Explosives

‘Love?! That’s soft stuff!’

✰ Girl Removes Make-up after Two Years
For the last two years, the young girl never used make-up removers, so her mother, exasperated by Bae’s behaviour, contacted a TV station and told them Bae’s incredible story. During a variety show, dermatologists managed to convince Bae Dal-mi to finally remove the layers of make-up, and after a specialized check-up they found her skin was two times older than her actual age. All because of an obsession with beauty
✰ Electric Cigarette Explodes In US Man’s Mouth
A faulty battery caused an electronic cigarette to explode in a man’s mouth, taking out some of his front teeth, a chunk of his tongue and severely burning his face, fire officials said.
✰ Seattle woman sets underwear world record
The Guinness World record was 250. Janine Keblish topped that by two pairs of underwear. Why? Keblish wanted to bring attention to a cause she’s involved with, Days for Girls. A few years ago Keblish and Celeste Mergens discovered a shameful secret on a trip to an orphanage in Kenya – a total lack of feminine hygiene products for young women. “Millions of women all over the world go without, resulting in infection and exploitation and even girls being sold into slavery. They also miss three months of education each year, just for lack of hygiene,” says Mergens. “And you wonder, how could this be happening in this day and age? The truth is, it’s taboo to talk about.”
✰ India, Bihar: Poo Highway
The high incidence of open defecation in the Indian state of Bihar is not due to a lack awareness about toilets, according to this new Water for People video. In their view, it’s more of a supply chain, marketing problem. The toilets on offer are not particularly good.
✰ $23.60 – The Most Expensive Starbucks Drink Possible (in the World)
It’s not every day that you receive a coupon for one of the priciest beverage chains in the world! Armed with my Starbucks Rewards card, I decided to take the opportunity to find out just how much money I could pour into a Trenta—Starbucks’ whopping 31 ounce cup! After about a half-hour with a laughing barista, we created the most expensive drink possible: one Java Chip Frappuccino in a Trenta cup, 16 shots of espresso, a shot of soy milk, caramel flavoring, banana puree, strawberry puree, vanilla beans, Matcha powder, protein powder, and a drizzle of caramel and mocha. Price: $23.60. The resulting beverage contains 1400mg of caffeine. According to Erowid, a widely respected drug catalog, a heavy caffeine dose is 400+mg. This drink has 3 times that. If I drank this all at once, it would put me in the hospital. Two of these would kill me.
✰ Top 10 Bizarre & Controversial Archeological Discoveries
Many strange archeological discoveries have been made in modern history. Hundreds of artifacts have been unearthed that have baffled scientists and challenged modern man’s view of history. Many of these objects have been labeled out of place artifacts or anachronisms. These archeological discoveries are always controversial and the scientific community is extremely selective in what they accept as fact. Every object on this list has been accused of being an elaborate hoax. In many cases, a conspiracy is the only explanation, without an extensive rewriting of the world’s history books. These artifacts tell a story of ancient civilizations, Pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contracts, and mysterious technological advancements. Many of these archeological discoveries challenge the scientific theory of evolution, as well as many religious beliefs.
✰ Elderly junkies find ‘freedom’ at Dutch old-age home
In a tiny fourth-floor room overlooking The Hague’s city centre, a grey-haired man carefully plugged a small pipe with a ball of cocaine, lit up and drew a deep breath. “This is real freedom,” said 65-year-old William as a billow of white smoke poured from his nostrils and wafted through his apartment at Woodstock, the only Dutch home for elderly junkies and other addicts. The apartment block, flanked by a canal and a tram line, takes a unique approach to drug abuse by helping to keep ageing homeless people off the city’s streets and out of trouble with the law. “I like it here. Here there is no police watching you,” William told AFP as he rearranged the paraphernalia of his addiction on a small table: a pipe, a lighter, a mirror with traces of cocaine lines and an old credit card. “I can do what I want to do.”
✰ NH town to vote on whether to change name of pond at bishop’s urging
Voters in a small New Hampshire town will have the final say on whether to change the controversial name of a local pond. The small pond near the middle of Mont Vernon is known as Jew Pond. Town officials say it got its name back in the 1920s because the operators of a hotel that once stood next to it were Jewish. The name recently got the attention of New Hampshire Bishop Peter Libasci. He wrote a letter to the local newspaper saying the name conveyed contempt and urged townspeople to change it. Residents will decide in the March 13 election. Some residents told WMUR-TV that they don’t find the name offensive and that it’s part of the town’s history.
✰ Exposing the Severity of the Fukushima Disaster (Video)
Fukushima has had 5 major meltdowns now, in a disaster that is making experts say that it is larger than Chernobyl. Aljazeera reported in September that the radiation emitted from Fukushima would rival or surpass Chernobyl in only the weeks following the disaster. According to Aljazeera: “Experts say that the total radiation leaked will eventually exceed the amounts released from the Chernobyl disaster that the Ukraine in April 1986. This amount would make Fukushima the worst nuclear disaster in history.” This news was from 2011, but the current news isn’t much better. After officials said they were going to perform a ‘cold shutdown’ to prevent any further issues, its now come out that the Fukushima reactor temperature now surpasses 752 degrees — whereas 100 degrees celsius was required for the cold shutdown. Tepco, the operators of the plant, say the thermometer is conveniently broken, but they have been known to conceal the truth from the public in the past.
✰ Indian Man Killed for Public Toilet Time
The fight occurred between residents of a tenement with shared facilities, a common situation in India’s densely populated financial matrix. The incident brings India’s sanitation problems and the lack of proper facilities sharply into focus. Simon Lingeree was killed last month when he got into a heated argument with Santosh Kargutkar while using a public toilet. The latter became highly impatient while waiting his turn. When Mr. Lingeree exited the toilet, he was physically assaulted. There were no weapons involved, just fists, but the young man was struck a fatal blow to the crotch. The killer quickly fled the scene and was later arrested.
✰ Marijuana Odor Overpowers Police Station
The strong odor of marijuana from the evidence room at a local police station in Florida seems to be a real problem for some whiny cops. “The biggest complaint is how strong the odor is,” said Atlantic Beach Police Commander Victor Gualillo, reports ActionNewsJax.com. All seized dope collected during busts is stored in a 200-square-foot evidence room at the station. “Anytime you store that much marijuana it’s rather pungent,” Commander Gualillo complained. But it seems you count on this bunch of overwrought weenies to dramatize the situation way beyond just the smell. They’re talking about “doing something” before “somebody gets hurt.” “I’m told there are serious health concerns,” claimed Atlantic Beach City Manager Jim Hanson about all the collected drugs in the evidence room. “There are other evidence technicians who have gotten sick,” Hanson claimed.
✰ Addict was smoking 15 joints a day
Adrian Watson, 41, was arrested by police after neighbours complained of a strong smell of gas coming from a house in Huddersfield Road, Elland. Bradford Crown Court heard how officers at first thought there may have been a leak, but after entering the property found 24 cannabis plants and growing equipment. They also found documents in the house with Watson’s name on and another address in Dewsbury Road, Elland, where they later found Watson as well as more cannabis. A total of 2.24kg of the drug was found, with a street value of around £19,000. Police experts believe there was enough cannabis to last up to 594 days, but Watson told police that his habit of 15 joints a day meant he would have got through the drug much quicker. He admitted producing cannabis for personal use.
✰ Dolphins Reported Talking Whale in Their Sleep
News has come from France that some captive-born dolphins there have been recorded “talking in their sleep” — and talking in Whale, no less, not Dolphinese. The scientists involved say this would be the first time that dolphins have been recorded mimicking sounds a significant period of time after hearing them. But there’s also the intriguing possibility that these sounds — virtually identical to sounds made by the humpback whale — may, if the dolphins are really asleep and not just resting, be direct expression of something the dolphins are dreaming.
✰ Youngsters get high on cobra venom
“The sale of drugs (like K-72 and K-76) which have cobra venom is increasing at rave parties and in discos. These drugs enhance sensation and boost energy so that revellers can dance for longer hours,” a senior officer of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) told IANS on condition of anonymity. “The sales increase a week before Valentine’s Day in Delhi and NCR (National Capital Region) and are consumed at hushed-up parties,” he added.
✰ Morgellons: Static Electricity or Moving Nano-Machines? You Decide
Contrary to what the CDC says, Morgellons is not a delusion. I have personally felt and seen my hair move by itself, I’ve had strange fibres come out of my skin, I constantly feel like there are bugs crawling over my body. I have witnessed many of my fresh organic vegetables, fruits and meat moving by itself, causing me to have to throw out the majority of the food I’ve bought. I have had to stop wearing a lot of my clothes because even those seem to be comprised of moving fibres. Some might say the fibres in the video below are moving because of static electricity, however I find that very hard to believe.
✰ Sick: Young, Undercover Cops Flirted With Students to Trick Them Into Selling Pot
Last year in three high schools in Florida, several undercover police officers posed as students. The undercover cops went to classes, became Facebook friends and flirted with the other students. One 18-year-old honor student named Justin fell in love with an attractive 25-year-old undercover cop after spending weeks sharing stories about their lives, texting and flirting with each other. One day she asked Justin if he smoked pot. Even though he didn’t smoke marijuana, the love-struck teen promised to help find some for her. Every couple of days she would text him asking if he had the marijuana. Finally, Justin was able to get it to her. She tried to give him $25 for the marijuana and he said he didn’t want the money — he got it for her as a present. A short while later, the police did a big sweep and arrest 31 students — including Justin. Almost all were charged with selling a small amount of marijuana to the undercover cops. Now Justin has a felony hanging over his head.
✰ The Disappearing Face of New York
‘During the eight years it took James and Karla Murray to complete this project, one third of the stores they featured have closed’
✰ Congrats, US Government: You’re Scaring Web Businesses Into Moving Out Of The US
The federal government has been paying lip service to the idea that it wants to encourage new businesses and startups in the US. And this is truly important to the economy, as studies have shown that almost all of the net job growth in this country is coming from internet startups. Thankfully some politicians recognize this, but the federal government seems to be going in the other direction. With the JotForm situation unfolding, where the US government shut down an entire website with no notice or explanation, people are beginning to recognize that the US is not safe for internet startups.
✰ Facebook hacking student Glenn Mangham jailed
A software development student from York who hacked into Facebook has been jailed for eight months. Glenn Mangham, 26, had earlier admitted infiltrating the social networking website between April and May 2011. Mangham, of Cornlands Road, York, had shown search engine Yahoo how it could improve security and said he wanted to do the same for Facebook. Sentencing Mangham, Judge Alistair McCreath said his actions could have been “utterly disastrous” for Facebook. Alison Saunders, from the Crown Prosecution Service, described the case as “the most extensive and flagrant incidence of social media hacking to be brought before British courts”. Prosecutor Sandip Patel rejected Mangham’s claims, saying: “He acted with determination, undoubted ingenuity and it was sophisticated, it was calculating.” Facebook spent $200,000 (£126,400) dealing with Mangham’s crime, which triggered a “concerted, time-consuming and costly investigation” by the FBI and British law enforcement, Mr Patel said.
✰ A medical study of the Haitian zombie
We hear a lot about zombies these days – in films, in music and even in philosophy – but many are unaware that in 1997 The Lancet published a medical study of three genuine Haitian zombies. The cases studies were reported by British anthropologist Roland Littlewood and Haitian doctor Chavannes Douyon and concerned three individuals identified as zombies after they had apparently passed away. The Haitian explanation for how zombies are created involves the distinction between different elements of the human being – including the body, the gwobon anj (the animating principle) and the ti-bon anj, which represents something akin to agency, awareness, and memory.
✰ Musicians Wage War Against Robots
After the release of The Jazz Singer in 1927, all bets were off for live musicians who played in movie theaters. Thanks to synchronized sound, the use of live musicians was unnecessary — and perhaps a larger sin, old-fashioned. In 1930 the American Federation of Musicians formed a new organization called the Music Defense League and launched a scathing ad campaign to fight the advance of this terrible menace known as recorded sound. The evil face of that campaign was the dastardly, maniacal robot. The Music Defense League spent over $500,000, running ads in newspapers throughout the United States and Canada. The ads pleaded with the public to demand humans play their music (be it in movie or stage theaters), rather than some cold, unseen machine.
✰ Italy confiscates $6 trillion in fake US bonds
Swiss authorities have confiscated $6 trillion in counterfeit U.S. bonds at the request of Italian prosecutors, authorities in Italy said Friday. Eight people were arrested in Italy and placed under investigation for fraud and other crimes. The bonds, carrying the false date of issue of 1934, had been transported in 2007 from Hong Kong to Zurich, where they were transferred to a Swiss trust, according to prosecutors in the southern Italian city of Potenza. Authorities said that U.S. officials had confirmed the bonds were counterfeit. Prosecutors said the fraud had not been completed, but it appeared that the suspects intended to try to sell the fake bonds to a developing nation, directly or through an intermediary bank.
✰ FBI Foils Own Terror Plot (Again)
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has once again proven that the only thing Americans need fear, is their own government, with the latest “terror attack” foiled being one entirely of their own design. USA Today reports that a suspect had been arrested by the FBI who was “en route to the U.S. Capitol allegedly to detonate a suicide bomb.” While initial reports portrayed the incident as a narrowly averted terrorist attack, CBS would report that a “high ranking source told CBS News the man was “never a real threat.”” The explosives the would-be bomber carried were provided to him by the FBI during what they described as a “lengthy and extensive operation.” The only contact the suspect had with “Al Qaeda” was with FBI officials posing as associates of the elusive, omnipresent, bearded terror conglomerate. The FBI, much like their MI5 counterparts in England, have a propensity for recruiting likely candidates from mosques they covertly run.
✰ Lawmakers riled by Google iPhone tracking
Three U.S. lawmakers urged the Federal Trade Commission to grill Google after it admitted secretly tracking millions of people’s iPhone and Mac Web browsing. Reps. Edward Markey, D-Mass., Joe Barton, R-Texas, and Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., said they want to know whether Google’s behavior “constitutes a violation” of a privacy settlement Google Inc. and the commission worked out last year. Google pledged at the time not to “misrepresent” its privacy practices to consumers. The fine for violating the agreement is $16,000 for every violation each day. Google and three other advertising companies used special computer code that tricks Apple Inc.’s Safari Web-browsing software into letting them monitor users’ Internet habits — even though Safari, the most-widely used smartphone Web browser, is designed to block such tracking by default.
✰ Virginia Poised To Enact ‘State-Sponsored Rape’ Law Forcing Women To Be Vaginally Probed Before Abortions
Simply put, it is difficult to distinguish a law requiring women to be vaginally penetrated by a long metal object from state-sponsored rape. Worse, discussions among lawmakers leave little doubt that its supporters understood just what they were trying to write into law — they just didn’t care. As an unnamed lawmaker told a fellow Virginia delegate, a woman already consented to being “vaginally penetrated when they got pregnant.”
✰ Big Greenwashing 101
John Muir must be rolling over in his grave. The organization he founded in 1892, the Sierra Club, America’s oldest and largest environmental group, have been in cahoots with the worst of the worst corporations in recent years. They’ve been paid tens of millions of dollars by the fossil fuel industry, tyrannical billionaire mayors and Wall Street in exchange for cleaning (and greening) up their public images. Not only have they acted as a green public relations firm for the bastions of wealth and power, but have also sold out frontline communities most impacted by extractive industry.
✰ Cellphone use linked to selfish behavior
Marketing professors Anastasiya Pocheptsova and Rosellina Ferraro, with graduate student, Ajay T. Abraham, conducted a series of experiments on test groups of cellphone users. The findings appear in their working paper, “The Effect of Mobile Phone Use on Prosocial Behavior.” Prosocial behavior, as defined in the study, is action intended to benefit another person or society as a whole. The researchers found that after a short period of cellphone use the subjects were less inclined to volunteer for a community service activity when asked, compared to the control-group counterparts. The cell phone users were also less persistent in solving word problems — even though they knew their answers would translate to a monetary donation to charity. The decreased focus on others held true even when participants were merely asked to draw a picture of their cellphones and think about how they used them.
✰ Poachers slaughter 200 elephants in Cameroon; ivory profits fueling regional conflicts
Poachers have slaughtered at least 200 elephants in the past five weeks in a patch of Africa where they are more dangerously endangered than anywhere else on Earth, wildlife activists said. The money made from selling elephant tusks is fueling misery throughout the continent, the International Fund for Animal Welfare warned. Many elephant calves orphaned by the recent killings have been spotted in Cameroon’s Bouba Ndjida National Park, and activists fear the animals may soon die of hunger and thirst. “Their deaths will only compound the impact of the poaching spree on the Cameroon’s threatened elephant populations,” the organization said Thursday in a statement. It is not known how many elephants remain in the West African nation. The latest figures from the International Union for Conservation of Nature estimated there were only 1,000 to 5,000 left in 2007.
✰ Let’s Kill the Internet and Start Over
The internet is broken – we need to start over … Last year, the level and ferocity of cyber-attacks on the internet reached such a horrendous level that some are now thinking the unthinkable: to let the internet wither on the vine and start up a new more robust one instead. On being asked if we should start again, many – maybe most – immediately argue that the internet is such an integral part of our social and economic fabric that even considering a change in its fundamental structure is inconceivable and rather frivolous. I was one of those. However, recently the evidence suggests that our efforts to secure the internet are becoming less and less effective, and so the idea of a radical alternative suddenly starts to look less laughable.
✰ Loop Geography as Defensive Tactic
The existence of these clusters is so little known that most people don’t realize when they’re nearing the epicenter of Fort Meade’s, even when the GPS on their car dashboard suddenly begins giving incorrect directions, trapping the driver in a series of U-turns, because the government is jamming all nearby signals. It’s an experiential trap street—an infinite loop—a deliberate cartographic error introduced into the mapping of the world so as to sow detour and digression. A kind of digital baffling, or recursive geography as state defensive tactic. I’m also curious when we might see this privatized and domesticated—gated communities, for instance, blocking the GPS navigation of their streets in the misguided belief that this will help protect them from future burglary, effectively delisting themselves from public cartographic records. Perhaps the future of neighborhood security lies in the privatized repurposing of advanced signal-jamming technology
✰ Pa. man’s Facebook ‘surfer’ page lured teens
A married father used phony Facebook profiles to pose as two different Florida surfers to solicit sexually graphic messages and photos from seven teenage girls in western Pennsylvania, and two of the girls eventually agreed to meet for sex with the surfers’ middle-aged “friend” — yet another fake persona he used, the state attorney general said Friday. William R. Ainsworth, 53, of Mars, was charged Thursday with 68 counts, including involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and multiple counts of charges that include attempted unlawful contact with a minor, possession of child pornography and criminal use of a computer.
✰ Mobile Apps Take Data Without Permission
The address book in smartphones — where some of the user’s most personal data is carried — is free for app developers to take at will, often without the phone owner’s knowledge. Companies that make many of the most popular smartphone apps for Apple and Android devices — Twitter, Foursquare and Instagram among them — routinely gather the information in personal address books on the phone and in some cases store it on their own computers. The practice came under scrutiny Wednesday by members of Congress who saw news reports that taking such data was an “industry best practice.” Apple, which approves all apps that appear in its iTunes store, addressed the controversy on Wednesday after lawmakers sent the company a letter asking how approved apps were allowed to take address book data without users’ permission. Apple’s published rules on apps expressly prohibit that practice.
✰ ‘Piggyback Bandit’ puzzles high school sports officials in Northwest
The stocky man showed up in a basketball uniform for a game at Century High School in North Dakota. Players and coaches assumed he was a fan who had come with another team, so nobody objected when he began to pitch in around the bench. “He helped lay out uniforms, got water. He even gave a couple of kids shoulder massages. Creepy stuff like that,” said Jim Haussler, activities director for the Bismarck Public School District. After the game was over, the man joined the winning team on the court and asked if he could get a piggyback ride. One bemused player gave it to him. “He makes himself appear as if he’s limited or handicapped. I think he plays an empathy card, so to speak,” Haussler said. “We didn’t realize what we were dealing with until several days later.”
✰ Paul McCartney says he’ll quit cannabis in Rolling Stone interview
Sir Paul has a self-confessed passion for marijuana. He has also been in trouble for drugs more times than bandmate John Lennon ever was, despite Lennon’s reputation as a heavy user. Sir Paul, 69, was introduced to cannabis by Bob Dylan, who was stunned to learn he was a ‘pot virgin’ – in the mid-Sixties. After that came heroin, cocaine, LSD and a range of other psychedelics which inspired some of the Beatles’ best known songs. Sir Paul’s rap sheet for drugs is almost as long as his list of hits. He was arrested for cannabis possession in Sweden and at his Scottish farm in 1972.
✰ Calif. Woman Wins Suit Over Honda Hybrid’s Mileage Claim
It says that “a Los Angeles Superior Court commissioner has awarded Heather Peters $9,867.” As was discussed last month on All Things Considered, “Peters decided to opt out of a class-action settlement that would have given her as little as $100 and awarded the attorneys $8.5 million. The 46-year-old Los Angeles resident, who is also a lawyer, decided to even the playing field by filing her suit in a small claims court, which doesn’t allow the parties to retain lawyers.” Her case: Peters showed that ads had claimed her Honda Civic hybrid would get 50 miles per gallon. In court, as Eyder previously wrote, “she came armed with hundreds of pictures of her dashboard showing that she got at best 42 miles per gallon and after a software update that number dropped to fewer than 30 miles per gallon.”
✰ Man Killed in Dog Poop Dispute
A neighborly dispute over dog poop turned deadly in the Tacony section of Philadelphia. It happened just after 4 p.m. Tuesday on the 6500 block of Torresdale Avenue. Tyrirk Harris, 27, is accused of killing his 47-year-old neighbor Franklin Manuel Santana, according to Philadelphia Police. Cops say Santana walked a couple doors down Torresdale to confront Harris over his dogs. “A German Shepherd and a Chihuahua — these dogs were running free,” said Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small. “There were dog feces on several of the neighbor’s yards. That’s what led to this particular confrontation.” Police say Harris then pulled out a 9-mm handgun and shot his neighbor several times, striking Santana in his face and chest.
✰ Anonymous Hacked Documents Reveal Law Enforcement Spied on Occupy and Shared Information with Private Intelligence Company, STRATFOR
Computer hackers known as Anonymous leaked information obtained by hacking into private intelligence firm Stratfor’s computer network. The documents – what Anonymous is calling a teaser – suggest that from at least October to November 2011 Stratfor worked with Texas law enforcement to infiltrate the Occupy movement and spy on the Deep Green Resistance movement. The document contains emails in which Stratfor employees discuss Occupy Austin and Deep Green Resistance. Stratfor “Watch Officer” Marc Lanthemann writes about receiving information on Occupy Austin and DGR from a “Texas DPS agent.” The Texas Department of Public Safety is a statewide law enforcement agency that includes an Intelligence and Counterterrorism Division.
✰ Dawn of the Drones: The Realization of the Total Surveillance State
“To be governed is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonoured. That is government; that is it’s justice; that is it’s morality.” – Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, 19th century French philosopher
✰ David Choe Takes Barbara Walters To Paint Graffiti
David Choe has received a world wind of media attention after the story broke that he is holding $200 million worth of Facebook stock after painting their offices in 2005. Barbara Walters recently met up with Choe for an interview, and to hit the streets. Check out the hilarious video.
✰ 300k farmers hope for lawsuit against Monsanto
Not only were the smaller farms concerned over how the manufactured seeds had been carried by wind and creature alike onto their own plantations, but the biggest problem perhaps was that Monsanto was filing lawsuits themselves against farmers. Monsanto went after hundreds of farmers for infringing on their patented seed after audits revealed that their farms had contained their product — as a result of routine pollination by animals and acts of nature. Unable to afford a proper defense, competing small farms have been bought out by the company in droves. As a result, Monsanto saw their profits increase by the hundreds of millions over the last few years as a result. Between 1997 and 2010, Monsanto tackled 144 organic farms with lawsuits and investigated roughly 500 plantations annually during that span with a so-called “seed police.”
✰ Is Agriculture Sucking Fresh Water Dry?
The average American uses enough water each year to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool, and global agriculture consumes a whopping 92% of all fresh water used annually. Those are the conclusions of the most comprehensive analysis to date of global water use, which also finds that one-fifth of humankind’s water consumption flows across international borders as “virtual water”—the water needed to produce a commodity, such as meat or electronics, if the ultimate consumers were to make it themselves rather than outsource its growth or manufacture.
✰ Female Passengers Say They’re Targeted By TSA
When Ellen Terrell and her husband, Charlie, flew out of DFW Airport several months ago, Terrell says she was surprised by a question a female TSA agent asked her. “She says to me, ‘Do you play tennis?’ And I said, ‘Why?’ She said, ‘You just have such a cute figure.’” Terrell says she walked into the body scanner which creates an image that a TSA agent in another room reviews. Terrell says she tried to leave, but the female agent stopped her. “She says, ‘Wait, we didn’t get it,’” recalls Terrell, who claims the TSA agent sent her back a second time and even a third. But that wasn’t good enough. After the third time, Terrell says even the agent seemed frustrated with her co-workers in the other room. “She’s talking into her microphone and she says, ‘Guys, it is not blurry, I’m letting her go. Come on out.’” When TSA agents do a pat down on a traveler, only female agents are allowed to touch female passengers. But the TSA allows male agents to view the images of female passengers.
✰ CDC Warns Untreatable Gonorrhea is On the Way
Gonorrhea, one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the United States, is increasingly showing resistance to one of the last known effective antibiotic treatments, leading researchers from the Centers for Disease Control to “sound the alarm” about potentially untreatable forms of the disease. “During the past three years, the wily gonococcus has become less susceptible to our last line of antimicrobial defense, threatening our ability to cure gonorrhea,” Gail Bolan, director of the CDC’s sexually transmitted disease prevention program, wrote in The New England Journal of Medicine last week.
✰ Darpa’s Magic Plan: ‘Battlefield Illusions’ to Mess With Enemy Minds
Arthur C. Clarke once famously quipped that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” So perhaps it was inevitable that the Pentagon’s extreme technology arm would eventually start acting like magicians — and try to create illusions on the front lines. In its new budget, unveiled on Monday, Darpa introduced a new $4 million investigation into technologies that will “manage the adversary’s sensory perception” in order to “confuse, delay, inhibit, or misdirect [his] actions.” Darpa calls the project “Battlefield Illusion.” Of course. “The current operational art of human-sensory battlefield deception is largely an ad-hoc practice,” the agency sighs as it lays out the project’s goals. But if researchers can better understand “how humans use their brains to process sensory inputs,” the military should be able to develop “auditory and visual” hallucinations that will “provide tactical advantage for our forces.”
✰ ‘Black’ hurricane names brewing swirl of dissent
Do devastating hurricanes need help from affirmative action? A member of Congress apparently thinks so, and is demanding the storms be given names that sound “black.” The congressional newspaper the Hill reported this week that Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, feels that the current names are too “lily white,” and is seeking to have better representation for names reflecting African-Americans and other ethnic groups. “All racial groups should be represented,” Lee said, according to the Hill. She hoped federal weather officials “would try to be inclusive of African-American names.” A sampling of popular names that could be used include Keisha, Jamal and Deshawn, according to the paper.

 

 

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The Worst Of 2011

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

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Conjured by SeMeN SPeRmS on January 4, 2012

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Seventies Sidewalk Surfin’

► Scientists grow sperm in laboratory dish
The development opens up the possibility of infertile men being able to father their own children rather than using donor sperm. Researchers in Germany and Israel were able to grow mouse sperm from a few cells in a laboratory dish. In a world first a team headed by Professor Stefan Schlatt, at Muenster University in Germany, were able to grow sperm by using germ cells. These are the cells in testicles that are responsible for sperm production. Scientists grew the sperm by surrounding the germ cells in a special compound called agar jelly to create an environment similar to that found in testicles.
► How to fake the pledge of allegiance
“I pledge a lesson to queen’s frag and her United States of Hysteria, and to the wee puppet for witch’s hands. One Asian, under dog, invisible, with little tea and just rice for all.”
► Worlds earliest toy car and title deed on show at Mardin Museum
Archaeologist Mesut Alp said that the toy car, which is made out of stone, dates back to the late Stone Age and is thought to be 7,500 years old. The Culture and Tourism Director of Mardin, Davut Beliktay, said that the car is like a copy of cars today, adding that in its shape, the ancient toy also resembles a tractor. Beliktay also revealed that toy dolls and whistles, also made of stone, were found at sites in the area, “we believe that the whistles and dolls are 5,000 to 6,000 years old. The whistles are still in working condition,” he said.
► Death of man struck by train leads to bizarre civil case
Ruling in what it called a “tragically bizarre” case, an appeals court found that the estate of a man killed by a train while crossing the Edgebrook Metra station tracks can be held liable after a part of his body sent airborne by the collision struck and injured a bystander. In 2008, Hiroyuki Joho, 18, was hurrying in pouring rain with an umbrella over his head, trying to catch an inbound Metra train due to arrive in about five minutes when he was struck by a southbound Amtrak train traveling more than 70 mph. A large portion of his body was thrown about 100 feet on to the southbound platform, where it struck Gayane Zokhrabov, then 58, who was waiting to catch the 8:17 a.m. train to work. She was knocked to the ground, her leg and wrist broken and her shoulder injured.
► Gary Webb’s Drug War Reporting Vindicated
Douglas Farah was in El Salvador when the San Jose Mercury News broke a major story in the summer of 1996: The Nicaraguan Contras, a confederation of paramilitary rebels sponsored by the CIA, had been funding some of their operations by exporting cocaine to the United States. One of their best customers was a man nicknamed “Freeway Rick” — Ricky Donnell Ross, then a Southern California dealer who was running an operation the Los Angeles Times dubbed “the Wal-Mart of crack dealing.”
► New Year’s Resolution: Full Disk Encryption on Every Computer You Own
The New Year is upon us, and you might be partaking in the tradition of making a resolution for the coming year. This year, why not make a resolution to protect your data privacy with one of the most powerful tools available? Commit to full disk encryption on each of your computers. Many of us now have private information on our computers: personal records, business data, e-mails, web history, or information we have about our friends, family, or colleagues.  Encryption is a great way to ensure that your data will remain safe when you travel or if your laptop is lost or stolen. Best of all, it’s free. So don’t put off taking security steps that can help protect your private data. Join EFF in resolving to encrypt your disks 2012. Here’s some basic info about full disk encryption. You can read this and much more (including information on password security) in our recent whitepaper on protecting privacy at the border.
► The Perfect Score: Cheating on the SAT
For Sam Eshaghoff, getting a high score on the SAT college admissions exam was more than a point of pride. It was a lucrative business. As Alison Stewart reports, other students paid Eshaghoff up to $2,500 each to take their tests using easily manufactured fake IDs. His scam came crashing down in fall 2011, when he was arrested for criminal impersonation and fraud. Eshaghoff has since accepted a plea deal, but the case still raises major questions about the integrity of the test itself.
► Bad Teachers: Weird Education Crimes of 2011
Gang Bang Teacher: Cops Say She Had Sex With Five Students & Filmed It. Science Teacher Accused of Sex With 17-Year-Old Student. Caught in the Act: Cops Say Teacher Seen Having Sex With Student. Biology Teacher Accused of Sexy Lesson. Bad Teacher: Police Say Substitute Urinated in Front of Class. Cops: Teacher Caught Doing It With ‘Love Doll’ on School Property.
► Russian officials rattled by breach at rocket plant
Russia’s deputy prime minister vowed Thursday to punish “sleepy” security officials after bloggers posted dozens of photos of an apparently unguarded strategic military rocket motor factory near Moscow. Blogger Lana Sator said she and friends met not a soul, much less any security guards, as they roamed around state rocket-maker Energomash’s plant, snapping pictures, on five separate night-time excursions in recent months. She posted almost 100 pictures of decrepit-looking hardware from inside a rusted engine-fuel testing tower, the plant’s control room and even its roof at lana-sator.livejournal.com
► Facebook Responsible for A Third of Divorces in UK?
A recent survey conducted by a UK based divorce website disclosed that 33 per cent behaviour divorce petitions filed cite Facebook as a cause for filling for divorce in 2011. In 2009 this figure was 20 per cent. 5000 people were surveyed by Divorce-Online, the UK divorce website, during 2009 and 2011 covering Facebook as a means to check behaviour of spouse with the opposite sex and spouses using the social networking platform to comment about their exes post the separation.
► Faking It: How the Media Manipulates the World into War
As the drums of war begin to beat once again in Iran, Syria, the South China Sea, and other potential hotspots and flashpoints around the globe, concerned citizens are asking how a world so sick of bloodshed and a population so tired of conflict could be led to this spot once again. To understand this seeming paradox, we must first understand the centuries-long history of how media has been used to whip the nation into wartime frenzy, dehumanize the supposed enemies, and even to manipulate the public into believing in causes for war that, decades later, were admitted to be completely fictitious.
► U.S. double standard surfaces in Strait of Hormuz
What was truly comical was the manner in which numerous U.S. military pundits magnified the actual threat the primitive Iranian navy poses. Contrary to those gross exaggerations, the fact is that the most serious threat in Iran’s maritime arsenal is its three small, aging, Soviet-era Kilo-class submarines. It is believed that at best, only two of the vessels are even still seaworthy, and the shallow, narrow Strait of Hormuz would preclude the effective use of any submarines. As for its surface fleet, Iran does possess a few fast missile patrol boats and an additional ad hoc flotilla of designated suicide attack boats. The majority of these craft are little more than rigid-hulled inflatables mounted with a variety of light machine-guns, packed with explosives and crewed by militia zealots. Opposing this cockleshell Flintstones navy is the mighty U.S. Fifth Fleet. Consisting of more than 20 warships, including aircraft carriers and missile cruisers
► Lego Concentration Camp
“Each box contains a set of bricks, that can be used to build the element of a concentration camp as shown on the box. All elements in the sets as well as those depicted on the boxes have either been taken from the mass-produced sets of LEGO bricks, or have been slightly altered by the artist. The prisoners are played by smiling skeletons from the “Pirate” set, while slightly modified figurines from the “Police Station” set appear as tormenters. In the upper-left corner of each box we find the following statement: “This work by Zbigniew Libera has been sponsored by Lego” – as the project was made possible thanks to the bricks presented by the polish department of the Danish company. Upon its presentation in Denmark, LEGO headquarters has launched legal complaints against the artist, however as a result of a fierce press campaign it has decided to drop the lawsuit. The controversies concerning Libera’s LEGO also appeared in Poland, yet those where of a somewhat different character.
► This is What Happens When You Give Thousands of Stickers to Thousands of Kids
This December, in a surprisingly simple yet ridiculously amazing installation for the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane, artist Yayoi Kusama constructed a large domestic environment, painting every wall, chair, table, piano, and household decoration a brilliant white, effectively serving as a giant white canvas. Over the course of two weeks, the museum’s smallest visitors were given thousands upon thousands of colored dot stickers and were invited to collaborate in the transformation of the space, turning the house into a vibrantly mottled explosion of color. How great is this? Given the opportunity my son could probably cover the entire piano alone in about fifteen minutes. The installation, entitled The Obliteration Room, is part of Kusama’s Look Now, See Forever exhibition that runs through March 12.
► DARPA’s New Spy Satellite Could Provide Real-Time Video From Anywhere on Earth
“It sees you when you’re sleeping and knows when you’re awake” could be the theme song for a new spy satellite being developed by DARPA. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s latest proof-of-concept project is called the Membrane Optical Imager for Real-Time Exploitation (MOIRE), and would provide real-time images and video of any place on Earth at any time — a capability that, so far, only exists in the realm of movies and science fiction. The details of this huge eye-in-the-sky look like something right out of science fiction, as well, and it would be interesting to determine if it could have applications for astronomy as well.
► Skateboard Songs Of The 70′s
“Skateboard” (as it is known in Brazil) is a sport that has emerged in the late 50 invented by surfers as a hobby in times of low tide. With the passage of time was the sportive will gain new fans and winning characteristics. In the mean time (years 50 and 60) there were a few musical recordings exploring the theme of skateboarding, such as “Skatebordin ‘Pt 1 & Pt 2″ dual “Jan & Dean.” But the boom of skateboarding was only to give even in the late ’70s, when the sport received a veritable flood of newcomers, and soon to greatly increase the number of songs exploring this new market of skaters. The recordings ranging from power pop, bubble gum, glam, disco, funk or any musical style that could match the atmosphere that the young skate ever breathed, with a strong influence of surf music, especially the Beach Boys.

 

 

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

Conjured by SeMeN SPeRmS on January 3, 2012

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Turn On Tune In Drop Dead

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conjured by SeMeN SPeRmS on August 11, 2011

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PR0N In The U$A

  • Eric Spiegelman put together this amazing stream of 130 photos of Obama posing with dignitaries during this week’s U.N. meetings (long video after the jump). And Obama’s smile never changes. Of course you may suspect some Photoshopping, but Spiegelman defends himself by directing us to the State Department’s flickr site.
  • New information from Norwegian police has made clear the real scale of a shooting at a youth gathering on Utoya Island in Norway: more than 80 dead and dozens wounded.

    ­A gunman disguised as a police officer started shooting on Utoya Island just outside Oslo, where youth were attending a Labor Party conference. Many ran for their lives, some jumping into the water in an attempt to reach the mainland. Law enforcement officials say the consequences of the attack are catastrophic: at least 80 lives lost, and dozens more wounded. The police did not rule out that there might be more victims.

    Locals who tried to rescue some of the injured claimed they saw dozens of bodies in the water.

    Undetonated explosives were also found on the island, where some 700 teenagers had gathered for a political rally.

  • “ASC [Altered States of Consciousness] are only possible because of a normal waking state of consciousness. I propose that it is the role which [endogenous tryptamines including DMT] play in our waking awareness which allows them to play a role in the ASC as well.” (“Endogenous hallucinogens as ligands of the trace amine receptors: A possible role in sensory perception,” J.V. Wallach, Medical Hypotheses 72 (2009) 91–94. doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2008.07.052. 94). In this case, if endogenous DMT is in part responsible for how we experience waking life (visually), it follows that altered and normal states of consciousness might not be so radically divergent as we might be led to believe. It also stands to reason that if conscious experience has no intrinsic meaning, altered states of consciousness are no more intrinsically meaningful than waking life.
  • “Children need to encounter risks and overcome fears on the playground,” said Ellen Sandseter, a professor of psychology at Queen Maud University in Norway. “I think monkey bars and tall slides are great. As playgrounds become more and more boring, these are some of the few features that still can give children thrilling experiences with heights and high speed.”
  • What Rick Ehlert did aboard a cruise ship in November was stupid, his attorney says.

    Ehlert admits he got drunk aboard the MS Ryndam, broke into a control room and deployed the ship’s anchor early in the morning, Daniel L. Castillo said. “I guess he thought it was a big joke.”

    Castillo added, “He’s got a lot of money. It was a silly thing to do. It’s silly. He’s not denying he did it.”

  • Something happened to Dylan’s Google account, and it’s been disabled. He doesn’t know what happened to the account, and no one at Google with the power to help him is interested in acknowledging the problem or letting him back in to the cloud-based services where all of his correspondence and much of the digital trail from the last few years of his life is stored. Google doesn’t own Twitter, though (yet), and he has taken to Twitter to try to draw attention to his problem and urge anyone who will listen not to trust Google with their digital lives.
  • Forget a five finger discount — a group of women caught on surveillance video robbing a Florida liquor store used their thighs to carry away the booze they lifted.
  • A new filing in the King Lincoln Bronzeville v. Blackwell case includes a copy of the Ohio Secretary of State election production system configuration that was in use in Ohio’s 2004 presidential election when there was a sudden and unexpected shift in votes for George W. Bush.

    The filing also includes the revealing deposition of the late Michael Connell. Connell served as the IT guru for the Bush family and Karl Rove. Connell ran the private IT firm GovTech that created the controversial system that transferred Ohio’s vote count late on election night 2004 to a partisan Republican server site in Chattanooga, Tennessee owned by SmarTech. That is when the vote shift happened, not predicted by the exit polls, that led to Bush’s unexpected victory. Connell died a month and a half after giving this deposition in a suspicious small plane crash.

  • To the madcap music of “Yakety Sax,” the video shows correction officers chasing a jumpsuit-clad inmate through Albany County jail corridors and stairways. The action is speeded up, lending the attempted escape the feel of a Keystone Kops comedy.

    Sheriff’s officials were not amused.

  • Scientists have created more than 150 human-animal hybrid embryos in British laboratories.

    The hybrids have been produced secretively over the past three years by researchers looking into possible cures for a wide range of diseases.

    The revelation comes just a day after a committee of scientists warned of a nightmare ‘Planet of the Apes’ scenario in which work on human-animal creations goes too far.

  • Prior to this research, most scientists have believed that the sudden extinction of nearly half of all life forms on the planet was due solely to the emissions from volcanic eruptions that were occurring in what was to become the Atlantic Ocean. Ruhl et al contend that instead, what happened, was that the small amount of atmospheric heating that occurred due to the exhaust from the volcanoes, caused the oceans to warm as well, leading to the melting of ice crystals at the bottom of the sea that were holding on to methane created by the millions of years of decomposing sea life. When the ice crystals melted, methane was released, which in turn caused the planet to warm even more, which led to more methane release in a chain reaction, that Ruhl says, was the real reason for the mass extinction that led to the next phase in world history, the rise of dinosaurs.
  • Ronald Tackman, a convicted New York robber and notorious prison-breaker famously told police he held up stores like Dunkin’ Donuts just blocks from home because he was “lazy,” The New York Post reported. But the Upper East Side stick-up artist was no slouch when it came to his elaborate escapes.

    Tackman last gave law enforcement the slip in 2009, when he was transported to court from Riker’s Island wearing a three-piece suit but no metal bracelets. The uncuffed criminal strolled out after noticing the door to the 12th floor holding cell was open. He found his way to the lobby and was shown the door by an officer who mistook him for a lawyer, The Post notes.
    Thanks Nico Dios

  • Just how did the term “Duck and Cover” become universal shorthand for the paranoid excesses of the Cold War and for every geo-political panic attack since? How did the image of a pith-helmet-wearing cartoon turtle named Bert become as lasting a symbol of this dark era as the yellow and black fallout shelter signs that still adorn many buildings around the United States?
  • Members of a tagging crew allegedly responsible for more than 1,600 pieces of graffiti vandalism were arrested Wednesday by authorities serving search warrants at houses in cities across southwest Los Angeles County.

    Eight people, including one juvenile, were charged with causing more than $100,000 in vandalism to schools and Metro bus and rail systems, according to a report from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. All are alleged members of the ASC — Art Sex Crime — tagging crew.
    Thanks Brendan Donnelly

  • Scientists have so far identified about 20 hard-wired, evolved “adaptations” as the building blocks of religion. Like attachment, they are mechanisms that underlie human interactions: Brain-imaging studies at the National Institutes of Health showed that when test subjects were read statements about religion and asked to agree or disagree, the same brain networks that process human social behavior — our ability to negotiate relationships with others — were engaged.

    Among the psychological adaptations related to religion are our need for reciprocity, our tendency to attribute unknown events to human agency, our capacity for romantic love, our fierce “out-group” hatreds and just as fierce loyalties to the in groups of kin and allies. Religion hijacks these traits. The rivalry between Sunni and Shiite Muslims, for example, or the doctrinal battles between Protestant and Catholic reflect our “groupish” tendencies.

  • Police said they spotted Dunn and Jefferson sitting at the playground, the young children on the ground next to them. As officers approached them, police said they spotted an empty 40-ounce bottle of Steel Reserve beer on the ground beside the boy. They said a baby bottle next to the baby contained a dark liquid that smelled strongly of an alcohol beverage. Dunn was identified as the children’s mother.

    Police said witnesses told them that Jefferson had handed the bottle of beer to the boy and ordered him to chug it. When he had finished it police said Jefferson called the boy an alcoholic.

    Both children were taken to Bridgeport Hospital where police said both the boy and girl tested positive for alcohol and the 10-month-old also had cocaine in her system. While being examined, police said the 4-year-old told a social worker he likes, “Natural Ice beer, Budweiser beer, but didn’t like the taste of Dog-Bite beer.”

  • Norway’s Ministry of Finance announced that the Norway Oil Fund divested from Africa-Israel Investments and Danya Cebus Ltd. on Monday.

    The reason given is the companies’ construction in the West Bank.

    The Norwegian Finance Ministry said, “The ethics council stresses that construction of settlements in the occupied territories violates the decision of the Geneva convention regarding defense of civilians during war time. Several decisions of the UN Security Council and the International Court of Justice have reached the conclusion that construction of Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories is prohibited.”

  • What if you were chatting with someone on OKCupid and they’re all like “I love kids too!” and then they showed up on your first face-to-face date wearing one of these shirts? Would you smooch them anyway? I’d at least think about it… Hey, it’s hard out there for a single lady!
    Thanks Carlen Altman.
  • Civil libertarians are raising the alarm over the state’s plans to create a Big Brother database that could map drivers’ whereabouts with police cruiser-mounted scanners that capture thousands of license plates per hour — storing that information indefinitely where local cops, staties, feds and prosecutors could access it as they choose.

    “What kind of a society are we creating here?” asked civil rights lawyer Harvey Silverglate, who along with the ACLU fears police abuse. “There comes a point where the surveillance is so pervasive and total that it’s a misnomer to call a society free any longer.”

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

Conjured by SeMeN SPeRmS on July 23, 2011

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PHEW..!

  • If you don’t want to do the time, stay offline. Or at the very least, don’t “friend” your probation officer.

    Convicted of possessing methamphetamine and Ecstasy, Scott W. Roby learned that the hard way. The Louisville man had his probation revoked this month — and was sentenced to two years in prison — in part for violating conditions that required him to stay alcohol-free and out of bars and liquor stores.

    Roby had invited his probation officer to be his friend on Facebook, then Roby posted pictures of himself drinking — including one in which he was holding a beer while posed next to “Buddy Bat,” the mascot for the Louisville Bats, said prosecutor Dinah Koehler.

    In another Facebook post, according to court records, Roby asked: “Anyone wanna go get smashed tonight one last time before the end of the Earth?”

  • The change in Oxycontin formulation had a second, deadlier effect. Oxycodone is a lipid (fat)-soluble molecule, so the drug crosses nasal membranes quickly—almost as quickly as when the drug is injected. Most users of oxycodone were content to snort the drug, as the benefit of injecting was not worth dissolving the crushed tablets and using needles. But heroin burns when it is ‘insufflated’ or snorted, and the molecule crossed lipid membranes more slowly— providing reasons to inject the drug. Many patients tell me that they never considered using needles when Oxycontin was around, but that the only way to get similar effects from heroin was by injecting the drug. In other words, the change in formulation of Oxycontin resulted in an increase in intravenous drug abuse.
  • According to New Mexico state police, the mother of Velasquez’s nine-year-old son noticed unusual track marks on the boy’s neck and took him to the hospital. There, the youngster told investigators about how his dad would inject him with heroin sometimes. The police then arrested Velasquez, who’s now facing charges of child abuse and contributing to a delinquency of a minor.
  • The Ecuadorian government imposed a 72-hour nationwide ban on sales and consumption of alcohol after 21 people died from drinking homemade aguardiente made with methanol.

    The announcement was made Sunday during a press conference at which a number officials took part including Health Minister David Chiriboga and Security Minister Homero Arellano, and at which a national health emergency was declared.

    A source at Arellano’s office told Efe that the ban on booze is in force for all types of liquors, but only homemade alcohol will be subject to summary confiscation.

    Authorities had already declared the health emergency and alcohol ban in Los Rios province, where the deaths took place and where some 9,000 liters (2,400 gallons) of homemade liquor were seized.

  • UFOs and aliens beings have often been portrayed in mass media, whether it be movies or television shows. Most of these appearances were however heavily edited and calculated by the American government in order to communicate a specific attitude towards this mysterious phenomenon. What is the purpose of these efforts? This article looks at the fascinating history of government involvement in UFO-related movies and television shows.
  • Yes, she carved her initials in her desk on the floor of the state House, state Rep. Julia Hurley, R-Lenoir City, confirmed today.

    “It was like 1 in the morning on the last day of the session,” Hurley said of that late-night session in May. “I wasn’t thinking straight.”

    Hurley was responding to a recent report on a Nashville television station about the incident. The station reported several other desks also have marks on them, ranging from initials to a dollar sign.

  • MODERN civilisation may not be quite as safe as we thought. Britain’s security services have been privately warning their staff that western societies are just 48 hours from anarchy.

    MI5’s maxim is that society is “four meals away from anarchy”. In other words, the security agency believes that Britain could be quickly reduced to large-scale disorder, including looting and rioting in the event of a catastrophe that stops the supply of food.

  • Never Forget 9/11
    Religion was the cause.
  • Pollution in the Puget Sound is such a problem that a group trying to protect the ecosystem spent $27,000 in state money to make a catchy video, complete with dance steps, telling people how they can do something about it.

    Pick up dog poop.

  • He changed the menu at Polk County’s jail, directing cooks to dish up less-expensive food. He banned basketball, ordering inmates to uproot the jail’s hoops. And he changed the jail’s TV options to favor educational viewing rather than sports and violent programming.

    Now Polk Sheriff Grady Judd is taking on skivvies. His latest cost-saving measure: stop providing free underwear to male inmates.

    “There’s no state law; there’s no federal law that says we have to provide underwear in the county jail,” Judd said.

    The jail will sell white boxers for $4.48 a pair and white briefs for $2.54 a pair — to inmates who choose to wear underwear.

    Judd presented the idea to county commissioners Thursday, saying the plan would save $45,000 a year.

    “Why shouldn’t they pay like the rest of us pay?” the sheriff said. “We pay to maintain the county jail; to keep them there. Certainly they can pay their way as much as they can afford.”

    “This is the county jail; it’s not a welfare program,” he said.

  • A NASA video from a time of great optimism about space exploration. The Apollo missions were completed and the Space Shuttle program was underway. How soon before cheap and frequent flights to space would allow the construction of O’Neal colonies and mining camps on the Moon? This visionary approach calls for tiered greenhouses in space and unlimited solar power beamed back to Earth… all before the year 2000!
  • LulzSec, the group of hackers that said three weeks ago it was disbanding, claimed credit Monday for defacing Rupert Murdoch’s Sun newspaper website, while an allied group, Anonymous, claimed credit for a denial-of-service attack that brought down the website of The Times, another Murdoch paper. The Sunday Times and News International sites also appeared to be down Monday.

    “Tango down,” Anonymous said on its Twitter page about The Times. Meanwhile, late Monday, those who went to the Sun’s website were redirected to a website that looked like The Sun with a fake story that said Murdoch’s body had been found in his garden. Then they were taken to LulzSec’s Twitter page, where the group proclaimed:

    “TheSun.co.uk now redirects to our twitter feed. Hello, everyone that wanted to visit The Sun!,” then followed with this: “”We have joy, we have fun, we have messed up Murdoch’s Sun.”

  • And Los Angeles does not appear to be alone in grappling with a recent upsurge in graffiti, which is turning up in some unlikely places. A bumper crop of scrawls is blossoming in many modest-size communities across the country — in places like Florence, Ala.; Bernalillo County, N.M.; Taylors, S.C.; and in larger cities like Nashville and Portland, Ore. — even as major cities like Chicago, Denver, New York and Seattle say vigilant antigraffiti campaigns have spared them thus far.

    “It’s popped up all of a sudden in the last six months,” said Tim Sandrell, the owner of Safari Adventures in Hair in Florence. “I’ve been downtown for 10 years, and I’m really disappointed that we are seeing this kind of activity. We have a beautiful city and an historic city, and it’s really upsetting to me seeing this going on.”

  • On physical examination, the breasts were symmetrical having no nodes or retractions. In the plantar region of the patient’s left foot, there was a well-formed nipple was surrounded by areola and hair on the surface, measuring 4.0 cm in diameter, with no palpable nodes (Figs. 1 and 2). The remaining physical examination was normal, including the mammary line. Results of the following laboratory tests were normal: complete blood count, fasting serum glucose level, urine exam, electrolytes, serum urea and creatinine. No alterations were found during ultrasound of the lesion and urinary tract.
  • Ever get the heebie-jeebies at a wax museum? Feel uneasy with an anthropomorphic robot? What about playing a video game or watching an animated movie, where the human characters are pretty realistic but just not quite right and maybe a bit creepy? If yes, then you’ve probably been a visitor to what’s called the “uncanny valley.”

    The phenomenon has been described anecdotally for years, but how and why this happens is still a subject of debate in robotics, computer graphics and neuroscience. Now an international team of researchers, led by Ayse Pinar Saygin of the University of California, San Diego, has taken a peek inside the brains of people viewing videos of an uncanny android (compared to videos of a human and a robot-looking robot).

  • PRIMORDIAL instincts that drive animals to seek out salt may be governed by the same mechanism that drives drug addicts to hunt down their fix.

    Researchers deprived mice and rats of salt, then offered them salty water to drink. After killing the animals they examined gene activity in the hypothalamus, the brain’s “reward” centre. They found that gratification genes had been activated – the same genes that are active in cocaine and heroin addicts when their craving has been satisfied.

  • The cases are jarring and similar to those involving PCP in the 1970s. Some of the recent incidents include a man in Indiana who climbed a roadside flagpole and jumped into traffic, a man in Pennsylvania who broke into a monastery and stabbed a priest, and a woman in West Virginia who scratched herself “to pieces” over several days because she thought there was something under her skin.
  • In the ’60s, a lot of people were experimenting with hallucinogenic drugs including marijuana, LSD and everything in between. You had acid rock posters in San Francisco associated with the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane and groups like that.

    But my theory is that there were probably a lot of artists that didn’t necessarily want to do psychedelic-style art that were still influenced by the experience and created works that don’t necessarily look psychedelic in the stereotypical way, but may be conceptually psychedelic or have a kind of philosophical way of looking at the world.
    story.serra.maze.gi.jpg

    If you look at a lot of different styles in art of the past 50 years, you can see the influence of psychedelics, ranging from sculpture that looks very minimal like Richard Serra’s giant, spiral, mazelike structures, to something like Robert Smithson’s “Spiral Jetty,” there’s an interest in having art be experiential…

  • Jake and Dinos Chapman’s new two-part show at London’s White Cube galleries are presided over by a troupe of ghoulish Nazis with smiley-face armbands and a horde of schoolgirls with animal faces. Just two distinctive touches in an exhibition that makes a virtue of bad taste

    Warning: contains images that some people may find offensive

  • Authorities say a Colorado woman who allegedly groped a female Transportation Security Administration agent at Phoenix’s international airport is facing a felony count of sexual abuse.

    Phoenix police say 61-year-old Yukari Mihamae is accused of grabbing the left breast of the unidentified TSA agent Thursday afternoon at an airport checkpoint.

    TSA staff say Mihamae refused to be go through passenger screening and became argumentative before she squeezed and twisted the agent’s breast with both hands.

  • Your laptop, with all its sensitive data and/or ill-gotten gains, is about to be confiscated by the authorities, who are banging on the door. There’s no time to reformat it—you’ve got to destroy it, fast.

    This sticker will help you do just that, provided you’ve a drill by your side. (And which self-respecting cyber criminal wouldn’t?)

    Meant to be placed directly above your laptop’s hard disk, the sticker sports a crosshair with which you can accurately destroy any digital evidence the cops are after.

    Randy Sarafan, who created the stickers, advises to “research the build of your laptop and locate the position of your hard drive”.

  • While Congress and the President fight it out over the debt ceiling and all of America quietly shudders over whether our economy will completely default on itself, at least one industry still hums along without a care in the world. Amidst a fiscal crisis of apparently apocalyptic proportions, where the GOP demands dollar for dollar spending cuts from the budget in order to raise our debt limit, the Pentagon asked Congress for $264 million to cover part of a $771 million overrun on the F-35 program. The Hill reports Republican Senator John McCain let the news slip via Twitter, saying “Congress notified that first F-35 jets have cost overruns of $771M. Outrageous! Pentagon asking for $264M down payment now. Disgraceful.”
  • On Thursday, Defense Department extreme technology arm Darpa unveiled its Social Media in Strategic Communication (SMISC) program. It’s an attempt to get better at both detecting and conducting propaganda campaigns on social media. SMISC has two goals. First, the program needs to help the military better understand what’s going on in social media in real time — particularly in areas where troops are deployed. Second, Darpa wants SMISC to help the military play the social media propaganda game itself.

    This is more than just checking the trending topics on Twitter. The Defense Department wants to deeply grok social media dynamics. So SMISC algorithms will be aimed at discovering and tracking the “formation, development and spread of ideas and concepts (memes)” on social media, according to Darpa’s announcement.

  • Cut into the flesh with nails and makeshift blades, rubbed into the wounds with a mixture of melted black rubber seals, ground red brick, trash bins, batteries, and saliva — these tattoos are forbidden in the South African prison system. Despite the severe penalties and permanent stigma, tattooing persists. For her photo study Life After, Cape Town photographer Araminta de Clermont sought out former inmates of “Numbers” prison gangs who were struggling for acceptance and survival since being released after years, sometimes decades of incarceration and shot their portraits in their current environment. Faces. Signs. A sailor’s grave. A note to a deceased mother, inked across the forehead. These full body and facial tattoos serve as narratives of crime history and life struggle. See the compelling images in our gallery.
  • A bill that seeks to clamp down on online child pornography is raising some alarms in the tech and privacy communities because of a provision that would require Internet service providers to store users’ IP addresses for 18 months.

    The legislation, spearheaded by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), would require Internet providers and possibly other entities to retain that information to aid law enforcement investigations of child exploitation.

    The bill already has some notable support, namely from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

    However, it also faces tough criticism from tech companies and public interest groups, which believe the section on data retention is too broad, threatens Web users’ privacy and may not accomplish its stated goal of cracking down on child pornography.

  • Timothy McVeigh? The V-Tech Shooter? The Columbine Killers? John Hinkley Junior? Mark David Chapman? Sirhan Sirhan? Harvey Lee Oswald? These people have significantly impacted our lives, all MK Ultra victims.
  • Officials are pushing for a settlement with mortgage companies that, reports Shahien Nasiripour of The Huffington Post, “would broadly absolve the firms of wrongdoing in exchange for penalties reaching $30 billion and assurances that the firms will adhere to better practices.”

    Why the rush to settle? As far as I can tell, there are two principal arguments being made for letting the banks off easy. The first is the claim that resolving the mortgage mess quickly is the key to getting the housing market back on its feet. The second, less explicitly stated, is the claim that getting tough with the banks would undermine broader prospects for recovery.

    Neither of these arguments makes much sense.

  • Sean Hoare, the former News of the World showbiz reporter who was the first named journalist to allege Andy Coulson was aware of phone hacking by his staff, has been found dead, the Guardian has learned.

    Hoare, who worked on the Sun and the News of the World with Coulson before being dismissed for drink and drugs problems, is said to have been found dead at his Watford home.

    Hertfordshire police would not confirm his identity, but the force said in a statement: “At 10.40am today [Monday 18 July] police were called to Langley Road, Watford, following the concerns for the welfare of a man who lives at an address on the street. Upon police and ambulance arrival at a property, the body of a man was found. The man was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after.

    “The death is currently being treated as unexplained, but not thought to be suspicious. Police investigations into this incident are ongoing.”

  • Two men face animal cruelty charges after a call reporting crying coming from a car led officers to discover several animals inside.

    Miami police said officers were dispatched to Northwest 37th Avenue and Northwest Seventh Street on Monday after receiving a report that someone had heard what they thought was a baby crying in a car parked there.

    The officers found no child in the car, but they did find several animals, including goats, roosters, pigeons, guinea pigs and ducks.

    Police said one of the goats died later that day, but they did not elaborate on the animal’s cause of death.

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co. is rushing to install a cover over a building at its crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant to shield it from wind and rain as Typhoon Ma-on approaches Japan’s coast from the south.
  • BP reported yet another pipeline leak at its Alaskan oilfields, frustrating the oil giant’s attempts to rebuild its reputation after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

    BP said on Monday that a pipeline at its 30,000 barrel per day Lisburne field, which is currently closed for maintenance, ruptured during testing and spilled a mixture of methanol and oily water onto the tundra.

    The London-based company has a long history of oil spills at its Alaskan pipelines – accidents which have hurt its public image in the U.S., where around 40 percent of its assets are based.

  • AUTHORITIES are investigating the theft of 64 missile warheads from a train transporting military equipment to Bulgaria.

    Interior ministry spokesman Marius Militaru said Sunday the components are not dangerous on their own – only when integrated into missile systems. Prosecutors said on nday they are investigating the theft.

    Officials did not respond to inquiries regarding if the warheads contained explosives.

    Railway workers on Saturday noticed the seals on a carriage door were broken, and it was not properly closed when the train reached Giurgiu, a Danube port that borders Bulgaria.

  • The main stage at the Ottawa Bluefest came crashing down Sunday right in the middle of a Cheap Trick set, injuring 4 people including one in serious condition.

    Winds apparently picked up around 8 p.m. EDT, causing the stage to seemingly fold in on itself and sending the band members quickly off their feet. All members of the band reportedly emerged unharmed.

  • a Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy went to a townhouse at 738 SW 107th Ave. to serve an eviction notice about 11 a.m.

    The real estate agent for the property confirmed the man inside the home was Allen Gauntlett, 52, who had lost the home to foreclosure after owing $10,000 in homeowners’ dues and fees.

    Police officers said Gauntlett would not come out of the home, and the deputy called for backup.

    “As we were sending a unit to that location, the BSO deputy then called again and said that the subject was setting the house on fire,” said Sgt. John Gazzano, of the Pembroke Pines Police Department.

    “They said he put gasoline in his whole house and set it on fire, and the windows are all burned out, and the door has burnout around it,” said neighbor Kara Burbano.

    Police said Gauntlett walked out of the burning house and got into a fight with officers, so the officers shot him.

  • Holding the butcher knife, Bangs allegedly ordered the teen to take off his clothes and lie down. Bangs allegedly burned a rubber glove over the teen, letting it drip onto him and burning his abdomen, according to police.

    Bangs accused the teen of being “a snitch,” according to the police report.

    After dripping the burning rubber on the teen, Ismael then allegedly held a lighter close to the teen’s lips and told him not to blow it out or he would cut him. He also stuck paper up the teen’s nostrils and lit it, again telling him not to blow it out. The teen suffered burns on his lips, according to the report.

    Ismael then allegedly applied a large amount of glue to the teen’s lips, gluing them together. He also used a lighter to heat up the blade of a knife and applied it to the victim’s shoulder “numerous times,” causing several burn injuries.

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Conjured by SeMeN SPeRmS on July 19, 2011

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