Gunman

GROUFF…AUGRRR!

Goin Apeshit
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The Other Side of Otters

A weaned harbor seal pup was resting onshore when an untagged male sea otter approached it, grasped it with its teeth and forepaws, bit it on the nose, and flipped it over. The harbor seal moved toward the water with the sea otter following closely. Once in the water, the sea otter gripped the harbor seal’s head with its forepaws and repeatedly bit it on the nose, causing a deep laceration. The sea otter and pup rolled violently in the water for approximately 15 min, while the pup struggled to free itself from the sea otter’s grasp. Finally, the sea otter positioned itself dorsal to the pup’s smaller body while grasping it by the head and holding it underwater in a position typical of mating sea otters. As the sea otter thrust his pelvis, his penis was extruded and intromission was observed. At 105 min into the encounter, the sea otter released the pup, now dead, and began grooming. Thanks Jasmine.
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5 Outrageous Revelations from Matt Taibbi’s Takedown on HSBC’s Drug Money Laundering
Matt Taibbi’s most recent Rolling Stonearticle unpacks one of last year’s most shocking bank cases in our era of “Too Big to Jail.” In December, HSBC was punished with a $1.9 billion settlement on drug laundering charges, the largest in American history, yet only five weeks worth of profits for the world’s third largest bank. U.S. Assistant Attorney Lanny Breuer was uncharacteristically candid when explaining why he refused to pursue criminal charges: “HSBC would almost certainly have lost its banking license in the U.S., the future of the institution would have been under threat and the entire banking system would have been destabilized.” People were rightfully outraged when not a single HSBC banker went to jail for a decades’ worth of federal crimes, including money-laundering linked to drug cartels, terrorists and oppressive regimes. Taibbi dove deep into HSBC’s case and history, revealing that the bank’s crimes were even worst than we thought.
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How the seven dwarfs of Auschwitz fell under the spell of Dr Death: The hideous experiments carried out by Nazi Josef Mengele on seven trusting brothers and sisters

An SS officer strode over and established they were all siblings from the Ovitz family. Immediately, the order went out: Wake the doctor! It was nearly midnight on Friday, May 19, 1944, and Dr Josef Mengele was asleep in his quarters. All the troopers on duty, however, were well aware of his passion for collecting human ‘freaks’, including hermaphrodites and giants. A lone dwarf wouldn’t have been sufficient reason to disturb his sleep, but a family — and seven of them — why, it was just like the fairy tale!
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Social media – the new addiction

Social media addiction has become an official condition. A clinic in London is treating more than 100 sufferers a year, with a professional footballer among those receiving counseling. A study last year by the University of Chicago suggested sites like Facebook are more addictive that alcohol and cigarettes.
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The Pentagon’s Budget Crunch: No Dissenting Views

We’ve noted many times that when it comes to corporate media coverage of the so-called budget “sequester”–the immediate cuts to military and social spending set to hit in a matter of weeks–what matters most is what will happen to the military. The Washington Post had a whole piece (2/13/13) devoted to yet another round of complaints from military leaders–without a single comment from anyone who might take the view that cutting military spending would not be such a disaster.
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Fugitive gunman Chris Dorner told hostage couple: I just want to clear my name

At around midday on Tuesday, the couple arrived to clean the house and found Dorner in an upstairs sitting room. His gun drawn, the suspect ordered them to stay calm. Mrs Reynolds ran down the stairs in a bid to escape, but Dorner caught her. He took the couple to a bedroom, where he made them lie on the floor, then bound their limbs with plastic zip-locks, gagged them with towels and covered their heads with pillowcases. “I thought we were dead,” Mr Reynolds said. The gunman repeatedly insisted, however, that he would not kill them. He revealed he had watched Mr Reynolds shovelling snow around the property in the preceding days, and told the couple he believed they were “hard-working, good people,” saying: “I don’t have a problem with you. I just want to clear my name.”
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Parent says West Sabine staff out of line after feces found

“My kid came home and he said, he told me that he had been inspected, his butt had been inspected at the elementary school for feces,” Little said. “And I asked him, I got to ask him about it and he said he was embarrassed by the whole situation.” Feces had been found on the gym floor at least five times during or after PE Class. It first happened last year only with this particular class of children, said principal Deborah Lane. Lane says she asked the children numerous times who was responsible. She even gave them lectures on germs and the dangers of e-coli. This last time, she requested the school nurse search for feces in the Tiger cubs’ pants. Accounts of how the search was conducted differ. “The school nurse basically pulled their pants out or down.”
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Facebook Paid No Income Taxes in 2012: Report

Facebook didn’t pay any federal or state income taxes last year and will receive a hefty tax refund, according to a recent report. How did the social network manage to swing such a nice tax break? Well, according to the Citizen for Tax Justice report the company benefited from the tax deductability of executive stock options, which reduced all of its income taxes by $1.03 billion in 2012. The company also has another $2.17 billion in extra tax-option breaks to carry forward in the future, according to the report, which means Facebook gets to deduct a total of more than $3 billion in current and future taxes, according to the report.
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Welcome to the Malware-Industrial Complex

One reason is that a freshly discovered weakness in a popular piece of software, known in the trade as a “zero-day” vulnerability because the software makers have had no time to develop a fix, can be cashed in for much more than a reputation boost and some free drinks at the bar. Information about such flaws can command prices in the hundreds of thousands of dollars from defense contractors, security agencies and governments. This trade in zero-day exploits is poorly documented, but it is perhaps the most visible part of a new industry that in the years to come is likely to swallow growing portions of the U.S. national defense budget, reshape international relations, and perhaps make the Web less safe for everyone. Zero-day exploits are valuable because they can be used to sneak software onto a computer system without detection by conventional computer security measures, such as antivirus packages or firewalls. Criminals might do that to intercept credit card numbers. An intellige…
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Moshpit Simulator

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Why we all think we’re so great

On a scale of one to 10, you probably think you’re a seven. And you wouldn’t be alone. While it’s impossible for most people to be above the median for a specific quality, people think they are better than most people in many arenas, from charitable behavior to work performance. The phenomenon, known as illusory superiority, is so stubbornly persistent that psychologists would be surprised if it didn’t show up in their studies, said David Dunning, a psychologist at Cornell who has studied the effect for decades. It happens for many reasons: Others are too polite to say what they really think, incompetent people lack the skills to assess their abilities accurately, and such self-delusions can actually protect people’s mental health, Dunning told LiveScience. Since psychological studies first began, people have given themselves top marks for most positive traits. While most people do well at assessing others, they are wildly positive about their own abilities, Dunning said.
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Drug-Dealing Mother Left Children Alone to Go to Store, Officer Observed Child Playing with Crack Rock

When the woman Tiffany Stanton Johnson, 25, arrived home and spoke to an officer on the scene, she stated that she had left her three children home alone to go shopping at Kmart. While speaking to the woman, the officer allegedly saw her son behind her playing with a crack rock, according to the complaint. At this, Johnson was forced to admit that she sells crack cocaine. After giving a consent search, the officer found a can with 12 grams of crack cocaine packaged for sale.
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The seas you’re in: fish urine contributes nutrients to coastal waters

“A funny comparison is if you take the biggest ungulate herd — so that would be bison, antelope, deer and elk — in Yellow Stone National Park, per meter squared — so per unit area — the fish on one of the reefs that I look at…they actually pee more than three times more [than that herd],” he said. Fish urine even dwarfs fertilizer-heavy golf course runoff — per meter squared — in nutrient content. Luke Joseph, a freshman biology major from Augusta, said he wouldn’t have guessed fish pee had so much to do with nutrient cycling. “That’s pretty cool,” he said. “I guess that means aquaponics might be a good way to grow things.”
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‘Blue Fairy’ Arrested in New York Drug Bust

Turk appears in a YouTube video by White Trash Clan titled “My World is Blue” dancing in a blue tutu and fairy wings and carrying a wand. She blows pixie dust at the camera and mimes drug use. The video, posted in July 2012, shows people dancing in parking lots and pharmacies with giant cutouts of blue pills and rhapsodizing about prescription drug abuse: “I can stop when I want to / I’m not addicted / I don’t take pills / crush and sniff it / Blue is my world in this life how I live it / Come out to Staten Island, pay a little visit.”
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The unsexy truth about dopamine

If there were a celebrity among brain chemicals, it would be dopamine. Supposedly released whenever we experience something pleasurable, it’s forever linked to salacious stories of sex, drugs and wild partying in the popular press. The Kim Kardashian of neurotransmitters, it gives instant appeal to listless reporting and gives editors an excuse to drop some booty on the science pages. There are too many bad examples to mention in detail, but I have some favourites. The Sun declared that “cupcakes could be as addictive as cocaine” because they apparently cause “a surge of the reward chemical dopamine to hit the decision-making area of the brain”. The article was topped off with a picture of Katy Perry, apparently a “cupcake fan” and, presumably, dangerously close to spiralling into a life of frosted-sponge addiction.
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Iceland considers pornography ban

The government is considering introducing internet filters, such as those used to block China off form the worldwide web, in order to stop Icelanders downloading or viewing pornography on the internet. The unprecedented censorship is justified by fears about damaging effects of the internet on children and women. Ogmundur Jonasson, Iceland’s interior minister, is drafting legislation to stop the access of online pornographic images and videos by young people through computers, games consoles and smartphones. “We have to be able to discuss a ban on violent pornography, which we all agree has a very harmful effects on young people and can have a clear link to incidences of violent crime,” he said.
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Syphilis: A Love Story

Miss Sanborn tells us that an eccentric gentleman, having taken a fancy to see a large party of noseless persons, invited every one thus afflicted, whom he met in the streets, to dine on a certain day at a tavern, where he formed them into a brotherhood.
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zyalt: Взрыв метеорита в небе над Уралом… Вся информация в одном посте.

Russian Meteorite Pictures & Video
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Dorion Sagan on the first ejaculation in the history of the world

Since sex usually occurs in water, it doesn’t tend to preserve well. But in one four-hundred-million-year-old silica-rich deposit local changes in pH remobilized some of the silica, leaving behind thin films of the original organic material. In the specimen the chert beautifully preserved the plant’s delicate archegonium (from goni, Hindi for ‘sack,’ akin to yoni, Sanskrit for ‘vagina’) — the female sex organ. Another sample of rock, sliced thin and observed with a microscope, shows Aglaphyton’s antheridium, its male sex organ — filled with sperm cells ready to explode. Here, preserved by chance, with neither compromised actors nor moral qualm, is a geographic equivalent of the ‘money shot’ of pornographic films — an ejaculation event 140,000 times older than Homer’s Odyssey, 400 times older than the human species, and almost as old as the appearance of animals in the fossil record.
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Digital Deception – Can You Trust What You See?

Does this make you wonder how much footage from prominent world events is actually digitally created to assist in advancing a dark agenda? How much fake news are we being fed? Dictators, terrorists, riots, revolution beamed into our living rooms as part of on-going psychological warfare against the masses? Is this a conventional war of tanks and guns and bombs in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya or is it really all part of a sustained psychological war on the minds of every single person on the planet who watches television? Our advise? Stop watching mass media news. There’s nothing good for us there!
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The Hammer: A Muscle-Controlled, Light-Up Dildo

I’m proud to present my latest creation: The Hammer! The Hammer is a prototype test-your-strength game that’s an insertable, muscle-controlled, light-up dildo.
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Coming and Going on Facebook

We asked the 61% of Facebook users who have taken a break from using the site to tell us in their own words why they did so, and they mentioned a variety of reasons. The largest group (21%) said that their “Facebook vacation” was a result of being too busy with other demands or not having time to spend on the site. Others pointed toward a general lack of interest in the site itself (10% mentioned this in one way or another), an absence of compelling content (10%), excessive gossip or “drama” from their friends (9%), or concerns that they were spending too much time on the site and needed to take a break (8%).
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Why Facebook is bad and you should consider deleting your account

Learn why your favorite social network – Facebook – is actually bad. All the political and technical reasons you need to understand why you should consider deleting your Facebook account and how to do it.
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On leaving Facebook

Facebook has shown no respect for its users privacy. The site notoriously makes it difficult to understand who you are sharing what with, and has been known to reset privacy settings to defaults without notifying users. Defaults which share everything. Facebook tracks your usage of the web and knows pretty much everything else about your life. Facebook supports CISPA, and why wouldn’t they? It gives them a free pass to give your data to anyone. SOPA and PIPA didn’t. A service that knows everything about you, even things you don’t want it to, supports legislation that would allow it to give anyone that information without recourse – sounds great doesn’t it?
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Singer Chubby Checker sues HP over penis-measuring app

“This lawsuit is about preserving the integrity and legacy of a man who has spent years working hard at his musical craft and has earned the position of one of the greatest musical entertainers of all time,” said Gary. “We cannot sit idly and watch as technology giants or anyone else exploits the name or likeness of an innocent person with the goal of making millions of dollars,” he added. “The defendants have marketed Chubby Checker’s name on their product to gain a profit and this just isn’t right.” The “Chubby Checker” app, which appears on websites for Palm devices, claims to allow a person to determine a man’s penis size by using his shoe size.
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Suspected meth lab turns out to be sweet maple syrup

“I think my neighbors on their way to church see the buckets and stuff and think we’ve got a meth lab operation going on here. I just want to put their minds at ease, and let them know it’s maple syrup. And that they’re all welcome for pancakes if they want to come on over.”
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File under Music, SeMeN SPeRmS Links 'o Death, Sex

Conjured by SeMeN SPeRmS on February 16, 2013

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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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Get Prehistoric

  • But in recent days, “Operation Sony” morphed from a standard website attack into something a bit more personal, as some Anons formed a separate “Sony Recon” mission and began tracking down corporate executives, their wives, the schools their children attend, and the shops at which they buy their flowers. And the way they obtain that information can be ingenious—and disquieting.

    Gathering this sort of information is referred to as “doxing” or collecting “dox” on targets, and such data is usually collected and distributed so that others can use it “for the lulz”—amusement, legitimate protest, or harassment.
    Jack Tretton

    Public information sources, if properly collated, can supply a wealth of detail. For instance, when a Sony exec’s address was located, it was the work of a few moments on local government websites to find out what he pays in taxes, how large the house is, and who lives next door.

  • When you don‘t like what someone’s wearing you a) kindly suggest she change b) make a joke about it so she gets the hint, or c) get a posse to jump her in a bodega, beat her repeatedly, and slash her face. The girls in the following video chose option c
  • Swimming pools are one way of surviving Arizona’s sky-high temperatures, which hit triple digits in a recent uncharacteristically early burst of heat. But Dennis McClung’s pool, in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa, has been redesigned into a survivalist refuge of an entirely different sort.

    Mr. McClung has installed a subterranean garden in his pool along with a fish pond and chicken coop. The chicken droppings feed the tilapia, which swim in water that is pumped up through the blackberry, cherry tomato, bell pepper and chili plants. The ecosystem is designed to feed his family with minimal trips to the supermarket.

  • On the second floor of the downtown campus, a motley group of students listens to a lecture titled “Palliative and Curative Relief Through a Safe and Effective Herbal Medicine.” Not the sexiest of topics on the face of it, but there’s a catch: this is Oaksterdam University, and the medicine being discussed is marijuana. At “America’s first cannabis college,” in Oakland, Calif., the sallow-faced hippy-skater types that one expects to find sit beside middle-aged professionals in business attire, united in their zeal for the pungent green leaf. No one dares speak out of turn, until instructor Paul Armentano, a marijuana-policy expert, cites a news report that U.S. antidrug authorities plan to legalize pot’s active ingredient exclusively for drug companies’ use. “More stinking profits for Big Business,” mumbles a young man wearing a baseball cap. His classmates groan in agreement.
  • That’s what startup Cloud Girlfriend promises, although your friends on Facebook will never know it. The new Internet company helps guys who aren’t ready to admit, at least online, that they don’t have a significant other.

    The new service allows users to create the perfect girlfriend who will write on your Facebook wall and otherwise make her ghostly presence known through social media.

  • “More African American men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began,” Michelle Alexander told a standing room only house at the Pasadena Main Library this past Wednesday, the first of many jarring points she made in a riveting presentation.
  • An unexpected side-effect of the flooding in parts of Pakistan has been that millions of spiders climbed up into the trees to escape the rising flood waters.

    Because of the scale of the flooding and the fact that the water has taken so long to recede, many trees have become cocooned in spiders webs. People in this part of Sindh have never seen this phenonemon before – but they also report that there are now less mosquitos than they would expect, given the amoungt of stagnant, standing water that is around.

  • Kamila Remisova Vesinova and her team of researchers from the Czech Archeological Society believe they have unearthed the remains of an early homosexual man. The remains date from around 2900-2500 B.C., on the outskirts of Prague.

    That claim stems from the fact the 5,000-year old skeleton was buried in a manner reserved for women in the Corded Ware culture: its head was pointed east rather than west, and its remains were surrounded by domestic jugs rather than by hammers, flint knives and weapons that typically accompany male remains.

    “From history and ethnology, we know that people from this period took funeral rites very seriously so it is highly unlikely that this positioning was a mistake,” Vesinova said at a press conference. “Far more likely is that he was a man with a different sexual orientation, homosexual or transsexual.”

  • Embryonic stem cells from mice have been transformed into a rudimentary eye, raising hopes of growing parts of the human eye to investigate and treat blindness
  • The link between media exposure and adolescent emotional health continues to be a hot research area. In a new study, researchers found that teens who spend more time listening to music, rather than reading books, are more likely to be depressed.
  • Are we about to start going backwards, to a pre-antibiotic era in which things like hip replacements, chemotherapy and intensive care are simply impossible? It’s a big enough fear for the World Health Organization to devote this year’s World Health Day on April 7 to antimicrobial resistance in a bid to safeguard these drugs for future generations.

    “Modern medicine can’t function without effective antibiotics,” says Derek Butler, chairman of the MRSA Action UK charity for which the Owens are raising money. “If we lose these magic bullets, medicine will be set back over 80 years.

  • With all sorts of the funding cuts hitting orchestras during the recent recession, there is still one aspect of classical music that local governments find valuable — the music’s unfailing ability to disperse loitering teenagers from public areas.

    Whether its Handel piped into New York’s Port Authority or Tchaikovsky at a public library in London, the sound of classical music is apparently so repellent to teenagers that it sends them scurrying away like frightened mice. Private institutions also find it useful: chains such as McDonald’s and 7-Eleven, not to mention countless shopping malls around the world, have relied on classical music to shoo away potentially troublesome kids.

  • In Japan, rescue teams are continuing to search for the bodies of those killed by the earthquake and tsunami.
    Twelve days on, just over 9,000 people are now known to have died but more than 13,000 others are still missing and nearly 270,000 people have lost their homes or been forced out by contamination.
  • A pill to enhance moral behaviour, a treatment for racist thoughts, a therapy to increase your empathy for people in other countries – these may sound like the stuff of science fiction but with medicine getting closer to altering our moral state, society should be preparing for the consequences, according to a book that reviews scientific developments in the field.
  • A massive fight at an East St. Louis nightclub involving dozens of people was caught on camera. At least one man, a security guard, was shot. Now police are trying to identify everyone in the video to determine who was hurt, who was responsible, and who broke the law.

    One man was body slammed to the ground by what appears to be a security guard. Another man was blindsided by a punch. And then, More.. just seconds later, there’s a gunshot. The bullet, apparently fired by a security guard, hits another guard in the hand.

  • According to one leading anarchist protester, plans are being drawn up for a demonstration using “shock and awe” tactics to disrupt Prince William’s marriage to Kate Middleton on April 29.

    Charlie Veitch, a former City banker who was made redundant during the financial crisis, heads a group of colorful protesters called the “Love Police Academy.” He says that anarchists will put on a “disruption spectacular.”

  • The ads are for chunks of meteorites, bits of asteroids that have fallen from the sky and are as prized by scientists as they are by collectors. As more meteorites have been discovered in recent years, interest in them has flourished and an illegal sales market has boomed — much to the dismay of the people who want to study them and the countries that consider them national treasures.

    “It’s a black market,” said Ralph P. Harvey, a geologist at Case Western Reserve University who directs the federal search for meteorites in Antarctica. “It’s as organized as any drug trade and just as illegal.”

  • The Former CIA Counter-terrorism analyst Michael Scheuer strongly opposed the Obama’s administration actions in Libya on CNN this morning. Scheuer believes that there isn’t a strong case for America’s intervention especially at a time when the country hasn’t even recovered from the recession. Also, Scheuer had doubts if the rebels that we are arming would really be any better than the Gadaffi regime: “I’m not sure that that the opposition, if it takes power, is going to be much better than was Gadaffi.” Moreover, Scheuer argues that the US involvement in Libya would serve as a recruitment tool for extremists. “In the muslim world, this is Americans killing Muslims again, and it looks like its for oil.”
  • So, with heavy heart, the proprietor, Matthew Maher, 70, climbed up a small ladder. With curatorial care, he took down the two-dozen dust-cocooned wishbones dangling on an old gas lamp above the storied bar counter. He removed the clouds of gray from each bone. Then he placed every one of the bones, save for those that crumbled at his touch, back onto the gas lamp — where, in the context of this dark and wonderful establishment, they are not merely the scrap remains of poultry, but holy relics.
  • The chief of police for a small New Mexico town who was arrested for allegedly aiding in a gun running operation covered up the fact that his co-defendants Manuel Ortega, Ignacio Villalobos and village Councilman Jose Blas Gutierrez “were drinking and partying with 9 or 10 young girls, some of whom were in high school,” federal prosecutors said in a recent court filing.
  • The scientists have successfully introduced human genes into 300 dairy cows to produce milk with the same properties as human breast milk.

    Human milk contains high quantities of key nutrients that can help to boost the immune system of babies and reduce the risk of infections.

  • The Obama administration is urging Congress not to adopt legislation that would impose constitutional safeguards on Americans’ e-mail stored in the cloud.
  • About 70 percent of the 400 fuel rods in the No. 1 reactor at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant are damaged, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) has revealed.

    In addition, some 30 percent of the 548 fuel rods in the No. 2 reactor core and 25 percent of those in the No. 3 reactor core are also thought to be damaged, the power company stated on April 6. The figures are based on analysis of radiation data collected from the side of the reactor pressure vessel between the March 11 earthquake and tsunami and March 15.

  • Unlike the US, there isn’t even a formal process with a judge rubber stamping the requests. Instead, the police ask, and Nominet is compelled to suspend the domain. In fact, some law enforcement officials are claiming that if Nominet refused their requests, then it would automatically become liable. In other words, police have a fantastic tool for censorship of any website if they want to use it that way.
  • Screen shots of computers in movies
  • Entire country loses internet for five hours after woman, 75, slices through cable while scavenging for copper

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

Ball Of Confusion. Oh Yeah, That’s What The World Is Today. Woo, Hey, Hey.

    • “The Arabs are taking control of Bat Yam, buying and renting apartments from Jews, taking and ruining girls from Bat Yam! Fifteen-thousand Jewish girls have been taken to Arab villages! Guard our city – we want a Jewish Bat Yam,” the leaflets said.

      The rally came in the wake of a religious edict forbidding Jews from leasing or selling homes or land to Arabs. The proclamation was signed by 50 rabbis, many of whom are state employees, before it was announced publicly several weeks ago. Another 250 have joined since then.

      Over 1,000 rabbis have signed a letter against the edict, calling it “a painful distortion of our tradition” and a “desecration of God’s name”. But these are diaspora rabbis. And although Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, has condemned the initial proclamation, the rabbis who signed it remain state employees.

    • Abandoned houses offer unique opportunities from a visual point of view. The deterioration transforms materials. Texture on top of texture. New patterns overtaking old ones. Nature repossessing. This textural aspect to deterioration and the patterns that it creates can be rich and fascinating to look at.

      I also find that the experience of seeing a deteriorated house (or any familiar object) interesting. When looking at the image we see a dual image of the house – one as it is, and one as it was. You see a huge hole in the side of the house not just as a hole, but also as an interruption of the known. And so the mind seeks to recreate the known. We fill in the holes. We project. Our eyes follow the angle of the broken awning to a point, now destroyed, and we can feel the mass that was of the front 3rd floor. The same with the porch covering. This visual duality – the mind flipping between destruction and pre-destruction – is magic. It’s entertaining and engaging.

    • A 16-year-old Clinton Township boy faces disorderly charges for causing a disgusting smell in his classroom during mid-term exams at North Hunterdon High School, police reported last night.

      According to police, the teen was in class at North Hunterdon on Monday and asked to use the bathroom. The boy then took a carry-out style coffee mug with a screw-on cap with him to the nurses’ office bathroom. The boy defecated in the mug, screwed the cap on, and returned to the classroom where he unscrewed the lid, and “this caused a disruption in the classroom,” police said.

    • An FBI employee shared confidential information with his girlfriend, who was a news reporter, then later threatened to release a sex tape the two had made.

      A supervisor watched pornographic videos in his office during work hours while “satisfying himself.”

      And an employee in a “leadership position” misused a government database to check on two friends who were exotic dancers and allowed them into an FBI office after hours.

      These are among confidential summaries of FBI disciplinary reports obtained by CNN, which describe misconduct by agency supervisors, agents and other employees over the last three years.

    • On Friday night Michael Bane told me that BATFE visited the Taurus booth at SHOT Show and declared that the 28 gauge revolver was in fact a SBS (Short Barreled Shotgun), not a handgun.
    • “It’s true,” said Ottawa Fire spokesman Marc Messier of the unprecedented danger facing firefighters. “It’s mostly because of the products being used in construction and furniture fabrication.”

      He said unlike 30 years ago, when homes, furniture and appliances were made of solid wood and steel, modern day versions are made with glue, plastics and synthetic materials.

      Such synthetics not only burn faster but produce carcinogenic emissions as they burn.

    • An Indianapolis company has voluntarily recalled Toxic Waste brand Nuclear Sludge candy imported from Pakistan, due to lead content, according to the Federal Drug Administration’s Web site.
    • Eric Steven Easley, 27, is accused of sexually abusing Ebony Ice, a mini horse, last year. The horse’s owner found the horse tied to a post by its tail… but that’s not all he found.

      Police say Easley left his wallet, complete with driver’s license and Social Security card, at the scene.

    • A Dallas police senior corporal who led the Crime Stoppers program was escorted from police headquarters in handcuffs Wednesday afternoon.

      Theadora Ross had been under investigation for about eight months over funds missing from the popular tips-for-cash program. She is likely to face charges of conspiracy to commit fraud today in Dallas federal court.

    • The U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) headquarters improperly used government purchasing cards to buy pens, coins, televisions, ATVs and a $3,147 door, an Defense Department Inspector General report said this week.
    • When Facebook IPO’s in 2012, who’s getting rich? Well, Mark Zuckerberg for one, obviously. But he’s not alone.
    • A graphic 68-second video released by Detroit police Friday shows a gunman striding into one of the city’s precinct stations, spraying volleys from a shotgun at surprised officers before being fatally wounded within inches of three of his victims.

      The grainy surveillance video with muted color from Sunday‘s rampage at the city’s 6th Precinct was made public only after members of the city’s police force had seen it, Police Chief Ralph Godbee said.

      The video shows Lamar Moore, 38, walking into the precinct and past the building’s raised front desk. He pulls a shotgun he had concealed along his right side and opens fire down a hallway. He’s then seen firing more shots down the hallway as he reverses his steps back into the middle of the lobby.

      Moore then lunges head-first over the counter where two officers and the precinct’s off-duty commander had taken cover, firing shots of their own in his direction.

    • During yesterday’s live broadcast, co-hosts Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley handed 30 Rock‘s Morgan a microphone and asked him to settle a bet: Tina Fey or Sarah Palin? “Me and him have this argument all the time, ” crowed Smith, referring to Barkley. “[Morgan's] the only one who can settle it. Tina Fey or Sarah Palin?” They were clearly not asking which woman was smarter or faster in a race.

      Morgan responded as he would if he were on stage. “Yo, let me tell you something about Sarah Palin. She’s good masturbation material.” Co-host Ernie Johnson quickly pulled down the curtain, saying “I want to thank Tracy Morgan for stopping by.”

    • Bomb-sniffing plants could make airport security a whole lot greener – at least until a bomb-packing terrorist walks by and causes the leaves to turn white, researchers report in the journal PLoS ONE.

      The plants are being grown by a research team headed by June Medford, a biologist at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, with funding from the Depart of Defense and a host of other agencies.

      The trick involves using DNA to rewire the plants’ protein-based signaling process, so that the leaves change color when certain chemicals or environmental pollutants are detected. Plants usually rely on the system to release toxins that ward off insects looking for a leafy meal.

    • A police officer stationed at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport was suspended on Thursday for taking home more than 1,000 knives, nail clippers, scissors and other items confiscated from passengers during security procedures, authorities said.
    • A pair of Florida teenagers arrested yesterday for damaging 275 vehicles in a BB gun shooting spree that caused in excess of $100,000 in damages told police that they carried out the vandalism because they were “bored.”
    • Radical African American groups preach the myth that the African race is a super race and new gang recruits can return to their African warrior tribal roots. Photo courtesy of Rich Valdemar.

      Black slang has always had its roots in music. In the Jazz and Swing era of the 1920s-’40s, it was known as “hep talk.” Many of the terms were code words for sex, drugs and gambling such as “ace, duce or trey” for the numbers one, two, and three; “reefer” for marijuana; and “rock and roll” for sex.

      When I became a cop, I was more familiar with the African-American gang lifestyle than the Hispanic gang lifestyle. My ethnic and cultural background is Mexican American, but I grew up in a primarily black neighborhood. I graduated from Compton High in 1965. It was a very tumultuous period in that community. In August of that year, Los Angeles exploded in violent racial rioting.

    • Should we worry? What was perhaps most striking about AUVSI 2010 and the UAV Caucus technology fair was the almost total absence among attendees and participants of the sense that there might be a downside—human, financial, or otherwise—to the embrace of unmanned systems and the larger national-security complex which they are a part of. Those downsides are inextricably related to the profound social inequalities and injustices that plague American and global society. They are real and growing, and that is unlikely to change without a shift in national priorities.
    • Slapping a teenager or taking money from her paycheck to pay family bills is hardly admirable, but doesn’t constitute child neglect or abuse, the state Supreme Court ruled today.
    • My head is suspended over a goldfish bowl. A glass straw is between my lips. Clouds of smoke are wafting into my face and lemon tart swirls around my mouth.

      Only it’s not a big slab of calorific lemon tart spooned up from a plate. This is ‘breathable’ lemon tart.

      Instead of eating it, the tart is being pumped out of a futuristic machine that looks like a glorified goldfish bowl — called Le Whaf. And, rather than a triangular slice, this lemon tart looks like a puff of smoke.

    • Once banned from the airwaves under the Tunisian regime, rap artists are taking their revolutionary lyrics to the big stage for the first time on Saturday at a concert and political rally in the capital.

      The star of the show is 21-year-old Hamada Ben Amor – better known as “El General” – who was arrested for whipping up public anger during the wave of protests that ended president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali’s 23-year rule.

      The songs that helped inspire the Arab world’s first popular revolution in recent history were circulated widely among thousands of Tunisian Facebook users but have never been heard live by the public until now.

      El General’s most famous song is a direct address to Ben Ali.

      “We live in suffering/ Like dogs/ Half the poulation is oppressed and living in misery/ President of the Country/ Your people are dead,” he sings.

    • Mexican drug traffickers appear to be using medieval-style catapults to fling drugs across the border between Mexico and the United States, the defense ministry said Friday.
    • Disappointment and lack of trust in the media has some Americans turning to alternative sources for news. They claim big corporations are pushing their interests on to the public rather than facts. RT’s Anastasia Churkina went to find out who’s behind the information being broadcast in the US.
      Because of this doubt in the media, more Americans are turning to the Internet and other alternative news sources to find out the truth. But radio host Alex Jones says the world wide web is in danger of becoming manipulated by big business.
    • The street drug called “whoonga” is a cocktail that includes the antiretroviral (ARV) medication prescribed to people with HIV.

      Demand for the substance has prompted a wave of thefts of Aids drugs across the country.

      Users crush the ARVs and smoke them with a mixture of rat poison, detergent and marijuana to get high.

      The powder is said to be so addictive that users are hooked within days.

      “If I don’t smoke it, I get pains and I can’t sleep until I get some more,” 31-year-old Jomo said, his eyes red and glazed after a few deep drags on a ‘joint’.

    • TMZ reported the actor received a briefcase full of cocaine in the hours leading up to his “wild” party with a two porn stars and three other women.

      He consumed large amounts of the drug which was delivered in multiple bricks in a designer briefcase to his home, a source told the entertainment website.

    • The Four Loko made him do it.

      Ahmed Mohamed, who was sentenced Friday to nearly six years in prison for the attack last year on a West Seattle teen, claimed the caffeine-infused energy beer he drank for the first time the night of the assault was partially to blame.

      “He is extremely sorry he committed this act,” his attorney, Kevin McCabe, said in King County Superior Court. “It was Mr. Mohamed’s first experience with alcohol and an extremely unfortunate type of alcohol to have for your first run-in.”

    • “The results indicate that the increasing incarceration rate of minority men is directly linked to a decrease in the number of minority high school dropouts,” Neumark says. “By removing potentially lower-quality husbands and fathers from the marriage market via incarceration, it appears, their negative influence on children in the home is reduced. So although a higher incarceration rate leaves in its wake a higher number of never-married mothers, their children actually end up doing better.”

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    Conjured by SeMeN SPeRmS on January 30, 2011

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    Eat The Rich

    • “[Diddy] went through Kim Porter and Rodney King and knocked down the WTC and then they all came and knocked my children down… He date raped me 24 years ago and knocked me down him and Kim Porter and Wallace Wright, then Sean Combs and Kim and Wallace Wright came back 18 years later and raped and sexually abused my children and knocked my children down and crushed me and my children daily.”
    • The shooting prompted the largest area lock-down in history. Hundreds of officers from local, state and federal agencies vainly combed a seven-mile area looking for an armed gunman in his 40s with a long, gray pony tail. Helicopters, SWAT teams and K9 units were deployed.

      Children from nine schools remained locked in their classrooms for seven hours, unable to get access to restrooms or food out of fears that the suspect would enter a campus and create a hostage situation.

    • In the cases announced Tuesday, officials said the alleged straw buyers managed to acquire the weapons — and pass federal background checks — without raising red flags despite the fact that in some cases they plunked down large sums of cash for multiple purchases of assault rifles. In one case, officials said, seven individuals spent $104,251 in cash at various Phoenix-area firearms dealers to acquire 140 firearms.
    • The FBI yesterday executed 40 search warrants around the US to gather evidence on the Anonymous distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks in defense of WikiLeaks last year—attacks which targeted Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, and Amazon. And when the FBI comes a-knockin’, the whole house starts a rockin’.

      Ars has seen posts from a private forum in which several targets of the FBI raids offer brief descriptions of the experience, along with the occasional photo of a beaten-in front door. We cannot guarantee the authenticity of these accounts, though we believe them to be genuine.

    • A few young Germans have the world’s biggest record companies at their knees. After hacking into the computers of famous recording artists and their managers, they have placed unreleased songs by the likes of Lady Gaga and Shakira on the Internet. Two have been caught, but the others are still at work.
    • A 13-year-old Norwegian boy avoided being attacked by wolves by playing a heavy metal song on his mobile phone, the Zvuki.ru music web portal reported on Thursday.

      The incident took place in the central Norwegian municipality of Rakkestad. Four wolves, who appeared before the boy when he was returning home from school, were scared away by the noise coming from the boy’s mobile phone, the Russian website said.

      The song that saved the boy’s life was by thrash metal band Megadeth.

    • Flame On!
    • In October, the Chicago Police Department’s new crime-forecasting unit was analyzing 911 calls for service and produced an intelligence report predicting a shooting would happen soon on a particular block on the South Side.

      Three minutes later, it did, police officials say.

      That got police Supt. Jody Weis thinking.

      He wondered if the department could produce intelligence reports even quicker. Next time, officers might have an hour’s notice before a shooting — instead of just a few minutes.

      The solution: Weis is now consolidating the department’s various intelligence-gathering units under his direct command to improve the flow of information.

    • When the man walked out of the Capital One bank branch in a Washington suburb, he was holding a gun to the bank teller’s head and was using her as a shield. The suspect also had a fake bomb taped to his body, police said.
      Officers were already outside the bank as the suspect walked out, and the confrontation unfolded on television with a helicopter camera hovering overhead.

      Video shows him backing away from police with the woman when the suspect tripped over a pile of snow from Wednesday’s storm. The woman ran away from the suspect toward police and held her hands up to cover her ears.

      Gunfire erupted shortly afterward. Takoma Park Police Chief Ronald Ricucci said the suspect was killed.

    • In a letter sent Monday, Consumer Watchdog asked Representative Darrell Issa, the new chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, to investigate the relationship between Google and several government agencies.

      The group asked Issa to investigate contracts at several U.S. agencies for Google technology and services, the “secretive” relationship between Google and the U.S. National Security Agency, and the company’s use of a U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration airfield in California.

      Federal agencies have also taken “insufficient” action in response to revelations last year that Google Street View cars were collecting data from open Wi-Fi connections they passed, Consumer Watchdog said in the letter.

    • What institutions can you trust these days with your donations? The Associated Press reported today that the $21.7 billion Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is a fraud where at least two-thirds of the funds were “pocketed,” and donated medicines were sold on the black market for profit.

      The prestigious development fund is backed by celebrities like Bono, politicians like French president Sarkozy, and a cool $150 million from Bill and Melinda Gates. The AP wrote, “The fund has been a darling of the power set that will hold the World Economic Forum in the Swiss mountain village of Davos this week.”

    • The 2008 financial crisis was an “avoidable” disaster caused by widespread failures in government regulation, corporate mismanagement and heedless risk-taking by Wall Street, according to the conclusions of a federal inquiry.
      The commission that investigated the crisis casts a wide net of blame, faulting two administrations, the Federal Reserve and other regulators for permitting a calamitous concoction: shoddy mortgage lending, the excessive packaging and sale of loans to investors and risky bets on securities backed by the loans.
    • An outstanding discussion, primer and visual lesson on toxic assets, failed banks, the Federal Reserve, HR 1207, auditing the Fed, and the cost to taxpayers.
    • Very interesting story, and not without ramifications for other states.

      Walter Keane poses for a portrait at his office. Keane filed and recently won a lawsuit that resulted in several homeowners in Utah getting title to their property, even if they owed the full mortgage, all because of chaos introduced into the nation’s property recording system by MERS.

      The attorney for another man in Draper, Utah, says he has won two other cases this way, and another attorney in Utah got a default judgment giving title to borrowers who owed $417,000 on a home.

      Utah Professor Chris Peterson weighs in on the significance of the rulings.

    • Protests inspired by the revolt in Tunisia have dominoed along Egypt, Yemen and Algeria. Some have drawn comparisons to the colour revolutions seen in post-Soviet countries. To discuss this RT talks to William Engdahl – author of the book ‘Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the new world order.’
    • The American Embassy in Cairo helped a young dissident attend a US-sponsored summit for activists in New York, while working to keep his identity secret from Egyptian state police.

      On his return to Cairo in December 2008, the activist told US diplomats that an alliance of opposition groups had drawn up a plan to overthrow President Hosni Mubarak and install a democratic government in 2011.

    • Assuming someone in high places has an Internet kill switch, shutting down just the international connections would require a lot of manual work, or the preexistence of an infrastructure that can make this happen automatically through management protocols. Of course such a system would never be triggered by accident or by a disgruntled employee.

      The old story that the Internet was built as a military network to withstand nuclear attacks is pretty much an urban legend, but despite that, it’s surprisingly hard to kill. It can be done, however, if you’re a government and you try really, really hard.

    • Says Crowley: “We respect what Egypt contributes to the region, it is a stabilizing force, it has made its own peace with Israel, and is pursuing normal relations with Israel, we think that’s important, we think that’s a model that the region should adopt broadly speaking. at the same time, we recognize that Egypt, Tunisia other countries do need to reform, they do need to respond to the needs of their people, and we encourage that reform and are contributing across the region to that reform.”

      Rattansi: [paraphrased] but if Egypt can’t guarantee stability, what’s the point of all your financial support.

      Crowley: “We rely on Egypt as an ally to be a stabilizing force in the region… that has benefits across the region.”

      Rattansi: “Democracy would be destabilizing to the region generally, wouldn’t it?”

    • For the first time in human history almost all of humanity is politically activated, politically conscious and politically interactive… The resulting global political activism is generating a surge in the quest for personal dignity, cultural respect and economic opportunity in a world painfully scarred by memories of centuries-long alien colonial or imperial domination… The worldwide yearning for human dignity is the central challenge inherent in the phenomenon of global political awakening… That awakening is socially massive and politically radicalizing… The nearly universal access to radio, television and increasingly the Internet is creating a community of shared perceptions and envy that can be galvanized and channeled by demagogic political or religious passions. These energies transcend sovereign borders and pose a challenge both to existing states as well as to the existing global hierarchy, on top of which America still perches…
    • You’ve seen them.Perhaps left in a phone booth, Laundromat, or other public place. Maybe a Fundamentalist coworker or a street evangelist gave one to you. Perhaps a child gave one to your child at school. They have titles such as Are Roman Catholics Christian?, The Death Cookie, and Why Is Mary Crying? They are Chick tracts—tiny cartoon booklets produced by Jack T. Chick (“J.T.C.”) and his publishing house, Chick Publications.

      You’ve seen them . . . but have you read one? Do so, and you step into the nightmarish world of Jack T. Chick.

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    Swords ‘n Sharpies

      • Ricky Lee Kalichun, a 45-year-old Indiana man was jailed Wednesday after he allegedly scribbled a sharpie marker mask on his face before attacking another man with a sword.

        According to Evansville police, officers were dispatched to an apartment complex just after midnight when a sword wielding man attacked.

        Investigators say officers arrived to find Kalichun on the 4th floor of the complex wearing a camouflage jacket and sharpie marker scribbled on his face. He also smelled strongly of alcohol.

      • But nearly a decade later, there’s evidence that Portugal’s great drug experiment not only didn’t blow up in its face; it may have actually worked. More addicts are in treatment. Drug use among youths has declined in recent years. Life in Casal Ventoso, Lisbon’s troubled neighborhood, has improved. And new research, published in the British Journal of Criminology, documents just how much things have changed in Portugal. Coauthors Caitlin Elizabeth Hughes and Alex Stevens report a 63 percent increase in the number of Portuguese drug users in treatment and, shortly after the reforms took hold, a 499 percent increase in the amount of drugs seized — indications, the authors argue, that police officers, freed up from focusing on small-time possession, have been able to target big-time traffickers while drug addicts, no longer in danger of going to prison, have been able to get the help they need.
      • A spate of shooting attacks on law enforcement officers has authorities concerned about a war on cops.

        In just 24 hours, at least 11 officers were shot. The shootings included Sunday attacks at traffic stops in Indiana and Oregon, a Detroit police station shooting that wounded four officers, and a shootout at a Port Orchard, Wash., Wal-Mart that injured two deputies. On Monday morning, two officers were shot dead and a U.S. Marshal was wounded by a gunman in St. Petersburg, Fla.

        On Thursday, two Miami-Dade, Fla., detectives were killed by a murder suspect they were trying to arrest.

      • “Lenin was an extremely controversial political figure and his presence as the main figure in a necropolis in the heart of our country is absurd,” Anatoly Medinsky, an MP and member of the party’s governing committee, said.

        Only 10 per cent of Lenin’s corpse remained, he said, alleging that the rest had been “ripped out and replaced a long time ago”. The body’s presence in a purpose-built mausoleum on Red Square had turned the country’s central square into a cemetery and was “blasphemous”, Mr Medinsky added.

        Lenin’s waxy corpse remains a popular tourist attraction and is regularly treated with a special cocktail of chemicals to stop it from degrading.

      • In a complaint filed Monday morning in the U.S. District Court for Minnesota, Ventura is suing the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its secretary, Janet Napolitano, as well as the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and its administrator, John Pistole.

        Ventura accuses the agencies of violating his “basic rights to privacy and dignity, and his right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures,” after he received a pat-down by a TSA agent at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in November 2010.

        Ventura, who said he has a titanium implant after hip replacement surgery in 2008, alleges the pat-down included “warrantless, non-suspicion-based offensive touching, gripping and rubbing of the genital and other sensitive areas of his body,” which, the lawsuit contends, met “the definition for an unlawful sexual assault.”

      • The company, Jagnafalt Milton, suggested that existing and new railroads could be built to provide the base for buildings that could be positioned differently depending on the seasons and on the weather. It proposed designs for rail-mounted single- and double-birth cabins, along with a two-storey suite. It also imagined lookout towers, kitchens, lifeguard stations, changing rooms, and — in true Swedish spirit — a sauna.
      • The moment the “net neutrality” debate began was the moment the net neutrality debate was lost. For once the fate of a network – its fairness, its rule set, its capacity for social or economic reformation – is in the hands of policymakers and the corporations funding them – that network loses its power to effect change. The mere fact that lawmakers and lobbyists now control the future of the net should be enough to turn us elsewhere.

        Of course the Internet was never truly free, bottom-up, decentralized, or chaotic. Yes, it may have been designed with many nodes and redundancies for it to withstand a nuclear attack, but it has always been absolutely controlled by central authorities. From its Domain Name Servers to its IP addresses, the Internet depends on highly centralized mechanisms to send our packets from one place to another.

      • Speaking perhaps hypothetically, cuz I’m not 100% certain I’m gonna do this; depends on what it entails. I’d just like to know what I gotta do before I decide.

        How might a person take their name off whatever list it is that tells the government you’re registered to vote? How does one stop being a Democrat legally?

        I don’t wanna become a Republican, and I don’t want to stop being an American citizen. I just don’t want to be counted when any political party figures out how many millions of registered voters are allegedly on their side.

        How does one unregister to vote?

      • Here’s some rare footage of an experimental LSD session that I came across doing research for my next book, a group biography of British writer Aldous Huxley, philosopher Gerald Heard, and Bill Wilson, the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. It’s from a television program, circa 1956, about mental health issues.
      • A bill giving the president an Internet “kill switch” during times of emergency that failed to pass Congress last year will return this year, but with a revision that has many civil liberties advocates concerned: It will give the president the ability to shut down parts of the Internet without any court oversight.
      • Lee Harvey Oswald’s brother has sued a funeral home and an auction house, claiming they sold the assassin’s original coffin, embalming table and records, and their mother’s funeral records, for more than $160,000, invading his privacy and breaching contract. Robert Edward Lee Oswald sued the Baumgardner Funeral Home, Allen Baumgardner Sr. and Nate D. Sanders Inc. – the Los Angeles auction house – in Tarrant County Court, Fort Worth.
      • There’s plague (yes, bubonic plague, i.e. the Black Death); chagas disease, which can cause life-threatening heart and digestive system disorders; and cat-scratch disease, which can also come from being licked by infected cats.

        Though many people love getting licked or planting a kiss on a pet, it may not be such a good idea, the authors say.

        The researchers found several cases of various infections transmitted this way.

      • Two young men driving a green postal van accidentally hit and killed a pet dog while driving past a building; facing the dog owner’s demand to either pay 5000 yuan or kneel before the dog for 1 hour, the two young men chose to kneel after being hit. After the police arrived, the young men and the dog owner said they have already privately settled the matter and do not want the police to get involved; About 1 hour later, the dog owner carried away the little dog’s corpse, and after being helped up, the two young men left without a word…
      • The days when uncaged cats, monkeys, snakes and chickens can ride TriMet buses and trains as “service animals” (it happens more than you might think) are numbered.

        But guide horses? Well, those will be good to go under new conduct rules Oregon’s largest transit agency is expected to approve next week.

        Yep. You read that right. Guide horses.

      • The recent disappearance of a popular tampon brand is really cramping the style of city women.

        Drugstore shelves have been mysteriously empty of o.b. nonapplicator tampons since late fall, leaving the feminine hygiene product’s devotees puzzled and peeved.

        The popular product is in such short supply that eBay users are bidding up to $76 for three packs, which usually sell for just $8.79 a pack.

      • In anticipation of the trial, Boland downloaded innocent-looking images of minors from the Internet and digitally manipulated the pictures to make it look like the children were engaging in sexually explicit acts. In one instance he took a photo of a 5-year-old girl eating a donut and replaced the donut with a penis; in another, he edited a 6-year-old girl’s face onto another photo depicting the body of a nude woman performing sexual acts with two men. He then edited the woman’s body to look like that of a young girl.
        Boland used these images in the course of testifying as an expert witness in two Ohio state court criminal proceedings and presented them again during an evidentiary hearing for Shreck.
      • In a sense, narcissism has been done in by its own success.

        Because so many narcissists are thriving — at the expense of the rest of us — it’s hard to classify “narcissism’’ as a disability. Growing up with a narcissistic parent or marrying one can be disabling, but, almost by definition, many narcissists go through life without realizing the harm they are doing to others.

        A narcissist is someone who has an unrealistic sense of self-importance, a lack of empathy, and a “conviction of being different and special and entitled that is so profound that they feel it’s only natural people will admire them and want to do whatever they want to do,’’ said Dr. John M. Oldham, chief of staff at the Menninger Clinic, a psychiatric research and treatment center in Houston. “Corporate America is filled with people with a lot of this kind of problem.’’

      • If that isn’t bad enough, the GAO did a second sting—and this one was on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the parent of the FDA.

        You have to wonder how an IRB as sloppy as Coast was licensed in the first place. This sting shows us. They put together an application to set up an IRB and sent it to HHS. They named their sting Trooper, after a three-legged dog of a congressional staffer. (Some reports state that the company name or the CEO was Trooper, but that doesn’t fit the scheme, as you’ll see.)

        The name of the fake company was Phake Medical Devices. The names of the principals were April Phuls,Timothy Witless, and Alan Ruse. The company’s location was listed as Chetesville, Arizona.

        The application sailed through.

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