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A Monkey In Silk Is A Monkey No Less

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    But the bullet ricocheted off the man’s nose.

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

  • Where do such moons come from?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Now, it has.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Drowning Liberty

  • WANT to learn a musical instrument, but can’t find the time to practise? A device now under development can take control of your hand and teach you how to play a tune. No spirits of dead musicians are involved.

    PossessedHand, being developed jointly by the University of Tokyo, Japan, and Sony Computer Science Laboratories, also in Tokyo, electrically stimulates the muscles in the forearm that move your fingers. A belt worn around that part of the subject’s arm contains 28 electrode pads, which flex the joints between the three bones of each finger and the two bones of the thumb, and provide two wrist movements. Users were able to sense the movement of their hands that this produced, even with their eyes closed. “The user’s fingers are controlled without the user’s mind,” explains Emi Tamaki of the University of Tokyo, who led the research.

  • 130 years ago, legendary outlaw Billy the Kid had his “picture made” in Fort Sumner, New Mexico, posing for what is now considered the most recognizable photo of the American West. A single, original tintype is the only authenticated photo of the Kid in existence today…

    Nearly as legendary as the kid himself, the photo has been studied, copied, scrutinized, portrayed in films, re-imagined, and immortalized. Once thought to prove Billy was “The Left Handed Gun,” it later proved he was not.

  • As U2 took to the stage a balloon decorated with the message “U Pay Your Tax 2” was removed from the Glastonbury crowd
  • “Imagine the guts of this gang of young hoodlums. One was 11 years old. The others arrested ranged from 12 to 16 years old. They planned this out earlier in the day on a social networking site. It was pre-planned. They got on the El, got off at 69th Street Terminal and walked up the hill to Sears.”
  • A Washington Heights doctor was busted in a $700,000 Medicaid scam for prescribing HIV drugs to a stunning 150 patients who did not have the virus – and billing the public health system for their care, prosecutors said.
  • Just decades ago, the gray whale hasn’t strayed to the Northern Atlantic since the 18th century. The Neodenticula seminae, a species of algae, hasn’t been there in 800,000 years. Now, members of both species have been spotted in the Northern Atlantic.

    Scientists believe the accelerated melting of the earth’s polar caps due to global warming over the last few decades is responsible for the reintroductions.

  • Kids hoot and yammer so loudly that their ruckus drowns out the teacher. A trash can is overturned in class and dumped. Grimy floors are littered with sunflower-seed shells, spit out by the hundreds.

    Books and supplies fly out the windows. Mouse droppings are everywhere, even on the computers.

    MS 344, the Academy of Collaborative Education in Harlem, is a hellhole where teachers should get combat pay — they are cursed, assaulted and sometimes groped.

    “It was literally war,” said a teacher who once found a sticky used condom in her purse. “I was pushed, shoved, scratched, thrown against the wall, spit on and pickpocketed. I just wanted peace.”

  • After months of prowling Internet chat rooms, posing as the mother of two young daughters, Detective Michele Deery thought she had a live one: “parafling,” a married, middle-aged man who claimed he wanted to have sex with her kids. But was he just playing a twisted game of seduction? Both the policewoman and her target give the author their versions of the truth, in a case that challenges the conventional wisdom about online sexual predators, and blurs the lines among crime, “intent,” and enticement.
  • Top Flight Crew Vs. Hampshire Towers Crew Fight @ D.C. Caribbean Fest 2011. Kids in D.C. Going HAM-BURGER @ tha Caribbean fest in D.C. on Georgia Ave. !!!!!!!!!
  • The Brazilian House of Representatives has just approved the abandonment of the Brazilian Forestry Code. If we do not mobilize now, huge expanses of our forests may be vulnerable to a devastating deforestation. The bill has generated widespread outrage and protests across the country. And the tension is rising: in recent weeks several respected environmental activists were murdered, allegedly by assassins hired by illegal loggers. It is essential to act now. They are trying to silence any criticism as the law is being debated in the Senate. But President Dilma has the power to veto the changes if we can persuade her to overcome the political pressure and take the role of a true leader on environmental issues.
  • If you travel a fair bit, as I do, you’ve noticed at almost every airport that there’s an “ad hoc” (i.e., computer-to-computer rather than computer-to-WiFi) option called “Free Public WiFi.” It seems to be everywhere. I’ve never connected to it, because I know enough not to connect to an ad hoc offering, but I was always amazed at the fact that I see it in pretty much every airport I’ve been to. I had wondered if it was a honeypot scam for a while, but I couldn’t believe that scammers would be able to set up such honeypots in so many airports worldwide and no one would catch them and take it down. So how could there be such “Free Public WiFi” (which obviously was not what it claimed to be) in so many places?

    The answer? Well, it’s all Microsoft’s fault.

  • Calculate the destruction a object hitting the earth from outer space would cause
  • More than 3 millisieverts of radiation has been measured in the urine of 15 Fukushima residents of the village of Iitate and the town of Kawamata, confirming internal radiation exposure, it was learned Sunday.

    Both are about 30 to 40 km from the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, which has been releasing radioactive material into the environment since the week of March 11, when the quake and tsunami caused core meltdowns.

    “This won’t be a problem if they don’t eat vegetables or other products that are contaminated,” said Nanao Kamada, professor emeritus of radiation biology at Hiroshima University. “But it will be difficult for people to continue living in these areas.”

  • Back in 1969, the Russian KGB rescued a UFO shot down probably by their fighters. In this small ship several small humanoids were found.
  • The jacket is one of two Jackson wore during the filming of the 1983 Thriller video. Jackson wears the jacket in a scene with a troupe of zombies who rise from their graves and break into a dance routine.
  • Some say cleanliness is next to godliness, but not Guru Kailash Singh who quit bathing 37 years ago, because he believe he’d be rewarded for his sacrifice.

    Kailash, 65, a farmer from India, stopped using soap and water in 1974, after his wedding. He also hasn’t cut his dreadlocks, according to the news agency Barcroft.

    It wasn’t because he no longer needed to attract the ladies that he let himself go. Kailash reportedly abandoned washing because a priest told him it would help him produce a son.

    With seven daughters born since then, he’s still waiting for a male heir.

    Each evening, Kailash winds down the day with a “fire bath” ritual of smoking marijuana, praying to the Hindu god Shiva and dancing around a campfire.

    There was one failed attempt by his family to force him into a stream.

  • The brains of people living in cities operate differently from those in rural areas, according to a brain-scanning study. Scientists found that two regions, involved in the regulation of emotion and anxiety, become overactive in city-dwellers when they are stressed and argue that the differences could account for the increased rates of mental health problems seen in urban areas.

    Previous research has shown that people living in cities have a 21% increased risk of anxiety disorders and a 39% increased risk of mood disorders. In addition, the incidence of schizophrenia is twice as high in those born and brought up in cities.

  • The team also looks to address a controversial suggestion Thackeray made a decade ago, when he examined a collection of two dozen pipes found in the playwright’s garden and determined that Shakespeare was an avid marijuana smoker.

    Thackeray claimed the devices were used to smoke cannabis, a plant actively cultivated in Britain at the time. The allegation has provoked disbelief and anger among some fans of the bard.

    Prof. Stanley Wells, honorary president of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, told the Daily Mail, “I would be happy if they did open it up because it could put an end to a lot of fruitless speculation.”

    “If we find grooves between the canine and the incisor, that will tell us if he was chewing on a pipe as well as smoking,” Thackeray told FoxNews.com, citing similar evidence found in Virginia.

  • An Italian space enthusiast, while going through pictures of Mars, claims to have found a structure on the face of the planet that resembles Mahatma Gandhi.

    Matteo Lanneo was scanning through the latest images sent by the Mars Express probe when he came across the uncanny resemblance to India’s father of the nation, the Daily Mail reported.

    The head appears to have a moustache and shaven, and has prominent eyebrows.

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

Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on June 27, 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 o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on June 24, 2011

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