- ☹ Shroud of Turin: Redux
- The bottom line on the Shroud remains the same: the Shroud continues to fail several key practical tests, as discussed by skeptical investigator Joe Nickell in his classic work on the subject, Looking for a Miracle:2 Provenance: there is no sign that this object existed before the 14th century; Art history: the Shroud fits into art history as part of a genre of artistic depictions and recreations of burial cloths of Christ; Style: the image upon the shroud looks like a manufactured illustration consistent with 14th century religious iconography, not like a real human being; Circumstance: a 14th century Catholic bishop determined that the Shroud was a “cunningly painted” fraud—and discovered the artist who confessed to creating it; Chemistry: the Shroud contains red ochre and other paint pigments; Radiometric dating: carbon-14 dating tests showed in 1988 that the Shroud was likely created between 1260 and 1390 CE.
- ☹ New powerful painkiller has abuse experts worried
- Drug companies are working to develop a pure, more powerful version of the nation’s second most-abused medicine, which has addiction experts worried that it could spur a new wave of abuse. The new pills contain the highly addictive painkiller hydrocodone, packing up to 10 times the amount of the drug as existing medications such as Vicodin. Four companies have begun patient testing, and one of them — Zogenix of San Diego — plans to apply early next year to begin marketing its product, Zohydro. If approved, it would mark the first time patients could legally buy pure hydrocodone. Existing products combine the drug with nonaddictive painkillers such as acetaminophen. Critics say they are especially worried about Zohydro, a timed-release drug meant for managing moderate to severe pain, because abusers could crush it to release an intense, immediate high. “I have a big concern that this could be the next OxyContin,”
- Little by little, in the name of fighting terrorism, our Bill of Rights is being repealed. The 4th amendment has been rendered toothless by the PATRIOT Act. No more can we truly feel secure in our persons, houses, papers, and effects when now there is an exception that fits nearly any excuse for our government to search and seize our property. Of course, the vast majority of Americans may say “I’m not a terrorist, so I have no reason to worry.” However, innocent people are wrongly accused all the time. The Bill of Rights is there precisely because the founders wanted to set a very high bar for the government to overcome in order to deprive an individual of life or liberty. To lower that bar is to endanger everyone. When the bar is low enough to include political enemies, our descent into totalitarianism is virtually assured.
- ☹ Porn Condoms Initiative Approved by L.A. City Clerk Even as City Attorney Wants to Keep it From Voters
- The war over condoms in porn continues this week as the AIDS Healthcare Foundation announced Tuesday that the L.A. City Clerk has “officially certified” the signatures it submitted in order to get a mandatory condom measure before you, the voter, next year. The announcement comes in the wake of a strange, L.A. City Attorney’s lawsuit to keep the condom measure off the ballot — and a challenge by an L.A. city councilman to that challenge. Yeah, seems like everybody wants in on this porn thing (or maybe they don’t want to deal with, er, head-on): The AHF has been battling for a few years now to get condoms mandated at California porn sets. As part of its drive it collected 70,901 voter signatures in support of putting the idea before city voters. AHF’s initiative would ask the city to require condom use as a part of obtaining film permits.
- ☹ US Senators: Give Residence Visas to Foreigners Who Buy Homes
- Two United States Senators have a new idea that would solve two problems at once: give visas to foreigners who make a significant investment in residential real estate in the United States. The move would help the poor housing market recover while at the same time tackling much-needed immigration reform. This is just one idea put forth by New York Democrat Charles Schumer and Utah Republican Mike Lee in a proposed package of immigration reforms. According to their plan, immigrants who spend more than $500,000 on a residential property in the United States would be granted residency. Much like the EB-5 investment visa, this new visa would welcome those from overseas who wish to help the U.S. economy while starting a new life on American soil.
- ☹ Fukushima: TEPCO uses Organized Crime forced labour
- People who fall into debt to loan sharks are often forced by the Yakuza to work in nuclear power plants, said a Japanese journalist who has written a book on his experience working at the Fukushima 1 nuclear plant this summer. About ten percent of workers at the damaged Fukushima 1 plant were brought in by the Japanese mafia, said Tomohiko Suzuki. Though the Yakuza is deeply involved in the nuclear power industry, its members themselves don’t work at the plants, added Suzuki. Instead they have an established practice of sending debtors there as a way to pay off their debts to loan sharks.
- ☹ President Obama Eats Traditional Christmas Baby
- President Obama took part this weekend in one of the most ancient and eagerly-anticipated presidential traditions: the annual Christmas Baby Eating, a ritual that goes back to well before recorded history.
- ☹ What every state needs to do: Montanans launch recalls of Senators who voted for NDAA
- In response to the traitorous actions of 86 senators who voted to pass the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, commonly referred to as the NDAA, Montanans have announced a recall campaign against Senators Max Baucus and Jonathan Tester. As I have previously outlined, the fact that the NDAA allows for the indefinite detention without charge or trial of American citizens is simply irrefutable. Therefore, every single one of our so-called representatives who voted for this atrocious legislation is in direct violation of their oath to uphold the Constitution and thus are actively working against us – the American people. Thankfully, some people are already taking action, as we see in the cases of the Montana recall effort and Representative Jeff Landry who introduced an amendment (after voting for the NDAA with detention provisions intact) which would protect Americans’ right to due process.
- ☹ Mary Lisee Allegedly Called 9-1-1 to Report That She Ate Too Much
- Again, the cops asked why she called. Police say she responded by saying she “ate too much.” Cops asked her to repeat why she called — yep, she ate too much. Police asked her if it was a medical emergency — she said it wasn’t — and they reminded her that 9-1-1 is for emergencies. For good measure, police asked her again why she called 9-1-1. “Because I ate too much food,” she said, according to the cops. Police say she then “began repeatedly yelling that she had not consumed cocaine in over a year.” The cops asked her if she wanted to make a written statement about why she called 9-1-1, and she started writing what police describe as a “mostly illegible statement.” At that point, the deputies asked her to read it to them, and she read, “My name is Mary Ellen Lisee. I have beaten, I believe in God, and He forgives me. I may joke, but I do not do crack. I will not for as long as I live.”
- ☹ Could Mars and Moon Harbor Alien Artifacts? Leading Astrophysicists Says “Yes”
- The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) has a low probability of success, but it would have a high impact if successful. Physicists Paul Davies and Robert Wagner of Arizona State University argue that it makes sense to widen the search to scour the Moon for possible alien artifacts. Meanwhile at Penn State, researchers propose the same search for Mars. To date, SETI has been dominated by the paradigm of seeking deliberately beamed radio messages. The ASU team argues that Alien civilizations may have sent probes to our region of the galaxy, and that any mission to the solar system would probably have occurred a very long time ago. The lunar environment could preserve artifacts for millions of years due to the absence of erosion and plate tectonics.
- ☹ In Japan, Radiation Fears Reshape Lives
- But while the horror has receded, for many of us, particularly women with families, things will never be the same. There’s no getting past the fact that the nuclear accident dumped radioactive particles into the atmosphere, soil and sea. While Fukushima Prefecture in the northeast was hardest hit, radiation “hot spots” keep turning up in neighborhoods far from the accident. The latest was at a school, minutes from where I live in Tokyo. What’s more, figuring out what’s “safe” to consume has become all but impossible. At my local supermarket, the familiar ritual of shopping has changed drastically. Instead of just tapping fruit or checking for spots, now I scrutinize the place of origin. “Made in Japan” used to be the gold standard. But now domestic foods are suspect, as is anything on sale. I obsessively search for produce grown as far from Fukushima as possible.
- ☹ Dot-dash-diss: The gentleman hacker’s 1903 lulz
- LATE one June afternoon in 1903 a hush fell across an expectant audience in the Royal Institution’s celebrated lecture theatre in London. Before the crowd, the physicist John Ambrose Fleming was adjusting arcane apparatus as he prepared to demonstrate an emerging technological wonder: a long-range wireless communication system developed by his boss, the Italian radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi. The aim was to showcase publicly for the first time that Morse code messages could be sent wirelessly over long distances. Around 300 miles away, Marconi was preparing to send a signal to London from a clifftop station in Poldhu, Cornwall, UK. Yet before the demonstration could begin, the apparatus in the lecture theatre began to tap out a message. At first, it spelled out just one word repeated over and over. Then it changed into a facetious poem accusing Marconi of “diddling the public”. Their demonstration had been hacked
Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on December 28, 2011