gonorrhea | SeMeN SPeRmS SuPeR SiTe

‘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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A Monkey In Silk Is A Monkey No Less

  • A talented chimpanzee called Panzee can recognise distorted and incomplete words spoken by a computer, scientists have discovered.
  • In a more innocent age, Ronald McDonald was the most benign of media icons: a cheerful clown whose floppy red wig and striped clothes presented an image of family fun.

    But in recent years, another view of the spokes-clown has emerged: To detractors, he’s a heartless corporate shill bent on promoting morbid obesity to young children at the expense of good health.

  • Thirty years ago this month, Nintendo released Donkey Kong to arcades across the United States. The game’s American version went on to sell tens of thousands of units, saving the then-struggling US branch of the company and paving the way for Nintendo’s future success on Western shores.

    Without Donkey Kong, we would have no Mario, and without Mario, it’s hard to imagine what Nintendo would look like today. That makes Donkey Kong, above all others, the most pivotally important video game Nintendo has ever released.

    So it’s time to celebrate–which I did by rounding up a bunch of weird, odd, and interesting stuff about this beloved game.

  • Many of the nation’s leading banks and card issuers, including Wells Fargo, Citi, USAA, Sovereign Bank and Discover, are selling information about consumers’ shopping habits — how much they spend, where they shop and what they buy — to retailers.

    Retailers are using the data to offer targeted discounts via text, email and online bank statements. Each time a consumer cashes in on one of those deals, the retailer pays the bank a nice commission.

  • According to the reports, the court heard Zhan picked his victim at random in an unprovoked attack because he believed Davis was a zombie who was going to attack him.

    The court also heard that Zhan, who is of Chinese origin but lives with his parents in Canada, travelled to Glasgow after hearing voices saying he should go there.

    He reportedly told a psychiatrist that he started seeing blood over the faces of people and was convinced they were zombies.

  • For millions of Jews and Christians, it’s a tenet of their faith that God is the author of the core text of the Hebrew Bible – the Torah, also known as the Pentateuch or the Five Books of Moses. But since the advent of modern biblical scholarship, academic researchers have believed the text was written by a number of different authors whose work could be identified by seemingly different ideological agendas and linguistic styles and the different names they used for God.
  • The human navel should be designated as a bacterial nature reserve, it seems. The first round of DNA results from the Belly Button Biodiversity project are in, and the 95 samples that have so far been analysed have turned up a whopping total of more than 1400 bacterial strains. In 662 cases, the microbes could not even be classified to family, “which strongly suggests that they are new to science”, says team leader Jiri Hulcr of North Carolina State University in Raleigh.
  • Cornish company Concept Shed’s novelty wedding vending machine dispenses marriage ceremonies for £1

    A Cornish company has received interest from around the world for its novelty wedding vending machine.

    Autowed is an 8ft (2.4m) tall pink machine compared by the makers to “a parking meter mixed up with a Cadillac”.

    But it has caught the imagination of people around the world after a video was posted on the internet.

    Requests for machines have come from as away as Russia and Brazil, Falmouth-based inventor Concept Shed said.

    For £1 it plays a specially composed intro version of the Wedding March and asks customers to select their type of union. Bride and groom have the option of pressing one on a keyboard for “I do” and two for “Escape”.

    Purchasers get a wedding receipt and two plastic rings in an egg-shaped plastic capsule.

  • A massive tree house in Crossville, Tennessee, which many have claimed to be the world’s largest, may soon receive an official title from Guinness Book of World Records. It is estimated to have used over a quarter million nails to complete thus far.
  • Rodrick Dantzler, the suspect in the slaying of seven people in Grand Rapids Thursday afternoon, allegedly continued his violent rampage by shooting the driver of a pickup truck in the nose during a traffic jam near Godfrey and Grandville.

    But the bullet ricocheted off the man’s nose.

    Robert Poore’s cousin, Harold Taylor, was riding in the car at the time of the incident. Taylor told 24 Hour News 8 his cousin likely survived the bullet because of a titanium plate in his nose.

  • Where do such moons come from?

    Rayman suggests one source: “When another large body collides with an asteroid, the resulting debris is sprayed into orbit around the asteroid and can gradually collapse to form a moon.”

    Another possibility is “gravitational pinball”: A moon formed elsewhere in the asteroid belt might, through complicated gravitational interactions with various bodies, end up captured by the gravity of one of them.

  • NASA is tracking a piece of Soviet space debris that could collide with the International Space Station, the US space agency said after the shuttle Atlantis docked on its final mission.

    The space junk is part of Cosmos 375, a satellite launched in 1970 by the former Soviet Union and which collided with another satellite and broke apart, but details about the size and exact trajectory of the object were unknown, NASA said.

    NASA estimates that the debris could collide with the station at around 12 noon (1600 GMT) on Tuesday, the same day two US astronauts are scheduled to step out on a spacewalk.

  • Booz Allen Hamilton is a massive American consulting firm that does a substantial amount of work for the Pentagon. This means they’ve got a lot of military business on their servers—which Anonymous hacked. Today they’ve leaked it.

    The leak, dubbed ‘Military Meltdown Monday,’ includes 90,000 logins of military personnel—including personnel from US CENTCOM, SOCOM, the Marine Corps, various Air Force facilities, Homeland Security, State Department staff, and what looks like private sector contractors. Their correspondences could include exchanges with Booz Allen’s highly brassy staff of retired defense folk: current execs include three former Directors of National Intelligence and one former head of the CIA. Anon was also kind enough to gut 4 GB of source code from Booz Allen’s servers. Anon cites the firm’s alleged complicity in the SWIFT financial monitoring program as at least partial motive for the attack.

  • The holy man’s estranged wife, Amora, a respected psychologist, got wind of the tawdry tricks while they were going through a bitter custody battle, she said.

    She managed to have Rabinowich secretly filmed with a call girl and entered the photographic evidence into the record of the bitter custody case.

    “Since when are prostitutes kosher?” Amora Rabinowich told The Post. “He was coming to court claiming he was this pious individual, but he was using the phone on the Sabbath to meet prostitutes.

    “And what kind of rabbi is he? He didn’t even take these prostitutes to the mikvah [Jewish ritual cleansing bath] first.

  • A legal battle over the fate of 10 double eagle gold coins from the Franklin Roosevelt Administration in the 1930s started with the government saying the coins, now worth an estimated $75 million, were wrongly taken from a U.S. mint.

    Authorities say the coins were improperly removed more than 70 years ago from the U.S. Mint at Philadelphia, only blocks from the courthouse where U.S. District Court Judge Legrome D. Davis was presiding over the case.

    “You are going to hear a remarkable and intriguing story about gold coins that were stolen from the U.S. Mint in 1933,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacqueline Romero told the jury in her opening statement.

    None of the 445,500 coins, then worth $20 each, ever legally went into circulation, she said. President Franklin Roosevelt issued an executive order shortly after taking office in March 1933 that prohibited the payout of gold from banks.

    Yet 10 coins — called double eagles because the $10 coin was called an eagle — somehow disappeared.

  • MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell blasted the “once noble” Newsweek magazine on Monday night for allowing Sarah Palin to say, “I think I can win” in an interview without contest.

    O’Donnell noted that nearly every 2012 presidential poll has shown Palin has little chance, adding that she is the most unpopular politician in Alaska.

    “Newsweek does everything to make the madness of Sarah Palin seem reasonable,” he said.

  • As news of the marriage spread, the state forest department officials stepped into action. Since monkeys are protected in India as government property, no one can pet them, train them or – as in this case – marry them, even to a fellow monkey.

    “It’s illegal to marry a monkey. Anyone found doing that or attending the marriage ceremony will be arrested,” said forest range officer Bhavar Singh Kaviya.

  • The authors suggest that when interventions eliminate people’s freedom to value diversity on their own terms, they may actually be creating hostility toward the targets of prejudice.

    According to Dr. Legault, “Controlling prejudice reduction practices are tempting because they are quick and easy to implement. They tell people how they should think and behave and stress the negative consequences of failing to think and behave in desirable ways.” Legault continues, “But people need to feel that they are freely choosing to be nonprejudiced, rather than having it forced upon them.”

    Legault stresses the need to focus less on the requirement to reduce prejudices and start focusing more on the reasons why diversity and equality are important and beneficial to both majority and minority group members.

  • For several years, public health officials have been concerned that gonorrhea, one of the most prevalent STDs in the world, might become resistant to the last widely available antibiotics used to treat it, a class of drugs called cephalosporins.

    Now, it has.

    In the space of one week, infectious disease specialists have received a one-two punch of bad news that confirms those fears, including the discovery of a new, cephalosporin-resistant strain of the bacteria.

    The percentage of U.S. gonorrhea cases that are resistant to the two cephalosporins used to treat it, cefixime, taken orally, and ceftriaxone, injected, is on the rise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

  • A stun gun made it onto a JetBlue flight in Boston, and wasn’t discovered until a cleaning crew in Newark, NJ raised the alarm while cleaning up the plane.

    The plane was empty when the palm-sized device was found, and nobody was injured, but the question remains of how it made it through security and onto the plane in the first place.

  • “Looks like Megan is just as talented with Photoshop as she is in entertainment,” said plastic surgeon and blogger Dr. Nicholas Vendemia of New York. “Those lines on her forehead are totally fake. … Muscles in the forehead and brow simply don’t create curved wrinkles like that. The wrinkles Megan is showing us don’t coincide with brow anatomy, nor do they match the facial expression she is making.”
  • Rap star Dizzee Rascal was hauled off a plane at Heathrow yesterday for allegedly hurling abuse at a stewardess – and now he could face a life ban from British Airways.

    The singer, whose single Bonkers was a No 1 hit, was escorted off the flight at Terminal 3 by police called in to attend the disturbance.

    The East London-born singer is said to have hurled foul-mouthed insults at the stewardess as he sat in First Class.

  • Contrails are known to have several effects on climate. On the one hand, they act as a blanket, trapping heat that would otherwise escape into space. On the other, during the day they reflect incoming sunlight, cooling the Earth below more than it is warmed by the other effect. But overall, the consensus among climatologists is that they warm the planet.

    In the 1940s – unlike today – there was hardly any civilian air traffic, so historical records offer an opportunity to test the daytime effects. “Pilots cared about contrails a lot,” says Rob MacKenzie, formerly of Lancaster University, and now at the University of Birmingham, UK. “Aircraft were tracked using contrails and shot down. So pilots would report them.”

  • The crackdown in Belarus grew more indiscriminate this week. Among the 400 arrested: a one-armed man charged with taking part in the clapping protests and mute person accused of shouting antigovernment slogans.
  • Russian blogosphere is buzzing about a video of a crazy car crash in central Moscow that went viral on the web. The incident took place last week in central Moscow when a speeding Nissan GT-R, worth some $160 thousand, rammed into cars parked along the street. The impact was powerful enough to literally throw a jeep into the air. There are no reports of injuries – or the identity of the driver. It’s not clear whether the driver was street-racing with another car. Some bloggers have already claimed they’ve seen the car the evening before driving at a speed of around 200 km/h.

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Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on July 12, 2011

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Poppy Cock

    • Poppy production in Afghanistan plummeted by 48 per cent this year compared to 2009, according to the United Nations – but mostly because a blight destroyed thousands of hectares of the crop.
    • Initially, the researchers infected female commercial sex workers with gonorrhea or syphilis, and then allowed them to have unprotected sex with soldiers or prison inmates. “When few of these men became infected, the research approach changed to direct inoculation of soldiers, prisoners and mental hospital patients,” background documents on the study show. Clinton criticised the US study saying the injection of Guatemalan citizens was “clearly unethical” [EPA] A total of some 1,500 people took part in the study, which lay hidden for decades. “The studies went on until 1948 and the records suggest that, despite intentions, not everyone was probably cured,” Reverby said in a statement.
    • First Bed Bugs, now this!
      Thanks Billoney.
    • When Banksy visited New Orleans in 2008, the renowned graffiti artist wasn’t just leaving behind his particular brand of social and political commentary on Hurricane Katrina and its effects on New Orleans culture – he was coming to do battle with the Gray Ghost. Two years later, only a single Banksy work has escaped the gray paint roller, and only because it’s behind plexiglass.
    • “She said: You say you loved her. I’m going to burn your penis. I’m going to tell your family what you have done,” Ms Powell said. She said the words were “spoken from Narayan’s heart” because of a “genuine, if wildly misguided” belief she would keep her husband. “He rolled away from her, turning his back on her. He said: `No you won’t, you fat, dumb bitch’.”
      Thanks Patrick Nybakken.

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    Mayday! Mayday! SNAFU!

    • Regarding Mario’s origins, it’s common knowledge among game fans that legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto created him for 1981′s Donkey Kong arcade game. But few know that Nintendo borrowed Mario’s name and Italian heritage from a real man. That man’s name is Mario Segale, and he’s not a plumber. He’s a wealthy real estate developer in Tukwila, Washington. Segale unwittingly stepped into video game history by renting out a warehouse that served as Nintendo’s U.S. headquarters in the early 1980s. At that time, a financially struggling Nintendo of America (NOA) was preparing the U.S. launch of Donkey Kong. Legend has it that NOA President Minoru Arakawa noticed physical similarities between Donkey Kong’s short, dark-haired protagonist and the landlord. So the crew at NOA nicknamed the character Mario, and it stuck.
    • GM CEO Ed Whitacre announced in a Wall Street Journal column Wednesday that his company has paid back its government bailout loan “in full, with interest, years ahead of schedule.” He is even running TV ads on all major networks to that effect–a needless expense given that a credulous media is only too happy to parrot his claims for free. Detroit Free Press’ Mike Thompson, for example, advises bailout proponents to start “warming up their vocal chords” to jeer their opponents with chants of “I told you so.” But before belting out their victory aria, GM-boosters ought to hear the whole story–not just the fairytale version about Government Motors’ grand comeback that Mr. Whitacre is feeding them.
    • COCKPIT VOICE RECORDINGS, TRANSCRIPTS, AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL TAPES
    • As a result, despite what advertisers claim, most orange juice is neither fresh nor natural not in the way mAs a result, despite what advertisers claim, most orange juice is neither fresh nor natural (not in the way most of us would define those terms). Think about it; how could it be truly fresh year-round, when oranges are a seasonal product? Sure, it may be “not from concentrate,” but raw juice is often heated, stripped of its volatile compounds and flavor-rich oils, and stored for as long as a year before it reaches the consumer. Something called “the flavor pack” is used to return most of the “natural” aroma and taste to the product, Hamilton explains:
      The flavor is sourced from all parts of oranges everywhere…Typically, the orange oils and essences that juice concentrators collect during evaporation are sold to flavor manufacturers, who then reconfigure these by-products…into ‘flavor packs’ for reintroduction into orange juice.
    • I am white. I know that’s a terribly big surprise, considering that I write a blog called Stuff White People Like, but I mean it, I’m white. Like really white. I’m not attempting to assert some sort of superiority through my whiteness; quite the opposite actually. Thanks to my liberal upbringing, I am imbued with the appropriate amount of guilt and shame about my ancestors and their actions in the New World.
    • “I remember seeing this beautiful airbrushed photo of Chi Chi Rodriguez, with his head over a golf ball, and it kind of mimicked an astronaut’s head in front of the moon. But it was this golfer’s head over a golf ball, and they used that logo on a line of products that were manufactured in China. So I bought it, ’cause it was the cheapest thing you could buy, golf tees with a little hanging bag, with Chi Chi Rodriguez’s head in front of a golf ball. And we later ended up using that as the inspiration for our first album cover.”
    • Wildlife experts in Kerala are hunting a rogue bull elephant who is thought to have gored 12 female tuskers to death because they spurned his sexual advances.
    • At 7.17 a.m. on 30th June, 1908, travellers on the Transsiberian Railway and other witnesses saw an enormous bolide cross the sky in a SSE to NNW direction, leaving behind it a thick and persistent trail which hung in the atmosphere like a pall Immediately after the object disappeared from view the flash of an explosion was observed on the horizon and a gigantic pillar of smoke rose high in the air where it remained for a considerable time before dispersing. Several detonations were heard, although the exact number is uncertain due to conflicting stories from different witnesses. These persons also gave varying details of the final fireball, the duration of which is hence in considerable doubt.
    • Whilst working at Universal Studios in the 1940’s, Lon Chaney Jr. befriended a German Shepherd named ‘Moose’. Moose could always recognize Chaney, regardless of the make-up he was wearing. Moose played the werewolf who originally bit Lon Chaney Jr.’s character, Lawrence Talbot, in the original Wolf Man (1941). This picture was taken on the set of Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man in 1943.
    • An alarming new superbug may be on its way — an incurable form of gonorrhea. The disease, once easily killed with a shot of penicillin, is increasingly becoming drug-resistant. Soon, the world may face a version that can’t be killed by any known antibiotic, warned Catherine Ison, the director of the sexually transmitted bacteria reference library with the United Kingdom’s Health Protection Agency.
    • Viewed together, the successive policies tell a clear story. Facebook originally earned its core base of users by offering them simple and powerful controls over their personal information. As Facebook grew larger and became more important, it could have chosen to maintain or improve those controls. Instead, it’s slowly but surely helped itself — and its advertising and business partners — to more and more of its users’ information, while limiting the users’ options to control their own information.
    • It is not the first time Banksy’s art has been fouled in Melbourne. Vandals created another outcry in 2008 when they poured paint over the artist’s stencil of a diver in an old-fashioned helmet and wearing a trenchcoat. That work was afterwards protected by a sheet of clear perspex, although vandals struck again and poured silver paint behind the barrier, tagging it with the words “Banksy woz ere.”
    • Amerikkka runs on big pharma
    • Tatyana is the only woman in the world who lifted 30 pounds with her intimate muscles.”
    • Mr Jani, who claims to have left home aged seven and lived as a wandering sadhu or holy man in Rajasthan, is regarded as a ‘breatharian’ who can live on a ‘spiritual life-force’ alone. He believes he is sustained by a goddess who pours an ‘elixir’ through a hole in his palate. His claims have been supported by an Indian doctor who specializes in studies of people who claim supernatural abilities, but he has also been dismissed by others as a “village fraud.”
    • This crazy break-dancing style looks like it was inspired by a rape re-enactment. The intense screaming and broken table makes this one of the more climactic dances I’ve seen in awhile.
    • He said, “Pam, I want to tell you about an epidemic that’s prevalent in Beverly Hills right now. It’s a buildup of cocaine residue around the cervix and in the vagina. You have it. Are you doing drugs?” “No,” I said, astonished. “Well, it’s really dangerous,” he went on. “Is your partner putting cocaine on his penis to sustain his erection?” “No,” I said, “not that I know of. It’s not like he has a pile of cocaine next to the bed and he dips his penis in it before we have sex.” I had a nauseating flash of one of Richard’s famous lines: Even my dick has a cocaine jones. “Are you sure he isn’t doing it in the bathroom before he comes to bed?” the doctor asked. “That’s a possibility,” I said. “You know, I am dating Richard Pryor.” “Oh, my God,” he said. “We have a serious problem here. If he’s not putting it on his skin directly, then it’s worse because the coke is in his seminal fluid.”
    • ‘From the first moment that I saw him, I knew we would never have a grandmother-grandson relationship,’ Pearl remembers happily. ‘For the first time in years I felt sexually alive.’
    • Prohibition couldn’t have happened without Wheeler, who foisted temperance on a thirsty nation 90 years ago
    • Thanks KS

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    Sprang Forward

    • Albarelli spent more than a decade sifting through more than 100,000 pages of government documents and his most startling chestnut might be his claim that the intelligence community conducted aerosol tests of LSD inside the New York City subway system.
    • Department of Public Works Director Rob Desmarais said after he mixes the white powder with water, 40 percent of it will not dissolve.

      “I don’t know what it is,” Desmarais said. “It’s not soluble, and it doesn’t appear to be sodium fluoride. So we are not quite sure what it is.”

    • Three men were under arrest after a traffic stop on U.S. 26 yielded two handguns, marijuana, five knives, a machete, stun gun, handcuffs, a bail bondsman badge, an open container of Captain Morgan rum and one clown mask.
    • A nutty Harvard professor has put a jolt in the java trade with a strange new inhalable espresso — allowing caffeine fiends to breathe in their morning cup of joe. “That’s what I do with all of my food anyway,” said Esther Green, a tourist from Toronto who sampled Le Whif yesterday at Dylan’s Candy Bar on the Upper East Side. The coffee hits consist of powder inside lipstick-like containers that are pulled open, inserted in the mouth and inhaled. The sticks are sold individually for $3 or in boxes of three for $8 — and each stick delivers 100 milligrams of caffeine, the equivalent of a cup of espresso.
    • Despite medical marijuana being legal in Michigan, WalMart has fired a cancer patient and former employee of the year who tested positive for the drug, which was recommended by his doctor.
    • White House ‘drug czar’ Gil Kerlikowske lays out his most thorough arguments yet against marijuana legalization. They help clear up confusion over White House drug policy, and can serve as talking points for parents and officials.
    • Check out this old full-page ad from Look Magazine for The Sulfa Drugs featuring Mickey Mouse testing a gonorrhea drug on lab rats.

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