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The Devil Made Me Do It

  • Mutant pointy cowboy boots _ part Aladdin, part Las Vegas _ created a fashion craze that spread from one northeastern Mexican town.
  • Does this man look drunk to you?I mean, could someone who spends a lot of time sober ever possibly consider a facial tattoo like that?

    This is 29-year-old Cory P. Smits, who was recently given his fifth operating while intoxicated conviction.

    He’s racking these things up like body art.

    Smits was arrested in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, back in February when police pulled him over for swerving and found a man with glassy and bloodshot eyes.

    I’m surprised they even noticed the eyes.

  • A Merritt Island videographer died in a Miami hospital Thursday after he snorted an unknown substance — possibly cocaine — from a brick he found floating off the Middle Keys, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office says.Thomas Swindal, 53, and his brother Kenneth were trolling in about 200 feet of water on Wednesday when, Detective Mark Maison said, they found what they believed to be a kilo of cocaine and brought it aboard the boat, tossing it into the bait well.

    They kept on fishing and, Kenneth Swindal told detectives, he looked back a short time later and saw his brother open the package and ingest some of its contents.

    He said about an hour and a half later, Thomas Swindal began to run around the boat, throw things in the water and even gaffed the engine, which fell off the boat and sank.

    He continued acting strangely, running around with knives and pliers, so Kenneth Swindal threw all the sharp objects, as well as the package, off the boat.

  • The 29-year-old man, identified as Gerardo Martinez, answered the door shirtless with his pants down, the police report said. Officers asked him to pull his pants up and asked him about the cat.Martinez, who admitted to using meth, first denied having a cat, police said. Later, he changed his story and told police his boyfriend threw the cat from the window three hours prior, police said.

    When police told Martinez that witnesses said the cat was thrown more recently, he said he attempted to have sex with the cat and then threw it out the window, along with a pornographic DVD, police said.

  • The recording was allegedly made at the Yearning for Zion ranch in Texas, owned by the FLDS. It begins with Jeffs asking the girl how she feels.According to the transcript made and given to the court, the girl replies: ‘Feels good.’

    Soon after Jeffs can be heard saying: ‘Everyone else let go of me, back away a little. Please get on the other side of the bed.

    ‘You shall learn the powers of the spirit of God as a heavenly wife should,’ Jeffs tells the 12-year-old.

    ‘Let the heavenly comfort hear us.

    ‘We bless you, by the Lord, at this young age. To come to know God and his power, and feel his presence.’

    According to CNN, many jurors lowered their heads and closed their eyes during the recording.

    The voice is also heard saying: ‘You have to know how to be sexually excited and to help each other … and you have to be ready for the time I need your comfort.

    ‘This is your mission. This is how you abide the law.’

    At one point, he says: ‘Take your clothes off. Do it right now.’

  • ATTENTION IDIOTS IN THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA – Stop The Budget Lies – There Are NO Cuts – House Passes Bill To INCREASE Spending By $7 Trillion Over The Next 10 Years
  • Leona Baldwin’s husband saw it first, and she got on the marine radio to alert others in the remote Alaska village of Kivalina that a strange orange goo was sitting on top of the town’s harbor.The news attracted all the townspeople, anxious to get a gander of the phenomenon that covered much of the harbor and then began washing ashore Wednesday.

    The next day it rained, and residents found the orange matter floating on top of the rain buckets they use to collect drinking water. It was also found on one roof, leading them to believe whatever it was, it was airborne, too.

    By Friday, the orange substance in the lagoon had dissipated or washed out to sea, and what was left on ground had dried to a powdery substance.

    Samples of the orange matter were collected in canning jars and sent to a lab in Anchorage for analysis.

    Until results are known, Kivalina’s 374 residents will likely continue to wonder just what exactly happened in their village.

  • “Hey, don’t look at us” has been Entergy Corporation’s response to the discovery of Strontium-90 in fish from the Connecticut River.But the contamination, revealed this week by the Vermont Department of Health, promises to complicate the utility’s effort to extend the license of its aging Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant.

  • “They came in Target, they were throwing chairs, everybody went running,” said witness Shauny Bowe.“Everybody was just running everywhere,” said Bowe. “They went to McDonald’s, and they told people to get out, cussing and swearing. They were about to taze people. I was scared for my life.”

    As members of the church cleaned up the park, they said they are saddened that a day of fun and worship is now associated with disruption and vandalism.

  • Twenty-six police officers hurt in clashes, with eight being treated in hospital
    Scotland Yard still dealing with ‘isolated pockets of crime’ this morning
    Mob of 500 people protest about death of father-of-four Mark Duggan who was shot by officers
    100 riot police on the streets as Tottenham burns
    Fears that violence was fanned by Twitter as picture of burning police car was re-tweeted more than 100 times
    Shop looted and youths storm McDonald’s and start cooking their own food
    Mail on Sunday photographers beaten and mugged by masked thugs
  • Amid heavy downpours, a mother and daughter suspected of shoplifting at a Charlotte coat store ran into a swollen, fast-moving stream Friday night. Police found the mother’s body at the bottom of the creek Friday, and now it is being reported that search crews have found the body of her 16-year-old daughter Saturday.
  • $6500 Buy It Now
  • Clusters of young men hurled bricks and aimed fireworks at riot police officers before a backdrop of burning cars and buildings early Sunday in north London as a protest turned into an all-out riot.Demonstrators on Saturday evening marched to a police station in the Tottenham area of London to protest the death of Mark Duggan, a 29-year-old father of four who was killed Thursday by officers from the Trident unit of the Metropolitan Police, which investigates gun crime, according to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, an external government body which regulates the police.

    By 10:20 p.m. local time, the protest had turned violent. Two empty police cars were burned and officers were “subject to bottles and other missiles being thrown at them by the crowd,” according to a statement released by the police.

  • Traditionally, young people have energized democratic movements. So it is a major coup for the ruling elite to have created societal institutions that have subdued young Americans and broken their spirit of resistance to domination.Young Americans—even more so than older Americans—appear to have acquiesced to the idea that the corporatocracy can completely screw them and that they are helpless to do anything about it. A 2010 Gallup poll asked Americans “Do you think the Social Security system will be able to pay you a benefit when you retire?” Among 18- to 34-years-olds, 76 percent of them said no. Yet despite their lack of confidence in the availability of Social Security for them, few have demanded it be shored up by more fairly payroll-taxing the wealthy; most appear resigned to having more money deducted from their paychecks for Social Security, even though they don’t believe it will be around to benefit them.

    How exactly has American society subdued young Americans?

  • “Whatever happened to coming to the pub to engage in social interaction!?” I exclaimed.There was no response.

    I looked out of the window at the multitude of passers-by, all of whom seemed to be preoccupied with whatever was on their cell phones.

    “Another beer?” asked the barmaid as she punched in a few characters on her smartphone.

    “What exactly are you all fucking doing?” I asked somewhat irritably.

    “I’m on Twitter,” she said without even looking up.

    “And I’m on Facebook,” remarked the fat lawyer – his beady little jaundiced eyes looked up again briefly, as if attempting to burn holes in the back of my inner skull.

    “Yeah,” I remarked sarcastically, “cos, so much interesting shit is going down in here right now that all your friends need an update.”

    “Do you want a beer or not?” asked the barmaid impatiently – her podgy little pink thumbs sliding over the touch sensitive device.

    “No thanks,” I said getting to my feet, “I’ve got walls at home I can stare blankly at.”

  • The main obstacle to progress “seems to be a curious lack of ambition and imagination,” Etzioni writes in the piece, which he acknowledges “is meant to be provocative.”
  • A tiny second moon may once have orbited Earth before catastrophically slamming into the other one, a titanic clash that could explain why the two sides of the surviving lunar satellite are so different from each other, a new study suggests.
  • The latest development has to with Facebook’s facial recognition feature that helps users tag photos. After joining in the chorus of European nations that objected to the feature launch in June, German authorities are now the first to declare the feature illegal. Hamburg’s data protection official Johannes Caspar claims that the software violates both German and European Union data protection laws and that Facebook users don’t know how to delete the data that Facebook is gathering. “If the data were to get into the wrong hands, then someone with a picture taken on a mobile phone could use biometrics to compare the pictures and make an identification,” Caspar told the Hamburger Abendblatt. “The right to anonymity is in danger.”
  • The figures, milled from aluminum, will accompany Juno on its five-year trip to Jupiter. When Juno arrives in 2016, the Lego likeness of the Roman god, Jupiter, his sister, Juno, and the Italian astronomer, Galileo, will be there to take in all the sights and bask in the immensity of the largest planet.This (until now) secret installation was initiated by NASA scientists, who love Lego as much as anyone and wanted to do something memorable for this mission. They approached Lego and the company loved the idea. It saw the project as a way to promote children’s education and STEM programs.

    The brick company even underwrote the project, at a cost of $5,000 for each of the minifigs, which will soon become the farthest flying toys ever. The manufacture of the figures was a deliberate process to ensure the figures would not interfere with NASA’s sensitive measurements.

  • A U.S. federal court has ruled that the domain seizure of sports streaming site Rojadirecta does not violate the First Amendment, and has refused to hand the domain back to its Spanish owner. The order stands in conflict with previous Supreme Court rulings and doesn’t deliver much hope to other website owners who operate under U.S. controlled domain names.
  • pseudonyms allow statements to be public and persistent, but not attached to one’s real identity.I can understand why Google and Facebook don’t want this to happen. It’s bad for their marketing teams. It generates social problems when people don’t act responsibly under the cloak of their assumed identity. It messes up the clarity and coherence of their data. And maybe those costs do outweigh the benefits pseudonymity brings to social networks.

    But then let’s have that conversation. Let’s not pretend that what Google and Facebook are doing has long-established precedents and therefore these companies are only doing what they’re doing to mimic real life. They are creating tighter links between people’s behavior and their identities than has previously existed in the modern world.

  • IF YOUR face and name are anywhere on the web, you may be recognised whenever you walk the streets—not just by cops but by any geek with a computer. That seems to be the conclusion from some new research on the limits of privacy.For suspected miscreants, and people chasing them, face-recognition technology is old hat. Brazil, preparing for the soccer World Cup in 2014, is already trying out pairs of glasses with mini-cameras attached; policemen wearing them could snap images of faces, easy to compare with databases of criminals. More authoritarian states love such methods: photos are taken at checkpoints, and images checked against recent participants in protests.

  • The two assassins arrived from nowhere as their victim was driving home with his wife. Trapped inside his car, he was hopelessly vulnerable as their motorcycles pulled alongside.He would just have had time to notice their blacked-out visors before they opened fire, emptying round after round into his chest.

    Nuclear scientist Darioush Rezaei died immediately. His wife was critically wounded and still in hospital days after the attack in north eastern Iran.

    The hitmen? They vanished into the traffic fumes of the night.

  • Believe it or not, one in seven Americans – 15 percent of the country – now need government-provided food stamps simply to survive, according to latest government figures.Nearly 46 million Americans receive food stamps out of a population of some 311 million people, the US Department of Agriculture, which administers what’s officially called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programme reported Thursday.

  • A comedian who threw a foam pie into the face of media tycoon Rupert Murdoch was jailed for six weeks yesterday.Jonathan May-Bowles, 26, attacked the 80-year-old chief executive and chairman of News Corporation as he gave evidence to MPs about the hacking scandal that has engulfed his company, calling him a ‘naughty billionaire’.

    May-Bowles – also known as Jonnie Marbles – from Windsor, Berkshire, was ordered to pay £250 costs at City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court, and a £15 victim surcharge.

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average has plummeted by 760 points since the terms of the debt ceiling deal were announced Monday. If austerity was supposed to encourage economic growth, someone forgot to tell Wall Street.On Thursday alone, the index dropped more than 500 points, the worst one-day drop since the lowest lows of the meltdown.

    Some budget-cutting enthusiasts promoted the “important economic advantages of linking the debt limit to spending reductions,” and we’re seeing the immediate aftermath.

    Before the deal was voted on, Paul Krugman warned, “The worst thing you can do in these circumstances is slash government spending since that will depress the economy even further.”

    Investors seem to agree and, for the moment anyway, have decided to get out of Dodge.

  • When a self-driving car crashes, one just has to wonder about those robots. Are they really all they’re cracked up to be? Or might they be just as cracked as the rest of us?Should you have, this morning, been unreasonably detained by aggressive machines, may I tell you that Google’s famed, futuristic, liberating, and ultimately superhuman machine, the self-driving Prius, was involved in a fender bender.

    What seems evident from shots of the scene is that Google’s robot machine ran into the back of another Prius. You might think that it was on robotic autopilot and this was some sort of mating ritual.

    You might also think that a Google representative rushing to the defense of our future controllers by issuing a statement to Business Insider that a human had been driving might smack of the convenience of being chauffeur-driven.

  • There was a time, not all that long ago, when the Pentagon sank tens of millions of dollars into remote-controlled lightning guns that it hoped would fry insurgent bombs before they killed any more troops. Now, disassembled parts from the one-time wonder-weapons are being sold on eBay. At least one buyer snatched up the gear, hoping to use it in his latest art project for Burning Man.All of which would make for a funny little story, if that buyer didn’t discover that the multimillion dollar “Joint Improvised Explosive Device Neutralizers,” or JINs, were kluged together from third-rate commercial electronics, and controlled by open Wi-Fi signals. In other words, the Pentagon didn’t just overpay for a flawed weapon. On the off-chance the JIN ever worked, the insurgents could control it, too.

    “This is the hack of all hacks,” says Cody Oliver, a freelance technologist in San Francisco. “And this is what they were selling to the government? Holy shit.”

  • It is hard to get a fix on how much porn contributes to cable and satellite companies’ bottom lines because the companies aren’t transparent about it. But adult content has been a consistent source of profit, because cable operators have leverage to command margins that can exceed 90% on rentals of generally interchangeable porn movies, analysts say. “It’s a relevant business simply because of its profitability,” said Craig Moffett, a cable and satellite analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein.Adult movies are often more expensive, too. Many adult movies cost $9.98 to rent on Time Warner Cable in New York, while Hollywood films often cost $4.99 to rent.

    The porn-cable connection tumbled into public view when NBC’s “30 Rock” mocked the dependence of Kabletown—a fictionalized version of NBC’s then soon-to-be owner Comcast—on pay-per-view pornography, calling it “the goose that lays the golden eggs.

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

Conjured by SeMeN SPeRmS on August 7, 2011

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The Latest In Street Art News

  • For years, women across America have dealt with glass ceilings. But now, women in Ohio have a new problem – glass floors.

    A $105 million courthouse opened in Franklin County, Ohio, on Monday, but the builders seemed to have forgotten one thing – the bottom of the stairs, reports affiliate 10TV. The staircase is made of glass.

    Dress wearers need to avoid taking the stairs, according to Franklin County Judge Julie Lynch, who wears dresses under her robes almost every day.

    “I wear dresses because that’s my personal choice,” Lynch told 10TV. “When you stand under the stairwell, you can see right up through them.”

  • A judge just ruled against Mr. Brainwash in a lawsuit from photographer Glen E. Friedman claiming that MBW used his iconic photo of Run DMC without permission. Mr. Brainwash had argued that the photo had been altered sufficiently and could be used under the ‘fair use act’. But the judge disagreed, and, MBW’s haters will be excited to hear that the judge “ruled that Guetta can’t defend his work as transformative fair use.”
  • Making the Twitter rounds on a super-sized scale over the weekend (under the hashtag of #seriouslymcdonalds) was this obviously fake sign that’s allegedly in a McDonald’s restaurant. It claims that “African-American customers are now required to pay an additional fee of $1.50 per transaction.” The picture originated on twitpic and has gone viral from there.
  • Tai Djin was born in China in 1849. He was born unique, afflicted with hypertrichosis. Unlike Jo-Jo, who would be born a few decades later, Tai Djin was born into a highly superstitious family. As A result they saw his affliction as the work of demons and he was left in the forest to die.

    A Shaolin monk traveling through the forest discovered the child and took him back to the Fukien Shaolin Temple. There Tai Djin was raised by the monks.

    He was trained in martial arts and it quickly became apparent that he was exceptional in both appearance and ability. The boy must have been a sight practicing kung-fu with his face covered in fine fur. He quickly became a favorite of many of the Shaolin masters and, as a result, each master passed their knowledge on to Tai Djin.

  • The International Monetary Fund, still struggling to find a new leader after the arrest of its managing director last month in New York, was hit recently by what computer experts describe as a large and sophisticated cyberattack whose dimensions are still unknown.

    The fund, which manages financial crises around the world and is the repository of highly confidential information about the fiscal condition of many nations, told its staff and its board of directors about the attack on Wednesday. But it did not make a public announcement.

    Several senior officials with knowledge of the attack said it was both sophisticated and serious. “This was a very major breach,” said one official, who said that it had occurred over the last several months, even before Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the French politician who ran the fund, was arrested on charges of sexually assaulting a chamber maid in a New York hotel.

  • Last week, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed a bill into law that criminalizes “transmitting or displaying” any image that under a “reasonable expectation” might “frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress” to anyone who sees it. This includes not only images posted on the internet, but also television and any other “electronic communications service” currently in existence. Essentially, the law allows anyone with a well-thought out argument to get anyone they want — including journalists — thrown into jail for up to a year or fined up to $2,500 for sharing a picture or other image.
  • To the tiny students at this dance studio, the moves are totally innocent.

    In fact, they are being instructed in the sleazy art of pole dancing. And their age? As young as three.
    Child protection groups yesterday labelled these images from the classes ‘deeply disturbing’.

  • An annual survey of the rule of law around the world released Monday sees weak protections for fundamental rights in China, “serious deficiencies” in Russia, and problems with discrimination in the United States.
  • Russia’s biggest retail bank is testing a machine that the old K.G.B. might have loved, an A.T.M. with a built-in lie detector intended to prevent consumer credit fraud.
    Enlarge This Image
    Oleg Nikishin for The New York TimesDmitri V. Dyrmovsky, director of the Speech Technology Center’s Moscow offices, which built voice analysis software meant to detect lying. 

    Consumers with no previous relationship with the bank could talk to the machine to apply for a credit card, with no human intervention required on the bank’s end.

    The machine scans a passport, records fingerprints and takes a three-dimensional scan for facial recognition. And it uses voice-analysis software to help assess whether the person is truthfully answering questions that include “Are you employed?” and “At this moment, do you have any other outstanding loans?”

  • The Transportation Security Administration is considering changing its policy on photographing security checkpoints after several videos depicting questionable incidents between passengers and TSA screeners were posted on Youtube.
  • He was hired to fix their computers, but police say that Trevor Harwell instead installed spyware software that took candid photos of his clients in various states of undress.

    Harwell had been a Macintosh specialist with a Los Angeles-area home computer repair company called Rezitech. That’s how he allegedly had the opportunity to install the spy software, called Camcapture, on computers.

    While working on repair assignments, the 20-year-old technician secretly set up a complex system that could notify him whenever it was ready to snap a shot using the computer’s webcam, according to Sergeant Andrew Goodrich, a spokesman with the Fullerton Police Department in California. “It would let his server know that the victim’s machine was on. The server would then notify his smartphone… and then the images were recorded on his home computer,” he said.

  • It sounds crazy, but tech companies have been patenting physical gestures for almost two decades now. In a world ruled by touchscreens, Kinect, and Guitar Hero, these businesses don’t want people making certain gestures without paying for it. Find out which gestures you’re making that may be infringing somebody’s patents.
  • Some may have thought we would never discover the Titanic, but this is an even more ambitious search.

    Treasure-hunter Bill Warren, of California, is reportedly launching an underwater search to find the body of former Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.

  • When viewing lesbian sex and straight sex, both the homophobic and the non-homophobic men showed increased penis circumference. For gay male sex, however, only the homophobic men showed heightened penis arousal.

    Heterosexual men with the most anti-gay attitudes, when asked, reported not being sexually aroused by gay male sex videos. But, their penises reported otherwise.

    Homophobic men were the most sexually aroused by gay male sex acts.

  • LulzSec — which has been making inroads into Anonymous’ griefer market share with aggressively promoted attacks on Sony, PBS, affiliates of the FBI, porn sites, and Bethesda Softworks and Brink (sites they like) – just posted data that looks like it was taken from an internally facing server belonging to the U.S. Senate.
  • A MELBOURNE-based company is selling baby and children’s clothes featuring pictures of evil monsters such as Hitler, Osama bin Laden, Ivan Milat, Ted Bundy and Charles Manson.
  • The police report taken Tuesday described the incident twice as a “prank” and says “police incident closed.” While one girl filmed, a second girl held her knee on the little boy’s neck, while yet a third girl stripped him completely naked. He is heard screaming out for his mother. This all happened in broad daylight with many spectators. Then a video of the incident was posted to YouTube.
  • Shepard Fairey is one of the most famous street artists in the world… and Shepard Fairey’s wife can’t keep a secret to save her life.
  • Momsen rocks a Sonic Youth/Necros shirt with side tits.
    Thanks Ramon
  • Restaurants that woo men with attractive waitresses, big beer selections & giant TVs are winning loyal customers–and raking in revenues.
  • A Crest Hill man told police he used child pornography as well as some 1,700 photos of dismembered women to keep himself from killing his wife and two young daughters, a detective testified in court Wednesday.

    Joshua Price, 26, a Joliet Junior College student, was arrested in March after accidentally leaving a flash drive with child pornography on it in the college’s computer lab.

    Police searching computers seized from Price’s apartment later found more child pornography as well as the images of dismembered women.

    Price said he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after his military service in the Middle East and that child pornography was “the only thing that kept him from killing his wife and children,” Will County sheriff’s Detective Joseph Fazio testified.

  • Here’s a new one: A Polish contortionist and his accomplice were arrested in Spain on Friday for stealing valuable items from travelers’ checked luggage after gaining entry to the cargo of an airport transit bus by hiding himself in a small suitcase.
  • Saturn holds a secret, a mysterious HEXAGON over the north pole. Yet unexplainable.
  • The N12 bikini is the world’s first ready-to-wear, completely 3D-printed article of clothing. All of the pieces, closures included, are made directly by 3D printing and snap together without any sewing. N12 represents the beginning of what is possible for the near future.
  • The New York Times reported last week that thieves targeting extensions have recently stolen $150,000 in hair from a Houston salon, $90,000 in extensions from a beauty supply store in Chicago and $85,000 in hair from a store in Missouri City, Texas.
  • The United States lost nearly six million users in May, Inside Facebook said, falling from 155.2 million at the start of May to 149.4 million at the end of it.

    Canadian users fell 1.52 million to 16.6 million during the month and Britain, Norway and Russia all posted losses of more than 100,000, Inside Facebook said.

  • An explosion and fire that ripped through an upscale Moorpark home Thursday, leaving two people injured, led to the discovery of a hash oil lab inside, officials said.
  • ROBERT ALVAREZ [former senior policy adviser to the U.S. Secretary of Energy]: Yes. As you know, the Japanese government, in its report to the IAEA, said it had underestimated the amount of radioactivity released to the atmosphere during the first week and that it amounts to roughly 40 million curies of radioactivity. What they failed to mention is that they discharged an equally large amount into the ocean, about 20 million curies, and that the—what they’re counting here is the radioactive iodine and radioactive cesium. [...]

    [T]he Soviet Union and Russia basically have claimed that about 50 million curies of radioactivity were released to the environment

  • First ever Detroit techno record, released in 1981
  • Original estimates of xenon and krypton releases remain the same, but a TEPCO recalculation shows dramatic increases in the release of hot particles. This confirms the results of air filter monitoring by independent scientists. Fairewinds’ Arnie Gundersen explains how hot particles may react in mammals while escaping traditional detection. Reports of a metallic taste in the mouth, such as those now being reported in Japan and on the west coast, are a telltale sign of radiation exposure.

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

Conjured by SeMeN SPeRmS on June 14, 2011

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Livin’ In A Banksters Paradise

  • The court approved the judicial equivalent of an extreme makeover, paying $125 a day for the services of a cosmetologist to cover up the tattoos that Mr. Ditullio has gotten since his arrest.
  • An official familiar with the situation told CNBC that 1.1 billion of the new bills have been printed, but they are unusable because of a creasing problem in which paper folds over during production, revealing a blank unlinked portion of the bill face.
  • A former Western New York elementary school principal who has served 18 months in prison for possession of child pornography will be released after an appeals court in Florida overturned his conviction. A three-judge panel of the Second District Court of Appeal in Lakeland, Fla., ruled Friday that the photos held by John R. Stelmack aren’t child pornography because they showed the nude bodies of adults. Photos of children’s faces, including two students from schools where Stelmack had served, had been superimposed on the bodies, but none of the altered pictures showed naked children, according to the Lakeland Ledger. “Unseemly as the images in this case may be, their possession is not [outlawed in Florida] because the only sexual conduct in the images is that of an adult,“ Judge Morris Silberman wrote in the opinion, which was joined by the two other judges.
  • It all sounded quite important, and the program’s slogan is pretty catchy. But after you get past the pandering sound bites, a question comes to mind: is anyone in the corner offices of Wall Street’s biggest firms or corporate America’s biggest companies paying any attention to Mr. Holder’s “strong message”? Of course not. (I actually called some chief executives after Mr. Holder’s news conference, and not one had heard of Operation Broken Trust.) That’s because in the two years since the peak of the financial crisis, the government has not brought one criminal case against a big-time corporate official of any sort. Instead, inexplicably, prosecutors are busy chasing small-timers: penny-stock frauds, a husband-and-wife team charged in an insider trading case and mini-Ponzi schemes.
  • The initial attacks against PayPal were substantially ineffective; the PayPal blog was taken offline, but the main PayPal site wasn’t harmed. The attacks against PostFinance, however, have resulted in the bank’s website being unavailable for more than 16 hours. It remains unavailable at the time of writing. The latest target is the site of the Swedish prosecutors in Assange’s sexual misconduct trial. This too appears to be offline. Twitter has also been named as a future attack target, due to its claimed censorship of the #wikileaks hashtag.
  • (Low Orbit Ion Cannon) is a network stress testing application, written in C# and developed by “praetox”. It attempts a Denial-of-Service attack on the target site by flooding the server with TCP packets, UDP packets, or HTTP requests with the intention of disrupting the service of a particular host. The program was exploited during Project Chanology to attack Scientology websites, and is currently being used by Operation Avenge Assange (Earlier known as Operation Payback) to attack the websites of companies and organizations that have opposed WikiLeaks.
  • The users, who collectively call themselves “anonymous,” are public enemy number one of the entertainment industry, which accuses the vast majority of them of piracy and lending support to the groups that host pirated content online. As the rhetoric has increased in recent months, though, the entertainment industry has learned that poking the hornet’s nest can be painful. Vigilante users of the site have taken it upon themselves recently to launch a flurry of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks on a number of Websites with ties to all corners of the entertainment industry.
  • Neighbors gasped when authorities showed them photos of the inside of the Southern California ranch-style home: Crates of grenades, mason jars of white, explosive powder and jugs of volatile chemicals that are normally the domain of suicide bombers. Prosecutors say Serbian-born George Jakubec quietly packed the home with the largest amount of homemade explosives ever found in one location in the U.S. and was running a virtual bomb-making factory in his suburban neighborhood. How the alleged bank robber obtained the chemicals and what he planned to do with them remain mysteries. Now authorities face the risky task of getting rid of the explosives. The property is so dangerous and volatile that that they have no choice but to burn the home to the ground this week in a highly controlled operation involving dozens of firefighters, scientists and hazardous material and pollution experts.
  • US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a public speech in January 2010 championing Internet freedom as a vital tool to open governments and promote transparency, while criticizing “dictatorships” who seek to target those who use technology to expose their transgressions.
  • The “this” that I’m talking about in the title of today’s post is the way in which the fetuses pictured in this atlas of activity were made to be in motion: the fetuses experienced needle stimulations to theirl faces, and hands, and arms, and so on. Needles inserted, movie images made, experiments undertaken on the development of human fetal activity. 42 fetuses subjected to experimentation, physiological and morphological, poked with needles to determine how they would respond during the integral period of development of motility (from the 8th to 14th weeks, in regard to reflexes). The fetuses float in front of the camera unencumbered, and then the long and very pointed needle comes into view, finding its target, then a series of stills from the film made to show how the fetus moved in reaction to having been touched or abraised.
  • A soft landing for America 40 years from now? Don’t bet on it. The demise of the United States as the global superpower could come far more quickly than anyone imagines. If Washington is dreaming of 2040 or 2050 as the end of the American Century, a more realistic assessment of domestic and global trends suggests that in 2025, just 15 years from now, it could all be over except for the shouting.
  • Just when I thought the banksters couldn’t possibly shock me anymore… they did. We were finally granted the honor and privilege of finding out the specifics, a limited one-time Federal Reserve view, of a secret taxpayer funded “backdoor bailout” by a small group of unelected bankers. This data release reveals “emergency lending programs” that doled out $12.3 TRILLION in taxpayer money – $3.3 trillion in liquidity, $9 trillion in “other financial arrangements.” Wait, what? Did you say $12.3 TRILLION tax dollars were thrown around in secrecy by unelected bankers… and Congress didn’t know any of the details?
  • Google’s monopoly, algorithms, and privacy policies
  • One of the women that is accusing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of sex crimes appears to have worked with a group that has connections to the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). James D. Catlin, a lawyer who recently represented Assange, said the sex assault investigation into the WikiLeaks founder is based on claims he didn’t use condoms during sex with two Swedish women. Swedish prosecutors told AOL News last week that Assange was not wanted for rape as has been reported, but for something called “sex by surprise” or “unexpected sex.”
  • What have we learned so far from the disclosure of more than 21,000 transactions?We have learned that the $700 billion Wall Street bailout signed into law by President George W. Bush turned out to be pocket change compared to the trillions and trillions of dollars in near-zero interest loans and other financial arrangements the Federal Reserve doled out to every major financial institution in this country. Among those are Goldman Sachs, which received nearly $600 billion; Morgan Stanley, which received nearly $2 trillion; Citigroup, which received $1.8 trillion; Bear Stearns, which received nearly $1 trillion, and Merrill Lynch, which received some $1.5 trillion in short term loans from the Fed. We also learned that the Fed’s multi-trillion bailout was not limited to Wall Street and big banks, but that some of the largest corporations in this country also received a very substantial bailout. Among those are General Electric, McDonald’s, Caterpillar, Harley Davidson, Toyota and Verizon.

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Conjured by SeMeN SPeRmS on December 8, 2010

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National Geographic – Taboo Drugs

NGC explores drug cultures around the world where people use drugs to enter an “altered state” — sometimes with dangerous consequences. We visit a village in Venezuela where shamans use drugs to contact the spirit world, a festival in Nepal where hashish is temporarily legalized and a club scene in Amsterdam where drugs have become a focus of both recreational indulgence and scientific inquiry.

File under Massive Consumption of Drugs, SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG, SeMeN SPeRmS ViDeO CLuB