager plans to create first U.S. marijuana brand

A former Microsoft executive plans to create the first U.S. national marijuana brand, with cannabis he hopes to eventually import legally from Mexico, and said he was kicking off his business by acquiring medical pot dispensaries in three U.S. states. Jamen Shively, a former Microsoft corporate strategy manager, said he envisions his Seattle-based enterprise becoming the leader in both recreational and medical cannabis – much like Starbucks is the dominant name in coffee, he said.
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Netizen outrage after Chinese tourist defaces Egyptian temple

Parents of a 15-year-old Chinese tourist have apologized after the teenager defaced a stone sculpture in an ancient Egyptian temple with graffiti. The act drew ire in both Egypt and China — generating a massive online backlash amongst China’s unforgiving netizens. The vandal carved ‘Ding Jinhao was here’ in Chinese in the 3,500 year old Luxor Temple.
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JCPenney Has an L.A. Billboard for a Tea Kettle — and It Looks Like Adolf Hitler

If you thought JCPenney was having problems at the top — or if pressure cookers were posing problems for the tea-kettle industry — look no further than 405 freeway near Culver City in Southern California, where an innocent stainless steel pot is drawing comparisons to perhaps the least innocent person of all time, spigot salute and all. Enter your own “calling the kettle Fuhrer” reference here.
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First Human-Engineered ‘Meat Burger’ To Be Consumed In London

Starting with a very particular cell extracted from dead cows necks at a local slaughterhouse, a select team of scientists are now close to serving up the world’s first human-engineered, cultured meat burger. That’s right. A whopping 5 ounce burger will be freshly made from lab grown bits of cultured meat and muscle tissue. The burger, the first of its kind, will be served to curious diner’s somewhere in London in the coming weeks.
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Coffee vs. beer: which drink makes you more creative?

The best time to have a beer (or two) would be when you’re searching for an initial idea. Because alcohol helps decrease your working memory (making you feel relaxed and less worried about what’s going on around you), you’ll have more brain power dedicated to making deeper connections. Neuroscientists have studied the “eureka moment” and found that in order to produce moments of insight, you need to feel relaxed so front brain thinking (obvious connections) can move to the back of the brain (where unique, lateral connections are made) and activate the anterior superior temporal gyrus, a small spot above your right ear responsible for moments of insight: Researchers found that about 5 seconds before you have a ‘eureka moment’ there is a large increase in alpha waves that activates the anterior superior temporal gyrus. These alpha waves are associated with relaxation, which explains why you often get ideas while you’re going for a walk, in the shower, or on the toilet.
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German railways deploys surveillance drones against graffiti gangs

The drones, which fly at an altitude of 150 yards, will be used at graffiti ‘hotspots’ such as the big German cities of Berlin, Leipzig, Cologne and Hamburg, a spokesman for Deutsche Bahn confirmed. The use of drones against vandals is the latest indication of the growing civilian market for unmanned aerial reconnaissance. Over 400 new drone systems are being developed by firms based in Europe, according to an EU report published last September. The drones used by Deutsche Bahn cost 60,000 euros each and are manufactured by German firm Microdrones, which also markets the machines for landscape photography, analysing traffic accidents and monitoring crops.
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The Unfiltered History of Rolling Papers

After tobacco was introduced to Spain from the New World in the 1500s, a tobacco trade developed in Europe in the 1600s. The aristocrats smoked Tommy Chong-size cigars, rolled in palm and tobacco leaves. When they were done smoking these enormous stogies, they would toss the butts on the ground, where peasants would pick them up, take them apart, and reroll what was left in small scraps of newspaper. “There was probably green smoke and sparks coming off of them,” Kesselman says of these early rolling papers. “It wouldn’t have been like they were smoking a new New York Times. They were smoking paper that had lead and cadmium and God only knows what in that ink, which would have been running all over their hands.”
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The End of the Lower East Side’s Last Great Rehearsal Space

Much of Manhattan is a secret city, and few secrets are better than this: Below venerable dive Max Fish, behind grated steel doors that often vibrate with noise, is an old brick-walled basement room, pipes snaking overhead, a sweet smell of subterranean sweat mixed with old beer and cigarettes hanging in the air. Contained within: musical detritus built up over a generation—assorted amps, drum kits, microphone cables, and one stand-alone toilet shrouded by a Mickey Mouse bedsheet. This is the last great music rehearsal space on the Lower East Side. It will soon cease to exist.
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THE WORST ROOM

A BLOG ABOUT TRYING TO FIND AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN NEW YORK CITY
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SoulOS – The Soul Operating System

To re-connect young people with the teachings of the Catholic church, we developed ‘Soul OS’, a new operating system that encourages people to ‘upgrade their souls’ with Pope John Paul II’s inspirational quotes.
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How to Convince People WiFi Is Making Them Sick

There’s no known scientific reason why a wireless signal might cause physical harm. And studies have found that even people who claim to be sensitive to electromagnetic fields can’t actually sense them. Their symptoms are more likely due to nocebo, the evil twin of the placebo effect. The power of our expectation can cause real physical illness. In clinical drug trials, for example, subjects who take sugar pills report side effects ranging from an upset stomach to sexual dysfunction.
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Interview: Artist William Stout talks about bootlegs and ‘Beatlesongs’

“A guy tapped on my shoulder. ‘You wanna do bootleg record covers?’ ‘Sure!’ ‘Selma and Las Palmas, this Friday night, eight o’clock. Be there.’ He paused. ‘Alone.’ I agreed. “The intersection of Selma and Las Palmas at that time was one of the seedier Hollywood neighborhoods. Promptly at eight an old black 40’s coupe with smoked windows pulled up to the corner and stopped. The passenger window opened a crack. A paper sheet came out of it. I took the sheet and read it. It said ‘Winter Tour’ and had a list of Rolling Stones songs. A voice inside the car said, ‘Next Friday, same time.’ The window rolled up. Then the window rolled back down a tiny bit. ‘Alone.’
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Let’s Fight Big Pharma’s Crusade to Turn Eccentricity Into Illness

Nature takes the long view, mankind the short. Nature picks diversity; we pick standardization. We are homogenizing our crops and homogenizing our people. And Big Pharma seems intent on pursuing a parallel attempt to create its own brand of human monoculture.
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Breeding the Nutrition Out of Our Food

This health directive needs to be revised. If we want to get maximum health benefits from fruits and vegetables, we must choose the right varieties. Studies published within the past 15 years show that much of our produce is relatively low in phytonutrients, which are the compounds with the potential to reduce the risk of four of our modern scourges: cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and dementia. The loss of these beneficial nutrients did not begin 50 or 100 years ago, as many assume. Unwittingly, we have been stripping phytonutrients from our diet since we stopped foraging for wild plants some 10,000 years ago and became farmers.

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

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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Wizards (1977) Ralph Bakshi Bites Vaughn Bode

Wizards is a 1977 American animated post-apocalyptic science fiction/fantasy film about the battle between two wizards, one representing the forces of magic and one representing the forces of technology. It was written, produced, and directed by Ralph Bakshi. This is 20th Century Fox’s first animated film.” –Wikipedia

“In a post apocalyptic future that appears as a blend of World War II Europe and J.R.R. Tolkien‘s Middle-earth, a pint-size wizard named Avatar must save the world from a band of fascist mutants controlled by his evil twin brother, Blackwolf, who likes to confuse enemy armies by projecting films of Adolf Hitler speeches during attacks. Painted live-action footage of advancing Nazi armies contrasts with Saturday-morning-cartoon-style animation of fairies and elves as Avatar travels through various magical and radioactive realms on his quest. Aiding him are a sexually promiscuous fairy queen, a hot-blooded warrior elf and Peace, a misunderstood robot rebelling against his Blackwolf-controlled programming. A bizarre and psychedelic meditation on magic vs. technology, this ultimate futuristic fantastic epic cult film still finds an audience on college campuses and will prove quite rewarding to viewers in the right frame of mind.” –IMDb

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Buy Wizards (1977) Here

File under Animation, Cult Movies, Graffiti, Influences, SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG, SeMeN SPeRmS ViDeO CLuB