Kabul | SeMeN SPeRmS SuPeR SiTe

Tornadoe Boy

  • Each of the kits Hydorn assembles by hand is a simple contraption designed for a single purpose: people kill themselves with it by encasing their head in a bag of helium, which is lethal in pure form. People like Klonoski, the son of a U.S. district judge and whose funeral was attended by more than a thousand people. The Gladd Group’s estimated annual sales are $98,000. That means Sharlotte Hydorn sells more than 1,600 suicide kits every year.
  • While the Obama Administration has commenced a third war in Libya and is spending billions every week in military operations from Kabul to Tripoli, it is shutting down various domestic programs for lack of funds. The latest is the Allen Telescope Array — a large number of small satellite dishes that search for extraterrestrial life in Northern California. The prohibitive cost? $1.5 million dollars a year (an additional $1 million is used on data collection and analysis). In the meantime, the Administration is refusing to yield to the latest Afghan official insisting that the country does not want or need U.S. troops and yet another case of an Afghan soldier killing U.S. personnel — this time eight U.S. soldiers and one contractor killed by one of our allies.
  • It is a known fact that while African Americans and white Americans use marijuana at the same statistical rate, African Americans are arrested for marijuana use at a much higher rate. Despite the fact that New York City is 60% white, white people only amount to 10% of all NYC marijuana arrests.
  • Think current U.S. political campaigns are nasty? The attack-pinback has long been a tool of partisans and politicos.
  • For years, scientists have speculated that armadillos can pass on leprosy to humans, and that they are behind the few dozen cases of the disease that occur in the U.S. every year. Now, they have evidence. A genetic study published today in The New England Journal of Medicine shows that U.S. armadillos and human patients share what seems to be a unique strain of the bacterium that causes leprosy.
  • He’s just so sick of being pigeon-holed as an instrument of U.S. policy. And “truth, justice, and the American way“ are ”not enough anymore.” That’s why Superman, in the latest Action Comic, has announced he is “renouncing” his U.S. citizenship.

    Although he’s traditionally seen as an American hero (remember, though, he is an alien), Superman is fed up with being connected to the USA. According to the Comics Alliance blog (and reported by BoingBoing), in Action Comics #900 Superman tells the president‘s national security adviser that he’s had enough of the Red, White, and Blue

  • Camden, New Jersey, with a population of 70,390, is per capita the poorest city in the nation. It is also the most dangerous. The city’s real unemployment — hard to estimate, since many residents have been severed from the formal economy for generations — is probably 30 to 40 percent. The median household income is $24,600. There is a 70 percent high school dropout rate, with only 13 percent of students managing to pass the state’s proficiency exams in math. The city is planning $28 million in draconian budget cuts, with officials talking about cutting 25 percent from every department, including layoffs of nearly half the police force. The proposed slashing of the public library budget by almost two-thirds has left the viability of the library system in doubt.
  • In the 1990s, a researcher named Kris Pister dreamed up a wild future in which people would sprinkle the Earth with countless tiny sensors, no larger than grains of rice.

    These “smart dust” particles, as he called them, would monitor everything, acting like electronic nerve endings for the planet. Fitted with computing power, sensing equipment, wireless radios and long battery life, the smart dust would make observations and relay mountains of real-time data about people, cities and the natural environment.
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    Now, a version of Pister’s smart dust fantasy is starting to become reality.

  • On Tuesday, the Air Force issued a call for help making a miniature drone that could covertly drop a mysterious and unspecified tracking “dust” onto people, allowing them to be tracked from a distance. The proposal says its useful for all kinds of random things, from identifying friendly forces and civilians to tracking wildlife. But the motive behind a covert drone tagger likely has less to do with sneaking up on spotted owls and more to do with painting a target on the backs of tomorrow’s terrorists.
  • A Sunshine Coast man was bashed to death, put in a shopping trolley and dumped in a creek following a drunken fight over music selection, a court has heard.

    The court was told Emmanuel McPherson, 48, objected when his flatmate, James Albert Madden, played a Limp Bizkit album on Mr McPherson’s stereo.

    A fight then broke out, in which Mr Madden allegedly beat Mr McPherson to death.

  • Navigation device maker TomTom has apologized for supplying driving data collected from customers to police to use in catching speeding motorists.

    The data, including historical speed, has been sold to local and regional governments in the Netherlands to help police set speed traps, Dutch newspaper AD reported here, with a Google translation here. As more smartphones offer GPS navigation service, TomTom has been forced to compensate for declining profit by increasing sales in other areas, including the selling of traffic data.

  • Pretty surreal footage right now coming out of Birmingham, AL, right now of what is believed to be a 1-mile wide F4 or F5 tornado
  • In a museum filled with preserved abnormal fetuses, giant and dwarf skeletons, and an 8-foot colon, what makes a cabinet full of safety pins, small trinkets and other random items one of the most fascinating exhibits?

    For starters, each one of these objects — and there are thousands — was swallowed and extracted. The curious can get a closer look at the carefully catalogued items at the Mütter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia.

    The collection was assembled and donated to the museum by Chevalier Jackson, a pioneering laryngologist of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

  • Turkish police donned white coats and stethoscopes to disguise themselves as doctors, then knocked on people’s doors to see how easily they would fall for a confidence scam.

    The undercover police officers told residents of the southeastern city of Gaziantep they were screening for high blood pressure and handed out pills, according to Turkish media.

    They were alarmed when residents at 86 out of 100 households visited on Tuesday swallowed the pills immediately.

    Police later returned to warn residents to be more cautious.

    The police pills were harmless placebos. But a local gang had been using the same technique to give people heavy sedatives and then burgle them.

  • It argues that “derogatory” language about animals can affect the way that they are treated.

    “Despite its prevalence, ‘pets’ is surely a derogatory term both of the animals concerned and their human carers,” the editorial claims.

    “Again the word ‘owners’, whilst technically correct in law, harks back to a previous age when animals were regarded as just that: property, machines or things to use without moral constraint.”

    It goes on: “We invite authors to use the words ‘free-living’, ‘free-ranging’ or ‘free-roaming’ rather than ‘wild animals’

    “For most, ‘wildness’ is synonymous with uncivilised, unrestrained, barbarous existence.

    “There is an obvious prejudgment here that should be avoided.”

  • For the last six years, Jon Foy has been filming a movie about the mysterious Toynbee tiles. His documentary, Resurrect Dead, follows the investigation carried out by Justin Duerr, Steve Weinik, and Colin Smith as they set out to discover what the tiles mean and who made them. On their search, the three detectives uncovered increasingly bizarre clues: a decades old newspaper article, a David Mamet play, a Jupiter colonization organization, and a Toynbee message that “hijacked” local news broadcasts. In the end, Foy comes closer then anyone else to solving this four-decades-old mystery.
  • This is a strange, Twitter-borne tale of flirting, cutouts, and lack of online caution in the intelligence and defense worlds. Professionals who should’ve known better casually disclosed their personal details (a big no-no in spook circles) and lobbed allegations they later couldn’t or wouldn’t support (a big no-no in all circles). It led to a Pentagon investigation. And it starts with a Twitter account that no longer exists called @PrimorisEra.
  • It’s one of the biggest data breaches in history. Now that Sony has come clean — sort of — on a computer intrusion this month that exposed personal information on 77 million PlayStation Network users, one obvious question remains: Who pulled off the hack?
  • “Well, this is just really cool,” he said sarcastically. “A graffiti pack. Just wonderful for all of our nice friends to carry around and then in a moment or two just shoot everybody’s walls and property up.”

    South Salt Lake police spokesman Garry Keller says graffiti is more of a plague than a problem.

    “Some people refer to it as street art,” he said. “It’s not street art. It’s graffiti. You’re damaging somebody else’s property. It takes up their resources, their time, their money to remove it. And it’s all for nothing.”

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Makin’ Bacon

    • Al Qaeda’s Yemen-based wing vowed to “bleed” U.S. resources with inexpensive, small-scale attacks that cost militants just thousands of dollars to mount but billions for the West to guard against.
    • An internet real estate mogul has sold his virtual nightclub for $635,000 (£399,000) in the largest online sale of its kind ever. British-born Jon Jacobs stunned experts when he sold ‘Club Neverdie’, one of the most sought-after properties in the virtual world game Entropia Universe, for the record sum.
    • A hallucinogen called ibogaine has helped addicts kick heroin, meth and everything in between. Is it the trip that does the trick?
    • Children in Afghan cities are safer than those in New York or London, Nato’s top civilian envoy to Afghanistan has said.
    • The moment Representative Charles Schumer announced his intent to get the drink booted from New York State, people seemed to race to every bodega in every borough, scooping up cases of it, hoarding it like speakeasy gunrunners. While riding the NYC subway Thursday, I overheard two men in their early 20s talking about a friend who had a stash, and was charging $10 a can. Even at a $7 markup, they sounded pretty eager to pay it.

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    Jumping Off The GW Bridge Sorry.

      • But Tan also found that female bat will often bend down to lick the shaft of her mate’s penis during sex itself. This behaviour happened on 70% of the videos, making it the only known example of regular fellatio in a non-human animal. It also prolonged the sexual encounter – males never withdrew their penises when they were being licked and, on average, the behaviour bought the couple an extra 100 seconds of sex over and above the usual 2 minutes. The licking itself only lasted for 20 seconds on average, so each second of it buys six extra seconds of penetration.
      • “An oral masturbation was recorded when a male sat with head lowered and an erect penis in his mouth, being stimulated with both mouth (fellatio) and forepaws (masturbation), while the lower torso moved forward and backwards in thrusting motions, finally culminating in an apparent ejaculation, after which the male appeared to consume the ejaculate.”
      • You never thought you’d see the day, but ivory is back in fashion – mammoth ivory, that is. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, mammoth-mining is big business in Russia. Tusks from the long-gone species are being reclaimed from their mass graveyard in the Siberian tundra, and each year 60 tonnes are exported to China, home to the world’s largest ivory market. Aside from being worth significantly more than elephant tusks, mammoth ivory is being touted as an ethical alternative to the illegal poaching trade, which persists in threatening the conservation of the living species. Michelle Obama is one fan, and has been seen wearing Monique Péan necklaces sculpted from mammoth tusks.
      • A State Department official confirmed in April that “any company, including Xe Services [another name for Blackwater] and its subsidiary companies, [may] submit a proposal in response to an acquisition process established on the basis of full and open competition.” Despite the slayings of civilians at Nisour Square in Iraq in 2007 — which got Blackwater de-certified by the Iraqi government — and on the road in Kabul in 2009, no federal acquisition official has ever recommended that Blackwater be barred from bidding on government contracts. That means it would violate federal law to prevent Blackwater from entering a bid.
      • Imagine marijuana substituted for alcohol in this story. The article would be presented as a scary expose about workers smoking a daily dime-bag and marijuana growers’ linking pot with the Army. Undoubtedly, such an article would be on the front page of every newspaper as cause for outrage. Yet, because this was about alcohol — remember, a substance more toxic than marijuana — it was buried in a financial magazine and depicted as something to extol.
      • Artist Yuri Suzuki has created a range of musical wonders including an electronic instrument played by jellyfish, a tuneful train track and a miniature vehicle that interprets different colors as sounds.
      • Police in New Zealand burning off seized cannabis were left red-faced when a change in the wind sent smoke billowing over a primary school, it was reported Tuesday.
      • “She was going door to door in the apartments and trying to sell the marijuana,” Gonzalez said. Inside the apartment, police found cocaine packaged for sale and with a street value of about $5,000 — but no marijuana. “I’m pretty sure she heard the mom or the dad doing that,” Gonzalez said, adding the girl was simply imitating her parents, who he believes sold drugs.
      • Adults on the prowl are using the colorful bands instead of bad pickup lines to make love connections.
        Thanks Billoney.

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      Only Users Lose Drugs

        • Urban sprawl, pollution, over-consumption, deforestation…like it or not, U.S. taxpayers are still paying for all of these things to occur in America and beyond. Despite recent investments in green jobs and technology, an array of government subsidies pay big dirty industries like oil, coal and factory farms to destroy the environment in every way possible while greener, healthier industries like solar power and vegetable farms get a pittance.
        • Low Clearance can be a real challenge for a truck driver. Especially inexperienced drivers of rental boxtrucks seem to be quite oblivious to the warning signs and flashing “overheight” warning lights at this railroad trestle in Durham, NC. So frequently do trucks crash into the 11-foot-8 clearance trestle, that the railroad company installed a crash beam in front of it. This massive steel I-beam bears the brunt of the impact, protecting the structure that supports this fairly busy railroad track. Believe it or not – they already had to replace the beam once! The videos of these crashes document the severity of the impact, and they show how frequently these crashes produce a real hazard for pedestrians and other vehicles.
        • THERE IS perhaps no other political-military elite in the world whose aspirations for great-power regional status, whose desire to overextend and outmatch itself with meager resources, so outstrips reality as that of Pakistan. If it did not have such dire consequences for 170 million Pakistanis and nearly 2 billion people living in South Asia, this magical thinking would be amusing. This is a country that sadly appears on every failing-state list and still wants to increase its arsenal from around 60 atomic weapons to well over 100 by buying two new nuclear reactors from China. This is a country isolated and friendless in its own region, facing unprecedented homegrown terrorism from extremists its army once trained, yet it pursues a “forward policy” in Afghanistan to ensure a pro-Pakistan government in Kabul as soon as the Americans leave.
        • The humans-as-food determination negates other possibilities, such as cannibalism for ritual’s sake, or cannibalism due to starvation. In this oldest known case of humans eating humans, other food was available to the diners, but human flesh was just part of their meat mix.
          Thanks Patrick Nybakken
        • The implications of accidental disclosure of a person’s location are significant. This is especially true for those in physically threatening situations, including domestic abuse victims and those with sensitive occupations. EPIC has created this page to explain the default settings as well as provide instructions for how to effectively disable this sharing of information.
        • In the days after the levees broke, corporate media outlets were abuzz with stories of looting, rampant murder, snipers shooting at doctors and rescue helicopters, even the raping of babies at the Superdome stories backed by the local police chief and mayor . But a month later, the New Orleans Times-Picayune revealed 8/26/05 that most of the worst crimes reported at the time never happened -no babies raped, no snipers, and only four CONFIRMed murders in the entire week following the hurricane, a pretty typical week for New Orleans. The New York Times four days later 8/29/05 reported six or seven CONFIRMed homicides. And while looting did occur, much of it was for survival in a city where no help-no food, no water-arrived for days.
        • May 1953 issue of Tomb of Terror #9
        • U-Boats Sank Dozens of Ships in U.S. Waters. On Jan. 14, 1942, an oil tanker bound for Great Britain was sunk by U-123 within sight of Long Island. Four days later, two more tankers sank in the same area. The next day, a pair of steamships went down. On Jan. 22, a freighter was sunk off Cape Hatteras, N.C. By the end of the month, German subs had sent 14 ships to the ocean floor along the eastern seaboard of the U.S.
        • “Gulf Coast fishermen do not want to sell tainted seafood but are being forced, by the premature opening of inland and gulf waters to commercial fishing, to choose between a clean gulf or their livelihood,” according to a press release announcing the event. “Fishermen would rather work cleaning the severely damaged gulf than selling tainted seafood.”
        • In 1700, the French Academy of Sciences reviewed the “facts” behind a reported case of male pregnancy. After a young man held himself back during sex, he felt that familiar soreness. But he didn’t expect that, a few days later, one of his testicles started to swell. Flash forward six months, his testicle had grown to the size a “turkey’s egg” — which, if you’re curious, is pretty darn big.

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