Lego

Seventies Sidewalk Surfin’

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

 

 

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

Conjured by SeMeN SPeRmS on January 3, 2012

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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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Put A Band-Aid On It!

  • The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says it lost control of an unmanned helicopter during a flight near the No. 2 reactor building, forcing the controller to make an emergency landing on a roof there.

    Tokyo Electric Power Company says the remote-controlled light helicopter took off from an observatory south of the Fukushima plant just past 6:30 AM on Friday. Its mission was to collect airborne radioactive substances around the No. 2 reactor building.

    The utility says its engine failed about 30 minutes later, making it impossible for the aircraft to ascend.

    The helicopter — 50 centimeters long and weighing 8 kilograms — was found lying on its side on the rooftop.

  • She claims that “during the course of these after-hours appointments, the plaintiff was placed under sedation by defendant Adams for the purposes, ostensibly, of defendant Adams conducting internal vaginal examinations and procedures including, but not limited to, internal ultrasounds of the plaintiff.”
    She says Adams prescribed large amounts of medication which was contraindicated in her conditions.
    “Over the course of the treatment regimen, defendant Adams insured that the plaintiff became dependent on the large volume of prescription drugs provided by defendant Adams to his patient … (H)e assured her that the prescription drugs being prescribed were necessary for her treatment and pain management,” the complaint states.
  • As typically happens in Russia, Pavlova began her drug use as a teenager shooting a substance called khanka, a tarlike opiate cooked from poppy bulbs, then graduated to heroin and finally, at the age of 27, switched to krokodil, because it has roughly the same effect as heroin but is at least three times cheaper and extremely easy to make. The active component is codeine, a widely sold over-the-counter painkiller that is not toxic on its own. But to produce krokodil, whose medical name is desomorphine, addicts mix it with ingredients including gasoline, paint thinner, hydrochloric acid, iodine and red phosphorous, which they scrape from the striking pads on matchboxes. In 2010, between a few hundred thousand and a million people, according to various official estimates, were injecting the resulting substance into their veins in Russia, so far the only country in the world to see the drug grow into an epidemic.
  • Philip Fursman has been buying plain models from a UK company, painting them and then selling them on the eBay website for a number of years for a small profit.

    But Mr Fursman from Card, Somerset, fell foul of the site’s policies when he tried to sell a model of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

    However, similar models of Osama bin Laden used in war games are allowed.

    The 37 year-old father-of-three said he was surprised by the policy because he had recently sold miniature figures of Osama bin Laden and the Taliban on eBay without any problem.

  • When art copies art

    The Flavour of Tears is established as a bona fide original, but René Magritte and his fellow Surrealists were no strangers to the dark arts of forgery. Magritte made a living during the Nazi occupation of Belgium by forging Picassos and Renoirs. Fellow artist Marcel Mariën would sell them on to private collectors.

    The Surrealist movement explores the tension of the real and the unreal, and Magritte may well have seen his forgeries as part that conflict. Playing a joke on the aficionados, he hung his forgery of Max Ernst’s The Forest in place of the original in 1943.

    Fellow Surrealist Giorgio de Chirico, in his later years, produced what he called “self-forgeries” of his earlier, more popular style. He would backdate them to fool the critics; ironic revenge for their attacks on his later works.

  • The name krokodil comes from its trademark side effect: scaly green skin like a crocodile around the injection site. TIME calls it “the dirty cousin of morphine,” because it’s three times cheaper than heroin and very easy to make, being that its main ingredient is codeine, a behind-the-counter drug that has sent many of America’s famous rap community to prison.

    The medical name of krokodil is desomorphine. A quick search for that will bring up graphic images of people with swollen faces, exposed bones and muscles and skin rotting off on any given body part.

    The reason the drug is so anatomically destructive is due to its mix-ins. Users stir in ingredients “including gasoline, paint thiner, hydrochloric acid, iodine and red phosphorus which they scrape from the striking pads on matchboxes,” reports TIME.

  • The Federal Communications Commission adopted new rules Thursday that increase the penalties for faking caller ID information in order to commit fraud or harm consumers.

    The practice, known as caller ID “spoofing,” can still be used for legal purposes such as safeguarding the privacy of individuals. But the commission argues spoofing is increasingly used for malicious purposes such as identity theft or placing false emergency calls to police.

    “Far too often, though, fake caller IDs are used by bad actors to get money from consumers, steal consumers’ identities, or stalk or harass,” said Joel Gurin and Sharon Gillett, the chiefs of the FCC’s Consumer and Wireline bureaus, respectively, in a statement.

  • Federal regulators are poised to hit Google Inc. with subpoenas, launching a broad, formal investigation into whether the Internet giant has abused its dominance in Web-search advertising, people familiar with the matter said.
  • After years of negotiations, a group of bandwidth providers that includes AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon are closer than ever to striking a deal with media and entertainment companies that would call for them to establish new and tougher punishments for customers who refuse to stop using their networks to pirate films, music and other intellectual property, multiple sources told CNET.
  • With more than 700 bulletins, email archives, images and other files, the 440MB package will keep readers busy for days. A few excerpts from the most obviously newsworthy documents follow.
  • The “limited kinetic action” in Libya has been one of the most misrepresented, selectively covered, and tragic imperialistic NATO adventures in recent history. We are presented a picture of a madman, frothing at the mouth, slaughtering civilians whenever possible. We are shown a Libya that is united against Qaddafi, with a population that wants NATO to save them and help depose the evil Qaddafi. But is this true?

    In fact, this is only a very small part of a large, complex picture. However, the Western media refuses to show their audience the entire reality while they are in fact there in Libya, able to fully appreciate the events. This just goes to show the strict gatekeeper aspect of Western mainstream media in which only certain things get covered and a very select few become major stories.

  • With Boise rainfall samples measuring by far the highest concentrations of radioactive nuclides in the country, apocalyptic rumors of nuclear disaster run rampant. Higher cancer rates, lower SAT scores, genetic mutations, and birth defects are just a few of the things doomsayers expect to see in the wake of the nuclear disaster at Fukushima’s Daiichi plant. But if the nuclear scare has you dumping milk and fleeing from radioactive rain, you might want to put the dangers into perspective.
  • In Sept. 1859, on the eve of a below-average1 solar cycle, the sun unleashed one of the most powerful storms in centuries. The underlying flare was so unusual, researchers still aren’t sure how to categorize it. The blast peppered Earth with the most energetic protons in half-a-millennium, induced electrical currents that set telegraph offices on fire, and sparked Northern Lights over Cuba and Hawaii.

    This week, officials have gathered at the National Press Club in Washington DC to ask themselves a simple question: What if it happens again?

    “A similar storm today might knock us for a loop,” says Lika Guhathakurta, a solar physicist at NASA headquarters. “Modern society depends on high-tech systems such as smart power grids, GPS, and satellite communications–all of which are vulnerable to solar storms.”

  • After visiting a Taichung beef noodle restaurant in July 2008, where she had dried noodles and side dishes, Liu wrote that the restaurant served food that was too salty, the place was unsanitary because there were cockroaches and that the owner was a “bully” because he let customers park their cars haphazardly, leading to traffic jams.
  • Police believe they have tracked down a missing portrait of Farrah Fawcett.
  • Penn & Teller call BULLSHIT!
  • The International Bottled Water Association on Wednesday took on what it described as a “a myth repeated by some anti-bottled water activists that bottled water which comes from municipal water sources is just tap water in a bottle.”

    At least one group opposed to bottled water, however, shrugged at the public-relations gambit, suggesting that no matter how much processing is involved, bottled water is, on its face, an unnecessary product.

  • Remember Kind of Bloop, the chiptune tribute to Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue that I produced? I went out of my way to make sure the entire project was above board, licensing all the cover songs from Miles Davis’s publisher and giving the total profits from the Kickstarter fundraiser to the five musicians that participated.

    But there was one thing I never thought would be an issue: the cover art.

  • Roosters looking to get a little action in local henhouses must first produce a clean bill of health under a newly adopted law regulating romantic interactions among chickens in backyard farms.

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

Conjured by SeMeN SPeRmS on June 24, 2011

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Topple The Mountains And Overturn The Seas

  • Oil from the BP spill remains stuck on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, according to a top scientist’s video and slides that she says demonstrate the oil isn’t degrading as hoped and has decimated life on parts of the sea floor.

    That report is at odds with a recent report by the BP spill compensation czar that said nearly all will be well by 2012.

    At a science conference in Washington Saturday, marine scientist Samantha Joye of the University of Georgia aired early results of her December submarine dives around the BP spill site. She went to places she had visited in the summer and expected the oil and residue from oil-munching microbes would be gone by then. It wasn’t.

  • A major hardware update to the masterlock cracking robot. Upgraded the previously non-working latch opening mechanism to be geared down 1:25, allowing it to open the shackle.
  • Since it began publishing a trove of classified United States Embassy cables on November 28, 2010, Wikileaks has faced an onslaught of censorship that demonstrated how online speech is vulnerable when intermediaries refuse to host contentious or unpopular speech. When payment providers, service providers and even visualization software services cut off services, Wikileaks struggled to keep their site online, going down for periods of time and reducing the content they carry. But while the availability of Wikileaks content was restricted, the demand from readers and media organizations to access that information stayed strong. Now a new generation of Wikileaks-inspired websites is populating the Internet — decentralizing the concept of whistleblowing and making it harder to shut down speech merely by cutting off services to one site.
  • On February 8, 2009, a customer at an ATM at a Bank of America branch in Sun Valley, Calif., spotted something that didn’t look quite right about the machine: A silver, plexiglass device had been attached to the ATM’s card acceptance slot, in a bid to steal card data from unsuspecting ATM users.

    But the customer and the bank’s employees initially overlooked a secondary fraud device that the unknown thief had left at the scene: A sophisticated, battery operated and motion activated camera designed to record victims entering their personal identification numbers at the ATM.

    The camera was discovered more than a day later by a maintenance worker who was servicing the ATM. The device, pictured below with the boxy housing in which it was discovered, was designed to fit into the corner of the ATM framework and painted to match.

  • German researchers say that they have found a way to steal passwords stored on a locked Apple iPhone in just six minutes.

    And they can do it it without cracking the iPhone’s passcode.

  • According to officials, Bilal’s gang would purchase stolen credit-card information from websites based overseas.

    Using inexpensive credit-card encoders, Bilal’s brothers then programmed the information onto the magnetic strips of credit cards.

    Investigators said the scam – which lasted from June 2008 to December 2010 – went undetected for so long because the counterfeit credit card had the criminals’ names, not the victims’.

  • Well, basically this title attracted my attention: How to Do an Online Background Check for Free. I had to try it with myself.
  • Only as strong as yer weakest link.
  • The best thing the government can do for cybersecurity world-wide is to use its buying power to improve the security of the IT products everyone uses. If it imposes significant security requirements on its IT vendors, those vendors will modify their products to meet those requirements. And those same products, now with improved security, will become available to all of us as the new standard.
  • Then, about a week ago, I heard from a source in the hacker underground who remarked, “You know eHarmony got hacked, too, right?” I quickly checked several fraud forums that I monitor, and soon found a curious solicitation from a user at Carder.biz, an online forum that enables cyber crooks to engage in a variety of shady transactions, from buying and selling hacked data and accounts to the purchase and/or renting of criminal services, such as botnet hosting, exploit packs, purloined credit card and consumer identity data. The seller, using the nickname “Provider” and pictured in the screen shot below, purported to have access to “different parts of the [eHarmony] infrastructure,” including a compromised database and e-mail channels. Provider was offering this information for prices ranging from $2,000 to $3,000.
  • A British man has admitted hacking into a computer server, and stealing 400 billion poker chips from Zynga, makers of popular social networking games such as FarmVille. The poker chips’ estimated worth? An eye-watering $12 million (£7.4 million).

    29-year-old Ashley Mitchell, from Paignton, Devon, admitted hacking into Zynga Poker’s servers and transferring the online poker chips to fake Facebook accounts he had created. The chips were then sold to other online gamblers, for a discounted price.

    An Exeter courtroom was told that Mitchell – who runs his own Facebook application called Gambino Poker – netted about £50,000 from the scheme, selling about one-third of the 400 billion chips on the black market. If he had continued it’s estimated he could have made in excess of $290,000 (£184,000).

  • Local police chief Henry Purnell said that that the veterinarian indicated that these sows had very serious vaginal infections, and determined that they were a caused by sexual activity. Besides vaginal infections, some of the female hogs also had wounds in their vaginas, suspected of being caused by violent sexual activity. Entrusted by the farm owner, the police installed secret cameras in the farm to find out how these female pigs came to be sexually assaulted.

    Afterward, a nearby 52-year-old man appeared on camera, this man’s name being Andrew Lee Nash. The video showed Nash doing a very unusual thing: taking off his underwear behind the group of pigs. Nash’s crime lasted a long time.

    Criminal suspect Nash has been charged with 12 counts ["of unnatural intercourse"], and if convicted, he faces a maximum of 120 years of imprisonment…

  • The public debt is now over $13 trillion, or over $40,000 for every man, woman, and child in the U.S. The value is $200,000 per person if the unfunded debt is included. Through no action of his own, or even an opportunity to reject the imposition, every resident of the United States has become obligated for a debt—for life—that cannot be relieved. It is manifestly clear that an obligation of $40,000 can only be visualized as an unrestricted claim on the future earnings of the citizenry. The citizen has been reduced to an indentured servant, or slave, compelled to work for the company store and still face an ever increasing amount of debt. There is no possible relief. If the earnings of a citizen are properly subject to confiscation by taxation, the government can take the entirety and return what pittance Congress in their largess may bestow. A nation of sovereign people has been reduced to haves and have-nots; the middle class has been eliminated.
  • Cultural relativity is an amazing thing. While American parents worry about their kids being on Facebook, Egyptian parents are naming their kids “Facebook” to commemorate the events surrounding the #Jan25 revolution.

    According to Al-Ahram (one of the most popular newspapers in Egypt) a twenty-something Egyptian man has named his first born daughter “Facebook” in tribute to the role the social media service played in organizing the protests in Tahrir Square and beyond.

  • No one at the Short Hills mall parking lot saw the exchange. Or if they did, it wouldn’t have seemed like anything special — certainly not two suburban moms trafficking in unregulated substances.

    In a long black winter coat and sunglasses, Westfield mom Jennifer Richter approached from one direction. Grace Markey, also bundled in an overcoat, advanced from the other. Markey, who lives in Lincoln Park, opened a portable blue cooler and pulled out what looked like small white bricks. Richter matter-of-factly transferred them to a large green tote.

    The two suburban women — who met on Facebook — are not spies handing over secrets, or illegal drugs.

    This is all about breast milk.

  • As Noam Chomsky puts it: “The population in the United States is angry, frustrated and full of fear and irrational hatreds. And the folks not far from you on Wall Street are just doing fine. They’re the ones who created the current crisis. They’re the ones who were called upon to deal with it. They’re coming out stronger and richer than ever. But everything’s fine – as long as the population is passive.”
  • 1) Man leaves laptop locked while quickly going to the bathroom. A device can then be inserted and then removed without touching the laptop itself except at the target port. (i.e. one can’t touch the mouse, keyboard, insert a CD, etc.) 2) Woman shuts down her laptop and goes home. One then can insert a device into the target port and assume she will not see it when she returns the next day. One can then remove the device at a later time after she boots up the machine.
  • The FBI urged members of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security on Thursday to update the Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) and make it easier for authorities to eavesdrop on Internet.

    “Over the years, through interpretation of the statute by the Federal Communications Commission, the reach of CALEA has been expanded to include facilities-based broadband internet access and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services that are fully inter-connected with the public switched telephone network,” FBI General Counsel Valeria Caproni told the subcommittee.

    “Although that expansion of coverage has been extremely helpful, CALEA does not cover popular Internet-based communications modalities such as webmail, social networking sites or peer-to-peer services.”

  • It’s a sign of the times.

    The classic schoolhouse prank of slapping a “kick me” sign on a classmate’s back is no joke at one Upper East Side school, where the city’s zero-tolerance anti-bullying policy was strictly enforced against a 9-year-old boy.

    The fourth-grader was spotted sticking a yellow Post-it inviting “Kick me, please” on another little boy’s backside on Jan. 25.

    But instead of getting banished to the corner for a timeout, the PS 158 prankster was bounced from the classroom for two days, The Post has learned.

    The boy’s mom fumed that the old-school gag was just “playing around” — but a parent who asked to remain anonymous called the Post-it “maliciousness — it’s not kid’s play.”

  • Front service [left column]

    1. Ten finger strumming the instrument
    2. Countless ties and a thousand links
    3. Breast massage
    4. Ten fingers linked to the heart
    5. Roaming the world
    6. Green ocean
    7. Desert storm
    8. Tuck between breasts
    9. Flowing water, golden mountain
    10. Toast to the emperor
    11. Ice and fire; nine steps to heaven
    12. Star wars
    13. 360 degrees blowjob

    Back service [right column]

    1. Foot massage
    2. Hand wash the dragon gate
    3. Ten finger strumming the instrument
    4. Breast massage
    5. countless ties and a thousand links
    6. Ten fingers linked to the heart
    7. Roaming the world
    8. Green ocean
    9. Desert storm
    10. Tuck between breasts
    11. Flowing water, golden mountain
    12. Lone dragon pass through
    13. Seeking the moon under the sea
    14. Topple the mountains and overturn the seas

  • “This rhetoric can give someone a free pass to try to assault a police officer or kill a police officer, and I’m not going to allow that,” he said. “My officers should be able to go out here and work in the neighborhoods and keep this city safe without fear and without hesitation.”

    And, the chief implored the community – naming himself, activists and journalists – to “lower the rhetoric.”

    In other words, criticizing the police for violently assaulting and killing strangers is clearly a sign you may be secretly plotting to kill cops! So put down your camera citizen, return to your normal position as hapless subject under our dominion!

  • A 16-year-old son has allegedly confessed to killing his mother because she took away his Playstation games console.

    Kendall Anderson attacked his mother Rashida with a claw hammer while she slept, bludgeoning her 20 times, police say.

    When the hammer attack didn’t kill her, the South Philadelphia teenager dragged the 37-year-old downstairs and tried to ‘cremate her’ in the kitchen oven, according to a court report in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

    When that failed, he grabbed a chair leg and beat her around the head, before dumping her body in an alley behind the house, it is claimed.

    ‘The victim’s body was found under debris,’ a police source told MailOnline. ‘She had suffered a blunt trauma to the head.’

  • “The US army has a requirement for a rapid-fire non-lethal capability,” says Ken Schulters, project manager for close combat systems at Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey. “All currently fielded non-lethal ammunition is single shot.”

    Firing rapidly at long range is likely to be dangerously inaccurate, says Angela Wright of Amnesty International. “Such a weapon system would allow for a burst of non-accurate fire at a crowd, with high risk of hitting bystanders, ricochets and of hitting vulnerable areas of the body,” she says.
    Despite being hollow and plastic, if a round were to strike someone in the head, it could severely injure or kill them

  • What does the Gulf look and feel like now, 8 months after the spill?

    Additional tar balls and tar mats are continuing to wash ashore all along the Gulf Coast of Mississippi and in adjacent states. Federal and state seafood resource monitoring and testing agencies are still using their “sniff” tests to determine the “safety” of our seafood products and are still not being believed by folks in the know. Chemtrails are still being sprayed in our skies as federal military and other aviation interests blanket the region with “unknown” chemicals (probably aluminum and other minerals) to promote bacterial growth in the “Gulf of Oil” waters and to combat the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emanating from the BP oil spill.

  • Her complexion and limbs were translucently pallid, her locks long, straight and blonde.

    Now, racial mixing since the days of slavery means ‘black’ Americans come in a whole range of skin hues, but in recent years Beyonce’s tone seems miraculously to be changing from dusky to peachy.

    In truth, it is hard now to tell she is the daughter of an African-American father and Creole mother. It was three years ago that L’Oreal was accused of whitening Beyonce’s face in a magazine advert, a charge denied by the company. But now there she is, looking like a willowy Caucasian.

  • On Thursday, Broward County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Tomas Bautista, 40, who reportedly came home drunk and sexually assaulted a Chihuahua in his backyard.

    The dog, Mimi, belongs to Bautista’s roommate, who reportedly found her bleeding and Bautista passed out with his pants around his ankles.

    Bautista admitted to sexually abusing the tiny dog.

    Mimi was taken to Coral Springs Animal Hospitalfor treatment and is back home recovering now.

    Bautista is charged with cruelty to animals, a felony. He is currently being held in the Broward County Jail on an immigration hold.

  • In contrast to the caramel one might make at home by melting sugar in a saucepan, the artificial brown coloring in colas and some other products is made by reacting sugars with ammonia and sulfites under high pressure and temperatures. Chemical reactions result in the formation of 2-methylimidazole and 4 methylimidazole, which in government-conducted studies caused lung, liver, or thyroid cancer or leukemia in laboratory mice or rats.
  • The recent US-backed wave of revolution sweeping the Middle East is just the beginning of a greater move to dislodge Iran and begin regaining ground against Russia and China after several years of disappointing results geopolitically. The ultimate goal in mind is to force Russia and China to accept their role as “responsible stakeholders” in the unipolar Anglo-American “new world order.” The unipolar world of Anglo-American financier domination requires that all competition be eliminated, all nations become interdependent, and most importantly, all governments conform to the globalists’ model of “civil society” which in turn answers to centralized global institutions.
  • Seattle Police officer Ian Birk will not face criminal charges for shooting and killing a woodcarver from Vancouver Island.

    In August, John Williams who is a member of the Ditidaht First Nation was carrying a carving knife as he crossed a Seattle Street.

    Officer Ian Birk ordered him to drop it and then shot him seconds later.

    Prosecutors in Seattle have rejected charges saying there was no evidence the officer acted with malice or criminal intent.

    Birk joined the Seattle Police Department in July 2008. He resigned late Tuesday afternoon (February 16th.) Seattle police Officer Ian Birk Will Get Away With Murder Killing Indian Wood carve

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

Conjured by SeMeN SPeRmS on February 21, 2011

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Drugs are Like That (1979)

Anita Bryant (famous Florida orange juice and anti-gay spokeswoman) narrates this film that tries to simplify its drug abuse message with an analogy of kids putting together a contraption out of Lego blocks. Although the metaphors often don’t make sense, the visual impact of the film is stunning and could easily be quite popular with individuals consuming illicit drugs. Also, like most anti-drug films, this could be a tempting introduction to drugs for some youths yearning to escape their “boring” lives or to rebel against their parents. – Archive.com


File under Massive Consumption of Drugs, SeMeN SPeRmS Approved, SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG, SeMeN SPeRmS Links 'o Death

Jesus is the Reason We’re Fightin’ These Heathens

    • It is inscripted ΑΛΕΞΑΜΕΝΟΣ (ΑΛΕΞΑΜΕΝΟC) ΣΕΒΕΤΕ (CEBETE) ΘΕΟΝ, which translates as “Alexamenos respects God”. It is presumed to be making fun of a Christian soldier.
    • GREAT ideas can feel like they come out of nowhere. Now we’re a step closer to understanding where they do originate. The thinking is that areas for language and creativity compete in the brain, which might explain why some people with brain damage suddenly become artistic.

      Originality – or the ability to think up novel ideas that don’t occur to many other people – is a key aspect of creativity. But researchers are struggling to pin down where the gift comes from.

    • After Deitch decided to erase the mural, the two met for dinner and:

      had a very gentle conversation in wich [sic] he asked me to paint another piece on the same wall, suggesting he would have preferred a piece that ‘invites people to come in the museum’. I told him that i will not to do that, for obvious reasons, and that probably I was not the artist best suited for this task.

      The museum then proceeded to whitewash the mural without informing the artist, who learned of the whitewashing through a local blogger. When Blu returned to Italy, he was barraged by requests from journalists for interviews, and his inbox included:

      … an email from Deitch, in which he asked me to ‘sign’ a press release, explaining the motivation of the cancellation in order to calm down the censorship accusation.

    • December’s total lunar eclipse is the only total eclipse of the moon of this year. For the Western Hemisphere, the eclipse will “officially” begin on Dec. 21 at 12:29 a.m. EST (9:29 p.m. PST on Dec. 20) as the moon begins to enter Earth’s outer, or penumbral, shadow.

      But even in clear weather, skywatchers will not notice any changes in the moon’s appearance until about 45 minutes later when a slight “smudge” or shading begins to become evident on the upper left portion of the moon’s disk.

    • Sit and gaze at world heritage sights. Stand and watch live international sport through well-placed windows. Squat while looking-out over the world’s most beautiful canyons. A loo with a great view? It can be so.
    • The demo comes from ThriXXX software, a maker of 3D role-playing sex simulation games, which said in a statement today that “the open-sourcing of device drivers for Kinect have enabled the…device to be used directly from connected PCs operating on Windows 7…The Kinect interface provides another exciting interface option for users of the sex simulation software to control the experience in extraordinary new ways. Controller-free is the next generation of game user interfaces, allowing users to use gestures, spoken commands, or objects to control in-game action that creates a completely new sex game activity and magical experience.”
    • A white bank robber in Ohio recently used a “hyper-realistic” mask manufactured by a small Van Nuys company to disguise himself as a black man, prompting police there to mistakenly arrest an African American man for the crimes.
      Advertisement
      In October, a 20-year-old Chinese man who wanted asylum in Canada used one of the same company’s masks to transform himself into an elderly white man and slip past airport security in Hong Kong.

      Authorities are even starting to think that the so-called Geezer Bandit, a Southern California bank robber believed for months to be an old man, might actually be a younger guy wearing one of the disguises made by SPFXMasks.

    • The line between a “cult” and a “sect” or a “religion” can be thin, but a couple of factors generally define modern use of the word “cult:” Cults revolve around the teachings of one living (or recently living) person, and this person claims to be “chosen” for an important mission on Earth. Cults require unwavering subservience to the ideals of their leader, who is to be obeyed above all other authorities. Cults typically require its followers to eschew all relationships outside of the cult, including friends and family. Some cults are just creepy while others are downright dangerous: for the purpose of this article, each cult will be assigned a rating of one to four nuts: one nut being relatively harmless, four nuts being don’t-drink-the-kool-aid dangerous.
    • His name was well-known, even if it is whispered with muted distaste in photography and copyrights circles. His body of work is unknown, eclipsed by a single pictorial he undertook for American socialite Teri Shields. In 1975, Garry Gross scribbled his name into a dubious footnote in the history of photography by photographing a nude 10-year-old Brooke Shields. The photos of bejeweled soon-to-be-child-actress, in thick makeup and in a steaming, ornate bathtub, however, wouldn’t become known outside the arts community for another three years.
    • Japan’s pet market is so evolved, and undeniably fashion-conscious, that across town in Harajuku we found a line stretching down the block with female dog owners waiting for a limited edition line to debut at the girliest pet shop you’ve ever seen.
    • Karsten Nohl’s assessment of dozens of car makes and models found weaknesses in the way immobilisers are integrated with the rest of the car’s electronics.

      The immobiliser unit should be connected securely to the vehicle’s electronic engine control unit, using the car’s internal data network. But these networks often use weaker encryption than the immobiliser itself, making them easier to crack.

      What’s more, one manufacturer was even found to use the vehicle ID number as the supposedly secret key for this internal network. The VIN, a unique serial number used to identify individual vehicles, is usually printed on the car. “It doesn’t get any weaker than that,” Nohl says.

    • Just a few days after this news was revealed, Maggie Koerth-Baker at BoingBoing is surprised at how little coverage the supposed cure has received. “If a miracle happened, why isn’t it more obvious?” she asks. Some research clarifies that the patient, Timothy Ray Brown, who was HIV positive, also had leukemia for which he was treated in 2007 with chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. The bone marrow came from a donor who “possessed a rare genetic mutation that makes a very small percentage of humans resistant to HIV infection,” which Brown then adopted. The success was publicized at the time, making the recent report more of a follow-up confirming that Brown continues to stave off the virus.
    • Since 1975 the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor has been tracking students self-reported use of cannabis and other intoxicants, and every year their use of these substances trends either up or down from the prior survey. Predictably, when self-reported use goes down, drug war lackeys like Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske claim that drug prohibition is working. Conversely, when use trends upward — as it did this past year — drug warriors respond by pointing the blame at everyone else.
    • The blog even finds the vegan soap company’s mission statement: “Being respectful of the earth’s natural resources, and being a steward of this wonderful planet is what Hugo Naturals is all about.”

      If and when this deal goes through, every bar of Hugo Naturals vegan soap you buy at Whole Foods will fund the world’s most infamous mercenary company. Or, if you prefer a more positive view, every terrorist snatch-and-grab contract Blackwater fields will help to pay for vegan soap.

    • When Duncan Hines partnered with film studio Filmaka to release a new ad campaign on YouTube this week for their “Amazing Glazes” frosting line, their aim was to “inspire creativity during the height of baking season” and portray how their icing “makes dessert sing.” The theme of the first video is “Hip Hop Cupcakes,” (see below), but rather than striking a chord with urban bakers, the video just seems to be pissing them off. Readers and bloggers have criticized the film’s director, Josh Binder, and the dessert company’s PR department for failing to see how the cupcake characters might be mistaken for performers in blackface. Director Binder has a number of videos that might be considered “controversial,” like one for Western gear in which a cowboy lassos two women to be his companions, and another that shows samurai bread loaves crying “hi-YA!” at one another.
    • Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) has filed an amendment that would prevent the Federal Communications Commission from enforcing net-neutrality regulation.

      Seven other Republicans have signed onto the bill, including notorious home wrecker and all-round unscrupulous person, John Ensign (R-NV).

      They didn’t simply introduce legislation. They attached an amendment to an existing bill that concerns construction projects for military and veterans.

      This will force legislators that feel net neutrality is essential to maintaining a strong democracy to vote against a bill supporting veterans. That is one low-down dirty manuever.

    • After an A&E film crew urged police to create “great video footage” for its show “The First 48 hours,” officers conducted a “commando-style raid” on the wrong house and shot to death a 7-year-old girl, the girl’s family says in Federal Court. The parents and grandmother of Aiyana Stanley-Jones say A&E’s film crew “were present before and during the assault” and recorded the whole thing during their ride-along with police.
    • Artist Kunle Martins, President of New York-based IRAK crew has joined forces with Spanish paint manufacturer MONTANA to develop the IRAK YELLOW can of spray paint.

      Produced in a limited edition of 500, the can reflects the iconic IRAK graffiti crew’s sticker color.

    • Guards at a privately run prison in Arizona stripped, beat and kicked inmates and threatened to kill them, banged their heads on tables while they were handcuffed, and “the warden himself” joined in threatening their families, 18 inmates say in state court. Then the Corrections Corporation of America and its employees, who run the prison, “deliberately destroyed and failed to preserve evidence of their wrongdoing, including videotapes,” and “deliberately falsified reports,” according to the complaint.
    • If accurate, the disclosures would confirm the worst fears of Pakistani nationalist hawks and threaten relations between Washington and New Delhi. But they are not accurate.

      An extensive search of the WikiLeaks database by the Guardian by date, name and keyword failed to locate any of the incendiary allegations. It suggests this is the first case of WikiLeaks being exploited for propaganda purposes.

    • At a meeting in New York on Wednesday, representatives from Brazil called for an international body made up of Government representatives that would to attempt to create global standards for policing the internet – specifically in reaction to challenges such as WikiLeaks.

      The Brazilian delegate stressed, however, that this should not be seen as a call for an “takeover” of the internet.

      India, South Africa, China and Saudi Arabia appeared to favour a new possible over-arching inter-government body.

    • In the process of producing their now-canceled documentary on Stanley Kubrick’s landmark film, Douglas Trumbull and David Larson have uncovered 17 minutes that Kubrick cut from 2001 just after release—in perfect condition.
    • There was a time when you had to go down to the arcade or pizza shop and pump quarters into machines if you wanted to enjoy a video game experience. Then computers and home gaming consoles brought video game entertainment into our living rooms. Now Sega is cornering the niche bathroom gaming market with a gaming interface named “Toirettsu” in which the user controls the game by peeing on sensors in a urinal.

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